Want to Hear a Joke?

A post-op dog, a sick three-year-old and a swollen pregnant lady walk into a bar... 

Unfortunately I've been unable to find a punch-line to our current situation but there is good news! Cooper's recovering well from yesterday's surgery and is now able to sit down and stand up without assistance.

As for Archer, he hasn't thrown up on me since last night! So... we're turning a corner, here at the infirmary. 

*Knocking on wood*


Searching for the Baby in the Boy

Nowhere in this photo do I see a baby. I look and study and blow it up to its maximum size but a baby isn't anywhere to be found. It's as if one night while I was sleeping someone exchanged my little bedbug for a child. A child who holds his preschool girlfriend's hand under the snack table and gives her all his favorite toys. A boy who insists on sitting and listening to every song in its entirety, even if it means sitting in the car with the engine running -- waiting for the song to end. A little person who builds towers out of Legos and paper towel dispensers and proudly shows them off. A kid whose ear can distinguish a violin from a cello, a saxophone from a clarinet -- slow on words, perhaps but quick on sounds and far more knowledgeable than I.

"Archer, listen! It's a trumpet!"

"No, not a trumpet, Mommy. Dis sound a French horn."

And he's usually right.

"Oh, sorry, Archer. I'm an idiot."

Babies don't tell their mothers they're wrong. Babies don't tell you they love you and make up "mommy songs" that they belt out on walks with the dogs. Babies don't pick dandelions from the weeds and say, "here, mommy, blow..." Babies don't stand on stools to wash their hands or practice pushing their baby sisters in strollers around the house.

"Cuz, Mommy? Der's a baby in there, in your belly and I give her a kiss like this... Mu-ah!"

Sunday, at a family reunion, I watched as my cousins swept Archer up into their arms, his eyes wide and grateful to be included in such childhood shenanigans. Only once did Archer find his way back into my arms, too thrilled with being wheeled around the museum in my Nana's wheelchair and eating crackers with the big kids amidst the Bamboo in the courtyard.

And the next morning, on his way to school, without being prompted, Archer asked if he could see his cousins, again. And babies don't do that either.

"You love your cousins don't you." I said.

"Yeah," Archer smiled, whipping his hair out of his face like a teenager.

"Tomorrow," I promised. "We get to see them tomorrow."

"Das cool," Archer said with a nod and I laughed because it always sounds funny to hear him say "cool" or "awesome" or "later skater" because those are things that I say. And every time I laugh Archer laughs, too. "Thas funny, right?" he says, even if he has no idea what has prompted my giggles.

I decided to take Archer out of school for the month of August, so we can have adventures just the two of us: our last hoorah as partners in pigeon-chasing, sidewalk-kicking crime before the baby comes. The baby. And I can't believe I'm going to do this all over again: have a baby, watch her grow, become a little girl; A child; Her own person with hands to hold and instruments to recognize and towers to build all her own.

I can't believe that three years from now, I will look upon the photos of a face not yet before me with the same pain, longing, and where-did-the-time-go tears that I have right now, looking at these seemingly grown-up pictures of Archer: My beautiful son, child, little boy, whose hazel eyes once followed my every move. And now? Every day it is made more clear that I am no longer the center of his world. Instead he has created his own: a magical place where violin-playing dragons blow dandelions and mommies aren't (always) allowed. It is in this world where Archer will, over time, construct his wings.

I cannot believe that once upon a time, I held in my body, something so small. A magic bean I knew would grow, but not this fast. Into a child I knew I would love, but nowhere near this much.

He might as well be a thousand feet high, the way I look at him now. The way I know I will always look at him -- winding like a beanstalk up and into the clouds. Growing up and farther away, my love expanding like the universe around him as his eyes fill with stars.


My Miserable, Lonely, Lesbian Guest Blogger

**Updated Below with A Winner!**

The following is a guest-post written by my dear friend and fellow memoirist,
Andrea Askowitz, whose feisty pregnancy memoir, "My Miserable, Lonely Lesbian Pregnancy" was published by Cleis Press this past April. Andrea, a mother of one (with another one on the way. Woo!) also writes and produces for Lip Service: the true stories reading series at Books & Books in Miami and is an adjunct professor at Florida State University.

Dads Like Me

Calling all moms who hated being pregnant and are now opting to be dads. You are my people and I want to create a sorority of fathers.

I am so self-centered I can barely stand myself, although my friend Ted tells me that that’s part of my charm. When I was pregnant and a dad tried to tell me about how he felt, I was like, “Shut your cake-hole Mister, it’s her turn.”

Now my girlfriend’s pregnant and I’m all about us dads: How we’re afraid to get on top; how we wish we could breastfeed; how we’re growing sympathy bellies.

I was at my daughter Tashi’s friend’s birthday party and all the dads were standing around holding our stomachs.

Pascal said, “I’m still working off my baby fat.”

I said, “Dude, your kid’s five.”

Of course, I’m one to talk. My kid’s 4 ½.

the author lookin' like one miserable, lonely (hot! sexy! mamalicious!) lesbian chick

This is the kind of moment I live for these days, although there is still something missing. It’s that all the dads I know are men. Which is cool. Some of my best friends are men. And I am not in the business to discriminate. I’m just looking for that certain kind of dad: One with a uterus.

I know this may be a small sample of the world’s population (although you never know until you ask) so to broaden my sorority search, I’m also looking for mothers who hated being pregnant, but are NOT opting to be fathers.

I know you’re out there; I have been hearing whispers ever since my own miserable pregnancy. I’m not saying I’m the first to mention that pregnancy sucks. Girl’s Gone Child has been telling the world she’s having 14 contractions a day, which sounds worse than anything physical that happened to me, so the word is out. I’m just saying that before I got pregnant I didn’t hear anyone say anything negative about pregnancy. Maybe I wasn’t listening. Maybe I didn’t want to know. But I had the impression that pregnancy was transcendent. In reality, pregnancy was the worst experience of my life.

So if you’re a mom and you could have done without the nine months OR if you’re a dad and you wish you could breastfeed OR if you’re a mom and a dad, come join my sorority.


Wanna win a signed copy of Andrea's book? All you have to do is Name Andrea's Blog! Andrea is looking for a better name for her blog, currently titled "Andra Askowitz' Blog" ... The commenter with the favorite blog title wins! Good luck! And be sure to check out My Miserable, Lonely Lesbian Pregnancy on Amazon or at a bookstore near you!

**Andrea has gone through the entries and chosen her fave. And the winner is... Kittenpie, with her blog name: "Mrs. Dad." Thank you all for your creative and thoughtful entries! You rock! **

Braxton Sucks: A Strange and Unusual Contest

**Updated With Winning Number, Below**

sick of belly pics, yet? because ELEVEN MORE TO GO!

I didn't have a single Braxton Hicks contraction with Archer. Not one. I had no idea what my doctor was talking about when he asked if I was feeling contractions. 

"Uh, I don't think I am," I'd say, which is hilarious because when you're having contractions YOU FUCKING KNOW, and even still, it's like this "pregnant chick thing" to make it seem like we know our bodies in superhuman supernatural ways and that everything is perfect and wonderful and if I'm supposed to be contracting, well then by GOLLY! I think I might just be!

Another example:

Doctor: How's the baby moving?

Patient: Oh MY GOSH, Doctor! She will NOT SIT STILL! All she does is move-move-move, kick-kick-kick. I can't believe how much she moves. Here, want to feel a kick? 

I'm not talking shit. I do the exact same thing. And I annoy myself to no end because of it. 

Moving on... For the last three weeks I've been having Braxton Hicks contractions HARDCORE and very often, which feel like super intense Charlie Horse(s?) in one's abdomen. Not awesome. Especially when they come frequently and with great force, oh, I dunno... every hour? At least?

So let's make lemonade, people! Let's turn my pain into your pleasure with a little contest. All you have to do is guess the following correctly: 

How many awesometastic! Braxton Hicks contractions will I have today*?

(Yes, I'm serious.)

I will be calculating from morning until midnight and the two readers who guess closest will win a super cute onesie, beanie, bootie set from my good friends at DVS Shoes (who I'm sure will be thrilled when they see that I decided on a "contraction-contest" for the giveaway we discussed. Don't be mad, Rita!)  

"in the skateboard tradition" boy's infant set 3-6 months

"shoe lover in the making" girl's infant set 3-6 months

FYI, the onesies say 3-6 months but they run huge and will fit your 6-12 monther easy peasy. The booties and the hat are closer to newborn sized. For more information about DVS and their radtastic products, go here

*I realize that this contest is totally weird and a little bit creepy but seriously? It was either "guess the contractions" or "pick a random number between 1 and 100" and how totally unoriginal is that? 


WINNERS UPDATE: And the winner is... 14! Far less than usual so perhaps I should have contractions-contests EVERY DAY! Congratulations, carabee, nes, justine and quirkygirl! Please email me with your addresses (and preference of girl/boy style onesie set) and I'll mail it on ovah! 


Also, let's talk baby showers for second babies... Are they tacky or fabulous

Adventures in Thai Massage With Uncle Frank

Prologue and FYI for fairly new readers: Uncle Frank is not my uncle. He's my former roommate and dearest Boo, but he is by no means related to me in any way. Introduction to Uncle Frank, here and here

Uncle Frank called me yesterday. 

"I'm taking you on a fabulous date, tomorrow, honey," he said. 

"Where are we going?"

"You deserve a massage for being fabulous."

"Aw, a massage? For me? Awwww... dude, really?

"Yes. You and me, girl. It's going to be fabulous, fabulous, fabulous..."

So this morning Frank picked me up in the Beemer one of his celebrity clients just, like, totally gave him for no good reason other than: he's fabulous! That's why! and whisked me off to a Thai Massage parlor on La Brea for a full ninety-minute rub-down. 

Frank and I arrived, excitedly and were promptly guided to our room, which seemed kind of odd at first, but then I just kinda figured THEY figured that Frank was gay and we were BFF so it didn't matter if we got naked in front of one another. 

"You take off clothes and lie down and you take off clothes and lie down." 

Frank and I stood blinking at each other before I offered to close the curtain between our two beds. 

"What you doing? This romantic! You silly girl!" my masseuse gasped, hitting me with a towel playfully. 

"What? No! So he can have his privacy..."

"He your husband! You see him naked to make baby in your belly. You see him naked is no big deal. Is good to see naked. Is romantic! I do sensual couples massage for good, happy couple with baby!"

"That's very kind of you but he's not really my husband!" I tried to explain. 

Frank jumped in, "We're friends! We're not married. I'm not the baby's daddy..."

"What? You two no make this baby? You are not wife?"

"Well.. I'm SOMEONE's wife but not his... He's my friend."

"I like boys."

"See? And I don't have a penis."

That's when the poor masseuse who was so confused at this point, finally got it. She and everyone else at the parlor burst into hysterical laughter like we were the craziest motha-fuckas in the universe. 

Frank and I took our respective bows for being the bearers of such funny.

"Oh, my! You just friend! I thought I do couples massage very sensual!"

"I know. And, really...  that's so sweet of you. Maybe next time?"

It was then that I wondered if I had been wrong to say something. Perhaps we should have gone along with the whole "sensual couples massage" thing. Out of sheer curiosity! It might have been kind of funny. Awkward, yes, but hilarious. And what good is life if not uncomfortably hysterical? Oh, well. Maybe next time. 

"You two just friend! You no husband! I thought you said you were married, on the phone! I so embarrass!" 

"No! It's fine! People think we're married all the time!" I tried to reassure. "Right Frank?"

"Yes! Like that one time... You know. That one time?"

"Yes. I do know. That one time!"

Except, after some thought I remembered that Frank was right! There WAS that one time and until today, I had forgotten all about it. About five years ago, when Frank and I were roommates, we decided to sign up for a shared-account at our local Russian-owned and operated video rental-house (which also housed some of the great post-modern pornographic classics). Frank told the woman behind the counter that we were married: Mr and Mrs. Woolf, respectively and she believed him and gave us one account and two rental cards. I thought nothing of the possible ramifications of our video-union until months later when I was faced with "$18.34 in late fees for AssMen 2, 3 and 4, which your husband rented over three weeks ago and never returned. You pay late fees, now or you cannot rent!"

It would have been all fine and dandy had I not showed up to the counter with a guy I'd just started dating and an obscure new-wave flick I was trying to impress him with. 

Hi, my name is AWKWARD and I watch gay porn with the husband I failed to mention!

But I digress... the MASSAGE PARLOR. We're at a massage parlor. 

For the duration of the massage, separated by a curtain, Frank and I lay naked side by side, moaning and groaning and howling through our heavenly, often-times rough-n-tumble rub-down, mumbling to one another through the curtain until we both finally passed out, drooling, only to be awakened suddenly with an, "okay. You done." 

What, no happy ending? 

Ah, but who needs a happy ending when you have a fabulous gay husband to skip down the fabulous puke-stained streets of Hollywood with? 


Project Crawlway: Episode One

I hereby present, my baby girl's first picnic-table grandma-chic a-line dress, handmade by... dun-dun-dun-duuuuuuuun: Me! and, in all honesty, my mother who sewed all the hard parts, which was most of it because I'm just learning and not quite steady on the sewing machine yet, but I will be! Oh, I will be!

Now, all it needs are some little orange bloomies. Aw. 

Also, we're talking about breastfeeding (or lack thereof) after breast-reduction surgery over here if you feel so inclined. TMI warning for the boys in the house, as in, read at your own risk. I'm pretty sure the episiotomy post scarred many of my dude-readers for life. (Sorry, guys.)


Also, for whatever reason my blog-banner died. Please standby while I see about getting myself a new one. 


Archer watches the Dragon Boats: Echo Park, Los Angeles

It's a strange feeling to know that you're life is about to change. Usually, it just changes. Out of nowhere. Like in softball when I was eight-years old, a hopeless athlete forced to play center-field for an entire season, because that was the position that got the least action. And, of course, game after game, I waited, waited, WAITED for some action, my eye on the sky, until the day came that I stopped waiting because screw waiting! No one is ever going to hit the ball all the way out to center-field. Except someone did. The one day I wasn't paying attention.

I don't know if I caught two balls in the two seasons I played center-field, which was why I learned to pitch. I was desperate for some ball control and the occasional ("huah!") strike.

Waiting gives me a stomach ache, even if there is absolutely no reason to be nervous. Waiting in line at Starbucks and my nerves are a flutter. Waiting for the mail. Waiting for friends to arrive at a dinner party. Anxiety takes over. I start sweating. I pace and clean and check my cell-phone for missed calls and messages. I re-ponytail my hair. Again. And again...

The butterflies arrived this week. In the form of kicks and nudges and hiccups and... nerves. Or maybe its just gas. No, but it isn't gas. I know gas. Gas and me are like old friends who don't like to be seen in public together. This is something bigger: an acute case of butterflies.

There is no anticipation quite like a pregnancy. Waiting for someone to be is a pretty nerve-wracking experience, even if they're the happiest kind of nerves. Nerves with smiley-faces and fedoras.

gurgle. gurgle. gurgle.

Today, I was crossing the street with a smoothie and two cups of ice coffee in one hand, Archer's hand in the other, when it occurred to me that, very soon, I won't be able to do such a thing. Not without some help or a stroller, or at the very least, a large bag full of supplies. I haven't carried a diaper bag in almost two years, and the thought of binkies and bottles and burp-cloths both excites and terrifies me.

I'm so together right now. I feel like I can do anything. I can mother and work and sleep and pursue creative schemes, and meet friends for lunch and coffee and drinks.... I can pack a lunch in five-minutes and get out the door in ten. I can spend an entire day without so much as touching a stroller. An entire week, even. I can spend an afternoon at the park and know at every moment where my child is, what he's doing and if/when he needs me to give him a boost or push him on the swing. I can, in one hand, balance two full cups of coffee on top of a 16 ounce Acai smoothie with Calcium boost.

For now.

I feel like I have finally figured out how to be a mother and a wife and an individual without leaving anyone out. I am confident in my multi-tasking across busy streets. I know what I'm doing...

Aha! But not for long.

And so, the butterflies. The twisted bellyaches that growl and vibrate the unknown. The nervous anticipation of standing in the outfield with my glove extended toward the sky, whispering, "I got it! I got it! I got it!" because that's what the coaches tell you to say when you think you got it. When you think you can catch the ball. When it's falling right over you! Right into your glove!

And, "I got it," I think, standing here, once again, in center field, the farthest position from the pitcher's mound. And of course I do. I will. I'll catch the ball. Maybe not on the fly, per say. It might take a bounce or two before it finds its way into my glove. It may even take several seasons before the coach lets me pitch again. Before I have the arm-control to throw a strike.

But that's the game. And that's motherhood... And I'm sure its been said, a thousand times before, in ways far more eloquent than I can express, that the moment we think we have it all under control, is the ideal moment to lose our balance and spill coffee all over our silly metallic gladiator sandals.

And so I embrace the nerves and cramps and sweaty palms. And I wait...

...With napkins ready.


And Speaking of Amazing Girlfriends... (Updated)

Rachel just sent me this: 

You're telling me, sister. 


I would also like to add that today I sneezed and peed my pants. In public. This has never happened to me before, but I'm told its quite common with a second pregnancy which is awesome news. Any incontinence cards, Rach? Perhaps a care-package of pantyliners.co.uk? 


Updated: I should have known Rachel would come through:

And Then One of my Best Friends Goes On and Shows up at my House on a Motorcycle

A motorcycle she rode all the way down from Vancouver, where she currently resides.  That, my friends, doesn't suck at all. In fact, that? That is the opposite of suck. That is bad-ass-awesome and a sight for sore eyes:

Grace, I love you. Move back to Los Angeles. 

Also, thank you, dear readers for all of your well wishes for dear Cooper. We haven't set a date for the surgery. Still figuring out if we're going to stay with our current vet or shop elsewhere but we're optimistic and hoping that the docs will be able to remove the majority of the tumor. (Because of where its located, and its size, we're told it will be impossible to remove it all.) Thankfully, the dog's got lots of love in these here parts and being merely seven-years-old, he's nowhere near ready to hit the bucket. In fact, all buckets have been hereby confiscated from the premises. 

Again, thank you for your kindness. 


*Girl's Gone Child can now be accessed at http://girlsgonechild.net. I've had a url-squatter on girlsgonechild.com, since I first started my blogspot blog back in 2005, which sucks and the dude won't fork it over so fine. I've gone dot net instead. 

Dogs Should Live Forever I've Decided

Coop: a profile

It's been one of those weeks and it's only Monday. I fear for the rest of the week at this rate... I'm scared. 

After a long, exhausting and emotional-coaster-of-a weekend we got a call-back from the vet that my dog has a malignant tumor on his leg that is going to cost us a stupid-lot-amount of money to have removed, and even then, the vet says it will come back, because this particular breed of tumor always comes back and scientific data blah-blah and statistics pooh-pooh-pooh and he's a Boxer so "I'm afraid blah-di-blah-di-blah... Blah." 

Still, we will have it removed because, duh, what choice do we have? We love him. He's our baby. And when it comes back? We'll just have to have it removed again. And again. Because we just do. At least until the doctor says to stop... 

Because you can't just keep removing the same tumor over and over forever, apparently. Something about it having tentacles or something I don't quite understand. But for now? We are told he will be okay. The cells haven't spread and he may have a good year (or so!!!???) of stinky farts and slobbery kisses in him yet. And besides, in that time he might just drop-dead of something totally arbitrary that has nothing to do with Cancer because sometimes shit just happens and that is that. Pets die. Dogs die. Beloved family and best friends die. Usually when you least expect it. 

Still, I'm heartbroken. I feel like this tiny little girl with no secret powers to heal or fix or help her pet dragon. Cooper was my first baby  and it breaks my heart that this is only the beginning of a journey of expensive surgeries and bandages and cones around his neck so he won't bite at his stitches. 

Sometimes shit sucks balls, man. Plain and simple. 


This Sunday... Rock and Read!

click jpeg to enlarge

In the Hollywood area? Looking for something fun to do with (or without) the fam this Sunday? Come on down to the Virgin Megastore at Hollywood and Highland for some rock and read action (3:00pm-6:00) made possible by my lovely and talented friend, Alexa Young

You can check out the bands and authors (myself included) participating, here, as well as any and all information @ rocknread.net

Hope to see you there!


...And in other, waaaaaaaay less rock-n-roll news... I'm looking for birth-after-episiotomy advice o'er here. Your advice, opinions and stories are, as always, much appreciated.

Rounding Third

I have reached the 27-week mark, which means, I have but one trimester left. Thirteen more weeks, and if all goes according to plan, sixteen more pounds. I'm trying very hard to keep the weight gain under thirty-five pounds this go around. Losing twenty-five pounds postpartum sounds a whole hellofa lot easier than losing fifty so I am working out regularly, walking everywhere and staying away from sugar and processed foods, as well as reciting positive, low-calorie affirmations every night before bed. 

I've gained nineteen pounds so far. The bulk of that in my hips and thighs.  


(double gulp.) 

I've also invested in a pair of gladiator sandals (see above). After trying on multiple pairs and ordering a cheap, shitty-pair from Urban Outfitters only to send them back, annoyed, I settled on a beautiful and oh-so cankle-chic, pewter pair of Sam Edelman "Gilda" glads. Highly recommended for cankle control and comfort for any and all women this summer. I've been wearing mine 24/7 and will likely wear them all the way to the stirrups. Fuck. I might have to wear them IN the stirrups. (Wouldn't that be a great shoe commercial? Pregnant lady refuses to take off her super-cute shoes to give birth because her shoes are just WAY TOO cute to remove?) 

I also must mention, because it was entirely coincidental that this happened and I find it amusing and kind of sweet, but the shirt I'm wearing in the above photos happens to be the DVF blouse I wore when I married Hal at The Little White Chapel three plus years ago. AND!!!! Get this!!!??? The blue pinstriped vest I'm wearing over it was part of the three-piece suit my father wore when he married my mother thirty-years ago. 

I know, right? 

So, yes. A very matrimonial Wednesday to you all... 


Second Chance

The night I realized I no longer wanted to make mischief of some kind. Not like I used to, anyway.

About nine-months ago I wrote an essay entitled "Where the Wild Things Were" and submitted it to The New York Times' Modern Love section. Two months later, it was rejected and for the last some-odd months the piece has been collecting dust in my "nomads and wanderers" folder on my desktop, along with a slew of other homeless pieces.

So when my dear friend, Danny asked me to to guest-post on Dad Gone Mad and then accepted my offer to post an essay that never saw the light of anyone's computer (sans for mine) I was thrilled.

Angela B: in all her rock glory, The Roxy, 2007

It was written for somebody to read after all.

Hope you enjoy.


Blood Women

"Almost. Just a second."

"You were supposed to be finished with that thing a minute ago. You better chug."

"But I'll throw up! It makes me gag!"

"Oh, come on. Just drink the stuff..." she trailed off but the look in her eyes, screamed "PUSSY!"

Ah, the sweet memories of my last pregnancy, which wasn't exactly an ideal experience, with the Dicktor and the Preeclampsia and all. But for some reason, what sticks out to me most as perhaps the most horrible part of my pregnancy was dealing with the scowling (frightening!) ladies who worked at the diagnostics lab(s) and performed my bloodwork and tests.

The above conversation happened over the God-forsaken Glucose drink (while I was pregnant with Archer) which, for any of you who HAVEN'T tasted it, tastes like, uh, sweet, fizzy throw-up? Am I right, ladies?

Lucky me, I got to drink the stuff again, this morning.

I had a nervous stomach in the car all the way over to the lab. A hungry -from-fasting, nervous stomach because not only was/am I petrified of glucose-aid, I'm also (and even more) petrified of dunt, dunt, DUNNNNNNT: Blood women.

"Are you done, yet," she said.

"Blood Women" aka the women who work in diagnostic labs are probably the scariest women you'll ever meet, and this coming from a person who actually *likes* needles. I love the feeling of tattoos and enjoy getting my blood taken, watching the little glass vials fill with my blood, and yet, every time I walk into one of the many Quest Diagnostic labs around town, my stomach hurts, and (like clockwork, people) I leave with a violent case of diarrhea. But I digress, Blood Women are frightening to look at as much as they are horribly mean: their faces typically furnished with facial hair, pasty skin flaking off like scales, their body-odor reeking of sour meat...

This morning, I approached the desk of one of the nicer-looking diagnostic labs I've ever seen and slowly, quietly passed the smiling woman behind the counter my paperwork before retreating into my hair.

The attractive young woman handed me the dreaded sugar drink and sweetly asked me to drink it as fast as I possibly could.

"...Please," she said.

Please? Did she just say, "please..."

I had never, until today heard a Blood Woman say "please" to me for any reason. I was shocked. I took the drink and chugged it as fast as I could as not to disappoint the anomalous Blood Woman.

I chugged and gagged. Chugged and gagged. The people seated on either side of me watching out the corners of their eyes. Chug-gag-chug-gag-chug-gag-chug...

"Done!" I proclaimed, handing over my empty bottle of sweet-piss. "And under five minutes!"

"Great job," she said. "We'll call you in in an hour for blood samples."


I happily took a seat in the waiting room, thinking to myself that I must have been all wrong about the good Blood Women of Quest Diagnostics. So far, everyone here was delightful and no one smelling of meat!

Well, sure enough, an hour passed and I was called into the little room with the vials.

A seemingly sweet little elderly woman readied my arm to take my blood, making small talk with me, asking me my name and then, oddly enough, about the large purse I was carrying. She was suddenly very concerned about its contents.

Which was... weird?

And then! Suddenly! As if she had been formulating a monologue for days, the Blood Woman ripped into me about the heft of my purse and how I was the type of pregnant woman who would likely miscarry because I wasn't careful! Shlepping too many things in my bag was bad for my baby.... I was selfish... I wasn't thinking straight... Two more vials and then we're done...

My stomach gurgled as I watched the tubes fill with blood. I said nothing in response. I didn't need to. My bowels would speak for me, moments later, in the bathroom down the hall.


In other news, more weird pregnancy symptoms, here, including my fear of Babies R Us (and how I faced it for the greater good of my super-nesting) and the wild and crazy world of stinging nips.


Also, in other news (and because several of you lovely lady-friends have asked) I will not be attending Blogher this year because dear friends of mine will be married that weekend. Just as well as I'll be 30 weeks pregnant (not ideal for long-weekend socializing) and without my life-partner, who, honestly, I can barely function in large groups without. Will miss all of you and my apologies to those I promised drinks to so many months ago. Next year I owe you drinks AND with some luck (and Dana in tow) a Pirate Cookie. Have fun, ladies!

Fourteen (Weeks) to Go

...and just like that, a dress becomes a shirt. 



In lieu of Independence day and American flag-print tee-shirts, I'd like to direct all interested parties to read a very powerful post written by my Great Uncle John, who just last month started a blog of his own at the ripe old age of eighty-something.  Happy 4th. 


We live in a two-bedroom duplex and we're not moving anytime soon. Not unless something miraculous happens that would or could allot us the luxury of being able to afford a million plus dollar home, which is the going rate of most three and four-bedrooms in our neighborhood, even now with the Real Estate crunch.

It's crazy to think we choose to live here, barely getting by on an income that would afford us a luxe life practically anywhere else. But this was what we chose, independently of one another, when we moved here.

Los Angeles: city of two-bedroom apartments and delusions of grandeur.

Of course there's always a chance something miraculous happens but one cannot work with that in mind, no matter how many times I bribe myself with pipe-dreams in order to compensate for my exhaustion, flailing at fantasies, banging my head against my desk because this was supposed to finished months ago, Godamnit!

Meanwhile, Hal comes home from another pitch meeting. This time in Dallas, his pockets empty and inside-out.

Because that is what gamblers do. And this is Los Angeles and we are gamblers. Gambling six months of time on a television concept: trying to build an airplane around a Pilot script and its subsequent pages of summaries and notes and the reel we now must complete before we walk into orchid-clad studios with our fingers crossed so tight they turn blue.

"I feel good about the meeting," he says. "I feel good about the pitch."

Which is good. Is great. Is deserving of applause because good for him for having the balls to walk into a meeting with Goliath, dressed as David, confident in the stones he throws with all his might.

Except Dallas calls on Monday with the same news.

"We're so sorry but..."

And then...

"I didn't get it."

And so...

"Next time."

You want something in this life, you gotta work for it. You have to work long and hard and be okay when it doesn't sell. More than okay. Rejections are the fuel to keep you going.

And we do.

I had a mentor many years ago who told me, upon my first moving here to "get out while you still can."

"You're young and good," he said "and this town will make you old and bad..."

He tried to scare me into walking away, except it only made me curious. Most people who have lived in Hollywood for a certain amount of time will tell you the same thing: It was the rip-tide warning that convinced me to swim.

It's a gamble. It's all a gamble. And we work and pitch and write and create and brainstorm and take meetings in distant cities because it keeps us alive. It keeps us from going insane. It keeps us in control of the hope that time is never wasted and good work doesn't go unnoticed. Because eventually something will hit, has to hit, and when it does, there will be change for the meter.

Plenty of change.

Between the two of us we have probably completed, pitched and/or created over fifty projects and so far, only one has sold. These odds don't bode well for a young family and yet we continue to get pregnant, continue to fill pages and waiting-rooms, put on suits, study the faces and words and ideas of those who win. We continue to watch the window for Ed McMahon's white van or good news.

But you have a family now. Maybe it's time to turn away from the sun, find a nice quiet place and start over -- a nice quiet life and trees for your kids to climb on. Maybe it's time for you to put on a suit, personalize a cubicle. Go back to school and study law or business or easymoney-making-101. Maybe it's time for you to go home.

down, the voices say. But all I can hear is settle.

No. Not yet. Not just yet.

The sacrifice would be too great. For three bedrooms, maybe even a fourth. For trees. And friends forever. For public schools. Affordable housing. Affordable living. A lower-maintenance life.

There are days when it is so fucking tempting to leave. But then there are days when it's even more tempting to stay. When suddenly the right people say the right things, plan the right meetings... And all of a sudden: maybe.

And it doesn't even matter what the maybe is, it's just... Maybe.

It is this Maybe that keeps one chained to her desk. It is the Maybe that inspires a script to become an entire presentation. An idea to become the beginning of a fourth novel after three did not sell. It is this Maybe that plants us here, by the window with thirsty roots, watching the gates of the studio open and close. Open. Close. Open...

It is this Maybe that holds us down and shakes us up and wakes us up and pulls us under. It is this Maybe that we stake our entire future on. It is this Maybe that will cause our children to grow up and either resent or respect us. It is this Maybe that makes me both proud and ashamed of who I am.

Of who we are.


Happy Birthday, Baby

Four years older than the day we met...

summer, 2004: nice earrings, dude.

...And not a hair balder

same summer, 2004: nice hat/bandana-combo, pal.

I could not love you more.