Further Musings

Beauty smote his heart, he looked up from the forsaken land & hope returned to him

Archive for March 2004

I Never Knew What I Didn’t Know

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It would be a stretch to say that I spend $100 a year on personal hygiene products. Now this isn’t because I’m a particularly slovenly person. Instead I consider myself an average, well-groomed American male. I comb my hair every morning. I brush my teeth twice a day because I am terrified of my dentist. In short, when it comes to personal hygiene I would consider myself an average Joe.

As evidence of this I offer a list of my personal-care products purchased each year. This list may not be accurate because I can’t remember how long its been since I bought my last bottle of shampoo but as best I can remember here they are:

1 can of shaving gel.
8 razorblades.
1 bottle of shampoo.
1 jumbo pack of soap bars.
1 tube of toothpaste.
4 sticks of deodorant.
2 packages of dental floss.

I’m not sure when I started living this way but I’ve lived in this blissful simplicity for as long as I can remember.

Now imagine my bewilderment when this weekend when I ventured into Bath and Bodyworks for the first time in my young life. My simplistic world came crashing down around me. Who knew so many different products could be applied to your skin!

There were shelves upon shelves of luminously colored containers organized by shade . . . shades of bright pastel that is. There was a lavender section. There was a lime green section. There was an orange section. Each section had a variety of different products organized by color.

My running hypothesis is that all the products of the same color have the same smell. I presume this is to keep you from accidentally purchasing conflicting scents. It wouldn’t do at all to have your face smell like grapes and your hands smell like avocado. The visually impaired might mistake you for a salad.

I was bewildered by having my eyes opened to this glowing (literally) world of bath and beauty products dazzling against the gleaming white walls of the store. All the products were in a semi-transparent containers teetering on the edge of eye-level shelves ready to fall into your basket.

As I looked around I found myself confused by the large, artificial pink flowers set throughout the store. Fortunately at this moment I was greeted by an exceedingly eager sales girl who asked if I she could help my friend and I. Pointing to a nearby pink flower I asked if Valentines Day fell in March this year. She gave me a big smile,

“Oh no! Pink is our store color.”

“Ah,” I replied.

Smiling broadly she said: “We are going to change over tonight though. Tomorrow we’ll be green.”

“Oh,” I stammered.

At this point we had reached the limits of our common ground. I was about to ask how she felt about working inside a large pastel box that changed colors as frequently as some traffic lights when my friend finally spoke.

Launching into action my friend began asking the sales-woman pointed questions about different hand lotions. This quickly became an extended conversation on the merits of various skin-care products.

Chatting like old friends they began to banter about fragrances as they walked over to the lavender section. After sampling a few items there they began whirling around the store sampling different scents and varieties of hand lotions with an enthusiasm I reserve for sampling large buffet dinners. I followed at a distance, wanting to support my friend but also really wanting to leave.

After being asked my opinion on various smells named “Cucumber Melon” and “Warm Vanilla Sugar ” I decided that knowing nothing in the camera store next door was better than learning something in Bath and Bodyworks. I beat a hasty retreat.

When my friend emerged I asked what the damage was: $48 for three lavender scented bottles.  I smiled and walked towards the car.

That’s 10 years worth of shampoo for me.

Written by furthermusings

March 31, 2004 at 11:11 pm

Posted in Laughter

From Last Sunday

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On Sunday afternoon I was sitting in my sun drenched kitchen talking to an older friend from church. I asked him if he ever thought about the future. By my question I meant to ask him if he thought much about where his career might take him. Instead I received a few comments on the qualities he hopes to encourage in his boys: mainly a sense of curiosity.

Afterwards he asked me if that was what I had meant to ask. Being more specific, I asked him if he thought much about his career. As a dreamer by personality I frequently find myself fantasizing about the future. Future jobs, future situations, future travels, future relationships.

I like his response. He said that he thinks more in terms of things that he would like to be a part of his life in the future instead of a career in the future. He mentioned film, his children, and photography. A career was a way to pursue those things or a income to enable the pursuit of them. His answer has started a thread in my head . . . what are those things for me that I would like to always be a part of my life. Literature. Church. Music. Art.

Now the question is how . . .

Written by furthermusings

March 28, 2004 at 9:34 am

Posted in Reflections

Tolkien Quote

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“Men do go, and have in history gone on journeys and quests, without any intention of acting out the allegories of life. It is not true of the past or the present to say that ‘only the rich or those on vacation can take journeys.’ Most men make some journeys. Whether long or short, with an errand or simply to go ‘there and back again,’ is not of primary importance . . . For if there is anything in a journey of any length, for me it is this: a deliverance form the plantlike state of the helpless, passive sufferer, an exercise however small of will, and mobility — without which a rational mind becomes stultified.�

Tolkien: The Letters of JRR Tolkien. Page 239.
Read the rest of this entry »

Written by furthermusings

March 26, 2004 at 1:06 am

Posted in Reflections


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There is a statistics homework due tomorrow, a paper due tonight and ~200 pages of reading before 2pm this afternoon. Did I mention I have 7 hours of class today? The good news is I didn’t have any nightmares about my statistic’s teacher yelling at me last night.

I want a normal job.

Written by furthermusings

March 24, 2004 at 8:02 am

Posted in Political Science

Can he pick um?

with 10 comments

I came home last night to a panicked phone message from a friend demanding to know what in the devil the Tarheels were doing in the first half vs. Air Force. Fear not my friend, though it was an ugly game, the Heels prevailed.

I can’t decide if I’m any good at this bracket thing. I picked ~70% of the first round correctly, which is ok. What I am impressed by is that I have a theoretical shot at having correctly selected each of the Sweet 16 (and therefore leave the bottom of my pool). But for that to happen I need the Heels to prevail on Saturday.

Go Heels!!

Written by furthermusings

March 20, 2004 at 12:44 am

Posted in UNC

The Way of the Disc

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After my indoor soccer game last night I was walking past the intramural fields as the women’s ultimate frisbee practice was breaking up. Two of the girls stuck around afterwards to throw under the lights in the drizzle. I haven’t really thrown since my last visit to Clemson and I asked them if I could join them.

They had a newish disc that was excellent; their throws were crisp. I can’t express how good it felt to experience the smooth release of a DiscCraft from my hand; to watch the sublime glide of a new disc through the night air; to sprint chasing down a perfect throw with a cathartic release of energy and have the disc spin like a top on my middle finger for a moment at the end of the dash.

The dimensionality of different throws still enthralls me, each journeying on a different trajectory to end in the same place, defining a space in which the variation of angle, speed and height is infinite.

We threw for twenty minutes total. Starting with a series of short flicks and risers, which are throws that skim the artificial grass before returning to chest level, we then lengthened our triangle with longer throws before collapsing back in a natural, unspoken rhythm. As we walked back to the sidelines to collect our gear in the cold, light rain we finished with two or three playful trick throws each. And all of it without the impingement of ego. I’m still smiling.

It’s good to be able to take so much pleasure in an activity. I love the way of the disc!

Written by furthermusings

March 17, 2004 at 9:43 am

Posted in UNC


with one comment

Alas for my Tarheels! Yet another loss at the last minute, this time in the ACC tournament to G. Tech. I know they’ll make the NCAA tournament but the question on everyone’s mind is: how deep can they go?

The one good thing about loosing on Friday is that it leaves the weekend free for other things. If only I had the will power to do them . . .

Written by furthermusings

March 13, 2004 at 4:01 pm

Posted in UNC