"Have you ever seen a UFO?" #2

“Maybe tomorrow is better,” I said. “I’ve not figured out the recorder yet and H.o.p.’s camera isn’t charged.”

I knew an arrangement where I’d be using H.o.p.’s digital camera to capture interviews for transcription wasn’t going to work out as he is using his camera all the time and I never know when it’s going to be charging or when he’s going to be in middle of filming something and won’t want me borrowing the camera. So, as Marty was also thinking it might be useful for him, I ordered a little digital recorder.

The recorder came in today. (So soon!) For a small package, it is stuffed with all kinds of controls and I hadn’t yet tried to figure it all out when Marty got home and said he had an interviewee outside waiting for me.

“Maybe tomorrow is better,” I said. “I’ve not figured out the recorder yet and H.o.p.’s camera isn’t charged.”

“Oh, I can figure it out, no problem,” the musician, studio engineer, producer said.

“Great,” I said.

I grabbed my boots and my camera and tossed him the recorder and we headed outside. We did the interview, which turned out to be a nice long one with some wildly interesting stories. I couldn’t have been more pleased.

I took photos.

“Uh, let me go see if this came out all right,” Marty said looking worried.

Well, turns out he hadn’t completely figured out the recorder when he thought he had and the interview was lost. So, I’ve got a photo but no interview.

We’ve arranged, hopefully, to do it again Thursday evening.

“You sure I won’t be damaged goods now, since it won’t be as spontaneous?” the woman asked.

No, no, it’s all right, I assured.

“Maybe you could ask some other questions,” she said.

The first two questions need to always be the same for this project, I told her, but I can change the third question.

Hopefully, hopefully, we will get that second interview done. I worked on the photo tonight and it’s a nice fuzzy twilight shot.

Marty figured out the recorder and showed it to H.o.p. as it’s going to be H.o.p.’s job to do the recording himself. Getting used to the recorder H.o.p. interviewed me…and, boy, he was good. I wasn’t taking it all very seriously, was being pretty brief with my answers and he put on this persona of like this pro interviewer politely reminding me that the people couldn’t see my gestures so could I be a little more descriptive, and asked all kinds of questions seeking exacting details in a conversational way. What was interesting too is they weren’t leading questions, he never sought to put words in my mouth, instead they were questions that would have helped any interviewee verbally paint an involving picture. I was seriously surprised.

“Damn!” I thought. “I’m not even needed! H.o.p. could more than capably do this all by himself!”

I would offer a transcription of that recording but it ended up getting lost too as H.o.p. didn’t quite have the recording part down yet.

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Juli Kearns

Juli Kearns is the author of Thunderbird and the Ball of Twine and Unending Wonders of a Subatomic World (or) In Search of the Great Penguin. She is also an artist/photographer, and the person behind the web alter of "Idyllopus Press".

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