Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

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The Lightness of Being

orange rose

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I may have already used this title, but I bet it wasn’t about this topic. Also, the photo bears only a tangential relation to the topic, but it’s a rose, so I had to use it.

THE TOPIC

I saw a commercial of a woman prancing around in an orange skirt, because using Metamucil fiber supplement made her feel so “light.” (Orange because said supplement is orange-flavored and comes in an orange container. Orange rose, I’m sorry to use you in connection with this.) The commercial encouraged us to “Take the Metamucil two-week challenge!” I went online to investigate said challenge–would there be prizes?–but no, they just promised you would be “lighter” in 2 weeks because it would “remove what weighs you down.” They also said that if you  signed up online, they would send you 2 weeks’ worth of tips via email. I was tempted to sign up so I could regale you with 2 weeks’ worth of tips on pooping, but I didn’t want to get on some weird mailing list.

COSMO ASTROLOGY 1986

“The Sensible You” for Taurus: “You’re the voice of reason in an often-turbulent world.” Yes, people tell me that all the time.

Romantic Rendezvous for Cancer: “In a private box at the ballet during a performance of Swan Lake; on a fog-shrouded island in a lake.” I detect a definite lake theme here.

“The Frivolous You” for Capricorn: “Is that striving, success-oriented Capricorn on the beach at sunrise, breathless over the beauty of it all?” Until we are required to wear t-shirts emblazoned with our zodiac sign, we can’t be sure.

I had any number of topics to write about, but I’m having trouble remembering them. That can’t have anything to do with the alcohol I just consumed.

 

 

 

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I’ve Always Been a Spider

candy machine jar

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You gotta love a spider vending machine, right?

MISHEARD COMMERCIALS

Similar to misheard song lyrics, only, well, you get the idea.

–For, I think, some TV streaming service: “Relax, put on your comfy pants…” sounds like “put on your puppy pants.”

==For a metastatic breast cancer medication: “I’m a fighter. Always have been.” I invariably hear this as, “I’m a spider. Always have been.” This raises two objections:

–If you were, indeed, a spider, breast cancer, metastatic or otherwise, would probably not be among your concerns. And,

–Haven’t all spiders always been spiders? Unless you don’t want to count the time they spent as eggs. And then you get into the philosophical/ethical controversy about whether spider life begins at conception or at hatching.

CURRENT FAVORITE COMMERCIAL

The McDonald’s one–“Gimme that fish! Gimme that Filet-O-Fish!” I find it creepily compelling. I do not, by the way, refer to said item as Filet-O-Fish when ordering. I refer to it as a fish sandwich, and encourage you to do the same. I also encourage you not to get tartar sauce, which is only mayonnaise with boogers in it. And, note to Hardee’s–Why do you think a fish sandwich should have lettuce on it? Of course, lettuce is pretty much pointless on any sandwich.

OBSERVATION AT WALGREENS

The amount of St Patrick’s Day merchandise is equivalent to the amount of New Year’s Eve merchandise. It falls into the in-case-somebody-cares category.

MORE CAMPAIGN PROMISES

I will abolish Daylight Savings Time, and make the Eastern/Central time zone dividing line the Indiana/Ohio border again. Or the Indiana/Illinois border. Something easy to remember. Of course, this may all be academic, since, if I become President, time as we know it will cease to exist.

Unafraid of the Dark: Noir Epices

healthy holiday dry eating

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…by Michel Roudnitska, son of Edmond who did Le Parfum de Therese

Top notes: orange, geranium

Middle notes: clove, nutmeg, cinnamon, pepper

Base: sandalwood, patchouli

Now THIS is “introverted but intense”!

If you’d told me I’d fall in love with a fragrance called “Black Spices,” I’d have said you were insane. I tried it, well, because it’s there. Also, the Malle website has a little abstract art for each scent, with the colors that represent it, and this one was the picture I liked best–black with bands of brilliant blue.

Noir Epices is simple, stern, and austere. First a “rind” of orange, tinged with geranium (kind of spicy in its own right, though not as much as the scent of carnation, which I hate), then a layer of the namesake spices–very dry, not sweet like the spices in Musc Ravageur. These two stages last only moments, though, before the fragrance settles into sandalwood, sweet in the way that wood can be sweet, and very smooth. The whole reminds me of a high-class version of Old Spice. Noir Epices is unisex, while Old Spice is marketed to men, but it was originally a women’s fragrance, called American Old Spice.

Surprisingly, as a long-time spice hater, I love this fragrance. Maybe it’s because the spices don’t last long enough to annoy me, and that smooth wood scent is gorgeous. It’s not comforting like Musc Ravageur is, but it makes me feel good anyway.

On to our criteria:

Personality–Oh, yes.

Comfort level–No problem.

Preferences–Again, surprised by the spices, but no problem again.

Verdict: I might be the rightful wearer of Noir Epices, but I still have a lot of ground to cover. Let’s call it a runner-up at this point.

 

Mardi Gras at McDonald’s

baking blueberry breakfast delicious

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Pexels.com

Since Mardi Gras is called Pancake Tuesday in, I think, England, I went to McDonald’s to have some. But the real Mardi Gras King today was undoubtedly the person who left their cardboard crown from Burger King under the bus seat today, amidst a pile of scattered candy.

I am wearing my two strands of Mardi Gras beads. Disclaimer (since Nick always fantasizes about some risque explanation): I found one on the sidewalk by the bus stop after the Mardi Gras parade had gone by one year, and the other was awarded me for eating at Hacienda after my dentist appointment another year, since my dentist’s office is across the street from them. Because my life is exciting.

I AM THE OUTSIDER AND I WILL NOT SHUT UP

Since I am a declared presidential candidate (no Launching an Exploratory Committee for me!), I am as entitled to pontificate as any of the others. I will never stop reminding you that–

–Mexico was going to pay for the wall, hence, no need to keep asking us to do it, and

–the tax cuts to individuals given in tax “reform” will expire, the ones for corporations will not.

Perhaps I will state those two things at the end of every post, like Cicero’s “Carthago delenda est.” (“And by the way, Carthage must be destroyed.”)

And if you say, “But you’re not a serious candidate!”–I’m not a serious anything.

Well, I had a couple World Leader Edicts in mind, to keep in practice for when I win the election. I was even sitting on the bus thinking, I’ve got to write a blog post just to get these on the record. Now that the time has come, I cannot remember a single one. And I haven’t even started my Mardi Gras drinking.

ON ANOTHER NOTE

There is no segue for this, so I won’t even try. We are mourning the loss of my mother-in-law, Amazing Grace. I’m glad I got to see her at her 90th birthday party in January. It’s funny how the little things can affect you–I just remembered, No more birthday and anniversary cards from her, and teared up a bit. Her funeral will be tomorrow, which is, as it happens, Ash Wednesday. Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

 

 

Weighted Blanket: Musc Ravageur

closeup photo of silver tabby cat on red textile

Photo by Jenna Hamra on Pexels.com

…by Maurice Roucel

Top notes: bergamot, mandarin, lavender

Middle notes: cinnamon, vanilla, amber

Base notes: sandalwood, musk

This is The One, at least according to my adviser at Frederic Malle responding to my questionnaire. He did recommend a couple others to address specific concerns, but this is the one he recommended in response to my personality and style answers–the core of the argument, as it were.

I was a bit bemused by this, as Musc Ravageur is not one I would have thought likely for the honor–although I didn’t think I’d dislike it, either. Musk and woods,  with vanilla and sweet spices. And no flowers. It sounds like the scent equivalent of those weighted blankets they recommend to soothe anxiety–which seems so counter-intuitive that I feel a bit anxious just thinking about it. (I used to hate when my mother would tightly tuck me into bed, as if to keep me from falling out. I’d ruck the covers loose as soon as she left the room.)

But considering my specific answers to the questionnaire, I think I can see where he got the idea. I said I wanted my scent to be “introverted but intense.” Well, I don’t know how “Ravageur” I am–very cool name, though!–but this perfume does suit someone who sorts the laundry every week and ends up with a pile of dark clothes twice as big as the light-colored ones. Also, I said I usually wear “soft knits with dramatic jewelry,” and this is certainly Soft Knits with Dramatic Jewelry in a bottle.

The touch of brilliant citrus at the top leads quickly into the deep darkness of the other notes. I often find cinnamon problematic, in perfume as in food, but I like its use here; it keeps all those dark opaque notes from smelling flat. The fragrance gets increasingly vanillic as it wears, but the vanilla, though creamy, is also smudgy with musk and woods, so that this unisex scent is not too sweet for a man.

Opinions seem evenly divided on just how “Ravageur” this stuff is. I fall in the middle here. I wouldn’t recommend it if “clean and fresh” is the highest praise you could give a perfume. It is a straightforward fragrance, and a very sensual one. But it doesn’t smell like a hooker who’s been working too hard.

And so…

Personality: It could go either way, I suppose. It doesn’t smell flagrantly Not Me, but like I said, it wasn’t the first thing that came to my mind.

Comfort level: Surprise! In spite of my fears of being smothered, I feel comfortable with this from start to finish. Maybe I could use a weighted blanket after all.

Preferences: When I first tried it, while I liked it well enough, something in it reminded me of root beer–I guess the cinnamon and vanilla–and I don’t like root beer. But for some reason, the more time I spent with it, the less I smelled root beer, or the less bothered I was by that. By the last couple of wearings, I enjoyed it heartily all the way through.

Rating: For the above reason–most of the time, I’d have said 4 out of 5, but I’d have to give it a 5 for the last couple wearings. I guess this is why we sample first.

Verdict: I am reserving judgment at this time.

 

More Campaign Promises & Bonus Graffiti Analysis

take it easy painted road

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Is it too much to expect a graffiti artist to know how we use quotation marks?

At any rate, Nick is doing two weeks in Weevilville. No, this is not a sentence (although he should surely be sentenced to two weeks of something…“House arrest! House arrest!” he says, jumping up and down). He is, rather, learning things he will need to know when I become President and he becomes my enforcer, I mean, my chief of staff. Yeah, that’s what I mean. So here is a post for his encouragement. (“Please, no perfume review…”)

MORE POSITIVE PRESCRIPTIONS

If I remember correctly (I may not, but far be it from me to go back and check), my previous campaign promises were mostly things I would not do. Things I will  do… (Hey! Periods look the same in italic or otherwise!)

–I will not (here I go again, going back on my promises already) call anyone “enemies of the people.” I’m more concerned with enemies of me.

–the Rose Garden at the White House will be off-limits to everyone, since I will be curled up in it when the weather’s nice. (I may have mentioned this already. Let’s call it an Encore Presentation.)

–New World Leader Edict: If you pick up an item at a store, walk around shopping and then decide you don’t want that item any more, you must TAKE IT BACK AND REPLACE IT WHERE YOU FOUND IT, not just put it down where you were when you decided you didn’t want it, while telling yourself, “It’s their job to put it back.” I figure this measure will get me the retail-employee vote.

EXPECT A BUNCH MORE WORLD LEADER EDICTS IF I WIN THE ELECTION.

PROMISED BONUS FEATURE

The unisex restroom at the convenience store down the street from my house is a rich trove of graffiti. Currently available for viewing:

–“III%”, surrounded by a circle of stars. Maybe Rom did this, since he is the III of his kind.

–“CSX Railroad” with a drawing of same. OK, railroad tracks are pretty easy to draw, and the train yard is immediately adjacent. Still, I’m kinda surprised that railroad graffiti is a thing. Well, except for the kind on train cars themselves. That’s a thing if ever there was one.

–An ongoing discussion of who sucks, with countering argument of who is a snitch. This conversation is regularly corrected, with names being crossed out and replaced with others.

–“Hug’s, Not Drug’s”- OK, we don’t know how to use apostrophes either. Such are the consequences of drug use.

Most of these observations are presented in fat black felt-tip, but in feeble ballpoint pen, there is “I THOUGHT I PASSED OUT.” I would have thought you’d have been more certain one way or the other. Must have been the drug’s.

 

Fun With Public Transportation

white bus on road near cliff

Photo by Mads Thomsen on Pexels.com

Well, not as much fun as this picture depicts.

Rom said, “You’re lucky your blog isn’t famous, because those people on the bus would beat you up.” Luckily, I’m in no danger of fame.

A woman today interrupted the guy who was talking to her to say, “You gotta hear this, this is hilarious–the other day on the radio, Billy Bob and Tom {I believe it’s just Bob and Tom} were talking about how they don’t make cars the way they used to. They said now you have to plug them in and they don’t go very far.” Um, that’s not hilarious. And why is it silly that you have to recharge electric cars? You have to put gas in other cars, or they don’t go very far. We haven’t invented a perpetual motion machine, although Cat Glamour when Rom’s trying to brush her comes pretty close.

FUN WITH TV COMMERCIALS

“You shouldn’t use a product that treats your butt like a joke.” Well, I doubt I’d like someone who took their butt too seriously.

“My hiney’s clean! I’m Charmin’ clean!” is bad enough, but now they follow it up with, “Also try our new moist towelettes,” or whatever they call those things. Wait. Aren’t you implying that one’s hiney is not, in fact, clean, if a second product is required afterward? I suppose they could take refuge in the legal definition of Charmin clean. They add to their grossness by showing you a demonstration of someone wiping synthetic excrement off their…arm. It’s like the old joke…”What’s the difference between toilet paper and a shower curtain?” “I don’t know, what?” “Well, I’m not inviting you over to my house.”

I think my current least favorite is the mouthwash one where they show you a bunch of gross mouths and say why they’re gross–“Garlic breath! Dry-mouth breath! Morning breath!”

CAMPAIGN DISCLOSURE

As regards my presidential campaign:

–My advertising budget is zero.

–I am not releasing my tax returns because finding them would involve getting up.

 

 

 

 

Blinding White: Lys Mediterranee

nature blue summer yellow

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…by Edouard Flechier, the creator of Poison, a scent which will always make me think of partying at the old F.O.P. Club in the ’90’s. I shudder to think of how I probably over-sprayed it.

Notes: bergamot, orange blossom, jasmine, tuberose, ginger lily, clove, sea breeze accord, musk

This perfume is a study of ginger lilies. I’ve never smelled those, but I do have Casablanca lilies, and their blooming is an event every summer–creamy white, saucer-sized flowers,  gorgeously-scented, almost vanillic.

The idea with Lys Mediterranee (“Mediterranean Lily”) is to present the scent of ginger lilies permeated with Mediterranean sea spray, and I think the perfume accomplishes this brilliantly. There’s a leafy green note at first, then that magnificent lily smell, with a spiciness I assume is the “ginger” aspect. It gets softer and muskier as it dries down, but it is a bright scent throughout, like a day in the blazing sun.  The “sea spray accord” marks one of the few times I’ve sniffed a marine note without feeling queasy. It’s very subtle and well-done.

Yet another masterpiece floral portrait from the Malle line, but….

Personality-wise: I am not a white floral lover. I like to sniff them in small doses, not live with them. I am not a white floral sort of person, either. I doubt anyone has ever used the word “sultry” to describe me.

Comfort level: This scent actually grew on me with repeated sampling, but still, no. It’s not the smell itself, exactly, it’s just that it’s so bright. It’s like a blindingly bright day, and I’m not a sun-lover. Combine this with its potency–a mere dab is long-lasting and well-projecting, and I can’t imagine what a full-sized spray would be like. More than a drop is too much for me.

Preferences: Like I said, another in the I’d-like-to-smell-this-but-on-someone-else category. But if you love ginger lilies, I can’t imagine a better rendition.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Verdict: I am not the rightful wearer of Lys Mediterranee.

The Great Debate

person dropping paper on box

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{Credit for this post, or blame as it may be, goes to my former co-worker [well, they’re all former now, aren’t they?] L.L. [if I once gave you a cute nickname for blogging purposes, I no longer remember it, sorry–it went in the trash folder with the NIMS regulations], who informed me that a regular 911 caller who is, let’s say, reality-challenged, called in and announced he is running for President.}

MODERATOR L.L.: We welcome you to the 3rd floor employee lounge of the Safety Building in the Civic Center for tonight’s debate. Our candidates are, representing The Rent Is Too Damn High party, P.G. {so called because that’s what he calls himself when he calls 911–they really are his initials, so he’s not reality-challenged in that respect}, and, representing the Radical Centrist party, P.J. {so called because those are my initials, and I was actually called that as a child. But now I have put away childish things, supposedly.}

BOTH CANDIDATES WALK TO THEIR RESPECTIVE PODIA. AN AWKWARD SILENCE ENSUES.

P.G. “It’s me, P.G., checking in!”

MOD L.L.  “Indeed. P.J., do you have a response to that?”

P.J. “Um, was there a check-in process? I didn’t see a form or anything.”

L.L. “No, you’re fine. Well, let’s start with a bit of information. Have either of you chosen your vice-presidential running mates yet?”

P.J. “Yes. I have chosen a certain Nick–”

P.G. “Hey, doesn’t that guy turn into a dragon or something?”

P.J. {blushing} “I believe my opponent is off his medication.”

NICK {jumping up and waving his arms} “Hey! I never said I wanted to be Vice President!”

P.J. “Objection overruled.”

L.L. “No one’s on trial here.”

P.J. {glaring at Nick} “Well, someone should be.”

P.G. “I was on trial once.”

L.L. “P.G., have you chosen a running mate yet?”

P.G. “I have, Your Honor. I’ve narrowed it down to two fine ladies–Ada Redd {not her real name, because I’m trying to stay out of trouble}, who was in the circus once before she was conceived and who is killed every day, and Mrs. T. {whose full name I no longer remember–it’s in the trash folder with the S.O.P. for suburban fire move-ups, mercifully}, who smells entrails in her basement.”

L.L. “And do those individuals actually exist? I believe the Constitution requires that they do.”

P.G. “They do, Your Majesty.”

L.L. “Very well. Now let’s–”

P.G. “Does anyone else smell a gas leak?”

L.L. “No, I don’t believe–”

P.G. “I’m serious. I detect a strong odor of natural gas. You need to send the fire department out here.”

P.J. {nervously eyeing the exits} I think it’s just this perfume I’m sampling.

AUDIENCE: “The fire department! Let’s go out and watch them!”

Chaos ensues. No one is trampled, fortunately. 

MY APOLOGIES TO L.L., AND TO EVERYONE WHO SIGNED ON HERE EXPECTING A PERFUME REVIEW, AND, WELL, EVERYONE, REALLY. EXCEPT NICK.

 

 

 

Pink Flamingo: Lipstick Rose

pink lipstick with green case

Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

…by Ralf Schwieger

Top notes: grapefruit, violet

Middle notes: rose, iris, raspberry

Base notes: vanilla, sandalwood, musk

For anyone who loves the smell of old-fashioned lipstick. This even has the somewhat-waxy smell that lipstick does. It starts out more floral and powdery, with a hint of fruit, ends up with more vanilla than flowers, but still lipsticky. This is such a retro scent that it’s a bit self-conscious, but it does what it sets out to do very well. It has a sense of humor–if you can imagine that in a perfume–in a modern, arch sort of way, like a pink flamingo placed on one’s lawn ironically.

What it reminds me of most is my mother, that lover of lipstick. Although I don’t know whether she’d be amused by this concept in perfume, or more bemused. (Her main comment about fragrance that I remember was, “I don’t know why all you girls wear musk oil now,” although I was not one of those girls.)

It did not take me long to form My Personal Opinion about this one:

Personality: So not-me, it might be the anti-me. This in spite of its prominent rose note.

Comfort level: It’s such a bad fit for me that I feel uncomfortable wearing it for that reason alone–it’s like clothes that don’t fit, although I do enjoy the vanillic drydown.

Preferences: I don’t dislike it, but I don’t find it compelling, either. It’s not one of those perfumes where I get all conflicted–“It isn’t me, but it smells so good!” (Creed Spring Flower comes to mind, which actually comes in a bright-pink bottle.) It’s just…OK. The very definition of…

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Final verdict: I am not the rightful wearer of Lipstick Rose.

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