Posts Tagged With: high school

I Miss Typewriters

Underwood Typewriter

1st Sony WalkmanMy freshmen year of high school was the 1979/1980 school year. For many people this feels like recent history, while youngsters think of this time as ancient history. One thing was ancient – technology. Technology was still quite primitive by today’s standards. Let’s try refreshing our memory or learning a little about the simplicity of this less technological time in life. This was long before life with the internet, laptops, or home computers; word processors were advanced technology. Sony Walkman and cassettes were just beginning to make music more portable and a tablet was not electronic – a “tablet” meant a pill or a spiral notebook. I do kind of miss those days. 

Part of my high school experience included teachers requiring important papers to be typewritten instead of handwritten. Sony Console TVToday, computers and printers are almost as common in homes as console color televisions in the early 80s. This was usually an issue for me since our home did have color tv, but did not include a typewriter. I had an uncle that had an old Underwood typewriter and my parents would haul me into town to borrow his typewriter and lug it back to the house. It weighed at least 30 pounds and was a workout to transport. It crossed my mind sometimes, what do other students that did not have an uncle with a typewriter do? I do not remember the library having typewriters for public use like they now have computers.

The importance of proofreading was vital before beginning to type any paper for school. I followed general typing rules that this “texting” generation is unfamiliar with, rules like: proper use of capital letters, two spaces after the punctuation at the end of a sentence, indenting, double space between paragraphs, and proofread, proofread, proofread before starting, because there was no spell-check other than the teacher. My O.C.D. ruled out using liquid paper to cover mistakes. Just reaching this point of this post I have completely rewritten several times and if I were using a typewriter would have killed several trees of paper rewriting. 

perks 1So why do I miss typewriters? I remember outlining and completing my thoughts before hashing them out and learning perks2to accept my final draft. I sometimes re-read my own posts and edit long after they were initially posted. I am no longer able to accept my final draft! An old typewriter similar to my uncle’s was a central part of the book/movie “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” and this movie brought back a great deal of nostalgia.

 Watching “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” reminded me of my high school experience more than the-perks-of-being-a-wallflower-hollywood-movie-wallpaper05any other movie that I can remember. The character Charlie was struggling to find his identity and where he fit in. He was also dealing with a dark experience he was unable to process all while remaining a little naïve. Charlie and I had a lot in common. I was led to believe that “Less Than Zero” was supposed to be the book/movie to reflect my generation’s experience, but it missed representing my life completely! “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” is set in an early 1990s, middle-class, suburban area of Pittsburgh; making it much more relatable to the backdrop of my rural, small town life not too far from New Orléans than that of the wealthy Los Angeles lifestyles of the character in “Less Than Zero”. Maybe my high school situation of the early 80s was not so different than that of the 90s or that of other’s high school realities.

I have rated over 1,650 movies on That is equivalent to approximately 4 months of my life doing nothing other than watching movies. the_perks_of_being_a_wallflower_quote_1This estimate does not count time watching tv or movies I watch repeatedly. This does not qualify me as an expert on the topic of movies, just VERY experienced. As much as I enjoy trying to express myself through writing about the perks 3random thoughts or ideas that ramble through my brain, this also does not qualify me as an expert at writer – just experienced. As I see movies and find ways that I relate, I search for MY story that others would relate to, enjoy or be inspired by one of my stories. With my Multiple Sclerosis and how it affects me cognitively, I have the additional pressure to record my stories during the times I feel well enough to write and my mind cooperates. I also hope to be around when someone decides to appreciate my little stories and thoughts.

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Being Cool Comes Naturally…. Just As Insecurity Does

Cool” comes so easily and naturally for some people.  I look at Adam Levine of Maroon 5 and ask myself – how “cool” can one guy be?  Enrique Iglesias may have genetically inherited his ability to ooze “cool” in multiple languages.  Making people laugh makes Wanda Sykes MUY (very) “cool” in my book.  Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie even make being over 40 with kids look “cool”.  I could chill beer in the presence of this line up… but what “cool” factor do these people have in common?  Ok – other than being one sexy bunch – they support the gay community and its causes.

Adam Lavine loves and is very supportive of his gay brother Michael and is proud as a judge on “The Voice” that the show does not try to suppress contestant’s sexuality like American Idol does (remember contestants R.J. Helton, Jim Verraros, Clay Akien, Adam Lambert?).  Enrique admittedly loves his gay fans and has even serenaded a gay guy with his song “Hero” at the G-A-Y club in London.  Wanda Sykes “came out” at Las Vegas Pride to lend support to defeating Prop 8 that would recognize only marriages between 1 man and 1 woman in California.  Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie gave donations of money and time to also help defeat Prop 8.

All my life I have wanted to know how it feels to be “cool”.  My idea of being “cool” would be to have  confidence, be secure about how I feel about myself while also being apathetic of others opinions.  Even as a mid 1980s runway model with a 28″ waist, I never felt confident.  I had earned a swimmers build by actually swimming, tan-lines that were the result of the sun – not a tanning bed and actually did not look bad in a swimsuit!  But still, I cried myself to sleep wishing I was not so thin…. now I cry myself to sleep wishing I was thin again!  Talk about serendipity!!  Even when I may actually have been a little cool… I did not or could not see it!  My “coolness” was blinded by my internal struggle with own identity.

The saddest thing is I could not identify my internal conflict.  Coming to terms with having been sexually molested as a child by a guy in my neighborhood created BIG TIME insecurities that I still carry today.  Not understanding how this may or may not have affected my sexuality made for a lonely time in my late teens and early twenties.  I also came to terms with “religion” as I knew it wanted nothing to do with me.  At that point in my life, I never knew any gay people, was naïve about celebrities being gay,  much less noticed straight celebrities that were “cool” and/or supportive of the gay lifestyle.  I do not think that being gay is an issue of being “cool”, but back then, to know it would not be “UNcool” to be gay would have saved a lot of dark thoughts that I had about myself.

Even in my confusing high school experience, a classmate when added to my facebook a while ago let me know he thought of me as one of the “cool” kids in high school.  When I was growing up, if I could have had the positive examples from the gay and straight communities that exist today…. I would have been “cool” or been able to see myself as having the possibility of being “cool”.  I do not hold up my “cool” line up to unreasonable standards, I can imagine at some point (or even now) they lacked confidence in themselves.  Enrique is a performer that may feel his father’s shadow over him; Wanda Sykes was once married, so she had issues with her sexuality also; Angelina Jolie is famously from a dysfunctional family… now Adam and Brad’s confidence issues are much less evident!

Adam Levine has “Moves Like Jagger”, a voice that is smooth like silk, bad boy tattoos, and looks that can kill harder than James Bond!  Adam is also my ALL-Star “COOL” guy and my straight guy crush!  Enrique will be the gay community’s “Hero”.  Wanda Sykes will tell you “I’ma Be Me”!  Brad and Angelina will wait to marry when gays have the same right.  I am 44 years old and still fight insecurities on many levels, but the key difference… I realize I am not alone…. if everyone were honest… we would admit we all have insecurities… even the people we think are “cool”. But in the mean time….some kid somewhere is seeing not only gay celebrities, but also straight celebrities stand up and say…. I am confident of who I am and not worried what others think….. and I will stand with gay friends and family… and even if these kids miss the support at home…. maybe they can find support with a growing crowd of people who love them and want them to understand no one can “BE COOL” all the time!!  Enjoy your “cool” moments!!

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