Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Go, Denyse!

Denyse of the excellent Grain de Musc blog has added her two cents to the IFRA debate. Please feel free to weigh in; believe it or not, this does affect you. This article is perfectly in step with my viewpoint on what is happening; the binding of an artform to patented materials, banning naturals in order to supplant them with patented synthetics.

For a comparative situation, you will want to look at the Coca-Cola owned and Pepsico owned patents for steviosides... when the stevia plant itself is (probably) a perfectly safe and natural non-nutritive sweetener. Why didn't stevia pass through FDA testing on its own, despite huge amounts of testing worldwide? Because you can simply grow it in your backyard for next to free, and that scares the pants off of people who are selling you carcinogenic molecules for buckets of money. It is an ugly precedent.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Happy news!

"Hi Patrick and Linda,

Thank you so much for taking our beloved pelican to the airport. I already miss him. In case you didn't already hear, he arrived perfectly well. Anne said he was calm and immediately began to eat when let out into the enclosure. They are going to take good care of him and have the vet work on his feet right away.

You two are wonderful friends to the animals and us. Thank you again for going above and beyond to help. I hope your trip was satisfying.

Some of her zoomates: Humboldt penguins and ... could it be Mr. Right?

Guest post - Top 10 of Spring at PerfumeSmellin'Things

Hi all, go see. If you are quickish and leave a comment requesting to be entered in the draw, there's a prize draw, too. Gateway drug, y'all. First taste is free. :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Coupla more photos for you

Remember the post about the loon? Well, here are some pictures of Pat trying to catch her. Yikes.

This is Pat trying to get a struggling loon to water. What you can't quite see is that she is twisting like a crankshaft in his hands.

This is Pat giving up on the loon. She is about to get wiped out by that little breaker. If you click the picture, you'll see her in center left.

The loon is in the center giving Pat the finger. This is shortly before he came onto shore to recover from 59 degree water and she washed up. There's a surfer in the far background. Wheee!

And this is the beautiful parchment-and-lavender colored iris in my yard. Wow.

Thought you'd enjoy.

What a week!

On Saturday morning, we got up early and did the March of Dimes walk. Well, okay, we did just over half of the walk, probably not quite 3 miles, but we did get up and help raise awareness and money to help babies be born healthy at full term.

It was a beautiful morning (and a beautiful day) and despite being up early enough to feed ducks, do a little gardening, and have a leisurely breakfast, we still managed to be there on time for the opening ceremony. Yes, the more time we have, the more time we can waste.

I only cried a little at the opening ceremony and Pat held my hand at just the right moment and it was good, so good to walk. The walk is an immensely emotional event for us, where all of the deferred and unreal stuff we've been going through becomes suddenly real and relate-able, and people around us are so often in the same boat or worse. To be around people who are going through the same stuff is weird... the ground drops out coldly beneath you and you are surrounded by warm human fellowship.

In the picture below, I am surrounded by coworkers and Pat is hiding behind me like a coy sun in a lunar eclipse. For those that haven't met me, I'm the cheerfully fat one in the ridonkulous hat.

We zoomed off in a pack, chattering merrily through residential streets and commercial ones. Passing firefighters honked and waved at us. We waited to cross a street while my mom obliviously ignored us, waiting to cross the same light in her car while sneaking in a few Saturday work hours. We yelled and waved and she figured out who she was looking at and lit up like a Christmas tree. Then Claudia and Ramona (the two older ladies in the photo) and Stan, Ashley, and Lauren (the three disgustingly attractive younger people in the photo) shot off like they were a collective flash and left Pat and I and Sherri (the one holding the camera) ambling along at a more leisurely pace together. We were only ever a block or so behind them. Claudia is a machine, and Ramona does yoga. That's my excuse, yeah. But I bet they didn't get to admire baby ducklings on the way (nine, count them, nine of them for mommy duck. She doesn't need the March of Dimes.)

We also hosted a water booth and cheering section (well, two: Patty and Rosemary moved it from FIRST to LAST to provide more coverage. They are in green shirts, holding mysterious purple things.)

All too soon, we were at our stopping point (pretty much next to our house... so we walked home and Sherri caught up with Claudia and Ramona -- wow!) We wouldn't have quit early, but we had a concert to get to.

Do you know the Red Elvises? Surf punk music with Russian Elvis impersonation. It doesn't get better.

We road tripped down to L.A. to stay in the very nice LAX Marriott, which was not at all the dead-hooker-in-the-boxspring experience I had been anticipating, since we left the scheduling to Ralph. Oh, Ralph. One of my several legitimately brain damaged friends, whose career as a Marine was forever altered by a butterknife to the brain. Yes, REALLY. We love us some Ralph. He says his wife says living with him is like this film.

But I digress, and he did good, and it was a nice hotel after all, and the concert was amazing. The driving part of the trip narrowly missed being an "O'Malley's Bar" singalong (Robert forgot Murder Ballads.)

Mind you, there was some hilarity. The parking garage was steep enough to bottom out Robert's behemoth car and we all got out downstairs and decided to take an elevator up from P6 to P1 and meet Rob there, so that we wouldn't abuse the undercarriage anymore. But... THERE IS NO P1. And P2 and P3 are private. So um... we fluttered around the building laughing while he drove around laughing, trying to find one another. Truly Marx-brothers worthy. Ralph and I amused ourselves by setting off the your-car-is-too-tall-for-this-garage alarm for subcompacts as they entered the garage (what?! You thought I was a decent citizen?) while Robert and Pat Scooby-dooed around. Eventually we found one another.

We eventually washed up on Santa Monica pier, talking about The Lost Boys (a movie that is positively a religious canon for our gaming group here) and looking for dinner. We were the last people in for dinner at Rusty's Surf Shack (really, really excellent dinner, too) and were buffeted about by the band bringing in equipment to assemble. How cool is it when you get asked to move your table by the band itself?

It gets cooler. Many members of the band who had quit were there, performing (Igor, all concert; Oleg, briefly; and more guests). Before, at intermission, and after, we fraternized with the band, and Ralph got them to sign his carved coconut monkey. They've been playing the venue for years and Ralph is the first to ask. Small venues are the best. The Red Elvises are supremely talented and gorgeous. And they play again in 2 months. I am SO going. We were there dancing and singing along and laughing until about 1:30 a.m.

Here are some pictures of the concert, in no particular order:

A really good time was had by all. Here's Ralph with his coconut monkey. Ralph is happier than he looks here. Then Pat and I trying to look all couple-y. Then Robert doing his favorite thing (photobombing!) and doing it damn well. Best road trip companions.

And then Tuesday night, Pat picked me up from work with a disgruntled pelican in the car, ready for transport to LAX so that she could be flown to her forever home at the Saint Louis zoo. We drove to Camarillo on Tuesday and slept in a much less nice hotel (I didn't check the box-spring) with LOUD AIR CONDITIONING while worrying about the pelican in the car. Then up early to get her to LAX. Those of you following her saga will be happy to know that she was safely picked up and hopefully will find love and friends among the pelicans and penguins she will be housed with for the rest of her life, spared from euthanasia. And for curious persons, yes, pelicans do smell pretty rank when you're enclosed in a car with them for a long period of time... pretty fishy!

My pictures of the pelican in her padded crate sure didn't turn out. But, here's the crate itself. Bon voyage, beautiful.

If you're near St. Louis, go see her. She's the sweet one that feels like a pillow swarming with mites. We've been calling her Bruce (all mitey... feel our genius!) The vet says she was probably hatched in 2006 and is definitely female.

Bye bye, Brucie! We love you, even if you do hate us and think we're Horrible People.

Anyway, great week. Busy week. I hope you're doing something exciting... do tell, if you are!

March of Dimes walk - another note

Hey all,

This is still not the big post ... that should be tomorrow. However, I wanted you to know that I just found out Farmers is matching donations, so if you gave money, it will count double. I was pretty tickled to know that. Would have been nice to know in advance, but hey! Telling me what's going on after it's gone on is the Farmers way.

For what it's worth, donations are still open. Not sure they ever close, to tell the truth.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Great article

Hi guys, late again to post about the walk and the concert. I really will, really really will, but it will probably be tomorrow night.

Here is a great article on our wastefulness. Nothing new, just elegantly said. (And how much did I waste in grad school, so that I can work in a no-education-required entry-level job? Argh!)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Quick notes

Here is a beautiful statement released by the missing boy's mom.

The walk and concert were wonderful, and hey, my plants are coming up, and it's hot and beautiful outside! Life is sweet. I promised an update on March of Dimes and the Red Elvises... I will add it later, when I have access to pictures. Either tonight or tomorrow.

Tomorrow evening, off on a new adventure: we are driving our pelican friend to LAX to send him/her to Saint Louis zoo. Wish us luck. I'll try to take pictures, but the pelican will already be crated for transport when we pick him/her up, so they may be a bust.

Friday, April 17, 2009

March of Dimes

If you are planning to donate, you can do so even after the walk. The walk is tomorrow. Scroll down for a clickable widget if you care to sponsor me, or if you just want to donate to the March outright, that's easy to do, too.

I believe everyone should pick their causes themselves. These are some of the reasons I believe in THIS cause:

The research they fund may give us a dearly wanted child.

The research they fund has consoled and informed us during our four miscarriages during the last two years.

The research they fund will probably lengthen my life span; my blood clots too quickly and I am prone to clots and strokes, but wouldn't have known it until I had a nasty event if I hadn't been tested for it during the battery of infertility tests.

They save lives, sanity, emotions, marriages, families.

In other news... a friend of my closest coworker is suffering and I am sad for her.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Take 4 minutes and watch this, it's great

Hi all, just sharing something brilliant I found by way of Thoughtviper (see my sidebar for a linky).

Wolf loves pork

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Help me reach my goal! Sponsor Me at March for Babies!

Hi all,

The March for Babies is this coming Saturday. I am still looking for sponsors. I've set a very modest goal of $50 for myself this year because I know how broke everyone is. My brother and partner will also be walking, but I'm not sure they've signed up for the walk on the site. Last year I signed them up and they may be spoiled. :)

This is a cause that means a lot to me -- the March of Dimes' research may give me a child, and may indeed save my life, since I would not otherwise have sought a diagnosis of thrombophilia and might have had a stroke if untreated. If you choose to participate, I'd be honored if you would sponsor me. If not, no worries. Just be active for a cause that you are passionate about.

In the interests of full disclosure... We are probably only walking about half of the course this year; due to complete spacebrain, we said yes to a Red Elvises concert the same night and I think conserving some of our energy will be a must... especially for Robert, who will be driving us to the Elvises concert in between the two. Yikes.

Love you all!

I kind of flunked the widget size. Forgive me!

It reads, "One day, all babies will be born healthy. Help me reach my goal."

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Last night I noodled around VERY briefly in the perfume lab, tincturing water-decaf Italian roast coffee beans for the coffee scent (Yeah, I know they make coffee EO, but this smells so amazing. Seriously.) and diluting the oakmoss absolute I have been ignoring.

Oakmoss absolute smells like, well, mushroomy, dirty moss. But if you dilute it, it has magically pretty chameleonic undertones of powder, fruity sweetness, richly earthy muskiness, cleanly sweaty human... it's beautiful. Who knew (other than everyone except me)?

I decanted my dilution into a bottle, and still had a little too much to fit. Into the few drops of dilution I sloshed a splash of perfumer's alcohol, a few drops of coffee tincture from the small test batch, and a couple drops of vetiver.

Wow. Wow. Wow. It's not a formula, there was NOTHING scientific about the mixture, as it was purely a proof-of-concept thing to see how those scents would go together and it's too strong anyway.

On me, it smelled like James Bond's perfume of choice: No. 89 by Floris. (That is, a powdery, dirty/clean sweetness that smells elegantly composed but slightly vulnerable on a man and smells like poncy fan-dancing burlesque on me.) My impromptu, all-base-notes combo smelled powdery sweet, feminine and naughty... and has potential.

On Pat, it smelled like cold, salted earth upon which one had poured musk and broken raw, pungent tendrils of vetiver. He was not fond of it.

On Robert, it smelled beautifully masculine: rich, musky and slightly floral, with a sparkling freshness of vetiver's airier aspects and an overarching tartness of coffee. He was fond of it.

On Micah, it smelled like a rather balanced men's cologne: musky, earthy, chypreed, lightened by the vetiver and with the coffee in fully articulate debate with his own cigarette-smoker's skin scent.

So, I seem to have thrown together a doppelganger that is something different with everyone. Pat says, "You should not sell this one. Who knows what people will get from it? It could be AWFUL."

I am daydreaming today of monkeying with these elements more scientifically.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Any preferences?

Here are some bottles upon which I have received price quotes for a ... project.

Any preferences? I have mine, Pat has his, what are yours?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The hummingbird chicks fledged!

Both chicks have flown. I'll let you know when I see that the mother bird is on another nest.

Happy April Fools' Day! It was my maternal grandmother's birthday and is forever special to me. The last time I was present for her birthday party, we frosted her cake with wasabi. She liked it (or was able to convince us she did, long enough for us to eat more of it than we would have wanted)!

I had a wonderful lunch out with a high school friend I haven't seen in more than 20 years. What a great time -- he has a beautiful family and yet hasn't changed at all. Reach out to someone you remember with love today for me.