Wednesday, December 8, 2010

4. Awkward timing

I'm classifying this as "awkward timing" simply because I'm not quite sure how to put it. It all started when I watched 127 Hours earlier this week. If you haven't watched the film and don't want me to give away the climax (most people who have heard of the film know it by now), then you should probably stop reading. Stop reading and start watching. And by "watching," I specifically mean "the film."

Now that I've introduced the remaining readers into a pact of secrecy, I should note that this isn't the first time I've heard of Aron Ralston. I actually remember watching his interview on the David Letterman show. I specifically remember that no one knew him by name, so the announcer had to be like "Tonight! On The Late Show with David Letterman! A man who sawed off his arm! And Tobey Maguire!" It's rare to be introduced by your accomplishments rather than your identity. And even rarer to have your accomplishment be your identity (which, for the record, I do not think is the case for Aron Ralston).

It's an incredible story and a fantastic film that really makes you think a lot. This makes for rather awkward timing if you happen to have a doctor's checkup the next morning, particularly if the checkup calls for fluid samples. Usually when walking around carrying a cup of fresh urine, my thought process is simply Ewwwwwww..., which is a surprisingly good alternative to If I ever got trapped by a rock, I'd probably have to drink this. I'd covered my eyes during the climax of the film since I'd been warned it was very realistic and people had had visceral reactions to it. As the nurse tied a rubber band around my arm to draw a blood sample, I looked away. When she told me to look to the side and focus on the comics that had been posted specifically to take your mind off of things, I felt like I was watching the movie version of my life and I was covering my eyes. If only things were that simple.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

3. Self-given Haircuts

I'm actually rather proud that I've never paid for a haircut, despite the fact that it goes against most logic. First off, I'm not saving that much money. Secondly, it pigeon-holes me into the following vicious cycle:

1. decide I need a haircut
2. cut my own hair
3. freak out over new haircut and try to hide it with updo's and various cranial accessories
4. let the hair grow out long enough until I can dismiss said haircut as "shagginess"
5. continue step 4 until step 1 comes about again

Have you ever held your bladder for a really long time just so you could have that moment of total relaxation when you finally let it go? Me neither, but that's the theory behind step 3. Cornered into desperation, creativity springs forth to save the day! I start off with the usual collection of hats, headbands, and pins. Then I start to experiment with styling my hair differently with the hopes that dramatic side parts cover the bad portions of my hair with good ones. Lastly, I warn people who see me on a daily basis in advance by drawing pictures of me with doo-rags and in tall updos associated with singing groups from the 60's. I like to think it lessens the initial shock while giving the situation some levity.

On a side note, I've actually had a few guy friends ask if I could cut their hair. Although I've cut my sister's hair multiple times (she cried the first time I cut her hair but has since hardened up to the experience), I refuse to cut a guy's hair. Guys can't afford the hair accessory path out that most girls have.

So why do I do it to myself, the most important person in my world? I've surprised myself each time despite the fact that I have a set routine for cutting hair. And assuming I think of other alternatives to my hairstyle other than emo-themed, I find the haircutting adventure to be a strange exploration into the various other personalities that I could be. I've often bought small accessories that don't fit in with the rest of my clothes, but usually chicken out such that I only wear them once as a novelty item. But your hair is always with you, and what's more, if it's bad, you can only make it shorter! The nature of hair's slow growth forces me to try out a new me, and to stick with it for awhile until I've reached the next awkward stage (which I usually refer to as my "David Cassidy stage"). And so I do it to, in my small and insignificant way, push myself out of my shell.