It’s National Typewriter Day!

I even put typewriter ads on my wall.

June 23rd is the day to celebrate a thwacking, banging, dinging Steampunky masterpiece of engineering!

This analog computer for old people has contributed to the completion of many Great American Novels. It has made legible the wishes of many people with unreadable handwriting. And, most significantly, it has played a role in many of my fond childhood memories.

I’ve always loved typewriters.

Always.

I own two, a 1938 Royal Magic Margin and a 1928 Underwood, both so aggressively heavy I could become a bodybuilder by bench pressing them.

But bodybuilding is not my cup of tea.

The Underwood originally belonged to my Uncle Jay who had it sitting on a shelf for as long as I can remember. I’d always stare at the thing whenever I visited his house. And, like everyone in the presence of a typewriter, I would absolutely need to press the keys. (They always jammed. Once upon a time someone had dropped it. Dropping an antique Underwood should be a crime, I think.)

That Underwood always stood out among Uncle Jay’s many possessions. Not only because I liked it so much, but also because it was so out of character. Uncle Jay was not a writer or a collector of antiques. Quite the opposite, really. He was a gadget guy. If something new hit the market that was state-of-the-art and/or techy, he would be the first in line to buy it. I believe Uncle Jay was the only person in the world to own a 3-D television—a technological marvel that was as awesome as it was useless.

Uncle Jay sensed I liked his Underwood by the subtle hints I would sometimes drop—like the way I would endlessly shout, “I really like your Underwood! I wish I had an Underwood! I always wanted an Underwood!” So when he and Auntie Susan decided to downsize and move to Florida (the legally mandated nesting place for New Jersey old people) he gave it to me.

A little bent, a little broken, but a beauty nonetheless.

I was ecstatic.

Because the keys are damaged, my Underwood is “for display purposes only,” which is regrettable. But old Underwoods are such beautiful machines that I almost don’t mind its lack of functionality. I like looking at it. I like the idea that I own one. And I especially like the idea that I have the option to get the thing refurbished. Which I will. Soon.

My Royal is a different animal entirely. It’s built like a Sherman tank and works like new. I found it in a thrift store and  consider it the smartest purchase I’ve ever made. Where else can a $40 investment lead to decades of happy, satisfying, cathartic thwacking?

God, what a fun machine. It’s such a refreshing change of pace from the wimpy, whispery clickitaclickitas of my laptop keyboard.  Writing is hard work, dangit! Bangs, whumps, and thumps from a good old fashioned manual typewriter makes it sound like you’re working!

Longtime readers of this blog know that this isn’t the first time I’ve delivered an ode to typewriters. This (typewritten) blog post below is from 2013 and I still agree with it–especially my views on Davy and Goliath.  (Click to see larger.)

Long story short, I highly recommend that you peruse the secondhand
shops for a typewriter right now. One THWACK and you’ll be a convert for life.

Are there any typewriter fans out there? Do you prefer another (non-laptoppy) way to write down your ideas? Leave a comment! Let’s chat!

Writing Crap!

This isn’t actual crap. It’s a root beer-flavored marshmallow Peep that only looks and tastes like crap–a small-yet-significant difference!

“Writing Crap” is the title of my guest post for The Writer’s Circle’s blog. Fear not; the post isn’t actually crappy. In fact, I kinda like it! I hope you do too.

Click here and give it a read!

Her True Colors

Just when I could stop worrying about stepping on my son’s Legos, I now hafta worry about stepping on my wife’s gel pen caps.

Ellen has recently discovered the joys of coloring.

This did not come as a surprise. Ellen has terrible eyesight, but she also has a great eye for color. She is not an artist, but she loves to be art-adjacent. There have been tons of news stories about how coloring in adulthood lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, and makes people feel generally groovy. Ellen likes feeling groovy. As soon as I saw the adult coloring fad take hold, I thought to myself, “My wife is gonna be all over this.”

And, about three seconds after I had this thought, Ellen, with great authority, declared, “Coloring is gonna be my New Thing!”

When Ellen decides on a New Thing, she does not go halfway. Almost instantly I found myself stumbling over thousands of gel pens. Did you know that Barnes and Noble has an entire freaking bookcase dedicated to coloring books? Almost all of them are in my house right now.

Coloring is Ellen’s evening ritual. After dinner, she adjourns to the family room, dumps out her bin of supplies, and dives right in. During these excursions she’ll also turn the TV to a cheesy basic cable cop drama but she rarely follows the story–only occasionally glancing up to watch Mariska Hargitay scowl at a child molester. Ellen’s sole focus is on the line drawing in her lap. She is In The Zone.

I can happily report that all of those news stories about the positive effects of coloring are true. Coloring relaxes Ellen. It helps her to decompress after a long day at work. And she adores the vibrant results of her efforts.

Her obsession has been good news for me, too, for a new coloring book is always the perfect gift. This past Christmas I gave Ellen a stocking stuffer coloring book of greeting cards. She loved it and announced her plans to send the soon-to-be colored cards out to all her friends and relations.

She started working on the cards the other day and I’m pleased to announce that I’m the first recipient. On my way out of the bathroom yesterday morning, I discovered this beauty waiting for me right outside the door.

Aw!

And here’s what was written inside:

Long story short, my wife has gone nuts, now.

Do you have a passionate hobby? Tell me about it, why don’cha? Comment your comment in the comments!