Fat Summer

Still water. A nearly full moon. A hamster with pinkeye. Fresh basil.

Recent news suggests that obesity is passed from friend to friend. I say most things are passed from friend to friend, so why not that? Why the hell not a drive toward eating, or a love of smokes, or zest for scaling mountains?

Exactly how ARE we wired? Most people believe that our habits are learned, reinforced, then reinforced again. If we have a bad habit our options are to get to revising it; relearn, practice, practice. Become.

An elegant idea that just doesn't seem to work.

So what to do with news that heavy people are heavy because their friends are heavy also? "Fatties seek fatties, it's cultural," some might say. Others prefer something softer, such as: "What a shame, how hopeless." And then the do-good extroverts will chime in, "We have to do something about this!"

But one small lonely voice might be heard whispering: "I knew they would finally understand. This is bigger than me!" And some relief may - for a moment - ripple through that soul's giant body.

Obesity is a global economic force. In fact, while most of us look at obesity as a tragic, life burden, I wonder if our b/w lens of judgement isn't missing the point entirely.

Could obesity actually be about acquiring social power? Much like currents deep down in our oceans, human affiliations move dynamically and always toward connectedness. The current of obesity is one rip, and I'd like to shift my lens to bring into focus what being obese accomplishes for the millions labeled as such.

Like the ocean depths, there must be something to it that we just can't yet see...


Postcard: West Coast T

Okay, we are too far out of touch. YOU ARE BACK AT WORK???? WHAT JOB?????
Congrats. I can't wait to hear all about it.

Feeling lousy, lonely, unable to do a single thing "right." Can I be
post-partum 7 1/2 yrs into this endeavor?

Otherwise things are great -- how's that for a postcard?

Love, T


Red Whine

Just "cycling" on through...can ya dig it?

Postcard: Eliza from Boston

What do aging, physically talented women do for kicks? I consider myself one of the above, but had somehow reached 40 not knowing how to dive. My project this summer, in addition to learning how to use a sewing machine, was to learn to dive. It was thrilling for me to learn, but also great for Aidan to watch me learn something that comes so naturally for him and his friends. I say that for kicks we take on new challenges, big or small. There are lessons in the process for everyone.

p.s. tried to post as a comment but couldn't.


Postcard: Aunt Nancy from Florida

Hi Coco Kraft!

Just read your blog and laughed myself silly! Just loved your newest fashion statement for "back to work wear". That's what you get for deciding to spend six important years with your two beautiful children-you become the mother of invention, have lots of ingenuity, guts, flexibility and have learned how to just go with the flow and let it roll! Corporate life could never teach you all of that in six short years!
You are the best and I am so proud of your accomplishments. Your writing is unbelievable; funny, insightful, raw, and well written. Please make sure that you send your blog to Jill Patton because I know she would get a big kick out of your stories. She writes so much like you and could be a great asset to your column.

We missed you and your family at the Deep last week, but perhaps you'll be able to join us next year. I would love to post on your blog, that is, if my retired brain ever comes up with an original or insightful thought. Thanks for your concern re: my knee. I will give you an update when I get some news. Its really hard to grasp the concept that my body is just not as good as it used to be, when my mind keeps telling me that I get better every year! Is that delusional thinking or just wishful dreaming?

Well Sweetie, please give the children and Brooks a hug for me. Enjoy this new phase in your life and try to stop and smell the roses once in awhile. That's what really makes life worth living; its the small things, especially in nature, that replenish our souls.

Love you,


On a wetlands shoot at dawn

location: Southampton, NY

Cowgirls and Cow Birds

Daniel, my son age 6, recently spotted the arrival of rather dull, brownish/gray, ground-feeding birds with no song of note in the mix of our Hummingbirds, Goldfinches, Cardinals and house finches.

This bird was about 7" tall when mature, but over these last few weeks we had encountered many immature birds of the same markings scattered in the broods of our baby finches and chickadees, as they trained with their parents. It was strange to see such a big baby in the mix.

The dull birds were more aggressive than the finer, more colorful birds we typically attract, and they were much dirtier (i.e. bird poop everywhere all of the sudden). These birds had no obvious trait of adoration that we could relate to, other than they are part of the grand scheme of nature and deserve our respect.

"What's going on?" we had been wondering for weeks.

Finally, we pulled out the books and charts, located a picture of the bird we thought we were seeing and were amazed to learn that this so-called "Cow Bird" is the only parasitic bird in the state of Maryland. The description went on to inform us that Cow Birds never build nests. Instead, they lay eggs in the nests of others with the expectation that these birds will raise their young. 

Usually, that is exactly what happens, sometimes even at the expense of the hard-working nested bird's own young!

At our local bird store we confirmed what we had learned. Two options were offered to us as ways to stop attracting Cow Birds: 1) stop feeding all of the birds, and 2) feed millet to the Cow Birds to keep them in a specific area of the yard.

I am not sure what we'll decide to do.


Ten observations from the on-ramp back to work:

Five changes in office culture since I left work in 2001:

1. Men use hair products.
2. Coffee comes in pods.
3. IM has replaced face-time.
4. I am older.
5. Microsoft Outlook is better.

Five things that have not changed:

1. Well-conceived business plans are hard to find.
2. Too many cc:s on e-mail.
3. Content remains "King."
4. Vacation is infrequent.
5. Good childcare is ridiculously hard to find.


Top 10 reasons why Tiger Lily Mazlish is our girl

No. 1 - Tiger Lily Mazlish is older than we are.
No. 2 - Tiger Lily Mazlish has tried it all.
No. 3 - Tiger Lily Mazlish has time to teach us.
No. 4 - Tiger Lily Mazlish has overcome more than she has accomplished.
No. 5 - Tiger Lily Mazlish wears very cool costume jewelery.
No. 6 - Tiger Lily Mazlish used to vacation in: The Hamptons, St. Tropez, and Antigua.
No. 7 - Tiger Lily Mazlish can cook.
No. 8 - Tiger Lily Mazlish earned a degree late in life.
No. 9 - Tiger Lily Mazlish understands.
No. 10 - Tiger Lily Mazlish needs an audience.

Please send your questions and let the lady speak.