We're in that week between the end of the regular school year and the beginning of summer school. A feeling of relief usually comes with this section of the annual schedule, but this year is different because of all the efforts we've put into seeing if the school system can actually be responsible for its part in Amy's education. We're about halfway through a year of defining and implementing goals and objectives in her education plan, and from the look of things, well, I think I see a school district that's going to have its work cut out for itself come September. All this concern is sort of like waiting for the other shoe to drop, so the spell of relaxation will have to wait until August when all schooling is blissfully non-existent.
This morning, in the pre-coffee blurs, I asked Viv about her agenda for the day. She was vague: always a bad sign, but there's still hope if my sluggardly tendencies are contagious enough. She asked what was on my agenda and I told her I was going to write an entry here, and that was about all I had planned. From my end, I see this as the gift of freedom, the horizon of time is vast and open as we stand in morning's embrace ready for the wind song of serendipity to blow across our happy faces. A drive along the coast perhaps, or lemonade under the trees. From her end, this unclaimed chunk of time is a major element in the ongoing manufacture of the Gross Family Product. In today's case, the GFP was a new fence around the pool.
Two trips to Home Depot and one and a half tons of heavy lifting later, the raw material is in the backyard waiting for tomorrow. Guess what I'm doing for Fathers Day.
While this sort of thing may seem like the drudgery of suburban living (it isn't, but let's pretend it is, for symmetry's sake), surely one of the benefits is what happened this past Wednesday evening. It began as a casual basketball conversation with the new neighbors out by the mailbox and a few days later it was a fairly impromptu fairly major Los Angeles Lakers fan barbecue. We had two TV's roaring out on the back patio, Chick Hearn barking from a radio, with steaks, burgers, hot dogs, and Italian sausages sizzling on the grill. Blend in a dozen people, and chips and dip and peanuts and sodas and beer and ice cream and coffee and a game tied at the end of regulation -- suddenly it's a party. Not bad for a Wednesday night. And we were loud too. Felt good.
Okay, I promised myself I wouldn't do this, but... for about a year now, I've been toying with the idea of putting some of my black and white photo images onto a white cotton shower curtain in our main bathroom. It can be done easily enough by scanning the photographs as b&w line drawings and then printing them onto iron-on transfer paper. I have applied such iron-ons to several t-shirts with rather striking results, even if I do say so myself.
The bathroom in question is done in a scheme of white and chrome (except for a garish shower curtain), with some silver and brushed aluminum accents: a nice clean Spartan look, but rather lacking in personal flair, wouldn't you say? Of course you would, for you are my friend. Enter my brilliant shower curtain idea.
Viv is against it.
I can't get any reasonable argument out of her on this, and here's why. When we bought this house we divided up the decorating duties by room. I got the living room, my office, the master bedroom, the little bathroom, and a few other places, and she got Amy's room, the kitchen, and, among other locations, the main bathroom. Each of us is the supreme commander of our rooms with complete veto power over any suggestion that might be made regarding color, furnishings, accessories, whatever. We try not to be too outrageous, of course. We know that Louis XVI chairs in the kitchen will not permit the eye to flow gently toward a bright blue Laz-Z-Boy in the living room. But fer crissakes, Viv, it's just a friggin' shower curtain. Let the man have his outlet.
This issue is not dead. I'm mustering my negotiation skills, smiling politely, and honing my knack for bribery.
In the meantime, as a way of venting my iron-on urges, I've again taken up the t-shirt as my canvas. Here are just a few of my current oeuvres which can be viewed on the back or breast pocket of shirts in some of this area's finest laundry hampers.
See? See how pretty?
Oh, c'mon, just give me this one, Viv. I know, I know I've done the ugly thing and taken this into the public realm, but listen, please, I beg you. Shower curtains are not permanent fixtures. If you hate it -- it's gone, I promise. But in the name of all that is holy, let's just try it. Here's a chance to take our toileting to a level most folks can only dream of. Bubbles and fish and seaweed and clamshells? Is that what you want for your guests, for your family, for your daughter, bubbles and fish and seaweed and clamshells? What kind of people have shower curtains with bubbles and fish and seaweed and clamshells, hmm? What kind?
"Porcelain" -- Julia Fordham -- PORCELAIN
"Art has something to do with the achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness which characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm... an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction."
- Saul Bellow