My beautiful day
That inevitable question first hit me like a water balloon in the face while taking a nap in the summer sun. It's a major question that weighs heavier on our minds as we mature.
"So, Michelle, what do you want to be when you grow up?" my kindergarten teacher asked genially, but for me, her smile was a farce. Why does she want to know? What's it to her? Suddenly, I saw my life flash before my eyes. I was an astronaut, a teacher, a race-car driver,
a tattoo artist, a janitor. What would I be? I felt as though my days of playing in the sandbox and eating glue were over - I had to plan my future.
But there, face to face with my teacher, I declared, "A giraffe!"
Hundreds of thousands of animators like my dad all over the world put them there. After a while, it made sense to see his name on the TV screen at the end of each episode and going to his office, I knew, would be really exciting.
Going to work with my dad was not exactly what I thought it would be. I had to be pulled out of bed when it was still dark, and then we faced hours of traffic on the freeway. I had always imagined Dad going to work with a briefcase and a tie, perhaps toting a mug of coffee and newspaper, but he took me to work wearing a T-shirt and jeans.
The office, like his attire, was very relaxed and carefree. The cartoonists hung around laughing, listening to music, watching new movies and, of course, drawing. Ah, heavens! Briefcases were nowhere to be seen. The refrigerators were stocked with sodas and Yoo-hoos, and popcorn and candy machines were in every corner. My favorite "office supply," though, was the row of vintage arcade games. Pacman, X-Men, Street Fighter and Centipede - they were all there! And the good times rolled.
After a few hours of drawing cartoons with my dad (for the "Aladdin" TV series), we headed to the lunchroom where we saw actors from "Boy Meets World," "Family Matters" and "Full House." I was...