I am neither dead, nor have I given up painting.
I am, however perilously close to strangling my internet service provider, who I informed WEEKS ago, that I'm unable to upload or email photographs. I went back to his office yesterday to renew my complaint. Have you ever had the experience of calling a customer service number only to find that, instead of having your concerns addressed, you provided a free English lesson to someone of East Asian lineage? That's exactly what my visit was like, except, of course, that it was in person, instead of over the phone - so it was much more satisfactory.
It's very difficult to discuss internet connectivity issues with any degree of specificity when you have no language in common with the person with whom you are having the discussion. We both worked very hard at communicating in English but one of us (I'll not say which.) doesn't really have a solid grasp of that language. I switched to Arabic, seeing as the conversation was taking place in Riyadh, but that wasn't any better. I know; it's my fault for not speaking Bengali or Urdu or Hindustani. Stupid American.
Ultimately, all I came away with was an assurance that the problem had been fixed, and that if I'd simply checked before leaving for work that morning, I'd have already discovered that it was fixed and so I was actually wasting time that was valuable to both of us.
So I went home, feeling a little bit stupid for not having checked before complaining (a third time.) And yet, even as I felt that way, something was at work in the back of my mind, prodding me with the sharp elbow of skepticism, so that, by the time I'd logged in at home, I had cataloged all the little indications my friend had exhibited that would have made it clear, were I a police investigator or a CIA interrogator (waterboarding or otherwise) or just a man of reasonable intelligence, that my internet service provider had been lying through his teeth, and had actually made no effort whatsoever to fix my internet connection.
Of course, when my interminable login processes had run their courses and I tried to upload a photo - nothing. As per usual. So I returned today to the dingy little office where the Peter Lorre doppelganger was cowering in a gloomy corner, and I tried once again, to impress upon him the importance of restoring the service for which I am paying large amounts of cash in monthly installments.
At the same time, I tried very hard not to impress upon his throat, the marks from 8 fingers and two thumbs. Where there is life, after all, there is hope, and dead, my internet service provider is even less likely to help me than if I leave him breathing.
I'll keep you posted.
PS I know - a photograph appears atop this post. That's because I posted this from my office. I can't, however put my digital camera card, upon which my recent painting photos are stored, into my computer here at work, and, like I said, I can't email the photos to myself here at work since I can't upload or email from home. So, old photos of Peter Lorre - yes. New photos of paintings - no. Sorry.