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Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

26 Jun

blog image passport

My passport was renewed!

Exclamation point because, for reasons I am about to explain, the passport renewal process can be quite precarious.

Mostly it was the “hair color” question.  And mostly because when I say “question,” know that your government isn’t so much asking but is, instead, demanding in a you-can-be-sent-to-prison-if-you-get-this-wrong kind of way and what with tests making me nervous and such, the thought of having my ability to flee the country on a moment’s notice revoked was enough to make me want to get an “A” or at least a “C.”  Not that I would ever need to flee the country on a moment’s notice.  Want, yes.  Need, I hope not.  Unless Christian Louboutin is having a one day sale.  Then I need to get to Paris.

At first I tried fudging the answer by smudging the ink until it was impossible to distinguish between brown or blonde which resulted in a rejected application and, also, a new word- “bronde™.” (Just like during my early school days when I would write down “T” for true, then sloppily erase most of it, then press down harder as I overwrote the “T” with an “F” (also known as the “tralse™”) and then erase again and double-back until there was essentially nothing left but a hole with a bunch of smeary marks and I hoped that the teacher would take pity on my conflicted heart and, maybe, give me half credit but I figured that the US Government wouldn’t stand for that.  Although as of today, the US Government does stand for marriage equality which means that most restaurants will now have even more married couples eating and not talking to each other, so there’s that.  Good job, Brownie.)

So then I asked the postmaster/passport officer/life coach what I should put down for hair color and he recommended that I call my stylist to find out exactly what she thinks she’s been doing every six weeks and why would I lay out all that money if I can’t even tell what it’s for (hence the life coach) at which point I countered with “why is hazel an acceptable color for eyes but not for hair?”  Or calico?  Or du jour?

Why is the US Government and the US Postal System conspiring against me?  (Especially by taking my new photo under harsh lighting.  So very unflattering.  What’s next- putting my actual weight on my driver’s license?  Oh regulations, I understand that you exist.  Buy why must you exist for me?)

Really, instead of a no-fly list, I should be on a no-dye list.  Or both.

(Unless I’m on my way to Jamaica in which case it’s a “No Woman, No Dye” list.)

PS: I truly believe that every little thing is gonna be alright.

From the “Vicarious Traveling” Travelogue

15 Jul

blog imag swedish fish

Friends went to Sweden which means that parts of me also went to Sweden (my mind as well as my inner tall, blonde, multilingual, weirdfish-eating self).

My favorite part of the trip was returning home and attempting to incorporate the concept of “fika” into my life.  “Fika” is a daily Swedish coffee break except coffee is not required and it often lasts for over an hour.  It is time spent socializing, unwinding and having a not insubstantial nosh.  A sort of high tea but with lots more umlauts.  A respite, but with dried fish included- like surströmming or tatami I washi.  (Thank YOU Wikipedia!)

Imagine if employers in the US authorized an afternoon break with food and friends and World Cup bonding and such.  They would be just like the unauthorized breaks we take in the morning now, except those can sometimes feel edgy as people really seem to want coffee with the half and half that was right in the breakroom refrigerator as of 5PM yesterday.

Then imagine a job where folks stand around the water cooler while holding ceramic mugs talking about non work-related things like reality tv, sports or standardized testing and know that I would no longer be working there by now (assuming that I passed the background check).  I like people but I hate prolonged small talk.  Who am I kidding?  I hate chit-chat of any duration.  Even if it means avoiding work.

I do appreciate the spirit of fika though, as I believe that we all need to individually reassess and relax a little during the middle of the day or possibly earlier in the day or most of the day, even.  Some would call that being “underemployed” but I’m going to go with dreamer/fika.

When I told Spouse that we would begin fika-ing ourselves silly during the middle of the day while The Boy was at school, he may have misunderstood.

Next day, he showed up for our first fika bearing gifts of champagne, chocolate and a Lyle Lovett CD (don’t ask).

And when I busted out the knäckebröd and lärtsoppa och pannkakor, he didn’t say much either which is everything you could want in a fika.

With lingonberries on the side.

Mon Regime fou Francais (My Crazy French Diet)

18 Jul


Eat dessert twice a day (space it out if desired).

Follow with: unlimited cream, whole milk, whole eggs, coffee (see “unlimited cream”), bread, cheese, beer, wine and crepes.

Stroll for miles because it’s beautiful and because you can.

Smoke like there’s no cancer (or tomorrow).

Visit the burial sites of Seurat, Chopin, Morrison, Wilde, Molière and others.

Return 4 pounds lighter with the dust of a thousand souls in the cuffs of your pants.

Cost: $1,000 per pound.

(Only €850 per kilo though!)

Repeat as necessary.  And it will become necessary.

Frere David? Where is David?

7 Mar

blog image eiffel tower

In an attempt to shift Karma, I am studying the French language via a patented CD method- no, not that language series but, rather, a knockoff which, for legal purposes, we’ll call Josetta Bone and for our purposes, we’ll say that “studying” means I am upright, eyes open and not a glass of wine in sight as I listen and repeat.

“Why French?” you ask.

“Duh.”  I reply.  (Or “Dui,” as they say in Marseilles.)

I was an English major who vacationed in England.

I am now a French student in need of another vacation.  “Mon Dieu!” I can hear Spouse already, “a vacation from what?”

Eh, he is a rude American who wouldn’t know a romance language if it went on strike for increased access to truffles right in front of him.

Besides, I may need to speak French should David Sedaris ever read my most recent fan letter and invite me to his pied e terre for snacks and conversation and snacks.  (I should also work on my Billie Holiday impression which, for our purposes, we’ll call “Wounded Animal Sings the Blues.”)

Look, it’s a crazy time and who knows?  Not me.

I’ll tell you what I do know and that’s how to say “I don’t know, I’m American” using the patented Hosetta Jones method.  I can also tell you that “I don’t understand, I’m American,” “Saint Jack Street is over there.  Saint Jack Street is not here, I’m American” and “Waiter!  Can I get a large Coke?”  (The “I’m American” is silent.  But understood.)

I can also direct you to Saint Michele Boulevard, as long as it is on my immediate right, and then fall deeply asleep in front of the wood stove without spilling wine or learning how to navigate the Metro.

Oh well- I’m sure that Mr. Sedaris will provide proper directions anyway.

Using the proven Sand NcMally mapping system.

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