Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Once I Had a Brother, but I'm Thinking Olivetti

So I have this problem with eyestrain. I'm thinking of getting a typewriter. Really I should say 'another typewriter.' Although born at the latter part of the "X" generation, and firmly within the timeframe that should have allowed full computer access as my birthright, my family didn't get a computer until long after I'd flown the coop. This is why I'm a little slow when you talk about html, it's why I don't really know the difference between PC and Mac. I just think Mac looks slicker. I mean, it goes with things, you know?

I had a Brother typewriter when I was in junior high, graduated to a "word processing" typewriter when I was in high school. Mostly I used the computers at school, but my first experience with a glowing screen (other than TV) was the suffusion of those two lines of type from my typewriter. I was so happy I could fix those definately's and correspondance's before they ever got to the page.

I spend so much time on my computer, and word processing in particular these days, that I want to "Apple X" every time I move something in the garden and don't like the new placement. Or I want to hit save before I take dishes out of the cabinet, so I can just close the evening's document of dinner without saving and have everything be neatly back in place the next time I look. I think about things in terms of Microsoft. I like Excel. I like to Excel. I edit for a living. Which means I spend hours in front of the computer before I ever spend hours in front of the computer doing my own work. Sometimes when I get there I can barely see.

I turned 34 this year. Not a big milestone by any measure. But shortly after my birthday last month I noticed three things. 1. A new furrow growing between my eyes. I already have thick eyebrows (which I like), adding a furrow makes me feel like Walter Cronkite. 2. Gray hairs. I've found two or three. I've never had them before and I look at them like I do the bees in my yard, with a fond familiarity for their newness and an understanding that things could get painfully out of control. And 3. eyestrain. I've had this for awhile, but it's gotten worse in recent months. While I have perfect vision, sometimes my eyes feel like they're about three times their size and still trying to fit in my little sockets. It's not so much painful as it is nauseating. Luckily I have no problem reading when this hits, it's just the glowing screen. The computer. I find myself not blogging, not reading online news or online journals, and using a notebook (the paper kind) much more often.

I mention this partially as an excuse, as I've run into eight people in the past two weeks who have asked me what's up with the blog. I didn't even know any of these people were reading what I wrote here. This post is for them.


Also, the new Knockout is out. It has an interview with Charles Jensen, and work by me, Kim Chinquee, Charles Jensen, Richard Siken, Paul Lisicky, Joseph Massey, Sherman Alexie, Denver Butson, Matthew Hittinger, J.P. Dancing Bear, and a whole host of other folks.