Chapter Six: Sleepless In...

In Seattle with new friend, Jen and old friend BMC 

The following video (see below) took about five minutes of church-giggle silliness to make and about four-thousand hours to string together. It's a sloppy mess but that's kind of how we roll these days. Turns out mama doesn't need a drink to act like like a tipsy teenager. I'm on the road with one of the funniest human beings on this planet, you see. 

I mean, check out the view from our hotel room. Comedy:

Look closely at the green. That's the Oakland A's doing their calisthenics 

Anyway, here's some of what we did in Seattle. And yes, as always, it's amateur hour. I'm hardly a professional on camera or off. 



We arrived in Vancouver this evening after a very long day of very interesting adventure. It took us eight hours to go less than 200 miles and we only got lost fourteen times. Twelve of those times were on purpose, though, I swear. Dana passed out Rockabye postcards to every man, woman, farmer, tractor-salesman and border-patrol agent in the Pacific Northwest and we shot about three hours of wackadoo footage I'll likely post in another several days when we can stay up past 10:30 without passing out (for very different reasons). 

Hint: My drink is the one with non-alcoholic water in it

For Dana's side of the story go here. 

Love to see my Vancouver peeps tomorrow (April 29th) at Sophia Books at 7pm. Please bring friends, family, kids, cardboard cut-outs of kids, etc. Also would like to quickly thank my dear friends Mothergoosemouse, Her Bad Mother and Whit at Honea Express and Dadcentric for their incredible Rockabye reviews. And also, to any and all new friends and bloggers spreading the word, showing up to my readings; being supportive. I realize I'm sounding broken-recordesque but I'm really just so grateful. Thank you. 

Also! I have an interview up at Letters to my Daughters, today. Check it out!

GGC

Chapter Five: The Road Trip Begins

drawing flowers for BMC's Foo

I'm on the road. Officially on wheels instead of on wing. I was planning to drive from San Francisco to Portland. But then the car rental place told me three hundred and something-insane dollars for a drop-off fee, which meant with gas and everything else it would have cost me almost 700 bucks to get to Portland, instead of $80 to fly Southwest so there you have it. I flew in late yesterday, which means sadly, me and the Dodge Caliber had to go our separate ways.

Today I'm hijacking Dana's ride and the two of us set off for Seattle and then Vancouver: Two moms, one Subaru.  Dana's mad at me because I'm pregnant which means no fun stuff. I just hope pregnant women are allowed in piano bars because lordy knows I don't need a vodka to sing along to showtunes. 

See you at Elliott Bay Books (today, Saturday April 26th) in Seattle @ 4:30pm!

GGC

Meanwhile.... 

*Road Trippin' at Straight From the Bottle. 
**A mighty thanks to Parent Bloggers Network, and some of the most amazing Rockabye reviews ever. Very much wow. 
***Also, you can now read  the first chapter of Rockabye over at Smith magazine.  
****Thank you all for your continued support, comments and emails. They mean so much. 

Chapter Four: The San Francisco Treat

The Oakland reading Tuesday went gangbusters. A Great Good Place for Books truly is great and good. I was grateful they had me and it was a a fantastic crowd of awesome peeps. I even got to meet Ewokmama which was fabulous. Sadly I forgot to take any photographic evidence that such a romp existed. Annoying.

San Francisco on the other hand:

...with Sal Glynn at Books Inc on Chestnut Street in the Marina.

Kendra and KC, my beautiful SF hosts

with the Weirdgirl herself! Hooray for blogger-ladies

In front of Books Inc with my cardboard box of fun!


With my beautiful cousin, Erica, my hostess for my first three days in town.

Books Inc went smashingly well. The booksellers there were awesome and wonderful. Indie rock bookstores blow the big guns out of the water in terms of, well, everything. I've been shocked and delighted by the kindness and attentiveness of independent bookstores. I've never felt so welcome anywhere as I did at Books Inc and Great Good Place for Books. Thank you, kindly.

It was just a very different experience to the chains, which, like, DUH, but still... Support your local bookstores, people. They support us.

This was one of FIVE displays, Books Inc had for Rockabye. FIVE! Borders didn't have so much as a post-it note advertising Rock.

And of course, no day would be complete without the Freestyle Pita girl. Obviously.



Peace out, San Francisco. Thanks for the memories.

Muah,

GGC

Upcoming Appearances include:
Grass Valley, CA: TODAY! Thursday April 24th, 5:00: The Bookseller
Seattle, WA: Saturday, April 26th at 4:30: Elliott Bay Books

Chapter Three: Mason Everywhere

I happen to be staying off Mason St. here in San Francisco and there's a car parked outside with the words "Mason Plumbing" on its body. Also, just bought a dress designed by "Mason" and didn't even realize it until yesterday. Awesome. 

Here's a little short of my late friend, doing what he did best, making everyone laugh. This one's great, too. And this. And this. And every other one, really. 



Let it shine, duder.  

GGC

Chapter Two: Posing For An Accidental Video

Don't you just hate it when this happens?

video


Damn, Sal and his inability to press the right button on the effing H. So we're all three smiling like a bunch of assholes for ten seconds longer than we should be.

(p.s. tonight in Oakland! 6:30pm. See you there!)

GGC

Chapter One: Bang(s) & Trollufsen

*...edited to add below...*

Yesterday was a day of goodbyes. First to Mason, whose memorial was inexplicably perfect. A send-off unlike any other. A true celebration of life and an adored man. Music, mayhem, partial nudity. Mason was surely smiling down.

I also had to say bon voyage to Archer and Hal who I've left for almost three weeks which seems like an insane amount of time to be away from a husband and child. But I'm here now. In Fairfax, California, where the people LOVE them some bangs. Home sweet home!

Poor troll dolls missed the memo.

Anyway! Here's my schedule for this week for all of you Bay Area peeps. Can't wait to see you!

Monday 21st: San Francisco
Blurb/Flickr/Moo Meet-up with drinks (alcoholic and non) and free goodie-goodness.
Kate O'Brien's
579 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94105
5:00-8:00pm

Tuesday, April 22nd: Oakland
Signing/Reading
A Great Good Place for Books: 6:30pm
6120 LaSalle Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611

Wednesday, April 23rd: San Francisco
Signing/Reading
Books Inc, Marina District Store: 7:30pm
2251 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA, 94123

Here's to a new week! A borrowed IPOD! A fixed window! And trampolines!

Archer says: "To life! And fishsticks! And bangs!"

GGC

*Thank you to Cool Mom Picks for an incredible Rockabye review! Also, Parent Bloggers Network will be reviewing Rockabye for the next couple of weeks. Check 'em out! Woo!*

In Praise of Fishsticks

Archer's vocabulary grows every day but he's been quite slow to form complete sentences.  Two words at a time is usually as far as we get. As far as we got.  

Archer's very first sentence as of last night: 

Mommy? Um, Mommy? Can I go ofer der and um.... in da house for... to eat some, um, fishsticks? 

!!!!!!!!! 

I gave him fishsticks. Even if it was 9:30 and he was supposed to be sleeping because COME ON! He asked me for them! In a complete sentence!

I feel like good 'ol George Costanza right now. Leaving on a high note, indeed. 


GGC

And Then I Woke Up to This




A broken window and a stolen IPOD just in time for my trip. The bastards with baseball bats sure have rockstar timing.

GGC

Then Let's Keep Dancing

(Updated below)

I've never made a mix-tape for a memorial service before. It's the hardest kind of mix-tape, I have found, to make. It has to be perfect because it's the very last one you will ever make for this particular person. I'm afraid I won't pick the right songs and Mason will shake his fist at me and say, "damnit, woman! I would have never picked that song for my funeral!"

The thing that's most upsetting is that Mason and I have spoken at length about the songs we'd want at our funerals. And I have somehow forgotten. I've been trying all night to remember. Me alone with my CD collection and Itunes and the songs we used to force upon one another. 

"Listen to this! You'll love it"

Mason had a thing for Conor Oberst and he'd drag my ass to every Bright Eyes concert in Southern California so I chose four Bright Eyes tracks. I knew just the ones to choose. I knew which ones were Mason's favorites because he had their lyrics tattooed on his body. 

Mason's memorial is Saturday in Santa Barbara so I will drive there and I will speak and I will mourn and laugh and secretly wish I could smoke cigs and drink vodka tonics in Mason's honor.

Mason didn't know I was pregnant, again. I didn't tell him because we hadn't talked. I kind of feel sad about that for some reason. I guess I'll tell him on Saturday. 

This has been a very strange few weeks. Everything seems to be going wrong with the book release and I wonder if that's a sign or something. Like how the "i" key broke off my keyboard and I swore I'd never write another memoir. Another book about myself. 

Last night there was a signing at Borders in Costa Mesa and I read from Rockabye and it was really lovely. And at one point I cried which was really embarrassing but I was sad and it's hard to read aloud about the people you love, sometimes. Especially because Meredith was there with her son, Nolan and her mother and in their honor I read the introduction to my book, which was a letter I wrote for her. For Meredith. On Unplanned Pregnancy For a Friend, and she was that friend. And I guess I got all choked up because there she was, my friend in the front row with her baby, and I was right. I was right to tell her everything would be okay. 


Everything will be okay, I tell myself now, surrounded by CDs that skip and MP3s without labels. Everything will be okay. 

I closed the comments to my last post because I didn't know what else to do. Sometimes it's nice to know there are people listening. And that's enough. But then I got your emails. I got your emails, read your stories about your Masons, and was grateful. So thank you. Thank you for stepping across the line I drew in the sand. I don't draw lines often. And if and when I do, they're never in anything other than pencil. 

I leave for my booktour on Saturday. Rockabye is slowly making its way to stores and Amazon still won't call us back so my book is still for sale for $44 dollars, which is really pissing my mom off. More than me, I think. She's emailed Amazon a total of 800 times but the thing is? I couldn't love her more for it. I couldn't love her more for caring so damn much about everything. About me. I couldn't love her more for coming to all three of my readings. Driving to Costa Mesa yesterday to meet me for the afternoon because "I wouldn't miss it for the world." I couldn't love her more for showing my book to the guy who sold her supportive shoes at the Outdoor Shoe Store at Southcoast Plaza and then inviting him to my book signing. 

"My daughter's doing a signing at Borders at 7:00," she said. "You should come."

And I rolled my eyes and told her to stop. 

"Stop what?"

"Stop doing what you're doing! What you always do."

And what was funny is that he did come. They always do. My mom always knows the right things to say so people want to see me or read me or believe in me. 

So the guy from the shoe store watched me read and cry in front of the entire bookstore and then he asked me to sign his book so I did. 

"Who should I make it out to?"

And then my mom winked at me from the audience and when our eyes met, I saw that she had been crying with me. Because that's what moms do. They cry when their children cry. They cry when their children stand before an audience of friends and strangers and read chapters from their first books. 

I'm supposed to be packing except I just today realized all my suitcases are down south, at my parent's house because we don't have room to store them. So instead I'm just hanging outfits around the house. I was, before I started this mix-tape. 

I have about a thousand emails I should be answering. A thousand people I should have called back by now. A thousand reasons to be grateful. A thousand reasons to be angry. A thousand reasons to believe in the meaning of all this. A thousand reasons to doubt the meaning in anything. A thousand reasons to mourn life. A thousand reasons to celebrate it. A thousand reasons to be excited. A thousand reasons to be scared. A thousand reasons to be in love. With everything. For being so fucked up and beautiful and weird. 

An unreasonable amount of reasons I have. 

So I close my eyes and I hold myself, the life that grows inside me, standing among the decay and the memories and the music and the dresses with their tags attached by safety pins hanging on the bathroom door. The lists of things I must do before I leave on Saturday. On Sunday. 

Sometimes I feel like I'm peeling time off the clock, like an apple. Or an orange. Or skin that's been in the sun for too long. Trying to find the right songs to say goodbye. The right names. The right way to do the right thing. The proper tone to speak to an audience so I can be taken seriously (but not too seriously.)

What time is it, again? When must I leave for Santa Barbara so that I get to the service on time? When must I leave for San Diego so that I don't get there too late? And what about San Francisco? It all looks the same right now. The decimal point is off and everything is very expensive to ship. More than it's worth? I don't know. 

I just hope my mom knows how much I appreciate her. I hope my brother knows how much it means to me that he took his camera with him to the bookstore so he could take a picture of himself buying the book. I hope my sister knows how much it meant for her to call me during every book reading I've had so far, leave a message, wish she was there. I hope my father knows how much I love him for chasing Archer around the bookstore for me, even though he wanted to sit down in a chair like a normal person but couldn't, because Archer's a maniac. And I hope Hal knows how much I love him for understanding when I can't watch John Adams for the third night in a row. And I hope Archer just knows. 

If only every child knew

I know. Truly and deeply, I know. 

My friend Mason did not and that breaks my heart more than anything. 

Just finishing the mix now. I hope I chose the right songs. 

GGC

Updated: My book is finally available to purchase on Amazon for the normal shipping cost. The decimal point is no longer off... I'll take that as a sign as well. 

A New Day

For those of you in the Orange County area, I'll be reading/signing books at Borders in Costa Mesa tonight, Tuesday, April 15th @ 7pm. Hope to see you.

GGC

Dear Mason,


I knew it had happened before I called your brother back. I heard his voice, fragile, tired on my voicemail. I knew the second he said your name that you were gone, even though he told me nothing in the messsage. Just... Becca. I need to talk to you about Mason. Please call me back.

I waited all day to call your brother back because I was so scared, Mason. I've been so scared for so long. So I went about my day. I went to the post-office and I waited in line to mail my book. The book I told you about the last time I saw you when you were so thin I didn't recognize you and then when you hugged me and didn't let go I said "please let go of me" because you were squeezing me so tight I couldn't breathe. I should have let you hug me longer. I'm so angry that I didn't. I should have called like I said I would. Given you a ride to the funeral but I was afraid of you. You had grown strange and unfamiliar over the past couple of years. And then one day I grew up and told you that I couldn't help you anymore. Because the drugs were too powerful and I couldn't fight them anymore. My love would never medicate you the way they did. They way they did for so long.

In the line at the Post Office my hands were shaking. I was crying and my hands were shaking so I didn't take off my sunglasses. And there was only one person working and a thousand people in line and I almost left the line so many times but then the guy in front of me started talking about the line and how much he hated the post office so we got to talking. And for a few minutes there I was okay. I mailed my package, got back in my car and drove on. I had all these errands to do today and all this busy stuff with my book and then, as if the world wasn't broken enough, Archer's changing table split in two and it was just one of those days so I went along and I dropped off my dry-cleaning and I went to the store to pick up some things and when I was finished I parked my car under a tree and I called your brother back.

I was crying before he picked up the phone. Before he told me the news. That is was drugs. Always drugs. And I wanted to kick you in the fucking balls because you WERE SO FUCKING GREAT. You were the best. You were my best friend, the one I made the promise with (when we were teenagers) that if neither of us was married by 30 and blah blah blah... Which was so totally lame and cliche but we thought it was funny. And it made us feel better about unrequited love, and anyway, we were kind of cliche. You especially. Such a romantic. You and your mix-tapes for every road trip we took. Every long weekend.

I still have some of your mix-tapes in my glove-compartment even though I told you last year that I couldn't speak to you anymore. That you needed help. Please, get yourself help.

I cut you off. You who were my best friend, my teenage partner in crime. You who used to pull the e-break in your car so we could do 360s on the culdesac in your beat-up Metro before it died and you set it on fire. You who got your tongue pierced when I told you I wanted to know what it felt like to kiss a guy with a tongue ring.

"Ew," I said. "Not you." And then you were sad and that was when we had that talk in my car on the beach and I told you that I'd always love you, just not like that, except maybe one day we could be together when we were older and not best friends. That was when we made the "when we're 30" pact, I think.

I remember because you cried. And I cried and that was the first time I ever felt truly loved by a boy. When you went to college I followed you on the weekends. I came and crashed on your couch or spooned with you in your sandy bed and you slept in your swim trunks and in the mornings we'd go surfing even though I sucked but you were really good. That was when your hair went back to blonde. Before you died it black again and I died mine black and things started to change. But we stayed best friends and when you came to stay with me in LA we'd stay up all night listening to music. A thousand mix-tapes with your name and I have them all. No mix CDs though. You never made mix CDs. Only cassettes.


When your brother called me today, he put Josh (look! I found a picture of the three of us!) on the phone and we talked about you and your music and your sense of humor. We talked about how you were the funniest person either of us had ever known. We talked about how much we loved you, how sad we were that you had to go... and angry. But mostly just sad. How unfair for such a shining light....

I told Josh about how one day I just couldn't talk to you anymore. I know you remember so I won't go into details. You weren't yourself that day and you scared me. So I told you to leave and I made you leave and so you left. And you were so sorry and so was I. And then I put Archer to bed and I cried and I cleaned up the bathroom.

"There were no drugs in the bathroom. See? I told you!"
is what I said, but what I really meant was, "I'm a mother, now. So I can't be yours."

I have buried so many friends, Mason. We have buried so many friends. So fucking many it's insane. Dozens. But you? You were more than just an old friend. You were my beloved. I feel like someone just bit off my foot. Or half my face or my spleen.

I spoke to your brother for a while and then Josh who was with him. They're in your apartment, cleaning out your stuff, and all I wanted to do today was go through mine. Find you... the way you were. The way I'll always remember you. In your old pick-up truck with the giant SLAYER sticker on the back window and how you drove like a maniac down Birmingham Street so the car would fly and I would hit you in the shoulder and we'd laugh all the way to the beach. And how the night we met you gave me your brand new Smoking Popes CD, even though you didn't know my name. It was still in its wrapping and everything.

"I'm Mason," you said. "Listen to this."

And then the next day, we ran into each other and you gave me some Mr. T Experience CD, I can't remember which one, and in the next several years, dozens more. Maybe even hundreds.

I wish you didn't have to die like this, mainly because, who are we kidding? You had so many great plans for death. You listened to Morrissey ten-thousand too many times. You would have wanted to go out with a mighty bang. Under a double-decker bus... with Keats and Yeats on your side. I know because you told me. You told me everything. And I told you everything in return, because that was how we did things back then. All my old secrets are inside you somewhere. Wherever you are. And I mourn for them, too. I mourn our memories, selfishly, because they were so great. No one can touch them, I know but fuck. Just, fuck.

I wish the last time I saw you wasn't in the stale darkness at The Saloon. I wish I didn't tell you to let go of me. I'm so sorry I told you to let go. Please know that I never stopped loving you. I never stopped believing in you. I never stopped praying that one day the drugs would lose and you would win. That we could be friends again... That I could let you back inside.

I guess in a way, that's kind of happened. You're free now. You don't have to be alone. You don't have to fight. You can start over, on some other beach with some other girl and a handful of mix-tapes. New ones. With even better music than before, because no offense, babe, but Mr. T Experience was never my favorite... I never told you that because I didn't want to hurt your feelings but it's true.

But I did love The Smoking Popes. I did. Not as much as I loved you, Mason. But still...

Still.

I guess I'll send you off with a song, then. Our song. Which is so fucking appropriate, now, listening to the lyrics that I could just kill you myself. I seriously could.





(I'll so miss you, Mason. So many of us will.)

Your Becca

A Comedy of Errors

*Update*

In the words of Prairie Dawn, "Oh dear..."

So! Apparently, the cost to ship Rockabye (for whatever reason, Amazon's still trying to figure out what happened on their end) for the past three days has been $40.00. Which means $10 book + $40.00 shipping seems, well, high.

So if you were one of the (several?) who tried to purchase Rockabye over the weekend but got discouraged by the $50.00 price tag including shipping, I'm really sorry. I will update as soon as I get word from Amazon that my book really did come out is back to being priced, uh, normally. Wow. This is getting complicated, isn't it!?

Ah, life.

In the meantime, I guess I'll just keep dancing. Break out the booze and have a ball, Peggy Lee style.



*So, we're still waiting on some Amazon answers. I'm hoping this issue will be resolved in the next 24 hours but it's more of a complicated process than I thought. I would like to take this moment to go on about why big business isn't superior to remind all to support their local booksellers. Because being able to speak to a human being when you need assistance is somewhat of an anomaly these days.

And in the meantime, for any of you who paid the $30.00 shipping, please contact Amazon so you can be reimbursed. And please feel free to order from any of these fine retailers in the meantime. Thank you and again, I'm really sorry.

GGC

Also, for those of you in the Orange County area, I'll be reading/signing books at Borders in Costa Mesa tomorrow, Tuesday, April 15th @ 7pm. Looking forward to seeing you there!

Lock, Stalk and Sheesh, Today Sucked

Today it was 100 degrees. Let me first just say that I HATE the heat. Hate. Anything upwards of 80 degrees upsets me. This is why Portland and San Francisco are my ideal places to live. San Francisco isn't 100 degrees right now and frankly, I've never been more excited to hit the road for Nor Cal and then Nor West... uh... Am? Am to Can? 

Today was one of those days where Hal and I woke up fighting. I won't even go into what about because seriously, this is getting totally ridiculous. (Cough.) But we pretty much squabbled and argued and rolled our eyes at how lame and idiotic the other was acting until it was time for Hal to hit the road to do tons of shit he needed to do and me to hit the road (with Archer) to go check out my friend Stefanie's book signing. 

Archer's been to my last two signings, under the supervision of my dad who missed my entire reading both times so I should have known taking Archer with me to a giant bookstore to sit still for an hour was not going to happen. 

It didn't of course. I barely was able to congratulate Stef before Archer disappeared into wherever the fuck and I was like "Okay, so see ya! BRB..."

Thirty minutes and one Venti Strawberry-ccino thing later I had tamed the beast. But wait... Never mind. Turned out those Starbucks Strawberry and Cream things are maybe one of the most disgusting horrible things on this planet. Even Archer couldn't stomach it and he eats bugs and rocks so, there you go. 

Pretty soon I was chasing Archer around the bookstore only to find that we were being stalked by a middle-aged, uh, sketchy dude with a backpack. I noticed him following us earlier but I figured the weird-dude was just giving us the evil-eye for being whacked and totally out of control. It turns out he was giving me serial-rapist sex eyes and after thirty-minutes of lurking around bookcases like an insane person, started asking me questions about...uh,  my heritage. Whether or not I was Persian... Eastern European... Uh...  which is kind of funny in retrospect because there is nothing exotic about me. I look like a half-Jewish white-girl. Oy.  
 
Crazy dude's questions went on until I got nervous. I don't usually get spooked by crazy dudes but suddenly, today, I got scared. Especially when distracted by crazy guy I lost Archer. He ran off but in what direction? "ARCHER!!!" My heart was in my throat. I started panicking that crazy dude might do something, well, crazy.

Finally I found Archer who I grabbed by the hand and marched up to the front of store to buy Stefanie's book, which I had been holding and trying to pay for since I arrived. Archer started screaming. I didn't even care at this point. 

"What? You want a piece of me? Don't FUCK WITH ME! AH!"

In the car on the way home there was traffic. On the 101 there is always traffic and Archer, like every other breathing human hates traffic, thus antagonizing him to scream and throw a full SIGG bottle at my head which was just fucking mean. Oh, man, was that mean. 

I would have threatened to pull over and "park this car this instant" but we were already, well, stopped.

And then? AND THEN?


Upon arriving at home, Archer LOCKED me out of my own house. For 40 MINUTES. I dumped my stuff, went to grab the mail and dude slammed the door on me, laughing all the while. I didn't have my keys.  Or my phone. I had nothing. I had the mail. 

The mail didn't help. 

Shockingly, though? I didn't cry. A true Christmas miracle for a girl who cried during last week's manicure when a 93 year-old woman complimented me on my choice of nail color (it was black) and wasn't being facetious. For whatever reason that moved me. Because little old ladies don't seem like they're supposed to compliment a girl on her black nail-polish but I digress, here I go again

Today, standing in the 100 degree heat, locked out of my own house, with my cherubic son making faces at me from the window, I just sat on my ass and waited. For what? I don't know. I waited for Hal to come home-- to have some kind of psychic episode and KNOW to rush home and let me back in the house. I waited for a dog-walker with a cell-phone. I waited for my mom. I waited for Superman, Batman and Spiderman. I waited for Robin Hood. I even waited for the crazy stalker-guy to pop out of a bush with his backpack full of knives and tape and help me break into my house. 

The last thing I expected was for Archer to figure out how to open the front door himself (a doorknob that most of our friends can't figure out) and let me back in. 

Which of course, he did. He opened the door and welcomed me back into our house. And only after 40 minutes of me picking my nose, thinking, "man, this totally sucks..."

"Yay, Mommy!" he clapped, welcoming me with open arms and a diaper that appeared to have soaked through his shorts. 

I have never been so relieved to be in my house, to change a diaper, I'll tell you what. 

When I called Hal to relay the day's events he sighed and said, "Are you sure you want another kid?"

I thought long and I thought hard and then I said, "Yes, Hal. I do."

Because maybe, just maybe a second child will mean someone ELSE for Archer to lock out of the house beside his mother. 

That's what I'm telling myself, anyway. 

GGC

For those of you looking for a hilarious read, may I recommend Stefanie's book, Naptime is the New Happy Hour. I've been reading it all evening and so it's hilarious and kooky and just soooo "Amen, sister" great. Click here to order. 

Friday Night Highlights

It's been a long week 'round these parts. First off, I just have to say that WOW!  I can't believe how many of you are as crazy baby-name-obsessed as I am. To be honest, my obsession goes a whole lot deeper than I let on in my last post. (I'm pretty sure that I've been losing sleep over baby names since 5th grade.)

I took your baby name comments very seriously and even printed out your recommendation emails, studying and scrutinizing each and every name. 

We have settled on a new boy-name for now, one that totally fits with Archer and I love it even more than our previous choice (which was Walden by the way). Walden has since been scrapped. Sniff. 

So far our early boy-name contenders that are no longer: Sebastian, Everest, Blaze, Noble, Teague, Jasper and Rex, which are all great names, but for whatever reason have been removed from the list. Early girl-names that didn't make the final cut: Daisy, Eve, Simone, Djuna and Sabine, all beautiful in my opinion but again, none of them felt like "it"....

I'm madly in love with our current selection of both girl and boy names (middle names included) so hopefully Hal won't get all Change of Heart on me again.  Grrrrr!

I wanted to take a moment to pledge allegiance to some people who have pretty much been my salvation these past couple of weeks. Danny, friend, blogger, author and all-around bad-ass. I wish I could rewrite my book-acknowledgments to include him because I cannot begin to describe what his friendship has meant to me over these past weeks and, well, months. If you haven't already, I highly recommend you go make out with his blog, now. 

And also Rachel Fershleiser who has sent me dirty e-cards every day for the last two weeks, to cheer my insanity, and has pretty much done everything imaginable to help me promote Rockabye, including setting her gchat away message to my Amazon link, which is just insane because SHE has has a new book out, too! That's some crazy ladyfriend love right there. 

I also wanted to thank all of you who have blogged about, reviewed, and/or added Rockabye buttons to your blog/myspace/facebook pages. I owe each and every one of you drinks so please, if you make it to any of the signings, take me up on my offer. Promoting a book is a whole lotta work and it's impossible to do it alone. So thank you all for your continued awesome. 

Oh! And one very quick question for anyone living in Vancouver and/or the Seattle area-- Do you know anything about how to (0r whether or not its necessary to) reserve a ferry from Seattle to Vancouver? I cannot for the life of me figure it out, which I realize might be totally pathetic. But, eh... I'm not that strong a swimmer. 

Oh! And I have some very exciting news! Archer made his very first on-his-own friend! and I couldn't be more excited. Read more about it, here

Okay so it's four-something-pm. Way past my bedtime. Goodnight, all, and good Friday to you.

spooning Archer on the couch. zzzzzzzzzz...

GGC

Quit Playin' Names With My...

**Tour-update below**

Deciding on a name for one's unborn child is one of the more important decisions an expectant parent can make. Okay, maybe even the most important decision. I can't be sure.

I like to think that by naming our children we are preparing for them their life stories. A name is a first impression after all, a sort of predetermined identity.


Archer was a total slam-dunk for us. Hal and I were in agreement almost immediately and probably within the first few weeks of my finding out I was pregnant. Archer was unique and strong and masculine, timeless, even graceful. Archer's middle name, Sage (as in wisdom not the herb) came later. Our girl names were a lot tiny bit more complicated. We battled over first names (finally deciding on Colette) and then battled over middle names (finally deciding on Reverie) but it took many an argument before we got there. Fists shook in frustration. Baby books were thrown from car windows, etc.

This time around has been much the same way. Mainly because we are so fond of the name Archer and would like to choose an equally as compelling name for number two. Something with a little story. Hal's fickle heart changes daily and the name we agreed on last week (for a boy) has now been boycotted (ha!) for sounding "too old."

"Not too old! Timeless!" I said.

"Bec! Come on... It's an old man's name."

"You're an old man's name!"

"Look. It's 3am. We have six-months to decide. Can't we just..."

"No! We're going to figure this out NOW! Ahhhh!!!!"

Our girl name is in stone, of course. We're both in love with it much like we were with Archer-a sure sign, I thought, we'd be having a girl, but after our ultrasound seemed like "maybe it's a boy" I've since doubted my pre-ultrasound It's-A-Girl! instincts. (We'll find out the sex fo sho in about a month.)

In the meantime, I'll likely be throwing a thousand-zillion names at Hal, only for each and every one of them to be greeted with eye-rolls, rejected for being too "old," "weird" or "what the fuck? Are you high, woman?"

I can assure you, I'm not high. I just take this whole name-thing VERY seriously. I mean, don't we all? It's a name! A NAME!

How long did it take you and your significant other to decide on names for your babes and/or if you're currently preg, how's the great name debate coming along? Who's winning?

Please come join me at the psycho-name-obsessed-pregnant-lady table and let's discuss. Don't be shy.

GGC

*Reminder for my San Diego area peeps, I'll be reading/signing Rockabye at the Borders in Carlsbad at 7pm, tonight (Wednesday, April 9th). Catch you on the flip...

Kicking Off The Rock : An Evening in Photos*

Book Soup window display.

And of course, the door...

Uncle Frank catered the event immaculately, dear friend.

My parents drove up with my Aunt Fran and wine! Lots of wine!

It was an all-ages show! The unstoppable Lila Garrett even stopped by with her daughter, Eliza Roberts (here with Uncle Frank)

One of my oldest friends, Jamie Krell here with Jordan Feldman, looking gorgeous.

Archer watched me read... For a minute, anyway...


...Before joining me at the podium, sidekick style. After a minute, though, Hal had to cart his ass off... I was sweating like a mule up there under those lights and holding a child during a reading isn't the most comfortable of situations.

Sandwiched between Mary Wollstonecraft and Virginia Woolf. Just... wow.

Also, what do you think of this little piece published yesterday in The Daily Press?

...But Woolf shows readers her warts-and-all journey from rebel child to rebel mom in order to prove something else:

That mothers don't have to let the responsibilities of child-rearing dim their dreams or damage their spirit.

"A mother who sacrifices her livelihood for children is risking not only her own loss of identity but also the well-being of her children. No child deserves to be resented. It is possible to do it all well."

She's prone to big pronouncements like that, which smack of the idealism of youth. But she actually bases her stance on child-raising advice she's gotten from her grandmother.

"Let the baby adapt to you," the grandmother insists...

...Forget adapting your life, schedule, decor to the baby?

Isn't that akin to blasphemy nowadays, when every infant chortle is charted, every childhood danger foreseen and counteracted, and there's a product available to meet a kid's every potential need?

I wonder what moms of all ages think about Woolf's mantra. Is it realistic or wishful thinking?

Is it a brass-tacks truth working-class moms have always understood or a millennial-mom paradigm?

Is it naive of me to think that parenthood doesn't have to change us to such a degree that we must drop everything and become solely "moms"? The author of the piece seems to be asking whether or not I am idealistic or a new breed of thinker. I'm neither, in my opinion. I think every mother feels pressured into complete transformation when becoming a parent and that plenty of us disagree with throwing ourselves out with the bath water.

I mean... right?

GGC


*More photos of the night, here.

News to Rock Out to Quietly

So it looks like Rockabye will be in stock tomorrow on Amazon and shipping soon-after which means my promotional music-video post ends tonight because *technically* the book is out now. Ish. Everyone who pre-ordered should get their books sometime next week or the week after at the latest, and local bookstores are starting to get shipments in now. Phew!

Today's rock, Rogue Wave: Eyes




Meanwhile... At the Peanut Gallery:

*Speech Therapy? Good riddance. Why we quit speech therapy.

**Look for the first of several Rockabye excerpts in the May issue of Babytalk magazine. (Currently online on parenting.com for any of those interested.) You may recognize part of the excerpt as seen first on this blog and over at HuffPo.

***If you're an LA area peep, come on down to Book Soup tomorrow at 5:00. Uncle Frank will be pouring wine for those in attendance and there will be food. And books. And Archer. And Jesse Ventura who's doing a signing right before me which, I mean, obviously, right?

GGC

Rock With a Side of Pickles

An oldie but a goodie. This song reminds me of driving places and makes me all excited to drive places again.

Rilo Kiley: Wires and Waves





And speaking of road-trips, I'm excited to announce one of the more kick-ass contests ever, hosted by my good friends over at SMITH magazine and Rick's Picks.

"SMITH and artisanal pickle crafters Rick’s Picks are asking anyone with an amazing, unusual, or simply memorable pregnancy story to tell it in 100 words or less. You don’t need a bun in the oven right now, just at some point in your life (and a photo to prove it). We don’t care how or with whom you had/raised your baby, we just want to hear your story.

Three grand prize winners will be featured on a nationally distributed line of pickles, the aptly named Slices of Life—“the pickle of pregnancy.” Seven runners-up (six moms and one dad) will win a delicious Rick’s Picks Pregnancy Pack and a copy of our new book, Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure...
...You. On a jar of pickles. Really good pickles. How great is that?"

For more information go here. Enter the contest here. I'm (quite obviously) very excited to be one of four awesome judges on the pickle-panel and am super looking forward to reading your submissions!

Good Luck!

GGC

OB, My Valentine

Today was my first OB appointment with my shiny new non-dick-doctor and it could not have been a more perfect first date. Even the stirrups were padded with fuzzy hearts. I kid you not. 

I told the new doctor about the hell that was my last experience and he shook his head. We chatted about what I wanted this time around re: my birth experience and the dude even gave me a list of Doulas and midwives which is soooo not normal (at least in my experience). I can't even begin to explain how opposite my new doctor is to my old one. So much that we hugged. Twice. I even showed him a copy of my book and gave him my blog address.

Then we held hands and went dancing across the plains. 

Baby's three inches long and moving around like a crazy MOFO up in my piece. My due-date was pushed up to October 12th and the doctor thought he maybe saw a penis but it looked like a giant clitoris to me. 

I'll give you a hundred dollars if you can find the baby in the ultrasound photo

Anyway, regardless of whether or not the baby turns out to be a boy or a girl (or a monkey-squirrel)  I already want to kiss it all over its lemon-sized body. This pregnancy is suddenly very exciting to me. A good doctor really does make all the difference. 

Good doctor + Good pair of maternity jeans = Good times. 

GGC

In The Meantime... Let's Dance!

BOOK UPDATE: It looks like the release date has been pushed to mid-month. Don't be alarmed by the Amazon emails proclaiming a June 2nd shipment. It isn't so. It's just that the books aren't *in* the warehouse yet so they have to push the date back until books arrive. It's just an Amazon thang. SO! The books will be processed at the Amazon warehouse in the next week-ish to ship soon-after and most likely in/at your local bookstore mid-monthish as well. All appearances, even those held before the *new* mid-month release will be stocked with books aplenty. If you have any other questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to email me or comment below.

Phew! Okay then. SO! In lieu of Rockabye's MIA status I'll be featuring my favorite music every day from now until youtube crashes my website Rockabye hits shelves (for real) as a sort of rockin' down to Rockabye situation. 

Because we might as well rock out in the waiting room, yes? 

Today's pick: New Moon* by: Sambassadeur.  



GGC

*Love this track? This one's just as snappy.

Hazards of Releasing a Book On April Fools Day

Life has a funny way of being... funny.

And honestly, I kind of have to laugh. Especially after my week-long freak-fest over today's book release. Because here it is, release date and... Psyche! No book.

I guess should have known the hazards of having an April 1st publication date but alas, I believed in the system and was never one to fall for April Fools shenanigans. Foiled again, I was! My apologies to those of you who were foiled as well.

Today *is* the book release date but because of some issues with the Perseus Books warehouse and a three week delay in shipping (reviewers only *just* got their books Friday. As did I.) Books will not be on local bookstore shelves until next week and/or at the very latest, the week after. Amazon shipments have also been delayed (Five days, I believe?) so if you ordered your Amazon copy in hopes it would arrive today, April Fools! Early next week is probably more accurate. (Ugh! So sorry about that!)

Hal and I had today reserved for bookstore browsing Rockabye at all our local booky haunts but alas... After the third clerk at the third bookstore checked his/her computer shook his head and said, "the book is on it's way it looks like, but, uh, I don't really know.... " I thought to myself, "Hmmmm, something's wrong with this still-life."

I had the brief inclination to think "what if my book NEVER comes out and this was all a joke?" After all, wouldn't that just make sense? After my last weeks of doubt and emotional self-mutilation? I mean, I even went so far as to say "I wish the book could just NEVER come out!"

"OH MY GOD", thought I. "WHAT IF my life is some kind of modern Aesopesque Fable and I, The Girl Who Cried Woolf!?"

Thankfully that isn't the case. I spoke with my publisher about the whole warehouse-debacle and it turns out that yes, the book WILL indeed come out. Soon. I just don't know exactly what day. And that's pretty much just life, isn't it? Plans shmans. Release dates, shmelease dates. The universe fucks with those in need of a good old-fashioned fucking-with (like me).

After all, babies seldom arrive when they are due. And aint that true...

GGC

*For those of you coming to the Book Soup event on Saturday, books WILL be available there. Books will also be available at next week's Borders event in Carlsbad (San Diego) if they haven't already arrived in big chains by then.
**To those who ordered on Amazon, please let me know if you're book has *not* arrived by early next week so I can do some inspecting.
*** I love you people so-so much. Thank you for making me feel like less of an asshole and more like a human being.