My hair had a great time in Chicago

By Mir
November 15, 2010

I totally meant to write something deep and meaningful for you yesterday, to make up for my absence, but it turned out that—it being my first day back home, and all—I was far too busy:

1) sleeping
2) playing with the dog
3) slurping vitamin C to ward off the cold I tried to bring home
4) wading through fifty gazillion emails
5) trying to catch up on work
6) whining about how much work I had to catch up on
7) inviting people to a party I haven’t started planning yet (oops!)
8) trying to advise my daughter on the politics of cookie dough
9) trying to tune out my son watching every Annoying Orange video in existence
10) eating frozen coconut milk ice cream analog.

Never let it be said that I don’t lead a varied and full life, right? Right.

Also, I appeared on the news while I was gone, and everyone who saw the clip basically responded with some variation of “YOUR HAIR LOOKS AWESOME!” Points for my stylist, but I’m not sure that bodes well for the whole “positioning myself as an expert” thing, unless I want to be an expert at shiny hair. Which, actually, I kind of do.

Anyway. Allow me to further explain why all of these things take so much time and energy.

1) sleeping
Sometimes when I go away on business I sleep like the dead. My schedule is busy and a big comfy hotel bed all to myself is heaven at the end of a long day. And then, sometimes, I go away and get the room positioned directly above the car alarm that goes off all night long. But at least there were also plenty of people who stopped under my window to scream at each other about said car alarm, too. Yay! (So, yeah. Coming home to my own quiet bed was very nice.)

2) playing with the dog
Poor Licorice. She’s always convinced I’ve left her forever, but that makes for all kinds of fun when I return. I was completely unable to sit down yesterday without her literally diving into my lap. It was like she’d decided that if she just SAT ON ME AT ALL TIMES I could never abandon her again.

3) slurping vitamin C to ward off the cold I tried to bring home
When have I EVER traveled without getting sick? Oh, that’s right. Never. O’Hare was like a TB ward, people. Everyone was hacking and coughing, and then there was me, all curled up in the corner, bathing in hand sanitizer.

4) wading through fifty gazillion emails
I have an iPhone. I have a netbook. And yet, somehow, two days away means I’m now three weeks behind on email. Do not ask me to show my math, because it’s complicated. But true.

5) trying to catch up on work
Is there a way to travel for business without falling behind on your business while you’re away? I would like to know about it, if so.

6) whining about how much work I had to catch up on
It’s an essential part of the process. Obviously.

7) inviting people to a party I haven’t started planning yet (oops!)
Have I mentioned yet that Otto is turning 40 next month? Because he is (AND HE IS OLD, HAHA). For years, now, I have gotten out of throwing parties by assuring Otto that I would throw him a party for his 40th. It seemed like such a good excuse at the time, and now… here I am. We’ve decided to “party like it’s 1970,” so please hit me up with your favorite kitschy cocktail party foods of yore, because so far I’m planning on cocktail weenies, those grape jelly meatball things, and fondue. Also, please come over and clean my house and shop and cook in a few weeks? Thanks!

8) trying to advise my daughter on the politics of cookie dough
School fundraisers, man. Generally we opt out and just write a check to the PTA, but the kid’s got a very expensive band trip coming up and selling defrays our costs, so fine. Go sell! I often think I err on the side of helicoptering but I have to say I had a few mighty laughs at the giant packet of information which included not one but THREE separate admonitions to not allow your child to go selling door-to-door without a parent. For real? My kid is nearly 13. We went over her pitch, gave her a walkie-talkie, and sent her on her way. I’m pleased to report that no one abducted her, and the same child who is unable to pick up her socks from the floor because it’s too much effort actually sold a boatload of cookie dough. And then came home and sent the most guilt-inducing email to all of her relatives, begging them to buy. It brings a little tear to my eye. (Also, if you are local to me and don’t have your own cookie-dough-selling offspring? Feel free to buy a tub. She’d be happy to sell it to you.)

9) trying to tune out my son watching every Annoying Orange video in existence
I… don’t have anything additional to say about this.

10) eating frozen coconut milk ice cream analog
There was this rule with my old ad network about how bloggers couldn’t ever talk about anything they’d gotten for free on a page with ads on it. I’m sure there are good reasons to make that call, but it always irked me, because in association with a bunch of my actual pay-the-bills work, I tend to get free stuff for review and sometimes I’d like to say something about it. Not because it was free, but because it was awesome. Now, of course, I can say whatever I want (wooo!), which is why I can tell you that someone from So Delicious contacted me a few weeks back and said, “Hey, would you like to try our coconut milk products?” and I said “Sure!” And then I forgot about it. (Usually when someone asks me that, eventually I get a coupon or a snack-sized product in the mail.) But while I was gone in Chicago, two giants coolers of So Delicious product arrived, no joke. I came home to a full fridge and packed freezer, like a multiple-month supply of drinks and yogurts and fake ice creams and stuff. I packed up a big bag of product for my vegan friend and we have been enjoying the rest. Like the cookie dough “ice cream” which is gluten-free and making me incredibly happy. So YAY FOR COCONUTS and excuse me, I need to eat all of these yummy things now for SCIENCE and stuff.

So that’s what I’ve been doing. Really, my hair has been slacking off ever since my return, though—just sitting there on my head, with no one complimenting it or anything. Hmph.


  1. elz

    First, do not underestimate the value of being a pretty hair expert!

    Party suggestions? You’re speaking my language; also prepare for a super long comment: for food you could make Otto’s “favorites” from when he was young- like mini pigs in blanket, macaroni & cheese, you know kid’s comfort food. How cute would that be? You can make it grown-up, but still fun. Who cares if it was actually his favorite, if it fits the theme-make it work?!

    I also think you should have a little photo booth (white sheet, foamboard and you can either have disguises for people to wear or props, or make one of those strong man cutouts that people have at the fair.) So fun!

    I would get the kids to help out with this part: I have ALWAYS wanted to hang words across the ceiling for decoration- words you would use to decsribe Otto or just the word ‘Forty’ in different languages. You could hang it with fishing wire-so cute. Alternate- just hand mini lantenrs or twinkle lights. Always festive.

    I find the more alcohol you have, the less people care about other stuff! Have fun.

  2. MomCat

    Icky 70’s recipe (cuz you asked)

    Bulls eyes

    Buy a jar of huge Queen olives. Roll each one in softened cream cheese. Roll again in finely chopped walnuts or pecans. Slice in half and set, pupil-side-up, on a tray. Hope someone eats them.

    Good luck with the hairy schedule! If I lived there, I’d totally buy a big order of cookie dough.

  3. sassymonkey

    I am so disappointed. All that talk about coconut products not a single “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts” reference.

    If I remember correctly, the next month is your busiest time of year. Hire someone to clean your house and rent dishes. You know, the ones that you just put back in the box and send back dirty? Is it thrifty? Probably not. But it does save sanity and time.

    As for food – of course!

  4. Jennifer Joyner

    My goodness…how cool to hear Mir’s voice! Man, you give good soundbite! And I concur with the others…your hair looks fabulous!!

  5. navhelowife

    Oh, I’m with you on the whole party thing. Only mine is a women’s circle I said I would host two months ago. You know, when I thought we’d be all done painting???? So yesterday DH finished painting and then we tried to remove the tape from the 25 panes of glass that has been on there for. three.months. I never, ever want to see masking tape again.
    And the meeting? Tonight.
    If you were closer, I’d say “come on over!”

  6. Sara

    The only thing that would annoy me more than the Annoying Orange was if Fred was his guest star. GAH!

  7. Jessica Honecker

    Watergate salad
    Jiffy pop
    OMG deviled ham spread LOL

    if you like salami and cheese cheese and green olives and peppercini’s, email me for the recipe.

  8. Jill

    Sara just gave me nightmares for weeks. I could cheerfully dismember the person who told my daughter about the Annoying Orange videos. And Fred is evil. The thought of the two combined gives me seizures.

  9. Headless Mom

    Annoying Orange? My kids new favorite thing to do on the internet. I’m not really sure if thank you is appropriate, though.

  10. Flea

    Hmm. I like the curly headed Mir. But! Your fingers are long and PRETTY! Not shiny. Just pretty.

    My daughter sells cookie dough for vocal every year and this year she and her friends cleaned up. Because they’re teens and some of them drive, they sold in groups, helping each other get equal sale amounts. And hit up the brother who works. I had no part in it whatsoever and it felt gooooood.

  11. Aimee

    Well, your hair DOES look fabulous! You can hardly blame people for mentioning it.

  12. bob

    Seems to me if you’re going to party like it’s 1970 (the year the math tells me Otto was born) then lets get it right: your party food should be strained peas, pureed carrots and infamil. Oh – and baby biscuits. You know the ones, those that get gummy when gummed, and then get into their hair, and then it dries into concrete.

  13. Billie

    You looked gorgeous!!

    I have no idea if these are 70’s foods but some of my favorite finger foods (especially at this time of year) are:

    Bacon wrapped water chestnuts (wrap the chestnuts in bacon, sprinkle some sugar and a little Worcestershire sauce and throw in the oven until the bacon is crispy. Yum!

    Deviled eggs have been around since the 70’s right?

    Cheese ball (lots of different ways to make it, my fav is one block of cream cheese, cut up scallions, chipped beef slices)

    Salmon dip – cream cheese, packet of salmon (drained), diced red onion, cut up boiled egg or two.

    I could go on and on. :)

  14. MamaChristy

    You totally need a leisure suit cardboard cutout for people to take their photo with. I’m thinking headless so they can stand behind it and look like they are wearing it, but standing next to the headless 70’s guy sounds like fun to. And elz has it right – bring on the adult beverages!

  15. Kim

    ANd the adult beverages need to be Harvey Wallbangers and Pina Coladas. I don’t know why I remember Harvey Wallbangers, I have no idea what’s in them, but I guess I always just thought the name was funny.

  16. Monique

    So, I second the pretty shiny hair! And I’m jealous because as a fellow curly hair girl I never straighten it because I don’t know how. :(

    As for party food ideas, well, I was born in ’83.

    *ducks* (No, Mir, I will not get off you lawn!!)

    But, even I know, you HAVE to serve chex mix!

    And deviled eggs, I think. Right?

  17. Sheila

    Standing your ground with the TSA guy paid off. Your hair DOES look AWESOME!

    And, I listened to what you said but you lost me at “portal.” However, I know I can just follow your step by step instructions at WantNot and you won’t steer me wrong.

  18. Jen

    My dear grandmother was very into entertaining. When she passed away several years ago, we inherited a treasure trove of fabulous 70s cookbooks and party planning books. You wouldn’t believe all the things they found to do with Jell-o (let me just say – tuna does not belong in Jell-o). Another favorite is from the aluminum foil industry, giving amazing party planning ideas with foil – such as covering the walls of the party room in aluminum foil.

    I am visiting my parents for Thanksgiving next week – time permitting, I will scan some of the favorites and send them your way.

  19. Jill W.

    My daughter had a disco party for her 5th birthday. I swear that is what she wanted. We had a blast. I got disco ball necklaces from the party store and made a CD of disco music for the kids to take home as party favors. A friend made a disco ball cake. And my husband hit our local costume rental shop for disco threads. It was something to behold (we’re friends on FB- feel free to peruse my “Disco” photo album).

  20. The Other Leanne

    It might be a little before Otto’s time, but maybe his parents made some of this fine cuisine…

    Don’t forget the dipping sauces for your fondue! Let me know if you need any recipes. :)

  21. Melanie

    I think others have beat me to these suggestions, but I’m going to throw them out anyway: Deviled Eggs, something suspended in Jell-O, pigs in a blanket, cheese ball… That’s all I have. Also, if you, or a nice friend of yours, has a Sam’s membership, they have some puff pastry pigs in a blanket in the freezer section. They are quite tasty.

  22. Crisanne

    No idea if you read orangette, but her recipe for nibbler is amazing…It’s about half way down the page.

    It’s rare that I get a genuine laugh out of my husband from something I read on a blog, but this one did it. I still snicker when I think about it.

  23. My Kids Mom

    I gotta say, I like the curls. But then, all I’ve got is straight thin, saggy hair. Well, except during the 80’s when I managed to have a whole decade of frizzy permed hair. Must accept and learn to like the hair we were given!

  24. Heather

    You do look totally fabulous ;) Probably ‘cuz you are.

  25. Kirsty

    Maybe this was just a British thing, but it seems to me that the archetypal 70s food was stuff like prawn cocktail and – my personal favourite for more reasons than I can mention – the “hedgehog”, you know: half a grapefruit upturned with cocktail sticks spiked into to look like a hedgehog. And on the cocktail sticks? Well: cubes of Cheddar and pineapple chunks, chunks of hot dog sausage and pineapple chunks, basically anything you like AS LONG AS THERE ARE PINEAPPLE CHUNKS. Yum, yum.
    Also, for the more upmarket types, vol au vents (my aunt made these, very yummy but messy as finger food), quiche lorraine and, yes, you’re right, fondue.
    Sounds lovely!

  26. Kelly

    My kids love the Vanilla coconut yogurt – between a dairy allergy 3 year old and a lactose-intolerant 15 month old, its one product both my kids can have… so yeah!

  27. Andrea

    Everyone is being far too nice about the 70s food (OK the olive pupils is a little icky like much of the 70s food I recall). How about a heaping plate of flying saucers (fried bologna), fish sticks, and, of course, Spam cooked with a glaze of OJ and brown sugar. Of course, now I am a vegetarian-wonder why.

    Ahhh….the 70s.

    PS Your hair looked great and your advice sound!

  28. Cheryl

    I have to stand up for Otto and say that 40 is NOT old. I turned the big 4-0 in June and am pleased to announce that I’m still as young as I’ve always been.

  29. Brigitte

    Heh, I actually have all those cookbooks. What I actually remember from back in the day was french onion dip and (yuck) clam dip with potato chips, and lots of teeny little sandwiches (sometimes made with the miniature bread you can occasionally find in the deli section) spread with egg salad, ham salad, olive spread and other concoctions.
    Maybe a few Tom Collins’ and Whiskey Sours to drink, I remember those as pretty yummy (though I wasn’t actually drinking them in 1970)!

  30. Lady M

    Your hair looks great! Oh and you had good tips and ideas and expert stuff too. :)

  31. Kira

    Okay, I realize this is not the point, but WTF is it with Annoying Orange? WHY? The “annoying” is RIGHT THERE IN THE NAME. Would you buy “Poky Socks?” or “New, Extra-Squishy Bananas?”
    So WHY, WHY, WHY? I, personally, already have enough annoyance in my life. Thanks anyhow.

  32. Jen

    That coconut milk cookie dough ice cream is my very best PMS BFF. Also the chocolate peanut butter. But the cookie dough makes me and my whole family happy happy. My envy knows no bounds. ;)

  33. Alison

    I love to travel too…I seriously can’t keep the sickness away.

    I also love that when I travel calories don’t count. You are allowed to eat whatever you want…

  34. suzie

    Your hair totally looked awesome.

    And in my mind, Otto is not under 40. Perhaps you just paint him as such a wise and patient person, he must be at least 50!

    (or it’s just because in my mind, you guys are EXACTLY like me and my husband, and he’s 11 years older than me, and so ….)

  35. Debbi

    Haaa. My dog acts like that when I go out for just the night! she nearly licked me to death when I got home tonight and I was only at a GNO for 3 hours!!! lol

    Yes, I get sick EVERY time I travel…sigh….

    An easy cheating thing for the party…but kinda expensive..the Tyson buffalo chicken strips, cut them up into small pieces, and supply blue cheese dressing and tooth picks. Makes a great little appetizer/snack for a party!! so easy!!


  36. Wendy

    Well my husband turns 40 on Saturday, and I am a total slacker in the party planning area. We are getting him to a bar where hopefully a bunch of friends will be waiting for him. I’m not planning food, or anything, just come and party.

    As for the cookie dough, I’ve got two selling that, and two that just got done selling nuts and candies and magazines for Girl Scouts, and now we are gearing up to have two selling Girl Scout cookies. If it wasn’t for all that, I would buy some, but I am broke.

  37. Lori N

    Tater tots — I kid you not, I needed an emergency appetizer when one I made went horribly wrong 45 minutes before a Rock n’ Roll New Year’s Eve party. After trolling the supermarket for ideas (I was brain dead at this point) I picked up a bag of the little frozen pillows, ran home & heated them up then stuck them on a tray with toothpicks and ketchup. We ran out of them almost immediately.

  38. Catootes

    wait, they make cookie dough ice cream that is gluten free? Oh so going to look for that.

    Your hair is beeaauuutiful! either way.

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