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Today’s frivolity.

Today’s frivolity. published on

Things that smell nice together: Nippon Kodo Mainichi blend incense, Earl Grey, and rain.

I woke up at two PM wanting bacon, so I went to the store, bought bacon, fried it, and ate it with fava beans and sushi rice. Fava beans seem to have more flavor frozen than fresh. They are not a very classy food in Japan – apparently, like edamame, you have them with beer at bars. My manager thinks it’s funny that I eat them so often.

It’s strange to walk outside on a warm day, sweating and feeling dumb for having worn my coat, and spot, through an abrupt gap in the houses, the mountains still covered with snow. It feels like someone might have cast a spell on them, to hold them back; or cast a spell on my coat.

A nice thing about living in a non-Christian nation is that the mail runs on Sundays. I have a tiny adorable Kodansha English Library edition of Comet in Moominland now, as well as a new Japanese textbook (for me) and a new English textbook (for Mee, Goody Proctor, and the Devil).

Attempted to drink beer today. Beer is still gross.

Attempted to drink beer today. Beer is still gross. published on

I had it with edamame and niboshi, so as to make the project all cultural in nature (the beer was Kirin), but I still couldn’t finish it.

I think alcohol and I just don’t get along unless it’s totally drowned in juice or chocolate. I got a 700 ml thing of Nikka whiskey in March, and I only finished it this week. (Whiskey belongs in soy cocoa, and sometimes in orange juice.)

People out decorating graves again today. It’s been cloudy, so there were little plastic raincoats on the lanterns. I saw a woman carrying away a box of 100-yen-store incense. The store is right next to the graveyard. I wonder how much of the incense that gets burned there – and how many of the offerings at the parking-lot shrine – come from the 100-yen-store. I’ve seen cans of vending-machine coffee sitting on the graves, too.

(My incense is all from the 100-yen-store. It’s not very good? I’m wondering where around here I can buy Nippon Kodo. I’d like to try their domestic line…)

Yellow jackets are tools.

Yellow jackets are tools. published on

I have a longer post where I talk about caves and anime hair, but the anime hair part has gotten really long and philosophical so I’m going to just go ahead and post about the yellow jackets.

Basically, I am not going to go for walks in the park before noon anymore. I’ve never seen many stinging insects going out there in the late afternoon, but I ended up having to take two detours to avoid the yellow jackets today, and had to run once when a bunch of them came up on me all of a sudden.

There seem to be at least two different focuses of activity – one in one of those springy horsy see-saw things, which has been surrounded with yellow caution tape, and one in one of the half-buried tires, which hasn’t. These are are across a path from one another, and there’s a lot of… intercourse between them. I had to get off their path.

I guess they were bringing some kind of abandoned food from the tire to the see-saw, or else establishing a new queen in her nest, though Wikipedia says it’s early for that. Yes, I came home after my yellow jacket encounter and began researching yellow jackets.

I also learned that the Schmidt Sting Pain Index is hilarious:

2.0 – Bald-faced hornet – Rich, hearty, slightly crunchy.

2.0 – Yellowjacket – Hot and smoky, almost irreverent. Imagine WC Fields extinguishing a cigar on your tongue.

BPAL needs to turn this into an LE line. Possibly some soaps – exfoliating soaps. No, it’s brilliant! Unless I just hate people and want to hurt them.

I Didn’t Get The Job

I Didn’t Get The Job published on

Went on exciting adventure to Chicago Saturday for the Amity job interview, got back today. Will probably have energy required for angst sometime late tonight, when I am supposed to be working on a paper.

Mom and thegeekgene went with me; thegeekgene toured two colleges and was the less enthralled with the one the further away. Courtesy of Mom’s leet internet discount skills, we stayed at a place called Hotel Indigo. The room was extremely pretty, with a big blown-up photograph of pretty stones (slightly pixelated) on the back wall, and nice beds and furniture and all. Mom and thegeekgene thought it was awesome. But it was also small, a weird shape, and kind of crowded with unnecessary stuff – there were probably twenty little brochures, standees, and menus sitting around, all spread out in different and inconvenient places – leaving me not completely impressed with the design.

But the lobby was scented with several different combinations of essential oils appropriate for different times of day. The pattern seemed to be sandalwood at night, patchouli during the day, and something that reminded me of BPAL’s Cathode (mint, moss, and fake ambergris) in the morning. And the patchouli, at least, was definitely moderately-good-quality stuff, though I couldn’t figure out where it was coming from to investigate. Neither Mom nor thegeekgene noticed any of this until I pointed it out.

Apparently, if a company selling luxury goods/services wants to impress me, what they’ve got to do is demonstrate a knowledge of aromatherapy and a willingness to purchase fairly good ingredients.

Also, the little bottles of shampoo/conditioner/lotion were Aveda. I will not pay for Aveda stuff, but I will surely steal it.

I’m talking about my *perfume purchases*.

I’m talking about my *perfume purchases*. published on

Thank you for forwarding the smelly box, Mom (though you’re in *Florida* and won’t read this); it is greatly appreciated.

The inventory:

– bottle of Cathode with which I will forge WORLD PEACE, by forcing people to smell it

– imps, frimps, dirigibles, etc:

Dragon’s Heart
Dragon’s Milk
New Orleans
Snake Oil

My mailbox smelled *really* strongly of cloves when I took the package out, and I can still smell it, though there doesn’t seem to have been a spill. I think it’s actually the Kabuki imp, which has a slightly different type of cap from the others, even though there’s not supposed to be any clove in there – it’s the mixture of the anise and cherry.

Unless someone else here wants it (here being both Granville and Kentucky, because I can inhabit two places at once because of *physics*), I think I’m giving the Aizen-Myoo to Sensei, to see if he immediately recognizes the name, or if this is something that only mythology nerds ever hear of. Is anyone interested? Laura? This is *another* perfume-thingie named after a god of sex. (Or maybe I should just start getting rid of these on the comm, seing as I’ve got six or seven I don’t like sitting around.)

Further reports on this important story as I try the imps.

Obligatory current affairs reference

Obligatory current affairs reference published on

Now that I actually think about it, I do feel safer knowing that Cheney can’t handle a gun.

I am, after all, not his friend.

Off to request vampire porn, the Little Red Book, and that thing with the farting dog from inter-library loan.

I got ten DSH samples, the one I’ve got on now, “Silk Road,” is the ninth I’ve tried, and it’s the first one I’ve really liked just on its own. Bois du Chocolat works *really* well layered with BPAL’s Black Pearl, as I have previously indicated, but by itself it’s just incredibly harsh. Straight Bois du Chocolat’s tagline could be “Doing lines of cocoa powder as if you believed it was cocaine apparently, and it *hurts* – The Experience.” That would make a poor tagline, I think you will agree.

Anyway. Silk Road. Not shockingly, it’s mainly a tea scent, but it’s got lemon, bergamot, rose, and beeswax in it (I looked at the ingredients list – I think you can tell the bergamot pretty easily without it, though), so it’s a sweet one – it doesn’t just smell like Earl Grey, which I was kind of expecting and would have been okay with. And it isn’t all dry, either. I feel like with some of the other samples I didn’t like that the woman had one particular ingredient in each that she was really into, and she overdid that one so things came out kind of unbalanced, but this seems pretty well-balanced to me – the tea is kind of muting the other stuff now that it’s drying out, but not overpowering it.

In summary, Smells Pretty.

I’ll talk about the others behind a cut, because I know you’re all just fucking philistines anyway. (Should I capitalize “philistine?” I’m not going to. I’m not totally sure what ethnic group we’re even talking about there.)

( Musk is for ICKY BOYS. )

Continue reading Obligatory current affairs reference

Chikai ja nai.

Chikai ja nai. published on

This is not, in fact, how one writes the kanji for “chikai”:

crude drawing of a hat and a pie

My bad.

…so I kind of… yeah…

So I kind of *completely forgot there was a quiz today*, okay?

I don’t recall this working out too well in high school history, either, so I’m not sure why I felt I had to go and *reprise* the whole *debacle*. I guess it just sort of *occurred* to me that, like, *maybe* drawing a hat and a pie – in lieu of, you know, something distantly resembling a serious answer – might be in some way *more acceptable* in a college Japanese class than in high school American history. Can you even tell that that’s a pie? I think it looks like a burger. I should have at least drawn a *better* pie, if I’m going to be drawing pies on my work at all. I mean, Christ.

There was also an Asian Civ test today. (which is why I forgot about the quiz and ended up drawing @$%#%-ING PIES on it…) While studying this morning, I came across the below passage in my notes – poor chronology and random capitalization and punctuation left intact for your consideration:

* Yu – supposedly first Emperor of Xia

* Daoists = agrarian people who don’t like statehood; laws; their son being drafted; taxes; represent neolithic revolution.

* Maybe Nyx wouldn’t suck so bad if I layered it with Black Pearl. Does Nyx have Rathrani? Something has rathrani…

* First “China” is Xia around 2000 BC.

The type of student that I am is what is known in the clinical terms as a “terrible, terrible student.”

My severed arm.

My severed arm. published on

One of the DSH samples I ordered the other day was “Special Formula X,” which you’re supposed to be able to use to test your skin type – if it smells “green,” the Lord God meant you to wear sweet, vanilla-y stuff; if it smells flowery, you’re one of those smug neroli types; etc.

The problem being that my arms both smell different.

My left wrist smells burnt, which means amber and spicy stuff, while my right is faintly sweet, indicating light florals. It is as if my body were at war with itself. Examining my right arm closely, I discover something I had never noticed before – a faint, jagged white scar just below my shoulder, below which my flesh seems slightly tighter.

Since I was young my right hand has tended, without any conscious thought on my part, to draw erratic, looping borders around a piece of paper or a desktop when left at rest for long. I had disallowed myself from putting these patterns to paper for many years up until recently recently, upon the urging of my calligraphy instructor at Miskatonic University who feels that my grip on the pen is too tight and controlled.

At first I simply drew wide loops bordering the page, but for several weeks – since around the night I saw the deer – I have felt confined to the outer corners of the page, filling the upper right with tight, thickly-knitted-together loops that I then fill in partly – a sort of shading, though the patterns have no depth – before withdrawing and concentrating on the lower right. I feel uncomfortable allowing these drawings to overlap with my handwriting. It seemed to me upon rising very early yesterday morning, having again heard the deer, that the shading might move over the course of the day – but of course upon examining my many pages full of such drawings, this proved simply to be a dream. The position of the shadows bore no relation to that of our sun.

I have identified a particular set of loops that my hand is particularly comfortable drawing – they resemble a pair of eyes, and while most often are on their own and independent of context, I sometimes seem insert them into a girl’s face. She is the only pattern that I can find no way to shade. I have begun to look around myself for her, because I surely know the details of her face very well, and I know that she is sick. She must be real; I’ve seen her someplace, though I’m sure I don’t know her name.

Perhaps I will find my answers in the dining hall. Where the sauteed spinach is.