Wednesday, December 24, 2008

happy holidays!

I hope everyone has an opportunity to spend the next few days with those you love the most. I'm sure I'll be posting up a storm once I get back to the city where the online connection moves faster than those sticky toys that crawl down the wall. Until then, I wish you all the very best, most happiest, safest of holidays and will see you again around these parts very soon.

Love Cadiz

Saturday, December 20, 2008

this one's for you, supacoo

A long time ago, I tried to explain my nani's method of covering a comforter with a duvet--a "rolling" method that doesn't require that the roller have a basketball player's wingspan. But I don't think I explained it well. So I made a little video, during which I learned:

a) It's virtually impossible to demonstrate something while trying to keep only your arms in front of the camera.
b) Anytime you say something is "simple," "easy," "a snap," "a breeze" or the like, it will prove to be much trickier once that red camera light is on.
c) If you feel like you're speaking extremely slowly, it'll sound nearly normal on the playback.
d) My real voice isn't as horrifically squeaky as I thought. Maybe.

Friday, December 19, 2008

snow day--finally

It started snowing last night at about 11:30. We had been warned: Weather reports had estimated a 100% chance of precipitation and everyone was bucking up for a Big One. My mom's hospital even offered up their security guys to come and pick people up from their HOMES this morning and bring them to work if needed. I haven't been outside yet, so I don't even know if it's as horrid as we were preparing for, but it doesn't look so hot through the window (we can't really see more than 50 feet).

H is going back to cali, cali today to spend the holiday; he hasn't been back home since March. His flight was to leave at 6 a.m., which meant getting up at 3:something to get to Midway. But checking online showed--shocker--the flight was canceled. He was on the phone with the airline for about an hour, and is now booked on a 3 p.m. flight. I have to leave for suburbia in about an hour (hope the trains are on time), but I'm not going to lie: While I'm happy he gets to be with his folks, I was secretly pleased I got more time with him. By the way, I'll be staying in the land of DialUp with my peeps for the holidays and I'll miss the sweet connection we have here, too. So posting/commenting may be sporadic, and I won't be able to respond too much on twitter.

It's so ridiculous because for three years H and I said goodbye for months at a time and he's only going to be gone for ten days this Christmas. The funny thing is all those times we'd wish for a snow day to cancel flights, but it never happened.

Be careful what you wish for, and specify WHEN you want it to come true.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Ri and I timed our buses so we got off at the same part of Michigan Avenue within a minute of one another. We ambled over to Tempo Cafe, had waffles and french toast, and caught up on the last few months, which have been so busy.

We headed over to the place I had a gift card for (you know, the one I got in August when the guy stopped me in the street and somehow got me to fork over money, which I later thought was a scam?) It wasn't a scam after all, and I figured I should try and use it before it expired (apparently the card said four months, but they didn't even check it when we got there).

When we got to the salon, I told Barbara (the in-her-fifties-looking woman at the counter) what I was having done and she said, "Oh that's great! I'm a cancer survivor, myself; I'll cut your hair." So right away I felt really good about what was going down.

Barbara seemed like a very no-nonsense/rip-the-Band-Aid-off kind of French woman, and she explained that we'd take off the hair in sections while it was dry so I could give the maximum amount while still keeping as much as possible. She showed me a photo in a magazine, and I was like Ok, do your thing lady.

In a matter of five minutes, the whole thing was done. Barbara the speed-stylist said it was probably 14 to 16 inches of hair* and that it would be enough for an entire wig because apparently I have great hair for this kind of thing. I must say that I do like my hair; whenever I take the trouble, it'll do what I command--straight, wavy or curly--and stay that way unless it's humid outside. And I like the unusual color (for an Indian girl, anyway), which my friend Jackie says is "Mexican-girl Brown." (Jackie is Mexican. Who am I to question an authority on the subject?)

It is quite a change, though. I told Barbara that I'm no-fuss when it comes to beauty and that I don't even know where my hairdryer is (probably rattling around my mom's linen closet). She said I could air-dry and go, put a little gel to bring out the curl and go, roller-brush with a dryer and go or do a bunch of other things. I liked the "and go" parts the best. She showed me how it would look with more volume, which she said I need on top to apparently balance the square-ish parts of my face. Barbara said the way she cut it, which sort of feels like a graduated bob (or not, I don't know technical terms here) with enough in the back to cover my neck, will make sure that it can be curly without being frizzy. Phew.

Ri and I were looking at each other in panic in the mirror because after Barbara blowed it out, my hair was WAY puffy. I mean really REALLY big. I wasn't sure what to think. We went next door to Sarah's Candies afterward for coffee and cookies (where I actually asked the lady at the counter if she thought my hair was puffy. She said no). I kept my hat on for awhile in the hopes that it'd cut the puff a little. Ri did a lot of parting and re-parting in different ways and even though she was really trying to convince me to cut some bangs and keep some of it at an angle over my tiny forehead, she decided this looked best.

Ri's signature move is getting her finger in the shot. But at least she does it artfully.

I realize this is the first photo of myself I've ever put on the blog. Whoa, big step. Then I realized a lot of you out there don't know what I normally look like. So here you go:

Sorry it's fuzzy. This was during my birthday party back in August. It was one of the few times this year that I let my hair down (toward the end of the evening when all the shot-taking was going on, and whoever was taking the photo was probably tipsy). And my hair has grown quite a bit in the last few months, too.

I'm sorry I've devoted so much space to describing something as ridiculous as hair. While it's a big change, I'm pretty happy. It's just hair; it'll grow back. And pretty much the only ones who have to look at it these days are H and the television. I think it's going to grow out to look a lot like the Best Haircut I've Ever Had (in Spain), which makes me really nostalgic and happy.

But this is kind of big. I'm NOT a risk-taker. I don't like gambling; I like a sure thing, and I HATE to lose and will beat myself up for every little screwup. But I value doing what I set out to do more than that, so I'm happy I went ahead and did this. I emailed the first picture on this post to a bunch of people who have only known me during the last 14 years or so when my hair has been long. One of my favorite responses was from pp:

"OMG? Who are you? What made you do this! I love it! So adventurous & brave. Did someone dare you? I know how you can't resist a dare."

She knows me so well. But that just goes to show that even though I'm pretty predictable, I can throw out a curveball every once in awhile. Thanks for all the support, guys!

*I just measured it and the longest part is TWENTY-ONE INCHES LONG. Yeah, I'm feeling pretty good about myself.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

drastic times

I've mentioned before that I have long hair. To steal a phrase from someone's twitter (velocibadgergirl? sorry, I can't remember), it's grown so long that I can very nearly tuck it into the back of my pants, which is why it's almost always in a bun or ponytail these days.

For years, I've bandied about the idea of cutting my hair really short and donating it to Locks of Love. Cc can attest to the fact that I've been talking about doing that for at least seven years. I've come close to hacking it all off a few times, but couldn't bring myself to do the deed. But something clicked in the last few months, and I've accepted that it's time for a change (plus all the stress has really taken a toll on the old hair and skin and I think nearly starting over will probably be a good thing).

One thing I've always prided myself on was that I always try to do what I said I'm going to do. Even if it takes seven years. My appointment is tomorrow at 12:30 p.m. Ri is coming along for moral support.

If I end up going through with it, be readyfor a WHOLE LOT of crying and whining. I'm prepared for everyone to be shocked when I show up with the shortest hair I've had since 1984,* but it helps that the boyfriend doesn't care one way or another; in fact he prefers short hair (practically the only guy I know who does). What he doesn't realize is that it's probably going to take me 12 times as long to get ready to be seen in public. My reliable 20-minute routine is in for a makeover, too.

*Well there was that one other time: During freshman year in high school I put it into a ponytail and chopped--right before a big party where I was going to see the guy I liked. When I saw how awful it looked, I pretty much threw myself on the floor and beat the carpet with my fists in hysterics. Kids, don't try any hair-cutting "techniques" you read about in teen magazines. Especially when you're 14 and STUPID.

Monday, December 15, 2008

christkindlmarket chicago

Last week when there was a heat wave (it was like 35 F in Chicago), I met up with H after work at Daley Plaza for the annual Christkindlmarket they have set up there. I'm guessing it's supposed to be like the Christmas markets they have in Germany. Here are a few of the less-shaky shots I took:

The Daley Plaza tree is pretty huge. One of those golden snowflake ornaments is twice the size of my head. Or more.

There is a cute display with smaller trees, a train (which wasn't running) and some horses and caroler figures. You can kind of see the skyscrapers in the background.

There are a ton of little kiosks with red-and-white awnings that sell curios, lacework, steins, sweaters and all sorts of trinkets from places as far away as Germany and Nepal. And there were a few "indoor" tented shops like this one, which was filled to the gills with "handmade" ornaments. I felt a little silly taking this shot, which I'm sure shows in the quality. The ornaments, by the way, are hella expensive. But hey, if you want craftsmanship, you've gotta pay. We didn't buy any. Mostly because we're lucky and often get handcrafted gifts.

Of course there was food, too. And it smelled DELICIOUS. H was more practical and said we should probably pass and eat at home, but I was dying to have something, anything I could say was "authentically" German-ish. We decided to share some spiced apple cider wine, which came in a commemorative cup. That stuff was pretty rough going down, but I have to say it left me with a very warm belly. And a buzz. In shocking news, H didn't like it. But I can see why. I don't know if I'd be rushing to get another cup, either, unless I was stranded in a snowy barn in Switzerland and needed to stay warm all night.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

what's that old saying about the dead cat?

"We're going to do presents and such after you get back from L.A., right?"

"Either way is fine with me. But sure. I mean, if you need the extra time and all."

"What do you mean if I need the extra time?"

"I already got your present."

"Is that so? it in the house somewhere?"

"Sort of. I mean, I got it, but I don't have it."

"What does that mean? Like you ordered it or something and it hasn't come yet? Does that mean it'll come when you're not here? Or do you have it hidden in like one of the 2.5 possible hiding places in our tiny place? Or are you just trying to throw me off because you can say absolutely anything with a straight face?"

"We're done talking about this."

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

a moment to breathe

Some of you are aware that I've been working a lot lately. That's probably an understatement: For the last few weeks it has been 9-10 hours in the office with plenty of files to take home and finish before going in again the next morning. Plus weekends and all-nighters. But the last deadline has come and gone, and I'm sort of stunned at the oodles of time I now have to do things like holiday shopping, catching up on blogs and actually sleeping through the night instead of naps.

I'm not advocating the throwing of health and wellness out the door for work (it's not for everyone); but that extra cash gives me a tiny window of financial security during which I can hopefully find a job.