Yeah I’ll title my blog posts with a Yes lyric if I want. I am a 60 year old man in a 60 year old man body. With a very beautiful lady face. AMA: Ask me anything.
This is a stylized recreation of my entire past week pounding out 3000+ words on connected speech processes. If you don’t know what that is, don’t feel bad, because I don’t actually, either. Hand me my degree, please. I always feel guilt about how I am not updating my ACTUAL BLOG, and at the same time I feel guilt if I am doing writing that isn’t related to my coursework. Since I turned in a paper today in a remarkably on-time and stress-free-ish manner, I figure it’s about time I pop in and say hello.
It also coincided nicely with the lovely Sophie Turner needing to take some photos for her article on the online body positivity movement. That’s a thing I have complicated feelings about that I might use this space to address sometime in the future! Hint: It’s hinges on the focus on “beauty” and “curves” being just as exclusionary as mainstream culture.
I also have a swell new haircut:
Two months ago I went to London to visit all of my valentines, including my best-love Pear (GO READ ALL OF THEIR POSTS AND THEN COME BACK), their partner Jamie, and famous victorian mummy porn expert Eileen. They all go to the same barbers in Finsbury Park, the amazing Open Barbers. The goal of Open Barbers is to provide an inclusive haircutting service and community space for queer people and people across the gender spectrum. I had an appointment with Felix, who immediately got what I was describing when I asked for my undercut. Felix and I had a great chat about how many people he meets who are speech language therapists, and how he thought it’d be a great idea to have a queer medical professionals group. I would definitely join! He gave me the perfect side-shave, and my hair is thick enough that I can comb it back over and look a little less shocking on days when I have clinics.
The incredible warmth of Open Barbers was exemplified by Greygory immediately offering us cups of tea. Both Felix and Greygory talk you through every step of your haircut/facial hair grooming, making sure that you know what’s going on and that you’re ok with what they’re doing. There is no “But don’t you want face framing layers?” or “I don’t really think people with round faces should get a short haircut like that…”, and especially no “but aren’t you afraid that you won’t look feminine enough?”
Greygory and Felix have an anonymous pay-what-you-wish from 10-40 pounds system, but they also have slots for people who are in situations where they can only pay 2-10 pounds. Even though they’re definitely nowhere near the CLOSEST barbers, it’s worth the trip to get the haircut I want in a space completely free of judgment and staffed by really caring community-builders. They also tour and do pop-up barbers events!
Later that day I also got to return to Lady Dinah’s Cat Cafe for the second time.
Lady Dinah‘s is the first cat cafe in the UK, I believe, and it’s in the very up-and-coming (read: getting super gentrified) Bethnal Green. My first visit was on Halloween and I visited again the day after Valentine’s. It’s a 6 pound welfare charge to get in which entitles you to an hour and a half in the cafe. and they offer coffees, teas, cakes, scones, sandwiches, and salads. It’s hard to take a good photo in there if you don’t have a DSLR because it’s a bit dimly lit and cats love to move. Most of the cats are sleeping and you’re not allowed to wake them up– a rule that many people complain about but which is, of course, perfectly reasonable. All of their rules are designed to keep the cats’ welfare in mind. The wait staff walk around handing out cat treats so you can lure a fuzzy friend over, and if you’re lucky you’ll get to see one of the cats run around on the wheel! My favorite cat is the astonishingly round-faced tabby Wookie, who often sits on a green comfy chair, waiting for his admirers to queue up and give him cuddles.
Nottingham has just opened its own cat cafe on Friar Lane, Kitty Cafe:
Having just opened last week, Kitty Cafe is already booked up and running very smoothly. I am so glad they opened because it’s only 50 minutes from Sheffield and I’m in Nottingham half the time, anyway! Their cats work with a behaviorist before being allowed onto the cafe floor, and I really appreciate that they have a little escape hole they can duck into when they don’t feel like being around people. This meant that these cats were SUPER playful and approachable. On a weekday, it’s only a 3 pound welfare charge for a 3 hour slot. They also have an incredible range of teas and coffees, and one of the most amazing Victoria Sponge cakes I’ve ever had. I made particular friends with handsome, fluffy Bill and playful, strikingly beautiful white fluff Hugo.
My life isn’t all cat cafes, although it is MOSTLY cat cafes. I also had my first gig with my bossa nova duo, Ovos e Bacon! Here’s a playlist of our set, starting with an original tune that Zak composed and I wrote the lyrics and melody to:
Here’s a dramatization of me writing this post:
I hope you feel dramatized.