Neccessity is a Mutha

So a buddy of mine comes over last night with a bottle of wine. (The Superbowl may have monopolized the bars, but Mythbusters marathon…I’ll drink to that!)

People keep doing this. Despite this fact, I keep not owning a corkscrew. I drink so lightly that I cannot get through a bottle of wine on my own in anything like a timely fashion. A friend of mine came over to bake cookies a few weeks back, she leaves a half-bottle of wine…I got through the cookies in short order, but the wine still remains. Fortunately, that one was a screw-top.

This bottle…wasn’t. We stared at it.

My Leatherman did not have a corkscrew. We could perhaps have sawed the bottle open, but that seemed overly messy.

We stared at the bottle a while longer.

“Wood screw?”

“I have a Dremel…”

Dremel isn’t charged. (Okay, this was probably for the best…I shudder to think at what the introduction of power tools might have done to the mix.)

We stared at the bottle some more.

I eventually located a ceiling hook for hanging plants, which included a very, very scary screw-anchor end for biting into plaster. With some coaxing, it went into the cork.

Problem now…no leverage to pull it back out. Brute strength was tried, and failed.

We stared at the bottle. In the background, Adam and Jamie fired grapeshot at a dead pig.

Said buddy was a boyscout once upon a time. Armed with clothesline–and probably inspired by Mythbusters–he ran it through the hook, around the knob on one of the cupboards, and having formed a crude sort of pulley–while Ben and I watched in mild fascination, and Angus hid under the bed–threw himself back against rope and bottle of wine.

I placed a mental bet as to whether the cupboard knob or the cork would give first. Ben positioned himself at the victim’s ankles so that in the event of catastrophe, he could act as a furry tripwire, thereby turning a simple stagger into a potentially massive concussion on the edge of the sink.*

Proving me wrong, the cork gave way! And there was wine, and much rejoicing. Unfortunately, the cork wasn’t going to ever come out of the bottle again, having been savaged by the ceiling hook, so we were forced to kill the bottle on the spot, but hey, Mythbusters ran all night, and I wasn’t driving anywhere, so life is good.

*This is part of the feline union regulations.


MORE imps in the mail. Dear god.

Today we had better luck, though!

“Faustus” — interesting, but went powdery, alas. Will make a note to try later.

“The Coiled Serpent” — Holy patchouli, Batman! Not an obnoxious patchouli, though…kind of an odd, bitter undertone, like burning hay. This actually wasn’t a bad smell. I don’t know that I’d wear it, but it wasn’t bad. Nice for a more complicated patchouli, but since patchouli doesn’t say “sexy!” to me, probably not so much my thing.

“Bien Loin D’Ici” — Mmmm. Okay, this one is definitely a perfume, but I like it anyway. This one I’ll wear. Doesn’t go powdery. (I wish I could figure out what the note is that makes me go “Perfume!” It’s almost an alcoholic undertone, like it’s the binder or the carrier rather than anything else. Not sure though.) This is one to use in moderation, I suspect, because of the perfume note, but it smells pretty good anyway. The description claims that it’s “The Scarlet Woman, aglow with sensual indolence: red musk, benzoin, caramel accord, golden honey, and spiced Moroccan unguents.”  Mind you, I’m not sure that I’ve ever been aglow with sensual indolence in my life…sensual, sure, but too much indolence and my brain goes “Shouldn’t you be working?!” but I can’t blame the perfume for that. Despite the honey and caramel, didn’t go too agonizingly sweet.

“Siren” — Really fruity. Apparently it’s apricot. Not bad once it dries, actually–I might wear this, assuming I remembered to apply it at least two hours before going out of the house.

“Malice” — Oh, holy crap, I LOVE this one. It’s not very strong–had to slather–but it’s sort of balanced between sweet and bitter (appropriately to the name!) We have a serious winner here. “A profound, complex scent that encapsulates the joy one finds in another’s pain. Ylang ylang, clove, Indonesian red patchouli, and dark myrrh.” (Heh, and I just said I didn’t think patchouli was sexy. Shows what I know. Still, I don’t get the patchouli at all, it’s more clove and myrrh and I guess the ylang ylang is the sweetness.) I’m really not that malicious a person–okay, okay, the occasional moment of schaedenfraude, but that’s as far as I go…

“Eden” — weirdly sweet, kind of…honeyed fruit. Something a little darker starts to emerge after awhile, though, but I still get…fruit. Fig and coconut milk, apparently. I don’t actually care for those smells on me, but I have to say, they don’t smell artificial–I don’t get tutti fruiti or suntan lotion. I’m not likely to wear it, and damn, it’s a powerful one–the whole ROOM reeks of fig now–but it’s not a bad smell.

“Midnight Kiss” — …this is…this is…what’s that…smells familiar…Grape Bubble Yum? (Interesting. But no.)

So we have a major winner so far, and a couple of “Will probably wear this,” and a whole pile of “re-test.” *grin*

So “What the Hell Con” is next weekend, in Greensboro, and I will be there with my webcomics peeps, dominating the art room and throwing things at one another and it should be a fun time and OHHOLYSHITIHAVEACONNEXTWEEKEND!

Um. Should really run off some prints in time for that…

I have not prepared for crap. I see what I’ll be doing for the next week…

More Bpal!

I have so damn many imps, I’m having to go through these at top speed just to keep up!

Fortunately the most common negative occurrence for me–“Turns to powder”–happens within about ten minutes, so I’m able to rule them out pretty fast if they do that.

I think I’ve figured out another selling point…so many of them are REALLY COOL but don’t work on your skin that you go nuts trying to find the one that DOES. ARRRGH! (So far “Dee” has actually been the best.) It’s like an ongoing battle against my skin chemistry, and now I’m determined to find one that works!

On the other hand, the Red Army is currently invading, as ’twere, so I’ve got to re-test some of these in two weeks, just to see if there’s a notable difference.

Today’s run:

“Elegba” — wow! Coconut! Initially dismissed it as too sweet, but it actually mellowed nicely and smelled pretty good. Unfortunately the nice rum and tobacco complexity underneath eventually went away after a few hours, and I was left with coconut, which mostly just smelled like suntan lotion.

“Black Tower” — This was nice and piney,  and it actually lasted for well over an hour as an interesting smell, but then…yup…powder. Darn.

“Imp” — “Hey this is kinda ni–oh, hello Mr. Powder.”

Currently testing “White Rabbit” which is starting as a weird smell I can’t even begin to define…pepper, cream, and lemon, sort of…? We’ll see how it dries.

ETA: White Rabbit kept morphing. I dunno about that one.

“Dracul” — nice, lovely, woodsy…and after an hour it was pretty much gone.

A Peculiar Anniversary

The dreams didn’t get all that much better, but they at least went from intense personal horror to generalized despair, as a giant bull proceeded to destroy the earth, and I had to watch, while begging him not to. He was very polite about it, at least, which was something. “I’m sorry, but I serve the Lords of Karma,” he told me, “there is no appeal,” and went on annihilating the planet.

Then it wandered off into a setting that I finally recognized as the video game So You Want To Be A Hero* and just got weird.

That, however, is not the point of my post.

It is February 1st. One year ago today, in response to the continued dissolution of my marriage, I moved into my own apartment. I was 29, and it was the first time I had ever lived on my own.

It’s kind of funny, but I don’t recall the exact date the divorce was finalized–that was all just paperwork, and didn’t really matter. I don’t remember the date that I learned that yes, it was really and truly over (perhaps we could make a case that I had known for some time, and it was merely the final confirmation.) But I remember moving in on my own. That one actually mattered.

Still. It’s been a year, and I haven’t died or gone bankrupt. Got kicked bad, but got up again. Dangled a little farther over the abyss of madness than I’d like, but pulled myself up out again, with the help of quite a few friends and the miracles of modern chemistry. But I lived.

A buddy of mine gave me a very stern talking to about four months ago, during which he told me not to kick myself about moping over my marriage unless I was still doing it come February, and rather more importantly, not to get a tattoo until February, lest I wind up with something regrettable in permanent ink. (This was wisdom, I must admit–there were a few dark nights when I might have come back from the tattoo parlor with “ALL MEN SUCK” written in gothic script across my shoulderblades or something equally regrettable.)

Well, it’s February. I have not moped about my marriage for some time, I have the phone number of a highly recommended tattoo artist, and I’m getting that damn kingfisher as soon as I figure out the design I want.

So, I made it. Life goes on.

Which I played back when it was still called “Hero’s Quest,” goddamnit.

Oy. Nightmare.

Can’t even really describe it adequately, certainly not explain why it was scary–there was a wizened mermaid-like creature, an enormously fat naked woman who knew where I was at all times, and the house I grew up in. Something had locked itself in my old bedroom because it thought it was me.  Some kind of variation on the thing-that-won’t-die dreams, I think, except that it was less “really annoying” and more “absolutely horrific.” Not even Ben could protect me, and my subconscious, resisting all knowledge of the psychology of cats, had him trying. I even dreamed that I woke up, and went to pet him, and found crusts of scar tissue all along his back, and of course that meant that it was real, and then I was right back in the dream again.

All in all, it was the sort of dream where you wake up covered in sweat and roll over and grab the person next to you, and press your forehead between their shoulderblades and shudder. Lacking such, I got up instead, checked Ben for scars–look, you never KNOW–and turned on the BBC. Decided to turn on the lights and get up long enough to make sure I didn’t wind up back in the dream again. Since my mindset at the moment is the sort where I’m afraid to look out the window for fear of what might be pressed against the glass, I did a little work on the next painting, and now am blogging, in an effort to distract myself.

(Ben is sitting next to me on the desk as I type this…he doesn’t know why I’m up at this hour, and doesn’t much like it.)