Who says cats aren’t like kids?

Ian’s in New Orleans for a few days on business, and BK isn’t too happy about him being gone. This morning I woke up to her stomping around on his pillow, wondering why his head wasn’t there for her to lay on.

But she broke my heart this afternoon when, upon hearing a car door shut outside, she jumped up from a nap and ran to the door expecting him to walk through it. When the seconds passed and the door didn’t open, she looked at me with sad and confused eyes. I had to pick her up and let her watch out the window for a few minutes before she believed me that the sound she heard, despite her insistence, wasn’t her dad getting home.

I realize how melodramatic this sounds, but she really misses him.

She’s not the only one.

Adventures in hair-drying

About two or three years ago I figured out my hair actually looked decent if I wore it left down, as long as I used a diffuser on the hair dryer and finished it off with some Aveda Air Control hair spray. This was a great discovery for me, someone who had worn her hair pulled back in some form or fashion since high school, but it also meant I had to get a decent hair dryer.

I had been using the same Revlon dryer for probably 10 years, and it just wasn’t really cutting it anymore. It took forever to dry my hair, the diffuser was crap, and it was just… old. So I set out trying to find the perfect hair dryer for under $50.

After trying and returning one or two, I finally found one that I considered perfect: The Infiniti Nano Silver by Conair, a ceramic dryer that was $49.99—just within my budget.

This dryer is amazing. No matter the length of my hair it allows me to dry it in about 10 minutes, and the diffuser is the best I have ever encountered (and I have been around the diffuser block, my friends). It sends enough air through the diffuser so that my hair is dried without becoming limp (a problem often encountered with diffusers that don’t have vented fingers or enough holes in them), and it cuts down on the frizz that is the curse of the curly-haired. The length of the fingers also lets me add lift to my roots, which is a huge plus with my fine-but-not-thin hair.

I was in love. For about a year and a half. Then one day (in February 2009, if I remember correctly), the motor started making strange sputtering noises and I smelled smoke. I thought maybe it just overheated, but the next day it would barely blow any air at all.

I was heartbroken, but figured it was such a great dryer I would buy another one, hoping mine had just been defective.

That one was great, too, lasting almost another year, until the same thing happened in January of this year. Sputtering, refusing to blow air, smelling like something was burning on the inside.

Confused, I removed the back panel thinking maybe I just wasn’t cleaning the lint trap often enough. But nope, it was clean.

Now I was pissed. I emailed Conair explaining that one hair dryer going bad I could understand, but two was odd. I received an email back saying someone would contact me within three days to resolve the issue, but I never heard back.

I set out again to try to find a different dryer, one that hopefully wouldn’t crap out on me in a year’s time, but again I came up empty handed. It really all came down to the diffuser, and none that I found—even the ridiculously expensive ones I looked at—had the amazingly vented diffuser with the long, vented fingers I knew held the key to my hair’s success. So begrudgingly, I bought another one. Although this time I wised up and ordered it off Amazon, which at least meant I got the dryer for $40 instead of $50, with free shipping.

But still. It was MY THIRD GODDAMN HAIR DRYER in two years. I felt like a fool. Well, actually I felt like an addict.

So imagine how pissed off I was this weekend when, just a mere seven months after purchasing it, the thing shit the bed. Again. In the exact same way.

Am I doing it wrong? Is it possible that despite making it through life as a pretty intelligent person, you know, making mostly As in school, getting a bachelor’s degree after having been a double major—even completing some post-graduate work!—and possessing what I like to think is probably more common sense and problem-solving ability than the average bear… I have lost the ability to use a fucking hair dryer correctly?

Maybe using it on low heat for 10 minutes or less once a day is abuse. Maybe I’m supposed to sing some kind of hair-dryer hymn before I use it and then when I’m done, bathe it in the tears of children and set it to rest in a box made of solid gold that’s lined with only the finest French silk.

I guess we’ll find out. In a fit of anger Saturday I dashed off a complaint on Conair’s Facebook fan page, and yesterday I received a message from Susan Bloch in Conair customer service asking me to call her so that she can “assist [me] with my hair dryers.” Apparently she’s not in today, though, so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out what her solution is.

In the meantime, like the goddamned punching bag that I am, I’ve ordered another Infiniti Nano Silver. It’s only $30 on Amazon now. Fingers crossed!

The next time I see them they will be married

I can’t believe it’s been more than a week since I was in Chicago, co-hosting a bridal shower and bachelorette party for my sister Katie. That was an awesome and crazy weekend, and yielded more hilarious pictures than I’ll see for years, I’m sure.

Today around 6 p.m. Hawaii time (11 p.m. central time), Katie and Junnhi will be getting married on a beach somewhere on Kauai. I hope she gets that perfect sunset she’s been hoping for.

Congrats, Katie and Junnhi! Now get your asses back so we can get crazy at your reception.

The summer

I looked at a calendar today and realized that it’s July 15. Summer is halfway over, but you could have fooled me.

When did I stop being one of those people who has summer adventures? One of those who knows inherently when the season begins and ends, and ticks off the weekends covered in sweat and smelling like the trees? Who throws and attends parties and drives down Memorial Blvd. with the windows open, screaming the lyrics to whatever dumb pop song is in the top 10 that week?

Oh, right. Sometimes I forget that I’m a grownup, with real responsibilities outside finishing up homework and rolling into work with just enough sleep to get me through the day without passing out in the cinderblocked breakroom.

I wouldn’t trade my life now for my life 10 years ago for anything. I love my husband, my job, my house and the self-assurance and satisfaction that comes with it all. It’s a different kind of happy now, one that I’ve worked hard for.

But it sure would be nice to feel the summer again.

Feeding my addiction

My hilarious friend/co-worker Jamie had this surprise waiting for me when I got back to work on Monday: A Special Agent Fox Mulder action figure!! The note with him makes it even more awesome. I can’t stop laughing.

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Every night for the last two weeks Ian and I have been watching at least three episodes of The X-Files, more if we’re not too tired. When I got back from my trip to Chicago for my sister’s pre-wedding festivities earlier this week, Ian and I realized that while I was gone we both had to fight the urge to watch more episodes. That’s love, people: Resisting your current favorite TV show until your spouse is home to watch it with you. And they say romance is dead!

We started season three last night and the show is still scaring the crap out of me. I had a moment of insanity the other night when I was downstairs shutting off all of the lights before bed. As I started to walk up the stairs, out of the corner of my eye I saw a dark shadow moving toward me (Link) and heard a creepy voice (Ian talking to Gordo upstairs) and I screamed a blood-curdling scream. I’m not even kidding; I freaked the fuck out. And then laughed so hard I almost pissed myself.

Good times, those X-Files.

Barenaked Ladies in Chicago!!

While I was home this weekend for my sister’s bridal shower and bachelorette party, my mom, sister and I went to see Barenaked Ladies headline The World’s Largest Block Party, held at Old St. Pat’s in Chicago.

This show marked my fourth time seeing them this year, and it was awesome. Again. They played almost a full set, leaving out maybe three or four songs that they had played in their other shows on this tour. We got up super-close, too, which was incredible.

Funny story: So this was a festival-type show, with the audience standing in general admission. My mom, Katie and I waited through the last part of the final opening act and then another 45 minutes or so for BNL to set up, slowly moving our way forward as you do in a festival environment. You’ve got to earn your place near the stage.

About halfway through the show, these three sorostitutes show up behind us and start pushing and shoving, thinking they’re going to get in front of us. The three of us held tight and refused to budge, so instead the chicks started shoving and bumping into us. I turned around and asked one of the girls to stop (well, I wasn’t that polite), and when she refused my freaking mom turned around, told her to back off, and SHOVED HER BACKWARD when she gave her lip. The girls talked a bit of shit but were gone by the next song.

This is why you don’t mess with Irish women. At least not the ones in our family.

July 4 | Casualty of fireworks

As is tradition, Ian and I celebrated the 4th of July over at his mom’s house along with a few friends. We stopped at a fireworks tent on the way over and picked up a bunch of mortars and other fun explosives, and what you see here is the aftermath of Ian trying to sneak up on Scott while he was lighting a firework—and then tried to run away. He was left with a bruised and scraped thumb, but that seems to have been the worst of the injuries this year.

The next day my car was covered in burnt paper and ash, and I was reminded of one of the reasons I love living in Tennessee. What better way to celebrate your country than by blowing things up in the street?

July 3 | Reading cards

Saturday night I gathered with a few others at a friend’s house to have our cards read. I was afraid I’d have a hard time wrapping my head around it, but this felt very much like a therapy session in that it helped me focus on what has been tumbling around in my brain and bring certain things into perspective. I feel like the tumbleweeds have been cleared out and am better able to prioritize and flesh out a few things that have been on my mind.

First up: Track down my Irish ancestors and see what kind of polytheism they might have been into. Those three crows have been appearing everywhere still.

Check out the rest of the photos I took that night.