Things that suck

Things Harper Says - "SHUT UP!" Edition

Six year olds. {eyeroll}

We were walking into the school gate yesterday and she said:


Mama, when you have your hair like that you look like a grandma.



I got my hair cut a little shorter and had lowlights put in so that it looks more like how my real hair color looks. It's no longer all super blonde as you see in my picture here, I'm working on growing out my real hair color for a while a) for a change up and b) to make one less thing to have to worry about if I'm going to be working a million hours on a new job. (Which I should be this year.)

In one sentence she tapped into all my fears and sensitive spots about being an older, new (ish) mom. Yeah, I'm a 51 year old menopausal woman with a six year old. And man, some days I feel old and YES HARPER, YOU COULD BE MY GRAND DAUGHTER SHUT UP! In real life two people have asked if I was her grandmother. Oooof. Knife to the heart as I already feel weird about being this age and having kids. Weird as I feel like I was too chicken to have kids earlier in our marriage (it was 10 years before we had Harper), weird like I have regrets for having her so late and then only having one. It's complicated. 

And it all comes splatting me in the face with a comment about my hairstyle. Thanks for keeping it real, Harper.


It's Only Been A Month Of Kindergarten...

...And I was surprised when Harper told me someone told her that her Lightning McQueen shoes are boys shoes and why is she wearing them.

Harper said she got embarrassed! NOOOOOOOOO!

So I told her that there is no such thing as boys shoes or girls shoes - boys can wear Frozen shoes and girls can wear Lightning McQueen shoes, it doesn’t matter. And I told her she could always wear anything she wants and I love when she wears whatever she wants.


I talked to her twice about it, making sure she heard me, though I'm not sure she totally understands. But one day she didn't want to wear her Lightning McQueen shoes, specifically, even though she needed sneakers for after school. That made me sad. But we will continue to encourage the "whatever you like" style of clothes and shoe shopping. 

I consulted a dear friend, a wise and wonderful woman who has a nine year old daughter. I wrote her an email with the above and she wrote back almost instantly:

Don't you wish you could say, "Honey, there are fucking assholes in this world that want to steal your peace.  It is okay to tell them to fuck off."

This is why I consult with her. She also had some other good advice about watching videos of kids who dress in all different ways as well as wearing "boys" clothes myself from time to time. So my Christmas list will have some "Boys" items on it...

Raising a girl in this day and age. I'm going to need a lot of deep breaths and to always speak my truth to my beautiful strong girl.


Mimus_polyglottos1As someone who named their daughter Harper, I will never be able to write a book with the word "Mockingbird" in the title. I'm thinking of titles like:

To Kill A Mockingbird at 3am With An Axe Without Waking Your Neighbors

Silencing the Mockingbird With Poison Darts

Mockingbirds: Loud Mouth Bastards In Your Backyard All Night

Will I Ever Sleep Again? A Tail of Mockingbird Revenge


Can't wait for our own happy mockingbird to FIND A GIRLFRIEND.




Excellent Break Up Songs

I think I have heard Gotye's "Somebody That I Used To Know" about ten times in the last three weeks. On the radio, in stores, doctor's offices, random places. It's haunting and sad and awesome. I was watching the video today (because I had been steered to a Star Wars/Gotye mashup version and wanted to see the original...) and I realized what a truly awesome breakup song it is. (Doesn't hurt that Gotye is easy on the eyes...ahem.)


Luckily, I don't need a break up song in my life anymore. But man, if I did, the above would really be excellent. It's got downbeats and slow depressing parts, but then there are the parts where you can really shout out the lyrics. That's what you need in a good break up song.

I have had two major break ups in my life and luckily there were two AMAZING songs I had to help me through. The first was from the late 80's. Okay, in reality this song didn't make it big until 1990. But I swear it came to me in the Summer of 1989 becuase that is when I knew my first real relationship was over. Truly over. First major heartbreak. So along came Sinead with "Nothing Compares 2U" and the healing began.


This song has what you need -- slow parts and shouty parts.

Then in 1995, another big break up. But I was angry this time. So the universe gave me Alanis. Thank you Alanis! I was working freelance and was doing a lot of driving across LA (Westwood to Burbank to Downtown for various shoots and screenings) and having "Jagged Little Pill" on my CD player just made the anger better. This whole song (practically) is a shouting song. Bonus: you get to say "fuck".



What are other break up songs? To qualify as truly great, there have to be shouty parts!

366/2012: Day 28 Sad Sad Day

Today we had to say good-bye to our cat, Bunny, and we are so sad.

Here is her last morning in her favorite sunbeam.


Almost 17 years ago I went to the West LA Animal Shelter looking for an adult cat. There, in one of the little cages, was this little cat, curled up but alert. I asked to see her and hold her and found she had a goofy little face and no tail. (She's a rumpy manx, as it turns out.) She sat in my arms, not afraid, but not terriby pleased to be where she was. I knew she was for me and it turns out I could not have picked a better cat.

When Kurt and I got married, he had just said goodbye to his 18 year old cat, Wookie. Bunny took an instant like to Kurt and they became good friends. I'm so happy we had ten years together.

Bunny was almost 19. Practically unheard of in Manx cats. Right around when Harper came home, Bunny was not doing well. Turns out she was in kidney failure. We got her stabilized and worked every day to keep her healthy. She did well for a month, but took a turn for the worse this past week, the doctor thinks she had a stroke. She was still walking and eating with Kurt's help, but she was clearly not well. And she was not the Bunny we knew and loved. It's such a hard decision to make - when do you say good bye. We couldn't let her go like this any longer and today was the day.

We had a nice woman vet come to the house to put her to sleep. Kurt was feeding Harper and I held Bunny just as I did the first day I met her. First she was sedated and Kurt and I pet and pet her, telling her how much we loved her, then she got the final shot and in a few peaceful minutes she was gone.

I've been crying on and off all day. It's strange that having been through family deaths and even the birth of a child, this was one of the most grown up things I've ever done. There is something powerful about being a custodian to a gentle being that is dependent on you. You have to do right by them, even when it's the hardest decision.

She had a good long life and we will miss her so much. But we are so glad that there was a good month of her spending time with Harper. We know Harper got the Bunny blessing before Bunny moved on.

God we are going to miss Bunny.

Another Bookstore Closing - So Bummed Out!

There have been many sad stories of independent bookstores being closed due to larger chains coming into their areas. But now one of the bigger chains is closing a store near me and I'm really bummed!* I just read that the Barnes and Noble at the Westside Pavilion will be closing soon.


Yes, I'm one of those old fashioned people who actually likes actual BOOKS. (It's going to be a long while before I get a kindle or other ereader. Truly.) I'm also old fashioned in that I like going to a bookstore and browsing among the tables and shelves full of books, all their covers beckoning me to take a look. A good bookstore is my favorite place to shop for gifts, from kids to grown-ups to grandparents.

The Barnes and Noble is right next to the theaters at the Westside Pavilion which made it easy to browse before or after seeing a movie. Sometimes the movie would inspire me to go find more info on whatever the topic was and buy a book. Now if I want to browse a big bookstore, I have to go to Santa Monica or The Grove, both quite far out of the way from where I live. And I live mere blocks from the Westside Pavilion. Apparently they are going to move the H&M to the bookstore spot. Snooze city.

I buy a lot of books from Amazon, but in all the years I've been an online shopper (I was an early adapter of online shopping because of Amazon's prices and convenience) it's never made me want to go to a bookstore LESS OFTEN. Never. I think this stems from growing up with an awesome reader as mentor: My Mother. I loved reading from way back and mom read a ton too. My favorite thing was going to the bookstore with her because she always let me buy a book. Or two. Always! Candy store? No. Toy store? No. Bookstore? EVERY TIME! Shopping at a bookstore is in my DNA.

I'm really going to miss the BN. You know what Culver City needs? A big bookstore. Hey Culver City, what do you think?

*I know that Borders completely going out of business is more of a shock, especially on Maui, but I never much went to Borders, so it was less life altering for me.

Hospital Time Is Crazy Making Time

The mom-in-law broke her hip on Friday. She tripped over her own feet and landed on her hip, breaking part of it and had surgery yesterday to replace that broken bits. She's 92, but damned healthy and in good shape so she came through surgery just fine and will be back bowling in no time. 

I hope you have never had to spend much time in a hospital (as a patient or a visitor). It can be a soul and energy sucking place like no other. Time slows to a crawl. Thank god for wifi and the iPad. In between helping the nurses and doctors communicate with the M-I-L (she's VERY hard of hearing) we would repark the cars (We got to the hospital at different times as I went to feed her cats.) or go to the cafeteria, just to break the monotony. Yesterday was particularly slow as it was surgery day and it took ages to get going and then hours more, post op. But as I said, all went well.

In the ER on Friday I was tweeting about all the stuff in the hallways, the stacks of drawers that I wanted to rifle through! (I am my mother's daughter.) Stacks of drawers like this:


And a cooler thingy like this:


And the crash cart -- locked. What's in there?? I have to know!


In the pre-op area yesterday there were drawers full of stuff just sitting there, right next to me! I refrained from stuffing my purse with these random items. (I'm a recovering medical klepto.) (Okay, I've never taken anything from a hospital drawer, but the temptation is there!)


Yesterday I spent more time in hallways walking to and from cars and cafeteria, etc. This little alcove caught my eye and I had to take a picture. It's like the break room for IV stands. What are they talking about?


Around the corner was this lonely safety graphic.


Funny how outside the hospital there is more color and life. (But as K1 would say "They say taupe is very soothing.")


Today will hopefully involve less hours in the hospital. If not, then I can't wait to see what else is around to witness. (And I'll take a better camera perhaps...)

The New Year Starts Next Week

Oh it's been a tough week. I thought I would get myself together and leap full on into 2011. Instead it's been a week of comfort eating, visiting with friends and feeling a lot of things. I spent a morning with a friend who was literally a day away from having her second baby. She needed help and how could I say no? And it was hard to be around that much intense gestation. (Baby boy was born yesterday and all are well.) She was big and full of life and I felt big and empty. Then I had dinner with friends who have adopted and had non-pregnancy issues of their own and it was really healing to talk with them. I had my post miscarriage appointment with my doctor yesterday. All is fine, but it was really emotional to be in that office again. I have still been eating for comfort and fully conscious of the fact that I'm eating for comfort. I'm being gentle with myself, though, and not getting all up in my own grill about it. Since I'm not working I am lucky to have time and space to wallow, but next week I have to get back to forward motion, finding paying work, getting my writing projects revved up again and diving into the future.

But that's next week.