Tuesday, December 09, 2003

December 9, 2003
Crazed day today. On the run since 6:30 this morning. The electricians came at seven to fix the lights in the studio ($60 house account). Girls, don’t marry a cartoonist (the breaker switch was flipped and I didn’t know where it was and they tracked it down, behind the door in morgue, and turned it on). Ha. What a goofus.

Got into office at 8:20, had staff meeting. Mike is quite concerned about sales for March issue. We had a separate meeting with him, Bob Brink, R.G. and Carole to go over his plan and I’m confident he’s going to do what it takes to make it happen.

Wrote up several alternate scripts for tomorrow’s shoot. At noon, Abby and Sue H. followed me home and, in exchange for lunch (re-heated spaghetti) they helped me “dress the set� while Celia and another woman cleaned like crazy. What a great space. It’s just a cool place to work, now that I can actually see the floors.

Got back to office at two, worked on April Classic Gunfights. Problems with the backstory. Wrestled with that with Meghan. Need to finish artwork. Going to be out all day tomorrow.

Our producer, Maureen P. from the Westerns Channel showed up at 4;20. She flew in out of a blizzard (Denver) and was excited to see actual saguaros. She followed me over to the Daiss ranchito. Dave and Doreen are volunteering their Sam Stag saddle, a roll-back modern saddle, a Smith & Wesson #3 and a Merwin-Hulbert, .44-.40 pistol (I want to talk about exotic weaponry in the West).

From the Daiss' spread, she followed me home to take a gander at the new and cleaned studio and she was jazzed. Showed her my proposed wardrobe and she picked three different looks.

I had a dream last night where I was trapped on a high cliff. I was on a narrow ledge overlooking a good 1,500 drop down a rocky canyon wall. I thought about going back but it was too high and seemed even scarier. I was trapped. All of a sudden an Indian in a loin cloth climbed up to where I was and started talking to me in his native tongue and I couldn’t understand a word he was saying (this has to be a reaction to my Spanish classes) and gesturing that he wanted to help me. He pointed downward, then turned and jumped in a seated position. I watched him fall about 600 feet. He landed on his butt on a puffy dirt ledge, and bounced and went down another fifty feet, bounced again and came to a standing stop on another ledge where his other tribesmen were standing. There was another 500 feet drop beyond them, but it was obvious they had figured out how to survive the first part of this descent. They were all laughing and pointing at me to jump. I knew I had to, although I was scared to death.

I woke up and realized three things about the dream: number one, it was just a dream and I didn’t have to jump. Number two, some things that will kill you are merely a carnival ride to other cultures. Ancient tribes have figured out ways to survive long falls, where a modern person would break every bone in their body trying to cling to the sides and climb down (whatever). And most importantly, so many times in life, you just need to jump off cliffs and figure things out on the way down.

“Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself.�
—Old Vaquero Saying

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