Friday, July 30, 2010

Diary's Weekend

Thanks to the fabulous Mouthy Housewives, who will be making an appearance at Blogher this year (check 'em out, yo), I have been introduced to the online movie maker Xtranormal, which requires only the skill of typing to create a movie.


So, without further ado, I give you a quick glimpse into my world, as I discuss my weekend plans with a neighbor:



Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Post It Note Tuesday (night)

Welcome to Post It Note Tuesday hosted by Supah Mommy. Go here to link up and get in on the fun.




















Monday, July 19, 2010

What Do You Do When Your Brother is Ferris Bueller?

You ask questions like:

"Are you sure we're related?"

"Did you find him in a garbage can?"

"Can we ship him to China?"


"Can we sell him on E-Bay?"




Or you:


Post embarrassing video of him peeing his pants when he was 3 on Facebook.


Hack his Facebook page and post about how much he loves Justin Bieber.


Steal his cell phone and send text messages saying godknowswhat to all the girls in his address book.




You want to know what my kids are like? Just look at the two pictures at the top of this post. That's them to a T. Their personalities are so in line with those two that I am thinking of legally changing their names to Ferris and Jeannie. I'm not a mom, I'm an arbitrator, a mediator, the entire UeffingN.


What do you do when your children are Ferris and Jeannie? You change your name. No longer will I be content to hide my identity from you. . . ladies and gentlemen, my name is Kofi Annan.








Sunday, July 18, 2010

Letting Go


Three months ago, my son came to me and asked to go to the Vans Warped Tour. For the uninitiated, Warped is a big, open air festival with 10 stages and scores of different alternative music acts that nobody over 30 has heard of. My immediate response was a resolute "NO!". My husband and I usually take him to see whatever shows he wants to see, but this was outdoors, in July and included mosh pits where scores of sweaty Scene Kids bang their heads, flail arms and legs and drip technicolor hair dye on each other. Not so good for the over 40 set.



Needless to say, he was unhappy with my answer and countered with how so and so's mother was going to chaperon a group of 7 kids. My response to this was "I don't know so and so's mother and how does she plan to rescue her kid when they get sucked into the swirling vortex of a mosh pit?". Once again, unhappy teen.




The harassing went on for a short period of time and eventually got lost in the chaos of finals and friends going off to camp and other end of school year whatnot. Then, like George Michael, it rose up again, out of nowhere and crashed through my living room. This time he asked to go with different friends and a smaller group. This time an older brother, in his early 20's was chaperoning. This time, I knew the parents of this friend and knew that they were very protective of their daughter. They would be well looked after. This time, despite my concerns, I said "Yes".




It wasn't easy for me to get to yes. There was a labyrinth of decisions and concerns that I had to wade through to get to yes.




Was he responsible enough?
Would he avoid the mosh pit of doom?

Would he be able to navigate around any drunk or druggy attendees?

Would it be too hot?

Would he remember to hydrate?

Would his hair frizz? (What? It's July, people.)




Well, guess what? He made it back alive. He rolled in around 11:00 PM, so excited to have gone. He got his sneakers signed by his favorite band (Pierce the Veil? I know. Me either.), saw five different bands perform and managed to get a great picture of Never Shout Never for his sister (I know. Me either.). And while they had a minor incident where his friend got bonked in the head by an out of control crowd surfer, they took her to the medical tent and seemed to handle situation responsibly and she ended up being ok.




My son has often accused me of being a little overprotective. But despite these tendencies, I let him go. It's not like I didn't text every half hour or so reminding him to hydrate. And it's not like I didn't pace or chew my nails a little whenever I stopped and thought about him being there. But I did manage to be at ease with it enough that I didn't have to take a xanax or breathe into a paper bag to stop hyperventilating. Attending this concert was only one small step in my son's blossoming independence, but it was one giant leap for "Helicopter Mom".














Monday, July 12, 2010

What are Words Worth?



Before I went on my mini blogcation, I threw a challenge out there to all of you, to come up with some words that I would have to weave into a statement about myself. I asked you to offer up obscure words that would challenge me a little bit. I must say, you came through. Still, I managed to put most of your oddball words into a personal context. All of what you are about to read is completely true.


No one would ever describe my voice as mellifluous. I have a harsh New York accent that makes me sound like I stepped out of the 1980's movie "Working Girl". Luckily I don't wear my hair like they did or I never would have gotten a job.


Our family went to a lot of air shows when I was young. My father has his private pilot's license and has always been obsessed with anything that flies. One year, we went to a fly-in in Oshkosh Wisconsin. As we were enjoying a lovely day watching planes, copters and dirigibles, a horrible thing happened. One of the Blue Angels crash landed right in front of us. Throughout my life, I have had nightmares of flaming planes falling out of the sky in times of stress. This could be what I am reliving.


I am a recreant hairdresser. I started my career cutting hair and even ran my own salon for a couple of years, but I found the daily process of that kind of close contact with people to be extremely draining. I felt like everyone thought they had a license to unburden their problems on me and it took a toll. I also did not have any health benefits, so I bailed on the career and joined the corporate workforce. It turned out to be the right decision for me.


When I first started working in banking, I tried to get my friends to join me so that the big corporate world wouldn't be quite so big and scary. One of my stranger recruits was my friend Ricky. He had an uncontrollable compulsion to look at other men's equipment in the men's room. It was like he couldn't stop himself. He had to compare and contrast. And while I did not need or want to know which of my work colleagues had an anaconda or dickfur, thanks to Ricky, I found out.




Ever since the movie Boogie Nights came out, I have loved Philip Seymour Hoffman. I find him to be the most versatile and amazing actor and he seems to choose his roles with great care. So, I was a little chagrined when the movie "Along Came Polly" came out and I found out that he was in it. I was fully prepared for the movie to be a total shitburger and for him to fall off the acting pedestal that I had placed him on. Wrong again DG! He was hilarious. As a matter of fact, I think he stole the movie AND he introduced me to the word "shart", which makes me laugh every time I hear it. Never gets old.




When I was a kid, my favorite crayon was the magenta crayon in the Crayola 64 box. The problem is that it did not hold up over time. When I would use it in a coloring book, it would eventually bleed and it would end up looking like a fuschia colored grease stain.


When I was in forth grade, we went to Washington DC for a family vacation. It was a tumultuous time in the nation's capitol, as we were deep in the throes of the Watergate scandal. I remember seeing protesters in front of the White House, but not really grasping what was going on. Shortly after we returned from that trip, Nixon resigned and Gerald Ford assumed his post as President of the United States, pardoning Nixon shortly after.




When I grew up, parents still believed in the arcane notion that if you spare the rod, you spoil the child. On any given day, the sound of spankings resonated from most of the homes on the block. We lived, but I doubt many of us have carried the practice forward.


I hate drama so I avoid office politics and gossip like the plague. This has a positive and negative result. On the plus side, I don't have any negative interactions with anyone. On the minus side, I am out of the loop and often get blindsided by things that I could have prepared myself for by getting clued into office gossip.


When I was in Jr High School, I used to have to walk way down to the far end of the block to get to the bus stop. About three houses before the bus stop, there was a house where a middle aged woman cared for her alcoholic, shellshocked, WWII veteran father. Every now and then he'd escape her watchful eye and he would stand at the front door in his bathrobe and juggle his doodlesack. We knew he was mentally ill, but it was still pretty horrifying. Luckily, he was too much of a wetbrain to operate the door and come outside on the lawn to do his juggling act.


When I was in Jr High School I had the most unfeminine collection of female teachers. I swear they were all just biding their time waiting for their gender reassignment surgery.


When I was a kid, certain cold cuts used to wig me out. I used to stand at the deli counter while my mother was ordering and ponder the stranger offerings. I can remember staring at the Ham Loaf, Olive Loaf, Tongue, Head Cheese and the pickled pig's feet in the case. I used to glare at people if they ordered any of these mystery meats, trying to figure out what was wrong with them that they would consider eating these horrifying foodstuffs.


I am not really one for drug use (I don't judge, I just prefer not to dabble) . Part of the reason is that street drugs are just way too uncontrolled for a germophobe like me. Knowing that it is possible that your marijuana was smuggled in someone's asscrack is a major deterrent. If that person did not give a courtesy wipe to correct his swamp ass before smuggling, then that is going to be some skunky smoke. I wouldn't risk smoking someone's funky ass-sweat. Whatever keeps you on the straight and narrow. . .


Our house is not a peaceful and quiet one. On any visit, you could arrive to a cacophony of barking dogs, my son's band, the kids fighting, the blender whirring up frosty drinks, the TV blaring, the phone ringing off the hook, etc. This is not where you come for a tranquil, meditative visit, but it's a great place to party.


Some of my son's friends are starting to have girlfriends. I dread the day that one of them brings one of their bimbos to band practice and puts their basorexia on display. I know the day is coming, I will have to eat lightly until then so there isn't that much to throw up in my mouth.


Backfat. It's the main reason I don't do sleeveless.


When my brother was a little kid, he had some very strange eating habits. When my mother would set the table for dinner, he used to steal hunks of eat butter and margarine and eat them. Then at dinner, he would take the salt shaker and turn it upside down on top of his steak, making little white piles of salt. I always threatened to install a salt lick at his seat.


I know that this post wasn't very titillating, but it was all true. Thanks to all the lovely bloggers that contributed words to my post. Please visit them and commend them on their vocabularies.

WORD CONTRIBUTORS:


Mellifluous – Knitter Gran


Dirigible - Lin


Recreant - Allyson


Dickfur – SurferWife


Shart - Anonymous


Gerald Ford - Sara


Loop – Linlah


Arcane – Linda Medrano


Fuschia - Hokgardener


Doodlesack – Susan Fobes


Gender Reassignment – Sarah Lindahl


Ham Loaf – Sarah Lindahl


Courtesy Wipe – Sarah Lindahl


Cacophony – Aunt Becky


Basorexia – Mom of the Perpetually Grounded


Backfat - Kat


Saltlick – Sarah Lindahl


Titillating – Tropical Mum


Monday, July 5, 2010

Gone Fishin' - (Not really, I'm not at all outdoorsy)



Hi everyone! I am going to be taking a teeny tiny blogcation during July, so I will be missing in action until after next weekend. I expect to be back in time for Post It Note Tuesday (7/13). I will also be away from your blogs until then, so try not to have too much fun without me (I get very bitter when I miss a party).




While I am away, giving my brain the summer scrubbing that it so desperately needs, I would love to have some help from you nice people, in putting together a little writing exercise that I can use to sharpen my writing chops when I return from my break.





Here's what I'd like you to do:





Leave a single word in my comments, the more obscure the better. I will try to make that word into a relevant sentence about myself.





With your help, I will be able to shake off the vacation cobwebs and share a little bit about myself in the process. Should be fun or it could be like watching paint dry . . .it's a risk we take together.





See you all in a week and change!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I'll Take Not all Brazilians are Baldies for 100 Alex



WHAT IS A BRAZILIAN KERATIN TREATMENT?




When I told folks that I was going to have a Brazilian Keratin Treatment this weekend, they arched their eyebrows and looked confused as if I had committed a felonious overshare. I then found myself in the awkward position of explaining that I was not referring to what the Kardashian Sisters do to each other as recreation (please click the link, you must see it to believe it). It's a hair straightening process.

Being that I am a licensed (but nonpracticing) hair professional, it was important to me to understand what I was getting into, so I did exhaustive research on the process. Please bear in mind that this is not a recommendation, just a collection of information that you can use to help you form your own opinion:

What is it: It is a temporary "resurfacing" of the hair shaft which uses a flat iron to bake a keratin solution into the hair. I would call it a resurfacing more than a straightening because the keratin does not completely penetrate the hair shaft. The baked on protien creates a glossy and frizz free result that maintains some body and wave, but resists humidity, prevents frizz and softens curl.

How long does it take: I was in and out in 1hr and10 min, but I have somewhat fine hair. Thick hair would probably take closer to 2 hrs.

How long does it last: I don't really know. My stylist said that with proper care, it could last 4-6 months, though most products claim 2-3 months on average.

Why it's different from other straightening methods: It is not permanent and washes out gradually over time. Hair eventually reverts to its original texture.



PROS and CONS:

PROS:

1) Hair resists humidity, so your hair stays the way you style it. In my area the summers are particularly brutal and humid, so I usually spend the summer looking like a rouge colored cotton ball. Having smooth hair is unheard of in the summer. Woot!

2) Hair dries fast. Five minutes seems to be the average time. I am guessing that this is because the hair is sealed, maybe it is not taking on as much water, so it dries faster. But that's just a guess.

3) Shine, shine, shine. I have always wanted shiny hair, but frizz is generally not reflective, so that's wasn't possible for me for about four months out of the year.

4) There is a formaldehyde free product available called Brazilian Blow Out (my salon did not have all of the components in yet or I would have gotten that one - next time). This product claims to be 100% formaldehyde free. The jury is out on how long it lasts though. Without any experience with the product, my stylist wasn't able to give me an estimate.

5) It's not a chemical, so you can put it on top of prior chemical services without concern. It can supposedly go on top of highlights, color, relaxed or permed hair. It is supposed to improve the texture and shine of hair that has been dried out by these other processes. My hair is color treated and I did not have any issue.

6) Non damaging and hair maintains body. Other straightening processes are (relaxers, Japanese straightening) are fairly harsh chemicals and can take a toll on the hair. They also leave the hair poker straight and without body. Keratin maintains body in the hair.

7) No line of demarcation. When other straighteners grow out, there is a wavy line of new growth against the pin straight ends. This eventually has to be touched up. Keratin washes out of the hair shaft evenly and gets reapplied to the entire head without concern for damage or breakage from overlapping.

8) The results:




CONS:


1) It is not swim-friendly. As a matter of fact, avoiding saltwater and chlorine completely would be the best way to go as they both tend to pull the product out of the hair and shorten the lifespan of the process.

2) It contains formaldehyde. Depending on which brand is used, it could contain very little or an unsafe level of formaldehyde. The product used on me is supposedly tested and controlled to maintain a .02% level, which is supposedly a "safe" level for the customer (though for the operator giving repeat treatment, is any level "safe"?). The formaldehyde fumes can irritate lungs, eyes and nasal passages. Salons should be doing this process with proper ventilation.

I gave a lot of thought to this and almost backed out of the process as a result, however, when I weighed the frequency of the service with other exposure risks (ie. nail salons, etc) I realized that, as a pretty low maintenance woman, my exposure is pretty low.

The formaldehyde vapors are released when the hair is dried and flat iron and my eyes did burn a little when the front of my hair was blow dried. Other than that, I did not notice any fumes or experience any other discomfort. Most salons offer goggles and ear covers for protection.

3) You have to use sulfate and sodium free shampoo, which is very tough to find. Ultimately, you end up buying the maintenance products from the salon, which will cost an extra $50 on top of the process cost.

4) You can't wash your hair, sweat or get your hair wet for up to four days after the treatment, depending on the product used. I used a product that can be washed in 24 hours. I wouldn't have made it 4 days.


5) It's expensive. Depending on the salon and the product used, the process can cost anywhere from $150 to $350 dollars.