Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fifty-seven: Going Postage

While at the post office on Saturday, I bought a new batch of stamps. I had my pick of all sorts of impressive faces like Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings. The woman in front of me did not know who that was as she was discussing stamp faces on line and I wanted to jump in and quiz her about a gaggle of women writers and quite possibly embarrass her enough to compel her to go back to school, nothing fancy maybe FCCJ, and enroll into an Introduction of Fiction class, but then it was my turn at the window and I was fine about letting her live her life without ever reading The Yearling.
Besides I was busy trying to decide what kind of stamps to buy myself. I've given to breast cancer research, I've walked 13 miles for breast cancer support and I've licked off the pearly pink lids of French yogurt and mailed them in for breast cancer funding, I didn't think I needed to buy the stamps. There were the American scientists stamps, portraits of very smart men and women but without a hint of whimsy. I'm not sure it showed their human side and that's important on a stamp. Flower stamps, I mean really, why not just the flag stamps and get it over with? There was the Black History figure stamp, but I am ashamed to say that I didn't recognize the person, so I felt relieved Bill Cosby was not behind me ready to quiz my sorry ass. As guilty as I felt, in good conscience I couldn't buy stamps of someone I didn't know or would, in all honesty, not even Google. Which left only one set of stamps to buy, a figure in popular literature that embodies the philosophy of the East with a smidge of semantic dyslexic terseness and the warrior moxie of Miss Piggy. That's right, I bought Yoda stamps.
Which got me to thinking about how that decision came about. How exactly do you get on a stamp? Is there a committee? Voting? How long does it take? Can money exchange hands to make that final decision come out a certain way? A more intelligent and far more ambitious person would research these questions and report back on them, well, you know that's not me. I'd rather think about them until my next random thought. But it did get me thinking about who else I'd like to see on a stamp because Yoda was frackin' genius. I should've bought a hundred of them. So here are my Top Five nominations for getting their mugs on a stamp:
5. Andre the Giant. Sure he was foreign, but he was the best giant in one of the most perfect movies ever, The Princess Bride.
4. Mr. Rogers. He always used his power for good.
3. Carol Burnett. Watching her show every Saturday night saved me and made me funny.
2. Christopher Latham Sholes, inventor of the modern typewriter.
1. Charlotte the Spider, because she was a good friend and a good writer.

So, Eastside Scribes, what are your nominations for stamp immortality?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Fifty-six: La Vie En Rose

Over the weekend, I had a sublime salon experience.
But it started last month when I took a chance and changed my stylist and salon to one right over the intercoastal bridge, Salon La Vie. French sounding. I had noticed the French with the exception of Gerard Depardeau always look well coiffed and rather chic and so figured, well, why not? Change is often good, sometimes surprising and even interesting if served with a bit of whimsy, so why the hell not?
My first visit, just a hair cut was lovely. People were pleasant and offered me beverages many times during that hour. My stylist Carl was the perfect mode of chatty, neither talking too much or too little. Plus the man is a genius with scissors. I've gotten nothing but compliments on the cut. I did like that he didn't screech or wince when looking at the streak of gray coming from my roots and didn't press to color that day. Before I left, though, I did make the appointment for the color.
Which brings me to Saturday. First of all, there was no waiting. I hate when you get to a salon on time and there's a wait. If I wanted that, I could go to my primary physician thank you very much. Of course, after an offer of a beverage, it was on to the color room, a circular room inside the salon for, yes, you guessed it, the discussion, debate, and application of color, or as I like to call it where middle aged women go to dye. Carl brought me the color swatches, mounted in hair, and we agreed on a shade, both sassy and rich, yet age appropriate. A lovely chocolate brown with some auburn asides. He gave me an extra cranking of color right at my forehead where my gray loves to break free and call me a liar to my face. After about 25 minutes of soaking in it, a stylist in training and receptionist Cash, handsome dog despite the gravity defying hairstatement, rinsed me out. Then came the shampoo with the five minute scalp massage. After the scalp massage, came the conditioner under the warm towel. While that was going on, Cash massaged my hands with a rosemary and lavendar cream that turned back the clock on my hands at least 15 years.
By the time I got back to Carl, I was relaxed, soothed and damn, did my hair and my hands smell good. The man just gave me a freshen up cut and style, again, he is a genius with those shears and just as I thought we were done, he hands me over to Polish born Natalia for a complimentary make-up makeover. Fifteen minutes later, I looked like a rock star and I mean that in a Beyonce kind of way, not a Marilyn Manson way. I felt like a million bucks walking out of that salon and I have to say, it's been a long time, really long time, since I felt that way. Just because I looked good? Sure, I'll embrace that for what it is---as ego, vanity, humanity, PMS and a fair amount of school related stress. Billy Crystal's alter ego on SNL, Fernando used to say, "Dahlink, it is bettah to look good than to feel good." And I'm all over that, but part of it was that I did feel good. People offered me many beverages, massaged me, listened to me tell stories, paid attention to me. It was a great antidote for weeks and weeks of being either ignored, slighted, vexed, insulted and aggravated, sometimes all of them in one day. So sure, I could have meditated and contemplated my energy pathways and my channels of bliss, but now, this way, I have garnett streaks in my hair whenever the sun warms my head.