Dec 28, 2006

Out With The Old, In With The New

I had my hair done yesterday at Tu Moda Spa. My stylist Ruth has helped me over the ledge many times in the past few months as I try to grow my hair into a sassy bob. Fortunately, my hair grows fast and furious and I was never really ready to jump. I've just experienced the typical frustration of having bangs hanging in my face while I'm trying to type or that strange flip-thing that the left side of my hair does which makes me look like I was trying to style my hair in a cool way and it just went horribly wrong.

As I sat down in her chair yesterday, she asked me what was bugging me today. (Can there be such a thing as a styling-therapist?) Was it the bangs? Was it the flip? Without hesitation I told her it was that heavy look my hair gets around 9am when I see it in the bathroom mirror for the first time at work. Maybe I'm using too much product? She began to probe a little deeper asking me what I'm using when I style my hair. Perhaps I'm using too much product or not the right one. Exactamundo! Not the right one.

I ask her the question hair stylists love hearing the most aside from "Just cut it all off!" : Can you recommend something?

Unlike most encounters with stylists, she casually motioned to 2 bottles sitting on her glass counter and said, "You can use these." She proceeded to work miracles with the sassy bob and showed me how to use both the liquid gel and firm-hold hair spray that I would later purchase from Aveda. She easily sold me on the hair spray by letting me touch her own hair to demonstrate how I could run my fingers through her locks even though she was loaded with the hair spray. It was magical and surreal.

Nestled cozily in a swanky Tu Moda Spa bag was my two new hair care products. I promised myself that this time things would be different. I would consistently use these products and not get frustrated that I couldn't recreate the look and feel of a professionally styled head of hair on my own. I needed to face the facts, it wasn't going to happen.

My mind began to wonder on the drive home. I started thinking about my bathroom closet with all the other hair care products I got suckered into buying in the past for other hopeful hair styles that never came to be:

And then it hit me. Throw them away. Make a fresh start for 2007. Out With The Old, In With The New! Wipe my hair slate clean. Put the new Aveda products in my top drawer along with the hair dryer and brush and be done with it.

So this morning I followed through on my promise to gather up the old relics of hair styles gone by, but unfortunately I found more stuff that I bought over-the-counter at CVS:

  • Rave Create and Control bodifying mousse .13 oz
  • Rave Create and Control bodifying gel spray .14 oz
  • Garnier Fructis Style XXL Volume weightless gel 6.8 oz
  • Aqua Net Professional All-Weather Hair Spray (20% more free!) 8.4 oz

Is there a Salvation Army or GoodWill for hair care products? It seems such a shame to just throw all this perfectly good stuff away. I mean, the Aqua Net is an easy toss. I probably had that sitting in my closet from the mid-80's, but the others are harder to put in the waste basket. I feel so wasteful.

But that's the thing about making New Year's Resolutions. You have to stand by them and remember your reasons for making them in the first place. For me, 2007 is all about simplifying my life. It's the price I have to pay to look beautiful in my new sassy bob.

Dec 14, 2006

I'm Bringing Sexy Back!!!

If I was polled on the street by Worcester Magazine asking me which cartoon character I thought I might resemble the most...well, in a heart-beat I would say Velma. She's got the glasses, is brainy and wears a rockin' orange turtle-neck. She also has that blunt hairstyle which frames her face nicely, too.

Unlike Velma, I'm not a solver of mysteries. I'm naive and will probably believe anything you tell me whereas Velma is suspicious of actions and words.

So when you see Velma, just remember that if I ever had the opportunity to dive into the animated world, you'd find me hanging out with a big dopey Great Dane in a super tricked out stoner van saving the world one mystery at a time.

Pacman Fever

I was always one of those fortunate kids growing up that received really great presents from my parents. I never wanted for anything, but obviously there were a few toys that my parents didn't allow me to have that I always wanted: Easy-Bake Oven (cursed root of all my domestic woes in the modern-day kitchen), a Big Wheel (Mom thought I would roll out onto our dead-end dirt private street and get instantly terminated by a speeding car) and not letting me go see Duran Duran at The Worcester Centrum on their Seven & The Ragged Tiger tour when I was 13 years old. She had read in the local newspaper that all that banging people did on the seats was going to cause the structure to come crashing to the ground. (Still haven't forgiven my mother for not letting me see my favorite Super Group of the 80's)

But sometimes I got exactly what I wanted, too. As was the case with just having to own the first video game console that was all the rage in early 1980-The Atari 2600.

I remember my dad driving us down to RH White's at Lincoln Plaza to buy me the gaming system. The lower level of the store had a housewares section, a candy counter and other domestic things such as the Atari 2600 locked up in a glass case. Go figure. I want to guess that my dad paid about $200 for the Atari. But the fact that he also bought me Pac-Man for $50 specifically sticks out in my mind because it was like a windfall for me. I had just won the kid lottery and it wasn't even Christmas or my birthday.

My dad drove a trailer for most of his life and earned really good money at the time for being a long-distance driver. He could afford really expensive things like a tricked-out Harley Davidson, a huge heated waterbed, tons of toys for me and the ability to give my mom the credit card so we could go down to Lincoln Plaza shopping pretty much on a daily basis.

But still--he bought me my first gaming system. I loved Pac-Man it was the only video game I turned out being really good at. I loved the chomping sound as I moved my little yellow friend deftly through a stress-filled maze loaded with colored ghosts trying to break my manic stride of eating as many dots as possible all the while hoping to make it to the next level.

I was all about the score. I remember that was how I could tell if I was gaining skills maneuvering around the maze. Pac-Man brought me hours of fun when I was a pre-teen and I'll always remember it was my Dad who gave me one of the coolest gifts ever.

In later years, I was able to get the Pac-Man video game in various formats for other systems like Sega Genesis, but it was never the same as when I was 13 years old. The magic was long gone. But fortunately the memories remain that at one time in my life, I was the coolest kid in my neighborhood because my dad spent a fortune buying me an Atari 2600.

Dec 3, 2006

Gloria J. Silva

My mother died on Wednesday night around 9:30pm. I was able to be by her bedside holding her hand when it happened. I'll spare the personal details of my experiences these past few months and share with you some of the things that made me who I am today because of the love and care of my mother:

  • I always remember this one thing that my mom told me: No matter how bad you feel, there is always someone doing much worse.
  • She loved music and listened to records all the time when I was growing up. Her favorite singer was Billy Joel, but she loved so many artists. Here are just a few that I remember: Al Stewart, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Stevie Nicks, Fleetwood Mac, UB40, Juice Newton, Tina Turner, Chris Isaak, The soundtrack to the Super Fly movie, The Rolling Stones and just so many others I can't even list. I am a music lover because of my mom.
  • She always told everyone she met what a wonderful daughter I was and how much she loved me. I was her world. She lived for me. She was proud of me.
  • Mom loved babies so much. Her eyes would just light up whenever we were in a store shopping and she saw children. Unfortunately, our attempt at pregnancy failed in March of 2005, but mom would have been a wonderful grandmother. Knowing she won't see her grandchild breaks me, but I know that she's with me in spirit.
  • Avon was a big pleasure for her during her six year stay in two nursing homes. She loved to load her hands up with as many rings that her fingers could hold and most times double-stacked her rings because she loved how they looked on her hands. I became an Avon lady this past July so she could have a reliable Avon contact and thanks to her, I'm doing pretty good at it.
  • Mom didn't have a very good relationship with her family, but I always knew how much she loved her mother despite her difficult childhood. But she loved her mother-in-law Rose Silva dearly and thought of her as her own mother. They fought a lot as two women living in a house are prone to do, but they did love and care for each other very much. She took the death of my grandmother very hard in 1988 when I was just 18 years old.
  • I always used to tease my mother about her tri-fecta of shopping: shoes, bras and underwear. No matter what department store we went to (Wal-Mart especially), she would drive me nuts because she could never quite find the right bra that fit or be happy with having just a few pairs of shoes. Unfortunately, I'm much like my mother. I have certain things that fascinate me and I just can't get enough of: salad dressings, vacuums, purses and the latest newly packaged foods in the grocery store.
  • Many people say that my mother and I look alike. It used to always irritate me because I wanted to think that my features resembled my father. I didn't see this before, but now that I look at myself in the mirror, I'm glad that I do actually resemble her.
  • I have never seen someone in my own personal life suffer with so much pain on a daily basis. I'm a wimp when it comes to being sick. At the slight awakening of a headache, I'm popping Tylenol. But she was the master of sucking it up and handling pain. I'm so glad that she never ended up in a wheel chair.
  • I remember all our walks to Lincoln Plaza when I was little. She used to always say how she bought me all this stuff, but never anything for her self. It made me feel guilty. But as I'm older, I realize that buying things for me and taking care of me was the biggest pleasure in her life aside from being with my dad.
I am going to miss my mother something fierce. Both she and my dad died in the month of November. It will always be a month of sadness for me.

But this Christmas I'm going to do my best not to be sad. I'm going to decorate my new tinsel Christmas Tree and remember all the crazy times when I was little when she used to transform the house. Christmas is my favorite holiday and my parents gave me wonderful memories. But I can guarantee you that when I'm hanging the ornaments on the tree this year, I'll be thinking of how my mother would go through the process of decorating and tearing down the Christmas tree at least four times until she got it perfect. It should come as no surprise that I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I have her to thank for that as well.

I'm not ashamed to say that she did the best she could as a mother with many problems and I was one lucky kid to have a mother so devoted to me.

I am the best thing about my mother's life.