Wednesday, April 17, 2013

still-sound 163. Pen and ink

Anyone who's ever seen my handwriting knows how ridiculous it is.  It's the result of numerous years of pretension.  When I see a letter written in a particularly ornamental way, I try to take a mental note and work it into my practice.  I once wrote something down for a client in the perfume store and she remarked "you write like you're a Founding Forefather".  I allowed the curlicues of flattery to tickle me and forcibly kept myself from coming round the desk to hug her. 

I convinced myself that my letters would never reach their full potential until I invested in a pen designed to be dipped into an inkwell.  I finally did so yesterday.  My first scribbles were miserable failures - the ink was too runny and transparent, the paper did not absorb effectively and the nib was too wide.  When I came home I changed all three variables and came out with impressive results.  I practiced by writing La Redorte, Languedoc Rousillon, France since I will be going there tomorrow.

Monday, April 15, 2013

still-sound 162. Passionfruit

I think passionfruit is the it smell right now.  I noticed it in the initial phase of a tuberose perfume I like by Ramon Monegal called Kiss My Name.  I thought it was a clever note to use as it gave a brightness to the floral notes and a fruity juiciness without making it too sweet.  Since then I keep detecting it in perfumes even if there is no such note in the fragrance.  Phantom passionfruit.  

I've used the same hair product for years.  The packaging has recently changed but thankfully the texture and hold of the 'Power Putty' are the same.  I never much liked the scent of the product (overly sweet and overly fruity) and often thought that it compromised my scent identity.  But I continued to use it because I liked what it did to my hair.  When I scooped some putty out of the new-look jar I noticed that the smell had also changed.  "Ahhhh, nice!  Passionfruit!" I said to myself as I styled myself in the mirror.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

still-sound 161. West

I spent the day in West Los Angeles a few weeks ago.  Far west, near the airport.  I had some time to kill, so I walked around a college campus because it was quiet and nicer looking than its surroundings.  I found a spot that overlooked the city and sat on a bench for a while, looking around.  I saw this Mondrian - painting -inspired group of buildings.  It looks like a complex that would have been built in the 80s, somewhere in Europe.  Thirty minutes away from Paris or Amsterdam.

I noticed how much of the city is blanketed in smog.  I never notice it when I'm in it. Maybe it's haze.  I'm not sure I know the difference.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

still-sound 160. Crown

Anyone with a Korean parent or two will know what this is. It's a replica of a Silla Dynasty gold crown.  They appear in many Korean households -- along with black lacquer vases with mother of pearl designs.  Usually of birds and trees.  

A while ago I noticed that my mother had two replica Silla crowns in her house.  One sat in a display case with several of the glass panels cracked.  My mother held the shards together with tape.  I told her that I would take it back with me to Los Angeles and repair the glass.  It's held court in the dark corner of my living room for two or three years now.  The thought of measuring the display case for new panels seemed like an insurmountable task.

But I finally did it!  Last week, on the day when I was getting stuff done, like cleaning every surface of my home with vinegar and water.  I jotted down the dimensions on a little pad of paper that has a drawing of a pug on the cover.  I ordered three panels at the glass store in Silverlake and picked them up the same day.  The project cost me $13.  The bargain of the century.

The new and improved display case looks beautiful and makes my living room look like a Korean history museum.  I should charge myself admission when I come home from work.  I may bring the crown back to my mother's house the next time I visit her but I may not.  I like it too much now and seriously doubt she misses it.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

still-sound 159. Chamomile

I put some chamomile in a vase at our perfume store.  A very fancy woman came in wanting to stock up on her favorite fragrances.   I've met her several times in the past.  She's unforgettable.  She speaks with a soft Spanish accent and is usually en route to one of her houses on another continent.  Usually I would find this a little annoying, but she carries her worldliness so well.  A happiness seems to emanate from her face - as though she actually enjoys having houses around the world.  I always look forward to her visits and hope (in vain) that she'll sit down and tell me all about Acapulco in the 70s or how she'll spend her summer in France.  But there's usually a driver waiting in the car outside and our chats are kept brief.

She was delighted to see the chamomile.  She told me that she grows chamomile in her garden and regularly makes tea from the flowers.  She asked if she could take a little bit with her.  It was my pleasure to snap off a few stems which she took in the hand that wasn't holding a purple crocodile Birkin bag.