Tuesday, June 2

Paint Job

The kids help me paint the railing of Marcia and Larry's house in Bronxville. It is a secret so shhh. The last time I did this was in '94 and regained Larry's favor following many instances of irresponsible youth .. like taking the family car into Manhattan to go clubbing .. but this another story. Today we finish off the wire scraping and add some primer. The Shakespeares lay newspaper to stone to avoid drips and Madeleine washes everything down with TSP solution. They get bored by the prep work pretty quickly - but, as with most things, this is the part that counts. No paint coating will hide a weak foundation as we know so well from the Bush era. Eitan and Madeleine work for $5 each assuming, of course, that their tasks complete. It stands at 50-50. My favorite part so far the Tuckahoe paint store which has not changed in fifteen years. It returns me to Providence where the first stop of my summer day Glidden or Benjamen Moore (each had a different personality. Benji Moore upscale though not as haughty as Pratt & Lambert; Glidden strictly blue-collar and Sears or Cabot - forgetaboutit). Back then we credit gorged contractors milled about drinking free coffee anxious to get started on the job. My state "fearful" managing 30 guys and barely 20. In Tuckahoe today I chat with an old store hand who is well beyond retirement which reminds me of "Uncle" Ed in Providence. Uncle Ed was as senile as a bat but loved being in the paint store. All the guys gave him grief but he soaked it up and I used to think then what a nice way to keep it vital in one's sunset years. Maybe some day it will be me (though I doubt it).

Sonnet gets a freebie in NYC where she meets several designers and visits the Frank Lloyd Wright exhibition at the Guggenheim, which celebrates its 50th.

Madeleine and I drive to the market with radio blaring.
Me: "What do you think these songs are all about?"
Madeleine: "Love."
Me: "Why do you think I love your mother."
Madeleine: "Because she is pretty."

Me to Eitan: "Why do you think school is teaching you the differences between boys and girls?"
Eitan: "Stop it dad. I don't want to know."

Madeleine at the super-market: "Can I have a box of cookies? Can I have that pie? Can I have some sugar cereal? Can you get me those crisps? Can I have a pickle? Dad! It is so unfair! You never let me have anything I want but you get everything for you!"

"I'm a strong believer in it [water-boarding]. I thought it was well done."
-- Dick Cheney at today's National Press Club appearance