In the Same Place


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We are sitting on the sofa at her mom’s house facing each other, my left hand intertwined with her tiny right hand. I’m here because she was adamant that I go with them during the drop off to meet her new puppy. None of my excuses to the contrary persuaded her eleven-year-old brain.

H is circling her hand, and with it mine, at the wrist. She prefers that I refer to her as bonus daughter or my girl rather than stepdaughter. Neither of us likes any combination of family words with “step” in them, and somehow…

Halva with Tea


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It’s a small coffee shop, a Shingle-style shack with blue trim, listed by Yelp as one of Laguna Beach’s best. Cookies and biscotti lie in a basket in front of the order window. The barista, an upbeat blonde woman in her late fifties, early sixties, comes over to me. As I’m trying to choose what flavor to put in my coffee, we start talking. She finds out I’m from Phoenix and…

Halva with Tea

Eight Limbs of Brazilian Waxing 


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There’s a yoga to everything. Here’s my take on the yoga of Brazilian waxing. Cheers everyone. 

Pratyhara (Sensory Withdrawal) – Prior to Appointment
In utter fear you read about the procedure, research the salon, and try to find information about how to decrease if not eliminate the pain. Then wonder if you can combine all the pain relieving mechanisms together. In essence, you plan to achieve complete sensory withdrawal by eating pineapples (for their natural anti-inflammatory qualities) three days in advance, rubbing numbing cream on the site an hour before, and taking Motrin twenty minutes prior.

Pranayama (Breath Control) – The First Time

You arrive early having forgotten all the pre-appointment pain relievers, probably out of fear — and wax wouldn’t adhere to cream anyway, would it? You approach the desk and whisper to the receptionist why you’re there. While waiting, the epiphany of what was I thinking hits. Unfortunately, as soon as you get up to leave they call your name. Shit! You enter with the notion of maintaining ujjayi breathing…

The Eight Limbs of Brazilian Waxing

Motivation Monday: Choose Your Lens


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I was doing my morning comb through Facebook today when I came across a picture of a friend’s wife.  The capture said Natasha in the Kitchen.  It was a beautiful black and white photo of her standing front of an ironing board, holding a sheer fabric.  I thought boy, doesn’t he have a beautiful life.  He has a backstory, though. He had to leave New York to go to Moscow and reclaim his child a few years ago.  And he had to stay in Moscow, at least for the time being.  Since then he met Natasha, got married, and now has a beautiful second girl.  He blogs about his life and posts photos as art projects regularly.  But then I realized it’s not necessarily his life, but the lens he has on his life that makes it so rich and beautiful.  He appreciates what he has.  He could have easily put on the victim lens, yet he has chosen not to.  And this view is what makes me, living in the U.S., where he probably prefers to be, admire his life in Moscow.

What lens do you have on your life?

If you want more about Marco, you can find him here:




What are we Teaching Little Girls in 2016?


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Every weekend the girls are here, I write a message on their board. It ranges from little facts to poems. This, a poem by Nayyirah Waheed, is the most recent.

Sadly, we still live at a time when girls are brainwashed to stand down as they get older. So, I’m doing a little reverse brainwashing of my own. I want them to know they don’t lose credibility on the basis of their gender, no matter what the society tells them; that they have the right to show up and speak up.

Of course it’s not merely the girls we need to teach. It just so happens that the children in this house are girls. Our little big men are watching and learning as well. What are we teaching them? Why are school rule books still making elementary school girls measure the length of their skirt every morning (has to be below their fingertips as they stand and hold their arms by their side)? Or worry about whether or not they have spaghetti straps on because we don’t want bra straps to show. What preschooler wears a bra? That’s one more useless thing to preoccupy them with every day, instead of having free space to focus on more important/interesting/fun issues. And what message are we giving them? You are responsible for other people’s actions and thoughts. How do we counter it with the boys? We don’t. I asked the girls what about little boys is distracting to them, if anything? They said long hair that covers their face. It’s hard to talk to them when their face is covered. I checked the school book for hair length for boys. There was no mention of hair length.

From this young and impressionable age we are restricting little girls by making more rules for them to follow.  And we say to them that your distraction does not matter, or figure out a way to handle it. Couldn’t we teach the boys to figure a way to handle their distraction (if they do get distracted by the girls’ clothing at this age, that is)?

I have lunch with the kids on Tuesdays that I don’t travel. My new plan is to write short poems with strong messages on my name tag. It’s never too late to start a conversation with young minds.