Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Aging gracefully a la chin hair

I'm turning 34 on Saturday. At the precise moment of my birth, 7:43 p.m., I'll be ushering in my 35th year by enjoying a Prairie Home Companion live from the Koussivetsky Music Shed at Tanglewood in Lenox. PHC is at Tanglewood every year on my birthday weekend, but I'm usually too busy throwing myself a party to go. This year, the party is going to be later in the summer (invitations forthcoming) and I, finding that I had nothing planned for my birthday evening, went and planned something for myself. If you listen to the broadcast, imagine me crying in the audience, because I will surely be crying. Uh oh, I'm getting choked up right now just thinking of it.

You may become jealous when you learn that Martin Sheen and Steve Martin are both on the show Saturday. I'm just saying.

About a year ago or so ago, I noticed that I had a small, black chin hair. I thought it was an errant eyebrow hair, but it didn't brush away. I plucked it instantly. It grew back a few months later. I plucked it again and began a vigilant search for it. Basically, I rub the area of my chin with my thumb in a sweeping motion a couple times a day looking for it. I've been finding it a little more regularly than I was initially, and I'm not all that pleased about it.

About a month ago, I plucked it and it was back in a week. I freaked out a little bit.

One thing about me that I may never have made clear here is that sometimes when I think about shaving my face, I get the anxiety. My great-grandmother shaved with an electric razor every day, and the thought of such a fate fills me with the dread and the full-on anxiety so much so that I have to force myself not to think of it.

The thing is, I realized that it wasn't the same hair. Now I have two chin hairs! Sweet god! The humanity!

On Sunday, I was rubbing my chin, felt a chin hair, moved posthaste to the bathroom mirror, brandished the tweezers and basically stared at my chin. I couldn't see anything. I moved to another mirror and different light. I still couldn't see anything, but damn it if I couldn't feel a wiry little hair. Finally, I trained the tweezers upon it and pulled.

Friends, what I pulled out of my chin was a white chin hair. Oh. My. Fucking. God. It was white. And just a tiny smidgen of the end was black. So my former black chin hair is now white.

This is great, because now it's way harder to see and there's little risk of anyone observing my chin hair with their own eyes. But I'm not sure white chin hair is what I'm ready for at this juncture.

Luckily, I don't have a choice. It's just an extra-special birthday present from my waning hormones to my face.


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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Jennifer "Jennifer Myszkowski" Myszkowski

Damien brought this story to my attention, which I'm sure will entertain you.

As a person with a name that has many popular nicknames, I can relate to this lady's frustration. While she takes it a bit too far, I understand her pain.

I have given up trying to insist that people call me Jennifer. What I started doing is referring to myself only as Jennifer Myszkowski. If people try to shorten Jennifer Myszkowski, they will end up with Jennifer. Or JMysz. Both of these are fine things to call me. I have many colleagues who call me JM as well. I like all of these. I just hate Jen - and especially Jenn - as Damien was so kind to point out.

Damien and I met at work a long time ago. I can't remember if the fellow this coming story is about was there when Damien was there, but perhaps our other colleagues may recognize this story (if, indeed, they read this blog).

There was a fellow whose name was Michael. Naturally, people called him Mike. He would reply, "ULL!" Then he'd look up all casual-like, "What?"

It was so annoying that I vowed I'd never, ever reply to Jen with, "IFFER!" I didn't want to be that guy. I just make it my business to make sure everyone around me knows what I prefer to be called. Some even take it upon themselves to politely tell people, "Jennifer prefers to be called Jennifer."

Now if anyone has any ideas about how I can get a lady at work to stop calling me Julie, I'm all ears. One day she came up to me and started telling me how great I looked, what amazing weight loss, etc. I assured her I was not thinner - in fact I was fatter - but thanked her just the same. She said, "But Julie, you look great!"

How do you tell a lady who is layering on the flattery that she just called you the wrong name? I didn't know how. I went directly to my team and told them what happened and asked them what I should have done and they all told me I did the right thing and it would resolve over time. Now we're about six months into the Julie-athon. I thought that after I won the award in my department and cried in front of everyone that it would be done - I mean, my bosslady gave a speech about how great I am and kept calling me Jennifer right in front of her! No dice.

On the bright side, at least she's not calling me Jenn.

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Not Amy Ray. The other one.

This afternoon, I was walking down Main Street in Northampton. There were two girls behind me. I'd say they were about 20. One said, "I can't wait until I'm 21, because by then, I'm going to be so hot. And I'm going go to the Dirty Truth every weekend until he sees me."

"I was trying to think about where I could go in town so I could guarantee that he saw me," she continued, "And, like, I couldn't think of where I could go, then I realized, duh, bars."

And the other girl said, "He'll really be sorry when he sees how hot you are."

By this time, we were at the corner of Main and Pleasant. I was crossing over to King, so I was standing at the curb. I sort of stood sideways so I could get a good look at them. The one who will be so hot when she is 21 was kind of skinny and pale and the other one was sort of fat and pimply. They kept talking about how he was going to be SO surprised to see her and and when he saw her, he would just know and blahblahblah she would show him. Then, a silence fell. Not-21 absentmindedly said, "Blahblahblah the Indigo Girls tonight blahblahblah." She was just reading the Calvin marqee. Fact: the Indigo Girls are at the Calvin tonight.

The other one said, "I saw them on the Today show a few days ago and they were so good."

The not-21-year-old said, "Yeah, I really like them. I think they're, like, as good in person as they are on a CD." And then she went on like a not-21-year-old might go on not paying attention to her surroundings at all.

So here they were prattling on like morons, and they have no idea that Emily Saliers is standing right next to them. She was looking at somebody's dog and talking to a woman who I assume was her lady. She had on dark glasses and whatever, but I'm not even that big a fan and I recognized her from her scraggly hair.

In any event, I ended up going over to the courthouse to sit on a bench because I had time to kill. A while later, I watched her walk by with her lady and go behind the Calvin to the tour bus. I'm so glad she had an opportunity to take in the sights and sounds of Northampton. Particularly those two morons.

The thing is, I couldn't remember her name. It was driving me nuts. Until just now when I googled, "Not Amy Ray" and her name came up third.

Incidentally, I've seen the Indigo Girls twice and they didn't do Gallileo either time, so I gave up.

Also, their fans are a walking stereotype. It's almost painful. The courthouse parking lot was swarming with them. One Suburu had a NH vanity plate: PWROF2. It was no surprise to see the khaki-pantsed ladies getting out of that car.

I say that with love.

But I'll tell you what, I can't wait until I'm 34. God, I'm going to be so hot! And I'm going to roll over in bed and accidentally elbow Scott in the head and he's going to wake up and look at me and just know.


Thursday, June 4, 2009

'Heh, what's goin' on here?'

I had a crazy dream over the weekend. I was walking in my backyard, but it was really the back yard of our house in Connecticut that I lived in until I was 12 (but it was connected to my current house in Holyoke in the fashion that dreams sometimes connect things). I noticed in the next-door neighbor's driveway an R.V. that was shaped like a regular R.V., but had a metal exterior like an Air Stream.

Stamped in the metal was, "Laura Bush," in a font that looked something like the old Ford stamp for the tailgate of trucks. I thought, "Oh my god. Is Laura Bush my new neighbor?"

I was really excited, but confused, because I didn't know my neighbors had put their house up for sale. I was also secretly kind of relieved because they had been a bit of a problem. I went to knock on the door to welcome Laura Bush to the neighborhood. She answered and was a total delight.

I started introducing her around the neighborhood. She was just so charming. We bumped into Rebecca Lisi and it turned out they already knew each other. In the dream, Rebecca lived on our street, and we all went over to her house to work on our campaigns (I was running for charter commission in the dream), making posters, etc. Laura was there helping and just being so friendly.

Then, suddenly, George walked into Rebecca's apartment. He said, "Heh, what's goin' on here?" and then I woke up.

The end.