5 Things You Need To Know Before Getting a Pixie Haircut

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220px-Michelle_Williams_by_Gage_Skidmore

Michelle Williams is the perfect pixie.

So, you’re thinking about getting a pixie cut?

When Jennifer Lawrence lopped off her hair into a pixie last year, it was the haircut heard ’round the world. Soon, it seemed as if every Hollywood starlet was making the big snip: Julianne Hough, Kaley Cuoco, and Anne Hathaway, just to name a few. Even Pamela Anderson, who is arguably as famous for her flowing blonde mane as she is her bright red lifeguard buoys, took it all off.

Six months ago, I finally worked up the nerve to go short, and now I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about getting a pixie haircut. I wish someone had told me these things before I ventured into the world of short hair. Instead, I had to take a Xanax an hour before my appointment and hope for the best.

1. Just Do It Already

You’re nervous about how you’re going to look with super short hair. I get it. Listen, there’s no real way to know how you’re going to look with short hair if you’ve never had it before. Sure, you can try a virtual makeover application, but all that is really going to do is tell you how you would look with a cartoon helmet made of a vaguely hair-like material. (I tried several makeover applications and they leave a lot to be desired. I pretty much looked like Chaz Bono in every style.)

You know what your head looks like. Do your ears stick out? Do you have Rumer Willis’s jawline? Then maybe you should continue to nurture that long hair blanket you wrap around your shoulders and hide your face behind. If, on the other hand, you’re comfortable wearing your hair pulled back in a ponytail or a bun and letting your face hang out for the world to see, then you’ll be fine with cropped hair. It really doesn’t matter how much preparation you do anyway, because…

2. You Probably Won’t Get It Right the First Time

You might think you know what style of pixie haircut you want, but you’ll probably need to tweak the cut after you live with it for a couple of weeks. I walked into my salon with pictures of Jennifer Lawrence’s hair from every angle imaginable. I was in love with her style and Jennifer’s look was what made me want to get my hair cut in the first place. But here’s the thing – I don’t look like Jennifer Lawrence.

It turns out that there is a reason I haven’t had bangs since elementary school. I hate them and they drive me crazy. A lot of pixie haircuts have heavy bangs, oh so artfully swept to the side. Also, longer pixies tend to be fussier and take longer to style. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I went back to my stylist a few days later and had her lighten up the bangs. The next time I went in for a trim, I decided I wanted it shorter all over. It took a few tries to dial it in.

Don’t get me wrong. Taking pictures with you is a good idea – it gives the stylist a concrete image of what you want. If you just say, “I want to look like Jennifer Lawrence!” you could end up with whatever picture your stylist has in her head. If the person cutting your hair is a big X-Men fan, there’s going to be some serious miscommunication about your finished look, and you don’t want any more trouble than you’re already going to have because…

3. Your Shorter Hair Will Take Longer to Style (At First)

I bet you’re looking forward to rolling out of bed with cute, perfect hair! Forget it. When you look in the mirror first thing in the morning, you’re going to have Chris Farley looking back at you. Your hair will be standing straight up, with flat patches here and there depending on how you slept. You can no longer just throw your hair into a ponytail and go either. You could put on a baseball cap if you’re in a hurry, but with no hair to stick out the back, be prepared to look like a twelve year old boy.

So, you have to do something with your hair, and if you’re used to having long hair, you’re probably going to suck at styling your pixie cut. It will be impossible to replicate what the stylist did with your hair in the salon, and you will be filled with regret. It’s okay – this is normal and it will pass. Getting your hair cut short brings out all kinds of weird cowlicks you didn’t know existed. Your hair might be used to laying in a different direction and now you have to train it to sweep forward instead of backward, or vice versa. Just keep practicing with it. Watch some YouTube videos if you have to. If all else fails, you can always ask your stylist to show you what to do because…

4. You’re Going To Be In the Salon Every Month Getting Trims

I used to go six months between haircuts when I was growing my hair out. When your hair is past your shoulders, three inches in length doesn’t make much of a difference. When you have a pixie haircut, four weeks’ worth of growth is the difference between looking chic and resembling a homeless person. Even if you think your hair grows slowly, you’ll be surprised at how quickly your hair grows out and becomes hard to style. You have to keep your cut maintained.

At $50 a pop, I was going broke getting my hair done every three weeks at my fancy salon. That’s how I ended up switching to a no-frills barbershop around the corner from my house. (I had already taken the big plunge and cut most of my hair off, so I was kind of fearless at this point.) Lucky for me, the owner had been cutting hair longer than my previous stylist had been alive, and he razored away at my hair with the speed and precision of Edward Scissorhands. When it was all over, I had the best pixie haircut I’ve had since deciding to make the chop and it was only $17 including tip.

Which goes to show…

5. It Gets Better

It has been six months since I cut my hair into a pixie. There were rough patches in the beginning, like when I realized that if I don’t blow dry my bangs in the right direction, I look like Joffrey from Game of Thrones. And before I discovered the barbershop down the street, monthly trims at the salon were putting me in the poorhouse. That’s all under control now.

I’ve learned a few things. I can style my hair from start to finish in five minutes flat. I know that no matter how badly I want to make it happen, I cannot rock a fauxhawk. I discovered that other women think you’re brave when you don’t have a curtain of hair to hide behind. “I wish I had the guts to do that,” is something I hear a lot. Most importantly, I learned that with a pixie cut, you have to be vigilant about not getting any hickeys. (I bruise easily, and I once had to wear a scarf to work in July.)

So, there is everything I wish I would have known before getting a pixie cut. Now you can stop pinning celebrity pictures onto your Pinterest account and just do it already. After all, life is too short not to take chances, but it’s too long to put up with a bad haircut.

Women Against Women Against Feminism

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This morning, thanks to The Today Show, I became aware of a phenomenon called “Women Against Feminism”. I am amazed that this is a real thing. After viewing the website for Women Against Feminism, I can only surmise that these (mostly young) ladies do not understand what feminism is.

My initial reaction to the images on the Women Against Feminism website was of the FLAMES ON THE SIDES OF MY FACE variety, but now that I’ve calmed down (a tad), I think I need to respond to some of these misguided individuals.

Actually, oppression is not universal; That’s what makes it “oppression”. If everyone were universally oppressed, there would be nobody left to do the oppressing. Also, prior to the ratification of the 19th amendment, no women were allowed to vote – not even ones with wealthy parents! Poor men could vote though! (By the way, that was less than 100 years ago.)

On the subject of voting, black men were given the right to vote before white women. (Although certainly, in much of the country – particularly the Jim Crow south – they were not actually allowed to exercise this right.) Would you suggest that we no longer need the Civil Rights Act or the Voting Rights Act?

Maybe you should read up on the Equal Rights Amendment, which has never been passed.

This is like saying, “I’ve reached my goal weight so I don’t have to watch what I eat or exercise any more.” Achieving equal rights is one thing; Maintaining them is another.

You are arguing against feminism while dressed as female World War II icon Rosie the Riveter. I don’t even know where to start with this.

Working mothers don’t need to be treated equally by their employers because THEY SHOULDN’T EVEN BE WORKING IN THE FIRST PLACE. Dear working moms: Why do you hate your children so much?

This woman doesn’t need feminism because she DOES WHAT SHE WANTS. But that had nothing to do with feminism. Women have always been able to do whatever they wanted, right? Also: sometimes things are too heavy and we need men. If feminism continues, WHO WILL LIFT THE SOFA? (For the record, I have these and they work great and didn’t make me love my husband any less: EZ Moves Furniture Movers.)

Not me. I’m a feminist and my husband and I just call each other “dude” and high-five a lot.

Women don’t need equal pay for equal work or laws against sexual harassment or the right to vote because her boyfriend treats her right. That should be enough for all of you. Also, we didn’t need to abolish Jim Crow because Martin Luther King Jr. had a white friend who treated him quite nicely. Oh wait – one girl’s boyfriend is not indicative of the entire socioeconomic and political system in our country? Damn, she almost convinced me for a minute.

How nice that you get to choose. Do you understand that this was not always a choice women were able to make for themselves? Where’s my Susan B. Anthony emoticon?

I didn’t realize that feminism meant “kill all the boys”. Then again, I don’t live in Poland and it is possible something was lost in the translation. KILL ALL THE BOYS. Sorry. Sometimes it just slips out.

I’ve been sitting here for ten minutes and I still can’t figure out to say about this one, so I’m just going to post a link to an article about Malala Yousafzai.

Listen folks, I realize there are extremists in every movement, including feminism. There are women who label themselves as “feminists” who suggest that men are unnecessary or that all sex is rape. But seriously? Do we abandon the pursuit of equality because of a few extremists?

Do you really think that all feminists hate men? That feminists don’t want you to be a stay-at-home mom or wear lipstick? That’s like confusing the civil rights movement with black nationalism. For Pete’s sake, there are even the Log Cabin Republicans.

My point, people, is that there are shades of grey within any social movement. (This is the point where people searching for the Fifty Shades of Grey movie trailer accidentally stumble upon this post.) You don’t throw out an entire movement, particularly one aiming for equality, because you disagree with the opinions of a few.

And while we’re at it, how about we quit taking pictures of ourselves holding up signs and pretending like it’s an actual discussion? Maybe some issues shouldn’t be distilled down to a hashtag. Just maybe.

 

The 5 Stages of an R. Kelly Song

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This man is disgusting.

The other day I was driving to work with the Spotify app playing 90’s era tunes through my car stereo. I only have the free version of the app, so sometimes I have to listen to songs I don’t really like. This is what happens when “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly comes on.

Stage 1: Denial

I don’t want to listen to an R. Kelly song, damn it. I was having a pretty good run with this 1990’s playlist I’m following: Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer, that sort of stuff. Oh well, I’ll just skip it. I don’t have to listen to this.

Stage 2: Anger

R. Kelly is such a scumbag. Didn’t he pee on some underage girl or something? Nasty-ass pedophile. How is he not in prison? Fuck him.

Stage 3: Bargaining

I don’t have any skips left. Why can’t Spotify just let me skip whenever I want? What do they care? I still have to listen to their commercials either way. I’d switch to another playlist, but seeing as how I’m driving 70 mph over a bridge, I should probably keep my eyes on the road.

Stage 4: Depression

Well, I guess I’m listening to this song. At least that bastard isn’t making any money off of it, right? I remember this song from…high school? College? It was a big hit. I think that was before Kelly started getting into trouble and we couldn’t listen to his music anymore without feeling guilty.

Stage 5: Acceptance

At the top of my lungs while driving: “I BELIEVE I CAN FLYYYYYYYYYYY!!!”

 

Death By Chicken

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Chicken_suit1I just finished handling some raw chicken in preparation for dinner. I’ll be taking a Silkwood shower from the elbows down and blowtorching the kitchen if anybody needs me.

I’m sick of grocery stores advertising amazing prices on meat and then you find out you have to buy a metric tonne of it to get the deal. This is how I came to be wrangling a ten pound frozen mass of boneless, skinless chicken breasts this afternoon. The chicken breasts were thawed when my husband purchased them, but one of us (I’m blaming him) just threw the whole bag in the freezer without separating them into usable portions. When I took it out of the freezer, it was an intimidating ice ball of mangled chicken. This bag of frozen chicken has been in the refrigerator for two days, and it is just now showing signs of thawing.

I improvised last night, but we need this chicken for dinner tonight. With about five hours to go until dinner time, I decided I better take that big frozen bitch out of the refrigerator and start making shit happen.

I have to say, if toxic waste were treated with the same caution I exercise for raw chicken, EPA regulators would be sitting around with nothing to do, much like the Maytag repairman. The Toxic Avenger movie would have never been made. (Actually, that would be a tragedy.) Maybe instead we could have Salmonella Avenger – the woeful tale of a hippie housewife who didn’t believe in the powers of bleach and triclosan. I ain’t going down like that.

Preparing a regular-sized package of raw chicken isn’t that big a deal. You open the package over the garbage, wash your hands 37 times in five minutes, and hose down the kitchen with anti-bacterial cleaner when you’re through. Wrestling an icy chicken mass larger than a newborn baby is a different sort of ordeal.

I hate putting food in the kitchen sink because everybody knows your kitchen sink is dirtier than your toilet. That being said, I needed to run some water over this frozen chicken ball to break apart the boobs, and the nearest toilet was too far away. You want to know something about frozen meat? That shit is fucking cold. I alternated between prying the chicken meat pieces apart under the running water and holding my fingers under the faucet to thaw them out as well.

I finally separated three Dolly Parton-esque chicken breasts from the pack and put them in a casserole dish to finish thawing. Then I had to put the remaining frozen mass back into the bag and clothespin it closed since it didn’t have a Ziploc opening. (A ten pound bag of meat that isn’t reclosable? Seriously, Albertson’s, you are officially too ghetto for me. I’m done with you. I don’t care if your chicken breasts are 17 cents per pound.) Of course, by now the outside of that bag is covered in salmonella. I considered wiping it down with bleach, but since I couldn’t completely close the bag I was worried I would get bleach onto the chicken and poison myself in a whole different way. So I put it inside a plastic shopping bag and returned it to the fridge to continue thawing over the next six weeks.

I’m pretty sure my entire kitchen is now a bacteria-laden petri dish. I scrubbed my hands and arms up to the elbows, but I’m worried that tiny micro-particles of chicken death are irreversibly jammed up my fingernails. Also, I’m pretty sure that salmonella from the chicken bag is now molesting everything else inside of my refrigerator.

I’m a little worried about all of this, but I have a pretty surefire solution for situations like these: I’ll just wait until I’ve forgotten about how dirty everything is and then go about my normal business. (Hey, it works with my “dry clean only” clothes that I hang in the back of the closet.) Does anybody want to come over for chicken parmigiana? I’m pretty sure I’ll have enough for all of you.

Justin Bieber Peeing in Jail

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BiebsOkay, I’ll just break the news to you right off the bat: this page does not contain footage of Justin Bieber peeing in jail. Also, shame on you. You are disgusting for wanting to see that. And? The video doesn’t show anything anyway. Um, so I heard.

Can we talk for a moment about the fact that a video of Justin Bieber peeing, in jail, actually exists? Some of you may remember a post I wrote last year called, “What’s That’s Noise?” about the sad state of music today and how lame Justin Bieber is. I lamented his saccharin pop songs and how he was going to have to do better than smoke a little weed if he wanted me to take him seriously. I have to say, he’s apparently been taking my comments to heart.

Justin has been a bit of a bad boy lately: drinking the sizzurp, visiting hookers, and drag racing, Also, when he was arrested, he reportedly said the F word a bunch of times without putting any money in the swear jar. (Allegedly? Am I supposed to say “allegedly” so that Bieb’s attorney doesn’t shut me down? ALLEGEDLY.) In fact, he’s been such an asshole, a petition to deport him to Canada garnered over 250,000 signatures. (White House response pending.)

I don’t know – I’m still not impressed. Justin Bieber is an entitled little shithead and even with the drugs, he’s still not writing decent songs. I’m not buying his fake swagger either. I’m willing to bet that once Bieb’s team found out that they couldn’t block the release of the video of Bieber pissing in his jail cell, his attorneys paid the video editor a tidy sum to make the “black bar” covering his maple syrup dispenser a lot bigger than it actually had to be. I’m actually amazed he didn’t sit down to pee. Not that I’ve watched the video or anything.

And yes I used a picture of Justin from five years ago. I figure it’s kind of like those time-lapse photos of crystal meth users that circulated a while back to show you the dangers of using. Parents: don’t let your kids upload videos of themselves to YouTube. Before you know it, they’re pushing their bangs up off of their forehead and peeing in mop buckets and jail cells. A cautionary tale, indeed.

This Little Piggie Went to Market

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romanescoToday my husband and I went to our local farmer’s market, the Saturday Morning Market. It’s huge and awesome and a great way to get excited about eating healthy foods. That’s one of the great things about living in Florida – it’s February and rather than being buried under three feet of snow, we’re entering the best time of the year for local produce. (I’m not trying to rub it in, really. I mean, come July, the temperature will be 98 degrees with 319% humidity. I have to enjoy the weather while I can. The polar vortex has fucked everyone else in the country over, but it’s given us a solid two months of crisp autumn weather, which has been really lovely.)

We loaded up on organic, local fare, including Romanesco broccoli. I don’t know how I’ve gone 38 years without ever having seen it before, but Romanesco broccoli is pretty much the most beautiful vegetable that has ever existed. Not that it has much competition. (I’m looking at you, turnips.) Anyway, Romanesco broccoli (or cauliflower, depending on your loyalties – it’s called both) is an example of a naturally occurring fractal. I don’t really know what a fractal is, just that twenty years ago, in college, everybody liked getting high and looking at them. We actually had a cable access television channel that was nothing but fractals. (Kids, see what we had to do to amuse ourselves before the Internet?)

Besides all the local farms, there are also a number of artisan craft makers and homemade food stands. I just had to stop at “Old Fashioned Goodness”, a candy booth operated by an adorable older couple. Thirty seconds earlier I had sworn off empty calories in favor of the natural, delicious bounty of fruits and veggies we are blessed with on this planet, but they were giving out free samples of chocolate fudge and salted caramels. I’m only human.

I forgot to mention, one of the things I love about this market is that a lot of people bring their dogs. (Not us, mind you. Our dogs are terrible. Fletcher is sweet and friendly, but Lucy thinks she’s in the Secret Service and I’m the President. She’s a fifteen pound, fluffy killing machine. We can’t take her anywhere.) There were so many big and little sweeties – an assortment of dogs as varied as their owners.

benetton_eggsA few minutes after visiting the homemade candy booth, while Bryan was standing in line to pay $5 for a dozen mismatched eggs, I started digging into my fudge. As I reached into the little bag and unwrapped a single piece of peanut butter fudge wrapped in noisy cellophane, every dog within a ten foot radius promptly stopped in their tracks and gave me the “Treat?” stare. It’s funny how universal that is. I almost felt bad, but I wasn’t planning on sharing my goodies with my husband, let alone some strange dogs.

Now that we’re home and my homemade candy is long since eaten, I have to look up some recipes for cooking all of these fresh, delicious vegetables we bought before they rot an ugly death in the crisper. Maybe later I’ll put on some Pink Floyd, turn on the black light, and stare at my Romanesco broccoli.

Wild Side

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concert_crowd_smallMy husband Bryan and his friend Larry go to concerts together. They have pretty similar tastes in music, so they alternate paying for the tickets. Recently, my husband treated Larry to a Megadeth concert, so now it’s Larry’s turn to pay. (They’ve also seen Rush together and probably someone else I can’t remember.)

So, we’re in the car today, on our way home from the Farmer’s Market, when “Wild Side” by Mötley Crüe comes on the radio. Bryan says, “Oh yeah, Larry’s buying us tickets to this concert at the Amphitheatre.” (That would be the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa, formerly known as the 1-800-ASK-GARY Amphitheatre. You see why we just call it “the Amphitheatre”? And by “us” he meant Larry and himself.)

“What? Seriously? I want to see Mötley Crüe!”

Okay, maybe not really. I hate concerts. There are only ever a few, old songs I want to hear but inevitably bands play all their new, drug-free boring shit first and if you’re lucky, you get to hear “Pour Some Sugar on Me” at the end before you book for the exits to beat the crowd out of the parking lot. (That’s right – the last concert I went to was Def Leppard, opened by Joan Jett. Shut up, I’m old.)

Bryan knew I didn’t really want to go to the concert, so it was cool. Then he said he’ll probably owe Larry for this one since these Mötley Crüe tickets were more expensive than the Megadeth show. (Concert ticket prices are ridiculous. I thought Eddie Vedder was supposed to fix that. What, nobody remembers Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam duking it out with Ticketmaster? Is Ticketmaster even still around? Fuck, I’m so old.)

“There was another concert Larry wanted to get the tickets for, but they were just too expensive. Who was it…” Bryan says, thinking. He snaps his fingers. “Katy Perry! That’s it. But those are like $100 even for the cheap seats.”

He was totally serious, by the way. I wouldn’t think that Mötley Crüe’s and Katy Perry’s target audiences typically overlap by much, but there you go. In the Venn Diagram of “Shout at the Devil” and “California Girls” there is one person in the middle, overlapping part: My husband. And Larry, I guess.