Cherry Cola

Anytime I need to see your face
I just close my eyes
And I am taken to a place where your crystal mind and
Magenta feelings take up shelter in the base of my spine
Sweet like a drink of cherry cola

— Savage Garden “I Want You”

Three hours and $278 after I entered the Aveda salon yesterday (I bought some products so not ALL of that was for the salon services), I left again with goth-y looking magenta streaks glowing in my dark brown hair, the effect reminding me of cherry cola.

It was a long process – first we touched up my roots with my base color, a warm chocolate brown, then we did foils on specific strands to bleach them out. I sat and read for 20 minutes, and then we rinsed and washed my hair, DRYED it, and then Natalie and Zoila, her assistant, poured the three colors of Special Effects hair dye I’d brought with me, into three separate bowls, and started weaving color onto the strands we’d bleached today, and the strands that were still sort of reddish-pink from last time. Then, more waiting, another rinse and wash, a massage, and then we dryed my hair again. By this time most of the people in the salon were standing around wanting to see the final look. I felt very spoiled.

The over-all effect is that of natural highlights, except they’re an unnatural glowy magenta color. And yes, there will be pix, eventually – I had to dash from the salon to the arena for a ComedySportz show, and while I had energy, I wasn’t my best last night. I messed up a joke I should have sold, and just…felt overpowered.

It wasn’t a suckful show, it was just…odd. Off-kilter. And it was all of us, I think. Not just some of us.

In any case, today I’m catching up on a work-project and enjoying being home.

Baby Seals and Bribery

Fridays at ComedySportz are always a bit odd. Saturdays, we almost always have a full, if not packed, house, but Fridays are inconsistent, and we’ve found ourselves playing to as few as eight people before. Last night, we had a group of kids coming out for pre-Prom fun, and a group of pregnant women having a booze-free Girls Night Out. There were others, also – walk-in traffic, and some friends of one of the troupemates. It was an energetic crowd, really. But I wasn’t really focused on audience analysis, I was too busy trying not to be nervous about my first time as team captain.

CSz, as I’ve mentioned, and as anyone who’s been to a show knows, is improvisational comedy played as if it were a sport (hence the name), so we have two teams of playerz: Red and Blue, and after each round the audience votes to see who gets points. The teams have names, usually puns on local city names, but the names change and are there for the audience – we just know which color we are. Last night, I was the red captain.

Captains usually choose their teams games, and also make the decisions (with input) about who goes out to guess in guessing games, and stuff like that. There are also bits throughout the match where we challenge each other, or otherwise interact – the coin toss at the beginning, etc. Most of the time, the captain is the most senior player on the team. When I saw the (c) by name in the liners last week, and knew who else was ON those liners, I thought, “This is a typo.” But it wasn’t, and I told three people I’d get to be captain because I was excited.

And so we played. We opened with “Beastie Rap”, which Blue won. They played “Arms Expert” for their first game, and we played a really manic game of “Changing Emotions and Styles”, and we (red) won the round. Then Blue challenged us to “4-headed Broadway Star,” and we challenged them to “Dinner at Joe’s,” and they won that round. Audiences are generally fickle, and generally vote for whichever game they see last. Blue got to play “Five Things” – and we had some suggestions we’d never seen before – the celebrities chosen were Walter Cronkite and Pete Rose, a wakeboard was replaced with a seal (And BZ had to apologize after the game because he’d mimed clubbing a seal to death, and the audience groaned. He went through a long apology in which he said, “I want all baby seals to die in their sleep” and the audience didn’t like THAT much either, so finally he stalked off saying, “Just take the point already!” In the almost-year I’ve been with this group, it’s the first time I’ve seen an apology not work.

After half time, we played a “catchup” game. I’d been thinking about playing Blind Line, and talked about it with our director, who was running sound, and our ref, but then I changed my mind, because Blind Line takes a long time to prep, as the audience has to give lines, and we were running long, and I wanted to use volunteers, so we played “Slide Show” instead, and I sent ER to narrate, because, as I told him, his narrations are always deliciously mischievous. It was a disturbing game of Slide Show, with bigger responses than we usually get. “Story” was our next game, and I was so into listening to ER do a monologue at one point that I forgot to watch the ref, and was eliminated. We ended with “185” and then we got the final scores, and we’d WON. I know it’s all about entertainment, and we’re not supposed to care if we win or lose, but still, it’s fun to win.

Especially since as captain, I got to do the bit where I pretend to pay off the ref after the game. I’m not the best at slo mo or mine, and combining them is harder than you think, but our director said I’d done a good job, as I was leaving, so I’m happy, and psyched, and I get to go have my hair turned PINK today, and then I get to play again tonight, and WOW, CSz weekends are the BEST.

Sadness in E minor

Master cellist Msitslav Rostropovich died this morning in Moscow, and a part of me is thinking that the fact that I bought new strings for my own cello yesterday is some kind of precognitive tribute.

I’ve only ever heard him play in recordings – his version of the Bach unaccompanied suites is soul stirring – and I’ve seen recordings of him conducting as well. (Conductors, by the way, are hot. They just are. It’s intrinsic.) I’ve read some of his writings about the instrument, and I’ve seen video footage of his playing, his lithe fingers dancing over the strings, a merry gleam in his eye, as if he knows he’s the one in charge of the music, and we’re all just joining him on a journey.

He may not be quite as known among the masses as Yo-Yo Ma or Jacqueline DuPre (he taught the latter, by the way), but in classical music he’s the standard by which others are measured, the spiritual successor to Pablo Casals.

He was 80, when he died, which isn’t horribly young, but even so, it seems too soon.

I never knew him, only his music, but I’ll miss him.

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Friday’s Feast – 0704.27

How fast can you type?
90 words-per-minute for error-free.
Faster with typos.

What is your favorite online game?
None. I only rarely play computer games at all, and when I do they’re not online. However, I used to be an ardent MUSHer, which is how I met not only Fuzzy but a good number of my present-day friends.

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 as highest), how intelligent do you think you are?

That’s kind of a loaded question, isn’t it? Going by IQ, I’m in the top 2% of the (measured) population (I’m not going to share the official number.), but I’m terrified of spiders, some horror movies give me nightmares even though I KNOW they’re fiction, and I cannot cook a hamburger to save my life. So, forgive, me, but I’m not going to rate myself.

Main Course

Name three of your best teachers from your school years
I’ve been blessed with many, many amazing teachers, all in public schools (until college). But the top three?

  1. Ray Goodheart was my teacher at Palo Alto Pre-school in Golden, Colorado in 1975 & 76. He had us doing long division at the tender age of five, and made us spell multi-syllabic words with Alpha-bits before eating them. I last talked to him in 1988, when he told me his best San Francisco story just before I left for college.
  2. Earl White was a teacher at Georgetown (CO) Elementary school when I was there in 1977 & 78. I was only in his class for an hour or so a day, as I was in 2nd grade and he was in charge of 4th-graders, mainly (who, by the way, seemed really grown up at the time). I remember him as being tough but fair, and I also remember that he pushed me, and never let me get away with being lazy. I caught up with him via email a couple years ago, but never maintained the connection.
  3. Alison Warriner was the professor in charge of my expository writing seminar my freshman year at University of San Francisco, and she was amazing. She was a stickler for proper grammar, but then, her father wrote that hateful green textbook, Warriner’s Guide to English Grammar and Usage, so she came by it naturally. She was also warm, funny, and a little snarky, and I wish I’d had her for other classes. I did some of my best work in her seminar, and still have a copy of the first A I earned (and let me tell you, an A on an ALISON paper is only slightly less impressive than a Pulitzer prize).

What are your plans for this upcoming weekend?
I play at ComedySportz on Friday and Saturday evenings, and on Sunday a bunch of us are (theoretically) meeting at Scarborough Ren Faire where our troupe-mate Jill is a member of the cast. Oh, and, I’m having my hair done on Saturday afternoon. Yay, pink!

Thursday Thirteen: 0704.26

Thirteen Things about MissMeliss

13 Things That Begin with D

  1. Dabbling: I suck at commitment, and I like many, many things, so I tend to dabble in them. It suits me. It would suit me better if I were independently wealthy, however.
  2. Daisies: Such cheery flowers, and I don’t care if they’re the traditional yellow, the glorious Gerberas or the chocolate-scented brown cosmos, I like them all.
  3. Darjeeling: Oh, don’t get me wrong, I like most tea – including chai, and Earl Grey (hot), but Darjeeling is a little bit different, and a little bit darker. And more fun to say.
  4. Darkness: I like rooms to be quietly lit, not over-bright, and I think the dark parts of an image, the negative space, are as important as the bright and the positive. But I also tend to be drawn to dark themes – vampires, ghosts, almost anything created by Tim Burton or Joss Whedon. Check out my book and movie collection – all will be made clear.
  5. Dancing: I’m pretty suckful at just dancing, but I’m okay at tap and I’ve had lessons in some classic ballroom dance. Eons ago I took ballet, slightly more recently (one less eon?) I also took jazz. But even when I suck, dancing makes me happy.
  6. Decorating: Whether it’s changing the flowers in my vases to reflect my mood, changing the house decor to be in tune with the season or holiday, or re-arranging the furniture just to have a sense of new space, I love decorating.
  7. Depp, Johnny: My first exposure to him was in A Nightmare on Elm Street, but my appreciation only grew from there. Now? Well, I joke that he’s on my freebie list, but it’s his work – his always making the unusual choice – that I really admire.
  8. Diving: There’s something completely magical about viewing the world from beneath the surface of water. I still dream of cage-diving with sharks. Ahhh, someday.
  9. Dogs I like cats, but they make me sneeze. I “get” dogs. They’re sweet, loyal, protective, funny, clever and love you unconditionally. I have two – Zorro’s a 10-year-old chihuahua/JRT mix, and MissCleo is a seven-year-old mutt.
  10. Dolphins: If you’ve ever been face-to-face with one, you understand the zen of dolphins. They have this way of looking right into your soul.
  11. Doo-Rap It’s one of my favorite CSz games, because I like rhyming, and I like music, and most of the time I don’t suck at it. Actually, not-sucking at it is kind of a problem. I don’t like to fail, and it really brings out my competitive streak.
  12. Dragons: I’m not sure if I just have a thing for mythical creatures, or if it’s something deeper, but I’ve been drawn to dragons ever since I can remember.
  13. Dresden, Harry: He’s a wizard, and a detective, and yes, he’s a fictional character, but whether I’m reading about his latest exploits in one of Jim Butcher’s excellent novels, or watching him banter with Bob the Ghost on the Sci-Fi channel series, Harry makes me smile. He’s a dark figure who still manages to be a comfort-figure.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

It’s ALL About the Hair.

So, I’ve got an appointment with the lovely and talented (and way pregnant) Miss Natalie at the Cedar Hill Aveda on Saturday afternoon, to refresh the funky streaks we added to my hair and then refreshed last time. Because my hair is naturally dark, and because funky colors show up better on light hair anyway, it’s a multi-step process that involves bleaching the strands out to nearly white, then doing my usual bittersweet chocolate all-over color, wash, rinse, dry, *then* the funky streaks go in, repeat wash, rinse, dry.

I have a lot of hair. It’s not particularly long – it has a natural set point of somewhere between the top and bottom of the back of my bra, and anyway, it’s so heavy, I couldn’t take it if it were longer. This process takes about three hours. I get a lot of reading done. Or napping. We’ve found that the best way to do the funky color is just to have me recline over the sink – and since Aveda’s rinse chairs fold out flat, I get to nap and/or groove on the music while it sinks into my hair. They even bring me a blanket from the massage room. Consider it a special form of multi-tasking.

Anyway, Aveda no longer makes funky colors because while they ARE animal-product free, they’re not 100% organic. So Miss Natalie and I cut a deal: I would bring in color from a brand she recommended, and she’ll discount her service. I’m cool with this.

The brand she recommended is “Special Effects” and I ordered mine from Amphigory, a one-stop shop for all your goth beauty needs. I’m not actually all that goth, except inside, but I just love the funky hair colors.

Here is the direct link to their hair dye page. If you click the names of the colors, below the swatches, you can see the effects of the colors on Real People. I couldn’t decide which red or pink I wanted, so I ordered Devilish, Cherry Bomb, and Atomic Pink. Bear in mind, I’m not doing my whole head with this stuff – just streaks.

And on that note, my coffee is ready, and it’s time for work.