Fab Disaster – The Audio Version!

(Photo via Alexander Rose, taken while filming our web series IRL – one of the 11,000 projects I have going on rn bc I have no chill)

Happy hump day, losers! Oh c’mon, “losers” is one of my terms of endearment. Just ask the people who got a Christmas card from me in 2014.

I’m a huge fan of podcasts. I listen to tons of them, since I walk 6 or 7 miles a day on average and like to make the most of my time. One of these days I’ll make a list of my favorites so you can all check them out. 

For the past few years, I’ve had this dream of one day starting my own legit podcast, or in the meantime, just recording my stories so people can listen to them. As a start, I’ve recorded one of my old posts in a sort of “baby’s first pod” for ya’ll to listen to here! 

It’s a far cry from the “official” podcast I hope to develop someday, and there are lot of things I’ll do differently in the next recording (chill out, read more slowly, and edit some of the language of the post I’m reading…just to name a few). 

In any case, the story I recorded this week is from Fall 2012, an era full of memorable firsts like stripper auditions, body painting, absentee voting and eating deodorant. I think it turned out pretty good for my first shot. 

If you enjoy it, follow my brand new Soundcloud and look out for more in the near future. 

Enjoy the rest of your week! 

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If you grew up in the ‘burbs, this Tumblr will speak to your soul

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Pic: McMansion Hell

People, I am beside myself.

As y’all know, I work in operations at a design studio. Usually the things my coworkers share on our #random Slack channel are technology related (and thus completely over my head) or super played out memes I’ve already seen during the 90% of my life that I spend on social media.

But when the glory that is McMansionHell.com hit the thread I was truly floored and given no choice but to share it with literally everyone I know. McMansions (n.) can best be described as the gaudy, humongous, oft cheaply constructed and illogically designed homes built around the turn of the millennium for the now defunct “Upper Middle Class” to feign opulence to their surrounding suburban neighbors. As the blog beautifully puts it, they are the “knockoff bags of architecture.”

When the bubble burst, many of these homes were either repossessed or put up for sale by their recession-hit owners. McMansion Hell is a blog that takes photos of the worst of these monstrosities from real estate websites like Zillow, and explains in perfect comedic tone the blatant architectural failures of each room in the home. The writer, Kate, is originally from North Carolina (right?) and really knows what she’s talking about, presumably in part because these thangs are ALL OVER THE FREAKIN’ PLACE in our home state.

As someone who lived in a McMansion for the whole of my teenage years–and returned for the holidays up until a few months ago when my combined family finally split up and flipped that thing to the highest bidder–this blog speaks to my deepest embarrassments and confusion about the world in which I came of age, and about the people who conceived of it.

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Pic: McMansion Hell

My mother and father divorced when I was 4, and if you count each of their respective residences, I lived in a total of 8 homes before graduating high school. Since each household was supported by a single-parent breadwinner, it’s safe to say that the first 7 of them were…comfortable. Even nice, in the way middle class subdivisions were in the 90s, before everything started dropping into foreclosure like flies. Not really boastful or flashy, but a nice, safe place for kids to grow up.

From ‘94 to ‘99, my mother, two of my brothers and I lived in a nice little neighborhood called Lake Moor in Garner, North Carolina. Garner wasn’t exactly a town known for its wealth per capita, but Lake Moor was one of the nicer spots in the area. It was the kind of place where, at least it seemed, you could let your kids roam around on bikes unsupervised, down the paved trails in the woods to throw rocks in Lake Benson, never giving it a second thought that they’d be kidnapped or hit by a truck. There was even a community pool with a vending machine that sold BRISK Iced Tea for $0.60 a can and playground that only left you with splinters 90% of the time. Luxury, indeed.  

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^See, fairly normal suburban whatever-house. There used to be a third tree in that patch but it fell during hurricane Fran. I remember because the next day when I was climbing on it a yellow jacket stung the back of my leg. But this isn’t about Fran this is about a house that I remember being much bigger than this! Turns out I was just smaller than I am now! Science is crazy.

My favorite thing as a child was to play pretend, specifically as a princess.  As many of you know, I still do this today and it can be very annoying. But as a kid, it was quite cute. I had a canopy bed and all white furniture with brass plated detailing typical of a 90s girl’s room. I’d tap around the foyer of our house in my shiny black Sunday shoes and polyester slips believing I was Cinderella or whomever I wanted to embody that day. My mother’s taste in furniture was grand and traditional, dark cherry woods that, when I slid the fingers of my white gloves across them, made me feel like Anastasia. Outside, I’d play with my dog in the overgrown cattails by the pond and talk to myself, like the tomboy alter ego of any fairy tale protagonist. But inside, I would put on a toy tiara and sneak into my mom’s china cabinet to play with her silver. We didn’t live in a McMansion just yet, but the details were there. The aspiration was there. To me, it always felt like pretend. And I guess it was supposed to. 

It’s normal for kids to idolize those who have more than they do. Adults, too. And to the untrained eye, bigger + crazier + vague references to lavishness of yore = wealth. On summer days, my brother Winston and I used to rollerblade down to the neighborhood’s one local McMansion, which at the time we just referred to as “The Mansion,” and we’d gawk at how official it looked. To us, it was basically the White House. Who lived there, we wondered? They must be famous! Remember, this house was in Garner, North Carolina. Probably not a half mile from our own. No…looking back, I don’t think anyone “famous” lived there. We were young.

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^McMansion AF, you guys! For some reason I remember there being a gate at the beginning of this driveway but that would be literally nuts, wouldn’t it? Also, please look at the mailbox. And that gigantic dormer. And the spacing of the windows. And the chimney! And the fact that there are TWO FUCKING FRONT DOORS! This is the house that I wanted to live in at age 7. As you can probably guess, there is nothing on either side of my family that qualifies as “old money.”

Not long after that, my mom remarried. Winston and I were sitting in the den of our between-houses rental home when our mom and stepfather-to-be showed us a mockup of the house they were having built. A house big enough for two of my mom’s kids and four of his and the two of them and the dog to all live together in the middle of Cary, North Carolina. It was…a certified McMansh. Or as I yelped excitedly upon seeing the drawings: “A MANSION???!” My mom shushed me, smirking. I mean it would be wrong to brag, of course. But clearly I was about the become the rich-bitch princess I had always deserved to be. I was ten years old.

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The house I lived in from age 10 to age 17

I can’t really sum up what it was like to live here because all my memories are biased due to a) the fact that the ages 10-17 are some of the most complicated and traumatizing years of your life EVEN when you have a traditional nuclear family and no mental illness and b) I most certainly did not have a traditional nuclear family or a sound emotional state. But we did have 6 bedrooms, a three-car garage, a trampoline in the back, a big deck, and a massive interior which was either full of strangers or completely empty, cold and echoing. My room was enormous by any standard, which was great for retreating from the world to journal and make collages and, in the later years, to do drugs. I didn’t drive until I was almost out of high school, and I spent up to that time annoyed I didn’t live downtown with the other cool kids in their smaller, historic bungalows that better fit my ~super indie hipster aesthetic~. Things were uneven here and there, and after a while, started falling apart.

But I do think it was beautiful, and my mom loved it. She adored it, honestly, at times as though it were one of her children. I think it was a symbol for her steadfast belief that we really could have the perfect life. That our family, even though it was a weirdo wonky mess most of the time, did all belong together under this big-ass roof. “If you build it, happiness will come,” you know? Or maybe it was a “the bigger the house, the closer to God,” sort of thing. I’m kidding.

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Some McMansion Hell-inspired art I made based on my own experience. Do u get it?

I do have some good memories of this place. The pantry, for one, which was roughly the size of my entire current apartment and always stocked with snacks; the way you could be on one end of the house hooking up with your teenage boyfriend and your parents couldn’t hear on account of being a half a mile away in their bedroom; the fact that my mom was queen of the castle, so when I was there, she was taking care of me. It was something comforting to return to when I was in college and living in houses that were quite literally falling to the ground. I hated the suburbs, sure, but I loved how you could see the stars in the sky, walk around in the middle of the night safely, jump a fence to a pool and the worst that would happen is a soccer mom would furrow her eyebrows at you through a glass-brick window.

And of course, once I moved to New York, our McMansion became my post-ironic luxury. Every time I would visit I’d take photos of myself in my mom’s spa-like bathroom, walk around in her terry cloth robe sipping champagne, bask in the sun in an adirondack chair and worry about absolutely nothing. That’s what the suburbs are good for – while they may not be an entirely accurate representation of your reality, if in fact you are in the market for a comfortable delusion, they are always there for you. At 23, living in a rat infested building and making $300 a week, I loved going home again to play pretend.

The house sold back in April when the Bradys came un-bunched. But I don’t miss it. It was too much, like a lot of things that were going on at the time. And now a new young family lives there and my mom lives in a lovely house not too far away. But looking at the photos of it, I have to say I am overwhelmed with nostalgia. On Google street view you can see our old cars in the driveway, and for a second it really got to me. I don’t miss the house really, or the neighborhood, or most of the family. I guess part of me just misses the safety of having a home base at all. Misses not knowing the truth: that you can’t go back to the past, that everything disappears eventually, that some things weren’t made to last in the first place.

ANYWAY, the blog is funny as shit, and I am basically in love with Kate and her taste level/depth of knowledge/dry-as-heck wit. Apparently we’re from the same place and all, so unless she’s like 75, we MUST have some mutual friends. If you know her, introduce me, so we can get married ironically on the steps of a McMansion.

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McMansionHell.com

 

 

 

Rambling about Rambling

mariah overthinking

You know what I kinda miss, just a little? I miss 2010 when I first started this blog as a Tumblr, posting for my 3 consistent readers about the dumb shit I did that past weekend. I don’t think I even promoted the posts. It was mostly a cathartic experience for me, where, after having a run-in with the cops, or hooking up with some now has-been/possibly never-was DJ on a tour bus, I’d work through the anxiety of my hangover by turning all the stupid things I did into jokes. If I had embarrassed myself, I figured people would talk about it. So I wanted to be the first one to get the story out, in my own words.

Looking back, I must have known that no one was really going to talk shit about the time I drank so much I peed on Alex’s borrowed couch, or the time I got yelled at by my boss at the diner for showing up to work with whiskey breath. We were all garbage in college. Every person worth a damn, at least at my university, was deeply tormented during those years, making mistakes like it was their job and underachieving their potential. Probably had something to do with the cocktail of post-adolescent malaise plus a newfound freedom mixed with the giant QUESTION MARK a good liberal arts education will cause you to place on society. It was hard to believe in anything except how fabulous we’d be in the future, and how fun the next party would be.

So if I was making fun of myself to silence any critics, the only critic I can think of is me. Forget the collective critic of the Normal Majority–they didn’t know who I was to begin with. It was all in my head. “You fucked up again. You slept too late again. You’re hungover again. You acted a fool. You’re not taking care of your mental or physical health. But if you’re going to have fun, you might as well back yourself up.” So I did, and it always made me feel better. Plus, it was fun. And then a few people, just a few, started paying attention. So I kept doing it because I like entertaining people. But over time I started to think more about who was reading, which made me overthink what I would put out there. I wanted my stuff to be a little more polished, shareable, all the annoying things they tell you your content should be if you want to get people to notice you.

That mindset, of course, got me just the opposite. Now I’m overthinking it. I’m not just opening my computer and letting it flow like I did back then. Okay, part of that might have to do with the fact that I don’t really party anymore, that my laptop is as old as this blog, or that I have a full-time job and “several other projects.” But the biggest factor that keeps me from writing is pressure. Pressure to have 3,000 words every time I sit down. Or shit, even know what the fuck I’m going to say when I sit down. I have posts that I outlined and worked on over the course of weeks, only to end up publishing them well after the event they were referring to. Not a total waste of time, no, but if I’d chilled out a little bit I could have so much more fun.

I always say I don’t have enough time, and yeah, I work hard. I’m doing a lot of things. But I want to get back in that mindset of freely telling stories, not thinking about the outcome, just messing around. That’s what the writing was supposed to be for in the first place. I just need to get out of my own way.

I don’t miss being a hot-ass mess, but I do miss not giving a fuck.

#FLASHBACKFRIDAY: My Seventh Grade Dressing Room

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Wow. Happy Friday – this was probably the longest most stressful week of 2015 so far, being that it was the only one that didn’t include a major holiday.

Today, we flashback to the year 2002. In seventh grade I was obsessed with teen magazines. YM, Cosmogirl, Teen Beat, Teen Vogue, j14, Seventeen…sometimes even the real Cosmopolitan which I would thumb through, wide-eyed, not understanding a single word.

“What’s a cli-TOR-is? I want one!”

Americans had a much different view of celebrity culture in the pre-social media days. While little girls still worship the stars of Pretty Little Liars or whatever show teens are watching the same way we idolized Hilary Duff back then (yes there was a time she was VERY MUCH relevant and we all cared about her – don’t deny it), I can’t help but feel like celebs have been humanized by the vehicles they now have to communicate with fans. Instagram, Twitter…it used to be that the only way we could learn about our favs was through printed and bound magazine articles that made them seem so disconnected from our normal tween boring-ass lives.

One form of listicle I remembered seeing often was the WHAT “SO-AND-SO” HAS IN HER DRESSING ROOM! variety.  Looking back this was nothing more than a very effective way of slapping a celebrity name on some random products to endorse them to impressionable kids. I still run into these crocks of shit all the time as an adult. “REESE WITHERSPOON SWEARS BY KIEHL’S!!” I mean, I’m a smart, grown, educated girl but if a celebrity told me she dodged highway traffic as her preferred form of exercise I’d probably consider it for at least a second. We’re all pretty much brainwashed, and have been our whole lives.

Since I’ve always wanted to be a writer, I’ve always kept a journal. Since I’ve also always wanted to be a celebrity, some of the things I wrote in my journal looked like this entry from May 11, 2002, written in green gel pen.

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“~What I Would have~in My DRESSING~ROOm!~

-1 case of DASANI water bottles (filled)
-1 case of Lipsmaker sponge on sparkler all flavors
– 3 things of hunny
-flinstons vitamens
-computer w/ AIM
-zyrtec
-Acuvue color contacs
-Secret sheer dry
-Baby oil & powder
-tanning oil
-Dentine Ice gum
-Qutips
-oil absorbant pads
-clean & clear foam face wash
-fruit, hehe
-pringles”

And another consumer was born. At first reading this I couldn’t help but feel sorry for my little 12-year-old self. She’d been duped by magazine ads and bullshit articles. She thought the right skincare products are what make you a woman and she wanted to be famous so she could have as many Pringles and as much lip gloss as she could ever want. It all made me so sad.

But then I remembered how good Pringles are – so I put on some lip gloss, and I went out to buy some.

Unhappiness: The Movie

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The first script I ever completed (not counting the handwritten childhood plays I put on in my living room wearing my mother’s sequin dresses for an audience of exactly zero) was as short film I co-wrote with Alex in 2007 for our group project in the Carolina Production Guild. The film was called “Unhappiness,” and starred the two of us as an even more bitter and disaffected version of our post-teen selves. Actually, I had only just turned 18 at the time. The premise, I guess, is that the two of us are best friends who hate everyone and everything and can’t seem to get anything right. I slip in the shower getting ready for school. We sit in the quad complaining about how sunny it is. We force-feed ourselves at the local sludge buffet while complaining about the food. We make fun of a homeless guy. Then, at the end, we both call our parents and cry about how hard college is and how depressed we are because we have no friends.

When it came time to actually shoot the film, the production was a huge mess. Alex and I couldn’t focus on anything and fucked around the entire time. The rest of our crew were actually interested in producing a movie, so they effectively wasted a weekend standing around disgruntled watching two totally vain underclassmen obnoxiously act out a movie they wrote about how obnoxious they are. By the time the sun was setting on the last day, we’d only shot about 3/4 of our scenes, and Alex and I waged a french fry fight in the courtyard across from the Franklin Street McDonald’s while our three-person crew sat around, equipment in hand, bored and annoyed. It was amazing.

When we got to the editing lab, we realized that in addition to not even shooting our entire script, there had also been a major audio fuck up for the scenes we actually filmed. As in, none of it had been recorded. No audio whatsoever, out of two whole days of not working really really hard. We had to re-record every scene in voiceover and dub over each individual shot. By that I mean, Alex and I provided the voices in between singing songs from Britney’s “Blackout” while Brandon, our director, did most of the actual, technical work.  Looking back, the two of us must have had major undiagnosed cases of ADD, because at points we were just blurting out lines that weren’t in the script and INSISTING they were funny enough to make it into the final cut.

We presented the movie at the CPG screening by standing up in the auditorium, giggling.

“This is a movie by assholes, for assholes” we said to the crowd.

Embarrassed by the fact that it wasn’t really a movie at all, we watched the final product while slumped down in our seats, laughing hysterically, hiding our blushing faces.

When it was the next group’s turn to present, they made their own announcement:

“Well we’re not assholes, so we decided to make something beautiful.”

The group then unveiled their film, a dramatic period piece set in the Depression, sepia toned and everything, about a man whose wife dies from Typhus or something.

It was the hardest I laughed in 2007.

Now, seven years later, and I often wonder what became of our movie. There is no record of it having ever existed – Alex and I don’t even have a copy of our original script. We never did another year of CPG, because at that point we were pretty sure they all hated us. I hope if we are ever a success someone from the Guild will dig it out of whatever old hard drive it may be in and put it on youtube for us and the world to laugh at.

In any case, we had attempted to make something funny based on real experiences. It didn’t turn out so beautiful, because we were just disorganized kids making fun of ourselves. But it was honest. And I guess if the only thing I ever achieve in life is a volume of bad but honest work, well, that’ll suck. But it wouldn’t be the worst thing.

Growing up (is hard 2 do)

can't fight crime, kat st. kat, katstkat, patrickokay, unacclimated

In the summer of 2010 I once drank so much four loko that I staple-gunned my boot to my ankle. I must have looked so insane and pathetic in the attic of my much older friend’s house, sitting on the carpet with my legs in a W, laughing and crying a little as I pulled the metal out. I was 20 years old. I had no idea yet how to order a drink in a bar, but it wasn’t the first time I’d gotten drunk and hurt myself.

—–

A few days before I returned from North Carolina, while sexting a photo of my naked butt, I got an unexpected phone call about starting a new “gig,” (what the kids are calling jobs these days). It was a welcome opportunity since as you know I spent the major part of the last month fucking around, drinking cocktails and trying to get rid of my tan lines. But when I was torn from my spot on my childhood trampoline and catapulted into normal working hours back in lower manhattan, it was quite an adjustment. Every morning when my alarm goes off I am convinced there must be some way around it. This usually leads to a very rude awakening, followed by a lot of running through my apartment yelling “SHIT,” a lot of makeup and hair products being shoved into a giant canvas bag, and a lot of primping on the train.

It’s the same way I got ready for high school every morning. I’d guzzle 20 ounces of generously sugared black coffee in the passenger seat of my father’s car at 7 am, sometimes after sneaking out, taking drugs from strangers and only coming home to change my shirt. I’d drag the torn edges of my American Eagle jeans into first period hoping no one would notice I was five minutes late, or that I’d only slept twelve hours that week. In high school I was the girl who was greeted with giggles and whispers of “did you hear?” when I entered a room. My grades were impressive, I brushed my teeth twice a day and took a bath every night. But on any given weekend I’d probably drank half a bottle of watermelon burnette’s and gone skinny dipping in the backyard of a house party with someone’s boyfriend, or girlfriend, or both. I’d probably thrown up in a bush. Cheap liquor will do that to the girl who doesn’t eat. But I was gonna be famous. One day I’d be an Olsen twin.

—–

The summer of 2010, the one after we burned our house down, led to a winter, a spring, a subsequent summer and fall. By then I was great at ordering drinks in bars and guzzling bottles of sailor jerry on the back of my boyfriend’s motorcycle. I was even better at getting in drunken fights with that boyfriend almost daily. Some nights there were screaming matches in the streets. Other nights he’d carry me into our house over his shoulder after I had one too many shots. By my 22nd birthday I’d finished college, which might actually be the worst thing for a drinking problem. I was older, but I wasn’t an Olsen. I was depressed, directionless, 15 pounds heavier and never leaving the house. Until one day I did, and I ended up in jail. But that’s another story.

After the mandatory alcohol therapy and the somewhat sobering shame of making the front page of The Slammer, I started to get my act together. My unhealthy relationship had ended during a tumultuous Mercury Retrograde. I had a full time job where my coworker was a convicted felon on work release with an unlikely knack for life-coaching. I was spending one Wednesday a month dressing in my mother’s suits and hiding my undercut for court appearances to end up with a clean record. I was texting a funny writer boy in New York. I wanted to take risks, be stronger, do great things with my life and heart. So I started, and eventually I began to rise like a phoenix, I guess, from metaphorical ashes this time.

—–

Since then, I’ve only had a handful of dark drunken moments, most of which I laugh off and write about here. Once I cussed out a room full of innocent friends after drinking an unknown amount of four loko, which, by the way, is no longer my beverage of choice. Twice, maybe three times I’ve blacked out and cried, barefoot on a New York sidewalk. More times than I care to admit, I’ve looked into the wrong person’s eyes for too long.

Two weeks ago I went to sushi with my older brother in Durham, North Carolina. The site of my post-collegiate depression seemed so much cuter outside the haze. I’m sure it was because I’d moved on. I had prospects. I had a job. I’d worked in close proximity to major celebrities when less than two years prior I was watching them on apple TV, alone and hungover with the curtains drawn. He told me over martinis that he’d been reading my blog, and my first thought was fear. Embarrassment. When my brother was my age, he got married and had his first child. I’ve always admired him for that, the way he transformed almost overnight into this professional, responsible man. A daddy. Now 34 years old, he has a third baby on the way.

“Your life isn’t that crazy every night, though, is it?” he asked me. No, not always. And hopefully in the coming years it will be even less so. All of the stories are true; I take club drugs, I wake up too late, I pay for my groceries in quarters, sometimes I forget to eat and I drink too much and I say the wrong thing. I still ask my parents for money every now and then. But I turn 24 soon. I want some of those things to change, and I’m gonna have to figure out how.

Some days you get to work on time. Some days your hair looks perfect and your shirt’s right-side-out. Some days you exercise and some days you’re in love and there’s money in the bank and your shoes are tied and the kitty litter box is clean.

Some days your ambition rules you, your delusions roam freely, driving your life to those high points you are sure it will achieve someday. And some days you’re heartbroken, eating a can of beans in the tub. “But at least,” you think, “I remembered to bathe.”

Beauty and Dis Bish

Okay so before I start rambling on about the exciting/exhausting events surrounding my social life, I thought I’d explore a different facet of my routine that is becoming more and more relevant, HaIr MaInTenAnCe

This is meant to be a sincere apology to my poor, once-fucked locks, in the form of a photo montage.

I am currently in the midst of trying to grow my hair out to what will hopefully be a free and unmanageable length. That will officially mark the first time I have had long hair in about four years.

^The last time I had long hair it was 2008, the summer of the American Apparel Bodysuit. Yes I am 18 in this picture so feel free to look at my vagina.

I should also mention that before I went short in ’09 (and for quite a while after) I was cutting my own hair with kitchen scissors and sometimes thinning it with a disposable razor.


^I cut my bangs using crayola construction paper scissors and ate nothing but amphetamines for a month because I wanted to look like Alice Glass

I was hacking at my head so regularly that I was left with almost nothing.


^Here I am at a cut copy show rocking the asian lesbian look

^This cut was based off of the brunette Agyness Deyn look. I literally used a venus razor to make the top thin enough to stick straight up and it still barely ever did. I would show you the one picture of my attempt to pull that off, but I look like a dead straight guy.

Then my brother started dating a hair stylist and I was able to take advantage of her kindness enough that she shaped what became my signature look, the curly ass top mop with the buzzed back and sides. We used to have buzz parties at 506 Church when all the boys and Jesi and I had slightly different versions of the same haircut. I would still refer to it as “The Official Haircut of TBT.”

^I cannot even begin to describe the amount of cool I correctly believed I was at the time of this photo. As cool as anyone can be in the study lounge of UNC’s Koury residence hall (not very).

I held true to that asymmetry, knowing how awkward it would be to grow out (I tried once and wore a beanie for about 6 months before buzzing it again).

^In the fall of 2010. You can see how Reid and I have the same basic shape to our hurr. You can also see that I’m wearing a children’s faux fur from Limited Too and that Reid is carrying a Coors Light box as a purse. Anthropological gold mine, this photo. 

So, fine. I was stuck with the same hair well into 2011. But I got to have that cool topknot all the boys think is soooOOo hot and original these days.


^shout out to patrick, kraft, candy necklaces and of course, me.

In the Spring of 2011,  I had Hannah dye chunks of the brown purple and blue.


^Uncontrollable excitement in Chapel Hill’s Rec Room due entirely to something called ~Loaded Tater Tots~. Also what’s up, Austin.

When I decided to go blonde that Summer the color she’d used for those chunks was impossible to be bleached out and we had to darken that section to a light brown.


^me n Sass posing for our live webcam banner ad

When Winter came along, I wanted to go even lighter and for reasons I cannot recall chose to darken that chunk in contrast. It was sort of a goth-tramp look.

In April I went blonder than I had ever been before. The blondest of the blonde. I felt like my brown hair had emphasized my accountability, indulged my realism…you know, helped me give fucks. I was so obsessed with my new hair I could hardly remember my reason for living before the transformation. Being blonde gave me LIFE.


^despite the fact that I look pissed and that I couldn’t manage to successfully straighten my hair, this is the best picture I have of the initial blondeness.

My decision to go crazy with Manic Panic in all-over magenta only a month later came suddenly. I was moving to New York. I had just gotten dumped. Sarah Sassafrass was right there with an array of semi-permanent colors. I went for it.

^Me v pink, giving face at myself in the mirror. The usual.

It washed out by July and left me with honey blonde locks that, while my ideal color, felt entirely like straw. I had always used cheap shampoo and conditioner until this year. Probably for the same reason I used to cut my hair with kitchen scissors. Probably for the same reason I boycotted blankets in the Winter of ’05. I am very good at rationalizing laziness.
^V bored and emo. You can kind of see that I straightened the ends here, which I fell into the habit of doing for the rest of the summer. It also destroyed about half of my hair as it had been zapped of its nutrients from all the coloring in the first place.

So I had a haircut that, okay, it didn’t suck I guess. But I was struggling to figure out how to grow the short brown sides while still blending them with the long blonde ends.

Last month I started working part-time as a receptionist a hair salon (as you know, I don’t like to use proper nouns until I can’t get fired from those proper nouns). It allows me to afford my apartment, which at 725/month is about 2.5x what I used to pay in North Carolina and considered a steal for most of habitable Brooklyn. Despite the fact that I have been taking better care of my hair recently–Redken extreme antisnap treatment, seriously it’s the shit–a large part of my job involved stylists looking at my hair and saying “what are we going to do with this…?” or “wow, you’ve got a situation” or my personal favorite, silently running their fingers through my hair with their lips pursed while I work. Luckily I have a good sense of humor and irrationally high self-esteem. But the other night I decided to bite the bullet and have Hannah cut me a reasonable adult haircut that doesn’t look like Daffy Duck after his head got smashed in a piano. She blended the regrowth with a reddish brown tone, and I was left with a what I believe to be very chic version of Juila Stiles cut in The Prince and Me (a movie I have not actually seen).


Vry ‘chic’ for work, still slightly asymmetrical, and I think it will look even better crimped with some butterfly clips.

THIS IS A MAJOR STEP FOR ME. I feel like I can be taken a bit more seriously now with semi-norm hair, which may have been a necessary adjustment? It’s also important to start making investments at this stage in life. I have no excuse not to buy the proper treatments for my hair just because they cost 20 dollars, when I would spend that much on a Monday night buying a personal deep dish pizza that will ruin my entire week. Spending money on things you actually need feels really good. In the end I’ll probably waste the rest on food and alcohol, but if i’m going to be broke with a fat ass I WILL AT LEAST HAVE THICK, HEALTHY, LUXURIOUS HAIR.

ugh.

I’ll tell 2001 you said hey.