Friday, March 31, 2006

Fleeting Freedom

I was puttering around the house last night while David sat in the living room looking quite overwhelmed at the enormity of tax information needing to be organized. When suddenly, and completely unrelated to taxes, I had an epiphany!

“Everyone’s full of shit!” I declared. David looked up at me and smiled so lovingly. “And so am I!” I went on enthusiastically, feeling as if I’d finally figured out the key to life’s mysteries therefore putting an end, once and for all, to my own suffering.

“I told you sweetie,” David replied in a gentle tone, “But you always said I was wrong.” His face looked serine, his eyes glazed, like a cult member who had the “Answer” all along and was finally seeing it realized in the heart of his lover.

And as I walked into the next room, I was smiling to myself and I kept saying the words, “Everyone’s full of shit and so am I.” And I was free. I really was. For about ten minutes. Until I realized it wasn't true.

Seth, David and Me

Seth says you create your reality. David says the same thing. I say you can create your reality, but only up to a point. Because for me to paint a picture of the life I really want, I would need a brush that simply doesn't exist. David says that life is not about getting eveything you want and that I am being negative and petulant.


“Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.”

--Charles Dickens

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Walking Home Tonight

This is the view from the side of my apartment building. It's also the view from the apartment. Pretty.

I Just Love Him

Here are a couple of pictures I took of Oakley today. In this one, he was standing in such a way that made me laugh. He looks like a rocking horse, doesn't he? Click to enlarge.

Lisa Gamble

Lisa is one of my dearest friends. We met when I was 11 and stayed in touch on and off for years. At one time she and I were both living in L.A., planning to move to Santa Cruz. We worked and saved money, and spent our evenings at her apartment drinking wine and listening to the album, Blue by Joni Mitchell. We'd lie on the floor for hours and listen to the record over and over again, and with every line that Joni sang, we felt ourselves getting closer to Santa Cruz . Eventually Lisa reconnected with one of our old classmates, married him and stayed in L.A., but I carried out my plans, packed up my VW bug and headed north. Lisa and I remained in contact through the years, but not until 1996 did we find each other again and our friendship took on a new life.

She is warm and witty, has a sharp mind and a wicked sense of humor. She has a deep understanding of people and how imperfect and flawed they are. She never judges so she never has to forgive. My secrets are safe with her and she has saved my life a thousand times.

Blow Me Away

Morning time in bed.

I woke up after having bad dreams all night, and began to feel closed in on by what my mother calls, "Free-floating anxiety." I told David I'm concerned about money, about the film and about my mother getting older. Suddenly, Annie, who has heard me talking, walks into the room and says, "Mommy, you gotta let the wind carry you through life!"


"Sometimes you lean into the universe, and feel it give."

--Jane Roberts

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Photo by Annie

Another picture Annie took and wanted to share on the blog. Not a great shot, taken from very far away. Oakley looks like a mule.

The photo is of him gettting a Spring tune-up. Keep squinting, you may see something.

A Long Time

It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive.

There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them.

- George Elliot

New Yorker Cartoon

Imagine That

Annie is using my broken cell phone as a toy. She sits in the living room having a long conversation with an imaginary girlfriend. She comes to me in the kitchen.

Annie: Mommy, I’m on the phone with my friend and she is really stressed out and has a big dilemma. Do you want to know what her dilemmas are?

Katie: Yes. Tell me what they are.

Annie: Well, first she moved to Connecticut but there were leeches there. Then her parents got a divorce because her dad is a racist. Then her horses keep bucking her off because there are hunters in Connecticut and when the horses hear the shooting noises they get spooked. My friend broke her bones, her mother broke her neck, her brother broke 10 plates and 16 glasses, and her dog broke her phone. That’s why I had to call her on her cell. Isn’t that a dilemma?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

And Your Bird Can Sing

While walking down my tree-lined street today, I heard a bird singing its heart out. It was beautiful and sweet and powerful, and so welcomed after winter. I stopped at the tree in which it was perched, and stood and listened. I could swear, five minutes later, the bird hadn’t repeated a single tune, phrase or sound. It sat on a branch and looked to the sky, effortlessly and joyfully belting out all it had. Also watching the bird was another bird. A cute little chubby bird sitting on the next branch. And sometimes, in response to the singing, this little bird would let out a chirp or a tweet, but nothing that compared to the magic coming from the songbird. The cute little chubby bird reminded me of an appreciator; someone who had no ability himself, who perhaps felt slight regret at never having pursued his dream, but who nonetheless, made a happy life for himself in the audience.

Just then a man walked by at looked at me curiously.

“This bird just won’t quit,” I said. The man stopped, stood beside me and looked into the tree.

“There are two birds aren’t there?” he asked. 

“Yes," I said, ”but only one is singing.” 

And the man replied, “Ain't that always the case?” 

Baby Love

“'Tis love that makes the world go round, my baby.”

--Charles Dickens

baby annie


Monday, March 27, 2006

Text Message Flirt Fined

Italians love their mobile phones and often carry out love affairs over them -- but they must beware, flirting with text messages can carry a fine - or so reports Reuters.

"A judge in the northern Italian town of Padua on Monday found a man who sent an unsolicited compliment via text message guilty of harassment and fined him 300 euros ($391), Italian news agency Ansa reported.

"Since you appeared before my eyes I can't do anything but think of you," the man had written to a clerk while on lunch break, Ansa said. She took the offending text message to the police"


Little Legends

Annie Oakley

A conversation in the car:

Annie: “I feel sorry for you sometimes, Mommy.”

Katie: “Why?”

Annie: “Because it’s hard being a grownup. You have to deal with stupid drivers, stupid banks, you have to deal with your chiropractor, with your money and taxes, and you always have to be looking out for crazy drunk drivers.

Katie: “You’re very wise.”

Annie: Thank you, but I’m not a legend yet.”

Wood Words

"To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer. To suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy then is to suffer. But suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness. I hope you're getting this down." - Woody Allen

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Annie Art

Click to see details. Notice the devil horns put on the "A" in "Angel."

A Few of His Favorite Things

Carrots, celery, beets, dandelion greens, kale, cucumbers, corn, apples, bananas and grapes.

Holy Horseshoes!

Sunday morning I return to the bedroom after putting breakfast on to cook. Annie is there talking to David.

Annie: What religions were my grandparents?

David: Well, on my side Grandma was Catholic and Grandpa was Jewish, and on Mommy's side Grandma is Jewish and Grandpa Roger was raised Protestant.

Annie: What religion am I?

David: Well, I guess it depends on what you want to be.

Annie: I want to be a stable manager.

Friday, March 24, 2006

The Real Regina

Exactly when I met Gary Regina, I'm still not sure. I was at least 19, maybe 20. I was a young music lover and he was a talented musician playing in a local Santa Cruz band called Special Fun. Because I made a habit of making myself invisible, Gary had no clue that I faithfully attended every show, sitting in the corner, alone or with friends, or sometimes with a date who I’d be paying absolutely no attention to. I was always focused on the music. Sometimes Gary and I would run into each other on the street and strike up a conversation about jazz. And once, when my car was in the shop, I walked across town to play him a Horace Parlan album I'd just discovered. But in 1989 I left California and we parted paths. And today, 20 years later, we've reconnected. He recently produced some great stuff for me for ESPN and will soon be scoring my film, “Cold Tea.” Gary is a New York native who lives in Northern California with his wife Sussie and their outrageously beautiful son, Jesse.

With or Without

"I have great hopes that we shall love each other all our lives as much as if we had never married at all." --Lord Byron

Friday's Fromage

"My grilled cheese is like my mommy on one side--she's one of the breads. I’m the cheese, and my daddy is the other bread. We’re all squished together cuddling." --Annie Kosh

New Yorker Cartoon

Two Rooms of One Zone

I once heard Oprah Winfrey tell her viewers that she was "opposed" to people having their offices in their bedrooms, that the bedroom should only be used as a sanctuary.

That statement seemed so disconnected from what the reality is for most people but I wondered if some of her followers, after that comment, actually decided to refinance their homes in order get their offices out of their bedrooms and start living a life that Oprah would approve of.

What alarms me about Oprah is the power she has. She can turn an unknown book into a best seller simply because she likes it. By donning her sneakers on camera, she can raise Nike stock. She has her buddies on her show, including Maria Shriver and her benign and lovable husband Arnold. But when is it about home decor and when does it, ever so subtly, become about politics? When is it about what not to wear this spring, and when will her message affect what happens at the polls, let's say, in California? Regardless of the good she has done, there is something unsettling and unhealthy to me about Oprah's level of power and the weakness of her viewers.

So even if I win the lottery or make a million bucks on a horserace, I'll stay right here in the confines AND tranquility ... of my room.

The Bod

I've always loved this picture of Marilyn Monroe.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Pups in Cup

Katie's Secret

Midlife hit me like a torpedo. It knocked me off my feet, shook, rattled, rocked and rolled me, and brought to the surface an unknown fear I’d been running from my whole life. Then, like a stunned dog who’d just been unexpectedly and abruptly thrown into the water, I was left feeling blindsided and bowled over.

What just happened? And what was the great fear? The fear of death? That’s not very original. The fear of losing my youth? Just as unoriginal. The knowing that no matter how evolved or enlightened I become, it won't matter because I will never again be seen as a pretty girl? And it doesn’t seem to make any difference that I understand how absurd it is, because when I’m lunching with girlfriends, all of whom are smart and attractive and witty and wise, the conversation inevitably turns to the ass of the 19-year-old waitress who’s working our table.

“Wow, look at her ass,” I say.

“It’s not a great ass,” a friend replies.

“Yeah,” says another friend, “It’s kind of a flat ass.”

“Well,” I add, “if I had that ass, I’d be a perfectly happy and complete person.”

We laugh because of course we know better. But do we? Do we really know better? And after all the ass-talk, what do you think the chances are of our conversation returning to world events, literature and art? None. We're gone. We've crossed into the darkness that lurks in so many middle-aged women regardless of their upbringing, education or level of self-worth.

Before I hit 40, I prided myself on being a "Natural Woman;" a woman of substance, certainly a woman who was above the"False-Image-of-Beauty-Thing." But every month when I receive a Victoria’s Secret catalog in the mail, a sick feeling rises then rests right in the middle of my throat. It's as if when midlife struck, everything my history had prepared me for (Greatness being one of them), went out the window, disappeared, just like the cellulite (I bet) that clings to the waitress's ass under those tight black jeans. Like the blemish on the Victoria's Secret model's chin, or the flab I'm sure lives under the arms of Charlize Theron, midlife came calling and as quickly as the stroke of an airbrush, who I am and what I'm made of all disappeared.

Not Twizzlers

After 17 years of searching, I finally found Red Vines here on the east coast! You can stop sending the cases, Tai, I think I'm covered!

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

The Angel of Washington Heights

Angelita is from Ecuador and has lived in this area for over 20 years. She has the energy of a child and the heart of a saint. She walks dogs and it takes her hours to make it through her rounds. Not because of her age, but because everyone stops her to get a hug, a kiss, a daily dose of her abundant love. She takes her afternoon break at the corner bodega where she sits inside on a step and enjoys a bottle of Coke. Birdseed and breadcrumbs under trees, and cans of cat food laid out for the neighborhood strays means Angelita is nearby. Whenever I'm sad, I look for her. She's a grandmother to everyone. She tells me I'm beautiful even when I'm not, she tells me to thank God for my child and for living another day. She's a reminder that life is good and that the world is a loving place.

Wax On, Wax Off

Dinner time at the Bowen-Kosh home, Tuesday night.

Annie: "Daddy, you need a Brazilian Wax."

David: "That won't be happening anytime soon."

Annie: "But don't you NEED a Brazilian Wax, Daddy?"

David: "Not unless I want to look for a new line of work."

Annie: "Is there such thing as a Cuban Wax?"

New Yorker Cartoon

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Every weekday morning Annie insists on lying on top of me and cuddling on the sofa. It's after breakfast and before she's dressed, and the duration of time is always an issue. "One more minute Mommy, two more minutes, I swear. Please Mommy, just 30 more seconds." And although it's my job to get her to school at a reasonable hour, I admit, we're almost always late. Because when I'm holding her, it's not just the clock that moves forward, it's time. And I am painfully aware that it won't be like this for much longer.

Battle of the Blog

"I have to add more to MY blog."

David, holding his gut in his hand before eating Chinese take-out.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Gary's Guru

"The earth is like one thing. If it ended, there'd be nothing else. It's like the only thing that matters. Everything is inside the earth; it's like a storage room. I think everyone in the world has an invisible cord coming out of their belly button that connects everyone in the world. The cords are even more flexible than a shark."
--Annie Kosh

First Day of Spring

"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer."

Albert Camus

Kosh Quote

"Life is so immense, yet so precise. To think that God is a man with a beard who really wants you to vote Republican or thank Him at the Grammy Awards is a misunderstanding of divinity on a cosmic scale."

David Kosh

Balancing Act

When it comes to child rearing, I'm all about balance. Television okay, but commercials are to be muted. Soda no, Doritos on occasion. Gameboy sometimes, video games never. But when I send my child out into the world, especially into the world of her uncle Danny, I know the scales of balance will be tipped.

Here's a picture of Annie, and her cousin Jack this weekend at a Monster Truck Rally in rural Connecticut. And Annie, whose favorite novel is “Island of the Blue Dolphins,” who'd rather watch Cary Grant movies than Disney, and who prefers Hank Mobley over Hillary Duff, now also has a favorite monster truck called “Master of Destruction.”

I suppose that’s balance.

Friday, March 17, 2006

New Yorker Cartoon

Friday Morning Flattery

"Did you know that you're the prettiest mommy in the world? Some mommies have plastic surgery and some have oily, flat faces."

Annie Kosh

Thursday, March 16, 2006


She is gentle and fragile, fierce and strong. She loves deep, her heart open and forgiving. Her touch is light and her voice is soft. She sees herself in everyone. She embraces imperfection and sadness as she does beauty and joy. She is clear and wise. She lights up when I walk into her room, and weeps in private when my heart breaks. And I thank god every day that I was given to her … and she was given to me.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

All You Need

"Love makes you into the person you are called to be, but only if you endure its pains and allow it to empty you as much as it fills you."

Thomas Moore

New Yorker Cartoon

Walking to School Wednesday

Annie: "Mommy, could someone get so excited about something that they puke?"

Katie: "I guess so."

Annie: (stops walking) "Uh oh."

Katie: (stops) "What?"

Annie: (with a concerned look on her face) "I'm just really excited about staying at Uncle Danny's house this weekend."

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Annie & Athena

Last year David and I received a letter from the Agency for Educational Neglect. It informed us that Annie had been late or absent too many times during the school year, and unless we provided them with adequate written excuses for each time, someone would be "visiting" our home. Below is the letter David sent in response. It's just one of many examples of what a loving and committed father he is.

Regional Attendance Teacher:

In regard to your letter threatening to report my wife and me to the ominous and totalitarian sounding “Agency for Educational Neglect,” let’s first decide what constitutes “educational neglect.”

How about a system that relies almost exclusively on test scores as measures of success and forces teachers to use cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all curricula?

How about school officials at my daughter’s school approving the showing of Catwoman, a PG-13 movie with much violence and sexuality, to young, impressionable seven- and eight-year-old girls?

How about teachers who can’t handle their overcrowded classrooms and resort to screaming at their students, and playground attendants who do anything but attend to the children at recess?

Why have we not received explanations in writing of the more than 20 bumps to the head, scratches to the face and bruises to the body our daughter has received during recess over the course of school year 2004-05?

Does anyone at the Department of Education know the meaning of the term, “the pot calling the kettle black”?

Where can I report the Department of Education and the Amistad School for Educational Neglect?

My daughter is in second grade. Her reading level is at or above a fifth-grade level. She watches more televised crap at school than she watches at home. My daughter has a globe and an atlas of the world. She can point out Switzerland, she can point out Iraq, she can point out many other places, but she certainly did not learn any of this in a geography class at school. She learned this at home because we provided her with the tools to learn.

How dare you threaten us with Educational Neglect because our daughter was late to school or had a cold or the flu? Are you implying you will take away our child because SHE WAS LATE TO A SCHOOL THAT SHOWS INAPPROPRIATE AND IRRESPONSIBLE MOVIES, AND DEEMS IT UNIMPORTANT TO NOTIFY PARENTS WHEN THEIR CHILDREN SUFFER HEAD INJURIES AT RECESS?

You do not own my child. You don’t even really care about my child. You have proven to me that you can’t even properly teach my child. I can’t tell you how many different letters we have gotten from the school -- written by teachers and administrators -- that are filled with spelling and grammatical errors. It’s shocking.

Our daughter is a human being, not a robot. Nurture her, inspire her, protect her, and then we can talk about the Agency for Educational Neglect.

I will be forwarding a copy of this letter, and the letter you sent us, to our lawyer. We will be vigilant about checking for reprisals against my daughter and damaging comments inserted into her official record because of what I’ve written here.

And remember, with all its problems, this is still America. Not Soviet Russia. Not Nazi Germany. Not fascist Italy.

Oh, and here’s a reason why she was late one day: She was too engrossed in reading about Greek mythology -- you know, about Athena, the goddess of Wisdom? Fancy that -- Athena as a role model instead of Catwoman.

David Kosh
Father of Annie Kosh

New Yorker Cartoon