Thursday, June 26, 2014

Hair Manifesto

Do you ever look at someone's hair and think, what is that thing growing on top of her head?

No, of course you don't. Because you're a decent human being.

I never think that either. In fact, I normally think the opposite. I think everyone has great hair. Whether it's sleek or frizzy or short or long, I always think that everyone's hair looks beautiful and well kept and enviable.

Except for my own. I always think my own hair looks ridiculous. Which is insane. I have great hair. It holds curl like a champ. I love my natural color. It's healthy and full (remember when I was loosing my hair?! Those were Dark Days. But I've recovered and now it's a mane.) And I can almost guarantee that no one is whispering under their breath, "Will you have some dignity Rachel and manage that tumbleweed of yours". No one is thinking that!

It's just that I see my hair every day. I know it intimately. I know where all the cowlicks are. It is very fluffy at times and other times it looks like an oil slick. I now have this random dent in my hair that has formed just above my left temple. And it is as infuriating as it is hilarious. But who doesn't have a complicated relationship with their hair? We all think it looks gross just as much as it looks great.

And frankly, I'm kind of tired of feeling bad about my hair. So a few weeks ago I decided to stop feeling bad about it and to just embrace it. I'm embracing the fluff! I'm embracing the cowlicks! I'm embracing the weird dent. I've already decided to embrace my gray hair when it really starts coming in because have you seen my mom? She has glorious silver hair. And the few grays that I have now look like lightening strikes coming out of my head, which naturally make me feel like one of the X-Men, which naturally makes me think of Hugh Jackman and all is right with the world.

So there, I'm embracing it and I'm happy with it. Which means that it was a really easy jump to cutting it myself. Wait, what? Yes. I got out of the shower last night and thought, well why not. I've always wanted to try it. I've watched videos on YouTube. I have sharp scissors. Let's just do this thing. I mean, the worst that could happen was that I hate it and I have to call Sarah up and have her fix it. Which means that I would get to hang out with Sarah. There was nothing to lose.  So I did it and I kind of love it.

I took about two inches off and with it came all my layers and any apprehension about cutting my own hair. It was easy and I felt great afterwards. And then I posted a picture of a CVS bag full of my hair on Instagram (@rachelsaysso), which I realize now was gross.  Loose wet hair makes me gag. This may very well be a mid-life hair crisis but it is certainly cuter and cheaper than a Camero.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

This and That, Volume 37 (I'm guessing. Who knows.)

1.  We did it again! The Save the Pits bill made it through another committee, this time in a landslide. We have one more committee and then the full Senate and I think we'll be back in business.

2. I got a text from Camille yesterday saying, "Fergus Murphy is the chair for Nadal's match right now." Wimbledon is going on and Camille and I like to keep each other up on anything noteworthy so the other doesn't miss it. And Fergus Murphy is noteworthy to us. We saw him call a match at Indian Wells a few years ago and he was charmingly sassy. He's been our favorite ever since. Having a favorite chair umpire means that we've hit a new level of crazy for tennis. So be it.

3.  There was a weird battle going on the other night at Las Brisas. The gross neighbors across the way were loudly using every swear word in the English language while discussing what to have for dinner. Because you need to. But their upstairs neighbors were having their Bible study and the praise band was out and I think they had microphones. This is such a brilliant tactic. And it worked. The gross neighbors clammed up and went inside. I'm going to play really loud hymns on the piano the next time they start up.

4. I've had a popcorn kernel stuck in my throat for 3 days now. It is obnoxious and I'm afraid that my throat is going to close around it and I'll die. Farewell, cruel world!

5.  My car was sluggish to start this morning. Same yesterday. It had all the signs of a dying battery. So I sucked it up and drove over to Wal-Mart, even though I have bad feelings towards it. But the convenience, you know. Anyway, I turned it off and went to go talk to a guy and then tried to turn it back on and it was dead. Which means that for once in my life I actually sensed a problem with my car and fixed it right away instead of ignoring it and praying that it disappears. What a grown-up!

Monday, June 23, 2014

I said good morning Gil!

What About Bob is on Netflix and now my life is complete. 

Watching it right now has taken me back to when I watched it the first time at Anita's 16th birthday party that wasn't a birthday party because she was Jehovah's Witness so it was a party near her birthday. Later we ate pizza and made up dance routines to Tiffany's I Think We're Alone Now. Ah, youth.

In unrelated but totally important news, we have another chance to be solid citizens. The Newport Beach fire pit resolution has made it to the second round of comittees. Feel free to call and ask for their support of AB1102 by 830 tomorrow morning. Leaving a message is fine. Let your lovely voices be heard. These people really want to hear from you.

Senator Fran Pavley (Chair) (916) 651-4027
Senator Anthony Cannella (Vice Chair) (916) 651-4012
Senator Noreen Evans (916) 651-4002
Senator Jean Fuller (916) 651-4018
Senator Ben Hueso (916) 651-4040
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (916) 651-4019
Senator Ricardo Lara (916) 651-4033
Senator Bill Monning (916) 651-4017
Senator Lois Wolk (916) 651-4003

Monday, June 16, 2014

Tech Support

I got a new work computer and I'm not kidding when I say that putting it together was like putting together a nuclear reactor with instructions written in Sanskrit. Each piece came in its own box with its own set of wires and its own set of instructions that did not correlate with the other instructions. And all the instructions were poorly drawn pictures with bullet points written in no fewer than 30 languages. I only recognized about half of them. I am positive that one of them explained what all the cords were for.

Our tech support is in Salt Lake City. If you need something you just call and they can remote into your computer. But there's no one you can call to say, "What are all these wires for? How come I have more cords than holes to plug them into? Can you fly someone out to do this for me?" You just have to wing it. This is the old Pioneer Spirit. My theory is that when you work for a church with a history of making-do, of just pushing through and figuring it out because the mobs are after you and the ague killed off half your neighbors and the crickets are coming to eat your crop, they're not going to send someone out to put a computer together for you when you have a brain and two hands. I mean, the pioneers didn't have tech support when their handcart wheel busted in Nebraska. They just had to figure it out.  So I figured it out. And while technology in general is my weak spot, reading comprehension is my strength so armed with nothing but 15 pages of instructions written mostly in Swahili I dived in and several hours later turned on my computer. And it worked. And I was beyond proud. I even wrangled all those wires in the back with twisty ties so it's nice and tidy back there.

I'm off to girls camp. Katie and I are in charge of crafts this year. The thought of camp without any of the responsibilities of previous years is making me lightheaded. You'll find me relaxing in the craft cabin braiding leather.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Don't Be That Person

As usual, there was traffic on my drive home yesterday. But heavier than normal. A car was stalled on an interchange ramp so we all slowly made our way around her. The poor girl was on her phone when I past, maybe calling for help, but there wasn't much she could do. I felt awful for her. Car problems are bad. But car problems on the freeway are just awful.

We all made it around her and the traffic lightened up a bit. And then about a mile down the road I saw the same stalled car drive past me. Hooray.

And then about another mile down the road traffic slowed again, this time to a complete stop. Because the same car who stalled back at the interchange and then zipped by me was stalled again. In the fast lane. And like that, all of my sympathy vanished. 

Because you don't drive a car in the fast lane if it has a habit of stalling! You go into the slow lane and you hang out with the semis so that if it stalls again you're right by the shoulder instead of in the middle of the freeway where you will potentially have to get out of your car and risk getting killed. Also, you would be out of everyone's way on the shoulder. She couldn't help the first time but she definitely could have prevented the second time. She just added 30 minutes to thousands of people's already long commutes.

This brings me to the larger issue of Don't Be That Person. I have a heightened sense of civic duty when it comes to not being that person who messes it up for everyone else. Like the person in the check out line who's squabbling with the checker because he saw an ad that said grapes are on sale but they're not. Don't be the person who holds up the line over 30 cents! Or the person who brings a toddler to the movies and won't take them out when they inevitably lose it. Or my neighbors across the way who stand out talking on their balcony all night and are so loud and vulgar that I have to shut my door and don't get the cool night air. Or the person who isn't ready with their order at the drive-thru, even at In-n-Out when the line takes forever and you already know what they have anyway because it's been the same six items your entire life! Everyone knows their In-n-Out order but you, lady!

I try to be patient with people. I really do. I don't want to shame someone over it because I like to believe that most people aren't That Person and are just having a bad day. And maybe 30 cents really is a big deal. And I think we're all a little oblivious from time to time. But there are certain things you can do to not be that person. And driving in the slow lane when you're having car trouble is one of them.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Keep your mitts off our pitts

Updates from yesterday's posts:

Valerie, astutely, added bacon to the listed of things she's tired of hearing about. Agreed. I mean, we all love the stuff but it's not some rare treasure. I can literally walk across.the street to Stater Bros. and purchase one slice for 12 cents. Its not a truffle that a pig had to root out in Provence. 

In a weird worlds-colliding moment, right after I saw Val's comment about bacon I got an email about bacon that reminded me of yet another thing that I want done away forever. The portmanteau.  This is the combing of words to make a new word. Like dramedy, or Brangelina. And it just needs to stop because they have ceased to be clever. The email in question was advertising a local grocery store's "bacon-licious" week. Okay, they're not even trying. That took no thought whatsoever. Therefore, I'm calling foul. A good portmanteau at least sounds like the word you're changing, like if you're having a buy one get one free sale on bacon you could say it's a freelicious deal. Because that sounds like delicious. But the trend is so prevalent now that all effort has gone out the window. Let's just put any old words together. You're on my list, portmanteau!

Switching lanes, let's talk about these fire pits. We won the day! AB1102 made it through the first committee and is now moving on to a different committee. We're one step closer to our giant beach blanket bingo bonfire party  I promised if we get this thing fixed.  I don't want to jinx it by making food assignments just yet but we're close.

Casey, always the concerned citizen, followed the proceedings and kept us posted.  Here's his comment:

The main takeaway from the meeting is that the air district people want 100 feet between pits and 700 feet between the pits and houses. The problem is that Balboa and surrounding beaches only have about 600 feet of sand total. But we won this battle.
Also worth mentioning: the former mayor of HB was there and he said "Keep your mitts off our pits!" which, by the way, is the name of the band that will open for Just Lips on the world tour. 

Thanks for the update, Caswell. You're a pillar in our community. And you rock the electric drums like a boss.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Remeber how I wrote about Newport Beach banning wood fires in their pits and how riled up I was about it? Well the fury has not subsided. And now there's something we can do about it.

A bill is being voted on tomorrow in the state Senate that would make it harder for cities to pull this kind of chicanery.  But the good senators need to hear your opinion on it. So why don't you give them a call.

 Senator Jerry Hill (Committee Chairman)   (916) 651-4013   *important to call Sen. Hill*
Senator Loni Hancock    (916) 651-4009
Senator Hanna-Beth Jackson   (916) 651- 4019
Senator Mark Leno    (916) 651-4011
Senator Fran Pravley    (916) 651-4027
Senator Ted Gaines    (916) 651-4001

These are the senators on the committee voting tomorrow. If you want to help save the pits call them by tomorrow at 9:30am and ask them to support AB1102. Voice mail is fine if you don't get a real person.

Remember all those s'mores you've had around the bonfire! Remember how happy all of your friends and family looked silhouetted on the fire light! Remember how, when your body is going into minor shock from your sunburn, the fire warmed you up. We need those pits! SAVE THE PITS!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Future ice cream making plans

It was Camille's birthday last week and to celebrate we went into LA to try out this restaurant called Grub that has something called Crack Bacon. Which, can we just stop calling things crack whatever? It's old, you know. Anyway, it was really, really good bacon. It had all these different spices on it, including anise, which, gross, but combined with everything else it was amazing. 

(Cranky rant of other things I'm tired of hearing:  1.) the word curated in anything other than a museum brochure. As in, "His Tumblr on mid-century potato peelers is expertly curated." It kind of makes me want to punch things. 2.) Sustainable, organic, locally-sourced.  Oh brother. Yay for good food and all but whenever someone starts preaching about this i want to reach for the nearest bag of Cheetos and shout, "I LOCALLY-SOURCED THESE AT THE 7ELEVEN!")(End Rant.)

Back to Grub. The other food we ate there was pretty delicious (brie BLT anyone?) but we all decided that it didn't make the cut of places we HAVE to go to when we're in the area.

Unlike Neveux. Which we did go to, of course. What is a birthday trip into LA without peach pepper ice cream?  I know I talk about this place all the time but you guys, it's the greatest. I won't stop talking about it until all of you have tried it. So get going, OK. While we were eating our ice cream we were chatting with Leo and Camille asked if maybe, someday we could watch the magic happen and see the whole ice cream making process. He said sure! Wow-wee! I love seeing how things are made! He even said we could go shopping with him at the Hollywood farmers market for the ingredients. I won't even flinch if he says "Sustainable, organic, and locally-sourced."