Tuesday, June 28, 2011

very fitting...

Wow, such a myriad of blogging topics this week to decide on. I could tell you about the article I read which was headed “Planking fad won’t last” (nooooo, who would have said?)  Or, I could go on about the sure evidence (poop, gnawed on hanky, more poop) that we found regarding the invasion of mice in our house (apologies to my niece who was sure she heard scuttling – I didn’t mean to not believe you.)

I also considered the topic of how our washing machine became a fireworks display, forcing us to purchase a new one. The new washing machine came with an instruction pamphlet, which said under DRY: “When you are not remove a loaf (surely not? a loaf?) of clothes from the dryer as soon as it stops, wrinkles (on me?) can form”. I dearly, dearly hope that this is a bad typo because I can’t afford any more unwanted wrinkles.  Perhaps they meant the clothes.

However, the winning topic this week just had to be TA DAAAA… light fittings. Because we all know how very exciting light fittings are.

There comes a time in every renovators life when you are called upon to choose light fittings. It’s like a calling from Satan.  Warning:  Do NOT take any kids with you to make your selection.  They will deliberately try and break things just to hurry you out of the shop. This is almost kind of them -  in a twisted, expensive way - when you consider the fittings that you have to choose from.

When I was still in the fabric industry (they are called fabrics, dahlink, materials are something you build with) we were coached on a particular saying - incase we thought our clients didn’t like our new range.  We had to tell these offending clients that “there are some people who just don’t UNDERSTAND our range.”  (In other words …“you are a total peasant if you think our new range sucks.)  

Lighting sales people do not have the gaul to have such a cheeky saying, because no one understands their fittings.  They should hand you a pamphlet titled  “To Zeff or not To Zeff” to help you make your selection – just so you can be sure what kind of zeffness you are.

To make matters worse, our house is a complete mixture of styles.  Part country, part contemporary, part pirate-ship messy (a far cry from the Caribbean ship-lap style I’d hoped for - not to mention the Caribbean lifestyle).  Artsy people call it eclectic, which is a fancy way of saying we couldn’t stick to a theme.

So whereas our country, slanted ceilings call for farmhouse chandeliers, the contemporary lowness of the ceilings means that chandeliers are a no go – especially if you for instance value your head. I’m kind of relieved actually, because if we could make it country, Best Kisser might insist on a wagon wheel table and one of those antler chandeliers (they really exist, trust me). Sorry, but we all know that straight men are big on cowboy-type d├ęcor. And things with blue in them.

So basically, my question this week is who exactly, buys those seriously shiny light fittings with loads of bling on them?  I mean I get the whole “ it looks great when the lights are turned on thing”  but I’m struggling to UNDERSTAND those kind of fittings. I can’t picture the kind of home that would match all that chrome and diamante trim. Could Russians own it?  Or perhaps it’s made for a specific kind of entertainment?

And BTW, I’ll only know in 10 years time whether the ones we chose are classic or zeff.  Damn.

(p.s. I had to post proof... See, they do exist)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

big hair day...

This week was my second installment of Project get-your-game-face-on.  Quite frankly, I had to take the hint. I was receiving an unreasonable amount of mail (not spam mind you, from people who actually know me) regarding Brazilian Hair Treatments.  So, despite my fear (and part-loathing) of hairdressers, I went to Moments in Time.

I should start by saying that any Salon called Moments in Time is a little bit of a euphemism.  A block of chocolate is a moment in time, a glimpse of a good-looking bloke is a moment in time, hell, even taking a pee is a moment in time.  The salon should be called “Lifetime Commitment”, because that is roughly the amount of time that one needs to spend in there, in order for it to make a difference.  That and of course, it’s also roughly the amount of money that one needs to spend.

Sigh. What can I say; I was seduced by the words “Brazilian” and “Special”.  I have a special affinity (a.k.a weakness) for all things Brazilian. It started when my best friend and I travelled there in our 20’s. You can only imagine my utter joy when I discovered that Brazilian men love buxom butts.  Hooray, that would make it a whole ONE COUNTRY that digs chicks with generous butts – making Brazil, my own personal Mecca.  

We thought we’d totally blend in (me with said buxom butt plus ethno-curly hair, her generally gorgeous with olive skin).  We didn’t.  We stuck out like sore thumbs, which was actually a good thing in the end because we were broke and we needed all the favours that the locals could provide to unwitting foreigners. 

Even including the flasher on the beach (who does that kind of shit?) it was one of the best weeks of my life.  Lets also not forget about Brazil nuts and Brazilian soccer teams – just to re-enforce the love affair.

But back to Moments in Time.    After the inevitable “you’ve recently done your colour” question (emphasis on the YOU - Oh the SHAME!), the utterly adorable hairdresser sits down next to me to explain the procedure.  Procedure, I think to myself, that doesn’t sound very quick.  He goes between sounding boastful (as in, yeah baby, look at the schiz we accomplish here) and apologetic (as in, you fool, you didn’t really know what was entailed, did you?) 

First, he says, we wash your hair twice. (it looks that dirty, I wonder)? Then, we rough dry it. I warn him how frightening my hair is when rough dried (think Cameron Diaz’s hair in the movie “Being John Malkovich”). Then, he says, we apply the mixture.  What’s in it, I say hopefully, Brazil nuts?

It’s at this point that things get a bit vague.  There’s a bit of mumbling about how the “mixture” doesn’t contain formaldehyde anymore (oh yay), just a derivative thereof (um, riiiight). When they apply it, I notice that they’re not going right down to the scalp (where the offending frizz is born).  Why? I ask.  Again with the vagueness.  “It’s just not good for you.  And it reaches the root anyway when the heat is applied.”

Ah, the dreaded heat.  How hot? I ask.  Well, it has to be set at two thousand degrees Celsius (OK, that part is an exaggeration. But hot, like in the 200’s).  After they painted the stuff on, painstakingly section by section, I am put under the climatizer  which is very sci-fi and not Brazilian looking at all. I can’t help but feel that some Brazilian music at this point might be helpful. You know, to complete the illusion of this being a fun activity.  And finally, it has to be flat-ironed seven, yes only SEVEN, times.

What can I say?  Hairdressers are Extremely Patient, Extremely Dexterous, Extremely Entertaining and Extremely Good at getting us to enjoy what is technically, another barbaric treatment. 

I’m so having a word with Cleopatra when I get to wherever she’s gone.  What’s up with all this near death experience shit all in the name smooth hair and skin? Next week I’ll let you know how the whole bathing in milk thing went.

P.S.  It really is a fabulous salon!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

sting deep...

I avoid beauticians and hairdressers at all costs. They’re always so snooty. And brutal.  Hairdressers normally wave scissors about in my face (think wand like movements) and say things like “I may be a fairy but I don’t work magic you know”. As if it’s my fault I was born with perpetual frizz. My aversion to hairdressers has an underpinning logic. You see once you start getting all precious about your hair, you know you are getting  really old.  True story. When I was little I remember asking my mom on a blistering hot day why she didn’t join us in the swimming pool and she said ‘because I’ve just had my hair done’.  Yip, worry too much about your hair and you can be sure that you’ve crossed over to the other side.

Then we get to beauticians. Their first question to me is always, "so what are we using on our skin”.  I normally try and make Lux sound like L’ Uxe to fox them, but what I really want to say is “WE are not using anything on OUR face because WE do not have access to lotions and potions at cost price like the OTHER WE does and because WE have to pay full retail price for hammed up Nivea that WE have worked out is close in cost to the GDP of a small country and that is why WE use Lux”. (BTW, Lux worked for Victoria Principal and Jaclyn Smith, right?)

After the predictable eye rolling I get, they get working on my face with medieval sounding things - steam, lances and tweezers.  It’s a vicious business and I don’t see the point because I end up walking out looking twice as bad as when I walked in.

Anyhow, I blame my most recent run in with ‘beauty people’ on my dermatologist, who recommended some treatments when I explained how it’s very rude that I’ve got wrinkles and pimples in the same year.  ‘Go for a course of 6 glycolic acid peels’, she says to me, ‘and rub on this cream every night.’ It’s called Differin cream. I assume they’re trying to get their point across that it’s differin to the rest? What she didn’t tell me (I finally googled it) is that along with this differin business comes an IB (Initial Breakout). I feel that words like ‘initial breakout’ shouldn’t come with any cream.  And if it does, the manufacturers should call it something more accurate like “Initial Breakout Cream that Eventually Leads To Marginal Improvement”.

So last week, I finally took my aging arse to a ‘beauty’ person.  Well, not my arse exactly (heaven’s no, I’d never subject anyone to that – except Dr. Oodit and BTW, sorry Dr Oodit for seeing my bum) and it was actually an Aesthetic Medicine Clinic not a ‘beauty person’ (Note to self, get lingo right).

The lady looked so nice.  How was I to know she was into torture? After lulling me into a fake sense of friendliness, she proceeded to put this acid on my face. Hoooooley shit!  I felt my heart rate shoot through the roof and I wanted to reach for a sharp object to stab her in the leg with. She tells me that this type of treatment has been around since ancient Egypt and I fell better as I imagine some granny  Egyptian passing on home beauty remedies. Untill she adds that some died of cardiac arrest because they ‘hadn’t quite refined the dose yet’.  Ah, bingo for the heart rate thing I think. She must have seen the panic-slash-hate in my eyes because she started fanning me with a fanning thing. This stopped the stinging momentarily but I was convinced that by this stage my face had melted off and we were now down to bone. I diplomatically explained that tattoos were far less painful – which was a big hint that she needs to look into some kind of effective pain-management for her clients.  Something like morphine or crack might do the trick.

When she finally finished (after applying a myriad of cooling gels and other weird smelling stuff), I went through to the paying area.  This should be a separate area. An area where no other people are.  Unaware that my face was now very shiny and very flushed, I chat happily to other clients who I only afterwards (upon catching a visual of myself in my rearview mirror) realised were thinking ‘Oh God, that poor woman’.

And to think, I actually pay people for this service.