I Saw the Sign: On Feet and Fate

Yesterday we lost power, and I thought it might be a sign that the Lord wanted me to get a pedicure. I know this is the kind of thing that only a crazier-than-crazy person thinks, much less says out loud. I know that the Lord probably does not spend much time thinking about my toes, […]

Remembrances of Teachers Past: A Thanksgiving Thank-You Note

Proust had his madeleines, the taste of which brought back multiple volumes of memories of his youth. Mamina, my grandmother-in-law, has Mother Soniat’s fudge. And she didn’t even need to taste it; just holding the recipe in her hand called up the sweet taste of her high school years, when she and her sister left […]

From Pumpkin Spice Latte to Pitaya Juice: An Autumnal Journey

As a folklorist, I often feel that marketing messes with holidays. I don’t want to think about Halloween the day after the fourth of July, but the drugstore and the “seasonal” aisle of the supermarket and the forests worth of catalogs that arrive at my door want me to, because there’s really no big ticket […]

Crouching Dragon, Hidden Tiger

F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said “There are no second acts in American lives.” But I suspect that’s because he didn’t know much about Chinese New Year. Personally, I never miss a chance to celebrate it because for me, the lunar new year, which  falls on a different date in late January or early February, is […]

Luck Be A Lentil, Tonight

My husband and I were already asleep by midnight this New Year’s Eve. I like to think that’s not because we’re insanely boring but because our baby has been teething, so when she sleeps, we sleep. We did go to dinner, though, beforehand, at an Italian restaurant where the outdoor seating means teething babies are […]

Comfort? Food.

Last week was the first since the inception of this blog in which I didn’t post. I could make some excuses about being preoccupied by traveling with the baby, spending time with family, meeting some article deadlines. But the truth is I was too busy eating. It started when we arrived at my parents’ house […]

Say Hello to My Little Fruit

I once heard novelist Zadie Smith describe the several psychological stages an author goes through while writing a novel. Based on my own experience, she was right on about all of them–the self-consciousness bordering on self-hatred when things aren’t going well, and that experience when things are where everything you see, read, or hear, seems […]

Say Yes to the Breast!

I never thought I’d be so obsessed with anyone’s pooping schedule, including my own. But now that I have a new full-time job–dairy maid–basically all I do is breastfeed and write down how often Amalía poops or pees. In between I do manage to fit in the occasional writing of an article and attending of […]

The Lost Summer

I never want to be one of those mothers who rails on and on about what she gave up for her kids (her career, say, or her 22-inch waistline). First, of all, because I think it’s not very nice to put that kind of responsibility on your children, who, let’s face it, didn’t ask to […]

The Grincha Who Stole Cinco de Mayo

There are so many things I love about our Miami Beach apartment–the mermaid mosaic on the stairwell wall, the starfish tiles in the palm-tree-filled courtyard, the flamingoes on the wrought iron gate, and the perfect location, a block away from pedestrian Lincoln Road, and three blocks from the beach. When my not-yet-fiancé and I visited […]