All in Black

Oh, I’ve been having such fun lately. First this depression – then, when I find something to distract me from all of that (like making these little books to go with the flash drives), my Epson Stylus Photo R2880 takes a big crap on me. Actually, it’s more like it’s taken hundreds of craps on me – all day, everyday, for the last few days. I’ve just about had it. I’m on the verge of throwing the thing through the window. And maybe I would if it wasn’t such an incredible machine otherwise.

When the R2880 is working properly, it just doesn’t get any better. It prints the most incredible prints I’ve seen come out of a home printer. Plus. it’s wide format. I can print 13 inches wide by anything long since there is a paper roll attachment. I’ve never used that attachment though. I usually use 13 x 19 inch sheets. They come out beautifully. It has a magenta more vivid than any other out there. All the colors are light-fast to 70 years. The blacks are lightfast for more than 200. That’s more than any other dyes out there on the market. Epson calls these colors UltraChrome K3 inks for a couple reasons; the “ultrachrome” is mainly because of that vivid magenta, and “K3” just means it uses three shades of black (either photo or matte black, light black, and light light black). Surprisingly, that variety makes all the difference in both color and black and white prints.

But I bought this machine many years ago now. It never did work perfectly now that I remember, and it’s far from being under warranty now. I have wasted a lot of my nice paper here and there because of all its problems. Now it won’t pull paper through the feed at all, and when it does, it won’t print on it. Of course, it will leave a few ink smudges though – just so I can’t use that piece of paper again. Sorry, thanks for playing. It has now become a test piece of paper. The sheets of paper I use are fucking expensive too. It really sucks when you have to get out of your chair, manually feed the paper into the printer, only for it to just glide through the printer as blank and unusable. It will have smudges and ink droplets on it, and  marks from the rollers from it feeding through so quickly too. It’s like it’s spitting failure at me. It sucks.

So there’s that.

Then, the heads need to be cleaned and aligned like every day – even a couple times a day. That uses up a lot of ink! I never know when the heads will go out of alignment either.

Solutions:

I can either get it serviced, which will cost me upwards of $200, or sell it for around the same amount and use my little Cannon printer that I keep in a box in the studio. That one prints pretty nice and uses pretty nice light-fast dyes that last up to 30 years. The prints would be 4800 x 600 and that’s not too shabby.

Still, the Epson is a $1300 machine. If I had to replace it, that’s what I’d have to pay. And what if I want to make more books in the future? Undoubtedly, I will. So…mjp to the rescue! He’s going to help me get it fixed at an authorized Epson center. How nice is he?

If you think that’s nice, guess what else he’s doing? He is going to take a half day off work once a week just to drive me to my therapist’s office. Just until I get through my “rough patch” anyway. I’ve been having a hard time – even more so than I’ve been letting on, or than I complain about, or make jokes about. (I’m probably not even funny anymore.) Well anyway, I have not been able to drive on the freeway because of panic and anxiety, and mostly because I disassociate. I have mentioned this kind of syndrome/phenomenon before and even linked this explanation about it in Happy Nude Year, but this page about the whole spectrum seems just as good without the pop-up ads.

Some people find it hard to understand these “disorders,” and especially the DID spectrum because of the multiple personality thing. In fact, I remember in ye olden days people used to confuse schizophrenia with multiple personalities. When I was young, I read Sybil, and I’m pretty sure the doctors diagnosed her with schizophrenia at first.

The sort of disassociation disorder I have can be described like so: I’ll have have bouts of very complex disconnection from awareness to greater or lesser degrees. It depends on what’s been happening in my life: if I’ve been stressed out, triggered by something, depressed, under a lot of pressure. Something like that. I have learned to manage it through the years, in some ways. In other ways, I can’t control it. Like when I was younger, I didn’t know what what happening to me and it would just lead me into a deeper and deeper panic attack. I’d lose connection to myself, being aware of myself, of time, and of external circumstances. I even used to get lost. It’s happened to me when I was on the road with my band a couple times, and once when I was on my way to an important meeting with Sony. I was driving and everything was suddenly unfamiliar, and frankly, I wasn’t even sure I was me. I was scared.

Well I don’t think it is as bad as it used to be. Now I equate it to a “feeling,” like I would Déjà vu or something, when it’s even around, which normally is not often. And I also have a toolbox of coping skills when this thing shows it’s ugly head even a little bit. Lately though, I’ve been seeing a lot of it unfortunately, so driving for any length of time isn’t a great idea.

I’ll get better though. At least I know that now. I didn’t even know that last week.

Writing makes me feel better, just like painting usually does. So I edited my short story, Maybe Magic Things, just a bit, and posted it on Goodreads. That means I’m setting myself up for public scrutiny. But that’s okay,  I guess I’m ready for the feedback, however it comes.

Release the hounds!