Friday, July 26, 2013

I'm Young, I'm Hip, I'm...Oh

Since moving to Washington last September (boy that one year mark is coming right up), I have had a wild ride with my skin and hair and pretty much every other part of my body.

When I first went to my new hair stylist, she looked at the disheveled rat's nest on top of my head and sort of sighed, saying "Your hair is angry."
I thought about my diet.  Vegetarian.
I thought about my hair routine. Too much blow dryer? Nope, not much at all.
I got nothing.
"It's drier here than in Oklahoma."
Then she cut most of my hair off and told me to use a million products and a few neat ideas to smooth it all out.
I did most of them. I stopped washing my hair every day.  It's weird and I'm still getting used to that but whatever. I also stopped blowdrying with any heat.  For instance, right now, I'm sitting here typing with a fan blowing on me.  That's also because our house, like most in Ellensburg, Wa, does not have air conditioning.  We bought a small a/c unit last week and it helps us sleep, but for the most part, it's ok except from 5-8 p.m.  It'll go over.  In the meantime, fans.

I use a silicone oil on my hair. I sometimes put olive oil in the ends overnight.

For my body I got a dry skin serum made by a lady at the farmer's market.  I ran out two weeks ago and she wasn't there last week. Augh! I use one of those pumice things for my feet so that I don't get weird Flintstone feet. It's summer and I love to wear sandals so I use lavarocks to scrub my heels.  Also, eww.

The one thing I really resisted my stylist on is coconut oil.  Another friend swears by it for her skin, hair, face and insides.  You buy coconut oil in either the skincare section or in the cooking section.  It costs less in the cooking section.  I just didn't want to put cooking oil on my skin.

Then over the last 6 months, I have started seeing advertisements and realized that coconut oil (and coconut water) is sort of a fad thing, and that maybe once everyone gets over the hype they will realize that they are rubbing cooking oil on their faces.  Kind of yucky if you ask me, but hey, I use rocks on my feet for exfoliation.

Anyway, I broke down this week and bought some.  I can be hip. I can get in on a fad. It's not harmful, anyway.  If you can eat the stuff, you might as well put it on the outside too.
My legs, despite my putting lotion on them twice daily, look like a dermal version of the sahara, with cracked spots and general yuckiness all around. A little oily goodness couldn't hurt. Fine.  I bought coconut oil for my legs.  It was solid in the store, but the room temperature at my house during the day not only exceeds its melting point, I think that if I set it in the sun in the afternoon, I could use it to deep fry some tempura.  Whatever, I slathered it on my legs and arms and generously rubbed it into my feet.  Rather, I dipped my fingers in and slathered.

It's ok, not stinky.  Pretty effective. I put it on after my shower.  I came downstairs last night after doing so and sat on the couch to talk to G.  A minute or so later, I felt something funny on my foot and looked to see what was going on.

There was Eleanor, licking the top of my foot. Apparently coconut oil is also a delicious treat for cats.

I'm totally telling my stylist next time I see her.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Summertime and the Living's Easy

I have been in a bit of a funk lately. I'm waiting for my final contract-the one that bestows upon me a permanent job with no expiration date.

I have paperwork assuring me that this will happen. I have my boss's assurance. I have his boss's word. But things move s-l-o-w in academe and my contract expired at the end of June. I'm on an interim until September. Ugh! It's frustrating because I don't feel comfortable going forward with so many plans until I have this big puzzle piece in place.

I can't complain; things could be worse.

So last weekend, G cheered me up by taking me to Leavenworth, Wa. We've been there before, but not in summertime. It's a little German village in the middle of Washington state.
It Looks Farther Than It Is

Oh, it was lovely.  We did a walking tour of Blackbird island, which is the man made by-product of a turn of the last century mill.  We at at Pavz, a cute little french cafe, and visited the Nutcracker Museum, which is fascinating and houses thousands of beautiful, unique and historical nutcrackers (and some that make you go  Ooo-la-la).  
Good night, Knight! 

A little inlet

The Wentachee River

Oh Nutcracker! I adore you!

Mouse King (Life Size)

Art Imitating Life 
We also stopped into the Icicle Brewing Company for a pint, since that's apparently something everyone does.  I made a happy discovery: half pints are available for beer.  Perfect. I like beer, but I can't have a whole lot of wheat, hops, or whole grain stuff AND I have a low tolerance for alcohol.  
Half Pint! 
We walked around town too, to look at the architecture.  We found a neat church-turned-hotel with an onion design on top and a beautiful door. 
The Steeple is Now Part of a Suite

What a Beautiful Door
The sun started to go down. The people floating the river on inner tubes all came up from the water and invaded the town with sand and shorts and sunburns. Usually I don't like crowds; they make me tired. I'm an introvert. But the walk helped and so did putting my feet in the water.

So we lounged around town a bit more, smiled a good deal, and I realized that my bad mood was gone and that living my life waiting for my university to get off its ass isn't as much fun as having adventures.  
Husband Therapy Works Every Time

Um, Yeah. We're a Little Dorky. 
Then we rode off into the sunset.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

10 Things I Love About My Job

For the greater part of my life, I have taken jobs that I don't necessarily like or enjoy. Sometimes I have had unpleasant conditions, coworkers or safety challenges.  I've worked in the public school system, prison system, and in bars, hotels and offices.
Sometimes, my job wore me down. I once was a part-time, midnight to 8 waitress in a diner.  The morning shift, of 3 waitresses, never trained me but would actively look for things to criticize me over. I would come from my first job to my second, work all night waiting on drunks and fun college-age kids hanging out and having a good time, and in the morning face the barrage of insults from middle aged women who didn't like the way I cleaned the bathroom. It wasn't the physical ache, but the psychological fatigue that made me quit. As it turns out, those ladies were right- I couldn't handle it.
Sometimes, I just wasn't safe and couldn't count on anyone. On my first day teaching at a men's prison, the lieutenant warned me that if I was ever taken hostage, nobody would negotiate for me and I'd probably be raped and killed. What's more, the security officers didn't really have my back. I relied, ironically, on the inmates for protection.
Sometimes my job made me sick. I taught in a public school in a poor neighborhood. Because of known and posted dust, mold and asbestos compounded by construction during school hours, I had bronchitis for almost 10 months straight. But at least I loved the job that I did (once I was allowed to actually do that).

That pretty much brings us to today. Let's face it: any job where I'm not in any particular danger of being shot at, stabbed, physically intimidated or used in some fashion is a good job to me. I happen to think my job is pretty awesome, which leads me to

10 Things I Love About My Job
1. My co-workers.  I love the people I work with. Every single one has chosen this profession to help people and to be a good person. We all keep our eyes on the prize.  I work with vegans, chicken farmers, people of varied gender expressions and their attitudes are all the same: to build up others. I love this aspect. There are at any given time, 3-7 other women in our office and we all get along. No drama. No bullshit. No intrigue! Really cordial and professional. And they are also competent in their jobs.
2. Location. We are in the Pacific Northwest (USA).  It's less than 2 hours to Seattle, 4 to Portland, 3 to Spokane and 4 to Vancouver, BC. What more could a wanderer want?
3. I get to help people. 'Nuff said.
4. I'm using my actual education and experience to do that. This is a real luxury.
5. I get appreciation for what I do. My boss wrote me a letter telling me what a good job I'm doing. I've been a keynote speaker this last year and I get invited to neat committees.
6. I know people here.  I love that our campus (only 10k students) is a community and that I have been invited to be a part of that.
7. Safety.  It's safe enough here to leave your house unlocked. We lock ours but the only real danger is that some drunk will wander in off the street at 2 a.m. and crash on the couch.
8. Campus is beautiful and close-by. I live a mile from my office and walk to work almost every day. I stop frequently to take pictures of flowers and trees and season fruits that grow on campus. There is even a creek that's part of my morning "commute".  We save a lot of money on gas and only have one car. We really only need one car.
9. Autonomy. I get to set my own hours. I work a lot, but if I have a doctor or hair appointment, it's not a big deal. I get a lot of work done and if I need to, I can work from home. I get to think and put those thoughts into action. I'm accountable, but I have leeway.
10. My best friend is doing this with me. None of those other things would matter as much without G. He made all of this possible, really. I wake up happy in the morning and think about the life we live together. It's good. He helps me do my job too.  He proofreads stuff for me, gives me advice and helped me write a grant proposal in May. We work well together and I like the way he thinks. On Fridays we have lunch together too.

Have a great week!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Personality- Do You Have One?

Hope you all had a great Fourth of July!

My friend Scott Freeman put up a personality test. I wanted to check to make sure that I have one, so I took it. It's free and I hope you take it too.

My profile has changed since my early twenties. I used to be an INTP, but now I'm an INFJ.  Here's what that means. Here is an excerpt:

Beneath the quiet exterior, INFJs hold deep convictions about the weightier matters of life. Those who are activists -- INFJs gravitate toward such a role -- are there for the cause, not for personal glory or political power.
INFJs are champions of the oppressed and downtrodden. They often are found in the wake of an emergency, rescuing those who are in acute distress. INFJs may fantasize about getting revenge on those who victimize the defenseless. The concept of 'poetic justice' is appealing to the INFJ.
"There's something rotten in Denmark." Accurately suspicious about others' motives, INFJs are not easily led. These are the people that you can rarely fool any of the time. Though affable and sympathetic to most, INFJs are selective about their friends. Such a friendship is a symbiotic bond that transcends mere words.
INFJs have a knack for fluency in language and facility in communication. In addition, nonverbal sensitivity enables the INFJ to know and be known by others intimately.
Writing, counseling, public service and even politics are areas where INFJs frequently find their niche.

Yeah, that's about right.

What I want to know is: What is YOUR personality type? Click here to take the test- it only takes a few minutes. Answer in the comments!
Yeah, I really do want to save the world.