Three Things

For wont of a post of any substance, here’s a Friday slice-o’-life list of three things I’ve done most recently, one entirely frivolous (though somewhat frugal); one reverse rebellious (in a lemons-to-lemonade way); and one begrudingly practical.

I’m not at all certain of the circumstances, but be it a Christmas or birthday or just a try-this-you-might-like-this gift, my introduction to the now 201-year-old Murray & Lanman’s Florida Water came by way of my mom in the form of a single bottle some years back.

Unlike my teens and 20s in the ’80s when I’d veritably bath in respective bottles of Paco Rabanne or Giorgio For Men, I’m just not all that much into dropping $30/$40/$50 on small bottles of smell with which to fragrance myself anymore — which is one of the reasons I fell in love with M & L’s Florida Water. It’s dirt cheap and though its aroma can be quite bracing at first splash, it’s scent dissipates and doesn’t hang around like a cloud defining both your perimeter and who you are.

Needless to say, I went through that first bottle pretty quick, mostly as an aftershave. But because the stuff isn’t conveniently located at your local grocery, it proved to be some years until I went looking for some more, finding it last year for like $6 per 7.5-ounce bottle at I bought two.

As I’m now about an eighth of a bottle away from the second going empty, I visited only to find the stuff on back order. Hmmph.

I found another site selling it for the same price, but I got turned off when they had California sales tax listed at the percentage it used to be before it went up to 9.5% a few months ago. I hate outdated, potentially order-delaying discrepancies like that.

So the search continued until I found myself at the archaically quaint Web v0.8 homepage of the company currently holding the L & M trademark: Lanman & Kemp-Barclay. I was pleased it had an online store, but confounded that it didn’t offer individual bottles for sale — only cases of 12 — albeit at that bulk rate the bottles were less than $3 each. Still, questions reared: what the hell was I going to do with 12 bottles of Florida Water? Where would I store it?

But then the mass-quantified, Costco side of my brain kicked in, with the dealmaker being that even with shipping, the bottles would end up being less than $5 each. Sold. Now if I do want to actually bath in the stuff, not only do I have enough, but with our renovation on the verge of completion I have our-king-sized tub to bath in!

If you’ve been here or over at LA Metblogs, maybe you’ve seen my grousings about the guy who tooled his bike around the L.A. River banks for a few minutes and then wrote a definitive and authoritarian column that can be summed up as “Yuck, what a fucking hellhole! Revitalize? My ass!!”

Well in the interest of countering that guy’s half-cocked hatred and canceling out his negativity, I’ve brought an end to my long status as a past-member and rejoined Friends of the Los Angeles River. In the comments of the online sign-up form I wrote:

I’ve been a long-lapsed member who’s rejoining FOLAR because I love what the organization does and more importantly to counter the opinions of people like Dan Turner who take space in the LA Times to disingenuously demean the river I love (as it is and what it can become). Sign me back up!

Of course, with all the other things written, I finally got around to writing the L.A. Times editors a letter, too:

As someone with a lifetime of memories of the Los Angeles River who manages to find serenity and beauty in what it is and hope for what it has the potential to become, I have been stewing and gnashing since reading Dan Turner’s column (“Restore the L.A. River? It’s a pipe dream,” June 3). Wondering how best I could positively counter Turner’s kneejerk negativity, I finally figured it out: I just renewed my long-lapsed membership with Friends of the Los Angeles River.

The sun broke things up and started drying things out before noon today, but up until a few minutes before I left for work this morning, it was raining at a pretty good clip. With most of the area’s meteorological prognosticators calling for thunderstorm potential throughout the day and the news of the deadly potential of lightning still fresh in my mind, I decided that me straddling a steel bike with rain-slicked roads below me and turbulent unstable skies above just wasn’t the place for me to be today. So I – ack! gag! — drove to work.

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Will Campbell arrived in town via the maternity ward at Good Sam Hospital way back in OneNineSixFour and has never stopped calling Los Angeles home. Presently he lives in Silver Lake with his wife Susan, their cat Rocky, dogs Terra and Hazel, and a red-eared slider turtle named Mater. Blogging since 2001, Will's web endeavors extend back to 1995 with, a comprehensive theater site that was well received but ever-short on capital (or a business model). The pinnacle of his online success (which speaks volumes) arrived in 1997, when much to his surprise, a hobby site he'd built called VisuaL.A. was named "best website" in Los Angeles magazine's annual "Best of L.A." issue. He enjoys experiencing (and writing about) pretty much anything creative, explorational and/or adventurous, loves his ebike, is a better tennis player than he is horr golfer, and a lover of all creatures great and small -- emphasis on "all."