Yesterday, while searching for one of my favorite Gregory Alan Isakov songs on YouTube ...  I found this cover.  It's beautiful and heartbreaking and beautiful.

The original, of course is, too:

ED: This song/entire album has been on repeat in my living room all week. It's one of the few albums I own on CD because iTunes didn't feel like enough.  Every song. Every note. Every lyric. It's a perfect record. Truly. (It's also available on vinyl.)


272. O' City Lights by: Gregory Alan Isakov


...oh the city lights fly at this speed
oh heaven knows, it ain't
me behind the wheel this time
through the hills, you can hear them sing...


P.S. Thank you all for your kindness this week. Sending big love to all.

zadie in the village with cooper

When I was little, I used to think it was the job of all parents to comfort their children. I used to think that when someone died, the child cried and the parent comforted... When the family pet was put to rest, the children cried and the parent comforted... 

Isn't that what parents do?

I still think that must be the case... and yet, it isn't here. Not right now. Not for the past few days, anyway. We told the kids on Friday that Zadie was at the end. But they already knew.

Her blindness combined with dementia combined with incontinence and an inability to go on walks anymore...

They knew. 

And yet, for the past week, since we knew that our days with Zadie were numbered, my kids have been the ones comforting me.

Just like they did with Cooper when he passed three years ago. I actually just typed "two years" before realizing it was actually three years ago... it doesn't feel like that long. I still miss him. I still dream about him. I still include his name in things... I still can't believe he's gone.

I can't believe they're gone.


Last night, I whispered all of the things I remembered about her life, starting with the beginning when we first met. I was about to turn twenty-one. I was a child. So was she.
She would wobble when she walked and always managed to end up in bed with me. She licked my belly when I was pregnant all three times... she licked my feet when they were swollen. Didn't leave my side when I was in pain... physically... emotionally... ever.

"Do you remember?" I asked her.

She couldn't hear anymore. And in the last six months had gone completely blind, but she looked at me and she listened. I swear to god she did.

Zadie has always been an empath and mind reader... when I was sad in my early twenties (and also mid twenties and late twenties and early thirties and mid thirties) she would get sick. Violently sick. She would throw up if I was crying. Like clockwork every time. Before I met Hal she spent every night asleep at my feet. When Cooper was dying, she sat by his side and licked his eyes.

She let the kids pet her and hold her and carry her around the house. She let them dress her up like a lady and wherever I was writing, she would follow me and plunk down at my feet.
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Dying is so frustratingly unfair. Cooper didn't know that he was dying but Zadie did. She told me with her eyes. She was done, here.


I've cried buckets over the last few days... the kids have been incredibly resilient. Maybe it's because, in the same way I feel the need to rally with smiles and high fives when they're down... they want to do the same for me.

Archer sat with me in the hallway and let me cry in his arms over the weekend and when I looked up to see if he was crying, I saw that he wasn't... he just smiled, instead. Patted me on the back. Let me cry.
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Revi held my hand and told me that Zadie was going to "the village" to be with Cooper.

When I asked her what the village was, she said, "it's where all the dogs go when they die..."
Apparently I had told her that once before...

I don't remember.


I have no poker face when it comes to this stuff. Not in front of my kids, anyway. I am snotting all over myself and I dgaf because this really fucking sad and I am sad and it's okay to be sad and Fable just painted me a picture of a rainbow and a smily face as I was writing the above sentence and thank you, Fable. I love you. Fable. I love your rainbow. 
I don't know how to end this post. Or feel less sad than I do right now.  It should get easier, this stuff. I'm a grown woman and yet, here I am sobbing trying to say something to do Z's life and love justice... she was my longest living roommate and playmate and immediate family member. She saw me through the last fourteen years of my life... she was here for all of it and I mean ALL OF IT.
And now she's gone and I don't know. I do know that I feel better because of them -- because of the comfort of my children who it turns out are FAR more comforting than I am... Fable with her rainbow and Archer holding my hands in the hallway and Bo trying to make me laugh and Revi comforting me with her words and hugs.

"Cooper is waiting for her, mama. He's waiting for her at The Village."
photo-3 Cooper and Zadie, 2013
IMG_9578 Cooper and Zadie, 2002 right now


Thank you for fourteen incredible years, ZuZu.
20486218292_3d1aa4c702_b ...You live forever in our hearts.

Eat Well: Blue La La

The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, Mom!
If it seems like I’ve been MIA it’s because I have been. My son, David and his wife, Alyssa recently moved to Portland, Oregon, and between two trips to visit them, a trip to Texas to hear Rachel’s last doctoral recital, and several trips back and forth to LA for Archer and Fable activities—all in the last two months, so I’ve hardly been home. I fell in love—FELL HEAD OVER HEELS IN LOVE—with Portland. For a green-starved Southern Californian, it was like going to heaven. We hiked up waterfalls, down waterfalls, to alpine meadows filled with fields of wildflowers, ate delicious food, walked to everything near where they live, and marveled at everyone’s gorgeous spring-blooming gardens. I love how many people plant vegetables in the tree lawn in front of their houses. And then there are the berries. All of the woods are teeming with berry bushes of all kinds, as are people’s homes. David and Alyssa have a huge number of raspberry canes, which were just starting to bear fruit when we left. They are now in full swing. 

When Rebecca was a baby, we lived in New Jersey for a couple of years and had a huge raspberry patch in our backyard. Every day in early summer, Rebecca and I would pick bowls and bowls of raspberries, most of which we would eat right there in the garden. They were by far Rebecca’s favorite fruit growing up, and it was hard to explain, once we moved away and no longer had an endless supply of them, that unless you grow them, they are a special occasion, once in a while luxury that come in very small packages. 
If you live in an area where you can plant perennial berry bushes—raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries—I highly recommend it. There is nothing more gratifying than going into the garden to pick berries. Make sure you check with a reputable source, such as your local farm advisor or a local garden expert, to find out which varieties grow best in your climate zone. (Nurseries are not always a reliable source of information.) Or if you don’t have the space or the right climate, going berry picking at a local farm is also fun. I was lucky last week to get an invitation from my dear friend, Mary, to go blueberry picking 5 minutes from home at a farm that she is working with. We picked about 10 lbs of blueberries, and I’ve been gorging on them ever since. I shared some, froze some but mostly have been eating them by the handfuls.

On Father's Day, I made a delicious recipe for blueberry buckle. (You can also make raspberry or blackberry versions.) This recipe came from The How Can It Be GlutenFree Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen. It is yummy, easy to make, and the batter can be made ahead of time to be popped in the oven when you sit down to dinner, ready to be served hot from the oven. If you are not on a gluten-free diet, substitute regular flour for the gluten-free flour. 

Individual Blueberry-Almond Buckles 

5 ½ ounces (3/4 cup) sugar 
½ cup sliced almonds, toasted and chopped coarse 
(toast at 325 for about 8-10 minutes before chopping) 
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened 
¼ teaspoon salt 
1/3 cup heavy cream 
2 large eggs 
½ teaspoon almond extract 
3 ½ ounces (1/2 cup plus 2 T) King Arthur Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour 
(or about ¾ cups plain flour)
½ teaspoon baking powder 
3 cups fresh blueberries 

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray eight 6-ounce (or six 7-ounce) ramekins with vegetable oil spray and place on rimmed baking sheet. 

2. Process sugar, ¼ cup almonds, butter, and salt together in food processor until finely ground, 10 to 15 seconds. With processor running, add cream, eggs, and almond extract and continue to process until smooth, about 5 seconds. Add flour blend and baking powder and pulse until incorporated, about 5 pulses. 

3. Transfer batter to large bowl and gently fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into prepared ramekins and sprinkle evenly with remaining ¼ cup almonds. (Buckles can sit at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap, for up to 2 hours.) 

4. Bake buckles until golden and beginning to pull away from sides of ramekins, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Let buckles cool on wire rack for 10 minutes before serving.

RASPBERRY—Substitute shelled pistachios for almonds, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for almond extract, and fresh raspberries for blueberries. 
BLACKBERRY—Substitute walnuts for almonds, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract for almond extract, and fresh blackberries for blueberries.

And if you have a bumper crop of berries, freezing them is a wonderful way to enjoy them after your bushes are no longer producing. 

Freezing fresh berries: 

Wash and dry thoroughly. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet so that berries aren’t touching. Put in freezer until frozen (1-2 hours).
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Transfer berries to a Ziplock container, sucking out the air with a straw. The berries will be frozen individually and you can take out as many as you want at a time. Frozen berries make great wholesome snacks for kids! They think they are eating popsicles! 



Listening to Dark Dark Dark on the Bright Bright Brightest day of the Year Year Year...

Meanwhile, the Kids, Kids, Kids are home for Summer, Summer, Summer...  Not doing Camp Camp Camp until August August,August.... Trying to Work Work Work but like Ha Ha Ha...

Feeling Overwhelmed Overwhelmed Overwhelmed.

This song helps... 

Sending Love Love Love and endless Light Light Light...
Happy Summer, Lovers.


271. Wild Go & Daydreaming by Dark, Dark, Dark 

Sunday, at the Parade

Sunday, we took the kids to our neighborhood parade. We walked from our house -- we always do. It was a beautiful day for a parade. The sun came out as we were walking... there was music everywhere. And color. So much color. There was dancing in the streets. Women wore feathers in their hair and people waved from cars. Confetti and balloons danced in the wind and everyone was cheering...
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Love is love.

We are HERE and we are PROUD. 

Love is love. 

We all live - we all love... differently...
Sunday, we walked in the parade. It was a heartbreaking day for a parade. People were mourning. Hugging. Holding one another's hands. 50 candles burned in silence. People wore black and carried signs. "ORLANDO" painted on backs and fronts and signs. Hearts in hands...
The kids walked on behalf of their school... rode scooters in circles, waved signs...
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On La Cienega there was a man with a megaphone and a group of more men waving signs. The signs said horrible things. Hateful things. HATE in big block letters rose against a slew of signs preaching LOVE.
Everyone kept walking, signs held high. Fable pressed her sign higher. Kids kept dancing, riding...
They understand... 

These men want to stop the Parade.

But they can't.
They were not Muslim, these men. They called themselves Christians (but we knew better than to believe them.)

They were Americans. 

Just like the Orlando shooter.

They were extremists.

Just like the Orlando shooter.

They were men. 

Just like the Orlando shooter.

Their weapons were different, perhaps. But the root was the same. Homophobia. Toxic masculinity. Racism. Hatred born out of shame... fear... self hatred. Using religion as a crutch... using their god's name... in vain.

They were American.

This is America.  

Where guns are easily accessed. Where "hate" is a campaign strategy... Where LOVE is something debated in houses of worship... Where people say things like, "love the sinner, hate the sin." 

Where there are CAVEATS to mourning.

To acceptance.

To love. 

Keep walking...

Keep dancing...

Keep holding up your signs...

Keep LOVING exactly as you LOVE...
Sunday, we took the kids to the LA PRIDE parade. And next year we will, too. And the year after that. And the year after that. Because LOVE is a parade. SEXUALITY is a parade. OWNING our differences is a parade. FREEDOM is a parade. BODIES, FEELING SAFE AND CONFIDENT, is a parade. I want my children to see that. To feel that. To encourage and support and embrace EXACTLY who they are. And to rejoice as others lovingly, confidently do the same...

(My entire post is here.)

Love and solidarity to the LGBTQ community in Orlando and all LGBTQ communities worldwide. We are heartbroken for you. We love you. We stand by you. And we will continue to use our privilege to fight for your BASIC HUMAN RIGHT to THRIVE in this country. WITH LOVE AND INCLUSION. 

For those looking to DO SOMETHING here is a great place to start.  For those wondering how to talk to your children about Orlando's hideous hate crime, "LOOK FOR THE HELPERS" is no longer good enough...  WE NEED TO BE THE HELPERS. BY BEING ALLIES. BY PREACHING LOVE. BY RESISTING BIGOTRY AND RACISM IN OUR COMMUNITIES AND CULTURE... We need to involve our children in the conversation -- include them in the good fight. THIS IS THE TIME. LOVE IS AN ALL AGES SHOW. 

Things I Love for Me and Us: June

At the risk of divulging too much, MUSTANG is not only the story of five girls and their powerful sisterhood, but also about what individuals are capable of doing to escape, rebel, break free. Rebellion fascinates me above all else. I see it as a necessity and after watching MUSTANG, i was better able to understand why...

Accepting orders, obeying "rules," and relinquishing control can ultimately, and in many cases, mean death -- of the soul, the spirit, the body. Rebellion is a survival instinct -- a direct response to repression. At home. In life, society....

Where do wild things go when they are caged? Does age have anything to do with fearlessness? What are we, as human animals, willing to do and risk and lose in order to live freely and by own own will?

Mustang asks these questions impeccably -- powerfully and from a uniquely female point of view.

In an IndieWire interview, writer/director Deniz Gamze Ergüven, in response to a question about "feminist filmmaking," says: 

"...Women have always been objectified and there are very few figures of womanhood that literally look like us and who work like us in terms of our desires, hopes and all these things – like real females do. Literally, this is the first in a movie where I can completely relate to the characters. The metaphor I use is that masculinity is like New York in cinema. If you are not a New Yorker, when you arrive there for the first time you have the impression you grew up there because you’ve seen it in so many films. It’s been filmed from every single angle and by so many different filmmakers that you know the streets, the sidewalks, the architecture, the cabs, the temper of the people, all that you know. Whereas femininity is that village behind that hill with the bad road. Nobody goes there. There is no camera. We don’t know what it looks like. It’s pioneering to crisscross those territories.

For example, every step of the way of the experience of being a woman I always thought, “Damn, nobody told be about this, or this, or this.” After I was a mother for the first time I thought, “Where did you see breastfeeding in cinema?” Almost nowhere. There was one film by Bergman that takes place in the Middle Ages where you have people going completely crazy because there is an epidemic of the plague. They start dancing and walking from one city to another. It’s an eruption of collective madness, and in that city there is one guy who has his eye dangling out of his face, then you have a guy carrying a cross, and a mother who is breastfeeding. That’s the only time you see a woman breastfeeding in cinema. It’s crazy! All those things which are so common in our lives and that are there in every step of the way in our lives, are not there..."

ED: Deniz Gamze Ergüven shot this film (her first) while pregnant. Just weeks before filming was scheduled, she found out about her pregnancy and one of her producers immediately pulled out, worried that Ergüven might not be able to handle the grueling production schedule. 

Spoiler alert: she did. Brilliantly. You can watch it now on Amazon. 


2. Hear: Lost Boy --  Ruth B

I've been following Ruth B since Lost Boy -- a song that started as a Vine post -- was first placed on my radar late last year. I've had the song looping in my iTunes for months and then earlier this month, Ruth B released her official Lost Boy video which is ALSO magic.

From an interview in ANDPOP, Ruth explains how Lost Boy went from a six-second loop to a VIRAL six-second loop to a hit song:


3. Do: Build your own Skateboard by Pink Helmet Posse
We decided it was time for Revi to get her own skateboard a few weeks back so I pulled up Pink Helmet Posse's site and let her pick her own board, wheels and grip tape. (She went for cheetah grip tape + pink wheels + this board.) We bought everything separate and then took it to our favorite local shop to get the board set up and voila.
Pink Helmet Posse (who I've written about before) is all about getting girls excited about skateboarding. For those with little ones interested in building their own boards, go here. (They also send a special "Pink Helmet Posse" membership card which is VERY exciting indeed.)
(Bo got one, too, don't worry.)


4. Wear: Linen Boyfriend Shirts from GAP
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I know, it's just a black shirt how boring but the fit on these = TOP NOTCH. I usually despise shirts with buttons because they pull in the boob area. Not these bad boys. I actually went back and bought the same shirt in green and also denim because, SO GOOD + EASY + CHILL VIBES = FOREVER. 


We recently discovered Second City's "The Really Awesome Improv Show" and I can't believe it took us this long because WHOA BEST BANG FOR YOUR FAMILY BUCK. Especially for those of you/us with theatre kids who are interested in improv, Second City's especially-for-families Improv show is a must-see for all Angeleno's/visitors passing through. Walk-ins welcome. For more info on Second City's shows go here. (They also do birthday parties.)

6. Vote: Hillary Rodham Clinton for President

This morning Caissie St. Onge posted this on Facebook and it articulated everything I am currently feeling right now, today, on the eve of the California primary:


Tomorrow I will cast my ballot for Hillary Clinton for President. With pride. 


P.S. I have two new posts up on Mom.me. One is about bathing suits and body image and the other lists some of your/our all-time must-haves for newborn living/life. Big love to all. xo

The Month in Moments: May

My friend Polly took this picture. I am a horrible skateboarder, yes, but I am willing to eat shit trying which is basically my MO for life. If at first you don't succeed, eat shit trying. 
My other MO for life is the word NO and finding new ways to use it. For so many years I assumed "YES" was the way to go because confrontation is the worst and it's so much easier to just do the things that people tell you to do and help everyone when they need help and be like YES I WILL BE THERE. Getting older is pretty liberating in that you realize that NO is POWER and YES must ONLY be reserved for times when it is TRULY AND FULLY FELT. Anyway, I'll write more about "the power of NO" sometime soon when I have time to sit and really suss out my thoughts on the matter. In the meantime, I have one hour to sit down and do computer-y things today and these monthly posts make me feel extremely grateful for MOMENTS and how spectacularly fleeting they all are.
Also, just because I LOOK like I know what I'm doing in that first picture, doesn't make it true. (Not even close.)  Sometimes people say to me, "Your life looks so _________." It's not  ________ , actually. But it is ________ and _________ and also ______________. And capturing moments that move me brings me joy, even relief. This is what I choose to see and how I choose to see it...  
That's the magic of photography. One can choose what she wants to focus on, crop out, memorize...
Because life's a goddamn three-ring circus of chaotic insanity until you slooooooooowwww it waaaaaaaaayyyyy downnnnn and study every (other) frame.
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This is what May looked like from behind my camera... not everywhere, but in certain places -- bits and pieces of bits and pieces.... and sometimes peace(s).  xoxo
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P.S. My Great Aunt Dot took this picture of me earlier this month:
I am a pendulum swinging back and forth over grass that is green on every side... because, today, that is how I choose to see it...
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