13 March 2014

New do for summer

Is that hairline getting a little high on the sides? No—can't be.

That's me with Aeisha, my Iraqi barberess. Her shop on 4th Ave. (not a salon, as you can see by the Barbasol receptacle at bottom right) is one of the few places in Vancouver where you can still get the hot-shaving-cream-and-straight-razor treatment, although, to be honest, you can do better in five minutes with your Sensor and some intention. She says some guys make jokes about Iraq while she's scraping their throats with the razor. Reckless, say I.

The reason for the grooming is my temporary leap up the blogging food chain. Today I—drum roll set off in em dashes, please—started a summer internship at Emdashes, which is, as I explained to my family, the Internet's première site about The New Yorker. In no time, I'm sure, Mom will be telling everyone at work that I got a job at the magazine, an elision we should discourage.

I'm working from Vancouver, so the haircut isn't strictly necessary—Emdashes is based in NYC—but with a Kerouackian huzzah and a fit of '20s optimism I decided to make an offering of sideburns to the writing gods. You'll be the first to know how it goes. God, 'Kerouackian' has got to be my favorite name-based adjective.

I spent way too long labouring over my introduction, which, it's not hard to see, comes over as a weak slider for a ball. Give me time, though; it's a comfort zone thing.

Extra listening
Now that we're on the subject, Jack Kerouac reading from "On the Road," in a way both cool and strangely not—your call.

Harry Crosby reading John Updike's "On the Sidewalk," a spot-on Kerouac spoof first published, I believe, in The New Yorker. (I've got it in "Fierce Pajamas" a humor anthology edited by David Remnick and Henry Finder.)

Originally published on May 10, 2007


Stephen Connolly said...

Congrats JJ. You've done clever and entertaining work here at your calling-card blog so the internship is well deserved.

I had my first and only hot towel shave at a barbershop in Kansas City right out of the movies. The patter was fantastic but the barber cut me to shreds. I went to my brother-in-law's wedding that night looking like I'd gotten in a fight with a cat.

JJB said...

Thanks, Stephen. Yeah, I can't say I loved the shave, either. I think Aeisha is self-taught, which isn't really a piece of info she should be free with. I came about smooth, but she'd shaved me in every possible direction and I was afraid my face was going to explode with ingrown hairs.

JJB said...

Good patter is good, though. One of my only two requirements for a romantic relationship.

Roland said...

And the other is?
He dared to ask.

JJB said...

I so badly want to make a bad joke, but I'll restrain the impulse.


Anonymous said...

Congrats on joining the Good Ship Emdashes, John. Emily is so good; you'll enjoy the gig and, from scanning your posts the last couple months, I think the venue benefits greatly, too. Drop me a line sometime and let me know your other plans. -Jeff MacIntyre

JJB said...

Cheers, Jeff.

Gillian said...

You've come a long way from that day when I tried to fix your Taipei special haircut with kitchen scissors in that XinYi apartment.

Looking forward to picking your brain over a beer soon, Bucher.

JJB said...

Somewhere with cheap beer for a pick sesh -- I'm down.

Vancentrist said...

Ain't nothing wrong with a receding hairline, John. I'm almost a decade younger than you and already I've started to experience that.