Notre Dame, 43, dear friends, spring, corruption, and NYC

What a hell of a week this has been. Good god, people. In short, Notre Dame burned, I turned 43, we had an exceptionally dear old friend and his partner (an exceptionally dear new friend) stay with us for two days, spring sprung and I gave part of our garden a happy do-over, the Mueller report was released to the public albeit more than lightly redacted and two days AFTER yam received it, Barr has confirmed for himself that he’s part of the trump crew upon which history will not look kindly, and tomorrow I’m taking the boys to New York for the weekend as my parents, post-retirement, decided to fulfill a lifelong dream of living in NYC by renting an apartment in Brooklyn for two months (April and May). We’re taking advantage of this unseasonal proximity to enjoy a quick visit!

I can’t tell you how my heart hurt on Monday as the news from Paris grew increasingly grim. When the Notre Dame spire, engulfed in flames, fell into the cathedral, my eyes filled and I gasped with sadness. We were just there. The kids, especially Ol, were and remain as sad, and yet we are all grateful that the structure’s shell and most of its many historical and artistic treasures were saved. Today I heard a report that another 15 - 30 minutes of burning would likely have brought the entire Cathedral down. Can you imagine? 845 years hinged on the dedication and training and refusal to quit demonstrated by the Paris fire department. I bow to them.

Hard to believe we were just there and now so much is gone.

Hard to believe we were just there and now so much is gone.

That afternoon, our friends arrived, and they lifted my spirits enormously. Tom and Colin went to college together, they lived together afterwards, and I met Colin several years into that- was it seventeen years ago? He and I became fast friends, and although we’ve never lived in the same city/country since, we’ve kept in close touch. He was in our wedding, we see each other when and where we can, and it was with joy that I received his note about staying with us while he and Emad passed through on their US road trip. It was if Emad and I had never not known each other, and I think the three of us talked for 8 hours straight.

Tuesday was my birthday, number 43. It was such an incredibly happy day. I took a long walk with one of my favorite people and most treasured friends, worked in my yard, felt an outpouring of love from family and friends, and went to a great dinner with Tom.


Wednesday found me sadly saying goodbye to Colin and Emad (isn’t that the best, though? when you enjoy people’s company so much that parting is somewhat mournful), going bananas in the yard but finishing it enough to have one of my favorite neighbors over for wine in the new chairs, and calling it a day when I realized I’d way overworked myself in all respects.

Today, Barr gave an absurdly partisan, duplicitous press conference about the Mueller report and then released the 448-page report, some pages of which are almost totally redacted. Additionally, I got a crown, ran 98 errands, read hundreds of tweets by legal experts parsing the report, and feel like so much of the world is broken as fuck and full of destruction and evil and decline.

And yet, Notre Dame was saved, and I have such good friends, and such a loving family, and my perennials are thriving, and tomorrow I’ll get to hug my mom and dad and on Saturday see Burn This on Broadway, and I think I’m looking and doing really well for 43, and I’ll take it. I won’t stop fighting, but there is also a lot of good, and I’m thankful.

It's been forever: memorial service, a salon, a protest

Gosh, y'all, I've never gone this long without posting here. Not while sick or abroad or in the weeds of any sort have I missed more than 4-5 days. But so goes life, and there you have it.

We're renovating our kitchen so have been mired in plans, and the boys finished school last Friday, and I went to New York on Sunday for Peter's memorial service and returned first thing Monday, and Christmas is a'coming, and on Saturday Jack asked with the most darling sincerity, "Mom, can you take me to the salon so I can get a new hair style?" and the orthodontist and this horrid tax bill and resistance, and a new venture, and so on.

I am deeply thankful to have been able to return to New York for Peter's tribute. I got to stay with my dear friend of nearly twenty years, Shawn, and time with dear old friends you don't see often enough is the absolute spice of life. 


Fourteen people shared their memories of Peter: how he'd believed in and supported them; how he'd changed their lives; how he was a rock, a touchpoint, the reason to stop and smell the flowers while running across a bustling campus. I know that I met Peter just when I needed to, at a time when I wavered internally, unsure of so much. He was a strong, funny, wise guidepost who kept me anchored and forward looking, even when I didn't know it. It was a gift to sit and listen to all who offered their reminiscences to us, a gift to hug Peter's wife and say thank you, a gift to see former colleagues and friends, a short moment to breathe and simply be present, with and for friends. 


This morning I spent two hours with a remarkable young woman. I have just opened the doors to a new business, an editorial consulting company of my own. I seek to help others make their written work shine. From college and graduate school essays to resumes and manuscripts, I am an eager partner and absolutely love the work. More about all of this soon.

After our work, I took Jack to the orthodontist to get new brackets and Christmas-themed rubber bands before heading on to my hair stylist for my big boy's first trip to the salon. 

Tom has cut both boys' hair for all these years. Jack has never been to a barber, and Oliver has just twice. When Jack said to me the other day, "I love that Dad cuts my hair, but I have had this do forever, and I just want something more me, with some lift," I both nearly died over the darlingness of it all and felt happy to make an appointment with Michael.

As I knew he would, Michael listened to Jack's vague vision with such seriousness. Then, he began. And now, my boy is thrilled. He has stood a little taller all day and he has reapplied his "product" with admirable restraint. I thought Oliver might want a trim after all this, but no. No amount of pride and preening from Jack could get Ol before hair scissors.

After an hour's rest, the boys and I crafted signs for tonight's protest at the White House, Caroling for Impeachment. My good friend, Karen, and a friend of hers, Emily of The Handmaid Coalition, were co-sponsoring the event with March On. Karen rewrote classic Hanukkah and Christmas songs with a decidedly #resistance slant, Emily brought handmaid costumes, and March On advertised and organized.


We marched, sang, and delivered post cards with messages of good tidings and swift impeachment. It was a great way to combat feelings of horror and fury over the current tax "bill" and general devolution of our democracy and also a great way to teach democracy in action: one cannot take it for granted, and using our voices to gather and protest is absolutely our Constitutional right!


It was a gorgeous evening, and the White House looked so beautiful. I felt sad that such ugliness lives inside, but my hope is not gone, and I guess that's something.