Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Glass Fro

Today I got a hair cut. I went a long way for this hair cut, into the kitchen to ask my girlfriend to do it for me. I'm a cheapskate and haven't paid for a hair cut in probably 3 years. Usually I shave it in the summer time, and then let it grow into a mangy fro over the winter time. Until summer time. It was starting to get annoying and frizzy. Eliaz of Wood Sugars made a comment to me over a month ago about white guys with fros being distracting on film, based on what he received from someone when he sent press releases out about our film Ctrl Alt Delete. In the reply the person said "tell Jeff to get a hair cut." Although to be fair that was something we shot a year ago now, and I have indeed cut my hair since then. Yet it's grown back, thick and quick. I was also having a hard time fitting my winter hat over my head. The mass of hair pushed up and rode the thick stocking fringe above my ears and the lobes would grow cold when I was out and about. 

I wrote this piece when thinking about chopping my hair off. And thinking about winter. Those cold days when your freshly showered hair freezes. Not that we've had many of those in Chicago this winter. I have no real attachment to my hair other than I'm lazy about it and like seeing how far I can let it go. When you finally cut it, it's refreshing. I read it at You Me Them Everybody's 8x8 at the end of January.

The Glass Fro

I awoke at the spark of dawn. That red perk. Over the horizon. Taunting me to wake the fuck up and join society. And reminding me how frigid the weather had become. I reached up and rubbed my hair as I yawned. As I usually do. I snapped off a frozen strand. I dug my finger tips further into my scalp. The surface of the follicles were beyond an icy temperature. Seemingly iced over in whole, I snapped off more strands. I cringed at a sharp pain that gouged into my head. Blood smeared my cool, jittery hand. Snapping off another, the same throb ran deep. Blood ran down my forehead, into my eyes. I went and stood in front of the radiator to thaw out.

Fifteen minutes later my hair was still of this thick, smooth texture. Frustrated I snapped off strand after strand, tears running, blood joining them in a salty cheek stream. My fist ground around the hair clumps and they cut into my palm. It dawned on me these weren't ice crystals but little shards of glass. Bending down to look at my reflection in the oven window I saw my head was actually layered with the messy snarl of glassed over afropuff.

With a dirty fork sitting in the sink I began to scrape into the roots to give myself a proper hair cut. Thenastiest cut of my life. Looking back in the oven window I could see what looked almost like wet bangs and freshly showered long girl's hair. Yet as my eyes adjusted to the dark reflection I was reminded of theallusion, reinforced by the iron taste touching my tongue.

Shards gathered on the floor as I continued to snap and break it all up. It looked like a pile of wool gone bitter and berserk. With the heel of my foot I crunched it up and cursed the morning's sardonic surprise.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Green Guy's Fire

I went for a walk. Passed by a Mexican grocery up the street. I felt the impulse to stop in for fresh produce and concoct. I grabbed tomatillos, jalapenos, onions, cilantro, limes, garlic. I chopped it all up, boiled up the tomatillos til they burst, strained and ground it all up. My eyes stung and teared up from the onions, man, this onion was potent. My girlfriend felt it in the other room. My cat, sitting on a kitchen chair, had reddened eyes. Potent onion fucked me up, I stumbled around feeling drunken. Then I ate the green sauce using restaurant style tortilla chips and it had kick! I'm a white guy, so I'm sensitive. It got sinuses running. It cleared em all out. I read that spicy stuff gives you an endorphin buzz. I felt it. I felt drugged. I felt good. I kept going with my chips and the green sauce. Periodically I blew my nose. I drained what must be ten pounds of snot. I feel really good. I'm going to dig into this green sauce every day this week and lose another ten pounds of old angry snot that's been weighing me down and I'm gonna float. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Little Bucharest

My girlfriend has class Tuesday nights so we decided to do our Valentines dinner early. We cruised through Open Table, wanting to try something different. We found Little Bucharest, up the street from us on Elston. It looked fancy, and Romanian food is a different cuisine from our usual Chinese/Thai/Sushi or Mexican dine out excursions. I arrived on time for our 7pm reservation but snow decided to hit Chicago for a change this winter season, delaying my girlfriend in traffic. I was chilled from the windy, precipitating walk. As I sat at the table alone, I got the feeling the waitstaff thought I was being stood up. When she arrived, all was a good time. I had shrimp wrapped in a leaf, on a bed of garlic couscous, tasty, complex, filling! The owner was making the rounds, he saw my clean plate and tried to mess with me "why don't you like my food what's the matter with you...hahahaha!" Then he pulled out a bottle of some kind of clear liquor, I think it was ouzo, and asked to bless my girlfriend. She politely passed as she was driving and we already had some wine. I was feeling adventurous. So he drained a considerable splash of it into my mouth, wrapped his arm around to hold a cloth to close my mouth until I swallowed it all. It burned. But it was good. He made the rounds to do this to others.

Before we left he mentioned they have free limo service for groups of six or me. So we'll be lining up a triple date. I enjoyed the ambiance of the place, very jovial. Not only was it a meal, it was an experience. It made me think of a lingering urge I've had to spend some time in a European village, where there perhaps was only one eatery. And the townsfolk gather there to feast, and drink, and have a splendid time. Elation. No worrying. Spirits in the darkened light above protein and fermented beverage.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Opinion Jungle

The internet has no shortage of opinions. It's released the flood gate of opinions. Scroll through twitter, facebook, blogs, you got your overdose of opinions. I've been guilty of this too. I've spouted off plenty of my own opinions as if others would savor reading them, and I apologize for any arrogance there.

I've become annoyed with opinions. Everyone is trying to out snark one another, like we're experts. In fact real experts are too busy to opine all over the internet. I just don't how interested I am in judgment. That's the thing. This throng of opinionaters that think they're throwing down fresh commentary are really, when it comes to it, just judging. We have too many judges out there. Live tweeting is the worst.

And here I am judging and writing about opinion. New habits die with difficulty. I read a quote by Aaron Sorkin recently, " I am all for everyone having a voice, I just don't think everyone has earned the microphone. And that's what the Internet has done. " And it makes me think about my own and what I've done to earn it. If I have. When I will have earned it. In the meantime, thank you for reading this blog if I haven't earned my voice. Though I am close to the dirty thirty. I think being a person throughout three decades must be worth something.

This is all very presumptuous of me.I ate a lot in the way of greasy foods this week, fried chicken, etc and wound up feeling depressed. My computer has been running really slow, like my arteries. Perhaps my Popeyes chicken gave my computer heart disease too.

I was going to write a post here earlier this week but my computer has been acting shitty and I got distracted trying to optimize its performance and so I didn't wind up writing the post. I forget what it was about but I feel it would have been the most brilliant thing.

This morning while waiting for the train a woman was scratching away at lotto tickets. I was hoping she'd win, rooting for her. It would be great to see her jump for joy at a life changing cash prize. I take it she didn't win. She stomped her feet at some lingering pigeons. Man, usually I'm not very quick celebrate other people's success. I get too envious I guess. But I was hoping to be selfless and get excited for a complete stranger getting lucky. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012

CPS Flaw

This morning I read an article in the Huffington Post about how CPS has been losing millions to teachers that are cashing out at retirement on unused sick and vacation days. Now, my girlfriend is a hard working teacher, and I'm usually quick to defend against any suspicion of teacher perks, however this seems like a gaping flaw. I understand the idea of rewarding teachers that don't take advantage of days off, but let's remember sick days and personal days are designed to protect teachers (or any worker for that matter) against losing salary when unexpected life things come up. If they have to use them, they're protected, they get paid. If they don't use them, well, then they still get paid. In no other industry can one cash out on unused sick or vacation days. And as a result, CPS is paying out millions when that money can be used to not lay off teachers. Or to hire more teachers. Or to pay teachers more when they start teaching an extra 90 minutes a day. Award teachers for doing more! Not for just fulfilling expectations of showing up to work when they can. 

And in knowing a teacher intimately, every teacher knows that missing a day actually creates a lot more catch up work. There doesn't necessarily need to be an incentive to deter teachers from taking a sick day. Last week my girlfriend was out sick on Monday and spent the rest of the week catching up. 

Teachers get bashed enough by politicians, and I hate to add any more criticism to the field, however I felt the urge to throw down my thoughts that this act of cashing out on unused sick days is an inefficient way to reward the hard work of teachers. I'd rather that money be used to help balance the budget so that teachers don't continually face the fear of getting RIFed each spring. 

But we don't have to worry, Rahm Emanuel just found out about this and he's not happy. The King of Chicago will certainly have his way with this.