Tuesday, June 27, 2006

New and Improved

In a correspondence I received recently, "hective" was used to describe the person's day. As it sounds like a combination of both hectic and active, I adopted it immediately as it describes my life at the moment.

Guess who is moving?

No, I am not talking about my sister's upcoming move out of my house, although that is quickly approaching, and with it, a big "painting party" at her new place.

I am moving. Yes, I know. I just moved. Ergo the adoption of "hective" into my vocabulary.

The landlord informed us that they decided to put our house up for sale. While we are still living in it. We were given one of two options. 1) Live out our lease, which has another 9 months or so on it, and be subjected to strangers walking through our house to view it on a regular basis, and potentially a new unknown landlord if the place sells OR 2) be released from the lease with no penalty, if we gave a move out date immediately.

We were given this news about a week and a half ago. We went for option 2 and then promptly proceeded to house hunt; online for a couple of days, then in person that Saturday. I fell in love with the first house we visited, and as we left we both agreed that since we both liked it so much, there was no reason to drag out this already tedious process of finding yet another place to live.

We have a move in date of July 15th (although we don't have to officially be out of this place until August 8th) which means I have not a whole lot of time to re-pack everything, research movers, hire movers, clean the house (I am seriously considering "Merry Maids"), and unpack again.

I really hope we stay in this house for a VERY long time.

As for details on the house, it is in a lovely neighborhood - very safe area in the same town I spent a good portion of my childhood. It is a decent midway point between my job and J's job, and it has all of the important shopping areas located near by. Two story but relatively small compared to the house we are in currently, which I am happy about. Smaller means less maintenance, and less furniture needed to fill it. (As a matter of fact, we have to get rid of our big dining room table...again. Anyone in the market for one??) Once we get the keys I will take photos. (And since you all know how long it takes me to take photos and then actually post them, expect to see pics of the new digs sometime this fall.)

Speaking of all things new, I am also driving a new car. I traded in my "Box on Wheels" (Honda Element) for a new Honda Civic. I love it, and it actually turned out to be a better deal to have the new car than my old one.

Also new...my desire to keep things neat and clean. And following through with that desire. (That's right former roomies! Believe it! No more mound of clothes so large you can't find the floor...)

Currently Listening to: Ain't No Other Man by Christina Aguilera
Currently Reading: Nada. So sad.
Current Mood: tired

Thursday, June 15, 2006

In Other's Words...

I finally finished The Know-it-All. The amount of time it took me to read this book is a testament to the fact that I actually enjoyed it. I wasn't just reading to finish. Part of the reason I like it so much, as I mentioned in another post, is how I felt like I was reading something I would have said or written. (That makes it sound like I love me...I guess I mean I liked that the book felt familiar)

For example, here is an excerpt from his book, describing his father after an experience where he and sister were lost in the mountains:

"...He liked having us nearby before then, but after that, he became obsessed with physical proximity. Nothing pleases him more than having us in the room, watching TV, even if no one's allowed to talk except for those fifteen seconds when we're fast-forwarding through commercials. After that, he wrote me a note so uncharacteristically earnest and emotional, a note all about how proud he was of me, that I can't even think about it without tearing up."

If you know my family well, you understand why this paragraph struck a chord with me. For those of you who don't know, the above describes one of, what I believe to be anyway, my father's favorite things. Sitting in his family room, watching TV, surrounded by his family. We don't have to be talking about anything, just that "physical proximity" is enough.

And those of you who know what I think of my father know that hearing him say he is proud of me is a guaranteed way to start the waterworks.

And, if you have ever watched TV with my dad, you know there is no talking except during the commercials. :)

This evening someone was complimenting me on a statement I made, and made the observation that I seem to be very analytical, much like my mother. I always feel awkward when I receive compliments, and was definitely feeling awkward then. But also, really happy. Happy to be compared to my mom.

It is a really nice feeling to be proud of your parents and pleased to be compared to them.

Currently Reading: nada!
Currently listening to: Powerless (acoustic) by Nelly Furtado
Current Mood: not a mood - but I am DIZZY...phew.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Blue Tags

I stopped at Publix this evening, my grocery store of choice here in Florida (as well as the place that employed me for a good portion of my teenage life). As I was standing at the register watching the bag boy attempt to banter with the cashier, I noticed the blue tags they were wearing. Blue name tags at this store mean you are under 18.

I remember when I was a blue tag. Required 30 minute breaks every three hours. No working past a certain time. No over time.

Some days work included running around the store with a pricing gun, tagging unsuspecting co-workers. Or sitting in the stock room chatting. Or locking the new obnoxious guy in the freezer. Or telling same obnoxious guy that is was necessary to shake all the salad dressing bottles at the end of the night. Or making an extra five bucks every couple of nights for being the only kid who knew the company's mission statement. Or hoping that the cute bag boy was going to be bagging for you on a busy night.

Work was fun then.

And then I felt old. Somewhere between blue tag and blue hair.

Currently Listening to: Nelly Furtado's acoustic cover of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy
Currently Reading: nothing tonight - but still working on A.J. Jacobs

Monday, June 05, 2006

Mall Hair

Thanks to my blog (and my ever increasingly obvious roots) I realized that I was overdue for a salon visit today. I considered returning to the guy who gave me the initial cut and color, but in an effort to save money, gas, and my innocent mind, I decided to try someone else.

Finding a last minute appointment is a bit of a task. Most reputable (or overpriced) salons have a bit of a wait. So I opted for the salon inside the local JCPenney. Yep. Actually, my sister had found a really nice stylist there, so I thought I wouldn't be taking much of a risk by asking for her specifically. When I called however, they informed me that she no longer worked there. Due to the fact that when I get it in my head that I want to get something done, I HAVE to do it right then, I went ahead and made an appointment for 5 pm.

It has been quite a while since I had my hair done somewhere other than an overpriced snooty salon or a "we are too cool for colors that occur in nature" salon. The stark contrast between those and the JCPenney salon did not go unnoticed. But the prices are much lower, I reminded myself as I stared at the ceiling tiles, oddly reminiscent of my seventh grade English classroom ceiling (yes, I spent a lot of time staring at the ceiling in that class).

I tried not to be troubled by the average age of the clientele and stylists (49, maybe?). I tried not to be disturbed by the bag lady hair styles sported by some of them. I tried to be positive.

While the woman worked on my highlights, reminding me periodically that it is very difficult to do proper touch up on someone else's work, I thought about how I looked in a hat, and how that may need to become my new fashion statement of the next several months.

The woman took her time, so I kept hope that maybe, just maybe, her seemingly meticulous nature would prove successful in the end. As she pulled the foils out and rinsed my hair, I was thinking more positively. (the girl in the shampoo chair next to me who was actually my own age and had cute hair also assisted in my new found optimism) But then, as the stylist was rinsing, she would pause, pick up a few strands of my hair, then pause again. She did this several times. All optimism was now dead. I was not close enough to a mirror to see what she was examining. After some more rinsing, she walked away, saying "I'll be back in a minute."

This cannot be good, I thought to myself.

She returned with a small bowl and a brush. For the boys who don't know, this is the same thing she has when she is highlighting my hair. Bowl and brush usually mean color of some sort is being mixed. My mind started to race. Why color?! And why am I not being informed of what is going on??

My suddenly mute stylist began to dab areas of my head with the moist brush. Since I was laying back, still over the sink, I couldn't see what was going on. I could only feel and imagine.

The dabbing in small areas began to grow to all over my head. And then, with gloved hands, she began to massage whatever the moistness was all over my hair. Massage, massage, massage. Pause, inspect strands, massage some more. Finally, after a great deal of massaging (which I would have enjoyed if I wasn't busy worrying that my hair might be orange) she rinsed, shampoo'd, conditioned, and threw something else on my hair for good measure.

I walked back over to the styling chair, fearing the inevitable reveal that would take place as she removed the towel from my head. As I watched with one eye open, I saw nothing terrible. Having done horrible things to my own hair in the past, I have learned that wet hair can fool you into thinking that everything is normal. So I had to wait for the styling process to be complete (which still included some trimming....yet another thing to fear) before I could asses the damage.

Amazingly enough, my hair looks fine. It isn't wonderful mind you. I didn't walk out of there praising the stylist's skills, but it definitely doesn't look bad. And the price was definitely an improvement on past styles.

Who knows...after I give myself a day to get over the initial shock of being sure that my hair was ruined, only to find it wasn't, I may even really like my new hair.

Currently Listening to: Breathe by Tristan Prettyman
Currently Reading: Still working on the A.J. Jacobs book - I think this may be the slowest I have ever read anything

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Lists and Learning

Still Reading: The Know-It-All (One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World) - I am still enjoying this book, even if I am reading it slower than I normally would read a book. I especially enjoy his decision to join Mensa. I always thought it was funny how people make a big deal out of Mensa. If you watched the Apprentice this season (which may automatically disqualify me from ever joining) there was one guy on there who is a member. Man, did he do and say some really stupid things. I mean really. If I were Mensa, I would totally revoke his membership. His and Sharon Stone's.

Someone once asked me if I thought about joining. Evidently, if you took your SATs before certain year, you only need to score higher than a 1250 to automatically qualify. Since I took my tests after that year, I would have to take the actual Mensa test. I can't seem to get past the fact that I would be paying to take a test, just so I could be be part of a group that boasts membership that ranges from Stephen Hawking to Scott Levy. Somehow, I don't feel all that smart paying to take a test (my PSATs and SATs were the one time I paid to take a test....which is why I only took them once). I must admit though, I did derive no small pleasure in scoring 27/30 on their practice test (in 15 minutes, rather than the 30 minute allotment). I guess I would be lying if I sat here and pretended that I didn't have some ego. (Gah! And now I hate me.)

Currently Listening to (song): John Wayne Gacy Jr. by Sufjan Stevens - Really lovely sounding melody, creepy and haunting lyrics. I knew I had heard of John Wayne Gacy Jr., but I couldn't place where. After some reading, I now understand why my fear of clowns is not all that unusual. This guy killed over 30 people, the majority of whom were buried under his porch. Oh, and the clown part. He often dressed up like a clown. CrEEpy. But aside from the creepy content of this song, Sufjan Stevens has a pretty interesting sound.

Repeatedly Listening to (album): The Gulag Orkestar by Beirut - If you are looking for something far less creepy and very unique, this is a great album. With song names like Prenzlauerberg and Mount Wroclai, you already get the idea that this isn't your normal pop fare. Amazingly, Zach Condon, the man behind Beirut, is only 19 years old. You wouldn't guess that to hear his voice. (At times it makes me think of Rufus Wainwright, but with far less whine.) The music contains an interesting combination of instruments - what sounds like accordions, violins, and perhaps a glockenspiel. Now how often can you say that about a band? What I love is that the music makes you feel as though you are somewhere else - location and time. And evidently this guy, while not popular by most standards, is blowing up the blogosphere. Check him out.

Currently eating: Gelato. Whilst driving around today, we checked out a dessert shop, in hopes that it was the shop that served gelato (my boss had mentioned it recently, and I have been wondering about it since). I just ate some tiramisu gelato that was as good as(if not better than) eating the real thing. If you are local, you must try this place.

Currently loving: My MacBook. Best present ever.

About to: Get some sleep. It's past my bedtime.