Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Curl Up in a Perfume Bottle: L’Eau d’Hiver

full frame shot of snowflakes

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

…by Jean-Claude Ellena

Top note: bergamot

Base notes: iris, hedione, hawthorn, heliotrope

L’Eau d’Hiver (“winter water”) may be the most comforting fragrance there is.

Almondy scents, like heliotrope blossom and almond extract itself, have a uniquely comforting effect on me–aromatherapy, if you will. I’m not quite sure why. I could say “Grandma’s baking,” or maybe Grandma’s cherry-almond Jergens lotion, that iconic scent of boomer childhoods. At any rate, I love the smell. And I’m in particular need of comfort now, due to the sooner-than-expected loss of my beloved cat Esmerelda, done in by kidney disease at the age of 11. And I can say with confidence that Ez would have approved of today’s review. She once came nosing around while I was sampling a candied-almond fragrance (L’Artisan’s Jour de Fete, for those keeping score at home), sniffed the sample vial, and burst into purring. I’ve never had a cat react that positively to a perfume before. (This was not Ez’s only assistance with perfume sampling. When I was sniffing Annick Goutal’s citrusy Eau du Sud, she raced up, grabbed the sample card, tossed it up in the air, and raced away.)

So. On to L’Eau d’Hiver. Winter is my least favorite season, so I approached this scent with some trepidation. Would it have a chilling effect? There is a breath of freshness at first, due to the bergamot (a particularly fresh form of citrus) and hedione (an aromachemical used to impart radiance to fragrances). The opening is cool and delicate, like a thin rind of ice, but the body of the scent is warm. The heliotrope (also known as “cherry-pie flower” because of its scent) gives it that almond quality I love, but the scent is still delicate, not doughy or cloying. For some reason, this scent smells “periwinkle” to me, a pale lavender-blue. Which happens to be my favorite color. So, all in all, this is a winner for me.

Let’s do our 3 Criteria (remember them?? Seems like a long time since I did a perfume review. Or any post, for that matter.)

Personality: I’m not sure it’s exactly “me,” since it’s such a pastel scent. But it has such a personal effect on me, it might qualify for that reason alone.

Preferences: Love.

Comfort level: Comfort in a bottle.

Rating: 5 out of 5

Jellyfish, Leggings, Perpetual Motion

jelly fish with reflection of blue light

Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

When you type “science” into the Free Photo Library, a surprising number of jellyfish pictures come up. Maybe it’s related to that commercial for some type of supplement FOR YOUR BRAINNN, where they say, “based on an ingredient  commonly found in jellyfish!” Well, they are known for their intellectual abilities.

I was at McDonald’s, refilling my drink after picking up my dessert, and I overheard the employees talking–“Did that lady get her pumpkin pie?” “The older lady with glasses? Yeah, I just gave it to her.” So I am now THE OLDER LADY. Nothing like hearing it from people talking about you who don’t realize you can hear them. Rom said, “You could hear them–at least you’re not a deaf old lady.” Ageism has always struck me as the most stupid “ism” there is. You’ll never be black, or female, or whatever other group you think you’re superior to, but you will eventually be old. If everything works out for you.

In other news, I gave the guy at McD’s a $10 bill and 8 pennies for a $5.08 order yesterday, and he looked at me and said, “You gave me a ten dollar bill.” I said, “Yes, just give me five back.” He stared at me, then did as I suggested. Lest you think this sort of thing is limited to McDonald’s, I had the same thing happen at Taco John’s. Apparently the concept of giving change is foreign to the younger generation, because, hey, doesn’t everyone pay with a card? Or their phone? And it’s not like I’m a mathematical genius.

THE WAR ON PARTS OF SPEECH CONTINUES

“At Bayer, this is why we science.” If you’re scientists, you should be smart enough to know that “science” is not a verb.

“Panera’s Warm Grain Bowls are full of good.” GoodNESS. It’s goodNESS.

“This is how happy feels.” HappiNESS. Why is this so hard?

I should probably just give this issue up. Have you noticed I haven’t reminded you that leggings aren’t pants for awhile? {“You haven’t even posted for awhile,” they mutter.} When my dowdy-but-beloved Lands’ End (Serving Midwestern boomers since the 80’s!) features “Leggings for Every Body!” you know we’re doomed. Leggings are not really for every body. You just want to think they are.

Did you know that food commercials didn’t always have to feature the food in question being thrown through the air or through water? Drinks weren’t necessarily shown sloshing over the tops of their glasses, either. We seem to need perpetual motion. Even perfume bottles are often photographed as if the liquid is tilted or bubbling. I’m not sure what all this signifies, BUT IT MUST MEAN SOMETHING.

VOTE FOR ME! I WON’T SEND MY MINIONS TO STORM THE SECURE CONGRESSIONAL CHAMBER JUST BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE AN ACTUAL ARGUMENT TO OPPOSE THEM!

Ahem. When Rudy Giuliani responds to an argument by saying “Shh, shh, shh,” you know they got nuthin’.

 

 

 

In the Weeds: Vetiver Extraordinaire

{It should come as no surprise that I don’t know how the photo ended up at the bottom of this post instead of the top, and that I don’t know how to move it back, or if that’s even possible.}

…by Dominique Ropion

Top notes: bergamot, bitter orange, pink pepper

Middle notes: vetiver, cedar, sandalwood

Base notes: oakmoss, musk

For the first time, I’m dealing with a fragrance that’s primarily marketed to men. So I won’t be judging it according to my usual will-it-work-for-me criteria, but I will include Rom’s opinion.

Vetiver (derived from the roots of a grass found in, for example, Haiti) is a love-or-hate note for me. Some of my favorite fragrances (Mitsouko by Guerlain, Sycomore by Chanel, Vetiver Tonka by Hermes) contain a bunch of it. It lends a smoky dryness to a scent that I find very appealing. However, it also has a “nutty,” almost meaty aspect that I can find bothersome, and that is the case here.

The notes list would indicate that vetiver is just one of many components here, but trust the name of the fragrance instead. This is all about the vetiver, and the other notes are just accents to make it even more Vetiver.

For that reason, it’s taken me a long time to get around to reviewing it. Not because it’s complex, but because–it’s vetiver. What else is there to say? If you already know what vetiver smells like, you’ll already know what this smells like. If you don’t know what it smells like, but want to find out, try this and you’ll know.

ROM’S IMPRESSION

“At first there’s something harsh, almost like detergent. And something that tickles my nose–maybe the pink pepper. But after that, there’s something stony, kind of mineral, that I really like. It smells like something a wealthy middle-aged man would wear. But for evening, not for the office.”

 

green tree photo

Photo by Felix Mittermeier on Pexels.com

OFF THE RAILS

black and white person feeling smiling

Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

BROUGHT TO YOU IN ALL-CAPS VISION

HOW DARE THEY TRY TO IMPEACH ME, THEY SHOULD BE IMPEACHED THEMSELVES, SURE IT SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE BUT THAT’S JUST BECAUSE YOU DON’T INHABIT THE REALITY THAT I DO, NO ONE ELSE IS REAL AND I WILL NEVER DIE, AND IF I WANT TO DYE MY HAIR ORANGE EVEN THOUGH I DREAMED IT WAS PURPLE, PILE IT ON MY HEAD, AND WEAR WHITE SHORTS IN PUBLIC, THAT IS ALL PERFECT BECAUSE I AM A VERY STABLE GENIUS, NOT JUST STABLE BUT VERY STABLE, BECAUSE I SAID SO, AND WHO SHOULD YOU TRUST MORE THAN ME, BECAUSE ALL THE SO-CALLED EXPERTS HAVE BEEN LYING TO YOU FOR YEARS, BUT I’M NOT LYING BECAUSE I SAID SO, WATCH OUT OR I WILL GIVE YOU A NICKNAME WITH THE WORD “LIL” OR “LIDDLE” IN IT, BECAUSE ONLY I AM BIG, AND SURE I JUST WON ON A TECHNICALITY BUT THAT’S ONLY BECAUSE IT WAS RIGGED, BECAUSE IF IT WASN’T RIGGED, EVERYONE WOULD HAVE VOTED FOR ME, BECAUSE I SAID SO AND I HAVE THE BEST RATINGS, AND RATINGS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING. THAT AND MONEY, AND I HAVE THE MOST OF THAT, TOO. I AM NOT INSANE.

(Disclaimer: The above is satire {albeit heavy-handed}. No one needs to come check on me.)

VOTE FOR ME, I’M THE OUTSIDER!

Alcohol Is Writing For Me

three persons wearing unicorn costumes

Photo by THE COLLAB. on Pexels.com

And why not? It has for many before me. And I want to know what’s the problem with the unicorn in the background here.

THIS JUST IN

Fiona & Archer are now 8. She gave Rom a “note from the Cersive {sp} Fairy–I can write cersive!” and signed her name. Rom said the fairy hadn’t spelled “cursive” correctly, and Fiona said, “Well, she’s only 5!” She then admitted that there is, in fact, no cursive fairy. I see a career in politics in her future. Archer somehow managed to restrain himself from questioning belief in said fairy. If he had done so, it would have been in a sentence beginning, “Actually…”

ANOTHER DAY, NO ALCOHOL THIS TIME

See, I’m versatile.

My brother-in-law told me a story that reminded me of the old days of talking to the reality-challenged on 911. A neighbor in his apartment building came to him and informed him that:

  1. The out-of-state license plates on the apartment building’s lot belonged to people who were here to spy on him,
  2. These people hacked into his mother’s phone in an attempt to get at him,
  3. What appear to be stars in the sky are actually drones spying on him.

He must be very important indeed.

COMING UP ON THEATER OF CRUELTY

Well, eventually. An account of Nick at the Fall Festival, although he’s now claiming he will attempt to avoid me. Probably because I’ve avoided posting about him at the festival a couple of previous years. And also because I had the barbs removed from his tail.

CAMPAIGN UPDATE

Vote for me! I know no one in foreign countries, so I can’t sell out the U.S. for political gain! Although, if I did, I would echo the guy I overheard at McDonald’s who said, “That whistleblower is the one they should go after!”

Also vote for me if you’re tired of politicians waving their arms around.

MY TRUE SUPERPOWER

On Friday the 13th Eve this month (namely, Thursday the 12th), I had finished my lunch at McD’s and took my tray to the trash can. Having dumped it, I turned and somehow got my foot caught in the legs of a baby chair, which somehow pulled my foot out from under me, and I fell–luckily on a well-padded area (of me, not the floor, although maybe the floor should be padded).. Sure, the baby chairs were lined up neatly against the wall, but hey, they were gray and the wall was brown, so…I was amused to note the following day that they’d put a yellow CAUTION cone next to them. The following day, it had been removed. How soon we forget.

I clicked on frequently-used words to tag this post with. I wanted “politics,” but they kept giving me “apologies” instead. Hmm.

Oranges: Bigarade, Cologne & Concentree

mandarin fruit

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on Pexels.com

…by Jean-Claude Ellena, whom we’ve already met in connection with Angeliques sous la Pluie.

Top notes: bitter orange (that’s what “bigarade” means), cardamom, pink pepper

Base notes: hay, cedar

I’m not burningly interested in citrus scents. I don’t dislike them; they just bore me. However, I was surprised by my enthusiasm for this one.

That being said, there still isn’t a lot to say about it. If you like oranges, you’ll like it; if not, not. The main note is mouthwatering, juicy orange, accented by greenness and a bit of wood, like the leaves and twigs of the orange tree. (Not its flower, fortunately, since I am a long-time hater of orange blossom.) I found it surprisingly lovely–for some reason, “lovely” is the exact word that came to mind when I smelled it.

This is, technically, two different scents–Cologne Bigarade and Bigarade Concentree–but it’s a difference of intensity more than anything. When the line put together gift samplers of their scents for Christmas awhile back, they put Cologne B. in the women’s sampler, and B. Concentree in the men’s, which seems about right, since the more concentrated version smells a bit earthier, and the lighter one more delicate.

Since these reviews are All About Me…

–Personality: Not really me. It is, after all, orange, and therefore irrepressibly cheerful and sunny, even though the green/wood notes provide a bit of shade.

–Comfort level: No problem. Even the Concentree is basically a light scent, just not as light as the Cologne.

–Preferences: Like I said, lovely, and I was surprised by how much I like it, but basically, I don’t want to smell like oranges.

Rating: 5 out of 5, nevertheless.

 

I’ll Try Not to Whine

clear water drops

Photo by Anthony on Pexels.com

This photo has nothing to do with anything, but came up when I typed in “crystal” and I liked it. Yes, I am comfortably ensconced in the old format again.

Commercial for some hotel: “You won’t just walk down stairs. You’ll walk down stairs covered in Swarovski crystals.” Why, exactly?

Pumpkin pie has finally arrived at McDonald’s! As anyone can tell you, I am easily pleased. The box it comes in says, “Packed with all the flavor it can hold.” Well, isn’t everything?

Note on toilet paper package: “Join the conversation on Facebook!” Why, exactly?

A Halloween makeup display at Walgreen’s offered options: skeleton,  a female version of the Joker (what the world has been crying out for, I guess), a Serpent Goddess (or Serpent Princess–I know I should keep my goddesses and my princesses straight, since the scope of their powers would differ greatly, but I can’t be bothered) (yes, I’m qualified to be a Serpent Whatever, but it would require buying something), and a Venomous Vamp, male and female versions. Rom said one can’t be a venomous vampire. It does seem unfair, but life is unfair. Why, exactly?

HOW TO BE A BEYOTCH AT MCDONALD’S

I was behind a very-put-together-looking woman who insisted on a refund because they were out of French dressing, EVEN THOUGH she accepted a different type of dressing and ate her (free) salad anyway.

THE BRIGHT SIDE OF HUMAN NATURE

Remember a couple posts ago, where I noted that someone leaving an old blanket at the bus stop led to everyone treating it as a waste dump? Sure you do. Well, there’s another stop–the first one after Walmart, if you must know–that has no nearby trash can, and trash was starting to pile up. But then someone thought, Hey, this Walmart shopping cart I helped myself to can be used as a trash receptacle! And now everyone puts their stuff there, instead of dropping it on the ground. Of course, that means it’s not available to use as a shopping cart, but there’s always more where that came from. So now there are 2 shopping carts there.

I guess that story wasn’t really has uplifting as I’d hoped.

Why Is Everything So Complicated?

male bugs illness disease

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Well, WordPress just “added functionality,” which I clicked on by mistake, and no one will be available to help me undo it until the 22nd (which happens to be the date I started in Dispatch, so it’s all ironic and stuff), so now I am stuck.

This “functionality” will supposedly enable me to insert media content from all over the Internet! At any point! Which I don’t want to do! I just want to select pictures from their library of free stuff, which has now been removed, because I’m supposedly browsing the entire Internet for pictures, many of which are not free. I hate everyone.

Anyway, (sorry if there’s a gap here, since I was experimenting to see if I could find the free library, but no such luck), I was originally going to write about:

EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT TICKS

You say you don’t want to know anything about them? Well, Rom and I have had to learn, so too bad. I am here to inform.

DID YOU KNOW?

–Ticks wait for hosts by hanging around on leaves, etc., and holding out their first pair of legs to grab on. This behavior is called “questing.” Isn’t that cute? Aren’t we all on a quest of some kind?

–They can survive through cold winters! We will never be free of them!

–But they prefer heat and humidity, so we in this part of the world will really never be free of them.

–They prefer to stay on you for hours or days, but “are usually removed quickly by humans, to prevent the spread of disease.” This makes it sound as if we’d be OK with them sucking our blood for hours or days, as long as there was no risk of disease. I don’t know about you, but I object to that.

Females stay on you (see above), while males eat little, preferring to gather around an available female. It’s a party on your body!

COSMO ASTROLOGY UPDATE

OK, prompts keep appearing randomly asking asking if I want something to be boldface or italic, but since I can’t figure out why or what triggers them, it’s, you know, random. I wish they had a Version For Autistic People Who Were Born Before the Computer Revolution and, As a Result, Don’t Know What They’re Doing.

Anyway, I don’t actually believe in astrology, but I find it fun, and Cosmo hit it on the proverbial head (or nail) for me in What Your Sign Should Be For Halloween: Taurus is too cheap to spend money on something you’re only going to wear once. So put together a vampire look with your sexiest LBD (they err in assuming I have more than one little black dress, {actually, I don’t have any}, although I do own 7 pairs of knit pants in various shades of brown), and the makeup you already own, just more of it. That is exactly what I do every year. Black eyeshadow and red lipstick, here I come!

OK, there’s no telling what this post is going to look like, but here goes.

UPDATE: I DETECTED A TYPO, SO I HIT “EDIT,” AND ONE OF THE OPTIONS WAS “GO BACK TO CLASSIC EDITOR,” SO WE’RE ALL SAFE NOW. I wept with joy. No, I didn’t. As you were.

 

 

Nick Gets a Tune-up

macro photography of brown weevil on green leaf

Photo by Jimmy Chan on Pexels.com

I got a letter today from the Police Department addressed to “Handler of Beast #1307.” “Don’t they know I’m retired?” I grumbled.

“It has come to our attention that the said beast still bears the official colors of the Police Department. Since this animal has been decommissioned, we request that you remove said colors.”

I called Nick in from the kitchen, where he was stealing cat food.

“Do you know anything about this?”

“About what?! You know I can’t read. Well, read well. I can’t read well.” He turned his undeniably navy-blue back on me.

“You’re not supposed to have police coloration anymore. People might get confused and expect you to do police work.”

“Well, suppose I just refuse to do it, and we’ll see how that goes.”

“I am responsible for you, and–why have you been scratching so much?”

“Dunno. Allergic to responsibility, probably.”

“No, it’s just that one spot. Let me see–”

“Can’t I even itch in peace?!”

One of his scales was slightly raised. I pried up as much as I dared. “Just what I thought. You’ve got a tick under there.” His armor-plating repels most pests, but makes them hard to remove if they do burrow in. “You’re going to the vet.”

We are, you mean. I’m not going there alone.”

“Of course not. You can’t pay the bill.”

Since we can’t use the Police Department vet anymore, I took him to my own, who was impressed to behold him.

“We don’t see many of these. This is a fine specimen.” Nick preened. “Have you bred him?”

“Well, he…he sort of breeds himself.” Nick preened even more.

“Yes, since they mate for life, initial mate selection is extremely important. So what seems to be the problem?” I pointed the bad spot out.

“Ah, yes. I can remove that. It should cause minimal discomfort–

Nick immediately became agitated. “Then why mention the possibility?”

“–but of course he’ll have to be sedated.”

“No, I’m not going to let you–” Nick began, but I immediately grabbed him by the ears. It’s a risky move, since I have to bypass the terrible teeth, but his ears are sensitive, and it makes him disinclined to struggle further.

The vet started preparing the injection. “He’s going to stick a needle in me!” Nick said, sounding uncharacteristically squeaky.

“Don’t move or I’ll rip your ears off,” I murmured, so the vet couldn’t hear. “Don’t think I won’t.”

“You’ll do nothing of the kind,” he answered between his teeth, likewise under his breath. These pleasantries kept us occupied until the vet could slide the needle beneath a scale on his throat, and we both eased him down as he collapsed.

It was short work for the vet to remove the affected scale, pry the tick out, daub the wound with ointment, and reattach the scale. Since Nick was still snoring–OK, more like gentle hissing–the vet said, “I assume you want me to readjust his colors?”

“Can you do that?”

“Oh, yes. It’s actually a simple procedure, but you need the right tools. Then he’ll revert to his original color.”

“Which is…?”

He shrugged. “We’ll just have to find out.”

The “special tool” appeared to be a simple pair of pliers. The vet began tugging on the barbs at the end of Nick’s tail.

“Are you actually going to pull those spines out?”

“Oh, yes. It’s just a minor adjustment. They’re mostly decorative, anyway.”

He pulled–hard–causing the patient to whimper in his sleep. I stroked his ear soothingly, and he quieted. Some half-dozen spines were removed in this way.

“Now, we wait…” the vet said. So we did, until the dark blue slowly faded, and became the dull green of one of those army-green grasshoppers.

Nick started to stir. “Why is my tail sore–What?!” He looked at himself with dismay, then turned to me. “You planted that tick on me so you could get me in here to do this. I just know it.”

“No, the tick was there before I got the letter, remember?”

“And good thing it’s only a tick,” the vet said. “Sometimes they get infested with weevils, and then their scales fall off.”

“You know,” Nick said musingly, “I think I like this green better anyway.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rage for Incremental Change

photo of guy fawkes mask on backpack

Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

I am tired of the above guy and his smirk, but there’s a paucity of photos available when you type in “army backpack” (mostly boring people hiking), so you’ll just have to put up with him.

THE STUFF YOU SEE ON THE BUS

…which is beginning to be what this blog seems to be about, but AT ANY RATE….

There was a guy in front of me on the bus whose giant army backpack (camo, bedroll on the top, aluminum pots and pans clattering on the sides) bore a patch that said:

“U.S. SPECIAL FORCES

TERRORIST HUNTING PERMIT  NO. 911-01–T.M.

NO BAG LIMIT, TAGGING NOT NECESSARY

2001-2050”

Let’s just analyze this, because that’s what we do.

  1. I bet every one of these patches sold said “Permit # 911-01.” Because, 9/11, September 11, 2001, get it?
  2. So it expires in 2050? Good thing we got that terrorist thing knocked down by then.
  3. Oddly, I felt not safer because this guy was on the bus, but less safe.
  4. The fact that it said T.M. (trademark) led me to believe this was not, in fact, actual Army issue, a fact my actual Army source confirmed by his disdain.

My thanks, as always, to the people who keep checking to see if I’m still posting. Am I? It’s so hard to tell. (I hear Rom’s voice saying, “You have an obligation to your readers.”)

Oh, and the title is Stephen Colbert’s comment on the moderate Democratic candidates. VOTE FOR ME, I’M NON-THREATENING! Right, Nick? “I thought you were going to write a story about me,” he says pitifully.

P.S. I am eagerly awaiting the appearance of pumpkin pie at McDonald’s. It can’t be long now! McDonald’s–another thing I share with Trump.

 

 

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