Smelling Strangers

10 August 2001

My hind-brain keeps telling me there's a stranger who's been in the house. It's like there's a tiny voice that goes, "stranger, stranger, stranger, stranger," only it's not at all verbal. But there isn't one. Timprov's shampoo was discontinued, and so (logically enough) he bought a different kind, and that's what I keep smelling. I'm not used to it smelling like Timprov yet.

I'm going to have this problem with myself soon. Bath and Body Works decided that women would rather smell like cucumbers than flowers. I'm not kidding. Cucumber Melon is one of their new scents, and they discontinued my Flowering Herbs and even my backup Lavender. I'm swiftly going through my stockpile of Flowering Herbs body lotion and have entirely run out of the (superior) body cream. So I'm going to have to choose something else to smell like, and then it'll feel like there's someone following me around for a week or so.

It'll feel like there's someone following me around today -- I'm going to Dr. Bill's, and the first thing he tends to do is put eucalyptus stuff on my back so that he can do the nice ultrasound machine on it and make all the muscles turn to butter. The smell is physically painful to me, but it's well worth it to get the back fixed. Then Dr. Bill cracks my back a dozen different ways, and I feel really, really nasty -- and then much better.

It's a good thing we weren't going up to Concord yesterday. They had 42,000 pounds of cheese blocks on westbound 580. Twenty tons of cheddar. I do feel that when you leave the Upper Midwest, you should have escaped massive cheese spills. Evidently I am wrong.

It's Ian Anderson's birthday today. Ian Anderson, for those of you who don't keep track, is the flutist and lead singer for Jethro Tull. (Jethro Tull, let me be clear, is an entire band, not a person. Never, ever refer to Tull as a him. It's a them.) Anderson changed my little flute-player world. When you play the flute in grade school, you're used to being all sweet and twittery, tra la, and anything jazz or rock related is saxophones, trumpets at best. When flutes are in rock songs, they're in 60s hippie music -- which I don't have a problem with, per se -- and are sweet and lovely, and you can tell that someone's girlfriend played the flute and desperately wanted to be part of his band. But Tull, oh my. That is not a nice flute at all. That's a growly flute. Flute with attitude. And it's hard. I practiced for years to try to double-tone like Ian Anderson. Never got further than a scale. I was so impressed with them. I still am. And the JTull.Com album, I feel sure, was just an unpleasant anomaly.

Anyway. I read Charmed Life yesterday, which was (appropriately enough) charming. Made me want to get the rest of her books. There are lots. That's always a good feeling, though. I started Hammerfall and A Century of Spies: Intelligence in the Twentieth Century (the latter is research for part of the Not The Moose Book). It seems that the history of espionage is a history of idiocy. But those are stories for another time. All I have to say is, if I had plot points like this, the editors would reject my book for suspension of disbelief issues. Definitely.

And I'm off to feel better.

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