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Friday, June 27, 2003

I couldn't stand looking at myself in the mirror any longer, so rather than cover the mirror with crayon drawings or papier-mâché collages, I dragged myself to the mall today and got a haircut. I've been going to the haircut place in the mall for years, and I've been satisfied about ten percent of the time. That kind of consistent success is what keeps me going back. I'd be afraid to try anyplace else.

After I put my name on the list (and crossed out the two names above me), I sat and read the North Bay Bohemian cover to cover. It turns out the paper approves of Dennis Kucinich's position on marijuana and opposes Joe Lieberman because he wants to censor pop music and video games. Since no Republicans read that paper, none of their names came up.

None of the stylists (pardon me, "stylists") seemed in any hurry to call my name, even after they finished with the heads they'd been trimming when I walked in. A lot of sweeping and many visits to the back room are required before a stylist ("stylist") is prepared to accept another sixteen dollars. Plus tip.

Since my father died sixteen years go, I don't think another man has touched me with a pair of scissors. I'm pretty sure none has even tried, but I wasn't expecting a much different experience than I get from the women who ordinarily clip me. Boy, was I wrong. This guy was rough. I think he might have been trying to see how much I could take, but I didn't give him the satisfaction of yelping in indignation (or pain).

Part of it was my fault. I told him I wanted my hair as short as he could get it, without letting it stick up straight. I gave him permission to use the clippers on the side and back (but nothing higher than number four). He begged me to shorten my sideburns, and to keep things running smoothly I agreed.

When he handed me my glasses and asked if I wanted it shorter, I wasn't sure at first. It didn't look much different from what I walked out of the place with the last time, about six weeks ago. That time, within one day, I was wishing I'd told the operator to keep going for one more round. This time, the guy told me anything shorter would stick up, and since I'm not a teenager and don't want to look like a teenager (or rather, I don't want to look like someone trying to look like a teenager), I told him to stop.

"With a little gel, it'll be fine." I told him I don't use gel, and he sort of grunted. Then he put gel on my head, saying, "I know you don't like gel, but just a little will make it look better." I could hardly grasp his wrist and wrestle him to the ground, so I just told him it was okay. I didn't thank him for going against my express wishes, but I didn't berate him for doing something that, in retrospect, looks pretty sharp, if I do say so.

I might have to get some of that gel. I'll know tomorrow when I get out of the shower whether I can look at myself in the mirror now. If a little gel helps that situation, so be it. If not, I could always smear it all over the mirror and hope I look better to myself that way.

On my way to the mall I stopped and filled my gas tank (he said, suppressing a self-satisfied smirk). I might have boasted about my newly-acquired tank-filling prowess, but I have to admit the process hasn't yet gone exactly smoothly. I never get the credit card in the right way the first time. Today I didn't get it in right the first three times, and the pump threw its exasperated nozzle in the air (figuratively) and told me to talk to the attendant.

Well, I haven't learned to pump my own gas just so I can deal with attendants, so I waited, and pushed the "Cancel" button, and waited some more, until the pump thought I'd given up and gone away. Then I tried my card again, the only way I hadn't tried before, so it couldn't be wrong. (Could it? No, it couldn't.)

They really should give you four tries instead of just three, since there are four different ways to hold the card.

27 June 03

I'm much better looking than this. (Okay, not that much.)

By the way, I didn't really cross off anyone's name. The two names already on the list were those of the two people ahead of me in the chairs. So I didn't have to cross them off. (And I wouldn't have, of course, not in a million years (which sometimes seems to be the length of the wait there)).

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Tonight's play at Summer Repertory Theatre was "Wit" (or, more properly, "W;t"), a highly literate tour-de-force performed mostly by Santa Rosa's acting legend, mollie boice. It deals directly with life and death, and also with the intellectual and emotional responses to questions of life and death. It's a very challenging play, with metaphysical poetry and clinical diagnoses both taken seriously. Too seriously, some might say, but the play is also full of humor, wit and irony. I was spellbound by it, but there was an alarming number of empty seats after intermission.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Establishment
"I'm always suspicious when that many politicians agree on something. We've gotten into a couple of regrettable wars that way."

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