Friday, July 9, 2010

A Wrongful Death and A Verdict's Aftermath

In the early hours of 2009, New Years Day, 21 year old Oscar Grant was coming back to Oakland after spending the evening in San Francisco with friends.

Mr. Grant was using Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). Apparently, there was a fracas on the train involving Grant and others and BART Police were called. One of the transit cops made Grant lie on the platform face down to subdue and handcuff the man. While in this position, Oscar Grant, an unarmed man, was shot in the back and killed by a BART policeman Johannes Mehserle.

There were many bystanders that night and a lot of them had video recorders. The event has been viewed by everyone in the Bay Area at one time or another. During his trial, Officer Mehserle stated that he thought he was using his taser gun when he fired the shot into Mr. Grant.

Because emotions and tensions were running very high in Oakland, it was decided to move Officer Mehserle's trial for the shooting to Los Angeles. The jury would determine if Mehserle was guilty of 2nd Degree Murder, Voluntary Homicide, or Involuntary Homicide. The verdict came down yesterday that the policeman was guilty of Involuntary Homicide and the City of Oakland had prepared for a strong reaction from the people of Oakland.

There was a mostly peaceful protest and probably 3,000 people outside of the City Hall area by 5 PM. Some people gave speeches, others prayed, and the general consensus seemed to be that this verdict was not a popular one. Still, the concerned citizens did not seem to be wanting a violent confrontation with anyone, they just wanted to vent their feelings as is their right under the blanket of the Constitution.

The police kept a low profile until street intersections were blocked by an increasingly unruly crowd. Oakland Police came out in force in full riot gear. Still, there were no confrontations other than verbal with the protesters and the police showing admirable restraint.

When the sun started to go down, most of the protesters took their signs, and left the area, but about 200 people did not. These people were not there to mourn the loss of one more black man by a gun. They had another agenda. Before long, windows were being smashed so that looters could grab items in the stores, many of them "mom and pop" stores that would not be insured for their losses. Several banks in the City Hall area had their windows broken and the Sears Robuck store had a display bedroom set in a window set ablaze by the vandals. Graffiti was sprayed over every available surface. Windshields were smashed on police cars.

There were 80 people arrested, and 75% of them were from places other than Oakland. Early on in the evening, I was feeling proud of Oakland for handling the protest with dignity and respect, and for the police for giving people their space and the opportunity to vent. Later last night, I watched in horror as these "anarchists" tried to take advantage like they always do.

I hope someday that police won't make mistakes when shooting people. I hope some day that the major cause of death for young black males isn't murder or violence. I hope some day that people will not accept looting and mayhem as a form of grieving because it's not. I am very sorry for the Grant family who have lost their son so wrongfully.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

My Trumpet Vines Grow A-1 Sauce

I like A-1 Steak Sauce as well as the next guy (or girl as the case may be).

It's just kind of magical that I have a bottle of A-1 growing in my trumpet vines. Look out the window on the left.

Since Alex feels strongly that I cannot become a dominatrix after all, maybe this appearance of steak sauce in my vines can supplement my income.

I've always believed that where there's a will, there's a way. Alex pointed out to the "sex worker" we met at a film premier the other evening, I don't really need the money, but I want the money.

A couple of weeks ago, I had to take my pup Honey in for some extensive tests at the vet. The total for her tests was about $800. Add on to that me having two trips to the hospital ER because of an infected leg after a cat bite, (another $500 for co-pays), and you may understand what I'm talking about.

If I can get more bottles of A-1 Steak Sauce on that vine, I can get the new fall collection Prada shoes after all. Or, in lieu of that, we can go on a real little vacation involving hotels, room service, and not just call it "Dog Tour-Twenty Ten". (Alex came up with that name but I called it our "Broke Ass Can't Take A Vacation Day Trips with Dogs".)

Sure those pink flowers are pretty, but the A-1 Sauce is worth a lot more money the way I figure it. I can contact the A-1 company and tell them what I'm growing and sell my secret to them. That will certainly be worth some money.

Actually, what I'd really like to do is tweak the soil a little bit and see if I can get some dollars to start growing on those vines. Just cut out the middle man routine completely. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

She's So Horny

Paris! Fashion Week!

I was there several years ago during fashion week. Alas, I didn't get invited to any of the collections shows. (Or maybe it's that I didn't buy a ticket.) I really don't know how that works. Alex was not sad over this turn of events, although he did watch Fashion TV on cable with me.

The part he liked was the dudes with the cigarette hanging out of their mouths and looking totally bored grooming the girls' landing strips, fluffing them up and putting a little spray or gel on them to keep them in place.

I had no idea that was the "in" look that year. For you who might not know, a landing strip is a pubic patch that is about an inch and a half wide and no longer than an inch. Kind of a cute look.

It was sort of interesting to watch and in the fashion world, nudity is not a big deal at all. Some of the clothing is transparent. Actually, in Europe, I don't think nudity is a big deal. Amazing!

I think it's better to always keep at least one thing on, don't you?

I sort of like the dress, but find the horns a little disconcerting. What if I turn my head too quickly when the person next to me is leaning in to say something to me? I could cause damage.

I would not wear a dress that long. It would completely hide my shoes and we all know I don't want that to happen. I might not carry that fur thing either, but that's me.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Lindsay Sentenced To Jail Time

I watched this live this afternoon and was very surprised at the amount of sympathy I have for this young woman.

While I certainly don't condone her actions, I think maybe it's the mother in me that hated to see her in tears and trying to explain her actions. She's only 24 years old, and yes, that is an adult, but she is a very troubled girl.

People start their kids off in this strange path, and frequently the child turns into a franchise. Nobody else in the family works. The kid becomes the family business.

When you are supporting a family of 4 and you are 14 or 15 years old, I'm sure the dynamics of the family are quite different from anything I've experienced. I've seen photos of Lindsay from when she was still a teenager passed out from drugs or alcohol at parties. These photos are prized by the sleazy magazines because they help to sell copies.

Both of Lindsay's parents are disgraceful and have never given her the "parenting" she needed. She's a troubled and lost young woman. She broke the law and now she's going to pay for it by serving time in a jail. When I saw her break down crying, it really made me sick. Put the damned parents in the jail too.

The only positive thing that came out of this is that after serving her sentence, Lindsay will have to go to rehab for 90 days which might even save her life. She was sentenced to 90 days in jail, which I am sure will not be 90 days. Still, the girl is sick and needs treatment, not punishment.

I've seen Lindsay in a couple of movies and think she's cute. I don't really know a damned thing about her. I just think that she's gotten a pretty raw deal in life. As parents, we have an obligation to our children, not the other way around.

If you don't agree, feel free to say so. I don't bite (hard).

Monday, July 5, 2010

Shoe and Tell

Hiking Boots
for those trips into the woods

Gardening Shoes
with steel toes

Play Shoes
with cat bite scars showing

Movie Theater Going Shoes

Summer Shoes

PTA Meeting Shoes

Funeral Shoes

Shoes like Nicky's shoes!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sex Worker, Sniff The Dog, Tattoos

We went to a world premier (well, kind of) of the film "Sniff the Dog" last night at the Auto Body Fine Art Gallery in Alameda. This was a benefit for the Alameda Animal Shelter. The film actually was being premiered after some editing, but who's counting! It's all for a good cause. The movie itself was pretty good, by the way, so if you get invited to another (newly edited) world premier of it, (well, kind of), I'd suggest you go!

I met a very interesting lady who was a self proclaimed "sex worker". Wow! At first she told me she was a hair dresser, but had a side line. Because she acted a little mysterious about the side line, I quipped "Oh, you sell meth too?" and she was slightly offended. She responded that she was a "sex worker".

Since I've never really considered it "work", I was naturally very curious! This gal was in her late 40's and I was intrigued that she made money in this way. She started telling me about her clients and indicated that she was kind of a dominitrix, and explained some of her specialties to me. I told her, "Hey! I could do that! Plus, I like leather and stiletto heels!"

The woman smiled and said "Well, that's a beginning". Alex was not encouraging of my new friendship with the sex worker woman. What is he afraid of? That I'll start being a dominitrix too? Some men would find that, uhm, interesting in a wife! We did exchange email addresses before the evening was over. I really just have such an inquiring mind.

There were two ladies sitting behind me who according to Alex clutched their pearls at the conversation the sex worker and I were having. But, never mind them.

I made another good friend last night. He's a tattoo artist! This dude has ink! I think we make a cute couple sort of. I thought about my girl Nicky when I met him because she has some elegant little tats herself! Also, you may notice my friend holding a plate of cheese! Now this could be coincidence but I don't think so!

The thing is, I'm not opposed to tattoos at all. In fact, I find them kind of fascinating. I met a man many years ago and he was a very religious guy. He had a lot of scripture tattooed on him which I think is a nice idea. If you got bored with him, you would still have something worthwhile to read. This guy was really a trip. On our first (and only) date, he shared with me that he was even tattooed on his, well, private parts.

This was truly a tatted up crowd! The sex worker, the guy, and then my other new friend with the amazing leg tattoos! I'm sorry, but "Ouch!".

I was waiting in the car for Alex when he ran into our local market for some ice this afternoon, when the most amazing young lady ever walked into the store! She was wearing Daisy Dukes, and a lace up little top that left nothing to the imagination. This is the one time I left my iphone on the charger at home. I was actually praying that Alex would take a photo of her because as far as I could see, not one single inch of flesh was without a tattoo. (And I could see a lot of that flesh!) She also had about 20 facial piercings. I was sure Alex would get a photo of her for me. Alas, he did not. Bummer!

And for any of you purists out there, I may not be spelling the "dominitrix" word right! Any suggestions for correction would be appreciated and applauded!