Tag Archives: Los Angeles

To The Woman Currently Cutting My Hair: Are You Paying Attention?

Jana: Recently, I got a haircut. If it’s alright with you, I’d like to tell you about the full experience of my haircut.

 
At 6 AM on the day of the haircut, I got up and drove my boyfriend to the airport, as he was leaving to move to Los Angeles. Then I came home and lay in bed being sad for a while. At 11:30 AM, I roused myself, ate three pieces of toast, and got in the car to meet my sister, because we had purchased “Living Social” deals to get haircuts for only $20, and we had thought it might be a nice activity for the day that would help me take my mind off my boyfriend moving and my having no money and no real plan for my life. I was encouraged by the thought of the haircut.

I need to note that my encouragement was a product of that pesky human inability to accurately remember pain (my best example of this is eating hummus only ten minutes after having been on the toilet bargaining with God because of hummus-induced problems. Once it’s over, I’m always like, it wasn’t so baaad. Ooo is that Sabra? What kind of crackers do you have?). Because, when I’m being honest with myself, I’m fully aware that I always have a terrible time at a haircut. The conversation between me and the hairdresser is a lot like this, always:

Hairdresser: Let’s see here. Oh woah, so we’ve got some serious split ends.

Me: I know, yeah.

Hairdresser: You really need to stop straightening your hair. This is really damaged! If you don’t drastically change your lifestyle, it’s going to be damaged forever.

Me: I know, yes, you’re right.

Hairdresser: And oh my god, such little hair! It’s so so thin!

Me: Yeah, it’s really thin.

Hairdresser: Ok, I’ll see what I can do but I can’t make any promises! *Laughs*. So, are you excited to start high school in the fall?

 

Then they cut off the split ends and try to make conversation which I try to deflect with silence; then, I pay them $60 and go home to furiously straighten the hair.

But, on the day of this haircut, those memories were all rose-colored. Off we went to our haircut with tear-stained faces (just mine, my sister was fine) and hopeful hearts.

It was a very hot day, so we were excited to get inside to an air conditioned room. We ran across Mass Ave and into the salon and found it… stale. Terribly, terribly hot, and empty save for one girl getting her hair cut by a strange-looking man who was wearing a T-shirt that said “I’m just here to annoy you.” We approached the front counter, where a woman stood looking over some papers. She completely ignored us. “Hello?” we tried. She was obviously pissed that we were there. “Busy now, you can sit over there,” she said (it became clear at this moment that she was some kind of European foreign, which I’m only saying to accurately set the scene). We didn’t know what else to do, so we went and sat over on the weird-looking bench. From that vantage point, I could now see the woman’s full person:

This was an older lady, maybe in her late 60s, with cropped white hair, which is fine and good. She was wearing a somewhat ill-fitting dress that really highlighted her stomach paunch, which is also nothing I’m ever gonna get on a high horse about (am I right ladies? – sorry, I don’t even know what that joke was). But ok, HERE IS THE KICKER: on her feet, she was wearing those shoes that have the individual toes. I don’t even know that you can really call them shoes, but regardless, I’ve always understood them to be designed exclusively for endurance running. And yet, this woman wore them in her hair salon, paired with a dress. Furthermore, the shoes appeared to be wet.

You heard me. They were wet. As if she’d recently been walking in some sort of river.

Despite the shoes, we stayed. My sister was soon taken in for haircutting by the “Annoy you” t-shirt guy, who’d finished with the other girl. As I flipped through a magazine, I sensed from overhearing my sister’s conversation that the male hairdresser was in fact quite capable and normal; they laughed together as he cut her hair. I relaxed into the uncomfortable wooden-wicker bench.

Eventually, old Wet Shoes was ready for me, which she signaled by pointing – “Sinks, I meet you over there.” I went to the sinks.

Once we were there, in the familiar space of an awkward salon hairwashing, I sort of started to like her. She told me that she had just seen that movie “Hot Mike,” and that it was full of “beautiful bodies.” She explained that she’d been so rude earlier because she’d been trying to find an envelope full of something to do with taxes, and it had ended up being right in front of her. I got that, I’ve been there. I figured it would be ok.

And it was, such as it was, in that she did cut my hair and we did interact with only mild awkwardness. However, as we chatted, I couldn’t help but notice that she seemed to be really arbitrarily selecting pieces of my hair to cut. Juuust whatever. Just a piece here, a piece there. I didn’t see a PATTERN, see. In addition, TWICE during the haircut, someone came into the salon to ask her something, and she talked to these people WHILE SHE CUT MY HAIR, with her head fully turned away from what she was doing. So, I worried. But I was so TIRED and emotionally drained, and so sure of my inability to speak up for myself, that I just settled into it. I equate this situation to quietly agreeing to rent a HIDEOUS house that I’d have to live in for six months for fear of insulting the realtor. We live in our hair, is what I’m saying.

Then it was over. We tipped, we left. When I got home, it became very clear that my wet-shoed friend had cut a full layer of bangs all the way around my head. Like, an all-one-length layer. Left alone, this very closely resembles a mullet, or a poorly done version of the haircut Rachel had on “Friends.” But it’s ok! It’s just the way it is. I have a bang, around my head. And because hair grows at the same rate over time, I can only assume that this is how it will always be.

Like this.

PS. Right after the haircut I cried while eating half a pizza and then fell asleep watching “Something Borrowed.” Just to be clear about the day.

Catherine: If there’s one thing I like to make fun of besides Jana’s allergies, it’s her hair. It defies gravity. It has been known to fight the strongest straighteners, the firmest tugs of the comb, and emerge victorious, standing straight up on Jana’s head like a crown.

It’s incredible.

Jana, you gotta stop cutting your hair. You do it all the time, it never looks different, and you’re always really sad afterwards. This story, I hope, will teach you to steer clear for at LEAST a year. You don’t deserve the pain. You simply don’t.

And also, you should have been tipped off by the toe shoes. Those are disgusting. The only thing I hate more are probably Tevas, shoes that look like Tevas, and birkenstocks with socks. It’s in the top five worst shoe – I would’ve walked out then and there.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST – Jana and I will be reunited again next week! Maybe something horrible will happen? It probably will. We’ll let you know.

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Celebrity DJs, Strip Clubs, and Jason: A Love Story

Hey Guys! Cathy and I are going to a wedding this weekend, so we’ve spent most of the week being anxious about that and anticipating being embarrassed there. As a result, we haven’t had time to write any blog posts… but luckily, WE KNOW JASON! So, on this Friday in June, we present him again, here, for you. Enjoy!

Jason: When I was in the second grade there was a pretty girl that I liked, so I poked her with a pencil because I was too scared to talk to her. Well, eventually I learned how to talk to girls, but what I still haven’t learned how to do is talk to celebrities.

“Why can’t you talk to celebrities?” you’re probably saying to yourself, “they’re just like us! I read US Weekly, they take to the beach in unflattering bathing suits, they shop for groceries, they pump their own gas, they chew food.” These are the things we like to tell ourselves about celebrities, and my question to you is this: do you actually believe that stuff? I mean, when you’re being honest with yourself do you REALLY think that Brad Pitt is “just like you” because he (allegedly) chews his food? Maybe you do, and if so then good for you, because I sure don’t. Celebrities are better than us, dammit. They eat for free at restaurants that they don’t have to wait in line at, they fly to the shopping center in their private jets and they’re paid exuberant amounts of money to prance around for our amusement. Maybe they’re not better than you, I didn’t mean to insult your fragile pride, but they’re damn sure better than me.

Upon spotting a celebrity my blood pressure rises. My mouth goes dry, I can hear the violent thumping of my heart, I feel like a lion staring at a particularly haughty zebra or a young lover about to touch his first supple breast. Usually my juvenile reaction to seeing a celebrity is pretty benign. There was the time that I saw Kevin from the office in line at a Los Angeles deli: I stood six inches away from him staring awkwardly as he bought his sandwiches until, putting his arms protectively around his children, he gave me a dirty look and headed for the door. Sometimes though, my internal second grader takes over and I just can’t control myself, like the time I pulled over and double-parked in Boston traffic in front of the old House of Blues to scream “Sipowicz! Hey! Sipowicz!” at Dennis Franz until he eventually flipped me off and, giggling, I jumped back in my car and drove away.

These stories are all innocent enough when compared to my greatest showdown. You may not know this about me, but I used to enjoy frequenting strip clubs. A lot. There are probably another ten or so entries that I can devote solely to this aspect of my life, but it’s not really relevant here. What IS relevant is that there was one club in particular that I would frequent regularly, where all the bouncers and bartenders knew me pretty well (because I was so awesome…) and I would spend the majority of my time and paycheck there.

Here it is: The Cabaret Lounge (maybe. I don’t know if this is the same place. Here is a picture of a place called the Cabaret Lounge that may or may not be relevant).

Well, I walked in one night and took my usual seat at the stage (I know, I know…) and across from me I happened to see Nick Carter. No, not the Backstreet Boy Nick Carter – I’m referring to the popular Boston disc jockey from the late 90’s early 2000’s Nick Carter. Here’s the thing, you can debate the “celebrity” of a local DJ all you want, but the guy had millions of listeners, and the most important thing to keep in mind is that I was one of them. I would listen to his station, WBCN, every time I was in the car and I genuinely enjoyed listening to him. Now, I’m sitting there, in my seat at my favorite place ever and I’m staring directly at a man who has entertained me for hours upon countless hours as I sat in traffic. How did I handle this situation? Well, I waited until he made eye contact with me and then at the top of my lungs I began to shout, across the stage, “Rocco rules! Rocco! Rocco! Rocco!” Rocco being Nick Carter’s rival drive-time disc jockey on a radio station that I had literally never tuned into. The only reason I knew Rocco’s name is because Nick used to make fun of him on the air. So I continue doing this for probably about five minutes, chanting his rival’s name and screaming out the call letters to a rival station that I had never even listened to, until I see Nick get up from his seat to go, presumably, to the bathroom. About one minute later every bouncer in the club surrounded my seat.

“Was that you that was screaming ‘Rocco’ over and over again?” asked Kenny, a mammoth of a man I happened to know fairly well due to all the quality time we spent together looking at boobies.

“Probably,” I sheepishly replied, ready to be beaten to death.

“Come with me.” He said and led me, escorted by an entourage of terrifying Sons of Anarchy extra types, to the club’s back room.

“Do you know why Nick Carter is here?” Kenny asked me.

“Tits?” I said, still trying to be charming.

“He’s here because Joey here is trying to get his demo tape on the air. How would you feel, Joey, if Nick didn’t want to do that for you now?”

“Bad.” Said Joey, who was approximately 5 feet tall, 200 pounds, and had a face that looked like it had been beaten with an iron in the delivery room.

“I’d feel bad too.” I said.

Joey said nothing, he just stood there being ugly and scary. This was followed by probably 30 seconds of silence in which I was pretty sure were going to be followed by horrible pain, followed by death.

“You spend a lot of money here.” Said Kenny, finally. “And I like talking to you too. Man, if you were someone we didn’t know you’d already be gone. Fuck. Joey, if he apologizes to Nick do you think he can stay?”

“I guess so.” Said Joey, who I was starting to realize maybe wasn’t so ugly after all.

So we all headed back out to the main floor of the club. I walked around to the side of the stage that Nick Carter and his friends were sitting at and I saw Nick look from me to Kenny, who nodded at him.

“Hey, man.” I said.

“What’s up?” said Nick.

“I just wanted to tell you that I’m a really big fan and I listen to you every day.”

Then we kind of just stared at each other for awhile before he asked me, “If you’re a fan of MINE then why the fuck were you screaming ‘Rocco’ over and over again?”

“I don’t know. I didn’t know what else to do, I thought it would be funny, right?”

“No.”

“Okay, well I’m really sorry. Rocco sucks. Next time I see you I’ll just come say ‘hi’.”

“Cool.”

“Enjoy your night.”

“You too,” he said, “thanks for coming over.”

“You’re welcome.”

I then went back to my seat and drank a lot of beer and saw a lot of boobs. The next day on the air Nick Carter recanted this story and referred to me as a jackass.

This has been my story about how I can’t talk to celebrities and how one time being a regular at a strip club probably saved my face from being beaten in. Dreams can come true. Thanks for reading.

Jana: I think my favorite character in this story is Joey, who would I would like to write a movie about. Like, what kind of music did Joey play? Why was he playing at a strip club? Do strip clubs also sometimes double as concert venues? The fact that he is 5 feet tall is also, of course, excellent. JOEY. WHERE ARE YOU NOW?

Catherine: I too share an affinity for Joey, who was not unlike Nick Carter (the real one, from Backstreet Boys.) Nobody really cared about him. It was a sad thing. All those poor guys didn’t grow up to be Justin Timberlake, and I think that’s something for everyone to feel bad about.

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