Placentacos con WTFamole

...taste especially delicious after umbilical c'ordeuvres:

Seriously, though. Raise your hand if you're a placentarian! (Extra credit goes to those of you with photographic proof.)

Or... if you have a good placenta pun, that would also suffice.



Oh, you guys. So wonderful are you. Thank you for your kind words and sweet messages and all-around love. We move into our new place May 1st and are ecstatic. I'll post photos as soon as I have some to share. Stay tuned.

In the meantime...
...Hey there, Mr. Happy Squid:

41. Little Yellow Spider by: Devandra Banhart


toward a new home

I've lived in apartments all my post-adolescent life. Apartments and duplexes and triplexes. Studios and one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms with roommates and boyfriends and cousins and friends. For the past four and a half years we've been busting at the seams in a tiny-roomed duplex with peeling floors and a kitchen so small, I have to use the ironing board as a counter.

Not that it hasn't been a lovely place to live. It has been. Lovely like the place we lived when Archer was born. Lovely like every place that feels like home.

When we found out Friday that we got the house, we were elated. Burst-into-tears in public, jump-up-and-down on the phone with one another, just-won-the-lottery elated.

And not just because our names had been called.

For us, it was about so much more.

When we first started this journey - as a couple of practical strangers, six-months pregnant, walking down the aisle of the Little White Chapel - the odds were very much against us. We were broke. We were young. We were strangers. We gave it a shot anyway. Because we didn't know what else to do. Because we hoped we'd be able to pull it off. Because we were both impractical and stubborn and everyone around us thought we were crazy. They were right. But so were we.

We spent most of the past six years, struggling to make ends meet as a couple. Climbing up various ladders professionally and personally, falling off, getting back on, broken and bruised, fucking up and making up and growing up.

Hard work, that is.

And then, this year happened - a magical year - when switches flipped and all the work we were doing between day jobs started paying off. Tides turned and doors opened and life just sort of... changed. Graduation day -- like the universe giving us its blessing to exhale into a space with higher ceilings and doorknobs that don't fall off when you try to open the doors.

And a yard. A YARD!

Last night after hitting up a movie with Hal, we parked in front of our new home in our new neighborhood and watched it sit still in the darkness out windows of the same car Hal first picked me up in not six years ago -- him in his pageboy hat and me in my blue-black hair, cigarettes extended out windows cracked, kids trying to impress each other with dreams and hope.

After a long and loaded silence, Hal squeezed my hand.

"Honey? We have a HOUSE, now. This is our house."

And when I looked over at him, and he at me, we found that we were staring into the eyes of adults.


Waiting by the Home

...and so we wait.

Last week we fell in love with a house. We'd been looking for several weeks, even months - close to a year of scanning and scoping, searching and book-marking, touring and open-house(ing) -- taking our time -- waiting and hoping that eventually the time would be right - the space would be right - the school district would be right - and we could take the next step as a family: house rentership.

And right now? It's ALL right. The timing. The house. The everything. As much as it can be, that is. And so? I have become obsessed. I can't eat. I can't sleep. I can't stop decorating the living room in my head. Staring at photos of the house's Spanish-tiled kitchen, online, its french-doored office - its ... omgomgomg BACKYARD! ...

Every day for the last two weeks I've driven by the house. Parked against the curb to gaze at its FOR RENT sigh, imagining what life would be like coming home to a home. A house...

In High School I used to fall in love quite on the often side. Mainly from afar, I'll admit. I once stalked a boy for close to two years. He played guitar at a coffee shop my friends and I used to flock to and even though he never knew my name - my love for him knew no bounds. I'd drive by the coffee shop, even when he wasn't performing, even if I had a boyfriend at the time. He was, decidedly my soulmate, and I KNEW that one day he'd love me back and we'd live happily ever after, him playing his guitar, with his long surf-streaked locks and rain-rock in a rustic cafe, and me writing poetry about the way the wind combed his hair... la la swear... la la beware... la la wooden chair...

I digress...

This house? Is kind of the equivalent of THAT boy - except it hasn't been two years, it's been two weeks - and yet? It feels like... an eteeeeeeeernittyyyyyyyyyyyyy... with our withooooooooout you... please don't go... don't gooooooooooo ... don't goooo awaaaaay...

And right now? I'm totally freaking the eff out. Because tomorrow? We find out if we get the house...



40. Kiss by: Scout Niblett featuring Bonnie "Prince" Billy

*Bonnie "Prince" Billy has twice been featured on GGC. (Here, in Fable's six month video and here, performed by friends.) I heart (Will Oldham) hard. And the above song? Makes me want to dress Hal up like a skeleton and waltz with him among thigh-high weeds in the side yard.

Flowers in the Spring

Over the weekend we hiked through the hills behind my parents' house. We didn't get far. Fable wanted down. So we plucked her out of her backpack and placed her among new friends:

We had just the night before gone to see my mom's incredible mind-blowing-amazing play (which I mentioned last week) and listened to David Lynch, the founder of Responsibility speak about his decades of experience educating children who live on garbage dumps in Mexico and Nicaragua - children who have never known life outside the landfill.

In one week, my mother and her directing partner raised over $8,000 to fund David Lynch's Blue Tarp Schools and provide landfill communities with fresh water* - and in the process brought this noble cause to the attention of hundreds of children in Southern California, and their families - giving kids as young as eight, the opportunity to spread hope and educate their communities through theatre, music and dance.

Inspiring stuff.

There is so much we can do for others. For starters? We can live our lives appreciating all the incredible things we have. Plant seeds of change where foliage is lacking. Give money if we have it and hope if we can spare some and time when, at the end of the day, some remains.

Spring is about new beginnings. About hope and change and appreciating the beauty we have within us, behind us, beyond us...

It's about celebrating with standing ovation, the wild flowers that dance in full bloom.

For those of you who give - who love and inspire and change and compliment and help and go on faraway journeys to spread peace and resources and songs of hope - thank you.

You make this life a worthy one.


*Today happens to be world water day. Go here to see how you can get involved.

Twelve Hours and Ten Minutes Late

Yesterday was the first kindergarten orientation meeting for a school Archer may or may not attend in a neighborhood we may or may not be moving to.

I called the school on Wednesday, inquiring re: their open enrollment policy, only to find out it was my lucky day!

"Funny you should call today. Tomorrow at 8.30 is our kindergarten orientation! There you will find all the information you need!"

"Perfect! Tomorrow? 8.30? I will absolutely be there!"

I hung up with the school administrator feeling pretty stoked on my timing.

"I think this school is meant to be!" I told Hal. "The informative parent's meeting is tomorrow! TOMORROW!!!!"

And so? I scribbled "8.30 mtg - school" on the calendar and spent the rest of the day positively absolutely sure that THIS school was the right school in the perfect neighborhood for us. That our new life was waiting for us just around the bend. That I? Was the most responsible meeting-attending parent in my whole entire house.

That evening, I poured myself a to-go cup full of coffee, slapped Hal high-five and hopped in my car. It was 8.20 and the school was (probably?) about ten-minutes away, so away I drove.

Ten minutes later, I was still in the car.

"I'm going to be late," I quietly thought.

But only by ten minutes, which is kind of the same thing as being five minutes late with a watch that's five-minutes slow, so no biggie.

Purse over shoulder, coffee cup in hand, I set out into the night toward the school, crossing paths at once with a nice looking woman scurrying frantically toward one of the school's lit entrances.

"Hi! Are you here for the orientation?" I shouted, rushing after her.

"I am," she said.

"So am I! Great! We can walk in late together."

"No, no. I wasn't here late," the woman snapped "I was here


"I'm just wandering around because I can't find the entrance.
Everything's locked."

"Let's try the other side," said I. "Hi. I'm

But she was in NO mood to make friends with me. She was on a mission! To get to the orientation! Which, I totally understood! I was too!

The only difference? I was pretty sure, watching the woman bang on locked doors, that there was no orientation meeting. Because somehow, some way, no matter how many times I write things down or make lists or plans or scribble reminders on my hand - I always find a way to show up at the wrong place at the wrong time,
inappropriately dressed, disasterville.

"Perhaps we got the day wrong?" I finally suggested, after our first loop around the school campus.

"No. You don't understand. I do NOT get days wrong. I have had this meeting in my calendar for MONTHS! I even called yesterday to confirm!"

"Oh, okay. Well? Maybe you're right but it doesn't look like
anyone's he--"

"There must be someone here. There's an orientation going on right now! I was told on the phone -- "

"Maybe we're too late and they locked us out?"

"No! I was not late! I was here on time! Early, actually. I was here early and YOU were the one who was late."

"True but only by a few minutes. It wasn't like I

The always-early-woman-who-never-gets-dates-wrong started yanking on the gate, shaking the giant lock, howling for the janitor.

And so? I went along with her.

"Somebody let us in!" she yelled.

"We. Be. In." I followed.

A Janitor finally peeked out of a lit doorway, squinting at us in the lamplight.

"Uh... Can I help you, ladies?"

"Yes, sir. We're here for the Kindergarten orientation! Can you please let us in?"

The Janitor gave us a smile. "You mean the one that happened this morning?"

"This morning? What do you mean, THIS MORNING!????!!!?????!!?!??!?!E?!?"

"We had a kindergarten orientation this morning at 8:30 am. So. I think. You're ... uh... a little late."

And so? I laughed.

I laughed because, classic Bec does it again!

Because I should have known better - should have sent Hal. Hal who would have asked on the phone "AM or PM?" instead of just assuming. Because I may be an absent-minded flake, but at least I'm a consistent one. Because there are something like six more kindergarten orientation meetings for this school ALONE before September.

But most of all, I laughed because it was funny. Because I fucked up and showed up twelve hours and ten minutes late to my first orientation meeting and ha ha ha - I'm not perfect. Not even close. I make mistakes and ha ha ha - such is life. What a mess, ha.

And when I turned to acknowledge my always-early, never-wrong-about-these-things, way-more-together-than-me, not-so-friendly new friend? I was pleasantly surprised to see that she was laughing, too.


following my leader

Last Thursday Fable started walking. She stood up and walked down the hall. Walked down the street. Around the block. Walked and hasn't stopped since. I'd been reluctant to say anything until I was absolutely sure. Last time she walked, I got all excited, shouted the news to the rooftops and then, the next day, back to knee-walking was she.

Not this time.

This time Fable stood cautiously at first, reaching for my hand every few steps in the house and then outside, on the pavement squares. She was careful and watchful and concentrated. She was unsure, yet steady:

...and then, the next day, walked confidently on. And on. And on. Down the street and around the next block, into the grass where she gathered and blew her first dandelion, its seeds getting caught in her lips and my fingers when I tried to fish them out.

By day three, she was pushing my hand away. I've got this one, mom. Thanks, anyway. Walking so fast she practically ran, and me chasing after her, herding her away from the streets, toward the sidewalk, howling, "danger! danger! the street is danger!"

On day four, Archer joined us and for the first time it was Fable who lead her big brother down the street...

For those of you who've inquired re: the "name" street sign photos, you can order yours here. For those wondering what became of Blythe, here is an afterward.



The following is a video I first saw on my friend Ryan's blog, (via booooooom) last week. (If you're not already following Ryan's blog, you absolutely should. His "Walk to 40 Weeks" maternity series is especially inspiring.)

I'm pretty sure I've watched this video 87682618476187 times since I first saw it - so blown away was I by its genius-amazingness.

Thanks for the heads-up, Ryan.

Thanks for bringing the brill, Hold Your Horses !:

39. 70 Million by Hold Your Horses !


And speaking of things that inspire and are awesome, a quick PSA on behalf of my mother:
As a child, my mother often volunteered at my schools. She did so with my brother and sister and now works as a science educator, art educator, music educator and composer/music director for children's theatre. She's passionate about nurturing children, specifically those overlooked and under-appreciated. She's an incredible teacher - devoted and loving and wise and amazingincrediblewow. And this weekend? Her troupe will be putting on a very special play based on a very special book to raise money and awareness for a very special cause.

Show times: 19th & 20th: 7:30 pm & 21st at 3:30 pm (@ Ocean Knoll in Encinitas, CA). For more information and tickets go here and click on "Armando & the Blue Tarp School."


an introduction to shadows

we are all drawn to darkness. it shouldn't be a mystery why.

it has, since we were children, been attached to our feet dance with.


party of two, hold the crayons

brunch at Nana's - one of the few places I feel at home eating outside mine
I have a confession:
I'm afraid of dining out. In a restaurant. With the kids.
... Not because our kids aren't well-behaved. The three (yes, three) times we've taken them out to dinner with us in the seventeen months since Fable was born, they've been awesome. They ate their food and played under the table sat in their seats and Archer colored on Hal's arm and Fable ate my lipstick and it was actually kind of lovely.
Twice in seventeen months is all I'm up for, because here's the (quite embarrassing, really) thing: I care what people think.
At least, I care what people think in restaurants and coffee shops when I can feel their eyes burning holes in the back of my head. And then I get awkward and weird and spill things all over myself. And then it's not the kids I have to worry about but my own neurosis - because all of a sudden I'm apologizing to everyone I see -even when there's nothing to apologize for - just in case something happens that might offend, annoy or put them off, and pretty soon I'M the one who's spilling food all over someone's lap...
More, here.


Here's one for dancing:

38. Suffer for Fashion by: Of Montreal

P.S. If you're a fan of this blog and want to show your support, please give ten bucks to this cause. Thank you much.


The first choice isn't always the right choice

...and no matter what, a grand adventure.

When I was applying to colleges, twelve years ago (omg. wtf?) I had my heart set on one school and one, alone. NYU was the only school I could picture myself attending, the only school I toured, the only school I HAD to get into.

And of course, because life is a mysterious genius, it was the only school that rejected me. In my rejection letter, it clearly stated that the overwhelming amount of applicants had to do with what they called "The Felicity Factor." The show Felicity (which took place at a fictitious University of New York) had just premiered to smash success, thus projecting NYU's applicant numbers into what far exceeded the norm.

I was crushed. I worked my ass off to be the kind of student NYU wanted - I stayed late after school every day to produce our school television show. I took all necessary AP classes. I had, at that time, published dozens of stories in a best-selling book series. And to top it all off? I wrote a killer essay. Screw So-Cal. I was brooding and creative. I smoked clove cigarettes and did poetry slams. I made cameo appearances on MSNBC thanks to my Chicken Soup* pseudo-fame. I worshipped Woody Allen.

None of those things mattered, of course. I got shitty SAT scores and sucked at Math and Science. It was far too competitive a year to be imperfect.

"If I don't get into NYU, I don't want to go to college!" I said to my mother, before tearing open my rejection letter, spending the next hours, days, even weeks feeling like my life was over, the end.

At the time, my parents just figured I was being dramatic.

Which I was. But also? Totally serious.

And even though I moved to Los Angeles to attend Loyola Marymount University in the Fall of 1999, I only spent one day on campus before deferring my admission for six months, and then, indefinitely.

Because college was not for me. Because I had a job offer to work as a book editor. But also, and perhaps most importantly to me at the time, I only had eyes for one University and it didn't have eyes for me back.

It sounds crazy, now. And idiotic. And WTF-inducing. But back then, my feelings were real, my decision, a no-brainer.

My (extraordinarily academic) family was as supportive as they could be - all of them thoroughly disappointed in me and my decision. It was clear they thought I was delusional which was probably true. But I was also confident in my decision and passionate about utilizing my rejection and taking a new road into unknown territory. And because of that? They stood by me -- dropped me off at the airport, waited for me at the arrivals gate when I came home.

I was able to do grand things with my college years. I spent four years traveling, taking night classes on subjects that interested me - worked amazingly bizarre odd-jobs, edited three books, wrote two more and spent my summers in Europe, floating from music festival to honeymoon hot spot, as a freewheeling photojournalist, all before I turned twenty-one. I was a force to be reckoned with. And all these years later, take great pride in what I was able to accomplish on my own.

I wanted desperately for plan A to work.

Decided Plan B was not for me.

Went with Plan C instead.

And it's been a grand, grand life. Full of opportunity and love, good people, interesting things, stimulating encounters with mentors and heroes and teachers of a different kind.

All of this to preface what happened last week:

Archer didn't get into our First (and really ONLY) choice for Charter School. The school we were supposed to have first -priority when it came to acceptance. The school every one on our street got into last year and the year before that and the year before that. But this year, the school received more applicants than it ever has before. So we got the #71st slot on the waiting list.

Which means... yeah.

And so?

Plan B: We take Archer out of school and travel the world.

Just kidding.

Plan B. We move. We move a few miles west or a few miles east, to where one of two decent public schools live. We put him in music programs outside of school (which we have already planned for this summer.) We provide him with incredible life experience, nurture his strengths, carry on. Play it as it lays, Joan Didion style.

People put a lot of pressure on their kids and themselves to get them into the right schools. The right preschools and charters, private schools and Universities ... So they can be the best and brightest and have every chance at amazingness. (Because, Hello!? We're their parents. We want them to have IT ALL!!!!)

But the truth of the matter is? A great education is about so much more than school. My genius of a little brother was educated in the mediocre California public school system and is now getting his PHD at Harvard. Me? I have a high-school education with the same resume as my Yale-alum friends.

So, no, my kids won't attend the very best schools. Because we didn't make the cut. Because we can't afford to pay 25k a year for kindergarten. But that's okay. Education is only a SMALL part of one's learning. Opportunity is about SO much more. It's about love and support and books at bedtime, it's about intellectual conversations over dinner and weekend trips to art museums. It's about exposing our kids to beautiful music, and poetry -- star-gazing with them during meteor showers -- hiking with them in the back-hills behind our homes. Volunteering with them in our communities. Motivating. Inspiring. Being there.

My parents were and still are my greatest educators, nurturers ... and that has made all the difference.

So, even though Archer didn't get into our first choice for school? I know that whatever will be will be.

Speaking from experience, I can say that all plans lead to a grand adventure. And if a worst case scenario means it's up to me to lead the expedition?

Well then. Forward ho!


*I was the lead contributor (as well as spokesperson, editor and ghostwriter) to the Chicken Soup for Teenage Soul books in my late teens and early twenties, contributing dozens of stories to the series as well as defending teenagers on various news outlets because let's be honest, the media gives teenagers the shaft, and I was like, "oh, hell no, robot. The children are the future!" Because, duh -- they are.

most important things

Fable, seventeen-months old

Today, whilst rolling around in Archer's unmade bed I told Fable I loved her. I do this ten-thousand times a second, no doubt, but for the first time ever, she stopped, stuck her finger in my nose and said, very seriously, "ah-yuh-you, mama!"

And then she kissed me.

And I died.

It was a particularly shitty morning after some less than awesome news (about which, I will blog more in detail, tomorrow) but whatever.

I have a daughter who says "I love you," and a son who roots me on when I'm bowling and a husband who can pull off a face band-aid and still look hot.

Everything else is kind of insignificant.

Hal does his post-strike victory dance. Touché


Gone Style: Katya's Five Minute Makeover

For our second episode, Sarah, Josie and I got to play makeover with the the lovely and inspiring Katya! Hooray for Katya!

As always, Katya's makeup-look graciously provided by Josie Maran Cosmetics. Background music, once again, c/o my brother, David.

Interested in getting Gone Styled? Email me at gonestylemakeover (at) gmail (dot) com and we'll hook it up! In the meantime, I'll be posting these as often as I am able to! They vids take a very long time to put together but my editing skills are improving! I'll be quick as a cricked on imovie in no time JUST YOU WAIT!



The following has served as a sort of "theme" for the project I finished first-drafting yesterday.*

I tend to do that when I write -- seek out a credit song to act as aid when lost in the margins, questioning characters and their motivation, conflicts, how the story should end.

Music is a writer's BFF, no doubt. This song has, for the last few weeks, been mine:

37. Charmed Life by: The Divine Comedy



pocket full of coupons, all of them expired

Story of my life.

Besides my coupon ineptitude, however, I've become an incredible bargain shopper. As a former (bona fide) shopping addict (I won't go further into details re: my early-twenties spending habits or else I'll start to cry) this is a major thing.

I credit parenthood for enabling my recovery. Or perhaps, more specifically, the joint-bank account I share with my husband. These days, I stick to sidewalk-sales and swap-meets, allow myself two splurges a year, and that has made all the difference.


I don't care what anyone says. Growing up is the best thing that can happen to a person.