a year in my life, comedy, diary, living well, rules for life

My sweet, dear Jennifer Saunders

Sunday, 12 March 2017 —

Have you ever read a book so good that you didn’t want to put it down?

Has the book ever been so good that you didn’t want to finish it because it would all be over?

That is the conundrum I am finding myself in.  I am approaching the end of reading Jennifer Saunders’ book, “Bonkers: My Life in Laughs”.  It’s all about her life as she approaches becoming a comedy legend at the BBC.  Her pairing with comedy partner Dawn French, her marriage to Ade (also another comedian).  They have a relatively normal life.  She loves fashion, but never gets free clothes, she buys all her own clothes and spends loads of money looking good “in her head” only to find that the mirror says different.  She is one of my favorite comedy writers.  Her show “Absolutely Fabulous” just kills me.  Her sketches with Dawn French are hilarious.  He humbleness is eye-opening.

There is NOT one pretentious bone in Jennifer’s body.  She doesn’t dwell on dumb shit like not having a series renewed or even getting breast cancer.  She knows she’s a procrastinator.  She knows she doesn’t like deadlines.  She has a healthy amount of celebrity gossip without being a witch to work with or being overly scandalous.  I find that she is really pretty grateful for her life and the direction it has taken.  She definitely has lived her life as a writer would.  She has acquired some wealth from it and has inspired countless other female comedians, British actors and actresses.  She uses the term “Actress” very loosely.  She knows she’s a writer.

Something I have been taking note of is how insanely normal she is.  She forgets that she’s famous.  She doesn’t live in a “famous” mentality.  She appreciates it, but doesn’t dwell in the ego of it.

19 Chapters and I’m on Chapter 18 already holding back moans and groans from reading the ending of the book.  I want more! Her work speaks for itself.  She was put up to a dare to write the “Absolutely Fabulous” movie that was released last year in theaters and the same for her book that came out a couple of years prior.  She is a horrible procrastinator, but a very brilliant worker when she wants to be.  She makes jokes about throwing unopened bank statements away and her husband panicking, opening them, and taking care of business.

She does not read the fine print of contracts.  She asks Maureen her agent/manager to take care of the reading and has very small requests like a bottle of wine for after comedy performances and passes to get into the BBC, but overall she’s not picky.

I have lived so much of my wonderful career as a salon educator, salon owner, sought-after talent as a writer, comedian, performer, host and freelance colorist in both areas of ego and humility.  I don’t think I’m the best everywhere I go, but I know I’m good at what I do.  I don’t like confrontation, but I will pipe up when I feel tested.  I do makes requests and I do ask and even demand for timeliness and ample time for planning.

I don’t transition well from work to home or work to an event or an event to home or presentation to car ride.  I need a lot of time to think.  I need a cocktail to think over.  I need someone to drive me everywhere because my anxiety gets the best of me on long-distance trips.  I wake up and meditate daily, I pray, I read The Zohar and the Torah and require a light breakfast after.  I book three clients back-to-back and shut my book down for an hour to transition.  I don’t transition well.  I need space.  I need alone time.  Jennifer reminds me of someone like me that needs a lot time to think.

We think differently than most people, we might lay on the floor and look at the cracks in the floor boards or listen to records or eat copious amounts of French Brie and drink wine right out of the bottle, but thinking gets done.  I abhor formality in meetings and I hate formal talk.  I think we should all just be ourselves.  I do, however, detest dirty words in a business meeting and I don’t like salacious gossip (no matter who you ask).  I don’t like hearing reviews, I don’t like sitting with people in large groups unless I’m the star of the show and I expect the same respect when I ask to have a cocktail alone.

There’s alot of thoughts that have run through my head as I’ve been reading Jennifer’s book.  I can see why AbFab was a worldwide success!  I can understand the admiration she has from others as they gaze at her accomplishments and I can understand why she has chosen to be funny even when life wasn’t so funny.

The main thing I’ve learned from her is that life is funny.  Even death and illness is funny. She does not “believe in God” she hints at in the book.  I do.  I am a bit more Universalist though when we talk about The Creator.  I don’t think God is sitting on his iPad watching us on some heavenly Hulu marking our permanent records, counting our dirty words, our eye rolls at people and taking note of how many times we skipped church or lied to a client.  I just don’t think those items are so BIG AND IMPORTANT that God will be a meany and send you straight to hell.  I don’t think Jennifer is an atheist.  I think she believes the Creator has blessed her and she is simply living life as an entertainer.

I think one of the best lessons I’m learning from reading this book that I want to share with you is to NOT sweat the small stuff.  You’ll be alright.  Pull the stick out of your ass and laugh at life when it takes a shit on you.  You’ll be alright.  You’ll be absolutely fabulous at everything you do… just like my sweet, dear Jennifer Saunders.

a year in my life, diary, living well

A Chart Success

Wednesday, 1 March 2017 —

This morning I returned to the gym.  I have not been to the gym in probably two months.  For me, as soon as winter hits, I start to give up.  We all have holiday parties and bullshit we have to deal with and bullshit parties to attend.  I don’t tend to get up to work out (as it is very cold) and I don’t tend to get the tanning salon like I prefer to.  I wake up one day in mid February (predictably) and say that I feel sloshy and white.  By sloshy, I mean I can feel all my inners moving around.  When my body is toned,  I don’t feel sloshy.  Sloshy may just be my way of feeling “full” whether its bloating, eating too much, not tight enough, inflated, what have you.  I felt sloshy all last week and the beginning of this week which means, like clockwork, I’m back in the gym March 1st.

I really hate working out.  I tend to play iTunes and pretend the album I’m listening to was really produced, written and sang by me.  Each track, I’m a Billboard super star, 20x Grammy winner and a hit in Europe… especially in the gay clubs.  Gay clubbers hate me for being a gay man with this amazing career (those jealous bitches!).  I peddle faster and faster with each song (even if it’s a ballad) and imagine recording each song, seeing it dominate the charts, shoot the music video in my head and ultimately win more awards than Madonna.  In fact, she may want to work with me soon… then, the timer on the bike goes off (25:00) and my fictional success stops.

I’m out of the daydream.

I look at the mirror, not so pale, not so sloshy anymore.

A pop success!


Perhaps I’ll have a protein shake.  A vegan one, at that! I am on the up and up.

Walking out of the gym today fresh from my daydream, Madonna’s “Ray of Light” album on repeat and feeling 2 water lbs lighter, I got in the car and headed to the tanning salon.  I drove in pure silence today.  I thought about my day. I thought about the busy two weeks ahead in the salon and at Label.m.

Yes.  I’m a success. A bonafide chart success.  It’s not music I’m making and it’s not the Grammys, but I’m a success putting together classes, educating salon owners and spreading the work of the shampoo Messiah: Label.m.  Yes!  We are fabulous!

Working out has done me good.  I think I’ll keep it up.  I wonder what album I recorded that I’ll be listening to tomorrow…



Spring Break…

Sunday, 26 February 2017 —

I woke up this morning to a cold cold bedroom.  The weather is ridiculously unpredictable this time of the year in Pueblo.  I’m really not in the mood for any more snow, nor do I think its going to snow anymore.  I have clients predicting that we have ONE BIG storm coming before Spring Break.  Although, if tradition serves us right, we will be getting snow or cold weather during the week of Spring Break.

I thought I was going to be proactive and book a trip for my own spring break, but that didn’t happen.  I may just lazy around the house, but that bores the shit out of me.  To be home, wash my own dishes and sit around watching Netflix when I should be on a plane going somewhere random just depresses me.  Maybe April…. It’s a little late to book anything now.  Also, I’m kinda cheap, I don’t like spending ridiculous amounts of cash on trips.  I like to get on the plane, get off the plane, eat a couple good meals and stay as far away from my phone as possible.  Maybe I should go to New Mexico or Arizona.  Not sure yet.  I was thinking about going to Texas and seeing my friends there, not sure yet.  The point is: I’m feeling land-locked and my schedule is feeling repetitive.  I’m becoming unappreciative because I’m anxious.  Get me on a plane TOMORROW if you can!

Today I’m going into work for a couple of hours.  I have this coming Wednesday off (which is fabulous).  I’m contemplating going to see my parents and spend the day with them.  I haven’t seen my mom since my wine tasting.  I thought we were all going to get together for my sister’s birthday, but Adrian went off to Denver for the weekend.  My little sister is 29 which officially makes me old and approaching middle-age.  Oh my god, I hate the idea of middle age so much.  I hate the idea of being responsible.  I hate the idea of settling.  I just want to have fun.  I want to travel.  I want to tell everyone to fuck off while I get on a plane and go fuck off in another zip code.

I need a few days away from hair, from Pueblo, from the unpredictable weather and very predictable routine.  The world is so stressful naturally these days.  If people aren’t bitching about Donald, they’re outraged over inequality or making trouble for internet credibility.  It’s really quite boring to me.  I’m tired of hearing people tell me why they’re offended.  Instead of bitching, change the situation.

I’m looking for plane tickets this week.  I don’t know where I’m going, but I might consider finding a place without WiFi.


a year in my life, diary, Family, friends, Uncategorized

I Need A Cocktail

Wednesday, 22 February 2017 —

I woke up this morning to knocking at the door.  Should I open it?  No.  I’m in my underwear.  Knocking again, now persistently.  Still not gonna open the door.  Still in underwear.  Chris and I are asleep in the living room.  We fell asleep after horrible fast food last night when we returned from Longmont, Colorado yesterday where I was teaching a product knowledge class for Label.m.  I thought we were going to Denver.  Turns out Longmont is NOT a suburb of Denver, it is much closer to Wyoming.  If we would have driven 90 more minutes, we would have been in Cheyenne.  Chris and I were making jokes about not wearing boots for the occasion.  It was very country. The salon we arrived at was arty, vintage and very modern.  The owner was fabulous!  She told me she had a wife and I instantly felt comfortable around a lesbian.  Gay people stick together, ya know?  They were all so insanely sweet and cool.  My two hour class was more like three hours.  The only items missing were cocktails.  Chris and I fell in love with Longmont on our way back to D-town.  Part of us cringed as we hit Denver City Limits again.  We longed for the country-environment of Longmont.  All we were missing was boots.

This afternoon is a light load at the salon.  I’m looking forward to it.  After that, Chris and I have a men’s group we participate in once a month that meets at the wine bar.  I haven’t had booze in a couple of days.  I am surprised I lasted that long really.  I love a cocktail, as most folks know.  I had champagne on Sunday, but here it will be Wednesday evening… I think it’s time for a little drinky-poo.  Drinking while we talk about deep shit, emotions, self-help shit really takes the edge off the boring philosophical shit.  I love our life coach, but I’m really quite superficial about this shit.  I am the same way with my Kabbalah teacher and Rabbi.  There’s no way I can keep a straight face.  The booze tends to deactivate my eyerolling muscle. It should be an easy day really.  Right now, I’m contemplating a little lunch before I head in.

Last week, I hosted a really cute, intimate wine sipping event.  The sales rep was so sweet.   I think everyone got moderately sloshed and bought something.  I love any event where you eat, drink, drink some more and spend money with folks by invite.  Fact is: I hate random people without even knowing them.  Part of my job as a salon owner is to network and I have a really hard time doing so without a cocktail or a mission statement.  Small talk bothers me.  To me a “hello. How are you?” already drags on like a really shitty nineties boyband song.  Please let it be over, I cry on the inside.  A boozy little party with affluent folks makes the best excuse to entertain.  I only invite people I like to my events.  This event was capped due to space so I had to be VERY selective and I required RSVP.  It makes me look a bit pretentious and dick-y, but really, if anyone thinks I’m being a dick, they don’t truly understand me.  Buy me a drink, don’t kiss my ass and please don’t ask me how I’m doing…. Anyway…  The wine lady will be around to collect the order for full-on order placement today and when she leaves, I’ll proceed to the wine bar for deep shit conversations with Blair and the boys.

Yes, today is a cocktail day. The more the better.  Of course, I should take care of my clients first.


I Call It Fucking Fabulous

Sunday, 19 February 2017 —

What the hell is up with people in 2017?  We all have smart phones and are on Facebook constantly and doing all kinds of bullshit that requires zero-thinking and feeding the machine called “the internet”, but we can’t answer text messages, phone calls or fucking show up for social gatherings?  Let me tell you this:  I took two months off from blogging to get my footing steady in my life and re-center and all I’ve done is worry about a bunch of fuckers that don’t worry about me the way I worry about them.  Fuck ’em!

I went to brunch today alone. I called my mom and asked if she and my dad would be interested in joining me.  The cozy, lazy bed they shared seemed more interesting to them.  I understood (kinda) and went on to brunch alone.  Chris is not into eggs, so I let him rest and on the way to the restaurant, I could feel my eyes well up with tears.  I, for once (and probably many times before in my life), feel rejected.  I feel like people are so busy living their own lives and Josh doesn’t matter anymore.  I’ve been phased out.  I was supposed to have plans last night and my friend fell into a coma and didn’t wait up til this morning.  I was wondering what happened there.  This past week, I hosted a wine tasting and folks called off the day of the event.  I just can’t deal with that.  I had wonderful turn-out (15 people to be exact), but the last-minute nonsense kills me.

This time away from the blog has given me a chance to get some loose-ends tied up in my business and home life.  I spend a lot more time preparing meals at home and washing dishes.  It’s starting to bore me.  This is not new as domestic duties have never been my strong-suit.  Today though,  I sat and sipped champagne someone had sent over for me.  Yesterday when Chris and I went out to a thrift store, one of my older blog readers that I rarely see came up the aisle and made the sassy little comment, “is this what the famous Josh Cooley does on his downtime?”

Her smile and her candor were enough for me to smile and engage with her for a few minutes.

I sat and drank champagne and texted Chris and my friend.

Fuck everyone else.  I’m still fabulous.

Two months away from blogging and getting back behind my laptop screen has reminded me, once again, that people don’t make me happy.  I do.

Call it selfish, I call it fucking fabulous.

a year in my life, diary, living well, sunday

Just Throw Some Shit In A Bag…

Sunday, 8 January 2017 —

Thursday began the first of a 10-day stretch of work days.  Today, I’m in the salon on a Sunday and then in Denver tomorrow, back home Tuesday for a full-day and back to Denver Wednesday and back to work for two more days and off Saturday.  I am predicting that I sleep in til whenever.  I have no time limits on my days off unless I have a nail appointment or some odd shit planned. Once next Sunday hits, I have a week and half of working before I head to Dallas for Fashion Fix training with our International Artistic Director Efi Davies.  I’m incredibly excited to be included in this group of folks.

Between owning Rockstars + Lambs and working for Label.m, I am constantly moving and busy.  The day that there is NOTHING on my agenda feels good.  I think this coming Saturday is one of those days.  I do, however, want to see my mom.  I haven’t seen her since Christmas.  That’s a long stretch for me!  I don’t like being that distant from her . It’s not a fun feeling on the inside at all.

Coincidentally, my parents are traveling a lot these days and even more coincidental its the fact that they tend be be in transit at the same time as me.  They’re on their way to Salt Lake City today and Chris and I head to Denver this afternoon after I finish my color session. Always hustling— that must run in my blood.

Packing up an overnight bag is almost uneventful these days.  This isn’t my first rodeo.  I kind of just throw some shit I need in a bag and double check to make sure I have foundation, my flat iron and an Apple charger.  Off we go! Everything else can wait.  Got credit cards, got cash, got water, off we go! It’s really that easy.

As I get a little older, I always wonder how my parents did that.  How were they always prepared to leave and go on trips for work?  They just threw shit in a bag.  They went.  If you have all of your business affairs in order, you should be kosher to be gone for a couple of days.  I feel sorry for folks that don’t have a clear idea of where their lives are going.  They can’t keep minimum balances in their bank accounts, they don’t know what their schedules look like, they just kind of fly by the seat of their pants.  It’s truly horrifying to me. How can some live so insecurely?  That’s not adventure in my eyes, that’s irresponsible. I know as I tell people I can “just throw some shit in a bag and go” that it can come off as cocky, but it’s true.  It’s pressure free.

I have contemplated taking a small break from the blog.  I think some folks would argue that I don’t spend as much attention on it as I used to (and that would be true), but I feel like I need to take some time to live and evaluate what’s going on in my creative life.  I want to spend some time working on my book. I need to get my manuscript done.  I really want to submit it this year by June.  I think folks will love what I’m cooking up, but between salon, teaching, appearing and living my daily life, I have to take a break a from something, the blog is a suitable area to break from while I work silently on this project.  I’m thinking a good month will be good.  Perhaps.

As I throw some shit in a bag and get ready to jet-set this month, I am thinking February 1st seems like a great date to come back to the blog.  Time to focus on a couple other gigs for the rest of the month.  First “LuxeLove” hiatus approaching…

See you February 1st.  Will have lots to share with you then.


Follow me on Instagram @cooleyisthenewgarbo and Twitter @cooleyisgarbo and, of course, on Facebook.


a year in my life, Uncategorized

On A Mission

Wednesday, 4 January 2017 —

I woke up this morning to Chris playing music on his phone’s speaker.  I hate the sound of music being played over a phone speaker.  As great as our phones are getting, nothing beats a good stereo system or a decent Bluetooth Speaker or pair of high-quality headphones.  I think music playing from a phone sounds like a tin can full of loose change.  It’s quite obnoxious really.  I loved that he was in a good mood, but the echoing treble of the Samsung was driving me batty.  I rolled out of bed and began the espresso maker immediately.

It was Chris’ first day of barber school today.  He is a licensed cosmologist and is going back to school to get his second licensure for barbering.  He is on a mission to eat the barbers alive in this town.  I am 100% supportive of this career move and educational decision.  I remember starting Toni & Guy Advanced Academy about a year into doing hair and it changed my career for the better.  I studied with American Crew as well and took their Mens Work Course which in return made me a really strong men’s stylist.  It was all up from there.  The people I worked with hated me.  They were so annoyed that I was spending thousands of dollars on advanced academy.  They would often belittle my pursuits by telling me every day I was gone I wasn’t building my clientele.  Little did they know I was going to become the most-booked, highest retailer, top-producer, their manager and at three years in have the book a 10-year stylist.  I don’t regret a single thing I did when it came to advanced education.  I think this is going to propel Chris’ career forward like mine.  It’s going to advance him very quickly and make him a hot commodity.

His phone sounding like a tin can didn’t bother me all that much.  He was up at 8am, singing and dancing to his music and looking forward to getting to school.  That’s the bubs I love to see!

As Chris tackled his first day of school, I came home and checked email, messages and read a little bit of my book and eventually spent the entire afternoon completing errands.  I’m on a mission this year to get more time away from the salon, focus while I’m there, close up shop and work on my home life.  On top of all this, I have the juggling act of working my Label.m life into the equation.  I have a conference call Friday with two of my favorite executives there, two meetings in Denver next week and will be in Dallas for three days at the end of the month.  This new life and new adventure are shaping up to be exactly what I wanted: an adventure!

Chris and I have bitten off 2017 in large chunks.  We gladly pepper, salt and Tabasco each chunk and chomp away.  Goals are just that this year: they are missions.  He’s on a mission as am I.  One mission I’m not on this year is worrying about naysayers.  I’m worried about me.  I worry about Chris.  I worry about my friends and clients daily.  I am focusing my energy this year on growing people.  By “growing people”, I mean, not focusing on negative, unproductive energy.  I want to plant and water seeds in all my relationships, not tear them down. Gossip is unproductive.  Grudges are unproductive.  I keep taking pages out of my book and ripping them up and starting from scratch (figuratively, of course).  I think I’ve spent too much time dwelling on the negativity that is really just hearsay.  I can’t water that plant anymore…

With each song on the iPod, the Samsung, or in the car on our way to school, sales meetings and airports, it’s finally starting to feel like Chris and I are focusing on the world outside of what limitations people may place on us or our relationship.  I’m happy to say it’s comforting to me.  I don’t intend on every going in reverse again.  I don’t want to dwell anymore.  Neither of us do.

Tomorrow, I might just play my music loud on my phone too and dance around like Chris.

Kicking ass and taking names makes me excited too, bubs.