Hair Apparent

~~ you think you've got problems ~~

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

I am a pretty normal single guy in my 20's. I have a medical condition called hirsutism that causes excessive growth of hair which is sometimes okay and sometimes embarassing. Also I like pizza.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


I was at the grocery store today deciding what kind of milk I wanted to buy when an old lady spit on me. She said something in Italian or Latin, made a strange face, spit, and that was it. A kid who was sitting in a shopping cart seat across from us shook his head and said, "Chicks". He looked to be about 14 years old.

Now, question: isn't their some sort of law regarding this? Like a cut off age by which you are no longer allowed to sit in these things? A guy at work who used to bag groceries claims that as long as your legs fit through the leg dealies then you can sit in it. The only thing is if there hadn't been groceries in the cart I'm sure this kid would have fallen forward as soon as he sat down. Then he'd be stuck wandering around the aisles like some poorly designed robot complete with useless shopping cart ass. I think the rule should be by weight. "Must weigh significantly less than cart's contents". I'm writing my congressman.

Anyway, I'm at home now and I'm scared to drink the milk I bought. The thing is I don't know if I'm scared to drink the milk because there's a curse on it or I'm scared to drink it because that's the curse. Like the scared of drinking milk curse. Whatever. The only part that bothers me is that any of it bothers me. I can't concentrate. It seriously ruined "Kate & Allie" for me just now. I love that show.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Def Leppard

I was on the bus to work the other day and a lady started yelling at her boyfriend. She was making this huge scene at the back of the bus and I was just sinking in my seat trying not to look. They must've been deaf because she was signing violently at him and he was interjecting now and then with defensive little signings of his own. She kept yelling out loud but in that muted Lou Ferrigno kind of voice. You know the one where it sounds like you're speaking into a pillow? If she had a regular voice I'm sure the cops would have been called. It was that heated. The weirdest/saddest/tragic part of the whole thing was that she kept yelling, "You never listen to me!".

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Count Talkula

I've been at my new job for a few weeks now and with a few reservations (to be discussed) I'd say things are going pretty well. I've never really lived in the big city before so it's a bit of an adjustment. I'm more of a country mouse I guess. My cubicle mate Edgar ("Ed") said I've taken to my new job like a "fuck to water". This, according to Ed, is a play on words. Cussing aside I'm pretty jazzed about it. He was smiling when he said it so it's probably a good thing, right?

I love having my own computer and I'm consistently amazed by the people out there who'll email you without even having ever met you. If you'd told me that people I didn't know were this friendly I would have agreed with you but secretly, like in my head, I wouldn't have believed you. It really is a global village out there. I get emails from all over the place. The exiled sons of Nigerian diplomats, pharmaceutical companies, really friendly girls that are just...well, real open about their sexuality. Pretty brave actually. And their names are so diverse! Lassiter Obanion, Cyrillus Alejandro Pugh, Romeo Himmelfarb, Vilma Trijntje. It's so unfair. Makes me kind of mad at my parents.

Responding to all those emails makes the mornings go by pretty quickly but there's a period in the afternoon, usually when I really have to start getting down to work, where I start to kind of space out. It's during this time that I do a little "walkabout" (which is Australian for walking -- see "Crocodile Dundee"). Coming from a job where my co-workers were more like family to a place like this has been a big adjustment. I suppose that implies that I'm trying to adjust to life here when really what I'm doing is trying to make it just like how it was in the circus. In that sense I guess you could consider me a bit of a rebel or an outsider. Not unlike Paul Hogan (again see "Crocodile Dundee"...seriously, it's pretty good).

Back at my old job if I went up to talk to someone about something they wouldn't ignore me or pick up the phone and say, "Hello" even though the phone hadn't rang. In general people were up for conversation or at least polite nodding but around here everyone talks about:

a) how much they hate their job
b) how much they hate their life
c) how much they hate the weather
d how much they hate their co-workers (but not you)
e) how much they hate reality tv contestant x, y, or z

It's a little scary. Here's a conversation I just had with Lilly. She's a new student that just started here. She does database entry work (the modern day equivalent of shucking corn...assuming that was a some point). I of all people know how hard it is trying to fit in at a new job so I thought I'd introduce myself.

Me: Hi
Lilly: Sorry can't talk right now. Working.
Me: But this the staff break room? Hey! Nice!

We have to wear staff ID pictures on these little cards around our necks as a "security measure" (like I'm sure someone is going to try and break in and do all our work for us! HA! ). Lilly had one on and I thought it would be a good icebreaker to talk about it so I pointed at it and said, "Hey! Nice!". In my experience compliments are usually a pretty rad icebreaker. Well...usually.

Lilly: Perv!
Me: Where?

And then she screamed really loudly and I just sort of ran away and hid in the washroom for a half hour. I wish I was better in social situations. I just don't really know how to handle myself at times. I'm pretty sure she thought I was talking about her blouse. Obviously she thought I was being sarcastic or something since I'm a guy and I don't know about blouses. God, she must think I'm really immature. Always running away from my problems. And on top of that she totally doesn't know who I am! Pervinder is in Shipping. He's South Asian and I'm sure he wouldn't be offended if I said he was slightly overweight (he wears it well though...honestly). I, on other hand, am completely covered in hair and slightly underweight. I mean come on!

Who knows. Maybe she usually wears glasses. I don't think that was really representative of her character. She seemed really nice. She was all smiles on her ID. Well, more of a Mona Lisa type though. Kind of a wry smile but definitely smiling. Definitely.

Anyhow, I can't help but think I'm doing something wrong here. I talked to Quentin about it and he said it was because I was "Count Talkula". I thought that sounded scary so I asked him how I could better assimilate into the corporate culture (that's middle management speak for "fit in" -- I'm eyeing a promotion). He asked if I had a "hate on" for anything. I didn't really understand him so I said I did. When he asked what it was I just belly laughed and said, "Everything!" y'know just so I covered all the bases (I find laughter makes anything easier to swallow -- the louder the better in my opinion). And that was that. Now there's some new girl where Quentin used to sit and she won't say anything to me. I asked what her name was and she said, "It's none of your business". And I said, "Oh, a woman of the cloth?". NUN! Icebreaker's people! You're supposed to laugh at them! God knows they're not easy to come up with!

Sometimes I feel a little like this hamster.


Friday, January 06, 2006

My First Entry

That's my great great grandfather Commodore. He fought for the Confederates in the Civil War. I suppose fighting may be an overstatement though. Much of the time he sat around posing for pictures like the one above dressed in fake Union uniforms. I believe one historian cited the reason being, "a grossly misguided attempt at propaganda". I suppose it's like dressing your parrot up as Saddam Hussein: it's funnier for you than it is hurtful to Saddam. Anyway, it's thought that he died of exposure in a snowstorm during the battle of Fort Donelson in 1862. Kind of ironic given the covered in hair thing. Whatever the case it was supposed to skip my generation. Keyword: supposed.

The clinical term for "it" is "hirsutism". I think that's Latin for "hairy". And while I don't think I have it as bad as my great great grandpappy I still consider it one of those things you'd classify as a mixed blessing. On the positive side it's a pretty good icebreaker and from an early age you're guaranteed work...well circus work. And I should warn you that line of work can get a little demeaning.

Consider this: spending the better part of your formative years working in traveling circus locked in a cage pretending to be a crazed wolfman. You know, like rattling the bars, growling, and chewing on raw steaks. Yup, raw steaks. If you're looking for a quick way to become, and stay, vegetarian try chewing on a raw shank of meat four days a week at 2:00, 4:00, and 7:00 for 15 years...don't really do that. Just think about it. Terrible, huh?

We were talking about the positive side right? Years of watching VH1's Behind the Music have taught me that being in the circus is sort of like being the latest in a long line of replacement bass players in an established rock band. You get to go to all these neat new places but you've moved on to the next neat new place before you've really had the time to explore the first one. And, more importantly, nobody really knows who you are. Or cares. That's a big part of why I left.

The other admittedly bigger part was that I was "let go" by my employer. Fired by, well, my family really. All over a minor mishap concerning a Ferris Wheel and some live animals. Trust me when I say that I have definite grounds for wrongful dismissal. Absolutely. Totally unfair given my track record. But I'm not about to clog up our judicial system with a frivolous lawsuit. I am bigger than that. I can and will make my own way in this world doing what I do best: accounting. It's always been something I was good at. I don't love it mind you. My true calling is inventing...well...improving really. I tinker with things. Make them better. Whatever the case through what's been some pretty uncommon luck I managed to get
an accounting job. In the big city. Chicago.

Boy do I love it here. I've never been anywhere this exciting. It's so loud and interesting! Most loud things are I suppose. Did you know that Chicago is the derivation of a Native American word for "garlic". They named it that because of the stench given off by the rotting leeks that covered the marshland Chicago sits upon. Which is strange because for the most part I think it smells pretty good (garbage day being the exception). Anyway, now I'm rambling. I guess I just wanted to document this somehow. My friend told me I was in a pretty unique situation and that people might be interested so he suggested I start this up. I said I wasn't sure about it (you'll find that this is how I feel about a lot of things) and he held up his hand and rubbed his fingers together. I'm not sure if that meant the world's tiniest violin was playing for me or that somehow money was involved. He never said. I guess we'll find out.

Yours very truly,