Got the final bill from the OIWF contractor. He has agreed to my terms. Let’s just say the reduction was meaty. There are some who no doubt scoff: don’t pay him anything. Tempting. But they did spend three months on it this spring, and G. Burly did his best. It works, after all.  Dries out faster than an unfolded moist towelette on Mercury, but it works. 

Lovely day; the damp and chill of the last few days gave way to a mild September afternoon. Short sleeves and long pants. (I’ve never understood people who wear sweatshirts and/or jackets with shorts; are their legs covered with super-skin? Does their leg hair trap a layer of warm air? If my arms are cold, my legs are cold. It’s all of a piece.) Now I’m in the gazebo, listening to the waterfall and the occasional plane.  You never notice the last one. How could you? 

The Stenciller came today. She stenciled eight designs in the dining room, and two in the family room. She said she was sometimes reluctant to confess what she did for a living, since the word “stencil” to most people meant pictures of ducks and ribbons applied with Krylon spray paint. I was lucky to get her, since I think she usually does the homes of people in high-toned neighborhoods where they call the cops if a car drives too slowly. Or too quickly. Even if it’s a police car. It could be stolen. I was probably not a typical client, since I did not linger on the samples. Some people’s idea of bliss is an afternoon spent looking at samples and swatches, holding them up to the wall, standing back, assuming the posture of aesthetic contemplation. For me that is hell. I make quick decisions and I never regret them. (I knew I would marry my wife after our first day, incidentally.) I would like to think this means I have the character of a Captain of Industry, the sort of fellow who can bark brisk orders at his desk while someone is shining his shoes and someone else is trimming his neck hair, and a secretary is taking it all down in shorthand, hoping her secret crush isn't obvious, but half hoping it is.

But it really means I don’t like to look at samples very much.

Anyway, she took the whole day, which was fine; she was delightful company, and gave Jasper someone new to get used to. The paints had a delicious scent, and gave the house the aroma of a Parisian garret, minus the chronic baked-in BO. To give the house a neutral musical flavor I put the iPod on the top 250 tunes of 1942; six hours later, we'd only made it to 136. Man, I can’t wait until the day I have the bandwidth to WDNR, or Diner Radio. It’s a long-term project, but I have my hopes. It’ll be live, broadcast from Jasperwood, and I’ll just hop in and out for comment as the day evolves. Sometimes I enjoy radio more if I don’t think anyone’s listening.

Picked Gnat up at the bus stop. She was dismayed to learn that the dining room was being stenciled. “I hate new things for the house,” she moaned. “You know that.” She liked the stencils when she saw them, and later explained that she thought they would be little naked angels with hearts and love-arrows.

You mean cupids?

She nodded.

Why did you think I’d paint Cupids in the dining room?

I don’t know. I just did.

Daddy ain’t running no Bunny Ranch hoor-house, girl! Ain’t no dime—store Valentine Day decorations painted on our walls.


Sorry. I’m just exhausted and uninspired. I’d really like to sit on the sofa and watch “Quiz Show,” which I watched before, so I know I like it. Actually I’ve watched a few segments already – the last three nights I’ve had 15 minutes to watch TV before bed, and by “Bed” I mean 1:15 AM. And I get up at eight. I like getting up early again (and please: please. Spare me the tales of getting up at 5:30 AM. I know; some decent diligent folk must rise while the rooster is still REMing away with dreams of romping with the hens [in rooster fantasies, do they wear feathers?] and I admire you. But I am not of your tribe. I prefer to drive the night hard and devil take the hindmost. Unfortunately the next day I am the hindmost. I used to get up early, but in the summer we slept late. No more. Fine: I’m getting lots done, and I like having the whole day instead of a half-sized plate of the brighter ration. But I have my standards. Last Saturday my wife got up for a tennis match at 7 AM, and I have only sad, sad pity for people who willingly whack rackets at balls at that unseemly hour. (And she’s a night person, too.) I’d rather see 7 AM coming than watch it go, but those days are gone, and I’ll still trying to figure out how to adjust my workflow. All I know is that I’m dead dry beat, and I’d best bow out now, retire to the sofa and recharge.

New Quirk; Diner tomorrow. Thanks for the patronage! See you tomorrow. 








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c. j lileks. email may be sent to first name at last name dot com.