Writer’s Workshop: I Forgot…

Warning: baseball talk ahead…

I just heard a crazy story about Freddie Freeman, who is now with the Dodgers after spending most of his career with the Braves. The Braves wanted him to come back, he wanted to come back, and the fans definitely wanted him to come back, but apparently the Dodgers made him a great offer, and the Braves never counteroffered, so he signed with the Dodgers.

Well, I just read that the Braves had made a counteroffer, and one that Freddie would have taken, which would have cut his agent’s commission, so the agent "forgot" to tell him about it. Needless to say, Freddie has fired his agent and I would hope takes legal action against him.

The Braves got an excellent player to replace him, and Freddie, who grew up in Southern California, has a great contract and will make the Dodgers better. But none of it had to happen.

Writer’s Workshop: Bond, Erasable Bond

Image by jacqueline macou from Pixabay

I learned how to type in my freshman year of high school, but was really never too good at it, because the typewriter I had lost its letter "K" at the beginning of sophomore year of high school, and we didn’t get it fixed until I had gotten an electric model when I started college. That was my fault: while I had told my mother that I had the K problem, I didn’t make enough of a stink about it. When it came time for Jim to write his term paper in junior year, Mom borrowed Grandma’s typewriter instead of fixing ours.

Anyway, I was a really awful typist because I hardly did any in high school, and this was a huge problem when I got to college. Even though I had an electric typewriter, I didn’t practice enough, and, being the procrastinator that I am, I wouldn’t start typing a paper until the night before it was due. A task that should have taken no more than a half hour (i.e. typing a 5-page paper) would take me a lot more than that, because I had to keep stopping and correcting errors.

I couldn’t find an efficient way to correct errors. Erasing left ghosts of the incorrect letters on the page, correction tape wasn’t much better, and Liquid Paper tended to go on a little too thick, plus the little bottle was a little too easy to knock over and create a huge mess. My electric typewriter was a Coronamatic, which kept the ribbon in a cartridge, and they came up with the idea of putting correction tape in a similar cartridge, so that, when I made a mistake, I could slide the ribbon cartridge out and slide the correction cartridge in. That way, I could spend countless minutes sliding cartridges in and out of the machine.

That was when someone told me about erasable bond paper. I could go back to using my eraser and wipe the mistakes out that way. Didn’t change the fact that I was making typos every two minutes, but for some reason I found it less stressful.

Still, I wish I had been born about ten years later, so that computers with word-processing software would have been available right when I needed them.

Writer’s Workshop: Give Me A Second To Change

In the absence of anything that actually fits, I give you this abstract art GIF

We got not one, but two words as prompts this week: second and change.

Two expressions that mean essentially the same thing are "just a second" and "just a minute." I think I use the former more than the latter, even though, when I say "second," it usually takes a minute or more. It might be interesting if someone were to give you an exact amount of time, like "just two minutes and 34 seconds."

Or, as Chuck Woolery would say, “Just two-and-two”

Anyway, let’s change the subject… (See what I did there?)

I have these eclectic tastes in music, which makes it difficult when I have to choose what I’m going to listen to. I play one thing (e.g. yacht rock) until I get sick of it, then change to another genre (e.g. smooth jazz) until I get sick of it, etc. etc. ad nauseum. The other day, desperate to find something new, I actually started listening to country music, the relatively modern stuff. I might move to a different platform, like Spotify to YouTube, then to Accuradio… yesterday, I decided to take advantage of Sirius/XM’s "free for three months" offer. I keep debating which service to keep and which one(s) to get rid of.

Hey, when you spend most of your life at home, things like this become important. About the only time I leave the house anymore is when I have some sort of medical appointment. The other day it was the doctor for my annual checkup. The good news is no chage. The bad news is, no change…

Writers Workshop: 6459

6459 N. Glenwood Avenue, Chicago IL 60626. From Google Maps.

If we were told that we’d have to move out of our house and move back to a place we lived before, this would be it.

We moved to 6459 North Glenwood in October 1962 and lived there until the end of June 1971. A lot of things happened in that time: Dad died, Jim and I both graduated from St. Ignatius Grammar School, we celebrated nine Christmases, Easters, and Thanksgivings, 40 birthdays (9 each for Mom, Jim, Kip, and myself, and 4 for Dad), 3 First Communions and Confirmations, and a lot of days with us just being together.

It was a big place. The living room had a sun parlor where we used to put the tree at Christmas, and when we had parties just about everyone would fit in there. There was a long hallway along which sat our bedrooms and the bathroom, which was split, the toilet in one room, the sink and tub in an adjoining room. We had a good-sized dining room, a pretty good-sized kitchen, and a back porch lined with knotty-pine paneling.

The window to my room, also known as my bachelor pad. Google Maps.

My room was along an alley behind Arthur Avenue. I had a good view of the steeple at St. Ignatius Church, which was exactly one block from home.

So, why there? Why not, say, Mary’s family’s building, where we lived on the second floor? For one thing, it’s gone, torn down about ten years ago. For another, this place is about three times the size of that. Why not the house in Northfield? Again, this was bigger.

The only other place I can think of that I’d like to return to is here…

52 North Ridgeview Drive, Indianapolis IN 46219. We lived behind the door on the left. Google Maps

We only lived here for one year (1959-1960), and it wasn’t an especially happy one, based on what Mom told me, but for some reason I remember it very well. What was my room had a door to an outdoor porch that overlooked the back yard; I’ve always thought that room would make a great home office. It had a partially-finished basement, a big kitchen, a good-sized living room-dining room, and three bedrooms and the bathroom on the second floor, which also had access to an attic via a pull-down staircase.

I just hope I don’t have to move again…

Writers Workshop: Blogging Time

Why yes… yes I do…

My first blog post, which was little more than an announcement that I was going to start blogging, was on January 5, 2012. So this blog has been going for ten years, four months, and 28 days. However, I consider the real start date to be July 1, 2014, the day I started blogging every day, so I’ve been blogging daily for seven years, eleven months, and one day.

That’s a long time. It’s also over 5000 posts, even deducting the ones that I put up before 7/1/14. And I have no intention of stopping anytime soon.

Lately I’ve been joining a bunch of blog hops where the questions allow me to be the smartass I’ve always been. I’ve gone from my posts being a great wall o’ text to having little text and a lot of pictures, GIF’s, and videos.

An old friend dropped by to say hello the other day. He had been in Oliver Twist when he was in high school, and he used to say “Please sir, may I have some more?” all the time. This is for him…

What’s changed a lot has been my whole attitude toward the blog and writing in general. I thought I’d be a great fiction writer (stop me if you’ve heard this), but after a while I realized I don’t like fiction and I suck at it anyway. So I started talking about music a lot, and spending hours on YouTube building playlists to be used here. (They’re all here if you want to watch them, although a few are not mine.) I still rarely address The Great Issues Of Our Time, because I hate writing about politics and damn near every issue these days is tied to politics one way or another. Besides, I like ya’ll too much.

So, that’s the story, morning glory…