Saturday, November 2

Travel (ing to) Travel Town

It was one of those mornings that started out early, until we were late. We were supposed to be there by 10, but after snacks were packed and shoes were on and keys were found, it was already ten til. 

And then, on the way there, I thought I got lost, only to realize I wasn't. It was that kind of day, too. Finally, we pulled into Griffith Park, which is where I made a succession of bad choices that ended us off actually lost, as well as actually late.

"Why are you lost, Mama?" Arlo asked me from the backseat. If I could convince him of one thing, it would probably be to never ever ask me WHY I'm lost (I'm lost often), because there's no good answer to that question, really, other than, "because I'm stupid," and I really wasn't at that point yet.

So: "Because they made the park confusing," I told him (Dear Architects of Griffith Park, Sorry. Your park is really confusing, though). "Now be very quiet so I can figure this out, otherwise we'll have to live in the park our whole lives and hide from coyotes, and eat only acorns and berries until we find our way to the yummy scone place."

Eventually we made it, and we found M. and I., and we ate picnic lunches on the tracks like a group of depression-era moms and babes with organic fruit and pre-school made challah. We walked on some old train cars, we waited in some trying lines (when Daniel Tiger's waiting ditty failed, we sang Tom Petty), we rode on the steamer, and that pretty much was that. Back to home.

And really, within 100 feet of the entrance, there I was: lost again. Seriously. The 134 seemed wrong, so I got on the 101, but figured I chose wrong (given that the choices were Ventura or Los Angeles, and I chose Ventura). I couldn't manage the maps on my phone on the freeway, and then my dad called, adding chaos, so I took the next exit and parked on Riverside at Coldwater (sounds idyllic if you've never been there, doesn't it?), and called my dad back. 

"I'm list in The Valley!" I said when he picked up. "Help me!"

"What size jacket does Arlo wear?" He asked.

"3T. Dad! Seriously, I'm lost. Where are you?"

"Solvang," he laughed. "I'm going to buy Arlo a jacket." And then, I swear, he hung up. Like the things he said made any sense together, like he hadn't heard me  at all.

A minute later, he called back.

"6T?" He asked. 

"No dad, 3T, and seriously I'm lost. Help me." I told him where I was.

"That's easy," he said. "Get back on Coldwater, take the 101 to the 405." And then he hung up again, safe in his asumption that I knew which direction of the 101 would take me to the 405.

I called back. 

"NORTH!" He said.

When I got back to the Freeway entrance, I looked up. 101 freeway, the sign said. East/West. I shit you not.

I put my head on the steering wheel. 

"Why are you lost, Mama?" Arlo asked. 

I don't even know which direction I chose , but I know that we quickly came to the 405 exchange and even I know the right answer between Santa Monica and Sacramento.

"Thank God!" I said, out loud. "I got us out of The Valley!" I told Arlo.

"Is being lost in The Valley worse than being lost in the Park and eating Acorns?" Arlo asked.

"So. Much. Worse." I told him.

He looked out the window, and promptly fell asleep. 

Freeway roll call: 10, 110, 134, 101, 405, 90.

Monday, September 16

Real Talk

A little embarrassed about my recent reading material, but I'm finding myself slipping further and further out to sea regarding motherhood, work, partnership, parenting through partnership, daughter-hood, friendship, housekeeping, citizenship and student loan debtorship (which my very costly degree told me was not a word before spellcheck did. But said degree also gave me the chutzpah to flip spellcheck the bird), let alone figuring out how to carve out a solid (happy) hour to breathe, laugh or cry. Never mind the fact that its been really hot, my health has been on strike for three weeks, and my son's Jewish pre-school has every Friday off this month.

And so. I find myself, as I have so many times before, figuring out how to be early to any and all appointments so I can eek out some time to lose myself seeking commiseration in a book. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, June 30

what life's been like.

it has been an extra hard year, that much is for sure. there was school for the first time for the little, a new job for me, major ebbs and flows for andy's schedule, too much hard labor in the backyard (we're still not done. sigh.), and the trying to help my mom with the detritus of detritus in the wake of my grandma dying. among all the other stuff. which there also was a lot of. 

and so. my go-to in those kinds of months, my spirit animal, if you will, is that of a zamboni. and the motto? just keep on going, girl. slow and steady wins the race. sometimes going around in circles is your job. leave it smooth and shiny as you go. but sometimes even that gets doesn't work, even the zen of the zamboni leaves me wanting. and then...well, i've got no answer for then, other than haul your complaining ass out of bed and, as my grandpa used to say, "shit, shower, shave and show up." 

(sorry if that's too much. that was too much, right?)

and now i've lost my train of thought. anyway. 

point being, i needed a bit of a respite, and it was hard to find. luckily, i managed to carve out a solid hour (maybe hour and fifteen minutes) for this: 

hammock, pillow, mimosa, book. (something bit the hell out of me while i was there, but i'm choosing to ignore it because RESPITE, dammit).

hope you find some soon, too.

Wednesday, June 12

what motherhood is.

all the things, all the things. there are the days when you are pregnant, and feel them swish around in there like impatient koi. and there is the day they are born. and the moment they laugh. and smile. and say mama. and walk. and run. and fall. the first time they tell you "a joke." their first day of school. the times when they ask you over and over and over again why there aren't sidewalks on freeways. the times, all the times, when they hug your dogs, your dogs who were your babies before you had a baby. the times when they hug their friends, the people that they'll like better than you one day. there are just all those things.

and the years, they are short. and the days, they are long. but sweet jesus on a cracker, the nights top it all. the nights go on forever. for. ever. and a day. or ten.

ten minutes ago, next to that nightlight up above - after sitting in a dark room listening to the lullaby doggie  (which i just found out is discontinued, so god help us if that damn thing breaks after three years) go through three twenty minute cycles of lullaby medleys, while my child tossed and turned and begged me to stay in my chair and not leave him - i typed the following to a friend. i stared at it once i pressed send, and realized that though the moments above, all those things, are all so life affirming, parenthood is more often like this:

 Meanwhile mine is not asleep, and he won't let me leave the room and I haven't seen Andy for more than 20 minutes since Sunday night, and probably won't (but for assorted 20 minute a.m. increments) until Monday, and I have deadlines and a headache, and I'm sitting here in the dark with a dying phone battery, having played all the games and read all the words and bought all the things, and all I know is, if he doesn't fall asleep in the next 30 minutes, one if us is getting a dose of Benadryl and the other can play with duplo in the dark.

Tuesday, January 15


I'm a messy desk keeper.

Who me? I am here. I know, barely. But I've been here all along. Lurking around. Checking in every few months. Pretending this blog didn't exist for weeks at a time. I was doing a really good job at it.

But I set goals, too, you know. And this here blog, this here blog that's seven years old (a second grader!), its a goal of mine this year. Call it a resolution, if you must, but I'm working hard at getting back to the things that make me happy, and if I need to be strategic about it, so be it.

So. This year (2013. And my birthday? 2/13. I'm calling it kismet. I'm calling it a sign. I'm calling it the Age of Aquarius. And I'm calling it, right now, do you hear me? MINE.) is going to be all about these things:

1. Good jobs that make me feel fulfilled and happy and invested in my neighborhood.
2. Lady Mentors.
3. My backyard.
4. Best friends, near and far.
5. The best boys (they are mine, sorry).
6. Photographs (iphone and camera+ count).
7. Words.
8. Only good tv.
9. Working hard, and making it look (and feel) like the other way around.