True Analogue

My notebook problem habit has lead me many places. I have been to Japanese stationery stores in San Francisco and New York. My notebook addiction fancy even lead one of my friends to a Japanese stationery store in San Francisco on my very own behalf. (She is a true friend.)

I follow blogs that wax poetic about analogue tools. I don’t have a philosophical dedication to writing on paper and planning on paper, I just like it. It works for me. I like the tactile, and because I spend all day gazing at the computer screen, I’m glad to be offline sometimes.

Last week I went truly analogue. I was just getting down to work, when I realized my Internet wasn’t working. This realization was quickly followed by another. The power was out. It was a sunny day, although cold. There was no storm, no wind, just an aging grid in a rural state.

I futzed around with my book manuscript—maybe the power was about to come back on?—but I was getting cold. So I lit a fire in the basement woodstove (one match, Paul), because January is not a good time have a modern house without heat and bugged out.

I walked into the coffee shop only to be greeted by my next-door neighbor. And we sat together, grumbled, drank coffee, and worked on our individual projects in cranky harmony. I had peach jam shortbread and cup of coffee. My toes warmed up. I came up with a list of questions I could work on with my books rather than with my computer. And when I ventured back home the power was on, the woodstove was cranking away, and my dog had not become a poodlecicle.



5 responses to “True Analogue

  1. I’ve probably already mentioned that I’ve kept a hand-written journal all of my adult life. Somewhere along the way I began writing in notebooks with college or university logos on the front, so now that’s my requirement. I use a mechanical pencil since I like how it moves across the paper. Plus my handwriting is better in pencil. Curiously, I can’t really write in my journal anywhere but at my desk in my quiet room. Coffee shops, motel rooms, even the library just aren’t conducive for me.

    • My father was a noted curmudgeon who hated gifts (totally unlike his offspring, haha just kidding). However, I figured out I could buy him notebooks from colleges I attended or visited. He did not keep a journal, but he did write out his scientific ideas with a mechanical pencil.

      I journal every once in a while, but I hate to do it in public. I get weirdly self-conscious, although I can write non-journally things in public.

      Also it took four matches before ANYTHING in my woodstove would light just now. Does that make it a four-match fire? Once the match caught the paper before it fizzled out, it was a one-match fire. How do we reckon this?

      • It could go in the Life’s Not Fair column, I suppose. Or maybe You Can’t Be A Superhero Every Time. As long as you don’t use Girl Scout Water.

    • any kind of fluid poured on a fire – like charcoal lighter. Easy. Cheating. (To a bunch of insecure boys, anyway.) And probably not prudent in a wood stove.

      I did read a reference (in Old Filth by Jane Gardam) about “paper spills,” which are twists of paper made deliberately for use in fireplaces and stoves to help get the wood burning.

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