Perforated Lines (you can't resist 'em!)

 it's this big, really
-- Friday, September 17, 1999 --

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9:23 a.m. I've got a nice first coat of batch on the walls and window frames. A big white wall and my imagination is sort of captured by it. I've got the idea, maybe, of putting straight blue lines across and painting on holes and pretending it's a big piece of loose leaf paper. Or not. You get big plans when you're up on a ladder.

I'm cautiously optimistic, while waiting on the cable guy. Who knows? He might just show up. We were supposed to be ready by 8 a.m., and of course we were. They must giggle when they're making up the schedules. "How about we get 'em running around thinking we're coming as early as ... oh, I don't know ... how about we say -- about 7:30, 8 a.m.? Think they'll fall for it?"

10:38 a.m. Of course, there's no knock on the door. No cable guy yet. And I fear getting all involved in a sensitive, multilayered permutation here ... because just when I'm about to back out of a long cul-de-sac of an aside and make some kind of a salient point -- that's when he's going to show up with his clippers.

Here are some fragments of a thought: I saw Action, the new sitcom on Fox, last night. We've been here in Hollywood for nine years now. This is not a fragment -- this is a shard.

Last night I started reading At Swim Two Birds again. This time, I hope I will finish it. I'm believe I'm old enough now.

11:15 a.m. Well, as usual, this is getting irritating. Ridiculous. I've gone around and spackled what I could, taped what I needed to tape. They sell a blue masking tape at the paint store that is very expensive. Martha Stewart uses it as if they give it to her for free.

I tear it off in little bitty pieces and reuse it over and over again, throughout the entire job. Martha uses a special brown paper to cover her wooden floors before she paints, and she tapes the paper down in careful squares. I spend an inordinate amount of time crouched and slouched and eventually leaning against the wall, reading the newspapers I'm trying to lay down. The most amazing stuff catches your eye.

On today's floor, we have: Jin Xing, with her arms folded, at the Shanghai Dance and Theater Academy. She is the first transsexual in China to talk publicly. Then, there's Jenny F. So, curator of Chinese art at the Sackler and Freer Galleries, also with her arms folded belligerently, no nonsense, across her chest. Ladies not so demure.

Mostly, it's faces that stare up at you from the floor: big, big faces. Serena Williams, in color, in triumph. Cleveland Williams, on a back page, in black and white. His obit: 66, Loser to Ali for Title. Subhead: The Houston fighter got his big chance after being wounded in a shooting. The ever changing Times.

11:56. Ok. This is really getting to me. That's it, I can't take it any more, I'm breaking out the paint. That ought to bring the guy.

1-ish. Of course, that brought not one, but two cable guys, Edwin and Elmer. I was at the ceiling, painting a corner, covered in sticky taffy white paint.

10:02 p.m. Still covered in paint, but oh my. Oh my oh my. I am jacked into the system with a modem as big as my gigabyte drive, as powerful as the machines they use to land a rover on Saturn. Of course, there's a teensy problem here and there with TCP/IP and all, but -- zoom zoom zoom. I'll be up all night.

Full reprot to follow in the morning. Oh, happy day!

Tomorrow? I'll describe it in total detail.

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