Sunday, January 21, 2007

Just My Type(writer)

While it was never my original intent to turn this blog into an Antiques Roadshow competitor, that is the turn it has been taking of late. If you're not into old things, you might want to flip channels. If you are, stay tuned for a tale of lost relics, vulgarity and passion.

This, blogpals, is my first typewriter.

Now, I know: "WHa?!?!" you're shouting to the screen before you as you sputter forth flavorful capuccino and/or mouth-swished gatorade. Yet, no, I'm not much older than you thought. This ancient machine of uncertain age and lineage was purchased for me by my grandmother when I was but a young, nerdy writer whelp of 12 or 14. Though it languished in my mom's hall closet for many years, unreachable due to crap piled 10 feet high in there, recently we took stuff out of the closet and so it has returned.

It is still functional but for the lack of a ribbon -- it can type in black AND red, given the proper ribbon. To make the letters, a metal arm jumps forth from inside when a key is pressed and strikes the paper. It makes the COOLEST "clackclackclackclackityclack" sounds when you press its keys, like an old newscast background sound. If I type at my current speed on it, some of the keys crowd in as they try to strike the paper and stick together, frozen there mid-print.

I had a thought to post some of my writings of that time, but most were so vulgar or insipid that they are doubtless a violation of my Blogger usage agreement (see clause 3215b: "User shall not post adolescent sexual fantasies regarding members of the rock band Van Halen").

I feared it lost upon the recent move of all the stuff from my childhood home, and grew quite pissy. My brother retrieved it, though. It's one of those things that, even though I hadn't seen it for two decades, I still wanted it back, because it is emblematic of who I am. From my earliest story (about a litter of puppies on a farm and their mother, and which tragically lacked a plot) to this here post right now, writing is part of who I am.

Out of curiosity, and though I'd never sell it, I checked its value on eBay. Result? This antique machine is thought to be from the 40's or 50's and I could purchase a whole family of them if I wanted at a cost of $1.00 each ( + approximately $87.00 shipping -- the thing weighs 50 pounds easily).

Still, you can't put a price on memories, or on the hormonal rantings of a bored 13 year old.

Drivel such as that wouldn't even sell on eBay.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Sock Monkey Project

Recently, due to Arctic Blast 2007 (i.e. a quarter-inch of sleet upon these Dallas roadways), a much-anticipated night of drinking, fooling around and Sopranos was nixed.
Did I sulk? Well, hell yes, I did.
And then I did some more.


But after that, pouting began to bore me and I hit upon a mission: I was gonna make a goddamn sock monkey.


Why the flip did this occur to me? Well, I'd talked it up for many years, seeing as how my grandmother gave me one when I was six or seven and it was subsequently so cherished and frequently hugged that the tail developed a hole at the end. As it turns out, my friends listen to me on occasion, so I was gifted with this kit at Christmastime this year.
Though my original hosiery simian was far more tricked out than this one, with a red gingham dress and hat that had lace trim, this nostalgia-fueled, red felt vested ape would do nicely on a blustery, pissy winter's night. Besides, the original mon-chi-chi was lost.


Generally speaking, I'm not a seamstress, so the seams on this monkey are probably a little to a lot sloppy and poorly crafted. Yet on I sewed, into the night.

Toiling well past midnight, I fell into bed from exhaustion. The next morning I awoke, and within an hour or so, had the monkey finished.

It was a distinctly more Mennonite brand of fun than I'd had planned originally, but fun nonetheless.

And I most certainly have more to show for it.

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"Whoa, amber is the color of your energy, whoa." -- 311

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