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Let's Panic: The Book!

Order your copy today!

How to Endure and Possibly Triumph Over the Adorable Tyrant
who Will Ruin Your Body, Destroy Your Life, Liquefy Your Brain,
and Finally Turn You
into a Worthwhile
Human Being.

Written by Alice Bradley and Eden Kennedy

Some Books
I'm In...

Sleep Is
For The Weak

Chicago Review Press

Home - Middle Row

Let's Panic

The site that inspired the book!

At LET'S PANIC ABOUT BABIES, Eden Kennedy and I share our hard-won wisdom and tell you exactly what to think and feel and do, whether you're about to have a baby or already did and don't know what to do with it.

Lets-Panic.com → 

Saturday
Apr042015

Announcement 

I hereby announce that from now on I’m going to be answering my phone by barking, “Go for Bradley.” I feel it necessary to announce this because I’ve tried just implementing my new phone-answering style and it didn’t go well. Specifically, no matter who was on the other end, they all said, “What?” or “Whuh?” or “Gopher Badly?” or "Goldfarb Brad Lean?" And I'm like "Why on earth would anyone say 'Goldfarb Brad Lean?" and THEN I have to explain that I said “Go for Bradley” and this is my new answering-the-phone style and then they’re like, “I don't understand, why are you doing this to me?” And I’m like, BECAUSE, Mom. Because.  

I have to say “Go for Bradley” now because I’m a professional and I’m very very busy. “Go for Bradley” is my way of saying, “Cut the chit chat, slackers. I don’t want your jibber-jabber, slowpokes. I don't need your niceties. I'm a goddamn professional, so let’s get down to it.” Only no one understands what I said or else they don't appreciate it and I spend a lot of time explaining myself. So it’s not actually that efficient. But I can’t change it now because if I say “hello” people will be like I THOUGHT IT WAS “GO FOR BRADLEY,” JERK. So: look. I'm saying "Go for Bradley" now. Deal with it. You've been warned. Or, you know, announced at. 

All right, fine. I’ve never said “Go for Bradley,” not once. BUT—and this is true—I think about it all the time, I think about saying it, and as a result every time I answer the phone I experience a mild frisson of delight at the very thought. I get a little giddy and I bet everyone thinks I'm incredibly excited to talk to them, when in reality I'm just thinking, this is it! But then I chicken out. Once I started and I said "go for—" and then I pretended to have a coughing fit. I've spent a lot of time thinking about this, guys. 

(Also, any time anyone says "Supposedly," I want to lift a finger to interrupt them and say with a patronizing smirk, "I think you mean supposably." This also cracks me up every time. It's fun to be me!) 

Anyway I'm just here to say hi, I never meant to be gone for so long, but, you know, job, life, excuses, shut up, and I haven’t given up on this blog, although I know it seemed that way. I'm very sorry to confuse the, you know, two of you still looking in on me and wondering where I am. I missed you! I missed us. So: hello! I mean: go for Bradley. 

Monday
Nov102014

She's a lady

 

We were going to wait to get another dog, but then we realized that waiting is stupid and dogs are the best. Meet Hazel.

 

A photo posted by Alice Bradley (@finslippy) on Oct 10, 2014 at 12:21pm PDT


Hazel is between 3 and 5 years of age, so we'll just go ahead and call her 4. She was dumped by some sad fool who failed to recognize that she is a wondrous being with popcorn-scented paws. We got her through a rescue group, and now she is ours and she is the best. They called her a chihuahua mix but we think she's all chihuahua. 

 

Her full name is Hazel Doolittle Bradley-Rosann. Doolittle because her evening gloves belie her coarse beginnings. 

 

I'm a good girl, I am. #hazeldoolittle

A photo posted by Alice Bradley (@finslippy) on Nov 11, 2014 at 1:08pm PST

 

We love her a little bit. 

 

Izzy is glaring at Hazel, aka "midafternoon snack."

A photo posted by Alice Bradley (@finslippy) on Nov 11, 2014 at 11:48am PST

 

 

The cat now makes this face, all the time. 

 

 

Izzy is glaring at Hazel, aka "midafternoon snack."

A photo posted by Alice Bradley (@finslippy) on Nov 11, 2014 at 11:48am PST

 

She'll get over it.

 

Back to Hazel! All she wants to do is sleep on a lap, or burrow under some covers. 

 

"Good morning, Hazel!" "Nope." #notamorningdog #hazeldoolittle

A photo posted by Alice Bradley (@finslippy) on Nov 11, 2014 at 5:39am PST

 

She is very, very smart. I think she might be the next Oprah. 

Sunday
Oct262014

Charlie the Dog, 1998(?)-2014 

Charlie died on October 10th.

As you know if you’ve ever read this site or looked at a single word I’ve written on social media, Charlie was our beloved dog, the greatest pet who ever walked this earth, blessed with the softest of ears and the most agreeable of dispositions. He was nothing but a joy to live with since we picked him up on a street corner 15 years ago. We had answered a Petfinder ad, knowing nothing about him other than that he had been neglected by his previous owners, and that he was a “sweet dog with soft ears who needs a chance.” (That’s quoted directly from his ad.)

Charlie’s health had been going downhill for the past year or so. He had arthritis in his back legs and a heart murmur. He was totally deaf and almost completely blind. His kidneys were failing, his weight was plummeting. It seemed like we were constantly either walking him or trying to get him to eat. Normally he weighed around 25 pounds, but last month he was down to 14. It looked painful. Well-meaning neighbors and passersby expressed amazement in his continued existence. Once a stranger stopped to hug me; not because I looked sad, but because the dog did. Plus he didn't seem to know where he was, most of the time. 

So that’s how he was, and he was ready to go, and we thought we were ready to say goodbye, but then of course you’re never ready, not really. We miss him so much. 

I wish I could find more things to say about him. He was the best dog. We are so lucky.

 

 

Friday
Sep052014

Let's go

After Michael Brown was murdered, I started reading. I heard the voices of my friends, rising up in rage. I read voices that were new to me and thought, that’s what needs to get read. This particular white lady should shut up and listen. But I also felt that silence implied an implicit acceptance of the terrible crimes committed—against Michael Brown, against Eric Garner, against Trayvon Martin, against Renisha McBride. And on, and on. This is unacceptable. 

 

Henry is almost twelve. (Time marches inexorably and mercilessly forward; our amazement in the face of this reality grows exponentially with each passing day). He is learning to navigate this world without my company. He walks around the neighborhood by himself. He runs errands for me; he visits friends; he accompanies said friends to buy ice cream or run around the park. Once they are out there, set free, I am sure they occasionally make too much noise. Out on the sidewalk, crossing a street, I can see at least one prim-faced adult shaking their head at the rowdiness of today’s youth. 

As he outgrows his little-boyness and stretches toward the light, I worry about him getting into trouble. But “trouble,” for me, means, oh, that he might get arrested. His inherent goodness might be impugned. We might have to go to family court; he might be traumatized. These are the consequences that actually concern me, if I bother to consider them in any real way. 

I never worry that a police officer is going to assume he’s a thug and shoot him. 

He’s a good kid. I know he is. But no one else has any reason to know that. They assume it and they will continue to assume it, because he is white. He enjoys the absurd privilege of being, by default, a good kid until proven otherwise. 

If he were black, it would be the reverse. And I would be scared as hell. 

Back when Henry was a baby, there was a rash of violent muggings in our neighborhood. Beat cops were assigned to practically every corner. We lived in a co-op at the time, and at one of our meetings, we were discussing the weird police state in which we now lived. One of us concluded that although it was unnerving having so many cops around, at least we were safer. 

One of our neighbors, a black woman, set us straight. It wasn’t safer for her; it was terrifying. Her two teenage sons, who couldn’t have been more than 13 and 15, were stopped every day. They were harassed if they sat on the stoop with their friends. 

She would have been well within our rights to call us out on our utter cluelessness, but instead she only asked us to help, if we saw the cops giving either of her boys a hard time. She asked us to confirm that they lived in the neighborhood. That they belonged. 

Never mind that they were good kids, who went to good schools. That doesn’t matter. They could have been drinking, they could have been troublemakers, they could have been teenagers acting like dopey teenagers. They were supposed to have that right. Instead, they were being treated like criminals solely because they were black. They were children, they were innocent, and they were afraid to step outside. 

We enthusiastically agreed, back then, to provide whatever help was needed, but I remember wanting to do more than play the role of white saviors. Didn’t our stepping in also imply tacit acceptance of the system? I didn’t know what to do. Riot, maybe. Take to the streets. March until our feet bled. 

Then, you know, the muggings stopped, the police presence diminished, and our lives went on. I stopped worrying over the inherent racism in the system designed to protect us. This was also a privilege that I enjoyed. 

But of course it never stopped. It’s still going on, all around us, everywhere. And it is an obscenity. That’s the only word I can come up with. That parents live in fear for their children is an obscenity. That there is even a discussion over whether Mike Brown’s homicide was justified is an obscenity. 

Innocent people are assaulted and murdered because of their skin color. This is something beyond an obscenity. I don’t have words for it. I don’t know how to make it stop. But I’m ready to fight. I'm ready to find out where we go from here, because we can't stay here.