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.