Thursday, February 20, 2014

I May Be Older Than Dirt, But At Least My Hair Looks Good And My Wine Cellar Is Stocked

Testing,, two, three.  Is this thing on?  Anyone out there?  Anyone at all?  Hello? If even one of you wanders over and hangs around to read for a moment, pretty soon another one will join you, then a crowd will form, and then--even though I've been lousy about writing--I might get my readers back.

Let's start with a brief update to some topics I discussed in earlier posts. Even though I'd like to think that my bitching and inherent intelligence wins out in all cases, the truth is more often that Fate intervenes, and my Tragedies wind up resolved in some way.  If it's not a case of conflict or tragedy, it's merely a follow-up or related story.

Remember my lamentations regarding Fructis Hi Rise Root Lifter?  Well, the fine people over at Garnier can bite me.  First they discontinue my go-to hair gel and replace it with some lousy tree sap derivative, then they get rid of my FHRRL.  As I mentioned previously, rather than be a ranting snotface about it, I merely wandered into My New LuvStore, Sally Beauty Supply, and was recommended this stuff in the picture.  It is wonderful and fantastic and makes me say, "Fructis you, Garnier."  And the price is better, too.

My countertops are in, and if asked to describe them in one word, that word would be WHITE.  SO.  WHITE.  WHITE WHITENESS.  It's a big change from the red, and I have to get used to it.  The veining is a little more noticeable on a large slab, and I keep feeling like I have to wipe the counters until I remember that what I'm seeing is the stone and not marks on the counter.  Now I'm just anxious for the floor to get done so I can have it complete.  We've decided to tile above the backsplash, white with just a few random red and black tiles.

Want to feel your age?  Go to San Francisco.  I just got back from spending a long weekend there with dear friend and reader Mikey, and I was the single most elderly person in the entire city.  Without question.  No matter where we went. I mean it; I was conspicuous in my elderliness.  At 54!  Thankfully, I was able to meet up with Julie for a day and even though she is several (6) important years younger than me, at least I felt not quite so dried out and ready for the grave.  I am old enough to be Mikey's mom, but in San Francisco, they banish everyone who is forty and older.  You have to be a twenty- or thirty-something, tech-savvy, and willing to walk eleventy miles in order to get from your car, which is parked on the side of a neighborhood street, to any event or restaurant or venue you wish to attend.  Parking lots are anathema to San Franciscans.  Ha!  Pretty soon, once a few visit Ohio, they will want our water and our nice, big, adjacent parking lots!

Or maybe not.  This is what was waiting for me outside my airbus window as we circled Cleveland to land.  Oh.  Yay.  More snow.  It snowed like hell overnight, and my little suburb got about another six inches.  There is a foot of snow on the ground at my house.  There is a warming trend right now--we are in the low to mid forties for a few days.  Then, another polar vortex is breaking away and visiting again.  Sigh.  I didn't feel as resentful and angry or frustrated or even sad like I thought I would when I got back home and back to Winter again. From Friday until Tuesday evening, I had worn blazers and a light raincoat, and hadn't even gotten a bit of the typical San Francisco misty weather. I had seen two kinds of palm trees and even some azaleas flowering.  The magnolias and tulip trees were blooming.  And Ohio?  Certainly nothing like any of that.  But in spite of all of that, once at home, I felt rejuvenated and grateful.  I had escaped Winter, if only for a few days.  I was luckier than Rick, and luckier than most.

Wine seemed the best souvenir, so I shipped about a case home while we visited Sonoma.  Especially intriguing was a brut, a sparkly fizzy treat made with the usual chardonnay grapes but also some pinot noir, too.  The pinot didn't add any color at all, but lent the wine a beautiful round, lush character that normal bruts don't have.  California zins can't be beat, either, so several bottles of that got shipped, too.  And the Sonoma winemakers are adding Malbec to their Meritage blend, which makes it robust and bold, giving it an almost amarone richness.  That's on its way, along with a nice grenache for anytime sipping.  Probably something else too, but I can't really remember.  I simply tasted, made notes, then arranged for shipping and moved on.

Finally, Ms. Caroline from over at AsiaVu has invited me to participate in a meme.  Every time I hear the word "meme", I think of this:

Anyway, as so many of you know, I rarely do memes, but when I make the exception, I tweak and customize.  That will be my next offering, and it will be soon.

Thanks for hanging around!

image credits:


  1. Anonymous10:03 AM

    Good to see you back here. I've missed your pov on things.

    I'm interested in your evaluation of San Fran. BlogHer is there this year. And even though I've never been to BlogHer I like to think that I might go one year if the city it is in sounds inviting.

    Alas, no water + no easy parking sounds more like a level of Dante's hell to me than a fun convention. Oh well, maybe next year.

  2. Welcome back! I hadn't missed you because my life is SO CRAZY these days that I barely have time to look at a blog anymore. Ha!

    I got my hair cut yesterday, but I didn't go for the Big Change that we had discussed - turns out that Mike likes my long hair (and since his response when I ask what to do is usually, "whatever makes you happy," I decided to humor him). I got some layers & about five hairs cut into some swoopy bangs. There will be pictures. And maybe I'll try some of that root lifter stuff!

  3. Bug--Oh, you big chicken! But look who's talking. I've been threatening to get my hair cut short for years, and nothing. I am sick of my long hair now, though, and once warmer weather finally comes (in July?), I'm getting the cut YOU were supposed to. There, I said it on the InterWebs so it has to be true.

    Ally Bean--Cali is in a terrible drought situation and everyone is asked to limit water usage, but you can still get water upon request at restaurants, etc. SoCal is feeling it most, from what I was told. I tried to do my part and be stingy with my shower time and mindful of my own water usage. The parking issue was fascinating, I will say that. Part of the reason is that things are so built up and crammed. What green space they have is so very lovely that they want to keep it. San Fran is beautiful and unique. The other facet was that it was a holiday weekend and many things were free, the weather was unusually clear and sunny, so tons of people were out and about at popular places. Don't let me sour you on what might be a terrific time.

  4. A few years ago, realprof and I had occasion to spend a couple of days in Seattle, and your reactions to San Francisco remind me of how I felt then. I decided that it was exciting, vibrant, way over-caffeinated, and that you needed the stamina of a mountain goat to negotiate the place. And when I get to be thirty again, I'm gonna go live there for a few years. (I like rain.)

  5. I have had the pleasure of meeting Julie in person as well, hope you two had a bunch of fun!

    I love Northern California, lived in Sonoma County for a year while I attended college there. Had to leave because it was a tad too slow for me at the time, but I think it would suit me perfectly now.

    If you really want to see palm trees, come here to SoCal! I've got one in front yard!

  6. Ack- IN my front yard!

  7. I loved San Francisco, before I got too old to climb the damn hills. Flowers? What are those. We have freezing rain pelting down outside at the moment. Weather pattern is called an Alberta Clipper up here, for reasons I do not understand.

    I just got my hair remade and am mostly very sorry I did. The only comfort is that it will grow out and in the meantime it is hat weather up here in the soggy white north.

    Glad you are back!!!

  8. Mary G--I would love it if all of you lovely Canadians would keep your Clippers up there for yourselves. Every time you so generously send one skittering across our lake, we get the most horrid weather. Email Alberta, please, and ask them not to share.

    I'm always sorry when I come back from the stylist. Always. Yet I continue to do so. I don't know what I expect...a new face, perhaps? Hmmm.

    Gina--I do love palm trees, but just the squatty ones. The tall ones are scraggly and not so attractive to me. Imagine having one in one's front yard! How fun!

    Julie is wonderful, of course, and we had a lovely time together wandering through the botanical gardens, then enjoying the awesome view at Cliff House while sharing some appetizers and wine. Mikey joined us for the latter, then led us to a Mystery Location, which turned out to be a tour of the Armory/ porn studio.

    fauxprof--Oh, those hills! I did a ton and a half of walking, and my poor knees let me relive it for days. Seattle is way too damp for me, and I hate rain, but it is a great city.

    San Francisco is vibrant, yes. Mikey and his housemates say it's full of techies and hipsters, two groups they are mighty sick of. Interestingly, they say the techies prefer to be called "makers." My goodness. Aren't we precocious? Precious, even.

  9. Love love LOVE San Francisco any time I go there. The city proper is a pain as far as parking is concerned but the overall ambience is great. We were last there in the summer of 2011 when my daughter rode in a clinic in Saratoga (south of the city) and it was wonderful. The weather was pleasant, the food was excellent, and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. I love Los Angeles, and am really (REALLY) picky about where I would live, but I would move to the southern part of the bay area in a heartbeat if moving wasn't a gigantic pain in the ass, not to mention how expensive it would be.

    And we have palm trees everywhere, including all over my apartment complex as well as our barn. I love the tropical look of them. In fact, there is a main thoroughfare in the valley just a few minutes from where we live (Sherman Way) that was set up to be lined with big tall palm trees for its entire length, easily seven or eight miles. When you see shots of palm tree-lined streets in movies, chances are good it's Sherman Way.

  10. California: My Dream State. For many years. My father was born and raised there, and as a member of the military, was allowed to pay his state taxes there, regardless of where we were stationed. I spent my entire youth California dreamin'--- because my Dad told me that since he continued to be a taxpayer there, that I could go to university in California tuition free as a state resident. But alas, the year that I had to send in my college applications, the Golden Egg was taken away. And the price of paying room and board + the tuition was going to be too much, so I went to a State University Down Here.

    In my adult years I eventually got to visit L.A. and S.F.--- and really liked both places. The cost of living, however, would scare me now as a prospect for retirement. Not sure why, since the cost of living in Madrid was not cheap by any means, and I lived on a pauper's budget for many years, but at least you could order a bottle of the house wine in a restaurant there at the same cost as a glass of wine here. Which brings us to your wine cellar extravaganza: Wow. Hand-picking the wines to be shipped back home. Question: Wouldn't the added cost of shipping something relatively heavy (to say nothing of fragile) not come out to be about the same price as buying it locally? Or is it still that much pricier and/or not available in your neck of the woods?

    Re: The Hair Product Thing--- What the heck is "root lifter"? And forgive my ignorance, but does it, um, actually "lift your roots"? What does that even mean? Can you actually see the results of root lifting? I guess so, given your utter dismay at losing such a valuable product and re-discovering another one that works the same and costs less. Oh, well. In my younger years, I could have really gone for a hair product that would slow the 24-hour Oil Spill. At this stage of life, I would now welcome anything that can leave my hair not looking like a Pile of Straw. (Partly because, since the age of 30, I have been obliged to dye my hair to cover all the grey.) So far, the only solution seems to be not rinsing out as much of the creme rinse as I used to.

    Your sidebar: Loved the Borowitz Report, a.k.a., what I have been saying to local ignorant Tea Party Idiots for ages.

    I am anxiously awaiting the "after" pics of your kitchen renovation. :-D

  11. Ortizzle--The cost of shipping was only 9.95. And the wine was not any vineyard I had ever seen in our area. Once the state of Ohio takes its cut in the form of the automatic surcharge, it would be more expensive unless I am getting an older vintage--the surplus that wineries ship to stores like World Market. That would be different wine than what I had tasted. Had I gone to a larger winery like Frei Bros. or any of the other Russian River/Sonoma concerns, you're right--I might have been buying/shipping something I could get at my local grocery store.

    RE: my beloved root lifter. This product gives my hair more and longer-lasting volume, which I sadly need in these post-menopausal days. I used to have very thick and very straight hair. Now, thinner, greyer, and a tendency to curl at the ends which vexes me madly. I spray the root lifter on slightly damp hair AT THE ROOTS at the crown and where I want volume, then blow dry. Unless I am in v. humid or v. windy weather for a long time, my hair stays full-looking.

    My hair is still oily, but not as much as in my youth, of course. Sometimes I can even get away with not washing it every day during the winter. I'm avoiding dyeing it thus far, but it's getting tougher and tougher.

    LaFF--So much good food and so many choices in SF! From dim sum to French takeout, I had some incredible food. Unlike you, I don't think I could live in SF, for a variety of reasons, but it is a lovely place to visit.

  12. I've never thought of SF as a particularly young city...perhaps because I was in my 20s when I lived there, so there were many people my age. But if you were to hang out in different neighborhoods, you likely would get more variety, less tech geek.

    You had dim sum? I'm so glad. I adore dim sum.

    It was such a pleasure to meet you in person and walk around the gardens, have wine, learn something new about the online porn industry, and eat at a yummy taqueria.

    I hope Ally doesn't take your water and parking concerns to heart...I'd love to meet her if she comes to BlogHer!

  13. J.--So terrific to spend the day with you, and I hope we can do it again and again. Dim Sum was in San Francisco at an upscale place, so it was pricey--very pricey. Soup dumplings were awesome although we waited about 45 minutes for them. I clarified my glib comments about parking and water in my response to Ally, so I hope she reads it. San Francisco is certainly worth a visit by anyone. Not only were there obv. many parts of the city I didn't visit, but I got a tour based on The Life Of Mikey. Someone else's experience will be different.

    Thanks again for a lovely day. I especially enjoyed Cliff House and the gorgeous view and nice snack there. Certainly you'll have fond memories of your prime parking spot, too. LOL.

  14. I have spent quite a bit of time in SoCal, but have never been to San Fran, which I've always wanted to do. Since there is pretty much zero parking in Seoul(and if there is, it is far away from where you want to go,) everywhere we go is either by subway or by foot. And of course, Seoul is built in the middle of a bunch of mountains, so it sounds like I'd adapt just fine, although I can't do anything about the fact that I'm old. *sigh.* Sucks about the hair stuff - I am the queen of curly and frizzy and have been coating my hair with potions for years in an attempt to keep from looking like Bozo The Clown - no luck, which is why I keep it all about 3/4" long. The wine sounds fabulous, though. Thanks for the link, but what I'm really looking forward to is reading your answers. (Oh, and while I understand you were being mature and uncomplaining in that previous post, I was relieved to see in this one that you haven't become so saintly as to be unreal - I appreciate some down-to-earth bellyaching on occasion..)

  15. Ms.Caroline--Seoul sounds similar to San Francisco in its topography. Mikey sent me some pictures last night of the views I had seen so clearly over the weekend I was there, but they were shrouded in fog. The difference was incredible. I really lucked out with weather. You'd need all your potions. My hair looked awful most of the time that I was there. We have unbelievably hard water here in NEO. My hair is used to that. When I travel, my hair goes flat in an instant without it. And SF is rather humid, even when it is clear. Not unpleasantly for me, but definitely not dry, like NEO in winter. Add the lovely breeze/wind, and I looked the opposite of Bozo.

    I would love your hairstyle, actually. But I am not brave. I worry it would make me cold every day, and that I would look bad.

    As far as my perceived saintliness--HA! I am trying very hard to be more patient and compassionate and mature (at the age of 54), but I still believe in wallowing and bitching when necessary. No one likes a Pollyanna. Even my mother feels "handled" when I'm too kind to her. I can tell because she starts going out of her way to push my buttons. LOL.

  16. I've been gone awhile too and I know I will never get my readers back. Not that I ever had many, but there are far fewer now than ever before. I feel elderly too.


  17. I hope I haven't told this story to you before. Remember how you enjoyed making me stand at attention while you slapped my face and stripped all the buttons off of my jacket? If you promise you won't put me through that humiliation again I will tell you the wine story. Agreed?

    A woman was driving through one of the back roads of Montana when she saw an Indian woman (Don't send me any letters, they don't like being called Native American.) She stopped and offered the woman a ride.

    She got in and said not one word for about five miles. Then she noticed a bag on the seat beside the driver. "What's this?",the woman asked. The driver answered.'It's a bottle of wine. I got it for my husband."

    They drove another five miles and the Indian said,"Good trade".

  18. Nancy--I would never, ever resort to physical violence with you. But I do have a thing for nifty buttons, so that part would be believable.

    As it happens, you have used the wine story before, but it never fails to crack me up. As a matter of fact, I need to remember to tell it to St. Patsy. It's her kind of joke, and she always loves to laugh. So thank you!

    Rainbow Motel--At least you have an excuse for infrequent posting. You have a teaching job. I don't. I deserve my punishment. Sloth is a deadly sin.


  19. In that case, Nance, I have another wine story on tap.

    One evening Roy and I were sitting by the fire sipping a glass of Chardonnay and I said, "Oh, I love you so much. What would I ever do without you?"

    HE said, "Was that you or the wine talking?"

    I said, "It was me talking to the wine."

  20. Nancy--I love that one, and it's new to me! It would be very believable dialogue at our house said by either Rick or me. We are both Chardonnay whores. The oakier the better.

    I'm glad that this Interminable Winter hasn't frozen your sense of humor.


Oh, thank you for joining the fray!

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