“Baseball never gets old…”

9-year-old has taken sudden and dramatic interest in baseball. Off to get new glove and bat this weekend.

He says “Baseball never gets old like reading a book does.”

7-year-old the most patient and encouraging coach ever, probably aware that this fragile interest is one errant throw away from withering. And then he’ll be left alone to just throw the ball against the house and try to catch it.

Milking it, milking it…Liam Jules catch


My LTYM essay posted here

Mom Susie Max GrandmaOh heck, I have this pretty site up now and everything.  I’ll throw my essay in here as well.  Let’s see how this works out.  You can also see the video here.


When I was seven or eight, my mother Nancy entered a baking contest.  One of those old-fashioned ones run by a local grocery store where you make something at home, bring it in, and then half a dozen judges decide which entry is best.  And the winner gets something like a $25 credit to the store.

Now, my mother’s a really good cook, but always needs a kind of double validation to feel okay about herself (“Do you really like the pork chops?  You’re just saying that. So you really like them then?”).  She decided to enter these lemon-currant muffins she’d been making for years. They were light and airy while still retaining just enough moistness to feel satisfying.

And yes, Mom, I really do like them.

I didn’t get to see any of the contest firsthand because I was at home with my sister.  But when my mother came back, she told us she’d made it to the semi-finals, and then to the finals.  And that she was supposed to bring a brand-new batch of the muffins to the judges that afternoon so they could choose a winner.

My mother came in second place. Continue reading


About to head off to 7-year-old’s championship baseball game.

Funny how unimportant and non-competitive all these games seem UNTIL it gets to the finals.  Now I’m so anxious!

They’re playing a team that beat them at both their meetings during the season, so I’m trying to keep my expectations in check.

But wouldn’t it be great to beat them?  Did I just say that?

It’s only a game…  It’s only a game…

The great phone-less experiment

So I got caught in a drenching storm in Austin yesterday afternoon.  Was actually playing disc golf with a few work friends at a course out by the airport.

Midway through, the rain came, a little at first, then more and more, until we were out in the open fields, maybe a mile from the parking lot.  Lightning flashed and thunder boomed all around us.  We slipped and slid in increasingly thick mud, but for some reason decided to finish the game anyway (none of us wanted to be the first to say Uncle).

Anyway, it was an adventure.  Once we got back to the parking lot, I spent 20-30 minutes defrosting the car and trying to get to a place where I could see enough to drive home.

BUT the reason I’m writing this is because my brand new phone got soaked (first, in my pocket, then in the case where I hold my discs).  I turned it off in the car, but it kept flashing and making weird noises like it was shorting out.

When I got home I took the battery out (should have done that sooner!) and tried to dry it off in front of a box fan.

Then a couple of friends suggested that I put it in a bag or box of uncooked rice, which might draw some of the moisture away.

I don’t know why I’d never heard of this trick before, but now the phone is buried in rice and I’m waiting the recommended 24-48 hours to see if it can be revived.

So for now I have no phone.  Which in some ways is nice, because I don’t feel that urge to look at it every 5 seconds for updates.

But it’s also disconcerting because I have loved ones who are vulnerable and I worry about missing a call to let me know something bad has happened.

So I’m struggling a bit with ideas of risk and danger, and the fact that ten (or fifteen?) years ago we didn’t carry these connected devices everywhere we went.

I’m reminded of this article my friend Tom linked to on facebook whose message is basically that we worry too much about emergencies and danger in an increasingly safe environment.  Plus everyone I love has others who can help them if needed.

Still, it feels odd, and I’m curious to see how it goes.

If the phone doesn’t come back to life this weekend, it could be another week or so before I have a phone.  How will that go?

My guess: pretty well.  I still have the internet and a car; and most people are connected enough that I may not even need a phone (at least for stretches at a time).

Isn’t that crazy??

SLIGHT RISK for severe storms

So my kid has his first baseball playoff game tonight, a day after the devastating tornado in Oklahoma.

And the local weather site says this:

It is important for you to know there is a threat of strong to severe thunderstorms for Central Texas this afternoon and evening. The entire area is under a SLIGHT RISK for severe storms.

There’s something super-disconcerting about that use of all caps, isn’t there?  Emphasizing the smallness of something.  I’m A LITTLE BIT worried that we’ll be hammered by hail and high wins.

Yikes.  So far, the game is on…


The LTYM club

I first heard about the Listen to Your Mother (LTYM) project back in late February of this year when I spotted a call for submissions on a theater website I usually read for reviews and notes on upcoming productions.

Always on the lookout for local events to participate in, I read over the requirements and production details and thought it looked like a really quality event I wanted to be a part of.

Except for one thing. There was all this talk of mothers and women and “giving motherhood a microphone.” Would they really be interested in hearing from me? I am neither a mother nor a woman (last time I checked); would this disqualify me?

So I spent another 15 minutes reading and re-reading the requirements, looking for anything that would explicitly spell out the fact that they wanted to hear from women only. As someone who regularly scours playwriting opportunities, I’m used to requirements like these being added right at the bottom of an otherwise-enticing listing (“must be a resident of Washington State,” “must be a currently-enrolled student,” “must have no outstanding library fines”).

But I didn’t see anything of that sort on this announcement. And in fact, I remember seeing the words “everyone has a mother story” on there too. I had to think about this for a second, but it’s true! Everyone comes from a mother (thanks, Dalai Lama)! There’s nothing more universal!

So I spent the next week before the deadline writing a short personal essay about motherhood and family. And then just figured I’d wait and see what happened. Continue reading