Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I'm getting old.

I just have to have a bit about the horribleness of American hip-hop videos. As I work in the barber shop we sometimes have videos playing on the TVs. We don't listen to the music(thank you baby Jesus), but seeing the videos is bad enough. I really want to ask these guys making these horrific hip-hop videos if they actually think that showing their ugly bling, jumping around, and barely clothed women dancing like whores is original. Have these guys ever watched any other videos?

The exchange goes something like this:

Person 1: "What should we have in the video guys?"

Person 2: "Oh, oh, I know, we can have a really cool car, some babes acting slutty, and maybe those diamonds I bought last week wit my check from the record company. I'll wear my best t-shirt."

Person 1: "You are a genius. Let's not forget the party scene either!"

I swear if I see one more "rapper" covered in like fourteen women, sitting in his way-too-expensive car, moving his hands back and forth on his invisible turn tables, bobbing his head up and down to some over produced track, wearing clothes that don't fit him, I will cry myself to sleep in the fetal position. One is inclined to wonder that if these guys can afford such luxuries as diamonds and fast cars, that they might also afford clothes that fit. I mean if you have millions of dollars why are you still dressing in baggy t-shirts, baseball caps and enormous pants? Hire a personal stylist loser.

This is surely a combination of being out of the country for a while, thus having culture shock, and getting old. I find myself hypnotized by the absolute shitiness of these videos when they are playing. I can't look away but it hurts to keep watching. It's like when these "artists" get money, they get even stupider than they were before.

Then I see men and boys walking through the city every day dressed like these style-less wonders whom happened to make it big. I ask myself every time I see them, "Do they realize those pants are for someone who is like 300lbs.? Did the poor thing used to be all chubby and just lost weight but can't afford new pants?". Somehow I think the answer no. I also wonder if these guys know that the brim of a hat is made to block the sun from one's eyes, not one of their ears.

Don't get me wrong here, I absolutely love hip-hop and rap music. But it makes me mad to see this mainstream crap that gives this genre of music it's bad name and appearance. The hip-hop and rap on TV and is so unbelievably bad. Remember good groups like The Beasite Boys, Run DMC, and Outkast? That is the real deal. And what about Eric B. and Rakim? Hell yeah! Mary J. Blige is a class act as well. These groups and individuals help make hip-hop and rap what is truly is, art. Anyone seen "Sensual Seduction" video that Snoop Dogg came out with a couple years ago? Now that is original!

So I suppose I feel a little bit better and I'm sure I'm not alone in my feelings here. I could care less who agrees or not, this is my blog and I must fill it up with my old lady ranting and raving.

Pull your pants up boys, go to the store and have a tailor measure you. Then buy some clothes for your poor, naked, dancing girlfriend.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Behind the chair.

Being back working in USA, I find myself totally enchanted with being surrounded by hair stylists again. The hair stylist culture is pure fun, if not overly dramatic, properly sassified, laced with a deep obsession for what we do, and ample shit talking. I have no problem jumping back in head first(no pun intended).

Working on people's hair is nothing short of one of the deepest levels of human contact. We are changing a person's appearance and that is not to be taken lightly. Not to mention, we do it with very sharp instruments. The only other professions to level this are doctors and tattoo artists. On this short list, barbers and hair stylists are the most fun.

Our days are filled with, when not cutting, staring out the window and completely judging everyone's appearance walking by, fashion sense, clothes, manner of walking or driving, and the like. This alone can be hours of fun, usually limited to only minutes as we are busy folk whom like to stay busy. We flirt endlessly with each other, no matter the sex of the flirter or flirtee, sexual orientation(of course our industry is famous for it's high percentage of gay men), or marital status. The flirting is harmless, always fun, and if ever acted out would probably be kind of sick. We are always talking about each others hair; what is different, what could be different, and what should be different. This leads us to frequently changing our hair, one of the hair stylists leading personal features.

Then, of course, there is the famous shop gossip. Not only do we talk to each other, we talk about each other. I work for a very large company with many shops around town. There is always something new, somebody new, something old making a return(yours truly), and all the drama we would ever need to fuel the gossip fire every chance we get. The large majority of this is done in a positive light, mostly catching up on our friends and coworkers dramas, but every now and then, there is some ugly slung around. "Did you hear about. . .?!?" I love it!

There is the occasional client lust as well. We have all fallen in love with either one of our own clients or the client of another. This love lasts usually 20 to 30 minutes, the length of a hair cut. As soon as one's hot client leaves, a look is shot across the shop at the stylist whom had the pleasure. The look that screams "I love him!", and we carry about our day. We are however, endlessly professional and likely most hot men that come in the shop have no idea we are looking. We have years of skill at checking out clients whilst remaining completely sly, I mean professional. I will say that I absolutely love being at a job where men endlessly walk through the door, paying us to make them even more handsome. It's great.

Our hair stylist talk, or way of talking is perfected. We are masters at phrases like: "Ewwwwww!" or "Yuuuuuck,", "Oh my God. . .", "Did you see what he/she was wearing?!", "Look at his/her hair!(whilst pointing spasticly and cringing)", "What is that smell?!?". The list is endless, we truly have perfected a dramatic flair to practically every single little thing we talk about.

When it comes to technical work for busy bodies, haircutting, hair styling, and barbering suits us to a "T". For those of us to whom hair is the end all be all of existence, we are insane perfectionists, almost to a fault. There is nothing more satisfying to me professionally than obsessing over a tight fade until it is seamless, checking it in the mirror, and obsessing some more. It is amazing sometimes to watch others at work; watch their techniques, ways of standing, moving their bodies, shears, clippers, combs. This is not to say all hair stylists are as into what they do as I am. We have all had or seen horrible haircuts. To this unfortunate happening, I am privy everyday. But then I get to fix them!

We actually have the best job in the world. We leave every day with cash in hand, we get to make the world a better place to look at, and to smell(for the stinky headed clients). We get to feed the unforgiving human desire to gossip, chat and basically communicate. We get to cure dry scalp. We get to laugh a lot, we get to work with all walks of life, coworkers and clients. We get to help people. It is amazing sometimes to see a person's whole demeanor change after they look in the mirror after being pampered for a while and see something they like, a lot. It is downright inspiring. Sometimes the change in demeanor comes from the simple fact that someone is touching them and listening to them while they blab about whatever. Sometimes the change in demeanor is from the fact that they got to just sit and say nothing for a half hour. This is truly a powerful interaction we are having with people every single day, many times a day. Makes up for all the hair splinters, sore backs, cut fingers, hair filled t-shirts, etc, etc.

I am so lucky to have ended up as a barber, I wouldn't change it for the world. I don't have to either, I have the world from barbering. I was made for this stuff.

Friday, September 4, 2009


I am completely convinced that there is a bad body odor requirement in order to ride public transportation here in Denver. I don't know what short circuits in these peoples brains and/or hygiene habits that leads them to share their filth with me on the bus, but yuck. I would think that if one is so inclined to sit on a mobile cubicle of stink, in the close company of others, that one would be so kind as to shower and clean one's clothes at least once a week. Maybe even a haircut too, but that's just the barber in me talking. Then again, I suppose a haircut would require washing one's hair, clearly too much to ask.

However, I wouldn't trade it for the insanity of driving.