Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ghosts Aren’t What They Used To Be

Part 1: Notebook Crisis

Yesterday my main notebook fell apart. See:

I was sitting around doing some calculating and the spiral binding just un-spiraled from the cardboard back.

There were only three pages left in the notebook because I always tear out pages when I’m through with them. [ Notes On This Notebook Odyssey ] The spiral thing just became too loose and fell off.

So now it’s a big deal for me, I mean, what the hell should I do?

This was a 9 x 12 inch notebook and it was handy for using as a backdrop for taking pictures. But my little scanner has a bed designed for standard 8 1/2 by 11 inch pages, so this notebook was kind of inconvenient for creating things to scan for the blog. I had gotten the slightly larger than normal notebook hoping to encourage myself to draw larger, but I’m still struggling with that, the larger notebook didn’t help. And although I used this notebook a lot, I never really liked the paper surface. It wasn’t heavy enough for watercolor or even a large wash. And whatever it was made of didn’t take pencil work too well, either, everything smeared and in some cases smeared right off. It was good for ink, though.

Anyway, so now I’m thinking I’m going to stick with an 8 1/2 x 11 inch notebook, and maybe I’ll try to get in the habit of using watercolor paper for everything. Or get two notebooks, one for writing and one for drawing. But that gets awkward. It’s hard enough to carry around one notebook, nobody’s going to carry around two. And I almost always end up writing something along with a sketch, so, I guess I should get used to writing on watercolor paper.

I don’t know.

Microsoft has a good program called OneNote that integrates really well with tablet computers built for stylus input. This would be a good time to go completely digital and get a tablet PC. Then I could eliminate the whole step of getting from the analog world to the digital world. But that’s just too big of an investment. Good tablet PCs cost around a thousand dollars. I’m just not up for that right now.

I don’t know.

I’ve got three really good pocket notebooks, Moleskine things that I posted about before. [ Notebooks (A Start) ] I’ve got a lined one, a drawing one and a watercolor one. I haven’t even unwrapped them yet because I’ve been so happy with my old notebook. Maybe I’ll unwrap them all, and see if I can get in the habit of using an appropriate kind of paper for whatever task is at hand. They’re only 5 x 8 1/4 inches, so they’ll scan okay. But they won’t help me with my drawing-too-small problem.

Another issue is that I also have a manuscript notebook, too, for jotting down music notes. So I’m always going to have more than one notebook, anyway. (Of course, it would be very cool to have a tablet PC running OneNote and Sibelius. But tablet PCs cost a lot and Sibelius costs a lot and I’m just not up for that right now.)

I don’t know.

As if this notebook thing weren’t a big enough crisis by itself, next week I have a dentist appointment to get my teeth cleaned and I’ve already started worrying about that, too.


Part 2: Ghosts Aren’t What They Used To Be

I’ve heard some British musicians are writing
a book about British public libraries.

They’ve already released avant-garde music
that incorporates some sounds they recorded
in library buildings that were abandoned.

The topic seems to make them think about ghosts.

I’ve written about library ghosts myself.

Books aren’t what they used to be. I don’t think
books will be coming back, either. If they did
they’d be like Frankenstein’s creature, the wrong form
for the world around them, a focus of grief.

Frankenstein’s monster was something like a ghost,
but an Industrial Revolution ghost,
electric, crafted together, but still sad.

But there’s always another revolution.

Books aren’t what they used to be. Notebooks, too.

Some people use their smart phone as a notebook.

Phones hold documents, photos, even movies.

I’m writing these words on a sheet of paper
that is unbound. It fell out of its notebook.

The pencil point makes a gentle scraping sound
but what I hear is chains rattling in the night.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

“We have a brand new EP out for free download
from Bandcamp, Revenant Branch.
Revenant Branch is an EP by Golau Glau
in celebration of National Libraries Day 2012.
This is the sound of the revenant library branch,
the ghosts of dead libraries returning from the grave
to remind us not to close any more.”

“Frankenstein Unbound,” by Brian Aldiss (at Wikipedia)


Jamie’s Ghosts

The Question For Frankenstein’s Friend

Ghosts Are Us

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