Welcome to my adventure. This blog started out focused on parenting and school but now that Katie's nearly baked, it's way more about me these days. My experiences, more likely my point of view and good times to share.
Welcome! I'm glad to have you aboard.

Friday, February 10, 2017

View from the Left – The Upside of a Trump Presidency

Took this right after the inauguration. The flag
seemed to represent how I felt about the U.S.
Battered, torn but still waving.
I’m up early because it’s hard to sleep these days. 

Work is fantastic and home life is good, but I’m constantly thinking about what’s happening to our country. As I lay awake, I realized, there has been something good that’s happened within our family and it extends to several of my friendships. We’re talking again. In a meaningful, purposeful way.

Growing up, Katie and I had this routine of coming together and I would always say, “Okay, news of the day,” and that would trigger her sharing highlights from her day and me mine. It was like our own little BuzzFeed. Headlines, stories, gossip, me sharing works stories, she’d share school stories, it didn’t matter it was how we connected. Then she got older and got a phone, then a car and honestly, finding time to talk became harder.

And then Trump decided to run for President.

We started connecting again. It started slowly because surely this was comedy and there he said funny things and made little sense. But when he won, it changed everything. It was time to talk and talk we did. I’ve spent the last month (is it a month yet?) talking with her every night explaining what’s been happening, how government works and what we can do to effect change. At the same time, she’s become (for her age) a voracious consumer of information, attenuating to headlines and going deep to really understand what’s true and what’s hyperbole or propaganda (the real words for fake news).

As a liberal elite family – I believe we qualify because we live in California, I have a master’s degree and she’s already in college – we are fiercely American. We believe in human rights, civil rights, democracy, freedom and a global economy. Katie’s traveled to more countries than I have and she’s interested in a career in journalism (I couldn’t be more proud, I think The Fourth Estate may well save us in the end).

Sunday, January 29, 2017

How To For Beginners: Curate Twitter to Help You Stay Woke

ICYMI (in case you missed it), Twitter is the new water cooler: the best place to learn things you might otherwise miss in the chaos that is 2017. So for those of you new to this kind of media, here's a quick primer to help you get started.


1. Get a Twitter account. I recommend grabbing a handle (name) that won't embarrass if Stephen Colbert happens to read your tweet on his show. I like the mobile apps (iPhone, Android) but you can also consumer tweets on the web

2.  Complete your profile. Say as much or as little as you want about yourself. This is VERY public so use your discretion. Add a photo - it doesn't have to be of you - because that, and your profile, helps folks know you are not a bot.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Teen Driving: How We Shot Ourselves in the Head in California

At some point - and I could go figure out when this happened but it pretty much doesn't matter - at some point we took Driver's Education out of our schools. Stupidest move ever.

If you aren't aware, here's how our kids learn to drive today.

1. They take an online course to get a certificate. This is a joke because it can be gamed and passed really easily. So the only kids learning at this point are the ones who are earnest and naive. 

2. They study for their learner's permit, this is the written test at the DMV. Again. super easy. There are so many videos and online tests you are really in trouble if you can't memorize enough to pass the test.


Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Joys of Midlife: A Kid that Can Drive and Three Things…

Goldie was a great car. Thanks for the love!
Katie is finally a junior and this summer she got her license. That means I don’t have to drive her around anymore. That means I am free. The result, I’m trying new things and having so adult fun once again. And, in my 53rd year, I’ve discovered three things that are keeping me very happy.

What is the secret you ask? Why let me share. My three things.

1. Improv. I started in January at a Saturday drop in class at the Broadway Playhouse in Santa Cruz. Offered by The Fun Institute (that’s Santa Cruz code for Cliffordand Dixie), I met a great group of adults who come together to play and fail publicly (and with conviction dammit – go hard!). The experience had been great.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Someone Get Me a Xanax, It's Finals Time

On Friday she was barfing her guts out with 24 hour flu;
the bucket's still there but now it appears papers are
what's been barfed out. What a way to study! 
I think the greatest testament to the first year of high school is the fact that I haven't blogged about it since November 1st.

This year went by at times painfully slow and on whole, remarkably fast. Today is the first day of finals (first semester finals were a joke but that's for another blog), so today is the first "real" final for biology. And I am a wreck.

I know it's not about me. 

I don't have to take the darn test. But the Herculean effort I have put in to helping this kid learn how to learn all year long is coming down to two days: today and tomorrow. And this morning's breakfast is still a rock in my stomach until 12:20 when I see Katie to hand her her yearbook (that she forgot this morning) and look at her face to see if she survived - oh, and maybe got a passing grade (because seriously, I do NOT want to do this over again).


Friday, November 1, 2013

Just Got Off the Bus in Times Square

You can't have her, she's alllll mine....
A good friend of mine remembers his adolescence amazingly well.

As I described to him the changes going on with my 14 year old daughter, a freshman in high school, he said, "It's like she just got off the bus in the middle of Times Square. She is so overwhelmed having to adapt to these new surroundings - learning the language, how to dress, what music to listen to, where to go, how to be, noticing what the older kids are doing - her brain is over flowing."

His recollection and description truly helped me. Before he explained this to me, I really couldn't grasp how she could sit down to eat and keep forgetting to get a fork. Seriously - she's been eating since - well forever! The fork is now a hard thing to remember? Yes, he helped me understand. But it doesn't change the fact that I feel like Jekyll and Hyde living in two very opposite emotional states of mind.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

So That Happened: Workshop at the Santa Cruz Resource Center for Nonviolence


Last Monday Katie started a week of Crunchy Camp - that was her nickname for the workshop she was attending at the Resource Center for Nonviolence called Exploring Your Social Justice Community.

She really enjoyed herself. It turns out it wasn't a youth workshop (that's on me, I misread the description) so she was with adults and college students. There was only one other high school student there. But that was okay. She said the other participants were great people; really interesting and different from the folks she runs into every day.

At the end of the week, there was an exhibit at the Santa Cruz Museum of Modern Art (the MAH) featuring the collaboration projects they worked on during the week. The photos from the event are below. I was kind of surprised and a little impressed. They covered a range of topics and it was fun seeing photos of Katie and crew throughout the week's events.
A pic of the gang during the workshop.

The good news is the workshop absolutely pushed her thinking. I got a kick out of hearing about her days and the things that happened that she didn't expect or understand. Unbeknownst to her, I kept a little diary of her comments and observations and thought I would turn them into a quick list of things I learned by sending her to the workshop. I hope you enjoy!