Sunday, February 21, 2010


(there will be no pics with this post of little ole' me for two reasons....I no longer have a scanner and pics of me as a child would break it if I did...*sigh*)

As anyone that happens to know me in real life knows and for those that have bothered to glance at the pic on the right there, and still for those that have wondered about the "red" in's maybe no surprise that I'm a natural born redhead. From the moment I exited mothers womb I've had varying degrees of flaming red hair that has been, at times, the bane of my existence. All my life I have been made to feel at some point or another that the mere fact that HAVE red hair was somehow my fault. As a child I was ridiculed without end by other children and adults alike. Something that was said to me yesterday in the store by a customer brought back some memories and inspired this post.

And so...the story of Red.

As mentioned, I had a flaming crop of red hair from the moment of birth, all though at that time it looked more like red fuzz...mix that in with my ocean blue eyes (at the time...have gone more grey blue now) along with some whiter than cotton white skin and you've got the makings of a child that stuck out like a sore thumb because everyone else in her family had brown hair, brown eyes, olive toned skin and looked like they were related to each other. Over the years I have lost count of how many times people have asked me.."where did you get that red hair?"...hmmm? the same place you got your brown, blond, black hair I'm guessing...the gene fairy? Or maybe I was one of those special babies that got to preorder what I would look like once that case I would have left out the fat gene all together. *sigh*

At any rate, Mom tells me when I was actually still a baby she was forced to defend her fidelity to friend a stranger alike again and again as people would take one look at me, at my siblings lined up looking rather Native American mixed with some other darker skinned toned people, and then see me shining so bright I practically glowed in the dark. More than one set of eyebrows were raised...and that continues to this day. In the beginning it was all joke joke snicker cheated with the mailman didn't you? but eventually it gets tiring being made to feel as if your an outsider and don't belong to your family. On the other hand, there have been times when I secretly prayed I WAS adopted, or better yet STOLEN, and didn't in fact share genes with this family of mine that continues to this day to make me want to commit either murder or suicide depending on my current levels of stress and their desire for drama.

Now, as I mentioned, I was tormented as a child for having red hair. I was called too many names to remember (all though I can remember them all probably if pressed..somethings are never forgotten, just lurk in the background of your mind until something comes along to jog it to the fore did customer in store). My red hair has a curious affect on people that I've never quite understood. I've had complete strangers reach out and feel it, something that happened in the Bahrain A LOT right from the start of my life there, mix that in with not knowing what they were saying and just being culture shocked anyhow...see where I'm going with this? Very disturbing. Akin to what a pregnant woman feels like when strangers (and not) just reach out and feel her if her body no longer belongs to her and is public property to be felt up at will. Very very annoying.

The creative names that children and adults alike have come up with to label me with can range from hilarious (to them) to just down right mean (to me) and, while Red may seem rather redundant, it is the one that most people will call me when they don't know my real name. I'm cool with that...hence Coolred. So now you know about THAT. LOL.

At any rate, my red hair has gone in and out of fashion over the years. I've never been to hair proud...I'm pretty much a wash and wear kind of the hair has never really changed but I would assume peoples attitude towards it has. Depending on current fashion trends, of which I know zilch about, my red hair can either inspire or cause finger pointing and giggles. *sigh* For the most part I can ignore and get on with it, I'm grown now and no longer allow people to intrude on my peace of mine with their hurtful remarks concerning my hair. (doesn't quite work with other body parts but I'm passed the hair stuff). However, as a child I spent far too much time lamenting the fact that I was CURSED with red hair. And yes...that is how I was made to feel...cursed by God in some way for having something few others had. It was almost like a disability or affliction that people cause people to tut tut over and pretend they didn't notice so as not to hurt your feelings...or just straight out say something completely asinine not realizing that inside I was screaming in rage at God for making me different. *sigh* Sometimes I wonder if my sketchy relationship with God that has waxed and waned over the years, got its initial shove because of my red hair and the effects it has had on my life and psyche? Anyone care to comment on that?

So the way it worked out over the years was...when small, other kids would make fun of me, adults would question my paternity or alternatively gush over me in a profuse fashion as if I was disabled...then when a teen, boys would make snarky comments concerning my red hair (all though more than once I would catch them gazing at and girls would gush over how they wished that had that color...but could never dye it just right LOL...and as an adult I would be asked a million times whether this was my REAL hair color, if not, who the heck made this wonderful shade of red cause they were buying it and dying their hair soon as they got home...blah blah blah. Then they go on the way...and I'm still here...with my red hair...just busy getting on with it. *sigh*

Now, back to the customer that inspired this story. An older man came in for a few things and while most of our customers are regulars, we get a few that are merely driving through. You can pick them out easily by the weary way they slouch to the coffee machine or make a beeline for the bathrooms. Rumpled clothes and equally rumpled faces and hair and a certain look of "I'm tired and have no idea what town I'm in" look about them. This older man was quite talkative once he seen me sweeping the floor and struck up a conversation that was quite the eye opener...or should I say gave a previously unknown insight into the power of my red hair...or any red hair I would assume.

This mans name was Charlie and Charlie commented on how beautiful my hair was and right away claimed he "just knew" it was natural and not some poor attempt at true natural red hair. LOL Then Charlie went on to astound me with his declaration of absolute adoration of all things red....when it comes to hair. He said as a young boy he use to chase the girls with red hair and make fun of them simply because he was overwhelmed by their red hair and didn't know what to make of it. He said, every other girl had blond or brown or black hair and it was all so humdrum but red hair shone like the sun, made his eyes hurt to look at it almost and made his hands want to reach out and touch it for some reason. He said as a boy he was , of course, stupid and didn't know one emotion over another, and so assumed that desire to reach out and touch it meant give it a good yank and make her cry. He claimed that he was awestruck and overwhelmed by red hair and just didn't know what to make of it....just knew it caused a reaction in him. Eventually he sorted out his feelings and married a girl with red hair and lived happy ever after...well not quite...apparently she had a wicked temper and eventually it was either kill her or get divorced. He opted wisely for divorce...but that hasn't put him off redheads apparently as he went on to describe his many girlfriends etc that all somehow had varying shades of red hair.

At this point I'm starting to wonder if this was some sort of elaborate pick up line even though he was quite a bit older than me by the look of it, but then he shook himself back to the present and looked at me and said....

"Don't ever let anyone give you shit about your hair. It just means their jealous and probably means they want to touch it."....then he paid for his coffee and left.

I'm 41 years old and by God if that isn't one of the best explanations for the effect red hair seems to have on people I have ever heard. Not sure if it's true or not...but apparently its true for Charlie...and that's good enough for me.

Red hair might not be so bad after all. LOL

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Time: A luxery for the lazy and uninvolved *sigh*

To do list:

1. Essay for English comp due next week. Must interview person I admire then write essay about them. So far I have my person...*sigh*

2. 8 min speech with visuals to prepare for Public Speaking class informing the audience about something of interest to me. Ive chosen topic...written some scintillating ideas etc...and that's about it so far. This is due on the 25th. A lot to do and Ive barely gotten started.

3. keep up with math problems that are online...and in which each section gets closed after a period of time. Not only do I need to find time to work out all these problems...I need to get them done before she closes the section. So far so good but sheesh...dates sneak up on a girl.

4. read read read...I find myself with NO time to read...anything! Not for class, not for pleasure. Books all over the kitchen table unopened, unread. From someone who finds solace in reading, escape in reading, and just simple pleasure...I find this extremely frustrating. I WANNA READ PEOPLE!!!

5. Psych test coming up. Second one. First one I need to do much better on this one. Need to read the encyclopedic text time. *sigh* At least she records her lectures and makes them available to us. Possibly my salvation. Wish me luck.

6. Newspaper work is full of trying to catch people with busy schedules so I can interview them and then write up Pulitzer Prize winning prose which will eventually get noticed by The New York Times or Mad Magazine...I'm not choosy. Fun but time consuming and somewhat nerve wracking. Deadlines you know!!! never a good deadline to coincide with my schedule.

Mix all that helter skelter activity with a full time job and full time mommy duties and you suddenly find yourself having to sacrifice some sleep...dinner time...bathroom calls because your late meeting someone etc. AND reading for pleasure of course.

So many things to do...not enough time. College is so over rated. Whose idea was this anyhow? grrrr!!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2 weeks and going strong...

So....2 weeks into the my new college adventure and let me tell you, people, its been hectic with a capital H!!! It seems like I've been on zoom mode permanently and sleep is a thing of the past. Between college and full time work its just rushing from one thing to another....sometimes (well all the time) I have to actually stop and think seriously about what day of the week it is and where am I supposed to be at that time. Good thing I write this stuff down.

Anyhow, I thought I would get some thoughts out there about how I feel concerning my first two weeks. I've had time to get a feel for the classes, the instructors, other students, and just life as a college student in general. Some good, some not so good...but all part and parcel and I'm dealing with it (or deluding myself...hmmm?).

So lets see....what should we start with?

Ah yes, no college semester would be complete without some sort of English Comp class. I've always fancied myself a writer of sorts but writing for pleasure is a whole other world compared to writing essays and whatnot. I don't particularly enjoy this sort of writing as it requires too much preparation and attention to detail. As anyone knows that reads my blog...details are supposed to be fun...not laborious and snooze inducing. At any rate, the teacher is quite nice and funny and tries to make the class and enjoyable experience. Every morning while taking roll she asks us something about if we could learn a new skill what would it be? etc. Certainly gets everyone into the thinking mode and relaxed and ready to go. Not my favorite class but doable.

Next there is math class. I didn't do very well on my entrance exam, or COMPASS, which gauges your math and English
abilities and places you in a class
according to your test scores. Because
I scored low on my math I have to start out at the beginning. The interesting thing is that I was always an A student in math growing up. I was placed in a higher Algebra class then my actual grade due to my advanced skills in that to sit down and face that test and DRAW A COMPLETE BLANK at the very first question was a kick in the ass I'm telling you. Very embarrassing.
At any rate, once I sat down in this class it only took an hour or two to bring back formulas and whatnot and remind me of all that I KNEW I knew...just couldn't recall when I needed it. I approached my math teacher, explained my predicament and she understood completely. Told me that a lot of us *ahem* older students had that problem and generally regained our skills with just a little reminder or refresher. She told me if I got through the online course work quick enough she would place me in the credited math class...of which she was also the instructor. So I've been working on all that while still attending her class. She's fairly straight forward and teaches in an interesting manner. All that classwork is on line so no books or anything, which is a little frustrating. I like to SEE and FEEL things to better understand. I'm a visual creature.

Next there is Public Speaking. I took this class because I'm horrible at speaking around large groups of people. With just a few I'm considered the joker and can really enjoy myself...more than that and I'm hugging the wall trying to disappear. I figure since I'm studying for a Journalism degree, public speaking would help me in that capacity. So far the class has been really interesting and the instructor makes it fun and enjoyable. He looks somewhat like a throwback hippy from the 70's but he's very well travelled, has a lot of experience speaking etc, and is full of stories about his life and teaching. I look forward to that class a lot. So far I've had to speak in front of the class twice and both times I neither passed out nor froze like a deer in headlights so I guess I'm doing OK. We have to give an speech to "inform" the audience of something and I've chosen to speak about the middle east etc. 8 min to reduce 23 years of experience into a nutshell. Fun!!

Of course I had to take something to do with writing for pleasure so I took a class that deals with the college newspaper. From the first day we are required to interview or write articles for both the published copy and the online version. My first interview was with the head of the BOCES office located within the college. I was nervous but she was wonderful and we had a good first interview. My editor, who happens to work for the Green River Star (the local newspaper for the next town over) actually put the interview in with very little changes. Cool!!! We aren't really in a class setting as we just meet once a week and discuss what new article ideas people have come up with. I've found that ideas are easy and the writing is easy....pinning down your subject!!! Not so easy. Everyone is so busy and schedules conflict like fighting dogs. It's tough. However, because I enjoy writing it's fun as well. Our instructor is very kind and accommodating. Pretty much lets us do what we want and pursue our own ideas...just as long as we submit before the deadline so she can edit etc. I really like this class.

I might point out here that so far my backpack weights about a ton and I haven't even mentioned the class with the biggest heaviest book *sigh*. Between carrying this monster around and running helter skelter for classes and work etc...I feel I'm getting plenty of exercise in. Then again, raiding the plentiful supply of vending machines sprouting in every corner like evil mushrooms doesn't really help. ugh!

So far my most interesting class, and the one I look forward to the most, is Psychology. This class from the start grabs my attention and keeps me wanting more. Granted it's early days yet but I'm the sort of person that if my attention isn't garnered fairly early on I lose interest and move on to the next thing. I don't foresee that happening here. The instructor is extremely diligent in her lectures and includes small anecdotes and case studies or humorous incidents to break up the pace and keep us interested and alert. I didn't do as well as I expected on my first test but I found out later that she bases her tests more on her lectures then on the text book. I missed the first class and so missed this bit of info. I studied the text more and gave less attention to her lectures, interesting though they were. Will change that for future tests...LOL Today she showed us an old Candid Camera piece in which one person in an elevator was persuaded to face the back of the elevator simply because everyone else in the elevator faced the back...for no apparent reason. We are learning about how social pressure to conform makes us all do things we wouldn't do willingly...or agree with things we don't agree with but will do so just to fit in etc. Very interesting and, of course, very true. I love this class....low mark and all.

Anyhow, that's sort of a wrap up with my first two weeks. A mixture of sweat blood and tears with some laughter and feelings of accomplishment thrown into the pot...mix it all up and you get one tired college student. Par for the course I'm sure.

I found this grid and thought it was quite apt. I spend too much time trying to find a parking spot and not enough time doing the other stuff...have to leave home earlier and earlier just to get to class on time. Cuts into my few remaining hours of sleep. *sigh* Guess I'll sleep when I'm dead. LOL

Will do another update later on down the line when I've had time to adjust and make the most of this hectic schedule. Don't hold your breath on that just yet though...feels like it's going to take some time. *yawn*