Thursday, April 24, 2014


Dear Zoey,

One day someone is going to fall in love with the freckle on your bottom lip. If he is a poet, he will probably write odes to that freckle; if he is a shoe salesmen he may still. Or she, whatever, the point being there is a freckle on your lower lip that reminds me of hearing my favorite song on the radio while I'm driving with the windows open on a day that smells like sweet grass. Please don't grow up and wear too much lipstick.
Last photo of 7.
Sometimes now when I kiss you goodnight you don't stop talking and I end up kissing your teeth. Something something about Minecraft and the story of how the annoying boy chased you at recess. It all runs together, from the description of your drawing to what happened in the Judy Moody book to where does maple syrup come from and why are you only turning 8 when you were born in 2006 and that was 9 years ago?

I don't know.
First photo of 8.
I don't know how you got to be this person who talks to me about kindness and tide pools. How you are turning 8 when you were born just a second ago and yet have always been a part of me? You used to wear the teeniest little socks printed like Mary Janes and now we wear each other's socks, yours on legs now thin and coltish. When we walk to school you squeeze my hand and I squeeze back in a secret code that I will never, ever tell, but what I will tell is this: sometimes I love you so fiercely it's hard to breathe.
Those are my socks.
It's all so hackneyed, the time and the goes and the fast, even this letter, and so I focus on what is distinctively, perfectly, only you: the freckle on your bottom lip. How your eyelashes look like starfish when you swim. How I stand in the hallway sometimes when you don't know I'm there just to listen to you sing to yourself. How no matter what you are singing it is the most beautiful, purest, truest thing I have ever heard, and how I am the luckiest person in the whole wide world to be your mom.

I love you, I love you, I love you.
Happy birthday, sweet girl.

Your mommy

5 (too pregnant with Ozzy to write 5)
1 (pre-blog)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

We've Got 3 Weeks

I'm not about to get all coy and crap about Mother's Day being three weeks away because I have had my ass handed to me pretty much every year since I labored for 12 hours, pushed for 3 more (all without an epidural), then had to have an emergency c-section and gave birth to Zoey. That is, every mother's day I give little hints and big, I flat-out say what I want and am left feeling sorry for myself. Total martyr mother, which does not a happy day make. Which is why this year I am going to plan the day myself and buy my own mother's day gift. Here are a few of the things I am oogling:

Click here to check out this personalized Intersection of Love canvas. For one, I love the colors. Two, I like the idea of my kids growing up seeing my maiden name on a daily basis. (Three, I realize this coupled with the first paragraph makes me sound like a bit of a narcissist.)

I also really need one of these to go next to my kitchen sink. Maybe I will also have to buy myself a bauble to adorn it?

Speaking of kitchen sink (or everything but), here is the most un-me thing that I really want/need/have to have: this Micro-Green Kit.
For the past year I've had the saddest potted basil in the window above my sink and just added an equally sad cilantro. I suppose I want to add to my sad garden? The truth is, I have this unflagging faith that if I just grow the right herbs and veggies I will stop eating quesadillas for dinner and my basil will grow robust and I will never have cilantro in my teeth. A girl can dream, right?

So there you have it. A few of the things I am thinking of buying myself. Along with a massage and a facial because, duh. That's the thing with planning and buying your own Mother's Day: you get everything you want (I highly recommend it).

It must be said that this is a paid post sponsored by Uncommon Goods. However, and this is a big however, I do truly want all of these things, and I believe in this company. If you don't know about them, check out their mother's day gifts here and gifts for women here...they are a privately-owned retailer with a mission to provide a platform for artists and designers. Most of what they carry is created in the USA and incorporates recycled or upcycled materials.

But enough about them. If you're a mom, it's time to start planning--and shopping--for your day.


Thursday, April 17, 2014


Last weekend my brother, my dad and I began the arduous task of cleaning out my mom and Allen's house which, if you know anything about either one of them, you know that means wading through wooden buddhas and mannequins, doll heads smiling through clock faces, books, platform pumps stuck onto the legs of one large frog, snake skins, various animal skulls, feathers, artwork, ribbon, miniature boats and an unfathomable amount of very ploufy bedding, all the while listening to the two parrots talk to each other IN MY MOM AND ALLEN'S VOICES.

You try to not let that get to you.
Here we are, not letting it get to us.

It was near the end of the day when we opened a drawer and found a wad of cash. Or wads. Not sure if that can be plural, but trust me when I say it was a lot of money, albeit Turkish money.

Neither my mom nor Allen have ever been to Turkey.

Not knowing much about Turkish currency, we had no idea if we were looking at $5 or $500, so we counted it and looked up a currency converter, first my brother wouldn't tell me what it said. Instead he made me do it on my phone to make sure he wasn't messing it up somehow. So I did and then we did it again and double checked on Google Images that we were looking at the right bill, and then we looked it up on a few different currency converters but we kept getting the same thing. 530,000 Turkish Lira = $251,000 USD. We found $251,000 in my mom's house in Turkish Lira. Lirasi? I don't know.

The next hour was like a montage in a Quentin Tarantino movie, my brother, my dad and I sitting on the floor surrounded by cash, whispering, greedy, incredulous. Because seriously? That would be so my mom and Allen. To leave us mystery money in another currency left in a drawer that reeked of pot. Where did it come from? Why? But more importantly, how could we exchange it without attracting too much attention?

My brother was flying back home that night so he took one 10,000 bill with him (=$4750 USD) to see if he could exchange it at the airport. He was nervous because, well--Midnight Express (even though he was just flying back to LA). I sent him a text that read: Biiiiilly.

Long story not very short, they told my brother he had to exchange it at a bank, so the next day I took a 10,000 bill to the big Wells Fargo in the San Francisco financial district. I should add that I was nervous, too, because as soon as I opened the big heavy door I tripped over nothing and did a complete yard sale on the hard marble floor. I make a terrible money launderer/smuggler/door walker-througher.

The teller took the money into the back (again, Biiiilly, plus I was already sweaty from tripping in front of everyone) and finally came back with it to tell me that Turkey had reissued their currency in 2009, that the bank note I had was no longer in circulation and thus worthless here, but could be redeemed at the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey. In Turkey.

To which I called my brother and my dad to say I hear Istanbul is beautiful this time of year.

Here's the thing: this has a 99.9% probability of being stupid. The same 10,000 note that we have (a lot of) sells on ebay for $8, not $4750. But the truth is, I love my mom with everything I am and I love Allen, too, but they couldn't have left us with a bigger mess if they had tried. I joke that trying to settle the estate is like trying to clean up diarrhea with a q-tip.

So I have emailed the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey--so far no response--and if they don't get back to me I will talk to the Turkish embassy. Maybe it's worth nothing--it's very much most likely probably worth nothing--but it's giving me something else to think about, and I can almost hear my mom and Allen laughing with us (or quite possibly at us) as we joke about a family Christmas in a Turkish bath house.
In┼čallah. Coincidentally, that is the only word I know in Turkish. It means, "God willing."

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I'm Ok

When we last left off I was feeling rather sorry for myself, so I thought I'd take a quick moment to update you on what I've been doing to make myself feel better.

First off, there's this: my new spirit animal.
This is V.C. Andrews, and if you don't know who that is then you can't sit at this table. And yes, I'm mixing Mean Girls metaphors with Flowers in the Attic, so? So.

So. Me and a few of my favorite people at work have started The No Shame Book Club, and right now we are doing a close reading of the tome Petals on the Wind (in preparation for the Lifetime Original Film of the self-same name debuting at the end of May). This is in stark contrast to my other Legit Book Club Made Up Of Moms From Zoey's School in which we are now reading the biography of the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, and when I say "we" are reading it I mean "I" am totally not reading it and will probably just go to the next meeting for the fine selection of cheese and gossip. But back to Petals on the Wind.

Of course I read all of these books when I was in the 7th grade (My Sweet Audrina being my fave), but it's different to read as an adult slash as someone who has actually french kissed a boy. Here is but a sampling: "How beautiful your breasts are," he said with a low sigh, leaning to nuzzle them. "I remember when you began to grow. You were so shy about them, always wanting to wear loose sweaters so I couldn't see. Why were you ashamed?" BECAUSE YOU'RE HER BROTHER, YOU SICK FUCK. p.s. Happy National Siblings Day, Christopher.

So there's that. V.C. Andrews has been making me feel better, as in I am not locked up in an attic and my head is not too large for my body, nor am I in the 7th grade anymore, thank god. So there is that.

Then there is Nurse Jackie. Please tell me someone watches Nurse Jackie. BECAUSE IT IS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN ON TV, the end. (Yes, even better than Breaking Bad because I actually really care about the characters.) Bryan and I have been binging together every night, only I have the sinking suspicion that I am more into it than he is, kind of like a bad relationship when one person is more into it than the other. Just recently we had to break up our Game of Thrones relationship because I couldn't bring myself to care about the dragons anymore. So now he just watches that alone while I read V.C. Andrews, i.e. we are so hot right now.

Also? Cadbury Mini Eggs are keeping me together. And red bell peppers (I eat them like an apple). Melatonin, yum. I am loving these cheap camo pants paired with Converse and have been listening to a lot of The Beatles and Led Zeppelin on Pandora. I think I have finally learned how to style my bangs.

I am ok, everyone. Things still suck, but I am ok.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I Feel Sorry For Myself (And I'm Not Sorry)

The funny thing about grief, I am finding, is that it's embarrassing. Like no, no, everything's fine, stop looking at me like that, ha ha! Make a joke someone please, how do we extract ourselves from this conversation kind of embarrassing. Like maybe I smell, I don't know. Because do I? Smell? Can you smell it emanating from your screen? The smell of bad things happening to someone and you kind of want to turn away? Don't worry, I get it.

It stinks.

Chachi is dying. 
My mom died in September, then we had to put my cat to sleep on the day of my mom's memorial, then we got a new kitten, because rebirth! And then my step-dad died last week and yesterday we found out Chachi, our new kitten, has a rare, incurable and fatal disease called Feline Infection Peritonitis and will die in a matter of weeks, months if we are lucky.

We are not lucky.

There is a zen saying or a Yiddish proverb, or maybe my dad just said it to me once: if we all put our problems in a huge pile and saw everyone else's that we would grab our own problems back. Or maybe it's if we all put our trousers in a pile and saw everyone else's that we would grab our own pants back. 

See how I make jokes when it's really not funny at all? The point being that I know I actually am lucky. I like my pants and I know that my problems could be way, way worse. But goddamn if things don't suck ass right now. I mean--a kitten? A fucking kitten dying??? It's like some off internet joke that's forever too soon...every time you (fill in the blank) a kitten dies. Only the blank this time is me not believing that there will ever be a time again in which I am not wading in embarrassing, clumsy grief.
Fuck this.