Play the $50M game

Posing as Livvie, Xena tries to get loaded into the car bound for Timberline.

Well hey! I’m still here, just really busy. In fact,  I’m working on a speech called “Don’t Let Your Sanity Check Bounce” right now. I’m giving that speech as an audition on Friday and ran across this game we love to play. Here’s how it goes: You just won $50 million in the lottery. What are the first three things you would do? How pathetic are mine:

1- Finish the basement so the kids have somewhere to go. Anywhere.
2- Pay off debt.
3- Fix that stupid tear in the kitchen linoleum that the dog made while searching for invisible kibbles. Even better, rip the entire kitchen out and start over.

A list like that means I don’t have any real problems. Real problems are ones that can’t be fixed with money.


1- Just got back from our annual tri-family event at Timberline, where it dumped like 17 inches of snow. Last year, we were frozen in fear from just learning about cancer while our friends rallied around us and gave us warmth. This year, they planted a rubber chicken in our luggage and claimed we owe them a family dancer number.Image

2- The kids got to meet the author of Wimpy Kid yesterday. (Thank you, Jillian!) Image

Lucky for me, they never said, “Hey, you’re a writer, Mom. How come you don’t have a tour bus!”

3- We took the kids to see A Place of Truth, Barrett Rudich’s documentary. Look at the glowing report they gave the film festival.


Busy is as busy does

Okay, I don’t even know what that means. All I know is I got busted zoning out yesterday. Here’s how that went:

ME: Come on, dude! It’s JUST a potato.

STEVEN: Mom, who are you talking to?

ME: The microwave.


1- Just bought tickets to Barrett’s documentary screening tomorrow night at the Portland Art Museum. I’m making the kids go. Wanna go? I’m so excited, I wish I had something to do with the movie.

2- On Sunday, I got to take Beto’s Samba class at Dance for Joy Studios. It was so cool, I almost cried. At first, the steps seem pretty doable when it’s slow. Then all of a sudden, it’s high-speed. It’s like downing ten espressos, then going all River Dance. The women in the class were so nice to me, I’m going back even if I suck. They kept saying, “Don’t stress. You’ll get it.” That was before I backed into a pole.

3- Tomorrow, I see Dr. Awesome again. Going in there freaks my body out big time. It remembers THE ROOM OF CHEMO. I swear the cells try to escape. Always love seeing Dr. Awesome though.

Tribute Thursday goes to Barrett Rudich



Funny how some mistakes just aren’t. I dialed a wrong number 14 years ago, and Barrett Rudich answered. I thought I was dialing Portfolio, an agency that staffs creatives. But instead, I reached Portfolio Productions, Barrett’s creative services company. “What kind of job are you looking for?” he said. “Copywriter,” I said. “I hire copywriters!” Okay, this guy is either psycho or it’s my luckiest day ever. We arranged a meeting in his Flanders studio in a couple of weeks when I’d be in Portland. One warm handshake with Barrett confirmed that calling the wrong number really was my luckiest day ever.

Portland had already sold itself to me. But Barrett convinced me I would find work in Portland, which gave us more confidence to move. Since then, I’ve worked with Barrett on everything from being an extra to writing a massive Red Cross video project. I love working with Barrett; but above all, love knowing Barrett. When I called him to tell him I had cancer, his reaction was electric disbelief soon grounded by deep concern. The first thing he did was run to Cacao, and buy me chocolate. His spirit raced alongside me at every step. His partner, Ret, was right there with him. As I was making my way through cancer muck, Barrett took on the project of a lifetime: his first feature documentary film. It’s been accepted at several film festivals, so I thought now would be a good time to express my profound admiration for a man who, despite being alien levels of busy all the time as a creative director, director, photographer and mega “Cranny” (creative AND anal), found time to help me. When Trina organized the auction, Barrett selflessly jumped in.

I’m thrilled to tell you how much I love his film, A Place of Truth. It follows a young woman who decides to on couch-hop across the country and set up shop as a street poet. Three screenings are coming right up. From what I remember, I’m pretty sure it’s a safe film to take kids. Here’s to wishing Barrett all the best on his new film and profound appreciation for caring about me so much.

Get tickets here.


1- Best. Positive. Ever. I got a CT scan today because they saw some spots on my lungs last year. It’s CLEAR. CLEAR CLEAR CLEAR. Thank you, Universe, friends, modern medicine and Chris Stopa for helping me with the energy part of healing. I’m convinced it had everything to do with CLEAR. To top it off, the tech was the funniest one ever. Who else says: “Okay, now you’re going to feel like you peed your pants. And that’s why ya come here! We don’t disappoint.”

2- Refer to positive #1.

3- Still gloating on #1.