Culling the Herd

As June winds down, I decided to see how many comics I buy each month. 67. That’s too much. I don’t enjoy at least a third of them and they just pile up. But I’m stuck in a rut of buying them.

My goal: less than 50 ongoing books. That still seems like a lot. Between double shipping Marvel books to lots of Owls, it’s getting tough.

Here is the full list of what I bought in June:

ACTION COMICS #10
ALL STAR WESTERN #10
AMERICAN VAMPIRE #28 (MR)
AMERICAN VAMPIRE LORD OF NIGHTMARES #1 (OF 5)
ANIMAL MAN #10
AQUAMAN #10
AVENGERS #27 AVX
AVENGERS ACADEMY #31 AVX
AVENGERS ACADEMY #32 AVX
AVENGERS VS X-MEN #5 (OF 12) AVX
AVENGERS VS X-MEN #6 (OF 12) AVX
BATGIRL #10
BATMAN #10
BATMAN AND ROBIN #10
BATMAN INCORPORATED #2
BIRDS OF PREY #10
BLUE BEETLE #10
CAPTAIN AMERICA #13
CAPTAIN ATOM #10
CASANOVA AVARITIA #4 (OF 4)
CONAN THE BARBARIAN #5
DAREDEVIL #14
DC UNIVERSE PRESENTS #10
DEMON KNIGHTS #10
DIAL H #2
EARTH TWO #2
FABLES #118 (MR)
FAIREST #4 (MR)
FANTASTIC FOUR #607
FATALE #6
FF #19
FLASH #10
FRANKENSTEIN AGENT OF SHADE #10
GREEN LANTERN #10
GREEN LANTERN CORPS #10
GREEN LANTERN NEW GUARDIANS #10
I VAMPIRE #10
IZOMBIE #26 (MR)
JUSTICE LEAGUE #10
JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK #10
MANHATTAN PROJECTS #4
MASSIVE #1
MEMORIAL #6 (OF 6)
MIND THE GAP #2
NEW AVENGERS #27 AVX
NEW DEADWARDIANS #4 (OF 8)
NIGHTWING #10
PROPHET #26
SAGA #4 (MR)
SAUCER COUNTRY #4 (MR)
SCALPED #59
SECRET #2
SHADE #9 (OF 12)
SPACEMAN #7 (OF 9)
SWAMP THING #10
SWEET TOOTH #34 (MR)
UNCANNY X-MEN #13 AVX
UNCANNY X-MEN #14 AVX
UNWRITTEN #38 (MR)
WINTER SOLDIER #6
WINTER SOLDIER #7
WOLVERINE AND X-MEN #12
WONDER WOMAN #10
WORLDS FINEST #2
X-FACTOR #237
X-FACTOR #238

Bipartisanship – It’s easy to place blame. Much harder to do something

When elected officials decide to retire, they usually participate in exit interviews. It’s basically their time to bitch about the things they don’t like about their job, just like an exit interview when you leave any job. But the difference is that Congress is full of elected officials who have one job: represent their constituents. This is not a time for them to complain about the long hours. This is not the time to complain about the bad benefits. This is a time for them to blame everyone but themselves for the problem. Congressman Gary Ackerman complained about the same things that the last few retirees complained about: lack of honest discourse. “It used to be you had real friends on the other side of the aisle. It’s not like that anymore. Society has changed. The public is to blame as well. I think the people have gotten dumber. I don’t know that I would’ve said that out loud pre-my announcement that I was going to be leaving. [Laughter] But I think that’s true. I mean everything has changed. The media has changed. We now give broadcast licenses to philosophies instead of people. People get confused and think there is no difference between news and entertainment. People who project themselves as journalists on television don’t know the first thing about journalism. They are just there stirring up a hockey game,” – retiring Congressman Gary Ackerman20120625-211632.jpg

This is easily true. But to blame the people is dishonest. The discourse has gotten dumber. Politicians and the media have decided there are two sides that lead to winners and losers, like they are watching a baseball game. But this game matters. They let these “philosophies” take over.

I work with Republicans, I have friends who are Republicans. I am not a Republican. I bet that if you put normal people together in a room, we couldn’t solve all the problems, but we’d at least have the honest discussion. We would be willing to compromise because there wasn’t big fundraising dollars at the end of the rainbow. There weren’t lobbying jobs or seats on some sort of board. There would just be a solution.

Americans have always wanted only one thing. A solution. If there is a problem, we want an answer. We don’t want steadfastness. We don’t want philosophy. We want a job. We want less taxes. We want a system that actually works. We want less corruption. We want…

But we don’t get anything outside of promises. So, if congress honesty thinks that we are dumber than before or that they can pass the buck, they are wrong. I have lots of friends who would be “sitting across the aisle” because we don’t see it as an aisle. They are my neighbors, my friends, my family, and the people I trust. I don’t trust Congress.

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The Haircut – A Conclusion

I got a haircut. After all of the hubbub about what I want to look like and the image Imwant to portray, it came down to my friend Cathy saying that I should get my hair to look like Jude Law’s.

I was told I had his hairline. I believe that means receding, but my hairline is just that far back by genetics. So, when other people would ask me if I made a decision about my hairstyle, I told them about the Jude Law theory. And everyone I mentioned to agreed. I was a little surprised that anyone had an opinion, but it was very flattering to have people asking me what I was going to do.

But the next step was deciding where to go. I was told Supercuts and the Hair Cuttery were out of the question. The quote was, “You’re almost thirty. You have some money. You can go to a place that costs more than ten dollars.” Keep in mind the Hair Cuttery was $15. And for many years, my hair stylist was my cousin Ashley, who did a fantastic job. but Ashley moved on to bigger and better things and I suppose, so should I.

The Internet provides an individual with all of the information that they could possibly want about a salon. I looked at Google Maps for nearby salons and checked out the reviews. And decided on a place called Jason Alexander’s Salon. I called and made an appointment for the Wednesday before my best friends’s wedding. (A lovely event for a different post.)

I was nervous all day. I have had the same part for as long as I could remember, outside of the summer my dad wanted my brother and I to have widow’s peaked crew cuts. My friends at work told me not to worry. It was going to be fantastic. They promised the hair stylist wouldn’t get too handsy with me since I am not a big fan of being touched. They promised that I would look great. They promised it would go better than I think.

I got to the salon ten minutes early. I had just bought my share of comics including Batman #10 with its big reveal of who was behind the Court of the Owls. I hope that storyline turns out better than the reveal. Seriously, Scott Snyder, is your brother a pain or something? And I started to read it. About page six, Stephanie told me it was my turn.

Stephanie was very nice. She just moved up to Lake Villa. Sounds like its a nice place. She was interested in the wedding and in the fact that I had the same haircut, which she deemed too long in length, for so long in time. Twenty five minutes later, I was shampooed, given the cut, and taught how to use product. I bought the clay stuff she used for as much as my haircuts used to cost and asked when I should come back. Like with the dentist, the recommendation seems too soon, but I nodded and will probably go back in two months.

When I got in the car, my hair touched the roof of the car. It’s not a high roof, so the extra height of about an inch or two really changes everything. I liked how I looked in the rear view mirror. It wasn’t really any different. Just shorter. Basically, if I went to get my haircut every two months instead of four months, I would look like this more often than not. Damn laziness.

But the real test was waking up the next morning and trying to put product into my own hair and then showing off at work. I still don’t understand how to use product and I have tried watching YouTube videos where really attractive people make it seem attractively easy. I’m clumsy and goofy. I would rather act ridiculous than pretend that putting some sort of gray substance into my hair was a science or interesting. But again, I’m not someone making attractive people YouTube videos. I got to work and I was called handsome. Doesn’t matter by whom or how often. The words were vocalized. So, I asked Cathy to take a picture of me making a similar face to Jude Law – just add my ridiculousness.

Photo by Cathy Agdeppa - See, I told you I would give you credit.

I think it’s funny that I give a damn about my hair. I have had the same hairstyle for a long time and really, I don’t look any different. But I wanted to look a bit cleaner for my best friends’s big day. And honestly, that’s the important part. Whether or not I ever learn how to use hair products or get my hair cut to look like someone that wasn’t just near a wind tunnel doesn’t matter. I decided to do something and I did it. Along the way, I made some new friends, I made people laugh, and I complained a lot about stupid things that normal people don’t complain about. I suppose that’s why I write in a personal blog about my hair.

Let me know if it works or if you have seen me in the past couple of weeks after the trim. Was I more attractive, less attractive, or the same goof who talks about Elongated Man and the Flash too much? As if anyone could talk about them too much.