21 May 2009

Which pennies to pinch?

The news is full of ways to save money these days. Together with eco-friendly tips (a few decades late) on how to protect the environment: recycle, re-use, etc. The trick is how to do this, in some cases, without giving up certain luxuries that one cannot do without. When you get right down to it, most of what we consume we could do without or do with less. Except for maybe certain things...

My weakness is going to the hairdresser. Which isn't even a luxury in a certain sense, since I cannot cut and style my hair myself. I know this for a fact since I tried this years ago during a phase of abject poverty. And of course I ended up having to crawl back to the beauty salon and suffer a thrashing from the stylist who asked me if I thought she was the Miracle Worker when I asked if she could, uh, "even it out a bit."

No, we don't cut our own hair anymore. But dying it... yes, that I have done for years. Much cheaper, even buying the top shelf hair dye. Except it is also a pain in the butt. And no matter how careful you try to be, the ends always look a bit darker. And you get hair dye stains everywhere. So a few months ago... I decided to ask my hairdresser how much she charged to perform this odious task. And it was actually less than what Fantastic Sam's charges, and she does a better job. Sold! This is now on my list of Sacred Expenditures Which Shall Not Be Eliminated From the Budget. (And not that I need to justify it, but I don't spend a cent on manicures or pedicures, so I figure it evens out, because I know women who spend a king's ransom on that.)

What about you? What's the one luxury you won't give up until the wolf is at the door?

P.S. Below is a fuzzy freeze frame from the university video of my graduation. A very bad hair day, since that hideous cap does not suit any short hair style. Being hooded, however, totally makes up for it.

10 May 2009

(M)other's Day

In the spirit of Bill Maher, I am officially instating O.N.R. = Ortizzle's New Rules. Today's topic is Mother's Day, or as the title implies, "Other's Day."

1. The entire world will agree on the same day for Mother's Day. In the U.S., of course, it is (fairly arbitrarily) the second Sunday in May. In the U.K., "Mothering Sunday" is the fourth Sunday in Lent. In Spain it is the first Sunday in May. In Mexico it is the tenth of May (regardless of the day of the week or the liturgical calendar), which this year just happens to coincide with the U.S. In several other countries, it is the eighth of March in order to coincide with International Women's Day. Enough! Let's pick one day and stick with it.

2. The name will be changed to Female Caretaker's Day. That way we can include step-mothers, aunts, grandmothers, etc. We deserve a trip to the spa, too.

3. No gifts of a "domestic" nature are allowed. Yes, sometimes we really would like a fancy food-processor. But that just reminds us that we're never out of the kitchen. The other day I heard an ad on the radio suggesting that the family install new, efficient "green" (environment friendly) plumbing in the house. FOR MOTHER'S DAY. And wouldn't that just make Mom do some cartwheels of joy. Because she's the only person who uses the plumbing in the house, right? Well, you can take that gift and flush it.

4. Do not even think of asking Mom, or your Female Caretaker, to make a special meal on Mother's Day. And clean up afterwards. Are you kidding? Do you have rocks for brains? (This is not spoken to you, dear reader, who are in all likelihood, a Female Caretaker.)

So.... What are your new rules?

08 May 2009

Recycling my old blog

I have decided to recycle my old blog.

Because my dot com went into a black hole.

And because I kind of like it now with a different template. The previous template was a little too gothic.

Later. I have one more final exam for grad school, and then I expect to start having a life again.

(If you dropped in and were expecting something read-worthy, I apologize. I hope you at least enjoy the homemade postcard. Ingredients: me at age six + my first abode in Madrid. The words "cuando vayas (llegues) a Madrid, chulona mía" are from the song Madrid, Madrid, Madrid.)

P.S., posdata: I deleted all previous entries except my first one way back in the fall of 2006 explaining how I came to start the blog, and the next one which explains some stuff about my background which is perhaps of personal interest but too long to put in a profile. (and because I happen to think it is one of the very few things I have written that was half-way decent.)