2019/03/31

Eight Turns

Da Goddess @ 18:32

Because my new home is teeny tiny, I don’t have the luxury of a dishwasher. At least, not a dishwasher run by electricity. It all comes down to me.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not currently as diligent about getting the job done as I should be, but they always end up done eventually.

Because I’ve been trained well in the art of pathogen elimination (“we can’t be all ‘ooh! Pathogens…having a party'” as per the man who ran the food handlers’ course I had to attend to work in a restaurant back in my teens), I’ll fess up to having a bit of an obsession with making sure every dirty dish as clean as possible (this was something the former bf didn’t worry about & which often led to me rewashing anything and everything he handwashed during our time together). In order to do this, I’ve developed a ritual.

1. Hot water. Lots of it. This causes me an unwelcome level of agita as I have to turn on the water full force in order to get any heat at all to said water. I live in California. We’re notoriously droughty. But this is the only way for me to get my hot water and needs must.

2. Soap. I need an adequate amount of dish soap to ensure each item is properly cleaned. The former bf would notoriously use a single drop for at least half the entire amount of dirty dishes. That’s inadequate and one of the reasons I rewashed his work on a regular basis. As it stands, as much as I’m pinching pennies, I will NOT compromise when it comes to anything that could possibly make me sick. Food poisoning caused by poorly cleaned surfaces is not an option in my home. Thus I definitely use more than one drop of dish soap per item. I bought a large bottle of dish soap in January and, surprisingly (to the former guy), there’s still more than three quarters of that soap left (he considered anything more than that one drop wasteful). In fact, the smaller bottle I’d filled is still half full.

3. Cleaning utensil. I don’t use a sponge. I’d rather mainline pure clostridium than allow a disgusting petri dish of a sponge to touch anything my food will be in contact with. No matter how many times you run a sponge through the microwave or dishwasher (and, frankly speaking, if you have a dishwasher, just fucking use it, okay? It sanitizes beautifully), that sponge will never not be anything more than a pathogen delivery system.

So what DO I use? A brush. A glorious brush from the dollar store or IKEA. You don’t need to spend more than a buck or two for a brush. More expensive brushes don’t perform any better, they simply cost more.

Because brushes lack soft absorbent surfaces, they don’t retain bacteria or fungi the way a sponge does. That said, at least once a week, let your brush sit in bleach for a minimum of one minute to help eliminate any germs hiding in the opening where the bristles attach to the brush wand.

4. Friction is your friend. You don’t have to scrub hard if you have decent friction. Enough friction to create a good amount of bubbles. Bubbles help lift germs from the surface of whatever you’re washing, which then means they can be sent down the drain and away from your gut. (This same principle applies to handwashing as well, as does the amount of soap you use.)

5. Have some fun. Why not? If, like me, you’re stuck washing dishes by hand, it doesn’t have to completely suck. For me, it’s an opportunity to think about things or to let my imagination run wild about projects I’d like to tackle. It’s also prime music time. I put on music I enjoy and let myself just blank out for a bit…or sway or bop along with the beat.

5a. I also indulge my secret, deeply hidden OCD.

Every dish or glass gets the eight turn treatment each side. (Silverware and cooking utensils get a slightly modified eight turns, but I’ll spare you the details.) I hold the plate or bowl firmly by the edge, scrub quickly up and down (or back and forth, or side to side… however you need to imagine it to make it make sense to you) until I get a decent amount of bubbles in that linear pattern that looks lovely. Then, a quarter turn, repeat the scrub. Followed by several more turns with more bubbles. Basically, I end up doing, you guessed it, eight turns. I repeat the same process on the bottom of the plate, bowl, pan, etc.

Why eight? Four alone would seem inadequate. Five would be uneven. Six wouldn’t allow for every rotation to give equal attention to the surface of the item. Seven, again, odd. Eight turns means each direction gets two chances to get rid of food and germs. The twelve it would take to get each turn the equal number of scrubs just seems like overkill. I’ll do it if I must to get rid of everything bad, but this rarely happens.

Eight turns. Each side. Lots of suds (they don’t need to be big bubbles, just sudsy).

6. Rinsing. Hot water, obviously. Both sides, natch.

7. Drying. Make sure you allow your newly cleaned items on a newly cleaned surface, be it a clean towel or a rack. I use a metal rack because it’s the only option I have available, but it’s also what I’d choose due to the ability to sanitize it.

I allow the clean items to air dry. Towel drying has the potential to transfer icky, mean, nasty pathogens to everything you just spent a fair amount of effort to clean. Don’t let the pathogens party on your watch!

***

And there you have my insane approach to handwashing dishes. If I had a two well sink, I’d include a bleach dip. But I don’t so I can’t and I’m okay with it.

Do you have a specific approach to dishwashing? I would love to hear about it.

2019/03/29

A Good Cry

Da Goddess @ 02:36

I’ve been battling a series of unfortunate and disabling headaches the past week or so and I’ve just about had it. I’m never sure how long I’ll be down or if I’ll ever get over it at all.

The one thing I’m pretty sure of is it’s all because of my neck. When my neck stops hurting as much as it does when my headaches are at peak awfulness, the headaches stop. This has been the case since day one. With the exception of that post-op window of neck pain relief. Boy, do I ever miss those days!

So, as I’m wont to do, I go searching for things to make me happy, to distract me, to just find something to make me FEEL something. And I saw Tim Minchin tweet a link to a speech he gave. It made me cry. It was a good cry.

Then, I watched Better Things with Pamela Adelon. The episode was “No Limit”. I cried again. It was cathartic. I usually, at the very least, tear up watching Better Things, but every once in a while I full on bawl. This episode did that to me. Adelon is, quite simply, the funniest, realest, most honest voice of my particular generation of moms, especially single moms. She gets it right. She knows. And she’s just so open about all of it…what we get right and what we get wrong. It touches my heart every. fucking. time. (Pamela, if you somehow see this, THANK YOU for everything — for making me laugh, cry, and mostly making me feel seen and heard and validated.) By the way, if you’ve not seen Better Things, do yourself a favor and watch. Start at the very beginning and work your way up to the current season. You owe yourself this show.

My headache isn’t gone, but I feel better for having cried, if that makes any sense. It’s a start, right?

P.S. my only other attempt to brighten my mood as I fight all this bullshit pain comes down to these two words: purple hair.

2019/03/16

Humbled

Da Goddess @ 23:11

Autocorrect was invented so we’d be humbled at least once a day.

There’s no way to maintain an air of superiority when autocorrect sneaks in and messes with you. Whether it’s during an argument or serious or “intellectual” discussion, I’m telling you it’s impossible to see yourself as having the high ground when you notice the error and it’s too late to change it.

Humbled.

Every single time.

2019/03/10

Are We Really This Dependent On Tech?

Da Goddess @ 10:14

When I first got settled in to new place (settled does NOT equal unpacked, BTW), I discovered the microwave wasn’t 100% in top working order. The landlord ordered a new one for me. It was from Amazon. With an Alexa option.

Are we really at the point in our evolution that we require our basic small appliances to connect to the internet so we don’t have to figure out the optimal setting to reheat a dinner OR to pop some popcorn? I don’t think we are, but apparently some do.

I don’t have Alexa. I don’t WANT Alexa. I just want to be able to nuke my water so I can have some tea, or maybe I just want to cook my Hot Pocket. I don’t need Alexa for those tasks. I can tell you right now the optimal time needed to heat a cup of water is 2 1/2 minutes (though I always heat for 2mins 34secs because I’m weird). If I’m reheating food, well, a couple minutes works most of the time. If my food isn’t heated thoroughly, I zap it for another 30 seconds or longer. I don’t need Alexa to decide anything.

I’m not the only one who thinks Alexa is unnecessary to work a microwave:

From TechCrunch

Being able to say “Alexa” sometimes and other times not adds a bit of cognitive overhead to using the voice commands. Instead of making things easier, it complicates them.

Yes, using Alexa actually complicates warming food! Shouldn’t it be easier? I’m sure for a certain generation, this is easy peasy lemon squeezy. That generation would rather speak commands to a microwave, toaster, hair dryer, vacuum cleaner, or hell, even their vibrator, than to just use one. Do we want future generations to continue down this path? I vote NO. If we continue to rely on technology to the point where we no longer know how to do things on our own, we may as well tune out permanently.

It’s bad enough we rely on our phones for surfing the net, texting instead of calling people, diverting our attention from family or work so we can play a game or shop, or to get directions to places we go all the fucking time. C’mon, people! We have to keep our brains engaged or we’ll become little more than mush-headed idiots a la Idiocracy. And we really don’t want to be raising tech-savvy kids incapable of making a pb&j on their own without AI talking them through every step.

Alexa will never be a part of my home. Never. I can do shit on my own (except for changing bulbs in my ceiling fan or hanging curtains without a power screwdriver). But you know, it would be fabulous if I could change the time on the microwave on my own without having to look up how on the damn internet. Ugh.

2019/03/03

Three Days In

Da Goddess @ 00:07

I’m three days in on the SCS trial and I feel like crap. MY head hurts horribly. My neck is locked. My hands are numb and tingling. The bandage over the insertion site is itchy. I haven’t taken a shower yet because I don’t have anyone to tape up all the electrical doodads. I also haven’t filled my prescription for antibiotics yet because I’ve been sleeping sporadically and now it’s raining and I can’t get this stuff wet and I’m loathe to go out if I’ve not showered and I’d have to do either a cab or Uber and the idea of getting in or out of a vehicle makes me cringe so I’m freaking out about everything and I can’t stop my head from feeling like it’s going to explode.

Whew! Glad I got that off my chest.

But, seriously, I feel like crap. I forgot how long it took for the last trial to start feeling okay. I’m so stupid about remembering these details sometimes. Excuse me while I go cry in bed for a couple more days cuz I’m a big baby right now.

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