Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Technology Woe

Who's running this show? The photo demonstrates how I have to deal with art. Center stage is the new iMac, which I am still trying to develop a relationship with. The laptop was the transition purchase I had to make in order to use the software (ancient) I already had. It runs Snow Leopard, which graphic designers hold onto for dear commercial life as Apple abandoned supporting a bunch of stuff after that cat. To the right is my brain in a jar - what was retrieved from the G5 that crashed permanently after 10 years. The arrow points to the least nimble of the 4. Me. The worst time to discover it was a good idea to keep up with technology as you go along is when it's too damn late to do anything but start over. Or operate with this mess of machines and wires and software that will not play nice with others. What isn't in the picture is the camera I was downloading pictures from - it too is ancient, and won't work with the new iMac, and when I force the issue by hand-downloading jpgs, the new iPhoto claims it has already downloaded the pictures (NOT) and that it cannot repair NO NAME. And the new scanner/printer/toaster combo I bought has a lousy scanner. Here's the list of tech I need: camera, scanner, photo editing and art creation software. Adobe stopped discounting a newer purchase of Creative Suite 3 versions ago. You can buy access to The Cloud for $29.99 if you have a license for CS3, but only one program of the entire offering. I can access all the products of the renamed Creative Cloud for $49.99 a month, which is more than my phone. Is it worth more than my phone? Probably. But I hate the idea of paying for access to a thing forever. That's a terrific scifi story concept. In future, we all have to have a subscription to our lives. Pay or lose access. Sure would handle population control. But in order to write the story I have to use Open Office because I am not paying for access to Microsoft Word forever. And forever isn't forever in technology. Forever is until the prices go up next year.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Aging Brain Workaround

Cancelled the website I tried to set up yesterday. I could not negotiate the instructions. I had a website with MacHighway (itsamac in 1998), and had to let it go when I no longer had current software needed to update the site, 5 or 6 years ago or more. Then a user could still reach one of the founders on the phone. Today, it's chat tech support. One issue is the knowledge base requires a fore-knowledge I don't have (cpanel is what? –your portal to edit the site, and it's a separate login) and the bigger issue is my brain. I'm so upset by this. I had an immediate empathetic reaction to my father's frustration which may be the source of his rage. So we talked about it. We commiserated. He said he's been trying to come up with the word for not being able to pay a mortgage for 2 days. And he cannot keep in his head the name of the town my sister lives in. Talking about it made us both feel better. I made a joke - foreclosure and Fraser (the town my sister lives in) both start with F, so perhaps his brain has offloaded that letter. Foreclosure is not in either of our futures, so that word can disappear. More good news: my sister is moving so that town name won't be needed. I don't need a website, so I don't need to fret about my lessened ability to make one work. As our brains are less nimble, we need to ratchet up the rationalization. Or take more yoga classes. Or be more Zen. And gently accept what we cannot change, knowing we're in good company.

Monday, March 16, 2015

So Big a Concept

A human mind isn't wired well to contemplate infinity. Toss in our culture's aversion to talking about death, and it's a brain twister. Flavor with a pinch of our distance from nature. Fold in ego. Ruminate at room temperature for an hour or a month. And voila! Headache. And unease. And writer's block. Neytiri says all energy is borrowed and must be returned one day. Feels reasonable and comforting. Neytiri is a 9-feet tall blue Pandoran, who may be a good guru, but I feel a little bizarre taking philosophical cues from a fictional character.  No. I don't. Not really. I believe the way the Na'vi do. 3 paintings are done and framed for the VFAA PAN night. All are images of water. I feel close to water always. PAN is Poetry&Art night, so all original poems must be accompanied by original art, and vice versa. Previous years, I wrote the poems, and slapped together the art to go with. This year I have the experience of watercolor classes, and an affinity for the form. So I have art finished. No poems. Feels inside out, but okay. Except I can't write the poems.  Submissions are due March 21. I'm not ready! One painting is whitewater and my intent is to poetize an analogy of watercolor and fast water. Another painting is an idyllic scene that I had the joy of seeing after an arduous and terrifying climb up a narrow path on the side of a cliff. Not sure where the metaphor is here, but it's certainly about life and being open to challenges. The third painting is the sea. I repainted this painting, trying to use words in the waves to depict what I believe - that the sea contains all stories through all time. It looked unnatural and artificially represented Stories of Earth, and the people who walk on Her. Endless and ever changing. I feel in my right brain that this is true - that death is frightening only when you think the story is about you. Meanwhile I started yoga (oy! I had no idea I'd gotten this... rigid and weak!) and perhaps that will get the contemplation circulation flowing again.