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A Word Or Too Many About Journals by Ray Printer Friendly

I recently bought a shitpile of journals. I would like to think itís because something monumental is about to happen in my life, something that will require journal after journal to document, and the only reason I made such unjustifiable purchases is because I sensed this incredible change.

But in reality, itís because I really like journals. You know how the stereotypical chick likes shoes? Thatís me with paper bound up and covered in something interesting. I love journals, or notebooks, or whatever else has a lot of writing room. When I was eight, I glued a whole stack of notebook paper together, used some wrapping paper to make a cover, and thought this was pretty much the cleverest thing ever.

The problem is, I donít really fill journals up, anymore. There was a time when I could burn through a comp book in a matter of weeks, but that time has passed. I blame it on technology, really. These days, if I have something to say, I type it.

Writing using ink and paper is slow, and thereís no spell check. Bit of trivia for you: Iím a terrible speller. Also, I have nightmarish handwriting. If it was the old days, and you had to read my stories written with ink and paper, youíd think I was the most talented, twisted three-year-old ever. ďThe kidís all fucked up, and he canít spell worth a shit, but look at the stories he tells!Ē

Probably Iíd be persecuted as a witch.

I have one notebook I keep by my bed, in case I wake up with a cool story idea. This oneís mostly pointless because Iím such a lazy bastard that if I wake up, I wonít even roll over and write anything down. Instead, I tell myself that Iíll remember it in the morning. Many a good story has been lost this way, because I almost never remember in the morning.

I keep another one at my desk, in case Iím writing one story and suddenly get an idea for another one. You might think itíd be easier to just open another Word file right quick, but for some reason, I canít just jot notes on the computeróI always feel pressured to write out complete sentences and use paragraphs and stuff, like I donít want my computer thinking Iím dumb or something.

And, yes, I am neurotic enough to think that my computer judges me. For example, I donít like wasting the time typing the crazy eís in rťsumť, so what I do is, I type ďresumay.Ē I know thatís not at all how itís spelled, but itís the quickest way to get spell check to give me the word Iím looking for. I always feel bad, though, like my computerís sitting there going, ďYouíre a real dipshit, you know that? Weíve been over this like a thousand times, and youíre still doing it all wrong. I hate you so much.Ē

So, yeah, the notebook on my desk where I can randomly write notes and fragments of stories. In addition to this, I also have twelve separate pads of Post-It notes, also for story or Strangeland post ideas. In all fairness, I use these for all kinds of lists: supermarket list, to-do lists, all that.

I have this big hardback thing that I bought just after moving to New York. What I didnít realize at the time of purchase was the fact that the texture of the paperóa really rough, cardstock-like thing with all kinds of creasesómade it nearly impossible to use the book for writing. Iím not really sure what youíre supposed to do with it, but I can only assume itís for pictures or something.

I recently bought two little journals with holographic coversóone with Superman and one with Batmanóand I have absolutely no idea what Iím going to do with them. I suppose theyíll sit up on the shelf next to my comic books, collecting dustóalthough I have to admit that Iím very tempted to send them to my nephews for the sheer entertainment value. One of the quickest ways to drive my sister over sanityís edge is to scratch your fingernails across those holograms. That ďskritch, skritch, skritchĒ makes her nuts.

Those were ďbuy three for $9.99,Ē and they didnít have any other books I wanted, so I ended up buying a journal with some French words on it, and a black cartoon cat. Out of all of my journals, this one wins the prize for being the most ridiculously useless. Not only do I not have a use for it, I probably wouldnít use it even if I did have a use for it.

I have a little black leather journal that rik got me a long time ago, that Iíve been saving for when I lose my mind and wander out into the wilderness. Even when Iím completely insane, Iím sure Iíll want to document things or write stories. Maybe once I lose my mind, Iíll write stories with happy endings.

Last but not least, I have a little brown leather-bound pocket journal that my mom got me a long time ago. I was very hesitant to write in it, because nothing in my life ever seemed important enough to sully the pages. One day, I just started writing in it. After a funeral, strangely.

I didnít write in it again until Bush announced that we were going to rid the world of terrorists.

I didnít write in it again until I moved to New York. It was the perfect size to write in during the subway ride to work, or while sitting in the park, waiting for my lunch hour to end.

The last entry found me sitting in the airport, waiting for my brother to come pick me up, the day that my princess and I began our life together in Texas.

I was actually going to swipe some random passage out of there and use it for todayís post, but that was before I realized that I was going to ramble on for two pages about my various journals.

So now youíre stuck with this. Sorry, man.

Maybe tomorrow, Iíll find something worth reading from my time in NYC, and you can read that. Or maybe Iíve already tortured you enough with this post.

posted 1/06/08

Entered By Leslie From Texas
2008-01-07 03:17:10

I knew it -- I didn't even have to finish that paragraph. You send those notebooks with the funky holographic covers to the boys and you're a dead man!

Entered By Ray From Austin
2008-01-07 03:47:17

HahahahAhaHahaHa! Man, I knew I should have played dumb and just mailed them to your boys (because they really are cool journals). But there was this voice in my head whispering, She'll never believe you were innocent, you know that. Don't do it! Stupid conscience, directing me down the right (or at least safer) path.

Entered By Anonymous From Unknown
2008-01-09 02:18:10

My guess is that somehow through the magic of website development even my "anonymous" from "unknown" comments will eventually divulge my true identity. Regardless. I have to tell you -- I used to keep a journal. Wrote in it quite a bit actually. Until I really got into the Strangelands and realized that I pretty much have ZERO writing ability and the imagination of your average WASP from the suburbs. I gave up my silly ideas for the Great American Novel and have left it up to you to get discovered. So now I stick to grocery lists, to-do lists, and Christmas lists. Hmm. Guess this would be a "yee-ha" to Ray and "wow you suck" to me... but I must say that I enjoy reading your ramblings WAY more than re-reading my own babbling. So if you were feeling a twinge of guilt, just get over it.

Entered By Ray From Austin
2008-01-09 03:35:20

I think you should continue to keep your journal. And never give up on writing the Great American Novel. Your identity is anonymous, by the way, but if you're cool enough to be hanging around here, you're cool enough to have something good to write about.

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