Thursday, July 31, 2008

Gonna Be a Good Day

In a fit of whimsy, I put my hair in pigtails today. That configuration puts the hair dangerously close to the armpits.

Oh, yeah. Any day you start by putting deodorant in your hair is bound to be a good day.

Jo Malone – Kohdo Wood Collection: Lotus Blossom & Water Lily

Marin says: I really, really like this one... only it's so thin and it doesn't last long.

It smells like oranges, limes, very faint floral§ and a watery wood at the start. Very bright, very shiny. A couple of hours later, it's a kind of non-descript perfumey scent, like several indiscernable flowers with a very light classic aldehyde.# Five hours in, it's all gone. Not a whiff.††

The Perfumed Court says: Jo Malone's Newest Fragrances ~ The Kohdo Wood Collection ~ two Limited Edition fragrances which are inspired by the ancient Japanese incense ceremony of Kohdo where emotions are influenced according to the different nature of scents. Kohdo Wood Day% contains notes of mandarin,$ lotus blossom, bamboo$ and aloeswood and water lily.

Jo Malone says: Created as a modern interpretation of Kohdo, an ancient Japanese ceremony, vibrant Lotus Blossom & Water Lily is designed to awaken the senses and energise the soul.

Hans says: Smells like, um... the perfume section in department stores. Collectively.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Fortunately, it's easier to get deodorant off hair than a black t-shirt.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Whine, whine, whine. I don't like the stuff that makes it last longer, but I bitch when the nice smells go away. If they can put a man on the moon...

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Jasmine?

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): I think of bamboo, even though I have no idea what bamboo might smell like, other than I *imagine* woody and watery.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): The more I poke around about perfumes, the more I realise "aldehyde" isn't really a scent, but I still always think of things that smell perfumey to me -- like Chanel No. 5.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Aaackkk! What if my body develops new and occasionally unpleasant odors without my perfume? Damn you, Kimberly Clark!

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Again, a different name than the perfumer gives it.

$FOOTNOTE (moneyed): Ha! Got one!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Summertime and the Livin's Breezy

In the adrenaline rush that comes from believing I have superpowers, I finished frogging the Father's Day Arrrgyles at the bar last night.§

[SUMMARY: Knitting content two days running. This may be a record.]

On the way home,I stopped off at the newish Red Trolley ice cream shoppe# to sample their product.††

I feel kinda bad for them because they opened around the same time as Little Man -- media darling and neighbourhood hot spot -- but they're just not getting the same buzz.

I like Red Trolley better.‡‡

The adorable dreadlocked blonde girl who waited on me was nice as could be, the ice cream was outstanding and the shoppe is just darned cute -- marble and wood, kinda like an old-fashioned soda fountain.

[SUMMARY: Packaging counts.]

Besides, they have these cups that fit perfectly in the modified-for-American-sodas§§ cup holder in CLCWWW.¶¶

And you get a cookie.

And they're closer than Little Man.

Besides, I always cheer for the underdog.##

Neil Morris Signature Collection - Gotham parfum

Marin says: *sigh* Again, anything oil-based has that heavy smell of smoke, incense, amber, myrrh... whatever it is, it doesn't make me all that happy. The smoky damp cloud on my wrist started out, once again, reminiscent of toilet paper or Ti-D-Bowl to my nose.

I'll admit it's mellowed around the edges over the hours and deepened and flowered. It smells like a California redwood forest near the ocean -- cedar and salt-spray, and I do like that part. If I hold my nose a couple of inches from my skin, I get a hint of rose.

Oils are still just too warm and thick for my liking. Is there some way to cut this stuff to suit my aesthetic?

The Perfumed Court says: One of Neil Morris Vault Scents%, Gotham is based on a memory of an October night in NYC - unusually warm and overcast and foggy, with a sense of mystery and things hidden in the dark.

Gotham has notes of Black Pepper, Yuzu, Rose,$ Narcissus,^ Amber, Pearl Musk, Myrtlewood, Tonka absolute, Labdanum, Russian Leather, Redwood,$ and Ambergris.

Neil Morris says: My inspiration for Gotham was a stroll along a street in Manhattan on what could only be described as a summer evening except for the fact that it was late October! It was unusually warm and overcast evening. It was a bit foggy and the atmosphere had a sense of mystery and of things hidden in the night. All in all a magical evening.

Gotham opens with Top Notes of Black Pepper and Yuzu that merge with Heart Notes of Rose and Narcissus. The Base Notes include Ambergris, Myrtlewood, Russian Leather, Amber and Labdanum.@

Hans says: Psyche! Hans says nothing! Hans is out golfing the Mountain Course at the Broadmoor and can't come to my wrist right now. We'll have to try back later.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Well, some sort of mentally challenged frog with a limp or something. It goes "rip-it, rip... bam. knot! *shuffleyank* *snap!* rip-it, rip-it, rrrrrrrrrrrreeekk! fuck! KNOT!..."

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): *cough2007cough*

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Beer helped.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Well, only a couple of miles out of the way. In the opposite direction.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Charming neighbourhood ice cream stores that make their own ice cream every day in-house should always be honoured with a double-p-e spelling.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Y'know... in the name of fairness and letting the people know and stuff.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): In my vast experience of having tasted two flavours at each shoppe. But both the Red Trolley flavours were outstanding and one of the Little Man flavours tasted like potpourri. For the record: Red Trolley -- banana bread ice cream and bing cherry hazlenut chip ice cream. Little Man -- firecracker blueberry cinnamon (aka - potpourri) sorbet and ginger gelato.

§§FOOTNOTE (this'll turn your head): No lie. The big complaint out of the American market was that the Mini couldn't accommodate a Big Gulp. Ah, well. The gluttony of the masses allows for ice cream transportation for me. Thank you, gluttonous masses.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (aw, it looks like two little taste spoons): Where you can see I'm keeping the AC at 60 degrees, my tank is nearly full, I'm listening to a song called, "I'm a Vampire" and the Red Trolley is at an altitude of 5320'. Also, I haven't dusted in awhile.

##FOOTNOTE (how many I intend to gain taste-testing ice cream in the 'hood): Unless, y'know, it's the Raiders. Or my team happens to be the overdog. But all other things being equal, I'm behind the underdog all the way. Did I mention training camp started last week? And the dark days of summer are almost over?

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Actually, it's not. I went to the Neil Morris site to get the Neil Morris take on this Neil Morris creation and it turns out Neil Morris doesn't agree with the Perfumed Court. I'm going with Neil Morris on this one. After all, it is a Neil Morris Signature Collection scent.

$FOOTNOTE (moneyed): Ha! Got one!

^FOOTNOTE (careted): I have no idea what Narcissus smells like.

@FOOTNOTE (atted): I know you've read this all before, but I try to give the perfumer's rhetoric when I can find it.

Secret Pal 12 Question 8

What is your favorite supper for a hot summer evening?

Oh, this is easy. I'm pretty sure eBeth can answer this, given it's what she makes me every year for my birthday dinner.

Cheese and crackers and vegetables and fruits and dips.

I love the variety, I love the cold, I love cherries and water crackers and pineapple and cheddar and snap peas and carrots and havarti and those really sweet, thick, grainy Carr's crackers and herbed cream cheese. And you can make all kinds of different mix-and-match hors d'ouevres.

And it doesn't require turning on an oven when it's 98 degrees and it cleans up quick and you can eat it for days.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Spork You, Blogthings

You Are Chopsticks

People see you as exotic, unusual, and even a bit intimidating.

You are a difficult person to figure out.

In truth, you try to live a very simple life.

But most people are too frenzied to recognize the beauty of your simplicity.

Kim got to be a spork. I love sporks. I aspired to be a spork. I mean, I guess chopsticks are kinda cool, but... well, do you every see anyone licking sauce off a chopstick?

I wanna be a spork.

Knitta's Paradise

It's a good day to be a knitter.

For one thing, it's Tuesday, which means it's Drunken Knitting night. To make DK even better, it's Billy's Inn night.

I love Patrick Carroll's. It's three blocks from home, it's right across the street from Sylvia's House of Fuzzy Crack and they've been really good to us.

But a year-and-a-half of the same bar menu wears on even the most intrepid knitter/gustafarian.§ Billy's has *wonderful* food and better light and a marvelous patio, so it's a good alternative.

[SUMMARY: Still drinking, still eating, still knitting.]

And yesterday I got my prize winnings from Lyda Kay's Casting About for a Name contest.

You may already be following along with Karen's or Anna-Liza's prizes. Mine's purple and orange, like one of those lacquered and sparkled lowriders with flames and chrome and such.

See? Shiny!#

[SUMMARY: All my friends know the lowrider... la la la...]

This was my prize package, so there was a pig, of course.

And it came from Lyda, so there was a zombie, of course.

Tommy the Sith Apprentice Cat slipped in a handful†† of kitty toys, including plastic eggs. Note how the plastic eggs have ventilation holes. All the better to transport a vole?‡‡

[SUMMARY: Thanks, Lyda!]

Yesterday, I also got the CD insert from my Very Special Birthday CD. I didn't take a picture. I should have. There's something about seeing "marin birthday" as the first track that makes me all goosebumpy.

NOTE TO SECRET PAL: I just *knew* I heard Judy Collins in there!

[SUMMARY: Thanks, Secret Pal!]

AND... I finished the Dove Leaves scarf last night. And wove in the ends. And washed it and blocked it.§§

Yarn: Fiddlesticks Knitting Silk Sensation, in Dove
Needles: US4
Pattern: Wavy Leaves Scarf from Fiddlesticks Knitting

The pattern says it ends up about 46" long at ten pattern repeats. I did twelve@ repeats and blocked the living shit out of it to get 49".

It should probably be noted for those of you who missed it the first thousand times it's been brought up: I knit a little tight. This mostly affects length -- my stitch count in a row is usually spot-on. Thus the very tight, barely-blockable short scarf.

[SUMMARY: You know the words, sing along: Still a knitblog!]

Tonight at DK, I fully intend to finish the deconstruction of the Father's Day Arrrgyles.

As a matter of fact, I *do* think I have superpowers!¶¶

Creed - Love in Black

Marin Says: You know those sugared violet candies? Or violet-flavoured Chiclets?## I suspect that's what the initial scent was (sneaking a peak at the list), though I got stuck on crayons or Play-doh and couldn't quite place what childhood item it evoked. It's pleasant but weird for a perfume. I absolutely love it a couple of hours in. I smell mostly clove, cardamom and cedar, with a touch of black currant and a hint of something floral.

The Perfumed Court says: Due to be released in the U.S. in September, we've brought this in from the Paris boutique, which is the only place it is available. Created as an homage to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, it has notes of night-blooming wilfdflowers from the Greek isles, violet from italy, Virginia cedar,% iris at the heart, clove,% Tonkin musk, blackcurrant% from France and Bulgarian rose. It is a beautiful, fascinating, feminine floral.

Hans says: "That smells like... um... urgh... I like it... let me smell again.

"Yeah, like crayons or something... that's not quite right... again?

"Bah... go with crayons. I'm not happy with it, but I can't find the right word. Say crayons mixed with Play-doh."

Later: "Is this a new one?

"Yeah, after the roll-out,^ I'm definitely getting violets."

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Really, aren't most days good days to be a knitter? Other than December 21st (when you're still deluding yourself you can get done if you can only knit 22 hours a day for the next four days and will probable end up with a dozen pet rocks or dancing flowers or whatever you can get in bulk at Wal-Mart at the last minute), at least?

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Which means I can drag myself home by my lips if the situation dictates it.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): I think I just made that word up. I think I'm awfully clever.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): SPECTACULAR salsa, made fresh in-house.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): And now that Low Rider song is going through my head.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Pawful?

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): F_ _ L D M _ _ _ _

"I'd like to buy a vole, Pat."

§§FOOTNOTE (two-ply for your comfort): What is wrong with me? I'm not a finisher, I'm a starter! My reputation as a knittease is at stake!

@FOOTNOTE (atted): For one... twelve! For two, I love the number thirteen, but this is a gift, so I didn't want to jinx anyone else's triskaidekaphobia. That would be a bad gift.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (two scoops, please): And I'm pretty sure I get Saint Points for that too.

##FOOTNOTE (better by the pound): Which I've only seen in Mexico. I bought about three hundred tiny little boxes of violet Chiclets when I was thirteen, studying Spanish in Mexico.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Ha! Got one! Also? Blackcurrant is one word?

^FOOTNOTE (careted): I hipped Hans to the lingo. He may become unlivable.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Wielding a Comedy Club

Kelley and I went to see Mitch Fatel at the Denver Improv last night.

Gary Cannon was the feature act. He pissed me off early.

Yeah, it surprised me as much as it surprises you.

I would assume that if a comedian picked on me, I'd go along good-naturedly, maybe even get a line or two in myself, but the first thing he did was call us stupid.

[SUMMARY: DON'T call me stupid.]

Then he called us lesbians.

I have enough trouble getting dates without being billed as a lesbian in front of 400 people.

[SUMMARY: "Lesbian" is at least more interesting than "stupid."]

So I refused to laugh at his jokes. And every joke, he'd look over and say, "Nothing?" and I'd shrug.

"We're going to be kissing by the end of this set. I swear, tongue and everything. We are going to be making out right here on this stage."


He's an insult comedian. Most of his act consists of devising unflattering nicknames for people in the audience.

A guy sitting right in front of the mic had sunglasses pushed up on his head.

"Sunglasses on the head. Welcome to the 80s, dude. Oh, hey, wait... let me see those for a sec." He put them on his head and turned to me. "Anything?"

"Oh, I've never wanted you more than I want you right now," I said in a flat, monotone voice, reminiscent of eBeth when Brother kept hounding her to tell him how sexy he was when he was knitting.

"You want me now? Come on up and give me a kiss." And he had the audience cheer me on, so I trotted up, laid one on his cheek and sat down.

Later, as he left the stage, he said, "Thanks, guys. You were good sports."

"That's OK," I said, "I picked your pocket."§

[SUMMARY: I still think I'm funny.]


So I'm heartily sick of the sound of my own voice when it comes to this perfume stuff. I never intended to change this to an all scent, all the time show. Just snappy little reviews. Short, sweet. Adjunct to -- not the purpose of -- the daily blather.

Here's the new and improved perfume review:

ETA: Oh, duh. I forgot to give you the name of the perfume. Thank goodness I had The Perfume Spot to save me or y'all would think I was senile. Er. Seniler.

Thierry Mugler - Innocent

Marin says: This is another of my favourites, one of those I've purchased more than once. To me, it smells of cocoa (not chocolate -- not quite that sweet or milky -- but cocoa) and grapefruit, with a little lilac or jasmine somewhere underneath. Also? Boys tend to tell me how much they like it and, y'know, I like when boys like it.

The Perfume Spot¶ says: "Created by the design house of Thierry Mugler in 1999, Angel Innocent is classified as a refreshing, flowery fragrance. This feminine scent possesses a blend of pure mandarin,# honey, fresh almond and other exotic fruits.†† Accompanied by rich musk and amber."

Thierry Mugler says: "Its mischeivous, sparkling notes invite you to the joy of play, the pleasure of whimsy and the desire to be unforgettable."

Hans says: Oh, I like that one! Subtle, yet... um... I don't know. I don't have a word for it. Springtime-ish." And, as he wandered off down the hall, "I like springtime."

FOOTNOTE (crossed): I find Mitch Fatel very funny (duh), though I imagine I like the sweet character of his act better than the asshole he may be, given the mien of his blog.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Boy, did I show him!

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): And seeing him surreptitiously check for his wallet was just icing on the cake.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Because Thierry Mugler went all faeries-and-rainbows on me, giving me nothing concrete about what I may be smelling.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Like grapefruit! Ha! Got one!

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): "...other exotic fruits." Exotic fruits like almonds? Maybe I shoulda just stuck with the Thierry Mugler rhetoric.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Short and Sweet

Your Personality Profile

You are dependable, popular, and observant.

Deep and thoughtful, you are prone to moodiness.

In fact, your emotions tend to influence everything you do.

You are unique, creative, and expressive.

You don't mind waving your freak flag every once and a while.

And lucky for you, most people find your weird ways charming!

Happy Ending


No, not that kind of happy ending... just a quick follow-up to the saga of Dr. Doom and the Forbidden Princess Love for those of you who don't follow the comments.

eBeth tells me Dr. Doom took the princesses to swim lessons the other day. There were five little boys circled around the seven princesses, oohing and ahhing.

[SUMMARY: A mental image to do your heart some good.]

I have just+ developed a theory on sanity.§

I know most people mutter to themselves now and then. I suspect most people also argue with their computers, yell at their TiVis and/or baby-talk their pets.

I do all these, but I have also been known to inadvertently have whole conversations,% out loud, by myself in the grocery store.^

My theory? It helps maintain sanity. If you let the voices in your head out, they don't build up to the point where your dog talks back to you and you have to kill cheerleaders.@

[SUMMARY: Justification!]

Today's perfume review will be brief.

BPAL's Blood Kiss, so promising in description, smells like a well-kept porta-potty. The first whiff was very medicinal, that camphor smell I've decided indicates benzoin. Then a sweet smell like the perfume used on toilet paper blossoms and it smells exactly like urine trying to be overpowered by that thick, cloying, blue porta-potty deodoriser.

Bleah. And I was so looking forward to the clove and cherries.

The note of urine# has diminished over the hours and I'm left with toilet paper, which is not an unpleasant smell, but not something to which I aspire.

I have to go wash my wrists now.

BPAL says: Lush, creamy vanilla and the honey of the sweetest kiss smeared with the vital throb†† of husky clove, swollen red cherries, but darkened with the vampiric sensuality of vetiver, soporific poppy and blood red wine, and a skin-light pulse of feral musk.

Hans says: Candle wax. Specifically pumpkin.‡‡

Apparently, Hans can smell the cloves.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): You are such a pervert. You are *so* twelve.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): And I don't know why you don't. The comments are way more entertaining than the blog that generates them.

+FOOTNOTE (plussed): Breaking news!

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): With the help of my client/supervisor. It's good to have the people signing off on your invoices on the same page with you when it comes to crazy.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): In my defense, I'm usually rehearsing in my head what I want to say to someone -- generally someone with whom I'm annoyed -- and I'm concentrating so hard it just trickles out and I don't even realise I'm talking until someone goggles at me in the bread aisle.

^FOOTNOTE (careted): Or street. Or hallway. Or bathroom.

@FOOTNOTE (atted): Nothing against cheerleaders, per se. Just the first thing that popped into my head.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): I tried to find a different word, but the thesaurus doesn't even have cloying and is pretty sparse on "cloy."

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Which I'm assuming is from the vetiver, which I'm told is woody and smoky. I'm also assuming it's not deliberate.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): It's no fair. They used the word "throb." How was I supposed to resist when they used the word "throb"?

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): Hans also says there's nothing wrong with boys liking Disney princesses. Hans likes Disney princesses. Disney princesses have nice boobs.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fresh Index - Pink Jasmine

This isn't one of my experimental perfumes.

Fresh makes some of my all-time favourite perfumes. There aren't that many perfumes that have inspired me to buy a second bottle. Fresh makes most of them.

It all started with a Fodor's guide to New York City. Fodor's said that, as far as shopping went, I really had to go check out Fresh's signature Fig Apricot§ in their Upper East Side store. I didn't want to argue with Mr. Fodor, so I did.#

When Fresh finally came to Colorado, I started branching out from my homey, comfy Fig Apricot into Pink Jasmine, Sugar Lemon and Sake.

Pink Jasmine is a nice, light scent. It's probably the lightest scent I wear, and it's one I gladly trot out for summer††

The first spray releases a bright citrus undercut with something slightly sweeter.

After ten minutes or so, the floral notes really kick in. Fortunately,‡‡ the flowers mingle lightly over the lingering orange smell, which keeps them from being too girlish.% And I never get a lot of jasmine -- jasmine falls in the lilac/orange blossom category of florals I find cloying.

Now, the stuff doesn't last long in any full-scent way.§§ Something lingers all day,¶¶ but three hours in, it's mostly a light watery wood with sparks of white flowers popping through.

One of the things I love about it: As it gets less strident, it gets more complex.

Usually my nose gets all a-twitter in the early roll-out, trying to pick out bits and pieces and often smelling nothing beyond the amalgam.## At the end of the day when a scent is all but washed away, it boils down to something simple, usually sweet and warm like vanilla, amber or myrrh.†††

I think I prefer my stronger notes to seem simpler and my more convoluted smells to be lighter.

It's easier on my ego, if nothing else.

Fresh says: "...strikingly beautiful and completely romantic.
  • Top: red orange,$ freesia, spring lilac
  • Heart: magnolia, peony, fresh jasmine, tiare flower
  • Base: precious woods,$ velvety peach skin, marsh mallow"

Hans says: Light. It's misty. I like it.‡‡‡

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Not anymore.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): And the best, favourite gentle cleanser: Fresh Soy Face Cleanser.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): I'll review that some time in the near future, have no fear. Here's a sneak-peek: Fig... yum.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Yeah, I had no idea how out of my league I was. They were very nice, despite my clear one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-other personal aura.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Though we should probably have him arrested for the pusher he is. It was years before Fresh was available in Colorado and I was practically tying off on the airplane every time I went to NYC, anticipating stocking up on the essentials. Y'know... fig and soy. Right after water, merino and this lamp on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): And wear occasionally in the dark of winter just to brighten things up a bit.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): Since too much flower makes me feel all pink and shit.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Or pink or cloying or whatever it is I don't like about a lot of florals.

§§FOOTNOTE (just a whisp of scent): Light to begin with and edt to boot. Like how I'm talkin' all jargon and stuff? Yeah, I feel hip.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (two wrists are better than one): Tonight as I'm getting undressed, I'll nuzzle my wrists and find something absolutley indecipherable, just a hint above the scent of my own skin.

##FOOTNOTE (like two aldehydes criss-crossing in the night): Brain Age 2 has a training session that consists of two or three words being said at the same time and you have to pick out each word. I'm not good at that either.

†††FOOTNOTE (we'll cross that bridge when we come to it): With my chemistry, it's a wonder I don't melt in the rain.

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

‡‡‡FOOTNOTE (roll-out): And he does these little hand gestures I wish y'all could see. Polynesian dancers got nothin' on Hans, 'specially when it comes to conveying "misty."

The Name is Abby. Abby Normal.

You Are 16% Abnormal

You are at low risk for being a psychopath. It is unlikely that you have no soul.

You are at medium risk for having a borderline personality. It is somewhat likely that you are a chaotic mess.

You are at low risk for having a narcissistic personality. It is unlikely that you are in love with your own reflection.

You are at low risk for having a social phobia. It is unlikely that you feel most comfortable in your mom's basement.

You are at low risk for obsessive compulsive disorder. It is unlikely that you are addicted to hand sanitizer.

The unlikelies are so comforting.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

BPAL - Event Horizon

Good things about BPAL scents:

  1. They last a long time because they're oil-based.
  2. I can actually differentiate the roll-out of various notes over time.
  3. They are associated with some of the coolest blurbs ever.
Bad things about BPAL scents:

  1. If you hate them, they're hard to wash off.
  2. They all smell like incense to me, which I think is true of many oil-based parfums. Eau de toilettes (EDTs) are bound together differently and, I think, smell better.
  3. I buy scents based almost solely on the blurbs, which can be interesting, but smacks of being led by the marketing.
This is one I definitely bought because of the propaganda. I don't even know what most of those things are supposed to smell like. I just wanted to know what an event horizon smelled like.

It occurs to me that part of the reason so many BPAL scents I've sniffed at so far§ smell like incense is because they have classic incense components, like myrrh. Like this one.

Going deeper, it occurs to me that those who work/dabble in essential oils and natural oils to make perfumes may be of a similar Boulder-crunchy philosophy under which they mostly WANT their scents to smell like a head shop.

This is delving into PhD-in-psychology territory that I'm not sure I need to investigate right this minute.#

The first whiff of this was pure, resiny, oily incense for me. By the time I got in the car, I was wondering if "a hint of Vick's Vap-o-Rub" was out of line. Then I got to the definition of "benzoin" and I'm feeling better about myself.

I started sneezing and getting a little headachy as I fired up the computer, so after I made Hans smell it, I dipped a paper towel in water†† and scrubbed most of it as off as I could, leaving my right wrist intact.

Now, after lunch,‡‡ it's a pleasant and warm, if unremarkable, scent. The myrrh still dominates, but it's not quite as much incense as it once was.

Things I learned from my perfume today: event horizon, labdanum, opoponax and benzoin.

Black Phoenix says: "A disconcerting scent, heavy and oppressive, through which no light, no matter, and no spirit can escape. Black opium, labdanum, opoponax, black orchid, and benzoin.§§"

Hans says: "Powerful," with fear in his eyes.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): That seems like a bad thing.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): It occurs to me that there must be some sort of kit somewhere one can sniff and learn individual scents so one can pick them out.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): And a lot of other "natural" and "essential oils" scents.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Not always a bad thing. See: patchouli.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Y'know... brainsssss...

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): I keep a whole roll of paper towels in my desk because of the likelihood of me knocking over my water glass.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): On a completely unrelated note, I came back from lunch to find my delete key doesn't work. WTF?

§§FOOTNOTE (is it smoky in here or is it just me?): Ha! Got one!

Secret Pal 12 Question 7

What is (are) your favorite place(s) to knit? and What supplies (besides yarn & needles) make the setting perfect for knitting?

First question:

I love to knit at the bars. There's beer and company and the distraction of dinner and beer.

I love to knit in my recliner in front of the TiVi. I saw a brain-scan study once where they showed a person's brain doing some puzzle activity,§ then that same person's brain watching TiVi, then that same person's brain watching TiVi while knitting.#

I rest my case. I don't watch too much TiVi, I'm fighting brain rot on a daily basis.

And I particularly love knitting during football season. Curled up for hours in front of the TiVi, often with beer and company and the distraction of dinner and beer. So the best of all possible worlds.

Second question:

I'm going to have to say, "Beer and TiVi," Bob.††

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Patrick Carroll's and now the re-vamped Billy's Inn, new home of Cute Christopher. The lighting's better, the food is better, but it's a longer walk home from Billy's than Patrick's and Billy's isn't right across from Sylvia's House of Fuzzy Crack. So for now we're splitting our time.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Can substitute wine, vodka or hard cider.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Red and active!

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Dark and cold!

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Even activer than doing a puzzle!

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Didn't see that one coming, did you?

Today's Show Brought to You... the word "meh."

It's a good thing it's Secret Pal Question day. My brain is on pause and I'm not sure how much bloggood I'd do without that little kickstart.

Is "kickstart" one word? Is it hyphenated? Like "kick-start"?


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Long Time No Lick

Couldn't you just slurp 'em up?


Heat is not my favourite medium.

But the little yard outside the Baptist church I can see from my window currently sports a crew of landscape maintenance technicians§ and one of them has his shirt off.

Let's just say this boy should ALWAYS go shirtless.

Hey, you have your boys of summer, I have mine.


Sunday night at family dinner, I mentioned the crane in Houston that broke free and killed its oppressors.#

Brother gave me that... Brother... look.

Dad began to wax eloquent on cranes, and Brother said, "You have a crane thing? Is that where she gets it?"

"No, this is years of observation."

Heredity. Cranes are in the blood.††


Speaking of nature vs. nurture. Sort of:

A couple of weeks ago, Dr. Doom said, "AntiM, I wish I was a girl."

So, y'know, partly worried that one of my favourite nephews was experiencing gender identity pains and partly worried about what this would do to his childhood, I said, "I'm sorry to hear that. Why do you wish you were a girl?"

"Because girls get to like princesses and I love the princesses only boys aren't supposed to like princesses."

Caught halfway between laughing and crying, I said, "Boys can like princesses if they like. There's not a thing in the world wrong with liking princesses no matter who you are."

So I was at Target Sunday and, on a whim,‡‡ I checked on the pink aisle to see what they had in a Disney Princess. Lo and behold, they had a set of Disney princess action figures. There was only one set left. I bought it and decided to give it to him right away.§§

It should be noted for those of you who may think the Dr. Doom appelation is inappropriate for such a sensitive little boy that there was a princess death match at dinner and Ariel kicked some major ballgowned ass.¶¶


Soldier Boy called yesterday.

If you cast your mind back, the last time he called, I called back to say, "I need time to shave my legs. Please give me notice next time."

So the message, "I'm in Denver for a couple of days and thought maybe we could get together for a beer. I know the last time I talked to you, you said you need time to buff and polish, so I'm callin' to see if we can get together tomorrow or Wednesday. Maybe get some munchies."

I think it's heartening to know he listened. I think it's even more heartening that he remembered something from that long ago.###


I gave in.

At lunch, I bought this:

The fact that there are vampires and scent## surely make up for the fact that when I couldn't find it in Fiction and Literature or Sci-Fi/Fantasy and asked at the information desk, I had to be led to the teen section.†††


I also bought this:

I believe knitting is waning fast as a fad.

I looked at my local grocery store.‡‡‡ I looked at Borders. I found one lone copy of Knitscene at Barnes & Noble.

While I was at B&N, I checked the knitting section to see if there's anything I need.§§§

The knitting section is less than half what it was a month ago.

When I was looking for a picture of the cover to post here, I found that neither B&N online nor is carrying Knitscene anymore.

I suspect there are a lot of that particular type of snob¶¶¶ who will purport to be thrilled not to have to cope with amateur hour at the local yarn store anymore, but if knitting is no longer the It hobby, I think we'll see less books, less yarn, less patterns.

More isn't always bad. Popularity isn't always a curse.


Finally, let's take a sniff at today's perfume: Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Angelique - Lilas.

This is my *ahem* Danielle Steele scent.%

And it smells like lilacs. For a long time, it smells like lilacs. It smells like lilacs right out of the bottle and keeps on smelling like lilacs. I thought for fleeting moments I got a whiff of grass, but it always went back to lilacs...

...until about 3:03 this afternoon, when it softened into a cedar-tinged light musk, which I really rather like.


I love the smell of lilacs when it arrives in the spring. Around day three of lilac season, I'm done. That first whiff is a harbinger, a soft, sweet sign of the season. The fifty-first whiff is a blanket of sweet I can't get away from.

I feel the same way about orange blossoms in Scottsdale.

Damn, I'm picky.

The Perfumed Court says: "Lilas creates a sensual blend of soft floral notes, bright green notes,* and subtle musk$ notes. With notes of pink peppercorn, jasmine, Seville orange,^ angelica,= lilac,@ ylang ylang,& cedar$ and heliotrope."

Hans says: *sniff* *eyeroll* *pause*

"I rather like that."

He cocked his head, beckoned with his fingers for me to hold my wrist up again, took a deep whiff and said, "Fruity!"

I guess Hans could smell the orange.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): At least when it comes to weather.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Three guys. I could mow this lawn, trim it and blow the lawn schrapnel off in less than an hour. Three guys? I am, of course, mostly bitching because I only got to watch the Young and the Shirtless for about ten minutes.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): I made that up. It sounds really PC, doesn't it?

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Let's not talk about the Rockies just now, shall we? Concentrate on the pretty boy with the pretty chest.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): I'm developing my own theory on the Mass Crane Collapse of 2008.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Wouldn't it make a fantastic nature vs. nurture study?

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): Much surrounding princesses is whimsical.

§§FOOTNOTE (turn around when you're two, turn around when you're four...): Justifying my psycho-auntdom, who knows if he'll still be into princesses at Christmas?

¶¶FOOTNOTE (and the winner is...): I like to think this is because Ariel is a redhead.

##FOOTNOTE (pounded like the ego of a 41-year-old in the teen section): Thank you, Secret Pal.

†††FOOTNOTE (three times a vampire): I really thought the guy said the books were in "thirteenth century." Wishful thinking.

‡‡‡FOOTNOTE (railroad tracks to nowhere): Which not only didn't have Knitscene, but isn't carrying knitting magazines at all anymore.

§§§FOOTNOTE (yarn over): Read: anything I don't already have.

¶¶¶FOOTNOTE (three needle bind-off): You know the type -- the ones who get sputtering mad over the phrase, "Not your grandmother's knitting" or the designation "hip."

###FOOTNOTE (oh, the pounding I could have had!): Though disheartening that he apparently got booked up for the couple of days he's here. We talked for a bit and he kinda said, "Nobody ever comes to visit me in Vail. I try to touch base every time I'm in Denver. Talk to you later." Does *anyone* know the Boy-to-Girl translation of this? Other than, "Marin is not getting laid any time this week"?

%FOOTNOTE (percented, because four of anything is anathema): From "Zoya," the first Danielle Steele book I ever read, about a Russian noble who was friends with the royal family and had to flee in the face of the Revolution. Zoya and the royal daughters wore Lilas and it was used to denote a trip down memory lane for the post-Revolution portion of the book. For the record, I checked another Danielle Steele novel out of the library, hated it and never read Danielle Steele again. I re-read Zoya every couple of years just 'cause it's a good yarn.

*FOOTNOTE (asterisked, ibid): Where? WHERE ARE THE GREEN NOTES? I'm pretty sure I like green notes.

$FOOTNOTE (moneyed, ibid): Ha! Got one!

^FOOTNOTE (careted, ibid): Lookie there. Hans was right. I knew he'd redeem himself for the very flippant "diaper" comment.

=FOOTNOTE (equaled): I wouldn't know an angelica if it bit me in the ass. Isn't angelica that stuff that makes yarn sparkly?

@FOOTNOTE (atted, ibid): Duh

&FOOTNOTE (ampersanded, ibid): There's ylang-ylang in this? Wow. Maybe ylang-ylang isn't the spew of the devil I thought it was. Out of fairness to ylang-ylang, most of my experience with it is in the form of bubble baths from Whole Foods that are supposed to be sexy. Oh, yeah. I'm that girl.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Wow. Not actually having a husband sure brings down my wife quotient.


As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Poor (Failure)

Take the test!

Joy - Jean Patou

In the name of utter self-indulgence, of making this blog all about me and my tastes and my opinions, and because I have about fifty perfumes at home, many of which are in the evaluatory stage, I'm going to post perfume reviews as the whim strikes me. Hans has agreed to help, giving a male perspective.


I am willing to admit I am not sophisticated enough to pull all the notes out of a scent.

But, as the cliché goes, I don't know a tuberose from a carnation, but I know what I like.

Like descriptions on wine lists, the language of perfumery is steeped in self-conscious purple prose and ambiguity. And the longer you live with it, the more you understand it.%

So maybe that's why Jean Patou's Joy, arguably the most famous scent in the world, doesn't trip my trigger. It doesn't "unroll" from crisp neroli through notes of jasmine, ylang-ylang^ and tuberose to the civet finish.§ It simply doesn't live up to its reputation.

For me, Joy is an unqualified disappointment. I don't know exactly what I was expecting, but it was magnificent. It was unparallelled. It was shiny.

I've read about Joy in novels. Women in novels wear Joy as an indication of how rich they are.@ Middle-class women treasured their one, tiny bottle of Joy and wore it only on the most special of occasions. Their daughters were occasionally allowed to sniff it and to them it smelled of something truly special.

To be honest, I think I thought it would smell brighter. And I hate to admit it, but I think I had a lingering thought of Joy dishwashing liquid in my head every time I "pictured"& the scent of Joy -- lemony, maybe.

This reminds me of Chanel No. 5 mixed with White Shoulders.

The initial blast smelled strongly of carnation. Within seconds, a strong aldehyde, one just like that in Chanel No. 5, wafted up and beat the carnation to the background.

A half-hour later, it was a deep,# sweet thing that has just a glimpse of the original carnation and aldehyde.

Now, nearly five hours in, there's almost nothing left but a grandmotherly powder.

I don't generally like old movies because the style of the day overshadows any good in the story, acting or filmmaking. I don't generally like classic literature because the style of the day obscures the clarity of the underlying story.

I guess I don't generally like classic perfumes because the style of the day overwhelms the cleaner, lighter elements I may like with over-rich aldehydes and overbearing florals.

And apparently I can't tell a tuberose from a carnation.

ETA: Perfumed Court says: "Created in 1930, Joy eau de parfum is a classic, rich floral with notes of Bulgarian rose, ylang-ylang, tuberose, jasmine from Grasse and May rose. A perfume you must smell if you have not."

Hans says: Diaper.††

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Though I have an uncanny knack for picking the tiniest bit of grapefruit out of any perfume that has it. Superpowers activate!

%FOOTNOTE (percented): And possibly agree with it.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Chanel No. 5 being the argument.

^FOOTNOTE (careted): I kinda hate ylang-ylang. Good thing I can't smell it in this.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): I read this in more than one place. Someone must have kyped a press release or a Nordtrom catalog entry or something.

@FOOTNOTE (atted): Though Joy is far from the most expensive perfume in the world anymore, it was once.

&FOOTNOTE (ampersanded): Is there a word like "pictured" for scent?

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): You're going to think my experience is really limited. So far, I've managed to bring up White Shoulders and Chanel No. 5 every time (both) I've talked about perfume. It should also be noted that I don't find anything particularly compelling in either CN5 or WS. I think having sort of grown up with them, they are my suburban baseline -- the most banal scents I can think of outside Barbies and baby powder.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Which saves it from smelling like baby powder.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): "It doesn't really smell like diaper, but that's funny."

"You're not furthering the reputation of men, Hans."

"That's not my job."

With any luck, Hans will get more useful with future reviews.


This is me, doing a knitblog dance.

[SUMMARY: Because, you know, still a knitblog.]

I have been knitting FURIOUSLY in all my vast spare time, but when one has roughly *coughfourteencough* projects en aiguille,§ one has a devil of a time actually finishing anything.

And yet...

This was one of those "knit until the yarn goes away" things where the ball of yarn just stayed the same size for ages. I'd knit for days.

Knit until my fingers bled.

Knit with the monomaniacal obsession of a teenaged girl for a boy band.

And the yarn ball remained an inch and a half in diameter.

Imagine my surprise Saturday night when a wad of silk the size of a pea came skittering out of the project bag. So I did my garter stitch finish, bound it off and done!

And I didn't just finish knitting. I wove in the ends and washed the smell of lagoon out and blocked.

[SUMMARY: It's not just done, it's done-done.]

Yarn: Alchemy Silken Straw in a colour I call Lagoon
Needles: US4
Pattern: A bastardisation of a pattern from the Alchemy pattern book#

For the record, the cast-on edge had much more slant than the cast-off edge. I had to block the off edge viciously to get it to even come close to the on edge.

For the record, this stuff lost a LOT of colour in the wash. I'm kinda disappointed. Still pretty, but far less remarkable.

For the record, those aren't mistakes you see in the close-up, they're design elements. *cough*

[SUMMARY: Still a knitliar!]

The lagoon smell washed out real nice, though.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): New and improved summaries! Now 97.14% of the original!

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): It would be funny if my father hadn't called me Friday evening and started with, "Wow. I didn't think I'd find you home on a Friday night." It's now just tragic.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): I finished the perfume book. Apparently, the constant French referencing has gone to my head.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Why do you suppose there isn't a colour card for this anywhere online -- including the Alchemy website?

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): As you can see, it's not much of a pattern. More like a stitch pattern. I memorised it out of the book (bad Marin! Bad, bad Marin!), but I think I reversed the k2tog and the yo, so it's pretty much copyright-infringement free.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Odds Are...

Apparently, I'm fifteen times more likely to achieve sainthood than to die from a shark attack.

At least I have that going for me.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Though I'm 2000 times more likely to be hurt by a toilet than be canonised.

Midsummer at the Lake of Good and Evil

You know how they say you can tell how happy a biker is by the bugs in his teeth?

Actually, if Cutest Little Car was that happy, it was because of all the attention she got by throwing temper tantrums on the way to the lake.

But once we got the tire patched and spent a lot of quality time with various tire shops along I-76 not remotely prepared to provide low-low profile run-flat tires, we had a great drive.

[SUMMARY: Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the show?]

It was a subdued@ year at the lake. Connie couldn't come because her brother died Monday and Jenny and I both promised her Mary, her daughter, would make it home safe and sound.

I said I'd try to get Shannon, her husband, home safe too, but I wasn't making any guarantees on that one.

I took a much smaller cabin this year. The 2BR/2B suite just seemed like overkill for one little ol' me, so I ended up on the other side, facing the lake.§

There was a big spider in the bathroom.

[SUMMARY: What I Killed on my Summer Vacation.]

The doom and gloom continues.

Remember Junie Mae's?

Home of the best biscuits and gravy in the world, homemade jam and migas to die for?

I think we all shed a little tear when we saw that Friday morning.

And I forgot my vegetables.

And my special pillow.

And my books.

Also? The Blue Period Scarf and its attached ball of silk went into the water.^

[SUMMARY: This was a vacation?]

On the brighter side,there's Burnout for the Cure.$

Matt and Laurie, of Suburban Sedation Crew fame, uncle and aunt of Tommy,# brought their family this year, which was splendid.

Mary had kids to play with, which made the "keeping her safe to get her home to her mother" thing so much easier.

But you always have to keep a close eye on kids.

One minute they're here...

...the next they're gone.

I wish y'all could meet Shanny.% No, no... I wish y'all could TRAVEL with Shanny. The inside joke is, "garlic press," because one year, in an effort to think of some smartass, farfetched item Shanny wouldn't have, they asked him for a garlic press.

Which he produced.

Shanny uses his big white truck the way a lot of women use their purses: a way to never, ever be without something you may need.††

[SUMMARY: Everybody need a little Shanny in their life.]

On the list of other good things from the lake, nightly fire pits and s'mores.‡‡

Matt and Jenny supervise Carl's fire pit skills.

S'mores almost always comes with kid cuddling. Never a bad thing.

Braden and Matt, Mary and Shannon

And the weather? Under the ongoing heading, "global warming, my ass," it was 94 on Friday and 86 on Saturday. The coolest it's been any other time I've gone to the lake is 104. I'm not exaggerating.

We had vodka for breakfast Friday.

We had cupcakes for breakfast Sunday.

[SUMMARY: Good things come to those with no sense of propriety.]

You know what bugs me, though?§§

[SUMMARY: I think I'm funny.]

Despite the grousing, it's still the most relaxing thing I do all year. Even with spiders in the bathroom and beetles in the chocolate.

Bye-bye lake. See you next year.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): In the form of a flat tire. From a nail or something. I guess not her fault, but still...

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): The nice tire patcher in Keenesburg offered to trade tires with the guys who brought their Ford F350s in while he was working on mine. "You'll never feel closer to the land," I said, by way of helping.

@FOOTNOTE (atted): As opposed to subdude, who is the dude under the dude. Yeah, I still think I'm funny.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): The view was nice, but everybody else was facing north, and I kept having to come out of my cabin, around the corner and into the big flat area they all shared to see if people were up and about in the mornings. I think next year, I'll ask for Cabin 11, the small unit facing north, so I can share with my lake peeps.

^FOOTNOTE (careted): And smells like a lagoon. Let's just call it pre-blocking, shall we?

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): About damn time.

$FOOTNOTE (moneyed): I had to take a picture, 'cause you might not have believed me otherwise.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded):

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Also? One of the funniest people I know. Oh, I try to stay cool, but really... last year, while we were at the Spur waiting for our pre-dinner drinks to come from the bar, Jim Croce somehow came up and Shanny sang, "If I could shave mimes in a brothel..." (to the tune of "Time in a Bottle," in case you didn't get that). He reminded me of that during this year's Spur trip and I giggled helplessly and randomly all night.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): Like a hair dryer, a banana or a labelmaker. Y'know, that "if Monty Hall asks, I've got it" thing.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): Gourmet s'mores one night. I brought Hershey's Symphony bars with almonds and toffee chips. It seemed like a good idea, but mostly it gave the impression of having pebbles or maybe beetles in the mix. When you eat outside, "Is this a... special... candy bar?" is a vital question.

§§FOOTNOTE (swirling smoke off toased marshmallows): I can see myself!

Guess What?


Birthday Season continues.

Sylvia, purveyor of fuzzy crack, made this set of project bags of fabric she ordered just for me.

'Cause I'm special.

Best. Birthday. Ever.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Not like "take the short bus to the yarn store" special. Special special.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Dream Seeking

As if blogging isn't self-indulgent enough all of itself, I am going to hold this space captive with possibly one of the most boring subjects one person can foist on another: dreams.

Oh, I won't get quite that detailed, but I want to know where dreams come from and where they go when they're gone.

[SUMMARY: If the blogpost doesn't work, perhaps I can parlay this into a bad love song.]

I've dreamed, in colour, vividly, almost every night of my life. I don't always remember all the dreams, but I at least awake in the morning with their residue -- maybe an image, maybe an emotion, a bit of a story.

When Mom died, I didn't dream for... I don't remember. Two months? Three?

I almost went out of my fucking tree.

I felt like I was travelling in some weird, alternate universe where trees overhung my every path and very little light made it through to the forest floor. There was metaphorical slime mold§ on my world.

[SUMMARY: Indulge me and my purple prose!]

Then the dreams came back and all was right with the world.

Only, they went away again for a couple of weeks. Just recently.

And when they came back, they came back as gut-wrenching nightmares with a Scooby-Doo quality that might have been laughable if they hadn't been so freakin' frightening.

I'm kinda afraid to sleep at night.

[SUMMARY: In which I spare you the mind-numbing details.#]

Seriously, does anyone know why a person†† would just stop dreaming?

Of course, I'd like to know why the awful nightmares, but I'm willing to chalk that up to toasted marshmallows and vodka or a bad reaction to the DNC.

Why, WHY would my dreams go away?

If they go away again, is there a way to get them back?


[SUMMARY: Bueller? Bueller?]

Does it have anything to do with Bill Gates?

FOOTNOTE (crossed): And honey, you don't know self-indulgent until you see what I'm going to hit you with next week.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): 'Cause, y'know... "Well, I was me, only I wasn't me, I was Penelope Cruz, but she had blonde hair... I mean, I had blonde hair, anyway... Bill Gates had developed this software that allowed unicorns to be cloned, only they weren't unicorns like we know, they were more like seahorses with spikes and y'know I just knew they were unicorns even though they weren't like the pictures of unicorns in books and everybody in my dream world knew they were unicorns... anyway... and then I was talking to myself in this mirror and Bill Gates turned into Tom Cruise and... wait, no, Tom Cruise married Bill Gates... no, wait... PENELOPE Cruz married Bill Gates, only it was me, only he was a unifish thing, except..."

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Don't get me wrong, slime mold is hella-cool, but not necessarily the metaphor you want for your daily living.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Friday night. At the lake. Of which I will have pictures tomorrow.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Only I have to tell you that 911 lady in my dream was NO help.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): i.e. -- Me. This is, after all, self-indulgent.


...I really meant "navel-gazing on Thursday, Lake on Friday."

Turns out the camera won't upload itself.

I'll be back to navel-gazing shortly. Meanwhile, enjoy this travesty of modern cosmetics:

Remember when I mentioned Paintroller? She'll be able to sit her grandkids down and say, "Now, when I was in college, we had to use a paintroller to put on our eyeshadow. We didn't have those fancy ColorOn doo-dads like you kids today.

"Get off my lawn."

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Did I Say...

...Lake on Wednesday, navel-gazing on Thursday.?

I *meant* to say Secret Pal Question on Wednesday, Lake on Thursday, navel-gazing on Friday.

Silly me.

Secret Pal 12 Question 6

What is your favorite type of project to take along on holiday/vacation?

If you'd like to share a story…Tell us about a time that you packedtoo much knitting or were stranded without knitting.

Well, socks. Clearly. So light, so portable, and as I've always said, if it looks like you're taming a porcupine in your lap, your seatmate on the airplane is much less likely to tell you about his sales trip to Cleveland.

Scarves run a close second, being also smallish and portablish

I suppose I always pack "too much" knitting, since I generally have more projects with me than I actually work on. But can you ever have too much knitting?§

I'm never stranded without knitting on a trip. Packing a variety of projects is too firmly engrained in me. I'll end up in darkest Africa without a toothbrush, but with two sweaters, three pairs of socks, a scarf and two balls of random yarn.

The DMV is another story.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Actually, what I say is, "If you look like you're taming a porcupine in your lap, people are far less likely to fuck with you." But I'm trying to be nice. Secret Pal is such a wholesome little pursuit.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): At least the way I do it. I can think of a couple of scarves that wouldn't be. *coughKathrynAlexandercough*

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): OK, yeah, you don't have ROOM for that toothbrush in darkest Africa since you brought eleventy-three different sweater kits...

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Heheheheh "...stranded without knitting." Pun!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Part III of today's 3-part series on why this was the best birthday ever.

This is not as useful as Vicodin, not as captivating as weird music, not as vital as perfume.

Dr. Doom drew it for me and it may be my favourite birthday present:

You know how little kids will bring you something like this and you'll try valiantly to guess what it may be? Fortunately, little kids are bursting with pride to tell you what it is and you'll soon be prompted by an excited, "It's a mousie!"

According to Dr. Doom, this is The Cyclone.

I love that kid.

Smell Me Later

Part II of today's 3-part series on why this was the best birthday ever.

Little known Marin fact: I have worn perfume almost every day since before I turned 12.

It's embarrassing, but like the story of why I sleep naked, I will cheerfully share with you the story of why I have worn perfume for more than 25 years.

[SUMMARY: Welcome to the AntiM story hour.]

Sixth grade, "health." The boys in one room watching one filmstrip, the girls in another room watching another film strip.

Ya-da, ya-da, ya-da.

The thing that catches my attention?†

"You may have to shower more often, as your body will develop new and occasionally unpleasant odors."‡

And I'll never forget the picture either. It was a girl, probably fourteen or fifteen, stepping out from behind a shower curtain, her chestnut hair piled on her head, a long left leg perched on the bathmat, her left arm coyly holding the shower curtain over her fun stuff... and a look of weary anxiety on her face.

I did not want to be that girl.§

[SUMMARY: I'm so this girl. I did not want to be *that* girl.]

So I spritzed perfume in my armpits.

And in a place I quickly discovered you should never, ever spray perfume.¶

And I worried. I grew as anxious as the girl in the filmstrip.#

[SUMMARY: "Chestnuts, springtime, rainbows is That Girl..." lalalalala]

So my perfume went with me everywhere. Honestly, I don't remember what that first perfume was. I remember it was Avon. I remember scuffling my feet and mumbling to my mother like I was asking her to buy me condoms when I asked for it from the catalog.

My second perfume was Charlie, a gift from a middle school friend.††

Mom got me White Shoulders,^ maybe for my 14th birthday. I wore White Shoulders until college. There I met Paintroller,$ who travelled blithely through the student union in a cloud of White Shoulders thick enough to drop a moose.

I *so* did not want to be that girl.

[SUMMARY: Sometimes it's easier to point out what you don't want.]

Obsession. No, not me,‡‡ the perfume.

I hated it, but Mom loved it and bought me a bottle or two through college. And... y'know... I *had* to wear perfume, but didn't have money for perfume, being a college student and all.

[SUMMARY: I've developed a new that girl.]

Over the years, I've honed my preferences and developed my scent palate.

For instance, I don't like vanilla. Something in my body chemistry takes the tiniest bit of vanilla and blows it up to the obliteration of every other note in any given perfume and I smell like a frickin' sugar cookie.§§

Amber is supposed to be sexy, but I find a lot of ambers turn to vanilla turn to sugar cookies.

Frickin' sugar cookies.

Aldehydes often smell like Barbie dolls to me.¶¶ Sometimes this is good, sometimes it's bad, but it's almost always too strong.

Apricot is one of my favourite notes for me. Scaasi (discontinued) and Fresh Fig Apricot have apricot, and Tresor has the shinier smell of peach and that works OK too.

Wood, but not sandalwood. Green, but not artificial Kool-Aid lime.

Patchouli turns me on in the most basic and literal way. It doesn't matter where I am or who's wearing it, if patchouli catches me unaware, I get all tingly.##

[SUMMARY: I'm full of useless information today.]

Anyway, cut to 2008. Through the grace of someone I won't embarrass, I started trolling a couple of perfume sites. I bought lyrically described oils from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab. I bought perfumes I'd read about in Danielle Steele novels††† from Perfumed Court. I discovered perfume blogs.%

So when I opened the first part of eBeth's birthday present -- a copy of Chandler Burr's newest book‡‡‡ -- and she told me she'd found perfume blogs and would like to read the book when I'm done, the first thing I said was, "Ooooh... have you seen The Perfumed Court?"

Bless her, she kept a straight face.

[SUMMARY: We are now in the foreshadowing portion of our blogpost.§§§]

eBeth got me the Beginner's Sampler from The Perfumed Court.

I smell pretty.

Or sometimes like grave dirt.

Either way, I have my perfume to help chase away occasional unpleasant odors.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): It may be useful to keep in mind that I was a C-cup, had been shaving my legs and armpits for nearly a year and had learned first-hand the horrors of the bikini area. Most of this wasn't Nostradamus-level prediction, just facts of my own little life.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): I am not making this up. I wrote that sentence down and contemplated it daily for two years. I know *exactly* what the narrator of the filmstrip said, in her cheery Kimberly Clark voice.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): OK, I wanted the chestnut hair and the long limbs. Just not the anxiety of new and occasionally unpleasant odors.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): "Baby, why you got your balls in the sink? That's nasty, baby."

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Unfairly enough, I did not grow long chestnut hair and even longer legs.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): And I'm pretty sure cementing the idea that I smelled occasionally unpleasant and needed help.

^FOOTNOTE (carated): Some time later -- like in my thirties -- Mom and I caught a whiff of White Shoulders at the mall and I mused aloud on how it took me back, and how I'd read somewhere that White Shoulders was a nice fragrance for a little girl and how that had bugged me, since at the time I got it, I thought it was wildly sophisticated (I think I'd read about it in a book. Not a Danielle Steele book). Mom told me she'd always loved it and worn it until a fellow Army nurse told her White Shoulders was for teenagers. It's a small world (and it smells funny, for those of you Sisters of Mercy fans).

$FOOTNOTE (moneyed): So called because of how she evidently applied her eyeshadow.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): Shut up.

§§FOOTNOTE (in a cloud of perfume): Brother has noted that smelling like a frickin' sugar cookie should not be a problem and may be wildly attractive to men hungry for home baking. If you know what I mean.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (two little spray bottles): Though Chanel No. 5 (a classic aldehyde) will always smell like Mom and Dad going out for the evening, and is accompanied by the phantom taste of lipstick as Mom kissed me goodnight.

##FOOTNOTE (pounded like a frickin' sugar cookie): I once *felt* my pupils dilate and my heart skip a beat at the jewelry counter at Nordstrom when some soccer mom wearing a very unsoccermom-like patchouli pulled up next to me.

†††FOOTNOTE (three stoppers, all in a row): Don't judge.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): I love this post on perfumes for Valentine's Day.

‡‡‡FOOTNOTE (frankenscent!): Chandler Burr is the scent critic for the New York Times.

§§§FOOTNOTE (whirly, swirly, floral and girly): It's subtler than usual. This isn't saying much.

Bring the Music

Part I of today's 3-part series on why this was the best birthday ever.

Brother musics. I read.

Not that I don't listen to music and not that Brother doesn't read, but Brother has a music problem and I clearly have a book problem.

For my 31st birthday, he got me a CD player. I got one for myself for my 20th birthday and it had ceased to work long before.

As dopey% as it may be to get sentimental about a piece of stereo equipment, that 31st birthday CD player brought music back to my life. I probably hadn't listened to six hours of radio and no CDs in three years when he gave me that.

[SUMMARY: *sniff*]

Now, for my 41st, Brother has brought the music again.

He gave me a one-year subscription to emusic. Now, I have an iPod. I've been musically capable all on my own for years now, but this will bring something back I haven't had for a good, long while: exploration.

I've done most of my musical exploration through my brother for the last three or four years.§ He makes me a CD every Christmas and I go buy various CDs or MP3s from the artists on it and I feel very hip and underground.

Sometimes a little dangerous.^

[SUMMARY: I am dork once removed.]

emusic doesn't trade much in the mainstream.#

I'm going to have to listen to a lot of weird stuff. I love listening to weird stuff so long as I have some means of organising the weird stuff. Just going to Cheapo Discs and randomly pulling potential weirdness out of the bins... well, actually, that might be fun once or twice,†† but guided weirdness suits my inner planning Nazi so much better.

So I get 30 tracks a month, with all the joy of musical discovery married to the complete time-suck of Music Maker.‡‡

[SUMMARY: Hey, wait...]

Brother is still trying to take over the world.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): And we will both admit to having video game problems so severe that neither of us will keep games on our computers. Brother once, in an attempt to subvert my powers and take over the world, got me Music Maker for Christmas. This is a musical video game, more or less, that allows one to remix songs, compose songs, distort notes, add syncopation, change keys... in short, I spent 17 straight hours remixing one bar of "First and Last and Always" and had to remove the software from my computer. Later, Brother admitted he really wanted Music Maker for himself but he knew he would be homeless and unhygienic within a month if he had it.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Trust me, this was a hundred years ago. I don't think anybody else at my whole college had a CD player in 1987. Not only am I influential, apparently I'm a trendspotter. I am also pleased and more than a little smug to report that my college boyfriend didn't think CDs were going to last and refused to invest in the player or the media until he was confident they'd be around to stay. I believe he was still running vinyl and cassette tapes in 1992.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Is there an "e" in dopy? Dopey? Dopie?

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): To be honest, my finding The Duhks and Margot and the Nuclear So and Sos was indirectly through Brother, as he was directly responsible for my XM Radio. Just so's you know... I keep a tiny notebook, about the size of a business card, in my car so I can write down bands and songs off obscure XM channels. I am that dork.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): With some odd stuff he thinks I need and often some utterly esoteric circa-1983 thing that's been off my radar for years.

^FOOTNOTE (careted): Y'know... hip hop...

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): I tried Rush. No Rush. I tried Sisters of Mercy... *that's* too mainstream for emusic. They do, however, trade in Duhks and Margot, so I know there's something out there for me.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): I did that at Bleecker Bob's in the Village on one of my NYC trips. Cool, but kinda like trying to kill pigeons with a scatter gun. You miss more than you hit.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): *ahem* I probably shouldn't admit this, but the first time I played computer solitaire (1992, for the trendspotter record), I discovered it (while watching the evening news - I mention that so you can get a bead on the time frame) buried in the directory of a DOS-based computer my uncle had given me to take to Antarctica. I messed around with it, gradually figuring out all the key commands (no mouse) and looked up and it was 4:00 in the morning.

No, I've never played Prisoner of Zenda. Now you see why.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Back in Body, If Not in Spirit

Let's see...

Tuesday: Finish birthday bragging
Wednesday: Lake re-cap
Thursday: Potential self-indulgent navel-gazing vis-a-vis dreams (you are SO looking forward to that)

But for now...

Lyda have you seen this?


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Secret Pal 12 Question 5

We briefly interrupt our extended coverage of Marin's birthday for this important Secret Pal update:

1) Where is your favorite place to go for vacation/holiday?
2) Where is one place you'd like to go?

1) I have two favourites: New York and Lake McConaughy... for almost opposite reasons.

I love New York City for the energy, the museums, the seizure-inducing glut of available activities and my friends Jeff and Lorree, who are the perfect hosts for how I like to travel.

I love the Lake because it's the only vacation I take where I really vacate. Drive four hours, just me and the Cutest Little Car and the iPod... check into the air-conditioned cabin... beers... random potluck dinner... beers... sleep... breakfast a Junie Mae's... bloody mary... sit in the water... sit in the water... lunch/nap... dinner... sit on the beach... sleep... breakfast at Junie Mae's... bloody mary... sit in the water...

[SUMMARY: Long stretches of slug punctuated by sudden bursts of vodka.]

2) I'm limiting myself on that second question to places I've never been. There's a long list of places I'd like to go back (Oh, New Zealand, how I've missed you...). I think top of my list for new adventures is England. I want to see the home of Shakespeare, Monty Python and William Smith.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Fortunately, they also think I'm the perfect type of traveller to stay in their guest room, so... y'know -- symbiosis.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Arguably, the Father of Modern Geology, subject of Simon Winchester's book, "The Map That Changed the World." It also happens that book is the reason I'm no longer allowed to pick geology books for book club.