Monday, April 20, 2015

To Make or Not to Make

I've noticed, lately, a series of "Why You Should Make Your Bed" articles and speeches, alleging that bed-making is a simple habit that will increase daily productivity. The claim is that it's the first task—and thus, the first accomplishment—of the day, that will set off a chain reaction of tasks through the rest of the day.

Who makes this stuff up?

Why does making my bed have to be my first accomplishment? What if I trade it for putting my coffee cup in the dishwasher? Or hey!  Putting on a bra! I can honestly state that I get less done on days I don't wear a bra. Those are most often snow days and sick days (and Sundays), but the donning of the bra is usually the first sign of getting back down to business.

I imagine a day shot because I didn't pull the covers up before I left the house. An email to my boss: "I'm sorry, but I didn't make my bed this morning. I'm discombobulated. I just need to ... go home and restore my chakras." If a couple of hospital corners put me back in the groove, I'm likely to delve into the possibility of deeper issues.

I'm not saying that I don't ever make my bed, or that I don't feel good when it's all tidied up; I'm simply going to get as much done in a day with or without bouncing a quarter off of it before I leave the house.

To boot, some days I feel like not making my bed is my first act of kindness of the day.

There's a chain reaction I can put some stock into. 

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Vintage Nightstands and Creative Property

After years of searching for a set of vintage nightstands, Clint and I hit the road last weekend to Louisville, KY, to buy a pair he found on Craigslist. Yes, we did drive 4 hours to Louisville, because there were 2, count 'em, 2, matching, vintage nightstands, in beautiful shape. We have been on the lookout for these for at least 5 years—vintage nightstands seem to come in 1s, and not 2s.

Once we'd procured our purchase, we wandered Louisville for a while, then drove back towards Nashville, Indiana for the night. On Sunday we leisurely meandered our way home, pulling over or turning around when something caught our eye.

Somewhere in Indiana, something did catch my eye: a spectacular old car—not sure what kind, but think Model T—in front of an antique shop. The owners had covered the car with all kinds of fun stuff. A sink faucet sat atop the radiator. Floorboards are covered with house keys, and the dashboard had old wrenches mounted all over it. There were flower pots and antlers and gears and fan blades—it was a sight to behold!

We browsed inside and out for awhile, and I stopped to take a photo of the car before we took our leave. While I did so, the owner quickly stepped outside and asked me "What are you going to do with your photos? Are they for your own personal use?"

On the spot, I could only think that I'd probably have sent the pic to my son, but that seemed like personal enough use, so I said, "Um, uh yes," whereupon she retreated back inside.

I am still a bit curious at what she thought I might have done with that phone-photo. Print it and make millions, without giving them royalties?

I work in publishing, where pirating and copyright infringement is rampant. I have signed cease-and-desist letters. I have a reasonable understanding of plagiarism, and have spent a fair amount of time trying to decipher the often-blurred lines of intellectual and creative property.

I understand that when we take a photo of an artist's work, we do kind of walk away with something that was theirs. I could  never afford this so I'm going to take a picture of it for free and keep that instead. That's offensive. You shouldn't do that.

Perhaps that's the category this old car fell into, but I still feel like I'm missing something—why on earth would the owners lure you into their shop with this spectacle, and then verbally police the photography? How exhausting for everybody. A better tactic might be a sign reading  "Take a picture with our Jalopy—$1" or even "By God, No Photos!"

In all honesty, I probably would have posted my photo on Facebook, along with the name and address of their business, and I would have encouraged about 700 of my friends to pull over and check it out for themselves. If it were my junky little antique store, I would surely capitalize on my spectacular creation and ask you to tell everybody to come out and see it.

But that's just me. The bottom line is that the owners have their reasons, and I am absolutely not entitled to take any photo I want to.

I respect that.


Here's a photo of my nightstand.*

*Image of this nightstand Copyright 2015, Lori Stewart Weidert. All right reserved. No form of reproduction of this image, including copyrighting or saving of digital image files, or the alteration or  manipulation of this image is authorized unless accompanied by  written permission granting specific usage rights for an agreed-upon fee of a hundred million dollars. This image may not be legally reproduced without prior written authorization from Lori, beyond the screen you are currently viewing. This photo is not freeware. For information regarding commercial or personal use, contact Lori at this blog.