Monday, October 05, 2009

Fall Cleaning

I took part of last week to return to St. Louis and help my middle brother move.  He was moving out of his apartment and into a house that he purchased.  In addition, we assisted moving his girlfriend from her apartment into same house.  Now they just have to figure out who's going to cook dinner.

It's nice to be able to help him, since he's been helping me move from city to city for years.  We moved in an intermittently-driving autumn rainstorm -- an interesting change from most of my house moves that have occurred in the heat of summer.

His new dwelling was the subject of an adversarial adjustment battle.  The inspector found that the roof was at the end of its life, and my brother and the former owners quibbled about whose responsibility the replacement should be.  They left many things until the last minute, departing in the last hours of the deal closing day while leaving several piles of trash and derelict items on the lawn.

Inside, everything had a superficial cleaning.  The carpets had been swept, but not cleaned: yuck.  The accessible parts of windows had been cleaned, but not the flip-side of easily removable panes.  The kitchen cabinets weren't wiped down.  The railing and balustrades had foot particles, dirt smudges, and makeup marks (?) on them, having obviously not received even a cursory wipe.  Every room held little remarkables that made one wonder at the previous housekeeping.  The real estate agent thought it might have been reprisal for a tough closing, but I don't think there's enough to attribute to outright malice.  If no one ever informed them that a sink needed to be cleaned, should you expect them to know?

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In other news, my prodigal library branch reopened last week.  The redesigned building has more space and openness.  Even for a modern library, I was surprised at the number of computers.  It feels like a joke, but walking around the room revealed computers around EVERY corner.  Two here, another three over there, a big bank of six here.  Amazing where knowledge and information has proceeded.

I picked up two VASTLY different materials with the same title: "Shut Up & Sing".  The first is a documentary about the Dixie Chicks and the incidents surrounding the on-stage declaration from a member of being ashamed that George W. Bush was from Texas.  Death threats and album burnings followed.  I thought it would be an interesting counterpoint to the current climate of political upheaval based on our current "controversial president du jour".

The other is called "Shut Up & Sing:  How Elites from Hollywood, Politics, and the UN Are Subverting America".  This book was written by Laura Ingraham, who has a radio show and has previous been a political commentator and speech writer for President Reagan.  Apparently, she once dated MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann, which no doubt created exciting dinner conversation.

Needless to say, those two library items fought and yelled at each other in my bag on the way home.

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