July 22nd, 2004



Well, I went and got a steam cleaner (though I begin to have my suspicions that there is no steam involved...) from Home Depot (as well as all sorts of other things like a vacuum cleaner and a stepladder and some white paint and shelf paper...). I try to run it on the living room rug, and it proves unable to dispense soapy water. It's happy enough to vacuum up the soapy water when I spill it on the rug trying to figure out what's going on, but otherwise is pretty useless. The phone number featured prominently all over the machine, to call if anything goes wrong, reaches an automated support line which reads the instructions to me, in case I was a complete idiot and put the soapy water in the wrong place. (I've used this model of machine before, and am not, in general, a complete idiot, so I'm fairly certain that it's a problem with the solution line).

I must be tired, because I find this all very demoralizing. I sit there scowling at the machine, vowing revenge on the company and Home Depot (and continuing to disbelieve in the steam), and not really accomplishing anything. Then I grumble around the kitchen, still scowling, because I have bought white paint and the trim is not actually white at all. Nothing is actually white, except the refrigerator, and I'm not painting that.

Happily, at this point, chenoameg arrives, and convinces me that it will be fine to paint the insides of the cupboards and closets white, and that matching off-white is not an insurmountable problem. Then she explains to me all sorts of esoteric things I should know about pre-painting and how to make sure the paint doesn't peel off again, and how to patch plaster, and what to do about the ratty bits of wood near the door (she has about four sensible ideas, none of which had occurred to me).

By this time, I've lost my scowl and things look doable again. While I may be easily demoralized, I am at least easily moralized again.

chenoameg is one of the three people I want to be when I grow up. But, even better, I don't have to be, because she already is.

Magritte Moment

Walking to lunch, I passed a young man who was walking the other direction. He was reading a book, and a green apple was balanced, steadily, on the top of his head.

He had very good posture, of course.
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