This week has... what’s the word I’m looking for, here? Oh yeah – SUCKED. To quote my friend Andrea, I’ve been wanting to kill someone *with my teeth.* That really sums it up very nicely. Why? No particular reason. I always have trouble suffering fools gladly, and this week I’ve been struggling with understanding the necessity to suffer fools at all. And there are so MANY of them.
I’m sick of people who shove their work off on others. I’m sick of people who misrepresent and lie in order to shove their work off on others. I’m sick of people who always have "it’s not my job" cued up on their lips. I’m sick of self-serving, selfish, arrogant hunks of protein that I have to see for more hours every week than I see my husband.
Let’s just say that the energy at work has been negative and we’ll try to put this whole sorry episode behind us.
The current head-scratcher has been a nib size/font size puzzle that I’ve set myself. There’s a calligraphy project that I’ve been itching to work on for months now. It keeps getting side tracked because of insignificant things like stripping wallpaper, hanging closet organizers, doing the taxes, etc. But I really want to get to it. It’s something new for me. Probably the first piece I’ve ever worked on that could be characterized as "contemporary," mainly in that it’s not based on a medieval manuscript. It’s a little complicated. I’m going to need five sizes of pen nib and six shades of ink – the letter forms themselves are going to be the art. If it comes out right, it’s going to be sharp. But here’s the dilemma I’ve created:
I tend to do a lot of my layout in Word. My calligraphy is regular enough that if I can letter out three or four lines and have the whole thing typed in Times New Roman, I can electronically shove the margins around to see how all the lines are going to break. This is particularly helpful for two-column layouts where I want them to come out evenly. In this case, I’m planning different nib sizes, and I’m arranging my lines all over the paper. It’s MUCH easier to do that in Word so that I can squint at placement and tone value, instead of lettering and re-lettering until I’ve got it right. I shoved things around and played with it until I’ve got a layout that I like. So far, so good. I even broke down and ordered full runs of all of the nib sizes that Brause and Mitchell make (something I should have done years ago.) Next, I need to work out the proportions of those five nib sizes. I know what font sizes I’ve used in my electronic layout. Foolish creature, I figured I’d look up how big they are, and go from there. How many ways are there to say "it’s not that easy?" Lots. Letters are measured completely differently for fonts than for calligraphy. Typeset fonts are measured on a different scale than electronic fonts. And Word is apparently notorious for not being very consistent. Fun, eh? I thought I was making less work. On the up side, I learned cool things like the fact that letters are called "upper case" and "lower case" based on how the type was stored – the capital letter in the higher tray – the upper case; and the, well, lower case letters in the lower tray. Cool, huh?
But it’s going to force me to do what I ought to do whenever I buy a new nib. I’ll go through all of them, take a ladder measurement for both four and five nib widths, figure out the appropriate settings on the Ames Lettering Guide, and record that all where I hopefully won’t lose it. Usually I just work this stuff out as I go. I don’t know if I’m going to be able to start working on it this weekend, but I want to. Maybe Sunday.
Tomorrow is Sewing With Sue, as I’ve taken to thinking of it, and then we’re going to go see "Blades of Glory." I’m not a Will Ferrell fan, but I could use a really silly movie right about now. Sunday we’re going to go buy our new Dark Sky approved light for our back door. Then we’ll hold it up by the front door and figure out if we need a second one just like it, or one size larger. I’ve got two coupons from CT Lighting Center that I’m not going to let go to waste. I feel fairly strongly about the dark sky campaign, and if replacing two outdoor fixtures that I didn’t like anyway and putting shields on the spot lights will help – I can do that. They’ve got a very informative website with good ideas of how we all can help: www.darksky.org. Push it on anyone you think might be receptive.
All the plumbing appliance stores are closed on Sundays, so we won’t be able to go shop for a new medicine cabinet. Poo. I guess the mauve bathroom is safe from my cans of blue paint a little longer. But its days are numbered.