Thursday, September 24, 2009


And then I was all, "Ooh, should I make some more dolls? With matching twirly skirts? Okay!"

I've made the Princess & the Pea doll set before, but I changed up the pattern a wee bit to accommodate a little twirly skirt for the doll (to match the one I made for the wee recipient). I used the free Black Apple pattern from Martha again, but narrowed the torso so it was less a trapezoid & more a rectangle (thanks, geometry class that I had to take twice!).

I used the Heather Ross fabric that I have been DYING over but couldn't justify buying until this project. The human-sized twirly skirt pattern was free from oliver + s here.

The motivation for this whole project came from hearing that my new favorite four-year-old loved Ariel. I wanted to make her a mermaid, so I drew up a mermaid tail prosthesis--lined with muslin for stability, and secured with elastic at the waist. It was fairly simple to put together & I'll be happy to scan the pattern if anyone wants it.

Because Ariel swaps out her tail for legs in the story, I made her a skirt, too. And, so she doesn't forget her roots, I made her a shell necklace by filling the shell with epoxy & setting the ribbon in it.

And, of course, another human-sized matching twirly skirt. (Also all Heather Ross fabric.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Yesterday was a bad day. I was flipping through a photo magazine for a project at work when I spied a photograph that disturbed me. It was the one (I won’t link to it here, but you’ll find it easily if you Google) of a little African girl, starving, half dead, dragging herself across the dirt while a vulture stands by, waiting.

As I’ve mentioned here before, I no longer have any skin. Since Dash’s birth, I have no tolerance for suffering--of humans in general, but children most of all. So as soon as the subject of the photo registered with me, I closed the magazine and tried to forget it.

Two hours later, still overwhelmingly sad, I decided to read the accompanying article. I thought maybe there would be an explanation of how, after snapping the shot, the photographer rescued the girl and now, 20 years later, she had just completed post graduate work at Harvard and all was well. No need to be upset!

So I read. And he didn’t. Instead, he did nothing. Knew nothing of the fate of the little girl who made him famous. He killed himself later--I suppose from the shame of what he’d done (or, I guess, hadn’t). I only know a small part of the story and am scared to look for more. If I’m mistaken please set me straight.

Anyway. Yesterday was ruined for me. I know it’s ridiculous to admit, but all I did, every moment I spent alone, was cry. I cried at my desk and in the car on the way home. I couldn’t stop thinking about that baby. Her parents. Her story. I assume she died shortly after the picture was taken. I don’t know if she made it to the aid station. And my heart is broken.

And so here is where I start talking about things I don’t really know how to talk about. But I’m going to try.

I was driving home yesterday, crying and thinking about holding Dash and covering him with kisses and thanking the universe for this child and the ability to feed and comfort him; how sheer luck is the only thing that stands between the life I know and the life of that girl in the desert. I was despairing. But then, I had a flash. An image of that little girl ascending into the most cartoonish version of Heaven (clouds, blue skies) and being folded into the embrace of a giant, loving God (old, white beard, robe--apparently I get all of my religious imagery from the funny pages). And my chest opened up and I was able to take a breath for the first time in hours. I don’t know how to express in words the amount of pure comfort I got from that thought. So much that I returned to it, over and over again, all night and into today. It’s the only reason I’m not crying right now.

I’ve always had an ambivalent relationship with God. I say I believe, but quietly, I wonder. I read Joseph Campbell and I’m inspired, but if I’m honest, I’m bewildered by religious people. I tell myself that there must be more, because why else would we have any use for art? Why would we aspire? But secretly, it’s always felt like I was trying to convince myself of something.

I don’t know what that epiphany (I’m a little embarrassed to use that word, but I guess it fits) was last night. I don’t know if I really did have a joining of hearts with the God of my choosing, or if it was just a coping mechanism—my mind trying to protect itself from spiraling deeper into freefall. Either way, I think I’ll take it. I think I’m going to spend some time trying to nurture this little seedling of a relationship with a benevolent universe and its God. I’m going to take a leap of faith.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Talk Like a Pirate Day!

I slept, like, 3 hours last night. Dash woke me up at 6am. I'm getting sick. I have nothing to say here today. But it is Talk Like a Pirate Day & it's kinda become a tradition, so:

Why did the pirate get married in the Mormon temple? So he could wear Gaarrments.

What rating did the MPAA give to the pirate movie? PG-13, because it contained graphic violence, salty language and pAAAAArrrr-tial nudity.

What kind of fish always makes a pirate laugh? A clownfish.

Why do all pirates have eyepatches? Chuck Norris.

What did the pirate say to his llama? Tina! You fat larrrrrd! Come get some dinner! (That one's for you, Josh)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mr. Hulk's Residence

"The Hulk House." The red is a secret note for Spiderman to keep out. The green thing on the left is a portrait of the Hulk. The black is his hair & the pointy things are his teeth.

Dash is deeply entrenched in the "why?" phase right now. He is asking about stuff that happened months ago and about books we read weeks ago. While we were driving into Malibu over the weekend he started asking about Spiderman's relationship with the Incredible Hulk.

You see, a few weeks ago we bought a kid-centric comic book where Spiderman accidentally stumbled into the Hulk's cave and the Hulk got PISSED. "Why aren't Spiderman & the Hulk friends, Mommy?" "Isn't the Hulk a good guy?" "Why was he so mad, Mommy?"

Well. As you may have gathered by now, I am neither mentally nor emotionally equipped to provide insight into the psyches of superheroes. But I did my best. I told him it was because Spiderman went into the Hulk's home without an invitation or permission. I explained that he didn't do it on purpose, it was just that the Hulk didn't have a sign on his cave door telling people that he lived there. So, unlike our house, where it is obvious that people live there and strangers wouldn't just wander in, it's possible to mistake the Hulk's house for an ordinary cave and take cover there for a night or two.

So what do you think he did? He made a sign for Hulk to hang in front of his door. So people wouldn't just intrude.

He was a little nervous that the Hulk would break our house if we left it inside for him, so we hung it on the front door. Hulk will swing by later, under the cover of night, to pick it up. I think he'll probably leave a thank you note for Dash's thoughtfulness.

Awaiting the Hulk.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Well, he did it! My awesome husband woke up at 4am to compete in the bike portion of the Nautica Malibu Triathalon to benefit the Pediatric Cancer Research Program at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

So, Honey, how'd you do in your first ever bike race?

That's eighteen miles in one hour, 3 minutes for an average of 3.5 minutes per mile--beating his personal record of 4 minutes, 8 seconds. Congratulations, honey, you're a star.

Dash & I left the house at 8am in order to try and catch the end of the race, but Josh was finished before we got there. So we headed over to Paradise Cove to wait. Here was the view from our table:

Well, ok, I'll look out at that while I wait. If you insist.

In order to celebrate his father's achievement, Dash thought that attempting to eat a piece of chocolate cake the size of his torso would be fitting.

How'd you do trying to eat your body weight in cake and ice cream, Dash?

Awesome. (I swear he doesn't eat like this in real life. Just in every single picture on this blog. I'll take a picture of him eating salmon and brown rice tonight.)

Oh, wait. Here's a picture of him eating the celery out of my Bloody Mary. What? I wiped it.

So, Daddy, you've been training pretty hard these last few months. Whatchoo packing these days?

Nice. Two tickets to the gun show, please.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Aw, Summer, We Hardly Knew Ye

Josh is riding in the bike portion of a relay triathlon to raise money for Children's Hospital Los Angeles in Malibu next weekend (yeah, that's right: saint). He's been training around our neighborhood, but he wanted to peep the race course before hitting it for real. So we packed up the towels and snacks and made a beach day of it.

It's wasn't crowded and we bought a beach umbrella for $10 from a vendor on the sand, and it wasn't too hot but the water was warm. No one got sunburned and we ate sandwiches (appropriately named because they were mostly sand). There was a lot of digging and building and jumping and falling and it was an amazing, beautiful day at the beach.

Yeah, I'm wearing that dress again. What?

His favorite part was when he got to stomp the shit out of those castles.

After the beach we had a second lunch at Marmalade (what? the beach makes you hungry. it's scientifically proven). The last time I was at Malibu Marmalade was with Pat Benatar & her husband, Spider (I used to work in music p.r.), and it was literally everything I could do to not just start crying about the fact that I was sitting there with Pat Fucking Benatar. (Here is my favorite Pat Benatar story: Rolling Stone wanted to include an interview with Pat in their Women of Rock issue--a really, really big deal because it was 1997 and no one had really spent a lot of time thinking about Pat Benatar for about 10 years and it was a huge coup for her and, frankly, for me. When I called her to conference in the reporter for the interview, she said to us both, "You know what? I'm making chicken cutlets right now. Can I call you back?" at the time I tried to murder her over the phone with sheer will. But now that I'm a working wife and mother, I totally get it. The woman had her priorities perfectly in order). Anyway, at Marmalade the boys went to the bathroom for, like, 20 hours, so I took a number of pictures of Batman.

After his plain noodles with butter ($7--is it gauche that I keep noting the prices of things here? It's not that I'm cheap. I just cannot believe the nerve sometimes) Dash got a giant slice of double fudge bundt cake ($9). How's the cake, Dutch?


Farewell, Summer 2009. You were the best yet and I'm a little sad to see you go.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009


More often than not, he's in costume during our errands. This was our most recent trip to Target. There is no easier way to make a mid-to-late-30s-year-old man grin.