Gotham Diary:
New Year’s Eve
31 December 2013

New Year’s Eve — really?

Tuesdays have evolved into a secondary housekeeping day. I do most of the tidying on Saturday, but I change the bedsheets on Tuesday, and I take the laundry downstairs, &c &c. (I also do a load myself. Some day, I’ll explain why I wash about half of our laundry myself, and send the rest out.) Since I’m already drudging, I might as well polish what silver needs it. Then there are closets to tackle — a shelf or two at a time. In any case, I began the day with a run to Fairway. Not the greatest thinking-ahead, that.

The aisles weren’t crowded, but the checkout lines were something else, and I shopped in a panic. Back at home, I got right to work on the bed. Then Kathleen and I had lunch at the coffee shop. She went on to shop for clothes, and I headed to Gristede’s for paper products, which I buy en masse there and have delivered. (Happily, we were short of everything. I’d have had to go just for Kleenex, what will all our sniffles.) The bags are always delivered by the same fellow, I think he’s Haitian but he might be Senegalese; I wonder what he’s qualified to do, wherever he came from. Ten years or so ago, there was a lot of talk about deliverymen who were doctors and accountants back home, and I perhaps ought to be ashamed to say that learning this made me careful to treat them with sincere respect and big tips. At Gristede’s, I forgot to buy Cokes in the very small bottles that Kathleen likes. The two that we have on hand will have to get us into the New Year.

And then, after Gristede’s, I did this, and I did that — the kitchen counter looks terrific! — and I forgot completely about writing here. There was a little problem there. We saw American Hustle yesterday, and, ordinarily, I’d write about that. But a masterpiece about con artists simply cannot be discussed until it comes out on DVD. Then, and only then, can I go into such gems as “science oven” and “If somebody needs to be intimidated, we’ll intimidate them.” (The latter line is delivered by one of my favorite character actors, Paul Herman.) The result of not being able to make use of such material and having devoted the day to the ultramundane (not to be confused with the ultramontane — no, the ultramundane is distinctly cismontane) can only be flushed away.

Kathleen is knitting a baby blanket. The newborn, a little girl, is two weeks old. Here’s hoping that she’s still a baby when Kathleen finishes the blanket. It’s not that Kathleen is slow — not at all. But she must always be doing something that she has never done before. This blanket has an intricate border and a sprinkling of “medieval hearts,” with the child’s initial at the center. A document only slightly thinner than an S-1 has been prepared, with measurements in inches.

We are finally listening to Christmas carols. Just made it! And while we’re savoring the mysteries of time, permit me to ask when, in your opinion, a certain little fellow turns four? EST or PST? Either way, some time between 1:30 and 2 AM. Party time, definitely. For people, that is, who are younger than we are, and older than Will.

Happy New Year! And thanks for reading!