Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Dust Comet

There's an episode of the Simpsons in which Marge insists everyone help clean up the house before going about their daily business. In responses to this request to clean, Homer says, "are we so vain?" While I don't believe cleaning is vanity, I'm just starting to come around to Homer's point of view.

It's not that I believe cleanliness if an indication of vanity. However, I am beginning to think that keeping things clean may not be worth the effort. Those of you who were around for my posts about swapping furniture in the apartment may recall a post in which I showed some awesomely embarrassing pictures of my light fixture in the living room covered in crud. I removed it and thoroughly cleaned it and have since then been endeavoring to maintain it so I won't have to go through the same efforts of removing it and damn near killing myself again.

To keep it relatively clean, I bought a static duster and have been standing on the sofa and brushing it over thoroughly (inside and out) once a week before doing one of my twice weekly treks over the carpet with the vacuum. Since I also put up a number of framed pictures since my little "remodel", I've made a routine of just going around and dusting all of them along with the light fixture and the clocks as part of a regular routine so I won't forget anything. It doesn't actually take that long to do and I felt that I'd be avoiding a build-up of crud in the future.

Today, I was standing on the sofa giving the light fixture its weekly grooming session and a dust comet flew out of it. The ball of dust leaving a trail blazing behind it in the picture above is about an inch and a half long! If I weren't so averse to anthropomorphizing things, I'd swear that stupid light fixture is saving these things up and spitting them out at me just to spite me.


Miko said...

Bwah-ha-ha! Try living with a cat, just one little cat, and keeping the place clean! You will go mad, I swear. Massive dustballs the size of my head behind the TV. Ripped up tissue paper everywhere (it seems to be his hobby). And did you know that cats have a habit of vomiting, usually in places that you don't find for several days?

Don't get me started on the litter tray.

If I ever go missing, you'll know the real reason why - I just couldn't take it anymore.

Shari said...

If I could have a cat, I would so be happy to give up a clean place! My husband and I both adore cats and it's the thing about living in Tokyo that we lament the most.

When I was in the U.S., I had cats and they didn't tend to barf in odd places or hack up hairballs but they did shed and they did bring live animals back to the house to play with. The worst was a snake though there was a constant parade of rabbits, birds, mice, chipmunks, and other sundry small creatures and insects. One of my cats would catch things that were as big as her and bring them in.

I guess it's a good thing I don't have one though since one of my favorite students specifically requested not to have a teacher with pets. Still, I'd give her up for a cat of my own but the landlord doesn't allow pets.

M/J said...

thats just funny... dust comet!

Kanagawa G said...

I lived in a decrepit old house in Hiroshima for three years. This house was literally falling apart and tended to lean a little more after every earthquake (for this reason I took to calling it the 'slanty shanty'). I am neat and organized, but not the type of guy who dusts and scrubs beyond the absolute necessary amount. Upon moving in I decided to try to change my ways, but soon found that no matter how much I cleaned and scrubbed, nothing noticeably changed. That house had far too many cracks and holes to keep the dust, dirt and frogs out.

Now that my family and I live in a sturdily built "mansion", we do a bit of cleaning because stuff tends to collect and we have a small child (you'd be surprised at the places I have found grains of rice stuck). Once again, nothing in the excessive-compulsive range, just tidying up, vacuuming and wiping stuff down.

My mother-in-law is a lifetime homemaker and at the complete opposite end of the spectrum. She scrubs the entire house from top to bottom all day, every day. If you happen to be reading a book and put it down to get a drink of water, it will be back in the bookshelf by the time you get back. My wife and I lived with the in-laws when we first got married and we had a bit of trouble adjusting because her mom wanted absolutely nothing to change in the house when we moved in. I think that she is only causing herself (not to mentions those around her) a lot of unnecessary stress and labor because of her cleaning obsession. She also does laundry several times a day which wears clothes out pretty fast. I think this whole thing started because she has no job and not much else to do to keep occupied. I keep suggesting new hobbies to her in order to try to get her to loosen up a bit.

I guess the lesson to be learned is "everything in moderation...even moderation"