January 29, 2007

I Need Hair-apy

I learned the difference between the words “salon” and “institute” on Saturday. It became quite clear that the Aveda Institute was certainly not an Aveda Salon when they had me sign a release form before getting my haircut. The jist of it said that I was a cheap bastard and deserved whatever bad haircut or permanent scarring its stylists-in-training left me.

I had an appointment that day with an actual salon, with an actual, licensed hairstylist. However, the salon’s receptionist (who scheduled my appointment!) saw things differently when I showed up on Saturday, a day earlier than her book said. Undaunted by the incorrectness of their little book, I left the salon determined to get my haircut that day.

That is how I wound up at the Aveda Institute instead of a salon and why my hair resembles a blunt face-framed look I sported in 10th grade instead of the stylish and trendy look I had planned. But my lesson was learned. I can guarantee when my hair grows out in a month, and I make another hair appointment, it will not be anywhere that has the word “institute” in the title.

January 23, 2007

Mi Gato Favorito

My little man Oscar and I have been living together for about two weeks now. It’s enough time to have picked up on some of Oscar’s personality and quirks. Here’s what I’ve learned about Oscar thus far:

• He is a morning cat. Oscar’s up by 5 a.m. and raring to play, while my alarm does not go off until 6:30 a.m. at the earliest. Something to note, I am not a morning person.
• When he does sleep, his favorite place is by my head.
• He has a stick with some ribbons duct-taped on the end of it that is his world. It is the only thing that seems to appease him at all times. Were this stick to disappear, I am pretty sure he wouldn’t know how to function.
• He can do several back flips in a row when chasing this stick.
• He is obsessed with running water. If he’s not pacing back and forth in my apartment then I can generally find him sitting in my bathroom sink staring at the right faucet that drips ever so slightly. The latest is that he slips in between the shower curtain and liner while I’m showering and watches the water run toward the drain.
• When I am gone for too long, he chews on my welcome mat.
• I have to devote play time to him both in the morning and at night otherwise he makes my life miserable.
• He can go through a small bag of cat food in about two weeks.
• His purr is now one of my favorite sounds.
• After only two weeks of living with him, it’s hard to remember what I did before he was here.

January 17, 2007

You Say Kitty, I Say Catherine

There have been many times, for various reasons, that I have shared among friends how I was almost named Kitty.

As the story goes, right after I was born, when I was placed in my mom’s arms I began to purr. My mom loved this purring sound so much she almost named me Kitty. To this day, my dad maintains it was purely the mix of my mom’s jostling hormones that lead her to believe Kitty might be an acceptable name for their second daughter. My dad was never in agreement. I do not know the exact conversation that took place where in my name became Amy instead of Kitty, but I personally don’t care. I’m just glad Kitty didn’t happen because I’m almost certain with a name like that my business cards would read “Pole Dancer” instead of “Paralegal.”

For some reason, I brought this up Saturday night while my parents were in town visiting. Over our fabulous meal of Spanish tapas and sangria we all laughed at how I almost was named Kitty. And through my mother’s chuckles, she said, “Ha. Ha. Kitty Kristin. Tee hee.” Thinking I heard her wrong in the commotion of this very loud restaurant, I said, “Wait. What did you say?” Looking a bit sheepish, she replied a little more quietly and little hesitantly, “Kitty Kristin?” and smiled an uncertain grin.

I shook my head and this time firmly asked,” Mom, what’s my middle name?” Turning to my dad as she mulled over the correct answer, he looked almost as bewildered as she. He mumbled something along the lines of “Kristin, wait no. Catherine? Right?” Then my mom chimed in, “Yes. Catherine. Nicole Kristin (my sister’s name) and Amy Catherine. Right.” And then she uneasily laughed again. I could not believe it. My mother had just forgotten my own middle name. That is not a lesson any child wants to learn.

With my dad, we tend to make all kinds of concessions. My sister, mom and I don’t expect him to remember birthdays, anniversaries, our ages or his own age, for that matter. (However, he can correctly identify the make and model of most motorcycles by only their sound.) My mom, however, tracks these things on calendars, year after year, and is expected to remember on command the most inane details of mine and my sister’s childhood. So it was shocking to say the least when my dad correctly guessed my middle name before my mom.

For the sake of my mom’s embarrassment at forgetting her youngest daughter’s middle name, I should mention this conversation took place during our second pitcher of sangria in as many hours. But I also should mention one other minor detail to balance out this story. My mom’s first name is Cathy. Cathy is short for Catherine. That’s right. My middle name is my mom’s first name, which after a pitcher or so of sangria apparently is a very hard thing to remember. Perhaps, had my middle name been Kitty, it would have rolled right off her tongue.

Author's note: I realize this is the second cat-related entry I have posted in a row. I may make my next post feline-ish just to round out the tri-fecta.

January 7, 2007

Oscar de la Hoya

I have a cat. Just when I thought the saga of Twinkle Toes was over, I was told it was not. The Cusacks backed out and now he's mine. We had our first meeting last Wednesday and since he didn't claw my eyes out when I walked in the door, I agreed to take him.

He moved in on Saturday. I say moved in because he came with a carrier and two grocery bags of stuff. He's now resting comfortably in my apartment after spending most of Saturday hiding under my bed. I think he likes it here now. As you can tell by the photo above, his favorite move is spreading out on the rug by my desk. He's already strutting around like he owns the place.

Today I learned/decided that his name is Oscar. He's quite a little boxer and has this move where he likes to stand up on his hind legs and bat at things. So in honor of his boxing agility, I've renamed him Oscar de la Hoya... Oscar for short. Lord knows he wasn't staying Twinkle Toes for long.

I promise I'll keep you all updated about life as a cat owner. I'm sure there are many lessons to be had there.

January 1, 2007

The Year of the Sayre

At the stroke of midnight, I rung in 2007 with champagne and well wishes to my friends and family via phone calls, text messages and hugs. But the stroke of midnight had a bittersweet twinge. The end of 2006 meant the end of The Year of the Sayre.

As you can probably surmise, The Year of the Sayre began at the start of 2006 when I was in an unhappy place. I had descended to a very low personal valley, full of self-doubt, uncertainty and discontentment, stemming from my previous year's struggles. Two-thousand five had not been kind to me. I was working a dead-end job, hating every second of it, accumulating debt and not really sure what I wanted to do next but knew I couldn’t continue on the same path. I was miserable. It was after one of my many talks with my good friend, Yvonne, when she encouraged me that things were going to be better - that 2006 was going to be The Year of the Sayre.

Looking back at 2006, I have to say my dear friend was right. This has been an amazing year. I am in a place personally, financially, physically that far surpasses any expectations I held at the end of ’05. I am happy and really there is nothing more that I could ask for.

I contribute my present state to the one prevailing lesson I taken away from this past year. If you’re unhappy, be it resting in your employment, your relationship, your physical appearance, change it. If you do not actively participate in your own life, no one else will. It is your responsibility to take the reigns and make yourself happy. Don’t expect anyone else to do it for you. And you certainly have the power and ability to change any situation you are in - provided you can find the courage to do it.

As I said, I ended 2006 on an upswing, and I’m hoping it continues well into 2007. And I wish the same to each and every one of you. I hope 2007 is a year where you seize your life and do things more amazing than you ever thought possible.