About the rat’s nest on my head. (My gym pet peeve.)

Most gym pet peeves have to do with people being rude: hogging the equipment, leaving sweat on the equipment, resting on the equipment between sets, leaving weights lying around instead of re-racking them, talking on the phone or texting while chilling on the equipment, etc.

None of this is cool in my book, either, but I only have one major gym pet peeve, and that is my own hair. My scalp releases loose hairs that sabotage my workout. Who else has this issue? If there’s a solution short of shaving my head, I want to know.

My hair gets on my nerves more than anything else at the gym. It literally gets on my nerves. I try not to let it, but it’s easier said than done. When a hair falls out and lands on me, it hijacks my sensory nervous system so the strand of hair is all I can feel. It’s hard to ignore.

The problem is that my hair is a rat’s nest, more at the gym than anywhere else. Here’s my hair after my workout yesterday morning:

 

Post-workout, 8/10/2017

 

If my hair only looked like a rat’s nest, I wouldn’t care, because I don’t care what I look like when I go to the gym in the morning. I put on sunscreen, lip-gloss, and clean clothing, and I’m good.

The problem is that my hair behaves like a rat’s nest. It doesn’t stay together. It gets pulled apart simply by existing. At some point during the workout, people will see me doing stuff with one hand while I’m frantically clawing at my face with the other hand. Usually, the hair lands in my mouth or in one of my eyes. I sometimes find the hair plastered across my sweaty cheek.

This happens every time I work out. Without fail. No matter what I do. I will spend long minutes beforehand sliding my fingers through my hair and removing loose strands. I’ll do up my ponytail and repeat the process, also removing loose hairs from my bangs and the sides that don’t get pulled up.

Nothing works. Headbands? I wish. I’ve tried. They don’t stay on, and then I have two problems.

I know this is petty and ridiculous. I AM grateful to have any hair at all, but having hair doesn’t make me immune to annoyance when the hairs try to blind or choke me!

So my hair is a rat’s nest at the gym. It gives the term “gym rat” a whole new meaning. Fine. I just need for the nest to hold together until I’m done with my workout.

[/shallow rant of the day]

 

R.I.P., favorite sweater.

Q: How to tell when it’s time to let go of that favorite sweater?

A: It will tell you. In no uncertain terms.

I had my favorite sweater for over 10 years. I wore it in four different countries and three different states. I wore it in all four seasons, depending on where I was.

 

The sweater in Casablanca, Morocco

The sweater in Casablanca, Morocco

 

Like most of my favorite articles of clothing, it was gray. It felt like it was tailored to me. I loved the length of its sleeves. I loved that it was cozy, but light enough to wear comfortably in mild weather. That it had a semi-deep V-neck. That it was fitted, but not too fitted, so it could be layered over or beneath other garments. I loved that it was cut long enough to drape over the upper thighs, and that it had a kangaroo pocket on the front. It had a hood long before the word “hoodie” was invented to reference a sweatshirt cut in that style.

It was soft and fuzzy and thin and cozy. It was just the perfect, all-purpose sweater I reached for more than any other sweater, ever.

I really hate talking about this sweater in the past tense.

On Friday, my dear friends, it finally announced its retirement. It did this by dropping dead, and it was gruesome.

 

Sweater carcass

Sweater carcass

 

(I just hung it there for the pic; I don’t actually hang clothing in the hallway)

Half-way through the day on Friday, we were in the car, and I looked down at my bag where it was resting on my lap. The black nylon bag was festooned with pale gray fuzz, and I mean, not even a little bit. It was covered. There’d been a gray fuzz explosion.

At first, I didn’t know what I was looking at. Then, as I was pointing it out to Callaghan, I realized that my bag was wearing sweater bits and pieces. After hundreds of washings in over 10 years, the sweater finally gave up its fuzz.

I didn’t take a picture. It was a violent textile crime scene, and I thought it would be in bad taste. I didn’t want to be opportunistic.

As I was turning the bag over to assess the extent of the carnage, I happened to see that my seat belt, too, was coated in sweater. I looked around at the sides of the seat: more fuzz. The inside of the door: yet more fuzz.

“My sweater!” I wailed.

“Your sweater is dead, Baby!” Callaghan said, sounding too cheerful.

We got to Trader Joe’s and went inside. I stopped to brush something off my cheek. It was a piece of gray fuzz. Callaghan found more fuzz in my hair, which he gallantly removed.

In the store, I picked sweater fuzz from the eyelashes of my right eye.

Hours later, at home, the inside corner of my left eye felt itchy. I reached up to rub it, and my fingertip met with something fluffy. I pinched it and extracted it.

“Look!” I said to Callaghan. “There was sweater fuzz in my eye.” I’d already lint-rolled my bag, and I’d changed clothes, too, so the source of the fuzz was nowhere near.

 

thatasianlookingchick-com-ripsweater2

The sweater with thinning fuzz.

 

The next morning, we went to the gym for Saturday BodyPump. I was excited; I was feeling well enough to return to Pump after two weeks out with painful medical issues. We got there early, so I attempted to take a gym selfie, which failed, as usual. But while I was trying, I noticed my jacket.

 

Seat belt pattern of gray fuzz.

Seat belt pattern of gray fuzz.

 

I’d lint-rolled my bag, but I’d forgotten to do the seat belt.

So it was a sad weekend. I literally wore the hell out of that sweater. It’s not wearable enough to donate, but I can’t bring myself to throw it out, either, so it’ll join the few other articles of clothing stashed away in my sentimental value clothing mausoleum.

R.I.P., sweater.

You’ve got… the worst thing in the world.

Our weekend started out great. We went to a basketball game. We went to the fights. We went to the gym for Body Combat. We ran errands and went grocery shopping. I relaxed a little on Sunday morning, and then on Sunday afternoon, I did the usual Sunday things… the laundry, a little vacuuming, a little cooking, a lot of preparing things for the upcoming week. I did not work out in the garage because there were too many random things to be done around the house, and I didn’t want my attention diverted from them.

Finally, at the end of the day, I sat down to do some writing. It was hard to do, though, because some unpleasant, cluttering thing was crushing the part of my mind that does creative writing and other things that I like. Something conniving and surly, taunting and smirking. Something obnoxious and potentially dark, but mostly sarcastic in a bad way. Something that laughs at my pain. Something tediously annoying and annoying tedious. It smelled like a scam, a bully, a filthy nickel, a plot to rip people off, a bundle of lies and waste and ecological mayhem and environmental irreverence and an obscene plunder of mind-numbing, time-consuming nothing.

It was the mail.

I had to finally open it. ALL of it.

This is the part of BEING AN ADULT that I do with the least success, simply because I hardly ever do it at all. I avoid it. I’m terrible with it, and so is Callaghan. It gets to a point where it can’t be ignored because suddenly it’s a 500-pound, four-cornered paper beast that exploded into fragments all over the place and won’t go away until I plow into it.

I loathe opening the mail with a terrible passion. It’s a dreary and slightly depressing chore, and I know that if I just do it the day it comes in, it would be a non-issue. I’m aware that it’s a good idea to open the mail on a daily basis. Honestly, I don’t know what my problem is. What’s so hard about opening the mail rather than tossing it somewhere and forgetting about it?

Sometimes, something important in the mail gets missed because of my negligence, like the bill I found buried in one of the piles of mail I finally went through on Sunday. (Yes, one of the piles. There were four piles in different parts of the house. I know. I know.) It was a gas bill, and I’d forgotten to look for it because for months, the gas bills have reflected only a credit and a big NOTHING in the “amount due” field. Evidently the credit finally ran out and this latest bill was an actual bill that needed to get paid, and it was due yesterday… the day after I found it! I put it in the outgoing mail the day it was due. Fortunately, the payment didn’t have far to go. But what if I didn’t decide to get off my ass to open the mail on Sunday?

Here’s a good adult’s system for dealing with the mail:

1). Get the mail. Open it. Sort it and discard the junk.

Here’s my system:

1.)  Extract the bills (I know when to look for them) and toss the rest of the mail somewhere.

2a). Set the bills on the little metal rack thing that sits on my desk, because whenever I owe someone money and they send me a piece of paper to tell me about it, that’s where it goes. At the beginning of the week of “payment due by,” I pay the bill.

2b). The remnants of the bill get stapled together, marked with “PAID,” and left on my desk in the TO FILE pile. Or on top of the file box, itself. (Don’t ask why I can’t just do the extra little step of removing the lid from the file box and putting the bill summary inside its folder. I don’t know.)

2c). (If the gas bill reflects a credit for several months, I forget to look for it in the mail. This is especially easy to do because it arrives out of sync with the other bills.)

3). When the weight of the ignored mail starts to smother me, I seek out the piles and deal with them. It always feels like my legs and hands are made of deadwood and I’m dying a little.

4). After going around the house and collecting all of the mail, I redistribute it into different piles: Callaghan’s mail goes into one pile, and mine into another.

5). I put Callaghan’s pile of mail somewhere in his office/studio, thinking that he’ll notice it one day and do something with it.

6). Begin the irksome task of opening my own mail: First, identify the generic junk and put it in the RECYCLING pile. Then open all the envelopes and find that 98% of the mail… the overwhelming bulk of it… is junk with my name on it.

7). Prepare the personalized junk to be discarded: Open the envelope. Find the part with my personal information. Tear off that part and set it in the TO BE SHREDDED pile. Put the recyclable parts in the RECYCLING pile. Throw the rest into the TRASH pile. Put the items to be filed in the TO FILE pile. (The mail is still in four piles!)

8). Do the things: Gather the enormous pile of recyclable paper into my arms and haul it out to the recycling bin. Throw the trash pile into the trash. Shred everything that’s left. The shredding part adds some mileage to the tedium because I have to EMPTY THE SHREDDER when I’m done, and then that has to go in the trash.

And that’s it. I’m good for the next three months.

(I always vow to start opening the mail when it comes in, but so far, that hasn’t happened.)

Since I didn’t think I would spend Monday night writing this useless rant about the mail, I didn’t take a picture of the mail or the carcasses thereof. So here’s a picture of Callaghan:

 

Callaghan (blurry in a candid shot).

Callaghan (blurry in a candid shot).

 

See? It’s male. Har, har. Lame, I know. So is this post. So is the mail. So am I, for not opening the mail. I wanted to write Haiku for today’s post, but I wasn’t about to write Haiku about mail. You’re welcome.

Lopsided eyes and mild panic: A cautionary tale.

Life changes and I’m back to a routine of walking to work every morning. I’m loving the extra little workout every day! I also walk home three days a week. The big change in the equation is that on the other two days, I take the bus home so I can get there fast, change my clothes, and drive to Mesa for Body Combat. Why? Callaghan now works on-site full-time, and the site happens to be in BFE (very far away, in case you didn’t know the acronym). This necessitates me taking myself to the gym. Which is fine. As long as I can get there!

(The adjustment to Callaghan’s new schedule and location has been a learn-as-we-go process in many ways. Our lives are very different now. And on Monday, I did NOT make it to the gym, because I literally had no way to get there. That was the last time that was going to happen!)

On Wednesday, I got to the bus stop early and wondered what to do with the spare 15 minutes. People-watching opportunities were oddly nonexistent at University and Mill. What else is there to do while waiting? Take a selfie. Or twenty.

I don’t take selfies very often. It doesn’t occur to me because I’m always looking for interesting, stationary subjects to photograph, or I’m stalking my cats with the camera. There was nothing of interest from my vantage point at the bus stop, and my cats were selfishly sitting at home, so I thought it would be amusing to capture a rare moment of myself being bored in an unusual place.

All that happened in the end was I freaked myself out, though. A little bit. Just a little.

The selfies I took showed my eyes looking lopsided. They were mismatched. One eye looked larger and different than the other. This alarmed me because I thought I remembered reading somewhere that psychopaths often have in common a noticeable difference between their eyes. While no one’s features are perfectly symmetrical, the eyes of a mentally unstable person can be very obviously unlike each other. (I know I read this somewhere, but now I can’t find anything about it, of course.)

Thing is, I do live with mental illness in the form of clinical depression and PTSD, but I never thought I looked mentally ill. The selfies suddenly made me feel paranoid. Then I became paranoid about being paranoid, and that made me feel crazier. I wondered if my mental health situation was really what I thought it was, only. And very quickly, the whole thought process took off on a continuous, self-perpetuating loop inside my brain.

To stop the merciless cycle, I deleted all of the selfies.

I went about the rest of the evening not thinking about it. I went home, went to the gym, and went out to dinner with Callaghan, and I didn’t think about it at all.

Later that night, I went to remove my make-up and saw that my eyeliner was thicker under one eye than the other, and the two lines didn’t match in shape. All along, it was my eyeliner that didn’t match! That would do it. Eyeliner can change your face dramatically. Of course the eye with more liner would look larger, and the two eyes would look different with different liner shapes!

I looked like that before I went and sweated at the gym, so I’d gone around at work with lopsided eyes. How fun.

Either I was in too much of a hurry when I was getting ready that morning, or the eyeliner wore off unevenly during the day. The result was the same, though: I looked like a Picasso painting at work, and I almost drove myself crazy wondering if I was crazier than I actually am.

Yesterday morning, I took extra care with my eyeliner. In the afternoon, I took a selfie in my office:

 

(February 18, 2016)

(February 18, 2016)

 

I came out looking more normal, though the left eye still had slightly more liner than the right. Probably only I would notice it, now that I’m hyper-aware of the thickness and shape of my eyeliner. I may have to just set the camera down and back slowly away. It’s hard to get the two eyes to look exactly the same, and I only allow myself 15 minutes to do my make-up before going to work. It is what it is.

The lighting was surprisingly flattering, too, though. Also, it was a rare day that I put on e.l.f. primer under my foundation. I think I like it, after all.

And Callaghan loves his new job!

Final picture post from France!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We’re back in the Land of AZ.

We landed in Phoenix late on Saturday night after a weird layover in Washington D.C.; the power had gone out in the terminals at the Washington-Dulles airport. We waited on the plane until a bus came to take us to the main terminal… and by “us,” I mean not just everyone on our flight, but everyone on ALL the incoming flights… and from there, all of the connecting flights were delayed, also due to the ripple effect of the power outage. In the end, though, we were only two hours late getting home. Not bad!

So believe it or not, that was my sixth trip to Paris – seven if you count the Paris part of last week’s agenda as two separate trips (we stayed in the same hotel in Montmartre before and after the Côte d’Azur) – and I still haven’t visited Jim Morrison. It was my decision. At the last minute, I suggested skipping it because we had very little time, and I didn’t want to go to le Cimetière du Père-Lachaise just to see one grave. I would have wanted to also visit the likes of Chopin, Victor Hugo, Edith Piaf, etc., and for that we would need a good half-day, at least. But we’ll be back, and it’s really kind of funny… my Extreme First-World Problem is still my Extreme First-World Problem.

Since we didn’t go to le Cimetière du Père-Lachaise, we were able to take our time moseying around Montmartre, where we were staying. It was the perfect way to spend the day. We had some errands to run, and it was great to just be relaxed and enjoy our favorite quartier in Paris without rushing around. (Montmartre is actually one of my favorite neighborhoods in the entire world.) We also got to enjoy having dinner with a friend of mine who lives there, and that was delightful.

Overall, our week in France was the opposite of relaxing, as we were generally crazy busy up until that last day in Paris. We averaged zero to three hours of sleep per night, and by the end, we were seeing double from sleep deprivation. But it was hella fun. Great times with family and friends!

One thing that struck us, though, was how the mood in France has grown even darker in the short time we’ve been gone… dark as in ominous, kind of, and spooky. The general feeling in the country is different than when we lived there, and we haven’t even been gone for two years. We saw a trio of heavily armed soldiers stalking the picturesque little streets of Vieux Nice, for instance… a surreal sight, and one I never would have imagined there before. We noticed police officers standing expectantly with their police dogs in the Metro stations in Paris. When we lived in France, I never saw police officers at all… just the random gendarmerie… now, they’re everywhere, their presence presumably connected to the “Je Suis Charlie” signs we also saw posted widely from Paris to Nice. And there are the new ebola information/warning posters prominently displayed at Charles de Gaulle airport.

On a lighter note, I’ll share another smattering of pics from our last days there….

From la Côte d’Azur:

 

A street in Châteauneuf de Grasse.

A street in Châteauneuf de Grasse.

 

Our favorite boulangerie in Nice. BEST PAN BAGNAT IN TOWN, hands-down.

Our favorite boulangerie in Nice. BEST PAN BAGNAT IN TOWN, hands-down.

 

Some of the bread inside the best boulangerie in Nice.

Some of the bread inside the best boulangerie in Nice.

 

An artist's gallery in le Vieux Nice.

An artist’s gallery in le Vieux Nice.

 

Socca - a traditional food in Nice.

Socca – a traditional food in Nice.

 

With friends at the Big Ben pub in Nice.

With friends at the Big Ben pub in Nice.

 

We had lunch with Callaghan's Grandparents and Dad in le Port de St. Laurent du Var.

We had lunch with Callaghan’s Grandparents and Dad in le Port de St. Laurent du Var.

 

And from Paris:

 

One of hundreds of  cafés...

One of hundreds of cafés…

 

Pointing the way to le Sacré-Coeur - my second-favorite monument (after la Tour Eiffel)

Pointing the way to le Sacré-Coeur – my second-favorite monument (after la Tour Eiffel)

 

Le Sacré-Coeur. Beautiful Roman-Byzantyne architecture on the hill of Montmartre.

Le Sacré-Coeur. Beautiful Roman-Byzantyne architecture on the hill of Montmartre.

 

Bronze sculpture on le Sacré-Coeur.

Bronze sculpture on le Sacré-Coeur.

 

Gargoyle on le Sacré-Coeur.

Gargoyle on le Sacré-Coeur.

 

More gargoyles on le Sacré-Coeur...

More gargoyles on le Sacré-Coeur…

 

View of Paris from the hill of Montmartre.

View of Paris from the hill of Montmartre.

 

Parisian street art like this is becoming more and more common. Love it!

Parisian street art like this is becoming more and more common. Love it!

 

Walking in Montmartre...

Walking in Montmartre…

 

French flag at the Metro station on Boulevard Barbès.

French flag at the Metro station on Boulevard Barbès.

 

Hot chocolate at café la Virgule in Montmartre.

Hot chocolate at café la Virgule in Montmartre.

 

And here’s a selection of some of our pastry indulgences (!!):

 

Galette des Rois... actually, a "Pithivier," according to Callaghan. The traditional King's Cakes are this, but thinner... quite different from the King Cakes Americans have at Mardi Gras.

Galette des Rois… actually, a “Pithivier,” according to Callaghan. The traditional King’s Cakes are this, but thinner… quite different from the King Cakes Americans have at Mardi Gras.

 

Une Madeleine au Nutella at the SNCF (train) station.

Une Madeleine au Nutella at the SNCF (train) station.

 

Tarte au citron

Tarte au citron

 

Chouquettes

Chouquettes

 

And then we went home. I took a picture of the signage that greeted us at baggage claim. Welcome to Phoenix!

 

It was 77 degrees when we landed at 10:20pm Saturday night... and it's going to be 90 today!

It was 77 degrees when we landed at 10:20pm Saturday night… and it’s going to be 90 today!

 

Happy Tuesday, All! =)

Greetings from France! I’ve got some pictures.

We spent the last two days in Paris doing what we always do in Paris – running around the city, dragging our luggage up and down the Metro stairs, racing through the stations (with and without luggage), jumping walls and running again to just barely leap onto waiting trains. It occurred to me, as I was jumping a wall after Callaghan in the Metro two nights ago, that Parkour was invented by a French guy. Perhaps he was inspired by similar action-intense negotiations of the Metro stations, running after trains in Paris!

We love Paris, and we had a great time visiting with relatives and friends. Plus, it was beautiful and sunny on one of the days, so for the first time, I got to see Paris in the sun against a blue sky. It was fabulous.

Now we’re on the French Riviera, visiting more friends and Callaghan’s immediate family. (He was born in Paris, but grew up down here.) This morning we caught an early TGV to Cannes, and the five-hour train ride gave me an opportunity to sleep a little as well as to resize some pics for today’s post.

Here’s a smattering of random images from the last two days:

 

Glacière is a stop on the Metro. We thought it was funny to see the sign next to a ski ad ("Glacière" translates to "ice chest.")

Glacière is a stop on the Metro. We thought it was funny to see the sign next to a ski ad (“Glacière” translates to “ice chest.”)

 

Another pic from the Metro. Not even France is safe from the 50 Shades.

Another pic from the Metro. Not even France is safe from the 50 Shades.

 

The view from our hotel window.

The view from our hotel window.

 

...and a nearby abandoned shoe.

…and a nearby abandoned shoe.

 

Here's an interesting little new car: a Smart Car-looking, single person electric Renault.

Here’s an interesting little new car: a Smart Car-looking, single person electric Renault.

 

A random storefront that caught my eye...

A random storefront that caught my eye…

 

Back in the Metro! An ad for an architecture exhibition.

Back in the Metro! An ad for an architecture exhibition.

 

In our usual selfie pose. We're on the train again, en route to visit relatives.

In our usual selfie pose. We’re on the train again, en route to visit relatives.

 

Our queen! Long live La Tour Eiffel!

Our queen! Long live La Tour Eiffel!

 

Back at the Metro - but this pic is to show that it'd been a sunny day!

Back at the Metro – but this pic is to show that it’d been a sunny day!

 

Poster ad - again, in a Metro station - for a street artist exhibit at the Espace Dali.

Poster ad – again, in a Metro station – for a street artist exhibit at the Espace Dali.

 

Paris graffiti, with love.

Paris graffiti, with love.

 

Charlie Hebdo at the news stand, still going strong!

Charlie Hebdo at the news stand, still going strong!

 

This sweet little girl was on our train to Cannes this morning. Her Mommy said I could take her picture. I love French Bulldogs.

This sweet little girl was on our train to Cannes this morning. Her Mommy said I could take her picture. I love French Bulldogs.

 

Notice the absence of Jim Morrison’s grave. That would be because we still haven’t gone, as circumstances didn’t allow for it… but we’re heading back to Paris on Friday, and you know we’re going to Parkour our way to that cemetery the minute we get off the train.

Also not pictured is the group of police officers standing around expectantly in one of the Metro stations, an incongruous sight compared to what I’m used to here. I’ve never seen the cops just hanging around like that in France before. I wanted to snap a picture, but I didn’t think they’d appreciate it, so I held back.

I hope you’re having a great week!

JUSTICE IS COMING: An Overdue Anti-Rant about My FAVORITE Film!

As of today, I’ve been actively blogging for sixteen months and 4 days. That’s not a long time (not even a year and a half), but I’ve spent a fair amount of it blathering about movies and television series. Because of this, and because I injected into this blog – from the deepest regions of my heart – my profound disbelief over the deplorable miscasting of the titular character in Jack Reacher, I feel I would be remiss to let another week go by without taking the time to exalt my favorite movie.

I’m talking about my favorite movie of ALL TIME.

Most movie buffs have one – a film we’ve seen so many times, we don’t even know anymore how many times we’ve seen it. Today, I’m going to rhapsodize about mine. Keep in mind that I’m not here to write a film review; I am not a film critic. I’m here to make a (fruitless) attempt to convey how much I love this movie. I mean, I’m passionate about a lot of movies, so when I say that one is my ALL-TIME FAVORITE, that’s saying a lot.

It’s the only movie I can see again and again with perpetual excitement, my ardor sustained at the same stratospheric level over the last 21 years. It’s also the only movie that compels my inner film-geek to come out and actually recite the characters’ lines out loud, right along with them, which Callaghan had the misfortune of discovering when we watched it together a couple of weeks ago.

[Aside: the first time I saw it with Callaghan, we were still new together, and I was too shy to recite all the lines. I bit my tongue the whole time. Now that we’re married and he’s stuck with me, I let it all hang out. Typical! I did warn him in advance, though.]

So what movie am I talking about? It’s not The Big Lebowski, as some of you are probably thinking, though that’s up there in my Top Three.

I’m talking about Tombstone.

 

From left: Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday, Sam Elliott as Virgil Earp, Bill Paxton as Morgan Earp and Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp in Tombstone (1993)

From left: Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday, Sam Elliott as Virgil Earp, Bill Paxton as Morgan Earp and Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp in Tombstone (1993)

 

Historical fiction set where the main events took place here in Arizona, Tombstone is a western. This film is perfection. I’m not even going to bother adding “in my opinion,” because I truly believe that Tombstone is objectively perfect.

When Tombstone was released in 1993, I went to see it with John, my boyfriend, in central Phoenix. I remember that he lost his wallet there, and we spent about half an hour searching for it. I don’t remember whether he found it, but I do remember leaving the theatre feeling like a ten-year-old at Disneyland jumping breathlessly off the Star Tours ride, eager to run back to the line to wait for another go. Let’s do it again!

We returned to the theatre a few days later… John wanted to see Tombstone again, too. Not long after that, we went back for a third viewing. The fourth time I saw it, I went with some friends. I’m pretty sure I went a fifth time, but I don’t remember with whom. I want to say I went to see Tombstone five times… that seems about right. I remember feeling sad when it left the theatres.

But then Tombstone came out on video (VHS)! I bought it and watched it repeatedly over the years, and when the tape wore out, I picked up another one. Obsession alert: the years were rolling by, and my Tombstone-watching zeal was not dissipating! When DVDs came into existence at the end of the ‘90’s, Tombstone was the first DVD I bought. Shocking! Since then, I’ve seen it maybe, I don’t know, several hundred times more. Well, that’s an exaggeration, but you get the idea.

 

JUSTICE IS COMING!

JUSTICE IS COMING!

 

I figure between all the theatre tickets, video and DVD purchases, I’ve never paid a cast of actors so well as I’ve paid the Tombstone cast. Kurt Russell; Val Kilmer; Sam Elliot; Michael Biehn; Powers Booth; Bill Paxton; Dana Delaney, et al AND the entire film crew and production team behind them deserve every cent.

Also, may I just say that the music… that score! Just… never mind. Here, listen:

 

 

Many a film score stirs me, but Tombstone’s score fills me with happiness and revs me up like no other film score ever has… and it sure sounds a lot like mid-19th century Old West justice to me. It captures the essence of:

You tell ‘em I’M coming … and hell’s coming with me, you hear? HELL’S COMING WITH ME!

Ah, Wyatt.

I’m just fascinated with this segment of Arizona’s history – the historic gunfight at the O.K. Corral and the ensuing vendetta ride of Wyatt Earp’s posse – and this movie puts me there.

As I’d suspected, I’m finding it difficult to articulate why this movie impacts me to such an extent; the most flawless films in existence won’t make my “favorites” list if they don’t resonate with me somehow. Tombstone resonates with the core of my being. Critics may find flaws with Tombstone, but it’s a masterpiece as far as I’m concerned. My affection for Tombstone borders on adulation.

And yes, I admit it… the greatness that is Val Kilmer’s channeling of Doc Holliday kills me to this day, blah, blah, blah. I’m not going to bore you with that. I will say, though, that I haven’t seen cinematic charisma that potent before or since Tombstone. Val Kilmer’s performance is superb. If there’s ever been a more magnetic portrayal of Doc Holliday than Kilmer’s, I want to know about it, because I would have to see it to believe it. Kilmer manages to ooze Southern gentleman sex appeal and charm brilliantly from every tubercular pore in Holliday’s wasted, alcohol-saturated body in every one of his scenes. It’s not as unsavory as it sounds, believe me. He pulled it off.

 

Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday

Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday

 

You know what’s kind of unbelievable? I’ve spent 21 years of my life here in Arizona, and I still haven’t visited the town of Tombstone! Kind of like how I’ve been to Paris five times and never visited Jim Morrison’s grave. Unlike that, however, my failure to visit Tombstone isn’t an extreme first-world problem, because I can easily jump in the truck and drive myself to Tombstone any time I want. I just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

Interestingly, Val Kilmer also played Jim Morrison in The Doors, and that’s my second-favorite role of his.

At any rate, if you haven’t already, do yourself a favor and watch Tombstone. I highly, highly recommend this film. Just trust me on this. It doesn’t matter if you’re not into westerns. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like action movies. (I know people who don’t care for either genre, but they love Tombstone.) I would be so bold as to predict that you’ll love this movie, or at least enjoy it. It draws you in, and what’s not to love about a sweeping tale involving family bonds and loyalty, lawmen and outlaws, revenge, romance and the sexiest Latin-quoting, quick-drawing, card-playing badass Southern gentleman you’ll ever see?

Oh, Johnny… I forgot you were there. You may go now.

Confession: My Extreme First-World Problem

I woke up this morning and spent a good ten minutes processing the dream I’d had. It involved the revelation that Callaghan and I are geniuses via the supernatural elderly woman who transformed herself into a giant, fiery flower waving to and fro in our direction on a cold, cindery street corner, city unknown. Later, in the back room of a small shop, it was revealed that she was eastern European, but she’d resided in Quebec the last half of her life, so she was technically a Québécoise with a Slavic accent. Once we found out that she’d lived in Quebec, the dream language switched to Quebec French embellished with the beautiful, curly linguistic mood of Hungary or Romania or wherever it was she’d originally called home. But the shop – their family business – projected such a powerful Old World vibe, I felt like we were back in Europe as we sat drinking tea with the woman and her grown son.

It was her son who explained that when his mother transformed into a giant flower made of flames (we could just see her face in the center of it, her mouth opening and closing rhythmically in a mysterious mantra-like communication we couldn’t hear nor fathom in any other way) and waved herself in our direction from the street corner, we were able to see her because we were geniuses. “Only geniuses can see her when she transforms,” was how he put it. It wasn’t the first time we’d seen her, either. Earlier in the dream, she’d appeared on another street in the same city, also transformed, but differently, intoning the same unintelligible sounds at us, trying to tell us something, the same thing, words that were never deciphered. We just understood that they comprised a warning of some kind.

We were not pleased to learn that we were geniuses, because the price of that “gift” was this wraith-like figure in the shape of a flower on fire chanting ominously about what we assumed would be our ultimate demise… something horrific, for sure. Better to be dumb and happy, we thought. Ignorance is bliss.

There was a lot more to the dream, but I’ll leave it at that because the dream was not what I wanted to talk about today.

Ahem.

Today, I wanted to make a confession. A humorous little piece about “extreme first-world problems” recently surfaced on my Facebook feed, which got me thinking… what would be my own most extreme first-world problem? The answer came easily, as it’s something I’ve been lamenting for a while now.

Let me preface this by saying that I tend to think we should be allowed to kvetch a little when life’s inconveniences snag the flowing fabric of our day without feeling guilty because OH MY GOD THAT’S A FIRST-WORLD PROBLEM, but there is a line, as with everything. There’s always a line. It’s the extreme first-world problems that should warrant our guilt, and I certainly feel guilty about mine.

Are you ready?

My most extreme first-world problem is this: I’ve been to Paris five times, but somehow, inexplicably, I’ve never visited Jim Morrison’s grave.

 

Stock photo of Jim Morrison's grave. Not mine. WOE IS ME.

Stock photo of Jim Morrison’s grave. Not mine. WOE IS ME.

 

This is a ridiculous complaint by anyone’s standards, so I think it qualifies as extreme. I mean, try to tell me it does not put some of the extreme first-world problems cited in that article to shame. I’m not proud of this, but it is what it is. What kind of an American am I to have been to Paris five times and failed to EVER visit Jim Morrison’s grave?

To balance things out here, I must say that I’m grateful for every one of my many visits to my beloved Eiffel Tower, and I never take her for granted.

I’m sure as hell going straight to Jim Morrison’s grave the next time I land in Paris, though.

What I’m Digging Right Now – October Favorites

Good morning! I thought I’d take a minute to highlight some of my current favorite things, because it is all about “the little things,” right?

1). The fall air, crisp and cool coming in through the open window at night.

 

Nounours and Ronnie James love the cool night air, too.

Nounours and Ronnie James love the cool night air, too.

 

2). Fall-scented candles. My favorite so far is Yankee Candle’s Autumn Wreath.

 

Cheerful during the day, spooky at night, and it smells wonderful!

Cheerful during the day, spooky at night, and it smells wonderful!

 

3). The current seasons of Homeland, American Horror Story: Coven and Hart of Dixie.*

 

The great trilogy - our favorite series this season

The great trilogy – our favorite series this season

 

(And the combination of those above three things? Sublime.)

4). My new necklace in the shape of the state of Arizona, which I ordered online (it was my October “mois-versary” gift from Callaghan).

 

State necklace from Baublebar.com. I chose Arizona and ordered it in tortoiseshell with a heart cut-out where Phoenix is, with a 16" sterling silver chain.

State necklace from Baublebar.com. I chose Arizona and ordered it in tortoiseshell with a heart cut-out where Phoenix is, with a 16″ sterling silver chain.

 

5). Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Luna Bars.

 

They were on sale at Sprouts (5 for $5.00), so I took advantage!

They were on sale at Sprouts (5 for $5.00), so I took advantage!

 

6). Thug Kitchen, a food blog whose recipes are creative, scrumptious, healthy, easy and fun to read (if you share my sense of humor).

 

CaptureThugKitchen

 

7). Elevation Burger.

 

Quick! Someone in Phoenix, buy a franchise and open it now THANK YOU. =)

Quick! Someone in Phoenix, buy a franchise and open it now THANK YOU. =)

 

They have a vegetarian burger and a vegan burger, and the latter is a feat of culinary kickass by anyone’s standards. Also, their fries are fantastic and cooked in healthy olive oil. Okay, I’ve just decided that I’m going to make a list of “Top Ten Things I’ll Miss about Austin,” just so I can put Elevation Burger on it!

8). It’s a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin.

In this little bottle, we have THE ANSWER to my current First World beauty problem (that’s a redundancy, I know), which is that my hair is in an unmanageable stage of growing-out bangs and an awkward cut with even more awkward layers and over-texturized ends. I’ve recently started dealing with the whole mess by pretending that the bangs already don’t exist, and the result is a cascading achievement of blah. ENTER THIS PRODUCT.

 

It really is a miracle.

It really is a miracle.

 

I’d been stalking it for some time, but its price tag had deterred me… until I saw it on sale at Target last week. It was still expensive, but I felt less guilty springing for it when it was $4.00 off (and I got the small size – 4 fl. oz). Turns out, it’s totally the miracle product it claims to be, so it’s worth the expense, as far as I’m concerned. See how shiny, soft and tame my hair looks in the above picture? That’s because of this stuff. That’s all I put in my hair after I washed it that day, and I didn’t do anything to it after that… it’s air-dried and uncombed. Seriously.

9). Movies about Formula 1 racing.

 

thatasianlookingchick_com-Movies-F1300

 

10). This Matt & Nat bag I unearthed from a pile in a thrift store for $9.00, a rare find.

 

It's large, in perfect condition and probably originally cost between $150.00-$200.00. I thrifted it for $9.00!

It’s large, in perfect condition and probably originally cost between $150.00-$200.00. I thrifted it for $9.00!

 

What are you crazy about right now?

—–

*Since I posted about our Pretty Little Liars addiction, we’ve lost interest in that show! Writing about it broke the spell, oddly enough.