The Wonderful World of Online Reviews and Other Assorted Subjectivity

black flag
I never realized just how entertaining Amazon reviews can be.  I went trolling online for reviews on a perfume I’ve been thinking about buying.  I like fragrances, even though I have to take a French bath in most colognes just to smell them at all. The only ones I can enjoy in slight doses are the really, really strong ones such as Liz Taylor’s Passion, Esteè Lauder’s Youth Dew or Opium.  I really like all three of those fragrances, although I don’t dare wear any of them, because Jerry says they all smell like a combination of “nursing home” and bug spray.
So in my quest for more subtle scents, I check out the reviews, and stay away from the Dollar Store knock off shelf.  I have been assured by more than one person that the dollar store shit that is supposed to smell like Chanel No.5 (and it does- to me) really smells like a combo of Black Flag and drain cleaner.
I did find an eau de toilette I found intriguing called Dahlia Noir by Givenchy, which I am going to try in spite of this review-
All I can say to this one is that I’m glad that I’m not “Dave’s” old lady:
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
 on November 18, 2014
I got this for my lady friend. It covered up her stink real nice.
“Dave’s” review notwithstanding, his comment reminded me of something Jerry would say, which sort of swayed my decision toward buying it.  I am a believer in stringent personal hygiene, and I’m pretty uptight as far as observing stringent personal hygiene practices at all times.  I shouldn’t have a “stink.”  Even so, hygiene practices aside, one can’t be too careful about one’s olfactory impact upon others when one’s sense of smell is pretty much transitory and unreliable at best.  So I do like to indulge in wearing a sensible and pleasing fragrance- just in case.
I’ve never been the outdoors type, and I hate to be dirty or to sweat.  So I’ve never really had a need for Vagisil, but if I did, this is the most glowing review I encountered:

18 of 20 people found the following review helpful

By Geekier than thou TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 28, 2004

Style Name: Original Size: 1 Ounce (Pack of 1)

It smells like burning fur, but who cares? If you’re out in the middle of the woods camping, or on a forever road trip and you haven’t had a chance to change your drawers in a day or two, chances are, your unmentionable areas are gonna get itchy. Some areas are more sensitive than others when it comes to persistent itching and scratching. Vagisil allows you to temporarily relieve the itch so you can concentrate on driving or sleeping instead of scratching your parts off.

Remind me to never put myself in a position where I don’t get to “change my drawers” and hose off at least from the waist down, Every Freaking Day. Some areas were never meant to be scratched.  If my nether area were to itch so bad I can’t drive, I think it’s time to see a doctor, not time to run out and buy some over the counter cream that smells like burning fur.
Too bad a gauge like this doesn’t really exist.
I have been accused at many points in my life of being highly subjective in my assessments, which is a bit ironic considering that I tend to be logical and pragmatic rather than emotional and flighty.
Perhaps those assertions are based on the fact that I can have rather narrow parameters for passing a judgment or making a decision.  I make up my mind very quickly, and usually based upon the information I have on hand that I deem relevant at the moment.  I’m not one to hunt and peck or hem-haw around. The only disadvantage to that is that unless I make a conscious effort to do otherwise, I can be very closed minded and unwilling to try new things.  I know that a love of the familiar and a desire for order and routine go hand and hand with the way I’m wired, (oh, the joy of navigating the autistic landscape!) and sometimes I have to purposefully override familiarity, order and routine in order to learn anything, or to do anything fun.
I think rigid would be a better word to describe my decision making process than subjective. 
mutter museum2
I realize that my tendency toward rigidity makes spontaneity almost impossible. The older I get, the more difficult spontaneity gets.  I’ve been meaning to take that day trip to the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia. It’s not necessary for me to take Steve-o with me, which is good because his schedule is nearly impossible (although he would thoroughly enjoy it.)  I’m not afraid to travel alone, and have done it before, so what’s the big deal about a 500 mile (one way) road trip?
Yes, I would need to book a motel room as well as make my admission arrangements in advance. I would have to see that Jerry takes care of the dogs for a couple of days.  They have survived being alone with him before.  I’m really good at trip planning, and this one wouldn’t be terribly expensive… so why haven’t I done it yet?
True, I have never been to Philadelphia.  I am concerned about crime, such as carjacking, rape, robbery etc. because those things happen in densely populated urban areas, but crime is just as statistically likely to happen right here in central Ohio.  Granted, I know the times and areas to avoid here, but would the additional risk of being in an unfamiliar urban area be statistically significant?  Probably not.  I have traveled alone in the rural South which is statistically safer- but if you were to be a crime victim somewhere down in the hollers, let’s just say your body and/or your car may never be seen again.
I need to shut up and just go. The medical oddities await.

Smells Like a Man Cave, Return of the Prodigal Fanny, and Feral Cats

I don’t have much of a sense of smell.  Even as a child I had really bad sinuses and constant upper respiratory infections.  After years of working in and around noxious chemicals, smoking two packs a day and then some for years, and the fire extinguisher incident, I was told not to be surprised if I was never able to smell anything.

What sense of smell I regained after having sinus surgery a few years ago is vestigial at best and not terribly reliable.  The only odors I can detect are strong- I have to be really careful with perfume, for instance,  and the scents I can detect fairly well are usually offensive.  I seldom can smell the peonies in May for instance, but I can always smell cigarettes, man-funk,  puke or shit.  Go figure.  Sometimes I smell things that I know aren’t there, which is really bizarre.  I guess one could call that phenomenon “olfactory hallucinations,”  if there is such a thing. 

I didn’t realize why non-smokers are so militant about people smoking in their airspace until I had not smoked for a few years.  After I had sinus surgery I especially noticed how noxious cig smoke is.  I might not be able to smell Chanel No.5 unless I take a bath in it, but I can smell cig smoke just getting close to a smoker.  Go figure that if I can smell anything, it’s almost always going to be nasty.

I have to be really careful with my use of perfume.  I love the stuff, but in order for me to smell it I pretty much have to marinate in it, and others around me might not appreciate that so much. 

If I go with the “poison toad” mentality(bright colors, bold patterns being nature’s warning signal) regarding personal odor, then maybe I should marinate in Chanel No.5.  I would if I could afford it.  The dollar store knock off stuff is not the same, and I want to smell good to me.  I’ve always liked bold, brassy fragrances- I’m one of the few people who really likes Estee Lauder’s Youth Dew- probably because they’re the only ones I can truly smell.  Jerry hates just about every kind of fragrance (odd because he’s a hard core smoker) so I am lucky to get away with Sand and Sable or Inner Realm (which is hard to find but lovely.)  Chanel No.5 or Liz Taylor’s Passion (another wonderfully strong, bold perfume) completely gross him out.  He thinks the body lotions from Bath and Body Works are too strong.  Puh-leeze!

Mom always hated Youth Dew, and if I wore it around her it would give her migraines.  I have encountered not a few people who have had the same reaction, so I don’t wear Youth Dew any more.  Pity.  I like it.  Grandma (Mom’s  Mom) liked it too, (she wore it often, and presumably, by the gallon) and anytime I smell Youth Dew it reminds me of her.  The irony in that is if she were still alive, she’d be 95.

I just don’t want to smell offensive to others as in smelling like bad breath, skanky hair, pit funk,  nasty feet, or butt crusty.  I’d rather smell too fresh and flowery than not enough.

Fanny is the big silver and white tabby cat in the foreground.  Those who are familiar with the song “Fat Bottom Girls” by Queen will get the “Big Fat Fanny” reference.  Fanny is a large cat by any standard, and there’s some big meat on those big bones.  She’s about 15#. 

Sunday night Fanny got out which terrified me as she is an indoor cat, she’s declawed, and she’s slow.  Yesterday morning I think she finally got hungry enough and realized that I would be doling out wet food to Fluffy Butt (the normal sized, long haired cat in the background) and Isabel (the 5# all black cat not pictured here.)   So as I went to the back door yesterday (Tuesday) morning, I heard the pitiful cries of a very large cat who likely hadn’t eaten much in the past 36 hours.  Though she didn’t look any worse for wear and certainly didn’t appear to have lost any weight, she snarfed most of the can of wet food (Isabel didn’t get much) and crashed out on the bathroom floor most of the rest of the day. 

All three of the cats like to watch the ferals that live out in the back yard and on the body shop lot, but Fanny is the only one who takes any sort of interest in wanting to socialize with them.   She’s three times the size of the males- and the ferals want absolutely nothing to do with her lard ass.  I am sure she probably was greeted with a cold shoulder when she decided to sneak out the back door.  When she made her way back she seemed to be quite delighted to be back in the house sucking up 9Lives and spreading out to sleep on the bath mat.

I am thankful she came back and is safe.  Even though she is a lard ass, and she likes to chew on my fingers and ears when the cat food bowl is empty, I have to love Big Fat Fanny Cat. 

I am one of those strange people who likes cats equally as well as dogs.  For a long time I only had cats, because I will only have dogs if I can have big dogs.  Our household is a bit unusual also in that the cats and dogs get along very well together.  Sheena can be mildly annoying to the cats at times but they know how to get away from her when she gets too rough.  Isabel likes to sleep on the dogs and clean out their ears.

I made the mistake of picking up one of the feral kittens out back.  They are about 12 weeks old now and are delightfully cute.  Unfortunately for me, even though grabbing him was easy (the kittens were all munching on some food we left out back) keeping hold of him was not.  This adorable grey and white kitten turned into a raging razorball of teeth and claws.  I guess these little ones are too old to be socialized now.  On the bright side, my puncture wounds are already starting to heal.