Bring Me That Horizon

Welcome to jennyweber dot com

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Home of Jenny the Pirate

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This will go better if you

check your expectations at the door.

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We're not big on logic

but there's no shortage of irony.

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 Nice is different than good.

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Oh and ...

I flunked charm school.

So what.

Can't write anything.

= Jennifer =

Causing considerable consternation
to many fine folk since 1957

Pepper and me ... Seattle 1962

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Belay That!

This blog does not contain and its author will not condone profanity, crude language, or verbal abuse. Commenters, you are welcome to speak your mind but do not cuss or I will delete either the word or your entire comment, depending on my mood. Continued use of bad words or inappropriate sentiments will result in the offending individual being banned, after which they'll be obliged to walk the plank. Thankee for your understanding and compliance.

= Jenny the Pirate =

Hoist The Colors

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I am a Blue Star Mother

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Insist on yourself; never imitate.

Your own gift you can present

every moment

with the cumulative force

of a whole life’s cultivation;

but of the adopted talent of another

you have only an extemporaneous

half possession.

That which each can do best,

none but his Maker can teach him.

= Ralph Waldo Emerson =

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Represent:

The Black Velvet Coat

In The Market, As It Were

 

 

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Contributor to

American Cemetery

published by Kates-Boylston

A Pistol With One Shot

Ecstatically shooting everything in sight using my beloved Nikon D3100 with AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G VR kit lens and AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 G prime lens.

Also capturing outrageous beauty left and right with my Nikon D7000 blissfully married to my Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D AF prime glass. Don't be jeal.

And then there was the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f:3.5-5.6G ED VR II zoom. We're done here.

Dying Is A Day Worth Living For

I am a taphophile

Word. Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

Great things are happening at

Find A Grave

If you don't believe me, click the pics.

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Dying is a wild night

and a new road.

Emily Dickinson

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REMEMBRANCE

When I am gone

Please remember me

 As a heartfelt laugh,

 As a tenderness.

 Hold fast to the image of me

When my soul was on fire,

The light of love shining

Through my eyes.

Remember me when I was singing

And seemed to know my way.

Remember always

When we were together

And time stood still.

Remember most not what I did,

Or who I was;

Oh please remember me

For what I always desired to be:

A smile on the face of God.

David Robert Brooks
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 Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.

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Keep To The Code

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You Want To Find This
The Promise Of Redemption

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;

But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I BELIEVED, AND THEREFORE HAVE I SPOKEN; we also believe, and therefore speak;

Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

II Corinthians 4

Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it, have never known it again.

~ Ronald Reagan

Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

Not Without My Effects

My Compass Works Fine

The Courage Of Our Hearts

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Daft Like Jack

 "I can name fingers and point names ..."

And We'll Sing It All The Time
  • Elements Series: Fire
    Elements Series: Fire
    by Peter Kater
  • Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    by Danny Wright
  • Grace
    Grace
    Old World Records
  • The Hymns Collection (2 Disc Set)
    The Hymns Collection (2 Disc Set)
    Stone Angel Music, Inc.
  • Always Near - A Romantic Collection
    Always Near - A Romantic Collection
    Real Music
  • Copia
    Copia
    Temporary Residence Ltd.
  • The Poet: Romances for Cello
    The Poet: Romances for Cello
    Spring Hill Music
  • Nightfall
    Nightfall
    Narada Productions, Inc.
  • Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
    Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
    RCA
  • The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion
    The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion
    by William Voegeli
  • The Art of Memoir
    The Art of Memoir
    by Mary Karr
  • The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
    The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
    by Emily Dickinson
  • Among The Dead: My Years in The Port Mortuary
    Among The Dead: My Years in The Port Mortuary
    by John W. Harper
  • On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
    On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
    by William Zinsser
  • Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them
    Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them
    by Steven Milloy
  • The Amateur
    The Amateur
    by Edward Klein
  • Hating Jesus: The American Left's War on Christianity
    Hating Jesus: The American Left's War on Christianity
    by Matt Barber, Paul Hair
  • In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
    In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
    by Dr. Laura Schlessinger
  • Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy
    Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy
    by Tod Benoit
  • Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays
    Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays
    by Candace Savage
  • Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
    Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
    by John Marzluff Ph.D., Tony Angell
  • Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!
    Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!
    by Andrew Breitbart
  • 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative
    11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative
    by Paul Kengor
  • Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
    Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
    by Bernd Heinrich
  • Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits
    Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits
    by Matthew Rolston
  • Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
    Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
    by Todd Harra, Ken McKenzie
  • America's Steadfast Dream
    America's Steadfast Dream
    by E. Merrill Root
  • Good Dog, Carl : A Classic Board Book
    Good Dog, Carl : A Classic Board Book
    by Alexandra Day
  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    by Lynne Truss
  • The American Way of Death Revisited
    The American Way of Death Revisited
    by Jessica Mitford
  • In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
    In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
    Master Books
  • Architects of Ruin: How big government liberals wrecked the global economy---and how they will do it again if no one stops them
    Architects of Ruin: How big government liberals wrecked the global economy---and how they will do it again if no one stops them
    by Peter Schweizer
  • Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and Their Worldviews That Rule America From the Grave
    Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and Their Worldviews That Rule America From the Grave
    by Brannon Howse
  • Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore
    Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore
    by Eleanor Alexander
Easy On The Goods
  • Waiting for
    Waiting for "Superman"
    starring Geoffrey Canada, Michelle Rhee
  • The Catered Affair (Remastered)
    The Catered Affair (Remastered)
    starring Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds, Barry Fitzgerald, Rod Taylor
  • Bernie
    Bernie
    starring Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey
  • Remember the Night
    Remember the Night
    starring Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi, Elizabeth Patterson, Sterling Holloway
  • The Ox-Bow Incident
    The Ox-Bow Incident
    starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe
  • The Bad Seed
    The Bad Seed
    starring Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack, Henry Jones, Eileen Heckart, Evelyn Varden
  • Shadow of a Doubt
    Shadow of a Doubt
    starring Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey, Patricia Collinge, Henry Travers
  • The More The Merrier
    The More The Merrier
    starring Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn, Bruce Bennett, Ann Savage
  • Act of Valor
    Act of Valor
    starring Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez, Nestor Serrano
  • Deep Water
    Deep Water
    starring Tilda Swinton, Donald Crowhurst, Jean Badin, Clare Crowhurst, Simon Crowhurst
  • Sunset Boulevard
    Sunset Boulevard
    starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich Von Stroheim, Nancy Olson, Fred Clark
  • Penny Serenade
    Penny Serenade
    starring Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Edgar Buchanan, Beulah Bondi
  • Double Indemnity
    Double Indemnity
    starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Porter Hall, Jean Heather
  • Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged
    Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged
    starring Gary Anthony Williams
  • Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
    Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
    Passion River
  • It Happened One Night (Remastered Black & White)
    It Happened One Night (Remastered Black & White)
    starring Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert
  • Stella Dallas
    Stella Dallas
    starring Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, Anne Shirley, Barbara O'Neil, Alan Hale
  • The Iron Lady
    The Iron Lady
    starring Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Harry Lloyd, Anthony Head, Alexandra Roach
  • Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection (4 Disc Set)
    Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection (4 Disc Set)
    starring Peter Sallis, Anne Reid, Sally Lindsay, Melissa Collier, Sarah Laborde
  • The Red Balloon (Released by Janus Films, in association with the Criterion Collection)
    The Red Balloon (Released by Janus Films, in association with the Criterion Collection)
    starring Red Balloon
  • Stalag 17 (Special Collector's Edition)
    Stalag 17 (Special Collector's Edition)
    starring William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss, Harvey Lembeck
  • The Major and the Minor (Universal Cinema Classics)
    The Major and the Minor (Universal Cinema Classics)
    starring Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland
  • My Dog Skip
    My Dog Skip
    starring Frankie Muniz, Diane Lane, Luke Wilson, Kevin Bacon
  • Sabrina
    Sabrina
    starring Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Walter Hampden, John Williams
  • The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer
    The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer
    starring Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple, Rudy Vallee, Ray Collins
  • Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
    Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
    starring Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport
  • Now, Voyager (Keepcase)
    Now, Voyager (Keepcase)
    starring Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Gladys Cooper, John Loder
  • The Trip To Bountiful
    The Trip To Bountiful
  • Hold Back the Dawn [DVD] Charles Boyer; Olivia de Havilland; Paulette Goddard
    Hold Back the Dawn [DVD] Charles Boyer; Olivia de Havilland; Paulette Goddard
That Dog Is Never Going To Move

~ RIP JAVIER ~

1999-2016

Columbia's Finest Chihuahua

Simple. Easy To Remember.

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Tuesday
Jan262010

Scream of consciousness

Kia Soul. Photo Jennifer Weber 2010Sometimes you just have to say what's on your mind. Or at least part of it. The part you can spare.

For me, this is one of those times.

If you don't like that kind of thing, here's your cue to click out the same way you clicked in. I never promised you a rose garden. Au contraire.

o_O

This is going to sound whiny, but why-oh-why can't folks get the words "breathe" and "breath" straight? People! You can't "lose your breathe" … well, I guess you can, and if you do may God be with you, but you cannot write it that way and appear intelligent. "Breathe" is a verb. "Breath" is a noun. Please be advised. 

Same with "loose" and "lose" … good grief. Consult a dictionary. If you are truly unable to distinguish between those two one-syllable words, you should not have been promoted out of fourth grade. If you are a third grader, I forgive you. Just this once. 

o_O 

I will never understand certain automobiles. Kia, for example. Today I saw a Kia Soul. It looks like a miniature hearse. Why would anyone drive that? Especially in black? Please, if you know the answer, leave a comment or send me an email. I will try to keep an open mind.

o_O

The elderly-ish receptionist at the law firm where I spent the day today told me so many times that her favorite color was blue, I was beginning to think she had neglected to take her medication. "Almost all my clothes are blue, except the ones that are black. My dishes are blue," she said. "Kind of like Wedgwood blue."

We do not give every time we are asked, but we give every time we can.

To make conversation, I asked if she likes Delft. Her brow knit and she appeared confused. Moving on quickly, I told her about my granddaughter's sapphire-blue eyes. She told me that her husband has asked her repeatedly why everything in their house has to be blue. She said she finally threw in some yellow to make him stand down on the subject.

I'll bet he doesn't forget to take his medication.

Another elderly lady on staff at the same law firm -- which was chockablock with really nice, chatty, older people -- ergo, I fit right in -- was wearing a sweater that brought to mind those chocolate cupcakes with the white icing loops on top. 

Now I can't stop thinking about those.

"Two to a pack!" she exclaimed when I commented on it. Her eyes were very blue.

I do believe most people are lonely. Lonelier than we imagine.

o_O

This is going to sound mean and honestly I don't intend it that way, because I am truly sorry about what happened in Haiti, but I am getting tired of being hit up at every single cash register in Christendom for a dollar for the Red Cross. No matter what they say, I do not believe every one of those dollars being collected goes directly to the needy in Haiti. Somebody somewhere is skimming.

And when is the last time you heard anyone ask for a single cent to save even one unborn baby slated for destruction in an abortion mill right here in America? Who needs third-world earthquakes to kill children?

After fielding that lady-can-you-spare-a-buck question half a dozen times the other day, I visited a store that was working a new angle: collecting for diabetes research. 

When I declined -- yet again -- to contribute, muttering grumpily that I was really quite OVER being asked to donate a dollar to something or other every time I made a purchase, the cashier stopped what she was doing, looked right at me and said, solemnly: "We do not give every time we are asked, but we give every time we can."

Dare to be different.

Who's "we"? Had she a ferret behind her back? And since when is a lecture -- however brief -- on charitable philanthropy part of the retail check-out process? May I please opt out of the paint-you-with-the-guilt-brush-as-you-selfishly-buy-something-for-yourself phase of my shopping experience? Thanks ever so.

At Walgreens they take it a step further … in the wrong direction. After asking if you want to give to the Red Cross, they start pointing to various items cluttering the counter -- chewing gum, batteries, et cetera -- so much stuff there's barely room to stack up the merchandise you've already decided to buy -- and asking if you're "sure" you don't need any of it. When you say yes, you're sure, they ask if you're "sure" you shopped long enough and hard enough in their store and didn't "miss out" on the many great deals.

Do I look as though I need to be counseled in the shopping arts? At Walgreens? Do I look as though I am blind or no longer in my right mind? Do I look as though this is my first rodeo, folks? Do I?

o_O

Ladies, ladies, ladies. When you are large, you do not look good in pants. Even if you are not large, most of you do not look as good as you think. In pants, that is. Must blue jeans and khakis and sweat garments be the national uniform for females? Can we think beyond the tattered rim of that well-worn brown paper bag, just for a mo?

May I make a wee suggestion? Conceal the exact coordinates -- not to mention the topography -- of your girly goodies and allow your pretty ankles to see the light of day.

No matter what everyone else is wearing. Dare to be different.

Innocent people all around you are hoping to arrive alive.

And lots of you should wash your hair daily, whether you are convinced it needs it or not, and while you are scrubbing maybe even consider getting it cut into a real, actual style. 

Discover hair color while you're at it. 

Also, learn to apply a smidge of makeup. Would a flick of mascara, a jot of powder, a scintilla of lipstick kill you?

If any or all of the above comes across as snarky, well, that's what I was going for. Forgive me, but honestly, the view could improve. Women are supposed to be feminine and pretty. And modest in appearance.

I didn't make the rules so don't get mad at me. 

If you don't know how to fix yourself up, ask someone to teach you. Make an effort.

o_O

Men at church, stop touching ladies to whom you are not related. That sly little side-hug and shoulder-squeeze with optional pull-away back-rub to which you help yourself in the name of fellowship? It's not okay. For the sake of Christian propriety -- or, failing that, simply to behave like a gentleman (imagine!), -- do not touch any woman unless she extends her hand to be taken (gently, there are rings), or generously offers to hug you for reasons known only to her and God.

While we're on the subject of men at church, I would like to add that if you are separated from your wife and/or in the process of getting a divorce, sir, you should not take that as a sign to begin looking over the field of single women in the congregation and forming designs on one of them, and sharing the fact of your budding interest with others until, incredibly, it's more or less common knowledge that you're attracted to someone other than your out-of-sight-out-of-mind wife. 

o_O

If you'd like for me to calm down, the last thing in the world you want to do is tell me to calm down.

o_O

I get to criticize my kids, but you don't. Get to criticize them, that is. At least not to my face. Or my ear. This means YOU, unless you are TG. He gets to say whatever he wants. Whisper it to me, darling.

o_O

I have seen two horrendous car accidents on I-26 in the last five days. I wish people would slow down, or pay attention, or something. Whatever it takes. Be more careful. Put the phone away. Concentrate on your driving. Innocent people all around you are hoping to arrive alive.

o_O

If you are a person with hiring authority within an organization, and somebody goes through proper channels to submit a resume for your consideration of their qualifications for a job within said organization, it's rude and dismissive to answer that inquiry via a relative of theirs you just happen to see while out and about the countryside.

You don't have to do it all at once.

Dig deep! Summon from somewhere within your amazing self the decency and class and professionalism to contact the job applicant yourself -- even if you are chummy with their cousin -- and speak to them directly about the matter. Do it as a sign of respect for the fact that someone thought enough of you to consider working for you.

Just so you know, it's not cute or funny or acceptable to do it any other way. It makes you look very weak, if you really want the truth. No matter who you are, or how important, or how sought after, or how necessary to the process, or how much a mover and shaker, you perceive yourself to be. Tres, tres gauche, n'est-ce pas?

o_O

I'm getting very tired of being jerked around by folks who make their living in "full time Christian service." Just saying! Nobody likes to be manipulated or patronized, but I admit to a less-than-impressive tolerance for being talked down to, or smarmed into near-oblivion, in the name of God. Just because you collect your pay from a church, doesn't make you Him. Not even close.

And before you go away thinking I'm one of those rebels, think again. I'm more in tune with the concept of pastoral authority and God-ordained chain of command than most people. But I've been around the block a time or two when it comes to ecclesiastical sleight of hand, and with certain all-too-common practices I'm approaching my limit. Dangerously near, one might say. As in, stand back.

For a refreshing change, church leaders, how's about letting all that rampant piety work itself into a modicum of propriety? Just a random idea. You don't have to do it all at once. Rome wasn't built in a day.

Baby steps.

o_O

Cruel rumors of Johnny Depp's untimely demise are premature. He's alive and pretty as ever.

o_O

That is all.

For now.

Sunday
Jan242010

Yes ...

... I'm still alive.

 

Saturday
Jan092010

If you were a ... favorite thing (I)

Iconic Chic. Photo Jennifer Weber 2010Barbara Walters was ridiculed many years ago for asking Katharine Hepburn what kind of tree she’d be if she could in fact be a tree.

I like Barbara Walters less than I like fricasseed grasshopper larvae with a side of moldy brussels sprouts and a sour milk chaser, but I love questions that start with “If you were a ...” 

As for favorite things, Oprah Winfrey has sort of trademarked this term but as far as I know -- God complex notwithstanding -- she has no patent on the concept.

(I never watch Oprah. I am in fact a conscientious objector to all things Oprah. Truth be known, I like Oprah less than I like people five times more supercilious and smarmy.)

But I have lots of favorite things too.

I also have the worst case of writer’s block since the invention of the spray nozzle.

If I were a fragrance, I'd be Chanel No. 5

What to do? Why, build on my last post, of course! It involved reminiscing about a certain garment and included the declaration that if I were a fabric, I would be black velvet.

I won’t rest on my (diminutive) laurels but I’m not above making a skinny rope from them.

I think that solves it.

Let us begin.

Chanel Number Five.  The ultimate fragrance, this perfume defines me. My darling keeps me in EDP spray because it is his favorite too. This year for Christmas he spared not the horses and got the iconic art-deco bottle (pictured above) that practically makes me break out into nervous hives whenever I look at it. 

It is that devastatingly, impossibly chic. The understatement!

Staggering.

This brand, this bottle, this fragrance is the very soul of romantic elegance. It is the bottled memory of ten thousand crushed flowers warmed by the sun somewhere in the South of France.

When I wear Chanel No. 5 I feel strong and special. I am literally inspired. Isn’t that what a perfume is supposed to do for you?

If I were a fragrance, I would be Chanel Number Five. It’s my favorite perfume.

Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto Number Two.  (No, all my favorite things do not necessarily have numbers. But when creative greats get going, their stellar accomplishments tend to occur in multiples. It’s handy that the more organized achievers number things.)

This music is dark. It is also emotional and tender and brave and romantic and loud and soft and hurried and slow and deep and turbulent and scary and shadowed and blinding and passionate and heartbreaking and wild and tame and literal and enigmatic and veiled and fiery and cool and glorious and unashamed.

If I were a piece of music, this is the one I’d be.

If forced to bring it in under four minutes, I'd be the Eighteenth Variation from Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.

In this performance I don't know where the piano tops went and I think at least 2 of the 5 Browns are going to need a chiropractor, but they've captured the essence of this mysterious work of art much like Coco Chanel harnessed the inner being of flowers.

That’s all I can think of right now. Part II forthcoming when inspiration strikes.

Monday
Jan042010

Black velvet plays for keeps

Evans Label. Photo Jennifer Weber 2010It was the autumn of 1977 and I was an almost-penniless 20-year-old senior at a medium-sized Northwest Indiana Bible college.

There were strict rules at that place, which I actually loved and of which I have fond memories (the place ... not necessarily the rules).

For fun, mostly we went to the mall, where we ogled stuff we couldn’t afford at stores like Carson Pirie Scott and Rosalee, ate cheap hamburgers at York Steak House, visited Walgreens for shampoo and emery boards, then headed back to the dorm before curfew.

(I now loathe spending time at malls. I’d rather listen to Chairman Maobama read from a teleprompter.)

(On second thought, maybe not that.  But believe me when I say, I avoid malls.)

And so it was that one night I wandered into Evans, a store that purported to dress glamorous, fashionable females at prices north of Sears Roebuck but south of insane.

And I saw it.

It had been hung for display on a rack all by itself and placed at the very end of a long, open, luxuriously carpeted and softly lit space, with fetching merchandise lushly arranged on either side.

I don’t remember how much it cost.  

It was itself long, and black (by far my favorite color to wear, even then), and soft, and mysterious, and unique, and rather expensive.

It was a full-length velvet coat in exactly my 1977 size: seven.

Inside, sewn into the shiny satin lining just below the collar, was a huge black label with Evans ... Chicago Paris Milan emblazoned in elegant white. 

Farther down the skirt, on an inside flap not far above the hemline, was another label -- this one itself in snowy white -- with the words Junior Belle New York monogrammed in stunning black cursive.

The labels spoke to me in a language I understood innately, and which filled me with a strange excitement. 

And I simply had to have the article of clothing defined by those labels. I had never seen anything like it, or for that matter any garment that was more utterly, undeniably, inescapably me.

So -- trembling -- I tried it on.

And found to my delight that the coat had been designed and constructed especially for my frame, my femininity, my attitude, my sartorial vision, my inner glamour girl.

I wore it yesterday, to church.

The coat’s waist cinched with a wide self-belt. There were little tabbed epaulets on the shoulders, and other trench-coaty details gave personality to the bodice and sleeves. The voluminous skirt had been cut from a full circle of fabric and its heavy folds swayed, gracefully flirtatious, just below my knees.

I don’t remember how much it cost; I only know that without thinking thrice I put it on layaway and scarcely thought of anything else until, several weeks later, I paid the balance and walked out of Evans with my gorgeous black velvet coat, swathed in protective plastic, draped over my arm.

Last night I talked by cellphone with an old and dear friend as she drove, alone except for two dogs, the long miles between her parents’ house in Inverness, Florida, and her own home in Huntsville, Texas. 

She was, in fact, my roommate during my senior year in college ... the year I found and bought my beloved black velvet coat.

“I love the new look of your blog,” my friend remarked. “Are those your pearl necklaces and bracelets and things?”

The Black Velvet Coat. Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

I told her they were. “Not only that,” I said. “I photographed them lying on top of the black velvet coat I bought at Evans during our senior year. Remember?”

She gasped, delighted, and, with the unconditional generosity of long friendship, assured me that she recalled the glamorous swath I tore through the landscape while wearing the only black velvet coat on campus.

My friend was incredulous that I still have the coat (although Jimmy Carter was in office the last time I fit into it), as well as the long antique-ivory lace scarf, dripping with fringe, that I always wore hanging down the front as a counterpoint to the inky-black velvet.

In 1989, following the birth of my fourth child and only son, I bought a second black velvet coat. Although its cut and style is more matronly than that of the tiny-waisted ingenue that was its predecessor, the coat is equally glamorous (I think), and it still fits. 

In fact I wore it yesterday, to church.

If I were told I could no longer be human but was obliged to morph into a length of fabric, I would aspire to be black velvet. 

Dramatic yet soft, black velvet is feminine and alluring and faintly dangerous. Beginning as humble cotton, my black velvet coats were woven and cut and dyed and shaped and sewn into elegant and beautiful -- while surprisingly durable -- warmth-giving things.

In a denim world, black velvet takes no prisoners. It brings a thrill of timeless glamour to everyday life. It is a treat to see and to touch. It is an experience unto itself, for reasons known only to those affected by it.

Black velvet plays for keeps.

I want to be exactly like that.