Wednesday, December 17, 2008

B, B, B... What Begins with B?

Only seven shopping days left.

Girl Noises

OK, so it's a time of year when there's a lot of sappy to be had. And it's a time of year when I find I want little sap with my morning coffee.

So I got this email...

[SUMMARY: Don't judge.]

...and it's predictable. And sappy. And manipulative and trite and... I teared up a little.

So I'm posting it here for you. I am NOT getting soft. I'm not preaching.§ It's just there's snow on the ground and lots of Christmas lights and the cat spends his evenings staring into the fire and... I can't not spread the sap.

[SUMMARY: Disclaimers R Us.]


I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she snorted.... "Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my Second World-famous cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything.

As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days.

"Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping. For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church. I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class.

Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.

"Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby." The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it. Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.

Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."

I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma. Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were, ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95.

Shut up. It's just an eyelash or something. No, I don't need a Kleenex.@

Ah, hell. Let's face it... Christmas is a little better if you can melt by the fire and count your blessings and maybe help a brother out.

[SUMMARY: Bah humbug and happy holidays.]

Here... go play with this and pretend I never got all marshmallowy over a dopey Christmas coat.

Just tell yourself I'm still trying to earn enough saint points for the 2008 campaign.#


Greenbriar 1968†† - CB I Hate Perfume

Marin says: Outdoors. It smells like a fresh spring day in a bucolic location. Cold, wet grass and a touch of mud, leaves and bark, wood, pine.

Something a tiny bit sweet, but not floral -- carmel? Brown sugar? Maple? Too elusive to pin down. Maybe just a sweet wood?

There's also something salty or petroleum -- the sort of thing that usually turns out to be leather, though it may just be the pine, which frequently reads petroleum‡‡ to me.

In any case, I kinda love this. It's so lucidly evocative it's like remembering a dream or a distant memory. I can see the dirt road and the meadow and the woods and the old fence and the lush, lush green of an icy April. Fantastically unisex, too.

CB says: This scent is a memory of my Grandfather, the sawmill that he owned and the stone house where he lived.

It is blended with Sawdust,$ Fresh Cut Hay,$ Worn Leather Work Gloves,$ Pipe Tobacco$ and a healthy amount of Dirt.$ There is also a faint whiff of cotton overalls§§ covered in Axel Grease...¶¶

Hans says: A tree. Like outside. Like a leaf. Grassy! I'm still getting some... basically, if you were to mow the lawn. And mow over a really small pine tree.## Grass and pine mowed together. I really like it.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): I *said* don't judge.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): When I was 16, Ken La Pear (not quite his real name, but it was what we called him), who was a bombastic windbag that would make Rush Limbaugh look introspective, told me I was sentimental. Whether it was my personal feeling that sentimentality is weak or whether it was just because Ken said so, it pissed me off mightily. Then my best friend Jeff signed my yearbook to, " of the smartest, funniest, most creative, but -- above all -- sentimental people I know..." and I seethed a little quieter. It still rubs me the wrong way, though.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): For a wannabe saint, I'm remarkably unpreachy.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Vis-à-vis the sentimentality question, I like to think Grandma and I have a LOT in common.

@FOOTNOTE (atted): Besides, if you could see the effort it took me to NOT remove a bunch of exclamation points and rearrange some of the grammar and punctuation... you'd realise I haven't lost my edge at all. I'm the same do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do obsessive compulsive weirdo you've always known me to be. No sentiment here. Nuh-uh.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): It's really all very self-serving. Kim? Softball for you?

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): I figure if Nathan is nice enough to enable my perfume problem, I should be nice enough to tell him which perfume I'm actually smelling. See: yesterday's mystery perfume review.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): Just around the edges. If you're skeptical now, just wait until I tell you how similar jasmine and bowling alley ashtray are.

$FOOTNOTE (on the money!): Using the magic Marin system of claiming sawdust and pipe tobacco could be mistaken for wood and conveniently ignoring the fact that I only got a tiny bit of dirt and there appear to be no pine trees involved at all... I nailed it!

§§FOOTNOTE (little ribbons of cotton): Did not get that at all. You know I'm going to be up half the night trying to smell cotton now.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (pistons in axel grease): Unfortunately, axel grease is a different smell-creature than petroleum, so I don't think I can claim that.

##FOOTNOTE (not just pounded... downright smashed): Watching this, I wished for the hundredth time you guys could see the hand motions and the little dances that accompany Hans's search for the truth.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Vant to Suck Your Saddle†

Which creature of the night are you?
Your Result: Vampire

You are a social pragmatist, as likely to kiss as to bite. Your sensuality and social pragmatism is the counter-balance to your existential angst and your tendency toward depression.

Cthulu Spawn
Which creature of the night are you?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Lookie there.

And I thought I'd end up being a fry cook or a 911 dispatcher.


ETA:@ Dzing! - L'Artisan Parfumeur

Marin says: The bad news: I know the story line of this scent too well not to be a little influenced by it.

The good news: It actually made sense to me.

The clear and impressive note is oiled leather, definitely mixed with a little horse. Every trip to the stables from my teenaged years smelled like this.§

It took a long time for that to blow off enough to get the sweeter notes. The carmel was certainly there, but not big, not too sugary and always gently blunted by the smell of leather and hay.

I will say this was definitely an educational scent over one I'd wear either to entice someone else or to please myself.#

L'Artisan says: A unique fragrance inspired by the circus. Possesses all of the distinguished fragrances of this wonderful universe : saddle leather, sawdust from the ring and the caramelised smell of candy. A perfume that reveals itself completely on the skin.

Hans says: It smells like something in the doctor's office. Like tape. And gauze.%

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Friends don't let friends drink and title.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Given the dry and practical nature of some of my answers. For instance, when my theoretical car broke down in the middle of nowhere while driving with my theoretical squeeze, I didn't rip his clothes off and make passionate love to him in a nearby field. I got out of the car and looked under the hood.

@FOOTNOTE (atted): *ahem* Old. Feeble. It's a running theme.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Well, this has slightly less actual horse poop.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): More easily accomplished with beer and baked goods than perfume.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Or room spray.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): You'd be surprised how much a doctor's office smells like a stable.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tickle Me Simba


One would think there would be a certain freedom to having one's tubes tied.

Not necessarily, as some ungracious pastors pointed out, the freedom from condoms, but the freedom from certain tensions surrounding the sex act. And future freedoms of financial and social varieties.

Freedom from 4:00 ayem feedings.

Freedom from second-party barf.

Freedom from babysitting bills.

Freedom from paying for band uniforms.

Freedom from teenaged-boy car insurance bills.

Freedom from college funds.

[SUMMARY: I'm pretty sure that's in the Constitution.]

Apparently, being a doting aunt, it does NOT include freedom from whatever the latest toy craze may be.

The conversation goes something like this:

"What is Dr. Doom into? Animals is all I know for sure. Does he have any new fetishes or hobbies that would at least give me a theme for this Christmas?"

"eBeth is SO glad you asked. The only thing he wants this year is this animatronic stuffed lion cub. We don't know where he saw it or where you get it,§ but nobody is getting him one. It's got a name like 'fur real' or something. It's a commitment -- like a $50 stuffed animal..."

"Fifty dollars is nothing to Superaunt."

"Well, it's the only thing he wants and it could be The Lion that Ruined Christmas."

"That's pretty much my goal."

[SUMMARY: I just want the Christmas shopping to be over.]

So I blithely Googled "animatronic stuffed lion" this morning and found a whole bunch of WowWee...

...and a sprinkling of FurReal.#

Seriously, all other things being equal, which would you choose?††

[SUMMARY: All lions are created equal, but some are more equal than others.]


So I set off to find a WowWee Alive Lion Cub in Tan,‡‡ only to discover I was seeking this year's Holy Grail of necessary toys. The Cabbage Patch doll, the Tickle Me Elmo, the fucking Furbee of 2008.

I have never been so stressed about Christmas in my life.

The MSRP is $49.99. Any retail store that lists them for anything *resembling* $49.99 is sold out.% Amazon has them for $190. A company called ANTOnline was charging $888 for one.§§

Since I started looking this morning, ANTOnline sold out.

Take a moment to goggle at that.

[SUMMARY: Lotta crazy in the world.]

I also learned that Canada will not ship to me. I don't know what I ever did to Canada, other than have a weird, inexplicable love^ for the country and its people, but Canadian Sears and Canadian ToysRUs won't ship to US addresses.

Thank goodness for eBay. For $90, including shipping, I am the proud winner of a genuine, NRFB,¶¶ WowWee Alive Lion Cub.

I shall live ten less years because of this ordeal, but Christmas is saved.##

[SUMMARY: Drawing the lion at ruining Christmas.@]

The gods bless us, everyone, but particularly eBay.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): i.e. -- condoms breaking.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Well, not second-party barf for which one is personally responsible.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Yeah, right. As a parent, aren't you plugged right in to the must-have toy market? I now realised I have been goodly duped by parents who don't wish to park at the loading dock of Wal*Mart at 3:30 in the ayem to fight women in polyester pants and pink curlers over the last of the WowWee Alive Lion Cubs (in Tan) and think the single and devoted aunt probably has the time, but definitely has the inclination.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Which would be Dr. Doom's own personalised version of The Helicopter That Ruined Christmas. When Tallest, Hairiest Nephew was about a year-and-a-half, he had a thing for helicopters like Amy Winehouse has a thing for drugs. The very first present he opened that year was a helicopter that had lights and a motor and made noises and winched and the doors opened and everything. He had no interest in other presents. He had all he needed. He got cranky when other presents were thrust upon him. Ever since, we speak in hushed tones of The Helicopter That Ruined Christmas.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): The FurReal name was right, but it's only $13. The other price was right, but the name was wrong.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): I did try to call Brother to see if the concept was important or the brand, and if the brand was important, exactly which brand did he think I was looking for, and if I wanted the WowWee Alive line, would, say a tiger be sufficient or was lion important... only he wasn't answering the phone. Don't tell me he didn't know why I was calling.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): For that is its full name.

§§FOOTNOTE (it do spin one's head, don't it?): I can only assume the price includes an ounce of pharmaceutical grade coke.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): There are three other WowWee Alive cubs to be had (tiger, polar bear, panda) and not one of them is sold out anywhere. Every kid wants the lion because it looks like Simba from The Lion King. Damn Disney. And for the Jonas Brothers, too, so long as I'm making my infernal wish list.

^FOOTNOTE (careted): Particularly inexplicable now that Canada has shunned me.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (like meerkats on the plains): Never Removed From Box. That's another thing I learned today -- eBayspeak. Sure, you couldn't just dump me on an eBay street corner and expect me to survive, but now I can at least ask where the bathroom is.

##FOOTNOTE (if that lion is two pounds, I'll eat a spider): And simultaneously ruined. See: helicopter.

@FOOTNOTE (atted): I think I'm funny. More important, I think puns are funny.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Not Awesome

I feel I owe an apology to all of you% who rushed out to get me my very own LCD skull mp3 belt buckle.

Hans got his notification in the email, and I assume you have yours by now:

Dear Hans,

Good day! Many thanks for your order 2XXXX9 in our website

I am very sorry to let you know that the item CVSDU-10008 (MP3 Player / LED Light Belt Buckle - Punk Skull Design) you ordered, which we thought would be available, is now not being supplied by the factory.

We can not offer the item in this case. Hope you can understand our situation.

We can help you to cancel this order and refund the payment back to you. Please confirm whether you wants us to do that. Thanks a lot.

We are waiting for your confirmation very urgently.

Thank you for your patience.

If you're looking for a replacement gift, might I suggest something hand-made? I found directions right here for something excellent enough to bring us back to awesome.§

It would go nicely with my latest schmooze from my friends at Nintendo.

Only 14 shopping days...

%FOOTNOTE (percented): BWAHAHAHAHAHA! I crack me up.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Unless you rushed in time to get one before those gates slammed shut. In that case, thank you!

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Which I feel would go with either a brown belt or a black, making it a versatile and ultimately thrifty accessory.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Especially with plenty of wasabi.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): I still don't know what I'm doing with that little pink ham ball (that's what she said), but isn't it fun when we're all self-referential like this?



Those of you up on your Marinology may remember I play poker with the Elks the night before Thanksgiving§ every year.

A lesson in flash photography:#

Ah, that's better. This is my table. Steve, Neal, Justice, Eric and my beer. We are about to discover -- then play -- Dongle, a totally workable, endlessly fascinating poker variation named after a computer gizmo.††

Dongle is six-card stud, threes wild, nickel ante. Every time a three comes up, everybody raise his beer and shouts a hearty "Dongle!"‡‡

A second lesson in flash photography:^

That was right after the bottle cap came from out of nowhere and lodged itself right between my breasts.§§

I'd like you to take a moment and marvel at the fact that, while I provide a relatively spacious target, Jack made that shot from waaayyyyy at the other end of the other table.%

After the ensuing chaos quieted,¶¶ a new rule was enstated: if a Dongle player gets a bottle cap thrown down his## or her shirt,††† the other players must ante a quarter each, plus foot the bill for the quarter ante for the bottle cap recipient.

Let the first game of Dongle be entered into history:

Eric started the game. Eric won. Eric is the only one who's ever won Dongle.‡‡‡

As a new dealer called a second round of Dongle, the final rule was enstated: the dealer may call one additional rule with each hand of Dongle dealt, not to be cumulative.§§§

Generally, the complexity and depth of the table talk that has led, over the years, to the insiders' use of "Astroglide," "towel boy to the crack whore" and "sterno bums!"¶¶¶ doesn't much allow for efficient re-telling.

This year, because of Dongle, I actually have a relatable story.###

Thanks be to Dongle.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Well, if it's not a word it should be.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): No relation. This is just my drunken guy friends, called together under the sacred chant, "My name is Matt Cook and, as usual, I am wearing no pants!"

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Like two weeks ago. I'm on Nyquil Standard Time and didn't get to it until just now.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Except when we don't. Like last year, when Matt took his kids to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. But that was the only year since 1983 we haven't played.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): i.e. -- things not to do, limitations thereof.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Eric has a friend at work that has a USB 32-bit dongle and is very excited about it. We all were too. We were so excited, we thought it sounded like a college football team: The USB mighty THIRTY-TWO BIT DONGLES! There are cheers. With hand motions.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): It's fun! And lends itelf well to catchphrases such as, "I'm wrongle in my Dongle."

^FOOTNOTE (careted): Pink tank, green hoodie and I'm not THAT white. It's called overexposure.

That's what she said!

§§FOOTNOTE (boobs in spaaaaace...): When you use the clinical terms, it's not nearly as twelve and I'm trying to be serious here. Dongle is serious stuff.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Trust me, the only person more surprised than I was that I had to perform a bottlecapectomy of my boobs was Jack.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (OK, now everything looks like boobs): Girl noises, shrieking, giggling, flapping... then when we got Justice calmed down, the rest of us could enjoy the game again. *rimshot*

##FOOTNOTE (tic tac bottle cap): I maintain that if anyone gets a bottle cap down one of the guys' shirts, we should have to ante two quarters.

†††FOOTNOTE (holy holy holy): I was, of course, bombarded by bottle caps for the rest of the evening. And the other table wasn't even playing Dongle.

‡‡‡FOOTNOTE (chicks dig scars): Eric's a Dongle hustler.

That's what she said!

§§§FOOTNOTE (dizzying options): It's not Calvinpoker, after all.

¶¶¶FOOTNOTE (poker faces): The phrases, not the actual objects.

###FOOTNOTE (oh, the poundings you'll take): You may not have enjoyed it as much as I have, but at least there's a beginning, middle and end to it. "Sterno bums" has no end.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Cold: Day 12

The callouses on my nose are making the long days more bearable. The drifts of Kleenex keep me warm. I am counting on the pseudoephedrine to keep me awake.

Must... stay... alert...

The cat is just waiting for an opportunity to take over the house.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Cold: Day 11

The Kleenex supply is running low. I don't know if we'll make it to dark at this rate.

I find myself pondering the Law of Conservation of Matter. Given the sheer volume expelled from my nose daily, I fear there is an oyster bed outside Seattle that is being systematically depleted.

Pray for me. Pray for the oysters.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Pig Licking in Space


Ah, Friday.

Friday with its promise of exotic weekend fun and its propensity for blogquizzes, memes and pig-licking.

[SUMMARY: You can dress a pig up. It's still a pig.]


I *am* knitting.

Only, I'm knitting the ubiquitous Noro stripey scarf and I would be too embarrassed to post a WIP photo. I may even be too embarrassed to post it when it's finished. It's just been so... done.

There's also the Purple Prose scarf, which hasn't seen a frogging since the dropped-stitch mishap of two weeks ago and is well over half done. As you know, pictures of unblocked lace tend to look like yarn barf or crumpled tissue,% so I'm foregoing that pleasure as well.§

But this is still a knitblog and I am still knitting. You'll just have to take my word for it.

[SUMMARY: I don't ask much.]


I went to the BroncosRaiders game a couple of weeks ago. It is the first sporting event I've left before the buzzer since I missed watching a Buffs comeback in 1990# because the Air Force precision drill team on whose ticket I went wanted to beat traffic.††

It was that abyssmal.

I took all the festive photos, just like last year. In the end, this may be the only picture of note:

It looks a little like a Koolhaas licensed by the NFL.

[SUMMARY: Go Broncos! Take your stupid cheerleaders with you!]


It's hard to believe, but I think CBS Outdoors has found an even weirder billboard than Chas and Terry.

We've had many lively discussions on this one.

Not just for the concept of, "OK, so I was driving down the road, trying to get to the grocery store before rush hour, when I saw this billboard and it hit me: I can DONATE my boat!"

Not just for the ill-advised colour selection.‡‡

The best conversation was probably the one where we§§ realised that boat has lips and eyes.

I don't know that it's as creepy as Chas and Terry, but I believe it may be more disconcerting.

[SUMMARY: Somebody has too much time on her hands.]


Hans left yesterday for Decorah, Iowa, to take his girfriend to visit her brother, who is attending college there.

This is notable¶¶ for two reasons:
  1. Hans swore, after getting much grief from all quarters for his globe-trotting ways and impeccable timing in leaving for Thailand at precisely the time when we needed two warm bodies battling the bugs of divestiture, that he wasn't going to be gone for the rest of the year. This declaration was quickly followed with, "Well, except for Iowa in November. But that doesn't count." So we refer to this as the Trip that Never Was. And I think that's funny.
  2. I am related on my mother's side to half of Decorah. Maybe more. One of my favourite first-cousins-once-removed,## Dennis,††† curates‡‡‡ the Porter House Museum there.

On a cheerful note, I was behind this kindred spirit in traffic the other day:

It's good to have peeps.


I'm not even going to post the perfume bit I'd thought to do today. It's one I smelled while the aforementioned Hans was in the aforementioned Thailand and I thought to myself, "Screw him. I smelled it without him, he left me here to go see Dennis, I'm posting without him."

But then I saw it was a lovely warm, woody, unisex floral that I had billed as "balloon and hot electronics," so I think I'll wait until I can smell again and give it a second chance.




Yeah, next Friday I'll probably just do a meme or a some quiz on which Twilight character§§§ I am.

Or I'll take more cough medicine and *really* make it a party.¶¶¶

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Curse you, Yarn Harlot!

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): And you know I'm always looking to be undone.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Another Yarn Harlot observation. I'm not sure whether to curse her for taking all the good ones or bless her for making it easy for me to cop out on lace photos.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): You're welcome.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Or 1991. Maybe 1992. In any case, it is one of the two most annoying tales in my repertoire, the other one being how I will never, ever rip the wrapping off a present again since the time I gave into my mother's frustration and ripped the dust jacket of a lovely collector's edition of Alice in Wonderland. There's nothing snottier than a person who is irritating with cause.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): A game now famous, on all the Sports Illustrated lists... a game I get to say, "I was there," when people bring it up, but have to say, "No, I didn't see the ending. It sounded exciting from the parking lot, though."

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Still bitter.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): I know purple and yellow are technically contrasting colours and good for things like billboards but... yucch.

§§FOOTNOTE (like shivers up my spine): And by "we," I mean, "I." My minion Mike had just asked, "Why does the boat have lips," and I jumped in to say, "I think that's a lipstick print 'cause somebody kissed the boat 'cause it's a boat angel." Hans said, "No... it has teeth. And there are eyes up on the bridge, too."

I need glasses.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (two notes): My definition of notable, that is.

##FOOTNOTE (tic-tac-toeing the line): I'm not being flip. When your mom has about 200 first cousins and they all have upwards of ten kids, the whole "cousins" issue begins to require some precision to have any meaning at all.

†††FOOTNOTE (you can't be cross with Dennis): Dennis is gay. Given the statistics, he can't possibly be the only gay member of the Ohlert family, but he's the only one who will cop to it. Hey, when a large chunk of your large family is midwestern farming German Catholic, a gay man who runs a museum is like a bird of paradise among daisies.

‡‡‡FOOTNOTE (follow my train of thought): Or not. He may just sit on the board. Or decorate. Curate is a prettier word.

§§§FOOTNOTE (there is a season, turn, turn, turn): I'm still waiting for someone to tell me why so many witty, intelligent women are so in love with that piece of literary dross.

¶¶¶FOOTNOTE (pull the lever, cast your vote): I bet y'all are hoping I don't come up with anything better so you can find out which Twilight character I am.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tattoo Friday

Not tomorrow. Not last Friday. No.

Through miracles of modern technology, we are time travelling two weeks into the past to visit a Very Special Time in a boy's life.§

The day his big sister buys him his first tattoo.

[SUMMARY: Quoting the Boy Scout Handbook.]

I got my first tattoo when I was 24.# Sometime thereafter, I offered to buy Brother his first tattoo at such time as he chose to get one.

He was a theatre major in those days and opted to hold off, thinking perhaps there would be roles for which he would be overlooked if they^ had to worry about covering a tattoo.††

[SUMMARY: Those who don't know the history are doomed to have me it repeat it to them.]

So last December, he said, "Hey, have you gotten me a Christmas present yet?"

"Not yet."



"The time has come."

Of course, all you have to do is look at the date above to realise the time hadn't FULLY come.‡‡

[SUMMARY: The suspense continues.]

He knew he wanted penguins, both for our magical time% in the Antarctic§§ and because daddy penguins are as involved in the brooding and raising of penguin chicks as mommy penguins are and he felt that symbolic of his own life.¶¶

So I got him a penguin calendar## to give him inspiration and it took him most of a year, but we finally got the boy inked up.

good grief, we're a pasty family

As needled by Alisha at Lifetime of Sol. We like Alisha because
  1. She does outstanding work and marvelous colour,
  2. she's friendly,
  3. she pimped Brother early and often by calling his choice of ink "cute"††† and "squishy,"‡‡‡ and
  4. she said it was OK to take pictures and post them on the Innernets.§§§
[SUMMARY: I'm practically the Discovery channel, I'm so educational.]

It does this sister's heart good to know that the inky penguins and all they represent will always have a link to me,¶¶¶ as much as if Brother had tattooed my name on his arm.###

FOOTNOTE (crossed): i.e. -- the camera won't upload itself.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): I have mental TARDIS, which sounds like twelve kinds of politically incorrect, but makes me giggle.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Isn't this what they told you boys about when they separated us in the sixth grade and told us girls we were going to smell bad?

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): What? That entry wasn't in your baby book?

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): September 24, 1991 (a Tuesday), notably before every weenie on the planet decided Japanese symbols and northwestern tribal art needed to be on their shoulders (I believe that happened the following Thursday). I'm only fashion-forward in limited quantities. It's crucial to note what those are or you may miss them entirely.

^FOOTNOTE (careted): Not the usual US Dept. of Them, but the mythical cadre of wily and mercurial producers and directors that hold each young actor's fate in their thorny claws.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): I do not wish to speculate what sort of naked theatre he was planning on performing.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): I hear you giggling, Kim.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Much of the magic for me came from finally getting to use my first year Spanish (Los pinguinos en la cocina bailan) and telling fairy tales to Adélie penguins.

§§FOOTNOTE (herbies! (and if you get that, you've been to The Ice): A magical time they DON'T tell you about in sixth grade health class.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (like two Adélie penguins): Though if you've seen March of the Penguins, you may wish to note penguin daddies still prepare more meals than Brother typically does.

##FOOTNOTE (two pounds of penguin in a five-pound bag): Which he had to carry down Colfax (exactly the sort of street that hosts tattoo parlours) for the pimps and Crips to see.

†††FOOTNOTE (tattoo guns... pow! pow! pow!): Keep in mind that the driving force behind his getting inked was gym envy -- all the cool, buff guys at the gym have ink.

‡‡‡FOOTNOTE (penguin feathers): Awww... wookat da cheeks on da baby penguin.

§§§FOOTNOTE (intricacies of modern etiquette): I *always* ask permission when I start waving my camera around. Not only is it good manners, but most of the time the subjects think I'm kidding when I say, "It'll probably end up on the Internet" and I get to feel all proper and righteous because I told them so.

¶¶¶FOOTNOTE (triple dip): Awwwww...

###FOOTNOTE (oh, the pounding of my heart): Which, let's face it, would be weird.

p.s. -- Don't tell Brother, but his tattoo just took on fascinating new dimensions.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Nose Doesn't Know No More

I have blown my nose so hard and so long I've actually drawn blood. I have a most attractive patch of red scaly blech fanning out from my nose holes. And I suddenly remembered from last year that lotion-coated kleenex hurts like hell once you've started to chafe.§

[SUMMARY: I am old and will be talking about my rheumatiz soon.]

And you really want to ask me what is even better than going on a blind date with both the guy AND your% respective parents.

[SUMMARY: So it's a good day.]

If you get a half-hour or so, you should read this article about an exceptional con artist. I love it when truth is stranger than fiction.

[SUMMARY: A link is worth a thousand paintings, ergo, one million words.]

Even better when it's stranger than me.


Vetiver Ambrato# - Bois 1920

Marin says: It sparkles like quartz dust unsettled near a sloppy spring meadow to start, but quickly mellows into a precisely, perfectly, gorgeously balanced earthy-woody-rich-sweet velvet. Like a Monet from a distance, it's impossible to see the brush strokes for the beauty of the whole piece.††

I don't think I've ever smelled anything this smooth and round.

Luckyscent says: Elegantly and profoundly seductive, Vetiver Ambrato is a decidedly masculine^ fragrance that embodies all the power and mystery of modern man.^ The fragrant architecture of this fragrance builds with a debut featuring sparkling tonic notes, ramping up to a warm and spicy middle note and crowning the creation with a virile,^ provocative top note that surprises again and again. Rich, ceremonial amber and the green woodiness and earthy nature of vetiver make for a scent with rounded corners rather than sharp and make Vetiver Ambrato a first-class, unique addition to any amber lover’s collection. NOTES: vetiver, amber

Hans says: Cinnamony, like a spice note. Well,maybe not cinnamon. Apple cider. No, it doesn't smell like apple cider at all. Oh, this isn't going well.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Did your head just explode? OH! That's what she said!

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): And by "you've," I mean "I've."

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): The lesson to be learned here, boys and girls, is to START with the lotion kleenex. And don't use paper towels to blow your nose, no matter how convenient they may be. That was bonus advice.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Again, I'm talking about me.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Who all went to high school together, if that helps connect your dots any.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): The very last thing I smelled.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Awwwww... look who got her poetic license and is taking the verbiage for a spin.

^FOOTNOTE (careted): Let's start with the fact that the idea of masculine and feminine smells is generally stupid, then we can segueway gracefully into the notion that this is not at all one of those fragrances that might *conceivably* fall in the boy camp. In fact, I'd dare say it might be a little on the warm and sweet side for a guy who isn't comfortable enough in his masculinity to, say, wear a pink shirt with aplomb.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Spam Subject of the Day


This chick has a baby face and a very feminine body. Or feeble.

Or feeble, indeed. Nobody ever offers me naked men.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Thank the holy fucking cats it's a Wednesday that could be mistaken for a Friday.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Break a Leg

No, don't.

At least that's what Mom always used to tell me when I'd start a day's skiing.

"When we were in Gunnison, the broken legs always started coming in around 5:30 because those skiers had to get one. last. run. in before the lifts closed and they were too tired. You don't need to take that last run."

If Mom was watching me knit lace, she'd probably say the same thing.

[SUMMARY: Holidays bring out the Mom in me.]

I swear it's two steps forward, one back.

Or sometimes one forward, three back.§ Depends on how late I'm lace knitting.

[SUMMARY: Maths. It sounds like maths.]

See, it's a 10-row pattern. I try to always work five rows at a time so I know where to start when I pick it up again.

Except sometimes I'm all groovy and rhythm-addled and I think I should finish a whole pattern or start a new one at, say, 10:00.

That's where the trouble starts.

Currently, I am ignoring the Purple Prose scarf, as I appear to have dropped a stitch that ran down three or four rows and I haven't had the motivation or presence of mind to sit down and figure out where the YOs are and where the k2togs are so I can pick it up all pretty.

I also haven't been able to bring myself to frog and tink my way back to pristine ground.

I *really* need to start a mindless knitting project so I have something to do after ten o'clock that won't land me in the metaphorical ER.

[SUMMARY: Deep. Very deep for a Tuesday.]

Anyway, just thought I'd let you know I'm still knitting.#



Cabaret - Grès (edp)

Marin says: This perfume is confirming and solidifying an internal game I play with myself.% You've played along too, but maybe you didn't know it.

There are scents that are remarkably similar, only I *think* most people wouldn't agree. I can't think of any off the top of my head, except... this is supposed to be a woody rose or a rose chypre,†† depending on who you read, but I get a remarkably transparent patchouli.

Patchouli was my first guess,‡‡ and when I read roseroserose§§ all over the Innernets, I closed my eyes, breathed deep and said, "Oh, yeah. I can see that."¶¶ Some roses do have that itchy, sharp, camphoresque smell like patchouli. But this one isn't as thick and wet as "other" patchoulis -- it's dry and, yes, woody. Like rose and cedar, maybe.

Which, by the by, smells like a remarkably transparent patchouli.

It starts in camphor, spreads out into a dry, pencil shaving cedar with a hint of something sweeter, then brings the powder up from the rose as the amber rounds up from the depths to finish it off.

I rather like it.^ And it falls in the increasingly rare category## of "wearable" for me.

Grès says: Michel Almairac, the famous perfume creator, has pursued his vision to create a new classic based on rare natural materials. The result is a truly exceptional woody-floral fragrance with an ambery inflexion.

Hans says: I'm losing it. They're all starting to smell alike. Unless... is this a popular thing? [yes] It smells familiar. That's what I have to say about it. It's familiar. What is it? [well, I get a lot of camphor, so it's probably patchouli]. Yeah! I get camphor too. You can tell them I get that too. [You know I quote you directly, right?]†††

FOOTNOTE (crossed): I have some weird theatre-skiing continuum scrambling my clever cortex right now. I need an Advil.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Ski college town. Hatching ground of your dear ol' AntiM. And where I went to college. Legend has it it's where I must go to spawn and die.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): I'm very suspicious there's a lot of four in there, actually.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): And fours.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Which makes this... still a knitblog!

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Raise your hands: who went all twelve on me there? Besides the playing with myself thing, this also marks the taking of my little perfume hobby to a whole new level: decanting and swapping perfumes. This is in a batch of perfumes recently swapped with my very worst influences. Yay, obsession!

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): And if I had bothered to brush up on chypre *before* I linked it for your convenience I might have noticed three things:
  1. Chypre is French for cypress, and cypress is a sharpish scent that, according to some very welcome knowledge laid upon me by the inimitable Nathan Branch, may have some aesthetic common ground with camphor/patchouli, being sharpish,
  2. Modern chypres may include patchouli, and
  3. Saying "woody rose" and "rose chypre" is a little like trying to distinguish between a cheese sandwich and bread with cheese.

I'll do my research up front next time. You're welcome.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): And it may have to do with having just read Nathan's (yes, I feel we're on a first name basis) email on benzoin vs. camphor vis-a-vis patchouli. Hey, if I wasn't a slave to the power of suggestion, I wouldn't be so enthralled by Limited Edition! Limited Quantities! Goodie bag for the first fifty attendees!

§§FOOTNOTE (spiralling petals): That one's for you, Mary Kay.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (like stoppers in a flacon, so are the days of our lives): Um... smell that.

^FOOTNOTE (careted): And I love the bottle, as pictured on the website:

##FOOTNOTE (there's my pounds of flesh): You know how people tell their kids some things are for holding and some things are for looking? Well, the more I smell, the more I think some perfumes are for sniffing and some are for wearing. And those that are for sniffing aren't all bad -- just not our kind, darling.

†††FOOTNOTE (triple dipping): All this took place before I did my research, of course. Hans has been subsequently educated.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Totally Looks Like...

I happen to be reading Succubus Dreams even as we speak, so when I saw this poster for the movie Hitman,§ I almost drowned in a wave of déjà vu.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Don't judge. It's escapist and occasionally prurient, but it beats all shit out of those awful Twilight books.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Well, not precisely. Even as we speak, I'm "working."

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Reading a largely unrelated article. Hey, I made the air-quotes when I said "working." We're all about truth in advertising here at the Rickety Blog. And may I add, if we weren't waiting on the labyrinthian cluster-fuck that is our ESL office in Montana, I'd actually have something to do or I'd be able to go home and get off the suburban welfare that is my job at this moment. Even as we speak. That is.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): And purple, purple prose.

Rickety Blog... now with 20 times more footnotes than content!

Seriously... 607 words in footnotes, 30 words above the fold.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Muppet Whatnot

I could re-create this in my living room if only I had the tools.

Thirty-three (33) shopping days 'til Christmas.




We think is written by a woman (82%).

I am grateful to the GenderAnalyzer for not finding me too butch, even though it hypothesised Ann Coulter is a man.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): I'm pretty sure that outstanding 18% is from Wednesday's post, when, despite the fact that it has "pink" in the title, I talked about packages and video games and used the term "chickless dicks."

FOOTNOTE (cross dressed): Don't get too smug, it thought Katie Couric was a man too.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Shine On, Harvest Moon

Waiting for the elevator, Wednesday morning.

Lorain: How long have you been at St. Mary?

Marin: Almost a year-and-a-half. I showed up July 2007.

L: Wow. It seems like you've been here forever.

The elevator arrives.

M: Some days, I would totally agree with you.

ride ride ride

L: Your floor. Have a good day.

M: You too, Lorain.

L: Oh, no! Marin, your...

Elevator doors close.

I batted at my hair, tried to look down my back, brushed my shoulders to remove spiders or other things that would make Lorain go, "Oh, no!"

I walked back toward my office and stopped off next door.

"Avis, do I have something on my back? Or in my hair?"

"No, I don't see anything."

"Maybe I got it, then. Lorain tried to catch me, but the elevator doors closed before she could tell me what was wrong."

"Looks OK to me."

I turned to walk out of her office.

"Oh, no..."

"That's what Lorain said."

"You have a rip in your pants. Your butt is showing."

I reached down and sure enough. Pasty white butt flapping in the breeze.§

So I yanked my sweater down, crab-walked to the break room and grabbed the sewing kit. I locked myself in the office and sat half-naked in my chair in my downtown corporate office,# mending the rip.

The good news? The repair job was invisible.

The bad news? Lorain may be scarred for life.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Yes, I did think, "That's what she said." Thank you for asking.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Thong. So you don't have to ask.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): This is not the first time. You may remember a blogpost cleverly titled "Ass." Same rip, same place. Apparently, the stitching on the pockets is like a "tear here" perforation over time.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): In the interest of full disclosure (heheheheh), when I got out of the car that morning, I had a weird feeling that turned out to be a pair of underwear stuck inside the leg of my jeans. I did not have the weird feeling that I was mooning all of downtown as I walked to the office.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): An experience I highly recommend if you can find a way to swing it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Holy Eye Sockets, Batman!

And here we are, only 35 shopping days until Christmas.

In the Pink

I'm expecting a package. A UPS package, so I've been diligently checking the front porch every night.

Last night, there was a small, square box on the welcome mat and I got all excited, only it wasn't the box I was expecting.

My friends at Nintendo sent me another present.

[SUMMARY: Better lucky than good.]

Let me give you a little background on my relationship with video games.

Way back in the dawn of the 80s, when Pac Man and Tron started taking over from Pong and pinball, I resisted.

You know that scene in Say Anything where the skate dudes are hanging out in the parking lot talkin' 'bout bitches and Lloyd says, "I got a question. If you guys know so much about women, how come you're here at the Gas 'n' Sip on a Saturday night completely alone drinking beers with no women anywhere?" And there's that little pause and Joe says, "Bye choice, man," and they all chime in like, yeah, I meant to do this?§

Yeah, I resisted like Joe and his chickless dicks chose to fly stag.

I "resisted" because I was lousy at all those TiVi screen games and there may not have been enough quarters in the world for me to put the time in to get good. So I stuck with pinball, whose low-tech charm and straight-forward, transparent game play suited my Luddite sensibilities.

With pinball, I could accidentally win at least part of the time.

If I had been cooler, I probably would have turned my nose up when my friends went to conquer Galaga. I might have played the Velvet Underground card and claimed a longtime love of pinball. Maybe could've spouted something about the digitising of America or the lack of punkish grit in Centipede, if I'd been really on my game.

I wasn't remotely cool, though, so I readily admitted I didn't get video games and was no good at them and I'll be over here in the corner with the pinball machines, let me know when you're ready to leave.

We did have an old Atari system at home,# and eventually Dad hooked it up to the big screen TiVi. I got pretty good at Space Invaders and Q*Bert†† through home study, though I still never played them in the arcade.

But I never played any of the Mario games. I certainly haven't played Everquest‡‡ or Prisoner of Zenda or anything like that. I like the puzzle gams on my DS. I can happily do electronic word search and hidden picture games for hours.

Actually, since I'm perfectly capable of starting in on computer solitaire and looking up to find it's four o'clock in the morning and I have been sitting on my foot for six hours and it got really dark... well, it's probably best I don't get too involved in anything too involved.

[SUMMARY: In which I sound cooler with every passing word.]

Only now I have Kirby.

You'll forgive me if I tell you Kirby is a lot like Mario Brothers and it really isn't. It looks like it to me.

Kirby runs around different levels, eating cherries and bananas and fighting with chickens and sometimes he sucks things in and he can spit them out at his foes. Sometimes he sucks his foes in and if he swallows them, he gains their special powers.§§

He can go through doors.

And up ladders.

And when he rides the star, it takes him far away to other ladders and foes and cherries.

There's underwater stuff.

And flying.

I find little, pink Kirby weirdly compelling and charming.

I cleared a couple of levels last night. Mostly, I just ran like mad, fought with no strategy or grace and went through every door I found. Despite having no idea what the actual objectives might be, I managed to reach them.

[SUMMARY: Better lucky than... oh, wait, did I already say that?¶¶]

Come to think of it, that's how I play pinball too.


Kama - Farmacia SS. Annunziata dal 1561

Marin says: Powdery. Not in a wholly bad way. There's something really salty running under that classic powdery rose smell. Vanilla too. Rich, warm vanilla, not sugar cookie vanilla. A hint of patchouli - mostly camphorous (like Carmex). The longer it sits on me, the saltier it gets (like Play-Doh).

It's kind of olfactorily pornographic when it's salty -- like an intimate bodily fluid.

Luckyscent says: A mysterious veil of rose$ and musk that hovers close to the skin, Kama is all about nuance and whispers. A hint of grapefruit, a delicate dusting of rice powder, the faintest suggestion of salt$ and ink -- all working with your skin to create a subtle aura of seductive grace that fans of understated scents will adore. Even typical powerhouses like vanilla$ and patchouli$ tiptoe in silk slippers here, adding watercolor washes of sweetness and earthiness without disturbing the feather-soft layer of rose petal and musk that makes your skin smell like you just might be an angel. Kama notes: Petit grain, red grapefruit, dog rose, rice powder, patchouli, musk notes, vanilla, ambergris

Hans says: It has that stuff that smells like baby powder. What's that? Aldehyde, right. [Hans sign language for give me another sniff] I want to say it smells brown, but I don't know what that means.## This is what brown would smell like. Musty, musky brown. But I don't know if it's actually musky.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Yes, my Sister of the Travelling iPod, erstwhile girlfriend of Jay Smooth, Nintendo got my hopes up and it wasn't your package. They did redeem themselves by sending me a present, though, so I'm prepared to forgive.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Oh, Nintendo, you shouldn't have!

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): If you check way back to the beginning of that sentence, it is, indeed, one sentence and a question at that.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Y'know... where every musician claims to be strongly influenced by Velvet Underground, even though VU is about half unlistenable, they're just such an iconic touchstone of American music that everybody wants a scrap of their shroud. VU is to the Jonas Brothers as pinball is to Marin, c. 1980.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): By all rights, I probably should have been the coolest kid on the block, given we had video games in our home in 1977. Some of us just shed cool like a duck sheds water.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Q*Bert on a 60" screen is like a Mack truck going down the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): Evercrack.

§§FOOTNOTE (whirling blades of doom!): Take your pick, Kim.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (two heads are better than mine): I think we have a theme.

$FOOTNOTE (on the money!): Ha! Got one!

##FOOTNOTE (tic tac d'oh): I assured Hans if scents can be labeled "green," brown is a valid option.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008


If anybody can track one of these down... well, only 36 shopping days 'til Christmas.

God is My Personal Trainer

Sorry. Got stuck behind a car with umpteen Jesus stickers on the back% and I'm in a wicked, mocking mood where evangelical sound bites are concerned.§

In any case, a very inspirational trip leading to an appropriate blogtitle. Totally worth all the hassle.

[SUMMARY: Priorities.]

Last week, I had some earnest discussion about going to the gym. I was even going to go talk to personal trainers one night. Only I couldn't find my gym card.

Which may tell you a little something about how often it gets used.#

[SUMMARY: Blue moons and flying pigs.]

So I went to the 24 Hour Fitness website to order a new one. Technology-wise, 24HF is a step behind the world, and their website is surprisingly unhelpful.

First, I had to enter my membership number. Which I don't have. Because it's on my membership card.

The next step was to call customer service in Bangalor and get said number.

Then plug it into the website.††

Then enter my name, address and phone.‡‡

Then write a paragraph on why I needed a new card.§§

Then receive instructions to print out a form¶¶ and mail it, along with a check## for $10 to an address in California, where they would hold High Council to determine if I am worthy enough to receive a new card in four to six weeks.

[SUMMARY: Customer slavery.]

So I closed my web browser without completing the process and vowed to make a concerted effort to find the original card.

I received a new membership card in the mail last night.

I believe this is the universe's way of telling me to get to the gym already.

[SUMMARY: I hate it when the justification goes the wrong way.]

Hmmm... maybe this could count as another miracle under my belt.


Osmanthus - The Difference Company

Marin says: I tried this while Hans was in Thailand, with the idea that he would have to sit and olfact a whole assload of perfumes when he got back. I re-tried it today when I made him smell it.

Osmanthus is one of those things I don't know. What does osmanthus smell like, all on its own? This is the second Osmanthus I've smelled and I don't think it smells anything like the other one. This is like a SweeTart, but soapier. It started out more botanical, but as many of these things go, it's become increasingly soapy/musky.†††

Second time around, I was intrigued by a delicate lime -- almost like lime leaves rather than lime juice -- and a light, elusive floral. Then the floral roared up and I smell like lipstick and cheap rose perfume. If Bonne Belle made rose Lipsmackers, it would go something like this. It's surprisingly strong for a Jean Claude Ellena scent.‡‡‡

The Perfumed Court says: An elegant fragrance that with delightfully fruity,$ floral$ notes of osmanthus, green leaf,$ bergamot,$ orange, mandarinee, rose,$ baies roses,$ castoreum, hay and musk.$

Hans says: That smells a lot like that one yesterday.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Greek for "assload."

%FOOTNOTE (percented): I am not categorically opposed to Jesus. I am, however, categorically opposed to bumper stickers.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Including, "Real Men Love Jesus" in a "Frankie Say Relax" graphic format. I think most of you are old enough to remember Frankie and his Relax shirts.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Particularly since the saintly asshole rode my bumper, whipped around me, cut me off, then somehow managed to cut me off twice more -- howintheHELLdidhegetbehindme -- on the way in to downtown.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): I only wish I was being funny there. Sometimes my devotion to clever blogthings (read: what I think of as clever blogthings) overrides better reason.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): I believe the exact answer is "twice in the last two years."

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Because "Melanie," the nice Mumbaian woman who gave me my membership number couldn't help me with a new card.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): Check me: shouldn't this have come up with my membership number?

§§FOOTNOTE (fine Spencerian script, like I do all my essays): OK, a tiny exaggeration here, but I did have to give the specific reason I was requesting a replacement card.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (oh, my aching heads -- softball, Kim): Which I didn't actually see, but I suspect was not filled out through prior information gathering.

##FOOTNOTE (how many pounds before I get my gym card?): I've used my checkbook fewer times than my gym card in the last two years. Who requires checks anymore? Oh, wait, I just answered that...

†††FOOTNOTE (Oh, look! A bumper sticker!): Did you know musk isn't all animalic and sexual and rutting? I always thought it was, but it's actually soapy. And if we're talking "actually," it's sort of a reverse-engineering thing. The scent added to laundry soaps starting way back in the 30's (I may be making that up) is a musk, so we associate musk smells with soap now. You're welcome.

‡‡‡FOOTNOTE (supply lines are getting thinner and harder to maintain): Nathan Branch said Grain de Musc said of another JCE creation, " of Jean Claude Ellena's many variations on the smell of water."

$FOOTNOTE (on the money): Well, if you count bergamot as close enough to lime leaves for our purposes.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Well, Now, I'll Just Have a Little Lick Over Here

I can't believe I forgot to use these pigs on Halloween. I was so giddy over the Hersheys with Omens cartoon I flat forgot.

So, Happy Post-Halloween Thanksgivingish Continuum.

[SUMMARY: Fall.]

And I find I have a bunch of little things and nothing worth its own blogpost. That's what licking the pig is all about, my friends.

[SUMMARY: To recap...]

First, there was a little nudge in the comments to spill the beans on my cereal purchase. I may have been remiss in where it came from. Their contact address is in New Hampshire, the "about us" mentions sublets in NYC and the cereal came packed with wadded Boston Globes, so... east coast. Possibly New York.

Anyway, it's a company called [me] & goji that I found through Gizmodo or Geekologie. The cereal is spectacular. I'm a cereal fan in general, but this cereal takes the cake.

On their website, you§ travel through a list of ingredients -- different flakes, grains, seeds, nuts, berries -- and add what you want to your cereal bowl. As each item is added, the nutritional information label on the right reflects your choices.

Then you name your cereal. Then you buy your cereal. Then your cereal is hand-packed by a REALLY cute boy.# It's almost like having cabana boys. In New York. Or maybe New Hampshire.

It is, of course, a little expensive for cereal. Like lovingly hand-knit socks are a little more expensive than socks-by-the-dozen from Old Navy.††

Also? You can buy carbon offsets to ameliorate the guilt of having cereal shipped across the country.

Also? Goldenberries are really, really sour. You should get something sweet to go with them if you get goldenberries.‡‡

[SUMMARY: I have impulse control problems in so many arenas.]

Lace knitting may be the death of me. Despite my chest-pounding over being able to count on beyond four, I'm not sure that's accurate. Or maybe just not consistent.

The good news is Malabrigo Lace, despite its fuzziness, holds up pretty well through multiple froggings.

[SUMMARY: Says the voice of experience.]

Last week, a new billboard went up. I called Hans, excitedly,% and he immediately decided we should bet lunch on what the billboard would be.

"How specific?"

"Category. Specific category. I'm going to say... ski resort."

"Shit. That's a good one. I bet you win. Um... health care!"

I win.

Of course, I have to look at the surprisingly creepy guys§§ on the billboard until they take it down. I'm guessing since everybody finds it so creepy, this billboard is the one that will stick through the next six months.

[SUMMARY: A message of hope.]

A chocolate eyeball escaped from the Halloween candy some time within the last couple of weeks and got covered by a knitting pattern then ground into the carpet. I'm blaming it on the cat.

If anyone knows how to get chocolate out of shag carpet, let me know.

[SUMMARY: The joys of homeownership. And cat ownership. And chocolate eyeballs.]

Today I wore my jacket when we went to lunch. Friday I bought a snow brush/scraper for the Cutest Little Car in the Whole Wide World. Seemingly unrelated events.


I believe they are both important steps on my campaign to become St. Marin of the Mountains, patron saint of fuzzy crack, fuzzy cats and odd sexual positions.¶¶

See, I know if I had not sweated my way through lunch today unnecessarily, if I had not purchased a $12 snow thingie, it would be cold and snowing for the rest of the winter. As it stands, I have assured my fellow citizens a pleasant Monday's lunchtime and a minimum of snow this season.

If that's not martyrdom, I don't know what is.

Unfortunately, I haven't heard a peep from the Vatican yet. How many miracles does one woman have to perform before the frickin' Vatican will take notice?

[SUMMARY: Not a theology major.]

I'm pretty sure I had more to share, but I don't know what it might have been. Hell, I gave you Terry and Chas. What more could you want from me?


Champaca - Ormonde Jayne

Marin says: The first blast makes me want to say "lime," only it's not quite that bright -- more like one of those tough, bitter grasses that you'd nibble on when you were a kid and too young to worry about how bitter it was.

It dries down within minutes to a watery, woody, slightly citrusy smell. There's something dry and sharp in it, like pepper, but very little scent of any kind left.

I feel like I'm missing the whole lovely roll-out because it's too small to smell.

This may be the first Ormonde Jayne I'm not delighted with -- the scent itself is fine, but it's so fleeting it's best on the cuffs rather than the wrist.##

Ormonde Jayne says: (A tiny pale orange flower from India) Related to the magnolia and deemed sacred in the Indus Valley, Champaca flower absolute is a heavenly, creamy floral scent - both elegant and intimate.$ Blended with neroli and bamboo and underscored with fragrant rice and green tea notes, this is a distinguished perfume of rare beauty.

Top: Neroli,$ pink pepper$ and bamboo
Heart: Champaca and freesia absolutes, basmati notes
Base: Myrrh, green tea notes and musk

Hans says: Sour smelling, like... I almost got it... right at the end, like an herb. Just at the end.

[like lime, but not limey enough to be lime, I said]

Yeah! Not super-citrusy, more earthy. Earthy sour citrusy. Write it down.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Their grammar, not mine.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Heh.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): And by "you," I really mean "you," 'cause I'm guessing a solid majority of those who go check out the website won't be able to resist building their own cereal, even if they never actually order. It's like some low-tech, high-fibre video game.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Like having kids or getting a puppy, naming rights are part of the charm. My cereals are "The Bible Tells Me So" because it had a lot of biblical grains in it and "Hopin' Sesame" because there are sesame seeds in it and I'm the biggest dork in the world.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Adam packed mine. He hand-signed both containers in blue Sharpie, which I think is a charming touch.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): If I speak your language, it's so much easier for you to understand.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): The Bible Tells Me So contains artisanal cereal, spelt flakes, goldenberry and chia (runner up name: Chia, My Pet). Hopin' Sesame contains: flaxed and flaked, rye flakes, goji, bananas, blueberries and sesame seeds (runner up name: Goji, bo-boji, banana-fana, fo-bluberry, me-my-rye flake, sesame!). I know you wanted to ask.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Excited because it was a political billboard, referencing some ballot issue we were sure we'd have to look at for months after the vote was in and counted. Not excited because they were changing the billboard. They do that about every other week.

§§FOOTNOTE (how are we going to spin this?): We have nicknamed them Terry and Chas. Chas's full name is Charles "Meatball" Thoroughbrace III. Only his mother calls him Trip and nobody's really called him Meatball anymore since Winky Bushmeyer died in '97. And if you think they're not creepy, click for big.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (heads up, Vatican City): Still working on the particulars. I figure I don't need to have it all nailed down until I make my acceptance speech. There's an awards ceremony, right?

##FOOTNOTE (reasons too numerous to number): A concept I ddn't figure out for the longest time. When perfumes evaporate too quickly, they'd apparently be better off sprayed on the clothing, which will absorb and hold them, then on the skin where they eventually wear off. At least, that's what I think it means. That's what I'm talking about, in any case.

$FOOTNOTE (on the money!): I'm counting "intimate" as "nobody can smell it now unless they're intimate with me."