Thursday, January 12, 2006

Everyone is talking about this recipe for mac & cheese that was the #1 emailed article from the Times online for like a week. Everyone I talk to has read it, and salivated over it, and some people have actually made it. Anyone want to have a mac & cheese party? I am dying to make this. It's basically just pasta, butter, milk and about a million pounds of cheese, baked. The problem is that I honestly don't know if my oven works. Yes, I've lived in my apartment for a year and a half, and made so little use of the oven that it's not just that my oven doesn't work and I haven't gotten it fixed, but that I don't even know if it works. This is probably something I should figure out. I would actually like to know if baking is even a possibility in my kitchen, should I ever decide to shock everyone I know by giving it a try. I even have cookie sheets, which were a housewarming gift after I whined loudly enough about wanting to have some "just in case." Sometime last year I optimistically bought some Pillsbury sugar cookies, but the stick of dough is still in my fridge. Do those things expire?

It is something like 57 degrees out, and I didn't even wear my coat today. I just got back from picking up some prints at this amazing photo lab across the street from my office. You have to walk up this weirdly industrial flight of stairs to get to it, and then the whole floor smells like photo chemicals. Mmmmm. It is such a trigger for my brain. Yesterday when I went to drop off contact sheets and put in our order I got back to work in a really bad mood. At first I couldn't figure it out, but then realized that for awhile now I've gotten this displaced feeling when I'm in a photo gallery or a lab. Less so with the galleries, since I love looking at that kind of art on a lot of different levels, and my experience of it isn't always related to my own work (or lack thereof). But being in a lab is a lot more emotional. And being in a lab like this one, where people are crouched over lightboxes and waiting for their stuff to process, and thumbing through binders of negatives and marking up contact sheets makes me feel disconnected. And duh, I am. It's easy not to think about the fact that I don't do photography anymore when I'm not in the middle of it, but when I'm there, and I can't answer the guy's question about whether we were getting our prints done by machine or by hand I get defensive and really, I feel homesick. Homesick for the darkroom, whichever one, any one. For that kind of process. But I don't feel this way all the time.

So now I have these gorgeous 5x7 work prints that cost a lot of (not my) money because a machine didn't just spit them out, and the edges of the paper are a little rough from where it was cut, and the idea that someone else made them is digging at me. I mean, these are just basic head shots of my organization's executive director for using in this year's annual report, but it's this weird look at what I could be doing, or what I almost decided to do, and then didn't, not quite on purpose. I'm not sorry (and yes, I know it's never too late). But it still kinda sucks.

And then there's this news:

Nikon said it would halt production of all but two of its seven film cameras and would also stop making most lenses for those cameras. The company will halt production of the film camera models "one by one," though it refused to specify when.


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