A little fluff to snuff out those Monday blues…

Opera singers have not historically been known for their sense of humor or fondness for the toddler set.

Nevertheless, a few contemporary singers have flouted the conventional image of divas and divos, recognizing, perhaps, that a guest appeara… Read full post »

MARCH 13, 2009 9:42PM

Y R U Fat?

The elephant in the middle of the room 

I grew up loving someone fat.

My dad has been morbidly obese most of his adult life. It was, pardon the terrible pun, the elephant in the middle of the room for many years at our house. Something shameful—not to be spoken… Read full post »

MARCH 4, 2009 12:56PM

What's Up With the Feed?

What's going on with the feed?

Jay in (not of) L.A.'s post "The Next Big Thing" has been at the top of the feed since I checked in around 7:30 a.m. PST this morning. Other posts have come and gone, but there he is and there he remains.

Perhaps because his… Read full post »

(Read Part I.)

I walk into Ann Taylor, creature of habit as I am, and quickly scan the store for black trousers. I don’t want to spend any more time in this place than is absolutely necessary. It’s been a while since I’ve shopped here, and there is apparently more to worRead full post »

Rubens_Venus_at_a_Mirror_c1615I need a new pair of black pants. I discovered this last week as I was attempting to choose an outfit for one of the rare meetings I have to attend, and the weather meant that my usual, forgiving uniform of shift dress and slingbacks wasn’t going to cut it. I gropedRead full post »

Editor’s Pick
FEBRUARY 26, 2009 1:29PM

A Squid(Boy) is Born (with Bling Porn)


My darling son, SquidBoy, was born seven years ago tonight, and in honor of his birthday I'm posting our birth story.

41 weeks and counting...
Baby is getting big, and I am sick, sick, sick of feeling like a ship in full sail. Midwife strips my membranes, but nothing happens. A test
Read full post »

Two other great Oscars...


Oscar the Grouch at the Smithsonian. Oscar Wilde
(Image courtesy of  Ben Schumin.)

In the 1978 film California Suite,  there is a brief exchange between Maggie Smith's character, an actress who has just lost a Best Actress Osca/Read full post »

FEBRUARY 6, 2009 8:55PM

My Top 12--9 Novels and a Trilogy

Thanks to idahospud44 for the inspiration.

 Here are my top 12 entertaining reads, in chronological order: 

The Death of Ivan Illych ~ Leo Tolstoy
Not a "fun" read, exactly, but a highly engaging and horrifying account of a man's final days. Makes you long for Dr. Kevorkian.

LRead full post »

FEBRUARY 3, 2009 7:53PM

The Chocoholic's Medi-Cure Cake


The Occasion:
My dearest friend’s 65th birthday

The Theme: Medicare 

The Request: “A cake, preferably chocolate.”

What to do, what to do?

This called for something unusual. Something spectacular. Something so over-the-top chocolicious and appalling that it defied lRead full post »

JANUARY 29, 2009 7:57PM

Beware the Exploding Bath Salts!



explodingbathIn this afternoon's in-box was was a little note from the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPMC). This is not unusual, as I long ago signed up to get their periodic e-mail notices about important product recalls. I usually scan and delete, but this li… Read full post »

JANUARY 28, 2009 10:50PM


"The Fabulous Lunts"


 Alfred Lunt (1892-1977) and Lynne Fontanne (1887-1983) were one of America's first great acting couples--the "Brangelina" of their day. They acted together in 24 plays, beginning in the 1920's and continuing into the 1960's.  They made one film together,… Read full post »

JANUARY 22, 2009 3:18PM

Can Obama Pull a Sullenberger?

USAirways1549_natekoechleyJust as those 150 souls on US Airways flight 1549 were praying to whatever higher power they may have believed in as the crippled Airbus A320 plunged toward the Hudson River, so I am praying to my God for the rescue of our nearly moribund nation. We are in desperate/… Read full post »

JANUARY 17, 2009 11:18PM

Time to Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"


An Obama aide’s statement, made January 10 in a Q & A posted to youtube, that the President-elect will overturn the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, seems to have been greeted with a yawn in newsrooms and around the blogosphere.

 This iRead full post »

JANUARY 14, 2009 10:53AM

What’s In a [Screen] Name?

squi•llo skwee'-loh n [It]  1: Ring  or blast (as of a trumpet). vb  1: First-person singular tense of squillare [vb ~ to ring, to blast]

The word also has several derivative usages:

  1. In Italian, to give someone a call (on the telephone): fare uno squillo=to gi/
  2. Read full post »
JANUARY 12, 2009 7:59PM

Blame it on Maria Callas

It was all Maria Callas’s fault.

I never paid much attention to opera before I happened to catch a PBS program about Callas one rainy afternoon when I was putting off working on my thesis. She happened to be singing the “Habañera” from Bizet’s Carmen, one of the… Read full post »
JANUARY 12, 2009 10:18AM

Lauda Corporalis: An Anorexic Canticle

I sing supplication as the fingers seek stony purchase.
Salvation comes in Latin.

Os zygomaticum. Cartilagines costales.



Then the vertebrae, C3, C4, C5, C6, C7, T 1, T2, T3, T4…
My day, by the numbers… L2?… Read full post »


On January 20, 2009, George W. Bush will join the ranks of the 10.3 million other unemployed Americans. The normal post-presidential pursuits—authoring an introspective memoir, lucrative speaking engagements—are not open to George, so it leaves one to wonder: What shouRead full post »

JANUARY 4, 2009 4:33PM

In Praise of Midwives, Among Others



 This is not a story in praise of homebirth, but in praise 

of birth, wherever and however it happens, and the people who help women and babies safely negotiate the process of birth.

 Birth is a miracle; a profound experience for anyone who experiences it, and for anyoneRead full post »

JANUARY 3, 2009 2:37AM

Stranger in Paradise™


I got me a confession to make. I hate nature. Wait, let me clarify that: I don’t hate nature, I hate Nature. I mean, I accept that nature is life, and without it there’d be nothingness and void, so in that sense, yes, I like nature. I just hate theRead full post »

DECEMBER 31, 2008 10:55PM

Just an Ordinary Love Story

This is a love story. Not an earth-rending, commandment-shattering, Romeo-and-Juliet kind of tale, but the story of an ordinary miracle—the kind that takes place daily, all over the world.

Leslie and Chris met about 15 years ago, around the same time I met my husband. Leslie was a friend and… Read full post »

DECEMBER 30, 2008 7:27PM

25 Bits of Mental Ephemera...


  1. Had my great-great grandfather not changed it at the turn of the last century, I would have shared a surname with a Nazi death camp.

  2. I’ve been a pessimist since childhood. I’m never disappointed, but I’m often pleasantly surprised.

  3. I have tasted canine amniotic fluid. It&rsq

  4. Read full post »