What’s it worth to you?

A few years ago, I had to do a phone interview with two Israelis, living in Jerusalem. Because of the time difference, and the ridiculous hoop-jumping one had to do in our office to make an international call, I opted to call them from home, first thing in the morning, and expense the bill later. Two calls to Israel, 70 minutes total = $240 on my phone bill.

I should have just passed the pain along to my ungrateful employer, but the sum was so insulting I called to see if it could be negotiated. It could. For signing up retroactively for an international calling plan, and understanding that it could be cancelled in five more days, they gave me the international-plan price: $17.

I took Econ 101 AND 102, but when prices can vary that much, it makes me realize I wasn’t cut out for life in the business world (or running a hospital). Today I got another lesson: The 4-pin to 6-pin Firewire cord.

At the Apple store: $30.
At Best Buy: $40 (I should note this specimen was 17 feet long).
Via the internet, a 3-foot version: $4.

Ah, well. If you want to talk about ridiculous prices, yesterday I paid more than $4 for a sugar-free triple-shot vanilla latte at Starbucks Fourbucks. I had a caffeine-deprivation headache at the time, however, which made it more like buying aspirin. The headache went away while my stylist painted blondeness into my hair.

“If only I were a man, I could enjoy having your boobs two inches from my cheek,” I said, all at once realizing that said boobs were significantly larger than they were the last time I got my hair cut. “Why, you’re pregnant.” Six months, in fact, which means I didn’t notice last time, when she was 4.5 months along. Well, no one ever said I was a good trained observer. Besides, haircuts are the only time I can bury my nose, guilt-free, in In Style magazine; I’m not really looking around to see who’s packing a fetus under their apron.

The highlights came out well. Decrepitude is held at bay for another few weeks. I asked the stylist if she’d consider a few platinum streaks in front a good idea, and she said that not only was her answer no, “if you asked, I wouldn’t do them.” Well, excuse me. See how you feel in 20 more years when your gutters guy, the one with the freshly healed bullet wound and the Chris Farley physique, says you remind him of someone famous. Vintage Brigitte Bardot? Mid-period Susan Sarandon? Bette Midler, for cryin’ out loud?

“Carol Burnett,” he said. I wanted to dye my whole head green.

Ah, well. Enough of my mid-century angst. On to the bloggage!

“My chicken is in political exile” — only in Ann Arbor.

My birthday appears 647,751 digits into pi. How about you?

Via David Mills, three short web “prequels” for “The Wire,” a few scraps as we count the days until the best show EVAR starts its final season. He likes When Bunk Met McNulty, and it’s OK, but my heart belongs to Young Omar. Also: Young Proposition Joe.

Assholes With Guns, chapter 7 million: Seven-year-old girl shot six times trying to protect her mother.and it’s still going on. Via Roy.

To the gym. Have a swell day, all.

Posted at 9:31 am in Current events, Media, Popculch, Television |

29 responses to “What’s it worth to you?”

  1. John said on December 5, 2007 at 9:46 am

    You got duded up and no picture? What the Hey? You have a celebrity-starved (not all of us live in LA) audience to feed and you are skimping at the trough.

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  2. Connie said on December 5, 2007 at 9:46 am

    My husband always evaluates his haircuts based on the amount of boob brushing that happens during. In many ways he is still 13.

    Oh, and did you find your feet? I was worried.

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  3. Jeff said on December 5, 2007 at 9:55 am

    (Pausing his pathetic little happy dance)

    Gene Weingarten said “I like this question” in answering mine on Chatalogical Humor! It’s amazing how much internetity one can catch up with when they close the schools with two (TWO!) inches of snow and you’re at home with the Little Guy and all appointments (mine were at schools) cancelled.

    But Gene likes my question! He really, really liked it!

    (Back to happy dance)

    (Pause –)

    Guys, i recently learned, the two of us being in the Nancy/Burnett bracket (hey, she was hot in “The Four Seasons,” Nancy), that when your beloved asks “Do you think i should use a bit of color on these growing grey streaks,” the correct answer IS NOT “Hey, hon, the grey looks good on you, don’t bother.”

    You misunderstood the actual meaning of the question if you say that. I now know. The response is “Sure, if you’d like the look of that — go for it, hon.” Not that this helps me now. But if i can just help one other man . . . it was worth it.

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  4. nancy said on December 5, 2007 at 9:55 am

    My feet were behind the refrigerator. I’m always forgetting them there.

    OK, here you go, John. This is me pulling my ear like Carol:


    Note the highlights!

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  5. brian stouder said on December 5, 2007 at 10:03 am

    Very nice!

    (now, my trough runneth over)

    edit: my birthday hits pi at the 2997 digit…so not only my trough is full, but my pi isn’t far off…woo hoo!!

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  6. derwood said on December 5, 2007 at 10:09 am

    Why I like NN.c:

    “packing a fetus”

    This makes me laugh…I don’t know why.


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  7. jcburns said on December 5, 2007 at 10:15 am

    I’m so glad we’ve had this time together,
    just to have a laugh and share a smile!

    ps: birthday pi (apple please): 273133.

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  8. MichaelG said on December 5, 2007 at 10:23 am

    I got no birthday pi. It can’t find me.

    I go to an old fashioned barber so there’s no hoping for leaning. What’s tough is that I can’t read without glasses and they have to come off for the haircut. Oh well. It doesn’t take long.

    A guy here at work who is about the same age as I am showed up Monday with his hair all dyed brown. He looks ridiculous. How can people be so stupid? The Monday AM meeting was filled with hilarity at his expense.

    On the other hand, Nance, you look great.

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  9. Peter said on December 5, 2007 at 10:29 am

    Well, I don’t want to say you look exactly like Carol, but if your husband starts laughing uncontrollably at your jokes and your daughter suddenly has an interest in “Mama’s Family” reruns, I would be very afraid.

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  10. John said on December 5, 2007 at 10:38 am

    Damn Girl! You are smoking! I’ll photoshop out the wedding band and put you in as Ms November for my 2008 Desktop calendar.

    Ditto on what Connie said about her husband. Haircuts (like most of life) are always a lot more fun with boobage.

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  11. Dorothy said on December 5, 2007 at 11:01 am

    Your hair looks FAB and you don’t look a day over 35! I decided to “let Go and let Grey” about 3.5 years ago and I really love it. I’m salt & peppery these days.

    My pi birthday is 130,327 digits down the Pi Road. And there are a lot worse celebrities you could be compared to. No one comes to mind right off, but Carol has her strong points so don’t worry about the comparison.

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  12. nancy said on December 5, 2007 at 11:07 am

    Sure, Dorothy, it could be worse:

    “You really remind me of Amy Winehouse in her pre-OD period.”

    Oh, and Jeff: Tell your wife to ask her stylist about tints, which are really great on gray streaks, before gray becomes non-negotiable. Reasonably priced, no-line fading and a nice psychological boost. BTW, I can’t believe you stepped into the trap in that question, although every man I know has, at some point. After my friend Lee’s wife had three kids in five years, she said, “You think we could afford a breast lift?” He said, “Well, I guess if you really want one, we could swing it.”

    The correct answer is: “Why would a fox like you want to waste money on that?”

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  13. LA mary said on December 5, 2007 at 11:21 am

    I look more and more like my grandmother everyday, which is good news and bad news. Bad being she was a fairly unpleasant old lady. Good news is she died at 86 with almost no grey hair, and I was lucky enough to inherit that gene. She also had a huge ass.

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  14. brian stouder said on December 5, 2007 at 11:22 am

    Edit: Mary – I have found there is a significant inflation-factor between what a woman conisders a “huge ass” and what a normal man would. In general, curves are a GOOD thing!

    My favorite show on satellite tv is John and Kate Plus Eight –

    a semi-‘reality’ show on Discovery Health (I think); I LOVE that the husband always sounds a bit tired and put-upon, and his wife is invariably funny and quick to laugh at herself when they’re sitting down with the camera (away from the kids), and she’s absolutely no-nonsense when they’re out and about with the young folks (most especially ‘no-nonsense’ toward her husband!)

    Anyway – Kate has her hair high-lighted; she’s a bit ‘blingy’ in her tastes – but generally speaking, the looks of the proprietess of this place reminds me a bit of her (owing as much to attitude as anything else)

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  15. Julie Robinson said on December 5, 2007 at 11:43 am

    Carol Burnett is one of my heroes, for the way she took a crummy childhood and made millions of us laugh, while always living with grace. So I think it’s a good comparison, Nancy.

    And I’m all for fighting off the years with the use of hair color. I’m mostly salt now, and as with many brunettes, it ain’t good on me. When I’m with my sister, who is au naturel, people thinks she’s my mom.

    Dorothy, were you blond originally? Some tone in blondes’ complexions seems to work better with gray.

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  16. nancy said on December 5, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    Some tone in blondes’ complexions seems to work better with gray.

    See Meryl Street in “The Devil Wears Prada.”

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  17. Danny said on December 5, 2007 at 12:13 pm

    My wife is almost at the half-century mark and is a blonde who has yet to show any gray. Come to think of it, me too, with the exception of a few extremely blond hairs if I let my beard grow.

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  18. Dorothy said on December 5, 2007 at 1:11 pm

    Never been blonde in my life, always a brown-eyed brunette. Here’s a picture of me taken on Sunday:


    I think I have more pepper than salt, but in person you’d see a little more grey, I’d wager.

    And here’s my (5 years younger) sister Diane and her daughter Alison. The red hair comes from her paternal grandmother, and maternal grandfather. My dad was a dark red head when he had hair in the early years.


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  19. Connie said on December 5, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    I was a tow headed blonde kid, and stayed naturally blonde until my mid 30s when my blonde starting going brown. Deadly dull dishwater blonde, now with a sprinkling of gray. I have highlighted regularly, but am currently trying to get to where I can see the whole impact of my natural color. Being a blonde turns out to be a key part of my mental self-image, and this brown stuff makes me depressed. After all, remember I am a Dutch girl from Holland Michigan.

    What I really want is that glorious white that my grandmother’s hair became in her older years.

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  20. alex said on December 5, 2007 at 1:38 pm

    I’m gifted with great hair genes on both sides, which means that fairly often I’m accused of coloring when people find out I’m 46. It happened again yesterday. Wish there were a way, besides dropping trou, to show it’s fer real.

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  21. Mindy said on December 5, 2007 at 2:13 pm

    I’ve been going gray for some time, but it’s hard to tell unless I put my hair in an up-do. Then I’ve got yellow against stainless steel silver, which is hideous. So no more pinning my hair up until it’s all silver. I hate the thought of getting on the hair color merry-go-round because there’s no getting off of it. My mother’s been coloring her hair L’Oreal’s Red Penny for years and years. When I was a kid she sometimes colored her hair in a hurry, which made our bathroom look as though someone had been murdered. I also hated listening to her fret about getting away without color for another week. No thanks. I’d rather spend all that money on wine.

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  22. ashley said on December 5, 2007 at 2:24 pm

    Nance, thank you for the gift of advent boobage.

    I’m in lovely Bahrain right now, and just made a call to my doctor in New Orleans via Skype. Net cost: 9.5 euro cents.

    My hair hasn’t bothered turning grey, it just fell out. Now, I’m getting grey chest hair, which truly sucks.

    Carol Burnett is fine, but I used to live across the street from Vicki Lawrence in Long Beach. Dat bitch is evil. Had my car towed once. I egged her house. I was 30.

    I had an amazingly busty dental hygenist a few years ago. I’d eat a box of Oreos before I’d go see her for a cleaning.

    BTW Nance, if you were a guy wearing those eyeglasses, I’d be playing the “Gay or German” game one so often plays when encountering glasses of that ilk on a man. On you, however, they rock the llama’s ass.

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  23. Jeff said on December 5, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    Nancy, nice hint, tho’ the tinting has already happened — my mis-speaking was some months back. Something to do with a 30th class reunion. It does look fabulous, he said sincerely, not strategically.

    (But if i was supposed to say “sure hon, go ahead” to tinting, why would be obvious that the, um, other question is to be answered “no way, hon, don’t do it”? Two plus decades and i’m still larnin’ ’bout this marriage thing…)

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  24. sue said on December 5, 2007 at 2:46 pm

    I tried to do the pi thing at work and my computer exploded.

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  25. nancy said on December 5, 2007 at 2:48 pm

    Maybe your computer prefers cake.

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  26. Julie Robinson said on December 5, 2007 at 2:56 pm

    Dear Dorothy, you are years away from L’Oreal.

    Which I bought at a grocery store that has a customer loyalty card, the kind you have to swipe to get the sale prices. Exactly four weeks later a coupon spit out for Nice ‘n Easy root touch-up, with the color name guaranteed to match the color of my L’Oreal.

    Part of me is horrified at the invasion of my privacy, yadda, yadda. Part of me is thinking, “Great marketing–I might have to try this stuff”.

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  27. LA mary said on December 5, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    My pi is 1505.

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  28. basset said on December 5, 2007 at 11:54 pm

    mine’s 1168. hair, brown but thinning, just a few gray hairs on the sides. gray skunk stripe in the beard, which is one reason I don’t wear one.

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  29. harry near indy said on December 6, 2007 at 6:47 pm

    nancy, thanks for the link to alicublog. roy’s been reading dreher for a while, and i’m thankful for that, because that means i don’t have to.

    dreher’s a tool. he doesn’t want a god to love and serve; he wants a devil to hate and sinners to punish — like too many church goers.

    julie robinson — i concer with you about carol burnett. i hope you saw the recent program on pbs about her. illuminating and hilarious. and i didn’t know she was in her mid 30s when her variety show started — i thought she was about 10 years older.

    btw, my mother was a redhead and as she aged, she started to look like a blonde. people asked her if she was dyeing her hair.

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