Friday, January 26, 2007

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THE LONG AND SHORT OF IT Pink Gin, Pale Punk Pink, In The Very Pink - I think naming nail polishes would be a delightfully colorful job - until my boss thought I was having too much fun and suggested naming one Pink Slip Pink. When someone names a polish Miraculous Mauve, I might be able to polish my own nails without polishing my fingers. Until then, I’ll pay a manicurist to do my nails; and until I can be my own "womanicurist", I’ll postpone signing up for a correspondence course in rocket science. But manicured nails weren’t enough for me. During one of my many, mini, mid-life crises, I decided to have long nails. Unfortunately, the deciding to have long nails was easier than growing them. i broke nails when I cleaned and when I cooked. Once I broke a nail closing my car door. I soon discovered the only thing worse than having ten short nails is having one short nail. It was then I realized you can’t have the nails of a lady of leisure unless you are a lady of leisure. Frequently I had to have a fake nail glued to one of my broken finger nails. In spite of that, if someone asked me if they were my nails, I’d say yes. I’d paid for the fake nail; so yes, it and the other nine were mine. Yes, it was difficult to do such things as dial the phone, type e-mails and unfasten my seat belt; but there was one very rewarding benefit of long finger nails. I didn’t clench my fists anymore when I was tense. I’m one of those people who try to do at least three things at the same time, but not when my polish is drying. Because I literally don’t lift a finger for twenty minutes, I think the IRS should allow me to deduct the cost of my manicures as relaxation therapy. Sometimes when I travel, my fingers have to walk and walk through the yellow pages before finding a manicurist. Sometimes when I succeed in finding one, she hasn’t found a new color nail polish since Ruby Red. Then there was the mountain vacation, three miles from nowhere. While driving to our hotel, my younger son amusingly announced he saw where I could go if I broke a nail. It wasn't a nail salon. It was an emergency room. I must live in the nail capitol of the world. Not only do California salons have a rainbow of polish colors to choose from, you can decorate your nails with decals and diamonds. You can have your nails pierced for nail rings. In California finger nails make a statement. The statement mine make is that...
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PROGRESS IS OUR MOST IMPORTANT PRODUCT I’m electronically challenged. I was reminded of this when the electrician came to hook up the big screen television. My husband opened an innocent looking, cardboard box and out came the DVD player, TIVO and speakers from the old house. Now the television looks like the cock pit in a 747. I didn’t know I was electronically challenged until I couldn’t use an electric can opener. My husband, on the other hand – the one with the extension cords – loves electronic gadgets. When he brought home an answering machine, I was intimidated by its buttons and flashing lights. That piece of plastic progress let my dentist remind me about appointments and let my son’s teacher ask me to bake cookies. Before I was on speaking terms with the answering machine, my husband brought home a VCR. More buttons and flashing lights - more unappreciated progress. When the VCR came in, we stopped going out to movies, which meant we stopped going out to dinner after the movies. However, as soon as the VCR and I had come to an understanding, my husband replaced it with a DVD player - new buttons, flashing lights and – confusion. Then there's my computer. I only use it for word processing, e-mail and the Internet. My husband assures me it can balance my check book and pay my bills more efficiently than I can. Fine, but it can’t make up excuses for not doing those things more efficiently than I can. I didn't change as fast as the world changed – until TIVO. It was obviously invented for the electronically challenged. I haven’t had such clear, step-by-step directions how to use a machine since I was sixteen and had a “Caution! Student Driver” sign on the back of the car. TIVO, like every invention, began with an idea, which means inventors haven’t thought about dust. No one has invented an electronic, multi-buttoned, light flashing, dust eliminator. In contrast, the progress in space travel has given us down-to-earth inventions like Teflon, Velcro and Tang. Okay, Tang wasn't a giant leap for mankind; but man continues to take small steps toward progress and I continue to trip over that progress. The only invention that doesn't make me feel like an outsider is indoor plumbing. I feel better. Thank you!

Knight Pierce Hirst

I may be the only writer who has moved to Los Angeles for the weather.

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