I have spent some time talking with people who were there. It’s not easy. I myself, even after I wrote this book, have trouble reading it.

I don’t want to go back to the scene of the accident.

I was talking with an old friend. She was there. She witnessed a lot of it.

True, she didn’t know all of the story. She had her own scenes she was dealing with.

So when I said somethign she said, “Wait, what? I don’t think I knew about that.”

And I had to explain.

Quickly. About people we knew differently.

And there it is. The part two. Is it my sequel? Or the sequel of all of us?

And it doesn’t end so pretty. How can I write an open-ended sequel? There should be some sense of ending.

That’s the trouble with true stories. They don’t end. They just kind of rest.

[this is cross-posted here]


not always what you think

twisted up over a percieved slight
A rudeness

Why didn’t I handle it different..
Scorch the earth to prove I am not to be

In the light of the next morning
I can see the light between the shadows
Maybe it’s not what I thought

Perhaps it was better
to keep my peace

Old flame

Last night I dreamed that an old flame had come back to me. He was dying, and he realized that he really had missed out by not being with me back when.

All my love for him came rushing back. I am happily married, and he is (in real life) married too. But somehow, I was ready and it was just understood that I would be in his life and his lover before he died.

He finally recognized how he felt about me , and admitted to himself that his feelings and my feelings were undeniable.

It took a brush with death for him to realize I am perfect for him.

And somehow I had propped the door of my heart open the whole time. We held hands, and he was weak and sick on his bed, but I was going to be with him.

Somehow it all made sense. I started to wake up a bit, and think about how I couldn’t do this to my husband, still convinced that I would.

There is a lot of psychological meaning in this. I am not sure what, but the dream is still with me.

I’m so grateful to my husband. I would not want to leave him for anybody.

Authenticity is the new Black

First, Black:

Before I moved to Los Angeles, I had an actor friend. He was studying hard, and finding money to get a degree in acting. I thought this was great, supported him, and proudly bought him his first black turtleneck.

“Wow! Thanks! I don’t know why, but actors DO wear black turtlenecks a lot.”

This was my beginning of understanding that you don’t have to be smart to be a good actor. I explained:

“If you are trying to act, you only use your face and the shape of your body. A black turtleneck shows those off perfectly. People can’t notice your emotions if they are distracted by a hawaiian shirt.”

Second, Authenticity:

A younger friend discovered that I am a fan of Beavis and Butthead. He said, “I have lost respect for you.”

Like I said, he is younger. For me in the 90s, Beavis and Butthead were so stupid cool that I couldn’t stop laughing. One of my friends frequently laughed so hard he turned purple.

You had to be there.

I mean, you really had to be there. What we didn’t admit but deep down we knew was that we were all Beavis and Butthead. They were trying SO HARD, and were so repulsive and so far from being cool. The parts they can’t run anymore are the parts where they watched the music videos and talked about them. In their wretched homes with completely absent parents they consumed nachos and music videos, and tortured the school when they attended.

Their lives were rather hopeless, which is what almost every felt like when we were young in the 90s.

Looking back it’s hard to believe. Things got better (thanks, internet).

And then they got a lot worse. Thanks, financial crisis.

But striking a pose did not survive the same way.

If Beavis was a generation X icon, Juno is a Millenial touchstone. And I can’t forget the big ending when Juno tells the baby daddy Paulie that he’s cool without even trying: “I try really hard actually.

Admitting that you try is not something you could have admitted in the 90s.

Authenticity. Admitting who you are, what you believe and what you love. It’s the ‘in’ thing.

And yes, this is my opporunity to talk about The Russian American School of Tomorrow.

Memoirs are part of the new Authenticity. In 2006, Elizabeth Gilbert rocked the world with her story  told in Eat Pray Love. Augusten Burroughs gave Running with Scissors to the world in 2002.

Right now, everyone wants to tell me about Wild by Cheryl Strayed.

Is this what we are looking for now? Truth truth, told truly?

When I tell people about my memoir, I cringe. It is real embarrassing to talk about the stuff that happened in that book.

But it’s real.

Yes, the Millenials have embraced auto tune vocal music. Yes, the millenials have been avid consumers of that least realistic of mediums, Reality TV.

But no one is fooled. Everybody knows.

That’s what the memoir is about. We are all telling what we know.




Where we lose our faith

I found this blog, of a man who went through the Accelerated Christian Education system, and has made a crusade to point out the failings of it.

He lost his faith in God. He declares his atheism openly.

But he does believe in organized education. So much so that he become part of a PhD program with a thesis that focusses on the failings of the School of Tomorrow (ACE).

Me? I stuck with God and even Christianity. But I am VERY suspicious of organized education. I did get a bachelor’s degree, but I took a long time and didn’t borrow a dime to do it, partly because I couldn’t believe that the investment of money in the education system would be a worthwhile investment.

I taught myself to play the piano. I taught myself computer networking, I taught myself Project management, gaining lots of professional certifications along the way. I have a good career, practically hand-carved.

So, even when it came to publishing my books I couldn’t bear to do the “traditional” route and had to teach myself all the skills and do all the work myself. MY voice MY way.

I have an ENORMOUS chip on my shoulder about organized education. I am just so suspicious of the exploitation I see in it. I can believe it might be good for people but I also see the cracks in the foundation.

Funny the similarities and differences

Things we don’t need anymore

Getting into the car, I gave Veronica a poke in her side. Just playing around.

“Ow! Mommy that hurt!”

Whoops. I must have gotten her with my fingernail by accident.

I was already in the driver’s seat by then. I stretched my hand back into her car seat area and said “I have CLAWS!”

“Mommy! We don’t need to do that any more. Animals need to fight and use was to eat but we don’t.”

I looked at my fingernails. They are not that long, half an inch at most.
“They are not very good claws,” I reply. “Maybe I should cut them off. Is that what you think?”

She could be right. Mostly my fingernails disappoint me by breaking at inopportune times. They are not useful really.

So why does it feel so sad, to trim short that small crescent of white on my finger?

Once upon a time long nails were a sign of pampered luxury. Someone had long nails because he or she did not need to use hands for work.

I want to work, and to look like I’m working. Yet somehow my vanity is pleased to see my fingernails long.

Self image is a strange thing.

kindergarten homework

School gave Veronica homework:
“Tell how you would catch a leprechaun.”

It’s a writing assigment. How many ways this is wrong! “leprechaun” is not a sight word. Or a real thing.

Her answer:
“I would make a trap.”


I cheated and told her how to spell “would” correctly, but then bailed and “Make” came out “mac”.

Take that, homework designer.


I am so happy right now
It feels so beautiful just to be present and at peace

I spent a long time being afraid of all the things that might happen and all the things that I needed to do and I wasn’t doing.

I was so afraid that I didn’t know what it was I was supposed to do and that I was going to get caught and punished heavily for not knowing and not acting

Right here right now, I feel safe and like I can enjoy myself

I find myself wondering what I would like to do if I didn’t feel afraid

I am so used to feeling the wolf at my heels.

It is not quick and easy for me to know what I enjoy

I’m paying attention to small things . I like feeling comfortable. I like reading. I like laughing with people.

These are good starts. I also like accomplishing big things. And if I could accomplish what I want just because I want it I wonder how big it might get

How to do something hard

I’ve heard it called an engine. That thing inside me that keeps me moving towards a goal.

People ask me “How do you find time?”
It confuses me. It’s not a matter of time. It’s a matter of wanting to do it.

Take reading a book. I love reading books. Easy books are fun. But then there are the hard books. Those are the challenge. And by challenge I mean FUN.

My husband likes to climb mountains. That’s good. That’s his thing. Me? I like to challenge myself to finish Ulysses. THAT felt amazing.

Because it was an experience I wanted to have. I wanted to read it and I wanted to have read it.

So I did it. I read it everytime I had any spare minute. Because I loved it and because i wanted it.

The same thing with my books. And my blog.

I don’t believe in procrastination. If I am not doing something I want to do, it’s not a fault. There is something else getting in the way