Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lobes Talk.

My hair is getting longer these days (or longer than it has been the past two years). When it comes to my hair, I'm "going for distance. ...Going for speed". I get slightly impatient these days, checking my hair every few minutes rather than every few weeks... Irritating, I know. Still, do a little jig in my honor! Yay for long-ish hair!
This past summer, I attended "Vintage Days" at Fresno State University, a huge blowout bash full of vendors and artists, games and noise, contests and music, blah blah blah. At one small booth, I noticed a collection of wooden hair forks that I found particularly attractive. I purchased the one designated for hair that might come close to the thickness of mine - not an easy feat - and took it home without trying it on. Hahahaa..... Yeah, my hair was too short to use said fork until last month. So the fork sat in my drawer until Christmas time when I found it during one of my "look at me, I'm just like my clean-freak mother" moments, tearing through every nook and cranny in my allotted sector of the condo armed to the teeth with sponges and disinfectant.

The fork came with a diagram of a few fancy shmancy ways to "shrew" the "do". Unfortunately, on the day I brought the fork home, I was once again in that "motherly cleaning" mode, in which it is my immovable policy to get rid of every single item that could possibly be deemed unnecessary. I promply fulfilled my duty as a Black daughter by tossing the purchase baggy, the receipt, and the instructional diagrams into the trash bin. Hmmm... do I do this every time I shop? Something environmental is stirring within me. I think Daughter-Laura and Grown-Up-Attempting-Environmentalist-Laura need to sit down to have a little chat.

All that aside, I am now a proud owner of a hair fork, finding myself instruction..less...
So I have done some research and playing on my own, and have found a lovely way to tie up the 'do' for work in such a way as to conceal the nasty crease I get from wearing a bun on my sweaty head through hours of ballet. Because every pilot loves a sweaty bun-head, right? Ugh. Yeah, it was not attractive for work. I'm loving the new 'do'. I'm pretty boring, though. I've only found this one way to use the fork. I twist my hair into sort of a frenchy-twisty-thingy, brush the teeth of my fork from behind my right ear to the crest of the twist of hair, then pierce the twist of locks like so:

The result is simple, elegant, and easy to fix should it ever fall out. It works for now.

"What has this got to do with lobes talking, Laura?"
Gosh, you're impatient.

The other night, I sat around with a few friends playing games and watching movies at my place. After an hour or so, one friend accused me of being a chronic hair-player. He pointed out that I had taken my hair down and put it back up in that fork at least a dozen times. He proudly keeps count now. Grrr...
Still don't see the connection to lobes? that's probably because there isn't one. I just felt like telling the story of my lovely hair and new/old hair fork. Hooray.

But seriously, Lobes Talk.
I have always had this bump on the back of my head. Always a lump. Perhaps the remains of the dead fetus twin I resorbed in the womb? hehehe..... (hopefully you "Office" and "bigfatgreekwedding" fans caught that). Seriously, though. I always thought I was a freak. I was convinced that I had been dropped on my head as a child, or that my soft spot had never hardened properly. Immediately above the big beak-like lump on the back of my head, there is a flat, sensitive surface that slants upward at something like a terribly unattractive 45 degree angle, rather that a nice, rounded "back of skull" as found on non-freaks. About 4 years ago, I began to realize that I am kinda sorta a little bit maybe smart. In my brilliance, the thought crossed my mind that perhaps this lump was the result of my brain growing incredibly fast in one direction, too large for an average skull. Accompanied by irregular sleep positions, this could be a rudimentary explanation for my abnormal skull shape. Seriously. I thought this. With all my anthropological fascination and study, this is what I came up with. So much for smart. Ha!

Oh look, a relationship to the first half of this post!

When my friend pointed out my hair-playing fetish, I began thinking about why I engage in that habit. I realized that the fork sits exactly above the lump, against the sloping surface, and that it HURTS! After a day of holding my heavy hair up, pulling against my sensitive "slope", it actually hurts my head! I'm accustomed to hair ties and clips becoming irritating after a day of wear, but this was different. This week has been dominated by constant headaches, asleep or awake, and I wonder if it could be due to this fork's position. After fiddling with my head lump for a few minutes, feeling where the sensitivity dulled away, I suddenly recalled the image of the little girl in the movie "My Girl" playing with some sort of labeled skull in her basement, then feeling her friend's head to find similarities... or something...

After an HOUR of online-searching for every lumpy-head-study phrase I could think of, I FINALLY found a wikipedia (oh so reliable...) entry on PHRENOLOGY!

Phrenology- long since labeled a "defunct" field of study- was the psuedo-science in which the "reading" of the bumps on one's skull was used to discover one's personality traits. Not quite fortune-telling. Not quite a real science. But enough correlations were found between certain characteristics of skull forms and personality traits that charts were drawn, sculptures made, and careful instructions laid out.

More for my anthropological fascination than anything else, I began a phrenological study of my own head. Here were my findings, which, might I add, make me feel all goose-bumpy:

The lump on the back of my head is not as rare and found-only-in-freaks as I originally thought. It is simply an over-developed Occipital Lobe. The Occiput is the hole in the base of the primate skull in which the peak of the spine is held, allowing the skull to rest balanced atop the control post of the body, manipulated and held by muscle and tissue. Guess where I learned this. Guess.

Dance Class. Oh yeah. Dance class, baby.

In Modern, Balance of Body and Mind, and Pilates, I learn all sorts of crazy junk about the human body that one would never expect to encounter in a dance class. Dancers are smart! ;P Coupled with my many anthropology classes, I've got a cache of information to begin all sorts of ridiculously drawn-out studies when curiosity strikes. Something like this post...

As I was saying...
The occipital lobe is the visual processing portion of the brain, also known to control and contribute to spatial processing, color discrimination, and motion perception. Hello. If most of that didn't sound like pure dance terminology to you, read it again and take a dance class. ANY dance class. I was totally engineered to be a dancer, dudes! hahahahahahaaa..... Well, that's the story I'll stick to, anyway. Back to Phrenology.

In Phrenology, an enlarged occipital lobe or bump in such an area signifies strength in Philoprogenitivness. .....? My sentiments exactly.
Apparently, it means prolific. This can be easily miscontrued for something completely different than what the pseudo-science inteded. It is simply meant as the natural love of one's biological children. I am often referred to in school by professors and my associates alike as an extremely
"prolific" writer. Whether they are referring to my obvious thirst for learning as I write and explore or to my lengthy delivery of copious amounts of unnecessary and nearly irrelevant information, I have not yet decided. But the correllation is interesting, no?

Other formations on my head suggest that I am prone to destructiveness, have low self-esteem and little sense of continuity (the slope in the back of my head should be a nice, hefty curved compartment where apparenlty all my self-esteem and continuity WOULD have been stored! haha!), a serious affinity for conjugal love... no comment... prone to develop close friendships, have a hefty appetite, a gift for musical tune, a good understanding of language in general, No sense of time or proportion, strong senses of ideality and sublimity, hope, spirituality, and imitation, just about a complete lack of all things suave, and a pretty decent memory. Anything I left out of that ugly sentence was left out because I simply didn't understand what my head bumps were telling me, pro or con.
The funny thing is, if you know me well, that is... ME. It really does describe me exactly, with the exception of maybe the continuity part. I disagree with that whole-heartedly. Hmmmm. Interesting.
Those of you who made it through this insanely lengthy post now have the joy of trying it on for size!!!! Let's all play the phrenology game! Click on the mapped head images above, enlarge them, and give yourself a good head massage. Tell me what Phrenologists would say of you!


NLBlack said...

First, some of us may throw things away, but they are always thrown in the correct recycling bin.

Next, my lobes keep changing their mind. My head shape is constantly changing. Could it be that the content is jello???

Anonymous said...

Laura m'dear, had you asked me about so much as "the skull-bumpy thingy" I would have supplied you with the word. ;p My classes covered it last summer. Very cool that your dance classes hit it up too.

And while I haven't seen you all day, I'll take a shot on the count. It being a day for Church if you're both lucky and good, and a day for work at the very least if lucky is missing..... Your usual counts over a six-hour period extrapolated to a full day, minus the nervous tick bonus--

Between 25 and 30. :)

Your phrenology post was awesome. Some time when I'm awake instead of just typing, I'll try it out.

Wendy said...

I am totally rubbing all over my skull right now and I got... NOTHING. No bumps. Nothing to signify what a freaking genius I am. What up with that? If I look at the head maps will smooth bumpless/dentless head mean something other than boring and predictable? I hope so.

In the meantime, I would like to see you go Sinead. This lump is too valuable to be hidden under all that hair.

TuTu's Bliss said...

You got me rubbing my head too. Nothing special, nothing to see here. HMMM. Excuse me while I go go hold my kids down for their skull massage :)

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