Thursday, July 12, 2012

keeping me grounded.

our nightly routine has been the same since f was a wee beeb. dinner, bath, rough-housing (that part's a relatively new addition), brush teeth, read books, sing songs, go to sleep. over the years it's become comforting to all of us, i think, the knowing what's next and how close we are to lights out. i look forward to it and even when i start to feel a little burnt out on the pace of everything in general, i still love our routine. sometimes the best conversations we've had all day happen as i'm tucking her in. sometimes we reconnect if we've been at odds. sometimes she asks me profound 5 year old questions that give me a chance to share my perspective on things and open my mind to what's going on in hers. sometimes she sings to me, or talks about people we love who have died, or says her own little version of a prayer for, say, her great-grandma or the baby lizard we found squashed outside our back door.

tonight was not one of those times.

when she picked her books, i was inwardly thrilled when she chose a walt whitman poetry collection along with mother goose and 'where the wild things are'. i say inwardly because apparently my excitement about any book she wants to read is like her book-kryptonite. "really, mom? you LIKE that i chose 'the awesome book of thanks'? I WAS KIDDING. we'll read that one NEXT week. MAYBE." so she brought them over, and we started with mother goose, and i was trying not to do anything that would somehow alter her book-vibes and change her mind about the walt whitman. i read the poems with funny voices like she likes, i read a few more when she asked, i was doing everything in my power not to rock the boat so that we might, in fact, actually get to the whitman poems before she changed her mind. she wanted 'where the wild things are' next, so i obliged. so far, so good.

when it ended, i nonchalantly opened the walt whitman book. she said, "will you read me a poem, mama?" in the voice of a little literary angel.

me: "ahem. let's see. aha! 'song of myself, 1 and 2'."

and i began, just stupid over-the-moon that my 5 year old was actually going to listen to some walt whitman. being an english lit major, i was nerding-out! my girl! she's going to be so smart and she's going to love this and DUDE this is SUCH A MOMENT!! all the while, i'm trying to keep my cool and not disturb the course of whatever planets have aligned that created the vibes that created the energy-waves that had led to this giant pile of awesome.

"i celebrate myself, and sing myself, and what I assume you shall assume, for every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

i loafe (f, that means relax. loafe means to relax) and invite my soul, i lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

my tongue, every atom of my blood, form'd from this soil, this air, born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same,"

(holy cats, she is still listening! best day ever!!)

"i, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin, hoping to cease not till death."

i paused for a minute, just to see if she had any questions or input, and totally - again, inwardly - high-fived myself, just ridiculously stoked that our little girl was DOWN WITH WHITMAN. deep breaths. deeeeep breaths. but but but clearly she is a genius! and we are kindred souls! DUDE.

i continued: "creeds and schools in abeyance, retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten, i harbor for good or b---"

her, interrupting: "MOM!! MOM, LOOK." her face was lit up. "LOOOOOK!!!"

i'd been so caught up in the moment, savoring each word and trying to soak it in and not freak out with how awesome we were, how precious this moment was, how truly monumental, that i hadn't noticed what she was doing. so i did, i looked over. and she had, as she was laying on her belly, pulled up her nightie and hiked her cinderella panties as high up as they would go. it was a self-inflicted wedgie.


the "full-noon trill," indeed. more like the full-moon trill. pretty sure you could hear my bubble bursting for miles around. i cracked up, though. i couldn't help it. it was a pretty impressive wedgie.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

caine's arcade.

not too long ago, i watched a video called "caine's arcade" while i was playing an extra long smashing pumpkins song at work. i loved it and thought caine was a pretty awesome little fella, and nirvan was not only a good guy but a good filmmaker too. it is so huge that caine's college education is essentially paid for, thanks to the video going viral, nirvan creating a scholarship fund, and all the support and donations from all over the world. i showed f the video and her immediate response was, "can we go?"

so we did.

we were at my mom's house in the l.a. area for the weekend not too long ago, so we got the directions, checked the hours on facebook, and headed to boyle heights for some hot hot gaming action. it was great! f loved it, the volunteers were charming and funny with all the kids, they really did push the tickets out of the slots caine cut for them at the bottom of each box, and she scored a pretty sweet pink top that lights up when you spin it fast enough. we also got to hang out with caine - he showed f and my mom how to work the air hockey game, and he taught f how to use "the claw" game he'd made (which frustrated f to no end, she just couldn't quite make it work, but that was ok).

that's caine in the turquoise shirt, fixing a game

we each bought a fun pass and we each had way more than $2.00 worth of fun at caine's arcade. afterward we had scrumptious cochinita pibil tacos and hit the free california science center (the same one we grew up calling 'the museum of science and industry'). it was a great day. i don't care what anybody says: i love los angeles.

Monday, May 14, 2012

coachella 2012

coachella this year was super fun & super stressful, as it tends to be every year. we had another awesome house, this one with a putting green in the backyard, a waterfall in the pool, and a speaker system throughout the whole place that allowed my boss to wake everyone up in the morning simultaneously by blasting the new jack white album. j and i tried to make the most of the time together, but mostly i worked. thank goodness the work part is still fun, even when i do stress out.

there were 3 big differences this year as opposed to last year. one was that i did not drink way too much on the thursday night that i arrived out there. we still went out for sushi and tied one on, but i was careful to not go too big. last year the thursday night we got out there, we ended up doing shots (!!) late night and i was seriously hung over for the rest of the weekend, which sucked. this year was way better. the second difference was the way they had the festival set up this year; the only ways to get in and out required INSANELY LONG WALKS. when you've been working all day, then had a few beers and seen a few bands and you're just completely over it, walking for two miles in the dusty dark is NO FUN. no fun at all. the last big difference between this year and last: flat stanley.

my sister's kids have sent me their flat stanleys in the past, so i knew what to expect when our nephew lou's was en route. i figured i'd bring him into the radio station, talk about him on the air (and send the audio of that back with him) and take a few pictures. but this year, he arrived the afternoon before i was leaving for the desert, so i decided to bring him with me. i was silly excited because i am nerdy like that. i figured i'd just start by taking him to the festival with us each night, and see what happened. but flat stanley ended up coming everywhere with us; he came to wristband check-in, he played golf in the backyard, and he hung out with almost every band that came to the house. sometimes, he acted as an icebreaker when bands first arrived; he gave me a reason to start chatting with people, which is nice sometimes when band members are shy or the situation just feels a little awkward. almost no one had heard of him but after i explained that it was for my nephew lou's 2nd grade project, every single person was up for taking a picture with him. by the end of the weekend, i was so grateful i'd had him there with me and honestly, the flat stanley stuff was one of the highlights of my coachella experience. stan had a big weekend!

  stan with the hives

stanley at the festival

 with the awesome merrill garbus of tune-yards

with pat carney of the black keys, friday night main stage headliners!

aside from the ridiculous zig-zaggy way the coachella people were routing us in and out of the venue (through the campsite, past the shuttle buses, across huge fields of nothing but sand, you get the picture - they even had entire blocks blocked off to pedestrians! so so so lame), the rest of the weekend was great. we'd spend all day at the house, with my boss in charge of breakfast and cocktails and our promo director adam in charge of early dinners; bands came through like we had a revolving door, for interviews and performances, and pretty much across the board this year, every artist was friendly and every performance blew our minds. during my saturday show (10a-2p) the bands came through so fast & furious - one band would get up off the couch and another would sit down - that i didn't even get to eat or get up to pee for my entire shift! it went by so fast but when 2 o'clock rolled around, i had to go to the bathroom so badly and i was so hungry, i was shaking. it was kinda nuts, but worth it. i mean, gary clark jr. alone made it worth it all:

gary clark jr. playing live in the house. he was AMAZEBALLS.

j and i with our new BFF, gary clark jr.

the head and the heart's performance made me get all teary-eyed, for rillz: those harmonies! stunning. 

the head and the heart performing on our couch(ella)
i couldn't find the video of this performance, but here it is from their ACL on PBS show:

other than that, j and i had a great time together - the shins, bon iver, & radiohead sets were especially great. we spent a lot of time in the beer gardens with big groups of friends, so we didn't see as many performances as i would have liked. but every year gets a little better, so next year we'll make a point to see some more bands and less beer lines. and i'll try to remember to wear comfortable walking shoes.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


the week of april ninth, 2012 kinda sucked.

we'd scheduled f's ear surgery for the morning of the 12th, a thursday, and i'd taken that thursday and friday off. we had to be at children's hospital at 5:30 in the morning, she was in surgery for about an hour and a half, and she was miserable and in a lot of pain when she awoke from the anesthesia. afterwards, the nurse couldn't track down the anesthesiologist for a good half an hour, so f literally writhed in pain and cried while we waited for pain meds to help her out. it sucked. i sat on the little hospital bed with her between my legs, trying not to get tangled up in the i.v. lines and alternating between "we're really lucky, a lot of kids in here are far more worse off than ours," and "DAMN IT, get my baby some pain meds STAT, this sucks!" as my heart just felt like it was being pulled out of chest. she had the tube removed from her left ear, but her right ear drum had to be patched so there was about an inch and a half long incision all stitched up behind that ear. and lots of blood. yuck. poor babe.

all of that would have been emotionally exhausting (for all of us) and painful (for her) but manageable, i guess, if that had been all we'd had to deal with that week as far as blood and stitches and anesthesia goes... but it wasn't. see, two days before that, we'd spent a nice chunk of time at children's also. after spending most of tuesday the 10th at urgent care with her dad, we drove to children's and were in the E.R. there until about 10:30pm. her left pointer finger was crushed in a van door that morning and the bone broke and the fingernail detached and broke through the skin behind her cuticle and she had a gash around the top of her finger too, so they had to knock her out with a drug that people we knew at one time actually took recreationally and remove her fingernail, stitch the gash, and reattach the nail. which is a good time for a 5 year old, let me tell you. i don't know what was worse, watching her drift off as she counted "19, 20, 21... 22..... 21..." and then her eyes shut (i cried) or trying to comfort her as she came off the ketamine, eyes red and glazed, moaning about popsicles and "GET ME OUT OF HERE!" over and over and over and over and, you guessed it, over again. it was awful. that, and knowing we'd be back in 36 hours for the ears? f me, pardon my french.

the good news: she's healing like a champ and was able to go back to school sooner than we'd anticipated. the orthopedist said her finger looks great and he put a smaller splint on it last friday and told us we don't have to change the bandages every night anymore (THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU). and the stitches behind her ear all seem to have dissolved or whatever they do, so that incision is looking better every day. and she no longer bleeds out of her right ear, which is a good look, you know? other parents love that look as they give you a wide berth at trader joe's.

this morning f and i decided we'd had enough hospitals and surgeries and blood for a while as we discussed her wearing her helmet while she rides her go-ped. we've had our fill and we're moving forward. at least we got her first E.R. visit out of the way, i guess.

Friday, April 6, 2012

mary ellen mark's "prom"

i l-o-v-e this sooooo much. these kids are brave and sweet and awkward and beautiful, all of them, like newborn giraffes. i wish i could go back in time, hug my teenage self and tell her to relax, enjoy, & embrace her wakilana self rather than try so hard to be something else. teenagers are rad.

Friday, March 16, 2012


while obama hasn't been a perfect president (has anyone?), this was a moving reminder of why i voted for him in 2008. also: tom hanks!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

good news / bad news

the good:

f continues to thrill me to no end with her awesome thoughts and comments. while i've been told not to worry, it still bums me out a little bit that she's already talking about having a "boyfriend" named james. but she says the greatest stuff about him, like "mom, he's a true hero!" and when telling me about how well they get along, she said "you know, we keep in touch. it's good."

she still calls breakfast "breakfisk," calls it "hide and bo seek" and says "on your march, get set, GO!"

and when meeting a friend of mine for the first time a few weeks ago, the first thing she said to him was, "last night? my dad TOOTED." awesome.

also: she only needs one surgery.

the bad:

on april 12th, she has to undergo a two-hour surgery to patch both ear drums. the left should be pretty simple but the right requires "harvesting muscle fascia from behind the ear" and yuck yuck yuck, you lost me at "harvesting." it's killing me so i'm just trying not to think about it too much right now. we have the first surgery of the day, so that's good. and if all goes according to plan, her hearing will get back to normal in her right ear, and we'll be able to restart swim lessons and teach her to surf without any ear plugs. the recovery means an entire week out of school; coachella is going to be a welcome break after all the stress.