Sunday, September 30, 2012

Since I'm now an Actor,

(and I understand that the word "actress" is no longer used), I'm going to post a photo of MYSELF each and every day on my blog. Here I am, just after the show, gazing lovingly into the mirror of my Barbie bathroom. My son Oliver is scowling behind me because I left him alone with Dad and Henry and they're so mean to me. Despite his pronouncement the other day that my looks had deteriorated to the point of catastrophe (what happened to you?), my eleven year old is attached to my hip right now in probably the last gasp of mom-love before he morphs into a boy-man like his older brother. It's intense, Readers, being a mother -- particularly when you're also an ACTOR.

(The show went very well, by the way, and was preceded by a fabulous dinner with my dear friends Sally of Maggie World, her friend, an occupational therapist who I felt as if I'd known forever, Heather of Little Wonders, Lisa, who is also a wonderful writer but no longer writes a blog, Denise of  Margaritaville and the Man Who Loves Her. I am so grateful that these beautiful women and one man traveled from their respective homes to come and support me. We drank wine, ate good food and shared many laughs together.)

I've got two shows today and then we break until next weekend. If you're in town, come on out and support twelve amazing mothers in Expressing Motherhood. If you're a teacher, I believe the tickets are half priced today -- a 2:30 matinee and 7:00 evening show.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Not a creature was stirring,

not even two boys, The Husband or Sophie.

Everyone is gone, and I am alone in my house with a bowl of macaroni and cheese and a stack of magazines.

I've dusted and straightened up the house. I've placed papers and bills and mail in tidy piles. I broke up a fight that included punching, flailing, a choke-hold on the bed and much screaming between Oliver and Henry over Henry's "lost" wallet. Accusations flew, blame was placed, the wallet has mysteriously disappeared, despite the fact that it has two one hundred dollar bills in it, bills that I had gently suggested were better off in my safe-keeping, but who listens to their mother?

Sophie went to the park with Saint Mirtha. The boys went to the movies with The Husband.

Still in my pajamas, cross-legged on my bed, I am feeling a bit like a real Hollywood star, taking it easy before the big show.

Excuse me, now. I'm going to rest my eyes.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Right before the show

As per Ms. Moon, I wore eye make-up. I had my eyebrows waxed and my hair cut a tad bit. I wore one of my new bras and a  black shirt with a good neckline and decided that as long as people concentrated on my arched brows and decent cleavage, I would be good to go. In the photo above, my neck looks a bit crepey, but it's actually not so bad. The combination of Mediterranean ancestry and some extra pounds plumps out the skin -- one of the few benefits of carrying extra weight. I wore red heels and a blue, sparkly necklace. Oliver told me that the red shoes "didn't go," and I should "take them off." Henry told me that I looked great, so off I headed to The Banshee Theater in Burbank. I felt good going out there, a bit shaky and nauseous, but I heard some of my dearest friends in the audience, and their raucous laughter quelled my nervousness. All of the women who performed were excellent, and I'm actually excited to do it seven more times! I hope that if you're in the area or live nearby, you'll come out to see us. Go to for ticket information.

And thank you for the sweet texts -- that meant a lot to me!

Still Life with Toy Food

**If you haven't yet, please leave a comment on my last post, directed toward a wonderful doctor who wants to hear from you!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blog Call

Dorothea Lange: House Call, 1939
Farm Security Administration camp unit at Merrill, Oregon
The camp nurse introduces doctor to mother of sick baby.

The other day, I got the following comment on the post titled Gertrude Stein, IEPS, conservatorships and books:

Today I am unlurking myself to you. I have read your blog from start to finish over the last few weeks as I just discovered you via Grady Doctor. I am a fourth year medical student currently applying for residency in child neurology. I would LOVE to hear your advice for a new, naive, idealistic, hopefully soon to be resident about what you need from your doctor and how I can provide that to the parents and children I meet. (Next time you don't have anything to write about, a post in my honor?) J/k. Kind of. Anyhow. Thank you for sharing as I feel I have already learned much about Sophie and what must be many other special needs children like her. Children that I will hopefully be honored to meet and care for.
O.K. I don't know this person, but I love her already, and I hope she's reading this right now!

I love you already!

One of my secret wishes has always been to implement a requirement in medical schools and residency programs that the student spend a good two weeks or more with a family dealing with a child with a medical diagnosis and/or disability. I imagine that person sleeping on the couch and getting up in the night to observe the routines of the parents -- whether that is giving meds to a sleeping infant, suctioning a child, entertaining a child who decides to wake and stay awake at 2:00 in the morning, holding a child while she has a seizure and then sitting next to her for hours, making sure that she's still breathing, etc. I imagine the morning coming and the student continuing to observe -- like a fly on the proverbial wall -- as the family goes about their day, dealing with schools and insurance companies and doctors' visits, and siblings and marriage and everything else.  I believe there are programs like this out there - particularly in the area of diabetes and sickle cell anemia, but I wish that it were standardized because I believe it would give the student incomparable experience and truly affect how she deals with her patients and their families. I think it would not only impact "bedside manner" but also how the doctor makes decisions about treatment and care of the child.  But I digress --

I love the person who wrote the above comment even more for considering a residency in child neurology and have already replied that I hope she'll narrow that down to becoming an epileptologist (there's an incredible shortage of pediatric epileptologists). She'd get to deal with kids like Sophie and parents like ME -- lucky, lucky, lucky!

What I'd like to do in today's post is ask any of you parenting a child with a disability -- or not -- to answer her, share what you need from your doctor or what you wished you might have received from your doctor and perhaps some advice for this "new, naive, idealistic, hopefully soon-to-be resident."

Don't be shy! Here's your chance to influence and affect a new generation! I know that those of you who read here regularly have many different perspectives and experiences, so I hope you'll be candid. As a further incentive to answer, I'm going to either do a live strip tease on Skype or send you some virtual chocolate cupcakes. (Just making sure that you're paying attention)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Hole in the Ceiling

Today is Yom Kippur, the holy day of atonement. I've always thought it a powerful holiday despite not being Jewish. My kids were all home from school, though, and things were far from sober around here. The boys wanted to go upstairs and rummage around our attic which is only reachable by climbing a ladder and then hoisting oneself through a hole in the Barbie bathroom ceiling. I, personally, have never been up there, but I got into the spirit of things by asking Henry to bring me a giant box of photo albums, high school yearbooks and sundry items that I've stored for many, many years.

The photo is a bit blurry, but this is what my bed looks like as I go through it all. When Oliver saw all the photos of me as a teenager and college student, he told me that I looked amazing. He also asked me, What happened to you? I promptly pushed him up the ladder and hoisted him through the hole in the ceiling where I'm having him stay until he's almost fifty years old.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Expressing Motherhood at the Banshee Theater in Burbank

Well, today I rehearsed with twelve other women for this weekend's upcoming Expressing Motherhood show, and it promises to be moving, hilarious, profane and sweet. I hope that if you live in the area, you'll go to the website and buy tickets. The show itself is a blast, but there are plenty of great places to eat in the Burbank neighborhood, so grab some of your friends and make it a night out! There will also be wonderful gift certificates and raffle prizes -- rumor has it that on the last Sunday there will be lots and lots of chocolate. Wine is available at the theater -- I'm debating whether to have a glass or not before I "go on." As for that -- well, yes, I'm terribly nervous. I'm second-guessing what I'll be reading; when I rehearsed today, it was too long, so I'm going to have to cut it down, and even though I know I have to, I hate to do so. I also don't know what I'm going to wear, whether the stage lights will make me look washed out and fat, whether my piece (which is sort of a fluff piece, frankly) will be funny -- you get the gist. Knowing that some of ya'll are out there, though, will be helpful, so if you decide to come, please drop me an email (elsophie AT gmail DOT com).

Buy tickets HERE.

Thank You Vincent Van Gogh

A dear artist friend sent me this charcoal drawing of Vincent Van Gogh's Woman with a Child on Her Lap. I am imagining that the artist painted it for me. I'm imagining that after he had one of his own epileptic seizures, Van Gogh might have envisioned a time a century later where a woman with dark hair and large hands would hold her graceful daughter with imploring eyes in her arms after the girl's body had been wracked with jerks, when lights had flashed and color faded to sepia.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Gertrude Stein, IEPs, Conservatorships and Books

I'm doing laundry and researching conservatorships. Sophie turns eighteen next March, and I have to divest her of her rights, basically, and become her guardian. Sigh. I'm also preparing for her IEP is this Friday morning, and her teacher asked whether I wanted her to be there. I told him that no, IEPs are always about what she can't do, and I don't want her to hear that. I also don't want to fill what peaceful, hard-working spaces are left in her brain with the educational jargon the IEP demands. Those of you in the know, know what I'm talking about: achieve 65% success with 92% accuracy and 50% prompting. When this involves using a spoon to feed yourself, you get my drift. I'm also listening to a cool recording of Gertrude Stein from 1934, where she chastises the interviewer on what it means to understand a text. I loved reading Gertrude Stein in college -- read nearly everything she wrote and relished the weird cadence of her language, the koan-like nonsense. Evidently, my enjoyment presupposes understanding, and in this one wonderful interview, Stein affirms what I've always believed and never articulated: either you like a book or not, and the liking is the understanding. I wish I'd known that when I labored for hours in an all-male book club in New York City, nodding my head in deferment to wiser minds that appeared to understand but not enjoy. In another life I was married to a PhD student in English literature, and I remember suffering through interminably boring get-togethers and parties where graduate students spoke of literature with verbal gymnastics that made my head spin (I was always a terrible athlete) but never of liking something or disliking something, of joy or its opposite. Do these people even like to read? I asked my husband at the time. Maybe I'm just slightly off -- I've written before of my envy for Gertrude Stein, for her massive head and unattractive hair, for her seeming comfort in her own bulk and obtuseness. After five straight days of exercise and yoga, I can feel every muscle and sinew in my body, and they ache. Would that I were Gertrude in a voluminous black dress, sitting in a salon with a mousy helpmate cooking something delicious in the kitchen, spinning words into stories that make no sense except to those who enjoy them.

Look here. Being intelligible is not what it seems. You mean by understanding that you can talk about it in the way that you have a habit of talking, putting it in other words. But I mean by understanding enjoyment. If you enjoy it, you understand it. And lots of people have enjoyed it so lots of people have understood it. . . . But after all you must enjoy my writing, and if you enjoy it you understand it. If you do not enjoy it, why do you make a fuss about it? There is the real answer.

The dryer just binged, so it's back to folding clothes.

Reader, what are you doing today?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

How We Do It, Part XVI in a series

I pushed Sophie in her wheelchair through the heat of Sunday morning, determined to exercise, to go for a walk. She had been humming all morning, perhaps a stomach ache from the drugs, maybe not, because we never really know -- anything at all. A dress shirt lay crumpled at the curb and while it might have fallen out of a parked car or perhaps been dropped by an Orthodox Jewish woman carrying her husband's clothes to the dry cleaner, I chose to believe that it had been ripped off the man who wore it in the early hours of the morning by a woman, perhaps, who couldn't wait any longer. After dinner and a late movie, something dark and intense (depressing to some), she  looked out the window on the ride home, and when he put his hand on her shoulder, his fingers lay on her neck and it was just enough that when he stopped the car at the curb and reached for her, she began to unbutton his shirt and then started laughing when he said, Wait, so she stopped and he got out of the car and made his way to her side, opened the door gallantly and gave her his hand as she continued to laugh. His shirt was falling off his shoulders, and she pulled it off, dropped it there by the car door, and he pulled her toward the house. Sophie stopped humming when I picked up the pace, the sun beat down, yellow flowers speckled red appeared, her pale hand brushed against a prickly hedge and sweat ran down my back. We never really know -- anything at all.

In the backyard on Sunday and Oliver in the kitchen

Silk Floss Tree

Rose bush

Nature thingamajig

Oliver in my father's army uniform

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Throwing something out to the universe,

and hoping that it'll be thrown back --

How cool is this bike? It's called The Duet, and word is that it's wonderful but not affordable, like so much of the stuff in the world of disability. Other than prostitution, any ideas for fund-raising? Any billionaires out there who want a tax write-off? Any moochers or receivers of government services that don't really need them but think the government is responsible for paying for everything want to do penance?

Making Cakes on the Autumnal Equinox

I don't have too much to report from Los Angeles. It's now a couple of minutes past the autumnal equinox, which I guess means the days will begin to grow shorter and if I weren't living in Los Angeles I'd be thinking more about dead leaves and cold and a shortage of green. I've just finished decorating a cake. I've another one to finish before the afternoon, and then it's on to multiple loads of laundry and a flag football game in the late afternoon. The air conditioner is humming, Sophie is sleeping after a giant bowl of oatmeal and berries, The Husband and Oliver are in the front yard selling junk, and Henry is hiding from them in his room. In lieu of this post sounding like a child's diary entry, I'll leave you with this poem:

Between Poems

A lady asked me
what poets do
between poems.
Between passions
and visions. I said 
that between poems
I provided for death.
She meant as to jobs
and commonly.
Commonly, I provide 
against my death,
which comes on.
And give thanks
for the women I have 
been privileged to
in extreme.

-- Jack Gilbert, Collected Poems

Friday, September 21, 2012

I saw it, I saw it! (AN UPDATE)

This is what the sky looked like right before the space shuttle Endeavor passed over my neighborhood, piggy-backed onto a giant jet with fighter jets behind it. I was so excited that I didn't take the photo and instead jumped up and down with my friend, shrieking THERE IT IS! THERE IT IS! I really wasn't too caught up in the hullabaloo over the last few days despite all the media attention it was getting. When I went on a late morning power walk with my friend, we had no idea that we were going to see it, and I admit that it was a lot more exciting than I had imagined.  There were people, evidently, all over the coast, out on the beaches and up in the mountains, waiting for it. It felt like one of those collective joyful moments in the life of a city. On our walk back home we saw these people, who had set up a sort of stake-out on their roof, a widow's walk for space:

I'm so happy to have experienced it -- magnificent, really.

Here's a cool photo that does it justice -- saw it on Facebook and am lifting it from Reuters:

Crows in Bikinis

The other day when I wrote about taking Sophie to the beach I forgot to tell you about the little girl and boy who twirled merrily around a stand of rental surfboards and bicycles, the girl lifting her dress so her pink underwear showed, the boy stiff and uncoordinated, stomping as he circled. I forgot to tell you how I sat at a table at a cafe with Sophie in her wheelchair and fed her french fries. The twirling girl and boy tripped over toward us and when they saw Sophie, they stopped and stood, stock still and stared. Alliteration aside, they stared. And stared. Their eyes big. Their mother stood a few steps away, waiting in line to order, her eyes on her twirlers, their eyes on Sophie. Her eyes saw their eyes, yet they stared and she stood. Silent. I widened my eyes and smiled, said hello, encouraging, and they stared, still. Their mother, silent. I felt my eyes grow fearful and flat. They twirled away, their mother a crow in a black bikini , and I watched them as they crossed the sand, their grotesque dance, she hopped, they circled. They never looked back.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jack Gilbert, me and you

Have you ever read Jack Gilbert's poetry? It's pretty astonishing -- wild and angry and incredibly passionate. I got a copy of Collected Poems in the mail yesterday and, as is my wont, flipped it open. This is what I read:

Meaning Well

Marrying is like somebody
throwing the baby up.
It happy and then throwing it
higher. To the ceiling,
Which jars the loose bulb
and it goes out
as the baby starts down.

Don't be tempted to wonder about yourself when you read poetry as if all words were from a collective unconscious. Don't be tempted to worry or wonder about me. My mind is drawn toward Jung and the notion of synchronicity or the string theorist's games of chance. Or maybe it's just words on a page, a random stringing together. Meaning well.

Lone Ranger - Morning Thoughts 2

The crows were so loud this morning that I woke up laughing.

Two books of poetry came in the mail yesterday, Space in Chains by Laura Kasischke and Collected Poems by Jack Gilbert. I say they came in the mail as if I had nothing to do with it, as if they had arrived, winged, and sit, patiently waiting their turn.

Rub my back, he said, out of sleep, and I did thinking a good start might thwart the inevitable drama of his imagination.

Life is hard for Oliver, fraught with obstacles. For Henry, it's a coast. I have nothing to do with either.

If I could, I'd gently turn Sophie's head to the left where she rarely resides, ease her into a different view. A difficult morning, and she still gets up to walk, my heart splintered, my own head like an owl's.

The planet tilts just so in September, the Lone Ranger calls the new, old light from the east at 7:08 am.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

How to Prepare for Two IEPs in One Week

First, stop at a really bad fast food outlet and have enough restraint to only order a vanilla ice-cream cone and a small Diet Coke.

Oliver's IEP went very well -- he has moderate visual and auditory learning disabilities, and his school is extraordinary. I really didn't even need the ice-cream cone.

Sophie's IEP is next week, and I'll need to armor myself. This is how I'll feel, probably, when it begins:

photo via Matador Abroad

Or maybe like this:

Of course, if I have the right attitude, I should look like this:

photo by Alain Delorme

Stay tuned.

The 47%

Sophie, on a metro bus with her aide

First Thoughts

When the sprinklers come on in the morning, they ache and groan under the house, the whoosh of release comes later.

It seems, each morning, that the sky is black, then blue then gray and finally, white, through the slats of my bedroom shade. Between sleep and wake I wonder if this is true for everyone.

The girls next door have high voices that reach over the hedge. Their father pulls them down with his own low one.

The air-conditioner kicks on, and the sweat on my neck cools.

I know that when I go into the boys' bedrooms, one will smile at me and the other will growl.

My soft bathrobe of green apples hides what's underneath, ripe for the picking.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Le Petit Paquet (Drug Mule, Part V)

That's what arrived on my doorstep today, all the way from Vancouver -- a neatly taped, little brown petit four of a package with the words le petit paquet on the top. Inside was a three month supply of Frisium or clobazam or Onfi, the benzodiazepan that costs $2,970 in the United States and $279 in Canada and is currently the best drug for Sophie. It doesn't control her seizures, but it does help them considerably, and after trying nearly eighteen different anti-epileptics with little to no seizure control and hideous side effects, I'd become a prostitute (high class, of course) to pay for it. Whether I make trips up to Vancouver periodically to get the drug or wrestle Anthem Blue Cross into adding the drug to its formulary remains to be seen.

In the meantime, I'm dreaming of Mitt Romney (honestly, I had a dream about him last night that was as boring as he is), feeling bewildered that Sophie and I, according to Mitt, are part of the 47% (or is it 49%?), the lazy moochers, completely dependent on the government.

Keep digging, Mitt, keep digging.

Monday, September 17, 2012

This is what Mermaid Sophie looks like

when we go to the beach on a holiday Monday.

That's the tip of her scarf, blowing in the breeze as she books on down to the water.

The Brothers went to school today, much to their distress, but Sophie had off.

She had been inside all weekend, fighting a cold virus. It was brutally hot, too. Today was glorious in Santa Monica.

 Not a day goes by that I'm not grateful to live out here. Truly.

The Fallacy of Night

A long time ago, I used to wake in the night when Sophie was seizing and then not be able to go back to sleep. I'd lie still, on my back and stare at the ceiling, humor the chaos, allow it to creep in, take over. I'd think about death and trial and tribulation, violins would be playing furiously, chins tucked, eyes closed. I'd get on my knees and plead for mercy from a god that was as substantial as the wisps of reason that sailed through the room (not very much). In my mind I was dressed in the black of my southern Italian grandmother, veiled and dolorous, confounded by the disappearance of light. I would fall asleep, eventually, and wake in gray light, nearly embarrassed at what I had loosed the night before.

We are all cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.
Ray Bradbury 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

15,000 Plus!

Gustav Klimt

As of this afternoon, Pacific Coast time,  people have viewed the Extreme Parenting Video Project 15,408 times! How awesome is that? Thank you so much for sharing the video -- for posting it on your blogs and sharing it on Facebook and with your friends and relatives. Thank you, Phil Konya, AGAIN!, for putting the slides together in such a beautiful way. I've received countless emails and comments from viewers all over the world about how much it's affected them, whether they have children with disabilities or not. Last night, my friend Tanya (a gorgeous participant in the video) sent me a copy of an email that she had received from her mother. I cried when I read it, cried for gratitude -- for those who understand what the video means and how all of us who are on this path are in it together, powerful and vital.

I had to watch this twice to try and read all the sayings, and to take in all the details of the photos in the background going on, because I was crying so much!  I kept wiping my eyes and thinking of all these quietly heroic people who have, and are continuing, to work so hard being loving and responsible parents, including you, my dear daughter.  One can feel the connected strength and subsequent power between all of you.  I have learned so much, from you and Nigel. 
This project is uplifting and healing and elevates our human species in the universe.  I hope that you can please let the author, your friend Elizabeth, know by forwarding this comment on to her.  And, now I will watch it a third time.
I love you,
Life doesn't get much better than that, right?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Afternoon After-Bloom and Irving

Muriel was good-looking -- a slender brunette, with an opera singer's noteworthy bosom and booming voice -- but she had an absolutely vacuous mind. Like my grandmother, Aunt Muriel managed to be both arrogant and judgmental without saying anything that was either verifiable or interesting; in this respect, both my grandmother and my aunt struck me as superior-sounding bores.

from John Irving's In One Person 

"Drug Mule Fer Real" - Part IV

That's how my good friend Mary Beth brought a recent article in the Los Angeles Times to my attention yesterday in her inimitable North Carolina accent. We went back and forth on Facebook making jokes about coconut cake and cannabis, Sophie's seizures stopping and me finally relaxed. I wrote about medical marijuana and epilepsy years ago on this blog, wondering if I might have a sort of peace pipe circle with Sophie in the center receiving the smoke "second-hand." I've thought about making brownies or cookies or even venturing up to the local medical marijuana store (they dot every block in these parts) and buying some. But I've never done it -- and I personally haven't smoked the stuff in one hundred years, so I just don't know where to start.

I'm looking into this seriously, now, and let me tell you something: if medical marijuana stops Sophie's seizures or even eases them, I'll get high every single day for the rest of my life. I'll be a drug mule fer real.

Hold me to that. If you know anything about this or have suggestions, please email me and let me know.

Read the article HERE. Read this story HERE.

Friday, September 14, 2012


via Los Angeles Times

When I stepped outside today, it felt like I had stepped into a furnace. I honestly had no idea it was that hot outside because it rarely is that hot in my mid-town neighborhood, seven or so miles from the Pacific and way more miles from the deep, dark Valley. I thought to myself that the air was so dry and so hot that I could strike a match in the air in front of my nose and the whole city would combust. Sophie came home from school hot to the touch -- the buses out here in Lala land aren't all air-conditioned -- and while I'm not blaming that for the huge seizure she had at the dinner table (she has them all the time anyway), I'm sure that it didn't help. There are fires burning to the west and up in the hills around The Getty Center, fires large enough to see from my house, the plumes reddish-yellow, the air faintly smoky. I guess the season has begun.

The things that are going through my head are embassies and religion, a pushing away, repel, repellent. The things that are going through my head are ice caps melting and topless videos of princesses. The things that are going through my head are mobs that kill and smirks on presidential candidates. The things that are going through my head are parents growing old and children growing up. The things that are going through my head are blood not thicker than water, family as construct, stubborn restraint. When I walked today, I saw this snail going and coming, his path stained and true.

Free Money Day


I like to say that behind all the stress that comes with seizures and Sophie's disabilities is love and there's so much love that it more than makes up for the hideous stuff. I also say that behind financial distress is absolutely nothing, just a big, black hole that sucks up fear and spits it back out. I've been fearful of late, in micro ways and macro ways, stepping very close to the edge of that black hole.

Then I read this about Free Money Day, organized by Post Growth Institute, a group that is exploring alternative paths to global prosperity across six continents. It sounds completely wacky and utterly idealistic, perhaps even ridiculous, but I like it. Here's what I like:
"The idea is simple: participants take any amount out of their pockets—whether it’s two coins or five dollars—and give it away to a complete stranger. The gift can happen at work, on a plane, in the streets, on a bus, or even online. Instead of paying it forward, the project is all about paying half forwardeach person who receives a gift is asked to pass half of the funds to somebody else."

The co-founder of the institute, Dr. MaClurcan says that "one of the biggest myths that we believe is that there isn't enough money to go around. It's inequality in how resources are divided, not a lack of abundance, that makes resources seem more scarce than they are." There's also this:

"Our obsession with making more money as individuals is mirrored by our societal addiction to unending economic growth, despite the fact that neither of these, at the end of the day, makes any of us any happier," the founders write on their site. "The money systems in which we are currently enmeshed are fundamentally unstable—they create bubbles, and a destructive boom-bust cycle, which result in loss of jobs, homes, health, and even lives."

A solution is to give participants the opportunity to step back from the growth-minded Western culture, even for one day, and flip the fear associated with losing money into an opportunity to share it.

I've got to deliver a cake to a park in Burbank tomorrow morning, so I think I'm going to do it. I'm going to take ten dollars and give it someone and ask them to give away five of it. Call me silly, but I'm glad there are people out there thinking up these nutty things. It gives me hope.

Go here for more information about Free Money Day from the wonderful publication Good News or go directly to the site FreeMoneyDay. And for all the cynics out there, the hard-core conservatives and haters of "liberal crap" (someone said this to me recently), I'm thumbing my nose at you. So there.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Stress is a cliche

Close-up of a tree,  Los Angeles

Yesterday, the unbloggable happened and then I worked around a teenage poopy diaper and an over-dramatic youngest child who has a cold not the flu. Sophie had a seizure at the table right at the moment that I was going to feed her an early dinner because she had to come along with me to flag football, so I dragged her out to the car instead where she recovered on cream colored leather, the sun slanting through water spots on the glass. I sat in the car at the park and leaned my head back, my eyes closed, pounding. It's too much, I thought to myself. It's too much. 

What's it all about? What are days for? The poet Philip Larkin in his poem titled Days, asks the question and says that days are where we live. Solving it brings the priest and the doctor/in their long coats/Running over the fields. 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

There's random poetry, if nothing else

Vincent Van Gogh, 1853-1890

Open up a book of poetry and read something. Here's Miracle by Seamus Heaney.


Not the one who takes up his bed and walks
But the ones who have known him all along
And carry him in ---

Their shoulders numb, the ache and stoop deeplocked
In their backs, the stretcher handles
Slippery with sweat. And no let-up

Until he's strapped on tight, made tiltable
And raised to the tiled roof, then lowered for healing.
Be mindful of them as they stand and wait

For the burn of the paid-out ropes to cool,
Their slight lightheadedness and incredulity
To pass, those ones who had known him all along.

Drug Mule, Part 3: Mission Diverted

Sophie's medication will be leaving lovely Vancouver and arriving in Los Angeles sometime next week. We're good to go for three months, during which I'll be exploring ways to get the medication at a reasonable cost here in the good, old U S of A. I appreciate all your suggestions and offers to help. It's not out of the question that I'll be traveling to Vancouver one of these days, so I'll take a rain check on visiting those of you who live up or near that way! Now I'm going to mainline some heroin and relax.


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