Tongue Twister

Say this ten times fast:

My noisy neighbors are my nemeses

My noisy neighbors are my nemeses

My noisy neighbors are my nemeses…

While looking up the plural of nemesis, I discovered that Nemesis was a Greek goddess. The goddess of retribution, who “punishes excessive pride, undeserved happiness, and the absence of moderation.” Well, the noisy neighbors fall under the “absence of moderation” category. They must think they are playing Madison Square Garden instead of a tiny basement in a residential neighborhood.

Now I am going to have to blast my CD of rainforest sounds in order to carry on with Speak, Memory. Did you know that lepidoptery is the study of butterflies and moths? Nabokov was an avid lepidopterist. I am enjoying his memoir. His writing is so lyrical that it almost feels like I am listening to music instead of reading.

Return of the Peeps


Sweet jesus, the Peeps are back. I halfheartedly glanced at the Valentine’s Day candy in CVS, and there they were. Bright pink heart-shaped Peeps. And just around the corner, there were my old friends, the yellow chick and purple bunny Peeps. For a minute, order felt totally restored in my life. It is a great comfort knowing that there is a sizable supply of Peeps just down the street.

Speaking of comfort, I have discovered a scent that gives me an overwhelming sense of comfort….but I have no idea why. I call it:

The Mystery of the Iris.

Rewind to last fall. I was visiting western NY, and my mom and I popped into a Crabtree and Evelyn store in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Right in the front of the store was a new scent: Iris. I sniffed it. I thought, I love this smell. Wait, I KNOW this smell. I know this smell like I know the smell of my grandma’s kitchen, or the smell of the woods in my family’s backyard.

This was a “long ago smell.” A smell that I couldn’t get enough of. A smell that made me feel comforted and safe and happy. But I could not place it. I debated buying some lotion or perfume, but it was expensive. I soon forgot about it…

…Until last week, when I was shopping in Faneuil Hall, and walked by a Crabtree and Evelyn. I had forgotten there was a Crabtree and Evelyn there. I walked in and was greeted by the Iris. I sniffed it again and there were those feelings again. It was still expensive, but I didn’t care this time. I needed to figure out the mystery. I bought a small bottle of lotion. I use it every few days, rationing it so it lasts longer. I keep hoping that one day, I will remember why I remember this smell. Someone I knew must have worn this scent.

But who?



The horror. The horror.


It’s the last week of January, so it’s time to buckle down and work on the birthday list. I’m a bit behind, but it’s been hard to be motivated when buried in snow. I completed my second item last night: Watching Apocalypse Now (#28 on AFI’s top 100 movies list). Shudder. It seemed like a realistic portrayal of the Vietnam War. It was insane. Which war is, right? It was interesting to watch young Martin Sheen, Harrison Ford, and Dennis Hopper. And an old and scary Marlon Brando!

I began my third item right after the movie ended: Reading Nabokov’s autobiography Speak, Memory (#8 on the Modern Library’s top 100 nonfiction books list). I don’t squat about Nabokov, except that he wrote Lolita (which I read a few years ago). I enjoy autobiographies and biographies, so this should be a good read.

Thirty-three items to go.