Mean Gene
Mean Gene
Pittsburgh's most decorated poker blogger, which I admit is like being the best shortstop in Greenland

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My Articles

Presto, the Arlo, & the Hammer
An Online Code of Conduct
The Ethics of Ratholing
"The Professor, the Banker..."
"Ace on the River"

My Columns

Lose the Shades
If You Can't Say Something Nice
Whither the Kicker
The Lady is a Champ?
Covering the WSOP (or not)
Statistics, Luck, and Poker
Poker and New Orleans
Managing a Bankroll
How To Tell A Bad Beat Story
Telling Lies
The Power of Poker Tracker
Advanced Card-Handling

My Greatest Hits

5 Things To Do Before I Die
Cafeteria Nostalgia
Mean Gene's Dubious Dating Tips
Poker and Business?
There's No Such Thing As Luck?
Isabelle, Je t'adore
No Shirt No Shoes No Service
Well, The Food Was Good
Good Morning, Mr. Matusow!
The Weekend of our Discontent, I
The Weekend of our Discontent, II
Books That Left Their Mark
Ode to a Fish Sandwich
Bill Simmons Ain't the Poker Guy
The Sports Guy Still Ain't the Poker Guy
Again, The Media Tackles Poker
Five Years After 9/11
Hitting Pretty Girls in the Face
Sixth-Graders Suck

Fellow Poker Bloggers

Guinness and Poker
Cards Speak
Tao of Poker
Up for Poker
Boy Genius
Chris Halverson
Poker Grub
The Fat Guy
Todd Commish
Poker Works
Bill Rini
Bad Blood
Love and Casino War
Double As
Lion Tales
Paul Phillips
Daniel Negreanu
Poker Nerd
Poker Nation
Poker in Arrears
Human Head
Sound of a Suckout
Chicks With Chips
TP's Table Talk
Royal Poker
This is Not A Poker Blog
Chick and a Chair
Go Be Rude
Poker Cheapskate
Poker & Other Stuff
Seven Two
Musical Poker
WPBT Online
Isabelle Mercier
Cardschat Blog
Amy Calistri
BJ Nemeth
Annie's Blog

Poker Sites

Cardschat Poker Forum
Barstool Sports
Card Player
Internet Texas Hold-Em
Poker Pages


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    Friday, October 13, 2006

    Shaggy Against My Will

    I need a haircut. I've needed a haircut since I got back from Aruba. So why am I sitting in my apartment instead of taking care of the problem? The answer is simple--I don't know where to go. And for this I blame the American capitalist society, which has paralyzed me into inaction. With every passing day I look more and more like a member of the Bay City Rollers. Something must be done.

    A few years ago a professor of psychology named Barry Schwartz wrote a piece in Scientific American called The Tyranny of Choice (sorry, the full article isn't available online). Schwartz wrote that tbe dramatic increase in the choices available to Americans (in everything from cereal to mutual funds) has not corresponded to people feeling happier. As Schwartz writes, "Although some choice is undoubtedly better than none, more is not always better than less."

    Think about it--you're having a cookout and you're sent to the grocery store to get mustard. Piece of cake, you think, until you walk down the condiment aisle and are confronted with a stupefying array of choices. Yellow mustard. Brown mustard. Dijon mustard. Mustard with horseradish, mustard with cracked pepper. Even within these categories some discernment is required. Yellow mustard is unlikely to offend anyone, but which kind? French's is perhaps the default yellow, but I greatly prefer Heinz's yellow mustard (when I can find it). Then you have to consider how much difference is there really between French's and the generic store-label mustard? Twenty cents saved, after all, is twenty cents earned. Are you being thrifty or a cheapskate? Jesus Christ, all I want is a squeeze bottle of goddam mustard!

    I'm having the same problem vis-a-vis a haircut. There are two places within walking distance of my apartment, and since it was a beautiful day yesterday I walked to each. The first is located in a row of bunker-like offices that's so far off the road I can't imagine anyone ever finding it. The building itself is long and concrete and looks like a place the Departement of Defense would use to stockpile rifle ammunition. The windows were small and dark and I couldn't get a good look inside to see what manner of shearing goes on within. I passed.

    I walked to the next place and saw to my dismay that in addition to getting your hair cut you can get your nails done and advice on cosmetics, etc. Again, pass. I don't have a problem getting clipped in a place that mostly caters to women, but somehow I doubt they get a lot of walk-ins with both an X and Y chromosome. Pass.

    I walked home and did a Yahoo search. There are 25 different hair salons within 2.5 miles of my house. How the HELL am I supposed to choose between TWENTY-FIVE salons? What are the odds that, after emerging freshly-trimmed, I won't be overcome with buyer's remorse? The chances are good, very good, that after the stylist hacks and slashes at me I'm gonna come away looking pretty rough. So what do I do in six to eight weeks when once again I can't bear my hair and need a trim? Try someplace else? What if that place is worse? Go back to square one and accept a certain amount of follicular misery? Am I doomed to spend years wandering the desert, looking for that one person who can make me look not-hideous? I'm not even looking for sleek and stylish anymore. "Not-hideous" is all I ask.

    Dammit, why are there so many barber shops and beauty salons and the like in this country? Shouldn't there eventually be some consolidation in the industry, shouldn't there be some mega-corporation that comes along and gobbles up all the Mom-and-Pop shops? I know the Wal-Mart near my flat has a salon, but I'm not getting my goddam hair cut in a goddam Wal-Mart. I would if there were no options, but so long as there are, I'll pass. And there still ARE options--Wal-Mart hasn't yet annihilated them. How do all these places survive economically? How can 25 businesses offering approximately the same service operation within a 2.5 mile radius of each other? I don't live in Hong Kong, there aren't THAT many people around here. The MBA in me keeps saying, This Shouldn't Be.

    I gave some thought to getting some manner of crew-cut, shave it way down. The problem is that my head is shaped kinda...funny...and I'm afraid that if I did get it cut close I'd look like a Frankenstein. "That's fine," my friend Rick said last night over beers. "Halloween's coming up, when you go to parties you can just stick two bolts in your neck and you're done." Whatta pal.

    It's after 4PM. My goal was to get up early, get a haircut, hit the library, cook the chicken I've had marinating. I did cook the chicken, and it was marvelous, but I'm still inside my apartment. I haven't ventured out. I grow isolated and depressed. And shaggy. I don't look good when I'm shaggy. I suppose I must risk all, lay it all on the line and go forth into the world, seeking a haircut. get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

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