Thursday, March 29, 2012

Celebrating April

March is nearly over. Women's History Month is almost history. For the past 28 days, we've been deluged with stories of valiant women, women who Made a Difference, from Joan of Arc to Lady Gaga. It is always edifying to read about these role models. Where would we be without women? Answer (Biology 101): we wouldn't.

But come April 1st, we will ruminate about the fairer sex no more because it's National Poetry Month! Time to dust off our Keats and Yeats, time to glory in the poetic stylings of Eminem. I will dive headlong into the world of verse, even composing my shopping lists in iambic pentameter. Until it all comes to a screeching halt in May, when we take up the torch of  the Egg, Flowers and Asthma and Allergy Awareness (and those allergic to Eggs and Flowers). Frittatas! Pansies! Inhalers! So much to celebrate!

Since it's clear that just about anyone can laud just about anything anytime, I've decided to try my hand at this game. Has anyone yet christened April "Fools in the Rain" Month? A span of time when fools shed all reason (and most of their clothes) to dance in the often cool and windy storms of the season? Done! April is also Very Taxing Month, a span of time when we shed all our money and send it, with love and kisses, to Uncle Sam, while we impatiently endure Fools in the Rain.

But why stop here? Doesn't it make sense to christen the fourth month National Ape (Ape-ril--get it?) Awareness Month? I don't know about you, but I am rarely aware of the apes in my midst, unless I am in the nosebleed seats at an Eagles game. Let's open the zoo gates to let us all in, gratis, and ponder the majesty of our scary and hairy cousins! April can also be coined Rilly (April-ly--get it?) Awesome Month, when our linguistically challenged pals can ooh and aah over the buds and blossoms, deeming them all Rilly Awesome (along with their ipads, Mt. Everest and Cheez Whiz).

April 18th is Daffy Duck's birthday, but what about Garfield and Snoopy and Rush Limbaugh? These cartoon characters deserve their own special days, don't you think?

April 22nd marks Earth Day, which begs the question--what of Jupiter Day? Saturn Month? Former Planet Pluto Week? Let's be fair here!
I hereby declare April 10th Spam Day, when we open those unmistakable oblong cans of food-like product, sit down at the computer and email all our friends about Nigerian royalty and bank deposits.

April 26th? My Husband’s Birthday, a day when all of you with spouses named Steve Seyfried who were born in 1949 can make merry.

April, once a humdrum bridge between nasty March and lovely May, can now be a hotbed of celebratory activity! Go on, pick a day and give it a focus! And let me know when you decide it’s National Euphonium Day. I love a good euphonium. Let's party!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Bad Hair Life


Julie took off for Hawaii to visit Evan on Monday. With her were our love, our best wishes for a safe trip, and my flatiron.

She can keep the love and wishes. I want my flatiron back.

the pixie cut
You see, my hair and I have struggled my whole life. From the time I was shorn of my toddler ringlets, things have been going downhill.  By age 4 I was subject to frequent "pixie cuts" (named to sound precious; in reality I looked like a cute little boy). As I aged, I kept the hair super short most of the time, out of sheer laziness for the most part. Mine were not the tresses one could let grow without massive intervention. Thick and frizzy, my hair was more accurately tamed than combed. But still I dreamed of long, movie-star locks (never mind that said stars traveled with a coterie of beauticians at all times). Remember Ali McGraw's long, poker-straight style in "Love Story"? Or better yet, Peggy Lipton’s poker-straight BLONDE hair in “Mod Squad”? THAT was my (incredibly unrealistic) goal.

My 8th grade graduation photo features me with a shoulder-length, glossy "do," the product of a solid hour in the hairdresser's chair with giant rollers and various potions designed to bring my wayward strands under control. "Shortly" thereafter, I got it all cut off again. And so I remained, the oldest living pixie, throughout my young adulthood. We shall draw a merciful curtain over the few years I sported a "permanent" (think Harpo Marx, think finger in a light socket). The majority of the time it was wash-n-go for me, which was good because I rarely glanced in the mirror--why ruin my day?

Awhile back, I was feeling quite low, and really needed a cosmetic boost. So my friend and hairdresser Sue and I embarked on a slow journey, the journey to an attractive mane. Over the next few years, Sue tended my hair as one would a garden, trimming, watering. Patience paid off: at last I looked the way I wanted (more or less; I could do without the not-remotely-funny “laugh lines.”) Upkeep is a bear, but it’s worth it to me.

And now my flatiron is sunning itself on Kailua Beach. I’m sure Julie didn’t mean to abscond with my favorite beauty tool, but nevertheless she did (and ironically Julie’s hair ALWAYS looks great naturally). I’m counting the days until it—I mean she—comes home.

Sue came to my rescue last night with an emergency blowout, which should tide me over for a bit.  I didn’t think I had a lot of personal vanity until the Great Hair Adventure. Now I know better. I’m not proud of myself, but there it is. I finally care how I look.

So, while I’m way behind on office work, I’m not ready for my speaking gig Tuesday, the fridge is empty and the laundry is piling up, none of this matters. I am a happy clam.

                                                                The hair looks good today.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Faithful readers of my blog will recall that my wallet was stolen from church on Election Day. For more recent perusers: my wallet was stolen from church on Election Day.  It was my first such experience, and I felt angry and violated. The thief had taken, along with my measly supply of cash, driver’s license and a cache of credit cards/super saver club cards, my trust in humanity. Plus a business card from a restaurant our mission team went to in Guatemala last summer. How am I supposed to replace that?

But life went on. I purchased a new wallet and got a new license. Gradually my faith in mankind was restored. Surely this was a blip, an aberration, right? Most folks are honest as the day is long (I guess that means they are honest 10-12 hours a day, a bit more during daylight savings time). While I was now much more cautious about leaving my purse lying around, I had let my guard down in other arenas.

 Now I will freely admit: I am a computer password disaster. As I fear that someday my survival will hinge on my reliably remembering my children’s  ages, so I know that multiple passwords would never work for me.  When I entered the wacky world of the internet, I decided to pick one catchphrase and stick with it (just what the experts tell you NOT to do). My clever little saying got me open sesame to my yahoo account, my gmail account, Facebook. Since I typed it multiple times a day, there was no chance of forgetting, and thus being unable to access my treasure trove of info. Oh, I had heard of hackers. But I imagined they were big-time criminals, bent on cracking Ashton Kutcher’s code. Who’d want to read my emails to the Confirmation class, my Living Social daily specials, my ho-hum FB postings? Heck, I can barely maintain interest in my own online doings!

 The first time I noticed something was amiss, a few of my Facebook friends accepted my friend request once again. Hmmm, hadn’t they BEEN my friends for quite awhile? Then came the messages: people in my circle were being contacted on IM, by someone pretending to be me. Someone asking for money. I checked Facebook and I saw: there was a duplicate Elise Seyfried page, down to the last detail. The dastardly deed doer had copied my online identity and was trolling for cash! With shaking hands I reported him/her to Facebook as an impostor, and quickly changed my password to something with, I think, some capital letters and numbers mixed together (I’d better double check that). What had this person seen? That really unflattering photo from Christmas on which I’d been “tagged”? My “humorous” quip about  the weather?  When I calmed down, I realized that not much damage had been done, thankfully.

All is secure now. 

Still, it has rendered me doubtful and suspicious once again, and I hate that feeling. 

Curse you, hacker!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Three Yogurts and a Lady

So I was at the Shop N Bag on Saturday, and along with the rest of the week's groceries I put 3 large containers of Dannon yogurt in my cart. When I got home, I didn't notice the yogurts weren't there--it wasn't until breakfast time (and that is my breakfast, 365 days a year) the next morning that I discovered they were gone. Horrors!! My AM tastebuds had no idea what to do with themselves!! I spent the rest of the weekend puzzling. Had the yogurts hopped back into the dairy case when my head was turned? I scanned my receipt--no yogurt. If Ya-Jhu hadn't been with me I'd think I was going nuts, but she swore she'd seen them too.

The mystery was solved this afternoon. I returned to the store for my yogurt fix. The checker looked at my 3 tubs of Dannon and said, "You didn't by any chance leave 3 yogurts on the counter on Saturday?" Seems on unloading the cart they hadn't made it onto the conveyor belt. Sounds like I was the talk of Shop N Bag (must've been a slow news day).

I tell this story to illustrate a point--I have become capital P Predictable. Who’s kidding whom—I have been Predictable my whole life. I am someone whose habits you could set your watch to. I park in the exact same spot every day at work (and it isn’t “reserved for” me) and the same spot in the same pew at church. I wear one fragrance, use one face cream, go to sleep in one (comfy) family room chair when watching anything on TV with more substance than America’s Next Top Model. My kids and Steve can tell you: I am afraid of elevators (and dogs and rooftops and the ocean and the list goes on), my favorite food is lobster and my adult beverage of choice is Malbec. Favorite color has always been green, favorite number 4. I hate to exercise and love to procrastinate. And I'm only 55!!! Imagine how set in my ways I will be at 70. Go ahead, you imagine—I’d prefer not to.

In my youth I dreamed of a wild gypsy future, flitting from place to place, never living the same day twice. It thrilled me to think of myself as madcap and changeable as the weather. But even then I was a creature of habit, a miniature of myself now, a laundry list of quirks, rigid in my likes and dislikes. Carving a rut in the earth with my repetitive path through my days.

But no more! I will break out of this boring pattern, I swear. I will try a new shampoo! I will use a different coffee mug! Given the encyclopedia of choices we have in life, it’s been ridiculous limiting myself this way. So bring it on, world! I’m ready to leave the Dannon on the counter and take a few chances.

Starting with breakfast. Scrambled eggs, anyone?