Showing posts from April, 2011

it gets better

1. baby When I was a college student working weekends at Book Soup, it was my job to shelve the childcare section, which is how I found myself reading The Kid , Dan Savage’s memoir about open adoption. (I was less intrigued by What to Expect When You’re Expecting, with its cover mom staring sedatedly from a rocking chair.) I wasn’t even out to myself at that point, although I had to admit I had a little crush on my fellow weekend-shifter Nancy. But I read The Kid with more interest than any straight girl with bio babies in her future should have. This weekend, AK and I attended a two-day registration seminar with an open adoption agency. We’re still mourning the Squeakies; I think we always will be. But adoption takes a long time, and I figure I can fill out a few forms while I mourn. It also feels good to know I’m doing something to actively pursue having children, and that it doesn’t start with someone telling me to undress from the waist down (I know this is more

a very melodramatic and pretentious way of saying come to the book fair this weekend

Last night AK and I caught The Airborne Toxic Event at the Troubadour. It was a transcendent show—and I’m pretty hard to please when it comes to live music. I like comfy seating, discernible lyrics, good visuals. In other words, I want all concert experiences to be Rent . The Airborne Toxic Event comes pretty damn close. Their new song “All At Once,” with its sweet howling chorus and violin, is a meditation on life and death that made me cry like “Seasons of Love” (don’t laugh or I will show you a season of hate). The last lines: And we all had just one hope, there was someone looking down to return our bodies to each other and the ground Simple, but so is grief, right? I used to dismiss writers who wrote about love and loss as kind of dumb and apolitical. But that’s all life boils down to, and politics are just about powerful people trying to outsource all the loss to less powerful people. Even though I feel like my mid-thirties have brought on some kind of radical if obvious par

in which i judge the people who are judging judges

Lately my reaction to politics and life can be summed up a la Amy Poehler and Seth Myers: really? Really ? The latest installment is the pro-Prop. 8/anti-gay marriage camp’s claim that Judge Walker’s overturning of Prop. 8 (which overturned the court’s overturning of previous anti-gay marriage laws; diamonds, or in my case green amethysts, are forever, but apparently everything else lasts about ten minutes) should be…overturned. Why? Because he’s in a gay relationship and would therefore stand to benefit from legalized gay marriage . Yes. He would. But if the H8ers’ core argument is also true, a straight judge’s heterosexual marriage would be threatened by the legalization of gay marriage. So he would stand to benefit from not overturning Prop. 8. Of course I, and all sane straight people, totally disagree with the notion that gay marriage threatens straight relationships, but see how I’m using the H8ers’ argument against them? Ha! I should be a lawyer! I know that mostly they’re jus


Image the name of an Ian McEwan novel I just read, but if my Saturday was like the protagonist's, I would have gotten in a car accident, diagnosed a guy with a degenerative brain disorder, gotten mugged and then operated on my mugger. (Um, retroactive spoiler alert?) Instead, and thankfully, I just cleaned the house, took a yoga class, went to Jennifer's cupcake-decorating party and took in some art at La Mano Grafica . The birthday baker in an occasion-appropriate apron. Concept cupcakes by one of the more artistic party-goers. They had names like "Greenstravaganza," "Pinkstravaganza," etc. Jennifer's boyfriend Joel required us to name all our cupcakes as part of an experimental film he was making, which I cannot wait to see. My cupcakes were named "Choco-fly," "Foofaland" and "The One I'm Going to Eat." The latter had extra chocolate chips on it. AK's and my cupcakes. Jennifer went all out with the decorations.

the bread and the matzah

It’s currently Passover and National Poetry Month , and I’m proud to say I celebrated both yesterday. First I crashed a workshop by the warm and inspiring Steven Reigns at the West Hollywood Library. One of the prompts he gave us was “write about a time you cross-dressed.” See results below. Then I went to Jody and Christine’s annual-ish Alternative Seder , meaning they downloaded a current events-themed program (which has a Hebrew name I can’t remember, let alone spell) from and served tilapia and vegetarian matzah ball soup. I think my favorite prayer (blessing? toast?) was a two-parter where we said one l’chaim for the bread the Israelites intended to make and one for the matzah they made instead. That sounded about right to all of us: There’s the stuff you plan to do, and then there’s what life actually delivers. Both have their place. Drag In eighth grade I went to school in men’s underwear: white Hanes V-neck striped Gap boxers, waistband folded twice. (Gina Ci

my heart a slightly less dark knot

Last night was the first time in two months that I stayed out past 11. It was also the first time—and I’m a little ashamed of this—that I attended the Downtown L.A. Art Walk . Turns out it’s kind of big. Like $10 parking big (unless you venture east of Los Angeles Street, in which case it drops to $5—take that, Westside scaredy cat tourists!). It’s a little too big, Amy and I quickly decided. The galleries with their intricate ceramic vases and funky peek-a-boo line drawings get eclipsed by the hordes of people clogging Spring, Main, 4th and 5th. Every cupcake shop has a DJ who drowns out your order. But our first stop was the Harlem Place Café , where Writers’ Row was featuring a handful of local writers who only had to compete with an espresso machine and a cash register, as every writer must learn to do. Bronwyn is a small person with a big voice, and she read a snippet from her story collection The Streetwise Cycle that was perfect for the time and space: short, sweet, Downtown

what to wear in the valley of dry bones

God I love the Ironing Board Collective , especially Michelle Tea’s posts. A long time ago she edited an anthology about fashion to which I submitted a piece about my love of dancer warm-up gear. It was rejected, but that’s okay. In addition to carbohydrate therapy, I did a little retail therapy this weekend. I did it at Target and I only bought two things. There’s a scene in an old episode of Friends where Chandler has a bad breakup and Monica and Rachel encourage him to drown his sorrows in ice cream. He says something like, “This tastes like crap.” They say, “When you’ve been in this game as long as we have, you switch to low-fat.” Target is low-fat retail therapy for the frequently emotional. I’ve noticed that denim shirts are back, but I haven’t been sure whether I’m ready to party like it’s 1992. Then I found a cute denim shirt dress with a slightly flared skirt. It was like freshman year of high school meets Mad Men . I was in. I also bought a white jacket because O Magazine

how am i? funny you should ask

Yesterday I ate like 14 cookies at Meehan and Sally’s housewarming and contemplated how drinking would be a more literary way to wallow (although AK pointed out that a booze hangover is rougher than a carbohydrate hangover, which I definitely have). Did I mention that I chased it with pizza? It was a flashback to my younger years, when every day was the last day before the first day of some diet that would mark the beginning of my new life. Today I’m holding onto the healthy living wagon with one hand, basically being dragged through the dirt. I went to the gym this morning, where any sense of empowerment was tempered by every stiff ligament reminding me why I’d been away for two months and why I was back now. Then I stopped at Starbucks where some stupid compilation of Mother’s Day songs* next to the mint display reminded me that this Mother’s Day will pack twice the crappiness punch as the past seven. I kind of lost it, and some guy asked if I’d like to pray with him. I said a fir

the squeakies

1. seeds Remember how, among my Facebook pet peeves , I mentioned “#9 the cryptic post that prompts confused, concerned comments”? Well, I realize that in some ways the past, like, six months have been one big long #9 here on Bread and Bread. So here’s the story. The short version, which is not short. I’m coming out, but not in a disco way or even a fun pride parade kind of way. On a long ago road trip, AK and I discussed the idea of having kids in that tentative way of newish couples who don’t want to seem overly eager or serious. I said I’d always thought about adopting. She said she thought it would be fun to adopt one and have one biologically. I said I was down with that, and thought she’d make a cute pregnant girl. A few months later, she clarified, “Oh, no, I was picturing you getting pregnant.” And so a seed was planted (not literally—that would come later). I, who had always wanted kids but had felt profoundly neutral about pregnancy—if I wanted to fee

birthday equals....

I didn’t really want to do anything for my birthday this year, but that would have been like putting a knife through AK’s social butterfly heart, and it would have flat-out confused my dad, who has learned all social skills phonetically. He knows that birthday = dinner + presents + cake. My aunt Marc was in town from Michigan on Sunday, my actual birthday, so my grandma rounded up the usual suspects for dinner at her place. It took twenty minutes for me to assure my dad that it was okay to have a non-birthday-themed dinner on my birthday. To remove presents and cake from the occasion would have knocked his world right off its axis. Also, I really like cake. Saturday AK and I convened a small handful of friends at Pure Luck , a veggie restaurant that wooed the non-veggie AK with its adorable happy pig logo . “Look at that pig!” she said. “If he needed a place to stay for a while, I would totally volunteer our house.” It was a funny menu—sort of vegan southern Mexican. You can order “pu

sometimes the creek effing rises, or what i read in march

If the Creek Don’t Rise by Rita Williams: Rita Williams' aunt Daisy is a hard character to like and, initially, a hard character to understand. The back of the book makes it sound like she's a classic striver who pushes the niece she's stuck raising to be the same. But she's also an unrefined country woman who cuts Rita down at every turn, calling her the N-word even more often than Rita's racist white classmates. As Rita struggles to make sense of Daisy's contradictions, so does the reader, and eventually we both see that Daisy--whose life of suffering has left her battered but not broken--could be no other way. Literature is full of stories of triumph over adversity; this is a refreshing and intense story of how a difficult past haunts even the strongest survivors. Tallgrass by Sandra Dallas: This book suffers a little from Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman syndrome in that the main characters are miraculously free of the prejudices that mark their time. In this c