Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Emily on 24-09-2011

Yesterday (Friday, September 23rd, 2011) was All My Children’s last day on the air after 41 years. It began on January 5, 1970 and veteran soap actress Susan Lucci portrayed soap diva Erica Kane right from the beginning.

I have been watching soap operas for almost 10 years. I am a soap junky! General Hospital (GH) got me hooked. I became addicted to the tumultuous relationship between Carly and Sonny Corinthos. I rooted for Jason and Courtney to stay together, even though I knew they probably wouldn’t. After getting bored with GH, I started watching Passions, a show on NBC that always seemed to have hot, hunky, shirtless guys every time I turned on the tv. Passions acknowledged that its viewers had and appreciated a sense of humor. Tabitha, played by Juliet Mills, was a witch who casted spells on some of the other characters. I loved the relationship triangle between Ethan, Theresa, and Gwen, and I had to tune in to see who Ethan would pick.  After Passions was moved to a station on DirectTV (I was devastated!), I stopped watching soaps for a while.

 Then I discovered the Young and the Restless, which is on CBS, a station famous for its soaps winning boatloads of Emmys. I started watching and I didn’t like the evil characters. I thought they were too evil, and that the good characters were not getting any justice. I also thought the storylines were becoming contrived and silly. Having the same actress play two opposing characters is not always the best idea. It made me mad that the character Nick was still very attracted to his ex-wife Sharon, even though Nick’s wife Phyllis was kind, beautiful, funny and loyal.

Since I started watching the soaps, five have been canceled: All My Children, As the World Turns, Guiding Light, Passions and Port Charles.  Soap operas are losing viewers, mostly because the target audience, women, are more likely today to have employment outside the home than they were 20 or 30 years ago. The rise of watching tv on the internet also had a negative impact on traditionally formated soaps. Apparently, ABC is going to have an online version of All My Children on their website. It is unknown if Susan Lucci will continue with her role as Erica. Hopefully, viewers will enjoy watching their favorite soap online.

To those of you who don’t give a mouse’s behind about soaps, you are probably wondering, “Why is she writing about something so superficial and unimportant?”

Well, I think soaps are important, and they have had a significant impact on the culture and constant change in the world of Mass Comm. For American housewives in the 1950s, soaps united women who were at home doing laundry, cooking, and taking care of children. The soaps were a way for women to escape the real world and get swept up in someone else’s problems. The advertisements at the time were for soap, detergent, food, and products that were useful in the home. In the 1970s, the soaps started to change just as the real world was changing. Women in the world wanted to be liberated, and the soaps reflected that societal change. Female characters wanted jobs, to be treated as equals to their husbands, and were tired of being solely responsible for the home and the children. Today, soap operas have gay characters, characters who have been affected by 9/11, and characters who use cell phones and computers.

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Emily on 16-09-2011

As someone on the autism spectrum, I like to read about autism if it is in the news. I am curious how autism is portrayed in the article, and hoping that it is not misinforming the public.

What is autism? Autism is a spectrum disorder, meaning that people who are on the spectrum all have different, varying diagnoses. Some children, like Joshua, have more severe autism, and they may be non-verbal and/or have to go to special schools or be home-schooled. Others who have Asperger’s Syndrome, like me, are able to go to school, talk to people, drive, and live independently from their parents. These are the two extremes of the spectrum; a lot of kids are in the middle.  Autism affects socialization, communication and speech. It is becoming common in middle schools and high schools for students with Asperger’s to be in Social Skills classes. They learn about how to act in situations where they may not know how to respond appropriately, do role-playing, etc. It is beneficial for students on the spectrum to be around peers who behave appropriately. If the “typical” student models proper behavior, the person with autism will learn how to behavior well.

I am glad that the child, Joshua, is safe. Unfortunately, he was taken from his parents because a well-meaning but clueless real estate agent saw him tethered to the parents’ house while they were getting ready to move. The agent informed Child Protective Services and they took the child from his home.

For those of you not as familiar with the autism community, sometimes children with autism are Runners. They will take off at any minute, without warning.  They can run really fast, and sometimes they do not understand that their behavior is inappropriate, so they might laugh and think you are playing a game with them. I volunteered at an elementary school one semester in a special education room, and there were a few Runners. We had to watch them constantly, and sometimes they would just take off and we had to run after and find them. It was frightening at times.

 Some parents buy special bracelets that are equipped with technology so if their child runs off or is missing, they will be able to locate them. These parents just lost their home, so they probably could not afford to buy a pricey bracelet. Their only option was to teather him. This may sound like it is abuse, but it is not. If Joshua is non-verbal, he does not respond to “Quit running!” or “Don’t go anywhere.”

What I am inferring from the article (though I’m not exactly sure) is that the child took off under CPS’s care. Was he trying to go back home? He really belongs with his parents. Unless the parents are abusing them, the best place for a child with autism is with their parents. The parents understand their child and their autism better than anyone else. They are able to give the child the kind of special love and attention that he needs. If CPS had come to MY house when I was younger and tried to take me away, I would have fought like hell not to go. My parents understood and still do understand me better than anyone else.

How prepared is CPS for working with children on the autism spectrum? Do they go through special training? I will do some research about this because I am curious. I am a curious journalist.

I wish the author of this article had included a few sentences about autism, just to inform the readers. Maybe the comment section of the article would have had fewer ignorant, cruel comments like, “This kid is a retard,” “He should have been aborted,” and telling a mother of a child with autism that she “should not blame other people for her genetic shortcomings.” Some very unkind people crawled out from under their rocks and said stupid, ignorant things.

I always welcome questions or curiousity about autism from anyone, especially my fellow college students. It is not offensive to me at all. Saying ignorant, judgemental, uninformed, rude comments is quite another matter. See above paragraph.

For more information about autism, go to

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Emily on 14-09-2011

Noisy Food on Fourth Street

Emily L. Domayer

September 13, 2011

            I gaze at the purple lights. They are violet blue half circles. No matter how many times I come here, I enjoy looking at them. Light faintly filters through the three high windows that nearly reach the ceiling. The large window at the front of the restaurant provides light for the large plants. I love that there are no harsh lights to be found, no pasty, white glaring lights. I am at Rebo’s, a “New” Mexican Caribbean restaurant.

            The ambiance is lively, and the taste in décor is eclectic. A moose head, art from local artists, and vibrantly colored sea creatures decorate the walls. There is a mounted sail fish and photographs of small children. The children remind me of Precious Moments figurines come alive. For the sports fans sitting at the bar, a large flat screen TV is showing ESPN.

            A waitress comes up to my table and asks what I would like to drink. I order a Sprite. I am people-watching from my table by the bar. A woman walks in wearing a bright orange dress and black espadrilles. Her shoes look painful to wear and I am briefly reminded of how comfortable my three year old, worn-in Roxy shoes are. She sits at the bar. A well dressed man in a black shirt and gray pants walks in and sits down next to the woman in the orange dress.

            The waitress comes back to my table with the Sprite. She asks if I am ready to order food and I tell her that I am. I order my favorite sandwich, the California Chicken Club. The waitress leaves. I take the first sip of Sprite and the bubbly citrus taste refreshes me. A song is playing, and it sounds like Eric Clapton, although I’m not sure. Most of the music at Rebo’s would appeal more to people of older generations, like my parents.

            From the table next to me, other customers’ food is wafting toward my nose. I smell bacon, chicken and spicy tomatoes. There are a lot of great entrees to order at Rebo’s. The flat bread pizzas have a crunchy, crispy crust and a delectable array of toppings. There are traditional Mexican dishes such as chimichangas and enchiladas. Bacon wrapped shrimp is available, too.

            Suddenly, I smell guacamole and aioli sauce. I turn around and I see the waitress coming to my table with my sandwich. She smiles at me as she sets the plate down on the table. I thank her and she leaves. I overhear her tell the people at the next table about the dessert specials. The restaurant has become more crowded and now there people waiting for tables. I am glad that I came early.

            When I first bite into my sandwich, I taste one of my favorite combinations: chicken and cheese. The tomatoes and guacamole provide temperature contrast from the chicken. Sprouts add a fun crunch and the aioli complements the guacamole well. All these ingredients are in between two lightly toasted, lightly buttered bread buns.

            I have only eaten half of my sandwich and most of my salad when the waitress comes back to my table and asks if I am ready for dessert. She tells me what the choices are. I decide to get the Bananas Foster. Ice cream, chunks of banana, pecans, and a praline sauce with a hint of rum are the ingredients in this delicious concoction.

            Rebo’s is located in the Krummann building, in the Historic 4th Street District in Sioux City. Built in 1889 in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, the building was a grocery store into the 1930s. It was restored in 1998. Shortly after that, it was a music store and restaurant called Uncle John’s. Later, it was a bakery named the Bread Basket. In 2004, the current owners opened the Rebo’s restaurant.

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Emily on 12-09-2011

Hi. I would like to introduce you to my classmate, Brittany Leigh Conolly. She is a 21 year old Mass comm. major who recently transferred from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Her hobbies include online shopping (she LOVES ebay), watching movies, and hanging out with her golden retriever, Haley. She enjoys watching comedy dramas and her favorite restaurant here in Sioux City is La Juanita’s. Brittany likes to read whatever no one else is reading, and her favorite author is Sarah Dessen.

She is an only child, and she has countless cousins. Brittany has been to Canada, Mexico and Hawaii. In the future, she hopes to have a career in radio or broadcasting, and she wants to move to Colorado. She loves the idea of waking up to beautiful mountains every morning.

I have known Brittany since we were in daycare together, and it is fun sitting next to her in journalism class.

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Emily on 08-09-2011

One of the news values I remembered was “bizarre”, and I would say that this story is definitely in that category!

Some people like to knit. Others like fishing. The woman in this story has a hobby of paranoia: She called her ex-boyfriend 65,000 times in the last year.

Anyone who calls another person that much, regardless of whether they are female or Dutch, is a nut.

I know what it is like to miss someone that used to be part of your life. You brood for a couple weeks, then you start to see that things are getting back to normal. You might be tempted to call them a lot a first, but then you realize why you broke up in the first place, so you stop. It just gets awkward and you run out of things to talk about.

 I had a boyfriend who texted me a gazillion times a day when we were dating. After a while, I left my phone off for a long time, because his obsessiveness was SO annoying.

I am curious what this woman’s phone bill is each month. I calculated how many times a day she called him (65,000/365) and it came to 178 calls a day. Holy cow! She could be single-handedly keeping the phone company in business. 

How does this woman have enough time to make that many calls? Does she have a job? Who is this guy and why does she keep calling him? Did he break up with her without telling her why? There are so many unanswered questions, I can almost feel my inner Carrie Bradshaw coming out.

I’m not that surprised that the guy denied being in a relationship with her.

Maybe she has an obsessive disorder, like OCD. Whatever mental or emotional state she is in, she needs professional help. She needs to quit calling her ex-boyfriend and call a shrink instead.

Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Emily on 01-09-2011

The statue is outside the main doors of the library. It is quite tall; it towers over me and is at least two and a half or three feet taller than I (I’m 5′ 4). I notice a small plaque alongside the statue. It reads: Obelisk III, Sculptor: Tom Gibbs, Presented by Psi Chi, the National Honor Society in Psychology 1989, Morningside College Historic District, Plaque donated in memory of Jon Langley ’98.

There is a cluster of shapes at the bottom of the statue, and fewer as it goes up. The statue is thin and has mostly square, angular shapes. The only circular shapes are the ones carved into man made objects. There are wheels on a machine, a plumbing pipe, and a unidentifiable cylindrical shape.

I touch the statue. It is not as painfully hot to the touch as I expected. It feels mostly smooth, except for a few spots that have peeled in the blistering summer sun. I get closer to the statue and I smell it. It smells slightly like iron, but the most prevalent smell is fresh mowed grass.

I step back from the statue and walk around it a few times. The shadow is long, and it looks like a gnome wearing a dunce hat, holding several square objects in his hands. I sit down on the grass. In the middle of the statue, there are letter shaped holes that have been cut out. One looks like a “k” and the other could be an “o”.




















Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Emily on 01-09-2011

I look at the ice cream container. The colors inside are brown and white. For some reason, I assume the brown is chocolate. I take the white paper lid off. The smell is reminiscent of frozen food. I put my nose closer,  smelling the ice cream in greater detail. I smell root beer. I am not disappointed that it is not chocolate, just surprised that it is not. I dig in and take my first bite. Instantly, I am transported to childhood. I think of hot summer days, either at daycare or Girls’ Inc. I can almost hear the sound of noisy children, talking and giggling excitedly at the fun idea of getting cold treats on a hot day. When the cup is empty, I am saddened, but I am glad that the ice cream took me back to my “little pink shoes” days.