Book Report: Red—The History of a Color

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I talked earlier about how fond I am of the color red and how much I enjoyed the session on cochineal, a red dye, last week. So, naturally, the first of the series of color books by Michel Pastoureau I just got that I’m going to report on is Red: The History of a Color.

Beautiful book!

The quality of this book is drool-worthy. Each book in the series is hefty and dense. The paper for the pages is so thick, and the printing is sublime. The illustrations are so interesting that I’ll go back to this book over and over.

Example of one of the illustrative images. This is by Jan Van Eyk.

While I did get lost in the photos, I also learned a lot about how red figured throughout European history. It was the most important color up until the last few centuries, when blue took over. Boo, blue (I guess I’ll be more on Team Blue when I read the blue volume).

My kitchen is Team Red, too.

The author teaches us a lot about how color has been perceived by humans, which I learned from earlier color books, but the focus on red and how it was perceived earlier than colors other than black and white made the history pretty memorable. it turns out names for many colors show up quite late, as the chapter on pink showed.

Pink and red at my house. Also, roosters were revered because of their bright red combs!

I enjoyed learning a lot about how people dressed through European history, and not just the royalty and rich people. Peasants always liked red!

Sapphire points out that her breed had particularly red combs, and eyes.

Any book in this series would be a nice gift for an artsy or crafty friend. A high-quality book on your favorite color that’s also a work of art in itself—what’s not to love? And red’s the color of love!

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

You just never know how a day will go. Today is just dandy, EVEN with an 8 am dental appointment! I had put the dentist off for four months, but I was assured they take precautions. And they did! And my teeth are okay, even with my recent jaw clenching.

I got the day of the week right!

The second day in my work office in Austin was nice. I actually had time to accomplish some work, and the team meetings went well. I think we’re getting the hang of Agility, a bit.

Mainly, though, I had a good meeting with my boss, where I got to share ideas and brainstorm. I admit it. That’s my favorite work activity. I love collaborating and planning, way more than being handed a plan and being told to go execute. Buy in! Yes! I like making things, too. I dislike tracking work and devising metrics. So, if you’re a potential employer, bear that in mind. Also bear in mind that I hope to not get a new job, like ever.

Living my dream.

So, what about the title of this post? Well, it’s hair day again. And I’m bleaching again. It has grown out to where at least half of it is undyed, which means if I keep this up, I’ll never have any hair that’s been bleached a lot, thus the straw effect will be less likely to happen. That’s my hair theory, anyway.

So, enjoy this “live blogging” version of me getting my hair done. I blogged during and after the event, because, well, that’s the time I had.

Before. Roots a-plenty , though I don’t think they look all that bad.

And, Dan the hairdresser says this time he’s making it pale blue to start out. I’m pretty excited. Yep, I’m tying under the dryer. There was no blogging time earlier today!

Bleach applied. Cooking away. Looks scary in there.

I always like the white phase. This time there’s no orange! I wish I was brave enough to keep my hair white. But, to me, blue is safer. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d type.

Blonde bombshell.

The pastel blue color looks fantastic even just applied! It’s quite goopy and drippy. And I hope you enjoy my little wave. It’s classy. Thanks, Dan.

Mermaid time.

I enjoyed “resting” while the color cooked, but wanted to see if it really came out pastel blue. The last time it was rather dark. I got delayed getting a picture, because my fancy earrings fell on the ground. Sigh. But lo!

It’s pastel blue! Anita says it’s the color of an ice cube tray. Michele at work says it’s blue cotton candy. I like that better.

And in my Bobcat office, it’s lighter. This will be easy to maintain and fun. Life is good, other than the headache I have. It won’t stop me from book club, where we will talk about The Vanishing Half. I won’t vanish with such blue hair!

It’s weird that I now feel more comfortable with blue hair than my natural color. It’s also weird that I now very closely resemble a manic chipmunk. At least it’s a chipmunk with clean teeth.

Too Much Right Now

There’s just so much in my head that I’ve no time nor ability to write. I was analyzing work stuff in my dreams last night. I couldn’t stop dreaming about data.

Hey, grasshopper, you’re supposed to distract me.

I’ve pushed through everything today, which is great, but there’s still more coming up! Being occupied with work challenges isn’t all bad, of course. It keeps your mind off the state of the world, sick friends, and natural disasters.

That’s really a cool color!

I did enjoy a lovely sunset last night after the wee bit of rain. And I reconnected with a friend from grad school whom I greatly admired and had thought about often.

Plus, I can disguise myself with even more masks, since I got some pretty ones in the mail. Guess I’m not a plain black mask person.

I’m blinding and blingy.

Hope you’re handling your surprises and learning curves today. We’re all in it together.

Spooky pretty.

Footware Fantasy

Do you have a favorite pair of shoes? I believe I do. And a couple of runners up. I don’t have a shoe fetish or an actual mental health challenge about shoes. My Well, you may or may not agree.

I have a few shoes. There are more in Austin. I recently gave lots away.

Now I own a lot of shoes. I do. I’ve endured Imelda Marcos jokes for decades. Maybe young people don’t know about her and it will stop.

I always blamed it on my sun and moon being in Pisces ♓️. That sign “rules” the feet. Apparently the Piscean will either have beautiful feet or scary ones. My dad’s were very weird, and his high arches made it hard for him to buy shoes.

I had a pair of sandals for church at this age. I’m the one with fewer teeth.

I had very nice, average size feet that looked good in shoes. When I was little, we mostly went barefoot and got a new pair of shoes when school started, either loafers or Keds.

Normal feet for my age.

So, when I started earning my own money, the first thing I did was buy shoes. High school friends will remember the white patent-leather 6” platforms I bought in Mexico in ninth grade. I’m sure I looked like a puta, but I could be in the back row in chorus. Ha!

Second row at the end. The shoes are peeking out.

Anyway, I’ve always enjoyed shoes. I sorta miss my lovely Cole Hahn dress shoes, but my feet are thrilled that I now wear comfy ones. Now I just miss all the shoes in Austin I haven’t seen since the first week of March. Poor orange sparkles!

I hope someone is enjoying these. Not me anymore.

You might be surprised that my favorite shoes are very practical. They’re brown walking shoes, what a snooze. But they are infinitely comfortable, great for walking and hiking, and get this: they’re waterproof! I can walk around in the rain or afterward without wearing hot rubber boots.

Practical.

And the bottoms have leaves!

You can see that used them to walk in mud.

I got them on a weird shopping trip with my stepmom. The store owner showed us all his guns. I felt so safe.

It has orthotics.

Other favorites are Corky’s flip flops, because they don’t hurt between my toes. Then there are the sparkly sneakers. All of them.

Others I like are the Skechers GoWalk series. They are good for work and dog walking. And my colorful Western shoes. Almost as great as the brown ones.

I love cowboy boots. Right now my favorites are these blue Ariats I wear for ranch stuff and riding. They have soon kind of cushioning that’s miraculous. My favorite dress ones are the snakeskin. So comfy.

I always wondered if other people were as fond of shoes as me. Maybe if you had a lot as a kid, they don’t matter? Or if you don’t obsessively match your outfits and shoes like me. I guess I’m a grownup at last, though, with this parade of comfy shoes passing as my favorites. Y’all missed my glory days!

The Best Shirt EVER

Maybe I’m exaggerating, and maybe I’m not. However, today I am wearing a new shirt I got on Saturday that just gets better and better the more I wear it. I’m not usually this much excited about a shirt, I swear! There is no danger of me morphing into a fashion blogger or an “influencer” (for a really funny article on how to be “Insta-famous” as an influencer, check out this post by my favorite millennial, V.

Label and fabric close-up.

I was initially drawn to this shirt, sitting there among dozens of beautiful and over-priced shirts at a shop in Round Top, because it was covered in hummingbirds. I pretty much was going to buy it unless it looked like some giant sack on me, just because of the print, but I did feel the need to try it on.

The shirt! Note my hand is in my wonderful pocket! And check out those pressed jeans, courtesy of Kathleen’s dry-cleaning account.

I’m glad I did, because I keep thinking I am huge and tried on a size much too large. Kathleen kept sending me back to put on something smaller. The M fit great, and is still loose enough. I’d never heard of the brand, but I found this on a page that sells the Shana brand:

Shana offers a diverse collection of affordable clothing in today’s current styles. Unique and exciting clothes for women who want to look their best. A portion of all sales is given to Himalayan Hands, a non profit organization dedicated to helping children and their families in Nepal and Tibet.

http://www.fawbushs.com/brands/shana

Well, at least some of my money is going to help people who deserve some help. That makes my shirt purchase part of my do-gooder work, too. Ha! Clever!

Back of shirt, featuring cool pleat and zipper!

Why is this shirt the BEST?

Let me share the ways:

  • The print is just the cutest ever and in such happy colors.
  • The pattern fits nicely at the top then flares out, making me want to twirl around. It is flattering to people shaped like me.
  • It’s really comfortable, and all cotton.
  • The front has buttons, so you could wear it like a jacket if you wanted to.
  • The sleeves roll up and have a button to keep them up, which I didn’t realize until I was getting dressed this morning and found the sleeves too long.
  • The back has a really cool zipper! It’s not just decorative; when you unzip it, the shirt’s back pleat is freed up, thus making the shirt even twirlier.
  • AND, as I only found out about a half hour ago, it has side pockets. Who doesn’t love pockets that actually work?

So, I have to say that I love my shirt and plan to wear it for years and years. It matches my hair, my glasses, my nails, my active imagination…yay!

The zipper opened, and a better view of all the birds.

I have come to the conclusion that I wear bright clothing to help keep me feeling in a good mood. And from my coworkers’ reactions today, the happy colors, shiny shoes and all that cheer them up, at least a little. And it costs no more than black (I admire people who wear only black and look so chic in doing so; I just can’t do it myself.)

From rainy Austin, Texas, have a good week!

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