Sunday, June 19, 2005

Albert wonders what I'm doing

Albert e-mails to ask: So Kat, what you doing? Where's the White Stripes review?

I'll complete it by Saturday. Which means I'll start it shortly.

What have I been doing, Albert wonders?

Well we started Saturday afternoon working on The Third Estate Sunday Review. There were all sort of glitches and delays, some computer, some phone. At about one in the morning, Jim was apologizing to C.I. because the whole point of starting early was to finish early so everyone could get a night of sleep. And with C.I.'s health (which is improving), it was really important to Jim that we be done early. It ended up being an all nighter.

We'd all be looking over a final draft of a post and go to save it and the thing would vanish. "Recover Post," a Blogger option, either didn't work at all or only gave you the first paragraph and maybe a line from the second one. It was a total nightmare. There was a lot of cursing each time that happened. And it happened repeatedly.

There was a "Dear Third Estate Sunday Review" piece that was going up. But after six times of losing it, it got ditched. The media roundtable takes a great deal of time. I think what's up is about half of what was discussed. We do that, we talk, Ava takes notes, C.I. takes notes, every now and then one of them will say it's time for a break or someone else will. Or we'll lose Betty on the phone or this burst of static will come in from someone's phone.

One thing that would save Ava and C.I. from taking notes would be doing it, the roundtable, via instant messenger. But how? If I say, for instance, "Well the big issue for me was ___," Jess Dona and Rebecca might all have a response right then and they're typing away and the slow typer ends up being left out because we've already moved on to another topic.

After the whole thing's up, which is usually Ava, C.I., Jim and Dallas (who tracks down the links while it's going on so they can be added when it's time to start the transcription) doing that work, we then all look at it. Not to change our remarks but to figure out where the emphasis should go which means "Is that topic really important? Should this one be part of the roundtable?" Four lenghty discussions on other topics didn't make the roundtable this week. Entire portions of those discussions were eliminated.

So with the two hours minimum we spend on the roundtable doing the discussion, the talk part, add in at least two hours more, at least, for Ava, C.I., Jim and Dallas to get the whole thing into some rough transcript. And then we end up with at least an hour of debate over whether a topic is worth including or not. So at a bare minimum, a roundtable takes five hours.

Ty and I were both watching the baseball game (Jeter got two home runs) and when the talk part of the roundtable was done, Ty, Dona, Jess, Rebecca, Betty and I could have added input to something else, worked on a draft while Jim, Ava, C.I. and Dallas were getting the full draft of the roundtable together, but Ty and I were going on about the game and others had other topics to talk about and we really blew time, I'll admit it.

When everything started going wrong over and over, we were all telling Ava and C.I. to go off and do their review because they had their notes on One Tree Hill but they hadn't written their review in any form yet. They were as frustrated as the rest of us by Blogger but felt like they had to hang in with everyone else. It was only when we finally were able to get some things up at the site that they went off to write their review while the rest of us worked on the critique & response.

I e-mailed Ava this morning before going to bed, I didn't want to call her and keep her up any later and I knew she was going through the Times with C.I. because both were exhausted and they decided to do The Common Ills entry together.

I asked her if she could explain, for me to post, what went into that review.

She wrote back this afternoon. She noted they were both tired and they wrote six paragraphs and realized it was complete crap. "We needed a break but there was no time to take a break. We'd hit the wall repeatedly and were thinking, 'Oh no, we won't have a TV review. We're going to have to go back and tell everyone we can't do it.' C.I. was asking if that's what I wanted to do and said no so we just bore down, trashed the six paragraphs except for one line from the middle and did the review. I still don't know how we did it, honestly. When we got to the last line, we were both surprised. We were tired and didn't really think we had anything left in us. I hope it's funny but I haven't read it. We just posted it and rejoined you guys for the editorial."

Ava doesn't need to worry, it is funny.

What else have I been doing? Today I've been reading of U2: The Rolling Stone Files because we had all enjoyed All Yesterdays' Parties: The Velvet Underground In Print: 1966-1971, (Clinton Heylin editor) (see "Five Books, Five Minutes") and wanted to read something else on music that's written in real time. Jim wanted something about U2 and this was suggested. Maggie's a slave to Bono so I called her up this afternoon and borrowed it from her. (The others will utilize the library and I have nothing against libraries and support them but I was too lazy to go out today.)

Make a point to check out Isaiah's latest cartoon, the New York Timid cries. And check out Dallas' "Bullies Without Borders." I love the Mamas and the Papas. And on that note, check out C.I.'s take on Saturday morning's New York Timid which has Mamas and the Papas refs.