Monday, October 31, 2005

Staid Street Halloween update: Ocean author gains fame and notoriety for her comment on horse poop

I do appreciate references to my coverage of the Saturday Halloween bash on the Daily Page.

And I fully support the high praise and deferential treatment of the Althouse blog in general. After all, she writes about Very Important Topics, whereas I find myself commenting on such things as bed mites and fried bananas. So that words (found in said article from the Daily Page) such as "high profile blogger Ann Althouse" no longer faze me.

However, I must admit it's a punch in the gut to have a reporter pick out this comment from Ocean's Staid Street post:

UW law prof Nina Camic also noted the revelry, posting several photos from State Street. She wrote:
Most certainly, it was a crazy night. Leaving before 1 allowed us to escape the slight altercation between several hundred and the mounted police. I had to feel sorry for the mounted police. Everyone kept cozying up to their horses then cursing them as they dropped manure and people stepped in it.

Fine, so I noted the horse manure. It stood out for me, that's all. I remember the evening as a blur of costumes, bare flesh, mounted police and the steam rising from the pavement where warm horse droppings let their presence be felt. Or smelled. Or something.

Sigh... At least I can take comfort in the fact that my students are too busy with their work to be doing something as frivolous as reading prof blogs, or at least this prof's blog.

living the clean life

So what are you up to?
Sundays are house-cleaning days.

You clean your loft? I should have guessed. The day you opened the door and I saw that you had white carpet that actually was still white, I knew you and I inhabited different planets.
It’s not white and besides, I haven't lived here that long.

I’m serious now: what do you clean?
For example, I do the laundry – linens and things.

You are always doing the laundry. I swear, whenever we talk on the phone, I hear your towels doing their orbit through the spin cycle.
I do like having a washer and dryer close at hand. And I like clean linens.

Delusional. Let me read you an excerpt from Bryson’s “short history…”

You might not slumber quite so contentedly if you were aware that your mattress is home to perhaps two million microscopic mites, which come out in the wee hours to sup on your sebaceous oils and feast on all those lovely, crunchy flakes of skin that you shed as you doze and toss. Your pillow alone may be home to forty thousand of them. (To them your head is just one large oily bon-bon.) And don’t think a clean pillowcase will make a difference. To something on the scale of bed mites, the weave of the tightest human fabric looks ship’s rigging. Indeed , if your pillow is six years old, it is estimated that one-tenth of its weight will be made up of “sloughed skin, living mites, dead mites and mite dung,” to quote the man who did the measuring, Dr. John Maunder of the British Medical Entomology Center.

We are actually getting worse at some matters of hygiene. Dr. Maunder believes that the move toward low-temperature washing machine detergents has encouraged bugs to proliferate. As he put it: “If you wash lousy clothing at low temperatures, all you are getting is cleaner lice.”

Enough already! Besides, I use warm water. And I take very hot showers.

Have you worried that you’re one of those obsessive types that can’t ever go anywhere without a box of handi-wipes, preferably natually scented with lemons?
Go ahead and check. They're not in my handbag. Besides, you hadn’t seen my previous house or you wouldn’t be saying that. I am trying to keep this place together so that I never really have to clean it.

So you’re cleaning it to avoid having to really clean it?

Exactly. Mites, huh? Thanks, pal.