Wednesday, June 19, 2013

License (Plate) to Waste Time

Whenever I pass a car with a personalized license plate, I wonder what kind of thought went into that selection of eight or fewer letters, numbers, and spaces.

A personalized license plate is less permanent than a tattoo, but can be more public as well as more of a reflection of the owner's habits, likes, and personality.

I was driving one day when I spotted this plate:

Assuming the person driving this Cadillac was the owner, I could only wonder what compelled a middle-aged black woman to get ALPACINO as her license plate. Could someone be that much of a fan? Does she have Scarface or the Godfather trilogy playing on her dashboard DVD player?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Clean Basement Can Be a Sad Basement

Lots of memories in that bag.
This is one of those posts where you'd read something sappy like: "I threw out their old toys, but I didn't throw out the memories."

Though I'm loath to write things like that (I'm also loath to use the word loath), I do believe that I feel the pangs of sentimental nostalgia as much as — if not more than — the average person.

Anyway. This week I attempted my latest basement cleanup, a task that often feels as Sisyphean as sweeping a dirt floor.

My basement floors are Pergo, not dirt, at least, but I had plenty of work ahead of me. For the past year we've allowed the kids to sleep in the basement on the weekend — mainly so they'll leave us alone (note: they don't always leave us alone, regardless) — and I've been too lazy to deflate the air mattresses every Monday, since they have to be inflated again on Friday night.

The inflated mattresses consume about 90 percent of the space that's not already covered with furniture (not counting the basement office, which is a Black Hole of Calcutta in its own right), so for a long time the area has built up a considerable amount of detritus that anthropologists classify as "crap."