July 25th, 2004


I think the longer I beat my head against this annoyance called "art shows" the less I think it is something I can ever remotely cope with.

We left on Thursday. I can't really set up alone, so we play this game every week that has a damn three day show, wherein we must try and utterly fail to have things ready Wednesday night to leave. Then I spend all day Thursday driven completely insane trying to get even 80% of the details to fall together. I was already exhausted by the time that we got in the car, and we were running late. The show last week was put on by the same people, and they gave shitty instructions, failed to follow their own information about how late they would stay so that artists could check in, etc, so we were really trying to be up there by 6pm even with Joel working something like a real day that started damn early in the morning.

By the time we were on the road, we were late enough that I felt like I had to drive since Joel has no experience driving the trailer, let alone through mountain passes. Traffic was fucked more often than not by the extrordinarily inconsiderate among the human race because they felt that the fact that they were going one mile per hour faster than the person doing 15 in the slow lane, that meant they should pass without consideration for traffic approaching or the fact that really they weren't going fast enough that it should remotely require passing. So they would just pull out, cut you off, require you to screach to a crawl from which you could never again remotely gain momentum.

I was stressed out, hating shows, irritated as all hell that the show schedule has been making me emotionally fragile. Frustrated that Joel's sex drive goes away when he feels like there is something he is obligated to do looming on the horizon, whereas mine increases as I start feeling stressed and thus insecure. Bad combination.

Then I come over vail pass and finally this group of clumping ass holes breaks up, just in time for me to speed up to try to get around them before they did it again, but that meant that I speeded up just in time for the cop sitting there clocking people. For those who don't know, the Vail valley has speed limits that range, at random from 50-75, with no pattern or reason, other than to create revenue for the already absurdly well funded town (Vail is perhaps the richest per capita area of the country). So on top of already trying to fend off tears at heading for another show at which sales would suck ass, I would be bored out of my mind, etc., now I get a speeding ticket. I lose it and start crying. Maybe it is unusual of me, but it is my opinion that you prove yourself an ass hole cop if you ask someone who is crying if they are alright and then if they say no, you completely ignore the answer, failing to even aknowledge that anything was said.

Anyway, after half an hour of crying that all I wanted to do was go home, through which Joel was very loving, we got going again. Setup sucked. More so because I was already exhausted and we had to kill time while a minivan was parked in our booth.

On a random side note, can anyone explain to me why every Starbucks in the world believes that low, romantic mood lighting is a good thing for a bathroom? I may be completely unusual in this, but I don't generally sniff toilet paper to tell if we're reached an all clear yet. I prefer to be able to actually SEE it, which makes romantic lighting both bizzare in its own right, as well as counter-productive to the actual goings on that happen in such a facility.

The show itself mostly sucked. It was hot or it was raining, neither of which are great for customers. People told me over and over again how good my work was and then went and bought wooden cut out cowboy hats or something that looked like a toddler with paint and a block set did it.

We had to drive over Vail pass over and over and over again every morning and evening and most of those were me driving. I have come to hate the car. As seems to be par for the course with most of these events, the coordinators have very obsessive rules about not parking anywhere near the site so that customers get close parking, which is all fine and dandy except that they fail to secure adequate alternate parking for artists and trailers. This one imagined that "use the rest stop nearby, but don't detach your trailer for any reason" was adequate. Yeah, like all of us will walk all over a steep mountain town to keep the car attached to the trailer. That makes total sense.

Sales were terrible, tear down was a bitch, including hitting my head hard enough that I wasn't sure I didn't give myself a concusion. We were both exhausted and it was already 8:30 by the time we were really headed back for Denver.

All the way through Idaho Springs and the tunnel near by was a total cluster fuck on the way back. The highly intelligent road crew had helpfully placed cones for 10 miles even though there was no way in hell they were going to be able to actually get to that much with that small crew even in the course of the entire night. The pavement was screwed up constantly, people were doing dumb things thinking it would gain them ten seconds. And the helpful road crews had put out signs to warn people of coming road issues. In this case, someone thought it was a stellar idea to line signs up on both sides of the two East bound lanes, at various points to warn people of their lane dissapearing. Only where this would usually mean that both sides warned that one lane was going away, in this case, both sides warned that different lanes were going away. There were only two lanes available and there was both a series of signs saying that the left lane ended at a give distance and to merge right, while the people on the right hand side had signs instructing them that the right lane was ending in the same exact distances, and to merge left. Okay, so we do the math here. Two lanes. Both say they are closed and we should move to the other. What the fuck?

Is the road closed entirely and there was a shortage on road closed signs this week? Are we hiring dyslexic monkeys to place our signs at this point to cut costs? Has the road crew invested in all the major insurance firms and they just want to watch everyone try to cross each other while they make money? What in bloody hell is going on? And I am not talking about one sign point that could have been an oops, either. I am talking about 5 miles of signs that were all consistent in their impossibility. Finally the right lane did in fact vanish for a while. Much further on, the left lane vanished and the right lane came back. Is this what they meant and they just can't tell the difference between one closing in 1000 feet and one closing in 8000 feet? Are they all on cocaine or something? What the bloody hell posessed these people? And why in God's name is it necessary to cone off 10 miles of road so that you can work on 50 feet of the start of it? Can anyone explain this to me? It's like there is one maniacally cackling person with a truck full of signs and cones on a power trip and way too much meth, and we are trusting him with our lives?

Anyway, if you were thinking of doing art shows for a living, don't. Run like hell. And if you see any clinically insane highway sign techs, knock them unconscious and deliver them to a nearby assylum, please.