Happy 4th!

All right, I know that I really post on the 3rd, (and am writing this on the 1st) but I am calling this my 4th of July post to give it some sort of cohesive spin.

It’s still hot here (well, “hot”) and I am just not feeling it. I don’t really have any place to go anywhere over the weekend, except to house-sit the god dog while his parents go out to an anniversary dinner. Not that I mind- the pup is a hoot and the AC in their house could keep meat. The rest of the time if I venture out it will be in the AM. Hey, I could be in Palm Springs, where it will be in the triple digits.

Cinnamon wrote this week about collecting, which is what I tell myself I am doing when I buy way too many items that I have neither need or use for. I did mention that I was collecting old radios in commenting on her post, but kind of nipped that in the bud. I love the look of them, but there’s definitely something to be said for modern technology and transistors, not to mention FM. The fat blancmange looking one I have (just like the one in the picture) takes forever to warm up and I can’t get KCRW on it. So I went through a period of buying Bose Wave radio/CD players. I have three of those now- one in the bedroom, one in the kitchen and one in the living room as my defacto stereo. I think I am done with those too, since I just use them to listen to “Wait, wait, don’t tell me” on the weekend and the very occasional CD.

Books are another thing I love. Cook books and art/architecture books especially. Which is funny since most of my cooking is defrosting and I can afford neither art nor architecture.

Old telephones are another one. I have always loved industrial design and looking at the development of the telephone over the decades you can see where Henry Dreyfuss made improvements- the groovy old phones were cool, but his WE 500 with the receiver’s flattened top made more sense- you could comfortably cradle the phone to your ear by wedging it with your shoulder; the thin spline of the earlier ones (like in the photo) would not allow that. I did mention my godchild being flummoxed by her first encounter with a dial phone, but there is the story of me taking the first one I bought home. I proudly put it right by my bed, not thinking that they were designed when a house had likely one phone- in the downstairs hall. Which means the ringer could wake the dead. Especially if you put it on your nightstand. That 8AM phone call from some fool had me jump up so fast I think I hit my head on the ceiling.

It went into the kitchen.

I did end up buying a couple more. I don’t do it but there is something satisfying about slamming the receiver down. iPhones really should have a feature that when you double click the red hang-up button thingy it will do so like this:

Of course I guess I “collect” perfume. Which is a nice way of saying that I am a greedy person who wants to smell all of the nice things and has poor impulse control. But I think I am getting better.

To circle back to America’s birthday I was reading an article online about America’s most memorable perfumes. Two of the choices stood out: Youth Dew and CK one. Obviously of different times but yes, pretty heavy hitters back in their day. I am not old enough to actually remember Youth Dew going from a bath oil to a perfume (story goes that so many women were wearing the bath oil as perfume they decided to release it as one, to great effect) but I do remember when CK one was just it- All of West Hollywood (and likely Greenwich Village, Halstead Street. Rittenhouse Square and most if not all of San Francisco) smelled of it. I would say “reeked” but CK one was, at least comparatively, impossible to over-apply. Aromatic Elixir it wasn’t. It’s hot today and everyone has started their vacation early so I decided to wear Fracas. Not bathing in it- I’m not insane. Much.

So, in honor of the 4th, I am going to leave you with a YouTube video from one of my favorites, the Midwestern Mom making a red, white, and blue firecracker salad.

Happy 4th to all of you who are celebrating- hope your pets come through unperturbed.

Images: Wikimedia Commons

  • Portia says:

    Happy 4th Tom and USA crew.
    Portia xx

  • Musette says:

    Holy cats & crackers! My glucose levels just went through the ROOF! watching that – and I doubled my pants size.

    • Tom says:

      But I’ll bet it tasted sooooo goooood…

      All that fresh cream and fresh picked berries. hey can hold the pretzel bark and I’ll take the cream whipped without sugar or stabilizers (but the buttermilk in the pudding seems like an idea) is my idea of yums

  • Maya says:

    Nothing wrong with wanting to smell all the nice things. That’s why I still love sampling and I think that applies to many of us.
    Love both YouTube clips! Slamming the phone could be very satisfying. I did try the equivalent with a flip phone once. It’s definitely not the same and you could break the phone.
    Enjoy your 4th.

    • Tom says:

      Yeah, it’s not quite the same. I wish they did the double tap thing with the red button to get the sound effect. Not as satisfying, but still..

  • Dina C. says:

    Your retro collectibles are fun, Tom. I’ve always been a radio listener since early childhood. I used to have a really old radio in my bedroom as a kid. Youth Dew was overwhelming when I received it as a gift frim an aunt as a young teen. It’s kinda in the same camp as Aromatics Elixir — one drop is more than enough! Love Amber, That Midwestern Mom. She’s a lot of fun. Also a trained opera singer with a beautiful voice. Happy 4th to you, too! I’m gonna go see some local fireworks tonight (on the 3rd).

  • March says:

    I love that I’m old/indifferent enough that I stay home and don’t do anything “special” on the 4th. I’ll be puttering around in my new-to-me garden, which I’m loving. Coco seems largely oblivious to the local fireworks, which is good. Happy 4th!

    • Musette says:

      I was walking Jane on her first 4th here – the first fireworks went off, she stopped dead in her tracks… but realized I hadn’t bolted for cover … so she just shrugged and we went on our merry way, around the park.


      • Tom says:

        Well that’s great news! IDK why some of these places just don’t do drone shows. They’re very pretty, you can co-ordinate them to music, and you don’t have to worry about setting brush fires.

      • alityke says:

        You has new canine play pal? Excellent!

        • Tom says:

          And a Presa!? I love them. A friend had one. Scared the pants off everybody but really just wanted to sit in your lap and watch TV. Of course it was like having the Lincoln Memorial want to curl up on you and if he got bored and mischievous he could have easily eaten your car, but hey..

    • Tom says:

      That sounds like heaven to me. The 4th is the single most deadly weekend on the roads they say and frankly LA freeways are nutty enough already. So I maybe will take an early AM ride in the hills then sit by the pool (in the shade) and read.

  • rosarita says:

    Fun read about collecting, Portia. My grandparents had a rotary phone in a cubby downstairs and I remember how loud it was.
    Youth Dew is gorgeous. I had the bath oil and still have the body powder, which for me is easier to wear. And I received a bottle of CK One in a perfume lot I got online in the before times and ignored; I didn’t wear it in the 90s. Last summer I tried it and really like it in the heat, it lasts a bit longer than cologne, I think.

    • Tom says:

      Not Portia but Tom. But Portia is so wonderful I don’t mind the mistake..

      I just got an email from Nordstrom trying to hawk me some Youth Dew dusting powder. Not anything I need, but I do like the whole Mae West aspect of using it. But I would need a big fluffy pouf thingy (and that penthouse in Ravenswood)

      • Maya says:

        A bit off topic, but you did mention Mae West. I absolutely adore her. And I love Leon Redbone so……he made the Wilton Crawley song Big Time Woman a hit. I don’t think it’s true but supposedly it’s about Mae West. If you want to hear it just do – Leon Redbone, the song, youtube. Enjoy.

      • rosarita says:

        Sorry Tom! I did actually put my YD powder in a vintage glass powder box I have. It came with a fluffy puff.

  • cinnamon says:

    Old style rotary phones were so much nicer. I ‘get’ we like progress but they just were. I love Youth Dew and really need to buy a bottle. Not so much CK one which didn’t work on me. We’re voting here tomorrow. On tenterhooks.

    • Tom says:

      Way back in the day when cell phones were first coming out and not ubiquitous people in LA would very ostentatiously make phone calls at restaurants- like the ones in Sunset Plaza with the street-side tables. I really wanted to have one of those ten pound 502 phones converted so I could sit there and chat away on it. As performance art, you know.

      I hope the vote works out. Seems the whole freaking world is going stark staring mad.

  • alityke says:

    Youth Dew is such a misnomer though. Smells fabulous, all cola x skank. I admit YD went in my last downsize.
    CKOne & it’s ilk. Watery none perfumes don’t seem American to me. The ads full of asexual, heroin chic models seemed a misfit with the CK branding of preppy, athletic types.
    Likely my preconceptions of both.
    Slamming the phone down was so very satisfying with those clunky handsets

    • Tom says:

      Youth Dew is a misnomer. But I don’t think Lauder would have liked “Honey Trap” for a name.

      CKone was brilliant marketing. The anti RL hype for a cologne that made anything by RL seem like, well, Youth Dew.

  • Rosemary says:

    Happy 4th of July! Youth Dew was my “baby perfume”, meaning my Mama wore it when I was a baby, almost exclusively, so I could associate the scent with her. For my 40th birthday 8 years ago, she lifted me a bottle of it, and I absolutely adore it! I can’t say it reminds me of my formative years, but I love the scent, it stays on me well, and always brings me joy!