I had the day off yesterday as one of the generous number of government holidays afforded by my job. Most of the time, I work these days, and bank the time to use later, but yesterday, I had the urge to organize my basement, so I took the day. It was like being gifted with some bonus time, and I felt like I got a lot done.
No, I did not tell Mr W, who I took to school as usual. Yes, I feel kind of bad, but there you go.
My basement is not unusual for an old house like mine. There are two rooms, one with the furnace and washer/dryer, which has exposed beams in the ceiling and I'm guessing the original linoleum floor. The other room has been finished, and has a bit better flooring, but the walls and ceiling have been stuccoed and it's a pretty nice space, except for one thing. The ceiling is about 6' high. Yep, they made people shorter back then or something, but it feels cramped down there unless there's space open in front of me. The finished room has a desk, a futon and a carpet remnant (and until yesterday lots of boxes and assorted stuff I didn't want to deal with), and my thoughts have always been to have it be a talking spot if the kid has friends over (for them or for me, not sure).
The futon, however, has served as convenient space for the last (gulp) couple of years for comforters that are not quite dry out of the dryer, sweaters that have been purchased at the thrift store for project, extra fabric, sleeping bags from camping, etc.
To my horror, I started looking underneath the rubble recently and saw mouse poop. Ugh. LindaCO: habitat creator. Well, nothing motivates me like having to clean up poop, so I bought some plastic storage boxes (which always feels like a bit of a concession - I want less stuff, not more) and set to work cleaning up.
After about 4 hours, a large pile of recyclable cardboard and 4 bags of stuff for Goodwill, I can now use the space, and all that stuff is put away. Feels good indeed.
In other news, the Occupy Wall Street movement has come to my town, and I'm thinking of joining one of the protests this weekend. I'm ambivalent about the value of protests. Stand there with a sign with like-minded people doesn't seem to change anything. But there's also some value in standing witness to something you believe in. What do these people believe in? It's hazy, but they are tapping into the discontent with the banking system, and the ever-growing inequality between rich and poor in this country. I can get behind that.
So what will my sign say? This was not hard at all. I'm all about getting information, so my sign will have these two websites on it:
Mr. Reich is an accomplished analyst (yes, he leans left politically), but talks about the economy in a way that makes sense to me.
Yves Smith is the pseudonym for Susan Webber, who knows a ton about the mortgage crisis and the financial world and, more importantly, explains things in terms I can understand.
Yep, those two websites and a call to inform oneself about things that affect our lives. Sorry to stray into the political here, but this stuff seems pretty important to me right now.