Weekend Update 2004-01-26

I finished sanding the edges of the floor in the living room, and did the full-scale cleanup of sawdust required. I hoped that I’d have enough time to start staining the floors, but that was overly ambitious. The edger sander was really hard to control — I was exhausted when I finished Saturday, and today I have stiff sore muscles all over my body. But the floor looks great. I’m hoping to put a coat of stain on the floor tonight. If I can come up with a strategy for keeping the cats out of the room while it’s drying.

Other than that, I didn’t do much. I’ve been trying to read the Ramayana, but I haven’t got very far. It’s not boring, but it’s very complex with lots of characters, places, geography that all sound somewhat alike, so you have to pay attention or you get lost easily. It’s a book that requires an uninterrupted Saturday, not one that you can pick up for an hour or two and put down again. And lately the only free time I’ve had to read is an hour or two at a time snatched from here and there around the other things I’ve been doing. It’s frustrating, because I miss being able to sit down and get completely mesmerized by a book.

I caught an interesting show on BBC America called “Life Laundry.” It’s a home improvement type show similar to HGTV’s “Clean Sweep” where they tackle helping people with severe clutter problems get organized. What’s better about the BBC show is that they take everything out of the house and put it on the lawn. Then the homeowners go through every scrap of paper, every object, and try to justify why they need to take it back in the house. Everything discarded goes in the “car boot” (garage) sale, or gets donated to charity. Or if it’s just trash, it goes into a giant green mechanical bin called “The Crusher” that smashes everything to bits. Which is fun. I wish I had one.

The interesting part of the show is watching the homeowners going through their stuff — because in almost every episode they nearly have a nervous breakdown at the idea of parting with their things. And the host holds their hand and counsels them on why the object has such importance to them. In most cases, whatever caused the breakdown was an object that had some attachment to an emotional event in their lives; like one woman who had never gotten over her divorce 7 years before. When she finally let go of stuff from her marriage — boy did she have a ball throwing stuff out.

Then when they take back the items that they really need back into the house, the show redoes their interior to make the rooms organized and beautiful. I like this show a lot. It made me mentally go through all my stuff and ask myself why I keep some of the things I do.

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