austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

It's just like a plate of boardinghouse hash

My day started with my father insisting that it was Very Important we got the house tidied up. See, the cleaning lady quit a couple months ago. At least, we assume she quit. She had been coming in every other week, but then she started coming in irregularly, and then one day we realized that she hadn't come in for two months. My parents called, of course, but never got an answer. Eventually we gave up and admitted that she had apparently left the business and we'd have to do the tidying up, vacuuming, and reassuring the cats that the vacuum isn't going to get them, all on our own.

Mostly we forget, but now and then my father gets into a spasm of We Have To Clean Up All This Clutter. I think he gets it from a sense that my mother wants the house cleaned. Unfortunately what we mostly have is a lot of clutter: cleaning the house isn't a relatively simple thing like mopping up pools of things, it's a task of taking a huge pile of books, magazines, papers, uninteresting mail, and clipped coupons that we will never use off the living room table, sorting them into different components, and then putting them back on the living room table where they can be dispersed back into their natural piles.

I view this as a pretty silly thing to spend much effort on, and while I'll vacuum and try to put the junk into piles with as small a footprint as consistent with there being three cats in the house, my father insists on having everything picked up and put in a different place. The result is a lot of low-level argument, which inevitably results in about ninety minutes with our shouting at each other, in which he says fine, I should waste time on my computer and stop trying to help around the house (he is incapable of ever believing that anything I do on the computer might be work, or even useful to me), and I argue that I am trying to help but every single thing I do he finds fault with, down to -- I swear -- complaining that by not drying my hands off at the sink adequately I was getting drops of water all over the floor he had just mopped and that was drying. It made for a sullen evening.

Trivia: The Lunar Module Eagle's descent orbit insertion maneuver put the craft into an orbit of 58.5 nautical miles by 5.8 nautical miles height. Source: Apollo By The Numbers: A Statistical Reference, Richard W Orloff, NASA SP-4029.

Currently Reading: The Lawn: A History Of An American Obsession, Virginia Scott Jenkins. I'm pretty sure I heard of this from someone on my Friends list, as I know I had to seek out the library branch in which it was and find it even then. (The book's a decade old; I forgot that things like this used to be published in paperback.)

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