Archive for October, 2010

Scent Diary, Oct. 25-31, 2010

Brief Note:  A Week of Violets kicks off Monday, Nov. 1 – check here at noon Eastern Daylight Time for the first review of the week.

Monday, Oct. 25: Rain.  Rainrainrain.  We needed it, but I must say that I was juuust a wee bit miffed that it started to pour only after I got to work, and so missed out on hauling the Lancome Climat out.  I don’t know why, but I like Climat in the rain.  The samples I had in my purse were thoroughly overmatched by the weather, so I waited until I got home to be scented.

And by then it had stopped raining.  SOTE: Shalimar Light.

Tuesday, Oct. 26: Another warm day – where is our fall weather? I miss it.  Also, I’m still mowing the grass every two weeks.  (This pleases The CEO because it means the grass in the pastures is still growing, and this puts off the time when he’ll have to start feeding hay.)  SOTD: Champagne de Bois, which the grocery clerk liked so much she asked where she could get some.

Took the boys to pick out new glasses, since they haven’t had new ones for two years, and Taz’ lenses are so scratched he can barely see out of them.  Gaze’s glasses are still in good shape, and I’ll keep his current pair as a backup since his prescription didn’t change very much.  I think The CEO is getting to need glasses as well – not surprising, since he’s heading into his mid-40s, when many people’s eyes begin to change.

Wednesday, Oct. 27: Rained again this morning.  Sunny again this afternoon.  Weird violets today – I have CBIHP M4 Room With a View on one wrist and Stephen Jones for Comme des Garcons on the other.  In contrast to my previous explorations of these, I’m liking RWaV much better and SJ much, much less… this is very strange.  Must retest on another day.

Thursday, Oct. 28Happy Birthday to The CEO!  Smooches.  Cake and presents after supper…

Another warmish day today, in the 70s, and I’m wearing the girly-wirly Annick Goutal La Violette while finishing up my review of it for the Week of Violets.

Thursday, Oct. 29: Chillier today, highs in the mid-50s.  Well, this is more like it!  I’ve been waiiiiting for this kind of weather.  SOTD: Penhaligon’s Violetta, while finishing up my review for Week of Violets.  These reviews were already mostly-written, but I wanted to re-wear La Violette and Violetta to see if I had missed anything significant. 

I notice that Eddie Van, my minivan, smells like Champagne de Bois from where I spritzed it the other morning.  Yum

SOTA: That Slut Tocade.  I’ve been missing her, and her rosy, smoky vanilla is just right wafted about on this chilly wind.  I mowed about half the yard before it got too chilly… and then I got brave, and dabbed some Rochas Femme (new) on the back of my left hand, and Houbigant Apercu on the back of my right.  Femme is pretty freaky – definitely cumin and crushed peaches for a good hour, and then it’s got a deliciously warm drydown.  I’m thinking now of Balenciaga Rumba.  Apercu, as I expected, is a dry restrained chypre, and although it’s very nice, it’s not comfortable for me.  But then, I’m not an automatic chypre fan; generally chypres have to be very, VERY floral before I can appreciate them.

Friday, Oct. 20:  We had frost last night!  My begonias are (finally) done for, but miraculously the salvia is still fine.  SOTD: Cuir de Lancome.  This is smokier than it was last time I wore it – is my bottle deteriorating? or is it my nose?  I can’t believe how tired I am, and how much stuff I have to do before November starts…

Saturday, Oct. 21: The cousins – Curiosity and Primrose – are visiting this weekend along with their mom, The CEO’s sister, and the boys are all excited.  Bookworm’s gone; the marching band left this morning for a band competition and then were going to head on to an amusement park and stay until the park closed at 1 am before heading home… we’ll have to go to the high school to pick her up around 3 am early Sunday morning.  (Grrr.)  SOTD: Smell Bent One.

As late as Thursday, Taz was insisting that he wanted to be a knight for Halloween.  He had an old cheapie knight costume I bought several years ago – helmet, breastplate, and sword – of which only the breastplate survives, so I was planning to make him a new helmet and sworn out of a gallon milk jug and craft foam, and a shield out of aluminum pizza pans.  Instead, today he insisted that he wanted to be a Viking instead.  GRRR.

Gaze was planning to dress as a cowboy for Halloween, since we had most of that costume just lying around, except for a hat.  We couldn’t find the old cowboy hat, and it was in such badly worn shape the last time I saw it, I’m sure I had thrown it away.  So I picked up the only one I could find – and of course, it’s too small for him!   I guess I shouldn’t be all that surprised: this was the kid who made no progress down the birth canal, and when he was finally born by C-section, my OB-GYN took one look at him and said, “No wonder! Look at the head on this kid!”  His head is, literally, bigger than mine.  And then we realized he’d outgrown the set of cowboy boots too… so that was out the window.

SO.  I therefore spent the entire weekend making Viking costumes.  Horned helmets (supplies: milk jugs, newspaper, masking tape, duct tape, brown paper bags, elastic, fake fur), armor straps and wristbands (more duct tape), and furry capes (faux fur, ribbons and my sewing machine).  Long shirts made good tunics over sweatpants, and the black work boots we already had completed the clothing.  While I was fiddling around trying to make shields, it finally occurred to me that the lids from my big canning pots have handles!  They were great, with some colored tape for decoration, as shields.  Taz had an old “pirate” sword, and Gaze took an old bent curtain rod with a fleur-de-lis finial for a spear. 

Sunday, Oct. 31:  The CEO graciously got out of bed to go pick up Bookworm when she called us at 3:17 a.m.  Sigh.  SOTD: Mauboussin.  Boy, this is a nice fragrance.  I notice that I was using the dregs of my mini bottle, so I’m officially out.  I’m still puzzled as to how I managed to spend so many years thinking I hated Oriental scents, when so many of my current favorites are of this genre… oh, yeah.  Opium, that’s how.

Halloween is officially being celebrated in our town tomorrow night, purportedly because the merchants who participate in the Treat Trail wanted to move the date to a business day.  Crazy, I think – why wouldn’t they just host the Treat Trail on the next business day after Halloween?  Anyway, here’s a picture of Taz (at left) and Gaze as a pair of adorably stern Vikings:

Top image is from Parfumgott at Flickr.  Bottom photo taken by The CEO.

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I have decided, as suggested in a recent post at Perfume Posse, to try wearing one fragrance – and ONLY one fragrance – for the week of Nov. 1-7, as a perfumista experiment.  Will the experience be the same from day to day?  Will I still love whatever I picked as much on Day 7 as on Day1?  What new aspects will appear with multiple-day wearings?  The idea of not picking a new scent every morning (and sometimes yet another in the afternoon or evening) is appealing, since I’ll be spending all my spare November moments working on this year’s novel.   I do tend to pick fragrances for my characters as part of the background material, and wear those fragrances while writing.  For example, last year during NaNoWriMo, I spent much of the month in Chamade, Le Temps d’une Fete, Coty Exclamation! and YSL Paris, because those were the scents my main female character had worn at different points in her life.  I think it might be quite difficult to write scenes for a particular character if I’m wearing something that is all wrong for her (funny, my male character’s fragrance choices never figure into this…)

I’ve narrowed my choices down to four, all fairly quiet scents that have the advantage of being right in many different situations and weathers, and all of which I love: Le Temps d’une Fete, Mariella Burani, Smell Bent One, and Cuir de Lancome.    (Chanel Eau Premiere is another that would work just fine, but I tend to save that one for times when I want to smell elegant and not too individual.) Not sure which I’ll pick, but I’ll announce it in the Scent Diary installment of Nov. 7 okay, fine, I’ll tell you Nov. 1, down in the comments.

Feel free to guess which you think I will pick, or should pick.

Image is of a rare complete collection of miniatures in the book presentation of Jean Patou’s Ma Collection, from seller perfumedepot.123 at eBay.  (If you have an extra $700 lying around the house, it can be yours!)   Ma Collection includes:  Amour Amour, Adieu Sagesse, Caline,  Chaldee, Cocktail, Colony, Divine Folie, L’Heure Attendue, Moment Supreme, Normandie, Que Sais-Je, and Vacances.

I have actually tried several of these (Adieu Sagesse, Chaldee, Normandie, and Vacances) and have samples of Amour Amour and Colony yet to test (thanks, Donna!).  Vacances is one of the most beautiful fragrances I have ever smelled, and while I have not made a decision to sell my firstborn or an internal organ in order to obtain a bottle of it, I seriously considered it.  It’s lovely.  The other three did not suit me at all, although Adieu Sagesse came closest.  There are reviews of several of the Ma Collection scents at Now Smell This, Perfume-Smellin’ Things, and The Non-Blonde, if you visit those sites and search for “patou ma collection.”  I didn’t mean to go into detail about this set of fragrances, but was inspired by that gorgeous photo…

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Helg/Elena at Perfume Shrine has posted an excellent, informative article on the hazards of buying from alternative sources… which are, by and large, the  only ones I buy from!  I can say from experience that everything in her article is valuable information, particularly if you’re going to go chasing “vintage” on eBay or looking for, say, the lovely discontinued Shalimar Light online.

Here’s the link to Elena’s article – do go and check it out, because there are some truly wonderful scents to be had through these avenues, but caveat emptor.

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NaNoWriMo 2010

It’s that time again.

You know, that time when I neglect my family and home (and this blog) in order to frantically type dialogue and description and the like to meet my word count for the day, trying to finish a 50,000-word novel.

Here’s my post on it from last year, and if you click here you can follow how things went for me in 2009.

I’m going for it again this year.  Wish me luck.

Image is Keyboard-blur by striatic at Flickr.

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Fall Picks, 2010

I wanted to wait a while and keep track of not just what works well in the autumn, but what I’ve actually been wearing, bar the scents I’ve worn for test or review.   I knew Scent Diary would be good for something besides my running off at the mouth… So here it is the last week of October, and since I may be incommunicado for a large portion of November, working on my novel for NaNoWriMo, let’s talk fall scents now.  My picks for 2009 are here.

Sonoma Scent Studio Tabac Aurea – especially in the evenings.  Still a sexy-man bomb.  Still a wonderful amalgam of sunny afternoons, faint whiffs of tobacco smoke, earthy forest floors, dry leaves, a worn bomber jacket and the warm skin of one’s beloved.  Gorgeous.  See here for an earlier post on this one.

SSS Champagne de Bois – sparkly sandalwood-and-spices.  Warm, delicious, and cheerful.  (Hey, two SSS fragrances making the list.  Way to go, Laurie!)  Here’s a link to my review of CdB along with Chanel Bois des Iles.

Smell Bent Onea sleeper hit for me.  I’d ordered a small bottle unsniffed, because I thought I’d like it, plus a few other samples from Smell Bent.  Turned out this was the only one I really enjoy start-to-finish; it’s a lot like Dzing! without the animal hide/dung that makes Dzing! so (fascinatingly) impossible for me to wear.  Old books, spices, dry vanilla.  Yum.  Comfort with a side of edgy weirdness.  Brief review here.

 Parfums de Nicolai Le Temps d’une Fetemagic in a bottle.  In the spring, the florals strike me as being more noticeable, but in cooler weather, I tend to notice the lovely base, which is a gorgeous marriage of cool patchouli and moss to warm woods, hay and narcissus.  Makes me think of dappled sunlight through leaves.   Here’s my review of LTdF compared to Guerlain Chamade.

Cuir de Lancome – still the epitome of “Mother’s good leather purse, with her No. 5-scented hanky inside.” I should go get another bottle right now, because it’s out of production and the only leather scent, other than vintage Jolie Madame, that I really like.  When I want it, nothing else will do.  Really, there’s no excuse for not stocking up while I can.  I really don’t see this kind of thing coming back into style.  (Besides, The CEO likes it.)  Review here.

Mariella Burani – very much a comfort scent since it reminds me of my mother, and an any-occasion scent as well.  It’s a friendlier version of No. 5, and I love the lightly-powdery drydown.  Review here.

Others that I’ve worn occasionally, and which have been perfect on the rare occasions we’ve actually had fall weather so far: vintage Lancome Magie Noire (review here).  In fact, the only time Magie Noire seems right to me is on a blustery, rainy fall day.  And I only wear it when I’m going to be by myself, because a) it’s pretty loud, even a drop at a time, and b) it’s actually sort of… stinky, or at least my little bottle of vintage EdT is.  It’s bitter and earthy and witchy, herbal in a magic-cauldron sort of way.  It is not cosy in the least, and The CEO hates it. I have also enjoyed occasional squidges of Teo Cabanel Alahine (review here) and the lovely but discontinued (booo!) Guerlain Shalimar Light (review here), especially before bedtime.  I find them very cozy to sleep in.  I’ve also been wearing a number of violet scents, partly because of the Week of Violets review series, but also because I like violets in the fall: Laura Tonatto Eleanora Duse, Berdoues Violettes Divine, Aimez-Moi, CDG Stephen Jones, SSS Voile de Violette, Balmain Jolie Madame, Annick Goutal La Violette, Penhaligon’s Violetta, Soivohle Violets & Rainwater.

How about you – what scents are you turning to with enjoyment this autumn?

Photo is Autumn River by Evgeni Dinev at freedigitalphotos.net.  Here’s a link to the photographer’s portfolio.

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Scent Diary, Oct. 18-24, 2010

Monday, Oct. 18: Temps in the mid-70s… I sure wish for some rainy-windy weather.  It’s lovely for talking walks, but everything is getting dry and crunchy, and I don’t mean just the leaves.  SOTD: Laura Tonatto Eleanora Duse.  I have been getting out alllll my violet samples and wearing them.  I was surprised to get about 25 minutes’ worth of wear out of Eleanora Duse (I almost abbreviated it ED, but we watch enough sports around here that I am sick to death of the commercials for medications that treat erectile dysfunction).   Last time I  wore it, it lasted at least three hours.  Huh.  Wonder if I underapplied. 

I think I’m getting sick with Bookworm’s virus thingy – I may have missed out on the strep throat, but I have gook running down the back of my throat and I’m coughing those deep rattly coughs that hurt your chest.   SOTE: Alahine.  Sigh, then smile.

Tuesday, Oct. 19:  Low 70s today, expecting rain this evening.  SOTD: Stephen Jones for Comme des Garcons (or the other way round, I forget which).  I hope to wear this often enough to get a handle on it and write a real review.  It is a freaky thing.

I also broke down and bought a small bottle of Moschino Funny! on eBay, after using up two samples this summer and still loving it.  I’ll be putting it away for some time, since it will probably be a birthday present in January and winter would surely suck the life out of this happy grapefruit-rose-tea scent.

Wednesday, Oct. 20: Wet morning in the mid-50s, dry afternoon ten degrees warmer.  SOTM: Serge Lutens Chergui.  Which I don’t like, and which I keep trying because I keep expecting to love it.  I still don’t.  I officially give up.  There are only a few scents I keep trying, hoping that the beauty that others sense in them will someday be mine, and Chergui is one.  The other is Mitsouko.  I think I may hang on to my small decant of Mitsy edp, and retry once a year, but then again I may get sick of the whole fruitless, bootless pursuit. 

SOTA: SSS Tabac Aurea.  Mmmm.  One spritz on my inner elbow, and I have Virtual October 1985 escorting me around everywhere.  “That’s interesting,” Gaze commented as I breezed through the room on the way out the door to pick Bookworm up from cross-country practice. I had put it on about twenty minutes before getting her, and when she got into the van she commented, “You smell weird.”  Oh yeah? I asked.  “It’s not bad or anything, just… strange,” she explained.  Interesting, weird and strange?  Not really.  It’s the far-off hint of cigarettes, mossy forest floor, leaf mould,  leather bomber jacket, gingersnaps, a perfect golden autumn afternoon, old bonfire, and the warm skin of your beloved.  If a man walked by wearing TA, I’d follow him down six miles a’ bad road.  At least.  (Sadly, The CEO has refused.  He has no idea what he’s missing.)

Thursday, Oct. 21: Sick.  Coughing my head off.  I didn’t really want any perfume until later in the day – I eventually thought it might cheer me up.  Although my nose is running, and I’m coughing and sneezing and blowing my nose every third minute, I actually can smell somewhat.  So I put on Cuir de Lancome.  Delicious.  Such a smoky smell, I always think, the P:TG review notwithstanding. 

Just checked Incendiary, the novel by Chris Cleave, out of the library.  Saw the movie on DVD, and Michelle Williams is extraordinary as the unnamed Young Mother whose bomb-squad cop husband and four-year-old son are killed in a suicide bombing at a football game, while she’s at home rooting around on the sofa with the neighborhood journalist/playboy (Ewan MacGregor, by turns really sexy and loathsomely selfish, the sexy part surprising because I’ve never found him attractive before).  Her guilt and grief and loss of purpose drive her to extreme ends.  Added into the mix is her husband’s former boss (Matthew MacFadyen, who like Michelle Williams is an amazing actor – his performance here is a blend of vulnerability, self-righteousness, and irrational stalker behavior, and it set me to actually squirming in my chair from the creepiness), and what he did or did not know beforehand about the bombing.   Excellent, disturbing movie.  The ending, while not exactly Hollywood Happy, is satisfying.  I cried.  (If you’ve seen the film, please mention whether or not you picked up on a David-and-Uriah sort of reference, or whether you think I’m reading too much into it.)

I ran across this line in the book, and have been thinking about it all day – the Young Mother, thinking of her son, writes, “His room smells of boy.  Boy is a good smell it is a cross between angels and tigers.”  Boy is a good smell, one of my favorites in the world, and I especially love the smell of my sons’ and nephews’ heads when they’ve been outside running around.  “Sweat,” my mother says, but that’s not entirely it: wind, leaves, skin, candle wax, and – yes – a bit of skin and sweat.  It’s been a great sadness to me to realize that as Gaze has gotten older, he’s lost that boy-head smell.  Now if he goes outside to play football with Taz, and they both come in and hug me, Taz smells of boy head, and Gaze smells sweaty.  (Well, Taz’s armpits smell locker-room sweaty – but his head is still young.) 

Little girls smell good too – but different; they keep the sweet baby smell longer but never develop that outdoorsy-boy-head smell, no matter how long they play outside.  

Friday, Oct. 22: I feel a little better.  I was scheduled to work the concessions at the football game tonight, as a band parent (what do the football parents do to raise money, or do they not need to?), but since I am still hacking like Doc Holliday, The CEO offered to step in for me.  Sweet man.  SOTD: SSS Champagne de Bois.  I thought surely someone would tell me I smelled nice, but no one did.  However, they might have been simply staying a safe twelve feet away from me and my runny nose, and thus could not smell me.

The CEO related to me something that happened while he was working the concession stand: a kid named JT that he recognized from Gaze’s baseball team walked up to buy a hot dog, accompanied by a couple of other kids, and they were talking to each other: “That’s Gaze Woodenshoes’ dad!” “Yeah, really?”  Then JT asked, “Hey, aren’t you Gaze Woodenshoes’ dad?”  The CEO said yes, and one of the other kids said, “Gaze is awesome!”

Well.  Well, yeah.

Saturday, Oct. 23: Beautiful weather, sunny and 75F, with a bit of breeze.  State marching band festival at the high school.  Left the house at 8 am, spritzed with my darling Le Temps d’une Fete.  Picked up 32 hot dogs at the grocery store as the sophomore band student’s contribution to the day, then helped set up and run the registration table.  I did get to see our band’s performance today and thought they did very well; however, they didn’t score the Superior rating they were aiming for.  Bookworm is an excellent marcher: crisp and precise, with a good sense of place and turns so sharp you could cut your finger on them.  I’m proud.

Sunday, Oct. 24: More beautiful weather.  SOTD: L’Artisan Parfumeur Orchidee Blanche, candy-sweet, innocent little thing.  Pretty, but has not captured my heart like Iris Poudre did for “just pretty.”  (Sigh.  Iris Poudre… I want some.  Somewhere, my lemmings have started a demanding chant of DE-CANT, DE-CANT, DE-CANT!  Which would be bad, actually, because if I had it, I’d get used to wearing it, because it’s seasonless, pretty and comfortable, and the more I wear it the more I like it.  And then I’d want a full bottle.  Of a Frederic Malle.   Ouch.  And it’s not even complicated or terribly unusual, it’s just pretty.  Really, really pretty.)

Image is Vintage perfumes from pas89 at ebay.com.  (No, the auction is no longer live. )

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Why am I compelled to write this stuff? Dunno. Just becuz. Bear with me. There are multiple digressions and/or rants in here, so be warned. Or if you’re looking for perfume stuff, go skim the archives. There’s a perfume review category over there on the side, eat your heart out.

I’ve been rereading my copy of Mr. Darcy’s Diary by Amanda Grange, after having reread Pride & Prejudice. I also reread Daphne du Maurier’s classic Gothic novel Rebecca, and Sally Beaumann’s brilliant but disturbing Rebecca’s Tale. (Are you sensing a pattern here? Do you reread books, and if so, which ones?)

In any case, now I want to go pop in my DVD of Pride & Prejudice – yes, I am a philistine, I like the movie version with Kiera Knightley and the velvet-voiced Matthew MacFadyen, with its near-hectic pace that reminds me of student plays I’ve been in… oddly, I find this aspect interesting, but then The CEO tells me I have near-inhuman tolerance for the stage experience. Wait, where was I? Oh, yes, Matthew Mac and his gorgeous voice and his blue eyes, his prodigious nose (seriously, check out his profile – that is a nose, baby!) and his sturdy thighs (what is it with me and the thighs?). Not to forget that mouth… honestly, that’s the most decadent mouth I’ve seen on a human being since Liv Tyler, and she doesn’t count since she’s a girl.

Speaking of which, it has recently come to my attention that Joan Jett is a lesbian. I know, I know, everybody else already knew, and my just finding out now is a little bit like being the only one without a touch-tone phone: embarrassing, hopeless fuddy-duddy-dom. I can only assume that such information was not widely disseminated when The Runaways (the real ones) were hot – or if it was, I was too young to have picked up on it. At one time I knew all the lyrics to “Crimson and Clover,” but the idea that Joan was singing about a girlfriend was just way over my head at the time. I’ve always kind of liked Joan… I think I knew that she was the kind of person who, beyond her rock-n-roll looks, didn’t care much about what people thought of her, and I thought that was kind of cool. I’d have bought a JJ & the Blackhearts album with my Christmas money in the early 80s, but my mother thought it was subversive, so I picked Barry Manilow instead.

And don’t you dare tell me that there’s no room in the world for both Barry and Joan: of course there is! And for Pat Benatar, the patron saint of Spandex, and A-Ha, and Sarah Brightman, and… oh, there are more, but I’ll stop there. No, one more: Mandy Patinkin. You know, Mandy PatinkinInigo Montoya from “The Princess Bride”? Played Barbara Streisand’s love interest in “Yentl”? Played a doctor in “Chicago Hope” and a profiler on “Criminal Minds” on TV? Yeah, that Mandy Patinkin… he got started acting in Broadway musicals, and he’s got this gorgeous pure tenor voice, as well as a sense of humor. 

So why am I running off at the mouth (fingers) like this? Dunno. But I think it has something to do with NaNoWriMo, the start of which is rapidly approaching. This will be my third year, and I’ve got my novel outlined and planned out, which is a change – and I decided to take it easy on myself and write a romance novel sans cheesy sappiness (oh, don’t worry, there will be mushy stuff – it is, after all, a romance) after the years I have spent saying, “Wow, I can’t believe somebody published this dreck – I could do better with one hand tied behind my back!” Time to put up or shut up, and I’m Puttin’ Up. It’s a Romance Throwdown, people.

This follows the Ambitious Year of NaNo, in which I conceived of the dramatic saga of grad school sweethearts and their tribulations and years apart… and which ultimately I could not figure out how to tell without resorting to the Evil Flashback, or ellipses during which years pass, both of which are stupid. I haven’t abandoned the thing, just shelved it until I figure out how to tell it.

SO. I’d better be clear up front, November posts will probably be thin on the ground, once we’re past A Week of Violets. I have a few reviews in the can, ready to post, and will probably do an abbreviated Scent Diary and a “Howzitgoin at NaNo?” each week, but that’ll be about it until a couple of days into December.

Back to Joan Jett: We’ve got “The Runaways” on our Netflix queue (oh, not for the kids to see, just me and The CEO) because we somehow missed it at the theater… we hardly ever go to movies, even ones we want to see, and those are rare. I have never been a big Kristen Stewart fan, having avoided the “Twilight” movies because I thought the “Twilight” books a perfect example of self-indulgent, juvenile, crappily-written so-called literature (that nonetheless I would have been crazy about at the age of 15, when I had a taste for self-indulgent, juvenile so-called literature). And yet, I must point out that, yes, I did read all of them. I read the first one because all of Bookworm’s friends were reading it, and it would be negligent of me to let her have a book that could engender such huge mania without reading it first myself. I think it was a pretty decent love story that got caught up in wacky, self-indulgent, juvenile, crappily-written trappings. C’mon… leaving aside glittery teenage vampires for the moment, (because I read most of Anne Rice’s books as a young adult and don’t have a leg to stand on here), the ridiculous coincidences and the adulation of the main character alone make it crappy writing. There’s a writerly phrase for the “Main Character as Unique Precocious Genius Prone to Coincidences That Make Her Life Special,”: Mary Sue Syndrome.  You’re Not Supposed to Do That. It’s, hello, crappy writing.  Here’s a link to a Mary Sue litmus test – if you run it for just about any character in Twilight (except maybe Charlie Swann, Bella’s dad), they’ll come out a Mary Sue.  But somehow Stephenie Meyer has purveyed a decent love story, crappily written, dressed up with glittery teenage vampires and muscled teenage werewolves and angsty music, into a BILLION-DOLLAR INDUSTRY.

I really must stop grinding my teeth. End Twilight rant. End digression. Sorry.

Anyway, Kristen Stewart (I’ll get back to Joan, gimme a minnit)… turns out that the girl who played doe-eyed, mopey, passive Bella is actually a seriously good actress. I’ve seen clips of her as Joan. It’s eerie. Her whole body looks different – she’s fierce, aggressive, a ball of energy, self-confident and vulnerable underneath. There’s talent there. This pleases me. It ought to please Ms Bad Girl Stewart, who when she’s not acting is apparently sleeping with/not sleeping with her Twilight costar, chisel-jawed, strangely emotionally-detached British actor Robert Pattinson. (Who, incidentally, has got nothin’ on Matthew MacFadyen.) But I digress yet again.

SO. Finally, back to Joan Jett and her interest in girls. I can’t say I was all that surprised to find out Joan was a lesbian – well, okay, I was surprised for about ten seconds, but it was mostly a sort of “How has this factor escaped me?” surprised, not a “How can this be?” surprised. Sometimes I pick up on stuff, and sometimes I don’t. It took me several months to realize that a high school friend of mine was really more interested in kissing me than in continuing to discuss fantasy novels. Well, she’d probably have gone on discussing Stephen Donaldson after the kissing, but the point was I wasn’t in the least interested in kissing her, and so the friendship disintegrated. I always felt a little hunted and she always felt a little rejected, and eventually we had very little to say to each other.

 The CEO is a little annoyed with me at the moment: I took a certificate of his, where the governor had appointed him to a state board of regulation, to get it framed, and accidentally, um, crumpled it. Oops. It’s not horrible, but you can see the crease. He didn’t fuss much, but I could see he was really disappointed. I feel bad about it. You can’t unbreak an egg and you can’t uncrease an embossed document, even if you’re really really sorry. I’ll have to think up some way to make it up to him. (Call the governor’s office and tell them what happened, and ask for a replacement? That seems a waste of public resources. Ask for a replacement and offer to pay for it? I still think they’ll find it a nuisance. I don’t know what to do.)

I have this really, really annoying cough that’s not going away. Better go buy stock in Ricola, I’m keeping them in business.

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