I decided yesterday was about time to get ready for Mathilde, who will be living in our mother-in-law apartment for several months as she does an internship at Alliance française. Mathilde is 22 and from Perpignan, France. I started my clean-up with a load of laundry and immediately broke the dryer. I didn't do anything special to break it; it just started making a really strange noise, like someone had dumped about 15 dollars worth of quarters inside. In fact, this was my first thought: that a pocket (not mine, mind you) containing an extraordinary amount of change had not been emptied before the article of clothing it was attached to was thrown in the washing machine. That would have been great, in retrospect. No such luck. So the next thing I did was take out two items with zippers, in the vain hope that the noise was coming from some innocent metallic object and not some vital inner mechanism. In the meantime, I should add, I had put a very expensive, very loved pair of trousers in the wash on the "delicate" hand wash setting. I was petrified they would shrink or lose their exquisite shape. I took the extra precaution of reducing the number of rotations on the spin cycle. I got so distraught over the impending dryer disaster (Month of August! Repair guy on vacation! Intern coming from France in a week!) that I wasn't really paying attention to the wash cycle in progress. When the washer stopped I tried the door but it wouldn't open. Thinking the cycle was done, I turned the setting to "off" and then waited a minute before opening the door. When I did, a ton of water came spilling out onto the floor. Water, water everywhere! That's right, the reason the door would not open was that the cycle was still in progress you idiot! I was so dumbfounded and distracted by the dryer problem that I just held my trousers in my hand and looked on as the water continued to spill onto the floor and my shoes.
The important thing is that my trousers look fine -- they have their same basic shape and color. They were pretty water logged, though, since the spin cycle had not been completed. So I wrung them out as delicately as possible, which is actually impossible, and now they are hanging to dry for the next three days....
After I hung them up, I did the most sensible thing I could do: I decided to put off the apartment clean-up for a day and took the wet clothes from the broken dryer up to the coin-op laundromat. Neko and I went for a walk while they were drying, and we happened to go by Click! Design That Fits, a really great little shop in West Seattle owned by a couple that makes beautiful jewelry (Smersch, check 'em out). My favorite lamp in the universe, which I have wanted to buy ever since I first saw it there at least two years ago, was beaming at me from within. It was on sale. Finally! So I bought the last one in stock and ordered another. The lamp is so beautiful. I was an avid lamp collector when I lived in France. I love lamps, beautiful lamps. What makes a lamp beautiful? It's a mystery. The shade on this one is called "hot dog". Ain't that cool?
It looks great by the side of the bed.
Today I got throught the big clean-up, which included taking scary things out of the refrigerator and freezer. Caroline left some food items behind, thinking they would get eaten. I could not tell what any of them were. I also sent a couple of huge spiders packing. I vacuumed the whole place. Now it looks really cozy, don't you think?