An Accident, I Swear

I have managed to break my glasses, a feat I had not attained since childhood. Dropped? Of course. Scratched? Absolutely. Had a screw loose? In glasses and in life, both. But broken? Nope.

It was way too easy when I was a kid, and it was probably only the support of our extended family that kept my mother from going bankrupt keeping me in eyeware. I think my most notable achievement was breaking a new pair of glasses the same bloody day I got them. All by accident, of course. Get hit in the head with a basketball, shoot out a lens with a BB gun (you’ll shoot your eye out! Nope. Just the lens), face plant in a game of touch football. As I said, easy.

Not so much when you’re an alleged adult. Now it takes more effort. Last Tuesday I had returned from physical therapy, which is another whole story. Sciatica. I has it. Didn’t even know what sciatica was, other than a reference in Harlan Ellison’s classic, “Working With the Little People.” Hoo, boy. Now I know why Charlie the Gremlin was so damn grumpy, but I digress. Hobbled up the steps toward the back patio, tripped and did a faceplant into the concrete. As to the damage to my face, let’s just say it left a mark. Or three. More importantly, I did a number on my glasses.

So now I’m typing this supported only by the vision my genetics and a bad case of measles left me. My new glasses are on order. Maybe when they get here I’ll be able to see clearly again. Which would be nice, since I don’t think I’ve ever seen all that clearly before now.

Hey, a guy can dream.

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Everything’s Conditional

Weird weather yesterday. First it snowed for fifteen minutes to a half hour, then the sun came out and melted the snow, then the clouds came back and it snowed again. Lather, rinse, repeat all day long. It felt something like being back in MS, getting the remnants of whatever latest hurricane had just pounded the coast. What we got further inland (other than wind) were bands of cloud and rain, one after the other until the storm completely dissipated. Substitute snow for rain and you get the same effect.

Speaking of conditions—other than weather—I’m going to talk a little about writing conditions, as in conditions favorable for getting something, anything, done. It’s a bit Captain Obvious to point out that this varies. Some people can work anywhere, such as a bookstore display window, which Harlan Ellison has famously done. Or in crowded, noisy coffee shops, which is so common as to be a cliché, these days. I’ve never needed an ivory tower myself, which is a darn good thing considering the rent. My only real need, however, I have to express as a negative.

I do not need a television screen anywhere within sight of me.

See, I was a TV baby, one of the generation that grew up after the darn things were ubiquitous. My earliest exposure to f/sf was not Ray Bradbury, Andre Norton, or Robert Heinlein. Nope. It was (really dating myself even more now) The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, and Fireball XL-5 (to this day I can still sing that hokey theme song). Books came later, but at least they did arrive, thank goodness, but I never did completely escape the boob tube’s clutches. To this day, if one is on within sight of me it draws my attention, no matter what crap is on. I’m not proud of it, but that’s just the way it is. When I was a kid I would often do homework watching the Adam West Batman or Dark Shadows with no problem at all. However, I’ve tried writing in front of a TV and it’s just impossible. The best I ever managed was, while living in a small apartment, writing with my back turned to it where it functioned more like a radio. In that configuration I could turn it into background noise and get on with working. Anywhere in front of me? Forget about it, and that holds true even today.

There are times when it would be more social and certainly convenient to work in front of one of those things, but it’s just impossible. Which is why I have to keep a library/study room wherever I am with no TV in sight. Computer screen? No problem, even with video streaming available, since it’s not the same thing. A TV?

That would be a “no.”