And I'm freshly shorn. As intervals between haircuts go this wasn't a very long one, just two months, but it was reaching the point that I was getting noticeably shaggy and bunny_hugger was worried my face would be completely lost behind an ocean of hair. Perhaps it wasn't quite that bad. I went to the campus barbershop, which isn't actually on the Michigan State University campus, but is just across the street. This shouldn't be necessarily taken as a change in policy away from my haircut-at-the-mall routine, since that was fine too. I just needed to be on campus to exchange library books and it seemed silly to separate the functions.
It turns out also this week was spring break at MSU, so the barbershop wasn't busy, which is good for getting back home in time to do anything during the working day, but bad for kind of hoping I'd have time to sit and read in quiet. The barber made a couple attempts at small talk and I was successful in responding like a normal human being to about a third of them, which is doing better than average for me. Things really caught on when I thought to ask him if it was spring break week, since that gave him plenty to talk about (it was, and that's why it was so un-crowded, and he's appreciated the slower week but is ready for the students to come back for the money they spend), and that's that.
Otherwise the only social challenges involved were explaining my haircut style (``well, just ... shorter, is all'') and how it's parted (``uh ... yes, like you just suggested, it's exactly like that'') and how to trim my beard (``shorter'') and whether that's wise to do so early in this winter (probably not). The barber liked my decision to trim my beard neatly but fairly far down my neck, implying that somehow a beard trimmed neatly but so far down showed a rebellious nature, that I was showing I could disrespect whoever I was talking to but was choosing not to. There are so many things about this I don't understand.
Trivia: Early in the (United States involvement in) World War II, Burbank's airport was camouflaged in part by a canopy of chicken wire soaked with glue and feathers prepared by Disney studio animators. Source: Naked Airport: A Cultural History Of The World's Most Revolutionary Structure, Alastair Gordon. (I feel like there must be more to the animators' involvement than gluing chicken feathers on wire. They hardly seem to need to be animators to think of that.)
Currently Reading: The World of Swope: A Biography of Herbert Bayard Swope, E J Kahn Jr.