Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hair-Raising Salon Experiences.

Let me just start off by saying that if your hair is mega-curly like mine, you probably have hair-raising experiences all the time. But lately, trips to the salon have been no picnic. Several years ago I had a fantastic cut--the best of my life--by a gay man named Donald. Unfortunately, Donald moved back to New York. And I cannot seem to repeat exactly what he did to my hair! I have tried oodles of salons since then...both fancy and basic. Each time, I've tried to explain what I want. And my experience is always about the same.

I have to go back. I mean, they don't CUT ENOUGH OFF.

Unlike a lot of curly ladies, my hair looks good when it's not overly weighed down. It needs lots of layers to catch the light and bounce. I like for the overall length to be long but don't want super-long layers. And for some reason, a lot of stylists cannot handle this information. They end up not cutting enough, and insisting that they've "done the right thing." Then I go home and whine to my mom on the phone about how putrid my hair looks! Not a good scene. THEN I have to go back, either to the same salon or to a different one, and get more of my hair cut off...but it still doesn't look how it looked when Donald cut it.

"Just go home and see if it looks right later. If it doesn't then you can come back" said the annoying stylist who "cut" my hair yesterday. She barely snipped, so of course I went back this morning! Now I'm mildly satisfied with my hair. But not thrilled.

Did I mention that this chick had curly hair too? Only, she flat-irons it every morning? This is NOT what I want from a stylist. I want a stylist who recognizes how curly hair looks best WHEN WORN CURLY. I want one who empowers me and knows what he or she is doing! I want one who does it right the first time, and listens.

Donald, are you out there?

Friday, November 18, 2011

It's Time for THANKSGIVING, Dang it.

I enjoy Christmastime just as much as the next over-saturated-with-commercialism American. Well, maybe not as much. But I also really enjoy Thanksgiving, to the point that I would call it my favorite holiday. It has been my favorite holiday for several years now.

Long ago, when I was a kid, my mom told me that my Uncle Joe's favorite holiday was Thanksgiving.

"WHY?" I shrieked. "You don't get PRESENTS! I like Christmas and birthdays the best!"

"I think it's because it's less commercialized, piped in my Grandmother.

At the time I didn't know what that meant, nor did I care. Now, I completely agree with it. I love Thanksgiving because, while it comes right before Christmas and is included in the end-of-year clump of holidays,  it's a ton of fun and still low-key enough. This year I'm attending two pre-Thanksgiving dinners with Charleston pals. I've got the perfect excuse to make desserts this weekend. Next week, my family and old friends will get together in Florence, eat food and socialize. What we WON'T do is put up a Christmas tree right after we clear the dishes. We savor the tradition of Thanksgiving separately from Christmas. I like it that way.

That's what's up.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Hip Church Sign.

I remember when churches used to have things on their signs like, "Men's Club breakfast on Sunday!" or "Save Yourself and Turn to Jesus!" But now, every time I drive by a church, I'm amused to discover that the sign is most likely trying to attract a young person by alluding to trendy social media.

First I saw a sign that said something like, "There are some searches that Google just can't satisfy." I thought it was clever.

How wise of that church, I thought to myself. They're keeping with the times.

Then, I started seeing more.

"Send a Tweet to God!"

"God has sent you a friend request on FAITHBOOK!"

It has gotten a bit silly, in my opinion. I mean, are young people really going to see the signs on churches and suddenly say to themselves, Wow! Church is actually pretty cool!
I, for one, think that young Christians will go to church whether the sign talks about Twitter or not. Their interest is not teetering on how much the congregation uses social networking...right?


Grocery Store Grubbing.

I went to Publix tonight to score some ingredients for a dessert I'm making this weekend, (no, not that accursed lemon tart!) as well as a few other basic items.

One of the things I love about venturing to the grocery store during peak hours (and it's not the bumper-cart-mayhem in the popular aisles) is getting free food from the "Publix Chefs." Tonight, for example, right when I was pondering making chili again (I made it before and it was easy, even for me) I was offered a free plate of turkey chili.

"Here! Would you like to have some of tonight's feature meal?" asked the bubbly-looking woman in the chef outfit. "It's a delicious chili made with turkey and white beans."

I accepted the plate from her. I usually go to the grocery store during the worst time possible--when I'm hungry enough to practically faint.

"Mmm," I moaned, shoveling food in my face. "Normally I don't like turkey in place of where a four-legged animal should be, but this is good!"

"Yes," said the woman, eyeballing my curvy body and noticing that I indeed don't always opt for the healthiest options. "Well, this is nice and flavorful. Would you like the recipe? All the ingredients are right around the corner!" She handed me a card and I politely took it. I knew there was no way I'd ever make this turkey crap. I was just...starving.

Suddenly feeling ashamed of how vigorously i was noshing right at the front of the store, I thanked the woman and found a less...populated area to eat my prize. I finally decided on the greeting card aisle. I wolfed the rest down, and threw away the plate. Then I threw away the recipe card. Promotions be damned. But thanks for the free food, Publix.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Long, long ago, I used to write poetry down in an actual journal. I'd have an idea, then I'd get out my trusty book and handwrite the poem that sprang into my head. I have tons of poetry journals from my youth, and I still enjoy leafing through them.

But as I've gotten older, I've started (gasp!) composing poems only on screens. It started with my computer screen. These days, instead of a pretty notebook with poems in it, I have a desktop icon. And now it's moved on to phone screen poems! I kid you not. I have probably four or five poems on my phone's "notepad" application as we speak.

I even leave the poems on the phone for a while, to the extent that I'll meet my friend on Thursday morning (we're both poets and we trade) and...hand her my phone. I watch her furrowed brow as she scrolls down the screen of my BlackBerry and I think to myself, This is wrong. A poem should have more organic origins. 

But I can't help it. When a poem hits me now, I reach for the object that my hand is never far from--the phone. I type furiously into the notepad app, then I forget to remove it later. When I do remove it, I transfer it to the poetry desktop folder.


I'm thinking that it's time to start a REAL poetry journal again. There's just something about pen and paper that seems more inspiring.

Do the rest of you write things down on real paper anymore? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this matter!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Intrusive Telephone Call.

I've made a startling discovery. Perhaps some of you have already noticed this.

A real phone call is now an intrusion.

Let me explain. In this world of "Facebook me! Text me! Email me!" and the like, it's now considered "intimate" to actually dial a number and call someone, as in voice-to-voice. It seems odd, especially considering all the phone calls I made as a teenager. I literally spent hours on the phone back then--with acquaintances, with strangers during crank calls, with my friends' mothers while begging them to have me over for dinner.

I pondered the issue this evening, when I was discussing an upcoming rock show on Facebook with a girl I went to high school with. She sent me her number in a Facebook message, and I typed it onto my phone, intending to save it. Then by accident I almost dialed it.

Egads! I thought to myself. I don't want to call her....

And I realized why. Because a real phone call these days is meant for a real issue, between real friends or family members. If you're simply trying to say "What's up," or you're planning to meet at the corner BBQ joint, or you're corresponding with someone you don't know so well, it's preferable just to type. Let's face it, we've all ignored a phone call from a friend, only to text them a minute later.

The good, old-fashioned phone call has become the 2011 equivalent of entering someone's bubble. And you only wanna do that every so often...and with some people, never.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My Fair Saturday.

Happy November! The first weekend of the month is lovely thus far. It started off with a yummy breakfast, and then some shopping. Not only did I find some new additions for my wardrobe at rock-bottom prices (Yay!) but Stefan and I spent the rest of the afternoon at the fair.  I'm glad I got the chance to go, even if it was slammed with people.

When it comes to the fair, eating junk food and seeing the animals are definitely my thing. I don't do rides anymore (I used to be more adventurous as a teen, but my nerves just can't take it these days) so I just enjoy walking around, seeing the sights and eating funnel cake.

At one point when I went to the restroom to wash my hands after feeding a goat, I saw a $10 bill. It didn't belong to the lady at the sink beside me either--I asked her.

Hmm, should I just keep it? I pondered to myself.

But in the end, i decided the right thing to do was to return the money to the restroom attendant.

"This is someone's lost cash, and I don't know whose," I told her.

"I'll see if anyone comes back for it," she said, a little surprised.

She probably pocketed it, and that's ok. She works hard in that nasty bathroom, and at least now the burden is off my shoulders.

After all, I'd rather hang out with the elephants with a clean conscience.