Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Day in the Life

Participated in an interesting project set up by my friend Jennie recently. She asked several artists and designers to document the same day, March 6, and then she plans to put them all into a book. I have to say this up front. I was very excited about the project, but that day, that particular day, was about as far from an artist/designer's day as one could possibly get. By the end of the day, I was so discouraged by the mundane-ness (mundanishness? mundundity?) that I almost gave up on the project. Still, I spent some time thinking it over, and realized that any given day is what you make of it. Not all of us get to order our days, and yet, we still have to find some meaning in them.

So here it is, my essay on March 6, 2009 called "So I Took a Picture of It."

At 5:45, Dave the neighbor begins to warm up his truck. It’s 42 freakin’ degrees, so why he’s warming it up I have no idea but the jet engine rumble is more effective than an alarm. I take a picture of it. At 6:30, NPR kicks in. Before bank disasters and layoffs can lull me back to sleep, I get up.

I can’t find my new glasses right away - a week without and it’s like starting over. I take a picture of them. The street lights are still on and shining a pool of orange light through the early fog. The marsh across the street is dark and silent. I take a picture of it.

Breakfast is tea, strawberries and cereal. It used to be Diet Coke and a wince. Getting older. I take a picture of it. Gray heads off to school. I take a blurry picture of him at the door. Most of my pictures of Gray are blurry, he’s growing that fast.

Shower. I don’t take a picture of that. Throw clothes on and head out the door. Frost still on the windows. You can feel that spring is in the air, if you stand still and breath deep. But the quick glance reveals only frost. I take a picture of it.

7:30, I take Hunter to school. Look at car ass all the way. Take a picture of it. See a dashboard hula dancer. Find myself wishing cars were more interesting to look at. Once I found myself following a van with one of those video screens mounted between the back seats. Pathetically grateful for the 30 seconds of video distraction. No such luck today, just a hula skirt’s gentle sway for the duration of a stoplight. I take a picture of it.

Stoplight. Stoplight. Stoplight. MATC. Stoplight. Stoplight. Stoplight. Stoplight. Work. 57 degrees. Stoplight. Stoplight. Took a picture of them all.

Lunch is two corndogs, an apple and a plastic bag of tasteless carrots. Michael Pollan wrote something like...“Never eat where you get your gas.” Does Michael Pollan have one car, one son in school 30 miles away with no bus, doctors appointments across town and a schedule tighter than a new pair of control-top pantyhose? I doubt it. I took a picture of it.

Stoplight. Stoplight. Stoplight. Stoplight. Stoplight. Stoplight. MATC. Stoplight. Stoplight. Stoplight. Stoplight. Stoplight. Not sure where this doctor is but the nurse said we’d know it when we saw it. Saw it. Took a picture of it.

How do you kill 15 minutes in Middleton? Cost Market Plus and Sea Salt and Vinegar Chips.

Stoplight. Roundabout. Stoplight. Beltline. Stoplight. Stoplight. Stoplight. Stoplight. Car broken down and blocking - you guessed it - the stoplight. Picture. Picture. Picture. Oh Hell.
I snapped them all.

Stoplights turn into stop signs. PDQs and strip malls turn into horse farms and Lake Kegonsa. Almost home.Stoplight. Stoplight. Stoplight. Dear God. How much time do I spend at stoplights?

Pizza for dinner. I took a picture of it. It’s Friday and we’re all wiped. Lay around the TV room like we’ve been drugged. Cheesy doughy drugs. Stopped taking pictures. Tomorrow’s Saturday. Thank God!