Hair: That Magnificent Mess on Top of my Head

I need to take a moment to discuss my hair. You may think that this is a boring and superficial topic. But boy, have I got news for you! It totally IS a boring and superficial topic. But that’s ok. Because my hair is probably the most exciting thing that is happening in my life right now (besides finally getting hooked on Pretty Little Liars.. I KNEW it was Mona! Totally called it.).

I recently discovered the magnificence of hot rollers. As any woman other than me knows, they can do some beautiful things to your hair. But there’s a bonus! You get to giggle at yourself in the mirror before you take them out. There’s nothing quite like looking in the mirror to see all of your hair haphazardly wound around the rollers much like you saw on your grandma back in the day. Just much more messy. If you haven’t done this before, I suggest giving it a try. If for no other reason than a good laugh. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

In the 23 long years that I have been gracing all of you with my presence, I have found a few staples for doing my hair. There’s the option of straightening it. This is a tedious task, but over the years I have become much more efficient in this. It’s the quickest way to make my hair look less like “just woke up” and more like “I am attempting to look like an adult”. Then there’s the option of curling it with a curling iron. This is even more tedious. I have become more efficient in this as well, but as anyone with long, thick hair will know, there’s no way it’s taking less than an hour. And last but not least, just leaving it air dry. I lied about that “least” part. This is totally the worst way to style it. About 5% of the time it works out great with long, beachy waves cascading gracefully down my shoulders. The other 95% however, I look like I just climbed out of a hole in the ground.

I wish there was a button I could push when I get out of the shower. This button would make a cool “POOF” sound and my hair would magically look exactly how I want it to. I’m sure it won’t happen in this life time, but a girl can dream.

With all of that useless information being said, I present you with the dos and don’ts of hair styling. This will be especially useful for you if you want to listen to a girl who has had 23 years to figure out her hair and hasn’t quite done so yet.

DO section off the hair

  • This helps tackle that unruly mane one section at a time.

DONT put gum in your hair

  • Does this really need an explanation?

DO use heat spray or another product

  • Heat spray is the best, but anything is helpful really. You just need some sort of barrier to slow down the inevitable destruction of your split ends

DONT use hairspray

  • Or do. I don’t care. But no amount of hairspray will keep it in place, so why even try? Too much and you’ll look like you haven’t showered for weeks.

DO clip your hair up in crazy ways and take selfies

  • This will soften the blow when you realize that your hair is never going to cooperate with you.

DONT touch the flat or curling iron to your face

  • Just.. Don’t. I did this on accident once. I clipped my face skin in the flat iron. The resulting burn was shaped like elevator buttons. One for up and one for down.

DONT rip your hair out in a panic

  • I promise, no matter how bad it looks, it isn’t worth tearing it out of your scalp. It hurts and takes forever to grow back.

DO give up and throw your hair up in a messy bun.

  • It’s really the only solution.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

You’re Not Who You Think You Are

You’re not who you think you are.

From head to toe, you dress in fashions beyond your means. You ache at the thought of being surpassed, at the thought of being ignored. Your hair so beautifully tossed, eyes sparkling with the life you never wanted. There’s a fire inside you, but it burns for something more than what you are. Something more than you will ever be.

The laugh that so elegantly flows from your lips, the way you throw your whole body into it. It’s all fake. You are not the obnoxious sounds that come from your mouth. You are not the voice that we didn’t want to hear. The words that spill out so pretentious, so fake. You are more than this.

You are not the person you see in the mirror. You are not the person I see when I look at you. You are nothing and everything. But you are not who you think you are.

You are not this person you portray to the world. You improvised, made this person up along the way. When life smacked you in the face, you changed. You altered your course for the coming storm. You are not who you wanted to be.

You are not who you were.
You are not who you think you are.
You are not who I think you are.
You are not who you will be.
You are not who you wanted to be.

You are you.

Black Escalade

Being somewhat of an artist, I take notice in tiny details. I observe more than I participate. This has allowed me to really fine tune my skills as an artist – be it painting, drawing, photography, etc. It has also helped to amplify my paranoia. Take the black Escalade sitting outside my apartment for example. This is probably just the daily driver for someone new in my apartment building. As innocent as a car can be. But in my mind, this guy is either a drug dealer, DEA agent, or something even more sinister.

The first time I noticed this particular vehicle, there wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. The SUV was parked in a no parking spot on the curb of a little side street that really can only be described as a driveway with a name. This was not unusual as many people parked here. The area was rarely patrolled for illegally parked cars and parking spaces were few and far between. So what’s the problem with parking on a street that isn’t really a street?

This car, with the tinted windows and the chrome accents, was a little too shiny a little too often for having been driven in a Minnesota winter. While the other cars lining the streets had mud and salt stains, this car was virtually spotless.

This car always seemed to be running when I walked by. The lights on and exhaust spilling out of the tailpipe. Yet no one ever came in or out of the car.

This car was never here a month ago. But since it showed up the first time, it hasn’t left.

One night after dark I was heading out for some drinks and pool. It had been snowing all day, and the big heavy flakes were still flying. I could see them dancing in my headlights as I pulled out of the garage. At the time, my garage door opener didn’t work. So when I got home, I would have to park my car, go through the building to the basement/garage, and open the door from there. Proceed to park my car inside and walk back to the door to shut it. When I left, I would have to get out of my car to close the door. (I did finally get a remote for this so I can finally stop worrying about being mugged in the 10 feet it is from my car to the building.) So I put my car in park and I climbed out to close the garage door. I noticed that the Escalade was parked on the opposite side of this little driveway with a name. The running lights were on and I could hear the faint muffled sound of music. I wouldn’t be able to provide a logical reason for this, but the sight of the car sitting there so daunting really made my pace quicken. Before I reached the open car door, I looked up. The driver’s window on the Cadillac was slowly lowering. The inside of the car was so dark that I could not see who was behind the window. My heart started beating a little quicker, but I figured they must have wanted to say something. Probably about the missing garage door opener.  But before I could say anything or walk any closer, the window started rolling back up. So I did what any rational person would do. I got in my car and nope’d the fuck out of there. 

The next day, the Escalade was still in the same spot. Still running. Or running again. I don’t know. The point is, that this is creepy as hell. And I don’t want anything to do with Escalade man. 

My living room window is on the same side as this little street. (Seriously, it’s such an insignificant street that I don’t even remember what the name is. It has a sign and everything. A sign that I look at probably 2-200 times a day. And I still couldn’t tell you what it is. Talk about being observant..) Every time I look out my window, there’s that black Cadillac sitting, waiting. For what? I don’t know. But there it is, every day. It’s there when I leave for work. It’s there when I get home. It’s there when I’m up at 3 in the morning. It’s just always there.

There is probably no good reason to think there is something going on with this car. But where’s the fun in following “good reason”? I personally think that the Moroccan Mafia is planning a hit on me because of that one time I may or may not have… Let’s not get into that. Let’s just leave it at this: Escalade man is scary. Keep that in mind if I ever suddenly disappear.

 

 

The Epic Adventures of Me: The Search for a Dwelling

When I first arrived at the beginning of my new life, I was in for more of an adventure than I ever thought possible. Of course I neglected to plan the most important thing involved in moving to a new city: Securing a living space.

It was the beginning of August in Minneapolis. Everyone and their brother was visiting the Mall of America or checking out the art fair at Loring Park. Or maybe even the state fair. So there were very few available rooms that I could afford. I was waiting on my last check from my previous employer, and I didn’t start my new job for a couple of days yet. So I had very little money in my bank account. Luckily I had some of those fancy hotel reward points left over from the few months I spent in Milwaukee, which I was able to use to get a free room.

After this free night ended, I had the task of finding a hotel that would allow me to stay for an extended period time without paying right away. Eventually I stumbled upon a hotel. It was beautiful really. A thing of luxury. And after I got my head out of the clouds, I proceeded next door to the Days Inn.

This stay lasted for about a month. All the while I was looking at apartment after apartment. The first place I went to seemed too good to be true. It was affordable (for the area), the pictures showed flawless carpeting, amazing windows with spectacular views, and many amenities were included. Parking garage? Convenient! Laundry facilities? Stellar! A pool and workout room! Wow, sign me up!

I get to the leasing office and meet with the agent. We discuss what I am looking for, my price range, etc. This particular company had 7 buildings in a sort of little village. He mentioned that the studio apartment I had originally called about was no longer available, but that was ok because there were 7 buildings. Surely they would have something suitable.

WRONG. Not only were the pictures online that of the most expensive penthouses (of course), but the leasing agent kept trying to show me units that were well over my price range. Two and three bedrooms. All I wanted was an affordable studio or one bedroom! He showed me ONE unit that was in my price range. I was surprised that it was even an option. Honestly it looked as if the previous tenant had placed catnip underneath the carpet and let their cat go nuts. It also looked like this cat ate a lot of spaghetti.

The next place I looked at was in a great location. Right by Loring Park downtown. Within walking distance of everything I could ever need. There wasn’t a guaranteed parking spot, but I figured there had to be other options. So I went to look since this was was a pretty affordable place, and so close to everything.

After searching for a place to park for a half hour, I met the landlord and we walked up to the top floor of this beautiful old brownstone. The apartment was.. shockingly tiny. The entire floorplan (bedroom, kitchen, living room, and bathroom) was about the size of just my bedroom at my parent’s house.
Back home, a place like this would have gone for about $300. Here, it was $800. The wood floors were scuffed and scratched. The only window in the place had a wonderful view of a brick wall. There was no laundry or parking included. I was pretty sure my couch wouldn’t even fit through the door. And if by some miracle I got that couch up the stairs and into the apartment, it would have taken up a majority of the living room.

I spent the next couple of weeks slowly losing hope as I continued to cross possibilities off of my list. One shitty place after another. At one point I started looking at apartments that I knew were way too much. Simply because I could. I wanted to see why on earth these people thought it was ok to charge more for rent than what my car was worth! One place in particular really stuck out to me. It was a breathtaking studio. Brand new. Again, the whole unit was about the size of my room at my parent’s house. The one outside wall was almost all window. The view wasn’t anything special, but the apartment definitely was. There was every imaginable amenity, and everything was meticulously taken care of. But the catch? Parking was $130 a month! On top of the $1150 they charged for rent. Sure, sign me up! Let me just go ahead and sell my vital organs online. That should be enough right?

After searching and searching for what seemed like forever, I finally found the one. It was the best apartment I had looked at. The most amazing view one could hope for, all recently remodeled. Free laundry AND free parking. You can’t find just one of those perks anywhere in this city, much less both of them at the same place. I HAD to look at this place!

I responded to the Craigslist posting expressing my interest and made an appointment to look at the place. When I walked in, I knew it was going to be mine. It had to be. There was no other way that this was going to go. And I would make sure of it.

For those of you who don’t know me, when I decide that I want something, I get it. Not because I am lucky (though I’m sure that plays a part), but because I am fucking stubborn. And I will go to whatever lengths I have to, to obtain said desire.

Which is exactly what I did. I jumped through hoops that I shouldn’t have been able to even climb through. I scaled mountains that I never should have even known existed. I was unstoppable!

Now, I know what you are thinking, “How hard can it really be to get an apartment?” First of all, shut up! Maybe for YOU it wouldn’t be hard. But for me, it wasn’t exactly a cake walk. I had to somehow prove that I could come up with two grand to move in (not to mention the thousand dollars a month after that). With a job that I had barely even begun to understand. With what could very well be a record for lowest credit score possible. And with a past rental history that was less than perfect. To say the least.

Fortunately, my landlord took a chance on me and I now spend my nights sipping Mountain Dew from a wine glass (don’t judge), relaxing on my big ass couch, and enjoying the view.

Lessons Learned?

It’s no secret that moving is not an easy thing to do. Whether you are moving 3 miles or 300 miles. It’s time consuming, frustrating, and not as fun as it may seem. Although the first night in a new place is always exciting and fabulous, you will still probably wake up the next morning entangled in a half deflated air mattress that your cat thought would make a great sratching post, simply because you couldn’t afford to move your bed into your fabulous new apartment.

 

Maybe I went about this all the wrong way. Maybe I should have planned better. Maybe I should have saved up more. Or maybe I should have declawed that damn cat when I had the chance. Hindsight is 20/20 right? Well shit, that doesn’t matter now because here you are, knee deep in a cluster fuck of stressful, new surroundings. And you are pretty sure hindsight won’t help you determine if that upstairs neighbor did, in fact, bring a full size horse up to their apartment for the weekend.

 

So hopefully, if you are planning to make a big move, this will help. But most likely, it will give you a good laugh at my misfortune.

 

 

Lesson One: Nothing will go as planned

I do not plan things. Mostly because I have a habit of canceling plans at the last minute. Especially when they don’t prove to be monetarily lucrative immediately. I get this crippling anxiety that no matter what the situation is, it will be a major fail. Which is why I like to fly by the seat of my pants so to speak. Everything must be now, last minute, or it simply won’t get done. I know this isn’t ideal in adult life, but somehow I strive under the pressure. It’s just how I roll. And I am ok with that.

This time, I attempted to plan things. I didn’t do a very good job of it, but I can get an “A” for effort, right?

 

I set up appointments to view apartments, but they were overpriced and overrated. I didn’t reserve a hotel room because I figured it would be easier to negotiate in person. And I completely spaced the fact that it was now August. Which is apparently the month that everyone flocks to their vacation destination, taking down any and all hotels in their path. So it took an unnecessarily long time just to find the small, overpriced, bug infested (jk.. probably) room that had a very pungent tobacco odor. And being a smoker myself, it’s kind of a big deal that I was concerned with the smell.

 

…So maybe, just maybe that was my fault for not planning properly. ..Oops.

 

 

Lesson Two: Moving is expensive

I figured it would be expensive. But I never really understood just how much so it really is. I mean, goddamn! I don’t understand how anyone does that. I still don’t understand how I did it. Though, to be fair, my parents played a big part in that.. (Thanks guys!)

 

The cost of gas to drive to your new destination. Cost of a hotel room for night one (or for a month if you did it the way I did). Fast food or expensive delivery every night because you don’t have a freezer or stove. And you are lucky if you get a microwave.

 

When you find an apartment, not only do you have to come up with first month’s rent (which was about 3 times more than I ever paid before) and the security deposit, but you also have 30 nights at a less than five-star hotel to pay for. And the cost to move all of your stuff to this new place. And all that other crap that you never want to think about.

 

Fun Fact: Every time I pay my rent, a tiny piece of me dies inside.

 

 

Lesson Three: It’s lonely

I moved by myself. The only people I knew were the people I worked with and the various employees paid to smile at me from behind the hotel’s front desk. A lot of my friends and family told me that I had a lot of guts to do something like this. That they admired my courage. If you asked me then, I would have said that I was too excited to be scared. Ask me now, and I would say that I was a special kind of crazy.

 

Lesson Four: You really learn just how much you can handle. It’s fucking hard.

You have to have the funds to stay afloat while establishing yourself in an entirely new place.

 

You have to be ok with being alone. A LOT. Unless you are a social butterfly and can go out to, say, a bar and just meet people.. somehow. I cannot. But I am totally ok with being alone. Love it.

Part of being alone so much is really finding out who you are. Good and bad. But it’s so worth it. You can carve yourself into a new you. Someone that YOU are happy with. Because you are all you have.

 

Lesson Five: Don’t Settle.

There is absolutely no point in settling for less than you deserve. Go big or go home. Shoot for what you really want. Because I promise, there is nothing that you can’t do.