Thursday, July 31, 2014

I Will Remember

I set my purse down in the corner by the stage so I wouldn’t have to hold it while I was on the dance floor. The celebrity DJ was introduced and I was swept along into the middle of the audience as the growing crowd rushed the stage. I wanted to take photos of this: My group of friends, their faces, their unselfconscious moves. I could see them through my eye-lens and wished so hard for my camera. I watched as others took their group shots and selfies with the DJ in the background. My camera was in my purse, my purse that was nowhere near. I started panicking.

I have a faulty memory. I blog every day as a writing practice but I also blog every day so that I can remember my life. I make a lot of notes. I take a lot of photos. My phone, my camera, is an extension of my hand, my back-up brain. Without it, how would I recall this night? 

The party was outside, a large parking lot outfitted with tables and chairs, a DJ booth and a dance floor. Without a camera, I was on my own. I would need to remember this without a visual aid. I took a deep breath. I smelled night air and sweat, catered food and the scent of one hundred different perfumes.  It was hot. I was surrounded by backs, hips and elbows, clapping hands and waving arms. The dancing was serious. People sang along to the 80s music. “It’s tricky to rock a rhyme, to rock a rhyme that’s right on time it’s tricky…” I still knew all the words. 

Like a game of Simon Says, we did what we were told to do by the DJ. We jumped on cue. We raised our hands in the air like we didn’t care. We somebody, anybody, everybody screamed. I could feel sweat rolling down my back, soaking in to my blue dress. And I didn’t care.

I had forgotten about my camera. I had been forced to be in the moment and to actually live it without interruption, without trying to document it at the same time. It’s so much easier to dance when your hands are empty.

When the music ended and the crowd dispersed, I went to my purse. I pulled out my phone to take a picture but the moment was gone. I pressed that moment hard into my brain before it slipped away. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Look Fast

"Mom? Are you okay?"

"I guess so."

"That ball hit you really hard in the face."

"It did. It feels really bad."

"I know. Remember when that happened to me those two times?"

"Yeah. Well, whoever threw it, it was just an accident."

"Doesn't it feel like your nose is falling out of your face and that it's stinging on the inside and maybe you can kind of feel your own blood in there? And then your top lip feels all fat and warm but not in a good way? And then right between your eyes it's like when you get hit with a plastic light saber, sort of? I keep my hands up like this now to guard my face. You should try it next time."

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Scary Monsters

"Mom? Mom?"

"Bob, you should be asleep by now."

"Yeah, but I can't stop thinking about this nightmare Adam told me he had about the lady who lives on his street who's kind of scary. In the nightmare she had black teeth and her husband had white eyes and he kidnapped Adam."

"That sounds like a really scary thing to think about when you're trying to fall asleep."

"It is."

"Okay, well I'll get you a glass of water and you can try and fall asleep again and think about something good, like swimming at day camp, or your basketball game coming up on Saturday."

"Mom? Can you just be here while I try to fall asleep? Just for a little while? I'll give you the cold side of the pillow."

Monday, July 28, 2014

The View From Here... And There

Friday night I had the great pleasure of reading one of my blog posts aloud, at the 2014 BlogHer Conference in San Jose. My post was chosen, along with eleven other blogger's work. The writers participated in a live reading called, Voices Of The Year. The post I read is titled "The View From Here," and I originally ran it on the blog last October. Since Friday's reading, a number of people have asked me to re-post it. Here it is.

The View From Here

Recently, Mr. Rosenberg was wondering aloud what it might take for him to become a Rabbi. He thought that first he needed to better grasp his world-view before he could counsel others. It made me question my own world view or as I like to think of it, my Miss America platform. 

I believe in the power of family and the many ways that they are grown and packaged. I also believe in the power of building a family of friends.

I believe in the power of prayer, good vibes, and mojo as healing balms. I also believe in the terrible power of disease, decay, and physical disrepair that cannot be helped, though we pray with all our might. I believe we can push for our will in a situation but God’s will is what’s going to happen anyway.

I believe in the power of a good dermatologist, a good psychiatrist, and rice pudding with raisins.

I believe in the power of a loving God. I do not believe that God is like Santa, rewarding the virtuous and punishing those on the naughty list. I know that sometimes terrible things happen to stellar people and that sometimes enormous good happens to those who seem to least deserve it. I don’t pretend to understand why this is true. God knows. And I believe that too.

I believe in the power of drugs and alcohol as an option to save people from themselves for a time, until they don’t. I believe in the powerful grace of recovery from those, and other addictions, that can be found in following the map charted by brave souls who have passed that way before.

I believe in the power of humor to get us through even the most excrutiating of times and that Tina Fey and Will Farrell and Patton Oswalt are seraphim zipped into people suits.

I believe in the power of animals. I believe that they, like all of us, are divine creatures and should be treated as such. I believe that the longer I think like this, the closer I am to becoming a vegetarian. 

I believe in the power of forgiveness especially when I am caught in the clenched fist of not forgiving. 

I believe in the power of compliments, giving them and also learning to receive them. I believe that compliments are a spiritual high five.

I believe in the power of time. I believe that time is relative and that someone we know for an hour can change our lives as much as someone we know for a decade. I do not believe that time heals all wounds, but it will at least scab them over if you allow it.

I believe in the power of help: Accepting it and also giving it without keeping a scorecard of who did what when for how long. I believe that kindness and attention and the offering of help to others can be our simple ministry to the world.

I believe in the power of music and poetry as communication and communion and that reading Rumi or listening to Nina Simone is a way God has of letting us peek behind the spiritual curtain.

I believe in the power of mystery to shape our days and keep us interested to see what’s next. We can have a routine and believe we know what to expect but it rarely goes that way, and that is a wonder and a blessing.

I believe in the power of teachers and that each person, each situation we encounter will teach us something. I believe that each day holds one sacred lesson for us and if we listen closely, we will hear God’s voice in some most unlikely places.

I believe in the power of the past and the importance of learning to look back but not stare. I believe in the power of this moment. And this one. I believe in the power of each of us to bring our unique story and brand of special sauce to this life and our ability to use that power for good instead of evil. I believe you are doing the best you know how. I believe today is a good day.  

Friday, July 25, 2014

Ghost In The Machine

You guys? When I went to my phone tonight to transfer a photo for my blog post for tonight, the picture I was looking for was gone and had been replaced by three identical arial shots of what appears to be the Las Vegas strip at night. I had the phone on me all day. Haven't been to Vegas since Jeff and I were married there in 2005. My phone, apparently, has an alternate life I know nothing about.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Little Gramps Checks In

"Mom? Is the place we're staying at this weekend a hotel or a motel?"

"It's a hotel."

"Good, then they'll have room service."

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Smooth Criminal

"Mom. Mom! Watch my Michael Jackson moves. See what I do with the hat, like him? And sometimes he rips his t-shirt but I know you wouldn't let me do that because this is that new one with the v-neck you got at Target. Sometimes when he's dancing, Michael Jackson grabs his downstairs-situation but I figured you probably wouldn't want me to do that either because it's kind of bad manners. But I can moon walk, as long as I'm wearing socks. See?"

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Wish You Were Here

"Mom? I'm kind of sad to be leaving Florida."

"It was nice getting to see everyone."

"Yeah. I liked that part and the beach and swimming pool parts too and lots of stuff. And I think that's the best hotel-motel we've ever stayed in... Now that Grandma Sylvia's gone, do you think we'll ever come back here again?"

"I really don't know."

"We might just have to remember it all real hard."

Monday, July 21, 2014

For The Love Of Sylvia

In Jewish tradition, sometime near the one year anniversary of a loved one's death, family members come together for an unveiling, a tradition in which blessings and prayers are recited and sung and the departed's headstone is unveiled. Last weekend we traveled to Florida to meet up with family and celebrate an unveiling for Jeff's beloved Grandmother Sylvia who died last summer.

We stood in the oppressive heat of Florida, the Florida that felt incomplete with Sylvia no longer in it. We surrounded the veiled grave marker. Aunt Lynne read from Psalms.

"God will guard your coming and going now and forever."

The Moleh, the memorial prayer, was said.

Memories were shared: Sylvia's opinions, Sylvia's guidance, Sylvia's cooking, Sylvia's humor, Sylvia's generosity. (But she always hid the walnuts for strudel as if they were gold.) There was laughter as much as tears.

"May this monument serve as a reminder of what is most enduring, the immortality of the soul, memories that never fade, Love that remains alive..."

Sylvia's great-grandchildren, our Bob and his cousin, little Emma, removed the covering from the headstone with help from Jeff and Debbie.

"May her soul be bound up in the bond of eternal life. Amen"

The Kaddish, the mourners prayer, was recited in Hebrew.

In keeping with tradition, we each a found a little stone to leave by the headstone as a token of our presence. Bob left three stones. I left a tiny shell.

Sylvia was remembered well.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Beach Bob Video

Beach Bob from Lisa Page Rosenberg on Vimeo.

We're at the beach this weekend. It made me think of this day at the beach with Bob four years ago. "Look at the waves, Mama!"

Friday, July 18, 2014

Travel Size

"Mom! You forgot to pack my strawberry toothpaste!"

"I couldn't pack it. We did carry-ons so I couldn't pack a tube of stuff that big. You'll have to use some of my little toothpaste."

"But it's minty! I hate minty."

"Just give it a try."

"Yuck. It's terrible! Look hold on. I won't brush too hard and then smell my breath. It's yogurt and chocolate and water flavored. Way better than minty."

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Their Guys

"Here, Bob. Here's the Lego guy I made of you."

"Thanks, Lucas!"

"And here Sebby, here's the Lego guy I made of you."

"Thanks, Lucas.... Hey Bob, did you notice my guy is wearing a captain's hat but I'm not really a captain?"

"Sure you are, Sebby - Captain Awesome!"

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Little Gramps Always Gets A Box

"Mom? Why does everyone in this place have tattoos? Were they all born in the 1990s? You know, I saw so much graffiti when we were driving. It was everywhere. That's why I don't always like going into LA. It's such a mess. I can't finish this sandwich. I'll be right back. I'm going to ask our waiter for a to-go box. I can have these leftovers for breakfast tomorrow."

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Now There's A "G" Word

"Mom? In the Fred movie, Fred says "Oh, gammit" instead of the bad "D" word."

"Well, I don't want you using 'gammit.' It sounds to close to the bad word."

"I know I never do. And I never, ever say the bad word."


"But Pops does, I'm just saying."

Monday, July 14, 2014

Go After The Ball

"Good game today, Bud."

"Thanks, Mom. But why does the coach yell stuff to me through the whole game? He doesn't yell that much at anyone else."

"I think it's because you're tall and he sees potential in you to be a better player so he's coaching you a lot."

"What's potential?"

"Potential is when it seems like you could be really good at something."

"I think I'd feel better with a little less potential and more baskets."

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Retro Bob

This is one of my favorite tour photos of Bob, sleeping in his noise canceling headphones. Mr. Rosenberg with Lavender Diamond were touring with The Decemberists. This was taken by a photographer from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper, in October of 2006 at The Tabernacle theater in Atlanta.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Inside the Teddy Mind

Most of the time he just watches: the joggers, the dog-walkers, the skateboarders. The barking is reserved for the usual suspects: the mailman. the UPS guy, the meter-reader from the gas company. Every hour or two, he will lose his barking mind at a passerby, with seemingly no rhyme or reason. What is it about that particular red stroller? Why that one chocolate labrador and not that one? Why do we need protection from the handyman on a Tuesday but not a Thursday? So many questions. The number one question is, of course, who's a good boy?

Thursday, July 10, 2014


"Hey Mom, Hey Moooooooooooooooom. Listen to my new made up word again! Mcpishy mcpishy mcpishy!"

"That's too loud for inside the car, Bud."


"Bob, the combination of this traffic and your craziness is making me nuts."

"Mcpishy mcpishy mcpishy!"

"Seriously, put a lid on it."

"What does that mean? Mcpishy?"

"Can it, Sir."

"What do you mean by that? Mcpishy mcpishy?"

"Take it down a notch."

"Mcpishy! My notches don't go down!"

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What Are The Odds?

"Mom, can you come in here while I fall asleep?"

"Why doesn't Dad get a turn?'

"Because I do eenie meenie minie moe to pick and it always lands on you."

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


"Bob, now that we've seen the doctor about those big mosquito bite welts, we'll get you all lined out."

"What does that mean? Lined out?"

"Like, sorted out."

"What's that?"

"You know, squared away."

"Mom! What are you talking about?"

"Fixed up. All better."

"Why didn't you just say that? Why did you have to use all of those weird catch-phrases?"

Monday, July 7, 2014

E.T. Spoiler Alert

Whispers "Mom? Mom?"

"Shh, Bob. Let's watch the movie."

"But Mom, does E.T. die in this movie?"


"But it seems like someone dies in the movie."

"No one dies in the movie."

"But it seems like that's going to happen and I have to be ready."

"Really, I promise. Everyone's okay in the end."


"Shh, Bob."

"But Dad, does someone die in this?"


"But E.T. looks all dead."

"Just watch and see what happens."

"Not even the dog dies?"

"No one dies."

"Oh, look! He's alive again!"


"Mom? No one died. Why are you crying at E.T.? Are you crying at E.T.? No one dies and he was saved by love!"

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Smacksy Sunday Links

Teeny tiny books made by the young Bronte sisters. Fascinating.

30 magical photos of children playing from around the world.

How animals eat their food.
 This made me do the Lol.

A wild kitty and a camera.

Happy Sunday.

Friday, July 4, 2014


4 year-old Bob on another 4th

Another 4th. Another pancake breakfast at the police department. Another tiny town parade. Another lunch with friends. Another fireworks show at the high school football field. Another holiday I never tire of. I wasn't born on the fourth of July but it feels like my birthday. Wishing you a happy one, America.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

At Home And Resting

"Mom? Is Teddy's oral surgery going to make him look different?"

"No. It's just one tooth."

"Are they going to put in a new tooth?"

"No. He'll be fine without it."

"Can't they put in a silver or gold one for him?"

"Teddy doesn't need a grill. It's a small tooth and he'll be fine."

"Okay. It won't change his barking voice, will it?"

"Not at all. When he gets home he'll still be a little goofy from the anesthesia, but that's it."

"Mom, we won't even be able to tell because his usual is goofy."

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Happy To Oblige

"Mom? Why did the waiter give me this?"

"It has the kids menu on the back."

"No, I mean he gave me crayons too. That never happens at this restaurant."


"He must really want me to color this. I guess it would be impolite not to."

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I Have Been Warned

"Teddy! Come inside! Okay, Bob. It's time for bed. Teddy! Ted!"

"Wait, Mom. I can get Teddy to come in."

"You really need to be in bed right now and I really need to get Teddy inside."

"But, Mom - watch. Teddy! Teddy Come in Teddy! See? Here he comes."

"Wow. How'd you do that?"

"Mom, you have no idea what I'm capable of."