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    Top 9 Things Keeping Me Sane This Year

    I usually write a “top 10” end of the year list, which feels more than a little tone deaf this year. But my long history of self-help books and Oprah shows have taught me to be grateful NO MATTER WHAT, so here is a list of nine things (tried to get to 10) that have kept me SANE this year. I hope you have found your own ways. Time with my kid. I have rambled on about this in post after post, but it really is the best part of my year. I can’t tell you how depressed I was about going back to work full-time & then literally a…

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    Thunderstorms in L.A.

    It rarely thunderstorms here. I mean, in the past 7 or so years–it hardly even rains. I was celebrating at midnight when the wind and rain and thunder woke me up (also Huxley, who was terrified). After a morning bike ride where Kenzy insisted on riding in slow motion through every single puddle she saw, it started raining heavily again through the day. But what is it about the actual thunder that gets us SO excited out here?! Maybe because it’s REAL weather in a place that barely deviates from partly sunny to more sunny. I needed to be trapped inside. It allows me to do things like: watch yet…

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    Flat Tire.

    I’ve been jogging with Kenzy, Huxley and our Thule jogging stroller for over three years now. It’s been my savior on most days, but I have to admit it’s wearing on me. Kenzy is a little giant, and pushing her while keeping track of Huxley is not the feeling of the solo run I had grown so accustomed to for decades. Over the holidays we’ve been going out farther (Kenzy says,”Let’s see ALL the holiday lights!”), and today I was DONE. “You’re too big for this stroller!” I huffed and puffed going up a tiny incline. I was frustrated at what my once fast pace had turned into. Huxley, sniffing…

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    Merry Christmas Eve

    It’s 8:17am and Kenzy is staring intently at the gifts under the tree. It is going to be a very very long day for her. “Is it Christmas YET?!?!” I have only broken down into tears once so far this morning. Oh also, I started doubting stocking contents, so I placed an Instacart order from The Disney Store a few minutes ago. (I mean, the pandemic has made my “never leave the house” lifestyle acceptable). We are READY. There is nothing I love more than anticipation. This has always been one of my favorite days ever–a holiday that doesn’t start until evening time?! An evening that promised good food and…

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    “It’s just a machine, Mom.”

    We drove through a “snow village” last night in our tour of lights experience. It was “snowing” some sort of weird bubble-like texture, and I was loving it. “IT’S SNOWING!!!” To which Kenzy replied, “It’s just a machine, Mom.” How is my 3yr old already a sullen teenager? Who is this girl? She is already over my over-enthusiasm for any kind of make believe around the holidays. I never understood why the charade of having to be a “good girl or boy” for Santa was a thing–until I had a kid & found myself in a desperate situation where this idea seemed genius. “Santa is watching you right now.” Kenzy…

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    Santa Zooms and Drive Thru Lights

    Christmas 2020. It’s me actively ignoring the devastation I feel every time I watch the news, or hear of a friend or family member actively suffering from Covid–or even more horrific, this morning waking up to find out on Facebook that an old college friend has lost his life to it. My college memory is fuzzy, but the memories I have of him are of his smile & his kindness. These are not feelings I can properly process anymore. Like all of us, I just want it to be over. So in that holiday spirit I’m trying as best I can to make the season special for Kenzy. We had…

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    20 years

    I moved to Los Angeles in September of 2000 when I was 22 years old. The twenty-two year old me was absolutely clueless and ridiculous and hopeful. I found an apartment to rent in Glendale for myself and my best friend Chuck who moved in a few weeks later. I would start my master’s program a couple of weeks later, my first day of class spent entering and exiting various L.A. freeways and having no idea where I was or where the college was. (We had to use actual maps back then.) For money, we were immediately told by other Texas friends to join Central Casting & do extra work.…

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    Holiday Gift Recommendations

    I’m on vacation! I mean, “on vacation” makes it sound like I’m on an island somewhere. No, I’m still in a super small back house in Culver City with a Stay at Home order in place. But I don’t have to work for 2 weeks! I don’t have to do a work Zoom for TWO WEEKS! This alone is worth celebrating. I’m excited to be able to attempt to stick to my entry a day throughout this holiday season. Without much on the calendar, I won’t even have to wake up at 4am to write it! Today I wanted to share with you some of my favorite THINGS this year.…

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    Dr. Messer

    You may have read that dumb opinion piece that has been circulating about how Dr. Biden should drop the “Dr.” because she’s not an MD, how getting an Ed.D is not as rigorous as a Ph.D. & how getting a doctorate in anything basically doesn’t mean anything anymore. AKA anyone can do it. And that it’s almost comical to use the title. I’m sure most people thought the piece absurd, but it got me thinking about my own complicated feelings around the title. I got my Ph.D. over 10 years ago (yikes! literally feels like yesterday I was rewarding myself with candy for every new paragraph added to the dissertation),…

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    I Broke up with Bravo

    I used to watch pretty much every single show on Bravo. For years! It started with The Housewives but then it was Below Deck and Southern Charm and Vanderpump Rules and Summer House and ANYTHING that aired–even the weird shows that only lasted a season (that one about the employees at a ski lodge?). I knew every character on every show intimately. Yes, I partly watched as escapism and as a joke–but a part of me really felt something watching these shows much of the time. And then I just couldn’t anymore. Having Kenzy meant my TV time was limited, but I still made time for a show here and…