Friday Five

1. In the ongoing love/hate relationship I have with my hair, I learned an important lesson during a trip to the salon this week, which I will now pass on to you.

Never say these words to your stylist: I’d like my hair a little fuller on top.

I returned from my appointment to find that, even after wearing my hat, I was qualified to be the newest member of The Supremes.

2. Some of you observant readers, may notice that today is Thursday, not Friday. As in, this isn’t the Thursday Five. Correctamundo. I’m writing this to you from a hotel in Whereversville, Virginia. It’s a nice enough hotel, but I gotta thing about hotels. The first, and most important, of which are bed bugs. Read about my abnormal skittishness of bed bugs here and here. Aside from that, hotels always make me feel a little lost. This is a perfectly nice hotel with a lovely continental breakfast, but it’s like I’m nowhere. Even Reggie is out of sorts. For the first hour we were here, he trotted back and forth constantly from the bed to the door. Maybe I’ve watched Psycho one too many times, or all of the crappy Roach Motels I stayed at during college road trips had a lasting effect on me, but I always get the vaguest notion, just a whisper, of creepiness at any hotel I’ve been in since. Though I’m guessing that for those staying at The Waldorf-Astoria things are a bit different.

3. I like to listen to audio books on my long drive, so this time I got Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell takes a look at why some people succeed wildly and others never reach their potential. He debunks the myth that the Bill Gateses of the world rise to the top from sheer will and talent. One trait almost all outliers have is the amount of practice they put in to whatever their specialty is: computer programming, hockey, violin, fiction writing. Wait? Did he say fiction writing? In his research he puts the estimated “practice” time before a person really succeeds at his or her respective talent is 10,000 hours and this generally takes about 10 years. Even Mozart, who was composing at the tender age of 5, didn’t create his first masterpiece until he was about 20. The point being that there are no overnight sensations. I got it already.

4. How are you celebrating Christmas? At last count we have 13 people, 2 babies and 5 dogs coming to dinner. So there will surely be a lot of crumbs for Reggie to eat from under the table. Wish me luck.

5. In the spirit of the season, I’m happy to report that the Kiva loan I made to Ms. Gantogoo Dorjsambuu of Mongolia to fund her purchase of a sewing machine for her business has been partially repaid. She produces large size items like ger covers, traditional Mongolian tents, and wants to get her own business going so she can pay her sons’ tuition fees. Kiva.org gives micro loans to people around the world needing funds to start his/her own business.

For all those who celebrate, wishing you a joyful Christmas…

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