Triticum Turgidum

Lying Dormant and Waiting to Bloom Since 2005

My Photo
Location: The Prairie, Illinois, United States

I am a beauty-loving ambidextrous higher-order primate who learned transcendental meditation at 7, statistical analysis at 23, tap dancing at 30, and piano at 35. I tolerate gluten, lactose, and differences of opinion, but not abuse. Or beets.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Even Lincoln is more voluptuous...

Back from NYC

...and recovering today. Here are the highlights, for the perfume-minded:

Snapped up the last two bottles of Gobin Daudé Jardins Ottomans on sale at Takashimaya for $19.00 apiece. This is a scent I paid some $125.00 for in Paris in 2003. Left Takashimaya glowing with pride.

In honor of the immensely talented Olivia Giacobetti, I picked up a bottle of Andrée Putman Préparation Parfumée and a bottle of the new l'Artisan Parfumeur scent Extrait de Songe. Both fragrances were designed by Giacobetti. With an air of superiority I communicated my finds to my friend Monica, who lives in Hoboken and met me for lunch on Monday. She promptly burst my bubble by barking, "Extrait de Singe? Monkey extract??" For the rest of my life I will think of this scent as Extrait de Singe. Thanks Monica.

During a final trip to Barney's I ran through the Keiko Mecheri line again, where I rediscovered Paname, a delicious and haunting absinthey-chocolatey scent that smells like a less complex but more wearable (for me anyway) version of Serge Lutens' Douce Amère.

Come to think of it, the following are, in my humble opinion, Keiko Mecheri knockoffs of Serge Lutens scents:

  • Paname = Douce Amère
  • Genie des Bois = Bois de Violette
  • Loukhoum = Rahät Loukoum

The irony is that I strongly prefer the KMs to the SLs, except for Bois de Violette which beats the pants off Genie des Bois with its shrieking cedar note.

My last great find was a sale bottle of Catherine Memmi Iris room spray, which smells just like the iris note in Guerlain Après l'Ondée. Cool, powdery, loamy, and spicy, with a lipstick accord in there. Love it. Found it for half price at Bigelow. Unfortunately I couldn't test Prada Iris or any of the new scents at Aedes de Venustas because both shops were closed for Memorial Day. Monica and I sat in the park and watched the little dogs run around instead, a perfectly acceptable substitute.

Back to acquisitions: I also ended up with $1800.00 in Armani ties, FREE! One of my former students, Jill, lives in Manhattan and works for Armani. Shoes and accessories. She gets these ties for free and has to give them away in handfuls. I brought 15 home. Greg grabbed 9, so I'm sending the remaining 6 to my narcissistic dandy of a brother, who will pee his Brooks Brothers pants when he sees what's in the package.

Since the only people who will find this post even remotely interesting are wayward perfume hags like me from (my former hangout), I will also share the deets of my Saturday evening. Greg and I got to meet MUA's own cjblue and her husband. We went out for dinner at a Mexican place and had a great time listening to their stories about working together on a fishing boat in Alaska and at a casino in Vegas.

In case you're wondering, Ruth is beautiful and vibrant, in lush contrast to my sharp and severe countenance. I'm only 35 and already I look like somebody's rich, forbidding, and frigid old aunt. I used to think (hope) that when people stared at me it was because they thought I was attractive but now I realize that it's because they're trying to figure out if I'm in drag. It's kind of a fun position to be in, actually, sort of like being in a fat suit. A social experiment, if you will. The irony is that I've lived with this for my entire life. People thought I was a boy when I was little, and even in my 20s they mistook me for a man.

The fact that I love Monty Python does nothing to reassure people that I'm female. We really enjoyed Spamalot, by the way.

Now that I'm slowly edging toward menopause I'm thinking I might just give in to the natural sex change that already seems to be occurring (I've got three dark whiskers on my chin that I have to tweeze every few weeks) so I can take full advantage of the benefits of manhood in American society. Money, respect, comfortable shoes--really, I can't wait.

I hope Greg's okay with it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Automated Reply: Out of Contact

Off to New York to get my city fix. Spamalot on Friday. Perfume shopping every day. Lunches, dinners, and coffees with four different friends who live in the area. All female. Lots of estrogen. Can't wait.

Somehow I have to fit a conference in there. Doh!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Soothing the savage beast

Play us a song, you're the Piano Man

Tall, blond, and mute, he can't (or won't) talk but he plays classical music and Beatles tunes. I think I'm in love.

"Piano Man" hasn't said a word since he was found wandering, distressed and soaking wet--on a dry day--on the Isle of Sheppey in southeast England on April 7, 2005. All the labels in his clothes were cut out, which frustrates his caretakers because they can't use clothing manufacturer info to help determine where he's from, but which strikes me--and I'm thrilled to chills over this--as the ultimate act of defiance against product placement.

Go Piano Man!

Aside: Piano Man, when you DO talk, please provide your proper name so you're not unwittingly selling Billy Joel records.

So, readers, I'm curious: Do you think Piano Man would be getting so much press coverage if he didn't look like a forlorn Versace model? The press reports of him as a piano "virtuoso" (which at least one report suggests is quite an exaggeration) further enhance the diamond-in-the-rough theme of this story. Tall, blond, quiet, wounded, talented, young, handsome. Who will play him in the movie? (I'm thinking Julian Sands c. Room with a View, but he's probably too old now.)

Makes me feel sad for all those folks who are institutionalized for mental and emotional illnesses who aren't tall, good-looking, and talented. Where's their press coverage? Where's their movie deal? Where's their 15 minutes of fame?

For that matter, where's my 15 minutes of fame?


Monday, May 23, 2005


He died.


The vet told me that usually they put a seizing animal under anesthetic to calm it, but this one had been seizing for so long (as evident by its empty crop--it hadn't been able to eat for quite some time) that the anesthetic itself was the final blow.

The vet suspected that it was a toxic reaction. Either the bird got into something poisonous, or someone poisoned it (see below).

Poor baby.

Poor Baby

Spent the morning at the small animal clinic of the veterinary school at the university where I work. It all started when I was on my way to work. A business student and I happened to be walking down the sidewalk together and came upon a pigeon that was shaking, flapping, and rolling around on the concrete. Poor thing looked like it had been hit by a car. My mirror neurons were sparking like crazy.

We wrapped the pigeon in a jacket to calm it and drove at top speed to the clinic, where we were met by a vet who told us that the bird was having a seizure. An animal control officer who happened to be standing nearby told us it was probably poisoned, as it's legal to poison pigeons in Illinois.


Whoever came up with that brilliant idea should hang with the guy in Wisconsin who proposed that bill making it legal to shoot collarless cats. I'd like to propose a bill making it legal to shoot men without mirror neurons.

Anyway, the clinic staff told me they'd call me when they find out what happened to the bird. If they can't help the poor thing, they'll euthanize it humanely.

Now go give your dog or cat a kiss, and if you live in Wisconsin, make sure it's wearing a collar.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Pretty pretty pretty pretty pretty

Annick Goutal Online

Hello perfume lovers! I'm back with a little tip for those who appreciate Annick Goutal scents. I found a site where you can get them cheapity-cheap-cheap. We're talking 100ml EDTs for $95 and 100ml parfums for $98.

Annick Goutal has her detractors but I find three of her scents to be absolutely sublime: Les Nuits d'Hadrien (woods and oriental spices mixed with candied lemon peel), Ce Soir ou Jamais (heartstopping gorgeous dewy rose), and Sables (haunting smoky maple scent of immortelle blossoms). Sables in particular is practically impossible to find online for less than $150, and bricks-and-mortar stores that carry the complete AG line rarely stock it. This link will take you to all three of these scents plus many others.

I phoned the store to talk to the owner after I placed my online order (I like to do that sometimes) and she was absolutely delightful. I told her I would be traveling this week and she upgraded my shipping for free so my items would arrive before I leave. ItemSSSSSSSS, you say? Yes, my other acquisition is this Ivan Grundahl dress.

In the event that the picture screws up your eyes as it did mine, I should tell you that the bottom right corner of the picture depicts a rug. The camouflage is part of the dress, laid over the rug. I suppose they had to spread it out on the floor so you can see the cut of the dress.

I love asymmetrical dresses because they hang well on my asymmetrical frame and harmonize nicely with my asymmetrical thought patterns.

Happy shopping!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

At your service, ma'am

No Service Without Risk

I've been thinking a lot lately about what it means to lead a life of service. Today I had an experience that made me realize that commitment to genuine service may require the acceptance of genuine risk.

Here's the scoop. I exited the grocery store and was called back by a woman standing outside the doors with a cart full of groceries. She was disheveled, distraught-looking, and spoke quietly: "Excuse me. My ride left without me. Can you give me a ride around the corner?" Shifty eye contact, hopping from foot to foot.

My knee-jerk response resulting from a lifelong love of horror movies and a childhood in Detroit: no way. You've got to be kidding. You really think I'm going to get in my car with a stranger and drive you to your lair? I bet you'll even ask me to help carry the bags in, where I'll be clubbed on the head and made into a dress or lampshade or bed for your little dog Precious. And don't you know that I'll get no pity? Don't you know what people will say when they discover my dismembered body? "I can't believe she did something so stupid. I can't believe she bought the whole 'I need a ride' story." This little monologue flew through my head with tickertape speed. What came out of my mouth at the end of it was something else entirely: "Okay then. Come on."

We loaded her groceries in the back of my car and made small talk while I drove to her apartment. "I'm Ree Ree." "I'm Kris." "I like this car." "Thanks!"

Was that enthusiasm or hysteria in my voice?

We pulled up to her building, one of the most rundown apartment complexes in my little city. I helped her unload the groceries. She said I could leave them on the porch. Like the girl in the horror movie whose sheer stupidity you lament when she opens the door to the Forbidden Room, thereby ensuring her own death, I offered to help her carry the groceries in. We made it to the door, where her roommate (husband? child? mother?) unlocked the door and left her to kick it open. I walked in with her to a spare, dirty kitchen and left the groceries on the counter.

"Well," she said, "Thanks. A lot of people wouldn't help out."
"Oh," I said, "I couldn't leave you abandoned there!" --as though it was the most natural thing in the world for me. Sure, yeah, I do this all the time.

I walked back to my car and drove home without a single bullet hole in my body and all my digits in place.

That's when it hit me that a life of service requires us to be willing to override everything we've been told about risk and stupidity. Was it stupid of me to give a stranger a ride home? Maybe, but it was the only way I could be of service to her. No service without risk. This little experience made me realize that sometimes I'd rather be helpful than smart.

What risky things have YOU done in the name of service?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Taking a Hiatus

Still having 'puter probs. Sorry to be such a dull blogger. I need to get a photo hosting program loaded before blogging again. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Staggering Back to My Feet

After getting nailed by spyware. It turned my computer into a desktop billboard that spewed forth pop-up ads in an uncontrolled, Tourettelike manner until I thought I might smash it. I did almost smash it. The dog's incessant barking at the Schwann's man distracted me in the nick of time.

Anyway, it's been in the shop for almost a week. I got it back today but now I can't log on. Awaiting instruction from the computer-fixing powers that be. Using husband's computer in meantime. I promise I'll post something worthwhile soon. Thanks for your posts and patience...

Monday, May 02, 2005

Goooooo JOE!!

Pockets of Enlightenment on a Dark Plain

From today's New York Times:

Navajo Head Vetoes Gay Marriage Measure
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) -- The president of the Navajo Nation vetoed a measure Sunday that would have banned same-sex marriage on the Indian reservation. The Tribal Council voted unanimously last month to pass legislation that restricts a recognized union to a relationship between a man and a woman, and prohibits plural marriages as well as marriages between close relatives. Supporters said the goal was to promote Navajo family values and preserve the sanctity of marriage.

President Joe Shirley Jr. said in a statement released Sunday that he strongly supports family stability but the proposed measure said nothing about domestic violence, sexual assault and gangs on the Navajo Nation--problems that are rampant. ''Same-sex marriage is a non-issue on Navajoland,'' he said. ''So why waste time and resources on it? We have more important issues to address.'' Shirley said the measure also goes against the Navajo teaching of nondiscrimination and doing no psychological or physical harm to others.

However, Shirley said if members of the tribe wanted to take a position for or against same-sex unions, he would support their decision to do so through an initiative rather than a Tribal Council vote. There was no answer to a call placed to the council speaker's office late Sunday. The Navajo Nation, which has more than 180,000 residents, spans parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Same-sex marriages are not allowed in any of those states.

Last year, the Cherokee National Tribal Council in Oklahoma voted to define marriage as between a man and a woman after a lesbian couple successfully filed for a tribal marriage application.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

How did her butt get all the way up there?