i woke up at 10:00 to go to my painting job across the street at my neighbor dennis' place. it didn't start until 11:00, but bruce wrote me an e-mail saying he was ready whenever, so after a shower and some breakfast, i put on my painting clothes, grabbed my protective goggles (actually my college freshman year chemistry eyewear) and left around 10:30.

dennis wanted the ceiling of his 3-story backyard porch to be painted. the ceiling of the 3rd floor is already finished, so bruce and i only needed to paint the 2nd and 1st floors. before we can do that though, we first needed to clean the bottoms of the porch themselves. we originally wanted to set up some kind of scaffolding bridging two tall step ladders, but it was highly unstable (tended to sag in the middle) and difficult to climb up. we gave up on that idea and instead decided to just clean from the tops of individual ladders. our poison was dirtex powder mixed with warm water. armed with buckets and scrubbing brush and scouring pads, we each took an end of the porch, working our way towards the middle.

it was rough work, dirty cleaning fluid dripping down our faces and arms, soaking our shirt and pants. since everything was overhead, there was a lot of contorting to get at the spots. every finished section we'd spray with the hose to rinse off the muck until the water ran clean. we finished the 2nd floor by 1:00, taking an hour long break to recuperate.

i went home to shower again, then went to market basket to get some groceries. working out on the shaded porch completely soaked in water, i didn't realize what a nice day it was, sunny and pleasantly warm. back at home with minutes to spare, i made myself a turkey + honey mustard + wheat bread sandwich and downed a glass of juice before meeting bruce back on the porch.

after clearing off the furniture, we started cleaning with our buckets of dirtex. this second round went much faster; whether it was because we had more experience or just lower standards we're not entirely sure. we finished by 3:30.

dirty and once again drenched in water, i went across the street towards home. i bumped into jeff walking his dog and we chatted for a while about the current housing market. he also gave me some info on the new somerville condo development that's happening in an empty lot a few houses down from me.

in the evening my godmother's son alex came over. he wanted to show me his new motorcycle earlier, but i was doing my manual labor work, so he called again later asking if i was around. he'd been inquiring about motorcycles back in april. i tried to talk him out of it, or at least give him several reasons why it wasn't a good idea, but he went through with it anyway, first taking the rider course and getting his license, and then finally buying a used bike last week.

he got a 2002 red kawasaki vulcan 800 classic with about 9000 miles for $2500. the previous owner kept it in pretty good shape, adding a sissy bar (backrest), a pair of zipper-removable saddle bags and modifying the exhausts to obnoxiously loud straight pipes. i got a chance to sit on it; it seemed smaller, but only because it doesn't have a windshield (makes me wonder if i should take mine off, easily during the summer). it has a great classic look, with curved fenders and swept-back handlebars. the only things wrong with it is a front headlamp that occasionally winks out and a broken right signal light that has something to do with loose wires. while rocking the bike from side to side to check out the weight, i accidently touched the exhaust pipes to my calf, burning an inch of skin. that's why you never ride with shorts!

alex watched about a quarter of the celtics-lakers game with me before leaving. i could hear his bike roaring away.

game 6 was the celtics' best change to win the finals. unfortunately, they just couldn't get it done. kendrick perkins went out early with an injury, a sprained ankle. the wheels came off the celtics team after that. i figured if the game was close, the officiating would skew in the lakers favor just so the NBA could force a game 7 to extend their revenue (it is a business after all). celtics - if they were to win - had to win big, to take the officials out of the equation. but it wasn't even close, with the laker averaging a 20+ point lead for much of the game. los angeles had more rebounds, and better shot accuracy. celtics stayed aggressive, but balls just weren't falling, even botching several easy lay-ups that would normally go in.

with the series tied, it's a brand new best of out 1 series now. whoever wins on thursday wins the championship. lakers playing at home seem to have the obvious advantage. here's hoping they become complacent and give the celtics just enough breathing room to snatch away a victory in los angeles. either way i'm going to a parade this saturday.