This ‘N That

First off, I can’t believe that it was the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 this week. I would love to visit the memorial at Ground Zero in New York; the pictures I saw of it were wonderful. It looks like a powerful reminder of the lives that were lost that day ten years ago.

I’m afraid that some of the other memorials out there aren’t as successful.

We had a dedication of our own 9/11 memorial that included a beam from the WTC. That beam is very moving: seeing solid steel twisted like taffy brings it home. Seeing lookouts on the (former) MCA Building across the street and sharpshooters on the roof of the library reminded me that it’s a post 9/11 world.

I lived in New York for a while and I could see the twin towers from my front windows. I remember that pretty much from any subway stop below 42nd street, I knew that I could find due South by looking for their mass. It’s still weird to go there and not see them.

I’ll talk more about them at my blog and not natter on here about them. If you’re interested, click through.

The weather: last week was beastly hot (and there’s going to be on more if history repeats itself) but we’ve tipped the scales and are into autumn. The days are getting shorter and the evenings cooler. I know, I know you’re all thinking “cry me a river, bub” since we’re rather lightly touched by winter. But I still find myself gravitating towards heavier scents. The Montales and the crazier Uncle Serges tend to come out. What are you reaching for these days?

Speaking of Uncle Serge, Octavian at 1000 Fragrances states that De Profundis is the swan song of the redoubtable Mssr. Lutens.

If that’s the truth, I don’t quite know what to do with that news. So many of his scents are ones that I never want to be without, yet I always thought that the treadmill of 4 new scents a year was crazy. While I don’t exactly mourn the idea that there will be no other Vitriol d’oeilett that fact there there might not be a new Serge Noire sucks..

(edit) a Facebook post by my scent twin, The Non-Blonde states that there will be a March release, as she was told by the manager of the Paris boutique. I’m glad that those two won’t be the coda..

And finally, my life is being controlled by a three dollar piece of plastic. If you have a Honda or Acura, yours might soon too. On Memorial Day Sunday I came home and parked the car and noticed that the brake lights were on. After much head-scratching I ended up pulling the fuse that controls those lights and hit the internets. Here’s how the brake lights work on Honda/Acura: when you’re driving the car the brake pedal compresses a small switch like a doorbell. When you press the brake pedal, the switch releases turning on the brake lights. For some reason only known to Honda, they decided that bare metal touching this switch is unacceptable.  They drilled it out, filling the hole with a plastic plug. One that fails. So I had to take time off from work and get the little plastic doohickey. After much swearing and straining, I managed to get it in.

But better yet, they also decided that they needed to have one on the clutch: basically the same idea in reverse.  when you depress the clutch the top of the pedal presses the doorbell switch that tells the car that it’s okay to to crank the starter.  The little annoying plastic bastage broke this weekend.  I found the corpse in the footwell and AAA had to push-start the car so I could get it home.  So it was another trip to Honda of Hollywood and now I’m going to have to figure out how to put it in without A) breaking fingers, B) entirely disassembling my dashboard or C) paying someone a few hundred bucks to disassemble my car to pop this G-D $3 piece of plastic in there.

Color me annoyed..

  • Jenny says:

    I work at an art gallery, and one of our customers lost his wife in the Pentagon crash on 9/11, which also happens to be his birthday. He’s happily remarried now to a beautiful lady. But he chose not to attend any memorial services on Sunday, just get away and spend time with his family. “I made it through” he said with a smile, and then bought himself a whole-lotta art.

    I see you mentioned “clutch”…you have a manual? I have a manual Civic, and my husband drives a manual CRV. Anyway, our commutes are crazy (60 mi. for me and 35 for the hub) and I don’t want to find any black corpses en route to our jobs. Thanks for the heads up. Maybe we’ll (OK, he’ll…) look into this.

  • nozknoz says:

    I was at a Buddhist workshop this weekend focusing on awareness, compassion and forgiveness for 9.11. At one point there was an opportunity for anyone present to speak the name of anyone they knew who had died in 9.11, whom they wanted to honor. After a while, someone spoke wonderfully on the beauty of the twin towers and how she mourned their loss.

    I’m glad you posted on Octavian’s article because his website doesn’t seem to allow comments any more (or am I missing something??), so there is no way to discuss there. Personally, I wonder if Uncle Serge isn’t tired of navigating IFRA and these funereal last (?) perfumes aren’t his epitaph for the art of perfumery.

    • Tom says:

      The Towers were beautiful in an abstract way that was difficult to relate to. You were forced to contend with their quirks if you dealt with them day-to-day. It’s a fault with a lot of modern architecture of the time (John Hancock in Boston, Citicorp Center in NY, Century Plaza Towers in LA are some of the more known examples) that traversing the plazas on a day that is even moderately windy becomes a hazard. Citicorp actually went back and strengthened the building after it was finished when calculations were found to be incorrect about the stability of in a major hurricane. Kudos for them on that.

  • Tim Anderson says:

    Enormously useful cheers, It looks like your current audience will probably want a whole lot more stories such as this continue the excellent work.

  • tammy says:

    The memorial as a stand alone installment is lovely, but as a memorial to September 11th, I find it unsettling. To place so much emphasis on falling water at a site where so many people died in falling buildings is creepy to me, and the holes in the middle remind me of public restrooms. (The ones with the drainage hole so they can hose the floors down) My overall impression is of something being flushed.

    Octavian does make it sound as thought this is it for Uncle Serge. I never found one of his to love, and in fact strongly disliked most of the ones I trued, but it’s sad that such a game-changer is calling it quits.

    I do plan on trying De Profundis, despite the synthetic green jasmine mentioned, because I love chrysanthemum. Be ironic if his last fragrance was one I finally enjoyed.

    • Tom says:

      I never thought of it that way, but now that you mention it I can see it. I think it’s powerful, but I’ll have to see it in person to make a final judgement. I know 9/11 families were on the committee judging..

  • Musette says:

    I feel your paaaiiin on the car, doll! :(( El O and the cub are disassembling the entirety of my ’96 Ford Explorer (dog car) to replace the timing chain. Three days of disassembly (the worst design EVAH). It’s either them fix it or spend $5K. Get to it, boyz! That’s why I keep ’em around. 😉

    My least favorite moving vehicle breakdown story – early Victory motorcycle: Some lunatic decided that the Perfect Safety Precaution was thus: if your brake light fuse (or any other fuse) popped, THE ENTIRE MOTORCYCLE SHUT DOWN. IMMEDIATELY! Happened to me on the Kennedy Expy – during rush hour. I am not joking. Luckily rush hour is anything but so I was saved from being smeared all over the freeway by near-standing traffic….a semi stayed behind me, with his flashers on, and plowed the road from behind, as I desperately Fred Flintstoned this stupid bike across FOUR lanes of freeway traffic (think 405 at any time of the day)..

    Victory’s indignant answer to my shocked query? “Well! It’s a SAFETY precaution. For your own protection!” 😕

    xo >-)

    • Joanna says:

      I used to drive a 96 “Exploder” too. :) When we moved to VA I gave it away because I couldn’t bring myself to charge someone money for it knowing they would be investing in repair fees often. Just seemed like bad karma.

      • Musette says:

        that’s what my stepson calls it, too! Freaked me out – but I guess it’s sort of funny.

        I got that car for $3K and refuse to scrap it – it’s fine, except for the electrical and engine issues…;)) The dogs always need a car so I’m tyring to hold onto it as long as I can…

        xo >-)

    • Tom says:

      Don’t you just want to go there and slap them?

      I know I do. Oh wait, I can’t. I can’t start my car. Grrrr… :((

  • Joanna says:

    I try to make 9/11 a day to celebrate joy and innocence each year by doing something fun and special with the kids. This year I took them to one of those kid’s places with lazer tag and bounce houses. I found myself reaching for Majmua attar oil that morning. It’s such a happy, peaceful scent. I always get a lot of compliments when I wear it too.
    I have faith that SL will find their way through these lost years. Sometimes things have to break down before there’s regrowth.

  • maggiecat says:

    Cars – can’t live without ’em but goodness they can makeour lives miserable. In the midst of our current heat wave (still ongoing) in Dallas, my rear view mirror fell off the windshield. Well, not off, exactly – it dangled htere by the wires that connect it to the back-up camera. It took three trips to two dealerships to finally fix it and get it to stay. Such a small thing but such a large inconvenience.

  • Jillie says:

    How I sympathize/empathize with you on your car troubles. Once a year for the last three years our car has decideded to display a message on the dashboard with dire warnings about not driving it. Last time it cost us nearly £1,000 (gulp) while the wretched thing was at the garage being investigated yet again and which resulted in an extremely expensive part being fitted. The message reappeared a few months ago. Having seen since on the internet that this is sometimes just an electronic “blip” we decided to ignore it, especially as there just can’t be anything left that needs doing. The message has now gone away. Makes one wonder if there was anything actually physically wrong in the first place. Think of the number of Serges I could have bought with that money ……

    • Tom says:

      That sucks! I guess I’m lucky that my predicament is not as expensive. Of course, it could cost all that to get the damned little piece of plastic in. GRRRR…