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The Secret To Eternal Youth

My grandmother on my mother’s side turned 90 last year and for whatever reason, she never went gray. A mere decade away from becoming a centernarian, her hair is the same light brown it always was. Still a natural brunette at 66, my mom inherited the same genetic anomaly. I was keeping my fingers crossed the same would be true for me, but then a spider web of gray started cropping up at my hairline in my late 30s, which I now dye away every couple of months. A streak of gray might be ok in my 50s, but in…

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Here Are The Shoes I Never Wear

Back in the 80s, when all the cool 4th graders at Thornydale Elementary in Tucson wore plaid button-up blouses with puffy sleeves tucked into Jordache jeans, a monogrammed comb in their back pocket for instant hair feathering possibilities, I played hopscotch on the playground in a pink lace dress and black mary janes. I liked my dresses and girlie shoes and didn’t care if that meant I could never hang with the popular girls. The popular girls were mainly horse-loving bossy creatures anyway. Why would I be interested? But my girlie threads didn’t hold me back: I could climb trees…

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Music That Helps Me Survive

I’ve been working on the world’s most boring copywriting project for just about forever and, yes, I’m happy to have the gig—a girl’s gotta have some green, or in my Euro zone case, some pink, blue, green and tan—but if it weren’t for my spotify playlists, I don’t think I could handle the mind-numbing dullness of it all. Today I’ve been listening to my “Upmix,” which has these gems among others: Ok, distraction time is over. Got to get back at it. 😉        

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What I’m Reading At The Moment

In my reading habits, I’m often polyamorous. Occasionally, a book is like a new, exclusive lover: I can’t wait to start reading. I happily linger in bed for hours, sucked into the story and thrilled with each turn of the page. But most of the time, I read several books at once, choosing whichever one fits my mood. Novels I always finish eventually, non-fiction and short shory collections I finish sometimes. Here’s what I’m chipping away at these days: Der Zauberberg I don’t read enough fiction in German. The first couple of years I lived in Berlin, I hit up…

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Daddy’s Girl

My sister’s first truly serious boyfriend lived in the in-law unit of a rundown Victorian on Ashby Avenue, a few houses from the corner to Shattuck. Before I met him, I remember wondering who lived in that house. I was in my very early twenties and still not much of a driver and turning left onto Shattuck from Ashby was always a semi-traumatic experience. I’m not sure why I made so many left turns onto Shattuck, but for some reason I did. I guess that’s why I noticed the house. It was always the last thing I saw before I…

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Stubborn Late Adopter

When God decided which attributes to grant my character and countenance as I was knit together in my mother’s womb, I believe it went down like this: Omnipotent one: A sense of direction? Nah, this one doesn’t need that. Why don’t we give her the uncanny ability to remember useless animals facts no one really needs to know instead? The result of his/her decision, declared in the royal we? I can literally get lost walking around the block, like I did in Vancouver, Canada when I was 17. But did you know kangaroos have three vaginas and a group of…


Help Her, She’s Poor

Have I ever told you how much I fucking love Germany? As I watch my country be ripped apart by unbridled neo-liberal heartlessness, cynicism turned reality and sometimes downright unhinged psychosis—and yes, this makes me angry, but mostly it just breaks my heart—I appreciate my adopted country Germany all the more. Germany’s social welfare system already gave me free university. It gave me Elterngeld (parents’ money) the two years I stayed home when my daughters were small. It gave me affordable, full-time childcare which was absolutely free once my daughters turned three. It gives me 364 euros a month Kindergeld…

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Laurie Anderson Live In Berlin

Last night I saw Laurie Anderson live at Haus der Kulturen der Welt  in Berlin. Her show ‘The Language of the Future’ was the closing act for Transmediale – festival for art and digital culture Berlin, an event which has taken place annually since 1988. I was a huge Laurie Anderson fan back in college. I still remember buying used copies of her CDs at Amoeba Music on Telegraph Avenue, all stashed away under the section Arists A. I bought everything of Laurie’s I could get my hands on, but my two favorites albums were Bright Red and The Ugly…

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My eight-year-old daughter Lilly is sometimes an impatient, self-doubting perfectionist. She picks up a pen and draws a picture of a monkey (the girl really has a thing for monkeys) only to sigh a minute later. “Mama, I can’t draw.” The same goes for reading clocks, swimming, doing timetables. “I can’t, I can’t, I can’t,” after only five minutes of trying. “Practice makes perfect,” I tell her, dipping into the golden store of parental cliches. But I don’t tell her how hard it sometimes is for me to follow the same advice. I’ve gotten better about this with writing. Somewhere along the…

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