Rit White Wash:
When I got home from last year’s annual jaunt abroad, I discovered that my washing machine was on the fritz. It was a simple repair, but the part needed had to be put on order as the company that produced my washer went bankrupt. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ So, I had to spend a month and a half washing my clothing by hand. This is after I spent a month in Nice wringing out my shirts in a tiny sink in a minuscule apartment the size of most normal bathrooms. That’s Europe though, and I should really not complain. I got to live across the street from the Mediterranean for a month for a little over $1000. That was luck, and I loved it. Anyway, when I washed my clothes, I inadvertently got my favorite white shirt tossed into the tub, and that ended poorly. Looked as if it had a weird pink tie dye pattern that I was not fond of. The shirt only cost €10, but the nearest H&M is a four hour drive from my front door. So, I tried everything to bring my favorite pirate-esque shirt back to its pristine white condition. Even bleach failed. Absolutely nothing worked. The other day I was buying black clothing dye to refresh my black clothing — a task I thoroughly encourage — and noticed a product called white wash. My eyes widened, and I put the two dollar product in my basket. This weekend, I tossed the powder in my dutch oven, added a bit of detergent, and slowly stirred the stained shirt for fifteen minutes. After that, I washed with a bit of bleach and dried it on the line. I refused to look at it too closely until it was dry. Three hours later, I went outside, and I had to fight tears from falling down my cheeks. My shirt was whiter than a Donald Trump rally. I am blessed. This product is utterly remarkable and I urge you to all buy it. Whites inevitably get stained or a bit grey and yellow, but you can bring them back to life. Salvage your wardrobe, dear reader!
Lysol Click Gel:
Ever since I bought my dishwasher, I don’t believe in doing anything for myself anymore. If there’s not an automated robot to do work for me, then I’m not going to bother. It’s gotten pretty bad, and I have trouble forcing myself to vacuum my floors or clean the litter boxes when I know full well that there are Roombas and self-cleaning cat toilets. Those are my next two purchases. If I can’t afford a maid, I might as well get as many conveniences as I can. I can’t believe I’ve lived a quarter of my life without basic human necessities like that wonderful dishwasher. I get a little misty eyed every time I think of it. I was at Walmart the other day, high on painkillers after my wisdom tooth extraction, and looking at the aisle of dishwashing soaps. (It’s become a passionate hobby of mine. Do you use gel, powder, or pods? Comment below!) I turned around, after giving lengthy thought to the advantages of each, and saw a product that you stick into your toilet which cleans it from the inside. Intrigued by the concept and the fact that it cost less than a dollar, I bought an individually wrapped Lysol Click Gel. (Which I think, in retrospect was not meant to be sold in this manner, but whatever.) At home, I stuck it to the porcelain with great aplomb, and then promptly forgot all about it. I noticed soon that the toilet smelled rather pleasant…for a toilet…and that the bowl was not getting at all dirty. In fact, it looked almost cleaner than if I had scrubbed it. Suspicious, but thoroughly delighted, I bought some more. You still have to give it the occasional scrub, but only like once a week, so this is great low-key maintenance. I highly recommend them.
I made a rather foolish decision a few years ago and made a New Year’s Resolution where I forced myself to watch a movie every single day, review, and rate it on my website. It was exhausting. I discovered, to my great irritation, that movies are basically all awful. No joke, there we like fifty that were worth watching out of three hundred and sixty five. So, I don’t know why I signed up for a Film Appreciation course. I should have known better. Alas, I did it, and I do regret it. I have to do more work for that class than any other. I don’t mind work, but the way the course is done is just really poorly designed. Last week we had to watch a German film titled Lola Rennt. It was a crime thriller, and that’s just not me, so I was far from excited. Unexpectedly, I fell madly in love with the movie. It is about an illegal transaction gone wrong, and Lola only has twenty minutes to come up with DM 100,000 (German money) or her boyfriend is going to die. It is very dramatic. But it’s also funny, exciting, and makes you think. The movie is cyclical and restarts three times. So, the viewer gets to see alternative endings. I really can’t give any more of it away because I loved it just so much. It had references to so many other things, and I died when I caught a glimpse of a very subtle Vertigo moment. I love that movie, too. There are also hints of the masterful Bradbury short store, “The Sound of Thunder.”
Lola Rennt is an immensely satisfying movie that I wholeheartedly recommend. And it’s blissfully short. Only an hour and twenty minutes. I just love a well told story that is succinct. The acting is gorgeous, the editing is delightful, and the ending is perfect. I think I may actually buy this movie on BlueRay.
Julia Child’s Poached Egg Trick:
Poached eggs are the best eggs. Nobody disagrees with this. There is nothing more elegant or lovely than a soft, silky, gorgeous poached egg. Nobody makes them, though, since there is this myth surrounding them that they are just too difficult to master. Kind of like a soufflé or certain breads — but that’s just trickery. Poaching an egg is not at all hard, it just takes practice. It is quite simple to poach an ugly egg. Any idiot can do it, but to cook one that is well rounded, with the yolk totally encapsulated in white, and free of frilly egg white shrouds…that is the mark of a studied egg master. I’ve been making them for a few years now, and I’m pretty good, but they don’t turn out consistently gorgeous. I wanted to take a really good picture of poached eggs on homemade artisan bread. I needed perfect poached eggs for this, so I took to research. I googled and I scrolled and I saw endless information about quails and vinegar, but nothing that I was not aware of. Finally, a name surfaced, my queen, one of the most emblematic inspirations of my existence — Julia Child. She has literally never let me down before. Her tip is inspired. You bring a saucepan to a rolling boil. Then, poke a hole in the egg shell and let it gently fall into the water for ten-seconds. Promptly remove the eggs from the water and reduce to a simmer. Gently crack the eggs into the simmering water and be amazed at the total transformation. The ten-second boil solidifies the watery outside of the egg and keeps the yolk perfectly contained in the white. It changed my life. I was so excited that I forgot to take the picture. Oh well, I will make poached eggs this way a million more times.
I had the best time last night in the aisles of the Walmart pharmacy. I never knew quite how many delightful things could be found there. I picked up some caffeine pills that had an old-fashioned label, and then I found some pills to help the tense muscles in my back. (It really feels great on Vicodin, but I really shouldn’t form a dependence on that wonderful pill.) I also picked up a bottle of Zzzquil, which I have long been curious about. I won’t let myself take NyQuil anymore because whenever I do, I get hella messed up. The last time I was hallucinating and time passed at a weird rate. I was on my couch for what felt like a few minutes, thinking about turning the television on, but it was actually seven hours. I decided then that it was for the best that I not take anymore. Still, I’m an awful insomniac, so I was curious about this product. I took a sip last night, and I woke up ten hours later with five minutes to get ready for work. I would guess it worked, and I did not see any shadow demons out of the corner of my eye, so I approve. [Update: I took it again and slept for fifteen hours, dreaming about a town that was both London and Los Angeles. I had to hike a lot, but I didn’t mind, and I also needed to find little passage between the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum (which is in New York — dreamland makes no sense) to find the house of a friend who had a secret chamber in her home that was filled with ancient Egyptian ushabti. I took many buses and the driver was that sassy woman from LA who wore white driving gloves. I wonder what that was about? I found the figurines. They were gorgeous. Then when I was conscious I discovered that I downloaded the new Zayn song, so I’m suspicious of this product, but it did do wonderful things.)