Archive for 2008

A double dare

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

Readers – I have a dare for you, a double dare. I double dare you to look around and realize the joy in your life and show appreciation.

If you’re in California – repeal Prop 8.
If you’re in Arkansas – write the politicians and tell them you’re embarrassed about the fact they passed a law disallowing unmarried people from fostering or adopting.
If you’re in New York – think of a nonprofit to go work for, the world could use your brains working to make it a better place instead of making more money on Wall Street.
If you’re in Louisiana – kiss the ground you walk on.

Love and licks for the New Year!

Taking stock for just one teeny moment

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

The bayou is already alive with bonfires – mini ones built by neighbors along the water. On Orleans, at midnight, the big huge bonfire of everyone’s old Christmas trees starts and this year promises to be more “in control” than years past of trees plus everything Katrina left to burn.

Midmorning, Loca and I had a late start to our walk BUT we ran into everyone else we see in the early morning – I asked one what is up? Why is everyone late today and the mayor of the hood said “vacation” – so there it is. As we were coming out of the park a car was tailing the lagoon very slowly and a woman with a camera popped out and ran to take a photo of the pelicans in the tree – similar to this one below. She said, “I’ve never seen pelicans in the park!” – I said they come in November and by January make their way down the bayou. She was thrilled – and I knew exactly how she felt.

The fireworks are going full blast already and are driving Loca crazy (or is that redundant?) and Arlene who used to go crazy luckily can’t hear a thing – the joys of aging.

Mom told me her TV broke and so we bought her a new one. I brought it over to install this afternoon. Only she can’t remember why she said her old one doesn’t work because it does. Then she cried. She cried because she can’t remember anything. She cried because she can’t figure it all out.

This Monday is the ultrasound for our baby and we can maybe determine the sex. Wow!

We’re preparing for a full 2009 – full of love, hope, friendship, health, joy, a BABY, and god knows what else but right now we are celebrating the end of this wonderful, fabulous, joyful year and as each firecrack cracks and each sparkler sparkles, I fall to my knees and give thanks for the abundance that is my life.

I certainly don’t know what I did to deserve even one of the pleasures I’ve known – but I’m grateful.

The value of being

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Today is somewhere between last year and next year — 2009 looms like a mega to do list and 2008′s list still needs so much checked off. How will all of what should be done by the stroke of midnight happen? [and by who?]

I went to take Loca for a walk since she didn’t get one this morning as I was up late with the Bean having a meltdown. So we were walking out the door and ran into a friend. I followed my friend inside and sat on her sofa and said I HAVE SO MUCH TO DO and my friend said, SO DO I! Then she pulled out a card game where on each card is a question – seemingly a simple one – but our brains could not begin to answer any of them 100% – who are the nine muses, what are the ten commandments, name the seven seas, what are the seven continents (north AND south America – duh!), before I knew it, Loca hadn’t gone anywhere, I hadn’t gone anywhere, the things on my to do list hadn’t gone anywhere – but time, that old chestnut, had wooshed by.

I walked back outside on this beautiful gorgeous December day and Loca took off like a dog on crack across the street to the bayou to see other dogs that were there. I ran after her and as I was leashing her, I looked up and saw a woman I haven’t seen since Katrina. Three plus years have gone by. In her arms was a baby girl. Her dog was unrecognizable as she had been a puppy when I last saw her. There we were. She asked if I still take Arlene to the park to play ball.

Three years woosh.
Three days woosh.
Three hours woosh.
Three minutes woosh.

Life is short, but it’s wide – think of all life has accommodated lately – so much going on, and yet woosh, all happening so fast. Do I sound old? That sort of sounds like something old people say. But maybe they have a reason – maybe it is true that it goes by like this – SNAP – in the blink of an eye – and maybe, just maybe, to do lists, shmoo lists – fuck it, why not just be.

Tolerance and growing up

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

I was speaking to a friend in the park the other day and we were lamenting the inability of another friend’s foibles – I said, by now don’t you think she should grow up? And my friend said, “None of us are growing up, we are just growing old.”

I always believed I was an aware person, but truthfully the only way you can be aware is to walk in the shoes of another. After falling in love with Tatjana and then adopting the gay label, suddenly I became aware of all the things that are wrong with the world and all the things that are right. Starting with what’s right – no one flinched, well maybe my brother in prison (ahem), but everyone I know and love just accepted the fact that I am now in love with a woman. End of story.

Then there’s Pastor Warren, who Obama picked to be front and center at the inauguration. A man who compared homosexuality to pedophilia. Why pick him Barack? What message does he have for the world about tolerance? After Prop 8 passed in California, I’ve come to firmly believe the best thing I ever did was get the HELL OUT OF CALIFORNIA. But I digress, the other day we were talking about us raising a child and we came to the realization that we, despite being a Spanish Jew and a Croatian Communist, lesbian couple, adopting a black child in the South, will provide a more loving and stable home than the ones we came from. Now that’s a fact. Pedophilia – puhlease. Get your head out of your ass, Pastor Warren and yours out of the sand, pres-to-be.

Now about growing up – World, it’s time to grow up and grow enlightened.

Happy Chihuanka!

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

My brother sends me photos of his perfect menorah (no candles) and dog with yamulka – happy chihuanaka to everyone from Chico:

Damn Jews, Damn Gentiles

Monday, December 29th, 2008

The last nights of Hanukkah, I spent one night cursing the Jews who made the cheap menorah candles and then the next night cursing the gentiles who made fancy menorahs that cheap Jewish candles don’t fit in.

In the end, it doesn’t matter because once you light the menorahs, the candles all burn the same and they are bright, and cheerful, and Hanukkah is about bringing light in, no matter who is responsible.

The world spinning round

Monday, December 29th, 2008

Today Amazon sent “It’s All Good Hair: The Guide to Styling and Grooming Black Children’s Hair” since that might be something we need to know very soon. Just this moment, I ordered The Baby Whisperer but in a DVD so that we can watch it together – a friend recommended it after her third child and told me she wished she’d have had it when her first was born.

We’ve been trying to figure out what goes where when the baby comes, and where to put grandma and family when they come to help. And trying to train Loca not to leap on the bed and jump up spastically because there might be a tiny baby on the other side of her very soon.

I know there will be a day in my future where I miss sitting on the front porch sipping a glass of wine and wondering what to do next, but honestly 49 years of wondering what to do next is happily replaced with 18 years of raising a child (ask me later on this one).

In the meantime, who is going to take care of mother?

Happy Birthday Mom!

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

We’re having a little last day of Hanukkah, 73rd birthday celebration for mom here tonight, only she won’t be here. She refuses to leave the house with two teeth missing and the remnants of a black eye. We went over to her apartment today with a miniature chocolate cake that had 2009 written across it, three candles, a birthday card, ground beef because that’s all she says she can eat, four cans of Tecate, white lilies, and a box of Blue Frog chocolates.

We’re getting mom a new TV even though she needs teeth. The teeth part is much more complicated and is going to require calls and research to figure out what Medicare will pay for and who will do what.

73 years old and she is frail and flustered as if she were two decades older than she is – genetics? No indeed, my grandmother was sharp as a tack till she was 93. An ounce of prevention could have made this day different for my mom – she might be dressing up to go to brunch, headed over here this evening for a little party, or enjoying a nice warm swim in far off tropical waters.

Sadness is everywhere in my mother’s story and as harsh as I could be in judging it, the reality is that what she, like others, needs most is a little mercy now.

The morning is smarter than the night

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

I’m keeping a book of lessons learned and I thank every love who has taught me one of the lessons entered in that book – even the lesser lovers. Before I went to sleep the other night, I read from Mark Strand’s Man and Camel and the poem that struck a nerve was Black Sea – my thoughts were on Turkey, and the Black Sea, and things that are foreignly familiar and yet puzzling by night:

BLACK SEA

One clear night while the others slept, I climbed
the stairs to the roof of the house and under a sky
strewn with stars I gazed at the sea, at the spread of it,
the rolling crests of it raked by the wind, becoming
like bits of lace tossed in the air. I stood in the long
whispering night, waiting for something, a sign, the approach
of a distant light, and I imagined you coming closer,
the dark waves of your hair mingling with the sea,
and the dark became desire, and desire the arriving light.
The nearness, the momentary warmth of you as I stood
on the lonely height watching the slow swells of the sea
break on the shore and turn briefly into glass and disappear

Why did I believe you would come out of nowhere? Why with all
that the world offers would you come only because I was here?

Finding equilibrium with a geriatric dog

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

The Bean perked up around morning after getting a good night’s sleep due to her anxiety medication and today has seemed more like part of the family than she has in a long time. She cruised by for a scritch while I was having my morning coffee and she doesn’t seem so crazed to find an obstacle to trip over or a corner to bump into.

The meds are a patch nonetheless – they just buy you time.