So You Think You're Anal
Housecleaning has always reminded me of the way Leo Tolstoy wrote War and Peace. I know, sue me.
Supposedly Tolstoy meant to write about the revolutions of 1848 and researched its causes, then the causes of those causes, and then even further back, until eventually he threw up his hands and decided to write about where he was: the Napoleonic period. But he did incorporate this theme of causality and what it means for free will (i.e., do we have free will if one event inevitably follows from another?), into the novel.
Here's the correlation: I was going to vacuum my office today but decided to dust, too, and after I’d dusted my desk, my keyboard, in comparison, looked worse for wear. So I unplugged it and wiped it down, then shook it upside-down out the window to get the schmutz out. But there was a lot of schmutz — I’ve owned it for five years. It’s a Mac keyboard, clear plastic, and it looked like I could just snap the keyboard portion off and get the crud beneath. Trying this, I merely snapped off a couple of keys: shift + control. After a moment of panic, I figured I could just snap them back in place — no biggee — and then got the dustbuster, no, better, the vacuum cleaner, to vacuum up the aforementioned schmutz. Of course I vacuumed up the shift key by accident. Which meant I had to get down on my knees and take the vacuum apart to retrieve it, and by this time my original plan of a quick clean-up of my office seemed a long time past.
OK, so Tolstoy by way of Woody Allen.