thoughts on taking time

poor elaine and mike. i've heard from both of them, screaming on the phone, wondering 'what is going on!' they're both trying to post quickly and get out the door because it's valentine's day and they have plans. well c.i. noted this morning that blogger/blogspot was acting up. mike's getting the same screen c.i. got when the 2nd post was lost and elaine's trapped in forever publishing. so hopefully mike will be able to recover his post. with elaine? c.i. was trapped in publishing for a 1/2 hour this morning on an entry that never did publish.

for readers who don't blog, let me explain. if you're reading this at my site, it's published. when i'm writing it, i'm in a fairly small square. after a few paragraphs, i can't even see what i've already written. but when i'm done with my post i have 2 options:

1) save as draft
2) publish post

if i'm ready to publish, i click on publish post.

'that's pretty easy' you say.

no, it isn't. and fyi, i just got an error message at the bottom of the screen telling me i wasn't connected to blogger. so after i click on publish, i'm not done. i have to then republish index and republish blog. those are 2 options. the 1st 1 goes quick. the 2nd 1 can take a bit longer. (if you have almost 3,000 posts as c.i. does, it can take 20 minutes or more.) i could probably get away with just doing the 1st 1 (republish index) because technorati has never read my tags. but for mike and c.i., they have to republish blog to be read by technorati.

elaine just called again. she's still stuck in 'republish blog' it's never taken her more than 4 minutes before. i told her to turn the computer off and get her ass out the door. technorati doesn't read her site either. (they also don't reply to her e-mails despite twice sending out an automated message that they'd be contacting her in X number of business days. the 1st time she wrote them was in october. i'm having a hard time believing that they still haven't found time to reply and elaine writes nice e-mails unlike me.)

so there's the error message again. is this happening to everyone on blogger/blogspot or just sites in this community? i don't know. we had huge problems at 3rd estate sunday review in the early hours of the morning and had to call the uk computer gurus in and let them log into the account to see what was going on. they fixed something, not in the account but in the connection to the internet, that's supposed to have made it more secure to log in.

so it's v-day. i'm waiting on fly boy. he'll be late and i know that because he said he would when we made our plans saturday. my gift came mid-day. 4 people he hired to sing some selections from hair to me. i thought that was the nicest gift in the world. (i really do love that musical.)
i just sat on the front porch and enjoyed it.

last valentine's day i didn't have a 'date' and i had fun none the less. so if you don't have a date and you're feeling sorry for yourself, stop it. call up some friends. invite them over or go out. or maybe take some time for yourself. just enjoy some time alone. (c.i.'s got work stuff tonight but i bet if you asked the reply would be 'time alone would be the best gift in the world.')

oh gina called today about the entry c.i. did. she said, this will make members laugh, 'i have been wrong for over a year. c.i. is not oprah, c.i. is jeff probst." i had read the entry and that made me laugh so hard. you probably have to have watched survivor at least once.

c.i.'s writing about a really lame article (that everyone's seen repeatedly but for some reason the nation felt the need to pay the guy to write it 1 more time - i bet it would have been cheaper to have purchased the right to republish 1 of his older pieces) and it's because members were complaining about it. c.i. had some stuff that was important to the community and wasn't able to highlight it in the morning entries (did highlight it in the 2nd 1 but the whole post got lost). so the plan was to highlight it in the mid-day entry.

didn't happen. 43 e-mails had come in that morning about maxy holland's article in the nation. according to ava, the e-mails continued to come in until that entry went up. she's guessing it was 300. that's not even 10% of the community but if members are complaining, c.i. has to write something. so it has a very, the entry, 'the tribe has spoken' quality to it.

that's why gina's joke was so funny.

but, as gina pointed out, there were things planned for that entry. c.i. noted it in the 2nd entry of the morning. that all got scrapped due to the e-mails.

i never have to do that. i'm serving a community. i just write what i want and figure if people like it, cool. if they don't, no problem. that's not slapping c.i. down in any way. but it is noting that c.i. long ago had to become a spokesperson. there's more freedom at the third estate sunday review (for c.i.) but at the common ills, it's always about the community.

the 1 entry c.i. was sure would be written (we're going back to the end of november in 2004) was on privatizing water because c.i. is opposed to that (that's an understatement) and it's an important issue. it's not 1 that there's been time to write. because c.i.'s always writing about the issues that the community wants. i'm not knocking c.i. or the community but i am noting that i don't have that sort of responsibility. (or that mass love. the community loves c.i. they trust c.i. as well. and that comes from serving the needs of the community.)

it's an obligation. i'm sure there are many wonderful things that come with it, but don't kid that it also is an obligation.

i don't want to poke a bear here but the attack on c.i. last year was based on c.i. serving the community. the 2 people who were angry never seemed to get that c.i. was apologizing to the community for sending them, without a heads up, to a site that had features that members don't approve of. so c.i. writes that apology and makes sure not to attack either of the 2 but they seemed to think that they had a right to butt in on what was community business.

i personally think c.i. ate shit on that. both on apologizing to the community and from the response of the 2.

i'm not slamming c.i., i'm not slamming the community and i'm not even slamming the 2. i'm just making the obvious observation that the entry was written clearly to the community, the apology offered in that (by c.i.) was clearly to the community. it wasn't any 1 else business unless they were a community member (i am a community member).

i should note that these are my opinions so c.i. doesn't read this or hear about it and get pissed.
c.i. doesn't talk about. i know the whole thing was frustrating and a nightmare. but the way i see it, it was the business of the community only. no outsiders needed to butt in.

things were written about the community at those 2 sites which, c.i. would argue, is the business of those 2 people because it's their sites. but the thing i won't get over is that 1 of them felt the need to call c.i. a 'liar' for not posting something by that person. 1st off, you have your own site. it's not c.i.'s obligation to post anything by a non-member at the common ills. 2nd of all, i saw the e-mails, the person never asked for it to be posted. there were 2 e-mails in 1 night and there was no request in those 2 of 'please post this.'

it's not c.i.'s job to write a post you want. and this was in the middle of c.i.'s health crisis (knock wood because now things seem fine). but the thing is, that entry that so enraged was not anyone outside the community's business.

i say all that to make the point that most people outside the community don't get the common ills. they don't get what it's about. they'll say it's a 'blog.' it's not. i have a blog. i write what i want when i want. i don't have to do multiple entries each day. i don't have to figure out a way to address an issue that i may have no interest in.

c.i. thought it would be a blog. but that changed because readers weren't readers. they were saying, 'hey this is my issue and no 1 writes about it' or something similar. c.i. was opposed to the war, loudly and clearly, before it changed. the 1st real day of posting at the common ills was when the slaughter in falluja was starting and c.i. had posted 'here comes the madmen' so that was a known. any 1 who joined the community knew the site was going to be opposed to the war. and that's the reason a lot of members joined up to begin with because after the 2004 election, few people wanted to talk about the war.

if they did, on the left, they were often making weak ass statements about how we had to stay in or some such nonsense. they couldn't talk straight then. some of then couldn't a year later.

and that's partly why members expect c.i. to speak for the community. the common ills is always the voice when you've got some others being silent.

but there's not an entry that's gone up in the last month and a 1/2 that i think c.i.'s written for c.i. it's an obligation. c.i. would call it an honor but i would call it an obligation. c.i's a poster child for a movement and can live with that because c.i.'s always been outer-directed. but in july when c.i. announced the common ills would end after the 2008 election, a lot of us were shocked. i was shocked for about 3 minutes and then i thought, 'of course it will.' it's too much work. the e-mails flood the inboxes of both the private account and the public 1.

i told ava when we were talking on the phone today that if it were me, i'd be pulling my hair out and screaming 'what do you people want from me!' but that c.i.'s always been able to handle that kind of pressure. but i wasn't raised to believe that i had obligations. c.i. was raised with that instilled. obligations to others on every level.

the 1st time my mother met c.i., they spoke for 3 hours. afterwards, she said c.i. was 1 of the nicest and most polite people she'd ever met but she hadn't learned a thing about c.i. there's the privacy issue, to be sure, but there's also the fact that c.i. wasn't raised to talk about c.i. there were important topics and talking about yourself wasn't considered 1 of them.

so c.i. can handle this but if it were me, i would've gone crazy a long time ago. and i would have for sure have posted 'i am taking a day off!' each and every day since it began in november of 2004, there's been a post (there have been several actually). now sometimes, due to travel, c.i. can't get to the computer so there will be posts dictated but that's really not time off.

now maybe you're reading this and thinking 'that describes me.' if it does, take time for yourself tonight. if you're alone, think, 'thank god i'm alone' and enjoy the time to do what you want. without guilt.

and that seems like an ending note. i want to repeat i wasn't slamming c.i. (or any 1 else) in this post. c.i. can handle it and juggle a million and 1 things. i can't. i don't think most people could. if you can, i'm not slamming you. you have a great gift and we're all the better for it.

hopefully, you won't push yourself to the point of being burnt out. that's not a veiled warning to c.i. there's no burn out there. give c.i. 5 minutes of quiet and it's time to get going again. recently, on a dicated entry, c.i. quoted stevie nicks. the song 'alice.' about 'get some ribbons and some bows and get back out on the road again.' i couldn't do that. if you can, i'm not envious of you but i am thankful that people like you exist. you do the heavy lifting for the rest of us when we're tired and worn out. so if i've described you, and this was the point of this post, you may be alone tonight because you're always doing for others and tonight's a night where ever 1 plays noah's arc and joins up in 2 by 2s. so if you are like that and you are alone, you have done enough. (that's a reference to stevie nicks' 'jane.') so just kick back and relax for the evening.
(and no, that's not a hint to c.i. either. c.i.'s booked solid for this evening.)