Peeves, loves, dislikes and goodbyes

Finally, I get back into the rhythm of things. Here is a Leaping Thought Wednesday on a Wednesday, which is as it should be. Can't tell you how good it feels to sort of hand in the homework on time with this one.

1. I think the smell of bread baking is one of the most wonderful smells in the world. Add to that the smell of newly cut grass, the smell of dew in the early morning and the smell of my son's sun-warmed hair and, were it possible to make a bread, grass, de
w and sun warm perfume, I'm sure it would annihilate all competition in the fragrance market.

2. Have you ever read Patrick Süskind's novel The Perfume? A movie was made in 2006 based on this work. Not a bad adaptation but it never quite captured the baroque richness of the smells which his words conjured with orgiastic skill. I did not read the Perfume in its original German. My knowledge of this, Süskind's most well-known work, came via a fantastic Spanish translation and yet, I have always wondered what I miss when I read good books in their translated, rather than original selves. Was my Perfume version as pale and watered down as the movie's seemed to be? Unless I someday learn German, I will always wonder at what I lost in translation.

3. Speaking of perfumes, I always steer clear of the perfume counters at department stores. Fragrances with citrus-y notes make my skin burn and redden. I have never bought a perfume that I haven't tested extensively before making a purchase, for that very same reason. Wouldn't do at all to smell nice and look like I've developed a poison ivy rash.

4. I completely dislike the perfume advertisements that come in magazines. You know the ones where you open a flap to find a perfumed strip? Like the subscription postcards inserted between the pages (another pet peeve), I find myself ripping
them out the moment after I've made my magazine purchase. Even so, they manage to impregnate the paper to the degree that the whole magazine smells. If it is a perfume I dislike, I can't even enjoy my read. Picky aren't I?

5. Here is something I absolutely detest, despise and abhor: chewing gum stuck underneath restaurant tables. The annoyance factor on this one is in the brake the scale level for me. When we go out to eat, my kid manages to find each and ever
y chewed piece no matter what. He loves picking at them and I find this fascination of his so utterly disgusting that I can't even describe the magnitude of my "ick" factor. Why do people stick chewed gum to the underside of tables? Is it really THAT HARD to dispose of it in a more sanitary way?

6. Speaking of sanitary, I do not use public restrooms EVER unless I'm in extreme distress. In this, I'm like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz but with a slight
variation - no potty like home, no potty like home.

7. So my son has a new favorite book. It is called Not a Box by Antoinette Portis. I always feel such a relief when we find a fresh book to love. Even the pleasures of good children's books wear thin after much repetition. I'm so glad we've added another favorite to the roster

8. I return to Houston tomorrow. I've truly enjoyed my stay in DC but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't ready to go back home. You heard it. Home is Houston for now and I want to get back there. Trips and holidays can be wonderful but eventually, the longing for the normalcy of living out of my regular closet and not a suitcase starts growing in me. I'm also one of those people who yearns for her regular bed. It takes me FOREVER to become accustomed to an unfamiliar mattress. I never sleep soundly when I'm not sleeping in my usual place.

9. I've promised sharing some of the blogs I also frequent but do not list on my blog roll. Last Leaping Thought Wednesday I told you about Heading East and today I'm going to tell you about another blog I love. It is called The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Her site epitomizes the kind of design layout and diversity of content (cooking, photography, personal journal even gardening!) that I wish my own blog had. As if she weren't already a Renaissance woman of the blog world, she is a really fantastic cook. I've tried a couple of her recipes and can personally vouch for them. You will find it hard to come upon a more visually detailed and step by step accounting of a recipe as those she features. Check it out and see what I mean.

10. The cutest thing has just happened. My son found a large conch shell in my mother-in-law's guest bathroom and bringing it to me he puts it up to my nose and says: mami, listen. So I try to bring it over to my ear in order to show him from which appendage one should be listening from, but he is so insistent that in order to humor him I listen through my nose. Peals of laughter were the rewards for my effort. Mami, no no! li
sten here and now he points to his ear. I've been had. The kid's a jokester.

11. I can't tell a joke to save my life. I ruin everything - The timing, the words, the tempo. It is simply mortifying when people start those great rounds of joke telling that make me so want to join in, but I know I musn't. The point is to tell the joke not be the joke right? I will forever be a joke-telling wall flower. I so wish I wasn't.

12. Here is a quote by Joanne Woodward I once read and kept, much like Jennifer Harvey from Thursday Drive keeps her own list of great quotation
s. I was reminded of her words because of my previous points on joking and laughter. Since we all know that she has been married to the actor Paul Newman for forever and a day, this knowledge helps to put the quote in better context.

"Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades, but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah... now that's a real treat."

Tell me her words aren't true?

13. I'm staring out the window at a beautiful cherry blossom tree in full bloom. In two or three days, all the petals will have fallen off and the branches left bereft of their spring splendor. I'm glad I'll be gone from here before I see that happening. While beautiful, the falling showers of pale pink petals have always made me sad.

14. I hate being scared. Fright is an awful sensation. That is the reason why I never watch terror, horror, slasher or creature movies. Even in mildly scary movies, I have to close my eyes and scrunch my legs up against my body. I truly cannot understand what people find so delightful about being scared out of their wits. If it were up to me, I would do away with the genre completely. Here's a short and fun game that can help you determine if you think like me in this respect. I'd love to know how you fared.

15. As this is my last post from DC before I return home, I bid you all a capital afternoon. So long for now and from this Leaping Thought Wednesday to the next, may all your days be cherry blossom perfect.

Photo by Kkinjo


  1. You are sooo mean. Though I knew intuitively that there was going to be some sort of nasty pay off at the end of that game, I still wet my pants. I, like you, absolutely loathe horror films/books/video games, whatever. And we also share our aversion to rest rooms that aren't our own. My Better Half insists that I not pass on this neurosis to my children but I insist it's not crazy, just good hygiene and policy to avoid public restrooms. Thanks for offering to watch AI with me. It's nice to imagine sharing a glass of wine and enjoying a little fluff with a kindred soul.

  2. Oh I love perfume...my favorite Annick Goutal's "Heure Exquise" which I bought in Paris, in a tiny shop on a side street one block away from Musee D'Orsay. Can you tell it made an impression?

    I always look forward to Leaping Wednesdays, and enjoy your random musings. You're right about Pioneer Woman, her devotion to her blog is simply amazing and her new design is 'Marthaesque'!

    Safe travels back to Houston!

  3. Cce! I JUST KNEW that you'd be one to do it. Oh, you have made me laugh and laugh just imagining you playing the game to its end. I'd say I'm sorry but the enjoyment I got from reading your comment was well worth the potty accident. As to AI, count on it girlfriend. A good glass of wine and AI cranked up loud enough to bust you know who's eardrums while we enjoy ourselves.

  4. Suzanne: Hi. I've never smelled this perfume you mention but I was once into Goutal's Mandragore. As I've grown older though, I look for lighter and lighter scents. The kind that seem almost not there. In that sense, Goutal perfumes no longer fit the bill for me. Thanks so much for liking LTW. You won't believe it but the thought of gypping you on it one more Wednesday was not to be borne. I was afraid of you coming into the blog and asking me once again why I'd defaulted. This installment was therefore partly for you. Thanks, the flight should be easy. Pray there is no turbulence. You know how I hate it. W. will be in town at the beginning of next month.

  5. I am going to buy that children's book today. And thank you for Marisa Monte. Lovely.

  6. Safe travels home, Milena.

    Without even playing the game, I can tell you I cannot stand being frightened. Roller coasters, scary movies, etc, etc...

    And I am with you on the home-potty preference, for sure!

    Thank you for your meanderings and musings...

  7. GAH, gum under the tables in restaurants, sooo nasty! It's funny you mention this because it was just the other day when my very good friend calls and tells me how she and her middle son (6 years old) had some free time together and went to lunch at a local Red Robin. She noticed on the way home that he was chewing gum and asked him where he had gotten it.

    I'll let you answer that, it makes me cringe just sharing it with you.


    Love the new children's book, can't get enough. :)

    And, "no potty like home" Still laughing!!!!

  8. Public restrooms are one of my least favorite things about travel, check. Do not understand the allure of horror films, check. But the perfume thing? I think you have that backwards. Given the appeal of those smells to you, the real trick would be to make a COLOGNE that contained all that. Now we're talking appeal.
    Glad you're back home.

  9. Hope your landing back home has been good.

  10. You changed your picture on your profile. It's gorgeous. Same series, right? Love it...

  11. Amanda: Glad you liked Marisa. She is as fantastic live as she sounds in this recording. Thanks for stopping by.

    Everyday Yogini: Thanks, we made it in one piece. Not as brave as Cce I take. I'm the same. I played the game unknowingly. Bad of me to post it but I could not resist.

    Baby Island: Shiver is about right. I would die if I found my kid doing the same. I have another kids book recommendation for you. Will post it this Wednesday. How's the research coming along?

    Ron: We think much alike but in the cologne thing you are wrong. Yes, perfumes are heavier of course and all the scents I love are clean light things but, colognes fade, perfumes stay longer on the skin. I want a perfume.

    Peg thanks. Consider how frightened I get by turbulence, it was an easy and smooth plane ride. Thank goodness.

    Melissa: And you are the only one to notice. Yes, I did. Same series. Thank you. It was the one I liked best originally.


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