Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Night

I could write a bunch of pretty words here to distract you from the fact that really I just want to post a few pics of my kids like oh! Shiny thing! Insert pithy observation here, something vaguely smart-sounding here. Or I could just say this: check out how much my kids look like each other. (And how freaking delicious they are.)
Above is a photo of Zoey at 7 months. Below is a photo of Ozzy this past weekend. Like a boy/girl bookend, n'est ce pas?This weekend also saw Zoey's continued obsession with Wednesday from The Addams Family. On Saturday I told her to get dressed because she had a play date at a friend's house. When she came out of her room, this is what she was wearing, complete with a paper cut-out collar taped to her dress. Since then she has hijacked this Tibetan wooden carving of hands that I have and is calling it Thing and taking it everywhere.Needless to say, this is the napkin I drew to put in her lunchbox tomorrow...So that's that. Let's pretend I have something to say here that wraps this whole thing up with one of those bows with the curly-cue ends. Yeah, like that.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WTF Wednesday: Increasing Mass One Post At A Time

I have had Nervous Tummy for a week now, the kind that makes me pause and think is it this? That? No, it must be the Other. Everything ok with the kids, Bryan, Nacho’s fur growing back nicely. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something’s not quite right, and so I scan reports on the Solar Storm and radiation, planes being re-routed and Aurora Borealis, even though I live on the ground at Latitude 38. I can’t help but hope that the charged particles from the giant coronal mass ejection are what’s to blame, patchouli oil hoo-ha flakiness be damned.

I also read the other day that eReaders actually grow heavier the more books you download, the data stored by trapping electrons. While the number of electrons doesn’t change, it takes more energy to hold them in place than to let them free. Microjoules and attograms magical like fireflies, and this thought makes me feel funny inside.

If this is true—and it is because the internet says so—then what about our brains? What is the weight of thought?

I totally get that this is like whoa, heavy, man, too much of a fucking Fiona Apple song circa 1996 shut up already, so there is also this Kate Spade dress that I really, really want but cannot afford if you want to buy it for me. Who knows? One of these days some stranger might say sure, yeah, just let me know what size and where to send it, and I will give a twirl in my shiny new dress in this silly new planet spinning, spinning, spinning.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

What's a 5 Letter Word That Starts With an E?

We're totally that couple in the restaurant that doesn't talk. You know, the ones who sit across from each other and look down at their plates silently as they eat. And when I say we, I mean you and me.

I have nothing to say to you right now. We've all been there, right? Forced to look up and across, public silence somehow a strain, to ask when's the last time you changed the oil in your car? Because that is all you can think of.

When you're the other couple--the one that laughs and kisses and feeds each other forkfuls of egg--you feel pretty smug when you see us, but I know better. I know that to sit across from someone silently while eating eggs means you love them comfortably. Even pasta. Definitely a burrito. I'm about to have an It's-It myself. And comfortable love is the best kind of all.

It's been almost 10,000 miles since my last oil change. I know, I know. Don't nag. I need to organize my closet. And then there's this, too.
Ozzy has surrendered to his crib. And the mere fact that I just blogged about it, even if it wasn't braggy at all, means that tonight he will wake up and scream until we bring him into our bed. That's just the way the universe works. I'm pretty sure that's what Carl Sagan was always going on about.

So yeah. No biggie. Go back to your crossword puzzle.

Monday, January 16, 2012


The Guilt of (this) Working Mom takes shape in many forms. In the nutella with bread Zoey gets each morning despite the fact that it's not part of a balanced breakfast no matter what the commercial says. In the way I practically make out with Ozzy the minute I walk through the door, holding him while I shuffle around the house because my lower back has seized up. In the little dance I do in front of my house each morning; Zoey watching through the picture window as I blow kisses, then hugs, then I love you in American Sign Language which always makes me feel a little like I'm listening to Metallica, the difference only in the inclusion of a thumb. Three times mommy! Do it three times today! And so I do it while cars drive past, mwah, mmmhug, a flash of fingers, mwah, mmmhug, a flash of fingers, mwah, mmmhug, a flash of fingers. As if I am going off to war and not just walking to the bus stop.

Long ago I made the mistake of drawing on the napkin that I put in Zoey's lunch box, a princess or something, I don't know. The next day she asked for a pirate, and then a spider, a bat, castle, mountains, fish, stars, rainbows. Before I knew it I could not not draw a picture on her napkin, each night thinking what should I draw for tomorrow? 10 o'clock tired and realizing shit, I forgot to draw something, pulling out a pen and sketching a skeleton in October, turkeys in November, Santa and snowflakes, my favorite: elves having a snowball fight. And then last week I found a zippered compartment in Zoey's lunch box that I didn't know was there. I opened it and found a stash of old napkins.Those are my favorites, Zoey said when I asked why they were there. I can't throw those away because you're famous, she said.
I'm not famous, I told her, but she insisted I was. Said that all her friends loved my napkins, that at the beginning of lunch they crowded around her to see what it would be that day, that I was a famous drawer and a famous mommy, and you know where this is going, right?
I am not the best artist. Not the best writer or the best person, not the smartest, most beautiful, not even the worst or the ugliest, dumbest or sluttiest. Not the estiest of anything, really. But in that moment I was super-superlative more than most and then some. Because every day while I am in a meeting maybe, or eating a tasteless sandwich dropping crumbs on my keyboard, every day while I am on the 21st floor of a building my daughter is nine miles away at noon thinking I am a famous mommy, and that right there is everything.
So yes, it seems I will be drawing on napkins every weeknight until Zoey, and then Ozzy is out of school. Bunnies and cats, maps, mice, people with very big eyes and cupcakes. I will draw on napkins until they tell me to stop, beg me, mom, you have got to stop sending napkins to my dorm, to my work, to my husband, to my wife. And I will smile the smile of someone who knows she is good at what she does. Because I am their mommy, and they made me famous.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a napkin to go draw. (I'm thinking raccoon.)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Couldn't Drag Me Away

Be forewarned: I am a quivering mass of exposed tissue tonight, nerves lifting slightly in the salt air. Zoey is having a slumber party at her Grandma DD's, our house now much too quiet. I cannot help but think of 13 years from now when she might leave to live somewhere else. True, I have PMS. Truer still, I have eaten 4 Cadbury Cream Eggs today. Still. 13 years ago I was in grad school. I wrote short stories and wore red clogs hand-painted with flowers. I still have those clogs and just the other day was thinking I should wear them again in the spring. With jeans?
13 years is a very short time.

So I will tell you this: Wild Horses is one of our Tickle Back Songs, sometimes by The Sundays, though I do prefer The Stones. This video is real and raw and lovely, even if the nodding is not so much of sleep but smack, I suspect.

Then there is this: tomorrow is the night we have set for Ozzy to sleep in his crib. A modified Cry It Out with me right there patting his back and sshhh-ing. I have had nervous tummy for the last week in anticipation, only now realizing that this may be the last night he sleeps in our bed. Because this is also True: the night full of syntactical colons and dramatic statements. The Last Night. I don't know if I can do any of this.

Remember this? Zoey was talking in her sleep the other night--she does that a lot. Mumbo jumbo nujka trah pa? And then as clear as day: I farted on mommy's face. The next morning I asked her if she remembered her dream and she said she couldn't tell me, that it would make me sad. Would it make me sad because you farted on my face? I asked, but she said no, no it wasn't that, and still hasn't told me.

But I remember. And this. A video from 3 years ago. Because 3 years is the same as 13 in that you cannot hold on to either one.

Sometimes it seems there aren't enough Cadbury Cream Eggs to go around.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Where's Winona?

What if Angie Everhart and Kate Mara had a baby with someone really smart and funny who sits in her office chair like a pretzel? (Seriously--torques her leg all the way around.) I mean, aside from problems with the space/time continuum and actual science-y stuff, you’d get my friend slash colleague, Abbey. Wanna meet her? ‘Cause she just launched a blog and it’s rad. Totally different and fun and pink, a fabulous read, if I do say so myself. In her own words:

Action, intrigue, hot dudes with rippling abs. What more do you want?

I’ve got huge news—I’ve finally launched my blovel! A blovel (in case I haven’t blabbed your ear off about it yet) is a novel that’s posted on a blog, which means:

A) It’s free.

B) You can read it at work and pretend like you’re working.

C) It has pictures. Woohoo!

Think of it as an interactive ebook. There are pics, audio, and the whole thing happens in real time. Every blog post is written by the main character. Readers can make comments to her in the comment section, and other characters in the story will be also commenting there so you’ll get their side of the story as well. You’ve never read anything like this before. It’s going to be off the hook!

Speaking of the hook…

This particular blovel is the heartwarming story of a teenage girl named Agnes who is forced into searching for a missing popstar named Winona Darling in order to win the heart of the boy she loves. That is the whole reason she has started this blog. The problem is the boy is kind of douchey and Winona, it turns out, might have been murdered. On top of that Agnes also has some serious competition—former-child-star-turned-celebrity-blogger Tyler Dash. Yes, he’s good-looking if you’re into tan, Venice Beach types with abs like metal siding. But Agnes is not. She’s looking for a Harvard man, and if the only thing that stands between her and summering in Hamptons is a rat-bastard-celebrity-blogger then that dirty hippy is going to go down—hard.

Did I mention, there are also pictures?

If you know of anyone else who enjoys young adult fiction, mystery fiction, humorous fiction, vampire fiction,* gay BFFs in fiction, pug fiction, reality shows, Angela Lansbury, discussing food allergies at length, cheesecake, or publishing, then please forward their way.

I’ll be posting daily Monday through Friday. If you don’t get to it right away just go to, click the Start button star in the left hand corner and it’ll take you right to the beginning.


*Okay so there’s no vampires per se but it does take place in Hollywood, which is filled with bloodsuckers so in that way it qualifies.

Did I not tell you she’s rad?

So what are you doing still reading this? I've got nothing of my own to say today. Check out You can thank me later.



Friday, January 6, 2012

With Love in Her Eyes and Flowers in Her Hair

It’s my favorite moment of the day, I think, when she is in bed and we listen to what we call the Tickle Back Song. It’s not just one song but many, and for weeks we will obsess together over a certain one, play it each night, sometimes twice, cuddled together in her bed as I lazily scratch her back and sometimes sing. Telling myself it’s not as hard, hard, hard as it seems…lately we’ve been getting the Led out, listening to “Going to California” by Zeppelin, and there is something so wistful about Robert Plant’s voice that speaks to me as I lay with my girl who is growing up so fast, her body long and lean and leaving me slowly. I like to think that one day maybe twenty years from now she will absentmindedly hear these songs and remember what it felt like to have her mom lightly trace daisy petals across her shoulder blades each night.

I think maybe on Fridays I might post some of our Tickle Back Songs, if that’s ok with you. I want to remember everything about everything, and this is the only way I know how.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

And Just Like That! It Was January.

Do you care that I resolve to drink more water in 2012? Be more affectionate with my husband? Save money, get Ozzy to sleep in his crib, sail? Cause I hardly do and I'm me.

I do not much care for January. A cold month known more for what it is not--the holidays, spring, awesome--than for what it is. Incidentally, I think of the word "socks" whenever I hear the phrase "it is what it is" because I once thought the phrase in Spanish "es lo si que es" was pronounced as one would spell out the word "socks," s, o, c, k, s, until my Colombian friend told me it was actually pronounced "sahla-esquilalah-sexy," or something that sounded nothing like what I thought it did. I also think I've told you that story before which is apropos of January, a month made of stories you realize you've already told halfway through the telling. Socks, I say.

But I know I've not told you this: tonight on the bus I had the indescribable urge to pinch the woman sitting next to me. Hard. She sat down while talking on her phone, saying loudly that she was getting sick, had a sore throat, hack hack, fuck, sniffle, jabber jabber, phlegm, blah. So I squeezed my eyes shut and tried very hard not to breathe her in for 9 miles, thinking that surely closing my eyes accounted for something seeing as how they're mucous membranes and all. Also? When you think to yourself do not touch your face, whatever you do, just don't touch your face, suddenly your nose will itch and your lips will actually kind of quiver.

I am not good at public transportation. Or January. Or speaking Spanish.
28 days until February.

"In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer."

Camus & Susannah