Wednesday, February 14, 2007

3 Inches of Snow is Somehow Worse than Layers of Ice

Let me get this straight...the government will close for 3 inches of snow, but when there's an average of 0.75 inches of ice, schools are closed, airports are closed, and it's dangerous to drive on even major roadways, OPM gives a 2-hour delay...that's just not right.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Do You Recall The Day...The Duvet Died

In a vain attempt at catching up with chores and hobbies I haven’t had time to do (like blogging), it was time to wash my duvet cover and duvet (a great addition to 400-thread count sheets). The first-third of the duvet had no trouble getting inside the washing machine’s drum, but the second-third required plenty of elbow grease, all of which meant the third-third wasn’t going in without a fight. I started to get worried. I thought about asking Magnús Ver Magnússon of “The World’s Strongest Man” and ESPN afternoon programming fame to try with all of his might, but there was too much fabric even for him. Now I was in trouble.

All the muscles in the world couldn't get my duvet in the washing machine.

90% of the duvet was submerged in Tide detergent and water, including the duvet’s clean and care tag that said, “machine wash cold in high capacity washer.” Oh, so now you tell me that washer size makes a difference? The washer could always handle my comforter so I didn’t think the duvet was that different. (Magnus and) I decided it was best to let the washer run its cycle with the remaining duvet outside of the drum scrunched by the washer’s door at the top.
About 30 minutes later, I checked on the duvet and learned when something doesn’t fit below the soapy waterline, it’s not going to get washed and neither is anything below. The duvet had become a sponge of Tide, water, and my stupidity. From the start, I could have easily taken it to the dry cleaners or some laundromat, but noooooo, I was determined to be a hermit and not leave the apartment.

If you want it clean, do the opposite of what I'd do.

When I removed the duvet, areas at the bottom had not dried nor washed completely, and only created more suds with every tug. While I could have tried placing it the dryer, I figured that a dryer will only fit as much clothing as the washer it’s connected to...who knew? It was time for it to be dried the natural way…by placing it on the balcony for the sun. Once it was dry, I could take it to the dry cleaners for a real cleaning.

The days before full capacity machines, female breadwinners, and the Feminine Mystique.

I made a double-bagged garbage bag and placed the wettest portion of the duvet inside to decrease spillage. With the bag in one hand and the rest of the duvet propped and dripping on my t-shirt, I got the duvet downstairs and onto the balcony. The trail of spots left in my path was like a Family Circus cartoon. With half the duvet on each side of the balcony fence, all I had to do was dry the area around the washing machine, wait for the duvet to dry, and take it to the dry cleaners to clean my mess. The only problem with placing a wet duvet outside this time of year is the scientific phenomena called the “freezing point of water.”

Apparently this only works if the clothes have already had the soap removed.

Yep, it was under 32 degrees outside which solidified the duvet. Not only was the duvet wet, soapy, made dirty by the balcony fence, but it was also rigid. Still believing the duvet could be salvaged, I placed it in my bathtub to dry, but it wasn’t to be. The next day, I threw the duvet in the dumpster and began searching for a new one. It had lived a good life, but deserved a better ending and at least some sort of eulogy. With all of the professions in the world, I can confidently remove alternative down duvet cleaner from my list.