Friday, November 10, 2006

Grave Digging

It is necessary to stay mentally prepared before embarking on a journey to unearth a mediated grave. But, it is the things I didn't consider that from now on need to be taken into consideration. Taking stuff off a wall and digging stuff up is one thing.

Wednesday
3:30 AM Wake
4:05 AM Board Supershuttle for National
4:15 AM Pray I don't toss my cookies on the winding, bumpy ride to the airport
5:15 AM Arrive at National, normally a 15 min. drive from my apartment in moderate traffic, but I was the second of a five-stop pick-up.
5:30 AM complete check in at the air-port and begin reading a book on managing art as an entity the IRS will look upon as a business (tax deductions) rather than a hobby (out of pocket).
6:30 AM board the plane and sit on a runway for 20 minutes waiting to take-off through the rain.
7:00 AM The baby in the back of the plane begins crying and I thank God for the volume control on the XM Radio in the arm rest.
9:00 AM I am on an escalator in Atlanta's airport and people are camped on both the left and the right side of my escalator, impeding my progress to both a restroom and the Athens bound AAA shuttle. I look over to my right, envious of the man walking up the stairs unencumbered. He beats me, and everyone else, to the top.
9:15 AM, We are on the shuttle to Athens. I phone Iowa for election results because I am tired about hearing the concession squabble alla Webb and Macaca on talk radio. The woman next to me keeps spilling her coffee.
10:45 AM Athens. Picked up by AthICA director Lizzie Z Saltz. We crash a web-geek convention at the University, catered with cranberry juice, coffee, and fine pastries. It is better than the cracker I got with the brown water on the plane.
11:30 I discover that the lock Penske gave me for the back of my rental truck is too small to lock the truck. I also begin wondering if Geico has more affordable coverage on insurance when renting a moving van.
12:30 PM I wish The Grit had better parking. As in, I wish The Grit had parking. At times I also wish they served meat (though I never really notice it not being on the Rueben, the chicken sandwich or any of their other delectable tofu tasties). Wendy's was also quite popular at the drive throug. I forgo lunch for now.
1:00 PM Deinstall begins. Georgia Red Clay begins to fill the gallery with dust as I unearth the television monitors from America's Grave. I reconsider my M.O. and start taking down artwork from the wall to package. I pity the other artists who did not get to the gallery in time to take their stuff off the wall, or the fact that AthICA is a not for profit arts space that cannot afford to hire workers and by law cannot sell work but rely on the charitable contributions of the artists that sell work within it to "give a little back." But, hey, at least Michael Stipe is paying for their phone. Lizzie chips in to help remove work from the wall. A guest worker doing community service on a DUI charge gets me a sandwich and a coffee around 2:00 at some place a little more Healthy than Dave Thomas' chain of old "fay-shauned" burgers... something organic and without meat. Secretary of the USDAT, Randall Packer calls, en route from a deinstallation in New Orleans. He is crossing Lake Pontchartrain, estimating an 8:00 PM Athens arrival. He forgets about the time change.
5:30 PM Line change on the assistance. Lizzie goes home but Mark arrives. One of the other artists stops by to pick up what remains of his work. He informs me Donnie is no longer Sec. of War and Bad Strategery and that he is being replaced by Bob "Iran Contra" Gates (which is fitting since Ortega is once again president).
8:00 PM Randall calls stuck in a traffic jam outside Mobile. Or was it Montgomery?
8:30 PM 2d work is wrapped, electronic equipment is unearthed from the grave and dusted, surround sound speaker installation is disconnected and removed from the rafters. Time for dinner.
12:00 AM Randall has arrived, the Penske is packed, Mark departs, and Randall and I scrounge the gallery for last minute forgotten items. There are several. We head into college town for celebratory libations. For the first time I am asked if I want my Manhattan dry or sweet. I really want a single malt scotch, but bourbon rules in the south.
1:30 AM, Bed.

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