Thursday, March 15, 2007

The more things seem to change, the more they stay the same

Seems like nothing and something have happened in the past few weeks. In my mind, I’ve been singing Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Put Your Records On” and grooving out to a bunch of high school favorites.

Three little birds, sat on my window.
And they told me I don't need to worry.
Summer came like cinnamon
So sweet,
Little girls double-dutch on the concrete.

Maybe sometimes, we've got it wrong, but it's alright
The more things seem to change, the more they stay the same
Oh, don't you hesitate.

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down.
The Evil PXE broke down and purchased a Zune, Microsoft’s version of the iPod. He brought in the sleek device with a mammoth color screen and announced it would hold 7500 songs on its 30 GB hard drive. He plopped down a small duffel bag of CDs, plugged in some discarded speakers, and his high school favorites came pouring forth. He spent the rest of the day copying over his Ozzy and hair band CDs. The e-mail conversation below pretty much sums up my feelings:

From: JewelGeek
Sent: Tuesday, March 6
To: CrafterKat
Subject: Zune!

Okay. It’s official. I want one.

From: CrafterKat
Sent: Tuesday, March 6
To: JewelGeek
Subject: Re:Zune!

Gizmo Geek.
Go for it!

That night I went to Costco and picked one up. The next day I was armed with a canvas tote bag of CDs to copy to the Millennium version of the Walkman. The Evil PXE showed up with a new, larger duffel bag. We’d hold up a CD case of Billy Joel or Pet Shop Boys or Tears For Fears and ooh and ahhh. As soon as the Evil PXE put a CD in to copy, it would begin playing the first track. The rest of the day was spent shuffling one- and two-hit wonders around.

By day three, the Evil PXE was down to one large duffel bag. “I’m going to have to use the hand truck to bring it up,” he told me. When I came back from lunch, it was sitting beside my desk. “I stuffed that baby full up. I could actually hear some of the cases cracking from the weight.”

“Did you get a handtruck?”

He shook his head. “Too embarrassed… I just grabbed it and plowed up the stairs. I’ve just now caught my breath.”

I’ve not known anyone with as large a CD collection as his. Apparently he went and found all the CDs of his vinyl favorites when he was in his 20s and has kept on going. Everything from Ace of Base to Billy Squier to Depeche Mode. Oldies from the Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Foreigner and the Steve Miller Band. One Hit Wonders (well, he’d claim more) from Information Society, Kraftwerk, Talk Talk, and The Cranberries. Plus groups I’d never heard of like Temple of the Dog, Xymox, Toad the Wet Sprocket, and Stormtroopers of Death.

By Friday of last week most of the CDs CrafterKat and I own had been copied to our new Zune. I left early that day and drove downtown to get my hair styled at a posh shop in CrafterKat’s building.

My first Zune test.

I scrolled through the Zune screens, found the Pet Shop Boys, and popped in my little ear phones. I walked down the street in beat with the drum machine, drowning out the sounds of the city. It felt like I was 17, walking home from school with my beloved Walkman. I was in so much awe I actually forgot to put money in the parking meter (don’t worry, I did correct this!).

I’ve been looking forward to this appointment for almost a month. CrafterKat has been extremely patient with my hair woes; in short, I’ve not had a haircut I’ve been happy with for well over a year. My hair has a bit of a natural wave on the very ends but otherwise is a straight mess that grows very quickly and often blocks my vision. My bangs get into my eyes and the natural curl that looks so cute coming out of the steamy shower is one long straight heap in a few short hours. It’s too thick or too short to hold behind my ear, and not quite long enough to hold back with clippies. Keep my hair too long and the little waves at the tips fan out over my glasses; too short, the curls disappear and I resemble the oldest Partridge boy.

Scrap Maven and Huggy Girl insisted that I go to The Bob Shop downtown and see Miss T. Ever watch those cooking shows on the Food Channel with the glamorous, trendy chefs who pull together an extravagant, yet comfort-food, meal in under an hour? You feel as if you can easily prepare that same dish when you get home. And in doing so, your life will easily be transformed into something that is equally trendy and extravagant.

Miss T. definitely knows her stuff. She evened out my hair color (I like being a red head) and snipped away all of the split ends. But try as I might explain my hair's natural tendencies, she didn’t quite get the curl/wavey/not wavey bit with my hair. Perhaps she was overly optimistic that the straight-ish hair I entered the salon with was just a one-time abnormality and I would instantly revert back to the wet curls she saw after washing away the hair dyes. She applied gels and specialized dryers to my wet head and informed me, quite pleasantly, that I should come back in eight weeks to re-do my color. I love the color but at over $100 a pop, I’m not sure she’ll see me again quite that often.

Now, before I hurt anyone’s feelings, she did do a marvelous job. I know that haircuts and coloring cost a lot and she is very talented at what she does. But I was looking for a new style, too, and I think I came up short. Or long. I’m not sure. She admitted she took off but one inch from the length--I tend to grow it out that much in about a week (this is only a slight exaggeration). But the cut I have now seems not very different from what I’ve had over the past five years of my life. And the funky wave is still there.

Blue as the sky, sunburnt and lonely,
Sipping tea in the bar by the roadside,
(just relax, just relax)
Don't you let those other boys fool you,
Got to love that afro hair do.
CrafterKat likes the haircut. I like the coloring and am pleased to not look so shaggy. I’m still trying to accept the new (old?) look.

Maybe sometimes, we feel afraid, but it's alright
The more you stay the same, the more they seem to change.
Don't you think it's strange?

Girl, put your records on, tell me your favourite song
You go ahead, let your hair down
Sapphire and faded jeans, I hope you get your dreams,
Just go ahead, let your hair down.
I need to load up the Zune with more of my 80’s music. At least I’ve not got a David Cassidy cut, nor a New Romantic/New Wave Flock of Seagulls hairdo.