In Which A Computer Has Ideas Above Its Station

I am so peeved, O blog reader.  You do not even know.

Okay, so I made these little mini coloring books, right?

A hand holding two small handmade booklets titled "FLOWERS" and "BUGS".
Volume 1: FLOWERS. Volume 2: BUGS.

I could do these all day.  They’re what the kids call “zines” — a regular sheet of paper folded cunningly into a little 8-page booklet.  They’re super cute and fun to make and I thought how fun they’d be for you, the bloghopping public, to print out and stick in your purse to give to the kids at the doctor’s office or whatever.

Open booklet showing simple line drawings of two flowers.
Isn’t this cute? Don’t you want half a dozen for your kids?

So I got them all carefully inked in, scanned, cleaned up, and printed out to test how they’d work as printables.

You’d think scanning in a piece of paper at its original size and resolution and then printing out same, yielding two identical pieces of paper, would be a simple operation.  But you would be WRONG.  Because the computer has an opinion on this, see, and its opinion is that it knows better than you.  Did you already carefully lay out that page, including the margins, with nearly mathematical precision?  “LOL w/e,” says the computer, and messes around with it until it fits the COMPUTER’S idea of correct margins.

Open booklet showing simple line drawings of a beetle and a ladybug.
I really hate bugs, you guys. But I drew six of them. FOR YOU.  And what do I get?

Which would be merely irritating if you were just printing out a flyer for your lost dog or whatever, but in this case I am trying to print out a page to be precisely folded in eighths.  Not to have all the edges cut off at some arbitrary distance and then folded in eighths, COMPUTER.

Tell it to just print without margins, you say?  Oh ho ho ho, my sweet summer child, that would be way too easy.  If I do that the computer says to itself, “O! so I take this scanned image that I arbitrarily shrank, right, and stretch it out again by, eh, it doesn’t really matter how much, I’ll just eyeball it even though I don’t have any eyeballs. Close enough!”  And lo, I get a printout that’s cut off in random places.

A photocopier can handle this just fine.  I don’t understand why three hunks of arguably higher technology between them can’t get it right.

So, long story short, I don’t have any cute free printables for you today.   But at least I have photos of  my cute drawings.

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In Which I Confess All

I’ve actually been doing an index card a day since the end of April.  I know, I’m a rebel.

See, I’m not good with challenges because I am the kind of obsessive person who will freak out and give up if I miss one solitary single day.  So I wanted to do ICAD this year, but if I was going to be sure to finish I would have to form the habit first.

Also, yes, I admit it, I just wanted an excuse to buy a stack of index cards.

Anyway, here is my first OFFICIAL index-card-a-day:

An unlined index card with large faceted block letters in primary colors, reading "JUNE".
Index card, Pitt pen and colored pencils.

A somewhat crappy photo, but that’s how we roll around here.  Starting early, taking lousy pictures, smoking in the girls’ bathroom…

In Which I Make Myself Clear

A page filled with multicolored block letters reading, "My first priority is me and my mother. 2nd is family: both the born and the found.  Friends are next, then anyone else who needs me."
Journal page, Pitt pen and watercolor.

I live with my mom (anyone who thinks that reflects badly on her or on me is cordially invited to bite me) and lately she’s been feeling really bad both physically and emotionally — lots of obligations that are hard to meet, lots of interpersonal stuff that’s hard to handle.   And when she feels bad, I feel bad, because I love her.

So yesterday while she was out and I was noodling around doing laundry, I decided to make this page as a reminder to myself as well as my mom.  I care about my friends, but my family comes first (including my sisters-by-choice), and before everything else I have to take care of MYSELF.  You know the story about putting on your own oxygen mask first, right?  And part of my well-being is making sure of Mom’s well-being, just like part of hers is making sure of mine.

It didn’t occur to me until this morning that it makes a fitting Mother’s Day page, but I think it does.

That said, I know there are people out there who find today really hard because of bad relationships with their own mothers.  For those folks, I hope you do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself today — maybe make your own journal page about your priorities, with yourself at the top! — and I offer this video and an e-hug.

[you can read the lyrics here]