Sunday, May 30, 2010

Family dynamics

I don't know how to write this, but I feel I should.

Right now Adam is in Los Angeles visiting his family and I'm in Tahoe. I didn't go with him because there's been static between the two sides for a long time now and his mother (and sister) have barely spoken to me for a year and a half. I couldn't fathom an entire weekend of fighting, or worse, brittle politesse.

He has a niece and nephew and they're sweet kids, but I don't see them as family. I don't see his family as family. It would be nice if this changed, but I'm not holding my breath.

There's no such static between him and my family. Doubtless part of this is because of his easy-going nature, but part of it is that my family -- my mother and youngest brother at least -- are more friends than in-laws. I don't have any friends on his side. I asked his brother-in-law to perform our wedding ceremony thinking that that would help things. It didn't.

I feel raw and angry right now at the situation and I can't change these people. I'm not up for trying. All I can do is get my own feelings in order.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Changing your life

It's a cliche, isn't it? This is going to change your life, that's going to change your life. Hell, you'll hear that a bowl of chili can change your life.

But I'm working on changing mine. For the better. Always for the better.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Philz at the former Cafe de la Paz!

We were up way early this morning to catch the opening of Philz Coffee Berkeley -- located in the former Cafe de la Paz, where we got married! Phil gave us a sneak-peek tour a little while ago and we were thrilled to be his first (actually second -- he's the first) clientele!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Adam to me

"I bet you would come up with new insults for me in the delivery room. The fucking obstetrics nurses would be like, 'That's a new one. We haven't heard that one before.'"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

That line

Sometimes it's so hard to write that good line -- sorry, great line -- and sometimes it's so easy it's ludicrous. I know one thing: When I write it, it's like heaven just came down and kissed me on the cheek.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Today's writing

Of course I know what he’s doing. He’s probably fantasizing about James Bond while he does it. Listen, a cat knows these things. It’s in the way he moves, desperate. It’s in the way he breathes, like there’s glass shards in his throat. It’s different from when he was with her. It’s almost like he’s in pain. I almost feel sorry for him. But when he takes a tissue from the nightstand and holds it in a strategic way, I know better. I don’t bother to leave the room, though. Why should I leave? He’s the pervert.


I'm sitting at Gaylords watching the rain fall. It's slow and silent, more like snow than anything else. They're playing the Rolling Stones and I'm remembering when I used to live two blocks from here. I'd come home from working at the Daily Republic, change my clothes and run to this cafe, where I'd write until they started mopping the floors and stacking chairs on tables. I was hungry for the written word, not journalism but fiction, memoir, poetry. I sit next to that girl in my mind. I tip her a grin and tell her she's got promise.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

How does your garden grow?

Thanks to the rains, we have tons of great things cropping up in the back and side yards. Here's the list: chives, lavender, licorice, two kinds of tomatoes, sweet peppers, a mandarin tree, a Meyer lemon tree, a raspberry bush, a foxglove, some pretty purple flowers, a Scarlet Monkeyflower, strawberries, rosemary, parsley ... I'm sure I'm forgetting something, but that's a start.

Today Adam took Mike's electric clippers and went wild chopping down the terribly overgrown grass, ivy, lavender and licorice. It's going to be a good summer of backyard parties!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Today's writing

Somehow the damn ball of fuzz stops being a ball of fuzz and becomes Po. There’s something to the creature you come home to at night. There’s something about a being that you feed and clean up after, even as you’re grimacing through at least half those tasks.

There’s something to being a caretaker.

Oh, I’m sure I grudgingly liked him beforehand. I’m not saying I didn’t. It’s not as if I never petted him or slipped a few Whisker Lickin’s treats or kind words. He perched on my pillow now and again at night.

But ours was always a fragmented relationship, fraught with the possibility that he might scratch or hiss or just generally show his displeasure with my existence in the world. I’m a dog man. And Po knows it. Dog men are different than cat men. Dog men like beer. Cat men like other cat men. If you think that’s a stereotype, take a survey sometime. There are more limp wrists dishing out Fancy Feast than in the Castro on a hot Saturday night.

Monday, May 10, 2010


Today's weather makes me feel vulnerable. You don't know what's coming next. Sun and showers, you can't choose between them. They choose themselves. I'm thinking of the people who walk into your life, walk through it, those ghosts who don't look back to say goodbye.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Today's writing

A life without hurt: What would that look like? The ability to get up in the morning, swing your legs out of bed, the hardwood floor actually warm beneath your feet. Your hair wouldn’t tangle when you brushed it. Your gums wouldn’t bleed when you flossed. Toothpaste would offer the taste of nirvana, the shower a salvation. When you bit your lip it wouldn’t reward you with a canker sore. Your teeth couldn’t hurt you. Nothing could.

Friday, May 7, 2010


It's been a long and tiring week. I try to keep perspective on these things -- look at the whole picture. It works for the most part. But then a friend emails you -- are you guys still thinking of going to Ireland in September? -- and your lip quivers like the little baby that you are. You write back. I don't know. I hope.