Monday, August 18, 2003

August 18, 2003
Marathon painting sessions. Worked all day Sunday until 9:17 PM. Still hadn’t nailed a decent cover. Had six paintings going. Elements of each had wonderful passages in them, unfortunately none of them were in the same painting. Went to bed anxious.

Woke up at five, heavy REM sleep. Mixing paint in my dreams, making mud at a demons pace (when you mix paint too many times it turns to an awful mud color and nothing you do can bring it back). Drank coffee, got up and attacked all six. Lined them up and just started wailing. Finished five, gave up on a sixth, shot photos of them on the front entry way and got into office at 8:40. Brought in all the paintings and put them up in my office. Ted, Mike, Robert, Gus, R.G., Meghan, Abbey and Bob Brink came in and weighed in. Consensus heavy on the “red one.” I wanted to do one that was more modern and would look more compatible with “The Best of The West” theme (A guy lying with his head propped against a gate and blood coming down his chin, with the Kid blasting away above him is, well, it’s just too Town & Country).

Picked up the film prints at Foothills Photo at 10:30, huge lines for gas at the Iraqi Shell. Made a bank deposit (overdrawn), took film back to office and Robert scanned the best one and did his magic, burned it on a CD and I took off for Phoenix at 11:20. More huge lines at gas stations all the way down. Prices hovering above $2, the highest I saw was $2.11 a gallon. Got to Dan’s at about noon. Brought two cover roughs, Mike M’s Sports Illustrated (to steal from) and we went through the problems and goals. Tweaked a few things talked about our kids (rather than pay rent in Tucson for their daughter they bought a house with another couple who also have a daughter at U of A. Smart. The mortgage payment is lower than the rent she’d have to pay.).

Came back out Cave Creek Road looking for gas. Long lines, or completely empty gas lanes (the stations out of gas actually have to put up that police yellow, crime scene tape around their pumps).

Decided to treat myself to lunch at Shelmita’s at Greenway. Airpad cooler banging away, dark inside. Mexican soap opera on the TV (Englado?). Got a big iced tea, which came out in a root beer mug, on a tray with slices of key limes all the way around it. Man, was that good! Had a desegando taco and torta, both exotic and delish ($5, plus $2 tip, cash). Really hit the spot.

Biggest line for gas was around the Standard station at Carefree Highway and Cave Creek Rd. Two lines, coming in from two directions, snaking each way all the way to the horizon (okay, maybe a half mile). Cruised by, just above empty. Memories of 1974 and those gas lines. Not fun. May ride a bike tomorrow, or car pool with Kathy, which is funny. We should have been doing this all along, but it takes a blown pipeline and a major crisis to force us to act with any common sense.

“Funny how blessings brighten as they take their flight.”
—Old Vaquero Saying

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