Month: August 2006

Cleaning My Damned Apartment, Day 10: It’s the Little Things


despite the best of intentions
you get busy

And doing even
the smallest thing
seems impossible
much less a big one

But if you want to change
you have to commit
and do your best
however lame it may seem
against the backdrop
of more heroic feats

So today
because I am too busy
because I have no time
because I am slammed beyond the slammiest Platonic essence of slam

I am not cleaning my refrigerator
I am not washing the kitchen floor
I am not vacuuming
or dusting
or Getting to Empty

Today, all I am cleaning
is my wallet
which is not exactly
a Herculean feat

On the other hand
to do it out loud
with my head held high
and no sense of shame
and even a small feeling
of accomplishment?

That, my friends,
is monumental…


Photo by mikeying88 via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license

Cleaning My Damned Apartment, Day 8: URL fire sale!

eat at url's

Since today was laundry day, I felt like I could slack off a little on the physical inroads to cleanliness.

But since I’ve got the bug and my electronic digs could always stand some de-cluttering, and in no small part because I hate greedy, slimesucking pigs who sit on URLs trying to extract a fee from hapless, would-be eNtrepreneurs, I’m offering up the following URLs FREE FREE FREE to anyone who meets the following criteria:

1. You must use the URL within one year.

2. You must email me when you’ve got something up so I can bask in reflected glory.

3. You must walk me through the transfer.

Heeeeeere they are!


Photo by SFYahooGuy via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

Cleaning My Damned Apartment, Day 7: the carrot and the sticky stuff


I was sure I’d end up cleaning out Mr. Skanky Refrigerator, as Peggy Archer calls it, before tackling the silverware drawer. Think about it: the cold would probably kill most things that could scurry out of the crisper and bite you; in the strange, furry ecosystem of the silverware drawer, you’re on your own.

But while making a sloppy, vaguely Mexican, skillet-type dinner, I managed to spill about a quarter cup of tomato juice smack into the forks. I thought about quickly shutting the drawer and pretending I never saw anything (my eyesight is starting to go), but this was lower than even I was prepared to sink.

So I made myself a deal: if I cleaned it out completely, no half-assing!, I’d give myself permission to do something just for fun. In between emptying out and washing (scrubbing…blasting…) the cutlery divider, I’d take the few remaining pictures I’d held in reserve and hang them on the wall.

I know, I know, busman’s holiday, right? But I like to putter, so for me, hanging pictures is like eating cupcakes. Besides, the point is, if you have some kind of task you’ve been putting off because you find it off-putting, maybe there’s a way to either barter your way in or make the task more pleasant. I bought my first iPod four years ago and it got me to walk much further than I was without it. I get more laundry-folding, ironing and even tedious Photoshop monkey work done when I treat myself to TV at the same time.

Obviously, YMMV: if your idea of ‘treat’ is an eight ball and a couple of hookers*, it’s going to take a long time to get the chores done (unless the hookers wash while you dry).

But if you just need a little sumpin’-sumpin’ to grease the wheel, think about bribery. It’s shined up bigger tools than I’ve found in the silverware drawer…


Photo by spalpeen via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license

*UPDATE: This zinger courtesy of The BF. He’s got a million of ’em…

Cleaning My Damned Apartment, Day 5: eHousekeeping & the reemergence of the blogroll


Not strictly apartment cleaning, but my poor, little blog has needed both tidying and sprucing up for awhile.

Besides, it does reside in my computer, which is parked in my apartment.

Ladies and gentleman of the blogosphere, I give you (b)links*: the new and improved blogroll, on its very own page.


* blog + links = blinks

Image by splorp via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license

Cleaning My Damned Apartment, Day 4: What would Buddha do?

Training progress

It’s easy let things slide when I’m busy. Forget the filth: I’m not exactly batting a thousand in the diet and exercise departments these days, either.

But this three-week period is as much about attitude adjustment as it is getting to clean. So it’s important that (a) I focus on just the one thing, no matter how many other things I start to see I could also stand to improve upon and (b) when I backslide a little, I quietly refocus my efforts and return to my objective (i.e., appreciating my blessings through taking care of them) without adding emotional clutter (i.e., berating myself for failing).

Meditation teacher Jack Kornfield compares changing a habit (in his case, meditation) to puppy training. It’s a given that a mind untrained in a discipline is going to resist and/or lose focus, just like a puppy being housebroken. We don’t yell at the puppy; we don’t call it a stupid idiot. We don’t even make a big fuss over it. We just pick the puppy up gently and start again.

Things got a little messy yesterday. There were too many dishes in the sink this morning; there was too much trash in the wastebins. But I didn’t yell at myself, or dash around like a madwoman trying to right my wrongs upon arising; I selected a half-hour where I had some time, set the timer, and did a mini-dash.

I may not get to a “big” cleanup thing today, but I have to remember: that’s not the objective of this “salute”. My real goal is to break a habit, or create one that better serves me and my goals today.

And as far as that goes, I think today was a real victory…


More about Jack Kornfield and meditation retreats at Spirit Rock here.

Photo by gabesâ„¢ via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

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