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February 29, 2008

Six unimportant things

Yes, I said I would not respond to any blog "meme" but here I go. It was difficult to refuse Mr. Taylor once I recognized my own competitive jerk behaviour. And so, for your consideration, six unimportant things about the Flea:

1. Following Mr. Taylor's sixth unimportant thing: I too move at best possible speed on public transit even if I am not in a hurry. I board and exit subway trains through specific doors calibrated to place me closest to the escalator or stairway I need to get to my destination. This behaviour was even worse in London than it is in Toronto. I still take enormous satisfaction in having memorized at a reflexive bodily level the quickest routes through Bank, Angel and Tottenham Court Road stations.

2. I shave in the following order: Neck, sides of face, upper lip, crown of head, sides of head, back of head. Blades do not stand up well to tougher hair on the back of the head so best to shave the sensitive skin first. Even with a new blade, small nicks are almost inevitable. I have found the best way to address these is to wrap a paper towel around the back of my head while it is still wet. Let it dry for a few minutes and any small cuts have completely sealed up. This presents an unedifying spectacle but it does the trick. I have been doing this for a couple years now and no longer remember how I arrived at this solution.

3. I eat some foods straight that are meant to be eaten as ingredients or at best as condiments. These include spoonfuls of peanut butter, Ovaltine powder and especially Dijon mustard. Also sea salt, coffee beans, whole garlic cloves and raw lemon.

4. My book collective is organized thematically. This is handy as I do not have to remember where a book is to find it. Instead I decide where I would put the book and that is where it is. Despite the utility of this system I find it quite boring. My favourite classification system was developed by an Argentine sociologist, the father of a high school girlfriend. His books were organized by colour of spine with the whole wall taking on the appearance of a colour palette. I have utility, he had elegance.

5. I was up at 4am this morning for about half an hour and sent out three emails. The two emails directed at Pisces were answered within minutes. I have no obvious rational basis for believing this fact to be significant and yet I do.

6. I am quite vain about my eyebrows. I think they are as fine as any eyebrows commonly seen on television or in film.

I realize I am supposed to tag people now I am done but there is only so far I will go breaking my no blog "meme" pledge. I you have six unimportant things to share please do so, let me know and I shall post a link here.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at February 29, 2008 06:43 AM

Comments

Fascinating; I have the exact opposite shaving procedure. Your way makes way more sense, but when I try it, it has invariably resulted in more nicks. I suppose if I followed proper shaving procedure and let the hot water do its thing before taking blade to skin, it wouldn't be so harrowing. But the competitve jerk in me wants to start shaving as soon as I set foot in the shower, and so I start from the back of the head, where I am way less likely to cut myself open.

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 29, 2008 11:20 AM

I will give your order of operations a shot and see what happens. Most of the nicks I get are on the back of my head, perhaps not coincidentally the last place addressed by the blade and the only spot I cannot see what I am doing.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 29, 2008 11:44 AM

I should mention that behind the head (and in general all first passes) are always "with the grain" and if I feel that a get-closer Gillette moment may be in the offing then I give the whole mess another light pass against the grain.

I know "against the grain" is heresy but if I stick to "with the grain" for the neck and sideburns then it's basically Sandpaper City. Which the chicks do not dig. There is probably an easier, more logical way (like yours) but I hadn't heard of it.

I can't really see what the hell I'm doing back there either, but I do have a mirror in the shower for the neck and sideburns bit.

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 29, 2008 02:57 PM

With the grain is complete pants. It might work with a straight-razor but is totally ineffectual with any other system. I always shave against the grain.

It could be I am doing something wrong.

Posted by: Ghost of a flea [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 29, 2008 03:35 PM

This is the problem with the whole enterprise, it's all very hit-and-miss, shadowy wives-tale anecdotes and so on. All the facts need to be collected into a database, analysed by science, and a definitive procedure developed.

I only shave the noggin every 3 days, so a first-pass against the grain would be guaranteed to catch on a big wad of stubble and strip off a layer of skin. So I do a preliminary with-the-grain pass to get it down to itty bitty stubble and then a second pass against the grain to keep it smooth. I don't know if it's at all labour-effective but it keeps me in particular from becoming an involuntary bulk blood donor.

Of course more than one pass is supposed to be against the rules too so who the hell knows. Shaving is basically a load of rules more honoured in the breach than in actual execution.

Posted by: Chris Taylor [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 29, 2008 05:26 PM

The paper towel detail is priceless.

Posted by: agent bedhead [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 4, 2008 12:35 AM

I use a good old safety razor, brush and soap for the face. But always with the grain unless I want to look like an extra from a zombie flick.
For the head I use a disposable and normal shaving cream, going with the grain first pass then against it for the second. Since my hair is so thin and fine anyways, there's no "head stubble" so I'm good there.

Posted by: Chad [TypeKey Profile Page] at March 13, 2008 03:32 PM