Archive for May 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

It’s like Little Shop Of Horrors in our backyard these days- we’re being overrun with man-eating tomato vines and squash plants that threaten to overtake the swing set. It’s so exciting- I’m growing something! The trauma that I caused my son with the profanity I uttered while viciously murdering the slugs I found on my lettuce is another issue…

The dawn of my interest in gardening was the South Central Farm- the largest urban community garden in the US until it was sold for warehouse space. The first things I ever planted were peas and carrots in a friend’s plot there. In June 2006, I stood and watched as police in riot gear pulled the last of my friends out of the trees and the bulldozers moved in. For more about our fight to save the farm, see the amazing documentary The Garden.

Today, I was thrilled to order a Community Supported Agriculture box from the South Central Farmers, now relocated to Bakersfield. Though the loss of the farm was tragic, I’m glad to know that the farmers weren’t ultimately defeated. I hope that the media attention around their plight has raised visibility about the issue of sustainable community supported agriculture.

Also- a farmer’s market insider I know tells me that a new market is coming to the Eagle Rock Target parking lot on Saturdays. She says that it’s going to be awesome- there’ll even be baby goats.

Please, hon, can I have a baby goat? Come on. Pleeeeeaaaase….

Nobody Asked Me….

but that never stopped me before. Here is the comment I posted as a response to the “Celebrity Adoptions and the Real World” piece in the Times on May 10. I tried not to post, I really did. But I couldn’t stop thinking about it. People who have no idea what adoption is about or what it entails sure seem to have a lot of opinions, so I thought I’d weigh in with mine…

Anyone who thinks that international adoption is a trendy choice popularized by publicity-hungry celebrities, has clearly never been anywhere near the adoption process. It would take the most dedicated fashionista on earth to brave the monolithic towers of paperwork, the emotional roller coaster, the eternal waiting lists and the social worker who basically moves in with you for six months.

And anyone who thinks a child is better off in an orphanage in the developing country in which they were born than in a loving home somewhere else has never visited such an orphanage.

There are four million orphans in Ethiopia- the country where my beautiful son was born. Four million. There are ethical and legal avenues to both international and domestic adoption and there are, unfortunately, unethical and illegal ways to accomplish the same. But the answer isn?t to deny homes to children in need of them. The answer is to apply the Hague standards with uncompromising rigor.

As another adoptive mother pointed out, there is an erroneous assumption being bandied about in many of these posts regarding the altruistic intentions of adoptive families. Adoption isn?t a humanitarian act; it is simply one of many valid ways to create a family. Adoption is in no way a solution to the problems that have created an orphan crisis, but it is a solution for my husband and myself and it is a solution for our son.

There are pros and cons to both domestic and international adoption, and families make decisions based on a large number of factors that are not the business of anyone else but that particular family. The ?why don?t you give some needy American kid a home?? argument is simplistic at best and demonstrates real ignorance of the choices involved.

Celebrities are people with the right to create their families in any lawful way they choose. Why should anyone who is not their social worker or their adoption agency make assumptions about their intentions ?

We’re Goin’ on Tour? Hell, Yeah!

It’s that time again, friends. The Shriners are hittin’ the road and this time there’s one more of us. has officially posted the upcoming tour dates with Blink 182. If we know and love you and are going to be near your town, please let me know!

Sun 8/23 Toronto, ON – Molson Amphitheater
Tues 8/25 Wantagh, NY – Nikon Theater @ Jones Beach
Wed 8/26 Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center
Fri 8/27 Camden, PA – Susquehanna Bank Center
Sat 8/29 Hartford, CT – New England Dodge Music Center
Sun 8/30 Washington DC
Mon 8/31 Saratoga, NY – SPAC
Wed 9/2 Cleveland, OH – Blossom
Thu 9/3 St. Louis, MO – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Fri 9/4 Kansas City, KS – Sandstone Amphitheatre
Sun 9/6 Denver, CO – Fiddler?s Green Amphitheatre
Thu 9/10 Seattle, WA – White River Amphitheatre
Sat 9/12 Sacramento, CA – Sleep Train Amphitheatre
Sun 9/13 San Francisco, CA – Shoreline Amphitheatre
Wed 9/16 San Diego, CA – Cricket Amphitheatre
Thu 9/17 Irvine, CA – Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

Tickets are not on sale yet – stay tuned for info…

Dude, what time is band practice?

Tariku at Weezer rehearsal. He jammed on drums with the enigmatic daughter of our fearless leader. I’m convinced she’s the next Karen O.

T-Bone is living up to his middle name (Moon). Puzzles? Nope. Stuffed animals? No way. His small fleet of tiny vehicles? Mama, puhleeze. There is only one worthy toy genre- DRUMS DRUMS DRUMS!

As long as he doesn’t start throwing TVs out of the hotel room window into the pool…

Rock-a-Bye Baby

Tariku went to his first Weezer show on Saturday- the KROQ Weenie Roast at the Verizon Ampitheater in Irvine (can I add that I really resent having to advertise a brand every time I mention the name of an arena these days?). At first he gave me a hard time about wearing his rock baby ear protection, but he relented after I patiently explained to him that Apple and Moses and all the really cool rock progeny happily wear their headphones. He clapped; he danced; he waved at Daddy a few times. Then he fell asleep in his carrier amidst the noise and the lights and the screaming crowd, proving once again that he is the baddest baby of them all.

What Am I Forgetting?

Here is a found poem I assembled from the email correspondence surrounding my dear friend Jen’s bachelorette party:

What Am I Forgetting?

Here’s my list…
-A porn centerfold for us to do the pin the hunk game.
-A few random forks and knives with penises on the ends.
-tumblers and napkins
-chips and salsa
-coke + diet coke
-like 9 lbs.. of candy for the penisata!
-3 ft. blow up penis ring toss game
-penis candles for the cake
-penis garland
-penis gummy candy
-penis suckers + one big penis sucker for the bride
-a blow job certificate book if a boy wins a prize
-penis feather boa. she said “no veils” she didn’t say anything -about feather boas
-penis toilet paper
-penis wind up toys for the table
-clown porn (gay clown porn would be even awesomer) to print out for decorating the walls
-The boys at the store threw in some penis wrapping paper, should I use it and make a collection box?
-Also, should I make paper penises to do the words of advice thing?
-I have some “sex positions” drink picks, a peener ring toss game, and a slightly-used penis pinata. I am making post-it peeners for the pin-the-penis-on-the-hunk game — ppl can write their names on them.
-I have some tequila, I think. Should I get vodka? Any special mixers? more sparkly?
-I bought a brand new crock pot yesterday, so i’m gonna make a big batch of chili and i’ll get chips & fixins to go with.
-I’m also gonna make a couple batches of brownies.

-also we need those weird jelly penis things that you throw at the wall and they stick

-What am I forgetting?

What is Feminist Sex Anyway?

On Wednesday, I read for the second time at the In The Flesh reading series at the Hustler Store. The evening was moderated by my friend Shira Tarrant and the theme was “Feminist Sex.” I read a segment of my upcoming memoir, the glorious Michele Matheson read the awesome first chapter of her new novel (dancing fairies, failed suicides, masturbating ghosts, good times all around) and Shira read from her latest Huffington Post blog. Pasties off to Shira for fielding perhaps the only taboo topic in Hustler Hollywood: is it in fact “hip to strip” or are there some real problems with the prevalence of the commodification of women’s bodies in our culture? Shira has come under fire for daring to suggest such a thing in her world of “post-feminist” pro-sex work academia, but she’s unflinching about taking it to the streets- even if that street is Sunset Blvd. Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely pro-sex worker. But I think we’re at a point in the evolution of feminist thought at which we can start to dialogue about the ways that sex work serves women as well as the ways that it doesn’t. What better place to start than in the Hustler store.

The picture above is of Michele and me in front of the quaint little magazine stand in the cafe. Yes, that’s a giant white chocolate penis in the background.

Read Local, Eat Local

As I was reminded this morning by my friend Claire LeZebnick’s blog Bookstore People, today is International Buy Indie Day. I’m going to head down to Vroman’s in Pasadena and buy another copy of Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle to give as a gift.

As a result of reading the latest from Kingsolver, whom I’ve worshipped ever since I read The Poisonwood Bible, I’ve had one of those gifts that seem rare in adulthood- a transformative change of perspective in response to reading a book. This is the kind of shit I live for, and this is also why I write.

Kingsolver’s passionate and insanely well-researched argument for eating local and sustainably farmed foods inspired this urban gal to plant my very first garden. It is a wee garden, but lovely, I think. And, at some mystical and hard to pinpoint moment during my reading of the book, I started to cook. And I started to not hate it. And I started to eat and not hate myself for it. I started to buy more than the pupusas and cut flowers at the Farmer’s Market. I started to want to nurture my family through food bought and prepared in a conscious way.

I’m not talking all the time, and I’m not talking with a very high level of skill (Scott actually begged to order in Chinese two nights ago rather than eat my cooking again), but there has been an unmistakable change. I aim always to grow more conscious and more green about the way we live. Sometimes it happens by inches and sometimes I get inspired to take a big leap.

Here is the guy we buy our Fujis from at the South Pasadena Farmer’s Market every Thursday:

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