Wednesday, October 16, 2013

relatively cheap solutions for super-specific domestic dilemmas.

i took home ec in the seventh grade. mostly because wood shop was the alternative and i enjoy having all of my fingers intact thank you very much. also in case i ever need to trick someone into marrying me by sewing on a decent replacement for a missing button or making an edible pot roast. in real life i eat ramen all the time, sometimes with a handful of actual frozen peas thrown into the spicy shrimp water. but if i needed to i could roast you a chicken, tie the legs up and put some lemons in the cavity and all that good shit. i could get that chocolate stain out of your white shirt some club soda, i could dry out some lavender to make sachets to keep grimy little moths from feasting on your sean john hoodie, and i could make my own laundry soap out of a bar of fels naptha, some borax, and a little washing powder. do i regularly do any of these things? OF COURSE I DON'T. i'm too busy twerking to 2 chainz down at the local watering hole. but what i'm trying to say is that if the dowry is right and you're down to ride this brontosaurus, or um apatosaurus whatever SHUT UP science, into the night i totally could.

dilemma: you never fold or hang your laundry after you wash it and now you have some important shit to go to and your wrinkles are an embarrassment. also? NO IRON.

solution: i got rid of my iron years ago. because listen, it's a joke if you think i am getting up any earlier than "ten minutes before i need to leave." coincidentally, i also rid myself of all of my structured clothing. fuck buttons. i have this one ruffled, cream-colored dress that would look like a goddamned JAM if i just put a little heat to it, but i'll never know because ain't nobody got time for that. i mostly wear jackets, hoodies, and yoga pants, but occasionally my attendance is required at some quasi-nice kind of party or whatever, causing me to frantically search through piles and piles of black daytime pajamas for a suitably dressy rayon-polyester blend. and usually when i find one that shit is wrinkled all to be damned. the "just hang it in the shower" thing is okay, i guess? but, if you have ten minutes, this is the move: soak a washcloth in warm water and wring it mostly out, then throw it and that wrap dress you wear to everyfuckingthing in the dryer on medium heat. check every couple of minutes to make sure it's still nice and steamy, then pull that shit out after ten and hang it up until your hair is pressed and baby oil sinks in. MAGIC.

dilemma: the fan next to your bed is covered in cat hair because your cat is an asshole and you are a disgusting human who doesn't dust enough.

solution: lately i have been sleeping with a white noise machine. trust me, i felt like a total fucking asshole when i bought it? but it fucking helps, man. it took a few nights to find the right setting (who the fuck can sleep with the fucking bubbling brook noise?!), but now that i lay me down to sleep to the soothing sounds of ocean waves lapping at the shore the sandman brings me dreams of drowning after having been pushed from a cruise ship by my newlywed husband. and i still wake up seventeen times during the night to pee. and i till sometimes bolt right out of bed due to night terrors. i guess what i’m trying to say is that in no way was that thing an unnecessary purchase. (i'm so dumb, man.) anyway, despite dreaming of dead fish flopping around gasping for air after having been cruelly yanked from their watery homes, i do also like the feeling of a cool breeze wafting over my skin during the night.

WHAT TO DO when the fan gets gross, tho? you can't really wash it and most dusters aren't made to fit in those tiny-ass crevices. now don't get me wrong, i am not above throwing things away. as a matter of fact, i buy a new humidifier every winter. some shit you just can't get reliably clean. but i just bought this fan and it's perfect. the other night i was digging through my dresser looking for some emergency cash hidden therein and i came across a pair of hot pink tights that my thigh teeth had eaten a hole in years ago. wondering why the fuck i ever owned hot pink tights in the first fucking place, i used my macgyver skills and threaded them through the slots in the fan. and it totally worked. yes i had to use a butter knife to push it through a couple places, but so what. my repurposed inadvisably purchased pantyhose and i felt like goddamn winners.

dilemma: the frat boys across the hall smoke weed all motherfucking day and your apartment smells like a goddamned dispensary.

solution: i know, it's my fault for basically living on a college campus. i was in CVS last night buying sensitive skin products because i have that all of a fucking sudden and found myself surrounded on all sides by girls in shorts small enough to show their butt cleavage buying up every single bottle of fruity, cotton candy-scented shampoo. i was pretty much standing in the middle of the eucerin aisle closing my eyes really tight while trying to apparate. jesus, i have to move. anyway, solving this problem isn't as lame as you might suspect. just get on etsy and order some crafty beaver's handmade draft guard, fill it up with dried lentils or pinto beans or whatever Y2K shit you still have lying around, then push that shit up to the door and dare the cat to even think about trying it. now you've created the perfect environment in which to smoke your own OG kush without worrying about those little dirtbags trying to come over and holler at your stash. wait, what? 

dilemma: you are convinced that there are at least two or three salvageable good bites of ice cream underneath the frosty stalactites that have taken over the majority of the pint.

solution: this one is so easy. i've been off dairy for a while now, which is a tragedy. actually, it's not that fucking bad. while ordering a burger without cheese (WHAT) is like speaking chinese or something to me (what the fuck are these words coming out of my mouth?!), it's not the literal worst. but i'm off that gluten, too, and that shit actually is. getting that burger with no cheese and no bread actually hurts my fucking feelings, bro. and because i don't grocery shop like a normal person, this new anti-inflammatory diet means that my lunch today consisted of baby carrots dipped into roasted red pepper hummus. BAHAHAHAHAHA PLEASE KILL ME. anyway, i will use this method next time i leave a pint of haagen-dazs raspberry sorbet behind the frozen green beans for too long: roll it under the faucet once, maybe twice, while giving it a good squeeze. remove the lid, excavate those gnarly greyish parts, then feast on the sweet, sweet nectar below.

the real solution to this problem is just to eat the entire thing in one sitting in the first goddamn place. i mean, come on. especially sorbet. that shit is basically health food, amirite?!

dilemma: you’re too fucking poor to get regular pedicures. see also: lazy as fuck.

solution: i am inexplicably cheap about the weirdest fucking shit. deodorant, disposable razors, garbage bags: i still buy that stuff, because i need it and i know the cheap version isn’t worth it in the long run, but i am always standing in the aisle at walgreens for thirty seconds too long anyway, debating whether or not i actually need the moisture rich strip and all five of those cushioned, swivel-head blades. well of course i do. but they just cost so goddamned much. and because there is no immediate reward, i’m not going to rip the package open with my teeth in the parking lot and start shaving my legs right then and there, i have a hard time reconciling that i have to buy them. and that goes triple for pedicures, which stress me out and are totally uncomfortable and irrationally expensive. and f that.

so here's what you do to keep your feet looking right until your student loan comes in or whatever: 1 wash your feet as soon as you get in the shower. like, really soap them up but be careful not to fuck around and bust your head open. RINSE. 2 wash all of your other parts, making sure your feet stay wet. for real, wash and condition your hair, tweeze your chin whiskers, rinse the crumbs out from under your tits. 3 take one of those long, cheese grater-looking tools that you copped from the miscellaneous end of the beauty aisle at walgreens and DO WORK, SON. scrape those dusty heels down to the baby skin then trim your toenails while you're down there, since those shits will be soft and manageable. 4 lotion? shea butter? vaseline?! something. PROTIP: skip the nail polish because you'll just get it all over your cuticles and the minute it chips you're just going to look dirty and poor again.

dilemma: your toilet gets that weird reddish pink line that doesn’t go away even when you scrub really fucking hard with that natural cleanser you got guilted into buying at your local farmer’s market.

solution: i almost dislocated my fucking shoulder the other day while scrubbing my fingers to the bone trying to use some salad-scented natural cleanser to get my gross toilet edibly clean. sometimes when i’m feeling slim and healthy and like a person who makes wise choices, i bypass the gourmet cheese and artisanal gelato aisles at my local overpriced organic food mecca to instead peruse the scant selection of all-natural soaps, cleaners, and paper products. drunk on the overwhelming feeling of raised consciousness and moral superiority that often accompanies simply crossing the threshold of whole foods, you decide that you are going to do your part in saving the earth by purchasing a bottle of method yet continuing to throw coke cans and magazines into the regular garbage. you dismiss the paper products immediately, because those brown towels don’t do shit except push water around and that ½-ply toilet paper just scratches up your asshole before leaving a hundred tiny crumbs in its wake. which leaves those sparkling bottles of healthy-looking counter spray. which you buy, even though you know in the back of your head that formula 409 is $3 cheaper and 3x as effective.

sometimes i can feel the germs mocking me, as i stand in the kitchen pointlessly spraying basil water on the stove, the dried on bits of spaghetti sauce refusing to dissolve. "there are 724 individual strains of influenza on this table," i think wistfully to myself, unpacking the boxes from peapod, longing to spray my entire apartment with lysol. i rationalize that owning a creature who shits in my house before cleaning her asshole on my bed means that i could never be really clean anyway, so who cares if that half a lemon i used to wipe down the fridge didn't kill the e.coli living on the shelves?! TINY BACTERIA PARTY.

but the line in the toilet is where i draw the goddamned, ahem, line. which is why i buy CLR at the hardware store across the street from my job. pretty packaging? naw. fresh chemically-herbal smell? hardly. but if you live in an old-ass building with rusty pipes and hard water one capful will get your toilet magically clean. for, like, fifteen cents a splash. which kind of saves paper, if you rationalize hard enough.

dilemma: some hot lady or dude is coming over for dinner (i mean, to have sex with you after eating everything in your fucking pantry) and you don't really know how to cook. or have sex.

solution: so i'm a really good cook. BUT, i live alone and i'm on a diet, so there's basically no point for me to ever roll up my sleeves and make a beautiful meal unless someone is coming over to balance a plate on his knees while seated awkwardly on the edge of my bed while eating it because i think having furniture is ridiculous. okay, so what to feed someone who is going to be picturing you naked the whole time he's eating. stew is my go-to booty food because it makes your house smell good and is really hard to fuck up because you don't have to be perfect when you put all of the shit together. no precise measurements, no complicated dough rolling or rising time. but dude. you can't, like, serve your mom's chicken chili or whatever to someone you hope will stop banging those sluts posting all over his facebook the minute he sees you with your pants off. you have to cook him some grownup shit.

chicken is wack unless you're frying up some wings or making curry with the dark meat, cooking beef at home can be lame unless you have the jam butcher and a grill, and fish soup makes the crib smell like dirty panties, so i like to make my stews with lamb because it is the fucking business. also, persian and mediterranean are the best of all of the foods. also also they use a lot of turmeric and aromatic spices and i am doing this new anti-inflammatory food thing and not eating gluten and shut up it's delicious just do what i say. here's an easy-ass rogan josh recipe that i adapted from the homies at food & wine magazine and make for myself all the goddamned time even though i haven't had sex since the giants swept the world series.

gather: 1/4 cup canola oil
2 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into roughly 1-inch pieces
kosher salt
2 onions, thinly sliced (use a mandoline and save your fingers)
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon madras curry powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
one 14-ounce can tomato puree
1 cup plain full fat yogurt
2 cups water
1 teaspoon garam masala

PUT SOME MUSIC ON. OPEN A BOTTLE OF CHEAP WINE.

1 in a large, enameled cast-iron casserole (you should own one of these, you grown motherfucker), heat the oil. sprinkle the salt over the lamb and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until the lamb is browned, about 12 minutes; using a slotted spatula, transfer to a plate.

2 add the onions to the pot and cook over medium heat until lightly browned, maybe 4 minutes? add the ginger, garlic, curry, turmeric, cayenne, and bay leaves and cook for 2 minutes. add the tomato, yogurt, and water; bring to a boil. season with salt.

3 return the lamb and any delicious fatty juices to the casserole. cover partially and simmer over low heat until the lamb is super tender, about an hour. give or take a couple minutes, you know how this goes. YOUR HOUSE WILL BE SMELLING SO FUCKABLE. stir in the garam masala; cook for 5 more minutes. dig out the bay leaves and toss them in the trash. garnish with cilantro if you want. serve with rice and naan, unless you're a sick asshole like me who isn't eating bread right now, in which case you should softly cry on the inside while watching your boy soaking up the gravy with a ripped off piece of warm, pillow-soft naan.

was that so terrible? fuck ordering thai food. it's three goddamned steps, you lazy piece of shit. just make it and shut up. also, in case you don't know how to make rice that isn't in a bag, here's the best way: 1 cup jasmine rice, in an empty pan. sprinkle a little olive oil over, stir to coat. turn on the heat, stir it it for a few minutes while it cooks. pour in 2 cups of water, bring to a boil. while you're waiting for the bubbles: peel and quarter a small onion, peel 2 cloves of garlic, find your canister of goya loose chicken bouillon. throw the garlic and onion in, shake in a little bouillon, stir. reduce heat and cover until the water is absorbed.

now go take a bird bath and put your good underwear on. boner app├ętit.
buy my little meatbook.
jam to this mix i made.