How to Clean Your Stainless Steel Flask

. . . That You Really Love Because You Got it in New Zealand

1. Text your friend, Lil’ Jay, with whom you have been discussing flasks: My flask smells revolting. How do you clean a flask?

2. Wait for her reply: [My fiance] says, “What do you mean ‘how do you clean a flask?’ You Google ‘how to clean a flask!”

3. Wait for the addendum: He Googled it for you.  Salt water or a little bleach in water.

4. Leave putrid flask out on the kitchen counter for one week, or until your roommate asks if there is any particular reason that your putrid flask is out on the kitchen counter.

5. Poke around in the cabinets, trying to remember what Lil’ Jay’s fiance’s Google search results suggested, until you find some white vinegar and baking soda and think, “Oh, yeah, that might have been it.”

7. Dribble some vinegar and a little bit of warm water into the flask.

8. Use the heart-shaped teaspoon your grandmother gave you for Valentine’s Day to scoop 1 tsp. baking soda into the flask.

9. Screw the cap closed and shake vigorously.

10. Listen to the fizzing.

11. Shake vigorouslier.

12. Listen to more fizzing.

13. Empty the flask. Rinse thoroughly with warm water.

14. Check old text messages and see that Lil’ Jay’s fiance actually suggested salt water and bleach, not vinegar or baking soda.

15. Google it yourself and find these great instructions for cleaning a stainless steel travel coffee mug (almost the same thing, yes?) with baking soda, boiling water, and white or cider vinegar on Good Housekeeping‘s website.

I bet Lil’ Jay’s fiance hasn’t even heard of Heloise and her hints, hmpfh!


16. Take a picture to show how well your sparkling and squeaky clean flask fits in the pocket of your pajama pants!

17. Feel silly.

18. Post it on the internet anyway.

You wanted me to write something

So, I wrote down (and photographed) the contents of my bag!


Last week’s New Yorker
Violet sunglasses
A few Equal packets
LG Plum cell phone
Card case for business cards and coupons
Make-up bag (its contents could be a-whole-nother photo)
iPod Classic
Notebook, two pens, Chapstick, and C.G. Bigelow Menthe Lip Shine
Sephora by OPI nail polish in Caffeine Fix
Purple wallet
Inside a royal blue hobo

Happy now?

(I can’t get no)

My theory is, the same way my body craves proteins and vitamins when they’re lacking, I get cravings when there is an emotional or intellectual deficiency of some kind. I go through phases of fixation on one particular element of my life.

Material cravings have me browsing online and mail order catalogs like it’s my job.  Next, I’ll spend every free moment working out or planning a workout, my refrigerator is stocked with fresh, lean organics, and I get my hair cut and revamp my skincare regime.  Then I’ll read three books in two weeks and entertain the notion of going back to school for an advanced degree.  And when that passes, I sprout social butterfly wings and make a point to catch up with everyone I know before retreating into a domestic phase.  That usually involves a comprehensive scrub-down of the entire apartment and the rearrangement of furniture and decorative accessories.

Sometimes it leads to attempts at creating decorative accessories myself.  That’s a warning sign for a creative spell.  The creativity cravings are the most difficult to satisfy.  It’s like craving something, but not knowing what it is.  Because what I want, what I crave, is somewhere within me, unseen, and if it gets stuck, simply wanting it to emerge isn’t enough to make it happen.  Sometimes I feel just desperate to conceive something of words or colors and when I can’t draw it out, it’s like I’m imploding and exploding at the same time.

What’s unsettling is, lately, I haven’t craved much of anything.  It’s like I’m caught in the trough of a wave, just riding it out.  It’s odd, though, this absence of want.  It’s like a deficiency of deficiencies, but that doesn’t mean I’m thoroughly satisfied.

{P.S. What are you non-gastronomical cravings? Material? Physical? Intellectual?  Social? Domestic? Creative? Or otherwise?}

Obeying weather patterns

Sometimes it snows in March

Last week, I was tromping around in the snow on the roof of my office building.  It was so windy that my pupils couldn’t focus properly, like I had a layer of slush coating my eyes instead of tears.  My hands were slow and stiff in the cold, but I managed to take the token self-portrait above.  For posterity.  Because I hadn’t expected to hear the voluminous hush of snow again in Winter 2009, and then I got this one last chance.  And you never know where I’ll be for Winter 2010.

Over the weekend, positively balmy temperatures drained away every remnant of that last chance snow storm.  I went out in a cotton tank and a light wool cardigan.  Wearing sporty silver flats.  My bare ankles were exposed and they were like, “hello world!”  We opened all the windows on Saturday morning and when I got home early, early Sunday morning, the smell of warm, damp bricks still swished around the perimeter of the apartment.

One year, my high school closed for a day in the middle of May because all the school buses had been vandalized.  Usually it takes a snow storm to cancel school, but they couldn’t transport students in buses with blacked out windows.  The weather was warming up, but that day, the air just happened to be saturated with the scents of sun and grass.  It was so, so hard to go back to school the next day, having had that taste of summer, and knowing that our long vacation was so close.

Now that there’s no real summer vacation to anticipate, the weather taunts me with just the coming of a different season.  Me and my ankles.

I’m so happy with my new camera

My parents got me a Canon Powershot SD880IS for Christmas.  (I had to read the model number off the front of it, and don’t ask me to repeat it from memory.)


In the time it took to cross the street to the promenade on 23rd street, I spun the scene mode dial to the night settings, zoomed in, and caught the great ball of fog hovering around the top of the Empire State Building.