Thursday, June 23, 2011

I Was Going to Write About...

I read an interesting review in Salon this morning, in which critic Andrew O'Hehir runs through the new Conan O'Brien documentary, Conan O'Brien Can't Stop. The review basically confirms one of those things you vaguely worry about with someone like Conan O'Brien -- that deep down, beneath the nice guy persona, fame has done to him what fame does best: turn him into a jerk.

Then I was going to talk about my own experiences growing up ad wanting to be famous, change the world, surf around on crowds signing autographs, and so on. I was even going to talk about Lady Gaga.

But FUCK THAT, because Windows needed to reboot. And what Windows wants, Windows gets.

I come not to trash Windows, or Microsoft. I worked at Microsoft for years, and I have nothing but good things to say about my experience there.

I'm also not here to get into a Windows vs. Mac pissing match, because honestly, even through the application of theoretical physics, I could not care less. They're two giant corporations and neither one of them needs me to like them. We've got Macs and PCs in our house, and I basically use whichever one is closest to my swollen, lazy ass at the time. So until one of them incorporates a user-seeking hovercraft into the OS, it's not going to matter much to me.

No, what I'm going to say is, for several teeth-grinding moments, I thought to myself "Maybe I should start using a typewriter."

I used to use a typewriter. I mean back, wayyyyy back, when I was like five. Literally five. My dad had a behemoth IBM electric typewriter that he either borrowed or stole from work, and I would sit happily in front of it, typing little stories into the bottom half of a sheet of paper, then adding crayon drawings to the top half. Then I'd use a three-hole punch and some yarn to bind pages together (along with a construction-paper cover, natch) and voila! I was zining before zining was cool.

I don't remember much about the books I used to write when I was five. As far as I know, none of them exist anymore. I do remember that one of my stories was about a flea-breathing dragon. I also remember that before I brought one of these stories into show-and-tell, my older brother and his friend recommended that I add a twist to my character, in that he smoked grass.

Since I was five, I thought they meant grass, like the stuff in the lawn. I knew my dad smoked cigarettes, and the idea of smoking blades of grass was just the sort of silliness that cracked me up at that young and tender age. So sure, I added it. I mean hell, all I needed to do was untie some yarn and pop in a new page.

I read that story at school. I remember my teacher asking me where I got the idea about smoking grass, and I told her that my brother John had suggested it. She nodded, and I never heard anything else about it. But I have to imagine she tracked him down in his fifth-grade class at some point that day.

Anyway, this was pretty much just one big digression, huh? Brought to you by Windows 7!