Wednesday, September 16, 2009

State of the Onion

My office is roughly 2/3 of a block from the bathroom.

If you'll direct your attention the clever graphic below, I have drawn a rough diagram of my daily habitat.

The green star is me. The purple star outside the box is the bathroom. The red star is the coffee maker, the blue star the printer where my documents mostly show up and the orange dinosaur-looking thing is Hans.

[SUMMARY: With that, you know way more about my daily life than you want to.]

The series of events:

A vague notion that I have to pee. A vague notion that coffee would be good. The certainty that this print job is going to take several minutes, seeing as it's 180 pages long.

In a fit of efficient brilliance, I hit print, figuring I'd drop my coffee cup in the kitchen, cruise to the bathroom, pick up coffee and collect my printed document on the return trip.

In reality, I hit print, went to the copy machine, couldn't figure out what I was doing there, realised I didn't have my coffee cup and went back to my office for that.

[SUMMARY: It dont't get any better than this.]

I started out again, this time skipping the copy room and heading for the kitchen, where I dispensed coffee to cup, whitened it up and headed back to my office. When I hit the copy machine, I remembered I had to pee.§

I set the coffee down on the copy counter and went to the bathroom. On the way back, I was intently reminding myself not to forget my stuff at the printer and bypassed the coffee completely.

[SUMMARY: Still not getting better.]

I got back to my desk, started to sit down and bounced like a rubber ball as I remembered my coffee. I went back for the coffee, and circled the copy room for a moment trying to remember what it was I was not supposed to forget in the copy room. There weren't any papers lying around to give me a clue, so I went back to my office.

When I turned back to my computer, there was an email I needed to answer. About ten minutes later, Hans walked into my office with a handful of papers.

"These look like yours," he said.

"Oh, yeah. I printed stuff! Thank you!"

I set the stuff on the desk and continued with my email.

[SUMMARY: Multi-tasking may not be for everybody.]

About five minutes later, I turned without looking and bumped the coffee, spilling it over the freshly printed stuff. I sopped up the brown puddle with the paper towels I keep in my desk just for these moments,# sighed and took a sip of coffee. Which was cold.

Thus the sometimes-vicious cycle of life in the wilds of the office†† begins again. More prints, more coffee and someday I will spill again.


Wazamba - Parfume d'Empire

Marin says: "What are you sniffing these days?" asked Nathan.%

"Not much, really. I'm experiencing perfume ennui," I replied.

"I hate it when that happens," he commiserated.

The next day, Wazamba landed on my desk.

Out of courtesy‡‡ to my generous friend, I pounced, ravaging it like a starving beast ravages a plump gazelle.§§

Mmmmm... fresh-cut pine backed by a dollop of sweet-but-not-too, round, smoky, resiny incense. It mellows noticably but subtly to a gentler pine, not as citrusy-sharp, with the incense bubbling up just a little, but broadening rather than overcoming.

The smoke becomes more pronounced, but this is one of the best smokes I've sniffed -- not too campfire, not too acrid, just smooth and dry and a bit sweet, like the smell of an old church after mass.

Somewhere in here, I was thinking of applewood smoke on a BBQ. Turns out, the perfumer actually lists apple in the notes.

Now, we can chat about all the notes and bits, but there's something complete about this fragrance that wants the forest to be noted ahead of the trees. The word I keep coming back to is "enveloping." I find it cosy and comforting, and just a bit sexy, because smoke and incense usually have a little vavoom in their makeup. The sillage is poofy rather than trailing, more resembling a fog or a cloud than the stream of a peacock's tail carrying behind it.

The fragrance is incredibly long lasting. If I didn't shower, who knows how long it would have stayed? Eighteen hours after a light application, my wrists smelled like baking¶¶ and incense.

It is to be noted that Aaron (the filing clerk) walked into my office and went all dreamy and forgot what he was going to say. "Wow. It smells *really* good in here." Shanny liked it and confirmed that it goes nicely with R&B, Robert Cray-style.

So I've shaken my perfume ennui in favour of Wazamba monomania.##

It's a step in the right direction.

Parfum d'Empire says†††: An aromatic pine$ grove created around incense,$ sacred to all great civilizations. Incense, myrrh, sandalwood, cypress and apple$ fashion the enigmatic formula of this captivaing perfume. A voyage within...

Hans says: A spice. Like a cinnamon. It smells like the colour brown. Rich mahogany. Yeah, I get a spicy scent.

FOOTNOTE (crossed): Hans doesn't merit a star because, once again, Hans is leaving on a deadline. We had a deadline yesterday, we have another October 9 and now we have one October 30, the day Hans is leaving for Madison.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): Short lived.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): You'd think this wouldn't be a memory item, wouldn't you?

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): My obsessive nature doesn't only apply to hobbies and things people tell me I can't have; it spreads and permeates every little corner of my being. In this case, erroneously. That copy room haunted me all day.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Yes, I keep paper towels in my desk. For good reason.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): I watched a little Discovery Channel this weekend.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): In one of our rare moments lately -- werk is really eating into my pleasant social time.

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): Y'know... gentle, courteous attention much like what a six-year-old gives a big, beribboned package on Christmas morning.

§§FOOTNOTE (dervish): Huh. Maybe I watched more Discovery Channel than I thought.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (knock knock): I was really surprised to find it didn't have any vanilla in the notes.

##FOOTNOTE (pound the sistrum!): Wazamba Monomania would be a good name for a band. Particularly, as Grain de Musc so kindly provided, since a Wazamba is a sort of African sistrum.

†††FOOTNOTE (holy holy holy cats): Via the packaging. Their website is all in French and I couldn't figure out which button to hit to get to the next on the list of perfumes and I don't know French for "search" and I was looking at the parade of bottles at the bottom of the page going all Nancy Drew with the "it's a golden colour" and again with the "the label is dark brown" and I never saw a Wazamba bottle float by, which is a shame because I thought it would be funny to post the French, doubly funny if I posted the shipping particulars instead of the perfume PR.

Did I mention "obsessive"?

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