Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Trip delayed, life drawing, and fire

Well. Trip has been postponed 'till the 12th or 13th. So I got one more life drawing session in tonight. Posted in reverse order tonight, just for kicks: top one was 1 hour, the one below was 20 minutes, and then the warm-up sketches. (Posted in reverse, but drawn in the normal order.) 18" x 24" paper.

It's been a harsh couple of days, as there's a big fire (7000+ acres) raging just a ten minute drive from here. They're calling it the Fourmile Fire, because it started in Fourmile Canyon. I assumed it was a wildfire--it hasn't rained for a few weeks--but supposedly a vehicle hit a propane tank.

I'm grateful we haven't had to evacuate or lose anything. When I was 16, our house burned down and it was the kind of traumatic event that never leaves you. I've had a real fire phobia since then. (Not such a terrible phobia to have, I suppose. I do have other phobias that are less useful.) The air here is terrible, full of smoke and it's "snowing" ash. Just breathing feels really uncomfortable. Not sure why my lungs are taking this harder than, say, The Husband's. I'm coughing a lot. Maybe it's because my breathing apparatus has already been partly taken down by allergies. The combination is pretty nasty.

One thing that feels odd is that a few years ago, The Husband and I almost bought a house right where the fire is now. Apparently, so far, over 90 known structures (houses and other buildings) have been destroyed. I can't help but wonder if that particular house is suddenly gone. Amazingly, no one has been injured during all this, so far as I've heard.

And now for some comic relief...
The Husband decided to try to fix the leaky pipes under the kitchen sink. It wasn't funny to me (though it's okay with me if you laugh) that we couldn't use the sink for two days and there were parts strewn everywhere and it was extremely obnoxious of The Husband not to listen to me and call an actual plumber, even when it became apparent that we really needed one and he instead made four separate trips to the hardware store...

But the gem in all this chaos was that The Husband found an Assistant Plumber, albeit a little guy, wearing his spotless white coveralls.

And a video of the plumbing action, below (remember that Rumi is deaf, so his hearing is not being hurt even though it looks bad):

More art on my website: jalapfaff.com


Nancy B. Hartley said...

Jala, This is hilarious! Thanks for sharing! This manly need to attempt to fix anything, and everything, no matter how little you know about it, seems to be related to testosterone. Having gone through experiences like this, and hearing about other husbands doing this, I am convinced it is a universal man thing. Women just don't get it. We are too practical, and realistic. Our attitude just makes more sense, call in the expert, pay the money, and be done with it. No need to drag this out.
I hope it is finally repaired. Good luck! I also hope the fire ends soon. Sounds very bad. We had those last year, in No. Calif. They are hideous, and frightening! Wishing you better days ahead! By the way Rumi looks adorable! What a handsome kitty!

Dar Presto said...

The life drawings are beautiful.
The father and son plumbing yoga is hilarious. Sink salutation?
My sweet white cat always came to me when I had tools out. It really does slow down progress.
Be safe, at home and traveling.

SamArtDog said...

You're wrong if you think Rumi couldn't hear that sick cow. I could.

Does ANYone know of a husband who calls a plumber? I don't.

I like drawing #2.

ELFI said...

les dessins sont très belles et le chat vraiment étonnant de familiarité..

Brian McGurgan said...

I love your recent figure drawings, Jala - great work! I admire your husband's stick-to-it gumption even when faced with a doubting spouse and a skeptical cat - a situation I've found myself in more than once (although I'd never tinker with the plumbing myself). Hope the smoke clears and the fire comes no closer. Good luck preparing for your trip, too!

Double "D" said...

J, these are gorgeous life drawings.
Such wonderful proportion and line
quality. Very impressive!

I always call the plumber!

Bonnie Luria said...

This post is surely the best mornings' entertainment. And Sams' comment- Ha!
I can attest to the males' need to do it themselves as I've got one at home just like this. And although he's extremely handy, he's too busy. So projects get started, and stalled after 83 percent completion. Until tomorrow when tomorrow comes and he's too busy.
My mantra is " call the guy ".
Pay the guy. Watch the guy finish said job AND clean up after his mess.
Have working kitchen sink completed in a few hours and sublimate the desire to wring husbands nec, er, clothes.
Rumis' presence made it that much funnier as did S's elbow flute.

I cannot imagine anything more frightening that watching an out of control fire raging so close by. Life is such a dartboard, isn't it!
To think you might have purchased one of those homes is such a capricious turn of fate. Especially after your teen experience of having a house burn down. How does anyone ever feel they can re-build a life after that.
Oh Jala, that's so horrible.
Can you keep indoors as much as possible?
Smoke is so powerful a smell that it's hard to ignore it.
Being less than 2 miles north of the Twin Towers, I can tell you that the smell lingered for months.

Here's to life, and your wonderful life drawings, and your re-scheduled India trip when it's clear to go.

I love Rumi.
That video is still making me laugh.

Sonya Johnson said...

Did you get any of the rain that we got over the past 2 days? I was hoping so - nothing like a good soaking rain to help put out burning trees.

The Plumber & his Assistant photos are hilarious! I've actually installed and fixed sink issues before, but only simple things.

I really love the second drawing. I need to find a life drawing class or group here, for sure!

Sheila Vaughan said...

Jala, absolutely exquisite and sensitive life drawings. So beautiful. Awful about the fire and you are right to postpone the trip. Must be a bit scarey round your neck of the woods. As to the sink job, I was reversing the fridge doors only hours after getting back from Ethiopia (and refusing to pay a fridge engineer £68 for the privilege) so I sympathise with Husband. Hope you now have running water.

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

I can see how a house fire could leave on somewhat insecure ever after.
The plumbing story is awesome.
Just yesterday, my hubby and I were putting up shelves in our shed and I was beneath him holding the bracket so he could screw it in with the drill. Well, the drill sucked my hair into the motor and scared the be-J out of us both. Luckily I have short hair and not much damage was done...whew