Radar Sweep Cleaning and Fruit Compote Potpourri

Even though I didn’t have any classes today, it still managed to be pretty full. Okay, so I slept for the majority of it, but after yesterday, I needed and deserved every minute of those ten hours. I spent the afternoon waking up, making something to eat, not going to the gym, or something, and then just attempting to figure out my life. While watching Jenna Marbles, eating my breakfast, and folding towels, I was looking around at the current state of my apartment. Spoiler alert: it’s sad.

And then it just kind of came to me.

Radar. Sweep. Cleaning.

you will like this post…you will comment on this post…you will follow That’s So Jacob…you will tell all your friends…you will enjoy bananas…


I realized that when I attempt to clean and stuff, I just do a general clean-all-the-things, and end up getting mostly nothing done. My apartment is essentially a box with four quadrants: living room, bedroom, bathroom/front hallway, and living room. So, standing in the center of my apartment, I decided to pick one quadrant – just one – and tell myself that before the day is out, that quadrant will be the cleanest thing in my apartment. Then, the next day, repeat, and so on. By random draw (read: what I thought would be the easiest) I decided to start with the living room. By the rules of ballroom dance, it goes counter-clockwise, so tomorrow is the kitchen’s turn.

The rules of Radar Sweep Cleaning: get the stuff out of the space. It doesn’t matter if it ends up elsewhere for now, but get it out. It can be in the bathroom or on the bedroom floor or whatever, but out of the space. The idea is that eventually, when I get around to cleaning the part of the apartment where said deposited object is, I will move it to a better spot if need be. This might result in things just making giant circuits around my apartment, but hey, whatever works, right?

But anyway, today. This afternoon, I decided to make the living room look like one from a magazine. That meant cleaning the couch and cushions, putting away all the dirty/clean clothes, and the towels/sheets in the closet. Then, clear off the dining room table (which is almost done, save a few items including some groceries I bought just tonight). Then coffee table (yeah…still lots of stuff on it, but most of it, like my coasters and a tissue box, should be there, but I’ll deal with that. Finally, floor, and vacuum it all up. Then, forget about cleaning the living room for a good long while, or at least until it gets dirty again.

Looking around, I just realized that it actually doesn’t look that much better. It’s 11:00 PM, and by midnight I want to be in bed, so this project might take a little longer than I thought. Oh, and I should probably eat the dinner I made.

In other news, over lunch at the Hubbard Avenue Diner, I realized I forgot to bring a highlighter so I pulled out a Reader’s Digest to thumb through as I ate my delicious spinach-parmesan soup. On page 52 of the edition I was reading (February 2015), there is an article by Alison Caporimo entitled “Scents from Fun Stores.” I usually skip the homemaking section, but maybe I should start reading it more, because the scents actually seemed good to try, inexpensive, and fun to make. The first one on the list was the Yankee Candle scent for a “cozy” atmosphere, and since my apartment is, for what it’s worth, cozy, I decided to give it a try since I had to go grocery shopping anyway. The recipe suggested a quartered orange, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and cranberries. Since cranberries are out of season, I went with dried, but when I went home, plunked all that stuff into some water and boiled it, it smelled divine. I even went out to dance class, and when I came back, even though the building smelled terrible, I opened my door and got hit with a wave of orange-cinnamon yumminess. In fact, while I was writing this, I boiled it some more, and I have an extra jar over the fridge, so maybe I’ll bottle it up and reuse it another time.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but something from RD actually wasn’t terrible advice. Thanks, RD!

And finally, I don’t normally do this, but my friend Elle asked me nicely to promote her kickstarter, which is here. She’s trying to put together an album, of music I presume. I have not heard her sing, but I have seen her act and dance, and if she is as good a singer as she is actress/dancer, then this will be something to look forward to.


Thumb and Thumber

51qm0m31jyl_The concept of a “helpful tips column” has been around for awhile. From Ann Landers to Emily Post, Dear Abby to Heloise, “hints” and “tips” have been at our fingertips, literally, since my grandmother could clip them out of the newspaper and store them in a fancy box in the kitchen. With the decline of the print newspaper (you can argue that it’s not dying, but I’d ask you to read the front page advertisements in The New York Times before you stated your case), the advice column is probably what’s taken the biggest beating, along with weather (which is even in cars now), stocks (already outdated by the time the issue hits your hands), and sports scores (24/7 sports television takes care of that). Plus, society has changed; people care less about how to clean the insoles of your shoes than about how to set up a video game console. Certain things matter less to people, like having a squeaky-clean kitchen, reusing flour sacks as diapers, and the proper way to show up to a cotillion. They’ve been replaced by antibacterials, recycling, and…well, who goes to cotillions anymore? Certainly, the advice column as we know it was about to go.

Then, along came Pinterest.

And Buzzfeed.

And Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

And Cake Boss.

And suddenly, “tips” got hot again, whether for going green in the kitchen, saving bathroom space, or artsy-craftsy things like making baby shower invitations or making a bookshelf out of an old oven range. What came back in full force, though, were the cooking tips. Gluten free, vegan, and of course, all those mini-mini-cupcakes and cake that looks like a Mondrian painting when you cut into it.

Ever going along with the trends, Reader’s Digest presses on with their columns, but sometimes the advice isn’t that well-thought-out, like this past March’s column on page 46 entitled, “The Clever Cook: Be A Spotless Gourmet.”

Tip #1: Place ingredients on an empty baking sheet prior to prepping them.

Okay, so it’s just basically saying, get your shit together before you make a mess.

Tip #2: Broken glass? Pick it up with white bread!

I really wonder who thought of that idea, and who had to test that.

Tip #3: As you cook, toss scraps into a large bowl to contain messes if a trash can isn’t around.

When I cook, I don’t tell my trash cans to go out on a date and “come back before midnight”…most kitchens have trash cans for this purpose, or even sinks with garbage disposals to eliminate this problem entirely. Moving on…

Tip#4: To protect a recipe card, put it under a glass lid.

Okay, so kitchen snow globe. Not a horrible idea, but who uses recipe cards anymore? For me, it’s my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook or the Internet.

Tip #5: Secure a paper towel around the neck of an olive oil bottle to prevent drips.

This one is actually smart. I hadn’t thought of that. However, I usually just wipe the bottle after I use it, problem solved.

Tip #6: “Keep your thumbs squeaky clean by using a wine cork to make an indent in thumbprint cookies.”

…um, what?


wine cork?

If you’re making thumbprint cookies and are too lazy to do the thumbprint thing, maybe you should’ve thought this activity through a little more, and made cupcakes, or flan, or jello…or even a fruit salad, for that matter. Unless you intend to make a watermelon basket with your thumbs. Also, if you’re that anal about keeping your thumbs clean, then maybe baking is not the activity for you. Baking is fun, but it’s inevitable that you’re going to get something messy, whether it’s your hair, hands, clothes. Usually, it’s all three.

Try knitting, or playing piano, or watching TV.

Unless you’re also so lazy that you need to use wine corks to press the buttons on your remote control.