Archive for September, 2005

we are many

I am the gracious hostess to a bitch of a cold. Jeremy very kindly whisked Claire to the playground this afternoon, and I tried to sleep, but had to keep turning like a chook in a rotisserie to keep the snot flowing freely from nostril to nostril. Bebe was extremely annoyed and made cobra-strikes at me.

Quinn called wanting to take arty preg pictures of me, but when I explained the situation she said “Maybe not with the snot.”

I said: “I’ve lost the mucus plug in my NOSE.”

Counting Jules and my friendly gut microflora (hi, gut bugs! I heart you!) this means there are at least four entities inside my skin. Sure is getting crowded in here! This is not, however, a complaint; in case war and hurricanes don’t give me enough perspective, there was this conversation at hippie birth prep class last night.

“I’m going to be a single mom. My fiance’s family are all in Britain…”

“Oh, is he there too?”

“He passed away.”

Consternation from everyone in the room; an understanding smile from the mom in question.

“The story is that he froze his sperm before he started treatment for leukaemia. Two years ago he died of it, but now I’m having his little girl.”

Even I couldn’t think of a snarky comeback.

good news, bad news

Yesterday was a good day! Delay indicted, giant squid photographed. Today is not such a good day. Roberts has been confirmed, the governator has vetoed gay marriage and I have a cold.

Long, coherent post any day now, I swear.

the way we live now

This morning we woke late and walked holding hands up the hill past pretty Victorian houses and flowering trees to meet Bryan and Cian in Progressive Grounds, our local cafe. Bagels and smoothies in the leafy courtyard, watching the kids play in the toy room, then the dads took the small people off to the local playground while I shopped. I bought the Paul Krugman book at Red Hill and some beautiful clothes for Claire at Chloe’s Closet, the consignment store.

I caught up with the others and we all hung out in the playground, age-appropriately climbing and swinging or chatting and enjoying the dappled sunlight through the branches of a shady tree. Lunch at the new Cafe Chez Maman was delicious – crepes, frites – then I dropped by the library to read in peace while the others played some more, then Jeremy, Claire and I walked home, Claire falling asleep in Jeremy’s arms.

Yet another perfect Bernal day; I’ve lost count of how many days we’ve spent like this. I haven’t raved about my new neighborhood much, because even now, nearly two years after we moved here, I can’t quite believe my luck. I wish everyone lived in a place they loved as much as I love it here.

scrummy art projects about ponies

Dad asked “What horses?”

So here’s the thing: years ago, like in 1999 or 2000, I was at the flea market in Santa Cruz after one of Frankie and Tina’s legendary parties, and I saw the Barbie doll horses Honey and Midnight. I had Dancer as a kid, and my friend Samantha had Dallas, but I’d always desperately wanted these two, and I don’t think they were ever sold in Australia. They were obviously waiting for me in Santa Cruz so I bought them, and when Jeremy laughed at me very much, I told him tartly that they were part of an art project and that I was going to release them in the Japanese Tea Gardens in Golden Gate Park, where the bonsai trees would be to scale.

I went on a bit of an eBay frenzy after that, and picked up Dallas and Dixie and Prancer and a very scary-eyed bay version of Prancer, plus the little pinto pictured below and a non-Mattel bay. The idea was that Barbie and Ken had lost interest in their horses, so we were rescuing and releasing them to the correctly-sized wild. I actually carted the lot of them to Burning Man one year but never took any pictures. When we moved to Eugenia they ended up in the attic. Salome, who bought into the project years ago, kept nagging me to do the release, and last Saturday we finally got organized.

I didn’t take my own camera so I came over all director-on-a-movie-set and bossed Jeremy and Salome around: “Make sure you get lots of Midnight and Honey. They’re my favourites. No, Jeremy, it’s not funny to have giant squirrels looming in the background.” Jeremy’s pictures are up on imagestore already; Salome took hers with her awesome el cheapo plastic medium-format Holga, so those need to be developed and digitized. Eventually I’ll put together a proper Web site, or at least a Flickrstream or Shutterfly book.

Enduring image: Jeremy lying on his belly in the dirt in Strybing Arboretum, taking more and more pictures even as we tried to drag him away to lunch, and me saying to Salome: “I just wish he’d get enthused about my projects, you know?”

yeah, i know

I’ve been sleeping. People ask me “So what did you get up to on the weekend?” and I say “I napped.” Oh, I may slot in the odd competitive yoga class here, a long-anticipated art project there, organic roast chicken with all the trimmings in the other place, but mostly it’s been me and Bebe the unbalanced cat catching our Zs. And very pleasant it has been too.

Releasing the horses was great fun, and produced exactly the reactions I expected: one family from Wisconsin who completely, absolutely got it and thought we were fabulous; and one officious woman who told us we were damaging the delicate ground-cover: “which is here for everyone to enjoy.”

“Thanks for your comments,” I said, “I’ll take it under advisement.” I’m not even sure what that means, but I was very pleased that I had the presence of mind to say it.

Claire and Milo were extraordinarily patient with our shenanigans, until they weren’t. “Most kids would be pleased to have parents like us,” I told them. “Yeah, that’ll work,” said Jeremy.

Pregnancy makes me sooky, so I’ve been eating chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and watching rom-coms: Serendipity was just okay, though much enlivened by the presence of Jeremy Piven and Eugene Levy; Wimbledon was rather sweet. Election doesn’t count as a rom-com of course, but what a great film! Claire’s taste runs mostly to animation these days – The Tick, Cowboy Bebop and most recently Harvey Birdman: Attorney-at-law. Harvey scares me a bit because he looks exactly like my one-time paramour Phil, also now a lawyer. If Phil wore a mask and had wings, that is.

Anyhoo! Jeremy is porting OpenGL to the PlayStation Portable, which makes me love him more than ever. I feel guilty about Seth’s appendix: I was joking about the death of the author, ye over-literal fates! If you’ve invited me to a party and I didn’t come (looks guiltily at Leonard and Sumana) I was probably on the couch eating ice-cream, sorry. Late pregnancy is very distracting, like the end of Tony Kushner’s play Millennium Approaches, or like sitting on the tracks in the path of an oncoming train.

give generously, so that vegans may eat tofu

I must stop coming over all Malthusian every time I see Seth. The poor boy’s going to get a complex.

S: The EFF has a fundraising challenge. People don’t like giving money to lawyers.

R: They prefer charismatic megafauna.

S: Exactly.

R: They should put you on the begging letters! You have big neotenous eyes.

S: I don’t think I qualify as megafauna.

R: Maybe not, you’re…

Unison: …too low on the food chain!

songs from the back seat

C: Twinkle star, how I want you star. Up up up up world so high, like a diamond in the sky…

R: Claire, do you know what a diamond is?

C: Yes.

R: It’s bling-bling!

C: OH!


C: Twinkle star bling-bling, how I want you star bling-bling.

crossing elysian fields

I thought pictures like this one had been photoshopped, but it turns out there really is, or was, a street called Humanity in New Orleans.

It’s underwater.


My friends are hot.

domestic notes

The mink bagpipes is feeling a lot better. She was all smoochy and full of purr while she was sick and scared, but the other night I had to lift her off my bed so I could go and attend to a woken-up child, and she tried to rip both my hands off.

Claire can’t quite manage Barnaby’s name. “Nuncle Barbany! Bubble-bee! Bum!” Jeremy says she seems to have standardized on “Bumba-dee.” Whatever his name is, she loves him passionately and insists that he must help her with her octopus puzzle again and again and AGAIN.

We think she must have seen some Katrina footage. “Baby sad,” she told Jeremy. “Why is the baby sad?” “House broken.”

scottish reel

Bebe’s been very sick with vestibular disease. It’s a middle-ear disorder, in her case probably from a ruptured eardrum. It’s destroyed her sense of balance and she falls over a lot. She refuses to let this cramp her style.

Yesterday I was asleep on the couch. She jumped up to sleep beside me and fell over. It was exactly like being smacked across the face with a set of mink-covered bagpipes.

As Quinn would say, there’s probably already a Yahoo! group for that kink.


I’m ashamed, now, that I was worried about the French Quarter, the bookstore in Faulkner House, Cafe du Monde. All seems very frivolous in the face of this suffering and death.

In the interests of not making things worse, here is useful information about charities with sectarian agendas.

claire takes a poll

After lights out:


“Yes Claire?”

“Do you like… chairs?”

“Um. I don’t know. Yeah, I guess.”

“Do you like… how about… pants?”


“Do you like… how about… flowers? Do you like… poo? Do you like… light? No? Or yay?”

“No more talking, Claire.”

“Yay? Or no? No? Or yay?”