[CN: hoarding behavior; briefly: difficulties with hygiene/food/alcoholism]

Throwing things out is really hard for me. So I've started this new routine called Every Saturday One Boxful Of Crap Must Go Out The Door. The thesis underpinning it has several axioms:

  • steady improvement is better than massive jumps,
  • I have fewer than 52 boxfuls worth of crap, and
  • filtering out one boxful worth of crap is a minimally painful task which I can complete in less than an hour.

My theory goes, if I get rid of a large but reasonable amount of crap every week, within a year my apartment will be much more livable. I don't have to get rid of a box as it is currently filled! I have to take an empty box, fill it with things, and make those things leave the door. It's a sufficiently flexible constraint that if I'm not feeling it, garbage can count; or if I'm feeling ambitious, I can take a box of clothes to the thrift store. The only strong constraint is One Boxful Must Leave.

I have so many things partly because my family never moved when I was a child, so I never had to figure out how to constrain my life to a certain quantity of space. One thing that I would like to get out of having fewer things is being able to reduce my fear of having to move house—it's really scary for me because I have Lots Of Things and a rapid unplanned move would result in me not being able to either bring them along or cull them properly.

This is part of my Habits Deliberately Formed For Better Living, a list which includes gems such as Floss Every Day, Eat Consistently Nutritious Food, and Don't Drink Alcohol Every Day. I currently only do some of these things.

i live across the street from a bar that hosts well-renowned drag shows every friday and saturday.   the great thing about this is i get an unlimited supply of wooooo screams from drunken suburbanites fetishizing gender-variant people. it's great!
I just got back from a weekend trip to St Louis, to visit a good friend. While I was there I continued my campaign of observing how American cities differ. I come from Seattle, a place which I increasingly am understanding is ... atypical. For example, there are some aspects of American history which are taught in schools but I basically disbelieved because there isn't much visible evidence of them where I'm from.

One of these is "white flight", the phenomenon of white people leaving cities for the suburbs in the middle decades of the 20th century. Seattle never really experienced that, and what it did experience was mostly recovered from by the time that I became conscious of it. So when I was in middle school, I discounted its significance. All the textbooks said it was a nationwide issue, and I'm in the nation, and I don't see evidence of this thing, so why should I believe these books?

I've also never seen an urban area which has significantly fewer people now than it had 40 years ago. St Louis has 319,000 residents in 2010 and peaked at 856,000 in the 1950 census. That means it currently has 37% of the people whom it has historically supported. It's frightening to see.

(There was another totally worthwhile thing that I noticed, which belongs right here logically, but I forget it. If I remember I'll add it later.)

I suppose I should maybe post a thing here. I'm xmc, of this and many other names. At the moment I'm sitting in my favorite coffee shop, typing on a clicky keyboard. Surely this irritates others in the room; that's ... well I always worry, but only for the first half hour or so.

Hopefully I'll get back into the rhythm of regular posting to internet journals. I used to do this and it felt good, but it petered out.

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xmc

July 2015

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