the haircut!

Tuesday 24 March 2009

It’s kind of hard to believe that it’s already been three weeks since I got my hair chopped off.  Though I still have the pony tail sitting in a plastic bag in my house, I will soon be sending it off to be used for the creation of a FREE wig for someone with a medical condition that causes them to lose their hair.  I still haven’t decided between the more well-known Locks of Love or the similarly altruistic Pantene Beautiful Lengths.  Either way, I’m confident it will go to benefit someone well deserving — with some strands, I’m sure, sold to help with the various overhead costs.  (I found a nice NY Times article — Lather, Rinse, Donate — about hair donation you could check out, too.)

It was quite the journey to a +10-inch pony tail, and I’ve had various thoughts along the way about growing my hair out, including this blog from January 2008 that is a good synopsis of various thoughts through the process.  The process of getting my hair cut was in no way traumatic or anything like that, but it did take some adjustment.  From going over two years gradually adjusting to longer hair as the hair grows a little more each day and then suddenly looking into the mirror and seeing the stark contrast to what you knew just an hour ago — it’s quite the shock, if you’ve never experienced it.  Even though who cut off a significant portion of their hair but still keep it “long” afterward probably don’t understand exactly how I felt going from this:

longhair1 longhair2

to this:

shorthair1 shorthair2

(Notice that while it may just be poor posture, it appears that with long hair, it’s pulling my head back by its weight while without the hair, my head if further forward.  Interesting…)

It took me about 2 weeks before I felt completely comfortable again with my hair length and style.  I remember back when my hair was a standard short length and I got it cut every 6 weeks or so, it usually took about a day or two to adjust to my new cut, so I figure that 2-3 weeks would be a similar rate of adjustment.

There are definitely people in my life (no names/relations will be named here…) who are trying to “guide” me to continue to cut my hair and keep it short, but I really don’t see much of a reason to, at least this early in the game.  And as I said to the hairdresser who chopped off my hair, “See you in 2 or 3 years?” — I’ll let you know how what choice makes the cut!

a special day in the math class

Monday 2 March 2009

Greetings all!  I’ve been out of town the past two weeks, thus the lack of posts!  However, I have a few thoughts from that time that I’m hoping to get down on computer in the coming days, so watch out for that!

In the mean time, to get back into the grove of things, a quick note that Tuesday, 3/3/09 is apparently Square Root Day!  I found a few articles/posts describing a bit of the day:
AP story
Wikipedia article
Comment board from last SRD, in ’04

I don’t think I ever would have picked that out myself, but it’s kind of fun.  And then next weekend, right after Friday the 13th, we get to celebrate Pi Day. We should really all be preparing for a huge bash in 2015 — that will be a once in a lifetime opportunity; mark your calendars now!  And, of course, a should out to all you Science people celebrating Mole Day this October.  (And guess what I just saw — one of the “Pi Approximation Day” dates falls usually on my 1/2 birthday, 10 November, the 314th day of the year — I was destined to love that number and math itself, it would seem!)

And for those committed blog readers out there who know me personally, this is a heads up that I’ll finally be cutting my hair Tuesday (there has to be some hair/square root pun to be had, but I’m not finding it… the root of the problem maybe?), so I hope you weren’t wanting to say goodbye to it!

Verizon sucks (or: never trust your cell phone)

Sunday 9 March 2008

So I’ve been at a conference this weekend and using my cell phone as my alarm, as I have been since I consciously left my alarm clock in Ohio in August. I’ve come to trust my cell phone (even though I switched to a new one recently) for waking me up on time and helping me tell time in a variety of situations. When they warned us at the conference to set our clocks ahead an hour during the evening’s last session, I didn’t really even think or worry about it since I knew my cell phone automatically switches times when I enter a new time zone, and I figured this night would be no different. So last night, like all others, I set my cell phone alarm clock and went to sleep.

I woke up, got ready, and arrived at the dining hall about half way through what I thought was the 8-9 block set aside for breakfast. The room was very empty compared to the other meals, but I just thought everyone must have had a long night and decided to skip breakfast. I saw a clock that was an hour ahead and then remembered there had been a time change, but I must have still been in morning mode because I didn’t realize what exactly that meant. Instead, I thought, “Thank God for my cell phone” and started thinking about the blog entry I would write on the topic (one that would have a much different tone than this one).

As I walked from the dining hall to the room where the workshop I wanted to attend was being held, I saw another clock that showed 10 o’clock instead of 9 as I thought it should be. I must have been waking up because I started to think, “Now if they were going to spring the clock ahead, why would they have moved the clock ahead two hours? That just doesn’t make sense.” It wasn’t until I peered through the door window to see the packed room that I realized that I, in fact, was the one who had screwed up the time change – or at least by putting my trust in my cell phone, I had messed up and would only get to hear the last 30 minutes of the 90 minute workshop. I was disappointed to say the least, but I tried to stay present and take in what the conversation had to offer me.

It’s event like this that challenge my attempts of practicing detachment. It is so easy to cling on to things and let their existence or nonexistence control how you’re feeling about life. This happened later in the day when I was going to security for my flight back to DC and they decided to confiscate my letter opener. They had pulled it out before and asked the supervisor, even on the flight up to Boston, actually, but had always let me keep it (maybe because I’m a white male — though maybe my hair is too long these days); I should have know it was a problem and left it or put it in a checked bag, but I’m forgetful. And though I told the TSA officer, “They’ve let me take it before, but if you’re not going to, I guess there’s nothing I can do,” it was still hard to just let it go. (I wonder what they do with all that stuff they confiscate in that manner?)

In talking to other Verizon customers, their phones did change time, so it might have been a “user error,” but I still blame them. It just is another reason for me to continue to avoid getting too much into the cell phone world.

acceptable hair

Wednesday 23 January 2008

Depending on whether you’ve seen me @ some point in the past year or not, you may or may not be privy to the fact that I’m growing my hair out.  It’s funny to think that now I spend half or more of my time in the shower on my hair where as 18 months ago it was probably 30 seconds or less (though I try to turn off the water when I’m shampooing to save the earth a little bit — you should try it, too!).  It’s down to my shoulders now, and it’s finally about the point where I can put all my hair — including my “bangs” — into a pony tail, and in general it’s about down to my shoulders, or a little past.  There are a lot of people currently in my life who didn’t know me before long hair, and it’s just funny to realize and recognize that, knowing how much that “first impression” has on someone.

Now as a guy, long hair is definitely not the standard.  I definitely took some slack from people when I decided to just let it grow and grow, but after time most people got used to it.  However, I think the only reason some people really accept it is because I’m “doing it” so I might get a pony tail to cut off and donate sometime in the future.  If I was just growing it this way because I felt like it (which, hey, may happen after I end up donating), would that be so wrong?  The female “business” haircut has become short, so what’s so appalling about a man with long hair?

It’s interesting the gender stereotypes and requirements we’ve created in our society and how we perpetuate them (something I’ll talk about in another blog soon).  One day in the fall I put my hair up in pig tails, which I thought looked kind of funny, but since my hair wasn’t long enough to all go in a pony tail, it was the best way to keep it all out of my face.  Sharing that story with others, some thought that was a totally unacceptable way for a male to style his hair.  But why?  Who has told us this?

It’s true that I sometimes want to shake things up, but it’s not for no reason.  I love to question the reasons certain things are in place.  Why is it that a guy and a girl can hold hands in public, but if two guys hold hands, it’s a huge deal?  It feels good to hold hands, so why can’t we just do it more often with our friends and not worry about all the people who might stare and gawk (my second love language is touch)?

Let’s all think about why certain “normalcies” have been created in society and how we can work to get rid of these stereotypes, because no matter what it is, it stifles a person’s freedom to do and act as they wish.