Like a Mad Scientist… Kind Of?

I’m not really a qualified professional at anything (unless sitting on your ass for 95% of your life playing video games equates to ‘qualification’)… but that never stops me from trying to do things that should probably be best reserved for those with degrees, certificates, or classes and credits behind them.  Perhaps my worst offense to qualified ‘professionals’ is my die-hard devotion to do my own hair.  I know, madness, right?  Everyone has a hairdresser.  They are both your best friend and your worst enemy.  I, unfortunately, have yet to meet a hairdresser that achieves what I want (see: perfectionist) or will actually listen to me when I say something.  So, aside from the hair cut once or twice a year (the hair nazis are cringing right now)… I do pretty much everything else myself.

I know I mentioned before I was going to try the impossible–I was going to not only dye my hair but then highlight it… all on my own, without foil, without any prior skill or knowledge.  Foolish, maybe, but I prefer the term “adventurous”.  Like the time I had my husband (then fiance) bleach my hair for me.  Just a note to the ladies… don’t do this, not unless you suspect your husband is gay.  Men have no concept of “roots” and how they work.

I have naturally dirty blonde hair, it’s not so much brown as just… dirty.  I hate it.  My once golden locks now muddled by bastardized genetics.  Anyway, this is important because selecting the tone and darkness of dye depends on your “base” color.  My hair, at the time of dyeing it, was actually a terrible blonde/bronzey monstrosity.  Let’s just say that dyes don’t always mix well with your “base” color.  Lesson learned.

Anyway, I selected two widely available products.  I actually did this at the end of December, so I’m trying to remember.  I selected a darker than desired shade that would also blend in with my roots.  This is essentially what I request anytime I go to the hair stylist, because… my hair grows out like a week later and my roots tend to be darker than my natural shade.  Very annoying.


For this, I selected Garnier 100% Color Dark Natural Blonde.

I love Garnier products, I stand by them 100%.  Their haircolor is especially amazing for not drying out or damaging your hair, too, especially if you have already overprocessed your hair like I tend to do with all my hair products and heat.  It also maintains its vibrancy for a considerable amount of time, much longer than other products I’ve tried.

Unfortunately, they were out of Garnier’s Color Breaks, so I had to select something else on the fly.  I think I used one of Clairol’s highlighting solutions, but I can’t find it on their site.  It had an annoying comb that was supposed to make it “effortless” all it made it was “full of tangles”!  I dropped the comb after only a few tries.

I dyed my hair all over first and followed the instructions the highlighting solution gave me.  After drying my hair, I immediately started highlighting.  As I mentioned, the comb was utterly useless.  I took relatively small sections of hair, coated them, ran it through and then twisted to ensure it didn’t get caught in the rest of my hair.  I let it all sit for the recommended amount of time…

What I ended up with were not the pencil thin highlights the box suggests.  In fact, I’m not even sure how someone could get those unless they spent hours getting pin-sized amounts of hair.  Remember, this is essentially bleach that you’re highlighting with and you don’t want to fry your hair (I know allll about this one…)… so that option really sucks.  It’s a good thing I like chunky highlights!

The end result was pleasing to me.  I managed to get everything even and while it wasn’t as light as I wanted, it still turned out rather well.  I’m very pale, so I have to be very careful when coloring my hair.  It’s amazingly easy for me to make myself look washed out with just a slight miscalculation of tone/etc.


I can't take serious pictures. I must make silly faces.

I got incredibly lucky with the color selection on this one.  The two colors blended perfectly and so my highlights weren’t so much “in your face” as they were a subtle lightning factor to the overall coloring.  Needless to say, highlighting definitely brings something to the table when it comes to adding texture and variety.  I’ll continue to do it… and with my hair a bit darker now, I won’t have to worry about dyeing it every month or so.  Sitting here now, I can see my roots, but they’re not as “out there” as they would be with a lighter color.

The most important factor here is how much I spent.  I got, essentially, the same thing done (only lighter color) before my wedding and it cost me upwards of $80… and this wasn’t a salon, it was a freelancer.  If it had been a salon, you’re talking maybe $100.  I have incredibly thick and difficult hair.  How much did I spend all together on this?

Less than $20.

Living out on your own and discovering the true expense of things really opens your eyes.  I guffaw at all the times my parents threw $100+ dollars on average to get my hair done before.  This is so much cheaper!

A Very Exhausting Christmas…


I am usually pretty exhausted after the “holidays”… all that familial gathering and socialization, it’s just a bit too much for someone like me.  This year, however, really tested the limits.  At the last moment, we were informed that no one was doing anything for Christmas.  It was almost as if Christmas had been canceled entirely.  It’s worth noting that the husband and I do the “rotational” thing with holidays and our families.  One family gets Thanksgiving, the other family gets Christmas and it switches back and forth every year.  So, this year Thanksgiving with my family, Christmas was his… only, well, there wasn’t any Christmas.

Understandably, the husband was upset.  This was his only chance to really see “all” of his family, together, and it was gone.  We spent all of Christmas Eve running around–I got my hair cut, we went to eat, did some shopping, and even grabbed some last-minute groceries so I could at least cook something for Christmas day.  I was completely intent on making the husband feel better by any means necessary.  So, we decided we’d just do lasagna and go visit his grandparents on Christmas.  The in-laws ended up visiting Christmas Eve and found out about our dinner plans, so they wanted in.

We went to his grandparents early on Christmas day only to find out that his uncle’s family was doing something because no one else was.  They were going out to eat and had reservations with some friends.  We caught them before they left, so at least the husband got to see some of his family on Christmas.  They were really upset they had to go–they had no idea we were coming up.  By the time we got back to the apartment, it was time to cook.  I ended up cooking for my in-laws for the first time ever… that was an experience.  We watched a Christmas movie, they played with Loki, and then they left and the husband and I just sort of relaxed and watched some more movies.

Today was the annual Christmas party that my husband’s father’s side has every year.  I’ve only met his grandparents and his aunt and uncle that live in Michigan (they were at the wedding).  So, it was definitely jarring.  They were all nice to me, though and I got to meet my husband’s eccentric second-cousin Gene, who is the talk of the family.  He’s the guy every family has–never really found his niche, has a new scheme/plan every month, and never really seems to settle on any one thing.  He goes through women and careers like most people go through clothing.  He’s a nice/interesting guy, though.  An amusing fact, my father-in-law broke his ribs.  Funny story, Gene jokingly said he could take my father-in-law, came at him with some karate, and my father in law just grabbed him and flipped him over his back.  He didn’t mean to hurt him, but yeah.  Funny.

I also got to see his grandparents house, which is another rumored but never-seen thing for me.  They are pack rats, they keep everything. They have newspapers from the 50s, for crying out loud.  Definitely lived up to all the hype, wow.  My husband’s grandfather records every western he can get his hands on and has all the videos catalogued in a notebook.  He has like five hundred tapes!

After all of that, I’m exhausted.  Tomorrow is husband’s last day off before another short work week.  We’re going shopping.  Both his maternal grandparents and my maternal grandparents gave us significant sums of money; husband is in dire need of clothes.  So, we’re off to brave the sales!

Also, husband’s present is the one pictured at the top.  I love wrapping!  I helped my grandma every year, for years and years.  I’ve gotten quite good at it and I love embellishing.  Husband took the picture.  He only thought of it after he’d started trying to open it.  He felt bad ruining my work.

Fuck Yes, Christmas!

You know, I’ve kind of figured out that if you want a good Christmas present, you’ve got to get it yourself.  I think my parents taught me this when I provided concrete evidence that Santa was a lie and gave my list of demands.  My parents gave a collective sigh of relief and from then on, each Christmas was preceded by a shopping trip to Hills or whatever had a huge toy aisle, with me filling the cart with my heart’s shallow desires, all to be put on layaway for Christmas day.

So, yeah, Christmas stopped being a surprise around the time I was seven.  It took me that long to catch my parents “holding the bag”, so to speak.  And now, as an adult, I’ve found that again… if I want a banging Christmas present, I have to pretty much outline it, in immense detail, to the husband… or buy the damned thing myself.

I’ve been lusting over these for months.  They were ridiculously expensive, but have since gone on sale.  Now they are on their way to me, my lovely Christmas pretties.

We got $200 from each set of grandparents and I just used mine. One might ask, “why didn’t you use that money for one of the five cavities you currently have–two which will require root canals and expensive caps to replace your surfaces?”

To those naysayers, I will simply say, are you fucking insane?  Fuck cavities–BOOTS!

Sorry, folks, the cavities are only the tip of the iceberg.  Collectively, $600 to fix, BUT I also have $800 a tooth afterwards, on six or seven teeth.  It’s moot point, never going to happen.  So I don’t fucking care anymore.

The Heat is On


Christmas List

  • Dad - limited edition and exclusive to Eagles sweatshirt
  • Mum - Framed pictures of Kia (requested)
  • Grandparents - Flowers & Card
  • Grandma (paternal) - $50 K-Mart Card (requested)
  • HusbandRidiculously expensive electric shaver & surprise…
  • In-Laws???

I’ve got the majority of my Christmas list taken care of.  As per usual, I had to do everything… right down to the brainstorming, purchasing, etc.  Sigh.  I still don’t know what we’re going to do for the in-laws.  They are the type of people who are almost impossible to buy for and if my father-in-law wants anything… at this point, he can buy it himself.  The money he is making with this financial thing is downright ridiculous.  They’ve climbed several tax brackets–yikes!

Understandably, the husband is a bit down about this.  His issue is that his father never went to college and he’s making ridiculous money whereas my husband has his Masters in Chemistry and is making less than most people without college degrees make.  West Virginia pays pittance to its civilian employees, in case you were wondering.  Probably not the best career move to make.  Go to Ohio, they pay their forensics people nice.  I should state that my father-in-law is extremely good with money, has been his entire life, and is not your ‘average joe’.  He had every opportunity to go to college and that famous military academy pretty much all but begged him to go there, but he refused.  He didn’t want to leave my mother-in-law, they weren’t married yet.

It’s a crappy situation all around, especially since father-in-law won some week vacation trip package of his choosing for his earnings.  I’m just sort of sick of hearing him whine about it when I ask questions and encourage my father-in-law; he doesn’t get it from husband or mother-in-law and this job seems to make him so happy.  My husband isn’t a big fan of this time of the year, so he’s usually pretty dicky, but this is just getting ridiculous.  He’s also all mopey because I figured out what he got me… it’s his own fault, he failed to react and I figured it out.  It’s not a bad gift, but, I don’t know.  He got me this high-quality HP printer that does all kinds of awesome photos/etc.  It’s the same one my pap got.  We had initially planned on getting it with wedding money, but that didn’t pan out.  I appreciate the thought, but with all the mystery and everything he was spouting off about… I was expecting something romantic?  I don’t know.  It’s like getting a vacuum for Valentine’s Day.

I have a hair appointment scheduled on Christmas Eve.  How insane is that?  It’s the only way they could fit me in, I am their last appointment.  Oh well, it’s still technically before Christmas and I can just come home and dye my hair.  My hair needs cut, badly.  It hasn’t been touched with scissors since June, before we left for Key West.  Agh!  The horror.  I have dye waiting, I’m trying something new, going to try doing an all over dye and then highlights myself.  I’m sure I’ll make a post on it, if only to remind myself how the hell I did it after it’s done.

Same-Old Christmas Obligations


Is it just me or does it not feel like Christmas  at all?  We’ve got the tree up, the windows and porch decorated… but it still doesn’t feel like December or Christmas.  Maybe we need to spend more time out and about.  I love going to the mall and stores during Christmas, all the decorations and the music.  We’ll need to do that, I haven’t had a good, no-rush shopping day in a long while.

Since we don’t have a lot of money this year, we’re going the “thoughful” gift route.  I’m planning on sending my grandma a nice little centerpiece and then a card for both of them with some mushy stuff written in it.  They’re suckers for that kind of thing.  For my mum, since she has no pictures of Kia, I was going to get a good one printed out, frame it, include a card and mail it to her.  Dad is still up in the air, as are the in-laws.  No clue what we’re doing there.

Not really sure what to get the husband.  We agreed we’re not going “all out” this year on one another like we did last year, but I still want to get him something nice.  With our funds combined now, though, it’s trickier.  I found a really awesome deal on a $100+ electric razor he’s wanted (we’re talking like $40!), but that’s more a gift for me because he’ll be better shaven.  I want to get him something he can enjoy, too… will have to think about it more.  Wish he hadn’t rushed and bought that one game he wanted.

I doubt he’s given any thought to my gift at all yet.  Not because he’s careless, he just… doesn’t think.  It’ll probably hit him the weekend before or something.

Tomorrow, I have to get my teeth cleaned for the first time in years.  I am dreading it.  I have false surfaces that are on their last legs and I am so worried she’s going to pop one off by accident.  I know they’re going to tell me I need a dozen things capped and fixed, but we can’t afford it right now.  I’m only going through with it to appease the husband and everyone else nagging me.  He has to get a filling tomorrow, too.  Our appointments are at the same time and that means a half-day for him.  I wonder if I can convince him to spend the rest of the day shopping since we’ll be down that way, anyway.

He put everything in my new, full-sized tower today, too, while I napped.  I’m so tired lately, even if I get a full night’s sleep, I still want more.  Anyway, everything is working fine, but damn this tower is loud and cold… my poor legs are freezing!  We forgot our SLI bridges at the in-law’s, so we’ll pick those up tomorrow, too.  My other tower was too small to handle SLI with two huge cards and my hard drives.  They’d fit, but overheat.  Everything should be fine in this one.

Time to check on the husband… he’s baking Gateaux Bon Bon things he learned to make in French class in High School for the Christmas thing they’re having at work.