Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I titled this piece with a particular topic in mind but realized it can work with a lot of the ideas floating through my head. So I'm veering off the happiness format again to work on the Cranky Otter Opining Lecture Series.

Dirty Topic 1: Laundry!
I have odd bursts of organization. I can be hyper-organized in one area and completely unable to even conceptualize a way to organize another area of my life or environment. One thing I do have licked is how to sort laundry, specifically answering the question, "What do I do with incompatible brights?"

I've always found the white/bright/dark method of sorting useless. I own maybe 6 white things and 2 are pillowcase liners and 3 are gym towels. (I do have a couple of white shirts but they get drycleaned.) The trick is not about white though, it is how to wash YELLOW. If you wash yellow with bright red, it turns orange. If you wash it with whites, they turn yellow. If you wash it with darks, it gets dingy. But there's a solution, and I feel like a genius for figuring it out even if my method and devotion to it has provoked no small amount of mocking.

CrankyOtter's never-fail 4 load method to sort colorful clothes:
  • Yellow/Green/Brown
  • Orange/Pink/Red/(purple)
  • Blue/Black/Grey/(purple)/very dark
  • White/pale pastels
    You can safely wash yellow with green and brown because the dies for green and brown are not harmed by, nor do they seem to harm yellow. Green and some browns contain yellow themselves. I can wash light khaki and chocolate browns with bright and sage greens and various yellows and it all comes out well in the wash.

    If you're worried about something of any color that's so dark as to be nearly black, pop it in the blue/black load. The purple can go in either the red or the blue load depending on load balance or depth of blue and hue in the purple color. The very pale pastels can go in with the bolder color group or, if you're not adding bleach, just put them in with the whites.
Dirty topic 2: Dirt!
I love that show. Even though, to paraphrase Happy Bunny, it makes me feel a little dirty. (It's about tabloids, which I like better in fiction than in reality.) I also love Designed to Sell, where they get rid of all your dirt so that other people don't have to buy it.

Dirty topic 3: Books!
I just finished reading Megan Hart's novel "Dirty" and recommend it. It was a good story, well written, well executed, moved along, and was SMOKING hot. Well, smoking for the first half, then there was much angst. You can easily avoid the angst by only reading the first half to 2/3rds and it would still be worth reading just that first bit. But most of the character growth happens at the end. It was an upended romance where the sex came first and the love (and lack of sex) came later.

But what struck me like a bludger to the head was the difference between this book and another book that was sold to me with a warning about being erotically inclined. While dealing with the reality of the character's feelings about sex, Author Hart maintained a positive tone toward sex throughout. And the main character, Elle, had every reason not to feel positively about it. But there was no judgment of the characters or the reader in this book of sex being icky, gross, disgusting, perverted, and saved only for the one you love.

Whereas I started reading a supposed "romance" last week that didn't have a single scene where sex wasn't considered foul, depraved, unnatural, to be apologized for, and all manner of horrible things. This all with no actual sex in the scenes. Straight, gay, married, unmarried, all the sex, thoughts of sex, thoughts of body parts, etc... were portrayed first and foremost as shameful. It put me right off my feed, it did. In fact, it was so bad in this regard, there was nothing in the rest of the book that could recover it. It was easily the least romantic book I'd ever tried to read. And that's saying something - The bookshelf by my computer easily holds 300 romances I've read and enjoyed enough to keep and I've only been buying them for about 5 years, and I still get many from the library.

So if you're wondering why I went all political in my footnote yesterday, it was a combination of things: The news headlines of our asinine "Don't ask/Don't tell" policy that is stripping our military of necessary translators, among others, yet is still better than the previous policy; reading these two books back to back and finding them like bookends on the topic of sexual judgment; the extreme tolerance of violence and lack of availability of positively portrayed sex in visual media; and the realization that saying nothing might make me complicit in the persecution of people who love.

A blog is a weird thing. It's not really a diary just for my own use, but it's not like requested journalism either. I've got lots of political opinions that I plan to stay away from publishing because it does no good and makes me intolerably cranky, the antithesis of why I blog. I can't make enough of a statement with my blog that politicians will straighten up and fly right because of it. But I can tell my friends and friendly strangers who wander by that I will accept them for who they are. And I can remind myself that sex is not dirty, even if it does generate laundry.


AuthorM said...

I wrote Dirty because I was sooooo sick of reading "erotic" books where the sex was bad or it made people feel bad, or it ended badly, or somehow having good sex meant the characters had bad things happen to them...I was sick of supposedly "sexy" books being all about sex that didn't work or add anything to their lives!!

So I'm glad you felt the sex was positive. I tried to make it be something that helped her rather than harmed.

Sorry about the angst...ok, not really. ;)

But thanks for letting me know what you thought!


Wade said...

I think sex is what you make of it. It can be clean, dirty, wholesome, perverted, or what have you; it just depends on the people involved and their attitudes toward it.

But I agree that it does generate a lot of laundry. :)

Anonymous said...

If you go on my blog and click on Dream Team (ehqn 10,000 book challenge)... you will find 2 reviews on "Dirty". Positive reviews that may interest you.

I also have another link - re politics - that I saw last night. Thanks for reminding me. Off to do that now.


CrankyOtter said...

It was such a relief to read a sexy book that didn't feel guilty about itself that I can hardly tell you.

wade: I thought about that last statement a lot. I think my point is that sex is not *inherently* dirty. I almost wrote that one could make it dirty if one was so inclined, so I do agree that it can go bad, but it does not START bad.

Trybble said...


I'm Trybble from the Dream Team. A friend dropped me a note about your review. Interesting.

I think the agnst is an important part of the book as it documents the struggles that result in the character's growth. To me this is what made the book great, even though I usually don't like a lot of agnst in the stories I read.

Take care.........Wayne (aka Trybble)

p.s., You can read my review at: