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Photo by César Coni for Pexels

When I woke up this morning, I swallowed a pill for my thyroid and dissolved a tablet of testosterone under my tongue. While I peed, I rubbed estrogen gel on my thigh. I washed my hands and dried them on the white towel that needs to be washed, but who cares.

I took off my lightweight pajama top, the one supposedly light enough to prevent night sweats, but doesn’t. In its place, I put on a black sweatshirt sprinkled with white dog hair and warm fuzzy socks. It was 46 degrees in Los Angeles. Real winter. Finally.

I made my…

November is National Adoption Awareness Month.

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She surrendered me for adoption upon my birth. In three months, they took me from the womb to the NICU to the foster care to my adoptive parents. Gloria, my biological mother, did not know she was pregnant, she entered the emergency room for abdominal pains and exited traumatized in a way only birth mothers understand. She died at 50, one day before my birthday. I found her four years too late.

Eighteen months ago I found my biological father. He did not know about me. He has spent the last year and a…

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I’m rifling through my jewelry box, looking for some life changing magic, the type, I’m told, only “tidying-up” can provide. I’m far from a pack rat, I throw too much away, but here I sit anyway, sifting through stuff, searching for joy.

I pick up an old, tattered, blue cardboard box, I’m sure it’s my father-in-law’s military memorabilia that somehow ended up in my drawer. As I hand it to my husband, I say “this is your dad’s.” Before he replies, I open it.

My dad’s dog tags, medals and ribbons. The Navy. The Korean War.

My dad, dead twenty-one…

Lockdown life and the need for dog food.

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My anxiety woke me up like a jet engine on take-off. Dog Food. Three dogs, only one bag left of Trader Joe’s Chicken and Rice dry food. Sure, if I run out I can substitute another brand, but a house of two parents, two young adult children, one girlfriend, and three dogs with food-change induced diarrhea might be the death of me. My tombstone would read If only she found the dog food.

The night before, Los Angeles’s Mayor had announced the shutdown of all nonessential businesses would begin in the morning…

This Is Us

Every adoption story is different

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Photo by Artem from Pexels

“If I’d known, I would have raised you. I don’t know if you would’ve had a better life. My parents would have wanted you too. They would have helped.”

My biological father said that to me when I found him two years ago. I was 50 — the same age my birth mother was when she died of colon cancer. She died before I found her. She told no one about me, not even my father.

I was born in 1968 to an unwed woman who did not know she was pregnant. Conventional wisdom assumed my life would be better…

What I learned as a Jew in Germany.

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The Los Angeles Times

More than six months had passed since the Coronavirus entered our lives and our airways. I ambled through the well-stocked aisles of Trader Joe’s. Empty supermarket shelves and panic-stricken faces jostling for toilet paper were distant memories. It was autumn, my favorite time at TJ’s. Give me all that pumpkin spice.

I noticed a tall and thick White guy with leather boots wandering the aisles. On the lapel of his weathered jacket were pins that seemed skinhead-ish. His mask barely covered his mouth. I could see his upper lip, and his nose…

Chaos coping is an Olympic sport.

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Illustration by Alison 1414 via Shutterstock

I refresh my Twitter feed. Again. Trump, fraud, election, yada yada yada. Next, Instagram. I scroll for a while, liking the occasional post, wondering if I’ll ever have her fabulous wallpaper or their romantic Italian vacation. I recently went back on Facebook after deleting my account a year ago. Everything yet nothing has changed. Posts from the same four people over and over again. I check out the New York Times and the LA Times. Everything is terrible. Blah blah blah.

Ten months into Covid-19, cases are surging and Los Angeles is in crisis…

A ain’t for apple, kids.

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Julia Suits for The New Yorker

This cartoon really inspired me. I mean, if there was ever a year made for the alphabet, it’s 2020.

I swapped out Ativan for Anxiety because, well, anxiety. Boredom works for B but C feels a little, dull. May I suggest Clusterfuck?

Susan Orlean’s Twitter feed would agree, D is for Day Drinking. E is tough. Election, duh. But Egregious pops into my head. So does Egg Salad (I’ve been panic buying eggs for 8 months).

F is too easy. FUCK FUCK FUCKITY FUCK FUCK. Also, Fatter.

G conjures images of icy Gin & Tonics

Dispatch from my couch, where I’ve been sleeping for 10 days.

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Photo by Yaroslav Danylchenko from Pexels

My son and husband have COVID and my daughter and I do not. I would describe their cases as mild, but when I listen to my son retch and vomit and moan in pain, mild feels like a euphemism for ‘not dead’. My husband lies to his family and says he’s fine, but admitted to me he’s forcing food down and finds it hard to breath in the morning. Okay, cool. How about you tell me the truth and we wade in the filth of this disease together? …

Don’t judge, we’re in a pandemic.

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The Creative Exchange via Unsplash

I’m not a big pot smoker, or “weed” as the kids call it these days. I smoked a lot in college, but in the thirty years since, I’ve gotten high just a handful of times. But now it’s a pandemic and so, well, yeah, you know.

Thanks to COVID, my 21-year-old daughter and her large shedding puppy moved back home. Bandit is part Labrador Retriever, part Great Pyrenees. The internet tells me that mix “sheds a lot.”

Cool. I hate shedding dogs. That’s why I’ve only had poodles. But I love my daughter more…

Mindy Stern

I got my first TV writing job at 48, took 26 years to find my birth family. It’s never too late, you’re never too old. Keep going.

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