Thursday, November 29, 2007

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Perfumed Murmur

Where did this little heart come from?

It was hidden in the bigger picture. Sideways, half reflection a little mouth whispering.

"My mother says I must not pass, Too near that glass; She is afraid that I will see, A little witch that looks like me; With a red mouth to whisper low, The very thing I should not know”

--Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt (1836-1919)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Napping is Fundamental

What is NIF? Napping is Fundamental is a comprehensive campaign started by caring housecats to help humans understand the napping gap. Humans over the age of 21 are most at risk for napping difficulties.

Some humans may need napnomic devices to fall asleep. NIF recommends aromatherapy, white noise, eye shades, temperature adjustments, snuggling up to a snoozing cat -- whatever you need to help you doze off.

The siesta was practiced for thousands of years and is based on common-sense.

There is growing research and awareness of the importance of a good nap. When humans learn about the benefits of napping, they are more likely to want to nap more often and also get enough sleep at night. According to sleep expert Dr. Rubin Naiman, the process of preparing your mind and body for sleep is a valuable spiritual process. "It's an opportunity to literally practice this fundamental art of letting go, of surrendering," he says.

A Reading list for cranky, sleep deprived humans:

Healing Night: The Science and Spirit of Sleeping, Dreaming and Awakening by Dr. Rubin Naiman

Sleep Secrets for Shiftworkers & People with Off-beat Schedules
by David R. Morgan

Yoga therapy for overcoming Insomnia by Peter Van Houten

Desperately Seeking Snoozin' by John Weidman

CD: The Calming Collection - Sleep Solutions. Guided meditation for restful sleep by Roberta Shapiro

"Look how sweet she sleeps, how free must be her dreams.
She should still be there sleepin' when I get back."
Bob Dylan

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Baudelaire, Guerlain, Bob Dylan

Q: What do Baudelaire, Bob, and Guerlain have in common?
A: Allegories

Chedwick just finished reading Baudelaire's "The Dog and the Scent Bottle". A man offers a bottle of perfume to a dog. It is rejected. This is Baudelaire's allegory for an artist offering his work to the masses: it is rejected --he felt many people, like dogs, are more interested in going through the trash (trends, passing fads, tabloids, fixating on sex scandals or the latest celebrity dirt-- ) and prefer the stink of these to something good.

Dylan's lyrics are filled with allegorical images.

Guerlain has made a number of perfumes in the Allegoria line. The Aroma Allegorias are beautiful scents, but difficult to find in the USA. Perfume is an excellent buy when you are traveling in Europe, so many rare and unusual finds at reasonable prices. The Aqua Allegoria line is easier to find in the states, even Sephora features one or two of them at a time. (I believe they are featuring a lilac scent and a Mandarin-Basil scent currently)
Here are a few of the blends:
Aqua Allegoria Ylang & Vanilla is a light scent ( Vanilla, Ylang-Ylang, Iris Butter, and a touch of Jasmine.)
Aqua Allegoria Rosa Magnifica is a spicy rose ( Warm Woods, Amber, Rose, Iris Butter, Pink Peppercorn.)
Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice is a woodsy oriental scent ( Ginger, Vanilla, Incense, Rock Rose, Woods and Leather.)
Aqua Allegoria Tutti Kiwi is a crisp refreshing scent (Lemon and Kiwi add zip to a simple floral in an Indian Sandalwood and bourbon vanilla base.)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Kate Bush in L'Heure Bleue

There is no performer quite like her.

There are many amazing aspects of Kate Bush, who already had notebooks filled with songs she had written when she was discovered at age 16. A brilliant girl, she had also designed costumes and choreographed dances for each song she wrote.

By age 19 she was the first woman to have a number one hit in Britain with a self-written song.

When Kate was young, she attended a convent school in London where she studied the piano and violin, and developed a wicked sense of humor. She has kept happily busy throughout the years, working on her craft and embracing motherhood.
Her fans are so enthusiastic, a documentary has been made about them which will be released soon.

Kate also has a new song in the film "The Golden Compass".

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Shalimar Light

I had time to appreciate the shadows and light during the many sunny days I was in the mountains. And I completed my course in Napping at Chedwick University (We were upgraded from Chedwick College to University in September.)

I was able to field test Shalimar Light this summer, too.

Shalimar Light seems to have less leather and incense, and more jasmine in it. It is a youthful version of Shalimar.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Watch Your Tongue

I would not recommend tasting a perfume just because it smells like vanilla and toasted marshmallows. It will burn your tongue and taste bad.

Jury Duty went very well. I got there 45 minutes early, and when I walked into the "orientation" about 300 people were already there! That is a little weird.

Some people arrived an hour or an hour and seventeen minutes late and no authority figure seemed to mind. I sat with two women who completely cracked me up all morning. We went around the corner to my favorite Vietnamese restaurant at lunchtime. People were doing Tai Chi in the park. The weather was nice.

The worst part of the morning was a film we had to watch that was for people who had no idea what a courtroom was, or what the words "lawyer", "judge", "evidence", "witness", "defense", and "prosecution" mean. There was a vocabulary lesson and a song about how much fun jury duty really is. One verse started with..."Is the witness lying?" --"Some people might think so!" But they sang it in such high pitched perky voices, I couldn't catch many lyrics.

We were told to line up, and were warned not to cut the line, run, kick, or scream --and I swear, this old lady was sitting quietly for awhile, then suddenly took off out of her seat and ran parallel to the line for half the length of the huge room and cut in line! Everyone laughed, and some of us thought she must have done it on purpose to try and get out of serving, but she was ignored by the authority figures and not reprimanded at all.

I am not allowed to talk about what happened in the afternoon. Perhaps I have already said too much.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tomorrow's Blues

A pretty blue envelope arrived in the mail. Guess where I will be all day tomorrow? I don't mind at all, really. The last time I actually had to show up for Jury Duty I was assigned to a group of interesting people.

I was the first cat in history to serve on a jury (I was also the first cat to denounce disco, first cat to serve on a library board, first cat to drive a motor vehicle.)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Bobcat Mountains

Early morning mist on the mountains.

Mercurie's cat Max was curious about the Catskill Mountains, so I thought I'd write a post about them.

It was the Story "Rip Van Winkle" by Washington Irving that seemed to officially make the Blue Mountains the Catskills.
The most logical reason for the name is an early sighting of a number of Bobcats frolicking near a river or creek (which would be a kill in Dutch) At first just a small town near the kill was named Catskill, and later the entire range.

I have only seen one wildcat in the area-- from a distance I thought it was a beige dog. I brought a can of cat food outside for it. Once I got close to the boulder it was sitting on, it turned to face me and it had a cat head! That freaked me out as I realized it was wild. ("NICE kitty... I am putting some food down...I am backing away...) It looked exactly like the Lynx pictured here. dog body, cat head.

The earliest settlers called the Catskills the Blue Mountains. They blend into Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains, which are really just an extension of the range with a different name.

And they are lovingly known as the Jewish Alps.

A lot of famous funny men got their start in showbiz in the Catskills including a young Jerry Levitch (later the famous clown Jerry Lewis) --who used to lip-sync to records while making funny faces and weird body movements, and Krusty the Clown (Herschel Krustofski) who had a blue act before becoming a childrens entertainer.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Rock Out

It wasn't boring up in the mountains for a skywatching cat like myself.

I also had plenty of tasks for portable hair dryer girl to carry out, so I was busy making lists for her.

For the past seven years I walked past or over a bit of rock sticking up out of the grass. It was maybe 5 inches by 7 inches. This little bit of rock constantly cried out somehow to be noticed. I finally instructed portable hair dryer girl to dig it up. It took her many days, as the little rock was actually a big boulder, and she had to quit before she got it completely dug up (because we had to return to suburbia) It is bigger than it looks in these not so great photos.

(the building in the background is a little empty bungalow on our property.)

Once it is completely dug out and the surface is free of dirt, it will make an excellent sunbathing and meditation rock. I'm looking forward to next spring, me and my little meditation mat out there, under the big sky. A dozen little cats on a dozen little mats could easily fit on this rock. Or 3 or 4 humans could stretch out on it. This once subterranean boulder will be in the sunshine for quite awhile!

(Just a dash of Bob for this post.)

We did check out perfumes in the Catskills, mostly at drugstores. (There is a new perfume shop in one of the little villages, but we wanted to see all of the old timey country drugstores) At one old Rexall drugstore there was just a dusty display of Molinard and Guerlain perfumes deep behind one counter, almost sitting on the floor. They had Habanita and MM by Molinard and many of the old Guerlains. The boxes were literally falling apart, as these were the old testers back when the store HAD a fancy perfume counter. Now they were selling tacky gifts at that counter. It was really sad to know that this old Rexall had once had a full lunch counter soda fountain, a counter that sold stationery, pens, and notions, and a perfume counter with quality stuff. Now the store is jam packed with " dollar store " type junk. Jewelry, christmas ornaments, cheap T shirts, and general crap everywhere. (The actual 'drugstore'was crammed into one corner in the back next to the pharmacist.)

Friday, November 9, 2007

On Bob Dylan's Lap

Another pic of me with Bob back in the sixties.

This photo really brings back memories. We went to a bookstore that day, and to the House of Guerlain. It was rainy and windy though, so mostly we just hung out at our hotel, ordering room service. I napped on a velvet chaise lounge and my dreams were lightly scented with wonderful perfume.

Bob was always writing in his notebook or reading, but sometimes he'd just stop, and pick me up. He never treated me as a mere "pet" as some lesser evolved humans did back in those days. He knew cats have souls and are highly intelligent. This photo was taken when a journalist came to interview him. I had my eye on the suspicious looking lighting guy in the photography crew. Something not right about that dude. --Must be on guard when a constant flow of strangers push into your life.

A girl who looked through my photo album said to me "Wow! You got to sit on Bob Dylan's Lap!"
--Hey, it was no big deal, I'm a cat, laps are to me what a comfy bed is to a sleepy human.

*I know September was men's cologne month, and I completely messed it up (I'm not sure Kurt will ever forgive me.)

I took this pic at a Sephora store. This Cartier scent was clean, fresh and yet long lasting and warm. Perfect for a guy who is into minimalism and doesn't like heavy leather or spice scents.