Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Breathe in, breathe out: A birthday in the life of Bullet Hole Bacus

My birthday was this week. I'm basically beyond the point where I acknowledge this auspicious event. Instead I do my best to ignore the fact that I'm turning another year older. Yep. That's me. Bullet Hole Bacus, the Midwest's version of the Queen of Denial. Every year since I turned-- a certain age--I've greeted each subsequent birthday with my head down and teeth clenched, determined to plow through the day with a minimum of fanfare and a modicum of dignity.

That so didn't happen this year.

First off, as you all recall, several weeks back I decided I needed to shake things up a bit. A makeover, if you will. Something drastic. Radical. So, I start off with the hair. Okay. So I chickened out on dying it brown at the last minute and went with a perm and highlights. Sue me.

And let me tell you, I looked FINE. My hair was bouncy, wavy, and loaded with perky highlights. That is, until I washed it and in a matter of minutes I turned into a freaking poodle right before my eyes. Tell me. Why is it that the stylist (who happens to be my sis-in-law) can style my hair and I look pretty darned good for a woman who has celebrated her last birthday, but when I do it, I look like I should be wearing a big red nose and clown-sized feet and making balloon animals? Bozo's orange frizz has nothing on me. I look like a throwback to the seventies. (Okay, so I am a throwback to the seventies.) For the last several days I've been walking around wearing my Old Navy cap garnering some weird looks.

Happy birthday, frizz ball.

You'd think I'd wave the white flag. Give up my notion of making this a defining year in terms of health and fitness (after all, I've already given up soda and caffeine) and say 'maybe next year' to that new and improved me.

Uh, I'm blonde, remember? I'm not that smart.

The next phase of my jumpstart to good health took me to the Fitness Center. One of my daughters talked me into joining a 24 Hour Fitness Club. Initially, I was excited about our joint plan to get in shape. It was something we could do together. Just the two of us. So, it was with this gung-ho attitude that the former state trooper entered the gym for the first time in a very long time to go through the equipment check out. Okay, so I was a little nervous. You see, I'd made a solemn pledge to never ever run again unless I was forced to chase a bad guy after I endured four months of running my guts out during the Patrol Academy. (Puking while running in formation does not endear one to the sport of running.) As you might imagine, the idea of running anywhere--even on a treadmill equipped with a cute little TV--was not high on my list of things I couldn't wait to do. But there was that stupid pledge to improve myself dogging my tail. So, chin up, I stepped up on the treadmill.

The trainer went over the operation of the treadmill. It seems you have to answer questions for the treadmill before it will let you begin walking or running. Personal questions. Private questions. Impertinent questions like, 'What is your weight?' Now get real. If I haven't acknowledged my age for almost a decade do you really think I'm going to punch in my weight in big red display numbers for the world to see?

Next up was the elliptical machine. It didn't look too hard so I got on and started stepping. I thought I was doing a pretty good job until all the display lights on the machine suddenly went off. I looked over at my daughter.

"What did I do?" I asked. "What happened?"

"You're going backwards," she said, with an evil grin.

I blinked. "They have a reverse on this thing?" I asked.

She rolled her eyes and moved to a machine some distance away and acted like she didn't know me. Smart girl.

The weight machines came next. Thanks to my ridiculously long legs, I had to change the adjustment on every machine before I tried it out. By the time I made it through the orientation, I was pitted out, my hair was bigger than a medicine ball, and I felt as if I'd already had my workout. I hobbled over to change back into my street shoes.

"Where are you going? Aren't you going to work out?" my daughter asked.

"Didn't we just do that?" I asked. "'Cause I'm feeling some soreness," I told her.

"That's because you insist on locking your joints up when you're not supposed to," little Miss All of a Sudden Expert pointed out.

"Like I had a choice," I grumbled. "After all these years my joints kinda have a will of their own."

"Can we come back later?" my daughter asked.

"That depends," I replied.

"On what?" she asked.

"On whether I walk in here and discover someone I know. If so, I'm outta here, big hair and all," I told her.


Oh well. They sure as heck beat the alternative.

So, any of you have workout advice to share? Routines to recommend? Ways to avoid guilt when you don't work out? Sure fire frizz-fighting cures? Do tell.

~Bullet Hole Bacus~


Wendy said...

My work out regime includes walking to and from the car. About the frizz - there's this Dove anti-frizz cream (make sure it's a cream, those serum sucks) that I have and that it works well and smells good. Here it is!

Happy belated Birthday! Hope you have tons more *evil grin*

Keri Ford said...

Oh, sweetheart! get some heavy-duty conditioner to weigh it down! Go with Dove like Wendy recommended. I have thin hair and I can't use regular Dove shampoo/conditioner because it turns my hair limp and it won't even hold a ponytail. Also, are you blowdrying? I've found after perm mistakes using the blowdryer helps. Don't do that whole upside-down shake type of drying. try and use a brush to dry it straight if you can.

As far as workouts you know 30minute episodes come on tv FOR FREE? Stupid me didn't. When the excercise bug bites me, I follow Total Body Sculpt With Gilad on Discovery Health. Just record and they're on hand whenever you feel the need.

Hope the rest of your birthday went well! What's up next on the makeover?

Kathy Bacus said...

Thanks, Wendy! I'm off to check out the hair care aisle and then it's back to the fitness center. I am such a glutton for punishment.


Kathy Bacus said...

I honestly haven't blown my hair dry for years, Keri, but I'm willing to try anything. Normally, my perms are fine but for some reason, this time I'm having issues. I wonder. D'ya think it could be the Horse Shampoo and Conditioner I use on it?

Just kidding. Although I must confess I have used Mane and Tail on my hair in the past and it's not bad. BTW, it does say it can be used for people, too, in case you think I've totally lost it.

I didn't know about the TV workouts. I'll have to look into that.

Next up in the makeover department? A wardrobe reevaluation.

Oh, did I see recently, Keri, where you were a contest finalist?


Minna said...

Workout advice... Do something that you actually LIKE to do, be that taiji or swamp soccer. For example I absolutely hate skiing (thanks to my teachers in elementary school) and haven't been skiing for years, but I swim and I walk or ride by bicycle pretty much everywhere. I don't own a car, anyway. Someday I may even buy exercise cycle. That way I could workout while watching tv or listening to an audio book.

MsHellion said...

You need to do some yoga. Our teacher turns the lights off and lights candles--so you can be as ungangly as you need to be and no one will be staring (mainly because they're too focused on being ungangly).

Plus you get to lay on the floor for the last 3 minutes of class and just breath. What other gym class does that? None, I tell you!

Keri Ford said...

Oh, did I see recently, Keri, where you were a contest finalist?

*grins, giggles, and blushes* That was me. You just made my day for recognizing my name! I finaled in the Valley Forge Sheila contest. Winners announced in a month. If it can be crossed, I've got it crossed it.

When you mentioned Mane N Tail, my first thought was an excited, I haven't used that in forever! My wal-mart stocks it in the animal section for some reason :O) so I never remember it. But it's wonderful and it smells pretty good, too.

Clothes! I'm such a country girl, but I LOVE clothes. May everything you pick up come in your size, fit perfectly, and make you look fantastic!

Kathy Bacus said...

Thanks for the great tips, Minna! While I hate running, I do love to walk. I have a bicycle in the garage I haven't ridden in years but now that we live in town, I need to get it out and fixed up and ride it.

Actually, kick boxing looks kind of fun, too.

I recently priced treadmills and exercise bikes. Yowsa! My tax rebate check ain't gonna cover it.


Kathy Bacus said...

I do like the idea of the sheer relaxation experience yoga offers, mshellion. The idea of no one being able to see me in all my awkward glory is also appealing.

I just got back from an hour at the gym. My legs feel like wet Ramen noodles. It's also raining so you can guess how the hair looks.

Nobody warned me makeovers could kill you.

~Bullet Hole~

Tori Lennox said...

I think exercise is overrated. *g*

Kathy Bacus said...

Congratulations, Keri! That's a great contest to final in. I'll be rooting for you to win!

They stock Mane 'n Tail in the pet aisle at our Walmart, too. I always hope people think I still have horses when I buy it.

I've always been a jeans and T-shirt gal and those are still my clothes of choice. I just need to update and do a better job with accessories.

Let us know the contest results!


Kathy Bacus said...

I think you may be right about exercise being overrated, Tori. That's what my poor tortured joints are telling me, too.



Christie Craig said...


Great post Kathy.

And dare I say it. Happy birthday, girl.

Getting old isn't for the faint of heart, is it?

And deary, I know all about perm hair.

Thanks for the chuckle. If you need more hats let me know and I'll get you in a few in the mail.

Crime Scene Christie

Leslie Langtry said...



Kathy Bacus said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes, Christie and Les!

I wasn't able to find the Dove frizz product at the store, but I did find a Frizz Ease product to try. We'll see how it goes.

Oh, and I picked up a birthday gift for me while I was out: a copy of Jordan Dane's NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM. I can't wait to read it.

~Bullet Hole~

Jenyfer Matthews said...

Happy Birthday!!

Don't know what to tell you about exercise except that it's sort of a necessary evil as you get older. I've recently started swimming but I wouldn't say I'm enjoying it!! It's one of the only things I can do that agrees with my back though.

Your hair? Fortunately, hair grows :)

Kathy Bacus said...

'Evil' is right, Jenyfer! Bwahaha.

I imagine exercising will get easier.


Please. Tell me I'm right.


terrio said...

Happy birthday to you and thanks for the chuckle. I'm reconciling invoices so I really needed that.

Haven't had a perm in years so I'm afraid I can't help there. Hope the Frizz Ease works. I have horrible knees (10 yrs as a catcher) so regular exercise is pretty much out. However, I've found these great Pilates DVDs that are all mat work so no stress on the knees.

Best part is, you can do it at home. I have a Denise Austen one that is 22 mins and a newer one that came with one of those tension bands (purple rubber thingy from hell) that has 10 min workouts. You can do as much or as little as you like.

Much cheaper and less embarrassing than joining the gym. Plus, great and fast results.

Kathy Bacus said...

I have bad knees, too, Terrio. My knee caps like to move around on me so things like cycling have always been a bit of a challenge.

I have a weight bench in the basement--I just need to uncover it. I used to do a lot of weight lifting but got out of the habit. I suppose I should clear it off and start in again. I could use the downstairs TV to do the video workouts, too.

Man, this all sounds like a heckuva lot of work.


Dru said...

Happy Birthday.

My idea of exercising is walking. It's simple and can be done anytime the urge strikes you.

Beth said...

Cutting the fuzz? It's all about products, products, products. Oh and stay away from the hairdryer unless you have a difusser and put it on a cool setting. Your hairstylist should be able to help you out.
I feel for you. I've had perms that made me look like a demented poodle and perms that left my hair looking like a pile of wet feathers, it's awful when that happens.
Since my next birthday ends in a '0', I can relate. I tell myself the same thing you do- that it's better than the alternative. Although I don't see why the alternative can't be having another birthday with a '2' in the front! Have a great day!

Kathy Bacus said...

Yeah, it might be nice to go backwards with a birthday once in a while, Beth.

Oh, and good news! I tried the Frizz Ease product and it seems to have helped. Well, at least until I go out to class this evening in the rain and wind. And I have an informative presentation to give. You can bet your sweet patooty, it won't be on hair styling or personal training techniques.



Kathy Bacus said...

Thanks for the birthday wishes, Dru. I like to walk, too, and normally by this time I'm already established in a walking routine, but we're stuck in the middle of the winter that won't end here. I feel like I'm living in Narnia. Today's high? 38 degrees with a rain and snow mix.

I can't wait to shed my thermal longjohns for good!


Minna said...

Forgot to mention dancing. I haven't had the chance to do that since the Senior's Ball in high school (dancing with a broom just isn't the same =P ) and we danced really old dances, too -walz was probably the most modern dance of all the dances we practised. Oh, yeah. And judo seemed kind of fun, too. We had a judo teacher once on our sports lesson.

Kathy Bacus said...

I have two left feet, Minna, so the dancing would be--interesting. I used to frequent honky tonks and line dance or do the Texas two-step, but that was some time ago.

Ah, memories!


Gemma Halliday said...

Happy Birthday, girl!!!

I go to the gym in the morning before I'm really awake. It's less painful if I think it's all a dream.


Michele L. said...


Oh well, I don't have much luck at the gym either. I have resorted to pushing the easy quick start button on treadmills because it takes an expert to figure out how to customize it! I have konked my head a few times on the weight equipment also. So don't feel bad!

I have naturally curly hair also. I had a perm once and came out looking like a poodle! I will never do that again! Yes, putting conditioner on it will help tremendously. I have oily hair so it would make my hair look like an oil slick.

Hope your birthday was a blast anyway!

Kathy Bacus said...

Thanks, Gemma!

I admire your level of commitment to working out, Gemma. I really tried to get my rear up and out of the house early this morning, but it took me two hours to decide whether or not I really wanted to go.

And there was the hair fix to attend to.

Thanks again for the birthday wishes!


Kathy Bacus said...

Thank you for the happy birthday wishes, Michele!

I actually resorted to the Quick Start button today on the treadmill. I wish I had one on my behind I could push to get me going.

When my next birthday rolls around, I'm determined to be a lean, mean, fighting machine. Or a reasonable facsimile.

Thanks again!


Jana DeLeon said...

LOL Kathy - I LOATHE the gym so I feel your pain!