Friday, November 30, 2007

Late Night

When I used to be up late, Jon was the one I would call. He was in California, and three hours earlier. I could stay up late from a caffeine high, or nerves, or fear of New York, or whatever, and I could call Jon and talk to him about just about anything without fear of judgement. He was my friend and guardian angel. And he was awake. That in itself was perhaps the most important virtue. He was awake and far-away, a disembodied voice in the darkness, in the privacy of my tiny studio apartment the size of a dollhouse.

And Jon was the one I would write to in letters, pen on paper, an old art form we used to practice before electronic mail had buzzed into consciousness. Yes, my computer is buzzing at me. The dark chocolate I keep sneaking out of the drawer, my not-so-secret stash, is buzzing in me. But otherwise the house is quiet. Aaron is asleep. Jon is out at an office holiday party with Sophie. Aaron was sick today so he and I stayed home. It's almost 9:30 so I guess they are having a good time. I hope Jon is playing his guitar. When I hear him playing guitar, it's like hearing his voice through the telephone. Far away, but a voice melodious in the otherwise quiet dark, intensely private, like your blood coursing through you.

It was quite something for us to come together. Through the darkness and distance, from disembodied to body. From paper and pen and licked envelopes to blood and oil and sweat and vapors; to life.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

No Comment

How the heck do you get comments on these things anyway? I suppose I could start by sending the link to people I know. Also by checking out other blogs and commenting on them. That's what I was told. I guess people don't just find you automatically. Oh, well.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Leaf Change

In California, fall isn't like it is on the east coast. Most years, a line-up of maples planted along half a block get a little giddy and turn a pretty orange. If I limit my field of vision to just that section of street and squint my eyes, and it's an overcast day that highlights the color, I can imagine it's a real fall. I have a good imagination. But I keep walking and it's over too soon.

This year, however, it really feels like fall! It looks like fall! It smells like fall! I'm happy. On Thanksgiving Day, two men were standing in front of our house photographing the tree across the street with the longest lens I've ever seen. It was about two feet long. I finally asked them what they were doing, and the photographer answered he'd never seen a tree with red, orange and gold leaves. I'm glad I'm from the east coast. I'm glad I know what true fall is. And I'm glad I get to have some of it for real this year in California. Watching the leaves let go of the tree and float down.
My feet crunching them as I walk. The kids collected them from all around the neighborhood in a bag like they were gold. And they are.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


Five years ago today, Jon decided out of the blue to make lobster for dinner. When I told him I thought I was in labor (3 1/2 weeks early) he said, "You can't be in labor--I'm making lobster."

Right then that lobster was the ugliest thing I'd ever seen and the last thing on earth I wanted to eat.

Everybody's tired today. We had Aaron's birthday party a week ago, and stuff during the week, and by the time the real birthday came it kind of felt over. We went for a little expedition around the neighborhood with his new strap-on microscope, and then went out bowling, some presents and another cake (a mini one). But the kids were bickering and the grown-ups (that's us) both fell asleep on the floor and the couch around lunchtime like old people.

But when I think back to labor, it was only starting. We still had four hours to go. It was exciting giving birth to Aaron -- fast and action-packed. It was my second time so I was more excited than nervous, and held court in the living room till I really had to go to the hospital, where I just made it up the elevator and into a room and he came shooting out a few minutes later at 10:15 pm.

This morning I woke up bleeding, my body remembering letting go of him. I've felt like I've been about to get my period for the last two weeks and didn't know why but now it makes sense. Five years is definitely a milestone and the final vestiges of toddlerhood -- the size 4T clothing -- is cleared out. I feel it in my body. Everything's always been so physical with him. When he was born, I hardly needed to look at him right away, just hold him to know who he was. (I had dreamed we looked each other right in the eyes weeks before and knew him that way already.) During his bris, I started to cramp up. Before he was born he used to kick me in the same spot in the belly all the time. He reminds me that I live in my body, here on earth.

Next week we are hosting Thanksgiving, and my sister Dana and her husband Adam are driving up from L.A. Jon and Dana decided between them to make a lobster Thanksgiving dinner instead of the traditional turkey (which Dana doesn't eat anyway). It will be the first time in five years they will be cooked in our home and I wonder if I will want to eat one this time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Are you here to be obnoxious?

I'm stalling, I know it. The dishes are in the sink and it's almost 10pm. But then again, I've been stalling on my blog during the day, spending time picking background colors but writing nothing. I'm used to my thoughts being private. I'm used to rambling, rambling.

My two kids are loud, so loud. Aaron's always loud. Today they were both loud. They kept singing songs in the middle of dinner instead of eating. But they're asleep now, beautiful and quiet. I look at their faces, even when they're making a lot of noise, and they're incredibly beautiful, with light and life shining out of their faces.

One day Sophie came in my room when I was getting dressed. Then she came in again and again asking questions and needing me to do this and that, so that I couldn't ever get fully dressed. Finally when she came back again, I asked her, "Do you really need something right now or are just here to be obnoxious?"

She took this question and ran with it. The next thing I knew, she was performing a song, no, a whole musical it seemed, titled, "Are you here to be obnoxious?" She threw back her head. She added air guitar. She jumped around on the bed. Then she taught it to Aaron, who added his own flavor (namely, "Are you here to throw up? Blahhhhhh!) It had song, it had dance, it could be jumped up and performed at any moment and for any crowd. It was the answer to a question, and therefore was above reproach.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

First Post 11/8/07

I'm not sure where I am because this doesn't look like my spiral-bound notebook. I am not sure where this will end up. I want it to stay private for now, and I'm not sure if I have set it up correctly, or if that feature is available on this blogger site.

I've been reading Anna Quindlen's essays Life In the 30's, which is not about the decade, but about being in her '30's. I am no longer in my 30's. She sounds so wise, like she has really thought things through, though I know that for a writer, it is the process of writing that "thinks things through."

There's a yoga class in 35 minutes so I have to decide whether to go or whether to stay home and really I want to just stay home and rest and write. There are so few days when I can. So few of quiet and peace. Last night was Family Connections Authors' Night, so my volunteer obligations for that are finished, except for a debrief final meeting and party Monday night next week. It was the first year I didn't buy a bunch of books and wait in line for them to be signed. I'll have to visit Linden Tree with the kids. They apply the contributions to FC for the rest of the month, according to Dennis. They won't be signed, but that's okay. Maybe I'll get lucky and they'll have book plates. I didn't actually meet the authors this time. It felt like enough to just be there, and be involved. Each author had so many books! Not sure how to choose, so didn't know how to go about it last night anyway.

I called Mary E. before starting this, just to let someone know what I was doing in case my computer exploded and I was found slumped before the screen. I haven't posted yet, so I don't know what will happen or how quite to do these settings. Can this be just a personal journal for me until I'm ready to make it something else??

I'm sure Jon will find something I've done wrong with it. I can change the settings later, or delete the whole thing if I want. Maybe I'll start taking my laptop with me if I'm going to be doing this. Though I wonder if I have to be online to write a post, if I can just post it when I get home? I like being at home lately. I'm glad I moved the desk around. It was a hassle for Jon. I'd still prefer the computer against the wall. I think. I'm not sure. Maybe I should have tried it out as a laptop first to get a feel for it before moving around all the darn wires. Hmmm. It's all a feel thing for me, not a map on paper. That organizer person who cold-called me was a rip-off. Way, way too expensive and I didn't really want her here once I thought about. So I feel like I kind of wasted my money and time, but she did suggest the idea of turning the desk around, even if we didn't pursue it that day and she drew up plans another way which are useless to me now, so maybe it wasn't a complete waste of time.

I "bought" some consulting services from WNBA members last weekend at the Fall Preview of Books (I think that's what they still called it). I get an hour with Joan Gelfand and another hour with Teresa Le Yeung Ryan. Let's make them useful! It would be good for me to be accountable to someone!

Let's try this post thing now....