We all know what they say about "best laid plans." I left work a little early to be sure I had time to get home, feed the dogs and get cleaned up before heading out to a gallery to do a segment for the local television cable channel on my art. 'Shelbie' Miata had been making some noise that I suspected was the lifters (sounds like I know what I'm talking about, huh). Usually, it would quiet down after the car warmed up, but the last couple of days it was continuous. Getting worried, I looked online to see what the proper oil pressure was at idle and a few different rpm levels. When I left work, I compared numbers. Hmm, definitely low. A really bad feeling came over me. I decide to stop at a gas station immediately and check the oil level. Now, I can't remember the last time I looked under the hood of a car. Tom used to tell me that I was a little spoiled. Now I'm realizing that perhaps I was. He always pumped the gas and took care of any mechanical or maintenance issues with the vehicles.
I find myself at a loss. I stand there holding the hood up wondering where the dang metal rod is to hold it in place. I finally find it and then the search for the dipstick is on. That wasn't difficult to locate, but when I put my finger through the metal loop and pulled up, it broke off in my hand leaving the stick right where it was. I guess a 17-year old car is going to have a few issues. I pry out the stick and I can't tell the oil level. Something in the back of my mind reminds me that one is supposed to wipe off the stick, put it back in and pull it back out to get an accurate reading. I do. I'm still not seeing any oil. I stand bent over the hood worried and puzzled trying to remember what weight of oil I should use. All I remembered was that we had been using a synthetic.
By this time, the male genetic predisposition to rescue a damsel in distress had taken effect and 3 men about to walk into the gas station ask if I had a problem. I did. One took the lead and confirmed the lack of oil, went inside and picked a couple bottles for me. I bought them and his fountain drink, which he insisted wasn't necessary. I insisted that it was. I appreciated the help. He pours a bottle into Shelbie and checks again. It registered and then he poured part of the second bottle in. She's at full. He points out that it looks like oil has been leaking around the intake. I start the car and the same noises kick in. He makes a worried face. I ask if it will get me 90 miles and he suggests taking is very easy on the drive home. I drove at 60 miles an hour or under the entire way which is a major accomplishment for me on its own. The lifter noise improved, but the oil pressure readings didn't. Made it home, parked her and she'll have to wait patiently until I have the time and money deal with her.
Now I was running behind. Wednesday evening I had watched the first set of 'interviews' that were done for the April Last Saturday Gallery Night and realized I was dealing more with a monologue than an interview, so I sat down and wrote something. My plan was to create cue cards to read from a distance. I had wanted to get there a little early and practice, since I referenced specific paintings and weren't sure where each was hanging. Didn't matter, the gallery door was locked when I arrived. We finally all get there and are set up. The gallery owner says she's nervous too, but you never would have known once she got on camera to do an introduction and talk about the other artists they represent. My turn. It became obvious I didn't get the text large enough on my cue cards. The biggest size I could print was on 11x17 paper. The assistant got as close as he could without getting in the shot. I'm reading along when I notice that I can just see his eyes peeking over the top of the cards and with his hands holding it by the top, I start cracking up. He looked just like Kilroy! (confused? …look up "Kilroy was here.") I start over…again. I find myself apologizing repeatedly. She is very easy-going, but all I'm thinking about is the amount of work I'm creating for her. We have a videographer on staff where I work, so I'm seeing it from his point of view. Television is definitely not my forté, but it was an interesting experience and I'm looking forward to seeing if she can salvage it. I really could have used someone to direct me and I told her that I was far more comfortable on her side of the camera.
The plan is for her to come back Saturday evening during the 'meet the artist' portion when people are actually in the gallery for some additional footage. Each gallery will have its own segment in the episode and the final video won't be ready for a couple weeks.
I'll be at "Your Private Collection" gallery on the Granbury Historic Square Saturday, May 28th from 6-9pm. There will also be vendors set up around the courthouse for a Memorial celebration. Stop in if you can.
The painting is "Sea Oats." I talk a little in the video about how my painting helps me cope with my illness. I painted this piece while in Harris Methodist hospital in downtown Ft. Worth.