Friday, November 10, 2023

7 Quick Takes about Extreme Haircuts, Discovering Joe Pera, and the Symbolism of Dead Plants

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


My kids had the day off from school on Tuesday, I think because they use the gym for elections so they just made it a teacher development day. We celebrated by going to three dentist appointments and an orthodontist appointment.

Our orthodontist's office is farther away than I would like, and we never leave early enough. I swear if I had a dollar for every time I was late for an appointment, I could pay for another complete set of braces.


While I was driving with my 15-year-old (probably to the orthodontist, and probably late) we saw a truck that advertised a carpentry business. The logo of the car was on the tailgate and across the bumper were vinyl letters saying "WE DELIVERY QUALITY."


It's always unfortunate to have a typo in your tagline, but it's even more unfortunate when the tagline emphasizes that you don't make mistakes.


My 17-year-old has had long hair practically forever, except for maybe once when she got a cute chin-length bob when she was 6. 

And I mean her hair is LONG. Like, really long:

Even she agreed that this is excessive, and it was driving her crazy.

So she decided to cut off 13 inches, and until she gets around to donating it, is driving around like a serial killer with a bag of human hair in her trunk.

It's funny that her new "short hair" is most people's "long hair."

I don't know what it is now, but she looks like me in high school. I didn't say anything, but everyone else who knew me as a teenager (my dad, my husband) has voiced the same thought so it's not just me. 

I suppose it doesn't help that 90s fashion is coming back and half of her closet is something I would've owned and wore at her age.


I took two of my kids shopping for fall clothes and witnessed an interesting phenomenon at the store.

Three teen boys who were probably about 14 years old were at the fitting rooms at the same time. They were quite obviously the cool kids, based on how they swaggered around and acted with each other. But they were at Marshall's having a... fashion show, I guess?

Each one in turn turn choose a pile of clothes, went in the fitting room to assemble an outfit, then came out to show the other guys. They'd make a bunch of noise and grunt things like "Woah, that fit is fire" while giving him high fives, and then the next one would take his turn. 

As they were leaving, one asked "So whose fit was best?" 

I know who I would've voted for, not that anyone asked me. It was amusing because kids that age don't even read anyone over 20 as a human, so even though I was observing them the whole time they probably didn't even realize I was there.


We were celebrating a family birthday, so I spent an afternoon making this German chocolate cake with layers of chocolate buttercream and coconut pecan frosting. 

It was such a pretty cake that my daughter went to take a picture and then showed it to me. It was... stunning.

Hmm. Not quite what I envisioned.

Okay, so maybe the crappy lighting and disaster of a kitchen (yes, that's my 7-year-old's rock collection in an egg carton right on the counter right next to the cake for some reason) don't make for Pinterest-worthy photos. 

Then I remembered that we have a nearly-finished basement that is actually the prettiest room of the house and has the nicest lighting, so I took it down there for a picture and it turned out much better:

I'm still not a food photographer, but it at least looks a little better.


A few years ago I received a thoughtful gift, a baby ivy in a cute little planter shaped like a white ceramic house. At the time I was a leader in the the children's organization at church, and the symbolism was that we as leaders were supporting families in growing strong and beautiful homes. 

Until recently it was appearing to do well. I felt downright domestic, even. And then I don't know what happened.

All the leaves turned brown and fell off.

Now I have a soon-to-be dead plant inside a miniature home and I'm not sure how to feel about the symbolism of that.


The other night I woke up at 2:30 and was looking for a way to get back to sleep. I usually listen  to a Jason Stephenson when that happens, but my mind was racing especially fast so I decided to search for something new. 

A quick search turned up a video called "Joe Pera Talks You to Sleep" so I clicked on it, unaware that I was about to discover my new favorite thing. It was so bizarre, amusing, calming, and deep at the same time. It didn't put me to sleep but I made a mental note to look it up in the morning and figure out who this guy was. 

The next day, I ended up bingewatching Joe Pera clips on YouTube for half the morning. It's hard to describe what the show even is. The best I can do is that it combines beautiful cinematography with the heartfelt mindfulness of Mister Rogers, and the main character is a cross between Napoleon Dynamite and a philosopher. Somehow, it ends up being both silly and poignant at the exact same time.

Here is one from the early COVID period that embodies the energy of the show pretty well:

Seriously. It's so funny, but in the most calming way.

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