Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Skills for the Coming Apocalypse

I'm not sure what was behind my current zeal to learn new things and get out of the house. It might've been how much BBF and I had seen over the Catalina weekend. It might've been the Groupon I'd bought for the electric bicycles simply reminding me to dig around for options. Or maybe it's just the knowledge that I need to do more than go to work all the time.

I'd signed up through Groupon for a soap-making class at at place called Sankofa Soap Studio, and on a Saturday afternoon, caught the La Brea bus south to a little house, where six of us put on eye protection, masks, gloves, and began mixing things in the instructor's small living room.

Oil, distilled water, scent (I chose something called dragon's blood)...and the reason for the caution, lye. The key to the process was the little digital scale and precision. And not splashing ourselves with lye. Terrifying, but watching components turn into soap was fascinating and fun. We were all pretty thrilled with the results.

We were a little less thrilled when we realized we had to return once the soap had set in the molds. Not only do I have a desire for instant gratification, but I work late every night and getting to mid-LA on a weeknight wasn't going to be easy. Still, on leaving the class, I was pretty jazzed.

Three days later, I left work five minutes early, caught the Burbank Bus to North Hollywood metro, switched to the Red Line to the Purple Line to Wilshire/Western, and caught the Big Blue Bus R7 to Rimpau. I walked four blocks to the Longwood, and picked up my block of soap. The instructor took time out from cooking her fish dinner to help me cut the loaf with a serrated knife. I walked to the La Brea bus to Hollywood, delighted with my new soap I'm allergic to.

That's right. I react to oil-based products. So here I was, carrying 7 bars of soap I couldn't use. But making soap was fun and trying something new is always a great way to spend a day.

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