Scent Diary, July 28- Aug. 3, 2014

Monday, July 28 – Second day of band camp. Well, first full day. Weather could not be better – it’s cool and breezy, but sunny, and the kids are very comfortable. The new band director arrived today, and I think things will go well. He’s very quiet, but also very confident, and does not raise his voice to the students but gets across his intentions quite clearly. The show is coming together nicely already, and I have enjoyed hanging out with other band boosters under the tent, chatting away and handing out granola bars and Gatorades at snack time. SOTD: Byredo Flowerhead. I have to get this review written! Luckily, I do love tuberose.

PCHS T-bones, 2014. L-R: Jeremy, Lakin, Gaze, Alex, and James. Photo by Stacey Utt.
PCHS T-bones, 2014. L-R: Jeremy, Lakin, Gaze, Alex, and James. Photo by Stacey Utt.

Tuesday, July 29 – Gaze’s trombone section is doing well. The two sophomores – Gaze and Jeremy – are the oldest in the section, because Mr. Butler (band director at PCHS, 2002-13) felt that he didn’t have enough trombones to march them as a full section, and it was only as Gaze became old enough for high school that Mr. Butler relented and allowed the rising 9th graders to keep their trombones instead of trading them in for baritone horns (similar range, same mouthpiece, but with valves instead of the slide stops). Freshman James marched last year as an eighth grader; freshman Lakin is new to marching but is doing very well. Eighth-grader Alex, who also marched last year, can play just about anything, but is too small physically to manage a larger instrument like a tuba or baritone. I’m just waiting for him to get his growth spurt. The fun thing about band camp this year is that all five of the trombone moms have helped with camp already, so the T-bones have their own devoted cheering section.

I love getting to know the kids. I really do. SOTD: Patou Enjoy, which is reminding me strongly of Coco Mademoiselle but without the high-pitched screech that Coco Mlle has on my skin. More fruit, too. I don’t think I want any, but it’s a pleasant modern-chypre. Speaking of CM, one of the band booster moms wears it, and it is fully as nice on her as it is on my sister – a lovely woody floral thing with patchouli.

Wednesday, July 30 – Our minister called today to see if I could lead worship music on Sunday. EEP.  Funny, I would have been just fine with that if we used a piano (no, an electric keyboard is not the same) and sang out of a hymnal, but we don’t.  Our worship style is Contemporary Christian music, which I love but which I can’t play because I can’t read guitar chords. I read music notation.  And this is not to disparage in any way people who play by ear (hey, I sing harmony by ear) or who “only” play guitar chords. I’m actually sort of the exception among a lot of contemporary-style church musicians these days, for reading music while everybody else just does their thing based on something that looks like this:  G B F# G.  Can I play single notes? yep. Can I play chords based on that? Nope. The thing about it is, it’s like trying to read in one language and translate on the fly in another.  I can DO it, but not fast enough. It’s a little embarrassing.

Anyway, it was a pretty good day at band camp today. Very little drama. No injuries. Perfect weather (low-to-mid-70sF, generally sunny).  NICE.  SOTD: the girly-wirly LeLong Pour Femme. (Heh, you know, somebody commenting on Musette’s review of it on Perfume Posse calls the LLPF bottle “Flavor Flav in a leopard cape,” and that’s so spot-on that it cracks me up.)

Thursday, July 31 – Starting to wonder if Band Camp will EVER END, EVER. Gah. Also, miss my girl very badly. SOTD: Ines de la Fressange (1999 Calice Becker, not the 2006 Alberto Morillas, which HEY I finally snagged a sample of recently).

Nothing new on the doggie front this week.  Too busy with band camp.

Friday, Aug. 1 – It rained last night. The practice field is absolutely soaked – which sort of ruined the senior prank today. They came in early and pitched tents on the practice field, intending to roll out of the tents as the rest of the band came to the practice field and claim that they’d spent the night camping there. Instead, they all made their way back to the band room once a parent took pity on them and texted his kid that the director had decided not to come out and march outside this morning, so they’d better come inside.
(Reasonable on the part of the director – wet weather ruins woodwind pads and then they have to be replaced. Also, have you ever marched around, half the time backward, on wet grass? Let me just say, Bad Idea.)

Oh well. While the band was having sectionals, one of the drumline guys was goofing off and pretending to fall… only to have his jaw bang directly into the shin of another drumline guy, who was practicing a leg-swinging move that the drumline actually does incorporate into the show. So: Shane was goofing off, Logan wasn’t, but Shane got banged up enough to chip a tooth and develop a nasty bruise on his jaw. He went home. This seems to have been the only injury of the week, which is awesome! I can remember years when a band mom made an ER trip almost every day of the week…

SOTD: Penhaligon’s Amaranthine. Yum. I smell like a flower/banana smoothie.

Saturday, Aug. 2 – Everybody is exhausted. Well, I mean, Gaze and I are exhausted; Taz is not. Taz shouldn’t be exhausted, since he hasn’t done much all week except go to cross-country practice and do some basic cleaning in his room and practice his trumpet. And read books, of course, but for Taz that’s like breathing. 😉 Practiced music for church this morning, took recycling to the town center, and went to the grocery store, where they had cluster rose bouquets on special. I bought one: white long-stem roses, plus several stems of those small garden-type roses in a beautiful deep coral-pink-red color. Gorgeous. SOTD: Tableau de Parfums Miriam. So beautiful – aldehydes, sandalwood, some very deep quiet florals (rose and ylang in particular, though the jasmine and violet are there too) and that buzzy-fuzzy Ambrox stuff.

Young Kurt Russell, ca. 1970 or so.
Young Kurt Russell, ca. 1970 or so.

I think it’s going to rain; it’s been cloudy all day. Did some laundry, cleaned up the house, cooked steak for dinner and watched “Tombstone” with the boys. (If I’ve never mentioned my almost-forty-year-long crush on Kurt Russell, well… I blame Disney and their Sunday night movies that used to air when I was a little kid.) Ahhh, Kurt…

The CEO got home late from Denver.

Sunday, Aug. 3 – I was right, it rained last night. Back to our regular spot at the elementary school for church services today. Music went well, I thought. SOTD: Frederic Malle Iris Poudre, largely because apparently the last time I put on my white eyelet blouse I was wearing it. No matter, I love Iris Poudre, which is to me less of a dry, rooty iris thing than an aldehydes-and-benzoin thing. FLUFFY!


Scent Diary, July 23-29, 2012

Sorry for the delay in posting. Monday I took the boys for eye appointments, and I’ve been helping with Band Camp at the high school.

2011 Wadsworth HS Band Camp - 19

Monday, July 23: Humid, hot, muggy. Bleah, it feels like August in Florida.

And, yeah, I know what August in Florida feels like. When I was growing up, my dad the CPA was entitled to three weeks’ vacation every year. Of which he only took one week, and always in August, because when my mom would start planning summer family trips he’d say, “Sure, third week of June is fine,” – and about the second week of June, he’d be saying, “No, I can’t do it next week. I’m too busy.” So she’d put off the trip a week, two weeks, a month… and he continued to be too busy. It would go like this all summer until my mother would say, “Ronald, if we don’t go anywhere by the third week of August, we won’t get to take a family vacation.” And she’d fix him with the Mom Stare of Comply-or-Die. He’d sigh and rearrange his work schedule. So we’d go on vacation the third week of August, in ungodly hot muggy weather – to Nags Head, NC, or Virginia Beach (which in the 70s was absolutely filthy with cigarette butts and horseshoe crab shells and beer pop-top tabs that could cut your foot, though it’s been cleaned up now), or to my aunt’s house in Knoxville, TN. Twice it was to Orlando, for Disney World and Sea World and the Weeki-wachi “mermaids” and the fort at St. Augustine. The second time we went to FL, I was fourteen, my sister was nine and my hyperactive little brother – who’s now 6′ 4” and about 260 pounds, with tattoos and pierced ears and a goatee – was four. We drove to Florida from Virginia in a four-door VW Rabbit diesel four-speed hatchback. Five people in that cracker box of a car, one of them prone to motion sickness, and one of them addicted to He-Man figurines and pow-pow noises, and on the way there the AC conked out. GAH.

SOTD: Neela Vermeire Trayee. Which I thought I wouldn’t like at all, because I usually don’t like these reserved, intellectual, incense-woody things. However, this one is actually sort of friendly. You know, like the tall geeky guy with weird glasses who likes Star Trek, but not enough to own every single action figure plus a Klingon dictionary, and who turns out to have a soft spot for Springsteen and for carrying heavy items up dorm stairs for lit-poet-choir girls, and when you look close you realize he has pretty eyes and a great crooked smile.

SOTE: Dior Poison esprit de parfum. This stuff is sort of growing on me.

Tuesday, July 24 – Another Hot & Muggy. SOTD: JPG Fragile edt. Nice. Not earth-shattering or anything, and not the all-tuberose thing I was expecting either. There’s a big hazy veil of hedione over the flowers. It’s pretty. I wonder if the edp is considerably different.

Gaze and I went over to the fairgrounds during the get-in-free hour, to see if we could just take a peek at the photography exhibits and the judging results, but for some bizarre reason, the gate people (local staffers, not the carny guys who own the rides and midway things) weren’t letting anybody in. They cited the fact that there was a thunderstorm warning over the area, but I’m pretty sure they screwed up and got it wrong. The quote was “The state says we can’t let anybody in when there’s a thunderstorm on the radar.” I can’t imagine that the Commonwealth of Virginia would keep them from opening the gate to the fair because of the threat of lightning… I mean, Busch Gardens doesn’t stop letting people in when it storms. They just tell people to take shelter, and they don’t run the rides. DUH. What the county fair staffers should have done was to NOT LET PEOPLE STAND OUTSIDE. They should have done one of the following: a) passed out free gate passes to everyone standing in line between 2 and 3 pm, and then insisted that everyone go back to their cars to wait out the rain, OR b) opened the darn gate and then insisted that everyone take shelter in the food court areas, or in one of the several large buildings, while the rides stood idle. Also, c) updated the darn website so that people know not to leave their houses when the gates aren’t even open.

GRRRR. We left.

This evening, The CEO just sold a big wad of bull semen (geddit, wad? HA), for way more than we paid for it, because the bull has died and his breeder is starting to run out of stored stock. Woohoo, an investment gamble has paid off. SOTE: Shalimar Light.

Wednesday, July 25 – The CEO left for his trip to Denver with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Advisory Board, taking the GPS with him. We’ve decided to call it Miss Direction (geddit, misdirection? HA). SOTD: Uhhh, nothin’. Forgot in the morning. Later, I had a pulled-muscley sort of thing in my upper back that I don’t know where it came from, but it sure ruined the rest of the day, and I didn’t even bother with smellies until late in the evening, when I was craving the wonderfulness of Le Temps d’une Fete.

Thursday, July 26 – Hot n’ muggy. I mowed. SOTD: testing various things. We did some laundry, and then I took Gaze to his middle school football parent conference thingy… Looks like the VHSL (the state body regulating school sports) is really hitting the Concussion Awareness issue pretty hard now, and who’s to say that they’re wrong? I was encouraged by the points the football coach was making, about football being a reward for off-field behavior, and the student-athletes should be a) obeying their parents, b) keeping their grades up, and c) making good effort at practice, not to mention d) behaving as role models and good examples of leadership, hard work, and excellent citizenship in all the arenas of their lives, whether that is school or the bus or having fun on their own time.

Friday, July 27 – Hot. Muggy. Yep, it’s the tail end of July. SOTD: Parfums de Rosine Rose d’Ete. This thing is still very simple, a powdery-fruity rose floral that feels very cool and comfortable. It’s not distinctive in other seasons, but for summer it’s a favorite.

Thunderstorms in the late afternoon. Watched “Drumline” on the DVR with Bookworm and Gaze. I love percussion. Love it. Can’t wait to hear cadence… there are only a couple of seniors on the high school band’s drumline this year, and the section leader is a junior. It seems like a really small drumline to me, and the balance seems off to boot: two quad toms (or tenors, if you prefer that term), three snares, and four bass drums. I’d take somebody off a bass drum and toss them onto snare, if it were up to me, but then, I like a fat snappy snare sound. I’d also pull a couple of mallet players off the front ensemble (there are nine!) and march them with cymbals. Just my opinion, of course, and it ain’t my band. Mr. Butler does a terrific job of instilling responsibility and team spirit, which is to my mind more important than a nice fat snappy snare sound…

Saturday, July 28 – Hot. Muggy. Can’t believe we’re going to the fair today in all this hot mugginess. We cleaned up, and I put together some fruit salad. Then we had a gathering with some people from our small group at church. Ate hot dogs and hamburgers, and the kids played with Nerf guns. (Quote from Thomas F: “Where’s Jeremiah? When I see him I’m gonna SHOOT ‘IM.” Spoken like a four-year-old brother of an eight-year-old…) SOTD: DSH La Fete Nouvelle, nice hay-almond-musk summery thing.


The fair was hot, crowded, and full of people wearing clothes so skimpy and strange that I’d immediately collar any child of mine wearing them and yank them back into the house to change – i.e., normal for our county fair. I heard one Virginia Tech college student say to another one, “Hey, you oughta see the fair. That’s when all the freaks come out.” True. I saw more piercings and tattoos and belly buttons and cleavage-on-display and strange makeup on fairgoers than I ever see at any other time in this county! Not that dressing strangely makes you a “freak,” but it’s a style of dressing I don’t often run across in this conservative place. What bothers me more – a lot more – about the fair is the stunning number of people running around with toddlers and holding cigarettes in their hands, at about the level of the average two-year-old’s face. Grrrrr.


The kids rode rides until I made them go home at 10 pm. Taz pretty much brushed his teeth, pulled off his jean shorts, and collapsed into bed, but Bookworm had been riding rides with a band friend of hers (her old saxophone section leader, as a matter of fact) and the friend’s boyfriend (one of last year’s drum majors), and was all chatty. I had to make her go to bed.

Sunday, July 29 – A little cooler today than yesterday. SOTD: Cristina Bertrandt #3, nice white mixed-white-floral thing. Good sermon today, and Gaze said on the way home that he would like to be baptized soon – wonderful news! We cleaned up Nerf guns and bullets and paper plates from yesterday, and did some laundry, and then Bookworm went off for the first evening of band camp. We watched some Olympics – men’s beach volleyball, swimming, women’s gymnastics.

SOTE: Opus Oils Dirty Sexy Wilde. Innnnnteresting. Not very Me. The CEO will be home late tonight, and this smells like a “dude” smell, so I’d probably better wash it off before he gets any funny ideas about it.

Oh, and I have a new favorite swimmer: Nathan Adrian is hot. Also very tall (6’7″). Also-also, he’s half Chinese (genetically speaking), like my niece and nephew Primrose and Curiosity. Bookworm says Ryan Lochte is cuter, but I disagree; I’d rather pinch Ryan’s cheeks and pat him on the head than ogle his muscles. (OMG, I just realized – I’m talking like a cougar. That is cougar attitude. Holy moly… see what those cute swimmers have DONE TO MY HEAD?)


Scent Diary, Aug. 1-7, 2011

Perfume Shelf, from Wikimedia Commons

Monday, Aug. 1: First day of band camp. Hot. The CEO left for his trip to Orlando for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Board, the second meeting of the year. (Florida in summer, Denver in winter… what are these guys thinking? Besides, “Hey, off-season rates!”?) SOTD: Uh, nothing. In a hurry to leave and late and busy, I forgot. Ever forget? Happened to me. SOBedtime: Shalimar Light.

Tuesday, Aug. 2: Temps in the high 80s, and humid. Gah. One case of skin rash on a student, soothed with hydrocortisone cream. Looks like she might have sat down in a place with itchy plant life, just after the grass was mowed. It took a few days to disappear, but she’s fine now. SOTD: Comptoir Sud Pacifique L’Eau du Gouverneur, nice nutmeggy thing borrowed from the absent CEO’s dresser. It cut through the sweat, sunscreen, and mildewed tent smells, and lasted many hours.

Spent the evening at a nearby high school football stadium, watching a Drum Corps International competition with my parents and the boys. Taz kept complaining that he was “going to be bored,” and then, despite his obvious enjoyment, telling me that he didn’t like it. I suspect he didn’t want to be proved wrong. The rest of us thought it was a great show, lots of fun to watch.

Wednesday, Aug. 3: Hotter today and humid. Bleargh. Busy band camp day. SOTD: Guerlain Idylle EdT. Pleasant in the heat, that nice high-pitched rose-lily of the valley-patchouli sharp and bright over unpleasant odors. CEO home tomorrow.

Thursday, Aug 4: Gosh, I’m tired… this getting up at 6:15 am is wearing on me. I’ll have to get used to it again, though, because Bookworm will be starting classes in A WEEK (yes, one week from now!!) at Governor’s School, the magnet school for science and technology. Regular county classes begin the 25th. SOTD: Balenciaga Paris – nice but barely perceptible.

Had one of the trumpet players come out at Gatorade time with incipient heat exhaustion. Turned out she hadn’t been eating or drinking properly at home, and the morning’s two water breaks weren’t enough to keep her hydrated. She’s fine now.

CEO home, and sick. Seems like every time he gets on a plane that happens.

Friday, Aug. 5: Hot again for the last day of band camp. The senior prank this year was to blow up balloons and stuff the top of the director’s platform, then wrap it all up with shrink wrap. It was wildly amusing to them, particularly when Mr. Butler (who forewarned him?) pulled a pair of scissors out of his shorts pocket with a flourish and shimmied up the ladder just as usual.

Had one of the bass drum players come out early in the morning practice with stomach pain; had to take him to the ER to rule out appendicitis. I knew this kid had a digestive-system issue because of his dietary restrictions, but I didn’t know how serious it was. Turned out he had a minor blockage and was fine after a few hours, in a situation strikingly reminiscent of when we thought Gaze had appendicitis a few years ago. This kid is a die-hard band geek, and when he broke his toe last year, it took him three days to tell somebody because he didn’t want to miss a competition, so you know if he was sitting out a drilldown, he was really in pain. He’s fine now.

SOTD: Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur. I love it, but now I might love it more for having received two compliments today. The cafeteria lady helping us serve lunch exclaimed, “I like your perfume! What is it?” and we had a nice conversation about fragrance; she likes Avon and Bath & Body Works scents. Wish I’d had a sample in my purse to give her, but I didn’t think of it. And then one of the students passing by me said, “Wow, somebody smells really good!” Scent of Bedtime: Shalimar Light. Man, am I tired…

Saturday, Aug. 6: Another warm but really humid sort of day. Took Bookworm down to the high school early (this is getting to be a habit!) to pick up her cross-country uniform and have team pictures made. Then we took advantage of Virginia’s tax-free weekend to buy school supplies and a few items of school clothing for her. I’m still trying to pry her away from the Jeans Every Day mindset, but I don’t know that that’s going to happen. SOTMorning: SSS Jour Ensoleille, which is gorgeous and floral and sweet and just a wee bit drrty. I want a little 5ml purse spray, whenever they show up on the website again.

National anthem at local minor league baseball game

Mowed the grass, cleaned the house, took the fam down to our local Rookie League baseball game. The PCHS band was playing the Star Spangled Banner – which Bookworm tells me is always referred to among band members as “SSB,” which surprised me, because we always called it “Banner” – for the game, and that was fun to watch. SOTEvening: more Jour Ensoleille. Trivia: Eddie Van was selected as the “Dirtiest Vehicle in the Parking Lot,” and I won a free car wash at a local establishment… thing is, you know the car wash will only last until I get to the driveway, which is half a mile long and gravel.

Sunday, Aug. 7: Helping with preschool age kids at church today. Eleven kids, one adult… I’m so tired! I need a nap! SOTD: Mary Greenwell Plum.


Band Camp 2011

I’ve been helping with Bookworm’s Band Camp this week, and in consequence have been busier than I’d anticipated. Thought I’d share a few pictures of the fun:

Blocking the first number, march-through with no instruments. It's so humid you can barely see Peak's Knob in the background for the haze.

The chaperones have been setting up tents, icing the Gatorades, preparing set cards, setting up lunch, giving first aid (a couple of twisted ankles, a rash caused by allergic reaction, some minor overheating), cleaning up, and generally being go-fers and fixits.

Members of the flute and alto sax sections, resting under the tents at break time.
Members of the drumline, plus the mellophone section leader, resting under a shade tree at break.

I think camp is going fairly well.  A little intense, maybe, but still, the director is pretty calm and patient, and so are the assistants, both the staff ones and the people pulled in just to help with band camp.   I vividly remember my own band director getting ticked and throwing things.  Not at people intentionally, but still… you ducked if Mr. King was in a temper.

Mr. Butler, at the top of the director's tower. Below and to the left is Cody on the primary drum major's stand. You can't see Charlie on the smaller stand, but she's there too.

Each day, the drum majors have led a “drilldown,” where the band is in a parade block and given audible instructions that they must follow in good order: Mark Time, Forward, Backward, Quarter-turn to the Right/Left, To the Rear, Left/Right Slide, Left/Right Flank, Halt, Parade Rest, etc.  Anybody who screws up has to go to the sidelines, and the last member standing wins.  Bookworm’s done pretty well; she’s usually in the last dozen before she gets tripped up on back-to-back turns.  As you might expect, it’s typically the seniors and section leaders who make it into the later rounds, and the winners so far have been Cooper (senior trumpet), a tie between tenor drum Ben and drumline captain Jolly, and then Jolly on his own.  I can never figure out whether drumline has it easier to march or not, because they don’t do Horns Up/Down commands, and they don’t Slide, either.  They Crab instead.  Bookworm says this is easier, but she might be wrong.  Drum harnesses are heavy, and it always looks to me that they impede leg movement.

Part of the drumline: Ben, Taylor, Jamie, Jolly (Matt), Madison, Brandon, Li'l Bill (yes, he's grown since getting the nickname), and TJ. Jon, the other bass drum player, isn't pictured. Poor Jamie's back was red the next day. He told me he'd sunscreened, but I have my doubts.

I remember the first time Bookworm picked up her instrument: it was five years ago, and it was a clarinet.  The squawking… oh, the squawking.  She got better.  Then she picked up the alto saxophone, because the only kid in her grade at the middle school that played it had moved, and she decided not to go back to clarinet, though she has played bass clarinet in concert band from time to time.  When she was a freshman, the marching band was short on tenor saxes (they’re not this year, four tenors to five altos), and her section leader asked her if she could play a tenor instead.  She could play it, all right, but she’s so short that it kept hitting her in the knees.  She was selected Rookie Marcher of the Year her freshman year, and she’s only gotten better.  I’m proud of her.

Bookworm in the front, in green: Miss Prepared and Paying Attention, being a Good Example. I think she's digging being a section leader.

I’m looking forward to the week being over.  It’s exhausting, and I’m not even there the whole day!  The end-of-camp cookout comes Friday night, and families will get to see the part of the show that the band has prepared that evening.   Turns out we’re not doing that until the night before the first football game, two weeks from now.  


Thursday update:  we had a junior trumpet go down with heat exhaustion this morning, just about the time the kids were ready for their Gatorade/granola bar break at 10:40 a.m.  I don’t think Amy has been hydrating at home very well, and she’s had this happen before at band camp.  It’s not terribly hot – in the 80s – but humid, with no shade on the practice field, and when the kids came to the tents for Gatorade, she just collapsed on the ground and was having trouble breathing.  Her mom had the motorcycle at work with her today, so I took Amy, her mom, and her boyfriend (Jolly) to the emergency room.  Amy was feeling better by the time we got her to the hospital, and she was able to walk and to finish her Gatorade, so they’re just going to rehydrate her by giving her lots to drink (no IVs, since she’s able to consume liquid without help), and watch her until her temperature stabilizes.  Poor kid.


Photos are mine.  (I cannot imagine why my camera thinks it’s April of 2009.  Moreover, I cannot figure out how to fix it. Aargh.)