December 11th, 2011

Me 1

Cleaning up (well...)

I think I've accepted that I'll never have a sweet Sam Elliott mustache.

I probably couldn't pull off the no-mustache stubble Sam Elliott has in Road House, either.

Other facial hair styles I can't do: Anything curled. The handlebar. Anything dark; dyed facial hair on me would probably look like I'd Sharpie'd it on, so I'll keep my reddish-blondeish-white facial hair. Also? Anything long. (My facial hair only grew long the first time I did it, back in college, and I got compared more than once to the lead singer of the Spin Doctors.) Or an evil Van Dyke, like in Mirror Universe Star Trek. My Van Dyke is, apparently, inviting.

Unless, perhaps, for potential future employers.

Yep, I've gone clean-shaven again. Cleaning up for the upcoming job hunt. Maybe it's a false need, maybe people looking to hire me wouldn't mind that I had facial hair, and it's not like I have F YOUR YANKEE BLUE JEANS tattooed (in Comics Sans) across my forehead, but -- cleaning up, for now, is a good idea. Simplify my look. I'll also probably get a haircut today, and I want to be sure my hair on top of my head looks balanced with the rest of my head. Going clean-shaven removes a variable.

Though because I like having facial hair -- something I thought would look awful on me, until college when I finally grew a fair amount of it -- the Van Dyke will someday return. Not the mustache, though. I tried that once. That will be the only time.

Clean-Shaven Chris is clean-shaven. And is waiting for the sadness of the several people who like how Chris looks with a Van Dyke.
Whale fluke

Swimming in -- well, relative warmth

Swimming. Swimming would be nice. In fact, swimming would be fantastic. So why haven't I done it, really done it, for a pretty long time?

I didn't in July 2010 when in San Diego for Comic Con, though a pool was available. (A Marriott in San Diego? Of course there'd be one.) My most recent time in a hotel, in Hood River last summer for a family gathering, the pool was closed.

I did some sort-of-swimming back last June, at the Evergreen Wings & Waves Water Park. First in the wave pool (barked a knee and needed a bandage), then riding slides, then alternating between slides and a side pool with a vortex in one corner of it. You go into this circular side portion of that pool and get easily pushed along by the water; takes some strength, planning, and timing to get out of it. So I've done some swimming. It's another thing I'm missing.

I want to luxuriate in that swimming. Didn't, or maybe couldn't, really do that in a crowded water park. And what I'd really like is to swim in an ocean for the first time in years -- and swim in a warm ocean for the first time in decades. The water off of Virginia Beach, VA and Nags Head, NC is reasonably warm, and I did that in the Eighties; but I've never been where the water's warmer than that, The West Coast is not the place to get that, either, for the most part, though I've actually braved the Oregon Coast water. August, 1990, the family was in Lincoln City. Even at the height of summer, the water there is, well, brisk. I broke out in gooseflesh and felt exhilarated by that, then adapted to the cold water. I was fine and happy in it. But the next ocean I want to be in: yeah, warmer, please.

(And I'm definitely not doing a Polar Plunge. zarhooie is likely disappointed in me.)

I have yet to swim in Gulf Coast water. I haven't gone swimming from any coast of Florida, certainly not any place farther south than that. Like Hawaii. I have friends in Hawaii, on the big island, who made me a standing offer: pay for a plane ticket, we'll put you up. In their home, which is the way to stay in Hawaii; hotels there are EXPENSIVE. But the friends are likely to move from Hawaii before I can afford to take them up on their offer, plus they have kids now: more crowded house. How much room for visitors? First-world problem, I know, and probably a moot point, to boot.

I'd also be a lousy Survivor contestant, so I won't get to warmer waters THAT way.

But I'll swim again, maybe even semi-regularly or regularly. I grew up doing it, in Southern California. I took to the water so thoroughly that people compared me to a dolphin. (...and also worried to my mom that I was underwater longer than they expected. Mom knew, however, that I was safe.) I find water comforting. I was delighted when, seven years ago, my nephews visited the ocean for the first time -- at Seaside, OR, in summer 2004 -- and just went nuts getting into the water, even on an overcast and cool day, as the Oregon Coast often has. They were delighted little popsicles when they headed back to their hotel.

I could have that delight. I'd like the delight even more when the water is warm.
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