Steph’s HairAdventures!: Episode 1

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Being a non-snooty mid-century enthusiast, one of the things I love most about the time period in question are the hairstyles and clothing.

I’ve tried to include some of the amazing, feminine, and fancy  hairstyles into my own life because frankly, I spent SO MANY years not dressing how I wanted to dress or feeling like I was a phony or not pretty enough or thin enough to dress or look the way I wanted to but I have a secret to share, dear readers. A very important secret it took me too long to realize.

That secret is:

Don’t give any f*ucks. 

Now that I’ve reached this all-important stage of enlightenment, I try to experiment with my flaming red hair from time to time. My hair is an interesting beast. It is STICK STRAIGHT. Like if I let it air dry or spend time blowing it dry, it lays completely flat. Always has, always will. No flat iron required! My hair actually resists curls. Use a hot-ass tool to curl it, 15 minutes later that curl is flater than a Denny’s flapjack. Useless.

So I started experimenting with different vintage techniques to improve my curl ability and to train my hair that I rule it, it doesn’t rule me. (she’s listening, isn’t she? I didn’t mean it. I’m sorry, hair. *scuttles back into the darkness*)

Since I’m still suffering from jetlag from my Japan trip I decided at 3 AM why not do a new wetset to practice for the holiday party I’ll be attending Thursday?

I also had just received my new Lotta Body products in the mail from Amazon and wanted to try them out.

Here’s what I looked like at 3 AM with a head full of rollers and at around noon-ish the next day as I started to unfurl them:

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I tried to look scared in that last pic like my hair was going to eat me, instead I think I look bored.

Anyway, this is the total finished brushed out product!

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Pretty fancy for just sitting around at home in my pj’s and “Kylo Ren’s a Punk Bitch” tank top, no?

Some folks have asked for instructions so I’m more than happy to oblige but note: YOU GOTTA TRY STUFF OUT, FAIL, AND TRY AGAIN TO FIND THE RIGHT PATTERN, PRODUCT AND STYLE FOR YOU! I don’t know how bitches in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s did this shit without the internet. Also, don’t expect it all to go perfect every time or for this to be a “quick” way to style your hair. It’s not. BUT if you get a great wetset that holds, you can style and restyle the hair for the next 3-4  (or if you’re lucky 5!) days and people will think you’re a hairdressing genius.

And don’t make that face at me. It’s not like I don’t shower. I just don’t wash my hair EVERY DAY. If I did, that lovely shade of red I have would be an awful, slightly ruddy pink with blondish spots so no thanks! Doing hair like this has taught me some things such as:

1. Dry Shampoo is super great, 2. Dry Conditioner is too!, and 3. there’s so many cute styles that can be done on slightly dirty hair just because it has grip that freshly clean hair just doesn’t have.

Onward to the instructions!

Tools you’ll need! AKA What I used to make the above happen:

Lotta Body Moisturize Me Styling Milk 

Lotta Body Style Me Texturizing Setting Lotion

Sponge Rollers – Large

Sponge Rollers – Extra Large

Teasing Brush

Boar Bristle Brush – similar to what I have

Suavacita pomade

I had just washed and conditioned my hair earlier in the evening. I air-dried my hair until it was pretty dry but still slightly moist to the touch. You don’t want to wetset your hair when it’s sopping wet because it will take exactly 9000 years for your hair to dry so you’re better off waiting until it’s JUST ABOUT dry and then attack it with styling products and wrap it all up!

I decided to use this particular setting pattern from this video:

Her hair is a little bit of a different length than mine but doing the top rollers in the same fashion as she did allowed me to get that bang bump (which is a pretty bangin’ bump) to happen. It’ll give ya volume! It’s also important to note she uses small sections of hair. This is vital to the process. Too much hair in a roller means you’ll get a lazy curl that’s more like a wave. Waves are great if that’s what you’re after but I’m lookin’ for curls!

It took me exactly 5 matches of Overwatch (spectating) to completely cover my head in rollers. For the first few times you do this, you’ll have to look in a mirror. Once you start to get the hang of how your hair works and how to properly section it, you’ll be able to do it way faster and only glancing in a mirror. Promise. It just takes practice! And your arms might get tired at first but that’s cool. Who doesn’t love a lady with bouncy curls and solid biceps?

I then slept on the curls (it helps to wrap your head in a scarf so the curlers stay close to your head while you sleep) and get your hours of rest in.

Now, if you do this the night before at say… 10 PM, when you have to wake up by 8 AM, you should be good to go. You really need to leave in your rollers for at least 6-8 hours just to be sure your hair is totally dry and set. But what if you set them later? What if you have to do something early in the morning before you can take out the rollers?!

This is when my secret trick to life comes in handy. GIVE ZERO F*CKS. 

I’ve gone grocery shopping, gotten my nails done, gotten on early morning flights, drove to Vegas all day all while my hair is in curlers and wrapped in a scarf. In all honesty, there’s nothing better than arriving at your destination, going to quiet place, unrolling your majestic mane and looking like a million bucks when all you did was roll your hair and put on a scarf.

Back to my instructions!

When I knew my hair had been in it’s spongy prison long enough, I unrolled the rollers. Now don’t panic when you do this. Your hair is gonna look like a Shirley Temple massacre. That’s GOOD. You want that. Know how you get it to look shaped? YOU SHAPE IT WITH YOUR HAND AND BRUSH.

Keep brushing and shaping your curls – this is when you use that boar bristle brush! Use the teasing comb to give your hair height in the places it needs height. Rub a bit of pomade on your hands and run your hands through your curls (just a tiny bit of pomade on your hands, you’re not trying to engulf the curls just lightly add texture) This step will help shape them, tame flyaways, and make sure everything stays bouncy and on point.

If you need video proof of this step, the helpful video I’ve linked to also includes a part 2 brushout so you can see exactly how she styles her hair from rollers to final teases.

Also, there’s a great bonus to doing a wetset. If you’ve ever wanted to do victory rolls but feel like your hair doesn’t have the kind of fluff or texture to do it, a wetset will help with this!

Here’s two pretty crummy victory rolls I did on this fresh wetset hair that only used 2 bobby pins on each roll:

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Goddamn magic, right?!

I definitely don’t plan on stopping my #HairAdventures and you’re always welcome to follow along on my instagram since that’s typically where I post the styles I’m trying out.

I shall now end this post showcasing some of my past #HairAdventures and remember, if I can make this happen, YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN TOO.

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Dat Clue Tattoo

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Sharing tattoo stories can be a very personal thing. Not everyone is interested in sharing their reasons for specific tattoos they have and that’s cool. They don’t have to.

But I’m cool with sharing and I want to share about the larger of the 2 tattoos I got this year.

Do you know the movie Clue?

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Well, I REALLY know the movie Clue.

Clue was my favorite movie as a child and despite loving many other films, Clue still holds a very special place in my heart as an adult. I’ve impressed (read: terrified) people with my ability to actually recite the entire film line by line.

I am absolutely that kind of jerk.

All the tattoos I’ve gotten represent something I love and are integral to the package known as Stephanie. So naturally, Clue had to be included in that. But… how?

I mean, I didn’t want to have one of the actors faces tattooed on me. I didn’t want it to be one of the murder weapons.So I spent a few months REALLY thinking about what exactly I wanted to get that referenced the film but wasn’t completely insanely ugly.

I basically narrowed it down this way:

Q: Who are my favorite characters?

A: Miss Scarlet and Mrs. White. I had named my car Scarlet so I figured I should do something cool for Mrs. White

Q: What art style did I want? A Portrait?

A: I decided I wanted a traditional tattoo flash style portrait. Something that could work with my rockabilly sensibilities while still reflect my clearly nerdy movie from a board game aesthetic. If you can even call that an aesthetic.

Then it struck me. Why not reinterpret one of my favorite scenes in the film?

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YEEEEEEES! EUREKA!

But now what?

I started asking my friends on social media that had great tattoos where they went. I began scouring instagram feeds and comparing. Then I found Shaun Topper at Captured Heart Tattoo. 

His work is amazing, I dug his style, and decided yep. This is my artist!

I emailed him an idea: I want to have a portrait of Mrs. White done. I don’t want it to look like Madeline Kahn though – just reference her hairstyle and look for the film. I want a banner that says Mrs. White. I also want her surrounded by flames.

We discussed the art, I had my appointment scheduled and then I made the trek to Tustin to get tattooed.

I did the entire tattoo in one session. About 4 1/2 solid hours of tattooing. The burning I felt reminded me that the initial adrenaline rush of getting tattooed only lasts about 30 minutes.

The end result was even better than what I could have hoped for.

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I MEAN SERIOUSLY!!!!!

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He asked me if he could make her eyes pop more and I am so glad I said yes. I’m also incredibly happy he included the bird cage because I wasn’t sure he’d be able to do it. The flames, the banner, her slight look of fury… it’s perfect.

I can’t thank Shaun enough for taking a basic idea of what I wanted and turning it into something that’s under the radar cool.

Perhaps in future posts, I shall share the stories of my other tattoos. In the meantime, my tattoo looks even more badass under the fishnets I wear.

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The Long Ride At Home

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Why is it so many of us are so terrible at fitness? Is it that we truly hate it? Or just make excuses?

I exclude those with severe health issues or who have difficulties with physical activity, but for the rest of us who are able to, why is it so hard to find a routine and stick to it?

Maybe it’s that everyone hasn’t asked themselves the right questions. Do you enjoy classes? Are you self-conscious? Do you need more instruction? What and how do I start?

I can only speak from personal experience when it comes to this so here’s my take.

I really do love classes. I love being in a place where there’s a set list of things for me to accomplish and do in order so I can check them off my list of “yes, I have exercised and done this thing.”

I had been attending an awesome nerdy cross-fit gym that I truly loved but the problem is… it’s actually really far from where I live. It wasn’t much of a problem when I worked in that area. When I was working in Glendale, sure, heading to North Hollywood to work out meant I’d have a super short commute home at the end of the night. So feelin’ great & short drive? SCORE!

But now that that has ended, I’ve been forced to find something different. The cross-fit gyms by me are too traditional. (And look, I’ve done normal, non-nerdy cross-fit before and it’s just not as fun for me. Plus, my nerdy cross-fit is so accepting of so many different body types and fitness levels it always made me feel comfortable.)

Which now brings me to this post. I’ve found something I hope can still make me feel like I’m taking a class and going through a set list from a teacher and will make my heart rate soar and hopefully get me even more ready for better times at my half-marathons in the coming years.

Behold! My new toy!

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“It’s a bike…?” is what you might be thinking.

It’s not just any bike though, it’s a Peloton.

“A whataton?”

Peloton. It’s a spin bike that allows me to stream live and pre-recorded classes straight to the bike. I can take classes at home, because really, I’m turning into quite the homebody lately as I figure out my next career steps. The internet is amazing at allowing me to be at home, interact with the universe and humanity at large, AND exercise!

The workouts have indeed left me sore and I feel great when I’m done. Sweaty, but great!

So. Much. Sweat. I know, sweat is gross, but that just means it’s W-O-R-K-I-N-G.

Now, a spin bike might not be for everyone. I encourage you to take a spin class before even looking at a spin bike for home. If you like the class style and the feeling after the class and enjoy the workout, then why not have the same experience at home as opposed to a gym?

Or maybe you just wanna see how long I stick with it before I go back to cross-fit or say I hate this bike! (I won’t do that by the way) My ultimate goal is figure out how to include more weight training in my routine and use the peloton as my true cardio maaaatcheeen.

I encourage anyone looking for something a little different or who love live classes but feel really self-conscious they won’t allow themselves to attend, this might be the ticket for you to gain some endurance, confidence, and enjoy an entirely new way to workout at home.

 

 

Let me tell you about SOMBRA…

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I mean just look at her. Actually, I’m sure she could just tell you herself with one look.

She’s a badass. A hero. A badass female hero.

For the first time in all my years of playing games, I FINALLY have a Mexican female hero. One. I have one.

She is even better than I could have hoped for. Here’s an all too important Stephanie list as to why Sombra is the best thing to happen since pan dulce appeared:

  1. She’s not a sniper. I was really hoping she wouldn’t be a sniper because I am terrible at sniping, snipers aren’t fun to play, people who don’t believe in joy play as snipers, etc.
  2. She has just enough attitude to make me adore her yet not mess with her.
  3. She says “ay, pobrecito” when she takes down an enemy and despite that being a thing my grandma would say to me when I was sick, I’m *pretty* sure she doesn’t mean it in the way my grandma did. And that’s a WONDERFUL thing.
  4. Her auto pistols allow me to waste all sorts of ammo because I am an ammo waster and proud of it.
  5. I love how her outfit almost looks as if she’s wearing a mini-skirt/dress which is ABSOLUTELY my aesthetic.
  6. She’s a hacker! I love it! She’s a tech junkie and a lady and a TECH NERD.
  7. I get to have someone who openly says they are Mexican and it’s a proud wonderful thing and it’s not a thing to look down upon. This means more to me than anything.

I am looking forward to seeing all the cool VO lines she’ll have in the game, see the new costumes the development team will make for her, and to see just how further Blizzard can go to create heroes to represent so many individuals out there who felt that no gaming company would make a hero for them.

You proved them wrong and made me blissfully happy in the process.

Now if I can only just get a chance to pick her before someone else in a Quick Play match, I’ll be even happier.

Feeling Woke with Snarky

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There’s something about doing writing on a personal level that hardly ever seems to make it to this blog. I speak on platforms where I know I have audience, such as social media channels. That way, I can get feedback from the ether versus, well, just ether.

This blog space should hold forth that I have the ability to share my ideas in long form capacity and not always limit myself to 140 characters.

Aside

It’s been entirely too long since I’ve written here so, I guess now is as good as any to start again. 

Life always seems to get in the way, and while I am flush with words that want to come out, they don’t always successfully make it to the blog. 

Things have changed for me so much since the last time I updated this. When I was posting on here, I was starting to get comfortable with a sort of domestic life in Seattle. I always had figured I was going to remain in Seattle for what looked like a long time.

But then I had the opportunity to travel more, make changes, had so much love brought in to my life and taken away and then I knew it was time to find a new challenge in my work life. Focusing on work has always brought me a comfort that not many other things can.

I move back to Los Angeles feeling like I could return to Seattle and still call it home. But I do love the sunshine, the events, and want to think of all the positive things LA will give me, but right now, I know I have to say goodbye and I am really bad at saying goodbye.

My heart is bigger than I care to admit and while I am really good at faking a good many things, I can’t fake that taking my last drive on the 520 for a while before taking the freeway South isn’t going to make me weep like a girl who has lost her love at sea.

I will come back and visit. I know I will. I will just continue to rely on myself and make shit happen, all in the name of the next adventure.

It’s time for the next one.

Ew. New Year’s Revolutions.

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Here we are again. 2012. While I did complete some of my to-dos from this past year, I am going to be more realistic and instead of resolutions, I will have revolutions – you know, to finish up the things I didn’t finish this year and maybe do a few new things different this year.

* Buy another designer purse – I love my fancy Kate Spade purse it I’m ready for more purse choices & options & something more in a shoulder bag

* Take MANY more pictures! Now that I have an SLR, I have no excuses!

* Finally buy that $200 hair dryer

* Make 1 cocktail I haven’t ever made before, every week

* Finally prestige in Modern Warfare 3

* Get my possessions out of storage in Austin. (I want my normal Christmas things in my house this year!)

* Continue on my quest to watch AFI’s Top 100 movies list (This task was much harder than I thought. Especially since I stopped Netflix and don’t do the whole disc mailing thing. But I will do this! Not giving up!)

* Try canning my food and doing WAY more infusions/recipes

* Continue to write and blog – even if it kills me. But hopefully, it won’t

* Work on my own cross-stitch patterns

That list already seems really long but I’m gonna try to stick to it!

All I can say now is, Bring it 2012!