You know how when you've got the perfect stretch of time in front of you to accomplish all the things you always put off, if you're not in the right state of mind then getting even a fraction of that shit done can feel like... like... like trying to build an anthill when you're the only ant on the job and all the other ants are at a picnic somewhere having fun while you're building the anthill.
...I don't know.
The last four days have been weird. I've been in the studio alone because my boss is on vacation with his fam, and while I've got a few actual job-related tasks to do here and there, my main mission has been to bring us a smidge closer to some sense of order in this huge, disorganized, chock-full-of-crap place. I've pulled stacks of lab invoices from 2003 from behind light tables, recycled magazines lauding products laughably obsolete. I keep getting distracted when I pull out some old job of a person I didn't know he'd photographed, which reminds me of trying to clean my room and getting distracted reading old journals. Most strikingly, though... I haven't really talked to anybody. A few short phone conversations, a couple check-ins with Mark, but... otherwise, my iPod is keeping me company and sometimes I sing along. By the end of the evening when I finally DO have to talk to people, I'm about as articulate as a broom.
And I'm compulsively checking my email and the news and Google Reader. It's depressing. My dad always says 6% of people are addicted to the internet. I'd say the number's way higher, and I'm definitely among them. I need to detox.
Yesterday I got an email about a photo gig (my own job, not a job for Mark), and I forwarded it to Matt, along with a little personal note about the depressing weather and needing him to cheer me up. Nothing terribly interesting. Except... that... I hit Reply. I used the term "babe" in an email to a very nice Episcopalian woman asking me to photograph her service's one-year anniversary. It was mortifying. But in retrospect, it could have been WAY worse. Everything I said was pretty innocuous. I called her right away in desperation, and fortunately she laughed at my mistake and was very cool about it. Anyway, this is what being alone all day does to me! Makes me a person who makes that kind of mistake! Usually I am not that person!
On a lighter note... I have to share a moment I had recently, when Meredith was visiting a couple weeks ago and we went out to JP to see Georgia and Melissa and hear about Georgia's trip to Eastern Europe. We were standing around in the kitchen, about to order Indian food for dinner, and Meredith and Georgia were catching up on their jobs, and someone pointed out that the four of us, just a few years out of college and still solidly in our mid-twenties, are all doing what we want to be doing, and doing it pretty well. Georgia and Melissa both have amazing, challenging, powerful jobs in progressive politics that all their years of incredibly hard work and smarts have gotten them; Meredith is finishing up her second year as a teacher of reading and writing to third and fourth graders in New Orleans, a place where it really matters, and finding immense reward in it; and I, well, I get to play with cameras pretty much all day. I was pretty damn proud of us all. And that was just those of us who happened to be in the room right then; I've got an impressive list of friends who are kicking ass in the world and basically living out their professional dreams (like Sanden, for example, whose MPR podcasts you should check out).
Okay. One more hour, and then I'm off to a shoot that came from that email yesterday. It's a really good thing I didn't say anything out of line in that email... it's better not to offend people when you're trying to get work.