Archive for September 13, 2011

Day 142: “Remembering 9/11”

Posted in Uncategorized on September 13, 2011 by Veronica Graham

There I was just as lost as ever staring at a math exam inside a classroom at Northern Virginia Community College. I was sitting near the front of the classroom because I heard that students who sit closer to the teacher are less distracted and may be able to learn a thing or two. This wasn’t the case for me….I was staring at the math exam in front of me and I didn’t have a clue. I still have a hard time adding and subtracting integers in my head. My Dad even sent me to Sylvan Learning Center and hired a professional math tutor while I was in high school to help me learn and I still didn’t do well. It required studying and I wasn’t about to pick up that nasty habit.

The professor had just finished handing out the remainder of the exams and some students in the back were still putting their books and laptops away, one of my classmates in the back was still online and started to freak out about what he was seeing and reading. I didn’t think much of it until another student got online and confirmed that the Twin Towers and the Pentagon had been hit by airplanes, and it appeared to be a terrorist attack. Our professor dismissed class and I was happy that I didn’t have to take the exam. I was hesitant to believe that there had been an terrorist attack, but when I saw the fear in peoples eyes leaving campus that day, I knew that something terrible happened.

I left the campus and tried to call my Dad, and Thomas (we were still together) and I couldn’t get a hold of either of them. At the time, I was living with roommates in a town house near campus and Thomas was at VA Tech for the semester.  The phone lines weren’t working and I started to panic and worry about my brother. He was in middle school near Pleasantville and I wanted him out of that school and safe in his home. I drove like a bat outta hell to his school and practically forced the school to release him to me. Of course, I had to unleash my inner Hulk before he was released to me, but he was in my car on his way home within minutes upon my arrival.

We watched the news and later found out that our father was in the Pentagon for a meeting at the time of the attacks. Naturally, we freaked out and were relieved when we finally got in touch with him. He confirmed that he was safe and sound at the Country Club (which is walking distance from the Pentagon) it was chaotic at the Pentagon and he was told to leave the building immediately by a higher ranking officer. As a retired Naval officer, he got the hint and left. My family got lucky, and my heart goes out to the men and women who weren’t so lucky, and to those who lost loved ones.

Here’s to what could have been 224 Days, Veronica Graham, It was a frightful event that took place that day, and my prayers go out to the victims and their families.

Day 140-141: “2 Weddings and a Mohawk”

Posted in Uncategorized on September 13, 2011 by Veronica Graham

I spent my Friday preparing for two weddings that I had lined up on Saturday, and I was scurrying all around town to get last minute necessities. As a makeup artist you never know what someone is going to need….SOooo I bring everything I can think of. I got fresh flowers for the first wedding as a hairstyle option and picked up last minute items such as bobbi pins, hairspray, false lashes and cotton balls. My first wedding was at the Marriott Wardman Park in DC and the other was at the W. My morning started at 4:30am and by the time I got home I was physically and mentally exhausted. Being a makeup artist and creating interesting up do’s fulfill my creative itch, and I can’t stress enough how much I love it! A rush surges over my brain every time I get to do hair or makeup.

I was excited that one of the women wanted a trendy-yet-conservative-mohawk….it was my first time creating this look but I did the best I could and she rocked it in a long empire dress! I also got to do a glamour look with jewels in one of the up do’s, and bust out my favorite hairstyle “Flower Bun.”  In this profession I’m noticing what role I need to take on to be successful, and that role is a caretaker with a magicians attitude. In case you haven’t heard, I have magical brushes that enhance the natural beauty of individuals, and a tide stick in my pocket that I’m not afraid to use.

As the years have past I’ve noticed that the people I have worked with feel safe in my chair, and that makes me feel special and appreciated. I’ve heard it all, and give free advice to those willing to listen. I’m not sure how reliable my advice is, but I’m diplomatic in my approach. I even had a client insist that I stay for dinner after a bridal trial once, it was the best damn eggplant parmesan I’ve ever had. I’m slowly but surely learning what is means to be a freelance makeup artist, and I want to share what I have learned this year:

Helpful Hints for Freelance Artists:

1. Always send an invoice or make a hand written receipt for services rendered, ALWAYS…

2. When it comes to doing business with friends and it’s time to pay, instead of saying “I trust you” get it to me when you can…hand them the bill after applying a discount to it. Don’t feel guilty about charging, it’s just business.

3. When your being screwed over…there is no need to curse and act a fool, just keep a mental note to never do business with them again.

4. Always maintain control of your emotions.

Here’s to what could have been 226-225 Days, Veronica Graham, P.S. If you ever stay at the Marriott Wardman Park, the main lobby is on the 8th floor…thats all I’m saying.