Donors

Jane is driving. She doesn’t have a license or anything but she has her permit and a car. Getting her a car with her permit has been a wonderful decision. I didn’t remember learning to drive but now that I’m in the passenger seat with her I’m reminded of how difficult it is to learn about … Read more

Sharp Knives!

A year or two ago I was driving home and saw an outrageously painted lilac bakery truck parked in front of the restaurants near my house. It had a phone number on the side, some messages about redemption and the fact that the owner of said truck would sharpen knives.

Los Angeles has knife sharpening issues. It used to be that you’d bring your knives to the butcher at Hughes Market and they’d sharpen them while you shop. Later when Hughes sold to Gelson’s you could sometimes find a butcher who would help you out and then it all just stopped. HOWs markets opened up and my knives were sharp again but then they promptly closed. There are places where I can drop my knives off but no one seems to do it right or they want me to wait for two days. Maybe my family could just hit pause on dinner for a couple of days while the knives are being sharpened? I don’t think so.

So as I’m sitting around with Junior giving him water through a syringe (no exaggeration) the phone rings and it’s a number I do not recognize. A man mutters something about knives and I tell him he has the wrong number. Then he says, “Jessica, I sharpened your knives for you last year.”

“Do you have a purple truck?” I am excited.

“I do.” He is calm.

“I have been looking for your number everywhere. Are you nearby?”

And he was.

purple knife truck

Now I’m sitting with Junior who just wants to be held (though that’s not unlike him before being bitten) and I’m watching the world pass me by. It’s not unlike the first months of motherhood when it felt impossible to leave the house as it took 30 minutes to feed the baby, change the baby and collect the gear.

It’s a strange feeling, this sense of immobility. It’s like having a sick day without being sick or rewinding the clock to when they were babies and the world was small. It’s not altogether unpleasant but it is remarkably dull. I don’t want to fix up the house, I want to leave the house but that’s just too much for Junior today and leaving him alone right now isn’t wise. The good news is that he is moving his leg a bit, he’s responding to touch and he’s not putting weight on it but that’s to be expected. We’re removing the word amputation from the discussion.

This week I’m watching my dog sleep but I’m going to do it with sharp knives.

 

Girls Aren’t Sluts

This morning we’re all waking up to the news about the shootings and rampage in Isla Vista. Parents sent their kids to college and seven won’t make it home. Currently the shooter’s YouTube page is active and it plays like a bad movie about a rich, disaffected youth who doesn’t make it through puberty with grace.

His videos are about how he’s been tortured with his virginity (not even a kiss) for the past eight years, his loneliness and how girls are sluts who “give it” to everyone but him. I’m quite certain he’s not the only 22 year old virgin who is frustrated but the venom is problematic.

Can we talk to our sons about the fact that girls don’t owe them sex? That there will many virgins both boys and girls, that some of them will be sexually frustrated and that’s normal. Can we normalize masturbation so that boys and girls can be a little less frustrated? I think we do a good job of telling our daughters they don’t owe anyone sex but we fail at telling them that they’re good people after they’ve had sex.

The notion of the mass shooting is not a common situation but the way we talk to boys about slutty girls who give it up to everyone but them is disturbingly normal. When we went to war against Vietnam we called them gooks. It’s easy to kill a gook but not so easy to kill a man, woman or child. Niggers were bought and sold, they were not people, using that term dehumanized them enough for America to treat them as chattel. Two generations before me my family died at the hands of Nazis. No Great Grandparents on that side, it’s easy to exterminate a kike but the notion of putting a human in an oven would be revolting.

So when our girls are sluts it’s easy to hurt them. Not everyone will run them over with cars or shoot them. People won’t necessarily kill them for being a slut but they do have permission to demean them, touch them, demote them, hit them, exploit them and abuse them. When we accept that women (and we do this to each other) can be called a slut we take away a piece of their humanity, we strip them of opportunities and we set them up as targets.

The shootings at UCSB will torture hundreds, maybe thousands of people for years to come. Elliot Rodger’s videos are disturbing to watch and his final video (which appears to be removed) talks about killing blonde sorority sluts. Again, they’re easier to kill than young women, because young women are human and deserving of proper treatment.

I don’t imagine that we will learn a lot from this shooting. There will be talk about mental illness and gun rights. There might be murmurings about watching for depression and isolation but the talk that I’d really like to have is this one. The one where we talk about keeping women human.

We Haz All the Cars

Mr. G’s Jaguar lease is about to end and we need to get him a new car. Before the Jag he had a bunch of BMWs all in a row, one after the other. They’re wonderful cars, one kept him safe in a major accident and they hold their value well. The problem is that they are boring. The city is littered with 5 Series BMWs and after 4 years of a Jaguar he has come to enjoy having a car that’s a little bit different. I have loved the 6 series Gran Coupe since I laid eyes on it.

2013 bmw gran coupe

Unfortunately I’m the only one who loves it. It doesn’t appeal to Mr. G. The 7 series is just too big and he doesn’t like Audi or Mercedes. I can’t even begin to talk to him about a Japanese car. They’re much too reasonable and reliable for our tastes I suppose.

When Mother’s Day rolled around Mr. G asked me what I wanted and I told him nothing and I meant it too. I’ve bought myself everything I need and most of what I want. I wanted to get my mom something a little more expensive and I wanted to have a day where I didn’t wash any dishes (that did not happen). I wanted the kids to start studying for final exams and I wanted Mr. G to pick a car so I could buy one for him in the coming weeks.

After lunch with my family we headed out to find a car for Mr. G. We both yawned at the 5 series, knowing that it’s the car we’d likely end up with, I dragged him to the Mercedes Dealership where he refused to drive anything as he didn’t like the look of a single one and then we landed in Dante’s Fourth Circle of Hell, the Maserati Dealership.

We looked at the Quattroporte as there are quite a few that are preowned with very low miles but it’s an absolute boat. The interior styling is unquestionably luxe but at a gazillion dollars the car we saw didn’t even have a backup camera. The salesman mocked me for caring so that might be why I decided that I hated the Ghibli, or it might have been because in between the Quattroporte and the Ghibli we drove a Panamera S and it appealed to us more than either of the Maseratis.

So we left the dealership knowing that we’d be calling my friend Jay at Beverly Hills Porsche. Mr. G likes the Panamera but I secretly thought I’d steer him to 911. Now that we have three cars they don’t all need to have back seats.

Then I considered something I’d previously ignored. We can buy the Jag. My husband loves that car, there’s nothing wrong it with (now) and the Mercedes will be going back in less than a year. Today I went ahead and purchased the Jaguar (for $10,000 under Kelly Blue Book, that was NOT a good lease) and Mr. G will continue driving it until my lease ends. At that point in time we’ll be knocking at Jay’s door for something obnoxiously fast and I’ll drive the Jag until the engine gives out and the wheels fall off (which could be soon).

So basically today I sold myself a used car.

 

Another Lovely Evening With the Morris Animal Foundation and One Eyed Jack

Sunday night my friends at the Morris Animal Foundation invited me to join them as the Paul Mitchell School Foundation presented them with a check. I wasn’t really sure how to talk about the relationship between the two so I asked my friend Scott Koskoski, the Director of Major Gifts & Planned Giving for Morris … Read more