Thursday, July 19, 2007

Speaking of stringing words together ...

  • Here's a peek into the high-profile, high-stakes, high-pressure life of a Hollywood reporter (or a guy who occasionally writes for the Hollywood Reporter). Today was the first day of Emmy season, with the nominees announced early this morning in Los Angeles. Under contract for a couple of pieces in the Emmy preview issue, Noel was on the starting blocks as soon as he got out of bed. He has today and tomorrow, basically, to contact as many writers, directors, producers, publicists, and other assorted television personnel related to the nominees and get quotes to fill out his two pieces (one on writers and one on directors). They're due first thing next week. So he's been glued to the phone since the kids left the house. I dropped by around 11 to see if he could go to lunch with Archer and me, but he said Walter Hill was supposed to call soon. We can all relax when enough phone calls have been fielded and brief interviews conducted to produce enough quotes to string together for the pieces ... we hope by Saturday. If Noel's still sweating out that last call from J.J. Abrams on Monday morning, things might be a little tense around here.

  • Every time I go down the stairs on my wait out the south side of my building (I'm a dedicated stair-taker), I'm confronted by a large poster for the University's Writing Center (don't click on that link, the site is a mass of broken html). Here's the text: "Problems with your papers? You won't after seeing us." A "Good As Gold" to the first commenter, professional grammarian or otherwise, to point out the excruciating mistake therein.

  • If you're tired of waiting for me to post one of my occasional roundups of A.V. Club writing, good news! You can apparently subscribe to a feed of articles tagged with my byline. (Or Noel's, if that's the way you roll. You're an autonomous agent, man.) For those of you with commitment issues, I'll keep updating you via blog. Not much to report from the last month -- the Lost in the Stars writeup in this "Surprisingly Good Tribute Albums" inventory, a review of Tim Willocks' blood-and-thunder crusader novel The Religion, and new today, a review of the Potemkin book I mentioned in the "closest book meme" post.

  • And in "things you should be reading" news, the second biweekly* installment of the A.V. Club's Comics Panel is an endless feast. The sheer number of graphic novels, single issues, and collections both prestige and mass-market covered by the team of Keith, Tasha, and Noel is awe-inspiring, but the variety is just as impressive. From DC's line of girl-comix to the newsprint Atom collection to a Top Shelf coming-of-age animal allegory to Rick Geary's compulsively readable Victorian true-crime tales to a critical take on the comics medium ... the column made me want to sweep off my bedside bookstack with a dramatic flourish and restack from the bottom up with comics, comics, comics.
*Every time I use the prefixes "semi-" or "bi-" with reference to time periods, I have to recite to myself: "semi means half, bi means two." I have occasional arguments with people who insist on using them with the reverse meaning, but my own inability to intuit the distinction without conscious rehearsal shows how difficult it is to get it right.


the secret knitter said...

I hope you post the right answer to your grammar challenge because it might drive me crazy.

My guess is that the second sentence should say, "You won't be after seeing us." "Are you having" is the implied start to the first sentence, so the second one reads awkwardly without the "be".

If I heard it spoken, I wouldn't think twice about it.

Jenn said...

My guess was missing verb in the second sentence, so I guess that backs up Secret Knitter.