I willingly spent a beautiful Boston Saturday indoors for Boston's first PubCamp held at WGBH. The general gist of the day: over a hundred folks involved in public media (writers, producers, designers, journalists, etc.) gathered to talk shop, network, and "lay the foundation for what's to come in new media." It was a fabulous time. I had a career crush on almost every single person there. Check out the killer list of attendees.
I had the opportunity to participate in six discussions throughout the day:
- Multimedia Journalism: The Myth of the One-Man Band (argument for team media production)
- Backpack Media Production (best practices on how to produce great work with only a backpack full of equipment) led by Adam Weiss
- The Listening Salon (listened to ridiculously rad examples of audio work) led by Public Radio Exchange's Emily Corwin
- The New Radio Receiver (discussed new hardware/distribution options for radio content)
- The Lightning Round (anyone present could get up and talk of their projects... my piece features a great quote from Joanna Marinova of PressPassTV)
- Indy News Bureau (fleshing out the idea for a brick and mortar locale for independent journalists)
Listen to today's audio minute for a smattering of things that struck me... a few words from each session.
As dysfunctional as this might sound, I find the grating sounds of the MBTA strangely comforting. When I first moved to Boston four years ago, I was overwhelmed by the noise. Now, it is one of the things that makes me feel most at home.
Here's an ode to my Friday morning commute.
Today ended up being a fairly busy day at work. I am starting to feel the stirrings of students and faculty returning to the journalism department. It makes me nervous. But the good news is... lots got taken care of and all the journalists will be paid this semester. Good.
Because I only had a short time to take care of the day's audio minute, I had to do something that wouldn't require any intensive editing. So today you get sixty seconds of a cappella singing by yours truly. Enjoy.
The Top 10 Reasons I Love You.
I have been collecting a bunch of stuff to take to the Salvation Army for a while now. I finally got the will to pack up my car and deliver it this evening. In the midst of the pile, there was a framed handwritten creation entitled, "The Top 10 Reasons I Love You." I received this gem a few years ago from the dapper chap I was dating at the time. I wanted to get rid of it but needed to document it somehow. What can I say? I'm sentimental. Enter my idea for tonight's piece.
I've been meaning to try out some text-to-speech tools, and I found this priceless jewel. A Halloween-themed speech generator that sounds like Vincent Price, the voice actor for movie trailers, and Satan gave birth to a vampire. I love the Internet.
And without further ado... the top ten reasons he loved me.
I have had a very long day. Vacation is lovely, but the return home brings many rude awakenings. I have not quite accomplished everything that I needed to do today. It is 1:30am (so technically it is the 18th, but since I haven't gone to sleep yet, it is the 17th to me). As midnight approached, I had zero ideas for the day's audio minute. It didn't need to be fabulous, I just needed something pretty good to work from. With that in my brain, I searched my computer for the words "pretty good." You're Pretty Good Looking (For a Girl) by the White Stripes was the first search result. I decided to import the song into Pro Tools and mess around to see if anything came of it. I wasn't liking what was shaping up, so I tried a new song.
Passive Manipulation seemed a particularly poetic choice considering I was not creating anything new but just passively manipulating the work of someone else. I think it sounds Icelandic.
Forgive today's horrendous sound quality. This chunk of audio goodness was too precious to leave unheard. I was sitting in the Atlanta airport, waiting for my connection to Boston. I hear some people a few chairs away strike up a conversation. Unabashedly judging books by their covers, I knew this was gonna be a good one. I covertly got out my field recorder.
After eavesdropping for a few moments, I realized this man REALLY wanted to tell the woman he just met what he did for a living. He tried a couple times, but this woman REALLY wanted to talk about her fiance, his writing and analytical skills, and how physics and music are interrelated. Listen for the most hysterical exchange ten seconds before the piece ends...
Man: "Don't you want to ask me what I do?"
Woman: "What do you do?"
Man: "I'd been waiting, but..."
My beautiful and spunky niece Alexa died in June of 2008 (as an aside, four-year-olds should never die). Since Alexa left us, I have not been able to sleep in her room while visiting my sister and her family. I have felt like I'm displacing her spirit or diluting her scent or something. I don't know. It has caused some logistical issues the past two years since it is the only available bedroom. My sister and her husband have been totally understanding and we joke about me not being up to "the Alexa Challenge." They have always moved my nephew Zachary into their room and allowed me to crash in his room.
On this most recent visit, however, I forced myself to rise to the task. It seems way more convenient for them (I'm not taking over Zack's office, for example) and I knew they would not want their kiddo in their room (Zack had been on a business trip and they hadn't had much alone time in the past chunk of time. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge). So, even though I still kept all of my belongings outside in the hallway, I successfully rose to challenge (and dreamed of her every night).
Tonight I recorded a minute of "silence" in Alexa's room.
The Birthday Boy
Today was my nephew River's birthday party. It was over 100 degrees; a beautiful Texas day. There was just the slightest breeze until the moment my brother wanted to light the birthday candles. Listen for his repeated attempts with the lighter and all my darling nephews giving their encouragement; including Aaron's command to the elements... "Stop blowing, Wind!"
Spoiler Alert! The wind obeyed.
Unfortunately for my ego, the only thing I recorded today was me. I needed to get some thoughts out but I was too tired to write in my journal.
I flew to Texas this evening to visit my family. On the first leg of the flight, I met an Indian woman. Turns out she was also on my next connecting flight, so we became pals (good thing because there ended up being EPIC delays due to storms in Baltimore).
As with most single women, the conversation turned to men. She was working with her parents in India to find a suitable match. Her parents have made a suggestion, but she has delayed meeting him because she is currently seeking employment and doesn't want to appear of a lower class. I then asked her about arranged marriages in her country and the Indian caste system. She was fascinating.