I colored my hair yesterday. No big deal. (Read: hahaha.)

I’ve been pretty productive lately, even though I also managed to waste a lot of time yesterday… not due to procrastination, but due to the decision I made to color my hair yesterday morning. It’d been so long since the last time, I did it wrong. The follies I committed in the process dragged the whole operation out beyond the precious time I’d allocated for it.

We’re at the advent of a long stretch of summer; my hair is at its most red by the beginning of October. It gets redder and lighter down toward the ends, which makes it look more fried than usual. I’ll get ahead of it and start this summer with freshly darkened hair, went my thinking. I picked up some “dark brown,” my go-to choice for Mission: Single-shade Hair.

Evidently, I’d forgotten how the process works. I started by putting on an old t-shirt. This would’ve been correct had the t-shirt not been a men’s size XXL with the neckline cut out. Basically, I wore a huge, loose, off-the-shoulder t-shirt dress… for the occasion of coloring my hair… dark brown. (Lest we forget that I’m a brilliant genius.) It wasn’t until after I was finished that I saw the gruesome aftermath on my skin. I’d been so focused on my hair that I failed to notice the color getting everywhere else.

I realized too late that 1). it’s not a good idea to undertake a hair-coloring enterprise when I’d be alone wielding a bottle of hair dye and no clue how to deal with the back of my head, and 2). the answer to the struggle is not to flip my wet, color-saturated hair from one side of my head to the other, or to turn my head around as far as possible so I could pull under-pieces from the back toward the front. If only I could swivel my head around like the girl in “The Exorcist,” I even thought at one point. Someone should start a Rent-A-Demon business.

Since it took so long to finish the color application (45 minutes), the dye on my skin had already dried by the time I noticed it… just when I was feeling proud of myself for getting every single hair. I ended up grabbing at nearby paper towels, leaning over the sink and frantically scrubbing the right side of my face and neck, part of my throat, the back of my neck, and parts of my collarbones, shoulders, and upper chest. And my left wrist, and a few fingers, even though I’d worn the flimsy enormous plastic gloves that came with the dye.

I felt like a murderer in a gas station bathroom. Now I understand why it takes murderers so long to clean up, and why the clean-up scene is usually cut mid-way through and the next thing you see is a pile of bloody paper towels after the successful clean-up job, or the murderer leaving the bathroom all spic and span, or even further, the murderer scrubbing off blood one minute and showing up at someone’s dinner party with a bouquet the next.

Callaghan called me two hours later when I was fresh out of the shower and still faintly splotchy even after all the scrubbing with a Japanese washcloth (rough like a cat’s tongue) my skin could handle. The residual stains on my skin did look like they could be bloodstains.

“I look like I did something heinous,” I told Callaghan when he asked me how my morning was going. “Are you still going to Costco after work? Could you please pick up some nail polish remover?”

“You don’t wear nail polish. What did you do?”

“I colored my hair this morning. And also the side of my face. And parts of my neck and upper chest. Pretty much my entire upper body, plus my left wrist and a few fingers.”

After he stopped laughing, he said, “It will come off eventually. Give it another few showers.”

“But I’m going to the gym tomorrow morning and I don’t want to look like a murderer.”

When he got home, Callaghan said, “I had to go to CVS for this. You know this stuff is mostly acetone, right? There’s nothing in here that’s inoffensive.” (Yes, he said the word “inoffensive.” The man may have a French accent, but he also has an English vocabulary that puts many Americans’ to shame.)

“Did you go to the CVS?” (The CVS where people tend to get shot or otherwise murdered. It’s our friendly neighborhood CVS, aka the murder CVS.)

It took the two of us a good 30 minutes to scrub me down with acetone. We were able to get most of the dye, but not all of it. Altogether, I spent almost three hours of yesterday doing my hair.

A pic of my uniformly dark brown hair, so you know that it happened:

 

(dark brown)

 

By the way, my t-shirt reads “My disappointment is immeasurable and my day is ruined” (Reviewbrah quote.) I didn’t choose the shirt on purpose. It was a coincidence. Also, I’m not actually disappointed. I think my hair turned out pretty well.

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Possible mid-life crisis sighting: new glasses?! (+ 1st cardio class on new meds!)

I stepped on my glasses yesterday. They were laying on the ground, on the brick pavement part of our back patio, because I’m a brilliant genius. That’s right. Not just any kind of genius. A brilliant genius. Luckily, I was wearing cloth house slippers. The damage could’ve been worse. My expensive progressive lens sat perfectly unharmed – not even scratched – within frames that were bent like a flimsy wire hanger from the dry cleaner’s.

A few hours later, I headed to my optometrist with hopes that the frames could be fixed. While I was there, I did what people naturally do when they’re in a room surrounded by glasses frames: I checked out the glasses frames.

To my dismay, I found a pair that I really, really liked. The entire room, I lamented to Callaghan, is like the cash register lane where they stock things they know you’ll consider buying just because you’re stuck in line with nothing to do but look at them.

I do not need an additional pair of glasses. I just felt like I needed them. My replacement frames were on order (100% covered by the warranty), and I was still sitting there staring wistfully at the unnecessary glasses frames. Callaghan coaxed me away so we could leave. “Allez, allez! On y va!” He said as he walked away from me, leaving me no choice but to follow him. (Classic French husband move.)

So here’s what I’m thinking: I’ve been waiting for and wondering about and anticipating my well-earned mid-life crisis so much that now, every time I get a wild hair up my ass, I think, could this be it?

Maybe this glasses thing is my mid-life crisis, since it fits the cliché: I have this sudden, strong desire to blow a stupid amount of money on something I don’t need. (“Stupid amount of money on something I don’t need ” converted to U.S. currency = anything more than $25.00, maybe $30.00 if you include shipping and tax.)

If this is it, I’m disappointed. The object of my irrational desire should be something more mid-life-crisis-ish. If this isn’t it, then what will it be, and when? Will I reach the end of my natural lifespan and finally realize that I need a Maybach? I do tend to be a late bloomer.

Totally unrelated because I wanted to post a pic and didn’t know what and I wanted to share this small victory with you, anyway: I have a selfie I took yesterday evening when I came back from Body Combat, significant because it marks the first cardio I’ve done in while.

I mean, okay, it’d only been two weeks since my last Combat class, but it seemed longer. Yesterday was the first time in a long time I could get through class without feeling like it was an exercise in dragging myself through wet cement.

Probably not coincidentally, it was my first cardio workout since starting my new medication. It seems that my new treatment plan is working! Despite side effects, I felt much better in class yesterday, and not just because I held back a little on the hardcore. Before the new medication, each Combat class felt successively more impossible; the last one was a disaster.

 

(02 May 2018 – commemorating my first cardio class since the addition of my new medication! It seems to be working.)

 

This wraps up my eventful day yesterday. Here’s to a year with improved physical condition… and only one pair of glasses.

Callaghan and the prism of Luc Besson.

Being with Callaghan has taught me to see things in new ways. Like action flicks. If not for him, I’d never think to ask myself: “How bad is this movie on a Luc Besson scale of 1-10?”

As a French person, he’s sensitive to Luc Besson. Or, should I say, he’s not sensitive so much as he’s annoyed by Luc Besson.

I listen for his comments when we’re watching action movies. If he starts grumbling about Luc Besson, I know that he’s annoyed. That’s because Luc Besson is the yardstick Callaghan uses to measure his opinion of the movie’s worth, even if Luc Besson had nothing to do with the movie.

This morning, I asked him to summarize his feelings about Luc Besson. I actually recorded his answer. Verbatim:

“Hmm. Luc Besson. Alors. His movies are too easy. I mean, the stories. The resolution of the problems. It’s always, like, ‘Oh! Everything’s fine now. She turned into an intergalactic f*cking cloud of black matter, so everything’s fine’.”

Some comments I’ve heard from him while watching action flicks, or while talking about them:

10). “Putain, the person who did this movie was influenced by Luc Besson.”

9). “This could’ve been a great movie, but Luc Besson.”

8). “The CGI is cheesy. It’s Luc Besson.”

7). “Luc Besson outdid himself with Valerian!! I had to stop after a half-hour. It was bad, it was SO BAD, it was the quintessential Luc Besson movie.” (Yes, Callaghan knows the word “quintessential.” No, I wasn’t with him when he watched Valerian. He shared this opinion with me afterward.)

6). “Ugh, this movie has that Luc Besson vibe.”

5). “Taxi was ridiculous, and Luc Besson made three of that!!”

4). “You can tell Luc Besson was involved in this.”

3). “Dobermann was good because it wasn’t Luc Besson. If it was Luc Besson doing the same movie, it would be ridiculous.”

2). “The Family. That was a stupid movie. Luc Besson.”

And his #1 general comment, applicable to any action flick that annoys him:

“ET VOILA. LUC BESSON.”

Sidenote: This post is rather a tribute to Luc Besson. Love him or not, he’s an iconic filmmaker. Two of his films are on my list of all-time favorites: The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, and La Femme Nikita (1990). Callaghan likes those movies, too, as well as The Fifth Element.

 

Frosty the Rude Man.

Callaghan was outraged when he read our friend Nick’s FB post the other night. I could tell that something was wrong, because I could see him fuming as he stared at his phone.

He yelled, “Did you see what Nick posted on FB? THIS is what happens when you try to be nice to people now!!!”

Thinking back, I remembered that Nick had posted a joke about Frosty the Snowman earlier in the day.

Before I could say anything, Callaghan ranted: “Seriously! WHAT is wrong with people?!!”

I struggled to hold back a snort. “Uh… Baby, no… read the whole post.”

“I AM reading the post!!!”

I try not to laugh when his English as a Second Language gets in the way of his understanding, or being understood. In this case, though, his lack of understanding came not from a language barrier, but from a cultural one. Callaghan wasn’t familiar with “Frosty the Snowman.”

“It’s ridiculous what this guy did,” he said with great indignation. “HE PEED ON NICK’S FLOOR!!!”

I lost it. “Baby. It’s a joke. The ‘guy’ is a snowman.”

“What?” He stared at the spectacle of me cracking up while he sat on the couch seething with fury on Nick’s behalf.

“Yes, the ‘guy’ they brought in was a snowman!”

He read the post again. “Oh. He was NAKED except for a scarf. I get it now.”

When I stopped laughing, I reassured him. He didn’t get the joke because he was never a child in America, I said. I quoted the pertinent “Frosty the Snowman” lyrics:

Frosty the snowman was a jolly happy soul/With a corncob pipe and a button nose/And two eyes made out of coal

Thus, Callaghan learned another little piece of Americana.

Here’s the joke in question:

Yesterday it was so cold out that we took a man into our home out of the kindness of our hearts. We felt so sorry for him. Poor thing was trembling out in the cold. But this morning he had just vanished. Not a word … Not even a goodbye or a thank you for sheltering him !!!
The last straw ?!?! When I realized he had peed all over the living room floor !!! That’s the thanks I get for being good to people ?!?!?!
Now I’m going to warn my friends to watch out for this man !!! He is heavy set & wearing nothing but a scarf. He also has a corn cob pipe, a button nose & 2 eyes made out of coal !!! Don’t bring him into your house !!! What a huge mess he made on the floor !!!

One thing about the holidays: they can make it extra fun to be with a European who came to the States as an adult.

Futurizing classic poems.

Thinking of the transience of language and how it correlates with cultural change over time, I wondered, What if classic poems were translated to now? I chose a few well-known poems and took a shot at updating them. If you’re wondering why the poets I chose are all male, it’s because I wanted to go for easily recognizable titles, and for the longest time, only men were allowed to be openly literary and write poems for all the world to see.

Here’s what these guys might have written if their world looked like ours:

1). Robert Frost

  • Then: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
  • Now: Stopping to buy Weed on a Snowy Evening

2). Edgar Allen Poe

  • Then: The Raven
  • Now: The Rain Man (“Quoth the rain man, ‘Nevermore.'”)

3). Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  • Then: Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  • Now: Rime of the Darth Vader

4). William Carlos Williams

  • Then: The Red Wheelbarrow
  • Now: The Target Red Card

5). William Blake

  • Then: The Tiger
  • Now: The Flesh-Eating Bacteria

6). John Milton

  • Then: Paradise Lost
  • Now: Sanity Lost

7). William Shakespeare

  • Then: “Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day?” (Sonnet XVIII)
  • Now: “Shall I Compare Thee to a Vacation with Pay?”

8). T.S. Eliot

  • Then: “Let us go then, you and I” (The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock)
  • Now: “Don’t they ever stop migrating?” (The Birds of Alfred Hitchcock)

9). Allen Ginsberg

  • Then: Howl
  • Now: LOL

10). Andrew Marvell

  • Then: To His Coy Mistress
  • Now: To His Sugar Baby

 

Friendly neighborhood cyclist near my house

 

Happy October Eve!

50 (no, 41) facts about me. (Meme)

Every once in a while, I’m browsing blogs or social media posts and I come across the “50 facts about me” meme that’s gone around on-and-off ever since the internet was invented. I don’t remember ever doing it. Last night, I revisited a friend’s blog post in which she did this, so today, I’m going to see if I can think of 50 things about me that most of you don’t already know. I’m feeling weirdly self-indulgent just thinking about doing this, so I’ll jump right in.

 

 

  1. Pressing lightly on my left eyebrow or running my finger over it sends a tickly-sneezy feeling down through the left side of my nose.
  2. I often sneeze while doing the eyebrow part of my makeup because of that eyebrow-nose nerve connection on the left side.
  3. I believe that I’m addicted to lip balm.
  4. I believe that I’m addicted to peppermint gum.
  5. I don’t think of my wisdom teeth procedure (that I had when I was 17) as a surgery, even though it was (as it is for many of us).
  6. Therefore, I usually accidentally lie when I’m filling out a medical form and I’m asked how many surgeries I’ve had.
  7. I used to drink, and sometimes, I got really, really drunk.
  8. But I’ve never had a hang-over in my life.
  9. I believe I’ve inherited some crazy English drinking genes.
  10. I don’t drink anymore.
  11. I’m uncomfortable to the point of anxiety attack when I’m around people who are drunk.
  12. So I avoid hanging out in bars, unless it’s a sports bar and they’re airing an event I want to watch but can’t watch at home.
  13. I especially avoid bars because not only do I not drink, but I don’t eat bar food.
  14. I always order club soda/sparkling water at a bar.
  15. My club soda is free because I’m the designated driver.
  16. I am a cheap date.
  17. My first job was at a dentist’s office in Honolulu the summer I was 14.
  18. I once tripped on something while walking to work at the dentist’s office.
  19. I thought I tripped on a large rock, but it was a snail the size of a tennis ball.
  20. My roach-phobia started with a terrifying roach incident in Honolulu when I was 12.
  21. I read both The Amityville Horror and Helter-Skelter when I was still in grade school.
  22. Also horror-related, I was probably 7 or 8 when It’s Alive aired on cable, and my parents didn’t want me to watch it, but I low-crawled into the family room so I could watch it while lying on the floor behind some furniture, and they didn’t know.
  23. It’s Alive scared me and I loved it.
  24. Horror has been my favorite film genre ever since I watched It’s Alive.
  25. The most scared I’ve ever been at the movies was during Alien when I was 11.
  26. Alien petrified and traumatized me and had me crying and literally begging to leave the theater.
  27. Horror was still my favorite film genre, and Alien also spawned my love for sci-fi thrillers.
  28. I’m always looking for movies that creep me out, and so far, only The Ring has come close.
  29. I love all forms of entertainment-provoked fear.
  30. But I will not see The Human Centipede.
  31. I don’t understand how I developed a roach-phobia after a traumatic childhood roach incident, but the total opposite thing happened when I had a traumatic childhood movie incident (Alien).
  32. I used to be a republican.
  33. I switched from republican to democrat.
  34. I was a democrat for less than a year.
  35. I switched to “independent.”
  36. I’ve been an independent for more years than I belonged to any political party.
  37. I generally avoid discussing politics.
  38. I strongly dislike the word “ditto.”
  39. My biggest grammar pet peeve is when someone ends a sentence with “at.”
  40. When I hear someone say “where’s it at” I have to physically contain myself.
  41. My thoughts on the Oxford comma are more complicated than my thoughts on politics, and I will not discuss the Oxford comma.

So there’s 41. I would try to think of 9 more, but I’m out of time, so The End for now.

p.s. I guess my mind went to a Halloweenesque place in this post because it’s feeling like fall around here. In Arizona, summer is over when you can open your windows in the early mornings.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

My life without Sex in the City. (My pop culture deficiencies!)

I don’t remember watching much in the way of T.V. series when I was a kid. I know that by the time I graduated from high school, the only channel I liked was MTV. Almost five years later, post-army, I found that something had happened to MTV while I was away. MTV was still there, but it had met with disaster of some sort (I’ll spare you the gory details – if you’re Gen-X, too, you probably remember the trauma of it), and I could no longer watch.

It was 1992. I’d just moved to Phoenix. I was 23. I started watching Beverly Hills 90210 because I heard it was good. I watched it for a year or so, and when Melrose Place happened, I started watching that, too. Then I got into NYPD Blue. (I did enjoy Hill Street Blues when I was in high school, come to think of it.) Somewhere around 1994, I stopped with the T.V. series because college and work and homework and martial arts and grad school and work and etc. in a big, long-running snowball of busy, and there was no room in my life. I did find time to watch boxing and basketball, though. I don’t know if you remember, but the Suns were on fire in the 90’s. And movies. Always movies!

I finally started watching T.V. series again with Callaghan in 2011. We were living in the boondocks of the Alpes in France and needed some entertainment. But guys – I watched no T.V. series at all for almost 20 years. I missed out on almost 20 years of pop culture!

At least my time watching NYPD Blue led to my grasp of the significance of Dennis Franz’ bare ass running into the ocean in the film City of Angels. And thanks to my time watching Melrose Place, I knew who was responsible for the mainstream popularization of ambient-electronic music (I’m looking at you, Enigma). Melrose Place also explained Bohemian-inspired fashion with short, edgy haircuts on women.

The landscape of T.V. changed over the years, as I was well aware due to people buzzing around me in hysterics. High-quality cable series took off, starting with The Sopranos. Someone invented reality T.V., starting with Survivor. People were losing their minds with these developments. I had no sense of FOMO.

Here are some of the popular series I missed while I was away from T.V.:

  • Seinfeld
  • Ally McBeal
  • Friends
  • The Sopranos
  • Survivor
  • The Osbournes
  • Sex in the City
  • Lost
  • Six Feet Under
  • The Office

I’ll probably never see any of these, especially not Lost, as I remember the furor of the general public when the finale aired. Everyone was pissed off at the way the series ended, and that’s enough of a spoiler alert for me. Plus, I was already in therapy. I didn’t need another reason to go.

Callaghan and I did go back to watch/start watching:

  • Arrested Development
  • Damages
  • Dexter
  • American Horror Story
  • Breaking Bad

And perhaps some others. I wrote these lists off the top of my head. Currently, we’re catching up on Parks and Recreation.

The point of all of this? No point, really. This post is brought to you by a Facebook comment (again, you know who you are) that led to musing on my pop culture deficiencies. I guess all of this is to say that pop culture references originating from these series are mostly lost on me.

For more Tuesday randomness, in lieu of an image that makes sense with this post, have this pic of Callaghan with someone’s dog:

 

Callaghan with dog.

 

Actually, the pic goes perfectly with this post.