Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

Clutter, Clutter, Clutter, Must Be Clutter, For This Ill-Kempt Girl (And Goodbye Grapefruit And I've Got A Secret)

I have decided that I am going to throw a whole schwack of shit out. It feels like my apartment has a stranglehold on me. Everywhere I look, there's stuff. The thing that is precipitating this compulsion to get rid of everything is that I want to finally get every room in the apartment clean for once before the Fiery One comes back from Australia, and I am sick of having to move everything back and forth and making piles of things that I'm not sure what to do with and then having to look at them sitting there being piles, and then I am always thinking why can't I get things in order? I should be able to deal with this. You know what? If I didn't have so much shit sitting around everywhere all the time, and if I just got rid of the shit, I would never have to look at it again or rearrange it or make new piles out of it.
The following is a not-so-brief delineation of the clutter I live with:

  • On the mantle above the extremely fake-looking electric fireplace, there are so many candleholders and dusty, stubby, homemade wax-and-crayon candles, and I don't burn candles. The only time I burn candles is when I think that I should because they haven't been lit in a while. What kind of logic is that? Candles don't have feelings. They are not going to feel neglected if I cease to see them and they start blending in with the walls. They are also not going to experience any separation anxiety if they suddenly find themselves being dumped into the bin behind my apartment building.
  • The Fiery One owns a desk that sits in our living room. It is the repository of mounds of paper debris, a clothing iron, and bags of bird and rabbit food. If I don't know where to throw some old magazine or useless bank mail, this is where it goes. Apparently, I am not all that well acquainted with the concept of garbage cans. Today, I am putting a stop to the tyranny this desk has been exerting upon the living room. If I had my way, I would get rid of the desk, too, but the Fiery One has some sort of emotional attachment to it. Something about his father having built it or something like that. Weird, I know. I think my issues with the desk stem from a desk that I used to own. It was the same odd size, it had been built by prison inmates, and its drawers were always sticky and the wrong size to hold normal-sized paper. Just because I hated that odd-sized desk does not mean that I should hate all odd-sized desks. That would be odd-sized deskism, and intolerance is not a virtue.
  • The books we have are overtaking the apartment, and I won't stand for it. By nature, I love the physical fact of books, but we have run out of room to house these physical facts. We have a stack of milk crates as tall as I am filled with books. We have cardboard boxes filled with books. We have two large sets of bookshelves stacked two-deep with books. There are books piled on our night tables by the bed. We simply do not need all these books. I am sure that we could go through and get rid of half of them without much pain. Am I really all that attached to that five-dollar sale copy of Stephen King's Thinner? I'm sure that Malamud's The Tenants should have gotten the boot just for entering our home. And I'm certain that the bizarre compendium of Wiccan spells and goddesses that I got for free at a bookstore I used to work at never needed to come home with me in the first place.
  • I seem to have piles and piles of clothing, but whenever I bother to do laundry or dress myself, there are relatively few items that I actually wear. I have clothing that is way out of style, clothing that only an old lady in pants with an elasticized waistband would wear, clothing that only fit the fat me, clothing that will only fit the thin me I will never see again. It's packed into boxes, jammed into the laundry basket, piled next to my side of the bed, scattered under the bed, shoved into drawers, and tossed on the closet floor, spilling out into the middle of the bedroom. There are pants on the sofa, socks and underwear on the armchair, and three shirts in the study. The Fiery One is a very big man to have gone on living with this swell of material for as long as he has, or maybe that's why he took this travelling job... hmmm...
    So, my plan for the evening is to go home and actually cook myself supper. (Since the Fiery One left, I have not eaten supper once). While that's in the oven, I am going to go through the living room with a box, throwing things into it without caution, without reserve, without overthinking. I have a tendency to overthink things. I think of all the possibilities for its future use, I worry that someday I might miss the item in question, and I wonder if I will want the item when we move to a bigger place. This evening my motto will be WHO CARES. Will I need this hanging tea light lantern sometime? Who cares. Is this wooden box with the warped lid that never closes ever going to come in handy? Who cares. Would this kitchen chair, which we got for free but never needed, look so bad if I fixed its split seat with duct tape? Who cares. Get rid of it. I will be free of this mess come hell or high water.

    I had the strangest reaction to grapefruit today, which is very, very sad, because I like grapefruit. I had only eaten one section when my lips, the tip of my tongue, and a spot under my nose where some juice had spritzed up turned completely numb. I don't mean a little numb. I mean like at-the-dentist's numb. sniff sniff. So long, grapefruit. Thanks for all the good times.

    My last bit of news is that I’ve got really, really, really good news. I’m pulling a Friday here, because I’m not actually going to tell you what it is yet. I have to hold off until it is official, but that should be tomorrow, so I won’t end up stringing you all along for forever like Friday seems wont to do. I am so freaking happy, though! Holy shit! Something good has happened to me!

    I haven’t read any of J. K. Rowling’s books, but her site is incredible.

    I watched the creepiest kid show that ever there was this morning on the television in the staff room at work, so I just had to look up the site. If they allowed pot-smoking at work, it would have been perfect.

    I’ve been liking Squidfingers. Her patterns are divine. She also points out Manipulation, which is very yummy.

    badgersbadgersbadgersbadgersbadgersbadgers Mushroom Mushroom badgersbadgersbadgersbadgersbadgersbadgers Argh! I see a snake! Big snake! Ooh, it’s a snake! (very noisy and not work-safe)

    I like this site’s art.

    The puffer fish may now have more to offer us than fugu.

    The Chinese government has found that there are 40% more wild pandas than previously thought due to better census methods.

    The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute thinks that the invasion of Iraq might lead countries to stock up on weapons of mass destruction rather than downscale.

    Dying Star Leaves Heavenly Body

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    Happy Anniversary, Happy Anniversary, Happy Anniversary, Haaaaaaaaaaappy Anniversary!