Sunday, September 30, 2012

Smacksy Sunday Links

I love this beautiful art installation via my friend Andrea.

This classic Jimmy Stewart clip was recently posted on Facebook by my friend Carol. It's a longtime favorite.

And 25 photos of kittens hugging via my friend Ilene.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Good Yontif

"What does that mean, Mom - Yom Kippur?"

"Yom Kippur is the day of atonement where Jewish people think back on the last year and the things they did that weren't so good and they ask for forgiveness and think of how they can do better this year."

"Okay but what if I can't think of anything bad I did last year?"


"Actually... nope."

"I guess just concentrate on continuing to be good."


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lavender Diamond

 Artwork by Ron Rege Jr

Mr. Rosenberg is in a band called Lavender Diamond. Their new album, Incorruptible Heart, and new video came out yesterday. The music is lovely in a floaty, ethereal, brokenhearted, kick-ass way. I hope you will listen and watch and like and follow and tap your feet and dance and everything. I'm pretty sure you will.

The band is on the east coast right now doing a micro-tour. While Mr. R is out of town, it's not as if Bob and I are lost and totally off schedule, eating too many sweets, and watching a lot of Sponge Bob. Very much. We know he'll have a great trip and we can't wait for him to get back.

Here are the pertinent Lavender Diamond links that you will be needing:
Everybody's Heart's Breaking Now - Official Video
LA Times Review of Lavender Diamond's Incorruptible Heart
Lavender Diamond Website - You can stream the album for free or buy it in a physical fashion

Thanks for all of your support, Everyone.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Post Walk Check-Up

"I was fully prepared to walk this off, Dr. H. but I'm here because my mom made me."

"Well let's take a look. So you didn't prepare for this 39 mile walk at all?"


"Not even five miles a day?"


"I'm not going to do anything with these blisters, none of them are infected. I'm going to do a CPK blood test."

"CPK? California Pizza Kitch--"

"Creatine phosphokinase, testing you for rhabdomyolysis. It's a breakdown of the muscle that can happen with extreme exercise. So, no training at all, huh?"


"I'm not going to test you for mental fitness... this time."

Monday, September 24, 2012

Saving Second Base

Saturday morning, I arrived at the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer starting area in Santa Barbara at 5:20am. As I waited in line for coffee, I heard someone mention, "You can always tell the new people, they always get here way too early." I was only there for an hour and a half before we started walking. This left me plenty of time to caffeinate. (The only part of the experience I'd been training for.)

Starting the walk, it was amazing to see just how many people, mostly women, were there to walk. There were feelings of purpose and determination in the crowd... and a lot of pink.

By mile nine, I was in need of more coffee. Luckily, the course took us right through a Starbucks. Maybe that was my own detour, but it seemed like a slight improvement on the original route.

The crew and people that came out to cheer us on were amazing. The safety crew working the big intersections was a group of Harley riders with matching pink goatees. There was a man in a convertible wearing a "Boob Guy" shirt who seemed to show up quite a bit too. Boob Guy had a lot of enthusiasm.

Walkers wore "I'm In It to End It For..." signs, filled in with the names of the mothers. daughters, aunts, grandmothers, and friends who have been touched by breast cancer. I was in it to end it for my beautiful cousin Kim who is currently fighting breast cancer. She's a fantastic woman. Honoring her in my thoughts and in my steps was beyond motivating. I read a sign along the path that said, "Blisters Don't Need Chemo." I kept walking.

At mile twenty-one I started feeling the need for Gatorade. I had never experienced this before but it happened, I was drinking blue stuff. It was delicious. I think. I was a little lightheaded. The Santa Barbara scenery was outstanding. Or I was hallucinating. Unclear.

Things started getting weird around mile twenty-three. And by "things" I mean me. I was walking alone and realized I was talking to myself, muttering great motivational phrases like, "Oh, Jeez. Oh, man. Oh, boy." I should totally be a trainer.

I got to mile twenty-six, the end of day one. I couldn't bend my knees, but as it turns out, that move is totally overrated. I went back to the hotel, took an epsom salt bath, ate dinner, and passed out: a move that is totally not overrated.

Day Two. I was back in the groove with a grande drip coffee, a Lara bar, and a handful of Advil.

We were walking gorgeous bluffs next to the beach in Carpinteria. We hiked through wooded areas, fields of sunflowers, and a neighborhood where we saw two toddlers in their front yard playing the bongos in their pajamas. We were getting there.

Around mile thirty-eight, I could hear that someone was following me quite closely playing Boston's, "More Than a Feeling." When I finally turned around to see who the nerd was, it took me awhile to realize that the phone in my backpack was somehow playing a weird Pandora station and had put itself on speakerphone.  Having this many consecutive hours of alone time is the most I've had in years. Maybe that's a good thing.

And then, 39.9 miles and 29 hours later, suddenly it was over. (With the walk back to the car, can we call it an even 40? Lets.) I'm not showing "after" photos of my feet because I love you too much to do that. They still work, so what's a couple of blistery areas? No whining here. With your donations and supportive tweets, Facebook messages, and emails, we made this happen.  We raised $2,401.80  - part of the 4.7 million raised in Santa Barbara this weekend. It was an amazing experience, I would only do one thing differently next time: I would wear more pink.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Smacksy Sunday Links

Sunrise at the Avon Walk.

This is a beautiful story via my friend Wendi. Warning: There will be tears. You will need tissues.

10 Ways to be Happy on Purpose via my friend Lisa.

And Mr. Rosenberg's favorite video of the week: Collective Soul Cat.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Avon Walk Check In

This is the check-in  line for the Avon Walk. It feels like cheerleading camp, except we're all on the same team. Go Pink!

Friday, September 21, 2012

I Am Packed

Tomorrow I start The Big Walk. So far I've put in a good two hours of physical training and at least six hours of shopping time. I've got moisture-wicking outfits and cushiony shoes. I have epsom salts and pain relievers and blister bandages and two kinds of sunscreen. I got my roots done and I'm sporting a ballet pink pedicure. Thank goodness I'm a natural athlete. (Except for the hair color.) Yeah, not so much. Actually, I was sort of athletic in high school. Does muscle memory last thirty years? I'll let you know.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


“Bob, hold my hand. Let’s run for it.”

“But Mom, this is jaywalking. Isn’t this jaywalking?”

“It’s okay, we’ve got time. Let’s go.”

We stepped out between two parked cars and hand in hand, ran across the street. A woman came around the corner behind us as we reached the curb.

“Oh, please don’t do that you two!”

It was Lillian, the crossing guard who worked the front of the elementary school. She was on her way to work, stop sign in one hand, her tiny dog Candy in the other. Lillian has worked the L-shaped double cross walk in front of the school for more than ten years. When Lillian calls in sick, they don’t replace her with another crossing guard, the replace her with a police officer. Sometimes two.

“Seeing you cut the block like that just stops my heart. Cars can come zipping around the corner and before you know it, a tragedy happens. Always cross at the cross walk. Please don’t do that again!”

“See, Mom? I told you!” Bob said, loud enough for Lillian to hear.

“Your boy knows the rules! Listen to him!”

“You are totally busted, Mom.”

“I am. We won’t do that again.”

Since then, each time we drive past the area where the jaywalking incident occurred, Bob feels the need to remind me.

“Remember when you got so busted for jaywalking by Miss Lillian and you put me in all of the danger?”

“Yes, Bob. It won’t happen again.”

It won’t happen again, Miss Lillian. It won’t happen again.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sound Check

"Ssh, Mom. We can't do talking now. It's called sound check so that I can check the sound of Dad's band... 'Hey Guys! It's checked!'"

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Supper Time

"Mom, you know what the best part of this restaurant is?"

"The french fries?'

"Yeah, but you know what else? If I get sleepy I can lay down in this seat."

"Are you sleepy, Honey?"

"Yeah. Can I rest my head in your lap? You can have my fries."

Monday, September 17, 2012

Resolutions: 5773 Edition

It's Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. As a Jew-adjacent, I am spending part of my day in reflection and have come up with a few things I would like to do differently going forward in 5773...

I will no longer shriek, "Tea towel! Tea towel!" at Mr. Rosenberg when he mops up spilled coffee with the decorative towels that live on the oven door. He's right: towels should earn their rent doing towel things, not just hanging out looking cute.

I will read books of my choosing and at my leisure, and not merely pull an all-nighter the twenty-four hours before my book club meets.

I will not walk through our house without wearing shoes or hard-soled slippers with which to repel Legos. Getting from one side of Bob's bedroom to the other is akin to crossing a bed of hot coals without the spiritual experience that Tony Robbins promises. Dearforms are my co-pilot.

I will wash the station wagon before Bob's friend Dustin feels the need to announce how filthy it is to the rest of the kindergarten class at circle time.

I will close my computer when I am not using it in order to keep the cat from standing on my keyboard. Facebook has seen my last, "aklurdghfioauertow83kJSJDFJJSHJ99999999999999," status update. You're welcome.

L 'Shana Tovah Everybody!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Smacksy Sunday Links

I never get tired of this view of the guys.

This piano kid is unbelievable. 

I'm liking Mr. Rosenberg's band Lavender Diamond playing I Don't Recall last Monday night.

And here is a video of what happens when a seagull steals a video camera and then flies off into the sunset.

Happy Sunday.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Happy Something

"Mom, this card looks like a card but it's a puzzle, for real. It's for Easter but I colored it for you and I was going to wait until Easter to give it to you but I decided you should have it for your happy birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom. I used four different colored markers."

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me

Hi Favorites. It's my birthday. Another year in the bag and I am feeling pretty excellent about the whole thing. My big plans? I would like to get the station wagon washed. I may throw in a load of laundry. I will take Vi to the vet. In the evening I will be at Back-to-School Night where I will be doing my Kindergarten Co-Room Mother thing. Jeff and I will likely sneak out after for dinner someplace close. I will make a wish and blow out candles. I will get home and kiss the guys and hug the pets. Before I go to sleep I will count my blessings and that will take a long time.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Nailed It

"... but Mom, I don't really feel like going out for dinner tonight."

"I am so tired, Honey. I'm just not up to cooking."

"Mom, did you know microwaving is not really cooking?"


I'm also over at Nancy Davis Kho's Midlife Mixtape today talking about a music man who is so close to my heart. I hope you'll check it out.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Last Night

Last night Bob spent the night with his grandparents and I stayed up way past my usual bedtime and went to see Mr. Rosenberg's band play. The place was crowded and the band sounded lovely, but the most important part of the evening was: I got carded. Carded as in, "May I see your ID please?" My birthday is on Thursday and I will be turning 48-years-old. Perhaps they card everyone at that club, I do not care to know. What I do know is that they carded me.

Best birthday present ever.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Just In Case

"How was school, Bob?"

"It was good... except at recess a kid named Fred called me a sucker."


"Yeah. I don't know what that word means but I told the teacher anyway."

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Movie Night

Family Movie Night outside at Bob's school. Remember that particular magic of being at your elementary school after dark?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Bob Rosenberg's Playlist 09.12

Bob has inherited Jeff's old iPod Shuffle. He picked the following songs to listen to for this month:

Wanna Be Starting Something - Michael Jackson
Party Rock Anthem - LMFAO
Blitzkrieg Bop - Ramones
Charlie Brown - Coldplay
Thriller - Michael Jackson
Moves Like Jagger - Maroon 5
Feliz Navidad - Jose Feliciano

Merry Christmas and Happy September to you.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Very Nearly


We pulled up in front of the pre-school, running late.

“Let’s go, Bob. Crawl across and come out my side. Quick, quick.”  He inched his way across the back seat. He tripped and his knee struck the floor of the car, his tiny skull headed straight toward the pavement. I turned toward the car door and without time to think about what I was doing, I kneeled quickly and held out my hand, catching his head just before it would have hit the ground.

Tiny Bob and I were traveling with Jeff and his band. We got off the tube in London and were headed toward the night’s venue. I had Bob in a Bjorn carrier on my chest. The guys walked ahead of us in the crosswalk. Becky and I waited at the corner for the light to change. I looked to my left and saw that the street was clear of traffic and stepped off of the curb. Becky put her hand out on my arm and pulled me back just as a bus whipped by from my right. I had forgotten that the cars drove on the other side of the street in England.

These are memories that wake me up at night.

He is a regular boy. He has fallen and skinned his knees at the park, conked his head on the doorjamb, rolled off the couch when he was small. I have rushed him to the doctor from a bad fall and when he jammed something up his nose. But those near misses, the life and death ones: What happened there? Was it luck or fate or some divine intervention? Is there an invisible force, guiding those hands that moved so casually to stop a tragedy, crossing a boundary between life and death? Like a cat with nine lives, how many freebies do we get? Why do some kids get no free ride at all?

These are the anxious questions I ask at four in the morning.

I remember then, my son is not really “mine” he is God’s. It’s my blessing to be with him and my job to try not to mess the whole thing up too much. Then I can let go. I can go back to sleep.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Big Walk Update

I've gotten lots of terrific advice about the upcoming Avon Walk. I have heeded exactly some of it. My 39.9 mile adventure is a couple of weeks away and I have taken my new walking shoes out on a few trial runs around the neighborhood. A few means three. Around the neighborhood means around the block a couple of times, but to be fair the blocks are kind of long-ish.  Jeff firmly believes that I'm in denial about this whole endeavor. That is a distinct possibility.

The new walking shoes feel great. They are, however, not great looking. They are big white marshmallow shoes that remind me of the white Reeboks Jazzercise-style numbers I wore the summer of 1983 when I worked at The Red Onion in Beverly Hills. The Mexican restaurant had a sports theme. Waiters wore basketball uniforms, waitresses were cheerleaders, busboys wore baseball pants and jerseys. I was a hostess and so was made to wear a referee uniform, which made sense in food chain logic except that it also made me look as if I was moonlighting at Footlocker.

Related: It is impossible to get the smell of cheap salsa out of polyester.

I know these pristine white shoes will be my tell of unpreparedness at the big event. I am contemplating running them over with the car a few times just to make them look a little more worn in. Or I could just walk in them more. Decisions.

Monday, September 3, 2012

What Are You?

I look in the mirror and I see new lines near my eyes and I see my cousins and my mom and my grandfather.

Since I was small, strangers have been compelled to ask me, "What are you?" They're not questioning my gender or what I do for a living. I know what they're asking. They want to know where my people are from. They want to know why I look like this, a little bit other, like I'm from somewhere else.

They try to guess. Are you part Japanese? Chinese? Korean? I thought you were half Thai or maybe Icelandic? They will speak Italian to me or French. The guesses are never right. How could they be? The answer is complicated.

My people are Spaniards and Basques that landed in New Mexico. They are dirt floors and sopapillas and riding a mule to school. They are Texans and Swedes and Irishmen. They are a tintype family photo in their best outfits and kids with no shoes. They are farmers and potters and bootleggers and plumbers. They are Virginians and Brits and politicians. They are on ships and on horseback and riding in beds of pick-up trucks. The are Okies and oil fields and cooks and bridge builders. They are Mescalero Apaches and grandparents and orphans and wash on the line.

They are out loud and they are secrets and they are all mine.

I answer, "Irish on one side, Indian on the other." That satisfies their curiosity. Some will even say, "I thought so." But I know they didn't.

Today I have linked up to my friend Heather's site at Just Write.

Five Years Ago

Here's a little video of what Bob was doing exactly five years ago.
Hope your day is memorable.
Happy Labor Day, Americans. Happy Monday, Everyone.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Bob and His Pouffe

My adorable-genius friend, Amber, is a mom of three kids under six. Amber and her family live in a two bedroom house and storage is obviously in high demand. She was looking for something cute to hold the ton-load of stuffed animals that seem to re-produce on their own in every kid's room. She couldn't find much beyond baskets and those hang-y net tube looking things. So, Amber (here's the genius part) designed her own thing called a "Pouffe." It was so awesome and so many friends loved it that Amber and her friend Andrea started a company called Red Zipper Designs to keep up with the pouffe demand.

Here's how the pouffe works: It looks like a big ottoman, beanbag chair deal. It has a zipper that goes all the way around the middle and opens up where it can store stuffed animals, extra bedding, off-season clothes: lots and lots of stuff. You zip it back up and it's an adorable little pouffe. They're great in a kid's room but they are Pottery Barn-ish looking so they can work in the living room too. Plus, they are machine washable. Bob has the blueberry one and he loves hanging out on it.

Red Zipper is having a tremendous sale on the pouffes for the holiday weekend. They are regularly $160 and this weekend they're on sale for $99. Go check them out here.

This isn't a paid advertisement, you guys. I just love me some pouffe and I think you will too.