Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Todd Did Dallas

Hot Rooibos and jade pearl tea in the San Francisco mug, discussions of just what almost swear words Jessie gets to say for background... noise. I put my foot down and "frickin'" is out. "Freakin'" is ok. Am I out of line?

Dallas is over, I am home, and I have a horrid cold. Sometimes life is just not fair. Tomorrow the in-laws arrive for a long weekend, the dogs have an appointment at the groomer's, the cleaning people come, and it's Jessie's turn to bring snack for Girl Scouts. I found out/was reminded about all of those events in various emails this morning. I knew the in-laws were coming, I just mis-wrote their arrival date. The others I either knew nothing about or had totally forgotten. By the afternoon everyone will have come or gone and I will nap. Bliss.

But let's go back to Dallas and start with breakdown. It would have been better if we could have used the freight elevator to move the display and work pieces from our booth on the 13th floor down to my new permanent showroom in Hemispheres Design Center on the 9th floor, but they were just too full. So every piece, every pedestal, each light bar, tool and step stool were hand-carried one at a time down four floors of escalator. Boy did that get old fast! Todd and I then set-up my little 10 X 10 space with one huge window and two 7-foot high sidewalls.

When we were done in the showroom, (about 9:00 pm) we went back to our booth and began breakdown in earnest. Truth be told, Todd continued breakdown in earnest (he had already been working on it at the end while I was in the showroom) while I ran around trying to get someone in exhibitor services to take my POV (personally owned vehicle) form so they could come and load us up. I got a scary tour of the freight elevators and docks one and two before I was able to find anyone but a security guard. Turned out that even though they had told me at 7:00 that they would be loading until midnight and I would be fine as long as I got my form in by 10:00, the reality was that they were pretty much done by 8:00 and let all the loading people go at 9:00...

Hoo boy. A supervisor and one hastily commandeered worker loaded the booth contents onto a couple of dollies, brought them down the freight elevator and crammed it into the car. They were mostly empty boxes that I probably should have broken down, but I was just too sick and tired. Literally. Not too long after 10:00 saw us in the drive-through at a 24-hour Burger King on the way to our hotel (ah, the glamorous life of an artist on the road!). Then all that was left in Dallas for us was a hotel for which I paid (non refundably) one night too many (through Wednesday morning), and a sleepless night from over exhaustion and the horrible cold. Todd told me I coughed and snored like a sailor all night. I knew I was loud as I woke myself with my own snores several times. At one point he said I cried out, "No! No, no no, no! No! No!" and he couldn't decide if I was talking to him or having a nightmare.

The next day there was the drive home. Todd does not drive--doesn't even have a driver's license--so I was on steering wheel duty all day. I didn't have a book to listen to (for which Todd was profoundly grateful) but the iPod didn't let us down and we listened to 118 songs before I stopped counting. A book would have been better at keeping me awake, but Todd's occasional just-for-the-heck-of-it scream worked too.

Notable quotes for the day included the following three:

When we were ready to leave the hotel, Todd came out of the bathroom wearing a t-shirt with "Mr. Happy" written on it under the cartoon of a donkey's head, commenting, "I need a t-shirt that says 'Art Kills' ". (Dave thinks he needs one that says "I suffer for my art, now it's your turn!").

Mid-morning Todd dozed off, and I decided to go ahead and switch the clock and the GPS to eastern time as that's when we would arrive. I didn't do it to be mean or anything. Really. A few minutes later he woke up and groggily commented, "Wow, it felt like I was only asleep about 10 minutes and over an hour has passed!". When I told him what I had done he leaned forward and started banging his fists on the dashboard sobbing, "I just want to be home!".

Mid-afternoon we pulled into a gas station for a potty and snack break and Todd couldn't get his door open. I thought maybe he had his seat belt stuck in it so I asked, "What's caught in it?". To which he replied, "My last nerve". But we made it home.

Pics are of the new showroom space--including a map with the showroom location in the design center and the design center's location on the floor. The big open space in the middle is the atrium.


Bill said...

Do you have this effect on Dave, too?

Dee said...

glad you are home, take zicam to help shorten & minimize the cold, vit c, rest as much as you can - you can always escape to the studio and sack out in that big comfy chair while the cleaning people are there.

stacyr520 said...

Oh my.
By the way, my grandparents used to tell me that as long as it didn't have "God" in it, it wasn't a swear word. :-) I really liked hanging out with them.

Anonymous said...

Brenda, talk a bit about how the permanent showrooms work. How do you get orders? Do you teach someone there about your work? Is there a rep on the floor or what? I have trouble understanding the process.

I know a lot of 'grownup artists' have these permanent showrooms.

Nancy Goodenough