Literal French Laundry

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The assertive note. 

I’m in a bad mood.  Yeah.  My stomach hurts. It’s kind of cold and the window is open. Although it’s five inches from me, it feels much too far to travel for comfort.   Also, I have a pain in my neck.  This isn’t a metaphor. I’m not talking about someone being a pain in the neck.  If I were, I would be like “Prioritizing peace is a pain in the neck.”  But, I’m not talking about a pain in my neck; no, this is about laundry.

So, first, in this blog, Le Poisson Nage, you may have noticed I have a deep respect for France.  Why?  Mostly because I like their yogurt.  I like their dating show about French farmers looking for love. And, I like this French tattoo artist, Faustine D.R. Tarmasz,  who I follow on Instagram (link at bottom of page).  Yeah.  I like France.  I like that the French aren’t afraid of darkness, of sadness, and of death.  Sometimes it’s relaxing to not have to be cheerful.

I also like that a common French response to political chaos is to pin a photo of Marine Le Pen on our dartboard after central left globalist Emmanuel Macron won the first election and then to stand in our backyard and then realize we are both really bad at darts.  And then inviting all of our friends over to see how good they are at sending darts into this photo.  Some of them are really good at this.

I like Emmanuel Macron.  He finds his own path. He married his French high school teacher; I married my French tutor.  He is concerned that fascism may take over our world.  Me too.  We have a lot in common.  It’s obvious.

Anyway, I don’t know what’s going to happen in France, but last Sunday when the results came in at 5pm (US time) things looked pretty hopeful and as an American, I haven’t felt that kind of hope in about seven months now.  Maybe that’s why my neck hurts all the time.

Anyway, I’m getting off what’s really important: my complaint about French laundry techniques.  In my experience, the British do this too.  The French air dry their towels instead of putting them in the dryer. Yes, sure.  Certainly, it is more environmental to air dry your towels.  Of course.   But, I was recently at a meditation retreat and I composted a tissue; I’ve regretted this for four weeks now.  Sometimes being environmental requires being even smarter than just pretty smart.

So, two days ago, I wrote a very assertive note to Vincent addressing his laundry method of hanging up the towels instead of putting them in the dryer.  I wrote that American designer, J. Ross Moore, from North Dakota didn’t invent this awesome technology so we could have these horrible sand paper towels. That we, here, in America, used our heads to figure out how to avoid scratchy towels.  That’s why we invented this machine.  Obviously.

But, then I looked into it more.  Around 1799, a French person, Pochon, invented the ventilator–a kind of rotating bin with holes in it that circled over the fire.  But, then this caused a lot of fire problems.  So, later, in 1892, an African-American, George T. Sampson, got the patent and figured out that the heat from the stove was better to dry the laundry than the fire.  Smart.  Then in depression era America, along comes the  North Dakotan and figures out a way to sell it for about $250.

The point: we need each other to make things better.

So, maybe, it’s good for the skin to be scratched up once in a while, maybe it’s good to feel kind of shredded.  Maybe this kind of discomfort is good for me, for us.  Because maybe there’s an even better way to dry towels–maybe the Dutch book designer, Irma Bloom or South African, Elon Musk can offer their thoughts.  Maybe there are some great laundry ideas we don’t even know about.  Maybe these new innovated laundry techniques might just be able to save us all.

 

Notes:

  1. Totally cool French tattoo illustrator: http://tarmasz.tumblr.com/
  2. More about Emmanuel Macron: http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/04/25/emmanuel-macron-is-everything-hillary-clinton-was-not-french-elections/?utm_content=buffer923d0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer
  3. More about Laundry Techniques: http://www.ehow.com/about_5081538_history-clothes-dryer.html
  4. Irma Bloom’s books: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/16/arts/design/irma-boom-bookmaker-vermeer-prize-amsterdam-library.html?_r=0
  5. The featured image is a Japanese bonsai that has been in training since 1625 and is at the Arboretum near Washington, DC.  It survived nuclear war and was tended by the Yamaki family who then gave it as gift for The United States of America’s 200th birthday.  We are a young country and I’ve always found it important to have older friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mistakes? Puh. No such thing.

Bonjour!  Are you interested in l’art?  Oui?  Allors, you may want to take my course about mistakes and illustration (click bottom photo, svp).  And, if you are curious, I took this cloud photo at the Musée des Confluence á Lyon, France.  Cool, non?   Bonne semaine mes amies!

FINGERPRINTS INKPRINTS

Minimal Comfort

Making friends has always come exceptionally easy to me.  I think largely because of my natural aroma–a soothing mix of sausages and cedar.  Because of my high demand, I often have to write people a rejection letter of friendship, much like the rejection letter I just received from a certain graduate program I applied to.  I hope it inspires them to go out and find other friends, like this rejection letter inspired me to madly apply for interesting day jobs.

Currently, I am in two groups of friends: the Minimalists and the Hygges (hoo gah ees).

I like hanging out with both groups.  The American Minimalists usually invite me to parties that take place in either vacant loft spaces or abandoned beaches.  I wouldn’t say their parties are “extremely fun,” but they certainly require very little preparation.  I never need to bring the usual entry ticket of a bottle of wine or beer.

Conversation at the Minimalist parties often involve a lecture like interaction about the benefits of Minimalism.   At the last party, Jaco (he minimized his name) began a power point facilitated conversation on freeing oneself from stuff. I noticed that out of the all the stuff he had given away, he did choose to keep a tie dyed shirt that said “Hilton Head” on it.  I questioned this choice and soon found myself more interested in the offshoot group that was emerging: the French Minimalists.

It was led by three French people who subscribed to the French concept of wardrobe.  This wardrobe fascinates me.  When flying from Lyon to Rome over Christmas, the French minimalists members each packed an incredibly small suitcase.  They wore a sweater, jeans and sneakers for every event.  Because we were flying on a low cost European airline, I had to share this suitcase with one of these members.  I was forced to become a French minimalist.  My strategy was simple: black.  However, black can get boring so I soon accessorized with socks, the airline’s seasickness pamphlet and a found pen.  These came in handy.  It should be noted that I grew up in a collective community of TJ Maxximistas which gave out awards for creative approaches to outfit design.   Thus, unwilling to let go off my roots, one night at a Roman cafe, I took a wool sock and made it into a Hermes-like foulard.  I’m not sure what everyone thought, but I got the impression that I fit in perfectly.  Dare I say I was a style leader?  I’d feel fairly confident saying that. However, there was a slight sweat problem as I could only bring two pairs of socks and we walked around the city for 8 hours each day, hence why I now smell like cedar foot powder.

Parties with the Hygges are pretty relaxing as they consist of meeting in yurts with roaring fires.  We don’t talk a lot–instead we just read books, light candles and eat dark chocolate.   Sometimes the parties go on for a very long time.  The Alpha Hygge, Lana, asks that we turn off all cellphones upon entry, so last time I was hanging out with them, I hadn’t realized that fourteen days went by and I missed a call for an interview from a high paying think tank in upstate New York.  I don’t blame Lana or the Hygges for potentially missing this incredible job opportunity that would give me a sustainable salary and dental insurance.   Instead, I just heated up some potatoes, put them in my socks, chopped some more wood and picked up where I left off in my German novel.

One time I invited both sets of friends to a bar. In retrospect, this was a pretty bad idea.  Jaco kept collecting all of the comforters that Lana had brought and Lana told me she found Jaco condescending.  She left the bar by giving him the middle finger and shouting “Minimize this.”  I get this.  Jaco is super annoying, but Lana is also kind of stressful too in that she is always asking me to chop more firewood.  Man.  How many fires are we going to have.  It’s like April and there is this cool class on user interface systems that I want to take.  I may have already missed it.

So, I actually just have been avoiding all groups of friends and instead using my time to ceaselessly mock interview myself.  It’s going well.  I never knew I had so much to offer.