Tag Archives: safe

reviewing the scancafe scans. still. review. ing.

GrandmaHotDog

Okay, so I’m wading through all the scans. I’ve been through about 4500 and have about 1200 left. It least, I think I’ve done about 4500 as the images are no longer in order. They were pretty good up through the slides, but the negatives went all willy nilly. They seem to have been scanned in order, and are numbered as such, but the folders aren’t in any order at all, so I’ll look at images from Mexico, then see images of New York, and then it’s back to Mexico, which is annoying as I can’t keep fresh which images I had chosen if exposures are similar. I certainly don’t need them all. It also means I can’t keep track of the percentage I’ve deleted or even how far along I am.

So I suppose it makes sense to keep them in this order rather that reorganize & rename the folders them on their system, and do it again on my own, as I don’t trust them to get it right when burned to DVDs. Worse than the order, though, is the quality of some of the scans. I just passed one with a thumbprint on it. Huh? They claim to spend 3-4 minutes cleaning and optimizing the images. Some, maybe, others, no way. There are some scans I know can be better because I’ve scanned them myself (but didn’t go through all the negs before I sent them to take them out). They claim that they do scratch removal (they didn’t), but to not clean off a thumbprint? Hmmm.

Some of the color corrections are shockingly over-saturated and look odd. The slides looked pretty good, but now I’m at the negs, and it seems like the technician got tired of the job or something, and started zipping through them with no attention at all. I’m hoping the files will be large enough that I can correct, or re-correct, them in photoshop. There is a testimonial on their site that claims the photog’s photos came back 100% useable, whereas a competitor’s came back with 50% needing correction in Photoshop. I’d say a large number of mine, if I want to use them, will require adjusting in Photoshop. Some of the photos I scanned on an office copy machine came back with better color than the previews on scancafe. I don’t know if it’s because of overcorrection or not, but, whoa, that’s odd.

That said, I wonder if the job were smaller, a better level of quality would be maintained. I am glad I sent them off because it’s great to have the digital access. I’m not sure where I’d get better quality short of paying a few dollars a scan. I also wonder if their people are properly trained in negative scans, which are more difficult than slides. At any rate, if anyone has experience in this,let me know.

This project has me totally consumed, as I have to choose and organize them in the next few days, in addition to finishing the Sri Lanka photos and preparing for Australia! (I’m behind on email replies, I’m sorry!)

[Photo: Grandma K at the grocery store. 1995.]

a mistake

I made a mistake. It’s made me a bit sad, though that sadness might have come anyway or been there already. It’s not often that I regret something, but I made a decision yesterday that I wish I’d made differently. I’m not sure I was wrong—maybe it was necessary to realize some things and feel some of emotions I generally pack away and ignore in attempts to protect myself.

My mother came to Vancouver on Monday, a place she always wanted to visit. She put me up as nicely as Alys did, in a room with airplane-like views over the city. We went to Victoria for a jaunt, and returned to an even more lush room. It was lovely. Lovely to see her and spend time together in such a wonderful city. I knew my first day there that I wanted to extend my stay a few days, though it wouldn’t give me much time to settle in before work and the semester began.

I couldn’t change my flight back, though I tried several avenues, so we scrambled to get everything I really wanted to see in. Mom was staying until Sunday regardless, and I was out yesterday (Friday), very early in the a.m. I packed Thursday night, a ritual that for me has some finality in it, and we got up at 5:45. And I was off.

At the airport, I tried one last time, and this time, for a $100 fee, they would put me on the same flight Sunday morning. “Okay!” I said, but as she clicked away at her computer I doubted myself. This is what I wanted. But I’d have to go schlep back to town. Another taxi? Or was the shuttle running now? Annoying. I’d have to unpack and repack in two days. I have to catch up on my sleep during the day, and do this all over again Sunday morning—even earlier, as Ma’s flight required we leave at 4:30am. And what about my apartment? Would have time to clean and get it all back together and rest and see people before work and classes on Tuesday? I was at the airport now. It was easy. And going back to the hotel seemed somehow like going back. Running back to Ma. Something I’ve never been able to do, and never felt comfortable with. So I asked if I could still take this flight. The very sweet agent (will I ever meet one again? Perhaps only in Canada) told me it was all up to me. So I left. I forgot how much I wanted to take in Vancouver, relax with my mother, and enjoy that gorgeous view, and did what seemed easiest and most sensible at that second.

I cried. I cried in the airport. And more on the plane. I filled an airsickness bag with used tissues and embarrassed the man two seats over with my silent sobs that lasted over half the flight to Chicago. I cried about the fear in my decision. I cried about my desire to be close to Momka, but afraid of her sometimes-suffocating love that I’ve built stone walls of defensiveness and criticism to protect myself from. I cried because my walls are designed to protect me from love, from suffocating love, and I’m not sure how to open them only enough to let a safe amount in—and out. “I NEED MY SPACE!” Oh, that old refrain! I cried because I am learning how to do this, how to see my mother for who she is and how to accept her love as she’s able to give it. I cried because this isn’t yet strong enough in me to know I could safely spend those two extra days with her that I so wanted to spend, gently being with this new awareness. I cried because I don’t know the next time I’ll have the chance. I cried because the “adult” part of me shuts out love and made the decision out of fear, not out of a true responsibility to myself and to love. I cried because the “adult” part of me that is tough and independent is partly a reaction to this relationship and is truly rigid, self-protective and afraid. I cried for the part of me that longs to be taken cared of. I cried because I was going home to New York and I wasn’t sure I wanted to be there. I cried because it was Jimmy’s birthday. I cried for my family.

I cried for every countless time I got on an airplane and left, and wouldn’t let myself feel the pain.

mombutchard

I wish I hadn’t gone, and it’s not often I do that. Linger. She’s in her hotel room now, going to bed early for her early morning flight. I hope she got out and enjoyed the city on her own. I hope I can be good to her and appreciate how sweet and intelligent and interested in life she is. I hope I’m faced with such a split-second decision again, and that I make my decision—to stay or to leave—in confidence and in love.

mombutchard