Posts in Intern
My brother played with Legos. The scowl on his face said, Do Not Disturb (I only tried once). His creations were not cute and were not meant for display. There was no absent-minded pawing through the bin – locating the correct piece was serious business and filled with stern determination.
I tried to play like that but I just couldn’t.
I’d happily organize my little water color trays, wiping excess paint off the tray — rinsing cups, organizing markers in a rainbow spectrum. Finished paintings would be rushed to my parents – and nothing was finished without seeking reaction.
I still seek the reaction but I’m not sure where that tidy part of me went:
I blame the interns. Their willingness to follow orders handicapped me. And without an intern (Summer is over – do you hear me?? OVER.) I’m left to make my own lattes and paw through piles of type.
The New Zealand distributor placed another huge order and I found Jen rocking in the corner, muttering something about paperwork and international shipping. With the intern gone, we are forced to actually PAY OUR EMPLOYEES. What next? Bring your daughter to work day?? Oh, we both do that. Every day.
WHAT?! How did that kitten get in there? They’re everywhere.
The intern packed up her carpetbag and rode away. I felt like we should hug but we didn’t – hugs are best left out of print shops. She made this before she left:
Go, my young grasshopper, go and use the life-skills I so generously shared with you.
That’s a true story.
Nobody needs to see a photo of us taken in February.
The heat broke like a fever and I’m left shivering in my hot pants and (court ordered) tube-top. I think it’s time to head out to the shop to see what that intern has been up to while I’ve been at the lake.
Summers on Cape Cod before the invention of electronic mail (or personal computers) meant low-tide foraging, wiffle ball and handwritten letters. Letters were elaborate and could include drawings, mix-tapes, whipper-snappers, and live specimens.
I learned that the more letters written, the more received, so rainy days were spent diligently embellishing the news: Picnics with the Kennedy’s, shark hunts, ghost encounters – all sort of true.
There was (and is) no mailbox at 29 Freezer Road and so the day includes a walk to town for the newspaper and a visit to the post office. The post officers knew us by (last) name and quickly slid the day’s mail across the counter.
The Intern has been pulling orders with a smile on her face. How does she do it it?
My job is to bring them to the post office. I am tempted to fill the boxes with live specimens and whipper-snappers but I will restrain myself.
We have a New Andrea.
The Original Andrea got a life and only wants to email me about hypothetical cold-press coffee dates and cramps. They grow up so fast.
Jen’s on vacation and that means two things:
1) I am crying less.
2) I (the intern) have (has) more work to do.
The reps are faxing in their Christmas orders because they want to remind me that this Summertime happiness I feel is fleeting.
It’s good to keep me grounded.
Oh, and here’s why my work environment is not safe:
On the back of the Atari 2600 there was a difficulty switch. “A” was normal but “B” made dragons move impossibly fast
and shrunk trampolines.
Flipping the switch meant a game had been mastered. Mastered.
Those were simpler times.
I opened the door to the shop last night and was greeted by an avalanche of bicycles. Two of them had no kickstands and were tangled with the lawn mower. I would have moved the mower and bikes easily but I was blocked by a giant roll of bubble-wrap.
I wonder if the interns that emailed looking for work have any idea my days contain such physical obstacles.
I almost forgot why I even went into the shop… It wasn’t to get bruises and swear – was it? No! I needed to lay out some new Mother’s Day cards!
I had to set my type by candlelight because the lightbulb burned out over the big cabinet and I couldn’t replace it without using the ladder that was wedged between the weed-wacker and the card-carousel.
I didn’t even ask Jen how she got all these boxes for New Zealand
to the post office. Maybe Henry the Dog helped her. Or Loretta, she’s pretty strong. I couldn’t help anyway because I was busy taking a sponge bath. Andrea says sponge baths are for 80-year-olds but I’d like to see an 80-year-old get into my kitchen sink.
No, I wouldn’t.
The hot-water-heater decided it was time to rust through and I don’t blame it a bit. It really is the most boring household appliance. If it were a person, I’d hate it.
So, I boiled some water on the stove for my bath and as I squatted in it, I thought to myself, “I wish I had curtains on my windows.” and “Is this funny or sad?” I decided it was funny but only because the new hot-water-heater is coming on Monday.
Proposals were requested by a public entity (m-m-mysterious!) and WHO ARE WE not to respond?? We felt it our duty (doodie) – as citizens – of this great state, to answer the call.
What follows is a step-by-step account of the creation of the proposal. Zeichen Press style.
1) Do I look bitter? I’m getting into character.
2) Brrr! This type is as cold as my heart. Here is the part where lead type is put into something called a stick. Sometimes reading backwards makes me so angry.
3) Now that cold, lead type is locked up into a (cold, metal) frame using fancy (cold, metal) things called quoins. This whole thing is very heavy and sits flat on a proof press. Ready to do my bidding.
4) I load up my brayer with black ink so I can roll it across the type.
5) When I’m sure that my type is evenly inky, I roll this over it. *Notice the vice-grips. I don’t remember why I put them on there and am now afraid to take them off.
6) Isn’t this magical? Ink + paper = awesome.
7) (I would show Jen printing the pages for the guts of the proposal but I felt too fragile to withstand another one of her icy stares.)
8) Printing done.
9) This is where Andrea is shackled to the table and sews the pages into little books while I throw olives at her head.
10) And this is where the little books are finished.
I suppose other people will email their proposals. That’s cool, too.
The Big No-Coast show is only 5 days away.To prepare ourselves, Jen and I are watching hour after hour of training videos. We have found that the only way we can really get into the spirit of a craft show is with a Dolly Parton soundtrack. But I’m sure that’s true for everyone.