Saturday, January 31, 2015

The January Thaw & SAJ x ESPN

This is your lawn on Border Collie

I think I have now pinpointed what it is that bothers me about January.  The after Christmas blues contribute, but it's really the blah that comes with the January Thaw (I swear I wasn't trying to rhyme there, but Carrie Bradshaw moments are few and far between--so I'll keep it).  If you're not familiar with this concept, you probably live outside its drab reaches.  For a few weeks in mid-January, there is a break in the cold.  Snow melts, temperatures rise to 40F to 50F, the sky is plain and grey, and there is mud. Everywhere.  It's not a time anyone finds particularly enjoyable--we know it's a false spring and we know real winter follows it.  I can't say I remember being so bothered by it before I had Barbie.  Barbie is half Border Collie, which is the equivalent to canine cocaine.  She is impeccably well-behaved as long as she is exhausted.  So whatever the weather, we spend a lot of time outside.  She also is accustomed to lounging on white furniture, rides in my (tan interior) car, and playing at her BFF's house on white carpet.  When Barbie runs in the snow, cleaning her is a simple affair and merely a matter of drying her coat.  When Barbie runs in the mud, she needs a bath.  It means the January Thaw is not only unattractive and uninspiring, but inconvenient on a daily basis. 

Do you hear 'Tara's Theme'?

But just like clockwork, the Thaw ended last Sunday.  The ground is covered in snow again, the light is bright and energetic, the nights are blue instead of black, and Barbie is easily kept exhausted and clean.  I love winter and am always glad to see it return.  We're even expecting 6-10 inches of snow tomorrow! I don't think there is anything as striking as a landscape bedecked in snow, banishing the mud and grey to March.  Where it is at least softened and beautified by warm wind and daffodils. 
Also, if you can believe it--because I can't--I am planning on making "game food" and hosting some Super Bowl viewing.  I hate football and don't understand why people get so into it.  But I'm in the minority there, so I'm trying to embrace the part I do like.  Cooking and drinking.  I'll be apathetically cheering for the Patriots when someone tells me they get a point. I have a loose connection to a former Patriots player who went out of his way to be nice to me; so for his sake, I'm a Patriots fan.  Also, I love that they sort of cheat and keep getting away with it.  I only play sports where cheating is easy like golf and monopoly, so I respect their will to win.  The bigger question to me is: if clearly cheating is acceptable--why doesn't everyone else cheat, too? Seems the Patriots just navigate the NFL better.  I know.  ESPN will have me on air by next week.  I would get to reunite with my former tanning salon client, Kirk Herbstreit. I didn't know who he was and told him his tan was "kinda orange" and he should  tanning switch lotions. 

My 75th salad spinner broke, so I'm doing lettuce-less salads until I find a 100%
metal/glass/ceramic replacement.  Know of one? 

I was overdue for new sheet pans

Mise en place: where OCD thrives

So even if you're rooting for the team that's not the Patriots, at least enjoy the thought of me shrugging my shoulders throwing back a glass of prosecco (traditional football beverage) quizzically looking at the screen wondering what the hell is happening.  Do you watch the Super Bowl?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Building Appreciation for January

Let's just say January is my 12th favorite month.  One of my new year's resolutions was to be more positive.  I think there is a fine line between sarcastic wit and cynical asshole, and I'm often ending up on the wrong side of the tracks.  Do you know what does not make you feel more positive? Cutting sugar and carbs from your diet.  I'm snarky on a good day, take away pasta and wine--well, I can be downright venomous.  But I am coming out of that part of sugar withdrawl and feeling much better.  So rather than complain, I thought I would share some things I like about January. I intended to write ten things...but...settled with five. 
#3, vivid sunsets abound in January

5. Work.  It is particularly fun to be a hairstylist this time of year.  January seems to invigorate people and inspire them to change.  This means lots of radical makeovers.  I love this.  I think hair should evolve and change with us, and that a shift in haircolor or style can be incredibly uplifting.  Formulating color is genuinely fun for me and I love the challenge of a reinvention.  By the way, I've always felt anyone can have any haircolor.  It's merely a matter of finding a stylist capable of translating color to you and your complexion and lifestyle.  And I think if you've always wanted to try something different with your hair, you should.
Organic Advertising 

4. As I mentioned in my last post, I am so so so so glad reruns of  The Golden Girls are finally back on.  I would like to include the return of Downton Abbey but it's so bad now I feel like it's almost a parody of itself.  Doesn't really matter to me though.  As long as it's still filmed on location and Maggie Smith is there, I'll keep watching. It has become a ritual to text my best friend my reactions in real time to Downton

3. The sunsets in January are exceptionally beautiful. 
2.  I love the grocery store at Christmas, it's very festive.  The dark side is the onslaught of people who have apparently never been to a grocery store before.  You know the type--husbands sent by their wives who are holding everything up looking for one ingredient they've never heard of and they wrote down incorrectly.  With the holidays over, the grocery is empty once more. ahhhh...

1.  Although makeovers are plentiful at work, January slows way down.  The great thing about seasonality in a business is that your busiest times are usually balanced right away by a lull.  So this time of year, I have a lot more time off.  Most of which is spent with Barbie nearby.  I can't believe the 28th marks two years since I drove to Amish Country and adopted her.  I'm sure a lot of my friends think it's weird that I act like Barbie is my child, but I don't care (plus-the qualities that would make me an awful parent to a child make me a great parent to a dog).  The fact of the matter is that I got Barbie at a time when I needed stability and something to love.  Barbie forces me to come outside my head and see every little thing. 
She knows how to work a pose

Do you think Barbie remembers life before her memory foam mattress? 

Since I'm already being dramatic, I'll go ahead and share what I think sums up life with a dog best: In all our contacts it is probably the sense of being really needed and wanted which gives us the greatest satisfaction and creates the most lasting bond. -Eleanor Roosevelt
So...since I told you what I love about January, I want to know what you love about January? Maybe I can expand my list. By the way, cutting sugar and carbs is vanity/vacation related and not because I'm a good person like Janet, in solidarity with a sick friend.