Metapost: A Somewhat Long And Rambly Update On Transcripts

I keep feeling like I should give some kind of update on the heady, wild, busy whirlwind that is my life right now, and keep finding that I lack the words to convey things well. So here are some things.

[CN: Medical Problems] Within the last week, I've had large-and-mysterious-and-very-painful lumps flare up all over the inside of my lips and the roof of my mouth. I finally got in to see my dentist today (which is the one medical provider in my life whom I actually like, so at least that wasn't stressful) and he declared the problem to be entirely stress-related, though he finally conceded that my favorite brand of lemonade might also be at fault. But he strongly prefers the stress explanation.

I've also, possibly unrelatedly, broken out with some kind of entire-body-wide heat rash that itches like fuck and keeps me from sleeping well at night. This started in mid-July with no indication yet of easing up. I'm supposed to see my general practitioner on Thursday, but I suspect she'll just tell me it's stress-related because that's what doctors do. *shakes fist at sky in frustration*

[/End CN]

I don't feel particularly stressed, but it has been pointed out to me by a few people I love online that I've been going on this whole Texas abortion activism slash transcript project almost non-stop since June 25th, which might to an unbiased observer be classified as potentially stressful. Mmph. But I categorically refuse to abandon the project or even to consciously slow down on it, because (a) it's needed and it's needed now, not later, and (b) I'm completely incapable of relaxing when I have unfinished business hanging over my head. That's just how my brain works -- if I tried to slow down, the act of trying to slow down would stress me out even more.

So in an attempt to compromise, I've made a semi-decision. I had originally planned to work out the following videos for the transcript project:

• 6/20 Citizen Testimony
6/25 Senate Floor Filibuster
• 7/8 Citizen Testimony
7/9 House Amendments
7/13 Senate Amendments

The bolded videos above have been either fully spliced and sent out for transcribing or (in the case of the 7/13 video) have been mostly spliced and sent out. The remaining two citizen testimony sessions have not been spliced or sent out.

I would very much like to splice and send out the citizen testimonies, but I am not sure if I have the spoons to listen to the gut-wrenching testimony given in these videos. What I most need right now is one or two volunteers who have the spoons to listen to 11 hours and 16 hours of testimony respectively and mark out clear splicing points for me. The way I mark out splicing points is simple but time-consuming. I have an Excel sheet that looks like this:

Start Time End Time Length
0:00:00 0:10:53 0:10:53
0:10:53 0:25:51 0:14:58
0:25:51 0:40:13 0:14:22
0:40:13 0:52:32 0:12:19
0:52:32 1:02:32 0:10:00

8:03:50 8:19:46 0:15:56
11:55:30 12:03:59 0:08:29
8:19:46 8:40:20 0:20:34
8:40:20 8:55:23 0:15:03
8:55:23 9:16:28 0:21:05

I type in a Start Time. I listen until approximately 15 minutes have passed (or a major period of silence has passed, since I don't like long silent stretches in the middle of the tracks) and then I find a spot where someone stops talking and a new speaker starts. I mark down the exact moment where there is an audible pause between speakers in the End Time column. The Length column is calculated by Excel and is a simple (Column B - Column A) operation. Once the Excel sheet is filled out for the full video, it's relatively simple for me to do the actual splicing on my end.

If there are one or two* volunteers in the audience who have the time and the spoons to listen to these gut-wrenching videos and mark them out for me, please send me an email and I'll package these videos for download. (Which is in itself a time-consuming task I've not yet done, but I can do if I have someone to send them to.) I know of at least a couple male volunteers who have specifically volunteered to handle "extra-triggery stuff" (and bless you so, so much), but I don't feel right outright asking someone to donate 11-16 hours of their life to this.

This decision to "outsource" the listening-to-the-testimony work would greatly reduce my stress levels. If no one is able to step forward to do this (which would be completely understandable to me), then probably the citizen testimonies will have to be dropped from the project, because I personally-and-currently simply lack the spoons to listen to the full testimonies on my own at this time.

* It wouldn't be very feasible for me to split the task into more than a 1- or 2-person job because that in itself would require me to find certain stopping points on my own.


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