Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Signs of Spring

Guess what? I'm not cranky!

Well, not right this second. I was earlier today, and I'll probably get there again before bedtime, but right now I'm fine and dandy. And that's because, frozen though we've been, I'm seeing signs of actual springtime.

(Side note: yes, fellow Floridians, I have heard that this is the coldest winter in many many years and many of you are just as surprised as I am, but this is my blog so the only complaints that matter are mine. Plus we had to go buy long pants, so I'm all indignant about that.)

Anyway, in addition to my lovely live oak tree in the front yard, we have this fabulous thing:

It started blooming about two or three weeks ago, which bodes well for some nice warm weather to come along soon. I think it might be a crepe myrtle - if anyone wants to chime in and confirm it, or give me other suggestions, I'd be grateful.

And it's covered in gorgeous blossoms, though sadly no fragrance.

Whatever it is, it's gorgeous, and it's right outside my front door.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Today's Tip

If you are working with glue and glitter, the ceiling fan should remain in the OFF position.

Goddamn it.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My God, A Day Off

I've been locked in the soap room for a solid six weeks now. Except for the days I'm locked in the wrapping room. So I was really thrilled to take an actual entire day off.

Jesse and I are still exploring the area, so we decided on a drive. Bad dog-parents that we are, we took Bander to doggie day care for a bath and some baby sitting. Then we took off to take a look at one of the resort areas, Perdido Key.

Perdido Key looks mighty fine from the air, and not so shabby from the ground. It was a little surprising that the beaches were dead empty - even on a Wednesday in February, in California you'd never get an empty beach.

We were driving east (toward the top of the pic) along the water, noticing how we seemed to have the place all to ourselves. We'd gone out with some notion of getting lunch or something, but a lot of the restaurants were still closed, so we kept heading east until we crossed over into Alabama. (This includes driving through, I am not making this up, Floribama.) We finally paused in Orange Beach, Alabama, for coffee and beginets.

Beginets are one of my favorite things about living in this area so far. It's like a donut lived a saintly life and then came back as something better. And then that something better got deep fried and sprinkled with several pounds of powdered sugar. Jesse had never eaten a beginet, and kept arguing that we could get mayonnaise at home. I swear he goes deaf sometimes just to spite me.

So, I knew that beginets were delicious. What I didn't know is that it's not advisable to eat them in a moving car, and certainly not while wearing dark clothes. Because the minute that you hit a bump, this hot fresh delicious confection turns into Satan's Fritter of Doom and bounces out of your hand and leaves powdered sugar donut prints down the front incline of your clothes, so that if you go out in public for the rest of the day everyone will be able to look at your shirt and secretly condemn you for being a sloppy eater while simultaneously being jealous of the beginet that you obviously had earlier. Plus you attract ants.

We tried to get past the problem by eating faster. Bigger bites, simultaneously. Jesse found that his sugary bite glued itself to the roof of his mouth, rendering him unable to speak and warn me not to take a big bite. Which is too bad, because I took a giant bite and then inhaled or something and accidentally sent about six pounds of sugar rocketing up into my sinuses from the inside. If I had only had a blowhole I would have looked like Old Faithful.

We pulled the car over and got out, hoping to stop wheezing and finish our breakfast but the wind whipped the box top out of Jesse's hands and then plastered me with a drift of sugar from head to foot. We threw the damn things away.

We were stopped at a perfectly lovely state park but I was pretty bitchy about being lightly glazed so we didn't stay for too long. Approximately a nanosecond. But Jesse did take a photo to prove that we were there.

Anyway, we drove home, had a late lunch at a decent (but not wonderful) Mexican restaurant, and picked up the dog. He had been bathed and perfumed and smells like a big green apple with horrible breath. Plus we smelled like donuts but didn't bring him any so there's a sort of cloud of resentment and Jolly Rancher dog farts in the house now.

I think it's time to go back to work.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Another Thing That Irks Me

I suppose y'all thought that having no day job would cut down a bit on the things that got on my last nerve. Well, that puts you somewhere between "naive" and "entirely unfamiliar with my cranky existence".

OF COURSE things are annoying the crap out of me. Here's the one for today: people who list ingredients for products and include things like "love" and "good fortune" and "prayers" and other happy bullshit. Implying that their stuff is made with loving care and that everyone else's is made with .... lesser ingredients, certainly with inferior grades of karma.

Really? Because my products contain spite and malice. Actually, the body polish is full of loathing because it makes it much scrubbier. And my soap is made with ennui and angst, in alternating layers.

Tune in tomorrow, when I make bath bombs filled with formless dread and night sweats.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Hans Christian Andersen is a bastard

This post has been brewing for a while.

Before we left California, I was wandering through the mall and I stumbled past a kid's store that was playing some Disney music - earworms, every single tune - and included in the craptacular soundblast was some blathering from The Little Mermaid.

Man, did they change THAT ending.

This really shouldn't go in my mythology category, because by and large I'm interested in the old root tales, and The Little Mermaid was written fairly recently (published 1837.) But it's such a terrible story, and got altered so much, that I couldn't leave it alone.

The Disney line of bullshit is the usual one. Plucky heroine defies her parents in order to gain the love and attention of a prince. Things do not go her way until she learns a lesson and grows up a little, and then the prince comes to her rescue. They live happily ever after. Much singing and rejoicing.

We will gloss over my thoughts about the prince coming to the rescue, simply noting that it's a big lie and repeating it in every single story doesn't make it any more true.

And it's completely different from the actual story. In the written work, the mermaid falls in love with the prince and defies her parents. Things do not go her way, until the prince marries someone else and she dies. That's right, she turns into sea foam, and then into air, where she learns that if she is good and noble in the afterlife, she might possibly go to heaven. Screw her entire life, that's wasted, but hey, she might be able to have a soul. Someday.

Andersen also wrote The Little Match Girl, about a sweet and deserving urchin who starves to death in the snow while hallucinating that she might get a big warm dinner once she gets to - you guessed it - heaven.

A lot of his writing is about completely innocent creatures sunk in misery who will have a better life once they're dead. And there's a uniquely Victorian piety about the whole thing, like he's standing around moaning "won't somebody think of the children" when instead of writing and moralizing and babbling about them going to a better world he could have maybe given one of them a fucking sandwich except he was so busy praying that they STARVED TO DEATH IN THE SNOW.

Anybody who would offer a starving child a prayer instead of a bowl of soup is an asshole. Writing children's stories and pretending that dead children are better off is a whole new level of sanctimonious bastardry.

So. Hans Christian Andersen sucks. And yeah, I know he also wrote The Emperor's New Clothes and The Ugly Duckling and those are fine, but on behalf of The Little Match Girl, I hereby declare him a bastard.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

On The Curing Rack

Well, I finally got the store open - last week - and of course now I'm behind on the blog. Damn, there really is no rest for the weary, is there?

I've been churning out lots of soap, though, and here's a preview of some things coming up soon - Arrogant Bastard, Gardener's Soap, Valencia, Carrot Citrus Ginger and Cucumber Mint.

More to follow soon, too!


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