AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: Screw You Guys, I'm Going Home DATE: 12/02/2004 03:41:00 PM ----- BODY:

*Cartman voice*: I...am so...pissed off...right...now... And the worst thing is that I can't even write about it, at least not here. Best to keep such things on the low-low, get what I mean?* See, I first started writing in a paper journal, you know, with a pen, wayyyy back in the day (soon pens will go the way of the vinyl record--only the very old or the very eccentric will use them), before I typed 84 words per minute or had a blog or wrote essays for school, I started writing down in a little book what I did with my day. At first, I took it very literally. My early journal entries read something like this: "Woke up at 6:02 a.m. today. Ate Raisin Bran with milk and Orange Juice for breakfast. Mom drove me to school early (6:42 a.m.) for chorus rehearsal. We sang..." you get the picture. After a while, though, my journal became both a source of intense curiosity from my peers (read: Girl Scout troop on camping trips), and there were any number of ugly incidents revolving around people attempting to read my journal (I always insisted on calling it a journal, never a diary). And then in high school and college, I really started to use those journals in earnest. Some volumes from some particular periods of those years should probably be kept in a lead-lined box. Anything I felt, I wrote, whether homicidal, insane, inebriated, irritated, irrationally happy, geeky, or stupid. My pages have always been the one space in my life where I could be myself without apology, worry or censorship. For a very long time, I was unbelievably sensitive about my personal writing. Sure, I could throw down on essays for classes, but my poems, stories, and essays that were written on my own were absolutely off-limits. I even had trouble with creative writing classes for credit. One of the reasons I started blogging in the first place was to force myself to put writing out into the universe and let people read it. So far, I have mostly been pleasantly surprised with the result. Especially with the sports blog, which was started with more of an eye toward keeping this blog from being too jumbled, and which has since become a gigantic allmighty empire of highly respected sportswriting.*** In fact, so infatuated have I become with blogging that my paper journals first slowed (I used to go through three books a year, then it went down to two, then one, then it took me about two years to finish one relatively thick blank book, now I have a half-full book that's going nowhere) and then stopped almost completely. In fact, my latest paper-journal entry was started months ago and remains half-finished. Reading back over my journals, I'm invariably pissed off at how incomplete they are; rather than reading like a novel, they read like a series of loosely organized rants about people, places and things I've either forgotten about or no longer care about, and I'm usually going back through them anyway for some perspective on a particular event or date that is, of course, not written about. Because who gives a shit about Kurt Cobain's suicide or 9/11, I'm more pissed off about a fight I had with a friend that day or something. Goddamnit. The problem, you see, with the journals is this: little by little, as I become ever more adapted to 21st century technology, I can stand to write by hand less and less. It takes too long. By the time I've finished writing a sentence, I've already composed the rest of the paragraph, but by the time I get through the next sentence, I've forgotten it again. It's getting so writing by hand is like painting in the dark. But as I've said, those paper journals, the ones I've kept private and will continue to keep private, have always been my sanctuary no matter where I've gone geographically or mentally. And there's something to be said for a gorgeously appointed bound book with creamy stock pages and black ink whispering across it. I genuinely enjoy the look, at least, of my own handwriting, even if I no longer particularly enjoy performing it. And there's something to be said for a book, a thing with weight and turnable pages, rather than an all-too-easily lost computer file. I've toyed with starting a "non-public" blog, but I know that where computers are concerned, "non-public" is a theoretical phrase only. I've thought about just opening up a file in Word and pounding it out there. At times, I have, although not for more than one sitting, and it's always a disappointing-looking end product (even if it tends to have more coherence than a hand-written piece), white screen, black Times New Roman font, nothing to hold. So do I play with fonts and borders and backgrounds, make printouts, bind them? Then what do I do with the three or four blank books I have waiting to be used? I spoke with Steve about this last night, and he pointed out that the so-called "tactile element" of writing is a valuable part of it, and that even the way hand-writing forces me to slow down as I compose my thoughts may not be such a bad thing. But what I'm experiencing is the need to put things out quickly, to vent, to expunge, to get out what's inside and go on with my life. Doing this with a Bic ball-point used to suffice. Now I pretty much need a keyboard. Except in a situation such as this...where I'm angry about something I know I'd regret making public, but I also have miles to go before I sleep, and the idea of sitting down to write something about it by hand is laughable at best. I still have no idea what I'll do. _____________________________________ *Note: I am pissed about something** at work. Such things are verboten to blog about, at least according to my own self-imposed rules.

**okay, several somethings.

***Slight exaggeration.

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