Keepin’ It Short

Progress report on my awesome ‘do.  I’ve got about an inch and change of growth since the buzz down. The curls are coming in really tight, yet still distinct – soft, wispy curls along the temples, thick twists cover the rest. There’s still the weird patch of hair that grows longer than the rest of the head.

The last time I cut my hair down, it grew back in bone straight, reflecting my maternal biology. This time, there isn’t a straight hair to be found, all coils!

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Also to note, no makeup! My secret? Oil of Olay

 

What’s also growing in all nice and neat are white hairs. You know what? I think I’m gonna leave them alone. I kinda like the thought of entering my 40s with salt-and-pepper curls.

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Hair like wool, eyes like fire, feet like burnished bronze…

I’ve gotta do something about all this hair! Ohh, how cute, a dark-hued person and a light-hued person mated and made a cappuccino cutie! Yeah?, well, these cappuccino cuties grow up with really fucked up hair!!!

No, no, it’s not that bad. Genes are a helluva thing, though. My indigenous heritage wants to grow thick and long. My African heritage wants short and coarse. The result? We’re trying to find out!

Now that we’re past shoulder length, my hair has to be sectioned off even further. Two braids split from the middle makes me look like a Klingon, so I have to tamp down the center just to get all the hair to lie flat against my scalp! Let loose, my hair resembles a lion’s mane, and even then, I have to hide two thick braided cords in the center to keep the mane sane.

1st - flat braid from part to behind ear 2nd - flat braid base from one ear to another. Tuck 1 into 2 to fuse. 3rd and 4th - two French braids, one tendril tucked into the unfinished 4th. My fail, shoulder was hurting, so couldn't tightly keep yoke in place. Definitely need a spotter!
Bavarian Yoke: 1st – flat braid from part to behind ear
2nd – flat braid base from one ear to another. Tuck 1 into 2 to fuse.
3rd and 4th – two French braids, one tendril tucked into the unfinished 4th. My fail, shoulder was hurting, so couldn’t tightly keep yoke in place. Definitely need a spotter!

Yet I’m a zealot for meeting challenges. I said last year I’ll keep it growing, since I’ve never had long hair unless added in, so I will. Let’s see if this summer’s constant braiding will get my tendrils towards the end of my spine.

VS Enterprises 2Q15 Outlook Report

So whatcha been up to Von?

Welp…life has presented disturbances and delights alike. The disturbance is…

…I’m in love.

Yes, yes, go ahead and boo hiss, I can’t stand it either! But it’s undeniable. I tried, friends, I tried to throw all my fatalist crazy at BF but he’s the wiser of the both of us. Embattled yet holding ground, he demanded I let him love me.

I did.

Last year’s 2015 plan was to pull up stakes, leave the United States and just roam Central and South America for however long I could secure a visa. Thanks to his merciless adoration I’m settling in, right here, in The Burg.

Jerk! Booooo hisssssssss

This is most unprecedented, as I have a “Wherever I May Roam” tendency. However, I’ve summited that pinnacle in one’s life when it’s time to let go of one’s story. While it fuels the topics I write about – I’ve got fodder for decades – I’ve decided to abandon/abort/divorce the societally-trained need to drag one’s past into the present.

I choose to be

a mere observer of events

which do not serve me now.

If I’m not escaping the Nature Coast, then I need to get cozy! I’ve had my Treehouse for four years now, but you wouldn’t know I was its resident with hospital-white, non-decorated walls and conservative, spare furnishings. In a word: BLAH. I’m gonna use the next few months for “nesting,” personalizing the Treehouse, reflecting my love for the arts and coastal living.

Credit: Pinterest
Credit: Pinterest

My New Year’s Resolution was to focus on ways to be more ‘present’ in the St Petersburg literary community, and so far, so good; my antics have been appreciated at recent events and festivals! Encouraged by the podcast as the 21st century’s version of gathering around and listening to vocal talent, we’re trying to pair up with popular cafes, bars and restaurants, to workshop or share our art as the venue’s ambiance. This should quell the annoying tendency of piping Pandora over patrons, as well as the yawn of truth that is, “Jack Kerouac used to write here.” Are you doing something like this where you’re from? Please share; I really want to make this a cultural phenomenon!

In the coming weeks, I’ll be traveling out of Florida; the song of the open road fills my ears. Ohhh can’t wait for this; a change of scenery offers a change in perspective, a polish to the lens I’m viewing the world through. Trying to do lots of outdoorsy stuff, which means, my ass needs to run an 11:18 mile average before I hit any trails!

The 2nd quarter looks promising: doing much for self, establishing a steady footing, letting love happen, enjoying the now.

What have you been up to?

Last Time I Was On The Open Road

Me Fighting The Inevitable

How To Ruin A Moment of Silence

Here it is, folks, the most visibly and audibly LOUDEST outfit I’ve worn yet!

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The host had me jingle the beat as she sang, “Jingle Bells.” We made it through one verse. 

At my friend’s house party, I overheard the most beautiful delivery of sarcasm of the whole of 2014: if you’re going to be an atheist, at least be dogmatic about it.

Moment to acknowledge: this was my first Christmas party sans alcohol since I was a KID, and you know what? I had fun! I laughed a lot, I met people, and I ate more than necessary.

No more crutches.

Create This Look

Rock Da Bells!

To win your upcoming Ugly Christmas Sweater Contest, you’ll need minor sewing skills, an eye for the gaudy, and a few days to assemble a psychosomatic episode in cloth form.

Start with, the sweater:

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This flinch-inducer was discovered at my friend Irene’s thrift shop. To be certain, I had a run-off with some other candidates but this one was the most “EGAD!” of all.

The next thing you’ll want to do is hyper-accentuate an item of the sweater. In my case, I saw all these jingle ball details, so I invested in a box full of jingle bells:

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The larger, the noisier, but then I want to consider not driving myself crazy while wearing it!

To add a “WTF?!?!” factor, I found utility in these two Peruvian finger puppets, gifts from my dear friend Alex upon her return from teaching in Lima:

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Let’s go ahead and create a creepy backstory for these two. One sunny day up on Machu Picchu, Celia (left) and Chiquita (right) were steadily packing up their wares, ready to head back down the mountain to their humble home in the adjoining city. The next sensation they shared was the taste of pennies in their mouths and a burning sensation in their nostrils. They looked about and found themselves nowhere near their tourist store front, but instead, chained at the waist to columns supporting a bleak, rickety house. The only response to their calls of “ayudame!” was their echoes…

And now, we sew:

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Basic single stitch, feeding double cord, approximately 1/4 inch loop. If you don’t know how to sew, look up a video on YouTube, cuz I ain’t got that kind of time!

We affix Celia and Chiquita to their outdoor prison:

And here’s the final nightmare:

Already we have a winner, right? But remember folks, these contests are won with popular vote, so you need to throw in a little suh-um-suh-um to win over the fickle! Here’s what I’m adding:

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Am going to go without panties for an extra boost in ratings! Find these anywhere you can find stripper apparel. This I got at Fredericks of Hollywood.

Because there’s gotta be a little naughty, a little nice, or there’s no point to Santa Claus.

For the younguns in attendance, who don’t comprehend why Mommy is spelling S-L-U-T towards her friends:

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Harley Quinn house booties. Because fuck heels. Available at your local comic book character paraphenalia dispensary. These I bought at Hot Topic.

Event pics forthcoming. Wish me luck friends! 

Dead Man’s Locker

What happens to the machine when the human abandons it?

Behold, the personal computer. A Packard Bell desktop, to be precise, with all the whiz-bangs the end of the 20th century allotted: 100 megahertz Intel processor, 1 gigabyte SCSI drive, a floppy and a CD drive, and, the creme-de-la-creme, a 28.8 bits per second dial up modem!

The programmer who owned this box passed away in 2011, and it, like many of his material things, just sat where he last left it. Now the CPU, keyboard, and start-up flops are in my house, and I’m attaching my 50″ flat screen to serve as its monitor.

Quite the whimsical juxtaposition of What Once Was with What Now Is.

Back in the IT days, we referred to an abandoned system as a ‘dead man’s locker.’ The typical service call was someone not information technology inclined asking me to figure out what Billy Bob did to make the pooter run before he croaked. The task at the user level was difficult; every system administrator has peculiar habits – a certain naming convention that doesn’t make literal sense, the redirect of master files from the default directory to a special access directory (and the guys who do this still: STOP IT YOU’RE BEING A DOUCHEBAG) and the lovely discriminate limitations to certain users to start business-specific applications.

Every ‘box’, including the one you’re using to read this, has its required components but all are completely customizeable to the whim of the box’s owner/operator. We all have a certain signature applied to every program we run, and, for us of the IT world, we go so far as to change the way the machine thinks, encouraging dominion.

So how did this fellow exact dominion over machine?  He was a COBOL programmer, so was I. If his operating system was DOS-based, then he ran MicroFocus COBOL, which means, he likely signed all his subroutines a certain way.

Yes, all programmers sign their subroutines. 🙂

The task was made simple: see if you can boot it up and if so, see if there’s any files worth saving.

Geez. I gotta make that call? It’s good I’m the neutral party in this arrangement!

The box came up and went through its basic start sequence. I listened for the tell-tale spin of the hard disk and the immediate hunt of the arms. I didn’t hear the distinct song.

The Jumbotron displayed ‘i/o error remove disk then hit <Enter> to continue’. With nothing in the other drives, the i/o error had to be anything along the SCSI controller.

Tool bag out, cover is off.

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Underbelly of drive. Had we had smartphone technology during my day, a lot of these system recoveries would have gone MUCH faster!

Everything looked…OLD. Even when I was supporting systems eons ago, this was considered an old box! Checked the bands, the relays, the connection…looks like he never touched it. I did attempt to open the case fully, but alas, the final screws were smaller than the heads I have in my toolkit.

This is the point of system analysis when you gotta ask: is it worth pursuing further?

I thought back to the original request. This was HIS computer; no one else even knows how to code. The only auxiliary access was via fax machine, which they didn’t own anymore. They already have a current-century box working fine in the household. Even if I was to get the arms moving and the drive spun up, the only person who would understand his codes was gonna be me, the neutral party, and nobody in the world is looking for home-spun programs written in MicroFocus COBOL.

Except me.

Then I think to myself, this would be a fun short story to write. 🙂

I go about trying to find anything that could fit these screws, but I’m just shearing the heads at this point. While I wanted to resolve this and discover he was indeed a talented programmer in his heydey, my curiosity was quelled by limited access to the technology.

In plain words…the needle-nose screwdriver I require costs more than this entire box, code included.

Ahhgggghh.

Calling it.

Dead box.

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Even in case notes, one can find poetry. An eager hopeful approach met by a simple yet terminal limitation. Can’t say I didn’t try!

Sometimes I Graffiti Cats on Buses

Visiting the NOMAD art bus during the Florida Bookstore Day after party. The non-profit organization visits disenfranchised neighborhoods to provide creative activities otherwise nonexistent for residents. Please visit their Page and support art for all!

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Been doodling this on desktops and notebooks and completed exams since I was seven. I call this piece 'Cool Cat''

Swept Aside

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All me! Divide scalp into two segments. Use two inch flat iron with barrel to force curls while straightening roots. After bottom segment is done, push it over to your style side and pin. Topside, press as usual but then sweep over and stack curls on top of each other. Pin in place and spray the bejeezus out of it with freezing spray.

All summer long, my naturally curly tresses stayed in various forms of braid. Not only is this a way to combat Florida’s famous humidity, but a natural means to encourage growth. Results: three full inches of new growth, softer kink, and even layers!

Why heap pounds of hair onto your scalp when you can suck it up, be patient, and grow it out healthily? Think long term ladies (and gents of the stylish way)!