Thursday, January 22, 2009

A seriously 'GOOD HAIR' day

I had the opportunity last night to view a documentary at the Sundance Film festival.
My dear friend, knowing I'm a hairstylist, called and asked me if I wanted to go to this particular film. I think she thought I was crazy, because I only said 'yes' in fifteen different ways and told her I was excited about 5 times on the phone.
The movie was AMAZING! It was a documentary called 'Good Hair' produced and starring Chris Rock. It was documenting the black hair culture and community. Talking about everything from who, what, where, and why black women hold such high regards to their hair.
As an obviously WHITE stylist...I went to school in a city where there was little to NO opportunity to learn how to do ethnic hair. (my few opportunities included a couple girls from Tonga and a Samoan guy) Due to the lack of diversity, I don't feel I was given the experience to learn all that I could. We actually had the right products, relaxers and tools to pass things off. But the techniques and styles were passed off on one of two...that's right TWO ethnic doll heads. Not once in two years did I get an African-American client.
Reading in a textbook about hair and actually doing hair is SO different! I have an absolute LOVE of hair...styling, coloring, cutting...just touching and playing with hair is a ton of fun for me.
The fascinating thing...is that different races and cultures have such dramatically DIFFERENT hair. I always knew it looked different, and was obviously very different colors...but the texture and elasticity and porosity of hair can very so greatly! In school we were told that that 75-80% of hair product consumers are African-American's. That's insane!
This documentary touched on the reasons behind the importance of hair in the black culture...and how the dynamics have changed into what is important in today's society.
In the beginning...African-American's felt the need to have 'white or European' hair to be accepted by society. Having the right hair would allow you to get the higher paying jobs. Afro's were associated with black people...and black people were not getting treated as equals. Therefore, the type of hair you have was a status symbol.
The sad reality is that there is NO way that 'black hair' can look and feel like 'white hair'. I'm not suggesting that as an opinion of style...it just is structurally not possible. And yet there is a 9 billion dollar industry to prove that black women are trying to obtain this type of hair still today. Hair is still a status of importance, beauty and wealth. (because maintenance of such hair is ten's of thousands a year. Rev. Sharpton talked about how it is more important to have a 'weave' than have food to eat for many women)
Just as media plays a part of every woman's self-identity and self-image...African-American celebrity's have 'good hair'. Beyonce, Oprah, Eve, Raven, all have long, flowing locks. (not their own hair however)
Having gone to Cosmetology school I knew the chemicals used to 'relax' black hair and some of the procedures used to try and straighten hair. ('relaxers' are pretty much a perm...without the rollers, Pressing or straightening involves oils and creams used with hot irons...three times hotter than any flat iron or curling iron you can buy in the store)
The chemicals involved are extremely dangerous and very strong! Little girls are getting their first 'relaxers' done at age two or three. We all know that inhaling these chemicals can do damage, and anyone who lived through the 80's knows that a perm can really burn your scalp. Well, what we 'white girls' do to our hair with heat and chemicals is NOTHING compared.
To make a long story short...I LOVED every minute. In another life I would have chosen to 'eat-breathe-and -sleep' hair. (maybe not the eating part) It was incredibly well done and had celebrity clips which were very enlightening and funny. Chris Rock did a great job of using both drama and comedy to make his points. He even traveled to India and showed the women shaving their heads for our extensions and weaves. I could talk for hours just about THAT subject...but in summary, India's #1 export is human hair. It is removed in a religious ceremony at the temples, people will cut off and steal a women's hair in her sleep, and the church is topped only next to the Vatican in profit. All so we can put somebody else's hair on our heads.

Traditionally, there is a Q&A session after the film and the directors or writers of a film will answer questions. Many filmmakers and people in the industry have questions from everything from editing to music and colors used.
Before the film they announced that there might not be a Q&A after the film, because they didn't know if they could locate a person to answer questions. (you hear a few moan and groans...but from what I hear it is more and more rare for filmmakers to do these)
After the movie I was so impressed, it was better than I could have imagined and so informative. Before the light came on...someone gets on the microphone and says "We have Chris Rock here to answer any of your questions regarding the film."
WHAT!!! I was like "this is the coolest ever" and sure enough he jumps up and grabs the mic. I look at my friend and say "I have a question...but I'm not sure I dare to ask." to which she stated the obvious "you will never get a chance like this again...it's Chris Rock."
After letting my heart race to a ridiculous rate, I bit the bullet and raised my hand...mine was the last question he took (whew!) I stood up and opened my mouth...which was suddenly dry and the initial sound coming out was not human. A little cough later I asked "In the film, you stated how the black culture started doing these things out of acceptance from society...towards the end of the film, you touched on the number of white women who now do similar things. In your opinion, would you say that today women do this out of society's acceptance, or self-acceptance, or what did you find?" I sit down and I realize my hands are shaking. What, am I a twelve year-old at the Jonas Bros. concert?
(I THINK that's what I asked...I should receive a recording, so I can edit it word-for-word)
His answer was...
"I'm not sure it's really either. We live in an incredible country...(pause for claps)...and I think women in this country have lots of money and are just bored. (laughs) Women in other countries don't have time to worry about shooting Botox into their face, or collagen into their lips. I think that women here just get bored."
(There was couple more things to that effect, but those are the sentences I remember...again when I get the video, I will edit it)

Mr. Rock made this movie because he wanted to understand and make decisions to help his own two beautiful girls (I believe ages 4 and 6) who he showed and talked about in the film. The last line of the movie was his own conclusion from his findings, on what to tell his little girls. He said "What I've concluded is that when the time comes, I will tell my own daughters that...what's on top of their head...is not near as important as what's inside their head."





I just thought I would share...I think it was another great view of the things that we as women value and see as important. A view from Chris Rock of all people. I never thought I would have gotten to talk to him...let alone be taking parenting advise from him!
I'm grateful to be bored enough to be the kind of woman that can worry about such nonsense ...but I definitely hope to put my efforts of boredom to better use in the future.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Just wanted to give a big shout-out!!!

I will just let it all out...
Last Saturday I joined Facebook.
I swore that I wouldn't, thought it was stupid, thought it was only useful to single people, didn't know if I wanted to find too many people from my past, etc, etc.
On Saturday morning I took the plunge. Why? Because my cousin left on his mission last week, and my aunt sent me an invite to view her Facebook page/stuff whatever. I figured if I want to be a good family member and stay up-to-date, supportive...sure. Why not? Not to mention, blogging has found many old friends and I have loved all those people I have found.

Well, I sit here at my computer, the morning of my 4th day into Facebook, here to record my findings and feelings...Oh! and faux pas...

So Saturday morning, stupid me, just set the thing up and started trying to find my way around. I became frustrated because I couldn't even find Mike and the only page I could see was my aunt's page, because she had invited me. Invited. There is a lot to be said for that word.

Personally, I'm not a good friend. Friend. Another word I'm not sure I understand. I'm not good at staying in touch and while I have the best of intentions...just not my thing. I'm not sure I have ever been good at correspondence. I really felt like "if I know you...especially if I've known you more than 3 months or so...sure we're great friends!"

I'm not thinking this Facebook thing will work for me. Invite, Friend, Ignore, Wall, Poke...what have you...(though the last word disturbs me)
Apparently, I set up my account, and 'logically'...when the question asked "send an invitation to people in your email?" I clicked yes. Obviously people in my email are people I know...dare say friend. But is that true?

So on day 2 I find out (from a younger, more 'experienced' Facebook friend) who you invite on Facebook means something. You should not invite just anyone and everyone. You can REMOVE friends from your Facebook account, and topics of conversations can be "guess who sent me an invite? can you believe that?" I assume if you remove a friend from your Facebook...it means you are not friends, have never been friends, and don't want to be friends in the future. Sounds simple...but then again, I'm pretty slow.
Man!
Day 3 I start to worry about who is in my contact list of my email account. I realize that I don't really know if EVERYONE in my email is necessarily my friend. Crap! I run through my email and see that...sure enough...some people I really don't know and don't ever know how I got their email. Ooops!
Do I really care? Not really. And on Day 2, when I got going...did I invite anyone and everyone I saw from Elementary school through High School, old neighborhoods and new? Yep. Do I comment on everyone's things?...if I feel the urge! I was being sucked in! And I was really loving it!
The thing that urk's me about blogging is the ever absorbing...private or not private? ...people leaving anonymous comments (my dear friend Nony)...and the worst?...Can I comment on someone's blog if I don't feel INVITED?
Are there really blog stalkers or do we all love to read peoples views and opinions on life whether we know them or not. Why do we feel we shouldn't comment if it's out there for the world to see.
I personally have never once wished that someone hadn't commented. I love comments! Good and bad...just don't be a sissy and leave your name...but say what you want. I feel that way and yet I read a person's blog and think "should I leave a comment? will it look like I'm stalking?" Well geeez! I totally am stalking if I'm wondering that. I think "what if that person doesn't want me to comment or thinks I'm a loser?" picked that one up in 6th or 7th grade. And then there's "I've commented on 'so-an-so's' blog a few times and they haven't commented back...is that a hint that I shouldn't comment on their blog anymore?" Yet I wish I could comment on lots of peoples blogs and don't have a chance or can't get the time...or they went private and I forget to check because they don't pop up in my blog roll. I also see people's and want to say 'Hi' or see what their up to and they are private. Does that mean the door is closed...you are not wanted...you do not have a 'golden ticket' and it's because I don't like you! Or...they don't want 'Chester the Molester' looking at their kids? Is it rude to ask in a comment "hey? I'd love to catch up with 'so-and-so', would you send her/him my info?" And then wait for the "whew!" of acceptance, or the gut-blow of denial!
I could go on and on...just petty and stupid things that I frankly have overcome after a year of blogging and have learned to love my hobby for how I feel when I write and adult interaction when I'm feeling crazy. But I'm not going to pretend I haven't asked those questions.

Anyways...(I'm really finding it hard to focus now)...my point is that I thought Facebook was pretty cool. It was kind of scary how many old connections I found, but I really thought it was brilliant to see how connected we are. As a culture, a religion, a school, an age group...and I thought it wouldn't have those stigma's blogging had. Well...I was wrong.

The bottom line:
1. I'm not a very private person...maybe I should think about becoming more.
2. I guess I consider most people I have met, my 'friend'...that is my definition of friend.
3. I don't belong to any certain social circles...I'm happy to socialize with anyone, anywhere.

and 4. After a couple hours of wandering through Facebook...I feel like I wasted away those couple of hours. I didn't learn anything from "Sally is picking her nose"...but after a couple hours of blogging?...I feel more productive. Granted! Both involve being sucked into too much time in front of my computer...but for ME, in MY current situation, that's my feeling. Facebook is fun...blogging is more heartfelt.

By the way...my husband laughed at me as he had me go through my contact list...my contact at the State license renewal office...the Realtor who sold our last house...my contact for our server hosting company...many people who's names don't ring a bell, but have sent me an email and in my contacts. Because I'm careful (ha ha) and save the contact info for anyone who sends me a personal email. Why? Because 'just in case' I need to email you and can't find your email. And 'just in case'...of what?...JUST IN CASE I WANT TO INVITE YOU TO MY FACEBOOK PAGE!!!

Boy, am I friendly.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Goldilock's Inauguration


10:45am...
Addi: "Mom? Did YOU putt my pack-pack in da laundwee womb?"
Mom: "Nope"
Addi: "Hum...maybe my invisibuul fwends did....I'll go ax um."
10:47am
Addi: "yep...it was dem."


11:25am...
I'm in my closet, she walks in and says...
Addi:"Mom? I'm so fweeekin stwong!"
and just walks away.

3:00 ish pm...
I went into the office to obsess over Facebook for the third day in a row. (I swore I wouldn't log in today) But there's nothing worse than the 3 o'clock downer. Surprisingly...a diet Dr. Pepper and an hour of Facebook. Voila! I can make it another 7 or 8 hours. Anyways...

( I hear this sweet little voice across the desk. And I can't type out her accent, it would take forever...)
Addi: ""...and then Goldilocks says "I'm really really sorry, but I broke your little chair!" and Goldilocks Mom says "That's okay...it's what happens to little chairs...sometimes it just happens." So Goldilocks feels much much better. "THANK you Mom...thanks so much.""

(She has a pen and notepad, pretending to write this whole story down. There is squiggly line after squiggly half-way down the page. Then she goes on to add...)
Addi: "and Goldilocks said "and to the republic...for which it stands" So the bears stand. Goldilocks tell them they must raise there hand up...to say HI. (she raises her arm, just like our new president) "One nation...and under...under... invisible with literally and justice... for bears.""
(and she folded her arms and closed her eyes to say a prayer.)

Me: Wwwwwhat!!!???
Addi: Oh Mom, you know...Go-dee-law-kisses beh's. It's just what we luund uh-uh-bout in pweeskoo tu-day!

I was glad I had shorthanded what I had heard...she almost made me wet my pants. I can't imagine where it all came from. I can piece together a few parts. I think there is a Goldilocks story...she's trying to memorize the Pledge at Preschool...today's inauguration...and just her 'cooky' little self.

I just love the fact that I get to interact with this child everyday! Love that girl!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Increasing in wisdom, stature, and favour with God

Luke 2:52
And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

As a basis for my resolutions, my goals to become more Christ-like seem to become more apparent and also seemingly more impossible! I'm not one to give up on resolutions though. I hear "It's stupid to set resolutions you're not going to keep." Well, go ahead and call me stupid...but I like to think I'm trying my darnedest to keep them every year!

To increase my wisdom:
1. Be a more positive person by focusing less on myself, and more on others
2. Become less narcissistic, learn to be quieter and a better listener
3. Set aside daily time to maintain home organization and cleaning

Having a written log of my thoughts for an entire year has been a huge achievement for me. In going back and reading over many of my challenges and triumphs over the past year, I have found that I can be such a 'bummer'. Now, the last thing I want to become is a 'fake happy' person. I'm so bad a pretending...I'm not sure I could pull that off. I just need to work on being more positive, having a better attitude...I want to see the glass as half full. I also found an interesting pattern, all of my comments to others were about myself. In my defense...I do like relating to others, and when I'm struggling, it's nice to know I'm not alone. But narcissism is NOT a quality I want to feed. While it may be something I can never fully rid myself of, I can work on focusing outward.
I was recently described as "loud and obnoxious" by a family member. Now, I take it in consideration of who said it, but it hit a little too close to home. I will not deny that I am a very loud person. I put my entire self 'out there', and in doing so I have little reservations. I love to live my life out loud! But there are times when I need too shut up and listen. I need to sit back and enjoy others more than sharing so much of myself.
Last year I actually followed through on my goals and got myself more organized. Maintaining this organization will be the real chore. I didn't post many pictures, so I will have to hold myself accountable to what I know things should be like.

To increase stature (physical goals):
1. Love my body
2. Feed myself in a way that expresses my love for myself
3. Let go of physical expectations

So, to try and expect a year without sugar was much more ridiculous than I had expected. Aside from the sugar goal, I think I made leaps and bounds of improvement last year.
How we feel on the inside is often reflected on the outside. I have read every single diet book published in the past 5 years or more. Everything I read was directed at fixing the mental issues with being overweight as well as other poor habits.
I think that when I stopped reading the books and just started living...things fixed themselves. It's not that I don't know that eating junk food is bad for me...hum? hence the name 'junk food'! Last year, I pushed my body harder than I ever have. Having played sports, I know that so much physical ability is in my head. There has been a wall...a mental block, which I feel I have broken through. This year will be interesting, because I am not setting physical goals...I am going to love myself...regardless.

To increase favour with God (spiritual goals):
1. increase my temple attendance
2. read scriptures with the girls on weeknights
3. maintain a positive attitude about my ward and neighbors


Again, having a positive attitude is not my strong suit. It makes me sad to have to put temple attendance on the list again this year, but I still need to work on that.
I went through some tough times last year, and in learning about myself, I feel my testimony grew and my relationship with the Lord was strengthened. One weakness I feel will always hold me back...negative thoughts. I cannot change the people around me, or what they say and do, but I can change the way it affects me and my feelings towards them.

"Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Welcome 2009!!!

I have to begin by correcting my chest pain diagnosis. Subconsciously I must have needed to confess my obsession with Costco! I really do love that place. I just wish I could get out of there without spending a ridiculous amount of money..."Costochondritis" would be the correct word on my discharge papers.

It is hard to believe that 2009 is already upon us.

Overall 2008 was a really laid-back year. I felt like I 'settled in' over the year. I became more comfortable with myself and I wasn't looking for a big change. My testimony grew, and I learned more about what I believe...and why.
I have always had challenges in terms of contentment. For some reason, I have a hard time with stability. I don't like things to stay the same for a long period of time. I get an 'itch' for something big to turn my life upside down.
I've discovered that I am actually somewhat afraid of happiness. I am afraid to let myself accept it, because I don't believe it will last. If I don't accept happiness, then I won't be devastated when it doesn't last. It stems from instability and a lack of happiness in my childhood, but unfortunately...I cannot kick the feeling that something bad is always awaiting me.
I never thought I would live to see 30. I know it sounds really morbid, and Mike hates it when I talk about it. I just could never see myself living that long. Quite frankly, I was surprised to live through my 2o's. I know it's weird, but I was a bit relieved to know my sister felt the same way.
So in this year I turn 30, I am preparing to live until I'm old and gray. Accepting that I won't die young after all... I get to enter my 'mid years' knowing a bit more about who I am, and becoming comfortable with that.
It is not a secret that I am not happy about turning 30. My sister tried to comfort me by stating the "30 is the new 20". Which is true. But it is true because women are spending more time and effort on themselves, having 'procedures', and waiting to have families until later. If you have your first child at 40...30 really can be 20. Since I had four kids shortly after turning 26... that puts me somewhere in my late 40's. (At least I feel that way sometimes)
I'm sure 30 won't feel much different than 28 or 29, but it just stings a bit. I remember how much I looked forward to turning 16. I thought my entire world was going to change. It was such a disappointment when 16 turned out to be an awful lot like 15. I was stood up on the first three dates I was asked on...and, well...driving a big white van was not very cool.

For New Years Eve, our good friends were here from Kansas. We stayed up late playing games and talking. We started talking about weight loss, and a bet was put into place. Since my friend is pregnant, she will not participate...so the players include: an athletic, former BYU football player ...my strong, 6'7" athletic hubby...and myself. Being the ultra-competitive person I am, I think I can beat them both. Even if men can looses weight easier than women...I am way too competitive to lose to two guys. Since the loss will be based on percentages, I have a chance. I've started my 'hibernation transformation' and have lost 40 lbs. I even did well through Christmas.
Of course, as soon as we set up the challenge, I indulged on some of the things I knew I wouldn't let myself have for a while. We weighed in the Monday after New Year's and the end date will be sometime towards the end of May or beginning of June.
The winner gets to chose a vacation destination for both couples. We can include kids if we choose. I really do have to win this, because Mike has already said if he wins....we are "going to Santaquin to watch a movie."
I would love for both of our families to go to Disneyland with our girls. Our friends have 3 girls just around the same ages as our girls. (and hopefully another girl on the way) It would be so fun to have all those girls together at Disneyland.
For me, a vacation which includes the beach is the best!
I will be working my tail off...literally...so if you see me at Krispy Kreme, feel free to physically remove me from the premises.

I am trying to have a more positive outlook on the weather...but the weather is not cooperating. I can only take so much! I love water sports in the summer, and I want the lakes to be full...but could we get some rain in March? I mean COME ON!!!
I like to blame my laziness on the snow. I think this weather makes me sluggish and slow. I have, however, had the opportunity to clean out my basement. YEAH! There will be one heck-of-a garage sale in the spring. My basement was the dark abyss, my deep dark secret I feel I've been hiding for the last two years. When we moved in, anything that didn't have an immediate place went in the basement. As time went on, it was where things went if I needed to quickly get things cleaned up. It grew and grew and grew. I knew that someday I would have to face it...and that day came.
It's embarrassing to admit how bad it was...it was REAL bad. Now it's done, and I feel so good about it. I don't even have to see it...I just know it's done. It feels so good!
Hopefully it's not a sign of things to come this year, but I didn't get Christmas put away until January 6th. That's super late for me.
I took Oprah's challenge to "clean up that messy house" and it seems to be going pretty well. Each month I get emailed a new project. It's so much more manageable than trying to tackle the entire house at once. Last month was 'living spaces', which was cake...not an area I have problems with. This month is 'bedrooms'. My kids rooms are OK, but mine is a different story.
Last year I decorated my sisters Master Bedroom. It was tons of fun, and made me really dislike my own room's situation. Supposedly, your bedroom should be your 'relaxing space'. A place to unwind and feel calm. "A personal sanctuary"...ha! My bedroom is the place nobody sees...and I don't mind my own messes. It's the place I throw all the crap from the front room when last minute guests arrive. I'm lucky to see the carpet...and I'm afraid to get up in the night to use the bathroom, for fear I might trip and break my arm or leg.
I sat the girls down to explain the plan this month...I want them to re-organize their rooms for themselves. I told them that I would do the same. Cori's eyes got huge! She said "That means you're going to have to CLEAN YOUR ROOM?!?" I shamefully nodded yes. "And KEEP it clean?!?" Yes again. It was sad to hear such shock in her voice. I told her that I can't expect them to keep a clean room if I can't.
What have I gotten myself into?!

Happy 2009!