dear alice, take me to refrigerator heaven
Mr. Sarah and I were listening to the radio the other night. I keep an eye on the station’s website because they list each song+artist as it’s playing. After Lush rocked us early alternative/post-modern 90′s style, some melodramatic guy started whinnying about two dads in Montauk. The lyrics were bizarre-for-the-sake-of-bizarre enough that I put the beads down and looked at the website. I like to know what I’m listening to, even if I don’t like it.
me, with a glint of recognition of the name: who the hell is rufus wainright?
mr. sarah: I dunno, but I wish he’d go get his balls out of his mom’s safe deposit box.
me: I can almost smell the leather elbow patches.
me, after reading rufus wainright’s wiki page: wow, we really nailed that.
And not that my whinnying is any more acceptable or important than that of Rufus Wainright. It’s more or less a commentary on what we can tell about a person by hearing a few minutes of their whinnying. It’s why I’m such a cynic. But I’ve vowed to start giving people more than just a cursory glance. I guess we’ll see what happens.
As for my whinnying, you guys haven’t heard much of anything from me lately – not even an exasperated roundabout – because I’ve been trying desperately to put down the sugar. I was in a pretty foul mood for the first couple of weeks. On the first day I felt really serious about it, I fasted for 24 hours. It was one of the strangest days I’ve had in years. It was nearly a religious experience, and for an agnostic teetering on the edge of atheism, that’s saying something. The week that followed was almost as strange, hence my cryptic meanderings in my earlier post(s). Or it could have just been a nervous breakdown, I think I was due for one. But the good news is that in retrospect, if it was, it was a very quiet and sensible one. But I’m totally fine. Sorry to have worried any of you.
It was easier to quit smoking cigarettes. Cigarettes weren’t all that different from having a seedy affair with the sleaziest, most disgusting vulture of a man that I could fish out of the gutter. I hated it and it was just so good and dirty and satisfying that I was wracked with guilt for enjoying each and every second, every penetration of the tight, perfect cylinder into my waiting lips, each inhalation of the curling, wispy grey into my lungs a climax, a crescendo of pure ecstasy…
I could quit cigarettes because I knew they were bad. I was constantly reminded how awful cigarettes were - by the TV, the billboards next to the highway, all the smokers in the family. But sugar… here’s what happened with me and sugar. Like most children of divorced parents, the parents had a passive-aggressive way of torturing one another with the kid, and inadvertently torturing the kid with the guilt they felt about being divorced. Sugar wasn’t bad for me, exactly - Mother withheld it from me during the week, made me do homework and clean my room, only because she was mean. Daddy, on the weekends, spoiled me with tickles, staying up all night and you guessed it – sugar. Throughout my life, just like you, I was served pie and cake and fudge on happy occasions, given candy as a treat for being good, chocolates were gifted to me by suitors vying for my affection. Once I grew into a marginally reasonable person, Mom allowed me to make my own choices about my sugar intake. In other words, the associations with sugar were always positive.
I’ve had to practically become a different person to rid myself of the compulsion to have it within reach at all times. I’m surprised now at how much energy I put into making sure I had it on hand. I haven’t eliminated it completely, but I’ve cut back considerably and it has been easier than I thought it would be in some ways, and much more difficult in others. I’ve had to replace my sugar habit with something else, and these past few weeks, it’s been seed beads. Alice Cooper traded his alcoholism for golf, so I figured I could trade sugar for seed beads. I’m always pining for my seed beads and rarely finding the time to get anything serious together and this has been just what I needed.
experiments in power puffs, a la Contemporary Geometric Beadwork
Yes, Kate McKinnon, I cracked your effing book for once in my miserably seed-bead deficient existence. To be honest, I’ve been scared to open this book. I don’t do so great with patterns because I’m too arrogant to follow them. I always think I know where they’re going and start ignoring the instructions about halfway through. When I inevitably screw up, I get frustrated and put it down so I don’t kill it. Or I discover something new and great, but it’s usually the former.
Another reason I don’t open books is because I get lost in them and I can’t focus on anything else if they interest me in the least. (My Aunt Charlotte was worried that one summer after fourth grade when all I did was sit in her chair, read books and eat ketchup and mustard sandwiches and Tang right out of the can. So worried, in fact, that she signed me up for a summer half day program at the Y. Guess what we did? Watch movies, mostly.)
But not having the usual amount of sugar, and having cut my portions in half as well, I was feeling foolish and weak enough to follow a pattern. I have to say, this triangle thing is one of the most fascinating and elegant stitches I’ve ever explored, and at long last, I’ve finally made good on all that time I was sure had been wasted on learning the peyote stitch. I tried making single triangles and then piecing them together, and then I tried the continuous increase/decrease method suggested in the book. The continuous increase/decrease method requires either spontaneity or advanced planning for color order, but works much better than piecing them together later. I got adventurous and tried the triangle in standard Japanese size 11/0′s (matsunos are generally more square’y than miyukis and tohos, and matsuno makes the silverlined ab’s, which I mostly used for these):
standard Japanese size 11/0 seed beads – NOT delicas
I also tried them in Japanese 15/0′s:
clockwise from left: delica size 11/0, Japanese standard seed bead size 15/0, Japanese standard seed bead size 11/0
I’ll admit the Delicas work best for this stitch, and I have embarrassingly few delicas in my vast collection of seed beads. I hope to change that fairly soon. The next best thing (for me) is the size 15/0 Japanese seed beads.
made with Japanese size 15/0′s
So, I don’t really like Rufus Wainright. But in keeping with keeping a positive outlook and not spiraling down into smart-assed blackness as I’m so prone to do, I shall tell you about some of the things I DO like at the moment.
Tom Ford’s Black Orchid
I can’t find a better word than “BANG” to describe this fragrance. It has a lot of stuff I don’t like - a wet lettuce/watermelon sweet fruity opening that changes to vanilla a bit later, which I also usually hate – but consistently holding tight beneath all of that, there’s this sweet but not foody sweet, woody, spicy thing that keeps it interesting and I can’t get enough of it. Thanks to Sephora for giving me a real sample I could use throughout the different times of the month. And yes, Black Orchid is something I can do any day I’d like. (you can also read Now Smell This’ review of Black Orchid here. Oh, look – she said BANG too. How funny.)
Christian Dior’s Dune
I’m no expert on descriptions, I really only know what my nose likes, so I’ll allow Now Smell This to attempt to explain Dune. I wore it in middle and high school and people would stop me and ask what I was wearing. I regret giving my bottle away ages ago and Mr. Sarah gifted me with a new bottle for Valentines Day. I was afraid it had been dumbed down since the early 90′s, but from first whiff of under the cap to the finish at the end of the day, it appears to be exactly the same as it ever was. It’s almost too sweet and ambery for my current palate (Dior LOVES his extra special amber) so I put a dab or two of madini’s agarwood oil underneath to dry it out even more and I like it much better. Agarwood makes everything better.
them crooked vultures, self titled LP, 2009
I have been known to roll my eyes at “supergroups”, but I heard their new single on satellite radio at the salon years ago. It generally takes me a few listens before I decide I like something, but I was impressed already. All you really need to know is John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters) and Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age), - and they each bring their best. It isn’t just heavy rock, it has a slick quirk and style. I loved Nirvana but couldn’t stand Foo Fighters, I never paid much attention to Queens of the Stone Age, but Led Zeppelin is deeply ingrained into my psyche, and I think JPJ’s style is what ultimately grabbed my attention on the first listen. There’s not one song on this album I don’t like, not one dull moment. Check out Amazon’s 30 second samples.
tomahawk’s anonymous LP, 2007
And another “supergroup” for you – Tomahawk. Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Fantomas), Duane Denison (Jesus Lizard). and John Stainer (Helmet). I had Jimmy Kimmel on one night a couple of years ago and heard what sounded like Jesus Lizard. I looked up and saw Mike Patton. Wait a minute. What’s this? Tomahawk, apparently. If I remember the timing correctly, they had probably just released Oddfellows, which was what I hunted down first. Yes, Oddfellows is pretty acceptable, but Anonymous is just wow. Read the editorial reviews and listen to the samples on Amazon if you’re interested.
tamara smerechinskai – click here for her Etsy shop
Tamara Smerechinskai: a new client with plenty of talent of her own! These are fantastic – very unusual designs, textures and colors in ceramic. She enjoys her process as much as her end results. Click on the photo for more in her Etsy shop!
So hey, yeah! New beads are coming up soon, too. I’ve been working on orders like mad, and will continue to do so… but at some point this week, I’ll be adding a few things to my Etsy shop. I’ll post here when I do.
Thanks for reading the whole thing – we had a lot to catch up on!
See you later this week.