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.

Can I Be More Tired?

Oh, Probably

But I can’t hardly feel my legs, and my stomach muscles are yelling at me. Plus, my head is all fuzzy. It’s both physical and mental. But, I kicked butt and took names today. At least until I got home from work.

I had a couple of pretty intense work meetings today, and I had to work up some courage to take up space, I guess, to not get put down and belittled. So I put on makeup, a nice shirt, and a power necklace, just to feel the part.

Everything went just fine, and I enjoyed myself, even. Immediately after that I ran across the street to sand away on the bathtub. I changed my outfit, as you can see above. Made me feel strong and powerful in a different way.

Chris figuring out one sanding method.

The rest of the day I was in so many meetings that my ears hurt. Luckily I was only in charge of a few. It does hurt my brain, but I like learning stuff at work, too.

I appreciated the sanding stand. I don’t know how Tubby got up there, though.

Back to sanding I went. Between me and Chris, and three sanding methods, it’s as good as it’s going to get. I got the tub exterior all clean, so it’s ready to paint.

Believe it or not, this is an improvement.

Chris went at the interior of the tub with the CLR and got almost all the stain off. One more attack should do it.

The stain is almost a dim memory for Tubby.

Speaking of Sanding

Of course, Chris got a lot more sanding in than I did. He did ALL the stairs.

Sanded stairs

Then he applied stain. Maybe it will be dry enough to seal tomorrow. Then he does the trim and they’ll be ready for rails. Wow!

Stained stairs.

I heard that the new, smaller tub legs are on their way, so maybe Tubby will get installed soon and the rest of the plumbing will go in!

We’re still debating what to do with the floors. Lee doesn’t want to sand them. I do. Chris is stuck in the middle. I think I’ll lose this one. Oh well. I’ll buy rugs!

Zooming All Day: Pros and Cons

I didn’t have much time to write today, because this is one of those extra-busy times at work when I forget to take breaks, work through most of lunch, etc. But that’s good. It makes days go fast.

One thing that is different about my work, as it is with a lot of people who work in high tech companies, is all the video meetings. I dearly love getting to see my coworkers, and I enjoy meeting with friends online as well, but it’s hard to do more than a couple of hours a day, so I miss a lot of after-work gatherings.

It might be all the clashing colors that are causing me problems.

My eyes get tired and my ears get worn out both from wearing headphones for so long and from working to understand people with poor connections or who are talking over each other. I keep seeing how weird I look, like how my head is always turned, because my main monitor is to the right of the laptop with the camera. I keep trying to look people in the eye, but when I look at the camera, I can’t even see the person I am trying to look at! (I do find one-on-one meetings easier, especially when you are problem solving and can share screens and such.)

I’m looking at the camera, but I can’t see you.

I had been wondering why this was the case until I ran across this fine Slate article on Zoom call burnout this morning, by Christina Cauterucci. She feels my pain. The title, “I Will Not Be Attending Your Exhausting Zoom Gathering,” explains it all. Many of us can only interact virtually for so long. One reason we get so tired is that we miss a lot of subtle cures, so we end up staring at people trying to pick up when they want to speak, etc. Cauterucci notes:

“Even if you don’t think you miss locking eyes with your loved ones or colleagues, your brain might. Eye contact plays a documented role in successful human communication. One 2017 study from the University of Cambridge found that when infants and adults locked eyes, their brain waves were better able to “synchronize”; a 2019 study from the National Institute for Physiological Sciences in Japan suggests that eye contact primes the brain for empathy. We’re also accustomed to picking up on messages our interlocutors send with their bodies, which give us clues about their comfort level, the direction and intensity of their focus, and whether they’re preparing to speak.”

Slate, May 12, 2020

Another issue she points out that I didn’t realize was an issue before: you don’t get any breaks. People can TELL if you start looking at your phone, reading your email, or otherwise losing focus. Believe me, they notice your fidgeting. I have a couple of people I Zoom with who are constantly throwing their arms in the air, moving around on their chair, and doing stuff. On the other hands, others just sit there, looking perfectly groomed and attentive the whole time. How do they do that?

At least you can still fire up your chat window and ask people, “What they heck are they talking about?” and “Why are they shouting?” I choose to believe people think I’m taking notes. HA HA. Or you can play Zoom Bingo, which got my coworker Karen upset:

I hear every one of these nearly every day. Dog barking is one I am guilty of if I’m at home. Check out my jowls, by the way. I do, over and over every day.

I guess we don’t have much choice. If we want to work virtually, we have to do this, even when a call would probably suffice. Or an email! Hey, let’s use the best tool for the task. That’s a good idea! We are very fortunate to be people who have all these tools, and I hereby acknowledge my privilege.

Honestly, I am grateful to be able to talk to friends, attend meetings for my nonprofit organizations, and see my coworkers. I’m sure it was harder on people during the flu epidemic in the early 20th century! I bet they complained a lot about the quality of their pens and paper, and how many stamps they had to lick!

That reminds me, I’m still writing those letters to people whose addresses I have. Most are just short notes, but it’s fun, especially when I hear back from people. I usually just manage one or two a day. At least hand writing uses different muscles than typing does. Many days my hands ache from typing, even when I use the lovely hemp cream I keep at my desk.

So, what are you doing to stay in touch? I blog. Oh, you noticed.

Reaching Out/Reaching Up

I was surprised to see reach as the UU Lent word of the day, but then I realized it’s really appropriate for me, and probably for many of us right now.

Reaching Out

For me “reach out” is most important. It’s no longer optional to reach out to friends and family, but mandatory. With so many people living alone or dealing with challenges (like schooling children…or heck, just feeding and entertaining them), it’s important to be in contact with your peeps.

Don’t do as the cattle do! Isolate!

Goodness knows, I am not a great correspondent (other than blogging), but I’m doing my part. I write a couple of letters every day and make sure to say hi to someone I don’t often talk to, especially those who live alone. Today a friend reached out to ME on the day I was going to reach out to HER, which made me smile.

Gratuitous chicken picture. They are reaching up and grabbing at clover I picked for them.

Some of the things people have been doing for each other have really warmed my heart. People who have surpluses share them (we got some bread products that way just yesterday). Restaurants are selling supplies they don’t need due to not being open to the public. And there’s all that mask sewing going on! Way to go, sewing people!

I hope that when this is all settled down we remember all the kind and good things people have done for each other, and let the memories of people who aren’t considerate, run around in public, and hoard stuff fade away.

Reaching Up

My Instagram of the day featured Spice the paint quarter horse in a quest for delicious hackberry leaves, which she deserved after going for a ride and surviving being barked at by my dogs. It’s nice that Sara and I can still ride, as long as we take some reasonable precautions (we no longer share grooming tools, and only one person at a time can be in the tack room, which I keep forgetting).

Spice stretches out while being groomed after a nice ride.

I did a lot of reaching up (and down) yesterday while painting trim. But, now that much of it has multiple coats of creamy white, it looks great.

Nicole paints away on the trim yesterday.

Today, Chris is really reaching up as he works on painting the wall behind the new stairs. He has most of the priming done and is hopeful that there will be two colorful bathrooms very soon!

Looking down from the front door. Lots of white trim, new subfloor, and a primed wall, ready to be a cheerful color.

Peace within Reach

Other than being a mirror image, this shows me all dazed in a meeting, sharing the sight I get every time I drive down County Road 140 to my house. It’s lots nicer with that field of flowers to enjoy.

Many of my coworkers are doing their meetings on their patios or porches. It’s a great way to get outdoors a bit and enjoy some peace, while still getting stuff done.

I’m stuck in the basement for meetings. But never fear, I took a couple of photos of hos beautiful it is on the road leading to the ranch, so I use it as my Zoom backdrop. A little bit of peace for all!

The view without my head in it, and not mirror image. Not bad, is it? You can see my house around the bend.

I hope you can get out in nature, reach up and touch something not made by humans, and find a little inner peace. Let me know how you’re doing!