20 August 2017

Saving Saturday

Saturday should be a day for sleeping late, reading your novel during your leisurely breakfast and morning cup of joe, catching up with your friends on Facebook, and perhaps assaying a few chores should you be feeling particularly ambitious (which I usually am not). Naps are not unheard of; TV show binges are definitely on the table. So imagine my lack of enthusiasm when my good friend and colleage Anarda bullied me (yes, positively wouldn't take no for an answer) into driving to Pasadena at 8:00 in the morning to attend a day-long seminar (8:30 to 4:00!) on CalPers, Social Security, and MediCal. I could hear the zzzzzzzzs coming from all of you as I typed that last sentence, so imagine my own sentiments!

Anarda claims to be concerned for my best interests; but I strongly suspect that she hoped this day of information about our non-working futures would result in me being "scared straight," as they phrase it when somebody goes to juvenile hall to frighten children back into good behavior. I've been talking for a while now about the possibility of retiring at the 10-year mark (which is fast approaching) from my current full-time position at Burbank Public Library and instead pursuing some part-time work, perhaps some freelance teaching, and definitely some illustration or painting work, once I have the time and energy to focus on all of those; and she doesn't want me to retire before she does (probably because she knows she'll be stuck with my job).

So I sallied forth to Pasadena—no, no, that sounds far too cheerful a phrase—I grumbled my way along the 134 to the Hilton on Los Robles—and sat through a CalPers presentation followed by a Social Security presentation, and I was done. As my mom used to say, D-U-N, DONE. I was also still confused about how the two work together, although I got some helpful information afterwards in the exhibit hall from a nice guy representing Social Security that makes me think all is provisionally well in Melissa's retirement future. So I told Anarda to take good notes at the MediCal seminar, and fled to the parking garage and freedom.

Driving home, I wondered if there was something I could salvage from this trip, just as I realized that the next turn-off would take me straight to my car dealership in Glendale; so I motored off the freeway at Brand and dropped off the car for an oil and brake fluid change, then strolled up the street to Foxy's for my favorite Santa Fe omelet.

Since I was now giddily free for the rest of the day, I took my time, starting a drawing before my breakfast arrived, reading the rest of my excellent John Scalzi novel during breakfast, and lingering afterwards over another cup of coffee while I completed the drawing. And then I painted it when I got home.

This is the counter at Foxy's. It's a bit messy, and a few significant details (like the legs of the woman on the right) are missing, but it was great fun to dwell on all the minutiae and decide whether or not to include each object that I saw (and there were SO many more). It definitely perked me up from the stultifying lectures of the morning hours, as did the Santa Fe omelet!

And then...I took a nap. So there, Anarda.


The Burbank postcards continue. Last week I decided to focus on a couple of the studios as inspiration, so I looked for iconic images. The first that occurred to me was the Warner Bros. tower--we actually have this image on one of the library card designs we offer at BPL, so that's a pretty constant reminder.

I went with a little looser style for this one, and was pretty happy with it, except that I fuffed the lettering in the band across the logo (started too far right, made letters too wide), so I just obscured them a bit with a darker shade of paint, and hopefully no one will look too closely.

Then I got a bit more ambitious. I have always been delighted by the pop-up of these ridiculous shapes within the perspective of a fairly traditional skyline of office towers; it certainly makes the purpose of the Disney Animation buildings known to their surrounding community!

This was a fun one, with the colors, angles, and scale. I probably should have put a few people in, but I decided not to push my luck.

This week, I did a quickie of a favorite restaurant with Burbankians. I made it more interesting for myself by focusing not just on the lettering but on the neon that lights up the lettering at night. It's a bit messy, but still recognizable to those who love their steaks and famous cheese bread.

I have a few more in mind...stay tuned.