Wednesday, May 28, 2003

Too Cool for School

Maybe someday I'll be a popular blogger, and people will come to my website by the dozens. They'll come to read my witty posts and tell me how very cool they think I am, or how sorry they are that my kitten died, or whatever. They will come. They will read. They will leave adoring comments. They will go. Many, many of them will link back to my website, until I'm so famous and so popular that national newspapers and cable news networks will call upon me when they want to do stories about "blogging" and "the internet community" and "women in technology" and "diapers." I'll be a household name, like Dooce or Jodi or C. Monks or Mrs. Kennedy. People will obsessively watch their blogrolls to see if my website has been updated yet, so they can read my latest nuggets of wisdom and humor. I will get so much email I'll have to hire minions to read and respond to it all. Total strangers will purchase gifts for me from my Amazon wishlist.

Or, maybe not.

I guess, you know, it's still a little bit like high school, no matter what you do or how old you get. And there's a part of me that is still wanting in on this popularity contest. Even though I should damn well know better. Mostly I write this thing for me, and because I want my own little toehold of html code to call my own so I can tinker a little bit here and there and try to figure it out, and because I like keeping a journal, and electronic journals are fun.

But there's this other little part of me that really wants to be a popular blogger, like the rest of you. A girl can dream, yes?

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Rickie Is My Hero, And Mrs. Kennedy Rocks My World

This is why I love her.

And hey, my first post from work! It's a slow day in medical transcription land, kids.

*Note, I'm referring to the "Adventures in child psychology" post, not the post about how much it sucks to read sad stories about kids after you become a parent. The link doesn't seem to be working right. Thank you.

**Not that I don't love the other post, almost just as much. But "Adventures in child psychology" made me spit Coke on my keyboard.

Sunday, May 25, 2003

Rickie is my hero

It's good, every once in a while, to break out those old CDs. I mean those CDs which are really replacements for records which you had in high school and played and played so much that the vinyl finally wore away. Remember vinyl? Remember stylus needles? Remember Rickie Lee Jones? Why don't I play music in my house more often? It makes me so happy.

Once you find yourself
A Better man
Treat him special all of the time
Make him some catfish
Fry it up in bed
Don't leave him hangin' on the telephone line


Matrix Reloaded was sold out, and we only had three hours before we had to pick up the baby from his dad's house. We headed for the Harry Ransom Center because I'd heard something about a Gutenberg Bible. There was that, and SO MUCH MORE. They had paintings by E. E. Cummings and Arthur Conan Doyle's golf clubs and letters by Dylan Thomas and Gerard Manley Hopkins discussing words and rhyme and meter and a really funny memo from someone (Ernest Lehman? I forget now) to Jack Warner about the importance of securing Richard Burton for the lead in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf in part because it will keep Liz from worrying about where her husband is and a delightful little magazine created by Lewis Carroll for his family and a great Richard Rauschenberg print and a beautiful little Andre Kertesz photograph of a man in the street with a train going by in the background and a gorgeous painting by Diego Rivera of a slightly green-faced girl holding a doll and and and and...

I reached saturation point very early on, but kept on slogging through the collection trying to soak it all in. A great exhibition. Free, relatively sparsely attended, infinitely fascinating.

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Look Out, World

I've got a scanner, and I'm not afraid to use it.

But really, how priceless is this picture of my grandparents?

I'm guessing 1972, Florida. God bless Rachel and Jack Johnson. The world just isn't the same without them.

And then there's this picture, circa 1979, of my sister Alex and me in a phone booth in Chicago:

I remember going to visit her. We took these pictures in a Woolworth's. Remember Woolworth's? We actually went in, had lunch at the counter (tuna melts and root beer floats), and then recorded the event in the booth. It was a good day.

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Which Do You Want First?

The bad news: Brian's server is down
The good news: I've moved to blogspot and all my archives are saved
The bad news: But no one knows I'm here
The good news: Hardly anyone ever visited me before, anyway
The bad news: My digital camera appears to be dead
The good news: I have a new scanner so I can still put pictures on line and email pics of the kids to various relatives
The bad news: I have to pony up more $$ to blogger if I want to post pictures and lose the advertising
The good news: I can't think of any
The bad news: Brian's at his place and I'm at my place which makes us two lonely people
The good news: The kids are sleeping and there's 4 more beers in the fridge.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Foot Fetish, Anyone?

Apparently, people desperately looking for Sarah Kozer, of Joe Millionaire fame, whose 15 minutes have LONG since expired by now, have been visiting my blog in droves over the last couple of days. Why on earth this is happening, I do not know. So sorry to disappoint you all. You will find no kinky bondages pictures here. But click on that link above, yeah that one, or this one, they're all the same. And you can see that other Sarah all tied up and everything.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

Raffi, Schmaffi

They're like a couple of teenagers up there, my boys. Staying up late talking and listening to CD's. I indulge them, because how cool is it, really, that my kids are staying up all night listening to The Police? It's way cool. Tomorrow we'll all be grumpy and sleep-deprived and some of us might even be a little hungover, but fuck it, that's tomorrow. Tonight we're staying up late and listening to records and having a good time.

Life is good. There's something of a melodrama swirling around me, but I'm riding it out. The thing is, none of it really matters in the long run. But it sucks to have to watch your back, to realize people in your life can't be trusted.

Tuesday, May 13, 2003

I Have No Decent Title For This Post

My 5 year old kid just called me from his dad's house to inform me that he was watching the Devils play the Senators, the game had just started, and the score was holding steady at 0 - 0. Thanks, kid. It's good to be informed. Meanwhile I'm sitting here drinking a beer and eating chips and salsa and thinking about how I SHOULD...BE...WORKING...BUT...I...CAN'T...MOVE..........

24 Hour Party People was loads of fun, by the way. If you didn't see it when it came around, go rent the DVD/video. It was good to see a decent movie for a change after actually paying good money for seats in a theater to watch the horrific dreck that was The Phone Booth. I still have a bad taste in my mouth from that one.

And, in yet more unrelated news, the baby is eating solid food now -- we've kicked things off with bananas -- and, as my friend Dana put it some months ago, "Oh yeah, I remember, solid food = solid poop."

I guess that's enough sharing for now.

All I can say about it is that some people will do amazingly stupid things in an attempt to deflect blame from themselves. I'm flabbergasted. And really pissed off.

Sunday, May 11, 2003

THAT day

I've never been all that fond of mothers' day to begin with, but now that I've achieved motherhood status I especially don't like it. Before it was just a matter of remembering to call your mother (and in my case, your stepmother as well). Now everyone on the planet seems to want to wish ME a happy mothers' day if I happen to leave my house with any child in tow. I hate it that the Sprint PCS information operator wished me a happy mothers' day ("if you're a mother" she said. I felt like smacking her), and that the first place we went to for brunch (and bailed on) was packed with mother-daughter dress-wearing bourgeoisie and a scary Little Bo Peep clown.

Mostly I hate that this day is now just a painful reminder of mothers' day two years ago, when Polly collapsed on the kitchen floor and was rushed to the hospital, and we learned of the brain tumors, and everything changed. I spent the day two years ago not calling her, for the first time in 21 years or so, because I knew there was something wrong and I was afraid to talk to her on the phone. The day before had been my sister's graduation from acupuncture school. Polly had arrived wearing some sort of long-sleeved wool getup, and I asked her aren't you hot in that? It was an exceptionally hot day in Boston, for May. And she just smiled wanly at me and didn't reply. She hardly spoke all day. That evening she drove us to the restaurant but forgot what she was doing and started heading back towards her house before my dad gently reminded her which direction to go. Weird things like that had been happening for a few weeks. She seemed distant, quiet, maybe even angry, definitely not herself, but if you asked her what was wrong she always said "nothing." We all sat stiff and anxious in our chairs, watching her study the menu while the waiter cocked his head, anticipating her order, which never came. Finally she managed to get some words out -- I think she ordered duck. She spent the evening holding her head, looking pale, like she had the worst headache of her life.

Of course, when this kind of shit is going on, no one ever thinks "oh, there must be a growth in her brain that is impeding her speech center!" Instead, you think she's angry, she's nuts, she's lost it, there's something wrong with her mentally.

But if we had only known.

We found out too late, though, and three weeks later she was dead.

OK, so that was a downer of a post, and I'm sorry. On a happier note, I ordered "Brian's Favorite" for brunch at the Austin Diner, and when the waitress came to the table and said "Brian's Favorite?" and I said "Yes!" well, it was just priceless. You had to be there. Brian's Favorite, by the way, is scrambled eggs mixed with cheese and bacon bits, a biscuit and a side of grits. It was righteous.

Friday, May 09, 2003


It's so obvious, it's almost embarrassing. I am:

Switzerland -
A neutral power for as long as most can remember,
it has avoided war for several centuries.
However, it is still considered highly advanced
and a global power.





Powerful without Force.

Makes Excellent Watches, Etc.


Target of Ridicule.

Constant Struggle to Avoid Conflict.

Target of Criminal Bank Accounts.

Which Country of the World are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thanks to Jack.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

21 lb 8 oz

No wonder my shoulders are killing me all the time, I've been lugging a monster around with me. Javier is six months old today and weighs plenty more than either of his brothers did at their 12 month check-ups. The shots sucked, but he recovered fairly quickly, and then fell into a deep, Tylenol-assisted sleep. Apparently when he woke up he had the best day EVER at day care, and couldn't stop laughing and smiling. So go figure.


We stopped for pizza tonight after checking out the local karate classes (Jack is extremely interested). I told Jack I delivered pizza once.

Jack: How old were you?
Me: Oh, it was a long time ago, I was 19 or so.
J: Before I was born?
M: Yep, long before you were born.
J: Yeah, I was a negative baby then.

I love this kid.

At the karate class he was reading the backs of the kids' uniforms and providing a play-by-play: "Sydney is fighting Jessica. Xavier is all done, he's going to sit down now. That's Jessie, she's wearing a red helmet..." And then doing math problems at the pizza place, just for fun. Subtracting the number of slices from the total number of slices in the pie. That sort of thing.

Yeah, he's wicked smart for a five year old.


In other news: Working full time and raising three kids is really fucking hard. I'm going to bed now.



Uh Huh

Working from home in your underwear totally ROCKS.

Of course, later I have to take the baby in for his six month checkup where he will get stuck with needles and cry like a banshee, and that will really not rock. But for now I'm half naked, eating a cinammon raisin english muffin and doing my work. Not bad.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003


Yeah, I hated that template. Red and grey...all wrong. Actually, I have more ambitious design ideas for this site, and the upcoming photography site, but I need to learn a few things first...but still, had to change to green. Green is where it's at.

Would you like a poem? Of course you would.


Silence is a shape that has passed.
Otu-bre's lion-roses have turned to paper
And the shadows of the trees
Are like wrecked umbrellas.

The effete vocabulary of summer
No longer says anything.
The brown at the bottom of red
The orange far down in yellow,

Are falsifications from a sun
In a mirror, without heat,
In a constant secondariness,
A turning down finality --

Except that a green plant glares, as you look
At the legend of the maroon and olive forest,
Glares, outside of the legend, with the barbarous green
Of the harsh reality of which it is part.

- Wallace Stevens
May Daze

Worrying, for no good reason, can just eat a person right up. And really, there is nothing to worry about. Life is complicated. Love is complicated. But all that really matters is whatever is happening RIGHT NOW. Not what happened yesterday, and not what you think might happen in five years, and not what would have happened if you'd stayed home from the party or applied to Harvard or failed to notice that your two year old was perched next to an open window on a fast-moving ferry 20 feet above the surface of the cold, grey, Atlantic in the middle of March. Worry is pointless. Being, living, breathing, accepting, delighting, suffering, playing, what matters. Why is it that this simple lesson is so far out of reach, so much of the time?

Here comes Mother's Day, and I'm thinking about my stepmother Polly who died two short years ago at the end of May. I'd like to get this month over with and just move on to June. Here's an excerpt from something I wrote about it:

Smooth and handsome Dr. Park, brain surgeon, meets us in a tiny room. We squeeze together to hear the news – it’s malignant. I watch as he describes the tumor as being like a starfish, a spider, extending it’s tendrils deep into her brain tissue, impossible to cleanly remove without removing precious brain. He splays his hand to demonstrate. It feels almost unkind, this gesture. I see in a flash how every new tumor is for him a chance to improve his skills, a chance to be a better doctor, a good thing. He talks about radiation, chemo, oncologists. Three to five years tops. This is what he tells us. We cry and eat our sandwiches and wander around the hospital, lost stars. Then she is in recovery and we come to see her, watch her fingers wander up to her scalp, touching the bare patches, feeling the bandages. It’s really only two more weeks to go. None of us knows this.

I miss her.

Friday, May 02, 2003


Wow, talk about withdrawal. I'm so glad to be back.

Bluebonnet season is basically the cacti are blooming.

Texas is pretty.