Hair Raising

It was time.  No, really.  It. Was. Time.  Time for what you ask?  Okay, so you didn’t ask.  I’m gonna tell you anyway.  It’s my blog and I’ll write if I want to!

Yesterday I went under the scissors for the first time in probably close to a year.  Well, not counting when my daughter gave me a quick trim a few months back.  My first professional haircut in a very long while. 

I’m not one of those people who spend big bucks for an elite salon style.  Great Clips all the way.  When we moved from the farm I was forced to leave behind my regular shop and while there was a Great Clips in my new town, I only got to try it once before it closed.  The next nearest Great Clips is one town over which isn’t that far really, probably about a 15 minute drive in non-rush hour traffic.  I wouldn’t mind trying that one if we were already over there for some other reason but I didn’t want to make a special trip after work in the midst of home-bound commuters.  Nuh uh, no way!  The freeways here at rush hour are definitely NOT rushing.

What’s a girl in dire need of a trim to do?  Okay, the “girl” is stretch I suppose.  What’s a woman to do etcetera.  Happy now?  In any case I remembered my across-the-street neighbor telling me about a place she had her hair cut.  Daisy (not her real name) had long, white hair which she kept in a lovely up-do all the time.  Then one day she appeared with her hair whacked off above her shoulders!  It was a drastic change but it looked nice on her.  She’d had it cut and permed at a little shop not five minutes from our mobile home park.  So last night after I got home and fed the dogs I walked across the street and knocked on her door.

Prissy, her dachshund raced as fast as her tubby little body would allow to bark at me through the porch railing and I scratched her under the chin while chatting with Daisy about hair.  I wanted to be sure I remembered correctly and she confirmed it.  After a little more conversation Hubs and I headed for the salon. 

There were two stylists on duty, both with customers when we entered.  I wrinkled my nose at the distinctive smell of permanent wave solution.  The wait wasn’t a long and once I was in the chair and draped, the stylist ran her hands through my hair asking if the color was my own.  I have brownish hair with natural blonde streaks that get lighter during the summer.  I told her it was and when she asked about the wave I told her it too, was natural.  She went on and on about how lucky I was (I know) and then asked what I wanted. 

This is the tricky part.  I can describe what I want, I can even picture it in my head.  I can’t understand it for someone else.  I have to trust that they can envision what I am describing.  The first time I have anyone cut my hair it’s nerve-wracking, especially now that I’m growing it longer.  I explained that I did NOT want to lose my length; just a bit of a trim to remove the dried ends.  Going on, I talked about cleaning up the layers because it was way past getting bushy.  I wanted to tell her that I did NOT want a mullet!  But since she was a younger Asian woman I wasn’t sure how that would translate.

She sprayed my hair to dampen it (I know!  I omitted the single best part of having a professional haircut – the shampoo!) and started to work.  It took a really, really long time.  I have very thick hair and she did a thorough job – separating, clipping aside layers of hair and scissoring precisely.  What makes it worse is I have to take off my glasses so I can’t even see what she’s doing.  There’s nothing that makes me cringe faster than hearing the scissors snipping away and not being able to see what’s going on – especially with a new stylist!

Once she finished cutting and checking for stragglers she started blowing it out.  I have used a blow dryer (with defuser) exactly once in the last six months.  At least six months.  I just don’t dry my hair because well, it DRIES my hair!  But the brushing and even the heat felt so good I just let her go.  By the time it was done I was glad I had.  One blow out won’t ruin my hair forever and it looked so cool straight!  She smoothed on a lotion called Biosilk or something and explained that it added shine.  Whatever.  It smelled divine and my hair felt INCREDIBLE!  I paid the exorbitant bill of $16, added a hefty tip and we went off to grab dinner. 

Where my bestie bartender friend raved about my hair and made me one of her signature drinks!  Yum!  The perfect ending to a long, totally exhausting work day. 

And now I have a new salon!  😀

Reset Alert Confirmation™

That was the subject line on an email I received this morning.  In the past year or so I’ve received multiple emails with this subject line.  Not to spam levels but enough that it gets pretty annoying.

The email is supposedly from Windows Live Customer Care® although there is a person’s name in the from field and they’re using a email address.  They’re requesting that I confirm my account or it will be deactivated.  In real life my personal email is through what used to be hotmail.  I had one of the original addresses but for reasons I can no longer remember I let that account go dormant.  When I signed back up had become so I used that, employing the protocol like we do at work.  Now hotmail and live are becoming Outlook.  I already transitioned to the Outlook platform (is that the right terminology?) but I get to keep my address. 

Enter this email in it’s multiple iterations: 

This email is from Windows Live Customer Care®.  We are sending it to all account owners for account upgrade.  We are experiencing network congestion due to anonymous registration of email accounts.  To prevent this, we are shutting down unconfirmed accounts and your account is scheduled to be deactivated.

Then there’s a request to verify that the account is still valid by clicking on the reply button and filling in my information.  Here’s the reply I sent back:

Full Name:  Jane Doe – hey they’re the ones who think I’m anonymous!
User Name:  Wouldn’t you like to know – I don’t have a user name.
Password:  Expelliarmus! – ‘nuf said.
Year of Birth:  1970 – what they don’t know won’t hurt them.
Country or Territory:  Yukon Territory – is that still a territory?

Then there was this:

Enter the 8 characters you see – ENTER THEM WHERE?
Seriously, there is no field or line to enter the characters.  The speaker is non-functional but the characters update to different ones whenever I forward or copy them.  That’s a neat trick. 
When I received the first of these emails I tried to confirm its validity*.  Hell, I didn’t want to lose my email account permanently!  And it’s not like they were asking for my blood type, bank account numbers and my mother’s maiden name after all.  I replied to the email, expressed my concern about providing personal information and requested verification that the email was genuine.  Unsurprisingly, I received no response.  
I’ve been trying to come up with a clever way to finish this up but I got nothin’. 
*I should point out that this email contains the Windows and Hotmail logos, lending it a bit more credibility than your average unsolicited communication.

What is it about kids and mud?

One of my favorite blogs is Caught on the Web, by Carole Terwilliger Meyers.  Carole is a travel writer but the blog isn’t about travel.  Here’s the blog’s subtitle: 

“Take a quick break from your routine with these fun, often funny, and almost always short-and-sweet items found on the internet by travel writer Carole Terwilliger Meyers.”

I’ve found so many cool things there – a hip little boy dancing the jive in  this video; a 21st century Christmas carol; and most recently, the biggest kid I’ve ever seen playing in the mud

You’re welcome. 😀

Happy Hour?

I’m going to happy hour tonight.  ME!  I know I talk a LOT about drinking but I’m more talk than reality.  Probably because my mother was an alcoholic, and with a genetic predisposition to addiction I’ve always been extremely leery of getting started down that path.  During my first marriage I almost never drank.  Even when it got seriously bad, or maybe especially because it got seriously bad.  I didn’t want the hooch to become a crutch.

Between marriages, when I began exploring the single world again I did start drinking some.  Mostly beer or wine, usually with a group of women out dancing somewhere on a Saturday night.  Once in a great while a margarita.  But I can count on one hand the times I’ve been genuinely drunk.  And I can count on that same hand the number of times I’ve been invited to happy hour. 

I’m not sure why I’m writing this post; it’s sort of evolving from where I thought it was going to go.  I was invited to join some of the women in the office for happy hour tonight to help one of our co-workers celebrate her birthday.  While I like most of my co-workers, I’ve rarely socialized with them (for more than 10 years I commuted 2+ hours each way; I wasn’t about to stay late if it wasn’t required!) so this will be a first.  And they’re all babies, relatively speaking – the birthday girl just turned 37!  It’s a safe bet I’ll be the oldest one there. 

This could be interesting … or not.  I’ll keep you posted.

Have a glorious weekend everyone!

I’m a perv

Nothing new, it was just brought home to me how MUCH of a perv I am.

This morning I’m waiting at the bus stop across from the train station and I see a work truck go by.  On it is written, “Goodbye Graffiti.”  This is a company that – obviously – removes graffiti.  When I searched for them a few minutes ago I learned they’re all over:  Seattle, Portland, Toronto, Calgary, etc.  I think they serve a great purpose but their slogan needs some work. 

“We get it off and keep it off!”

Please tell me it isn’t just me?  Pleeeeze!

Music Maestro

I think I may have mentioned my daughter bought me a smart phone and put me on her plan.  I love my new phone, not in the least because it takes beautiful photographs, when I can keep my thumbs out of the way.  I also like being able to play Words With Friends (and the other With Friends games) on the go.  It doesn’t hurt that I can look up shopping, restaurants, etc.  Not to mention I can actually call people and receive calls!  😀

My favorite part by far though is the music player.  Seriously.  Pre-smart phone I juggled my cell phone and a Sansa MP3 player.  Not too difficult when the phone normally resides in a pocket on the strap of my backpack.  But with earbuds in place and tunes crankin’ out I often missed calls or texts.  Not that I get a lot, I just like to make sure I don’t miss anything.  Hey, what if Hubs is trying to get me to meet him for dinner after work?  That’s important!

So the music player is my favorite part.  I tried various free downloadable players but wasn’t happy with their performance.  Not the music performance, that was fine.  With the interaction performance.  Daughter K turned me on to a Sony earbud/mic combination that allows me to listen to my music and answer calls with the phone safely tucked away in a pocket.  It isn’t wireless but it does what I need and doesn’t get in my way.  And it works with the phone’s default music player!  Score!

Now I can pop in the earbuds, press the button on the mic and the music player begins playing.  The only time I need to pull out the phone is if I want to change from the Play All to a playlist or a specific artist or turn on shuffle/repeat.  I can pause the song, turn volume up or down and even go to the next song all with the control on the wire. 

I recently uploaded more music on my phone and it occured to me that anyone looking at my music lists would scratch their head in confusion.  Or possibly nod in understanding.  My collection includes everything from Aerosmith to ZZ Top.  In the middle you’ll find Big and Rich, Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Four Tops, Patsy Cline, Men at Work, Rod Stewart (not what you’re thinking), Pink (yes, really) and Lynyrd Skynyrd, to name a few.  Rod Stewart was one of my updates over the weekend.  I stumbled across his album It Had to Be You, The Great American Songbook which I’d been wanting forever.  He sings some beautiful standards:  The Very Thought of You, You Go to My Head, They Can’t Take That Away From Me.  A long time ago I heard one of the songs from this album on the radio and loved it.  I didn’t know it was him at the time; I just loved the sound, the vibe. 

It would be hard to pick a favorite type of music, as I guess you can tell from seeing what’s on my player.  I think the common denominator of my music is that it moves me.  Sometimes it moves me physically – who can sit still when ZZ Top is singing about a Sharp Dressed Man?  Other times I find myself laughing (Garth Brooks’ The Old Stuff) or crying (Sugarland’s Stay).

I don’t often hear new music because even when I have the radio on it’s usually set to a classic rock station.  So if any of y’all out there have a favorite artist you think I might enjoy, give a shout out okay?  And thanks in advance.  😉