Friday, July 27, 2007

Historical Archives

This is pretty much a stopgap post, designed to fill the void until I can blog about tomorrow's experiences at Scotch Martini Night.

While cleaning out my closet in preparation for my move, I came across an old notebook. Amidst my own personal notes on Sebald's The Emigrants and my notes from my American History course, I find the following page, which I reproduce here for your amusement. I have attempted to conjecture explanations where appropriate, in italics.

Library Date (The page opens with this mysterious heading, which is crossed out vehemently. Given the location of said page within my notes, I believe we can safely place it within the context of English 100 Winter Semester Training. Furthermore, the crossing out of the heading indicates that we never did in fact learn when our library dates were at that time. Not surprising, given just how little we actually learned during that training.)

Gwen, are you sure I can't convince you to go see Tristan and Isolde instead of Kong? (I can only assume that I am speaking here to my colleague Gwendolyn Fungy-Phipps, a noted scholar of 17th century Polish folk music and deep lover of the works of Mozart's second cousin, Bartolomius. The movie reference of course indicates my desire [as yet unfulfilled, alas!] to see Tristan and Isolde, the epic tale where James Franco tries desperately to be a leading man and not just Harry Osborn or the child of some other, more famous actor [see City by the Sea]. At the time, I maintained that, given our proclivity for adaptations of famous works of literature, we should see this movie with all alacrity. Clearly, I was outvoted in favor of a giant ape.

I do, but I've seen it already. (Here Gwendolyn apparently attempts to entice me into seeing Kong by offering to show me her collection of spores, molds, and fungus which she keeps in the office we share, safely contained in half-empty Coke bottles. Having had to throw out several specimens at various points throughout the year, I was not to be dissuaded from my desire for brilliantly adapted medieval romance.)

It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
It's the end of the world as we know it.
And I feel fine. (Clearly I had just seen the film The Day After Tomorrow, in which I learned that if I just stayed inside, global warming wouldn't kill me, no matter how many ice storms and cgi wolves it unleashed. This most likely led me down my usual train of thought, how to survive inside Helen C. White during the apocalypse. Which, I do not doubt, led to its corollary, how to survive inside HCW during a zombie infestation. I often dream about fortifying our concrete bunker of an office building, as we could most likely defend it indefinitely against any kind of undead attack, provided we managed to secure provisions and weaponry at the first sign of trouble.)

SSSHHH! (I assume here I was deeply engrossed in the training, and Ms. Fungy-Phipps was talking incessantly, as is her wont. Either that, or I was again imagining myself to be a steam vent, or some kind of gas leak slowly suffocating the occupants of a small, two bedroom home with a leaky gas stove, in a race to see which would kill them first, the gas itself or some sparking appliance that would incinerate the gas and all occupants of the house. Such thoughts of murder and death being common during English 100 training, after all.)

Why do we care? (Here and with all notes following, I clearly actually started listening to whomever was speaking.)

No, really, why do we care? (My question remained unanswered, I assume.)

Will she ever shut up? (Here I deduce that the speaker was either female or a very effeminate male, either of which was talking too long. Sadly, this doesn't rule out anyone that tried to "train" us during 100 training.)

She's gotta be over time. (Time is clearly demarcated in 100 training, using the standard system of seconds, minutes, and hours. Yet during training an odd phenomenon has been noted several times: during each speaker, the space-time continuum manages to bend fractionally, localized entirely within a two foot radius surrounding the speaker. Within these temporal vortexes, time manages to flow more slowly, to the effect that each speaker is remaining within the allotted time while ensconced within the vortex; yet to everyone outside, time moves at the normal rate and thus the speaker inherently goes far far far over time. Such phenomena have been noted by Dr. T. Grant Dancer in his recent study "The Effects of Microscopic Black Holes on the Educational Institutions of America: A Study in the Mismanagement of Time and its Effects on the Quantum Mechanics of English Teacher Training.")

My God! Shoot the woman! (Clearly she was preventing us from going drinking. Or, perchance, just wasting our time with one inanity after another. Oh, wait, that would be every aspect of the training. In any event, I don't recall a shooting, so clearly no one listened to my writings.)

(The notes here break off into random drawings of yin-yangs and circles with arrows indicating which direction to trace the circle. These cabbalistic symbols bar any attempt at translation, lest I summon forth some kind of demon from the nether world to teach me more about how to not teach composition to freshmen. Peruse them at your discretion, reader.)

Monday, July 09, 2007

What Is All This Crap on My Head?

Those of you who know me understand that I don't embrace change all that often. Politically, ethically, morally, religiously, and culturally, I'm a somewhat conservative sort of person (though thankfully no longer culinarily so). Not freakishly so, and not flauntingly so (or so I like to think about myself), but fairly conservative nonetheless.

Which is why I can't stop thinking about this damn goop in my hair.

Last Thursday, I went out and got a haircut (as discussed previously), altering a hairstyle that has remained constant for about 14 years now. Post-barber, my hair is really quite short, with no discernable part, and I'll be damned if I don't contemplate my hair at least once an hour now. See, the beauty of my old hair style was that it was very low maintenance. As long as it wasn't in my eyes, I was fine with it. I could manage it, I knew what it looked like, when it was messed up, and how to fix it. Now, however, all reference points have been lost. My knowledge set has been lost, and have no clear understandings or viable points of comprehension. My head has gone postmodern.

I'm not saying I dislike the haircut. At times, I quite enjoy it. I just have no idea how it looks. I have no idea how to style it, and when I try to style it, I feel like a shmuck. Is it too flat? Does it look too styled? Does it look like I'm wearing a goddamn helmet on my head? Is it too messy? Or too stylistically messy? Or do I just look like a moron who can't figure out what to do with his head? (Currently, on the advice of the barber, I'm trying to "pop it up" in the front, which when she did it looked spiky and a bit messy and kinda cool, but when I do it largely involves several clumps of hair sticking together and sliding back along my scalp, as if I were trying to slick my hair back a la Friends' Season One Chandler Bing, which I'm not. Also, I think my hair still remembers the old style, as it still has a tendency to lean to the right, and look thinner on the left, which may just be my mind playing tricks on itself.)

Largely, it's this crap that goes into the process that I despise, what we in our era of infinite wisdom and lexiconical mastery have given the generic term "product". As in, are you using product? Do you have product in your hair? What product do you generally use? I really hate product. Hate hate hate. In the first place, something about its usage as a noun bothers me to no end. Why can't you just say gel or mousse or spray, or whatever? Product is such a generic noun that we can use it to signify just about anything (What's your product? We produce monkey tranquilizers!), and yet we also see fit to use it for the specificity of hair product (as opposed to say, Bucky Badger Cheese Product). I don't know why, but I get very irritated just by the word as a word.

And second, having expressed my distate for it as a signifier, I also can't stand using it in my hair. I never know if I'm using enough, too much, too little, the wrong kind, or how to use it to effectively style, as opposed to making my head look like a helmet of goop. And furthermore, my head now smells. I don't really know if it's a good smell or a bad smell. All I know is I'm aware of it in ways I never was before. But apparently, based on the advice of those much more fashionable and respectably stylish than myself, I need to use it. Damn it to hell.

So basically, through the course of this blog post, I've revealed the fact that I apparently am as self-consciously vain as a 16 year old girl. Do you see what happens when you ask me to change? I become neurotic. So if you have any advice on style or product, feel free to share it with me. If I look like a moron, tell me. I won't take offense. And if you have tips on what to use or how to use it more effectively, I'll be your friend forever.

And I promise, the next blog post will be something hilarious about drinking, not this whiny little girl crap about hair. My apologies to my readers.