Hair Today, Gone...Well, Today

When the weather gets tough, the tough...chop off all their hair.  Well, maybe not the tough- they probably don't even sweat when it gets hot.  But the quirky do, so this Quirk went straight to the salon and went, "It's 100 degrees outside! Get it off my neck! Get it off! Get it off!" and hoo boy did they ever!

Jared, the most awesomely awesome stylist ever (and available at StudioVisage in Market Square for my fellow Knoxvegas peeps) was all, "Ohmigod honey, with your cheekbones you are just going to loooooove this haircut!"  (And before you think I'm stereotyping male hair stylists, know that that is exactly how Jared is and exactly what he said and I love him for it). And then he cut off all my hair. But in a good way.

It's the first time I've had bangs since I was six, and I have no idea what it will do if I let it air dry and go curly (although Jared assures me that it will look "just fahhhhhbulous" curly) but I like it. It's fun, it's kicky, and it's off my neck for the summer.

And now the big reveal:

(Oh but first, ignore the horrible photography.  It was one of those hold-the-camera-up-at-arms-length-and-click self portraits.  And I'm standing by the front door because that's where the natural light was and I have no makeup on and apparently I really need to get a better night's sleep because the dark under eye circles are like zombie apocalypse much? But you don't care about any of that because you're supposed to be admiring the hair anyway).

So yeah, the hair:

The side view.

The back view.  Notice no hair on the neck.

The front view.  Remember that you're ignoring the no makeup and looking at the hair.

So that's my hair (if anyone has made it this far because I know the topic of my hair is just RIVETING and all).  But if you are interested in a new look and if you have cheekbones like mine (at least, according to Jared) then you might want to look him up and let him have a go with your locks.  I promise you'll look faaahhhbulous!

(Just, you know, make sure you get a good night's sleep before you take the picture).

A Tasty Little Calorie-Free Pick Me Up

I know everyone and their brother has done a version of Call Me Maybe, but this is by far the best one I've seen. Ever. I've watched it about 20 times and I still can't stop laughing. So if you haven't already seen this (and even if you have), consider this your Friday pick-me-up.

 It's almost as good as having an actual cookie.


Because All Science Should Be Taught in Cartoon Form

Listen, no doubt you heard the news back on July 4th about the scientists at CERN discovering evidence of the Higgs-Boson particle.  (Or maybe you just saw the viral video clip of reporters asking people in Brooklyn what they thought Higgs-Boson was and them coming up with ridiculous answers like, "It sounds brown" or "That's a metal band, right?" or "A creepy European man who goes around flashing people?"  Sigh).  Of course, I'd like to claim that I know all about the Higgs-Boson because I am a brilliant genius who can discuss advanced theoretical physics around the dinner table, but the truth is I first heard about it on that show "The Big Bang Theory" (who says TV doesn't make you smart?).  Then I happened to come across it again while reading Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything (if you haven't read it, you should.  It's funny and well-written and makes science easy to understand.  Or at least enough understanding to not look like a total idiot if some reporter asks you what you know about CERN's latest particle discovery).

Anyway, the physicists are all in a tizzy because they found something that may be the Higgs-Boson particle (which is really a tiny cosmic building block, also know as the "God particle" that indicates mass for everything else in the universe), and because I like to know what Sheldon and Leonard are talking about with their smarty-genius jokes, I was interested in just what all the hub-bub was about.  And after reading a couple of articles and being forcefully reminded that I am not, and will probably never be, a physicist, I finally found a link that I think does a pretty good job of explaining just what it is.  Or might be.  And to make sure that it's totally lay-person accessible, the lovely scientists made it a cartoon.(Because no doubt after watching the guy explain that it sounded like magic, "and by magic, I mean drugs", I'm sure they thought we needed it).
So here it is, because I thought it was neat and that you, brilliant Internets, might like it also.

PS- Lest you think I'm trying to show off how very smart I am, please know that spell check has just informed me that I cannot even spell the word "physicist".  Something tells me that the Nobel Peace Prize committee won't be contacting me any time soon for my amazing work in particle physics.  

No Baby Ducks Were Harmed in the Making of this Mattress

Well ladies and germs, I don't know how your weekend went, but ours rocked because Tony and I (and I guess the cats) are now FINALLY proud owners of a new mattress. And let me tell you, it is like sleeping on baby ducks walking on clouds with little cotton balls stuck on their heads.

(Which, in case you haven't done, is a good thing.)

(Well, I'm assuming it is.  Truth be told, I haven't really tested the whole baby-duck-on-a-cloud thing either, but I'm pretty sure it would be soft, so just go with it).


The new mattress is wonderful, and long overdue.  Our old mattress was a) 10 years old and b) not really suited to our sleeping styles and c) not the best quality in the first place since Tony only paid $200 for it.  (Seriously.  Tony bought it when he was just out of college and working in a tiny podunk town in the the middle of a bunch of corn fields.  And they only had one furniture store, which wasn't even a regional one like Sears or JCPenny; it was something like "Bubba's Furniture and Mini-Mart" because that's how small this town was.  And as you may expect, Bubba only carried something like 3 mattresses.  So Tony got a $200 queen-sized "Comfi-Sleep" extra firm mattress set and we've been sleeping on it for the past 10 years.  So trust me, it was time).

Actually, it was past time.  We technically started looking for a mattress off and on last year.  We'd flop down on a few, and I'd be like, "What do you think?" and he'd be like, "I can't tell a difference between any of these" and I'd be like, "Well this is a big purchase.  We need to be sure" and then we'd get fed up and go home and sleep on our not-so-comfy Comfi-sleep, which by this point was mostly just lumpy parts interspersed with random springs.  But a few months ago we both started waking up with our backs creaking and popping like the Tin Man sans oil can, so we stepped up the search a bit more:

Tony: Which one do you like?
Me: I dunno.  The second one we tried in the 4th store seemed okay.
Tony: Was that the memory foam or the latex one?
Me: I don't know. I think it was the one with titanium dura-coils.
Tony: Was that the plush, ultra plush or Euro plush?
Me: Is Euro-plush plushier than Ultra Plush?
Tony: I have no idea.

And so it goes.  One of us would lay on a mattress with a sales guy hovering uncomfortably next to us saying things like, "And there's 2 and a half inches of patented Super Plushie Dura Foam Gel Latex Cotton Padding in it!" while the other one would chase ZB around the store and keep her from destroying the place.  Then we'd switch.  When I was on the mattress I'd say things like, "Is it cooling?  I'm not buying a mattress that traps heat!" (because apparently I am a menopausal woman trapped in a 32 year old body, so I get hot at night).  Then Tony would get on the mattress and say, "Is it on sale? I'm not buying a mattress that isn't on sale!" (because apparently Scrooge McDuck is trapped inside his body).  And meanwhile ZB just wanted to jump from bed to bed (because jumping beans are trapped inside of her body), so I'm sure all the sales people just loved us.

But finally! FINALLY! We found a mattress that promised to be 12 times cooler than a regular foam mattress, and it was on sale, and it was soft, and it was actually a brand we had heard of before (no disrespect to Bubba's "Comfi-Sleep" brand), so chances are it would last a little longer.  (15 years longer according to the warranty!  Although we had to buy a special waterproof mattress protector also since apparently cat barf voids mattress warranties.  C'eat la vie).  And joy of joy, they happened to have one all ready to go in the local warehouse, so we bought it on Thursday night and it was delivered to us on Saturday morning, and all the cats are scared of it because it smells different but that's okay because hey! more room for us on the new bed!

And now when we wake up we feel rested, and our joints don't creak like doors in a haunted house, and I can't feel a single spring jabbing me in the back.  In fact, the only thing that takes some getting used to is that it's about 2 inches higher than our old mattress, so in the middle of the night when I get up to check on ZB, I fall an extra two inches to the floor, which scares my inner menopausal lady into thinking she might break a hip or something.  But other than that?  Pure, cotton-covered baby duck on a cloud bliss, baby!

(Trust me, that's good).

More American than Apple Pie, Stars and Stripes, and Freaky Robot Fire Dogs

Well hey there Internets!  I hope everyone had a wonderful July 4th yesterday!  Personally, we had an absolute blast!  Mom and Dad's neighborhood had a parade (and being on a golf course, everyone decorated their golf carts), and then a big cookout, band, demonstrations from the local fire and police K9 unit, and finally swimming in the neighborhood pool.  ZB loved loved LOVED every single second of it.  In fact, we only took her home after she was so exhausted that she fell asleep (although she managed to hold out for an hour and a half past her usual nap time) and when she woke up (three hours later) she was mad that she was at home instead of still at the party.  She is a little party animal, that one!

First, the parade.  Mom stayed up until 3am the night before in order to decorate the golf cart.  Ya'll, these people take this parade seriously.  There were 26 golf carts in the "Best Decorated Golf Cart" Competition, and you've never seen so many flags, streamers and balloons in your life.  Here's our cart:

And ours was one of the more subtle ones. 
On the cart: Mom, ZB, myself, two Yorkies, and one sweaty Uncle Sam
who was just forced to run up a big steep hill behind us.
Here we are in the parade.  That's my Dad in the giant Uncle Sam hat, hanging off the back.  He and Tony were originally supposed to walk behind the cart with the two dogs, but after the first big hill, the dogs rode on my lap, Dad spent most of the time hanging off the back, and Tony raced ahead to the cart in front of us who was handing out Popsicles to the people watching and snagged a couple for himself.  Still, we are quite the patriotic sight, no?

Tony and Dad, post golf cart chasing but still looking patriotic.

And me, having actually been smart enough to ride in the golf cart from the beginning.
(Hey, it was 97 degrees out...I'm no dummy).
Anyway, we all had a lot of fun waving and yelling to the people lining the streets, and ZB clapped and cheered because everyone else was and she loves it when people clap with her.  Sadly, we did not win Best Dressed Cart (there was actually a tie for first between the cart that recreated the Statue of Liberty on the back and the cart that transformed itself into a rocket, complete with smoke trails), but that is okay, because we actually did win both Best Dressed Kid and Best Dressed Pet!

Note the cuteness just oozing out
of her.
Here we have ZB sporting her lovely Hello Kitty Patriotic shirt, a custom-made white skirt with netting overlay and red, white and blue stars at the bottom.  She has accessorized this with her sparkly red shoes and red sparkle hair clip.  (Actually, Mom also made a hat for her to wear, but it was so hot that the poor kid's head was drenched in sweat every time we put it on her).  Now, I may be a little biased, but Internets, that kid stole the entire show.  She was so adorable and happy and excited about the whole thing that everyone who saw her loved her.  In fact, the local paper took her picture and put her on the front page!  Her cuteness is a force, people!  It is not to be denied!

And now I have a trophy that reads "Best Kid 2012" to prove it.

Speaking of cuteness, may I also present the winners of this year's Best Dressed Pet!  Mom and Dad's Yorkies, Brutus and Brandi, are each sporting doggie T-shirts, reading "Patriotic to the Bone" and "I love the USA", respectively.  Brandi is also wearing red, white and blue stars in her hair.  But I think the kicker was the little tiny sequined Uncle Sam hat that Brutus was modeling.

Because is there anything more adorable than a tiny dog in a tiny top hat?  I think not. 
After the parade ZB hightailed it over to the local fire department's truck where the firemen immediately made her their chief (complete with hat and everything!).  They also had an animatronic talking Fire Dog named Sparky that kinda freaked me out (no doubt due to repressed childhood nightmares about our Teddy Ruxpin trying to kill us) but had ZB totally mesmerized.  The other kids would come up and look at it for a while, maybe talk to it or touch it and then move on, but for ZB, the world outside Sparky the Fire Dog ceased to exist.  She'd probably still be there, rooted to the same spot, had the fire department not eventually packed Sparky up and headed out for his next engagement.  (Let's just hope she forgets about him before Christmas.  Something tells me that Sparkies may be hard to come by for the private consumer). 
Mommy, can we have a freaky robot dog with a grating mechanical voice and weird blinky eyes please please please please PLEASE?!?

Finally, after stuffing ourselves with hot dogs and hamburgers and (I kid you not) 38 different types of baked beans, pasta salads, potato salads, chips, corn on the cob, watermelon, and enough cookies, brownies and cupcakes to put a diabetic into a coma just by looking at it, we decided to hit the pool.  And it's a good thing that ZB has such fun grandparents because by this point I was ready for a nap in the sunshine, but ZB was still going strong.  She splashed, she played, she climbed everyone's swim suit like she was a spider monkey.   The entire day was like ZB's personal version of heaven.  (Think about it: A parade, a trophy, a hot dog, a cupcake, a creepy talking robot dog and a pool.  Nothing else could compare.  It is a one year old dream come true). 

So yeah, I suppose you could say that we had a pretty great day.  It was good to see such a nice turnout for the parade and picnic, and it was a great way to honor not only our active service men and women, but also our veterans that were in the crowd.  Not to mention make it into ZB's top 5 favorite days of her life EVER.

America, we love you and salute you.