Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Dear Annie,

A couple weekends ago I merged onto the 134 East only to find myself at a stand still. After twenty minutes of inching along, a kind lady in the car next to me rolled down her window to let me know they were closing down the whole freeway due to a four car pileup. It took me another half hour to squeeze my way over to the exit at Pacific. 

I've heard of freeways being stopped for over five hours due to toxic spills, etc. My only question is, what would you do in this situation if you really had to go to the bathroom? 

I have very few resources in my car in case of an emergency. My mother, however, if she were, say, stuck in the snow, could put on a heavy jacket, set up a tent, start a fire and cook dinner. She has her ham radio license, flashlights, flares, water... and is never caught without at least a half tank of gas. This is all quite amusing, especially since she was born and raised in Southern California!

I suppose if you were in the midwest, having flash cards for your children that read TRACTOR would make complete sense. Maybe the flash card creators wanted to throw a special card in there for the particularly bright child? Next time I come over, I expect the twins to know what a COMBINE HARVESTER is.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Dear Annie,

Ah cheat codes. I remember using my Game Genie to play Super Mario Bros. My sister and I would play it so much that at night, while trying to sleep, the theme music would echo in my head. It was so audible that I would get out of bed to see if Laurie was still playing the game in her room!

So apparently you and Hohn were horrified by my last blog. I almost regret writing it. Really the whole point of the blog was my observation of my grandmother... how naturally she could laugh at the thought of a crazed babysitter torturing her helpless four year old.  I wasn't trying to disgust you.

I suppose this is the consequence of growing up in a medical family. I have become immune to topics that repulse most people. Nothing is off limits around our dinner table. 


We are not crude people. There is no foul language or dirty jokes... just a candid exploration of what makes people tick (both physically and mentally). 

I’ll spare you from more tales... let’s just say I could never invite anyone from Grace over for Thanksgiving dinner. 

I’m so very tired right now. I have had trouble sleeping recently. A few nights ago I think I saw the glimmer of dawn before finally drifting off (yes I ended with a preposition). My leg is asleep!



Dear Annie,

Last Sunday I had lunch with my parents and grandmother. I don’t quite remember how it came about, but my father was recounting his childhood babysitter. She had punished him by administering enemas. As a wee lad, this must have traumatized my father; but since time heals all, he was now taking great delight in torturing my grandmother with the memory.

“Whaaooorh!” she snorts, “How come you didn’t tell me about it back then!”

“I was a child!” replies my father, while dialing my uncle Aldan on his phone, “Children don’t know how to talk about such things!”


“Yes, Aldan…it’s Willie…do you remember that babysitter…the one that gave us enemas?”

Oh you bet I do.”

My father hangs up and flashes my grandmother a triumphal grin. “He remembers!”

Grandma chuckles heartily.

My family never ceases to amaze me.

Dreaming of Robert Downey, Jr.,

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Dear Annie,

A few years ago I begged my then boyfriend to read the work of my favorite author, G.K. Chesterton. He responded with a typical “I don’t read.” 

Not taking “no” for an answer, I stealthily brought the book along on our next car trip (there’s nothing like a captive audience). The little bugger refused to turn down the radio!

About a month later, while pouring over Chesterton’s St. Francis of Assisi, I had an epiphany. Excited in my new found passion, I desperately desired to share my thoughts with someone. I called the earthly person we all rely on most in time of great need, the one person who is always there to listen... laugh... console... 


She patiently endured my excited speech on St. Francis for about 20 minutes. I don't think I heard a peep from the other end of the line. About half way through my enlightened monologue, I simply stopped mid sentence.... I waited... silence. I suddenly realized the futility of my endeavor. My mother had not truly comprehended a word of what I had said. I began to cry. 

I had bought my parents a copy of Chesterton’s masterpiece, Orthodoxy, for Christmas the year before. It gathered dust on their shelf while both of them were “too busy” to read it. To this day I have not gotten one soul to read more than half a chapter of this book.

Alas, I know the pains of having a passion and wishing to share said passion with a friend or family member, only to discover that even those closest to you have little interest. 

I remember in high school all that mattered to me when scrutinizing a potential boyfriend was what type of music he listened to. It didn't matter what political party he claimed, or what religion he was. All I wanted to know was did he like The Smashing Pumpkins? Simon and Garfunkel? Could he croon along to the lyrics of Kurt Cobain...

Aside from my terrible taste in music, I rather miss those days in which silence meant he’s deep. You know how there are people you can talk to for hours and enjoy their company... but then there is that person... the one who you just look at and feel a “connection.” Did you ever watch My So Called Life? Here is a scene from one of my favorite episodes entitled “The Life of Brian”



ANGELA: So did you hear about that *thing*? That they’re going to like
*exterminate* fourth period lunch?

JORDAN: I didn’t hear that.

ANGELA: Oh, it’s just something some people are *obsessing* about. I mean, sometimes? People let all these stupid things *fill* their minds, you know? To keep from thinking about what’s you know *really* important.


ANGELA: Like this *World Happiness* Dance? I mean, it’s so *stupid*. What does that even *mean*? Like if we dance the world is really going to get happier? I mean, really. Come on. I don’t think so.

JORDAN (beat): There’s a dance?

ANGELA: Yeah! You know, there’s, um, like five hundred posters up around school about it.

JORDAN: Oh...Right.

Silence. Angela looks at Jordan, who seems comfortable never talking again for the remainder of his life.

ANGELA: I guess I kinda mean that the *idea* of the dance is kinda...false. I mean, I doubt I’m even going. I’m sure you’re obviously not going. Right?

JORDAN: See, I have this philosophy.

ANGELA (stunned, impressed): You have a philosophy?

JORDAN: If I go somewhere and someone I know is there. Then cool. There’s something... natural about it. But once you start making *plans*, then you have like *obligations*. Which basically blows. So my feeling is? Whatever happens? Happens.

ANGELA (nodding): I have to say. I really respect that.

Jordan hops into his car. Angela looks at him, waits a beat, wondering if he’s going to offer her a ride. He says nothing.

ANGELA (cont’d): Oh, I can’t... I left my Geometry book in my locker, so...

Jordan drives off, leaving Angela with a forced smile plastered to her face.  

Ah... sweet desperation.
Reminds me of high school (and last week).