first brownhouse cleaning
Friday, August 10 2012
Tomorrow Gretchen and I would be heading up to the Adirondacks to spend a week at a house we'd rented on the edge of a lake. To make our house nice and hospitable for our house sitters (Christien and Michaela), this morning I mowed our lawn using the weed whacker. It was the first time I'd mowed the grass since early July, when I'd done it to make the house hospitable for Sarah the Vegan (our housesitter while we were in the Pacific Northwest). There had been a drought while Sarah had housesat and the grass had barely grown at all over the course of those nine days, but in the wet conditions that followed, the lawn had gotten nearly as scruffy as we ever allow it to get. So it took me about two hours to cut it. My timing for doing it was impeccable, starting at the end of a rain shower and finishing up just before a torrential downpour.
I never use any of our bathrooms for any of my bodily functions. If I'm inside and need to piss, I use the laboratory or shop flushless urinals. If I need to pinch a loaf/drop a log/throw some rope/spray some curry, I go to the brownhouse. Consequently, I don't feel a responsibility for cleaning any of the bathrooms unless it's a chore to be performed before the arrival of guests. That said, it's also true that I had never cleaned the brownhouse, which had been in continual use since November of 2009. The other day Gretchen mentioned something about having contemplated using it the other day and then thinking it best not to, that it was probably disgusting. And then Christien and Michaela had (perhaps politely) suggested they might also want to use the brownhouse during their week of housesitting. So I today I decided it was finally time to clean it. I started by swapping out the shit bucket, which had been collecting my excrement since early February. Then I took the Dyson down to the brownhouse to vacuum up the accumulation of dead insects and derelict spider webs. Finally, I used a sponge to clean up the many layers of tiny brown splotches left by generations of insects crawling around and across the window and on the underside of the toilet seat. With all of that completed, the brownhouse was once more a very pleasant place to carry out fundamental biological business.
Again, though, mostly what I did today was web development. Much of that was interactive, using a web chat to nail down exactly what was needed in JSON strings. I was so involved in this work that I barely hung out with our old friend Anna from Brooklyn (and her wife Emily; they're the first genuinely gay-married couple to have ever visited us). The one conversation I had with them dwelled mostly on the sort of world we'd be living in if the kind of people who like to adopt unexpected spellings for their names also had a penchant for silent letters ("Gnancy," for example).
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