Thursday, November 30, 2006

Button, button, who's got the button?

During my post-turkey Open House last week BeBe decided that I should clean up a little, keep ahead of the mess before the next wave of guests. I was about to walk out of the kitchen (after following her instructions, of course) when she said, "Run the dishwasher!"

"But it's only half full." I replied, shocked.

"Oh who cares, get 'em clean!" she ordered.

Thinking about that today I realized why she (and, presumably other good housekeepers like her) clean the way they do. They're chasing the dragon, that elusive high of having "finished." Whereas I look at the fact that cleaning is never finished or if you do manage to "finish" it's only for like 2.3 seconds before you, or someone like you, messes it up again and simply give up. "Oh it's never going to be finished anyway, who cares if I do it today or tomorrow?" Seriously, even when I'm placing the last lovingly laundered pair of granny panties in the drawer I'm still wearing underwear (usually) so the laundry isn't technically "finished".

I far prefer things like NaBloPoMo, things that can clearly be completed. In my time zone there are 3 hours and 59 minutes left. As long soon as I wrote that sentence a little "test connection" warning popped up from Blogger. This is not good. Going to just keep on trucking and hope for the best.

I wanted to do a wrap up post. I was looking for something to put a button on the whole experience of this, excuse my arrogance, First Annual NaBloPoMo. I'd like to do that by honoring the commenters. I loosely made a pact with Chili that I would both post and comment on one thing per day throughout the month. I kept half my pledge. But the thing is, I've loved the comments this month. I've met a lot of new people who have passed by and I've heard new things from people I've known forever that I didn't know were even still reading. It's been so cheerful and like a real honest to goodness conversation over here which is what I've wanted all along. So I feel guilty for not returning the favor by reading and commenting more this month. This post is my too little too late attempt to make up for my comment slacking by highlighting the people who didn't slack.

ProfDoc, I think, kept her promise to comment on something every day, and a lot of times she chose to comment here. Thanks for that! Always good to hear what you're thinking.

It turns out that I played some part in turning both Chili and Vanx to the Geek Side where they have started whole blog communities of their own. I knew I gave Chili some of the technical basics but I thought Vanx only came to me after he started out on his own. He tells me differently: "I got into blogging partly because of you, actually. I had started reading a blog called Darn Tootin'. You may remember engaging me in a slight difference of oppinon about the Gilmore Girls in that guy's enormous comment chain. That kind of stuff, which was happening there and elsewhere (I also got addicted to Astonished Head, which I found by Googling a song title--"I Got Drunk and I Fell Down" by Uncle Tupelo) was fun. I had just written a parody of Howl for the 50th anniversary of Ginsberg’s reading, so I started a Blogger account and put it up. Then I read something about Johnny Cash here, and did something on Johnny. We commented on each other's Johnny posts. Then I read your entry on your grandmother...etc."

When I wrote about refrigerating my garbage I got responses from the most unlikely sources. Chili, Chili, who's like an actual homemaker: "I go one step further - I sometimes throw stuff into the FREEZER, so it won't grow into a vicious beast that will harm my children when they open the door to get some milk." Christa who seems like such a nice, wholesome American girl: "Definitely I do this, especially on the weekends. Trash doesn't get picked up til Friday. Of course come Thursday, I've forgotten all about it." My favorite, though, is Sam totally ratting out her boyfriend: "My boyfriend does that because wasting food makes him cry. He also likes to drive empty wine bottles around in his car as though he were going to take them to the recycling center." Like he's a kid playing pretend recycling just the way dad does it. He sounds like my kind of guy.

The discussion about wish lists for gift giving occasions was classic. Almost everyone feels guilty having a list at the ready but almost everyone does and it's usually the right way to go. I agree with ProfDoc that I worry about asking for something and accidentally squelching a great surprise. I also want a peek at Miss Rebecca's annotated and illustrated letter to SantaMom.

Danielle on Home for the Holidays: "Oh, how I love this movie." Couldn't have said it better myself and so glad for a comrade in arms.

Then there's the Yankee Swap post. The original post is still driving all manner of traffic to my site and the re-visiting post has some delightful comments. Suzanne has, undoubtedly, the best Yankee Swap gift of all time: "This year, I am giving a card that says a donation was made to a charity (of MY choosing, but I'll keep it generic -- food pantry, probably) and a chocolate bar. Put that in your pipe and smoke it!" But Amieable makes it clear that she actually feels my pain on the family Yankee Swap issue: "Holy mother of God, you just described my maternal grandparent's Christmas horror. Complete with the politeness, but my aunt wants it to be a TRUE "White Elephant" (that's what we call it) so she forces people to swap. It's the worst thing in the world to shop for (how are you supposed to find a cool $20 gift for both an 18 year-old female and a 50 year-old uncle?). I dread it every year." Sister, let me see if I've got an old box of mints in a drawer from my family swap days. I'd be happy to lend them to you.

Finally, sort of a bookend, JippyJabber was the first of the NaBloPoMo people to stop by and say hello. Better than that, she keeps coming back. Thanks for breaking a path, it's been great to meet you and I hope we keep seeing a lot of each other.

This was fun! M. Kennedy is, as advertised, a brilliant, bold and beautiful woman.

Happy NaBloPomo everyone! (Don't worry, I'll be back tomorrow anyway.)


  1. Thank you for clipping copy from the misspelled version of the comment I double-posted—you incorrigible vixen!

    Congratulations on a marathon month. I couldn’t do it! It’s all been very interesting. And, now, as the holidays jump us in the alley, I know I am not alone in already dreading the in-law White Elephant debacle.

    Word verification: askxmal

  2. Heh. I love showing you the ugly underbelly of homemaking. I TOTALLY run the dishwasher when it's only half full if running it half full now will make my life easier later. I also run tiny loads of laundry if I have to. Truly - keeping one step ahead of it is the key to the game, and any trick you can think of to keep you that precious one step ahead is worth whatever extra you spend in dishwashing detergent...