austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

You light up my life

My mother got into a spring cleaning mood and if that seems late to you, well, maybe it's just actually very early. She had promised we were going to spend Saturday washing the windows, but I missed that exciting task by sleeping in until the rainstorm got comfortably started. The storm ended not too much later, but that was good enough reason to call off the rest of the window-washing until Sunday, when I again missed it by sleeping until the racket of ``insight'' being passed off at 80 dB from the Sunday morning shout programs made it too annoying to try to continue sleeping. And my father wonders why I sleep through the whole of a weekend morning, given the chance. (Fortunately, my brother -- the one I write about most often here -- sleeps much later than I do, and will not infrequently be waking up around 3 pm on a Saturday, the sort of thing I haven't done since graduate school when I'd be up until 8 am watching the engagingly bad Cartoon Network Friday overnight block of 1970s cartoons with spaceroo and then not being able to get to sleep right away.)

Another part of the spring cleaning was washing off the light bulbs above the dinner table. My mother warned me that they'd be surprisingly bright given all the dust she got off them, and yes, they were much brighter even though one of the bulbs was burned out and not yet replaced. I didn't know there was that much dust on them, but then, I had honestly thought they were frosted bulbs. They're clear. Now, anyway. When my mother repeated this witticism to my father, who going against character hadn't heard it, he said that then I should get off my duff and dust the bulbs myself. She pointed out that the point of the comment was that I didn't know they were dusty; I had thought they were frosted.

Later, after dinner, my father asked if I would take the pot with the (sigh) spaghetti sauce (we had penne, which is I suppose marginally better than spaghetti) and pour the leftovers into a plastic bowl, and fill the pot with soapy water. I said sure. Thus, a minute later, he was sulking angrily to himself and pouring the leftover sauce into a bowl and putting the pot into the sink to fill with soapy water. I guess the light bulb controversy really got to him.

Trivia: Giovanni Domenico Cassini, based on observations made in Bologna in 1666-67, estimated Venus to rotate once every 23 hours. Source: Planets and Perception, William Sheehan.

Currently Reading: The Incorporation of America: Culture and Society in the Gilded Age, Alan Trachtenberg. Remember what I said about liking lots of gritty facts? This hasn't got nearly enough of them. It's an interesting read but it feels like the introduction to itself. I don't just want grand sweeps of the development of society; I want to know relative egg prices in Madison, Wisconsin, from 1867 to 1907.

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