Hair Musings

There’s this girl on the cover of this months Vogue named Carey Mulligan and she’s copying me.  Or she and I just have really similar taste in hairdos.  Check it out.


Carey Mulligan.Right.  Admittedly her dress is much more beautiful that my tank top, admittedly her stylist has a better hand with makeup than I do and admittedly Grace Coddington is a better sittings editor than my husband’s mac but the point is that our hairdos are actually very similar.

Here’s the thing that makes this similarity a bit boggling to the mind- this isn’t the first time we’ve had the same hairdo- it’s the third- and I have never taken a picture of Carey Mulligan to my hairdresser and said ‘that’s what I want.’

The first time I saw Miss Mulligan, she was playing the tarty Isabella Thorpe opposite Felicity Jones’ Catherine Morland in the made for TV ‘Northanger Abbey.’  Then came ‘An Education’ and then the attention.  By that time she’d cut her hair short and people started saying to me ‘you look a little like that girl from ‘An Education.’  I had cut my hair off a few months earlier after watching ‘Rosemary’s Baby.’

When I got bored of the plain old pixie, I bleached my hair white-blonde and then who should show up at the Oscars with bleach blonde hair?  That’s right, Carey Mulligan.  Now, the problem with dyed hair is that it must be maintained but I’m a low maintenance gal and after a brief deliberation I decided that my roots weren’t all that bad.  I decided I could live with them until they were long enough to be the old reddish-brown pixie.  That way I could save a nice chunk of change for a new sweater or five champagne cocktails from The Whip.  This was a very casually made decision.  Then a couple of days ago I spot Miss Mulligan on the cover of Vogue’s October issue sporting bleach blonde hair with brown roots!

Here’s another example of how much I look like Carey Mulligan.  Me.

Carey Mulligan.

Now clearly Carey Mulligan is not copying me.  That’s not actually what I’m saying.  But we’re kindred hair spirits.  At least that’s the way I’m spinning it.

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The girls you want to be, the boys you want to date, part two

This girl right there used to always say she wanted Ralph Nader’s sexy, sexy brain lodged in the molto bene body of Usher Raymond.  That’s an understatement of course.  What I really always wanted was the brain of Ralph Nader with Cary Grant’s composure, Paul Newman’s chipped-ice blue eyes,  Rob Lowe’s ivory jaw, Brad Pitt’s smile, Steve McQueen’s ‘steveness’ and (dare I upgrade?) D’Angelo’s body.  And I want all that to be singing No Air by Chris Brown and Jordin Sparks.  I want no part of Chris Brown though so I guess I want Al Green’s voice.  No small feat, I know.

But now, let’s break this thing down because I think you’ll find I had a good thing going on.  At least in my head.  So we’ve got I’ve-got-the-perfect-response-to-every-question-regardless-of-how-ridiculous-it-is composure

as-blue-as-the-carribean-sea blue eyes…

a hand-carved-from-a-slab-of-virgin-ivory-(can-ivory-be-virgin?) sculpted jaw…

a fresh-fun-and-flirty smile…

a ‘not in any way a stu’ cool…

and a makes-you-wonder-why-any-woman-goes-for-a-‘regular’-guy body…

All that singing No Air with Al Green’s voice and thinking like Ralph Nader?  I mean, all that fitted with the brain of the guy who wrote Unsafe at Any Speed and made this appearance

on Sesame Street?  Come on…. come ON.

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The girls you want to be, the boys you want to date, part one

I once got a little too drunk and then stayed up a little too late and then watched a few too many infomercials on television.  I was home alone and feeling sorry for myself for being home alone.  So, y’know how it is with these late night infomercials, you watch Chef Tony hawk his knives, you watch Loggins and Messina peddle some soft rock compilation album, you start to get sucked into the world of things that you don’t need but somehow feel are necessary to your happiness.

So, I was in the mood for needless consumption and this ad started playing and it was like my purpose was clear.  I had to purchase The Midnight Special.  The Midnight Special was my purpose.  So I did.  As instructed by a disembodied voice, I called, right then, and ordered my very own Midnight Special DVD series.

Immediate buyers remorse followed and I called the company back to cancel my order but I was told that the cancellation office wasn’t open again until Monday (this was a Saturday night) so I would have to call back then. I can’t believe I bought that story.  The guy must have had experience with tipsy orderers calling back in a panic trying to cancel.  Anyhow, I owe that guy my eternal gratitude because The Midnight Special has been a feast for my eyes and a delight for my heart, endless entertainment and education, a uniter, a focal point around which disverse peoples have gathered.  And through it, I’ve gotten reacquainted with so many of these awesome 70’s girls that rock.  Three of them are my first girls you want to be- Maria Muldaur, Linda Ronstadt and Bonnie Raitt.  

Yes ladies, you may not want to invest in the DVD series but I bet there’s a part of you who wants to be one of these three, no?  Don’t thank me, thank The Midnight Special.

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Ever since the day she put my heart in motion…

This one here’s for all the ladies between the ages of 26 and 35 who grew up going to church and/or listening to Z95.3.  I just heard someone on TV say ‘I’ve got my hopes set high’ and I immediately started thinking about this amazing girl- the star of my first major concert experience- Amy Grant.  You remember the song?  ‘I’ve got my hope set high/That’s why I came tonight/I need to see the truth/I need to see the light?’  Whether or not you remember that particular track, I’m sure you remember Amy.  In 1991, Heart in Motion was radio gold.

To my 11-year-old mind, that album was the best thing since Wilson Phillips.  Amy was a safe haven of loose velvet t-shirt dresses in a sea of Madonna-style bondage gear and Paula Abdul stilettos.  Don’t get me wrong here- I owned both Madonna’s Vogue and Paula’s Spellbound.  I just appreciated Amy’s non-threatening, mom friendly style.  She was so mom friendly in fact that my parents bought me tickets to see her play at the Pacific Coliseum in 1991.  Gill remembers- we wore baby t-shirts from Mariposa and baggy jeans from Bootlegger.  We made fun of the backup dancers but sang every word of every song.

I remember thinking that ‘Baby Baby’ and ‘Good For Me’ were these great and true love songs.  I later heard that ‘Baby Baby’ was written for Amy’s kids and ‘Good For Me’ was about one of her friends. Oh well, at least I’ll always have ‘Every Heartbeat’ on the soundtrack of my early romantic life (which was, admittedly, mostly feeling ‘feelings’ while staring at pictures of Jordan Knight, Stephen Dorff and Will Wheaton). 

I never knew Amy as a Christian artist but I know a lot of girls who did.  I knew she’d been a Christian radio staple because my Grandma Edith bought me a subscription to Brio magazine which is also how I know so much about Michael W. Smith (some other time for that one).  It was over Amy that Brio magazine and I ‘broke up.’  See, they didn’t much like Amy’s non-Christian stuff and I, being hugely sophisticated at the ripe old age of 11, thought that was dumb.  To Brio, there was nothing so offensive as a Christian artist going mainstream.  To me, there was nothing offensive about a bunch of catchy, vanilla pop songs.  I felt like Brio was judging me for loving that album.  I never read their music column again except to make fun of it.  Actually, that may have been a pivotal moment in my life- the beginning of scepticism.

So, Amy was part of a pivotal year in my life- early romantic pangs, first big concert, first feelings of scepticism towards the opinions of adults.  Surprisingly, Amy Grant bears responsibility for much of who I am.

And if my trend radar is as accurate as I think it is and if the New York Times is right, the early 90’s is the next fashion trend to be slavishly adhered to.  If that’s the case, watching through her music videos is basically research.  Now you have an excuse.

Oh, and that guy from the ‘Good For Me’ video?  He was totally hot.  He was early 90’s hot.  Check it out.

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5 things that hipster boys do that might be ‘cool’ but aren’t ‘attractive’

So the last few blurghs I’ve posted have been all about memememe.  Because there’s nothing I love more than to talk about (Miss Piggy voice required for this part) moi.  I’ve never met anyone who fascinates me more than me and I’m pretty sure you all feel the same way too.

But, to appease the empathizers, I will blurgh about not me.  I will instead write about something that has been troubling me which is this list that’s been floating around the interweb of the top ten fashion trends that men hate to see on women.

I know, I know, there are those girls who perpetuate bad fashion trends and far be it for me to criticize the men who identified the least man-friendly of these trends.  Now I think that we should have a chance to respond.  More importantly, I think that I should have a chance to respond (memememememe).  But I’m not going to write some broad and generalized list because that would make me (mememememememe) happy. 

To illustrate the sort of specificity and detail that makes me happy, I have put together my own list of bad fashion trends seen in my neighborhood and amongst my acquaintance.    

5 things that hipster boys do that might be ‘cool’ but aren’t ‘attractive’

5) Grow mustaches- If a woman says ‘you’re mustache is sexy’ she means to say ‘it is sexy that you have the confidence to walk around looking like an extra from a Merchant Ivory film who hasn’t changed into his costume yet.’  She doesn’t mean ‘you’re mustache is sexy.’  And if you end up going on several dates with a woman who has said this to you, she will try to gently steer you towards expressing you confidence in other, less food-retaining and prickly-on-her-face ways. The same thing goes for huge beards and long hair.

4) Let bangs grow into eyes or comb bangs so they angle over head and into eyes- Bieber.  You know what that means right?  Unless you’re idea of a good time is being gooey-eyed by 12-year-old girls, there’s just no excuse anymore. 


See what I mean?  And I guess, according to the theory of Bieber rendering all trends that he touches unattractive to women over the age of 16, this means that oversized, non-prescription eyeglasses also might be ‘cool’ but aren’t ‘attractive.’

Swap out Bieber for Mraz and the 12-year-old girls for first year female college students who have great relationships with their parents and you can apply the same principle to straw fedoras, suit jackets over vintage t-shirts and playing jangly tunes on acoustic guitars.

3) Wear v-neck t-shirts- This requires a qualifier.  Women may think you’re attractive because of your v-neck t-shirt but they will also think that you are gay and/or Australian.  Just thought you should all know.  She either wants you to listen to her man problems and give her fashion advice (not be her man problem and be disinterested when she asks ‘what do you think of this?’ while she holds up a clothing item she just purchased) or she wants you to be a cool guy with an accent which you’re probably not (and you can’t fake it). 

2) Wear denim vests or too-tight jeans- If a woman is between the ages of 26 and 31, it is more than likely that her mom owned an Eddie Bauer denim vest that looks shockingly similar to your sweet thrifted find.  Actually, check the tag because it might just be somebody’s mom’s discarded Eddie Bauer denim vest.  Too-tight jeans just look uncomfortable and… familiar?

1) Be slovenly and unwashed- Oh man.  I know its cool to look like you don’t give a damn but hygiene is hygiene.  Women want you to look like you give a damn about showering, doing your laundry, washing you hair and maybe even brushing it occasionally.  No picture of this because I don’t want to single anyone out for their slovenliness.

Rebuttal = complete.


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I’m everything I wish I could be

I’ve been thinking about this girl you may have heard of, Bette Midler.  Not in serious ways.  Just in light, casual ways.  Like, how I hate the song ‘The Rose’ but love ‘From A Distance’ and how I should rent ‘Beaches’ or borrow it from the library (they must have it at the library, it’s ‘Beaches’). 

Yes, that is Bette with Tom Waits.  And you thought she was just a schmaltzy show tunes singer with an ok acting resume.

Dory knows how this started.  She called this morning and I admitted to her that I was watching ‘First Wives Club.’  Which stars, among others, the indomitable Bette.  I suppose it has to be said that I am an eensy bit embarrassed that I was watching ‘First Wives Club’.  But I’m glad I admitted it because it got us talking about the Bechdel Test which suggests three criteria for determining the presence and substance of women in movies.  The criteria are-

1) It has to have at least 2 women in it who 2) talk to each other about 3) something other than men

Movies that meet these criteria can be found here- 

I don’t think ‘First Wives Club’ makes the cut. 

This got me thinking about how we (Dory and I, high school friends) didn’t do to badly in terms of becoming the people we probably thought were pretty awesome when we were in high school.  If the Bechdel test is what we get to talking about after months of only online communication, we’re doing ok.  Our teenaged selves would be proud.  And there’s more things to be proud about.  The other day I was sittting on my couch, cradling a ukulele, looking up chords for Iron and Wine songs.  I like to read- novels, New Yorkers, fashion magazines, books about religion, design, politics- I recycle, I have a vegetable garden and I buy my shoes at the Salvation Army Thrift Shop.  I have an excellent husband who cares very deeply about what he does.  Moreover, I finally have the hairdo of my dreams (except, of course, when I am dreaming of having big, for-the-love-of-Dolly hair).

I leave it to Dory to say in what ways her teenaged self would be proud of her current self.  I think she’s probably even cooler than me (could it be? surely not.).  She pickles things and lives in New York.  Convinced?

I should mention that my teenaged self would have admitted to neither watching ‘First Wives Club’ nor liking the song ‘From A Distance.’  In fact, she was probably too busy watching ‘Daria’ at Dory’s house to think much about Bette.

Anyhow, now that I’ve become who I wanted to be when I was 17, I suppose It behooves me to try to come up with a rough sketch of who I want to be 15 years from now.  That seems a weighty task.  17 to 28 is a light fantasy.  28 to 40ish is heavy- kids, mortgage, salary, extended health. 

From Bette Midler to ‘what shall I be when I’m 40.’  I know, even I’m a bit ‘aahh, er… huh’ about that progression.

Let it suffice to say that right now, I am my 17-year-old self’s hero.  For a couple of minutes, at least.

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I Promise You A Rose Garden

So, on a Thursday night, I’m sitting on my couch listening to this girl, Lynn Anderson, sing (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden.  My husband is sitting outside smoking his pipe.  And it’s hot.  

And although I cut my hair short in part to keep the heat down during the summer, I’m pining after big, Lynn Anderson, country singer hair which I can’t have because I’m currently all pixied up.  Earlier today, I saw the music video for Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5 and I thought ‘wow, her hair is huge and I want it.’  Oh, we always want what we can’t have.  I’m longing for ‘bump-its’ big hair, hair with lift, teased-and-tousled-then-combed-and-sprayed-with-laquer hair.  Alas, unlike cutting your hair short which takes only minutes, growing your hair out can take years.

Now the main reason that I’m listening to Rose Garden on a hot Thursday night is that today I actually heard two (count’em, two) songs that sample the song.  Remember Kon Kan?  Remember their 1989 hit (I Beg Your Pardon) Rose Garden?  No?  Well, here you go.

The best thing about Kon Kan was their clever name.  For those of you who don’t know, Canadian radio stations/MTV/high school english and history classes are required to include a certain amount of Canadian content (or Can Con).  Kon Kan is a clever pun on this term.  So clever.

I also heard Shad’s Rose Garden which samples (I think?) Dobie Gray’s version of (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden and is a far better song that Kon Kan’s (I Beg Your Pardon) Rose Garden. 

So you see the confluence of events- Dolly Parton and the overwhelming desire to have country singer hair, Kon Kan and Shad- has pushed me in this direction, has compelled me to my couch on this hot Thursday night, has moved me to put on this song.

I’ve no complaints.

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