Archive for May, 2010

a sunny public holiday

I was going to get up early and run today. When I talked to Claire about it she squinched up her face and said, “I’d rather sleep.” Fair enough, but after I lolled in bed and slopped around not getting into my running clothes until about nine, she had finished breakfast and got dressed to come with me.

How is it possible that I could have had an athletic kid? I talked her through the DoctorMama running program – basically when in doubt, slow down – and then she paced me all the steep way up Bernal Hill and all the windy way back down it. She didn’t have loud complaints until halfway up Precita. I measured the distance on Gmap Pedometer and that 7yo ran 1.3 miles. Dude!

After that we all packed ourselves into the car and drove to Canyon Market and bought baguettes and foccaccia and two kinds of cheese and prosciutto and salami and caprese salad and blueberries and raspberries and cherries and peaches and vanilla yogurt. We ran into Kathy and Andrew in Glen Park and abducted their little daughter, and then Salome and Najah and Milo and Salome’s friends Julian and Heather and their daughter Lilly came too, and eventually Jack and Kathy and Andrew finished their errands elsewhere, and we all sprawled on the daisy-strewn grass in Glen Park Canyon and ate ourselves foolish while the children went Lord of the Flies in the woods.

There was a basset hound of exceeding beauty, whose name was Desdemona. When we all descended on her to pat her she rolled over for tummy rubs and writhed her whole body to wag her tail and howled with joy. Aroo!

the gospel according to jessa crispin

Meaning, I think, comes from doing a full accounting of your limitations and assets, your passions and your weaknesses, your belief system and your fears, and then rubbing up against the things that cause you to panic, like an allergy skin scratch test, and find out what your reactions are. Once you figure out how you can contribute to the greater good, once you’re able even to define that, you take that information and pour yourself into one direction. Regardless of discomfort or regrets or what-ifs. (And then doing that over and over again, until death.) That does not fit on a T-shirt. That to me is more important than bliss, which would really just lead me back into bed, maybe with a bowl of corn flakes, or maybe I would become like an elderly widower, and just Wait for Death. Or become Alice James.

serves me right for having lunch at the armani cafe bar

I was not eavesdropping. They were braying. They are both in their fifties.

She: How about this rain? Cold enough for ya?

He: Obama weather.

They snigger.

He: I scored. I took a short position worth 1.5 million, and the whole market went down four points this morning. They’re mad at me at work but I don’t care! I just sent my boss the commission slip. The client said ‘Do you know what you made on that trade?’ and I said ‘Bra…’

(He is a white man.)

He: ‘Bra,’ I said, ‘I always know my commission. That is the first thing I know.’

She (admiringly): You just don’t give a fuck, do you.

He: I don’t give a fuck. They could fire me, I wouldn’t care.

She: Really?

He: Really. I would walk. I got plans. All I want is for someone to give me fifty million dollars.

i guess he could go in the goldfish bowl

I dreamed I was trying to tidy up my room at Bluegum Crescent. Stuff was stacked six feet high and sliding; a maze had been built between the stacks. “Got somewhere for this little one to live?” asked Sarah, who had caught a shiny brown mouse in her hands. There was also a rat, which turned out on closer inspection to be a calico guinea pig with a baby.

i’m glad i spent it with you

I jumped Bella, and then Claire and Milo played really well at her second piano recital and his first, and then Heather and Gilbert and their kids came over for dinner. So it was pretty much a perfect day.

liveblogging air tenzing

SAN FRANCISCO, 9:59PM PST: Aaand I’m home.

T. remained a rock star for the rest of the flight. I think maybe two other passengers figured out I had a cat in there. Rose met us at the arrivals area with a hot chocolate from Emporio Rulli for me. Handover accomplished.

ARE WE THERE YET? 5:30PM PST: America is really big. America exceeds the battery life of this laptop.

SKY, 5:11PM PST: America is big.

MIDWEST, I GUESS? 4:50PM PST: In which the futuriffic Internetz in the sky are harnessed to mundane ends:

Francis: sounds like smooth sailing up there
Francis: cats are supposed to claw and hate you!
me: so it is written!

LET’S PUT THE LAKE BEHIND US, 4:37PM PST: Upheaval! Tenzing changes chirality. Now she is sleeping counter-clockwise.

THERE IS A LAKE DOWN THERE, 4:11PM PST: I like flying Virgin. We’re on the Chic Mobile. I ate a wrap. Tenzing is mellow. I went into this liveblogging gig expecting more fireworks, frankly.

35,000 FT, 6:08PM EST / 3:08PM PST: Dayumn, this is awesome. I’m going to make kittens a permanent addition to my flight kit.

We’re above the clouds. Tenzing is nestled on my foot, inside her carrier. Every now and then I reach in and give her a scritch. I cannot believe how calm and brave she is. Beebs would have ripped one of my arms off by now. Is this what normal cats are like?

JFK, 3:35PM: I met Francis in the hotel lobby. Tenzing’s carrier is tiny and black and discreet; she can turn around, but only barely. She is being incredibly brave. So is Francis, who strode away after saying goodbye with only the most manly of tears in the eye. Real men love their kittens.

Note for future cat-accompanied travel: the cat does not go through the x-ray. She has to come out of the carrier and face security like any other person. The first time I held Tenzing it was to walk her through the metal detector. She curled in my arms like an apostrophe and watched as I collected all our bags.

This will not be possible with a cat like, say for example, Bebe.

MANHATTAN, 1:04PM: The kitten is on the subway.

MANHATTAN, 9.37AM: Celebrity cat Twyla wishes Tenzing bon voyage.

MANHATTAN, 9.02AM: Later this afternoon I will be escorting celebrity kitten Tenzing on her move from New York to California. Watch this space!

little dude


Originally uploaded by Goop on the lens


It would be misleading if I were to give the impression that life with the girls is unpleasant. Yesterday I took Miss Four to the Farmer’s Market with me. She was glowing, in a shiny ivory dress and orange cardigan. She was very helpful and cooperative, and then we danced together at Jackie Jones. We picked up Claire and Jeremy and walked over to the Fairmount Fiestaval, where I gave Claire money and told her to buy tickets and take her sister and play while I sat in the sun and recovered from my cold. Later she came up to me quietly and said “I loved it that you gave me money and let me do what I want.”

“I loved it that you were responsible and took great care of Julia,” I said.

We came home and Claire and Jeremy investigated a set of grasshopper robots for the Community Arts and Science day at Claire’s school on Friday. Jeremy will be running the solar-powered robot work table. Julia and I curled up in my bed. She fell asleep first and I held her and listened to Claire and her Dad talking about solar power. There was nowhere else I wanted to be, nothing else that could have made me so happy.

david and goliath, starring me as goliath

At a week shy of her four-and-a-halfth birthday, right on schedule, Julia became a sudden and zealous Haver Of Opinions. Her sister also experienced this phase, during which we coined the phrase Four Is Hell.

For example: I’ve been experimenting with wearing things other than jeans and tshirts very occasionally. This morning I walked out of the bedroom in the new Frye Melissa boots Jeremy bought me, a thrifted brown wool skirt, a pink tshirt and a black cardigan. Julia looked me over shrewdly.

“You want to change that jacket,” she said. “You want the sparkly jacket.”

Chagrined, I changed the black cardigan for a chocolate-and-gold one I picked up at Thrift Town last week. I have to admit, it looked a lot better.

As if that weren’t scary enough: We’ve started an ongoing series of stories about Blair and Dahlia, the girls’ interdimensional evil twins. They live in a town called Frank Sarcastor and they always misbehave and are cranky. They don’t eat nice food, just things that taste of snot. At swim class they fill the pool with jello so all the children get stuck.

“Maybe you should go and live with them,” said Julia today. “Since you are always cranky.”

I have no idea how we will get through the next six months. Keep us in your thoughts.