Thursday, June 22, 2006


Tomorrow is my birthday. I am wondering how many more 29th birthdays I can get away with. Maybe 2 or 3??? No big plans. P's mother will be in town, and so on Saturday night we're going out. I told P I want Mexican food. I'm pretty easy. I do require a rhubarb pie, however. I'll probably have to both make it and eat it though. The rest of the family doesn't share my passion for the 'barb...

This is me when I was really 29. I don't look that much older, do I?? (Notice I haven't included a recent pic for comparison.) 29 was a good year. I published my first novel, got engaged, got a big grant. Maybe this 29th will be spectacular too.

I've been going through the girls' old clothes and artwork...after watching an episode about hoarders on Dr. Phil, I got motivated to go through the boxes of onesies and mountains of fingerpaintings that have been gathering in the corners of our house. It's so hard to throw/give away that stuff. I finally got the collections down to a manageable size; there are some things I just won't part with. At least I don't keep tuna cans and cereal boxes, I guess.

I'm starting to think a lot about the new book. I think this one is going to have multiple points of view. I start teaching the Intro to the Novel workshop this weekend. The timing is perfect.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Squawk! Hallelujah.

I am totally obsessed with photographing these baby birds. Watching them is fascinating. I think the fourth egg is a dud. It still hasn't hatched.

I finished Holy Skirts last night. It was amazing. I checked Housekeeping by Marilyn Robinson and Ordinary People by Judith Guest out of the library the other day. I have found that getting books out of the library makes me read faster...knowing that I have to bring them back really helps me get to the end.

I am starting to get excited about going to Vermont this summer. I spoke with my grandmother this morning. She wants me to go through my grandfather's things...including a virtual library of books...and bring back anything I'd like. Time to get more bookcases. He has THREE encyclopedia sets, a leather bound set of the classics, an entire bookcase of philosophy books as well as shelves and shelves of poetry and fiction. Nevermind the files and files of ephemera he so meticulously kept. In my file is a pop-up book of Hansel and Gretel. Their house is like a giant treasure chest. I am also going to bring back his Underwood to add to my typewriter collection. I inherited my other grandfather's typewriter when he passed away a couple of years ago. My most prized possessions.

Sunday, June 18, 2006


Happy Father's Day to Daddy Robin! The baby robins have started hatching. There are three so far.

Last night was wonderful. We had friends (and friends of friends) over for a barbeque. It was an international night...only in DC. Our guests were from Israel, Africa, France, and Mexico. One of our friends brought some Vietnamese coffee, and another brought the most delicious homemade icecream I have ever tasted. We let the girls stay up and catch fireflies. When they finally went to bed, I put the container in their room so that they could keep watching them as they fell asleep. Esmee was simultaneously fascinated and freaked out by them. We all ate too much, drank too much. It was a blissful night...mosquitoes kept at bay by a new citronella lantern I bought. Terrific conversation.

One of the guys from France, who is my age, said that he recently started destroying all of his photos after a couple of years. This way his memory isn't skewed by the photographic images. I was horrified by this idea. I think that so much of my memory is intricately tied up with the images found in old photographs. He said it was either brave or stupid, he wasn't sure yet. Maybe a little of both?

Today is Father's Day and I bought P a fishing pole and tackle box, got him his fishing license. He's so excited. It is also my dad's 60th birthday. I need to call him and give him a hard time...

Friday, June 16, 2006

Blue Eggs, Blue Eyes

I forgot to mention a while ago that I went to check on the dove eggs one day, and they were gone. Just gone. No evidence of foul (fowl?) play whatsoever. And then a couple of days ago I noticed some bird activity in the exact same spot on our fence. And then yesterday, lo and behold, I found this: a nest with four perfect robin's eggs. This spot must be prime real estate for young bird families, I guess. They must not have heard about the last residents.

Esmee now says "Blue Eyes" when she plays "Peek-a-Boo." I think she's trying to say, "Surprise."

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Arrival of the Fireflies

A dreamless night last night. Maybe it was because the fireflies have finally arrived. Last night I sat outside for an hour watching them. Took some pictures. The streak is me moving the camera to follow one of them.

This weekend we are going to barbeque. I am looking forward to having people over. I've felt remotely remote lately.

Also, I think I'm getting an ulcer. My stomach has been hurting for days now. My body is pissed off at my brain.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006


The dreams are getting worse. This morning, after getting up and reading "Little Quack" to Kicky who was feverish again and complaining of a stomach ache at 3:00 a.m., I fell back into a sort of death sleep in which I dreamed that my old agent had read the revised version of the novel and had nothing good to say about it. She said it was "worse than the first draft," that Betsy was a terrible character, that none of it was believable (or readable for that matter). And then there was a horrific moment when I couldn't figure out how she'd gotten a copy of it...was it out there, circulating the streets of New York, was I the laughing stock of the literary world?

I need a hobby.

It's gray outside, and George Bush is on every channel. Great way to start a day...

Monday, June 12, 2006

Gimme fever

There's a fever raging through our house. Esmee got it first: 103.5 at the highest. Kicky is now crashed out on the couch with a 104 temp. Last night it was almost 105. The weird thing is there are no other symptoms (besides the vomiting which I think was because of an Ibuprofen overdose). She is miserable. You can feel the heat coming off of her. So far I just feel a bit of a pit in my stomach (which very well just live there anyway). P seems fine too.

It's pouring rain outside, Esmee is asleep, and the house feels weird. Infected. Too quiet. I've been tumbling through my to do list and actually managing to cross things off. Planned for my class tonight, ordered the first season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" for my dad for Father's Day, balanced the checking account. I lead a thrilling life.

I'm reading Holy Skirts now...picked it up again...and I think it's genius so far. Rene is a brilliant writer.

Friday, June 09, 2006


I've been having disturbing dreams lately. While I was in San Diego, I had a dream that I was eating goldfish out of a fish tank upon the back of which a dirty, scabby, Ty Pennington was clinging and sucking algae like some terrible human suckerfish. Last night I had a dream that Angelina Jolie's body was stuffed under a manhole in my backyard, and I was the only one who knew about it. But while my subconscious is busy defiling celebrities, I've actually been feeling sort of strangely happy: a sort of calm before the storm feeling. Precipitous. San Diego seems to have rejuvenated me. I am finding that I have tremendous new reserves of both energy and tolerance with the girls. I am placid. Patient.

Reading This Book Will Save Your Life. Not my favorite A.M. Homes, but it's pretty good on the heels of a visit to southern California.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Ocean Beach

I'm back from the beach and a little melancholy. Being there made me as homesick as I suspected. It didn't help that the weather was perfect...sunny, seventy, with the coolest ocean breeze. I gorged myself on all my old favorites (New York Giant Pizza, chimichangas, etc...). I got happily sunburned after a languorous day in the sand, bought some kitschy beach stuff for the girls, and then had an awesome visit my girlfriend H. and her family. Her girls (3 and 1) filled the whole the merbabies left, but I was still so happy to see them this morning.

I miss the beach. It felt like I was home.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Vacation (All I Ever Wanted)

Starting to feel some pre-flight jitters. A lot of it has to do with my fear of flying, but I also think there's a little part of me that's afraid that going back to the beach will make more homesick than I already am. I love where we are, I really do (though it's been difficult these last few days with the temperature in the nineties), but there's still this little snarly thing in my belly. I'm worried that I'll get there and not want to come back.

I also know that I'm going to miss the girls. P and I are accustomed to these tandem vacations, but I've always got at least one of the kids with me. They're appendages really. Just extra arms or legs. Kicky's old enough now to miss me too; she's already asked me not to go. I do think four whole days with Daddy alone will be great though. For all of them.

I'm also hoping that this vacation will be a good distraction from the prevailing dread and anxiety and hopefulness and fear and anticipation for the book...