Monday, October 10, 2005


I have been following the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes, excuse me, I mean Kate, affair out of the corner of my eye. I have friends who are involved with the Church of Scientology and in fact, went to the wedding of two Scientologists just last year. It was beautiful and everyone was very nice. The ceremony was no different than many weddings that I attend. So they ask people who come to witness the ceremony to give their support. I liked that. I've seen it at other weddings it's not just a Scientology thing.

In fact, there's not a lot in the teachings of Scientology that veer off that far from my own spiritual practice. They believe that you create your reality and that you have the power to manifest great success in your life. There's not a lot of going on about God although they talk about L. Ron like my born again friends talk about Jesus. I know that much has been made about Xenu and science fiction but I think that's just one more source of income - pushing the boss's books. We don't talk about the Thetan stuff because it gives me the giggles, but it's not so far out there from some of the stuff that the Catholics believe.

Where I find myself uncomfortable with Scientology and where I beg to differ with my friends who are members of the church is their take on Homosexuality, they believe that you can be cured of it, and in this Scientology joins the rank of file homophobia of most organized religions. And then there's their take on psychiatry and drugs. While I do agree that drugs are over prescribed and that diagnoses like ADD are tossed around like confetti, I don't agree with the complete dismissal of the field as quackery. I have too many friends and family members who have benefitted from the short term, or in some cases daily, doses of medication to right their emotional ships.

These are people who thought very seriously about killing themselves because they were clinically depressed. They are people who are manic depressive and fight a daily battle with their brain chemistry. To say that the drugs that they take have no value and that they would be fine with vitamins is arrogant in the extreme.

Arrogant was the word Tom Cruise used to describe Matt Lauer's questions about Tom's statement regarding Brook Shields and her post partum depression. I still can't get over that interview, to me that was way more crazy and concerning than the couch dance on Oprah. There he just looked like an ass. But to make the statements that he did about post partum depression being bullshit just pissed me off.

When I heard that "Kate" was with child instead of wondering if perhaps Scientology has indeed cured him of his rumored homosexuality, a rumor his two previous marriages failed to put to rest; my inner bitch, who is not a nice person, really hoped that Kate will end up with post partum depression. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the vitamin treatment works out for her.

Karma can be a bitch too.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Last night I met Teefah and three Little Goddesses for dinner at Maggiano’s. The Little Goddesses had just completed the Her Voice program to prevent teen pregnancy and this was the first time I was able to spend some one on one time with the girls. I sit on the board and I have spent time with girls at fundraising events, but Teefah invited me to come along last night so I could get to know some of them better.

I wasn’t sure what to expect. Most of these girls live in group homes and have been in the foster care system. Most of them are black or hispanic. Many of them are angry and kind of scary the way that angry women can be. I was absolutely delighted to meet three girls, all very different, but all very charming and funny and excited about life despite the challenges they’ve had to endure.

They wanted to know about me; like did I know what I wanted to be when I was there age. I had no idea and there are days when I feel like I’m still clueless. I know what I love to do – write and work with people – but as far as how that works into career? I’m still trying to figure it out. I was so curious to know about them but didn’t want to hear stories about abuse and horrific childhood trauma because I didn’t want to define them that way.

I was circumspect in asking questions. I wanted to stay in the present moment so I asked if they knew what they wanted to be. They all nodded emphatically. Ms. J wants to be a chef, Ms. C. wants to be a CSI lab tech. Well, she really wants to be a cop, but she’s been told that it’s too dangerous. Ms. P wants to be a lawyer despite the fact that she’s only been in this country for three years and is still learning to speak English. She understand and reads more easily than the speaks and writes and she’s only 16 so I’m sure by the time she’s ready to go to college she’ll do just fine. In fact, I’m sure that she will be able to do anything she wants to do because she left her home in Central America at the age of 13 and, traveling alone, without her family, got herself into this country.

I could barely get myself to beach on the bus when I was thirteen and thought my mother was horrible for not driving me. And I showed her by hitchhiking which is another story, but an experience that makes me fairly certain that I wouldn’t have been able to get myself across a whole country.

The stories of their lives came out, but mostly in context with their dreams for the future. Both Ms. J and Ms. C lost their mothers to illness when they were around 10 years old. Both of them have had people die right at their feet. They go to the same school and have friends who “bang,” though they don’t date boys who do. We had quite a discussion about how fine thugs are and we all agreed that 50 Cent has a rockin’ body but his face isn’t as cute as Nelly’s.

Ms. P goes to a rival high school though they all live in the same group home. We had quite the discussion about boys and babies. They wanted to know why I didn’t want to have children. I told them I’d rather adopt a child that’s already here, preferably one with verbal skills. They kept pressing and it made me think until finally I was able to articulate that while I really wanted children when I was younger I was never with a man that I thought would be a good father and that I think one of the first things you do to be a good mother is pick a man who will be a good dad. For most of my life my picker has been broken when it comes to men. I talked to them about what makes a man a good man, a definition that has evolved and changed for me over the years.

What I told them, I wish someone had told me when I was there age, that it’s important to know what makes you happy and to find a man who wants to know and will do whatever he can to make you happy. If a woman is happy in her life then she will put her energy into making those around her happy, her man, her family, but if she’s busy trying to make them happy without taking care of herself it’s not going to work because she’s going to get pissed off.

And a pissed off woman is scary.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


I don't think I've ever gone this long without writing. It feels horrible. But at the same time you've got to go out and do stuff to write about you know? I was thinking about that in the shower just now. That's the kind of day I've had. I just now took my morning shower. And I'm just now writing here, something that I set an intention to do this morning. Hey, at least I'm not going to bed without doing it. Anyway, in the shower I was thinking about writing because if I'm not writing I'm thinking about how I should be writing. I was thinking about how writing is this solitary thing that you do alone in a room...well, I do it alone in a room, and how if you spend too much time alone in that room you have nothing to write about except stuff you've already done. Lots of the time I can't remember if I've already written here about stuff I've done. I have a fear of becoming one of those people who tell the same stories over and over again because they don't have any new stories.

So I've been collecting some new stories.

But I'm tired and ready to go to sleep so I'm going to share something I got from a friend the other night.

Okay I've written some sample profiles for myself and I need your opinion.

Shy gal who likes dominoes, philately, and role-play games looking for handsome blue collar worker. I have quite a bit of house cleaning that I'll need done and I hope you are not put off by the outfits I'll require you to wear as you clean. I don't like dirt. If you don't clean well you will have to do it again and you'll be spanked the entire time. In addition to my OCD, I have several phobias that some find disturbing. Lastly, I'm totally shaved.

Hey Mother Fucker! Are you unemployed, in debt, excessively hairy, covered in flop sweat, prone to sudden violent outburst, partially or completely toothless, unwashed, unimpressive, in favor of polygamy, talented in nothing, interested in even less, and in possession of a wide array of poorly concieved sex toys?
Well I like blindfolds, orange juice and have a nasty disposition! I'm missing most of my left leg, have incurable gas and frequent seizures. Come fill my world with your love! Make me all tingly as we commit minor crimes.
(No Mexicans Please)

Hi! I'm Cookie and I have 11 cats! I only sleep with one cat though! He's my poopy shmoopy cuddly pork chop pie! Yes he is! Yes he is! I collect stickers and I like Snoopy! I have 57 Hello Kitty items! I just got the Hello Kitty Toaster! I've never been on a real date cause mom says 12 is too young! Do you mind braces?! (On my teeth and my back!) I have scoliosis!

Oh God. I'd give anything to find someone. Anyone. I don't care what you look like. I'm not much to look at myself. I've been working at Starbucks for some time and have become rather depressed. The pills help. Look even if you just came over to help me move some boxes because I think my ferret is trapped. Plus my back really itches. You know how that is. I wear a lot of black clothing because I'm a huge Nihilist. God is Dead. Isn't that cool? I have piercings and tats. One of my piercings might be infected though. I need a guy who is into body art, Red Bull and Social Distortion. I also like to watch Desperate Housewives. TV rocks.

I think a girl would do really well with #1. The last sentence alone should get her lots of attention.

What the hell is philately?

Thursday, September 01, 2005


Today I went here and gave a little bit to help out those people affected by Hurricane Katrina. I am struck, in those brief moments when I look at news coverage, by the fact that most of the people are people of color. When I first heard that the hurricane was making toward New Orleans on Sunday night I thought about visiting there and how I was struck by the disparity between the wealthy and the poor in the south and how it still seems to divide along the color line.

I haven't been looking much at coverage except for the two times A. and I went to Rick's house for dinner on Sunday and Tuesday and the new girl that he is dating insisted that we watch the coverage. While eating. I thought she said she was from New Mexico, but apparently she is from New Orleans. I don't know I'm kind of confused, she mentioned an elementary school that she went to in NOLA, but anyway it's kind of like meeting someone who is from New York for the first time, right after 9/11.

After 9/11 I watched news coverage and sat and cried and felt helpless and horrified. That's pretty much how I felt during those hours at those two dinner "parties" when I was sitting in a room with the urgent voices of the newscasters reiterating over and over again how horrible things are. So I have opted out of the obssessive news watching after tragic events for the last 4 years. It takes me to a place mentally and physically that renders me ineffective and quite frankly, I am a bummer to be around because, well, I am so bummed out by those pictures and the stories.

Instead I do a little research and find the best place to donate some money to, in the hopes that it will be put to work to alleviate some of the suffering. I make an effort to quiet my mind and hold a place for a positive vision of the future and peace and protection for all those who are suffering in the present. There are more than enough people out there speaking urgently and in dour tones about the reality of how horrible the situation is, so I'm not needed in those ranks.

If you can turn off your TV and give a little bit, to help the living keep on going, and get to a better day.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Yesterday I helped Giacomo come into the world. He was due a couple weeks from now, but they induced his mama at midnight on Sunday because he was pretty big already. I got home yesterday morning about 8:15 and called the hospital.
“I just called you,” she said. “My water broke about 20 minutes ago and the doctor came in right after that. I’m dilated to a two. And Joe isn’t feeling well, his head hurts and he’s laying down.”

I told her I was on my way and got down to St. John’s in about 25 minutes. She had just asked for her epidural and Joe was not just sleeping he was pretty much unconscious and burning up. I sat with her while she labored through the contractions which were regular, but not too big. I reminded her to breathe, but not too fast, in through the nose and out through the mouth. I thought to myself how annoying it must be to be in that kind of pain and have someone tell you what to do.

The anasthesiologist arrived. In my head Heart was singing "Magic Man." His name was Roger and he was a very tall asian doctor who looked like he was about, oh, maybe twenty years old. He put the epidural in and hung the bag. They do them on drip now and why anyone wouldn’t want something to take the edge off, I have no idea. In the middle of that procedure Joe’s parents and his sister and Ocelli arrived. They set up a waiting area in the hall which was not okay with the chirpy nurse who came in to tell us to do something about them.

St. John’s is an awesome place to have a baby. They have big, clean rooms with huge flat screen TVs. But I don’t like the nurses. They are not very nurturing. Not at all. Too many details to go into around that so I’ll just leave it there. Except to say that if you’re a nurse and you find yourself behaving passive aggressively with your patients, e.g. saying things like “That baby’s not very happy in there,” and then enigmatically leaving the room, well, maybe it’s time to find another line of work.

Anyway, once Joe’s parents got there and I got the nurse to take his temperature (which I bet they bill for) it was determined that they should take him home because it’s not cool to be in the room with your 102+ temperature and whatever virus is making you so hot when your baby is being born. I think this is why the nurse got passive aggressive because it was an incredibly stupid thing to do, but still, don’t freak mama out! She’s going to have to push a giant baby out of her vagina and her husband isn’t going to be there with her.

No. It was me and Aunt Mia and Ocelli who is four and promised to be very good and sit in a chair against the wall where she couldn’t see all the action. So after the room cleared we all sat around talking and put on some cartoons for Ocelli and settled in to wait. Thought it would be a long time. But mama was feeling some discomfort because of epidural light and thank God she got that because her contractions were coming almost on top of each other and they were HUGE! I was watching the tape and watching her and although she could feel them she was able to breathe through them. When she started shaking about 10:30 we thought it might be a reaction to the drug, but then it got more and more violent and the only other time I’d seen her shake like that was when she was ready to deliver Ocelli.

I went out to the nurse station where all eight of those ladies were sitting around having coffee talk and said, “Excuse me, she’s shaking like a junkie that needs a fix. Do you think this could be due to the epidural? Or is it possible she’s ready to go?” They all looked at each other like I was the biggest pain in the ass and allowed that it might be poassible that she was “complete,” and I stood there looking at them like, so is anyone going to come check? But no one moved so I went back to the room. A while later the nurse came in and checked her and said she was ready to start pushing.

Oh golly, that was fast and there were just two of us to do the helping and the filming. Luckily, one of Ocelli’s babysitters volunteers at the hospital so she was able to come and sit with her because we couldn’t leave her unattended, even with the mindsucking cartoons on TV because she could still hear her mama making the distressing sounds that women are wont to make when they’re pushing out a baby.
While Mia filmed, me and nurse Ratchett pushed mama’s legs up to her chest and as I counted to ten she pushed as hard as she could. Because her epidural was so light she could really feel to push so that baby came moving down pretty fast. Although if I had a 9lb. 1oz. baby coming out of me I would push pretty damn hard too. She had to stop so the doctor who arrived to catch could put on his gear. He's a funny guy who says things like, "Now we're cooking with gas." And "Wow, this kid's a linebacker!"

He is huge! And adorable! He has lots of curly dark hair that the nursery nurse parted down the side and combed over very debonairly. With his little sideburns and his big cheeks he looked a little like a very young Marlon Brando in the Godfather. I went with him to the nursery because after all that work his mama wanted to make sure that he didn’t get switched or stolen so I promised I would never take my eyes off of him

As I watched them do all the things that they do to babies I wondered what it must feel like. You’re in your own world and the next thing you know you’re laying naked on a table with a bright, warm, light shining down on you and people are looming over you poking you with needles and sticking a thermometer up your butt and you can’t really move… And I thought this is actually a lot like the stories people tell about alien abduction – being naked and unable to move on a metal table and getting the anal probe. What if those stories are only people’s latent birth memories?

As I stood there pondering this, a new father whose wife had just had a baby girl came in with her, and looking a tad shell shocked he said, “There’s a lot they don’t tell you about the whole thing.” I looked at him. “You know in Lamaze class, they don’t tell you everything, you know?” He looked a little green. Happy, but a little green. “You mean about all the blood and goosh?” I asked. “Yeah. Man, they don’t tell you about that.”

And he’s right. There’s no way you can know what it’s like unless you’re there to see it. Not even the movie they showed in 7th grade health class which featured an episiotomy, an image I will have seared on my retina forever, showed exactly how much um, stuff, is involved. It is nothing like birth in the movies or on TV. It is incredible. What it takes to get here into this world down that birth canal is messy, and primal and bloody. And powerful. That’s probably the best word to describe it because once the head and shoulders come out the rest is just a whoosh and then there’s crying and laughing and awe. And a lot of goop.

As soon as Giacomo came out I picked up Ocelli who was standing to the side but edging to the nether regions to get a better look and lifted her up to see her brother and to see that her mama was okay. The doctor was great because he explained everything he was doing, cutting the cord, delivering the afterbirth – or baby’s apartment – and then sewing mama up because that baby's huge head made her tear a little. And thankfully explanation was enough and she didn’t want visuals to go along with it.

Aunt Mia got the whole thing on tape to show daddy and it all took less than 10 minutes. But just like when Ocelli was born and I saw her huge head and the miracle of her birth I think that adoption is an excellent choice for me. It’s a miracle that women can grow babies and give birth, but if my vagina has a vote, it votes no on the whole pushing out of the watermelon sized object.

Birth is a miracle, but there is a lot they don't tell you.

Thursday, August 11, 2005


Since I've been laid off I've been focusing on the writing, as much as I can focus on any one thing. Today the words are coming easy, but I can't sit still for more than a half hour at a time. Luckily for me my house is a mess from 2 and a half weeks of being sick and spending an inordinate amount of time at A's house. So when I get that antsy feeling I just get up and go dust, or clean the microwave, or do a load of laundry. By the end of today I should have the broad strokes of my treatment finished AND a sparkling clean house.

On another note - the crazy lady who lives upstairs hacked all my scented geranium, hydrangea and lavender into bits. She wore gardening gloves while she did it. I sat and watched her out the window. I was afraid to go out and stop her because she was wielding large, sharp shears and I'm scared of her. So consequently all that's left out there is the dead undergrowth. Ran into her ex-boyfriend at Trader Joe's not long after, you know, the guy that moved out and left us here with a psychotic drug addict? He asked how things were going and I told him about the hedge hacking incident. He acted surprised and said he'd discuss it with her. I told him not to bother. He's been "discussing" things with her for a long time and nothing changes. I took pictures of the carnage and will show them to the landlord as he is basically waiting for just one more occasion of aberrant behavior as grounds to evict them both. He said, "Oh, okay then."

On a more positive note I have succeeded in growing corn! The green beans, tomatoes and strawberries are easy, but getting corn to pollenate? No so much. But a few days ago I saw actual ears with silk sprouting from my corn stalks. I am so excited. I wonder if I lived on a farm would I run out to the fields everyday and check to see how things are progressing like I do with my 6'x6' plot of dirt behind the building? Yeah, most likely I would. But I would probaby wear overalls instead of my pajamas.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005


Yesterday A. and I walked down the street to get some lunch. We walked into a little bakery and he made a bee line to this guy that was sitting there eating and reading the paper. A stunningly good looking guy with dark hair and piercing blue eyes, who apparently works there because A. was giving him shit about who was going to wait on us. He tells me that this guy is great. He’s had a baby and just got married and he’s an actor.

Well, of course he is because he is one of those surreally good looking men that seems to drop from the trees in this town.

So I jump in and tell him that his agent should be getting him out there since all the new shows are in production. He should be guest starring in something! As I’m talking he’s really focusing on me, and when I’m done he gives me this long look and says my name.

Like he knows me.

I am completely discomfitted because, as I stand there frantically grasping, I have no recollection of doing anything to deserve that look from this guy.

At least not lately.

Then he smiles and as he’s saying his name I know exactly who he is and he jumps up and we hug and kiss and…

OH MY GOD! It’s Ryan!!!

And this is a totally great story.

A long, long time ago my friend Jeri and I went to Las Vegas and this is one of those times when what happened in Vegas didn’t stay in Vegas. It was Saturday night, our last night before we made the long drive home on Sunday and we were bouncing through the casino at the Tropicana about 3 am. Quite buzzed but on the way down, not the way up. We always stayed at the Trop because we liked going “old school” and we could get poolside rooms for cheap. I have always felt incredibly weird riding on elevators in my bathing suit – it’s just wrong.

So we’ve had our poolside room all weekend and we’ve been partying non-stop and we were ready to go to sleep. The night before had been a very late night and involved broken bathroom fixtures and the query, “so do you hunt?” Being that we were still a little buzzed and basically didn’t give a shit about what people thought, we were tangoing together through the casino. She’s blond and six feet tall and I was, at the time, a red head and 5’9” – and we were wearing high heels and very short dresses.

Which is probably why two young men peeled off from the the pack they were with to chase us down the hall. Make that halls because we were moving pretty fast. When they finally caught up with us as we were making our way toward our room turning over the signs that people leave on their doors from “do not disturb” to “maid service please.” I know it sounds like we were in high school, but we weren’t. We were closer to Sex in the City, which is why when these boys caught up to us to exhort us to go gambling with them and be their “lucky ladies,” we actually chatted them up. Because they were both very cute. The tall, dark haired one with the piercing blue eyes and the earnest look on his face as he held my hand and implored me to go with him was Ryan. His friend with the golden skin, blonde hair and green eyes was Shane. Just by the names alone it was clear that they had not been born until sometime in the mid to late 70s. But still, they were very cute and very sweet and they claimed to be 21 when I suggested that they were still in high school.

So, we didn’t end up going gambling with them and it got all Penthouse Forum like after that and those details will remain between the four of us and you can pretty much make up anything you like to fill in the blank, because it won’t be anywhere near as fun or funny as it actually was. In any case the next morning I opened my eyes when I heard Ryan say, “Dude, I could really go for some Lucky Charms.” I didn’t know if he was talking to me, and it turns out he was talking to Shane who replied, “I know dude, totally.” And then Jeri and I started to laugh hysterically and we all went out to breakfast where I learned that Ryan is allergic to milk and so traveled with his own stash of whatever people used before rice milk in a box.

Our friendship continued even after we returned from Vegas. I still have the sun/moon mirror he gave me for my birthday hanging in an alcove in my house. I was the second woman he ever had sex with and his sweetness was the real deal. We continued our affair for a little while longer, but it evolved into more of a lovely friendship, because it turned out that they did lie to us about their age. And no matter how sweet and handsome a man is, I ultimately need someone with wisdom and experience to keep me interested.

Ryan moved to the L.A. area to be a model-slash-actor and took up with a woman older than I was for a while and then moved on to the woman whom he just married. She’s only ten years older than him, but still it’s clear that this is one sweet and sexy man who appreciates experience and wisdom himself. He is completely in love with his daughter and likes working at the bakery so he can go home and spend most of his time with his family.

We lost touch and I was so happy to see him again and to know that he is the same lovely person that I met all those years ago. After we ordered lunch A. left me to my walk down memory lane and was sitting outside reading the paper at our table when I joined him. He loved the story and it brought back all of his fond memories of the older women in his life. At the end of the day I think that every young man and every older woman should make some lovely memories together. Because all these years later it still made us smile big shit eating grins.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

When A. was gone in Serbia we stayed in touch by e-mail, but one I got an e-mail from him telling me to call anytime I felt like it. He had an international cell phone that he'd purchased so he could stay in touch with the office. I was feeling blue about pending unemployment and so I called just to say a quick hello. I must have caught him in a moment of chattiness, or maybe he was just missing me, but after about 5 minutes I said I needed to hang up because, you know I was about to be unemployed and now needed to think about things like long distance charges.

He said, "Don't worry baby, I'll pay for the call. I miss you I. I want to be there for you, let's talk." I'm thinking it can't cost more than a dollar a minute which is the rate that I pay to call London. This is how I rationalized picking up the phone in the first place. Five minutes = five dollars. I can swing that right? However, times have changed in the world of telephone communication. Apparently now you have to pay the long distance carrier in EACH COUNTRY, unless you have an international plan that covers the world.

So yesterday when I got my bill and opened it all the blood drained from my head when I saw that this one forty minute phone call cost $188. 94! Because not only did I get charged the $4.40 a minute tariff rate that currently applies in Serbia Montenegro, there was also an additional charge per minute because I was calling his cell phone! And then there are taxes and surcharges and regulatory fees up the ying yang based on the total call charge of $143.60.

So much for spontaneity. I will never place another international call without first finding out what that country charges. I guess it makes sense that it would be expensive over there considering that their infrastructure had to have been somewhat affected by war.

I feel vaguely guilty, like I should take responsibility for this because I'm like that, but I know that he won't let me pay for it. He will however kvetch and oy and I just hope that he remembers that the last thing he said to me before we hung up on that call was, "I love you."

Thursday, July 21, 2005


Last week I went down to Long Beach to babysit for Ryan (2.11) and Mia (6.8) while their parents went down to San Diego for Matt’s gig at the new House of Blues. I’ve known these kids since they came into the world and it’s always a pleasure to spend time with them. After 24 hours of babysitting I am always in awe of my friends who stay home and raise their children. It’s exhausting. Leisa says that you get to ease into it because you start out with a newborn, but still, I say it’s harder than any job I’ve ever done.

We went to a playdate at Meg’s house because her kids are about the same age. And they have a slip and slide. And a new kitten named Sunny. And Meg had a nice chilled bottle of white wine. Sitting in the backyard of Meg’s house watching the kids play in the sun reminded me of lazy summer days when I was a little girl. Our slip and slide didn’t have a “splash zone” at the end of it so we would often slide right off the end of it and hurtle into the cement wall my dad built to create planter boxes. Between the 70s version of the slip and slide and Mr. Wiggle, the toy that also attached to the hose and then proceeded to chase you around the backyard squirting you and trying to strangle you our summers in the backyard were a bit edgier.

After slipping and sliding the afternoon away we left to go back home about 5pm. In the rear view mirror I could see Ryan’s eyes drooping and my stomach clenched with fear that he would fall into a five o’clock nap. So I resorted to one of my dad’s tricks for keeping kids awake. He used to sit at the light and tap the brakes and make the car do the cha-cha. Now this was probably more fun back in the good old days when no one wore seatbelts because every time he’d hit the brakes our little bodies would smack into the car seat in front of us and, gasping with laughter we would be climbing back up onto the seats when he’d do it again. We thought this was hilarious and would chorus from the back seat, “Do it again!” Since both kids were strapped into the backseat of mom’s station wagon only their heads would snap back and forth, but they still giggled and wanted more and from the backseat they chorused, “Auntie Susie, you drive crazy!”

Whatever it takes – just don’t go to sleep.

When we got back to the house, all eyes open, it was decided that we should walk down to Rubio’s for dinner. That sounds so simple doesn’t it? It’s not. “Walking” up to the corner is made much more difficult when Ryan wants to go on his peddle bike with the long handle behind it for pushing and decides that the handles are sticky from the last time he was on it with a sucker and he doesn’t want to touch them. This means he’s not steering so I have to tilt the thing back and push him up the street while hollering at Mia, who is zipping way too far ahead of us on her razer scooter, “Wait! I said wait!” And once we get to Rubios I have to drag the heavy metal scooter in with us because I’ve never gotten over the time that I left my bike outside Hill Drugs and it was stolen. I’m sporting some massive bruises on my ankles from managing the scooter and Ryan at the soft drink bar where you get to make your own concoction of sugar filled beverages. I was adamant about just saying no to Coke as caffeine and sugar and an over tired two year old is just asking for it. After minor drama regarding having lemon in his drink because his sister had lemon in hers and he has to do everything Mia does right now, we got our food and headed home.

By now it’s coming up on 6:30, but to me if feels like 9:30 so I turn on the TV. I think kids watch way too much television these days, but you know what? Sometimes you just need a fucking break and zoning out to mindless adventures of Zack and Cody feels like a freaking vacation. After dinner I started dropping hints to Ryan about how much fun it was going to be to read stories. Unfortunately he was totally on to me and he knows that “stories” means bedtime. By 7:45 he was too wiped out to care and the call of the baba was way too enticing. After reading him about seven books, during which time I kept dimming the lights more and more, to the point where it was so dark I was making stuff up because I couldn’t see, he finally passed out.

At 8:20 I joined Mia downstairs for a scintillating movie called “The Cheetah Girls.” Something in me said, “this is not age appropriate entertainment for an almost 7 year old,” but I was too beat down to argue. The movie did not end until almost 10 pm and then we had to watch the new Hilary Duff video wherein Disney’s darling is all tarted up like a porn star and still this does not distract from the fact that she really can’t sing. Mia LOVES Hilary Duff. This frightens me, but as long as she honored our agreement that she would go to bed right after the video I would happily suffer through it. And she did.

I went up to bed shortly after Mia and it felt like I’d only been asleep for about 10 minutes when I heard Ryan running down the hall for his 4 a.m. baba. I handed it to him and threw the covers back so that he could slide in next to me and he informed me, “No. I sleep on the udder side.” Okay dude, whatever makes you happy. He climed over me, sucked down the baba, puts his little arms around my neck and spent the rest of the night kicking me in the stomach with his feet so that I was sleeping on the 5” closest to the edge of the bed. The dog lay in the corner licking her front paws over and over and over. Unlike the kids she’s got separation anxiety.

I lay there and watched the room grow lighter as dawn turned to day. Mia came in for morning cuddles and then we all got up to prep for the day’s activities. I had to get Mia ready for her ride to camp, which was going to arrive at 8:40 a.m. I made breakfast, got her dressed and put food in her backpack. I got her curly hair combed out all cute and I got her upstairs to brush her teeth. I did all of this while she was glued to the TV set because she hit the “on” button the minute we got downstairs and I hadn’t yet realized that the TV has some kind of mind control over children that’s just plain scary.

Once Mia was off to camp we had one little hiccup wherein Ryan drew all over the TV screen with a green felt pen and tried to wipe it off with the sleeves of his sisters jacket that he was wearing. When he realized that it was only making the mess worse he came and got me where I stood in the kitchen not 5 feet away. The kid is quick. Luckily the felt pen came off with some spray cleaner, but he still had to have a time out to think about how he would never do that again. And so I would have some idea where he was and what he was doing while I finished in the kitchen. Then it was all about getting him dressed and we were off to the grocery store. I was a little scared about taking a toddler into the market because the shelves hold all kinds of temptations, but we did pretty good since we stayed mostly on the produce aisle and I introduced him to smell-o-shopping. All I had to do was point out to him how cilantro smells when you shake it and put your face in it and he was completely engaged. We got out of the market pretty easily all things considered. I did buy him juice boxes with a snowboarder on the front, but that was it. I didn’t have any issues at the check out where they keep all the candy.

After unloading groceries we packed a snack and headed to the park where I wedged my adult sized ass onto jungle gyms and slides that are built for much smaller posteriors. We sat in front of the steering wheel and as Ryan drove I san Fly Me to the Moon, much to the amusement of all the hispanic nannies at the park with their charges. I was exhausted and wearing smashed grapes so I didn’t really care what people thought. Plus, Ryan is a big cuddler and I am putty in his hands.

We weren’t home 10 minutes before Mia returned and the TV was on. I no longer cared that it was sucking out her soul. They were both alive and happy and that was my mission. I made hot dogs for lunch and let her watch “Totally Raven,” which she’s totally not supposed to watch, because you got to pick your battles and I’d only had about 4 hours of sleep so I wasn’t up for the negotiations.

Leisa and Matt got home and they’d had a great time and so had we, and as always I left with a deep appreciation for the job that is mommy. And a new understanding of why my mom took Valium when I was a kid.

Monday, July 18, 2005


I left home last Thursday to go babysit Ryan (2.11) and Mia (6.8), and I didn't get home until this morning at 11am.

Needless to say I wasn't babysitting the whole time.

I went on an adventure and now I've got a sore throat, I'm tired and out of it.

But I had the best time getting there.

More tomorrow.

Or later.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005


So like I was saying, things have a been a little stressful for me lately what with getting laid off and interviewing for lots of jobs that pay very little, and then not getting them. Yesterday I turned a corner though. I had a paradigm shift. I got a shot of courage, or possibly just baptized myself in the river of delusion and denial. See, there's doubt talking.

But really, I decided that perhaps I have been aiming low and playing safe and that is why nothing is happening on the low paying, not challenging because I've been doing this for years job front. Maybe what is next is for me to step into that "someday" scenario and live it like it's today.

Because it is. Today, I mean.

So I'm beating out the next script. Beating is actually a really accurate word because it's often effortful to sit here in front of the computer and write coherently. And, you know, like tell a story. Yesterday I was talking to one of my best friends, who is married to one of the first writers I ever worked for and she told me that he really has to force himself to go sit down and do it. This was news to me because he always made it seem so effortless. I swear the guy writes so prolifically he's like those ballroom dancers who make it look so easy. It wasn't until Dancing with the Stars that you got to see how hard it really is to keep that smile on your face and remember all the steps. So, I was happy to hear that this writing thing is sometimes hard for him too. Not because he's suffering, but because it's apparently normal for this to feel challenging.

Luckily for me I have places I can go when I need a little break. Today Dooce made me laugh out loud. And then there's Gary whose video makes me strangely happy every time I watch it and finally this guy who is pretty much joyful expression personified. I'm pretty much crushing on him.

The point is that no matter how bad, or scared, or depressed I might feel it's nice to know that I can still laugh. If you can laugh out loud, how bad can it be?

Friday, July 08, 2005


The past week has been a rough one in that I had a job interview last Friday and it turned out that I really wanted the job. Like rilly, rilly. Didn’t care how much it paid, I just wanted the opportunity. Sadly, they did’t want me. I figured this out sometime on Wednesday and wrote a thank you note because I’m classy like that and then spent yesterday trying to let it go. You can know that it has nothing to do with you personally, but it’s still disappointing and hard to shake off.

Letting it go was made easier yesterday by waking up to the news that there had been a terrorist attack in London. Talk about a shift in perspective. I was unable to reach Gemma and Tim so I was distracted all day with the vision of them being trapped in a tunnel, or wounded in a hospital. The Brits have been dealing with bombings and terrorism in their city much longer than the Yanks what with the IRA and all, but it’s been a while. I don’t think it’s something that you ever get used to. I think about that everytime I see that another Israeli bus or pizza parlor has been blown up. Even though it seems that it’s become part of your life, is it ever something you get used to? How could you?

I hate fireworks hence, I don’t have big love for the 4th of July. I know it’s all about patriotism and all that, but my body experiences it as huge explosions and it unsettles me. The last time I was actually at a “fireworks show,” e.g. close to the action as opposed to watching from the distance of Dodger stadium, was a couple years ago at my best friend’s lake house. Everytime the things exploded me and the dog cowered and shuddered. Now I just pass. My preferred viewing of fireworks is from the 5 freeway when I drive by Disneyland. It’s just pretty lights – no sound other than whatever is playing on the stereo. We live with the threat of bombs, or terrorist attacks, and a fear that is fanned by the government via the media to keep us maleable. But there are places in the world where they live with the reality of explosions and sniper fire everyday. They can’t opt out like I did on the fireworks show. Yet people get up every day and go to work and spend time with their families despite that reality.

Today I heard from Gemma and was incredibly relieved to know that they are fine. Life goes on. And it puts things into perspective with regard to my personal life. I will find a job and life will go on because it’s what we do. We keep going.

Thursday, June 30, 2005


Today is the last day of employment for me and I have lots to share about my roller coaster ride of emotions. It's amazing how quickly I slide from big-picture to little-picture perspective. Suffice it to say that I have amazing friends in my life who hold the vision of what's true about my life when I am freaking out and fetal in moments of extreme drama.

But I don't have time to share all that today because I have one more scene to write and then it's time to proofread! Even though the deadline for the contest is tomorrow I want to put it in the mail today. I like synchronicity even when it's a little contrived. So ending the job and loosing the script on the world at the same time feels right.

In the meantime, I wanted to share this gem of an essay about the state of things in this country right now.

I couldn't have said it better myself.

I know that I'm going to be okay, but seriously, this country? Led by this administration? Going to hell in a bucket of water that's getting dangerously hot.

Monday, June 27, 2005


I have been working feverishly on the final draft of my script. The deadline for the contest that I'm going to enter it in is this Friday. My last day of work is Thursday. I am looking at the synchonicity of these two events as a good thing. I was talking to A. this morning and he said that I sounded like I wasn't happy. He's in Serbia on vacation, but even on the phone, thousands of miles away, he can still nail me. I told him that I'm freaked out about not having a job at the end of this week. He responded that I need to know that this is a good ending and that no matter what I have him.

Yeah, except he's in Serbia!

I do know that this is timely. I have been sitting and spinning without challenging myself for a long time. One can get real comfortable where I've been. One can get real stagnant too. One can also get a really wide ass from too much sitting. So I am willing to see this ending as a good and timely one.

I'm also willing to see the completion of the script and tossing it out there as the great new beginning. To write for a living is, I think, a conscious choice to follow your passion. The you may have to find other ways to pay your bills while you look for someone who will pay you to write. If I had little bills I would be a lot less freaked out. Every day I feel a little closer to the end of the skinny branches. My ass is bobbing around out there and I need to let go and fly into the great new beginning.

I haven't had any practice in a long time and all I can think about is what if I have forgotten how to fly? What if I hit the ground and end up on the corner with a sign that says, "Will work for food? Anything helps," like the man at Venice and Fairfax that I drive past too many times a week.

On a positive note Pete might finally lose some weight if he's tied to a shopping cart, hauling it down the street. He's a big cat, but 25 pounds is a little too, verging on getting your picture distributed on the internet big. I've been thinking all kinds of catastrophic thoughts and I'm so aware that it's all a distraction from getting on and doing what I need to do.

Why is it that I must be exhausted into surrender? Into doing what I need to do and going with the flow, trusting that if I do the work and keep shuffling my feet, that great new beginning will just show up? It always has before. This isn't the first time I've found myself here.

I'm just scared that I've forgotten how to fly.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

There are women in the suburbs who are far more desperate than the women on the show. Although after hearing the story I heard yesterday I found myself wondering if it was desperation or mental illness or alcoholism, or possibly a combination of all three. My friend A. lives out in the valley where so many Los Angelenos go to settle when they’ve had children. It’s a world of track homes and soccer fields and club league baseball where nine year olds are “recruited” by balding 38 year old men with beer bellies who look like they’re closer to fifty.

Their wives for the most part sport leathery tans and spend most of their time carting the kids from one activity to another in the Escalade, Denali or Navigator. And when they’re not doing that they’re at the gym so that they can stay a size 2 or 4 or 6, though they definitely don’t seem to be maintaining their figures for the fat, bald husband. From the stories I hear they’re having affairs.

So my friend A. has a daughter who is in middle school. She’s that age where you start to develop BFF friendships. Her current BFF is moving to the O.C. at the end of this week. The mother and father of the BFF are a couple that A. has met a few times due to the fact that their daughters socialize, but you wouldn’t say that a real friendship has developed. So A. was surprised to come home from work the other night and get a call from E., the mother, saying that her daughter was distraught about the move and that she was going to miss A.s daughter so much and could they all go to dinner.

E. was sobbing as she made this request.

Being a very empathic and loving person A. said, of course, and she got her girls in the car and headed out to meet E. and her kids. Except on the way E. called to say that her daughter, the “distraught” one didn’t want to go out. She wanted to stay home. A. said, okay, then we can order pizza and I’ll pick up a bottle of wine

When they got to E.s house the distraught daughter didn’t look upset at all, though she was happy to see the kids and they all went and played in the backyard. E. took A. into the bedroom because all of their furniture has been moved except for the beds....

And if you’re sitting there thinking “Oh my gosh this is going to veer into something very Penthouse Forum, then we have the same dirty mind.”

E. proceeds to tell A. that her husband, who was down in the OC at the new house, beats her in front of the children. All the time! And then she told her how unhappily married she is. Um, that’s kind of a given if you’re being beaten, don’t you think? But then she told her about how when she worked at a local restaurant she was screwing all of the busboys and waiters and she thinks that maybe she might have sex addiction issues.

Something that was borne out when the 25 year old pizza delivery guy showed up and she walked him out to his car, telling him that it was really nice and she wanted to see it. And then she tipped him $20 – so I think she wanted to see more than his car. When she came back in she started crying again and asked if she’d told A. about all the affairs that she’s had and how A. is having such a great divorce and she’d like to have that too.

And then she wanted to change clothes because A. looked so "good" and she wanted to look good too. A. had no idea what to say or do. She just wanted to get the hell out of dodge. This is a woman that she literally has only met a few times. They’re not even friends. She couldn’t say, “What’s up? What have you been smoking? Did someone slip some acid in your Vitamin water?”

After dinner A.s daughter said that E.s daughter wanted to come spend the night and A. couldn’t wait to get out of there. She said she wished she could’ve taken the little brother too, but there was no way to get the kid out of the house without it being somewhat strange. As she encouraged the little girl to get her things together, E. wanted to tell A. just one more thing.

Seems that her husband, the one who beats her in front of their children? He thinks that A. is really hot and E.’s exact words were, “I know it would make him really happy to watch you fuck me.” A. pretty much got the kids and ran from the house. I’m like what did you say? She said she pretended she hadn’t heard and that when she called E. the next day to see how she was doing she acted like everything was normal. Said she’d had a really great day and that maybe she had a little too much drink the night before.

You think?

I think she’s a crazy lady. A. spent all the next day reeling from the conversation and the experience. She’s very relieved that E. is moving away. I think that someone who would tell you that their husband beats them and then two hours later sexually proposition you for a three way with the beater has definitely got issues. If you seriously wanted a three-way, telling someone that the guy you want to do that with beats you is not exactly giving him a great reference. If it’s just that she drank too much she must have started really early in the day. I tend to think that she’s a desperate, manipulative woman and I cannot help but feel very sorry for her kids.

And her husband, unless he really beats her, but I kind of think she made that up, along with everything else, except the affairs and the request for the three way.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

On Saturday, my friend Adam was ordained as a priest. He entered the order of the Discalced Carmelite Friars about eight years ago. When I got the invitation to the ordination I was very excited because, not being Catholic, I had never witnessed this ritual. Although I spent most of the day confused, and I have a whole list of questions, I was incredibly moved as I watched him make his vows to God surrounded by his Carmelite community and his friends and family.

I got there late which pretty much blew because that meant I missed sitting with my friends who all went to Catholic school. Instead I slunk in and sat in a folding chair that was set up behind a huge post. This also blew because I brought my camera to take pictures of this big event and from that vantage point I couldn’t see a thing that was happening up on the altar. I couldn’t even see the altar!

I was on Mary’s side though and that was cool. When I go to a Catholic church I like sitting on the left, close to the altar to Mary. Kind of like when I used to go to Grateful Dead shows and I liked sitting on the left, close to Jerry. They are both kind of laid back. The church was absolutely beautiful. The light fixtures featured angels perched with their backs to each other, their angular wings meeting in a circle and the walls of the altar at the front of the church were paneled with a red wood inlaid with brass fleur de lis and reliefs of Jesus and Mary carved into pillars on the side. It was all very Moderne in flavor, e.g. made around 1930. At the reception later I was talking to a woman who told me that, in fact, the church had been built 75 years ago. There is some beautiful work in that church and it has been preserved with much love.

The church was packed with parishoners and nuns. Lots and lots of nuns. And lots of ladies with lace scarves on their heads. The nuns were wearing brown habits with cream colored wimples and further head craning revealed that there were also a bunch on the other side of the church that were dressed in the blue and white habits like Mother Theresa wore. The brothers or friars were all gathered up at the front of the church and they were wearing white robes with hoods. Like friars! I didn’t see Adam. There was a lot of talking/droning by a guy who looked like my favorite martian, and finally Adam was called to the altar and I about died! I haven’t seen him in so long and his head was shaved although I don't think that was a preisty thing, I think it's more about a balding thing.

Another priest who also droned but was wearing red and gold asked if Adam was worthy as he stood in front of a guy in a gold crown. And apparently it was decided that he was because then the guy in the crown started to speak. Once he started speaking I relaxed because he talked in a normal voice and the ritual stopped being all Catholic and scary and started to feel much more focused on the commitment, the step, that Adam was making. He talked to us in English and Spanish and I found myself crushing on him. The smell of incense would get stronger and then dissipate and I was completely captivated by the whole experience.

Then somebody’s cell phone started ringing. And instead of turning it off the dumbass just kept letting it ring. It’s amazing how quickly I can go from feeling the love to feeling the irritation. I really dislike cell phones. Anyway, the guy in the crown – who I found out later is the Bishop – addressed the fact that these days being a priest in the Catholic church has got some inherent challenges because of the rampant pedophelia that’s been allowed to fester and perpetuate. He didn’t use those words exactly, but that’s what he meant and he expressed it pretty clearly.

The Bishop, took off his gold cloth crown to reveal a red yarmulke, and asked Adam a series of questions to which he responded “I Do” and THEN Adam prostrates himself on the floor and everyone sings. He is laying on the floor in front of the altar! At this point I can no longer restrain myself and I run up to the front of the church to take a picture because this is a pretty amazing thing to witness and I wanted to remember. I thought it might make me laugh, but it doesn’t. It moves me to see such utter surrender. I’ve never been moved in the Catholic church, even during a really good homily. But surrounded by all the nuns and priests and brothers who had also made this commitment I was really feeling the gravity of Adam commiting his life to serving God.

Peg was sitting on the aisle up with the family members, in front of the nuns and she grabbed me as I was scuttling back to my seat and told me to come sit with them. So I got to watch the rest of the prostrating from a much better seat. When Adam stood up and knelt to receive the blessing from the Bishop and all the other priests I took some great pictures of the altar. Boy – the Catholics sure do like red and gold and pomp and circumstance. Peggy and I discuss which priests we think are hot. I like the tall Hispanic cantor (they have cantors who sing just like in temple!) in the black robe. Black is just way more attractive than white when you have wear a lot of it.

There is a HUGE statue of St. Therese in a niche above the altar and I totally dig this because she is the focus in this church, which makes sense since the church is named after her. It’s a lot nicer to look at a beneficent looking woman looming large than a bloody Jesus. He’s still there, but rendered in a brass statue that sits below the altar. He’s got a magic compartment under his feet where they will put the leftover sacrament after they give out communion.

So I’m really wanting to know why the Bishop is wearing a yarmulke? And why does he take his various hats off throughout the ceremony? I’m sure there’s an answer. I also want to know why they have cantors, guys who sing prayers in the Catholic church? I always thought that was a Jewish thing. But then I also notice that the huge marble altar is inlaid with a bronze lamb that looks like an ancient rendering. Peg said she thought it represented peace, but sacrificing animals on altars has been part of religious ritual for a really, really long time.

The pagans were into that, and by the way Happy Solstice!

After everyone has laid their hands on his head and blessed him Adam receives his stole and chasuble (vestments). This is called “vesting” and after this he goes and has his hands anointed in oil and wrapped in white cloth. So now he could do all those rituals like last rites and marriage ceremonies – for Catholics.

All the priests are up on the altar and they’re getting ready to serve communion again and there’s a guy swinging that incense holder. There must be a class for that because there’s a definite method he’s got going on. I totally get how people could pass out in church. That smell is intense and we’ve been sitting there for about an hour and a half. The Bishop takes off his yarmulke and everyone lines up for communion. Thank God there are so many priests to serve it because with all those nuns and pious people there’s a big long line.

I’m pretty much bored by now and briefly think about going up there just to give Adam a hug, stretch my legs and get a closer look at the hot priest, but I catch a nun glaring at me. Yes, I was getting chatty, and I was having a hard time sitting still, and I was wearing a black lycra top with spaghetti straps rather than a linen suit, but it was a really hot day and the air was still in there. I was probably the only person who was comfortable. I had also forgotten to put on my underwear because I was running really late, but there’s no way she could’ve known that. It’s also possible that she walks around with that look on her face all the time and has no idea that she appears forbidding and judgmental, but in any case I decided not to get up and go for a walk because nuns still kind of scare me.

Though I have to say that they sing beautifully and they did. After communion everyone stood and sang and all the priests filed off the altar following the Bishop who carries a staff like a shepherd. I asked Peggy why he had that – like do all Bishops have a staff? Is it one of the accoutrements of being a Bishop? She told me it was in case he lost one of his sheep. Then it was over and we got to go have sandwiches with all the priests and brothers and nuns. I was a little overdosed on Catholic ritual by the end of the day, but I was so proud of Adam and now I know a priest! And I bet he can answer all my questions!!

Monday, June 20, 2005

HEY PEG! something is seriously fucked up with blogger and I can't make spaces, so anyway............Today I was going to write about how my friend Adam married God this weekend and became a priest. But I ran out of time to write the story and now my friend Gemma is going to be here any minute with her fiance Tim, whom I’ve never met, but who thinks I’m a little crazy.

And he might be right because this weekend? When my friend Peg was driving off after staying over on Saturday night (she’d flown down to watch Adam marry God)? I walked into the bathroom and noticed that she’d left her cell phone plugged into the charger that was plugged into the wall. More than a few minutes had elapsed since I said, “Bye Peg, have a good time at mass and a safe trip home.” So I grabbed the phone and sprinted out my front door only to see her pull away from the curb and drive much more quickly than I can run toward the corner.

So I ran out into the middle of the street hollering, “Hey Peg! Peggy!” at the top of my lungs, and jumping up and down waving my arms, figuring that she would at least see me in jumping up and down in the middle of the street in her rearview mirror.

And she did.

It didn’t occur to me until I was mid leap and stopping traffic that was coming in the other direction that I was wearing only a large t-shirt.


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Last night I was originally going to see Steel Pulse* at the Roxy with Christina, but then Meg called and said that she had two tickets to see The Roots and Wilco at the Greek. She had bought them when they first went on sale and they were up near the tree line. Then she went on Ebay and got good seats for face value, hence she now had two extra tickets and she was offering them to me! So I called Christina and she was up for making a change in venue. And note to self Ebay is a good place to get concert tickets because the seats she bought there were amazing.

We got to the Greek a little after 7:30 and although they stack parking we scored and the parking dude left our car on the end with easy access to an exit road. The Roots were already jamming when we got to the good seats that Meg was going to sit in for the Wilco part of the show. I love Wilco, but they’re not always consistent, e.g. it might be a angsty evening, and I can sit in the trees and enjoy the show. The Roots on the other hand make me want to stand and wiggle my butt and wave my hands in the air like I just don’t care. So I did. They were jammin’ the Zepplin and it was so tight.

The theater was only about one third full when Meg and Curtis showed up halfway through their set and sat with us. When they announced the show I thought it was a strange combo. Energetically two very different experiences. At the break Meg and Christina and I noticed a guy a couple of rows down. Meg said, “He’s a professional surfer, I think. Not Buzzy Kerbox, but someone from that era.” He was definitely cute and he had that surfer vibe and we wanted to know who he was.

He came and sat in the row in front of us and Meg tapped him on the shoulder and asked if he was from Huntington Beach. He turned and said, “Already with the tapping?” Like people were tapping him all the time or something. She said that we’d seen him when he was a few rows below earlier and he was like, “So you were watching me.” We laughed and said yeah and started playing with him because he seemed a little crazy. You know how those guys who've spent too much time in the sun can be? On closer inspection I started wondering if he really was a surfer because he was so delicate that it looked like a strong wind would blow him off a board. He was also wearing what appeared to be vintage trousers, like something Beck would wear, but they were smudged a la homeless man. He was however sporting a backstage pass. After we freaked him out and he left I realized that he was not a surfer, but rather he was Dermott Mulroney. The actor. Who probably thought we were crazy stalker chicks poking at him and teasing him. Because he knows he’s an actor, but he did not know that we had no idea and thought he was a surfer dude who probably knew Buzzy Kerbox.

Yeah, so that was fun. And then Wilco came on stage and I love Jeff Tweedy. I think he’s an amazing song writer, but this last album he decided to add some disonant guitar at the end of a lot of his songs. This does not work for me. I found it annoying and decided that it would be better to skip the encore and get out of the parking lot while the getting was good. Since the Greek Theater sits in the middle of an affluent neighborhood in Los Feliz the shows end early anyway and my thinking was this…

Get out and get on down the road to the Roxy and catch the end of the Steel Pulse show. And that’s just what we did! Bouncing and sweating to the awesome reggae beats of one of my favorite bands to see in concert was the perfect way to end the night. I even made it home by midnight. I love the fact that I got to jam with the Roots and bob to Wilco and boogie with Steel Pulse because I hate to miss anything.

The whole evening was a perfect Wilco sandwich.
*When I was cleaning out my purse last night I noticed on the ticket stub that I went and saw Steel Pulse. And I actually knew that, but I'm having a hard times with names. Currently when I meet a guy and I can't remember what his name is I just call him Dave knowing/hoping that he'll correct me and the humiliation will help me remember. I may have made up the name Burning Spear, although I do believe I've seen them too at some point in my addled past.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Allison’s marriage to Joe was celebrated at the farm in Connecticut with a good and lovely time. After years of talking on the phone and e-mailing I flew to New York to meet her for the first time and it was like meeting a long lost family member. This weekend just confirmed that she is indeed my sister from another mother and I feel so blessed to have been there as she took this step.

Because getting married is a big deal!

There’s so much to tell about the whole experience, from landing in Boston, to arriving home again, that I’m going to do an outline while I still have pretty fresh memories to tap into and then I can always and come back and flesh out the best bits.

I got to Boston on Thursday night and was met by Aaron, who I knew immediately, although we’ve never met. He taught me the html to link when I started writing here, but anyway, I just saw him as I came down the hallway and thought, “Oh there he is!”

We went to dinner at the most amazing tapas restaurant I’ve ever been to, and I could seriously write a whole entry about that meal, and I most likely will so I need to mention that along with the fabulous bottle of red wine we ordered pork sausage with what tasted like a balsamic vinegar reduction with figs, pork tenderloin smothered in a blue sheep’s cheese and carmelized onions, meaty marinated mushrooms, sauteed artichoke hearts, beef tenderloin on toasted sourdough, topped with roasted red pepper and a decadent chocolate tort for dessert.

Went back to Aaron’s and blew through another bottle of wine and I smoked almost my whole “I just like to drink when I smoke” pack of cigarettes. Yeah, no kidding! It’s a good thing the wine made me so lah-di-dah, I can party like I'm 15, because the Lactaid I took didn’t work and I kept running back and forth to the bathroom for episodes of intestinal distress that are so not the first impression you want to make on someone – even if you feel like you’ve known them forever and they’re super cool.

Woke up Friday feeling pretty much shattered due to a severe, time release hangover, and sucked down a litre of water and three super strength Excedrin, then swam in slow motion through a shower and into the car where I squinted and read directions to get us to Middletown where our hotel accommodations were located. And I have to say that even in the haze Massachusetss and Connecticut are really pretty states.

It was in Middletown that I began to be really aware of the level of humidity in the air. And it wasn’t even that bad, but for a girl from California where we are really spoiled weather wise it was a bit disconcerting. Have to say that all that moisture makes for a glowing complexion. Or zits. Depending on your perspective.

After grabbing lunch we headed to Higgenam and the 100 acre farm that Joe is lucky enough to live. As we came up the drive I saw a huge red barn, rolling green lawns, gravel road and a real farm house with a screen door that slams. I think that the original owners started with a very small house and over the years rooms have been added on so it sprawls in a very charming farmy kind of way. I walked into the kitchen/living room that smells like my Nana’s garage and overflowed with all kinds of wonderful collectibles and piles and piles of stuff. Alli was busily prepping food for the feeding of her 150 guests, because, YES! Allison and Joe catered their own wedding.

Don’t try that yourself. She's tell you that if she were sitting next to me right now.

Luckily there were a plethora of pals – the totally awesome kind who come and help – and they were all busily working around the land doing various list items. Allison had four pages of lists because she's very organized, and for someone who is not on medication, she was very calm. Aaron and I jumped in.

He got the cleaning and boiling of 30 pounds of potatoes. Did I mention how humid it was? And what a prince he is?

I was sent down to the root cellar, so cool and cavelike and good old house smelling, it made me want to can tomatoes or make jam. Jen was down there doing the flower arrangements for the tables. I have been visiting Jen’s site for probably the last couple of years, but I really had no idea what to expect, because she is more circumspect when she writes than I am, e.g. she doesn’t overshare and write long self involved posts. I am delighted to say that she is another member of my tribe, a long lost, not yet met sister friend who I had soooooo much fun with that I will have to write about in another entry. And now I so totally want her to write self involved, too much information filled posts because she's hysterical and witty as well as wise.

I got pulled off flowers and put on lemons and limes and then Andrew aka Magic Fingers (he is a genius on the classical guitar) and his wife Kristin arrived.

And as I chopped cilantro Robert and his girlfriend Pesya arrived. They got scallions and then when the potatoes were all cooled Jen, Robert and Aaron sliced'em all and it was at that point that we decided that we should all pick our spice names. Out of left field, I know, and I can't deny that the chorus, "If you wanna be my lover," passed through my head, but it’s a fun ball to run down the field with. Especially when Aaron picks Cumin. Heh.

After that potato salad was mixed, corn salad was put together and so was durable salad and then the green beans were started and I just can’t even write about it because while they were super tasty they were a pain in Allison’s butt, and I know she’ll read this and I don’t want to remind her.

We hauled all the food up to the barn and by now there was beer and pizza and Les and his fiance Tanda had arrived. Dave and Cat came down from the barn where they’d been making signs and stuff that required a creative hand. Buck arrived with kegs.

The wedding wing ding was so on.

We hung around drinking and smoking and discussing the merits of a complete bikini wax vs. brazilian vs. landing strip and that of course led to a discourse on manscaping and the optical illusion of enhanced endowment when there is less man hair down there. And then somehow we got onto Indian Guide princess names – Kristen was Prairie Dawn, daughter of Squatting Bull and Jen was Rainbow Dawn? Hmmmm something Rainbow, daughter of Big Cloud. And that still makes me laugh. Rainbow. Big Cloud. Get it?

After horking pizza and beer we went back to the hotel and passed out at midnight, which is incredibly early for Aaron who is nocturnal by nature. I am an in bed by 10pm person who likes to sleep with the curtains open so as better to welcome the day. He likes the black out blinds and since he had been such a complete prince I only argued my point briefly before submitting.

I woke up at 6am, but made myself go back to sleep because I couldn’t read in the dark and figured the TV would wake him up. I had the weirdest dream, you know like you do when you only go back to sleep for a few hours? So when I woke up at 9am I was dying to tell him all about my weird dream. But you know I could tell he totally didn’t care and in fact he got dressed really fast and went to “get coffee.” I was in the shower when he slipped in and left my non-fat latte with the pink stuff on the dresser and then escaped again before I emerged and started talking. But by then I had forgotten most of my dream and I think that was his plan.

Some people need to ease into their day.

We had breakfast at the counter of the Ford News diner which is owned, I think, by this hilarious Asian woman who was sitting next to me when we first got there and then got behind the counter to cook. She clearly knew all her customers and when a group of people came in who were probably part of the myriad wedding celebrations in Middletown, seriously, it seemed like everyone we saw was wearing wedding wear or carrying a garment bag containing same, so anyway, she hollered to the guys sitting at the big table in the back, “Hey you old guys, move! These people need your table.”

After breakfast it was back to the farm for countdown. Aaron took off to practice the ceremony. He’s a minister. From the Universal Life Church. Pretty cool, huh? I think it's great that someone who really knows you can do that ceremony for you.

I took my blue jeaned clad ass up to the barn to help with the setting up of the food tables, the bar, the table cloths, etc. So, you know the humidity? Well, if you wear blue jeans when it’s really hot and humid it won’t take long before it feels like you’re walking around in warm, wet pants and that feels as bad as it sounds.

At about 1 o’clock I ran down to the root cellar and pulled my pants down around my ankles just to get a little relief from the "hey I wet my pants" sensation. I was talking to Jen who was working on creating a bouquet for Allison out of what had arrived from the florist. She didn’t like it so we made her one and Jen said, “I’m not sure about this, but I think she’ll like it because it’s homemade.” And she was right. And it was way better than the foofy thing that the florist did. And we had a flower for Joe's buttonierre.

Oh, and the guys that were walking back from taking a swim down the road all strolled past as I was standing there with my pants around my ankles. These are friendships that are forged in the kind of immediate intimacy that you get when you’re camping and it’s hot. Let me tell ya.

Guests started arriving and Allison got her make up on, Joe got in his tux and put the bow tie on Siri, his dog who was going to be standing up with him. Jen and I got ready and then did Allison’s hair and helped her get in her dress and walked her up the road to where Carol and Tom were waiting to walk her up the hill to the gazebo and give her away while Etta James sang “At Last.”

We all gathered around and listened to them read the vows they’d written to each other and I cried. It was short and very sweet which was good because it was also kinda warm. Then everyone went back down the hill for BBQ and all that great food. We lounged around tables set up under apple trees while kids (and grown ups) made cotton candy and there was much bouncing in the bouncy castle.

Then the band arrived and played Bluegrass, blues and jug band music till it got dark. They had a woman who played the kazoo. Dude – it was awesome.

They had a couple of Polaroid cameras with the following instructions: Please take a picture of yourself, paste it on a page of the book and write us a message. And everyone did that and wrote the nicest things.

And then Jen and I got the camera and found props and so they have many pages of incriminating photos of us and anyone else we could get to go along with our fun. Like James who is sitting astride Joe’s Norton motorcycle wearing a helmut and clutching a knife with a sign that says “Ice your own cupcake.” And he’s a cupcake you’d want to ice so that was a good picture.

There were also some pictures of us worshipping the deerhead that Aaron found in the woods. We’re kneeling before him, with citronella torches aloft, as he holds the head at crotch level and we are, well, worshipping it. And we weren’t really drunk so those pictures will probably still be hilarious in years to come. Although maybe not if your grandma is looking at the wedding album.

The night wound down and the guitars came out for some blues and country singing and about half past midnight Aaron and I left our team spicy members and went back to Boston so I could fly home Sunday morning.

It was like leaving camp at the end of the summer. You’re tired and you know it’s time to go, but you don’t want to leave your new friends and the magic that you made and shared. And thank God Jen is an amazing photographer who’s going to send me a disc with pictures on it, and that I found my camera so I could take some pictures too, and that I wasn’t wasted so I could remember as much as I do and write it down here.

That was the best wedding EVER! And I think they should do it again next year and every year to come.

You know like wedding camp.

Monday, June 06, 2005


Yesterday I left A's house about 2pm and went and picked up Ocelli, my 4-year old goddaughter. Her mom and dad are in Mexico on a last hurrah vacation since the new baby will be arriving at the end of August. Her grandparents were supposed to come down and stay with her, but grandpa ended up in ICU after not wearing a proper mask while using a paint compressor.

So the Aunties stepped up.

Everytime I have one of the small children in my universe in my care I come away with renewed respect for parents. It is an exhausting prospect to spend hours and hours with a small child who wants to be entertained and has not yet mastered control of emotional outbursts. Ocelli is actualy a really easy kid to be with. She isn't defiant although that could be because I'm somewhat indulgent. She's a good eater and she goes to bed and goes to sleep and even though she's really missing her mom and dad at this point because they've been gone a few days now she's still a treat to be with.

But it is exhausting to be so aware of the well being of another, quite small person. I heard someone once describe being a parent as walking around with your heart outside your body and I'd say that's pretty accurate. Even when it's not your kid, but it's a child you love because you were there filming when her little head popped out and she looked around the room with wide open eyes, and you've known her her whole life. She's at school right now and all I want to do is go get her because she cried when I dropped her off this morning. And even though I know that once I left she settled in and is probably having a great time, especially because she's wearing, what is probably her best dress - we're talking gold trim here - it still broke my heart to walk away and see her little face crumple.

It totally sucks.

Ysterday we headed down to Long Beach to hang with friends and watch John Doe sing at Fingerprints, a super awesome independant record store. We sat on the floor up front and watched for about 45 minutes and then I had to walk with her down to the beach. Because I had said that I would and I don't lie to little kids. We made an agreement that we would go down there and but there would be no wearing of the bathing suit and no going in the water. And she pretty much stuck to the agreement so it was all good except that I forgot about the potty thing. And of course once we got across the big street and held our breath and climbed the stinky stairs and walked allllll the way down to the water, she had to pee.

There was no way we were going to make it to the bathroom. And no way we were going in the water. So I did the only thing that seemed reasonable in that situation. I pulled her pants down and had her cop a squat on the beach. And then we buried the wet spot. Just as the lifeguard drove by. He just waved.

We went back to my friend's house for dinner and John Doe came over after his performance since he is a friend of the family. Ocelli was getting bored so I asked Mia, who is six and another one of my favorite kids, to put some make up on her. Ocelli loves make up. Especially anything that has glitter. When we sat down for dinner Ocelli joined us looking a lot like Bette Davis in "Whatever Happened to Sweet Baby Jane," but you know it had provided the grown ups with about 45 minutes of uninterrupted conversation. And it all washed off when I put her in the tub before we went home.

I thought she'd sleep in the car, but I'd also promised her that we would watch The Incredibles when we got home. And a promise is a promise so she was bound and determined to stay awake and watch the damn movie. Since we got home at 9:30 I had to make a deal with her to watch half before bed and half in the morning. She could barely stay awake so she was amenable. When we went upstairs to go to bed she picked one of those singing books for me to read before sleep. One where you push the button and tinny music comes out that you sing along with. And that was fine because I know all the songs. What wasn't fine is that one of the buttons got stuck and I couldn't make the music turn off. It didn't matter what I did. I flashed forward to 3am with the sound of "tinkle, twinkle little star" repeating over and over and over from under a blanket downstairs.

I have really good hearing.

It did finally stop and we decided to go with another selection and then she passed out horizontally on the bed. And kicked me all night in her sleep. She also doesn't like to sleep with covers on so I kept waking up and pulling them back up. Needless to say I was pretty tired when we woke this morning at 7am to go downstairs and watch the rest of The Incredibles. And then there was the eating of the breakfast and the outfit selection. I may be indulgent, but I did not, for one second, believe that today was "jama" day at school and that is why she's wearing a beautiful, flowy party dress with gold embelishments, a velour jacket and Ugh boots with pink jewels on them.

But her hair was brushed (tears!) and her teeth were brushed and I remembered to pack her a lunch (turkey slices, yogurt squeezy, string cheese, celery sticks and peanut butter and a red vine). We got to school almost on time and I was only an hour late getting into the office and I will probably go pick her up a little early so we can hang out a bit before we go pick up her mom and dad at the airport tonight!

She's going to be so happy and I'm going to go home and collapse!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005


After finding out that I have employment for thirty more days I went and saw a screening on the lot last night. Something that I've never done because by the end of the day I don't want to be here anymore. I want to go home. But now with the feeling of "last chance" I went and saw a preview of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. This is a very sweet story based on a popular YA novel and now I'm going to have to go read it because the movie was pretty good.

Basically it's the story of the 16th summer of four girls who are life long friends and follows each of them as they spend their first summer apart. Before taking off to their various destinations they go shopping and find a pair of jeans that fits all four of them and look great, even though they are each very different. They vow to share the pants, each girl will keep them for a week and wear them and then send them on and they will share the stories of what happens when they wear the pants.

The script had some major flaws and weaknesses, including one very contrived and convenient device involving a dog and the pants and a guy that offended my intelligence, but it wasn't enough to make me dislike the good parts. And there were lots of good parts, not the least of which was the cast, all young actresses that played sixteen credibly with all it's drama and flaws and joie de vie. The movie was just about stolen by the little girl who plays Bailey, but I could just be saying that because well...

Just bring your kleenex and your best friends or your mom and don't make a man sit through this movie. If you love him, or even just like him, don't do it to him. Plus, it's a lot more fun to see it with someone who will cry with you like the two women sitting next to me last night who were just losing it.

I mean sobbing.

But in that good way that girlfriends cry with each other.

I saw it with a guy who is an executive and was seeing it for work and although he probably wouldn't have minded, I didn't feel comfortable really letting go with the tears on him, so I just kinda leaked. And thought about moving over a couple of seats to sit with the girlfriends and borrow a tissue and sniffle out loud.

So I will probably go back and see it with a girlfriend or two. And I will be obssessing about going back to Santorini since one of the stories is filmed there and it is just beautiful. Of course, I will want a Babu and a Yaya and a big babbling Greek family. It's just not the same when you're a tourist.

But still - it's absolutely gorgeous on film and brought back wonderful memories. Of being in Greece and of being sixteen.

Thursday, May 26, 2005


Ever since I got back from New York I've been feeling a little fatigued. I thought it was just a looooong case of jet lag. Then Tuesday afternoon I started to feel really bad. Like really fast. I left work early and became aware on the drive home that perhaps I hadn't left early enough. I barely made it in the door and then I collapsed on my bed. My body was in so much pain I could barely walk down the hall to the bathroom to get the thermometer.

My temperature went up and up and when it got up over 102, approaching 103, I called my friend Christina and made confirmed that she had promised to take Molly and Pete if anything ever happened to me. She offered to take me to the hospital but having already called them I said no. They would only make me wait in chairs and the best I could expect would be a hook up to a bag of saline. Unless I can get Demoral I'm not going.

Many people called and I told them how sick I was. They all wanted to bring me something but I just wanted my mommy. I'm a terrible sick person. I'm mean and unreasonable and the only person I feel completely comfortable being that way around is my mom. She's so lucky.

Yesterday morning it was clear that my temperature was still raging so I started taking aspirin - the miracle drug. I felt well enough to get completely stressed out about pending unemployment and the fact that I could barely make it to the bathroom, much less the computer to send out resumes, made death start to feel like a really viable option. Then the aspirin kicked in and I got some sleep.

I drank some fluids.

I ate some yogurt.

But I couldn't manage the energy to make some tea. I was too tired to deal with fire.

A. called in the afternoon and wanted to bring me soup. I told him to call me back in a few hours because by then I would know if I felt good enough to allow someone in the house. I took some more aspirin, dragged myself into the shower and took another nap. When he called at 8 o'clock I had been dreaming about food and requested some motzah ball soup. He showed up an hour later with that and more, you know, just in case I felt like eating. I was able to get down about a cup of soup and I had the energy of a wet rag.

But he made me tea.

Put me back in bed.

Did the dishes.

Held my hand.

Told me I looked gorgeous even when I'm sick.

And went home.

Even though he's not "the one," he is most definitely one in a million. I am still laid low by this foul virus, but I have a couple quarts of motzah ball soup which should last a couple days, and a turkey sandwich in case I ever feel like eating solid food again.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Today when I checked in to see what Sheila's been up to I was delighted to find links to the Demystifying Divas, four women who pick a topic each week and then opine about it on their blogs. I'm too lazy to link, but Sheila has done so and it would behoove you to go read what they've all written about this week's topic: Is it better to have a broken heart or a lonely heart. Not great options but still interesting to think about. While you're at it read what Sheila wrote on her "Salieri" link. I love her self awareness and her willingness to share all of herself in what she writes. It doesn't hurt that she's a kickass writer.

I've done broken and lonely, and for me it has mostly been a choice, e.g. the broken heart after falling for R., but then I knew what I was getting into so it was basically running onto the sword. I guess, in retrospect, I don't really count it except when we're together and I want to push his buttons and I bring out the "You broke my heart!" speech which I deliver with great drama and gravitas and occasionally a tear. There were lonely heart years after that ended, but that was also a choice. I was certainly out there dating it up on the internet and let me say that nothing will make your heart more lonely than going out with that many guys and discovering that there's not only no attraction, there's no connection either.

It was like the universe was beaming down a message to me via each bad date, "You are meant to be alone go forth and rejoice in that aloneness with great relief." Isn't it funny how my messages from the universe are kind of like dialogue from some old movie about the bible? Clearly I didn't have to be alone there were definitely options via the internet, but going there would've probably landed me on medication in a suburb of Temecula with two kids and a husband that I had to get really drunk to want to fuck, much less talk to.

And that would be a really lonely heart.

When I think about it my heart has been truly broken once. Broken in the sense that it wasn't about a wounded ego. When Gary died at the age of 30 it broke my heart to lose him. My heart still hurts from the missing of him. When I was at Allison's last week I was sitting on her couch Friday night, the 13th, having a wonderful, meandering, tea sipping conversation when I realized that it had been 12 years to the day since he died.

And my broken heart ached.

I don't think you can have a broken heart if you've only ever had a lonely heart. A lonely heart is a heart that hasn't loved. That's why it's lonely and why it can't be broken. When your heart is broken it feels like you might not survive. And part of you doesn't want to. But once your heart is broken and you do survive then I think it's easier to go for it. What I end up with a lot now is a bruised ego and some heartache, but it's not anything that I can't shake off. And you know that saying, it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? Well, it's not bullshit. I would rather have all those experiences and memories of loving Gary - the good and the bad, than not have had the experience at all.

I'd rather have a battered, broken heart that survived the experience and knows it can, than a heart that is lonely.

But I didn't really know that until right now.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


I have so much to write about my time in New York, but today has been filled with tedious busy work and now my brain is fried so I will share my New York stories very soon when I can actually conjure the words.

But, very quickly, the last day there Allison and I went to Central Park per my request - I really, really love that park - and she took amazing pictures with her digital camera that she had just gotten repaired. I had forgotten my camera though I did have my SX-70 so I did some manipulated polaroids. We went to Strawberry Fields so I could get a shot of the word IMAGINE tiled into the center of a circle of benches in memory of John Lennon who was killed close by in front of his building. I had no idea that there would be people sitting around playing Lennon songs and singing and praying. I mean seriously! And they were. Very. Serious.

It was hard not to giggle.

As we wandered on into the park toward the most beautiful lake upon which you can row and ride in a gondola, we were drawn to the sound of drums. I might guffaw at the John Lennonites, but there was a time when I myself would dance around the drum circles in memory of Jerry Garcia down at Venice Beach. I also once participated in a full moon drum circle at the African drumming center in West L.A. Can you say "In over her head?" Um, yeah. So anyway, we wandered up to a group of men playing drums and doing call and response in a scene right out of Cuba. Only we were in Central Park. It was awesome!!

After standing there wiggling my butt to the drums complete with white chick overbite we went to check out the boats on the lake. It took me a while to notice, but eventually it became oddly clear that something was a bit off. In every boat that we saw there were women rowing men around the lake. This brought to mind a metaphor I have used to describe every dysfunctional and just plain wrong relationship I've ever had. To explain how they went so horribly wrong I have always said, "It was like I made the picnic, rented the boat and rowed his ass around the lake. It sets a bad precedent."

And here it was manifest before my eyes!!

It was all I could do not to stand on the bridge and scream, "Stop it! Give him the oars right now!"

You're going to be sorry!

Thursday, May 12, 2005


I got to Allison's house late last night. It was a full day of flying on almost no sleep. A. had spent the night to take me to the airport early and he wasn't feeling well so we didn't get to bed until late. And then, per usual, I didn't sleep because I was scared I wouldn't wake up in time to leave. Consequently I was dozing in the Denver airport on my three hour layover and it was only the fact that my book kept falling on the floor and waking me up that kept me alert enough to make the flight to NYC.

Of course I don't sleep on planes. Don't know why, it just won't happen.

I was so thrilled to finally meet Allison who has been one of my "I tell everything to" best friends for the last 4 years. But until last night we had only connected via e-mail or the phone. So when I got here we had to stay up and drink tea and chat until about 1 a.m. and then I passed out. I woke up early this morning because it really doesn't matter where I am, I'm still going to wake with the dawn.

Ali made me a cup of tea and left for work at 8a.m. and I swear I was going to get up and try my luck at getting myself into the city. She got me a metrocard and everything. My friend Stephanie was planning her day around me coming to visit her. But I went back to sleep and just couldn't wake up. I kept opening my eyes and looking at the clock, 9:30, 10:30, 11:30. And I kept going back to sleep. I had some really wild dreams about shoot outs from helicopters around the Statue of Liberty and I was swimming in the water off my friend Marcia's dock which was attached to her house at the end of a long pier.

So you can see why I didn't want to get up.

But I finally did at 12:30 and then it took me another hour and a half to motivate myself into the shower and get dressed. At 2:00 I finally called Stephanie and we decided that tomorrow would be better. I set off to discover Allison's neighborhood - I think it's called Greenpoint, because there's a lot of signs on the businesses that say "Greenpoint". I also wandered over to Williamsburg.

Along the way, there and back, I heard people speaking in Polish, Hebrew, French, Italian, Spanish and English with an Australian accent.

I saw lots of people walking no less than 5 German Shepherds. Apparently that is a popular breed here. I saw lots of other people with dogs as well. The biggest difference between Los Angeles and Brooklyn is that here people have their dogs on leashes and in LA they carry them in their purses.

I saw lots and lots of health food stores all prominently featuring Myoplex. I'm not kidding when I say lots, I mean like two on every block.

I am fascinated by the grates that open up in the sidewalk revealing ramps and stairs that go under the buildings. We don't have anything like that where I live, and I live in an urban/city area much like this, where commercial properties and residential properties line the streets.

Everytime I walked past a small tree planted in a square of dirt on the sidewalk I would silently say to myself, "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn." At least for the first couple of miles and then I started to annoy myself. It's easy to imagine Frannie and her mother walking down the street here at the turn of the century.

I could tell when I left the predominantly Polish neighborhood that Allison lives in and wandered through Williamsburg and down into a neighborhood where people were speaking Spanish and I saw some pretty good looking guacamole being eaten at a sidewalk restaurant serving "California style" tacos and Mexican food. It's interesting how one mile changes the language of the signs in the windows.

I was oggled and hissed at by numerous men on the street. This does not happen to me in Los Angeles. It has always happened to me in New York. I remember walking downt he street in Manhattan and being throw by the continuous commentary of men I walked by. It's not threatening or offensive, well I guess it could be considered offensive if I stopped to give it any rhythm, but it is very very weird.

I think that it doesn't happen so much in LA because no one is walking around. Everyone is driving, and as I mentioned before I pay no attention to people honking or attempting to run me down, so maybe it is happening, but I'm pointedly ignoring it. I like the walking here. I like the community. I like all the little stores and the churches and the kids playing in the park. It's all very alive.

And exhausting.

After all that walking I'm really tired again so I stopped at the market to get stuff to make for dinner because I don't think I can go out and walk anymore today.

There will be more walking tomorrow only it will be in Manhattan.

Till then.