Saturday, June 24, 2017

Today's writing

“What I know,” he says, still holding my wrist, “Is that I’ve seen every side of you.”

Really?


When we first met I could’ve sworn the guy was blind, emotionally if not in any other way. I’d seen him around – on campus, at the cafĂ© where he worked blending up slow-acting caffeinated poison, in the parking lot where we first exchanged words. They weren’t nice words. He’d tapped my bumper and like that, the damage was done. Honda on Honda, CR-V versus Insight. The goody-goody always gets it in the end. 

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Enya, "Only Time"

Who can say where the road goes
Where the day flows, only time
And who can say if your love grows
As your heart chose, only time
Who can say why your heart sighs
As your love flies, only time
And who can say why your heart cries
When your love lies, only time
Who can say when the roads meet
That love might be in your heart
And who can say when the day sleeps
If the night keeps all your heart
Night keeps all your heart
Who can say if your love grows
As your heart chose
Only time
And who can say where the road goes
Where the day flows, only time
Who knows? Only time

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Happy Father's Day

It's coming up and I want to say happy Father's Day to Adam, the best and most natural father I know. Baz loves him, the dogs love him, and I love him as well.

We're all so lucky to have you, baby. Thank you for being you.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Sunday morning listening

If I was your one and only friend
would you run to me
if somebody hurt you
even if that somebody was me?

- Prince

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Written to Joseph just now

BTW, I just saw a fucking exchange on Facebook that made me understand how necessary BEARDED LADY is to this world. A friend of mine had put a beard filter on her photo through Snapchat and the idiots went nuts. You can only imagine.

Ignorance.

Pain.

Lack of understanding that we are all freaks, therefore none of us is.

Fuckers.


I’m here to kill you.

Sometimes I write poetry

When You're Small, and Mostly Asleep:

You feel rather than hear your parents move,
adult bodies big, cutting the quiet dark;
world a beloved muddle
mostly managed by others,
and you're smart enough
not to yet feel gratitude;
life a moon, incomprehensible,
shining like a nightlight
beside your bedroom door.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Last Time I Saw Richard

The Last Time I Saw Richard
The last time I saw Richard was Detroit in '68,
And he told me all romantics meet the same fate someday
Cynical and drunk and boring someone in some dark cafe
You laugh, he said you think you're immune, go look at your eyes
They're full of moon
You like roses and kisses and pretty men to tell you
All those pretty lies, pretty lies
When you gonna realize they're only pretty lies
Only pretty lies, just pretty lies
He put a quarter in the Wurlitzer, and he pushed
Three buttons and the thing began to whirr
And a bar maid came by in fishnet stockings and a bow tie
And she said drink up now it's gettin' on time to close
Richard, you haven't really changed, I said
It's just that now you're romanticizing some pain that's in your head
You got tombs in your eyes, but the songs
You punched are dreaming
Listen, they sing of love so sweet, love so sweet
When you gonna get yourself back on your feet?
Oh and love can be so sweet, love so sweet
Richard got married to a figure skater
And he bought her a dishwasher and a Coffee percolator
And he drinks at home now most nights with the TV on
And all the house lights left up bright
I'm gonna blow this damn candle out
I don't want Nobody comin' over to my table
I got nothing to talk to anybody about
All good dreamers pass this way some day
Hidin' behind bottles in dark cafes
Dark cafes
Only a dark cocoon before I get my gorgeous wings
And fly away
Only a phase, these dark cafe days

- Joni Mitchell

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day

Dear Baz:

Last year you slept peacefully through the appetizer and halfway through dinner. This year you wiggled, whined, and charmed us half to death. Then we went from Napa to Yountville and you put your sturdy little legs to work while we watched you explore.

You told me "I love you" while Daddy went to go get the car. You pointed and said: "What's that?" You smiled. And smiled. And smiled.

Thank you, baby. Thank you.

Love,
Mom

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

In honor of Mother's Day

One of them meme things ...

In honor of upcoming Mother's Day: All about your first born...
1. Did you have an epidural? God, yes. Two, in fact. 
2. Was the father in the room? Yep. (I skipped the crack about Justin Trudeau not being available.)
3. Were you induced? They gave me potocin, but not necessarily for induction. They were just trying to make labor easier. It didn't work all that well. (See below.)
4. Did you find out the sex? Yes
5. Due Date? September 21, 2015
6. Did you deliver early or late? Two weeks early.
7. Did you have morning sickness? Purdy much.
8. What did you crave? Ice-cream sandwiches from CREAM, apple fritters, malai kofta from House of Curries. You know, health food.
9. How many pounds did you gain? 20 lbs. I'm pretty sure I've lost it all, but I haven't checked lately.
10. What was the sex of the baby? Boy
11. Did you have complications? Yep. I wound up having an unplanned C-Section.
12. Where did you give birth? Alta Bates Summit Medical Center, Berkeley. I blow kisses every time I pass by.
13. How many hours were you in labor? Probably a lot longer than I think, but I think active labor was about 12 hours. 
14. How much did your baby weigh? 6 pounds 13.5 ounces.
15. What did you name the baby? Baz Franklin Sandler, otherwise known as DJ B. Frank.
16. How old is your baby today? 20 months

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Four White Russians

I stayed out too late the other night. Adam noted the next morning that I apparently had cereal when I'd gotten home and it was everywhere -- the counter, the floor, the coffeemaker, that last apparently for kicks.

I didn't just drink. I drank. Four White Russians. Count 'em. Anyone who's ever quaffed one with me knows I'm a cheap date.

So I was in fine stumbling form. That is for sure. I had to leave my car at The Albatross and get a ride home.

You would have had your pick, my friend told me as we sat at the bar. You could have picked any guy.

I still have a hard time believing that. But I'm getting closer.

Friday, April 28, 2017

My 43rd birthday


Development

Baz went on the big-boy swing for the first time today. It was awesome. You wouldn't have caught me dead saying that a few years ago, but I don't give a damn. It was crazy cool to push him and watch him hanging on tightly with his little hands, his feet swaying as he figured out how to kick to make himself go back and forth.

All kinds of amazing.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Self-Absorption and the Dharma

“People can seem like total jerks on the road. They can cut you off, drive dangerously, and be inconsiderate. This is challenging to deal with if their selfishness is directed intentionally at you. But even if it is, what does it ultimately have to do with you? Even if they are being completely confrontational, even if they have just sped up and cut you off and are screaming at you with veins bulging from neck and forehead, they have chosen you randomly.

“This means it has nothing to do with you. So why be reactive?


“Sam was actually making an error we all make at one time or another – the error of taking anything personally. The sad truth is that most people going through the day, actively pursuing their business, don’t have any idea you’re alive. Nothing is personal. They aren’t trying to wound you; they’re too busy protecting their own wounds. Often their behavior is unconscious. They are talking on the phone while driving, involved in an argument with their spouse, or overtired from working the late shift. You are incidental, inadvertently experiencing their ‘jerky behavior’ as a by-product of their inattention. It is only in referring every event back to “me” – what that person did to me, how they cut me off – that one’s personal suffering is created.”

- Arthur Jeon, City Dharma

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Energy, Returned

After two and a half years, my mojo has returned. It happened suddenly and after a serious period of energy drought. One day I was dragging myself out of bed; the next I was talking gardening and travel.

I attribute this to a few things:

- Bazzy is holding his own more and more. He's becoming his own little person (not that he hasn't always been; just now he's capable of climbing into his high chair, into his car seat, onto his changing table) and it takes pressure off of me. Not to mention that it's rewarding.

- I'm finding the strength I always had plus the resolve of being a parent.

- Something else that I can't remember.

It's nice. Seriously.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Love Versus Anger

More and more I'm convinced that love is the way. So why do I still hold anger and speak in angry ways? And is this anything I really need to work on? And why do I have more questions than answers?

I'm not even sure answers are answers so much as they are sort of guidelines in the moment. Those guidelines tend to be flexible. Flexible in the moment, hour, year, whatever. They move with us. They change with the seasons.

None of this is an answer. It isn't meant to be.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Posted on Facebook this morning

Just because someone is a soulmate doesn't mean you can't tell them to go to hell.

The long-lost friend who never was.

The emotional affair.

That's just naming two. Go to hell, boys.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Go A's!


Seeking material

So I posted this on Facebook: "Make me laugh and I'll write a blog post about you."

This is what I got, in no particular order: farts, grapes, glass, marital strife, a clutch of jokes, white folks, and my kid French kissing a Labrador Retriever. Man. I love my friends.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

To the couple pushing the stroller

Your kid is so little. Boy? Girl? All I see are blue eyes. You look calm in that we're-exhausted way.

I just want to tell you that I'm jealous. Yes, me. Eighteen months in and I'd do it all again in a damn heartbeat.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

The goodbyes

This week I said farewell to a pair of people who have played strong roles in my life. Both writers, both guys, one dead, the other alive.

Neither was perfect. Both pissed me off. Both meant something to me. These things are not mutually exclusive. 

There is not much else I care to say publicly about that, which is unusual for me, but exceptions may be made for everything. All I will say is that after a long time I made a choice, said what I needed to say, and now I have found some element of peace and closure.

Friday, March 24, 2017

My eulogy for Wesley

I want to tell you a couple of stories about Wesley. The first takes place maybe a year or so ago. I’d posted a picture of my son and I on Facebook. We were in the hospital. He was less than an hour old. Still had the clamp in his navel and everything. Tons of likes came in. Comments like aw, how sweet. Beautiful. Then came Wesley, written in all lower case: well, that’s kinda pukey. That was Wesley.

But Wesley is the reason I wrote my book. I told him about it before I told anyone else – including my husband – and he simply said, “Sweetheart, go for it.” Those four words have echoed throughout my brain for the last decade while I’ve struggled with this project, through the rejections and the acceptances, the failures and achievements. Sweetheart, go for it.

That was Wesley too.

I can still hear his voice, so how can he be dead? And yet he is, and we are gathered here in his memory. He’s up there with a martini in one hand and a cigarette in the other, and he’s probably telling at least a few of us to go fuck ourselves.

I hope I’m one of them.

But here’s the thing: for all the pain he carried, the pain that eventually ended his existence, Wesley was here. You Are Here, the name of his book. And yes, he was.


Thank you, Wesley. Thank you.

At a loss

I'm going to give a short eulogy for Wesley at the memorial today. I'm sure I'll find some words, but right now I'm not sure what they are.

What do I say?

Mentor.

Brilliant.

Jackass.

Any of it? All? None?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Parents who write

The fantastic Julia Halprin Jackson recently interviewed me for her blog. I'm honored to be a part of her project, which she describes thusly:

I am a writer and mother to a 10-month-old girl.

Sometimes I feel like these two identities are in conflict. Other times, they are one and the same. Who are we without our words, without our family? ...

While I grapple with that question, I decided to turn to a community of writers I know who have had children and ask them how they feel. I want to know if becoming a parent impacts the way people write -- if it rewires the way we think.

Thanks for letting me be a part of this, Julia!

Friday, February 17, 2017

How do you tell a story?

I'm working on revisions for Bearded Lady. there's so much material and so many suggestions and I'm trying to comb through and cherry-pick the stars in my constellation (as I've heard it described).

On a completely side note but perhaps related, I need a beer.