Little Ms. Polymath

aka the know-it-all

mixed messages. September 17, 2010

Filed under: style — mspolymath @ 12:55 pm

You tell me--is this ad trying to get me to start or stop drinking Smirnoff? Because if I'm going to end up with that hairdo, in that kitchen, wearing that robe and smoking that endless cigarette, well, my 7am vodka doesn't sound so swell all of a sudden. Is that woman supposed to look happy or hung over?


hair raising. August 20, 2010

Filed under: style,things that make me cry — mspolymath @ 5:17 pm

Last week I walked out of the salon with a hair color that most closely resembled the frosted-flake look of Linda Evans in her Dynasty heyday. 

Stunning, no? Icy and frosty.


It’s hard to imagine how I’ve fallen so far, so fast when it comes to my hair. After years of coloring it every hue imaginable, I took a couple of years off and let my hair go au natural. During that time, I started seeing a new stylist and I loved the way she cut my hair and waxed my brows. The salon was in walking distance of our place and was also home to my masseuse. When it came to my hair, life was simple. 

Once I found out I was losing my job, I decided to add a bit of color to my life and have my hair dyed red. My stylist did a beautiful job with the original application and the subsequent touch-ups. So when she decided to go out on her own, since her new location was still within walking distance and I *HATE* breaking in new stylists, I decided to go with her. And that’s when the trouble started. 

The first time she colored my hair, it came out orange. I bit my tongue and endured it for a while, even on our trip to New Orleans. But soon I couldn’t take it any longer and on the advice of a friend, I had my stylist correct the color (for free). By simply dying over the orange with a layer of light brown (at my insistence – she wanted to go in a redder, more violet direction), the color was toned down and my hair was fairly presentable. 

When I scheduled my next hair appointment, I made it clear keeping my hair red was no longer an option. The maintenance is too much and I didn’t want to take any more risks with the red/orange spectrum. My stylist was pretty upset (which should have been a red flag – why did she care?) but I was adamant about transitioning back to my natural color, with a few highlights and lowlights as enhancements. Easy for me to maintain and pretty difficult to mess up. Or so I thought. 

When we talked about the change, she told me it would take a few visits to get back to my natural color. I understood this and assumed we’d be transitioning my hair through cooler light browns and adding highlights along the way. Yeah, that’s not how it worked out. 

90 minutes of foiling later, I came out with bleached highlights and random lowlights mixed with fading red hair. What’s worse, her flourescent lights made my hair look okay while sitting in her chair. But when I went to the bathroom I saw the truth – a frosted, stripey ‘do that brought tears to my eyes. I couldn’t even deal with talking to her about it – she is so defensive and on edge about her work, it wasn’t worth it to me. I walked home with my head down, though I think my skin is thicker now after weeks as an orangehead. 

After the debacle, I was resigned to never going back to my stylist. Then I thought – hey, I can just color it myself and have her continue to cut my hair, until I saw it was nearly an INCH shorter on one side than the other. After tinkering with the color and snipping away, I finally have hair that is not humiliating. That’s the best I can say. 

In hindsight, I realize the only reason my stylist was able to color my hair so well while at her former salon was the coaching of the master colorist. I now remember my stylist consulting with her about my color formulas before every application. Which explains why trying to do it on her own was so difficult – she was flying blind.  

Even though my hair is damaged and straw-like (not to mention asymmetrical), I’m waiting things out a bit before I muddle through new stylist auditions. I’ve done some stupid things to my hair during my life, but paying someone else to do them is where I have to draw the line.


big hair. May 20, 2010

Filed under: style — mspolymath @ 11:39 am

I remember this ad very well…oh, how I wanted one of these appliances. I did have a crimper, though after the sole outing after the tragic crimping incident of 1988 (thanks, Annette) I never used it again.

It’s hard to imagine that this was a beauty ideal in the ’80s – but man, did we have some big hair. Really, really big hair. I’m still one of the best backcombers you’ll ever meet, fyi.

So many beautiful options to choose from!


classic. April 9, 2010

Filed under: style — mspolymath @ 6:46 am

I wish I could pull off this look for summer, though I'm not sure about wearing two layers of socks.


i love a jaunty visor. January 5, 2010

Filed under: life,style — mspolymath @ 1:08 pm

Every time I drive by a certain chain bagel establishment, I think to myself “why don’t I ever go there? I love bagels!” Then I go to said establishment and I remember why I never go there: the employees are high and/or unbelievably stupid. And they take forever. Have I ever mentioned how much I loathe lollygagging?

Anyway, today the counter guy asked me if I wanted my bagel sandwich cut “like a sandwich.” No, I’d like it cut with a cookie cutter. Or perhaps sliced like a stick of butter. WTF? I am baffled. I won’t even go into the white guy with the world’s thickest dreads, though I do think you’d admire the shiny beads threaded through some of his locks, and the jaunty bagel establishment visor perched atop his head, because there is no way anything smaller than a plastic grocery bag is fitting over his head. No way, no how.


more great moments in men's fashion. November 30, 2009

Filed under: celebrate,style — mspolymath @ 8:10 pm
I cannot even imagine where one would wear such a get-up.

I think this suit defines the term "get-up." As in, "I cannot imagine where one would wear such a get-up."

I'm sure the French were thrilled with this homage.

I'm sure the French were thrilled to have their name invoked in this trainwreck.Oh, my. The true definition of a Texas Tuxedo. Justin Timberlake has come a long way.

I do not understand the shape of these men's bodies nor the angles at which they hold their heads.

I do not understand the shape of these men's bodies nor the angles at which they hold their heads.

Why didn't this trend catch on?

Why didn't this trend catch on?

I know this one has made the rounds, but it never fails to make me laugh.

I know this one has made the rounds, but it never fails to make me laugh. On a serious note, I'm glad to see SOMEONE recognize that leg-binding jeans are such an issue.


Matchless, indeed.

Matchless, indeed.


a few things. November 4, 2009

Filed under: life,style,things that make me cry — mspolymath @ 8:23 am

Let’s start off by noting today is a good, no, GREAT hair day. Of course I don’t have anywhere to take this glorious hair, just to work and back. I am meeting a friend in the work cafeteria for lunch today, so all of my good hair hopes are riding on that encounter. *Please* let her point out my fabulous hair! Otherwise it’ll be a complete waste.

Unfortunately the shirt I’m wearing probably cancels the hair out. On a recent TJ Maxx excursion I found the world’s greatest sweater and I picked up a black and white modified oxford for work. It’s from Tweeds, a reliable brand, and it was only $13. The color combo, the length, and the price were all right, so it ended up in my closet.

After I tried the shirt on the first time I had a couple of misgivings – something about the cut just didn’t feel right. Still, I threw out the tags and hung the shirt up, assuming it was the pants I was wearing or the light or something.  I continued deluding myself all the way into the office this morning. But I can’t pretend any longer. This shirt looks like a maternity shirt.

I should point out it’s NOT a maternity shirt – I’ve already been in the bathroom today to check the tag. It’s just cut weird. Maybe that’s why it was $13 at TJ Maxx? So yeah, I’m going to walk around with my arm over my belly all day and any whisper that would have previously been dedicated to my fabulous hair will now be relegated to “WTF? Why has she held her arm over her stomach all day? Did she accidentally wear a maternity shirt?”


Yesterday I emailed a story around about Teanne Harris, a jilted bride from Chicago who turned her frown upside down by donating her non-refundable wedding reception to a local nursing home. I sent the article for two reasons, one being the life affirming message of a woman making other people happy despite her sorrow, and the other being the story’s extraordinarily poor writing.


Here's the original caption that ran with the story. Did Liz Lemon write it? "Teanne Harris, pictured during an earlier trip to Hawaii, returned to there for what was supposed to be her honeymoon."

While I thought the caption was hilarious on its own, my friend Jenni sent me the following message last night.  

Here is some more poorly written reporting from a story that came up on the sidelines of the link you sent: 
 The emergency dispatcher, trying to determine the driver’s location, asked Strey if she was driving behind the drunk, according to TV station WEAU 13.

“No,” she replied, “I am them.”

To which the surprised dispatcher replied, “You am them?”

Ahh, good times. Thanks, Jenni.

p.s. I’d be a total jerk if I didn’t mention the amazing package that arrived from Jenni yesterday. It included all sorts of treats, but the vintage I Heart General Hospital mug was something out of a dream. Thank you thank you thank you!