All Entries Appearance Fashion Humor

Footnotes – Interesting Facts About Shoes and Who Wears Them

April 20, 2017

When you look down at your feet, do your shoes give away your birthplace, income level or your social status?  Do they tell the world what you do for a living, what your hobbies are or whether or not you’re married? Well, they used to.

You Are What You Wear

Shoes have been around in one form or another for thousands of years. Some of the earliest shoes were actually sandals worn by Egyptians and depicted the owner’s pecking order in society. Peasants tended to wear “comfortable” sandals made from woven papyrus with a flat sole that were lashed to their ankles with reeds. More affluent citizens could be identified by sandals with pointed toes – especially if they were colored red or yellow. If you were a slave, chances are you went without shoes altogether.

When Moses climbed Mount Sinai to chat with God, the big guy obviously wasn’t impressed by his footwear. Instead, he commanded Moses to “Put off thy shoes, for the ground whereon thou standest is holy.” Discarding one’s shoes was and continues to be in many societies a demonstration of humility and piety. But, for the rest of us, shoes continue to speak volumes about who we are, how much money we make and what we do for a living. Many Greek aristocrats owned so many pairs of shoes that they hired slaves to carry them when they traveled. read more

All Entries Appearance Home Life Humor

Urban Manouflage

January 22, 2017

Three days after my divorce, I decided I’d lounged around enough. It was time to get going. “You’re never going to get any chicks with the way you look,” said my brother in law. “It’s a dog eat dog world out there. You need something to spruce up your appearance. Maybe some makeup.”

I have to admit it. It still bothers me – the notion of lathering lotion all over my face still makes me a bit uncomfortable. But, if I’m going to compete against younger, svelte men, I have to be ready to try anything.

King Tut did. It’s rumored that he refreshed his make-up before exiling Moses into the desert in 1446 BC. He used ground ant eggs for eyeliner and applied pearlized fish scales to enhance the color of his lips and communicate to the world “I have arrived.” Fortunately, my options today are more palatable. Besides, I’m ant-egg intolerant. But, with so many products, where does a boy begin?

I decided to follow the majority of men buying men’s skincare products by shopping for mine online. The stigma of using anything remotely girly or similar to women’s make-up still prevents most of us from hanging out at cosmetic counters in Nordstrom’s. Fortunately, I had a plethora of choices that promised to deliver their products in a plain, brown wrapper – much like my brother’s Playboy subscription back in the 1960s. Many sites even have online chat rooms staffed by licensed cosmeticians. So, that’s where I started. read more

All Entries Appearance Humor Life and Death

A Hairdresser’s Lament

October 11, 2016

While wrapping up the 1972 ski season, I met a male hairdresser who seemed to have everything I wanted: nice clothes, a new Porsche and lots of women. Wads of cash, thick hair on his chest, and lots of women. Socks with no holes, gleaming teeth and lots of women. But, what particularly impressed me was that he could afford a place without 18 roommates.

So, at the end of the ski season, I moved into a studio apartment with two friends and enrolled at The Hair Academy of Beverly Hills. I didn’t do much research to see if it was a good school – I surmised if it was in Beverly Hills, Barbra Streisand was bound to walk through the doors. As it turned out, our school was located on the fringe of Beverly Hills, in the seediest part of West Hollywood. I was heart-broken to learn that millionaire actresses usually don’t get their hair done in beauty schools by people with three weeks of experience.

The first thing that surprised me about beauty school was how much there was to learn. Ms. Tulip was the lead instructor and had over 67 years of experience in the trenches. She would be leading us through 10,000 hours of general theory that included organic chemistry, sterilization techniques, the principles of abdominal-thoracic surgery and an introduction to skin and nail care. They were important concepts to have when they brought in the homeless women from the Los Angeles Rescue Mission. Most of the women hadn’t had a shampoo since 1927, when shampoo was invented, so we got a lot of practice de-lousing and ridding them of seborrhea, ringworm, and the heartbreak of psoriasis – all of the things you’d expect to see at an upscale Beverly Hills salon. read more

All Entries Appearance Health Weight Control

Twelve Ways to Feel Healthy & Beautiful without Losing a Pound

July 5, 2016

Imagine for a moment, that someone came up with a health and beauty scale that had nothing to do with how much you weigh or the way you look. How do you think you’d rate? Would you score a 10? Or, maybe a 5? More importantly, who would be the judge?

Nearly everyone has chased their perfect image at one time or another. Spurred by television, magazines and social media, we convince ourselves that we won’t be happy until we’re a lithe, alluring, knockout. In fact, less than 2 percent of American women have the bodies of runway supermodels. Those who do, often suffer from physical and emotional disorders, trying to be someone other than themselves.

When it comes to overall health and happiness, how you look on the outside usually represents who you are on the inside. The secret to achieving the perfect you, relies on physical and mental health, as well as self-esteem and confidence. Here are twelve proven solutions to get you started enjoying a better you – without losing a pound.

Find humor in your life. Will Rogers once said, “Everything is funny. As long as it’s happening to somebody else.” That’s probably true. Put 7 billion people together on the same planet and something funny is bound to happen. But, people struggling with health or self-esteem issues rarely see the funny side of life. They’re too busy focusing on their problems to let humor into their lives. Try to let go of your inhibitions. Be more spontaneous. By releasing your hold on situations that you can’t control, the humor will begin to seep in. read more

All Entries Appearance Fashion Humor

Shenandoahs, Pixie Cuts and Afrobobs

April 11, 2016

At the end of a haircut the other day, my barber asked, “Would you like me to touch up your eyebrows a bit?” “I don’t know,” I said. I never really thought about it. “Do they need it?” The mere fact that he asked means that they probably did. People don’t usually ask you, “Would you like an Altoid?” unless your breath is already peeling paint off the walls.

There was a time when no one would have asked me about my eyebrows. But, I guess that’s one of the drawbacks of getting older. I also have to trim the inside of my ears, nose, my chest and have my back waxed. Some people have actually become famous from their bushy brows – people like Andy Rooney, Susan Boyle, Peter Gallagher, Sam Waterston, Walter Cronkite, Martin Scorsese and Lt. Worf from Star Trek.

The entire way home, I ruminated over all of the people throughout history who have made fashion statements with their hair. You can bet Adolph Hitler’s barber never suggested growing a handlebar moustache or mutton chops for a change. Nor would Wyatt Earp have been Wyatt Earp if he wore a little, one-inch moustache directly below his nose and his hair slathered across his forehead. Mr. T would never wear his hair like Donald Trump – and vice versa. read more

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