Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mr. Sandman

I am having a very interesting show up here in Santa Barbara. It was a miserable affair for the first day, then the second day of setup. I did a grand total of seventy five bucks, not a very good sign when you figure that show expenses will tally out around fifteen hundred for this shebang. Just more of the same. People around me seemed to be selling fine. I am on a bad streak and am having serious doubts about my material, my business model, the shifting tides. I am feeling like roadkill, the tibetans are ready to drag me up the mountain and cut me into little pieces for the vultures.

It is a bad time for the negativity and introspection and a bad time to be broke. Significant bills to pay or the whole damn house of cards comes down. Ill mother that I must see on the other side of the country immediately, tax payment due. Having lit the money incense, stuck the tangerine on the case (an antique dealer superstition once championed by Napa wine antique dealer Jim many years ago) prayed to all the suitable deities, I could do nothing but try to put on a happy face and trudge on.

Lo and behold, the wind shifted around noon yesterday. A past client bought a painting, somebody else bought another, then a major dealer bought a few significant works. It was a phenomenal reversal. Things that I thought I might die with and that would have been thrown into my sarcophagus with me in pharaonic times magically dissappeared. One of the greatest runs I can ever remember having. My peers congratulated me on the remarkable streak. I am close to getting religion. Tragedy narrowly averted, Robert still lives! Thank you clients and universe. I am grateful. Thank you Leslie. Thank you friends and loved ones. The bills get paid this month. Happy to be on the other side, despair is so unbecoming.

Celebrated with the largest bone in ribeye I have ever tackled at the Tee Off. A piece of cow that would tip over Fred Flintstone's wagon. The dark saloon was very crowded and so I sat at the bar. Ordered a greyhound but it was so stiff I mostly left it on the counter. Good meal, I dig the funky place. Bartender had been there 14 years and was still the new guy. Another nice meal at the tee off, just enough light at the bar to read the independent and I got to watch the Pacers polish off the poor Knicks.

For such a big shot town, Santa Barbara has some pretty crummy restaurants. After Superica there is not so much to talk about. I went back to Presto Pasta the first night, a client's joint and had chicken parmigiana. Good but not the Four Seasons. Went to Harry's the next night, hadn't been there in over thirty years and it was pretty disappointing. The famous salsa was good but my corn beef dip was fatty and funky and honestly made me a little ill. Ted and I went to Saigon the third night for thai/vietnamese and it was decent. Spring rolls, duck curry and a mixed vermicelli. Had to beg for proper utensils but I would go back.

I have a sister named Barbara. I seem to recall my mother, who knew a lot of obscure stuff, tell us that Saint Barbara, who I assume this town was named after, was the patron saint of toilets. I checked Wikipedia this morning and found no such reference. She was apparently the patron saint of artillerymen, military engineers, miners and others who work with explosives because of her old legend's association with lightning, and also of mathematicians. There is a reference to a bath house in the entry so it may require further digging.

I booked my hotel on Expedia and selected one I had stayed at before, the Sandman, conveniently located close to the show and frankly the only room in town this side of Motel 6 under a c note. I paid 90. Still your basic shithole.

This is a picture of the bathtub in room 151. I can deal with a little chipped paint and a bathtub that leaks onto the floor. Hot water that took approximately four minutes to arrive.

What is more disturbing is the brackish brown water that comes out of the pipe, water that makes you feel like you are soaking in one of the less hygienic sections of the Tigris or Euphrates. Really disgusting.

The free breakfast ain't so bad, started off my day all week with honey nut cheerios and a hard boiled egg. Yesterday I mixed in a cinnamon donut. Sinful but quite good.

Will stay in touch.


Sanoguy said...

Looking forward to seeing the happy Blue Heron!

Anonymous said...

Bravo, Robert!!! Now tonight, eat the tangerine and move to a better hotel.
Love, Tracy

Anonymous said...

So glad ur desert has opened up to a oasis ! How much we appreciate the feast after the famine. Take care nice to hear from you. Jeff

Anonymous said...

just some free advice....

Mebbe time to reassess?
I don't think it is fair game to emotionally dump on your friends.
Doubt you are doing this intentionally.
just saying.....
feel free to disagree, but truthfully, it is hard to take seriously. I mean, we all have our basic issues about life and money and health etc....
if you cannot put a spin on it, it becomes nothing more than 'dumping out the laundry' instead of some poetic license.
I need poetry, not psychology. The latter, I have plenty of on my own!

Who needs to read your down in the dumps rants? thanks while I go look for some razor blades!

Blue Heron said...

Interesting comment S. I will take it to heart. I wasn't consciously dumping. Some people like to know where I am emotionally and I try to give it to them honestly and unvarnished. Maybe it is too much. Thanks for the tip.


Richard said...

Blue Heron,
You have the license to do what you like, dump emotionally, sing the blues, sing Happy. With all due respect to anonymous with free advice, it is your blog not theirs. You share wonderful commentary, music and art. With an honest awareness you share the sorrow of our existence intermingled with it all. That is real too. It is a part of our existence and we all share it as a common thread of our human conditioning. You ARE NOT DUMPING ON ME because it is your experience, not mine. As a friend I listen but I do not own it. It is the book of your life. If someone does not like the book they can put it down and read MAD magazine instead. For those who need poetry, be a poet unto thyself. Carry on Blue Heron!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, I'm still reading your blog. In fact, I just went to it in hopes of reading that you were doing better at the show. And I DID. YIPPEE! It made my day. Congrats to both of you!


grumpy said...

hey you got lucky, good on ya...jeez it looks somebody took a dump on the soap tray in the tub; sure you can't get your 90 bucks back? what a the immortal words of the late great Joe Pine, "straight ahead".

quilley said...

If you can't dump on your friends, who can you dump on? What are friends for? I appreciate being there for the ups and downs of my pals, and I most surely look to them to share mine! It is the stuff of life! AND you are a most creative dumper, and it is my privilege to be your dumpee. I can take it!

And when I'm down myself, it often feels as if it will last forever, as if I myself am down down down. Saying it can put it in perspective. Same with up, of course, though it seems less problematical; it is just as delusional, eh?

At any rate, as I was saddened by your lack of sales (i was once so dependant on shows), I am happy for you having such a wonderful show! Buy yourself something wonderful after the bills are paid.