Friday, May 30, 2008

Think “Yellow Oxygen Mask”

You know when you're on an airplane and the flight attendant gives the requisite safety spiel, something about a "rapid change in cabin pressure" and yellow oxygen masks falling from the ceiling? They always remind us to "please secure your own mask first" before assisting small children or anyone else? I'm convinced that's a metaphor for a figurative lifeline -- a true principle (although I can't think of a scripture to back it up--oh wait, yes I can) that applies especially to mothers: When we take care of ourselves first (which is rare) we are better equipped to help other people -- happier, healthier, and with more positive energy.

In the past 24 hours I've had 3 friends tell me they have no time to take care of themselves. Sandwiched between caring for their aging parents and their own small children, these women are truly spent. And to me, in retrospect, the need for some self-care is clear-cut in every single case. Think "yellow oxygen mask" and breathe deeply.

I didn't always see it that way. Self-sacrifice (with pretended alacrity) seemed like the higher road. But I realize now it's often just the path of least resistance. Fighting for some time for ourselves, to take care of ourselves, isn't a self-indulgent luxury. It keeps us sane, keeps us whole, reminds us who we are. It allows us to offer our very best to those we love. It's actually indirect service.

In a song she wrote about going to therapy, called “What Do You Hear in These Sounds”, folk singer Dar Williams describes this principle:
“But oh how I loved everybody else
when I finally got to talk so much about myself.”
Blogging fulfills that need for a lot of us. And we discover a lot of love in the process. New friends, new ideas. More to share.

Exercise is a big one. I notice I'm more patient with the kids, have more energy, am happier...after I work out.

One of my lifelines is music. When they delivered my grand piano to our second apartment after we were married, my dad told me how glad he was that I had my piano back because he knew it was my therapy. Father knows best. I can totally lose myself in a beautiful piece of music. Unleash passion (like Lucy Honeychurch). Pour out peace. Another, not surprisingly, is writing. (Actually, I crave word-crunching in all its many forms -- including late-night Scrabble.) My best poetry often arises on the cusp of personal crisis. Journaling is its own form of healing. And last (but not least) is painting. Watercolor stirs my passions like little else. Just watching the colors run together in unpredictably beautiful patterns makes it worth getting up in the morning. And the luminosity is, well, illuminating.

So what’s your yellow oxygen mask?
What’s the single most important thing you do for yourself that then increases your capacity to love, appreciate and care for everybody else?

Friday, May 23, 2008

You can't have too much of a good thing! (or...Kudos, Foiled Again!)

I love to cook. Mostly because I love to eat. And I love to eat fabulous food.
I'm also constantly running short on time and low on energy.
So I have these winner short-cuts. Favorite foolproof* recipes.

But wait -- there's more. When doubled, they each make a completely new favorite recipe for the following night (or later in the week). BTW, aren't you baffled by those people who won't share their favorite recipes? Come on, share the love! There's plenty more where that came from.

Added bonus -- they're all very health-conscious -- even diet friendly. So enjoy them without any side-dish helping of indigestible guilt.

Recipe #1. Baked Salmon. Foolproof.* Delicious baked salmon in a quick alternative to cooking en pappillote -- tin foil.
Recipe #1a Use remaining baked (and chilled) salmon in a delectable Salmon Pasta Salad. (The herb dressing is to die for!)

Recipe #2. Grilled Flank Steak. Foolproof.* Absolutely the best marinade you'll ever try, or double your money back. :)
Recipe #2a Use remaining flank steak in a Thai Beef Salad that could put the restaurant across town out of business!

Baked Salmon
2 lb. salmon fillets (this is enough for both nights; no need to double)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil (triple amount if fresh)
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 T fresh parsley, chopped
6 T light olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 T fresh lemon juice

Mix garlic, light olive oil, basil;, salt, pepper, lemon juice and parsley in glass baking dish. Place salmon fillets in dish and cover with marinade. Marinate in refrigerator about 1 hour, turning occasionally.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees (350 for convection)
Place fillets in aluminum foil, cover with extra marinade, form a loose tent, and seal all edges. Place sealed tin foil tent packets in rinsed glass dish. Bake 30-40 minutes, until flakes easily with a fork.

Salmon Pasta Salad
1 pound salmon, prepared as above, or poached in court bouillon.
8 ounces cooked pasta (Fusilli or Bowtie), cooled. (I use Barilla Plus multi-grain)
1 pound fresh spinach, cut into strips
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup green onions (green tops only) finely sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
grated parmesan cheese

Break salmon into 1-inch chunks in salad bowl.
Add pasta and chill. Toast almonds in skillet with 2 Tbsp. butter (optional). Add to pasta and salmon.
Pour dressing (next recipe) over pasta and salmon. Add green onions, parmesan cheese, spinach and parsley. Toss well and chill until ready to serve.

Herb Dressing for Salmon Pasta Salad
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon sweet basil
2 eggs
1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
1 teaspoon dill weed
2 teaspoons crushed rosemary
1 teaspoon lemon peel

Prepare dressing by mincing the garlic and basil in the bowl of a food processor or blender; remove and set aside. Whirl the eggs in the processor and add the vinegar, lemon and sugar. Dribble salad oils SLOWLY into egg mixture with processor running. Then stir in mustard, salt, pepper, dill weed, rosemary, lemon peel, basil and garlic.

Famous Flank Steak Marinade
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tb. lemon juice
2 Tb. soy sauce
1 Tb. chopped green onion
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp celery salt

Stir ingredients together in oblong baking dish. Place flank steak flat in dish and pierce all over with large meat fork. Turn over and repeat. Marinate 2-4 hours or overnight.

Grill to perfection, then slice very thin,
diagonally, across the grain.

Thai Beef Salad
1 flank steak, marinated, grilled, and sliced (see above)
3 C romaine (torn)
3 C baby spinach
1 med. cucumber (quartered, then sliced)
5 green onions, green parts only (chopped)
3 med. tomoatoes (diced)
1/2 C fresh cilantro

3 T fish sauce
3 T red wine vinegar (be generous)
3 T brown sugar
2 T teriyaki sauce
1/2 large lime (juiced)

Combine dressing and stir until sugar is dissolved. Toss salad ingredients in a bowl with the dressing. Top with sliced flank steak. Garnish with extra cilantro.

Variation: can also add paper-thin slices of maui onions, julienned red peppers.

All of the above garnered rave reviews at our table this week.
(Salmon Pasta salad tomorrow night.)
Bon appetit!

(Oh, and try to refrain from making those annoying "What About Bob" moans as you're devouring it!)
*I hesitate to use the word foolproof, because fools are so ingenious! Nevertheless, I have yet to find a way to destroy any of these.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Worshipping at the Altar of Fitness

I just got back from the gym and am happily sipping my protein shake, thinking God’s in His heaven, All’s right with the world.

Now for the confession:
This was my first time there in at least six weeks. Maybe longer.
I used to go straight to the gym as soon as I dropped off the kidlets at school, as if on auto-pilot. But then we started Remodeling (note the capital R). Not just a little painting and refurbishing, but full-scale, gut-the-entire-basement, tear-down-walls-and-put-up-new-ones Remodeling.

The workers usually showed up just as I was leaving.
At first I was so diligent and unswerving.
“Go ahead and get started. I’ll be back in an hour,” I’d call cheerfully on my way out the door, happy to be free of the dust and debris for awhile. But it seemed like they always needed me to answer questions, look at samples, approve an invoice, stare them down. And my perceived window-of-workout was over for the day.

Pretty soon I just gave up. Quit going to the gym completely. Settled into a comfy I’ll-head-back-to-the-gym-when-this-remodeling-mess-is-all-over routine. And somehow along with my resolve to work out went my resolve to eat sensibly. (Read: I started eating like a pig.) Case in point: The other day I walked into this favorite little bakery and mentally noted that every single person going in or out was morbidly obese (no exaggeration). Did that stop me from buying and devouring two mini-eclairs? No. Sugar was my new best friend. In six weeks I gained as many pounds. And probably twice as many inches. Miserable.

So today I had not a single worker scheduled.
I should have been elated. I should have run to the gym as fast as my chunky little thighs could carry me there. But instead I had to FORCE myself to go back.

Strange. I started to feel like someone who hadn’t been to church for awhile. Like I knew I wasn’t living the way I should. And I didn’t want the regulars to start asking any questions about my habits. Now that I've lapsed into inactivity. I just wanted to slip inside unnoticed, without having to look anyone in the eye, answer to anyone. But at Curves that isn’t possible. I would have to face them, all in a circle, as soon as I walked in the door. My former friends. The ones who never miss. I wasn’t sure my bread-dough belly and I were ready for that.

But I went anyway. I scanned my card at the front desk.
“Workouts this month: One.” Impressive.
(Generous of them to count the one workout I hadn't quite begun.) I tried not to look at anybody. Impossible. But they were all so friendly and wonderful. Glad to see me. Not accusatory or incriminating. Just happy I was back. And (surprisingly) happy to hear about the remodeling. The hour on the circuit seemed to fly by. And it felt great. My muscles thanked me. My mental health thanked me. I’m back into full activity.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Joy, In One of Its Many Disguises

I had a couple of paintings accepted into a watercolor show which opened yesterday, and one of them won an award. It was great to be up in Salt Lake, schmoozing with other artist types, see all the paintings, and receive my ribbon and an envelope of cash. (!) But honestly, I have to say that the best part of the night was arriving home and having my 8-year-old come running down the stairs in his baggy sleep shirt, grinning, to give me a big huge hug!

Today my dad and I had planned a painting excursion to these amazing gardens where I have a membership. We'd been planning on it all week, in fact. My two oldest kids are at a youth conference, and the youngest was playing at a friend's house. How often is it that the stars are in alignment and a mother has an afternoon completely free? I was elated. We loaded our paints and sketchbooks into the car and headed toward the freeway entrance.

Suddenly my cellphone rang. "Mom? This is Mr. Cool. We're tired of playing at Max's house, so we're walking back to our house now." (He'd been there 45 minutes.) "Nobody's home, Sweetheart. Grandpa and I are going up to Thanksgiving Point Gardens to paint." "Oh, can we come?" (Then, covering the receiver, "You guys! Do you want to go to Thanksgiving Point? We can go to the Dinosaur Museum!") Soon I had three nine-year-old boys clambering over the art supplies in the back seat.

Long story short, the boys did NOT want to go to the gardens and put up a HUGE fuss the whole way there, begging instead for the dinosaur museum. (Sorry. Bummer.) But once we got inside, they literally had the time of their lives: They rolled down the giant hill on the Grand Allée, ran circles through the maze in the rose garden, played Rocky as they jogged up the steps in the Italian Garden, splashed and sprayed each other in the fountain in the Secret Garden, ran through caves on top of the waterfall. I've never seen three happier boys.

Did we paint? Not a stroke. But we got a million ideas while we were there.

Was there joy? Absolutely! Pure, unabashed, unbridled joy!

I wouldn't trade being a mom for anything in the world.

--Well, maybe when Max threw up in the car on the way home! :)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Someone Has Taught You Incorrect Principles

Last night at dinner our 16-year-old son informed us that he got in trouble for jumping on the couch in the library. I had horrific visions of this nearly-6-ft.-tall son jumping up and down the way toddlers jump on the bed. It turns out all he did was sort of make a backward leap and land on the couch. Not charm school etiquette by any means, but not as disastrous as I initially imagined either. The school librarian chose to chastise him anyway.

"What are you doing, jumping on the couch? That is totally unacceptable.
Who taught you to behave like that?"

"My parents," he answered, without skipping a beat. She was not amused.

"Well I don't like the way you're treating our furniture, whether or not you're allowed to do that at home. I'm going to call your parents right now."

And Josh's witty reply (again, without missing a beat): "Oh, their trailer doesn't have service."

Home, sweet hook-up. :)

Friday, May 9, 2008

One-and-a-Half Perfect Moments

On Monday I wrote about my goal to find parenting perfection in small, individual moments rather than an entire week of living like a modern-day embodiment of Mary Poppins, Olivia Walton and Maria von Trapp.

By Wednesday I had come up with nothing, and was a bit confused. My sincerity was genuine, but my progress was, well, nonexistent. Then I was reminded of a thought my friend Irene had shared, from Mosiah 26, which says in essence that the Lord focuses on the good things we do.
The community was witnessing "iniquity in abundance"and Alma was "troubled in his spirit." He "inquired of the Lord," and later it says he "poured out his whole soul to God". (Been there, done that.) But what's remarkable is his answer: The Lord temporarily ignored all the stuff that was going wrong and reminded him what was going right.

He said "Blessed art thou" five times, each with a specific reason, a sign of progress, something that was right on target. He even praised him for the very act of asking. The story says that "when Alma had heard these words he wrote them down that he might have them." (Ah, how we need to remember these streams of mercy!) God still threw in a plug for repentance and forgiveness, but not until after he had blessed him and praised him. And they "began again to have peace and to prosper exceedingly."
This resonated for me in particular because it mirrors so closely the experience I had regarding motherhood (described here). And then finally last night I was blessed with a perfect moment. I was putting our youngest son to bed (ironically the same son I had contemplated not having nine or ten years ago). He gave me the routine hug and kiss, then kissed me a few extra times, and said, "Remember when I was little and I never wanted you to leave? I'd keep kissing and kissing you, and holding onto you..." and I said, "Mm-hm, and do you remember which songs I used to sing to you?" He remembered: Away In A Manger and Silent Night...every night...because after "round yon virgin" it says, "mother and child." He loved that phrase. He'd ask for it night after night, and squeeze my hand or turn and give me a cherubic wink whenever I got to "mother and child."

"Yeah, he said, and you would always tickle my back.... Hey, speaking of "tickling my back...." "Do you want me to tickle your back tonight?"
(big grin) "Yeah, will you?"
"Sure. Which song do you want me to sing?"
"Could you tell me a story?" (I'm resisting a comment on the quality of my singing here.) :)
"Sure, I guess. Which story would you like to hear? The one about
"I want you to make one up." Great. I am not a very creative storyteller. I was tempted to tell him a true one my dad told me. But I promised him I'd make one up. And so I did.

Somehow it turned into a pretty involved fairy tale/fable about sacrifice. You can read it here.
As the story ended the look on his face was truly magical. He just glowed! He told me it was the best story he's ever heard. But what matters most is that our 8-year-old son went to sleep happy and loved, and wrapped in the Spirit.

Then there was a little follow-up moment this morning. Over breakfast he was telling his dad how much money he'd earned, saved, and spent, and Jeff asked him if he'd remembered to pay his tithing. All of a sudden he looked like a deer in the headlights. Oops. Busted. And he also looked a bit reluctant to put any of that precious saved portion toward tithing.

But then I whispered to him, "That's kind of what your story was about last night, wasn't it?" He nodded and smiled, and it looked like a light went on and a cheerful giver was born.

So I'm trying to put aside the time I heard myself shriek across the yard to tell my daughter to be patient (dripping with irony, I know), the pans that are still downstairs soaking in the sink, our youngest calling me a hypocrite (I didn't think he even knew the first I thought he said
Hippogriff!) and the myriad other moments I'm not proud of, and rejoice in the fact that so far this week I have one and a half perfect moments.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mother of all Weeks

It's my mom's birthday today. She'd be turning 71, if she were still alive.
This is always a loaded time for me: Mom's birthday and Mother's Day, both crammed into one emotionally-charged week.

Although she was a terrific mother -- focused on her kids, held high expectations, taught by example, and was ever a peacemaker -- my mom always loathed Mother's Day. Said it was too sappy and sentimental. Said it made her feel guilty. Sometimes, although she was über-righteous, she'd even stay home from church, just to avoid the maudlin Mother's Day meeting. Every time we asked her what she wanted for Mother's Day she answered, "Nice kids and a clean house." We could never figure out why she always said that. (Of course I get it now!)

I've inherited my mother's loathing of Mother's Day. Sensing a need to protect myself, I usually fix my own dinner (so I get exactly what I'm craving) and buy myself something I want. I don't tell anybody I'm doing it (but sometimes I go as far as to get it wrapped). It's a way for me to manage the ups and downs of a roller-coaster day. And sometimes it works.

But this year I'm trying something new. The best way to honor my mother is to be the best I can be in return. Hoping to assuage some of the pain and guilt in time for Sunday, I'm starting a week ahead. I'm not buying myself anything. I'm cleaning my house. Because that's what I really want. (Especially after remodeling.) I can't do anything about the nice kids part. But I can be a nice mom. No, nice doesn't cut it. I can be a great mom. A happy, compassionate, organized, nurturing, exemplary, superhuman least I think I can try it on for a week.

One day, when we were pondering whether or not to have baby #3, I had a heart-to-heart with God. I told him I didn't think I was a very good mother, and maybe I didn't deserve another child. But I would do whatever He wanted. Amazingly, in that instant He answered me with a series of mental snapshots -- my own private youtube of spiritual video clips of all the times I was a perfect mom. I couldn't have imagined a better answer to my soul-searching. I've never forgotten it. (But I wish I could get it on DVD, to review daily.) So for Mother's Day this year, I want to create another series of perfect mothering moments -- new ones. I know I can't be perfect -- even for a day, but I can perfect a few moments. And I know from experience that the Lord remembers them even when we don't.

So I'm taking lessons.
My first round of instruction came from the family dog.
You can read it here.

But I want to hear from you, too.
Since I can't ask my mom for help or advice,
I have to learn from other mothers.
(And after 15 years of running a design studio out of my house, I always feel like I'm playing catch-up to my stay-at-home heroes.)
What's the best thing you've ever done as a mother?
What would be among your perfect mothering moments?

And of course I have to acknowledge that the very best tutoring I receive comes when I am on my knees.

But I still want to hear from you.

Monday, May 5, 2008

There has to be a first time for everything....

The much-admired blogger Luisa just tagged me for my first meme. (Not quite sure what the rules of the game are, but I'm always willing to play!)

Since most of you know virtually nothing about me, I'm assuming almost anything's fair game:

1. I was once a contestant in the National Spelling Bee. (I won't tell you which year, though!) The word I went out on was not gnocchi or xenophobe, but juratory. I spelled it juritory (thinking: jurisdiction, jurisprudence, janitorial). I had to stand there on the stage for what seemed like an eternity while they played and replayed the tape to decide whether the pronouncer had misled me. Then finally *ding!* they rang the bell and I was out.

2. I'm currently experiencing the reverse culture shock of having lived in Los Angeles for the better part of twenty years, and then returning to Utah. Thank heaven we live on a private, wooded acre -- makes me feel like I can still be in Utah, but not necessarily of Utah. (Although, I must say, while we SWORE we'd never live here, and have eaten a full buffet of crow since we moved here, we like it much better than we thought we would. It's not nearly as closed-minded and provincial as we had assumed.)

3. I love Hugh Grant and every line he delivers in every movie he's ever been in. I think I could say the same for Emma Thompson. (Although I do not have a crush on her.)

4. I also love dryer lint. I think it's so cool that it peels off the filter like a big, thick piece of felt. (I've even been known to leave it there through a couple of loads to let it build up so there's more to peel off.) Seems almost a shame to throw it away.

5. While I'm not proud of this, I have never had a good suntan. My skin is blue. It's the whitest, most glow-in-the-dark color you've ever seen. It literally takes me the whole summer to turn from blue to white. I'm still waiting for that pale look to come back in style (but I'm not holding my breath.)

6. I have a pathological fear of rats. I think it has something to do with the bubonic plague, and the movie Ben (which I never saw) and their overall nastiness. Even the animated movie Ratatouille made my skin crawl a few times, and I had to lift my feet off the floor during that scene when the rats ran into the pantry.

7. I've been to Antonio Banderas's house. Saw his 13th-century crucifixes all over the walls. Sat on the couch and chatted (but not with him.)

I guess I'm supposed to tag somebody now. I'm going to choose Kimberly. Would love to hear some more from her. Okay, Kimberly, you're it!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Bogeyman of Edinburgh

The following is part of "Soap Opera Sunday", hosted by Brillig and Kate.

The summer between my junior and senior year in college I got a scholarship to do a semester at Cambridge. As the session was coming to a close, my friend Dottie and I decided to tour around for a few weeks on a Brit-Rail pass. (No prior plans, no reservations -- it’s a great way to travel when you’re young and foolish.)

In order to save money and maximize our sightseeing, we frequently took “night trains” instead of staying in a hotel. It seemed like a great idea, but since the UK is relatively small, the only trains that would grant us a full 8 hours of (not) sleeping were the ones that ran between England and Scotland. Even then, schedules were quite compromising. (I distinctly remember disembarking in Inverness at 5-something in the morning, and wandering the foggy streets until the bakeries and coffee shops opened). I have many, many spine-tingling stories of these Brit-Rail adventures, but one of the most memorable (that I thankfully lived to tell) took place on our first night in Edinburgh.

We arrived in the late afternoon and basically had a few hours to wander the city and shop for sweaters (the dollar was high and the pound was low that summer!), then see what we could of the city before catching a night train to London. We locked our bags at the train station and started making our way to the center of town when we met a sweet little old Scottish man who offered to show us around the city. We looked at each other, and shrugged “why not?”, so we suddenly had our own private tour guide of hidden Edinburgh, Mr. Thomas Bogey.

[I write this now and want to wave my arms and shout “Hello, girls! Red Flag! The name alone should be enough of a warning! Run while you can!” but...]

It was nearly dusk and we did not know Edinburgh at all, so we were delighted to have someone give us a walking tour. We couldn’t believe this cute little man was willing to spend hours escorting us through Edinburgh to show us his favorite sites. He didn’t know any good sweater shops, but he assured us he’d give us an amazing tour of the city. So we loped alongside him as the sun began to set and the shadows lengthened over Edinburgh.

He did take us to most of the key places, and knew a great deal about the history and such, but what began to be disturbing was what ELSE he knew. He’d stretch out a gnarled finger and say in his thick brogue, “Right over there a little girl and her mother were killed. Their bodies were found just beyond that thicket.” or “Right over there a young lady disappeared. No one ever saw her again. Papers say she fell in the river, but I don’t think so.” “Right over there a teenage boy died. Shot in the head. Nobody found out who did it.” Holy cow, was this guy ever giving us the creeps! How did he know so much about every murder in town? And why was he telling us? We didn’t know we were signing up for the twilight mystery tour! I secretly decided the only way he was so obsessed with all these killings was because HE'S THE ONE WHO DID IT!

I exchanged a few wary glances with Dottie, but neither one of us dared say anything for fear he’d do us in right then and there. Finally we got near enough to the train station that we thought we could make it back on our own, and told Mr. Bogey it had been a lovely tour, and we thought we should be making our way back to the train station now, but he wouldn’t hear of it. “Nay, lasses, it’s only half past seven and your train doesn’t leave till nine. Besides, ye haven’t seen Scott's Monument. It’s just around this bend here. Come can't say ye've been to Edinburgh and not seen Scott's monument.”

(to be continued)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

In Defense of Bad Hair Days

I have difficult hair.
It doesn’t just misbehave from time to time -- it’s more like it’s got Oppositional Defiant Disorder. (I think it must have caught it from my kids!) :)

Halfway between straight and curly, it totally has a mind of its own. I don’t decide how I’m going to wear it -- it makes that decision for me. Just the other day it decided I was going to look like a wannabe country-western singer. Thanks a lot.

Remember those Twist-N-Curl Barbies in the 70s?
My hair’s kind of like that -- thick, wiry, and you kind of push and twist it into place the best you can. I have to spend an unreasonable amount of time just making it look like I did nothing at all (rather than the circus freakshow I woke up like). Not fair. I have a friend who does nothing to her hair. NOTHING. Doesn’t even comb it after she gets out of the shower. And somehow it always looks completely normal. SOOOO not fair!

When I was in junior high (a millenium or so ago) I got so mad at my unruly hair one day I threw my brush at the wall -- and it broke right in half. That was some serious hair rage. Now that I’m a grown woman I’ve outgrown those violent outbursts and take it out in more mature ways (like cursing). Until last week. When I busted my blow dryer. :)

But the question I have is this:
Why is it that a man can go out in public looking a little unkempt, and our society sees that as ultra-manly and super sexy? But a woman goes out uncoiffed and people automatically assume she’s mentally ill? That pressure may be at the very root (no pun intended) of all my hair rage.

I think it’s time to stand up in defense of bad hair days, in all their frizzy, straggly, out-of-control glory. Or start looking for a wig....