Thursday, November 26, 2015

On Turkey (Or The Lack Thereof)

      Happy Thanksgiving, my fellow Americans. 'Tis the day where food in is abundance: especially turkey. Except....I am an odd exception. My family celebrated the majority of our Thanksgiving yesterday, in turkey was consumed. And I have doubts about whether or not we will have any today.

     Yes, I know. Bring forth the pitchforks, the tar and feathers.

     Now that we have dealt with my un-American-ness, now comes the question of deciding what on earth I should write about. I should probably share some Thanksgiving trivia. For instance, did you know that the women most responsible for getting Thanksgiving recognized as a national holiday also wrote Mary Had a Little Lamb? Perhaps instead it should be Mary Had a Little Turkey. Now that would be amusing. And nearly everyone knows that Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national animal instead of the bald eagle. That would have made the national seal a bit ridiculous, would it not? And the turkey hardly has the hair-raising, epic screech the eagle has. 

     Wikipedia likely has quite a few interesting facts about the odd holiday. However, it is most unreliable and I shan't copy and paste. 

      I suppose I ought to give a cliche speech about what I'm thankful for. But instead I find myself asking, why is it cliche? Have we slipped so far into taking things for granted that these things have become trivial and annoying? Take the line, "thankful that we're all here together"; probably the most cliche of all the lines associated with the holidays. I know I've heard it many times without giving it so much as a first thought, much less a second. But think about it for a moment. We are blessed to live in a time and country of relative peace and safety. There are always tragedies, but for the most part we aren't in immediate danger most of the time. I don't think many of us realize what a supreme blessing that is. There have been so many times in history where an empty place at the table was a hollow reality. Where being together was just a fantastical wish. Where there wasn't enough food to stave off starvation, much less put together a feast. These aren't only in the distant past. In some places these are still 

      Amid all the Black Friday hype, Christmas preparation, and good food, it's hard to remember how many blessings we really have. They're not things to feel guilty over, but take a moment today--before the Black Friday adrenaline rush or the inevitable turkey-induced sleepiness kicks in--and just take a moment to remember all the things we take for granted. A home. A family. Friends. Warmth.

       Well, that waxed sappier than I intended it to. Have a Doctor Who GIF. 

(GIFs found on

     ....perhaps it's for the best, then, that we didn't eat any turkey yesterday

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Character Takeover: Sylvester Glass

      Yes, I'm aware it's not Thursday. Funny how things work out; I really should have a good excuse for not posting. Perhaps it was due to a play rehearsal. Perhaps I died from excitement over the fact that Kingdom Pen published my article on NaNoWriMo. (Never mind the fact that I wrote an article on how to get unstuck during NaNo whilst being stuck during NaNo. Sssh.)

      Now. What to post. Hmm... I could go on a NaNoWriMo rant... or a rant about chemistry and "climate change". Or perhaps...


     Why is there a picture in the middle of this post.

     I didn't plan this. I didn't plan anything. I'm making this up as I go along. In fact, I--

     You're rambling again, my dear author.

     I'm what? What is this mysterious font change?

     Please stop being surprised in a futile attempt to be witty. I'm the wittiest one here, remember?

     If I'm your author, then I created you. If I created you, then I'm wittier than you. I'm guessing you're Sylve--

     Ssh. Let me introduce myself, please. I'm old enough to take care of things.

     Pssh. Define old enough, and taking care of thi--

     Let's stop arguing with each other and get on with things. You're starting to sound like Anastasia.

     Well, she did visit once...

     ... I pity your readers. 

     Ah. Welcome to...wherever we are. Cyberspace, I'm assuming. Hmm, wonder who rules cyberspace...I might need to go and give them some competition.

     First things first. I'm Bob. Or the Dark Lord, or odoriferous weather-bitten knave (or whatever other Shakespearean insult suits your fancy), or a witty alibi...but my name, in fact, is Sylvester Glass. Has a villainous ring to it, doesn't it? I do like it. It fits my job perfectly.

     Have a frightened you yet? I seem to do sidekick says I need to stop wearing the cloak and top hat, but I refuse. They're too much a part of me to disuse them so easily.

     I am supposed to stick to my job of "villainy" (long story...I'm not supposed to give away spoilers, I think), but my author is neglecting my story and I'm bored. It was either take over her blog or blow something up. Maybe I should have blown up her I'm not that evil. Yet.  

     Do I really have to explain who I am and what I do? Suspense fuels me. It would be so much more fun to shrink back into the shadows and leave you all wondering what on earth happened this week. You know what? I think I'll do that.

     See you around. If you're lucky, you'll see me too.  

Thursday, November 12, 2015

On Procrastination

     Ah yes. Another Thursday is (mostly) over, free from any Vogon invasions or woebegone gods of thunder.

      Also, this Thursday the Wandering Typewriter is supposed to have a brand new article hot off the presses (or in this case, the keyboard) for the eager readers. (I can say eager readers now because this blog has had over thirteen hundred pageviews as of today; thank you all for reading my odd and slightly sarcastic musings on life.) I had a philosophical post all planned out in my head about solitude and loneliness. Guess what happened? I procrastinated. Guess what I'm doing now? I'm procrastinating. Procrastinating writing my novel for NaNoWriMo, procrastinating practicing my violin, procrastinating studying for a test, procrastinating on getting my life together...

     In short, I'm really rather stressed at the moment.

     The internet glorifies procrastination, in a way. There are countless memes poking fun at the gnawing sense of impending panic that accompanies the last stages of the habit. In fact, we even use these memes as an excuse to procrastinate.

     Why do we procrastinate? Why don't we take advantage of our time, instead of frittering it away on useless things to avoid other things that aren't really all that bad? Why don't we do the things we love?

     There are answers to these questions. Answers quite deep and philosophical that could potentially change lives. I should probably attempt to figure out the answers and share them. And you know when the perfect time is to do all that? Right now. I'll do it later.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Concerning Thursdays

     “It must be Thursday,” said Arthur to himself, sinking low over his beer. “I could never get the hang
of Thursdays.”

     Sometimes I feel like Arthur Dent. Other times I completely disagree. For, you see, Thursdays are the one day of the week I don’t usually have to leave the house. Monday is class day, Tuesday is violin group, Wednesday is class again, Friday is violin again. Thursday, though, I get to enjoy solitude for a while. Perhaps I am being prepared for an odd adventure, perhaps not.

     Thursday is a degraded pronunciation of “Thor’s Day”. Why we still have a day of the week named after a bumbling god of thunder who rode a chariot pulled by goats, I have absolutely no idea. Traditions die hard, I suppose. We humans hold on to our traditions and habits, I’ve observed. And something is more likely to become well-known or even popular if it is updated regularly. I can name a webcomic that follows this quasi-rule, but shan’t. Suspense fuels me.

     All that to say, is that the Wandering Typewriter will type something up on Thursdays. Hopefully it will alleviate the oddness of Thursdays. While I don’t think this blog will cause an earth-shattering explosion or something like that, I’d keep a towel handy, just in case.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Trials of Not-so-amateur Photography

     One of the first posts on this blog--goodness, that was a long time ago--was primarily concerned with the trials of amateur photography. Take a look if you missed it. Ah, those were the days…the days when I managed to take halfway decent pictures with a point and shoot and could conveniently blame the bad pictures on the camera itself. Then the glorious Canon happened, and I graduated into a new realm…of frustration.

     You see, while point and shoots are frustrating in that one has little control over the settings, DSLRs are almost as maddening. You have perfect control (well, I say perfect…depends on how patient you are, really) over the settings; sometimes a photography session ends with quite nice pictures, like this one:

     Other times, the setting are horribly off as you try to snapshot something. Sometimes editing can fix it, other times it's so horribly off that fixing it is hopeless. The exposure's too bright or dim, the shutter speed was too slow, making the picture blurry. Sometimes they're otherwise nice enough to keep, but other times it's not even worth the effort to fix them. 

     The most maddening of all, though, is not when something goes horribly wrong; it’s when the shot you captured is absolutely beautiful, but one thing is ever so slightly off. It’s usually not enough to be obvious, at least when you’re taking the photo, but upon reviewing your shots later it’s maddening.The focus may be just slightly to the side of where it is supposed to be, or when a picture that looked perfectly clear on the tiny camera display is slightly but hopelessly blurry on a computer screen, or when a finger gets into the picture where you didn't intend it to be. 

     Some of these frustrating errors can probably be fixed with Lightroom or Photoshop, but those programs are for more serious camera people, not a high school/college student with no money. Perhaps someday…

Sometimes the messed up shots are frustrating. Sometimes they teach you a lesson. And sometimes, they’re amusing enough to make up for everything you’ve experienced. 

     As a parting note, if you wish to see more attempts at photography, I have succommed to the social media craze and now have an Instagram. You can follow me @smaugerellathenotsoterrible if you so wish.

     Signing off,
     The Wandering Typewriter