February 26, 2009

Meet Our New Trash Can

We haven't had a trash can for some time (mainly because we don't want to fork out the $10 to get one), but also because they always end up stinking, no matter how careful we are. We bleached the last one and it still stunk. We've been using plastic bags from the grocery store for a few months now (I believe since about Thanksgiving), and they have been doing a nice job; however, we have to take them out every day and it just gets tedious. Never mind the fact that the trash bin is within throwing or even dumping-in distance of our daily commute to class. There are weekends, people, weekends where we don't leave the house, and the trash bag gets full.

Anyway, the other night I went out to my car to get some water bottles and found this little humdinger sitting out by my car.

The child seat is convenient for a special plastic bag to collect perishable food items.

Pardon the picture quality-- I took it with my cell phone.

February 24, 2009

I'm eating popcorn...

...and I remember this story. Once, when I was just a wee child, my brother Matthew made curry popcorn. It wasn't bad, but it was yellow and weird and I'm fairly certain he was really excited about it.

I teamed up with Tyler, the other brother, and wrote him a note:

Dear Matthew,

Your popcorn tastes like stinkweed.


Kyla and Tyler

We had to stand with our noses against the wall, but we giggled the whole time.

February 16, 2009


In biology class we're learning about scent. I'll be honest, I was pretty uneducated on the topic before this series of lectures. Fascinating stuff! Did you know, for instance, that memories triggered by smell have greater emotional intensity? And that we have very few words to describe scent? (Quick, describe the smell of a banana or rose-- what comes to mind, other than sweet?)

So it's pretty basic: you detect a molecule and your brain puts together the various parts of the puzzle to determine just what it is you're smelling. That's all nice, but to me scent is much more than molecules, it's memories. I definitely agree with the claim that there is a great emotional intensity associated to scent. 

I got to thinking about it today when I caught a whiff of Victoria's Secret "Strawberries and Champagne" as a girl walked by. I wore that body spray during my internship in Bay Harbor, Michigan, and I was instantly transported back to that summer spent on the lake. Anytime I smell raspberry I think of my family trip out West the summer before freshman year of high school-- I can picture my mom applying some fruity lotion by the pool in Vegas. And the perfume "Halo" reminds me of freshman year prom, my lovely pink dress, and being scared that my much-older date was going to kiss me at the end of the night. 

The smell of wood furnaces still makes me think of my friend Jordan's house and how much I loved being there, and when I catch a whiff of certain laundry detergents I'm instantly at my first boyfriend's side. My friend Cori gave me a strawberry-kiwi air freshener for my car sophomore year of high school, and I can still remember exactly how it smelled. I've searched every Wal-Mart, Meijer and Target since then to find it, and I've had no luck.

I think my most startling scent-trigger was during Spring Break, senior year of high school. Growing up, I had a best friend named Brooke, and when we were about seven she got a new house. They didn't move, they literally took away the old house and got a new one. So I walk into this boutique in the middle of Florida, and it smells exactly like Brooke's old house. After ten or eleven years, I still recognized that scent! 

I've been strategic with this link: I bought the same candle my friend Sarah uses so that when I light it I think of her. I wore only Chanel Coco Mademoiselle in Italy and then only Euphoria in London, so that I'd have distinctly different memories attached to each scent. Here's the thing though-- you have to be careful, or you'll wind up reliving something traumatic more often than you like. Or getting very confused, as I did after my mom bought my dad and brothers the same cologne my boyfriend wore-- do you see where I'm going with this? Sorry Dad, but I didn't want to feel like you were hovering around every time I was with my boyfriend...