a few thoughts

No trip to the homeland this fall.  I’m too tired and my health a little too wobbly to take a four hour flight with a toddler.  This would then be followed of days of Austin’s famously crap weather and trudging with the Moo on Austin’s equally famed shitty public transit.  No thanks.  I’m tired and I want a vacation where I can rest.  I want to be able to walk out my door and be at a cafe in under five minutes and a playground in ten.  Austin doesn’t offer that really anywhere save maybe if you live in that golden zone right by Quacks and Shipe Park.  

So, no trip right now.  That’s ok, I have plenty of things here to entertain me.  Doula work.  I just trained as a full-spectrum doula.  This is a whole new group I’m working with and not nearly so professional in character.  It’s far more stupidly political in character, actually.  At the training, there was a very angry lesbian who reminded us constantly of the fact she is a lesbian (look, lady, wrong crowd to work anger on – quite frankly, you love who you love and that’s cool.  I don’t think one way or another about it, but I do think you are a raving bitch, and that’s free of your sexual identity).  Another, during the meeting the other day when we had our meet-and-greet found out I had been a linguist in Sierra Leone.  She perked up (she is a young woman with ironically thick-rimmed glasses and a recent ethnic studies degree.  she is also whiter than me) and thought she had met a kindred spirit.  She asked me about the complications of race and privilege.  I responded that I actually found the white people I was with to be racists and I didn’t think too much about it when I was there.  I was more struck by the material privilege than anything racial and I was hella struck by how fucking nice every single person was there compared to the average surly ass nose-in-their-ass hipster.  At least, that’s what I said to her (I didn’t think of hipsters when there, but did sure as hell notice how it felt like every person I met when I got sick in SL was pretty keen to make sure I was ok, which was a matter of privilege, but I was too sick at the time to appreciate that, being sick and all).  I just found her obnoxious.  I find this overarching ass-kissing tendency of young I-want-to-save-the-world liberals annoying beyond words.  But, fuck it, the girl is doing something, as is Ms. I’m-gonna-kick-your-ass-angry-lesbian.  I’m more frustrated by people who don’t do shit and complain all the time.  

And, I can never say I’m bored even if every woman in the bay area decided no more babies.  I have my own Chicken to take care of.  The kid who ate broccoli, kale and zucchini tonight without any prompting.  Who ate my California rolls this weekend with relish.  The girl who eats and eats and loves anything that is food.  Maybe I’m raising the next Alice Waters or Julia Child, but I’ll take it if she simply grows up and can make a good meal out of anything and likes to eat good healthy food.  

She’s also a pirate for Halloween.  With sword, boots, etc.  She’s mega-cute in her outfit and I can’t wait for the carnival in our neighborhood.  While I’m not looking forward to the setup (no doubt it will exhaust me as everything does these last few days post death-flu), I am looking forward to hanging with the neighborhood moms and seeing the kid’s costumes.

Oh yeah, and the Hurricane flooding NYC is depressing as hell.  As is human stupidity.  And both presidential candidates that could win (and, quite frankly, that liber.tarian nutter as well).  But there is good food, good friends and work.  There is Mia.  That’s enough to make the world seem ok.




Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I think a list of what Mia likes and does is in order.  It’s frivolous, but I like taking a brief account after so many entries of despair and darkness..

so, without further adieu….

What Mia…


1) Her new favorite hoodie. I picked it for the obvious reason I love my bike, although I am still unable to ride it. I didn’t, however, consider, that I was helping turn my daughter into a hipster by doing so – on the upside, the best cafe close to me has a bike shop in the back and when I come in with Mia in this hoodie, I get high fives. I can imagine a few of my adult friends would like one of these.

2) these shoes of cuteness I got them on a big sale after she doused her last shoes in poop.


1) beets, lots of beets. in her mouth, in her tummy, on her tummy, on her hands and on the floor

2) smoked salmon.

3) blueberries (which she has learned, so I now spell out)

4) mushrooms

5) olives (she regularly goes for any olive she sees… I’m only glad we haven’t been around any dirty martinis as of late)

6) anything, really, other than uncooked greens, raw onions or cucumbers.


1) The Little Red Hen seems to be a big favorite

2) Good Night Gorilla

3) Moo Baa La La La


1) scoots on her butt still

2) climbs playscapes a little too fearlessly for her mother’s worrywart nature

3) keeps throwing balls after the cats, causing the fat one to lose a bit of weight from the pure anxiety Mia has caused her of late

listens to:

1) Bob Marley, forever and ever

2) seems to like Bach, which warms my little Baroque music loving soul

3) Beck makes her dance every time

4) “Raisins and Almonds” – a good lullaby that is a really sweet old Yiddish lullaby. Originally ‘Rosinen und Mandeln’, of course. As this is her good night song, I shall end the post with the lyrics of the version I sing to her:

“To my little one’s cradle in the night
Comes a goat snowy and white
The goat will trot to the market
While mother her watch does keep
Bringing back raisins and almonds
Sleep, my little one, sleep”

Link | Posted on by | Leave a comment

a brief commentary on san francisco

Read this: Dumb hipster kid thinks sf sucks for my reply to make sense.

5) The Filth:

In reply: dear dumb shit, most of the city doesn’t smell like pee. SOMA does, the Mission does, and parts of the Financial District, North Beach and Chinatown do. Guess what? There is more to San Francisco than the hipster and uber tourist parts of the city. I live in a pretty nice part of the city that isn’t even way out near the ocean. There’s no pee and no shit and no trash on the street. I don’t live in a neighborhood full of rich people and we even have hip coffee shops nearby. You obviously never went to anywhere in the city but the Mission, which is not much of a surprise given your writing ability.

4) Misguided community support:

You mostly write about the fact that a few trains were shut down because some morons were protesting a pimp who had a gun while confronting the police. A few things: one, these people do suck for shutting down the train system. They seem to forget working class folks are trying to get the fuck to work, too. Two, most people here don’t agree with these idiots and, quite frankly, the SF cops have only shot one person in five fucking years I’ve lived in SF and he had a gun. But, we also let people have their say here – we don’t shut people down just because we disagree with them. City supervisors went out to sit with Occupy SF one night when the cops threatened to shut them down. Maybe you want to go live somewhere where the people that don’t agree with the majority are arrested and shut away and not allowed to speak. Well, you can pretty much move anywhere else in the US or the world and that is true.

3) The Anarchy

Look, I don’t really want people to be arrested for being mentally ill. I DO wish there were people who would come or better systems of support and treatment for folks like this. I know that Americans are really uncomfortable seeing the mentally ill or knowing how to deal with it. I personally am freaked out when there is a fight or something near my kid. I moved to a part of the city where this stuff doesn’t occur to deal with my anxiety, but not so much to deal with the fact these people are ill and should be treated, not cuffed and stuffed. We need better services here and a more sympathetic set of citizens that will fucking do something when things like this happen.

2) The Public Dongs

Again, only in two parts of the city – mostly the Castro (except during Folsom Street Fair, when the ‘S’ in Soma should stand for schlong). Again, SF is kind of an insane experiment in ultimate human freedom. Go the fuck away if you can’t deal with it. It’s a naked man, not a violent crime (of which we have plenty of as well, but you don’t mention this once). I assume you, too, have a penis, so I’m not sure why you are so freaked out about seeing another one – I mean, you did know upon moving here that San Francisco had lots of gay men right? You have heard of the Castro, the movie Milk for which Sean Penn won an Academy Award… I mean, if you are so stupid you didn’t realize this, I doubt you are smart enough to earn enough money to pay rent here, which probably explains why you are now in LA.

1) The Access to Horrifying Food

There’s lots of really stupid food here – Mission Chinese’s Kung Pao Pastrami hitting the top of my list. But, this is also the home of Delfina, Farina, FLour and Water, State Bird Provisions (which is in a part of the city that doesn’t smell like pee or have naked people) and a zillion great restaurants of many many varieties. Yes, there are douchebag food items here, but somehow they seem to mostly be in the Mission (although there is also a ton of great food there too). Again, it seems to correspond with the fact you only seem to have been in the Mission. Since LA is a city full of douchebags, I am sure you will fit in well there. Good luck and enjoy the smog!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

on eating and songs in my head

On eating:

I recently read French Kids Eat Everything.  I know most people have a clue on how to raise their kids and feed them well, but I don’t have the first idea.  I am making things up as I go along, as I have pretty much negative models to go on, and with food, that is no exception.  So, although as an adult, I can make good food and eat a balanced and healthy diet that is full of delicious and wonderful dishes, many of my own creation, I don’t have the first clue how to raise a child to eat well.

I thought the advice is pretty good – mostly common sense, fortunately, a good reinforcement of the lessons I learned from taking care of Boom and Bang all those years ago in Berlin (whose mother was a stickler about them eating well and being polite).  Yes, sit down for meals together (although now it’s mostly Mia and myself, and various friends that pass through or come over).  Cook everything at home (well, yes, I love cooking, even if only for an infant’s pleasure).  Like many other books on eating well, the solutions are all very common sensical to those who are raised well.

It doesn’t matter too much, I suppose, worrying at this point – if the food is delicious in any way, Mia eats it.  Even a fig she rejected and threw off of her tray today (and which I forgot to pick up), she found and munched down later.  The only vegetables she has ever outright rejected were the rather terrible things on the plate on the train yesterday – I myself could barely choke them down, so how can I blame a 13 month old for refusing to eat something that tasted like it had come out of an expired tin can?

On songs in my head:

I was warned before mine and Chicken’s trip to Disneyland last week that “It’s a Small World” would get stuck in my head.  I wish.  Instead, I had “Under the Sea” stuck in my head for a day and a half afterwards, due to my traveling companion’s young daughter’s desire to go on a Little Mermaid ride.

I realized in a migraine induced haze somewhere on the 101 (I opted to stay in LA for an extra day with Mia than try to brave the seven hour ride the rest of the way to SF), that almost my entire life there has been music playing in my head.  Random bits of everything I’ve ever heard, from the worst pop to the most beautiful bits of Bach, play through at the best and worst moments of life.  Most people in my life have their own special song, if not multiple songs, associated with them.  My dear K will forever have ‘Dear Prudence’ associated with her, for example.

When Mia was born, I had no song in my head.  I think the long trial of labor, where the only song was a long deep moan through each contraction (possibly the most musical moments of my life) and then the shock of surgery, killed the music.  Then, a few days after her birth, I was going through random songs on the iPad I had never listened to before, and found Tim Buckley.  Two songs into the album, which I had heard, but never paid attention to before, was ‘Buzzin’ Fly’.  That song was exactly how I felt about the most beautiful creature I had given birth to, to the person who had made me feel, at last, that I had found a home.  I still don’t really have a home, no real solid place that feels like home.  Home, for me, is the place I share with Mia, whether this rather cold apartment, or the depressing hotel room off of the 101 in LA where she and I spent Saturday night.  Home is the thing I must create, everywhere I go with her.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

things are better when food is better

and when one has a certain amount of say again.  I like living on my own (with Mia) in that I have control over things again, but wish I had more social time with adults than I usually do.  

I’m sorry for those who read the last entry in their RSS feeds and got very worried.  I’m okay.  I’m sorry that I am so busy from the time I rise to when I go to bed that I don’t have a few minutes to call.  I remember every week or month when I need to call or contact someone.  It happens within a month unless it is the project I am volunteering on or a mom I am working with as they deliver their wee one.  

Ach, oh well.

Interesting things in my life: unlike most mothers of young ones, I have time to read when I am not tired beyond belief.  It is a side benefit of still having physical therapy appointments all the way across the city (still for when I was hit by the car) and therapist visits and a regular reliable lovely babysitter (C is the best!  There is some wonderful charm to the French I never realized until when I lived in Berlin and knew several lovely French people – C seals the deal with me for liking the French) – due to these appointments and errands, I get the luxury* of a bus ride that takes awhile, or a fifteen minute wait in a cafe or a lunch out and time to pull out a book.  I’m still not feeling highly brain developed these days (Volume 1 of The Diary of Anais Nin felt a little much to process), but parenting books of better stripes are good reads. 

During these relatively luxurious* moments, I’ve been reading French Kids Eat Everything.  I like it.  It makes me appreciate the French more and makes me stop despairing so much about Mia’s future dietary habits.  My little love eats everything now – she had lamb with carrots and mushrooms, beet paste, some dark heavy German bread and an apricot for dinner.  The night before she was wolfing down harticot verts and the night before that she was taking pleasure in asparagus and demanding more.  

If anyone is worried about their babies/kids’ eating habits, I really recommend this book.  It has nice easy “rules” (really recommendations) to follow about how to train kids to eat well (a lot of positive discipline, really, concerning eating).  It gives me hope I can handle it when Mia hits her picky phase.

I’ve also been cooking better and eating better.  I took Mia to a rock festival this weekend.  This weekend we’re going to Disneyland with friends.  Things are looking up.**

*”luxury” is a weird term to use when describing Muni.  It doesn’t outright smell like pee or anything but there ARE holes in the middle of every seat that seem like a drain.  I also walked forty-five minutes tonight on Divisadero and didn’t see one bus where they usually run every five to seven minutes.  Ach, well.

**up enough.  Ok is good enough right now.



Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

beyond life and death or Mia at 13 months

Mia can climb playscapes now.  With serious and great effort but with no fear of being four feet above the ground.  Thus her mother has to stand next to her without trying to hover and make her afraid, but close enough that she doesn’t plunge headfirst off the damned thing.

She speaks pretty clearly sometimes.  One word at a time, but when her loathed* father comes to the door, she screams ‘dada’.  She chases the cats with shrill screams of ‘gigi! gigi’ (kitty kitty!)   I realize that most babies say mama first, but I’ve deflected attention from myself and no one has felt the need to point out what I am called to Mia.  She can feed herself with a spoon and is figuring out how to do it correctly.  

Her father’s and my relationship is beyond dead.  He’s an abusive ass who’s managed to cause enough damage to my left arm that I can’t easily carry the 25 lb Mia very easily.  He also seemed to find it amusing yesterday that Mia slipped in my arms and hit her head on a door frame.  She slipped due to having to be careful with my left arm.  As she wailed in my arms, he smirked and said it was funny that I wasn’t paying enough attention to her that she hit her head.**

I am searching for a housemate.  If anyone knows of anything in the bay area, I’m all ears.  I’m still travelling soon just to get away from here with Mia and try to recover some semblance of self-confidence and happiness again.  

*loathed is a gentle way to put it.  a polite way.  i can think of many impolite things i wish to call him

** Mia bonks her head a lot these days anyway – she wriggles out of my arms or around in them all the time.  Even if both of my arms were functional, she would be bonking her head a bit.  She bonks her head slipping backwards, no matter how carefully I watch her.  Don’t babies just do that?  If not, I’m all ears as to how to prevent it.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

confluence of life and death and things life changing

Let’s start with life – I have a birth client (volunteer) who’s labor seems never ending.  I’m glad my own was somewhat short.

Life changing – a friend went through a life changing event she has looked forward to all of her forty three years.  I can’t believe it has finally happened, but I am so happy for her.  I’ll go see her in the hospital tomorrow. 

Death – a friend is dying a most agonizing death.  I have no doubt he is facing it with the dignity and sense of humor with which he lived his life.  I wish I could say goodbye face to face, but instead I will light a candle and keep him in my thoughts and in my heart as his begins this final portion of his mortal journey.

So I’m having a bit of a heavy day.  I’ll see my little one again tonight and hold her tight and be glad for my life.


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment