Gaze coming in 2nd in the 800m last week.  His hair even looks great when he runs, doesn't it?
Gaze coming in 2nd in the 800m last week. His hair even looks great when he runs, doesn’t it?

Gaze and Taz had two (middle-school) track meets last week, and then their season was over.  Gaze, an eighth-grader, has done well, finishing anywhere from 2nd to 6th in his 800m and 1600m races, depending on how many teams were participating in the meets. Now that the middle school season is done, he’s returned to practicing with the high school team after school, where he’s keeping up very nicely.  The high school coach says he’s a hard worker and is poised to turn in some good performances next year, particularly as he’s coached in race-running strategy (a thing the middle-school track coaches never seem to address).

Taz, armed and dangerous, May 2010

Taz… okay, let me tell you about Taz. Taz, in general, has two speeds: snail’s  pace, or the speed of light in a vacuum, depending on whether he wants to be doing whatever it is that he’s doing.  When he’s racing his brother, or to be more specific, when it’s his idea to be racing his brother, he’s pretty focused. He can actually beat Gaze, who’s two years older, at shorter distances.  However, when Taz is running in a meet, he’s not completely engaged. He goofs off, swings his head, looks around, yells back at his parents encouraging him to run faster. (“I AM RUNNING FASTER!”) And with all of this, he was still finishing smack in the middle of the pack,  not at the rear where you’d expect him to be considering his goof-off running style and his 6th-grader leg length. Thing is, The CEO (a standout distance runner himself in high school) thinks he might actually become a better runner than his brother at some point – if he decides he wants to be. Taz is one of those people who will be wildly successful once he finds something that really engages him.

Scents worn this week: Cuir de Lancome, several times (I’ve been spritzing more heavily than usual, and in the far drydown discovered a lovely cool benzoin, along with the iris and leather, hawthorn and creamy saffron, that I had not before noticed). Chanel 1932, the newest boutique fragrance, which is fleeting but just so so so pretty.  Crown Perfumery Crown Bouquet, which just makes me happy! Le Temps d’une Fete, of course, and the first Ines de la Fressange, which is a beautiful peachy-rose aldehyde atop a real-sandalwood base. Shame that one’s discontinued.

Bookworm participated in a large meet on Saturday morning, where she turned in a personal-best time in her leg of the 4 x 800m, anchoring her team in qualifying for the regional meet even though the first two runners (one with a stomach bug and one still learning how to pace) finished with times almost ten seconds slower than their best.  Kudos to Erin, Emily, Anne Kelly and Bookworm! Interestingly enough, each member of that team belongs to a different graduating class: Bookworm’s a senior, Erin’s a junior, A-K’s a sophomore and Emily’s a freshman. That bodes well for the future, I think.

Then we packed up and drove 40 minutes up the interstate to a lunch meeting of the Virginia Mayflower Society, where Bookworm accepted a scholarship award for her essay. I may have mentioned this before, but we found out about the scholarship a few months ago when The CEO’s mother found some old documents belonging to her mother-in-law. The CEO’s grandmother, a descendant of John Alden, had applied for membership to the District of Columbia Society of Mayflower Descendants in 1923, which we thought was odd since she was a lifelong resident of Virginia. As we discovered with some internet research, the Virginia Society did not exist until 1950 – and also, they offer an annual essay scholarship.  (Applicants need not be members of the society, but they must be residents of Virginia.) We were very proud of her, particularly since we heard from one of the scholarship judges that the decision was unanimous, even before they knew that Bookworm can claim relationship to one of the Pilgrims.

Michael York as Tybalt, 1968
Michael York as Tybalt, 1968

Then we changed out of our dresses/suit-and-tie and returned to the meet so that she could run a 3200m race. Before she even started, she was feeling vaguely queasy, so I wasn’t terribly surprised when her coach pulled her out after the first mile for abdominal cramps. (Both The CEO and I shared the headache/stomach upset symptoms over Sunday, so she may have had some touch of a virus.) When we got home, she and I watched the gorgeous 1968 Zeffirelli production of “Romeo and Juliet” while she rewrote some Physics notes. (She likes Leonard Whiting’s Romeo; I’m partial to the mellow-voiced Michael York as Tybalt, myself.)

It started raining yesterday afternoon, so of course now my internet capability is slow. We have DSL, and normally it’s fairly fast, but rain seems to play havoc with our telephone service on a consistent basis (the trunk lines are old, and Verizon has said they have no intention to replace them). Everything is beautifully spring-green outside due to the rain, though.

As you might expect, Taz and Bookworm have frequent run-ins. Partly it’s the difference in their personalities: she’s disciplined, he’s not; she’s easily-annoyed by noises and he loves making them; she’s bossy and he’s stubborn. Part of it may be their age difference. I’m four and a half years older than my sister, and until we were adults we had our own difficulties. My sister’s five and a half years older than our brother (yes, that means I’m ten years older than my brother!), and they had their own difficulties too. Bookworm’s got five and a half years on Taz, and I’m convinced that’s just an awkward variance in terms of development.  Ah well.

Because Taz came home from the end-of-season track team party on Thursday with a special gift for his sister, who had the evening before been vocally annoyed with her father for having consumed the last of the root beer without leaving any for her.  Taz even put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold, with a note attached so that no one (ahem) would mistake his intent.

"Do not drink it Dad"
“Do not drink it Dad”

I have hope for their loving sibling relationship, yet.



  1. Wow. Hope everyone feels better soon. GI bugs are awful. Rest well.

    The Fanta is adorable! Love the stuck on names. Just wondering what each thinks of his/her nickname. It’s so normal to me, because that’s how I’ve always heard about them, but wondered if they read the blog, and what is their reaction. Not my business, but it struck me, when I saw the sticky note 🙂

    SOTD: Hermes’ Hiris. Really liking it, carroty violet iris. Ladylike and cool. Calming, which is good. (I could see hard core perfumistas hating it for its simplicity and transparent quality) Very good for late spring weather. Be well.

  2. Oh, Bookworm likes her name. Gaze is nonplussed, but that’s just him. (“Yeah, whatever. I don’t care.”) I had to explain Taz’ name to him today as I asked him to write those pseudonyms – I’d told him before, but he’d forgotten. “After the Tasmanian Devil on Bugs Bunny,” I explained, and he smiled, so I suppose he doesn’t mind.

    Hiris is too cool and rooty for me, not as girly as I usually prefer, but I think Robin of NST counts it among her favorites, so you’re in good company. And yes, I would think spring would suit it. I went with Jolie Madame parfum today, and I smellz guud.

    1. You *do* smell mahvelous. . .but Jolie Madame is in no way girly to my nose. Kinda butch in my book, really, the femme fatale, dressed to the nines, with the quirt tucked away beneath her bed! Leather and violet, right? It’s been a while since I tried that one, but if memory serves, it wore me 😀

      1. I don’t like Jolie Madame in edt, it’s too austere, and it would wear me too. I have four (yes, that’s embarrassing, but they’re REALLY SMALL! REALLY!) vintage parfums, all of which are very different but extremely floral compared to the edt – I’ve smelled vintage and modern, and compared to the parfum they’re not floral enough for me. The violet is big in the parfum, but there is also a big white floral note which is supposed to be gardenia but which I’d peg as jasmine sambac. And the leather, that’s there of course too. It’s beautiful.

        1. Ouch. Now I have a lemming!
          I love the smell of violets, and my dream gedanken-perfumes would feature a huge violet note, but in RL I know very few perfumes that provide a real setting for the flower and don’t choose the sugary soliflore route.
          Actually I can think of only two perfumes: Attrape coeur (which I love but often feels too dense and I end up wearing it only in the very depth of winter) and Feminite du bois (and its children of the bois series. Like but don’t love).
          So, I have to track down Jolie madame parfum!!!

          1. I know what you mean about the sugary violets. I do love Penhaligon’s Violetta, though – a very green scent where the violet is sweetly floral, not candied. Attrape-Coeur is wonderful but I can’t imagine wearing it anytime but winter!

            I was talking with another friend about Jolie Madame, trying to think of another fragrance that balances leather and floral so evenly, and she said that part of the problem was that JM is so much of that dual nature, LEATHER!! and FLOWERS!!, that is unusual, and she’s right. It is exactly as much leather as it is flowers, and it doesn’t really have much of anything else. There’s a minor green note, but that goes along with the flowers (primarily jasmine & violet to my nose). And the flowers are very very sweet and very green and floral – and the leather is very in-your-face. I only see this character in the older parfums, but it’s as if you’re wearing an aged leather jacket and carrying a big bouquet at the same time.

    1. … I KNOOOOWWW! I was so charmed. He can be a jerk to his big sis from time to time, but every now and then a real sweetheart.

  3. With five kids and 14 years between the oldest and youngest, we get to have lots of interesting sibling dynamics in our house. My oldest, Bones, sounds very much like your Taz, kind of goofy and has to get personally engaged before he pushes himself. In his teens he got embarrassed by his goofiness when he was younger, and the pendulum swung to *extreme seriousness* for several years before he started relaxing again. One of the advantages of a kid like this is they seem to be completely impervious to peer pressure. They’ll do what they want, when they want to, and who cares what anyone else thinks. Bones is in Kenya right now, and doing great. Maturity is a lovely thing.

    As far as my own clan, we spent a good two weeks discussing what their online monikers would be, as they wanted input. Since I never really had a nickname myself and envied those who did, I was more than happy to oblige.

    1. So good to know that Bones has found himself and his place in the world!

      And you’re right, The CEO and I have both remarked on the small benefit that peer pressure has no effect on Taz whatsoever – he just does not care what people think of him. Does. Not. Care. (Gaze is rather susceptible, I fear.)

      I only remember Bones and Archimedes for your family noms de blog… might have to go look them up on BOTO.

      1. I’m not sure I’ve got the full list anywhere. Here they are: Bones (19); Archimedes (17) – scary smart and a mini-perfumista; Frodo (13) – my miracle son, guileless; Dragongirl (8) – with 4 brothers, she’s a fascinating mix of tomboy and girly-girl; Spud (6) – brimful of personality, he’s a boy’s boy.

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