Working as I have for nearly a year now, at the Greene County Daily World, I have had occasion to write about events, places, people and circumstances that I would otherwise know nothing about.
This job has given me the luxury of using my favorite tools: words.
I love words.
Spelling and vocabulary are like a super-nerdy version of much cooler things a person can enjoy.
I would rather figure out an anagram than hear whatever is on the radio. I find word puzzles more satisfying than reality television, and a new puzzle app on my Ipad will occupy me for days, or however long it takes me to solve them all.
Give me crostics and nobody gets hurt, see?
I can go days without solving, if I want, but I’m usually looking for the next puzzle right after solving one.
Back in the day, like ten years ago, I was puzzle-book crazy. I would scour Ebay and Amazon for deals on puzzle books sold in lots, for me generally lots in the 15-25 book range. A new stack of Penny Press or Dell could make my heart race. When I finished a book, or at least all my favorites from it, I would cut out pages with unfinished puzzles, in case I wanted to do them later.
I still have most of those pages.
With the advent of mobile apps, my world got much bigger. Now, I had the ability to NEVER GO WITHOUT A PUZZLE AGAIN, and so far I haven’t.
Some puzzle apps are ridiculous, well the free ones mostly are, in that you get one or two or maybe ten free puzzles to solve before having to spend money for new ones. Get you all warmed up and then leave you hanging.
The ‘Hidden Object’ puzzles are notorious for this, giving you two levels of finding and several levels of being annoyed and deleting the stupid thing.
I like to think that I am exercising my brain, giving the old grey matter a workout, but I can’t help feeling self-indulgent. What world problems am I solving, what am I accomplishing by sitting like a lump, trying to determine exactly where to put each letter to make a sentence.
Guilty-Schmilty. It’s a harmless hobby with the possiblilty of actual brain strengthening, it’s using my noodle rather than sitting like a noodle engrossed by a flickering screen.
It’s not heroin, it’s not cockfighting, it’s not human trafficking and I refuse to feel bad about it.
The heart wants what the heart wants, don’t judge.