Saturday, September 29, 2007

Workin' at the Car Wash

Today started out fairly lazy -- washing dishes, catching up on some email, etc. After finally getting off my "blessed assurance" and going to wash my car, I noticed it was sprinkling a little. Great timing. Anyway, I decided to wash the car anyway because it was pretty dirty.
I go to a coin-op car wash that is always a cultural experience, I get to catch up on all the latest in Tejano, Nortena, Merengue music, basically anything with rip-roaring accordions blaring out of car stereos. I feel badly for the people who live in the apartments adjoining the car wash!
Anyway, as I was lathering up the Saturn in the vend-o-squirt, I noticed that all of the stalls had filled up and a few people were waiting. So I slowed way down. Just kidding! I tried to finish up quickly and get out of the stall for the next person. I jumped in the car and maneuvered to one of the vacuum stations (several slots down, as the one directly in front of me was occupied. As I was knocking the water off the car with my trusty California Water Blade, in the corner of my eye I noticed a guy walking up to me. This happens a lot, where someone 'volunteers' to wash or dry your car for a few bucks... so as I was formulating my polite but firm refusal in my head, I turned and noticed that this guy was (a) on the phone, (b) not really paying attention to me at all, and (c) had a ziplock bag of quarters in his hand... the bag of quarters I'd left at the control panel/coin receiver in my stall. I thanked him somewhat profusely as he handed them to me, and he never even paused in his phone conversation as he turned and and went back to his truck.
I have to say, that was a very pleasant and unexpected surprise! I am a little sad that it was so unexpected for two reasons: (1)-it's just today's reality, but (2)- it probably says something about my attitude towards others. So, while being very happy about the return of my quarters, I was a little disappointed in my initial reaction to noticing the approach of this stranger. Maybe next time I'll extend the benefit of the doubt a little more graciously. At least I'd like to think I will.
Oh, and it started raining while I was typing this.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Trying to get the old fire back

Once upon a time, I thought I was going to be an artist. Over the years, the creative bug has had long periods of hibernation, but sometimes it wakes up, walks outside the cave and takes a look around.

The latest urge was to do something mixed media, sort of an 'altered' piece/collage/painted... well, whatever. I have these old red 45rpm records that were my mother's (let's just say they don't play so good nowadays), they are actually opera records. There are a lot of singers in my family (yours truly is not one of them), and my niece just started school at Berklee in Boston. I thought if I could put something together around the singing theme and incorporate one of the old records, I'd send it to her to put in her dorm room.

There are different ways to approach a painting or any art project, you can plan it out painstakingly, sketch it out, etc.... or you can just wing it. I chose the latter on this one. Therefore, it took some weird turns along the way. I think this is done, but I'm not thrilled with it.