Thursday, September 29, 2011


One bad apple ruins the whole barrel. It's true. And what do you do when you have more bad apples than good apples? Throw out the whole barrel and start over? Or do you just keep eating them, worms and all? Or maybe you can mash them all up into applesauce, with lots of cinnamon, and that will somehow make them more palatable. But sometimes all you need is one GOOD apple to make the barrel worthwhile. There's no saving a rotten apple, but you can choose to focus on the sweet crisp apples -- even if they're few and far between -- and to be a shiny apple yourself.

I am a shiny apple.

Saturday, September 10, 2011


There are a ton of flags on the lawn at Pepperdine up in Malibu overlooking the sea. As you might expect, each flag represents a person who died on September 11, 2001, ten years ago. You can't help but be moved by this, yet there's also a part of me that resists the sentiment, finds something cloying and melodramatic about the notions of patriotism and heroism, and the intense nostalgia that our culture attaches to the events that occurred that day. Why is that? Am I just horribly jaded or afraid of my own emotions? Or is it more that I'm disconcerted by the fact that our culture is disproportionately obsessed with one tragic moment, while virtually ignoring the things that may have caused it, or the fact that we somehow avoided allowing such a shocking, potentially pivotal moment to have any real effect on how we live our daily lives? Or all of the above?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

for mom

This is a flattened candy corn I found in Balboa Park this weekend. It's been flattened by people stepping on it, distorting it into a larger irregular shape, but always identifiable by its tricolor striation. It reminds me of Mom. This sounds ridiculous but it's true. Once upon a time, we were riding the escalator at Nordstroms together, and we looked over the edge to see a gigantic candy corn on the lobby floor below. This is back in the day when they used to have live piano players. When we arrived at the lobby level, we saw that it was indeed a regular candy corn that had been trampled by dozens (if not hundreds) of people passing through the lobby until it had been flattened and expanded into seriously like ten times its original size. Perhaps time has exaggerated the true size of the candy corn, but it was a story that we often remembered and laughed about together, many times to the point of hysteria. For some reason it was just so absurd and hilarious. And we would've laughed about this one this weekend, even though it pales in comparison to the original, inspirational candy corn.