And if you go camping in drag it's called Vamping

Here is the joke I made up last night: Q: What's it called when you get your period while you're camping?

A: Cramping!

One thing that Jack loves above all things is camping, and one thing I fear above all others is camping, and so up until last week we have spent every moment of our lives as a couple not-camping. Jack would take Jackson up to camp in Big Sur every summer and try to patch the sad camping-hole in his soul while I'd stay at home and guard our stuff, reveling in clean linens and locked doors and the sterile, bug-free existence that modern civilization provides.

I have been camping three times in my life, all of them terrible, sleepless affairs on lumpy ground, soaked with rain, or intruded upon by bears. I am at two with nature, as the saying goes, and despite Jack's assurances that he would provide me with a four-star campsite -- a veritable Mandalay Bay of roughing it -- one thing I knew he wouldn't be able to control was me getting carsick on the way to the Nature. Nature has some twisty roads into it, for some reason. Teddy Roosevelt and his horse both had something to prove, no doubt. But this summer I decided that maybe if I loved my husband I ought to give him this one thing, this camping thing, so here is everything I did/you can do to successfully avoid nausea on the road to Pfeiffer State Park in Big Sur. I offer this list for posterity and nothing more, for I am not some asshole blogger being paid to pretend she knows more than you about anything. If I were I would have titled this post, "Ten Ways To Avoid Carsickness This Summer!" and been paid $500 for it. I could still use the $500, so if you find this post useful, please PayPal a lot of money to me.

1. You have to want to not get sick. Some people have inner ear problems, or they're undergoing chemo, or God knows what's wrong, and I'm deeply sorry if that's you, for that sucks. However, other people (and this used to be me) unconsciously get sick for the attention, or to get out of doing things out in the world, or they just assume that's the way they are. "I get carsick." Well, maybe you do, but maybe you don't have to. Do you want to try?

2. Do not hit the road hungover. The last time we drove to Big Sur I had a wee bit of wine the night before, which led to insomnia and dehydration, all of which ensured that I wanted to barf all the way up Highway 1 the next day.

3. Hydration. So simple. You have a bottle of water? Drink it. Drink two. If someone complains that they don't want to stop for you to pee, say to them, "Would you rather stop to have me barf?" If they still complain, roll down your window and barf all over the side of their car. That will show them how serious you are.

4. Have a nice, fatty meal. I had eggs with buttered toast before we hit the road. It doesn't have to be a huge meal, if that sort of thing makes you nervous, if you think, "What if this doesn't work? It will just be more for me to barf." If you're afraid of eating too much on a nervous stomach, I don't know what to tell you apart from what I told myself: "You have to get something down, protein and fat. Figure it out."

 5. Anti-emetics are our friends. In Morro Bay I bought some off-brand, non-drowsy, pseudo Dramamine from an angry, sarcastic young woman at the grocery store. I'm not a big fan of too many OTC drugs, but it was $2.99, and I'm sorry she hates her life or whatever, but I took half a dose and immediately felt like Wonder Woman.

6. There are natural quease-easers, too. As a back-up I also had a bottle of herbs from the acupuncturist, they're called Curing Pills, you can get them in Asian markets, and I have never had a digestive issue that hasn't vanished within ten minutes of taking them. AND I had a box of hard-core ginger candy with me, and every half hour I'd eat one because ginger is a digestive stimulant (as opposed to peppermint, which is a digestive coolant, but which works well against nausea, too, as long as it's real peppermint, not just peppermint flavoring). I am also thinking of getting a couple of magical anti-nausea acupressure wrist bands for next time -- clang! clang! Wonder Woman!

7. Do you want to drive? Some people feel better when they're driving, but I let Jack do it because it was his truck, and his patience and nerves of steel were what was needed for Highway 1, whereas if I were behind the wheel no doubt I'd be too absorbed in prayer not to drive us off a cliff.

8. Pat yourself on the back when you get there, you did not want to barf even once!

9. Except then your period came on like gangbusters. I'm sorry, I have no advice, that part of your body is totally out of my control. Would you like to hear about the convenience of Diva Cups? No?

10. Ha ha, unreliable narrator. Guess what? Half of this post is a lie because once we got to Big Sur, Jack had booked us into a cabin just in case I changed my mind about this whole outdoors thing and crawled into the bed of his truck to die. So at the end of a long day of hanging around the campsite with friends eating weenies, going for bicycle rides, waving at deer and turkeys, taunting squirrels with Doritos, drinking beer, and soaking up the glorious Parkitecture, we would drive up the hill and sleep in not-tents. But now that I seem more amenable to the not-indoors, we're going to try camping a little closer to home before the summer's over, and Jack has already started his grocery list. And I still managed to write what sounds like a sponsored post for a group of products that paid me no money to endorse them, in a way that still makes me sound like some asshole blogger who probably knows less than you do about not throwing up. You're an expert at not-barfing, aren't you?

Goddamnit, sometimes you just have to barf. It's okay, you'll feel better.

Highway 1

An un-Photoshopped photo of California Highway 1 on July 22, 2014.

And if you go camping in the rain it's called Damping.

And if you go camping with Lionel Hampton accompanying you on vibes it's called Hamping.

And if you go camping in your pajamas it's called Jamping.

And if you read a book in your tent all night it's called Lamping.

And if you go with a baby it's called Pamping.


Also, there are so many elephant seals just laying around on the beach on the north side of Hearst Castle, above the zebra herd (California is a crazy place, if you haven't heard). After watching them do nothing for awhile I said to Jack, "If you're a stressed-out executive in this life, in your next life you get to be one of those."

Elephant Seals Outside of Cambria, California from Eden M. Kennedy on Vimeo.

That dude was the ambitious one.


Here's another video, and it's just 2:22 long so it's not as much of a commitment as the previous one. It's just me talking about some of my early movie man crushes. Some of them are a little embarrassing. In fact, I believe I unconsciously suppressed Jeff Goldblum because Jack gives me so much shit about how much I loved him in The Fly, but instead of going back to re-record my little speech to include him I just edited him in after the fact. So this is me speaking into an iPad, and then wondering why iMovie distorted my face so wonderfully that I almost threw everything out and started over, but then I remembered: I'm not a perfectionist. So enjoy my squashed-flat face, and let me know if you share any of my movie loves. I'm not threatened. There's enough of Burt Reynolds to go around.

Crushes from Eden M. Kennedy on Vimeo.

I demand that you care what I had for lunch!

Last week Jack and Jackson went on their annual camping trip to Big Sur, so I took the opportunity to lie in bed and stare at the ceiling and figure out what to do next with my life. Meditating like this doesn't normally produce results for me beyond maybe an angry nap, but for once I tried to be honest with myself. I was inspired by a meditation teacher I recently read an interview with. The full interview is here, but the money quote is here:

Safransky: What's the single most important piece of advice you would give to someone who wants to awaken?

Adyashanti: Get in touch with what you really want. What does awakening mean for you? Do you want it because it sounds good? Then you've borrowed someone else's idea of it. What is it that's intrinsic to you? What's been important to you your whole life? If you touch upon that, you are in touch with a force that no teacher or teaching could ever give you. You are quite on your own in finding it. No one can tell you what that is. Once you feel it, once you're clear on it, everything else will unfold from there. If you need a teacher, you'll find one. If you need a teaching, you'll bump into it, probably in the most unexpected way.

For me, I realized that I needed to start small and work from a really simple place and then see what happens. I wanted to step outside the boundaries of writing/blogging for awhile, so the next day during my lunch hour I charged up my point-and-shoot and made a little video. It's sloppy and it's 4:00 long, which is about twice the average amount of time most people spend on this site, so I'm begging your indulgence.

Lunch with the Letter B from Eden M. Kennedy on Vimeo.

(Here's the link to the video clip I use when I'm talking about the polygraph test for plants.)

(Also, in the video I say "paganist" but what I really mean is "animist." And the fact that I talk all that time without tying everything up in a meaningful conclusion is the result of my freewheeling, unscripted narrative me needing to shut up and eat and then get back to work.)

Peace out

Videos of people waiting and trying to be still because they think I'm just trying to take their picture delight me for some reason.

If that didn't do it for you, maybe my latest thing over at The Stir will suit your mood. My best actor and actress Oscar predictions are informed by nothing but whimsy and hubris, as will surprise no one. Have a wonderful weekend wherever you end up standing, sitting, or lying down, on camera or off.

Growth is painful

Yeah, I cut my hair again. (Did you really think I wouldn't?) I may have to finally admit that long hair is for those who have long-hair lifestyles and long-hair self images. People who are able to ignore the pain and frustration of hair blowing into their face/eyes; who are not irritated as fuck when their hair gets tangled in their bag strap or zipped into a dress. These are the blessed, for whom being romantic and windswept looks natural, instead of laughable.

Unfortunately, my son is in the thick of his need for me to look "like other moms," for which this hair cut does not qualify. The only other short-hair mom at his school moved back to the Netherlands (so now I'm the tallest mom, too! The obviousness of my sticking-outedness is mythological in scope. Grrr, Mrs. Kennedy SMASH!). Last night, after I came home from work and he saw what I'd done to myself, he stopped just short of begging me to wear a hat. But this is a child who also thinks I should drive a Mustang, wear knee-high boots, and take him to Disneyland for a week. I don't really understand how any of that will help me blend in.

(Video made using Everyday.)


Every year the monarch butterflies migrate to this one stand of eucalyptus trees north of Santa Barbara, and then they fuck their brains out.

And then they flap around in ecstasy because OMG BUTTERFLY PROMISCUITY. It's like when all those people were cast as Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz and they got to mingle with people their size, some for the first time ever. The whole thing turns one big (and it the butterflies' case, not-terribly-explicit) orgy.

Naturally, we had to take Jackson.

We're progressive parents, after all, and why just talk about the birds and the bees when you can actually watch butterflies fuck until they die? I think that's how it works.

We asked Jackson all the important questions (Do butterflies lay eggs? Do they bury each other at sea?) since he had a unit on butterflies three grades ago, but he was all, Really? Do I look like Google to you?

Here, look at this

UPDATE: I put the wrong video up. The right one is now below the wrong one. Watch both of them if you want! Remember back in October when I told you how I went to New York to buy a cheesecake, and accidentally made a video with Alice and Bethenny Frankel? Well, it may have been the other way around. The point is, that video is now live and I am both contractually and morally obligated to show it to you.

The story I told is actually true. The only reason I thought of dipping the baby in the toilet was the fact that Jack likes to tell us how his dad used to rinse his hair in the toilet. Jack's dad was an incredibly dapper man who grew up on a farm in Indiana and went on to work for Esquire, be a TV cowboy, and write a Gene Hackman movie, so you'll have to piece it all together from there.

The other thing I was thinking during the video was, "Do I even have any Clorox products in my house right now?" And I remembered that I did because I specifically bought a big bottle of bleach the last time my survivalist instincts bubbled up and I thought I ought to have a way to make clean drinking water in case of [insert post-apocalyptic scenario here].

Day Twenty-seven

In tortoise news today, we've been seeing a lot of Peanut as she migrates around the house looking for the right nook to hibernate in for the winter. She's refusing all food, no matter how tasty (romaine, bananas) or exotic (Japanese pear, raw hamburger). That worried me for a few days, because I think tortoises should be more like bears and gorge themselves before curling up in someone's Ugg boot for three or four months. This year, though, she's having trouble finding just the right spot for her nap. Like Goldilocks, or the Buddha, it seems she's trying to find the middle way. In front of the warm refrigerator vent is too public; the patch of sun on Jackson's carpet too transient; and even though that spot underneath Peewee's dog bed fulfills her requirements for dark, warm, and private, inevitably one finds a dog's ass pressing down upon one's shell, sometimes accompanied by an unnecessary amount of scooting and barking.

Day Twenty-two

We went down to the Toys R Us in Oxnard after school today, and I shot a little video of the trip down the 101. It takes about 66 seconds to watch. At the end you'll see that a lot of people park their RVs along the beach in wintertime.