Saturday, August 20, 2005

A Xerox, a Xerox, my country for a Xerox

Like I've said in the past, I've been selling my little quote bottles like the proverbial hotcakes at the Farmer's Market. So much so that I've run out of quotes from the entire ream that I had when I moved here. The problem with that is that I did not keep a master copy so by the time I had realized that I was going to run out, I did not have enough just to take them to the office supply store and run off a couple of copies. The problem with THAT is that the document uses a gazillion different fonts, so I can only print it out from my computer. The problem with THAT is that my computer refuses to talk to printers. It's like after the first printer that it was married to left him, he'll renounced love ever since. Sometimes I can get it to print a test page after I've installed new software, but it's all in gibberish. It's a little like getting endangered animals to mate in captivity. I just haven't found the right printer yet. So, since I can't print the document off my own computer and it's is literally impossible to transfer to someone else's PC all of my font files that I've downloaded from various tawdry websites, I've decided to start from scratch on Jeff's roommate's Mac G4. I made all the quotes size 8 Ariel and emailed it to myself so I could put the file on her hard drive. (Actually, I copied it onto a floppy since no one I know has dial-up anymore for me to use, then transferred it to Jeff's computer and from there I emailed it to myself.) I've since been spending the last few weeks downloading new fonts from one, reputable website and formatting all the quotes. When I'm done, I'll burn a disk with both the quotes and the fonts so I can do this from anyone's computer. Well, anyone with a mac, which will probably have to be my brother David. Whoo, boy. While I've been reformatting, I've been trying to print out at least some pages so I can keep making new bottles for the market. However, for various reasons (I've given you too many useless details as it is, at least useless except for the humor value of the build-up) I had none for the market this morning. Now, I don't absolutely need to be making them while I sit there for the market, but it is one more aspect of the bait I use to get people to talk to me about the Exchange. Crafty people ask me what I'm doing, I tell them in ways that subtly mention the Exchange, then they usually ask what the Exchange is. It's a well-crafted plan.

So, I'm running around Eastsound after I've dropped my stuff off at the Village Green and parked my car. I'm running around because I think it's silly to drive around a town so small plus I needed to park my car early to get a space close enough to the fair that I can pack up early with no problem. (If you pack up early, you can't drive onto the Green and I'm working an odd evening shift at Shearwater today.) So, I'm walking from place to place, looking for a photocopier because I have about 10 sheets of quotes that I created when I was first putting this project together 5 years ago. These quotes aren't in the big database and exist only on these sheets of paper, so I can't just use them. I must makes copies. However, EVERY SINGLE place that has a photocopier is either closed on Saturday or doesn't open until 10:00, which is when the market starts. (I love this island, but occasionally I wish I had some of the conveniences of the suburbs. Don't worry, it's only occasionally and I really don't want anything else about the suburbs so there's no fear that I will move back to them for a Kinko's.)

Here comes the reason why I'm telling you all of this seemingly trivial stuff. I pass the Post Office on my way back from the Radio Shack, after having already struck out at the Mail Depot, Ace Hardware, Rainbow Station and Office Cupboard. I go in to pick up my mail since I'm there and I hear voices in the back through my box. (The Post Office is also closed on Saturday. The library is open, but not until 10:00.) I used to pick up the mail for the bookstore at the back door, so I'm friendly with the post office staff, plus I hear Jeffrey, who I've had all sorts of fun conversations with at the Exchange. So I think to myself, "Self, why don't you just ask? All they can do is say no," So, I went to the side door and ring the bell and who opens up the top half of the door but Jeffrey! After some pleasantries, I assure him that he should feel welcome to say no, but would he mind running off a copy of these 10 pages. He says, well he really shouldn't but why not. He disappears into the back, I listen in on the other emplyees bitching about the boss, who obviously isn't there and then but a few completed scrolls in Jeffrey's hand when he comes back with my copies.

Really, is there any chance that I would have been able to get a US Post Office employee to do something like that for me anywhere in the life I left behind? Would I even know the employees? Of course, I wouldn't need to, but self-sufficiency is no comparison to the joys of community. That victory was so much sweeter because I had to ask a favor and weave one more strand into another relationship, which results in a stronger bond with another human being. Cool.

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