Sunday, May 24, 2009

Watch your pennies...

And the dollars will follow?
At what point does a "Take and Toss" cup cross over into "Just Fucking Toss"? These things are so cheap. Literally intended to be quasi-disposable, and yet I swear to God I have held on to every single one I've ever purchased. We have close to 100 in all different sizes, colors, and level of rattiness; some spouts so chewed that I bypass them whenever they come up on the rotation. But today things reached a new low, as I scrubbed rancid milk which had morphed into cottage cheese out of one after it had a week long vacation under the passenger seat in my car.
I also use disposable razors for WAY longer than they are intended to be used and end up with a stockpile of razor heads.
Perhaps I will organize both the kids' sippy cup drawer (yes, I have a drawer just for those) and my razor blade drawer (and another drawer just for those) tomorrow.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Because I'm worth it???

After coloring my hair for almost 15 years "just because", after the birth of my twin sons it became increasingly clear to me that it was now time to color my hair because otherwise I looked post-menopausal. I tried a variety of different over the counter home dyes. They would all work okay, but apparently I have what it is they are referring to when they use the term "resistant grays". Add to the fact that my hair, in it's natural, younger state is a dark brown, and you've got yourself a problem. The gray hairs shimmer quite brightly against the dark. No one is questioning if they are just blond highlights, trust me. So, after becoming frustrated at the fact that I could no longer disguise the tinsel sprouting from my scalp on my own, I sought professional help. I headed to my local hair salon for a professional color job. Nothing weird. Just your basic Portuguese Brown. I don't go to a super fancy salon. It wasn't that expensive. But, I was deeply disappointed when I was already seeing those fucking shiny hairs not 3 days later.
I decided to take a break from the hair coloring process during my trip to PA. Perhaps a bit of when in Rome....Now, I'll admit I was prepared to find some wayward grays, all wiry and sticking up when they should've been down. Usually right where my part was falling. A siren blaring the fact that I am 30+ to the rest of the world. But I was not at all ready for what gradually appeared during my stay, and, what would turn out to be a 3 month hiatus from coloring. I would say that, conservatively, I am 10% gray. This may not seem like a lot. But, believe me, when you hold a clump of 100 hairs, and 10 of them are grey, you will change your mind. I was heartbroken.
Luckily, for me, while we were in Pennsylvania, I had met a great hairstylist who really helped me through some rocky times while in the awkward "growing out" phase. She talked me off the proverbial ledge and, with a few key trims, truly transformed my hair throughout my time there. So, frugality be damned, I booked a color appointment with her a few days before our departure. And, true to their resistant form, I shit you not, I got in the car after the appointment and could immediately see that these fuckers did not change their color. What the fuck? Am I damned to a life of Brillo pad hair?
Back in the days of my nose ring and throughout my tattoo phase, the lady who adorned my box of hair color used to give me all sorts of encouragement...I like sassy highlights! Try something a little different for Summer. Ooohhhhh....You would look so good with a blond streak! And it wasn't just the model on the box, either. The graphics were in hyper, trendy colors. Aqua and lime, raspberry and tangerine. And the fonts were thrilling...graffiti and exaggerated typeface. So fun, so young. These days, the box, which comes complete with a tube of Gray Retexturizing Pre-Treatment is no nonsense; packaged in sensible white, grey, and soft blue. The woman on the front, with her glasses and fucking osteoporosis reminding me to "get it done before you have parent teacher conferences", and to "fit it in prior to your estate planning meeting". Who is this lady? And, more importantly, where are her encouraging words now that I need them?


What, exactly, is a mandarin orange? I feed them to my children all the time, and even snack on them occasionally myself. But I wonder...Is there such an orange? Is it just a clementine with all the membrane removed? How could that be cost effective? I hate the exterior crap that you basically chew for 5 minutes before choking it down long after flesh and juice have been swallowed. So, I assumed, would my children. And, afterall, what is good for the goose is good for not only the gander, but also the gosslings. In that vein, I have always painstakingly supremed my kids' oranges before giving them to eat (spoiled, yes, they are!). But these lovely mandarin oranges really make my life easier. In an attempt to preserve some wonder and mystery in my life, I've avoided looking this up online, but if anyone has a theory (or the truth), I'd love to hear it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Return of the Mack.

So, we're back. Holy shit. I cried when we said goodbye and left Pennsylvania. I cried periodically throughout the whole ride home. I cried when I found all the groceries and balloons J left me, and smelled the smell that only Celia leaves after cleaning our house. I guess it was a combination of relief, sadness about leaving (who would've thought), anxiety about our future, and PMS. Apparently, my cycle was eager to welcome me back to town and punctuated the trip with some Hawk red.

The 91/2 hour return trip was pretty uneventful; and the time passed quickly thanks largely in part to an AWESOME mix CD from my mom and her husband. Will is just getting into "real" music, and this had all the perennial favorites (Love Shack, I Love Rock N Roll), and a few new ones as well (Pokerface, That's Not My Name). This is a huge step in the right direction from Row, Row, Row Your Boat and Old MacDonald. Maybe Juicy will be on the next one.

Things have been busy since we got back. I have had hardly any time to be the internet slut that I fancy myself, and have visited Perez only once or twice since we've returned, and have cut WAY back on my Facebook habit.

The unpacking is ALMOST done, but still occurring at a now sluggish pace. I am realizing that I have saved and consumed way too much; particularly in the 4 years since Will has been born. Stay posted for news on a massive yard sale that must occur by the Fall. Brett has been checking items off his "To Do Around the House" list, and I've been trying to make progress as well. Just today, I even spent two hours renewing my license (3 if you count the time it took me to dry my hair and put on wedding level makeup- hey, this picture could possibly be with me for 10 years!)

I can't say how happy I am to be home. I miss the view from my window in Pennsylvania; the rolling hills, white fences, and trotting horses. But, let me tell you a few things..1.) I don't look out the kitchen window nearly as much since we have a dishwasher like most people, and 2.) there is no view more beautiful to me than my little neighborhood; full of modest houses, neighbors walking their dogs, and Will learning to ride a bike.

As I gain some perspective, I already do feel lucky to have had the opportunity. We got to live right near a farm. An actual working farm. There aren't too many people in this country who can say that, and sadly, there are going to be fewer and fewer if things keep going the way they are.

I learned that Brett and I would be okay if we ever had to pack up the kids and make a go of it in some strange place. I can rely on my husband to make me feel safe, keep my children amused, and unclog a toilet no matter where we are. I understand that just being "close" to someone doesn't always make you "close" to them. But, being near friends and family makes a world of difference for me. I always thought I was pretty independent, but I guess I had no idea how much I relied on everyone here. I will never take them for granted again, and I hope I can show my appreciation and happiness as much as I feel it.

I learned a lot about myself, too. I tend to put disclaimers on myself. "I'm no feminist, but....", "I'm not the outdoorsy type, but...", "I'm not an environmentalist, but...". Maybe I'm much more of an outdoorsy, athletic, feminist/environmentalist than I give myself credit for. I'm proud of myself. I'm proud of my husband. And, I'm extremely proud of my children. We all returned to our home, but, really, we realized that home is just where we all happen to be.

And, since it is the question we have heard the most this past week or so, I will answer it here. We have no idea what we are doing next. Brett and I are both completely unemployed at this point, and are open to accepting almost any new challenge that is presented to us. I am very scared. Yes, I know the economy is in the shitter. But, sometimes you just have to roll with the punches. We stepped off a huge ledge, and I have faith that eventually (soon, I hope) we'll hit the ground.