Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Upon Artistic Appreciation
I was reading a book tonight, and one of the characters said "this is a play that would be best presented in the dark. And in pantomime."
This reminded me of one of my favourite reviews, which started with something like "Leaving an impression as lasting as that of Whistler's Father ..."
This makes me snort every time I think of it. I may be a bitch. I should also never be allowed to review anything.
The first paragraph of this post was referring to a community production of The Sound of Music, which is a movie I hate with every fibre of my soul, having been forced to watch it about 40 times as a child. I always want to yell to the Nazis that the family is hiding behind the cart ... but if they were even slightly competent, they would have found them anyhow. I mean, there were what, seven people standing behind some sort of cart and nobody looked? As if.
Yes, this makes me hideous and mean-spirited, but whatever. If I can live with it, you can too.
But it made me think about how artists are so concerned about public opinion. And me ... I guess I'm not. When I make something, when I dye something, it takes effort and it takes emotional connection. However when it's done, for me, that's it. If someone buys the things I dye and wants to knit washcloths, willie warmers or just landfill it, it makes absolutely no difference to me. The joy is in the making.
Once I've done it and you've bought it, I never think of it again.
I've had my yarn reviewed a few places. I have never read the reviews. I've never asked anyone to send me pictures of completed items. I guess I'm cold as ice or something.
But you see, for me, the reward is the making of the yarnz. Once it leaves here and belongs to someone else, I really couldn't care less if someone lets their chihuahua eat it (don't let your chihuahua eat it, it will tangle up inside them and they will die -- it's not a good idea).
I was happy to hear once that a friend was knitting in public with my yarn and she was asked what colourway of Wollmeise she was knitting, and she said "no, it's not Wollmeise, it's Rabbitworks" but really, that's about as far as my ego extends.
I'm really happy that the things I dye, that make me happy while dyeing them, make other people happy to own them, but once it leaves my house, it no longer belongs to me. And so it's yours, and you may do with it as you wish.
Am I alone amongst artists that I feel no connection to the things that I create once they leave my hands? I don't think so.
But maybe it's just me.
And to those of you who have bought my yarnz or my fibre; I'm delighted that you love them. I won't be able to dye much of anything for the next year or so, as we are moving to a smaller place and it likely won't have a space for me to work. I'll start up again next summer when we buy a house (at LAST ... I can't take this moving all the time shit; I need a nest). In the meantime ... the stuff I've made; it's yours, not mine. Just don't feed it to your chihuahua.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
If You ... Wanna Call Me Baby ...
Just go away now.
Yeah, I know that's not how the song goes, but it's all I want to sing right now.
I'm really hard to offend (being frequently offensive, myself) but ... there are some things I just can't take.
One of them ... one of the biggest of them, is "endearments" by total strangers, in a professional setting.
Yesterday was a total assweasel of a day. I got up later than I wanted to, having had my sleep interrupted a few more times than I'd have liked (although for valid reasons) and so I went in to work sleep deprived and desperate for both food and caffeine. Caffeine mostly.
I love the coffee. Despite my constant reference to it, however, I usually have one cup a day at work, sometimes two. On rare occasions I will make a third cup and drink half of it. I'm not quite as hyped up on caffeine as some folks think, although if I go out to a restaurant for breakfast I'll have four cups without a blink.
And trust me, after four cups I'm so hopped up I don't even blink for about three hours.
Anyhow ... that first cup of the blessed caffeine is necessary and especially so yesterday, having had way less sleep than I'd wished for.
So I rolled into work and the first thing that went wrong was I discovered that I'd left my can of fresh-ground coffee (we keep the beans in the freezer and grind them daily -- we are snobs) on the counter at home. GAH! I worked for about half an hour and then snuck out to the lobby to buy a Venti of Starbucks coffee so that I wouldn't kill anyone. I hate Starbucks but at that point a Venti wouldn't have done it. But ya takes what ya gets, you know?
Then my break came around and just as I was about to leave, there was an emergency situation. We work in teams most of the time for a reason, so I delayed my break and dealt with the calls while she dealt with the situation (not a biggie, but not one that she could just stick on hold). By the time my break came around I was about 15 minutes late to leave.
I had errands to run on my break -- important errands. Usually I get 45 minutes. Usually these two errands would have taken ten minutes each. However, yesterday I got half an hour and both of the errands took close to fifteen minutes each.
And so ... I had the choice of either making my co-worker stay late and not get paid for it or skipping getting food and coffee. I decided to be nice. She got to go on time.
So I got back at my post, having had the grand sum of a small package of peanuts and a small pack of chips to eat, and no more coffee. I figured I'd just tough it out ... I have hypoglycemia, so I'm supposed to sort of graze all day but I knew I'd just be hungry and a little bitchy but not pass out. It's not as bad as Diabetes or anything (I make too much insulin, not too little, so if I don't eat I just get bitchy, my blood sugar doesn't go into dangerous zones).
As the shift went on, I was fine. I started getting a headache like someone had kicked me in the head but I knew I could deal with it after the shift was over, and I was not in crisis. I'll admit I was a little cranky, but I could still do my job.
And then this man phoned me. Now, I like dealing with calls. I have a lot of people who phone up and say "I have a strange question" and I always say "EXCELLENT!" They go "what?" and I say "I love the strange questions, it breaks up the boredom." And it relaxes them right away and then I can help them with what they need. But this guy ... I said "xxxxxx Hospital" and he said "Hello beautiful." Um what? I mean, was this a creepy ex of mine who had found me or just someone who was completely inappropriate?
Turns out it was the latter, and he asked if a friend of his was with us. The friend was not, but this guy kept wanting to tell me about why his friend should be there and he called me "beautiful" at least once more and "sweetheart" a couple of times and although I'm sure that his intent was not malicious, by the time we ended the conversation I felt violated. I wanted to go take a shower.
There was a link on Facebook a while about about how a woman just wanted to read her book in peace -- on the bus, on the train, in a restaurant, and how men thought she should put down her book to talk to them, because they "just wanted to talk" or "just wanted to be nice" and this felt like the same thing to me. Creepy and invasive as hell.
I don't mind endearments when they are appropriate. Where I work, there is a large geriatric population and a lot of people who call say "thank you, dear" and I take it as it's meant when it's said.
But although I'm a switchboard operator, my main function is emergency services. I call codes, I answer alarms, I alert teams, I liaise with emergency service providers. I mean -- would you call a police officer or a 911 operator "beautiful" or "sweetheart"?
I don't do what they do, as I said. I don't have the ova for it, but I provide essential services. I'm not even allowed to go out on strike, even though I'm union, because that position cannot remain unmanned (or unwomaned in this case).
So. I'd like a little respect.
To all of my friends -- please continue calling me honey, darling, sweetheart, bitch or even hoar. To anyone who expects to get professional service when calling my workplace, please learn to treat me as a professional.