scanning negatives -
September always holds out a big fat carrot, the promise of a child in school and time for writing, and every year right after Labor Day I fall off the front of this damned donkey which then tramples me as it decides to shuffle off in some other direction.
This past week was about being the lone parent again as Viv was off in Utah on business. And it was about helping a kid do homework in 100 degree temperatures. And it was largely unsatisfying.
We are still acclimating to third grade around here, and our daughter is having the easier time of it. For Viv and me, it's a different story. Amy has an aide sitting at her side in the classroom this year and we're not sure yet how much of an improvement this will be. The aide began the year auspiciously, sending home a nice letter of recommendation of her services and a daily note of what happened during each school day. That was the first week. The second week, aware of Viv's business trip, the aide didn't send any notes home. I'm not sure yet if that was a sexist thing.
What definitely was a sexist thing was a call I got from the school's Health Services Coordinator who first asked to speak with Viv. When I said she wasn't home just now, the HSC asked if I was Amy's father. When I told her yes, she said first of all that this was not an emergency, there was no need to be alarmed. It was just that Amy's supplemental emergency plan needed to be updated and signed (our daughter comes with a set of instructions because of her seizure disorder) so could I have my wife come in to the school office to take care of that?
<Big sigh> Some women, man. What a bunch of sexist pigs.
My partial sanity was kept intact, however, by the arrival of my new film scanner. It's an amazing little machine that can take my slides and negatives and turn 'em into purdy pictures at 2400 dpi. So when I wasn't trying to extract arithmetic answers from a sweaty and moody child, or sitting in front of my Vornado, I was feeding my new scanner with lots and lots of T-Max and Velvia.
And not writing. I had to keep away from the logic and reasoning of words. With my sour mood, the speech and language part of my brain was inexorably drawn to a diatribe against people who, for the most part, try very hard at being educators and I didn't want to work myself into a froth.
So it was scan scan scan. Visual play, spatial relationships, the old photographic idea about getting head and eye and heart on the same axis.
Then Viv flew home just in time for us to attend parents night at Amy's school where we got the chance to soak in just that smidge more educational disenchantment we'd been needing to turn the week into a full-fledged 5-day cruise of bummerosity.
And now I'm done. Moving on. Digging out. My plan this weekend is to escape the pull of this past week, just me and my brain and some lenses, to find something that'll coax a smile out of me.
"I Needs To Be Bee'd With" -- Count Basie -- LIVE AT THE SANDS (BEFORE SINATRA)
"I am the President of the most powerful nation in the world. I take orders from nobody, except photographers."
Harry S. Truman