Ramona's abstract expressionism
Tuesday, April 2 2013
It was another unseasonably cold morning, and it was my job to walk the dogs. The air was cold enough that my hands had difficulty staying comfortable outside my pockets. Gretchen is the one who usually walks the dogs, and she always sticks to familiar trails, so when I walk the dogs I'll often go off-trail to give them something of an adventure. New places mean new opportunities, such the deer hoof Eleanor found this morning in the "Valley of the Beasts" (41.923387N, 74.102526W)
Ray needed to drop his car off in Kingston so Nancy would have it on her bus ride up from the city tomorrow, so I agreed to come into town to pick him. He said he'd be at Outdated, the bistroish coffee shop that doubles as an antique store. Ray[REDACTED] also noted that it is also a place with great age diversity amongst its attractive women.
But when I got into Uptown, I found Outdated was closed. So we went to Sissy's instead. I'd already eaten so I wasn't very hungry, opting for a scone (and ate it even after Ray, who had ordered one too, pointed out it wasn't vegan). It's good to occasionally (and accidentally) find out what I've been missing as a vegan; especially when the non-vegan mistakes aren't delicious. In the case of this particular scone, it was way too sweet and reminded me of the flavor of icecream, but not in a good way. It didn't really matter; we were mostly there for the coffee. While there, Ray showed me some sketches in his sketch books. One of them was fancy and had heavy beige paper; he'd just bought it and it was completely empty. The other only had two drawings and a poem he'd written about one of the Outdated Barristas. He wondered if it would be possible to show it to her without coming across as a stalker, finally settling the matter by appending a profanely sexual final line.
On the way back to the car, I bought a canvas and a tube of cheap purple acrylic paint at Catskill Art and Office Supply, whose two doors make for a handy shortcut through the unbroken mass of buildings between Wall and Fair Streets.
Ray wanted to go to the Salvation Army thrift store out on Albany Avenue, so that was our next destination. I find that store incredibly depressing, though it doesn't have a bad selection of men's clothes (everything else is discolored and dreary). Just to clear the mustiness from my mind, I took us from there to the Goodwill out on 9W. The Goodwill always has lots of interesting electronics and the atmosphere isn't as dingy. Today I almost bought an electronic drum kit for $40 but then somehow made myself not do it. Instead I got a good hacksaw and what looked like a bluetooth headphone with microphone for about $8. As for Ray, he got a number of things including a vinyl album, a ridiculous monkey-faced lamp, and a vacuum cleaner.
When we went to load our treasures into my Subaru, Ray noticed that Ramona had managed to squirt a huge dollop of purple paint out of the brand new paint tube onto my brand new canvas. What a disaster! I'm a good dog parent and Ramona doesn't really know any better; she just likes the way certain objects feel when she bites down on them, but I yelled at her like she was a misbehaving child. The strategy was effective in putting Ramona in a mood that sure seemed like guilt; for example, for the whole ride home, she didn't plant herself between the two front seats the way she likes to do (having usurped this position from Eleanor, who had usurped it earlier from Sally). But it actually turned out that the mess Ramona had made with my brand new paint wasn't anywhere near as bad as it could have been. She could have taken that tube of paint up into the front seat, squirted paint all over the place up there, stepped in it, and tracked it all over the car. Instead, all that had happened was the paint had squirted onto the canvas and then Ramona (perhaps freaked out by it suddenly bursting open) had abandoned it. And the paint hadn't actually made it to the canvas itself; it had landed on the plastic shrink wrap in which the canvas was sealed. Finally, the tube of paint wasn't even damaged; all that had happened was that the top had popped open. In a hurry to get the paint off the canvas before it got everywhere, I took the canvas and scraped it against the bottom of a nearby lamp post. There will probably always be a mysterious purple splotch on the bottom of that lamp post outside the Goodwill in Kingston.
I dropped Ray off at his house and then returned home. The remaining purple paint on the plastic sealing my new canvas was still wet, so I decided to use as much of it as I could to start a purple sky (or perhaps ocean) for whatever painting will be on that canvas.
Unfortunately, the headphones-cum-earphones I'd bought were not actually Bluetooth; they depended on a proprietary dongle that had (naturally) gone missing. I found myself thinking about what else I might be able to use the headphones for. They do contain a rechargable battery that I could repurpose, and the micro-USB cable is useful elsewhere, but otherwise it's a piece of trash.
Early this evening I got sleepy and ended up taking a multi-hour nap. The nap threw a spanner into the gears of my circadian rhythms, and I ended up staying up late working on my infernal web development project. Lasting until 4:00am, it was a roller-coaster ride of seemingly unfixable bugs, various debugging strategies (all of them based on strategic use of echo), and true epiphanies, some of which were so satisfying as to almost make it all worthwhile. The problem-solving aspect of programming is its own kind of reward, though I also appreciate the reward of being well paid.
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