Sunday, July 19, 2009

Flying Cartoon by Campello
Heading back to the Left Coast for some rediscovering, scorpion-and-black widow-avoiding (and brown recluses) in the deserts of California for some sweating (it's a dry heat) and desert drawings for the next two weeks.

Those of you who have my cell number: for the next two weeks, until July 31st, I will be on West Coast time, so if you call me at 6AM my time...

More later.

Opportunity for Artists and/or Curators

Deadline: August 1st, 2009

The Greater Reston Arts Center is requesting proposals for exhibitions for its main gallery space for periods of approximately 4-6 weeks. Proposals will be accepted from artists, independent curators, or arts organizations.

Full prospectus here.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: August 28, 2009.

The Easter Seals 2010 Art Competition is on and they're accepting works for consideration on an upcoming stamps. Works should be a vertical drawing or painting of a lily, in watercolor, oil, pastels, colored pencil, or computer generated image. Size limitations: no smaller than 8-1/2” x 11” and no larger than 18” x 24”. White or off-white stock is preferred. No entry fee. For more information, contact:

Easter Seals
Attn: Lisa Skaggs
233 South Wacker Drive., Ste. 2400
Chicago, IL 60606

Phone: (312) 726-6200; or check website:

Airport Tales

Five Guys BurgersI'm heading back to California, and this time I am flying out of Dulles, which has one of the most beautiful terminals on the planet.

Earlier this morning (I'm in Dallas now waiting for my connecting flight) I was starving by the time I got to my gate, and was pleasantly surprised to find that right across from Gate 71-73 there's a new Five Guys Burgers restaurant, one of the premier burgers in this Universe. And so I order their showcase slider with grilled onions, pickles, mayo, ketchup and grilled mushrooms. I get number 62.

The guy behind me in line (there's a large line as it is around 10:30AM and the breakfast crowd is too late for breakfast and the lunch crowd is beginning to agitate) orders a grilled cheese, fries and water. He gets number 63.

The scene behind the counter is in a frenzy of fast food cooking activity. The Russian lady who is taking orders is firing them to the three cooks behind them at breakneck speed as hungry travellers pass through her order point.

The two African and Central American immigrant ladies doing the cooking are working at a frenetic speed grilling burgers and frying potatoes and getting the orders ready and yelling out numbers as they are ready.

It is a constant process, as quickly as can be done by three people cooking all at once, but there's a necessary delay in cooking the burgers, and none are pre-cooked and there's a large number of people in line and waiting for earlier orders.

But in about 5-6 minutes, they're up to number 59; these ladies are busting their asses to move the food.

The grilled cheese and fries and water guy who is number 63 is clearly impatient; let's call him GCFWG for grilled cheese and fries and water guy.

He approaches the counter and shouts to the back cooks, "Excuse me, how much longer will it be?"

The little Central American cook stops packaging ready orders and comes to him, she looks at him puzzled. "What is your number?" she asks.

"63," he responds rolling his eyes, "I've been waiting for like ten minutes."

I'm trying really hard to stay out of this, knowing that I will fail. GCFWG is very tall and slim, wearing a very, very tight white T-shirt that showcases his slimness and very tight black pants with really ugly, clunky black shoes. He has one of those large man purses and those nerdy, black glasses.

"You're only a couple of orders behind," responds Central American cook lady.

He rolls his eyes.

I can't handle it anymore. "Is your flight departure getting close?" I ask as he returns to waiting.

He looks at me a second before answering. People aren't used to strangers addressing them in airports, or anywhere else for that matter.

"No," he says, "But this is ridiculous," he snaps, looking at the cooks again and pointing his little chin at them.

"How would you speed the process?" I ask him. "Looks to me like those women are busting their asses cooking as fast as they can."

He looks at me and I stare back, looking hard.

"Ahh..." he stammers. "They need more people."

Again, there are three cooks on duty plus a order-taker.

"How many more?", I press him. "One more, two more?"

He looks at me again, this time he seems a little worried. My number is called and I pick up my bag. I return to him. He is now really looking a little agitated.

"Did you decide?" I ask him. "One or two more cooks?"

"Ahh..." He's looking around, and his number is called. He picks it up and I once again come close to him, look at him and smile.

"I think that three is the optimum number back there," I say gesturing to the cooking area. "And those women are busting their ass," I repeat myself. Now the small Central American woman is observing and listening in.

"I got to go." He says very nervous now, and leaves.

The Central American cook and the Russian order-taker smile and continue working their butts off while GCFWG moves on, hopefully having learned a lesson in manners.