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I can make anything a competition.

22 Jun

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I was looking down, chin to chest, so my stylist could clean up the back of my hairline, when one of his co-workers shouted from across the salon, “Look, Tom – we’re doing the same haircut!”

Without moving my head, I lifted my eyes to the mirror, trying to get a look at his customer. And there she sat, across the room, half hidden by a support beam, her head tilted to the side while he worked on giving her bob a straight line along her chin.

Clearly no one “owns” a haircut. But until that moment, it hadn’t occurred to me that my haircut wasn’t a unique masterpiece that only Tom could create. As soon as I realized this, I could not stop checking out the other woman.

Is it the EXACT same cut? 

How’s her color? 

Does she have more or less hair than I do to work with?

Is her hair as straight as mine?

Let’s see her face – does this cut look good on her head?

Who wears it better? 

Is her guy better than Tom?

Is Tom faster than her guy?

Is speed actually desirable in this situation? 

Does her guy use clippers?

Is it better if he only uses scissors? 

And when Tom released me from my chair with a rock-solid cut while she still sat, waiting for her hairline to be cleaned up, I realized: I had won.

It was all I could do to not high-five Tom, then walk over and – standing in front of the woman – point to my hair and say, “Suck it.”

Wouldn’t that be an interesting way to finish your haircut? Having a stranger come beat their chest with pride in front of you? I’m actually a bit sorry I didn’t do it.

Also? From now on I’m going to refer to Tom as my Hair Jockey. And yes, I realize what that makes me.

Thank you for over-sharing.

12 May

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My yoga instructor this morning was a guy who takes it all a bit too seriously. In addition to wearing nut-huggers, sporting a thick ’70s porno ‘stache and playing a flute during class, he walks around projecting “deep thoughts” in a stage voice during the class.

(If this is ringing a bell: yes, I’ve written about him before.)

Today’s theme was “asking for help.” It was a great message: part of living in – or belonging to – a community is allowing people to help you. It’s good for you, and people enjoy being allowed to help. Nice lesson and I should probably try to follow it more often.

But where it went a bit sideways was in the examples he chose to share with us. During our 90 minute class, I learned:

  • He has a voice coach for opera
  • He has a language coach for foreign languages
  • He has a life/career coach
  • He once had $52,000 in credit card debt
  • He was able to pay it off using a debt relief service

Each revelation made me lose focus on my yoga pose and instead head down a mental HabiTrail of marginally related thoughts.

Of COURSE he has a voice coach! No wonder he always projects his voice like Tobias Funkë. I wonder if he’s capable of a regular conversation without a stage voice? 

I wonder what foreign languages he studies? Italian seems like a no-brainer because of the opera, but I’m also going to vote for Spanish. Because he looks like someone who would like to use authentic pronunciation when ordering at Taco Bell.

A career/life coach? Whoa – that one had her work cut out for her, because I’m not actually seeing opera singer + yoga instructor + floutist as an obvious career path. Also: I didn’t realize one could AFFORD a life coach in pursuing that career path.

Ah ha! Let me guess how you racked up $52k in credit card debt. I’m going out on a limb here, but – was it all the coaches? 

Or maybe it was the flute.

Or the shorts. 

Actually – there’s really just no telling.

Stream of Consciousness: Giddy’up!

12 Apr

Guess which one I would like to ride?

Alan loves to ride horses. So much so that he has a cowboy had from Colombia that he wears whenever he thinks he’ll even be in close proximity to a horse. Me? Not so much. It’s probably because I’m a control freak, but I do not derive enjoyment from being saddled to the back of a thousand-pound beast.

[I know, I don’t like babies or horses. Clearly I’m a witch. You probably think I punch kittens in my free time.]

And yet, the other weekend we went to the Marriott Ranch in Hume, VA to do just that. Here’s a glimpse inside my brain during that 90 minute horsey ride…

Please, please, please give me a good horse. Not a stumbly-horse or a huge horse.

How about that little number? It looks like a low-rider horse – definitely my speed.

Shit. Of course they put the 4′ tall chick on that horse.

You would think she’d want to compensate for being short by riding a TALL horse.

Oh. This is my horse? Applejack?

OK, Applejack. It’s just you and me. Please be an awesome horse.

Applejack. That’s actually a good name for a horse. But a dumb name for a cereal.

Would’ve been slightly more awesome if he (she?) was named Blackjack.

God I’m glad they didn’t put me on a horse named War Horse. That would’ve sucked.

Hey there! Applejack! Why are you twitching? Calm it down, boy. Girl?

[I notice flies crawling on Applejack, causing the twitching, and try to shoo them away while not letting go of the reins or the saddle. This results in me essentially blowing on Applejack’s mane and rubbing him with my elbows. Which probably looked crazy. At this point, we headed off down the trail.]

Whoa. Whoa. Slow down. No need to bury your nose in Alan’s horse’s ass, Applejack.

Why is it called horseback riding anyway? Why not just horse riding?

What other part are you going to ride? The head?

Oh crap – stream challenge! That thing looks filled with rocks – PLEASE Applejack, place your feet carefully!

Whew. Good job. Whoa. So good that you’re going to stop walking and take a celebratory leak, huh?

OK. And we now KNOW that you are a boy, Applejack. Well done!

And I now know what it means to piss like a horse: apparently it means leaving a foamy pile of bubbles in your wake.

OK. And we’re walking again.

This is as terrifying as flying in an airplane. I hate giving up control!

I’m sorry you have to climb this hill with me on your back, Applejack!

Oh my God – what if Applejack stumbles and falls and crushes me under his weight?

Wait – that is not very likely. When is the last time you saw a horse trip and fall? Ever?

I spent the rest of the ride trying to imagine a scene in which a horse did a somersault.

I’m so glad I found this video AFTER the ride:

Stream of Consciousness: Dude, Where’s My Bag?

16 Nov

Ah yes, Le Carousel. With bags on it.

I never travel with more than a carry-on. Never. Not even when I have a trip that covers three dramatically different climates and two continents. I consider myself a Master Packer and am confident that it – along with parallel parking – is a category in which I could easily medal at the Olympic level.

Waiting at the luggage carousel completely short-circuits my internal Efficiency Sensor, which is why I limit myself to a carry-on.  So imagine my consternation when I checked in on Sunday and was told that since it was a full flight, rollerboards were going to have to be checked.

Does. Not. Compute.

So, here is what went through my head while waiting to claim my bag:

Is this the right carousel? Or is that the right carousel?

Let’s see… do I recognize anyone from my flight?

Did I pay attention well enough to know who was on my flight?

Where is white-haired guy who sat in front of me and told jokes so loudly it was obvious he thought he was a comedian?

Oh – there he is! Along with the woman who fake laughs at everything!

Nice! They finally are serving a purpose other than annoying the shit out of me.

I must be at the right carousel.

Carousel? Who decided to call this a luggage CAROUSEL, anyway?

That makes it sound like it should have ponies on it carrying my bag. That would actually be cool. But messy.

I guess Lazy-Luggage-Susan didn’t inspire confidence.

Speaking of: Why Susan? What is it called a Lazy Susan?

This would've been me, if my bag hadn't appeared.

And knowing that word exists, why would anyone name their child Susan?

Way to handicap your child. Nice work, parents.

I wonder if they name Susan’s brother “Good-for-Nothing?” 

OK. So let’s get this lazy-luggage-susan moving. Why isn’t it moving?

We’ve been on the ground for over 20 minutes.

I’ve managed to deplane from the last row, pee and walk the entire length of the terminal and I still beat the first bag? What?

I should really be an efficiency consultant. I could help them get this party started.

[Luggage carousel screeches into motion and bags begin tumbling off conveyor belt.]

Is that my bag? No. Is that my bag? No. Is that my bag? No.

Why is there a pair of boxer shorts riding around on the carousel? Gross.

Is that my bag? No. Is that my bag? No. Is that my bag? No.

OK. Who packed THAT bag? It’s HUGE. I hope they are moving here and not just visiting.

I could be a packing consultant and help them travel lighter.

Is that my bag? No. Is that my bag? No. Is that my bag? No.

Uh oh. I wonder if my bag made it? 

I am going to be pissed if my bag is missing. My new boots are in there! 

Did I throw away the claim ticket they gave me? Uh oh.

I hope they didn’t lose my bag. How will I get it back without the claim ticket?

Is that my bag? No. Is that my bag? No. Is that my bag? No.

Why is there a five year old child clogging up valuable real estate right next to the carousel?

He’s going to be in my way when my bag shows up. IF my bag shows up.

Where are his parents? 

Someone needs to tell them to get their kid out of the way.

Somehow, I don’t think “parenting consultant” is something I’m qualified to do. 

Is that my bag? No. Is that my bag? No. Is that my bag???

YES! That’s my bag. FINALLY.

As I wheeled it away, I could feel someone’s eyes boring into me. It was a petite blonde woman who had claimed a gigantic suitcase that she could easily have fit in. I saw her eyeing my bag and my outfit with the same look of disdain I had probably been wearing when sizing up her bag.

And if I had to guess, I bet SHE was thinking, “Wow. I could totally be a fashion consultant and help that poor girl out. She hardly packed anything.”

Turns out, everyone’s a consultant.

From the Archives: Swimming Stream of Consciousness

11 Nov

Today, as the final day of my stay-cation, I was thinking about swimming for a little exercise, but I didn’t really feel like exercising. And since I’m participating in NaNoWriMo, I have a whole new appreciation for effective procrastination. So I combined the two (wanting to swim but not actually exercise + procrastination) and found myseld perusing the PP archives, having decided that READING about swimming would effectively take care of all desires at once.

Which is how I stumbled upon an old post that both provides frightening insight into how my brain works, and also cured me of any urge to walk to the pool today. Since it’s Friday, I figure you’re all looking to piss away a bit more time than usual during your lunch break, so here’s a repost from September 2010.

This locker room is what I would expect to find in a prison.

Except with more people in it.

And probably lice.

Soap on a rope!

Wow. That is one naked woman.

Why is she sitting on a chair in the shower?

Note to self: don’t ever sit naked on a chair in a public shower. Gross.

I’m glad the lifeguard didn’t ask for my ID today.

I must look urban.

I wonder if they would’ve stopped Alan.

Wow. The water is WARM.

I bet I’ll overheat.

Sweating in the water is weird.

But it happens.

Why does that sign say “Water Running?”

I don’t SEE any water running.

<Four laps later>

Ah ha! They mean “water running” as in “people running” in the water.

Not the water running.

That’s embarrassing. I’ve been here a half dozen times looking for running water.

That explains why the fat woman always hangs out in this lane and doesn’t swim.

Although actually, she’s not running. She’s water-standing.

I wonder if I’ll get kicked out of this lane?

I am hot.

I wonder if the water tastes saltier because I am sweating?

Is my key still stuck to my head?

<Patting back of head while breast-stroking>

It is! Good!

What would I do if it wasn’t there?

How ironic would that be?

If by trying to protect my stuff, I end up losing the  key.

Which would be worse: having someone steal my stuff because I left the key to my lock on the deck, or not being able to get to my stuff because I tied the key to my goggles and it fell off and disappeared into the pool drain?

Not sure.

Those girls have on the exact same suit.

I wonder if they’re on a team together?

If they are, then it’s not a good team because I’m faster than them.

I wonder if the lifeguard would actually notice if someone drowned?

Are they allowed to talk on their cell phones on duty?

I bet they are breaking the rules.

<Scanning bottom of pool to make sure no swimmers need to be rescued.>

How weird that I can’t wait to get out of the water to cool down.

I bet that’s why that woman was sitting on a chair in the shower: heat stroke.