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As I'm sure you all know, I am the proud possessor of a Daily Kos quilt that the community funded to keep me warm in body and spirit after the death of my husband and partner for pretty much the entirety of my whole adult life on December 5. Regular visitors to Top Comments also probably remember the wonderful diary BeninSC wrote about the quilt the community made for him to help him through his recovery from a horrific bicycle accident. I planned to do some of the same things Ben did in his.

I still plan to, but unfortunately, I procrastinate, and I'm also suffering from the grief thing that makes me think I've lost a whole set of comments. The fact is that I have 34 of the 80 pictures of messages people wrote on my quilt in the comments, some of them linked to the main body of the diary, and it will take me until 10 or 11 PM PACIFIC to get them all done, especially if Photobucket doesn't cooperate the way it hasn't been cooperating.

I guess that makes the diary that explains how I write all the diaries I write in a way that passes for organization very appropriate for tonight, and that's what you're going to get. I'll publish the quilt diary in the middle of the night and republish it here so you all have it in your stream, but . . .

But First, A Word From Our Sponsor:

Top Comments recognizes the previous day's Top Mojo and strives to promote each day's outstanding comments through nominations made by Kossacks like you. Please send comments (before 9:30pm ET) by email to or by our KosMail message board. Just click on the Spinning Top to make a submission. Look for the Spinning Top to pop up in diaries posts around Daily Kos.

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Please come in. You're invited to make yourself at home!

So, the process.  What helps me is that I write about half of my diaries for reqular series on a schedule. Beside the Top Comments diaries I write, there's Thursday Night Classical every other week, there's an occasional LGBT Literature diary, and there's my US since 1865 series, which will now be on Friday, publishing between 4 and 5 PM Pacific.

Those, actually, aren't complicated.  For Thursday Classical, it starts with YouTube because if there aren't good renditions of the music I want to talk about. So this semester, since I'm teaching MTW, I'll start the YouTube work the previous Thursday so if I think I should look at the score (yes, I can follow musical scores) I can go to the Central Library on Friday or Saturday to take the score out for further perusal. Then I think about what I want to say about context. The writing happens in two parts -- the context generally Wednesday night, the musical stuff Thursday. Then there are special events like the vigil I wrote for commonmass, who I knew had a connection to Samuel Barber. I picked two elegiac vocal works (Dover Beach and Knoxville: Summer of 1915) and the two most historic recordings, and filled in.

The history diaries are even easier. I have really extensive lecture notes and PowerPoint slides. Most of the time, the diaries consist of my lecture notes, Kossified some in the area of snark, and the slides. This most recent diary, on the Dawes Act, took some research so I got the books Saturday and read them Sunday to get them into my lectures. Next week, probably about something in the Progressive Era, will come directly from my lecture notes, as will the following week's, on Woodrow Wilson. It really looks more difficult than it is.

I think you know how I come up with Top Comments stuff too. That art hoax? RIGHT out of my dissertation.  Same with my introductory diary on Stanton MacDonald-Wright, the unknown American modern artist. If it interests me and I think it will interest you, voila.  The music diaries work the same way Thursday Classical works, only they're less complicated; it's just a matter of curating.

My other diaries? This is where I should explain the "diary me" command I've been throwing around in comments for a while. My most recent "diary me" moment was in President Obama's second inaugural when he said "Seneca Falls, Selma and Stonewall" -- Steveningen will tell you my reaction was a "diary me" reaction, and, to be honestly egotistical, I'm really the most appropriate person at DKOs to write it especially after that long diary on women suffrage.  All those diaries where I went after Erik Eckholm in the New York Times for talking to the radical right on stuff like reparative therapy? "Diary me." Paul Ryan, eviscerated by Charles Pierce? "Diary me."  VERY rarely, unless it's Seneca Falls, etc. or some of my few meta-diaries like Coming Out and the "F" word: Discussing LGBT issues at Daily Kos, does a "diary me" diary take more than 30 minutes to write.

So it's not really organization.  It's the fact that I have a lot of stuff already written that allows me to do the four major diaries in five days thing. Age does have some advantages.

And now for the stuff that makes this Top Comments:

February 17, 2013

Thanks to tonight's Top Comments contributors! Let us hear from YOU when you find that proficient comment.

From Melanie in IA:
From Dave in Northridge, compassionate encouragement in the diary Defining Moments by bayushisan.
Diarist's note: Coming out is coming out, and your toughest audience is usually yourself.

February 16, 2013

(excluding Tip Jars and first comments)

Thanks, mik!

  1) Senator Warren! by howabout — 117
  2) If you fly a lot, crying children come with the by Mother Mags — 105
  3) P.S. - I do not believe by texasmom — 95
  4) Could this be prosecuted as a hate crime? n/t by on the cusp — 93
  5) Disagree. by Neuroptimalian — 90
  6) Wall St. donated millions to keep her out by eXtina — 89
  7) she is so qualified for this - it's like she by eXtina — 83
  8) Banks are powerful enemies by CupaJoe — 78
  9) We Go to War to Protect 3,000 Americans From by Gooserock — 76
10) Troubadour, thanks for this. We humans really need by Mayfly — 73
11) Only one way to find out ... by Bronxist — 72
12) That's what he did in 2007: by texasmom — 72
13) we adopted 2 children of a different race in 1984 by entlord — 71
14) We should recruit a few more like her for 2014 by night cat — 69
15) A crime in the air is under by texasmom — 68
16) ooooooooohhhhhh. (gently tapping right fist into by mallyroyal — 63
17) having his security rating yanked is by entlord — 61
18) Anyone who's been in the civil service knows that by FishOutofWater — 59
19) They're busy sending death threats to by Ice Blue — 58
20) Imagine a 60-yr old black guy by maggiejean — 58
21) I wondered the same thing... by luckydog — 58
22) Dash Cam Emporium!!!! by Fishgrease — 58
23) Even aside from the horrendous thing he did, by gustynpip — 57
24) The problem for the banksters is that Sen. Warren by zenbassoon — 53
25) YAWN by Jilly W — 53
26) Valentine's Day at the NYBG by Eddie C — 52
27) This is truly a WTF moment. by BroadwayBaby1 — 51
28) We don't have anywhere else to live yet. by Troubadour — 50
29) Yes, the story is even worse than luckydog's by ratcityreprobate — 50
30) No kidding. Who in the heck thinks it is ok by voracious — 50
For an explanation of How Top Mojo Works, see mik's FAQing Top Mojo

February 16, 2013

Enjoy jotter's wonderful PictureQuilt below. Just click on the picture and it will magically take you to the comment that features that photo. Have fun, Kossacks!
Content removed as image was not from an approved image host.

Originally posted to Top Comments on Sun Feb 17, 2013 at 07:00 PM PST.

Also republished by New Diarists.

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