Penrod Part 1

Just spent last saturday doing the Penrod Art Show, which is only a one day show in Indianapolis, but I'll tell ya- one day or three... you are definitely exhausted by the end!

The show is hosted and held on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art which is lovely and full of trees that kept it cool and shady.  There were over 350 artist who had to set up and tear down their wares, but what could've been a disaster ended up being lovely and very organized.

Set up for the show was actually the day before, but with heavy thunderstorms predicted, I have learned to not waste time putting up art to be ruined in the rain. I have only been doing shows this summer, but didn't want to relive my Chicago experience, hanging my full body weight on my tent to keep it on the ground while I watched my prints float toward the drain in the middle of the street! So it took me a short 2 hours to get my walls and tent set up and tied down for the storm and I had the entire evening to kill in Indy. I planned on catching a movie (The Words... dont bother... it was not good...) and after grabbing a quick dinner consisting of Saltines and a Milky Way at the four star Walgreens down the street, I checked into my reserved hostel space.
Right... as if this were my hostel...

To complain at all about my accommodations is silly since the stay was worth every penny of the 30 bucks I paid for it, but it begs recounting all the same. It was pouring rain already when I checked in and while that sounds like the beginning of a cheesy horror film, trust me in that it was not nearly that exciting. I walked into some nervous giggling in the community kitchen and a combination of smells including what I was later told was the freshly painted basement which permeated the entire house and what looked like beans and weenies being cooked on the stove... as if that is not a meal worthy of the microwave. The little girl and a tall lanky guy who were cooking looked at me and promptly introduced themselves like this, "Oh, uh... are you checking in? Oh, uh... ok. Um, well... we are the new managers and, uh, not really sure what is going on yet. Um... but I think someone is here to help you if, um, you can just go to the little office you hear the voice coming from. Ok." Ok. And these "managers" look all of 15, by the way...

So I find a girl who introduces herself as Monica and wait for her to check me in while navigating the small talk that goes along with any customer service. When she asks why I am in town, I tell her and listen while she gushes about loving art and always going to the show when she was little. Great.

After that she thinks it would be really fun for me to join the group in the dining room for an "Art Hour" later that evening and I try to be as business-like as possible in telling her I have an early morning, ( which was not a lie) and would just be going to bed. Even though she eyes me suspiciously while considering it is only 6:30, she graciously lets me out of the creative session and shows me to the group girls room. I am told only one other girl will be staying the night and quickly close the door behind Monica to soak up as my privacy as possible before the other girl gets there.

I get some emailing, Facebooking, and researching done and decide to watch a movie on the computer. I perform these rituals on the top bunk due to the fact the mattresses were framed so close to one another that the bottom bunk only allotted about 2 feet between the mattress and top bunk board.

It is here I am sprawled when my roommate enters, funnily enough, in all of her 60 year old glory! She floats in and gives the place a once over with a friend (who apparently isn't close enough to give her a bed) and says hello to me all under Monica's watchful eye. She is quickly leaving again for the night when she introduces herself and I sound like her mother as I grill her..."Oh, are you leaving? Do you think you'll be out late? What time will you be back? Should I leave a light on?" and I can picture our amusing role reversal as Im sure she rolls her eyes at me on the other side of the door. She promises to be back soon and to be quiet, while I say I will leave the lamp on so she can see in case I am sleeping. This is about 8:30... Im thinking well she will be back by 10:30, surely... But oh how those seniors must party!

As it gets later and later, I resign myself to the fact I will have to go to sleep and hold her to her church mouse promises. I go to turn the small lamp on... the lamp that was sitting RIGHT BESIDE MONICA when our earlier exchange happened. MONICA- who sat and smiled at our diplomatic arrangement. MONICA, whose amused expression I understood as I discovered there was no light bulb in the lamp I am to leave on. *SIGH. Overhead light it was as I crawled in bed, knowing I would have to be up in 6 hours, and also knowing that that light would keep me up until roomie wanders in... hopefully she would come soon.

It got to be midnight and the room was still flooded with what now felt like yellow hot-dog-stand light and I tried to make the best of the situation while counting down the 4 hours I had to get some sleep. I remembered the cave that was acting as a bottom bunk of the bed I was sleeping in and decided it was my only chance to at least doze off until the other lady inevitably woke me when she got home. With full understanding that I was breaking a hostel cardinal rule by messing up two beds... I squeezed into the 2 foot crawl space of bottom bunk-which at least blocked out the light- shoved in some ear plugs and rolled over.

AT 2 IN THE MORNING, this other woman finally rolled in from her night on the town and I am wondering if I had all my life misjudged the phrases, "not too late," "not too long," and "be back soon." I mean, I know I am not her mother, but geez...

Finally it is dark in our room and we are both settled in for the next 2 hours until my alarm goes off. I lay there deciding I will let it go off extra long, just to see if the other lodger feels put out at all. I should've known by that point though, that I had given my sleeping ability too much credit in thinking I would go back to sleep after all the huffing and puffing I had done up to this point. Not to mention the storm raging outside that I had previously mentioned. Maybe I should've been thankful for the storm as it had been my only reprieve from the tungsten flood as it flickered in and out every time it thundered!

So, 2 hours to hang out and listen to the storm until I had to get ready to work the whole next day. Thankfully the other half of the story is a bit brighter, but Im afraid it will have to be continued at a later date as I have gone on too long already...

As much as I dread writing sometimes, I can sure rattle on! Tune in next time to see in what state I escaped the hostel in and hear about the actual show itself...