Thursday, March 16, 2006

What is wrong with America?

Oh, I know there are a lot of things wrong with this country, although it's still the best place on earth to live as far as I'm concerned.

My beef today is with America's voting in American Idol. Last night, I watched in anticipation to see who would be in the bottom three. While I knew Kevin should be the one to go (even in the brief recap you can tell he can't stand on his own to those others), I thought that it might be Bucky ... maybe even Melissa, although she did really well on Tuesday, even if she did forget the words.

I thought those would be the bottom three. What I was not prepared for was that Ace and Lisa were there with Melissa. I like Bucky, but I was very surprised that Ryan said Lisa's name instead of his. But the biggest travesty is when Ryan said Ace's name instead of Kevin. WTF?

I feel like it's some kind of joke. That America is picking someone, even if he's bad, to see how far he'll actually go. If he'll actually make a record deal. If he'll play the half-time shows at the NBA All-Star games and create a new ad for Candies. Do you see how ridiculous this would be with Kevin at the wheel?!

If he's not gone next week, I may have to stop watching. I really like everyone else who's on there right now (although my favorites have to be Chris, Taylor, Elliot and Kathryn). Come on, America, let's do the right thing next week!*

*sheepishly: I don't call in to vote. I know, I know, I'm like those people who complain about how this country is run, but don't vote to do anything about it. My husband was so shocked last night, he said that we need to start voting. Maybe we will ... maybe we will.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Going back to school

When I was younger, my mom would take me and my sister to the local beauty college to get our hair cut. At that time, the Shag look was in, and I look back in horror at my old pictures with my scraggly bangs and wisps of hair in my face with it longer in the back, similar to Joan Jett. I can't tell if my hair looked bad because of the style or that it was done at the local beauty college.

Once, when I was in 4th grade, I thought I could create my own style and cut a little on the top. A little too much. When my mom took me back to get my hair cut, the hairdresser (student) looked puzzled at this patch of really short hair on the crown of my head. She called her instructor over. "What's going on with this patch of hair on your head?" he asked. I just played dumb, pretending I didn't know what he was talking about. "Where did you get your hair cut last?" he asked. "I got it cut here," I replied. He looked shocked. To this day, I still feel bad that one of his students could have been expelled from beauty school because of my lie. (Actually, I haven't really thought about it until this moment, but I feel bad now).

I've decided, after years of paying a ton of money to get my hair cut, that I'm going to try out the local Paul Mitchell School near my house. I've recently discovered from a former coworker, that you can get your hair cut and highlighted for $50. What a deal! So later on today, I'll be sitting in the chair with a level 2 student (you didn't think I'd trust my hair with a first-timer did you?), and seeing what they can do.

I don't really have what you'd call a major style in my hair, so I don't think they can do wrong there. Just a trim, maybe some long bangs. And I'm not afraid of color. I've made so many mistakes coloring my own hair: from the dark purple maroon that only looks good on dark Hispanic women, to the Ronald McDonald red that would have looked fine if I was a club girl with a belly chain (I am not). So I know if this student screws up, I can always color over it.

What I'm a little worried about is the highlights. I've seen the girls with the superchunky highlights that look like black and blond stripes in their hair. That's not for me. I need something subtle to fit in to my "mom" lifestyle. I just want a nice rich brown color with some auburn (not orange) or caramel (or maybe a little lighter ... summer is almost here ... at least I like to think so ... I know it's only March, but trust me, it's coming) highlights. Something simple.

Depending on how the day goes, I may post pictures later. Or maybe not. I may be buying a box of Garnier instead!

Update: So after 4 hours (yes, I said 4 hours!), I finally got back from the salon. She did a great job, but the highlights were too blond at first (some miscommunication about the word "sand". I pictured it being a light brown, like the sand in my kids' sandbox. She pictured it being like the light sandy beaches of Hawaii.) They toned down the highlights to a nice caramel brown, and I left happy (if not a little exhausted after the whole episode). What do you think?

Monday, March 13, 2006

The return of Talking Tina

Warning, this post contains a graphic photo that may be disturbing to some viewers. Proceed with caution.

Look at the face of this doll. What emotion does it evoke? A harmless childhood plaything, that drinks from a toy bottle and closes its eyes to nap? Or a form of true evil, conjured from the depths of hell to scare the living daylights out of everything being it encounters?

For me, it's the latter. But it wasn't always that way. When I was about 5 years old, my grandma gave me The Doll. It had been in her late husband's family since he was a child. I don't know why she had it, but I loved it. I'd play with it during the hot July summers in Florida, while my sister was outside trying to catch lizards. I had a little bottle that I'd fill up with water, and little diapers that would catch the fluid as it ran through its body. I wrapped it in soft blankets and carried it around with me every where.

My grandma knew how much I had loved The Doll and a few years later, she told me I could keep it. By then I'd outgrown dolls, but I didn't want to hurt her feelings, so I took it with me. Somehow, through all of our moves across the US and out of the country, The Doll stayed with me. It wasn't like those sci-fi movies where I'd try to throw it away and it would mysteriously reappear. It's just that I never thought of getting rid of it.

While in high school, I made the sudden realization that dolls really scared me. I don't know if it stemmed from a bad dream I had about The Doll (which I still remember vividly ... I won't go into detail because it won't sound as scary as it really was, but it was full of dark rooms with red lights, and The Dolll's spooky stare from the top of a dresser), but I suddenly found that I couldn't look porcelein dolls in the eyes. While The Doll isn't porcelein, it still has those creepy eyes.

But still, I couldn't bring myself to get rid of The Doll. It even moved out with me when I got my first apartment, and every move after that. I remember when I was about 23, I had a friend from out of town come to stay with me. He knew about my fear of dolls, and that I had to hide The Doll way back in my closet (but not underneath anything ... I didn't want to make it mad ... I just had to keep it out of my line of sight). One night my friend went to the bathroom (which in my tiny apartment was in my room), and called me into my room when he was done. I walked in, and there, sitting on the middle of my bed, was The Doll. I nearly jumped out of my skin. I ran out of the room, yelling for him to put it back in the closet where it belonged.

Even when I moved across the country to California to marry my husband, The Doll came with me. I packed it carefully in a box so as not to disturb it (or make it angry). And for some unknown reason, I chose to unpack it when I got here, rather than leave it with a few of the boxes we kept in storage.

This weekend, we were clearing out Boogie's and Dak's closets to install some closet organizers. At the top of Dak's closet sat The Doll. I pulled it down, along with a fuzzy Easter basket that Boogie had received the year before. "Oh, how cute!" Boogie exclaimed. "Can I hold it?" I thought she was talking about the Easter basket. Oh, no. She was talking about The Doll. Begrudgingly, I gave it to her, and had to watch in horror as she played with it for the rest of the afternoon.

Boogie: Look, mommy, one of her eyes won't open.
Me (not looking in The Doll's eyes, but laying it back and then back up right): See, now they're open.
Boogie: What color are the doll's eyes?
Me (seriously, she wants me to look deep in the dolls eyes?): I think they're a bluish green color.
Boogie: They're pretty aren't they mommy?
Me: Uh, yeah.

So is it just me? Am I crazy to be freaked out by a harmless piece of plastic? Yes, it's old, and it's hair is all matted, and it's wearing these ugly clothes that it's worn since my grandma gave it to me. But is it that scary? In my book, yes!