The very first thing I did when I found out I was pregnant with Thomas was google “triple bunk beds.” I did this even before I went downstairs to tell Zac, who was in the kitchen making pancakes for the four children we already had. …


Image from Pixabay

Some time ago, I became allergic to everything. I’d always had a few mild allergies to a few foods, things like avocados and sunflower seeds, and I managed just fine (though Southern Californians are forever baffled by anyone who doesn’t eat avocado). Then the food allergies began to grow, in…


There’s been a lot of talk in the last week or two about whether or not there will be a Halloween this year. Of course there will be a Halloween! Twitter user pennysnark said it best:


Photo by author.

Last week, after months of sadness and worry, I got a promotional email from the Spirit Halloween store and instantly I felt glad to be alive. As in, I literally thought, verbatim, “I’m glad I am alive.”

This week on Twitter there’s been a lot of talk about what Halloween…


I started this letter on March 4 and just reopened it again. The original letter began:

“Yesterday was an election day. I woke up early to go stand in front of the elementary school with some other parents and wave signs that read Yes on Measure I (a local school…


This week the most extraordinary thing happened. Beatrice was studying for a geography test, filling in a blank map of the United States, and her dad sent me a video of her memorizing all the states’ names and locations by reciting a long, convoluted mnemonic device that included lines like…


Image by cwizner from Pixabay

This year Starbucks released the pumpkin spice latte on August 27, the earliest date yet and before Labor Day, another contender for the official marker of fall in America. It’s not cold anywhere on August 27 and no leaves are yet changing, but by some definitions, it was fall.

What…


Image by Foundry Co from Pixabay

We got married! At the end of the day, at the end of the summer, on the edge of a mountainside, everything held still at the precipitous edge of fall. To begin the ceremony, my witch, Amanda Yates Garcia, called forth the four elements from the four corners of the…


On Dr. Lucy Jones, canned corn, slow rollers, and fast catastrophes

Photo: Ivan McClellan/Getty Images

“I thought a truck was going by,” someone says later. And someone else says, “I thought it was the upstairs neighbors.”

I was at a hair salon in Los Angeles when the first of the big Ridgecrest, California earthquakes struck on July 4, 2019. When the large, crystal chandeliers started…


This spring came the plague of butterflies. For two weeks in March, millions of painted lady butterflies flew through Southern California. Painted ladies visit Los Angeles every year on their migration from the Mojave and Colorado deserts to the Pacific Northwest, but rarely in such astounding numbers. This year their…

Summer Block

Writer for Catapult, Longreads, The Awl, The Toast, The Rumpus, McSweeney’s, and so on. Owner of After-Party Taxidermy. Working on a book about Halloween.

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