you know you’re right.

I have a long history with being right. When I was a kid, I was right all the time. Knew the answers, knew why I knew the answers, knew what the next questions would be. Moving all the time meant I was always being given another series of placement tests, and I knew what those would be like, too.

I didn’t know everything, but I found a way to be right about what I did know.

One of the cruelest (and probably best) things about getting older is I find I’m not right as often. In fact, these days I’m usually wrong. I’ve found that my main tool for always being right — my memory — isn’t doing its job as well as it used to. I don’t think I’m getting dumber, I think I’m starting to understand how much more I just don’t know, and because there are all these things I don’t know, I can’t possibly be completely right about what I do know anymore. The bravado I needed to be sure and confident through my teens and twenties isn’t necessary right now. In fact, I seem to need to not know things in order to learn anything anymore. I have to enjoy being wrong.

Because I’m wrong a lot, I now really appreciate when I’m right. When I know I’m right, anyway. I can have a hunch I’m right, but when I’m right with facts and proof, it’s a pretty good feeling, as it doesn’t happen as often as it used to. Probably because I no longer spend much time taking math tests. Continue reading

late-night guests

Well, someone had fun in Los Angeles. I told AB she was really getting to see what my life is like out here, from the boring parts — extremely long shuttle rides from the airport, sitting in coffee shops for long hours, getting phone call updates from me while I’m out at pitch meetings, driving forever while feeling incredibly slung-over — to the exciting — book readings, shopping, celebrity spotting at amoeba records, drinks with a view of downtown. And lots and lots of coffee. We never got to see any water, and she didn’t get a tan, but I think she understands now why I love it here.

The house, post-AB, is quiet in a way I don’t like. Well, except for the other night, when… well, I’ll reprint the email I sent to AB and Allison, as it’s still a little traumatic. I apologize for the lowercase, which is how people email when they love each other. Continue reading

AAA Plus + P = -($$$$)

About six months ago I was in the parking garage of Hollywood and Highland with stee as we passed a woman who appeared to be pleading to a couple who were listening with empathy. A few minutes later, that same woman approached us. She was cautious, hanging back for a second, like she wanted to know if we were normal.

“Excuse me,” she said, head shaking and hands trembling. She was in a brown business suit, brown hat, and carried a purse and a plastic bag that seemed to hold a bottle of water. “I’m a nice, old black lady. I’m not crazy. But do either of you have Triple A Plus?” Continue reading

wonder killer moment #496.

stee’s mom
[laying down scrabble tiles]
Doesn’t it look like “radios” should have an “e” before the “s”?

Yeah, I guess so.

stee’s mom
I wonder if it should.

[who isn’t playing the game, but is nearby, reading a book]
No, because there’s a vowel before the “o.”

stee’s mom
Excuse me?

The plural of an “o” word only adds the “e” if there’s a consonant before the “o.” Like “potatoes,” or “tomatoes.” But you wouldn’t have it in “radios.” Or “videos.”

stee’s mom
I never knew there was a rule for that. Isn’t that fascinating?


books! and crackheads.

Over 350 books and a thousand dollars have already been sent to the Harrison County Library System. Thank you so much for being so good.

A long time ago, while listening to Power 106, stee and I talked about how important the cowbell is to that radio station. First of all, it sounds like sixty people are in that little room, all talking over each other, cheering whenever one of them says “Compton!” or “Holla!” Like, I’m pretty sure there’s a cheerleading team in there. And then, through it all, the sound of the cowbell.

“Who do you think rings that cowbell?” stee once asked when we were driving.

“I imagine it’s this tiny little crackhead guy, in the corner. All he can do is clanga-clanga-clanga.”

“Aw. I love Crackhead Cowbell.”

Sunday night, while watching Entourage, there’s a scene inside the Power 106 studio. “Look! It’s Power 106!” I said to stee.

“Aw,” he said, disappointed. “They’re pushing a button for the cowbell.”

“Yeah, that is disappointing.”

A few minutes passed. “Do you think they couldn’t get him?” stee asked.


“Crackhead cowbell.”

I took a moment. “Stee. We made him up. Remember?”

I saw him remember. I saw his face fall like I had told him about Santa. I quickly backtracked. “You know how much Crackhead Cowbell probably asked to be on the show? He knows he IS Power 106. He was like, ‘Y’all just try and do it without me. Push a button. I’ll go smoke some crack.”

He smiled. “Yeah, that’s probably what happened.”

“Crackhead Cowbell is better than this.”

Another minute passed. stee asked, “But doesn’t the radio station make enough money to pay for whatever he wants? I mean, he’s probably under contract. Why didn’t they make him be on the show?”

“Stee,” I said, trying not to get sucked into this weird vortex. “It’s Entourage that wouldn’t pay for him. We’re watching a show that’s not real.”

I saw it on stee’s face before he caught himself. “Dude, I know that.”

He not only was looking for Crackhead Cowbell, he couldn’t understand why Power 106 wouldn’t make sure The CC got to meet Aquaman. This is my husband. He’s awesome.

Why Why Moms Are Weird

Within 24 hours of posting information about my new book, someone was already complaining on Amazon. This person was nice enough to repeatedly state she was a fan of my writing, but found the title to be disappointing, and wildly lacking in imagination. I’d been planning to tell the story of how Why Moms Are Weird came to be, so here goes. Continue reading

Cal-ifornia Love

I think Cal has decided his time with us is over.

About three weeks ago, I came home late and watched The Sopranos on the couch with stee. Afterwards, as I was falling asleep, stee asked, “Where’s Cal?” It wasn’t like him not to be on stee’s legs, or in front of the television, or standing on my neck. I realized I hadn’t seen him the entire time I’d been home, which was more than an hour.

It was one in the morning, and it was time to go to sleep, but there would be no sleeping until we knew where Cal was. Our house is rather small, and it only took about three minutes of searching to determine he wasn’t in the house. Continue reading