Friday, January 30, 2009

D.C. Trip officially in the past

Posted by Craig on 1/30/2009 1 comments
Later tonight, The DePaulia's Inauguration coverage in D.C. will be removed from the home page of DePaulia Online and replaced with a series of fresh stories.

It's not disappearing completely. It will be archived. It will be accessible through the Search bar in the upper right hand corner by typing a single word: Inauguration.

But it's the end of an incredible journey, an independent study of a lifetime. It's an experience I'll always be able to look back at fondly and one I'll of course want to play up on my resume.

Just completed the last few chapters of this experience. Yesterday, John Kristoff and I presented to DePaul's Alumni Office on our trip; we showed photos, videos, maps, tweets, and other content thanks to a handy laptop projector and answered plenty of questions. And today we stopped at the Sun-Times newsroom for a tour from Web Editor Kirsten Miller and sat in on a few editorial meetings.

You know, Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski says it best: "If what you did yesterday still looks big, then you haven't done much today." And with that, onward!

This weekend, I'm working on a 10-page research paper on Twitter and a new media paper on film. Should be fun (no sarcasm - I like writing, and the topics are interesting).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Aurelio's review, new Web portfolio

Posted by Craig on 1/27/2009 0 comments
On Saturday night, I went to a pizza place called Aurelio's with my roommate Ericc and some of his buddies.

It HAD to get in here; it was just a matter of when as I've been pretty busy the last few days with schoolwork.

So far, it's the best pizza I've ever had in Chicago, hands down, no competition. Maybe that's because their specialty is thin crust? What can I say -- I'm from New York.

We ordered a Fiesta-sized (18-inch) pepperoni and sausage pizza. It was fantastic and the perfect size for the four of us. We finished it yet all left quite satisfied.

They use a sweet sauce with crispy bits of pepperoni, tasty sausage, and a crunchy crust. Am I making you hungry yet? It is really good, and I don't say this often, but it goes right up there with the best of Western New York pizza.

In other news, I threw together a Digital Portfolio on WordPress tonight. My Web site already has a nice sample of my professional work on it, but as I wrote on the portfolio itself, it's "an easy (and alternative) way for a quick overview of my journalistic endeavors." It certainly can't hurt, that's for sure.

For those who want to take a peak, the new Digital Portfolio can be found here.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Back from D.C. Trip

Posted by Craig on 1/24/2009 0 comments
View of Downtown Chicago while landing at O'Hare Airport on Wednesday, Jan. 21. It officially ended my trip to D.C. to cover the Inauguration for The DePaulia and Chicago Sun-Times.

A journalist's dream: my assignment was to cover the Presidential Inauguration for the first African-American President in United States history.

As if that wasn't good enough, the dream got better. I was told wireless cards would be provided, along with HD Flip Mino cameras. I used my new media/social media imagination and spearheaded an effort to Twitter while there, and one thing led to the next. The Sun-Times contacted the Twitter account I had set up (@dannythedemon) and asked us to blog for them while in D.C.

Our Twitter endeavor was a huge success, as we amassed more than 400 followers in just 14 days and numerous replies.

The Sun-Times blog worked out great too. In fact, one of our blogs - on presidential historian Lonnie Bunch - became the main story on the front page of the Sun-Times site for a good 30 minutes or so on Inauguration Eve. Here's the screenshot (click to enlarge):

It was a memorable trip. As a journalist, as a student and as an American citizen, I can pull so much from it.

And on top of it all, I also got to give being an interviewee a try. CBC/Radio-Canada did a write-up on me in their Inauguration blog, and Catholic News Service wrote about me in their news briefs. It's the type of trip I'll never forget as long as I live.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Taking in a roadie

Posted by Craig on 1/15/2009 1 comments
Last night, I attended my first ever Buffalo Sabres game on the road.

It was right here in Chicago, and why wouldn't I go to this game? Actually got the tickets back in September. I've been looking forward to it for a while.

I proudly wore my Jason Pominville jersey around town throughout the day and to the game. The great irony: I was also wearing Chicago Blackhawks gloves. Was actually asked about it while waiting for the El after the game - "Kind of clashes, doesn't it?" Nope... :) Got them for free at a Hawks-Wings game last year, and I have a great deal of respect for the Hawks. Doesn't hurt that Patrick Kane is from Buffalo and that I also blog about them (Hawkey Central).

Probably the best part of this game was that my sister flew in from Buffalo last evening for it, and she flew back this morning really early. To be exact, she got in at about 6 for the 7:30 game. It was cutting it close, but it ended up working out OK and was a ton of fun.

Sabres lost 4-1 but it was a fun game. Tons of Sabres fans in our section and plenty of Let's Go Buffalo chants. And I happened to get video footage of the Sabres only goal. Here it is:

Monday, January 12, 2009

About a foot

Posted by Craig on 1/12/2009 0 comments
We got about a foot of snow in the city this past weekend.

My reaction? Hardly fazed me. We've lived through this before - so many times back home in Buffalo. Some others panicked - literally.

It was in some ways comical to watch people get all worked up as the storm approached and hit downtown. Many of these people were from southern states and had never seen so much snow; others were Chicago natives who kept saying it was a "major storm." To me, again, it didn't seem like much. I've experienced far worse.

I'll admit there was heavy snow at times. There were some whiteouts. One night, you couldn't even see the Sears Tower. But again, I grew up with this white stuff all my life. And I've grown to love it. Winter, after all, is my favorite season.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

First Snowfall

Posted by Craig on 1/06/2009 0 comments
It may have snowed in Chicago a few times already, but this is the first time I've been in the city when snow has fallen.

I was home in Buffalo for the holidays from Thanksgiving to my birthday (Jan. 4). It didn't snow prior to Thanksgiving. Once in November there was a wintry mix, but it didn't stick. Maybe global warming? Maybe not.

But it snowed today; in fact, quite a bit. It came down heavy at times, big fluffy flakes that stuck. Here's the look from the DePaul campus in Lincoln Park earlier tonight.

Monday, January 5, 2009

My Holiday Break from A to Z

Posted by Craig on 1/05/2009 0 comments
I'm now back in Chicago, but you're probably wondering, where've you been the last month? I had such a great Holiday Break in Western New York that I have no clue where to start. Rather than assemble a chronological review or try to sort events from most memorable to least, I threw together this collection of memories from A-Z.

A is for Applebee's, where Mom, Dad, Melissa, and Nicole took me for dinner for my 23rd birthday. I ordered a cheeseburger with fries and it was good.

B is for Buffalo sports, as I was able to take in a Sabres-Penguins game (4-3 overtime loss on controversial Sidney Crosby tip-in) and the Bills' season finale against the Patriots (13-0 loss in 50+ MPH winds, fun game to go to despite the result).

C is for Church, attending Cantata at my parish to hear a great rendition of Christmas songs and see my mom sing and hearing some great homilies, reminding me of what the Christmas season is all about.

D is for Dentist, not my favorite thing in the world but I got it done and over with at the end of December. No cavities, so that's a plus!

E is for Engaged, Nicole and I's new Facebook status as of Dec. 23, 2008. The proposal happened after a treasure hunt ended where we first met - in front of the Cardinal Courier office on the St. John Fisher College campus.

F is for Freefall, as I saw the Bills complete their end-of-the-season collapse in December. It was grueling to watch, minus the upset win over the Broncos in Denver. The loss to the Jets ending with a pair of J.P. Losman turnovers were particularly tough to take.

G is for Gift Cards, particularly Subway Gift Cards, as I got $75 of them between Christmas and my birthday. Also some Panera Bread, Tim Horton's, and Olive Garden, gotta love it!

H is for Home-Cooking, mmm. Personal favorites were my mom's special meatloaf, homemade mashed potatoes, Peanut Butter Pie for Christmas and Thanksgiving Dinner! And can't forget the Christmas cookies that Mom made, especially those Peanutty Gems!

I is for Ice, which there was plenty of during my stay in Western New York. That included some brutal black ice, which I slipped on in the driveway my last night there (don't worry I was OK).

J is for Jokes, and there were plenty of these exchanged among my family and friends while I was home. Always good to have a good sense of humor!

K is for Kimmelweck, as in Roast Beef on Kimmelweck rolls! One of my favorite Buffalo treats and I had three or four such sandwiches while in town.

L is for Late-Night Chats, with my parents, Melissa, Nicole and Aunt Colleen, all at different times, but each interesting in their own way. Just good ole conversation about life and the like!

M is for Mac Games, as I got Civilization IV and Scrabble for Christmas. I previously had no games for my Mac.

N is for National Hockey League, and I didn't just watch the Sabres in my time home. I got to see Hockey Night in Canada doubleheaders again on Saturday nights (it's been a while) and thanks to the NHL Network I saw plenty of highlights.

O is for Olive Garden, where I went three times during break. Once with my mom, once with Melissa and Nicole, and once with just Nicole. That last venture involved parking in a snow bank; long story!

P is for Pizza, and there is no pizza like Buffalo pizza! From John's and Just Pizza to frozen pies, I had my fair share of this great Italian dish.

Q is for Quiet, nice peace and quiet back home compared to the never-ending buzz of downtown Chicago. The silence was so relaxing and quite welcomed!

R is for Rochester, which I was able to visit a few times, including on Christmas Eve. No one was happier to hear of Nicole and I's engagement than her grandparents when we visited them that morning to share the news.

S is for Slingbox, the highlight/surprise gift from my parents. I can now watch Buffalo-area TV from Chicago. Also allows me to DVR! Already tested it out; works great. Will come in handy for Sabres games so I can hear R.J. again.

T is for Turkey Day, as I gobbled down some great food on Thanksgiving, including my personal favorite (cranberries)! There was much to be thankful for and I was so glad to spend that day with my family - even happier that Nicole could be a part of it.

U is for Un-Bull-ievable, what the UB Bulls were as they captured their first MAC Championship in school history with an upset win over nationally-ranked and previously-unbeaten Ball State. They lost in the subsequent bowl game vs. UConn but they sure did take Buffalonians for a ride!

V is for Valkyrie, a really interesting historical movie about Nazi Germany that Melissa, Nicole and I saw at the Elmwood Regal Theatre. I just love history, so I found it really fascinating. Tons of stuff in there I just never knew before!

W is for Wii, which I played often during the break. Besides my addiction to Wii Bowling (my high was 256), I worked in a heavy dose of Wii Fit, Game Party, and NHL2k9.

X is for X-Rays, among the tests done on my grandma after she was taken to the hospital just after Christmas. She's still at the hospital now, and we're taking it one day at a time. I'm glad I was able to visit her a few times while home and I hope she gets better soon!

Y is for Year 2008, which my family, Nicole, Aunt Beth and cousin Kathy said goodbye to in style with Chinese food and pizza. Nicole and I actually saw the 1st Annual Tonawanda-North Tonawanda New Year's Celebration at the Canal - Ball Drop at Midnight with fireworks - was REALLY cool, both fun and freezing!

Z is for Zzz...let's just say I caught up on my sleep over break. It was really nice to relax and get some extra shut-eye.

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