Wednesday, January 31, 2018

They're Subtle and Persuasive

Look at the two of you just sitting there, just hanging out right in the middle of the kitchen floor. Almost as if you're waiting for delicious snacks to drop directly into your little dog mouths. And almost as if you think I might be the one to drop those delicious snacks. Where do you get these crazy ideas my tiny little sweet puppies? Where? Past delicious snacks experience is the best predictor of delicious snacks future, you say? Interesting. 

Who wants a cookie?

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Please, No

Today's Fortune Cookie Says: Your warmth radiates onto all others around you.
If that's not a not-so-subtle prophecy for the feverish flu, I don't know what is.

Monday, January 29, 2018

January is the Trader Joe's Parking Lot of Months

It's stupid January again and everyone's a little off.
We are grumpy and impatient and hurried and harried.
We are experiencing the long, drawn out, after holidays adrenaline crash.
We've got a cold or the flu or worse or we're taking care of people with a cold or the flu or worse.
The weather wherever you are is mostly weird.
We have already crashed and burned on most of our New Year's resolutions.
We wake up to more things we don't want to hear from people we don't want to hear them from.
We internally hear the sad trombone sound every time we open another email.
We are pretty sure someone gave us decaf this morning by mistake.
I will speak for all of us when I say, we're just kind of over it.

The good news is, by Thursday, January will be over.
There's a big crazy moon showing up on Wednesday night to remind us that it's time to leave Cold-Limp-French Fry-January behind and move on to Baby-Goats-in-Sweaters-February.
We can get there.
I know it.

Until then, this song always helps. Really. Always.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Smacksy Saturday Photo: A Hazy Shade of Winter

Every January, the city hauls snow into the park around the corner from our house and for one day, the kids in the neighborhood get to ride sleds and throw snowballs. Now, a week later, you can see all that remains. It's like winter never happened at all.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Aw, Come On

Yesterday when Broken-Wrist-Bob and I finally got home from our long afternoon at the ER, we found his new baseball bat had been delivered. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Oh, Tuesday Rotten Tuesday

Bob was horsing around today at recess and fell and broke his wrist. It was not his "pitching wrist" but according to him he "uses it for other stuff." So, that's a drag.

We spent the better (worse) part of the day at Children's Hospital in LA where they were very good to him. The doctor laughed off my innocent suggestion of pain killers for certain family members who could use a little relief, but whatevs.

Bob has a splint and sling for now. He'll see a pediatric orthopedist tomorrow and we'll take it from there. It seems to be a simple break so he should be good to go in 4 - 6 weeks. (I'm hoping 4.)

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Smacksy Sunday Links

Mr. Rosenberg took this in Santa Monica last Sunday.

How to know it's January.

The way reading rewires your brain for more intelligence and empathy.

What do clothes say? (And that quote from House of Mirth. Swoon.)

The UK 1940s Radio Station. 

And a girl and her rooster.

Happy Sunday.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Smacksy Saturday Photo: Completely Unsubtle Photo-Bomb

"Hey! What are you doing? Are you taking a picture of Teddy? Can I be in the picture too? Can I? I would very much like to also be in the picture! Here I am! I'm right here in the picture!"

Friday, January 19, 2018

The Psychic is In

Nestled between parked cars, against the backdrop of 7-Eleven, AutoZone, and Manny's Tacos, sits the office of Psychic Mrs. Lin. Her office, located in the former home of a Fotomat. is a long time fixture in the town just south of ours and I've driven past it for years. I love the little white fence, and the satellite dish, but my favorite feature of Psychic Mrs. Lin's office is everything about Psychic Mrs. Lin's office.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

You Don't Know How it Feels

It's Thursday, the morning the gardener comes. The gardener has loud tools (hedge trimmer, leaf blower, lawn mower, oh my) that cause panic and terror in your most favorite beast. Sweet, sixty-five pound Levi paces, pants, moans, barks, and tries to claw his way into your chest on Thursday mornings. It must feel awful.

You load Levi, into the Prius with your other favorite beast, his emotional support dog and best friend, Teddy. You guys idle in the driveway so that you can get a little work done on the computer and have use of the house wi-fi until the gardener arrives. You slam it into reverse and peel out at the first sight of the white van.

The vet is working on some short-term pharmaceutical interventions to get your pal through these tough times, but so far nothing has panned out.

You do a loop around the park and head down to the Starbucks drive-thru the next town over. Almond milk latte for you, mini carrots for them. Rear windows are cracked with a dog nose sticking out of each. You sing along with the first eleven songs from Tom Petty Wildflowers. At the end of "To Find a Friend," it's safe to turn back for home.

What started as an escape, ended as a joyride.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

It's Always Me

Every third car on the roads of Southern California is a silver Prius. So let me help you identify me on the road. The silver Prius with a length of dress hem stuck in the driver's side door, flapping in the wind?
Just wave.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Remembering Dr. King

Bob and I were watching this speech from Dr. King again today. I have heard it so often and there's always something seemingly new that stands out each time. Today it was this:
We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. 
—Martin Luther King Jr "I Have A Dream" speech, August 28, 1963

Friday, January 12, 2018

A Word From the Management

I have made an executive decision to keep the mistletoe up year-round. You have been warned.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Not One Pop

Adding rice vinegar (twice) to your favorite popcorn popper to pop your corn is not as effective as adding olive oil. In fact, your popcorn will not pop, it will merely scorch and smell weird and not pop at all. Ask me how I know.

I think you know how I know.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

That Place

When I first learned to meditate, maybe twenty-five or so years ago, I created a "happy place" in my mind. A sunlit beach. A coastline dotted with flowers and cypress trees and vaguely Mediterranean buildings. It was like the photos I'd seen of Portofino or Manarolo Cinque Terre. A place I'd never been, but a place I returned to again and again.

In the early 90s, I found a picture of my place in an antique store. I was too broke to buy it, but I bought it anyway. Over time I found more old pictures to fill out my collection, similar in feel but no two are the same. I never get tired of them or of that place.

That place is there every time I close my eyes.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018


Some days are sun and some are shade and both are good.

Monday, January 8, 2018

It's Raining, It's Pouring

I like the rain, Ted's not a fan  - but neither of us like getting our hair wet.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Smacksy Saturday Photo: LEGO Returns

About a year and a half ago, Bob declared that he just wasn't into LEGO anymore. Considering over the years I had stepped on a crippling number of LEGO pieces in bare feet, I was surprised at how disappointed I was to hear that he had decided he was done.

Then, two days ago, a miraculous thing happened. LEGO is back. Bob pulled a couple of unopened sets out of his closet and the kitchen table-as-building-station has returned. I am delighted. And I am wearing hard-soled slippers.

Friday, January 5, 2018


Based on prior experience, odds of me attempting to enter wrong vehicle upon my return to the parking area: 80%

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Parking Lots, A History

I have often lamented (yes, I lament) that part of my soul will forever be with my friend Yolanda in the withering 1983 heat, as we search aimlessly for my lost Toyota hatchback in the endless desert that the promotors of The Us Festival referred to as a parking area. An unmarked desert-scape in San Bernardino was used to park cars for 670,000 people.

In 1997, I lost my car in the multi-level parking garage of the Glendale Galleria. After an hour and ten minutes of solid searching, including a ride in a Galleria golf cart with one of the sketchy parking dudes, I was forced to call a friend to pick me up. I vowed never to return. I returned later to find my car once the lot was mostly empty and I could spot my brown Volvo easier, but then I really, really vowed never to return. I never returned.

I followed this event with subsequent missing-car situations at the Beverly Center, The Grove, and LAX Economy Parking Lot C. My current master plan to not have to UBER everywhere for the rest of my life, involves an intricate allegiance to using the same, sometimes extremely out of the way,  parking spot whenever I go anywhere with a lot bigger than my two-car driveway.

During my thirty-five years of living in Los Angeles, I have visited the Cedars Sinai Medical Center dozens of times. The hospital itself is comprised of ten buildings totaling more than 2.8 million square feet. There are eleven parking lots not including employee parking. There is one small outdoor lot, P2, where I always park. P2 is located on the corner of George Burns Drive and Gracie Allen Drive. I can see my car  parked in P2 from any west facing window in the hospital complex, rendering my car virtually un-losable.

 The Prius, Exact Location

When I arrived at Cedars yesterday, New Year's Day, I was horrified to find that P2, my lot, was closed for the holiday. I was forced to park in the dreaded multi-level P1 in the North Tower. In order to find my way back, I took the following photos:

Space #


Elevator Bank

Yes, the photo-system worked. I found my way back. In the name of all that is holy, let's never do that again.

Monday, January 1, 2018


Full Moon  2018-style

For the past two years, I've participated in the Future Me writing project. Write a letter to your one-year-in-the-future self, and it will be emailed to you in one year. 

Yesterday, I received last year's letter. It's sort of a wish list, sort of a high five. I'm sharing it with you here. 

Dear FutureMe, 
Congratulations on another year in the books. 
Against the odds, you've maintained your sobriety and your faith. 
You're surrounded by people you adore, who adore you back. 
Your family is a strong force of good in the world. 
You did what it takes to get your health back and endured a lot of uncomfortable BS to make it happen. 
You spent less time sitting at the computer and more time writing on the computer. 
It all felt easier this year since you learned to look after yourself first. 
You've loved, created, sung, cried, and laughed - accepting all the life stuff and you've approached it with grace, and forgiveness. 
It's all okay. It's all going to be okay. 

I'm going to continue the tradition. Consider it.