masking ugliness with color
Monday, October 22 2012
At some point today Gretchen went to town on an errand that included a stop at Mavis to have them fix whatever was broken in our Honda Civic Hybrid's ABS system. She took Eleanor, and when one of the Mavis staffers had been uncommonly friendly towards her, it melted some of the hostility Gretchen has accumulated over the general crappiness of their service (as revealed over the course of five recent visits).
After finishing the priming of the drywall in the greenhouse upstairs (mostly using a paint roller), I used a big old paint brush (I had to pound it against a concrete block with a sledge hammer to soften it up) to apply a layer of paint roughly the color of cantaloupe. This is the paint leftover from when we painted a couple walls just inside the front door in a successful effort to make the inside of our house less shabby. White is great for bouncing around light, but it doesn't take many spider webs or cracks for it to look terrible. Knowing this, and knowing how successful the cantaloupe-colored paint is in masking ugliness on its surface, I decided to paint both the walls and ceiling of the greenhouse upstairs using that color.
It was a sunny day, and temperature in the greenhouse upstairs peaked at around 105 degrees Fahrenheit. I worked down there shirtless, but I was dripping so much sweat that I feared it might poison my bucket of paint. It felt great to transition from the oppressive heat of the greenhouse to the relatively-brisk 60-something temperatures outside. Eventually, though, I was forced to open the doors and windows so I could cool the place down a little.
The final presidential debate of 2012 happened tonight and Gretchen and I snuggled up with Ramona in her corral to watch it. I'd poured myself a glass of Jameson Whiskey and Gretchen had a glass of port. The subject tonight was foreign affairs, and Obama was so well briefed on this material that one could almost feel a little sad for Romney, whose strategy tonight was evidently not to rock the boat and to pretty much just agree with Obama on everything. But Romney had brought Kumbaya to a knife fight, and Obama came with the aggression and assertiveness his first debate had demonstrated to be essential. And of course he was armed with zingers, anecdotes, and factoids. The two most memorable exchanges were as follows. When Romney criticized Obama for allowing the American Navy to shrink to its smallest size since 1917, Obama observed that we also don't have as many horses and bayonets as we did in 1917, and that now we have these things called aircraft carriers and also boats that can go underwater called nuclear submarines. And then when Romney tried to criticize Obama for having never visited Isræl while president, Obama pointed out that he had visited Isræl during the 2008 campaign, and not just to attend fundraisers (an easy dig at Romney). He then talked about going to the Holocaust museum and visiting various obscure towns where Isræls suffered from scud attacks, Palestinians spitting in their sandwiches, and other indignities.
Of course, since Americans are a uniquely self-centered people and care little about foreign affairs, both Romney and Obama kept doing their best to change the subject back to things that interest 'Mericans, particularly the kind living in swing states.
By the end of the debate, I was feeling a little better about Obama's prospects. He's not a great president, but he could be a lot worse, and his main job right now is to occupy the White House for four more years so as to prevent a truly horrible human being from occupying it instead.
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