Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Day in Bed

Two weeks ago, I asked my husband what he wanted to do for Valentine’s Day and he replied that he had been harboring a fantasy of spending a whole day in bed. It’s not what you think. OK, well, a little bit what you think. But we are old people so the fantasy was more in the direction of reading the newspaper, drinking coffee, not paying bills or pruning trees or cleaning the house or working, in short, not doing a blessed constructive thing. What a terrific idea. I agreed at once, looked forward to it all week, and I have to say that I got so much done during my day in bed. I polished off several magazines on my nightstand, finished the novel I had been reading for weeks, read through a graphic novel that I kept renewing from the library because I never had a chance to look at it (Persepolis), and spent a whole day not worrying about money for a change. In short, I took a break.

I confess that I did do some writing, but nothing obligatory or work-related, just fun stuff. I surfed the internet for some information I had been meaning to look up. Listened to music. Watched a silly movie. Petted my cats. We did go out for a walk just before sunset, otherwise I would have spent the day in my nightgown. And it was a revelation that I could give myself permission to goof off for an entire day. I am so driven: to work, to write, to do something useful with my life, to earn money, to accomplish things. Other people probably take that kind of break regularly. A Sabbath. I have trouble giving myself permission to accomplish nothing in particular. I learned from my day in bed that I definitely need more Sabbath in my life.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Creative Children

Although I am often dazzled by their creations, it is no surprise to me that my children are so creative. After all, I’m a writer and artist; and Ron is an artist, musician, filmmaker, actor, well, Renaissance man really. So it makes perfect sense that we have these over-the-top imaginative children. They get it from nature and nurture. Imagination and humor are our family values right up there with do-unto-others. Proud Jewish Mom. Today I’m going to share. Here is Sudi’s McNab Ranch sculpture that was his final in his ceramics class last semester.

This is the photo Akili sent to us of him and his friends at the Louvre.

My lovely daughter is less about images and more about words these days, a constant stream of writing that is hilarious and often insightful on her blog, FB, Twitter, and other websites she writes for. She keeps me laughing with such nonsense as this quote from her blog, “In a recent interview Heidi Montag told Extra that she wanted to make her boobs a size ‘H’ for Heidi. This was surprising to me, only because I wasn’t aware Heidi was up to the letter ‘H’ in the alphabet.” She finds the funniest photos on the web and posts them on her FB page. One of her latest was football player Terrell Owens walking the runway, well why try to describe it, here’s the nutty picture. (We all know he’s crazy, but this photo is a crack-up!)

Keep me laughing, keep my jaw dropped in amazement, children.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Longterm Valentine

Stardate Valentine’s Day Year 32 with my darling husband. Last week he went out to try to fix the broken garage door. “I’m going out to screw with the garage door,” he said. “Are you cheating on me? I’m jealous,” I responded. “If it would make you feel better we can have a garage-à-trois,” he offered. So last night, Valentine’s Eve, he gave me a dozen roses and a small box. Inside the box was his wedding band, which he had resized to fit him again. (He had it cut off a couple of years ago when it got stuck on his finger.) In the morning, when we woke up, I pointed to the ring and exclaimed in horror, “What did you do last night? You weren’t even in Vegas.” And he replied, “What’s your name?” I was still wearing my fancy black negligée when I put my wire-rimmed bug-burning eyeglasses on this morning (to read my Valentine) and my husband remarked, “from sex vixen to commie intellectual in one easy step.” Then, when I could see, we exchanged Valentine cards. We had bought each other the exact same card. Remember that old Marx Bros. routine where Groucho gives Chico a bazooka-sized salami and says, “I got you a gift, it’s a salami,” and Chico produces an identical salami from behind his back and says, “I gotta you a gift too-a, it’s a salami.” Lesson: keep laughing and spend as much time as possible in bed together.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Yesterday I spent the day at the Performer’s Showcase at the library in Fremont. Heaps of performers interested in getting gigs at public libraries and school libraries show up to give their pitch in a strictly timed 8 minutes. Librarians from all over the SF Bay Area come to survey the talent and shop for artists for children’s events at their libraries. The artists must submit a proposal to the Performer’s Showcase sponsors and be accepted to perform. I went to read from The Call to Shakabaz and to talk about my author visit in the schools and libraries, which includes a bookmaking art project if desired. Although I sold several books based on the excerpt I read aloud, my presentation was tame compared to some of the other wonderful acts that I had the pleasure of experiencing while there. A splendid Nigerian drummer had everyone on their feet hopping. A pair of shy and understated teenage sisters playing Irish and American dance music on fiddle and cello totally blew us away. A real character who works at the Academy of Sciences unleashed his reptiles (snakes and frogs) and had us howling with laughter. At the end of the day, as I settled into the long drive home, I reflected back on the performances. Each of us who showcased loves what we do. We have a passion for children’s books, magic, science, music, dance, art, puppetry, or whatever we take out to children in libraries everywhere. The passion of each performer came shining through each compressed 8 minutes. It was an honor and a delight to spend my day with such inspired folks.