butch bonding ritual

November 14th, 2008 | Uncategorized

When I was in LA on Wednesday, I got to hang out a little with my old pal Phranc. And look! She took me to her barber Albert for a haircut. She’s been getting her magnificent flattop done by him for 20 years. He’s cut all kindsa celebrities’ hair, like Lawrence Welk and Stan Laurel. There are signed photos all over the wall, including this one of Phranc. Can you read her inscription? “Albert, thanks for keeping me level-headed!”


Here’s a short film of my experience. Albert is not just a great barber, he’s a great guy.

Man, I wanted to do a post about Chicago, too. There was a wonderful crowd at Women and Children First last night for my reading. But I have to check outta my hotel room now. Flying home to VT later, maybe I can post from the airport or something. For some reason it seems important to do the Chicago post IN Chicago.

18 Responses to “butch bonding ritual”

  1. NLC says:

    Welcome back, just in time for the rain and snow this weekend.

  2. Anne Laughlin says:

    That was such a great event at Women and Children First last night. Wonderful crowd, great questions, and your charming self. Chicago is a happy place these days.

  3. the squealer says:

    Nice whitewalls…I’m right there with you!

  4. Louise says:

    There was great energy at Women and Children First last night. It was delightful to hear you speak and to meet you, Alison. I saw that our friend Riva did an awesome pencil sketch of you during your talk.

    Yes, definitely do post from Chicago–the city is bursting with good vibes right now!

  5. Ginjoint says:

    Plus, Sara Paretsky was there. Cool.

  6. noominal says:

    In the video you have that helpless baby bird stare of someone who relies on their glasses, when they aren’t wearing their glasses, and are requested to look in the general direction of a blurry disembodied voice in the room.

    Needless to say, I have also given that stare.

    It is most frustrating when getting a haircut because at some point you are asked “what do you think?” and, of course, you have to put your glasses back on to give the opinion. A haircut can be a total surprise to us near-sighted types.

    Funny that the video is coincidentally a touch on the blurry side. 😉

  7. Anonymous says:

    Noominal, I had to laugh when you talked about being asked “what do you think” when half-blind! It’s one of my criterion for an ongoing relationship with a stylist: if you can’t remember for 45 minutes that I can’t recognize myself in the mirror w/o glasses, and ask that question, you aren’t attentive enough to cut my hair. (And that sounds a lot bitchier than I really am!)

    On a completely unrelated note, are people going out to protest tomorrow? I’ll be out with friends in Minneapolis!

  8. Kate L says:

    Wow… I’ve been looking for just that barber shop experience!

  9. Alex K says:

    @noominal: Yes, the disoriented fear to be read on one’s face when the spectacles are set aside, the helplessness: I can not shape what is being done to me. Then, resignation. And acceptance.

    When the barber holds up the mirror to let you see the nape of your neck, the nod and smile. Seven quid, put out a tenner, push a pound coin across the counter back at him whilst picking up two. Shrug on the jacket, the clippings itching their way under the shirt-collar. Then, in the street, the chill across the unthatched temples, and the relief when no one looks just that little bit too long, that “Should I ring to see if any of the inmates has been missed at roll-call?” too long, at one’s new do.

    Gelett Burgess, I think:

    For beauty I’m not a great star
    There are others more handsome by far
    But my face, I don’t mind it
    For I am behind it
    It’s the people in front that I jar.

  10. kris dresen says:

    I will also chime in to say the Chicago event was great. The crowd was fantastic.I would have said hello but I didn’t want to take a place in line for someone who wanted to get a book signed. It was a swell evening. Come back again and talk to us more soon!

  11. Hey,kris dresen! Thank you so much for coming. It was very lovely to make fleeting eye contact with you.

    Re: barbers and eyeglasses, Albert very graciously offered me my glasses before showing me the back of my head in the mirror.

  12. Ginjoint says:

    Uh oh. Now I’ve discovered Kris Dresen’s website. My life is comics.

  13. Ready2Agitate says:

    I can only see Phranc now with a parrot on her shoulder. She’s frickin’ awesome.

  14. Ross says:

    It’s the second wave of sports physicals at our clinic (B-ball, wrestling, volleyball).

    Not one. Not two. Not three. But four, yes four high school guys and one high school girl were all sporting your very haircut this week.

    I don’t know what you’ll make of that. None of them rock it with quite the panache you bring to it.

    Savoring the last pages of “Essential” and am trying to get my book club to read “Fun Home”. They want to wait for the paperback. Sorry! I know authors hate to hear that.

    Hope your tour goes well


  15. Anonymous says:

    Ross – I’m pretty sure Fun Home out in paperback out already. Check in with your fav. bookseller.

  16. Eva says:

    Ugh, I was anonymous above and obviously not awake yet. Here’s what I meant to type:

    Ross – I’m pretty sure Fun Home is out in paperback already.

    Happy reading!

  17. JJFlap says:

    Will your tour include Lambda Rising, in DC? I was at your last appearence there- I want to get a copy for Michael & me, & one for my Dad too-

  18. susan dampf says:

    oh man she surfs too? I should have called her A!
    And why were you in LA? if you did a signing and didnt let me know I am going to….
    go back and watch the fire coverage on channel 5.