The magic number is 90.

Tomorrow — today, for most of you — I am painting the kitchen. It’s the least I can do, as the burden of most of the wallpaper-stripping and most of the priming and all of the ceiling-painting and all of the new-light-fixture-installation was borne by Alan. So tomorrow, I take brush in hand, open the can of Lavender Ice and try to perform up to Alan’s standards.

No small task. You have never met a pickier home improver.

When Alan started his new job after Christmas, and we were living apart and trying to sell our house, I started watching a trifle on HGTV called “Sell This House.” People with houses that won’t guess-what are visited by a chirpy team of annoying people who do a quick and dirty redecoration and then reposition the dog as…a show dog, anyway.

I thought we would bond over this show, which I enjoy because it features clueless nimrods who have to learn — yes, learn — that when a house is for sale, it’s a good idea to take your bicycle off the front porch and slap a coat of white over your grass-green bathroom that hasn’t been painted in 20 years. I watch it to crow with superiority. Alan? He’s just an insufferable nit-picker.

“You’re painting wallpaper?” he moans. “The new owners will HATE you. Don’t you know prep work is 90 percent of the job?”

Prep work is, indeed, 90 percent of the job. Now that the prep work is over, I’ll handle the remaining fraction.

It’ll be a good day to be inside — we topped 90 degrees today and likely will tomorrow. In case you were wondering, it snowed…five weeks ago? OK, six. Six weeks ago, snow. Today, mid-summer. And you wonder why Midwesterners are so hardy.

In between today’s 90 and tomorrow’s 90, we had a thunderstorm. I watched it march from Lake Michigan to Huron and Erie via radar, an angry line of red. Alan had gone paddling on the lake, and as the wind lashed the trees and the rain started to fall, I’ll admit to a moment or two of worry. But just a moment. Alan takes care of himself so well in the outdoors that I just don’t bother fretting anymore. Watching “Cast Away” with him was an interesting experience; I realized that if I ever find myself in the Helen Hunt role, I’ll never be able to remarry and move on with my life, because if there’s a way to stay alive in the widely scattered, uncharted islands of the south Pacific, he’ll figure it out. It was sort of like watching “Sell This House” — I’m thinking, “Oh, that poor guy, how will he survive?” and Alan’s yelling “Turn the goddamn life raft over, you idiot! It’s raining! Collect some drinking water! And open the package with the angel wings on it! Use the ice skates!”

He would have been home in a month.

But enough about my husband. On to the bloggage:

The NYT was a feast this morning, but I think my favorite was this slight “Modern Love” piece, about a man who fell in love with his girlfriend’s dog…but not his girlfriend. They stayed together a year on the strength of the human-canine bond. Everyone should have a dog.

In spring, a young man’s fancy turns to thoughts of the fifth-grade sex movie. I had no idea this was an academic tradition, although come to think of it, it’s actually on the school calendar at Kate’s elementary: Fifth-grade human reproduction curriculum. The NYT does a historical piece.

Found via the Poor Man: Paul Revere a despicable tattletale, says GOP: Republicans today criticized Paul Revere for his famous ride, saying that he had violated professional colonial ethics by divulging military secrets in violation of his duty to his lord, the King of England.

“These were sensitive informations about military troop movements with which he had been entrusted,” said G. Gordon Liddy, an expert on ethics in government and a professor at several unaccredited law schools.

That G. Gordon. Such a patriot.

And I knew there’d be good news for me, if only I waited long enough: Curvy women “will live longer,” say experts. Gotta love passages like this: Institute of Preventative Medicine in Copenhagen researchers found those with wider hips also appeared to be protected against heart conditions.

Women with a hip measurement smaller than 40 inches, or a size 14 would not have this protection, they said.

The researchers say hip fat contains a beneficial natural anti-inflammatory.

That’s a BBC story, so be advised a British 14 is closer to an American 12. Still.

Maybe the magic number is 40. I’m so there.

Posted at 10:46 pm in Uncategorized |

8 responses to “The magic number is 90.”

  1. Laura said on June 6, 2005 at 12:03 am

    Somehow I’ve always known my generous ass would serve me well.

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  2. ashley said on June 6, 2005 at 4:12 am

    Good. Curvy women live longer. Let’s see more Kelly Brook and Sophia Loren, and less Kate Moss.

    Does this mean that Kate’s gonna die soon?

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  3. ashley said on June 6, 2005 at 4:13 am

    Oh, and more Ginger and Mary Ann, too.

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  4. Dorothy said on June 6, 2005 at 6:38 am

    Whoa, it’s amazing that I chose to wear my “Ginger” dress today! A few years ago I made a green batik shin-length dress and when my daughter saw it hanging up, she said “That looks like something Ginger might wear.” When I put it on this morning, I never dreamt I’d see it’s namesake in print this morning! Fancy that…

    Oh and thanks a BUNCH for that story, Nance, about the curvy hips. It’s improved my mood about 500 degrees this morning.

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  5. Tori said on June 6, 2005 at 3:03 pm

    I’m also someone who’s pleased about the curvy hips helping women live longer. In your face, CDC.

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  6. John said on June 6, 2005 at 4:21 pm

    Curvy women help men want to live longer.

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  7. alex said on June 6, 2005 at 10:26 pm

    I remember the fifth-grade adolescent biology film. I saw it in 1974 and it looked like something that was made in the ’40s, like so many of our school films in Indiana were in those days. It was shown at night to only the male students, and then only if chaperoned by a male parent or guardian. A silhouette of the male anatomy elicited a few snickers, but other than that it was an absolute snore and didn’t answer any of the burning questions on most of the young minds in the room, a major letdown after all the buildup of forbidenness surrounding it. We were gonna get let in on the secrets of life. And indeed we were, not least of which was that anything worth knowing wouldn’t be learned in the fifth grade in a Hoosier public school.

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  8. mary said on June 7, 2005 at 2:08 am

    My younger son just got the fifth grade film, and seemed unfazed by it. I’m told by the ninth grade son that the seventh grade film is the one that weirds kids out. He did not go into detail.

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