Britt’s Worst San Francisco Hair…and You Get to Vote!

You know that one classic San Francisco song? The one about if you go, you should put some flowers in your hair?

Well, I am here to make an effing rebuttal.

After an awesome time in Los Angeles, we drove up to San Francisco for a few nights. We did all of the usual things, and paced ourselves so that we could eat as much incredible food as possible.

We worked on our buns of steel while walking up satanic hills with lovely views…

san francisco hillWe looked at all of the people taking selfies at the crazy winding Lombard street and were surprised that nobody got run over…

lombard streetWe had clam chowder at a little place on the water, hiding just outside of Fisherman’s Wharf…

san francisco boats

They wouldn’t let us break into Alcatraz (because every tour known to man was sold out for a week), so we did the next best thing…

alcatraz

And we took one of those goofy Golden Gate Bridge boat tours with the militant tourists that actually scare you with their enthusiasm…

san francisco tourists

But, there’s just one problem that happens when you’re on a boat in San Francisco. Hair.

Most of you regulars around here are used to me writing about somewhat deep and meaningful topics about life. You’ve been here with me through my mother’s breast cancer, a cross-country move, and my overall struggle with the writing path I have taken.

Today is about as shallow as it gets. Because I’m going to discuss how damn awful my hair was on that boat.

What was supposed to be a romantic moment on the bay with Mr. H for our 10-year anniversary celebration turned out to be one of the silliest times we had together.

You see, I chopped all of my hair off last year. It was an impulse purchase that stayed with me.

So, I recently started growing out a very short bob with bangs, which is one of the worst things imaginable for any gal. The hair doesn’t really go into a ponytail, but it’s long enough to go in every direction when the wind is just right.

I wasn’t willing to sacrifice my favorite blue hat to the San Francisco Bay gods, so I braved the boat on my own—awkward bob and all. And, now we have the pictures to prove how ridiculous my hair truly was.

So, let’s have some fun!

Leave a comment below to vote for my worst San Francisco hair by Sunday May 31 at midnight P.S.T. I’ll reveal the results next week with a very special blog post.

#1  The Antenna

the antenna

#2  The Aqua Net

The Aqua Net

#3  The Medusa

The Medusa

#4  The Flock of Seagull

The Flock of Seagulls

#5  The Hair Basket

The Hair Basket

Happy Voting!

10 Years of Marriage…We Never Saw it Coming

Mr. H and I swore we would never get married to anyone.

We didn’t buy into everlasting love or soul mates or whatever you want to call it. We thought all of that was complete and total bullshit.

At the time I had a ton of piercings, in every imaginable part of my ears. I remember enjoying the pain each time I went in to get a new hole. I guess I wanted to show that pain on my body.

piercings

When Mr. H and I first met, we were both with other people. Mere pups at the ages of 21 and 22, I was trying to win back an ex that I had dumped and he was living with someone he didn’t love.

We certainly weren’t looking for anybody.

At the time we had our hands full with people we thought we should be with. The rest of our energy was spent doing what most kids do around that age. Working shit jobs and partying.

That night my ex-boyfriend’s gay brother, Juan, invited me to come over. A big group was going out—including my ex. I thought this was my chance to get him back.

I strutted into Juan’s apartment, dressed to kill. I wore a hot pink cheerleader skirt with a studded belt, black stilettos, and a black tank that said “rock n’ roll” right across the ta-tas.

Before I could find my ex, I found someone else. Mr. H sitting on the couch, devastatingly handsome and staring at me like he was meant to look at me all along.

Because of his incredible looks and style, and the fact that we were around our gay friends, I assumed that he was gay. I soon discovered that Mr. H was undeniably straight, and that he was also in an unhappy relationship with someone he didn’t belong with.

Despite our significant others being present that night, we had long conversations in various sections of the gay club. On the balcony, standing side by side  in the hot Texas summer night. Sitting on the pool table, with dance music blasting so loud that we had to press our mouths to each other’s ears.

I’m really not the kind of girl to purposely steal someone’s man away. And I didn’t that night.

But months later, I learned that the hot pink cheerleader skirt had left its mark. After I confided to Juan that Mr. H was hot, he shared this juicy info, and we were set up on our first date.

And, that’s when Mr. H played the ultimate card. He could dance.

From there, it was all over. Those self-destructive ideas we spouted off that love was unattainable, that we didn’t need/want happiness, that we would never find our match.

After we got together, I took every single earring out of my ears. I didn’t need to be reminded of pain anymore. I was making room for something else.

britt and hugh

There is no grand engagement story to tell. We mutually agreed to get hitched and my engagement ring was a piece of hemp string.

Though we tried to elope, family and friends wanted to be a part of the celebration. So, we chose Vegas.

Ask any of our friends and family that came, and they will tell you that our wedding was unforgettable. Because it was a complete disaster.

Have you guys seen the movie, Four Weddings and a Funeral? It was like that, but the Vegas edition. (Don’t worry, nobody died.)

We got married at the Greek Isles Hotel, which was formerly the Debbie Reynolds Hotel. I know this, because I had stayed there for a dance competition back in high school.

Oh yeah, neither of us are Greek. But the place was cheap and it had a decent looking gazebo.

Sadly, the hotel where we got married—like most of old Vegas—is no more.

The Greek Isles Hotel became the Clarion Hotel after that, until they recently imploded it to make room for some new monstrosity with no character. Funny thing was, the elevator shaft remained intact after the explosion. (Here’s a video.)

the venetian

On our wedding day, it was over a hundred Vegas desert degrees and my family came into my dressing room right before the ceremony, begging me to move it inside. I made my sister check it out for me to make sure it wasn’t too churchy.

When she returned, she said: “It’s not churchy, but it’s…”

“What? What is it?”

“It’s very Greek. There are scenic paintings and columns.”

I laughed and we went for it.

Our minister was from New Jersey and he was three sheets to the wind.

He screwed up our names multiple times, so that we even questioned if we were legally married. The guests sang our names in unison to help him get through the godawful ceremony.

Most of it was difficult to understand, because he was slurring. And, there was a strange, irrelevant story about his schoolteacher daughter at the end that we still do not understand to this day.

On our way out to the crappy limo, an Elvis impersonator pointed at us from his neon stage while he sang. We were dying with laughter.

It was perfect. It was so us.

I always warn people about big weddings. I see couples get so stressed out, worrying about silly flower arrangements and going into debt.

None of that matters. The wedding should be a celebration of love, and that can be done anywhere for next to nothing.

And hey, here we are ten years later.

playboy bunny

We got rid of our wedding rings on our fifth anniversary.

We were camping by a lake in Wisconsin, sitting around a fire, drinking beer. Mr. H and I began discussing our wedding rings, which were as chintzy as they come.

Did that piece of jewelry symbolize our love somehow? We decided it didn’t and chucked our wedding rings into the bushes.

I can’t begin to tell you about the experiences we’ve shared, the crazy things we’ve been through and the awesome times we’ve had.

I do know that our love fuels my fiction. Every romance, every heartache, every fear, every wish comes from our story. It’s the only way I can express so many years of beautiful moments.

Those of you who have read my books may have noticed a recurring theme…how love can save us.

I suppose the core meaning of love is different for everyone, but I believe that love is the one thing in the world that has this kind of power.

Mr. H and I knew this from the start.

So, we decided to take a chance and save each other.

portland reindeer sign

1am in a cab on a school night

portland reindeer sign

It was raining just so.

Like a melody I knew well, but couldn’t place. The kind I wanted to hear over and over again for the rest of my life.

I was crossing a bridge in a cab at 1am. I was alone with a cab driver.

There was water all around. A river beneath and the rain above.

The windows of the cab were speckled with gorgeous rain drops that shined with the city lights. It was like a painting that would never stay the same, no matter how much you wanted it to.

It was blurry, but it was beautiful.

I had just left a group of friends and Mr. H was out of town. I never do this anymore…stay out late on a school night.

But, this was a night I would never forget. One that changed me, from one side of the river to the other.

My thoughts were rampant. I had to say goodbye to an old piece of me that night, a wild piece that no longer existed.

And this transformation all happened in a cab with a guy I didn’t know.

Even now I couldn’t tell you what his name was. But he had a Russian accent. That I can remember.

We got to talking about the usual which turned into the unusual. These things happen in the middle of the night.

Somehow we got onto art, writing in particular. I told him about my struggle with writing novels full-time…I don’t know why. When you’re talking to a stranger, one that you’re paying for a short period of time, there is safety in that.

Also, I knew that he would understand. He was a professional listener after all.

You see, every cab ride I’ve taken late at night has been like jazz music to me. Slow, other-worldly—honest and sexy.

Toward the end of our ride, we talked about robots. Yeah, robots.

Again, these things happen in the middle of the night.

The cab driver told me that soon cabs would be taken over by robots. And while that would have made me snicker ten years ago, it doesn’t now.

I said: “It’s a damn shame.”

“You think so?”

“Yes, because I’ve always loved cab conversations.”

He said: “Thank you.”

I swiped my card and tipped him well. Then I shut the door and he drove away. The cab vanished behind a thick veil of misty Portland rain until it was just me standing alone on my curb, trying to balance in my boots.

I stumbled inside to write this gibberish in my journal. I almost forgot about it until I came across it. The writing was sloppy, almost not mine.

But the story was pretty special.

Like a melody I knew well, but couldn’t place. The kind I wanted to hear over and over again for the rest of my life.


This was the song I had stuck in my head that night… “All Things to All Men” by The Cinematic Orchestra featuring Roots Manuva. I played it while I wrote this blog post.

Strangely enough I found the perfect video on YouTube that has Russian subtitles—the language of my cab driver.

Pretty amazing world we live in. We’re not all that different, are we?

 

Love in Ten Lines

You all know I can’t pass up a challenge. And when that challenge involves an outrageously difficult love poem to write…well, I’m gonna give it a shot.

I haven’t heard from my good blogger buddy, John (aka Meticulous Mick), in some time. I was overjoyed that he thought of me to participate in this challenge.

I’ve worked with Meticulous Mick a couple of times now.

He was a Life Enthusiast last July.

Photo by Meticulous Mick (aka John Grant)
Photo by Meticulous Mick (aka John Grant)

A few months before that, we collaborated on a poem/photography project…

When I am me, I am free 

Photo by Meticulous Mick (aka John Grant)
Photo by Meticulous Mick (aka John Grant)

Needless to say, I was happy to connect with him again. I must say, though he is known for his stellar photography, MM wrote a fabulous poem for this challenge.

Be sure to check it out. 

Here are the rather insane rules for this poetry challenge…

  • Write about love using only 10 lines.
  • Use the word love in every line.
  • Each line can only be 4 words long.
  • Nominate others who are up for the challenge.
  • Let them know about the challenge.
  • Title the post:  Love in Ten Lines
  • Include a quote about love ( this can be your own)
  • You may write in any language

This love poem challenge comes at an interesting time as Mr. H and I will be celebrating a marriage milestone next month. Ten years of marriage.

When I was in the bathtub last night, I started playing with some ideas. Love is such a vast subject and even with the restrictions of the Love in Ten Lines challenge, my mind wandered quite a bit.

I remembered something we say to each other every now and then. It sneaks into our domestic repertoire and I thought it was perfect. Rather than I love you, sometimes we say I love you so.

Four words. Perfect!

But first, even though there were so many love quotes to choose from, this one is fitting for the two of us. When we first found each other, we were resistant to falling in love but we did anyway…

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”  – Rumi

And, here’s my poem…

Wahclella Falls

Love in Ten Lines

He loves me so
Loves my stubborn ass

They laughed at love
Said love wouldn’t last

Somehow our love prevailed
Love won, bitterness lost

Love is forever young
Love has no decay

Love will never die
Our love lives on

 

My nominations are all former Life Enthusiasts, who I think will come up with some awesome masterpieces. It just so happens that all of their names end with “a”.

Gallivanta

Andrea

Sheila

Letizia

Jessica

I’ll Be Happy When…

Finding Happiness

Happiness. We put so much pressure on that single word, don’t we?

It’s all too easy to get stuck in this mental cycle of thinking happiness will magically arrive once we get something we thought we wanted more than anything else—when we accomplish something we worked our asses off to get.

I’ll be happy when I get that promotion.

I’ll be happy when I buy that house.

I’ll be happy when I write that book.

Do we feel happy after obtaining or accomplishing any of these things? Not for very long. Like coming down from a high, we crash and we wonder where it all went wrong.

Hey, what happened to my happiness I deserve? I worked so hard for it, and now it’s gone.

The build-up we attach to thinking happiness comes after a certain thing causes this self-destructive roller coaster of emotions.

As a writer, I know this feeling well. And I see it all the time in other writers.

__________________________________________________________

Okay, that’s the teaser for the guest blog post I wrote over at Chris Stocking’s place.

To celebrate the relaunch of his website, my good friend asked me and a couple of writers to kick off christopherstocking.com with some good old fashioned writing about writing.

Head on over, read the rest of the piece, and check out his new pad. (And, make sure to bring Chris some good beer, since I know he worked hard on everything.)

Cheers, Chris!