Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Sunroom

Maggie May, Mr. Curry, Dakota Wolf and the tippy top of Lola Moon
There is such DEPTH to this family....

See how they easily slide between seriously weird to serious?
I'm pretty sure this was when Mr. Curry was behind me doing the Sprinkler, the Wave, and Mackin on My Wife
I love this shirt. It makes me happy to look at it and to wear it. It's the little things....

Monday, September 29, 2008

Teenage Mother

Everyone said ' It will be too hard '
Everyone said ' You'll be so broke '
Everyone said ' I could never do it '
Everyone said ' You aren't ready '
I said ' It will be the best thing that has ever happened to me '
and I was right.

I knew many girls that got pregnant in high school or college. I had my baby. I made a choice that was very public and visible, instead of an equally hard choice left for only myself to judge.

From abuse I banged out a disjointed young life, my own, metal edges and elbow grease, made in the frying pan, hopping into the fire; I slouched, moped, cried, feared and followed my way through my late teens,

Until the plus sign. The pregnant at 19 sign, which meant I was a virtual modern day outcast, here in suburbia where many women struggled in their late 30's and 40's to have babies, and here I was, skinny wretch, pregnant with a baby I didn't deserve and could never possibly appreciate enough.

So wrong, SO WRONG.

I have never appreciated anything more in my life, all you ladies. Lady 1 who stopped me in Vons and asked me if I was 15, and what was I doing with a baby! Lady 2 who stopped me in the ice cream parlor and told me I couldn't possibly be old enough for a baby. Ladies 3-1000 who looked at me and said nothing, but said all the same, ' You are a bad, irresponsible slut who doesn't deserve that baby. '

I didn't deserve him, or the next, or the next. I didn't deserve the beauty and joy and blessing and hope, Hope, that this child brought into my heart or my life. And I didn't deserve the heartache that came before him, I didn't deserve the abuse, the lonliness, the pain, the self hatred and the constant ever present sense of fear either.

I went to therapy for four years. I cried, I wailed, I coddled my child and the child in me. I read a hundred parenting books. I joined a club on AP parenting. I prayed, even though I don't have faith. What I never, ever did: Give up, Unforgiveably fail my child, or ever, ever fail to appreciate what I had.

I was a teenage mother. I breastfed my son when no one I knew was breastfeeding, breastfed him until he was two. Co-slept. Never spanked, or screamed- definitely raised my voice. In place I loved, I held, I snuggled, I laughed, I honored, I grew, I changed. I failed. I kept going. I never give up. I never gave up. I worked as a nanny so I could bring him with me, then as a preschool teacher, I went to school at night. I used my extra income (none) to pay for half of private school. In short, I was a parent.

I walked my son proudly to his first day of kindergarten, and ignored the fact that none of the other mommies would talk to me, or include me in their discussions on Jenny Craig and real estate prices. I talk about books, and internet, and movies, and subversive art, and I look Too Young, I suppose, and I'll never measure up in their eyes.

I was a teenage mother, Thank God I didn't get what I deserved, because I got a second chance at life, and was able to pass it on.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

words are delicious

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

and bear sleeps on

I think it's going to be a sleep post. ZZZZZzzz Pslpghbt. Lola's bedtime routine consists of bath, snack, brush teeth, insisting on another snack, brushing teeth, read two or three books, regular lights off Fairy Lights on, CD Story begins, Momma or Poppa lays with her for five minutes, leaves room, Momma or Poppa enters room again five minutes later for cup of water, hug, one more snuggle, checking for spiders, moving cat who clawed her leg in his happiness, etc, sleep.
This was my doll when I was little, now it's Lola Moon of the Moon Clan's

I know it's only... ah, 10am, but geez Louise a nap sounds good.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nie Nie Fundraiser Today / and always love

Nie Nie Benefit Sale Now!!!

and always love


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Zombie Slush Facts

Arlene Ang tagged me to reveal...duhduhDUH.....6 facts about myself.

1. I adore Victorian era information the last few years, and anything about Queens. I have watched Marie Antoinette many times because the Shoes! the Furniture! the Colors!
the Clothes! the Food! (and cool 80's soundtrack)
2. I worked at a Orthodox Jewish preschool for over a year and learned more about that religion than you would believe possible from a preschool. Shabbat Shalom! Hey!
3. I am half way through my novel and it is winning. This is not a good thing.
4. We have 4 cats, Harry, Hagrid, Hermione and Kagome.
5. My husband has the best legs you will ever see on a man. Technically, this is not about me, but it is something I love and appreciate every day. So.
6. I am a Scorpio.

Terms & conditions!
1. link the person who tagged you: above
2. mention the rules on your blog: (these are them)
3. list 6 unspectacular things about you: (see above)
4. tag 6 other bloggers by linking them: Rachy, Emily Benton,Radish King,Jillian,Jen,Kimberly

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Friday, September 19, 2008

Encylopedia of the Animal World

A baby beastie!
Boys on Bikes: here we have the Desert Animal
Consider the Lobster: (or the beagle) No, no- Animals have feelings, not decorations!
Do Not Try This At Home: It is not kind to cage animals.
Enter the Wild: When Animals Attack! (Apparently, they giggle.)
For you must view them in their natural habitat if you wish to really understand them...
GRWAWR!!! Are my teeth clean? How bout my tongue? RAWR!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Mr. Curry!

Here's looking at you, Mr. Curry And just a few things we love about you...
There are so many reasons we love you!
2 Things about this one: You have big, beautiful worker hands. You make me smile like this.
You are the best wrestler Evah!
Remember this day, this night at the hotel? We danced like crazy with the kids, then Mom took the kids and we headed back to the hotel... I have so much fun with you
(Left to Right: Ian, Mr. Curry, Me (when I was blonde), Mom, Lola and Dakota)
You look at me like this (even when I do have a charmingly sweet silly desert headwear on)
Plus, you are h.o.t. on a bike.
You are the lovingest, coolest Uncle ever.
You never complain when the kitchen looks like this (for that, you definitely get first mention in the Dedication of my book :)
You taught Dakota and Ian how to ride! Plus you let them make the fire and light fireworks.

The Beginning... Happy Birthday Mr. Curry!!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Wizard of Oz,Lola's Birthday 6

Follow, Follow, Follow, Follow...Follow the Yellow Brick Road!!!
Who would have thought a little girl could destroy all my beautiful wickedness?!!
Who ME???
This balloon will turn into...
WHY, You're not a Wizard at all! I AM!!!!
Could a scarecrow or a good witch be any cuter?
I love this picture. Lola is busting up laughing and Dakota has his hand up, ' Pick Me!'
Julie and I have been BF since Kindergarten! Gavin is her little guy
Mr. Curry and Dakota stuff partake, partay

Monday, September 15, 2008

the crow

= Every morning at 7:35 I am driving Lola Moon to 1st grade, just five minutes down the way, in our car White Magic. ( Ed's old blue battered Ford is Blue Thunder ) This morning was no different. Lola and I were chatting about her ballet and tap class, which starts today 5pm sharp! She's very excited. I came to a stop sign, and as I rolled up to it, something hurtled through the large tree to the right of me and fell with a thud in the path of my wheels. I came to a stop and took a second to decide if I should bother to see what it was- I was sure it was a branch from the tree. But I couldn't be sure, so I decided to look, and as I rose to get out of the car I saw one of the saddest, strangest sights: a large, glistening black crow on his back, his legs going slowly on an invisible bicycle.

Obviously, he was badly hurt. For a bird to be on his back, there is something terribly wrong. Crap. What was I going to do for a large bird with a large beak, notorious for hating people? I couldn't just leave him there. I put my hazards on, grabbed a jacket on the floor, and resolutely headed out to try to swaddle him up. As soon as he saw me coming, he let out a loud ' CAW!! ' and flopped over, righted himself, tucked an apparently broken wing under him, and hopped across the street. Bigger Crap. Now what?

As I debated, I started to pull my car into a driveway when I saw a poor unsuspecting, perfectly nice looking woman with her son, obviously heading off to school. I pulled next to them, window down, (noticing the cell phone in her hand) and asked her if she knew of an animal shelter nearby? She creased her brows. I explained about the bird, the broken wing, where he was. She raised her cell phone and started next door to where the crow was huddled in the doorway, and said ' I'll take care of it. '

I looked for him on my way back, and saw nothing. What could have happened to that bird, to make him fall out of the sky like a meteor? He left a soft, sad stain on the ground where he fell. Maybe he hit his wing on the edge of a tree branch, snapped it, and fell. Can you imagine the feeling...flying all your life, then suddenly feeling, for the first time ever, gravity pulling you like a mean ocean current to the ground?

The abject misery of that stunned bird on his back, legs going, was so striking that I want to sketch it, or paint it. It is one of those images that will remain in circulation in my mind. The helplessness, the confusion and indignity of that bird on his back reminded me of my grandparents in their nursing home, unable to change their own underwear or clip their own toes. I suppose they felt like that crow did when they struck out their hands at the attendent, or yelled at their children for pulling their socks on or buttoning their shirts. I can do it myself! The first and last cry of life.

Yesterday, there were firefighters clustered around a house in my neighborhood. People stood around, but didn't look too upset, so we stopped and asked a girl taking pictures what happened. She said there was a cat, stuck up in the palm tree. It's a hard life for an animal around these parts lately. Maybe that's why my dogs keep eating the cat food and the cats eat the dog food.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

'Infinite Jest', Unbearable Sadness

Writer David Foster Wallace found dead
The "Infinite Jest" author, 46, hanged himself at home

Author David Foster Wallace. shown here reading selections of his writing during the New Yorker Magazine Festival in New York in 2002, taught creative writing and English at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif.

CLAREMONT, Calif. - David Foster Wallace, the author best known for his 1996 novel "Infinite Jest," was found dead in his home, according to police. He was 46.

Wallace's wife found her husband had hanged himself when she returned home about 9:30 p.m. Friday, said Jackie Morales, a records clerk with the Claremont Police Department.

Wallace taught creative writing and English at nearby Pomona College.

I am so shocked and saddened. The burden of pain that creates suicide is a Dante existence, and I have the deepest empathy for anyone suffering to that fine point of hell. And- How could he do that to his wife?

Click on blog title for Salon article

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Saturday

! Today is so beautiful here in San Diego, breezy and sunny and perfectly open grinning sky. Lola went with Grandma Mary to a birthday party of a friend, Ian went to his Mom's and Dakota, Mr. Curry and I went to Japanese for lunch. I had delicious veggies, brown rice and chicken. Then I walked with my arm swinging toward the Starbucks and caught the eye of a good looking young black guy working outside. He had seen me swing my arm and smile, and was smiling at me with all his teeth sparkling. Awesome.

Mr. Curry and I are going to dinner to see my cousin Amalia and her new baby, Elton. I am so excited! My cousin and I are like sisters. We lived together off and on growing up. She is one of those rare birds with an easy soul, she remained loving and hopeful and beautiful despite many hardships growing up.

This morning I woke late, after sleeping in ZZZZzzzzz After a bit, I wandered into the kitchen and found Lola Moon of the Moon Clan sitting buck naked at the dining table, gluing together a horse she made out of shapes she cut out and colored.

The harder I focus on what is in front of me, the more in focus it becomes. I have learned that one of the legacies of a  painful childhood has been that my mind stutters and misfires and replays old images and feelings over new experiences. Time becomes slippery when your mind is tethered to the junk in the attic. As much therapy (four great years with an Angel) and medication and prayer (although I not a 'believer', I am a 'flounderer') and love as I have used to heal, my mind is still capable of reverting in an instant to that panicked, lonely child. What I struggle to do each and every day is turn from that child, to my own. To accept who I am and what I have been through. The shame alone can be obstructive...I am not the woman I think I 'should' be. I am the woman I am. I am always trying, always failing and succeeding in the same long breath. I love well, and deeply. This must count for so much. I have provided all the resources for emotional and mental health I can think of for myself and my family.

Sometimes my son asks me why I have to be weird. Why, Mom, do you have to sing opera and dance with Dad? Why do you have to be a writer- no one else I know has parents who write. Why Mom, do you have to care so much about organic and whole foods eating? Why do you have to make us sit outside and stare at the stars, or take night walks, or snort when you laugh?

He is 14, you know. It's a hard age to have a liberal writer for a mother, especially one who was 19 when she was pregnant with you and is now 33, when all your friends parents are more...shall we say...settled? Suburbia wears it's inhabitants out this way at times. Conformity can be survival in the social structure of middle schoolers.

But other times..other times he looks at me a certain way, or listens with a certain tilt to his blonde head, and I know he is grateful for the love and support and wackiness of our family.

One of my favorite childrens books is 'We're Going On a Bear Hunt' because it is a great metaphor for life, something like:

' oh no! we can't go over it,
we can't go under it
i guess we'll have to go through it'

Avoidance is not an option. My spirit trembles in it's boots before the immensity of life's mysteries and suffering, but it stills in the hands of love.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Where the Wild Things Are

From NYT

He is plagued by the question that has repeatedly been asked about Norman Rockwell: was he a great artist or a mere illustrator?

“Mere illustrator,” he said, repeating the phrase with contempt. It’s not that Mr. Sendak, who has illustrated more than 100 books, including many he wrote, is angry that people question Rockwell’s talent; rather, he fears he has not risen above the “mere illustrator” label himself.

Never mind that Mr. Sendak’s originality and emotional honesty have changed the shape of children’s literature; that his work is featured in museums; that he has designed costumes and sets for operas, ballets and theater; that he has won a chest full of awards and prizes including a National Medal of the Arts. As the playwright Tony Kushner, one of his collaborators, said, “He’s one of the most important, if not the most important, writers and artists ever to work in children’s literature. In fact, he’s a significant writer and artist in literature. Period.”

Mr. Sendak protested, “But Tony is my friend.”

Mr. Sendak, a square-shaped gnome, was sitting in the dining room of his Connecticut retreat. His shoulders are a bit stooped, but his fingers are long and delicate. When he hears that the 92nd Street Y event is sold out, his eyebrows rise in surprise.

“They must be coming to see the other people,” he said, referring to guests like Mr. Kushner, Meryl Streep, James Gandolfini, Spike Jonze, Dave Eggers and Catherine Keener.

Even his heart attack doesn’t seem up to snuff. People aren’t impressed with a triple bypass, he lamented; now it has to be a quadruple: “You feel like such a failure.”

That Mr. Sendak fears that his work is inadequate, that he is racked with insecurity and anxiety, is no surprise. For more than 50 years that has been the hallmark of his art. The extermination of most of his relatives and millions of other Jews by the Nazis; the intrusive, unemployed immigrants who survived and crowded his parents’ small apartment; his sickly childhood; his mother’s dark moods; his own ever-present depression — all lurk below the surface of his work, frequently breaking through in meticulously drawn, fantastical ways.

He is not, as children’s book writers are often supposed, an everyman’s grandpapa. His hatreds are fierce and grand, as if produced by Cecil B. DeMille. He hates his uncle (who made a cruel comment about him when he was a boy); he hates anything to do with God or religion, and Judaism in particular (“We were the ‘chosen people,’ chosen to be killed?”); he hates Salman Rushdie (for writing an excoriating review of one of his books); he hates syrupy animation, which is why he is thrilled with Mr. Jonze’s coming film of his book “Where the Wild Things Are,” despite rumors of studio discontent.

“I hate people,” he said at one point, extolling the superior company of dogs, like his sweet-tempered German shepherd, Herman (after Melville).

He is, at heart, a curmudgeon, but a delightful one, with a vast range of knowledge, a wicked sense of humor and a talent for storytelling and mimicry.

When Mr. Sendak received the 1996 National Medal of Arts, President Bill Clinton told him about one of his own childhood fantasies that involved wearing a long coat with brass buttons when he grew up.

“But Mr. President, you’re only going to be president for a year more,” Mr. Sendak said, “you still have time to be a doorman.”

Mr. Sendak insisted he was trying to be ingratiating, not funny.

Against all probability, some of the nightmares that have relentlessly pursued him since childhood — like the 1932 Lindbergh baby kidnapping — have been laid to rest. A couple of weeks ago a dealer found one of the tiny reproductions of the kidnapper’s ladder that were sold as souvenirs at the New Jersey trial.

“I was floored,” Mr. Sendak said. He traded one of his drawings for it. “That ends my obsession with the case,” he said.

His fascination with the kidnapping, like many of the other details of his life, has been repeated endlessly over the years in the hundreds of interviews he has given. Was there anything he had never been asked? He paused for a few moments and answered, “Well, that I’m gay.”

“I just didn’t think it was anybody’s business,” Mr. Sendak added. He lived with Eugene Glynn, a psychoanalyst, for 50 years before Dr. Glynn’s death in May 2007. He never told his parents: “All I wanted was to be straight so my parents could be happy. They never, never, never knew.”

Children protect their parents, Mr. Sendak said. It was like the time he had a heart attack at 39. His mother was dying from cancer in the hospital, and he decided to keep the news to himself, something he now regrets.

A gay artist in New York is not exactly uncommon, but Mr. Sendak said that the idea of a gay man writing children books would have hurt his career when he was in his 20s and 30s.

His latest book is one he started about four years ago, right after Dr. Glynn became sick with lung cancer. The illness and setting up of round-the-clock care in their home were just “so unbelievable,” he explained. Mr. Sendak is mostly finished with it, but he admitted that for the first time, “I feel extremely vulnerable.”

He is afraid — not of death, which is as familiar to him as a child’s teddy bear — but of not being able to finish his work: “I feel like I don’t have a lot of time left.”

After Dr. Glynn’s death, Mr. Sendak said he was “still trying to figure out what I’m doing here.”

“I wanted to take his place,” he said. “His death became a demarcation.” He added that he lost touch with many of his friends, unable to return phone calls and reply to e-mail messages.

Mr. Sendak is pleased with the coming birthday celebration, just as he is about his awards and honors, but in the end, he maintained, they don’t add up to much. They “never penetrated,” he said. “They were like rubber bullets.”

It’s not that he isn’t grateful. “They made me happy, but at a certain point in your life, you see through them,” he said. “You don’t mock them, you don’t hate them, you feel sorry for them” — tiny, inert emblems that just aren’t up to the task of answering pressing questions about meaning, soul-touching greatness and durability.

So he spends his days pondering his heroes: Mozart, Keats, Blake, Melville and Dickinson. He admires and yearns for their “ability to be private, the ability to be alone, the ability to follow some spiritual course not written down by anybody.”

Mr. Sendak is quick to insist that a vast distance stands between his own accomplishments and theirs. “I’m not one of those people,” he said. “I can’t pretend to be.”

Still, he has the feeling that “I will do something yet that is purely for me but will create for someone in the future that passion that Blake and Keats did in me.”

What he has failed to consider, though, is that he may already have.
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