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July 21, 1998
a year ago

Open Top and Unexpected Blues

The universal joint didn't fix the problem with the Stoat, it was still making the noises last night, when John took it for the test drive. So when we went out to the Stoat this morning, I found John with a screwdriver taking the top panel off the center section, between the driver's seat and the passenger's seat.

Under the panel was the transmission. He'd also taken the floor off of the passenger side and so all of the machinery under there was open to the air and open to us. I got to drive so that he could hear what was going on, and look around into the open spaces (and at the road blurring by under us) as we rumbled along. As the rpm's picked up there was a chiming sound that then buzzed much louder as we picked up speed. The sound then went away when I stopped and stayed away until I picked up a certain amount of speed and rpm's. That was interesting.

John was sticking his head into the area between the seats as we went, listening, trying to pinpoint a location. The noise was pretty tremendous, though, in that space and with all the barriers gone. So we pretty much couldn't talk on the way to work. I also took the car out to send in a bunch of dry cleaning, including my silk coat, a green dress that had been used a bit, the red silk pants which I wore on Friday in the heat, my khaki trenchcoat, and one of the kimono that I really wanted to wear like a duster. I also had to mail the package off. So I did that, and put everything in the cargo area in the back of the truck because it was scary with all the air around the passenger seat, anything that fell off the seat would be in the road.

So the errands were pretty straightforward.

Work was nice and straightforward, too. Plenty of stuff to do and plenty of knowledge on how to do it, so that was sweet. Had a linkage problem with some of the API functions I'd made up, and it was an order on the declaration that I had to clear up. They'd compiled just fine, but the declaration hadn't made things exported properly until I got the order right. Not a problem.

Another day another class...

We left for home around 7 p.m. stopped at the grocery store, B&B Auto Parts and then Target. Groceries included a very fast dinner, the auto parts shop included brake fluid for the Green Monster and then the Target stop was for all the things we thought we needed to re-dye my hair with the coloring that Angie had managed to find for me. Gloves and a shower cap and it turned out that they were having a sale on Aussie hair products and I bought more of the Aussie 3-Minute Miracle than I'd ever thought I'd ever get, as the stuff is normally $6 a bottle and they had it on sale for $2. I probably should have just bought their stock out or something. I love the scent and I love the way it works on my abused hair.

So we got home, I made dinner while John went out to start fixing the Stoat, and then when we'd eaten, it took me a while to gather everything up and get it all set up to do the dyeing. We'd done it once before, so we had some clue as to what to do and what to avoid. So I set down layers of newspaper and the kitchen stool and washed my hair in the Aussi Citrus stuff that strips out old styling things. Then we applied the dye. It was a pot of the Punky Colours' Atlantic Blue, which was what I'd had it done with in the first place, and the stuff had always turned this tealy blue on my hair eventhough in the bottle and on the lid it was the incredibly dark blue with purple undertones. I just thought it was a problem with the dye.

But John did the patient application of dye using gloves to my wet hair, then we coiled it up on my head, under a shower cap and I waited. I basically waited ten minutes then used a hair dryer to apply heat to the cap from a good distance for another ten minutes. Then I just let it sit for about another half an hour, mostly because I was reading a book. Then I went to the washroom tub, which is already completely blue-green from the previous dyeing, and absentmindedly applied the Aussie Mega shampoo to my really dark hair.

The amount of blue dye that came out was astonishing. I had kinda oopsed with the shampoo as I hadn't meant to do that. I'd kinda wanted to just rinse the hair out and then apply conditioner, but the shampoo really got a lot of dye to come out. Or so I thought. I just rinsed and rinsed and it never really ran clear, so I finally gave up, used the conditioner, and then wrapped it up in a ratty old towel and went upstairs to dry the stuff.

I'm used to my hair being darker after it's been dyed and when it's wet. But this was far, far darker than I was expecting. It was nearly black. Very, massively unexpected from this very dye that I've been having grow gold-green on me for the last nine months.

When I'd actually dried it with the blow dryer it was this sapphire blue. Nearly purple. Deep, rich and dark, with a few lighter teal streaks where the hair had been nearly white and the dye might not have quite gotten to every bit. But the bulk of it is this deep dark blue. Just like the color of the dye and just like the color of the lid for the dye. In many ways, there were way too many possible factors that I'd changed to know exactly what had gotten it to catch this time. It could have been the citrus shampoo, the heat application, and even, perhaps, the batch of dye, but it's just gorgeous now.

The hair was still shedding dye, though, onto my hands, onto the towel, onto my t-shirt, so I wrapped it up in a towel and went to sleep with it that way. It made for a slightly rougher night's sleep, but in some ways more restful because I knew that the dye wasn't going to be coming off all over my pillow and my face. That was good.

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