Filed under: old diaryland entries

The Offending Strand

Last night when I got home from work, I dropped off my bags in my room, changed into lounging clothes, put my hair into a ponytail, and went in the bathroom to wash my face – my standard evening routine. (I usually get the face-washing out of the way right after work, because otherwise I’m likely to forget.)

Side notes:

  • That picture on the right was taken a few weeks ago in an attempt to show you all the green coat, but I’m an idiot with aiming the camera at the mirror and got a shot of my head all tiny in the middle of the bottom of the photo, surrounded by bleak white wall. Oh, and the sorority paddle which you can still sort of see on the wall behind me. Yeah, don’t ask.
  • Since I’m talking about washing my face, I just thought I’d mention that I’m recently devoted to the Bath & Body Works Pure Simplicity line, specifically Rice Skin-Balancing Face Wash and Face Lotion. I think I’ve outgrown most of the rest of their products the offending strand– they smell too strong – but I’ve been using this stuff for a couple of months or so and it is really super great.

as I leaned forward to splash water on my face, a strand of hair right by my part caught the light. I saw it immediately.

Is it – no, it couldn’t be, I thought to myself, but while I finished up with the rinsing, it plagued me.

Maybe it was a blonde strand. I had blonde hair as a child and will sometimes find golden strands in amongst the brown it has turned over the years.

I patted dry and put my glasses back on, and got about an inch away from the bathroom mirror to take a better look at the strand. I still wasn’t sure, and I was afraid I’d lose sight of it if I moved my hair or took my eyes away for even a moment. So I blindly groped around the side of the sink until my hand closed on a pair of tweezers, which I used to isolate and then pluck the offending strand.

Which was most certainly, unmistakably GRAY.

I pinched that damn gray strand of hair tightly between my thumb and forefinger and went tearing out of the bathroom toward the kitchen, where my mom was on the phone with my grandmother.

“DO YOU SEE THIS?” I asked, holding it right next to her face.

“What is it?” she asked. I waved it around menacingly.

“This,” I announced, “is a GRAY HAIR THAT JUST CAME OUT OF MY HEAD.”

She laughed, and told my grandma why she was laughing, and I’m sure my grandma laughed too.

In the living room, Sammi and Jamie wanted to know what I was fussing about. I stomped in with the strand and made them turn on the lamp next to where they were sitting and showed it to them.

“This is my first gray hair,” I said. “Right here. Gray.”

Sammi suggested that maybe it was one of Gordon’s hairs, since we haven’t gotten around to switching her with a gypsy yet.

“NO IT IS NOT A GORDON HAIR. I PLUCKED IT OUT OF MY HEAD WITH A PAIR OF TWEEZERS!” was my psychotic response.

And then Sammi and Jamie laughed at me too.

I told them I was saving it and took it back to my room and carefully put it right on top of my jewelry box. I forgot to check today to see if it was still there, though.

You know, I’ve always told myself that when I grow older and begin to get gray hair, that I’ll just go with the whole aging thing and not try to fight it. But I was really kind of annoyed with that gray hair, because it was seriously right in the front and didn’t match the rest of my hair. And I didn’t really expect to begin graying at 24, but hey – I guess it happens to the best of us.

Or maybe it was an anomaly, and the rest of my hair is totally fine and not even a little gray at all.

Only time will tell.

21 Comments December 8, 2004

And No, I Didn’t Get Their Pictures Made with Santa, Either

Lately, probably because I’m talking about all the people I know of who have had babies, my parents will occasionally get all like “why don’t you go and get married and start having kids so we can have grandchildren before we die?” I think this is also related to the fact that I’m about to turn 25 in a couple of months. (also, holy crap.)

I know it’s not time for me to do these things yet for a few reasons, namely:

  • I’m not seeing anyone seriously, or really, at all;
  • Although life’s biggest moments tend to happen unplanned, or some other sappy forwarded chain email sentiment, I’d prefer to have my life in order a bit before bringing others into it;
  • I’m not entirely certain that I want to have children at all.

This last point was really driven home when I had the bright idea to take the dogs (Sadie on the left, Belle on the right with the big smile) to PETsMART this weekend.

That, by the way, is the official way to type it. PETsMART. That’s going to get annoying fast, so maybe I’ll try to refrain from using the store name again during this entry.

I don’t know why I thought this was a good idea. My mom flat-out called me crazy. “I would never take a dog to a store, even if it WAS a dog store,” she said as I loaded the girls into the car. I was very proud that I’d planned ahead and put a big beach towel on the back seat. “Oh, they’ll be fine,” I said. “They’re good dogs.”

And for the majority of the car ride, they were indeed good dogs. Belle is particularly good in the car, and after looking out the windows for a few minutes, she’ll usually just lie down and chill for the rest of the ride. Sadie, on the other hand, wants to look out the windows for the whole ride, but she’s small so she has to stand on her hind legs and stretch to get her head up far enough to see. Incidentally, we call this “meercatting.”

When I had a different car, Sadie was fond of jumping into the back window well, where she could stretch her little hot dog self out and see as far as she wanted. But in my current car, the back seats are too high up for her to make the jump. I heard her scrabbling on the seat cloth and worried that she’d tear a hole in the seat, so I snapped at her to get down.

A few minutes later, she jumped up on the console beside me as I pulled to a stoplight. No big deal, I thought. If she wants to sit on the front seat, fine with me.

But what she really wanted was to sit on the dashboard. No good. Luckily, she had the same jumping issues and I was able to grab her and toss her in the backseat before the light changed. I drove the rest of the way to PETsMART (dammit, I had to type it again after all) keeping an eye on the backseat and my elbow cocked out across the console so she couldn’t get by.

I parked and put their leashes on in the car and got out. We headed for the store, and everything was fine until it was time to cross the street to the store entrance. Sadie was fine with it – if there’s cheese or people involved, Sadie will happily walk out in front of a bus – but Belle was freaked out by the traffic and didn’t want to cross the street. So she pulled back. And I coaxed her and pulled forward a bit. And she sat down. And I gave the leash a little yank, which is when her collar came off and she turned around and started running back toward my car.

A skinny little store employee who looked like he played a lot of Halo was corralling shopping carts, saw Belle, and promptly tackled her. He held her while I sat in the middle of the parking lot and put her collar back on and tightened it up a bit. During the chatting, I said that she’d gotten freaked out by the traffic, and he offered to put her in shopping cart so we could get her across the street. No dice. Belle weighs over 80 pounds and will not be very excited about having those 80 pounds hoisted above the ground by me and Halokid.

I decided that we’d try the street crossing a second time, and if she was still afraid, I’d take her back and put her in the car. Apparently the traffic level was to her liking, because this time she cruised right across the street like she’d been crossing streets all her life.

Inside the store, I learned that Belle and Sadie were very different kinds of shoppers. Sadie wants to browse and check everything out, while Belle wants to get what she came for and get the hell out of the store. She seriously shops with a purpose. Their paths through the store went a little bit like this:

The end of Sadie’s path is where I got tired of untangling her from Belle’s legs and just carried her from then on.

Sadie and Belle were very popular, and I got a whole lot of “look at the ginger dogs!” and “look at the lab and the hot dog!” and “what kind of dog is that?” We recently had Belle clipped short for the winter and she looks almost like a lab, but not quite. Sort of like a fat lab in need of a haircut. But definitely nowhere near as shaggy as she is in the picture above. So I explained to several people that she’s a golden retriever, and we had her clipped, and blah blah whatever.

I got the stuff we needed and made it to the register, even after Belle kept leaving her fleecy bone in the middle of aisles and I had to go back and get it, and Sadie randomly picked a fight with a black lab puppy whose name was also Sadie. Our Sadie played friendly and then started attackdog barking and the puppy freaked out and the owner gave me a stern look as I apologized. The funny part is that Sadie never fights her own fights – if a fight is in order, Belle will have to do it – but people don’t know that and it sounds weird when you try to explain it. So whatever. I made it to the register.

I’d had the bright idea to get them each a big dog biscuit for the car ride back, so it would occupy them and maybe keep Sadie from climbing seats. I had to run into the hardware store to get something and by the time I got back, Sadie had burrowed under the beach towel and was busily gumming her biscuit with what’s left of her teeth. By the time I got home, the left half of my backseat was smeared with gummed up dog biscuit, which looked exactly, precisely like when toddlers eat arrowroot cookies in the car and smear them all over the place.

When I pulled into the driveway, the dogs jumped out of the car all excited and worn out and tired but still running around, and I was toast. My left arm ached from hanging onto Belle’s leash as she quite literally dragged me through the store. My right arm ached from carrying ten pounds of Sadie like a football for part of the excursion. I had drool crusted up on my hoodie from carrying the fleecy bone around after Belle gave up on it. I had dog biscuit dough on another part of the hoodie, and on my hands. My back seat was trashed. My back windows were smeared.

And as my mom stood there laughing, I said quite seriously, “I am SO not having children.”

9 Comments December 6, 2004

I’m Not Sleeping

Apropos of absolutely nothing, here’s a picture of one of our cats.

That would be Gordon, the prissy princess. She is wondering why I’m lying on the floor clucking at her from behind a piece of machinery.

I know a lot of people who regularly suffer from insomnia, but I am not normally one of those people. Every once in a while, though, I have a few days of it, and right now is one of those times. It’s so awful that I don’t know how people who have it all the time are able to function in the world.

I almost never had trouble falling asleep when I was younger, except on Christmas Eve – notorious for creating insomniacs out of tiny children everywhere. In fact, when I was majorly stressed out even as recently as college, I’d do just the opposite – I’d sleep way too much.

I was a champion sleeper. I could sleep for hours and hours. Rip Van Winkle used to dream that his job security was in danger while I kicked his ass at sleeping.

And now, sometimes when I get stressed out I don’t sleep, and that’s how I feel right now after a third day on about 10 cumulative hours of sleep. I’m getting that haunted, hollow look. I’m making lots of typos when I work on stuff. And I really, really want to sleep a full night tonight.

So I’m going to try to do all those things you’re supposed to do – most notably, quitting with the Diet Coke after lunch. Usually I have one soda a day, in the morning, and occasionally another in the evening, but not usually more. But lately I’ve been intensely thirsty and also stressed out and I’ve been slamming back Diet Coke like it’s my job. I’m sure this may have something to do with the sleeping trouble, so after stocking up on a big one at lunch, I’m done for the rest of the day.

Between that and trying to write a budget request and not having enough sleep, my head is seriously pounding right now. Eek.

7 Comments December 2, 2004

Strike All the Big Red Words from My Little Black Book

Last night, Mom and Sammi and I decided to kill some time by going through Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs list. When they got home, Ginny and Dad joined us. Hilarity ensued.

I should add that “going through the list,” for us, meant that I’d say the song and everyone who knew the song would immediately begin singing part of it, in most cases very badly. Here are a couple of results:

Me: “‘When Doves Cry?’ Man, what an awesome song. You know what? Prince is so weird, but kind of hot. In a weird way. Like, I’d do Prince even though I don’t think he’s attractive.”

Sam: “Seriously. He’s this tall (holding hand about four feet above the ground) -“

Me: “- and he weighs like 84 pounds -“

Sam: “And everyone wants to do him.”

Mom: “Ew! He’s sleazy! He looks like Rat Fink. If Rat Fink were a person, he’d be Prince.”

Me: “But you’d do him.”

Mom: “I WOULD NOT! I’d do anyone before I’d do Prince.”

Me: “What about George W. Bush?”

Mom: “Anyone.”

Sam & me: “YOU’D RATHER DO W THAN PRINCE? What is WRONG with you?”

Me: “I am SO writing an entry about this.”

And then, a little later:

Mom: “Who was that supposed to be?”

Me: “It’s Jefferson Airplane, hell-O.”

Mom: “You sounded like Katherine Hepburn!”

Me: “I’m JEFFERSON AIRPLANE, dammit!”

And also:

“You know, it doesn’t count if I say the title and then you sing the title back to me with a made-up tune. That doesn’t mean you know the song.”

“What’s next?”

“Stagger Lee.”

(singing)”Stagger Lee!
“Um. That’s all I know.”

Oh, and then this:

“Why isn’t there any Journey on this list?”

“Because Journey blows.”

And for most songs after “Stan,” which was ranked #290:

“How in the hell is (insert song title here) ranked lower than STAN?”

Seriously. We have fun with these lists, but I occasionally have to wonder what the panelists were thinking when they ranked “Stan” above songs like, for example, “Train in Vain,” “Sweet Jane,” “White Room,” “I Can’t Explain,” “Pride (In the Name of Love),” “Just My Imagination,” “Rhiannon,” and about 200 other songs on the list.

Today’s like a Friday, since I’ll be off from tomorrow until the following Wednesday. This means I’m getting very little done, much like everyone else around here. There are only like 3 people who didn’t take tomorrow off, so I guess they’ll sit around reading books or something while the rest of us are chilling at home.

In case I don’t write again before Thursday, I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. If you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in your part of the world, have a wonderful Thursday instead.

21 Comments November 23, 2004

Definitely Do Not Click OK

On Saturday I was recruited to work bingo yet again to raise money for the sports teams to which my sisters belong. It’s hard to keep track, because there are so many, but I think we were working for softball money on Saturday, so Jamie, you need to thank me, like pronto.

Side note: I have noted lately with amusement that my parents sign up for their bingo weekend, and then when it comes along, my mother suddenly “has plans” and I get to help out instead. Very interesting, Mom.

I don’t really mind working at bingo once I get there, but I usually don’t want to go. It’s also really important that I be the paymaster, because I loathe floor sales. If I can be paymaster and Dad can be cashier and someone we like can be game night manager, then it’s all gravy as far as I’m concerned.

So we get there early so I can be paymaster, and once we get the bingo packages stocked and money in the cash drawers, we’re ready to start selling tickets. There are cashiers and pullers (people who pull out all the bingo sheets that people buy), and I’m usually a cashier. Normally, at this point we have tons of people waiting in line, and this past Saturday was no exception.

We get the go-ahead to begin selling, and as I turn to my computer I notice that there’s a keypad thing up on it with a line that says “reindex” and a blank space below it for a password. This was on all the screens, and we needed to get to a different screen to start ringing up bingo cards. I figured that I would just click on OK, because it would either take me out of that screen, or it would prompt me for a password and then I could just cancel and ask for help.

So I clicked on OK.

It was very much not OK.

Because, see, when I clicked on OK, it caused all three computers to hang while my computer ran the reindex program. Which takes a really, really long time – like twenty minutes. And these people have been lined up for at least twenty minutes already. So they were starting to get pretty angry.

You definitely need to not fuck with the unwashed masses when they’ve been waiting in line for twenty minutes to drop $80 on bingo cards.

Unfortunately, I fucked with the unwashed masses. And there was no way to interrupt the program or speed it up, so I did the most mature and helpful thing I can think of, which was to go and hide for a while in the manager’s room so the scary people couldn’t yell at me.

By the time the reindex finished, I was so rattled and embarrassed by my mistake that I kept screwing up people’s purchases, and the only good thing that came out of that was that everyone thought I was a complete tool and so I had the shortest line and was finished first. HA.

But then I went over to the ATM and promptly broke that too.

Seriously – I borrowed Dad’s ATM card to get some money for us to get food later, and the first time I put in the wrong PIN and after waiting for like five minutes, the machine spat the card back out to me. The second time I got the PIN right, but managed to crash the computer inside the ATM so that the guy who owns the place had to come over and unlock the whole thing and open it up and reset it.

Everything else seemed to go pretty smoothly, though. Except that everyone kept asking us why we weren’t giving out turkeys because apparently, sometimes at bingo you win turkeys. Who knew?

8 Comments November 22, 2004

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