Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Put this on FB

I drove to school watching the people cross the street, the dog walkers, the parents holding their children's hands. The guy glued to his phone as he navigated my neighborhood, the woman who waved when I stopped to let her by.
Through the gate there was so much cheer. The parents looked at each other with weariness in our eyes. We held our children tight, so tight.

Seattle, eight years ago today

Monday, June 25, 2018


I saw Art yesterday. He was in town for a reading. He's the kind of person who lifts you up when he hugs you, spins you around. I love it.

On the drive to SFO, we talked about people to whom you grow so close that there is no return. You simply become part of them when they are in your life, and then afterward they are nothing.

It makes some horrible, warped, real sense.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Today's writing

I came to Berkeley at the age of 26. Like everyone else here, I was looking for something. Two decades later, I’m still not certain that I’ve found it. That’s what time does – if it doesn’t give you what you’re seeking, at least it blunts your desire for it. When it’s not sharpening it to the point of heart failure.

In other words, I still have no idea what I’m doing with myself, my life, my time here on the spinning orb. I want to walk around, checking in from table to table, asking: Do you?

But you don’t do that here. There’s a certain sanctity in being alone in public, a social contract: thou shalt not communicate. And most of the time I’m so very grateful for it.

Today is different, as it always is when you start a tale. That’s how I learned to tell a story: why is today different than any other day? Or maybe that was a prayer I said in synagogue. It’s really all the same thing.


When I first moved here I lived in a three-story house on Sutter Street, right near the entrance to the Solano Tunnel. It was and remains quiet there, one of those leafy parts of Berkeley that you can’t really even rent any more, a place you can drive or walk through and admire and that’s really about it. In 1998 things were different to the degree that I could get a piece of North Berkeley for less than $500 per month, and even that was a stretch that tapped me out until the calendar flipped and I got paid again.

Newspapering never paid well. Not then and not now. Even then there was the stench of mortality about it, like a puff of air from a dying man’s bed. Still, I was young and when you are young you have that optimism that you don’t understand at the time, don’t even necessarily know exists amongst the corners of angst that you know all too well. You know them because they don’t let you forget them. They poke you in all the uncomfortable places, cause you to squirm. The discomfort masks all the good stuff.

Those days I commuted from Berkeley to Fairfield, twenty-four k’s per year, the standard benefits and barely any vacation time.

The roids

I'm on Prednisone for bronchitis. Damn is this nice. Not only am I totally motivated and focused (sort of, actually) and feeling better, but I'm energetic. I missed feeling like this. Can I get a Prenisone smoothie prescription?

Friday, June 22, 2018


It's a gift to see the holes in your heart, those empty places that drop all the way down to some unfathomable bottom that will take your life to navigate.


Check out the lead picture on this story. Totally brings me back to being a kid, having that weird, slanted, half-comprehending view of the world.

And the helplessness. The lack of control. The need to rely on others.

World events this week were so triggering to me and others, and continue to be that way. No, I wasn't separated from my parents and put in a cage, numbered like something lower than the lowest. I just watched my father beat the shit out of my mother. I just cried when my mother threatened to take my brother away and put him in foster care. I just threw myself between the two of them to stop the fighting in any way possible.

That's all, really.


I don't write about it much any more.

I thought that I was done with that.

I knew better.

I was -- abused? Messed with? Harmed at? Whatever it was, let's finish this sentence by saying at the hands of a narcissist. He was right all the time except for when he conceeded wrong, and he did that infrequently. He belittled my life and my loves. He shit-talked my husband constantly.

And I allowed it. 

I don't yet know whether I hate this man. I only know that he is toxic, and that we were toxic together.

Two major needs


Both require getting up earlier.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Thank God

I had the opportunity to betray Adam. I did not take it. I look at pictures of him, watch him sleeping, and think, I never would have forgiven myself. Never. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Second day of little sleep

It's like being wrapped in soft cotton candy, or being on mushrooms. I wouldn't know. I never ate cotton candy.

Monday, June 11, 2018

More from Facebook, because I'm lazy

After a while, you move someone over into the Loss column. It's kind of a misnomer, loss, because once you start to accept it and it becomes real, it doesn't hurt quite so much any more.

Sunday, June 10, 2018


I feel like someone has hit the Pause button on me. I can't describe it any better than that.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Bourdain on existence

Life is complicated. It’s filled with nuance. It’s unsatisfying. If I believe in anything, it is doubt.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Posted on Facebook

Why, when a celebrity dies, do we so often feel we've lost a friend? I think performers -- particularly those who suffer from depression and anxiety -- project outward in a way that makes us feel seen and included. In Anthony Bourdain's case, we traveled the world with him, peered into New York City kitchens, ate oysters in San Francisco. We were friends, he and us, though he never knew it. Then again, he probably knew it all along.


I'll love you forever
I'll like you for always
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be

Thursday, June 7, 2018


I took Baz to four Berkeley classics today: Fourth Street, Berkeley Bowl, Tilden Little Farm, and Masse's Pastries. It made both of us happy. But shit, I'm having a hard time. I need a vacation. I told Adam I was going to check myself into the funny farm yesterday. "That," he said, "is not a vacation."

I love my kid dearly, but this parenting shit is not for the weak.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018


I feel really fragile today. I had an allergy attack this morning that swelled my eyes shut, the water heater threatened to burn down the house (and I'm still freaking out about that one) and I'm nervous about Bazzy's field trip to the Botanical Garden.

At least I was able to find an outlet at Philz. It's the little things, right?

Facebook sucks

I admit it: I've been a Facebook addict for years. It's starting to fade.

I don't know if people on there are getting more shallow (on my particular feed, at least) or if I'm starting to require more. Sometimes I'll post things I find interesting, that are deeper than just some stupid picture of Baz being cute, and get absolutely no feedback.

I'm not saying I deserve all this attention (though of course I do), but that I'm finding the platform itself fairly useless. As I said on Facebook itself this morning, maybe that's a good thing.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Kate Spade and depression

Kate Spade killed herself. At first that line makes you blink -- I mean, she had success. But what does that even mean? How do you define success of the heart?