Let’s Talk About My Hair

So, I just put in for a transfer to a position in Albany!

There were, like, two positions in the whole company that I wanted, if they opened up, and one did! Yay! 


I have been commuting to Eugene 3 days a week since December, and we almost up and moved there, because the hour commute each way was just no good. I applied for this position less than 5 minutes after it was posted.


I kind of just expected to be given the position, honestly, but the company has been doing some restructuring, and trying to make everything a little more official and above board, so, long story short, I have to wait for a week to see if anyone else applies, and if they do, I have to interview for the spot.


No big deal.

First, I kind of doubt anyone else will apply. Overnight shifts aren’t popular. And, second, even if they do, I’m good at interviewing, and I think I have a really good chance of getting it.


And I’m kind of, sort of… just a little bit, hoping that I’ll have to interview.

Why? Wouldn’t it be better to just get it by default?

Yes. It would.


If I have to interview for the position, I have a good reason to dye my hair brown.


My hair, you see, is somewhat of a problem.


When I got accepted into the computer science program, I sat down with myself and really thought about the fact that I am going to keep working for the same company, in the same position, for another entire year or more. I’m not looking. I’m not interviewing. I’m just keeping my head down, doing my job, and finishing my school.


Then I started thinking about pastel hair.


My company doesn’t care what we look like. Really. Not at all. Often, when a new relief staff will come in, fresh out of college, with a cute outfit on, and her hair done, big mascara eyes blinking at all the middle aged men in the homes, who don’t usually have any interaction with women except for staff, I sigh and roll my eyes and get ready for all the extra behaviors we’re going to have that day.


Sometimes it’s handy, though, because I can say “Hey so-and-so, can you go ask Elmer* to shower?” because Elmer hasn’t showered in a month, but Elmer loves pretty girls, and he’ll probably do whatever she asks him to.


*Elmer is not his real name of course. Such a funny guy. Never talked in anything but monosyllables, until one day we’re at the grocery store, and the checkout girl is a pretty blonde. The guy makes chit chat. Chit chat! I was floored. He had a serious thing for blondes.


Anyway, what I’m saying is, it’s best to be nondescript at work, generally. Not saying I don’t use the eye-bat, “Would you do that…? For me? Please?” occasionally, to good effect, but I do it in stretchy pants with no make-up on, and that works out just fine.

It means that I can do the, “Hey. What time is it? Do we turn our radios up to eleven at this time of night? Do we?” to equally good effect.


Okay, so. My hair.


Once I came to terms with the fact that I was going to be staying put for an entire year, and then hopefully entering the work force in some sort of a professional computery capacity, I decided that it was high time to do something fun and wild with my hair, before I had to be a real, normal-looking adult for the foreseeable future.


I decided that the answer was, purple.

I bleached my hair, twice, and it turns out that I kind of look good blonde. I didn’t think I would like, it, but.. I kinda like it.



See? It works.


(Warning: this is the best looking I will be for the entirety of this entry)


The next step was dying it purple. That first day, I dyed it three times, and left the dye on my hair basically forever. It turned… not purple. Not really anything. Just kind of… blonde. Maybe a slightly grey blonde?


Here is the very closest thing I ever got to purple. This was… somewhere in the middle. I lost track.



It looks pretty cute, right? I dunno, I liked it. Unfortunately, more often, my hair looked like this.




Blue. Not all over blue. Just kind of splotchy, patchy kind of sort of sometimes blue. In other parts, blonde. But not nice blonde. Grey, blotchy bluish blonde. Unfortunate.


So I chopped it off, (to which I say, thank god. I was utterly over long hair. Especially after I fried it into a crisp, but I was done with it long before that anyway).


I asked the hairstylist why my hair wasn’t purple. Also, why it wasn’t… anything, in a lot of places. He gave me some tips, and then I got a haircut that looked really cute. Until I washed it, and tried to style it myself, after which it looked pretty much like total crap.






I took the tips, and bought a new type of dye. At this stage, my hair is pretty much the same color all over! And, I assert that that color is something close to a pastel shade!


What it is not, however, is purple.

Give you a hundred guesses what that dye was called, based on my hair color.

Purple plum.

Whatever purple plum. You’re the worst.


If you look at that last picture, you can see that I’ve got some roots going on, right there at the part. Guess what? I was styling my hair and holding my head just so, so that my roots looked that minimal, Truth was, they were brutal. They just got worse.

The bizarre part was, I was bleaching them! Or, I was trying.

I put the stuff on, and waited and waited and… brown.

Apparently my developer had gone bad. Who knew?


My hairstylist knew. I went back again, with some specific instruction for what I wanted (and a request to see someone different then last time, because, seriously? Ugh.) I did not get what I wanted, but I got something cute, anyway, as well as a list of things I needed from Sally’s Beauty Supply.


You want to know how bad my roots got? When I got done bleaching them (it worked this time), this was the result!




And you know what? I think it’s cute. The roots are long enough to make the it look like the two tones are almost… intentional. I left it like this for a week or so until I had the chance to dye the blonde part pink.

But, you know what’s sad? That picture was taken after I dyed it pink.


Apparently, my hair hates all colors other than blue. My hair rejects red. It denies purple. It repudiates pink.

And I never wanted it to be blue.


At this point in the tally, I am the proud owner of 5 partially used tubs of hair dye (brands various), a giant tub of blue flash bleach, two different types of developer (one spoiled), several various applicator bottles, brushes, bowls and other ephemera, and a purple shower.

I’ve also had 2 haircuts within weeks of each other, and have spent countless hours bothering with this crap.


I’m sick of it. I just want it to be brown again, and never to have to worry about it ever again. But, I don’t want to feel like I gave up. I don’t want to waste all of that product, and time and effort.


So… if I can just have to interview for that job, I can pretend that it was totally necessary, and go buy that box of Revlon medium brown hair dye and…


Hope that my hair turns brown again, because at this point? Who knows.




Posted in Hair 'n' Nails 'n' Stuff | Leave a comment

A Somewhat Sudden Change of Direction

I just finished my last midterm this morning, and it feels so nice to be done! Only problem is, I’m feeling so good that I’m not sleepy, and it’s already 1:30pm! I have got to get to bed!


Yep, that’s what’s going on today, but I guess, for it to make any sense, I should probably give a little bit of back story.

First, didn’t I graduate two years ago?
And second, why on earth should I be sleeping in the early afternoon?

Actually, I should answer the second one first and the first one… anyway.

I am currently working a noc shift at work (12 hour shifts, 3 days a week) which is perfect for me right now, because… I’m back in school!

I started an online program for people who already have a bachelors, to get a B.S. in Computer Science! It’s really great. I can do it at night when I’m at work, and the program is based out of OSU, in Corvallis. So now, I’m an OSU student. I never would have thought.

It’s a bit of a departure from my previous trajectory, but I really think it’s the right decision. There have been a couple clues along the way…

1. Like, a year ago, my mom said that I should maybe look in to taking some computer classes, and look into working in computers. I said that she should get a clue, as working in psychology was clearly my passion… Ooops!

2. When I took a single programming class in college (my very last class, actually), I got an effortless A+, an offer of an internship, and the suggestion that I go to grad school for cognitive modeling (which is a combination of psych and CS). He was stunned that I had never done any other programming. Huh!

3. I really like computers. I think they’re nice.

4. I actually got a really “good” job as a manager for a company that is… pretty similar to where I work now. It made me utterly miserable. I quit after a month. Clearly, I was not on the path to a career that I actually wanted, and needed to find something new!

So, now I am learning C++, and taking my first math-ish class in… a long time. I love it! I find it absolutely satisfying, and I am so excited to keep going and eventually work in this field.

Plus, it means that I have a new laptop, so I can once again type in comfort (and style…).

This was the very first program we wrote (slightly modified).

First Program

It’s kind of amazing looking at that and realizing how far I’ve come in 6 weeks…

Posted in Computers!, Corvallis, The Future, The Past | Leave a comment

Hot Springs

Tristan and I went on a delightful little adventure the other day.

I am so incredibly spoiled. I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have access to stunningly gorgeous nature whenever I want it. We decided to try to find Terwilliger (Cougar) Hot Springs, which are about an hour east of Eugene.


This is the view into Cougar Reservoir. The reservoir was pretty low, but we were also pretty high up. There was a little bit of snow on the side of the road, which made me ask Tristan if he really expected me to get naked in the woods at this time of year. He reminded me that it was my fool idea in the first place.
We hiked in, past some shady looking characters who were helpful in pointing toward the large column of steam that probably should have indicated the location of the hot springs, now that I think about it.

The springs are absolutely gorgeous.


We were lucky, we had pools all to ourselves when we got there. An older couple were just putting on their shoes when we arrived, and I stood around awkwardly for about 15 minutes before realizing that they had no intention of leaving anytime soon. Tristan, who has no problem with public nudity was not particularly understanding. I had my emergency swimsuit at the bottom of my bag, just in case, but I was a brave little toaster, and found a corner of the pool that was not in the direct sight line of two middle aged, fully clothed strangers and slipped into the hot spring, where, at least I was dressed in water. Tristan, of course, happily disrobed right next to the men, chatting about god knows what and merrily bounced himself down the stairs. He is infuriatingly self-confident.


This is the top pool, of four. It’s the deepest and also the hottest, being, obviously, the closest to the spring. It’s usually very hot, but for us it was just warm. It soon became clear why, as it started to hail. As Tristan pointed out, “Water cools down when you dump a bunch of ice in it.” The hail was actually really fun. It bounced off all the rocks and got in our hair.

We got to the springs pretty late in the day, around 4, and assumed that we would be the last ones there, since they supposedly close at dusk. Apparently nobody follows any of the rules, (which are no smoking, alcohol, glass containers or lewd behavior, which we saw all of, except the last one), because people were arriving pretty steadily as it moved into evening. The first person besides us was a friendly guy who brought a whole papaya to eat in the pool, which was unusual, but he offered us a piece, and it was delicious.


I think we will be coming here often this spring. I was sad to leave the gloriousness of Santa Cruz, but there is so much beauty here also. I am so excited to discover more of the hidden gems of Central Oregon.

Posted in Adventure, Beaux, Corvallis, Santa Cruz | Leave a comment


When Tristan and I moved into our new house, a really sweet co-worker of mine gave us a houseplant. It’s a really pretty tropical one with big, flat leaves, with bright red and yellow veins. Like responsible cat owners, we googled “tropical plant with big, flat leaves, etc” and discovered that it is a Croton. (And, yes, they are toxic. We hung it from the ceiling.)


Now I have a… the opposite of a green thumb? I do not have a way with plants, is what I’m saying. I kill them. So, I named this plant Crouton. Crouton the Croton. Perhaps I hoped it would remind me to water it. Sadly, Crouton is now as dry and crunchy as his namesake.
(“But, maybe I can nurse it back to health!” says Tristan. “Maybe we can buy a new plant before the party on Saturday and pretend that we are responsible plant owners,” says I.)

So, what I’m trying to say is, I want to have a really nice garden this year, and it is going to be a big challenge. I will have to fight off all my plant murdering instincts if I want this thing to succeed.

We have kind of an interesting space for a garden, at this house. There were several things I wanted in a house. A big kitchen, the ability to have a washer and dryer inside the house, a nice, wide front porch, and a yard for a garden. I really meant, a back yard for a garden, but what we ended up with was a big front porch…


Which is great, and which I will fill with pots and containers.  It would be nice if it ever got any sun, but you can’t have everything. And…


this… space. This front/side yard area.

And, you know what? Maybe it’s a good thing. I can get really creative with my tiny space and make it really interesting. First thing, though, we removed this awkward fence that separated the sad little “front yard” from the sad little “back yard,” taking two completely useless spaces and making one kind of neat lawn. You can see where the fence was, though. It’s neatly outlined by the huge ugly dirt trench. So, today I spread some grass seeds. Soon the trench will be but a distant memory. Or, it won’t work, and I’ll go buy some lime and some more grass seeds and THEN it will be… anyway.


Ira is investigating the grass seeds.
I was planning to put a couple raised beds along the fence, there, but then I went to the Habitat for Humanity store and found these awesome drawers!


Who needs lumber when you have pre-made boxes, with the option to put adorable handles on them, and paint them colors, and… here’s the big idea, stack them into several different layers!


Here’s my first hole made by my very own first power tool. I’m sold. Power tools are awesome.
So, that’s the big project right now. Gardening extravaganza. I really want to get a few of the boxes done, and start a few really early crops like peas. I also wanted to get all the “before” pictures up before I start doing much work, so that I can look back once I really start changing things. We’ve made the inside of the house really cute and liveable. Now that it’s marginally above freezing, I want to start making our outside space really cozy too.


Posted in Cat Friend, Garden, House, The Future | Leave a comment

What do you do when you’re done with everything? How about an Epiblogue?

As I lay pitifully on the couch this weekend, arm lolling and flapping to draw Tristan’s attention to my sorry plight, I asked myself,
“Self, what is wrong with you? Are you sick?”
“Yes,” I said. “I am definitely sick. Sick, sick sick. Sick with a real and definite illness. Maybe a migraine, or possibly the flu. ”
“Really?” I asked. “What are your symptoms? Does your head hurt?”
“No, not really. It feels sort of… foggy, though. Does that count?”
“No. Do you have a runny nose? Are you coughing? Nauseous? Do your muscles ache?”
“Ooh, yes! The last one! My muscles ache. Well… not ‘ache’ per se, but they definitely feel somewhat disinclined to move, except to flop pitifully to emphasise how very terribly sick I am.”
“Ah.” I said, from a place of sad clarity. “You, self, are bored. Bored to the point of depression. Bored to the point of wishing you were sick in order to have something to do.” 
“Oh. Yes. I think that might be true,” I agreed, sitting up. “I should do something about that.”

You see, we moved recently. In November. We had been casually looking at houses for rent for a while, and had actually stopped actively visiting houses, because we had decided not to move right away. Until one day we were out walking, and saw a For Rent sign, and it was meant to be.


Isn’t is cute? I love the big front porch.

Since then life has been full of packing, and unpacking, organizing, re-arranging, hanging, etc.
In December, I discovered (for the second year in a row) that you are still expected to come to Christmas bearing gifts, even when you just spent all the money you have on moving. So, I spent quite a bit of time making gifts, and trolling all five of my favorite thrift stores in Albany, and three more in Corvallis.
After returning from a five day jaunt in California, I returned to my thrift store circuit to purchase the things we needed for life in this new house. We bought two new couches (loveseats) because the doors in this house are only 31.5” wide. Our couch is 34” wide at it’s smallest point, and was not inclined to squish. It lives on the porch now. We also needed a washer and dryer, and lots of small things like a shower rod, lots of storage bins and baskets for this bizarre house with two bedrooms but only one closet, and a cast iron aebleskiver pan, because when you find a cast iron aebleskiver pan at Goodwill, you buy it. Especially when you recently acquired a kitchen big enough for two people to be in at once without touching.

But this weekend, something weird happened. I looked around the house, and it was clean. It was swept and vacuumed. Everything was put in its place. There were no boxes or piles, no pictures leaning against walls waiting to be put up. It was done. And on Monday, I went to the thrift stores, and looked through all the things, but couldn’t find anything I wanted, because, I realized, there was nothing that I was looking for. We had everything. And so, on Tuesday, I found myself in the sorry state state described above.

I think I’m going to take up gardening. I’m also going to look for opportunities to volunteer. I also discovered that I can type
up blog entries on the computers at work* so I really hope that I will update on both of those plans in the very near future. I’m pretty sure this is going to be the year of Operation: Too Many Zucchinis! 

*I don’t really have a laptop any more. I mean, I have it, but it produces an alarming buzzing noise if I leave it on for too long. Something about the fan. And while the ipad is satisfactory for my browsing needs, for content production, it leaves something to be desired. I’ll see how easy it is to post like this when I get home tonight. Anyway, if this works I will hopefully start updating this blog again, because it’s fun, and I like doing it.

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Whatever happened to the month of July?

I find that time is getting away from me, lately. The month of July has been a blur of activity upon activity. I have been out of town three times. I feel as though I haven’t seen the cats in weeks. Today Tristan and I started getting the house back in order, after ignoring its dilapidation in favor of packing and unpacking, working, entertaining, and, especially, whenever possible, resting and sleeping.

I was surprised just now to look and see that I had not written anything since April. That seems wrong, but I suppose it isn’t. I can tell you what happened in May and June, though. I don’t even have to try to think about it.

In May and June Tristan was sick.

Tristan had been getting sicker and sicker for months, but May and June were the worst. He was dizzy and nauseous. He could not get out of bed. Life, for me, for those two months consisted of working and caring for him. Seeing as I am also a caregiver at work, I found myself profoundly exhausted.

I don’t mean to make myself sound exceptionally self-sacrificing, or to say that these two months were nothing but a joyless slog of woe. On days when Tristan was feeling better, and when I was in a good mood, we would spend hours laughing and playing around. We had a lot of fun. We just did it in the confines of the tiny upstairs bedroom where he spent all of his time.

I suppose it is understandable that I didn’t have a lot to say during that time, because documenting a series of neurology appointments, EEGs, MRIs, psychiatrist appointments and ER visits, which resulted in basically nothing at all would be as fruitless as it would be tedious.

(As a side note, my job during those two months was indeed a joyless slog of woe, but that it another story, and, as it has resolved itself and work has returned to being perfectly acceptable, I will not document that part of my life and endeavor to put it from my mind.)

Around the middle of June, Tristan suggested to his doctors that his medication might be causing his symptoms. He has been tapering off of it, since then, and it seems like he may have been right. It could also be a coincidence, and he may have just started getting better on his own. The doctors are as mystified as the rest of us.

July 8th was Tristan’s birthday. It also happens that the 8th of July was our relationship’s half-birthday, or our bi-anniversary, I suppose. He was feeling a lot better, and decided to take me to the coast for the weekend.

We stayed at an older resort in Yachats, OR called The Adobe. We had a room with a back door that opened onto the ocean. I was able to walk right out to the edge of the lawn outside our door, hunker down behind some weeds and take this picture.

Tristan had been cooped up in that room so long, feeling so terrible, that he got very excited about his ability to move and be outside. He scrambled over all the rocks on that shore. He told me that we had to get to the beach waaay over there before the tide came in, so we better get going right now! I told him that he looked like a bunny rabbit.

This is not the beach waaay over there. This is a beach tucked between some rocks, which I declared to be a fair compromise, and the farthest point to which I would be adventuring. We had the beach entirely to ourselves, and took off our socks and shoes to run in the waves for a while. The wind almost blew away our socks and shoes, though luckily they did not get very far. Oregon beaches are not like California beaches, I have noticed. Not very much like them at all. Very beautiful, though.

Tristan doesn’t like to have his picture taken, though I have been given special dispensation a few times. He especially doesn’t like to have his picture posted online. Shadows are alright, though, I understand.

A few hours after this picture, after we had scrambled back across the rocks and back to the hotel room, Tristan, curled miserably on the bed, asked me why he felt so sick again. I told him that it was probably because he had used all his energy in being a bunny rabbit.
He agreed that that was what had done it and declared it absolutely worth it.

The weekend after that, we went on a three-day-long pirate-festival camping adventure, and, this latest weekend, found ourselves in Bend, with my parents and their best friends, who had come up to visit for my birthday, which is coming up on Friday. July has been so much fun, and I am satisfied and exhausted. I think that what I would really like for my birthday, is just to relax and to stay right here.

Posted in Adventure, Beaux, Family | Leave a comment

Grow Too Many Zucchinis

It’s been a while since I’ve thought about my Life List. It may just be time to update it. Let’s see, what is it that I want to do now?
Move to Portland, definitely.
Collaborate on music with Tristan? We’ll give it a shot.
Order business cards with LPC after my name. One day.

I started to think about the list again, after being told, with great disdain, that I might accomplish one of my goals very soon.
“Oh, now, don’t go to wild with the zucchini seeds. Everyone is always trying to give them away at my church at harvest time. You don’t want us to have too many zucchinis, do you?”
Yes. In fact, I do.

This weekend I planted flowers and a small vegetable garden at work. I’m rather proud of them. I just realized that this is actually the first bit of real, in-the-ground planting I’ve done since I was a kid, helping my mother with her garden.

I have discovered that I really like it. At least, I do so far. I’m waiting to see if anything… grows. You know what I mean?

This is one of my flower borders. I purchased a flat of sorbet pansies. I think that pansies are delightful. And apparently they can grow in snow! The garden store lady said so. Maybe pansies aren’t such pansies after all.

I made these cute little signs to mark the different produce. This is the only good picture of the Strawberry sign I will ever get, though. Those water drops seeped into the (apparently useless) self-laminating plastic I put on it. Bah.
They’re still readable though, so I guess they’ll do.

This is Vegetable Patch #1: Strawberries and Brussel Sprouts. “Strawberries and brussel sprouts?” one of my coworkers asked. Yes. Strawberries and brussel sprouts! When I went to the plant store, they told me that the summer vegetables weren’t in yet, so I bought some damn brussel sprouts, ok? And then I found a big plastic tub, where someone had apparently planted strawberries some time ago. Well, they had popped up, so I took them out of their tub and threw them in with the brussel sprouts! You got a problem with that?
(My actual response to her query was, I think, a shrug. I also think that the shrug more accurately portrays my feelings regarding patch-plant combinations.)

I stole the rocks from a rose, by the way, who didn’t really need them anyway. Shuttling rocks from the rose to the garden, and arranging them just so, made me feel like a penguin. This one less so, though, than the second patch, which I made into a perfect circle. It is a perfect nest. The penguin nest garden will become a zucchini hillock. As they seedlings were not at the garden store yet, and because there is the potential for one more big storm before summer (really, Oregon?) I haven’t planted them yet. I should have them in by mid-week, I’d say. And then, I hope, I will proceed to grow entirely too many zucchinis.

Posted in Corvallis, The Future | Leave a comment