June 2015

NPR (or as my friend Ronnie likes to call it, ‘liberal radio’) has lately been awash (see what I did there?) with drought stories. Which reminded me of the imaginary conversation between God and St. Francis that a friend forwarded me years ago. NPR types can substitute ‘Mother Nature’ and ‘the spirit of Pocahontas’, if they prefer. The message is equally insightful and amusing, as we Californians consider the heretic idea of letting our yards go brown.  

GOD to ST. FRANCIS : What is going on down there on the planet? What happened to the plants like dandelions, violets, and milkweeds that I started eons ago – my perfect no-maintenance garden plan? Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. Their nectar attracts butterflies, honeybees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But all I see are green rectangles.

SF: It’s the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They call your flowers ‘weeds’ and kill them and replace them with grass.

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I’m sure many of you shared my interest in Wednesday Martin’s portrayal of the Upper East Side’s ‘glam SAHM’s’ and their mysterious ‘wife bonuses’ in Sunday’s New York Times. But to the great relief of Chad Olcott, I’ve decided not to write about that particularly salacious piece of journalism this week. Let’s all give it a bit of time to sink in, shall we?

No, instead I’d like to discuss the undoubtedly earth-shattering (assuming your house includes teenagers) debut, on Sunday night, of Taylor Swift’s video for Bad Blood. On the off chance you have the good fortune of social media immunity, I’ll fill you in. The hotly anticipated piece of cinema is the latest jab in the ongoing feud between Katy Perry and T. Swizzle. It features practically every known Millennial female singer (Selena Gomez, Zendaya, Ellie Goulding) plus a gaggle of models and even the two non-Millennial actresses Tay named cats after (Ellen Pompeo, Mariska Hargitay).  

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Laura? Can you come here for a minute!

My mom was calling me into the other room, which was completely unusual. Typical of my 70’s childhood, I hadn’t even known she was home. Back then life was like all those Charlie Brown specials. Parents just droned incomprehensibly in the background; on a day-to-day basis, our worlds rarely overlapped.

But this afternoon she was insistent, and, I soon found, completely peeved. She overheard me asking my best friend Tonya where she was from, and by that I meant where her ancestors were from before they came to America. We must have been doing a fifth grade family background project. I told her my mom’s family was from Russia and my dad’s was from Czechoslovakia but she kept saying hers was from New York. We might have been in Nebraska at the time, but even I knew that New York was in the United States.

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Ladies, I hope you won’t find me too obnoxious for saying this, but: I am about to blow your minds. Well, maybe not all of you. But at least some of you.

For the past few years I have been struggling with a minor but strangely infuriating problem. From time to time I have noticed these tiny holes in my shirts and blouses. They’re always in the same place – near the hem of the shirt, in the center, in the belly-button area.

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It hit me when I saw the spectacular “Friday Night Lights” stage set-up at the Scottish Rites Temple: I most likely attended my twelfth and final Spring Fling this weekend. It’s been a long and winding road since Barbara Love told me, as we commuted home from San Francisco together, that the Fling used to fit in Veteran’s Hall. Through the years it’s bounced all over the East Bay, even making a stop at Piedmont’s very own Vista tennis courts thanks to Chad’s brainstorm. That was the spring we barely saw him because he was the Chair, and the auction itself took place on my 40th birthday.

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