It’s time for another haircut. Three weeks ago was the first time I ever stepped into Tim’s Hairstyling for Men.
I’ve been trying out new barbers for a few months now … seeking the right artist to continue landscaping my head.
I can only remember as far back to when I was about 12 years old when my barber was “Charlie the barber”. He owned a shop right across the street; my dad got his hair cut at Charlie’s.
My fondest childhood memories include sitting in Charlie’s shop on top of a piece of padded wood, which firmly spanned the arms of the barber’s chair to bring me to a grown-up’s height. The shop smelled like hair tonic and cigarette smoke and Charlie always coughed so much from smoking I thought he was going to bring up a lung. Charlie was my barber until the Beatles made their debut on American television. I remember watching them and going to school the next day with my hair combed down in front of my eyes instead of the slicked back look I wore through most of grammar school. It was goodbye barber, hello stylist for the next 20 years.
I let my hair grow really long after turning 18. When I turned 20 and my hair fell past my shoulders, I had a traumatic experience; an army barber at Fort Jackson quickly shaved it all off. There were no mirrors there; I could only look down and watch my falling hair cover my feet. To this day I can’t look down at the clippings on the floor around the barber’s chair while I’m getting my haircut without reliving that frightful day.
It wasn’t until my mid thirties when I grew tired of the long hair.
That’s when the quest began.
I visited quite a few barbershops; seeking out a barber I could trust to handle my precious head. It really has been an adventure.
There was Tony the Barber who loved to gamble and once bet me he could cut my hair while only looking at me through the mirror. He shed blood from my left ear. I moved on.
I met Federico in the next shop I visited. He smoked cigars and apparently ate a lot of garlic. I couldn’t breathe. I moved on.
Mickey Scissors was a unique individual. Don’t call him Mickey. If you did, he would say, “Please, Mickey Scissors, call me Mickey Scissors”. Ironically, he would only use electric sheers when he cut hair. Really, he didn’t use scissors.
There was a stuttering barber named C-c-c-cleo who uncontrollably spit when he stuttered on P’s, a barber named Dave who always wore fatigues and used dull scissors … ”ouch, ouch again, ouch again, ouch”… and Frank the Barber who was so slow that my hair was growing faster than he could cut it.
“Paul the barber” cut my hair just the way I liked it and as a bonus he was one of the very few barbers that still used hot foam around the ears and nape of the neck, making the final trim using a straight edge razor. Unfortunately for me lots of other men were equally pleased and so I would find myself sometimes waiting up to two hours to get in his chair.
After almost two years visiting Paul’s shop it became just too inconvenient for me to wait and wait and wait. Anyway, now in my fifties, I have a lot less to work with on the top of my dome.
So the quest continues … Could Tim be “the one”?
Monday, April 28, 2008
It’s time for another haircut. Three weeks ago was the first time I ever stepped into Tim’s Hairstyling for Men.
Friday, April 25, 2008
“Scratchident … An auto mishap caused by someone scratching a lottery scratch ticket while driving!”
I have come to really appreciate words and their (not the place) origins.
All through (not tossed) the ages (not how old people are) since man (meaning all humans) began to communicate, words have been continuously developing (not like film does).
The word “scratchident” has made me (not the note on the music scale) think that I’m probably not the only one with an interest (not what you pay the bank) in words.
So let me share a few of my thoughts on words.
“I’ll never be a … funambulist”
All words have a beginning, a reason for their existence. Some date (not the fruit) back centuries (not the Roman guards) others were formed last week (not the lack of strength). For instance … let’s take the word funambulist, surely you must be curious? This word refers to a tightrope walker (not what granny uses) or a rope dancer (not the reindeer). The word comes from the Latin funambulus which (not the scary woman) also meant the same back (not the spine) then. It’s a compound of funis “rope” and ambulare “to walk”. Now, wouldn’t you (not the sheep) agree it would be unfortunate to have a funambulistident (falling off the tight rope)?
Okay, I just made that up. But (not your backside), if you did you will (not the legal document) no doubt end up in an ambulance (meaning you can no longer walk)?
“I too, will not be forced to wear a two piece tu-tu.”
This brings me to another type (not what a secretary does) of word. The kind (not the attribute) of words that sound the same, are sometimes spelled (not cast by a witch) differently, have more than one (not the opposite of lost) meaning and often get me in trouble. We call this word a “homonym” from the Latin compound homo “same” and nym meaning “I don’t know … No, really … I don’t.” What I do know (not the opposite of yes) is that you better watch (not the timepiece) your homonyms. Like when I told Domenica (she’s my wife) she should be (not the insect) a little bear/bare for the costume party. (Bop!) Or when I suggest to her, I should have some brews/bruise … (Bop!) She gives me one on the head (not the toilet).
“A baseball player needs to run home to make a homerun.”
Putting (not the golf shot) words together can (not the container) also be fun, doing so (not the darn thing) we make up new words. Some (not the total) good examples of these are the results of mixing different breeds of dogs. For instance, mating a Pointer and a Setter we (not what we yell on a roller coaster) end up with a Pointsetter (a great Christmas pet). When we cross (not the anger) a Bloodhound and a Labrador we get a Blabador (a dog that barks a lot). Mixing a Collie and a Malamute produces a Commute (a dog that loves to travel). Lastly, when we bring together a Bull Terrier and a Shiatzu we of course (not the dinner serving) get Bullsh … (Bop!) … Never mind.
“Well (not the water source) … Enough about words …
My head hurts (not the Car Rental Company)!”
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The temperature reached into the 70’s today.
Tomorrow is expected to be warmer.
It’s time for spring clean up.
Fall clean up didn’t go too well.
I was waiting for the trees in the backyard to drop their leaves.
They finally did … when it snowed.
I tried to time it right.
Of course, Mom nature just couldn’t wait another weekend.
Well, at least the leaves couldn’t find their way into the neighbors yard now. I always worried about that. They pay a landscaper to keep out my leaves. Sometimes they would sneak back over.
But, that was months ago. They’re still here in my yard. Waiting.
They look a bit crumpled and sad.
”Why, Joe, why? Why have you left us here so long?”, I swear I hear them asking.
I don’t know how to make it up to them.
I’m ashamed of myself for being so neglectful.
I watch in pain as the wind blows.
They struggle to get up to seek refuge in the neighbor’s (way too green) backyard.
But alas, they stay stuck in the dead grass I didn’t have a chance to mow … did I mentioned it snowed early last winter.
Once, during the winter, after a heavy snowfall, I fired up the snow blower to clear the usually walkways around the house.
While I blew the snow around, I thought of the poor leaves, smothered under all that snow, probably freezing, my toes were.
I veered off the path leading to the back porch stairs, then onto the back yard and it was awful. I think I killed some of them.
Most of them landed atop the fresh snow. Some mixed into the snow. Others got torn to shreds in my snow blower.
I’m not sure if anyone saw it happen. I looked around. No one was there.
I quickly covered them with handfuls of snow.
I occasionally have frozen leaf nightmares from the incident.
Last week the neighbor’s landscapers were back.
I was bringing in the rubbish barrels. I saw them pulling up in their truck. I hurried to get back into the house, trying not to make eye contact. Too late, I fell for it. They beeped the horn and I instinctively turned to wave.
I think they like me. I wonder why?
In the morning I will tend to the little squatters.
Today I bought two packages of those tall, brown paper, leaf bags.
My plan is to gather up my little brown friends and send them on a journey to the waste management incinerator for a proper disposal.
It's hard to live with myself, after what I put them through this harsh winter.
Will they ever forgive me?
I just hope it’s not too hot to work outside tomorrow.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Over the past few days, I’ve been lacking my usual train of thought due to the battle that was going on in my stomach.
So feeling ill ... home from work ... making constant trips to the bathroom ... and with not much more to do … I decided to surf.
As I mentioned my train of thought was amiss.
I would have to concentrate or I could easily end up wandering aimlessly through hundreds of unrelated sequences of websites.
Right now, I’m hungry.
I’m hungry for knowledge.
I love learning “useless” or “unimportant” information.
Why don’t you come join me?
Follow me along a short path in my brain.
Let’s go for a ride on my (slightly off) “train of thought”.
Did you know that butterflies taste with their feet?
“Feet” led me to “body parts” … “body parts” to “ears” … “ears” to …
Did you know that Vincent van Gogh cut off his ear?
“van Gogh” led me to “art” … “art” to “painters” … “painters” to …
Did you know that Leonardo Da Vinci invented the parachute?
“Parachute” led me to “planes” … “planes” to “air travel” … “air travel” to …
Did you know that the word “stewardesses” is the longest word typed with only the left hand?
“Left hand” led me to …
Wait a minute!
I just had a piece of toast in my left hand a few minutes ago.
Oh yeah … I was going to get up and butter it.
Oh … that’s what made me think of “butterflies”.
Here’s the first stop. You better hop off now.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I sometimes worry about aging … but not so much these days.
For me, worrying about my age started soon after I turned 30. I was already married 10 years and had three children. I began to wonder…
Will I live to see my three daughters get married?
Will I ever live long enough to enjoy grandchildren?
Am I going to lose all the money I’ve contributed to Social Security?
In my mid 30’s I came the closest to death as I ever have.
(That I’m aware of, anyway.) It was an eye opener, but I believe in fate, I still had stuff to do. I guess that incident marked my “age worrying peak”.
My oldest children were just over 10 at that time. By the time they were in their late teens, I was feeling pretty good. But our age gap seemed to have grown … I needed to re-connect. I wanted to keep that gap close, be their buddy, and hang out with them. That’s when desperate times called for desperate measures.
Like the time I started wearing my jeans down really low and hiking my underwear up really high. This of course was to give me a new hip look. My 17-year-old didn’t think so. I couldn’t pull it off. I was still the shape of an apple.
I tried to experience new music. In doing so, I learned new definitions for familiar words like M & M, wrap and booty. I discovered a teen language, entering into my vocabulary new words like badunkadunk, bling-bling and boo-yah.
I even learned how to re-use old words like … well … “word".
It became crystal clear; I was a dad, not a dude.
Time marched on … our daughters married and we gained three great sons.
So, I reached 50 and honestly began worrying less about getting old. I’m happy to still be alive and healthy. And, whenever possible, I revisit my childhood by acting like a kid.
For instance, when at the supermarket, I still find it funny to drop odd items like jars of pickled pigs feet and mini-franks into other people’s carts.
My goal now, at 56, is to live with the least amount of stress possible … eat what my wife tells me to … take naps … and hang out with my grandchildren.
Hey! … How weird would it be anyway to reverse my aging now and how awful would it be to stop aging at all?
The following video will introduce you to a woman who is aging gracefully.
And with one my favorites from Cold Play … Enjoy!
Monday, April 14, 2008
I can't help it. I worry.
I worry about everything.
I worry about being late. I worry about the bills.
I worry that I forgot to set the DVR to record American Idol.
I couldn't bear the thought of that.
I have to watch it right after it's recorded.
I can’t watch it while it’s live.
I have no patience.
I have to be able to fast-forward through the commercials.
Sometimes I worry about that.
I hate it when I can’t watch it right after I record it.
I usually can’t avoid the outcome when I log onto the Internet.
Even if I keep one eye closed as I surf. I worry I’ll find out who’s out.
I like to watch the elimination and be surprised.
When someone I like gets voted off the stage ... I sometimes become emotional.
I worry about that. Why do I feel that way?
They'll probably make millions anyway.
I worry constantly. Many times I worry needlessly.
I worry that I worry too much … as if I don’t worry enough already.
I wonder … should I be worried about all of this.
I think I've been a worrier all my life.
Did I worry about baby things? Maybe I worried about my 3am feedings.
Could I have worried about never becoming potty trained?
Maybe I worried that I'd never learn to walk and I'd have to crawl through grade school. I wish I could remember that long ago.
I don't think it's good to worry so much.
But on the other hand …
If people didn't worry at all, we'd be a world full of daredevils.
Criminals would be totally ruthless if they didn't worry about the consequences.
But on the other hand …
If everyone worried like I do we would be a paranoid society.
Everyone would DVR American Idol and clog up the cable networks.
But on the other hand (oops! … Does that make three hands? Oh well…)
Worrying prepares us for the worst. That’s good, isn’t it?
I know that when I’m home, finally getting to relax … and I pick up my remote to turn on my TV and click to my DVR selections and don’t find the newest American Idol … I PANIC! I search up and down … my blood pressure increases … I start to sweat … I go out of my mind.
I don’t need to be surprised like that.
If I had worried about that earlier don’t you think that it could have been less traumatic ... knowing there might have been a chance I forgot to record it?
Of course … I would have been prepared.
Sometimes I worry I'm not always prepared enough.
I totally can't concentrate when I'm worrying.
I am, oh, so annoying when I'm worried.
Just ask the people I live with. Worry is not my friend.
I wonder if it will bring bad luck writing about this "worry" thing of mine.
Oh crap! :>(
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I love music.
Back in my teens, when gasoline was 35 cents a gallon, I was the lead singer of a band called The Off and Ons.
We did strictly cover songs. We were only talented enough to mimic.
Sometimes we did songs so well they sounded like originals.
“But that really was Satisfaction!, Honest it was!”
I have met many rock musicians over the years and today I actually work with a couple. Not on stage. Those days are gone since gas since gasoline jumped to 37 cents.
These are the younger generations … the stars of tomorrow when gasoline will be $4.50 a gallon.
Recently I took in a set at a local gin mill (”Do they still call them gin mills?”)
The band was El Rancho … the bass guitar player, Dan the Man Griff is awesome!
There was one song featuring his “vocal” ability … the name of the song escapes me … the lyrics were made up of only five words. He belted them out over and over and over again.
I cant say them on this blog but here’s a clue as to what they were … I D G A F (the first letter of each word).
Here’s my impression of American Idol judge Randy Jackson critiquing Dan.
”Check it out! Check it out! Listen here, for me it was okay Dawg … a little bit pitchy … you knew the lyrics well … but, dude, your bass playin’ was the BOMB!”
Another up and coming Boston band working to make its mark is called Vera Mesmer.
Now is my chance to figure out how to imbed a video onto this blog.
So here they are folks, Singing "You and I" … Please welcome … Vera Mesmer …
Friday, April 11, 2008
“Now remember, Joe … Point of Contact. ”
Golf season is upon us now that the weather is getting better.
I enjoy swinging a club now and then.
I’m not a serious player, but if I’m gonna play …
I might as well play to break the course record.
One problem I have is that I tire too quickly … before you know it …
I’m pooped and my score begins to climb.
For those of you not familiar with the game, that’s not a good thing.
The least amount of strokes the better.
Today I’m playing with a friend who knows the game quite well.
I’ll surely benefit from his tips.
“Joe … Remember the fundamentals … First … The grip.”
It’s always good to give yourself a refresher at the beginning of a new golf season. You know … sort of a pre-game warm-up, a few practice swings and a revisiting of some back to basics instructions. Now, pay attention and you may learn something.
Swinging the club with control and maximum speed requires holding the club securely. This is important because if you don’t hold on good enough you’ll be in the woods looking for your club instead of your ball.
“Joe … Make sure you bend from your hips … not your waist.”
Posture is important to your golf swing. I appear to have a problem with my bending. This doesn’t surprise me. I think I threw my back out tightening the laces on my golf shoes. Are the hip sockets really six inches lower than the waist? And how in Heaven’s name does one bend from them? Doing my best to achieve this position has me looking as though I must find a restroom.
“Joe … You need to turn yourself slightly to the left.”
Body alignment is a very important basic. To hit a relatively straight shot, a golfer’s shoulders, elbows, hips, knees and feet, that’s right, from top to bottom, everything must be aligned together. I usually like going the extra mile, so I try to line up my eyebrows, chin, bellybutton and ankles too. I’ve been told I sometimes look like a Picasso.
“Joe … Try aiming your club face toward the target.”
For those of you not too golf savvy, this means the flat part at the bottom of the golf club should face the hole you happen to be playing. This is important because that’s where you want to hit the ball. I usually need help with this step. Well, at least someone has to point me in the right direction. I have a hard time seeing that little hole, so far away. They tell me to just look for the flag in the hole. I say … “What flag?”
“Joe … Watch that back swing.”
Finally we come to the back swing, the pivot and the impact. If all the previous steps were carefully administered that little white ball should find it’s home … right into the little hole. Okay … Everyone quiet, please. I need to concentrate.
“Ugh! … I hit that damn windmill blade again!”
Thursday, April 10, 2008
It’s time to relax. Dinner is over. The kitchen is cleaned up.
My wife says, "Let’s see what’s on TV!"
I love watching TV. I have three remotes. They drive my wife crazy. Sometimes I hold two remotes at a time. In a minute I’ll tell you why.
We nestle on the couch, ready to surf the channels. In my right hand I brandish a universal control. The universal control is way cool. With a touch of a button it allows me control over four different components. There’s a cable button, a DVD player button, a surround sound button and a TV button. I love all four buttons equally.
"So, what are we gonna watch?", she asks.
Like a maestro, my index finger touches the “TV” button and then a quick move to the right touches the “power” button. Presto! There’s a funny indescribable noise (sort of sounds like a combination boing and blip … a blipoyng) then a blue screen appears.
Isn’t the word “maestro” cool? Don’t you find it as strange as I do, that the letters “ae” in maestro sound like “eye” … as if it were “m-eye-stro” … yet the “ae” in the name Michael sounds like “ah” while the letter “i” in Michael sounds like “eye” … It’s as if the word ‘m-eye-stro” should sound like “m-ah-stro” or the name “M-eye-ch-eye-l” should sound like “M-eye-ch-ah-l”.
Hmmmm? … anyway … she’s now looking at me …
"Wellllllll? What the hell are you thinking about? Turn it on already!"
Next … index finger to “cable” button … then like lightning … again to the “power” button! No noise … but there’s a distinct change of the LCD numbers on the cable box from the time of day to the last channel number viewed. “Awesome!” … I look over to her with a big grin … she turns to me … not impressed. The picture soon appears … Oops! Big Naked Boobies! Big Naked Boobies! … Emergency! Emergency! Ring finger, right hand down 8 buttons over two to the right … press, press … CNN … Safe!
“Phewwww!” … Slowly looking over … Oh-oh … Not a loving look coming back at me … (note to self) Ring finger, right hand needs work … Not fast enough.
"Are you kidding me?”, she says, almost, but not quite under her breath. Looking back at the screen … mouths moving but nobody’s talking.
As if by second nature my index finger hits the “auxiliary” button … then the “power” button … Sound from all around (hence … surround sound).
OK … now we’re ready! Middle finger down to number pad 3-0-1 … HBO … saw it … over two buttons right side … up arrow … 302 … re-run … back to keypad 8-0-4 … “Access Hollywood” … looking over … she’s finally smiling but I just can’t take that celebrity crap … keypad 8-0-7 … “Jeapody” … I know! I know! … "What is Pluto!” … I look over … so proud of myself … "I’m gonna send you to the freekin’ moon in a minute, where you can get a different view of Uranus! Now, change the channel you knit-wit!”
She loves me.
"Okay! Okay! I’ll find us something good."
Time for drastic measures … middle finger … long button … bottom center … the “DVR” button. I love DVR! I record all my favorite shows and watch them later.
There’s a long list … scan down, down again, down further, further … no … up … no back down … further … that’s all I got recorded? … Back up … further … further … “OW!” (as her almost loving slap to the back of my head sent it forward) … “Well, that was uncalled for!", I said.
"That’s it!", she said, ”I’m gonna read the newspaper.”
“No! Wait! Wait”, I pleaded. She sighed. My fingers went back into action.
The last resort … this has gotta work … Index finger up 14 buttons then left to the “On Demand” button. … Oh crap! Where to now? Where to now?
“Movies” button … then “New Movies?” … No they’re $4.99 a pop … “Free Movies”? … OK … “Drama”? … I look over … No smile … “Adventure”? … I look over … Still no smile … “Westerns”? … I don’t bother to look over … Ah here we go … “Romance” … I look over … Finally … a smile … Sorry, I just can’t … over one to “Comedy” … …
“You ass!”, she says, while getting up.
“Left hand!” … “Calling left hand” … "Danger! Danger!"
In my left hand … The DVD remote … Index finger, left hand … Top row … “Play” button … Press … Press … Contact!
Instantly … Granddaughter Lucia’s face fills the screen.
I look over … She sits, cuddles up, and smiles.
With remotes still in each hand … I concede.
I’ll just have to wait a few minutes 'til she falls asleep.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
I love a good argument.
Growing up my mom used to tell me that I should become a lawyer.
I argued a lot with my parents. Mostly, I lost.
But I guess she thought I argued well enough to be a lawyer.
I don’t like debating … that’s way too formal for me.
Sometimes I like to swear when I argue … can’t do that in a debate.
One time … on a serious subject … I suggested to my wife that we should debate the issue.
She laughed and said … "What? You’re not going to swear?”
I thought it was funny too. I said ”Forget it!”
She had me … How can I win … laughing and not swearing?
I used to tell my kids … ”Don’t you argue with me!”
Now that I think of it … why would I do that?
I have deprived them of a skill I should have handed down to them.
Well … luckily … they’re women. Arguing comes natural to women.
We can argue about that … some other time, maybe.
See how I did that? You didn’t even have a chance to win that one.
Mom was right … I am good.
I’m even good at avoiding arguments.
”Honey, Do I look fat in this dress?” She’d challenge me.
”Oh sweetheart … “ I’d say ”… Have you taken a good look at me lately?” and without missing a beat, to keep her off balance, I add … "My hairline is so far back now I can’t tilt my head forward enough to see beyond my way-too bushy eyebrows and while I look into the mirror I can’t help but notice that I can actually comb over my ear and nose hairs to help the lack of hair beyond my forehead not to mention it all seems to be turning grey … which reminds me … look here at my grey chest hairs … OH MY GOD … I’m looking down and I can’t see my fn feet … where are my fn feet? Honey? I ask "Do you think I look too fat?”
Then she says “Oh honey, come here, you need a hug, stop being silly.”
Argument avoided … Argument in disguise, won … mom was right.
Monday, April 7, 2008
Recently I added a new word to my vocabulary.
I believe verbal growth is important.
You don't want to ever run out of things to say.
In conversation, if I ever hear a new word I say …
"Stop!" "Please ... What was that you said?"
Usually there's a quizzical look staring back at me ... at least for a moment.
That's when I explain that I simply didn't understand.
A stranger and I were just talking about the Red Sox.
We were discussing how we both wished we could get to a game.
The word came right out of left field.
I was saying words like "banging out sick from work" ... "scalping" ...
"E-baying" ... "fagetaboutit"
He was saying words like "very expensive" ... "not having enough time" ...
"and besides I'm known to be an uxorious husband"
He chuckled while saying it ... you know ... as if he made a joke.
His wife (quietly standing next to him) smiled ...
as she turned and looked at him ever so lovingly.
"OMG! ... Nice move, guy!" ... I thought to myself.
I got to get me some of that.
I haven't seen that look in my wife's eye since I promised ...
if she really, really needed it ... I'd give her one of my kidneys.
"Stop!" “Please. I'm sorry. I didn't get that.”
Married for more than 35 years ... I've been many a type of husband.
Could I have missed one?
His explanation to me was ... "Oh ... My wife doesn't like baseball."
He wasn't very helpful with my quest for verbal growth.
The spelling is correct ... it took me 25 minutes to google it.
Sorry … I love my wife ... but ... uxorious ... I'm not.
For God's sakes ... We're talking BASEBALL here!
Saturday, April 5, 2008
It’s my day off. I get two a week. Today is one of them.
I’m here, coffee in hand …wondering how to start my day.
I’m not sure why ... but I think I’ll activate my super power.
Its a secret super power ... so don’t tell anyone.
I don’t really have to ask you to not tell my secret.
Later ... I will simply remove it from your mind.
I can do that ... its part of my power.
Any way ... my power ...
It has to do with mind reading, ESP and thought control.
I think I picked it up after a fall when I hit my head.
I’m not quite sure when that happened (or if it really did happen).
I do find it strange though ...
I can’t seem to use my power to figure out how I got it.
Only thing I can figure is ...
I must have used my power on myself ... removing the memory ...
So that I won’t possibly slip up and give my secret away.
See ... it works ... I told you.
Lets see ... There is a reason I’m telling you this.
I just can’t remember what it is ...
I assume, once again (yes its happened before) my power is out of control.
Which brings me to an important factor I think you should know.
I have discovered I have ...
“SSPCP” ... Super Secret Power Control Problem.
I will work on this ... Once I master control ...
I will not only remember messages I secretly sent out to you ...
But I will also discover what I have accidently erased from your memory.
So ... until then ... you can just blame me for the times you ...
Couldn’t find your keys ... forgot that important meeting or
missed a birthday ... I ‘m sorry.