and it's also true that I lost the map

First of all, if you're actually visiting and not reading this through a feed reader, you'll have noticed two new badges up in the sidebar. One is for The Popcorn Whisperer, the weekly movies-and-TV column I'm doing for Babble, where so far I have covered such pertinent subjects as The Smurfs Movie, Midnight in Paris, The Silence of the Lambs, Jaws, and a round-up of TV dads illustrated with hand-drawn Venn diagrams. The other badge in my sidebar leads you to Faking It With Mrs. Kennedy, the weekly current events column I'm doing for The Stir. So far I've written two things there: "Which world leader is the angriest THIS week?" and a thing about Andy Rooney retiring, and it seems I'm trying to become the next Gail Collins. The learning curve is steep, but I may finally have learned to balance serious news and irony by around 2013. If they don't fire me before then, I'll keep you posted on my progress. You may also notice that my hair is two different lengths in my two sidebar masthead badges. This is because one photo is newer than the other, and reflects the fact that my hair, like the times, it is a-changin'. Yes, I am once again taking daily photos of my hair's progress but I'm doing it secretly, using an app called Everyday, which means that eventually I'll be able to post one of those movies of my head where the background keeps changing and I'm slowly growing a beard. Although as hard as I have tried, beard growth still eludes me, I've had some success with head growth. I'm finding it's easier to do without the daily scrutiny of the Internet, however.

Crazily and on short notice, I flew to New York last week to shoot a video with Alice, M.J. Tam (who I kept calling DJ Tam, like she was toting a crate full of vinyl to the club), and one other secret special person sitting in a hot room with three cameras on us while we had a series of occasionally disturbing and amusing conversations sponsored by Clorox. Clorox scared up a nice lunch for us, too, and put me up in a decent hotel that happened to be a block-and-a-half away from the Carnegie Deli. (Did you know that the Carnegie Deli is open from 6:30 a.m. until 4:00 a.m. every day? I don't know what they do with their 90 minutes of down time. Maybe they have a Bleach Break™.)

So I flew into New York on Sunday, we did the shoot on Monday, and on Tuesday morning I was flying back to California but I didn't hear my alarm go off because I'd been up too late the night before*, but I magically awoke at 7:11 a.m. Since my ride to the airport was leaving at 7:45, I threw on some clothes and ran to Seventh Avenue.

*Jackson, who was home with a babysitter because Jack has an ongoing gig Monday nights in L.A., was having trouble going to sleep, so he sent me a series of sad text messages without really thinking through the whole three-time-zones-away thing. And really, when you're ten years old and you miss your mom, you don't care that she has to get up in less than six hours to catch a plane to come back to you.

I had promised Jack I'd buy him a t-shirt from the Carnegie Deli, but while I was there I got another idea.

Jack is the only person I know who would actually entertain the idea of a pickle-scented candle. But instead, while they were digging for a shirt in Jack's size, I asked the hostess if she thought I could get through airport security with a cheesecake.

"Oh, sure, people do it all the time," she said. "They're frozen." She had a Jamaican accent. She pointed to the deli counter behind me. "Ask him, he'll get one for you."

They had three sizes of cheesecake. The large was the size of my entire carry-on bag; the medium was the size of my laptop bag; but the small was just right.

I'm not sure I've ever seen my husband as happy as he was when I pulled a cheesecake out of my purse.

For Jackson I brought back something fuzzy and green from the J. Crew sale rack:

Hello, nerd boyfriend.