You’ve heard of a bad hair day? I woke up having a bad hair, face and body day. The dreaded triple! And, ironically, on the first day in many that I actually feel pretty good, my cold having been defeated by the superior forces of Immune System Systems, Ltd. My plan for early this morning was to rake leaves under the dreary gray sky. Then I saw myself, and thought, not even that, until I get a shower, a little mascara and a two-week juice fast.
Of course I feel this way. It’s November. My birth month, Kate’s birth month, Alan’s birth month — one long sprint from Halloween to the holidays. Anyone would fall apart midway through.
But speaking of women and their looks. I saw
Queen Noor the former Lisa Halaby (sorry, but I find it impossible to call American women by their phony-baloney Arab-royalty titles, particularly when they rule over a place like Jordan) on Anderson Cooper the other day. She is a beautiful woman, in the Grace Kelly mode — an American girl elevated to a profoundly un-American place, and seemingly rather conflicted over it. She was talking about the bombing in Amman, of course, not saying much of any real interest; I recall something about Jordan being like one big family. So my attention wandered to her perfectly made up and chemically frozen face. I’m not one of those women who can read plastic surgery at a glance — it’s just not that interesting to me — but it’s hard not to notice when a woman is speaking of a tragic bombing in her adopted country and she can’t seem to make a facial expression of concern about it.
It was remarkable. Her lips were moving, and occasionally her eyebrows would make a heroic move of a millimeter or two, but otherwise, her face was as animated as porcelain. She seemed to know this, and was compensating by moving her head instead, little darting motions here and there that never gave the camera operator problems, but presented the semi-illusion of a spirit behind the words.
Very strange. I’ve never been a beauty, so I never had to worry about the Tragedy of Losing One’s Looks. (Like Nora Ephron, I’ve found that I tend to gain them over time.) It frequently seems beauty masks a howling void of insecurity.
I read somewhere that Lisa’s husband had a thing for the nannies. Figures.
The Journal Gazette back in the Fort has been doing a lively series of editorials lately, “When One Party Rules,” addressing the county’s decades-long path under an insurmountable GOP majority. It’s been amusing, if for no other reason than this: The GOP likes to market itself as the party of frugal spending and lean government, when in truth they’re as greedy as any profligate Democrat administration, when given the chance to feed at the public trough.
But this editorial points out one of my favorite strange quirks of Indiana law, one that never failed to get a jaw-dropping reaction from newly arriving reporters in my time there: In the Hoosier state, county sheriffs are in charge of collecting delinquent taxes. And to make it worth their while, they get to skim 10 percent off the top of any monies collected.
Not for their office-administration fund, mind you. For the Support Your Local Sheriff’s Bahamian Vacation fund. For his (or her) personal salary.
As my ex-colleague Bill said, when he heard this: “Where are we? Medieval France?”
P.S. How much extra did the Allen County sheriff earn through this little fringe benefit in 2004? Only $128,334.
Nice work if you can get it.
Now to the showers, before I break any more mirrors around here.