October 27, 2005

October 26, 2005

I'm trying to grow it out

I walked into a new salon last week. When I first moved to Baltimore, my boss recommended a hairdresser. He was a marvelous craftsman, but always cut my hair too short. I had to blow dry it and flip it out so I wouldn't look like an old lady. I LOVED how he did highlights (yes, I've become one of them, I even wear makeup on occasion), but I finally tired of the old lady haircuts and started asking other people for referrals. A sequence of hairdressers kept cutting horrible layers into my super fine, slightly wavy hair. I became a blow dryer slave or risked looking like I'd spent a night breakdancing on my head.

I told the new woman I was tired of getting my hair cut off, tired of blow-drying my hair, maybe we should just trim it a little, but if she had any suggestions I welcomed them. She said, "I've got the perfect style for you. You'll be able to air dry it and you'll look like the artist that you are." That sounded great. Now you should know that when I take off my glasses, I'm completely blind. I have to trust the hairdresser is obeying my every whim. Then the glasses go back on and I have to lie, "Looks great, thanks!" Somehow this woman took, "I'm tired of my hair being too short" as permission for this:

When I left I called my husband to warn him, "Honey, I look like an Elf. Not like from Lord of the Rings, like from a kid's book." The morning after the haircut, I woke up, brushed it back from my face and went downstairs, "Look, hon, I'm my brother". My brother is a handsome guy, I like him, but I'd rather not look like him! Yesterday at work I cracked up my co-worker when I walked in and morosely announced, "I look like a Beatle".

The sad truth though is I think I like the haircut.

October 24, 2005


I've noticed men tend to use clever nicknames on their blogs more than do women. Why is that? Not-for-Profit-Dad calls his wife MOWA (Minister of Wifely Affairs), MetroDad calls his wife BossLady and his baby is Peanut. Dog nicknames are easy: Muttola, Kid, and La Spaza. Any suggestions for what to call the hubby?

October 20, 2005

Because it's a slow day at work

Took one of those On-line IQ tests today [http://web.tickle.com/invite?test=3001&type=t]. I like their description. I think I've started to memorize their test though, and that's why it says I have extraordinary math skills!!! The part about patterns seems to be true though.

Your Intellectual Type is Visionary Philosopher. This means you are highly intelligent and have a powerful mix of skills and insight that can be applied in a variety of different ways. Like Plato, your exceptional math and verbal skills make you very adept at explaining things to others — and at anticipating and predicting patterns.

October 18, 2005

Fair Trade

My big triumph last night was discovering an object for which Jada would forgo her Kong frisbee. Normally she chases it, snatches it mid roll, looks back at me and begins thrashing the frisbee hard enough to break it's neck. Then she waits for me to chase her. Look, Dog, the theory is that you Bring It over here where I'm standing. Good girl. No, Bring It Back over HERE. Now Drop It. No, not Thrash It within an Inch of It's Life, Drop It! Well, yesterday she ran outside with her rawhide bone and seems to be equally drawn to chasing the bone or the frisbee. We do 3 or 4 rounds before she gets bored. I hold up the trade object. She cocks her head, "Hmm.... if you want me to have it, that means giving up THIS toy. Well, ok, fine." She comes to me, drops the object and turns ready to hunt down the next one. My previous dog never got the hang of grabbing the frisbee in motion; for Jada, I roll it on the ground, but she snags it mid roll every time (well, unless I aim badly and it hits the base of the treehouse. In which case she's quick to stop, thrash it for stopping, then trot it back to me). I'm excited by the prospect of a dog that might be able to do mid-air acrobatics. The black dog. The red bandana. The mid-air leap. Triumph and Acclaim! My hippie dreams may be fulfilled after all!!

I started reading "So Your Dog Isn't Lassie" last night. I stayed up til midnight; it was better than a novel. Finally, the mystery of Muttola's brain explained! Apparently we have a highly intellegent, independent, prey driven dog. We have to show her that we are the Alphas: No, I get to go through the door first, I get to eat first, I get to groom you whenever I want, I get to decide how long we play. We have to engage her creatively so she chooses to please us. Unlike most dogs, if we disapprove of her behavior, she'll just shrug and thrash the frisbee anyway thank-you-very-much. But at least I have hope and help for my training my future frisbee dog. Cause I'll look fairly silly at the dog park if I always have to alternate the rawhide bone between the frisbee throws.

October 17, 2005

Busy Weekend

Western Maryland. If you go expecting quaint, lovely farmland, you'll have a great weekend. If you believe the websites and go expecting 'the highest point in Maryland, the third highest waterfall, acres of virgin timber, hikes along a scenic river' and let your expectations rise, well, you might be a bit underwhelmed. If you also instruct your 'hiking partners' not to bring cotton clothing and to bring daypacks for extra layers and food for vigorous hiking, you may not only be underwhelmed, you may look like a super-intense hiking fool. The highest point was 3,360 feet and was a 1 mile hike up to a picnic table overlooking rolling farmland. The waterfall was lovely, but was encased by boardwalk trails and old folk in white tennis shoes. The virgin timber contained slow-growing, fairly slender hemlocks that just looked like lovely old pine trees without much underbrush. The best part for me was while my two companions journaled by the water, I found a nearby cliff and did some close to the ground rock-climbing. I miss climbing outside!

We stayed in a cozy 1940's log cabin with a wood stove, fully functional kitchen and bathroom, and comfortable beds. I'm hoping to go back in the winter with expectations properly adjusted and do some cross-country skiing. The parade was part of a Garrett County "Autumn Glory Festival". While munching on kettle corn and funnel cake we gleefully watched marching bands, Shriners in little cars, and "Red-Hat Brigades" (ladies over 50) from nearby towns and counties. I grew up watching fireworks more often than parades, but one of my friends was a small town girl and told us great stories about her years dancing in the local December parade (a typical Minnesota tradition)

I drove out with two friends from church. One of them, Stephanie, has ambitions to solo hike the Appalachian trail. She's also the one who only owns jeans and tennis shoes. I recommended she start by buying some hiking boots. At the end of the weekend, Gretchen turned to me and said, "I used to think I was an outdoor person, but after spending the weekend with you I've realized, I'm not." How did I go from being a girl who couldn't sleep if there were crickets outside the tent, to this?! It's all my husband's fault. (thanks, babe!)

October 13, 2005

Dog's Life

She looks peaceful now. Don't be lulled. At 4 pm she wakes up and begins to attack her chew toys and anything else I toss into her den. Shredded across the floor are the remains of yesterday's cardboard tube.

I love playing with my camera's slow sync flash. However, I don't think Jada appreciates it . . .

October 11, 2005

Explaining II

OTRgirl. There's a wonderful band named Over-the-Rhine. I'm not named for them. Rather, the band is named for my inner-city neighborhood in Cincinnati. I've moved a few times since then, and now have a house with plants and a lawn to mow, but growing up I was in a row house with a cement backyard. Each floor had three rooms in 'shotgun' format (stand in the front and shoot straight to the back) and a bathroom. I vowed to never be someone who lived a clueless life in the burbs. I'm trying not to be clueless, and I'm two blocks within the city limits, but 'never say never'...

Looking at me, no one can see the scrawny, tangle-haired kid with 1/4 inch callouses. The girl who loved to read on the stoop and wave at passing cars. Who walked four blocks to church and answered "Amy" to men who asked, "Yo, slim, what's your name?". Who was friends with the trucker and his wife across the street. Who grew up learning to corn-row her doll's hair. My father says we kids are bilingual because we can speak the street slang of our neighborhood, or the educated lingo of our college prep high school.

Over the Rhine. Protests at City Hall and the Board of Ed, sit-ins and walk outs. Advocating for change. Steel Drum Band practice, and swim team at the neighborhood pool. Walking to Music Hall and sneaking into the orchestra section to see the Dance Theater of Harlem. Leading tours for volunteers at my Dad's non-profit housing firm. The Drop-In-Center. Losses: godfather, godbrother, Sonny, Bob, Betina, Buddy, Mom. Bludgeoned, shot, Diabetes, Heart-Attack, Suicide, shot, Cancer.

It's at the center, but no longer the total identity. Over the Rhine.

October 10, 2005


A sojourn is a temporary stay or a brief period of residence. My mother loved the idea of being 'sojourners', people who will only be here for a short time. This process of recording where I am on the journey, is what I call sojournering. Something like journaling, something like travel mementos, and most of all a recognition that I can't take any person, home, or event for granted; it's all a gift.

This whole writing into the void is a bit weird. I interviewed my Mom during college. I had to do 20 hours of interviews and then write it up for a literary journalism class. Every time I turned on the stupid tape recorder she began to s..l...o...w d...o...w...n and En-un-ci-ate everything. It drove me nuts! I feel like that as I'm trying to figure out how to do this. While I mean every word I wrote in the first paragraph, it's my English essay voice.

I'm full of questions and impatience as I start this: Who am I writing to and why should anyone care? Isn't my life busy enough without adding one more thing on a 'to do' list? Yet I've mostly lost the time to journal. Here at work my dog sleeps quietly under my desk (I LOVE my bosses!), but at home she's ready to play and can't stand to see me sitting around on the couch. This becomes a way to reclaim the need to process my life. Plus it means I won't have to copy email text to send to people. Now I can geekily say, "Just check my blog".

Of course then I'll have to spell out the title . . . and explain that I made up a word.