Letter to My Friend Skip

Life, it overwhelms. So today you get cc:d on a letter to my friend Skip, written in response to his suggestions for what a body should do with a bit of iTunes credit. Skip is one of my favorite straight dope sources for politics and music.

Dear Skip,

Got Santogold. Sounds good to me, as I like M.I.A. quite a lot when she doesn't suck. Also not rated explicit, so I can let Iz have a listen, too.

Do you have a favorite song at the moment?

What is it like to live in L.A. right now, culturally and politically? Many of my Westside friends seem quite clueless beneath the gloss of their lives. Not that anyone likes to face a less-than-glossy reality.

How are things in general? I am waiting for the septic tank truck to come, so that my neighbors and I can thrill to the smell of raw sewage. Better fouling the air temporarily than backing up the drains.

Right now I am working on our second Can I Sit With You? collection and trying to get enough sleep. Kids are 50/50 fun/pains in my ass. Seymour is at a conference in Jackson Hole. I almost hung up when he called to say that the Tetons are beautiful, the weather is perfect, and the sky is blue blue blue. My brother James is at the same conference, and I almost texted him with a request to spike Seymour's drink with something emetic. Almost. But I've had some good trips this year, too, so I can't really complain long term, only when under siege*.

Hope you're well,


P.S. Shoe recommendations? Leelo's fat little feet need a special pair of expensive Japanese shoes. Expensive for kids' shoes, not expensive in general. He likes to drag his feet on the ground and has rubbed the toes clean off of two pairs already.


*It took Leelo three hours to get to sleep last night. I think it was a combination of his dad being gone, my having changed the sheets on his bed, and his having taking a bath downstairs rather than his usual upstairs. It was bad, with the hitting and screaming and crying and scratching. The hullabaloo was so extreme that I almost expected CPS to show up, which would have been ironic as the only person being physically abused was me. The girls got no bedtime stories, and weepily sniffed themselves to sleep (ow, my heart, it has two arrows stuck in it). Eventually Leelo calmed down with a system reset: He changed out of his jammies into his regular clothes ("Black underwear! I want the black underwear!") and we watched an episode of Panda Go Panda!. Then we went back upstairs, we changed his sheets to "The Blue Da-da-da!," put his jammies back on, and he sailed straight into dreamland.

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  1. Anonymous12:07 PM

    I am curious about your opinions about M.I.A. In the SL community around here, she is controversial as her father is one of the founding members of the Tamil Tiger movement. Also, there is a SL guy down here in SoCal who raps in response to M.I.A. -- wonder if Skip has heard of him?

    Oh, and lots of hugs to the crew. Tell Iz I think of her as I try to improve my Spanish.


  2. Re: Leelo's shoes--have you guys tried Keens? My feet are fairly wide, and Keens are the only shoes that stay comfortable on my mile+ daily hike to and from the train. Don't know how wide their kid sizes run, though. They also have that goofy looking rubber toe bumper/cover that have been pretty durable in my experience.

  3. Anonymous2:52 PM

    I totally agree about the Keens -- they hold up really well to the worst of foot dragging and trudging. They were the only shoes Jeff and I took to Thailand a couple of years back, and we really put them through the rigors of scruffy travel. Held up through Europe, Mexico, South America twice -- great shoes!

    --Roo, on shoes

  4. I sympathize with the kid(s) being out of sorts when dad is gone (re husband training up northern minnesota for army national guards to go back over to the great sand box(iraq) for his second tour of duty). And I agree with the keen shoes. live in them outside of work (they require steel toed shoes and geek squad ( glasses with side shields) glasses.

  5. Anonymous3:50 PM

    Another vote for Keens. Hopefully you haven't already tried them and they will be the answer to your dilemma. Sometimes I can barely breathe when I read about the meltdowns - my son is four right now, but I know my future looks similar. I'm glad L found the reset button and finally did sleep!-Tanya

  6. yes, keens! i have CRAZY wide feet, and flat feet, and a high instep (basically i have brick feet, only wider), and they run wide and fit me pretty well (which, honestly, is high praise when it comes to fitting my stupid feet), and they have those thick rubber toes that would probably take a million years to wear through.

  7. Don't Keens have holes in the sides? And a narrow elastic opening? Not sure those will work for a kid with fine motor issues who lost the genetic dice roll re: severe foot stench. Iz had a pair of Keens and we had to regift them (after several thorough washings) as the stink was unbearable. Thanks though.

    @Tanya, one thing about our kids: YOU NEVER KNOW. Never know how things will turn out. However, if your son's environment has not yet been structured so as to reduce his stress (visual schedules, spots throughout the house where he can do "activities" that do not need too much prompting or supervision, etc.) then you might want to give such things a thought. /pedantry

  8. Squid, don't give up on Keens!

    I know those hybrid sandals or water shoes or whatever are everywhere, but they also have some pretty classic sneaker/shoe styles. I currently have the grown up version of these:


    Sorry, I swear I don't work for Keen or anything. I just beat the crap out of my shoes and have found them to be super durable and comfortable.

  9. This is my favorite song at the moment.




Respectful disagreement encouraged.