Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Once upon a time you could not eat a whole grape by yourself. Instead I would bite it in half with my front teeth and push slivers of it into your mouth and you laughed. Now we are here where you can eat whole grapes if you want, pluck them off the stem yourself with long, dimple-less fingers and talk to me of racism and what makes airplanes rise.
This is 7. Angled teeth and tiny rubber toys that fall to the bottom of your backpack, pop music, ears pierced, you tell me now not to look when you undress. Are you looking? you ask, and I say no even though I am looking at an optical illusion, my depth perception most certainly off. How did you get so far away? I am looking but I can't see how this happened, your sense of secret and other and me suddenly just there like that. Who are you?

Because suddenly I can see the slippery slope a bit more sharply, how quickly 7 slides into a time when you will answer these questions for yourself. I'm a designer, you might say, or an accountant. My name is Zoey and I am an alcoholic, a teacher, a thief, a mother, a phlebotomist. The truth is, you will be many things to many people, the girl who wears leopard print high tops with a thousand yard stare behind starfish eyes, but I hope you always define yourself knowing that beneath it all lies this constant: you are loved.

7 years ago today they told me I might feel some tugging, some pressure. And then there was the strangest hollow suction as they pulled you from inside of me and you cried. I tell you that on that day your soft baby nails grabbed at my heart trying to hold on, that to this day you carry a piece of me with you. You can roll your eyes, but it's true. How do airplanes fly? Something about lift and force, laws of motion, I looked it up online. More often than not I know things are true without totally understanding them. A piece of my heart is inside of you, and when you are 37 years old I will still watch closely when you eat grapes to make sure you don't choke because I love you, the certainty of that like the ground beneath your feet even as you rise.

Happy birthday sweet girl.

6, (5 is missing), 4, 3, 2, (1 is before I had a blog).

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Too much. You know? I think you know. All of us too full. I see it as I walk around these last few days like an echo of last time and the time before that, how we pay for our coffee gently as we resist the push to overflow. And so we go about our day concave, the surface tension there like that, bound to each other. We tip toe, we rise and we hold on, until eventually, inevitably, we spill.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Prodigy of the Philistines

"Every line means something."
      Jean-Michel Basquiat
Untitled. Chalk and admittedly some smushed food on wall. 2013
One of the best decisions we made when we moved to this house was to paint one of the walls in the kitchen with black chalkboard paint. We all go at it: christmas lists and chore charts, vocabulary, tic tac toe, faces and cats and cartoons of cats with no faces saying ickskoosme! (It's phonetic.)

Every few months I take a photo before erasing the whole thing, and tonight as I was about to wash it away it struck me how much the wall looks like a Basquiat painting. No doubt Zoey's portraits reflect the power struggle of class and gender while Ozzy's kinetic line-work reveals the dichotomy of the inner versus outer experience, yes? Graffiti artists turned Neo-Expressionistic Primitivists, all before the second grade.
To compare: Basquiat's Philistines. Acrylic and chalk on canvas. 1982
Happy (very nearly almost) Friday,

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

An All-Over the Place Post

Once I told some coworkers they just had to watch a video--it was of a baby being born in a car--and they all recoiled in disgust and now maybe I have a bad reputation at work for you-gotta-see-this videos. (Then again, they made me watch footage of basketball player Kevin Ware breaking his leg in half, so I think we're even.)

All this to say wow, this photo. I just. Can't. It's amazing. And yes, a little gross maybe if you're adverse to a little vernix, but whatevs. Still breathing and feeding from the placenta, this baby isn't technically born yet. Holy intact amniotic sac, amiright?
Then again, I'm in a mood. A push pictures of waxy-coated babies in your face mood. I had a dentist appointment today and the dental hygienist must have said a dozen times that I have the teeth of a 20 year old. Which fine, great, anks so mash (because she had my tongue wrapped in gauze and an instrument shoved deep into my molars) except that every time she said it she followed with, if I were to just look at your teeth I would think you were 20! To which I said, ...?


Apparently my actual face is a dead giveaway for my age.

Perhaps I should have led this post (and left it) with this. This photo of a book...shelf. 
Next time Bryan goes out of town I am totally going to do this in my hallway. If you don't know why I have to wait for my husband to go out of town it's because I am not "allowed" to hang anything on the walls since the Great Laundry Room Wall Incident of 2004. See also: that's what middle-aged women with young-looking teeth do on wild weekends alone. We get crafty with old books and all broody looking at amniotic sacs that aren't even ours.

Happy Tuesday,

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Warning: This Is Not Even a Humble Brag But a Flat-Out Booyah of a Check Me Out

My heart is like a handful of Oobleck right now.* Tonight Zoey stuck a bunch of sticky notes together and titled it "Room 9's Go Green List"; she plans on giving it to her teacher tomorrow. The list is so pure and right that I think maybe someone should send this to Kim Jong Un c/o Whatever the Fuck is Going On in North Korea Right Now Because Out of the Mouths of Babes And All...
Let me decipher lest you are not fluent in 1st grade spelling:

1. Please pick up as many pieces of trash, it will help the earth and make the world a better place.
2. Please throw it into the trash or recycling.
3. Please donate to homeless as much as you can.
4. Please show kindness, make new friends.
5. If you are having trouble please show courage or stand up for yourself or tell the yard duty.

And with that my heart dripped through my fingers as I clutched at my chest with toomuch, tootoomuch, sweetjesuschristonacracker,thankyou.


*If you are not familiar with Oobleck, pinky swear you will make some this weekend. You won't be sorry.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


I tell myself to listen. To remember. Be present, this is it, be here now, but by accident I think about next week and what we are going to do and I remember how the air used to smell different in the spring when I was little, like rotting plums that had fallen off the tree, and the bees that gathered close to the ground.

I used to try to meditate--I think it was after I saw What's Love Got To Do With It with Angela Bassett as Tina Turner; I liked the intonation of nam-myoho-renge-kyo. And her arms. Picture a leaf floating on the surface of the water, somebody told me, only the leaf skittered and I thought of Skittles, Skipperdee, the turtle who eats raisins in Eloise at The Plaza and--leaf! Think leaf. Just leaf. Only for me ceci n'est pas ever just une leaf, so I gave up on picturing a leaf on the surface of the water.

Today on the bus ride home I was thinking about how the only time I am really truly in the moment is when I am angry. Pissed off and fuck that is when everything disappears. Needless to say this was not a welcome revelation.

I tell myself to think about what I would want if it were me in the hospital and what I would want is for my children to cuddle with me, so I climb beside my mom on the narrow bed and lay my head on her thin chest and marvel at how life really does shrink or expand in proportion to one's courage; I had not cuddled with my mom in years. I tell myself to listen.