Thursday, May 31, 2018

On the Cusp

Baz Franklin Sandler, age 2.5, serenading the crowd with his rendition of Yellow Sudnarine.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Morning has broken

Not a lot of sleep, hanging out at a cafe, watching the sun come up, thinking. You know, just like anyone else right now.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Daily OM nails it


Cooperation is allowed to flow more easily, when we let go of the necessity to be right all the time.
Cooperation seems simple: working together toward a common goal for the benefit of all involved. But amazingly it can be quite challenging, even when we have so many successful examples all around us. Human society is based upon the concept of cooperation, but finding a balance to ensure the good of all members of society is difficult. In nature, symbiotic relationships form between unlikely allies: a bee and a flower, a bird and a rhinoceros, small fish and sharks. Yet nature also shows us instances of constant competition in which only the strongest survive. Given the choice, it seems most people would choose the more peaceful path of cooperation. Intellectually, we know that together we can create something greater than what one could do alone, but cooperation still seems to be one of the greatest challenges people face. We don't always agree on how goals can be reached. Our priorities may be different, or our methods, but in the end, cooperation offers the best chance for success.

So how can we learn to cooperate with each other? We can gain greater perspective by trying to understand one another's point of view, perhaps even putting ourselves in their place. We can search for commonalities as well as differences, and look for the good in different approaches. There is always more than one way of doing things, and some approaches are better suited for certain situations than others. All this is easier when we let go of the necessity to be right and to call others wrong. More important, we must believe that there is a solution that benefits all involved, not just one side.

The results of cooperation can be as simple as effortlessly getting everyone in your household to their appointments to large-scale social shifts to changing minds and hearts or policies that affect the future.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

That moment when

When someone who used to mean something to you doesn't have shit to mean to you any more. When you think of them and all you can think is, damn, boy. You a fraud. 

That's a first

I just got mom-shamed by a dad.

I hate kids' parties

Yes, this. All of it.

I mean, I'm an introvert. I'm the one who got high at my son's second birthday parties, riding the carousel at Tilden Park with my head spinning. I had to. 

The small talk. The insincere compliments. Who made those robot cupcakes? They're lovely! Why is there not more alcohol at these things?

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Back on the Fulbright train

Before I had Baz, I applied for a Fulbright Scholarship to Romania to study street dogs with an eye toward eventually writing about them. I haven't given up a dream like that. It's only grown stronger.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Something new

Outlining a new project after all this time is like dating after a 40-year marriage. Whoa.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Well, now

ME TO BAZ: Do you know how much I love you?

HIM: Tractor. Fire truck. Something unintelligible.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018


Take a breath, go, and push open that door. You'll be amazed at what you find waiting for you there.

For the past three years, I've worked with the wonderful Miriam Altshuler of DeFiore & Co. She's a warm, compassionate person and a wise agent. I've learned so much from her and her associate, Kiley Frank.

Very recently, however, I've realized that the memoir is a memoir and not a Young Adult book, which is what we've been pursuing. With this in mind, I've gotten Miriam's blessing to pursue that dream.

I feel really, really good right now.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Drawing board, glad to see you

BEARDED LADY started its life as a memoir. Then it became a Young Adult novel. Now it's back to its original incarnation.

I'm glad. Tired. But glad.

Saturday, May 12, 2018


I have no idea if you'll read this, but if you do:

I forgive you.

At its heart, we were the best of friends. 

I understand why we met.

Joyce Maynard, "The Best of Us"

“But even as his body wasted away, and his mind lost its sharpness, something about Jim had become more substantial. Something about me had changed too. I was a different person than the woman I’d been eighteen months earlier. Grief and pain had been harsh, but they had served as teachers. We had been through a conflagration, the two of us, and I would have given anything to have avoided it, but we’d emerged like two blackened vessels from the forge – our two beating hearts and our trust in each other all that remained.

“An odd irony came to me at this moment, when it seemed as if there was almost nothing left of the man I’d loved, almost nothing left of the two of us, as we’d been, or the life we’d made together: it seemed to me, as we approached the moment when everything would be over, finally, that the ordeal of the disease and the treatment – two separate kinds of hell I would wish on no living human – had turned us into two people we might never have become if the disease had spared Jim. Better ones, though only one of us would survive to benefit from this brutal education we’d received.”

Friday, May 11, 2018


I just wrote to Joyce Maynard to tell her that her memoir The Best of Us changed my life and resounds in my marriage. It's not important why, simply that it is.

Canta, Bazzy, canta!

Es el tiempo para musica al New House Day School. :)

Thursday, May 10, 2018

You're Beautiful

I sang this to my baby on his second day of life, watching the sun rise from my hospital bed. And now I'm listening to it while up at o'dark-thirty working, while he sleeps on the couch next to me.

I love him more than I can ever say.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

From Yelles

I say, if you're going to have clarity on something in your life, make it something so big and bright and meaningful that you will get out of bed and chase it until you grasp it or die. Bring forth a desire that is unbounded and even scares you a little bit, that will demand all the best that is in you, that takes you out of your own orbit and into the stratosphere of the remarkable. That kind of desire changes your life, and it changes the world. - Brendan Burchard

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The cocktail

Coffee for mornings, pot for evenings. A trifecta of head meds so I won't ever have to remember.

Monday, May 7, 2018

My own Me Too

But not what you're thinking. My Me Too is about chronic depression.

See, I was just reading Wil Wheaton's awesome blog post about this subject, which spurred me to start this one. Thing is, I don't exactly remember the first time I got suicidal. I just remember being in my early 20s, comparison-shopping for aspirin in the foofy market across the street.

If I was that concerned about money, I figured, I might as well live.

When I tried Lexapro a few years later, it landed me in bed, unable to get up. Adam would almost literally have to pry me out. One day I actually did get out. I went to Marin. On the way home I thought about veering the car off the Richmond Bridge. Too much effort.

I've been successfully medicated for the better part of 10 years. A trifecta: Wellbutrin, Zoloft, Abilify. But when I forget a pill -- and it happens -- watch out.

Watch out.


Friday, May 4, 2018

See, here's the thing

There is no analytics suite for matters of the heart. And some answers you just can't Google.

Gail took me to Chez Panisse

When, not if

I was talking to Adam about what I see happening when Baz gets older and more independent. I got SO excited thinking about everything we'll be able to do -- both with and without him.

Some people can't bear the thought of their kids growing up. Me, I'm stoked to watch him do it.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Daily OM on comfort zones

None of us are born with a guidebook that provides explicit rules for thought and behavior that will enable us to navigate life successfully. To cope with the myriad of complexities to which all of humanity is subject, we each develop a set of habits and routines that ground us, their continuity assuring us that life is progressing normally. Most of us know, whether instinctively or by experience, that transformations can be uncomfortable, but we always learn and gain so much. Any initial discomfort we experience when expanding our comfort zones diminishes gradually as we both become accustomed to change and begin to understand that temporary discomfort is a small price to pay for the evolution of our soul. 

Your current comfort zone did, at one time, serve a purpose in your life. But it is representative of behaviors and patterns of thought that empowered you to cope with challenges of days past. Now, this comfort zone does little to facilitate the growth you wish to achieve in the present. Leaving your comfort zone behind through personal expansion of any kind can prepare you to take the larger leaps of faith that will, in time, help you refine your purpose. Work your way outward at your own pace, and try not to let your discomfort interfere with your resolve. With the passage of each well-earned triumph, you will have grown and your comfort zone will have expanded to accommodate this evolution. 

Whether your comfort zone is living with your parents, or perhaps being too shy to socialize, or maybe it's not realizing your spirit self--whatever it is, start small, and you will discover that venturing beyond the limited comfort zone you now cling to is not as stressful an experience as you imagined it might be. And the joy you feel upon challenging yourself in this way will nearly always outweigh your discomfort. As you continue to expand your comfort zone to include new ideas, activities, goals, and experiences, you will see that you are capable of stimulating change and coping with the fresh challenges that accompany it.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Tori Amos, “The Wrong Band”

I think it's perfectly clear
We're in the wrong band
Ginger is always sincere
Just not to one man
She called me up
And said you know that i'm drowning

I looked good pregnant

Perspective, redux

Yesterday I told Adam: "Nothing is linear."

Yesterday I wrote on Facebook something to the degree of that moment when you realize that these days, too, will be memories.

This is why I like being an older mom. This is why I love being 44. I get it. To a degree, at least, I get it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The right wrong time

Stoned. Say nothing or everything? The choices.

Beginning of Berkeley Noir piece

Lacking Reception
Allison Landa

I may never live to be 100 – God, I hope I don’t – but even if I do, I will never, never understand the compunction to yap on the phone in public. Especially when you’re supposedly working out at the gym. Especially when you’re standing – standing, not using – on the treadmill that I always prefer.

I mean, this woman? She’s a sow. Porcine to the max. It’s less in the shape of her body – though it’s there too, trust me – than in the buck of her teeth, the way she holds her lip at gum level so you can see just how little dentistry she received growing up. I mean, they make Invisalign for a reason. She can still make it happen. Am I right?

It’s in the curve of her calves, the color of a sheet of paper just barely blushing. Maybe she’s a cow, not a sow. Bovine, porcine, does it really matter? She’s the kind of creature that I might see if I had a kid and if I took that kid up to Little Farm, but even if I had one of those creatures, I would rather take them anywhere else. I mean, really. Little Farm. If I wanted to feed celery and lettuce to indigents, I would never have to leave downtown Berkeley.

The heartbreaker

I was out with a friend the other night and he laid it on me. "You leave men worse off, dude," he said. "Lying in the street, crying from under their blankets."

I rolled my eyes over my Guinness.

"I mean it," he said. "I told you, you're a heartbreaker. You broke me once."


Passing it on

Baz and I were on Telegraph yesterday and stopped into Amoeba. As soon as we walked in, he said: "Beatles." So I bought Rubber Soul. A new generation learns the best of classic tricks.