Saturday, June 13, 2009

This, that, and the other

1. For my follow index card aficionados: I was at Staples today, and as usual went and poked through the odds and ends in the clearance rack. The local one is currently clearing out all their Buxton index card jotter and wallet type things, for the princely sum of $2.50. I'm very happy with my International Pocket Briefcase, which works as a sort of clutch for me (I thank God for the individual with the initals MSR who sent this thing back, thus enabling a cheapskate like me to score a Levenger leather item for less than they'd usually charge for shipping...), but I still picked up the Buxton jotter. It's just a writing surface with room for three or four stacked cards and two pockets behind it for storage and organization of maybe ten or fifteen more (like Levenger's Shirt Pocket Briefcase). It's thin enough to fit nicely in the back pocket of a pair of jeans--something the International just can't manage, with its extra space for credit cards and cash and all. If any of you have been looking for an easy way to carry and write on index cards, get thee to a Staples.

2. I am official finding brushing my teeth half a dozen times a day to be very tedious. I've also decided that braces feel rather as though you have a circuit board mounted in your mouth, soldering points side out. Any of my fellow computer techy types who have ever raked knuckles across the backs of one of those suckers whilst probing computer innards will understand what I mean. They do give you this nifty wax stuff to put on the prickliest parts--it's rather like wax lips, or those wax bottles filled with unnaturally colored sugar water. Anyone else remember those? I wonder if they still sell 'em. Probably not. They were probably declared a choking hazard in the 90s. How did any of us manage to grow up?

EDIT: Found this site, which carries all sorts of old candies and toys, including wax lips and wax bottles. Also fangs and mustaches. Cool.... I'm not sure what I'd do with 24 of 'em...but I guess it's nice to know they're out there. I feel better about the world in general, ya know?

3. I have been doing heavy transcribing, and thus haven't written a thing in several days. For previous hand-written stories, I've generally stopped every four or five thousand words to digitize, but with last year's NaNo, I got behind and stayed behind, and now I suddenly am faced with the task of typing in some 80,000 words, at a guess. Well...60,000 now, after a TON of work. It's to the point where I'm really not editing as I go--I'm just trying to get it in so I can start mashing it around and organizing it. I didn't worry about organization or redundant scenes or anything else as I was writing--I just charged ahead.

Transcribing on this scale is a pain in the neck. But it does dump me back into the depths of my story. And some of the writing is actually not bad. I don't think I can write that way on the computer. On the computer, I tend to be more flippant, more wordy; it's very hard to write meaningful dialog or soul-felt, serious thoughts. It may be that I just need more practice. It may be that I should just get better about transcribing as I go instead of being a lazy bum and putting it off for six months. I'm not sure. Part of my problem may also be that I love the physical act of writing with my fountain pens on paper, or on my typewriters, and I make excuses as to why I should do things the hard way. I wish I had an objective way to measure. It sure would be cool if I could write a scene or a story, forget that I'd written it but not the *idea* of it, and write it with another medium so I could compare the two. Unfortunately, I can't think of a way to do that....

8 comments:

James Watterson said...

The last computer I built left me with cut up hands. I know what you mean. But it's so worth building your own for $1000 and getting 3000 dollars worth of performance. Then you are good for a couple of years and you don't have to throw the thing in to the dumpster as quick as one bought at a store. Dumpster Dells they call em.

My typewriters though on the other hand are all older than me and only need slight maintenance here and there. A computer built in the 80's is useless while typewriters live on to tell their story.

Duffy Moon said...

I remember those weird wax bottles. We used to get them at this filthy little store called "Irish Ed's" when we were down visiting my grandma in the Ohio Appalachian foothills. My folks didn't trust grandma's well water, and always gave us money for Cokes at Irish Ed's. Usually we'd skip the coke and buy illegal fireworks and (once in a while) those wax bottle thingies. (They were probably filled with colored well water.)

Duffy Moon said...

Oh, and I meant to comment on the word verification. But now I forgot what it was.

But now it's "basmest", which is the downstairs quasi-living space left over when your adult son finally gets his own apartment but leaves the nasty, stained carpet remnant and the brown sleeper sofa his buddies from college helped him move in.

Mike Speegle said...

I can't name how many times computers cut the bejaysus out of me when I worked for the Squad. My personal favorite, though, was when I reached in blind and caught a jumper pin under the fingernail. I kept working, wondering why the interior of the computer was so sticky, only to realize that I had bled all over the dang thing. Good times.

I always got wax doodads in my Easter basket as a kid. Hated the damn things.

Chae said...

When I had braces, instead of wax(which I found always fell apart and did a rather poor job of protecting my mouth from the braces), I used to pinch off little pieces of these round silicone cakes they sell in packs to use as earplugs. They were much better, stayed in place forever(including overnight, when I tended to suck my lips in against my teeth), and smoothed right over the top of any pokey bits. I'm sure it was probably a bad idea to put something like that in my mouth, but it was the only thing that kepy my mouth from being torn to shreds.

Little Flower Petals said...

(They were probably filled with colored well water.)

*snort* Great story, Duffy! Gosh, this all has me reminiscing about childhood candy and the purchasing thereof. When I was really little, the main department store in town was in an old warehouse (later condemned). It was on two floors, with a ramp between the top and bottom. The ramp was painted concrete, and used to get slicker'n....something. Candy was right at the top, and when you ran down the ramp (usually done at a high-speed, tripping run, and hopefully avoiding falling and cracking your head on the concrete), there was the toy section. It was a wonderful place. I mostly remember getting Nerds, Big League Chew, and those bubblegum cigarettes that were coated in powdery stuff, so you could blow a little puff of "smoke" before you chewed 'em.

Speegle--tell ya what, when it comes to Easter candy, I'll trade ya my candy-coated marshmallow eggs for your wax doodads. To me, those marshmallow things always tasted like magic marker. Probably the same dye.

mpclemens said...

Elizabeth, you might be interested in this: Carl Linnaeus Invented The Index Card. I plan to whip out this little factoid the next time I'm called to task for coveting a shrink-wrapped stack of 500 cards for $2. "But I'm following in the footsteps of one of histories great taxographers! I have to get them!"

Little Flower Petals said...

Interesting factoid! Thanks! And you know...that 500 pack is still at the nearest Staples, calling your name...

So, after a week of carrying the cheapie Staples jotter, I'm finding it well worth the $2.50. It'll even squish into a front pocket most of the time--gets a little twisted, but it flattens out again without any trouble. And it keeps the cards from getting dog-eared and gives me a writing surface on the go. Honestly, I'm using it more than the full wallet version, though I wouldn't give that one up.