Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sorry--I threw it away

Since my parents left for three years to serve a mission in Barcelona I've been charged with taking care of the house. Well, my parents and I have different styles in a handful of ways, including home furnishings and what's in our closets, etc. Seeing as I will be living here for three years, I decided that I want to "take over" a few things to make it feel more like my home.

While Mom was great about clearing her portion out, Dad left some stuff in his closet and on his desk, in the bathroom mirror cabinet, on the shelf over the toilet, etc., all of which I deem unnecessary. I've wanted to throw away a lot of those things in the past, but feel more passionately so now that I'm "Master of the House." But I've paused on trashing many things. I remember when I left on my mission I packed some boxes that I didn't want anyone to touch. Their contents were items I wanted back after my two year stint at proselyting. (One of those I was never able to recover--my Patagonia reversible pull-over. I miss that thing.)

Reflecting on these feelings, I have hesitated from indiscriminately sweeping entire shelves and desktops into garbage bags. My worry is that when Dad gets back he will ask, "Where is that bar of soap I saved from the Disneyland hotel?"

Last night I had a dream. It went thus: I had been given permission to use a rental car--a rental car that someone else had rented. Because I had permission to drive it I felt it my prerogative to make it "mine." I mean, it had been turned over to me for a period of time and I thought it reasonable to setup shop in there as I pleased. In doing so, I threw away many items left by the renters: maps, travel papers printed from the internet, little free knick-knacks from tourist sites, etc. In the midst of my cleaning, I had a few thoughts, accompanied by some confirming feelings, that I should not throw that away. But each time the thought came, I reminded myself that I had been given the vehicle for my use and hence was authorized to modify it's contents.

Well, eventually the renters came to use the car again. I began to experience some anxiety anticipating their return, which increased as I passed rentership back to them. Sure enough, my fears came true. One of them (their were two) said, "Where's that [something]?" And then, several minutes later, the other said, "Where did that [something] go?" While I don't remember exactly what they were looking for, I do distinctly remember that I had thrown away each item they desired. I was too afraid to tell them, but I knew it was only a matter of time before they discovered that the missing items were missing because I wished them gone for the short period of time I was given stewardship.

Whether or not this dream was prophetic (which I actually think is true), it definitely will change my behavior toward cleaning out the remnants of my parents' junk--or rather, their possessions that I think are unnecessary.

So, Mom and Dad (but mostly Dad), I will scoop off the shelves and desktops into neat little plastic tubs or boxes so that when you return, your prized soap from Hiltons and Marriotts, free toothbrushes, small packets of sunscreen with corporate logos, half used boxes of Breathe Right strips, and small traveling bottles rendered useless after the 3 oz. rule, will be there for you to resume your life exactly where you left off. Perhaps you will no longer care about those tiny treasures after three years, but at least I will not have the pang of regret from trashing what I deemed useless space-taker-uppers that perhaps for you are comforting collectibles years in the gathering.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Punching In

I have one of those jobs where you have to punch in. Every morning as I come in, and every evening as I leave, I insert this card into this clock machine that sucks it in, stamps the time, and spits it back out. This is to ensure that I am coming to and leaving work at the agreed upon hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

The machine has a certain sound. Although only a table-top appliance--which I could throw maybe 20 yards if I wound up and got a running start--it seems to take pleasure in it's authority of time stamping. It's smug and self-important. It, and it alone, determines if I am early or late. It seems to take pleasure in this authority.

Although a very simple device, this mechanical boss provides great motivation to arrive before 8:59 and to leave later than 5:01. Although work is only a 5 minute drive, some mornings I have found myself speeding and talking under my breath about slow drivers, all the while worried about what smug look the time clock will give me if I jam my card in at 9:01.

There's room for two weeks worth of punches on each card--one pay period. It's happened on occasion that I've come in on a Monday morning, grab my time card from it's slot, run it through the machine, only to find out that it was a new pay period and hence time for a new card. Well, by then it is too late and the clock puncher has already printed over Monday's time from two weeks ago. Oh great--how is Sherri supposed to know what time I got there on Monday two weeks ago? Will she call me into her office? Will I get a written reprimand for failing to use the time clock correctly?

So last night I dreamt that I was standing in front of the time clock in a stupor, repeatedly inserting my time card into the machine. Each time I would put it in, the machine would dutifully stamp the time and spit it back out. Being in a stupor, I would insert it again, the machine would again stamp the time and spit the card out. Soon, the little box for Monday's time-in from two weeks ago was just a blot of ink.

As I've thought about the dream, I've found it particularly interesting that, while the clock does sound authoritative, it really is rather stupid. I mean, it doesn't know that it's printing over the previous time. I even have to push a button to tell it that it's morning or afternoon. And the digital clock (the official time-keeper) and the analog clock on the face are not even connected. You have to set them separately. It probably doesn't even know that my paycheck isn't even calculated from it's markings--I fill out a separate time sheet for that. And yet I am still a slave to it, which I suppose justifies it's smugness and importance.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Occasional Brown Spot

Mom warned me about the upstairs washing machine. It works very well except for the occasional brown spot on a white article or two. She says it comes off if you scrub it with the stain remover, which is really inconvenient for such a modern convenience. So I was thinking about what would cause that--not all the time, but just an occasional brown spot.

That night I had a dream. A little bit of brown shoe polish had gotten stuck in the folds of the rubber gasket around the door. Occasionally, a bit of polish would get up into the load and make that occasional brown spot. The fix was easy--clean the shoe polish out of the rubber gasket.

But it was only a dream. In reality we still don't know what is causing that occasional brown spot. Oh, the little inconveniences of modern conveniences.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Sarah Palin Executed

December 3, 2008

Sarah Palin was executed last night (in my dream). It was a serious scandal with lots of media coverage. She was accused of something or other and there was a lot of doubt over whether it was real or fabricated. Many people said that the Republican party was just trying to get rid of her, and I agree. It stunk of scandal. She went out screaming in her hockey mom voice, saying it was all false, made up by her enemies. Although I would rather Sarah Palin not be involved in national politics, I think the capital punishment was a bit OTT, if you know what I mean. Death seems a strong punishment for right-wing, gun-toting, religious politicos.