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3 kittens

Don't Contribute to Collections.

Posted on 2014.02.02 at 11:54
I have a long list of life details, such as:

  • Friday is towel day. It's very luxurious. The rest of the week, I towel off after showering using a pocket square microfiber thing at work.  It's convenient, folds up small, and stays clean, but it's also small, cold, and clammy. Sort of like drying off with absorbent lunch meat.  On Fridays I come home to shower with a towel made of cloth. Then we go to breakfast tacos.

  • I was mid-stride at work, when this song sprung into my head, fully formed:

To stop a train
In case of an emergency
Just pull on the chain. Pull on the chain!
Penalty for inappropriate use, five pounds.

All I know of it is that I must have learned it three decades ago, and haven't thunk on it since. I thought it odd that it occurred to me, unprompted.

The next day, Hawaii was practicing piano. One of her songs was the same tune, or nearly. Which solves the mystery, but isn't it interesting that the tune had to incubate in my subconscious for a few days, before triggering the memory, context-free?

  • This dumb cat. He's not dumb, just elderly. But he is no longer cleaning himself. His nose is always caked with cat food. He can't find his food and water if it's in the pantry, like it's been for the past decade, and so now it is out in the open, in the kitchen.  Poor elderly kitty - it's astonishing how non-linear the aging process is.

  • Quotes from Hawaii:

      1.  [Her first ballet class was with thirteen bonkers three year olds. The teacher recommended that we try an older class of 5 year olds. So we did.] After the second class, I asked her which class she preferred. "I like the little kids class. The big kids kept distracting me and I couldn't pay attention to the teacher. But with the little kids, I could ignore them and do everything that I was supposed to do."  Duly noted, Hawaii.  (She is not switching back, of course. She'll be fine.)

2. A joke:
Q: What does a toothbrush do? Does it run, does it brush your teeth, or does it go poop in the bathroom?
A: It goes poop in the bathroom.
Good, good. Good joke.

  • At home, a month ago, I helped my mom clean out this cabinet:

Feb 2, 2014 (1)

Inside was my brother's old stamp collection.  And a billion mouse turds. There were tons of manila envelops just crammed full of envelopes from my grandparents and some of my parents' friends. Maybe five nearly empty stamp books.

From my insider position, the narrative is self-explanatory: Brother decides to collect stamps. He is enjoying himself. Then my grandparents and friends of my parents discover that he is a Stamp Collector. He begins to receive stamp care packages - they save all their envelopes from anyone international, and every six months they send it off to my brother. Brother finds himself deluged with stamps. Instead of getting to hunt and wait and anticipate, the stamp collection has become a burden. People send him stamp books - fill in stamps from each state! From each country in Europe! They all have about two stamps obligingly placed in, and then empty page after accusatory empty page.

It was sad to sort through the cabinet. Clearly the stamp collection experience was awful.  Picture little kid version of failing out of graduate school. So many good-hearted people just swamping the eight year old with drudgery, guilt-inducing busywork.

I consulted the Brother, and he said, "Give it away. I don't want any of it." "Great," says I, feeling he is being very reasonable and probably has zero feelings of affection towards the damned collection. Find an adult who might have the patience to deal with a massive tupperware storage container of unsorted stamps.

At the last minute, Mom changed her mind and said, "Let's keep it. Maybe one of the other grandchildren will enjoy it." I didn't contradict her, but I labelled it "Stamp collection - Nothing Sentimental in Here." Because for real: I think a grandchild might enjoy it for a half-hour. But if they were to take it home, it would become the big burdensome albatross all over again. If a grandchild loves stamps, let them hunt and discover them, one at a time, on their own. That is the moral of my story: don't contribute to other people's collections.

  • Ace is cruising, and has just cut her first tooth. Cutie-cute-pants.


(Anonymous) at 2014-02-02 21:13 (UTC) (Link)

Songs from the Past

I can relate to the song popping in your head. I'm taking computer classes and I'm amazed at how hard it is for me to keep the details in my head because I used to have a near photographic memory. 22 is the last time that I could memorize a lot of information. This coincides with when I studied for the patent bar so I'm like a walking book of statutes, which is really useful for my job.

Now I can't remember the computer stuff but I'll hear a song I haven't heard in decades and I know all the words to it. And it's often a song I don't even like!
heebie_geebie at 2014-02-09 17:09 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Songs from the Past

Oh god, I'm awful at deliberate memorization. If there's not some structure to make sense of it, it just registers as gibberish. And yet, I seem to be using all my mental RAM on these old songs.
panisdead at 2014-02-02 22:04 (UTC) (Link)
Hahahahaha, I remember that stage of joke creation! Maybe because it lasted about three years.
heebie_geebie at 2014-02-09 17:09 (UTC) (Link)
That's the stage! We're knee deep.
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