Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My So-Called Life

Does anyone remember this coming-of-age series?  It aired in 1994, and the entire first (and only) season is playing now on the Sundance channel.  

I was bummed when it got canceled.

This was Claire Danes' acting debut - she is fantastic. Yesterday, I watched the series pilot and chuckled through the whole thing, delighted by the smart writing and the great cast.  

Of course, I'm recording every episode.

Any other My So-Called Life junkies?  And what perfume goes well with adolescent angst?
image from www.tvshowsondvd.com

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Road Trip Perfume Identified

Tonight, we're going to Chandler's Steakhouse, a fancy schmancy place in Boise.  

I don't eat steak, but I do love cheese, and they offer a cheese, fruit and spiced nut platter to die for (B-man and I checked it out online).

Maybe just one martini...

The defining perfume of the weekend that perfectly captures the rain, chilly evenings and budding blossoms?

 Sycomore by Chanel.

image by valentineperfume.com

Adventures in Martinis and Waffles

Last night, we fulfill our mission to go out in the rain and find great martinis.  

That's the good news.  

The bad news is that we stop at an open winery by our hotel and taste six of the nastiest wines on earth.  Seriously, each one is progressively worse.  They brag that their chardonnay 'has not touched oak but instead has been aged in stainless steel.'

Perhaps that's why it tastes like watered down fruit juice with a metallic after taste.

B-man and I both make comments that we know are code for 'hate it!'  Things like, 'uh-huh,' 'oh my,' (that's a dead giveaway) and 'interesting.'

We end our tasting session by asking where to get a good martini.

Martini Heaven is a sushi bar called Happy Fish.  Through the evening, each of us has two Beefeater martinis that contain three green olives stuffed with blue cheese.  We eat sushi.  We have so much fun.

We walk in the rain back to our room and everything is fantastic.  

Then I realize I am a little drunk.  Then I puke.

Romantic, don't you think?

Nevertheless, after sleeping it off (B-man is fine, I might add) we get up early and do our usual walk around the city.  No longer raining,  the smells are amazing.

I can't wait to get back to the hotel for a hot breakfast and lots of coffee.  Breakfast is a free buffet, with all the basics, including a waffle maker.  

That's what I want, a waffle.

As B-man is filling his plate, getting us a table and making multiple trips with coffee, juice, fruit and a toasted bagel, I stand and stare at the waffle maker, reading the three-step instructions over and over.

Intimidating little bastard.  What does 'flip the handle' mean, anyway?

Me to B-man: 'how do you do this?'

B-man: 'you've been reading the instructions for five minutes - you tell me.'

Now I have to make the f-ing waffle just to save face. 

More adventures today.  Less alcohol.

image from www.vegasnews.com

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Scented Road Trip

B-man and I drove to Boise, Idaho today, approximately 5 hours of open space and beautiful skies.  

We arrived to dark clouds and rain.

Could it be more perfect?

I felt really 'zen' on the way here and realized my mind has not been that relaxed for a long time.  Miles and miles of openness, where nothing quick happens and everything is predictable. 

B-man and I negotiated a 'stop every 2-hour' plan before we left.  I told him I could drive for days as long as we stop every two hours.

'Because I need a Happy Snack that often,'
I explained.

This, he seemed to understand, so we moved ahead with the 2-hour plan.  

Just after our first stop (Wendy's spicy chicken wrap - yum!), we were riding in silence, broken only by our intermittent chatter and rain that was never heavy enough to start the wipers.  I touched B-man's leg and said, 'everything okay over there, Sugar?'  He took my hand, kissed it and said, 'yeah, I'm just trying to decide on my next Happy Snack.'

I Could Not settle on what perfume to bring, and I hope to score some perfume while I'm here that will create a scent memory of this weekend.  Just in case, I packed decants of the following:

Black Aoud
Iris Silver Mist
Jolie Madame
DSH Vintage Patchouly

Depending on how the air smells (we're about to go out with our umbrellas and walk around in search of a good martini), I'll make my decision.

While the drive here was what you might call uneventful, I did achieve something I have never done before.  Of course, I dressed comfortably, in black yoga pants and a black tank top. Halfway through the trip, I thought, 'why in the hell did I wear a bra?'  The more I thought about it, the more it bugged me.

So, right there on the freeway, without even undoing my seat belt, I maneuvered out of my bra with hardly any upset to my tank top at all.  B-man said, 'well, look at you, Little Miss Smarty Pants.'

I must admit, it was quite something.

Pictures my own, taken from the passenger seat today

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rant: Public Restrooms

Is there anything worse than public restrooms?

No.  The answer is No.

If I have to pee, but a bathroom is disgusting (and many of them are), I can 'hold it' longer than anyone I know.  You don't expect me to actually put my ass on that thing, do you?

And is it so damn hard to flush the toilet?  

Here's the problem: you never know what you're walking into.

Fortunately, I have identified the best restroom in the hospital - the administrative suite on the 4th floor.

Well worth climbing a flight of stairs. 

But for some freakish reason, my pee schedule often coincides with the closing of the Best Bathroom every day while the housekeepers clean.  

Still, as often as possible, I enjoy its bright lights, clean tile and automatic paper towel dispenser that actually works.

Unless every stall is taken.  Because then, chances are high that someone is doing Number Two. 

Number Two in public should be illegal.

For God sake, train you body to do the noisy/smelly thing at home.  I mean, really, is this how you want to be remembered?

Absolutely the worst scenario is when you're innocently going in for a quick morning pee. Suddenly, in the stall next door, you hear all sorts of farting sounds and kids dropping in the pool.  

And then there's the smell...Jesus, the smell...what exactly have you been eating?

You hurry to wash your hands and get the hell out of there just as your boss walks out of the stall.

Some memories are harder to erase than others.

If you leave your house at all, you will encounter some nasty-ass bathrooms.  Best to find a few that you like and stick with them, even if you have to go the extra mile just for peace of mind. 

Let's all do our part to make public restrooms less disgusting by keeping our 'private business' private. 

image from old-wizzard.com

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ode to Boyfriend by Kate Walsh

 Warm Brandy
Creme Brulee
Wrigley's Spearmint Gum
Breakfast Blend Coffee
Evergreen Bark
Elmer's Glue
Library Leather

image from icydk.com

Friday, May 20, 2011

My Cheap and Pretty Morning Perfume

Cabotine Rose - one of several flankers to the original Cabotine - was eye-balling me at TJ Maxx for weeks.  

I'm not sure why we were flirting with each other, except I'm attracted to the color and design of the box.  And the cute bottle. 

It really doesn't take much to entertain me.

After marching to the beat of Inner Critic's drum and talking myself out of buying Cabotine Rose, I was thoroughly annoyed.

Sales price?  $12.99.  Yeah, boy, that's a perfume purchase to dither over.

It's mine now, dammit.

And honestly, I love its fruity/rose/shampoo/fresh laundry goodness.  Every time I spritz it on, it bumps my morning happy to the next level, which is a little scary as I'm already in an altered state of mind between 5 am and noon.  

Especially if it's raining.  

Maybe I'm attracted to Cabotine Rose because it's off the beaten perfumista path, or because B-man always says, 'what IS that - you smell soooo good!' 

But I suspect the real reason is because, aside from being pretty and cheap, Cabotine Rose keeps the morning alive just a little bit longer.

Image from perfumezilla.com

Thursday, May 19, 2011

And The Rain Keeps Coming Down

Another dark and blurry day of rain.  

I'm in heaven.

Pictures my own, taken this morning

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Three Things That Touched Me Yesterday

For the past couple of months, Dad and I have talked on the phone - or sent texts - every morning.  We look forward to these brief chats as we are both morning people, ready to 'cracker ass' at a moment's notice.  

Laughing together is a good way to start the day.

On Tuesdays, Dad usually mentions the grief group he attends every Monday evening.  This week, he connected with a man who lost his wife about two months ago.  

I remember Dad, two months out from losing Mom, calling me and saying, 'please tell me I can do this because I don't think I can.'

Yesterday morning, Dad said the group went well, and the man whose wife recently died told him it helped a lot to hear what he had to say.  According to Dad, 'it's like you're all on a journey, but at different points.  You can call those behind you and let them know the road gets smoother up ahead.'

I think he's going to be okay.


During a meeting yesterday, the parent of one of our patients wanted to tell me about a staff member named Connie.  This mother praised Connie for helping her family during her child's hospital stay.

'Connie makes us feel like this is a five star hotel,' she said.  'She sees us and waves every time we come in, and we're here a lot.'

'We're always greeted with a smile and she checks on us often just to make sure we're okay and that we have everything we need.'

'Of all the amazing people here, I'd have to say Connie has made the biggest difference to our family.'

Connie is a housekeeper at the hospital.


When our son, JD, was a little boy, the three of us concocted a story - a fantasy - about dark, rainy days.

Our story featured two dragons, Molly and Arnold, who only came out when the clouds were hanging on the mountains.  Cloaked in the damp mist, they could frolic and run wild, play tag with each other and even breathe fire if they felt feisty.  Once the storm subsided, they returned to their caves.

This was our little secret.

Yesterday was one of those dark days where the clouds reached the base of the mountains and the rain came down strong and steady.  While I was at work, unable to fully enjoy the magical storm, I received a text from JD:

'You're on my mind today - yell a big hello to Molly and Arnold for me.'

What has touched your heart lately?

Image from photographicdictionary.com

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Me, The Cowgirl Wannabe

I've never been on a horse.  Ever.

Dad hates horses.  He calls them 'crow bait,' although I was never sure, as a child, exactly what that meant.

Honestly, it's not much clearer now.

I suspect that, growing up, Dad had a scary experience with horses and learned to fear them. To justify never going near a horse again, he simply decided they were wrong for a variety of reasons; they smell, they're unpredictable, whatever.

He had his reasons.

And yeah, horses smell, but they're supposed to.  Daphne kind of likes it (fur, sweat and the outdoors with just a hint of ass - think Paloma Picasso Mon Parfum), but then she loves the smell of burnt microwave popcorn and helicopter exhaust, too.

My hospital is hosting a Leadership Retreat in June at a swanky resort in the mountains.  After brain-washing us with motivational psychobabble, we have an afternoon of activities to choose from.

Photography, jewelry making, hiking, a scenic tram ride and horseback riding.

Just thinking of riding a horse scares the hell out of me and, at the same time, gives me that roller-coaster whoosh feeling in my stomach. 

Crow bait be damned.  I'm signing up tomorrow.

image from customwallgraphics.com

Monday, May 16, 2011

And Now, A Smile

Paige smiling with her new toy, Braidy

Finally, a picture of Paige that doesn't look like she has just been handed a life sentence in Doggy Prison.

Picture my own

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ode to Boucheron by Boucheron

Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
Model Airplane
Maybelline Face Powder
Cinnamon Rolls
 Necklace Chain
Trail Mix


Friday, May 13, 2011

An Unexpected And Sweet 'Boss Moment'

This week has been rough, with employee discipline issues back-to-back.  Rumors, questions and outrage on the part of hospital staff followed.

Bound to confidentiality, I am unable to explain the repeated complaints and conversations that accompany a formal disciplinary action or termination.  

Typically, it takes months to complete.

However, to the uninvolved observer, it appears that I had a wild idea in the middle of the night, got up on the wrong side of the bed and took it out on the world by firing someone's ass.

I only wish it were that easy.

Friday could not come soon enough.

This morning began with a regular meeting with one of my direct reports.  She updated me about her department and I provided some follow-up information to questions she raised last week.

Nothing out of the ordinary.

About an hour later, as I was finishing a document in my office, she stuck her head in the door and said, 'I love that you're my boss - just wanted to let you know.'  Then, she was off.

Wow, did I need that today.

image from india-forums.com

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wanna BeThe Boss? Get Used To These Ten Things


Granted, there are a lot of perks to being a leader.  Like having a flexible schedule and being able to affect the way things really work.  Like people treating you differently - and better - because you're the boss.

Yup, that's fun.

But there are challenges, too:

1)  You're being watched constantly by your staff, by top administration and by other leaders.  Your life, during business hours, is lived in a fish bowl.

2)  You must always pay attention to what, and how, you are communicating.  Who's your audience?  What are the politics?  How sensitive is this issue in the big picture?  How 'real' can you be?

3)  As a leader, you must deal with things that have gone wrong as soon as they go wrong.  This means you are always ready to address poor performance, insubordination and sheer stupidity at any time, on any given day.  You will have to fire people.

4)  At meetings with your staff, you will often be left sitting with an empty chair on each side because no one wants to appear they are sucking up to the boss.

5)  If you make friends with someone outside of your area, you may eventually become their boss and the relationship will change. Work friendships are shallow.

6)  You will never be 'one of the girls/guys' to your staff.  They will always view you differently.  And you are different.  Get over it and enjoy your friends outside of work.

7)  You should never laugh at, nor comment on, a co-worker's obvious nose job.  Nothing you say is private.  Listen, smile and keep your mouth shut. 

8)  In leadership, alliances are fluid depending on who needs what at any given time.

9)  If you want to make an impact on your organization, you must take risks and propose ideas that no one else has thought of.  If done well, this takes tremendous energy and stamina.

10)  Just when you think you have the situation under control, something will happen that throws you; priorities suddenly change, the torch you have carried is passed to another or the promotion you believed was yours does not materialize.  

In leadership, you must constantly recalibrate your mindset to keep your passion and performance alive.

The timid need not apply.


My Accidental Perfume Purchase

Well, maybe not exactly accidental.

True confession:  I try to place my order of Serge Lutens' Fumerie Turque last Friday and get a big 'Error' page at the end.  

No problem, the Mother's Day 15% off sale lasts through Sunday.  I'll try again later.

But Saturday morning, after sleeping on it, I decide to wait on my perfume purchase.  In fact, I get all self-righteous about it, announcing to B-man that I will not be placing the order, like he should give me a standing ovation. 

I do love applause.

Absolutely full of myself, congratulating my restraint and fantasizing about bitch slapping Inner Critic, I get online to check my e-mail.

Dammit...the order has gone through! 

Turns out the Error was an error.

That's just great.  Now, I get to slink back into the office and tell B-man that, funny thing, actually, um, he-he, the order went through.  

Gee, who'da thought?

B-man looks at me with the twinkle that appears whenever I come clean on a blunder.  'I get exactly what you mean,' he says.  'In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if that new camera I want simply shows up at the door.  Accidentally, of course.'

Image from moyna16.wordpress.com

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Feeling Blue on Mother's Day

Last night - the first night warm enough to use our deck

My mother's absence is more pronounced than last year, even though, on Mother's Day, it had been only three months since she died.  Perhaps I was still numb or just lost in the survival mode of grief.  

Mom's death has a clarity now that it lacked then.

I dreamed about her Friday night.  My family was at the hospital, trying to decide whether to remove life support because Mom had been comatose for days.  

While we were discussing this dilemma, she woke up.  Mom began moving around and the nurse helped her up from the bed.  With assistance, she walked to the far end of her hospital room. 

As she walked back, she looked at me and stopped.  Mom said my name, took both of my hands in hers and communicated her love strongly and clearly, even though her exact words are lost to me now.

But the feeling of her love has stayed with me.


Yesterday was a stunning day, sunny and warm. B-man and I drove to Park City to enjoy the weather and do a little shopping.

As we're checking out at one of our favorite stores, a woman brings a little boy to the front who has lost his mom.  He's about five years old, sobbing and frightened.  The woman helping him says, 'we need to page this little guy's mother.'  

Right then, his mother walks up and says, 'it's okay, I'm here.'  Her son throws himself into her arms, still sobbing, and she comforts him, saying she was worried, too, and that she's sorry he got separated from her.

Suddenly, I remember a time I lost my mother in a grocery store when I was about the same age.  I, too, was crying and frightened and a store employee helped me find Mom.  I remember seeing her, clinging to her legs and crying tears of relief.

Watching this scene play out yesterday touched me deeply, tapping into my loneliness for Mom and the relief I would feel to see her just one more time.

Dreaming of her was a treasured gift.  Even though I'm feeling blue today, when I think of Mom, I will remember the only thing that really matters; her love for me.  And mine for her. 

photo my own

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Wine Tasting, Perfume and Snobbery

Last night, B-man and I attended a wine tasting at the only winery in our city.  Napa Valley we're not. 

This particular tasting was a stand up, walk around, taste-the-wine-and-food event.  I love that because then we're not stuck with several other people at a table.  Yes, I know I could get to know them better that way, but honestly, making new friends is not my objective.

Have I mentioned that I'm a bit anti-social?

Perhaps that's because every day of my working life is spent being surrounded by people, addressing multiple questions and concerns and practicing my open door policy, blah, blah, blah.  

On my own time, I rarely seek social outlets.  Solitude is the way I regenerate.

So last night, I found myself in the new (but comfortable) space of simply...being.  I stood around, watched people, drank wine and ate fussy finger food.  Occasionally, I engaged in peripheral chit-chat, but successfully avoided any long conversations.

My goal was to remain as shallow as possible.

Of course, I wore perfume.  Snobby wine drinkers feel that pairing perfume with wine is a faux pas, but I figure Jardin en Mediterranee is incapable of destroying the 'nose' of any wine.  

Even the woman dragging around the powerful sillage of Aromatics Elixir didn't spoil my experience.

Daphne knows how to multi-task.

Snobbery regarding wine is as annoying and pretentious as snobbery about perfume.  As I wandered from table to table (drinking the first wine offered), selecting multiple hors d'oeuvres, a man approached me and said, 'you know, they have paired different wines with the food at each table.'

No shit, Sherlock - thanks so much for stating the obvious, and what would I do without your guidance? 

I replied, 'Yes, I'm aware of that, but I'm taking what I want now anyway.'  

Bite. Me.

Later, I overheard another person say, 'these are acceptable everyday wines, I suppose, but if I want a great Petite Sirah, I'll simply open one from my cellar.'

OMG, really?

All of the wines were delightful to my palate, and we were each given a bottle to take home.  My favorite thing about them?  

The labels are really pretty.

Shallowness achieved.

image from sexyfoodtherapy.com

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What Does The Law Of Attraction Have To Do With Perfume?

Not much, really.  Except that yesterday, White Aoud was the perfume I wanted to wear.  Instead, I talked myself out of it and wore Estee Lauder's Knowing.  

With a spritz of Demeter Dirt.  

Daphne, Daphne, Daphne.

This sucked because I was aware, all day, that it wasn't what I wanted.

What doesn't suck is my renewed study of the Law of Attraction.  Well, 'study' isn't exactly right.  'Memory' is a better word.

For those unfamiliar with this concept, the Law of Attraction operates on the theory of physics; that we are all giant magnets drawing everything to us that is vibrating on the same frequency.  

People, things, even life events.

Like attracts like.

According to this theory, our feelings provide the fuel that determines the frequency of our vibrational energy.

While it neither supports - nor contradicts - religious beliefs, the Law of Attraction is the only universal concept that resonates with me and appeals to my pragmatic nature.

Tons of literature exists outlining this principle and teaching about harnessing one's energy, but my favorite read is 'Excuse Me, Your Life Is Waiting' by Lynn Grabhorn.  It's light, straightforward and fun.

Every time I read it, life gets better.

Do you ever feel that a new, exciting change is coming, but you have no idea what it is? 

Me, too.

In an attempt to raise my creative energy, I'm playing with ideas and letting myself imagine all sorts of things, including our luxury condo in Seattle.

And a private jet to travel back and forth.

It's liberating to dream big.  My energy feels different  - twirly, even - when I do.

While I'm waiting for these new, amazing things to find me, I can fulfill one dream already at my fingertips simply by wearing White Aoud today.

What are you allowing yourself to dream?

image from wwwuniversetoday.com

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Perfume Layering Successes of May 1st

Happy May 1st to all!

Today has been spent cleaning and re-arranging.  This morning, I announced to B-man, 'I'm going downstairs to work on stripping the wallpaper' (he has been working on a room and will have it done shortly).

'You don't know how to work the steamer,' he said.

'Well, maybe you could teach me, or I could read the instructions and figure it out.'

Silence, hand to forehead and a large sigh.

'If you're feeling that energetic, how about you work on the Smellie Room instead and find a place for everything we have accumulated so we can do that room next?'

Good counterpoint.  

So I organized the Smellie Room and, in the process, discovered some killer perfume layering combos (call it multi-tasking):

L'Heure Bleue/ Hiris
Sycomore/Demeter Dirt
Calvin Klein Truth/ Safari
Tea Rose/Tocade

Actually, it's been a really good perfume weekend.

Yesterday, at TJ Maxx, I bought a bottle (cheaply, of course) of Cabochard Rose, a fun, fruity floral perfume.  I put it on after showering, before Champagne Sunday, and B-man said, 'OMG, you smell soooo good!'

I do, too.

Image from nuindil.com


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