November 30, 2009
November 27, 2009
November 24, 2009
November 20, 2009
November 19, 2009
And I don't like to shop. Stuff just accumulates. Part of it, of course, is kids. The musical instruments, the sport equipment, the arts supplies. Part of it is being a bibliophile on the cusp of bibliomania. Part of it is the knitting stash. Okay, the two guitars (classical and twelve-string), piano, and cello take up some space too.
But really, I have one tv, haven't bought any new clothes in over a year, don't buy the girls much other than books, but my home overflows. Does anyone want a juicer? I was given one by SNV and Ex-Marine Fred from the magic basement. I've never used it, so it's going. Same with a blender that could be fixed with a minor repair, but I don't have the time or energy. Every tupperware type container that doesn't have a matching lid has been tossed. Every lid that doesn't have a pot or other container has been tossed. Any clothing I haven't worn in the last year? Given away. Any clothing needing mending that hasn't been mended in the last year? Tossed. And I'm still packing. And I've really been packing all month with just a minor hiatus for surgery.
Of course, I can't throw away most of my knitting stash, patterns, music books (guitar and piano), regular books, and CDs and tapes. But really, everything else? Fair game.
- A colleague can't abide (literally gets up and leaves the lunch table or coffee klatch) any reference to blood, bodily functions, fart humor (I guess he never passes gas?). He has caregivers for his elderly father, but they aren't 24 hours a day, and there is definitely Depends action going on there. This is a lovely man, and maybe he just has enough when the home health givers aren't there, but really.
- An acquaintance who has more than one cat also gets grossed out by just about anything. Needless to say, the cat boxes in her house are not changed weekly or cleaned out daily, and the parts of her house in covered in carpeting don't get cleaned very often. Walking into the house is walking into eau du chat, including the dining and cooking areas.
- Another acquaintance is similarly deeply unable to discuss anything messy in life yet you can pretty much tell his diet for the week by his tie at the end of it.
Compare and contrast:
- SNV: Can talk about anything, doesn't get grossed out except by real disgusting stuff. She has two cats, but her home is spotless and sans the cat smell. Whatever gross stuff she confronts, she (or Ex-Marine Fred -- they're equal partners in keeping the home clean with hospital corners) cleans or throws our promptly.
- FoilMormor: Tortured the Second Mate in the first years of their courtship when he (a highly intelligent, Ph.D educated professor) said that women didn't fart (actually, he said "pass gas") and my mother decided that he needed to learn otherwise. I don't know if the real Danish word for fart is "putt" but that's the word we use in my family and my mother was putting all over the place.* FoilMormor's home is like SNV's: spotless.
My theory is that people who are overwhelmed by the idea of dirt, feces, vomit, whatever would rather imagine it away than clean it up. I, of course, fall into neither category listed above. I'm not easily grossed out, but my home isn't spotless. Nonetheless, whenever I've been confronted with pee on the floor or vomit someplace, I clean it until it's gone, I don't leave it there as a welcome gift for visitors. But squeamish people of the world: really, laundry, carpet cleaners, changing the litter box often, vacuuming up the dog and cat hair, mopping the floor, changing the diaper, bathing daily, these these keep you from being more intimate with the mess and bodily products that gross you out. If the words bother, why is the reality something you're able to ignore? The man in example #1 is an exception really: he cares for his parent out of duty and even though he's grossed out.
*All the women in my family are still giggling over this, and wondering about Second Mate's mother, who told him that women don't fart. Imagine the suppression! And also the complete lack of honesty about women's bodily functions. Why not just say your shit doesn't stink? Equally logical. Obviously, Second Mate just accepted this (and his first wife bought in? No wonder that marriage ended.) without real thought, but really.
November 15, 2009
What kind of kindness? My laptop is dying. I've just been given, by the aforementioned couple (hereinafter the Lovely Couple or LC) a barely used (well, much less used that my laptop) Compaq computer. Yes, it's a desktop, not a laptop, but hey. It's Windows XP, not Vista. I'll have to workout the Windows XP/Internet Explorer Version 8 glitches. I'll need to seek a freeware Internet browser, but XP is oodles better than Vista. Meanwhile, I'll set up the Compaq with wifi once I move to the new FoilFlat (actually, it's not a flat, it's a townhouse style place, so I'll be back in ChezFoil).
I always worry that I'm taking advantage of LC. Their kids spend a fair amount of time at the FoilFlat (and will continue to do so at the new ChezFoil), but it's clear to me that my kids are at ChezLC more than their kids are at my place. Mr. LC is a good cook at is always feeding my offspring. I invite their kids to my place to play, but DG runs to their house (no street crossing involved) to play with their four-year old. TG and their son are always building forts, rolling tires around, making mud creations in the creek, making leaf piles to jump in, and other various kid-like activities. So I get the computer (worth at least $500 used on Ebay) because I'm such a lovely neighbor? Because I get sympathy points as a single mother? Or because I'm so fucking likeable?
I really don't like that many people. When I do like people I'm pleased and surprised. When they like me, I'm flattered and mildly shocked. When they show that for some reason they feel really kindly toward me, I wonder why I'm the best candidate.
Maybe this is low self-esteem, but I wonder: what did I do to deserve this? I need the computer, and will use it happily and well, but why me? People always say that about bad luck, why not about good? Why me.
November 13, 2009
However, driving in to my checkup today, FoilMormor and I counted at least 37 people using handheld cellphones while driving. Even hands free cell phones aren't safe, and using handheld cell phones while driving is illegal, illegal, illegal in every jurisdiction we were in. FoilMormor held and answered my cellphone while I drove and we had a lengthy discussion as to how such traffic scofflaws should be reported. She did make a list of license plates.
So those of you who really think your nasal narcissistic non-stop chatter about nothing in particular is more important than the safety of FoilMormor's granddaughters (Sample FoilMormor commentary: "Look at that! He's not paying any attention. He could hit a child! And he's driving a gas guzzing SUV. Trying to compensate for something. He needn't -- we know he's inadequate. And driving unsafely too. No wonder you take the Metro most of the time dear. I don't think I can tolerate much more of this. Why don't these morons ride a bike and lose a bit of the beer belly and help the planet? And shut up. That would be a good idea."), really, she's watching you. And she's scarier than I am (not hard, I hear Champurrado murmur in mellifluous tones while he bakes something delicious) by several orders of magnitude. And she's making a list and checking it twice and all that (the season is upon us, and all that). So please, just stop it.
*A flipover is when you and your not-so-small anymore-child face each other and hold hands and then said child proceeds to walk up your body with her feet until she's at about waist level and then does a mid-air flip over, hence then clever, clever name of "flipover." Unfortunate, post-fourth abdominal surgery in this lifetime, I am banned from aiding and abetting the not-so-minuscule flipover artiste ever again.
November 12, 2009
November 4, 2009
Funny, I'm more worried about the move than the surgery, but that's realistic: the surgery is not some risky venture, and it's completely out of my control anyway. The move is entirely within my control. So it makes sense to obsess about that.
It's a bit shocking though: I have given away over 10 boxes/bags of clothes, thrown away at least 20 trash bags full of miscellaneous stuff, and have given away or sold over 10 boxes of books. My home isn't even beginning to start to look less full o' junk. And I am not a collector of things. We just have too much stuff. I just have too much stuff. I'm trying to imagine if I liked shopping and collecting things what this would be like.
Of course, kids and their toys and sports equipment and books do create a large part of the chaos, nonetheless, it's disheartening to have unloaded so much miscellaneous stuff and still have so much to unload. Or move. I vote for unloading.
Last post until next week sometime.