Sunday, July 13, 2014

I cut my hair & met Zachary Levi. These things aren't connected

So, a friend on Twitter recently chopped her hair off into this super great swoopy sort of pixie cut thing. And though I swore after chopping all my hair off after high school graduation that I would never, ever do that again, I found myself considering it. So I pinned a bunch of pictures, made plans with my husband and got myself to the local salon. Now, I've always had pretty good luck there. I get decent cuts/color, but... never exactly what I asked for. That pretty much sums up my experience this time too.

What I wanted:
From Cute
A pixie. But longish. Swoopy, but not super dramatic. Not blonde either, but you know, able to tuck a little behind my ears, but up off my neck. Something that wouldn't require a lot of fuss. No diffusers or a ton of product just to get it to sit still on my head. Not too much to ask, but maybe it is, with my super fine, straight, boring hair. Still, I was going to attempt it. It's just hair. It grows, and I was definitely tired of the length it was, so I was going to cut it and while I liked having a short bob, it was more work than I wanted to make it presentable. So, after pouring over a lot of pictures, this is what I decided on. I knew there was probably going to be product involved, but I hoped for the "apply to damp hair, comb through with fingers, go retrieve the toddler from wherever she's gotten to that she shouldn't be and grab the baby before he eats too much dog hair and try not to care if your shirt has someone else's bodily fluids on it so long as you don't smell too bad, just call it good" kind of styling routine. That I can handle.

This is the cut I wound up with:
It's short, and pixie-ish. Not as long or as swoopy as I would have liked, but that just gives me growing room, right? I've had some time to wash it and play with some new products and sort of figure out how I think it might work on a daily basis. I do like it just air-dried, so that's nice, but a little bit of goop helps keep it more in place for going out in public, because I like to look fancy at the grocery store. I do like having bangs again. I still don't recognize myself in pictures of mirrors yet. After a bit of playing, I think this is what I will look like most days.


So, there's this thing called Nerd HQ run by The Nerd Machine which is a company that Zachary Levi & Dave Coleman founded. If you don't know who Zachary Levi is, go watch Tangled. He's Flynn Rider. Only my second favoritest Disney prince in the history of ever. (Ok, he might be my ACTUAL favorite, but I'm sentimental, and Prince Phillip will never ever be removed from the top of that list.) And then go watch the series Chuck. Because it's fun and light and cheesy and I fell in love with it in the first episode when Chuck first sees Sarah and starts singing the Vicki Vale song from the Prince Batman soundtrack... wait, not Prince Batman like Prince Phillip. The soundtrack to the Batman movie with Michael Keaton that Prince did. I loved that cd. And went to Great America (which is what the Six Flags park in Gurnee is called) when I was in middle school and stood in line to sing the songs while waiting to ride the ALL NEW FANCY Batman rollercoaster. Anyway, we're watching the first episode, Chuck starts singing this sort of obscure song that I love from my pseudo-childhood and I made J pause the show so I could geek out over the fact that he was singing the Vicki Vale song! Only to have Chuck explain that in the episode just a few seconds later. Ooops.

Anyway, Nerd HQ did a fundraising thing this year, and I contributed 0.0001% of the total amount raised, which was sadly only 33% of what they needed, but turned out to be enough to get the attention of sponsers to make the event happen anyway. Which is great. Not that I'll be able to go, because it's in San Diego and that's far. BUT! I will watch the videos on YouTube like always. Which is how I found out about this whole thing in the first place. Because I was too many minutes down a Tom Hiddleston YouTube wormhole when I stumbled across his visit to Nerd HQ. Which is where I really saw Zachary Levi as a non-animated character. So anyway. I donated. And I made Bagels donate, because she's been a fan of Zachary Levi for longer than I've known her, so you know, that seemed fair. ANYWAY, though we fell short of the end goal, we did raise enough for a FANTASTIC perk, which is that one donor got to have lunch with Zachary. And maybe Dave & Shekina (Zac's sister). I don't know all those details, because that donor was not me. BUT that donor lived in Austin, and after their lunch, there was a meet & greet & sign stuff & take pictures event. So I told Bagels that we were going to do that, because COME ON!

So, we both registered for the event separately, because... I don't know. I registered first, but didn't add her to my party because I was in Borger waiting to go to my husband's grandmother's funeral and not thinking clearly in a hotel room with my two kids and 4 more niecephews. So then Bagels registered too.

Then I saw a tweet from The Nerd Machine saying that an e-mail would be going out to everyone who RSVP'd, but I never got an e-mail, and Bagels didn't get an e-mail and we were confused and long story short (too late), they lost my reservation. Or the Internet ate it. Or whatever. They had no record of me ever RSVPing. Which, bummer, but at least they had Bagel's info and she's the real fan here, or she saw him first, or whatever. BUT THEN! The amazing volunteers at The Nerd Machine worked with Sarah to add me to HER reservation, so we still got to go! And they remembered us when we showed up, and everyone was just friendly and accommodating and wonderful. So we waited a not very long time, and then from the balcony above us, Zachary Levi pokes his head out, and you guys, he looks JUST LIKE HIMSELF, which is about the stupidest thing I've said in at least 48 hours, but... you know... tv and movies, people don't always look like that, even on YouTube, but... he looks and sounds and talks just like himself. Which is beautiful. Ok, he's really tall and kind and gracious and sincere and intense in a super non-intimidating way, and I'm getting ahead of myself.

PRO TIP: always bring a baby to an autograph signing! Garrison wasn't the only kid there, but he was definitely the youngest in our group, and possibly the youngest of the day, and I know I'm biased, but come on! My kid is kind of the greatest. He's beautiful and social and likes everyone and smiles at everyone and is such a flirt. Seven months is just such a great age! So, as soon as we make it up into the room, Shekinah comes and is flirting with Garrison, and I wish I had talked to her about the cool and amazing stuff SHE does, but I was just glad for the distraction of getting to talk about my baby and not freak about about meeting celebrities. She was so thoughtful and asked about his name, and Eleanor, and she snuggled him, and I almost didn't get him back. She called Zac's attention to him, and Zac looks up from signing autographs and breaks into this HUGE grin and says, "HI Buddy!!" and my heart just about flopped out, because... COME ON!

When it was our turn to go get our DVDs signed, Zac (and yes, I'm calling him Zac now, because he held my baby, so we're buddies, and that's just that)looks up and says, "Oh, there's the cutie!" and... seriously? Improv training kicked in and many years of being a smartass, so I said, "Yes, and this is my son Garrison." Because that's just... I mean, how do you NOT? So I handed Flynn Rider my baby, and we took this picture:

Now, Garrison was in PERFECT form, smiling and being adorable, and the second Zac took him every flash in the whole room went off spontaneously and it was the greatest, but Bagels is laughing in this picture, because Shekinah was cooing and talking to Garrison to get him to smile for the camera, which he did, and then everyone in the room said "Awwwwwww" at the same time, which was truly hilarious, but caused Garrison to make this face.

Then I word vomited all over, because I cannot shut up, ever, but I wanted to make sure to tell Zac that all his volunteers were wonderful, and then I was thanking him as he was thanking ME and he's just so humble in the midst of all this, while his partner and sister are just chatting with us like we've been buddies for years instead of just strangers who drove 200 miles to get pictures and autographs with a celebrity.

But aside from the obvious--he's tall and beautiful and was very nice for the 10 minutes we spent in the same room--which is more than enough reason to like a celebrity. I've liked many for less. But the more I learn about the things that he does and what he cares about, the more impressed I am, and the more I believe that he's the kind of celebrity worth the quite large amount of liking that I have. Not that you have to have reasons that are deep and profound for being a fan of anything or anyone, but it's really nice when someone you are drawn to turns out to share more than just the same planet as you. So I'll continue to support The Nerd Machine & Nerd HQ and Operation Smile and Zachary Levi with my few dollars and my prayers and when Garrison is older, I'll tell him the story of how he met the real Flynn Rider.

And I may have used the meeting as part of teaching Sunday school this morning. Because when I thanked Zac for all he does, he IMMEDIATELY, without hesitation or (apparent) artifice, gave all the credit and glory right back to God, which... YEAH. He's being a faithful steward of his gifts and using those gifts and his position to share what he is passionate about with a watching world, and I think that's just the greatest. I think he's pretty great, in case that wasn't evident.

So yeah. That happened.

Friday, July 4, 2014

7 months

I don't know why 7 sounds so much older than 6, but it does.

Vitals: 21lb and about 28"
Growing like a weed, pleasantly plump and lots of other common phrases

First and second roadtrips! To Austin and Borger He did surprisingly well. Only a few melt-downs
Met his great-grandmother
Attended his first wedding
And his first funeral. (He was a whole 2 months older than Eleanor was at her first. For those keeping track, this was her 4th)
Met many cousins, & great aunt/uncles
Went to the pool

Continues to ooch while sitting up & lying down. He has both forward & backward motion as well as full turns.
He has managed to get from sitting to lying with some semblance of grace & control
Runner's stretch
Putting everything in his mouth, sometimes even food
Singing himself to sleep

Works in Progress:
Crawling. Oh how badly he wants to do it
Teeth? Maybe? He's drooling and chewing on everything, but I can neither see nor feel any evidence of actual teeth.
Sleeping on his own... maybe? Hopefully? Someday?

He likes:
Baths, now with added bonus sister!
Attempting to catch the tails of all of the various pets
Sleeping in the car seat
Chewing on paper, lint, dog hair
Rocking chairs
His sister's toys
Watching Eleanor do... everything, anything, all the things
Being naked

He dislikes:
Eating food. Mostly. Just in the past few days he's actually taken an interest in anything food-like. We're still doing a blend of baby-led weaning and purees. He's fairly ambivalent to both
Sleeping alone. Though he is getting better at it
Cold floors
Not having all the eyeballs on him

I like:
His easy-going nature
Smiles and giggles, which he gives out freely
His Mike Wazowski onesie (which has the fabulous grow-an-inch snaps so he keeps wearing it)
The fuzzy mohawk that doesn't seem to be going away any time soon
Long naps
Making smoosh. I spent an afternoon cooking up fruits & veggies and blending them in random combinations. Even if Garrison is fairly uninterested at the moment, Eleanor thinks it's the greatest thing ever.

I dislike:
Not being able to do all the things all the time. 2 kids, one of me. Makes for some tough days.
Sleep deprivation
Diaper rash

Seven months, dubious face
And just for comparison...

0 months
3 months

6 months
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