Thursday, December 31, 2015

Just put this on Facebook

Thank you, 2015. You gave me gifts I never knew I wanted and couldn't have imagined would be so joyous.
For some reason I'm thinking about a man named Corrado who I met on the bus in Venice during the leadup to New Year's 2001. "You're leaving after three days?" he asked. "I've lived in Venice my whole life and I still don't know it."
Here's to a new year of exploration, be it our home territories or the far-flung places.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Play on Words

Very excited to be part of Play on Words San Jose on Jan. 6! Read more here.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Wedding bells

Earlier this evening I was reading this article about weddings and the cash grab. I almost hurled. I didn't even want a wedding, at least not the kind of wedding that most women slaver over, these entitled little wenches who think that the whole world revolves around tablecloths and tampons that match. I wanted to get married in Prague, away from the crap that both our families put on us, in a place that could just be ours.

We didn't. Instead we listened to our mothers and had a small ceremony in Berkeley. I look at the pictures now and I cringe at the excess weight I carried ... which is so sad because I can't see past it to the joy on my face.

I know it was there, though. It still is. I married the man of my dreams, the person who thrills me to this day, the only one I've ever really loved. I would've done it with a damn Cheerio on my finger, standing at the counter of City Hall. I would do it over and over. And never would I see it as an opportunity to gain anything more than a partner in life, because in that moment there would be nothing else that I would need.

Seven in Santa Barbara

A year ago, we drove down to Santa Barbara to celebrate New Year's. We ate at a restaurant called Seven. It was hip and fun and had overpriced, overwrought drinks.

What we didn't realize is that we had already conceived a child. I'm convinced this happened a year ago today. When we had our Cajun breakfast the next morning, when we walked down State Street taking selfies and laughing together, when we celebrated 2015 in a burst of drunken joy at some bar in Goleta, I was pregnant.

Hell of a year.

Monday, December 28, 2015


Some days you really realize you dodged a damn bullet. I want to say more, but I can't let myself. I'll just quote a conversation from early this morning:

ME: I just want to say fuck you.
ADAM: You do. Often. And loudly.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Monday, December 21, 2015

In progress

No one in their right mind would call my two-room garage apartment in Pardubice, the Czech Republic, a homey place. Then again, neither was the country itself. Forget about the lace curtains that decorated each window, the stacking dolls that nested on so many shelves. Ice chips shone in the eyes of passersby. Little girls barely old enough to remember their own names looked me up and down, evaluating.

And my heater was fucking broken.

There are times and places where this is really no big deal. That’s not exactly the case in Central Europe, particularly in early February, and particularly in particular during this exact winter, which was nothing short of ass-freezingly brutal. Snow stung my face on the way to the bus stop, where I lingered in wait for my ride across town to the school where I taught hundreds – literally hundreds – of students whose names and faces were one big foreign blur. But I was the foreigner. I was the outsider. I was the one whose name, face and historical context didn’t fit here.


I walked the dogs last night. In the rain. This was the first time in three and a half months, since Baz was born, that I have walked them together. First, of course, there was the fact that I was healing from a Caesarean section and those two crazy lugs would probably pull my stitches out. That lasted six weeks.

But what about the rest of the time?

They haven't been getting out nearly as much as normal. Adam's been doing it and -- let's face it -- we're damn tired. That's not to say they don't get exercise. We have a big backyard and they run around there, but they love their walks and not to get them out every day is just bad form.

So yesterday I said fuck it and went. We walked for a half hour or more. I realized that I've grown tougher, sterner, less willing to take shit. It was a good walk.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Thoughts on oversharing

There's comfortable oversharing and then there's the oh-fuck-did-I-actually-say-that? oversharing. That second kind is kind of like scraping cells off  your inner skin and holding them up for inspection. Jesus, that's a terrible metaphor, but I figure I'll just leave it up anyway.

I want to make my living oversharing, in a sense at least. That's where the memoir stuff comes in. Then there's the fiction, which is oversharing of a different type. I mean, if you write something, that means you've thought it, no matter how seemingly terrible or embarrasing. Even if it's just your character thinking or doing something, it means that's gone through your head too.

Secrets, I think, are more destructive than honesty. Usually.