Monday, June 27, 2016

Hair today


This isn't the first time I've written about hair...well actually my hair. I am in my late 50s and I still have a full head of hair. Albeit, it is silver. I used to pay large sums of money to have my hair cut and styled. But I used the Great Recession as an excuse to stop paying $50 to have it cut and styled and start paying $14 just to have it cut.

For the several years now I have forgone the luxury of high priced salons that offer you coffee while you wait, have separate shampoo stations where they wash your hair (with warm water) and give you a head massage. I traded the modern clean salon for a small barber shop in a strip mall staffed entirely by Vietnamese stylists that seemed to change every time I went in for a haircut. No reservation was ever required. And a shampoo cost extra. Though occasionally, depending upon the stylist, they would give me a head massage.

When I went to higher priced salons, there was a certain predictability in how my hair would look. I'd always have the same stylist and she would always know how I wanted my hair cut. At the barber shop, I rarely have the same stylist and my hair was seldom cut the same each time. Plus it was a haircut. There wasn't much in the way of style. But it was only $14.

Not too long ago, my wife pointed out that I have always had nice hair and it was a shame that I was getting consistently bad haircuts since I lowered my standards. So I decided to give a higher priced salon a go of it again. I searched online for local salons and found one in downtown Edmonds that seemed reasonably nice and was close enough to walk to. It had an online scheduling system that I thought was pretty cool, because, being an introvert, the less contact I have to have with people the better. So I scheduled a haircut for last Saturday afternoon.


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Thrower in the wry


I watched a documentary about J.D. Salinger the other night on Netflix. And I have to say, I came away from watching it knowing more about J.D. Salinger than I had ever really wanted to know, but with less of an understanding of why people are obsessed with Catcher in the Rye.

Now granted, it has been more than 40 years since I read Catcher in the Rye. It was required reading when I was in Junior High. Holden Caulfield, the book's main character,  is recognized in the literary world as a symbol of teen angst and rebellion. But I just didn't find him relevant.  I grew up in Boise and Holden Caulfield, the main character was growing up in New York. I can state with great conviction, these are two very different cities.  Coalfield's attended prep school and his family had money. I attended public school, my father was a janitor and my mother worked part time in a grade school lunch room. So you get a sense of where my family was on the money spectrum.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Condo of Blues


"House of Blues" has been franchised, so I thought I'd think smaller and go for "Condo of Blues." It seems more suburban and middle class anyway.

"Condo of Blues" was inspired when I put on my House of Blues cap this morning and thought of the irony that I'd purchased it at the House of Blues in Downtown Disney in Anaheim. Because nothing says the blues like Orange County (though apparently the one in Downtown Disney has closed and is moving to the Garden Walk a few blocks away). Oh, I've been to House of Blues in New Orleans, too. But still, it is a franchise bent on serving up the blues in a nicely packaged way for mainly white tourists.

But being being white, aren't we all tourists when it comes to the blues?


Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Mock of ages


Maybe it is because I watched The Intern, the story of a 70 year old interning at an e-commerce start up (starring Robert Deniro). Or maybe it was the physician's assistant at Group Health telling me the antibiotic he was prescribing for what he thought was pneumonia worked best on young people in good health (implying I was neither).  Or maybe it is just the weariness of being an aging Baby Boomer in a Millennial world. But my world view is becoming pretty pessimistic.

The Robert Deniro film was actually kind of entertaining if not a bit trite and predictable. It painted an image of a youthful world actually coming to respect the wisdom and experience of a senior citizen. That doesn't happen in the real world. Shoot my seven year old son insists he knows more about everything than I do.

The visit to the medical clinic wasn't the high point of my weekend. But after five weeks hacking up things that polite society would cringe at, I gave in and went to the doctor. Okay it was only after coughing to the point of throwing up that I couldn't ignore the fact that whatever I have wasn't going away. Of course, this was on Memorial Day and my regular doctor wasn't working. So I had to go to a walk in clinic in the back of a Bartell Drug Store. The "consultation" room was the size of a broom closet and the sole physician's assistant wasn't overly friendly or optimistic.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Not measuring up


met·rics
noun
1. the use or study of poetic meters; prosody.
2. a method of measuring something, or the results obtained from this. "the report provides various metrics at the class and method level"
I check my blog stats more regularly than I post on my blog. It's a bit like cutting open a chicken and staring at the entrails in hopes there will be some epiphany there. But all I see are chicken guts.

Now granted I rely on the stats Blogger.com provides for free. So I shouldn't look a guest chicken in the entrails. But Blogger tells me I have had 219 page views on Friday, but only 41 posts were visited. So am I to assume 178 visited and had no interest in actually reading anything.

I still suspect that many of the disappointed visitors didn't actually visit any pages were somehow lured from the slew of Russian sites shown in my traffic sources metrics. But according to Blogger, only 32 have come from those sites.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dream weaver


I've always been fascinated by dreams. I wish it were possible to actually record them (i.e. like a video, not write them down). Something tells me they would be binge watching worthy.

Or just meaningless crap.

My dreams seem to revolve around geographic locations out of my childhood. I'm often find myself at the house I grew up in. Occasionally it becomes a mutation of the first house I bought on my own. I lived there for about 18 years alone. I don't dream about any of the places I rented along the way.

The odd thing to me about dreaming about the house I grew up in is that it no longer exists. Even seeing photos of the interior of the house now sets off weird pangs of sadness and nostalgia. Because the only place I can see the place anymore is in old photographs or my dreams.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Sick and tired

I am not a person who is prone to sickness. This is not to say I never get sick, I just don't use a great deal of sick days.  For the past several years, the only time I've called in sick is to stay home with a sick child (who more often than not were just sick of school). But last week I missed two days of work because I was sicker than a proverbial dog. Not that I know why a dog is called out for being any sicker than any other animal.

But I digress...weakly...because I am still not feeling a 100 percent well.

I've made no secret that I was raised Christian Scientist and didn't go to doctors until I was in my early 20s. So for much of my formative years, being sick was severely frowned upon and met with very little sympathy and no OTC medicines.

I've gotten past not using OTC medicines (which are for the most part useless). But I haven't gotten over the guilt of being sick. And I avoid doctors like the plague.

Ironic statement.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ghost stories


At dinner the other day, my son asked his sister whether she knew any ghost stories. She began reciting a number of stories she'd read in a book of ghost stories from her school library. It dawned on me as I sat their listening to her that I don't know any real ghost stories. I have never really experienced something that I could truly call an encounter with a ghost (though this is the second time I've pondered this in my blog...the first time was in a post called I ain't afraid of no ghosts back in 2005).

It isn't without trying. Before we were married, I used to take my wife on trips and stay at reportedly haunted hotels. We stayed at the Del Coronado in San Diego, the Queen Mary in Long Beach and Geiser Grand in Baker City, Oregon. We also stayed at Thornewood Castle in Lakewood, Washington. All reported to be haunted places. But I didn't see nary a ghost or ghoul.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Unoriginal thought


I was listening to a TED podcast (TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design) the other day on original thought. The basic premise was that there really was no such thing. All of our art, music, literature, movies and inventions are derivative of things that others had already thought of. We, as a species, don't create. We tinker and add on to things.

This fits with my posts about Googling great ideas I've had only to discover three million other people have already had them. Apparently, the Big Bang (not the television series) was the only original thing that has ever happened in the universe.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

I'm the king of the world!


All my blather about Trump wanting to be king conjured up these memories of the good ol' days of my blog when I had themed weeks of Photoshopping my face onto famous people's images. It was 2006 and I was giddy about the newness of blogging. It was in a post called It would be good to be a king that I first considered making myself a king.



Friday, April 01, 2016

The man who would be king


I can think of no conceivable reason for anyone to want to be President of the United States. Yet all of these people pump millions of dollars into campaigns trying to get nominated for a job that lasts four to eight years and basically opens up you and your family to constant scrutiny and criticism. Okay the salary and benefits amounts to about $600,000 a year. And you do get a $200,000 pension for the rest of your life. But is it worth it?

I don't think Trump is wanting the job for the money. And he certainly doesn't strike me as someone who wants to make a positive change in the world. So I can only conclude that he wants to be king. And the revolting peasants are rallying around him caught up in the demigod's rhetoric of hate and fear.


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

I'm going to read a book



And what book, you may well ask: Infinite Jest, the 1996 novel by David Foster Wallace. It is a 1,079 page novel that is said to be the "defining work of the 1990s" by people who say such things.

And why am I going to read this book? Because I just watch the movie, The End of the Tour last night. It is based on writer David Lipsky's memoir, Although of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself which is basically the story of Lipsky's experience going on a book tour with Wallace in 1996 to write a story for Rolling Stone.

It's a great film, BTW.