Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Small Town Life can suck it.

As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, I have (almost inadvertently) begun a sort of campaign to begin to appreciate my town a little more, rather than frittering away my days wishing I was somewhere more glamourous/funky/whatever.

In the last 24 hours, The Laurel Project has suffered two setbacks - neither really major, but both annoying.

1. Yesterday, in a yard about a block from our house, I spotted a great photo. A family had washed several of their childrens' stuffed animals, and hung them on the laundry line to dry - mostly held up by old fashioned clothes pins, pinned to their ears. Especially striking was a neon pink bunny with a (understandably) surprised expression.

It made a great photo - a fence behind, framed in a tall hedge, back corner of the house visible in the frame. Nice summer-y greenery.

I pulled over and took a few shots with my little snapshot camera. I was anxious to get them onto the computer and tinker with them, maybe make one the first post on a new photoblog.


And I did not wait long enough for the download, from camera to hard drive, to finish.

And then, before checking the target drive (did I mention that I am not a patient person?) I cleared the camera's memory.

So now this funny, nicely composed photo, which held a certain amount of meaning for me, exists as a thumbnail and a file name but not as an actual, accessible photo. This is perhaps the most frustrating thing ever. Why preserve the thumbnails, then, Kodak? Why not just skip the whole thing?

2. After settling the kid down, and watching way too many minutes of E! True Hollywood Story (Mickey Mouse Club! Ryan Gosling as a 12-year-old womanizer! Keri Russell looking exactly the same as she does now! It was kind of like a car wreck - you don't want to look, exactly, but you can't look away.)...I ran out to the library, thinking I'd have about 20 minutes to grab some magazines and books. That's plenty of time, right? I know where everything is. It's not like I'm picky. So 20 minutes should be a ton of time.

Except it's Laurel.

So everyone knows you.

And so they talk to you. Catch up on the baby's sleeping habits. Tell a story about their kid's (now 18 years old, but they remember it like it was yesterday) sleeping habits. And their own. And then the guy whose neighbors' dog keeps him up has a quandry (will calling animal control lead to dog poop on the porch? Magic 8-ball says YOU MAY RELY ON IT.)

And yes, of course I could have blurted out "Hi, great to see you, gotta run and get books." And I did not. Or, I did, but it was right after the library lady breathed all over the PA and said that it was 8:55 and the library would be closing in 5 minutes. I had made it to periodicals when they started turning out lights.

And I silently cursed small town life, and longed for the precious, precious anonymity of the city, where no one knows your name or give a shit about you and your little problems and you can die alone in your apartment and your cats will eat you and no one will know for weeks but at least you can get some freaking library books in peace.

Wendall Berry never mentions that part.

On the other hand, our Fox station just did a teaser for a news story where they'll be talking about, no lie, "the fight against violent crime." Well, I guess some things are worth fighting for....


chris said...


I don't know if that particular program works, but there are others (for both Mac and PC). I hope you can get it back!

P.S. Lived in Laurel, living in Catonsville...I never leave the house, so no one knows me.

betsy said...

"never.....leave...house...." i scrawl on a postit.