Monday, December 03, 2007

My Life as a Monty Python Skit

This past weekend, while my parents were in Atlanta, I agreed to babysit their dog Kali. We’ve done this before; she’s good friends with our dog Luna and the girls love her. She’s an Australian Shepherd, just over a year old and full of energy. Also she pees 96 times a day. Our yard is not fenced, but the dogs know the boundaries and they don’t go into the neighbors’ yards or the street, so I just let them out the front door when they need to go and (when it’s cold) watch them from the door.

Friday night, I let them out around 11 pm and they went running off together, playing, and disappeared around the side of the house. After a minute or so, I started calling and I had to call them a few times before they both came tearing back towards into the front yard, Kali rubbing her face and body on the ground and rolling around. Then the smell hit me. It smelled like they’d unearthed a vat of toxic chemicals. My first thought was skunk, but I’ve never smelled skunk like that…it smelled like skunk, if the skunk was on fire. It was so strong I could taste it. I got the dogs in and the unholy stink filled the house. Skunk, I was sure of it then. Great. It’s 11 pm and I’m just in no position to deal with this. I threw them out on the screen porch, threw baby powder all over them (Don’t ask why; I thought maybe the powder would absorb the skunk oil) until I could figure out what to do with them. I would have left them there all night, but it was a cold night and supposed to get colder. I lit three candles and some incense, went into my bedroom and turned on a movie, trying to get the skunk taste out of my mouth. We decided we’d come up with a way to barricade the dogs in the kitchen for the night until I could go buy a truckload of tomato juice the next morning and deal with it. We knew the house would stink, but we couldn’t figure out any other option.

Half an hour into Fay Grimm, I hear a cry from the girls’ bedroom. We stop the movie and run in there. Ariela, who likes to sleep with her sister in the top bunk sometimes and chose to do so this evening, has sat up in bed, leaned over the top railing and was vomiting what seemed like gallons of vomit onto the floor. From 6 feet up in the air, she effectively repainted the entire room in vomit. I handed her a bucket (too late) and we got to work cleaning up the room to the best of our ability. We did the best we could, put down about a box of baking soda and some towels on the floor for the night, moved Dvorah into the guest room and went to barricade the kitchen.

Now it’s midnight, so I figure I’ll put the dogs out one last time before bed, hoping they’d maybe rub off a little more stink before coming into the house. Luna went out, did her thing and came in. Kali went out and when I called her in…I guess she could tell I was pretty unhappy, so she wouldn’t come into the house. Now I’m really unhappy, because it’s freezing cold outside, I’m in my nightclothes and bare feet and the damn dog won’t come in the house. Dvorah is still up now, and more dressed than me, so I made her get a coat on and she put on my shoes and went out to chase the dog around the yard, with me calling for the dog and pretending to be happy, so she won’t be too scared to come in. Finally we get the dog in (I’m furious now), barricade the two of them in the kitchen and go to bed. I’m awake every half hour, tasting skunk. I said to Stuart “My mouth hurts; I’m not really sure it’s skunk. I think we’ve been poisoned.” He laughed at me and told me to go back to sleep.

Next morning I wake up to Dvorah yelling “Daddy, Luna is throwing up!”

I think: Where do I find the next train to nowhere?

I discover online that tomato juice does not work on dogs, and find a mixture that supposedly does. I run out to buy a vat of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Come home, get Kali in the tub and discover that, not only does she really not like being in the tub, she’s terrified of running water and keeps trying to jump out of the tub, so I have to have one hand on her at all times, just to keep her there. I mix up the magic potion and begin applying it to her as she stands in the tub - tense, shaking, miserable and trying to jump out at every opportunity. The directions called for rubber gloves, but I figured I wouldn’t be able to really feel what I was doing if I was wearing gloves, so I was doing this with my bare hands. Halfway through, my hands start to burn. I ignore it, finish up, and set the timer for 10 minutes, which is how long the dog is supposed to sit with this mixture on. I’m still forcibly holding her in the tub and trying to console her (not working) and now keep her from shaking the stuff all over the bathroom. Finally the timer goes off, and now I have to rinse her off, but we’re still dealing with the terror of running water, so that makes the rinsing fun. Then once I’ve rinsed her off, I have to wash her again, this time with dog shampoo. Now my back is starting to ache from leaning over the tub at such a weird angle, holding Kali in the tub and using the other hand to lather and rinse. Finally I get her completely rinsed off and wonder, how on earth am I going to get her out of the tub and outside without her shaking all over the house? I wrap the freshly twice-cleaned dog in a towel and carry her outside. There, she shakes and shakes and shakes and then tries to dry herself on the ground. Which (of course) is muddy. I clean the mud off her the best I can, throw her on the screen porch to dry a little more, and bring Luna in so I can go through this entire process with her. Ask me if I wore gloves this time. Right. So after I carry Luna through the house in her towel (she’s a 50-pound dog) and then wipe the mud off of her and throw her on the screen porch, Ariela says to me “Mommy, look at your hands!” They’re covered in tiny red dots, all over. I wash them the best I can and put on a good hand cream and that seems to help.

Then I went out to by presents for a baby shower I was attending the next day, picked up a pizza, came home, got the kids dressed and we all went to see the Spanish Dance version of the Nutcracker (the nutcracker was a bullfighter and the rat king was a bull) and then returned my parents’ dog.

The solution seems to have mostly done the trick, although there are faint remnants of skunk still on my dog and Kali is a little worse, since she took the brunt of the hit (stupid dog) - but who cares; she's at my parents' house now. The house smells a lot better and my hands are OK. Ariela is feeling better; seems to have been just a case of the midnight vomits. The moral of the story is…there is no damn moral.

Well, according to Dvorah, the moral is this: If you see a black and white “dog” with a big fluffy tail, don’t ever stick your nose in its butt.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Get Glow

Let’s talk about shampoo. I’ve always been a conditioner girl, myself. I have fairly thick, fairly long, wavy and often unruly hair. My whole life the shampoo has been to get the hair clean – you know, get out the twigs and leaves and stuff – and the conditioner has been where it’s at. This line of products has turned all that on its ear.

The first product I sampled from the Get Glow line was the Intense Hair Repair Nourishing Treatment (a conditioner, of course). More about that later, but suffice to say right now that I loved it so much I decided to test the rest of the line. What I found could not have surprised me more.

Moisturizing Shampoo:
I tried this one first. I decided this summer to make my hair a brighter and lighter red than ever before, which involved lightening my hair several shades. I have only done this a couple of times in my life, because normally it leaves my hair, although looking cool, feeling like hay. I like hay – hay is good. If you’re a horse. But I don’t want it on my head. So immediately after coloring, I went straight for the moisturizing shampoo (and the aforementioned Hair Repair Nourishing Treatment). My hair not only looked great, it felt great and continued to do so. Also, I don’t normally like the smell of mint, but in this shampoo, it really works and I love it. This shampoo is a miracle, I thought. Let’s check out the rest of the line.

Clarifying Shampoo:
Wow. I’m an every-other-day hair washer. Normally, by the end of day two, my hair really needs to be washed. I use this stuff and my hair just stays clean and clean and clean. I still wash it every other day, but (I have yet to test this theory) I feel like it would stay clean for a week. By the end of day two it still feels great. I expected this shampoo to be a little drying. My hair still feels healthy and clean and my scalp is definitely not greasy, but also not dry and itchy. This is the one I use most of all and I plan to never – EVER – live without it. Did I say never? Never.

Daily Shampoo:
This is the one I turn to least often, but only because my love for the other two is nearing obsession. I use this one on my kids a lot because it’s gentle, smells great and leaves their hair very clean and very shiny. If you haven’t damaged your hair or you like to wash it every single day…this is probably the shampoo for you.

One final note about the Get Glow shampoos: They are very concentrated. I don’t happen to think the price is all that outrageous - $16 for 8 ounces. But believe me when I tell you that an amount about the size of a dime is enough to get my entire head of hair very clean. This stuff lasts a long long time. Great bang for your buck.

Intense Hair Repair Nourishing Treatment:
First, I fell in love with the packaging. The tub, with the flower on it, the words around the outside – totally adorable. Sometimes I just like to look at it in my shower. Then I opened the jar. The smell is swoon-worthy. And anybody who knows me knows I’m all about the smell. If it works great but smells like crap I won’t use it. This stuff smells phemonenal. I’d love it in a body cream. Now, I did get a little confused about the instructions because it says to towel dry your hair, apply, wait 10 minutes, then rinse out. So I showered, got out of the shower, towel-dried my hair, put the stuff in, then got back in the shower 10 minutes later. My hair stylist sister said “Duh.” Apparently you’re supposed to bring a dry washcloth into the shower with you, get the worst of the water out, apply, then shave your legs, take care of all the other shower stuff until it’s time to rinse it out. This made the whole process much simpler for me. It was an “aha” moment. How does it work, you ask? My hair was shinier, healthier, smelled incredible and just felt like I could spend all day running my fingers through my own hair. Perfect for the soft-light, gentle-wind-blowing hair toss. Talk about Glow.

Light Gentle Silky Conditioner:
This one is not quite heavy enough for my hair. I really do need a heavy conditioner. But it’s chock full of vitamins, smells great and works perfectly on my two daughters, ages 6 & 9, who have straight hair – not exactly fine, but not super thick either. For them, it’s perfect. Gets the tangles out, leaves their hair soft and silky and looking fab. I don’t use it on them every day, but I made sure they used it on school picture day.

Light Reflector Frizz Eraser:
9-year old daughter: “Mommy, does your hair ever get frizzy?
Me: “Yes.”
Daughter: “What does it look like when it’s frizzy, like it looks right now?”

Thanks, kid.

What better time to test the frizz eraser? This stuff tames the frizzies, all right. And leaves a shine. It contains silica, which really adds a bit of sparkle. If you’re having a dull hair day, or just need to get the frizz under control, this stuff will take care of it. This is another product from this line that I will always have in my bathroom.

Ready, Set, Hold! Hair Spray:
I’m not much of a hair spray person. I’ve always hated the sticky feeling of it, and how by the end of the night my hair feels filthy, tacky and disgusting. So it was with some trepidation that I allowed my sister to spray it on my hair one night when I was getting ready to go out. No stickiness. No tackiness. No filth magnet. And it even smells good. My hair was not crunchy, but it retained its style. And it moved, looked natural and I could touch it. I still don’t wear hair spray very often, but when I really need that extra level of control, this is the one I use.

Thickening Spray for Body Volume Control:
This is the only product in the line that I haven’t tried, but I plan to get a friend to use it and post a review.

My final word on the Get Glow line: I spent three weeks in Canada this summer and, in the interest of conserving space, I just packed sample sizes of whatever hair products I had lying around. By the end of week one, I really noticed a difference and wished I had brought the Get Glow stuff with me, or that I could pick it up at the local store. This is a great new line, very word-of mouth right now, and I can’t wait until it’s in salons and stores all over the place. I’m completely hooked. Available at Essential Hair Shops in NYC, The MarioDiab Salon in NYC, Stellie's Salon in Brooklyn and at Essential TherapiesDaySpa in Bolton,MA and, of course, at

Today’s scent: Vivienne Westwood Boudoir. Reputed to smell like “women’s parts,” I don’t get that. I do get a real smouldering femininity. Lush, rich, deep, this fragrance starts from the base and works its way up. Sandalwood, vanilla, cinnamon and a touch of patchouli give a depth to the powdery floral orange blossom, hint of rose, coriander, marigold stuff on top. This is a somewhat old-fashioned fragrance in that it’s a little heavy and – I get a whiff of tobacco in there too. This is a Boudoir. It’s a hint of masculine pipe tobacco & shaving cream deftly mixed with expensive powder and floral perfumes. It’s moody, better in cooler weather (I can see it being on the cloying side in hot weather) and extremely well blended. It’s a masterpiece.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Sun and the Moon

For about four days earlier this week, I asked myself the following questions:

Why is my back so achey?
Why am I so hungry?
Why am I so tired?
Why do my boobs hurt? Maybe it’s cancer!

Then I woke up, got my period and thought “Ohhhhhh, well that explains it!”

The other night I watched a show about Chaco Canyon with my family. My husband and I had visited Pueblo Bonita at Chaco Canyon on our honeymoon road trip around the southwest, and it’s an incredible place, full of vibrant palpable spirituality and leaving us with more questions than answers. This enormous complex of buildings was clearly not used as living space, since it’s partly inhabitable (closed rooms & ceilings, no light or ventilation for fires) and there is little evidence of household garbage.

Since we were there over 12 years ago, apparently quite a bit of research has been done as to the purpose of the buildings, specifically with regard to its position in relation to the sun and the moon. Incredibly, the Chacoans, who seem to have been the ancestors of the Pueblo group of Native Americans, with no written language, seem to have built this structure with its main walls 100% perfectly aligned with the phases of the sun and the moon. They have walls and markings denoting both the Solstices and the Equinoxes, and have even marked the phases of the moon. The moon thing is even more incredible, since even though it completes its full to full cycle every 28 days, it is not completely in synch with the phases of the sun and it rises in a different part of the sky, with an EIGHTEEN YEAR cycle back to its original spot.

Further, not only is the great building at Chaco Canyon lined up just so, many other buildings in a 200-mile radius (not visible from one to the other except by air) are equally aligned.

A book I’m reading, “Stonehenge” by Bernard Cornwell is a bit of historical fiction, along the lines of “Clan of the Cave Bear” but in the book, Cornwell, through the epic story of three brothers, all sons of a great clan chief, details the building of temples to the sun god with precise engineering relating to the phases of the sun and the moon. It’s a very interesting theory and likely more true than we realize.

So here’s my question: If these “primitive” people, with no written language, can track the sun and the moon over such a long period of time, and accurately erect massive stone monuments which act in effect as giant sun dials…why is it that every single month, I wonder why my back aches and why I’m so tired? How can I get my period every single month (with the exception of a couple of pregnancies) for TWENTY FOUR YEARS, and still manage to surprise myself with it once a month?

I might have been a good sacrifice in the Chaco Canyon or Stonehenge days, but not good for much else.

Today’s fragrance: Molinard Habanita. A woman in line behind me at Quick Check, where I stopped to buy my coffee this morning, turned to me and said “Smells like something is burning, doesn’t it?” I think she meant me. But to hell with it, I smell damn good. Let me be burning baby powder. Perhaps the Sun God will accept this as my burnt offering.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Boyfriend criteria

I was talking with my 8-year old daughter the other day about what criteria to look for in a potential boyfriend. We came up with the following:

1. He should be a boy. (Not that I'm being heavy-handed about determing heterosexuality here, she can choose what she wants. I just think a BOYfriend should be a boy.)
2. **He must be smart.
3. He must be kind. More than nice, kindness has global ramifications.
4. He must have a good sense of humor.
5. He must treat you well. (With kindness and humor.)
6. It helps if he's cute. Not required. (To this, she said "Daddy's cute." Indeed he is, I replied.)

Did I miss anything? My 5yo seems to have extremely high standards for boyfriends, as she tells me daily that this boy or that (there seem to be about 6 vying for her attention) in her Kindergarten class has told her she's his girlfriend. She says "But I told him I'm NOT his girlfriend."

Today's fragrance: Carthusia Fiori di Capri. Wild carnation, lily of the valley, amber, sandalwood, ylang-ylang, oak. This is an incredibly well-blended fragrance, and based on the notes, I shouldn't love it. Lily of the valley on me tends to be overly assertive yet girly, and carnation can be overwhelming too. I can only assume the "oak" here is oakmoss, but I may be wrong. I have no idea what oakmoss smells like, only that I seem to usually love fragrances that contain it. After falling head over heels for this one and buying a bottle, I realized that it is very reminiscent of a longtime love of mine - Ysatis de Givenchy. Whatever the reason, Fiori di Capri is the perfect choice for a day like today, when the snow has melted and the sun promises that Spring is on its way.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

TAG, I'm it!

OK, but first, a few things. Winterwheat...I am THIRTY SEVEN YEARS OLD. And so are you. :D

And last night's funny kid comment. We were watching the movie The Ant Bully. Basically there's a kid who stomps on the ants and messes with them all the time. So the ants decide to turn him into an ant so they can exact revenge on him. They shrink him, drag him down to the nest and the Ant Queen decides that he should learn to live like an ant before he is returned home. He's having a conversation with the ant wizard who asks:
" humans all live and work together, like a giant colony?"
Kid: "'s more like every man for himself."

And my daughter D, age 8 chimes in: "And all the GIRLS work together."

Heh. That's my baby.

OK, on to the tag. I'm only 2 months late on this and I know the entire rest of the blogging world has already been there, done that, so I'm not tagging anybody back, but I will fulfill my mission of tagged-ness. Here goes:

Four jobs I have had:
1. Gaming Accountant in a Las Vegas casino
2. Waitress
3. Fish factory Processor in Alaska
4. Counter person at a Korean dry cleaner.

Movies I could watch over and over
1. Wayne's World
2. The Addams' Family
3. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
4. Smoke Signals

Four places I have lived apart from where I live now
1. Las Vegas, NV
2. On a boat in the middle of the Bering Sea - AK?
3. London, England
4. Waltham, MA

Four tv shows that I love
Honestly...I just don't watch TV. Sorry. It's not an ethical thing, I just don't have time and when I do, I usually watch a movie instead.

Four places I have been on holidays
1. Seattle, WA
2. San Diego, CA
3. New Mexico
4. Nova Scotia

Four websites I visit daily
1. Google
2. Makeupalley
4. Wikipedia (well, not quite daily, but frequently)

Four favourite foods
1. Fettuccini Alfredo with Shrimp
2. Caesar Salad with Shrimp
3. Shrimp
4. Doritos (now banned from my house, except in those little lunch-size bags)

Four places I would rather be right now
1. Costa Rica
2. Home with the family having the kind of fun family day I always imagine but somehow it never quite works out that way. Need to work on soft-focusing my life a little.
3. San Diego
4. Oh, just anyplace warm and fun with people I love.

4 people I am tagging
As previously discussed...nobody.
Scent of the day: Caron Nocturnes. A beautiful rich floral, perfect for bringing a bit of sunshine into a bitterly cold day, but not overly summery. This is a Spring/Fall/Winter floral.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me!

Send presents!

I love presents.

I know, I know: I'm still tagged. Totally my nextest post. Just had to share the good news (my birthday, duh.)! Actually, now seems like a good time to unveil (so to speak) my epitaph, since I've instructed my family to begin using it now.

My birthday cake said "Happy Birthday, Queen of the Universe." My daughter made me a crown out of pipe cleaners and glass beads. My friend gave me a mirror that says "Queen of the Realm." See a theme here?

I hope so.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Call me.

OK, I know I've been tagged by pfg, and I promise that will be my next post, but I just have to share this story with you.

A week or so ago, I got a phone call from a friend who had given her phone number to a guy at a party. They'd been talking, they hit it off, enjoyed each other's company and when he was making last-ditch flirty efforts with her at the end of the party, she just handed him her number. Then she got all freaked out. She'd never done such a thing, what if he didn't call, etc. I said look, either he'll call or he won't. If he doesn't, it's no different than if you hadn't given him your number. If he does, bonus! But she was just horrified with herself for taking that step and handing him her number, unasked. Incidentally, sexy man did call my friend and they have a date.

So last night, I went to pick up my 8yo daughter from her piano lesson and left my phone in the car. When I got back in the car, I saw that I had missed a call from a number I didn't recognize. I called the number back, explained to the woman who answered the phone who I was, and she said "Oh, hi, it's Alex's mom!" (not his real name)

Alex is a kid in my 5yo daughter's kindergarten class. He and my daughter are together all the time, they sit together at lunch, they choose each other for "Share the News" time pairings, etc. His mother and I have spoken a few times about how cute they are together. Alex is adorable and sweet. An excellent choice.

So she tells me that Alex came home from school yesterday with a note with a child's handwriting on it and a telephone number. The note was from my daughter. Alex asked if he could call her.

I put her on the phone for a bit and she talked to Alex, about what he'd done after school, etc and said "OK, see you tomorrow." and hung up.

And it occurred to me: She's light years ahead of the rest of us. My 5 year old has given her number (MY number) to a boy so he could call her. "For a playdate or something." So A) she'll never be in the position my friend is in, an adult wondering if giving her number to a man unasked makes her some kind of slutfreak. And B) as her mother...I'm in deep, deep doody.

Today's fragrance: Mitsouko EDP. Perfect for that unseasonably warm, rainy day.