I always wondered why cartoons of artists have them squinting at their thumbs held out before an object. Now I know. I had a hard time not laughing the first time I did it, and I am happy to report I didn’t say anything snarky. I thought it, but didn’t say it. Most unlike me, and probably the result of First Day Jitters.

Taking an art class was something that was always forbidden – it was a ‘waste of time’ that would better be spent by another math class, and classified with basket weaving as impractical. I knew I would never justify it to my parents, so I didn’t try. I used to look wistfully at other students sitting on the cliff or the lagoon with a sketch pad on their knees as I rushed off to my advanced macroeconomics class. They looked so peaceful, and I was jealous. Even 30+ years out of school, I still feel a bit guilty about this.

Nothing sucks the soul right out of you like a business trip. With all the stresses jet lag, airline nightmares, weather difficulties and hotel beds pile on, I found even the smallest thing would set me off. Last year, during a particularly long NorthEast business trip, I had trouble getting the Starbucks across the street from our SoHo office to get my name even close to right. Even the right gender seemed to be impossible for them.