Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lightning Doesn't Strike Twice - But What About Divas?

Oh man.... you're not gonna believe this one.

So if you've been reading my blog for a while, you might remember my brilliant maneuver back in January when I got distracted reading blogs and boiled my Diva Cup dry.

Now, most people would only have to do that once in order to learn their lesson.

Me, on the other hand...

I was having a grand time the other night writing about my anti-career choice, and I started to notice a funny smell. Most people would go investigate, but me... well, if you've learned anything about me by now, you know that I'm not "most people." So I just figured one of the neighbors was doing something strange and went about picking out funny graphics to illustrate my post.

So finally, an hour later I wander into the kitchen only to discover smoke and flames shooting from the stove.


OK... I suppose I didn't do the exact same thing this time. I didn't boil it dry, there was still water. I just set the sucker on high to get it started figuring I'd turn it down once it started boiling and then set the timer. Of course, I walked out of the kitchen and it completely disappeared from my brain.

Repeat after me slowly.... "Owa..." "Tajer..." "Kiam..."   Seriously, I think I need a brain transplant or something. 

My first thought was actually "Phuckit! I'm going back to using tampons." The problem is that I'm just as forgetful with the tampons. I've been known to leave one in there for 24 hours plus, because I just forget that it's there. With the Diva Cup, at least I can make it part of my morning and night time routine and I can handle that.

So let's see... toxic shock syndrom... burnt Diva cup...

So I ordered a brand spankin' new one online. They say you're supposed to toss it and buy a new one every year for sanitary reasons. I was planning on ignoring that guideline but perhaps my sub-conscious was just encouraging me to get with the program?

You know, I've always been a bit er... um... "absent minded" or "scatterbrained" but over the years I've come to realize that these are really misnomers. The problem isn't that I can't concentrate on anything, the problem is that I get so focused on whatever's in front of me that the rest of the world simply evaporates.

I suppose that I was just asking for trouble by hanging out on the internets at 2 in the morning. Good GAWD!

So, I've made a decision. -  NO MORE!

No more staying up all night long. It's not healthy. It's just not. Plus, (now here's an earth shattering revelation) by staying up all night long, you don't actually create any extra time. I know this falls in the "no shit Sherlock" department, but for the vast majority of my life I've labored under the misguided notion that I could manufacture a few extra hours by just staying up later. But it doesn't work that way!

OK... and no more multitasking. It doesn't work. I KNOW it doesn't work. How much more proof could a person possibly need?!? The human brain... or at least MY human brain (assuming that I am actually human - sometimes I wonder) is just not capable of focusing on a bunch of different tasks at the same time!

Still... the whole thing just makes me want to scream.

OK... I'm done now. 


  1. Good grief. UGH. What a headache. That totally stinks. (NO pun intended!) Timers, girlie, timers are a girl's best friend!

  2. awe! oh no!

    Ill let you in on my personal secret. I have always been abit grossed out with boiling the cup in one of my pans, and never got around to buying a cheap just for the cup pan. So I just give mine a good scrub with the ol hands with castile soap and i think it works fine. .. yes it is stained slightly.. but after 3 odd years it is still A-OK. I think it is a marketing ploy to get you to buy a new one every year.. mine still looks brand new, just slightly stained.. i am givign it at least 2 more years (or more) befor i get a new one

    1. It's totally a marketing ploy. When I bought my first one over 12 years ago (The Keeper), it was marketed that it would last up to 10 years (then it was made of rubber, though, not silicone... I wonder if that makes any difference?).

    2. Actually, The Keeper is still marketed this way! AND they say NEVER to boil it. http://www.keeper.com/facts.html

    3. Ha! Very interesting... I wonder if the marketing department was counting on idiots like me destroying the thing in the process of boiling it!

  3. Agree: Timers!! Anything else I can totally tune out (pop ups, emails, post-its,..) but not a loud, obnoxious timer/alarm. Just gotta remember to turn it on!

    I think you've had a Eureka moment about how best you can function. Listen to yourself, set an alarm to go to bed :-))

    Love Homer and "The Scream"

  4. I don't boil mine, never have. Whenever it looks a bit stained I soak it in a hydroperoxide solution overnight (looks nice and new then). I've had mine for years and considering where I put it I think I'd know soon enough if I didn't clean it well enough ;)
    Also, if you insist on using hot water, remember that hot water stays hot for a while. I boil my eggs (the chickenkind, not mine personally) by bringen water to a boil, putting the eggs in and leaving them for a good fifteen minutes with the gas turned off. I do put a lid on the pan to keep the heat in. I easily get hardboiled eggs this way, even if I forget I put them on. I suspect this will also work fine for your divacup and you'll have no risk of burning it because you don't keep it boiling. Saves you from destroying another one *and* saves gas / electricity (whatever you use to cook)

  5. I forgot to mention I do clean it with regular soap and rinse it thoroughly afterwards.

  6. Wow. Your poor Diva cup in the first pic looks kind of like a dead squid. I had no idea you could do that to them! I have ruined cosmetics containers I wanted to reuse in boiling water (apparently acrylic doesn't boil...good to know), but nothing nicer than that. I think Tannie's advice sounds like a good idea.

  7. Barefeet - Timers... yes. CatMan keeps buying timers for me, I just have to remember to set them...

    Fonda - Perhaps skipping the boiling wouldn't kill me... but CatMan was talking about something called "biofilm" that got me pretty freaked out.

    Jay - Ha! Setting an alarm to go to bed. Now that's the best possible use of an alarm clock that I can imagine! Perhaps that would help.

    Tannie - Hmmmm... hydrogen peroxide, now that's an interesting idea. I actually use the method you described for eggs because... well... ummm... let's say I've had a few boiled egg disasters in my day. Did you know they actually explode when you boil them dry? Anyhow, perhaps I should use the same method here. It wouldn't help if I forget it before it comes to a boil and gets turned off, but if I force myself to stay there and watch it until it boils... Oh but wait... if I watch it, then it will never boil... this is too confusing for me...

    NotEasy - Dead squid... I love it. Trust me, it smells much worse. I think I will try tannie's advice.

  8. Tannie has a point, which can be stretched way beyond -ahem- divas:
    In some societies, folks will "put their food to bed", i.e., cover up the food (ha! under quilts) to allow it to cook passively. I, too, have "boiled" eggs this way for years. I also fix rice using a variation of this idea. If you have a means to insulate, many, many things will "cook" passively. Not that Divas should cook, but the principle is the same.

  9. Sorry, digressed yet again ;-(

  10. Jay - Your digressions are always welcome! I'm a big fan of passive cooking, though I've only dabbled in it. I'd LOVE to hear your system for rice!

  11. I cheat a bit and use a Thermos 4.5L Thermal Cooker. I put rice+water (2:3 ratio) in the SS pot, cover, bring to a boil and stick in the thermos portion. I can leave anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour or more, always comes out perfect. The other "cheat" is using converted rice. I know- not "au naturel". I've poached chickens, cooked potatoes, made yogurt, etc. Should get similar results with a heavy duty pot such as enameled cast iron, and, indeed, cover with newspapers and blankets.
    DH likes hot dogs (sigh) and he puts the wiener+boiling water in a small thermos we have. Cooks in 5-10 minutes.
    We keep a Zoji hot water pot on constantly since we drink lots of tea, & the water is plenty hot for the wieners, and boils in a minute or so with the rice. Maybe its a wash in terms of energy used, but I regularly ruined rice cooked on the stovetop, so this works for me!

  12. that is one hilarious post, I thought you were talking about tea cups for a while so couldn't understand how it ended up looking like that! I have just bought my first lady cup so glad to have the warning. Totally something I would do. I like the rice cooker - perfect brainless rice every time. I like Tannie's egg cooking suggestion. I'm also a big fan of the timer, my oven one was crap so have a magnet one on the rangehood and it'd a godsend.

  13. OK... now this is interesting. I don't have any trouble cooking rice on the stove top. But, CatMan thinks that pressure cookers are wonderful, so he got me to try rice in the pressure cooker a few times and it was a total disaster. I finally came up with a system that works, but you have to be religious about timing it correctly, and I (ahem...) am not great with that.

    Actually, this is sort of helping me sort out my issue. I'm not good with things that are supposed to cook while you do something else. But if I'm actively participating in the process (like rice on the stove top where I feel like part of doing it is checking on it periodically) then I have no problem.

    I don't know what it means, but I'm sure it's symptomatic of some sort of underlying mental something!

  14. Kinda like talking through something, eh?

  15. Hey ECL,

    Great post...fun to read. Let me first say congrats on the commitment to a more healthy sleep schedule. I'm as bad as you were, but I am still fighting the battle within that tells me to stay up just a little longer. you know what I'm talking about.

    And second, and I'm serious, I wonder if you could be ADD. Both the easy distraction and the hyperfocus you described (forgetting the world because you're so concentrated on what you're enjoying) are classic symptoms. Of course, everyone has all the symptoms to some degree, but it still may be worth checking into. I have it and only found out in the last 6-mos. And I'm so glad I did...it explains a lot. And I'm learning new tools for coping with distraction.

  16. That, my friend, is a horrid picture of your destroyed diva cup. And I too like staying up late; night time is very peaceful.

  17. Steph - You are not the first person to suggest that I might suffer from ADD. It certainly would make sense, although I fear I'm probably way too lazy to actually go see a doctor about it. But I might research coping techniques online to see if anything clicks.

    JNU - I'm thinking that perhaps I should start a collection of mangled Diva cups. Maybe I could do an exhibit somewhere... waddya think? ;~)

  18. Oh god. I needed to read this. YES. No more! I could list 101 ways in which I need to have a "no more" moment. My idiocy is endless. Why can't we all just have secretaries to manage our lives?

  19. CF - I am trying valiantly. But it would seem that changing a sleep pattern that I've had pretty much my entire life is... um... challenging.

  20. I just saw the following comments on facebook, and thought of you:

    Rita's status: didnt hear the alarm to remind me before the pan boiled dry. RIP Mooncup. It was 8 years old & still as good as new #What'sThatBurningSmell?

    Janna: been that soldier ;)

    Tom: Oops ... better phone the supplier for a replacement quick, before you next need it ... no hang on, you ARE the supplier! That's ok then!

    Rita: *sob* Most of my repeat business is from people cremating their cups. I always set an alarm. 9yo's screeching must've obliterated it...

    Claire: Been there, done that! Fraid in my desperate need I went to Boots to replace mine!


    It's obviously a common problem!

  21. Ha! Rachel... you know how to make a girl feel better. I may be an idiot, but there are a whole lot of other idiots out there too! :~)

  22. I soak my Mooncup in a solution of Miltons sterilising fluid, which eliminates the possibility of melting it! And pretty sure Mooncup don't recommend replacing them :)

    1. Hmmm... I've never heard of this Miltons sterilising fluid, I may have to check it out! So far my latest tactic is to just get the thing boiling, then turn it off and let it sit in the hot water. It works of hard boiled eggs, so I figure it should be enough to kill anything lingering on the cup. So far so good... but it only works because I make myself stand there and watch the pot until it boils and then turn it off - if I leave the kitchen I'm doomed!

    2. Miltons might be a UK thing, but it is used for sterilising baby bottles and so on, so there must be a US equivalent.

      Mooncup website recommends it as an alternative to boiling, and when I got mine I lived with my parents and didn't fancy borrowing a pan to boil it!

      It is also the lazy option, as I basically chuck the cup in a little Tupperware (used only for that purpose!) along with sterilising fluid and water and leave it until I next use it. Which is longer than they recommend soaking it, but I kept forgetting to take it out of solution and it does not seem to have done it much harm..

  23. I always boil diva cup in a (microwave safe) mug in the microwave, for 5 mins and then leave it to sit in the boiling water until it is cool. I use a mug that I keep solely for this purpose. It is ok if I forget it in there as it turns itself off!

    1. That's a fabulous idea! And the fact that the microwave shuts itself off is definitely a plus. Hey... maybe they should invent a programmable stove top that automatically shuts itself off after xyz time period. Wanna make a million dollars? Oh... that's right, nobody cooks anymore. Well, it would have been a great idea 40 years ago! :-)


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