If anyone out there in Cyberville has a clue as to how to get the smell of toasted cumin out of a plastic mini-prep, I’m all ears. It’s true that I’m the jerk who probably melted the plastic of said mini-prep by adding toasted cumin seed to it straight from the stove without cooling it first, but someone somewhere must know how to rectify this sorry state of affairs. I tried scrubbing, I tried soaking in soap and then in white vinegar. I even tried steel wool both to the chagrin of the skin on the knuckles of my right hand and also to no avail, and I’m ready to say Uncle.
I’ve been a little overly, well, scrubby about things lately. I mean the cumin smell in the plastic isn’t exaggerated at all, but it is sort of indicative of a kind of OCD-like desire I’ve been having to scour things clean and to contain stuff. The result of cleaning and organizing is great; certainly it makes life a lot easier, but building what is essentially a bomb shelter in your chemical room (yes, I did this a couple of weeks ago) may not signal the height of rational behavior.
In the Clark Kent portion of my life I’m a goldsmith. And being a goldsmith that actually forges and welds gold myself, I’m required to have a space with a hood to contain the fumes from various chemicals I use that either remove or add oxidation to metal. When I moved into the studio space that I live and work in (if you’re curious, you can see pictures of the space here), there was a back office area that conveniently already had a hood built in, which was great, but it also had a pile of crap in it (panes of glass, 15-20 carousels of slides, a slide projector, apple boxes, a slab of iron that weighed at least 500 pounds, a ladder, sand bags and rusting C- stands). Which would be fine if I hadn’t already spent the first several weeks of my occupancy ripping down walls, painting and cleaning up the previous tenant’s meshugas. So I “organized” these things into a few corners, brought in the bedraggled fridge from the kitchen (it makes a great beer locker) and added my chemical tables to the mix. And then there were the extra boxes that soon piled up (what if I need to move my Le Creuset 15.5 qt french oven someday?) , the odd items that I was holding in storage for my gay boyfriend (whose computer and SCALE--why I don’t know-- I am babysitting while he is teaching in China) and a panoply of shit that almost reached the ceiling. Looking through the glass windows into the room was giving me heartburn.