Sunday August 19. 2001

comedy of errors

I was on the road very early, because I wanted to get to Lebanon in the morning so Mom and I could get to the Mt. Gretna art show in the morning before it got too hot. Right before I left my apartment, I briefly considered: get money at the ATM at Tyler, pay no fee, or stop at a rest stop on the turnpike, pay fee. I opted for the latter.

I was driving on the turnpike. Had just passed the mid-county tolls. You have your check card in your wallet, right? You used it last night to get a pizza. You put it back, right? Of course you did. Just double check.

I pulled over into the service plaza. No check card anywhere. I had a sudden clear vision of it sitting on my drawing desk, where I had put it the night before. Ok. I checked my wallet, and found all of 25 cents, mostly in pennies and nickels. Let's consider your options. 1. Go into the service plaza and beg whoever's there for $3.20 for the toll. 2. Hold up the McDonalds with...what? 3. Call the parents and beg for them to help you.

To add insult to injury, my cellphone was apparently out of minutes and out of commission. So I had to go into the plaza and call from a pay phone. It was 7:30 in the morning, and early risers though they are, I think I still woke up my parents. My Dad agreed to meet me at the toll plaza to give me the money.

I felt my heart beat faster when I got to Lebanon's exit. I pulled up to the booth, and quickly scanned the toll plaza, but there was no sign of my father. Okay, have you ever had to tell the tollbooth attendent, "Uh...I don't have any money."? It sucks. I felt like such an idiot.

It was all okay, my Dad showed up not two minutes later, gave me the money. I dashed back across the toll plaza (don't worry, Lebanon's plaza is all of three lanes) and handed the money to the tollbooth person and slunk back to my car.

Well, that would've been quite enough excitement for me, but when we got home, we had a feline medical emergency to attend to. Charcoal is an inside/outside cat, so he's picked up some pretty nasty stuff since we've had him. But this was the worst.

He had an enormous neck wound. Half of the fur on his neck was gone. At first we thought it was a fight with another cat, but we then realized it was from him scratching. There was a maggot, called a warbel, buried halfway into his neck, that was causing what looked like an abcess. My Dad pinned Charcoal down and carefully removed the warbel, then poured hydrogen peroxide on the wound and then applied Neosporin. All the time Charcoal was very still and cooperative (he has a wonderful disposition), but kept making these small wounded cat sounds.

We called a vet and they said we did all the right things and he would probably be okay on his own. Poor little baby. It looked so awful, but he didn't seem to be in any pain at all.

Because of all of that business, we didn't get to the art show until about 11:30. It was the same old, same old, nothing too exciting or electrifying. I recognized a lot of the same people from years before. The only thing different this year was a food court with overpriced gourmet food instead of just the usual pizza, funnel cakes and fresh-squeezed lemonade. No doubt to cater to the sophisticated clientele from Philly and New York City that flock to this thing.

Neither Mom or I bought anything, but I didn't see anything I really wanted to buy anyway. Well, there was a couple of beautiful rings that were half cast silver and half walnut. There were just beautiful and fluid and fit me perfectly. I love chunky, substantial rings. Unfortunately, they were $90. Ouch.

Every time I go to one of these shows, I question if this might be my fate. It used to be something exciting to me, but now I'm not so sure. Selling at art shows, even really good, established ones like Mt. Gretna, is a hard job. You pay a fee of anywhere from $100 to $250, factor in traveling time and expenses (some of these people come all the way from North Carolina) and just hope you can at least sell enough work to break even. You have to have the right personality and disposition to not only talk to people and get them to buy your work, but to withstand the disappointment and possible financial losses.

Do I think I can do that? I really don't know.

One Year Ago:
"I couldn't even stay up this late at either of Dani's parties. Passed out at 10:30 and midnight, respectively. Hey, don't blame me, I started making (and drinking) margaritas at 6. Sheesh."