Wednesday, December 23, 2009

was it h1n1?

we'll never know for sure, but f got so, so sick last wednesday night, and it totally sucked. she had had a runny nose for a couple weeks, but that's so standard for her, we hardly pay it any attention any more. but last wednesday night she was talking in her sleep ALL NIGHT LONG, talking talking talking about her dreams and stuff. i keep feeling her back and forehead for a fever, and it wasn't until about 4am thursday morning that it came on. she woke up around 5:30 burning up, and she was feverish for the next 3 days. we'd give her motrin and her fever would go away for a while, but then about 5 hours after the last dose, it would shoot up and she'd just be burning up again. j took sick days and stayed home with her on thursday and friday (did i mention i am married to the best man? the best), and he said friday afternoon her fever got up to 103.5 and she threw up off and on for a few hours. she hardly slept (which, as you know, means neither did we) on thursday, friday, and saturday nights because her nose was so stuffed and she was just. so. sick. and as a parent, having a sick kid is just about one of the worst things in the world. feeling how i did when she was sick for a few days just made my heart break when i thought about families with chronically ill kids - i can't even imagine.

finally last sunday, she woke up without a fever and has been fever-free since. when j took her to the pediatrician thursday morning, he tested her for flu and it came back negative. however (i just like saying "however"), our ped had said in the past that if they test too early, it can come back as a false negative. regardless, he diagnosed a sinus infection and prescribed antibiotics, but those antibiotics didn't do anything - that fever hung out way too long for it to have been a bacterial infection. and now, the lame thing is, we have to continue to give her the antibiotics for the full 10 days. and, hey! kids LOVE taking medicine! so, um, yay for that.

the good news is, it looks like she's all better now. she has not gotten the h1n1 vaccine yet, simply because our pediatrician still has not gotten any, and i haven't sought it out anywhere else. j and i are going to get it at my work in january, but does f still need it? probably, right? i'd just hate to get it for her if she doesn't need it. hmm.

ok, so /vent. some good stuff from the last coupla weeks:

lots of snuggle time with f and j
date night at urban solace with j
dinner with my pal heather
christmas shopping at the tomorrow project
watching "the muppets christmas carol" about 20 times
listening to "john denver and the muppets" christmas album ALL the time
knowing that hacienda & transfer are coming to the casbah
my mom and step-dad bringing christmas to our house
f prancing around in her new dress-up clothes
f prancing around in her new raincoat, rain boots, & umbrella
jeremy at work making cookies with a stone 090909 vertical epic ale reduction (!)
baking cookies for our neighbors
our playgroup donating money & gift cards to CCS
the top chef finale, even though our man kevin didn't win (boo!)
wrapping gifts & drinking wine with j
the holiday hootenanny!
all the awesome christmas cards we're getting in the mail
being done with shopping and almost done with wrapping
and feeling like i've found just the right gifts for almost everyone on my list
oh, and this:

santa took time out of his busy schedule and paid a visit to our playgroup! f LOVED him.

h1n1 or not, life is good. merry christmas to you and yours!

Monday, December 14, 2009

notes from the hoot

when i left our house saturday afternoon, it was raining, my shoes were untied, and rachel our punk rock babysitter wasn't there yet. i was rushing, see, because i get really nervous before any of our big radio concerts, and the day of the fm 94/9 holiday hootenanny was no different. fortunately i made it to the backstage broadcast on time, with my shoes tied, and j stayed behind until rachel arrived and met me at the show later, so it ended up starting off right. and really, the night only got better from there, despite the bad weather and a few jaded rockstars.

i was supposed to take over the broadcast from halloran at 5pm, but white rabbits were running late, so he stuck around and we sorta interviewed them together. nice guys, steve and alex, though steve seemed a little nervous. but they were funny and chatty and interesting, which made talking with them easy. you can see hal's cheat sheet below (notice the "steve" and "alex" notes on the schedule, to remind him who was sitting where).

our broadcast was set up in "the green room", where all the bands and their managers and roadies and girlfriends and boyfriends and husbands and wives hung out and took advantage of catering. it made for great people watching, seeing phoenix eating grilled vegetables while chatting with the guys from spoon. that kind of crazy rock star action. and halfway through the white rabbits interview, manchester orchestra walked in (all of them) so as soon as white rabbits took off, robert, chris, and andy from M.O. came over and sat down.

i felt like i was well-prepared for the interview, being a big fan of theirs and having jotted down some notes to help me along should things begin to drag. those notes ended up being worth their weight in cheetos because really? those guys made it so easy to interview them - if anything, i had to stop myself from cracking up because more than once, they made me laugh so hard i couldn't talk. which is ridiculous and fun on my end, but doesn't necessarily make for great radio. and based on the rapid-fire back and forth banter and sh*t-giving and inside-joke trading that went on between them for those 20 minutes, i imagine it must have sounded like one big clusterf**k on the air. a funny clusterf**k, but still.

my two favorite moments from the manchester orchestra interview were these: when i played their song "shake it out" on the air, they started harmonizing along with their own song, making fun of themselves the whole time, but it sounded so cool! it was my own little private seranade. the other: at some point, andy and chris started quoting steve martin, this (old, random) bit he does in "steve martin live" about speaking french, and i jumped in and started saying it along with them, because i'm a nerd like that and a huge steve martin fan, and they looked at me like, huh? we bonded over "oeuf means egg! chapeau means hat! it's like those french have a different word for everything!" the only other person in my life who can quote old steve martin bits with me is one of my closest friends in the world, kelly, so hearing it come out of those guys' mouths was felt like i had entered bizarro world. in a really good way.

i also interviewed jim & britt from spoon:

and did i mention that the fellas in manchester orchestra were a great interview? they were. a great interview.

other things worth noting: phoenix had a posse of incredibly hip french women hanging out with them backstage, the guys in white rabbits were very polite, the styletones blew people's minds in the "beernasium", someone vomited in the VIP elevator, blue moon and pop chips are a winning combination, ezra from vampire weekend must have been very hot in that puffy vest, and the view from onstage was epic.

oh, and phoenix wear cool shoes.

but my favorite part of the night, besides getting a night out with j and having so much fun with him and his sister auntie j, was this: it was the first time every single band joined us onstage for our final stage announcement. everyone but britt from spoon, who didn't want to. not only were all of the bands super cool, but they were super cool, you know? everyone (mostly) seemed genuinely happy to be there. it was awesome.

(notice norm saying dude, someone ripped one!)

photo by boredmel

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


washable paints are my new favorite invention.

and all of the sudden i'm in college again.

jawbox was a band i loved in the early 90's, and their song "savory" is to this day one of my all-time favorites. they haven't played together since 1997 but rad jimmy fallon got them to play on his show on dec. 8th, and yessssss! they played "savory". how awesome is kim on the bass? VERY. i'm swooning (like, for reals - watching this made my heart race and i got all emotional! er, emo? yikes.):

Sunday, December 6, 2009

today, so far:

in an effort to get f out of the house while j replaced two of our (ancient) windows, i decided f and i should run a bunch of errands. as anyone with a toddler knows, i must have been high. over the course of two and a half hours, we hit:

- the starbucks drive-through
- ceramic cafe in del mar to pick things up she'd painted a week ago
- the 99 cent store (ever been? that place is a hoot!)
- michael's

and then we came back home again. shockingly, it was awesome! she was easy-going and it was sans tantrums, even with all of that getting in and out of the car action. and we totally had fun. the 99 cent kitchen set with life-like meat cleaver might have helped, but still. all of that AND no potty accidents. looks like our little christmas miracle came early this year.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

a chat.

f: "mom, is today tomorrow?"

me: "no, sweets, today is today."

f: "o.k."

Monday, November 30, 2009

thankful: a list.

thanksgiving has come and gone like this: whoosh! so fast. i LOVE this time of year and have been thinking about all the things i have to be thankful for. it's something f and i do every night before bed, y'know, we count our blessings. it's one of my favorite times of every day. she's snuggly and clean and warm, it's dark and peaceful, and it feels so good to remember how lucky we are and how much we love all the people we love. anyhoo. what follows is a list of things i'm feeling thankful for today.

1) thanksgiving dinner at my mom & step-dad's house. besides their house being one of the most peaceful places to me, thanksgiving there is always made up of an interesting, large, and lively group and we never know who will be a part of it. we've had everyone from exchange students to the president of a large japanese fashion corporation to a little girl just adopted from china (it was her first day in the US with her new parents) to, well, you name it. this year our group included people of all sexual persuasions and a jesuit priest from portugal. awesome.

2) the pre-thanksgiving dinner ritual at my mom and step-dad's: we pass around a candle and each person says what they are most thankful for. this year, f was one of the last to get the candle, and she was so quiet while everyone (all 18 people) spoke, one at a time - she just waited patiently, holding her grandpa jack's hand, looking so sweet. i was so curious to see what came out of her mouth when it was her turn to talk, but i never would have predicted what happened: she totally busted out a little freestyle rap! she said "i'm thankful for the library and..." then she went off, dropping mad science on all of us. i couldn't make out 75% of what she said but i heard a few "all the days" which is one of her go-to phrases lately. a few of us were in tears - it was truly a priceless moment. a tiny little freestyle flow on thanksgiving - so sweet!

3) my dad's backyard. my dad and my step-mom are two of my favorite people in the world, and my dad's backyard just makes me sooo happy. it's a little wild but it has all kinds of cool things going on; it's a kid's idea of heaven. a playhouse/fort, lots of mud, random plants, room to run, dig, play ball, build bridges, explore, and even a way for the big kids to climb on the garage roof. i love that f gets to play there whenever we visit, and she loves it too.

4) pals. we have some friends who are so selfless, and everyone else reaps the benefits. boobs and los, i'm looking at you.

5) f and j, of course. who knew that love just gets bigger than the universe, all the time? some people know, but it's hard to describe i think. wow, and my gratitude is boundless for it and for them.

6) the holidays! the christmas lights, the shopping, the food and parties and celebrations and lists and traditions and all the good goodness.

7) that ben gibbard show we went to for our last date night. i still keep thinking about it and it takes my breath away.

8) twilight, the books and movies. i resisted them for so long, but dude, they are so much fun! mindless, swoon-worthy fun. haters to the left.

9) mary poppins. been watching a lot of her lately, and i tell you what. julie andrews and dick van dyke? they just don't make them like that anymore! step in time!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

a fan of fanfarlo

i've had this record for 24 hours as i type this and already it's made my top 10 albums of 2009 list. son of a biscuit it's GOOD. beautiful, really. think arcade fire + clap your hands say yeah with a young, serious david byrne singing. that's ballparking it. you, meet awesome: fanfarlo.

Monday, November 23, 2009

date night at the WTF festival

have you ever had a kid? and then that thing happens when all of the sudden you realize you haven't had time alone with your spouse (where, say, you're both in nice clothes and maybe not still inside your house) in, like, forever? it's so nuts! thankfully, we're starting to get better about date night and, um, actually having them. sometimes we just go out to dinner, or maybe we go to a show together, and if we're feeling REALLY crazy, we do what we did this past saturday night: dinner AND a show. living on the edge, i know! it was exhilarating.

it all started with an impulse buy. i came across a little blurb about the WTF festival that was happening at the actor's gang theater in culver city and could not believe it when there were still tickets available for the ben gibbard solo show. no matter that, hey! it's the weekend before thanksgiving, and we're driving to l.a. for thanksgiving weekend! and, the tickets are not cheap and, right! we have a child to bring with us to the city (i kept my fingers crossed that my mom would be able to babysit) and and and there were a million reasons why it didn't make sense to do it, but ben gibbard! and friends! solo, in a theater that seats 100 people! do you hear that noise? it's the sound of me whipping out my credit card. impulse buy, shmimpulse shmy - we were going, damnit, and it was going to be awesome.

and thankfully, it was. f was so happy to get time with her "dranny" (it's what she calls my mom, long story). we scored a free parking spot a block away. we had a really good dinner and great margaritas at kay 'n' daves and saw ben and his new wife zooey deschanel walking by while we ate. we walked into the back patio of the theater right as the DJ was spinning kula shaker, who i adore. tim robbins was chilling with other hollywood-types while everyone else acted like it was no biggie. and i almost smacked rebecca de mornay right in the face with the bathroom door as i was walking out and she was right about to walk in. oops! and when we took our seats, david crosby sat down three rows in front of us! j actually talked to him on our way out, something which thrilled him to no end. i love l.a., i really do.

(that's j, chilling on the back patio at the theater)

(the back of david crosby's head is in there somewhere, i swear)

(tim robbins, promise)

our seats were great - there wasn't a bad one in the place. tim robbins came out and welcomed everybody and explained what the WTF festival was trying to do and talked about some of their upcoming events. it was funny because he seemed nervous! kept waving his hands around and giggling as he talked. ben hit the stage and played a couple songs on the piano, one of which was a hauntingly beautiful version of nirvana's "all apologies". he then stood up and played his acoustic guitar for the next few songs. he sang "grapevine fires," "cath," and "soul meets body," among others. he invited his wife onstage with him and they harmonized on a few songs, joking around between each one. really sweet, those two. and then he invited david crosby up and they sang an old C,S,N, & Y song & some everly brothers songs, the three of them. it was just beautiful and we could not believe our luck. when zooey and david crosby left the stage he finished with "i will follow you into the dark" and then opened it up to requests, which was really cool; he played "lack of color" and joked about how he now lives in l.a. when he played "why you'd want to live here".

yes, that's an awful picture of ben gibbard (rocking a pageboy haircut and mad chops) and yes, clearly it's time to invest in a new phone, because my 2006 special just isn't cutting it anymore. regardless, the night was breathtaking and fun and just felt like a win, all the way around. ben gibbard solo + date night = good for the soul.

Friday, November 20, 2009

2nd base

it's never a good sign when you walk into your child's preschool and the teacher looks up, sees you, and starts laughing out loud, is it? fortunately, our daughter's antics tickle me to no end, but i can only imagine what it must be like to be an extremely conservative parent - horrifying, on a daily basis. that is, if your almost-three year old is anything like ours: a wise-cracking, nose-picking, boob-flashing little bundle of joy.

ahh yes, the boobs. or "boo-boos", as we've inadvertently started calling them at our house. see, here's the thing: f has had a fixation with my boobs since she turned one. my boobs are, you could say, her comfort object. i weaned her at 10 months, thanks to a combination of recurring mastitis (mine) and teeth (hers). my goal was to breastfeed her for a year, but my goal also was to never let her use a pacifier and to not let her watch TV until she was at least two years old. so you see how well this whole goal-setting thing works out for me. anyhow, about two months after she was fully weaned, she started fiddling with my nipples absentmindedly every time i held her. at first it was kinda sweet and really, no big deal. and it still is not a big deal, except that SHE'S ALMOST THREE AND DUDE! ENOUGH ALREADY! i get more nipple stimulation in a day than your average (i'm guessing here) porn star does in, um, two days? that is, a LOT. when i am holding her (walking down the street, or through target, or on the beach) and when we're watching a movie and when she climbs up into our bed in the mornings: her hand are on my boobs. i don't even notice it anymore, it's just how it is with us. she knows not to pinch (though she takes great delight in pinching j's nipples and yelling "TWEAK TWEAK!") and generally, i pay it no mind. but lately, she's realized that she too has boo boos, and she wants you to know it.

so when her teacher started telling us that f had been showing her friends her boo boos that day, i wasn't shocked. if anything, the sweet sweet innocence of it just bowled me over. so precious, that! some parents might revel in their kids painting a picture (we do too) or not having any accidents that day (we do too) but telling me f was sharing her boo boos with her pals - my heart just swelled with love! i kid you not. i am, by no means, an exhibitionist - i just thought it was so damn funny and sweet and really, i know it is normal and is nothing to worry about. that being said, we definitely don't want it to continue, mainly because i want her to learn about her own boundaries, privacy, and how her body is HERS and hers alone. so that when little johnny jackrabbit tries to play doctor with her in kindergarten, she'll have enough sense to make sure she's wearing cute panties that day. KIDDING!

thankfully, the conversation about privacy and how our bodies are for us and not for our friends or other people, etc, has already begun in our house. every once in a while she asks to take out one of my boobs in public, so she can play with it. (wheee!) so i've talked to her about how our bodies are private, they belong to us and are special to us and no one else. and that's pretty much exactly what her teacher said she'd talked to f about that day too. we made sure we were on the same page with the message for f and promised to continue the conversation at home, and went on our merry way.

driving home, as we talked about her day at school, i mentioned that her teacher had talked to us about keeping our clothes on at school and not sharing our boo boos with any of our friends, and f said "mama! i showed 'A' my boo boos!" "a" is one of her most adored buddies, and yes, he's a little boy. so, totally trying to be nonchalant and non-judgemental, i talked with her about it a little more, just reiterating the message about privacy and stuff. when i was done, she turned to me and said, so proudly, with a big smile: "BUT, MAMA! I TOLD A TO TOUCH THEM!!" well butter my butt and call me a biscuit, i burst out laughing. because, that's my girl!

i later emailed a's mom and warned her that her son may have skipped first and gone right to second base with f at school that day. kids these days! thankfully, a's mom is awesome and knows f well enough to know it's just a passing phase. and i'm happy to report that was two days ago, and she apparently has not done it since, so maybe it has already come and gone. i know that she will outgrow her attachment to my boobs, and i hope that it comes sooner than later. i think i have nipple fatigue. (um, great band name alert: NIPPLE FATIGUE! someone use that!) she'll outgrow needing to touch them all the time and will move on to the next grand adventure. in the meantime, i remind myself that it could be worse. what if she was really into smooth jazz?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

rock shows

i remember very clearly the day that fm 94/9 launched - i was doing afternoons on one of its rival stations, 91X, and i sat in our program director's office listening to fm 94/9 thinking, basically, "oh shit." the station sounded great, was doing what i felt we should have been doing, and they were aiming their production right at 91X. it was brutal and i was bummed.

fast forward a few years later, and here i am, thanking my lucky stars every day that i actually get to be on fm 94/9. it's everything i thought it could be, and like a million times more. and the station knows how to throw a good party. there were some lean years while i was at 91X and we put on a few shows that made us DJs cringe when we had to promote them on the air: crazytown headlining the holiday show, anyone? staind headlining X-fest? ouch. so to get to work for a station that puts together shows that just thrill me and make me feel proud to be a part of them: it is truly awesome.

it's funny, though. i'm not sure what our listeners think, but i get the feeling people think we just pick and choose whichever bands we want, and that's who plays our shows. if only. there is SO much politicking that goes on between record labels and management and the stations trying to get bands for their shows, it can get really ugly. a LOT of "we'll give you THIS if you give us THAT" and "you can't have this band because the other stations in your town have been playing them too, and it might piss them off" and "sure, you can have them, but they want $130,000.00 to play, so if you get them, your listeners will be thrilled about the band and will HATE you for having to charge $60.00 a ticket just to cover costs." i am not a programmer so thankfully i do not have to do any of the dirty work, as far as booking bands goes, but from what i've seen, it is rarely easy and rarely a clean, happy little exchange. some stations hire outside promoters to do the dirty work for them, so they then are able to land bigger bands than, say, if they were paying for it and booking it all themselves, but then they make less money on the show too. at least that's my understanding of it. my point is, putting together a great lineup takes TONS of work and haggling and money and stuff, and i wish more of our listeners understood how hard it is to pull off a rad lineup when you are booking the shows on your own.

but i digress. i was happy about the lineup for the fm 94/9 7th anniversary bashes: night one was black joe lewis & the honeybears, cage the elephant, and jet, and night two was switchfoot doing an all ages show to kick off their tour in their hometown on the eve of their new cd's release. not bad! we sold out both nights pretty quickly, which is always cool, and the fm 94/9 house band started practicing at a warehouse in mira mesa a couple nights a week. halloran picked the songs, we learned them, and it was on.

so the night of the first show, saturday november 7th, hal told us to get to 4th and b at 5 to soundcheck. i was running late and panicking, left f at home with j in a rush, racing downtown as fast as i could, scrambling to find parking so i could get inside. but as i walked into the back doors, i saw tommy on his phone and hal chatting with matt from cage the elephant. i set my keyboard down and said hi and then? hal told me the neither CTE nor BJL & the honeybears had soundchecked yet. all of that rushing for nothing. doors didn't open until 7pm, so we had a lot of time to kill. but it was all good - tommy, amanda and i walked around the corner and had beers at the local, and walked back to 4th and b just in time to see our gear being loaded on to the stage. the band started at 7:30 - my keyboard wasn't even plugged in until halfway through the first song, and we know now that half the mics weren't working. we still had a blast - matt from bad credit, aaron from scarlet symphony, and jake najor from all kinds of crazy bands were awesome and made it so much fun. timmy pyles killed it on vocals, as did owen and garett, who, i might add, is my boss. not a bad gig, playing in a band where your boss is screaming out ramones and iggy and the stooges songs! dallas was cracking me up and ron fountenberry, matt from transfer and steve from the styletones made us look like professionals, so that ruled. it was, over all, pretty awesome.

(photos by dustin singler)

the rest of the night was kinda a blur - j got to be there this year, which was awesome, and we drank beers and ate phil's BBQ upstairs and really, just hung out with friends new & old. we were blown away by cage the elephant's performance. later, i learned that their bus driver that had been driving them for two months had a heart attack and was rushed to the hospital right before they went onstage. still, they pulled it off. i can only imagine how hard that must have been. we left when jet started, and that was that.

night two was fun also - i met timmy and owen at the east county performing arts center around 5 and we walked to go get dinner and drinks, then headed backstage and hung out in the green room with halloran, O, the switchfoot guys, and a few local band guys & their girlfriends. after the new archaic played, owen and i went and grabbed seats and checked out the switchfoot set, and those guys? they owned it. they are so humble and kind and GOOD at what they do - i wish them nothing but the best.

so the shows went well, but i'm glad it's over. up next: the fm 94/9 holiday hootenanny. spoon, phoenix, manchester orchestra, white rabbits, & vampire weekend, with some extra cool stuff that we haven't announced yet too. talk about a lineup i can be proud of! i can't wait.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

a list.

f has been slinging some zingers our way recently. i want to remember them all but there are so many, i only seem to jot down the ones that really stand out. a few recent gems:

1. as i tucked her in to bed, she said "mama, don't let the eagle get my armpit." um, huh?

2. "mama, it's not a good idea to rock and roll when you're walking down the street all by yourself." oh but f, it certainly can be. you'll see.

3. "your boo boos are squishy!" (yes, my boobs. sweet.)

4. "NO THANK YOU!!!" screamed at us, for anything and everything. she's approaching three. it's fun.

Friday, November 6, 2009


it was f's first time trick-or-treating this year, and holy cute-bomb: it was ridiculous. when i wasn't laughing i was either taking pictures or being all weepy and emotional at the sweetness of it all. this was her first time! we rolled out with a bunch of her buddies and she loved it. she asked me every afternoon for the next few days if we could go trick-or-treating again that night.

almost as funny as the toddler posse demanding candy: spiderman pushing the doublewide. good times.

dinosaur jr

when i was in college radio, dinosaur jr. were, as we used to say, the sheezy. meaning, they were (are) flipping AWESOME and we all pretty much worshipped them. ditto for sebadoh, sentridoh, and just about any 'doh lou barlow was involved with. fast forward a few (ahem, 16 or so) years and last wednesday, halloran is asking me if i "wouldn't mind" if he brought dinosaur jr into the studio while i was on the air so he could tape something with them. um... mind? dude. i would only mind if you didn't! bring it on! and he did. i was a little excited, but fortunately my pal O was there to document it all:

keep the glove, berb.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


it was mid-september when we learned that our neighbor carly had been in a horrific tour bus accident with her band, a city serene. i wrote about it here and really, it was a couple of weeks before their outside lights finally were off during the day. as the weeks ticked on, j and i began to talk with her parents here and there, and the updates were always hopeful and positive. she's awake! she's talking! she's recognizing people! she's tweeting!! she's being transferred to a hospital in san diego soon! and finally, she's coming home! and she did: carly's home.

last weekend, carly and her mom cathi came over while i was putting f down for her nap. f had just fallen asleep and i was still laying next to her when i heard their voices in our front courtyard. i flew outside to see her with my own two eyes, and she was there, so alive and so cute and funny and just, well, awesome. carly, who suffered a brain-injury, who had a tube in her throat to help her breathe, who had our whole neighborhood talking to god and allah and anna nicole smith (that's another story for another day), asking for them to be with carly and help her survive and thrive - carly was right there, doing just that: thriving. she was talking and laughing and she was smart and sweet and really, aside from the walking cast on her foot, i would have never guessed that she'd been in a coma recently if i didn't know it to be true. carly. you are a stud!

on halloween she and her bandmates got together at the hospital where their drummer mike is still staying, and it was the first time since the accident they were all together again. they say their plan is to make a new record and put it out next year. personally, i think just the fact that they all fought hard to survive and are all doing so well again is more than enough. as a parent, i can't even begin to imagine what cathi and shane went through. having carly home feels like a victory not only for the baker family, but for our little neighborhood too. we're stoked.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

team "save the beauties"

a great, albeit really emotional, way to start a sunday: walking a 5k through balboa park in honor of anyone who's ever battled breast cancer. today we rallied around our girl janet, who just finished her course of chemo and radiation and walked it in a hot pink wig. her three year old son wore a shirt that said "my momma's a survivor". we laughed and talked and toasted to janet with bloody marys when we were done. team save the beauties!

Friday, October 30, 2009

her name is rio

so, the radio station i work for now is one of the best places i've ever worked. i've had some great times at other stations: KNAC was just a thrill, even if i was intimidated by it all about 98% of the time. 92X in denver had a staff camaraderie and an energy that was really great; we used to have music meetings once a week where we'd all bring munchies, because you never know when you might get a craving for munchies, and then we'd sit back and listen to all the new music that was coming out. we'd snowboard together and our PD bryan schock's family would have the whole staff over for dinner parties. fun. and 91X - well, it was ridiculously good for a long time. cantore, trev, muckley, robin, malcolm and i got into some serious trouble together, in the best way. i spent way too many nights on muck and trev's pleather couch. we watched the blair witch project in the conference room one night, a bootleg copy, one we got before anyone really knew it was fake - i made muckley follow me home that night and make sure i made it into my apartment alive. the friendships we made there and then are strong to this day. it was awesome.

but fm 94.9? i don't think i could dream up a more perfect work situation for myself if i tried. from my very first meeting with garett, i knew in my gut that this was going to be a good place to work. for one, management actually treats people with respect. nutty, right? people genuinely LIKE to work here - morale is good. people are happy and care about the company. people listen to each other's ideas - even mine! crazy. here, it feels like everyone wants to see everyone else succeed. it's peaceful. i like that.

one of the more fun station traditions that i've become a part of is the FM 94.9 "house band" that opens the annual anniversary bashes. our afternoon guy/MD, halloran, spearheads the project each year: he picks the songs, organizes the practices, and rounds up random rockstars to join us onstage for vocal duties. and he can play a mean bass. and our airstaff has some serious talent: between swami and anya alone, we end up sounding pretty good. last year, i had only been on the staff for a few months when the 6th anniversary bash rolled around and i was SO nervous to get onstage. i was playing keyboards, playing the roland juno 2 my dad bought me when i was, oh, 14? the one i wanted because duran duran's nick rhodes played a roland? that one. i was scared, but then we hit the stage, and i could not stop laughing and smiling:

it was a flippin' BLAST. after so many years of being in the crowd watching my husband on stage, i finally got it - rocking is awesome! rocking. hee. anyhow, i loved it. the 7th anniversary bash is next saturday night and i'm getting all nervous just thinking about it, but i can't wait. we've been busy:

between matt from transfer, the incredible ron fountenberry, steve of the styletones and now the just-confirmed bona fide rock star who'll join us for vocals on "i wanna be your dog"... our guest vocalists have some serious chops. jake najor on drums? check. brian karscig stopping by? check. O on guitar? check and check. we've got a couple more practices to go, but i think it's going to be another night to remember. the FM 94.9 house band: just one more reason why i love my job.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

particular molly

you know those people in your life who, even though you may not get to see them very often, you just adore them? and it's hard, because i'd love to hang out more and get to know them better and, like, totally be BFFs, but there's this thing called life and sometimes it just gets in the way. so, i adore from afar and just get giddy like a schoolgirl when i actually do get to see these people; molly is one of these people to me. you'd love her too, because she's kind and funny and smart and definitely a girls' girl. we met when she interned at one of my old stations, 91X, and i thought she was awesome from day one. now she's all grown up and living in london and she started a blog, and that's my whole point: my pal molly has a new blog and it is really cool, especially for those of you with food allergies. check it out: the particular kitchen.

i don't have food allergies that i know of, but i love to cook and, more than that, i love to eat good food. i try to limit meat and i try to eat healthy and wow, molly is full of great ideas. molls! well done!

Friday, October 23, 2009

vaccines, a quarantine, & how i ended up on "this american life"

ahh, vaccines! with the H1N1 threat looming (knock on wood), talk of vaccines is just about everywhere. and the topic, well, it's loaded like the diaper on a kid with stomach flu: it's fully loaded. it's messy. not fun. there are heartbreaking stories on both sides. even in our family, having had to quarantine f for three weeks when she turned one, having seen one of her buddies hospitalized with a fever of 106, losing hair and weight and being really, really sick because some other family decided not to vaccinate their kids, it's still a loaded subject. but as soon as san diego gets that H1N1 vaccine? sign us up - bring it on. we're all over that action.

during f's first year of life, we came to the conclusion that vaccinating for us is, among other things, a big leap of faith. we trust and like our doctors, we did a lot of research on our own, and we weighed the pros and cons over and over and OVER again, and then we thoughtfully and carefully went for it. we chose to stagger her vaccine schedule; we were grateful that her pediatricians were supportive of that choice. we loaded f up on probiotics and vitamins and did the best we could to vaccinate in a way that felt safe and smart to us. so four days after she turned one, even though i had yet to make her one year appointment - i was trying to finish "the vaccine book" before we went - all felt normal as we walked into her room at her daycare.

as i was trying to sign her in, one of her teachers asked, "has f had her MMR shot yet?" the MMR is the measles, mumps, rubella shot that kids generally don't get until their one year appointment. "no," i told her, continuing to sign us in. "ummmm... you need to go to the office then." might? i tried to set f down in the room with the other kids. "no, you need to take her with you." my mind started racing as i tried to make sense of what she was telling me, but really, i was just super annoyed. hello, i'm in a hurry here? i have to be at work at ten? sheesh. so f and i walked to the front office and found parents, kids, people looking distraught, and a woman with a clipboard who i didn't recognize. "what's going on?" i asked her. "has your child had the MMR shot yet?" ok, WTF, people? "no!" i said. "she just turned one and i haven't made her appointment yet." she looked at her clipboard and looked back at me: "a child at this school has been hospitalized with a confirmed case of measles, your child was exposed, and because she has not been vaccinated, she needs to be quarantined for the next 21 days." my first reaction surprised me, because instead of just freaking out, i laughed out loud and asked her if she could babysit. because dude! i have to be at work in an hour, and what are you telling me? quarantine? huh? and for THREE WEEKS? you've got to be kidding me. "so, if i take her to the doctor and she gets the shot today, can she come back tomorrow?" i asked. "no, no, no, that's not how it works. she is NOT TO LEAVE YOUR PROPERTY for THREE WEEKS. TWENTY ONE DAYS." the woman, it turns out, was from the state health department, and she meant business. she took our names and phone numbers and gave us a photocopied piece of paper with "the symptoms of measles" printed on it, and shooed us out the door. i went from laughing to freaking out pretty quickly.

over the course of the next few days we were able to piece together the reason for the exposure, and it became more and more infuriating as the story unfolded. a family from san diego who chose not to vaccinate their children went on vacation to switzerland, where measles is apparently more common than it is in the US. their seven year old boy contracted measles while there and brought it home with him. because it presents like a bad cold, he went all over the place, exposing people unknowingly. his parents finally took him to the doctor, and a handful of kids who were just in the same waiting room on the same day all got measles from him. then they exposed a ton of kids, again, their parents not realizing what it was until the exposures had already happened, and finally, a ten month old boy at f's school got it, and he kept coming in with what his parents assumed was just a bad cold, thus exposing every child there. the way the woman from the health dept. described it, "it's the most infectious disease known to modern man." the virus can live for two hours in the air and on surfaces. so if a child sneezes and you walk through that spot TWO HOURS LATER and you've never had the vaccine: good luck. good times!

(the only news footage of the SD outbreak i could find on youtube)

that first day, j was able to come home from work and stay with f while i went in to my work. that night, we (freaked out/yelled/panicked) created a plan with both of our (very understanding) bosses: j would work 6am-noon, come home, we'd high-five and hand off the beeb, then i'd go in, be live 1-3pm and while i was on the air, i'd pre-record the following morning's 10am-1pm show. i'd get home around 3:30 and j would then work a few more hours. so, that's what we did for the next three weeks. meanwhile, f was not supposed to leave the house. she was one. we lived in a three story condo with no yard. it sucked.

well, let me back up a bit. it was hard, yes, and frustrating, yes, but once the scare that she was going to get measles passed (after a week, we knew we were in the clear based on her exposure date, but she still had to stay in quarantine for 21 total days) we just hunkered down and made the best of it. we made a BIG deal about the different levels of our house: f, let's go UPSTAIRS!! whee! UP-STAIRS! it will be awesome. and now, hmm, i don't know, should we go DOWNSTAIRS? YES! LET'S GET CRAZY! hey, at one year old? it helped. we got out all of her clothes and let her play with our clothes and books - oh, the books! we read so many books. and TV, well, thank GOD for television. TV? i love you. it was then that our high-mindedness about kids and TV watching just about went out the window. it wasn't TV, it was SANITY. about ten days into it, she got a little pimple on her back, which we lovingly referred to as her "measle". we did covert runs to the starbucks drive-through - they didn't count, we told ourselves! she wasn't even out of the car! the state health department called us about every other day; at first, it was to ask about symptoms, but once she was in the clear, it was all big-brothery, making sure we hadn't left the house. once, we blew bubbles in our back driveway, but then i felt guilty and weird, so we went back inside. state health department: 1. us: 0.

but while we were bemoaning our fate (stuck - mostly - indoors with a one year old for three weeks! oh, the horror!), f's little 10 month old pal c was seriously suffering. we heard he had been exposed by the 7 year old who'd gone to switzerland because c had been in the same pediatrician's office the same day as the sick 7 year old. and c wasn't even close to getting his one year MMR shot - his parents hadn't even had the luxury to choose whether or not to vaccinate him yet, poor babe. he was hospitalized with a fever of 106 - he lost weight and hair. when he finally came back to their school about a month later, he just looked lethargic. it broke my heart but hey - he survived. thank god. seeing c be so close to not surviving - it just made me that much more angry at the family that chose not to vaccinate.

here's the thing: i still fully believe that every family has the right to choose whether or not they want to vaccinate their kids. i also believe that along with choosing not to vaccinate comes HUGE responsibilities to the greater community that should go hand in hand with serious lifestyle adjustments. you don't vaccinate? fine. home school, then! and don't take your kids to countries where the likelihood of them getting sick is high, and then bring them around and traipse them around in public when they start showing symptoms of illness! in other words, USE COMMON SENSE. just because you make that choice for your family doesn't mean it's ok to then let that choice endanger everyone else. and it's not only physically, but financially as well; we were lucky that our bosses helped us make it work. what about families who had to take those three weeks off? is the unvaccinated family going to reimburse them?

ok, /rant. c survived and is now thriving, our family stayed (mostly) sane, no one that i know of was permanently harmed by the san diego measles outbreak. i blogged about it on the station i was on at the time's website, calling it "the quarantine chronicles" and wouldn't you know, i ended up being on "the news hour with jim lehrer" on PBS TV, in the L.A. times, and even on "this american life" (you can check it out here). crazy. one night, the local news showed up AT OUR DOORSTEP to talk about it. um, hi? you got our address how? it was a little ridiculous and i was glad when it all blew over. it was an intense experience that forced us to think about vaccines more than we ever had hoped to, but i came out of it feeling far more confident about the choices our family makes, at least where vaccines are concerned. we are getting the H1N1 vaccine as soon as we can, and i can only hope that parents with sick kids will just please keep them home from school and daycare, this and every flu season. swine flu! god help us all. my name is hilary, and i vaccinate my kid.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

dropping some science

forgive me if i am the last to see these, but i just saw both of these videos online for the first time today, and they are slaying me with their greatness. the first is a video of philip spooner, an 86 year old WW2 veteran speaking to the maine judiciary committee about gay marriage. "what do you think I fought for in omaha beach?" LOVE YOU, mr. spooner.

and for some comic relief, witness david of southwest airlines:

just one more reason why i love southwest. david! so rad.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


in the past week, f has gone from all-around snuggly sweet lovebug to unleashing her inner mini-tyrant at school. friday she apparently was telling her friends that they weren't her friends anymore (something i suspect she picked up from another girl in the class whose mom told me two weeks ago her daughter had been saying it, and i was like, "no way! how awful!"). yesterday her lead teacher reported that she ripped a page out of a big picture book, was grabbing things out of her friends' hands, and putting things in her mouth. you know, things. like someone else's BAND-AID! those kinds of things.

per her teacher's suggestion, last night we did some role-playing at dinner, and i was just thanking god there was no one else around to witness it. the exaggerated voices! the wide eyes and big expressions! we practiced asking our friends for things instead of yanking things out of their hands. me: "DAD! can i play with your keys PLEASE?" and j: "NO, i'm not done playing with them yet!" and because f wanted to be the teacher, then i'd turn to her and say "MISS F, dad isn't ready to SHARE. can you help us TAKE TURNS?" and she'd animatedly instruct j to share the keys with me... and then we'd do it again. it was kinda awesome.

so, internets... any advice? she's in good health, sleeping well, no major life disruptions lately or anything that would throw her off. i'm perplexed. is it just being an almost three year old? it's starting to stress me out, and all of this stress just makes me want to go eat a band-aid.

Friday, October 16, 2009

saving the beauties

my friend janet just finished her last radiation treatment a week ago today, after in the past year enduring a double mastectomy and chemotherapy and radiation that left her with 3rd degree burns. beautiful, funny, positive janet, who put together a team to walk together in the susan g komen 5k coming up on november 1st - team "save the beauties". my friends mandi and summer and ann are all walking too, and it's going to be a great morning. the last time i walked in the breast cancer 5k was when i was about seven months pregnant with f. i can't wait to celebrate with janet because that's what it's going to be - a celebration. dude! she kicked cancer's ass.

this morning, janet and i had a little email exchange about the team shirts she's having printed up for us. every team member can put an "in memory of" or an "in celebration of" on the shirt if they want, so i told janet i'd like mine to be "in memory of GG," my grandma who passed away last december at the ripe old age of 100. she had a double mastectomy in the early 80's and she was a warrior. it is precious to me that f got to spend some time with GG before she passed away.

f and GG got to spend some more time together when we went back up north to celebrate GG's 100th. getting a free ride on GG's walker: priceless.

janet let me know that we'd put "in celebration of GG" on my shirt, rather than "in memory of," because GG didn't die from breast cancer. nope, she didn't - she lived almost another 30 years after her surgery. someday i'll write more about GG and her awe-inspiring life. i've just been thinking about her today. celebrating her, my geege.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

under neat that. literally.


my sister, who doesn't email much (she has 3 kids, enough said) let alone forward me anything, just forwarded this to me. apparently i am the last person on earth to see this, but still, i think i love wendi aarons of austin, texas.

"This is an actual letter from an Austin woman sent to American company Proctor and Gamble regarding their feminine products. She really gets rolling after the first paragraph. It's PC Magazine's 2007 editors' choice for best web mail-award-winning letter.

Dear Mr. Thatcher,

I have been a loyal user of your 'Always' maxi pads for over 20 years and I appreciate many of their features. Why, without the Leak Guard Core or Dri-Weave absorbency, I'd probably never go horseback riding or salsa dancing, and I'd certainly steer clear of running up and down the beach in tight, white shorts. But my favorite feature has to be your revolutionary Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being the only company smart enough to realize how crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic. I can't tell you how safe and secure I feel each month knowing there's a little F-16 in my pants.

Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? I'm guessing you haven't. Well, my time of the month is starting right now. As I type, I can already feel hormonal forces violently surging through my body. Just a few minutes from now, my body will adjust and I'll be transformed into what my husband likes to call 'an inbred hillbilly with knife skills.' Isn't the human body amazing?

As Brand Manager in the Feminine Hygiene Division, you've no doubt seen quite a bit of research on what exactly happens during your customer's monthly visits from 'Aunt Flo'. Therefore, you must know about the bloating, puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our intense mood swings, crying jags, and out-of-control behavior. You surely realize it's a tough time for most women.

The point is, sir, you of all people must realize that America is just crawling with homicidal maniacs in Capri pants... which brings me to the reason for my letter. Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always maxi-pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words: 'Have a Happy Period.'

Are you f------ing kidding me? What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager brain really think happiness - actual smiling, laughing happiness, is possible during a menstrual period? Did anything mentioned above sound the least bit pleasurable? Well, did it, James? FYI, unless you're some kind of sick S&M freak, there will never be anything 'happy' about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and Kahlua and lock yourself in your house just so you don't march down to the local Walgreen's armed with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory.

For the love of God, pull your head out, man! If you have to slap a moronic message on a maxi pad, wouldn't it make more sense to say something that's actually pertinent, like 'Put down the Hammer' or 'Vehicular Manslaughter is Wrong'.

Sir, please inform your Accounting Department that, effective immediately, there will be an $8 drop in monthly profits, for I have chosen to take my maxi-pad business elsewhere. And though I will certainly miss your Flex-Wings, I will not for one minute miss your brand of condescending bullshit. And that's a promise I will keep...Always.


Wendi Aarons

Austin, Tx"

must see TV

f took this one herself:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

moby and me

celebrities and rock stars are funny. they are, it's been documented, real people, but there's something about them that is quite surreal. some of them seem to have a disdain for the very thing that allows them to do what they want to do and make lots of cash while they do it, that thing called fame; others seem to not be able to convince themselves that they'd continue to exist in the absence of it. some are humble, others are arrogant, and some act humble but really, you get the feeling that they want to be perceived as being humble but are in fact incredibly self-absorbed and snooty. trying to figure out which one is which can be entertaining. you know, if you're bored or just a nerd like me.

one of the first things i realized, when i got into the music business, was that it is imperative that you act totally nonchalant around celebrities and rock stars; if you geek out or reveal your fandom, it is understood to be very unprofessional. but come on, how realistic is that? how honest is that? it isn't - i'm a HUGE music fan! that's part of why i even wanted to be in radio - i love music and the people that make it fascinate me with their talent (and their luck). it is respectful, though, to NOT geek out when you meet a celebrity or rock star, under the assumption that they shouldn't have to deal with people freaking out on them and their radness when they are "working". at first i tried to be nonchalant around them, and i'm sure i WAY over-acted the part in an effort to be taken seriously: oh, james hetfield's here? i need to go make some photocopies. meanwhile, i'm running to the bathroom, because when i get nervous i have to pee. i'm not making photocopies, dude, i'm totally freaking out! james hetfield! no. way.

after a while, though, i figured out a way to be around celebrities and rock stars that felt far more honest to me, but also felt professional. when they come in for an interview or something, i'm polite, i try to talk about normal stuff and i ask them about their work, their families, regular small-talk. and if i'm a big fan and the opportunity arises, i lick their face and start dry-humping their leg when no one's looking. or, i just tell them i think their work is awesome, and leave it at that. that way, i'm being honest about being a fan, but i force myself to reel it in and try to just act like it's another day. kinda ridiculous, but i feel like it's what i gotta do.

after 17 years in this business, MOST of the time, i don't freak out as much and i run to the bathroom far less. there have been, over the years, though, times when i've said "screw this!" i've definitely had moments of throwing all caution to the wind and just going for it - sometimes, i just want to shake someone's hand just to do it, because it's SO surreal. and because hey! this wackadoo celebrity is two feet away, and that is SO TRIPPY! perry farrell! ed mcmahon! suze orman! ashley simpson-wentz! coolio, for god sakes! sometimes, i have no shame. i'm always extremely brief and courteous, but dude! if coolio was standing there in front of you, would you act like you were thinking about the square root of 176 or would you shake his hand? just because you could? i tend to shake, if i can get away with it.

lately, though, something has changed for me, just a little, deep down where the sun don't shine. while it's still thrilling to be near someone whose work i'm a fan of or someone who has dated natalie portman, that urge to shake their hand just because? it's fading away a little bit. part feeling like i'm 36 and really, shouldn't i be able to show a modicum of self-restraint? part now that i'm a mom i don't have time to care that much anymore and my underwear is probably on inside out because i hardly have time to get dressed in the morning anyway, part who knows? maybe it's the realization that they really are real people. maybe i'm too busy googling "twilight" because wow, i started book one and just thinking about r-patz gives me a thrill. whatever it is, it feels pretty good to me, like i'm on the right path here, like, maybe i am growing up? moby was here at the station yesterday, and while i think he's interesting and intelligent and i've been a fan of his music for a while now, i quashed that urge to bug him. he was in an adjoining studio - i could see his bald head and glasses and serious face, and it would have been ok to walk in there and shake his hand, but i didn't. and it felt good, i felt mature or something, like i'm not that little fangirl anymore. oooh, that made me kinda sad, writing that! maybe i really am growing up! who knows. but, hey, moby? this little bout of self-restraint? this one's for you.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

radio, parenting, & "the filter"

i realized, the other morning, that being on the radio and being a parent have at least one thing in common: the filter. see, i like me a good f-word. in fact, i'm partial to a lot of "curse" words - sometimes, there is just no alternative; nothing else will cut it. there are some days where i feel like every other word out of my mouth is a "bad" one, and i have other moments when i feel like, sheesh! i was an english major, i'm a professional 36 year old woman and a MOTHER, goddamnit, i should REALLY know better! but the second something startles me, the profanity flies out of my mouth like doves being released at a wedding. wow! rad simile.

so, back to the filter. you cannot curse on the radio. the FCC has rules about this. profanity. obscenity. offensive content. we take mandatory tests once a year at work to remind us what is and isn't allowed to go over the airwaves. and it's simple, really - you let a bad word slip while your mic is on, there's a good chance you might lose your job. george carlin had a bit about them, the seven dirty words, but they are no joke. people get fired because they let one fly all the time, and that's where the filter comes in. it's something i developed early in my college radio days and now it is just second nature; it's like an on/off switch, a little self-editing that just has to happen, so it does, and i don't even think about it anymore when i'm on the air.

that's not to say i've NEVER cussed on the air - i have. once. and radio DJs LOVE to trade stories about both their own on-air slips, and catching other DJs sliding in a nugget. my coworkers tell me my own boss even let an f-bomb fly one day before i was hired. i only slipped once and i think it freaked me out SO much, for so long, that it scared any possibility of future on-air slips right out of me. it was 1995 and i had just been hired for my first full-time on-air shift at 92X, a new "alternative" station in denver. i'd moved out there right after i graduated from college and began doing overnights: midnight-6am, six nights a week. i was in hog heaven. but at first, the adjustment to those hours? it was pretty brutal. i'd drink tons of coffee for the first half of my show but even that was not enough to stave off the 4am sleepiness. so i like to blame it on that - i was exhausted! living in a new city! trying to adjust! whatever it was, one night at about 3 o'clock in the morning, i played a song by civ called "can't wait one minute more" and i was so excited to be playing it on the radio, having been a fan of new york hardcore and wow! here was civ and we can play him on the radio, that is awesome! so i "backsold" the song by saying something like "that's civ on 92X, that song is fucking AWESOME!!" and as soon as i said it, i slammed the mic pot down and commenced FREAKING OUT. fortunately, it was 3am, which is "safe harbor" and also, really, was anyone who happened to be listening at that hour going to be offended enough to report it to the FCC? notsomuch. after a few months i realized my boss hadn't heard it and it had not been reported, and i was able to relax about it. still, it took me a few years to even admit it to anyone - it freaked me out that much. i loved radio and i loved my job and the thought of losing it was just too much for me to even ponder.

so parents, you know the filter, right? as soon as f started attempting to speak, our filters kicked into high gear around her tiny little ears. i remember when she was a baby, even knowing she had no idea what we were saying, it still felt weird to me to cuss around her, like, too harsh or something. i don't know. but now that she is a chatty little cathy, that filter is on all the time when we're together. i did yell "SHIT!" one morning on the way to the airport when i realized i'd forgotten our rental car info, and she happily yelled, "shit, mama! SHIT SHIT SHIT!!" as j and i cracked up. it was impossible not to. but that was that, and since then, she hasn't repeated any more curse words that i know of.

so the other morning, when we were getting dressed in her room and she was naked and on all fours pretending she was a dog, and all of the sudden this 99% potty-trained little lady started fully PEEING ON THE CARPET, my filter? it wasn't in full effect. i think i ended up sounding something like this: "F! WHAT THE FFFFARGARGARG ARE YOU DOING?" i came thisclose to f-bombing a two year old. not one of my proudest parenting moments. thankfully, i mostly caught it, and i mean, whatever. a "bad" word is not going to be the end of the world, right? i know there will be more moments to come where the filter is going to be off, or where i might just hurl that filter right out the window because i am so pissed off, goddamnit. but for now, i continue to try, when i'm with her, to keep it on. at least i know with f, i'm not going to lose my job over it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

requesting a flyby

and all of the sudden, fall is here. last week it was insane-in-the-membrane HOT here, in our little house with no air conditioning, it was HOT and we were OVER IT. and then? friday? i wore a tank top and flip flops to work and walked out after i got off the air to find it raining. hello, fall! so rude of you to not let us know you were coming by, but we'll pull out some hummus and chat a while, i guess. not like we don't have other things to do.

actually, i loooooove fall. having lived in southern california for the last 34 of my 36 years, even the slightest change of seasons thrills me. and fall especially, because fall means holidays, and holy smashing pumpkin, i loooove the holidays. this weekend, the holiday season began, at least at our house.

friday night j and i cozied up and watched "rachel getting married" which i loved even though i found it pretty intense and depressing. but tunde adibimpe serenading his bride-to-be with an a capella rendition of neil young's "unknown legend"? that scene just floored me. the fact that sesame street's mr. noodle plays the dad was just icing on the cake.

saturday, we went to a birthday party at a park that included planes from the neighboring miramar airshow flying by so loudly every 15 minutes. some kids hated it - luckily, f loved it. maverick & goose put on a good show.

then today: pumpkin patch. we met our good friends the millers there, with their two kids who f adores, and it was game-on. there were pumpkins big and small and a petting zoo with a giant toothy llama and a train to ride and a merry go round too. and there was a big inflatable slide that looked huge to me, but f charged up that thing and back down it with fearless abandon and cracked up every time she got to the bottom.

but bigger than knowing fall is here and the holidays are coming, bigger than petting a goat with no ears, even bigger than getting to hold the giant inflatable baseball bat one of the miller's kids won, was the airplane ride. an airplane! so fast! the sheer joy on her face every time she flew past us just took my breath away, all call-sign "charlie" style.

"tower, this is ghost rider requesting a flyby."

"that's a negative, ghost rider. the pattern is full."

Friday, October 2, 2009

an update

a coupla weeks ago, i wrote about our neighbor carly and the horrible accident she and her band members were in. at first, everything we were hearing about her condition was complete third-party hearsay, but in the past week we've learned some truths that are no less than flippin' AWESOME: carly has come out of her coma and has been talking. that is huge huge huge news, and just knowing she's already able to do that makes my heart want to do a little jig. carly and her folks are still in bakersfield, and yes, their outside lights are still on. not for long, though. we're keeping our fingers crossed for them that she'll be able to come home soon. carly! you're a stud.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

feeling the love.

paul e, who listens to fm 94.9 online up in huntington beach, sent me an email this morning, asking me to play some catherine wheel during my show today. i loooooove rob dickinson's voice and their song "black metallic" is so damn beautiful, so it made me happy to throw it on for him. i emailed him back to let him know about what time to expect it, and that was it - i played it around 11:45am, said it was for paul in huntington, and continued on with my show. about an hour later, he sent me this:

having a listener make you a "thank you" video? priceless. getting a "thank you" video that includes a poodle cameo? pricelesser.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

7 years. no itch.

it's funny that our seventh wedding anniversary somehow feels way more significant than the 6th or the 5th. why is that? we talked about that, way too loudly, over dinner on friday night.

we got a room at the pearl in point loma, a super cool little boutique hotel, and auntie j spent the night with f. i stopped at mesa liquor before we left and bought us two stone vertical 09-09-09s to share, since i am a budding beer snob who puts a finger over one ear and says things like "just a flutter of asparagus" when i taste a new one. we shared those and got some food at the restaurant there at the pearl and between the alcohol and the noise level, before long we realized we were YELLING across the table at each other. yelling things like "EVEN WHEN WE'RE PISSED AT EACH OTHER, WE KNOW IT'S GOING TO BE ALL GOOD!" and "THIS POPCORN SHRIMP IS FRIGGIN' AWESOME!" you know, a contemplative and romantic analysis of our relationship.

and it's funny. f gets us up at the crack of dawn every. single. morning - i haven't set an alarm since 2006. and so often, especially if she's not sleeping well for a stint - i dream about having a night off, a quiet night in a hotel to just sleep and sleep and sleep. but then, when i get one of those rare nights off, two things happen: i can't sleep, and all i do is miss her. for weeks leading up to our night at the pearl, j and i would joke about it, or when f got us up early we'd remind each other "one week! we get to sleep in in one week!" and then? i was probably awake 4 times last friday night, and when i looked at the clock after thinking i had totally slept in? it was 6:09am. not. even. funny.

put that on the "things i never understood until i had a child" list, that missing them when you finally get a break thing. my sister has three kids, each about four years apart, and she is one of the busiest, most giving of herself, most stressed mamas i know. but she is hardly ever away from her kids and when she is, she misses them. of course! but before i had f, i remember thinking - dude, are you NUTS? you are FREE (if only for 24 hours)!! i didn't get it at all. but there we were, at the pearl, talking about f. and my last night "off", i was thinking about f and j. and the last girls' weekend i went to... you got it. had a great time, but missed my peeps like crazy, funny how that happens.

so, seven years tomorrow, 9/28/2009. maybe it feels significant because we're getting closer to ten? i don't know why, but it does, somehow. it's our copper anniversary; i googled it. so, tomorrow morning, i'm giving him some Fehling's solution and a class D fire extinguisher. and a penny. i love him.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

putting the rad in radar, or, a list, pt. 2.

my last two posts have been such downers, and i want to make an attempt to balance my blog's chi with a happy-thoughts post, so here goes: a list of good things that are on my radar right now. (i have radar? really? i mean gaydar, sometimes. but radar? hmm.)

1. f. after a few months of out-of-sortsness and a string of not-even-close to sleeping through the night nights, f has been a peach lately. super funny, snuggly, loving, easy to deal with if she does complain or freak out. i think a big part of this is that she started in a new class at preschool, and she LOVES it and comes home pooped every afternoon, so she's been sleeping all night long again. that, combined with MAJOR potty-training breakthroughs means a happy camper. we'll enjoy it while it lasts! or, as my mom put it, "bwah ha ha ha haaaaaaa!"

2. f's new class. her lead teacher is GREAT with a capital G,R,E,A & T - loving but firm, always seems positive, good sense of humor, tireless, creative... i am so grateful. she has a new male assistant teacher who at first seemed a little reserved but has warmed up and clearly likes f too, so that rocks. and she's already learning new stuff: "baby starts with b! car starts with c! fun starts with z!"

3. j. we're celebrating our 7th wedding anniversary on monday, and he just thrills me to no end after 7 years. on our good days. which thankfully, are most. even when things aren't all rainbows and unicorns, we've found a groove by now that really works. and if we're totally bugged with each other, we deal. things have been really good with us lately. and we're getting a hotel room at a local uber-hipster spot this friday night - his sister, auntie j, is going to spend the night with f at our house. yay!

4. the hillcrest farmer's market. it's become our regular sunday morning plan, now, for f and i, and as if the juice-tastic organic strawberries, local free-range eggs and fresh kettle corn weren't enough, steve poltz sat in with the 7th day buskers a few sundays ago and bumped up the regular family jam quite a few notches. f was smitten.

5. ponyo. the hand-drawn animation, tina fey and matt damon, and the fact that no one blinks an eye when ponyo is a fish with a face who turns into a girl - it is our new favorite movie. so sweet, so rated g, so weird, so good.

6. entourage + top chef + project runway + tivo.

7. girls' nights out, moms' nights out, dinner with girlfriends, dates with j...

8. the holidays are coming! i am a grade-A sap when it comes to the holiday season. i drive around with the nutcracker on cd in my car, i decorate as soon as possible, i love love love it all, from oct. 1 through new year's day. and now with f's birthday in january, it just extends it all. bring it on!

9. the sense that i'm starting to make peace with the craziness my life has become. some women seem to transition into motherhood so smoothly, at least that's how it seems from the outside. me? not so much. i'm still transitioning, and maybe i'll always be trying to figure out how to make time for all the parts of my life i wish i had time for. and letting go of the hanging on to other parts that for now, are just going to have to wait - i'm getting better at it. it's just making more sense, even though it's still not easy. but i'm feeling more at peace with stuff, so i'll take that for now.

10. yogging with a soft j. we cancelled our gym memberships because we're pretty much living on the tightest budget EVER right now (who isn't, right?) so i've been walking around our 'hood in the mornings, and sometimes, even jogging. it's all about the iPod - kanye west "gold digger" > madonna "hung up" > positive k "i got a man" makes for a happy excerciser.

11. i'm going to stop, my fingers are getting sticky from typing all the sweetness.

Monday, September 21, 2009

when it rains.

every night when i tuck f in, one of the last parts of our routine includes thinking (out loud, for her) about the people we love. while her answers have included "san diego super chargers" and "dogs that like to lick me," she usually lists off family and friends and teachers. and after many more kisses and hugs and snuggles, she settles in to her bed and i lay down on the floor next to her bed while she falls asleep. this, of course, is just one little chapter in what we like to call at our house "the great sleep debacle of '07, '08, & '09", which as i've written before, is another post for another day. what i try to do while i lay on the floor waiting for her breathing to get nice and steady is to think about the people i love too. usually, i just feel grateful for the beauty that lives in our extended family of relatives and friends, and if i know of anyone who is struggling, i try to send them love and good good thoughts. lately, however, my list of people in our lives who are struggling is just getting ridiculous. i have a friend in her late thirties who is completing radiation after getting a double mastectomy and six months of grueling chemotherapy. i have an acquaintance, barely 30, who is in the middle of chemo for ovarian cancer. our sweet neighbor carly is in a coma in a hospital in bakersfield. two coworkers were hospitalized over the weekend - one, who is 35, had a triple bypass this morning, and the other has an infection in his leg that is extremely bad. i have a great friend who is unemployed, a friend who is dealing with infidelity, a friend who just realized she wants a divorce. and these are just the few who are top-of-mind right now.

so. is this just some odd cosmic timing? or does it have to do with getting older? whatever it is, my heart hurts for all my friends who are having a rough one. it feels good to lay there in the dark and send love out to each and every one of them while f is falling asleep, so i do. and then i think about all of our blessings, because hot diggity - of those, there are plenty. our borderline-pornographic homegrown cucumber, for starters.