Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy, happy heart day to you all!

Because love is, when all is said and done and done and said, all that matters, mes petites crises du coeur!

Now, go eat 75% bittersweet dark chocolate, drink a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape or try out that new bottle of lube with your beloved! L'amour, toujours l'amour, even when it's l'amour fou.

Friday, February 13, 2009

My dreams these days

...seem frequently to be about my recently ended romance. About a week ago I dreamed I was riding in a car with his long-suffering wife (she was driving), who assured me everything I found troubling about my former lover's behavior was par for the course, his normal m.o. She sweetly thanked me for trying to help him and told me my efforts were, unfortunately, totally useless.

Last night I dreamed my former lover was played by some other man, like an actor would play a role -- but still, I knew it was him. He greeted me joyfully and seemed delighted to be with me again. I said, confused, "Are we still a couple? I don't understand. You seem so happy now, when before you often seemed so miserable and mopey. You seem like a new man!" Then the actor playing him beamed at me. And I said to him, "Wait! You ARE another man, not my former lover," and woke myself up.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

What's to stop me, really, from behaving like an angel?

Since the abrupt ending of my recent relationship I've spent a lot of time walking. Walking my dog on the trail around Town Lake, specifically. And while I walk, I think. I can't help it.

I used to try to avoid making eye contact with anyone as I walked and thought. But lately I've been thinking a lot about people and about human nature and about what fucked up and wonderful creatures we humans are. I try to think more about what others are thinking and feeling than about myself these days. Doing so made my mind turn to Wim Wender's beautiful 1987 film, Wings of Desire. I always wanted to be one of those compassionate, trench coat wearing angels gently listening to the stream of thoughts constantly pouring out of the minds of human beings, helping people, comforting them. Invisibly. Without ego.

So I thought, What's to stop me, really, from blessing people like one of those angels?

Now, when I walk, usually at twilight, I try very hard just to psychically hear what the people walking past me are thinking and feeling. I try to make myself invisible, try to let them walk right through me as if I have no substance. I try to maintain gentle eye contact and a slight smile as I listen to their thoughts. I bless each of them as they walk through me, I say a silent little prayer for them to be released from their cares and their pain and their hurts. If I am not destined to love just one person, my soul mate, what if I were to share that love energy quietly with many instead?

It's so amazing, this meditation. The sensation is incredibly powerful and moving when I walk as an angel. Some people make full eye contact with me and their faces light up. Some are at first surprised by the eye contact, but soon smile gratefully. Sometimes I nod and whisper to them, "Good evening" or "Good morning" as Buster and I pass. It strikes me how sad it is that so many of us poor human beings are starved for any kind of contact with one another.

It feels like a kind of volunteer social work, this walking like an angel. It's good. I love to do it.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Tangee lipstick: Yes! The distinctive waxy, sweet orange smell comes rushing back to me from forty years ago!

Dimestore lipstick! The stuff many a young girl's dreams were made of, from the 1920's to the late 'Sixties, when I was first allowed to wear lipstick myself. And it's being sold again by Vermont Country Store on-line these days. Read these testimonials, like lovely little poems:

Customer Testimonials

Dear Mr. Orton, I received the Tangee lipstick. I wore this when I was in Baylor University 55 years ago dating my husband. I had him kiss me with it on today and he said it was the same! Thank you for finding it.
— Kathryn Turner, Temple, TX

Dear Mr. Orton, Just a note to say thank you for finding Tangee Lipstick for me. Though I am 80, I still like to look natural and not painted up.
— Charlotte Thompson, Chicago, IL

Dear Mr. Orton, I grew up with Tangee lipstick and it seems it changed color according to the color in a person's lips. Imagine my surprise to find it in your catalog. I ordered it just 'for fun' but found to my delight that I could wear it for extended periods without it 'beading' on my lips. I have a very dry mouth and lips and quit wearing lipstick five or six years ago. Thank you so much.
— Mary Dean Bruns, Kent, WA

The year was 1957 and I was a budding teenager, dancing to the tunes of the new 'Rock and Roll' music sung by the controversial hip-swinging Elvis Presley, wearing crinoline-filled skirts, bobby socks, and a ponytail. It was also the time of my first lipstick, Tangee. My older sister and I would ride the bus to downtown Birmingham, AL and spend most of our day at the huge Woolworth's store. That was where we found all our necessities like Tangee lipstick. It was probably the most popular lipstick of the younger crowd. When I saw Tangee in your catalogue I mentioned to my husband that it was my first lipstick. Since we grew up one block apart he must have remembered it too, becuase he ordered me a tube for Christmas. When I put the lipstick on Christmas morning the unique scent and smoothness brought back a flood of memories of places and times when life was more simple than that of a 14-year-old girl today. But I was able to show the lipstick to my granddaughter and tell her the story. Thanks for the memories, Vermont Country Store. These old products are not only useful but provide a wealth of story-telling and information to our younger generations.” — Patricia Mashburn, Williamston, SC

Now, I believe it: Summer really is almost here. My very own Tangee lipstick arrived yesterday and the look, taste, and feel of it make me feel like summer vacation is just around the corner.
— S. Hamlin, Brooklyn, NY

When I was growing up my mother always wore Tangee Lipstick and many times when she applied it I would be standing near her. I am now 67 years old and my mother has been gone for 15 years. When I opened the tube of Tangee I recently received the smell of it brought my mother's presence back to me. It was like she was standing right next to me. Thank you for this wonderful long-lost product, plus for bringing my mother back to me, if only for a second when I open the tube of Tangee.
— Ester Shropshire, Palmyra, VA

The Tangee reminds me of my teen years. Just sniffing the tube is wonderful.
— Janice Bockmier, Santa Clara, CA

Dear Mr. Orton, When I saw you had Tangee lipstick I couldn't wait to get some. I am 86 years old and I haven't had lipstick that suited my complexion since I wore it before the war. I hope you keep having it -- my sister, who was not old enough to wear it then, loves it now.
— Mary Dunn, Smyrna, GA

On hot summer days I normally am not thinking of Christmas until I found Tangee Natural lipstick. It was, as a great comic once said, De ja vue all over again. My mom swore by Tangee Natural for my entire growing up years. She was devastated when they no longer stocked her color or her brand. When I saw this on your web-page I knew, this was mom's Christmas gift. Last Christmas I gave it to her. The look of surprise and delight was one that I will never forget. I finally was able to surprise my mom with something she did not have.” — Ellen, Oshkosh

I should write one of my own and send it in:

"Dear Mr. Orton,

"I am so pleased to see you are selling Tangee, the famous dimestore lipstick of days of yore. I remember from my own girlhood the cheap metal tube, and how one was in danger of cutting one's fingers on it and how one would wonder if a tetanus shot might not be advisable if the tube had begun to rust with age. I remember digging the last precious bit of it out with the crook of a bobby pin, to apply to my lips with my fingertip. We were that poor. Tangee and cream rouge in a little pot were my grandmother's only cosmetics. Tangee and a cake of black mascara with a little brush my mother spat into were her only cosmetics. If I'm not mistaken, when we were in high school Karen once shoplifted a Tangee lipstick from the dimestore just because she could and get away with it. She wore Clinique lipstick herself. Thank you for carrying this product. They say memory lives in the nose, and this cheap little orange lipstick brings flooding back to me all my girlish fantasies and dreams and aspirations.

"--Rachel, Texas."

The Cinematic Orchestra

These guys are incredible. Spent last evening familiarizing myself with their repertoire and now my iPod is updated with their music. My young staff members laugh at me -- I am so into my iPod nano.

You can also listen at, another guilty pleasure of mine: free internet radio that you customize to your own musical tastes. My "station" features Tanghetto, Gotan Project, D J Shadow, Fatboy Slim, Thievery Corporation, for instance. And you can send songs to others. Cool.