Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

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Violets In Powdered Sugar: Attar Bazaar African Violet

purple hydrangeas

Photo by K B on Pexels.com

First off, HURRAY for a free photo service even I can navigate!

In case you couldn’t read the suddenly-tiny print in the last post (no, I wasn’t trying to sneak the information in–apparently cutting-and-pasting song lyrics off Google is not as clever an idea as I thought it was), I’m going to include the occasional perfume review. And if anyone has a perfume-related question (“I want a perfume that smells like X” or “I can’t find my favorite scent anymore, now what?”), please ask. Fragrance is one of my “special interests,” as we say in the autism biz. (“Obsession” sounds so judgmental, doesn’t it?) (No, I did not intend a pun on the perfume name Obsession.) I suppose this knowledge can now expand to fill the space once occupied by NCIC codes and NIMS definitions.

I’ve always wanted a “signature scent”–“me in a bottle,” what could be more romantic? Sure, also self-absorbed, but in a romantic way! Frustrated by my inability to find something that fit both my personality and preferences, I turned to my husband for help. Rom, of course, knows me better than anyone. It could be argued that he knows me better than I know myself. (It would be argued, in fact. We tend to be argumentative.) He said I should smell like “cool, misty dusk in an interesting place.” (Could he be more romantic?) I asked the fragrance fans at MakeupAlley for help, and they said this mood was best achieved by notes of violet, iris, sandalwood, oakmoss, powder, and/or incense. They recommended 13 specific perfumes, the first of which we deal with today.

Attar Bazaar was started in 1980, and they offer inexpensive perfume oils, mostly in an Oriental vein (incense, patchouli, woods, resins). But they do have a few florals, hence African Violet.

I find AV a bit screechy when first applied–violet is a high-pitched note to begin with, so the beginning is a little shrill. It quickly settles, though, into a candied sweetness that makes me think, not of violets with sugar crystals, but violets dredged in powdered sugar. There’s a creaminess to it, a velvety softness. I detect no other notes (unless you want to call sugar a note)–no leafy green notes, no woods–just the violet flowers themselves. So if you are a violet purist and just want the sweet stuff, I recommend this. Also, there are not many violet scents in an oil formulation, so if you prefer that to an alcohol-based scent, definitely check this one out. For my own purposes, I found it a bit too sweet.

By the way, my reviews are based on samples I paid for myself, and I am not paid for reviews. Of course, I’m not paid for anything else on here, either.

Now let’s move on to…

WORLD EMOJI DAY? REALLY?

“Facebook salutes the tiny symbols that have changed the way we communicate.” Yeah, I guess. And I’m wondering how long it will be before texting eliminates punctuation. It’s already made it uncool, in the same way that paying for stuff with actual cash is uncool.

 

 

 

 

Telling People Why They’re Wrong

…a service we’ve (OK, I’ve) provided for over 5 years.

CRITICIZING THE LYRICS OF MICK JAGGER

Sure, he’s written world-famous lyrics, but I CANNOT BE STOPPED.

–“She was more than beautiful

Closer to ethereal

With a kind of down-to-earth flavor”

You can’t be both ethereal and down-to-earth. They are opposites.

But I take issue with every verse of “Fool To Cry,” my second-to-least-favorite Stones song. (My very least-favorite is “Emotional Rescue,” which is so bad it embarrasses me to hear it.)

OK, in the first verse, his daughter sits on his knee and says, “Daddy, you’re a fool to cry.” Any child young enough to sit on her father’s lap does not have the worldly wisdom to make a remark like that.

In the second verse, we learn that he has a woman who “lives in a poor part of town.” She, too, advises him that he’s a fool to cry. (Actin’ the fool, as it were.) WHY IS YOUR WOMAN STILL LIVING IN A POOR PART OF TOWN? YOU’RE A RICH ROCK STAR. BUY HER A MANSION. Or marry her and move her into your mansion. That would be more cost-effective.

In the third verse, even his friends state that he’s a fool to cry. I find it hard to believe that Mick Jagger’s friends give him philosophical advice. Mick Jagger’s friends say things like,

“Hey, what’s the matter, man?
We’re gonna come around at twelve
With some Puerto Rican girls that’re just dyin’ to meet you
We’re gonna bring a case of wine
Hey, let’s go mess and fool around
You know, like we used to”
In case you think I do nothing but complain, my favorite Stones songs are “Paint It Black,” followed by “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.” I was born in a cross-fire hurricane, after all.
ROCK AND ROLL WILL NEVER DIE
…is wishful thinking, just like “Big bands will come back.” Nevertheless (and ever the more), I have a new Blue Oyster Cult t-shirt. It only has the band’s logo on it, not the name. The other day, the bus driver looked at my shirt and said, “Hawkwind?” No, but good guess.
MORE ADVERTISING ABOMINATIONS
Triscuits are trying to get you to just call them “‘–scuits.” Resist them. Also, “so you can Meijer any way you want” is to be avoided. Sure, it tells you how to pronounce it, but that could be accomplished without turning it into a verb.
A FINAL WARNING
S.G. will start sporadically featuring PERFUME REVIEWS. No, no one was saying, “World Leader, can’t you please include perfume reviews?” (Although I know that a few of you would be interested.) Yes, I should probably start a second blog for that purpose. No, I’m not going to actually do so. Partly because I’m too lazy and incompetent to manage more than one blog, and partly because I don’t plan to do this regularly. I’m not a collector, just a person on a signature-scent quest that seems to be lifelong.
I actually have been doing this informally for some time. In the unlikely event you want to read my reviews of a variety of cosmetic products, check out

MakeupAlley, where I have posted as Snakeskin, Wyrmiax, and, currently, CobraRose.

Cat Esmerelda thinks I have spent enough time writing this, and need to attend to her strange and varied needs.

 

Winter Is Coming

How do I know? School supplies are edging out the sunscreen at Walgreen’s.

SEEN ON T-SHIRTS

“Scream While You Can While We Rip You To Shreds.” That’s what this country needs–more hostility. I assume this sentiment was promoting a video game, because it was worn by a nerd I couldn’t imagine ripping anybody to shreds.

Black t-shirt with bald eagle, except the eagle was red, white and blue: “I Couldn’t HEAR You Over the Sound of My FREEDOM.” Well, why is your FREEDOM so fackin’ LOUD?

A black t-shirt featuring a Native American smoking a joint, and the exhaled smoke turned into galaxies and stuff.

“This Is What Epic Looks Like.” Epic looks like a skinny girl with pink-tipped red hair. Of course, these days, maybe her name was Epic.

And a guy in a neon-orange t-shirt and camo cargo pants. Apparently he only wanted his upper half to be seen.

THIS JUST IN

Fiona and Archer are now 7, and are into metaphysics.

Fiona: “Everything has a shape.”

Archer: “Not God. He’s everywhere.”

F: “OK then, well, everything has a color.”

A: “Not a black hole. It has all the colors.” Wouldn’t it actually have none of the colors? I don’t know. I’m no physicist. Or metaphysicist.

CRISIS IN PROGRESS: CRIME IS COMING TO A LAWN NEAR YOU

I promised Trexa I would tell this story eons ago. And you’d think I would have, since I’m always whining about lack of material.

Trexa woke up one day recently and saw that part of her lawn was brown, but in a weird pattern. She called the lawn service to come out. Pointing it out to the guy, she said, “It almost looks like some design, doesn’t it? Maybe like a scissors.”

The lawn guy said, “Or…something.” He was hesitant to tell the nice lady that a drawing of male genitalia had been etched on her lawn with weed killer. Apparently vandalism (or, as the law calls it, Criminal Mischief–I’ve always liked that term, along with Maintaining a Common Nuisance, which is what they charge you with when other people were doing drugs in your house, but you weren’t doing them yourself) (and it’s great to be a former 911 dispatcher, so no one will wonder how I know all this) with Round-Up has become a thing.

 

 

 

 

 

Inflation Will Get Us All

First off, my thanks to whoever read, um, 37 previous posts on the 13th.

The inflation I speak of is not the financial sort (that would be boring, though accurate), but creeping slippery-slopism in other areas.

FASHION INFLATION

An ad on Facebook said, “We’ve perfected the no-show sock!” I commented, “What’s wrong with socks, that you want no one to know you’re wearing them?” but went unanswered. Yes, I’m the only person who can’t start an argument on the Internet.

Once upon a time, no-show socks (we called them “footies”) were solely worn by women. Now they are routinely worn by men, including fashion icons like Nick. Socks have now become unmentionables, except for…wait for it…WITH SANDALS, BY MEN. This used to be the sole province of nerdy old men, but now young men do it too. I’m not sure what weather conditions would call for sandals with socks. Of course, I’ve asked the same question about wearing a sweatshirt with shorts, and got the answer, “Because it’s cute.” If you say so.

This isn’t inflation-related, but why do the same women who obsess about panty lines not care if their bra straps are showing?

I had another example of cultural inflation, about something other than fashion, but I can’t remember it. Perhaps I will do so in the future.

COSMO ASTROLOGY, 1983

Romantic Rendezvous for Scorpio–“On the deck of an ocean liner, during a storm at sea.” Really? “All hands on deck! Just work around these two people doin’ it!”

Ads & Products & Stuff, Oh My

ADVERTISING HALL OF SHAME

…award this week goes to some product (I don’t even remember it, so there!) that starts its commercial with “Are you bothered by chronic constipation?” with SHOTS OF PEOPLE SITTING ON THE TOILET.

Rom is urging me to tell on Head & Shoulders shampoo, not least because we’ve argued twice about it. The newest bottles have “#1 DERM RECO” emblazoned on them. Our disagreement was not because that’s not a stupid way of putting it–we are agreed on that score–but because he believes most people wouldn’t understand what they meant by it, and I disagree. Of course, I read women’s magazines, which routinely use “derm” for dermatologist, just like they use “gyno” for gynecologist. (And if you read these magazines, you get the idea these are the only two doctors their readers have.) Now that I think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever heard people actually using these terms in conversation.

Let’s just go ahead and ban this sort of thing, shall we? I haven’t issued a World Leader Edict in awhile.

BY THE POWER INVESTED IN ME, WHICH I HAD BEFORE STEPHEN COLBERT STARTED HIS FURRY-HAT ROUTINE, JUST CHECK MY ARCHIVES UNDER “WORLD LEADER PRETEND”…

Be they banned henceforth and forevermore:

–“mani,” “pedi,” and “mani/pedi”

–“vacay”

–“cardi” for cardigan

–“cami” for camisole

–“convo” for conversation

–not only “reco” for recommendation, but “recs” as well

–“deo” for deodorant

I’ll probably think of more as I go along.

–Sign on door of CVS–“Automatic Entrance. Doors Can Close Unexpectedly.” Is “Enter at your own risk” really good business practice?

–IHOP is deciding to focus on burgers? Why?

–Also, Dunkin’ Donuts deciding its name is now just “Dunkin'” is stupid.

I SUPPOSE YOU’RE WAITING FOR ME TO REVIEW THE NEW QUARTER POUNDERS

McDonald’s claims these are better than they previously were, and I agree. Keep in mind that I’ve never been a big Quarter Pounder fan, preferring the double cheeseburger or McDouble (which are not, by the way, the same thing, although the difference is just an additional slice of cheese on the double cheeseburger) (maybe you already knew that, but I had to have it explained to me). My main problem with Quarter Pounders now is that they have a more “charcoal” flavor. I never care for that–it tastes just plain burnt to me–but I know a lot of people like it.

I SOLVE A MYSTERY

For a long time, I’ve wondered how McDonald’s determines receipt numbers. Some people get, say, 398, while someone else there at the same time might get 277. But they always start with 2 or 3. I finally realized that it has to do with which register it was rung up on. #1 is never used for some reason, 2 and 3 are at the counter, so the people ordering inside always get those, and 4 is for the drive-through. I’m glad I figured that out. Wait a minute–maybe 1 is for the drive-through, and 4 is the one that’s never used. Oh well, I never have to deal with those, so they don’t affect me.

Did you know that Nick once said the military would be good for me? Of course, he said the same thing about prison.

 

I’m Gonna Complain

…inspired by a woman on the bus, who used “Well, I’m not gonna complain” to wrap up a lengthy complaint.

WAR ON WORDS UPDATE

Yes, it’s not just a war on parts of speech. I saw an ad for cottage cheese that said, “A Whole New Way To Cottage.” By which they meant, “to eat cottage cheese.” Because who has time to say two more words? We’re approaching point-and-grunt territory. Speaking of which, I saw a game on Facebook–“Write the name of a band using only emojis and let us guess who they are!” See, a means of communication shouldn’t make me have to guess what you mean. I don’t think the Sour Neon Crawlers could be represented solely by emojis.

Courtesy of Rom: “The erupting volcano in Guatemala is called Volcano del Fuego. As opposed to…?”

Also courtesy of Rom, things that have been forever ruined for me…

“Old Rugged Cross”= “On a hill far away stands an old Chevrolet”

“Ring of Fire” = “I keep a close watch on this heart of mine. I hold my pants up with a piece of twine.”

And the auto-parts place–“When the name is Napa, the quality’s crappa.”

LETTING US LOOSE IN SOCIETY

There is an autistic guy working at McDonald’s (I know this because he says so), who reminds me of myself at his age. He was telling a work buddy, “Yeah, I’ve tried applying for other jobs, but at the end of the interview I tell them, ‘I’m autistic, just so’s you know,’ and I never get a callback.” Oh, dear, as Nick would say. (This phrase inserted for the sake of Nick, whose eyes well with tears whenever a post of mine doesn’t mention him.) Now, I never applied for jobs at fast food places when I was his age and looking. They all knew me as that weird customer. Black biker t-shirts! Big rings! And other stuff that doesn’t go with glasses!

 

 

 

 

 

Freedom Day

I have been retired for a year today. Hmm, have I learned anything? And why do I feel like I should have learned something?

I am wearing the “My Work Number is 911” t-shirt, because it isn’t.

Today is National Donut Day, but I had no donuts. I guess I could rectify that tomorrow.

I am somewhat intoxicated.

Oh, Rom wants you to know, reference our anniversary lunch at Logan’s, that he did not, either, put both steak sauce and something else (ketchup?) on his burger. He used them to dip his fries in, which I personally don’t think is any better, and may be worse.

THE WEIRDEST AD I EVER SAW

This was an old magazine ad on Ebay, for some brand of lipstick. It said, “There’s a little bit of Satan in our satin-finish lipstick.” Because it’s devilishly sexy and stuff. It had a guy in a devil costume lurking behind the lipsticked model. I just can’t see that ad running today. Of course, we have an entire line of nail polish called Sinful Colors, so I could be wrong.

Oh, looking back on my decision to be a Writer (and the accompanying Hey! I might not need college!) decision I made in 8th grade–I didn’t, and don’t, doubt my ability to write, per se. I think I could have been entirely adequate in some magazine-staff or copy-writing position (that didn’t require me to go out and interview people). The doubts were/are about Creative Writing. After all, an agent once told me, “You don’t even understand the basic story-arc.” And how could an autistic person, who can’t understand how people tick, make characters come to life? OK, I haven’t Learned Something.

Speaking of which, the paper recently had something about The Danger of Self-Diagnosis, when it comes to autism. So have I been officially diagnosed? I have been half-diagnosed. I once said to my mother, “That nice lady you had me talk to in first grade was a child psychologist, right?” And she said, “Yes, she said you might be autistic, but we figured out it was just that we didn’t know your eyesight was so bad!” Yeah, that explains a lot. Not.

 

 

Product Criticism

 

On Coke carton: “15 cans! That’s 3 more than a 12-can carton!” Um, yeah, I figured that out myself.

On Pepsi carton: “Tastes great over ice!” Wow! I’d never have thought of that!

I’m sure you’re expecting me to weigh in on the latest McDonald’s controversy. Well, if you’ve heard of it, anyway. Someone is suing McDonald’s because they wanted their Quarter Pounder without cheese, and didn’t think they should have to pay for the cheese. (I am just imagining damages paid for however many cents a slice of cheese is, through a lifetime of burgers.) McDonald’s is maintaining that the sandwich’s full name is “Quarter Pounder With Cheese,” and that therefore cheese is part of the nature of the item, and that the plaintiff could just pick the cheese off anyway.

I’m not sure what justice is in this case, but I can make several points. (Of course I can!)

–Telling someone they can “just pick off the parts you don’t like” is invalid. The juice of the unliked item remains on the burger. My personal nemesis is onions, but even though I like cheese, I know it would melt into the burger and ruin it for someone who didn’t.

–And before McDonald’s gets too snooty, the original patent for the item in 1975 mentioned cheese as an optional feature. And I remember when the Quarter Pounder was introduced (you saw that coming, didn’t you?). You ordered either a Quarter Pounder (in white styrofoam carton) or a Quarter Pounder with Cheese (in yellow styrofoam). I don’t remember when they decided to default to the Cheese option, but it was not always thus.

–And most importantly, how does this affect me? I dislike a bunch of stuff they put on burgers (I was appalled the first time I ever went to McDonald’s as a child and realized they put everything on burgers–who gets ketchup and mustard and pickles and onions?). But it never occurred to me to tell them, “I don’t want the mustard and pickles and onions, and I don’t want to pay for them, either. Subtract 7 cents from my bill.”

All this is making me want a cheeseburger.

 

Birthday in Hell…

…it being a day of record-breaking heat. Of course, Rom broke the heat record on the actual day he was born, so no contest there. I think that was 91, too, which is even more remarkable in late April.

Thanks to all the well-wishers who included praise for the blog. I had been considering terminating it–I’ve sometimes felt I have nothing to write about now that I’ve retired–but thanks to you, IT SHALL CONTINUE.

COSMO ASTROLOGY ’82

Fashion for Taurus: “Elegant pajamas in sun yellow and navy stripes are exotic at night, especially when coupled with bright pink sandals.” Because yellow and navy blue just don’t clash enough.

Fashion for Gemini: “Smashing combination: red halter under a gray flannel jacket worn with pale peanut-colored pants or tucked into orange walking shorts.” Again–did we just forget how to combine colors in the 80’s?

Fashion for Virgo: “Pair a hand-painted short wrap shirt in peanut-glazed cotton with a forest green tightly-pleated skirt.” What is with all this peanut stuff?

Decorating for Scorpio: “Invest in a hanging fireplace.” Now, I don’t know much about such things, but how do you hang a fireplace, exactly? Seems like it would catch something on fire.

ROM & I GO TO GERST HAUS

My only observations (it was an enjoyable afternoon, and I do better at complaining):

–If your cornbread has hot peppers in it, you should mention that fact on the menu. Otherwise it is just a cruel practical joke.

–This is the only establishment I’ve visited that had, over the relevant area, the word TOILETS. We know what you really want!

Poor Nick was saved from forgetting my birthday only by my tender mercies in telling him yesterday, since he hasn’t found the part on Facebook that tells you all the upcoming ones for the whole year.

 

 

Drunk & Orderly

…is what I was on Saturday. But that was then, and this is now.

COSMO ASTROLOGY FOR 1981

Interior decorating for Sagittarius: “Turn your digs into a colorful caravan by covering walls with brightly-printed sheets, then gathering ends of same at middle of ceiling. Add rattan chairs, huge pillows covered in madras cotton, a collection of Buddhas–pure erotica!” Yes, there’s nothing more erotic than a bunch of Buddhas.

Brief intermission while I get up and turn the light back off, after having it on to copy the above.

AMERICA HAS A PROBLEM

Well, the corner of Franklin & St Joe has a problem, but it’s symptomatic & stuff.

First let me note that someone has tossed a pair of athletic shoes over the telephone wire. It has been rumored that this means that drugs are for sale at this location. Even before I read Snopes on the matter (they say no one knows why it happens, but probably it’s just because we can), I found problems with this theory. How do you know where to get the drugs? Do you just stand on the corner until someone shows up?

At any rate (to use one of Rom’s favorite expressions), at least two people were able to get some drugs, because there was a guy on the bus stop bench angrily talking to himself.

Rom just came in here and turned on the light, just because it’s dark. How dare he?

I thought, he’s really going to be mad when he realizes that the bench isn’t really at the bus stop, but is half a block away. This is because the important thing is not giving riders a place to sit while they wait, but displaying the advertising on the bench to the best advantage. People sitting on it actually block the view. I thought I was just paranoid to think this, until I saw recently that they moved the one across the street away from the bus stop, too.

At any rate, perhaps the guy on the bench suspected the truth, because he hunched over and started screaming at the sidewalk.

Then a different guy lurched toward me, so I had to step aside to avoid him. He kept staggering onto the liquor-store parking lot and back,

(Disclaimer: speaking of staggering on liquor-store lots, I’m drunk again. I have to have a reason to be drunk–previously it was Cinco de Mayo, now it’s my birthday/anniversary season.}

and then he approached me–“Gotta light for a cigarette?” Well, that’s one stupid habit I never started, so no. He then stumbled over to the guy on the bench, who interrupted his diatribe with the pavement long enough to give him a  light. Then Guy #2, who apparently saw no reason to save up his cigarette money so he could fix his missing tooth, sat down on the curb, smoking and twitching. Then he got up and wandered into the street, apparently thinking he could see if the bus was coming more effectively that way. Keep in mind that this is W. Franklin St. during evening rush hour, even though many people were just rushing to the liquor store after work. OK, I was one of those people. Except for the “after work” part.

When the bus arrived, I got on quickly, to secure my coveted front-upper-level seat. The smoking/twitching guy got onto the bus entrance steps and just stood there, then stepped off.

Bus driver: “Sir, do you want to get on the bus or not?”

Guy: “I’m scared.”

Driver: “Scared of what?”

Guy: “Being shot.” He then backed away from the bus. I am betting the police dealt with him eventually.

This post is dedicated to the people at Dispatch who decided, against all odds, that they missed me.

 

 

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