Ditched PPT, Tim Holtz funny, and New Reads: Detroit, Day 1

And yet again, this blog changes my life. Or at least a tiny part of it.

The tiny part of it that was stressing about this silly PowerPoint presentation (seriously, like a 5 minute fluff before 80 solid minutes of Photoshop goodness), when I log in and read this in the comments to last night’s post from Gina:


  I’ve been subjected to presentations lasting hours that sucked the life and brains right out of me when a lively discussion and a packet of notes would have served the purpose better. I hope, though, that your own Powerpoint presentation is riveting and essential. ;-)


My 4-slider, I see now, is neither of these. And I’ve been stressing, because as my friend Tufte points out, no other piece of software has a cognitive style of stupidity that has to be overcome before you can create anything good and useful. But maybe I’ll just do one slide. Out of feeling like I really OUGHT to have slides. Right? One ought to have a slide or two.

Out with it, then, I say! Thank you for helping me make this decision. No PowerPoint for me!

Being here in Detroit is a lot of fun so far! No interesting mishaps, aside from that the super-cute shoes I brought for confidence have eaten holes in the tops of my feet… Tomorrow is make-and-take day. 600 people creating albums of 6x6 pages. And I’m MOST excited about meeting a ton of scrapbookers. :)

Today’s Funny 

One scrapbooker I met tonight is Tim Holtz. Hilarious. And he won my funny of the day, and I told him so (and of course he has no idea what that means, or that I would post it on my blog for thousands of people to read, but here goes).

The backstory:

Several of us were gathered informally in one of those “back rooms” you always have at events. You know the one full of boxes and paper and soda cans? That one. And Tim mentioned that they had seen a few stores on the way into town. Emily Haskell mentioned to Tim and his team (he has an entourage, really) that she really needed some Sharpies for one of the classes, and would they mind picking some up if they got out to Target tonight. Then the discussion of exactly WHICH Sharpie ensued. A box of them? A 4-pack? Just black? Fine tip? Extra fine? What is the finest tip they have?

So I (who very incidentally actually HAVE TWO SHARPIES in my bag right then) pull out my Ultra Fine Sharpie, and take the lid off, and say, “I think it’s these, the Ultra Fine.”

And Tim takes it and says expertly, “Oh yes. The ones with the metal tips. Ok. No problem.”

Then he goes to hand it back to me, and pulls it back and takes a biiiig sniff of the pen.

Handing it back he says in perfect deadpan, “You gotta take a hit off the Sharpie before putting it away. My art teacher always said so.”

 I will be a fan of Tim Holtz for as long as I live now. Comic genius.

New Reads 

I discovered a used bookstore in the Raleigh airport, and picked up two books for the flight:

I started with the comedy, and didn’t know what I was in for. Wodehouse, who is British, but came to the US in the 1920s to write for stage and screen, is hilarious. WOW. He is an early version of Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett. This book has been delightful, and I spent most of the day buried in it, giggling and snickering to myself, and wanting desperately to turn to someone and say, “Listen to THIS one!” But I found only a stranger there, and the run-up to the punchline would’ve been too long anyway.

The story is simple enough, and it actually reads like a play in some ways. I can’t believe that Wodehouse wrote like 100 novels, and I’ve never read one of them. One of the things the introduction (which is usually designed to be very generous to the author, right?) said, really struck me.

In the last days Wodehouse observed mildly that his childhood seemed to be just like Kipling’s, except that he’d rather enjoyed his… just as George Orwell had made a hell of his schooldays by fanning the right memories, Wodehouse made a heaven of his…

Wodehouse’s artistic mechanism was set in motion by the need to exclude unpleasantness. 

 I was totally connected by this to my thoughts of a few days ago - the determined celebration. What scrapbooking gives to me.

Does this make this dishonest art? Who knows.  But it was kind of comforting to be the only one who consciously thinks like this. :) Writing wry and silly comedy earned Wodehouse a ton of money - so clearly he is not the only one who was up for a good laugh.

I’ll let you know how the Chaim Potok one goes as well. I’ve read Asher Lev, but not this one. We’ll see. :)

Also, I am sorry to say that PSF will be canceled this week, what with being here in Detroit and having limited access to my files (and kind of crazy nuts with making sure stuff works around here..). Tune in for that next Friday, ok? :)