We Can Live Longer, Healthier Lives. So Why Don’t We?

“Let’s talk about non-communicable diseases,” I might say to you.“Omigod, I am sick to death of talking about NCDs,” you totally would not say. “If I hear one more world leader outlining a clear plan to address them, I’m simply going to scream,” you would never add....more

Earthquake-Proof Parenting

In the moment, I thought it was a big truck rumbling past. Sitting on the sofa with my daughter, playing with her alphabet animals book (did you know that Z is for Zorilla?). But the truck just kept getting bigger and closer. Bigger and closer than seemed possible. Then the pictures started rattling on the wall, and the windows shook in their panes. When I figured it out, I scooped her up and ran outside without even our shoes (apparently exactly what FEMA doesn’t recommend). There, I saw an assortment of our awful neighbors....more

The Zoloft is working: Postpartum depression or whatever

I'm going to out myself here. My family has a long and robust tradition of depression, and I am no exception. I remember first drinking ink and eating staples at the age of 10. Many long years of symptoms and acting out and generally hating everything later, I went on Prozac briefly in college, when all the kids were doing it. It was kind of a revelation. Stuff just wasn't that difficult anymore. Really hard stuff, like getting out of bed or concentrating on reading for more than five minutes at a time totally got done without a second thought....more

Love it. And thanks for your kind words. Your path has been so complicated! Because, you know, ...more

Songwriting for New Parents and Other Lunatics

Our daughter is five months old today, and has - among other things - a small plush giraffe with a rattle inside that she loves. The head is perfectly sized for her to shove into her mouth and gum vigorously. She does this a lot. It's hilarious. We like to joke that she skipped the bland rice cereal and strained peas phase and went straight to big game. Clearly, she is very advanced in the nom department....more

Terms of Endearment: Nicknames great and small

My daugher got her first nickname right after her first sonogram. Still in the doctor's office, I snapped a photo of the scan on my phone and e-mailed it to my husband. "Congratulations," he wrote back. "It's a fractal." And so she was called for the next few months. Also popular before she was born were "bean," and "Fetelow," a really ingenious combination of fetus and my last name first coined by a dear friend. ...more

My sister called me Dashy as that is how I pronounced "Cathy" as a little tyke. But she was ...more

13 tweets I wouldn't mind never reading again

Given, Twitter is a cool tool. Many of us don't know what we'd do without it, even while suspecting that we might be better off by reclaiming that brain space and intellectual bandwidth that we spend sending such deep thoughts as "Ha! @[friend's name]." But with a squamillion tweets per day (figure is approximate), some of them are bound to be dullsville, some annoying, some actionable… ...more

Help a New Parent Out: What's the one thing?

Two months (today!) into this parenting thing, and I'm getting more comfortable with how little I know. I think this is going to be a constant state for the next... forever. Spouse and I fall in the middle of a baby boomlet among our friends. It's a pretty sweet position to be in because we get the benefit of the experience of those who went before us, and we get to feel all wise and sagey when speaking with those following....more

I'll never tell how long I held onto my own blankey. Truly embarrassing.

Thea ...more

You win this round, AT&T.

Had a great e-mail from AT&T today, inviting me to sign up for paperless billing and offering - as an incentive - to plant a tree on my behalf. They call it Go Paperfree and Plant a Tree.I love this for a few reasons.  ...more

It almost makes me want to return to paper billing and then revert back! I just like trees. ...more

Anyone have a good idea for a Mark Twain tattoo?

I'm in the market for a Mark Twain tattoo, but need some inspiration....more

I don't know the url anymore, but there once was a literary tattoo website. I found it looking ...more