Friday, March 29, 2013

still-sound 158. Vinegar

I keep hearing how vinegar is supposed to be an excellent all-purpose cleaner.  I've been wanting to put the theory to the test, but it's taken me a while to find white vinegar - they don't sell it at Trader Joe's.  Yesterday I had the day off from work so I tackled several projects that had been on my mind for a while.  Like cleaning with vinegar.

I mixed equal parts water and vinegar in a large bucket and cleaned the glass separating my living room from the terrace.  The results were impressive.  The glass was so crystal clear it appeared as though it weren't there at all.  Look at the glorious view from my kitchen.

I worried that the smell of the vinegar would be offensive.  It wasn't.  Its odor was surprisingly mild and short lived.  A smell that was offensive was the fertilizer I mixed into the water to nourish the plants.  It's all natural and, from the smell of it, is made from rotten fish guts.  I waited a while for the stink to go away.  Rosie didn't seem to mind.

Monday, March 25, 2013

still-sound 157. E.S.P. morning

I've had such a nice morning so far.  I walked Rosie, came back, and put E.S.P. on the record player.  It was recorded in 1965 and features a jazz dream team: Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Tony Williams, Ronald Carter and Herbie Hancock.  On the back cover is an "abstract and  impressionistic poem" by Ralph Gleason.  Here are two lines from it:

Little Willie leaps. Bird feathers!

I lit a cone of pinon incense while the record was playing.  I hadn't burned any incense for about a month.  The smell reminds me of last summer.  When the incense burns out, I will go to work.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

still-sound 156. Saws

This is a little saw I bought from Anzen hardware in Little Tokyo.  It's called a keyhole saw.  I'm going to use it eventually to expand a hole that I will eventually drill into my block of ash wood.  I don't know if it'll be able to handle such hard wood though.

For heavier duty cuts I require this saw.  It took twenty minutes to cut off one corner of the ash block.  The placement of the gloves next to the saw with my strange Birkenstocked feet give the picture a strange and somewhat sinister air.  

Friday, March 15, 2013

still-sound 155. Bloom

The air near my home is redolent with March blossoms.  I don't know what kind of tree bears these honey-like clusters of flowers.  The bees seem to love them.  The scent makes my morning walks with Rosie through Elysian Park particularly enjoyable.

I discovered this perfume recently.  I sniffed it at a department store and bought it on the spot without hesitation.  It's called Jour d'Hermes and it's typical of the perfumer Jean Claude Ellena's style.  Transparent, breezy, understated and precise.  Blossoms releasing scent in cold air.  The bottle is elegant.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

still-sound 154. Rosie's big day

Guess whose birthday is today?  Rosie is 9 years old and because she was so excited for her big day to arrive, she organized for the all the clocks to move forward an hour to make it come sooner.  Clever pug.

Friday, March 8, 2013

still-sound 153. Taureau nautique

I ordered a new band for my Seiko 5 Automatic wristwatch.  The original black nylon strap was looking shabby, so I stopped wearing it.  This new one is made from waterproof bull leather.  On the inside it says Taureau Nautique.  It arrived in yesterday's post and looks even better than I imagined.  I feel as though I have an entirely new watch.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

still-sound 152. Scent test

I want to expand my knowledge of perfumes.  Admittedly I know the niche, artisanal, impossible-to-find stuff like the back of my nose -- I work in a perfume store that specializes in this sort of thing.  But there's a big gap in my familiarity of the mainstream, mall perfumes.  I don't know these fragrances at all.  They all smell exactly the same to me.  They are, with a few exceptions, exactly the same juice in different bottles. Endless variations of flourescent fruits and white florals with no distinguishing features to latch on to. To prepare myself I went to Sephora at the beginning of the weekend and begged for samples of the most popular sellers.  I studied diligently.

Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue is easy to identify.  So is Chloe - it smells like Windex (not necessarily a bad thing.  I like the smell of Windex).  Hanae Mori Butterfly smells like the closet in my elementary school where textbooks were stored.  Justin Bieber Girlfriend smells like strawberry Skittles.  Flower by Kenzo is pretty - a creamy ylang ylang and benzoin combination. 

Wonderstruck by Taylor Swift smells like Grape Kool Aid.  The powder mix, not the drink.

The craziest fragrance of all was A*Men by Thierry Mugler.  It's a brilliant blend of coffee, caramel and patchouli.  Its drydown smells like the Carmelite candle by Cire Trudon; the smell of moss covered stones in a convent.  Whenever I lifted the A*Men-scented strip of paper to my nose I couldn't help but formulate the same response: "this smells crazy!"