March 2, 2006


Just before the 6th grade my family moved back to the United States from Israel. I was 12. I remember being terrified about the whole thing having great concerns over my ability to read, speak, and write in English. As it happens, I read very slowly and have a tough time with seeing if a word is spelled correctly. I wasn’t at all concerned about my ability to fit in since I felt I had navigated those waters swimmingly in the previous moves.

A week or two before classes began my mom and I met with a guidance counselor to select a course schedule for me. In addition to other things, there was a music requirement for all students in the middle school: you could choose from music theory, the chorus, or from playing an instrument in the band or orchestra. In Israel I sang in the school chorus and liked it a lot, I even had a pretty decent voice (I don't anymore). But when asked how I would like to fulfill my music requirement at Welsh Valley Middle School I said music theory thinking that surely that's what the cool kids were going to take. I remember quite clearly my mother was a bit surprised by my decision and I should have headed that warning because of what I can freely acknowledge now that I would have denied with my dying breath back then, Parents Know Best.

So music theory it was. That error, combined with several other critical errors made in the first three days of school, branded me for a long time after as the Lamest Person Ever.

Needless to say that once the opportunity came about I switched to chorus, nonetheless remaining branded until a few years later when I chose to not care about it since despite it all I made a few very good friends, friends I have maintained throughout my teenage years, one who is still among my closest friends in the world. (Don’t you love when a sentence is so long it becomes a paragraph?)

For the past several years there has been a song that pops into my head from my days in the chorus. I could only remember a few of the verses but I sang it anyway, making up words as I went along. I turned to my friend Jessica, who in addition to risking her own reputation to become my friend very early on in the game, was in the chorus.

Jessica tells me everything I want to know about this song. That its first line comes from Walt Whitman. That the song is from the musical Fame. That she too has a Branded for Life feeling about this song - she had a solo part in the song, a solo for which she one time missed her cue, for which she was called a Mic Hog by another girl. And of course, Jessica fills me in on the lyrics:

I sing the body electric
I celebrate the me yet to come
I toast to my own reunion
When I become one with the sun

And I’ll look back on Venus
I’ll look back on Mars
And I’ll burn with the fire
Of ten million stars
For in time, yes, in time
We will all be stars!

Oh! The lessons we could learn from these lyrics if only we had the sense back then that we do know.

Other mistakes I made in those first three days:
1) Wearing the same pair of pants two days in a row. They were pink and had an embroidered waist. I remember my mom really liked them. There is a good chance she picked out the outfit I should wear to school those first days. In Israel we wore a uniform to school. The notion of a closet filled with clothing didn't exist in my world.
2) English as a Second Language class which was held in a lobby in plain view of the entire student body. Is there no mercy in this world?
3) Not having a clue what the Big B on all the girls oversized sweaters stood for.

Posted by talia at 6:46 AM | Comments (2)

January 9, 2006

...But it's worth it


The family has grown in wonderful ways in 2005. This a happy group - happy to be celebrating a turning point together, happy to be in the cold after a long opera.

It was one of those funny weekends which you plan, get really excited for, buy tickets, and make reservations. None of those things matched in a moment of the greatness of just being together. It's a tough thing for me to just have fun when around my family, I put so much pressure on myself I forget to be nice to the nicest people I know. I wonder if it's because of the newest member of the family that everyone just had fun.

Thanks for turning 60 Ma, it was a wonderful trip.

Posted by talia at 7:58 AM

December 30, 2005


It was what filled the sky this afternoon in my ride to the center as the snow began to fall through the park. Quite charming really since often I'm a bit nervous making turns on the ice. Not this time. The falling snow had a calming grace about it.

I've been silent for nearly a month. I haven't said much at all in even longer. I'm searching for words. Something to inspire me.

Strange thing is that quite a lot has happened in these weeks of silence, yet I’m not itching to write. I'm not terribly surprised since, despite my wishes, I’m not a born writer. But I do feel things. But what inspires me? I think that's the question that has been silencing me. I’m not so concerned about what moves me to write, more wondering about what moves me to do, to be, to want.

This photo that Jay took of me in the summer inspired me to write this. For that I'm thankful since I don't really like being silent. The photo reminded me of a very warm and carefree day we shared. I'll look at this photo for the next few days and see what ideas it conjures.


Posted by talia at 2:09 AM

November 29, 2005


I really wish seeing my family was more hassle free. between the arranging of the flights and the counting of days in the US for taxes and all the blah blah blah, it really makes me sad.

Posted by talia at 7:31 PM | Comments (1)

October 20, 2005

Never let down your guard

I'll admit I didn't properly seal myself in the bubble. But it's because I thought it was safe considering the past few days of Better Take a Jacket weather, one mosquito just whizzed past me in bed.

Posted by talia at 1:35 AM | Comments (1)

October 19, 2005

Home Alone

The first couple of days were spent in intense lounge mode. I'm not sure why I felt like I could afford it considering the looming and ever increasing to do list. But movies beckoned. I even at one point felt the luxury of allowing myself to be bored. I saw Ocean's 12 which was awesome, Spider which was freaky, Shrek, a classis, always a winner, Hitch which was fun and What the Bleep Do We Know which was sort of thought provoking. But thinking went against my mood so it didn't last long.

The next few days were (are) spent in a mad frenzy not only because I had to make up for lost time but because I kept taking on more tasks. But frankly, I'm afraid of jinxing the outcome, so I won't talk about it until the Big Project is done.

And then of course there is the mounting excitement and overflow of emotion because of the upcoming visit to California.

(You wanted an update. I'm afraid this is the best I can do now)

Oh, and, by the way, the park is filled with reds and yellows.

Posted by talia at 1:41 AM

September 21, 2005

Last Days

On a whim I boarded a plane embarking on a journey to the place I love most, San Francisco, to be with people I already love and love more and more with each moment spent together and each thought shared.

Breaking convention, the two women at my brother's bachelor party, were not strippers. There were no lap dances. Such entertainment is completely unneeded when people who know each other so intimately and love one another unconditionally get together. We gathered in a house on a cliff overlooking Tamales Bay to give thanks to Yaron who has dramatically effected each person there over the course of their friendships. What a blessing to be bonded to one another in such a way.

In short, the party was truly epic. I was glad to take part in this opportunity to envelop Yaron with love, to swim in the Pacific, to scamper over rocks, to lose money at poker despite my best efforts, to eat Kobe beef steaks three nights in a row, to dance, talk, and laugh.

If only Erica could have been the fly on the wall she could have heard how much we all value Yaron's friendship, the things he's taught us, his kindness, enthusiasm, and generosity. She missed hearing how happy we are that he has found the most wonderful person to walk through life with.

I cannot wait to continue celebrating with you and you and you.

I hope to have such whims more often. Being around all of you is grounding, filling me with joy and a sense of belonging. Many thanks.

Posted by talia at 1:27 PM | Comments (1)

September 4, 2005


Highlights from the weekend include:

Double Creme.jpg

Cafe de Paris - the menu only has one item, steak frites, but there is no reason to want anything else. The meat, served rare, melts in your mouth, as does the herbed butter sauce it's served with. Silver platter not needed, but they wouldn't think to serve it any other way.

Estelle - after having already eaten her weight asking: where's my fork? Where’s my fork? I want to eat more fondue.

View from Giacomini.jpg

The view from our tiny window at Refuge Giacomini, green pastures, and more green pastures.

Helping little Nicky touch the cow.

The sound of cow bells and sheep in the distance.

Blazing sun.

Two dips in lake Geneva.

Artichokes from one of those lovely French outdoor markets.

Alec admitting it's nicer to travel with me.

Posted by talia at 11:04 PM | Comments (1)

August 18, 2005


The grass I noticed today is far too tall. Too tall to mow properly. Greenpeace is on my back for taking down the rain forest. Won't they ever rest?

Posted by talia at 10:49 PM | Comments (1)

May 26, 2005

When is it ok to stop

egg sandwich.jpg

I know what I said just the other day about feeling surprisingly good about not having a roof over my head, but now things have changed. The prospect of the continued search I think did it. The idea of shoving laundry in my backpack one load at a time and cycling to the Laundromat did it.

At some point isn't it ok to just stop deliberating and pick a card from the deck? Or is that giving up? Renting a house is not a decision of a lifetime. Should it really take this long?

I look forward to the day I purge the Housing folder from my favorites file. I look forward to the day when my housing situation is no longer a topic of converstation, because it stopped being interesting so very long ago.

Posted by talia at 9:46 AM

May 4, 2005

A pause

Am focused on my vows, not to myself but to my beloved. It's so huge that I think it's ok to take a break from the journal.

My head is too full to write, there is so much going on and so much to write about, but my thoughts are muddled. Where does one begin and how does it distinguish itself from another?

Posted by talia at 9:24 PM

April 22, 2005

Julia on my mind

baby meercoot.jpg

I was wondering last night if we could cloister a group of higher ups to pick a new Julia Child as could be done with the pope. Then again, there is only one Julia.

Posted by talia at 9:41 AM

April 19, 2005

Step Aside George Clooney


I wasn't expecting much, except to fulfill our task of doing one thing from the Uitkrant (the monthly "going out" guide). I had heard of Rufus Wainwright before, and even knew and liked two songs of his. But as with most music, this was accidental, something shuffling through on the iPod.

We are lucky enough to get seats above the piano and when the lights dim you can hear him shuffle to the black leather bench and he starts digging hauntingly into a tune a la Dead Can Dance. Within a minute I am hooked.

RW's voice is glorious and easily fills the Paradiso. His silences are weighty, even though they are interrupted by the clanging of change from the cash register at the other end of the hall. His piano and guitar playing is not as skilled as his voice, but it's fun and is a nice contrast to his voice. It's hard to catch all the words, I'll perhaps look some up.

And he wears a lovely black velvet suit with tiny purple dots with jewels on the lapel. I hadn't been to a concert I enjoyed this much in perhaps even years.

Thanks Rufus. And thank you Alec for introducing me to still more good music.

Posted by talia at 2:58 PM

April 12, 2005

When I was Eight


I used to have a small collection obsession with these little mice dressed up in costumes matching their stature. (Initially I wanted to write about these little mice in little costumes but I thought writing about little mice was darn cutesy enough) I'm not really sure what it was about these little mice that attracted me, perhaps it was their stature, or their stature (less than three inches tall), or the softness of their fur and tails, but collect them I did.

I have about ten of them nestled in a wooden box with little compartments at the top of the stairs as my parents’ house. A chimney sweep and a maid. George Washington and Betsy Ross, a clown, a doctor and a nurse, maybe another one or two I cannot quite visualize. Quite a curious thing for a child to collect, really, since it's not like you can play with them. I mean, what kind of scenario can an eight year old create between a clown dressed in pink and a chimney sweep with a little broom made of straw?

I remember going with my mom to one of the few stores in our vicinity which sold these goofy mice which you cannot play with. It wasn't in our town, but the next town or two over in Massachusetts. It had a historic feeling, like it was forever the bicentennial, like many towns surrounding Boston did at the time (several years past the bicentennial). And then we moved, far far away where mice dressed up as little people from some other era were no longer available or important. Instead we played with apricot pits. And we called them gogoim. And while perhaps that sounds like a big step in the wrong direction, at least with those I played. There are so many games one can play with apricot pits.

Your grandparents were in charge of making sure you had more than the other kids in the neighborhood. The key being having grandparents without too many grandkids because otherwise you are really taxing their digestive tracks (not that I was particularly aware of that at the time but now, looking back, I now mine really really love me to the point of suffering).

I was sad when we moved back to the place where little mice in fancy clothes could at one time be purchased to learn that well, the line has been discontinued. People no longer collected such things. I would be surprised if Princess Diana ever became a mouse, this craze was just before her time. Like the Bicentennial, life moves beyond these things to make room for others.

I haven't played with an apricot pit or sought out a mice dressed up as a celebrity in more than two decades. I wonder, is there a Jane Goodall mouse?

Posted by talia at 11:36 PM | Comments (2)

April 9, 2005


It's been a very long time dearest readers I know. Technical difficulties overwhelmed my desire to write and ability to post writings. A recovery period was necessary, and still is.

The past month has been filled with small adventures, exhaustion, and hope. A funny combination really. I hope to post about it all soon. For now I'm just tickled I can log in.

Posted by talia at 9:27 AM

February 26, 2005


At night I felt like Timo, my former and most beloved cat, as I slept tucked away in my secret corner in the billiard room. I wake up early. I like to think it's because I prefer to be woken up by birds than by cars, but really it's because I cannot help it. I knew one of the twins is also an early riser, but which one? I don't know yet how to tell them apart. Strange to look so much alike after sixty years. I would think living in such completely different places would show more. The nearly full moon is high in the morning sky. It's a beautiful site, the top of the sky is crisp and deep blue, and the horizon streaming with pinks and oranges of the rising sun. There are photos of my godson all around me and they make miss him. Tomorrow, it becomes official. I must remember up, down, left, right and to lead with my thumb...

Posted by talia at 2:46 PM

February 16, 2005

How Sall I Hold You

My friend Sasha, of interesing and varied fame is working on a new project titled How Shall I Hold You. about love letter between people who do not share a native tongue. I haven't been in such a relationship before, but perhaps you have and would like to participate, you can do so here.

Posted by talia at 8:41 AM

February 15, 2005

Princess Sparkle

My friend Gizi has a new photojournal which is the ticket to the shiniest place on earth. Check it out. It's updated daily, what more can you ask for in a journal??

Thanks Gizi.

Posted by talia at 8:24 AM

July 31, 2004

Photo Friday - Sunset


Posted by talia at 9:34 AM

July 18, 2004

my dates are wrong

A few months ago someone I hadn't had any contact with in nearly ten years looked me up and found me and wrote how nice it was to know me, how fun it was to be around me and she wished me well. Oh Boy! I am often sad about having lost contact with dear ones over the years and all the moves. It is an amazing feeling when occasionally someone remembers me, and harder yet, takes the time to jot down a note to me.

A few weeks ago, Gizi tells me she’s getting married to Josh, and they will be honeymooning in Amsterdam and would like to see me when she's here. Oh Joy! All day yesterday I waited for her call, even half thought of going to meet her and Josh at the airport. I carried around a guide book and map all day and picked up some appelduindoorn sap for them. I carried around two kinder eggs. I hesitated venturing too far away from the center in hopes she might call. Hours past. Dinner passed. Thunderous skies crashed down and passed. Watching Shrek 2 for the second time in a row passed. After the movie the skies cleared and we a walked all the way to their hotel to drop off the goodies I had prepared (the kinder eggs didn’t survive my day) only to learn that they had not check in. They aren’t due tomorrow either. They won’t check in until Monday. I had the dates wrong.

After several years of palm piloting and other computerized calendars, I decided to return to the classic method. I found the right sized note book, with cubed paper, leather cover, and I need to do is fill in the dates by hand. I was a whole two dates off in counting. Perhaps I’m not as good with number as I thought.

Posted by talia at 9:38 AM