Saturday, September 20, 2014

The Bright Side

At the end of the day, I blame Pinterest.

Here and there, innocently enough, pale girls with blinding white blonde hair appeared in my feed like little peroxide pixies. Their makeup popped, their clothes looked cool, their eyes sparkled with the knowledge that their routines were MUCH higher-maintenance than mine.

I'd been a fan of eccentric, towheaded Harriet from Bright Young Twins for a while—and Gwen Stefani and Debbie Harry obviously—but suddenly, the siren song of platinum-ness warbled.

It was a bullshitty quote from hairstylist Oribe in Allure that did it: Every woman should try platinum at least once.

Yeaaahhhhhhhh! I mean, fuck it. I'm young. What's the worst that could happen? You only YOLO once.

It was decided: I was going to bleach the fuck out of my hair. So I struck out, Odysseus post-Troy. Except my quest was way stupider.

My then-current salon could do a double process in 4ish hours, but it would cost $500, probably. Oh.

Another worthy contender would do the double process for much cheaper, but the stylist was a flake who literally left me out in the cold with a scheduling mixup. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, fuck you, I'm on a QUEST.

I agreed to see a friend's longtime stylist and she ended up being lovely AND affordable. Sold!

"Before" and "Don't mind if I do"
The double process took 4-5 hours altogether, from bleaching to toning and glossing. I'd heard horror stories of writhing in pain, peeling skin, burning everywhere, but somehow I ended up winning the scalp lottery.

"What have I done" and "After"

I did almost keel over with shock when the towel came off and a big, flesh-toned blob of face/hair stared back at me. It took a blow dry, a long, very awkward subway ride home (freshly dyed platinum attracts attention, who knew?) and a little time in front of the mirror for me to fall in luuuuurve.


My hair, which had always been nice—though I say it myself—suddenly became a Thing. It was a lifestyle. I was Khaleesi. Hair floated around me, wispy, damaged, conversation-starting. It could look chic with a cateye, or it could be fashunnn with bright lipstick and a topknot. (Although sans-makeup, I looked like an albino boy.)

I loaded up on coconut oil, deep treatments, keratin spray, purple shampoo. Because bleached hair is so delicate, I only washed it 2-3 times a week. One of those washes, I used purple shampoo to tone down the brassy color. (Side note, that stuff spattered over the walls looks like the murder scene of a beloved children's TV icon.)

Rather than hating the maintenance, I'd camp out in the bathroom and lovingly nourish my desiccated strands. The salon visits were actually cheaper (single process) and happened every 4-6 weeks, same as with highlights.

On the other hand, my beautiful, effortless waves were replaced by a deranged mess, à la Dee Snider, that needed quite a bit of styling to look even half as good as before. Plus, there's the constant breakage. Despite braiding my hair every night, I ended up with baby hairs all around my face.


If the texture were the only issue, I would probably stick it out for a while longer. But for my wedding, I don't want a look. I know white hair would be ethereal and pretty against my skin and dress, but for the big day, I want to be classic and as much "me" as possible.

So I'm going back to a color that's found in nature. Au revior, platinum. We hardly knew ye.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tada

Tap tap. Is this thing on? Hello, internet! It is I! I'm back!



Guys, it's been a hell of a year. And look, I feel refreshed and invigorated and I have so much to talk about.

 For one thing, I got engaged. I know!

I think I speak for the two of us when I say we're disgustingly, sickeningly in love and we're very excited. I'm consciously deciding to plight my troth to someone until I DIE. It's crazy. But in a good way.



Who would have thought I'd a) fall in love with someone who b) wants to marry me and c) has ACTUALLY asked me to do so without threats or nagging, and d) allowed us to make plans and have stupid discussions like well, should we have a lounge setup? I feel like we need one but, like, we'll have actual chairs anyway and why should we dish out that much extra for a tatty couch people can sit on for maybe whole MINUTES when we could splash out on the croquembouche? I don't know.

As you'd imagine, I have much to say on the subject of weddings and marriage and wedding planning.

In no particular order, I also:

  • Lost 40 pounds. I did it through sheer willpower (code: Weight Watchers), sweat, tears and a gym whose monthly dues I sometimes bring up in polite company as a party trick. 
  • Got LASIK. Ho boy. This is a story. 
  • Dyed my hair platinum. 
  • Achieved Sephora VIB AGAIN hashtag whoops.
  • Got diagnosed with a... drumroll... wheat allergy! And I'm gluten intolerant, too. That explains a lot.
  • Started playing Dungeons and Dragons, because of course I did. 
  • Took a French class at Coucou Brooklyn. 
  • Saw some amazing theater and shows and movies. 
  • Went to four weddings this summer. I was also the maid of honor at my best friend's wedding and saw my other best friend get engaged and start this madness alongside me. 
  • Helped my parents move from my hometown of Chicago to Boulder, CO. 

And that's just the things that leap out at me right now. So why did I go radio silent? I guess I was just tired of blogs and blogging. I keep up with hundreds of blogs, from the Gawker empire to the Awl and co, to endless personal ones. One-by-one they've all (maybe minus the Awl) gone from honest, unflinching, creative, funny, raw essays and accounts of people's lives to listicles and sponsored, wooden nonsense. I think lifestyle bloggers, in particular, must feel trapped. They turned blogs into businesses, and now they need to keep using their kids and their personal lives to sell, sell, sell.

I mean, I get it! I work in advertising. Maybe that's why I'm sensitive to it? It's just SO EASY to give a blogger money to shill something to thousands of captive readers. And if someone offered me $5k to profess my love for a product I didn't hate, I might take it.

I'm not in that solar system of blogging, durr, but "blogging" as a Thing is just boring and exhausting, so I stopped. After all, I still write everyday at work. I tweet and 'gram and I journal a bit for myself using OhLife. But this year is going to be CRAZY and I want to put it out there, somewhere, without needing it to be funny and snappy (Twitter) or disguising it as a curated caption (Instagram).

 So. That's it, really it. Let's get started, shall we?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Bloomin' Gorgeous

A few months ago, my favorite florist, Amy Merrick, had a pop up at Steven Alan. (Favorite florist, is that even a thing? Whatever, blame Instagram.) I hightailed it over to Tribeca on a weekend—on a WEEKEND—to get an arrangement. I named a price and she created the most GORGEOUS, MAGICAL bouquet that has ever been seen. I took it home on the subway, obviously, and people open mouth gawked at the beauty.

Untitled

What. Even.

Untitled

And it died as it lived, getting prettier as it drooped further to each side. Until its spirit moved on. RIP O you flowers, who warmed my cold, black, not-at-all melodramatic heart.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Paris Part II: Les Monstres

Let us jump, friends, into part deux.

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled

We hopped up to Montmartre on the way to the Puces de Saint-Ouen.

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled

An excellent brunch at Marcel. Probably excellent because we just wanted eggs smothered in Hollandaise. And hoo boy did they deliver.

Untitled

Les Puces. What a strange, strange place.

Untitled

A mint tea at the Mosquée before heading into the Jardin des Plantes.

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled

Galeries d'Anatomie comparée et de Paléontologie. This was the motherload of bones and things in jars. Heaven.

Untitled
Untitled

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled

Les monstres!

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled

Fetuses!

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled

And then it was over. Adieu Paris, till next time.

Untitled
Untitled

Monday, May 13, 2013

Paris Part I: A Baguette A Day

One somewhat unexpected and incredibly rewarding finding from our Paris trip was that my French had not gone away. No, we landed and I hit the ground "running."* Not literally, but metaphorically! I was speaking French and I was doing it a-okay, everybody.

Paris, and France in general, is a charming place to an extent. At first, it was adorable that I had to pay 70 euro cents to enter the bathroom in the Gare du Nord. So I popped upstairs to the magazine stand and bought a Paris Pratique in exchange for les pièces. Upon realizing I still didn't have exact change, and neither God nor the lady running the bathroom would help, I popped into the downstairs magazine stand and flat out asked the man for "bathroom money." By the time I got back to where the boyfriend was exchanging money, he had had to queue in three different lines because... someone moved them. Paris!

The "but" of that whole story is that, while charming for a few days, France eventually becomes a weight on your shoulder that only American-caliber internet and tacos can solve. I did it for four months when I lived abroad, but it's funny seeing it through fresh eyes.**

There, I've just prefaced the second part of this trip. (Boyfriend explained the difference between English and French cultures with: "France is just a lot less... evolved.") But keep with you the fact that I got by—nay, triumphed!—with my French. Huzzah.

Untitled

Our first night in the aforementioned house boat was hilarious, amazing and possibly sea sickening. There's nothing quite like dozing off in a rocking boat with bateaux mouches sailing by.

Untitled

His first look at the Tuileries. I think he likes it, folks.

Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled
Untitled