One of my co-workers has told me that I can't see the movie Contagion because I will wind up walking around in a plastic bubble, or refusing to leave my house.
At the very least, I told him, I'm going to start spraying everyone who approaches me with Lysol.
I wasn't always so clean. In high school, I went through a dirty phase where my room was a mini-dump. It wasn't full of dirty food-plates or bugs or anything, but rather piled ankle-deep with clothes and magazines.
When friends came over, rather than actually clean up, I simply threw my bedspread over the offending pile, and hoped no one would notice.
Unfortunately, what actually happened was that one of my friends came running into my room, and the moment her foot hit that bedspread, which covered a slippery pile of magazines and catalogues, she went flying. It was like she was on a slip and slide, only instead of sliding on a film of water, she instead went sailing on a sea of Seventeen Magazines and J-Crew catalogues.
I would like to say that that moment caused me enough embarrassment to force me to finally clean up my room, but I'm not sure it did. My mother would probably remember.
All I know is that my parents actually had to fumigate my room when I left for college. It was that bad.
When I moved to Los Angeles, my apartment was kept clean, but my car became the repository for all things paper and discarded. Again, there were no dirty food or drink containers, but the back seat filled almost to the window with newspapers, magazines, school notes and papers I no longer needed, empty shopping bags and who knows what else.
A guy I was dating got in my car for the first time, looked in the backseat, and said "You know, if I'd seen that first, I'm not sure I ever would have gone out with you."
The exterior of the car didn't fare much better. From the time I left Boston with my friend Maria, and drove the car cross-country, to the time I sold it 4 years later, I didn't wash it. Not once.
I lived in a neighborhood with abundant street parking, and so that car sat outside, all year, under trees, covered in bird poop and pollen.
Only when I was about to sell it did I finally wash it, and my sister and i took it to a carwash and watched as it went through the jets of soap and water, and watched as the guys who buff and dry the cars actually worked on it and laughed. Actually laughed at how dirty it was, even after the washing.
The paint had gone from a bright, shiny maroon, to a dull version of the same color. It had certainly lost its luster. But that car had bigger problems: it would only go about 45 mph on the freeway before the engine light would come on (25 mph if I was driving uphill); the windshield wipers went on one day and wouldn't go off; and the passenger side window rolled down and then steadfastly refused to roll back up. So honestly, i didn't feel too bad that I had neglected to wash it.
I fear this post is getting too long, so I will leave off here for today and continue next week with part two: the clean streak begins.
My wine for why I can't see the movie Contagion, Part I is a 2005 Domaine Drouhin "Laurene" Pinot Noir from Oregon. We carry this particular wine by the half-bottle at the restaurant, but if you can't find this vintage, i highly recommend you try any of their Pinots.
The Drouhin family lives and makes wine both in the Dundee Hills of Oregon and Beaune, France, in Burgundy. Their Oregon Pinots balance beautifully the fruitiness of Oregon with the earth and slightly more reserved character of a Burgundy. The 2005 is quite rich, but still bright with acidity, fruit and spice.
Personally, I also really like that all of the Drouhin wines are made by Veronique Drouhin, one of the small number of female winemakers out there.
They have a wonderful website for Domaine Drouhin Oregon, where you can get info about the family, the estate vines and the wines themselves. I highly encourage you to try one.
Just remember to wash your hands first.