I suppose the earrings are off too…

Though the thought of a stodgy aging man snatching the wig off his head and taking off hoop earrings (or dangly bamboo) does conjure up thoughts of a gender bending knock-down-drag-out alley fight; alas that’s not what’s making the headlines.

Since the 17th century, british lawyers and judges wore white wigs, colorful judgy robes, and winged collars. Citing the price of wigs (US$800 to US$3000 according to Reuters) and the sheer fuddy-duddy-ness of it all, there has been a push to abolish the uniform. Announced Thursday Jul 12, the lads of law take their wigs off and slim their wardrobes down to one simple dress… err gown. Naturally, (as in what seems to be all British arenas of life) there is an opposition group who claim that the fancy dress exudes power and authority.

Happily, a compromise was struck and the ceremonial vestments will be donned in criminal courts. I say happily because despite our pay-to-play, litigious, “if it doesn’t fit, you must acquit” American legal system, we can boast that we don’t kowtow the artifice of wig-cum-respectus.

Reuters link here

yeah, I’m getting one… soon

peter: wow my former manager just called to ask me what is so special abt the iPhone
peter: i told him i dont know i dont have one lol

me: you know what’s special?
me: ….. it’s s’pensive

peter: lol yes

me: and you only get 200txt out the door

peter: u gots a point.

me: oh oh oh oh…
me: i know
me: …. people hyped it

peter: lol

me: and and and and
me: it’s got some amazing capacity
me: it is able to hold all their hopes, dreams, and wishes for a perfect device….
me: people have been storing their faith into the thing, even before its released


On a lovely Spring afternoon in 1999, I stopped into the grocery for spring onions, smoked salmon, and some other bits for dinner. I had a fairly full hand-basket, but fewer than 15 items, so I queued up in the express lane. I set the entire basket of groceries on the check-out conveyor so as to allow for the person ahead and behind me more room for their items.

I advanced through the line and stood in front of the small ledge to sort myself and get money out of my wallet. As I was searching myself for coinage, I heard a muffled comment about a hand-basket. I look up and around and a clear “Empty your hand-basket” was directed at me.

I excused myself and got an even more castigatory “Empty your hand-basket.” Since I was in the payment area of the line, 3 feet away as well as obscured by the cashier’s scale and keyboard, I had ask people in line to back up as well as shift their items. Shocked and embarrassed, I did as I was told so as not to cause a scene.

Reader, I know that this sounds trivial, but it was normal practice for me to place a basket of groceries onto the conveyor belt. As I sort myself and get any identification, coupons, or discount cards out – the cashier would take items out of the basket and process my order. That day, I guess the cashier just had enough, and though the basket was brushing up against her arm she couldn’t be bothered to empty the basket herself.

I hope she felt big. I hope she felt triumphant ordering a customer around. I hope she remembered my face when her management told her that she was fired.

I had written a letter, that same day, that same hour, then emailed/faxed/posted it customer service. The correspondence included the receipt, where it clearly showed that she charged me twice for the smoked salmon. I cited, ageism, sexism, homophobia, and though I it was overkill, racism in the letter. I also added that my family had been shopping at the chain of stores for the last 20 plus years, and not once had they been bullied like that.

I was contacted by phone two days after. I was told that the cashier had been terminated, a refund was available at the store, and all I had to do was pick it up. I was asked by the representative if there was anything that could be done to right this wrong and get me back to shopping there. I said no, and it wasn’t necessary to go through such trouble.

I lied.

I wanted the store to go down. I was angry that store made me feel small, and that I was expected to make the life of one cashiers easier. I boycotted the store and the entire chain. My family found this grudge to be petty and asked why I boycotted the store even though I had forgiven them.

The chain is being sold due to the economic downturn of the state and competition from other stores. [link]
As they close down, so does my grudge with them. I think I’ve seen the cashier at the other chain store that frequent. I empty my own hand-basket or use a cart now.

chat with ma

Mom’s phone calls are getting more meta every day. Today, she told me that love was important, God… does something, and Father’s Day. I wonder if this has everything to do with not visiting dad on Sunday, or not inviting them over to my place, or not calling them all week, meh I may never know.

We start talking about how hot it is and she inquires if my air conditioning is fixed. I say no, and she deems it was absolutely imperative that it get fixed. I counter with the fact that growing up as a peasant farm girl until moving to become an impoverished nursing student all in the third world, she was never afforded such luxury at my age. She sees my point but this causes a tangent about the Philippines.

As always when talking of the motherland, mom directs the conversation to her financial plans and dad’s imminent retirement in said locale. As her delirium starts of how happy she will be when she retires there, I cut her off telling her that I will not bail her out when her caretakers overseas bilk her of her savings. Mom laughs and says I’m speculating too much, but never dismisses the thought. I offer more grim scenarios of how aging in the first world has made her ill prepared for retirement in the third world. The point is not wasted on her, but she refuses to buy into the gloom.

We laugh some more and she tells me that it I’ll miss her when she passes. I am always disturbed by this exchange as she starts with “When I’m gone, you’ll say…”

I cut her off this time and say “‘Finally, I don’t have mom complaining that the maid is stealing her money‘, or ‘Poor Dad, it’s 120 degrees F, and all he has to beat the heat is mom’s complaints‘, as well as ‘Good, no more long distance calls to hear mom complaining about the pollution of the ocean.‘”

She catches my drift and she winds up the call with my brother’s weight loss. This is not directed at me, nor does it give her a chance to talk about her. This is a third party that doesn’t realize the ridicule that is being foisted upon them. Happy that we no longer take pot shots at each other, as we direct our cruelty to my brother, we say our good byes.

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