9.16.2005

The Habits of Highly Unmotivated People, Part 1

It has been brought to my attention that thus far, in my reporting of my attempts to have a life, I have yet to actually do anything. To this, I must disagree. First of all, procrastinating is, in fact, an activity onto itself. If it were not, then it would not be a gerund, now would it? I thought not. Procrastinating is a time honored tradition among the clinically depressed and the misanthropically inclined, and I will not stand by and let it be maligned by those of the more, shall we say, ambulatory bent. Of course, that being said, it doesn’t preclude me from sitting here and letting you all blather on all you like. That is the beauty of procrastination. You do by not doing. Very Zen, very Lao Tsu, (but not in that pesky “chop wood – carry water” sort of way), very Grotowski, don’t you think?

Now that I have addressed that concern, let me further explain, that my lack of a posting last week was not an oversight on my part, but rather intentional, as I wished to impart to you, my gentle readers, one of life’s more important lessons. Do not, fair fellows and fellowettes, place such faith in one who has demonstrated such a clear lack of commitment, drive, or even ability to accomplish anything other than a piss poor attitude. If you do, you will, in all likelihood, be left seething, your eyes bulging like Barbara Bush on a Kennebunkport holiday and that vein in your forehead (that one that reminds you of your Uncle with a penchant for polyester and offensive opinions, who always gets sloshed at Thanksgiving and ends up bellowing about pinko commies and Japanese cars) will begin to pulse, and all that good work you’ve done to find inner peace and a reasonable heart rate will all be for naught. That is why I did not publish last week.

(Okay, so it’s a little difficult to write an entire article while in the fetal position with the covers tucked oh so comfortingly over my head. I tried, but apparently willing the computer to teleport itself to my bedroom was beyond even my abilities)

As for what I did do: On the vanity front, I had recently come to the conclusion, as many others have also done, that my life would be better served if I had completely different hair than I have now. People with curly hair want straight, people with straight want curly. I, on the other hand, have hair that grows straight out of my head, forming what can only be described as a “bristle brush” effect. Many a hairdresser has been injured by my spring-loaded hair ejecting itself from my head and aiming directly for their eyes. The only option was to relax my hair. I’m not really sure what the cashier at the drugstore thought the large pale man of northern European descent was doing with a box of Soft Sheen Relaxed and Natural Nubian Beauty (or something along those lines), but whatever it was, she kept it to herself.

After my first attempt, which I might add, was not so bad, I decided that if I were to continue with this hair reconstruction, I would have a professional handle my touch up, as there were still a few unruly cowlicks I had yet to properly corral. 6 weeks passed and time for my touch up came. I was treated to the top-of-the-line relaxer, no lye, no harsh chemicals, no bizarrely ethnically exclusionary packaging. My hairdresser applied and combed, heated and tweaked, sculpted and sheared, until finally, I emerged, not unlike the ancient phoenix (any smart remarks about “flaming” and I’ll slap you), a reborn creature – one with markedly relaxed hair. It was easier to comb, easier to style, easier to manage, and I was pleased.

Until 2 days later when my scalp erupted into an agonizing helmet of itches and flakes. No, do not blame my hairdresser, for I went into this with my eyes open (well, actually they tell you to close your eyes when they are slathering the goop on, but you catch my drift) Only I was to blame. My vanity had wrought me this. Any advantage I had gained from the process, I had now lost, seeing as I was now walking around scratching at my head as though I had a particularly nasty case of mange. A few specialty shampoos and a final dowsing of olive oil to soothe the savage scalp, and I was back to normal. (If one can consider smelling of tapenade normal)

Drained from the battle of my locks, I hobbled forth into the dangerous realm of “Job Interviews”. In the words of TLC, it was so “Unpretty”.

To be continued

9.04.2005

Altered Egos (Man and Superman)

My Bi-Coastal Best Friend, the Rear Admiral Falafel (“RAF” for short, or alternately “Blurry McPretty” for reasons that will become apparent forthwith) once revealed to me that in his search for a life partner, he had sat his self down and set forth a list of all the qualities he found absolutely necessary that his man possess, those he must absolutely not possess, and those that would be nice, but weren’t worth quibbling over. Considering the fact that he is a wee bit myopic and unnervingly handsome, Ye Olde Blurry had attracted his crowd of suitors with faces that favored the unfocused and aspirations of a trophy husband. He needed help. A game plan, a blueprint in order to build the perfect partner, a map to the promised land, or any other number of mixed metaphors pertaining to paper products.

Now, as this is my story, and not his, I can’t report to you the success of his endeavor, as to secure his privacy (and truthfully, he can go get his own soapbox, this one is taken). But as I was pondering my new set of goals (i.e. getting a life) I realized that “Life” was but a euphemism for my actual goal — A man.

Therefore, I’ve decided to create my own list of qualities. Now, my tastes have always been a bit odd, (Lyle Lovett, regardless of the fact that he looks like a Shar-Pei), and not particularly logical, (As a child Clark Kent was far sexier to me than Superman could ever think of being, so bookish, so repressed, so yummy, and truthfully I was actually more interested in what Jimmy Olsen had going on in his dark room, than either of the other two (one?)). My list might not actually narrow anything down for me, but anything is better than where I stand. Currently the only men I seem to attract are ancient ones who resemble underfed game hens. I’m not sure exactly why, but apparently my pan-shaped face seems to indicate I’m some sort of Octogenarian Fetishist. I can assure you, I am not. (Check in a few months from now, it may get ugly).

Absolute Must Haves:

1. Breathing (though I could make allowances for various and sundry respiratory ailments).
2. Perceives of my cynicism as biting wit, rather than the nihilistic expression of my own self-abhorrence, which clearly, upon closer examination, it is.
3. Ignores my occasional mental disorder evidenced in the rampant use of unnecessarily long words for no good reason (and often incorrectly), which only sleep or a strong gin & tonic can seem to cure.

Would Like, But Not a Deal Breaker:

1. Resemblance to the Romantic Poet, Lord Byron, without any of the ironic self-awareness that I am sure is inherent in people who tend to favor dead romantic poets.
2. A Summer home, not located in any of the Gay ghettos, or geographically at the furthest most points of the United States in any of the cardinal directions (Key West, San Diego, Provincetown, et c.), but rather a leisurely afternoon drive from the city, with a d├ęcor reminiscent of Scandinavian architecture with a hint of the Arts & Crafts aesthetic, and a master suite with Eastern facing bay windows, early American antiques, and fully equipped gourmet kitchen. But, you know, I’m not picky.

Absolutely Must Not Have:

1. Any and all use of Greek Letters must be in reference to higher mathematical formulae and / or the translation of the Hellenic Classics, not to share stories regarding your “Buds” who were in your “Frat” who got wasted that time when you stole the other school’s team mascot “Granny the Goat” and painted it fuchsia before molesting it in a disturbing, if not illegal, manner. Regardless if the tale is qualified with a “But that was when I was straight” or not.
2. Have at any time, frequented a Cigar Bar, bought or admired an issue of Cigar Aficionado magazine, or smoked a cigar in celebration of anything outside of a miracle birth of the likes of Jesus or Captive Panda.
3. Can wax philosophical about the positive attributes of any piece of electronic equipment that is modified by the phrase “remote control”
4. Schedule your vacation time in order to travel the world in pursuit of any parties described as “white”, “black”, or even “tea”.
5. Use the words “set” or “curl” in relation to either the gym and / or hairstyling more than once in a 72 hour period.
6. Think hats such as “fedora”, “bowler”, or “10 gallon”, in any way, add to your “look”
7. Identify with Batman, The Lone Ranger, James Dean, or any other “loner” figure found in pop culture, as is not a sign of macho strength as evidenced on screen, but rather pathetically dysfunctional social skills dressed up as an affectation of “cool”
8. Ever worn a codpiece — I think this one speaks for itself.

I don’t think that’s too much to ask.