Hey! It's Cliched Photo Day. I took this one last month when Jack's stepmom was visiting. The morning before she left we took her to Our Daily Bread on Santa Barbara Street, thinking that it would be a nice place for some simple carbohydrates and a cup of coffee. Well, it turns out that if you tell a woman who has traveled extensively through France that you're taking her to a place with good croissants, you'd better be fucking sure those croissants are MOTHERFUCKING EXCELLENT. As you can see, stepmom has abandoned hers after one bite and returned to the counter for something edible; unfortunately for her she chose a cinnamon scone, which also turned out to suck. On top of that, Mr. First Day On The Job gave her a cappuccino in a simple, attractive, and potentially fingerprint-melting glass. That was an interesting choice for a cafe with no customers and a bus cart full of unwashed ceramic mugs; what was not so quaint was watching stepmom pick the flecks of coffee grounds out of the foam with her fingers. The only thing that saved a place that I normally love from being totally reamed by a woman with perfect diction -- the only person for whom we vacuum, I might add -- is that the coffee was on FIRE. As in, terrifyingly good.

Excuse me, but my FEMALE DOG just started HUMPING MY LEG. And I thought I couldn't love her any more than I did.

My life is full of wonder and hope.

Yesterday we went up to the Cold Springs Tavern to watch Jack do a gig with Alastair, Mitch, and Tom. Cold Springs is an extremely child-friendly bar. I thought it was illegal to be under 21 in a tavern, but apparently if you’re not even trying to look of age – if, for example, you’re THREE YEARS OLD – you’re welcomed with open arms and unlimited ginger ale. We got our drinks but we took them outside by the fire barrel because you never know, places get raided and I did not want to end the day falling off a barstool while trying to persuade child protective services not to put Jackson in a foster home.

Jackson was having a ball watching drunk people dance and looking at all the bikers ride up on their deafening motorcycles. Once, after Jack soloed and everyone was clapping, Jackson yelled out, "THANKS, DAD!" During the break Jack took Jackson to throw rocks into the creek. When it was time to leave I drove down the old stagecoach road and passed under what I always think of as the suicide bridge, sure that I would quickly find a new way back to Highway 154. It was a lovely evening, and I was wrong.

Me, driving: You know what? I think I’m lost.

Jackson, in back seat: Well, I’m not lost on my side.

Me: Seriously, I don't know where the fuck we are.

Jackson: Don't say that.

Me: Sorry.

Jackson: If you say words like that to me, I'll learn them.

Me: Sorry, sorry.


Jackson: It sure is pretty out here.

Me: Yes, I can't think of another place I'd rather be lost in.

Jackson: Don't worry, mom, we'll find the highway. It'll be okay.

And you know what? He was right.