Friday, March 30, 2018

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Perma-rolled eyes

Watching Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood with Baz while contemplating the lentil-rice bake that is tonight's dinner. I am the most boring fucking being on earth in this single second. 

Counsyl blog post is now live!

Hopefully they will correct the misspelling of my name soon. It's here. Disclaimer: "This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Counsyl. All views and opinions in this article are my own."

Monday, March 26, 2018

Watching my kid read

Three-thirty in the morning, and the Angel of Sleep Death and I are sitting on the couch. I'm writing something related to real estate and he's reading his train book, reciting most of the pages from memory.

Am I tired? Oh, fuck yeah. But I will remember this.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Doesn't matter how much I tell you

I'll always have secrets.

Conversation while Baz is in the bath

And I'm looking at a bunch of stupid vegetarian dinner recipes, though I'd rather be looking at international plane tickets, and maybe that's next:

ADAM: I'm thinking fried rice.
ME: Yeah?
ADAM: It just popped into my head.
ME: Man, most food photos look like vomit on a plate.
ADAM: Snort.
ME: I'm serious. They look like chunks.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Barcelona, New Year's 2006

Adam's and my first trip to Europe. I'd been here before, this city of whacky art and hidden Spanish delights, but this was the first time I was here and happy. We'd flown in from London that morning, having spent all night awake to catch our o-dark-thirty flight from Stansted Airport. Then we checked into our hotel and slept all day, waking up in time to catch the city's last taxi to Placa Cataluyna, where the action was. They were drinking down there, hooting and counting it down, smashing bottles in the street.

Too loud. Too boisterous. Too much. Fear lurked in those dark gothic corners and so we retreated to an Australian bar where men chanted bebida bebida bebida. As we walked toward that place, hand in hand, life imperfect and fairly perfectly so, we heard this song. So did the guy who was smoking outside the bar where it was playing. When it came on, he blurted: "I get knock down!" and beat a path back inside.

Almost 10 years married

As I changed my profile picture from yet another one of me and Baz to one with me and Adam, "Right Down the Line" by Gerry Rafferty was playing:

You know I need your love
You've got that hold over me
Long as I've got your love
You know that I'll never leave
When I wanted you to share my life
I had no doubt in my mind
And it's been you woman
Right down the line
I know how much I lean on you
Only you can see
The changes that I've been through
Have left a mark on me
You've been as constant as a Northern Star
The brightest light that shines
It's been you, woman 
Right down the line
I just want to say this is my way
Of tellin' you everything
I could never say before
Yeah this is my way of tellin' you
That every day I'm lovin' you so much more
'Cause you believed in me through my darkest night
Put somethin' better inside of me
You brought me into the light
Threw away all those crazy dreams
I put them all behind
And it was you, woman
Right down the line
I just want to say this is my way 
Of tellin' you everything
I could never say before
Yeah this is my way of tellin' you
That every day I'm lovin' you so much more
If I should doubt myself 
If I'm losing ground
I won't turn to someone else
They'd only let me down
When I wanted you to share my life
I had no doubt in my mind
And it's been you, woman
Right down the line


"If there is a book that you want to read but it hasn't been written yet, you must be the one to write it." - Naomi Wadler

As posted on Facebook

I just had to leave a birthday party held by sweet people because I had a major anxiety attack. Baz was running all over the place and I was freaking out thinking he was going to run through the mud and into the street. First I got physically sick, then I told Adam I had to go. The specter of loss is so fucking strong.

Thursday, March 22, 2018


Today is Thursday, which means Baz is home from school. Juggling work and him is a learned art, though he is certainly one of the easiest kids I've ever met. Still. Ya know?

I was just ruminating over whether parenthood can fuck your marriage. The answer, of course, is both yes and no. In our case, I think it's made us stronger but also underscored some weak spots. That's to be expected. It's not always easy to deal with. The last couple of days I've said to Adam I'm not happy, meaning circumstantially. Things are challenging at the moment.

And yet there's Baz, cawing in the other room, saying whoop! whoop! sock it to me! and Hi, Tahoe Bear!, and that's just pretty cool.


Everyone wants a piece. I've rarely felt so overwhelmed in my life. I need time to sit and stare at the wall, to lie on the couch and think about nothing at all. This is not debatable and it is not optional. The fact that he's in day care three times a week does not abate it the way I had hoped.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


I'm not able to put one articulate word to paper today. Hence, I'm blogging. But I can't even do much here either. I'm not burned out on my own stuff. I'm just burned out on everything else.

Gualala, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

"A good old Landa rant"

Last night I went off on how certain diseases just seem out of fashion. Think about it. Typhus. The plague. Who dies of these things any more? Since when did disease get trendy?

Yeah. Think about it.

Shit. It's too early.


Monday, March 19, 2018

Pot brings serious perspective

Also, thank God for spell-check.


We don't watch a lot of television around here. It's just not really something we do. However, I flipped on the tv just now as a last resort so I can get a little work done. But my kid? He'd rather read a book. :)

Because working at home is easy

Dear Client:

This is how I'm pounding out the words today. Don't worry, he's a great creative consultant.


Facebook this morning

Ask a Toddler Mother:
Q: Why did the kid hit me with a book and then start crying?
A: Ouch.
Tiffany Johnson I didn't mean to laugh out loud.... 😂

Sorry bout your morning...
Ken Jolley Because toddlers are caught in a constant struggle between world domination and wanting a hug.
Allison Landa I am so quoting you.

Note "from the dogs"

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Editing this

He steps to the edge of the bed, where I’m sitting cross-legged, squats down to look me in the eye. It’s as if he never kissed me, as if we had never done whatever the hell we did. Now I could never ask. It would be as if I was looking for something.
I can’t ask him for a thing.
“Look,” he says. “you’re my best friend.”
Oh Christ: The Friend Zone. It’s not just guys who get stuck there. On today’s menu we have Mixed Messages: suitable for vegans and masochists.
I sometimes think guys like Matt don’t have anything resembling best friends. That’s because everyone is their friend. Things come easily to them. Life itself tumbles down from the damn clouds. Forget a gift from the gods. Theirs is sent straight from heaven itself.
“I wish I was a kid again,” I say, not really caring how much of a random statement that is.
It’s true.
Why it’s true I couldn’t exactly tell you, because I hated being little. The younger you are, the less say-so you have. The less control. The less determination over what the hell you can do with this life that’s given to you for no reason other than your mom and dad maybe had a little bit too much to drink in the backseat of the Honda one night.
He has the nerve to trace the back of my hand with his finger. “I like you where you are right now,” he says.
Screw you, Matt.” My voice notches up to a new pitch, a surprising level of anger. It’s so damn obvious that this guy is a manipulator. He doesn’t give two shits for me. Right? Right.
Then out of nowhere I find my tongue in his mouth. He’s still squatting, but somehow he’s managing to slobber right back in my direction. He puts his hands on my shoulders and really lets me have it, and I’m feeling ways I’ve never felt with another human being other than myself under my covers with my door locked.
Did Tina feel this way? Did she –
Biting him comes out of a reflex, kind of the same way you might close your eyes against the wind or want to hurl when watching a New Wave video from the 1980s. There seems to be no choice here, and I don’t want there to be any. Something is manipulating my actions like a puppet with strings attached to its limbs. Fine by me. Fine. By. Me.
I taste blood and it’s metallic, kind of like if you were chewing on a lead pipe, before he pulls away. He pushes me aside, stands up, and stalks out of the room.
My phone goes and goes and goes.

Saturday, March 17, 2018


I sometimes look around our house and think about the things that Baz will notice: that's my parents. I'm not just talking about pictures. I'm talking about the boxes in which our wedding rings were delivered, a place that was once in a movie and now no longer exists; the many, many cards we've exchanged over the years; the basket in which our wedding programs and broken glass still lie, all these years later.

And the pictures. Oh, the pictures. Costa Rica. Europe. Our wedding, held at the former Cafe de la Paz and current Philz, where I go all the time after dropping him off at daycare. Pictures of him, so many: when he was first born, when we took him home, at St. Orres for our anniversary, at his bris.

What will he think when he looks at them?

Crosby, Stills, and Nash, "Our House"

I'll light the fire
You put the flowers in the vase that you bought today
Staring at the fire for hours and hours while I listen to you
Play your love songs all night long for me, only for me
Come to me now and rest your head for just five minutes, everything is good
Such a cozy room, the windows are illuminated by the
Sunshine through them, fiery gems for you, only for you
Our house is a very, very, very fine house with two cats in the yard
Life used to be so hard
Now everything is easy 'cause of you
And our la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la
Our house is a very, very, very fine house with two cats in the yard
Life used to be so hard
Now everything is easy 'cause of you
And our
I'll light the fire while you place the flowers in the vase that you bought today

A different truth

And now in total opposition to what I posted before:

I'm at Romeo's Coffee on Telegraph and was chatting with the manager. He rings me up for a large, charges me for a small. "Thanks, dude," I say. "I need that large. I've got a toddler. You know about that."

"Never went down that road," he says. "I was in the city, where I live, and I was meeting my buddy. He was with his kids, 7 and 5 I think, and the boy was walking in front, and the little girl just reached out and took her dad's hand. They didn't even look, just did it out of instinct. And that's when I got it: kids are innocence. You and me? No. But them? Yes."



So I'm trying to clean up a little bit and listen to the music I want to listen to (novel concept, I know, since Baz insists on Elvis Costello and Beach Boys day and night) and he's shrieking and fucking up my computer. And before I know it, under my breath comes: Kids can fuck anything up.

Now, I'm not the kind of mother who usually says stuff like that, though I am a strict mother who doesn't put up with shit. But it just came out. And you know what? Sometimes it's true.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Because a bridge collapsed in Florida today

I took my kid to Farm Burger. That's cause as we're always told, there's no time to waste. But I do it all the time, waste time, waste thought, waste worry. Don't you?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Random Bazzy lines

"I need Pump It Up." (Elvis Costello)
"Sock it to me."
"Mommy's kicking ass."
"Engagement ring."
"I so funny."
"I so smart."
"I so amazing."
"A funny Jack."
"Hi, Maizie!"
"Como estas, Funny Jack?"

And three years ago, we bought him his first hipster t-shirt:

Come back to bed, someone's taken my place

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Well, I got my answer

So do I leave something out of The Project because of pride or do I include it because it's a strong story? The answer is not as easy as it looks. Pride means a lot to me.

A creative spin

I've been doing a lot of bullet-pointed lists for one of my clients, which makes me think about doing some sort of guide covering Pulp Fiction. To wit:

See, it breaks down like this:
  • It's legal to buy it
  • It's legal to own it
  • And if you're the proprietor of a hash bar, it's legal to sell it.

It's legal to carry it, but -- if you get stopped by the cops in Amsterdam:
  • It's illegal for them to search you. 
That's a right the cops in Amsterdam don't have. 


Monday, March 12, 2018

Check out this lineup!

So honored to be part of Why There Are Words' April 12 reading, with the theme "Search". Please join us!

The Beatles, "Let it Be"

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
"Let it be"

And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom
"Let it be"

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

[Verse 2]
And when the brokenhearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer
Let it be

For though they may be parted
There is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer

Let it be

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Yeah there will be an answer
Let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

Tune in tomorrow!

Joe Clifford will be talking to panelists (including me) about "Wild Child as Parent"!

I can hear music

In no particular order, and for no particular reason, songs that have meaning in my life:

Just the Way You Are, Billy Joel
Bring Me to Life, Evanescence
Shakedown Street, Grateful Dead
The Gambler, Kenny Rogers
You Make My Dreams, Hall & Oates
(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, Aretha Franklin
Leather And Lace, Stevie Nicks and Don Henley
Romeo and Juliet, Dire Straits
Blackbird, The Beatles
Get Off My Cloud, Rolling Stones
Little Deuce Coupe, Beach Boys

Saturday, March 10, 2018


I always get a little nervous before a reading. I have two coming up this week:

I'm always better once I'm at the mic. Even though I'm reading something crazy on Wednesday.

UPDATE: Today went great! So much fun and great people!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Editing this

You’d never know that on a regular basis fire rushes in, followed by floods and mudslides. You might never be able to tell that this place is a natural-disaster theme park, not by the way it smells of jasmine and eucalyptus and something I can’t even name.
It’s a kind of Old World, the type that really should be spelled Olde Worlde. So different from San Diego, where a 10-year-old McDonald’s might be considered something historic. What’s weird is that we’re dealing with some similar elements: red-tiled roofs, white stucco, a ripoff of Spain.
Spain. I don’t want to think about what happens there.


The Uber driver laughs at my reaction when she drops me off. “First time?”
“Maybe my last.”
“It’s no Santa Barbara, that’s for sure.”
She has a slight cleft palate, nothing horrifying, just a small split of the lip. Nothing I would notice if I was normal. But I’m not.

“They put the shit out here,” she continues, unashamed at cursing in front of a kid. I like her for it and remind myself to give her an awesome review. “All the chain stores go in Goleta. All the assholes head for IV.”
I glance out the well-cleaned windows of her beautifully maintained Civic.
“Yeah,” I say, sounding as vague as I feel. What I’m seeing out these windows scares me. There’s a whole lot of dark, the distant lap of an ocean, and a hell of a lot of exposed flesh. These aren’t girls who ever had to worry about excess hair, about trying to get it taken care of at some random clinic they pulled off Yelp, about their face blowing up like yet another type of circus freak.

I never even liked Cirque de Soleil, let alone Barnum and Bailey.