Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Ma-ma-ma-ma-ma My Corona!

The weather was wonderful today, nice and toasty warm outside. The sun was glorious, the sky was clear, and it seemed it would be a sin to stay inside.

So I took my precious Corona Standard Portable Typewriter, and I sat down at a table outside on the deck and I worked on Cy/Russ out there in the sun, as well as my other novel, "Stuck." Yeah, I haven't told anyone about it yet. It's a surprise.

Anyway, it was just completely wonderful to sit outdoors and put ink to paper. I've discovered the spiritual aspect to writing with this typewriter that I never felt before, having to make each key *snap* instead of just letting my fingers plop against the keys. As someone told me recently, You don't proceess words on a typewriter, you detonate them.

As for all my skeptics out there who continually mock my descent into Luddism, I found another way in which computers cannot compete with typewriters: writing outside. The sun will overpower a computer screen out there forcing you back indoors, but a typewriter is just dandy.

There was even a culture-shock moment when, as I sat there typing, our neighbor walked out on her deck with her husband and notice me making plenty of racket on Matilda (I named my typewriter, how sad).

"Is your power out?" she asked, unable to think of any other reason a young man would use such a device.

In other news, I just discovered that April First, or April Fools Day, will fall on a saturday, the day my church in Council Grove has confessions. This has given me a great plan for an April Fools prank, but it will require a conspiracy between me and my priest. We'll see what happens.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

I miss my paper

I've been away from the Collegian for five days now, and I've been in withdrawal since the second I left. As I said before, it wasn't a matter of desire that made me leave, it was the conclusion that I had to.

I am a reporter. By nature, I am a curious person, so I naturally find it easy to discover important information and report it.

In short, it's what I do.

Those four words -- it's what I do -- have been my motto when I do a good piece of reporting. It's sort of for a laugh, I say it with false bravado whenever someone thanks me for help with something or turn in a good piece of writing because, hey, I'm Logan Adams, and that's what I do. I do good reporting, I am a good writer and such deeds are everyday for me.

Sound arrogant? Trust me, I've done worse.

The problem I have with the Collegian is a very complicated one. Differences of opinion on editorial decisions, work-induced burnout and personal problems with coworkers all are part of it.

The differences of opinion issue has been solved, and I'm recovering from the burnout thanks to this time away from the paper.

But the personal problems remain between me and one coworker. Not personal problems where I can't work with someone because we hate each other, oh no. I like everyone in that paper.

Personal problems as in, I have trouble working with a certain person because I like that person.

Perhaps too much.

As I said, complicated.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

My New Typewriter

I found this beauty today at an antique store off US177. I'd originally gone out there to find a machine someone had promised to leave for me, but when I arrived the clerk told me it hadn't been left for me.

However, she did have a pair of typewriters in the back. She guided me into the storeroom and found a pair of cases, one black and worn, one grey and clean. She opened the black one, in it was a Corona typewriter. I would later find here that it had been made between 1932 and 1933.

The keys felt perfect under my fingers, the price tag said $42.50. The clerk said I could have either one for $20, knowing that she probably wouldn't see another person interested in buying old typewriters ever again. Maybe she wanted to make a collector out of me. Posted by Picasa

Ticklin' the Ivories... Well, I would be if it were a Piano.

The keyboard of my new typewriter. Note the lack of a "1" key. To save money on production and keep prices down, they made them without "1" keys and instead had people use a lower-case "l." It also took me forever to find the apostrophe, which is the shift function of the number 8.

 Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Hi. I'm Logan, and I'm a Luddite.

I've said it before: I want a typewriter. Not just any typewriter, but a standard typewriter; one that is powered solely by the person pushing the keys.

When I said such a thing, my former high school librarian wondered aloud if I had lost my mind.

Once, when I was little, my mom had this little grey portable typewriter in a plastic case that I would tak out and screw around with from time to time.

It was awesome. I loved the feel of each key as I applied pressure to it and watch typebar after typebar extend and hit the paper and platen, then retract. It was art in motion.

Today was a day for typewriters. First, I tried to get the IBM Selectric II at the J-School library to work on a scholarship application I needed to fill out. It was too advanced for me, and the experience ended badly.

Later on, once I'd completed my classwork, I went on a Typewriter Hunt. My goal was to see if I could find myself an Underwood portable typewriter in good condition that I could buy in person and save on shipping via eBay.

I decided on Underwood because they're reputedly dependable and were extremely common back in the day. Many of my favorite writers, including Garrison Keillor, used Underwoods. I visited every Pawn, thrift, and antique shop I could find.

The people at the Salvation Army burst into laughter when I told them what I wanted. Turns out they get so many standard typewriters they turn them away without question.

However, one lady at an antique shop out on U.S. Highway 177 said she had one of her own she wanted to sell that fit my description. She said she wants about $20 for it, and she'll have it at the store tomorrow. We'll see what happens.

Monday, February 13, 2006

You've got to stand for something, or you'll fall for anything

I quit the Collegian today. I'm not going to say why in public; just that I did it not because I wanted to, but because I felt I had to.

I love that paper so damned much, and it hurt more than I can tell you to leave.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

On another note...

I hit 10,000 page views on this blog recently, and in less than one year. Ain't that amazing?

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Desiring an older writing implement...

I want a typewriter. That's right. I, Logan C. Adams, 21st century journalist, a man raised to work with computers since childhood, want to have a typewriter.

And not just any old typewriter. I want a fully-mechanical, typebar-equipped machine that I may take with me to places without electricity and type whatever I desire. I want to be able to hear the tick of every keystroke and I want to hit the lever at the end of each line.

I want to go back to the roots of modern american journalism, where you couldn't just trade paragraphs with a few keystrokes. I want to train myself to be more accurate with my typing and not have to correct so darned many mistakes.

I want a piece of metal I can enjoy. Anyone know where I can get one that works well, not to mention one for which inkrolls are still being made?

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Never even know I'm there

The following are the lyrics from "Mister Cellophane," which John C. Reilly sang in "Chicago."

It's just the epitome of how I'm feeling these days, especially with my job.

If someone stood up in a crowd
And raised his voice up way out loud
And waved his arm
And shook his leg
You'd notice him

If someone in a movie show
Yelled "fire in the second row,
This whole place is a powder keg!"
You'd notice him

And even without clucking like a hen
Everyone gets noticed, now and then,
Unless, of course, that personage should
Invisible, inconsequential me!

Mister cellophane
Should have been my name
Mister cellophane
'cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me
And never know I'm there!

I tell ya
Mister cellophane
Should have been my name
Mister cellophane
'cause you can look right through me
walk right by me
And never know I'm there. . .

Suppose you was a little cat
Residin' in a person's flat
Who fed you fish and scratched your ears?
You'd notice him

Suppoose you was a woman wed
And sleepin' in a double bed beside one man for seven years
You'd notice him

A human being's made of more than air
With all that bulk, you're bound to see him there

Unless that human bein' next to you
Is unimpressive, undistinguished
You know who. . .

Should have been my name
Mister cellophane
'cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me
And never know I'm there
I tell ya
Mister cellophane
Should I bend my name
Mister cellophane
'cause you can look right through me
Walk right by me
And never know I'm there
Never even know I'm there