I miss my mind the most.
Some of you are no doubt too young to remember that saying that made the rounds in the ’80’s. I wish I was, for a number of reasons. Mostly I wonder what goes on in my mind these days, because it sure isn’t keeping track of stuff.
My friend Deborah Weber and I had a lively and spirited discussion about where time goes and how it seems as we age it goes by faster. We volleyed that ball around the court for a few days until we both had more pressing business to attend to. Unfortunately, it seems as if my pressing business has to do with thoroughly and completely losing things. If I was really maintaining things in proportion to how much TIME I spend maintaining things, it would be like the Library of Congress up in here. Or at least the way I envision what the Library of Congress would be doing to store all that stuff. Who knows? Maybe it’s all for show on the first floor and then you go up on the elevator and it gets worse and worse until it finally ends up looking like my garage on any given day. Librarians are wandering around with their high buns coming undone swearing that they just SAW that copy of Tom Sawyer.
So, a few weeks ago I wrangled the man Bob to the Adobe Elements program I use to adjust my images. I’m good at doing it in theory, but it’s the little technical details that continue to elude me. It’s the same as working the remote. There is so much going on, so many balls to keep in the air to get the channels right. Elements is really very simple to use but my problem is that if I don’t use it every week or, these days probably daily, I forgot everything I know about it. Or might have known, it is so bad that I don’t even remember if I did know it, or I thought I knew it, or I was bullshitting and said I knew it to impress you when I really didn’t know shit from apple butter about it. On any given day I can handle taking a scan for you, cropping it so that it is not ginormously-sized, changing the dpi so that it isn’t a decade to load.
The trouble came when I wanted to make color copies of my work at the copy shop by sending them digital files. I believe I mentioned last post that I’m ready to use my art as a jumping ground for new work. I might have misled you into thinking that I am much too much of The Artiste to reuse work, I must sully forth into uncharted waters each time. If you bought that I am as good as I thought I was. Really, I’ve meant and wanted to do this for a long time, but I wasn’t up to par on the technicalities. What size? DPI, physical, inches, pixels? How can I get it to print 6 times on a page, or one time, or for that matter, anytime? Was it going to get all blurry, or was the copy person going to have a birthday before it would load? Was I going to get a call in the middle of the night from the Office Depot manager saying I was responsible for the copy techs quitting en masse?
In some ways Bob is not much more skilled in Elements than I am. He likes to do filters primarily. He can play for hours on a shot he took at the Grand Prix, fiddling around with filters and color saturation. I have no patience for it and I lose track of what I applied, what I didn’t. Then I end up with a terrific photo that I have no idea how I made it. Then I roll the rock up the hill the next time.
It was the blind leading the blind, let me tell you. The copy center prefers PDFs so we got that settled. Then there was the figuring out how to get it to print multiple times on a page. We had to go into a separate program to do that, because Elements is a mystery we have not cracked the code on when it comes to printing. Then we went over to the copy shop software and uploaded it. I only did one image in various sizes using up the page so as not to be wasteful. I got 1, 2 and 4 images on a single page and that was cause for celebration.
I recorded, in minute detail, six ways from Sunday, each exact step. I made him do the process several times so I could be sure I had it all written down. The idea is that I can do this in the future without manly help. The man works about 12 hours each day on a computer and it isn’t his favorite thing to tutor me over and over. (I cannot even describe how it goes with the remote. The eye rolling, the sighs, the extreme exasperation. It’s like teaching a puppy to sit. You want to pull your hair out, but at the same time you are filled with pity). It was all so perfect and clear and I was able to take a scan and resize and such very quickly. The copies turned out great and we were happy. By and large at .59 each it is economical and as you know, laser copies are waterproof.
So, imagine the excitement I had this morning with my plan to scan about 20 pieces of art and get an order going. I got concerned when I couldn’t find my notes on the desk but the desk was messy. I was sure the notes were there. I tidied the desk while I was at it and 20 minutes later I discovered my notes weren’t there.
In my cubby where I keep my camera cards organized, I recently put a reference book with assorted papers stuck all anyhow in it. The reference book is on grammar and punctuation, in an effort to keep you less irritated. There are about 15 notes on its, it’s and its’, which probably surprises you! ha! When I saw that book, I was sure that the note was in there, because it is right next to where I was sitting with the man. I went all through that about a dozen times, reviewing it’s its and its’, and also how to properly punctuate with parentheses and whether to underline or italicize a book title. I bet you are both surprised and horrified that I have notated such things, considering the state of my writing most of the time. But I digress.
The dining table was directly behind me when we were working so I was sure I must have put the note on the table. The table was messy so while I was there, I tidied the table as best I could and discovered the note was not there. I went through the small amount of paperwork on the kitchen counter, thinking it might be under the Joann’s sale book or my calendar. No go. It was not on top of the scanner. It was not in the notebook I started keeping around that time. It Was Not Anywhere.
I am constantly cleaning and organizing yet I can find nothing and there is always a mess to clean up. I am seriously considering a neurological workup, as I imagine you are hoping for me. Paper.Paper.Paper. It is a digital age, and I do digital work. I do nearly everything on-line, but there is paper. There are notebooks. There are mysterious scrawled notes, quotes and numbers all over the place. I put them in places I am sure are smart but they are never there. We need astrophysicists here stat.
Now, I have to go to the husband and do it all over again. Because there is no way I Can Remember. There were too many steps. I know this because if he leaves the room to take a nap I have to watch the one TV channel the whole time because I can’t get the channel to change. I end up turning off the TV or have no sound. Pity me.
There isn’t any art today because I can’t even with it.