Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, mirror . . . who asked you, anyway?

I guess I did, since I’m the one who sat down in front of the mirror. I was getting my hair styled. I’m sure most of my friends, family and co-workers would be astonished to find out that I actually get my hair styled instead of just chopped. By the time I get back to the office from the salon, my hair has reverted to its wild state. Mostly it looks like a mass of unfurled worsted wool yarn. It’s the humidity. Really.

There are a few days in the year, during the middle of winter when the humidity is low, that my hair doesn’t frizz up. I’d like to consider the unfrizzed version as normal, but that’s not the case. Normal = frizz, frizz = normal, if I remember my algebra correctly.

Back to getting my hair done. Irene washes my hair. It’s one of my favorite things, to have someone else take care of me, even a little part of me for just a few moments. I’m practically purring by the time she takes me back to her station. She sits me down, puts the black cape on me, takes off the towel and turns me around to face the mirror.

Yikes! Who do I see looking back at me? Professor Severus Snape, from the Harry Potter movies.

My eyes widen in shock. My breathing becomes shallow. I lean forward, peering to the left and to the right. My hair is dark (but only while wet, the gray is only a few hairdryer moments away) and parted in the middle. Dark circles pool under my eyes. My mouth is downturned, as I if had eaten an earwax-flavored Bertie’s Botts jelly bean.

Irene seems not to notice or else is too professional to comment. As she trims my hair, I try to convince myself that this likeness to Snape is an anomaly. How did this happen, and when? I can’t conjure up a reason to explain it away.

In desperation, I tell myself that I don’t look exactly like Professor Snape, but maybe like his sister, with a very strong family resemblance. (Please let it be his younger sister.) Anyone seeing the two of us in the same room would conclude that we are siblings. This makes me very unhappy. My mouth turns down even more. Stop that, I order myself! Stop looking like Snape!

The resemblance lessens as Irene finishes drying my hair and the gray reappears. Who would have thought that I’d ever be happy to see that gray? Irene removes the cape and my bright pink blouse shows up. I put on my earrings. I look much more like myself now and much less like Snape. Still, I can’t shake that image from the mirror or my mind.

I hope that Alan Rickman, the actor who plays Severus Snape, doesn’t fall ill during the filming of the any of the remaining movies. I’d hate to have to try to replace him. Even though I look just like Professor Snape, I’m not sure I could pull off that accent.

I also have to be careful what I ask for. Next time I get my hair styled, I might end up looking like Professor Minerva McGonagall, and not when she was young and in her prime. However, I think she looks good in green velvet and hats. So maybe looking like Minerva wouldn’t be so bad after all?

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Raincheck

Let’s check the rain gauge, shall we?

In 2008, we got 11.87 inches of rain.
In 2009, we got 32.48 inches of rain.
In the first three months of 2010, we have 7.73 inches of rain.

And by “we,” I don’t mean central Texas. I don’t mean the greater Austin area. I don’t mean the Creedmoor ETJ (extra-territorial jurisdiction (or maybe that’s extra-terrestrial jurisdiction)). I mean here at the Creedmoor ranch where we have a pack of labradors, free-range hummingbirds, barn swallows, purple martins, doves and rattlesnakes.

How do I know this for sure? We have rain gauges. Do we ever have rain gauges. The first one was the old fashioned kind, where you walk out to it, see how much is in there, then reach over, pick it up and dump out the water. It’s by the yard gate, on the west side.

The second rain gauge we obtained was electronic and remote. Oooh. It measures in increments of 4/100 inches of rain. It empties itself, automatically, after recording the rainfall amount. We no longer had to walk out to the gate to the old rain gauge to see how much rain had fallen. No more standing on the front porch with binoculars, trying not to get wet. Spiffy. It’s on one of the north fence posts.

When that one went just a little haywire, we got another one just like it. It’s near the yard gate as well, not too far from the old fashioned rain gauge. The first one started working again, with a little attention and cleaning out.

A couple of years later, we ended up with a “weather station.” Another remote, self-emptying rain gauge that also tracked the wind direction and speed, barometer readings, moon phase, the whole lot. It’s on top of the carport.

And is that enough to measure our rain here at the ranch?

Apparently not.

I came home one day this week and there was yet another rain gauge on the kitchen counter. This one — this one — measures each 1/100-inch increment of rainfall, not 4/100-inch increments like those other (now, lesser) rain gauges. And it needs it own, new post. What a deal: some assembly required.

I take care of the rain gauge recordings when hubby is out of town. This takes some training: How to record the rainfall and temperatures on the calendar, when to empty the old fashioned rain gauge. (The temperatures are recorded off of separate remote, electronic non-rain gauge devices. Yes, indeed.)

One time, when the last rain was several days past, I emptied the old fashioned rain gauge. Later, hubby noticed. He was sad that he would never know how much rain was in that rain gauge, even though the rainfall had already been recorded on the calendar using one of the other rain gauges.

There’s a moral to this story, somewhere, I’m sure of it. I’ll let you know if and when I figure it out.

Look, is that an i…?

There we were, the three of us, in the Atrium Nosebleed section of the Bass Concerty Hall, waiting for the Phantom of the Opera to start. Without even leaning over, we could see the orchestra that was seated under the stage.

From way up there, it looked like several people in the first set of rows by the orchestra had large, electronic displays that they were playing with. Ooh, could those be the new iPad? We voted, and decided that yes, they were indeed the hot-off-the-press iPads. These people seemed very intense, very focused.

It’s all about location, location, location. We looked around our section (not too fast, so we didn’t get dizzy and fall over the railing). No iPads. Lots of iPhones or iPhone-looking devices. I guess that people who can afford seats in the orchestra section (and can manage to get through that silly ticket-buying software) can afford to buy iPads on the first day they are available and take them to the opera.

My phone was already turned to its silent mode. (I’m very low-tech. If I take pictures with my phone, it’s usually by accident. I have several pictures of the inside of my purse and my shoes.) I didn’t want to take it out of my purse because, um, it’s just a regular phone. I didn’t want my section mates to see it and chase me out of the concert hall, due to embarrassment.