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Showing posts from November, 2011

booze, needles and santa claus

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1. ivf (i’m [a] veteran [of this] fuckingprocess) If only meeting birthmothers was as easy as meeting fellow adoptive parents .* For every subculture, there is a blogging sub-subculture, and last night I met up with a local segment of the adoption blogger sub-subculture, plus Heather of Production, Not Reproduction , who was in town for the BlogHer conference. None of the rest of us are quite so committed to our blogging, but we were happy to commit to drinks at Magnolia . Can I just say how nice it is to be with a group of five women where I don’t have to assume, anytime someone orders a nonalcoholic beverage, that she’s pregnant? And then proceed to try to coax myself back from depressed resignation? It was nice—and weird—to be able to talk in a sort of shorthand. “At first, I was so freaked out by the needles,” Victoria said of her IVF adventures. “It took me four hours just to do my first Lupron shot!” Hahaha! Because everyone knows that Lupron needles are skinny, and it’s th

why i would be happy to raise amy poehler’s children but not kiefer sutherland’s

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It was a lovely, lazy weekend. Yesterday AK and I hiked up the west side of the big hill that is Debs Park and discovered a lake at the top. Well, maybe a pond. A very green pond. There were a couple of people fishing in it, which seemed a little risky, though probably less so than fishing off the Santa Monica pier. We heard a guy tell his kids, “Come look at the turtles!” and we both ran toward him because, hello, turtles! When we saw him, we concluded he seemed a tad too urban to know much about pond fauna. We did not see any turtles, although we spotted a bunny in the brush. All this five minutes from our house. We looked out over Highland Park’s old bungalows and marveled at how wide Avenue 50 looked, and how faraway Downtown seemed. So that’s why it takes me so long to get to get to work. Last night we saw Melancholia , a beautiful Vogue shoot of a movie about how people of different worldviews respond to opposing situations. Kirsten Dunst’s depressive character has a meltdow

how to make cheryl's semi-famous sweet potato pie

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1. Buy overpriced ingredients at Whole Foods because it is the closest grocery store to your therapist's office. 2. Read about some MTV exec's wardrobe in Elle while sweet potatoes boil. Wonder why Isabel Marant makes sneaker wedges in which the wedge is hidden, so that the wearer looks like a strangely tall, awkward person who can't walk in sneakers. 3. Discover that your mixer is missing one if its little whisk attachment thingies. 4. Discover, triumphantly, that it is possible to mix ingredients with only one whisk attachment thingy. Imagine that this is how that one-armed drummer in Def Leppard must feel. 5. Pour batter into ready-made organic whole wheat pie crusts (thank you, Whole Foods!). 6. Spill batter down inside of oven door. 7. Learn that you really can't clean an oven while it's on. Wonder if Sylvia Plath wasn't so much despairing as trying to tidy up her kitchen. 8. Pour batter remaining in bowl directly into your mouth. 9. Have a happy

before you hit the mall, occupy literature!

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Beyond bringing blankets and soup to protesters camped out at your local city hall, what’s the best way to support the 99 percent this holiday season? How about buying books published by small presses and sold at independent bookstores for 100 percent of the people on your gift list? Small presses give voice to writers and viewpoints overlooked by the mainstream. Indie bookstores let you be a literary locavore. And subscriptions to literary magazines are gifts that keep giving all year long. Consider the lists below your holiday literary activism starter kit. Happy browsing! Southern California-based Presses: • Ammo Books : one-of-a-kind titles featuring amazing design, thoughtful writing, and exquisite printing • Angel City Press : nostalgic yet cool illustrated books • Arktoi Books : poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction that give lesbian writers access to “the conversation” • Beyond Baroque : books by local, emerging, overlooked, and previously out-of-print poets • Cahuenga Pre

take the cannoli

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1. like a bucket list, but tastier and less depressing When Jonathan Gold’s “99 Essential L.A. Restaurants” guide came out last week, I immediately tallied up how many I’d been to. Eleven: Border Grill, Bottega Louie , Casa Bianca, Euro Pane, Good Girl Dinette, Guelaguetza, Huarache Azteca, the Hungry Cat, Musso & Frank, the Oinkster and Waterloo & City. Not bad for a cheapo and non-foodie. (I love good food, but I can also thoroughly enjoy a vending machine donut or five.) It doesn’t hurt that Jonathan Gold’s tastes veer toward cheap ethnic holes-in-the-wall. Waterloo & City, where we went for Nicole’s sister’s birthday, has plates of charcuterie that look like a painter’s palette. But Huarache Azteca has plastic forks and random vendors who wander through the eating area selling bootleg DVDs. The other 88 restaurants make for a nice to-do list. But it’s harder than it looks. When we first read the list, we just started reminiscing about Guelaguetza, where

it’s really just damn lonely sometimes: the adoption bloggers interview project

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As part of my ongoing exercise in magical thinking (in which blogging a lot about adoption = getting a kid sooner), I signed up for Production, Not Reproduction ’s Adoption Bloggers Interview Project . Apparently being only an occasional adoption blogger didn’t disqualify me. The idea was that adoptive or prospective adoptive parents would exchange some Q’s and A’s and post the answers on their respective blogs. When Heather of PNR paired me with Jenni of Sincerely, Jenni , my first thought was, Is this, like, some kind of odd-couple stunt? I’m a queer, childless, marginally fertile, urban liberal planning to adopt an infant through an agency. Jenni is straight, has bio kids and step kids, lives in a tiny town in Iowa, links to a blog called Getting Down with Jesus, and is so fertile that she got pregnant accidentally at 19 and placed her son for adoption (more on that later). AND she’s planning to adopt an older child through the foster care system. But after emailing with her and

USA! USA! USssigh….

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I’m at Starbucks right now, ostensibly doing some freewriting in preparation for a possible future novel, which is a huge indulgence because the circus novel isn’t anywhere near done. But a few drafts in, I get itchy to start something new, and I’m not nearly practical or short-winded enough to just work on a short story. I’m also drinking a salted caramel hot chocolate, another huge indulgence (360 calories; thanks, stupid new law requiring Starbucks to inform me of this). But I was distracted from my indulgences by these wristbands that Starbucks is selling. They look like little loops of bungee cord sealed with a metal square. I have to admit they’re more attractive than the LIVESTRONG-style bands. The red and blue bungee bands promote “Americans Helping Americans Create Jobs.” If you buy the $5 wristband, some money will go to a domestic micro-loan program. My first thought when I saw this was Oh my god, we’ve become our own third world charity case. I’ve done m

unbirthday

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As anyone who’s been surprised by a tiny thirty-week baby or gotten induced for a second time knows, due dates don’t mean much. Still. Tomorrow would have been mine. 11/11/11—which I only found out because I used one of those online due date calculators, not because my poker-faced doctor ever encouraged me to look so far ahead. (And he was right, but still, fuck that.) Except that it wouldn’t have been my due date, because I was carrying twins, who never hang out in utero for the full forty weeks. Sometimes it boggles my mind that I was pregnant, and with twins . Even just typing it feels like a lie, or at the very least some kind of dubious legend passed down from a long time ago. But my body knows. My body always knew. And when I fell apart so spectacularly, I think it was partly the result of my mind pushing one idea— You can’t possibly be this sad about babies who were never babies, so there must be something else terribly wrong with you —and my body pushing another: You were shel

this friday, let's do something different

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Yoga and movies are getting a little old. Instead, let's go to a dive bar on the industrial outskirts of Santa Ana, near the John Wayne Airport. A place where guys dress like this: We'll meet up with Lori, Brett, Maria, Calvin, Pedro and Stephen, plus Stephen's sister and her crew, who told us about this night. So that's a Huey Lewis and the News cover band onstage? I don't actually know any of their music, but if you say so. I do remember shelving their CD that summer I worked at the Wherehouse. Remember the Wherehouse? Let's pretend like we're being followed by paparazzi. I guess the next band, Lady Zep, is the only thing it could be: an all-girl Led Zeppelin tribute band. What do you think their day jobs are? I mean, assuming this isn't a full-time gig yet. You're right, the lead singer is definitely an admin assistant. The kind who sounds very authoritative on the phone but takes a lot of smoke breaks. Except, she doesn't really soun

what i read in october

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Not much, as it turns out. I blame shortened library hours. But I did reread Pinko by Jen Benka and wrote a longer review for Gently Read Literature (cyber-flip to page 11). I almost never reread books because there are so many I haven’t read even one time, but whenever I do, I’m reminded of what a worthwhile activity it is. New meanings emerge, structures become apparent, the text works its rhythms into your soul. I feel like real writers reread. If I were a real writer, I would probably be reading the classics below for the third time. But I also believe that real writers don’t waste time apologizing for their imperfect reading habits. The important thing is the voraciousness. A River Runs Through It by Norman Maclean: I started this book on a trip to Montana (perfect, right?). Maclean sums up the spiritual effect of the landscape beautifully: "For all of us, mountains turn into images after a short time and the images turn true. Gold-tossed waves change into the purple ba

happy halloween! here’s a peanut butter cup and my life story

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I love our neighbor Jennifer . When I complained to her the other day that we never get any trick-or-treaters, she promised to come by with her daughter. I take all commitments very seriously, so I went into work early, left early and sat in traffic thinking, There are children who need me! I got home and threw our light-up Snoopy “Happy Halloween” thing in the window just in time to see Jennifer and Lucia coming up the sidewalk (or, more likely, they came over when they saw our light was on). Lucia was a baby carrot, although she’d gotten fussy when Jennifer tried to put her green frondy hat on, so basically she was wearing a big orange bib. “It’s okay,” I assured her. “Some carrots don’t have tops.” But I don’t think Lucia, who is two, was all that self-conscious about it. “Kitty,” she said. “Do you think we could see your cats?” Jennifer asked. I invited them in, the cats having been sequestered for the night to protect them from possible tricksters. Seriously, my aunt had thi