Things one does not want to arrive home to find include: (1) cockroaches skittering about the sink (2) a leaky toilet (3) a leprechaun trying to steal your cereal. Lucky for me only two out of these three things were waiting for me upon my return to my beautiful (pre-war?) apartment. A bucket took care of the leak temporarily. Upon further inspection though, it seems the bolts fixing the tank to the seat had completely rusted through to the point of disintegrating when I touched them. The water was leaking through the holes for the bolts at the bottom of the tank. I managed to pick up some replacement bolts and rubber washers from Home Depot, but we've still got a bit of a drip. Cockroaches are a tougher nut to crack--or stomp on--their exoskeletons provide resistance to a number of smooshing techniques. And they're faster than lint.
There was some actual fun stuff going on this weekend: pizza with Mike Mcghee and his brother at Lombardi's, dinner with Brendan & Co., a party at Corinne and Wilburn's, watching the 'Skins make the playoffs for the first time in six years, and a well behaved Catsby.
Going back in time, my vacation at home felt a lot like October break. I spent two or three days hanging with family, a couple of days bumming around with some friends, saw four movies (King Kong, Good Night and Good Luck, Munich, and Say Anything), read most of Safe Area Gorazde. Channukah was pretty low key. The whole gift-giving culture we've established seemed, well, not entirely hollow, but really it feels like people are just going through the motions, myself included (perhaps with the exception of a mix cd I made for my sister repleat with cover design). The gifts for the most part are given for the sake of the gesture. But it also seems like a giant regrettable waste, especially in light of Megan's passing. I mean that in the sense that it all seems somewhat insignificant in the wake of her loss, but also that the people who really actually need all this stuff are not us. The people who need the clothes and money I received are the people that Megan was working so hard to help. Of course the sentiments are nice, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're good. It seems misguided. Did you really want that turtleneck you cousin gave you? Imagine who does. Imagine who actually needs it. I would guess that what most of the people I know really want or need is too often immaterial, and rather is emotional, or psychological, or experiential, and all this stuff we're exchanging is just that--stuff (how cliché). It's white noise that's distracting us from perhaps what's really important to not just ourselves but all those around us. My brother and Suzanne at least have part of it right. They've been making donations for a while now instead of giving people stuff they don't want or need. I sound like a total commie-pinko. Really though, while I don't plan on selling all my possessions, donating the money, and going off to live in a tent in some vacant lot, I am trying to re-prioritize my values.