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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

December 12, 2005

hair-brained priorities

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 10:29 pm

For some unfathomable reason, the Lifestyles editor of the

Schenectady Sunday Gazette decided to feature the article 

Caution Bad Hair Day” yesterday (by Elysia Nest, H1, Dec.

11, 2005, $ub$cription only!)  The article rehashes findings

from a 2000 study by Marianne LaFrance of Yale University’s

Gender Communications Laboratory and from a March 2003

‘Hair Drama Stress Survey’ conducted on behalf of Sunsilk

hair care products.




Since understanding human nature makes us better lawyers,

judges, haijin, and persons, I thought I’d salvage the time wasted

on that article by sharing it with you.   Also, if misery loves

company, and we all love a little schadenfreude, knowing the

pain that bad hair causes others might be personally rewarding

for all of us.


A quick look at LaFrance’s Impressions column in the Lamas    BadHairDayN

Beauty Magazine, (Oct. 2003), reveals that “bad hair days “affect

individuals’ self-esteem increasing self-doubt, intensifying

social insecurities, and becoming more self-critical in general:

tiny check “Interestingly, both women and men are negatively

affected by the phenomenon of bad hair days,” says

Professor LaFrance. “Even more fascinating is our finding

that individuals perceive their capabilities to be significantly

lower than others when experiencing bad hair.”

tiny check  “Most notably, just the thought of a bad hair

day caused both men and women to feel they are not as

smart as others. Surprisingly, the impact on performance

self-esteem was more pronounced among men.”


tiny check  “Women tend to feel more disgraced, embar-

rassed, ashamed or self-conscious when experiencing bad

hair. Men on the other hand, feel more nervous, less con-

fident and are more inclined to be unsociable.”




tiny check “Evidence shows that bad hair causes one to

be more negative about oneself. Specifically, results

indicate that a ‘bad hair’ day leads individuals to find more

personal character flaws that go beyond their appearance.”


The Sunsilk study found that “More than one in five women (22%) will cancel a

date or hide to avoid seeing someone they fancy, if they are having a bad hair day.

And one in 20 would actually give up sex or their boyfriend in exchange for great

looking hair for the rest of their lives.”  Even worse, “nearly all women (97%) believe

that having attractive hair is essential to their self-esteem, and it therefore acts as

an emotional barometer – a simple means of gauging their well-being.”


According to Dr Aric Sigman, psychologist and body language expert: “Hair is the

only fashion accessory that is part of a woman’s body and, as such, she takes it

more seriously. . . .  She knows that people will make judgements about her based

upon the state of her hair and – more to the point – she makes judgements about

herself based upon the state of her hair.”

“tinyredcheck” The study also found that “Amazingly, one in ten (11%)

women would rather suffer PMT than endure a bad hair day.” 

[Over at Acronym Finder, your Editor concluded that “PMT

probably means Post-Millennium Tension, Pacemaker-Mediated

Tachycardia, or Pre-Menstrual Tension (UK Variation of PMS).]

Before you accuse me of misogyny or male chauvinism for stressing these

results, please let me repeat the sentence above from the LaFrance Study:

“Surprisingly, the impact on performance self-esteem was more pronounced

among men.” 


boy writing neg


Although I make light of the Bad Hair Day issue, let me confess that

I also empathize.  My three-dimensional, curly-brillo Sicilian hair was

impossible to tame in my youth and is impossible to tame as it rapidly

abandons my pate.  Believe me, I can relate.  I just hope that age has

given me enough common sense to laugh rather than cry on my own

bad hair days.


again, the bald barber

cuts my hair

too short






as the professor speaks

only his bald spot

is illuminated




bad hair update (Dec. 13, 2005): a pair from ed “the walking saijiki



           late day showers…

                   my hair gel









                       winter pines…

                             the ski instructor’s

                                  spiked hair






                     holiday rush

                          the barber speaks wistfully

                        of the sixties





          ed markowski 

             “holiday rush” – bear creek haiku (Winter 2004)





George Swede bonus (forget this hair stuff):




the frozen breaths

of the carolers   disappearing

among the stars







A cloud, a gull, a sail

in the last sunbeam


“the frozen breaths” – Almost Unseen

“a cloud” – Mainichi Daily News Dec. 5, 2005 (No.678) 



tiny check  I can’t believe I’ve spent all this time fretting over bad hair days,

when I could have been clicking through the new links collected by Walter

Olson, at Point of Law, on Alito and Antitrust.  You know, some of my very

worse bad hair days happened while I was an antitrust lawyer.  Don’t remind

me!  I wonder how many millions of billable hours have been attributable to

Hair Dramas over the past half century?  Maybe Walter knows. 



there are no bad questions, but . . .

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 7:16 pm

 . . . there are plenty of bad haiku (and I’ve written a few).   “Ed,” the

ubiquitous figure behind Blawg Review, frequently torments haikuEsq

by sending him pointers to websites containing truly dreadful doggerel

that have been designated as “haiku” by the ignorant or the playful. (go

here, for info on the definition of real haiku)




Over the weekend, hoping that your Editor would be inspired to link to

this week’s Blawg Review #36 at AutoMuse, BR‘s Ed sent us links to the

haiku page at npr’s Car Talk — go here at your own literary peril.  Although

there may be an accidental senryu or two in the group, Tommy and Ray

Magliozzi have basically proven their motto that there are no bad questions,

only bad answers (or responses).


Needless to say, even though Blawg Review #36 includes two links to

f/k/a posts from last week, haikuEsq has not been convinced it deserves

a nod from this serious weblog.  We’re not that easily bribed (inquire within

for bribery particulars, or make an offer).




funeral procession . . .

snowflakes blowing

into the headlights



pickup g


pumpkin pie aroma

from the back seat–

Kansas sunrise ahead






load of seedwheat–

pumping old brakes

all the way down the hill




from School’s Out (Press Here, 1999) 






Randy Brooks bonus:


heat clicks


the wavering fern






praising the hostess,


in his moustache



   from School’s Out






Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 11:25 am

If I get nothing else done today (always a possibility),

I want to post a few poems from Rebecca Lilly’s award

winning Shadwell Hills collection:



Grey winter dawn–

her kitchen’s bare bulb shines

on a mug of weak tea









Sting of the wind–

icy evergreen needles

glinting in winter sunset







Winter moon–

the lost dog flyer

blows from the telephone pole



Rebecca Lilly – Shadwell Hills (Birch Brook Press, 2002)  



fogged window –

too cold

meets too hot






the appearance of incompetence

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 1:38 am

Yesterday evening, I filled out my biennial New York State Attorney

Registration form.  The main purpose of the Registration appears to

be the collection of a $350 fee, which can be avoided by declaring

one’s self to be retired from the practice of law (as I have done for

the past few two-year cycles).  The form is also used to obtain verifi-

cation that the attorney has completed Continuing Legal Education

requirements (just a signature, no list of actual courses taken), and

is in compliance with certain rules relating to client funds entrusted to

the lawyer (again, just a signature affirming compliance). 


Clearly, one never had to be a rocket scientist to fill out the old Attorney

Registration form.  In fact, even though some lawyers can be less than  

fully competent and — more often — less than fully diligent, we would have

thought that being a member of the NYS bar might have been sufficient 

preparation to fill out the Form.




It was quite surprising, therefore, to find the following greeting from the NYS

OCA Attorney Registration Unit accompanying the Form:

Dear New York State Attorney,


      We are pleased to provide you with this redesigned Attorney

Registration form, which includes, for the first time, graphically-

enhanced, step-by-step instructions on how to complete the

form . . . . 



That’s right: “graphically-enhanced, step-by-step instructions”!  To be more

precise: in the lefthand margin of the Instruction Page, you will find tiny re-

productions of the two-page Registration Form, with — hold on! — arrows

pointing from each Section (you know, A, B, C, D) of the Form to the

related Instructions (again, A, B, C, D).


Am I being too negative?  Well, go here to see just how helpful this graphic

enhancement can be for the poor lawyer facing the task of filling out his or

her Registration Form.  Remember, the attorney gets only two months to

perform this task.


arrow circle


We have at times accused bar regulators of treating both clients and lawyers

as if they are simpleminded  This little graphic instruction boost seems to suggest

a new level of disdain for lawyer intelligence and attention to detail.  Just who needs

these arrows?   What kind of mistakes were being made on prior forms?  And, how

much did OCA pay for the assistance of form-filling and graphic design experts? 


Maybe we should show these Registration forms to pro se litigants, as they struggle

to fill out court filings and pleadings.  It might make not having a lawyer seem a lot

less worrisome.  In fact, each pro se party might start hoping the opposing side hires

one of them lawyers who needs them there arrows.





“easy to assemble
I put it back and
grab a teddybear




setting up the creche —

the Baby’s name

whispered over and over




                        [eros & arrows:]

                       anniversary day

                             my wife & i

                         assemble a treadmill


                               ed markowski   bear creek haiku (Spring 2002)



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