Thursday, April 27, 2006

Transcribblethon

Lately, I have been consumed — and will continue to be consumed — by hours and hours of transcription. Musicians always assume that it's music, but no... interviews, baby. Words! They talk, I type. Wash, rinse, repeat. It's a fairly mundane way to make a buck, but it is on my own time, when and where I choose. Six straight hours interfacing with the keyboard has a hell of a bite, though: straining to hear stuttering subjects over formidable background noise, back flipping out from a bad chair, hands toying with the idea of developing an RSI.

But it's strangely fulfilling, at the end of the day. I think I picked up the notion, somewhere along the line, that work is, a priori, unpleasant. Or conversely, if I'm having fun, I must not be accomplishing anything. And accomplishment is the true source of happiness, right? I guess it's my own take on some sort of puritanical work ethic someone or something pumped into me at some point, a little bit of melodramatic masochism: suffering brings satisfaction. Dig the following syllogism:

Suffering → Accomplishment
Accomplishment → Happiness

Suffering → Happiness

*scratch scratch*

It's also completely maddening, as all the subjects seem to be people who are doing exciting and intelligent things. And here I amn, transcribing their interview. So far, the subjects have included 20-something internet startup owners, PhD students in exciting (sometimes) interdisciplinary programs, prominent public officials, and ex-almost-presidents. It's easy to imagine that all of these people lead engaging, dynamic lives. The only dynamic aspect of transcription is the ever-present vector towards tendonitis. I transcribe their interviews, which leads to... transcribing more of their interviews.

If anything, it helps to light a fire under my ass. I want to do something amazing, too. Just a matter of figuring out what... or maybe I'll just give up on that idea and spend my days down at the OTB.

I don't want to be completely dark on it, though. When the content or subjects are of sufficient interest, it can be pretty engaging and quite enlightening. Especially when one prominent official says something about another prominent public official off the record.

Pocky FOR MENOne of the things that's fueled me over the last few days has been Pocky. And not just any Pocky, MEN'S POCKY. Grunt. In a moment of Tokyo envy, I went to a very Japanese market in the East Village. It was there that I found the Pocky. It was also there that I found and tasted sweet, sweet onigiri for the first time since December. And it was good.

And now, only 45 minutes of Al Gore to go!!

2 Comments:

Blogger Elizabeth said...

Stop your jealousy-inducing POCKY talk. GOSH.

10:08 AM  
Blogger David said...

Oh come now, don't pout! I'll send you some if you ever get an address to which I can send some.

10:13 AM  

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