Sunday, June 29, 2008

for (anyone) who has considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf

There are many ways to keep young and old alike from killing themselves. Give them options and outlets. Make sure they know they are loved. Medication. But we all know nothing is foolproof. And only the foolhardy believe that every life should to be saved every time - individual choice can and should be respected, especially with the old.

But often, especially with the young, flirting with suicide is just a temporary blinding, an encroaching darkness, a situational circumstance. In those cases, what if there WERE something that really COULD help? Perhaps not in the long run, but at least in the short? Something that would open a window in a brick wall, if only for a brief moment? Something that could lift the fog for a few seconds to allow one to glimpse the sun? Something that could light a temporary torch in a deep dark cave?

It's called Hopeline. And it's in danger. It seems nothing these days is safe from the long lethal tentacles of the federal government. Please read. And watch. Donate if you feel so inspired. Then pass it on. That is, after all, what we do best in the blog world.

A little scrap of hope and a little bit of time are often enough to help someone begin to claw their way out. And more often than not, they are grateful for the chance to live, even if they don't know it until years later.

Thanks to Frank at Post Secret for helping to spread the word.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

click to blow


and a poem to go with:

petals on the wind

There are no more petals to be counted
No more he loves mes
No more he loves me nots
All those yellow doubts
Transformed into silvery strands
Tiny parachutes of memory
Waiting for the wind
Or the restless dreamy breath
Of a young girl’s spinning wish for her heart to stop
And free her from the stem, the stamen, and the story
About to unfold

Flowers know how to live.

But we,
mere mortals-

we struggle just to reach the surface of the soil

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

introducing bb moon

The newest member of the Spengler family.

Here's where he came from.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Rebecca and I don't really know how we met, but it must have been via Maria or Kate, other women we love but whom we have never met. To meet someone in person who you are only acquainted with through blogging is just so unbelievable cool. We had 15 dollar drinks in Manhattan:

Before opening the wine list, we decided to place bets on how much the most expensive wine would be. She guessed something like $799, mine was more like $300, knowing no better and knowing I had no chance of even coming close. After we opened it,
Rebecca made a joke about us being the big losers on some sort of Price is Right for the rich and powerful!

A couple of hours later, I took to walking alongside Rebecca to the subway station the way I do when I'm with anyone in a strange town who knows their way around. I just completely tuned out and strolled, ever-trusting, engaged in conversation, not caring if I was going north or south or east or west. It was the first time I had done that in four days, and it felt really really good to just let go after always being so hyper aware all the time. She got me to the right place, and here we are on the C line, me heading back to my family in the raucus but cheap hostel on West 103rd, and she heading home to her family in Queens:

Sunday, June 8, 2008

hi guys!

Every June (ok, so this is only the second one, but I'm feeling hopeful about the years to come), Newspeak! publishes their Sex Issue. I wrote a little feature for it. So for all of you who don't live 'round these parts and can't pick up the paper, here 'tis......

When I read the sex stories from last year’s Newspeak! June issue, I remember thinking to myself, “Yeah, yeah, all well and good and I remember some of those similarly insane moments from my life”, but none of them came close to revealing the beautiful complexity that is…… SEX AFTER MARRIAGE AND KIDS. So I figured I’d have to write it myself. I know for a fact there are other Newspeak! readers out there who are married/partnered, have kids, and have sex. This one’s for you.

It isn’t easy, that’s for sure. But it really isn’t that hard, either. It was harder when they were younger, and woke up three or four times in the middle of the night, and I was so tired from feeding, cleaning, changing diapers, and nursing (I won’t even go into the whole “these boobs are mine and the baby’s so don’t you even think about touching them right now” stage), that sex was absolutely the last thing on my mind when collapsing into bed at the end of the day. And then, if you choose to have your babies sleep in bed with you (known as “attachment parenting”), as we did, it becomes even a bit more complicated. I’m pretty sure, even though the memory from the infant/toddler years is rather hazy, that we didn’t have sex IN OUR OWN BED for about two years! There was the living room floor, the bedroom floor, the couch, the shower, the tent.

You know, it just seems to me that people who worry about a loss of sex life if they let their kids sleep in their bed with them simply lack imagination!

I can’t even begin to count the number of times we would just get started, and from the baby monitor would come the little cry of an infant waking up. Or a scared toddler who had just woken up from a nightmare screaming, “Mommmmmy!” Because, truly, once you have kids, the only time you can possibly have sex is when they’re asleep. That, or while they’re watching Saturday morning cartoons. You do all know why Saturday morning cartoons were invented, do you not!? And enforced nap times. Very important. I remember several Sunday afternoons of frantically trying to get the boys to nap at the same time because we wanted to have sex so desperately!

Now that they’re older (seven and nine), and sleep through the night in their own beds, the bedroom has become our own Chamber of Secrets once again. Until a few weeks ago, anyway……

My husband John and I have a master bedroom upstairs, for which there is no locking door. Hell, there’s not even a door, just an opening from the top of the stairs. This lack of a door has never been a problem for us until the other night, when a little visitor came to call.

It was during that post-orgasmic-still-connected-and-slightly-moaning stage, when from the foot of the bed, our 9-year-old son held up his right hand, waved, and said, “Hi guys!” Those were his only two words, but in his impish smile and tone of voice I heard this: “This is so cool-my mommy and daddy are mating just like the animals on all those nature shows I watch and this has got to be IT!”

It was the shock of hearing him before we saw him that made the moment so memorable. I still wonder to this day exactly how long he had been standing there before he uttered those words. Like he had been waiting until it was all over to declare his presence.

There was a brief moment of panic as we immediately tried to issue him downstairs, my husband looking over his shoulder and me trying to sit up, both of us frantically searching for the covers to hide our butt nakedness. Just then the sudden realization of the absurdness of it all sunk in, and the only thing left to do was laugh. Hysterically. John rolled off to my left, we pulled the duvet up over us, and invited our little visitor to come up onto the bed.

He lay down on my right, on top of the covers, and rested his head on my shoulder. I had my husband’s head on my left, my son’s on my right, my arms around both of them, all snuggled together in our King size bed, in which we had all slept together for so many, many years as the boys were growing up.

We lay like that for a few seconds, and then John spoke. “So, I guess you know now how your mommy and daddy made you, huh?” That smile again, so all-knowing and like some great secret had just been revealed. “Uh-huh”. We talked some more about sex, (he already knew the details, so it wasn’t anything new), laughed, snuggled, and then I finally walked him back downstairs to his room.

When I came back upstairs, John and I laughed and laughed and laughed some more before we finally fell asleep. I wasn’t thinking about it at the time, but I like to believe that by our actions, we gave our son a gift: a memory of the goodness, the naturalness, the laughingness of sex. Only time will tell.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

john prine with emmylou harris live at red rocks 2008 "angel from montgomery"

John and I were here last night:

You just can't quite capture the magic of Red Rocks Amphitheater in a video.... the sun setting, Denver city lights in the distance, the birds flitting in and out of their red sandstone cliff homes, the stars and crescent moon emerging as the night goes on.

And then there were the people: mesmerizing sexy hula-hoop girl, children and teenagers with their parents, old men in wheelchairs who knew every word to every song and sang along. The average age was probably 50, but there were plenty of 20 and 30-somethings there to give me hope. It was the most intergenerational crowd I've ever seen at a concert.

And the smells: the sweet aroma of marijuana drifting under your nose (although we never did see where it was coming from), the earthiness as you walk on the path in the dark to get to your car, the patchouli scent wafting on the breeze.

It was a manic-depressive show. I both wept and danced. Thus is the hallmark of a genius songwriter.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


This made me laugh:

But these make him happy:

As we were departing for the Sand Dunes last week, I looked back to check on the boys and make sure they had everything before we got too far from home. I saw Grant reading, realized he didn't have his glasses on, and asked:

"Hey Bug, where are your glasses?" (He's near-sighted, so he's NOT supposed to wear them while reading).

Without looking up: "In my backpack."

Worried: "Where in your backpack?"

Unconcerned: "In their case. I have the cleaner too."

This is a kid who can't pick up his dirty laundry to save his life. Who leaves food wrappers on the living room floor. Whose sunglasses are scratched beyond belief. Who has a hard time (just like his mother) remembering to close cupboards and drawers after extracting the contents for which he opened them.

And yet he can remember to not read with his glasses, to never leave them on the floor, to always put them on the bathroom shelf at night, to put them on in the morning, and pack them for camping without being reminded! I just don't get it!

I suppose it has something to do with the miracle of being able to see the individual leaves on the trees and the outlines of the clouds in the sky. Once you see the clarity of the world, I suspect you value it enough not to leave your glasses lying around.

Me? I now need reading glasses, but I have three pair that I keep scattered around the house, and if you know me, I usually have one of them perched on top of my head. It's amazing how quickly they become a part of you.

Next up? Braces, of course.