Thursday, December 13, 2012

Part the First: Don't Go in the Basement

Maybe 2013 will be the year I cease to moan about not blogging often enough and just...write. And leave off with the wahhh, I can't get up early! and just get up...and run. Maybe, maybe, maybe. If wishes were horses, all of us would ride, right? It's times like these that I may listen to Nikka Costa's "Can'tneverdidnothin'," which I'd love to link to here, but the YouTube versions are lacking. Hop on your spotify, it's funky.

Anyhow. The Winter darkness has indeed been descending, and fittingly, I have been dwelling in my basement in the evening hours. Mainly with the horror (periodically felt anew) of all the clutter everywhere, packed into my various areas of existence. Get it out, pare it down! Out, out, out! This time, a call with my dear sister last weekend served as the springboard, wherein we discussed Psychological Attachment to Possessions* and the Odd Role this Can Play in Families, etc., etc., etc. There has been lots of bustling, shuffling of art supplies, inventory, and tossing out of ancient papers. 

*This was not an intervention. Relax. I don't hide tuna fish sandwiches in the TV console, or BOGO offers from 1980, nor do I water my records in the garage (likely the coolest part of this post, but which I can't really expound upon b/c it's not my story to tell.). But I will say this: based on a peek in a couple beaten up boxes, my basement had and still has journals of heartfelt, absolutely awful scribblings from a new adult. At their worst when they attempted to be clever. It's only appropriate to nod to This American Life's Cringe episode. So, ahem. Outside of that, and it leads one to cringe in another way, I also discovered things like this:
....WOW. So, I think this had 1/10th the ability of my current (not smart) phone
Oh, I remember it well. The screen showed three lines of text, green letters against a black background. After it had been on for several hours, typically when one was frantically writing something to pass for a first draft, hands shaking from pots of coffee at 3 AM, the processor would tire. It would be hot, and fatigued. It was at this point, it began to issue protests. You would type type type type out your harebrained line, and a second and a third. The cursor would blink at the line's end. And then it would swallow one of the recent lines.

"WHATTT ?!? No! What. Fuck." You'd retype the line and know that it was beginning. The intermittent info. swallowing. Just when you most needed peace of mind, it was sure to withhold it. And as, Pavlov would attest, it would be exactly the sporadic nature of the info. swallowing that would keep you going, but on edge. Ahhhh, those were the days. And now our phones laugh at these machines. Our ipods and ipads could swallow one of these as if they were single kernels of popped corn.

Getting help: prospect dim.
The first sentence says it all: If a document exists in memory, you have to erase it from  memory before you can create a new one.

Odd to find so many things from distant past. The hokey dreams books with all their pat psychology can not entirely be dismissed: things are lurking in your basement, the lower order of your mind. The water heater about to blow*, the informational grad school packets you had wiped from your memory, the warrens of tiny animals, letters you may never read again.

*True, dat. New one being installed tomorrow. Current one, slowly weeping out its contents from the base, though blessedly still performing, thank god, for I love a steamy shower. And maybe the new one will be even more delicious. The sales man/co-owner who stopped by for a free (pricey, nauseatingly pricey) estimate also saw fit to segue into politics, which at this point is expected. If you come to fix something at my house, you will surely go off in some way, I don't know who made this rule. I don't actively dissuade it, b/c sure, let's hear it. "Haha, We didn't come to blows!," said the guy yesterday evening. Well right, I said, we are on the same side. Which could not have been said of the loquacious plumber from a few months ago, who WOW had a lot to say about (his many) guns and maybe some Mary Jane, but he was certainly QUITE an entertaining storyteller. Worth the price of admission, really. To some, garbage disposals actually lack integrity, they are LIES. That's what I love getting to: the heated quirks in perception that every single one of us develops from whatever path of work we take. Surface: all fine. Get to the details: whoa. Funny! and Whoa~~.


  1. I was on your blog last night - ever hopeful - and today, it has arrived - like an early Christmas present!

    I had one of those first "digital" (It hardly seems right to call them "computer based"), typewriters. It weighed like 40 pounds and had an industrial handle for carrying. I only did that a few times as it was hard to look techno-hip while struggling to sling that up on someone's table top.

    Unfortunately, I too have some "new adult" writing -- more cringe worthy is the fact some poor Hopwood judge in the mid 80s was subjected to a bit of it when in fact it should have never been freed from the basement.

  2. Hahaha, that's great! I'll try to be better. It is amaaaaazing how far computers have come... I'm sure all poetry judges are inundated with godawful writing....leading them to feel grim about talent overall. they must be hearty!