Monday, May 26, 2008

The Magic of Foil and Scissors

Simply said, I love getting my hair done. The process, despite the fact that it often takes close to three hours, is one of my favorite experiences. In no other setting do I get to walk in, be excessively pampered with scalp massages and fingers running through my hair, talk with a good friend, and wind up looking better than when I arrived. Natalie Seely, the creative mind and hands behind the hair style and color, gives me a glimpse of what my heaven will look like - someone to do my hair every day. I'm happy to cook, clean, drive my own car, but sign me up for a personal stylist to wash my hair and make me look like I know what I'm doing with my insane blonde hair.

So for your viewing enjoyment, a random view into the before, during, and after of my most recent visit to Natalie's--

Looking pretty normal for the end of a windblown day- notice my normal does include looking borderline like a nineteen-year-old college coed, but not too much I can do about that.

In "Steel Magnolias," Dolly Parton's character says, "There's no such thing as natural beauty." While that view is a bit extreme and makes me laugh, the image of me with enough foil in my hair to pick up HBO is a classic example of the madness that girls go through for "natural beauty."

My level of love for new haircuts is evident in two things - how much I stare the mirror and how much I touch my hair. Embarrassingly enough, Natalie noticed this when she cut my hair in February - like a pre-teen I was checking myself out in the mirror and touseling my own hair while she was working on my sister's. I tried to resist (notice the word tried) the hair touching and checking out my every angle this past Thursday. Natalie called a few minutes after I'd left the salon, and what was I doing while I was driving on the freeway? Touching my hair and sneaking glances in the rear view mirror. Definitely a whole new level of love!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Different Selves

I had the chance a few weeks ago to sit in on a lesson taught by Karen Bonnar, another English teacher at San Ramon Valley. Karen was teaching a lesson about the different selves each of us possess - essentially the roles we play or the things we identify ourselves with. In preparing for an essay, Karen's students were to create a list of their different selves. While the students were sharing their lists, I got carried away trying to break down the oddity that is me. I know the list is long and some things are obscure (or the nouns are completely made up!), but I was fascinated by how much we ignore so much of who we are. Looking at my cramped list at the end of Karen's class, I realized there are so many facets to our lives- so many areas to examine and so many areas to crack up about. This list, that has been bouncing around in my brain ever since, has made me want to be more, so that someday when I write my crazy memoirs, I'll have something to say.

Without further delay, here is the incomplete list of my different selves....daughter - therapist - second mom - Latter-day Saint - RS sister - counselor - educator - friend - confidant - target - sister - fan (of too many things to mention!) - optimist - Brit - Italian - German - Christian - dancer - hiker - tutor - firefighter - granddaughter - writer - student - decorator - player (not in the ghetto "she just played him" kind of way) - actress - cousin - exerciser - listener - walker - sharer - musician - appreciator - dreamer - great granddaughter - patient - traveler - wolf, wasp, spartan, cougar, ugly eagle, mustang, hawk - tourist - employee - Charlie's Angel - stresser - patriot - first born - intellectual (perhaps pseudo should precede that one) - aunt-to-be - mediator - resident - coach - laugher - rambler - referee - spectator - battler - dater - Californian - girl - pianist - honorary aunt - Utahn - tripper - American - woman - twenty-something - people watcher - baker - scholar - graduate - giver - confidence builder - "godmother" - stylist - budgeter - cleaner - questioner - mess-maker - speaker - organizer - conformist - mold breaker - caffeineaholic - sister-in-law - blogger - fixer - future queen of information - planner - list-maker - collector - bridesmaid - colleague - volunteer - consumer - sleeper - niece - gardner - union member - makeup artist - singer - crier - hostess - tomboy - girly girl - adventurer - cyclist - seeker - believer - photographer - roommate - explorer - supporter - mutt - grader - performer - cowgirl - eater - conosseuir - wisher - lover (of too many things to mention) - basker - liberal conservative - traditionalist - wallflower - baby-sitter - comedian- driver - leader - follower - teacher - processor - ranter - citizen - rememberer - passenger - mentor - psychologist - reader - peacemaker - chef - shopper - activist - storyteller - philosopher - author - mistake maker - admirer - secret keeper - wonderer - etc.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Glory and Grace

In class last week, my sophomores and I were discussing embarrassment and how most people do not like to be singled out. This, of course, tied into characters in our current novel that seek to be seen and while others seek to blend into the walls - never a good match when those who want to be seen seek to pull the wall flowers into the glaring limelight. To help my sophomores grasp the tension and anxiety that often goes hand-in-hand with those excruciatingly embarrassing moments, I ended up telling them about one of my "classiest" moments in high school. Hard to believe I told (and tell) this story willingly....

In case you missed the "Grease" version of high school, seniors are supposed to rule the school. In 2001, I believed in that concept whole-heartedly and so on the last day of my senior year, I walked campus like it was my own personal kingdom. No more tests, no more teachers telling you to color and then telling you it was a worthwhile "academic" activity. My tenure as senior class vice president had gone well, and my responsibilities were almost over. In a matter of weeks, I would be a Cougar, no longer an Ugly Eagle sporting red, white, and blue.

My final walk on campus took me through the covered walkways near the amphitheatre to the parking lot in between the photo room and auto shop. I walked with my head up, smiling at the thought of a bonfire to destroy the final remnants of my public school career when WHAM! I hit the pavement with no hands to catch me after stepping in a pothole. The covered cake and cake plate I was holding in one hand flew like a Frisbee across the lot, and I lay on my half battered side not knowing quite what had happened. A set of arms scooped me up and I turned to see my kindergarten boyfriend trying to make sure I was okay. Ego bruised more than my ripped jeans, bloody leg, and scraped arm and hand, I braved a smile so he would walk away. People all around had stopped and stared - some openly laughed while others were bewildered by the massive hole in my pants and smashed cake plate. I gathered what poise I had left and scooped up my belonging sans the shards of plate and half-limped, half-walked to my car.

So "wonderful" to bask in the glory days of high school. Good thing I've tripped, not once but three times in the last week in the quad to keep those flashbacks close at hand and to keep my students entertained. Wouldn't want the embarrassment to fade away. But as Mr. Penovich always said, "Time plus tragedy equals humor." This escapade on my last day of high school is just icing on a very trip-filled cake and will someday be great fodder for the tell-all.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Forget Obama and Clinton, my vote is for David Archuleta!

The political scene is too much. I cannot take another comment from Barack about change or from Hillary about qualified experience. I don't want to hear John mention Vietnam and his years in a box again. I cannot honestly say that I want to cast my vote for any of the above despite my past party affiliations. Instead, my vote is for David Archuleta. I am late joining the American Idol phenomenon this season, but I love this kid. He's fantastic and has a voice that seems to transcend the darkness - rather he seems to welcome those perfect moments with those crystal clear notes and heartfelt smiles. Too bad the political candidates can't set their speeches to song - I might be willing to listen to more commentary on the nation's fiscal future or plans for Iraq if David was singing....

Friday, May 2, 2008

Sorry Jaime, there is an Arizona~

Today's short post comes to you from a hotel room in Chandler, Arizona. I am here having a mini-reunion with two my favorite people from my BYU days - Maria and Laura - fellow Victoria Place survivors. There's not much to report by way of activities - we're waking up late, lounging by a pool, getting ready slowly, exploring the area, lounging by a pool again, and laughing the whole way through. So far it's been perfect - the weather is even perfect (warm with a breeze) and I found a Sonic for Vanilla Cokes. Tomorrow's itinerary includes lunch at the Spotted Donkey and more times with toes dipped lazily in the pool. Such a schedule - how will we handle it? Life really can be perfect sometimes.

ps. Just in case, you're wondering, the picture is the Arizona flag. I've always loved that it looks like a patriotic sunset... Oh, and not a country fan? Jaime O'Neill's "There is No Arizona" was one of the first country songs I fell in love with when I was new to the wonderful world of country music. Listened to it a few times in anticipation of actually coming to Arizona.