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World peace, all around

“What’s your goal for 2014?” my 17-year-old daughter asked yesterday. We were waiting for an audience with her orthopedist, an appointment I moved up a week so it would still be under the 2013 medical plan and thus covered in full. A goal? After the year we had, I was not thinking in terms of goals. I’m typically in survival mode.  Read More 
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Midlife mondegreen with a touch of ennui

A couple days ago I learned a new word. Mondegreen is “the mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase, typically a standardized phrase such as a line in a poem or a lyric in a song, due to near homophony." Ever since, my brain has been sorting through its files, the worn, bent edges of index cards still organized by the Dewey Decimal System, trying to come up with the name of a performer from the 70s, someone like Jose Feliciano or Bobby Goldsboro, or maybe Freddie Prinze (the elder), whose name I always hear in the lyrics of a Go-Go’s song, or maybe it’s the Bangles.  Read More 
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A little levity, amidst the brevity

Sam and me, a few years back and upside down.
You know how it is. Most of us, by a certain age, have a tragedy to commemorate/uncelebrate during a particular time of year. On the eve of the 20th anniversary of mine, I’ve been toeing the line on Great Sadness all day. I remembered even before I was officially awake this morning.  Read More 
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Sending your innocent child to jail is, by definition, abusive.

Tonight, a single mom sits in jail because she won’t let her parents have unsupervised visits with her 7-year-old daughter. She refuses grandparent visitation due to alleged sexual abuse by someone in her parents’ home.  Read More 
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Standing your ground in shifting sand

When I was 20 years old and clueless as to what I wanted to be when I grew up, a few of my friends started talking about moving to Hawaii. It wasn’t just talk. My roommate’s mom lived there, and a little outpost was forming on the North Shore of Oahu, including my boyfriend, Mark.  Read More 
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A very minor rant

Sometimes I think we live to break each other’s hearts. I know the point is that we are learning, evolving, but why in the world does this require so much heartbreak? Our children die. Our parents die. We die. You created this beautiful thing, but also this ugly, blistering dark side, and somehow we’re expected to embrace/endure accordingly? To turn on an effing dime?  Read More 
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Driving me crazy

I’ve yet to perfect my role as passenger of Little Miss Learner’s Permit. I claw at the door, as if some part of my subconscious is considering abandoning the vehicle by leaping to safety. My foot is constantly searching for the brake. “It doesn’t work on that side,” Grace says, which  Read More 
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This isn't some mamby-pamby turtle story. This shit is real.

Today Churchy the three-legged turtle went to day camp. It was the second year in a row he was asked to enlighten campers about life as a turtle. Just so you know, it’s more than an educational program. The nature center has two resident turtles, and after the meet-and-greet there’s a race among the three, including the guest turtle, Churchy. And surprise, surprise, last year Churchy won, despite having 25 percent fewer legs than the others. Read More 
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The women upstairs

In the upstairs alcove of my dream, the ghost of a young woman slips into a single bed tucked against a wall. “I’m sleeping here now,” she says, awakening two others who were fast asleep.

“This is my bed,” the other Goldilocks say. Until now, each thought she was alone, resting in peace after a hard-fought battle.  Read More 
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What to do when your ghosts go away

“If I got rid of my demons, I’d lose my angels too.”
– Tennessee Williams

Here’s something they don’t tell grieving mothers: your children’s ghosts will leave you almost as certainly as your living children will. It’s pretty much a parallel construction of the universe. I can say this because it’s been almost 20 years and Madeline doesn’t check in nearly as often as she used to. Sure, I can honestly say she’s always with me, but the legitimate hauntings are far less frequent.  Read More 
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