November Birchbox

So we finally gave in and joined the local health club/gym. We’re far from the oldest or least fit there, so that’s encouraging; most encouraging, though, is the salutary effect the elliptical machine is having on my elderly spine. But now I need to coordinate my routine and bring along a set of toiletries for post-workout ablutions.

Birchbox this month is right on target for my traveling toiletry/cosmetic needs, even if not all the trademarks hit the mark.
First, with a killer trademark, is Archipelago pomegranate soap:
Love, love, love Archipelago as a trademark. It’s not at all descriptive, but it’s evocative and appropriate for soap. Bonus: it smells great.
Second, with an okay trademark, is ModelCo “Fibre Lashxtend” lengthening mascara:
ModelCo is fine as a trademark – not descriptive; suggestive of the fashion models beauty ideal towards which we all strive, right? – but what I’m really excited about is that this is a full-size tube, and I already ran out of the sample size tube of Chantecaille from last month’s Birchbox shipment, and wasn’t all that wowed by it.
Another item that will serve me well at the gym is this Oscar Blandi hair spray:
“Pronto” is a cute designation for the product without being too descriptive; any aspect of  “pronto” suggesting speed of use is kind of meaningless once you think about what a quick hairspray would mean. Think about it … Now, as far as a quick hair care routine, well, that’s different. I can confidently state after about ten visits to the gym that I have the shortest hair care routine of any woman I’ve seen so far. Wash, spray or schmear, fluff, go.
Here’s what happens when you have good intentions but the reality of the mark defeats you:
On the heels of argan oil we now have marula oil, which, according to the site, is great for dry and mature skin (yes and yes!) and is derived from the marula fruit
Marula products are sold through The Leakey Collection – and yes, it’s related to that Leakey: the founders are the son and daughter-in-law of renowned anthropologists Louis and Mary Leakey. The products they promote are African-made, fair trade, sustainable – everything you could want. So I feel only crass and superficial when I complain that I am just not so sure I want anything with the name “Leakey” on my face. But more seriously, I do understand the desire to propagate the Leakey name and heritage; having grown up in the generation of “Born Free” and “Wild Kingdom” I easily recognize the Leakey name and legacy. I’m just not sure it can overcome its phonetic handicap to translate to a new generation. I’d be happy to see it prove me wrong! In any event, I’m definitely going to see if it works on my dry and mature skin!
Finally, the bonus:
A sample of John Varvatos Artisan eau de toilette. Artisan is in fact an excellent name for a fragrance. I approve. And timely – during the recent tonsillectomy convalescence, my daughter found great solace in streaming episodes of “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” from Netflix – where I first heard mention of John Varvatos, thanks to fashion guru Carson Kressley. 
Good job, Birchbox – I look forward to using all of these!

In front of my nose

With all this doggy recovery, I’m not getting out much. I have to keep a close watch on the dog to prevent her from jumping, so unless I confine her to the unbearable hell of her crate, I stay at home.

So for trademark fun I’m mostly limited to the world inside the house. But there’s still plenty to find. Why, in fact, right in front of me on my desk:
“Look ma, new hands”? Love it. Nice job by Bath & Body Works
I won’t deny that having a dog cuddling on my lap while I watch TV is a grand way to while away a lazy afternoon. Now that the election is over and swing-state commercials no longer clutter the airways, I occasionally watch live TV. And the new Walgreens slogan is just delightful:
This cheerful slogan, in a modern font, is a solid attempt to bring the more stodgy Walgreens name and logo into the 21st century.
And this? Sauté on? Is this some cooking phraseology with which I’ve managed to be unfamiliar despite obsessive reading of cookbooks and cooking blogs?
Luckily, I’m getting furloughed this weekend, so stay tuned for Destination blogging!

The dog days of autumn

I know, you were thinking perhaps I’d provide a welcome respite from the run-up to the election, but I’ve failed you. With good excuse(s), I promise. First, the younger daughter had a tonsillectomy 11 days ago. A teenager recovering from a tonsillectomy beats all previous land speed records for whiny, needy clinginess. She’s back to school today but still in lots of pain, and I thought caring for her alone would test my caregiving skills … but there’s more!

Right after we got her home from the hospital, our beloved toy poodle started acting skittish and strange. When she couldn’t even drag her tiny tuchis off the floor, we knew something was wrong and hightailed (!) it to the veterinary hospital. Well, like mother, like dog: Reggie had ruptured a disk and required a hemilaminectomy with fenestration. (Just as long as it wasn’t defenestration, I always say). Six days in the hospital and untold sacks of gold later, Reggie is home with us trying to pretend nothing’s happened, yet needing my constant supervision.
We’re grateful to the team at VRCC in Denver that took such good care of her. I guess when you shell out that much cash on a dog, you merit a goody bag, and ours contained a cute plush organic pet toy from this company:
Simply Fido is an absolutely great name – I like how it evokes “simplified,” which is a nice connotation for organic products. I just hope the company, with its Brooklyn base, is weathering Hurricane Sandy safely.
Stay healthy, please!