Monday, October 31, 2011

NaNoWriMo

Any of my bloggy friends out there doing NaNoWriMo?

I'm looking for a support system for my first year doing the challenge (yay!)- find me here: Gina Denny on NaNo

Saturday, October 29, 2011

An open letter to all doctors

Dear doctors of the world,
I know that you are intelligent and highly trained in all kinds of things that I don't and will never understand.

But.

Would it be too hard for you to actually check the "fasting" or "not fasting" box on my lab order form?

Because when you don't check one of those boxes, I assume that it doesn't matter. Then I make an appointment for 2:30 in the afternoon, far too late in the day for one to be fasting. I arrange a babysitter and drive up the worst road in this city to get to the lab, I check in at the counter, I fill out a half dozen pages of insurance-related questions and I wait for twenty minutes before being told that I can't have my arm stabbed today because I ate a burrito already.

So, then I drive home, pay the babysitter, grump about it for a while and then realize that I have to change my follow up appointment also.

Oh, yeah, remember that? You told me to go get blood work done, and then come see you a week later?

Well, because I didn't get my blood work done today, I can't go see you in one week. I have to cancel that appointment and reschedule, also cancelling and rescheduling the babysitter I have for that day.

All because you wouldn't make a tiny check mark.

I hope you're happy.

Sincerely,
Your cranky, slowly-going-broke, but not hungry (cuz I didn't know I was supposed to be) patient.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Sarcasm Doesn't Travel Well Via Facebook... Apparently.

So, there's this guy that I knew in high school. For the sake of his anonymity, I will call him George.

George was never the sort of guy who you thought would do anything crazy like pay attention in class or finish his homework or come to school without weed in his back pocket. Seriously, they talked about random drug testing of an organization that we were in together and this kid just about lost his mind.

Anyway. That's the backstory, but high school was a really long time ago. He's now an adult and holds down what appears to be a pretty steady job. He didn't do the whole "college" thing, nor would I take him for one to be "reading" anything in his spare time.

Needless to say, the only way we stay in contact has been via Facebook- the land of all dubious friendships.

So, he posts something very politically driven the other day, but he does it in a very, very mean way.

(Note: I am not going to put what he said, nor am I going to go into details about his opinion, because I don't want the politics to get in the way of his stupidity, which is the star of this story. I actually agree with many of his sentiments, just not with the same venom.)

So he posts this really mean thing with its basis in current politics here in the US. He insults a few people specifically and a LOT of people generally. He makes a very sweeping comment about the intelligence level of an entire political party, an entire religion and everyone not of a particular race.

Lovely, this guy is.

Ignoring the most childish comments and focusing on what (I thought was) the point, I calmly- and without name calling or insulting- corrected one of his incorrect points. This point is actually incontrovertible fact, while the rest of his post was all opinion.

He comes back and says: "I knew it. Humor and sarcasm is something that you people just dont get... lol this was completely tongue in cheeck"

(Can I just put [sic] at the end of that whole quote? Because trying to isolate all the errors makes the whole thing pretty unreadable. More so, anyway.)


I want to be perfectly clear here, so please excuse the bullet points that follow, but I find them excruciatingly simple, and thus practically un-misunderstand-able:
  • You are allowed to have an opinion. 
  • That opinion can be widely different from mine. 
  • You are allowed to express that opinion- and even present it as fact- on every social media platform of your choosing. 
  • You are welcome to engage in a respectful, or at least semi-respectful, exchange of ideas surrounding that opinion. 
However.

I get really annoyed when people 1) are viciously insulting in presenting their opinions and 2) pretend they were "just joking" when somebody calls them on their BS. I mean, come on, my five year old pulls that. "I'm just joking!"

Please.

So, I call him on this, too (I know, I know).

I let him know that the post could not possibly have been "entirely tongue in cheek" because then I would have to assume that everything he said was also a joke. And while only the one piece was concrete fact, the rest is actually pretty well-accepted as truth and are all opinions he has voiced loudly and obnoxiously at other times as well. I also pointed out that I agree with all of his opinions in this particular post, but that lashing out irrationally and then backpeddling with the "J/K!" nonsense is childish and just plain stupid.

His response?

"Again, sarcasm doesn't travel well via facebook... lol... obviously"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A few truths

Truth: There is nothing, absolutely nothing, cuter than a naked baby running full speed around your house, giggling, after bath time.

Truth: There is nothing, absolutely nothing, sadder than sick kids.

Truth: There is nothing, absolutely nothing, more annoying than your husband playing video games so loud that the kids can't hear their bedtime story.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Don't Talk To Me

There is just something about me that makes people not want to talk to me. I really, truly do not know what it is.

I have friends. I think most of them even like me (as opposed to being friends out of convenience... "hey, our kids are friends, I guess I'll talk to you at the playground."). I don't remember a time in my life when I was friendless.

But I also don't remember a time in my life when I was approachable.

Ever.

You know those people who will start up a conversation in the line to check out at the grocery store? Or in elevators? Or in classes?

I'm not one of those. And apparently this aura of "I don't want to talk to you" is so completely obvious that nobody talks to me, either.

Sometime back in high school, I remember looking around a crowded room that was very noisy. I noticed, in a somewhat detached manner, that I was the only person in the room not contributing to the noise.

Now, I'm not shy. Anybody who knows me in real life can attest to that, and even some who only know me via the internet. But I just wasn't a part of the noise.

Ever since that day, I find myself constantly noticing this. Large, noisy rooms, in which I am the only one not contributing. I am the only one not talking to somebody.

I am currently enrolled in a Masters program, and one of my classes in a real, live, traditional college class (the other is online, thank goodness. this kind of awkwardness isn't nearly as obvious from behind a screen). In this class, there are about a hundred students every week. When we go to break, everybody talks to somebody. And, inevitably, the person on either side of me will turn their backs to me and talk to the person on the other side of them. I overhear conversations of introduction, or small talk between people who obviously don't know each other.

I'm just not sure what it is about me that screams, "DON'T TALK TO ME!"

And it is obviously in all-caps, because that's what screaming is. Duh.

But seriously. Does anybody else experience this?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Framed Wedding Song

I did something kinda crafty!!! OK, so it barely fits the loosest definition of the word "crafty," but it's a start. I mean, I made it, right?
This was inspired (obviously) by a couple of different things I saw on Pinterest this week. Nothing was exactly what I was looking for, so I sort of just flew by the seat of my pants doing this. I think it turned out pretty cute :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pinterest

My Pinterest account is schizophrenic. It is alternately trying to motivate me to lose weight and get in shape:

and eat stuff like this:
I won't tell you right now which part is winning... but if you look at my "Recipes" board and my "Inspirational Junk" board... you might be able to figure that out for yourself.


Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Saga of My Hair

For most of my life, my hair has looked something like this:

But then, in January I made a drastic change and it looked like this:

Then I added some red to it and made it more of a dark auburn color. I had a hard time finding a picture of me with auburn hair, but here's one:
While I love that hair color, it is really difficult to maintain. My hair is naturally kind of light, so when the roots grew in, they looked greenish-gray, and it was not attractive. Plus the red fades really fast. Between the gross roots and the fading, I was coloring my hair more and more often, resulting in more and more damage, making me more and more unhappy with my hair. 

So, about two months ago, I decided I was going to go back to blonde. My plan was simple:

Step 1: Go dark to cover the red
Step 2: Lighten the brown just a few shades at a time until it was to a point where I could go to a dark blonde
Step 3: Color it dark blonde
Step 4: Finish it off by lightening the blonde completely.

I figured it would take awhile, but I was ready to be patient.

I went dark, covering the red. It made my hair look really blah, and my skin looked sallow in comparison. It was not a good look, but it felt like a necessary step on the way to recovery. Step 1, complete.

When my roots grew in, I went to Ulta and chose a lighter shade of brown. When I was finished, my roots were a medium brown and the rest of my hair was darker than before. I repeated this process two more times with progressively lighter shades of brown, expecting a different result, but getting nothing but really light brown roots and really dark brown hair. Step 2, massive failure.



By this time, my roots are nearly an inch long, and it's getting ridiculous. Abort plan, get new plan.

New Plane: Go pedal to the metal and buy one of those We-Swear-You-Need-One-Box-To-Go-From-Black-To-Platinum boxes of hair color. For the record, this is the shade you are promised to achieve after one, single 90 minute application:
I figured, even if it doesn't get that blonde, some blonde is better than no blonde, right?

Boy. Was I wrong.

This was last Sunday. I applied the color as I always do- and as the instructions directed me to do- at the roots first, then to the overall length. 90 minutes later, I rinsed and conditioned and looked in the mirror to find...

ORANGE.

And take note of the multi-tone quality.
Yes, white roots, yellow near the roots, orange over the length, darker orange in front, slightly lighter in the back.

It's lovely, yes?

So, I go to my sister, who has colored her hair into disaster more than once and she gives me some advice. I go to the internet for some more advice, because my hair was actually a whole lot worse than hers had been. I make a plan (because having a plan worked out so well for me and my hair already):

Step 1: Keep applying these pedal-to-the-metal hair lightening kits to the orange parts. According to the internet (where all wisdom and truth resides), the orange is a result of the color not being lifted entirely, so longer application is necessary.

Step 2: Apply an all over blond color to even everything out.

So, Monday, I apply another We-Swear-You-Need-One-Box-To-Go-From-Black-To-Platinum, avoiding my roots, which were already blonde enough ThankYouVeryMuch.

Still orange.

Tuesday, another box of We-Swear-You-Need-One-Box-To-Go-From-Black-To-Platinum.

Slightly lighter shade of orange.

Wednesday, yet one more box of We-Swear-You-Need-One-Box-To-Go-From-Black-To-Platinum.

The lightest shade of orange yet. By Wednesday evening, it's sort of pumpkin colored in front, and yellowy gold all over. I don't have pictures of this stage, because, frankly I was really too distracted by the actual hair coloring to worry about pictures. But, to give you an idea of how nice it looked, I went to pick up my friend, Elisabeth, for a meeting on Wednesday night, and she opens her door and says, simply, "Ah! Wow!"

It was still very, very awesome hair. All this time, I'm deep conditioning and washing and conditioning with de-brassing products and just trying to be so nice to my hair, because all this bleaching is NOT healthy.

So, I return to the internet and find out that girls who go Gwen Stefani-style blonde use a professional toner.

Thursday morning, I go to Sally Beauty Supply. I walk up to the counter and say to the woman working there, "I'm pretty sure you know what I'm going to ask you." and she replies, without blinking an eye, "You need toner. A purple one will get rid of all that orange for you." and leads me back to pick out what I need.

Toner goes on Thursday night, turning my hair a very alarming shade of purple, but giving me a result of:
Not orange... NOT ORANGE!!!

OK, so it's still not attractive (and these pictures were taken after the gym, so no judging the lack of makeup or the ponytail kinks), but at least it's not orange. Well... except for a few streaks in the back...

Friday I got sick and couldn't bear to do anything, so the hair did not get touched for a whole day.

Saturday, I finally applied the all-over blond color to even things out.
And it worked! It's not the most flattering shade, but it's even, and it's blonde, and it's not even a little bit orange.

The lesson learned here is that after I did the first We-Swear-You-Need-One-Box-To-Go-From-Black-To-Platinum treatment, I should have done a toner right away. I still might have needed another round of each, but it would have saved me time, money and a lot of damage.
Now, the plan is to keep using this shade to touch up my roots for a few months, because I just don't think my hair can handle any more damage to the lengths. I would like it to be a little brighter, but I'm not going to do that until I can cut it, and give it a chance to get healthy again.
Final tally for those who care:
7 days
4 boxes of We-Swear-You-Need-One-Box-To-Go-From-Black-To-Platinum
1 bottle of toner
1 bottle of developer (to make the toner work)
1 box of actual blonde dye
1/2 bottle of de-brassing shampoo
1/2 bottle of de-brassing conditioner
$68

But... I'm blonde again. And I feel so much more comfortable in my own skin this way.