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ON FATHER’S DAY, SHE FEELS MORE LUCKY THAN GOOD

June 19, 2010 13 comments

DAD WITH ASSISTANT, c. 1950

BY LOUISE CUNNINGHAM

This is for everyone whose father wasn’t Robert Young—you know, the 1950s TV dad on “Father Knows Best,” the dad everyone wished they had. Instead, we got … well, I got an alcoholic mess of a smart, well-read, first-to-wear-Bermuda shorts (with black socks and shoes) in 1959 dad, who died young. I got lucky. He called me Lucky.

“Lucky, you’re doin’ good,” he’d say, and 36 years after his death at age 62, he still does—presumably while sitting on my right shoulder, up near my ear, which explains why I can hear him so clearly. He never explained why he called me Lucky. Nobody did. I never knew.

But it made me—the younger of his two girls—feel special. I loved my dad and hated him, as growing girls are wont to do. I know now that he was human, with way more frailties than most. He wasn’t like those men who went to work every day, maybe went to church every week, went to the school play, paid the bills and were there when the kids needed them.  But it doesn’t mean that my father wasn’t worthy of a “Best Dad” trophy. And I miss him like crazy on Father’s Day. Read more…

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COMMIE GIRL ON JURY DUTY: BENDING THE MORAL ARC OF JUSTICE ALL OVER YOUR ASS

FAIR IS FAIR, RIGHT?

BY REBECCA SCHOENKOPF / FOURSTORY.ORG

Remember last week when I said we would talk about parks today? Oh, I had so much opining to do, and you … you were going to listen!

But that was before I got jury duty, and you … you, but of course, got it with me. Now! Everyone knows I love jury duty—I do! Doing my civic duty gets me all tingly and happy, and if I could wear my “I Voted” sticker all year long without looking like a homeless who doesn’t change her clothes, I would. Voting and jury duty in the same week? The French have a name for that, and it is “hog heaven.”

And so we got a courtroom, and a voir dire, and an almost-unheard-of one-day trial, and it was the stupidest case you’ve ever seen in your long life of seeing stupid cases. There was our judge, welcoming us with Dr. King’s quote about the moral arc of the universe bending towards justice—lovely!—and in our case, “justice” was some simpering lunatic chick suing a perfectly wonderful young man who didn’t do a thing wrong. Young lady, we will bend the moral arc of justice all over your ass! READ MORE

COMMIE GIRL IN THE VOTING BOOTH: ASSEMBLY REQUIRED

BY REBECCA SCHOENKOPF / FOURSTORY.ORG

I don’t like to brag—oh, who’m I kidding? I do like to brag! I like it a lot! And this morning, I will be bragging about the fact that I am what I like to call a “high-information voter.” I can name you seven Supreme Court justices off the top of my head, and all nine if you give me a pencil and a sheet of scratch paper. In fact, I know that there are nine Supreme Court justices, instead of the far more popular uneducated guess of 12! That is how high-information I am!

But, as that sexy old coot Donald Rumsfeld once haiku’d, “There are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. These are things we do not know we don’t know.”

And that can extend—even for someone as brainy (and fetching) as I am—to the voting booth.  READ MORE

COMMIE GIRL AND THE TIMESHARE HARD-SELL: THE JOY OF LOVING THINGS YOU HATE

May 23, 2010 2 comments

BY REBECCA SCHOENKOPF / FOURSTORY.ORG

Yes, we would love to attend a timeshare presentation at Kona Resort in exchange for $150 cash and lunch. I mean it. Love.

Paul was worried. He had never endured a hard-sell for a timeshare before, had never selflessly signed up so as to get gifts he could then present to his loved ones. I got this boombox for you, Mom, and I didn’t just buy it, I suffered for it, because I love you like Jesus does. Greg and Annie, please accept this weekend in Catalina. I said no to a timeshare salesperson for a very long time in order to get it for you. I love you, Greg and Annie. Love!

“It’ll be fun!” I kept explaining to Paul. Doesn’t he understand about things being so awful that they become exquisite? That just like pure perfect rage excites the same part of the primitive brain as drugs or sex or candy, pure perfect loathing excites our adrenalin centers, and not only that but it would be a loathing shared between the two of us, and later we could laugh and cackle about it together? Doesn’t he know the joy of loving things you hate?

READ THE REST AT FOURSTORY.ORG

THE FASHION PUH-LEEZE: BACK AT MY ROOTS, NO HAIR MEANS NO BAD HAIR DAYS

May 21, 2010 8 comments
 

ENUF O' THIS!

BY SUSAN L. JACOBS

I’ve returned to my roots, literally: I’ve just had my hair shaved off—gone, no más. As a result, I am happy, nappy and finally free from the drama that I’ve allowed to big-foot its way back into my life for the past several years. 

I’m back where I belong after trying it all, again: The two-strand twists in varying colors of heavy, synthetic hair (enduring countless hours in the chair watching bad Lifetime movies and the WB), the oh-so-pitiful attempt at starter locs, the wannabe Jill Scott neo-Soul coif, and the fatal flaw: the texturizer … just to “soften it up a bit.” Actually, that’s burning lye slapped onto my natural hair to make it more “manageable.” It’s as big a mistake as it sounds.

The day I woke up looking like Woody Woodpecker, I went back and told my stylist to “take it all off.”

Why we, as black women, torture ourselves to this degree is a whole other issue. Don’t let me get started—just rent Chris Rock’s documentary, Good Hair for a quick (and sad) primer on (most) black women’s love-hate relationship with our hair. Read more…

VOTE TO BOYCOTT ARIZONA PRESENTS SOUTHERN CALIFORNIANS WITH A NOT-REALLY-ALL-THAT HARDSHIP

May 13, 2010 20 comments

YOU MEAN, WE'RE GOING TO MISSSSS OUT ON THISSSSS?

BY STEVE LOWERY

The Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday to ban most city travel to Arizona as a way to protest that state’s tough new immigration law. It was an extraordinary step, which the council has taken only a couple times before, including once to protest South Africa’s then-apartheid policies. Of course, Arizona’s new law isn’t apartheid or racist—Arizonans have been very clear about that—so be on notice, blonde-haired, blue-eyed Aryan visitors, lest you be caught without your papürvügens when asked to produce them. Read more…

COMMIE GIRL WALKS TO HAWAII, HITCHHIKES BACK…AND ADMITS SHE PROBABLY OUGHTTA BROUGHT BEER

THE HITCHED RIDE BACK FROM HAWAII

BY REBECCA SCHOENKOPF / FOURSTORY.ORG

We couldn’t possibly bring beer to the party, despite Diane’s oft-stated insistence that we should. We had to walk a mile down a road with an average 25 percent grade—and that maxes out at 45 percent. (Easily the world’s steepest; some place in Wales that claims the honor is a laughable and piddling 40 percent.) Now think about the western end of Kanaan, where signs warn trucks about the dangerous six percent they’re about to experience. Watch downhill speed, trucks! Watch it good!

Why, yes, we were headed into the Waipio Valley on the Big Island of Hawaii, and mama no longer gets to bitch about poorness, not now, not ever—not that I would anyway. You know I don’t like to complain! So when Keoni at the Waipio visitor info center (“visitor info centers” are just stores that want to sell you tours and such) told us his auntie was having her a birthday party at the bottom of the valley, and that we should bring a gift and a card (he was very specific about the card) and meet his family and have some delicious home-caught pig, we all thought that was a marvelous idea. READ THE WHOLE STORY AT FOURSTORY.ORG

Categories: Columnists