The Best Conversation

I turned on NPR while I was filling the tub for my bubble back a couple of hours ago, and was delighted to find that tonight’s programming was a celebration of Storytelling. I realize that there are those who think public radio exists only to play infinite hours about business performance management and such, but they do have some really interesting entertainment programs, (mostly on weekends) and they’re not even borrowed from the BBC.

Tonight, while I soaked in hot sudsy water lightly scented with tea and jasmine, I listened to an entrancing Indian stale about frogs, guava trees, courtship and Coca-Cola, and heard the distinctive voice of Sonia Manzano reading micro-fiction written by a prisoner taking part in an adult literacy program called “All Write.” (Sonia plays the part of Maria on Sesame Street, for those who don’t recognize her name.)

I also heard the warmest storytelling voice ever, a woman named Diane Wolkstein, share a Haitian folk tale about a magic orange tree. As a result, I’m now craving oranges, but aside from that, I’m entranced with something she said: that good storytelling, because there is connection, and because there are silences, is like a conversation, “…the best conversation…” she said.

I have a great appreciation for storytellers, who are sometimes writers, and sometimes actors, and generally a bit of both, and I have an even greater appreciation of stories themselves, and not just the epics. I like the small stories. The twists and turns of every-day life.

The best conversations.

Sneakers are Supposed to be Comfortable Shoes

Note to self: Your pink Converse All-Stars may be cute, but they don’t really have enough arch support or cushion for an entire day of shopping.

Note to self (2): Your parents really need to get you their lists earlier from now on.

If there was ever a day when I wish we’d purchased one of the homes in this neighborhood with hot tubs as well as pools, it’s today. I mean, I love the pool, but it’s not heated, so we can’t use it half the year, and I also love my lovely deep soaking tub, but I’d have killed for jets of water to ease my back and feet after an entire afternoon of shopping, most of which was for my parents.

Now, I don’t mind buying things for them. Certain preferred items are hard to get in La Paz, and when they CAN get them, they’re horrifically expensive, but I was DONE with Christmas shopping, and I’ve been begging them for shopping lists since before Thanksgiving. I finally got the last one yesterday, and so, on my parents’ behalf I spent an hour and a half at Joanne’s, forty minutes at Walgreens, half an hour at Starbucks, and forty minutes at a different Joanne’s because the first one didn’t have everything I needed.

We also did some pre-trip errands, like getting copies of the front door key we never use, and buying dog food, and getting a few needed items for a party we’re attending tomorrow – and that part was fun – but my feet hurt, and I’m PMSsy, and I really just want to sleep for a week.

On the up-side, I canceled my mani/pedi/brow wax appointment that was scheduled for this morning because I’m having the same treatments for free, poolside, at my mother’s house on Thursday, a day on which, other than helping her decorate her Christmas tree, I am not required to do ANYTHING but lie in the sun, read, and drink margaritas.

Vacation cannot come soon enough :)


I went to bed to the sound of thunder and the flicker of lightning, wrapped in flannel sheets and cuddled by my dogs and husband – it was a good way to fall into sleep: warm, loved, safe, and I had happy dreams as a result.

I dreamed I’d finally sold my book, was on tour, and had earned enough to offer a private student loan to the winner of a writing contest.

I dreamed of a night dive with sharks at Guadalupe Island, Baja, where the water is warm. In a cage, out of a cage. The dream had both kinds of diving. I like sharks. I think they’re elegant, in their way. This was a fabulous dream.

I learned something as well, from the various dreams that I had. The pink hair? It’s staying til I sell the book. Then I’m going to change it, but I’ve already decided that in February we’re going to do a mixture of pink highlights and threads of warm gold. Natalie (my stylist) is already working on a plan for this.

I have to go finish Christmas prep today.
But I’m itching to write.


“I need a treadmill,” I informed Fuzzy the other night, when I called him in Utah. “All this cold and rain make walking outside almost impossibly uncomfortable. Zorro won’t go beyond the garage door, and we’re all antsy.”

He agreed that it would be a good idea, then teased, “But we’ll have to get two small ones for the dogs.”

I have this image of the three of us on our little treadmills, walking and watching Animal Planet (Miss Cleo likes the bird shows; Zorro prefers Meerkat Manor), nice and cozy and dry. But it’s just an image, at the moment. A fantasy.

Fuzzy agreed that I could go shopping for a treadmill when we get back from vacation, but in the meanwhile, having been cooped up inside for the better part of a week, the dogs and I are all antsy. The lightning and thunder outside aren’t helping them, but I rather like it, because as long as it’s stormy I can blame my restlessness on the weather and not the fact that I haven’t come close to being ready for this trip. Not close.

So maybe I am antsy, after all.