April 24, 2010

Perfume

I've been thinking about scents ever since Kaohsiung, where I bought L'Eau by Diptyque. L'Eau bewitches me, and I hope I'm not the only person who likes it. It goes on strong and herbal. Not usually my scent profile. The green notes quickly recede, and are replaced by clove, which is a favorite scent of mine. Eventually the scent is transformed a third time, leaving a fragrance of sweet musk. 

It seems like every time I sniff my wrist the perfume is different, and yet there was something about it that was so familiar that I became preoccupied with it. I recently identified it: Sen-Sen. Maybe that means it has licorice notes also....

Other favorite scents from the past, in chronological order:

  • My childhood locket that came with a little sponge inside and lily of the valley perfume to put on it
  • White Shoulders (even had the soap)
  • Di Borghese (gift from a friend's mom)
  • Tatiana
  • Madame Rochas
  • Occasional forays into Kouros (men's cologne popular in dance clubs)
  • Various hippie oils from The Body Shop
  • Chanel 19
  • Poison
  • Eternity For Men
  • Amarige
  • Madame Rochas again
  • Oscar
  • Incense Jaisalmer
  • L'eau
  • Incense Kyoto (May 2010)
  • Spice Bomb (June 2012)

Who will be next?

April 20, 2010

Sports Blather

What is it about the murmurings of sports announcers that can make a person so relaxed?

One of my favorite memories of last year involves cruising in my car down a main drag on a Saturday, with the sun warming my car and JM doing the baseball play-by-play on the radio. Yum.

I was thinking about this this morning because I detest football but love hearing John Madden talk. Love it!

Then there's sumo. We watch with the Japanese audio commentary because a) it seems weird to listen to people talking about sumo in English and b) we don't know how to make our television pick up the second audio channel. About half of the time we watch, mrguy starts to drift off. Why? The soothing sound of sports.

In several weeks, we'll be hearing both in Japanese in person.

Can't wait.

April 11, 2010

Who's My Buddy?

It's time to admit it: I kinda have a thing for Kewpie dolls. Not a big thing, but a thing.

They're cute and they've always been there in the  pop culture background. 

If you don't know what they are, start here.

My first Kewpie (probably a Kewpie knockoff) was a tiny bisque doll that I found while digging in the back yard.

My second was found in our house, shortly after we moved in. When I looked into one of the door chimes to see why one of them sounded muffled when the doorbell rang, I found a small Kewpie stuck inside of it.

Then came Tarako. A group of us fell in love with a Kewpie prize in an arcade game in Kobe, and spent an unreasonable amount of cash trying to win what I dubbed "the clip-on baby". I proudly wore mine in my hair that night. Our host told me that she was called Tarako-chan. She was currently starring in television commercials for Kewpie Brand tarako (cod roe) pasta sauce.

At Tokyu Hands that week I bought a Tarako head costume and wore it on the subway. Everywhere I went, people sang the commercial jingle to me.

On my last day in Kobe I had an urgent need from the pharmacy. I remembered that there was a grocery store a few floors below our hotel, so I went downstairs in search of it. I ended up finding an antiques mall, and one of the vendors had an entire display of vintage Kewpies. I had the money, but couldn't find anyone in the entire mall to sell any to me. My original need was urgent, so I left. I still dream about that antique mall.
You know the rest. Kaohsiung was awash in Kewpies. My Sonny Angel Kewpie in a mahjongg tile and Kewpie with a bonnet made of corn bring the current count of Kewpies to three. I have a few more mystery boxes of Sonny Angel Vegetable Series Kewpies from Kaohsiung, but can't bring myself to open them just yet.

Just as I was thinking of writing this the other day, mrguy and I watched the end of Kurasawa's Stray Dog the other night. In one scene, Inspector Sato sees a Kewpie sitting on a banister in an apartment house he's about to leave. He picks it up, smiles, and sets it back down.

Where will Kewpie be next?

April 4, 2010

Deinstall, Day 5, part 2

After our fun at the lotus pond, we were thirsty and hungry, but couldn't exactly find what we were looking for there, so we went to the former British Consulate. The view was nice, and I had fun taking pictures for some tourists. This show was on at the consulate, but I didn't see it.

We needed a taxi to get to our next destination, so I put out my hand and the next taxi coming our way was a 1971 Cadillac! We rode in style to 24 Hour Foot Massage, which we'd seen a few days before.


I had forgotten a friend's warning about foot massages. Mine was quite painful. Not sure why I kept with it, other than not wanting to make a big deal in front of my friends, who were so relaxed and enjoying theirs. My masseuse just laughed at my protestations.


Eventually we headed home and went to the night market with our host. First he took us to the beautiful train station:


Then we went to a bride cake store. There is a whole street that specializes in bride cakes and gifts for guests, as this sign shows:

The Liuhe Night Market is the oldest, I believe, and specializes in food. I had some tasty things. 


We bought hot chestnuts that were shaped like mustaches or bats. Salty, starchy, yummy. I believe I did have the fig jelly drink, a lemonade concoction with gelatin lumps at the bottom. I loved the Mexico Burrito booth that offered both mutton and tuna burritos. And I loved this takoyaki sign.


At the end of our stroll through the night market, we had candied strawberries on a stick, which were amazing. I'd sworn I'd have stinky tofu at the night market, but after eating the strawberries I felt less inclined for a challenge. Which flavor would you want to linger?

On the way back to the hotel, I jumped out of the car to go to the night market near our hotel. I bought some tiny hats for a colleague at the factory, and then hoofed it for half a mile back to the Blue Muse for a final beer and bow mi wha.

So ends this deinstall, and onto other things :)
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