Saturday, March 25, 2006

Orange Blossom Perfume

So, remember how I was wishing I had designer liquid soap with a matching lavender sponge the way the Enchanted Couple do? WELL!

When I was a pre-teen, I had a friend who got to go to Florida in a big RV for Easter Vacation (not called Spring Break in those days!) one year and it was quite the hoopla over who she chose to take along. She got to take 3 friends. I was in the running, but I lost out. Just not QUITE popular enough. But Panda (not her real name) promised that she would bring us losers a present from Florida. In fact she told us she would bring us each our own tiny bottle of Orange Blossom perfume.

Now the thing about Panda is, she was the top of the heap. The Head Pecker in the pecking order of 'who's Whom' of small town Indiana life. And I so DEEPLY wanted to be her. If I couldn't BE her, then at least I wanted to spend gigantic amounts of time in her company, preferably in her house. But anytime I went over to play, she always wanted to hang out on the sidewalk and play kickball, or go over to the McClurry's where she had a crush on their boy Matt. I thought she was totally nuts. Not the Matt crush part, but the fact that she didn't want to stay indoors and just loll around the stately pleasure dome she called her home.

See, Panda had not one, but TWO bedrooms. One fully decked out in mint green silk with a giant 4 poster bed and two humungous walk in closets crammed with incredible matching outfits and shoes and little girl purses, but a bedroom that was just for show. In it, she had all white wicker furniture, and her doll collection. She had thousands of dolls. She had at least ten sets of Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. She had glass cases filled with dolls from exotic lands, in their native costumes. She had baby dolls and 3 year old dolls, and a doll that was designed to look just like Panda. She had an entire TRUNK, and I do mean a steamer trunk, full of discarded Barbie's. They were all naked, and jumbled up together, and I, who owned one perfectly adored and preserved Barbie (and I STILL have her, to this day in her original case, as well cherished as the first day I laid eyes on her beneath the Christmas tree all decked out in her wedding gown), was just yearning to straighten them all up and dress them in their finery and set them in rows around the perimeter of her room. My only concern was that there might be so many of them, they might have to sit two-deep. I never solved that knotty problem because I was never given the opportunity. We had to play outdoors. She thought those dolls and all that abundance was just ordinary. Not fun.

Panda's house had a butlers pantry. I had never heard of such a thing. It had black and white tile floors and white glass-pained cabinets and an entire bank of refrigerators with those black cast-iron door fixtures, the antique kind. Inside were gourmet things. Special things. Olives stuffed with teensy bits of lime or jars of jellied rose petals.

Panda's house had two living rooms. Everything matched. Everything was done by designers. Drapes matched upholstery and pillows matched rugs and it was glorious! Her house had a jungle room, complete with tiki bar and a real live boa constrictor. There was a creepy TIKI God with a huge belly and an M&M belly button. We would regularly pry that M&M out of his stomach and eat it.

I longed to be her best friend and somehow get to metamorphose into her twin sister so I could live there. Even then, I was showing full-fledged Interior Decorator Leanings! Considering how we both turned out, as adults, I'm awfully glad I didn't have my wish come true. But then, way back then, Panda and her world were the Apex of All that was Perfect in the world!

All week long, that Easter Break, I was excited about my longed-for treat of Orange Blossom perfume. I had smelled some once that my glamorous Aunt Patty had gotten from a trip to Florida. To me, it was as exotic as coconuts and lichi blossoms. And best of all, it was deemed an appropriate fragrance for a little girl to wear. Yeah, back in the day when little girls could only have plastic pearls and hankies as gifts, with the occasional Tussy Toilet Water and Bath Powder for special occasions like church. Orange Blossom Perfume was the ultimate.

The first day back at school, there was Panda and her gang, all smelling to high heaven of sticky sweet Orange Blossoms and chewing 900 chews per second on big wads of Orange Bubble Gum. When I approached Panda, ready for my bottle of the goods, she hung her head in shame and announced that she hadn't gotten anybody the perfume, she had decided to get everyone Orange Flavored Bubble Gum instead.

"What?" I was stunned.

"Yeah," she said through sugary orange lips, "And we actually chewed all yours on the way home in the RV. Sorry!"

I never forgave her for that, never. I would like to say, other than my lapse of good manners at thinking I could walk up to someone and DEMAND a gift, I haven't turned out all that badly. And Panda...well, she happened to win the dubious distinction of being the first ever person to be required by law to go to Alcohol Awareness classes in order to keep her driver's license in Indiana. She had a bit of a problem with substance abuse. Her perfectly decorated world of abundance was a showy front to a rather dark, dysfunctional family life.

And me, poverty be damned, I can match my linens with my china and be the happiest girl in the world! Life really is that simple for me.

But then I'm almost forgetting the point of my post, now! This morning, at Trader Joes, I noticed they had some designer bottles of Lavender liquid soap. There were some other scents there, too, so I just smelled them all. Lo and behold! What should waft into my brain but the heavenly fragrance of Orange Blossoms? Trader Joes French Liquid Soap, and the scent is called Orange Blossom Honey. I couldn't believe my nose! I had to buy it, it was so exciting! It's sitting on my sink right now and as soon as I'm finished typing I'm going to wash my hands again, just for the fun of it!

But offer me orange flavored bubble gum? NO THANKS!

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Headless Headboard

I'm on a mission to find a really cool headboard at a thrift store or used furniture place. I would love an upholstered one, but those are hard to find and after watching that tv show the other night about bedbugs I am terrified of bringing some into the house. But I can assure you, gentle readers, that whatever I find, it will look NOTHING like this:

Also, there is a 99.9% chance that it will not resemble this:

Because Twigs and I do not get along unless I'm starting a campfire.

But what I would really like would look something like this:

Hopefully, I will find just the perfect thing today, and acomplish it without once getting into a brawl with a salesclerk.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Yippee Ti-Yi-Yay!

I'll be danged! It's Brokeback Barbie!

(the fine print reads: doll cannot hold rope as shown)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

New Screen Door

Yes, only 7 or 8 weeks after Valentine's Day, my Screen Door is finally installed and fully operational. That Patrick is such a dear, but he does everything as fuddy-duddy and jerry-rigged as a thing can be done. Rather than position the molding by measuring it, for instance, he just attaches it and then has to go back and saw big chunks off it to make the rest of the stuff fit. I didn't say a word, though, because it was HARD WORK to hang that door and get it all together, and I am sooooo grateful to have a screen door at last.

So what if all the doorknobs are upside down and the dead-bolts bolt the wrong way.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Spring has sprung

The first day of spring came and went and I didn't even notice it, due to the torrential rains. And I'm not complaining! I just love the rain! I just wish we'd have them in July and August when we really need them. Oh, what I wouldn't give for a really good thunderstorm in summer!

I have a gigantic list of "To Do's" for today, my very first full day off in over 14 days, and so far I don't feel like doing a single one of them. Get gasoline, pick up my contacts at Wal-mart, clean the litter box, find the little box of white lights I bought at the Christmas close-out sale in the likely event of the strand I have over my plate server burning out, which it did a couple days ago, get groceries, scrub the cabinets and put down new shelf-liner paper, tackle the floors with broom, mop and vacuum cleaner, and dust at least one section of something that needs to be dusted. (Whew! How was that for a run-on sentence?)

Why can't I get people to do these things for me? If I won the lottery, forget about expensive cars, cruises and beach vacations. I would hire some help. I want people to do all the things I just don't want to do! And it's not that I am lazy, because really I'm not, it's that I'm incompetent. It's quite the realization, at 49, to wake up and clearly see that I can't do a darn thing to meet my own cleaning expectations. When other people mop the floor, it comes out clean. When I mop it, I make a rather muddy swirl of slob-water that I spread out evenly on the floor and let dry, hoping it will look like a nice coat of finish. Dirt Finish. But even.

Things I do well: make the bed and brush my teeth, daily. I do those things whether they need it or not. But vacuuming? I will stare at little annoying pieces of scrap paper on the floor for a week before it even dawns on me that I could vacuum them up and then they wouldn't annoy me anymore! But when I do vacuum, it doesn't stay that way. It takes a mere 30 seconds before it looks like I never did any cleaning whatsoever!

If I had people to do these things, the floors would stay mopped and vacuumed, the powder room would miraculously smell like a bouquet and the toilet tissue would be forever folded into a little point at the end.

I guess this tirade is my version of 'spring cleaning!' I call it Airing my Grievances.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Boring and Blurry

Well, I'm pretty blurry today! These are the best shots I got out of a dozen. It's the New Table Centerpiece, which is still-life proof that St. Patrick's Day is Boring for the Decor. Fortunately, I only have to leave this up a week before going to something springlike and pre-Easterish. At least I have a shamrock tablecloth. That's more than most weirdo's can claim!

Here's Mackie. I'm having a challenge finding the right spot for his blue nap donut. This seemed to work for a small nap, as he could keep an eye on me, feel like he was close, and yet not be ON TOP of me while I'm trying to work at the computer.

On Friday, the Old Goat came in from getting his mail and announced that I owed him $2.50 per day for garage parking privileges. I told him it was a good thing his garage was full of his cars then, because I wouldn't be able to afford to pay it. He thought that the little red car in the garage was mine, but actually it is his Grandson's who parked it there while on vacation.

This guy is determined to make sure he gets his money's worth out of me and that I am not cheating him in some way. Since no matter how much I vent and snark about it here, I take my job seriously and bring a whole lotta integrity, compassion and loyalty to the table, I find this utterly disgusting. As I was preparing to leave yesterday, he even asked me if I had stolen a book and put it into my purse. Sooner or later I'll have to ask to be replaced, AGAIN. Because I'm not up to being downed every day.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The Sacred Twelve

American Idolatry continues with it's usual fervor and hot sweaty palms. I really like that Ryan Seacrest. He is such a nice guy! And he is so required to handle the Awful Simon's nasty jabs, and do it with a smile and a good bit of showmanship. I don't think it's an act that those two hate each other's guts. I'm so glad I don't have to live inside Simon Scowl's skin!

Aside from the fact that pretty much everybody knows that American Idol(atry) is just a gleeful way to watch cruelty and torture on Live Tv--in a safe manner of course, since there isn't ever any blood and rarely any tears--people really seem to BELIEVE this stuff. And they don't seem to look behind the surface as to what a bizarre show this is.

For instance, nobody seems to think it the least HORRID that after you've dragged out the anticipation of the Hanging by making the person about to be voted off until the last possible minute just to build the fever pitch and feed the advertising revenues, that you then FORCE the LOSING PERSON to Sing the VERY SONG that got them booted off the Island to begin with.

You've woven this lovely hemp rope, and now we get to watch you hang yourself with it!

Scratch the veneer, my friends, and look upon what bloodthirsty, cruel and barely civilized beasts we are! And do it 3 nights a week for two hours each night!

Anyway, I'm just disgruntled. I really LIKED Gedeon, even if his Mom couldn't spell Gideon when she signed his birth certificate. He was interesting, could sing the birds out of the trees and had that very sweet smile. And....he was ODD. In the way that Taylor Hicks is Odd. Quirky and cool. You are drawn to that spark of unusual glowing meteorite inside them.

But America, subjected endlessly to subliminal programming and guided by a herd-of-sheep mentality, chose to vote out Gedeon and leave the wee lisping babe Kevin Covais in the running! Why? Is he really that cute? Is he really America's Darling? I thought for sure that Bucky would go. And Kevin. Bucky can sing, if you don't have to look at his teeth. Of course if he gets a recording gig, he can pay to have them capped. But I don't think you can have the 'cute' removed, and that is what would have to happen to make Kevin Covais the least bit palatable. You can dress 'em up in torn jeans, teach them some gang signs, and have them sing rap, but you can't take the 12 year old into a BAR! PEOPLE! The kid is not old enough to be up past his bedtime! He could never perform in an evening concert! PLEASE get your priorities straight on who you start voting off next.

Because no doubt about it, there are some seriously talented people who have been booted in order to keep the Kevin in the running.

Oh, and what made Ace decide he needed to hide his eyebrows? Because for the last couple of performances, after having explained to us his winter knitted ski-cap fetish, he's decided to take it's Beigeness out of his back pocket and start wearing it all the time now. It's STUPID. And Ugly. And doesn't do one thing to help his pretty boy looks in my opinion. I like his soaring, raven-wing eyebrows, why are the buried behind stretch wool?

On the home front, I'm working too much and ready to stuff my client in a velvet sack and toss him in the Yellow River, the way they used to do to Imperial Personages they were tired of and wished to depose. Yesterday he insisted that he had already taken his pills, and I told him he hadn't and that he had to take them while I was watching. He called me a NAG. He knows just how to dig his spiked tongue into the places it would hurt the most. I told him it was fine with me if he didn't want to take his meds, I have the number for the funeral parlor written right down by the phone. He thought about that for a second and then told me he decided he didn't want to take that chance and took his meds. But every day is like a WAR and I'm the losing country. Except I'm not. Because every day he loses a little bit more of who he ever was. I just hope at the end there is something left besides the nasty, digging, suppressive personality that he exhibits so much of.

My Dad used to sing a little song, and it went like this:

"Be Kind to my web-footed friend
The Duck may be somebody's mother!"
So I have to remember that this guy was and is someone's best memory of the greatest Dad. No matter how many names he calls me, or how many times he belittles me in general or tries to control my being. Because I can come home and change out of my martyr suit and live my happy life, and he cannot. He'll never get to live a happy life again. No matter how long he lives.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Fun Mackie Pics

Here's just some fun Mack pictures for today, before I'm off to the salt mines. Funny, that expression. We always use that in my family, and one time one of my boy cousins asked me with total sincerity, what the inside of a salt mine was really like. He actually thought I worked in a salt mine!

Here is Mackie NOT watching Bones, which is my favorite because I get to see the heavenly smile of David Boreanaz.

I love these near meditative looks.

If you don't plan on entertaining me or holding me, I think you should mind your own business.

And finally, asleep by the heater.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Expensive Cat Carrier

Why buy an expensive cat carrier when an ordinary plastic grocery bag will do? Sorry these are so blurry, but I was laughing so hard when I took these shots.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Swede for a Day

I knew I shouldn't have answered the phone today. I had the whole day off, after a mix-up in scheduling, and was looking forward to doing absolutely nothing. But instead I got called to do a fill-in for a sick girl, and I couldn't say no.

This lady was nice, but she lives with her son who is in a wheelchair. He lost his right leg from the knee down from cancer, and he smokes like a chimney. A dirty chimney. And he's one of those dysfunctional slobs. Filthy dirty tee-shirt, (and we know how I feel about those as outerwear) over an absolutely enormous gut. Probably shaved last month sometime, but the ear fuzz has definitely not been trimmed since Woodstock.

This lady had a hair appointment which I took her to, with instructions to return to the house, mop the floor, and iron her clothes. The dear has a thing about ironing. I kid you not she had me iron all her polyester pants. You know, the kind designed never to wrinkle under any circumstances? She even counts how many items there are. "Dear, you will have 7 pieces to iron!" she told me gleefully. So I dropped her off at the salon and scooted on back and tackled that kitchen. It was a sty, really, I'm not kidding. I went into the back bedroom, bearding the den, so to speak, and said to the son, "What was your name again?"

"Oh Bob" he replied.
"Well, Obob, could I get you to take the garbage out like your mom said you would?"
" Oh Sure" Obob replied in a sullen voice, not budging.
"What ya building there, Obob?"
"Oh just working on my satelite TV hookup"
"You're attaching it to a car battery?" I queried.

Obob had a car battery on his bedroom desk, grease and caustic battery juice dripping, attaching wires to it, semi-industriously. All the televisions in the house were on rabbit ears, so I kind of wondered how long he'd been working on this invention. I know he was doing it to make an impression. You know, so I'd fall in love and he'd finally get a life. Everywhere you looked, this house was crying out for a little maintenance. Things that Obob could easily do. But he spends his time in the Lanai surrounded by gutted television carcasses and stereo equipment under various strata of dust, smoking Cloves and blasting his radio. In piles at his feet were empty packages of cigarettes strung with cobwebs.

As I sped through this cleaning job, which I wanted to do quickly and thoroughly so I could get it done and also so I could do a little extra for this lady, who could use a little industry on her side, he rolled out to his den and cranked that radio up to glass shattering proportions. You know, so I could hear how lonely he is and how multi-musical. I stood at the pane glass door and waved his severed right wheel chair footrest at his glumpish back. "Does this have a home?" I asked him. He took the chair attachment from my hands and threw it onto the suede sofa, where it was to begin with.

"Obob, you've taken over and decimated this once beautiful home. Leave your Mother a lovely, clean living room, will you?"
"Oh I help around here plenty!"
"Like what? What do you do?"
"Oh I cook. I took Oh, 4 years of Home-Ec in high school so I could get out of going to study hall." Censure enough, in a man who obviously skipped the entire semester devoted to hygiene and halitosis.
"Oh don't tell your Boss or anything, but that girl who works here normally is the horniest thing I ever saw!" (Like I didn't see this coming).
"Really, what makes you think so?"
"Oh every time she comes over she says, Oh Bob, when are you going to take me to bed?"
"Are you sure you heard her right? She may have said Obob when are you going to take a BATH."
Obob left the room abruptly and troubled me no more.

When I went to pick up Mom of Obob, she was having her comb out. I heard her say, "Dear me, yes, I hire her from a service! And I'm just sure she's Swedish! I really like her so much! I'm Swedish, you know!"

As we gathered up her various paraphanelia and I loaded her into the car, she asked me if I was Swedish. She wanted me to be Swedish so badly. Why didn't I just tell her I was? What harm would it have done? I've probably got some Swedish blood mixed in there with the German-Scots-British, after all. And she so dearly needed to be able to be related to me by nationality. Obob is so obviously a trial to her, taking after his Slobakian Forefathers, rather than her tidy Swedish ones.

When we got back to the house, it was filled with second hand smoke. Obob had decided it was war, smoking in the house where it is forbidden, in true passive-aggressive style.

Poor lady! I turned to her and "Oh!" I said. "Oh! Come to think of it there is quite a bit of Swedish blood on my Grandmother's side."

God will just have to forgive me, because after all it was just a lie! It could have so easily been a Lie AND an Obob murder. Oh!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

New Face!

Yes, here is my new profile picture. I can't seem to get the icon to be any bigger than a postage stamp, so here it is in a larger size so you can actually see it with the naked human eye.


Get rid of that ACE character. I do not see what the fuss is about him and he needs a haircut. Of course Paula is in love with him so he's not going anywhere. But is he really THAT good? And what is with that stupid affectation of needing a beanie in his back pocket all the time? Get a haircut and you won't need to smash your hair down to make it manageable. I suppose we are supposed to think that is cute? Like a signature trademark, how endearing?

I'm all for the little chipmunk cheek kid, but he needs to go, as well. He's Munchkin-cute, but is he really necessary? Also, time to get rid of the other white boy, the non crooner one, the one who looks like he's one of the Brady Bunch. It always sounds like he's singing High School Theatre to me.

I'm all about Taylor Hicks! He's such a natural, so enthusiastic, and how can you not love anyone as spastic as Joe Cocker was who looks like a mush between George Clooney and the Young Steve Martin? And, he wore a suit, how refreshing from the obligatory torn jeans and long-sleeved shirt-under a teeshirt fad that I can't stand. A Teeshirt is UNDERWEAR, people. I don't care how many logo's you put on it, it's an UNDERSHIRT.

THEN, I just adore Sway. He's short, he wears hats indoors, which is my bottom line pet peeve, but he's quite the singer. I'm sorry he was so deluded, though, about that magic moment when his parents were together again watching him sing. Anyone with an ounce of female hormone could have read the body language between those two! Like total strangers only worse, absolutely NO eye contact and obviously so loathing of each other they wouldn't even let their elbows bump accidentally.

Of course, I really like the raspy voiced bald headed Chris Daughtry with the dude McDude sideburns. He is so very good, and I loved it that he said his kids are now really popular in school. It's fleeting of course, but kind of sweet, having a semi-famous Dad and all.

I didn't like the scurfy looking tall blonde pony-tailed Bucky but last night he was very good and I got that southern singer feel out of him. And once he gets his teeth capped, he'll be spiffy.

As for the girls, well, The Snot who Poses, Briscuit or Brillo or whatever her name is has too much Ego Malfunction for me. I like Kelly Pickler, the Divine Mandisa, and of course my choice for final winner is Lisa Tucker. She won't even need a stage name! And I love it that she is too young to wear lipstick, so she doesn't.

I'm not nearly as smitten with that perky little Paris as everyone else seems to be, but whatever the outcome of Idol, she's got a guarenteed career because not only is she good, but Randy Jackson cannot get his nose far enough up her butt in adoration of her famous Gramma. She'll be signed to a label pronto, so she's not necessary, is she?

But I guess we'll have to wait and see for tonight. America can be so stupid sometimes.

Oh, and people? POST COMMENTS, please? I'm so bereft of feedback.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

My New Childhood

I'm revamping my childhood. And I've got photographic proof of my altered past! Here I am, in the garden, as an angelic wee tot, not a care in the world and totally, blissfully, perfectly happy all the time.