Monday, April 25, 2016


It’s hard to think of food, to describe it, recall it when you’re stuffed, waistband cutting across your swollen belly.  A bite here, a crunch there, shove, chew, savor, swallow, delightful, gorge-worthy.  Guilt and treadmills, sweat, sweat, gasping, incline higher.  In the end will any of it matter?  When you reach the end of your life will you think, chastising yourself “I wish I had enjoyed food less.  Eaten fewer crème brulées, not so many fries, one less gallon of ice cream?” No, of course not.  Well, you might if you have nearly killed yourself with food and can no longer walk, your heart weak as a kitten.  But 10 lbs. of vanity weight?  Regrets?  No.

You might wish there had been fewer processed, plastic-wrapped food-like substances purchased from gas stations.  You might wish for more perfect summer peaches, sweet, crisp, and juicy in equal parts, instead of mass-produced candy that leaves you wanting, leaves you hating your choice that day, that hour of self-abuse.

You might regret that cheap sparkling wine that you choked down because of its famous name and adorable packaging.  Another $20 and you could have avoided a headache.  Just imagine what if, at the end, you don’t think of food at all? What if it’s not steaming hot crepes smeared with Nutella in January?  Or the perfect peanut butter and jelly from your lunchbox, cut into four triangles?  You could remember you and your sweetheart’s first picnic, and only remember holding hands and the nap and the dog snoring in his sleep and not the homemade fried chicken you made to go with his favorite deli coleslaw, or maybe food would be woven into all the memories you collect at the end, like stacks of unsent postcards too special to mail away.

Monday, April 18, 2016

last rodeo

Well, 1993 Saturn, my ride for these many years (and John's the last 4 years and change), thanks for the memories. A car that was assembled in the good ol' US of A and lasted longer than the company did. It survived a tire tread hitting its hood on the freeway, countless rocks in its windshield, and it pulled me out of 3 feet of water in the 1996 floods in Sacramento.

Is it silly to write a goodbye blog to an automobile? Perhaps. Am I anthropomorphising here? Um.  Yes. I was relieved when I came out to wait for my Lyft ride that they had already taken it away. My betrayal complete and my voucher in hand, I couldn't wait to get the hell out of that off-Coliseum Way cul-de-sac, inaptly called Julie Ann Way, more fitting for a sweet-faced babysitter than a locale for destroying cars, where the sound of a grinding engine is ever-present.  It also had to be at least 15 degrees warmer there than the rest of Oakland.

At 26, I was far too immature to stroll onto a dealership lot by myself, so I arrived with my mom, stepdad, and sister for moral support. After much indecision, hand-wringing and lunch, I rolled off the lot with a gold SL1 beauty and was thrilled to have a brand new car. I paid it off in 1998 and just today, sent it off to scrap heap.  The check for $1000 should arrive in a couple days.  You read that right: a grand for this ol' gal with probably 200K miles on it.  Why "probably"?  The odometer gave up the ghost 3 or 4 years ago.  The speedometer is out.  Oh, and the rear defroster. And the air conditioner.  Under the hood, you don't wanna know, but it made it to its last rodeo.