Saturday, May 30, 2015

People In Your Neighborhood

My first piece on The Mid: I Became A Runner At 40- And You Can, Too Click my name at my bio to read the other two I've written this week!

Very interested in Melissa Broder's work

A feminist roundtable talk with Lena Dunham, Amy Schumer, Gina Rodriguez and more

Read these three wonderful poems by Natalie Eibert in Cosmonauts Avenue

Drowning Really Is Silent

The Only Good Man Is A Self-Hating Man by Navneet Alang in Hazlitt

Vitamin Pill Cuts Skin Cancer Risk- NBC News

The story of one photo of one great white shark.

I've been looking at this magical blog for years. The Road is Home 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Review: Grace and Frankie

Grace and Frankie is Netflix’s newest original series, starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Frankie and Gracie’s husbands ( Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen ) leave the two women for each other, revealing they’ve had an off/on twenty year love affair.  Frankie and Gracie have never been two peas in a pod, but they co-own a beachfront house, an idea their husbands has suggested years ago ‘ for profit sharing. ‘ They move into the house together, and life happens. The real angle of this series? They are all in their early 70’s.

The whole thing could have gone kaput in a pot of lukewarm jokes about gay men and older women, but the writing is sharp and laugh out loud funny, and the characters are not rushed through plotlines where zany togetherness replaces real change. The women are crushed when their husbands leave, and there are moments of true poignancy. In one episode, the women attend the funeral of an old friend, and Jane Fonda’s character Grace is led through a series of conversations and confrontations. She ends up standing alone in the crowd, bewildered and scared look on her face as she realizes how much has been stripped from her in the wake of her husband’s betrayal.

Jane Fonda plays Grace with a touching vulnerability shimmering below the surface of her tightly constricted rules- she hasn’t had ice cream in nine years. Grace is the straight man to Lily Tomlin’s adorable, loveable Frankie who adopted two boys and named them Coyote and Nwabudike ‘ Bud ‘  and who in her distress immediately after being told of the news of her husband’s abandonment, smokes peyote and takes muscle relaxants on the beach, in order to take a spiritual journey. ‘ Prepare yourself, ‘ she tells Grace, who joins her on the beach and guzzles the peyote drink, believing it to be tea, ‘ for some light vomiting followed by life altering revelations. ‘ When Grace begins complaining, Frankie coos: ‘ Your anger is frightening the sand. ‘

Frankie’s husband Sol ( Sam Watertson ) and Grace’s husband Robert ( Martin Sheen ) are interesting and engaging in their own right. I’m a huge fan of both actors, who do a lovely job of illuminating why these two men were willing to give up so much to be together. As the show moves forward more is revealed about their long affair and it becomes obvious that real romantic love was not in the original marriages for any of these four. Frankie and Sol were best friends, though, and they suffer the worst pain at the overnight severing of the life they knew, all of it’s routines, rituals and comforts ripped away. One episode in particular, ‘ The Spelling Bee’ revolves around Frankie and Sol’s attempts to stay connected while slowly and painfully realizing they cannot.

All of the secondary characters add something bright to the ensemble- Robert and Grace’s daughter Brianna ( played by June Raphael ) is a stand out, sharp as hell, funny and tough, her blue eyes zing as she delivers one liners.  Brooklyn Decker plays Briana’s sister convincingly a little drowned in her life, spacey and yet focused. ‘OK no problem, ‘ she tells her mom as she rushes through a list of must-do’s,  ‘ I’m just going to feed the dog and do my kegels in the car.’

In the end it is Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda who are the successful heart of this show. I can’t think of another show about women in their 70’s that treated them as true invidual women in the thick of life without the constant focus on age- Golden Girls was hilarious and ground breaking, but the entire premise was a one liner ‘ look at the old lady being funny ‘ vibe, whereas Grace and Frankie ask us to see these women as they are- complicated, still seeking, learning, sometimes on the cutting edge of life naturally and easily ( as when Frankie teaches Grace about making homeade, organic lube from ‘the best organic tubers!’ ) sometimes hilariously fumbling their way through the modern world ( Frankie again, buying a computer and setting up a Twitter account, which you can visit now at thanks to the crafty Social Media crew at Netflix ) Frankie’s observations on Twitter are spot on: ‘ Why watch alone when I can share the entire experience with millions of strangers!? ‘

Unlike CBS’s failed remake of ‘ Odd Couple ‘ Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin’s friendship in Grace and Frankie are an odd couple worth watching.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Best Daddy's Take Phone Calls

Ever calls Mr. Curry on the phone: ' Daddy? '

Mr. Curry: ' Ever sweetie, hi, what are you doing? '

Ever: ' Well I have poop in my vagina and Mommy said she'd wipe gently but I still won't let her get it out and I don't want her to. '

Mr. Curry: ' Sweetie that's not good for your vagina, you have to let Mommy get that out, OK? '

Ever: ' But I really just don't like it Daddy. '

Mr. Curry: ' I know sweetie you're OK, let Mommy take care of you. '

Ever: ' But Daddy I don't like it. But Mommy says she's gentle but I still don't like getting this poopy out of my vagina. '

Mr. Curry: ' OK sweetie, that's not good in there so let Mommy get it out, you're OK honey, all right? '

Ever: ' OK Daddy. '

Mr. Curry: ' I love you Ever. '

Ever: ' I love you Daddy. '

Friday, May 22, 2015

People In Your Neighborhood

take a seat and read!

Adrian McDonald's photos of Jamaican childhood are pure magic.

I often find these kinds of 'love your body' things unconvincing. But not this one. I'm watching with Lola.

Loving this poem by Morgan Parker: ALL THEY WANT IS MY MONEY MY PUSSY MY BLOOD

Like many people around the globe I have a fascination with the excavated site at Pompeii. Therefore, I found this fascinating.

Karrie Higgens is one of the top three most gifted writers I've come across on the internet, someone who isn't well known but whose talent and craft is undeniable. Read on the 35th anniversary of my suicide attempt

If you think your gallbladder is going bad, please read this: It Ain't Your Gallbladder

Oh I got that brain orgasmy feeling reading this because 1. it's about one of my top five favorite novels ever, Lolita, and 2. the intelligence and skill of the writer weaving backstory. Fascinating, and deeply sad. The Real Lolita, by Sarah Weinman

I stumbled across this old interview with Elizabeth Gilbert in The Rumpus.

I found this Justin Bieber car karaoke with James Cordon super entertaining. The Rubix Cube thing- who knew? ( and don't say who cares, you snark )

Thursday, May 21, 2015

I Don't Know

I don't understand this time of my life, what am I doing. It may strike you as remarkable that this is the first time in my life since the birth of Dakota that I have felt this way. At 19, I found the purpose of my life- loving him. Being a mother. You may wonder how, with four children, two at home, how is this different?

I don't know. 

I am different. Me. Not the circumstances. Not the love, the devotion, the loyalty. And my life is bigger, richer and more interesting in many ways, than it was for all those years. So why don't I feel enriched?

I don't know.

So if I am to write a list of things I do not know, we will be here for pages, hundreds of thousands of characters of Times New Roman. The things I do know comprise a short, essential list. 

I want to go home. I want to sit in a field of berries with my mouth stained, a touch of sunburn across my brow, squinting unattractively, watching my kids do what they do. I want to hear the drip of water from the trees after it rains. I want the wind in the bushes, rattling around like an old lady who lost her glasses: Ms. Whatsit, for example. I want to step back into my place in the river of ancestoral time, to feel the gravitational pull of the earth- does space scare you? It scares me.Where am I?

I don't know.

I feel lost. I only feel grounded when I'm in the tangle of my children in bed at night, their legs on my legs, or in Mr. Curry's arms, or when he holds my hand. Alone, I tend to hold my arms around myself, like I did in high school. Like I might fly apart, but very, very quietly... no one would even notice. They would still see me as here because how many people actually SEE YOU when they look at you?

I don't know.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Put Words In My Mouth

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Everkins - Kenny - Kinny-Kins

she's four and she always brings to mind the words life force
i always wanted a child with freckles
i always wanted a little girl with long waves of hair
i always wanted a baby with an oversized head and great big brains
i always wanted a little girl with an actual twinkle in her eye
i always wanted a daughter with a smile made from stardust and puppies and magic
i always wanted a kid with three nicknames
i always wanted an unstoppable energy force that brings to mind fast forward video footage of flowers unfolding from bud
i didn't know i did, but now it's so obvious.
that's love.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Saturday, May 16, 2015

People In Your Neighborhood

Creative Compulsive Disorder & Remembering Zina Nicole Lahr from Stormy Pyeatte on Vimeo.

Isabella Rossellini on who cares about aging. I'm becoming compulsive with collecting the quotes and ideas of women who instead of being honest about how aging is hard for women are really focused on how it's not. On how much more there is. We need their voices and their attitudes.

I told you about a friend's friend whose little girl drowned recently. This little girl, Kitty, was born in 2010, same as Ever. This is a remembrance of her with a beautiful poem. It made me cry hard. I think the first comment afterward is a little genius.

I really enjoyed this essay by Angela Flournoy on the recovery of her father and Detroit.

I can't wait to see this anime movie: Wolf Children

This short story on a moment in time on 9-11 is like glass in your hand: immediate and unforgettably cutting. September, by Anna Kovatcheva 

How the use of antibiotics in infancy is tied to illness in adulthood. Another example of the many I link here of the absolute importance of our guts to our entire health.

The combination of music, film and writing the NYT is using is brilliant. I could not pull myself away from this story.

Art is life.

Is Wifi Making Your Child Ill? There's a lot of conflicting opinions going around the scientific community, but I want to stay aware and do what I can to protect myself and my family.

Saul Bellow is an important author to me. My dad had his paperbacks and as a kid I read through them, often bewildered and lost, but totally compelled.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

time + love = eternity

Dakota Wolf and myself 2015, Dakota Wolf and myself 1996

time moves mysteriously and not the way we wrestle it into presentation: a clock face, rigid upright arrows, pointing directly at a fixed spot, which will predictably and irrevocably change to the next, predetermined spot. time means to me that this little boy and that young man above move in and out of each other's bodies like ghosts. the little blonde capped boy flickers across Dakota's face as he looks at me and when i close my eyes and press to kiss his cheek the rough stubble moves me suddenly into a room where my boy is rubbing his round cheeks and saying one day, he'll be a big boy and have hair face, momma, and his high giggle echoes as i open my eyes and look at the young man, still smiling at me, still in my belly, still in my arms, still in my lap, still clutching Pokemon figurines and carrying his card case, still furious and running from the house with his cell in one hand and shoes in the other, still yelling in the living room, eyes ablaze and hands trembling, still falling into my arms crying, still laughing in his bedroom with the door shut, still leaving and coming home, still home, always home, always my boy.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Lola's Mother's Day Video

My Movie from Maggie May Ethridge on Vimeo.

Only the best gift I've ever gotten, outside of my kids artwork and music.

Today was overflowing with love. I woke to homemade banners and balloons, we all went out to coffee and bagels, Dakota surprised me and showed up from Long Beach and we all then, with my mom, went on a hike, and then to dinner, and when I got home, Ian had left me a card in a sneaky drop off at the house and Lola gave me this movie.

I'm allowed to be this happy, right?

Saturday, May 9, 2015

People In Your Neighborhood

take a seat ( with Milicent Rogers ) and read!

I would love every parent to have this information for their children: Why Gut Microbes Make Your Kids Picky Eaters

10 Brilliant Novels With One Fatal Flaw True Detective ( Season One ) was a TV show but is included in here for its novelistic brilliance- which I could not agree with more. This show haunts me months after I watched it, and despite its grim tone and horribly sad storyline I know I'll go back and watch it again. But---but! those last 15 minutes...

A Wrinkle In Time is one of the books of my life, so I love this WSJ piece on Madeleine L'Engle and a secret passage

This little girl was the daughter of the friend of a friend. Please don't turn your backs on kids in water. Please put life vests on kids in or near open water. She had taken swim lessons. It didn't stop this from happening. Unimaginable grief. I've been praying for this family out of lack of anything else to do.

I really like how Dani Shapiro- a well known, high selling author- reveals the bare bones of the writing life

This short essay articulates some of my deepest life values and guides: The Moral Bucket List

Sally Mann's iconic images have always captivated me on a subconscious and conscious level. I am remember a decade ago using them like online art, tacked to my MySpace page. I was born in Jackson Mississippi and returned to live for a year later in childhood. She writes for the NYTimes about the mixed legacy of her images.

A very interesting young woman: Mac McClelland, an investigative journalist who wrote a book about her PTSD after going toward the Haiti earthquake aftermath.

Melissa Hart writes about foster care and the importance of Annie, 91 years later.

Thursday, May 7, 2015


Blogging at 1 am. Hair still damp from shower at 9:30pm, after snack at 9:10pm, after run at 8pm, after hanging out with Ever and the local roughians ( oh you KNOW who are you are ) Put both daughters to bed late, late, late at 10:30 pm. Don't feel like worst parent in the world or terrible mother even though both daughters truly need an earlier bedtime than they've been getting lately. It's not fashionable to give yourself a break, only to be pleaded with by others to do so while you sit, dull eyed and sighing, dutifully attempting to accept a break, but failing. I give myself this break. So does Mr. Curry. He is the master at giving his wife breaks. He in fact does not give me a hard time about a single thing I can think of. It's always been that way. He's always seen me clean through, warts and all, but yet with physics particular to love, he also sees me at my best, even when he clearly sees me at my worst. What do they call that, again? Yes, unconditional love. That's what he gives me. And I love him unconditionally but I don't live with him  unconditionally- that's the physics of marriage, my friends, and it involves a rhythm and energy exchange and balance to rival the stock market. The lucky have this easily. Mr. Curry and I have had our easy times, but being beset with life events beyond our control- and some within, such as the sparkle two colored eyed creature of our youngest child- our rhythms and energies get clusterfucked until we retreat from each other frustrated and, it pains me to admit, confused. Well fuck, bipolar is a confusing fucking disease. It makes a person want to say fuck a lot, for starters. And I'm not a piece of cake, a breeze, a snap of the finger to be married to, either. I give a lot in return for the ways I'm difficult, though, I do, and I know Mr. Curry feels it more than a fair trade. I'm by nature excruciatingly honest with myself. If Mr. Curry calls me on something- a manipulation I've entrenched myself in even subconsciously, or a childish behavior- I will, the second I recognize what he is saying is true, admit it, and apologize profusely and then, almost all of the time, not repeat the thing. Not interrupted Mr. Curry has been one of the hardest bad habits to break though, specifically during a heated discussion. In my defense, he tends toward loooong pauses and a more timely manner of expressing himself, and because I am his wife I almost always know the entire next five minutes of what he is going to say. Like in a sitcom, I can find the timing and two beats ahead of him lip sync the next thing he will say. In his defense, I'm impulsive, emotional and straightforward to the point of being demanding during heated talks and he probably can barely process what Im saying before I've said five other things. Yet in remains true that as we've grown up together, there is- despite his bouts with bipolar and my bouts of anxiety- a tenderness to our talks, a desire to not only get our point across, to be heard emotionally, but also to address the vulnerabilities of our partner, to work around them. We accept each other's apologies quickly and whole heartedly. Over the years we've had points in our marriage where this balance was perfected and we were in step with each other every day. Anyone married knows how much work it can take to retain that rhythm when life strikes with overwhelm, pain, suffering, self-doubt, the past rears its head, new children are born or you know, it's Thursday all the sudden. And you're like, WTF THURSDAY I THOUGHT IT WAS FRIDAY and then all bets are off. Adding brain distress to this seesaw makes it a hundred times more unpredictable and difficult to pull off. As does a long list of human encounters: injury, disease of other names, bankruptcy, death, poverty, war. With every word on that list the allowance of time to concern oneself with fulfillment or happiness or even functionality decreases. Can you imagine living in a country where there are no Grown Ups? For all the many faults of the US, many continue to try, and the Adults ( i think of this word now in a very particular way. it doesn't convey money, or necessarily even power, but instead a morality, an ethical agenda, a capacity for hard work and loyalty, for kindness and honesty and yes, sacrifice ) are here, here and there, if like the quote we all love so much is true 'look for the helpers'- if we do, they are there. So again, imagine if we lived in a country with no helpers? Where the only people who seemed capable of helping crept in slowly and confusingly from other places? Where those who were helpers had been murdered or crushed to helplessness? I can imagine it, but not in the in depth all body and heart way I can imagine many things. More of a distant imagining, as I imagined Ancient Rome from the books of myths of my childhood. Here in the US, we roar with despair over our own injustices and murders- but I note with care that each life is considered worthy of it's own notice, it's own new story, picture in the paper, gathering of neighborhood mourners. Each life taken before its time is considered by large groups of US citizens to be an injustice worthy of great notice and an agent of change. A single child injured and killed by something or someone in America can create an entire organization with media presence and thousands of signatures on a petition and protests and campaigns and law changes. That happens often. Death has always come, but that we maintain this level of care and attention to each individual who is brought to our attention- that is something worth noticing, valuing and contributing to. To me it indicates that we have a foundational deep respect for the sanctity of life. There has always been war and murder, but has there always been this communal care for individual life lost, in a tribe as large as the continental US? Even the US itself did not have this level of societal respect for individual life lost in our early days. Children died of disease and accidents, women died in childbirth, men died working, during travel or in war, and only the family and the small group of their own mourned. The vulnerable of society often received no notice at all in life and even less in death. Of course here and now, many get lost and never get held up this way, again especially our most vulnerable members of society. But the fact that so many do get remembered, get mourned communally and honored as an irreplaceable individual human being, that it is in fact one of the most powerful agents for change, means that we see the importance of the loss in the first place.

maybe no one will read this because it's one long block of text but it suits me to leave it this way, and my blog is the last place on the planet i can do what i like outside of my bathroom with the door shut and even that is only on a good day. anyway it's not really a blog post, is it? 

love you guys.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

People In Your Neighborhood

Take a seat and read

It is satisfying and happy that I now have an Amazon 'Author Page'. It's the little things.

This has been all over the nets, for good reason. Anytime someone is brave enough to take a risk this large and change the narrative of their entire life, it's worth listening to. Why I Gave Up My $95,000 Job To Move To An Island and Scoop Ice Cream It's pretty annoying and steeped in avoidance when stories like this come out and people say, well, it was easy for her BECAUSE and then list whatever made it easy. There are always reasons a change this big is terrifying and impossible. To hear when it worked is good.

I know I keep posting articles that say essentially the same thing as this one, but it's because I think this is one of the most centrally important health issues of our time. The Cure For Brain Diseases Is In Your Gut

Shawna Kenney writes a fascinating, touching and timely piece on gangsters who now bake. Munchies

My friend Dena hooked me up with this article, and it's one of the most delightful ( I use that word sparingly so take it ) essays I've read on line in a long time, and memorable- I keep remembering it at odd times and laughing. When I Win This Fucking Award by Mallory Ortberg

Nanea Reeves brought me to quiet tears with this aching, raw piece, written as her husband is dying. Work Life Balance and What That Means When Things Fall Apart

Hayley Krichner on Hysteria and Teenage Girls 

Lorrie Moore interviewing Miranda July, practically perfect in every way.

I like to show Olive Us videos to Ever and Lola. Lovely, dreamy, charmed life. Someone should do an illustrated book on this family.

Lastly, if you have any issues with anxiety, please read this: How I Beat My 10 Year Battle With Anxiety Using Folinic Acid or just pass it on. I can't stand it when people suffer needlessly. I haven't been tested but Lola and I take magnesium, B vit. mix every night and I am considering being tested.

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