Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Best Christmas Moment - 2010

Christmas 2010-133.jpg
Originally uploaded by lukelucas
My brother has had in his possession for many years a recording that my Grandpappy, Tom McCord, made in December of 1948 in which he took on the role of Santa Claus.

His friends, Mr. and Mrs. Hickey, owned a home on Myrtlewood Drive that was a real showplace during the Christmas season. It was a popular destination for holiday sightseeing in the city. Keep in mind that folks didn't just pile in their cars and go like they do now, and you'll have some idea of how special this must have been!

Mr. Hickey was a lover of gadgets and technology, and had the recording equipment in his home. Grandpappy and Nannaw were there for a party -- Grandpappy decked out in tuxedo, according to Mama -- when the idea for this recording came up.

Grandpappy, who made his living as an auctioneer (after a career with the railroad), had a rich, wonderful voice, and a kind and playful spirit, so it's no wonder he was happy to go along!

Anyway, my brother Thomas has asked any number of people over many years to help convert this recording to a format that could be used with current equipment, and to clean up the pops and scratches that are on it, too.

This Christmas that finally happened!

What this picture captures is the exact moment at which my Mama recognizes her father's voice on the recording.

None of the four of his grandchildren were born when this recording was made, although my brother Jim would be born just about 2 months later.

Grandpappy died in February 1967, just before I turned 9 years old. Hearing his voice for the first time since then was stunning. I was lucky enough to have heard this a couple days before, so I know exactly what Mama was feeling at the moment captured here.

It was a Merry, Merry Christmas.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

What do I love about the South?

It's the only place you see women wearing fur coats 
carryin' around children in bare feet !

With fondest appreciation for the cooperation of my sweet models,
who enjoyed the irony right along with me!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Great Experiment: The Removal

I know this is VERY much past due, but it's the holiday season, and I work retail.

That pretty much excuses everything, don't you think?

Just in case you missed the first part...  and the second part....  this little series has been about a new "polish" technique called shellacking.    I'll be succinct.  I LOVE IT.

With bright, bold color, my nails stayed flawless and shiny for 2 whole weeks.   I'm on my second color now, more of a dark cranberry red color, and when it comes off in about a week I'm going with a French manicure using the shellac method.  Can't wait!

But you want to know about the removal, right?

Well, your sweet little fingertips all go into little remover-soaked sleeves, and while my Nail Guru Stephanie and I were discussing what color to go with next, my nails were letting go of the last color.

When these came off, Stephanie gently nudged the little bit of remaining color off my nails -- no hard scraping, or big machinery, or anything else that would damage my nail beds at all.

I've had two sessions now, and just so you know I'm being completely honest, I'm going to lay out the best parts and the downsides (because nothing is perfect).

I am horribly bad on my nails.  I forget or choose not to wear lotion, and I abuse my nails in unspeakable ways.  The shellac did exactly what I hoped it would do:  retained its true color, never lost its shine, and  protected my nails.    I cannot remember a 3 week period EVER that I haven't had little nicks or chips on my fingertips that required filing to smooth away.   The first go-round, I did have to file down one rough spot that happened when a sharp knife I was using sliced just a wee bit the side of a nail; and on Friday I picked up a very large, very heavy book wrong at the store, and the nail on my right thumb broke fairly badly.

The good news is that I was able to clip it down and file it smooth with no problem.  There is one area of my nail that lost its polish where the break happened, and this leads me to one of the downsides.

If this had happened with normal polish, I would have spent part of my day yesterday at home removing the color and slapping on something else until I could get back.  Because removal is something that needs to be done at the salon (I've read of workarounds, but I'm not inclined to try them because I am a manicure idiot), you're sort of stuck until you can get an emergency appointment!

If I had some major thing to do that required perfection, I would have called to get one of those, but as it happens, and because the defect is on a thumb it's not as obvious as it would be if it were on one of the other fingers, I'm content to wait until my next appointment.

Because I don't take the sort of kind care of my nails I should, I am probably Stephanie's worst nightmare.  I doubt this will apply to many of you, but I will not have a bright/deep color applied again unless I am having the full manicure.  She tells me that we will tame the beasts that are my overachieving cuticles, and I believe her, but I'm going to stick to a pattern of neutrals/clears for times that I'm only having a polish change.

So -- on a scale of 1 - 10 -- I am placing this new thing at a 9.58.

And looking forward to another trip back for my next nail adventure!