2010 July | Somewhere in Middle America

We’re coming up on the halfway point of J’s deployment, and I’m starting to slip into a slump. How do I know this is more than just feeling sad about being apart from my husband? Here are some of my tell-tale signs:

  • Biting my (polished) nails
  • Staying up late
  • Eating too many sweets
  • Isolating myself from friends and family
  • Having difficulty checking off items on my To Do list

I know that eating more well-balanced meals and going to bed earlier would probably help me feel better, but when I’m in a funk it’s hard to make good-for-me choices. I also don’t get the satisfaction of accomplishing tasks like I usually do, making everything, even easy things like chores, more difficult.

What are your tell-tale signs of being in a funk? How do you get through a slump? I’d especially love to hear from other military wives.

(The print above is by modernemotive and features my new favorite quote: Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. Albert Einstein, 1879 – 1955)

Every Monday, Moontree Letterpress has a six-word story contest on their blog. This week’s topic was “Words of Advice,” and the prize was 50 custom business or calling cards.

I love letterpress anything, so I decided to enter. There were 25 entries… and mine was chosen as the winning submission! Can you believe it?

My piece of advice was always save room for ice cream.

What are the best words of advice you’ve ever received?

A couple of weeks ago I caught Louis Licari telling Kathie Lee and Hoda about some Brazilian keratin treatment that takes the frizz out of hair but doesn’t damage it like the Japanese Straightening method. I was intrigued, to say the least.

Then I started hearing about something called a Brazilian Blowout, which I’m assuming is the same thing as the keratin treatment. One Facebook friend raved about having it done; another is booking an appointment. Somebody forwarded me this article from Stylist, in which the author had a Brazilian Blowout, calling the result “a miracle.”

I have nothing against curly hair (I love Carrie Bradshaw’s curls in this photo). On a good hair day, I actually think my waves look pretty. (On a bad day they look like Carrie’s in the above photo, sort of stringy yet frizzy.) What I don’t like about my hair is that the front is curly and the back is wavy. It’s inconsistent all the way around. Plus, when I wear it curly/wavy I have to wash it daily, and I’m lazy and hate doing my hair. But day-old waves just don’t work on me.

However, I also like how straight hair looks on me. I’m particularly keen on bangs, which are very flattering but a pain in the ass to maintain, especially with hair prone to frizzing. But if I had my hair chemically smoothed, I could more easily rock bangs. It wouldn’t take me as long to blow dry my hair, and it would frizz less in this crazy summer humidity.

According to the website, only four salons in Omaha offer the Brazilian Blowout: NewBeauty4you, Omaha Life Spa, Reve Salon & Spa and Studio 123 @ Isalon. I’ve never been to any of these salons. Have you?

If you’ve had a Brazilian Blowout, please leave a comment below. Do you love the results? Was it worth it?

(image source)

My weekend with Ali was fantastic. Just what I needed as we’re coming up on the halfway point of J’s deployment.

We had 48 hours together and did a lot of eating. I took her to some of my favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurants, including Lisa’s Radial Cafe, Rivera’s, Dixie Quicks and The Drover. Saturday was our “day of pampering” with pedicures at The Nail Shop and massages at the Omaha School of Massage. You really can’t beat the price — $35 for a 1-hour massage. Seriously.

But back to The Nail Shop. It was my first time there, and I can honestly say that it was the best pedicure experience I’ve ever had. The leg and foot massage was blissful, my toes are perfect and the space is just so zen. Instead of noisy, vibrating chairs, you sit in oversized, cushy armchairs like these from Pottery Barn and listen to the soothing sound of Sade. I didn’t even want a magazine to read. I just leaned back, closed my eyes and relaxed.

(my photo… I realize that The Drover isn’t necessarily a hole-in-the-wall, but it isn’t a “fancy steakhouse” either.)

When I purchased three copies of Saturday’s Omaha World-Herald, the guy behind the counter asked if I had just gotten a new puppy. He assumed I needed them for housebreaking purposes.

Silly, him! I explained to “Jake” (I don’t know his name) that the reason I was buying so many was because my picture was in the paper. Seriously! I was interviewed for an article on “Mad Men,” and they included my head shot in the piece.

Unfortunately, my photo is not on their website, but you can read why I love “Mad Men” right here.

Why do you love the show? What did you think about last night’s season premiere?

(image via Omaha World-Herald)

Bad blogger! I haven’t had a chance to write my weekly link up post because I’ve been prepping for an out-of-town guest. My oldest friend is coming to Omaha for the very first time this morning.

When I say “oldest,” I don’t mean in age. I’ve known Ali even longer than I’ve known my own sister. Our moms met in Lamaze class; Ali was born a month before I was. We lived in the same townhouse development until our parents bought their first houses. Although they moved to the same town, Ali and I went to different elementary and middle schools. Our friendship survived on play dates until we met back up in high school. Then after college we were roomies in DC for a year.

She requested I show her my favorite places in Omaha this weekend, which got me thinking… What are my faves? While I come up with my list, why don’t you share yours? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

(image source)

Remember making friendship bracelets as a kid? We used to use embroidery thread or lanyard (which my friend Jamie and her camp friends called “gimp”–what?), but part of the fun of the craft was collecting a rainbow of colors.

At Tuesday’s Craft Night, Jessie brought her embroidery thread with the intention of making bracelets but spent most the evening organizing her thread box instead… until she had the brilliant idea to use the thread for hair wraps. Using Jamie as a model, she showed us how it was done. If Jamie didn’t have a haircut appointment the next day, perhaps she would have kept it in. (It also would’ve helped if Jessie braided Jamie’s strand of hair first. We didn’t think of that.)

When was the last time to made a friendship bracelet? Do you think you’d remember how?

Last night my friends and I got together for craft night, which we try to hold every couple of months (although I wish it took place more often). Rather than work on the scarf I’ve been knitting for over a year and a half, I decided to take on a project that I could start and finish within an hour or two.

Inspired by Maggie’s post on EADL (and because I need them), I chose to make magnets. I picked up the supplies at Michael’s for about $15 that afternoon. Sidenote: I hate going to Michael’s. There is just too much junk in that store.

I didn’t have a game plan going in. I figured I’d flip through an old magazine and look for text or images that struck my fancy. I made 10 magnets (I did a lot of chatting and drinking in between crafting) and have enough supplies leftover to make about 40 more. Anybody need some magnets?

Friday night I stayed in, ordered a pizza and watched “Paper Heart” on Netflix. Never heard of it? Here’s what the New York Times said about the film in 2009:

An unconvincing mash-up of the real and the fake, “Paper Heart” wavers between identities to no clear purpose and to its considerable creative detriment. The clumsy premise follows Ms. Yi and a director (named Nick Jasenovec but played by Jake Johnson) as they solicit love stories from a variety of regular Americans, most of whom are delightful and none of whom appears to be in on the movie’s meta-joke. Rather these segments, cherry-picked to enhance a loosely predetermined narrative (by Ms. Yi and Mr. Jasenovec), serve chiefly as props for a scripted romance between the leading lady and the actor Michael Cera, an attachment so tentative and pathologically gawky that it’s almost painful to watch.

The problem I had with “Paper Heart” is that it had me convinced. I actually believed it was a documentary about love and that Yi and Cera met and fell in like/love during filming. It wasn’t until the credits, when I saw that the director was played by an actor, that I had any idea that the movie wasn’t totally, 100% real.

I smiled throughout the film, watching the awkward Yi warm up to the idea of dating the slightly-less-awkward Cera, and now I feel foolish upon learning that Yi and Cera were already a couple when “Paper Heart” was made.

The NYT also claims that Yi was playing a fictional version of herself. Well, that’s not very documentary-ish, is it? Makes you wonder what else about “Paper Heart” was made up.

Perhaps I wouldn’t feel so let down by the film if I had known going into it that it was half-documentary, half-scripted. But I didn’t, so I feel like my time was wasted believing in something that wasn’t real to begin with.

Did you see “Paper Heart?”

(image via NPR)

I feel so incredibly guilty when my husband, who is currently deployed, calls at inopportune times.

A couple of weeks ago, I was distracted by Rilo Kiley blasting through the speakers at Urban Outfitters and had to move outside to hear him… although the music was still plenty audible, making it difficult to converse. Another night I was elbow-deep in preparing dinner, at a point in my recipe when timing was key, and I couldn’t step away from the stove. My frustration was evident to him, I’m sure, but I had my grandmother at my side, my dog at my feet and my mother across the room, and I was overwhelmed.

This morning I was literally walking out the door when J called, wanting to Skype. I should have eagerly ran back to my computer, but I panicked that I was going to be late for work. Ultimately I decided to drop my keys and get online. I got to say a quick hello and shed a few tears before hopping in the car and speeding down to the Old Market.

I know that I’m extremely lucky that J is in a position where he can call a couple of times a week, even if he can only stay on the phone for a minute or two. I’m sure there are thousands of military wives who go weeks or months without hearing from their husbands, so I know I should drop everything to talk to him when I have the chance.

Am I a bad (military) wife because sometimes I can’t?

(image source)