November 29, 2006 · bedtime stories

A couple weeks ago. I bought a little bottle of Somnea Bedroom Mist from Fruits & Passion restfully titled “Essence of Dreams”. All tucked up in bed later that night, I pulled it out of my bedside table drawer and gesturing with the spray bottle, I motioned to Johnny Snoozefest to lift his pillow.

“Ack!” he shrieked. “What is that?!!”

Me: It’s bedroom mist. Lift your pillow.

He: (flailing his limbs defensively) Don’t spray me in the eyes! Ack! Ack!

Me: (rolling eyes) I’m not going to spray it in your eyes. It’s bedroom mist, not bedroom mace.

He: (eyeing me distrustfully) But what’s it for?

Me: It’s suppose to help you sleep better. It has essential oils. Look, it’s Essence of Dreams.

He: (snatching the bottle from me and reading from the label with archly raised eyebrows) The active fragrance of this mist combines the relaxing properties of Siam benzoin and sandalwood and lavendar essential oils to create ambience that’s highly condusive to your restful sleep…

Me: (smugly) that’s right. Restful abience. Says so right on the label.

He: Yeah, but it also says Siam Benzoin. What’s that? That can’t be good for you. It sounds all toxic. Like one of those chemicals that causes the evacuation of small towns and class action suits when a truckload of it overturns on the highway.

Me: (not willing to admit I have no clue what Siam Benzoin is) It’s not toxic. It’s restful. Sandalwood…mmmm. Restful! Essence of Lavendar…ooohh, my eyes are getting heavy! ooo.. essence of dreams, so nice!

dramatic pause while he blinks at me in that worried fashion that clearly indicates he is contemplating calling his brother the pharmacist and pressing him into immediately securing some kind of major medication to ward off the mental illness that has obviously seized me

Me: (exasperated) Just lift your damn pillow and let me spray this stuff so we can go to sleep!

He: (grudgingly lifting his pillow) Okay, but I really think the bedroom mist marketing geniuses made a mistake leading off with the benzonoid chemical crap.

Editor’s Note: he totally has a point there. I googled Siam benzoin the next day and it is apparently “a modern herbal with an agreeable odor recalling the scent of vanilla”, but it does sound kinda alarming and toxic. I think leading off with the lavendar and the sandalwood would have been more enticing.

But the next night, Johnny obliging lifted his pillow for his nightly mist without a word of complaint and by the third night, the little bottle of bedroom mist was residing in HIS nightstand drawer and he was doing the misting. It’s totally become our nightly ritual, the spritzing of the pillows and the grateful inhaling of restful ambience, ranking right up there with Finny’s midnight snack (three pieces of kibble which you better have on hand before you attempt to cajole her off your pillow and to the foot of the bed otherwise there is no way you are gaining access to your spot).

But up until last night, it was a completely silent ritual with no commentary from either of us. It was all bribe the dog, scoot into bed, switch the channel to Jon Stewart, lift the pillow, mist, mist and good night.

But last night as I lay blinking at the ceiling (Jon Stewart was in commercial) it suddenly occurred to me that Johnny Reluctant was totally enamoured with the bedroom ambience.

Me: Wow, you really love that stuff, huh?

He: (largely asleep) huh?

Me: the bedroom mist. You love it.

He: It’s okay.

Me: No, no you LOVE it! You have totally taken over the misting duties. You’re all about the misting! And after all that moaning and groaning and scoffing.

He: I did not moan and groan and scoff.

Me: You did! You were all Scoffy McScofferson. You were Sir Scoffsalot. You were all like “Toxic! eww eww! Don’t spray it in my eyes!!! eww eww!” (in shrill girly tones)

He: I was not like “eww eww!”

Me: You were too! You were totally shrieking.

He: I do NOT shriek, thank you very much.

Me: You were totally shrieking! Like a leeeeeetle girl!

He: yeah, right. Whatever. Go to sleep.

Me: Admit it! You like it! You like the bedroom mist! You love the bedroom mist!

He: It’s okay. I like it fine.

Me: No! You LOVE it! You totally love it!

He: It’s nice.

Me: Nice? Nice?!! I hate that word. You can do better. Tell me why you love it. Tell me! Tell me a bedtime story about the bedroom mist and how you love it.

Ed. Note: yeah, I know. So annoying. I can be just so annoying. I am particularly annoying when I’m all hopped up on accidentally imbibed caffiene and I know that I’m annoying you

He: (punching his pillow, knowing the only way out of this is thru it) Yeah, yeah … look, it’s nice. It’s good. I like to go to sleep in nice smells. Now go to sleep.

Me: No, tell me more! I want more! Tell me the whole story! Why specifically do you like the bedroom mist!

He: sighhhhh. You’re not tired, are you?

Me: Nope. Tell me!

He: What do you want me to tell you? I have no stories to tell you about my appreciation of the bedroom mist. There are no stories to tell. It’s nice. It works. I like it. End of story.

Me: Then make something up. You can do it, Duffy Moon! Make up a story.

silence. more pillow puching. And my hand rocking his shoulder, insistent.

He: sigh
He: moan
He: grumble

Me: Tell me!

He: okay, okay. It reminds me of when I was a boy. in England. And I would fall asleep in the heather. And winds would blow. From the moors. The smell of heather in the moors. And Heathcliff. Out there. Wandering. Staggering. Drunk. Again. Hhhhheeeeeeaaaaathcliffffff…fff…ff…(tapering off to a thin ghostly wail)

I laughed for ten minutes straight. It might be one of those things that you would have to have heard to get completely, but it was HIGH-larious. Trust me. I still laugh out loud whenever I think of it and I’m not a laugh out loud laugher in general. I’m one of those freakish interior laughers.

Funnier still, is when I got up to go to the bathroom twenty minutes later (after I assumed that Johnny Stories had drifted off to sleep) and got back into bed, a very faint “Hhhhheathclifffff) drifted up from the prone form next to me.



10 Comments so far
November 28, 2006 · dangling in the drizzle



4 Comments so far
November 24, 2006 · Friday flopping

Okay, first things first. Do birds have ears? They must, right? Otherwise why bother with all the chirping and singing and squawking and screeching and trilling and peeping and what not, right? So they must have ears. But what do they look like? Oh, sure, I could probably google the answer, but sometimes you just want to put a question out there and hmmmmm about it a little bit first you know? And also I’m lazy.

And I’m flopping in a big, big way. Creatively speaking that is. Fortunately, not on anything anyone is paying me to do, just in my own creative endeavours. ‘Cuz trust me… if I was flopping on a project I was being paid to do, I would be too busy freaking out, hunkered in the closet rocking on my heels whilst clutching fistfuls of hair to bother with the blogging. Nope… this is all personal floppage. Self induced floppage.

So forever ago, I start this painting of birch trees. And for some dumb reason, I plopped the major foreground trunk right down the center of the canvas. I don’t know why I did that since I really don’t like symmetrical compositions very much and I usually try to avoid that. But it didn’t bother me too, too much in its intial incarnation. In fact, it kind of worked. But then I left it for about six months and when I came back to it, I took a completely different approach to the painting and really, you wouldn’t have recognized one from the other. And I’ve been toiling on it on an off for about a month, planning to give it to my brother for Christmas. And for a while, it was looking really good. But that damn central tree truck really start pecking at me and I tried and tried to correct it without painting over the whole thing and starting from scratch. But the more I tried to correct it, the more I ruined everything else that was good about the painting. I started ruining it for real yesterday night and have spent most of the morning ruining the rest of it. It has totally had the biscuit now, no bones about it and I’m really disappointed.

But not distraught. In fact, I’m remarkably cheerful about it. And undeterred… as I write this, I’m waiting for the background of another (much smaller) painting to dry. Because hopefully I have finally learned my lesson which is never ever again start slapping paint on a canvas without having sketched out the composition first because no matter how beautiful the technique, I’m never going to be pleased with it unless the composition agrees with me.

You would think that I would have learned that a long long time ago…. but no. Too often I just attack a blank canvas without any idea of what I’m going to do and start throwing paint at it hoping that somehow, some way, this time it’s going to work. And you know what? It never ever does. Never. Not once.

So maybe after all this time, I’ve learned my lesson. Just a pity I went thru sooooooo much paint to get there.

Other lessons learned today: It is never a good idea to leave your blog unchecked for more then six days. You wind up (and I’m so not kidding about this) with 609 spam messages waiting in your “moderate” box and it takes (and again so not kidding) 25 minutes to go thru and wipe them out.

Anyhoo… I think the canvas is dry now so I’m off to see if I can salvage my self respect and paint something I don’t want to incinerate with a blow torch.



4 Comments so far
November 17, 2006 · quoth the Raven ‘Nevermore’

I have spent the last fifteen minutes trying to will myself into the silken sunset center of one of these roses, but to no avail. Alas, I am a grumpy girl. I should have known better than to count all the ways in which I do not look anything like Audrey Hepburn, because that can only lead to no good very sad places and grievous discontent.

I am most very definitely having a not-pretty-at-all day today. My hair is dirty (which I hate more than anything in the world. Well, almost) and has those weird sleep bumps that are still present despite the fact I have my hair secured in a ponytail so tight that the skin over my temples is screaming, I cut my bangs too short last time I trimmed them (in the usual fit of desperation and pique) and now I’m all forehead and unkempt eyebrows. My face is all pouchy with sleep even though I’ve been up for hours now, I have a zit festering on my chin that even though you can’t really see, you can FEEL! and I’m all mingy and unshowered because I didn’t get the chance to do it before the wolf walk and now it is after 1:00 and any minute now … or possibly 3 hours from now… there will be a delivery van full of burly guys pulling up to my house to deliver a giant armoire and I know from experience that even if I rush thru my ritual ablutions as fast as humanly possibly and even though i know that they will likely stretch this large delivery window to the nth degree the way they always do, the second I disrobe and soap up, they will be banging my door down and I’ll get shampoo in my eyes and be all wet and cussing and the only way I could possibly be less attractive than I am right now is if I was all wet and cussing and squinty with misplaced shampoo. And somehow I have to sweet talk the burly guys into heaving the giant arsed teevee that was displaced from the living room by another giant arse teevee (but this one flat screened and LCD and HD and BFD and all sorts of acronymed wonder that the hubby cannot live without) into this armoire. Just so you know, sweet talking is easier when one has clean and lovely locks.

All this is further amplified by the hideousness of my wardrobe. I dug out the box of sweater things last week but as I went thru it all, I remembered how last spring I was holding off and holding off and holding off…. not wanting to buy desperately needed woolens when spring was at the doorstep. Everything is stretched and stained and ugly as sin. Unwearable and unbearable. blah.

The only redeeming items I own right now are a robin’s egg blue hoodie and yoga pants which I bought after an excruciating visit to the dentist on Tuesday this week, a pinky peach sleep t-shirt and a brown deep-v sweater which cuts practically to my belly button underwhich I have nothing to wear. I do not even have a single t-shirt acceptable for wear in public. Or private for that matter. Also, I need shoes. And underwear. And bras. And I hate hate hate shopping for all those things.

Truth is, I suck at shopping. I just get all prickly and hot and discouraged in the changing room and i buy items I never wear, simply because I refuse to go thru all this pain and come out the other side empty handed. And I shop for a life I don’t have. A life wherein I’m meeting members of parliment and attending teaparties and D.A.R. (Daughters of the American Revolution) functions or something. I buy flouncy skirts and tailored jackets and blouses you have to iron when what I really need are t-shirts and socks and everyday, moping about the house gear.

Also it is raining AGAIN and still, still, still. And I have no appropriate footwear for rainy walks. Why do I never remember to buy waterproof footwear? My big clumpy snowboots are waterproof, but I can’t wear them now. I will just get stuck in the mud somewhere out there, completely entrenched and unable to move and crows and various birds of prey will swoop down and pluck out my eyes and poop on my dirty head and make mocking caw-caw sounds and no one will ever find me because I lost my cell phone and haven’t replaced it and the other one lives in the bottom of Johnny Commuter’s back pack and Finny will just use my entrenchedness as an opportunity to hunt and eat all the meadow voles I won’t let her hunt and eat when I’m not stuck in mud. She will also delight in finding the most vile smelling deposit of weird ickness to roll in, like she has already done three times this week, knowing I can do nothing but flail at her pitifully with my bird pecked limbs and eyeless sockets.

Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore’.

ooo… gotta go. The delivery truck just pulled up.

(um… yeah. So if that last bit seems just a little too convenient, that’s because it is. I lie like a rug. They have already been and gone and didn’t seem to mind that I’m all unshowered and mingy and as I write this last part I am fresh from the shower, all sweet smelling and sunny again. I just didn’t know how to end this whole ranty thing so there you go.)



4 Comments so far
November 16, 2006 · appropos of nothing…

If I could look like anyone who ever drew breath, I would look like Audrey Hepburn. My god, but she was lovely. Impossibly elegant and sophisticated and yet mischiveous at the same time. She had such vim and sparkle. And of all the wardrobes in the world evah! I would pick hers. For all the same reasons.

For the record, in case you don’t know, I look nothing like Audrey Hepburn.

I know I’m not alone in wanting to be Audrey Hepburn. I think all women must think that, at least in part. But why is it that men don’t seem to find her nearly as attractive as women do? I mean, Johnny Likestheblondes thinks she is lovely and everything, but everytime I moon about how I wish I resembled her, he says nope. He’s glad I don’t. And not in that husbandly-trying-to-evade-wifely-wrath sorta way either. No. He sincerely means that. But I never get a clear reason why not. Maybe it’s because his mom has a little Audrey Hepburn in her. In fact, his mom’s name IS Audrey. And definitely, when she was younger, she looked a little like Audrey Hepburn.

I have just realized that my husband looks a lot more like Audrey Hepburn than I do or ever will. And that realization bites harder than the weather.

I need some chocolate. STAT.



6 Comments so far
 · rosy light

o, so dark and dreary lately. And rainy. All day with the rain. I have found though that fresh, fat, frivolous orange roses are the very best solution. And tea. Lots and lots of tea!



2 Comments so far
November 8, 2006 · think pink

I am in love. And my love? Goes by the unlikely name of Strandgut.

Strandgut is a beautiful photoblog and I have to confess I turn there at least six times a day and fix my gaze on beauties like the one above. Soft, creamy, dreamy, serene…. so lovely and fresh. Adter much deliberation, I have decided that this one, the one above, is my favourite. I encourage you to go there now and pick your own favourite: Strandgut.

Lots of work to do these days. Not an easy proposition on days like today which are cold and grey and raining. I would rather snuggle down under the duvet with my wolf, drink lemon tea and read delicious novels. Speaking of which, I am on the hunt for a few good reads and I need your help. I’ve fallen out of the habit of reading fiction and I long to return. but I go to the library or the bookstore and I’m completely overwhelmed and end up buying nothing. So please, if you would, give me some recommendations. I’m open to just about anything, as long as it is well written. And not a bodice ripper. Also, I’m not generally enamoured of fantasy or mysteries, but if your all time fave novel belongs to one of those genres, I might just give it a whirl!

The last book that I read which I just loved loved loved was Nick Hornby’s How to Be Good. I also love novels intended for children. Anne of Green Gables is my fave book of all time and Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield ranks right up there.

Although, I have to warn you, due to a recent resurgence of comment spam, I have applied more security to the comments so don’t be alarmed if you go to comment and it tells you that it is holding your comment for approval. Providing you are not dreaded spam, I will immeditately approve your comment and you shouldn’t have any subsequent comments you make here withheld.

p.s. if I didn’t have hella piles of work to do, I would write a long and weepy lament about how the absence of Amy Sherman-Palladino has completely neutered one of my top five reasons for living, the Gilmore Girls. o, woe! Where goeth thou, rapier repartee? Where goeth thou, snap and wit and verve? And puh-lease?! Christopher?? Sure, you’re all easy on the eyes and you have that nice little Will Tippin (of Alias fame) crinkle about the edges of your eyes and stuff, but ohmigod! You are Captain Bland! I think Johnny Television summed it up correctly last week when he said (in a bon mot worthy of Amy Sherman-Palladino herself) “Christopher is so Blaine. He’s all Blaine and Lorelai is clearly a Ducky girl.”



12 Comments so far
November 3, 2006 · November

Today, I laid back in a field of bleached grass and watched the weighty, denim bottomed clouds of November chase away the last of the October hues. The leaves have been shrugged off or snatched by the ice edged wind and the newly stripped trees look vaguely awkward and embarrassed. Not yet accustomed to the lack of cover, they stretch their skeletal fingers to the sky, yearning, scratching, pleading as they bend to the iron will of the season. The beauty of it is less brash, less obvious, but it is there if you know where to look… and I do.

Three days into the month and I’m deep in my mittens, shrugged into my puffy ski jacket, and the light is different, less forgiving. It never fails to amaze me how the landscape shifts with the light at this time of year. For awhile everything appears brittle, washed with the dry, rusty, dusty patina of age, as if left too long in the attic. And then a cloud scuttles overhead and suddenly everything is gossamer edged, backlit and magical. My eyes tearing in the cold, I watch Finny diving through the grass, hunting the mad scurry of meadow voles while milkweed “wishes” parachute overhead and I feel like we are the only two living beings on this planet. But the solitude of the moment seems tranquil and true, not sad. Like surrendering to long sought sleep.

Fog in November, trees have no heads,
Streams only sound, walls suddenly stop
Half-way up hills, the ghost of a man spreads
Dung on dead fields for next year’s crop.
I cannot see my hand before my face,
My body does not seem to be my own,
The world becomes a far-off, foreign place,
People are strangers, houses silent, unknown.

- Leonard Clark, Fog in November



6 Comments so far