A scientific question

31 Aug

There’s a special challenge to dish washing when you know that they’re someone else’s dishes. I’ve been lucky enough never to have to wash dishes as a profession. For me, it’s an avocation. They pile up; I shine them up; and it’s a few days before I have to worry about them again. (And that’s if I’m being lazy.) But just this week, I’m trying to diet. And so a lot of what Liz is making, I know I’m never going to eat. That pasta salad made for lunchtime enjoyment, that smelled so good? Forget it. I must reject it. Yet I’m cleaning up after it all the same. And that’s OK. Part of the zen of dish washing is that the creation of food leaves a physical trace; yet that trace must be washed away. And so we begin again. With shiny dishes.

Tonight’s playlist

Pink Floyd, “Lucifer Sam”

Gram Parsons, “How Much I’ve Lied”

An amazing song. With no chorus, it suggests that it’s just a crie de couer, an explanation to a wronged woman that had to come out, song structure be damned. “A thief can only steal from you, / He’ll never break your heart. / He’ll never touch the precious things inside.” You can see from the title where the rhyme’s going there; and so you can see the damning self-indictment that haunts that song (and a lot of Parsons’s work).

“Graham Greene,” John Cale

“Second Chance,” Peter, Bjorn, and John

A very entertaining song that torments me because I didn’t see them this past year. You can’t count on a second chance!

“Act of the Apostles,” God Help the Girl

What a charming voice that girl has whose name I’m too lazy to look up!

“The Air That I Breathe,” the Hollies

“Lime-Tree Arbour,” Nick Cave

I would think a really particular profile is starting to develop by now….

“Martha, My Dear,” the Beatles

“Clint Eastwood,” Gorillaz

“The Guitar,” They Might Be Giants

“Alone Again or….,” Love

The woman who gave me my copy of “Forever Changes” went crazy and stalked a friend of mine. I hope she’s doing well now. I mention this only because when music is recommended to you by someone who turns out to be crazy, it forever after has a slightly sinister quality to it. I call it the “Helter Skelter” effect.

“Your Good Girl’s Gonna Go Bad,” Tammy Wynette

How awesome is it that Tammy has her teenage stepdaughter singing this song with her? I love the little triumphant “da-da-dah!” that accompanies her announcement that she’s going bad.

“Love Is Like Oxygen,” Sweet

“Male Prima Donna,” Subtle Sexuality

One of my coworkers went to school with Ed Helms. I think that’s pretty awesome. She also went to school with Gary Shteyngart, author of the excellent Super Sad True Love Story. I went to school with Orlando Jones, the guy from the 7-Up commercials.

“Here, There, and Everywhere,” the Beatles

“Some Kinda Love,” Velvet Underground

Combines the absurd with the vulgar. That’s what we’re all about.

I never addressed the scientific question! Here it is: Why do my dish towels stink so much? Even the latest ones get wet for a day and have a distinct rank quality. We wash them regularly. We use fragrant fabric softener sheets. What gives?

I took to the Internet to look for an answer.


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