We are insanely busy at the office right now, so much so when someone comes up to my desk, I still do not look up to talk. I get into like Terminator mode when I have to focus. Yesterday, my co-worker came.

Enter Co-worker.

Co-worker: This is so disgusting, I have to have someone else taste this.

Co-worker leaves a small pebble of chocolate on my desk and exits.

Via email:

TO: Co-worker
RE: Wow
DATE: Limbo

I feel like I just ate a piece of pavement.

FROM: Co-worker
TO: Me
RE: re: Wow
DATE: Limbo

I was thinking more sand/dirty sock.

That’s it. That’s the extent of our non-work gabbing for the day, since, as I said, it’s been insanely busy. But in that exchange, I felt such a strong sense of camaraderie. I don’t know why, but that’s why I work at all. These moments of bonding.

“and the soul shall dance” by Wakako Yamauchi

My mom showed me how to act drunk for my first play (college like sophomore year maybe?). The play was “And the Soul Shall Dance” and the character was miserable, over-the-top, physically abused, and drunk a lot — I had never drank alcohol before so I had no idea what I was doing (I had never acted before, so I had no idea what I was doing). I still remember her jumping immediately into when I asked her my question. She bugged her eyes out and stumbled around our dining room. I couldn’t stop laughing. despite all her anxiety and ingrained misery, she has this weird, impish sense of humor that comes out all the time, often when she doesn’t know it.

The other ridiculous parts of the show: it was an all asian cast and there were no asian actors who were visible at that time (why? seems weird, but okay) so a lot of us were recruited to audition despite having no previous experience by this lovely, sweet intentioned caucasian fellow who sought us out and I think is now a lawyer. The guy who played my abusive husband would drink hot sauce every night to try to make his voice husky. When his character slapped mine, I’d dive behind a table to put on bruise makeup around my eye and I always like painted two thirds of my face dark purple — like something so disproportionate to the slap. and then the play ended with me going crazy by running off stage into the courtyard screaming.

We performed in a dining hall so we had to reset furniture and move the salad bar every night. A completely fun experience. But what I happened to remember today was my mom’s acting lesson.


I read once girls go through teen years, they can talk for an inordinate number of hours and it was definitely true for me in high school. My best friend Alex and I would gab for hours — we walked to school together, we hung out at her house after school, we spoke after dinner in our respective homes. But on top of that, we would call each other if we heard the other person’s favorite song on the radio so the other person could listen. One season, her favorite was “These Dreams” by Heart.


My parents have the same anniversary as Jay Z and Beyonce. (Yes, I’m an arse, because this is good banking security info.) I forgot to congratulate them so I texted Mom. She said she forgot too, but wouldn’t celebrate in any case. The man who introduced them was in time so she said she would give my dad back. I could not stop laughing. You think Chris Rock is edgy? Try my mom.

religious freedom

A very cool thing my parents did for me when I was growing up was let me go to church. We didn’t practice anything in particular but I had a friend in junior high who was lutheran so I decided to invite myself into her lime green station wagon and check out services. I think I lasted a few weeks until I felt, yeah, no, this really isn’t working for me and stopped going. The priest actually came to my house one evening to check in on me and I kept saying “I’m fine!” as I shut the door on his face. I think I was mostly just mortified that he showed up and I didn’t want to mix him up, my weird exploration, with my parents. But you know why I love my parents for this? They never forbade or expressed any weird feeling. They basically shrugged and did the 1980s version of “you do you.” I am grateful for that freedom. Some might have felt more threatened.


As the result of having multiple children, I’m not really allowed to just sit down. I would absolutely ignore the kids and read my book in the playground, but Husband often makes me participate. Last Sunday, he pushed me into kickball. Reluctantly, I went up to “bat” and kicked as hard as I could. Got to first base covered by First Son. Wonder Twin Girl kicked and I got to second, and then for some reason, I began to giggle wildly and tried to steal third then home. I absolutely got tagged out. But in those giddy moments, I felt possessed by my mother’s spirit. She has a very fun part in her. It’s like buried very deeply in that Darth Vader heart, but it’s there.