Reading: Antonia Fraser, Marie Antoinette: A Journey

Moving: 30' cardio Saturday


27 January 2003

I had a productive weekend! Yes, it was my first ever. In addition to paying for fake exercise, RDC decided to Watch Less Television. And what the hell, I'm a sheep. The first week of January, when he was gone, I was a pathetic television zombie.

I read 100 pages of my Marie Antoinette biography on the plane; I've been back for eight days and read another 250 pages. That's pathetic. And it's not from watching television: last week I watched a recorded "That '70s Show" and that's it. Maybe a Buffy or two. But I can't tell you what else I did beyond gym and Thursday's plundering for Emlet's birthday. Apparently not read, anyway.

Despite having lots more exercise, I haven't been sleeping more effectively. Saturday morning I was awake well before 7 and reading. That's productive, damn it, even if I'm not particularly interested in the Bourbons. Then I cleaned the living and dining rooms thoroughly and we gymmed; Sunday we primed the sunroom, the first work I've done on the (inside of the) house in a year, and I tackled a couple of bookkeeping tasks.

The way I clear the dining table, which is a natural repository for all the random crap that enters the house, is, for paper and my stuff, in two steps: first to the upstairs landing, and then downstairs whenever I go. This means that my upstairs is uncluttered but that when I don't go downstairs for days on end (not watching television, and now with a lap- rather than a desktop computer), stuff accumulates.

Home Despot receipts that should go in the House binder. Movie stubs that should go in my letterbox. A cookie cutter in the shape of the contiguous United States that I meant to give to my notstepmother. The wrapping paper I bought in last week's CostCo run (see, that's one thing I did). The liquid soap dispenser in the shape of the Pillsbury Dough Boy that my sister gave me for Christmas. Correspondence.

That was the big thing. Correspondence. I have a shoebox on a bookshelf into which I toss all correspondence throughout the year. Right after Yule, the box is full and needs to be sorted. Except I didn't do it last year, because I tend to reread letters and get all mopey, so the box was jampacked. I brought out three copy boxes from my study closet: two for letters and one for journals. I started "I, Claudius," another Christmas present, and began.

Because I keep everything. Every. Thing.

The other thing I tackled was the creation of the Catalog o' Sunday inserts. My sister sends me these every once in a while--an advertisement for a Thomas Kinkade Christmas train (which must be the thing, because she also sent me ads for Peanuts and Pooh trains), another for those pants with the seam sewn in, that even your friends would think were silk, and of course, many variations on the natural breast enhancement theme. She finally gave me an album with every intention of my assembling all these things into same, so that was the other thing I did.

What I didn't do was continue adding to my scrapbook. It's already overstuffed and I need to start Volume II, but I need scrapbook pages and also a new binder. And contact paper so I can cover the binder with William Morris wrapping paper. (I have exclusively ugly photograph albums, but they're all covered in Morris paper which improves them immeasurably.) All so I can save movie ticket stubs. And invitations and tickets and so forth.

Anyway, I added everyone's letters and cards to their individually elasticked packets, I put my sister's crap in an album, and that's a weight off. I have another album whose cover is old-fashioned maps that either my sister or I bought for my first European trek. One reason I haven't touched that is that I don't want to pay for paper photographs; another reason is what happened while we were abroad. The newspapers and magazines we bought on 12 September 2001 and after are as much of the experience as the guide to the National Gallery and the brochure from the Picasso museum, but they're not tourism mementos.

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Last modified 30 January 2003

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