I have so ridiculously many photographs.

Last week, I was trying to find an old image — one that I bought from a stock photo site in 2018 and haven’t looked for since — and I realized that all my files are backed up on USB drives. Well, I didn’t realize that, I knew that already. What I realized was that my current computer (which I’ve owned for well over a year) doesn’t have a basic USB port. This is embarrassing on so many levels. I mean, I’m embarrassed that I didn’t know, but I’m also embarrassed that I haven’t had a reason to back up files in over a year. Ugh. Just… yeah, ugh.

Anyway, I spent most of a day trying to get files off of my old USB drives, via various convoluted means, involving an old computer with a dead battery, DropBox, iCloud, a portable hard drive with a USB-C cable, etc, before getting so annoyed that I looked up adapters on Amazon and discovered that the proper adapter — or rather a set of four adapters, one of each variation — would cost me $5. Sigh. Honestly, I’m embarrassed about that, too. Would it have killed me to have just checked the option that would cost money before I started? I went ahead and spent my $5, ruing the many hours that I’d wasted, and now I can plug my USB drives into my computer and find my photos the perfectly straightforward way.

Except… I’ve got thousands of them. Many, many thousands. The photo library on this computer is missing huge chunks of time currently, and yet still has over 8000 photos in it. My phone has 9241 photos in its library! It’s just not sensibly usable. A long while ago, I did a major project of exporting photos from my photo library so that they wouldn’t get trapped there if/when file formats changed (or I ever switched to a non-Mac), so I’ve also got a few thousand favorite photos that aren’t in these photo libraries. Those are all nice photos, but wow, such a pain to try to look through. At least photo libraries make it easy to skim through lots of photos at once.

And photos are such a huge time suck. They’re like a time vortex, stealing minutes and then hours and then entire days. I thought, maybe I’ll make some photo albums in the app. No, maybe I’ll choose some to have printed to put on my wall. No, maybe I’ll make a photo book. That last is actually a great idea. But time-consuming and not how I want to use my time this week or maybe even this month. And now, of course, an hour later, I’ve spent a big chunk of the morning looking at photos, thinking about what should go with this post.

How about a very, very early puppy photo with Gina in the background?

puppy Sophie photo

Or another cute Sophie photo from July 2021?

But actually I’m still hunting for the stock photo from 2018, so maybe I should get back to that task. It felt like such a minor goal, a nice thing to check off on my to-do list. Instead, it’s turned into a quest.

Meanwhile, autumn has arrived in Humboldt. Last night, I was snuggled into my warm blanket, grateful that I had it. I told myself I should get up and close the windows, but I didn’t, of course. When I woke up fully, I realized that was probably just as well, because the windows weren’t open. I’d closed them the night before, because it turns out Arcata with school in session — during my very first real, non-pandemic year — is crazily loud on weekend nights.

I was at least a little sympathetic to the drunk women having a raging argument with many f-words on Friday night — they were too emotionally invested to realize that they were being rude to all the people around them who were trying to sleep — but the singing fraternity or sports team on Saturday night, chanting together as they jogged down the street at 1AM, inspired nothing but loathing in me. Organized disrespectful jerkiness is much worse, IMO, than inconsiderate emotional breakdowns. I hope that neither is going to become a feature of the weekends from now on, though. I guess if winter brings endless rain again, that will discourage outside partying. Positive side to everything, right?

Last week, people asked me about the hurricane. We did get a tiny bit of hurricane related weather, but it was nothing, just a chill in the air and a breeze by the time it reached here. The wildfires, though, are big enough and close enough that our air quality is currently listed as Unhealthy. This is better than Crescent City and Medford, both currently in the Dangerous zone, but still. It’s strange how much wildfires have just become a background feature of life. Like thunderstorms in Florida, maybe —  they’re just part of what it means to live in northern California in the 21st century.

I don’t really feel ready for it to be autumn, though. Not only because summer seems to have slipped through my fingers entirely unproductively — what have I been doing with myself? — but also, it was just much too short. There was literally a single day where it was hot enough that I wished I’d bought the overhead fan I’ve been thinking about for three years. One day! Which does justify not having gotten a fan, I guess, but one day does not feel like sufficient summer to me. Of course, everyone sweltering in all the places that have been much too hot this year probably wishes they could say the same. I should work on appreciating what I have instead of worrying about what’s to come — always a good plan.

All right, time to go find that photo. I’m sure I have it somewhere. If only I knew where…