Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Beauty Shop Blog

There's something about a small-town beauty shop. I've been going to big-city salons for years, in my never-ending efforts to tame my wild and woolly hair. In Los Angeles, if there's gossip or news going around the shop, it's usually about a celebrity. Or if the topic of discussion happens to involve regular folks, there's almost zero chance that you actually know them. So it's sort of exhilarating when you've got your head stuck in a sink and you hear, "So-and-so got a new refrigerator" or "So-and-so went camping last weekend" and you actually know who the so-and-sos are!

The gossip isn't particularly scandalous, but it's still an interesting reminder of how much we've integrated into this new environment. If I don't know someone, it's usually clarified with "Oh, you know, she's so-and-so's friend" or "You met him at so-and-so's birthday party." The degrees of separation here are much closer together. It also makes me wonder what's being said once I leave. "Chance got his first gray hair and freaked out right here in this chair. He made me yank it out. Oh, you know Chance. Michael's boyfriend. The quiet one."

It's true. Just as I was starting to feel that I had purchased and applied enough anti-aging products to send me back to infancy, my stylist found a gray hair. She pointed it out, and I said:

"No, that's blonde."
"But you're not blonde."
"Sometimes I'm blonde."
"It's almost white."
"Platinum blonde."

That's when I fell apart and made her yank it out. It was more white than gray, which gives me some hope of being a dashing silver-haired dandy, rather than the creepy old guy down the street with all the action figures. Honestly, I've never shied away from pouring chemicals on my head, so I'm not about to go gray without a fight.

Then the small-town gossip and big-city gossip will meet. "Chance is still dyeing his hair? Even William Shatner finally gave up that fight."

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Over There

I haven't written in a while, and I have no reasonable excuse. I've been doing a lot of other writing lately, plus life has been busy. I try not to beat myself up for not writing because of interference from life, because living tends to give me more to write about. Still, when I return to this blog, it never fails to bring up a few issues, both big and small.

As I get older (and older), I've started to question the linear nature of life's timeline. More and more it seems that life is actually circular. Instead of a series of chronological events, I feel like I've been experiencing some sort of spiral or interlocking rings. Or some intricate, but lovely design I might have concocted with my Spirograph as a child. I find my circular travels intersecting with people, places and feelings from other times and other adventures. Perhaps I've never truly left anything behind.

Enemies I loved and friends I betrayed. Lessons I either neglected or refused to learn. Memories I locked away, hoping to unpack someday when the shine was off them, when they were dull and colorless and less painful to look upon.

The circles bring second chances, too. Opportunities to try again, to improve upon history or to make grander, more elegant mistakes. All the opportunities and choices that passed me by or that I let slip through my tentative or tyrannical fingers. Will they present themselves again? And will I recognize them through older, jaded eyes?

A quote from Carrie Fisher echoes in my mind, where I clearly spend way too much time: "After all, nothing is ever really over. Just over there."

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog Day Forecast

I was just beginning to warm up to being cold when the weather changed, and it was suddenly spring. For a few days, I put my winter coat back in the closet and started running around in short sleeves again. I was somewhat disappointed, though. Even though I've been complaining about the cold weather and have taken to singing "California Dreaming" through chattering teeth, the cold weather has been rather fun. The bundling up and the sharp wind that takes your breath away. Plus the hot chocolate. So when it suddenly turned warm again, I was a little sad it had all ended so quickly. Just another reminder that this year-long adventure has practically flown by.

Then this morning, for the first time in years, I read about the annual Punxsutawney Phil Groundhog Day ceremony. I remember taking this ceremony very seriously as a kid. I was always hoping for more winter weather, because that meant more snow and more snow days. Plus the hot chocolate. So I was very pleased to read that Phil saw his shadow and thus predicted six more weeks of winter weather. Then, as if by groundhog magic, yesterday's warm weather turned into today's rain and snow. Both. First it would rain a little, then it would snow a little. So hopefully the winter weather will continue and I'll get to wear more of the sweaters I bought on sale after Christmas.