Kiss me I’m irish

I’m half Irish,maybe. I align myself with being from Ireland even though I don’t know how many generations my family goes back. I do know my dad’s family is Murphy. His dad was 100% Irish and he had the liver to prove it. I understand having the last name of Murphy in Ireland is like being Smith here. Murphy means “sea-warrior” or sea-battler.” Hell, yeah. My mom’s maiden name is Kerley, another Irish name. So I figure, because I want to, I’m 50% Irish. Who wants to be a mutt? I grew up with my dad speaking in a …

LOOKING IN THE MIRROR

Today I was in a meeting when I got the text from David. Were not going jack is an ahole i don’t know what the hell is wrong with him. My stomach clutched. Poor Jack. Last night Jack had insisted on taking a shower, unheard of for my six-year-old boy. When he got out of the shower, he asked me to cut his hair so he could “look sharp.” “Jack, I’m not going to cut your hair,” I said. “How about if I put some gel in it and comb it down?” He nodded. “Mom, can you trim my …

What? Me? Competitive?

A couple of years ago, my brother asked David and me to join his co-ed indoor soccer team. I knew he was really asking David, but I was part of the co-ed package. “Yes,” I said without thinking. Growing up in Spain, this was David’s sport of choice and he played in a men’s league. I thought this would be something we could share. Plus it was something active and it seemed like those who played were having fun. So why not? “I’m in.” “I don’t know,” David said. I stared at him. “What do you mean you don’t …

We’re getting dangerously close..

“I got asked to the prom,” Kelly said. “Oh, that’s fantastic,” I said, not really meaning it. Let me explain. I am excited Kelly has a date to her senior with a really nice guy who I’m sure she’s going to have a blast with. But… Time is moving too fast. You see that, right? Just a second ago Kelly started kindergarten then graduated from elementary school. Middle school was the last time she really liked school. I swear it was only minutes ago Kelly started Valhalla. She hadn’t wanted to go to Valhalla. She’d wanted to go to …

Ambush Interview: Going off to college

You’ve heard my feelings, my whining, my lamenting about Molly, my oldest, going off to college three years ago. So wrecked was I about her growing up and out of the house that I wrote a memoir about it. Molly’s leaving fanned my abandonement issues. Okay, fanned in an understatement. It was a roaring fire. Molly was the first person I’d given so wholeheartedly to, the first person I truly trusted. And even though Molly was doing what every normal, healthy eighteen-year-old does, if we’ve done our job right, I felt left behind. What does Molly think about this …

SEEING THINGS TO THE END

I have another project. It’s creative.  It involves beads and it’s yet another “thing” to fill the minutes I don’t have.  Another project I may not finish. I chalk this up to my attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a condition I’ve never been diagnosed with but it doesn’t take a genius to take one look at me and realize I have an issue with focus. Oh, look at that pretty flower. Cleaning the house is a joke.  I start folding laundry and see a book that needs to be put away in Jack’s room.  Once in Jack’s room, I see …

The bad apples

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a staunch defender of teachers. I think it’s absurd to blame them for the economic woes of our country; I loathe how they are vilified by the media and politicians. I believe that most of them want to do a good job, that most of them love what they do, and—paramount to all of this—that most of them love children and have their best interests at heart. If these things aren’t true, then why would anyone become a teacher? It certainly isn’t for the incredible salary, or the easy six-hour days, …

Revisiting an oldie, day two

This is the second of my vintage articles I’m re-posting. I wrote it for CityBeat back in the spring of 2017 after a spate of racist events unfolded at UCSD. What I wrote then is pretty pertinent to where I am right now, in my current state of mind, even if I may no longer be as interested in—or as concerned with—treating people delicately when discussing race. The lone comment on this story underscores why my attitude has shifted. Someone named “wilder” said about my piece: take a chill pill. live and let live. not everyone is out to …

Revisiting an oldie, day one

Thanks to an email from a reader, I went back into my archives and re-read two pieces I published in CityBeat that I’m putting here today and tomorrow, not because I don’t have fresh material (do I ever have fresh material), but because both of them still apply. And this one, as serendipity would have it, was published on this day two years ago. Which completely flummoxed me. Had anyone asked me to estimate, I would have said I wrote this six-months ago. God, I’m getting old. Did you know I used to walk ten miles to school, always …

Stumbling on goodness as it unfolds

So there I was at Target this morning, minding my own business. I had my sunglasses on, and was pushing my cart aimlessly through aisles I didn’t need to be in, laying my hands on everything, with no real hurry to be anywhere. This is the most dangerous way to shop Target. I had planned to go to the Target by my house, but I was closer to another one after having dropped Ruby at her carpool to camp. I had a short list of things to grab—hand soap, a greeting card, jeggings for the girl—but I took my …