Hadn’t got much to say,
But I still think those cats are great–
I’m on the rag, so I’m sluggish, porky, weepy, and broke. What else is new? I have a number of thoughts brewing, but so far I haven’t
Jeez, you don’t wanna read me complain for the nth time about my fancy-ass writer’s block. Let me tell you the good news! I have lost fourteen pounds. That means only fifty five pounds to go until I’m at my doctor-ordered weight of 115 lbs, or if I want to be realistic, only thirty-one pounds to go if I want to get down to my pre-Orlando weight of 139 lbs. What can I say, I moved up here and started to eat like a beast.
Yesterday was meeting day so we all traipsed off to the country club of one of the communities we build in. They feed us at these things, but I managed not to pile my plate with food, and did not eat any of the scrumptious cakes provided for desert, so maybe I am capable of exerting some willpower over my appetite after all. We had one of those teamwork contests, this time to build a house out of leggos and various found objects. My team ignored my suggestions to add a moat with alligators and anti-aircraft emplacements but they did build a nice pool area out of foil and bits of torn-up plantings from the beds outside. Still, we didn’t win; I think the moat would have made all the difference.
Bored bored bored.
There are a number of regrets I have, mostly about talents I wish I had taken the trouble to perfect. I wish I had stuck with my languages; all those years of French, German, and Italian in high school have pretty much gone down the drain, though I have less discomfort with subtitled movies than many other people whose experience of foreign languages is limited to ordering pasta at Olive Garden.
I realized another regret a couple of months ago when I read this entry over at Transterrestrial Musings. At the risk of being called an atavist, I’ve always regretted not having good cursive handwriting. I’m old enough to have had penmanship lessons, where we traced tilted circles on coarse lined paper over and over. I always got lousy grades; it was my worst subject in elementary school. At some point they either gave up on me or, as I now think, even back in the ancient 70s they were scaling back the importance of cursive, and writing things by hand. Manuscripts hadn’t been accepted by publishers in other than typed form for, I believe, some time (this was around the time I decided I wanted to be a Writer as opposed to a daydreaming reader of other peoples’ work) so I used to bang stuff out on my dad’s old Royal — it looked somewhat like this one — which I also used for research papers and such. Then it finally got too broken to use, or at least for me to care about fixing (I was a stupid high school student) so it got tossed in the trash. Now, of course, I wish I had kept it. Anyway, the importance of cursive handwriting has definitely gone by the wayside, and my handwriting sucks. Both my parents had beautiful handwriting. Of course, I sneered at having to waste time at perfecting this skill. (Strangely enough, at the same time I had an amateur interest in calligraphy, and even went so far as to buy one of those fountain pen kits from Schaeffer. Well there’s another hobby I dumped, but you can still get the kits at art stores and book stores like Barnes and Noble.)
Side note: look at this beauty. I wants it Precious, yes I does!
Anyway, with all due respect to Rand, I can’t be as dismissive of old-fashioned and useless techniques like handwriting as he is. Maybe it’s because I never did get to be a very fast touch typer. I’m touch-typing now, and it wasn’t until I started using computers that I really learned how to do so, but I’m the sort of person that can’t just use any keyboard. I have trouble with laptop keyboards, though maybe if I actually owned an up-to-date laptop and had to cart it everywhere (I do own an ancient, derelict one with a dead battery) I would get better at it. I also have a couple of little handhelds, but I really can’t type fast on their tiny keys. (I did use one to take notes in my last year at college though.) But getting back to the subject, I’m not so sure we should cavalierly dismiss old-fashioned, useless talents like good cursive and so on, just to prime our younglings for the new streamlined, efficient world we keep trying to create. I think a lot of the old skills, slow and plodding as they may seem to the ultramoderns, actually foster patience and the ability to absorb and analyse knowledge (as opposed to mere information) much better than all the flashy Nu-Tech stuff we wad into our schools. Also, the vision of a room full of students quietly moving pencils across paper appeals to me in my cranky middle age much more than that of one full of keyboard-tapping, twitchy teens. Then again, I think they should remove every single gadget from classrooms except for electric lights, but God forbid the little dears not have something to entertain their every waking moment.
Excuses… I don’t have much to say over the flap about the latest Delusional Big Media Guy ranting because people with more energy and focus than I have already said it. But I would like to point out that when a Big Media Guy complains about people writing opinions on something they read on the news by calling them parasites or thieves or similar terms as those, it makes me wonder just how much thought this man of letters, who presumably earned his credentials by knowing how to carefully craft a column or an essay, has put into what he does lately. My guess would be “not much.” Perhaps, instead of the imagined vision of a sage in an office with reference-book-lined walls, computers logged into databases like Lexus-Nexis, desks and tables piled with notes and preiodicals bristling with slips marking relevant passages, and bustling with assistants bringing in files of clippings and papers of requested data, we should rather imagine our professional media sahib ensconced in front of the tv, surrounded by coffee cups with the remains of old coffee and drowned cigarette butts in them, picking his toe crud Dave Barry fashion with one hand while playing online solitaire or looking at porn on his laptop with the other, and who, upon happening to notice the time on his Windows status bar says to himself “oh crap, I have a deadline in fifteen minutes,” banging out any old thing and uploading it to his editorial department, where a temp will run it through the spellchecker and send it to Publishing before slipping out early for lunch.