June 4, 2012 can go Fu¢k Itself


The morning started fine enough. I did a little laundry, wrote a few things, and got dressed to go meet some folks and contribute to a video. My hair wasn’t great and I have total raccoon eyes because a few minutes of sun turns me red on the nose and brown all over the rest of me.

I grabbed the mail on the way out of the house and got a notice that our homeowner’s insurance was cancelled because we have a trampoline and a tree needs trimming. Here is a pictures of the “multiple branches” that are on the house and would give the insurance company cause for canceling a policy.

I looked at the letter in the morning and decided to schedule a cry for the afternoon. I had no idea how very much I’d need it.

After schlepping to Culver City I was going to loop through mid-cities to pick up Junior from the dog sitter. I’d left him with her for our little weekend away at Bacara. I called the sitter and there was no answer so I decided to go over to LACMA, grab something from a food truck and have lunch with Rodin.

Since the dog sitter wasn’t answering her phone I polished off my Korean food in the sculpture garden and renewed my museum membership. I wandered into a room that welcomed me with a giant mural from Matisse. Not quite a mosaic but more than just tiles.

I remembered the year we were visiting my Grandmother and her mother, my Great Grandmother, fell. We were in New York City and there was a Matisse exhibit at the Met. I wandered there for hours on end and studied the cutouts that Matisse converted into beautiful works of art. I imagined gnarled hands working magic with scissors and razors and paste. In my childhood mind Matisse was born an old man.

My brother and I were stuck indoors while everyone took turns watching over my Great Grandmother. My Grandmother’s friend Dave took us to Tompkins Square where he would play chess at a speed I’d never before seen while he smoked cigarillos. My brother and I were rapt and learned to play chess that week. I was never very good, my brother was. He’s always been smarter than I have in a mathematical sense.

We spent the week with stacks of construction paper and glue recreating Matisse’s work on long rolls of butcher paper. The Chasidim gave us tin Hanukkiahs so we could light candles with our Great Grandmother at night in the hospital. In retrospect the flames were unwise.

Standing at LACMA before an oversized Matisse display it all washed over me. The women in my life caring for each other.

Standing in front of one of Picasso’s Blue Paintings my phone rang. The dog sitter was home. I reluctantly left to pick up Junior.

I grabbed the kids from school next and brought Jane home to rest. She’s been ill and a day at school knocked everything out of her. Alexander went to tennis and on the way a girlfriend called.

Not a girlfriend. The girlfriend. The one who knows everything. The one who lived with me in high school and helped me survive the teenage years. The one who inspired me and made me a better person. The one who has never judged and who giggled when I failed to be a better person. That friend.

She’s sick. She’s going to be okay, but right now she’s sick.

So after tennis I got dinner on the table, ate a few bites of salad and tried to not yell at my family. I wasn’t overly successful but I did okay. I took the dog for a walk but it’s a well documented fact that Junior is essentially useless. After about four blocks I had to carry him and so now I’m walking down the street with my little dog and my giant Bose headphones becuase I really don’t want any outide noise. I don’t want to know that other people are happy or chatting or that they even exist.

I just wanted to walk and cry in the dark with my dumb little useless dog.

So I listened to the Sex Pistols and NWA and the combination of tortured youth from here and abroad helped me through this early part of my 40’s just as effectively as it pushed me forward in my teens.


I Was Late Everywhere Yesterday


Yesterday was supposed to be a busy day. I was supposed to be taping a video with a production company at 9.30 in the morning. This would have meant that I was going to have to get up at 6.30 so that I could look and smell good before getting the kids off to school.

My friend Yvonne was having a Healthy Child Healthy World event at her house from 10 to 12 and I figured I’d just get there as quickly as I could and maybe have an hour with my girlfriends.

At the very last minute my 4pm appointment turned into a noon appointment and the shoot was cancelled. Of course I had it in my mind that I was showing up at Yvonne’s house at 11 and I wondered if it was even worth going because I’d be there for just 30 minutes. If you’re paying attention you see the problem already.

I left in plenty of time to get to Yvonne’s house at 11 but there was construction and I got there at 11. 15 feeling really anxious about having just 10 or 15 minutes to stop in for a hug. Everyone was in the yard eating pizza and salad and I was like, “When is the demonstration?” and Yvonne patiently told me it was at 10. Which is when I immediately corrected her for not knowing what time her own party began and I just stood there confused.

I asked what I’d missed and the big thing was that kids with asthma should not be in the kitchen when you are cooking with a gas stove. Something is released into the air that irritates their airways. I’d never heard this but I also don’t have a child with asthma so it’s unlikely I’d know it. Now you know.

I gobbled some salad fast and ran off to my noon appointment. When I got there I signed in as a visitor and part of the sign in process is a pretty informal NDA. So I definitely am not telling  you that I had a meeting at a company that sounds like oogle. The meeting lasted about an hour but I think we could have chatted for three easily. I left there to go to Whole Foods in Venice.

Can I just say that on any given day if I had a thousand dollars to spend at the Whole Foods Market in Venice or at Barneys I’m not sure which one I’d choose. That market is spectacular.

I grabbed a tuna roll (no rice just greens) and felt horrible about it. Every time I eat tuna my brother asks me if I’m happy eating it because it might be the last tuna in the ocean. And I know that it’s terrible for me. Probably full of mercury and definitely not a sustainable catch but it’s cheap and easy and it’s absolutely everywhere. Plus according to scientists most of our fish is mislabeled anyhow so it’s possible I was eating dolphin meat. Hooray?

I wisely don’t grab a cart and leave Whole Foods having spent just $8.99. I am annoyed when the cashier doesn’t give me the penny back. I always tell them to leave the penny in case someone needs one but I am bugged that she didn’t offer me my money. She also asked me a lot of questions about my food, rolling it around in her hands and wanting to know what the ingredients are. It’s dolphin meat bitch, now give me my penny.

I eat and drive to acupuncture. My right hand is resembling a claw but since beginning acupuncture I have taken NOT ONE narcotic. How’s that for hocus poke-us? Eating in the car is horrible and I try to keep tons of water there because it’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger but I console myself in knowing that I’m three days into a sugar free and grain free lifestyle. Not even corn. I’m living on lean meats and green things with just a tinge of crankiness.

After acupuncture it’s time to get the kids. Jane has volleyball and Alexander just wants to play Pokemon with his friends. I’m relieved to see a large group of kids playing, it’s such a strange thing to be into that I want to know that it’s not just my son.

I go home freshen up and head out to Digital LA where I’m to be on a panel of Mommy Bloggers. I know. I cringe because of the Mommy thing and I show up anyhow because Ciaran will be there and Ciaran is smarter than I am so I go where she goes.

I stop at Tiffany & Co. to pick up a gift for my sort of niece who turns 16 this weekend. She’s a good girl and 16 is a big deal. I spend too much.

The panel starts late and ends later but we do get to play PacMan while we’re waiting. The room is hot and we’re the second panel. Most of the men leave, this is to be expected. The ones who are left behind are the smart ones. The first group will pay to work with Felicity Huffman or whatever other celebrity hired someone to run a website. It’s a different business they’re in. I try to not be offended but I remember that I don’t actually have any overlap with these folks. Or maybe I do?

I’m home at 10.30 and the kids are sound asleep. There’s a pain in my chest because I’ve missed an evening with them. I know it felt like it was important to be out, but when I get home I recognize that I never should have left. I wanted to be there. With my family.


Do You See the Scrotum?


My stepbrother texted me last night to let me know that he’d sent Alexander a text saying “keep it clean”. I was out buying the perfect silk blouse so I couldn’t exactly be bothered with parenting at the time.

When I got home I asked Alexander for his cell phone. He looked sheepish handing it to me and we went through the text messages together. Most of the text messages were fine, funny even. There were links to chicken butt pictures.

chicken butt And then there was a note to his cousin saying, “This is you”. Along with this picture.

dickhead scrotum chin

There was also a WTF. Potty mouth… I wonder where my child would pick that up?

I sat down with my boy to talk to him about media use. I reminded him that Daddy and I would always be checking his texts, computer and emails. I told him that anything you write is public and you should want it so that even your mom could read it. Blah blah blah it was the same talk I’ve been giving Jane for years. Even I was bored listening to me.

I asked Alexander if he knew what WTF meant. He nodded his head and looked embarrassed. I told him that I knew it was funny and that it was a word I’d like him to not use but that I know everyone slips up. I also told him to NEVER write it so that people wouldn’t think he was a bad kid.

Take my advice, son, I won’t be needing it.

Then I asked him about the picture. Why would you send that to your cousin?

“Because it’s an ugly guy.” He said.

Is there anything else about it that’s bad? I asked him this in a thousand different ways. Finally I pointed to the chin. Is there anything about his chin that is bad?

“It’s long.” He said, and looked genuinely curious.

I didn’t punish him. I’m out of the business of punishment, being embarrassed with your mom is lesson enough.

Later in the evening I showed Mr G the image. “He sent this to his cousin.” I said. Mr G shrugged nonchalantly.

Apparently I’m the only one in the house able to identify a scrotum.

Other Women Would Ask Their Mother Why She Needs a Psychic


Texts from my mother

Moms are funny and mine is no exception. I’m not sure if I told you about the time she bought a house at a seance, or about the time that they brought a healer in to talk to the cat to ask her how she felt. The house was a good house but the cat felt like shit because she was 20 years old and they mercifully put her to sleep some time after that cat chat.

I also won’t tell you about the time that Mom was going to add an angled step to the staircase so the chi wouldn’t flow out the front door. You see, if I told stories like these you’d think my mother was silly. She is not a silly woman.

I thought I would share the stream of text messages that Mom and I most recently had.

As you can see I did not know how to hard boil eggs. I texted Mom and she texted me back with directions. Thanks Mom.

You can also see that Jane sent us to the poorhouse recently with her love of oysters. She loves good food, and my hope for her is that she has an excellent job one day or else grocery shopping will be her nightmare.

The first night we were in Mammoth there was an earthquake. We sure did feel it.

This morning’s text signals a return to her youth. Maybe Mom is looking for a new house, or perhaps she’s gotten tired of taking her dog to the acupuncturist and she needs someone to talk to her? I’m not sure why Mom needs a good psychic but I have a feeling it’s going to be a good story.

Personally Blogging


I haven’t written much about the homestead because it would approach book length and I wouldn’t necessarily come out of it looking very good.

Jane’s English assignments look quite a bit like Chinese to me, there are prepositional phrases that behave as bodyguards so that we can’t find the predicate. I’m pretty sure there’s a subject but then there’s some wacky article that’s clearly only there to confuse everyone so we have no way of knowing if it’s singular or plural because the article isn’t exactly next to the subject.

I have degrees in the sciences. I didn’t want to write words. I can’t help Jane, but I can read Cradle to Crade with her and help her understand what William A. McDonough is saying when he tells her about the irrigation system that the Egyptians built to accommodate the annual flooding of silt and soil from the Nile. We talk about our waste and where it goes, we discuss composting toilets and decide that we are, in fact, not that green.

I check her math, it’s good. It’s always good. She’s my daughter, math makes sense.

Alexander sails through school and we’re teaching him to not interrupt. Perhaps he needs a more challenging setting, perhaps he’s just confident and confident is good.

This morning I returned to ladies doubles. I didn’t play very well, but when everyone wanted to shake hands afterwards I said I’m not shaking hands.

I realized I’d said it much in the manner of a Chasid woman who was menstruating. The phrase I’d heard so often in my youth is, “I’m not touching anyone right now.” And we all sort of understood that she hadn’t been to Mikvah. I guess I was waiting for the group of women to understand that medically something was going on and I wouldn’t be touching, but I speak American Jew and they speak Goyisha, so I had to explain that I wouldn’t be shaking hands because I’m on five drugs that inhibit and then kick the crap out of my immune system. I don’t want to catch a cold.

After school both kids had Orthodontist appointments. Alexander may be out of braces soon, Jane has just barely begun, new hardware will hit her lower teeth in about 8 weeks.

Alexander had batting lessons today. He’s a right handed batter who swings lefty so he’s got to learn to pull the bat out in front of him. Alexander is really happy because he’s figured out the grip. He thinks he knows when he goes from loose hands to tight grip.

Mr. G is coming home from work on time, which is all I can really ask for. He played a little lunchtime tennis and got a bloodblister on his big toe. I was happy that I got to sterilize the needle and pop the blister. He wasn’t nearly as happy as I.

We’re back to boring here. We like it this way. After dinner I showed the kids and Mr G the best mommy video to ever hit YouTube.

If you’re eating, stop, and if you’re feeling judgy you can stop that too. Because this is wonderful.