Day 73: several things

Since moving down the street, I have discovered several things. Here are some of them:

  • It turns out that I can zip up my own dress. It just requires doing a version of cow-faced pose, first pushing the zipper up with my left hand twisted behind my back, and then pulling the zipper up by reaching my right arm up and over my right shoulder and down between my shoulder blades. Doing the zipper up fully gives me a great sense of accomplishment.
  • It turns out that I can also parallel park when there is no other option.
  • When I arrive home I dispose of my belongings in a manner that one might characterize as the direct inverse of that described by Marie Kondo in her bestselling guide, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. This is how Kondo, who lives alone, describes her routine upon coming home from work (I’ve cut a lot out, just to save space):
    • “ … I take off the shoes I wore today and place them neatly in the entranceway. Heading to the kitchen, I put the kettle on and go to my bedroom. There I lay my handbag gently on the soft sheepskin rug and take off my outdoor clothes … I put my tights in a laundry basket that fits into the bottom right corner of my closet … my next task is to empty the contents of my handbag on the rug and put each item away in its place. First I remove all the receipts. Then I put my wallet in its designated box in a drawer under my bed with a word of gratitude. I place my train pass and my business card holder beside it. I put my wristwatch in a pink antique case in the same drawer and place my necklace and earrings on the accessory tray beside it.”
  • When the duck-rabbit writes its eagerly anticipated lifestyle book, it will go more like this:
    • “I open the door, drop my bag, and kick off my shoes, which come to rest on their designated space on the floor. I dump my keys and phone unceremoniously onto the nearest surface possessing the requisite solidity to bear the weight of said objects. I plop onto the sofa, my designated resting place, and stare into space. I sigh or perhaps groan to myself before rousing myself sufficiently to reach one of the many half-full glasses of water placed conveniently on various surfaces around the flat. I shuffle to the kitchen, refill the glass and take perhaps two sips of water before putting it down on the nearest surface to hand, whether that be counter top, book, floor, etc. It is vital to one’s well-being to have glasses of water distributed liberally around the home. I flop back onto the sofa.”
  • I brought this really old tape/radio/CD player to the new place so that I could listen to the radio. I think I last used it in grad school. There’s a CD stuck in the CD player. When I turned it on there was a blast of atonal, distorted noise and I immediately turned it off again. I think it might be Zooropa by U2 but we may never know for sure.
  • It turns out that no-one likes sleeping in the top bunk: not the elder, not the younger, and not me. This is a problem.
  • It’s amazing how much work you can get done when your internet is not hooked up. I would never have read Leibniz if the internet had been working.
  • My favorite kind of coffee may actually be the kind that I am now making daily in the stove-top espresso maker, which, until last week, I hadn’t used for years. The coffee it yields has a pleasing heft to it.
  • I choose to stock 1% milk in my fridge. I am done with nonfat milk.
  • Even when I suspect that a spoon has fallen down the garbage disposal, I cannot stick my hand down there to fish it out. I blame Flash Gordon and Indiana Jones. Did someone say vagina dentata?
  • Time-Warner cable is the devil. And Earthlink is its evil henchman. I had several “conversations” this morning that went like this:

“My name is Bruce, how can I help you?” [Obviously, this is the Time-Warner / Earthlink representative speaking, not me. Although maybe next time this should be my opening move. Just to confuse them.]

“Bruce! I am SO relieved to have gotten through to you.”

“If there is no response on the line, I will end the call.”

“Bruce, I’m here! I’m here Bruce! Don’t hang up! Hello hello can you hear me?”

“If there is no response on the line, I will end the call.

If there is no response on the line, I will end the call.

If there is no response on the line, I will end the call.

If there is no response on the line, I will end the call.

If there is no response on the line, I will end the call. [This sentence uttered at least five times in rapid succession.]

Have a good day.” Click.

When I got someone on the line, I was desperate to keep them there.

“I’m Chip, ma’am, how can I help you?”

“Chip, I’m having a really terrible time and I need your help.”

“I’m just going to put you on a very short hold, ma’am, and then I’ll be back.”

“But Chip, do you promise? Do you promise to come back? Because that’s what Becky told me last time and she didn’t come back.”

I still have no internet.


This morning we were sitting, the three of us, listening to KJazz and eating toast.

“Are you going to eat those crusts?” I asked the younger as she hummed along to the radio.

“I am not,” she said. “I don’t like the crusts,” she explained. “But you like the crusts,” she said, magnanimously, offering them to me.

“I don’t exactly like the crusts,” I said, taking the crusts, which were especially dry because the bread was already a bit stale, “but it’s what I have.”

“So ….” I continued, “what do you guys think of this so far? Coming over here, I mean,” I clarified.

“It’s fine,” said the elder and went back to reading The Wizard of Oz on the iPad. I sighed.

“OK, but I want to know specifically. What’s good about it and what’s bad about it?”

The younger piped up. “What’s really good is all the kids here that we can play with, and now we made friends with them all!”

She’s right: this probably is the best thing about this apartment. The structure of the complex is such that all the kids from all the apartments can run around together without them really ever being out of sight or earshot. Every night they’ve stayed over, the flopsy-duckits have scampered around outside with the others playing tag or hide-and-seek after dinner.

The elder nodded his agreement with the younger.

“OK, that makes sense. So what’s bad about it then?” I asked, holding my breath. The elder shot me a dark look.

“No internet!” he said. “Give me internet!” he intoned, shaking his fist at me in mock-outrage.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m working on it. What about you then?”

The younger pondered the question thoughtfully. “More washcloths,” she said finally. “You need more washcloths.”


3 thoughts on “Day 73: several things

  1. martinus scriblerus says:

    marie kondo is clearly living in a world of murakami fanfic. “more washcloths” means things are going so badly.

  2. martinus scriblerus says:

    marie kondo is clearly living in a world of murakami fanfic. “more washcloths” means things are not going so badly.

  3. Martin, why must you vex me so? I recall your fondness for twins: those two Bohemian damsels; your double mistress, yes? What, have you forgot the lovely Lindamira-Indamora so soon? Allow me to refresh your memory: you can’t have it both ways, sir. Does more washcloths mean that things are going so badly or not so badly? Your blade has two handles, but which way does it cut?

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