They see me. I'm convinced they see me and the smell of metaphorical fresh meat wafts to their salesperson noses. They call their store "Bath and Body Works." They wear a simple green apron. And yet, I fear them.

You know, you'd think this store was made for women, but I think differently. This is a bridge, a tollway for the male of the species to reach the heart of the female of the species. It's like this: you're on your little "suggestion" trip with your gal. She directs you to the Works, because she already knows that you're a guy, and you need the help. She takes you around the aisles, a vertically ribboned color montage, where the world is archived completely by scent. Round and round the fragrance wheel you go, and then she STOPS. Some little coo of delight comes from her lips and she reaches for some product of a purpose unknown to you. A dab here, a spray there, a spritz into the air that she just walks into. She says it's perfect, turns, and looks at you.

"This fragrance is called 'Moonlight Path.'"

Moonlight Path, Moonlight Path. Lunar Dirt, Celestial Loam, La Luna del Terra Firma - your job is to remember some combination off the night's celestial body and mud and you're golden. You'll come back at some time, be met by the Aproned One, and you'll utter that password to traverse the gap to your lady's heart: "Moonlight Path."

Here's how I know this store was made for guys. You've made it to The Smell, and they have it in every iteration known to man. Were it legal, they'd grind it into a powder that could be inhaled into your nose so you'd never have to smell another thing but That Scent.

You pick 3 random concoctions, take them to the counter, find out there's a discount if you get 4, head back to The Scent and grab something else too, pay more than you had ever planned for, and walk out with a pre-wrapped (typo: warped) offering for the lady of your dreams. You'll never run out of ways to do this, because they'll always crank out a new moisturizer, skin cream, body wash, bath bar, and on and on and on. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

Yeah, I went that route this Christmas. Yeah, it worked.



(Can ya'll tell I'm at my in-laws where they have plentiful and free high-speed wireless internet access, and not at my house where there is plentiful and free crappy slow-drip dialup?)

I took the advice of one Rajesh Setty (via Lifehacker) and finally registered my blog on Technorati. You'll notice the new bug and features at the left. I also noticed through this lovely service that the wonderful Lisa at stopahead took the chance to give me some unsolicited pub last year, and while it's late, I thought I'd return the favor.

So take a moment and go claim your blog on Technorati. You might be surprised who's been reading you!


Last year around this time, I took the chance to clear up some of the confusion about appropriate Holiday lighting. I'd like to add a few more rules to the list.

  1. Outdoor Christmas lights shall be left on at least until midnight. Shutting them off at 10:30 p.m. just because you're concerned about the energy draw means you seriously need more Christmas Spirit. Use a timer, use a clapper, use a 3 year old - I don't care - but shut them off much after you go to bed.

  2. CHECK your lights. It's entirely possible that a bulb or two or twenty went out while you were gone. I'll give you a clue - if Santa's body no longer looks corporeal, then something's wrong.

  3. Before you purchase the lighted Payne Stewart golfer look-alike, please think: just exactly where does this fit into Christmas, Haunakkah, Kwanzaa, or even the entire month of December??

  4. You thought I wouldn't notice that Frosty's not actually holding the "Happy Holidays!" sign in front of him, but that it's actually just stitched to his belly? Oh, I noticed.

  5. When you're stringing a tree with lights, try and actually follow the branches. When you just go up and down while walking around the tree, then come back and circle around the tree with more lights to make it look like you've actually done the work, you haven't. You've created something that looks more like a fragmentation grenade.

Thanks for listening, and let's all try to do better next year, folks!

"Light a candle for me, I'll light a candle for you..."