Saturday, November 30, 2013

Vampire kryptonite.

Nature is abundant with perfect foods that sprout forth from the soil, but for me one reigns supreme: garlic.  Oh delicious garlic, how your pungent spiciness seduces me so.  Garlic is so perfect it even comes in individually wrapped portions.  If there's a recipe that includes garlic, you can be sure that I'll likely double the amount called for, with no regrets(I'll never care about garlic breath).  I roasted a head of garlic the other day for a recipe I was trying out.  It was my first time roasting garlic, but boy howdy, it's not gonna be my last time roasting it.  My apartment smelled like heaven and the roasted garlic in the acorn squash mash I made totally took it to the next level.  There is a restaurant here in Denver that serves bread before the meal with roasted garlic to spread on the bread.  Om nom nom.  In Los Angeles, one of the vendors at the farmer's market sold fermented garlic.  I miss fermented garlic, so tangy and delicious.  Seriously though, garlic is the best.  I feel like I'd eat it on anything, but that's far from the truth.  Garlic on literally anything would be disgusting.  Garlic on breakfast cereal?  Yikes.  Garlic on pumpkin pie?  No way buster.  This is all the more reason to double the amount of garlic in any recipe calling for it, to make up for all the foods that would be ruined by it.

Garlic also has uses other than for eating and is highly regarded in the medical world.  Garlic is a powerful antiseptic that can help calm digestive upset.  Garlic has proven to be excellent for cardiovascular health.  Garlic has been known to help cure the common cold and can be an expectorant for coughing.  I've used garlic to ease the irritation and ultimately cure yeast infections.  Yep, it's true, unwrap the raw garlic clove, put it in there(you know where I mean ladies, don't go too far, you need to get it out the next day), sleep, and take it out in the morning.  Doing this every night, and during the day if you need, until the symptoms have subsided and you are free from the prison of a yeast infection.  No gross creams, no stupid pills and instant relief from the pain and irritation.  

Whether the garlic goes in my food, in my oven, or in my vagina, it always serves its purpose of making the world a better place.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fever dreams.

I rarely get ill.  The last few times I have been sick, I have used it as an opportunity to spend some introspective time with myself examining my life and my health and the reasons perhaps why I have turned up sick.  In the Western world we regard sickness as purely scientific, we picked up a virus or bacteria that is having its way with us.  Understood, but that is only one piece of the pie.  Consider this, we come across these bacteria and viruses every single day so why is it that sometimes they affect us and other times not?  This is where I get pensive and look at my life's circumstances prior to becoming "under the weather" and realize that, in fact, I needed some time to take care of myself and only myself.  Especially considering that my profession is purely giving of myself all day in a hectic and very loud environment, being sick is something of a blessing where I don't have to give anything to anyone and I can sit and relax in silence and let my body and spirit speak to me.  This is where I find myself yet again in these past few days, sick and taking care of only me(what I wouldn't give for someone to take care of me), thinking only of me and what my body and spirit need to recover.  Illness is also a time of allowing myself to reflect on some of the recent situations in my life, whether physical, emotional or spiritual that perhaps led me to an increased vulnerability to illness.  I really feel like shit right now and I'd much rather be healthy and able to go about my days as usual.  But in the slowly passing hours that sickness creates I have come to a place of increased gratitude for whatever life brings me and for some time to just do me.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Bananas for bananas.

This ranks up there with one of the greatest travel photos of my life up to this point.  I love bananas, and I especially love them with peanut butter.  Bananas can be found the world over(unlike peanut butter, refer to Crunchy or Creamy? entry)and thank you baby Jesus for it.  Taken in Cairo, this photo is fantastic for the simple fact that I am a hijab wrapped, t-shirt wearing American giving a thumbs up to bananas.  But the cherry on top of this shot is the confused looking Egyptian banana vendor peeking his head through his stacks of produce.  Hilarious.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Dreamer's disease.

I've got an incurable illness, the dreamer's disease.  Every day my mind takes a trip somewhere, or I dream about getting $100 tips from every client, or I live a fantasy relationship with a wonderful man(we never have babies).  What can I say, I've got a really creative imagination.  The amazing thing is that a lot of my dreams have actually come true, perhaps some sort of manifestation from my mind into reality coupled with a fierce commitment to achieve all my desires.  And what else is reality except what we create it to be?

It's been about three months since I've taken a trip anywhere, which honestly feels like eternity to this traveler.  I'm really enjoying what I've got going in here in Denver right now and I know with all my heart that this is where I am supposed to be.  But my dreamer's disease hasn't been medicated lately with the purchase of a plane ticket or a request for time off at work, so I'm feeling particularly "ill".  Will I just up and take off?  Likely no, the lack of money from living my other dreams this year will continue to prevent me from going anywhere any time soon(so worth it).    

It's not that I'm especially bored with my day to day reality.  I have just become very accustomed to always having something different to look forward to, usually somewhere I'm going.  However, I'm quite grateful for these times in my life where I'm "forced" to stay put.  It's during these times that I am able to reflect on all the marvelous experiences I have had in my life as a result of being a restless dreamer.  I often find myself totally in awe of the web I have woven through the years, the world over, and to see how perhaps something that happened ten years ago still affects my life today. 

Likely the greatest blessing of my disease is when I get to really engage with someone and tell tales of my travels; to see the look on a stranger's face when they meet someone like me who has worked for and fought for and done what I dream instead of just talking about it, that moment is priceless.  I have seen eyes light up and I have seen the wheels turning when people realize that yes, it can be done, dreams do come true.  That to me is a fantastic reward. 

So while I am on my old stomping grounds of Denver and it seems as though time is standing still, I realize that I am living yet another dream I've had: to feel totally content in one place without the urge to get up and go.  Who knows how long it will last really, but that's not the point.  The point is that staying still allows me to dream with the most clarity and to create things that no trip around the world could ever do.  

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney       

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hair, hair, it's everywhere!

The hair gets everywhere.  The little tiny hair clippings flying forth from my clippers and scissors every day that I work have been on or near me in every possible way.  It's awful and certainly is the worst thing about hair cutting.  The hair goes on and in any shoe, gets to the socks even.  The hair for sure is on the shirt and pants/skirt/dress.  The hair finds its way into the bra, in quantity.  The hair is on any clothing that even thinks about going to the barbershop.  

Not only does the hair get on every item of clothing we are wearing on any given day, it gets all over and all stuck in our skin.  Hair on the face is awful, and it's a daily occurrence with the lips or eyes being the worst.  Hair, of course, all over the hands and behind the nails.  Often times hair digs itself into the skin and makes a painful and gross hair splinter.  The hair splinters in the hands are easier to get out than the ones that burrow in to the feet.  These hair splinters can actually sometimes be a lil dangerous when they are difficult to get out.  And hair splinters never cease to make me gag a little at the thought of a clipping of some strangers hair is stuck inside the structure of my skin and I have to dig it out with a needle while wondering how long I've been carrying it around.  Yarr.

Hair clippings have followed me around the world and I am probably happy that I truly have no idea how many of them live in my apartment with me or get eaten or inhaled by me.  In my stuff is one thing, but in my body is another.  It's all part of the art of cutting hair; got to really love hair since it's damn near literally everywhere.  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ten years gone.

Ten years ago this week I took a trip to Vancouver, British Columbia to pass the Thanksgiving week outside of United States, and to work through some emotional and social situations that I was dealing with in Colorado.  Little did I know that I was in for the most significant life changing experience of my adulthood.  I have written the story, it's about 25 pages long and I won't post it here at this time.  But destiny had its way with me that week and I have never been the same woman or lived the same way.  It was powerful, eye opening and put me on the path that I still follow to this day of being a traveler.  

I sometimes wonder what would have become of my life were it not for that fleeting moment when I turned from the entrance of my hotel on Granville Street and ran across the street to the Vancouver Art Gallery steps to never look back at my life before that moment.  Destiny awaited me on those steps and I intuitively ran for my life towards it.  I learned how to feel with my heart on that trip, in those few days.  I saved someone's life, and I didn't even know that's what I was doing.  In turn, my life was also changed forever.

I get quite sentimental the week of Thanksgiving every year, remembering the beautiful time I had in Vancouver, regardless of the terrifying ugliness I also witnessed.  I have extra reasons to be thankful every year because of the extraordinary life that I live as a result of my experience in Vancouver.  I can't believe it's been ten years and the tremendous things I have done in that time.  I am looking forward very much to the next ten and the ten after that, never losing sight of the moment my life was born into what it is now and to what it is continuing to mature into.  VA/BC/CA     

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Inescapable instinct.

Long ago I came to realize and accept that women are completely and entirely ruled by our uteruses.  Wikipedia opens its article about the uterus with this sentence:  "The uterus or womb, is a major hormone-responsive reproductive sex organ of most mammals including humans".  Major.  Hormone-responsive.  Reproductive.  Sex organ.  Say it like it is!  The thing turns sperm and blood into babies and then pushes them out.  It's unreal.  I bring it up, the uterus, for one of the major roles it plays in our day to day choices as women.

Whether we like it or not, whether we want or don't want children, or perhaps have already had them, women as a whole are obsessed with "Can the babies survive here?"  We live and die by this principle whether we are conscious of it or not, and when we are physically and mentally sound-ish.  I've seen it every day, I've lived it every day, can the babies survive here?  A broad statement, I know, but I will give a few examples and all will come to agree that women are constantly on the look out for anything and everything that could impose on the life of a child.

Women are nesters to the nth degree.  Always arranging, accommodating, and watching to see what is likely the "safest" situation in nearly all of the things we do at work or play or life in general.  It's crazy, and women are long known for being a lil crazy.  It's all good however cause it's so innocent on our part and something that is happening whether we make it so or not.  This instinct begins of course in the uterus herself, constantly fluctuating, flowing and changing in order to bring the ideal environment to the survival of babies.  The uterus then projects her agenda on everything we do, besides just have a monthly cycle, to consistently renew, review and get ready for babies anywhere we are!  Thus, we are always contemplating our external circumstances in the same order.  That sneaky uterus.  She cares alot about if the babies can survive.

In our modern world, we have become so disconnected to this core of our femininity that the uterus is just another bleeding, baby making thing that we manage.  But it's because of her that we manage at all.  Got ya there!  Back to my point.  Many, many women have no concept of the connection between the internal desire for survival of babies and that external, environmental obsession with creating it with every move we make.  We will handle some shit for sure to make it possible for the survival of babies even if there are actually babies involved or not.  I know for a fact that I have no desire for the responsibility of the survival of another creature, but I'm still on permanent look out for the survival of babies and I don't necessarily mean that literally.  Sigh.  I can't fight the force.

I joke with clients at the barber shop that men that are poorly groomed often will have a much lower chance with the ladies, for a deeper reason than the obvious.  We are obsessed with appropriate cleanliness to ensure survival and if we are near a man that is stinky, or flaky, or funky, the uterus signals, the alarm goes off and we know that the babies cannot survive here.  If this guy can't even wash himself right, well. . . The babies cannot survive here and we must decide something.  We either bail cause he's not worth it, or we clean him up over the course of a few days or weeks and suddenly the baby survival factor increases tenfold.  Why?  Cause when we get to baby the manboy and clean him all up, then he can give us a real baby!  We have a major hormone-responsive reproductive sex organ just waiting with an overflow of baby survival potential.  Hurrah!  (gagging)  And the babying never stops, not for the man, not for the baby, not for anything save death.

I could honestly care less about the survival of babies on a conscious level, but on all other levels I live for it.  Nothing makes me feel more like a woman(besides when I'm bleeding)than when I'm managing something.  My life is consumed with "Can the babies survive here?" and the fact that I intuitively became a barber to clean up them men proves that. I embrace it cause it's easier than fighting it and being a woman is like, totally great in so many ways that I'll happily let the uterus maintain control.  We joke that men think with their dicks, it's clear that thinking is quite shallow and one sided.  On the other hand, women are ruling and nurturing the world with our uteruses.  The babies will and do survive.  You're welcome.    

      

Friday, November 22, 2013

Apples to apples.

There's plenty of apples to choose from, especially right now.  I've done plenty of gala, I also love fuji and the best apple I've ever eaten was a cameo at the Pike Place Market in Seattle. But damnit if I'm not on an organic honeycrisp binge.  Om nom nom.    

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Polyphobia.

Being the first snowstorm of the fall/winter season, I am reminded of one of the hugest reasons that I don't like the cold and snow at all.  I am terrified of slipping and falling on ice. Pagophobia is the irrational fear of ice or frost, and I've got it.  All my years of being away from these specific weather conditions, I had forgotten all about it.  Until today that is, when I walked to the store in the 14°F ice and snow where I was reminded full force that I can become consumed by this fear of slipping with every step I take.  I made it to the Whole Foods without falling at all and enjoyed a nice lunch with my brother as well as picking up a few other items to survive the snow and cold that is now my life. 

While we ate and watched the snow fall outside, we discussed this fear of ice and compared it to my other irrational fear, babies.  Fear of babies and small children is called pedophobia, something which I realize I can never say to someone.  I will never be able to say that I'm a pedophobe as it just sounds way too much like, well, we all know.  

As I pondered these phobias, the question came to me, would I rather fall on ice or hold a baby?  The thought of both sends waves of anxiety through my body as I want nothing to do with either of these awful things.  And as I've thought a lot about it today, I'm not so sure that I can honestly choose one.  I mean ice is inanimate, cold, lifeless and very hard, and can put one in the hurt locker(or the hospital)if you fall just right.  But babies, eeek, babies, nothing about them appeals to me and I am horrified by them entirely.  I do not think they are cute, or precious, or funny, or any of the commonly felt emotions towards babies.  In fact, my feelings for babies ironically resemble the properties of ice; cold, hard and dangerous.  Sure a baby can't actually do me bodily harm like falling on ice can, but at least ice is predictable and doesn't cry or shit itself(though I have nearly shit myself walking on it). 

So when it comes down to it, I'll choose to neither get near a baby or fall on ice.  I'll move to a tropical island populated by exclusively by sterile adults.  Sterile adults?  Because we all know it's when adults spend too much time together that babies suddenly show up, everyone's language skills take a huge dive and everyone seems to forget about anything except the stupid, wrinkled, crying blob of neediness.  Blech!  Offended?  I don't care and neither does your baby.    

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dry me a river.

As someone that actually finds joy and satisfaction from doing dishes(it runs in the family), there is one part of the process that I am entirely opposed to with all of my being.  Drying dishes with a towel after they are washed is asinine.  I find this to be a complete waste of time as there is something else that dries dishes even better than a towel, it's called air.  Just leave them there in the rack and, as though it's magic, after about thirty minutes the dishes will be dry!  And for people that think using a towel avoids water spots, get over yourself, it's not like your kitchen is a high end, gourmet restaurant.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Rio, etc.

I got nothing to write today.  I've dug deep and even began another entry, but was not feeling inspired at all.  What I do have today is photos of Brazil.
 










Monday, November 18, 2013

Doe dee oh.

I have an issue.  It's not a serious issue, but I'm certainly trying to make it one with my utter and complete abandon of anything resembling control.  My not-so-serious issue is that I cannot control myself with uncooked cookies, aka cookie dough.

To be honest, it's all things that resemble dough or batter, not just that of the cookie.  I remember even as a child how I felt about the way any and all of it felt and tasted in my mouth, creating some kind of uncooked ecstasy that sweetly melted away leaving want for more!  I loved when we were given a spoonful of cookie dough, or a small piece of the homemade bread dough that my mom made.  I even remember when Ben and Jerry came out with cookie dough ice cream and I ached for it!  Cookie dough and ice cream together?  I must already be dead, cause this is heaven.

However, over the past few years, the better part of my thirties, my dough and batter obsession has exponentially increased.  Perhaps it's aging, perhaps it's now that I'm not a kid I can eat as much as I want, or perhaps it's that it's just so freaking good that I want to eat as much as I can before I die.  There's actually times where it's as though I was trying to kill myself with a dough overdose.  Seriously, it's gotten that out of hand on occasion.  I can't stop myself.  I'll get sick and stay that way cause it doesn't mean I've stopped eating dough.  And if it's frozen cookie dough balls, forget it, my stomach will hurt that night guaranteed.  

I wish I could identify exactly what it is about dough that I cannot control.  But after all these years of eating it, I still can't figure it out, so I'll keep eating it in hopes of reaching some kind of enlightenment through dough.  As ridiculous as this all sounds, it's not like I'm really eating the stuff daily.  I'll go on few days binge every month or so, then I have to call it off.  My tummy will ache and it's just not worth it; I can't live like that all the time.  Even the fancy, and insanely delicious, vegan and gluten free stuff I discovered still turns my belly upside down if I go too overboard.

It's ooey, it's gooey.  It's sweet, and somewhat naughty.  It often includes chocolate.  It's easy to make, or readily available 24 hours a day in a store.  This is my ode to the doe dee oh.    

    

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Golden shower.

As it was nearing closing time and there were no more customers in the shop suddenly the theme of shower routines comes up.  I got to hear about the showering habits of my coworkers; everything from brushing teeth in the shower to washing the face last in some sort of obsessive routine.  Amongst the banter, one of the stylists yells out, "I pee in the shower!".  Of the other five of us that were also there, four of us reply something of a similar nature, confirming that we also pee in the shower.  As we laugh out loud at the absurd nature of the confession we are all so freely admitting, another stylist yells out, "I pee in any shower I'm in!".  Wow, how fast things spiraled out of control there.  

But in our most honest moments, I'm sure that the five of us at the barbershop tonight are not the only ones peeing in the shower.  I mean, it's warm and wet in there and when that water hits the skin, it's hard to resist.  And though you may not pee freely in the shower on a regular basis, you cannot say that you have never indulged in this guilty and satisfying pleasure of relieving one's excess bodily liquid in the tub and letting the water wash it down.  

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Chips and salsa.

I wonder if I'm the only one that considers chips and salsa a meal in and of itself as opposed to those that think it's only a precursor to a meal.  Sooooooooooooo gooooooooooood!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Lalochezia.

Dear assholes of the world,

Before you come into my barbershop with and give me your mysogynstic "I don't care, you're the professional" attitude, let me fill you in on a few things.  First of all, you were a total asshole before you came into my shop, I did not do or say anything for you to be so mother fucking condescending towards me because I am a female in the service industry.  When I ask you questions about your hair it's because I actually care about what you walk out of my shop with, unlike you.  And you can't even sit back and act like you don't actually give a fuck, because as soon as I fuck up your haircut, trust me, you are suddenly gonna care you worthless prick.  

When you are too stupid or arrogant to answer the questions that I'm phrasing in baby talk so your dumb ass can understand, then I'm gonna do my job and tell you what's best, just like mommy does.  I'm not asking you questions to make you feel even more fucking stupid than you already are, I'm aware of the fact that you are not a professional hairdresser(and the fact that you are fucking stupid), so put your fragile fucking ego aside for two fucking minutes and help me figure out what I'm supposed to do for you so that you can maybe not look quite like the rotten asshole that you are.  Same goes for when I'm educating you about hair, scalp, products, etc.  It's because I care, oh, and I'm actually doing my job, shocking I know, since you seem to think it's some technique that I'm using to make you look stupid.  Trust me honey, you are doing a fine job at making yourself look stupid and there's no way I'd get in the way of the one thing you are actually good at.

Also, just because you are an asshole does not give you the right to stiff me.  Tipping is standard in any service industry in United States and just because you came in as an asshole, you remained an asshole throughout the entire haircut, and left an asshole does not mean that I should kiss your ass.  I know for a fact that in spite of your fucking issues with the world, that I did a fantastic job on your haircut, which you will certainly notice in the coming weeks, so fucking buck up and tip you cheap son of a bitch.  Oh and speaking of being a son of a bitch, just exactly what did your mommy do or not do to make you hate all women, especially ones that are trying to take care of you and make you look better so you stand a fucking chance in a world that is so clearly against you?  Fuck you. 

So to the assholes of the world, fortunately you are a very rare breed and only accost us with your toxic fucking energy a few times a year, you can fuck right off.  We don't need your money, we don't want your money.  You can go fuck your money.  Chances are it is the closest you will come to getting fucked at all.  You are an ugly fucking bastard and it oozes from the inside of you like the pus on the dirt filled gouge that is your heart.  As for me, I laugh at your pathetic existence because if you have to come treat a random hairstylist like shit because you are the one with the fucking problem, then, well, I don't even need to finish that thought.  You are a worthless piece of shit, but your mom probably already told you that.  So next time, take your cheap ass to Walgreens and buy some fucking clippers, buzz your own fucking hair, clean your own fucking mess, stiff yourself and appreciate what a truly bad haircut is.

Fuck you and fuck off you fucking waste of space.

With all my heart,
Sarah the barber 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Meat beard.

I am a childless woman in my 30s, and it's going to stay that way.  However, I do still have the urge to obsess over cute things and since I'm terrified of babies, my friends' dogs usually fit the bill.  When I went to Argentina, I knew I would desperately miss Toby, my dear friend's dog in LA, so I was on the hunt for a friend with a dog.

Shortly after arriving in Buenos Aires, I met my friend Kara and we quickly became besties.  The first time I went to her house, I got to meet Asha and in Asha's enthusiasm to meet me, Kara apologized for her "meat beard".  I was cracking up since with her little schnauzer haircut, Asha has a beard and since Asha's diet is raw meat and veggies, her beard was semi-matted with meat juice.  Hilarious.  Asha quickly gained the nick name Meat Beard from Kara and I and her meat beard was cute and disgusting all at the same time. 

Asha is one of my favorite little beasts of all time!  She really helped lighten the stress load that was my life in Buenos Aires by consistently being super cute and funny. I love Asha!  One of the best things about Asha is that she is a pure Argentine through and through.  Asha embodies the neurotic nature of the residents of Buenos Aires, plus in this pic she is relaxing on a leather couch, in front of a mate, and trust me, Asha isn't the only Argentine with meat juice in her beard. . .  Anyone that knows anything about Argentina knows that Argentina produces what is often considered the world's finest beef and nearly every Argentine is obsessed with meat. 

I never miss Buenos Aires, but I do miss Asha and her meat beard every so often.  I saw this pic of her and knew that I needed to pay homage to my fuzzy little friend keeping it real in San Telmo.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Substitute teacher.

I've done it again.  I've quit coffee and yerba mate, which basically means that I've quite caffeine.  It was a decision that I came to earlier this year when I realized, yet again, that the stuff was tearing up my digestive system.  I also happened to read a fantastic book called Caffeine Blues, written by a brilliant nutritionist, all of which solidified my decision and commitment.  After totally withdrawing, it was painful for about four months with various adjustments being felt in my body, mood and energy level.  But I stayed off of it and it's been nearly six months now and I've finally settled into life without caffeine(unless you count the copious amounts of chocolate that I eat).  I sleep better and I slept good before.  I digest better and I don't crave it, but I do miss it.

When I began life without caffeine, part of what made the process so daunting was wondering what I was going to replace my warm drink addiction with.  It isn't just the caffeine I love about coffee and mate, it is the ritual, the warmth, the milk and honey, the rich earthiness, yum.  I knew finding something with the richness and body of coffee would be a challenge, and I knew that I would just have to miss yerba mate altogether as nothing is quite like it.  sigh.  I experimented with a few different herbal teas and it was alright, it got us by.  But then I discovered roasted dandelion root and I was back in business.  I tried it at a wedding in California and a friend mentioned that it was sort of like coffee.  I bought some, brewed two bags in a cup for super flavor and it was the bomb!  No, it's not coffee, at all, but the roasted flavor and the dark brown smoothness was as close as I was gonna get save for decaf coffee(barf).  I've also taken on some powdered rooibos tea which is so rich it's almost creamy.  All of it caffeine free and all of it taking full place of something I didn't ever think I would have to replace.

I can say that I am quite proud of myself and am really happy to be off the juice.  I have had mate once since quitting and it made me feel like I was gonna freak out.  Who knows if I'll ever get back on the coffee or the mate again.  I'd love to, but until I decide that I really wanna feel like cracked out, I'll stick with my substitute teas.  I be sippin' on some right now.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Denver girl.

I'm a Colorado born woman, and though I've traveled a lot and lived other places, I've spend most of my life here in Denver.  Besides the totally typical Colorado look of fleece vest, dirty baseball cap, and hiking shoes worn as regular shoes, I never really thought twice about the "fashion" in Denver.  And I put "fashion" in quotes for a reason.  Upon returning this June, after nearly five years away, I quickly noticed the fashion trends in Denver as being very Denver.  I will indulge you.

Keep in mind in my time away I was living in places as far flung as Mayan villages in Guatemala, but mostly it was my time in a few world cities that forever changed my fashion perspective.  I have Los Angeles and Buenos Aires to thank for my increased judgement of fashion, but I also have been influenced by fashion in Bogotá, and even during my trip to Hong Kong.  Oh, Denver, how you lack taste.  It seems that people in Denver get dressed in the dark, and that people here can get dressed in the dark because their wardrobes don't really vary thus no need to actually see what one is wearing before leaving the house.  Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with laid back, mountain biker/ski bum guy, but for fuck sake some effort can be made as opposed to none whatsoever.  I won't go off too much on the guys, they are guys and I'm convinced that most of them live here in Colorado as a purposeful way to avoid the need to be fashionable anyways.

It's the ladies that bring me to the blog tonight.  The Denver girl.  Let me explain in detail what Denver girl is.  First of all, I must begin with the hair.  Denver girl has colored hair, and with a specific pattern.  Denver girl has some sort of fake red/maroon colored hair with big chunks of bleach blonde, perhaps in the bangs(bangs are a must for Denver girl), or on one side of the hair.  It's all over-processed,  fried if you will, from so much coloring in order to keep the blonde blonde, and the fake red as fake as ever; not to mention the excessive heat styling to keep that "edgy" look.  Another typical thing that Denver girl does is shave a patch of her hair off, usually on the side that she parts on, but sometimes in the back where it's easier to hide and I've even seen Denver girl shave more than one patch of hair.  Puhlease, that style is so old, just ask Skrillex.  But Denver girl is behind the times since she lives in a cow town in the middle of the country, and to herself she's a rebel!  That's the hair and it's horrific, I hate it and I want those women to actually look in the mirror and realize what a disaster their hair has become.

Denver girl has a specific outfit, uniform as I like to call it.  Denver girl, first and foremost has a girly black t-shirt on.  Usually this t-shirt is some sort of graphic tee, and is more often than not cut up in some way in order to customize and show the world(Denver)just how unique and creative she is!  Often times Denver girl pairs her cut up, black tee with some kind of dark skinny jeans held up by a metal studded belt.  Denver girl will also wear a bandana in her hair to add to her look and if not a bandana, it's a trucker hat.  Oh Denver girl, you're killing me, a trucker hat?  Really?  The uniform is finished with Chuck Taylors or boots and a hoodie.

The accessories is where I get lost, and trust me I feel quite lost at this point already as far as what the hell kind of "fashion" statement Denver girl is making.  Denver girl has a lot of tattoos, perhaps her boyfriend is a tattooist, and if he's not, her boyfriend's best friend is, hence the excessive tattoos that Denver girl has.  Either way, Denver girl is getting tatted!  But I think the thing that I hate the most about Denver girl is the stretched ear lobes.  We're not in Africa or South America here and the stretched lobes just make me wanna barf.  Hate them.  I wonder if Denver girl knows that there's not really any going back after that shit is stretched and how I feel about aging is this: don't intentionally stretch any skin, especially near your face.  Sheesh, we will get stretched and sag enough with life itself, we don't need to force it here ladies.  You're all gonna look real dumb when you're 65 years old and have saggin' ass ear lobes.  Denver girl often has a few other visible piercings to accompany her plentiful tattoos and stretched lobes, you know, just to make sure we've noticed how punk rock she is.  The ironic thing about all of this effort put into this Denver girl look is that Denver girl hardly wears any make up, but if she does it's definitely liquid black eyeliner.  C'mon Denver girl, you go to these great lengths to over-style your hair, cut up your t-shirt and stretch your ear lobes, but you can't get creative with make up?

Oh Denver girl, I noticed you everywhere when I returned to Colorado earlier this year.  You poor thing, you think you are so unique with your trying-too-hard mix of feminine and punk rock.  But what you don't realize is that your six best friends all have the same look, and probably tattoos from the same guy.  I get it, at one time I was a black t-shirt wearing, mohawk sporting Denver girl.  And I thank the high heavens that my eyes have been opened by true fashion the world over mostly because I have a lot more choices now.  Being a Denver girl is nothing to be ashamed of, but it makes it very clear that you have never spent time away from Denver and had a dose of reality.  Girls + cut up tee shirts = no.     

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Invent.

If there was a machine that could propel itself around the world by cutting hair then that machine would be, well, it would be me.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Gayborhood

"We pay good money to live in the gayborhood" was something I overheard at work sometime a few weeks ago and I couldn't help but chuckle a little.  It's true, I work and live in the most prominent gay neighborhood in all of Denver.  Now that's not saying much since Denver is quite small town and the gays only have so far to go before they will reach the border, aka the suburbs. 

Capitol Hill is known in Denver as the gay neighborhood and it only takes one five minute trip to the King Soopers on Downing and 9th Ave. to understand why it's aptly called Queen Soopers; queens abound at this grocery store.  Oh girl, it's so gay!  Just a few blocks from the Queen Soopers and one will arrive at Cheeseman Park, the gayest park in all the land.  After seeing three or four very fit couples walking the cutest little dogs and wearing very fashionable work out gear, it doesn't take long to realize that the neighborhood has quite the population of gay men.  Capitol Hill also boasts a number of lesbians, but from the back(and sometimes the front)they look like men, so it can be confusing.  Needless to say, the gayborhood boasts quite a unique energy, and a lot of very well groomed, fresh smelling men.

Speaking of well groomed men, my barbershop is just on the edge of the gayberhood and we have a high percentage of gay clientele, men and women.  Plus, we all know that the majority of male hair stylists are gay.  So though I work with about ten men, it's mostly like working with all women.  They are FABULOUS!  I have noticed that I am starting to pick up the mannerisms of all the wonderful gay men I work with like shrieking for no reason, overly dramatic hand movements when talking about what color eye shadow someone is wearing or gushing over gorgeous hair and trendy clothes, not to mention checking out all the hot men that come into the shop.  We even have code that we use to point out a hot customer in the shop.  It's too fun and I realize how much I missed being around so many enthusiastic gay men.

Capitol Hill, aka the gayborhood, has always been my favorite neighborhood to live in Denver.  I feel really blessed to be working so close to home and get to enjoy the fun, upbeat energy that gay men bring to nearly any atmosphere.  Sure they can be divas, but who am I to talk?  They help bring out my feminine side and for that I am grateful.  Sometimes I feel like I learn more about being a woman from gay men than I do some of my girlfriends.  You'll be hard pressed to find a gay man that won't just tell it like it is.  That kind of honesty is hard to find these days and if you need real perspective don't hesitate to stop by the Queen Soopers, wait out front for five minutes and you'll know by the looks you get what the answer to your question is. 

I leave you tonight with a quote from one of my gay best friends who has a taste for straight men: "Straight? So is spaghetti until you get it hot".  

Friday, November 8, 2013

My heart will go on.

My first trip really far away from USA was to Egypt, in 2006.  I could write for days about that magical place and the time I spent there, but for today, I will wax sentimental about one of the funniest things during my time there.  There is a significant café culture in Egypt as it is a Muslim society and there is very little alcohol consumption.  Instead they sit in cafés sipping on insanely delicious Turkish coffees, smoking sheesha(better known in this country as hookah), and eating something resembling food.  They'll do this for hours while playing games and chatting, and many cafés are open 24 hours to accommodate the late night Arab lifestyle.  It was shortly after I arrived for my duration there and in these cafés that I began to notice something quite consistent and quite hilarious.  I kept hearing the same song everywhere I went.  We all call it "the Titanic song", but the real name of that Celine Dion song is "My Heart Will Go On".  You know the one, that song that brings memories of the late 90's rushing back and you remember crying at the movie theater.  Don't deny it. 

I literally heard this song everywhere.  Not just in cafés where I spent lots of Egyptian time, but also in shopping malls, taxis, on the street, in restaurants; everywhere.  It cracked me up as many Egyptians likely didn't understand the words but clearly connected with its popularity.  I imagine that most Americans regard that song as at least somewhat cheesy, though it is a beautiful song.  Well, cheesy is something that I have learned is lost in translation and those Egyptians loved that song.  Keep in mind this is nearly ten years after the Titanic movie came out and they were jamming that song like it had just been released.  I not only heard "My Heart Will Go On" in Alexandria where I spent most of my time, I even heard it hundreds of miles away in the various desert oases that I visited, and in tourist laden Red Sea resorts.  It became a fixture of my time in Egypt and to this day I crack up at the frequency with which I heard it, not to mention it brings me right back to Egypt as opposed to reminding me of the movie.

I'd love to go back to Egypt and see what has changed in the past few years with the revolution and all.  But I have a sneaking suspicion that "That Song Will Go On" and it's still being played like it just came out.  Got to love a society that keeps it old school, and Egypt might just top that list.     



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Where are my keys?

There are at least two women in my family that are in a perpetual state of looking for their keys.  I happen to be one of them and my mother is the other.  The fact that we have trouble locating our keys at any given moment is a point that my brother makes sure we are fully aware of by teasing every single time the hunt for keys commences.  However, sweet justice was served up hot tonight when my brother Brady came over to hang out.  When the time came for him to leave, Brady had a lot of trouble locating his hat he had worn over to my place when walking through the chilly evening.  He looked everywhere in my small apartment, and even emptied out his backpack in order to try and find where he may have put the hat.  He ultimately found it sitting right next to where his backpack had also been the entire time.  Ha ha, sucker.  I totally busted his balls over it and made sure that now he knows how stressful it can to look for things when they are in plain sight. 


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Food fads.

What's up with our obsession with cupcakes?  I mean they can be quite delicious, but it's just a tiny cake.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Nappy hour.

I'm a champion sleeper, I can sleep and sleep some more.  Then I'll usually sleep again shortly thereafter.  I'll sleep at night, I'll sleep during the day, it doesn't matter what time it is, I will have no problem going to sleep.  In fact a client at work once asked me when I am happiest and I responded, "When I'm asleep". 

I love naps.  I sleep so long during a nap that I'm often more tired than I should be when I wake up, but I also struggle to nap for short periods of time.  Usually it's between two and three hours.  And I also usually don't have any trouble falling asleep that same night.  I like to nap on my giant couch, but have no problem napping in bed either.      

Often times on my days off I'll take a nap, not because I'm tired, but simply because I can.  A few weeks ago on one of my days off, I took two naps.  I remember that day, it was a good one.  I had woken up early for me, probably like 9:00am or so, and by 11:00, I was feeling tired and took my first nap of the day for about an hour and a half.  When I woke up, I did a few errands and then found myself quite sleepy again in the afternoon.  That's when I took my second nap, this one lasting just over an hour.  What a fantastic day.  I hope to have more two-nap days in the future.  One is great, but two is like nap time heaven.  Next day off maybe I'll shoot for three naps.  Wow, I just blew my own mind with that, I'm feeling sleepy from all this brain work.  Looks like it's time for a nine hour nighttime nap.  


Monday, November 4, 2013

CeeLo.

There's something about me that likely only my closest friends know about me, and now it will be spelled out in great detail for all the rest of you.  One of my all time favorite musical artists is CeeLo Green.  I'm sure the name is familiar to almost everyone at this point in time, but I've been a fan of all things CeeLo since I first heard him with OutKast.  

I remember wondering who was the strange man must be behind that ultra-unique voice singing very meaningful, beautiful lyrics.  I'm certain that it was very plausibly the song "Git up, Git out" on OutKast's classic first album Southernplayalisticadillacmuzik that really struck me with CeeLo for the first time.  CeeLo is not a member of OutKast but has collaborated with them from the beginning, them all being from Atlanta and all.  The majority of the song "Git up, Git out" is performed entirely by CeeLo and the lyrics are very real, and quite powerful about how life was for those guys back in the early 90's.  CeeLo sings and raps on this track which very clearly demonstrates his range of vocal talent; he encourages positivity and activism through struggles which makes his voice even more appealing to listen to. 

There is never any doubt that it's CeeLo when it's him on a musical track.  His voice is unmistakable.  And he has blessed the world by collaborating with damn near every artist ever.  I exaggerate, yes.  But the guy seems to be on some of the most popular music of modern times, and conversely he's on some of the most obscure music ever, not to mention the collection of solo stuff he's made over the years.  His beginnings in Atlanta in the early 90's with Goodie Mob is something that most 2013 fans of CeeLo Green might not even be aware of.  He's since collaborated with others such as Bruno Mars, Trick Daddy, Timbaland, the list goes on.  I also remember being totally shocked when I realized that it was CeeLo singing in yet another well played collaboration with DJ Danger Mouse to produce the phenomena that was Gnarls Barkley.  Of course it was, who else could make music sound like that?  

CeeLo is profound and versatile when he applies his musical gifts.  He raps, he sings, he pours his soul into all of it and he owns it.  CeeLo doesn't waste his time with useless lyrics.  He knows he has a message to get across and he says it like it is.  It is this message that got me fully hooked on anything that CeeLo does as an artist.  Knowing he doesn't sing useless stuff, knowing I have yet to ever be disappointed by this genius, I'll get my hands on anything with CeeLo. 

There's a twist to this CeeLo story and here it comes.  CeeLo not only has made plenty of music, he also stars on The Voice as a coach for up and coming musical talents.  When I lived in Los Angeles, I had a couple of girlfriends who got me hooked on the show and I gladly watched and got all into it mostly so I could crush on CeeLo.  I loved watching him with his smooth talking, calm but strong demeanor, and his flirty, sexy ways.  Oh wee, girl!  Too much, I love the man!

Well it came around that the Jen's(two friends, same name)and I got some tickets to go watch and be a part of a recording of The Voice.  We waited in line for like six hours and then I got to see my hero and my celebrity crush in the flesh.  We actually went twice to a taping, but it's only the second time that counts and I'll tell you why.  When the taping of the second show was over and the studio was emptying out section by section we were some of the last ones out.  As we passed right by the stage, CeeLo was still in his coaching chair and I knew it was my chance, now or never.  I yelled out, "Marry me CeeLo!", and what do ya know, he turned his head right at me and smiled his gorgeous smile while I pointed at myself and yelled again, "Me!  Marry me!".  As I had his attention, I made a heart with my hands and he made one back at me.  What?!  Was this really happening?  And in the midst of it all, as I had CeeLo's full attention during my marriage proposal, I turned to my girlfriends giggling and said to them, "He said yes!" and we walked out of the studio.  That's right friend of barbers without borders, I turned and ran away right after asking CeeLo to marry me, didn't really give him a chance to answer.  Idiot!  I had to forgive myself for that one.  It wasn't easy.

So that was slightly painful for a bit, but I haven't ceased to love CeeLo any less, in fact it really only gets stronger every day.  I recently had another chance of a lifetime to see CeeLo again, here in Denver, and not just CeeLo, but the entire Goodie Mob.  Okay, I'm gonna get really real with you all right this second:  My favorite music of all time is rap music from Atlanta from the early 90's.  This means that one of  my favorite rap groups of all time, from twenty years ago was coming to Denver.  All of which just happens to include one of the loves of my life CeeLo.  I literally had butterflies in my stomach.  I promptly bought a ticket that I paid an obscene amount for and I knew I was gonna have my chance for redemption.  I could ask CeeLo to marry me again!  Goodie Mob was performing at a small theater and if I made a big enough poster that says, "Marry me CeeLo", he would see it, remember our love in LA and swoop me up to live happily ever after.  

The show was cancelled.  I discovered this only after I had made the marry me poster, ridden my bike down to Colfax and realized there was nothing at the theater.  No people, no marquee saying "Goodie Mob", no nothing.  I had spent the afternoon getting ready in anticipation and excitement to see my love again and I was sad.  I still have the poster folded up in my closet hoping they will reschedule the show and I can finally be with my man.

I love CeeLo and everything he does.  I recently read his autobiography and it only solidified how I feel about what his gifts mean to the world and to me.  CeeLo is a prophet, a mentor and a personal hero to me.  I know that I can count on him and his music to be there anytime I need something real, or something funky, or something funny, when I need something to dance to, or perhaps something sad but with hope.  I love my silly love affair with him in my head, but don't ever doubt I would make it happen for real if I ever get the chance.  Crushes are fun.  I am so grateful to live during CeeLo's time and enjoy the fruits of his labor of love.  If I ever do get to marry CeeLo, I will be sure to tell him thank you for being there for me and so many who identify with this brilliant and passionate artist.  And if by pure chance you are really CeeLo and you are really reading this, I'm not gonna mess up this time.  Will you marry me?  Email me and we can exchange numbers.
     Lil story about this photo.  This was taken in the common room of a hostel in the Leblon neighborhood of Rio de Janiero in Brazil.  I'm all ready to head two blocks to a perfect beach on a perfect vacation and CeeLo was on the TV.  I'm bikinied out and ready to go and I see him when I knew I had pause for this great moment to get a pic of me and CeeLo in Brazil together.

I awaken to sunlight, that's beyond bright, 
This day will be done right
There's a war just waitin' on the other side of the door
But I'll be bringing God to the gunfight
Can't live forever, so have some fun right?
Life's a bowl of candy, you can have one right?
You could handle if tomorrow never come, right?
You'll get used to singin' if only for one night
Well I intend to raise two daughters and a son right
And I couldn't have wrote this if I was hopeless
You see I focus to provoke this
So open wide for my opinionated opus
I'm playin' goldfish, but not below this
Before I go I thought that you all should know this
Recognize and realize before any regrettin'
Before you relapse, perhaps you'll consider resettin'.
                                               -CeeLo Green

Filler.

This has got to be short due to the late hour and the lack of battery power in the ol' laptop.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Make it rain.

Tonight when I went roller skating, I found $40 on the floor.  Score!  Then after we left the rink, my friend found $5 on Colfax and gave it to me.  Nothing better than a dirty $5 Colfax sidewalk dollar.  Two weeks ago I won $100 in a raffle at a work thing.  Thanks universe!  I'll spend your free money on good stuff like pizza and roller skating.

Friday, November 1, 2013

The morning after.

Halloween is the best.  Really, costumes and candy is an unbeatable combination as there are endless varieties of both of those things.  For me though, the candy side of the Halloween madness has always caused more problems than it ever solved.  I cannot help myself when it comes to candy.  I'll make myself sick and keep eating it.

Yesterday's Halloween celebration was no exception with the candy over-indulgence, not to mention the weeks of candy consumption leading up to the blessed 31st.  Sheesh, I'm pretty sure I put away more than a few pounds of candy in October.  This morning my stomach was feeling a little off and it took a second for me to remember just how much candy I ate last night, out on the town, in costume.  The sporadic stabbing pain in my belly this morning was enough to remind me that it was not anything record setting, but enough to feel it.  I ate candy basically all night and candy that I don't normally eat as I do my best to be conscious of my candy choices.  Sure, right, "conscious" of candy choices, there's an oxymoron for ya.  I binged and I loved it.  It even hurt a little while I did it, but there was never any intent to stop or slow down.  Milk Duds, Reese's cups, Tootsie Rolls, Skittles, Snickers, need I go on?!  It was beautiful in a sort of way like when you watch videos of people getting hurt in that each bite was so sweet but hurt just a little more each time, coupled with guilt.  What a night.  What a morning.  What better way to nurse a candy hangover than by eating just a little more candy the day after, which happens to be exactly what I did at work today.

Soon I'll settle back into my normally binge-free candy days and nights now that Halloween has come and gone yet again.  Sure the other big holidays are just around the corner and present certain sweets binges in their own unique ways.  But those are more like a come down from the biggest candy holiday of them all.  It's like there's a few more candy laden holidays in the months following October just so we can slowly withdrawal from the sugar high of Halloween.  And though the later holidays have some magic of their own, none of them hold a flame to a holiday dedicated exclusively to costumes and candy, plus some skulls and bones.       

Crazy cat lady.

I saw one of the best costumes of all time this evening, the crazy cat lady.  Happy Halloween.