Friday, March 16, 2012



So before I got married (the first time), my BFF put together a lovely scrapbook featuring photos from our years of being friends which was all of them. Literally. Our parents were friends before we were born, and we've been friends since before we can remember. 

Someday I will post the entire scrapbook here because it is a colorful homage to friendship and fashion, where by "fashion" I mean "I can't believe I left the house dressed like that from ages 11–20." 

If those aren't the worst sunglasses ON BOTH OF US, well. I DARE you to find me a picture of what worse sunglasses could possibly look like. 

For the record, my sunglasses folded up completely and fit into a tiny square box. OH MY GOD 80'S ARE YOU SERIOUS?



Those stupid fake flowers in the background of this and the "loud" photo are hilarious to me. I bought them as an "impulse purchase" from Pottery Barn about 13 years ago. I stuck them in a little metal pot in the den of my first house with my first husband. I liked the way they looked then, and I still do. They have come a long way.

Just thought I'd point that out.

Oh, also? My son looks exactly like me.

March Photos of the Day: Days 9-14

I am just going to have to cram all kinds of pictures into this post, because I haven't been keeping up with blogging even though I have been taking my monthly photos diligently!

Given that I once tried to participate in National Blog Posting Month and failed after like 4 days, I think I should get a prize.

Here are some pictures from my life, completely out of order.

Day 13 - A Sign
Probably people got really creative and artistic and inspirational with this one and instead I took one because the "THICK & ROUGH" made me giggle. The store was out of my regular oatmeal, and, well, I don't know. Probably this isn't funny to anyone but me. Those are just some really assertive adjectives for oats.

Day 10 - Loud
This is a photo of my Sonos. It is a speaker, kind of like a BOSE, that allows you to play music from any portable device. It integrates with your iTunes library and with Pandora. IT IS AMAZING. My Sonos app is totally easy to use, and it's just magical. Here, let me swipe, touch, and then listen to all the music ever. 

Day 11 - Someone You Talked To Today
This is my parents' favorite picture of my parents. It hangs on my wall wherever I go. They were, quite evidently, groovy and hip and happy. And while maybe not aloud, I definitely talk to them everyday.

Day 12 - Fork
Over the weekend, we hosted a very small, potluck dinner party based on The Hunger Games, somewhat on the insistence of a very particular 13-year-old boy. It ended up being quite a feast that included (because of course it did) lamb stew with dried plums, Katniss' favorite.

The bowl was for the stew. The napkin was filled with goodies, kind of like a parachute. The orange card had quotes on them, and we each went around guessing who said what.

It was quite a nerd-fest: real or not real?

Day 9 - Red
I've had a love/hate relationship with my stylist since moving to Napa. She is a little on the nutty side and I think she's a hoot...but every time I visit her and ask for something "funky" or hip, she gives me slightly blonder highlights or slightly shorter bangs. This is a soccer mom kind of town, and I don't think she gets that I am clinging desperately to a stylish version of myself (that maybe never even existed) that could pass as a city-dwelling internet startup person.

So I wound up going to the local beauty academy to get the funk I have been seeking.

This was happening when I walked in. It's as if he knew the photo-prompt of the day was "red." TOTALLY AWESOME.

But actually, the "red" photo I wanted to take was/is this:

Yep. I'm now totally Gwen-esque platinum save for a crazy hot-pink streak. And I love it.

Lastly, because that's six whole pictures that don't feature my children, I present to you "Day 14 - Clouds":

Running in the rain. To clarify, she's gleeful, not furious. Fine line. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


This is the view from my bedroom.

The last apartment I lived in in San Francisco overlooked an alley where crackheads would yell at each other and, for a brief couple of days, play the harmonica. It almost made it Steinbeck-y, with the harmonica, until the drugged-out profanity-laced yelling wars took over and the guy with the harmonica left.

I miss the city a lot. I do.

But this isn't so bad.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

"something you wore"


I don't think I've ever written about Jason.

I dated him when we were sophomores in college. He attended the Naval Academy, and he was sweet, and cute, and one of the nicest, most good-hearted people I've ever known.

We talked about getting married but I wasn't serious and he was and when we broke up, it was harder on him than it was on me.

He is the only friend request I've ever made on Facebook that's gone unaccepted.

Jason and I were together while I went through an epic body transformation, the first (and only) (ahem) time I've lost a LOT of weight. It's hard for me to separate my emotional memories of our time together, which was totally wonderful, and my emotional memories of Life As A Thin 20-Year-Old, because it was so different and...novel. I guess the upshot is that I remember those months vividly.

I have hung on to a few small vestiges from that era. My "skinny jeans" collection, if you will. (Except I know better than to save jeans that don't fit.) Instead, I literally have four t-shirts folded in my closet, taking up a tiny bit of space, reminding me of what I once wore and maybe someday will again. And as utterly ridiculous as this sounds, each t-shirt has its own story.

This t-shirt was Jason's. He loaned it to me while I was visiting him over the one summer we were together, and I loved it so much I asked to keep it. Selfishly, I loved it because it was really flattering -- even if, on a hanger in a closet 3,000 miles and 15 years away, it's not much to look at. But I also loved it because it was his. He was my boyfriend and he was cute and he worked out and had a stocky wrestler's build and the more big and masculine he was the more petite and girly I felt.

And I liked feeling that way.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

"5 PM"

"5 PM"
Where the magic happens.

Someday, there will be stuff on the walls and everything I do/use/look at won't be crammed onto desk space.


Monday, March 05, 2012

"a smile"

Ask a toddler to smile...

"a smile"



Maybe someday I'll post real pictures of the inside of our house, like when everything we own isn't a complete hodgepodge of furniture covered in baby toys and cat hair. You know, in like two decades.

Here's what you're looking at for the photo inspired by "bedside."

This is Ish's side of the bed, exactly as I found it on Sunday morning at 7:38 a.m.

A. We have textured walls throughout our house. This is sort of an homage to...I don't know? Adobe style homes? Napa is weird. Eclectic. There's agricultural influence, so some "farmhouse" style, and outside/inside decor, and "barrel room," and general "California." And also Mexico? I really don't get it, but the creamy yellow is nice.

B. This is Ish's pile of books, in front of Ish's pile of New Yorkers. Your first question is going to be, "Did you read Infinite Jest?" And the answer is no. Did Ish? No. He started it months ago, and refuses to give it up. He just keeps chipping away at it the way a man makes his way through a 32-ounce steak. His lack of enthusiasm does not inspire me. Perhaps you feel differently?

C. Baby monitor.

D. This is what we use as our bedside table; there's one on each side of the bed. They are a pair of "dressers" from Ikea that Ish got for his "Bachelor (Again) Pad" in SF. They are made of very durable cardboard with a layer of textured plastic stapled over it. Better Homes & Gardens will be calling any moment.

E. This is Snow White Barbie. I don't know why she's naked. I don't know why her head is turned 180-degrees from where it should be. I don't know why she's laying atop the radio in some sort of ├╝ber-creep stiff Exorcist-like repose.

F: Fun-Fact! BOSE radios can only be operated by their remotes. When you have things like "children" you lose things like "remotes." I suppose we could order a replacement remote, but what's the fun in KNOWING what hour it actually is? I prefer to be perpetually confused and surprised.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

"your neighborhood"

Today's prompt was "your neighborhood" and, in case it's not ridiculously self-explanatory, here is a picture I took while walking with Eve. Through our neighborhood. Because sometimes I don't need to get creative with interpretations.


Taken at the ever-lovely Ma(i)sonry in Yountville, CA

Last Saturday, I got to go on a wine tasting tour with Ish, all because of this crazy blog.

Not because some company came to me and asked, but because the funniest, sweetest, cleverest woman with the best taste in bloggers EVER found this little website several years ago and, well. We became internet friends. And then Kristin had this brilliant idea to visit Napa during a girls weekend in San Francisco, and she invited Ish and me to tag along with her and her two super awesome girl friends.

Which of course we did because wouldn't you?

The trip was amazing. And I'm not just saying that to be nice. I'm saying that because I've done a lot of stuff around here -- from the super-touristy to the super-hidden -- and this was absolutely awesome.

Next time you're thinking of coming to Napa, please consider using Vin Ambassador as your guide. We had fantastic wines...
Round Pond Winery

...great views...

O'Brien vineyards

...a "hidden" private lunch catered by Napa Style (Michael Chiarello's shop & sandwich place, a side-shoot of Bottega) that involved truffle potato chips...

The sandwiches were great. But.

 and a guide you will adore with the best stories ever.


Happy Kristin! (Not the best portrait ever, but I think it captures the moment.)

Friday, March 02, 2012

"Slut Shaming"

In case you don't want to read my opinions on the matter, scroll down to watch the most jaw-dropping video ever, of an adolescent girl discussing "slut shaming."

I've long felt our country is bi-polar when it comes to ideas of sex and sexuality. Boiled down, I think that our overwhelming philosophy is that sex is dirty and bad and sinful, until or unless you're having sex with your spouse. Whereupon, magically, sex is supposed to be loving and wonderful and magical and -- maybe, on occasion -- fun.

We have unhealthy and unrealistic views about what's okay and what's not, and everything is made a thousand times more complex by how media represents "sexuality." 

Mostly, it seems to me that women who are openly sexual are not respected. Are found to be unworthy of respect because of their sexuality. 

I have wanted to blog about this forever, but I get in my own way. I seem unable to be articulate and unclear about what my point is. 

Rush Limbaugh calling Sandra Fluke a slut sort of pushed me to the edge, though. 

Here's an excerpt from today's HuffPo:

Rush Limbaugh doubled down on his incendiary comments about Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law student who was denied the right to speak at a contraception hearing, during his Friday. 
The conservative radio host sparked outrage on Wednesday when he called Fluke "a slut" and "a prostitute." He alleged that she was "having so much sex" that she couldn't afford contraception.
He went further the next day, adding, "if we're going to pay for your contraceptives and thus pay for you to have sex, we want something for it. We want you to post the videos online so we can all watch."

And, since I discovered this video several months ago, I'm glad to have a reason to post it. It shocked me. SHOCKED. I don't know how a 13-year-old becomes so poised, so articulate, so confident as she is about such a tricky subject, but I was blown away. 

And probably when you watch you will be a little uncomfortable, because I was. Because I'm not used to any of these topics being discussed openly at all, let alone by someone so young.

In fact, my gut reaction was "But she...she shouldn't know these things!" Except what I really wish is that 13-year-olds didn't know enough to call each other "sluts" in the first place...which simply isn't the case. 

And so. 


Thursday, March 01, 2012


I have decided to try out this whole "Photo Of The Day" thing an awesome woman started. She goes by @fatmumslim which you probably just read as "Fat Muslim" because I have thought that was her name for at least six months. Until today, when I went to type in her URL and was like, STOP TRYING TO CORRECT IT TO FAT MUM SLIM, GOOGLE! THAT DOESN'T MAKE ANY SENSE!

Except of course, Google was right. (And that is why it is taking over the entire world.) Her name is not "Fat Muslim" she is "Fat Mum Slim" and the latter is, I suppose, more likely to explain her cute blond hair.

The point is, you take a photo every day, following her prompts. Today's March 1 and the prompt is "up."

I submit two photos:

Pulling Himself Up

Townsend, who we mostly call "T" or "TT" is almost 10 months old. He has taken a few steps, even, and clearly wishes it were more. He spends most of his day pulling himself up on anything that sort of seems stationary* and then practically LEAPING from it, in an effort to walk. Mostly he just falls down and then speed-crawls to the next stationary object and repeats the process.

I love this photo because it captures two things. The first being that he is clinging desperately to Virginia's leg to gain purchase; the second being that he has absolutely NO INTEREST in Virginia. His feet, torso, face, and eyes are facing in another direction entirely -- the direction in which he will momentarily catapult himself.

*I say "sort of stationary" because he will try legs, cats, and the Sit-n-Spin to varying degrees of success.

However, the photo I actually tagged as "Up" was this one:

Things Are Looking Up

Because of his unapologetic cute.

And while I know this post makes me seem like a tried-and-true, in-the-trenches MOMBLOGGER, I promise that not all my photos this month will be of my children. And I will resume swearing and saying inappropriate things. Penis.