Friday, April 30, 2010

The Little Haircut that Couldn't

Here's a first. I was rejected by the hairdresser I hoped would correct my recent haircut that resembles a bad Farrah Fawcett wig. It turns out it's even worse than I knew because I never look at the back of my head, but operate on the theory that what I don't know can't hurt me.

I normally have a lot of hair, but Hairdresser #1, we'll call her Annette, thinned it so severely that the crown suggests male pattern baldness while the rest of it bulges oddly on all sides. Carlos impressed me wildly with his honesty in turning down the price of today's haircut plus tip because he thinks it should grow out for at least three months first.

So I made another appointment for June, which is only six weeks, because I am not a paragon of patience and because my birthday is in late June. I'm hoping to look presentable by then. Meanwhile, maybe I can learn to do that adorable comb-over favored by deluded old gentlemen, or shave it off like Grace Jones, Sinead O’Connor and Britney Spears. But seriously, who gets rejected by a hairdresser? I laughed all the way home.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Marriage as Weapon

In 2008, at the start of her school vacation, 12-year-old Reem Al Numery of Yemen was forced to marry her 30-year-old cousin.

“While my hair was styled for the ceremony, I thought of ways to set fire to my wedding dress,” Reem told U.S. Embassy officials in an interview. “When I protested, my dad gagged me and tied me up. After the wedding, I tried to kill myself twice.”

Young girls in Yemen are often condemned to marriage by their families to relieve economic pressure. Custom dictates that when the bride is a minor, her husband wait until she reaches puberty to consummate the marriage, but Reem was brutally raped on her wedding night. Her husband choked and bit her, dragged her by the hair and overwhelmed her with his greater strength when she resisted sex.

Reem initiated divorce proceedings but since her father will not consent, a judge ruled that she must remain married until she can make her own decisions at age 15. Apparently the inconsistencies are lost on the Yemeni courts that she can be married against her will at any age but not divorced until she is old enough. She now lives with her mother, but is still at the mercy of her father and husband because Yemen has no laws addressing sexual abuse within a marriage.

The exceptional courage of Reem Al Numery exposes a tradition of paternal complicity, and challenges her country's legal system to put an unequivocal end to a practice that robs girls of their childhood. It's impossible to fathom a concept of parenthood which does not include protection of ones children.

“My dad said he'll kill me for defying him,” Reem told reporters, “but I want to go back to school.”

Reem was recognized by the U.S. Secretary of State with a 2009 International Women of Courage Award. I hope she lives long enough to escape and determine the course of her own life. That seems so little to ask.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stupidity of Obscene Magnitudes

It's official. We are a damaged society. Two of the mistresses (one each) of Tiger Woods and Jesse James are in talks to host a reality show called Celebrity Cheaters. The show's creators want to catch celebrities "with their pants down." Oh, blind me now. Must we suffer through more of this lunacy while people with nothing to offer exploit themselves for those who are titillated by fame, no matter how spurious?

Michelle "Bombshell" McGee, mistress of Jesse James, and Jamie Jungers, Tiger Woods' squeeze, are ready to sign on for big bucks while all the other Woods/James mistresses scramble to make their own deals. Apparently mistresses are red-hot now. Rachel Uchitel, (Tiger's) is also going to star in a reality show about her life. A life whose high point, so to speak, was having sex with a famous golfer is not something I want to watch, no matter how SINtillating.

Reality TV is a cynical ploy to provide low level entertainment without paying real actors, but rewarding people for bad behavior is beyond offensive. I see no difference between this and legal prostitution, except the latter makes more sense.

Monday, April 26, 2010

When Harry Met Linda

All is not well in the penguin exhibit at the San Francisco Zoo. Pepper, a Megellanic penguin who was dumped last year by his long term same-sex partner Harry for a widowed female named Linda, has not found love again this breeding season. He has grown depressed, avoiding contact with other penguins as much as possible so as not to be confronted with Harry and Linda's blissful relationship.

After Linda stole Harry from Pepper, the two males engaged in a brawl so fierce that their keepers had to separate them for months. They still glare at each other aggressively when they meet and have not evolved into the elusive ideal of "just friends." Harry and Linda are incubating an egg, which must particularly rankle because Harry and Pepper once raised a chick named Chuck Norris together. They were one of the most devoted couples at the zoo until Linda's partner died and she and Harry began spending more time together.

Everyone knows how these things happen -- long ago, Elizabeth Taylor's husband, Mike Todd, died and she and his best friend Eddie Fisher, the singer, consoled each other so successfully that Eddie soon left his wife Debbie Reynolds and married Elizabeth. (The marriage failed because she hated his singing in the shower, and she is now about to marry her 9th or 10th husband.) I don't know how many mates Linda the Penguin has had, but I'm betting Harry won't be her last. He'll come crawling home to Pepper, begging forgiveness for his terrible mistake, but it will be too late. Even if he goes to cheater's rehab.

There will be those who tout this as proof that Harry wasn't really gay after all, just experimenting. But I don't think it's relevant. Breakups are painful for everyone, for any reason, whether ones love is a male, a female or a Boston Fern. So I hope that Pepper finds the penguin of his dreams next mating season and finally gets to live happily ever after. Because we all deserve that.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Enjoying Poor Health

Flip just turned on a Law and Order repeat, and my buddy Olivia Benson has a cold too. Of course she still looks drop-dead gorgeous, while I just look as if I recently died. I hardly ever get sick but when I do, it's bad. I think my body saves up all its sick coins and then blows them on one major contagion. I am a terrible patient. Chicken soup makes me sick and I have probably exceeded the legal limit on cough drops. I was going to soak in a hot bath with epsom salts but it's too much effort. I don't feel well enough to be sick. I have a stack of Kleenex boxes as tall as I am, but someone is eating all my sick person popsicles, especially the tangerine ones.

I do not lack for entertainment, however. For six days, a tiny bird who lives in a big tree by our windows has been pecking on the glass constantly. Folk superstition holds that this portends a death in the house and since I am sick, it has crossed my mind about 2,000 times.

We are also babysitting for Joey-the-cat who lives upstairs. Joey and the bird quickly discovered each other and now the bird and his mate are hurling themselves into our windows repeatedly, fluttering feathers like a troupe of Burlesque dancers to taunt the great white and black hunter. I cleared a path through my plants so he could get a better view and all his killer instincts kicked in, even though he has not had to bring down a can of cooked chicken in a very long time. Fortunately, the glass is thick and Joey is trapped inside a plastic Elizabethan collar to prevent him from scratching a sore on his head. He thinks we are morons because he asked us with yowls and pantomime to remove it, but we didn't. Of course, every cat and dog knows that humans are mentally inferior, hardly worth the trouble if we didn't have thumbs. But he protects us from small, marauding birds anyway, because he's that sort of cat. He even guards me while I shower, sprawled menacingly across the bathroom threshold. Cats know how dangerous water is, and besides, I know where all the cans are buried.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Gray Panther Power

A serial bank robber dubbed the "Geezer Bandit" by the FBI robbed his seventh bank in San Diego County this week. The man appears to be in his 70's and totes an oxygen tank. He also carries a snub-nosed revolver inside a day planner with which he threatens tellers and is considered "armed and dangerous." When he receives the money, he tucks it into the day planner and strolls out of the bank.

The FBI, San Diego Police Department and San Diego County Sheriff's Department are offering a $16,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the man, who began robbing area banks in August of last year. I think he's worth more than that, just for the movie rights. He is described as white, 6 feet tall, and weighs about 190 pounds. Some witnesses have said the robber may be wearing an old-man mask, which is reminiscent of the 90's movie, Point Break, in which a gang of surfers robs banks wearing rubber masks of ex-presidents. Bonnie and Clyde move over. I think we have ourselves a new folk hero.

This is what happens when the government doesn't give Social Security cost-of-living increases.

Monday, April 19, 2010

IQ Tests Should be Required for Parenthood

A 7-month-old baby named Sofia Wisher died in Antioch, California after being left inside her family's car Saturday night for over 14 hours. They returned home from doing laundry at a relative's house and carried their clean clothes and their two-year old inside, but each parent claims to have thought the other removed the baby from her car seat and put her to bed.

The father woke up at noon the next day and drove to the gym without noticing that Sofia was still in the car. When the mother awoke even later, she discovered that the baby was not in her crib, so she called the In-Shape Sport Club where her husband was working out and the staff tracked him down. Police were called to the parking lot where the baby was pronounced dead. The temperature in the locked car was over 110 degrees. The coroner's office said the death appeared to be a tragic accident.

What is surely accidental is that this self-absorbed neglectful couple became parents. How can anyone condone such a shocking lack of interaction between parents and child? Babies need to be fed and changed often, yet it seems not to have occurred to either of them to tend to their children.

This is one of the best arguments I have ever heard for abortion -- of the parents.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

RIP, My Friend

I just learned some shocking news. Chani of the blog "Finding My Way Home" died on March 23rd. While we have never met in person, we emailed each other often and chatted on the phone many times. She was in the process of moving, and I thought that perhaps I couldn't reach her because she wasn't yet hooked up in her new place. Today I remembered the name of the apartment complex she was moving to, and just got off the phone with the manager who told me that "no one can speak to her now but Jesus."

I don't know what happened, but I'm very sad. If I recalled the name of the family whose home she rented space in for many years, I would call them. Chani was only in her 50's, a highly intelligent, courageous and compassionate woman and a good friend. She had a small dog named Shanti. I don't know what will become of the dog. I will miss Chani, and I know that many of you will, too. If anyone knows of a way we can honor her memory, please share it. Thank you.

Make PETA Extinct

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has lost its way. For weeks they have been shoving Pamela Anderson down our throats as a contestant on Dancing With the Stars, and now they have announced the winners of their Sexiest Vegetarian contest. The female winner is - surprise! a Pamela Anderson look-alike: Voluntary blond hair, collagen-laced lips and of course, grotesquely enhanced mammaries. Why didn't they just select a cow to win their trip to Maui? They're vegetarians, too. I didn't include her name because bimbos all have interchangeable parts.

Pamela Anderson may be an animal lover, but she also owes about $500,000 on her Income Tax. Not my definition of ethical. She is no stranger to these pages, however. I first blogged about her when I was a newbie. The marriage I sneered wrote about ended less than a year later after she allegedly feigned a miscarriage to dance on other men's tables, but alas, she is still with us.

I liked PETA better when they were protecting penguins in Antarctica.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Bad Ole Days

Confederate History Month sounds like a bad Saturday Night Live skit for April Fool's Day. The Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell, says that Confederate history "should not be forgotten, but instead should be studied, understood and remembered" because its leaders "fought for their homes and communities and Commonwealth in a time very different than ours today." The Spanish Inquisition, the Holocaust and the Crusades were also different times, but that is no excuse to celebrate them.

The NAACP objected. Can you imagine? Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour claims that he was not aware of any complaints that the holiday was offensive and says the "dustup" over Virginia's proclamation seems like a "nit," a lot of noise over something that "doesn't amount to diddly." I wonder why the state with the largest Black population in the nation doesn't have a Black Governor, and also why no one has put a muzzle on this guy. His white hood probably got in the way.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Are You the Party to Whom I am Speaking?

Will the real Vernon Pope stand up? For over six years, I have received dunning phone calls for him despite at least five conversations with various offshore Customer Disservice folks with Indian accents, each of whom assured me that my number would be removed from their annals. They all lied.

Exactly what part of "We don't know him - this is not his number" do they fail to understand? It seems that his debt, however large, should have fallen off his credit report by now. I think this occurs after seven years, but during that time a lot of buying and selling of accounts transpires among collection agencies. Kind of like a Virginia Reel, or a very large cluster fuck.

Meanwhile, Vernon Pope is doubtless living it up in Tahiti or Marrakech, leaving me holding the bag. He is laughing as he sips countless mai tais on breezy verandahs because he knows that I am taking care of business. But he is deluded. I want a divorce. We have never met, nor do I have the slightest interest in doing so, yet he has caused me considerable distress as countless debt collectors invade my life at all hours, demanding money on his behalf.

Vernon Pope, you and I have irreconcilable differences, and it's time you manned up and took responsibility for your own steaming pile of bills. Nowhere in that custody agreement am I mentioned as a person who will tend your errant progeny without benefit. You need to euthanize it, humanely or not. It makes no difference to me -- I have no dog in this fight.

Only changing my phone number will get rid of you, but I should not have to incur further inconvenience. I hope you understand that we cannot keep going like this. I want my freedom. Oh, Vernon Pope. we hardly knew ye.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Blindsided Yet Again

Things just get better and better for Sandra Bullock. Now rumors have surfaced that one of Jesse James' mistresses - I'm not sure which one because I am mathematically challenged over 1,000 - was pregnant with his child within weeks of his marriage to the Academy Award winning actress.

James' lawyer claims that his client is a "broken man." "This whole thing has destroyed Jesse's entire universe," he said. "Right now, he's a broken man." This would seem to imply that an arbitrary universe caused these events to happen to a passive, helpless James. What a grotesque attempt at damage control! Adultery doesn't just happen -- you have to take off your clothes first. He is portrayed as desperate to save his marriage and allegedly told Bullock that he would get help “like Tiger" because he is still in love with her. Does he think that broaching the "T" word somehow elevates his behavior? Safety in numbers maybe? I'm sure that he and his role model will be a great comfort to each other in dick rehab.

"The single most important thing to Mr. James and the children is that the marriage somehow survive," his lawyer declared. He even said it with a straight face, which is quite impressive. He probably gets a few million extra for that.

When all else fails, round up the usual suspects. The Oscar Curse. Give me a break. Meryl Streep has won so many times that she probably has an entire wing of her house consecrated to her statues, and has been married to the same man for 89 zillion years. I'm guessing the dude does not cheat.