By some strange twist of fate (namely, my search for activities that enrich and create fun, not just work), I went dancing on a local places early 80s night. I was absolutely exhausted but managed to convince a Zip Code Friend to accompany me so it had to happen. (I couldn’t ask friends who lived farther as I planned to dance for 45 minutes then leave.) The crowd was mostly my age — quite a number of white-haired gentlemen, some young trans couples, one black guy, two Asian people (I’m in that head count). But also, good for the people my age for staying up later than 9 pm!

I was so happy I went. I stayed longer than I thought. I danced like crud. It’s gone. I used to be able to move well on a dance floor but it’s just like my Spanish, my piano and my ability to shop a clearance rack at Loehmann’s — these are skills I have not practiced in ages and although I always thoughts I could pick up where I left off, that’s no longer true. I’m aging, baby! I swayed like a zombie, in my 9-t0-5 exhaustion and swollen knees state.

Still, it was cool. Funny to listen to music that I’ve been listening to for 30, 40 years, and see that I’m still here, still alive. I’m so different than that high school person who started with The Cure, etc., but I still remember her too.

rush hour

Why, when the kids are older now and like fully potty trained, do some days feel like I’m on a stockbroker on a trading floor? I was working from home and had an online meeting when the kids came home from school. The Wonder Twins proceeded to get into a loud argument. Wonder Twin Girl kept waving to me and trying to make eye contact, while I was presenting. Then she got ticked when I wouldn’t look at her and then lay on my feet. I was so stressed out! It’s that push-pull between work and home life that happens work from home. Husband always shakes his head when I complain. “How do you not remember this happens when you work from home.” Apparently this happens a lot, as in all the time.

IG and Booze

You know, I didn’t drink much when I was younger. In college, I was too self-conscious as I turned bright red every time I had some booze. It was truly during motherhood that I began to drink more regularly. Once the twins were born, it was difficult to go out and socialize, and so having a drink while doing dishes and making dinner just helped with relaxing. I have gone through periods where I drink more heavily and other times where I drink more lightly. Sometimes, drinking was the perfect answers, sometimes, not so much. I do remember one particular night after my dad was diagnosed with cancer, my friend Joslyn and I went out and drank and laughed and had an outrageously good time — that was quite helpful as we greeted some grim days with dad’s illness.

And I’m not interested in cutting drinking out, but yes, on cutting back. If you ever heard of the book “Quit Like a Woman,” the author argues that there’s no point in exploring whether you’re an alcoholic or not — because just by the very fact that you drink alcohol, you are already have an issue because alcohol is a poison. She also discusses how alcohol is a tool of the patriarchy — designed to keep us contented with our lot. I think there is some truth to that. I mean, people drink when they’re bored, when they’re uncomfortable, when they’re going through transition, or whatever. Sometimes, the reasons are more ordinary, but the discomfort is productive — it urges you on to explore why am I uncomfortable? Is it time change? Is it, as that writer says, helping me accept something I shouldn’t? Of course, there’s an argument that there has always been mind-altering items in society and in history, and that’s all well and good. I don’t really need to get academic about it and I’m not necessarily that interested in the history, but I will admit that I do sometimes drink to cope with stress and to keep going through a very rigorous, demanding workload at work and home.

In that same way, I think Instagram has become a drug, a numbing device. I scroll through countless videos of babies and Pedro Pascal until I look up and god OH MY GOD THAT WAS AN HOUR! It’s not even TV. (I remember in the 1990s this woman said she wasted so much time because she would go home and watch TV every night after work instead of working on her painting. What would she think of phone life and social media?)

Anyway, my only conclusion is IG and booze in moderation is for the best. (As another aside, my mother and the US General Surgeon both speak a great deal of the potential harm social media might inflict on the kids. There is probably some truth to it. Shoot, it’s not that mentally healthy for adults. But is there too much fuss here too? I suddenly remember yesterday how there was a lot of hoopla /media when I was growing up about how Metallica and Dungeons & Dragons inspired teen suicide. I mean, sounded like a good theory since I had zero knowledge of either subjects. I was only in my thirties or forties when I played D & D for the first and only time with my then-employer’s IT department, which included a lisping D & D master who invested a great deal of time for our set up. We played in the cafeteria and my friend Zeynep snapped a pic. HA HA HA)

kids’ reading

My daughter reads obsessively, gobbling up multiple series in a week. She’s the type of reader that causes Husband to say “stop reading. Put the book down. Do something else.”

She’s never going to hear that from me! First of all, reading is among the greatest loves of my life! I am thoroughly delighted by her reading habit. And shoot, having a child spending hours reading is vastly preferable to a child who spends hours playing video games or watching videos on social media. (Ahem, Husband.) (But on another note, it is terribly, terribly depressing to be in the apartment for hours and the kids don’t even pick up their head from a screen. I can break up the habit but it requires…interacting. Sigh.)

The boys read “Big Nate” (this graphic novel where the main character wipes out, gets wedgies etc.) over and over again, despite the fact that they have surpassed this reading level YEARS ago. But Wonder Boy Twin’s teacher said the same thing happens to her boy and she doesn’t think it’s a sign of regression per se, but comfort reading.

So Okay, introducing Big Nate, the Agatha Christie of childhood.

“The Book of Delights”

First Son: Ross Gay? Is that his real name?
Me: Yes. He’s a former classmate of mine from grad school.
First Son: What is grad school.
Me: It’s the school you can go to after college if you want.
First Son: Oh.
Me: This book is pretty big, this guy is successful.
First Son: Are you jealous?
Me: I think I would have been, like a year ago, but not anymore.

The “Book of Delights” is a delight, a salve in these trying times. The author notes simple pleasures of being alive and sometimes when life is unbearable and overwhelming, it’s helpful to keep your focus on the small and everyday. It is a lovely book. That has won heaps of praise feels irrelevant. Its help is intimate and personal, so the fact that has garnered a global recognition has nothing to do with my experience of the book. I recommend it.

comforting words from old white men on suffering

It ain’t easy but here are some comforting quotes I’ve heard lately.

“Tragedy plus time equals comedy.” — Lenny Bruce

“You know, when I look back of periods of my life that were so incredibly painful, I now see them as periods of tremendous growth.” — Ethan Hawke.

And a freebie quote from my friend Becca

“No one cares as much as you do.” –“Alexa Rose, Schitt’s Creek”

Hamlet’s father’s ghost

Part of my recent stress is due to one of my mother’s recent decisions that has led to a whole world of trouble. I’ve been sad about it, furious, and then I thought of that scene in Hamlet, when Hamlet’s dad’s ghost comes by. Hamlet is laying into his mom, who married the uncle very soon after dad’s death, like suspiciously immediately, but she’s shocked by his accusation, which is when Hamlet’s dad sneaks in and says, “Ease up, son. She’s innocent. Look at her, she has no idea what you’re talking about” or some such nonsense.

I thought of it during this recent trouble with my mother. I dream of my father whispering me to give her a break, that she’s innocent, and that I have to take care of her. It makes me take note and it eases whatever anger I have towards mom. I think of dad often during various times, but particularly when I’m called to take care of her. It’s funny because he was the one we were all looking after, but prior to being ill, he looked after all of us and now that he’s gone, that’s the spirit that visits. That is how I remember him.


I was in Boston for 24 hours for a gig and went to CVS three times. Walked past Boston Commons on the way to the gig, and I think that might be the only historical tourist site I managed to observe. Funny, it’s a different experience being alone in a new city. At home, I need gobs and gobs of alone time, but in a new place, I felt more alone, unsure of what I would experience in this new environment. Where I was in Beantown was entirely white people, maybe one Asian person at the hotel, one Black/Brown Lyft driver, but my hotel was near Chinatown and everyone I met was fine and friendly.

The gig went fine, not amazing, but just fine. And given the nutty pace of my work/personal life, we were all blessed I was remotely coherent. I am in a season where multiple things are going wrong, but small and profound, eg, last weekend, the apartment doorknob came off in my hand, the power in the building went out for the day during the Wonder Twins Bday party. This gig itself had hiccups — a nor’easter, a postponed date, the co-presenter getting sick, a messed up flight that had me sprinting and boarding a 6 pm flight at 5:59 pm. It’s been a period of tremendous stress, but there are still some little silver linings.

Despite the stress, I find it always helpful to change my normal, and visiting new places, I get to see new people in their own orbit, commuting, grabbing lunch at local places, preoccupied with their own conundrums and problems and obsessions, and it just makes me realize how big the country is and how I’m just one microcosm of the whole set-up and that maybe, it’s okay. Maybe there’s no need to get so hung up on the things I feel are do-or-die and I relax. I stood in front of about sixty people who don’t know me and don’t care about me, and I don’t know them or have to care about them. We are all kind of just existing on parallel planes. I don’t get this sensation when we are visiting family out of town, only when I work with people for the first and last time, spending two hours of intense time together and then never seeing them again.

It was so cold, I missed the family terribly even though it was one night, and the timing of this out-of-town excursion could not have been worse, but I have returned stronger and restored, albeit also physically and psychically drained. Very interesting.

Tom Ford cape dress

You know, because I regularly look at gossip rags and see what celebrities wear for their red carpet looks, certain outfits begin to look normal. I ordered a royal blue version of the Tom Ford cape dress — but it was like polyester and a no-name brand. I thought I could wear it for work formal events. When I tried it on, I was shocked. I looked like a Star Trek character, a cosplay wannabe. I was completely expecting to look EXACTLY like the celebs I see online! But of course, I’m shorter and lumpier, and my torso is longer than any of these skinny mavens. Hollywood people wear cool, weird clothes, but regular life is actually not that weird.

All is well. I could not stop laughing. I returned the dress.


I sometimes end up seeing more plays than movies. That’s been a nice change! After years of a creative desert focused on the pioneer days of keeping the children alive, I just get more invites for shows! I tend to see trash when I go to the movies though. I have no preference to being artistically stimulated or maybe I have zero standards? My friend Alex J (I adore him) will sometimes post “Movies I Don’t Want to See” and they’re sometimes kids movies that are on their sequel three! I mean, trash. We saw “Puss in Boots” today and I think it’s either third one? The fourth one? Who knows. It’s not like you’re lost when you go to these sequels and it’s well done. There are stakes and characters changing, shifting relationship, a nice tidy moral lesson at the end, jokes that only I laughed at aloud today. And really, it’s about getting to hang out with the kids while they are still comfortable with being seen with us in public. I got to snuggle with Wonder Twin Girl, her hair smells great. I bought the crew popcorn and lemonade, and everyone enjoyed themselves and each other. Confession; I was pretty down today so I took comfort in this outing. Stephen King said you just need to make enough money to live and take your family out to the movies once in a while. While he himself makes a BOAT LOAD more than that, I like that advice. Can I content myself? Can my present be enough? Enough is enough.

As I age, there is less striving. Less clarity in terms of what I want to do with my work life or writing. Husband is encouraging me to pursue hobbies where I have zero professional designs, so that I can just enjoy the fun of it. There is something to that. But writing is something I have always done. I have done not a bad job with it, but I have to keep returning to enjoying it. I love to write. The voice inside who wants the writing to result in something — that voice may always be there. I will just have to negotiate it.

I’m not sure what my point is. I think that I was formerly someone who didn’t need to see cat movie sequels, who despised them, but now I’m someone who doesn’t mind it. (And this is no shade to my good friend, b/c there’s no earthly reason to see a cat movie for $16 unless you have children. I’m dying to see “Tar” after his review.) As I age, I adapt. Some adjustments are easier than others. 🙂