Saturday, July 30, 2016

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Home From Camp

Bob has returned from camp. He had a fantastic time and can't wait to go back next summer. He looks older and definitely taller than when he left last week. On the way home from picking him up, we stopped at the coffee shop by our house. The guys sat in the booth and watched basketball on the TV while we waited for our lunch. He's home.

Friday, July 29, 2016

A Small, True Story About a Bird

Portrait of a Woman in Greco-Roman Dress Holding a Pigeon.
Edwin Long, 1887.

Today, I parallel parked on a busy street. As I was waiting to get out of the car, a truck sped past, running over a bird. I watched as the bird's wings trembled outward and then pulled back into her body. She fell over and lay still, narrowly being missed by other cars. I walked into the street and picked her up, holding her to my chest. She suddenly turned her head and looked back at me. We made eye contact and in an instant, she flew away.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Email to Bob at Camp From Dad

Dear Bob-
Your mom and Teddy and I (pictured below) are obviously struggling here without you. How is camp? Are you guys doing lots of fun stuff? I can't wait to hear all about it. Here at home we are mostly doing normal things, except for dancing around the house in our underwear and eating at all the restaurants you don't like.  You had better come back soon or I think we might lose our minds!  😜

We love and miss you very much and can't wait to see you Saturday. Love to Adam and Caleb!
Mom and Dad and Teddy

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

When a Song Chooses You

How does your brain pick which song to set on replay?

For the past week, it's been this one. This is a song I like, which is fortunate, because I could just as easily have been stuck with "Sister Christian" or "Mambo #5" or "Tie a Yellow Ribbon." (I say this from previous, awful, experience.)

I picture all the songs I've ever heard, inside my mental juke box, laying dormant until something in my consciousness releases them. How is this one chosen? Is it all random or do the song choices have meaning, like dreams do?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Love, Dad

We're sending letters to Bob while he's gone at camp - with baseball cards enclosed. Today's letter was written by Mr. Rosenberg.

Hi There Super-Buddy!
Hope you are having an excellent time. Mom and I are spending most of our time dressing Teddy up like you and trying to get him to play baseball. It's not working very well! We love you and miss you tremendously! Please say hello to Adam and Caleb (and Todd.)

P.S. (Happy Face Saying 'Fart.' A copy of the picture Bob often likes using to sign off his letters.)

Camp Bus Driver and Counselor Todd.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Headed to Camp

Bob said goodbye to Teddy before leaving for sleep-away camp yesterday morning. He'll be gone for six days - five days longer than he's ever been away from us. He was nervous-excited-worried he wouldn't be able to fall asleep. Mr. Rosenberg and I were also nervous-excited-worried we wouldn't be able to fall asleep.

Night one went fine with no distress calls from camp to home, or home to camp. We saw a happy photo of him on the camp website today. Tonight Mr. R and I went out to dinner, just the two of us.

I think we're all going to do just fine.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Smacksy Sunday Links

The guys headed to climbing camp.  Photo by Trina Jaconi-Biery

Simple habits for daily mindfulness.

Ways to spread love.

Susan Sontag on storytelling and what it means to be a moral human being.

According to scientists, this is the ultimate US road trip.

And a bird riding a moving handrail.

Happy Sunday.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Are You Ready?

When Bob was taking a bath last night, he tried to turn off the cold water but the knob was stripped and just turned and turned in his hand. We had to turn off the water for the whole house to get it to stop. (I filled up the coffee machine with water before turning it off, obviously.) The plumber came in the morning and all is fixed now but last night I had a disturbing realization.

There was no other water. 

No jugs in the fridge or bottled water hanging out on the counter. The water in the earthquake kit was old. I am not prepared for an emergency. I haven't changed out the preparedness kit since before we moved into this place two and a half-years-ago. I always like to know we're ready for anything so this was unsettling. 

I've written about earthquake preparedness before. I know how important it is. I know the supplies that are needed and how to acquire them. I just haven't done it in much too long. Our crappy water faucet was sending me a message and the message was, "Get it together, woman." 

I'm getting it together. Are you guys ready?

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


"Did you find everything you were looking for today?"

"Yes, thanks."

"Will that be debit or credit?"


"Anything big going on for you today?"

"Well, I just had the air conditioner in my car fixed which is pretty big since with this weather I've felt like I'm driving around my own sauna."

"Yeah, I take three buses to get here and it's gross."

"I bet."

"And I live in a room I rent in a lady's house and she won't turn on the air conditioner and I'm on the third floor."


"It makes me really happy to get to work."

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Starting Here

The world is spinning faster, the news a steady diet of horror and awfulness. I can't help but feel overwhelmed and helpless about it all. When I hit that spot where I am searching for hope, I start with one of the foundations of my faith as I learned it: Help others. Being of service, is an immediate fix for that low place. I can't fix all the troubles, but starting where I am, I can do something.

As I circled the lot looking for that always elusive Trader Joe's parking spot, I noticed a young family off to the side. A man, two small children, and a woman with a baby on her lap, sat on the curb. There was a handmade sign with something about a lost job and needing food and work. The man was playing the accordion. I parked and made my way back to them. I introduced myself and then spoke to the woman.

"Let's go shopping."

She picked out soap and chicken and toilet paper and milk and potatoes and peanut butter and eggs and bread. There was cheese and jam and yogurt and canned tuna and tomatoes and butter and olive oil and more. Her son picked out a watermelon. Her daughter picked out a bar of chocolate.

I paid. We hugged each other tight as we both welled up. We promised to pray for each other.

I know I got the better end of this deal.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Tattoo You

"Dad? Did you notice that a bunch of my cousins have tattoos?"

"I did."

"Why don't you have one?"

"I could never decide on something I liked enough."

"I know what I'd have for my tattoo."

"What's that?"

"'In Bob We Trust.'"

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Retro Mr. Rosenberg

Mr. Rosenberg playing with Young People at The Smell in Los Angeles, 2003. Photo by Jason Amos.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Night Game

Tonight was the first game of the summer season. It was 72° and clear with a half moon shining. The kids had fun. It was perfect. I'll hold this night in my hand for awhile. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016


"Mom, look at Teddy. He's been staring at that fly for three minutes straight. When he catches it, it's gonna be epic."

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Boys of Summer

"I like this song, Mom. Is it new?"

"I think it's about ten-years-old. It's actually a cover of a song from the 80s."

"What does 'boys of summer' mean?"

"It's a term used to talk about baseball players."

"And we're hearing it on the way to the first summer season practice? How totally super weird is that, Mom?"

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Drama of Baseball Cards

"Bob? Are you okay? Why are you rolling on the floor? Did you hurt yourself? Bob, what's going on?"

"Opened... new... pack... autograph... card... Matt... Duffy... Astros... real signature... have... to... tell... Felix... can't... breathe..."

Monday, July 11, 2016

The List 54/74

I've never really had a formal bucket list. I've always seen my whole life as a bucket list. This has mostly worked out great and other times gotten a little dicey. I saw this :30 second video from entrepreneur/motivational speaker Gary Vee and it made me think that maybe I should be a little more formal about my list. I wrote down some of the things I've done already (I came up with 54) and put in bold the things I still have left that I would like to do. (20)  

I know I'll think of more to add as time moves on. For now, it looks like I'll need to start saving up my frequent flier miles. 
  1. Ride in a hot air balloon. 
  2. Go to a masquerade ball.
  3. Go parasailing.
  4. Be a bridesmaid.
  5. Ride an elephant.
  6. Visit Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.
  7. See the Northern Lights.
  8. Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
  9. Write a book. (Working on it!)
  10. See a Broadway show.
  11. Travel to Ireland.
  12. Meet David Bowie and Elvis Costello. (And see them both in concert.)
  13. Go zip-lining.
  14. Travel to Machu Pichu.
  15. Ride in a gondola in Venice.
  16. Travel to my dad's hometown in New Mexico.
  17. Have a baby.
  18. Go to the opera.
  19. High tea in a fancy hotel. 
  20. See the Grand Canyon.
  21. Ride in a helicopter.
  22. Walk the red carpet.
  23. Kayak in Hawaii.
  24. Attend a Native American Pow Wow.
  25. Visit the Statue of Liberty.
  26. Work on a pottery wheel.
  27. See the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, Italy.
  28. Walk Through the Wisteria Tunnel at Kawachi Fuji Gardens, in Kitakyushu Japan.
  29. Ride on the back of a motorcycle.
  30. See Stonehenge.
  31. Feed the monkeys near James Bond Island in Phuket.
  32. Stay in a castle.
  33. Visit the Sistine Chapel.
  34. Ride in a horse and carriage.
  35. Go sailing.
  36. Walk the Great Wall of China.
  37. Ride horses at a dude ranch.
  38. See Cirque de Soleil.
  39. Travel to Positano.
  40. Stay in Yosemite National Park.
  41. Snorkel.
  42. Ride the Orient Express.
  43. Join a book club.
  44. See the Mona Lisa.
  45. Go camping in the Sierras.
  46. Ride in a tuk tuk.
  47. Climb an indoor rock wall.
  48. Stay in a ryokan in Kyoto.
  49. Be present at a birth.
  50. Attend a music festival.
  51. Ride on a cable car in San Francisco.
  52. Stay at a Ski Lodge in Aspen, Colorado.
  53. Go on Photo-Safari in Africa.
  54. Party in Las Vegas.
  55. Participate in a charity walk-a-thon.
  56. Visit the Taj Mahal.
  57. Be on stage with American Ballet Theater.
  58. See the pyramids.
  59. Visit New Zealand.
  60. Stay in the French Quarter in New Orleans.
  61. Ride a train through Germany.
  62. Go white water rafting.
  63. Go skydiving.
  64. Travel around LA, doing good deeds in the station wagon.
  65. Stay in Big Sur.
  66. Drive a convertible. 
  67. Karaoke. 
  68. Ride the bullet train in Japan.
  69. Adopt a pet from the pound.
  70. Learn to play the piano.
  71. Get a Thai massage in Bangkok.
  72. Learn a second language.
  73. Walk in the rain in London. 
  74. Travel to Algarve, Portugal.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Class 5

When I went to Knott's Berry Farm last summer with Bob, I rode the Silver Bullet roller coaster with him. The Silver Bullet is a "Class 5" on the 1-5 scale of "aggressive thrills." I was scared. I pulled the safety bar down, said a prayer, held on for dear life, and later I threw up. Right now, the world is feeling just like that. A Class 5.

The violence here in America, in Baghdad, in Europe, in Saudi Arabia, in Istanbul is overwhelming. I know that physical violence and violent hate speech is not new, it's our ability to watch it, to hear it, and to bear witness up close that is. I am angry and terrified for our planet. I am also searching for hope and a way to help.

I will speak out. I will look for concrete ways to help. I will seek to give my heart to the victims and survivors. Listening to this clip from a talk by Brené Brown is a good place to start.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Hair of the Dog

Ted is home from what we refer to as The Dog Rave. We board him at a place with a large play yard, a pool, and countless dog playmates. The place is also known for playing loud reggae and has college guys in the yard to hang out with. (I have a few single girlfriends who have expressed an interest in boarding themselves here too.) Teddy is thrilled to get there and always returns home exhausted and sleeps for three days.

We are currently on hour nine of The Dog Party hangover. Ted is requesting huevos rancheros and an Alka Seltzer.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Me and Mr. R

"I don't know what band this is we're listening to but this drummer sounds like you."

"It'a not me but the drummer is the guy I bought my drums from."

"That's weird."

"That is weird."

Friday, July 1, 2016

Breathe Deeply

We're visiting some family this weekend in Colorado and I wish that you would all be able to smell this place. It's trees and grass and loam and mountain air. If I wore perfume, this would be it.