Saturday, January 14, 2006

And OddBall rants

Somehow, I'm just not surprised.

Well, I have four days off from work and I should be so very productive. Well, technically, I have three actually if you consider the fact that I slept most of Thursday. Friday was productively spent mailing a package.

No, seriously, other than lunch with Liz, my sum total accomplishments for Friday was I managed to get the shawl for the Tyler Hamilton Foundation charity auction in the mail . One wouldn’t normally consider that a full time production, but then again, one has no idea what an OddBall can do with an extra hour. First, there was that whole bit of the Artist Statement to include with the piece. That took an hour to write and another hour to cut out the pedantic artsy-fartsy pseudo-intellectual horseshit that seemed to fill the thing. By the time I was finished editing it with the use of a Cuisinart and a hate on for humanity, it sounded like it was written by a human being, instead of a complete and total jackass. I hate writing the darn things because the entire function of visual art is to express that which cannot be delineated in words.

Then came the printing of same. No card blanks. I had forgotten that I’d used the last of the blank cards I had here when I did up copies of my mother’s eulogy for friends. Not to fret, there were errands to run in any event. I had to plenty of time to pick up some more, after a brief foray to the post office to find out how to mail this thing to Colorado. Correction, there is NO such thing as a brief foray to a Canadian post office anymore. You can’t just plunk down a box on the bloody counter and say “Mail this here thing to Colorado, US of A, please and thank you -- combien ca, SVP?“. Oh, no, first you have to wade through the categories of surface, small packet, express, expedited, purolated, gizmolated, insulated, insured, antiquated and utterly fornicated. Maximum dimension and minimum densities now ensued and were calculated to 18 decimal points. Never the less, I walked out of there, 20 minutes later, with a very clear idea that it was going to cost me $12 and change to mail the parcel to Colorado.

Remember that number: $12.

Brief foray off to lunch with Liz, whom I hadn’t seen in forever and we went down to the local shop for some card blanks. I was back home in reasonable time with the intention of printing the artist’s statement and packing the entire thing off to its new owners.

NO PAPER. Well, technically, there’s lots of paper here. There are reams of paper here in all colours and sizes and weights and descriptions. I’ve got 20 lb bond, I’m got 24 lb, I’ve got vellum, parchment, card stock. I’ve got nearly as much paper in this house as I have yarn and not one single sheet was right. Not a one.

So, I did the only thing possible, under the circumstances.

I obsessed.

I obsessed that while I had the exact shade in my head, it was not necessarily anywhere in existence and it certainly wasn’t in my collection. I obsessed with what I could do to turn what was in my head to match with what I had on hand. I considered going to the stationary store to find the exact shade of paper in my head but somehow managed to resist. I obsessed some more.

For an hour.

For those of you wondering why I never seem to accomplish anything in the run of a day, in spite the fact that I’m frequently very busy, all day, at accomplishing nothing, that would be the reason. It’s because I can spend an hour obsessing over the fact that I don’t like the shade of pink I have at hand. And it wouldn’t matter if I had 253 shades, weights and textures of pink paper in my hand at the time because, trust me, the shade in my head, would be located right in between two of them. And it would have a higher rag content.

Finally, I get my head out of pink and into blue, which I actually have on hand. I have card blanks that work with blue. I have blue paper. I have blue thread and yarn. I have all manner of blueness. We are now down to a 10 minute job when, wait for it… Printer goes on the fritz.

In any event, with some liberal and loud application of some right proper Anglo-Saxon expressions, the printer was fixed. The thingie was printed. The folding was folded. The tassel was tasselled and affixed and it, and the shawl, were jammed into a box, taped, addressed and it was off to the Post Office to mail it. Time was running short, so before I left the house, I had the sense to make sure I had $12 in my pocket to cover the postage.

The line up at the Post Office started in the parking lot. It was closing time on a Friday and apparently, half the north side citizenry of Fredericton are mailing their worldly belongings to Tuktayuktuk and points further afield. Eventually, I make my way to the front of the line and plunk down my very- well-sealed, custom-declaration-form-affixed-to-the-front-of-the- package, package and the nice Post Office lady, the exact same Post Office Lady as this morning, says “That will be $18 please.”

Apparently, there’s a fuel surtax, and tax taxes and, and, and bloody and, which hadn’t been calculated into the original quote. Thank goodness the credit union was located right across the street. I haven't managed to be 50% off on my calculations on something since the last time I tried to felt something.

So there you have it. The package is away, thrown to the wind and the mercies of the Postal Services and US Customs. And I possibly need a drink.

Talk to you’se all laters; thanks for reading.


At 6:39 p.m., January 15, 2006, Blogger Severina said...

I would have done something incredibly retarded like whip up the color in some stupid drawing program and just printed it on since half-assed make-do's are my specialty. I didn't waste six years in art school for nothin'.

But then I would have obsessed for days on which one of the 941 fonts to use.

Don't even ask about the statement itself.

At 7:12 p.m., January 15, 2006, Blogger jackie said...

Gotta love Canada post. Bill's
bro sent a package just before Christmas and it cost him....Wait for it..$40.00. And that was before the taxes. Yup. I hope you had a drink for me too.

At 7:21 p.m., January 15, 2006, Blogger Kate, the Odd Ball Knitter said...

Well, Severina, thank goodness I'm limited to a black and white printer here because I'd be a month of bloody Sundays if I had colour INK choices as well.

Fonts...yeah, I skipped that entire hour. And the border around the box on the back page? 20 mins...

Who the hell invented artist statements anyway?

At 7:27 p.m., January 15, 2006, Blogger Kate, the Odd Ball Knitter said...

Jackie, you know I'll always drink for you.

At 7:35 p.m., January 15, 2006, Blogger Severina said...

The main #1 reason I don't send off more of my work is the acursed artist's statement. They don't tend to allow a card with "insert artist's statement here" printed on it.

At 9:18 p.m., January 15, 2006, Blogger Kate, the Odd Ball Knitter said...

Whoa..woman!!! There's got to be a market for "instant artist statement cards". You could rival Hallmark.

At 8:49 a.m., January 16, 2006, Blogger jackie said...

Who invented "artist statements"? Marketing of course. Either that or management. It sure as hell wasn't artists.

I need to come up with new tags too. The ones that I have been using were designed as busness cards the last year I was at the Craft School. One of my more brilliant moves was not to put my address on them because I was moving in two months to parts unknown. But in todays world of computers and printers there is no excuse for 15 year old tags. Sigh. I just have to get my butt in gear and do it.

At 11:42 p.m., January 20, 2006, Blogger Liz said...

kate , its good we have you. Nice to know you'll take one for the team... ( drink that is


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