Monday, April 20, 2009

Jeepers, Who Lied To You?

A few years ago I wanted a change. I've had my hair long for the majority of my life, so I thought to myself, Hmm... I'd like to spice up my appearance a little bit and put a little "edge" in my hairdo. Naturally, I was terrified. I didn't know how I would cope with my lost locks, but I figured I'd suck it up and cope with it afterwards, no regrets. I remember I changed my hair the day after New Years. I randomly made an appointment with my hairdresser, walked in her mini salon, and told her "chop it off... I want my hair short, bright red, razored, and edgy." Naturally, Titi (my hairdresser) and my friend were shocked. No one was expecting this request. But, being true to my orders, Titi pulled through.

I was going for the cute pixie look. Unfortunately, I realized that not everyone could pull off the Alice Cullen look. At first, when I looked in the mirror, I was about ready to cry. It wasn't "horrible", but it just wasn't me. Suddenly having my hair stripped away and dyed an intense red after having plain brown long hair for more than fifteen years was a huge shock for me. Titi, of course, was marveling at her work, telling me that I could be a supermodel with that hair! Obviously that increased my self-esteem a smidge, but the deciding factor would be from the best friend. I turned to my friend at the time and asked her opinion. Of course, she was jumping with joy and said it was great!

Seeing the great response I was getting from people, I managed to look at myself in the mirror and appreaciate the "artwork". It was what I wanted... Spunky, edgy, and most of all, different.

A year went by, and my hair finally grew back. As different as my hair was the previous year, I couldn't help but compare myself to a familiar, plastic, red-headed, horror villain. All I would have to wear to complete the wardrobe would be a long sleeved rainbow shirt and faded blue overalls. Yikes! So, I went for another look. I would keep the long hair and dye it black. Again, it was quite a dramatic transformation.

As soon as I had the new look, everyone who supposedly loved my pixie hair suddenly decided to change their minds and tell me: "Yeah, I like this look so much better. The last hair experiment was a disaster." I couldn't believe my ears. My reply was simple: "So you let me walk around a year looking like a freak without telling me? No wonder I was single for so long!" Thank you for allowing me to prance around looking like an overgrown Chucky doll. I greatly appreciate it.

Again, I changed my hair a couple of years later. I thought the black was a little dramatic with my appearance... Black hair, light skin, green eyes. Although it might work with some people, I didn't think it quite worked with me. So, I went to Ugo di Roma to fix the disaster of hair that the black left in (black is a really hard color to get out), where it took thirteen hours to fix. Ok, chances are... If they take thirteen hours to FIX your hair, your hair most likely was a war zone. This time I loved my hair. It was a natural auburn color, long, and slightly layered. I finally looked in the mirror for the first time and said: "This is me. This is what I was looking for."

When I went home to show off the new look, I got the same gasps and Oooo's from the previous hair experiments, not to mention the same responses: "Wow, this is great! Don't change your hair, this looks so much better than the last time!"

What the hell?! Ok, if I look like crap, admit that I look like crap, especially if it's something as simple as hair. On the other hand, if I'm naturally hideous, keep it to yourself, because that's something I just can't fix. But something as simple as hair? Tell me when I look like a serial killer, damn it!

It doesn't stop with hair, it has happened with makeup, wardrobe, and assignments. Don't tell me a paper is "amazing" and then I get it back with a dreaded B or worse on it. If I look like a parrot before walking out, let me know, "Hey Jungle Island called, they want their macaw back."

Now, that doesn't mean being rude and pinpointing every flaw. If I have a zit the size of Alaska on my face, I don't expect someone to point it out and say "Hey! That looks horrible!" I know it looks horrible, but obviously that is something that can't be helped. I didn't put the zit there as a fashion statement... -or- the classic "Man, you're tall! Why the hell are you wearing heels? You don't need heels!" Gee, the next time I decide to wear a dress, I'll consider wearing sneakers and try to be pseudo-short. Thanks assholes.

But I do appreciate an honest statement for something that can be helped. For example, my boyfriend and I were going to Sandbar in Coconut Grove a few months ago to watch a football game. Well, I wanted to "try" wearing a risky top... It was a blue, open back, tunic, that was slightly baggy around the arms and chest. It looked cute at the store, but somehow, it didn't appeal to me the more I looked at it in the mirror. I walked out to show my boyfriend, did my little turn, raised an eyebrow and asked: "This looks like shit, doesn't it?" At first he didn't respond, and I noticed him holding his mouth with his cheeks puffed out, trying to hold in the laughter. All of a sudden he responded with: "You're wearing an evil casters tunic!" Naturally, I turned red from the response, but that comment was so hilarious, I couldn't help but laugh. Not only did he save me from humiliating myself, but now we have an inside joke that'll live on in our memories.

My advice? It's normal to want to try new things. It's also normal to get it wrong when trying these new experiments. Chances are, if you're not happy with what you're wearing, other people won't be happy with it. Don't ever doubt your gut instinct. If that new outfit you picked out seems to be sending you waves of doubt, throw it aside or give it to the friend that insisted you looked good in it. If you feel confident in what you're wearing, rock it and don't give a second thought what people think.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Frosted Flakes... They're Not So Great

I'm very picky when it comes to choosing my friends. In the past, I've done the whole Sex and the City cliques, and it didn't work out so well. What I've noticed when there's a whole group of female friends, something always taints the group. If two members of the group start fighting, the two girls will try and influence the other group members to turn against the other girl, which causes all kinds of back-stabbing, secrets, and hidden cattiness. Needless to say, I don't do well with drama. I don't like choosing sides, and I don't appreciate "gossiping" about other people, even if the gossip isn't about me. Because chances are, if someone's willing to talk behind other people's backs and not confront the person to their face, there's a chance that something has probably been said about you in the past.

When I choose friends, I like a buffet line. I don't want to hang out with only one group of people, I hang out with different people. Unfortunately, when you meet one friend, chances are you're going to befriend other members of the group which causes another social "clique". And that's when problems start.

I've been friends with this one girl for seven years, referred to as Matrix in my previous blogs. And I'm sorry to say, but I've been involved in several "cliques" with her. And all of these social friendships ended in some form of deceit and cattiness. The two main cliques were Matrix, myself, and another girl I'll refer to as Chuck Wagon (What can I say? She liked Chuck Wagon!)And then there was a clique between the two of us again, and another girl I'll refer to her as Skinny.

Well, both Chuck Wagon and Skinny are interesting characters. They're both fun girls, but can be tolerated in small doses. While Matrix and I are more "loners" and appreciate space every now and then, Chuck Wagon and Skinny love being around people all the time. Here's the difference between Matrix and I. Although I get annoyed sometimes by these characters, I deal with them to the best of my ability and still keep them as friends. Matrix on the other hand has the tendency of pushing herself away from these characters that don't really suit her needs.

In the first clique, Chuck Wagon, Matrix, and I were extremely close. Matrix on the other hand got tired of Chuck Wagon after a while, and just decided to ignore her completely. So I started hanging out with the two of them separately. Of course the persuasion began. Chuck Wagon told me about times Matrix said I was annoying, and then Matrix was trying to persuade me not to see Chuck Wagon. UGH! And these are my friends? Needless to say, I kept Chuck Wagon as my friend either way.

The second clique with Skinny was very brief. Skinny has a very persistent character which I admit, can be overwhelming at times. Matrix basically cut her off completely, until she saw that I started a serious relationship with my boyfriend.

Here's the thing, when someone's in a serious relationship, obviously they can't do the same things they've done when they were single (although some people don't let their relationship status stop them). All my friends have had boyfriends/husbands, so I know the whole bonding process. And yes, it does stink and feels cheesy watching the puppy love develop, but I respect it because I know the feeling.

To make a long story short, Matrix started ignoring me when things started getting serious with my boyfriend and I. To make matters worse, she randomly decided to pick up and move to Colorado, had a farewell party with Skinny, and didn't even bother telling me what day she was leaving. What ticks me off even more is that another friend of mine spotted them at this place, told me the exact day they went, and while Matrix completely ignored me, the other one had the audacity to lie to me and say she hasn't heard from Matrix.

Months have passed by and I got a lame Merry Christmas text and a "sorry I haven't responded. I've been busy with the big move" from Matrix and nothing more. I've learned my lesson and choose not to make the same mistakes with friend choices again.

Honestly, I respect those "bitchy" girls a lot more than the flakes. At least they'll say what's on their mind when they're thinking it, rather than gossip about it behind my back. So for Tony the Tiger that says those flakes are great, he can just shove it!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Operation House Patrol

We all know about my pesky neighbor problem. To escape from my dysfunctional town, I tend to retreat to my grandmother's abode. Picture this, just coming out of the ninth gate of hell and escaping to this serene, quiet, oasis. This is a place where all the devil dogs are saints, and all the neighbors keep pretty much to themselves... Well, most neighbors.

After class, I go to my grandmother's. Not only is she an amazing woman and easy to talk to, but her house comes complete with things to spoil me. A beautiful view of a lake in the backyard (for my entertainment), a treadmill to run on like a hamster (for my health), and piles of junk food in the fridge and cabinets (to completely ruin my health!)

Although her neighbors aren't half as bad as mine, there are a few crazy characters. While my neighbors are on the annoying side, her neighbors are more.... mental? There's a woman we like to call "The Crazy Lady" who walks her dog every afternoon in a baby carriage making conversation with it, as she strolls on by in her bath robe and bedroom slippers. And then there's "Leatherface" (I'll just call her that because her whole family reminds me of something out of Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Leatherface is actually a nice character, despite the movie. However, there's several things that bother me about her.

A) She's a pathological liar. She'll make up crazy stories about everyone in the neighborhood, just to keep the gossip flowing.

B) She patrols the neighborhood. God forbid you pick a wedgie... This lady sees ALL and tells ALL.

C) She talks bad about the rest of the neighbors. How can you talk to someone like that? If she talks bad about everyone else, gee... Chances are, you're a topic in The Leatherface Times.

My grandmother is out of town this whole week, and who do you think she gave her spare keys to? Yes... The legend herself. Well, I refuse to give up my routine. I don't care if Leatherface shows up or not, I'm still going to escape to my oasis damn it!

I was actually dreading going to my grandmother's house all week. What if I happened to be there and Leatherface walked in? I would have to talk to her for hours about things that may or may not have happened. What if I scratched my nose? Would she run around telling people I was digging for gold in her presence? Monday went by... Tuesday... Wednesday... Thursday. Today I just couldn't take it anymore. With Scruffy barking, and Pee Wee's playhouse blocking any hope of relaxation, I needed to get away.

At first my routine started off regularly, I did 50 minutes of cardio, jamming along to my music. Surprisingly, no Leatherface. I finished up my readings for class, no Leatherface. Finally, a couple of hours roll by and I'm watching television, and I see Leatherface strolling on by in my grandmother's backyard. While I was looking at her with this confused face, she was acting as if no one was looking at her, probably trying to avoid the embarrassment. So what does she do instead? She just scratches her head and looks up at the roof and the sides of the house. Seeing that no one ran off with the roof, she went back home. After the brief Leatherface sighting, I was in my happy zone for another hour or so, until I heard the hose outside. Leatherface was "watering" my grandmother's flowers in the front of the house at nine o'clock at night... For a good twenty minutes... Only five flowers... Come on! She must've been so concerned that a burglar had neatly opened my grandmother's door with a key, done some cardio in her house, ate a snack, and then sat down in the bean bag chair watching Hell's Kitchen.

When Leatherface's gardening attempts were over, I just left. I couldn't take it anymore. At this point, I'd rather snuggle up to Scruffy the devil dog.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Song For Mrs. Coffee

Since Mrs. Coffee has been such a wonderful teacher this semester, I thought I would dedicate a song to her. After all, the semester is almost over!

If you want... Feel free to sing along. *Sing to the tune of Celine Dion's Because You Loved Me*

Because You Taught Me

You were my Ambien when I couldn't sleep.
You were so strange when we did meet.
You were so awkward in front of class.
Thanks for being a pain in my ass.

You bashed my papers, I don't know why.
Thank God next week I say bye bye.

I regret taking your class.
Because you taught me....

Sunday, April 5, 2009

ABCs and 12Zs

School... This is a word that has been genetically embedded in our brain for generations to send emotions of dread, fear, and overall annoyance to our mind. While some people enjoy the idea of being trapped inside a cell with Mr. and Mrs. Monotone lecturing, and furthering their knowledge by "good quality education", others do not find this schedule too appealing. And then there are people stuck in the middle, like me.

I wasn't always like this. I used to be one of the ones who actually enjoyed waking up to go to class. But through the years, I've become numb with the agitating nonsense that goes on within the classroom. I still enjoy studying and believe it or not I do enjoy learning, but there are a few characters that make me question going to class in the morning.

  • Professors who insist on being late to class: If I have to wake up early in the morning to deal with obnoxious characters, I expect the professor to be there on time. One semester I had a professor constantly come to class ten minutes late. That's ten minutes I could have been relaxing in bed.

  • The laugh at their own jokes professors: These are the awkward professors who typically have a monotone voice (I've noticed). It's awesome when there's a lively, energetic, funny, professor. Unfortunately, that's rare to find. Instead, there's the extremely boring, nervous, repetitive, professors who decide to break the ice by having their own comedy routine. Of course, being a student, you have to laugh at the lame jokes to avoid being labeled "the bad student". I have one teacher this semester who I'll call Mrs. Coffee (whom you'll be hearing a lot about in this section). Mrs. Coffee enjoys opening up the class with her played out punchline with her tired, monotone voice: "I guess I should have had my second cup of coffee this morning." The first day of class, I admit it was "cute", but now she seriously needs some new material.

  • Group Projects: This is a growing trend in classroom assignments. I've noticed that a bunch of people love the idea of group projects. I always wondered why, and now I know. These are the people that don't do any work. I understand that the point of a group project is to get different ideas and feedback from other people, but somehow, that's never the case. In almost all instances of group projects, I end up getting screwed over. There's always that one that doesn't do work, never shows up, never turns in their information on time, comes up with stupid excuses. Give me a break! And my grade is based on their laziness? Thanks!

  • Professors who don't respect opinions: Mrs. Coffee fits in this category... I've never seen so many comments on any of my papers as much as I've seen on her assignments. She has even commented on my titles! Are you serious? You're going to bash my title? You haven't even read the damn paper yet! In her assignments, her students are asked to analyze aspects of certain literature works. Ok... Well, different people interpret literature in different ways. In her class, there's only one way to interpret a meaning and that's her way. Creativity is dead in this class.

  • Being put on the spot: We've all been there. "Ms. Mason, what do you think about this situation?" Of course Ms. Mason has a phobia about public speaking... If a student doesn't feel like verbalizing their opinions, I don't think it should be counted against them. Some people are shy and get nervous ( ie: ME), a topic may not be appealing to that person, or that person could just be having a bad day.

  • Stretching out class time as long as possible: It's 12:10, you look at the time, and...YES! It's almost 12:15. The teacher has run out of material (Mrs. Coffee), surely, class will be let out early. Of course not... Mrs. Coffee decides to hold the class till the very end rambling on and on about everything not related to the lesson. And if Mrs. Coffee isn't rambling, there's always someone eager to share their life story to the class PAST the ending time.

  • Constant research papers/projects: Ever since third grade, I've been bombarded with meaningless projects and papers. What's wrong with a couple of papers or a couple of projects? To be honest, when you tell me to write a ten page research paper, that I could have sworn I wrote another one about this very topic, I stop learning. All I want from this point on is to finish the paper. And what's with these projects given to elementary school students? Making a dinosaur clock never made me learn a damn thing about Godzilla.

When I walk into most classrooms, the passion for learning is dead. The reason for this is because the passion for teaching is dead in some teachers. Most of the time, they're just trying to fill in another slot in their lesson plan. And people wonder why education is going downhill. Well, if a lesson is just another thing to fill the spot in a lesson plan, school is just another thing to fulfill a degree.