Sunday, June 25, 2017

Smacksy Sunday Links

The view from our hotel room.

In college, I had a friend named Aumi who was from Tel Aviv. His mother had recently moved from Israel to California and was very excited to be traveling North for the first time to the place she referred to as "San Francisco City." Since then, when I think of my favorite city in California, I am compelled to refer to it by its full name, "San Francisco City." We are here in San Francisco City for a few days and I am delighted.

Just flowing.

Stop doing these things.

Before the internet. 

Back when garden gnomes were real people.

Unbelievable balloon animals.

And a prairie dog eating cheese.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Smacksy Saturday Photo: The Zucchini That Took Over the World

Sometimes, you're pretty sure your giant zucchini plant hasn't produced anything yet.Then you find a green torpedo as big as your forearm hiding in the back.

This photo is not employing forced perspective or trick dollhouse-sized background bowls. The squash really is just that big.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Retro Bob: I am an Astronaut

I clicked over to Youtube to watch a financial planner vlog (as I like to do) and got sucker-punched with this almost ten-year-old video I made of Tiny Bob. It made for a bright spot in an already shiny day. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Solstice of Jeffrey Michael Rosenberg

The first day of summer is a time to celebrate. The longest day on the calendar makes way for the warmth and promise of beautiful days ahead and there's also a weird thing at Stonehenge but the number one reason to be happy, on June 21st is the birthday of Mr. Rosenberg.

The sun will reach its highest point in the sky today and we will enjoy snacks and gifts and cake and a rather large helium balloon and send out a psychic high five to god and the universe for creating Jeffrey Michael Rosenberg, best man I know.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Monday, June 19, 2017

Super Handsome

This fine gentleman is enjoying some supervised non-cone time. 

Levi and I dropped Teddy off to get his summer haircut at the groomer. As an experiment, this afternoon, I left Levi all alone in the house when I went to pick up Bob from baseball camp. He has never flown solo in the house before. When we walked in the door, we found him sleeping. 

His good boy level is off the charts.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Smacksy Sunday Links

Mr. Rosenberg and nine-month-old Bob looking out the window of a train somewhere in Germany. 2007.

Airplane etiquette.

City trees are not getting enough sleep.

Getting married at the New York City Clerk's Office.

And a dog and an owl.

Happy Father's Day Sunday.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Friday, June 16, 2017


This morning Mr. Rosenberg took the guys on a walk. Down the street, they ran into our friend Lisa who was walking her lab, Blue. Blue sniffed Levi and then Teddy got in between the two of them, apparently to "protect" Levi. Then Teddy tried to really display some dominance by attempting to "mount" Blue. I have never seen Teddy do this in all my years of being Teddy's friend. He tried mounting a throw pillow once but that was short-lived and just embarrassing for everyone involved. Never seen him try it with another animal. He's taking his job as brother extremely seriously.

Regarding the photo above: We're trying the next size up of inflatable ring/cone. Levi's learning to balance his head on it like a flotation device/pillow. So far so good. Teddy has been staring at the bottom of the front door for going on twelve minutes. Sometimes these guys are just weird. And I love them.

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Levi has been an excellent patient. Per the vet, he's not allowed to jump up on the bed or couch so he can avoid busting his stitches. Since he's used to sleeping in bed next to me and I knew I wouldn't be able to keep him down. I slept on the giant dog bed we made on the floor of our bedroom. I took a cone to the face a few times during the night but for the most part it worked out just fine.

He'll be feeling better in no time.
And a bonus for Mr. Rosenberg and Teddy - they will get the whole bed to themselves for awhile.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Patient is Doing Great

Levi came home this morning. The guys were thrilled to see each other - or Teddy was thrilled and Levi was as thrilled as possible considering the amount of medication he is on. We moved the mattress from Bob's trundle bed to the floor of our room for maximum pup relaxation. Levi is supposed to stay in a small area and convalesce for two weeks. Teddy will not let him out of his sight.

All is well.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

He'll Be Home Soon

On Sunday night, Mr. Rosenberg was petting Levi and noticed a lump near his tail. Monday morning, we went to the vet. She pushed around on it and then felt it from the inside (ew) and determined that Levi had a hernia. She had the surgical specialist there at the vet hospital check it out also and she agreed. Levi would need surgery.

This morning Levi and I went back to the vet for a surgical consult with the specialist. She explained everything to me and was very thorough in such a way that I feel like I too am now a specialist in canine perineal hernias. She also discovered that he has an ear infection. We scheduled his surgery for this afternoon and I left him there.

I was not especially worried about the surgery but I was anxious waiting for the call to let me know it was over. Teddy, on the other hand/paw, was very upset. Of course he didn't have all of the information I had and didn't know what had happened to his pal. Teddy wouldn't eat his snacks. He let out big sighs and moped around the living room. He whined intermittently. He missed his friend.

Late in the afternoon, I got the call. The surgery was a success. Levi was fine and resting. Fine and resting hopped up on meds, wearing a cone, and sporting a shaved bottom hole. Bob and I went to the vet hospital this evening to visit Levi. We took him for a drunken-dog walk around the edge of the parking lot. When we went back inside,  he sat next to us while I had my left hand inside the cone, petting his sweet head. He'll stay over night at the hospital tonight so they can keep an eye on him. We bought him a new dog bed on the way home.

When we got back to the house, Teddy walked to the door to say hi to us. When I sat down he came to my side and started intently sniffing my left hand - my Levi petting hand. He sniffed around for an extra long time and then he licked my palm.

Levi will be home tomorrow.

Monday, June 12, 2017

This Summer Already Rules

"Dad? Can you help me with some soft toss in the backyard? I want to be ready for baseball camp tomorrow."


"I've got camp from 8:00 - 3:00, then practice from 5:00 - 7:00. That's nine hours of baseball. It's going to be the best day of my life."

Friday, June 9, 2017


"Bob, I can't believe it's the last day of fourth grade. Didn't this year go by so fast?"

"You say that about every year, Mom."

"Only because it's true. Congratulations on your award."


"So, why do you think you got "Most Awesome Attitude?"

"Because I'm pretty chill in the classroom and also on the playground."

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Fetch! Nevermind.

This is Levi. Twenty-two seconds after meeting him, I knew he was one of the loves of my life.

And this is a tennis ball, fourty-three seconds seconds after meeting Levi.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Mr. Costello, 2017

Sunday night, Mr. Rosenberg and I went to see Elvis Costello at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. Listening to Elvis Costello sing is on my list of things that make life really, really good and I've been fortunate to see him live a number of times.

Now that we're older, (Elvis and I) he plays at theaters that have assigned seating instead of the standing/dancing shows of the past. I'm at a point in my life where I appreciate assigned seating.

This year he is touring in celebration of the 35th anniversary of the release of one of his best albums, Imperial Bedroom. This record came out the year I graduated high school and it has followed me around ever since.

It was a wonderful concert and a beautiful night in an outdoor theater. I encourage you to do the things that make you happiest, as often as possible.

Monday, June 5, 2017

From the Smacksy Archive: Bob's First MLB Game

Photo by Phil Reagan

Bob and I have been keeping up with our plan for me to read aloud one old blog post each night at bedtime. We've been going in chronological order from the beginning.

Tonight we read the story of when we took Bob to his first professional baseball game. Bob was three. You can read it here: Go Baseball Bats!

When I finished reading it, he asked me to read it again.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Smacksy Sunday Links

Making a marriage magically tidy.

Things I am too old for.


Handmade shoes. Fascinating.

Broken things with googly eyes in Bulgaria.

And a cat playing the piano.

Happy Sunday.

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Downtime

When you had a baseball game last night and another one this morning, what do you do in the two hours until your next game? You go out to the back of the field and play some more baseball. Obviously.

Friday, June 2, 2017

A Costume

"Bob! We've got to go! We can't be late for your performance!"

"Mom! Where's my white shirt?"

"What white shirt? You don't have a white shirt."

"The one for the dance-thing! I totally told you about it!"

"You totally did not."

"Okay, well I need a white shirt. Or I can wear a plaid one."

"You do not own either of those things."

"But, Mom! I have to look western!"

"I don't know what to tell you Bob, but we've got to leave."

"Wait! This shirt is perfect!"

"Your gray, Tulowitzki Colorado Rockies shirt? How is that perfect?"

"Mom, Tulo is appropriate for any occasion."

Thursday, June 1, 2017

A Story About Levi

In one of his previous placements from the dog rescue, Levi lived for a short time in an assisted living. He did not end up being the right fit there ultimately, but the residents loved him. In the evenings, the folks who wanted a visit from Levi would leave their doors open so he could wander in. Levi kept to the first floor, never venturing up the stairs.

One morning, Levi was not in his bed in the lobby. They searched for him in the dining room and the music room and all of the first floor resident apartments. They worried that perhaps he had somehow gotten out. Even though he never climbed the stairs, they eventually went looking for him on the second floor. Still, no sign of him.

The employees spread out through the building. He was finally found on the third floor. He was curled up sleeping at the foot of the bed of a woman who they soon discovered, had died overnight. She didn't pass alone. Levi had been at her side.

I wish you all could meet him.  He's such a good boy.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Introducing, Levi Rosenberg

We adopted this darling boy over the weekend and we are thrilled. I follow a lovely woman on Facebook who has a pet rescue and pet sitting service called Foxy and the Hounds. I have been watching this little guy's story play out for the last two months since they rescued him from a shelter in Barstow. He was taken in by the shelter as a stray. He was severely underweight and definitely the worse for wear. They think he's anywhere from 2 - 4 years-old. The name the shelter gave him was Sid.

Foxy and the Hounds got Sid patched up at the vet and brought him back to health. He was fostered out a few times but kept coming back through what seemed to me to be no fault of his own. Last week, I saw Sid's photo back up on Facebook and that he was available. I told Mr. Rosenberg and Bob about him. I had been carrying Sid's photo around with me on my phone since March.

On Sunday, Sid came to visit. They told me that he was a bit of a loner and not very playful with other dogs. He and Teddy met. They did the sniff-down and immediately their tails were wagging. We brought them into our backyard and after a few minutes, Teddy had him playing.  Teddy was obviously a fan. I knew Sid was home.

One of the first things we did was change his name from Sid-from-Barstow, to Levi. For many years our friend Carol had a beautiful and very special rescue dog named Levi. Sid reminded me of dear departed Levi and his sweet soul, so we had Sid's new name. Now, two days in, Levi already comes when we call.

In Hebrew, Levi means "joined in harmony." We are. And Levi Rosenberg is a mensch.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day and Remembering the Nurses

Today we remember our fallen soldiers and the brave nurses we lost in war time.

We remember them for their service and ultimate sacrifice.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Smacksy Sunday Links

Eighteen summers - it's all we get. This idea can be applied to so many things.

Advice vs Feedback.

They're one of the best parts of Los Angeles.

A handy tip for the easily distracted.

This artist made me gasp out loud.

Central Park in the off hours.

And a fox and her dog.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Sort of Solo

"Mom? What are you and Teddy going to do for the next three days while dad and I are gone at family camp? Run around the house in your underpants?"

"That sounds about right."

Friday, May 26, 2017

Our Missions

"You know, Bob, when I was in fourth grade, we had to actually build scale models of whatever California Mission was assigned to us."

"We had to draw them and then do a report thing and then build them on the computer using Minecraft."

"Ours was sort of like a competition between the parents. Your grandpa Ed was an engineer so I lucked out."

"You didn't do any of it?"

"I think I painted the roof."

"That rules, Mom."

Thursday, May 25, 2017

No One Sings Like You Anymore

The majority of the crowd at the U2 concert on Saturday, looked to be around my age. Before the band came on, people ate pizza and drank beer and took selfies. When they heard the opening notes of Soundgarden's Black Hole Sun, everyone quickly stood and began singing along. Cell phone flashlights, the cigarette lighters of the new millennium, were held up and waved in the night air.

After the first verse, I had to sit down. I closed my eyes. The stadium crowd of 90,000 people were sharing the sorrow of the death of Chris Cornell. His voice was an integral part of the soundtrack of our younger selves. We sang and said goodbye. It was painful and overwhelming. It was sad and it was beautiful. And we were all together.

Fell On Black Days (Official Video) by Soundgarden on VEVO.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Luck is Luck is Luck

"Hey, Bob. Look at that tiny rainbow. It's just on that one cloud. I've never seen one like that before."

"Whoa. I'm taking a picture. Do you think a tiny rainbow only gives a tiny bit of luck?"

"What do you think?"

"I don't think it matters if it's big or small or medium - the good luck is all the same."

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Tuesday Night Practice

"Coach? Who's your favorite team besides the Dodgers?"

"The Dodgers. You can't have two girlfriends, Bob."

Monday, May 22, 2017

On Monday

There are those days when the only next right thing you can think of to do is to go somewhere serene and beautiful. Some days you have to go inward to try to create that spot in your mind. Some days you actually get to go that spot in the outside world.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

U2 at the Rosebowl

"Mom? I know my first concert was dad's band playing, right? But this one tonight kind of counts as my first concert too because I wasn't old enough to remember then."


"Have you ever sat in one of those special box things up at the top of the stadium?"


"Was it really good?"

"It was nice, but I was so far away from the action up there, it almost felt like I was watching it on TV. The music is only part of a concert. The rest is being a part of a group of people who are sharing an experience."

"Oh, yeah. I totally get that. That's really important. But do they have couches and snacks up there?"

Friday, May 19, 2017

Thursday, May 18, 2017

When I'm a Passenger

Photo Ashrafal Arefin

When my mom still lived up north, she would take the train down here to visit. She would invariably step out of the station with scraps of paper in her purse with the emails of the new people she'd met that day. She's got a gift for making fast friends.

I've read that most people using Uber or Lyft sit in the backseat, as one does in a cab. Three out of four times when I'm using a ride service, I will ask to sit in the front. I get into conversations with drivers. On longer rides, like to and from the airport, I usually walk-away with the life story of the person behind the wheel. Like mother, like daughter.

Last week, I met three interesting drivers. There was Robert, a truck-driver from Lakewood who'd been laid off at the beginning of the year. I heard about his wife, who was originally from the Philippines, and their struggle to have children. I heard how his in-laws have never forgiven their daughter for marrying a caucasian and about his childhood growing up in Santa Fe Springs.

Miguel is originally from El Salvador and is the lone accountant in a family of physicians. He had hopes that his college-age daughter would follow in his footsteps but she announced that she was going pre-med. He tried to pretend he was disappointed. He absolutely wasn't.

James is moving to Atlanta in two weeks with his daughter. Neither of them have ever been there but they are going to be close to James' son who was just drafted to the Falcons. His daughter lost her mother two years ago and he was not looking forward to the next day, Mother's Day, because of how upset his daughter would be, missing her mom. We talked about grief. I shared some of my experience. We hugged when he dropped me off.

All these beautiful stories and fascinating people. Why would anyone ever want to sit in the backseat and miss all that?

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

This Book

I heard through the family grapevine that there was a book on Amazon written about my paternal great-grandfather, Francis Nelson Page. The book arrived today. I'm overwhelmed with all of the stories and family history that I've only seen the edges of before, and photos that I'd never seen at all.

My grandmother Sofia Padilla Page
My father was the youngest of her eight children.

My great-grandmother Albinita Mares
This is the first photo I have seen of her as a young woman.

My great-grandfather Francis Nelson Page

I am still reading through the book. I just finished a chapter about Frank and Albinita and Billy the Kid.

This is all so very wonderful.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Eight Year Smacksy Anniversary

On May 16 2009, I wrote my first Smacksy blog post. Today should bring me up to 2,920 days in a row of posting something here.  (2,921? Leap year? I'm unclear exactly.)

Smacksy means so much to me.
It's a daily writing practice.
It's a commitment to myself.
It's Bob's baby book.
It's a calling card.
It's the place where I have found remarkable friendships.
It's the story of our family.
It's a connection to the outside world.
It's a backup for my faulty memory.
It's encouragement and support from you guys.
It's eight-years-old today.

I am grateful for all of this and grateful for all of you.

Monday, May 15, 2017


Just today, I got around to going through the pictures I took last week in Florida. I found this photo of lovely legs belonging to a few of my girlfriends. It was an accidental photo that I must have inadvertently taken when we were trying to take a photo all together on the dance floor.

I kind of love it.
And definitely love the people attached to those legs.