Diary of a Diva

Secret Agent

She’s got the goods

I’m into delayed gratification. For example, if someone gives me a cookie, I’ll rarely eat it right away; instead, I’ll save it for a time when I’ll get maximum enjoyment from eating it (such as ...

Ornament Brigade

My nephew Brian greeted us just inside the door to my mother’s house. On his head was a fuzzy Santa hat, and in his hands he held a black plastic camera. “Say, ‘Cheese,’” he said ...

Le Pew

David’s parents seemed surprised when, upon entering their house, David remarked, “So, Riley got skunked again, huh?” “How did you know zat?” Ency asked. “What do you mean, how did — I can smell it,” ...

In Your Facebook

David and I braced ourselves for the nippy, nighttime New England air as we stepped off the ferry and onto the ramp, headed toward the luggage cart. It was 10:30 p.m. on Martha’s Vineyard, more ...

Barb, MD

A squawky, unintelligible, robot voice emanated from my phone — my latest ring tone. When I answered, my sister Heather said, “Well, I guess you need to let me know what night is good for ...

Guilt Bot

I don’t usually listen to voicemail left by robots, but this one was from my health-insurance company, so I stayed on the line long enough to jot down the 800 number I was instructed to ...

Back to School

You’d think I’d remember the layout better,” I said to the top of David’s smoothly shaven head, which was hovering over a small map of San Diego State University’s campus. “Then again, I was only ...

Crazy Tree

Will you map the distance from Mia and Kerry’s place to the theater?” I called to David from the bathroom, where I was busy patting my head with wet hands to de-frizz my hair. “Why?,” ...

Sweet People

Barbarella seeks tact and barbecue in Dallas.

If I were asked to describe myself using ten adjectives, “tact” would not be among them. So it was that, upon being introduced to a young man at the opening reception for David’s latest photographic ...

Shark Tank

Every so often I find myself confronted by a seemingly innocuous phrase that rubs me the wrong way. This week, the offending line is “Don’t let it get to you,” a sentiment that simultaneously comforts ...

Better Than Diamonds

I pulled my bare feet onto the bed and smiled awkwardly at the stranger in the room. David and I watched as the man excavated a shard of glass from behind a sofa cushion. He ...

Observation Hour

I thought it would take more than the promise of seeing a few dogs to incentivize making a trip to El Cajon in the middle of a heat wave. The temperature climbs one degree for ...

Mandelbrot Set

I grimaced at the tiny slip of paper in my hand. “I think this one’s written in German,” I groaned. “How am I supposed to give clues or act it out if I don’t even ...

What Didn't You Do?

When my eyes flutter open each morning I am never aware of what the theme for the day will be. I’m not talking about one story, like the same headline posted by 20 different Facebook ...

Side of Judgment

"Isn’t it nice here?” “It’s beautiful,” I said to my friend Jen. I made a sweeping glance of the restaurant’s patio, taking in the coral bougainvillea blossoms, the green leaves cascading from the trellis, and ...

Flakes Turn to Dust

When I pulled up at Mike’s studio and his car was nowhere in sight, my gut clenched with comprehension. I knew even as I was texting “Where are you?” that Mike was a no-show. My ...