The Haircut Tradition

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Got to get back into some semblance of a routine. I want to sleep when I know that I would be better off doing something else – anything else. I recognise this symptom, along with a few others. It’s reactive depression creeping up on me. It will cripple me if I let it. Fortunately, learning coping skills, years of therapy (on and off) and some decent drugs has pretty much rid me of this curse.

So, on this rather gloomy morning in Cairns, I decided to get up and start writing. The nice thing about social networking over the web is that you don’t have to get dressed to do it. Here is gloomy Cairns this morning:

It was raining a few minutes earlier. The clouds have receded, leaving a very clear atmosphere behind.

Here is another shot using a different panoramic stitching technique:

I can’t decide which I like best.

Today, Eunie decided that I needed a trim. If left to me, I would probably never bother to cut my hair. I’ve always hated the whole haircut thing. To me it is not unlike shaving. I view shaving as an unnatural act. Hey, taking a sharp object and scraping the hair from your body – what is that? It’s freaky, man – against nature. When a scene comes on the TV showing someone shaving I have to look away. It spikes up the forest of hair on my arms – makes me shiver. That horrible scraping sound reminds me of fingernails on a blackboard.

Getting a haircut feels pretty much the same to me. I feel for poor Samson in the Bible. He was okay until somebody messed with his hair. I have this ridiculous urge to ask the barber, “Please, be gentle.”

Fortunately, we were directed by a kindly pedestrian to the professional centre of Barber Science in Queensland, Andrew’s Barber Shop:

Operated by the father-and-son barber team Andrew and Demitrios Stylianou, this business is all business. If you want to look like you’re wearing a $5,000 hairpiece over a billiard ball, try elsewhere. If you want a man’s haircut, youve found the right address.

When I arrived, I was looking a mite shaggy – not Cave Man yet, but getting there:

As you can tell, I wasn’t exactly relishing the experience.

Then something magical happened. Demitrios laid on his best barber chatter and began bobbing and weaving around like Muhammad Ali floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee:

Honestly, I have never seen a barber so animated by his profession. They usually stand there like morticians tending to a little trim to tidy up the deceased. Just watching Demitrios’ passionate attack on my unruly locks was worth the very modest price.

First time I can ever remember enjoying a haircut. Andrew and Demitrios Stylianou, Live Long and Prosper!

Eunie is yellow and will remain that way until we get the problem sorted. I have to admit that I’m jealous of the super fine dope she is getting. I remember years ago when I had a particularly horrible surgery which is widely considered just about as painful as it gets. I’ll spare you the description. They were giving us what we patients called “happy pills”. Honestly, I did not want to leave the hospital. I begged them to let me stay “just a few more weeks”. If Eunie is feeling that good now, then I say God Bless the Pills!

We go in the morning to see another doctor who is a friend of a friend and just wants to know what’s happening. Then, in the afternoon, we see the anesthesiologist who will put Eunie into dreamland on Thursday while the surgeon has a look. We hope to have a pretty good idea of the problem and the treatment by the end of the week.

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12 Responses to “The Haircut Tradition”

  1. Steven Goodheart Says:

    Wonderful post, great new haircut! You look sharp, dude!

    Please give dear Eunie my love and tell her I’ll be doing my metta for her until the coast is clear, but especially during her exams and all. Big, BIG love to her.


  2. Gail Opolka Hoffman Says:

    You look quite dashing with your new haircut!

    I’ll keep Eunie in my prayers and hope this is an easy fix for her.

    Love from Illinois,

  3. Roztafarian Bill Says:

    ….ditto with Stevr, there, Jan.

    I expect he is a good close friend, and I’d share the same familiarity, if we knew each other better. Gotta say, you’re a handsome fellow Jan, shaggy or neatly groomed….I’m jealous! 😉 …but seriously, I’ll have go a ways to look as good as you in a few more years.

    And while Steve is sending metta for Eunie, I’ll send prayers.

  4. MadDog Says:

    Steven, I actually prefer the tousled look, but there is a limit to how shaggy I can allow myself to get. Weirdest thing – since I hit 50 I always feel about ten years older when I get a haircut. I think that it’s the old hippie blood still pumping in my heart.

    I’m passing on all of the good wishes and prayers from so many who have commented, Steve. The outpouring of love, mostly from people we have never met, has been very comforting. Every good wish and every prayer counts. Thanks, my friend.

  5. MadDog Says:

    Gail, funny how love from Illinois feels like it’s as close as friends on a couch. Thanks for that and your hope and prayers.

    I think that I look a little too slicked-back in the shot. That’s okay, the wind will catch it and muss it up just right.

  6. MadDog Says:

    Bill, I’m handsome like Walter Matthau is handsome. Be careful what you wish for. Fortunately, naturally homely guys like me usually get better looking as we grow older. I reckon I have done as well as most and the occasional lady with a penchant for fatherly types still gives me a wink. Hey, what more can a guy ask?

    Actually, Steve and I have never met. Facebook is a strange planet. I’ve been on for about two years and I have some Facebook friends to which I feel closer than others I have known face-to-face for decades.

    Metta, prayers, meditation, good wishes – I can’t help believing that the same big ears are listening to them all. All are appreciated by Eunie and me and none are wasted.

  7. Steven Goodheart Says:

    MadDog, it’s funny but I think I always look younger when I get rid of my shaggies…I think you look younger with the shorter hair too….isn’t personal perspective interesting? Anyway, it’s fine looking ‘do!

    Yes, lots of big love for dear Eunie and you, and what comes from the heart is always heard and felt; the outer form of it matters little. I think our heart connection is what joins us all. I always feel it is kind of a great honor and privilege to love from that great heart in all of us; in that place, all barriers of space and time disappear and we are one family.

    I’ve got to dive into my next social studies project (really grateful for the work) so I’ll be scarce again for a while on FB and the like, but I’ll be keeping tabs. Big loves and hugs to you two lovebirds. Love is the greatest healer.

    With great affection,


  8. ZydecoDoug Says:

    Count me in, Jan, with those friends and followers from around the globe sending their most sincere wishes and good vibes for a positive outcome for Eunie (and for you). While I’ve not posted a comment lately, I’ve still been following your daily travels and travails with kind of a sense of helplessness, wishing I could somehow lend a hand (that first day in Cairns had me cringing). Being half a world away, in Florida, I am nonetheless impressed by the overwhelming support from and generosity of your local friends, who have certainly eased some real challenges in a very stressful time.

    Hang in there, both of you! With the outpouring of love from so many friends near and far, I know that everything will be fine and that you’ll both be back to your lifestyle in paradise very soon.

  9. MadDog Says:

    Doug, good vibes from Florida carry a long, long way. I appreciate them and so does Eunie.

    Unfortunately, the future is very foggy. I looks pretty certain that Eunie has a cancerous tumor wrapped around the bile duct. They have put in a stent to relieve her jaundice and get her feeling better. However, we have to deal with the underlying cause. This is probably going to be a long and difficult road with an uncertain destination.

    I’ll be putting out as much information as I feel is appropriate here on MPBM, but feel free to contact us personally on my email –

  10. Steven Goodheart Says:

    MadDog, thanks for this update. I know this kind of stuff is amazingly difficult.

    I’ll say more in personal e-mail, but for now, just know you both are greatly loved. I’ll be vigilant in my metta for Eunie, I promise.

    With great affection,


  11. MadDog Says:

    Steven, it’s so strange that a guy I have never met feels like a best friend. I’ll look forward to your email. Take your time. We have little information as of now. We will hopefully know more of what the future holds in a week or two. As far as support is concerned, we are where we are intended to be. We have many friends in Cairns and the health care available in the general area is as good as any in the world. It is also much less expensive than in the USA, which I imagine will make dealings with our insurance company less troublesome.

    Eunie’s composure astounds me. She is a person of deep faith and faces life’s vagaries with much less hysteria than I. My job is to keep it together and lend what strength I have to hers. We have faced much travail together and the synergy of our life-long partnership will take us through this.

    Your intensely spiritual view of life and your prayers for us are a blessing. I am deeply grateful for your love for us. – Jan

  12. Steven Goodheart Says:

    Thanks, Jan. It is funny how sometimes people just connect and space/time seems to not get in the way. It’s been one of the great happinesses of my life to have met you, and that was from day one. Just felt a kinship, and it just got better as we shared ideas, and then our hearts and beliefs and world views. That’s what makes for friends, I reckon.

    Of course, we’ve since your reply been in touch by e-mai,, but I’m glad to hear here that you have good health care available in your area. And less expensive, to boot. (How does American spend more than almost anyone and yet rank something like 137th in health care among industrialized nations? We so need big changes.)

    Anyway, that’s very good news about what’s available.

    Your Eunie does seem astounding, even from a distance, I can feel it. I know her faith will be a rock for her, and you, and that your synergy (great word for it) will take you through this hand in hand.

    Thanks for those last words. That love is a gift I have and can give, and it will stick with you through all of this.

    With equal gratitude for your friendship,