My classic barbershop experience

I went in for a classic barber haircut about two weeks ago at Pappy’s Barber Shop on El Cajon Blvd.

This was a single antique barber chair located in the back of a tattoo parlor. The barber was a 24-year-old guy who’d gone to barber school (he is not Pappy; he is one of Pappy’s minions). He wore a classic barber smock, and he gave me a haircut, shaved the back of my neck with a straight razor, and massaged my shoulders with two of these handheld barber massage machines. They look like this.

This is now a trend, according to an article I read somewhere that I can’t find a link to now. Classic barbershops are cropping up all over the country. It was the kind of experience you usually see in gangster movies.

They do hot-towel shaves, too, which I’ll try one day for a special occasion.

The barber seemed surprised when I asked him to trim my ears and eyebrows. “We don’t usually do that but since you asked…. ” he said. I was surprised at his surprise. but he was 24 years old, and I suspect all his clientele is under 30, mostly under 25, and so he lacks experience with the out-of-control eyebrows and ear hair a guy gets after he’s 45. And that’s not even talking about the nostril hair. Let’s not talk about that.

I liked the classic barber experience, and it was inexpensive, only $17. But it was a bit too much of a production to make a regular thing out of it.

Plus I did a little haircut experiment. Ten years ago, I decided my hair was sparse enough that the only way to avoid looking ridiculous was to start getting it cut really short, with a #2 clipper all over, about 1/8″ long all over my head. That’s the only haircut I have had since, except for twice when I went totally crazy. Once I went for the #1 clipper, which is even shorter than the #2.

And a few months ago, I was really out of control and said make it as short as you can without actually shaving my head. And they gave me a trim with something called a #0 clipper.

When I went to Pappy’s, it had been a few months since I had a haircut, and I wanted to do something different. So after brief consultation with the Hair Styling Professional, he gave me the #3 trim up-top, and a #2 and #1 along the sides.

And it’s been a couple of weeks and I don’t like it.

For one thing, I don’t really have a good conception about just how bald I am in the back. It seems to be neurologically impossible to form a mental picture of the entirety of your own head. From the front-on view, which is the only way I can visualize it, my hair looks merely thin. But I suspect an outside observer would say I am mostly bald. And the #3 clipper on top doesn’t look good from any angle other than the front. Or so Julie tells me, and after inspecting my scalp while standing between two mirrors, I believe her.

Normally, I’d wait a couple of more weeks to get my next haircut. The new haircut isn’t that bad. But a week from today I’m off to an all-hands corporate meeting, during which photos will be taken. And I suspect these photos will replace our existing profile pictures on our various websites. I’ll want to look my best for those photos, if only because I’ll be looking at them several times every workday for a very long time. So it’s off to get another haircut later today, and this time I’ll just go back to Hair Cut Pros, the Vietnamese place I’ve been using the past couple of years.

Creative writing, progress report

The current novel is at 22,000 words. I think it’s going to end up at 50,000 words, which is wicked short for a print novel, but feels like a good length for an e-novel. It’s going to be the first of a continuing series.

I have a backlog of existing work to revise and post: Three shorts stories and two novel drafts. I really need to be working on those. But I hate to let a day go by without doing a little original creative writing, and that seems to be all that I have the energy or time to do some days. I need to be more patient about this, just chip away at things a little a day. That’s how creative writing works. It’s much slower than blogging or journalism, which is what I’ve done professionally my whole career.

“The Biggest Man in Lilliput” is selling all right all things considered. Two reviews on Amazon, one five-star and one four-star. Fifteen sales to date on Amazon. One sale on Barnes & Noble. It’s a decent start. It’s $5.65 in royalties. Journey of a thousand miles, single step, and all that.

Many ebooks don’t sell any copies at all, so I’m already ahead of the game there. My sales are good for a first ebook from someone unknown at creative writing who doesn’t have a popular blog or other social media platform to promote it. I mean, my number of Twitter followers, Google+ and Facebook friends is good, but it’s not spectacular. My personal blog doesn’t get many readers. And it just wouldn’t be right for me to use The CMO Site to promote my creative writing — not right, and disastrous professionally. The CMO Site and my creative writing are two different things; one is my career and the other is my hobby and a side-business.

I need to get the ebook posted to Smashwords so it’ll be available on iBooks, Sony, and other stores, as well as available for download. Then I can start the real marketing; writing some background posts for my blog, Google+, and Facebook, and also sending review copies to other people’s blogs.

Flagrant self-promotion:

Buy “The Biggest Man in Lilliput” here for $0.99:

“The Biggest Man in Lilliput” on Kindle

“The Biggest Man in Lilliput” on Nook