Saturday, January 30, 2010

Evolution of a Clean Shaven Man

At my wife Wendy's recommendation, I tried out for a part in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream." I got the part of Peter Quince, the leader of a group of trade workers who banded together to put on a play for the Duke and the Dutchess of Athens for a wedding celebration. As described in the script, we were considered "...hard-handed man that work in Athens here, which never labored in their minds until now (i.e. the day of the play.)" As we began practice, I decided that an Athenian carpenter in the 16th century would probably have a beard, so I commenced to give my character one for our play. I had only attempted a beard once, back in 1990 when Wendy was gone on a three week trip to England and the Holy Land, a trip she took with her parents and brother Tim. I greeted her at the airport with a three week growth. We took a few pictures, and that was that. Until 2009, that is. I set out to grow the beard about nine weeks before the play. Then, with an idea I got from son Andy, I took it off in stages, and this blog post chronciles it.

As I began my beard adventure, it was also at this same
time I began in a fantasy football league at work. The
website allows for a photo of the team owner, so, as
owner of "Robert's Beefy Boyz," I took my football
picture. You wouldn't want to mess with the Beefy
Boyz, now would you? After all, Peyton Manning
was my quarterback.

Finally the third week of October rolled around, and
my beard got to perform right along with me as
Peter Quince, Athenian Carpenter, and the leader
of some hard-handed men.

When one has a beard, you always have to wonder,
"Am I wearing anything that I just ate?"

Where do you begin to remove a beard? I started by just giving
myself long 70's style sideburns and an untrimmed goatee. I call
this my trucker look.

Now, the sideburns and goatee are trimmed. I call this
my high-school music teacher look.

The next step in my beard de-evolution
was to shave off the beard, leaving a
fu-manchu and a small "soul patch"
just under my lower lip. I was told
it gave me that "Yosemite Sam" look
What in tarnation were they thinking?

I thought perhaps it gave me more of
an outdoors look, like a horse trail

But, others said the fu-manchu gave me that biker
look. Yeah! "Let's ride"

Next stop was to get rid of the soul patch and the
fu-manchu handlebars, moving to a moustache
you just might see on an accountant in 2009.
So, the next step is to just cut it off, right?
Well, not quite.....

With a few more strokes of the razor, (and a little enhancements
to darken the moustache and eyebrows, the look moves from
a modern-day accountant in 2009 to the silent movies of the
"twenties" - a Charlie Chaplin look. (Or, considering my girth,
some would say it;s more like Oliver Hardy of the 1930's)
anyway, this was the Charlie Chaplin looks, which was stolen

and obliterated by a famous figure of the 1940's......

you know who - Now, get me to that razor!

And now, here I am, in 2010, clean shaven
and not ready to abandon the razor any time

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christmas Presents for Kids

One of the fun things about having grandchildren is that when Christmas rolls around the prospective present population expands greatly. Your kids reach their teen and college years, and the present population becomes more narrow - more geared towards clothes, and things that are more expensive. The toy section becomes just another department nearby the sporting goods at the store. Then a grandchild shows up and the purchasing area becomes a huge landscape ready to be explored. In the more mature years, there's a little more cash in the wallet for that toy you think looks cool, especially one that didn't exist when you were a kid.

Which leads me to my sister Jane. Her first grandchild is on the way. Her youngest daughter Hayley is in high school and isn't interested in the toy aisle at the store. But, Jane has a nephew with a son, Noah (my grandson)is who is five, and she bought him a remote control stunt car. Noah has figured out how to make the car spin...and spin...and spin. Let's just say serenity is not the first feeling that comes to mind when Noah is operating his car, as the video shows. And, as mom Julie said, during the din, "Thanks Aunt Jane."