today was a day off.
time to take it slow.
it was nice, i got a paycheck in the mail and rode my bike around town doing errands. it was beautiful and warm in the mission, i rode my bike slow and shopped slow and did everything slow. got olives, slowly. looked at new journals, slowly. thought hard about paper for more van dykes slowly, and sat in the social security office for an hour and didn't get mad. before i left for my errands, i drank "russian caravan" tea in the kitchen with betty and euna and we talked about the wedding euna went to over the weekend. and weddings in general. and i said i get teary at the things while i'm susposed to be working and photographing it. euna gave me a cream puff thing that was delicious, and so i ate it slowly and thought about riding my bike to make up for it. and then i did. ride my bike, i mean.
up and down the streets, not trying to race anyone, just chilling out and coasting and enjoying the day.
when i got home, i cut up paper for van dykes and put sizing on them. and i printed out a density chart and another negative. then i coated the sheets, twice. and i went to walgreens to get more gloves. then i exposed the new negative and called my dad. everything was going so well. while he told me about the grill and how he converted it to propane, i sat there zoning out with my mellow day going my way, and i didn't even fidget when he talked about the size of the holes he had to drill and the bit and the flow of propane etc for like 10 minutes, but then oh shit! the van dyke i was printing! i forgot!
so i ran downstairs and started thinking about things i need to do, things i need to say, things i have to do for real. i grabbed the print and put it in the water and it looked fine for a second, and then it turned blotchy and then it turned black. like solarization black. crap. what happened?
"i gotta go dad. i gotta deal with this thing"
"what's wrong with it?"
"i don't know. some chemical thing."
"it'll be ok,"
"no it won't, it's not going to be ok!"
"(laughs) now don't you worry about a such and such cost of thing..." i stopped paying attention. this print needed my attention, tears started pinching at my eyes.
"i gotta go."
"it'll be fine, taura"
"nothing's fine. i don't know what's wrong with the print, and i don't know how to figure it out, i don't know what's wrong with my life."
"something something something" for some reason my ears were rushing blood and i didn't take what he said in.
"i'll call you tomorrow dad. bye."
what's wrong with my fucking van dykes? why do they look like shit? the blacks have no density, and the whites are grey. is there something i need to do still? is our water bad for the final rinse? are my negs bad? do i need to make litho negs instead of digital negs? is my coating technique bad? maybe i shouldn't use sizing. maybe the coatings are inconsistant and i need to get a special little thing called a puddle pusher. maybe i should try to add some potassium dichromate solution. maybe i should make some.
i forgot to tell you that i said fuck shit fuck shit alot while i was freaking out on the phone to my dad, saying shit fuck shit fuck and thinking why am i a fucking artist and have to work at a coffee shop and think that if i keep on making honest work, good things will come to me. there's no good things coming to me, i get doctors telling me i'm a boring piece of crap. why can't i be motivated and ambitious like all those fucking business people who decide to be photographers because it would be really fun and creative and then they attack it like they're trying to be in the fortune 500 of photographers, leaving flakes like me to think too much and work at a coffee shop.
and i went upstairs, slowly, wanting to cry about a few things. maybe i could look at hamsters on the web and feel better. but no, i need to figure this stupid van dyke thing out. i pull out some old van dykes i did in school to compare, and i have to go through a bunch of shit, but it's cool. i found the lost issue of my old zine, 6*Volt, issue #7. i found old drawings and comics i made, cyanotypes on silk, books i made and photos i had forgotten about. piles and piles of work, in boxes under my bed doing nothing. how pathetic. how sad.
and i don't know what the point of this is, or the lesson learned, but it's like i feel as if i'm at yet another crossroads. time to make a decision about my future. shall i go to grad school and do it all? or should i move to my parents basement and be a wedding photographer in lincoln? i give myself pep-talks all the time, and think up inspirational messages to motivate me to go forward. my new favorite is, "don't relegate your dreams to the possible, take them to the impossible" or something to that effect. it should go on a poster of a hamster flying a rocket and be distributed to grade schools.
i'll draw one and show you. (later)
at this point, it's past 12 midnight, i'm not sure if it's 12am or 12pm, i have a little trouble with that one. like, i know the minute after midnight it's 12:01am, but what is exactly midnight? sometimes i have trouble with right and left too. but i guess so it's 12:28am now, and it's no longer my day off. i'll go to bed and drink tea while reading my WWI book. but i'll still read it slowly.
oh yeah, my dad emailed me that someone called their house in ne from a law office in jersey and said i'm in trouble. ?? then two minutes later sent me another email about scam artists. it's like, ok ok dad, stop being paranoid. but then i did a little googling of the peeps, and turns out they're scam artists. or scam lawyers. so breathe easy and just worry about your regular debt.
oh yeah, and wednesday is my dad's birthday. i think he'll have to day off too.