October 25, 2006

The Second Law of Hair-o-Dynamics


No matter what you do to hair it grows back. I think this is an amazing thing!

Four weeks ago I cut off all of my dreadies and shaved my head. This was the most dramatic thing I have ever done to my hair; the UN-do. And I have done alot of things to my hair.

I've cut it in different shapes, let it grow and not cut it at all; I've permed it, dyed it, bleached it, ratted it into a bouffant, made it white, red, black, various shades of blonde and platinum. My hair has been a gray color, beige, piebald. I was born with shoulder length black hair; had what was called dishwater blonde until I was 10. And my natural color is brunette with a slight wave and lots and lots of cowlicks. And when you bleach brunette hair you realize how much red is in it naturally.

I have had my hair very short before (2 inches) and very long where I could sit on it. But shaving my head is the most radical thing I have done, second only to the dreadlocks. It shook me up for the first week. And my head was very cold without hair. But now, I have hair again albeit very very short.

I won't have normal short hair again until Christmas but at this extreme length it is so very soft and fun to touch. My husband rubs my head and says "I wish I had a watermelon I wish I had a watermelon..."

I am already wondering, what will I do next with my hair? I think I have done it all, except see it go white, which I have dreamt of since I was a very little girl. My grandmother had blue hair (white hair with VO-5 blue) and I was fascinated by it. I don't want to color my hair in hopes of seeing the white. I think I am the only one I know that really wants white hair.

Then I can make it blue!

Posted by photocartoonist at 11:54 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 17, 2006

Confessions of a Greeting Card Writer

Even �sentiments’ have a bad day

If you hang out in Hallmark stores raise your hand. Oh wait, I’m the only one.

Now why would anyone spend more than the normal 10 minutes in Hallmark picking out their birthday cards? Well, if you happen to write greeting cards like I do, it’s not that unusual.

So you might be wondering: “How does one get a job writing cards? What exactly do you do? It can’t be that hard, you’re just saying Happy Birthday or Happy Anniversary…”

Believe me, it’s not that easy.

My writing career, if you will, began a year ago. I was taking some time off from school and a friend sent me a job posting. I emailed the woman who’s now my boss and she gave me an application of sorts. I was to come up with 10 “sentiments” – whereby she would know if I knew just what the heck she was talking about.

Within a week, I had signed the contract releasing all rights to my greetings and I was hired. I started out writing 10-15 sentiments a week, assigned to work only on birthday cards. Birthday cards cover a lot of ground, such as Mother, Father, Friend, Aunt, Uncle, Family, etc. The goal when writing for these in categories is to keep them general, so the card can be sent to almost anyone.

Since that first assignment, I’ve gone on to write for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, Christmas, Hanukkah, Thinking of You, and Valentine’s Day. Coming up with a catchy greeting can be tough some days. Yes, even sentiment writers have a bad day.

As for how it works: Every week I am given my assignment. Birthdays are usually a given, and then we either get to write something tied to whatever the upcoming holiday happens to be. For instance, Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner.

Once I know what I am going to work on I spend time browsing other cards. I poke around Hallmark, or I check out online sites to see what other people are coming up with Sometimes I listen to music. Or I might watch television or a movie to help bring something to mind.

I’ve even developed ideas based on something a friend of mine has said. When it comes down to it, I can get ideas from almost anywhere. Along with coming up with what to write for the cards, I also get to suggest what the graphics might be, the setting, characters, basically what the card will look like. Granted I can’t picture the visuals every time, but it helps to describe the idea so the artists can see what I’m envisioning.

Sometimes writing sentiments can be emotional. For instance, being assigned to write Valentine’s cards when your love life has gone to down the crapper is not a bowl of cherries. (Hmm, maybe I could use that in a card. Or not.) When that happens, you deal with it and think about what you would want someone to say to you, and how that would make you feel.

Most people hate their jobs, but I like mine. I get to make people happy. I am a writer of happiness. Knowing that I am bringing even the smallest amount of joy to someone makes it worthwhile. And being able to see the words you wrote on a finished product is amazing.

So if you happen to see me in Hallmark engrossed by the greeting cards, don’t disturb me, I might be on to something good.


Lili Zrihen is also a student at ASU at the West campus. To comment on this article, write to westexpress@asu.edu.

Posted by photocartoonist at 10:48 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 30, 2006

Getting Rid of All My Dreads


It's been an extraordinary month and it is ending in an extraordinary way. Yesterday I made a major change in my life and shaved my head. An act of defiance, an act of protest, shaving one's head is a fitting end to 34 months of growing dreadlocks.

I never knew how long I would be a dreadie. Although I have always been about HAIR having dreadlocks was a real commitment. When they were short I got alot of flack but as they got longer there was an acceptance.

Dreadlocks are hip now. You see them in the movies and on the runways, but three years ago they weren't stylish and I know that there are a lot of people who just never understood why I did it. I did it because I could and for along while I didn't know it was even possible for me to grow dreadlocks.

I have done many things with my hair over the years and I have always wanted to shave my head too. I was just waiting for the right time. And this was it. After 34 months of regular twisting my hair needs a fresh start. It grows faster; faster than average, 1-2 inches a month. And it has already started growing.

If I wanted to keep the "bald" look I would have to shave twice a day and that ain't going to happen. The truth is I don't like to mess with my hair every day. I don't even like to comb my hair regularly and the dreadlocks had special needs, but they were so cool.

And now nobody is going to believe I ever had them and I have had nothing but a positive reaction to my shaved head.

Posted by photocartoonist at 10:27 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 13, 2006

The Queasy Chronicles

Episode 1: Weapons of Mass DNA

What do you call a black and white, animated film noir style spoof on the Bush administration? Is it animated noir? Brilliant? Necessary?

Well, whatever you call it we've got one.

NoEvil Productions just finished "The Queasy Chronicles", a brilliant, necessary, animated noir which involves a Private Dick going after a Public Dick. It all begins with a dame who walks into Queasy's office (doesn't it always?) and so begins a plot of security,risk and fear. It's five minutes of Queasy investigating the powerful Hedges to find out just who's behind the evil plot... Can you guess who?

This pilot episode was created for submition to Comedy Central's "Test Pilots" contest. Wish us luck!

By DEANNA DAHLSAD for noevilproductions

Posted by photocartoonist at 04:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 04, 2006

A Fond Farewell to the Grill


Labor Day is generally regarded simply as a day of rest -- a fond farewell to the grill with one final and large barbecue with family and friends.

Its history of political ideals and workers rights may seem lost in such laziness. True, most Americans may not be able to articulate or recall the legacy of Labor Day. And we may even think it's name is ironic for 'a day off'. But we are Americans. We rest on our laurels secure in the fact that we are entitled to such a federal holiday. And you'd better believe that we'd raise hell if someone uttered that the holiday should cease!

In other countries parades and political rallies mark the day, but here in the US we prefer to sit down and relax rather than take a stand about something we already have. We mark the day, our rights, by celebrating with what does matter: family, friends, food and other fun pursuits.

It's our American holiday. We're entitled to it, and we're going to enjoy it our way.

Posted by photocartoonist at 10:23 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)