Archive for June, 2011

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#20: Get a Manicure/Pedicure And/Or a Massage

June 15, 2011

Date of completion: January 2011 & May 2011

It blows people’s minds when I tell them I’ve never had a manicure or a pedicure. I’m twenty-six years old and fairly vain, and yet, I’ve somehow never managed to enter a nail salon.

To be fair, I think I might have had a manicure when I was six at a birthday party at the local cosmetology school, but that doesn’t really count.

I decided a professional massage was something I also needed to experience in my life, so I tacked that on to the end to make sure I’d do it. Ironically, that was the part of this “task” I accomplished first. I snagged a half-off Groupon in early January and took a day off work to do absolutely nothing except get a message and relax. (I’m not good at relaxing). It was nice, even though I have far too many self-esteem issues for some stranger to be touching my skin in all the parts I don’t like to look at in the mirror.

The mani/pedi just hung out in the back of my mind as probably the easiest thing to knock off the list, but there are so many other things I’d rather spend my money on. Bad haircuts, shoes, coffee, books.

So when my friend scheduled us all an appointment to get our nails done before her wedding, I was excited and oddly a bit anxious. I don’t know the etiquette or protocol for having one’s nails done, and I was a bit concerned that I was going to look like an idiot. I’m a big advocate of the “fake it til you make it” philosophy.

The ladies at the salon were as astonished as everyone else that I’ve made it this far in my life without having either of the ‘cures, but they were very nice and it was very relaxing and I couldn’t stop staring at my nails when I was done. They looked like they belonged in a nail polish ad.

To be fair, I barely made it out of the salon before I smudged one of them up. Check that, I didn’t even get out of the salon before I messed one of them up. (This is why I can’t have nice things). Even so, I was enamored with how they looked and for the days after the wedding, planned my outfits accordingly so they would match my dark fuchsia nails. Then, inevitably, life happened, and they chipped, and I had to remove the metric ton of polish from my fingernails and go back to life with boring nails.

My toes still look good, though.

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#13: Make a Dramatic Change to My Appearance

June 12, 2011

Date of completion: November 2010

I apologize for getting these out of order. And also for subbing this one in. It was kind of on my mental to-do list if not my written one, and I decided that I do not have the time or capacity right now to try to learn a foreign language, so I had to pull a substitution. My blog, my rules.

Besides, dramatic makeovers are always fun, right?

Basically: I’ve been a blonde my whole life. From when I was a wee youngin’ to the time I went to college. Granted, as I got older, I was largely aided by various chemicals and discount store hair dyes. My freshman year of college, it got so out of control blonde that it was scarily close to being platinum. At one point, I had considered inching back toward my natural color (which at that point, I assumed was either kind of an ashy dark dirty blonde or a very light brunette color)… and then there was an Incident in which various chemicals from one color to the new didn’t play nice and it turned a very distinct shade of lavender. Sadly, no pictures exist.

Gradually, I kept trying to color it darker and my hair, being as stubborn as I am, kept lightening itself up. Finally color began to stick and I did a short bout as a brunette before going back to a blonder color. I noticed something, though, around the time I went brown… it had settled into an almost auburn color, instead. And when I went blonde, it went strawberry-blonde. I didn’t even notice until the first time someone called me a redhead and it caught me completely off-guard.

Then I began to ponder to myself: what if I dyed my hair red? Like, actual redhead red?

First of all, I knew I had the skin tone for it. I’m very fair-skinned and sometimes it actually helps to have a darker color so I don’t look so washed out. Second, both my grandmother and my mother have a red hue to their hair… now, I know we all alter our color, but even so, it wouldn’t look genetically out of place or anything. My grandmother has had red hair the entire time I’ve known her… it wasn’t until I was probably a pre-teen that I realized it was fake.

Thirdly: the idea was exciting. It was a bold, bold move. It would attract a lot of attention, for starters. It wouldn’t be a subtle change. Also, redheads are kind of stereotyped as being sassy and feisty and fierce – would I be able to live up to that image? Was I worthy of becoming a member of that elite group?

Ten years ago, even five years ago, I would have said no, and I would have recoiled in terror at the thought of making such a dramatic leap.

Last November, though… I went for it.

I have never gotten so many compliments on my hair color in my life. Even now, as I’m going on almost seven months with this color, people still stop, tilt there head a little bit, and announce how much they love it. Even our Director of Sales one day stopped mid-train-of-thought and commented on it.

At first, I was a little shy of it… but I’ve gotten used to it, to looking in the mirror and seeing something darker than I used to. It’s not RED-red… it’s more of an auburn, especially right after I retouch it. But I like it.

I contemplated going back blonde again but a friend of mine tried to go from red to blonde recently and it took five hours (!) to strip the color out of her hair. No thanks. Plus there’s the fear of it going orange. It would have to be a professional project, and that’s expensive.

I was also looking through some old photos and I was surprised to find that I didn’t love the blonde as much as I used to. It didn’t look right.

So, I guess for the time being, I shall stick with where I am.

Behold, a before and after photo:

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#3: Visit Las Vegas

June 11, 2011

Date of completion: May 2011

Las Vegas always seemed to me to be one of those cities that one must visit, especially in one’s youth. I did not quite expect to fall in love with Sin City quite as much as I did, but from the instant I got there, I knew I was at home. (I mean, I wouldn’t want to live there, but I want to go back as often as possible.)

I loved everything about it. I loved the ridiculousness and the randomness and the excess. I loved the glitter and the lights. I loved how everything is intertwined and close together on the strip. I loved that we wandered around and not once did I not feel safe. (I did NOT love how expensive everything is, but I guess anywhere I go will be more expensive than the middle of Iowa, so… I won’t hold a grudge.) I loved the sounds of the casinos and the people-watching.

I loved the fact that my Vegas experience was rather atypical: instead of going with my group of local friends, I took a giant leap of faith and went as a part of Bloggers in Sin City. (In hindsight, I should have had “attend a blogging function/meetup” on my list, but if I add it now, it will probably just be cheating.) The whole experience was surreal and I would do it again in a heartbeat. In fact, I want nothing more than to do it again next year.

You can read more about the Vegas trip on my other blog, if you so feel inclined.

Sadly, though, the one thing I regret from this trip, even more so now as I went to put together an image for this post… I did not make it to the famous “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. I guess I will have to be sure to do that the next time I go…