Tuesday, June 30, 2009

6 Signs of the Apocalypse, i.e. Happy Tuesday!

As we were driving back from the beach on Sunday I said something about all of the dead trees. Dutch Elm or Live Oak, something: the rolling hills of West Marin were dotted with the brittle skeletons of dead trees. It's a sign that the end of world is coming, Bryan said, and then I fell asleep, not so much because I am indifferent to the impending death of our planet, more so because there is something about a hot car on a windy road, salt air and the sound of an open window that seriously knocks me the shit out.
Anyway, since then I've noticed that he might be right. The dead trees are almost certainly a harbinger of the Apocalypse because every where I turn I see more and more signs.

Because you have to know that this world will not go down quietly. First maybe it will be heard in word captures. Sented Diarrhea? Does this happen to anyone but me? I mean, not the diarrhea part, although woosh! That time I went to India was a story. No, I mean the word capture. What does this mean? The supposed randomness of these words. Surely it means something???
And then there is this:
Somebody's high school senior portrait, which really wouldn't alarm me if I hadn't just watched three back to back episodes of 16 and Pregnant. Watch that and then try and tell me the world is not ending. (Sarah Palin--I blame YOU for this one.)

Other signs? These No-Eye Contact glasses, and the fact that I did not think of them first. I thought it was enough that I have a bitchin' Cloak of Invisibility I like to wear when I see someone I used to work with at the supermarket. But no, I think I might also need these glasses. Just to be safe. And because they would look awesome with my Cloak.
And then there's this:
And the fact that I laughed. C'mon, you know you did, too. All of this social networking, web 2.0, 3.5 and onward, the world getting smaller and cozier and still people cannot spell the word "congratulations"???
And while this last one seems as if it would signal imminent global death, a swift death knell to the nuts of The Big Blue Marble...
I take small solace in the fact that the marketing department opted not to name it c*nt. Instead they chose Pussy, the softer, gentler shock value. This here is a new energy drink made of white grape juice, Mexican lime, lightly carbonated water and infused with lychee and grenadilla. Hate to say it, but that sounds tasty. I am thirsty here as I type this, trying very very very hard not to make some really base jokes about Pussy. Feel free to go at it in the comments section. Moderations are off--what do I care? The world is ending anyway. Congradulations, my friends, and see you on the other side (of Tuesday).

Monday, June 29, 2009

If One Drowns, Do They All Drown?

This here is Zoey's 12th birthday present:
Although with the hormones in the tomatoes these days perhaps I ought to give it to her for her 10th birthday. I mean, surely I have some time to think about this, but really, I just want her to know how very stupid it is to try to be like other people.
Years ago I went to a psychic. Which is sort of the antithesis of what I'm trying to say here--not to follow the herd, to listen to yourself... But honestly this woman was eerie. She said that Bryan should watch his blood sugar (he's diabetic), that she sees him around boats and water (he surfs and sails religiously). Looking back she said an awful lot about Bryan and not so very much about me there with my cash in hand, but she did eventually say that we would have two children, the first a girl, an old soul. She said that adults would be drawn to her eyes. (She also said that my second child would be a boy with very feminine energy, so watch for my son to appear sometime in 2011? 2012? It's Gay Pride Month and I will be honored to join PFLAG should I be so lucky.)
Anyhoo. I watch Zoey play sometimes, her head bent to look at something no one else can see. She talks to herself a lot, pretends; sometimes she looks in the mirror and makes funnyuglysillystupid faces. She does not care if her face is dirty, does not flinch when I catch her eating a booger, she is not embarrassed when she farts. In fact, she laughs. Do I hope my daughter grows up to be the strange kid who sits in the back of the class wiping boogers under her desk and cutting stinkies all day? Mmmm, not so much, but if that is who she truly is and she is happy, then yes. Sure. Senior year I want my daughter to be voted Most Likely to Pick a Winner.
I was a stupid teenager. Is there any other kind? I was a cheerleader my freshman year of high school because I saw one too many John Hughes movies and thought that was what I was supposed to do. Bear in mind I am not naturally prone to cheer. I wanted to be popular. (God, the very word makes me cringe. Popular? Popular?? What a fucking joke. The only time that word should ever be used is in front of the word Mechanic, and even then it should not see the light of day outside of a tire superstore.) I drank when I was not thirsty, laughed when I did not get the joke, flirted when I didn't even know if I liked the boy, I just knew I liked hoping the boy would like me. I was weak. I wore too much makeup and swam in these ridiculous little circles breathing only when the others did, my face surely contorted and strained and pathetic. I tread water, my feet never once touching the bottom.
How do I ensure Zoey stays there making funnyuglysillystupid faces in the mirror? That she does not one day look and see the eyes of other people staring back from the void of her own reflection? Is it inevitable, the synchonized swim, the furious way we all dog paddle to stay in rhythm, or is there something I can do to teach her how to cheat at Marco Polo, to yell out her own name in response to any question?
This post started as me just laughing at that pic. But then it unraveled, as they so often do, and I want to know: What sort of stupid things did you do to fit in? Do you do now? And honestly, do you have any advice on how to raise a self-confident girl who knows who she is and never ever, not even once, drinks 6 peach flavored Bartles & Jaymes just because some boy keeps handing them to her???

Friday, June 26, 2009

Dancer in the Dark, i.e. Where the Sun Now Shines

In my family we have a word called "heaviosity." It describes a certain thud of thought, a self-conscious heaviness much like a goth sweating in the sun but unwilling to take off his black coat. Remember that Bjork movie where she was going blind while working in a factory and singing those nutty off-key songs while clomping across metal bridges? That right there: perfect definition of heaviosity.
This week I feel like Bjork. A goth. A goth listening to Bjork while working in a factory and closing her eyes and maybe eating black licorice. My posts have been long and drab and then long again. I feel thick with sweat so I guess the best thing to do is just disrobe.
Today I give you this: a different kind of dancer in the dark just because it's Friday and I want to make you smile. Ce qui la baise? No idea if that translates, but you get the idea. Happy Friday, my friends. May your weekend be filled with light.
p.s. I am well aware that most people loved that Bjork movie. I did not. I should also confess that I did not like "Once" so maybe you hate me now which would totally suck for you because I am more than willing to lend out my Raidoree to friends, first come, first serve.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


In the sixth grade I had a Michael Jackson poster on my wall--the yellow one? He was wearing a lemon colored sweater vest with matching bow tie and his eyes looked sad. It made me feel funny, the poster, his wet sad eyes, tingly funny down there the way he was just so good next to my poster of Billy Idol sneering. Human Nature--yes, that's what it was--the poster for Human Nature.
Now all these years later Michael Jackson is still making me feel funny, but it is not tingly and it is not down there. It is somewhere in my brain cold and stale; I don't know what to think.
By now you have probably read a thousand and one tributes to Michael Jackson and you will likely hear a million and one more, surprise at his death, his life in song, photos of his nose collapsing throughout the years. And what I have to say is not all that different: I am surprised. Saddened. Intrigued. But I am also supremely confused. Who died today? (I mean other than Farrah Fawcett and millions of other people I do not know.) Did the King of Pop die? One of the most talented entertainers in the business? A damaged man with too much plastic surgery and a penchant for Peter Pan? Or did a child molester die? A predator, a liar? A monster?
It is easy to hate a child molester. No matter the background, the reason, if there can even be a reason for such a thing. It's black and white: child molesters are evil. They deserve The Portrait of Dorian Gray, for their noses to crumble, their skin to mottle, to be alone and sad, stewing in the decay of their own miserable wrong amid tacky marble statues of monkeys and castrati. Child molesters deserve to die.
But what if Michael Jackson wasn't a child molester? I go back and forth with what I think. Maybemaybemaybe. The man was talented, of that there is no question. But maybemaybemaybe and now he's dead and I will never know anything but that maybe. How are we supposed to mourn such a divided maybe?
Whatever the answer I do mourn this: New Year's Eve 1983. I guess I was eleven but I felt fourteen. My parents had left me alone while they went to a party, the first time ever, and my friend Tawna was spending the night. We partied with Martinelli's cider and MTV, one hand on the remote and the other sweaty on the receiver of the telephone. We were talking to Aaron Boyde. Aaron Boyde! The cutest guy in the sixth grade, his voice on the line telling us that at the stroke of midnight he would ask one of us to go. It was dreamy, sexy, romantic, Martinelli's and MTV, knowing that we were alone in the house on New Year's Eve. Aaron Boyde did the best centipede in class. Or was it called the caterpillar? I may be old now but I remember the way he waved his prone body across the assembly stage floor like ribbon, his red lips. At 11:55 the new Thriller video came on and we watched it enrapt, Tawna and I on the phone with Aaron Boyd, and at 11:59 the zombies began their synchronized dance and Aaron began his sentence with Tawna...
I think what we will mourn most is our memories set to the music of Michael Jackson. The gloved one, P.Y.T., the freak with the pressurized oxygen chamber, not the man himself because we didn't actually know him. Was he a monster or a damaged man/boy? Who knows? He's dead and all we have left is a thousand and now two tributes to the King of Pop, the musician, the myth of Michael Jackson, this black and white maybe about a man with supposed vitiligo.


For days now I've been stuck behind lumber trucks. On the freeway, as they make 12 point turn-abouts on small streets, idling just a foot too far to the left so I cannot get around. Lord knows where these lumber trucks are going, if they are all part of some huge wooden thing being built somewhere, or if maybe they exist just to be in my way. (I am fairly certain it's the latter.)
On Tuesday night Nacho went missing. Our new house is at the base of a mountain. There are bobcats and coyotes, mountain lions; at the very least our next door neighbor has a husky with one blue eye and one brown. 9pm is Nacho's curfew, and when he hadn't come in by 11 I began to worry. Don't worry, he's just off cattin' around, Bryan said, so I gave one last clink of a can against his catfood dish and closed the door. The next morning I went out in my bathrobe, calling softly at first, then louder. Maybe my bathrobe opened a bit too much but I didn't care--I was worried.
I had my (scheduled at the last minute) interview yesterday afternoon, and I had Zoey all day. I had a playdate in the morning and a cat that had very possibly been eaten by the mythical Suburban Sprawl Yeti. I had laundry to do because it was a day and this is my life and my life and my days consist of whites and darks, fishing Chapsticks out of pockets and collecting change. I had too many plans but really no plan so I grabbed Zoey's hand and we went out to look for Nacho. We walked up the hill past a parked lumber truck, then down to a small street where eventually we found Nacho stuck way up high in a tree, a tiny speck of fur and mew. Of course this would have been no problem if, say, I lived in the pulp of a cartoon where the fire department rescues cats from trees and might call me ma'am without making me feel old, but I do not live in the bubble of a bad Family Circle so when I called the fire department they laughed at me. Laughed. And I felt old.
This story is getting much too long, this I know, because when I told it to Bryan last night he said I really need to get a job and he sounded tired. So yeah. First I climbed on top of a recycling can and then when that wasn't tall enough I found a ladder that was at least 3 feet too short. I took some of our good Chianti Salami and wedged it into the bough of the tree and if I stood on my tippy toes and stretched my fingers I could maybe just barely almost touch Nacho's nose. Far on the ground beneath me Zoey pelted me with questions. Did Nacho run away? Is he sad? Does Nacho have a heart face? Is he going to die? Can I go pee pee on the leaves?
I went to the interview with my cat stuck in a tree. I answered questions, I smiled, I asked questions. I paid bridge toll and parking and took an elevator up 15 floors. When I got home my cat was still stuck in a tree. At nightfall we finally found an extension ladder and pulled him out of the tree like a scared velcro bean bag, if velcro had the ability to be scared. Which it should. Nacho had been on that branch for over 24 hours without sleep, without food or water, unable to lie down. We forgot to grab our good Chianti Salami so it is still up there, an $8 tube of compressed salty meat in the bough of a tree.
This morning I came out to find my tire had been punctured by a very long nail. It was flat. I got it fixed. Now I am doing yet more laundry. Yesterday sometime during the day our landlady gave Zoey a Princess Jasmine costume, and now she refuses to take it off. She is particularly fond of the wig, a black pompadour thing with a high ponytail that makes her look more like John Belushi's samurai than Princess Jasmine, though how could I break that bit of news to her as she pulled strands of polysynthetic hair out of her bowl of mac 'n cheese last night as if it were spun gold. I want this job. I do. If only so I can feel justified at getting increasingly pissy while stuck behind lumber trucks, if only for somewhere to go.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Look Me in the Eye and Tell Me I Couldn't Do This Job Easy Peasy Lemon Squeazy

Today I have an interview for a job I actually want and I'm thinking of answering all of the questions while deadpanning like this:
Because honestly: who could reject a candidate with this type of focus? No one, that's who, which is why I'm off to practice in the mirror.
Wish me luck! (Back tomorrow with something more substantial.)


Zoey's childhood is something oily dripping from between my fingers. Almond oil, perhaps, very slightly sweet and slippery warm. The other day as we played outside in the sun she sang the theme song to Wow Wow Wubbzy softly under her breath. wow wow wubbzy, wubbzy wubbzy wow wow... She has taken to wearing what she calls her clickety clacks as she gardens, pink plastic mules with faux marabou feathers that I have had to tape back onto the tips of each toe. Thanks, Zoey, I said, now you've got that song in my head. And she looked at me, confused. The song is on your head? So I explained to her what that meant, a song in your head, how you can hear it over and over inside your head, doesn't that ever happen to you? She smiled and patted her shovel against the dirt. Five minutes went by until she walked over to me with her plastic clickety clack shoes and pressed her ear against mine, a hard, hot apricot late in the afternoon: but I can't hear it! Sometimes I feel as if I am mother to Amelia Bedelia, drawing the bath on construction paper and making sponge cake out of Scotch-Brite.
And yet there are other times when I feel as if I am mother to genius, her mind complex like sweet and sour borscht, an abundance of senses, synapse and red tongue-like edges. Mama! I have a song in my head! Yesterday she pressed her ear against mine again. Can you hear it? Sticky hot ear against sticky hot ear. What song is it, sweetpea? And this is what she said: It is a yellow song, mama, can you hear the yellow song in my head? So I pressed my ear hard against hers and I heard it, the song of my child who tastes spiney pokes and smells the sharp curve of fuschia. The song of yellow and why not.

Monday, June 22, 2009

When I Win the Lottery I Am Going to Have My Own Hair Stylist. And Masseuse. But First I Have to Play the Lottery.

Here's what I don't get (among other things: Mariah Carey, the deal with Israel and Palestine, playing piano with two hands at the same time)--I don't get Heidi braids. I mean, I love them. Covet them. Close my eyes and picture myself wearing the perfect boho purple paisley dress with my hair all done up like only a German orphan living with her grandfather on the Swiss Alps can be braided. But I don't get how to do them. Granted I seem to have been born lacking a few stereotypical female traits. I don't have the cooking gene, never really daydreamed about my own big tulle fondant seven layer wedding day, and I am seriously lacking the seventh rung on my DNA which scientists at MIT have discovered is the one in which woman learn how to do their own hair. Here the helix is off-kilter or something, crooked, because for the life of me I cannot do anything with my hair but a ponytail, and a lumpy ponytail at that. I mean, is it just me or did Heidi not have any bobby pins living high up on that mountain top with an old cranky man? Perhaps she used the toenail clippings of her sheep to fasten her plaits? What? I don't know.

Anyway, this is how I spent my weekend: watching these You Tube hair-do tutorials with this adorable chick and then running to my mirror to see if I could do it. I can't. My hair is at once too slippery, too puffy, too layered, too mine. In short, my hair grows out of my head, me with the missing girlie gene, which means it is forever intent on just sort of lying there. Like that. But never like this:

Still, if I can show just one person how to create her own Heidi braids I will be happy. And very jealous. You people with your perfectly lined up seventh genome--I might follow you down the street staring at your pretty pretty hair; I might reach one hand out to let my fingertips graze your head. (But not in a creepy way, of course.) I might watch videos of you doing your hair over and over and over again trying to memorize the way you open that bobby pin with your teeth. (This in an unmistakeably creepy way.)
In related news: I think this young gent has the aforementioned hair-do gene. In fact, I am pretty sure he stole mine. Who's got my back should I confront him?

*I found the Heidi tutorial here. God knows where I found the beard-do pic.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day, Part II

Dear Bryan,
The other night I asked you who you would save if you could only save one of us: me or Zoey.
It was a macabre question, I know that. But by now I imagine you're used to that, to me, to the pickled leopard shark in the glass jar on our mantel.
You answered my question correctly, by the way, if there is such a thing as correct in such a Solomonian dilemma. You are a fabulous husband but an even better father, and this is the way it should be, a slice of something I can't ever ever have or touch or feel because it is yours and hers alone, a father-daughter dance and I cannot cut in. And so I watch from the edge of the music, smiling as you spin her around and around until she cannot stop giggling, and it's true: it kills me a little bit. Every time. The pink sole of her foot in your broad palm, the way you love her and oh how she loves you. Thank you for it--all of it. For her and you and me, for this vastness of feeling, for being a father. For being you.
Happy Day.
I love you,

Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Dearest Daddy Maddy,
For as long as I can remember when I have asked you what you want for a holiday your answer has been the same: something unique, handmade, just a little something one-of-a-kind and priceless and then you smile and I give up and get you a book or a cactus or that one time I bought you a framed rattlesnake skeleton, never a tie because you are not a tie kind of dad. No, you are not a golf tee dad, or a dad who would like an 18" model of a Chris Craft boat. You are a dad that defies magazine editorials in June. Gifts for the sporty dad, gifts for the hipster dad! Taupe socks and signed photos of whoever played the Superbowl. Shit. You are not a dad for which one can just buy shit, the shit at the cash wrap of the store in the mall that somebody in an air-conditioned office decided months ago would sell for Father's Day. You are not that dad.
You are this dad:
My dad: A dad who cuts a fine figure in a tony sheath avec pailletes, a dad who can do one-armed pull ups with his tattooed bicep. A dad with the most absurd sense of humor, a kind dad, a smart dad, a dad who talks to me about string theory and spit, a dad who still throws his arm across me at a crosswalk so I won't get hit by a car, who won't let me pull the blade out of his Swiss army knife for fear that I may hurt myself. You are my Daddy Maddy, (although I think you gave yourself that moniker as I don't remember ever calling you by that name), and I certainly hope you are the type of dad that won't kill me for posting this picture. But honestly, I think this is my favorite photo of you, the slight sadness in your eyes. The way you feel the brevity, the heavy weight of living, the contradiction of joy, and yet refuse to take it all too seriously. The way you pull off that hat with your beard, the curve of your wrist just like my own. Happy Father's Day Dad: I think you would agree--this photo is unique, the staging handmade, the sentiment one-of-a-kind, and the posting of it? Priceless.
I love you,
Your daughter, Blam
*Dear Reader: I believe this photo was taken after my grandmother passed away. That's my frocked father on the left, my uncle on the right. I think they were going through her stuff and this was their way of dealing with the grief. If only I knew what happened to this dress because it is perfection.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

One From the Vault

Awesome Moments in Moving: Part I (of I): finding long lost photos of yourself with mushroom hair, and the boy who loved you even when you had mushroom hair. Please note how insanely cute Bryan was as a 12 year old boy, even if he was a good 3 inches shorter than I was. (I remember leaning down to kiss him.) Is it wrong that I think he is delicious in this photo? That I still want to lean down and kiss that boy? Or is it okay seeing as how we are married now and of legal age, on the other side of that summer before high school when he grew a good 10 inches in 2 months and surfed so often he had that wet suit rash around his neck that I thought was a ring of hickeys which made him seem dangerous and sexy and ohmygod, okay, yes, this is getting creepy?
Which reminds me--things I must teach Zoey by the time she reaches puberty:
  1. Do not ever bring in a photo of a Dutch supermodel to Supercuts and ask them to make you look like her. You will not look like her. You will not even look Dutch. In fact, you will not want to look in the mirror for at least three more years.
  2. Do not line the inside of your eyes with Wet 'n Wild aqua eyeliner. Or wear mood lipstick. Sure it may seem like a cool idea, green lipstick that turns pink or red depending on your mood, but take it from me: that shit turns a sick shade of mauve no matter your mood and doesn't come off no matter how hard you rub. Or kiss. Or practice kissing on the back of your hand. Mood = pathetic.
  3. Do not tuck the corners of your collar into your (in hindsight ironic) Yale sweatshirt. For that matter, don't wear the pointed collars out. Just to be safe, don't wear pointy collars or Yale sweatshirts together or separate. Ever. And if you think adding a purple rhinestone brooch to this ensemble makes you look mysterious like Prince? Well then I just cannot help you.
  4. When a boy asks you to slow dance to "Stairway to Heaven" make sure it is a boy you like as the song is 14 minutes long and you will feel his sad little boner poking you in the thigh because you are taller than he is and you will just have to shuffle around with your arms around his neck and pretend it's not happening for 14 very long minutes (with that fast little guitar riff in the middle of the song during which I still have no idea what one should do. Let go of each other and boogie down? Play air guitar? I always opted to keep shuffling, i.e. when you don't know what to do, do nothing). Yes, pokey little boners even happen to girls with hair in the shape of a mushroom.
  5. Give short boys a chance. They will grow and soon enough you won't feel like a fungish oaf when you make out with them. You will feel like a beautiful girl and then a beautiful woman, and maybe, if you are very, very lucky you will fall in love with the boy who is no longer short and you will feel like a beautiful wife and the beautiful mother of a beautiful girl with hair in the shape of a halo.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Like Mother, Like Daughter

I've always had a flair for the dramatic. Of course, nobody ever really recognized my talent and as a kid I was always cast as hick #8 ('Lil Abner), or teenager #12 (Bye Bye Birdie) or girl #sofarinthebackImayaswellstayedhomeandwatchedPunkyBrewster (West Side Story). The same people always got the leads and I distinctly remember one year when the list went up and yet again I was cast as Dancing Girl #5 (Chorus Line). I was so crushed that when my mom came to pick me up I huddled on the floor of the car and cried so no one could see me--as I said, I had a flair for the dramatic and seat belt laws were not what they are now.
Because the world at large refused to acknowledge my star quality, I was forced to ham it up at home and with friends, acquiring a large cache of wigs. That's me on the left as cocky boy #Idon'tneednofuckingnumber'causeI'mrockingaDali'stache:

Ah, yes, and then there was this. I wish I could say the eyebrows were a wig, as well, but no--the brows were all mine:
So it came as no surprise when Zoey exhibited her own natural flair for drama. It started early with a fall (as it so often does):

And quickly unraveled into longer, darker, wiggier wigs:
I'm thinking she looks good with black hair? Perhaps a box of Preference Sable Onyx is in her future? Because "she's worth it?"
And then there's the accessories! Never has a girl rocked coke bottle glasses with quite this level of panache, am I right?
So there: two generations of (Chorus) Girls Gone Wig. My Zo has star quality, no? Already bursting into her own character with her very own script, and I couldn't be more in love with my role as mother.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I was at the grocery store with my mom the first time I became aware that black people were different than me. There used to be a Brach's candy display--remember those? Bins of caramels and Neopolitan chews, gelatin fruit slices covered in beady granules of sugar. For five cents you could sample a candy, drop a coin in the slot of the metal box so I was standing there with my nickel--I always chose caramel. I don't know how old I was but I know I must have been young because I had yet to think about dropping in a penny instead of a nickel, or taking two caramels instead of one. Or three. That came later. A penny for five caramels. But then it was a nickel for one, of course, those were the rules, and as my small hand hovered over the slot of the metal box a black family walked by and I had the sudden awareness that they were black. And then I felt dirty and sad for thinking it; it was a secret, their skin and my thought. I could tell no one, I knew it was bad: my awareness that they were black and I was white.A few weeks ago Zoey and I were in J. Crew looking at racks of salmon colored pique shirts when a saleswoman stopped to say hello to Zoey. "Well, don't you have beautiful eyes!" she said, and Zoey turned to me and said, "Mommy, her face is black."
I grew up in a liberal family in a liberal town. We were accepting and open but oh, how we were also so very, very white. Black is beautiful and love everyone, free to be you and me, la la la... we preached to each other and felt good about ourselves because we weren't prejudiced or bad but we were also safe. With sameness all around it was not difficult to be just.
(My step-father is in a wheelchair and likes children best because while they do stare unblinking at least they don't look away. Instead they ask, "why can't you stand up?" which is a totally legitimate question.)
Surrounded by salmon colored pique shirts, I panicked. I don't even know what I said but I know it wasn't full of grace; in fact, I am fairly certain I stuttered. Maybe even inhaled a thin nervous apologetic laugh as I took Zoey's hand and left the store. But it was true: the woman's face was black. Beautiful, dark, fairly gleaming. She was beautiful but all I could see was the ugliness of me being white and she being black and the words that nobody is supposed to say. Mommy, her face is black.
I have my prejudices. I won't go into them here-it is of no service to anyone for me to voice my cobwebs. But I am working on them, recognizing them. I know they are there and I think it is important for people to recognize that we are not all free to be you and me all the time, but more free to be flawed but working on it, you and me. You know?
What I should have said is this: yes, sweetie pea, her face is black and isn't her skin beautiful? And then I would've picked up yet another salmon colored pique shirt because we were in J. Crew, after all. I should have tasted the sweetness of caramel, of gelatin fruit slices covered in sugar, I should have tasted the simple words of a girl who does not yet know the shame of observation, of noticing differences, of black and white and Neopolitan chews separated by color, one for five cents, because that is the rule.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The New Normal (Dry Bones and All)

I used to write by looking straight ahead. But on Friday our computer crashed, gave a wheezy little gasp and then a soft almost apologetic ping! And it would not turn on again. So Bryan spent the weekend twisting thick cords and blah blah blah until the laptop connected to the big monitor (the big monitor connected to the--finger bone. Oh, hear the word of the Lord!) and now I am sitting in front of a small screen that has nothing to do with what I am writing. If I want to re-read something I have to turn my neck to the left and look at a different monitor which is counter-intuitive and different and just plain wrong.

I keep waiting for things to return to normal. I keep waiting for when. When I get a job. When the house sells. When we move. When I can look straight ahead and recognize and make sense of of what is right there in front of me. But here I am, looking left to see what I think.

On Friday after the computer died and Bryan was in the office trying to resuscitate the situation with mouth-to-modem fuck you's and what-the-fuck and a few straight shots of FUCK! I went out to the front yard to garden. Growing up my mother would lead me around our yard and point out plants to me: Nasturtiums. Those are snapdragons. Petunias--you can just as easily over water a plant as you can under water one! For a long time I thought it was boring, gardening, her hand hot on my arm, dirt under her nails. Bulbs gave me hives. Still, she would pull me around the yard and show me flowers. LI-LAC, she would uncurl my hand and trace the letters into my palm like Anne Sullivan with Helen Keller. It became our joke, her pushing my fist into a Mexican Sage and me repeating the name slowly and clumsily as if I were deaf and blind, my mother playing the Anne Bancroft to my Patty Duke, both of us playing actresses playing a role playing at discovery. WA-A-ATER. My mother is the type of woman who absentmindedly crushes foliage in her hands and then smells her fingers as she talks to you, wipes the waxy leaf of a lemon tree across the soft of her neck and suddenly, without ever really realizing it, I am, too.

Image here.

Our old house had a lemon tree. A large beautiful garden with a lemon tree that produced over-sized warty lemons with thick, yellow skin. In the spring, just as we left, the lemon blossoms made the whole yard smell like my mother. There are no lemon trees at our new house and it does not smell like home, but there is a large camellia bush, ferns, a kumquat tree and a lush night-blooming jasmine that has crawled up a hose that a previous tenant left on top of the house while cleaning out the rain gutters. I sat out there on Friday and arranged my potted plants, cleaned up my succulents and tried very hard not to think fuck you and what-the-fuck, any variations of fuck really. (I mean, everyone knows that when life gives you lemons you are supposed to make lemonade, but what about when life takes away your lemons? What are you supposed to do then? Garnish your drink with a kumquat?) I couldn't hear Bryan inside with the computer, our neighbors have wind chimes, nice ones. Not all high-pitched and ting-y but more of a monastic low clohng that calms me. And then next door, there is a family with 7 year old twin boys, and somebody in that house plays piano like a virtuoso. Rapid fast Mozart and Beethoven, and as I sat there on Friday afternoon the music moving over me, the chimes clohnging deep in my throat, surrounded by plants and flowers, the warm air turning cool with fog, Nacho taking a joyous dirt bath beside me and I thought that maybe this it it: When. I mean, what was I waiting for anyway? For things to return to the way they were with me always worried about losing it all, paying toomuch% of our income on mortgage and working at a job that I hated? Was I waiting for rote, for numb, for that? Or was I waiting for this: Me in a garden listening to Mozart, nowhere to go but here. And here is just fine, better than fine, really. Here is the feeling of it all. So maybe this is the new normal: A broken computer, not enough closet space but vintage vaulted ceilings so that we can breathe, the smell of jasmine climbing up a simple green garden hose, my neck cricked from looking left because there is nothing in front of me anyway. It is all here, and it will smell like home soon enough.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Feeling Flaccid Friday

(Please tell me you pronounce flaccid "fla-sed" and not "flak-sed," because if you don't I don't think I can be friends with you anymore which would suck because I really like you. After all, fla-sed is almost an onomatopoeia while flak-sed might as well be something you scrape off the bottom of your foot after a summer spent barefoot on the hot cement.)
(While we're on the subject: can we just agree that it's Cah-RIB-ee-un?)
(And vaaahze?? Bish, plz. It's a Vayse.)
Anyhoo, Happy Friday, friends. I plan on spending the weekend fairly oozing and lazy. What about you?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pani Sexy Legs Zde!

I have not shaved my legs in two weeks. Or my armpits.

This might as well be me. I have a zit on my chin and one on my forehead. While I have deigned to shower, I have not seen to it to did my hair, not that I have a 'do but a quick brush would be nice. I have been washing my face with baby wipes. What?
Please call me Hannasus Sniknej (Miss Sniknej if you're nasty). That's what Bryan and I say when the other is acting out of sorts or just plain evil: we call each other by our backwards names. Hannasus Ylac Sniknej: she is my Czech counterpart and does not have to shave her legs if she doesn't want to. Which she doesn't. But she will take a beer and some borscht, if you please. Now. Okamzik! (Bryan is Naryb Drahcir Mynoduesp, Of course his real last name is not Pseudonym but he has this weird rule about me not putting our last name on ye olde blog, so yeah. I can only write Sniknej because my Czech counterpart prefers to go by her maiden name. She's a true feminist like that. Note: hairy legs).
I don't know what it is lately, or I do but have vowed to punch myself in the face if I write one more time about moving boxes or waiting for the phone guy. Which I am. Again, today. Waiting for AT&T, 10 to 2, baby! I think I'm wearing on them as they have narrowed down their window from 12 hours to just 4. (Luckily my arms are the size and futility of a T-Rex, so I barely split my lip when I punch my own face in.) This move is sucking the forward motion right out of me.

One time, when we were in high school, Bryan and I went on a hike and for some reason I remember him telling me not to ever stop trying to look nice for him. I was wearing yellow stirrup pants. On the way back to the car we were running down the trail and I tripped and fell hard, bloodying my knee and tearing my pants. To be fair, when I bring this up to Bryan now he has no memory of ever saying that. I also remind him that one time he told me he liked his women bitchy. I believe it was right after we watched a Prince video, one of those from the early 90's starring the beautiful women with the mean eyes, and he denies ever saying that, too. C'mon, you know me, he says, I hate bitchy women! And he's right, he does. He's very laid back. But there is no such retort for not trying to look nice for him and I wish I still had those yellow stirrup pants because they would cover up my hairy legs like a charm.
Baby steps, people. Tonight I will unpack my razor. In the meantime, I am one Yxes Rekcufrehtom.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

No Hate Mail Please

Now this. This is why I don't have a dog. This and the fact that a dog will stare at you unabashedly while pooping, the barking, that little lipstick thingie on boy dogs and the way they like to lick your face (the dog, not necessarily the lipstick). Growing up I called myself a dog person. I knelt down next to strange dogs on the street to give them a scritch. I wanted to be the kind of girl who drove a Jeep Wrangler and lived in Colorado. I wanted to be a dog person. But as I get older I realize I really don't like to be licked in the face. The sound of a dog barking makes my face itch and I have never been to Colorado although I imagine it is beautiful. (The closest I ever got to driving a Jeep Wrangler was when I was 18 and had a Volkswagen Cabriolet which is just the other end of obnoxious.) *I like cats. Cats cover their poop; I have never had a cat hump my leg although if it did you know they would do it gently and quite possibly while using a British accent.

Anyway, this. Happy Hump Day.

*Them's fightin' words for dog lovers, so please know this: I don't hate dogs. I don't even dislike them. I just mean that if there were a civil war and the world became divided into canine and feline, I would have to don me some kitty whiskers. But right now I take dogs on a case by case basis. True, I don't like the neighborhood dog I have never met but hear bark all afternoon, but I might like him if I met him. As long as he didn't splay his legs right in front of me and go to town on applying his lipstick.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My Kingdom for a Bookcase

The problem with Ted and Colleen is that they each thought they were saving the other.
I unpacked my books yesterday. For years we have not had the space to have them out but suddenly, now--a built in glass encased bookshelf, 30" deep. Five large plastic containers of Shakespeare and Aeschylus, Lorrie Moore, Ellen Gilchrist, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Eudora Welty, The Norton Anthology of This and The Oxford Anthology of That. (God, how I love that thin onion skin paper.) I unpacked the books I have read and the books I meant to read but never did so now I just pretend to have read them (I'm talking to you now Aeschylus). I unpacked books that I have loved and those that I have written in. I unpacked books that I have written, mismatched journals of varying sizes, my handwriting round and tilted and large.
I have known some deeply religious people and while I have envied them their faith nothing good ever came of any of them.
And then there is this: me writing about Puck from The Real World, San Francisco. Phone numbers of people I am no longer friends with scratched across the inside of notebooks. Dates and reminders, $213.47, 924-7639, I don't know who or why but at some point in 1993 it was important enough to write down.
Bryan doesn't understand why it's so important to me to have my books out. It's not as if you're going to read them again. And he's right. I probably won't read them again. Or ever (Aeschylus). But as I unpacked them from their plastic containers I felt a lightness, a truth. Something right and genuine, as if maybe for the past five, seven, ten years now since graduate school I have packed away something of myself in hermetically sealed plastic boxes from The Container Store. Oh, not to worry--the books and I were safe from moisture but there we were all the same. Henry Miller on top of Anais Nin, my journals about me at 21 smashed beneath Walt Whitman. They pour and they pour and they exhale away!
But here we are now, out in the world. Who knows what happened to Puck? Better yet, who cares? I sit on the floor before the bookcase and thumb through onion skinned paper reading the notes I wrote in the thin margins of Beowulf. I was the type of girl who wrote in red ink. By fighting monsters we surpass the limits of date and history. I wish I knew that girl now. I would like to be friends with her if only to tell her to stop worrying about some things. And to worry more about others. I would very much like to borrow her red pen to keep writing, never to stop.
Whatever happened to Ted and Colleen? Did they ever save each other, or did their naive heroism ruin them both? I will never know because that's all I wrote. Sometime in 1993, or maybe 1995. The start of an idea, of a book or a story that never got written. Just the first sentence, something that I liked, I think, although really, who knows what I was thinking, writing on the floor while watching Party of Five. In the end, maybe it is Ted and Colleen who will save me, my kingdom for a bookshelf, my house for a pen.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Now You Know: If You Got a Crank Call Today It Wasn't Me, Although I Am Cranky

I have found my new business model: the phone company. Of course I don't know what type of business I will be running, what I will be selling or doing or even wearing to work, but now I know just how I want to run my business should I ever start one and it goes a little something like this:
(I am pretty sure he's just ordering a pizza, don't you think?)
See, none of my phone jacks are working at the new digs so I called the phone company and they gave me a 12 hour window when they will show up to fix the problem. 8am to 8pm. It is now 6pm and for the past 10 hours I've been upholding my end of the bargain by waiting. I take my waiting very seriously, all front porch and nose to the window, baited breath which smells suspiciously like York peppermint patties, thank god for fun sized. Now all these 10 hours later I'm a little worried the phone company isn't going to show up. I mean, I would call them to confirm? But, yeah. There's that. The fact that my phones don't work and I am losing patience and my Tivo is apparently not compatible with the HD tv that miraculously sprouted up in my limbo'ed absence so I get all of 12 stupid channels and still don't know what the fuck HD tv is or why I need to see Bret Michaels in high definition. Moving sucks. Ass. It sucks ass and nothing is more depressing than empty boxes and lath and plaster walls, nail holes that aren't your own and not being able to find your broom or your Tylenol or your sense of humor, your clothes in garbage bags, coat hangers poking through. (Except maybe 44 toddlers dying in a daycare fire in Mexico--that is more depressing than lath and plaster walls for sure, but still. Jesus.) Moving sucks ass and my friends should be happy I have no phone service or else I'd be calling them to complain.
p.s. Know what else I hate? The term "new digs." I don't know why, I just do. Back tomorrow with an attitude adjustment. I also hate the term "attitude adjustment."
p.p.s. It is now 9:22pm and guess who never showed up? stop The phone company. stop I am totally bringing back Western Union telegrams because phones now officially suck it. stop Twelve hours. stop. No, you stop. full stop

Friday, June 5, 2009

And What Won't (Just as Important)

And what won't (USA):
Getting laid off twice in one year--1 in whoknowsbutprobablymorecommonthanyouthink
Being forced to sell the home you thought of as your dream house--1 in toomany
Living one month in limbo--1 in oh,youtoo?
Chin zits from searching the www every day for a job--1 in 743,000
Navigating the health care system--1 in this mightactuallykillmesopleasestaytuned
Tomorrow is moving day. When I called PG&E to set up service they asked if this was a rental or if we owned. I exhaled and said "rental." A box was checked and that is all. I thought that this would kill me, that this was the worst case scenario, that this was the end of everything when really it is the beginning of something. This is nothing and everything, just a house when my home is in boxes and paper, trash bags stuffed with sheets and my dust mites. My home is in my family and tomorrow my family moves into our new house. And yes, it is a rental, but I am very much alive.
Weekend, tout le monde, and I am happy.
SOURCES: National Center for Now Accepting Australian Tree Ferns as Housewarming Gifts, American What's Important Society, National Federation of Happy Friday, Center for Petunia Face Lack of Control But Hanging On Anyway, World Love Organization.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

On Time and Impermanence

Time is a devouring tiger, a ruptured balloon left lying on the floor at the end of a string. Rotting food, tooth decay, time is something to be railed against, manipulated, cursed, counted.

A photo of me with my mother, circa 1976ish.

There was a day in Costa Rica that it rained. It rained everyday at some point, the sky lit up with flashes and roiling with thunder. But one day we stayed in the pool and swam in the rain. Bryan and I held Zoey and I could not tell what was what, the rain, the pool water, the air, our skin: it was all hot and sticky and alive. Remember this. I closed my eyes to take a mental picture. Remember this day. Remember this rain. Remember this time. Zoey giggled and we sang a song, this corny one we made up about being a family, and my mind scrambled to remember. And now I sit at this table and think of that day and what I remember most is the act of rememberance. Not the song or the splash of raindrops in the pool, but the way I closed my eyes for the briefest of moments trying to live outside of time.
The cliches are too true. It goes by so fast and I feel myself trying to hold on to something that is essentially impermanent, making concrete something of no substance. (Last night Zoey got too close to the stove when I was cooking and I snapped at her. Today she is at daycare and I miss the smell of her hair.) Remember this. When I close my eyes I can no longer see.
In high school I had a friend who was a boy but he was not my boyfriend. Let's call him Carl. Carl had a girlfriend who was not his friend. Let's call her Jane. Carl loved me, or so he said. On the phone, at school, I love you, he said, and I loved being told he loved me. Oh Carl, I would say back, world-weary and not the slightest bit in love with my friend. I don't mean to imply that I was some sort of teenage femme fatale because I wasn't. I wasn't the prettiest girl or the smartest, not the funniest and certainly not the most athletic. I was just a girl and sometimes that's all it takes to be loved.
We hung out at a coffee shop. I pretended to like coffee and drank it black. One night Carl's girlfriend Jane said something about how she wondered where the excess denim went when you got a hole in your jeans. She picked at the knee of her pants as she said it and I said something about how I often wondered the same thing about falling down and skinning your knee. Where does your skin go? Is it left smeared across the pavement? Carl looked at me and laughed and I realized suddenly that he thought I was making fun of Jane, and he was looking at me and laughing as if we were in on a joke together and the joke was Jane. So I laughed back at him and let him believe. But now I drink chocolate milk in the morning and I have to confess that I still wonder where the skin goes and if the world is maybe made up of thin threads of lost denim.
I don't know why I told that story, what it has to do with anything. I was sixteen and a jerk. Now I'm 36 and will freely admit to knowing very little. Buddhists would say that we are all living and dying at the same moment, living-dying, if you wish, that time begins and ends at each moment. That it is futile to close your eyes to remember. Time is not a one-dimensional sequence of events but a series of infinitesimally small independent moments that move in relation to each other. The whole process of living-dying is in this moment. Now. As my daughter is in daycare. Zoey the baby, Zoey the toddler, Zoey the girl, the woman--they are only separated by shadows, not reality, threads of an insequential string.

I know this and still, I sit here picking at my jeans wondering where it all goes. Where it all went, and how can I capture it forever.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Going Down

I am valiantly trying to think of a post that does not include any of the following: farts, penises, vj's, bum bums, farting that may be emitted from said penis, vj or bum bum, vomit. I am having a tough time and am left to just sort of stand here on this elevator hoping I will somehow rise up.
I do not seem to be going anywhere.
Remember eighth grade? Reading Flowers for Algernon, that story about the man with an IQ of 68 who undergoes a surgical something or other, tripling his IQ? And then the lab mouse dies and Charlie begins to rapidly decline? And then the bell rang and you made a joke about it being a cliffhanger story and how the cutest boy in school laughed at your joke and now 23 years later you still remember that feeling in your stomach, the joy, and oh my god how pathetic that I am writing about that much less remember it. Yeah, that. Well, I'm afraid I might be Charlie only I don't know when I was ever of unsurpassed intelligence. I just fear that wherever I am things are on the decline. The elevator is going down and I am taking the stairs two at a time to rise up.
The novel opens with an epilogue from Plato's The Republic:
"Any one who has common sense will remember that the bewilderments of the eye are of two kinds, and arise from two causes, either from coming out of the light or from going into the light, which is true of the mind's eye, quite as much as of the bodily eye."
I am not entirely sure what it means but just writing the words of Plato makes me feel smart. (Wikipedia says something about the quote discouraging people from laughing at others who are perplexed or weak of vision, so there.)
And so it goes. Please don't think ill of me when I ask the following: are there any masseuses out there? Because I must know--when you are getting a massage and you have to fart and you squeeze your butt cheeks together trying to hold it in, does the masseuse see that? Does she think it's funny? Does she try to suppress a giggle as she watches your quivering butt cheeks? Does the act of tensing up your butt muscles totally ruin the massage? And then afterward, does she tell all of her masseuse friends about you, the client who had to fart?
Just wondering.
Tomorrow, I swear I will try to write something good. Something smart.
Please put flowers on Algernon's grave.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tell Me I'm Not the Only One Who's Thought of This

Honestly, I don't know what is wrong with me. I mean, if you saw me on the street you'd think I was a nice, normal girlwomanladyperson who is probably thinking about where to find a nice lemonade pitcher, you know, a glass one? One with a nice round shape that won't slop the lemonade when stirred? Because I am: a nice, normal girlwomanladyperson thinking about lemonade pitchers. And cookie jars. I swear to fucking god I need a cookie jar, one with an airtight seal. In the shape of an owl maybe. Or a fruit. I'd like a cookie jar shaped like a fruit.
Despite all this--the fact that I am most definitely a nice, normal girlwomanladyperson who thinks of lemonade pitchers and cookie jars--despite all this I cannot seem to write a post that does not rely on scatalogical humor. Me who never farts. (True story: never.) Because the other night as I lay me down to sleep, (my soul to keep and do you think Anthro might have a cute cookie jar?) in crept a thought about farts. And penises. James Lipton, although I swear I never ever not once thought of James Lipton's penis (although you are. Right now. You sick bitch.). No, I was thinking about Inside the Actor's Studio and how James Lipton always asks the celebrity their favorite swear word. How inevitably the audience gasps and twitters like schoolgirls when Sean Penn or Danny Devito or whoever says fuck. Or cocksucker. And how much I hate that James Lipton acts so pleased with the answer. Like what the fuck else does he expect the celebrity to say? Fudge muffins? And then because it was past my bedtime and I could not sleep (I pray the Lord my soul to keep) I thought about what I would say if James Lipton ever asked me for my favorite swear word. Buttfart. It must have been 1am and I think I would say buttfart. Gasp, twitter, hee hee, does anyone know if they even make cookie jars in the shape of a citrus? Although that really begs the question: what other kind of fart is there? Nice, normal girlwomanladyperson. God, please don't think it, please don't say it, please God, how I do hate the word queef. What a terrible terrible blow to humanity that the word even exists. Alas, here is where it gets dicey: and then I thought how truly blessed we are as a species that men cannot fart out of their penises. Because you know if they could, they would. All the freaking time, tooting their own horns, hands down their pants, on the remote, cue ball in the corner pocket. They would embrace the ability, marrying together, as it does, their love of farting and their own dicks. And then I finally fell asleep secure in the knowledge that men cannot fart out of their penis holes, Amen.
Then this morning: this. Nice, normal girlwomanladyperson, so help me I think this shirt is so funny and I kind of want it in a nice, normal girlwomanladyperson way. I'd pair it with a cute pair of jeans?

Seeing as how nice and normal I am, I am left to wonder: why do I not yet have a job? Or at the very least, a lemonade pitcher that does not slop?

Monday, June 1, 2009

I Believe in Miracles (Since You Came Along) ... (You Sexy Thing)

¡Hola mi amigos! (Don't worry. Now that the trip is over I will most likely stop this annoying Spanglified Petunia Face nonsense. Maybe. Or should I say quizá. Aparentemente asshole traduce.) So. Yeah. There is a little rough patch of skin next to my mouth that I am pretty sure is melanoma, but other than that it was the perfect trip. I also might have scleroderma on the tops of my feet even though I am not entirely sure what scleroderma is, but right after I finish writing this post I plan on Googling it and scaring the crap out of myself with self-diagnosis via www followed by an rx of oh fuck. Welcome home!
The funny thing about going on vacation from the internet and your blog is that you are forced to think without the voices of readers echoing in your head. Which is to say, I suppose, that I stopped thinking, or stopped listening to myself think. Do you know what it's like to constantly listen to yourself think? Your mind begins to sort of hyperventilate, only there is no brown paper bag to think into, and so it goes. I am thinking of thinking of myself thinking. I think I might write about this thought but wait, let me think about the thunk. I don't know when it was--the fifth day maybe, that I saw a gecko on the ceiling and did not think to myself, self, there is a gecko on the ceiling. Think about it. Instead the sweat just beaded on my upper lip and I closed my eyes. Gecko. Ceiling. Cosado. Hot. That's all there was.
And it was nice, the silence. The constant humming of insects not in my brain. The scorpions, the cockroaches, the scarlet macaw, the round trill of a toucan. We saw a sloth, monkeys, crocodiles, iguanas so big they looked like stegosaurus. Each morning we slopped into a salt pool created by the low tide with all the energy of African elephants rolling in mud holes. Zoey tanned brown as a berry. I forgot about you.
It was not until the day we left that I remembered. Costa Ricans are big on power ballads, or maybe it's just the ex-pats that love them some Phil Collins and Klymaxx in a country that will never be their own. Because on the 5 hour drive to the airport I was treated to a bevy of bad 80's break-up songs and the 8th grader in me began to think again. About thinking. About you. About Rick Springfield a little bit, but mostly about you.
I have this small idea that I should be embarrassed about what I'm about to say. After all, I burned my high school diaries. I know the stench of a dated true love forever, that one day's emotional pining is the next day's emotionless joke. But I'm also a sucker for love and my tan is fading. I missed you. I did. And on that washboard dirt road I wrote in my notebook about you. About how you're so fine and then I put your last name with my first and I drew a heart around it, TLA. At least that's what I think I wrote--it's almost impossible to read, the road was so bad. But I realized that writing a blog is like speaking to a crowd of people whose eyes you cannot see. Instead everyone is wearing mirrored sunglasses, and as you speak you see your polarized self reflected back a hundred thousand times, or 750, depending on the traffic that day. Dare I say it? I missed my own reflection while I was gone, the way my mind works when I am writing to you. I missed you, me, thinking. Thinking about thinking and then writing about thinking and then wondering what you think of my thoughts. I think. Thunk. Thank you. Here there are no geckos on the ceiling and my fingers are cold. But I have you, and that is almost paradise (how could we ask for more? I swear that I can see forever in your eyes...)
Without further ado about about nothing, here are some pics from my trip:
Hibiscus Faced Girl.

Tasting monkey brains. Really it's a fruit but I don't remember the name.

Summer lovin'

Bryan enjoying a cerveza in the pool. In the rain. And still sweating.

Zoey and our friend's daughter Natalie on the beach with wild horses.

Welcome to the jungle.

Man on a mission. To do nothing.

The last night we stayed at a place with television. Here is Zoey watching Charlie and Lola in Spanish. She does not speak Spanish. She was transfixed.

The only private island we'll ever be able to afford. Still, as long as it fits Bryan and Zoey, this is the only tropical island I'll ever need.
Monday people, and I'm happy to be home.