Sometimes I forget that Morrison can dance his face off like a love interest in an movie a la good ol’ Bing Crosby days. He studied ballroom dance in high school, and so when the right song is on, he morphs from gentle giant who prefers to not draw attention to himself, to SLICK AND ALLURING DANCING SWAN MAN. The footwork alone is insane and he busts it out at dance parties like a secret trick. People tend to watch. And when this happens, sometimes I just watch him, too, with a big stupid smile on my face, as it’s sort of a thing from a dream, having a man who not only CAN dance, but WANTS to. I can usually get away with a bit of objective staring, until he pulls me up to dance with him, at which point I promptly step on his feet, at which point he spins me around, and which point I fall on my face laughing like a kid on one of those spinny things, at which point he catches me.
Me: Look at my eyelid. It’s wrinkly and weird.
Me: NO REALLY, LOOK AT MY EYELID.
(I shove my eyelid in his face, marriage style.)
Morrison: Huh. Yeah!
Me: I have an old eyelid!
Morrison: Hey, you look great, though.
Me: I DO?!
Me: You’re just saying that.
Morrison:…Yep! Can I please resume my life, now that I’ve told you what you need to hear?
Me: FINE OKAY BUT MAKE IT QUICK
Happy birthday 61st birthday to the most selfless, giving, loving lady I know. As a writer, you sometimes end up feeling this weird sense of shame of the love that you were raised with, if you were lucky to be raised with that love, as you’re always searching for trauma truffles for inspiration. The worse the childhood, the better the writing. Or at least, this is what the Lucky and Loved tell themselves to create torment that they can then turn to poetry that no one should ever see. But today, and all of the days, I’m grateful that she’s around, that she is one year older, that she cares, that she does not give up on trying to understand me though I do not understand myself, that she loves me more than I love myself, but mostly for the fact that I will clearly look I’m 38 TOPS well into my 90s. LOVE YOU MOM!
My American Gods bosses sent me this screenshot of my lil piece of the pie in the show’s opening credits. Maybe some day years from now my name on a screen will make me feel nothing but currently, it still gives me a hot zing of yay which is what I call all good feelings, just in general. COMING TO STARZ 4.30!
While I’m off work, I’ve been teaching writing to some girls in Juvie up in Santa Clarita of all places (where we wrote and filmed Switched at Birth) through Writegirl (nonprofit that pairs professional writers with, you know. Girls.) I am using the word ‘teaching’ lightly because 1.) teaching might actually be to antonym of my actual nature and 2.) first we must get them to even care, like, at all. I wouldn’t even call them apathetic. It’s just that there are so many grander things for them to care about than a poem that might or might not be in the shape of a hat. Just a few miles from malls and 900 starbucks and big box stores, and for some of them their old neighborhoods, the girls are kept in a weird time loop that sort of looks like school meets a summer camp meets the ROTC. They are kept on a tight schedule of classes and seem to care only about when they will get out and bobby pins and what shoes I’m wearing and what they could do with my bangs, given the chance. They’re all working towards high school class credits, but there’s also this paralysis because when they do get out, they’re re-entering the exact same world that got them into the place to begin with. Most seem to not have a moral support from parents, many of whom are also in jail, and so they’re left to their own devices. They could change, be better versions of themselves, resist temptation, but also they are seventeen year old CHILDREN and how strong was our resolve then, really? How strong is it even NOW? I want to help them connect words to their helplessness so that they can sort through their thoughts. I want to not say stupid things to them like YOUR WORDS WILL SET YOU FREE! But also I want them to know their words will set them free in their minds, which counts. But first I have to get them to even care, which, I now realize, is the first part of teaching, or even THE part. It is the whole part.
Julien and I have always wanted to hike Machu Picchu in Peru, and so we are DOING IT IN APRIL, while I have a minute off work, while we both can. It may be unconventional for a married lady to travel without her husband, But as Morrison and I discussed Last year, adventures should continue after marriage both together and apart, so much so that in our vows, he promised me that I could ‘always go kayaking,’ and I love him for that. But being that I am my parents’ kid and a good 50% conventional housewife, I WILL feel a deep guilt up until the point that I am standing on the top of the citadel, looking out, at which point I will release it, and return perhaps a stronger person, and perhaps even, a better wife.
Greetings, my own mother, my husband’s mother, and various mothers of high school students who are trying to obtain rights to perform monologues from my short plays! Maybe before you were watching Switched at Birth because I was writing for it for 3 seasons — but hear this: YOU STILL NEED TO WATCH IT. NOW. It’s fifth and final season is airing now on Freeform, and it’s blowing me away. Lizzy Weiss (show runner) never stops pushing herself, her writing staff, and then subsequently the network itself, to tell challenging stories that aren’t ever safe. On a network that’s designed to appeal to both teenagers and their parents, it’s hard to delve into difficult social issues, like say, race, and it’s even harder to put your dearly loved main character (Daphne) in the thick of a really difficult moral and ethical conundrum. But Lizzy does it, in a way that’s both nuanced and surprising. As someone randomly wrote on my Facebook page today,’ Switched at Birth should be mandatory for high schoolers.’ TRUTH. But also, you should watch it too.
I have made similarly grand statements about babies before, but this time I REALLY ACTUALLY MEAN IT. My niece Livy is REALLY ACTUALLY the cutest, most beautiful baby in all of the world.
She will hold the seat for all of time, or perhaps until I have a kid of my own, at which point she will be denoted to second place, unless of course, Livy remains cuter than my actual kid, which, given the picture above, IS ENTIRELY POSSIBLE.
Tucked somewhere south east of LA that I still don’t fully understand but I am Here so hats off to that — We find Temecula, another beautiful wine country, as if California did not have enough already. Here, a girl can escape to write and actually sleep ON a vineyard and allow her panic to meet relaxation and sample their wines until the Malbec flicks her off to sleep, safely tucked inside of one of her own ideas which will change completely by the time she wakes up.
Please meet the newest Brunstetter, and the first Grandkid: this beautiful and perfect little cabbage patch friend:
Her parents are tired and over the moon and filled with feeling and joy and purpose and gratitude and love and light. OH WAIT. That’s her grandparents, as they plot her kidnapping. Her actual parents, Pete and Mary, they are, you know, tired and hungry and overwhelmed, but also happy. CONGRATS TO ALL! OLIVIA I CAN’T WAIT TO START YOU AN INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT AND GET YOU AN INTERNSHIP AND ACCIDENTALLY SAY BAD WORDS AROUND YOU THEN HAVE TO EXPLAIN THEM AND JUST EXPAND YOUR WORLD, IN GENERAL!