Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Angelina's Choice: Another Viewpoint

Disclaimer:  I have always liked Angelina Jolie.  Even when B-man says, 'I don't get all the hype,' I still like her and respect her choices of motherhood and advocacy.  And I respect her decision to have preventive surgery.  

But the hype around this is freaking me out.

Here's why:

1)  In spite of health care reform, medicine is still big business.  Routine tests like mammograms and colonoscopys have been shown in recent years to be excessive and maybe even dangerous.  False positives and high radiation make annual mammograms questionable.  And if your bowel happens to get nicked during a routine colonoscopy (I'm just sayin', it happens), you will deal with that mistake for the rest of your life.  Creating fear first, then prompting action, keeps the patients, and the dollars, rolling in.

2)  Just a little research will reveal that the data around this type of genetic testing is...uncertain. Angelina can remove her breasts, her ovaries and any other body part that is vulnerable to cancer, but there are no guarantees. 

3)  Angelina, do what you need to do, but resist sharing this news with the world and encouraging other women to do the same.   However heroic and courageous Brad Pitt thinks you are, this is a private decision.  Using your celebrity to influence other women to have preventive surgery is the result of misplaced advocacy. 

4)  And why are women primarily being targeted for this possibly unnecessary body mutilation?  I have yet to hear of a test that identifies the gene for testicular cancer.  Or encouragement for preventive surgery. 

Finally, based on the simple law of physics (like attracts like) Angelina may be more - not less - likely to get cancer now than she was before, because her entire focus is on 'KILLING THE CANCER BEFORE IT SHOWS UP AND KILLS ME.'

Something about this just doesn't sit quite right.

Image from

Monday, May 20, 2013

Muscs Koublai Khan: It's Dirty, Man

Yesterday, B-man and I went hunting and gathering for frivolous stuff - it's one way we play on Sunday afternoons. On these day dates, B-man often wears one of my perfumes to experiment with different scents, so I put out Serge Lutens' Muscs Koublai Khan (MKK) for him to try.  This seemed to compliment my Bond no. 9 sample of I Love New York, the gourmand in the black bottle.

When we first get in the car, I'm all, 'did you put it on?  I can't smell it.'  B-man says, 'Yeah, I sprayed it just like I do the others.'  I press my nose to his neck.  'Okay, there it is, just barely.'

But the monster grows.

As we shop together, I keep smelling what I think is classic dirty hair and unwashed neck.  It's B-man.  Dirty and unwashed is the anti-B-man.  He's always immaculate. 

MKK is gagging me.

Me:  Um...the perfume you're wearing?  I had no idea it smelled so dirty.

B-man:  Oh, really?  I thought that as soon as I put it on - I figured you knew.

Me:  Yeah, it's kind of nasty.  I don't think I like it on you.

B-man:  Great, I stink.

Me:  Well, you don't stink, exactly, you just smell unwashed.

B-man:  Does it smell this way on you?

Me:  Oh god, I hope not.  Sorry.  Love you.

B-man:  Because smells are really different on both of us.

Me:  True, but I'm not sure I want to risk wearing it again.

B-man:  Lots of guys stink, so I'll fit right in.

Me:  I'm sure you're thrilled about that.

B-man:  So I guess no one's going to flirt with me in the produce section.

Later, as we're cooking dinner together:

B-man: Hey, I just caught a whiff of MKK and it smells better to me now.

Me:  (Sniffing his neck) Yeah, it does, less BO, more musk.

B-man:  Great - I'll just put it on 5 hours before I go out in public.

MKK, you dirty little thing, you.

image from

Monday, May 13, 2013

Food and Perfume: Are They Both About Chemistry?

Food is again the focus of my thoughts.  According to my theory, one should experiment with food like one experiments with perfume until the right chemistry match is found.

Getting sick messed with my mind, and I've been analyzing all of the reasons why it happened.  Stress?  Recycled airplane virus?  Diet?  Take your pick - I'm sure they all contributed. Last weekend, when I started eating regular food again, and immediately got a headache after a whole wheat muffin, I decided to get serious about exactly what's going into my body.

B-man and I have been eating like the French for almost two years now.  This means enjoying real food (no processed foods) with full fat goodness that is lingered over in slightly smaller quantities.  And wine, of course.  If I'm honest, though, I have gradually strayed away from fruit and veggies and become much more bread/cracker carb heavy.  Yes, the French eat carbs, but my diet has been out of balance for longer than I care to admit.  Plus, I'm just OVER eating meat.

And salmon is not meat, in case you wondered.

Here's the new plan (still very Mediterranean):

Fruit smoothie every morning (includes a big glob of natural peanut butter)
Carbs in the form of beans, oatmeal, fruit, veggies, quinoa
Lots of good fat, like avocados, olives, nuts and olive oil
Cheese stays
Wine stays
Wheat goes
Fish stays
All other meat goes

Best of all, the food I'm eating is delicious, resonating with my taste buds and my own 'eating intuition.'  Weight loss was not my motivation to make this change, but I lost four pounds last week even though my calorie intake jumped up to between 2000 and 2500 a day.  This tells me that  I have hit on something that works for my particular chemistry.  Like a perfume that sings on my skin and hits all the right notes. 

We'll see how this plan 'dries down' over time.

image from

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

My mother as a young woman

Happy Mother's Day, Mom - you are loved and missed.

image courtesy of mermaidmusing

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Perfumes for a Rainy Day

Rainbow last night after a brief downpour

For the last few days, we've been enjoying short bursts of rain, which leave that smell of wet earth that I just love.  What perfumes go with rain?  Here's a few that work for me: 

Donna Karan DKNY - this perfume smells just like a rainy day.  Wet concrete, wet plants, wet soil and vodka...what's not to like?

L'Artisan Dzongkha - captures the melancholy of rain and vibrates with dirty iris, which grows best in damp earth.

Chanel Sycomore - better outdoors than indoors, with vetiver that promises rain, or fire, just around the corner.

Etro Messe de Minuit - musty and dark, like old, wet headstones.

Serge Lutens Gris Clair - Wuthering Heights in a bottle.

What are your rainy day perfumes?

Photo my own

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Lazy Cinco de Mayo Sunday

B-man and Paige lounging on the deck this morning
Feeling better today - just good enough to park my butt on the deck and spend the afternoon reading, eating snacks and playing with perfume.  Later on, I'll shower and hook up with B-man for Champagne Sunday.  Maybe we'll cook tonight.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Photo my own

Saturday, May 4, 2013

My Instinct Perfume: Hermes Un Jardin en Mediterranee

For the past week, Daphne, my nose, has largely been in hiding. She comes out occasionally, but prefers not to be associated with my pedestrian cough.  What will her friends think?  And I generally avoid wearing perfume when I'm sick anyway, because I don't want to then link the perfume with my illness or have it burn my nose and turn me against the perfume altogether. 

Over the last few days, however, Daphne has decided to grace me again with her presence.  Getting ready for the day, I reach for Un Jardin en Mediterranee without even thinking.  My usual pondering and opening one box after another to sniff until I find the perfect match has fallen by the wayside. Instinct kicks in and I select this perfume before anything in me can object.

Un Jardin en Mediterrannee is perfume perfection because it is always a right choice for any setting, any season and all circumstances.  Herbal and decidedly unisex, it radiates with fig, tomato leaf and fresh mint.  Floral notes of orange blossom and white oleander are subdued, however, juniper berries are fairly pronounced, which reminds me of a nice, dry martini, my favorite. Cedar shows up in the heart notes and follows through to the base, adding both depth and coolness to a beautiful finish.  Sillage and lasting power are better than average, and the high quality is unmistakable.

Some reviews have said Un Jardin en Mediterranee smells like a tossed salad, and the top notes do have that same feeling of natural freshness.  But it's so much more, and I have yet to experience a perfume that rivals the universal rightness and balance of Un Jardin en Mediterranee.  I'll never be without it.

What is your instinct perfume?

Image from

Thursday, May 2, 2013

When You're Sick, There's No Place Like Home

I'm still sick - still coughing and sounding awful and not getting a good night's sleep and feeling sluggish and tired.  Okay, if I'm honest, I'm very slowly improving, but HELLO, IT'S BEEN A WEEK. 

Today, I had a meeting with a hospital leader in which I coughed and carried on all the way through...god, how embarrassing.  This respiratory gomboo - whatever it is, exactly - seems to flare up when I talk. Or eat. Or try to be charming.  Personally, I hate it when people who appear to be a walking plague invade my personal space.  Take your snotty self and go home.

I am officially a snotty self.

At around noon today, I ask myself why I don't just go home and take the rest of the week off to relax and get well.  So that's exactly what I do.  I come home, put on my sweats and drink lukewarm water with grapefruit and orange juice (my Mom used to swear this would cure anything).  Then I sit outside in the sun, moving to the shade and back and forth until I come into the house and watch an episode of 'Army Wives' that my television automatically records each season.  This series used to be good, but now the core plot is the same in every show, and some false sense of drama (another suicide bomber in Iraq!) takes the full commercial-laced hour until they all realize their loved ones are safe and hug it out at the end.  I cry every time.

My uncle died today.  He was 90 years old.  Dad tried to call my silenced-and-in-my-purse phone last night to tell me he was doing badly, then shared that news during exchanged texts as I was getting ready for work this morning.  I found out when I got home that my uncle had, in fact, died.  Dad and I haven't talked since then, but I'm sure he has the news and I wonder how he's taking it, as he and my uncle considered themselves friends.  We'll talk in the morning, as we always do, when we're both in the mood to process and ponder.  Neither of us are night people, and should I call him now, one of us would cut the call short before any meaningful conversation could occur.  Probably me, due to a coughing attack.

And I have to think B-man is sick of me being sick.  He has his own routine that efficiently handles every aspect of our life, and I can imagine feeling that my space was being invaded if I was in his shoes.  But he insists that's not the case and I have agreed - finally - to let him take care of me in every way that he can.  It's so good to be home. 

Image from


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