my occasional musings on life, love, art, perfume ... what else is there?


The More Things Change ... Again

I was very young -- in so many ways -- during Viet Nam. But, young as I was, I made that war an emblematic issue in my family. I say, "I made ..." because I know I used the war as a wedge in establishing my nascent individuality ...

... Anyway. I was young when that war caused such similar intra-family, intra-national conflict to the one in which we're currently engaged.

Now I'm not young. And the pattern reasserts.

We have a president who does not care to meet his responsibility as a leader of a democratic nation -- that is, he does not wish to acknowledge the people's will re this war. He and his mentor, the vice president, will do as they wish with the most valuable resource of this country, its human resource, its young men and women.

Even as the old white men (and the occasional old white woman) of the establishment come to their belated epiphanies about the essential wrongness of this war, it will stretch on.

The deaths of our own will continue, along with the horrible maiming of so many coming home without arms, legs, and with terrible head injury.

Those of us without the privilege and the risk of loved ones over there will watch the pictures of those not coming back and mutter, "... so wrong, so very wrong..." but will not be galvanized enough to do anything.

There will be protests, of the young and semi-anarchic at first. Then, the mother(s) of a dead soldier. Eventually the hollywood contingent will jump on and there will be thousands on the mall in D.C.

But still, our soldiers will be sent over to "help" a populace distinctive for their ingratitude and duplicity. Who hate us for the chaos we introduced into their horribly totalitarian "but at least the lights worked" existence.

(In Viet Nam, we didn't have that working against us. I'm not sure the Vietnamese held the absence of electricity against us. Everything else, the destruction of villages and an agrarian economy, yes. Electricity, not so much.)

And this will go on for years, our own actions scarring our national sense of self. Until what could and should have happened years earlier will finally happen.

And the last helicopter will take off from the roof of the embassy.


In Contemplation


There Are No Miracles, however ....

It's not just because I'm being forced to listen to the second football game of the day blaring in the background ... that my heart and mind turn to cosmeceuticals.

No, I have a deep and abiding belief in better skin care through chemistry. I have used MD Forte products for a long time, and about a year ago added some products by Cellular Skin Rx to my skin care lineup ... both product lines with serious science underpinning their products' efficacy.

And now I have a new recommendation for you: SkinMDNatural's Shielding Lotion.

Seattle has had one of its roughest winters that I can remember -- cold, cold, cold -- and the air has been drier than usual. Conditions that are hard on skin.

Jim has rosacea, I'm prone to eczema and we both have sensitive skin. But we've been using the Shielding Lotion for nearly two weeks and it is providing significant comfort to face, hands, backs and feet. What the heck, it's good all over.

There's an herbal/homeopathic element to the product that I like -- it has aloe, arnica, comfrey, yarrow and chamomile, as well as vitamin E. It also has 'cones ... "a proprietary blend, consisting of several different dimethicones, that offer a very high degree of protection to the skin..." which I hope won't keep skin care mavens from trying this effective product (I had no adverse reaction from it, it doesn't clog pores, its protective quality really lasts a long time).

You can check out Skin MD Natural's site content ( for all the science I am not explaining here -- but what I can tell you is that it's a product that makes my skin look and feel better, it's an excellent base for makeup and has made my legs non-itchy for the first time in a couple of months. I think you should try it.

Especially if you live in Wyoming or Colorado, which are even worse than Washington (C and P, you know I'm talkin' to you.)


Art Buchwald 1925-2007

"So far things are going my way. I am known in the hospice as The Man Who Wouldn't Die. I don't know if this is true or not, but I think some people, not many, are starting to wonder why I'm still around.”


As The Red Queen Commands

Thanks to the Red Queen of She'll Be Feverish After So Much Thinking, I get to tell you more about me than maybe you ever wanted to know:

4 jobs I've had:
Library assistant at the University of Michigan
Ad salesperson for ATT
Hospital public relations assistant

4 movies I'd watch over and over:
Anne of The Thousand Days
Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet
and, of course, The Messenger

4 places I've lived, apart from where I live now:
Manila, Philippines
Tuebingen, Germany
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Fairbanks, Alaska

4 TV shows I love:
Law and Order Criminal Intent
Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals (she's just so damn cheerful)
Masterpiece Theater

4 places I've been on holiday:
San Francisco
New York
Independence, Kansas

4 websites I visit daily:
Waking Ambrose
Blogs spun from the Fragance Board (you know who you are)
and c'est chic, of course

4 favorite foods, in abstract (meaning, they sound good but not always are):
BBQ ribs
Fried chicken
Pot roast
Chipped beef on toast
(and remember, I'm a wannabe vegetarian)

4 places I'd rather be right now:
Someplace warm.
Someplace fashionable.
Someplace very old.
Someplace very beautiful

4 books I enjoy re-reading:
Anything by Diana Gabaldon, especially
Anything by Dorothy Dunnet, especially
The Lymond Chronicles
The House of Niccolo

4 CDs that never leave my rotation:
It has been so long since I've concentrated on what music I'm listening to, I can't answer this.

4 people I'm tagging (no guarantees or promises to participate expected)(Hope I don't duplicate)(Tagging is such a dangerous business):
Jamie of 10SignsLikeThis
Liz of PocketFarm
Doug of Waking Ambrose
Lucy of TanLucyPez

Thanks for including me, Your Majesty! (Btw, you smell good.)


In The Night Kitchen

I love our new home ... it's small and has white shutters and a huge tree in the front yard and an upstairs deck that looks out over more tall trees ...

Bucky now has a superior above-the-ground view of the two Labrador Retrievers next door. He LOVES that. They are below him, whining and barking and he stands above, much like Julius Caesar, looking down over the proletariat.

The first nights in a new house are always strange ... no lights where there used to be lights ... and here, a strange silence. This neighborhood is so quiet, it was hard to sleep.

But we're getting used to the peace and quiet. The whoosh of trees in the wind at night ... and now there is a nightlight in the kitchen.

In the night kitchen.

drawings from Maurice Sendak's In the Night Kitchen


Share the Milkbones

The Vermont artist, Sandy Gullikson, has a wonderful character, Coyote, who looks a lot like Bucky. Here are words of wisdom from Coyote for the new year:







Happy New Year! Rabbit, Rabbit!!