Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Girls Guide to Home Improvement and Getting Back Your Deposit

Did I tell you what happened last weekend?  I live in the cutest spacious 1940's duplex bungalow on the Westside of Los Angeles.  The good news is the weather is usually lovely so the lack of heaters, ac, solid doors and weather stripping is usually not a big deal.  But last week while taking the last jug of liquor out of the liquor cabinet the oven hood fell down.  The landlord called a nice man who tackled the job(it was, like most of the apartments upgrades, jeri-rigged the first time around).

My four years have given me a chance to play with general home repairs.  I've fixed the motors in washing machines(easy), blown an electric fuse(also easy) and done a lot of stuff in between.

Doors: http://www.prettyhandygirl.com/2011/04/fixing-common-door-problems.html
Best tutorial I've ever found.  This door tutorial has allowed me to flow with the weather and the settling.  I plan to later adjust the screws in the hinges of the BFs house to fine tune the alignment and further win his heart.   

When The Washing Machine Eats Your Sash: This guy is no nonsense.  My agitator doesn't fit as tight as it should and it eats sashes.  I never usually do the hotwater thing or remove magnet. 

Soap scum in you tub: Barkeepers Friend it's a mild acid that cuts through that dead skin and soap like butter.  It's a bit drying on hands, so wear gloves if available.

Snake Your Toilet Like a Pro: If you have a clog within a 6 ft radius of your line, this toilet auger thing can save your day.  I bought it and though the clog ended up being near the main, it was still a fun toy to play with.  It's like fishing in your toilet.

Simple(somewhat effective) sound proofing: My neighbor and I share a bathroom wall.  Actually it's worst than that.  There is a 5'X5' bit of dead space that makes a sound amplifier between us.  She is an older Asian woman who believes coughing is either an Olympic sport or passionate hobby.  Using this removable chaulk on the shared windows helped a lot.  Moisture isn't a big issue as the fan is good and the apartment bathroom has sliding pocket doors that allow it to dehumidify very quickly.  It should be noted that this stuff SMELLS like gasoline and nailpolish remover for a good day after application.  This makes stealthy application IMPOSSIBLE.

Red Hair Dye Cleanup: Clorox pens, Clorox pens, Clorox pens.  Works great on grout, white doors and my painted walls.  May not work so well on your stuff, but it's my experience.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Notes On Going Bright Red

I seem to go on a bright scarlet hair kick every few years or so and in the time between I always forget all the nuances on pain points.  I thought I'd actually jot them down so I can avoid forgetting.  I don't like purple-red.  I sometimes like orange-red, sometimes magenta-red and mostly bright red(just unbright enough to avoid getting told things by old ladies).

Every time I run into the same disappointing problems(quick fading, uneven fading, not bright enough), so I thought I'd log all my notes together so I can stop remaking errors.

Lowest Maintenance/Brightest True Red Hair: L'Oreal Feria Power Red Ruby Rush
It won't stain your pillowcases(assuming you rinse thoroughly), fairly easy to use.  Definitely not as bright as the box, but still *red* with no purple. 

Cheap Root Touch Up:  Root touch-up kits are nice but at $5-$7 and usually not bright enough.  Revlon Colorsilk is super cheap and has a 1:1 ratio of colorant to developer.   I usually find the conditioner in Colorsilk to be a little disappointing, but for this purpose it's fine.  Revlon ColorSilk Lumnista Light Red is a good color for roots.  10MLs of colarant and developer left on for 20-30 minutes makes nice bright red roots.  One box of dye will give you 4-5 applications.  Don't mix it ahead of time, buy a little measuring cup at Sally's and make your dose right before you need your red roots.  Once you've measured and mixed your goo, use a dye brush from an old touch-up kit or a nice brush from Sally's.  If you were crazy on the economizing, you could probably get away with 7MLs of colorant and developer.

The Dye is Fading Fast: You have red hair.  Sorry.

The Dye is Fading Unevenly: Protein Filler helps by filling in the gaps all the life stress has done to it.  People have a lot of methods for applying but this is what works for me.  Buy a smallish(3 ounce) squirt bottle with a trigger handle for ease.  Buy neutral protein filler.  Spray on the bottom part(where the fading generally occurs) until moist.  Let sit for 20 minutes and dye in whatever fashion you prefer.
http://www.sallybeauty.com/protein-filler/CLRFUL1,default,pd.html#q=neutral+color+filler&start=1 http://www.sallybeauty.com/mini-spray-bottle/SBS-436130,default,pd.html#q=spray+bottle+&start=33&sz=12

Refreshing Color:
Color Depositing Shampoo:  Either buy stuff like Davines or Watercolors or make your own by mixing some semi permanent dye in your shampoo.  Either use the good stuff or make your own.  Don't buy the cheap stuff.  It just isn't worth it(though, it's possible something amazing could come out).

Semi Permanent Dye:
I don't really know if one is better than the other.  Manic Panic seems to fade faster than others.  I've used a ton of them(save Joico and Fudge) and they all seem about the same in duration.  I'll try Joico next time.
NRage, SFX, ION Color Brilliance, Adore, Fudge(UK based, so pricey), Joico, Color Jamz

Permanent Dye(about once a month):
L'Oreal Hi Color HiLights with 20 or 30 volume developer(amount according to package).  I need about 1 tube.  Red/Magenta is wild, Red is pretty crazy and Red/Red Hot is a nice professional "VERY RED."

If I want something more muted(most of the time), I can make my dye with 1/2 a tube of L'Oreal Hi Color and 1/2 a tube of L'Oreal Hi Color HiLights mixed with 20 or 30 volume developer(amount according to package).

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Really Long Week

The week began crazy with leaving the BFs abode at 4:00am to take a jet to Florida for a conference.

I spent two more-or-less sleepless nights doing work and working on my presentation that went AMAZEBALLS.

I'm still behind on work, but chugging my way out after my work binge.

I can say I managed my goal of one simple breakfast while traveling a few times.
1. Travel day: Toast and Coffee
2. Cold McDonalds Hamburger(better not to ask, but it was simple-ish??)
3. Stickybun(a small one)

So it wasn't all healthy but they were not really banquet breakfasts.  Of course, because I had pulled so many all nighters, I really didn't have time for banquet breakfasts.

I also got stuck in Phoenix for a day on my way back because all the snow kept planes stuck in midwestern airports.

I maintained taking my pills(mostly, I think).
Was less good about water(I know I had some :).
Wore my Somnadent every night except the one I was grounded in Phoenix.

I'm out again on Tuesday and the trip is decidedly less stressful and has more breakfast temptations.  The toast thing is pretty good.  It's simple, it's warm and it's relatively filling.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

No Snooze button: Fail Fast, Change Fast

The no snooze button isn't working for me.  Not this month.

The goal is to get me on the saddle of my excercycle by 6:00 or 6:30 most mornings.  But when it's just that goal hanging on it's own, I don't do well.

I also enjoy setting my alarm 1/2 an hour earlier and lollygagging in bed sleeping, checking email and being lazy.  I really like it.  I'm going to derail this habit when I have a clearer month and I can make the goal to get on the bike by 6:30 3 times a week.

I'm doing a habit revision.  I'm traveling a lot this month and would like to change the habit to be every trip at least one morning I have a simple breakfast.

When I travel I enjoy the buffet breakfasts call me too much.

The idea of a simple breakfast is about 3 items and simple.
1. 2 pieces of toast, jam and butter
2. Cereal, milk and a banana
3. Oatmeal, milk, raisins and brown sugar or artificial sweetener

At home I normally eat protein-licious eggs.  When I eat eggs it's from a buffet or it comes with toast and bacon and potatoes.  It's too much.

So to seed a habit, I'm gonna try a simple traveling breakfast.

Sure it's a little carbier than I'd like, but the portion is right.  It's a meal not a feast.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

No Longer Need to Prove Anything to the Twin Cities

I spoke today in Minnesota at a conference.  I've been applying and speaking at this conference for the past 4 years.

The first year was misery.  I had just broken up with my long-distance boyfriend who lived in Minneapolis and I spent the time not at the conference crying.  I had to scrape my limited funds to buy winter gear, had a sobbing beer with my ex who happily chirped of his new gal pal of wonder and turned down another unrelated indecent proposal.  I had originally applied to the conference when we were still dating as a chance to get a free trip to see it.

Last year I remember it being painful for fear that I *might* run into my ex.  It was the first time I ever had to drive in a snowstorm and I was petrified.  I was breaking up from casual but attenuated mock relationship with a dude that tried, but was so emotionally incapable and distant he added new dimensions to the word.  At the time I was also traveling the world on great projects and used the distance to transform his inept emotional distance and clumsy kindness into the sweet gallant protector I needed to exist.  In the haze of silence and physical distance I filled in the gaps with billowy padding, fantasy and capacity he could never fulfill.  It was like yelling at a tall man for not being short.  When I had to come to earth and realize I had a bag of hot air, I was back on a plane for the midwest.  The tundra tangled and assaulted me physically with all the vehemence I was flogging myself for falling for such a silly fantasy.

I tried to fill the vast emptiness of my soul by corresponding with "the writer."  A handsome man with no actual physical availability.  In that absence, he could spin and compose prose that would warm jack frost.  He quit writing back mid trip.  It was par for the course.

This year was different.  I found a better hotel in the middle of downtown, I made plans for my evenings, I have a great boyfriend and I got booked to speak in the big badass main hall.  My talk went well and if I run into my ex.  Well I've run into my ex.  I realize we weren't a good fit and we did a truly spectacular job of hurting each other in ways that neither one of us really meant.   Shortly after me and after the girl he mooned on over IPAs while I sobbed, he found someone else that he seems to have some real staying power with.  Good for him.  Men seem to be able to move from long term relationship to relationship faster.  Not always better(don't know what his situation is), but faster.  Not really signing up to be his BFF, but don't wish him to rot in hell.

I've proven I can come back to Minnesota, but it's never totally easy.  I may still NEED to come here for work or speaking engagement, but I no longer NEED to volunteer.  I know I have strength to and that is enough.

I don't gotta prove anything anymore.

Monday, February 3, 2014

February A Month of Snooze Buttonless Orthodontic Equipment

This month is pretty light on the dramatic changes as it's pretty heavy on travel and moving.

The daily vitamins and inbox zero have become second nature.

This months water goal is wobbly, I've been casually practicing this goal(playing around with it) for the past few weeks.  If I work out or have a plane flight it's no issue.  Ahhh water delicious, delightful water.

If I don't, it's more of a choking it down phenomenon.


Trader Joes sells these 20 ounce spring water bottles with a sports top and I based my goal off it.

The underlying goal is taper my diet soda consumption a little.  Where I can 36 little changes strives to crowd bad habits out.  If I've gotten down 20 ounces of water, I'm doing two things.

1. Developing a taste for this strange, wet substance
2. Drinking 20 ounces of something that isn't artificially sweetened.

I flew this morning from LAX->Minnesota to give a talk on personal privacy.   This morning as I drove to the airport at 4:30 AM it was serious work to drink water.  I got about 10 ounces down and it was unpleasant because I was delerious, hydrated and sleepy.

I can't wait until water just tastes good all the time.