Well, howdy! It’s that time of Time, where I don’t have anything particularly pithy to say – and I certainly DO NOT have a perfume review. I don’t really even have … musings… right now… though I guess these natterings can be considered musings. Sorta.
Awhile back, Miss K gave me a very small bit of rhizome of this gorgeous butter-yellow iris. I mention the size because a) it was teeny, maybe a 5″ single rhiz, and b) it wasn’t that long ago, maybe 4 years. Now? I have 3 giant stands of it, having divided it twice! in 3 years and each stand is 4.5′ in diameter. That’s the first part of this fabulous drama. The second? The smell! It’s weird, like a Bizarro World mashup of castile soap and some cheap penny candy from those little corner stores that used to be near every elementary school in the US. It’s that plasticky-sweet, carcinogenic, Red Dye #2 smell. Addictive. I don’t think I could wear it as a perfume but I cannot stop huffing the actual flowers. UPDATE: Omg. 6 hours into huffing, I finally figured it out… Bazooka bubble gum (or its vicious, lockjaw-inducing sibling, DubbleBubble), pre-reformulations (back in the 60s when nobody gave a damb about what made it so fabulous!) This iris smells like my cheap and cheerful childhood.
You know… in perfume rose is always a bit iffy – none of the ones that try to replicate an actual rose ever work for me (talkin’ to you, Tea Rose) and the best of the bunch (Lyric comes to mind) are skillfully interwoven with some other compelling note (for me what makes Lyric so outrageous isn’t the glorious attar – it’s that odd little hint of Play-Doh subsumed that keeps bringing my wrist back to my nose).
Then.. well, there’s actual Rose, which is a Whole ‘Nother Thang. This time of year it’s my girl TBug (R. ‘Therese Bugnet) who steals the show. A 1950 Rugosa, she’s got that rich, old-world Rose scent, very plummy-rose but with a flat, green center that allows the scent to be pervasive without being overpowering. My bush is 8’x7′ and you can smell it a half block away. To be honest, I don’t think I would want a perfume to try to replicate this glorious girl – I’m happy to just enjoy her in the coolness of mid-Spring. Besides, if you got it wrong she would wrench herself out of the ground and tear you apart, like the mangler in that Stephen King story.
So. I’m still faffing around, ramping up my dressage skills (hey, at least I didn’t decide to ramp up my ICBM-building skills, right? ? – we are working on trot and canter now, still in the arena and, unlike my instructor’s other students, I couldn’t care less if we ever leave the arena. I’m just wanting to master the skills. She’s a bit mystified by that but says I have a very good seat, so there’s that. I’m still having to think about leading – in dog-work, it happens on the left. Everything, from walking to IPO, is done on the left. Leading out a horse? On the right. I actually have to stand there, like a lima bean, and process where the hell I’m at. I get Funny Look – a lot, watching me try to get my brain to synch up (the spatial damage doesn’t help matters). And I am still fighting the urge to drive the reins, which she finds hysterical (“hands DOWN! You’re not on a hitch!”). But! The one thing I cannot do gracefully? Dismount. Omg. It looks like a cephalopod covered in Elmer’s Glue and mayonnaise is trying to get off that horse. Between my cracked sacrum and the (very minor) original brain damage it’s a hot mess. I am adamant, though – I will prevail. We can take forever just in the service of getting off that giant horse with grace and ease. And, yet again, she’s giving me Funny Look because who does that, right? I should be itching to riiiide! Nah. Let’s just work in the arena and try not to laugh as I haul my ass on and off that horse for 30 mins. No point in a graceful canter if I dismount like a glued-up cephalopod. And. oh! I totally smell like hay and horse – a human Cartier Fougueuse (here’s Patty’s take on it – I haz some, too – and she’s right!). I always struggled with Fougueuse (love the hay note but that hay has a ‘sweet’ trigger for me that skews nauseating, alas) but the more I am in the stables the more I begin to ‘get’ it.
Now for something completely different! Did you know that ‘Grammar Nazi’ (something I get called on occasion) colloquially translates to ‘comma fucker’ in Finnish?
I wonder if I can I need to insert that into polite conversation.. I can die happy, now. (h/t to The Bitchery for an outrageous review from whence I learned that little tidbit. Sweatergawd, I live for the reviews and comments (just like here, my darling Posse). Poor Sweaty Larry . Ew. It’s possible I may stop laughing in this lifetime. Maybe.)
What I’m Actually Reading: well! having binged on Romance novels for that post I’m gorged-out on that genre for now – but I may be gorged-out on fiction as a whole, since I’m knee-deep in nonfiction, specifically James Hamblin’s Clean.
It’s a fascinating, deep dive into the psychology/psychopathy of our current obsession with the notion of ‘cleanliness’ gliding from the terrifyingly filthy 14th Century (I pulled down my original paperback copy of Barbara Tuchman’s ‘A Distant Mirror’ – omg, if you are feeling put upon, living in the here and now, take a mo’ to read that book. You will kiss 2021’s feet, warts and all) to present day, touching on bar soap, social mores, brand management, Dr Bronner’s, and a host of other interesting things . I am intrigued by the research that went into this book on the effects of soaps on the skin’s mantle (I admit to rarely using soap now, except for pits and feet – I just like getting the day/night rinsed off ). I thought ‘Clean’ was going to be a dry research tome; instead, it’s funny and accessible, in that breezy, chatty Atlantic style (sidenote: years ago I attempted to explain writing styles to my late stepsister (who was not a reader), using The Atlantic v. The New Yorker as examples. She gave me a long look and said ‘you know… if you ever want to know if a guy is right for you, have this conversation with him’. Ouch. And I should’ve listened to her.
Also, I’m still slowly treading through Carl Zimmer’s ‘Soul Made Flesh’ which is a gentle meander through the history of our discovery of the brain and its function (yes, it needed to actually be ‘discovered’ for reasons that are both utterly fascinating (new research that went against prevailing doctrines could cost you your life) and utterly banal (no refrigeration, so a very short shelf life, so it was forever before brains were even noticed!!. Brains is squishy. )
The End of Men by Christina Sweeney-Baird (this was a Bitchery rec – not all their stuff is romance-based). okay – maybe not gorged-out on ALL fiction. Told in first person narrative and crossing timelines, much like my beloved World War Z, this has a few too many characters but the overall story is harrowing, heartbreaking and all the other ‘bad H’s’ you can think of – but it’s a great read. A virus (think COVID cute-meets Contagion and WWZ in the Seventh Circle of Hell) that is carried by women but fatal only to men. 95% of the world’s human males die – what happens then? I recommend the snot out of it.
btw – these are smile.azon links because I am tech-averse, lazy as a lima bean, and they’re the easiest for me to link to. There is no affiliation so buy if/where you will.
What I’m Watching: not much. Television is not my fave way to spend time and right now it’s irritating the hell out of me. An exception is ‘Mystery Road’, an Australian production with the vaunted Judy Davis, of that scree-dry voice ( asking Swan if he can traverse an area on horseback: ‘can you ride? that hat oughta be good for something’) and Aaron Pedersen as cranky, taciturn Detective Jay Swan, an Indigenous Australian with a foot in each culture. I don’t know enough of Indigenous and White Australian cultures to speak on it but as a Black woman I can certainly identify with a lot of the subtle and not-so-subtle messages put forth. And the character Jay Swan is, physically, smokin’ hot in a ‘normal hot guy’ way (fit but not ripped), which cheers me right up. And Floyd knows he needs to be fit, ’cause he’s carrying a LOT of personal baggage. That part? Not so hot. But it works because once that came to the fore I could wrench my slavering gaze from him and focus on the excellent story. Omg. I am so easy! Fwiw, the scenery is even more gorgeous than he is! And the supporting cast is awesome, especially Ningali Lawford Wolf as Auntie Dot. Do NOT mess with Dot. Another snot-recommend.
So. That’s me. Whazzup with you? Reading anything? Watching anything? Building a better ICBM? Talk to me. I have some samples of new stuff, including the Brazilian Crush Patty talked about. TGirl’s pawnicure is just waiting to dry, so she can poke for a winner!