I have not printed up any of my digital photographs on paper before. Not a single one. It never occurred to me, because I was sharing my photography through my Flickr account and on this website. I'm not the sort of person who invites people over only to bring out photo albums so I can show you my great aunt Lucy, of whom you have never previously heard, or that nice flower that popped up two summers ago in my mother-in-law's garden. Wait, no, I could be that sort of person if I ever invited people over, but I don't invite people over, because I am really weird about having other human beings in my apartment. So really, I'm not the sort of person who has people over to my apartment, and my not being a person who inflicts my photo albums on you in just a side effect of a greater neurosis.

See? You just never stop learning about yourself. We're each of us many-layered like russian matriuschka dolls, except for the creepy being able to shed our exteriors like unnecessary shells part.

I just noticed that my first sentence is a lie, but that was unintentional. I was merely attempting to set up a narrative that began before certain events of today. Since this is not fiction, though, and certain events of today have already occurred, I must tell you that I have printed up some of my photographs on paper now. I used QOOP through my Flickr account to print up a book of sixty pictures from 2003 to the present, because people are always asking me what I do, and I say that some of what I do is take pictures, and they ask if they can see them, and I have to say no usually, because we'd need a computer to do that. Now I can show them to people, and shit, dammit, I just realized that I am going to become that person who trots out her photo albums: This is my uncle who works in a mine, which explains his fingernails, and, oh, this is an alley that I just had to take a photo of, because it looks strikingly like an anus, and have you ever seen this one of the Palinode that makes it look like he has not a single hair on his head? You should be glad that I don't invite people over, because I really do have a photograph of an alley that looks remarkably like an anus, and you would have to hear me say anus about six times while I showed it to you (the alley picture, not an actual anus), unlike this paragraph, which only made you read the word anus four times.

So, I ordered the book on November 14th, and it arrived by courier today, which means that it took them less than six days to print and ship my glossy, 8X10, 60-page, full-colour, softcover photobook. Six days. I had myself all wound up, because I wanted the book to arrive before the new year and was worried that I was cutting it short with Christmas just around the corner, but no. QOOP came through. QOOP is my new internet lover. That is, if it will have me, and if we can find acceptable means of human to internet company lovemaking.

Dear QOOP,

You look cute in your phys. ed. shorts. Laurie says that you listen to the Ramones. So do I.
I think I like you. Do you like me?
Yes ____ or No ____?


The front of the book has my chosen title and a random selection of thumbnails of photographs from inside the book:

QOOP book

Although you can choose to include your titles and/or descriptions for the photographs from your Flickr account, I went the minimalist route inside:

QOOP book inside

Nice, no? The pages are glossy, but not too glossy, the colours are bright, and the title is also printed on the spine. If I were to order from QOOP again, I would want them to offer a few more options such as font face and size, individual photo orientation and sizing, and choice of cover colour. Despite those missing options, though, the book looks excellent and is exactly what I was expecting when I ordered it.

I am, as they say, over the moon. My photographs are actually on paper. The physical weight of that book in my hands (or under my feet, as was the case) somehow makes me feel like I've accomplished something, which is good, because I am about to slouch down on the couch and tuck into some Oprah with a bowl of popcorn. That lady drives me nuts with all her heartfelt do-goodery shamelessly humping the god of consumerism, but at least she's not Tyra with her fat-suit induced sympathy for the hefty and a freakish love of Vaseline.

NaBloPoMo 2006It is Day 20 of (Inter)National Blog Posting Month 2006. Surf with the NaBloPoMo Randomizer. Shop at the NaBloPoMo store.