surviving with deep roots

Storms make the oak grow deeper roots.

~ George Herbert

As a survivor I know why I have survived and why I thrive. It’s my roots. So many storms weathered through. Too many, much too many when I was at my most vulnerable and defenseless as a child. The fact that I am a alive it’s a miracle!

Yeah, I still sometimes quote Hamilton with no apology whatsoever!

It’s true though. How did I manage to survive and thrive when others have not?

That is not for me to figure out.


Instead I will continue to survive and thrive. I will because I am stubborn. I am loved. I also continue on because I know when I must fight and when I must retreat. I don’t retreat because I am letting you who attack me win. I retreat because I am working on me which means that I win. I win because I know for a fact you (who belligerently raged at me trying to rip open wide horribly scarred wounds in reminding me what a useless, worthless shitbag fuck I am) are apoplectic right now in that I walked away from your very public meltdown directed at me. And while you raged on like a storm, I retreated into words…words that heal, that strengthen and remind me how much stronger and better I am than you. Three thousand-six hundred-fifty eight words, words filed away for now. Filed away with your words that I have boxed up for no other reason than I can. Perhaps someday you might read those words, all directed at you. Perhaps not. It doesn’t matter either way. In all these words I have strength and power in me and over anything and everything you have and continue to try to throw my way.

My roots are deep and I am stronger because of and in spite of you.


Continuing with our at play in our own backyard Fall Break Daniel I spent the day in San Francisco. We were considering exploring the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art or perhaps the Contemporary Jewish Museum along with a bit of shopping at the new Lego Store but Yom Kippur and Wednesday changed the plans a little. No big deal. San Francisco is a big place with so much to see. Taking Abby’s and her roommate’s advice, we decided to explore Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium complete with all the kitschy oddities including lasers, lights and mirrors that come with trigger warnings for those with certain physical health conditions.

For us, it triggered perhaps a little vertigo at first but we got through it dancing and dabbing along the way.

Daniel dabbing and laughing because Mom dabbing.

Making our way through the mazes, we were cocooned for but a couple hours from so much going on in the world and it was a good thing.

Soon enough, back out into the light of day, there was the news of the World, the Nation, the Election to contend with. Twenty six more days…or is it perhaps forty six more days?  Regardless, those of us struggling to some degree or another just have to hang in there in the best way for us because the struggle is getting too real right now. Like so many, I’m taking care of me in the best way that I can right now which might include a little writing, a little venting on my ever-patient darling husband and a lot of muting, unfriending and blocking of especially those who are directly responsible for so much of the anxiety and post-traumatic stress that is what I live with.

Perhaps we are connected by family and love but to be brutally honest with you, who blew up my phone in early hours of this morning detailing just how worthless and fucked I am with my higher than thou shit as you describe it in your hate-filled meandering stream of consciousness that kept me awake through the night overwhelmed with anxiety, restlessness and palpitations, I don’t want or need that brand of crazy love in my life. Yes, I know, it’s all in my head just as it has been there for literally decades as I have tried to process terror, fear and pain that no person ever deserves to live through…terror, fear and pain that you were a party to. It is indeed all in my head. But thankfully, in the light of day, I can calm the anxiety and panic and I can block you out…at least for now…and I will because what you tell me is love for me is nothing but. It never was and it never will be.

I know it’s a campaign, but this isn’t about politics. It’s about basic human decency. It’s about right and wrong.  And we simply cannot endure this, or expose our children to this any longer — not for another minute, and let alone for four years. Now is the time for all of us to stand up and say enough is enough. This has got to stop right now.

Because consider this: If all of this is painful to us as grown women, what do you think this is doing to our children? What message are our little girls hearing about who they should look like, how they should act? What lessons are they learning about their value as professionals, as human beings, about their dreams and aspirations? And how is this affecting men and boys in this country? Because I can tell you that the men in my life do not talk about women like this. And I know that my family is not unusual.

~ Michelle Obama, October 13, 2016

we are here

Amazing how far we have traveled!

From building walls to being too ugly to be President.

How the menstrual cycle of a debate moderator most likely affects her fairness in such role.

Debating the size of a candidate’s hands versus the size of other body parts.

Accepting the mocking of a reporter’s physical disability.

Questioning the physical attractiveness of a candidate’s wife.

Borrow the speech of a First Lady word for word.

Post middle of the night Twitter rants against opponents, parents of soldiers killed in action, former beauty queens.

Candy and breath mints brands are compelled to formally distance themselves from a candidate.

Smile more!

Don’t smile!

Shout it out loud.

Stop shouting!

Don’t laugh.

Don’t stand by your man except when you are standing by your man.

And now grabbing pussies!

Yes, we are talking about grabbing pussies in a Presidential campaign one month before Election Day. We could agree that this is guy talk which is supposed to make such talk okay or that hopefully most men have evolved beyond the adolescent PE locker room banter. We might womensplain the trigger warning such talk brings about of that weird Uncle fondling hello at a family reunion or the middle aged stranger groping your crotch right before he exits the BART train or listening to a sound technician on your headset backstage discuss the size of the tits of a 16 years old GIRL on stage representing your kid’s dance team and honestly, why any of this behavior is acceptable at all….EVER!

We could. We are. We are because here we are one month before Election Day.

Meanwhile, pussies like Zelda just want to be left out of this.


inside on the outside

Regina: But you’re, like, really pretty.
Cady: Thank you.
Regina: So you agree?
Cady: What?
Regina: You think you’re really pretty?
Cady: Oh… I don’t know

~ Mean Girls

Yes, when I find myself in times of trouble sometimes the only thing that makes sense of it all is to quote Mean Girls…if quoting Lennon and McCartney doesn’t work especially in what appears to be a shitty world full of some sometimes pretty shitty people…pretty, shitty people included.

Forgive me, I might be whining a little as I see beautiful people showing the hollow, ugly core that is on the inside. The most perfectly beautiful of people can sometimes be the meanest, the cruelest, the ugliest; and thanks to their social media and their desire to remind us all just how awesome and cool and hardcore bitchy they are, we get to see the ugly on the inside.

When I was trying desperately to survive the cruel awkward that is adolescence coming to terms with the reality that I wasn’t pretty…in the eyes of equally insecure peers…I wasn’t lucky to have social media to reinforce what the adults in my life then were trying to teach me…that the prettiest of people actually were super ugly assholes. How that would have helped me then.

You’re like really pretty but thanks to what you share on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat, we can see what’s really inside whether your mocking, shaming or celebrating bad choices because I mean…u gotta do it sometimes. Trust me, we see it. It is forever, yes, even if it’s Snapchat. Karma will one way or another come back to you. It has to.

In the meantime, I will try be more like this beautiful person because no beauty shines brighter than that of a kind heart.

How our family got so lucky to have someone as beautiful as him, in our lives I will never know but I will give thanks for such a wonderful gift that always inspires and compells me to be better.

love in the neighborhood

Excuse me people but lately I am having some serious mad love for my neighborhood.

It’s quiet uptown, I know. But it is so much more and I am really, really, really coming to appreciate it lately.

I’m not at all mad to admit that the gorgeous and unseasonable super-pleasant weather we have been enjoying has influenced me at all as I have been indulging in morning runs/walks after dropping the favorite son off to school. I mean, come on you guys…this is pretty amazing and it’s my neighborhood.

It’s different here. And yet we are literally just 5 miles uptown…east of the Dust Bowl-like dust storms and the flies and and everything else that sub-divisions that border farms offer.  Running errands on the west side, as I sometimes do, I find myself smiling to myself as I think, I don’t miss almost any of this at all.

It’s quiet uptown.

It’s cleaner uptown. The homes are older but still it is cleaner…and shadier.

And, much to my surprise, it is friendlier uptown. No, absolutely no disrespect to former neighbors who have become and remained friends and those who, well, who stalk you on social media but wouldn’t dare to reach out to say hello…

Hi! I see you there!!!!

Walking and running in a 5K plus loop around what has to be the best park in this city and the neighborhood, I m struck by the fact that people actually smile, nod, wave and call out hello to you as you pass them by. Even better, they stop and talk and invite you to sit on their porch and enjoy a cold one…as the neighborhood watch around here does.

They offer to help you with an electrical problem you’re having in the garage because they know exactly what to do being a retired electrician, you know. And they invite your son to practice putting golf balls in their yard because he shyly offers that he kind of likes golf. As the last of the boxes are unpacked, you find yourself enjoying the long summer nights shared together on each other’s front porches in a way that you have not known since the grown circus clowns were small back in San Jose, back on Amelia Drive. Without you even thinking to ask, they offer you their truck when they hear you have your eye on a sectional at Costco that would be perfect for the new Big Top so your daughter and roommate can take the old, broken down well-lived in set for their own first apartment.

I know!

Furniture from Costco!

Seriously, the sectional is that wonderful and so is the neighbor down the street who let us use his truck…and who did a good portion of the heavy lifting to get it inside the new Big Top.

And yes, even more so, the neighborhood where the new Big Top is now pitched is even more wonderful because it is a whole lot quieter and less dusty and even more friendlier uptown. Hashtag, feeling blessed.