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My Life

Mustache March Rocks Santa Barbara

"This gives us a really fun reason to get behind a great cause," said Jenny. Read story.

Monday, March 17, 2008

White Christmas

The old Bing Crosby movie is cheesy, but who among us hasn't dreamed of being in the midst of one of those Nineteenth Century Victorian Christmas card scenes? Read story.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Is Aunt Edna Worth a Sweater?

Families you're born into, families you create, and what they mean. Read story.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Ode to Kathryn Bailard and Elizabeth Drouin

Death and the holidays don't mix. I imagine death and her cool shadow thriving in the doldrums of January or in April, during tax season, but she should leave the holidays to the living. As the calendar flips over to November and "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" takes over the radio, my thoughts usually start simmering with images of big family dinners, thoughtful gifts, too much chocolate, and great conversations with friends. Read story.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Thanksgiving Tale

Last Thanksgiving, I didn't have anyone to hang out with. There I was, all alone, with a borrowed car and a bottle of Popov Read story.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Baja Tales

Every weekend, thousands of fun-seeking Americans flood across the Mexican border into Baja, California. Some are underage college students wanting to go to bars and clubs. Others are surfers intent on exploring the many surfÂ-able nooks and crannies the Baja coast has to offer. Read story.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

How the Health Insurance Crisis is Ruining Antiques Roadshow

Iwent through a phase where I just loved to watch Antiques Roadshow. I find it peppy and soothing, predictable and amazing, a wonderful amalgamation of historic America and middle America, naivete and expertise, innocence and greed. Read story.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Coming Out and Going Straight

While coming out of the closet is never a particularly fun activity, doing so when one is the only child of conservative, fundamentalist Christians from Orange County is, well, less fun. After enduring a few weeks of less-than-supportive comments from my dad and watching my mom struggle to make sense of her feelings, I made a mixed CD of songs that would keep me cheerful and convinced that coming out was the right thing to do and that loving my girlfriend, Jackie, was a-okay in the grand scheme of things. Read story.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Surviving the Suicide of a Daughter and a Niece

My name is Sally. I'm a suicide survivor-two times. I lost both my daughter Linda and my niece Stephanie to suicide. Linda killed herself by jumping from the seventh-floor balcony of her apartment. She was 45. Stephanie ingested a lethal combination of alcohol and prescription drugs. She was 32. Read story.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Awful Truth

I'm good at lying. Not perfect, but I've had a lot of practice so I'm awfully good. I'm most sincere when I lie and if anyone suspects, I always ask, "Would I lie to you?" Read story.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Rhapsody in Yellow

I remember watching the first-ever episode of The Simpsons. Titled "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire," this Christmas-themed pilot aired December 17, 1989-at a time when I doubt my seven-year-old brain understood most of the jokes or could have expected how this bug-eyed, surreally yellow family would figure so largely into my life. I know, I know-it's The Simpsons, for god's sake, but here I am making a case for the value of this TV show. Read story.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Confessions of an Insomniac

It used to be that I would simply lean back at bedtime and fall sweetly into sleep, watching bright cinematic dreams unfurl until daylight touched my face. Not anymore. "A good night's sleep" has become an elusive sort of fantasy. Read story.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Power of Music

On a hot, lazy afternoon, teenagers sit smoking cigarettes in a fancy cafe, nibbling cakes and chatting about fashion. A few blocks away, children throw jacks and ride bicycles along a filthy cobblestone alley infested with cockroaches and raw sewage. This is daily life in San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador, and home to these disparate worlds of luxury and desperation. With a recent civil war and increasing gang violence, the country seems to have little hope for a sustained peace. Read story.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Prom, Senior Prom

Indy intern - and Santa Barbara High junior - Amy Chong goes to the senior prom and lives to tell about it. Read story.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

24 Hours in Tijuana

At 5 a.m. the next morning I was standing in my kitchen, a towel on my head, wondering vaguely how a teenage girl had materialized in my house before sunrise, and trying to remember whether teenagers drank coffee, or whether I should offer her tea instead. By the time Angie and I got behind the wheel of my car, the caffeine had begun to kick in, and we headed over to the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara to meet up with the rest of the team: the five other 8th-grade members of the Coming of Age program, and my co-leader, Kir. Read story.

Thursday, May 31, 2007
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