Sunday, December 30, 2007

Not Much Better than a British Mullet

While I was living in London, I encountered a major problem. I left with short hair, which meant four months without a trim was a bit out of the question. Getting a cut at a salon in London was pretty much out of the question as well. One of the girls who chose to go this route ended up spending somewhere around 100 pounds, which was roughly the equivalent to 200 American dollars. Because I preferred to spend my money in London on fabulous European chocolate and food at outdoor markets, stylish H&M ensembles (which no longer fit me, probably due to the fact that I no longer eat excessive amounts of aforementioned chocolate), and trips to the theatre (AH! To see Les Miserables on a casual week night now!), I chose not to get my haircut in London.

After a couple months of agonizingly attempting to make the mop on my head resemble a style, I went with one of my best friends, Steph, on a "live-in" visit to Acrington, England. This experience ended up being one of the most traumatic of my life, but that is a story for another time. The point for today's tale is the fact that while on that trip something possessed me to get the most horrific haircut known to man at a local "Supercuts."

Now. I am a bit of a snob when it comes to my hair. I wouldn't dare venture into a Supercuts or a Master Cuts in the states. What in the world convinced me that it would be OK to trust someone in the white-trash/armpit of England working at a Supercuts is beyond me. But trust I did. And I paid the price.

There were plenty of warning flags. I saw the girl who left the chair before me. She looked like someone out of an 80's punk band. I still sat down, watched a girl go crazy with scissors, paid MORE THAN I WOULD IN A SALON IN THE STATES for a haircut, and left with a mullet. YES. A MULLET! It was atrocious. My good friend Steph, ended up with a similar style. When I came back from my semester abroad my stylist literally asked me what in the world the woman had done to my hair. It was that bad. It took about six months to get it back to normal again.

Well folks, I now have a haircut that rivals that British mullet of a few years ago. My current stylist, who I adore, just had a baby and is not working. So, I went to the same salon, thinking another girl could at least give me a good cut to hold me over until she comes back. Alas, I was wrong. I was foolish! I was IDIOTIC!

My hair looks HORRIBLE. I hate it! I hate it! I hate it! And, I don't know what to do to fix the situation. Chad told me to go get it cut again, but where will I go? If I go to another total stranger it might turn out just as badly. And, frankly, I don't know if there's much that can be done without going terribly short all over. Plus, I already paid $40, and the thought of risking another $40 when I just GOT a haircut isn't too appealing.

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sophomores Say/Do the Darndest Things

I have started grading my sophomores' research papers. Aside from the fact that I want to shoot myself and have decided that the quality of writing must indicate what a horrible teacher I am, it's going rather well. Here are some things I've learned from reading their persuasive research papers about various heroes:

1) Ghandi tried to promote peace in Indiana from Britain.
2) Inseparable can be spelled "in separate able."
3) Even if someone spent their entire life doped up, you can still try to convince your English teacher he is heroic.
4) My students think I am too stupid to do a simple internet search. This must be the case,
because I have already found the sources that have been blatantly PLAGIARIZED in three

Did I mention that I got stuck in the elevator today? Yup. Sure did.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Why I am Destined to Become an Old Lady Counting out Pennies...

You know the ones. When you're in line at the grocery store, and you have to wait for what feels like an extra 15 minutes because the old lady in front of you is fumbling through her coin purse, counting out $3.50 in pennies. And you want to shoot yourself because you thought this was the shortest line. You picked it to save time. Now you're stuck. Trapped in between the penny counting, orthopedic-shoe-wearing, great grandma and the mom trying to pry her screaming toddler's fingers from the candy display.

Well, folks, I am destined to become that little old lady. I got a taste of my future today as I irritated dozens of customers at the local post office.

It all began with Christmas cards. I send them out every year. Last year, I found an amazing after Christmas deal on a beautiful set of Christmas cards. They were gorgeous, originally quite pricey, and marked down fabulously. I couldn't resist. In fact, my mother-in-law also fell in love with them and bought the same ones.

So. Just before Thanksgiving, when I got the cards out to start addressing, I wasn't too phased when I saw a little label on the envelopes that said "extra postage may be required." After all, I'd saved money on the cards, and "may be required" didn't mean "will be required."

Well, the problem comes with the fact that there were four different styles of cards. This means they were four different weights. I obviously did not keep track of which cards were which as I got them ready to be mailed off. So, today, the gentleman at the post office was only too thrilled to find out that he got to help me weigh EACH ONE to see how much it was going to cost. He ALSO had to slide each one through this little plastic slit to see if it required ADDITIONAL postage on top of the ALREADY more costly postage for weight.

I'm sure the people behind me in line (for we know how delighted all people are to be waiting in line at a post office before Christmas) were ready to kill me.

It ended up taking over an hour to get through the post office. And, I'm not so sure I saved too much money by buying my cards on sale at the end of last Christmas. Some of those babies cost me 75 CENTS to send! 75 CENTS!!!

So, if you get a Christmas card from me with a Valentines day stamp, or one with a horrid portrait of Harriet Beecher Stowe, instead of a pretty Christmas one, please know it is not because I don't love you. It is because I'd already held up zillions of people, and did not want to become know as the old, penny-counting lady while still in my youth. It was much faster to buy the stamps with the exact postage, rather than add 2-3 more stamps on top of the pretty Christmas ones.

On a brighter note, I've never encountered such a helpful, kind, postal employee before. Usually, asking a postal worker to go out of their way to help you is like death. So, thank you for your patience, Mr. Postman. Even though you made fun of me for how much it cost me to send my Christmas cards this year when you told me my total, without you, I would have been completely lost today.

Thursday, December 06, 2007


Some of my favorite photos from
Turkey Day.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Christmas Time...It's HERE!

Chad and I apparently are plagued by the curse of the Christmas tree lights. Let me preface this by saying, I am very picky about my Christmas tree. First of all, it MUST be real. No fake trees allowed. I love having a real tree. We never had a fake one when I was growing up, and I never intend to have one in my home, unless it is a second tree. Having said that, a lot of extra work goes into making a real tree perfect.

First of all, you have to drive around and find a perfect one that is still at a decent price. We did pretty well this year, I'd say, because our tree is beautiful and it didn't break the bank to buy it! After buying the tree, you then have to lug it up to the third floor, leaving a trail of pine needles behind you. This is to ensure everyone else living in the complex can know that you are real tree people. Then comes the time to get it into the stand, and following that comes the unavoidable "it's leaning to the right..."and "" discussion until it is arranged just right. For us this year, that discussion also included fishing line (our tree was too tall to stay up straight without a little extra assistance).

After all of that comes the fun part, right? Wrong. The lights have to go on first. And lights are the man's job. OK, so that is horribly sexist, but that is the way it goes. Chad calls Christmas tree lights the bane of man's existence. You know how women got stuck with the whole child birth thing after the oust from the Garden of Eden? Well, according to Chad, Christmas tree lights, even though unmentioned, were given to men.

We've had something go wrong with our Christmas tree lights every year, but this year probably tops the cake. I had to go buy new lights three separate times. Finally, Chad talked to his Dad, and it turns're not supposed to string a gazillion 100 bulb light sets together. Even though this is cheaper than buying the 400 bulb sets, don't give in. You will blow fuses. And thus, the whole tree will go dark when you plug that last set in. Anyway, after Chad adjusted things a bit, he saved me from ANOTHER horrendous journey to Satan's Five and Ten to return things, and the tree was lit and ready to decorate.

So. After a week-long fiasco of trying to get the tree lights to all stay lit, we finally have our tree up and it is beautiful! Chad was very patient as always and even though it took a lot of time, it is straight, well-lit, and nearly fully decorated (it is still missing the star...I think it's somewhere at my parents' house where we've been storing all of our Christmas stuff). Anyway, here it is:

As a disclaimer, I took these photos. Obviously, if Chad took them they would be better. But, I wanted them now, so I took them myself.

Here are some photos of the other decorations we have around the condo:

Garland and WillowTree Nativity on the bookcase. Also, they aren't Christmas decorations but please notice the lovely "Family" blocks made by yours truly at Enrichment last month.

Stockings hung by the chimney with care...or from the shelf between our living room and kitchen, because we have no fireplace.

Table with Christmas place mats and my adorable magnet board I made last year in the background (where all of the Christmas card photos go when they come!)

I LOVE CHRISTMAS! It is going to be so hard to get myself to work over the next couple of weeks. I am so ready for Christmas vacation!
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