Sunday, March 28, 2010

in a california minute

I had a total Bay Area moment yesterday when I went to the grocery store. I was walking out of the store carrying my groceries (in a reusable bag that I had brought myself, obviously), and saw a dad carrying his kid towards the store. The kid was at that age where he's just starting to talk and learn words for things. I always thought that the words you teach kids at that age are practical things like milk, bed, mommy, daddy, yes, and no, and then you might move on to fun things like doggie, kitty, truck, or car.

Nope. As the dad walked walked slowly past my car, he was saying, "Look, it's a Prius. Can you say Prius? Priiii-usss. Prius. Can you say Prius? Prius!"

Friday, March 19, 2010

just in time for tax season

I love my friend Wendy's blog about moron tax. I pay tons of moron tax myself, which unfortunately doesn't count towards the stuff that the IRS wants, and this week, she has posted an account of one of my moron tax payments.

Monday, March 15, 2010


When I was young, I suffered from bad hair, both forced upon me by my mother, who didn't see the point in paying for a haircut when we had many pairs of functional scissors at home, and brought upon myself, when I was going through my years of curly hair envy.

Since then, I've always second-guessed and third-guessed my hair options, and have mistrusted any haircut that was too close to home. In college, I didn't get haircuts in Cambridge, but instead went into downtown Boston to get my hair cut by junior stylists in salons that seemed posh from a student perspective. In law school, I refused to get haircuts near my apartment, and made pilgrimages down to the West Village to get my hair cut by a Japanese man in tight jeans, whose English comprehension skills were questionable, but whose haircutting skills were solid. In both cities, my haircuts were accessible by public transportation.

In Zurich, I tried to stick to that guideline, but after two unpleasant experiences, one in which the salon charged an exorbitant (read: typical Swiss) amount for a so-so haircut, and another in which the stylist gave me a terrible mullet (read: typical Swiss haircut), I declared a moratorium on local haircuts, and spent the rest of my time scheduling my haircuts to coincide with my travel plans. In four years, I rarely went to the same hair stylist, but got random haircuts of varying success in Helsinki (where the stylist asked me how I got my dark hair color to look so natural), Paris (where the stylist did not speak any English, and I realized that my hair-related French was quite limited), San Francisco, and New York, among other places.

You'd think that I would be able to settle down and get a steady stylist again, now that I'm living near a major city that speaks my native language, but my hair-brain thinks otherwise. I'm about two months overdue for a haircut, but am not so excited by the two people I've tried here, both of whom were very reasonably priced and gave perfectly acceptable haircuts (it's not hard to cut long, straight hair in a decent manner) -- I think my hair just has wanderlust.

True to form, or at least the form of recent years, I've booked a hair appointment to coincide with an upcoming trip to New York. We'll see how it turns out, or if my hair will demand another excursion to somewhere newer and more exciting.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

date line

My friends and I took a sixteen day trip to Yap and Palau (with layovers in Honolulu and Guam) that involved a total of seven flights, six hotel rooms, and three time zones (other than my own).

All that schlepping around paid off. We got lots of sun to cure our winter blues. We went diving and saw so many sharks, mantas, and Technicolor fish that it put Animal Planet documentaries to shame. And I don't care how much you go hiking and camping -- you haven't seen stars until you've sat on a dock or a darkened boat in the middle of the ocean off of a private island in a remote corner of Palau (which is already a pretty remote place). Ridiculously fantastic.

The trip back took almost a whole day door to door, spread out over three flights with some layover time, but we crossed the International Date Line, which meant that despite traveling for almost a day (and feeling like we had traveled for about three days), when we landed in San Francisco, it was less than two hours later on the same day as when we took off.