An earie sign.


monopiniotomySince the early 1995, Frank has cut what I laughingly call my hair. Every 18 days or so, once over with a 1.5 clipper.  It takes fifteen minutes tops, we chat about the weather, listen to Italian radio. He applies warm shaving cream to my neck and sideburns, wields the straight razor, slaps on some stingy stuff. No muss, no fuss. He was trained in Sicily, authentically, pre-hipster, old school.

Now Frank is three thousand miles away. I have scoured West L.A. looking for his distant cousin and have had three haircuts from three different “barbers”. The ambience, the chit-chat, the music, the results, have all been very disappointing.

On Friday, in preparation for my trip to New York (sadly, Frank is closed the days I’ll be there) and then Amsterdam, I tried yet another place. A very nice lady tried a) to talk me out of my usual haircut, b) put a paper rather than cloth towel around my neck, and c) badly sliced the edge of my ear with the clippers. She tried to blame the shape (somewhat pointy) of my ear, then handed me a series of towels to absorb the geysering blood.  I held a towel to the side of my head while she cut around it.

By the time I woke up in the morning, with bloodstains on my pillow (isn’t that the name of a song?), the wound seems to have closed. I grumbled a bit more about it and then suddenly had an epiphany. Of course! I am headed to the Netherlands, home of Vincent V. Clearly, this is a great omen that the trip will be a wonderful artistic experience.

Or that I should let my hair grow long.



  1. Mikey

    A fine example of turning a negative to a positive. Right on! Enjoy your journey.

  2. Dorine van der Vloodt

    Amsterdam….? Is there any chance to see you somewhere??

  3. paulineleger

    haha! No doubt a country song. ;-)
    You as Vincent. i love it. xox

  4. Elsie Hickey Wilson

    Have a great trip, safely there and back. Give my love to Vincent V. G! Buy a little Dutch cap and pretend It was a gift from Vinney!

  5. Deb Hathaway

    LOL!!! I love the way you spun your experience into a positive omen!! I thought I was the only one who did that!

    Speaking of hair… I moved to the Jersey Shore 3 years ago, and every 8 weeks make the 1 1/2 hour pilgrimage back to my loyal hairdresser. Her scissor wizardry knocks 10 years off my looks… and I wouldn’t trade her for gold!

    I feel your pain :-)

  6. ahawkes1

    Danny Van Gregoghery!

  7. Lynn Cohen

    Your painting is wonderful! Have a fab time in Vincent country! My ear aches for you!
    My hairdresser of 25 years is talking about cutting her time in the shop way back when her first grand child is born early next year. My dentist of the same duration just retired! I’m thinking of going both hair and toothless!

  8. Joy Corcoran

    It’s a double omen — let your hair grown, go to the Netherlands. Well, maybe triple — paint like crazy.

  9. Susanne

    I love the omen but don’t forget the Rembrandthuis, the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam!

  10. Jaye

    No! She blamed your ears!?!? Come to San Francisco. My hairdresser is a genius and I will give you his name.

  11. Rita Cleary

    I say plan your trips to NY for days when Frank is open. Deb H….I need to know where you get your haircuts. I heard a tooth-whitening commercial yesterday claiming you will look 13 years younger with whiter teeth (perhaps a self-serving claim?)! I’d rather go the hair route, and I’m sure I can get to where this miracle worker is. Have a great trip Danny!

    • Deb

      Rita… Her name is Jackie and is located in NJ. I’m not kidding… the first time she did my hair 20 years ago EVERYONE said how young I looked!!! She really knows her stuff AND enjoys her work!

  12. Linda Kelly

    Have a wonderful trip! I’m sure you’ll find tons of inspiration! We’ll be waiting to hear all about it!

  13. Caroline Berk

    Your self portrait is great. Sorry about the ear. Finding a new hair cutter, a new dentist, a new doctor–the worst parts about moving.

  14. Nikita

    You are hilarious! I love the drawing !! Do not tell me you are missing NY, or at least not in November

  15. Sharon Gorberg

    Blaming your ear????????? REALLY??????? Oy. Get a big band aid and have a great time in the Netherlands!

  16. minerva

    Hmmm…I notice the resemblance! :D
    Safe travels!

  17. Jill Hejl

    Danny, I’m so sorry you had to go through the bloodletting, although your resulting epiphany is magical and pure gold: “Of course! I am headed to the Netherlands, home of Vincent V. Clearly, this is a great omen that the trip will be a wonderful artistic experience.”

    Goede reis!

  18. Susan

    Oh those eyes. They get met every time. Buon viajo!

  19. Elsbeth McLeod

    We writers and artists will do anything to get a little drama in our stories, won’t we? Have you thought about Jenny (did I get her name right?) learning to cut your hair? I cut Jim’s head of thick curls (what a challenge) and we apply the “cost” to a jar we save for later for fun or home projects.

  20. mim Stella

    Love the portrait

  21. Jason Pearlman

    Wear the ear bandage to the Van Gogh museum just to see if people notice!

  22. Serena

    I can’t believe she blamed your ear for her own mistake. Fun post though and I loved that you found a positive omen from it all.

  23. lainer

    Hahahahaha! The first thing I saw was the damn cactus and I was like, “Why are you putting that in the picture when your ear got chopped by the Barber?” LOL! Make your Barber Frank move to LA. Make sure you get a tetanus shot and blood test. Sorry, that’s reality. Better safe than sorry. Very odd that this happened before your Amsterdam Trip. Someone in another dimension is playing a joke on you. LOL! Seriously, that woman should have apologized, and it was her fault. Anyway, hope you healed from it. Nice title. LOL!

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