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Friday, September 30, 2011

Coming to you live from . . . your closet!

Just kidding! For once, I’m coming to you live from somewhere that is . . . not your closet. (No, I’m not changing my blog title while I’m out. Even the closet monster deserves a vacation.)

In The Next Big Thing: GOGP’s Video Blogging Craze!, Julie has issued a challenge. I rose to the challenge, which rising (monster uprising! noooo!) is documented here:

[ watch here! ]

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Happy birthday, Li’l D!

Two years ago this minute, your daddy tearfully told me we had a little boy. All my fears that I’d perpetuate bygone generations’ wrongs dissipated the moment you were placed in my arms.

Since the moment I met you, this is all I've wanted to do

[ read more ]

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

No arms, no legs, no worries

At least I’ve got killer calves!

For many years, I struggled to find a single thing I liked about myself. Eventually I’d land on my calves, which garnered compliments long before I understood why the heck anyone would care about what was below the knees—or above them, for that matter!

When I became eligible to give blood on my 17th birthday, I seized that opportunity. Some years before, my godfather had died while waiting for a transplant. I couldn’t give a liver, an eye or a heart, yet, but I could help someone live by donating a pint of blood and an hour of my time.

Did I mention I hate the sight of my blood, or even the thought of it outside my body? I almost passed out every time I gave blood, not because the blood loss itself was substantial—it’s not!—but because mybloodisleavingmybodyomgnonononono.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Welcome! I’m not gonna kick YOU in the junk

On Thursday, my post “A title to end all titles. Like, obliterate them” was Freshly Pressed. I’d already done the wildly ecstatic response to being Freshly Pressed in May, so my response this time was much more subdued–or, in other words, not worth writing an entry about.

Come now, little one! Nothin' to fear here!

What is worth writing an entry about is my delight to see your comments and subscriptions. I’m grateful you stopped by, shared your thoughts on titles and then stuck around to read even more. I’ve written about some tough things, so it thrills me to see certain entries dusted off and revisited. Thank you for that.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Nearly two years of Li'l D

Two years ago next Tuesday, I was admitted to the hospital with a headache that wouldn’t go away. Early the next day, I greeted the gift that made me want for no other:

Mrs. Deborah Scissorhands on journaling

"How can I become a better writer?"

People ask me this (perplexingly) often. Regardless of the "why" of it, my answer is constant: Keep a journal.

Wait. Let me clarify that for those thinking they can simply tuck a journal between their mattresses and call it good. Regularly write in a journal. Really keep it, versus simply owning it!

All my print journals, 1990-2008

In the sixth grade, my best friend gave me a Snoopy journal for Christmas. Thus began a lifelong obsession not only with documenting my life but working my way through its difficulties in a judgment-free forum. In my journals I found a confidant who wouldn't get upset with me for trying 100 different times to find the right way to express exactly what I was feeling. With years and lots (and lots and lots) of practice, I got to the point where 1-2 attempts did the trick. In five minutes, I could sit down on my bed, jot down some words and feel the goodness of transferring weight off my heart and into my journals.

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A few entries from late last week didn't make it up here:

[ *nerd alert* HAPPINESS! *nerd alert* ]

[ A title to end all titles. Like, obliterate them. ]

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Survivor questions for Ba.D.'s guest post? Ask away!


Monday’s post (“JUDGERNAUT: Ba.D. on Survivor & my less sensitive side“) was originally written as the preface to a guest post by my honey, Ba.D., about his experiences on Survivor. I edited the entry to be a standalone so Ba.D. could write his entry in his own time. He is, after all, doing me a favor!

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Racial profiling

I flew on 9/11. I admit to being a little apprehensive, an apprehension that grew when everyone froze for an unspecified ”breach” while I stood in the security line at PDX. By and large, I recognized my apprehension ought not be confused with objective truth that something scary was apt or likely to happen.

I was horrified, then, to read the aptly titled “Some real Shock and Awe: Racially profiled and cuffed in Detroit,” which described one woman passenger’s 9/11 detention on the basis (presumably) of another passenger’s complaint.

As the mother to a biracial son, I understand my son may someday be subject to discrimination based not on who he is but how he seems to a stranger. This fills me with equal parts rage and sadness, but I am as prepared now as I ever can or will be for this eventuality.

just as innocuous as could be

As I type this, I think of an exercise performed by my Evidence professor in law school. He handed out copies of a composite of sixteen sketches of an affable looking, fairly attractive white man and asked his 100+ students how many men were represented by those sixteen sketches.

If I recall correctly, the answers ranged from “four” to “twelve.” Neither extreme (“one” or “sixteen”) was represented.

The real answer?

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Home means . . .

. . . finally getting my hair cut after nine months, because I know it’ll be cut right.

Go Ducks!

. . . visiting Honeyman State Park, recalling all the joy it brought me in childhood and seeing that joy extended another generation.

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FTIAT: One of the Things I’m Grateful For

RĂ© (Sparks in Shadow) describes herself as having “never met a contradiction without wanting to give it some study.” Her blog reflects this rejection of “just because” as an adequate answer, revealing a contemplative, assertive soul striving to create music from the hubbub and struggles of life.

Recommended post: Can Anything From Donald Trump Teach Us About Empathy?

One of the Things I’m Grateful For

I’m grateful for a body that responds extremely well to exercise. All I have to do is give it what it really wants, and it rewards me with sinew, limber fluidity, and glorious strength. Of course, that’s the rub. How does one find the will to begin one more time, when the darkness of the past gives way once more to light, and accents just how much the body has been ignored? For me, it helps that I’m lucky and I know it. After an inevitable period of adjustment, a couple of weeks of waning discomfort (not injury, just my muscles beginning their work– standing up and taking notice) my body craves the movement. It calls out sharply if it senses within me the notion to skip a few days. When I stay true to this course, my body looks forward to new challenges with hand weights, holds yoga poses longer, wants to increase repetitions within exercises, and gives me the gift of being able to run a block to catch a bus without being winded afterward.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011


A month ago, I wrote about my long journey with depression: Depression, imma kick you in the junk.

This morning, my friend John–who long volunteered at a suicide hotline, and who urged me to start a WordPress blog–posted about a coworker who committed suicide. I wanted to share his important words here:

If anybody reading this is ever feeling [suicidal], PLEASE call 1-800-SUICIDE / 1-800-784-2433 or 1-800-273-TALK / 1-800-273-8255 (or just get in touch with me). You are loved, and you would be missed.

I stand by what I said last month: “You may not know it, or feel it right now, but you, too, have made someone’s life better through your presence in it.”

Please, please, make the call. If you can’t find the right words for a phone call, please don’t waste time trying to find them. Send someone you love this link with the subject, “Help.”

It’s such a hard word to say, but it’s harder still to suffer in silence.

You are not alone.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

A moving picture: me, Li’l D, my mom and the sea

Eighteen months ago today, my mother breathed her last breath.

Twelve months ago today, I wanted to make sure I was remembering her living spirit instead of her death. I left work early and took my son to the Santa Monica Pier, where my mom, my youngest sister and I had once shared both a Ferris wheel ride and amazement at the sunlight glinting off miles of coastline either way.

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one year (click picture to play)