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Hey! Hold That Door!

“You have to walk through the doors that open!”

I wish I could attribute that quote because I like it. The first time I heard it was from a guy standing behind me and Guy as we were waiting to get into a Yankee game. We were there early to see the monument and ceremony honoring Mariano Rivera’s induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

We are a big Yankee family if you didn’t already know that.

In the hour we all spent waiting in line together, a conversation broke out (not entirely unexpected with Guy around). He was traveling the east coast visiting ballparks with his parents; eight games in seven days. I’ve always wanted to do one of those trips but have always been afraid to admit to myself that I love baseball THAT much!

Anyway, this baseball nut (which until I take one of those trips I’m still free to call him) was telling us that he was in the middle of a career change. NOW I was paying attention: I’m doing a lot of thinking these days about that exact topic and was wondering if he was going to share any pearls of wisdom. After receiving his PhD in physical therapy he continued, he got a business opportunity that he felt was “once in a lifetime!.” Ten-years of education, wasted.

“You have to walk through the doors that open!”

I’m just finishing a great summer. It started with a trip to London in May with my family. I spent much of the rest of the summer writing and working on an inspection job that kept me in shorts, sneakers and a baseball cap all summer long.  I love getting paid dressed like that!

To my regular followers, that’s not news. I’ve been sharing a lot recently about the various projects I’m working on.

In the past few months, I spent significantly more time as a consultant, inspector, blogger and podcaster than I have as a paint dealer. Almost to the point of irresponsibility!  Things are fine at the stores despite my absence. At least I think they are! Or at the very least, I hope they are! Anyway, that’s what they answer when I text them!

It’s just that lately, I have come to enjoy the non-dealer aspects of my career quite a lot. I’ll admit that there’s some strange thrill that comes from writing something knowing it may get read 50,000 times! I think every blogger is part exhibitionist! I’m sure part of that is ego (mine is healthy I’m told)!  

In the times during this past summer when I was not charging a homeowners association for the right to have me sunbathe while walking around their property watching painters, I searched for more creative opportunities for my writing and podcasting. Writers, like most artists, need a sponsor to avoid being the starving variety. All summer long I was speaking to CEO’s and VP’s of marketing and sharing my vision for what I wanted to accomplish using my blog and podcast to supply content to the channel. It was fun AF!  Part salesman part creative director!  

“You have to walk through the doors that open!”

Next week in this space, I will make a significant announcement concerning my plans for this site and the future. If you are an independent retailer of paint or hardware or an employee at a company that services them, you’ll be interested to hear what I’ve got planned. I’m looking forward to sharing that column with you next week. My 31-year journey through the paint business has reached a milestone destination!   This is a very exciting time in my life. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you!

The Seven Year Itch?

Guy and I have been together seven years this fall.  For the last four of those years, we have been sharing a house with my daughter Buck Wheat, née Miranda. 

And so that means; it’s been two against one!  

But I’ve always had a weapon. A way to even the score so to speak.

Pictures of my girls nodding off in awkward positions and locations are an outstanding way keep them in line….or at least awake!  I know it works because they complain about it often at our family bitch sessions (also known as “tell Mark what he’s doing that bothers you” night). I like to think its part of my charm, though Guy and Buck may not agree.

Anyway, the girls return the favor. I assure you; they’re not the only ones who fall asleep in public. They snap their pictures and show them to me to cause shame or hide them from me and giggle to cause consternation.

But much to their frustration: I don’t give a shit!

Buck Wheat knows both the score (and her father!) plus she’s been here from the beginning!  But Guy doesn’t believe me when I claim not to care. She shows my sister these pics: nothing! My mother? Nothing! She pulls them out at parties and still: no response from me. Despite the failure, she feels certain that if she could only get one of those pictures into the wrong hands I’ll get embarrassed and she’ll have her victory over my photographic oppression.

She’s wrong!

There’s one sure-fire way to deal with blackmail and that’s to bring the issue out from the darkness and into the light!

Not believing I would go through with it, exposing myself to all of you just to shut her up, I suggested she go through her most awkward pictures of me. “Find your favorite!”

I’ll admit; she fights dirty!

I saved you a lot of pain by vetoing her first choice. I assure you you are all be better off without a close-up of my webbed toes!  Not because I’m shy! I swear, I’m doing you a favor! And as independent retailers you have enough trouble sleeping, so I thought I’d spare you the 15-minute recording of me snoring. Anyway, she said it was me but it’s was just an audio recording so who really knows?

So here you have it, the winning shot! Proof positive that my family is SO boring that even reading a good book in a busy hotel lobby covered in my favorite logos, they can’t keep me awake!

Next week, I’ll meet you right here! I look forward to speaking to you and sharing my vision for my new endeavor.


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