Saturday, May 29, 2010

Follicle Physicians

I am hard to please when it comes to my hair and the hairdressers that I visit; always have been. When the time for a haircut rolls around, I look at it as a bit of a chore, simply because it just means the reboot of a series of good and bad periods of hair, particularly due to length, and also a trip to a hairdressing salon that seems to have walls made of glass. I’ve always just wanted to eliminate that series of differing hair-lengths altogether, either by growing it long, getting it cut more regularly, or waiting for a gypsy to curse me with the power to freeze my hair in time, but unfortunately, these either prove to be impossible or collectively expensive. So with the absence of a wealth and a magical endowment, I’ll need to deal with the many drawbacks of not being bald. Knock on wood.

First and foremost, I hate the week following a haircut. To me, that week is a bad time for every short-haired male. Like shoes and clothing, a haircut needs time to be worn in, so to speak. You need that week for people's eyes to adjust to your hair so that it’s no longer a head of hair that's just had a cut. You might even need that week for your scalp to correct any imperfections which were overlooked when your silly barber took that phone call (they always have to take it). If it wasn’t for work and class (and perhaps even life) these weeks would probably be best spent indoors. The other issue is the immediate time after. As you know, haircuts are messy, which is why I see them as the inconvenient end to any day. It’s always a risk if you foolishly carry on with your day as normal - your neck is still partially covered in little bits of hair, it'll look like you’re molting each time the breeze picks up and there is also the chance of itching, so as a general rule, I always spend the time after a cut hanging out in my shower at home before I start hanging out anywhere else.

Secondly, I would compare getting my haircut to having my pants down, so the last thing I would want is to be seen…by anyone. Think about it - you’ve got several different hair styles happening at the one time, your hair is wet, you’re covered in your own hair, your neck is sometimes contorted into a strange position, and you have a dressing-gown on, meanwhile, there are these panes of glass allowing the one hundred different people walking by to have that laughable sight of you in clear eye-shot. Aside from price and quality, finding a hairdresser that doesn’t make me feel like a clothing-dummy was once the biggest influence on my final decision, but it was a bigger challenge than I anticipated, so I gave up, which is more than evident. My loyalty now lies with this local place, and has for a few years now. What makes my forfeit more than evident is that this place is the epitome of the display-room-salons that I speak of. Not only does this place have a hefty amount of window to it, it's outside, it’s beside the entrance to big shopping centre and it’s on a busy street which buses frequent, so whenever I get a haircut, rest-assured, everybody can see me.

I don't know about you, but I could also liken a visit to the hairdresser to visiting the doctor. First of all, you usually have to wait in that queue for an endless amount of time, then you’re seen to by the professional and you get done what was intended, however, there never seems to be that hairdresser-customer confidentiality that you get with your physician, quite the contrary, actually. You see, while I’m in there, I don’t want someone bursting through the door of that doctors office, the same way that I don’t want people looking at me while I get my haircut, I mean, I’m hardly comfortable with the doctor being around, let alone others, and I’m just the same with my hairdressers; the least amount of eyes - the better, in my opinion.

Personally, I feel that the ladies are pretty lucky with hair, simply because, by tradition, they have long-hair. Aside from the hair treatments that they get done, they’re lucky because I’ve found that long hair typically doesn’t need to be cut as often and when they do get a simple cut, it’s often hard to spot.

So, that’s my whole spiel on hair – and hopefully now the next time you go to the hairdressers you feel as threadbare as I always do, even with that gown on.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Like Gold

If having a relationship end and experiencing subsequent loneliness has taught me anything, it’s that every opportunity is precious. An opportunity could mean a life-changing journey and it’s amazing how it’s all up to you if you want to open the door to that road and find out how precious it is. Do you make the opportunity so or do you go on living your, possibly, lonely existence out of sheer convenience?

Anyone that knows me probably is aware of the sixth sense I have for the opposite sex. I love females, as Hank Moody would say ‘I have all their albums’. I merely sense beautiful ones now; I don’t even need to look anymore, like I have some sort of sonar. It’s a gift, really. To the point, there was this girl on the bus today and she was hot, yet conservative; what a combination, right? I spent the entire twenty minute bus ride talking myself into an introduction, opportunely waiting until we were both getting off the bus. So as we approached the last stop, my heart started to pound so intensely that it was probably visible through my shirt, this was where I put on my hypocrite-pants and aborted the whole operation. Yeah, I know, right? Not to brag or anything, but my introductions never usually go down that way, but to my dismay, the task never seems get any easier with practice and that’s why this type of thing still happens from time-to-time. Anyway, in high school, I always preached courage to the guys that have never even considered in their life approaching a little lady of interest. Often on my soapbox, a place I loved being - especially coming from a guy that was never huge with the ladies - I would often paint the word 'rejection' in a much less frightening light as I've always done in my mind before actually going through with speaking to someone for the first time. To the core of that, I would always remind them about my theory on the quality of opportunity and how, for something that can be so consequential, it's a now or never sort of deal. So coming back to today on the bus, hypothetically in the universe where I didn’t momentarily dissect my manhood, just say that I said hey and she liked what she saw or, better yet, I find out that she was thinking the exact same thing that I was thinking, in that universe, I might just have thrown away my potential wife for all I know, but I won’t know will never know, simply because I didn’t take action. Are you seeing my point on how precious these babies are?

With that in mind, and a pair of testicles in pants, I am able to summon the will to walk up to any girl in Sydney, I know because I’ve had relationships start on a single greeting. You see, here’s the thing: if she/he is interested, sure, I’ve gained a date and nice work, Ryan!, but if I get rejected, which has been the wretched conquistador of my many pursuits, I’ve not lost but gained the peace of mind in that the opportunity that has now passed was, unfortunately, not so precious, and where am I other than back at square one where I initially started. My point is: Don’t take your opportunities for granted; that shit is gold.
 This had to be rewritten - 20/5/10

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Morale in the Flesh Business

Not the most pleasant of subjects but today I was thinking about the morale in the porno industry. I couldn’t imagine a hooker being at all happy with their life, but are porn stars happy people? And if they are, is the happiness dependent of their gender, like is one happier than the other? What about the crew, are they pleased with themselves or disgusted? How about those who deal with fetishes like scatophilia? Although the quality of acting is always nil, ignoring the obvious - you have to ask, is the joy in any of it just an act?

I know that I might just be the first guy to actually analyse the life of a porno-actor, but I’ve just always had a curiosity into the segment of their lives that, amazingly, has managed to stay private, the things that go on behind the closed doors when the camera isn’t rolling. For this reason, I’ve always wondered if Boogie Nights was a statement about the industry (at the least, in the context of the era that it was set) or if it was just an excuse to see Heather Graham without a shirt on. It could go either way, really. It’s been said that the film was based on real porn actors, but who knows to what extent that it influenced the story, I mean, we all know what Hollywood’s like, but, just the same as in that film and the time it depicted, does drug abuse and porn-production go hand-in-hand, especially in terms of today?

Another take would be on their home life. Can someone who enjoys, or at least pretends to enjoy, the pleasures of the flesh on screen function normally within society? Psychologically, can they pursue relationships or are they just so numbed of emotional intimacy that they no longer know what it means to make love with someone or even hold down a relationship? On that note, are the males even interested in sex anymore, or does that whole animalistic attraction that is embroidered into our DNA just disappear after twenty or so films? And that’s just during. Is the industry something you can just walk away from and live like Jan Brady? Or is it like a bad car accident that emotionally, and perhaps even physically, cripples you for life, especially if it was a long career? Someone like Sharon Mitchell is a good example of someone who could probably answer that type of question. Maybe it just comes down to the type of person who would pursue this type of career, which unfortunately would make a lot of what I just said redundant, but as per usual my curiosity gets the better of me.

So, with all these queries in mind, finally it comes down to my initial question of morale. At the core of it all, the larger question is what the initial intentions were: to make money or sex? Is it male actors because hey, unlimited sex, or is it women who’s high morale is perhaps driven by their more than adequate and substantially larger pay check at the end of the day? It’s possibly males, but I still hold a hint of doubt because no matter whom you are, there’s always such a thing as ‘too much’, but what do I know; only the actors know what it’s like to have as much sex as they do unless you’re Paul Stanley or something.

Like I said, only those involved could accurately quench my curiosity and answer all of this. I personally conceive pornography to be a more commercialised, and therefore, a tad cleaner version of prostitution with a different spin, but that answers nothing in terms of morale. If I were going to condense all of these questions down into one question in a serious attempt to find answers, it would be about where the line gets drawn between pornography and prostitution, and how significantly those two worlds differ as a result; I feel that would be the ultimate question that could answer most, if not all, of these curiosities.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Faculty Fibs

Back in school, I never quite understood parent-teacher interviews. This annual ritual was the one night that, to me, made every teacher a liar. For those that aren’t familiar, at my high school, parent-teacher interviews always consisted of cramming every teacher from your grade into the school hall, you and your respective guardian would then work your way around said hall until your guardian has received commentary from every one of your teachers regarding your overall performance. This would happen once, maybe twice a year and was compulsory. I always dreaded this one night in the year, not because I misbehaved in class, nor were my marks something to be punished on, I just dreaded hearing from every teacher, year-in and year-out, the same choose your words carefully overtone that I heard in my interviews and, more importantly, overheard in others.

Some years, I would often wonder why I didn’t just fake illness so that I didn’t have to go, I guess I just had a glimmer of hope that it would be the year that one of my teachers would sit the both of us down and say "Your son is lazy. His school work is his last priority. It was a colossal pain in my arse when he missed that exam and if he is consistent in his marks, he's going to be a janitor." That’s all I wanted, just something that indicated to me that what they were saying was accurately reflecting what had actually been happening, no matter how overstated, the interviews needed an approach that would be the influence behind some solid parental discipline. Instead, the things they would say were always worded and sugarcoated in such a way that their optimism often drowned out the raw truth. Whenever a teacher does this, and they all do, I think that they could just about say anything and it would sound good. I mean, if you're going to bash my mother and I over the head, doing it with a metaphorical candy-cane isn't going to get the job done. In all seriousness, I'm not saying that they need to be rude or insulting about it, I’ve just always felt when a teacher has been stuck with a class where the only reason that students choose to sit in the front row is because the back row is full that having an equal understanding with parents is key; doesn't that make sense?

Parent-teacher interviews were/are just another redundant form of communication. Teachers needed to be taught to leave their hearts at the entrance along with everything but their firearms, and not the other way round like they have evidently always done and failed with. Having a classroom of disruptive morons, then denying that fact come interview night will only leave you with the same classroom of disruptive morons. Unpunished morons, I should add. I've said it before; you can’t deal with an aggressive situation with a non-aggressive solution.