Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I'm trying to review 2010 in my mind

It's not working, though. There are milestones and landmarks and many points of pain. This year is a blur and an ugly one at that. I don't necessarily believe in the arbitrary flip of a calendar ... but somehow I do. I have high hopes. I've said it before and I'll say it again. High hopes.

There are things I'm going for that I can't and won't talk about here. Not yet. Not until they come to pass. If they do. High hopes.

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I came, I saw, I'm glad it's over.

Highlights: Getting published in Salon, going to Seattle, having lap-band surgery and losing (up through now) 30 pounds. My marriage, which gets better all the time. The fact that my friends and family are happy and healthy. The dogs.

Lowlights: So much else. My cat dying, even if it was at a ripe old age. (Whatever the hell that means.) Spending my birthday in the hospital. And just a trapped feeling that I plan to deal with this year.

2011. Bring it on.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Art of Racing in the Rain

I felt strangely anxious that day, in a very human way. People are always worried about what's happening next. They often find it difficult to stand still, to occupy the now without worrying about the future. People are not generally satisfied with what they have; they are very concerned with what they are going to have. A dog can almost power down his psyche and slow his anticipatory metabolism, like David Blaine attempting to set the record for holding his breath at the bottom of a swimming pool -- the tempo of the world around him simply changes. On a normal dog day, I can sit still for hours on end with no effort. But that day I was anxious. I was nervous and worried, uneasy and distracted. I paced around and never felt settled. I didn't care for the sensation, yet I realized it was possibly a natural progression of my evolving soul, and therefore I tried my best to embrace it.

- Garth Stein

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Manila envelopes hold my dreams

Yesterday I biked up to the Berkeley post office to mail off something pretty significant to me. I kissed the envelope for good luck and pushed it through the slot.

I have goals and hopes. More than even I know.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Adam to me

"He sounds like you: 'It makes me want to barf.' Except you're more lyrical. You're like, 'I want to barf all over something.'"

Friday, November 26, 2010

Looking different

The other night Warren called me The Incredible Shrinking Woman. Sean told me that he wouldn't recognize me on the street if he hadn't seen me recently. Rob used the words "thin" and "hot". I was quite pleased.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Things I think

"LOL" should be banned from the internet, and from the English language. So should "hehe." In fact, Internet-speak should be banned. Gone.

Parents who let their children scream in restaurants deserve to have their heads dunked in the toilet. Dirty water if it's the kind of restaurant where each plate is $30 or more, and where I'll feel uncomfortable wearing jeans.

You should always be able to wear jeans.

Cell phones are evil. I have one, so I know.

I'm always right.

Friday, November 12, 2010

This morning

ME: I hate when people my age say they're old. They're in their fucking thirties, they're not old.

ADAM: Are they parents?

ME: Yeah.

ADAM: They're old.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fuck 2010

I'm already done with this year and it's only November. This is a year that had me in the hospital on my birthday, that watched me cry over my cat as he grew old and finally passed away.

I will say that I am very grateful that everyone I love is well and healthy, and that my marriage kicks so much ass. Bring on 2011. It starts now.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Thinking about Oliver

I miss my kit-kat so much. I think about him every day. It still doesn't seem right that his food bowls are not on the floor, that he's not curled up in bed with us at night. Things just haven't been right since he left.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Words to paper

I've been writing lately. A ton. That doesn't necessarily mean pages and pages, though there are pages, just not as many as a ton might connote, and does this sentence even make sense? I'm writing well, I think, good stuff.

That's important. That's so important. If I didn't write, I'd go crazy. If I couldn't communicate, I'd chew my own fist off. A professor of mine once said: "I write to communicate", and sure enough, Wesley was right. I just want to get that chance.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Now playing

Step out the front door
Like a ghost
Into the fog
Where no one notices the contrast
Of white on white


Six years ago, I began something that continues strong through this day and -- fingers crossed -- far into the future. It's appropriate that I'm sitting at Philz Coffee right now, the place where we got married when it was still Cafe de la Paz.

I love you, baby. You see me at my worst and inspire me to be my best. Thank you.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Tonight we went to The Pub to get Adam cigarettes. The girl working the nonexistent cash register (they hand-tally each purchase) said: "I read your article in Salon." Then she thanked me for writing it.

I blushed. And was thrilled.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I have set something in motion

When I found this article, I thought: Shit. I've gotten people talking. Fuckin'-A.

The facial hair was my obvious secret for so long. Now I can use it as a vehicle for change -- not just for me, but for others.

The power of words, man. Incredible.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I'm on Salon

And I'm thrilled! It's here! And if you've come to this blog from Salon, thanks for visiting, and feel free to drop me a line.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Today's writing

I am one angry bitch.

You wouldn’t believe what sets me off. Sunflowers. Organic eggs. Puppies. Puppies! Who gets angry at the idea of puppies? Me, that’s who. The anger is cutting and cold, cleansing. It asks no questions. It leaves no room for equivocation.

I don’t just like being angry. I love it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I don't love them yet

We've had Jack and Maizie for two weeks now. They're sweet and they're trouble, and it's taking me time to bond with them. I didn't expect much different. Fact is, I like dogs far better than I like puppies. Dogs are focused on you. Puppies are focused on ... anything but.

When I'm out with them people often say: "I bet they're so much fun." They can be, but that's a small part of it. Fact is, they're work. And Adam and I feel more like parents than ever before.

Do I regret getting them? I do think it was too soon after Oliver. That said, in six months I believe I will feel different. I don't want to just get through this time with them, though. I want to enjoy it or at least appreciate it as best I can. I know when they're 12 or 13, we'll look back and wish we could see them romping through the grass just once more.

Trust me. I know.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

From my Kol Nidre prayerbook

Ask not what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive. Then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. - Howard Thurman

Forgiveness is the courage to let go. one does not pardon another. One lets go of oneself, thus allowing pain received and sustained, hurt, inflicted and imposed, to settle, and the true Self to rise. - Talmud, Ta'anit

A ship in a harbor is safe -- but that is not what ships are for. - John A. Shedd

Who by fire and who by water?
Who by the sword and who by beast?
Who by hunger and who by thirst?
Who by earthquake and who by plague?
- Unetaneh Tokef, Proclaim the Power of this Day

It may not be an easy task to confront our feelings and actions, still more daunting to name them, perhaps most difficult to speak them. Now we will speak of and chant them together.

Let us be bold enough to see, humble enough to feel, and daring enough to turn.

- Ashamnu, Alphabet of Wrongdoing

Moses doesn't come to the burning bush by purposefully looking for a revelatory experience. He comes to the Mystery by stepping back from his personal quest and tending consciously to his sheep. - Gershon Winkler

The very least thing you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. - Barbara Kingsolver

Friday, September 17, 2010

My week in bullet points

- The dogs are insane.
- The dogs are cute.
- The dogs are insanely cute.
- I miss my cat. He deserves more than a bullet point. Or three lines. Oliver was the best soul ever and I'm still grieving. It may get better, but it will never go away.
- L'Shanah Tovah.
- I'm going to Phoenix next week. It's only going to be 103 degrees. Oh my.
- I'm thinking of the song "Sunrise, Sunset." Appropriate.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tonight's dinner

It's this: Curried Chickpeas and Black Beans.

Adam and I cook well together. Sometimes we talk, sometimes we don't. Often we laugh. It's a good appetizer.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Why do I do this?

There is a euthanasia video on YouTube: a gray-and-white tabby cat put to sleep. I've watched it several times, never to completion, but long enough. Sometimes the pain is so strong that I can only close my eyes.

They put a catheter in his leg. The first shot made him lie very still. The next stopped his heart. I don't know why I keep going over these details. I don't know why I don't want to stop.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

No words

No words for how it feels to pick up your tabby cat's ashes, to ride home in the car with him so silently. This link says it all.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Black clouds

I've been in a lousy mood for the last day or so, just contrary and ornery. I really should be locked up in a padded cage. I'm not fit for society.

August sucked. Sucked.  We got through it and here comes September, another month I dislike. There's change in the air, but right now it's all theoretical. And I've never dealt well in theory.

I'm looking forward to having the dogs. Right now they're theory too. They're also strangers, sweet strange little creatures who I'm just now warming up to. It's taking a while. Everything seems to.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A reason I love Adam

When a Meg Whitman ad comes on the radio, he hisses: "Goddammit. I hate you, fucking bitch."

It's funny. Maybe you just have to be there.


Cut off from grief, from loving other animals again. I feel cold, and it's a chill that will take time to thaw. There is the ache of loss and it is freezing.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Ides of August

August has been an intense month.

In the span of slightly more than two weeks, I had surgery and lost my beloved cat. Now we're preparing to welcome two puppies into our home in three weeks. In between there have been family visits and just life in general.

I have no conclusion or final thing to say about it. It's just life and as happy or as sad or as maddened as it can make you, it's inevitable.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Maizie and Jack -- and Oliver

Oliver is up there saying: "Get off my lawn!" I'd like to think he's also saying: "Go for it."

We adopted two Labrador-Australian Shepherd puppies today: Maizie and Jack. They're five weeks old, so they will have to wait to come home with us until they're eight weeks.

Which is good. I need the three weeks to prepare, both emotionally and in practical terms. These are beautiful dogs and I know that I will bond with them. But I miss my bear. And there is guilt. I know we're doing the right thing, but there is guilt. He's not being replaced -- he never could be. But -- there is guilt.

But I do think he's saying: "Go for it." And I thank him for it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wrote this to a friend today

I just miss him so much ... it is impossible that he is gone. You wouldn't believe the spaces in this place that are empty as a result of his loss. Chairs, the couch, the bed, corners ... all of it waiting for a sweet soul who will never come back. It is unfathomable that I will never hold him again, never brush him, never get swiped at by him (!), never feed him while chattering to him ("You like this stuff, huh? Oh yeah you do ...") Still I cannot say enough what it was to have him, and to share him with Adam, who treated him like gold.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

More on mourning

I mourned in vet's offices, taking the top off Oliver's carrier, assuring him that I hated this as much as him, watching the white-coated doctor press cold metal to his belly. I mourned waiting for test results, cajoling him to eat with promises of hand-fed tuna and baby food. I mourned as he grew skinnier, as I watched his gait slow.

I mourn today, but I am glad the end was gentle and his life, even in his older days, was good.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


It doesn't take a singular shape.

Sometimes it comes in a laugh. Other times in a gasp when you realize a fact of your life is gone. There are tears and there are thoughtful moments. Sometimes it comes and goes in a second. Sometimes it paralyzes your whole day.

I do know this: We will all one day experience it.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sir Oliver, King of All Cats

My bear passed away peacefully yesterday, surrounded by those he loved best. A fighter and a lover, my boy was 21 and three-quarters (I counted) old. Oliver, you're amazing.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lip Service West is tomorrow!

Check out the 411. Joe Clifford is a good guy and he's put together a hell of a show!

Adam and I went to see Why There Are Words tonight. Excellent! Peg Alford Pursell always puts on a great show as well. It was one of the best readings I've ever done back in April. I love performing!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


On Thursday, Aug. 5, I did something that scared me. Something that will change my life forever. Something I'll talk about sometime later, but that is not the point of this post.

The point is to thank Adam for being there for me, being my support, standing beside me and sometimes pushing me when I most need it. Thank you, baby. Thank you.