So it’s a night without the daughter. Put her on the bus this morning for another camp, this being a real camp with cookouts and s’mores and ghost stories told with flashlights under your chin. She loves it, and was keen to go – but spent the minutes before the bus pulled away drawing imaginary tear-streaks down her cheeks with her fingers, a parody of actual emotion. when we showed up at 1 PM I chatted with the counselors, and introduced her:
“This is Natalie. She has severe anger issues.”
She punched me, but it was a friendly punch. Later I was informed that she had not given me permission to videotape the departure of the bus.
“What are you, the police?”
“Anyway, it’s not videotape. There’s no tape in this machine.”
“Stop being so LITERAL you know what I mean.”
Then she ran for the bus, stopped, came back, and gave me a hug. I watched the bus go with none of the emotions I’d felt the first time she went off for a few days at camp. The bonds never loosen, but they don’t seem as tight. If that makes sense.
Since there was no family dinner, I nuked a box of butter-chicken, left a note for my wife about the status of the dog (Fed, no Frosty Paws) and headed off to do an errand. There’s a sprayer in the laundry room sink that leaks a little. About which I could not care less. But it must be fixed, I guess. Last week I bought a new nozzle; last night I discovered the old nozzle is wedded forever to the supply line, so I have to replace the entire thing. Picked up the relevant part at Home Depot, and was idly strolling around wondering if I should get Hooks, or Lightbulbs -
“Excuse me, sir,” said a young man. “Are you thinking about kitchen remodeling?”
“Not at the moment, but – well, yes. Yes I am.” As it happens we are planning a kitchen refit, mostly paint but perhaps more, because my wife has come to feel an inexpressible animus towards the general scheme of things, specifically, the hue of the countertops.
“Were you thinking about new cupboards?”
“You’re a mind-reader,” I said. “I want to replace the top of the cupboard doors with opaque glass and install some lights.”
So I’m pretty much this guy’s target market. Can’t imagine there were a lot of men walking around Home Depot at 6 PM thinking about cupboard door replacement.
“We’re offering a free in-home consultation,” he said. “Would you be interested?”
I said that I was.
“Are you married?” I said that I was. “Would your wife like to be involved in this?”
“Are you married?” I asked. He nodded. “Then you know the answer to that question.”
He said he heard that, all right, even though he was out of the country half the year, but yes, marriage. I asked him what took him out of the country – Air Force. National Guard, I suspect. He said he’d been deployed half the year “since the war started.” Postal division. Just came back from Iraq, but mostly Pacific and a stint in Rammstein. Smart guy, personable, high-and-tight haircut, tats, pipes, easy genial confidence. He laid out what the company could do, then said he’d set up an appointment, and I would have to talk to an operator to confirm that I was doing this of my own free will.
Seriously. So I told the operator, Shaniqua in Somewheresville USA, that he had given me a fast line of sales talk and I just wanted to buy a sprayer hose and go home. She laughed and said yeah, he’s slick. So they’re coming by next week.
When the phone conversation was over I told Dario – that was his name – that we’d been talking about the kitchen overhaul, and if I came back with a brochure and an appointment I would be looking at some serious husband points for taking the initiative.
“I like your attitude,” he said. We shook hands and I thanked him for his service, paid for my hose, and left.
It had been a punishingly hot day, too hot to rain; now the storm was coming in, and the sky was full of popcorn clouds, bruised, heavy. Soupy air. Summer and then some: I love this. I didn’t want to go home just yet, so I stopped at Best Buy to pick up some headphones for a new series of video podcasts – but we’ll get to that later in the week. Had a nice chat with a camcorder salesman about things, possibly because I just wanted to talk video with someone, and he seemed to enjoy talking to someone who didn’t say “is there a button that just puts it on YouTube?” Went to the register; was behind a woman buying a copy of the Percy Jackson movie. Was she a RewardZone member?
“No. And I’m not interested,” she said.
I understand that. However, I am a Reward Zone member, and get five-buck coupons now and then. For that matter I have a card for Fry’s, which is a grocery store in Arizona, and I use it once a year. Anyway: bought my headphones, walked back out into the soup, and drove home. Chatted with my wife about the Mortgage Refi, and confirmed our plans to buy down the mortgage. It’s a tremendous act of faith, the housing market being what it is, but Jasperwood is unique. The house is good, and the quantity of land for a city property is un-fargin’-real. Then I worked out and showered and put in a few hours on this, and / or that. Mostly scanned and OCR’d the “Falling Up the Stairs” book. Aiming for that sweet, sweet Christmas Kindle market.
I said I bought some odd things at the postcard / ephemera show. I did. Would someone please, please explain this cigar band.
Please. (Larger version here.) I cannot decipher this, except to wonder whether the statue is some sort of Guernica reference, and “Washington” refers to an anti-fascist brigade. Ideas?
This was something I had to have. I paid seven dollars for it. A luggage sticker from 1939, the year of the World’s Fairs.
Was the world was more interesting when it was bigger?
Later today: well, tumblr’s loaded up with five posts, if the automatic queue feature works. We’ve gotcher Out of Context Ad challenge around noon, and PopCrush all day – including the noontime video. Watch it! The more hits, the happier my overlords are. Black and White World: Summer SciFi will post around seven PM or so. Hell YEAH I’ll have done my part for the internet this Wednesday.
Have a grand day; see you soon.
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