Happy Fool Day!

Another great, funny drawing from Dad for my husband Christian’s birthday which is on April Fool’s Day. For new readers, Christian is a stand up comedian. I’m not sure why I look like a Latina.

Click here  for last year’s birthday card from Dad to Christian.



Give Me an “O”. What’s That Spell? Vagina!

People are curious about vaginas. Specifically, those in American Sign Language (ASL). I’m used to bizarre searches landing folks on my sites, so when I noticed a surge in traffic to my websites for people searching the term “ASL Vagina” I didn’t think much of it. That is until my friend Sarah shared a link to this article about the Oregon Ducks in the NY Times.

When fans of the Oregon Ducks hold their hands in an “O” shape to cheer on their team, they are “screaming” the ASL word for “vagina”. (Click photo at right.)

The headline says it all: Oops.

Technically, the sign for “vagina” is flipped with the index fingers pointed toward the ground, the thumbs toward the sky and the other fingers tucked under as presented in the following examples.

— At left is a spread (heh) I got in Time Out New York to promote “ASL in the Raw” at the now shuttered Comix.
— In the center, I perform on a Drink at Work show at the now shuttered Ace of Clubs. (Hmmm….I’m noticing a trend.)
— And, at right, the First Lady shows us her family values.


But as you can see from the drawing below of My Jailed Deaf Dad’s prison tattoo, the Tasmanian Devil is hungry for some, umm, “kitty”, and the reverse “vagina” is shaped by two “I love you” signs joined together. It’s lousy with double entendres.

While Oregon Ducks fans aren’t really shouting “vagina” in ASL, they come close. And when you’re a young kid talking about the human body, close is good enough.

Picture Day!

It was picture day at prison, so I wore stripes. Dad didn’t look scary like he did during the last visit when he had a shaved head and sallow complexion. This time he had hair (not a gray to be found even at almost 65 yrs of age!) and had a nicer, more flattering pair of glasses. He had taken the lenses out of his ugly “Buddy Holly” prison issued prescription glasses and shaved and shaped them by sanding them down on concrete to fit inside the more attractive frames of a pair of cheap reading glasses. The ingenuity!

I bought two photos thinking we would get a picture together and one of Dad by himself, but he protested. Why would I want a photo of just him? I really don’t know. He is enamored of the photo of him in his old cowboy hat (The same hat one of my aunts plucked out of Dad’s belongings after his arrest and gave to her grandkids to play cowboy and Indians. Not cool.), and I thought he’d want a more recent one of himself.

When I think about it, though, why would he want a solo shot of him in prison whites? I jokingly suggested he could use it to find a lady friend online. He said, sure if I’d help him find one. Ummmm, no. No, I will not help him find a lady friend. At least not until he admits he tried to kill the last one. So we used the two pictures to take close up and full body shots.

Dad and I had a great visit. We discussed banal things like his wanting a new pair of New Balance sneakers to current events such as the liberation of Libya and the Occupy Wall Street movements and random subjects like bullfighting and child molestation. Dad said a doctor once told him that if a girl has sex before she’s had her first period, her vagina is irreparably stretched. What? Huh? GAH! I want to look it up, but I don’t want that Google search infecting my computer’s history. HA! Lord, my dad and I have some of the weirdest conversations.

We also talked about his upcoming review by the Parole Board. This June will be the first time he is eligible for parole. I explained the process and we both agreed it’s unlikely he will be released. He wants to be, of course, but I don’t think he’s ready. He’s never admitted guilt, taken responsibility or had any counseling to address his drug and alcohol abuse and anger management issues. The latter, I discovered, is because the prison doesn’t provide an interpreter for those services. That is a direct violation of basic ADA laws. I’m going to look further into this, because those issues are exactly what landed him in jail in the first place. Without dealing with those demons, he will simply hurt someone else or their property and be back in the clink.

And, just like clockwork, he proved me right. I had stepped away to get us more drinks and candy from the vending machine. As I walked back I saw a “guard” trying to tell Dad something. I say “guard” in quotes because at about 5′ tall and over 60 years old, she isn’t guarding anyone or anything. She is simply there to greet family and tell them which table they’re assigned to. Apparently while I was getting snacks, Dad had gotten up to throw away our trash. He did this twice, walking back and forth. That’s a no-no. Oops. I would’ve just said sorry and made a mental note not to do it again. Not a big deal, right? Well not to Dad.

Being scolded was enough to make him furious. His face was so screwed up with anger, his skin flushed red and eyes turned black as he flipped his arms and hands angrily at her to get lost. I intervened and as she walked away I reminded Dad to not cause trouble. “Your mantra needs to be, ‘Parole Board, Parole Board, Parole Board.'” With that he laughed and his normal color was restored.

But that flash of rage he demonstrated about a minor thing while he was completely sober, the contempt he carries for authority and rules and the disrespect he showed an elderly woman was enough for me to see that no, no he shouldn’t be released. A knot in my throat formed and tears welled up. My father is broken. And all the king’s horsemen and all the king’s men, can’t put my dad together again.

Ward & June in the 21st Century

This week started out with Christian and I acting like Ward and June Cleaver. Christian woke up early (?) to head into his Manhattan office (?!) to work while I stayed home (!), went to the grocery store (???) and made dinner (#$@&*!!!!).  If I didn’t know better, I’d say these were Signs of the Apocalypse.

In reality, Christian’s office is just a temporary home this week as he ramps up to film a pilot for a cable TV network this Thursday. It’s a game show he’s been working on for over two years and suddenly it feels like it’s being whipped together in a week. I’m scared and excited for him, but mostly scared. You give birth to these things and then your baby is thrust into the care of another person. Hopefully the nannies don’t drop the baby on its head.

And while I did stay home, it was to Skype with my editor and work on my memoir. The cooking part came because, well, I was famished. I ran a few miles as part of training for the next half marathon I’m running and needed some nourishment in a bad way. On the way home I grabbed some groceries and the mail which contained a new letter from My Jailed Deaf Dad. He needs dentures like I need oxygen but he says the prison dentist won’t assist. So, I spent a good two hours researching prison rules, case law, and a dentist in Huntsville, Texas who makes “house” calls.

So, yeah, I suppose we are the 21st Century’s version of the Cleavers, if June had a homicidal father in jail with missing and rotten teeth.

Our cast has an abundance of Eddie Haskells, but our dog and rabbit will have to count as Wally and the Beav.

Seven Years Ago

Seven years ago, I was hanging out with a “B” as in “boy” -illionaire till the wee hours of the morning. At one point he grabbed my hand and deliciously whispered into my ear, “Kambri, when you live in my world, you can do anything you want.”

Indeed, in his world, you can.

At the same time, 1,542 miles away, Dad was stabbing Gloria.


Too Old? Too Sexy?

Click the photo to see the answer inside of this year’s handmade card sent to me by Dad for my birthday. What a treat to see it in my mailbox today. He never fails to crack me up. (In case you can’t see the details too well, the front has a square panel cut out, revealing what looks to be buttocks.)


The Internet Sucks Sometimes

I went to wish someone a happy birthday on Facebook and saw his status that said my grandma is on her death bed.



I didn’t know.

I didn’t leave a note. What was I going to say? “Yay, happy birthday, my grandma will soon be dead but, hey, you made it another year. Yippee!”

My brother didn’t know either. Well…he does now. Life in the digital age is strange new territory. The internet has made keeping in touch easier but the social etiquette of things isn’t all laid out nice and neat. I think it’s safe to say, though, immediate family should be informed before a status update. Or maybe Twittering an actual death is the best, most modern way of spreading the news. It worked for David Carradine.

So, now I have the task of telling my dad that his mother might be dead very soon. She’s 92 so it’s not like it’s not been a long time coming, but he’s been asking about her a lot lately. Not because he’s worried about her so much. He’s more interested in protecting the furniture he made her and other material things. He has nothing and so he broods and worries and frets and boils over and hems and haws and…well…you get the picture. He’s got TIME on his HANDS.

I worry that when she does pass, he will enlist me with another laundry list of To Dos. Ask about this, make sure about that. Well, guess what, Dad? If you weren’t in jail, you could do this yourself because I really don’t care about *things*. I’ve shed myself of house and home and junk more times than I can count. I like being portable. I don’t want cars or furniture or stuff.


But…he has no advocate. No one is listening to him and that’s a big bugga boo for him for so long. To not be heard.  So, if he needs help in being heard, I’m the only one here to give that to him.

And I will.

And I’m not sure why.


A Petty Officer and a Gentleman

Moving in to your horse’s barn because your trailer got repossessed is what some folks might call a low point. It was time for a drastic change, so my parents moved us to the big city of N. Richland Hills, TX.

It was there — when I was 16 — I met a 22 year old Sailor. It was love at first sight. It was greatest four weeks of my life. The Petty Officer from Akron, Ohio, was shy, tan and muscular and drove a white Trans Am with a fake vent on its hood. Mom said he looked just like JFK, Jr. The movie Top Gun had just been released so when I first saw him covered in grease from working on an F-14 Tomcat I thought my uterus would crawl out of my vagina and snatch him whole and devour him like a hungry Venus flytrap from a Roger Corman flick.

Read the rest at LoveDaddy.org.

Hot Off the Presses

Christian must be in the Dec/Jan 2009 issue of Cosmo Girl. You know how I know? He got a piece of hate mail complaining about a derogatory Jonas Brothers remark he made.

I regularly submit jokes from comedians to an editor at Reader’s Digest. When a quote is used, the comedian gets paid $100. Not bad! In the December 2008 issue, they used a dating anecdote by Katina Corrao so they sent me a copy for her press kit.

On the same page is a funny deaf joke I’d heard before but had forgotten about. It made me recall a few other deaf jokes that My Jailed Deaf Dad has told me over the years. I’m going to send some in on his behalf and hope they use them. How cool would that be to see his name in print? Plus, he could really use the money since I just sent him $60 and renewed his USA Today subscription for a year for $175. I told Dad that’s the last I can spend on him this year until after we buy a place. Since winter is on its way and his Texas jail cell isn’t heated, he needs new thermal underwear. He could stretch that $60 OR maybe he can earn some money off the stories he loves to tell and buy some longjohns with his very own cash.

I never even had an allowance growing up, and now I’m trying to teach my dad how to budget his.

Requisite Bucket List Post

I was 23 years old when my divorce from the sailor was finalized. After six years masquerading as a Midwestern housewife, I was free to be Me. Trouble was, the definition of “Me” had yet to be determined. I decided this huge upheaval of my life would not be for naught. I would reclaim my lost youth by creating a list oh-so-creatively titled “Things To Do Before I Die.” However, I never had a plan on how I would accomplish a single thing.