Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hair 'Tis

Here in Utah, we love us some big hair. We have a pact with Texas, hang on to those rattail combs and aerosol sprays (howbeit the environmentally friendly kind) because a hairdo can always benefit from a little height at the crown. The rest of the world may deflate and inflate according to the dictates of Hollywood and Nick Arrojo, but we solemnly declare that bigger is way better. With the bouffant making a "comeback", we feel justified and a little smug. We are now cutting edge, rather than sadly outdated.

My ongoing problem is that I have a terrible time finding a hairdresser. There have been maybe three years in the past 15 where I have been satisfied with my hairdresser. There have been exactly 2 cuts out of 50(?) where I have been HAPPY with my hairdresser. I understand that this is a pervasive problem. We all have our reasons. Here are mine:

1) You have to look really hard. Except for my sister, who happens to be talented, I don't think any other licensed cosmetologists are reading this blog, so I can go ahead and say this. Most hairdressers are not very good. 95% of those practicing are under 20, graduated last year, and have extremely questionable hair themselves. (My sister of course is in the other 5%, or I would never have mentioned that statistic. Unfortunately, she lives 10 hours away.) If you blindly walk into a salon, however trendy and expensive it may be, you are given to one of these types. If you don't have a recommendation and a name, you may as well just blindfold your 5 year old and ask him to cut it for you. And when you try to get a recommendation from a) a friend, b)someone you see in Target with cute hair, c) the receptionist at the salon, you are answered with a) oh, my girl just had a baby and quit (the WORST!) and I'm looking too, b)my sister in New Hampshire cuts it and I fly out 3x a year so she can cut it, or c) everyone here is really good and it looks like Britnee is available all day what time would you like to come in?

2) It costs money. And I don't know about you, but if I am going to spend money on something, I would rather it be something I like. Not something that makes me cry when I see it in the mirror. I have a hard time allocating money for something that chances are, I will not be happy with, especially when there are so many other things to allocate for that will bring me happiness, like groceries, shoes, or electricity.

3) You have to talk to your hairdresser. Its true. Those people that don't? They're really rude. Sitting there with their magazine while Britnee slaves over their foils with not so much as a so are you dating anyone? If you are friends with her (but why would you have a friend do it? Don't hire someone if you can't fire them, is what I've always heard) that's cool. But for me, who considers 2 hours of chitchat with a sort of stranger to be the worst most anxiety causing form of activity I could engage in, this is a real stumbling block. I think it even trumps reasons 1 and 2. I could find a potential stylist, have the money in my pocket, but the thought of having to create conversation and think of questions and talk about myself is enough to keep me at home cutting my own hair.

Which is where I've been for the past year. I having been cutting--and coloring--my own hair since last January, when I came home from my last professional haircut, went straight to my bathroom, rigged an elaborate contraption using my laundry hamper, a barstool, and standing mirror, pulled out my scissors and thinning shears and got the job done. It wasn't precise, it wasn't exceptionally even or smooth, but I was satisfied. One box of Clairol Nice'n'Easy medium red brown later, I was ready to go. That's the thing about cutting it yourself. Your expectations are a lot lower. Its not perfect, a little crappy really, but what do you expect, you did it yourself! And with a little skillful backcombing (yeah, I've got skills), a little Pantene superhold, the holes get filled in, the layers look less choppy, and gosh, if I'd wanted something perfect, I'd have let Britnee do it.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Chilis or Applebees?

So one of my pet peeves is adults who are picky eaters. You know, you try to go out to eat with friends but you can't go anywhere but Chili's because someone "doesn't like" Italian, fish, spicy food, vegetables, etc. One of those things that is tolerable in a six year old, but downright disgraceful in a adult, like picking your nose or wearing leggings. Well, as life would have it, I recently realized that I have been guilty of this obnoxious behavior. There is a longstanding animosity I have toward a certain (ahem) vegetable, that I haven't addressed or resolved. I had not thought anything of it, because my distaste for it has been so imbedded in my psyche I didn't even notice the lengths I have gone to to avoid eating it. I don't like bell peppers. They taste like earwax. And earwax is gross. And peppers are in so many things I enjoy: Mexican food, pizza, soups, Chinese. For years, I've been behaving like those people that annoy me, making little piles of soggy pepper strips on the side of my plate, cooking extremely boring fajitas (onions and steak), ordering half and half pizzas. What is this? I am 32 years old. As a child I hated just about everything, and have come to have what I consider a very open palate, and yet I have hung on to this last vestige of childhood stubborness. So what do you do to overcome a bad habit or learn something new? Well, from what I once remember hearing somewhere a long time ago, you have to do that new thing 14 times. Then it's a habit. So this was my approach to bell peppers. When I ordered a pizza, I deliberately ordered the combination. I made fajitas with red, yellow, and green bell peppers. I bought a jar of roasted red peppers to put in pasta sauces. You could say I chose bell peppers. I don't know what number I'm up to, I've been working on it for awhile. I'm probably past 14, but I can't yet say I "like" them. But what prompted this tirade today is that I have found something with peppers in it that I DO love... red pepper jelly! Have you had it? I had it for the first time at my sister-in-law's house and spent the next few days finding out a)what it was and b)how to make it. I made two batches today, one turned out, one didn't, but it was my first time canning, so still yay for me! It is divine. Up there with baked brie and molten chocolate cake from Fleming's Steak House. Maybe #3 after those other two. Ok, and after a really good Nabeyaki Udon with homemade udon noodles. So #4 then. But very delicious, you get the point. I am on my way. Without loads of sugar and vinegar, bell peppers still taste like earwax, that doesn't seem to be going away, but now they are an ingredient in one of my Top 4 favorite foods! (Top 5, I forgot to mention the tomatillo ranch from Cafe Rio.) I'd go so far as to say I could order anything off of the Chili's menu now. Like I said, I have an open palate.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Why Do You Blog?

Blogging has always been one of those things I've thought myself too busy to do. I drive, cook, exercise, nap, play, read, and these with two or more kids in tow. It seemed inconceivable to me that I could find time to spend on the computer, and I just wasn't all that interested in it honestly. I'd have to take more pictures, and be witty, and feel pressured when I hadn't posted for awhile, all very draining things! I'm not funny, a little dull, and fairly disorganized, not the ideal makings of a blogger. Then I got on Facebook. My sister blogged very candidly about her experiences on it and I decided to just see what it was all about. Two weeks later, I emerged from my office to eat and bathe and realized that I was hooked. I started looking at blogs that friends have had for like 5 years. I reconnected with people I hadn't heard from in 15 years, people who were really important to me at one point in my life. I read all sorts of blogs with all sorts of personalities and started to envision myself possibly doing one. I read funny ones, personal ones, introspective ones, day planner ones, travelogue ones, inspiring ones, and realized I didn't have to be like any of these, I could just be who I was and let the blog go where it may. So we'll see where that may be.