Glitteratti (or, Take a Lesson from Molly Brown)

I have to preface the two photos below with this information: I hate my hands. Everyone else in my family has my grandmother’s long, elegant fingers, strong nails, perfect dexterity.

Me? I have my grandfather’s stubby fingers, and my nails break if I breathe on them the wrong way. While I still own a cello, one of the reasons I never pursued it after high school is that you can’t be in an orchestra or chamber quartet if you can’t play a full-sized instrument (oh, they make 7/8 scale “ladies celli”, but those are difficult to find, or at least, high-quality ones are difficult to find, and horribly expensive when you can), and my hands are so small certain transitional and upper positions, are difficult for me.

My grandfather used to comfort my despair over my diminutive digits by reminding me that Molly Brown (the unsinkable one) had small hands also.

Ms. Brown wore fancy gloves and rings to show off her tiny hands and fingers. Me? I’m not really into rings (except my wedding and engagement bands) so I resort to nail polish. For the last several months, I’ve been having acrylic put on over my natural nails (no tips) because of the afore-mentioned breakage issue. Generally, I opt for solar nails (this refers to the manufacturer of the solution and powder, not any special daystar-related technique), which are designed to mimic a French manicure, pink bases, white tips.

Ever since dying my hair Blackberry and Indigo, however, I’ve had an issue with the fact that the purple in my hair stains the tips of my fingers. Today, Mai at ZiZi Pedispa in Arlington Highlands (shopping center, TX) suggested we use a color for the tips – she had glittery purple sitting out, and since I like purple and don’t mind a bit of glitter, that’s what we used.

Here, in crappy shots from my Blackjack cellphone, are the results:

Catching Up

I’ve been negligent about blogging here. I could list any number of things that were keeping me away, but the reality is, I’ve either been writing fiction, writing for work, prepping for my conference, or reading, and I feel like I’m gathering my energy. Also, I just don’t have a lot to say.

The weekend before last, we went to one of those seminars where they try to sell you a timeshare and give you prizes. We had no intention of buying anything, even when they offered to throw in everything from Callaway golf clubs to the kitchen sink, but we left with a gift certificate for 2 free tickets anywhere in the US (sadly, too late to use for San Francisco) and a seven-day car rental to use with them.

Not too shabby.

We also saw Hancock which was disappointing, largely because it was a black comedy for the first half than morphed into some weird romantic epic/action flick. The performances were fine. The script sucked.

We spent this last weekend at the movies as well, seeing The Dark Knight on Saturday afternoon, and both Journey to the Center of the Earth and Mamma Mia on Sunday. Gotta love matinees.

I also had my nails done, in preparation for my trip. I had a discount for services at a place Deb said was good, and we met there, and had some girly fun. I’m now sporting solar acrylics – I’ve never had fake nails before – but the cost is about the same, and it’s been two and a half days and they still look amazing. With normal nails, I can’t go two and a half hours without chipping or breaking something. They’re longer than I’m used to, however, and I can’t decide if I like the French Manicure look. Still, they look really good.

Two weeks to go.
Watch now as I panic.

Hairy Situations

The term “flat iron” always brings two images into my mind. The first is a scene from one of the Little House books, where Laura mentions that Ma put flat irons in the bed to warm the sheets on cold nights. Those, of course, were actually regular irons, not the flat irons we all know of, that are for hair.

The other scene is one from Little Women, and it’s the one where Jo is doing Meg’s hair before the ball, and she burns her sisters bangs because the iron tongs are too hot. I can’t imagine doing my hair with iron tongs, but I’ve done enough curling, crimping, and straightening to know that the best thing one can possibly use is something like the ceramic flat irons shown here:

Unlike the painted metal hair appliances I grew up with, the Misikko irons won’t stick to your hair – at least, not when used correctly. They don’t mention what may happen if you curl hair that’s already been gelled or sprayed the way we used to in high school (hey, it was the eighties. Space monkey hair was de rigeur). I suspect they wouldn’t be horribly impacted, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Even so, if ceramic hair irons are anything like ceramic cookware, they radiate more intensely at a lower temperature, and work way better than any alternative.

Flat irons are meant for straightening hair, anyway, so spray probably isn’t an issue. As someone who’s always had bone-straight hair, I’ve never had the pleasure of trying to iron mine, only attempts to curl it (which never works well, because my hair is heavy and fine, and the curls fall out), but it’s the rule of life isn’t it, that we who have straight hair always want curls, and the curly girls want their hair straight.

While I’m now an expert on how to care for color treated hair, especially funky colors, and have done every possible thing to my own hair (short of extensions) from cutting my own bangs (not recently, mind you) to having it spiral permed (I think I wanted to iron it when my perms were growing out), to sleeping in cornrows so I could have wild ripply hair the next morning, I can honestly say that I’ve never singed my hair so badly it came off on the curling iron.

I suspect if Jo March had used a ceramic flat iron for Meg, she wouldn’t have had that issue, either.