Posts tagged ‘Beauty’

Mini Makeover Weekend

Hair coloring

Image via Wikipedia

My hair was getting to the point where I could not do anything with it any longer. I was pulling it into a ponytail every day. My sneakers (not the fancy shoes; those I only wear when I work out) needed to be replaced. I needed new contacts and glasses. Worst of all, I botched a haircolor job so badly that the top of my head was almost blonde while the rest of my hair was a medium/dark brown. It was time for a mini makeover.

So, after work on Friday I went to get a pair of those special sneakers that are supposed to work out your butt, etc. They were on sale for $20. Now I had heard that these shoes really didn’t do much beyond improving your posture, especially if you already walk heel to toe like you should. Well, bullshit, either that or my posture is really poor. I give myself a workout just walking around normally.

After I bought the special shoes I went to get my hair cut which magnified the hair color issue since I could see it more clearly in a large mirror, up close, with lots of light, and with my hair wet and parted. I looked like a skunk. The hairdresser told me my hair was too dark, and I needed to start moving toward a blonde shade so that it would blend in more with the gray. So, I got my hair cut and my brows waxed and then went to Wal-Mart and bought two boxes of something called light caramel brown. Naturally, I had to buy new makeup, too. I’m gradually going blonde. I just took the first step. The skunk issue is vastly improved.

I fixed my hair while watching John Cassevetes’ A Woman Under the Influence. I just got the DVD on my Netflix queue. I’m thinking about reviewing it in a blog entry later, but I’m going to view it with the commentary first.

I participated in Keep Austin Beautiful the next morning. We were three women picking up trash, armed with plastic gloves and large lawn trash bags. We found part of a dildo and three condoms! Woot!

Maybe I should have rethought wearing my new sneakers. An hour and a half of picking up trash over several city blocks in “special” shoes damn near killed me. An African Amercian gentleman in an SUV pulled up in the driveway of the yard where we were picking up trash.

He said, “I really admire what you’re doing. Would you like some water?”

Well, being polite, we declined, but then we rethought that and took him up on it. He gave us each a cold bottled water.

He said, “My granny lives here. Her birthday is today. She just turned 99. She walks to the Neighborhood Community Center everyday to spend time with her friends, and she picks up cans on her way. I don’t want you cleaning up any more trash in this yard. We got enough people inside to do that.” In truth, there wasn’t much trash to pick up. Granny’s yard was pretty tidy.

Granny lives in a very cute little manufactured house, fixed up with shutters and window boxes, a small front porch, and skirting. She has always lived in this neighborhood from the time that it was just a loose affiliation of black Americans who got land from a local black preacher. She has lived here since before it was a part of Austin, before the neighborhood had either running water or electricity. She came to the screen door and waved at us from the living room in her housedress.

One of the women in our small band said, “Wow. That was something. Don’t you bet that was a treat for her to see three white women picking up trash in her yard?”

I thought it probably was. The changes that woman has seen are extraordinary. She was born in 1912.

After the cleanup I went to Sonic and got a Chicago dog and some apple slices with caramel sauce. Then I went to bed and took a nap for three solid hours.

I got up and went grocery shopping. I bought only healthy food. Yay, me. Then I went to La Madeleine for a bowl of soup and later went to see The Lincoln Lawyer.

This morning I went to church with one of the Mr. Brewsters at a gay friendly church down south, and he asked me if I wanted to do the 5K for Gay Pride on June 1st, and I said, of course, I want to do the 5K for Gay Pride on June 1st. I’m doing my second 5K in another two weeks, one for the Austin State Hospital. If I keep up this exercise stuff I might not lose weight, but I will definitely amass a nice collection of t-shirts.

After Mr. Brewster dropped me off at home I went to the eye doctor’s. I got new contact lenses and paid for a new pair of glasses. I feel transformed. This is definitely one of those weekends when life is good.

April 10, 2011 at 11:12 pm Leave a comment

I Pay a Vietnamese Man To Touch Me Every Couple Weeks

The title of today’s post sounds more concupiscent than it actually is. The real truth is that I tend to go to a nail salon on average every couple weeks. At the nail salon I get my nails done and get a pedicure. During my pedicure I get a nice leg and foot massage in a chair that also massages my back. Since my feet are very ticklish I have to work hard not to kick the poor pedicurist in the face. The luxury of being pampered like this does cost me a significant amount of money.

However, I think it’s money that’s completely well spent. In our modern day American culture we don’t get touched much. Human beings require touch. However, what do we do when we don’t get it? Adults in our culture get touched when they shake hands. Sometimes, with good friends, we give and receive hugs. The rest of our touch is confined to sexual relationships and physical altercations. If we aren’t having sex with anyone, then we’re almost totally confined to handshakes and brief hugs. I don’t recommend picking fights.

What I do recommend, beyond getting a pet to cuddle with and pet, is going to the nail salon or paying a massage therapist. Or maybe do both. Aside from getting nails that are pretty, I also get to effectively hold hands for about an hour or so with a very sweet Vietnamese man named Philip. Philip has been doing my nails for about three years now and I chatter away as he’s doing them, so he knows me better now than some of my former boyfriends. I gave him a friends and family discount to make a purchase from my employer and he gives me discounts sometimes now on my birthday and holidays. I even bought him a present once of a tiny golden fat Buddha statue.

Without touch, human babies tend to wither away and die. They never develop properly. Maybe the lack of touch even causes adults to become weary or even a little crazy. So, I would like to thank the good people of the nail salon for rubbing on me and holding my hands every once in awhile. Just imagine how crazy I’d be without them.

July 27, 2009 at 10:55 pm Leave a comment

Sunburn

Sunburn, photographed 2 days after a 5-hour su...

Image via Wikipedia

As I write this I am in the middle of the peeling stage. It’s still miserable but not as unbearable as it once was. The problem is that I have pale skin, the kind of pale skin that just cries out for eugenics. I tan eventually, but it almost requires one bad burn a summer to make that happen. I’m not Irish, but most of my ancestry is German, Dutch, and English, so when God and his angels were passing out the melanin in heaven, I didn’t get much. Maybe one day, with the help of genetic engineering, people like me can be born with parasols that shoot out of our vertebrae at the first contact of direct sunlight. Or maybe one day they’ll just give us all stars to wear and put us on cattle trucks bound for Siberia or Finland.

On the day of the tubing trip I had meant to get my own sunblock. I went to Wal-Mart the night before and got everything I meant to get except sunblock. Then the next morning I was running late and knew the other group was waiting for us, so when Katina said she had sunblock that was good enough for me. It was 40+ sunblock, so it wasn’t lightweight stuff. I had already been a little burned a few weeks prior at a weekend pool excursion, but it had heeled. I figured I might just be alright.

We put on our sunblock in line for the tubes, and this, for me, was the first mistake. Sunblock should be put on in advance of direct contact with sunlight. The directions on the bottle usually read something like a half an hour in advance of going into sunlight. For people like me, this should translate to one application the night before and then another one an hour before you get in the sun; do not shower in between applications.

The second problem was when the sunblock that Katina purchased stopped coming out of the bottle. All of us got one application. That was it. It was one of those new fangled spray bottles, and it was hard to get it to come out. Eventually it didn’t come out at all, no matter how hard we pressed down on the trigger.

The good thing about floating down the river on tubes is that most of the time I was not in a position to burn my back, which meant I still got to sleep like a baby. When we got back I went to Wal-Mart first thing and bought my very own tube of 50+ sunscreen, a stick of the same stuff for my face, a bottle of aloe vera lotion, and a jar of Noxzema. I knew the sunburn was pretty bad. People stared at me as I shopped. A little Hispanic baby with plenty of melanin of her own, actually stared and pointed like I was a new and heretofore unseen race with actual red skin. You just thought Native Americans were red.

I took my stuff home and was looking forward to lathering myself in several applications of Noxzema when it occurred to me that I needed to call my parents to wish them a Happy Anniversary. My mother answered. My father was napping. My mother is a nurse. I mentioned my plans. She said I couldn’t do that. No lotion until my skin actually stopped radiating heat. Otherwise, I’d be trapping the heat in and cooking the skin. It works along the same principle as those clear plastic roasting bags they sell for baking turkeys. This would make things worse. She recommended cold water, cold showers, and ice.

Katina called the next day, probably to see if I was alright, or if the heat had literally baked me clear through. She recommended white vinegar. So, I made a trip to HEB. I bought an empty mister bottle like the kind you are supposed to use to iron clothes. I got a large bottle of distilled white vinegar. I also bought a bag of ice and the cheapest styrofoam cooler I could find. This I saved for after I went to bed. Then I misted myself all evening with white vinegar, which, apparently, if you look it up on the internet is a legitimate form of sunburn relief. It has analgesic properties. It reduces swelling. So, basting myself like a turkey for the next couple days until my skin finally stopped radiating heat, did actually help. The weird thing is that I did actually smell like salad the next day. I don’t think other people noticed, but in the middle of the day I would suddenly sniff vinegar.

I’ve been sunburned before. Unfortunately, I’ve been sunburned many times before, but never quite like this. It actually reminds me of the way we cook lobsters by boiling them alive. It almost makes me think about not eating lobsters anymore out of solidarity. But lobsters are so good, with melted butter. And you know those cheese herb biscuits you can get at Red Lobster? Mmmmmmm. Yeah, unfortunately I’m low on principle at the moment. Does anyone want to go to Red Lobster this weekend? Call me.

July 3, 2009 at 5:10 pm Leave a comment


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