Right before I left for my research in South Africa, Chris and I bought a house in Livermore, California. Livermore is the farthest east community in the Bay Area–almost “country,” no longer completely urban the way San Bruno is. It’s the land of big trucks, big backyards, two and three car garages, boats, friendly neighbors, safe neighborhoods, and, sadly, people who voted “Yes” on Prop 8. (We’ll reverse it one of these days, hopefully soon.)
The more I live here, the more I like it. It takes ten minutes to walk to the inviting downtown, with its fountains, benches, cafes, bars, and donut shops. It’s another ten minute walk to make copies, send faxes, or mail books. Ten minutes to the downtown Catholic church, if I ever decide to go, and two minutes to an Episcopalian church, if I ever decide to go. We’ve got a Montesorri school half a mile away and the public school system here is at least acceptable. It’s a leeetle white bread for me, but that again depends on the neighborhood. Thankfully, Chris and I have plenty of Spanish speaking neighbors.
Chris has something of a commute from here, and he doesn’t like the traffic that starts at 6 a.m., so he’s started going to the gym at about 3 in the morning and leaving here by 5. This morning, he came back into the bedroom and woke me up.
“There’s some homeless dude sleeping on the sidewalk in front of our house.” Read More
I guess you could call it a “just turned 35″ dream. Or nightmare might be more appropriate.
In the dream, Chris and I were at an amusement park, going on all the roller coasters. At some point, I turned to him and said, “Don’t these rides seem a little…dated?”
Chris said, “I think it’s you. You’re looking kind of old.”
I looked at my reflection in one of those crazy mirrors they have at amusement parks and it was true, I did look old.
“Maybe we need to start going to bed earlier,” he said. “So you won’t look so tired all the time.”
My father is being featured on a Nova special on July 28th. For those of you with cable who are interested to see how he and other scientists found the oldest living organism (250 million year old bacteria, trapped in salt in southeastern New Mexico), please watch it. They’ve put up some teasers at Nova, which you can watch here. Click on the Trapped In Salt link to watch the ten-minute teaser.
We saw Femi Kuti live at the Fillmore last night. It was a lively show and you couldn’t help but dance! African jazz beats, three sexy women backup singers (I wish young women obsessed with being thin could somehow see that all their extra poundage didn’t diminish their sexiness one iota–sexiness is an attitude, not a size), an amazing voice…it all added up to 2 hours of pure adrenaline and dancing.
When I went, I was feeling the writer’s blues but I already felt better a few songs in when he sang “Do Your Best,” a song he recorded with Mos Def and which you can listen to on Youtube if you click on the link. You can only do your best. Then you will have to leave the rest. Ask your mama, she supported you. If you ask your papa, him supported you. Fabulous song to begin with but last night it reminded me that as an artist, I can put my best into everything and that’s all I can ask of myself. I can’t ask for success or popularity, I can’t make those things happen. But I can keep working to the best of my abilities and “leave the rest.” While it didn’t make my worries disappear completely (no, those keep coming back, like a dog to his vomit), I sure felt better for awhile.
This has nothing to do with the fabulous Femi, but I love the Fillmore as a concert venue. I’m always excited whether they’ll have made a poster for that night’s concert (they give them free), and I love the free apples for concert goers, which always leaves a sweet taste in your mouth as you leave the venue and head home.
Yesterday when I was hanging out with writer Marc Fitten, I made the comment that I never wanted to live on the East Coast again. I said I’d lived in upstate New York for two years and it was lovely but give me the Western part of the U.S. anytime.
Oh, you’d never work in New York, he said, and I said, Why not?, and he said, and I quote, “Because you’re too subconscious.”
I think being subconscious is probably better than being unconscious, the result of too much Pinot Grigio or tequila. I still wasn’t sure what he meant, though, but that’s when he told me he could never travel to Africa, and I said, Why not?, and he said, and I quote, “Because Africa is the land of the subconscious.” Read More
…it was an announcement that we’re actively trying to get pregnant… The joke I had with folks in South Africa was that I kept having to go to the mall to buy baby-making clothes. Really, I was going to the mall because there was high-speed internet access there and I was desperately in need of it.
At the same time, I did buy some baby-making clothes.
Also known as lingerie.