Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The "Debriefing" of "I See What You're Saying"

Didn't I tell you it'd be fun?


Debriefing: A one-time, semi-structured conversation with an individual who has just experienced a stressful or traumatic event. In most cases, the purpose of debriefing is to reduce any possibility of psychological harm by informing people about their experience or allowing them to talk about it. (Wikipedia)

Could there be a better term for talking about what happened during this seminal event?

Seminal: (You know you smirked at that): sem·i·nal (sm-nl)
1. Of, relating to, containing, or conveying semen or seed.
2. Of, relating to, or having the power to originate; creative.
3. Highly influential in an original way; constituting or providing a basis for further development: a seminal idea in the creation of a new theory.

We are therefore now going to "de-brief" for a "seminal" event, and you'd better stop snickering right now, you middle school boy disguised in a mom-suit.

I have had way too much caffeine today.

These are some observations I found amusing about this event that I'm wondering if you noticed, too. Please don't be offended if you recognize yourself in these observations; you should know by now that I'm a jokester, and that I love laughing, and that I'm not laughing at you, per se, just sort of, "near" you:

~ Whispering. A lot of people felt the need to whisper their posts. I’m not sure why, unless they thought that whispering somehow protected them from really being seen/heard. Now, when you think about the reason for “I See What You’re Saying,” there’s a conflict of interest in not wanting to be seen/heard, but this project, as fun as it was, apparently fostered a lot of emotional ambivalence. It was like, “Look at me!—NO! Just kidding! Don’t look at me! Yes! Go ahead! Look at me!”

~ Lockdowns. Many of us locked husbands and children out of the taping room or locked them into other rooms, insuring at least 26 seconds of complete privacy.

~ Lighting Issues. Many of us apparently did not excel in film class, as we (chief of sinners here) taped much of our posts completely backlit and in the shadows. However, this could again be our inner turmoil of not wanting to be seen taking precedence over our decision to participate. Jekylls and Hydes are we.

~ Scripting. Some of us used scripts; some of us did not. I have been accused of being a closet musical lover because I appeared to know the words to the Sound of Music theme. That was a reuse. I had printed out the lyrics in giant font and taped them to the camera in three sheets of 8 ½ by 11. And I still messed them up. Mainly because the dopey dude who published the lyrics wrote “bird who is learning to prey” instead of “pray,” which totally threw me off. I did that in one take, I’ll have you know.

~ Animals. Dogs outnumbered cats, but there was also mention of skunks, opossums and snakes. One child had a snake wrapped around her neck, and I am still not over that trauma. One person shaved her cat which made the cat look like an opossum, so it was sort of an equal mix of the good, the bad, the ugly. I do believe I featured the only pet doing sensational tricks like “speak” and “No, come over here.”

~ Douches. One phrase I never expected to hear in this project was “shopping cart full of douches, about 30 of them.” There goes the "family-friendly" blog rating right out the window.

~ Children. There were some:

One paced back and forth in front of the camera, mesmerized by ... himself. Mom of pacing child--hello. Milk this adorableness for all it’s worth. Set up that camera during the day and let that kid be a star for as loooong as he wants. You will be able to read books, do your nails, nap, grow a garden, take up tatting, etc. The whole while he will be pacing, admiring himself quite contentedly. You are so blessed. And so smart, if you follow my advice.

~ Another child, off-camera, de-pantsed himself. One could say he began the debriefing early.

~ Another child happily filled her diaper while Mom talked. Personally, this was a high point for me. Real moms are not fazed by extraneous grunts and straining or sulphurous emissions. Those two sounds are just phonemes of another language moms speak fluently: Poopish. The show must go on!

~ Body Image. Several of us are very self-conscious about our body parts. Interestingly, nostrils ranked high on self-disparaging list. We were not so self-conscious about our nostrils until this project, and so now we have something new to obsess over. If only Hollywood would suddenly decide that big nostrils are “in,” we’d be golden.

~ Some of us worried a tad bit about our weight. One blogger informed us that if you shoot your video with a Blackberry or other phone, you can expect the usual 10 lb addition attributed to photography to be nearer to 75 lbs over! Note to self: No pics from camera phone on blog--ever. They say never say “never.” But I’m saying it right now: “never.”

~ Many of us were not sure why our videos started with a still shot of our faces in the most twisted, pained expressions. I believe computer gremlins of the Enemy did that to us.

~ Outsiders. We had one “MeeMaw” and one Starbucks friend. We almost met one hairdresser, but the blogger forgot to tape that part, although the audio is somewhat decipherable. She did, however, remember to tape the inside of her camera case, which is important for every family to have record of.

~ General Disorientation and Confusion. Several of us did not know how to relate to talking to “no one.” We talked to keyboards, talked to monitors, pretended we had imaginary friends in front of us, etc.

~ Violence. One blogger, whom I shall call “Bama Melle,” threatened to pop a political leader. That same person threatened to pop herself for not having her act together in life. That particular post has now been rated “BV” for “Blog Violence.”

~ Re-takes. Many of us confessed to needing several shots before “perfecting” our videos. Some claimed it took tens of takes, others claimed hundreds. Which group is lying? The tens, I believe.

Male contributors: One. And he showed off by reading Shakespeare to the accompaniment of gunfire behind him. I found that strangely soothing.

~ Common phrases translated:

“I got nothin’.” = "I’m having a synaptic lapse and cannot fill up the air with any words right this minute. Come back, one year."

“Keepin’ it real” = “My child’s diaper is stinky; I’m not wearing a bra and I haven’t brushed my teeth today. Take me or leave me.”

And to that, to all of you, I have to say, I shall indeed take you all, in all of your realness, BECAUSE I KEN LEE YOU!

The big Q: "Are we going to do this again?!"

Yes, yes we are. But here's where I could use your input.

1. How often is good without being overkill? [That is the worst sentence I've ever composed, btw.] For instance: Yearly, Semi-Annually, Quarterly? I'd love to do a Christmas one, but that's such a busy time. And yet, as one person suggested, we could do favorite ornaments, favorite foods, fav decs, traditions, etc. Or smiling. Because like Buddy the Elf, "Smiling is my favorite!"

2. One lovely blogger suggested calling it "The Brew," as a ref to the name of my blog, but also in ref to that high-brow TV show called, "The View." Do we have opinions on things? I think we do. They don't have to be political in nature. They could be opinions about which TV show has the all-time best theme song. Different opinions would be great because, you know, it takes "Diffrent Strokes to rule the world, yes it does."

But I promise you this: I will not make mine 18 minutes long next time. What was I thinking??? I'm so sorry about that. You all did that part perfectly. In fact, I think you did all of it perfectly, and I think we discovered a new venue for widening and deepening our friendly neighborhood blogging community.

I have been on an emotional buzz for the last 48 hours; you all have blessed me so much. It's nearly 1:00 AM, so I've got to go to sleep because now the party's over, and I have to go back to making copies, cleaning up Zoe's poo and burning my family's suppers.

I hope you all come back for a 2nd Cup of Coffee whenever you can. I'm always brewing something up here.


Chel - An Abiding Branch said...

Well I could NOT get mine to load, the camera made the file too large. humph! Oh twell, I was going to call it a SPOG (my speaking blog) but hey there you go, could not get 'r done! I am so sorry I failed you. I can't fix the camera to make the resolution less and the file smaller. Anywho, tootle-loo! Linda you are too cute!!!
See ya on the e-side

Jen said...

I never heard of your blog until I saw a "bloggy" friend to the video post. I loved it! You are now in my blog lines (along with a bazillion others!). I think "The Brew" in an excellent title, and if I can I will join in the next time you do it, glad to hear there will be a next time!

Tammy said... didn't even participate and was a big party pooper but I did stop by and see a few of the videos and what I saw was just great!
(Although I'm thinking I missed some real doozies now from your descriptions!)
Just this post alone had me laughing...and did I mention, I didn't even participate? ;)
But if you do a next time I probably long as you don't include me in your debriefing post the morning after! LOL

Teri~Facedown said...

I am a terrible procrastinator. (Although, to my defense I am a wife, mom to three kids-all three soccer playing-two football playing, full time student, coach, childcare provider, umm and lets not mention my addiction to facebook...) I actually DID do my video. I have this handy little video camera on my new Mac that was given to me because I am the worlds oldest Freshmen. (they actually gave them to all of the freshmen...not the just the old one.) Anyway, the video camera, very cool. The editing thingy, not so much.
I will def. do the next one. Please make it sooner rather than later!

Ken lee you!

The Patterson 5 said...

It was great fun "hearing all that ya'll were saying" I look forward to the second edition!

Sandy Toes said...

I loved them all! The lady with the curlers and the wrapped candy...cracked me up!
-Sandy toes

Chatty Kelly said...

I'm already planning my 2nd edition - can't wait!

Um, did someone mention prizes? Cause I thought there were some prizes. When are you giving away the Ken Lee stuff?!??!?

Ken Lee YOU!!

Patrice said...

Linda, Had a great time doing this and I already know what I will post, er... film next time! I like the name "brew" and the first comment mentioned "spog" I like that to, but maybe not as much as Brew!!

Anyhoo, I think it should be a monthly thing, maybe the last day of the month each month, it would very easy to remember!!

sara said...

Chatty Kelly beat me to whom goes the Ken Lee stuff?!

Linda, this was so much fun, much more than I expected! Thanks! I would love to do it again, maybe quarterly would be good.

My husband says that I will now be known as the "douche lady"...... great title for a pastor's wife, eh? I have to say it was pretty funny how that one word affected everyone! :)

Debbie said...

There really does need to be a support group to get us going on the video thing. Girl, a lifetime of being worried about how people view you does not go away without some effort.

Kim said...

SO much fun Linda!! I'm ready for the next! I actually think I need to be doing this on a regular basis so you can see my incredible shrinking self!!

You just say the word and I'm there!


Chel's Leaving a Legacy said...

That was great fun, Lidna. I would definately participate again.

As far as how often? I don't know; monthly seems too often and yearly too far apart. So my vote is for quarterly.


Gwendolyn said...

I did not do this. Truly, I have not gotten up the nerve to even put up a real PICTURE of myself on my blog, much less a video. Baby steps, you know. LOL
But...I loved seeing everyone else!

The Bayou Belles and Their Beau said...

It was so much fun. I'm wanting to do it again soon. It was so neat to see some blog friends that I have been talking with for a long time now, in real life.

And, about the violence ... well, you know ... I did have quite a few say they would have my back in that fight. Next time, no violence (I'll try). My flesh just needs a beat-down sometimes.

Thanks, Linda! Loved it.

Gayle @ thewestiecrew said...

I have got to get around to view all of them! I only have had time to see a few so far.

This was great fun, Lid!

Oh, and the perky rule was self-imposed. :) I couldn't take how perky I seem on camera...LOL!

PJ said...

It was tons of fun!! Even if I do cringe every times I catch a glimpse of my face on that video!!! Christmas IS busy...but maybe an "Ides of December" (I think that is an oxymoron...or maybe just moronic!) post for Christmas stuff.

Edwina at The Picket Fence said...

Linda, this was so much fun, last night I let hubby see a few of them and he 'offered' Yes!! to buy me a web cam or so next time I will be live!!! That's right, next time you get to see me in my first feature film...Christmas would be a good time for the next one, or New Year's, we could all state what our N.Y.'s resolutions are. Just a thought...

Stacy said...

I love coming to your blog in the morning. You always make me laugh right out loud!

Heth said...

Oh Linda, I Ken Lee you.

"burning my family's suppers" Love it.

I'd do it again if you decide to. If it's a holiday version, I may have to bribe my children with candy canes or some other themed sugar treat.

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

Oh know if it comes to humiliating myself for the blog world again I'm totally in.

Plus...I figure no video I do can be as bad as what I just did.

The Christmas one sounds fun...I'm up for anything ;)

Angie said...

You crack me up. Glad I found you over here, thanks to Greg. Just wanted to see what you were saying.

Smilingsal said...

"family-friendly" blog? What about the one blogger who talked about a vasectomy? (blink, blink)

I enjoyed it--even that part!

Elizabeth said...

I didn't participate b/c I am such a wimp, but I loved, loved, loved watching some of my favorite bloggers on video. I think you should do this again, and I will participate next time. I think a Christmas theme is perfect. We could show off our houses. I can't wait to hear what you come up with!

a Tonggu Momma said...

Linda ~ Coming out of lurkdom to say please, please, please do a Christmas one. It's the only time of year I can show my house to all of the decorating bloggers without cringing in shame. (Please.)

Sara @ Butterville said...

I was so freaked out about the first one. Sweaty fingers types as I posted...But I'm in. Shirstmas sounds fun. We have to most lovely Santa we go see, maybe he'd let me sit on his lap and wish I wasn't such a dork...
thank you so much, this was SO much fun.

Greg C said...

If you do a Christmas addition, I think it should be like a video christmas card. It should include the tree or whatever your family has depending on your faith. It should also include pets and family if possible.

Semianual sounds good. We could do one at Christmas and another during the summer. Of course my summer one wouldn't have gunshots so it wouldn't be as interesting. However if my diet keeps going well I may do a pool video for the ladies.....maybe that is a bad idea. :)

Cindy Swanson said...

Hey Thursday Thirteen today is my observastions about ISWYS, and I see we covered a lot of the same points! Great minds, huh?!

Oh, and about the freezing of the video on the unflattering shot? I'm there.

LISSALYNN2006 said...

i love your blog its just beautiful and thanks for the mister linky link lol.........feel free to check mine out as well even though im not professional at this im just a beginner still learning
have a wonderful and blessed day

skoots1mom said...

this really brought out so many emotions, didn't it??!!
didn't like watching myself but what a great incentive for getting back on my "first place" lifestyle...which obviously hadn't become a lifestyle for me. I'll dig out of this valley again...

My vote is the Christmas videocard idea...maybe 3mins or less...i found it stressful to view more than i had to come up with more excuses for why things weren't getting done around here, ha ha

i learned u can go into your video and edit the exact point the video begins...helps with those unflattering freeze shots...

this really gave me a feel of getting to know our blogging friends...loved it!

Merrie said...

It was all so much fun to watch and I promise that I will TRY to figure out all this so that next time I, too, can participate. I loved seeing and hearing everyone. Thank you for all you did and your unending encouragement! You are BEST!

Rachel said...


Thank you for the de-briefing and lovely definitions. I have been pondering on the definition of MEME on my post today. Do you know? Sarah @ Make music from your heart to the Lord suggested that you might know.

As far as when we should do this again, I think that monthly or quarterly would be best. Once a year is too long and we would not get better at it. Weekly or monthly may be too much and, as you said, be overkill. Personally, I loved every moment of connecting with you lovely ladies and gentleman. It was great fun! Thanks for the idea and hosting! (Good work with Mr. Linky by the way!)

Becky said...

I would love to do it again! Maybe 2-3 times a year would be fun. Since I have been sitting at Safeway till 1 am the last three nights so I could see all the videos. :-p I am exhausted... I need time to recover.

I never did get to see yours my dear Linda and I must say that I feel left out :-( Besides yours, there were a few done with Vimeo that I couldn't get to play.

I had a great time and I loved to see everyone. Awesome ladies, super fun. I have been blessed.

And BTW, Eden was never in any danger ;-) Snakes like the neck cuz its warm. Sorry you were traumatized. :-) LOL!

Mocha with Linda said...

Can't believe I had to take my sister to the airport early this AM and am just now reading the debriefing. . . . It made me laugh, as usual!

Of course, since I've seen The Sound of Music 30+ times, I have to tell you it's not just any old bird, it's a "LARK who is learning to pray. . . " I guess there has to be some gene that didn't replicate between the two of us! LOL

And I'm not sure if I dare participate in the next one or not. Besides my fear of being on camera, I just typed that I took my sister to the "airpot" and then typed "of curse."

Guess that's why I'm not a real journalist like Ted Koppel or someone. :-)

Kelly @ Love Well said...

I vote for two or three times a year, so it doesn't get old. Plus, as you've probably noticed, videos take longer to watch than typical blog posts take to read. So I've still got MANY video posts to watch.

carol ~ i throw like a girl said...

Hi Linda! I wrote a debriefing post, too, complete with a picture of the Jersey Longhorn. I think once a quarter would be just right. And I love the name The Brew for it. Thanks again, it was too fun!

Cheryl said...

I've loved watching the videos even though I didn't participate. I had all intentions to but we were in Gatlinburg and I just knew our hotel would have internet access but it didn't. :(

One tip for next time, tell those who have music that plays auomatically on their blog to disable it.

Marina said...

I feal like one of those owl's on your picture I keep looking video's!! marina

Ballerina Girl said...

I have so much catching up to do!!!
I promise to look at more of them this weekend...(read:when I have time, HA!)
I think a Christmas one sounds great..I will take part in that one because I love to decorate for Christmas!
Maybe you all can just hear my voice and not really "see" that lame? Not really the point is it...
anyways, we'll see.
What I do want to say is thank you for the great idea and yes, keep it coming! Every quarter sounds good to me!

Jackie @ Our Moments Our Memories said...

Oh, Linda, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this. Even though I was so freaked out and almost did not do it, it ended up being one of the best things I've ever done since entering the bloggy world. And this debriefing post was just too of the funniest things you've ever written.

I vote for 2-3 times a year. Christmas does sound fun, and then maybe next summer? Otherwise if it's too often it sort of loses it's charm and appeal, I think. Just my two cents.

Thank you again - it was a huge success!

Tiffani said...

Oh, I am so so sad that I am a day (well 3 days, now, it's 2am!) late and a dollar short :)!! I would've SOOO done this and encouraged ALL my blogging friends to do it too!!! I connected here from Alana who participated and I couldn't get enough!!! Please please do another one and I promise I'll be "in the know"!! What an awesome idea!!!

Wendi @ Every Day Miracles said...

Great debriefing. :) And yes, your point is well taken on taking advantage of the crazy boy who loves to see himself on camera. :)
You must be just thrilled with the success of this idea!

Edie said...

Hey Linda! Well I'm so sorry I missed all the fun but I'm working my way around and viewing a number of videos. You did a great job!

Love Zoe's tricks, especially playing dead. My dog Tobi holds her arms up when I point a finger gun at her and say "stick 'em up".

Oh and your daughter was fantastic too. How fun that she willingly participated in that.