Friday, June 28, 2013

The gambler.

I love winning.
Now I’m not talking about winning some sporting event - I’m talking about winning some money.

Cash.
Dinero.
Clams.
Bones.
Smackers.

That’s what I’m talking about.

Just how do I enjoy winning these smackers?
Two words: THE LOTTERY.

Not Powerball - like winning millions of dollars - although I wouldn’t pooh-pooh that idea. And not card games of any sort - although I do like to picture myself in dark sunglasses sitting quietly at a table with a bunch of weird dudes. I’m more of a small scale professional gambler. Like really small.

Scratch-its and slots are my games - if you consider those games.

When my friend Laura and I were travelling around the world in our early 20’s doing Department of Defense shows for soldiers overseas we had a blast seeing the sights, shopping, and playing the slot machines in the bars on the military bases. This was my first introduction to gambling and together Laura and I were a lethal combination, never cashing out when we were up then of course losing it all. Other performers in our group would have to physically remove us from the machines to stop us from playing the infamous "just one more."

Scratch-Its are my current obsession. They are like that crummy boyfriend who builds up your expectations and constantly lets you down. They get my palms sweaty and my heart racing with the anticipation of a few bucks…something…anything…even the dollar I spent to get it...getting that dollar back…I am a winner!

I have drawers full of scratched off scratch-its that I keep “just in case” – I mean I’ve checked them, I can see that there aren’t three matching elephants on that Jungle Jim ticket, there aren’t three matching anythings on there, but I have to take it to Fred Meyer and scan it just to be sure. Because the thought of throwing away a winning ticket also makes my palms sweaty and my heart race.

Top desk drawer at work.

So if I had a little extra money from my lottery windfall lying around what would I do? I wouldn’t do stupid things you think I might do, like go out and buy a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes or buy some miracle $275 facial moisturizer. Nope.

I’d pay off my debt, take a trip to New York to see my family and treat myself to more expensive versions of things I use everyday. Things I pick up at the store, admire, then put away because the less-expensive version just makes more sense.

Things like:
LOVE this soap - especially the lavender scent.
The whole Mrs. Meyer's line is fancy. They have a $19.99 Geranium scented laundry soap and dish soap that smells like basil. Which is awesome if you want your clean dishes to smell like basil. Heck, who don't?
  

Don't get mad because I enjoy this expensive, extremely arrogant toothpaste.
The Classic Strong Mint flavor is like brushing my teeth with Altoids.


Dave's Killer Bread
Sure it would be easier on my wallet to buy this bread if there was more bread in my wallet.
But regardless of a winning scratch it or a dud, I'm buying Dave's Killer Bread.
Call me crazy, it's like five-bucks a loaf, but it's crazy good.

This is my favorite piece of the loaf, which I lovingly refer to as the "butt."
The butt is totally worth the money.

AND…

I’d buy the eyeglass frames that I want. That are imported from Italy. And are the coolest most awesome eyeglass frames ever.

With my old-lady-vision the prescription plus the frames is $600. With insurance. I was choked up and almost cried when I had to tell the very nice woman who helped me weed through hundreds of frames to find these oh-so-perfect ones that I’m gonna hafta wait on getting them.

Did I mention they're from Italy.

No others I try even come close. I went to Costco and tried some on. That felt like returning to the crummy boyfriend - but this time he was a jerk that made me pay for everything, never complimented me and always made me feel bad about myself.

Jerky Costco glasses I took a picture of.
Not even worthy of being photographed on my face.
Also, not from Italy.

So I’ll wait.
I’ll be kinda blind, but I’ll wait.

I’ll wait for the three elephants, the Tic Tac Toe, the tattoo rose where I scratch off
three hearts that say “MOM” – I’ll wait.

Because it will happen.
I will be washing my hands with fancier soap and brushing my teeth with arrogant toothpaste,
all while seeing very clearly.

Friday, June 21, 2013

I'm Mr. Brightside.

Back in college my good friend John and I did a lot of stuff together.
We did stuff typical college kids do like:

• Go out drinking/dancing six out of seven nights a week.

• Eat an entire brick of Tillamook Cheddar cheese with crackers while watching old Joan Crawford movies.

• Go on extravagant shopping trips with money we did not have.

During our shopping sprees John and I used our credit cards to purchase a lot of dumb, regrettable items.
Like I remember going “antiquing” with John and getting talked into purchasing a few pieces of Wedgwood china. Because college students needs that.

Why.

Of course John and I also purchased some pretty bad clothing, it was the early nineties. Like I had a pair of jeans from The Gap that were blindingly yellow. They were off the men's rack so they were huge, long and heavy - but they were marked down to $7.98 and with a big belt and rolled up cuffs I thought they were awesome. John had an insanely bright yellow Joe Boxer t-shirt with that smiley face on the front and back. We would coordinate wearing these yellow nightmares when we were together and the result was cornea burning bad. Eyes would roll, we would get disapproving looks from old people and heads would shake when we wore these outfits in public.

John and I enjoyed annoying people with our bright, happy, obnoxious overdoses of color.

Lately I’ve been reminded of those bright yellow pants as I notice myself kind of obsessed with all things bright.

Nails.
Screw that ballet slipper pink, it's almost summertime.

Annoying orange.
Much brighter in person.
I'm on week three of wearing it this very annoying electric pink that a teenage girl should be wearing instead of me. Sometimes I look down and think...ick, why did I choose that color? And sometimes I think...ahhhh, that's so annoying. I LIKE IT.

Shoes.
Umm, how annoying are these shoes?
 
A birthday cake blew up on my feet.

Well, I now own them. Welcome to the Nike Studio Wrap Pack, a three-part-footwear SYSTEM. Here's the deal, you are supposed to do things like yoga, ballet and barre classes (annoying) in them, which I will never do. What I will do is use a gift card I got to buy some $110 fancy-schmancy shoes. With a ballerina ribbon. And wear them around the house while vacuuming. A friend of mine at rehearsal last week said these make him want to "vomit blood". I like a strong reaction to my footwear and I guess I got one. Thanks Nike!

Lip Gloss.
This lip color is LOUD and not my usual red, it’s more of a fantastic fuchsia. 



LAQA Fat Lip Pencil in Pinkman is creamy, minty and smooth in a chubby little stick I can fit in my pocket. It twists up so you don't need a sharpener, it's shiny and glossy and the color is screaming hot fun in the summertime. Love.

Dog Dress.
And I'll end on this:


This is my dog Macy and I put her in this bright pink tutu dress.
I know it's annoying but it's also sooooo cuuuute right? I have two boys, give me a break.

I know John would appreciate these fabulous bright items. Well, maybe not the shoes, those might make him want to vomit blood also. 

I sold my few pieces of Wedgwood on eBay and Goodwilled the legendary yellow pants long ago.
 
I pray someone purchased them for less than $7.98 and is walking around somewhere in them right now,
getting eye rolls from old people.

John's going away party before he moved to California.
My going away present to him? Wedgwood.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Hot for teacher.

With school getting out this week and summer quickly approaching my mind rewinds to the anticipation and excitement that I felt this time of year. In high school I had thrown in the bag around April/May, anxious and more than ready to start my full time job of getting a better tan and eating as much frozen yogurt as humanly possible.

I had it with textbooks, school lunch, homework and all that pesky learning.

I had also had it with my teachers – I was really ready not to see them for three months.
Except for one.

Holy crap - Mr. Olson was a fox.

Like the hottest guy/man in the school. At the beginning of the school year girls hoped and prayed to see his name on their class schedule as their history teacher.

I sure did:

What kind, loving comments about my teachers.
I especially enjoy "always pregnant" and "totally bizarre freak".

Now I have never been what you would call a history buff. I have trouble remembering when the last Olympics took place, who the last President was, what kind of car I drive or how old I am. But being in Mr. Olson’s class sure made me give a crap about historical events. American historical events.

His class was outside, back in the “portables” behind the school. One portable building was for the bad kids who were super close to being kicked out of school altogether, and then there was Mr. Olson’s building.

Maybe they had to put him back there in his own separate building to contain all of his hotness?
 
Like Top Gun era Tom Cruise. But cuter.
And teaching me history.

Besides being hot, Mr. Olson was also a really good teacher. He was young so he knew how to relate to us and talk to us like we were people. He kind of reminded me of Mark Harmon as Mr. Shoop in the 80’s movie Summer School.

Did anyone else love that movie like I did? Anyone? No? Ok.

Hawaiian shirt + dog with sunglasses = '80's movie.

My B/F/F Susanne was in Mr. Olson’s class with me and as you can imagine
we enjoyed our time in the portable together with our favorite teacher.

Susanne and Mr. O.
Seriously.
How cute was this guy?

My memories of American History are fun - yes I said fun.

Every day during fourth period was a class where the teacher would joke with us, teach us things while speaking our language and listen to us when we needed to talk. Even if it wasn't about history, it could have been about music or movies or whatever.

After reviewing my detailed, thoughtful comments above of my high school teachers there are few that I can picture, but very few that I actually remember. Like Mrs. Loud, I'm sorry I don't recall you or your "Home Furnishing" class, whatever the hell that was. And Mrs. Gonzales, I don't know who you are, why you were teaching French, or why I was taking French.

Mr. Olson, as stated above I do remember you being fine and gorgeous.
And now that a few years have gone by (just a few) I also remember you as a really good teacher.


Mr. Olson signed my yearbook.

I believe the "M.M." was a nickname he gave me. "Motor Mouth".
I can't imagine why he called me that.

It reads:

"I wish you all the success in the world. For some reason I cannot explain,
I see you rising to positions of importance and responsibility! Thanx for the cartoons.

Good Luck,
Mr. O."

(I vaguely remember cutting out and giving Mr. O Bloom County and Far Side cartoons that I thought were funny to try and make him laugh/impress him. Smooth.)

Friday, June 7, 2013

The sweet hair-after.

Last Sunday morning when I was getting ready to go for a run, I pulled my hair back into a pony tail. 
In doing this I realized my exercise routine was about to be altered.

It was time for me to take a sweaty detour into the Fred Meyer because there it was - the sparkle.
The "sparkle" that isn't fun. Or pretty. Or sparkly. It's more dull and flat and...umm...GRAY.

For me gray hair is like Christmastime - like when you can’t believe how quickly the year has gone by, and then here we are again. Except it is annoying and makes me realize that I have a good amount of gray hair. Kind of a lot of it. It also makes me realize that I’m getting old. And unlike Christmas, truthfully that’s not really fun. The top of my head looks like tinsel. Merry Christmas.

BEFORE.

So I grabbed my iPod, some cash, a coupon I had stashed away and shoved them all into the front of my sports bra and prayed that I wouldn’t run into any ex-boyfriends in line at Freddy’s all sweaty, stinky with no make up.

It still bugs me that I can't afford to go and see my favorite stylist Jeff at the salon for color anymore. Since going part-time at work, which is awesome, it's one of those luxuries I decided to cut, which is not awesome. My cut and colors with Jeff have simply become "cuts" which I refuse to ever give up. I will sell some plasma or let someone buy my eggs before anyone from Great Clips near my hair. (Sorry, Great Clips.) 

So off for my run I went, listening to the Adam and the Ants station on Pandora, running fast when "Prince Charming" came on and slowing down when "Wonderful" starts to play. I love you Adam Ant...

Anyway...it's a hot Sunday Portland morning and I'm a sweaty mess as I trudge up the hill up toward Fred Meyer. When I got inside I kept my silver head down and headed right for the hair color aisle and grabbed my Root Rescue by L'Oreal.

I've used this the last few times I've colored my roots, I like it a lot.

She blinded me with science...



Root Rescue only takes ten minutes! It said on the box to leave it on for fifteen minutes for "stubborn" grays - I left it on for twenty-five (whoops) and it covered it all up and didn't burn my head off.

AFTER.

Like I said, I do get annoyed that I don't have that hair-color-at-the-salon luxury any longer.
I miss that. I miss a glass of wine in the middle of the day, sitting under a steamy hot dryer 
blocking out the world with a bunch of US Weekly and OK Magazines.

But you know how I love a good deal and holy crap, look at this: 


That's right people, $4.79 to get my hair colored.

I used the self checkout to avoid reaching into my boobs to hand the cashier 
a sweaty ten dollar bill and even sweatier two-dollar-off coupon.  

The hair color box wouldn't fit in my sports bra so I just shoved the receipt in there and held the box
as I ran home up that hill as fast as I could. Best workout of the week.