Sunday, February 27, 2011

Haiku Mondays: Peace

Immovable you.
Irresistible me. No
peace. Only detente.

* * *

Yoo hoo, do you haiku? If so, Troll is hosting again this week.
The theme is: peace.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

American Idol: El Noche Numero Dos

Scotty McCreery today:

Scotty McCreery tomorrow:

"Who me, worry? Nah, darlin' . . . no worries."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


When I posted this week's haiku theme of perfume, I was expecting to get a bunch of mini 5-7-5 paens to, oh, I dunno, actual perfume. The first one you ever spritzed. Or sneaked off your mother's dressing table. Or purchased for a beloved. Or sneezed until your eyes bled.

What I got, however, were eleven-plus haikus covering a variety of scent-sual topics, from dead skunks to sand and sea to lunchroom snacks and sex. Lots of sex. Sex in the sea, on the sand, and even, in a couple instances at least, sex accompanied by snacks. (Although, thankfully, not dead skunks.)

Once again, judging was a daunting task.

Because I have a tight schedule and will be gone most of the day, I'm going to submit a truncated rundown of my reasoning for choosing a winner, but not without first giving each and every one of you a pat on the back for a job well done:

Submitted his first-ever haiku, a kiss-the-girls-and-make-them sigh ode to fun and frolic with Fishy, which had her looking for the shotgun and the rest of us going, "Ah, hah. That explains why they've been married all these years." Seriously, Fishy. You go around wafting two of the world's great va-va-voom scents, Chanel No. 22 and Joy; what do you expect? It was also a dang good haiku, both in its technique and in its ability to, um, evoke.

Once, Boxer didn't think she could write haiku. Now, she consistently produces some of the most beautiful odes to her native PNW that vividly bring to life the mis-en-scene of her existence. This one paid tribute to elements that perfume her daily life: namely, sand and sea. Lovely.

What happens when women leave their men alone for a day or two? Most of us don't really want to entertain the notion, but in Buzz's case it means he gets to mess around in the kitchen making things he doesn't normally get to eat. And then write a haiku to celebrate. About making chile. And if you don't think that's a neat trick, go back and read it. We know Buzz can cook. He can also write in such as way as to make you wish you had a big bowl of chile right now.

Speaking of mouth-watering. Chickory hit us with two haikus of tremendous skill and nostalgic force: One, the way-back-when-before-we-knew-suntanning-caused-skin-cancer-and-ruined-all-our-fun memory of the smell of teenaged Coppertone-ed slathered bodies on the beach; the other of what was probably the only good smell to ever come out of a schoolroom kitchens—the wafting of baking yeast rolls. She submitted the latter, which actually started my mouth watering when I read it.

When not busy fighting off Blowfish, Fishy is one of our most talented—and prolific—haiku-ers, producing no less than a good half dozen exceptional haikus each and every contest. Fishy waited until the last minute to choose her elegant ode to one of the most famous perfume bottles ever designed. Architectural, indeed. Thanks to Fishy, I just know all y'all are going to rush out and buy yourselves a bottle of Joy. Do it. Now.

Simply put: Foam writes great haiku. This one, an ode to dead skunk in the middle of the road, is not only subtly, skillfully alliterative to the point where you don't see a single seam showing unless you look for it, it also punches you in the nose with an actual smell. Which as we all know, is one hell of a poisonous waft of eye-watering proportions. Unless you use it to make a perfume. In which case, you get Patou's Joy.

I love this short but sweet ode to springtime—and a reminder that some of the best-smelling perfumes are produced by Mother Nature. Reading it, I was instantly reminded of my favorite past time in spring: Driving through Albuquerque's neighborhoods to catch a whiff of the intermingling of lilac, Spanish broom, and newly watered grass.

One of a handful of haikus that dealt directly with bottled perfumes, Kym declares her love of the two perfumes that contribute to her magnetism. And all along, we thought it was just her cooking . . .

Milk River Madman:
Ooooo, clever, clever man writes a clever, clever haiku, in which he wistfully wonders what perfume Ann Coulter douses herself with. Chanel No. 5 or something containing jasmine? Which made me laugh out loud because jasmine, usually such a naughty little hot house flower, is boiled down to a cool, aloof abstract in No. 5, which in the end seems to me exactly what Ms. Coulter's body chemistry would do to that particular flower. Yes. Ann Coulter wears Chanel No. 5. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Like her daughter, Pam also specifically mentioned a series of perfumes in a snappy little double entendre-ed piece singing the praises of certain men's scents (there's that sexy thing again; go figure). All of which 'fumes work for her and also work for her. Clever and funny! Which makes me wonder what would happen if she and Milk River collaborated on a haiku together. Look out!

Came in with one of the more mysterious haikus of the challenge, a reach back into his memory banks to describe what I think is a boyhood encounter with his Swedish nanny, a gal whose talent for making cinnamon buns somehow got co-mingled with goodness-knows-what-else (la, la, la, la, la). Yes, he nicked the title of my baking blog, but Troll knows how stick his tongue in his cheek before he embarks on walking the tightrope between flattery and suck-up-edness. In the end, he created one hell of a haiku, one that edged Boxer, Foam, Chickory, and Blowfish out by a hair and everyone else by a hair and a half.

Seriously, he had me at cinnamon and that marvelously mysterious last line that had me walking around all day going, "What are they? What, what, WHAT?!?"

Baker's Math:
Undaunted Baker:
Cinnamon intoxicates!
13 scented sins.

Congrats, Troll. Let me know where I can send your prizes.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Haiku Mondays: PERFUME

One fifty bottles

Amber, gold, and green. How much

Perfume is too much?

* * *

As the winner of last week's Haiku Monday competition, I was given the option of hosting/judging/choosing the theme for this week. This way, we all get to share the judging duties (which are hard!) and our esteemed Haiku Monday originator, Troll, gets to participate as an actual competitor.

So, without further ado, this week's theme is:


I've also added a new rule, which should make judging this go-round a little less stressful: you may write as many haiku as you wish, but please choose only ONE for my judging consideration. Post that one haiku here in the comments section, but do let me know if you're up at your blog with visuals and/or other haiku.

In keeping with the theme, the winner of this week's haiku will be the recipient of three 'fumes from my personal collection. All three are considered unisex scents, which means they can be worn by a man or a woman, and represent a cross section of styles and notes. If you don't personally wear perfume, these can be used as room sprays or to scent your linens. You can even give the dog or cat a spritz or two.

Demeter Fragrance Library Honeysuckle Cologne 1 ounce:
One of the more interesting soliflores (single note floral scents) around, this starts off all sweet and innocent, young love goes to the prom with her Gunny Sax gown and Bonnie Bell Lip Smacker kisses, but then five minutes later, morphs into something carrying a leather riding crop who orders you off the dance floor and onto the back of her BSA, screaming you off into the deep black night while your parents pace the floor mumbling, “But he’s always been such a GOOD boy!”

Lot of five, 1ml spray samples of Thierry Mugler A*Men:
The men’s version of Thierry Mugler’s ground-breaking 1992 Angel for women, A*Men is distinguished by the same first-ever gourmand olfactory accord: a mouthwatering (or barf-inducing, depending on your POV) blend of vanilla, lemon, chocolate, and patchouli. A*Men adds as well a hint of lavender and something metallic, like the taste left in your mouth after you suck on a spoon. But in the end, it’s still more gourmand than barbershop. In fact, the one and only time I ever wore A*Men out in public, a woman sitting in back of me at the theater kept asking, “Donuts; who’s eating donuts?”

Chanel Cristalle EDP- 4ml travel size:
The original Cristalle is a delightfully sunny side up eau de toilette perfect for spritzing on in the heat of summer. This 1994 follow up is something slightly more serious. Top notes include mandarin orange, lemon, and peach, while the middle notes of jasmine and honeysuckle arrive about 30 minutes later, overlain with the earthy edge of basil. The dry down is a classic blend of vetiver, and oakmoss. If there was a signature perfume for the aloof, tall cool blonds of the world, the kind of stiletto-ed, sharp-pressed suited gals that quietly keep their tycoon bosses humming, Cristalle EDP would be it.

* * *

So, go forth and haiku. Entries will be accepted until midnight EST tomorrow and I'll announce a winner sometime on Tuesday.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

American Idol Snark Station: Group Week

I don't understand the purpose of group week. At all. I'm one of those people who thinks it sucks that there's no "I" in team, and whenever I've been part of a group project I've ended up doing one of two things:

1. Grabbing the reins and doing all the work myself.
2. Slacking off and daydreaming about the next day's outfits while someone else does all the work.

That's not to say I can't work for or under someone. I take direction quite happily (and, in fact, welcome it) and am totally capable of sussing out and meeting all terms of whatever work contract I agree to. It's just that I don't like collaborating on a project where everyone contributes their ideas to one big pot, thinking that what will emerge is an oh-so-much-better sum of the original parts but which instead just turns out to be watered down and dishwater grey.

So American Idol group week always makes me squirm. Even more so last night with all the stage mommies hovering over their fifteen-year-olds and giving them direction, which one of the contestants rightly pointed out gives those spayshul little snowflakes an unfair advantage.

At any rate, it all sounded like bad karaoke to Moi, so I got nothing to say except shame that the dude half of the busted up couple went home because I like his voice. Ain't his fault the two girlz made him sing Cee Lo Green when he clearly wasn't up for it.

Oh, and that kid who sounds like Randy Travis? Let's take bets on how long he lasts . . .

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Movie Clip Wednesdays: Favorite Broadway Play Adapted to Film

It's true: everything you need to know about life, you really can learn from Shakespeare. Hamlet, for one, whose stern admonishments against the twin dangers of youth—slack-minded indecision and rash revenge—ring as true today as they did 400 and some odd years ago. I think I've read Hamlet a good half dozen times, seen it on stage once, and watched just about every silver screen version made, from Olivier's on down to this one, director Michael Almereyda's modernized cautionary tale for the dawn of the techno-era.

Okay, so Hamlet wasn't technically a film produced exclusively for Broadway, but it was and has been a Broadway production on and off over the years, most notably back in 1964, I think, with Richard Burton in the title role and most recently, a short run with Jude Law, which I was going to fly to NYC to see, but couldn't get tickets.

Anyway. I'm not much of a fan of Broadway musicals per se, so this is my MCW and I'm sticking to it.

If you want to play along, or just visit those who are, head over to the blogesstress who started it all, Ms. Boxer. It's her first day back after exactly one year of handing duties over to the ever-capable-but-probably-exhausted Milk River Madman.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Heart and Haiku Day

Mountain goat’s gruff wool

cut and spun to gossamer.

Cashmere’s cozy warmth.

What’s better than skin

on skin? Lux intervention:

Silk, cashmere, satin.

Or, in my case, one of these.

Yes. You saw that right.

Look, when you've been together for sixteen years, some Valentine's Days are Chanel, some are chocolate, while others pass by with a couple of cards and waffles for breakfast. This year, when I opened my gift, I thought, "Aw, hell. Don't tell me S.B. wants to go the Furry/Plushie route."

Thankfully, no. It was just my honey bunny's way of being funny. And practical, because I'm one of those people. The ones who are always, always—regardless of season, venue, or time of day—freezing cold. Check my closet and look past the shoes and you'll find more blankies than a newborn, more sweaters than my bank account can support, and enough pashminas to supply an entire airplane of bereft passengers.

And now, to that arsenal of on-demand-warmth, I can add my very own Hoodie Footie.

And, no, there will be no photos.

But I will blow a virtual kiss to each and every one of my blog homies. You make my heart happy, too. And if you also want to haiku, Ms. Fishy is hosting this week with the theme of TACTILE and the offer of a fabulous culinary prize. Go there now. And then get in the pit and try and love someone.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

American Idol Snark Station: Hell Week

So it begins. The whittling down of a couple hundred starry-eyed hopefuls into the final, what, 20, contestants that will compete for the title of American Idol and give us all something to snark about for the next couple months.

Which we'll do right here, for those of you still hanging on for the 10th season. I mean, why not? You got something better to do on a Thursday night in late winter? Watch Jersey Shore? Sweet Jesus, any of you see this thing? I'm embarrassed for my Eye-talian heritage right there. (And wondering if this wasn't at some point the fate of one of my beloved cousins in his early twenties, or if he went more Springsteen than Guido. Say it isn't so, on either count.)

Anyway, last night began the first night of the winnowing process affectionately known as "hell week."

Some brief observations:

1. I don't care that he can sing and has one of those wonderful growley, smokey undertones to his voice, there's something about Boca Raton's Brett Loewenstern, with all that curly red hair and slightly herky jerky mannerisms and his sob story about being picked on as a kid (is it just me or are all y'all also tired of bullying as le cause du jour?) that kind of creeps me out. Only time will tell if he turns out to be more Layne Staley and less Carrot Top.

2. Precocious children will never, ever earn points with me. Victoria Huggins was so ding dang irritating, her mother so earnestly Dina Lohan-esque from the sidelines, that I wished, wished, wished real hard that she wouldn't make it through. And she didn't. See there? You can always get what you want.

3. The guy whose girlfriend is gorked? Chris Medina? Man, I feel for him. I have no idea what I'd have the strength to do or not do in his situation.

4. Steven Tyler. Is it wrong that I find this man hot? Even when he wears more leopard print than I do? Probably. But what do I care?

5. J-Lo. Yes, she's kind of a weenie, but don't y'all just love her hair? Even if it is nothing more than extensions, they're good extensions. Also, there is something to be said for just showing up clear-eyed and steady-voiced. If, on occasion, a wee bit too sparkled-out for mid-day.

6. Randy. It's funny the way he's trying to position himself as the strong arm. But to me, he's more cuddly than cruel. Also: if you often wonder, as I do, what happened to all of Bill Cosby's sweaters from the late 1980s, well.

7. Ryan Seacrest. Yup. I still want to stick an AK-47 in his face.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Movie Clip Wednesdays: Favorite Movie from the 1930s

Stupid You Tube. Embedding disabled on all my fave movies from the 1930s, namely those wonderful screwball/remarriage comedies that always seem to star either Cary Grant or Katherine Hepburn or both together.

Movies like It Happened One Night, His Girl Friday, Philadelphia Story, and Bringing Up Baby. Where the men are men, the women dames (and both knew how to dress), and everyone speaks with that rollicking, clipped accent that makes them sound like they're listening to some bizarre internal jazz band.

At any rate, my favorite is Bringing Up Baby, a clip from which you can watch by clicking here.

And then skedaddle over to Milk River Madman's blog for his final hosting of MCW before it lands back in Boxer's lap.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Haiku Mondays: Water

Waiting for Direction by Paul Apps

* * *

Seal slick black Lab breaks
sun lit liquid scrim shedding
water like diamonds.

* * *

Do you haiku, too? Head here and play for fun and fabulous prizes!

Friday, February 4, 2011

It's Not Easy, Being Green

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez declared a state of emergency yesterday afternoon due to record-breaking cold temperatures and shortages in natural gas. These shortages are due in part to rolling blackouts in western Texas, from which several crucial natural gas lines originate and pump supply into New Mexico. Because Texas and most of the Southwest have never ever experienced temperatures this low, many of these processing and distribution companies aren't equipped with back up generators.

As a result, dozens of communities throughout the state have gone without gas and/or electricity for anywhere from a couple hours to several days. Emergency shelters have been set up, the Governor has turned the heat down in all state buildings, sent all non-essential employees home, closed all schools, and is urging households who do have power to conserve electricity and gas by not running washing machines, dishwashers, or electric clothes dryers.

Even Albuquerque has been affected. When I went into town yesterday for the first time in three days to do some banking, eat lunch, and pick up a few groceries, I found two restaurants within a several mile radius were shut down due to lack of power.

In typical news media fashion, our local television stations took the opportunity yesterday evening to not only investigate and report on the cause of the problem, but also to opinion poll the general public about their thoughts on this emergency. Which, of course, produced the usual variety of responses ranging from "drill, baby, drill" to "We must implement alternative energies NOW!" (what, you mean right now? as in, this instant?) to this mind-blowing comment:

"I don't know what the big deal is; people in third world countries regularly live with events just like this. It's time we Americans feel ashamed for just how pampered we are and learn to live with less."

To which I wrote in and responded: "Hey, dumb ass: those people living with less SUFFER and DIE because of it. Why don't you ask a child living in one of those third world countries if they'd rather: A. have electricity so they can sleep warm at night or, B. freeze to death out of some high-minded, altruistic impulse to "conserve."

Better yet, let's plunk this idiotic respondent down somewhere on the outskirts of Mumbai and see just how he or she can live without heat, electricity, and running water. My money's on about 24 hours before they go screaming off into the night in their Prius. Which is run by an electrically charged battery. Which eventually gets used up and ends up in a landfill. Whose chemical innards leak out into the soil, down into the ground water, on into our tap water, and . . . Okay, okay; they go screaming off into the night on a bicycle. Whose construction produces chemicals that leak out into . . .

Oh, never mind.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Movie Clip Wednesdays: Favorite British Comedy

Yes, on occasion I like stuff like this. Lump-in-throat, life-type stuff with cute kids and lessons to be learned about interpersonal communications and how we're all connected and blah, blah, blah. So long as they star Hugh Grant (because face it, kids, he's just so wonderful to look at), and so long as they're done outside the formulaic box. Which describes About a Boy perfectly. The filmmakers were smart to follow the book by Nick Hornby nearly to the letter because Nick Hornby is wonderful, too. As a writer, I mean. I have no idea what he looks like.

Anyway. This is good. Watch it one day when you want to feel better about the world and the people in it.

* * *

What's making everyone else laugh? Head over to Milk River Madman's place to find out.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Snowmageddon 2011

This nifty little device projects the time and temperature in bright red up onto the ceiling over our bed. Because of that, I didn't get much sleep last night because I kept waking up every hour to check just how far the temperature had plunged since I last looked. We went from 28 degrees at 10:00 p.m. to 6 degrees when I woke at 6:00 a.m. It' s now one full freakin' degree colder than that.

We got a thin sun trying to assert its way through now, but I'm not fooled. Six fluffy inches now coat the driveway, with another foot expected before this thing blows out of here tomorrow. So I got myself a date with this bad boy in an hour or so:

That's what S.B. gets for leaving the lil' woman all alone. I get to enter his man cave and play with his toys. If I can remember how to work this thing. It's all Charlie Brown's parents to Moi.

Just in case y'all are wondering what I wear in the snow. And, yes, it ALL makes my ass look fat, so, no, there will be no further photos.

Not only are these Ice Trekkers awesome for running and hiking on hard packed snow, they'll also come in handy for when all this turns into an ice rink. Everyone should have a pair. Thirty-four bucks, REI.

Worry. Worry, worry, worry, worry. All this snow means mom's mind is not on treat time. Can't miss treat time. Better stick by to remind her. Treat time. Two hours. Treat time.