Friday, October 13, 2006

Wine Stain

Nothing strikes fear and dread into the heart of any spot-fearing individual than a red wine stain. This classic spot has ruined more than one garment. It has been the cause of dread for homeowners who own light-colored carpeting and it has left many smiles dingy-purple. Not every wine stain is red. You may find yourself wondering how to get rid of a white wine stain as well. The first step is to pour cold water on the affected area. This needs to be done as quickly as possible. These types of spills usually occur during a special occasion like a party and you may feel a bit rude, but it is crucial to get that cold water to the wine spot as soon as you possibly can in order to assure that it will be removed promptly. If the white stain is on clothing or other material that can be turned inside out, pour the water from the back of the area instead of the front. Of course, this approach can’t be used on most rugs so pouring from the top is the only option for these materials. However, a blouse should be turned inside out when addressing the area. Step two in the white wine stain removal process is to rub the fabric with laundry detergent. After applying the laundry detergent, let the fabric stand for about five to ten minutes. Dish detergent will work very well with this, too. If you are looking at a white wine stain on a rug, it is best to use a carpet spot cleaner. These can be found at your local grocery store in little time but it is always a good idea to keep some on hand for just such an emergency. If the wine stain is still visible then let the fabric soak in cold water for at least thirty minutes. This can be quite inconvenient but it is a must if you want to save the garment. Wash the fabric as you normally would after the soak but be sure to look for the wine stain before putting the garment into the dryer. If the spot is still visible, try a laundry stain remover and rewash the item. Your rug may need to be professionally cleaned if the white wine stain is still prevalent after a few hours. This professional cleaning should be arranged as soon as possible to assure that the white wine stain will be removed completely.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The World Book Encyclopedia

For a literate and literary person, The World Book Encyclopedia has many connotations, many associations, memories, meanings. As a kid, I found solace in reading, first the kid classics, then the works with themes of adolescent malaise, then—by way of secret searching in the parents’ bookshelves—the books with the “adult” content. I made my way to the set of encyclopedias we had, The Compton Encyclopedia, and later, through the other research books, including The World Book Encyclopedia, when I had exhausted the fiction and poetry at home and at the town library. My brother, in another respect, read only one book…or set of books. He read the encyclopedias. He would settle into Dad’s easy chair, the foot rest out and therefore the chair reclined, and he would start with A and page one and read until he had finished the volume. The next week he would go on to the next volume. My brother didn’t talk. I mean this in the literal sense: he was silent with words, save the occasional grunt (my mother called it) when someone greeted him or spoke what he probably considered unnecessary words at him. My brother was a genius. He went on to college in Alaska, then to Military Intelligence, and, I imagine, to reading the rest of the encyclopedias in print at that time—The World Book Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia Brittanica, The Columbia Encyclopedia. I recall that at about the same time he was self-sequestered to read encyclopedias, I was fantasizing about writing and the kinds of writing I would do when I grew up. One of my biggest visions included writing encyclopedia entries. I forgot about this niche writing until after years of college and teaching at a college, I broke away to write for a living. In my research and search for how-to-be-a freelancer and for writing gigs, I came across a call for writers to submit to a literary encyclopedia. Remembering my earliest of callings I bid/applied, then forgetting, went on to write web content…until I got an email from the editor of the 47-year-old publishing house, offering me select opportunities to write book review, then literary surveys for a online academic/literary/library database. It has become one of the best jobs on the planet, if you ask me. Brother works as an MIS, now, so I imagine he has moved to reading The World Book Encyclopedia and others online. He still doesn’t “talk”, emailing me once every few years, letting me know he loves me and is thinking of his big sister. But, I accept this distancing, understanding whether reading The World Book Encyclopedia (the number one best-selling encyclopedia) or writing entries for another comprehensive source, we are busy, necessarily solitary people. Thank God for the Internet.