Thursday, July 25, 2013

still-sound 185. Bowls and paper

I went to Little Tokyo on my day off yesterday.  I bought two porcelain bowls.  They were surprisingly inexpensive.  I like the net pattern and the little scene depicted in cobalt at the bottom.  I will use them for rice.  And possibly ice cream.

I also bought origami paper in a Japanese bookstore.  I plan to make many many paper cranes and hang them in the window of the perfumer shop where I work.  I've never attempted origami before.  Lately I've been watching youtube videos of origami demonstrations.  I seek video material that will lull me into a sleep.  I thought that I would like basketmaking tutorials but they, in fact, fail to relax me.  Too much talking.  I found that most origami instructionals are silent but for the sound of folding paper.  I will watch the one that teaches the crane design and try to stay focused.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

still-sound 184. Scrubber

I saw a scrubber like this in a fancy design shop.  It's made in Japan.  I wanted to buy one because I both have a thing for cleaning products and for Japanese design.  This scrubber seemed so natural and purposeful.  It reminds me of a hedgehog.  

I saw the same scrubber in a two-pack in a Japanese supermarket for a fraction of the price.  The one in the design store came in nicer packaging.  Nicer in that it looked authentic and special.  Nice paper, nice writing.  But once the packaging comes off, all the scrubbers are the same.

So far I've used it to scrub potatoes and to clean an iron skillet which I used to cook salmon.  When not in use, it rests in a bowl I made, next to the sink.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

still-sound 183. Mozartkugeln

Our friend Gabriel came into the perfume shop today to smell amber fragrances and carnation fragrances.  He came bearing gifts, namely Mozartkugeln, chocolates from Austria.  He had recently been to Vienna.  

For those who don't know what a Mozartkugeln is (and I was one of them until only a few hours ago), it's a bonbon comprised of pistachio marzipan and dark chocolate. 

 I bit into one.  It had that wonderful, dry, mealy texture of marzipan but without the almond booziness. Like a more subdued marzipan.  It was slightly green.  It was delicious.  I imagined harpsichord flourishes as I swallowed the tastiness.  

To Gabriel's and my surprise, he ended up liking Vitriol d'Oeillet from Serge Lutens.  Not sure why this was a surprise.  I suppose it's just neither of us expected him to like it.


still-sound 182. Cleansing oil

My friend Laura made me this cleansing facial oil.  She's been dabbling with home-made cosmetics lately to avoid using the potentially harmful ingredients that regularly appear in commercial products.  This endeavor is very Venetia Stanley-Smith.  I told Laura so.  I meant it as high praise.

Not only did Laura make the facial cleanser, she also took this picture

This is what Laura used to concoct the cleanser.  She instructed me to shake the mixture before using -  then drop a few drops into my hands, rub them together, finally rub all over my face.  I then hold a warm washcloth over my face and let steam for a few seconds.  Wipe off.  No need for a moisturizer afterwards.  I tried it last night and loved it.  Smelled wonderful.  

Monday, July 8, 2013

still-sound 181. Mint ice cream

Brennan made this mint ice cream.  He was inspired by an episode of Nigella Lawson's cooking show. She made it look so easy, combining whipped cream, sweetened condensed milk, booze and shaved chocolate.  She threw the mixture into a baking tin lined with cling film.  

She even gave a demonstration of how to best rip cling film (vertically). No need for an ice cream machine.  The booze keeps the mixture from freezing too hard.

Brennan modified her recipe a bit.  Nigella used coffee liqueur and espresso powder.  Brennan used peppermint schnappes and ripped mint leaves.  He gave me a portion of the frozen confection in a glass jar he purchased at Heath Ceramics.  I'm going to eat it on the balcony when I finish writing this.

It's a new moon tonight and will be very dark on the balcony. 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

still-sound 180. Vinny's

I went to Vinny's Barbershop on Virgil today for a trim.  I wasn't due for a trip to the barber until next week but I wanted to look nice for a 4th of July BBQ tomorrow.  I am ordinarily very loyal to Ian in Burbank but I thought it was time to mix things up a bit.  Sometimes you just have to.

Angel cut my hair.  Very carefully.  At the end of the trim he shaved below the nape of my neck and then splashed on bay rum.  I love the smell of bay rum.  He applied a vibrating metal object to my shoulders which massaged them.  I saw him do this to the client before me so I knew that it was part of the service.  I looked forward to it during the entire cut.

The barbers talked about their 4th of July plans.  Someone on the telephone was told that the shop would be closed for the holiday.  The barber who took the call relayed the conversation to the rest of the shop and imagined saying "Well, you know, we're closed tomorrow because we're AMERICAN!"  "Where are you calling from?  Afghanistan?"  Omar, the owner called out his name disapprovingly, to which he replied "It's okay dude!  I'm Persian!"  This made everyone laugh.

I am very happy with the cut.  But I had to restyle it when I got home because Angel gave me a look I wasn't comfortable with.  Like an 80s Korean pop singer.*  It was easy to rewet it and make myself look more like me.

*Not his fault by any means.  I was very vague about how I wanted my hair styled.  The 80's Korean pop singer look is probably much cooler than the Steve look, but I wasn't prepared for it.  At 41 years old, I am slow to adapt.