I’ve had a miserable week, Dear Readers. For three days in a row I have had to call the Apple “geniuses” to figure out why my iMac is possessed by demons. I’ve spent hours on the phone and all I know is that I now have, thanks to interventions with the “geniuses”, three Apple devices that do not sync with each other, or, for that matter, the real world.
From what the Apple “geniuses” tell me, because I bought my iMac in 2012, I might as well be typing on a Selectric. And since I got my iPad the same year, I might as well be trying to download the YouTube app on a frying pan. My iPhone hasn’t fucked up yet, but that’s because I mostly use it as a phone.
Remember when, if you learned to read a newspaper — say, The Sandusky Register — in 1819, you could still use the exact same newspaper reading skill 200 years later to read The New York Times? Those were the days. Now, the stuff you learn to do on your devices becomes outdated every six months.
The Stromness Rock had a grand time in eastern Michigan with Dear Reader Jeanie last week, but I have not been able to bring the photos down from the cloud because it’s as if I am trying to lure Copper River salmon with magnets. (My computer is a magnet in this analogy and Jeanie’s photos are the salmon. FYI: You can’t fish with magnets. I’m pretty sure.)
I will write this post, and then I will do the dreaded full-scale OS update. If you can’t find me here next week it will be because that operation didn’t go well and I am in a coma.
But let’s get to today’s deep thoughts about life and art.
Maybe you know the fabulous work of artist Anne Taintor:
Born August 16, 1953, Anne Taintor attended Harvard University, from which she graduated in 1977 with a degree in Visual and Environmental Studies.
She moved back to her native Maine, and bounced around in different jobs, including as a waitress and a seamstress, and as a cartographer drawing maps for state atlases, while also working her way through a divorce.
In 1985, while at a garage sale in South Portland, Maine, Taintor came across an old Ladies Home Journal, which prompted her to begin creating what would become her signature work.
She founded Anne Taintor, Inc., which celebrates its 35th anniversary in 2020. Taintor’s work is available on her personal website and in thousands of retail locations across 25 countries.
Isn’t her story interesting?
I had to look up what the hell Harvard was getting at in its Visual and Environmental Studies — spoiler alert; it’s “a broad range of studio and theoretical studies”. So, I guess she graduated as an artist, and yet she found her calling at a garage sale, in a Ladies Home Journal.
Now, would she have been prepared to make art with that old magazine if she had not been previously trained in hoity-toity visual and environmental studies? It took her 8 years to find that Ladies Home Journal…without Harvard, would it have taken her 12 years? Or 2? We’ll never know, but I wonder about stuff like this.
I was not familiar with Anne Taintor’s work until last week, when we got a donation of books at the used book store that I manage for the benefit of our local library here on the north shore of Long Island. Inside a copy of a Terry Pratchett mass market paperback (Maskerade), I found a rather striking Anne Taintor postcard; this one:
However, just as Anne Taintor manipulates “found” images to make sarcastic and ironic commentary on women’s secret lives, the postcard that I found in the Terry Pratchett novel had been manipulated into another very personal message:
On the back of it, there was more writing:
For most of the past 15 years, I’ve been happily married. So, have almost completely lost track of the person I was in my 20s when I could have written this myself — but I wouldn’t have, because I could never have been so raw and honest, so exposed, even to myself.
I wish I knew who previously owned this copy of Terry Pratchett’s Masquerade. I would take her out for a drink and assure her that things work out, they do. They might not work out the way you think they should, but they work out just fine all the same. We have all been there, caught breathless in this existential panic, but hold on: Find something you love to do and do it. Get a pet. Make art. Dance a lot. Stay away from vodka on weeknights.
This is the exact same advise I give to myself these days, in this epically sickening era of Trump. If I let myself take it all in, I would be writhing in a seething pile of red-hot hatred for all Republicans alternating with a dive deep into an ice-cold pit of fathomless despair for the future of our democracy. And there are Democrats still rooting for Bernie Fucking Fuckwad Sanders?!?!?!?!
So, I try to do something I love at least once a week (daily joy is way too hard, right?). I take care of my cats, who make me laugh most days. I make *cough* art-adjacent things. And I dance.
Well, more accurately, I pound out three miles at 4.0 mph on my morning treadmill at an insanely fast dance beat. By the end I am exhausted and exhilarated and ready to face another dismal and shitty day in Trump’s America.
And that, Dear Readers, is K-pop, which if we had had when we were in our teens, we would totally have taken Korean in high school instead of French.
Well, that’s it for this week, Dear Ones. Have a great weekend everyone, and remember:
And above all, Resist.