Friday, October 31, 2008

The Cat in the Maid's Hat

The Object and I have spent less than one of the past six weeks together at home. He just returned from San Francisco yesterday, and his warm welcome home involved me telling him to get off the couch and hurry up and unpack, since I need the suitcase for my trip to New York tonight. Oddly enough, amidst our various travels, the house has not cleaned itself. It's threatening to move from cluttered to straight-up filthy. It's a condition that unsettles both the Object and me, but apparently not more than our desire to sleep, since the house remains on orange alert.

Since our travel schedules don't look as though they'll be dying down until say, February, we've been trying to come up with creative ways to keep the house clean without actually having to invest the three to four hours of decluttering and scouring it'll require to pass health codes. Some time ago, we bought one of those robot vacuums. (True story: don't drink and Roomba. This resulted in the Object coming home one Saturday night to find the cat and me on the coffee table blasting Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. You can never be too careful in letting robots know you're onto their ways.) People have asked me if the Roomba really cleans, and it does. Well, more accurately, it cleans more than I would. But as it still requires my time to go around and pick up all the cat toys, the vacuum is in the corner, collecting dust. Sigh, if only we had a robot vacuum to clean the robot vacuum.

I suggested that we could trick the house by dressing up as cleaning ladies for Halloween. Maybe the specter of Eastern European Elbow Grease looming over it would get the place to shape up on its own. But the apartment hasn't ever seen anything even even remotely resembling that caliber of clean, so it probably wouldn't realize the audaciousness of the threat.

The Object has come up with the best solution of all. He suggested we put little scrub brushes on the cat's feet, a duster on his tail, and a little maid hat on his head. Genius. Not only does it get our house clean, but recent studies have shown that putting a hat on a cat will make you some serious cash.

The smart person would use that money to hire some peoples to clean, but we'll probably just blow it on alpaca stirfry. Which makes you smell like an alpaca. Which does not help the dirty house situation.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Crime Spree

I love my job and am ridiculously grateful for the opportunities I get to make a difference in the lives of people around the world. But sometimes it's awfully nice to be back in DC, where I can focus my attention on matters of importance closer to home.

Most importantly, as the election draws ever closer, we must fight for our right to burritos and give voice to the people who prepare our frijoes y guacamole. I'll admit it; I'm a one-issue voter:
I also like to lend my assistance to fighting neighborhood crime. Consider this question from my neighborhood listserve:
[Did] you hear all the commotion last night between 10-11 involving MPD chasing a carjacker who crashed the car at 16th and Crescent? At least one of the suspects fled on foot, hence the numerous police with guns drawn, the helicopter, the K9 unit and the street closures. Anyone know any more about what happened?
While one neighborhood commissioner replied with this explanation:
...The Third District responded to 2425 14th St., NW for the report of an armed carjacking. Stolen during this crime was a 2009 Dodge Challenger black in color with Maryland tags. The reporting officers then broadcasted a lookout for the stolen vehicle. During a canvass of the area, an officer observed the stolen vehicle at Columbia and Ontario Road, N.W. and proceeded to pursue the vehicle. The stolen vehicle rammed a police car at 17th and Harvard St., N.W. Shortly after the suspect fired what is described as two gun shots at the officer. The suspect continued to flee and then rammed into a police wagon at Harvard and Argonne PL., N.W. The suspect continued to evade police officers and subsequently abandoned the stolen vehicle at 16th and Crescent St., N.W., after yet another vehicular crash. The suspect was apprehended without any further incidents and was identified as a juvenile. During a canvass of the area a handgun was also recovered.
I think this is a much more plausible explanation:

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Sound of the Andes

Songs that I heard played on the quena and the sicu, traditional Andean wind instruments, within the course of one day in and around the town of Pisac:
  1. El Condor Pasa
  2. Dust in the Wind
  3. El Condor Pasa
  4. Ave Maria (Schubert)
  5. El Condor Pasa
  6. Juantanamera
  7. El Condor Pasa
  8. Linus & Lucy
  9. El Condor Pasa
  10. Hey Jude
  11. El Condor Pasa
  12. Ave Maria (Bach/Gounod)
  13. El Condor Pasa
  14. Stairway to Heaven
  15. El Condor Pasa

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Salud Sagrado

I'm here in Peru for three weeks; two for site visits at hospitals around the country and one for traipsing around the Sacred Valley with the Object of My Affection.

Oddly enough for having its major tourist attraction be a giant animist temple to worship the sun, Peru is a devoutly Catholic country. Nary an exposed shoulder can be seen, much less toes. I'm not sure if that's out of a modesty or that it's ostensibly winter here.

Other signs of the Church are all over, especially in the hospitals we've visited. Shrines lit up with votive candles make pushing a gurney through the hallways a taxing feat. Christ on the cross smiles down over every sick bed, reminding patients, "Hey, it could be worse; you could be up here right now!" Holy cards line cabinets in the laboratories, quite literally gracing the work of scientists.

Saint Charlton watches over coagulation:

I'm not sure which saint this paragon of virtue is, though -- perhaps one of the hloy people watching over the holy women of Christian Nymphos?