Monday, June 6, 2011

The Run of the House: Day 7

The books have changed.

I decided last night that I wasn't as interested right then in Bottom of the 33rd as I thought. I'm now reading Fool Me Once: Hustlers, Hookers, Headliners, and How Not to Get Swindled in Vegas by Rick Lax, and I'm blasting through it like I've been unjustly starved of books for a year. But then, when you're going to love where you live and you want to know everything about it, more than you know already, lots more, you're going to take to these kinds of books. Actually, that's not entirely true, because Lax is a rare breed. He doesn't resort to catchphrases in writing about Las Vegas or possesses an over-caffeinated mind that's spent too much time on the Strip. That is part of his job as a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly, but his mind goes beyond the immediate Strip, to the people who live and work in its proximity, to the places you don't see automatically like you do the Luxor pyramid, the faux skyline of New York-New York, the castle spires at Excalibur. In fact, he wrote an article last month about things to see beyond the Strip ( I'm already on page 50. I think I'll be done with this one by mid-afternoon and then crave more, which is why I hope my order from Powell's Books containing four books about Las Vegas, including a collection of columns by Las Vegas Review-Journal writer John L. Smith, arrives today.

The week has changed.

It is Monday yet again, a new week yet again. Meridith finished cleaning the front part of her room yesterday, and you can actually walk through it instead of stepping over what has been sitting on the floor for months and possibly years. I consider it indicative of a new start in our lives, though I still have more to do, as Mom told us last night over the phone that we'd have to move basically bare-bones, since there is not a great deal of room in this new apartment. There's more than we have right now, but to make it comfortable, I'm going to have to dump a lot of books, which I don't have a problem with since 80% of those books aren't in my personal collection. I'll only take those I want to read badly, such as H. Paul Jeffers' biography of Diamond Jim Brady, the rest of the Cornbread Nation anthologies (If I haven't read them yet), all of Tessa Hadley's books, and I'll see what else when I sift through the stacks.

And yet, even in a new week, there are a few things that haven't changed. For one, I talked to Dad about 10 minutes ago and he said they're going to have to stay another day, because the mechanic hasn't fully repaired the car yet. He has the parts, but it's been a waiting game with the warranty company and AAA. I told Dad that I hope he and Mom at least do something special for their 29th wedding anniversary. It's today.

What's most interesting about having the run of the house for an entire week is the cycle of chores. The last of last week's tasks was Meridith cleaning the front part of her room. And now the cycle begins again. I have to gather the garbage pails from each of the rooms to put in the kitchen garbage and take out that bag to the garbage bin in the garage, gather the recyclables, dump those into the recycling bin, and roll both bins out to the curb for pickup tomorrow. Because of Memorial Day last Monday, the bins were picked up on Wednesday, but I still rolled them out that Monday just in case the garbage company still decided to do our route on Tuesday, because even with what they tell you on the phone, you can never be sure.

I know I need a shower, but there's one thing already crossed off the list, since I just shaved. I will never, ever, ever, EVER get used to a beard. I tried it when I was in high school and it didn't work then, doesn't work now. I hate that scratchy feeling as the hairs protrude more. It's more bearable after a shave, because at least that fades.

I was thinking about vacuuming around the birds' cages again and near Kitty's cage, because while we were out on Friday and Saturday, she first ripped the stuffing out of her kennel mat (Friday) and then tore out some of the padding (Saturday). It was difficult for the dogs that Mom and Dad have been gone this long, but they've gotten used to it, though because Kitty had been abandoned in the Alaska cold when she was found, she probably thought we weren't coming back, and it was bad enough that Mom and Dad were away, too. We told her every time that we would be back. And of course we came back. And she acted like she hadn't done anything to her mat and just wanted to have someone throw her tennis ball. An angel again. As to the vacuuming, I'll hold off until Tuesday, because it would be best to have it vacuumed close to when Mom and Dad are supposed to get home.

I don't think the chores will be as heavy this week since they'll need some recovery time after the first week that any of us have spent in Las Vegas. It's been 2-3 days at a shot; never this long. As long as they're sufficiently recovered by Friday, because I need the PT Cruiser trunk to bring the rest of my books back to the library, all 36. It's doubtful that we'll be living here much longer (Therefore making it over 7 and nearly 3/4 years and no more), but god forbid we end up here a little longer, I'm switching my library card and the other library cards over to the Stevenson Ranch Express branch, which is either a bookmobile or a small building, based on what I've heard. I am not signing up for a new card in the new system. I will not support such a disappointing venture.

Anyway, this whole experience reminds me of the second time that Mom and Dad flew to Southern California from South Florida, without us that time. They were there for another 10 days, though as Meridith reminded me, that's all the time they had intended to be there. There were no extensions like there had been now. Yet, on that trip, they had found an apartment that Meridith and I only first saw when we had moved there, and Dad had had a job interview at La Mesa Junior High that turned into a job. Same as now. Well, not the job part yet, but as Dad said on the phone this morning, maybe the charter school will call today, decision made, and ask him to come down to sign the contract. Now wouldn't that be a way to celebrate a wedding anniversary!