Date Your Mate

Last night Hal and I went out on a date. We try to do up the town once a month. Nothing fancy - dinner and a movie, usually. We drink, fondle each other's private parts under the table and call it a relatively early night because clock's a-ticking and holy shit does date night get expensive. FAST.

But last month, in celebration of our birthdays (two weeks apart-ish) we gave one another our very first overnight date since Fable was born, booked a hotel room at The Biltmore downtown and prostituted ourselves to strangers in order to purchase two of the best seats at The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion where we sat in our fancy best and watched La Traviata with tears in our eyes. Not only were we the youngest couple in the entire theatre (Lame. The Opera needs to market to younger people before the stage stands empty. OPERA, PEOPLE! LET'S GO OPERA!) we were also the most dressed up. Hal rented a tux and the whole nine.

It was like prom except way more lactate-y. (I forgot my pump so had to milk myself like a cow over the toilet. How's that for imagery? Ah! But you're quite welcome!) We even got to ride in The Biltmore Hotel's Towncar which made us feel like hot shit even though we had to sit with a bunch of uppity strangers who quite obviously hated us.

I digress because last night's date night was almost as good as our fancy opera romp. Last night Hal and I were lucky enough to attend the red-carpet premiere of Paper Heart thanks to lovely friends with fancy jobs and not only was the movie incredible (arguably the most enjoyable, creatively inspiring film I've seen in the last five years. Serious brilliance. I recommend with five stars) but I got to be there sans kids with my lovely husband who seldom holds a hand that isn't Archer's when we leave the house.

The film for those not familiar is part made-up scripted fiction, part documentary but in a weird way you don't really know what is real and who's acting and who's playing a part and which people are being themselves and ah, such is life: tall tales revealing taller truths and in the middle of everything, love lost and found and sometimes lost again. (And sometimes SOMETIMES found even after all that.) We even got to revisit our five-minute (IF that) wedding during scenes that took place in The Little White Chapel, our place of matrimony four and a half years ago.

The importance of dating your mate, spouse, significant other is obvious. Experiencing life without kids from time to time is a reminder of how much fun you can have together as a couple. And for us, it's imperative: the best therapy money can buy.

Last night made me want to grow old with Hal. Not because we have children together or because we signed a silly piece of paper in a crowded Las Vegas courthouse. But because regardless of what brought us to this point, what caused us to marry in the first place, we love each other hard. We're more than just the parents of our children and it's easy to forget that, especially when you have young babes literally hanging from your body.

And even though we tell each other daily, before bed with Fable between us, in the morning as I'm buckling Archer into the car to go to school and on the weekends when we're loading the refrigerator with smashed berries from the farmer's market (Sweetie? Next time don't put the peaches on the berries/ Whoops, sorry/ It's okay. I still love you/ I love you, too.) it means something different hearing it in the back of a taxi cab buzzed off free booze or in a crowded theatre against the glow of Bai Ling's pleather two-piece like candlelight in the heavily perfumed darkness...

Roll credits. Bring up the lights.


In other news... we're saving up our pennies for a house with central air because (phew boy!) it's been a thousand degrees up in this piece and my bangs are permanently stuck to my forehead and blergh.

Track 3/100

3. Let On by: The Ropes


Sunday Monday Snaps

1. He waited all weekend to pick
the cucumber he had been watering.
And when he did, he gave it to her.

2. He called for me like he used to
so I went. And I scratched his little back
until we woke up and it was morning*.

3. I pulled him through the whitewash
until I was so tired I fell over
and we both got water in our noses.

4. We floated the sand out of our hair.
Them in their rafts and me hanging on
to keep from going under.

5. In my rear-view mirror I watched
as their eyelids flickered closed.
I turned up the music, merged into the carpool lane.


*which is why these are a day late. Whoops, life.

Blogging Out Loud

Today I embarrassed myself. I probably embarrass myself daily, perhaps even hourly but I'm oblivious 99.9994% of the time.

It happened in Target. Fable was experiencing her very first ride in the red cart. (Until today I have only worn her shopping so twas a major milestone. We're talking PAGE in the baby book*.)

Fable was beyond stoked to put her legs through the holes and dangle her chubby feet in the nothingness. It was a quick trip. Only a twenty-minute window was had so I pushed Fable quickly through the aisles, grabbed a box of diapers, Healthy Weight Dog Food because obvy, welcome to LA, a pack of white tee-shirts for enduring summer with a bobbler (that's baby/toddler for all yous new to my isms) and a pack of Sweet Mint Orbit gum (my brand of choice).

Fable was in heaven, she was. She clapped her hands, waved to strangers, laughed like no one was watching.

We paid for our purchases and filed into the elevator. I had just pushed the P1 button when a nice older-ish woman turned to my squealing-with-glee baby and said:

"What a happy baby! Is she always like that?"

"Yes! She truly is. Ever since she was born..." and then, because I HAD TO KEEP TALKING... "She must have come out on the right side of my vagina!"

The seconds that followed were quite possibly the longest seconds in the history of the universe. People turned. Eyes widened. Fable went on kicking her legs. I might as well have farted, taken off all my clothes and sang Karaoke right in that moment because the looks of WTF could not have been more WTFish.

"Like, you know... the right side of the bed. But... vagin...a. Just kidding. Hi."

Good recovery, Bec. Now that you're just kidding everyone is totally cool with you just mentioning your vagina at 9:52am in a crowded elevator of randoms.

When the elevator finally dinged, I raced like mad toward my car where I locked the doors and hid under my steering wheel.

It was there that it dawned on me that, holy shit! I just blogged out loud!

Vagina talk is shmagina talk in print and even though most of you reading are people I don't know, it never feels weird publishing explicit stories about my lady parts for some reason.

Talking vagina to an elevator of strangers? Quite another story, I now know.


And in other near horrifying news, a pregnancy scare!

*I wish. There's no baby book. Actually, THIS is my baby book.

Track 2/100

2. Nantes by: Beirut


Sunday Snaps

1. She went to bed with three teeth,
and woke up with four.
(Toothless grin no more.)

2. Pretending his bed was our boat
we fished for stuffed animals
with plastic golf clubs.

3. We sat them side by side,
then watched as they
banged away on bongo drums.

4. Too hot to stay inside
so we played with tiny leaves
as the sun dropped and gave us twenty.

5. No matter the challenges
And what the years change
Her first word was "mama"...


Dawn, Dusk

Several weeks ago, an old man stopped me on the side of the street. He was walking slowly and with a cane, his back curled like a wave, his eyes concentrated on the pavement under his feet. He saw the wheels of the stroller, first, and then looked up, quickly, as if woken from sleep, his back suddenly straight, eyes kind and blinking.

"A baby," he said."May I?"

I pulled the shade back, revealing Fable's smile. She squealed gleefully, reaching for the man's face.

He gave her his hand.

"I remember when I had one of these," he said. "Isn't it amazing?"

"Yes," I said.

Meanwhile, the light waned, the world sped by. People scurried past, on route to dinner, or the dry-cleaners or a toilet paper run into Rite Aid behind the Newsstand with the empty dog bowl beside the LA Weeklys.

Meanwhile, the old man and Fable were still as hummingbirds, the universe chasing its tail around them. Always in a rush this human race.

Fable began to laugh. A small laugh that turned into a gurgle and then hysterics like she so often does when she's tired, punch-drunk on wakefulness.

The old man laughed back, quietly at first, slowly gaining momentum until, finally he burst into child-like hysterics, his eyes watery, body shaking.

Their laughter echoed down to the end of the sidewalk until the rush slowed and the world stopped and strangers smiled at one another.

I've thought about that moment a thousand times since its happened. About the significance of an old man and a baby hand in hand, laughing hysterically - like eavesdropping on the meaning of life.

... ... ... ... ... ...

Two weeks ago, when we were in San Diego, Fable got to spend quite a bit of time with her great-grandparents. Watching them together I was reminded of the incident with the man - the laughing and the touching - the smooth, uncalloused hands grabbing hold of the veiny arms of her family tree - of the women whose blood runs strong in her veins.

There is great poetry in the measurement of time, in an eighty-year age difference, in a body that has wandered the world cradling one still unable to wander, eyes that have seen most everything locked with those still learning to focus.

I've been blessed with incredible grandparents, three of whom are more alive than most people my age - active in their communities, beautiful and able-bodied, with stories as long as scrolls dare unfold. But there is something different about them when they're with my children, different than they ever were with me. Something illuminates in them - and in Fable. Archer, too.

A whispering of souls, a secret handshake of sorts - a collision of dawn and dusk...

Two ideal lights overlapping, from street corners to living rooms to gardens freshly planted, rehabilitating humanity in tiny increments, orange and yellow hues enlightening the sky.


Stop Procrastinate and Listen!

I used to be the master of all things procrastinatory until I had babies and had to substitute all the hours I spent  downloading free porn, shopping for shoes I couldn't afford, scanning the nerve personals pages for dudes with cleverly written profiles doing GOD knows what, with, oh I don't know --  shower taking, going pee, an occasional chap stick application, grocery shop.

That's kind of the beauty of motherhood. It's an insta-cure for Time-wasting Disease, a common side-effect of life in the 21st century, mainly because time becomes scarce and valuable so spending it gchatting about Paul Blart: Mall Cop is going to have to take a back seat. 

But what happens when the baby starts to nap and suddenly you have time? Not A LOT of time. But juuuust enough time to spend checking email, checking your favorite blogs, updating your various statuses until suddenly, two hours have passed, the baby is awake and you're like WHAT? Oh, shit! I was supposed to use those two hours working toward my goal to be a better human being and now I'm just... OMG! How cute are Sarah Jessica Parker's baby twins!... I mean... where was I? What? Oh, yes! The baby. Must get the baby...

I know, you guys. Me, too. 

Here's the thing with the Internet. It is public enemy #1 in terms of distraction and worst of all? There is guilt involved. Guilt if you don't respond to emails right away, or twitter back, or reciprocate cupcakes on facebook pages, comments on blogs, flickr pages, etcinfinity... 

So what's a modern girl to do? How do we keep from getting sucked in so we don't waste our lives checking gossip blogs, updating our facebook statuses and twittering incessantly about nothing?

It's a toughie for sure. I do know that what helped me was fully embracing my inner flake and taking the pressure off myself to participate in everything that's going on. Like I said in the above video, I only check my email once a week. Do I browse daily? Of course! (My email and facebook updates ping my Blackberry immediately.) But unless it comes from family, close friend or a emergency, I allow a few days, even a week (or more) before I read and only if I can (some weeks are more insane than others) do I respond. Same goes for Facebook and Twitter re: staying in the loop but that's because social networks scare me. I hate crowds. 

Bottom line? Life is rich with all kinds of choices. You want more time to write your own blog? Stop reading so many. You want to start your own business? Form a band? Pass an important exam? Let's go. Write a list, unplug your Internet and get to work (I spend my nanny hours at a coffee shop with no WiFi. I find it impossible to focus my attention on a manuscript with a an abled-browser within clicking distance.) Life may be long but days are short and dreams, if you have them, deserve some attention. Not to mention those kids playing under your desk. 


I keep forgetting to link my ten-days-of summer post(s) in which I write about fun things I did with my family in San Diego two weeks ago. Check it out if you are in the mood to procrastinate a little longer feel so inclined!

Track 1/100

Ever since I started posting Fable Films, I've been asked to post more music-ish type things, including lists of favorite bands, songs, birthing mix tracks, etc, which makes me super happy you guys share my enthusiasm for music, even if I've fallen off the Band wagon, so to speak (my social life used to revolve around who was performing at The Wiltern that week. Sigh.)


I've been thinking as a solution to being unable to write blog posts every day it might be fun to compile a 100 song mix tape, featuring some of my favorite artists and songs for the next one-hundred weeks. 

That's to say I'm still blogging by then.  Either/or, I hope you enjoy. 

1. Furr by: Blitzen Trapper


Sunday Snaps

1. "You can do it, Fable!"
And we cheered until she did:
Crawling for the very first time into my arms.

2. "Choose your art," we told him. "Whatever makes you happy."
Two hours later, we left the craft fair
with a rolled-up print of a cowboy riding a seahorse.

3. Over dinner I looked around
at my husband, children, new friends
and thought, "how fun it is to be a grown-up."

4. I cut his hair myself. Messed up the layers,
accidentally cut crooked bangs. And yet...
"I love it, Mommy! You made it so I can see now!"

5. I rocked her in my arms
on the foot of his bed,
singing them both to sleep
with one song.


Jon, Kate and Henry Miller walk into a bar, have an emotional affair

1. I never got around to posting the following Momversation, mainly because I wasn't in the mood to be controversial but I do want to say this: Jealousy has become status quo when it comes to relationships and I don't think its healthy. There's a reason so many marriages end in divorce and I believe a great deal of that comes from the pressure one feels to exist as someone's everything. I feel very strongly that the article that sparked this episode perpetuates paranoia, guilt and "omg I touched my friend's knee and he was a dude and I'm a chick and it totally turned me on I SHOULD CONFESS TO MY HUSBAND because I'm an awful CHEATING CHEATER!"

Come on, really? Is that what it's come to? We're afraid of making eye-contact at the risk of falling in love? I'm sorry but that's just sad. Flirting IS NOT evil. Neither is fantasizing about fucking the UPS guy.

I personally stand by the following when it comes to marriage and monogamy be it physical, emotional et al: Animals stray because they feel caged. People cheat because they feel trapped. There is nothing more attractive to a caged bird* than an open sky. Remove the cage? There's no need to fly away. (*Please pardon the cliche)

Hal will never fulfill my every need as a woman just like I will never fulfill his every need as a man. (I'm his wife, not his life.) We live in a social society. Therefore connecting with people OUTSIDE of the home should be celebrated, not shamed.

Psh. No wonder we all feel so alone, geez.

2. As with the Emotional Affair episode, I got so caught up in last week's vacation that I forgot to post the following episode, discussing books that changed our lives.

My first take was ten minutes long because I couldn't stop talking about Henry Miller and how I quit college to be his bitch. So consumed and affected by Miller's work, specifically Tropic of Cancer, was I.

I used to sit in my car outside Miller's old house in Pacific Palisades with my laptop and write, stalking his ghost like the paparazzi, hoping for a glimpse of what I don't know. From there I took day trips to the Library in Big Sur. Befriended Magnus, keeper of the library, met my literary agent at the Henry Miller writer's workshop where I spent a long weekend workshopping a novel that has since been rejected into retirement. RIP, ye piece of my soul.

But I digress... Any writer who has never read Miller should. He's a writer's writer like no other and his ability to turn sand into pearls has been the motivation behind my optimism as a person and openness as a writer. Miller taught me that in order to be extraordinary as a writer you must write fearlessly and truthfully. I'm far away from mastering this art but I've made it my life mission to try.

Other books that changed my life that were edited out for time:

The Cities of the Interiors books by: Anais Nin** - They're genius. They're raw. They're true stories tucked behind a fictional curtain with holes in it.

A Woman Speaks by: Anais Nin - Nin was the first person I read who spoke of "humanism" ... This book gave voice to thoughts I didn't know I had and helped me identify who I was and am as a thinking woman, human being.

Written on the Body by: Jeanette Winterson - Written by my favorite living author, Winterson writes with her entire body. Her books are like a dance. The best ones always are.

Fear of Flying: Erica Jong - this book was the coming out party of my sexuality. I read it in High School and it was the first time I felt comfortable with myself as a sexual person and writer (good writing not unlike good sex is about being uninhibited and, well, open.)

**much like Miller, I have read practically everything Anais Nin has written. I have a tattoo around my hip based on a passage from her book, House of Incest.

3. It used to be about talent and beauty. Now its about what people are willing to expose. We salute and also curse those whose lives have become our entertainment, shallow blondes seemingly happy to film themselves having sex via webcam, weird dudes with anger management issues. The current reality stars du jour just happen to be a mediocre looking couple living with a bunch of kids.

And yet we care about them? Of course we do! They're exposed! And fascinating, now more than ever because they know they've gone too far! So we get to pity them, salute them, take mercy on their poor, unfortunate souls!

The truth is? We put them where they are. We are the mistress in their marriage, the reason for their divorce as much as they are. By tuning in every week we have lined their pockets, but also stripped them of pants.

And now? We get to watch them scramble to get dressed. That's entertainment?

You tell me.

Soon enough, they will disappear from the headlines along with Paris and the stars of Big Brother and Rock of Love. In the meantime, we mourn and scorn, roll our eyes at the tabloids and then, quietly, when no one's looking, slip a copy of US Weekly into our grocery carts.



Thank you all for your comments on my last post. Your support and ability to open yourselves to me and each other is inspiring and so helpful. Fable has been amazing these last two days. It's almost as if she's tuned into my frustration and is kindly adapting to my needs. She's napped twice and although she's still struggling to sleep in her crib has been very understanding about the boobs. The plan is to slowly wean her. For now, I'm cutting down to two feedings daily. Putting her to sleep in our bed at night and then moving her to her crib where she sleeps until morning. Baby steps, right?

Honeymoon on Hold

In the past, the end of the Honeymoon phase meant the end of the relationship. Not necessarily because it stopped being exciting but because one day I'd wake up smothered, unable to breathe.

It was my own fault. I insisted on spending every available moment with "his name here" until one day I was like "I kind of want to eat alone actually" or "Get your hands off of my boobs. I'm trying to work!"

The heart's tendency toward fickleness is (wo)man's greatest defense against responsibility. For when the heart turns, the body and everything else must follow AKA love is a gypsy hopping truck beds, her open suitcases in the sand.

Er, it was. Until rock paper scissors became kids marriage freedom but that's a blog post I've written a thousand times before.

For the past nine months I've been home with Fable. I've slept with her and shared my food. Clutched her little body, her skin to mine, our exhales in unison, our gazes eternal. We've been inseparable friends madly in love with one another, entwined like the trunks of old trees.

And in that time my body has belonged to Fable as much as it has belonged to me. And I've adored every second of it.

Until now.

I woke up last week and couldn't breathe. Fable was nursing and I looked down at her and instead of feeling comfort and love I felt frustration and anxiety. I felt stifled and suffocated and trapped as her little hands scratched at my face. Suddenly, I was consumed with the need to get her off my body and out of my bed.

I put my finger in her mouth, breaking the suction of her latch. She glared at me before closing her eyes, snacking her lips, searching my chest until she latched back on... to my bra. She screamed, angry.

"No more," I said. "All gone."

For the last few days I've been struggling to keep it all together, especially because this feeling of wanting my body back has coincided with Fable's inability to sleep anywhere but my bed, in my arms, or inches from my body.

My need for space seems to have made Fable's need for me grow exponentially. If I so much as turn my face away from hers, she cries. Sweet, sure but also frustrating because "I can't just look into your eyes all day, okay?"

Of course, as soon as the words leave my lips I feel horrible guilt. Like I'm cheating on her with my life. A life full of lists and overflowing to-dos I've been unable to get at. People I need to call. Vet appointments, yesterday's lunch and oh yeah, how about MY OTHER CHILD!

Come on. She'll only be little once. This is it! Right now! This is the time when I'm supposed to be at her beck and call!

Little shmittle. She's nine-months-old now. And you're nobody's bitch.

But I must hold her! Allow her to cling to me! Cling back!

Is that what's best for her? For you?

I don't know.

Yes I do.

I don't remember whether or not I had a honeymoon phase with Archer. He never nursed nor did we co-sleep so there was never a time when I woke up and felt suddenly claustrophobic. There was never a need to push him off my body, kick him out of my bed. He was always in his crib. Napping healthily, drinking from a bottle, a sippy cup, his own glass.

But Fable was born a different child and from the get our bond was unique, our dependency mutual, which is why I'm having a hard time reconciling these new feelings, understanding where they are coming from and where we go from here.


Sunday Snaps

1. She leaned in and kissed him
on the field of the same park
I first fell in love with a boy.

2. We shared a glass of wine
Two old friends and our two children
"Can you believe how much has changed?"

3. On the Ferris Wheel he was fearless.
"You have to sit down," I said
but he shook his head, held my hand instead.

4. He named the snails in Nana's garden.
(I used to do the same)
This right here is "treelocke" and this one's called "bubblebasket".

5. We had to drive separately home
so he drove his car behind mine and
we talked to each other on speaker phone.


Chapter (Month) Nine: Call of the Child

This month's Fable film celebrates our girl's ninth month of life. A milestone I clutch with shaky fingers because nine-months to a pregnant woman means the birth of her baby. And so, in a way, it feels like she's been reborn. This time as a child. 

She was born ten days early so she has officially been living outside of me several weeks longer than she existed within. Even still, it hurts to draw nines on the top of her charts, to hold my belly and feel emptiness. To celebrate a milestone that meant something so different when last I counted down. 

Now, I must count up. And pretty soon, I'll be out of fingers. 


musical credit: Unison Falling Into Harmony by: Great Lake Swimmers

The Long Lost Labor Footage

Nine months ago, today, I was breathing hard into my hands as Hal ran around my hospital room with the camera, making faces, talking about his teeth, laughing at the fact that I was writhing in agony.

The usual "husband as labor coach" type stuff.

Editing this video I couldn't help but think of Britney and Kevin's Chaotic (remember that trainwreck?) and how WTF I was watching it, how refined I felt my relationship with Hal was in comparison.


I also couldn't help but think, "Yes. Thank you. Yes."

Today also happens to be Hal's 35th birthday, which means he is now of "advanced maternal age" aka if we ever have another baby I'm going to make him get an amnio just because.

(Hal, Thank you for continuing to make me laugh through life's many labors. I love you.)