Panorama of San Bernardino

Saturday, June 29, 2019


There’s a song called “Go” by Tones on Tail that I used to listen to in high school. It was an infectious song that made you want to jump up and down. Back then in the 80s, we used to go to a club called Marilyn’s in Pasadena and they would always play the song at the end of the night. The song would come on and my best friends and I would run onto the dance floor screaming with joy, dancing in a circle holding hands.

I wish I could still feel excitement like that. Most days, I feel hobbled and so damn old for my forty something self. Yes, I know I need to exercise and eat better, but the worse I feel, the worse I eat and the less I move.

Even when we were in France last month, I didn’t feel young and free like I thought I would. I was happy, yet also anxious, worrying about this or that and in constant pain from my foot issue.

Some days, the only place where I feel like me is here. On the page.

It’s as if I am my real self here and all of the other “JEMs” don’t matter. Here, I am only JEM the narrator.

I am not:

The attorney who over preps on a regular basis, and cares so much about her clients that her stomach hurts.

I am not:

The girl who can’t sleep, or the early riser who wakes up and quickly downs two double espresso shots to start the day.

I am not:

The sad girl who drinks too much then wakes up in the middle of the night asking herself if she’s just like her alcoholic father.

I am:

The happy girl who dances to Bowie and The Pixies whenever she can. The woman who loves her two shih tzus to distraction and loves to make her husband pancakes.

I am:

The girl would sell her soul to see a punk or post punk show and who adores The Cure, X and U2 so much that they make her cry when she sees them live.

I am not:

The woman who thinks she is too old, and tired.

I am not:

The girl who weeps every time she thinks of her failed IVF and that horrible day when all her dreams of a baby shattered into fragments.

I am:

A writer.

I am:

The girl who tells herself every morning, “GO!” And then the girl gets up. Maybe not with as much gusto as she had at sixteen, but still, it’s something.

Saturday, June 22, 2019


Today is a new day. I have been in a funk lately. Upon returning from France, my foot worsened and I was forced to stay upstairs in bed most nights unable to do much of anything.

But this last week was better and today, I feel optimistic. I had a piece selected for a podcast. It is a memoir piece detailing my childhood food memories. The story was a piece I had put in a drawer years before and when I saw a pitch request a couple of weeks ago, I pulled it out and sent it. And, the editor accepted it with minor changes.

It taught me that you just have to seize opportunities. Listen to your instincts and act. Take a leap. Don't overthink it and magic can happen because every action has a reaction.

The next thing on my agenda is to do a dream board. I made one years ago, but it got destroyed and thrown away in a move. A dream board is just that, a visualization with pictures of your dreams on a large board. I plan on making it tomorrow. While making it, I will also verbalize those dreams aloud. An agent. Not only one book, but two or three.

Years ago, I saw a psychic and she told me I would have three children. I always thought they would be literal, but now I realize, after my infertility struggles, that perhaps, just perhaps, those children were meant to have spines made of paper and not of bone.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Putting one foot in front of the other

Like most people, I take my feet for granted. I had been given the gift of mobility. Then all of a sudden, poof, I had it taken away.

Well, not completely taken away because I could walk. It’s just that every step felt as if someone was stabbing my left heel. With a pitchfork.

The issue started a little more than a year ago. At first, it was a mild pain when I stood at work, then more severe, but intermittent. Then it was constant, and every little step I took was agony.

It worsened when we were on vacation in France. I decided it was cab time and while I wasn’t happy to miss the Palace of Versailles due to the walking required, I muddled through and still did the Louvre, the Sacre-Coeur, and the Eiffel Tower, along with other attractions. One day, I walked more than I should have and had to elevate for hours before I could even take a step.

When we got home, I saw a podiatrist. Many call podiatrists sadists, but mine was sweet and especially kind when I cried huge crocodile tears like a baby during the cortisone shot. Imagine someone freeze spraying your foot then jamming a needle into an already tender heel with liquid that feels like nitrogen. That’s a cortisone shot.

Then the podiatrist referred me to a prosthetic device office. When I got there, I was horrified by all of the racks of special shoes thinking, is this what I’ve come to? Suddenly, I remembered when I was seven years old and my mom took me to a podiatrist. They forced me to wear huge, weird shoes with owls on the front, (yes owls!) that were meant to correct my pigeon toed gait, but instead just marked me as a sad, seven year old nerd.

Because of those damn shoes that I wore for a year, I refused to have my eyes tested (owl shoes AND glasses were unacceptable to my seven year old self). I squinted at the board through elementary school and lived in a blurry and fuzzy world until junior high.

Thankfully, the office informed me that I was just there for a brace and a boot. The day brace was annoying, but tolerable. The night boot was awful. I was supposed to wear it at night to stretch the tendons. It basically kept my foot at a 90 degree angle while I slept which was uncomfortable hell. The first night I didn’t sleep and then in the morning, I couldn’t walk without shooting pain in my foot.

Today, I woke up and while I wouldn’t say I am pain free, my foot does feel better. Like most people do, I’ll keep putting one foot in front of the other. And maybe I’ll even dance a little. To The Smiths or Pixies of course.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

A simple song

This is a song about a girl
It's just a song
For you to come along
It might make you cry
It might make you wonder why
all those sleepless nights
buried in your head

Dont cry little girl
just dry your eyes
lift your head up and smile
I have to see you smile

This is just a song
about a girl 
no ordinary girl
An extraordinary girl
the world was yours
But no one knew 
what lay beneath your dreams

Dont cry little girl
Just dry your eyes
lift your head up and smile
I have to see you smile

Did I say this was a simple song
That you maybe you could sing along
perhaps I was wrong
I think we were wrong 
nothing's simple in a world
where everything is twirling 
All around you

Dont cry little girl 
dont cry little girl
Please dont cry girl
Dry your eyes

Lift your head up and smile
I have to see you smile

At least for a little while