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All Pinzur, All The Time

Monday, June 27, 2005

Small-town journalism at its finest

Almost hard to believe that this front page upset readers of the Daily Tidings in Ashland, Oregon.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Living the Dream

For those of you who missed pictures of the guy who converted his '95 Civic into a Star Wars A-Wing Fighter, here's his soulmate:

This guy converted his apartment into a Star Trek starship. I'm talking kitchen, bathroom - the whole shebang.

I really hope these guys meet one day.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Housekeeper Etiquette

By and large, the Pinzur household runs pretty smoothly. I really love to cook and happily manage the finances. Lady Pinz cleans up my cooking messes - and does it with a smile - and does an impeccable job of keeping the social calendar and making sure we remember birthdays, anniversaries and other sundry occasions with cards and gifts.

But we both hate cleaning, and we hate it a lot. Up until now, this has been the solution:
1. Put off cleaning for as long as possible, until it starts to disgust Lady Pinz and almost reach the point where I notice.
2. Lady Pinz decides she will clean on a forthcoming Saturday or Sunday.
3. Lady Pinz gets in a bad mood anticipating the cleaning, gets in a worse mood during the cleaning, and stays in a bad mood for a good 36 hours. I generally volunteer to help, but am given limited duties because, frankly, I don't think she trusts me to clean up to her standards.

So I finally decided to retain the services of a professional cleaning-the-house-type person. I don't even know the correct terminology these days: maid? housekeeper? custodial engineer?

A young Peruvian woman who works for the local transit authority and cleans houses on the weekends was recommended by one of my coworkers and sounds perfectly lovely on the phone. Paying her $40 or $50 in exchange for a clean home and happy wife seems like an incredibly good investment.

Here, however, is my dilemma: I have no idea what kind of etiquette covers these situations. We had a lady who cleaned my parents' house once a week while we were growing up, but we rarely saw her because she left before we got home from school. Since I graduated high school more than a decade ago, I have never hired anyone to clean up after me, and I still have no idea how to behave when such a person is actually in the house.

Since we've never met this woman, obviously we want to be at home while she's cleaning. But it's not exactly a palace: two bedrooms and a living room. I can't imagine not feeling awkward if she's scrubbing the windows or mopping the floor while I'm on my ass watching TV. By the same token, though, I ain't about to pick up a broom and help.

Moreover, she charges $10 an hour, which is an absolute steal. Since she doesn't work for a service, she keeps 100 percent of that... but I imagine there's still an expectation of some kind of tip on top of that, right?

Post advice, suggestions and other supportive information in comments.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


It's a cookbook!!

Serving Our Children is a cookbook!!

Listen to Lloyd Bochner when he tries to teach you something, for God's sake!

And if Charlton Heston gives you any tips on this topic... listen!