Stress of the Day

Filthy Cake, artwork with overlay

Filthy Cake, artwork with overlay

(Written last night before bed.)

That should be plural. ‘Stresses.’ And I do not handle stress well.

Never have, really, but I used to thrive on it. It was a thrill, barely getting to work on time. The adrenaline rush could keep me going until second break, sometimes longer. My, how things change.

Add one heat stress episode (with a ride in an ambulance) &, roughly one month later, an early morning (still in bed) panic attack… that I mistook for a stroke. They, with other factors, some reaching back to childhood, reset my life in ways I never could have imagined.

Yesterday, I was on the final stretch toward submission of an artwork. Scanning & digital assembly (you can see by the accompanying pix that I handle my black linework & my colour discretely). I dropped my only mouse at roughly 1:45pm. The deadline was midnight, Pacific (or 4am local), but I self-imposed 6pm Eastern, b/c I was due in Barrie for Idea Party at 7, & leaving it till later wasn’t an option. One can never tell when one’s car will break down, y’know?

Dropped mouse decided there would be no cursor on the screen, but it would close windows with a click. I take it apart, & a bunch of shit falls out. Nice. I recognize the scroll wheel, & a plastic piece that I correctly assume is the framework  in which the wheel sits. And two pieces of wire, each unlike the other. I figure out where one goes; the other – not a clue. But I put the screws in.

Cursor! YAY! …no clicky, from either button. That ate 45 minutes or so. If only I had wussed out & gone to my brother’s place to temporarily steal his mouse instead of trying to be be Manly Mister Fixit Man. B/c I ended up at his place anyway, stealing his mouse. My hurriedly scribbled note:

– broke my mouse
– have a deadline
– borrowing yours

He was cool. He always is.

Filthy Cake, artwork sans overlay

Filthy Cake, artwork sans overlay

Okay, so you see that sheet of overlay? The one that could have been half an inch shorter on top & another half-inch shorter on the bottom? It should have been. It’s been so long since I did a full-page of art that my overlay was too big; the subsequent crosshairs were too far apart. See, scanning as two halves & assembling them is necessary. But my crosshairs were just far enough from centre that I missed a lousy TWO MILLIMETRES from the middle of the piece.

I cursed myself, then resigned to scan the middle section of each, to insert & make it whole. By 5:55, I was just making my final edge trims–with bleed for print, properly trimmed for Internet display–when I noticed I hadn’t put my signature on the piece. *sigh* I hit the drafting table to sign the orignal (thankfully, I’d left some white space), hit the bathroom hairdryer to ensure the ink wouldn’t leave a residue on the scanner glass, scanned that small section, inserted it perfectly into the digital version, then redid the trims & web-rez processes.

As I sent it in at 6:45, I noticed an earlier email from the printer rep, asking if I could proof the brochure (PDF – I’m very proud of it, to be honest) before end-of-day. Oops. I couldn’t have gone if I’d seen it earlier, but I hate leaving people uninformed, b/c I hate being left same.

The drive to Barrie was interesting. The once-familiar adrenaline was evil. My mind became flushed with bad memory (PDF) after bad memory. I wasn’t freed from this until I had the insight to put on familiar music that I associated with good times. It worked.

Reviews of the submitted art were positive. I ended up crashing very late, as I’d forgotten an extra piece of art (got it in under the wire).

Today was no less hectic. I had hoped to visit my grandson on the same day I proofed the brochure, but no such luck. Today was also my scheduled psychiatric appointment.

Pic of a 1yo, looking up over my archival pigment pens

Pic of a 1yo, looking up over my archival pigment pens

Geography (jpg): Elmvale lies almost half-way between Barrie (1/2hr south) & Midland (1/2hr north); Elmvale is home, the printer proof is in Barrie, & my counsellor is in Midland. And construction on the major roads between my destinations – Hwy 400 (from Forbes Rd to Horseshoe Valley) & the Old Penetanguishene Road (from Orr Lake to Waverley). It’s not an insignificant chuck of asphalt for the relative speed.

Adrenaline. Strangely not nostalgic. Definitely unwelcome.

The proof looks awesome – it folds just as I planned. Before leaving Barrie, I dropped a piece of artwork off for framing. Despite construction delays, I had time to pop into Mom’s to initiate a laundry wash cycle (Moms are awesome, too). And I made my appointment on time. But it was stressful. Just thinking about it now is causing a knot in my stomach, so I’ll sign off here.

P.S. My brother was generous enough to give me both of his unused mouses. On the laptop, it’s going to take some time to break the blue stick habit.

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