Thursday, March 24, 2011

Of Magic Erasers and To-Do Lists

I once read a time management book which made the suggestion that "if something can be done in only 2 minutes, then do it now!" So I put that pithy little gem to use and knocked out several items on my to-do list. Like change the HVAC filter. Water the plants. Email the photographer who took pictures of my kids back in November and still hasn't given me my order. Wipe all the little handprints and boogers off the front of the refrigerator. Icky stuff, etc etc.

Speaking of cleaning, I have to give a big shout out to one cleaning product I was introduced to that totally blew my fucking mind. (And BTW, I'm not one to advertise or even mention products by their real names, but I'm about to break my own rule here.) So DS recently decided to draw some crayon pictures all over the beige wall of our living room, and once we found his crayon-art masterpiece, we figured we'd just have to re-paint over it. Then someone told me about the Magic Eraser. Holy fucking shit! It is amazeballs. I paid $3.50 for a pack of 4 sponges that you just wet and wipe... and every bit of the fucking crayon comes right off the wall without any effort or elbow grease whatsoever. It also works on random marks and scuffs that have been there forever. I have no idea what sort of alien technology they have going on in there to make it work so well, but what can I say, the shit just works. Your grandkids may turn out like monkeys, but your walls will be clean, so there's a trade-off.

One of my other brief to-do's was to check the status on my online complaint with my state insurance commissioner's office against the insurer of the woman who totaled DH's car 3 months ago. Long story short, the shady adjuster for her co made a written promise to reimburse our rental car expenses back in Feb and still has not done so. But instead of actually doing his job, he sent some hilarious emails in which he quoted old case law and tried his best to sound like a lawyer... and that I forwarded around to a bunch of people who also got a kick out of them.. Today his supervisor finally emailed me and cc'd him to bascially encourage him to stop emailing and start talking on the phone, presumably because his emails were only helping my case... No, I won't be taking their calls. "Email is forever" - and much much better for documenting what they actually say. I kind of enjoy the game of it - luckily the amount they owe us is not earth-shattering. And most importantly of all, all parties involved walked away from the accident without a scratch. We also learned that our own insurer handles claims properly and professionally, so that's good to know.

I love it when I actually have my paperwork and facts together so no one can trip me up. That happens maybe once a decade, so let me revel in it.


Melba said...

I hear ya about the magic eraser! What kind of freakin miracle is that, hey?

When I was 9 months pregnant with Rosie we had to sell a house that was riddled with scuffs all over the walls. Because I was so ridiculously pregnant I hired a cleaning service to clean the walls. They did a shit job and the scuffs remained. And then I discovered the magic eraser and I did the whole house in like an hour.

Afterward, I heard that magic erasers contain all sorts of nasty chemicals like formaldehyde and that pregnant women shouldn't use them. Great. Snopes says they're ok but I don't know... there must be something freaky in there to make it work so well!

the milliner said...

My mom swears by cotton balls for removing crayon marks. I've tried it a few times and so far so good. Might take a while for a whole wall drawing, but, another option.

I have yet to try to wash off the red 'washable' marker drawing DS did on the dining room chair with a white seat, a year ago. I think it will take more than 2 minutes. That's my excuse for why I haven't done it yet. Yep. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Jac. said...

Word to the Magic Eraser! That thing almost makes me enjoy doing housework. Almost. Not quite.

I'm a complete to-do list girl Every little thing makes it on my list because it is so satisfying to tick things off. I take more of a 15 minute approach - as in, how much can I do in 15 minutes. This works because if DD is down for a nap, sometimes she gives me those nasty 30 minute naps and I can get a whole lot done in 15 minutes when I set my mind to it and then have enough time for a shower, or a coffee and some blog reading. Also, when I get a long nap I don't feel bad about doing whatever the hell I feel like if I had a productive 15 minutes.

Re: the insurance matter and the emailing - if I were your lawyer I would be very pleased with you. I email everything. CYA - cover your ass.

mom2boy said...

Hey, I filed my taxes yesterday and dusted. More than two minutes but things I needed to get done. I didn't, however, scrub the tubs. I wonder if a magic eraser works to get crayon off a tub? How Tate has managed to get everlasting tub crayon marks I have no idea but comet can't even get them to come up.

@Melba - I trust snopes. I send all my crazy email forwarding friends their link right back. It has cut down considerably on the amount of email forwards I get.

RE: the emailing idiot adjuster. Good on you for keeping on them. And for doing it in writing. :) I don't know why but I have zsa zsa gabor in my head saying "email is forever, dahling".

NK said...

When we moved into our current house, the kitchen was dis-to-the-custing. It took 4 people 2 hours + 10 magic erasers to make it bearable.

Oh, and my counter is pure while laminate. Stains like there's no tomorrow. I always hesitate to use the magic eraser (only maybe once a week), because I"m worried that this is where I put our food and I don't want it mixing with chemicals. But when I use it, I just wipe down the counter with water afterward and hope that it's good.

insurance is always a pain :( it's almost as if their job is to find ways to avoid making payouts.

blue said...

I have never heard of Magic Eraser, but coincidentally, DS just learned how to write on our newly painted white wall with crayon. I have to admit, I have a bad memory of being scolded quite harshly over writing on the wall once (bad childhood memory), so I turn the other way when he does it. I kind of like it and feel like it's within his right as a child. Don't get me wrong, I'm a bitch about plenty of things, just not writing on walls... He's so little and he's drawing such cute little pictures.

However, I am pleased to now know about this Magic Eraser for when the time comes that I'm tired of the scribbles.


Cloud said...

I love the magic eraser.

But Pumpkin has yet to give me that clean up task. She mostly only colors with washable markers, and for some reason has really taken the rule about what she is allowed to color on to heart.

If only she'd take the rule about eating fresh fruit and vegetables to heart, too....

Caryn Caldwell said...

That two-minute rule is great! I have a running to-do list, and nothing feels better than spending just ten minutes knocking out five or six of those items - especially when they're little things that I've been putting off and they've been nagging me for a while.