Wednesday, October 18, 2017


"Buddy? I think you've been using my deodorant."

"No, I don't think so."

"Yeah, this one. See?"

"Yeah, that's mine, Babe."

"No, I bought it online. It's a fancy organic something-something."

"I got mine online too."

"Um... you never buy anything.  You don't even buy your own socks or underwear."

"I know but I saw an ad for it. It doesn't have aluminum in it so you ---"

" --- don't get Alzheimers. I know. That's why I bought it."

"No, I bought it."

"Have we been sharing a deodorant? I don't know why, but that kind of skeeves me out."

"I'm going to be late for work. I gotta get out of here."

"You don't want to talk more about stealing my deodorant?

"My deodorant."

Tuesday, October 17, 2017


This is Skelly. (So named by eight-year-old Bob.) Over the years, Skelly's left foot came off and later his entire left leg. If we keep him propped up just so, his dismembered bones can still do the job. It's sort of a sweet gig.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Midnight Run

Late in the evening, Mr. Rosenberg takes Teddy and Levi across the street to the tennis courts at the park. The dogs run laps and look for errant tennis balls. I'm pretty sure it's Teddy and Levi's favorite part of the day, except for maybe the cookie part of the day.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Smacksy Sunday Links

Holding my friend Kristen's puppy on Thursday was two hours incredibly well spent.

The ultimate hack: Letting Go.

Dr. Brené Brown on the leadership power of vulnerability.

California is still on fire. Here's how to help.

How to read aloud to children, from one of the masters.

You should be following Neil Kramer's Instagram account.

And the sweetest possum. 

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Not Allowed on the Bed

Not allowed on the bed:

1. Dogs
2. Dirty baseball pants
3. Children wearing dirty baseball pants
4. Napping children wearing dirty baseball pants
5. Napping dogs
6. Extreme cuteness

Friday, October 13, 2017

Outta Dodge

Mr. Rosenberg sang a little extemporaneous song to us and accompanied himself on the ukulele while he waited for his Lyft to the airport. He's off to Michigan for his 25th high school reunion. 

These guys know what the suitcase means. They all got in as many last minute pets as possible. 

We all watched and made sure he got into the car safely. We got confirmation texts when he arrived at LAX, when he watched the Wonder Woman movie on his flight, and when he landed. He's going to have a great weekend. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017


We woke up this morning to find that Bob had outgrown all of his shirts overnight. I ran to Target this afternoon to get some t-shirts and for the first time, I had to buy them in the men's department. He's wearing a men's medium.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Well Then

"Mom? What did that Trader Joe's check out guy say to you?"

"He told me that I looked pretty today. He has great taste, am I right?"

"Yeah, and a super sweet mullet!"

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Today is a Good Day for a Good Day

After Mr. Rosenberg left for work this morning and Bob headed out the door for the walk to school, I sat in the chair in the living room and had a big cry. It's my sober anniversary. I stopped drinking thirty years ago today and the idea that I could have so easily missed all of this, my dear life, is overwhelming. 

Sobriety, just like life, is a fragile thing. There are no guarantees. All we've got is today. And today, is excellent. I am eternally grateful to the grace I have been afforded and all of those who have given me hope and help and a path to follow.

I'm getting teary again. You guys. My gratitude takes my breath away. Thanks for being here with me.

Monday, October 9, 2017

We're Hazardous

The moment when your neighbors wonder if you've got a meth lab in the garage.

"This is Fire Captain Chris, how can I help you?"

"Hi. My son dropped a mercury thermometer on our kitchen floor and it shattered. We looked on the internet about how to deal with a mercury spill and we tried some of the things we read to do but there's still mercury everywhere and the more we read the more we're convinced we are that we're going to die right now."

"First, you need to keep any kids and pets out of the area. I'm going to give you the number for the on-call County Hazmat Team. The hazmat crews are terrific. They'll take care of you."

While we waited for the hazmat team to arrive, I searched the web for information about mercury poisoning. Apparently the symptoms (insomnia, irritability, headache, decreased cognitive function) are indistinguishable from my regular peri-menopausal personality. We were screwed.

Two LA County Hazardous Materials trucks pulled up to the house. The Hazmat Team guys (Eric and Milton) measured the toxicity in the house with a machine called the "Jerome Mercury Vapor Analyzer." They Jerome-d everything in the vicinity including the inside of Mr. Rosenberg's car, where I had sent Bob and Mr. R and the dogs (after they touched everything) to drive around to keep them out of the way. Obviously I don't really understand how contamination works.

The car, miraculously, tested out okay but inside the house was testing high, as were my hands and face. I was able to fix myself up with hot water and soap. The rest took more effort.

Milton with The Jerome

Eric and Milton got to work. There was spraying and compound sprinkling and scrubbing and lathering and rinsing and repeating. In the meantime we talked about kids' sports and Nina Simone and I heard some cool hazmat stories. I also heard about the cost of remediation if they weren't able to get this stuff taken care of and I had to get a contractor to do it.

Covered in plastic. Just like grandma's couch.

They worked for over four hours trying to get the levels down. Finally, they covered the kitchen floor in plastic and said that the heat in the house would heat up the floor under the plastic to kill off more of the vapor. They returned the next day to take up the plastic and re-Jerome the area. At last, they gave us the all clear.

Eric and Milton, our heroes.

The fire captain was right, the hazmat guys were terrific. They were thorough and professional and kind. We gave them each a dozen chocolate chip cookies and our eternal gratitude. Only digital thermometers for us from now on.

Is it weird that I want my own Jerome?

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Smacksy Sunday Links

A guide to getting good at dealing with chaos.

Alibaba is the Amazon of China. Their warehouse robots are fascinating.

How Nobel Prize winner, Kazuo Ishiguro, wrote The Remains of the Day in four weeks.

Movies set in the fall.

I love Andrew Bird.

Photos of kindness on the NYC subway.

And cats napping on dogs.

Happy Sunday.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Night Reading

His door was cracked open, so I looked in to check on him. I could have just stood there watching him all night but, you know, take a picture it lasts longer and all that.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Angelika and Anton

Photo by Me

They were my piano teachers, now they are also my friends. Angelika Fuchs and Anton Smirnoff are brilliant classical pianists. She's from Ukraine, he's from Siberia. They are funny and smart and sweet and obviously easy on the eyes. Take the next nine minutes and watch the video of the hilarious Liszt duet they performed last Sunday at the Nixon Library. This will immediately improve the quality of your day. You are very welcome.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Flu: Day 3 or Something

I am always the last person to realize (admit) I am sick. I stare at my watery, blood-shot eyes in the mirror and convince myself that "it's just allergies." I can't lift my pounding head off the pillow because I "need another cup of coffee." (That's always true.) I am shivering because of "this crazy autumn weather." (77°)

Levi (Dr. Levi) is proving, as usual, to be an excellent diagnostician. He knew I was sick, first. Since the weekend, he has ramped up his usual following-me-aroundness x10. He is no longer allowed on the bed, but I don't have the energy to keep ordering him off. When I do get him down, he stands next to the bed and stares at me. When I get fever-y, he licks my forehead. He has not brought me chicken soup on a tray yet, but I believe that will be next.

Hope this will all clear up soon. Meanwhile, I am hydrating, napping, and listening to podcasts and dog snores. Just what the dog doctor ordered.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

A Package From Kolon Industries

I swear to you, this tag is attached to a dress. A pretty dress. How's YOUR Kolon?

Monday, October 2, 2017

Location, Location, Location

Mr. Rosenberg left me a message on his way to work. "There's a crazy-awesome spider web that appeared overnight on your car."

The top of it was attached to the tree, one side to the hedge next to the driveway, and the bottom and other side were attached to the antenna and backside of the Prius. It was incredible. It's hard to tell in the photo but it was a glorious web with a big brown spider sitting in the middle.

I stood in the driveway taking it in and then realized, that I was going to have to get in my car immediately or risk being late to volunteer in Bob's art class at school. I considered cancelling just to preserve the spider's work. (Yes, I am that weird. But you already know that.) Instead, I used a branch to lift the spider, and what I could salvage of the web, off the car with a branch and relocated her to a shrub on the side of the house.

I felt bad about evicting her but I couldn't think of an honest, non-insane-sounding reason to give for missing my volunteer gig. Hopefully, she understands.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Thursday, September 28, 2017

I Love Picture Day

Today was my last elementary school picture day. Yes, it's technically Bob's picture day, but I really think of it as mine. I adore volunteering on picture day. The party dresses and the bow ties and the awkwardness and the "cheese!" all make for the best tiny-people watching experience ever.

There was a kindergartener who no matter what pose the photographer would set him up with, when it was time to snap his picture, the kid would automatically raise his hands over his head in a "V for victory."

There was the third grade girl who could not smile with out sticking her tongue through the open space where her two front teeth would soon be.

There was the boy who demanded to sit like Rodin's, The Thinker. 

This morning I was explaining my love of picture day to a dad as he was attempting to sew together his third-grade son's clip-on tie. "But why? I don't get why you love it so much," he said. The needle and thread he was wrestling in his hands right then? That's why I love it so much.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


 They like to be near each other about 95% of the time.

Like near, near. Like no personal space, near.

 Like find the tightest, smallest area of the house and jam in there together, near.

Can you blame them?

Monday, September 25, 2017

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017

Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Very Good Time

Way back when.

It's a great time. Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year), the autumnal equinox, and the 13th anniversary of my first date with Mr. Rosenberg are all happening right around this minute. I'm a fan of all of these things. With seemingly constant reminders of all of the current peril on the planet, I'm shining a bright light on all of the good things I can. There are always good things.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Unsolicited Feedback

"Mom? What did you just call that driver in the blue car?"

"I think you heard what I called him, Bob."

"You really need to be less colorful with your language, Mom."

Friday, September 15, 2017

The E

"Bob? Did you tell Dad how you did on your homework?"

"Oh, yeah! I got an 'E.'"

"What does that mean?"

"'E' stands for excellent. It's the highest mark. It's above 'satisfactory' which is above 'needs improvement.'"

"Oh, well. That's good to hear. It meant something a lot different when I was a kid."

"What did it mean when you were a kid, Dad?'

"Yeah, what did it mean? It didn't mean anything when I was a kid and I'm a lot older than you."

"Well, it wasn't great. It was between 'D' and 'F.'"

"Um, what?"

"You, know - A, B, C, D, E, F."

"Dude. There's no 'E.' It goes A, B, C, D, F. There's never been an 'E.'"


"Are you being serious right now?"

"There's no 'E'?"


"Dad, I know you only got A's so I guess it maybe sort of makes sense that you don't really know about the lower grades, but not really."

"Are you guys sure about this?"

"Oh my God, Dad."

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Why I Love My Birthday on Facebook

Most years, for as long as I can remember, I have sent holiday cards. Some years store-bought, some years I made them myself, and since Bob was born, they've been photo cards. Each year, one thing remains the same. I always address them by hand. The convenience of printing out labels from the computer is only a mild temptation because the truth is, I enjoy addressing the cards by hand. Each time I write down the name of a friend or family member, I am given the opportunity to think about that person. How we met, or something funny they said once, or the last time we saw each other. I get to hold each of them in my hand for just a minute.

The Facebook tradition of posting on a friend's wall to wish them a happy birthday is one of my favorite things, especially on my birthday. Yesterday I received 219 Facebook birthday wishes. My favorite part? I respond to each one. It's usually just a few words of thanks but, it's an excuse and a reminder to think about every person during our brief exchange.

I am fortunate to know so many wonderful people. It was a happy birthday.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Back Porch aka Dog Office

I spent this morning in my favorite spot - the back porch, with my favorite dog people - Levi and Ted. One of us had coffee, the other two had pumpkin flavored dog cookies because they are autumnal and we love a theme, here on the back porch.

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Prayer for the Fallen of 9-11

Cantor Azi Schwartz. 

O G-d, full of compassion, Who dwells on high, grant true rest upon the wings of the Shechinah (Divine Presence), in the exalted spheres of the holy and pure, who shine as the resplendence of the firmament, to the souls of September 11 who has gone to his [supernal] world, for charity has been donated in remembrance of his soul; may his place of rest be in Gan Eden. Therefore, may the All-Merciful One shelter him with the cover of His wings forever, and bind his soul in the bond of life. The Lord is his heritage; may he rest in his resting-place in peace; and let us say: Amen

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Friday, September 8, 2017

This is Only a Drill

Spotted on the office door of Bob's school this morning. Seems legit.