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Watch out for the gypsy children in electric dresses, they’re insane. I hear they live in crematoriums and smoke your remains.

Scent of the Day: Opal by Sonoma Scent Studio

Whoo, I haven’t written a blog in a while.  It’s nothing personal…I haven’t written in my own journal since August.  Guess I should catch up a little on what’s been going on.

I started going to Ivy Tech in Lawrenceburg this fall.  It’s pretty much like high school, and except for Philosophy (which isn’t that hard; it just has lots of homework), it’s super easy.  Aside from Philosophy, I’m also in Sociology (a total review of everything Mr. Whaley taught us), Speech (which was frightening at first, but now it’s not that bad.  Plus, I take kava before I speak and I’m much more at ease), English 111 (Shoot me now!  I learned all this stuff back in 9th frickin’ grade), and Finite Math (which sounds fancy and technical, but it’s really just a review of the past few years under Mr. Westerman’s tutelage.  I’m waiting for the “finite” part to come in, because it hasn’t yet.)  My favorite part of school is that I can come in and use a computer anytime at high speed–none of that 45.2 kbps bull honky.  My Old Time Radio collection has grown immensely.  Hey, if you want to be a nerd like me and listen to radio from the ’30s to the ’50s (plus some ’70s CBS Radio Mystery Theater), head over to archive.org.

I also went to a concert with Dad in August.  We saw Bob Dylan.  He kind of disappointed.  Well, it would have been nice if he looked at the crowd once during the whole show.  I know he doesn’t play guitar live anymore…but I sure wish I could have seen classic Bob, with the guitar and the harmonica and the microphone.  My favorite parts of the show came when he pulled out the harmonica, incidentally…

And now to today.  It’s Election Day, and I sure as heck cast my ballot for Barack Obama.  There’s some things I differ from him on, but I never asked for a philosophical copy of myself.  Wonder if the youth vote and the disillusioned can paint this red state blue.  It sure would restore my faith in the phrase that “your vote counts!” if our Republican state doesn’t vote as conservatively as it has in the past.

And at times like these, I like to call on the brothers Gibb to epitomize my feeling: “Ahhhh-ah-ah-ah” (gotta keep their message intact ^_^) “we are children of the world / watching every day go by / Changes my life, changes your life / keeps us all anticipating…”  Well, maybe not epitomize.  But any time I can inject some Bee Gees into a blog, I’ll do it.

Wow, I’m such a nerd.

Oh well.

Oh, and the title of this blog comes from “You Are a Light” by Pavement.  Bought Terror Twilight a couple Sundays ago and have been listening to it a lot since.  For all Stephen Malkmus’s obstinance, I think the album turned out pretty coherent.  And I do like to listen to it in the evening when I drive home from school, during what Bobby Nastanovich calls the “terror twilight”.  The album really is evocative of that time of day.  (A lot more than Farewell Horizontal would have been, to say the least.)

Now I’m just waiting for Brighten the Corners: Nicene Creedence Edition to ship.  I did that Buy Early Get Now thing, and so I’m looking forward to getting the live LP (and the poster) as well.

See you all in another three months.

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Back from Tennessee!

I haven’t actually vacationed in Tennessee since the summer after first grade. I’ve been through it once between then and now, when the youth group went to Georgia last summer. So it’s been a while.

I like it. There’s lots of rivers and lakes around and plenty of sights to look at. Some people may think Indiana has pretty country, and it does on occasion. I guess I’ve just lived there too long to notice. I do love driving down 229 during the afternoon in the Jeep (it handles great on curvy roads and is a ton of fun to drive) with music blaring. In fact, the first time I felt a “natural high” was when I was riding down 229 listening to Monaco. It reminded me how enjoyable simple things like that can be.

Anyway…I can imagine there’s plenty of fun roads to drive in Tennessee as well.

We stayed in a hotel in Sweetwater, up on a hill with a nice view. While we were waiting for Mom and Grandma to check us in, the rest of us noticed that not far away was a big indoor flea market. (In fact, it claimed to be the largest flea market in Tennessee, with 800 booths.) We went a couple times, and I finally got a Swiss army knife. For a dollar! I’m kind of afraid it’s going to fall apart because it cost so little, but you get what you pay for, I guess. They also were selling tongue rings for a dollar. That’s way cheaper than the shoot!* I don’t have my tongue pierced, but I bought the rings to replace the blue and green balls I had in my ears. I met a guy at a booth selling movies who clued me in on Quentin Tarantino’s Rolling Thunder films. Thanks to him, I bought a couple films and am on my way to super-geek status. The next day, all I bought was a pretty cool Reservoir Dogs t-shirt for 8 bucks. Kinda looks like a Napoleon Dynamite shirt, though, with the drawing and writing style. It’s a picture of all the guys walking, from that iconic opening credits scene to the film, with “Let’s get rambling…” underneath it.

So we had a pretty good time on our trip. The main goal was to visit Dad’s cousin Eddie and scope out a place to possibly build a house on his property. I’m on the fence about actually moving to Tennessee, but a new, bigger house would be nice. So we got to meet and re-meet (?) lots of family. The next day, we went to Cracker Barrel and ate breakfast with more family. I don’t think I’ve been around so much family since Uncle Fred’s visitation when I was a kid. (Actually, he’s Dad’s uncle, but we call him Uncle Fred too.) The only family we have nearby right now is Grandma, and we visit Russ, Bev, and Dianna, and Tom, Karen, and Hannah usually once a year. Oh, and Jess, who’s Bev’s brother’s daughter. I don’t know how we figured out that we were related, way back when she moved to Osgood in third grade!

Laura and I got to swim once, finally, on Sunday. We’d been waiting all weekend and finally got to! I made a retard out of myself while in the pool…I didn’t take my contacts out, and when Mom came out to talk to us, I hollered for her to get them. She couldn’t understand me at all ! I repeated myself probably four times, each time louder than the last, before she finally figured out what I was trying to say. Later that night, I heard some kids in the pool talking loudly, and it was loud. I cringe to think how loud I was. Good gravy. Oh well, I guess it wasn’t too bad, because there were hardly any cars in the parking lot at the time. There was a girl spying on us who was about eleven years old, peeking around the curtains. She had nothing better to do, I guess.

On the way home, the car started running rough. We drove it probably 250 miles before finally deciding to take it to a garage. Turns out the diodes on all six spark plugs were corroded pretty badly. The mechanic was going to shut down in ten minutes, but he ended up keeping the shop open an extra ten. They only changed the three front spark plugs, so we drove home with three bad ones still installed. (Oh, I didn’t mention that the morning we left, Dad had to change the two back rotors. Every time he touched the brakes, the back right would vibrate. So he decided to go ahead and change both.) He charged us way too much: 96 bucks! Guess he’s the type to take advantage of travelers while appearing to be a good Samaritan, staying open late and all.

All the car problems we’ve had to deal with, always owning used cars, has given me a slight knowledge of cars. More than the average girl, at least. I can tell you by listening if your power steering fluid is low, and I know what a limited-slip differential is and the pros and cons of having one. (Yeah, I watch Spike’s Powerblock on Sundays after we come home from church.) I probably couldn’t stand up to the average guy on car knowledge, but, heck, at least I know some things.

Well, it’s nice to be home regardless of how pretty Tennessee was. I’ve had way too much fast food and grease and all I want is a nice lean meal for once. Some fresh fruit, for goodness sake! I’m even tired of biscuits and gravy and breakfast sausage. I wouldn’t be surprised if I gained weight. Now all I want is low-fat food and salads!

I’ve kinda absorbed some of that southern accent while we were gone. I’ve always had a little bit, mainly visible in my personal lingo, but it’s gotten a bit stronger. I suspect it’ll go away soon, though.

* The “shoot” is what we Osgood people call the NMLRA (National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association) Spring National Shoot in June and National Championship Shoot in September, down at NMLRA headquarters in Friendship, Indiana. But what a lot of us go down there for are the flea markets. There’s a large one and a smaller one, and they’re both outdoors. You see all kinds of interesting people there and lots of odd things to buy. I swear I saw a yak scalp for sale last time! It’s something interesting to do during the boring days of summer in Indiana, where you have to drive 20 miles just to get to a movie theater with more than one screen. Check out Wikipedia if you want to know more about the NMLRA shoots.

Writing, reading, and other things I have a hard time staying awake long enough to accomplish

Well, I had a delightful day of sleep yesterday, with a couple paragraphs of Good Omens interspersed between. I had to reread most of it, though, because I have a tendency to read words without registering their meaning and then forget even that much while drowsy. You’d think I would learn not to read when I’m so sleepy, but, darn it, I’ve found a book I want to read, and I’m gonna do it.

This year I remembered about NaNoWriMo before it happened (two years in a row I remembered it in December!), so I’m going to start planning. I’m gonna do it now, because when fall rolls around, I’ll be in college and I’ll probably have to write all kinds of other stuff and won’t have time for personal endeavors.

Bah. If I want to, I’ll make time. That comes back to sleep again, though. I like to sleep. I love to dream. And although sleep cuts out writing time, dreams are invaluable sources of inspiration, when they’re not just skewed interpretations of my previous day.

Plus, it would do wondrous things for my ego and my confidence to finish an entire novel. Heck, if I could clean up several drafts of it and get it published, I might just stop worrying so much about majoring in journalism. But that’s well-nigh impossible, isn’t it? Getting published, I mean. Not worrying about making the correct decision for my future job is also impossible, though.

I worry about trivial things sometimes, also.* For example, I sent a letter (in French, which I haven’t studied past oui and voulez-vous coucher avec moi) to the Serge Lutens boutique in France a month ago to request the Petit Livre des Parfums, and I was beginning to worry if it had made it. That very same day, it came in the mail. You shoulda seen the look on my face. (Unfortunately, I didn’t, personally.)

Now, I know that since the samples in the Petit Livre are solid wax, the note development isn’t nearly the same as the liquid perfume. Regardless, I would like to go on record as loving Fumerie Turque. Wowza. That’s one for the decant list, my friends.

Another scent recently made me think, this is what I’ve been looking for all along!, and restored my faith in Comme des Garcons after the bland Anbar: Ouarzazate. It has similarities to Jaisalmer, which I liked quite a bit, and just the tiniest tinge of Sequoia, as well as that certain something, the joie de vivre (lied about the French), that I expected from my very first introduction to CdG. I might actually get a large decant or even a full bottle of it. It’s that great.

When I first started getting interested in perfume, I read on occasion about Comme des Garcons 2 and how weird it was, how it smelled so odd and all that. The impression I got was that if one was to wear it, they wouldn’t care about others’ reaction to their scent. Well, I applied some, and you know what? I like it plenty. It’s very reminiscent of a little bottle of perfume I had when I was a kid; it came with a Barbie doll and had a pink sticker with a hibiscus on it. The floral aspect of CdG 2 is very, very similar to that. It’s also a cold smell, but not in the same way as Odeur 71, which was more emotionally than physically cold. (Odeur 71, incidentally, reminds me of an office skyscraper in Japan that was mysteriously empty during the day, with blue skies outside. That’s the most specific mental picture I’ve gotten with a scent yet, and it was little different from my expectations of it. Odeur 53, I didn’t like as much, but that’s for another time.) I like CdG 2 also, but I don’t think I would buy a full bottle of it. And, oddly, I have smelled plenty sumi-e ink in school as well as outside, and it actually wasn’t what came to mind at all. It’s there if I think about it, but if I tried it without knowing what the name of the scent was, I wouldn’t have thought of ink.

* Ha ha, did you like that segue?

I’m disillusioned with my past self.

I just looked up my old blog to see if it’s still floating around the web, and wow, I can’t believe how embarrassing it is. For some reason I didn’t recall just how…I don’t know…immature and contrived my blog was. I thought I sounded funny and original at the time, but the way I expressed my opinions was beyond obnoxious.

That’s enough bashing my 14-year-old self, I believe. Hopefully, if I keep up with writing, I’ll look back on this blog not as a source of embarrassment, but as a benchmark for how far I’ll have come, in terms of skill and style.

Oh, wow…I just looked up another of my blogs. This one was from age 16. What a load of self-pitying melodrama. About the only good things I posted were a few new years’ resolutions: “Pay attention to my posture”, “Get a haircut”, and “Listen to the Beatles”. It’s mildly shocking to me that, in those posts, I had some of the same interests as I do now, but my personality was so different. I think that the relative anonymity in that blog made me want to go hog wild with opinionated rants and revealing things that I shouldn’t have.

Okay, enough dwelling on my 16-year-old self’s faults.

Let’s see, what’s wrong with myself now? Har har.

There’s a few things, but I’ve wised up enough not to point them out to everyone. Most of my secrets are best left unsaid.

Except for the secret that I’m a lazy blogger. Blogging about previous blogs…that’s pretty lazy.

In which I find out why Mom loves floral fragrances so much; also, the agony of Black Cashmere

Scent of the Day: Fidji by Guy Laroche

I was curious to see how Tubereuse Criminelle would start out on Mom, since it was a jumble of mentholated motor oil on me. Right away, it was all mouthwash on her. After it went away (only a minute or so for both of us, although I’ve read that the odd top notes may last longer on others), it was apparent why I had such a hard time liking Tubereuse Criminelle the first time I applied it: on me, it was a lot like Raid with synthetic flowers sprinkled about, but on Mom it blossomed into something more natural and a bit sweeter.

I believe that’s why she can wear things like Tatiana and not come off as a deranged florist…it’s all chemistry. And chemistry is why she doesn’t like Organza Indecence and I do, because it turns much nicer on me than her. I think that’s why I generally gravitate toward amber and wood fragrances, while Mom’s entire cabinet is floral.

Oh, and I put on some of Mom’s bottle of Demeter Honeysuckle…it also turned gross on me. It smells so accurate in the bottle (I’ll test it next to actual flowers in the summer!), but on me it wilted.

I saw two boxes of Donna Karan Black Cashmere at the Kroger in Harrison the day after it was confirmed discontinued during a visit to Grandma’s. I couldn’t help but blather on and on to my sister about how much I wanted it but didn’t have fifty bucks to spend on it. I left the store emptyhanded that day but thought about it a lot afterward.

Then I got a call to babysit! And another! And suddenly, I had cash again.

So last Sunday, I bought it. I couldn’t put it on right away because I was in the car with Mom and Dad, and the back windows don’t go down. The whole ride home, I kept taking the lid off and sniffing it. And as soon as I got in the door and in my room, I put ‘er on and it was heavenly. It was still pretty hot out, but it was tolerable in the house. I got on Basenotes and read what others had to say about it while forming my own opinion about it.

Black Cashmere, at first spray, kind of smelled like something Comme des Garcons would do, though a tad less odd (although, admittedly, I’ve only tried a few CdG fragrances). I couldn’t get enough of it!

Later on, I was watching The Call of Cthulhu and decided to try Black Cashmere in comparison to CdG Avignon. (I’ve grown to like Avignon, but I wouldn’t wear it in public under most circumstances.) Something odd happened: Black Cashmere didn’t smell so magical anymore! I chalked it up to nasal fatigue (I had been wearing–devouring–Ambra del Nepal that day, my current love) and figured that it would smell better in the morning.

Nope. It was still not quite me. It seemed like something a future, more mature self would like. In fact, I felt a little awkward wearing it, like I was trying to act older than I was. I was really contemplating returning it.

Laura had some errands to do and had a hankering for Taco Bell, so we ran up to Batesville yesterday afternoon. I told myself that I’d rather have the $60 (after Ohio tax) back than a bottle of Black Cashmere that I likely wouldn’t wear very often until I was older. Turns out that they would return it, except that it came from another store. Figures.

So I’ve still got it, and I’m still holding out hope that I’ll eventually love it.

(I think that, although BC is not a hot-weather scent, the heat amped up my favorite aspects of the scent. At night in my room, it was a lot cooler, and the next day was rainy and cool as well. I’ll wait for another hot day to test this hypothesis…my apologies in advance if it’s super-strong!)

I’ll be poor, but at least I’ll smell fantastic!

It all started last month…

I was perusing some random blogs on the Internets, mainly those related to Lovecraft. I came upon one that told about some kind of HPL-inspired perfume. It intrigued me; I wondered how someone could translate “cosmic fear” into a scent. The website was called Black Phoenix Alchemical Laboratory, and the perfumes the blog spoke about were from the Picnic in Arkham collection. Now my interest was really piqued!

After looking over the entire list about fifty times, I decided on six samples (called Imp’s Ears or simply Imps) to order: Al-Azif, Arkham, Miskatonic University, The Music of Erich Zann (although they spell it “Zahn”), Nyarlathotep, and Shub-Niggurath.

I guess now is a good time to explain why BPAL (and other things eagerly waited for in the mail) will always remind me of pain…

I went out to go check the mail last Monday or so. Anyone who’s been in my house knows that we have a front portion that’s half-built, where my dad and his friends hang out. Well, a few months ago Dad decided he wanted a walk-in closet added to the master bedroom. In order to build it, it had to jut out into the large half-built room that Dad hangs out in. It’s not really that big of a deal (except it really gets in the way when you’re trying to play pool!), but after walking through that room for years, it takes some getting used to. Anyway, when I went out to get the mail, I was walking pretty quickly, eager to see if I got my BPAL samples. I wasn’t looking where I was going, and the left side of my body slammed into the corner of the closet! It hurt so bad that I had to take a minute to catch my breath; Dad and his friends were outside, and I didn’t want to look like I’d just gone through a war zone. So after a minute of recovery, I went out to get the mail; Dad had already gotten it, and my BPAL order was there! The whole incident reminded me of something the character Sabine from the book Griffin and Sabine said that her father told her: “Pain and beauty are constant bedfellows.” For me, it was more of pain and excitement/happiness, but it was still a weird feeling.

So in my box, not only did I get the imps I ordered, but also there were two free samples included: The Deep Ones (also from the Picnic in Arkham collection) and Le Serpent Qui Danse. The former is an aquatic, and the latter is a floral/vanilla combination. Sad to say, Le Serpent is way too floral for my tastes! Mom likes it, though…

After BPAL, I discovered another perfume house called CB I Hate Perfume. All of the scents looked really intriguing, and I really wanted to try a lot of them! After a couple days’ worth of poring over the collection, I decided on At the Beach 1966 and In the Summer Kitchen. I’m really excited to get them…they should be here on Monday, but my fingers are crossed for tomorrow, since Indiana isn’t that far away from Brooklyn. We’ll see, though!

I also found out that Christopher Brosius is the founder of Demeter. I’d heard of that company back in the ’90s, when its Gin and Tonic scent was being touted by Drew Barrymore, but I had forgotten all about it since then. I’m looking at their “fragrance library” right now, and I’m putting together a list of $5 Cologne Mini-Splashes to order.

When will this madness END?! Hopefully never, if I have anything to say about it.

But, for now, I’m gonna go have some lunch. The Demeter catalog makes me hungry!

[EDIT] I forgot to mention that when I ran into the closet, I got a 1-by-two-inch bright red bruise on my left hip bone. It’s since faded to a nice mixture of red and yellow, but it still hurts. Duh. [/EDIT]

This time it’s for real.

I was inspired by Wil Wheaton’s blog and decided to get off my lazy behind and sign up for a blog. I mean, it’s not like I haven’t been blogging since seventh frickin’ grade, but I’m too lazy to design and code my own blog (not to mention keeping the files organized), and, besides, Blogger is slower than slow. So far, WordPress is pretty speedy for dial-up. Maybe this is just the incentive I need to actually get my post quota back up to par.

I know nobody’s gonna read this, just like all the rest, but still…I like writing, even if it’s about nothing important. And the general definition of “not important” is my forte.

So, if you didn’t notice, I’m pretty big on Lovecraft. I have been for some time now, but it’s really peaked in the past two months. And you can bet your bippy I’ll be writing about HPL a lot.

I’ve been trying to come up with ideas for short stories for a long time, and, like Lovecraft, I’ve tried turning to my dreams for inspiration. Unlike Lovecraft, however, my dreams are rarely nightmares. They’re usually pretty neutral, with high points peppered about. I think I love the high points of my dreams too much to be able to use them to create a horror story. The best parts of my dreams are intangible and indescribable, anyway.

Which reminds me…I went to sleep the other night with my mp3 player on, with a steady flow of Lovecraft radio theatre adaptations playing in my head. In the morning, I had a dream about going on an expedition to climb up a mountain. One of my companions discovered a football-sized potato with small, two-inch-long white roots at one end. He decided to eat it, since apparently we were stranded without food. I felt an inexplicable revulsion toward the tuber, and an inner narrator told me that the plant was actually the spawn of an Elder God. Lots more happened in the dream, but it ended with that guy going insane. When I faded back into consciousness, I realized that the headphones were still on my ears, and I had been listening to the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company’s production of “At the Mountains of Madness.” I guess I’d subconsciously received suggestions from the program, which I guess would explain why it’s the only Mythos-related dream I’ve had so far.

I just got a huge craving for those old checkerboard Cheetos. You know, those ones back in the day that were not as crunchy as the Crunchy Cheetos, but not as soft as the puffed ones. Their flavor was so good…and so artificial. They were reborn as the Xs and Os, and then as the green and blue Xs and Os…but since then, they discontinued that flavor. I miss it. The spiral Cheetos they have now are okay, but they don’t hold a candle to the old checkerboard ones.

“Not important”, indeed.