First off, I don’t mean to confuse anyone, but NO, the title of this blog does not imply some kind of depressed mood, metaphor, or anything of the sorts. Sorry to all you emo cut-yourself dye-your-hair-black and cry-while-listening-to-whiny-music readers out there (I doubt I have any), but no this blog post is actually about glass.

So back in the old IUSTV Ashton office, there were these really old photo/poster frames with generic art and a few of weird sports themed pictures. These photos hung on the walls for absolutely no reason but to provide generic decoration. When we moved to Read, I took these poster frames with us, with the intention of replacing the generic crappy art inside with IUSTV-related decorations. Actually getting these to Read and hung up on the conference room wall took until about the end of February. You could definitely say this was not a project high on my priority list. Finally, mid to late February, I decided it would be time to print out some photos or posters on the library’s plotter for use in these photo frames. I grabbed one of the frames to measure it, etc and PROBLEM #1: these aren’t your regular poster frames, that can be opened and have the picture swapped out with ease like I was expecting. No, these are apparently custom made frames, that are screwed together with all sorts of doodads and whatnots, making them a huge pain in the butt to open and replace. So I left the 1 half-disassembled frame in my cubicle, where it sat for many weeks.

Last night, I got ambitious and said to myself “It’s time to finally do those photo frames.” So I go to the library late at night, and print out some nifty black and white IUSTV photos for use in these frames. Easy enough. I kind of miss working/goofing off in the library late at night. This afternoon, I go to start taking apart these stupid custom photo frames, which involved 8 small screws, 4 frame edges, many tension pieces (which hold the photo in place), and a huge sheet of glass. Problem #2: when you take the edges of the frame apart, the tension pieces fly out all over the place. These are curved pieces of metal, and I swear I could have lost an eye. I took care of two of these photo frame lobotomies, and took a break to get some cheap food at Kilroy’s. I came back, and later in the evening after a meeting, I decided to finish up. That’s when the biggest problems started popping up. After dismantling one of the next frames, I lift up the art and glass piece to lign up my replacement photo. And oh great. Problem #3 (and the worst of all): the glass has a huge crack in it. It wasn’t there when I started dismantling it, but yeah, it was pretty much useless now. This happened yet again, meaning I ruined 2 huge pieces of glass. GREAT. I was able to finish poster number 3, which meant I only had one left.

My last photo poster was also in the last frame I had, after breaking two of them. Now since I had originally measured and cut these posters to fit certain frames and never even thought about the glass cracking on me, of course the poster and this last frame don’t fit. For those keeping track (I think I stole that line from Nick’s blog), this is Problem #4. Vertically it was fine, but horizontally there was about 3 inches on each side that I didn’t have picture for. OK, so instead of having white edges blaringly standing out next to a black poster, I decided after a few minutes of searching for a solution that I would have to either use a black marker to color in the edges, or a black garbage bag. Either way was going to be way ghetto, but this was getting frustrating and I really didn’t want to have to re-print a newly sized poster for this stupid frame. While in the storage room getting a trash bag, I stumbled upon some black gaffer tape, and there was a much better solution. I used that, and it was looking fine. I replaced the poster, and assembled the last frame back together. I look at it, and of course it’s not right. Problem #5: the last poster was wrinkled or something, and looked really bad. GREAT. I take off one of the edges so that I can adjust the poster, and PROBLEM FREAKING #6: I hear the screech and scratch of glass. Yes, that’s right folks, I ruined the very last frame I had, meaning that there are 3 complete posters framed and hanging on the wall in the conference room, and there is one blank space now. Frustrated and tired, I hauled my shards of glass to the dumpster, cursing under my breath. I figure I’m going to just get the last one custom framed at the Hobby Lobby and eat the cost. It’s going to be like $20 or $30 probably, but hey, I guess I got 3 of them for free.

Thank goodness I didn’t chop a finger off on broken glass or something. Lessons learned today: custom photo frames are ridiculously hard to use, glass is finicky and should be replaced everywhere by plastic, and a delicate craftsman I am not.