We have been battling ants for the entire summer. This is nothing new. Every summer in Los Angeles, dehydrated ants make their way into our apartments and houses, coffee shops and restaurants, trying to find something to drink. Or at least, that’s what I thought. The ants seem to be uninterested in food (save for a horribleĀ scrambled egg experiencewe had last month), and spend most of their time lingering around our pipes. They like faucets, drains, toilets, and… bodily waste. Any sign of a piece of cat food that has been licked or nibbled by a kitty becomes an ant swarm. I once found the largest ant invasion behind the photo albums — Cal had puked in the corner between the wall and the chest holding the frames. Hours later, the floor was black with frenzied ants. I almost passed out. Continue reading


Lately, people have made a point to let me know their wishes in the event of their untimely death (or persistent vegetative state). But if any of you are hoping to be shot out of a peyote button clenched in the palm of a 53-foot high Gonzo fist, you should probably let me know now so I can start saving up. If it means I work shoulder-to-shoulder with Johnny Depp in order to carry out your memorial service to your specifications, I’m willing to make that sacrifice. Continue reading

Me, Me, Me, Blah, Blah, Blah

Sometimes the week gets away from me, in terms of this website. When that happens, when a huge week goes by and I haven’t been writing about it, the thought of trying to catch up can seem quite daunting. I’m having one of those weeks when I wonder why we have this relationship, you and I, where I talk about what’s going on and you sometimes write back to tell me you agree or don’t agree or hate me or think I’m funny, or that one guy who constantly asks me to send him pictures of my calves. Continue reading


We didn’t have any candy for trick-or-treaters last night, as we spent almost all of yesterday flying back to California, and the rest of it driving from LAX to our home. While unpacking, cleaning, sorting and cat-checking, all the things you do when you return home after ten days, we remembered that it was Halloween. At the last house we were in a neighborhood near a school, and children would come to our door all night. It was always a blast. In fact, the first year we ran out of candy so early stee drove to the store for more, while I gave out I-swear-they-aren’t-poisoned cookies until he came back. This year we figured with the house on a hill on a mostly empty street that’s off another hill that we wouldn’t see any candy beggars. Continue reading

Recap Up, Tummy Full

In honor of Martha starting her prison sentence, I figured I’d have an uber-woman day.

I wrote a recap, swept the floors, made cookies, hung pictures using a template and a ruler, cleaned the bathroom, shopped, did laundry, made salsa and guacamole from scratch and then grilled steaks and vegetables with friends as we drank quite a bit of wine and played bocce. I had never grilled anything before on my own, but we figured it out with the right combination of charcoal and lighter fluid. Perhaps one day I’ll be ready to move on from our one-foot diameter grill, but tonight it was exactly the right size to feed the three of us, and the steaks were really, really good. I mean, we made it with fire! Continue reading


The house is so smart. See, over the past week I’ve finally had some time (read: due to the fact that I’m supposed to be finishing this manuscript, and it’s much easier to say, “I really need to hang that picture.”) to get the house pulled together a bit. The screen door, which fell off while I was on the phone with my mom, has been fixed and works perfectly now. I unpacked the last of the boxes of books. I found a place to put the vinyl records. The pictures have been hung, the curtains are up (I was going to make them, but I’ve learned that no matter how cheap you think you can do something, that damn IKEA has already done it and they’re offering it to you even cheaper). The couch still hasn’t arrived, but I’ve been on the phone with Macy’s, and they know I’m mad. That’s all I can do with Macy’s: tell them I’m really, really mad. Continue reading

potholes in my lawn

We are on the porch, working, enjoying both the view and a very rare quiet moment.

I’m taking a break to update you on Skunk Watch 2004. We have motion-sensor lights in front, so we left those on last night. I also sprinkled enough cayenne pepper on my front lawn to turn those grubs into crawfish. This morning there were only two small skunk holes. Now, did we scare them with the lights, or did they get a snout of hot pepper? Continue reading

Turning House to Home

Still no DSL. I’m waiting for the dial-up to finish downloading email. With 367 pieces of spam and growing, I may be waiting for some time.

We painted the living room/dining room. We moved in the plants. We unpacked some of the books and all of the CDs. It is now starting to look like our home. Somewhere just after the painting, after we ordered the couch, right around when we put the table back where it belonged, that’s when I realized how much I love our home.

The sunsets are beautiful, and if you stand in the middle of the living room, it’s a panoramic view of the setting sky. A breeze kicks in through the house in the middle of the day that I love. Continue reading

I Suddenly Have a Lot of Keys

The letter from a San Diego librarian kept reappearing while packing up the old house. I didn’t know what to do with it, or where to put it, so it was circling the house until it was one of the last five things boxed up. There are always those last three boxes of crap that you never know what to do with in your home on a normal daily basis that become the very last things you pack because there’s no category for them.

It was a car full of whining last night as we drove away from the house in Silverlake (some say Silver Lake. I always hung onto the one-word spelling.) Olive was keeping a constant loop of meowing, while Cal gave the occasional mew. Taylor was pretty quiet until he heard me crying, and then he started up with a few whines.

“This is supposed to be a happy thing,” stee reminded us. Continue reading