Here it is, folks. It’s now all about the hair. When my daughter was 5 years old she had a friend who often talked about this character she called Mrs. Witchy. Now, decades later, I’m thinking I must look like that Mrs. Witchy. There’s no longer an occasional bad hair day. It’s every day, thank you very much. Some may even say this pandemic is making their hair turn gray. Well, that’s primarily because the hair salons are closed. It’s also been said that gray hair is hereditary. You can get it from your kids.
Humankind’s fascination with hair dates back to the earliest of civilizations and lives on in the trends of today.
Hairstyles have evolved from a display of power and wealth to an expression of self and individuality. Hair has been used as a medium to make political statements, rebel against social norms, and to tell one’s story. Through the years hair has been braided, coloured, teased, and adorned to reflect not only the fashions of the day, but also the values of the era.
Sources of inspiration for hairstyles over the centuries have come from conquered tribes, majestic monarchs, and Hollywood idols. Hair has signified religious sanctity, and also women’s rights. While hairstyles and people’s reasons for them have changed drastically throughout the centuries, the societal significance of hair has remained constant. Hair has, and will always, make a statement about how you see yourself, both internally and externally.
Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Hair is essential to a face as a frame is to a picture.” I suspect some very original, unique ‘frames ’are being designed.
In closing, of all the facts I’ve read about hair let me present you with the grand prize winner of the preposterous. Picture this:
Each strand of hair can support up to 100 grams in weight. Multiply that by the average 100,000 to 150,000 strands on each head, and your entire head of hair could support the weight equivalent to two elephants.
I hope this doesn’t give you nightmares of Babar and Dumbo sitting on your head.
Comments are welcomed.
Crazy For Coffee or Just Crazy
I’ve mentioned coffee a number of times in previous blogs over the years. This time I am speaking from a place of obsession. The goofy thing is that I only have one cup a day. Yet, it is one of the things I look forward to when I begin each day, and I don’t even have my cup of Joe until noon. It might also be the strange and uncertain times in which we live that have brought out our idiosyncrasies and weirdness.
My previous history with coffee was rather pedestrian. I enjoyed coffee. We were not besties, coffee and me, just casual friends. Several years ago I became a vegetarian and decided to eliminate coffee as well. I was fortunate not to have withdrawal symptoms or headaches. I was sans coffee for 10 years when, one day, everything changed.
It was during my teaching years. I would meet up with a couple of colleagues for some social time before the students arrived. They would first stop at a coffee shop near by to pick up a coffee and muffin. One morning I decided to partake in a coffee and muffin myself. That jump started me on my way to what has become ‘my thing.’
I don’t smoke or drink or have a particular hobby nor do I have an addictive personality. In fact, I can skip coffee with no ill effects. So what’s the deal?
My one cup a day absolutely needs to be a superior coffee. I’d go without if instant or pre-ground in a can were my choices. Drinking coffee has both psychological and physiological benefits. Coffee is a mood enhancer, helps with focus, memory and is energizing. All of which I love. All of which are scientifically validated.
My favorite outings usually include a trip to a coffee shop. Sometimes a friend and I would have our drinks there. Sometimes I would get a coffee to go. One day I realized the take out cup became nearly as important as the coffee itself. And, this is where it may sound wacky, but makes perfect sense in my mind. The take-out cup has come to be a metaphor for having a social experience. Getting out of my apartment, meeting up with a friend, having some conversation over a great coffee. A coffee shop is my third place as described in a previous blog.
When I get a coffee to go I often save the paper cup and lid. They come in handy for any number of things. Bear with me a little longer, I am getting to the point.
Of course, one cannot go to a coffee shop every day. Thus, I am forced to make my own. I do have a stock pile of my favorite coffee beans and a fine coffee grinder. Only issue is that the coffee never seems to taste as good as it does in the third place. Don’t get me wrong. It is still good coffee, but something is missing. I tried different mugs to see if any one of those might make a difference. Nada. Then, I thought, “What if I make the coffee and drink it from one of the take-out cups I saved?” That was it! The coffee actually tasted better as I created the illusion that this had to be the next best thing to being there. The sad thing is that I haven’t saved enough cups to get me through the pandemic. Maybe I can arrange for a real take out or a delivery. In which case I will be sure to save the cup.
The other day I was dreaming on the coffee I would have with my lunch. I decided I would actually go to a coffee shop. It was called Lillian’s Kitchen. The coffee beans, the grinder, a French Press unit, a plastic cone thing that you set over a mug , paper filters were all set out, but no take out containers. Good grief! It was obviously a DIY coffee shop. Seriously, I can’t imagine how this place can possibly stay in business.
BTW. Does anyone know where I can get a good haircut? Obviously, whoever declared hair salons and barber shops non-essential must be perennially bald.
Comments are welcomed.
An Evolving Eccentric
What does it take to be an eccentric? Are you born that way? Is there a specific gene for eccentricity? I believe some folks are eccentric right from the beginning. With others there might be a gradual evolution into eccentricity. The M-W Dictionary defines eccentric as: deviating from conventional or accepted usage or conduct especially in odd or whimsical ways.
As I look back over my life, my behavior would be considered conventional. I certainly was not one to ever rock the boat or try to stand out in any way. However, my thoughts, dreams, imaginings might put me over the edge into the realm of eccentricity. The operative part of that definition being whimsical. Perhaps occasionally even a little odd. I tended to view many aspects of life in terms of adventures, enchantment, serendipity. I loved stories which included angels, fairies, elves, worlds beyond where we currently live. Consequently I was a fan of C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L’Engle for example. I was always drawn to that which was a little quirky, fanciful,quaintly playful.
As the years went by, the word eccentric came into my thoughts. I wondered if, at a certain age, one had the obligation to become eccentric. What would that even look like. Did it mean dressing flamboyantly, speaking more controversially? I supposed it could have been anything off the beaten track. Then I wondered how I would be if I took on eccentricity. It could be fun. What sort of eccentric would I like to be? What quirky things would I do or wear yet feel comfortable in myself? After all, there are no real rules one must adhere to. Psychologists often list characteristics of eccentric people. Sure, there are some common characteristics, but it is an individual thing however it fits according to dictionary definitions.
I certainly fit into the whimsical category. Looking over my life, there were times I could have been considered odd.
Unfortunately, in my earlier years, and this might be the case for many others, I was too concerned about appearances; what others would think; how I might be judged for this, that or the other thing. Fortunately, now I know better and can make more authentic choices. For the most part I still fit into the norm or accepted convention, but not entirely. That not entirely part is where the fun comes in. I may do some things that are a little odd, wear something with a funky flair or look at life through a kaleidoscopic lens.
We all ought to be who we truly are, as I said above, be our authentic selves. If that includes eccentricity, so be it. We tend to take ourselves too seriously. Enjoy a little pizzazz. However we choose to express our off the beaten track part of ourselves, we still always need to be respectful and considerate of others.
Now I am going to enjoy a yummy coffee in a paper take-out cup. Years ago I would only drink good coffee in the best china. There is actually a story behind this. Absent the story, the paper cup thing is just weird, yet wonderful.
Comments are welcomed.
Crayons Or Dream Sticks?
Here we are in April with the hope and promise that Spring brings. Part of that is the magnificence of the multitude of colors that pop up all around us. I saw in my mind’s eye the daffodil yellow, the cerulean sky, the grassy green, cherry blossom pink, fuzzy wuzzy brown tree bark. Then my thoughts totally went to Crayola crayons, the amazing dream sticks. They come in a kaleidoscope of 120 awesome colors.
These 120 colors include 23 reds, 20 greens, 19 blues, 16 purples, 14 oranges, 11 browns, 8 yellows, 2 grays, 2 coppers, 2 blacks, 1 white, 1 gold and 1 silver. Who knew?
Here are a couple of other interesting bits of Crayola trivia. For instance, the first box of Crayola crayons was sold in 1903 for a nickel and included the same colors available in the eight-count box today: red, blue, yellow, green, violet, orange, black and brown.
The use of wax as an artist's material goes back to the golden age of Greek art.... Sometime during the fifteenth century, artists began to mold pigments and binders into colored sticks or "crayons." The name Crayola was coined by Alice Binney, wife of company founder Edwin, and a former school teacher. She combined the words craie, which is French for chalk, and ola, for oleaginous, because crayons are made from petroleum based paraffin.
What caught my fancy thinking about crayons this time is the names of the colors. Some of the more pizzazzy names are Atomic orange, battery charged blue, glitzy gold, banana mania, jazzberry jam, laser lemon, scream green, purple pizzazz, razzle dazzle rose, blast off bronze, wild watermelon. I then thought it would be fun to come up with my own names for colors. Here are a few: Flirtacious Fuchsia, Capricious Pink, Garrolous Green, Rapscallion Red, Silvery White Willow, Chocolate Mousse, Bibbity Bobbity Blue, Blase Gray, Sunburst, Intrepid Orange, Ebony. Have some fun and come up with some new color names of your own.
Crayons can be quite magical. How else can you have a magenta sky with rainbow colored daisies growing among gold and silver blades of grass? There is even an art to coloring outside of the lines. (Doesn’t that fly in the face of what we were told as kids!) We are never too old for crayons. With some paper, a box of crayons and no rules we can create anything. Finally, a message to humanity from Robert Fulghum: We could learn a lot from crayons; some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, while others bright, some have weird names, but they all have learned to live together in the same box.”
Comments are welcomed.