Sunday, March 24, 2013

Why Does She Run From Me?

I wish there was a socially-acceptable way to say "You seem lovely, person I've been talking to, but contrary to public perception I'm incredibly introverted and this conversation, fascinating as it has been, is exhausting me. May I power down in a back room for an hour or so, ideally while hanging out with a friendly domesticated animal, and come back to you afterwards without social censure?"

I'm sure the Germans have a word for that.

Monday, March 18, 2013

But I at Least Gotta Try

I'm working on a project.

Can't say what.

Might come to nothing.

Might come to something.

But for the moment, I have to move forward in information-gathering mode. I've spoken at a few events now, and for the most part they've been excellent adventures; I'm kicking myself that someone didn't film Laurie Notaro, Jen Lancaster and my panel in Tucson, because that was, with all modestly, a hilarious hour. But I need to do more public speaking.

This is where you come in.

Have a book club? I'll speak to them.

Have a fundraiser for a school? I'll speak to them.

Have a 12-step meeting and lack someone to step up tonight? I can't say I'll be the most compelling story about bottoming out, but I'll be there.

How much will it cost you? If you live within a hundred miles of Los Angeles, nothing. If you live outside of the hundred mile radius, you'll pay to get me there and back but the actual talking? Free. I'll talk about being a math-phobic homeschooler, or a former child actor, a rescuer of animals or a topic to be named later. If getting there requires real travel, I'll restrain myself from talking about my feelings about planes. Right now, I need the experiences, and maybe you can use me.

If this interests you, I'm at

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Or Get Past the Covers of Your Books Profound

I was online, looking at other people's pets, as I am wont to do. Daughter apparated in the doorway and said "Kai Square*?" in a questioning tone.

Assuming this was a member of One Direction, I said "Yes...?" in what I hoped was a supportive way.

"Kai Square, " she began, "is used for measuring significance of samples or observations, a way to determine if samples are dependent, or a step in calucating p-score."

We stared at one another.

After a few seconds, she said "Right?"

I sighed and said, "Oh honey, I have no idea. That's your other parent. I drive you places."

She said, "Right. Go back  to the pit bulls, Mom" in what I am choosing to believe was a kindly tone. She bounded into the kitchen and Kai Squared at Consort, who listened politely and suggested she go check her work. Daughter went back to her room. Consort poked his head in the office.

"Thanks" he said dryly.

"Hey, you're the smart one."

"Uh-huh," he said, "Well, the smart one is about to try to find his Statistics textbooks in the garage, so maybe you could show her some pictures of puppies while I learn this again."

*I have come to learn this is chi-square. This hardly affects me at all.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Being Alive

I love my life.

It's better than anything I could have dreamt up.

But I wouldn't be completely averse to outsourcing much of it right now.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

And the Ones that Mother Gives You Don't Do Anything at All

I looked in the dog's food bin and swore softly. Consort looked up.


"It's just that we're out of the pill-pockets the dog likes."

We have reached the stage beyond domestication; domination.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go buy the desirable kind of pill-pockets.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

So You'd Better Treat Her Right

I was away at the Tucson Festival of Books this past weekend, having what can only be described as a high old time. Consort and the kid stayed at home, because the kid's life continued at its usual relentless pace: my logistical instructions to Consort ran three pages; the different sports and activity-bags took up half the laundry room.

You know, just another weekend in the life of a 21st-century American child.

The night I arrived, I received the following text:

All of today's appointments have been met. Am currently sitting in the car waiting for #4 to be done so we can go home and rest to be ready for everything tomorrow. HOW DO YOU DO THIS AND ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING ELSE???

I don't want to admit how often I reread that in delight; I will say that it's possible I will cross-stitch that on a pillow, for comfort later.

Have You Been an Alumnus of Heaven and Hell

Consort said plaintively, "Before we die, can we please have one entire year without a single pet?"

I was going to argue that animals bring joy and peace to our lives but needed to rush to the store to get the jumbo pack of Swiffers and Oxyclean to remove the smell of pet-vomit from the couch.

Monday, March 11, 2013

For Maybe By Being an A Student, Baby

Consort and kid were working on Stats last night; I decided to participate. "What's with the E?" I asked. "What E?" "The fancy capital E with the extra bits." I am now to understand that 1) That fancy E is summation, 2) I am not to touch the white board and 3) I am encouraged to find other, simpler things to do.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Tis a Gift to Be Free

If you haven't found and watched "A Place at the Table," find it and watch it. If you've seen it, agitate a loved one to watch it. Is it realistic to talk about fundamental change regarding food policy in the US during the sequestration? I'll let the writer/producer sum it up:

"We are at a moment of sequestration, a moment where people are thinking in terms of austerity, but the truth is if you're worried about budgets, then you really want to see this problem fixed. Because we are spending many, many multiples of what it would cost to fix this problem on the cost of NOT fixing it."

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Three Can Be as Bad as One

I just opined, via Twitter, that you can have two of any kind of pet of your choice without censure, but at three of one kind of animal you are now a "(Pet of choice) person."*

Someone Tweeted back that no, three is when they wonder about you; four is when you're "(Pet of choice) person." I am willing to admit when I'm wrong, but I think we need more than two people weighing in on this. How many of one particular type of animal makes a person...that kind of person?

*This rule doesn't apply to tarantulas. I understand from tarantula owners that they're very sweet, but let's stipulate than even a single tarantula in a cage makes you "Bob, that guy with all the tarantulas."