Saturday, December 16, 2006

What Would Hawthorne Say About Mold...and the CCST?

Why mold? Well, regular readers of this now "multicellular microorganism" of the meme chain that is blogoramaville will no doubt recall that in the few previous autobiographical moments here, I was complaining--stoically, mind you--about (the process of) having gotten sick. Why did I get sick? Because the humidifier we ordered to resolve our seemingly intractable dispute over freezing-but-moist or warm-but-parched (itself caused by a lack of central heating or insulation in a concrete-block style apartment in a city whose average low never dips below freezing and whose lowest average high is higher than something like half the average highs where our house is located) came late. Seems like the shipping company had trouble finding our place. In a vain attempt to make up for the lateness and head off the rare (for this family) quadfecta (imoto-->onechan-->mama-->dada before anyone in the transmission chain got better), we ran said humidifier almost non-stop, even on rainy days, for a week, only thinking to mop up the condensation on the three huge sliding-door-style-windows-to-balconies-we-don't-even-use a few days ago. Hence the mold around the bases of said windows and probably other places we don't yet know about.

Which means we have to pay some cleaning ladies our landlady knows a hundred bucks to remove the mold and leave the apartment on the day they do so--onechan's birthday--for the health of our still-not-better-musume. Then we have to seriously consider whether we should abjure the wall-mounted space heaters entirely and get a ground-based space heater or heated carpet; run the wall-mounted space heaters as usual (that is, along with the humidifier) and get a dehumidifier and an air purifier; or run the wall-mounted space heaters hardly at all, open all our picture windows for at least two hours per day (whether or not we all have to leave the house that day), and maybe still get an air purifier. Intrepid readers will no doubt be racing each other to become the first to leave a comment on this blog with suggestions for dealing with this situation.

Anyway, my point is that Hawthorne would no doubt have found in said situation materal for a notebook entry or letter at least. But how would it read? Hence our first-ever CitizenSE reader contest: for best parody of a Hawthorne notebook entry or letter on our mold situation. The contest closes at midnight on 11 December 2007 and the winner will get not only "publication" on this blog but also a "prize" to be named later.

As you can see, I'm planning ahead for blog sweeps week, because I'm going to need to compete with this year's (apparent) winner, Michael Berube and the show trials and intellectual death match steel cage bouts of his We Are All Giant Nuclear Fireball Now Party--not to mention everyone else on my own nominations for "best educatacalistic (vaguely literary or cultural)" in my own ever-expanding "of interest" list in the right margin.

Which leads me to my second-evah CitizenSE reader contest: for cleverest Hawthorne allusion in the areas of a) accusations, b) verdicts, c) confessions, d) sentences, and e) overall commentary for, from, and on The Chris Clarke Show Trial. (I've used-up all the ham-handed/-fisted ones in far too many of Berube's comments areas.) The contest closes at midnight on 12 December 2007 and the winner will get not only "publication" on this blog but also a "prize" to be named later.

OK, time to stop. My tsuma is up and about and we can't wait to watch what looks to be a movie from the people who have been bringing the world the brilliant Ghost in the Shell-spinoff Stand Alone Complex. We have definitely had enough of only watching kids' anime in Japan--like onechan's latest obsession, PreCure Splash Star--which thankfully hasn't made it to the US yet to continue displacing Dora the Explorer and PowerPuff Girls in her affections, obsessions, and imagination. Next Sunday maybe I'll share with you the many different names she's come up with for herself and fellow family members in the past year. Pearl is the obvious Hawthorne link there.... We'll see.