Monday, March 19, 2007

Manic Monday #6: Chip

A large wad of cotton
Several cotton buds
A bottle of alcohol (not the kind for drinking)

Armed with these, I busied myself with the task at hand: to clean my keyboard. Big wad of cotton doused in alcohol to try and restore the spaces above and below the keys--and the keys themselves--to their original pristine state. Feeling a mixture of revulsion and satisfaction at seeing the keyboard turning lighter and the cotton darker. Tossed the filthy cotton thingy into the wastecan.

Moistened the tip of a cotton bud with the alcohol and pushed it in the tight spaces between the keys. White cotton tip turned darker too. Dirtied a few more cotton buds this way. Spent about an hour doing this. Wondered later why I spent an inordinate amount of time tinkering with my keyboard when I had a mountain of work to finish (I exaggerate a bit--it wasn't really a mountain of work, but it was work nevertheless). Wiping and cleaning the damn thing, poking at the cracks long after subsequent pieces of cotton had stopped turning grey.

Maybe because my mind felt at peace while I was doing it. Maybe it was too busy focusing on getting those cotton buds into the keyboard's hard-to-reach places for it to host the usual crazy parade of thoughts (most of them uninvited), which, though quite entertaining at times can also be very exhausting emotionally and spiritually. During that one quiet hour, my hands were busy. And thankfully, my mind was not.

Each of us has a mundane housekeeping task that we do every so often, and maybe we don't really notice that the mysterious, funny, and sometimes just plain weird area inside our head is undergoing some spring cleaning too. Dank and icky crevices are purged, dusty places are aired out, and everything seems better and brighter afterward. And we find that it's okay to work again. Not that it's impossible to work with a dusty keyboard. But it just feels better to work with a clean one.

What does all this have to do with today's Manic Monday theme?

keyboards are disgusting by xkcd

Well, the good news is I didn't find any chips in my keyboard. The even better news is that my mind managed to find the respite I hadn't realized it needed.

23 comments:

houseband00 said...

You should use denatured alcohol, Liz. Isopropyl alcohol should be diluted with water.

A tub of cleaning wax does the job, too.

Mr. Fabulous said...

That is much better than my idea of soaking the keyboard in the bathtub.

it's the little things... said...

I noticed you said 'cotton bud'...would that be a cotton ball or a q-tip?
just curious...

Odat said...

I see your puter still works..lol.
You just gave me inspiration to do the same!
Peace

Lizza said...

HB: Ermm... Green Cross alcohol. :-D

Mr. Fab: Haha! That might work too. Or not. Try it!

Marlayna: It's more like a Q-Tip, but somewhat thinner.

Odat: It works even better. Glad to have inspired! :-D

Sidney said...

You are always welcome to clean my keyboard in case you need another head cleansing. ;-)

mist1 said...

I like cans of air to blow the cat hair and crusty stuff out of my keyboard.

H said...

ummm. I know what you mean. cleaning my loo does that for me. And so does wiping water marks off the area around the wash basin.

judging by this you'd think I spend most of my day in the bathroom. You could also be right. But I'm not telling.

And painting my toenails. which doesn't technically come under housework. almost.

Natalia said...

Marching off to buy some compressed air.

-N

Matt-Man said...

I was going to let my keyboard soak in the sink. Is that wrong?

Steven Novak said...

I have pubic hair caught undernath my keyboard.

Don't ask. ;)

Steve~

Natalie said...

There is such grossness in my keyboard i don't even want to think about it. Probably a chip or two.

lizza said...

Sidney: I'll keep that in mind, thanks! :-) Turuan mo din ako kumuha ng mga litrato ha?

M1: Crusty stuff. Why does the word conjunctivitis come to mind?

H: I spend a lot of time in my bathroom. It's a sizable room, with quite a few mirrors. I have some of my best (and worst) conversations of the day with my reflections.

You have got to tell me what your toenails look like now. Blood red? Frosty pink? Cerulean? I am intrigued.

Natalia: That's no fun. Tinkering with the keyboard is.

Matt: Or maybe you can microwave it. Resulting in one heck of a sanitary keyboard--if it survives the nuking.

Steve: Hmmm. Yours or Tami's? ;-) Either way... ewwww.

Natalie: Well, what are you waiting for? Go get some cotton and cleaner now!

Sanni said...

Ha! I´ve turned my laptop upside down and found... nothing. I guess the only thing in there is... atomized ash... *poof*

Travis said...

Fantastic post. I need to do both of those things - clean my keyboard(thanks for the tip) and clear my mind.

Kiyotoe said...

i have employees that use that canned air to clean their keyboards everyday.

It drives me crazy. Me? If it gets too dirty, I just call IT and get another one.

Lazy? Probably.

Lizza said...

Sanni: Atomized ash? Good heavens, your laptop has superpowers!

Travis: Thank you! Wishing you some peaceful and mind-less cleaning.

Kiyotoe: I think that's called exercising your managerial rights. :-D

debalious said...

fun post and great follow up on the cotton buds

H said...

Always moonshine. that's my colour - pearly white. nothing else looks respectable on my brown toes. I've tried every colour. And with my pink-fetish, I've even given eyeball-curdling-pink, but it just won't not look tacky-tarty even to my more-than-willing-to-ignore-the-horror-potential-of-pink eyes. I bought this lovely mother-of-pearl-like nail varnish in Singi last august... and that's my current favourite... it changes shades depending on the angle. That's as daring as i can get. :-)

But I SO KNOW ,... about the best conversations. I demolish people and monsters alike in my bathroom. And of course, I have lot's of people falling for me, depending on each little angle I smile at them from in the self same loo.

sigh.

If only life was one big bathroom.

somehow that sounded a bit wrong.

Lizza said...

debalious: Thank you very much!

H: Hahahaha! Smiling prettily at selves in the bathroom. What fun!

Life is one big bathroom sometimes. Only it isn't as easy to get rid of the shit.

Photo Cache said...

hi lizza, cant comment too much often. i can only open your site at home, but i still read all of your posts. have a good day.

Danielle said...

I too get pleasure out of the odd cleaning task, conquering the crap we find hidden away and cleaning it. In another life I was a manager of a cafe and was always discovering nasty messes that needed to be attended to in out of the way places.
I will definitely keep reading.

Great blog

Lizza said...

Photo: Thanks! I hope you're having a good week so far.

Danielle: Thanks for sharing and visiting! Nasty messes in out of the way places in cafes sound intriguing!