Friday, August 29, 2014


"Okay, Bob. Good night. See you in the morning."

"Wait, Mom? Can I get a drink of water?"

"Your water is right here on your desk."

"Okay. Good night. Mom? Don't we need to get new soccer shoes?"

"Yes, Bob. Now it's time to stop talking and start sleeping. Goodnight."

"Mom, one more thing."

"What, Bob?"

"Where do babies come from?'


"Hahaha. Just kidding! Good night, Mom."

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Assisted Living

"Mom? Can I come in the bedroom? Is your headache still hurting? I made you a cup of coffee so that you don't fall asleep too early and then you won't be able to sleep during regular bedtime. Do you want a glass of water too? Do you want the Star Wars pillow? Okay, I'm going to go feed Teddy his dinner now. Wait, do you need an emergency hug?"

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Front Row Seat

"Mom! Check it out. When it's night time, the front window's like a mirror and I can totally practice my Michael Jackson moves and see myself at the same time! Sometimes I spin into the couch, but it's cool."

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pretty Young Things, Repeat After Me

"So, Felix watch me moonwalk. You've got to wear socks to do it good."

"I think I can do that."

"You should try. Let me turn the record over. Okay this is PYT. It stands for pretty young thing."

"I think I'm doing it, Bob. I think I'm moonwalking."

"That's good Felix, you've just got to bend your knees like this."

"Like this?"

"Oh my gosh. This is epic. We've totally got to video ourselves."

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Appearance of Movement

Bob and I were with friends at the Natural History Museum recently. There is a Hollywood history exhibit there that shows how in the production of old movies, the film makers would use footage projected onto a screen on the back window of the fake car the actors were riding in. It gave the appearance of movement. The list of background choices was endless. The exhibit showed rear view footage of driving away from the Eiffel Tower, driving through the desert, driving down 5th Avenue.

I will close my eyes and out the rear window of my imaginary car (mine is a red '58 Volvo 444) I see my life speeding by. Flickering images of a stage in the high school auditorium, a foggy beach in the evening, a woman in a garden pulling a carrot from the ground. There is my tiny first office in the basement in Hollywood. Turn to my toddler on a swing at the park. A girl running through a cemetery at five in the morning and a bike with a sissy bar and a bright yellow flag. There is a black dog in the pool, and we fly past a jukebox at the back of the bar. A man playing the drum with hair in his eyes. The bullet train. The French bakery where I worked the summer before college, rain. Blowing out the candles. All of these out the rear view window. These spaces that hold me together. The visions that wallpaper my insides. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Nelson

My Grandpa Page. Half Indian, half Brit, tiny in stature, big in heart. He always kept a giant garden and as you can see, he canned a little too. Chow chow or green chile, anyone? If he was alive today, he would be 112.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Day 1: The Review

"So? Tell me. How was the first day of school?"

"Really good."


"No, I mean really, really good."

"What made it so good?"

"My new teacher is nice."

"Yeah, she seemed nice to me too."

"No, I mean really, super nice."

"Okay. What makes her super nice?"

"She has a cat she named "Billie Jean," after the Michael Jackson song. How awesome is that?!"

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Grade 2

"Second grade! Are you ready Bob?"

"Not really. I wish the summer could last just a little bit longer."

"I know me too. It went fast."

"That's why I've decided I'm not going to school today. For real."

" Ah, but you are too going to school today. For real."

"If you're going to force me to go, can you at least please pack me those little cheeses in my lunch? That will help."

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Little Off The Sides And Everything

"So have you thought about what kind of haircut you'd like, Bob?"

"Yeah. I want it to be long except not in the back or on the sides or front. The back should be shorter up my neck and the hair in front is in my eyes right now and I start school on Thursday and I need to be able to see and everything. The sides are okay I guess. I just don't want it to look too short. But I need it to look awesome."

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Precious Minerals

"Mom, I can't believe that they're selling real gold at the Natural History Museum for $4.99. The lava rocks were only $3.29 because they're just hard magma, not real gold."

Monday, August 18, 2014

Back-To-School Countdown

"Bob, are you excited for school to start on Thursday?'

"Sort of. Not really."


"I only like certain parts of school."

"Like what?"

"I only like the crafts and the reading and the library and art and drama and music and computers and recess and lunch and the math part."

"What's the part you don't like?"

"Um. You know. Other stuff, I guess. There's probably something."

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Picture Just Doesn't Do It Justice

Discovered this today on my dresser. I call this art installation, Hans Solo Lego On A Dying Orchid, because, well, you know.

Thursday, August 14, 2014


"Mom? What does it mean for dogs to 'mark their territory'?"

"Dogs will pee on things so that other dogs will know that they have been there or that they live there."

"Oh, yeah. I've marked my territory in the backyard a lot."

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I Will Whisper In His Ear

I’ve had a lot to say to God about the events of the past few weeks. I am generally most fond of gratitude-based prayers but lately I have found myself issuing my list of demands, like an angry bank robber. 

I ask grace for the people who are waiting. I want peace for those I can’t find on a map. For the desperate, I want health in body and mind (the mind is just more of the body after all). I want justice for wronged families, still knowing that justice will not fill the holes left in their worlds by missing children, fathers, and mothers. I ask balance for the caretakers. For the elders, I ask another revolution around the sun.

I ask education for girls as well as boys. Food and fresh water and hope for those who’ve grown too used to living empty. Faith for the hopeless. Rain after thunder after rain to end the long drought. I ask laughter for the impatient. For the marginalized and dismissed, I ask celebration for our differences.

For the wandering I ask deep roots and home. I ask mercy for the abandoned and abused. For the frightened, a deep, free, breath. For the addicted I ask freedom. For the protectors I ask for wings instead of weapons. I ask presence for the invisible. For the lonely I ask for The Divine. I ask acceptance for the grieving. I ask the north star for the lost. 

I ask light coming through the crack under the door for people fumbling through the darkness – which is all of us.

If praying is talking to God, and meditation is listening, I have certainly been monopolizing the conversation. Now, I am ready to hear. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My Little Eye

"Okay, Adam. I spy with my little eye something... brown."

"Is it your hair?"


"Is it my hair?"


"Is it your mom's hair?"

"It's no one's hair! Come on."

"That tree?"


"That other tree?"

"It's not a tree, Adam."

"I don't no, Bob. What is it?"

"That wall."

"Oh, yeah. That's totally obvious."

Monday, August 11, 2014


"Dad? What's this one go to?"

"This is for the space war alarm combo. So take this nibbin and put it over here like this."

"Is nibbin a real word?"

"No. I'm just saying nibbin instead of one-snap wire."

"So, we invented a word?"

"I guess so."

"That means we're famous! Nibbin! Nibbin!"

Friday, August 8, 2014


"Mom? Can I have another glass of milk, please?"


"I forgot to feed Teddy!"

"That's okay, you sit and finish eating. I'll get it."

"Mom? Why are you being so nice?"

"What does that mean? Aren't I always pretty nice?"

"I mean, you're always nice but you keep saying yes to things and being extra nice. But you were always nice. Before being nice. Now. Again. You're nice."

"You're pedaling back pretty hard right now."

"I'm not sure what that means, but you can keep being extra nice and that would be good."

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Low Down

"Mom, I was looking at a Barbie the other day."


"There's a lot of pink, usually with Barbie."

"What do you think about that?"

"It's not really my thing. And her smile?"


"It's just creepy. I mean, you can't deny that, Mom."

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


A lot of my day is spent hanging out with this guy. He follows me from room to room like dogs do. He will sit patiently, waiting for ear scratches but if they run out, he will demand more. We talk a lot. Rather, I talk and he listens. Except for those times when he points out that my conversation is just barely interesting enough to keep him awake. 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


"Check it out, Mom! I made something called a Shrinky Dink at camp today."

"Cool. I didn't know those were still around."

"Yeah. You draw on this plastic and then you put it in the oven and it gets all hard."

"I know, they had those when I was a kid too."

"They did?"

"There was a show about a guy named Winky Dink and you would put the plastic over the screen and trace his drawings on the TV."

"Whoa. Did MeeMee's have them when she was a little girl too?"

"No. When MeeMee was a very little girl, they only had radio."

"But then how did you trace pictures on a radio?"

Monday, August 4, 2014

About Summer

Summer is filling up water balloons in the kitchen sink. It's concerts in the park with grown ups dancing while you and your friends eat tacos from the stand in the blue tent.  It's belly-flopping when you're trying to dive. Summer is talking into a fan to hear your voice sound like a robot.

Summer is sleep-overs when it isn't even the weekend. Summer is watermelon for breakfast and the reading club at the library. It's hitting tennis balls in the backyard and one always gets stuck on the roof. Summer is holding your hand in the wind outside the window of the station wagon and feeling what it's like to fly. It's swimming in your grandma's pool while she sits in the Jacuzzi.

Summer is a hot storm at night and when your dog comes into the house he shakes off on your bed and gets you wet from the rainwater. It's YMCA basketball in the gym with the wood floors that make your shoes squeak. It's sleeping in your underpants with no blanket. It's riding to day camp in the backseat between two of your best friends. It's lizards under the porch. Summer is the smell of wet cement and the sound of ice in the drinks.

Summer is reading The Hardy Boys right before bed but it's still light outside. It's running through the sprinklers with your clothes on. Summer is flip flops. It's the beach and the taste of salt water in your mouth and real sand in the sandwiches. It's the sound of the back of your thighs as they peel off of the lawn chair. It's garage sales and lemonade stands and corn on the cob. Summer is the 4th of July parade and barbecues. It's fireworks that rain down ash on your head.

Summer is possibility and days that last forever.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Smacksy Sunday Links

"Sorrow passes and we remain." A beautiful letter written by Henry James to a grieving friend.

When cocoa farmers taste chocolate for the first time. Lovely.

A baby deer freaks out when tummy rubs stop.

Happy Sunday.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Ask The Dance Expert

"They have incredible technique, don't they, Mom? I mean, oh my gosh. Those turns are amazing. That last couple seemed a little wobbly and she sort of slipped and then pulled some weird faces. But look at that elevation! And those guys with the paso doble? That was really intense. It's going to be hard to vote tonight."