Susan Sontag and Writing

This came to me from Austin Kleon’s online collection of wonderful things. He got it from Reborn Journals and Notebooks 1947 – 1963, from Susan Sontag. It is about what makes a writer.

The writer must be four people:

1) The nut, the obsédé
2) The moron
3) The stylist
4) The critic

1 supplies the material; 2 lets it come
out; 3 is taste; 4 is intelligence.

A great writer has all 4 — but you can)”;
still be a good writer with only 1 and 2;
they’re most important.

This is from an entry of December 3, 1961. The book, Reborn, covers her life from age 14 to 50. I know of Sontag from her monograph On Photography (1977) and Illness as Methaphor (1978). I certainly have a skewed view of her and her writing.

I flatter myself by self assigning being a moron. Well, a bit of a nut. The rest will need to come with more typing. If I flatter myself.

Writing is such a naked art. Everyone can see all of the things that are presented. While you do not know what they wrote and threw out first you do see what they came up with. It is all there, you know the words, Now to come up with the words you make in your writing.

— MichaelRpdx :: ih3k :: 2022-06-28

Home Again

Memories, of an all day and half the night drive from Chicago to Lake of the Woods in Canada. We did it three or four times. It was about a 12 hour drive that my dad well I don’t want to say “happily” undertook, But he did each year to go fishing and camp for not quite two weeks of vacation each year. It was no vacation for my Mom.

This year I took just over two weeks to drive my Mom to a family reunion. I had good times meeting and re-meeting my relatives. I will not do it again. At least I will not drive there and back. I am still recovering. Perhaps a trip via train, Amtrak, to Havre, Montana and rent a car there. Perhaps to Malta, though I will need to travel from the Amtrak station to the airport there.

Car dependencies are the shits. No wonder my wife does not want to leave Portland. There is a wonderful bus
system here.

Whine whine whine.

I tell he “I’m quitting for now. I’m whining.
Whineing or wineing?
Whineing or wineing? W-h-i-n-e-i-n-g or w-i-n-e-i-n-g?
Oh, whineing, w-h-i-n-e-i-n-g. Maybe I should wine a bit.

And I quit typing. It is late so we watch TV. We agree to give “The Umbrella Academy” a break. We switch’ to “Paper Heist: Korea”. Oh my, oh my, it is fun.

If you saw the original Spanish version.
If you like to compare versions.
If you like watching Korean productions.
Of if you do not like Spanish TV but do like Korean.
This might be a thing to watch on Netflix.

We are having a hoot, comparing the versions. They are different due to the cultural differences.

— MichaelRpdx :: rm :: 2022-06-27/8

Billings to Meet Folks

For the last couple of days I have been absorbed by meeting relatives. This is all a reunion for the Rindahl-Hayward clan. Ted Rindahl and Blanche Hayward got all of this started in the mid 1930s. Ted and Blanche had six children (surviving infancy) who are all with us. Five made it to the reunion (thank you Covid kept one away). And among the 20 odd children of those six children there were cousins from each of them. My Mom was the first, the oldest of the six children and I am her first born making me the oldest of the_cousins. As a result I met a few of them for the first time this weekend. Others, mostly of the older ones, we caught up in sporadic bits and pieces. When you have sixty or so people gathering time to really catch up with (in my case) cousins.

Billings? you might ask. Why Billings? Over the years reunions have taken place in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, and other places in between. Mostly to celebrate the 70th birthday year for each of the original six kids. This year it was getting together to just get together. Three women had the idea and inspiration. They sent out alerts to all of us. They set up three big meals for all of us to meet each other. And we have until it is too late.

It seems that tonight I will be getting a copy of a photo. It comes from an old friend of my, Mom. In the photo she is bottle feeding an infant, me. This print is now 63 years old. Childhood and relatives – those people remember each other through all the years.

I do not know when we will all gather again. But you know where I will be when it happens.

— MichaelRpdx :: rm :: 2022-06-19

Back In School Days

Long drive. All on one tank, a 10 gallon tank. Those are the highlights of my day. Do not tell my sister whose house I am typing this at. (Damn this Royal Mercury is a loud beat in a house with people going to sleep.) Headwinds. The Columbia Gorge is semi famous for their winds. Wind Surfers love it on the Columbia River especially the Hood River area. I noted now the gas mileage was down by 5% or so. This was made up by the miles and miles of downhill roads from Walla Walla to the Snake River area of Clarkston/Lewiston. Hot darn, we are so used to filling up the tank twice on a trip from Portland to Grangeville.

I am going to wrap this up.
More tomorrow.

-— MichaelRpdx :: rm ::; 2022-06-14

Happy Flag Day. There were hundreds flying on our way.

On A Road

Portland – Gold Beach – Port Orford – Portland – Grangeville and then on to Billings, Montana. We are in the second Portland there. Maybe I could have included West Linn, where we went to meet my sister, her ex, sons, daughter-in-law and two nephews. I have not driving so much in hmmm since I moved here from Albuquerque. I do not drive around like I used to. Flying, that is out mode of getting places. Of course, Bejing, Bali, Madrid, Buenos Aires, Bogota, none of those are reliably accessible by automobiles from Portland.

So, although I am vowing to keep up daily pages and submitting them here, I will be somewhat sporadic. Mom assures me that it is OK to type – we can all sleep later — I just did not have the # gumption to type then. We will see for when we are all (Mom, me, two sisters, a nephew and a nice and her daughter) gathered in an AirBNB for the reunion.

I am typing this on an empty stomach. It is mid-day. I have a doctor appointment to be followed by blood draws afterward. Why Doctor Why? Why schedule a fasting blood draw for afternoon? Why Michael Why did you agree to the schedule?

Mom is eyeing my typewriter. It would be a good exercise for hands. Which one should I give her? TI am thinking of the Olympia. It is also compact. # She would like that.

A “nice” thing about typing and correcting, or not correcting are the bits like the not completely getting the line feed, like I did with the “it is OK”. You cannot see that kind of – what would you call it? Whatever it is you can see what I have not corrected but you would never see that on a computer generated piece. And there are other bits of corrections scattered here. I find them somewhat enduring. Or at least I can say that to myself as I do not a) fix them or b) get good enough to type flawlessly.

Remember the soft, soothing voice of Bob Ross? He had been in the army ad it was his job to & yell at people. When he got out he vowed to never yell at people again. Hence his soft, soothing voice. This is kinda how I feel about my typos and sometime lack of corrections. There is no need to yell at my typing.

— MichaelRpdx :: rm :: 2022-06-13

(Note: typo corrections on the original not reproduced here.)

Day Two

Keeping with this Royal Mercury (I believe) typewriter. Hopefully, today’s One Typed1 (yep, not a backspace) page is more readable. In the morning will be my time to take off on my “vacation” for the summer. First a southerly drive to Gold Beach, Oregon where I will pick up my mom. After a couple of days there we will return to Portland and spend another couple of days before heading east to Billings Montana with a stop in Grangeville, Idaho to visit my sister and her family. Actually, she and her family will join us for the trip. We are off to a family reunion. This will be my Mother’s family. My Mom, five siblings, and I do not know how many cousins (of mine) will be there. My Mom was the oldest of her family. I am her first child. [In age my closest cousin is six years behind me. I must admit I do not really know most of my cousins. I will be meeting some for the first time.

There is a chance to make a stop in Butte, Montana. Just Over six hours from Grangeville with another almost five to Billings. Why? Because Butte is the home to the Perkins Noodle Parlor, the oldest continuously operating Chinese- American restaurant in America. It was built in 1909. Aside from chop suey (-American!!) they also have Szechuan, Cantonese, and Burmese-style dishes. One way or another I think I will be stopping there.

Packed up a bunch of books and returned them to the library. I am reading so slowly these days. No longer “a page a minute” rate. Morel like three or four minutes to a page. Kafka on The Shore was only partially read. I ordered a copy from, as she calls it, The Great Evil, it was a used copy. So it will come via Media Mail. Maybe this month?

Slow reading leads me to watching a lot of videos, YouTube mostly. Some Nebula. I end up feeling as if I have wounded eternity. Even with mostly educational items, but still…

-— MichaelRpdx :: rm :: 2022-06-08

Yes, it seems I will take this typewriter along on my travels

This Cold Pear

A Portable Typewriter

Hello all! I am a new to you typewriter: A Royal something or there, or other, manufactured in Japan. I think this will go with me me to Montana in a week or so I think, perhaps, maybe. We will find out as it gets used in the week between now and then. I think. Now to find some thoughts to transcribe onto paper.

I am reading Kafka On The Shore.,. It has me entranced. Does this work now? (the ribbon had come out of the vibrator (?) when I switched to red inking. Now we are in red and the ribbon is staying there, Figuring out how a ribbon threads through can be a quirky thing to do. At least if you have not had to do it very often. Much like hitting the backspace key when it is on the right instead of the left lie like it is on so many of my other typewriters.

Will I acclimate to this beast?

If you have not read Kafka on the Shore … well shit. How am I one to recommend a book?1 (errant 1s are artifacts of my automatically going for a backspace key. (no eraser on this machine today) (I hope this stream of consciousness works for you.)

Fun today: I was for a bit of time a person that loaded the cart to take groceries out to the car. You know, the person that takes freshly rung up items and puts them into a box or a cart at Costco. A bag of baking soda I had picked u up that a slit in it and was leaking. The person, ok a guy, Who had the job was running off to get me a replacement. Costco is good about that kind of thing. So I returned to my high-school days and loaded my stuff into the box and cart Fun? Well, yeah. I did enjoy it.

Let us see if this typing will continue tomorrow.

—- MichaelRpdx :: rm :: 2022-06-07

Typing Fixin’

If you watch YouTube, or spend too much time there, well let me take that tack. Are you aware of Joe Van Cleve ‘s YouTube channel? There is a lot of good stuff there on typewriters, hand made cameras, office products (as in a self described Office Product Junkie (junky?), a brief flirtation with fountain pens, and (as I am sure more. Today he had (has?) a feature called “Typing Corrections”. (by the way, the period, the “.” should be inside the quotation marks according to USofA conventions. I am not a Brit, where they say that the dot, the period, should be on the outside like I just did. This bit of one of the things that “drives grammar people nuts, like putting two spaces after a sentence terminator. More on all of that later.) About “Typing Corrections”/ Joe, JVC, talks a bit about the history of correcting typing and the going into the options we have for fixing our typos. He even shows examples of this correction from One Typed Page. Perhaps you will remember the pieces. To wrap up the piece he asks for people to talk, to comment on what they do to correct issues in their typing. My comment was for him to check here today to get my response. Of which yo u (extra space in mid-word left as an example) (that usually happens after an L on my Royal KMM. ) As you may be able to tell I take a number of approaches provided I note their presence. I have great, strong confidence that all of you can figure out what I mean. Can/doyou? (lack of space, once again, noted but not corrected.) I am aware that many of you have absolutely pristine typig typing. I am just trying to get things out of my brain and onto paper. Fixin’ it? Not for something here or any other place where I type. Thank you to all of you who do not just puke up on the page even if I do not do that I do love to read then.

Day before yesterday I read the first tow pieces and had to — stop for a break. The first was an unsigned piece by a typist who specifics paper weight and had purple ink. It will do you good to check out his list of photographers And then spend time with them. So much beauty and challenge are found in tem. in them. Baldwin? Someone to look up. And then Keep on Truckin’ Mike asked about #### our approach to typing. As you may be able to tell I treat One Typed Page writing like I do Morning Pages. Start and as much as possible keep going until I run out of paper or ideas of the day. Sometimes I have things I want to type on, like fixing/correcting typos today, but even then I just start and keep at it.

— MichaelRpdx :: 2022-06-06 :: ih3k

PS – JVC, I hope I got enough of a response to your piece.

Wandering Thoughts

There was a time when rage boiled in my veins. As I got ready to type many, very many images came to me. I spent the day studying and practicing. Then the time came to type my thoughts and … the rage was gone. All of it had disipated. Dissipated. It was gone, completely. While I do not have a bunch of stuff to type I do feel better. Now for non-raging things to type.

Did you watch or listen to Joe Biden speak about the state of USA and gun control? I did not. I did read some bits about the talk. The talk about the thing that we all accept. There was a quote of Biden that I wish to repeat

Over the past two decades, more school-aged children have died from guns than on-duty police-officers and active-duty military combined.
~ President Joe Biden

Until we change things we are all complacent in this.

§      §      §

I cajoled my wife to go out for breakfast this morning. The Arleta Bakery Cafe was open again! Well, kinda sorta. Same location, same decor, but shit those are the remains of the – wait, I forgot to say “same name” – the remains end there. I forewarn you to not take a reopening as a resurrection of a place you used to love. You are warned. On the bright side, we did go out into the world and we now have a place we no longer need to return ~ to. Again, ever again.

As a point of confession, we have plenty of food here in our place. Lots of variety, and just lots of food. I also like to go out to eat. The food scene in Portland is fantastic. Even with the rebirths into yukky-ness. There is the 28 Tigers – Dumplings, Noodles, BBQ and specials. I am drooling. Dan Dan Noodles, great with a beer at the Holy Ghost a “modest neighborhood haunt.” It is the bar. Not a cheap bar. But damn are their cocktails good. At least from the descriptions. We have yet to go there. We will. When we are ready to walk, Drive home after that place? That is what living in a
city is all about. Walking home.

— MichaelRpdx :: ih3k :: 2022-06-03

Another night of just typing with no planned things to say.