Thursday, September 30, 2010

Blue da ba dee

After three or four months, I finally went in for a cut and colour. For the longest time I had all black with foils done along the crown for pink or blue highlights (or a combination, depending on what I felt like). For the first time since 2005, I went in for a new foil placement. I now have symmetrical blocks of colour at the sides, with layers of bright black everywhere else. I get a subtle fading from black to teal showing at the tips when I wear it down, and a fantastic bright pop of colour when I do a French braid or pin my hair back.

Taking the black out took an incredibly long time. From start to finish, I was in the chair for 5 hours. I've never had to go through that before.

It was a good time for a new design. I'd had the old one for 5 years and I was ready for a change, plus I broke up with my previous stylist so it felt right to let the new one take the reigns rather than get her to copy someone else's work. She did a really good job, and for almost half the price of what the old stylist charged.

I do need to find a dye that is more of a primary blue for the wedding. This teal doesn't go with the wedding colours.

Knit knit knit

I have started these wristwarmers. I'm not very practised at either knitting in the round or cables, but I'm gonna do it. Then I'm going to learn how to do thumbs.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

#DwtS Week 2.2

Good for Len for taking Bruno to task for being so harsh with Michael Bolton. I do think that Bolton really wasn't very good, but Bruno crossed the line from being constructively critical into being mean.

I didn't really notice Bristol's outfit until the results show. What was with those Miss Piggy opera gloves?

This may be the first time I've been spot on about the bottom two and the one to go home. I think Michael Bolton was the right one to go home. Mike Situation needs to follow up on those glimpses of potential if he wants to stick around.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dancing with the Stars Week 2.1

#DwtS week two performances!

Rick and Cheryl's Jive: Super tall guy with a tendon injury doing the jive. And it was great! It was bouncy, peppy, fast, and fun.

Florence and Corky's Quickstep: She's not the most natural dancer, but she seemed to loosen up and flow better towards the end. She was sometimes a bit hesitant, but her moments of elegance show good potential.

Brandy and Maksim's Jive: They should have left out her non-jive solo diva bit. I enjoyed it all except that. She looked clompy with her feet, like she was stomping rather than bouncing.

Michael and Chelsie's Jive: Michael needs to start treating her like his teacher and stop talking down to her. Yes, she's young enough to be his daughter, but she's a professional in her field and he should respect her as such.

He wasn't as painful for me to watch as last week. I think he did his best but it was clearly not a good dance for him. He's kind of like watching a roller skating bear. Len: "It probably needed a pooper scooper, as well." Hah! Love Len so much. Also, LOVED Chelsie's shoes.

Audrina and Tony's Quickstep: What the heck was Tony wearing? I have no idea who Audrina is or what she's a celebrity for, but I like her dancing. I wish she were more of a personality.

Jennifer and Derek's Jive: Loved it! I thought putting the female lead from Dirty Dancing was a bit hack and gimmicky, but they're not harping on it so it's okay.

I hate Sarah Palin and her stupid accent.

Margaret and Louie's Jive: So much better than last week. A fun dance like the jive works so much better for her personality.

Kyle and Lacey's Quickstep: Love love love Kyle even when he gets a bit too loose for the dance. The quickstep is one of my favourite dances and he's my favourite dancer this season. I initially liked Lacey's fun poofy dress, but the skirt made it hard to see the foot movements.

Kurt and Anna's Jive: I find it so distracting when they sing along, but at least it shows they're into it and that they know the dance well enough to be able to enjoy the music.

Mike (whom I refuse to call "The Situation" unless absolutely necessary) and Karina's Quickstep: I don't know why Mike's arguing about the music. Music is assigned, not chosen. His footwork was frequently totally out of sync, but I think he does show potential to be very good if he can pull it together. Missing the first two weeks of rehearsal before filming really hurt him. He usually had the moves, he just wasn't doing them at the right time. I really liked Karina's adorable dress.

Bristol and Mark's Quickstep: I don't like Sarah Palin, but I do like how supportive and enthusiastic she is of her daughter. Bristol was good and I really like watching her, but this wasn't as good as last week. It looked like she was anticipating her steps too much and got ahead of Mark and the music a few times.

For the most part, everyone did great. I think the two Michaels should be in the bottom two and Michael Bolton should go home.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Shopping texts

Me: "Sigh. I'm old and square. All these clothes are for hot young hipsters."

David: "You're a hot young hipster. You can't even be a hipster until 25."

Later at home, I showed him my new outfit of leggings and a long sweater (or short sweater-dress).

David: "Hey, that's cute!"

Me, surprised: "Really? You like it?"

David: "No, I don't like it. But it's cute."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

DwtS 1.2

First #DwtS elimination. I'm completely unsurprised that The Hoff was sent packing. I don't think he has nearly the audience appeal that the producers expected. People in North America haven't felt the same way about Hoff since that home video his daughter took of him lying on the floor drunk, rambling, and eating cheeseburgers. He's not seen as a gracefully ageing heart-throb or an endearing silver fox. I think North America primarily sees him as a gross, creepy, drunken slob.

Dancing with the Stars Commentary 1.1

Audrina and the Quarterback were both much better than I expected.

Kyle blew everyone out of the water and he's my favourite so far.

Cheryl looked like a little kid dancing her on her dad's feet with Rick. He's so tall! They still did a lovely job, but that kind of height different is tricky. I don't know how Cheryl does it in 4" heels. I can do 3.5" heels relatively well. My wedding shoes are 4" and they're hard to be smooth and graceful in.

I wanted to like Margaret Cho, and she started off so well (with everything but her face), but they completely screwed it up with the comedic gimmicky route. I did start out liking the sort of Asian fusion of the cape wings, but then they got silly. No good for the Viennese waltz. I felt like she was so lacking in confidence that she did the gold cape wings as a kind of comedic security blanket.

I liked Brandy more than I thought I would. She was graceful and natural. Her dress was gorgeous.

I feel like a lot of people expected Bristol to be the Kate Gosselin of this season just because of who her mom is, but they're forgetting that Bristol is the wild child party girl of the Palin family. I thought she did really well considering how new of a situation this is for her.

Florence Henderson needs some work, but she is still made of awesome. Even if she never gets better as a dancer, I still love her.

Michael Bolton?! How the eff did I miss hearing that he was on the show? I do not care for him.

The worst thing about "The Situation" is that his Jersey Shore fans will probably keep him around. I guess he wasn't too terrible for 5 days of practice and he'll probably do better with more practice, but I still think he's an idiot. I like that Bruno insisted on calling Michael.

Jennifer Grey looked great on the floor, but I hope they don't give her the Dirty Dancing schtick all season. Twice, Jennifer's feet were both off the ground. I don't think lifts are allowed in the V. waltz. I'm surprised Carrie-Ann didn't flip out about them doing lifts and cried about supernatural connections instead.

The Hoff. Oh dear lord. I just don't know what to say. Kym is gorgeous and fantastic as always. Mostly it all seemed a little lecherous and creepy.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sometimes when I'm alone

I dance to heavily Auto-Tuned pop songs while the cat glares disgustedly at me.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I signed my life away to Spa Lady

I just joined Spa Lady gym, although I think it's technically called a fitness club. I've been thinking about taking some sort of fitness class for quite some time, and lately I'm really starting to feel in my muscles and joints that I'm getting older. I have scoliosis and some other muscle and joint problems which I've always been told can be greatly eased by strengthening certain muscle groups, and I went to physiotherapy for a few years but I found it fairly limited in advice and exercise plans and thus it was generally unhelpful.

I ended up setting up a tour and information meeting at a nearby Spa Lady one day when I happened to be walking past on my way to Orange Julius. I went today and sat down with a fitness consultant to talk about some of my health issues and how they may be able to help. After and hour and a half and some texts and phone calls to David, I ended up signing on for a two year contract at a good monthly price that includes unlimited use of the facilities and as many of the group classes I want to make time for (such as yoga, Pilates, and Zumba). Even if I just go to one yoga class a month, I will be getting a value far better than going to a yoga studio. I also signed on for 12 sessions with a personal trainer with a background in physiotherapy who has worked with scoliosis patients. A trainer pushes the cost up, but I have zero clue what I'm doing and it's important to have some guidance so I don't hurt myself. Everyone I spoke with was very nice, the facilities are clean, and they have smaller machines that are scaled to be comfortably sized for women.

I had to stress to them that this is not at all about weight loss. I am tiny. I need more weight, not less. As soon as I mentioned having a fiancé, of course, they asked when the big day is and if my dress fits. I expect that they see a great deal of event and seasonal weight loss in women who are there just to fit into an outfit or swimsuit. Honestly, I'd just go buy a new outfit were that the case.

The one mistake the consultant made in her pitch was a cajoling "C'mon, you sound like a busy working mom. When was the last time you did something for yourself?"

"Well, I get my nails done every few weeks, one or two pedicures a year, a salon visit for my hair every two or three months, I'm able to find time to play video games for a few hours a week, and I just bought a bag of nice yarn for a lace scarf and some amethyst for a bracelet that I'm making for myself."


"Joining a gym isn't a treat to myself, it's something I need to do for the good of my health and well-being."

I got the feeling that she doesn't usually have her "you poor busy downtrodden woman with no time for herself!" schtick shut down so efficiently. But really, having a personal trainer kick my behind into shape isn't something I expect to be anything more than a chore. She might as well have said "C'mon, when was the last time you mopped so you didn't have to step on a sticky floor?"

I just hope this isn't like the cult of Columbia House.


Both hermit crabs are alive.

As David figured out with his superior google-fu, the thing I flushed that looked like a dismembered crab being eaten was the husk of Spartacus, who had moulted. They eat their own discarded husk for calcium to help them recover from the process.

The crab I thought was Spartacus in a new shell was actually Crixus, who sensed vulnerability and was trying to kill the weakened Spartacus. He wasn't crying victory by harassing what I thought was an empty shell and chirping, he was engaging in a shell fight. Spartacus, weak from moulting, was in no shape for a challenge and had managed to retreat so far into his little shell and Crixus had managed to push enough sand into the shell that it looked empty.

For a time, Crixus had both shells completely locked together at the opening. I thought he was being greedy and trying to live in both shells simultaneously, but he was actually trying to kill Spartacus. When he had disengaged the shells, I ended up removing the apparently empty Spartacus shell from the tank to see if Crixus would calm down. A while later I went back to check and what I thought had been an empty shell had legs and was walking across the desk. It was very confusing.

I put Spartacus in an old fish bowl with some new sand to recover, and he seems to be fine. He was very thirsty and hungry. I feel terrible that he had to spend all day with a murderous tank mate.

I'm relieved that Spartacus, my favourite of the two, isn't a murderous violent cannibal.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

RIP Crixus

For the youngest's sixth birthday in July, we bought him two hermit crabs. We follow something of a mythology and ancient history theme for the naming of pets and we had just finished watching Spartacus: Blood and Sand, so we named the two crabs Crixus and Spartacus.

Crixus died sometime over the last couple days. I don't know how. His remains were found very far from his shell. His shell was in his own coconut hut but his body was, to my horror and disgust, found dismembered and partially eaten in Spartacus's hut. He may have been crawling around looking for an empty shell and Spartacus got territorial. He may have died and then was dragged to the other hut.

Spartacus seems pale and lethargic. He may be sick (a possibility if Crixus was sick) or lonely. Or maybe he just overate. It seems that crabs and other natural scavengers often cannibalize their sick/dying/dead colony mates even when other food is available. Animals are horrible sometimes.

We shouldn't have named them after gladiators. It was asking for trouble.

Update: I went to check on Spartacus. He appears to be no longer lethargic. He abandoned his old shell and has taken up residence in Crixus's old shell in. After doing some research, it seems that shell fights aren't uncommon for hermit crabs. He probably just needed the body gone (eaten or otherwise) before he was comfortable taking the shell. Horrifying and messed up, but apparently normal.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Keep your eyes to yourselves

I had the XM radio on while I did some kitchen stuff. The Warrior by Scandal came on the 80s station. I'm singing along:

Shootin' at the walls of heartache, bang, bang, I am the warrior
Well I am the warrior, and heart to heart you'll win..if you survive
the warrior....the warrior

You talk, talk, you talk to me
Your eyes touch me physically
Stay with me--

Whoa, there, back up. Your eyes touch me physically? I don't think she knows what "physically" means or how literally it forces that statement to be taken. I'm all for artistic license and romantic metaphors, but that's just creepy and weird.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Kid stories aren't usually my thing

I picked the kids up at their classrooms this afternoon. The youngest (6) asked for my help getting his snack out of his pocket.

It was a half-eaten nectarine which had been there since afternoon recess.

He ate it.

Thursday, September 9, 2010



Hi Jen,

I do not support your getting married. If you want some advice you will RUN not walk away from that whole situation. On the other hand, you must be allowed to make your own mistakes. That is my dilemma. I have not booked my flight and I will NOT attend. I am doing what is best.

Love Dad

I wasn't sure I wanted him there anyhow after he kicked us out last month, and I already suspected that he was against me getting married (not necessarily to David, he's just anti-marriage in general). I definitely don't want anyone there who feels that way. It's not unexpected...but still hurts.

Dad is apparently fine with his daughters shacking up in long-term domestic partnerships. He doesn't want either of us to be lonely or unhappy. But he was financially screwed over and emotionally damaged by my mother in their divorce and has become completely against marriage. He has been passively against my sister or me getting married to anyone just on general principle. Last month when we visited he determined that he didn't like thechildren at all, so it seems he's now specifically against me marrying into this family.

He's a very quiet kind of person who believes in suffering silently and never talking about things, which is why this is the first I'm hearing about his disapproval. He started off very positive and supportive, and was even planning his flights. Now it's apparent that he was doing it out of duty and not wanting to hurt my feelings. Hearing that a copy of the invitation was in the mail led to discussion about his flights and involvement which led to the question of whether he wanted to be there at all. (I advised him to throw the invitation in the garbage without opening it when it arrives, as he won't like the wording. David really wanted my dad to feel included and respected and insisted that we go with a traditional "[Jenn's dad] requests the honour or your presence..." invitation. Kinda regretting that choice now.)

When he does finally break his silence, he does it like this. His two modes are "Suffer silently" and "Runaway Mack truck."

This is for the best. He was such a jerk to us when we visited him last month that I wasn't sure I even wanted him at the wedding, but I didn't want to burn bridges and tell him that he wasn't welcome. I mistakenly thought that being at his youngest daughter's wedding was important to him, so my plan was just to just keep the peace until after the wedding and then let things drift apart however they would. I'm feeling similarly to how I did when my mother died: I wasn't sad over her loss, I was sad over the life we should have had and the lost opportunity. My father as a person will not be missed at the wedding, but I'm still sad about the situation.

Worst. Vacation. Ever.

After about a year and a half of my dad asking when David and I will visit with the kids, we were finally able to make it happen in early August. We left home on a Thursday afternoon and planned to leave early the following Monday morning to make the 10 hour drive home.

The drive there was uneventful. Things at Dad's got off to a bad start when the youngest boy was bitten in the face by one of Dad's dogs. He had to have his nose glue-sutured. We got past it and had a great night of going to a drive-in movie. The next day we went on a really nice kayaking trip down the Shuswap river. My dad was full of criticism about how we were too impatient and strict with the kids, and how we just need to let them be kids. We were trying to be mindful of his space and we kept the kids out and about as much as we could, they slept in a tent in the yard, and we always offered to take separate vehicles with them. We were impatient and strict because this was really the first time my dad had spent any time with them and we didn't want to overstay our welcome.

On Sunday afternoon while waiting for my sister to meet us for a hiking trip to a local waterfall, about five minutes after some of the aforementioned criticism, my dad very abruptly and completely unexpectedly kicked us out. I had mentioned something about the drive the next morning and he said "No, you're leaving tonight. You and Dave are more than welcome, but the kids have to go."

The kids were being a little rambunctious because he'd gotten them all excited about going to see a waterfall, but then they had to wait with nothing to do for my sister to meet us. They didn't have any toys with them to keep them occupied and the biting dog was outside so they couldn't go play in the yard. He simply got tired of having them around and kicked us all out. The baffling thing was that they'd hardly been around him except at meal times. They camped in the yard so he didn't have them around at night at all, and we'd become separated on the river while kayaking so he didn't see them most of that day, too. He blew up after 15 minutes of them in his living room when he was the one who got them all keyed up. He'd been lobbying for them to visit so he can get to know them for so long now, but once they were there he wanted nothing to do with them and made no effort at all.

My sister and I are still reeling and trying to wrap our heads around just how monumentally out of character this was. We gave him plenty of outs for not having the kids around too much, but instead of taking us up on our offers, talking to us about it, asking us to get a hotel, or telling us the night before or even first thing that morning, he kept nonchalantly blowing off our concerns and waited until it was a really bad time to start a 10 hour drive to blow up. We had to pack up in a hurry and get on the road. I have never felt so rejected before and I've no idea how to deal with my father now.

We ended up driving overnight and made it home very late. We'd just gotten into bed when we heard the alarm linked to the keyfob for minivan (which we'd borrowed from David's mom). Four teens had broken in and were either trying to steal the van or whatever they could find in the van. David chased them down, police were called by both us and the one kid he cornered, statements were given, everyone walked away unscathed and thus far un-charged (including the vandals/thieves due to lack of evidence). We finally got to sleep around 4:00am but had to get up after a few hours to deal with the van and insurance.

Then there was a violent storm which saw parts of our basement flooded ankle-deep and the power out for several hours. Several breakers were off for several hours because of water pouring in around outlets and fixtures.