Tag Archives: mighty

More Life List Items – Double Check.

To Do (in) Life List Item # 13. Go to Bourbon and Branch and # 21. Have Drinks at the Tonga Room (before it’s gone).


Both of these are long checked off but had never been accounted for. Being 7 1/2 months pregnant, it’s fun to revisit less sober times. I am soo looking forward to my first cocktail and a whole bottle of wine just for me. Until then, memory lane must suffice.

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Life List – Not checked yet, but on its way

To Do (in) Life List Item #43. Move beyond the ponytail; Master 5 styles for my hair

When making up my List of Things To Do Before I’m Too Old, I realized that, although it’s been dyed, curled and straightened, I don’t think I can claim to have ever bothered to style my hair in anything but a ponytail. Other than the occasional professionally-done up-do at like, my wedding (skipped prom), that has been it.

Until last Wednesday.

Wait! Before I get to that – my pictures are all in America – you’ll just have to imagine the route that got me here:

Childhood – A massive braided ponytail. Worn every day. Heavy like a horse’s tail, it stung just as badly when wielded as a weapon. Also, bangs.

Freshman year –  Quickly learned that a dorky white  girl cannot wear a red bandanna headband in an inner city school without a WHOLE LOT of negative attention. Otherwise smoothly transitioned to wearing it down. Also, somehow avoided the Big Bang phenomenon of late early 90’s.

Sophomore year – Waves just all of a sudden turned into real curls. I also went freakishly prematurely grey. Very grey.

Remaining high school years – Mostly spent learning to deal with the curls and how to cover the greys. Also, discovered scrunchies.

College – Got up extra early, every morning, to wash and dry my hair into my Julia-Roberts-Mass-of-Curls that had to be just so for me to have a good day.

First Job –  San Francisco + the fog = Back to braids and ponytails. Hair now 75% grey = Dyeing is a way of life.

Germany – After a brief relapse into curls that were accidentally dyed black though a cultural misunderstanding with a Spanish hairstylist and the meaning of the words “not blond”, the  pony tail pretty much became a fixture.

As I said, until last Wednesday.

Here's me before, heading out to the salon.

This is me hoping this isn't a huge mistake.

This is me right afterwards, at a friend's apartment.

The reaction so far: My friends’ four-year old greeted me with polite distance, quickly excused himself and went to bed having no idea who I was. My husband keeps doing double-takes. A large portion of Thursday was spent being approached by co-workers who hadn’t recognized me and thought someone else had snatched my office. It’s like I’ve joined the witness protection program.

I still have to figure out four other things to do with it, but there you are, my new haircut and the first of five new styles.

I think I like it.

I say I have officially moved beyond the ponytail.

Life List – Let’s Tackle a Big One First

To Do (in) Life List Item # 19. Own real estate


Our Christmas present came early this year.

A few months back when I started putting together my Life “To Do” List, I included this one almost as an after-thought. As an kid from a from a middle class American family, this step was just assumed. A lot has changed since I left California and now these predictions about our generation not achieving the same life style as our parents are really starting to hit home. I wasn’t as shocked as some at the outcome of last years’ crisis, in part because I’d already accepted that I had set myself back more than just a few years by moving abroad and starting over from scratch. But I still figured I was bound to get there someday.

Over here in Germany it’s also a bit different. The German version of “The Dream” is to build a house, plant a tree, have a stammtisch and sire a son. But also prominent is the idea that you might skip the whole home-ownership thing and rent your whole life. In fact, in the major cities it’s usually more expensive to own and live in your own home vs renting.

In our case, what has really stood between us and owning an apartment though has been the uncertainty of where we’ll be in 18 months. Financial issues aside, it just hasn’t seemed worth it to go to all that trouble for something we would have to turn around and sell in a few years.

The Carinthian mountains and valley, and the Slovenian and Italian Alps.

Then it finally dawned on us: We do know where we’ll be, at least twice a year, on vacation. In Austria, tucked away in Carinthia is an alp with a little local ski resort where Oliver’s family has been vacationing for over 35 years. Their small apartment, about a 3.5 hour drive from Munich, was our escape whenever we needed some roommate-free time alone. It was where he took me, straight from the airport, when I arrived for my first visit*.

There it is!

The idea finally occurred to us when we were listening to a friend, in a similar situation, who had just shelved house-hunting in favor of renting, choosing instead to invest in a vacation apartment. With his family growing (at last count, three kids), they were facing significantly increased travel costs just to take a weekend vacation. When they learned their favorite hotel was building bungalows, they jumped at the opportunity to buy one. The hotel would even rent and service the apartment when they weren’t there, allowing them to offset a lot of the costs.

That turned the lightbulb on over our heads. Continue reading