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So the apartment is clean from top to bottom…

December 28, 2008, 2:09 AM

I just finished giving my apartment a thorough cleaning ahead of my trip to Stuarts Draft for a week. I did the rugs, I did the floors, I dusted, I completely cleaned the kitchen, and I completely cleaned the bathroom. It was a long ordeal, but the place looks great now!

Most bothersome, though, was cleaning the carpets. I had Mom’s shampooer, and I went the whole nine yards. I picked everything up, moved furniture around, and everything. I had my coffee table up-ended and in the kitchen, if that tells you anything. Bedroom, hallway, and then living room. The living room was perhaps the most challenging. First I had to make sure not to shampoo myself into a corner, but also what to do once the carpets were done.

\Determining what to do once the carpets were finished was actually pretty exciting. I grabbed my coat, my hat, my iPod, and my phone, and took to the Sable for a few hours late at night. Makes me glad that gas is cheaper again, because I finally got to explore a bit. It’s time to see what’s beyond Silver Spring. So I took a small late-night road trip. Previously, I’d only been on Georgia Avenue as far as Norbeck Road, which is not all that much further north than my street. Now, I followed Georgia Avenue a long way. I went through Olney, seeing roughly where Montgomery General Hospital is (the Y bus’s northern terminus), and continued, finding out that Georgia Avenue narrows down to two lanes once you clear Olney. Olney also appeared to be a lot smaller than I expected. I expected a larger town, but there you go. And then beyond Olney, Georgia Avenue reminded me a lot of various back roads in Augusta County, Virginia, where I used to live. Lots of curves, and two lanes. For the first time in a long time, I broke out the high beams.

I took Georgia Avenue all the way to where the route crosses I-70 in Howard County (the “Georgia Avenue” designation ends at the county line, but Route 97 continues). There, I was confronted with a decision. Baltimore or Frederick? Each turned out to be about equal distance from my location, and at this time of night, traffic was bound to be pretty light either way. I chose Frederick mainly because I knew my way around somewhat once I got into Frederick, owing to my getting some experience navigating Frederick during the Consulta. So there you go. Plus at Baltimore, I knew that Interstate 70 ends at a Park and Ride, and I knew I’d want to go see that if I went down that way, and then I wasn’t too sure about the highways around Baltimore. So thus Frederick it was.

Of course, it’s not like driving in Frederick was a piece of cake, either. I took the exit for Patrick Street, and ended up downtown. Blew right past the Cultural Arts Center, where we had the Consulta, without even realizing it. I again tried to find my way over to Buckeystown Pike via local roads, but had no success. I’ve done it from I-270 and Buckeystown Pike going towards downtown twice before, but never the other way. My adventures took me around in circles, the wrong way up a one-way street at one point, and dead-ending in a school parking lot. I ended up having to take a highway around to where I intended to go.

By this point, I had been driving for about an hour and a half, so I needed to get up. I ended up going to just about the only place that’s open late at night in Frederick where one can walk around – the Wal-Mart. So I pulled in there and walked around for like 15 minutes. There is where I discovered that Wal-Mart people don’t get it. Look at this:

Tacky Wal-Mart signage

Tacky Wal-Mart signage

As you can see, someone at Wal-Mart wants to tell the cashiers not to take down the signs for whatever crap they’re peddling at the registers. Okay, sure. Presumably, the cashiers are taking the little signs down (I don’t blame them). So rather than discreetly circulate a memo about the issue, someone decided to write “DO NOT TAKE DOWN!” on the backs of all the signs, broadcasting the fact that the store management doesn’t want people taking the signs down, and that people had previously been doing that. So now, not only do the cashiers know that there’s a problem, but the whole world knows there’s a problem as well. Honestly, I, as a member of the public, do not really need to know, and it just looks tacky to have it out like that, all the way down the line, as the second photo shows. Of course, Wal-Mart knows from tacky, since if it’s a tacky thing to do, Wal-Mart will do it – always.

Of course, I don’t blame anyone for wanting to take the little signs down. These were the kind where you tear a piece off and keep it. Anything that would encourage people to touch the pole with the register screens on it is a bad idea. My favorite was when people would turn the side facing them a certain way, blocking my own screen. Then they would complain when I’d turn the sign back because I couldn’t see.

But enough about that. This entry isn’t supposed to be a why-Wal-Mart-is-the-scum-of-the-earth entry (even though Wal-Mart is the scum of the earth, thank you for asking).

Finishing my Wal-Mart visit, I headed over to Sheetz and got a Shmagel, and then headed back home to Silver Spring. I knew this route from previous visits to Frederick, and so I just sailed on in, watching as my side of I-270 grew from two to three to four lanes. I took that to I-370, and then from there, I swung past Shady Grove station, and went on home.

All in all, I was quite satisfied with my little road trip. I didn’t overlap on any roads, save for a small section of Georgia Avenue near Leisure World, and when I was going in circles in downtown Frederick.

And when I got back, the carpets were dry enough to deal with. Funny, though, is that when I got back, I was taken back by how odd the place looked. After all, there was a lot more open space than usual, because the coffee table had been moved, the chairs had all been moved, and some of the lamps had been moved. Very strange. I mean, yeah, take a look:

My clean carpets

It kind of reminded me a little of when I first moved in, with all that open space and all. But unlike when I first moved in, now I can find my way around in the dark. Yay me.

And I’m just glad I cleaned. It will be nice to come back from a week in Stuarts Draft to a shiny, clean apartment.

Web site: All about cleaning house

Song: I found this hilarious, watching Jimmy Kimmel's people make fun of Scientology. Note the use of the term "large cash contributions". After all, what is the Church of Scientology but a money-making scheme posing as a religion?

Quote: So my road trip went rather well, don't you think?