Because Nobody Needs Poofy Hair

Prompted by a query from Rachel at my blog post bemoaning the fact that SunSilk Anti-Poof Hair Creme was no longer available, I’ve decided to update you on my research on alternatives to this magical elixir of the anti-poof.

First of all, I did resort to Amazon and bought 12 bottles of the Sunsilk anti-poof Hairapy stuff. But if you live outside of the US, like me, you have a further complication, because whoever distributes it won’t deliver it outside the US. Fortunately, I had a friend in the US who could receive it and then deliver it up to me. I know. I know. It’s just hair creme. But COME ON!! I have signature hair and live in damp climate. I need all the help I can get. Don’t judge me.

Second of all, and with no clinical proof whatsoever, I believe the magic ingredients in the anti-poof formula are jojoba oil and glycerin. This is my conclusion after reading many labels with 6 point fonts (ooh the eye strain!) on the back of many an anti-frizz product. They seem to contain about 95%  of the same ingredients–but jojoba oil and glycerin are not found in most concoctions. You can get glycerin at most drug stores and even some grocery stores. The jojoba oil you can usually find at aromatherapy stores or any store (I found some at PriceSmart) that sells some essential oils.

So, I did buy some glycerin and jojoba oil. It’s tricky though because you really don’t need very much, so I ended up more often than not looking decidedly un-poofy but also a little greasy. My next move would be to go to the dollar store and buy some cheap conditioner as the carrying agent and add some jojoba oil and glycerin into it until I came up with the magic formula (which I would then no doubt have to patent, manufacture and distribute to make my millions). I have yet to try that though.

So, other products I have found that are okay:

1) BioSilk. Some essence of silk seems to be the magic ingredient here. You can read all the ingredients here. I actually now use this in conjunction with the anti-poof creme. It’s a great shine adder and really smooths hair. If you straighten your hair it’s the perfect creme to add before and after you straighten,

2) Marc Anthony Strictly Curls. This has glycerin but no jojoba oil. It’s pretty good, but I find it also a little drying.

3) Alba Botanica Soft Hold Style Cream. Also with the glycerin (vegetable glycerin in this case) but no jojoba oil. It’s also pretty good and gives my hair very soft to the touch curls. It’s very easy to use too much of this product though. Use sparingly.

Maybe I should just add some jojoba oil to these products to see if that would take them to the next level of good. Good grief. Why haven’t I thought of that up to now?

At any rate. I hope someone can benefit from my year of experimenting. Let me know how it goes for you. We sisters of the poofy hair must stick together!

By the way, don’t get your advice from strangers on the internet. Your hair may vary from mine.

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Posted in Observatory, Star Catalogue | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Dear 2011,

I’ve been waiting for you.

Wait, I’m being a little creepy aren’t I? I mean we just met and all and here I am heaping all these expectations on you–hoping, dreaming, believing, YEARNING for you to be THE ONE. You know. THE YEAR. The year of the big success. Maybe big successes. The year where everything changed for the better.

I know that’s a lot of expectation. I’m sorry.

I know I need to slow down, get to know you a little better. Maybe have a conversation and see if we have anything to talk about before I go all John Cusack a la Say Anything on you.

Especially because I know I’m on the rebound here. 2010 and I had what could only be called a stormy relationship and a really, really, REALLY bad breakup (and truly, that’s putting it mildly).  A year of high highs and low lows.

Maybe that’s what I want from our relationship. A little lot less drama (at least of the real life kind. More of the theatre kind would actually be awesome). A little more steady momentum. Less chaos. More clarity.

It’s not that I want nothing from our relationship–to treat you like an old comfy chair that doesn’t require anything of me but for me to sit down and vegetate. I’m also not negating the value of some good fallow time. What I’m trying to say is that I’m going to put some effort into our relationship. I’m not just going to expect you to be everything and do everything. I’m not going to let myself be entirely buffeted around by the things (good and/or bad) that you’re bringing to the table. But I will bring some stuff of my own to the table. I promise to be clear about what I want, or if I’m not, at least seek clarity. I promise to focus my attention on bringing those qualities into my life and our relationship. And as cheesy as it sounds I want to bring more ME into the world and our relationship. Step into whatever this thing is that keeps calling my name.

So, there it is. All out there, however vague it seems at this point. Strange to seem so vague when I’m wanting clarity, but such is the paradox of life no?

I hope you’re open to all of this.  You seem like the kind of year that would be. I hope I’m not misreading you entirely. Otherwise, I guess I’ll get my Boombox and Peter Gabriel CD at the ready. Seeing as this is Vancouver I can at least predict a heavy rainstorm within any given week.

With love and what? anticipation? ridiculously high hopes?

How about…

I’m looking foward to getting to know you better.

With much love and laughter,

Me

Posted in Aliens and uncharted planets, Winter Solstice | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Farewell Mom

Yesterday, after a two and a half year battle with metastatic breast cancer, my Mom passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family.

I expect she’s already striking up a committee, seeing what needs to be done, getting herself involved. After all, we can’t expect Heaven to run itself.  

I will miss her terribly. It will take some getting used to having a different form of communication.

In her honour, a re-post of some of the lessons she taught me.

This is my Mom and me in the ‘Peg circa 1968.

Mom, me and the Muppet Coat

Did someone skin a Cookie Monster to get the pelt for that coat? I’m a muppetized moppet. I love that you can’t see my hands. Wasn’t I just adorable?

More to the point thought, look how beautiful my Mom is. Like a red-haired Jackie-O.

True story. I was showing my boyfriend (circa 1986) some family photos. Someone had snapped a shot of one of my siblings sitting on the floor opening a present. Behind the child were a pair of legs.

Nice gams! says soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend (Look! Hyper-hyphenation)

That’s my mom!

(awkward pause) Oh. Well. Still. Nice gams.

Mom didn’t see fit to award her first-born those nice gams. Damn the vagaries of the genetic lottery. At least I’m not bitter about it at all.

But stop, this isn’t about me, this is about my Mom. Wife of 1. Mother of 8. Sister to 2. Grandmother of 8. Librarian, business-owner, president of many a committee, leader, politician, suburban pioneer, knitter, taker-up of causes.

My mom.

Some of the things my Mom taught me, although some of them I still haven’t quite mastered. Frankly, I blame the student, not the teacher:

  • A house full of life is more important than a clean one
  • Act on your ideas
  • Be articulate
  • Have people over
  • Think for yourself
  • Substance is more important than flash
  • Good wine and good conversation in combination is one of the best pleasures in life
  • Make friends with people who don’t have any
  • Don’t waste brain space by remembering the plots of television shows and movies
  • Find the special deals
  • Own lots of books
  • Endurance is more important than speed
  • Introduce yourself
  • The Salvation Army and the clearance rack are awesome
  • Get involved
  • Notice the world around you: the flowers coming in bloom, the houses being built, the arrival of the swallows
  • Be kind
  • Dress well and never be seen outside your house without lipstick.
  • Be classy.
  • Why buy it if you can make it.
  • Stand up for what you believe to be right even if it means being the only one standing in a crowd. And even if that crowd is your crowd.
  • You don’t have to go with the flow
  • Read
  • Make stuff
  • Tell the people you love that you love them

And so, I know you know, Mom, but I love you.

Thanks for all this and all the other things that you just can’t put in a list. I’m incredibly blessed to have you for my mom.

Posted in celestial beings, Dark side of the Moon, Eclipse | 7 Comments

Taking the Measure

It’s taken me a year, but I’ve lost 17.6 pounds.

I still have a ways to go. But I thought it might be time to take stock because the weight itself doesn’t take the full measure of the change in me:

  • I am off caffeine.
  • I am 95% off sugar. The sugars I do have are honey, organic sugar cane, agave nectar and sucanut. They don’t seem to affect me the same way that white sugar does. Of course, I may have to take a closer look at the organic sugar cane. But I’ll get there.
  • I no longer drink Diet Coke. What never? Well… Hardly ever.
  • I drink my swiss water decaffeinated, fairly traded, shade-grown, non-GMO coffee with coconut milk.
  • I drink Green Smoothies on a fairly regular basis. Yes, I put leafy greens in a blender and then drink it.
  • I take all my supplements almost without fail instead of a half week at a time, and then abandonment for two months.
  • My brain is working better. Less brain fog.
  • My constant headaches are gone.
  • I have more energy.
  • I put on a pair of rather unforgiving non-stretch denim shorts that had been lost in the back of my closet and not only do they fit, but the waist is loose. Denim Victory Dance. The sweetest kind.
  • My cardio fitness is improved. My pulse rate comes down quicker than it did before.
  • I can jog for 2 miles or half an hour. I can do 2 miles in 28 minutes, 20 seconds. Not exactly world record material, but relative to me, a big accomplishment.

Things that do not work for me:

  • Weight loss programs. Not Jenny Craig, not Weight Watchers, not U Factor. I know they work for some people but they do not work for me. I’m not saying these programs are bad. They’re not. They just don’t work for me. Because for me it’s not the knowledge of how to eat, it’s my own resistance to staying in the process that trips me up. And these programs are designed to work through resistance in a very non-specific to me way. What can I say? People vary.
  • Goals. I know this is counter-intuitive but goals like losing 10 pounds for the high school reunion, or the Christmas party, or to get into that outfit that’s too small for me. Does not work for me. When someone hands me that sheet that says SMART goals at the top, I break out into a sweat. The only way they’re good for for me is getting me into my cardio zone. I don’t think SMART goals work for right brain people. Someone should do a study.
  • Focusing only on the mechanics — what and how much I’m eating, how much and how hard I’m working out.  It works for me for a while, but not long enough.

Things that do work for me:

  • A naturopath with a truly holistic approach and a specialty in weight loss. I really love my new naturopath. Not only is he knowledgeable (like any doctor should be), but he’s got this endearing combination of qualities–curiousity, acceptance, gentleness, kindness, and compassion that is exactly what I need. And sometimes he’s all about the mechanics and sometimes he’s all about the woo-woo which brings me to my next point.
  • Balancing the work in the hard with the work in the soft. And what I mean by that is in the hard is the practical stuff like making sure there are fresh vegetables in the refrigerator. The soft is the stuff that on the face of it shouldn’t matter but really does like I put on weight when I’m stressed, not necessarily because of eating (although that can play into it) but because my body’s stress reaction is to put on weight. So, I need to find ways to metabolize stress instead of hanging on to it.
  • Dealing with the mental piece, particularly delving into the reasons behind my resistance to acting in my own best interests. Again, the naturopath has been a huge part in sorting out that piece of this puzzle.
  • I will say that the only pre-packaged method that’s worked me has been The Coach Approach at my gym. It really helped transform my exercise into a habit/lifestyle thing, particularly getting on FitLinxx. I am very proud to report that I am in the 99 percentile for women in my age bracket at my gym. Meaning that I am usually in the top 10 or 20 people in terms of my fit points earned–in June in fact, I was number 2! That is a good feeling. FitLinxx reports to me that since I joined in September 2008, I have logged 12,156 minutes of cardio, lifted 618,456 pounds and burned 71,659 calories.
  • My Accountability Coach at Dream Garden Coaching who was able to tell that the real goal wasn’t weight loss but returning to my artist. She too, has been instrumental in keeping me in the process.
  • Taking up tap dancing. Moving in a way I like is important.
  • The phrase “Living in Alignment” has helped a lot. Eating and moving in a way that my body likes instead of filling it with poison and stagnation and then blaming my body for feeling bad. Give my body what it wants. ( But don’t let addiction do the talking.  
  • Where SMART Goals don’t work for me, visualizations do. Creating that mental picture that captures why I’ m doing this and then holding on to that picture creates forward movement for me.

Things that I want to give more focus in the next year

  • CONSCIOUSNESS. This is huge. Do you know how attractive unconsciousness can be sometimes? Check-out. Go on automatic pilot. Don’t have to work so hard at something. Rest. Relax. So, yes, bringing awareness into the process is important. 
  • Interaction with the resistance. Why do I want that fudge now? What is it I’m really needing? Because food can sometimes be a shadow comfort for me. The thing I go to when I’m avoiding the pursuit of my real dreams because they’re currently terrifying me.
  • Making peace with vegetables. We may need a peace summit at Camp David. But I want them to return to just being vegetables and not a barometer of my worth as a person and a mother.
  • Feeding my artist on a daily basis.
  • I want to get to being able to jog a 12-minute mile and be able to jog for an hour or more at a time.
  • I am still wrestling with reflux and the resulting sore throats, so I need to bring more attention to that. Don’t worry, I’m seeing real doctors, but I’m trying to see if there’s any way to fix this without being on a 40 mg dose of Nexxum daily.
Posted in Rainbows, Stardust, summer solstice | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Happy Second Half of the Year!

Greetings my sweet little bjournal. I know. I know! It’s been ages. I know. I’m sorry. No need for yelling. Yes, I still love you. Yes, I’ve missed you. I know I’ve been neglectful of all the stuff half formed in my mind that wanted to be written down here. It’s not you, it’s me. I just needed a bit of space I guess. A little bit of breathing room to explore some non-desk related activities.

But I’m back now. I’m not making any promises. But I’m back at least for now.

So, let me catch you up:

  • Last time, I let you know that I was getting together this little thing called The Actor’s Intensive. Well holy cow. Like 1800 hits in the month of April. Over 30 applications and 10 more after the deadline. I’ve currently got a list of like 30 people that want to be notified when/if we run it again. So, yeah, some interest there.
  • I was in a play. Yes, a little something called Nine. Very cool to work with a new group of people. Plus, my middle child got to be part of it with me. I’m not sure his circadian rhythms have yet returned to normal, and I may have inadvertently given him the theatre bug. Whoops. But it was kind of cool to share the experience with him.
  • My baby turned 6. My baby! I have to adjust my eyes sometimes, because I don’t recognize this big kid who’s taken over my baby’s body. We had great fun at his 6th birthday party playing laser tag with his kindergarten buddies.
  • I’ve shed 16 pounds. Currently working through some mental resistance so I’m a little stalled weight-wise. But hey, 16 pounds!
  • Totally missed the sostice. But I’m enjoying the long days and nights even though the West Coast has been like an England summer this year. Lots of cold and wet.
  • I’m on a two-month layoff from work. Which means that I’m now trying to cram 10 gallons of doing into 2 gallons of capacity. Big plans!
  • Renovations going on at the office. Renovations going on next door to us. Don’t come near me otherwise you’ll find people jackhammering right beside you within minutes.
  • And yes, we will mow the lawn soon. The lawnmower is in the shop okay?

I think that’s the most of it.

What have you been doing in my absence?

Posted in Mothership, Stardust, summer solstice, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Introducing the Actor’s Intensive

I know I’m about 1.5 steps away from perfection, but I simply can’t stand it anymore and I have to announce my big thing.

The THING!

You read about it here first.

Then I sent out that little teaser a couple of weeks back.

And now, I can finally announce it’s actually happening in pretty much exactly the form I imagined.

I have through some miraculous conspiracy of micro-steps managed to pull together a 4-week refresher course for actors for this August. Voice, acting, movement, taught by working pros, 3 times per week, a showcase with invited directors — it’s all there.

You can find out all about it here.

And that’s not even the most fantastic part. It’s the people that have somehow let me sweet talk them into being part of it that has advanced me from just happy to ridiculously giddy. With the Arts Club hosting, program direction by Dean Paul Gibson, and head instruction by Scott Bellis I just could not have asked to put together a better team of co-conspirators.

Now if I could ask a tremendous favour: please spread the word. I know this course’s right people are just waiting for this and I want them to be able to find it.

Posted in Stardust, Wonderment | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Aren’t they (ah…ahh..choo!) lovely (sniffff) ?

A little picture of spring to celebrate today’s vernal equinox.

Taken along the walkway to Granville Island

Even though today I’m going to put a rib out with all my sneezing from said cherry tree blossoms, I couldn’t be more happy to welcome the Equinox. I love this side of the pendulum.

Posted in Leaves, Vernal Equinox | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment