Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oh The Drama!

I remember what it was like being 12 or 13 and thinking I knew everything, but geez! I am so drained by these kids. My poor, naive boy has this girlfriend. It is so intense and so beyond what it should be at their age that he needs to be rescued. That is where I am now. I am putting an end to it. He is really pretty good about it all, but it hurts. She is very dramatic, and frankly, saying things to him that I may have to tell her parents. I am pretty sure it is intended for the dramatic effect, but I cannot take that chance as it borders on dangerous to her safety.

My poor kid cannot be her everything in the 7th grade. It is supposed to be fun and light. He cannot be the only one she can talk to. If her life is indeed this complicated, as she indicates, at this age, she needs professional help, not his help. He can't help her. He is neither trained, not mature enough. Her parents really need to know the things she is saying.
The thing that really got my hackles up was that no one would even notice if she were no longer here. That was in response to his telling her I wanted them to cool it off. Manipulative or troubled or ....I don't know. It is her parents' issue. I really think they need to be made aware of all of this.

I am not sure if increasing my Topamax and dealing with this drama together has just wiped me out. With the change of weather, my legs just kill. I upped my meds in response.  Anyway, I am drained and am finding it hard to function. I just realized that perhaps the increase in the meds has something to do with that too. Hmmm.

I feel so sorry boys today is all I can say. 

Monday, October 27, 2008

Try Outs

Soccer season is almost over and basketball is about to begin. I love basketball! I have to say, the boys are very good at both sports. My little guy made 11 goals on Saturday. My middle guy, the coach says, is the power kicker on his team, and my oldest has emerged as really the star of the his team. Personally, soccer stresses me out. Not sure why, it just does. 

I love basketball. I understand basketball. OK, I spent much of last year involved in my oldest boys club club/traveling basketball team. He had no less than two, usually three or more games plus practices each week. So I really got into it. 

Today we had tryouts for two of the boys' CYO teams. My youngest guy still plays for YMCA as CYO begins in 3rd grade. CYO divides the teams up into A and B teams. In our school, in the third grade, we tend to divide them up more evenly and not really do A and B. But as it turned out, it looks like we have most of the "A" players on one team. They are calling it the "Apples" and "Oranges" team this year. This is new. Our Athletic Director is new this year, hence the teams being named after fruit. Actually, I like it because the kids, theoretically, will not feel badly about where they end up this first year. Uh, not so. There was HUGE drama with one of my friend's friend...well, my friend, too.
Her kid did not get on the "Oranges"team with our kids and he is soooo upset. So is she. She has a bunch of other kids at that school, he is not the first, good GOD she should be done with this sort of drama. But, he is upset, she is upset.
Turns out the really good players are all on the "Oranges" team and when we were leaving this kid, who is on that team remarked, "the orange team is the A team!" 

I think he may be right, but there are some decent players on the other team as well. It is just that the REALLY good ones happen to have been put on one team. The kids figured it out really fast. 

Here is the thing, though, the other schools will have A and B teams and will expect us to as well. We will be up against those teams and it is VERY competitive. I know it is supposed to be fun, and it is, but it is intense too, because at some point some of these kids want to play in high school and college. 

Anyone watch basketball? Rob Jones from the University of San Diego went to our school. We have had other athletes come out of here, but no one who is on T.V. presently. Oh, there was someone from this past olympics, but I have no idea who, it was before our time. Anyway, I don't know if it is as crazy everywhere, but it is here.

All I meant to tell you was that today was tryouts.

I was told that my oldest boy is also on the "A" team. I had no doubt about Christiaan as he has always been on the "A" team and is one of the best players in the class. 

As much as my kids love soccer, I will not be too sad to see it end. The only part that makes me sad is that my boys come home so proud after a game well-played. They just LOVE it!
I hope they have the same experience this year with basketball. I just prefer watching the game so much more. I prefer the pace. It does not frustrate much and, like I said,  I understand it!

I also can't wait for the college and NBA games to start!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Good Day Sunshine!

We have had the most beautiful weather for the past two weeks. The sun has been blazing and the temps have been in the high 70's and low 80's. I love sunny days. I actually really love the heat. The hotter the better. It makes my body feel good. I have fibromyalia, so for me, the heat works. It is when the temps dip, or rather the barometric pressure dips and there is even the  slightest moisture in the air, I ache.

Well,  I woke up today, and my sunshine was gone. I am sure if I go into another neighborhood, I can find it. We have many micro climates in San Francisco. Although we have a tiny little city, each neighborhood has its own climate. But, I am not planning on going into one of the little valleys or farther away from the coast, so I will have to deal with the fog today.

Yesterday was the little craft fair I told you I was participating in. It was a bit of a bummer, but I am going to help them next time, if I can. My items, priced at $15 - $ 220 were simply too expensive at this venue. I know what to bring next time. My jewelry was wholesale priced and received raves and compliments, but people were not there to buy more upscale items. They wanted soap or lower priced things in the $2-$15 range. I also brought my Propanels, which probably overwhelmed people. Other vendors had only a small card table. They asked me to return and I agreed as I know what I would bring and what to make for this crowd. The organizer has never done  this before and asked if I could offer her some feedback as I have started and run these fairs like this before. 
The reason why she knew about my fair is that this was a sister school to my children's old school. 

I am planning to do a couple of small events in the near future, but a couple of my friends really want to do a private show. One lady is a fine artist, one a photographer who does the most amazing cards from all over the world. I have never seen photo cards this beautiful in my life. Seriously. These are special. 

Yesterday was not a total bust, but I usually do really well at fairs, so it is disappointing when I don't. Honestly, I had a nice time hanging out with friends and talking to people. Ohhhhh, and I bought stuff, too! I got these cool leaf shaped ceramic thingies to put your tea bags! I got some cool thank you cards, well post cards that were embossed, some beautiful gold wire crocheted earrings, and some soaps and bath salts from a friend. 

On another front, I talked to the assistant principal at the high school I went to. She was one of my teachers. We actually went to Mexico together for  intercession one year. There MAY be a position opening up next March, even temporarily, in the counseling department. I really want a day job there as I love working with girls that age in my private practice and I love that school so it works out well.(I currently only work at night) I would be the next one hired, they just need to figure out if they are going to cover the position internally or with an outside person. The head counselor is pregnant with her first child. I am kind of hoping she decides to stay home to raise the baby, but in this economy and in this city, it is unlikely. 

The assist. principal knows that I do not know much about the whole college thing, but rather I am a psychotherapist. She likes that I have that emphasis and says that I can learn about college placement, etc. by taking classes and seminars. She likes having a balance at the school. What I like is that I would learn the ins and outs of college applications, deadlines, etc.. I have one going to high school(kind of) soon, so I need to know this stuff. 
Yes I went to college....and graduate school. I did a pre med program in between, but things are so different now. It is a whole new world out there!

I realize I just blathered on, for which I apologize. I am exhausted beyond belief and think I need two days of sleep or perhaps an adjustment in my meds! 
Have I mentioned the Hashimotos for which I take a bucket of meds? Yeah, we are suppressing my thyroid intiredly. So between the FMS and the Hashi's and whatever else they think is going on, I have a small pharmacy in my kitchen. 
I guess tired results in disclosure for me.

I hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Now I Know How Anita Hill Felt *this entry is rated pg-13

Today I was helping to set up the book fair at school and what should I find on the plastic table cloth I was using to cover a box to make my display? Oh come on, are you going to make me say it? Think Clarence Thomas and coke can. Yes, that's right, folks, a big, black pube! I was so grossed out! Do you think I was able to keep this little curly to myself? Oh, heck no! This could only happen to me! No one else in that entire school would be molested by a giant pubic hair. NO, just ME.
I ended up laughing so hard, after I shared this little fact with everyone in the library~sort of accidently. Thank goodness our principal was not in there.
Next thing I know, I pick up a tin of what looked like mints and offered it to my friend ( who describes me as Ally McBeal to some people...thanks Fiona! ) and another volunteer, who was really quite serious. Fiona busted out laughing while the other lady very politely said, "No thank you."
The mints were in fact little tacks with white balls on the end. Oh my goodness, what if that nice lady had said YES? I would have really felt awful! Would she have understood that I was just kidding? You know, they really did look like mints. I was merely pointing out the obvious...that anyone could make that mistake and that they should move the tin. It is a school, after all!
So, I guess the moral of this story is, I really should not leave the house if I have had a migraine for two days and have not slept very much in the past two days. It makes me pretty stupid!

By the way, thank you for reading the loooong winded post from yesterday. I guess I just had to get it off my chest.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Harvest Fair

I have been working my butt off, making jewelry for a harvest fair/holiday boutique, which will take place this Saturday.
I have not made anything since last year. I did make some designs at a studio where I was studying under some amazing artists, but nothing I would be willing to sell.
Anyway, I was told to include some lower priced pieces to my current collection as that is what will sell...usually does!

I have created and run several holiday boutiques myself. I really enjoy doing them, especially if they benefit a cause I believe in or a school that my children attend. I don't quite know what happened, but the one I started at my children's school has been discontinued and no one had to decency to tell me. I am currently getting calls from vendors that I must field and tell them that there is no boutique this year. I wish I could explain more, both here in this blog and to my vendors, but I do not wish to have any more problems at my boys' school.

Let me explain, well just a little bit, anyway. I ran this boutique. It grew and grew. People started to come from all over and really looked forward to it. This was not the first of its kind that I have started, but it was the one I was still running. The person in charge of our school never really wanted me to do it in the first place. Why? Don't know. It brings money into our private school. No one does anything in preparation for it but ME, so no sweat off anyone else's nose. It was simply profit. It was good profit for the school. I brought in more money for the school in one day than the book fair does in a week. I also added a bake sale last year. I had a raffle. I even fed the vendors. I took care of everyone. Everyone loved it.
Oh, right, I almost forgot, how they finally took me down.
The Women's Guild Presidents and I talked about adding in some holiday cheer by selling Irish Coffee. After all, the other Catholic schools do it. We had a alcohol permit and everything.
Another person suggested a wine and cheese tasting, or more accurately, she pushed for it. She is friends with another one of our parents who owns several beautiful cheese boutiques and another of my friends got the wine donated.

OK, so now I wrote up all the proposed changed and additions to the boutique as instructed by the presidents, whom I have known for many years. One of them is sort of related to me by marriage...sort of. Both of them went to my high school, but different years. Anyway, just wanted to stress the connections. I handed to one of the ladies right at the bell one afternoon.
She is a busy woman as she has two boys, was WG president that year, a very demanding job, and is a teacher's aid in the first grade classroom. I had always thought of her as one of the nicest women I had ever known. I once told my mother that I may know someone nicer than her! Just kidding of course!
Anyway, two days before the event, the other pres. told me to send the head of the school an itinerary of the day. So, I did, thinking it was be old new. I was in the art room making signs and I started getting calls from the secretary about each block of time. The blocks she was questioning most had to do with alcohol. Okie dokie, then. Why did you have us get an alcohol permit if you didn't know what was going on? But this kept going on and on so I went home and got the original letter from my laptop and typed out a quick note that basically read what must have happened. It was as follows...

Basically I was told to print this out, give it to the WG president and she would give it to you upon her approval. I realize I should not have given it to her at the end of the day, it was bad timing on my part. She has so much on her plate so I understand why you didn't receive it.
However, this is why I thought you knew what we had planned.
No disrespect intended....ever.


I know now that I should not have said anything about giving it to that lady, but I told her what I told the princiPAL...(not in this case). I just thought that honesty was the only way to go and that is EXACTLY what happened.
Well, she immediately called those two into her office, not me of course, because it is a divide and divide sort of regime over here, and said," What the hell is this?" I think she may have called it bullshit or something like that. Mind you, this woman comes with some power as her father was a well-known politician. She loves power. Fun for us! Yippie. Both women said, they had never seen it before. Thanks biotches! That is just what I needed! That is when all the fun began!
Things went downhill from there for me and the boys at school.
First of all, head of school came in and ranted at the vendors for their parking at the start of the boutique. Nice! Then, instead of supporting it, like she usually does, by purchasing things, she came in and told me off! She decided that the best time to have a conversation about the alcohol, etc. was when I was selling jewelry. What the....
She stood there, in her too tight, too short skirt and snowman sweater, manic with rage telling me off in front of all of my vendors and potential customers. I stood there thinking how surreal this all was.
She was going on and on about how we do not have alcohol at events where there are children.

Whoa, stop right there lady! First of all, this was a grown up event, secondly, we have people getting HEATED at spaghetti bingo right in front of you as well as pancake breakfast . Ah, next week was pancake breakfast, they were planning mimosas, gin fizzes and Santa Clause! So I decided to ask the question....innocently!

"What about pancake breakfast?!


I could now feel her cold, blue eyes boring holes into me. I had to look away. I thought I was a gonner!
Her voice became very low, almost as if possessed and she said, "ASK FATHER"

I said very cheerfully and innocently and not skipping a beat that I really have no interest in alcohol that I was just curious.

Well, I don't really recall how this exchange ended, she flew out of the room and one of my vendors came up to me to make sure I was OK. I really was. Until after the event. This woman was awful to me AND to my children.

She would not acknowledge my children for the rest of the school year nor would she acknowledge me. Well, that is not entirely true. She saw one of my boys' teachers talking to me. We were actually talking about jewelry repair. She had earrings to give me or a pendant or something that required fixing, don't remember. Well, what happened was she was summoned to the office by another teacher. She was questioned about our conversation and promptly instructed NOT to speak to me. Said teacher nearly quit on the spot. As it turns out she ended up quitting months later along with four other teachers....hmmmm.
Anyway, head of school (HOS) said I was bad-mouthing the school and I was not to be trusted or spoken to!


I had just recommended out school to a friend who transfered in from another school. What on earth could she be talking about?

This was the craziest thing I had ever heard. Not only had I NOT bad mouthed our school, but I was talking it up!
Our HOS can not go around BAD MOUTHING ME just because I called her on something. I am so sorry I asked about the alcohol, but I really didn't understand, and neither did anyone else. It was everyone's question. I was just the idiot who asked it.

So, I have spent the last year being punished. In addition, one of last years' presidents no longer even looks my way. Whatever!
All this because I tried to make money for our school!
I did this NO HELP from anyone else until the day of the event, mind you.
All planning and preparations were done by me...alone.

It had grown into this thing of beauty. And now it has been quietly banished. Punishment for speaking up? Punishment for something.

So this year I am back to selling at other events and not breaking my butt to put on this event that HOS never wanted in the first place. I think she thinks I was benefitting from it. Truth be told, I lost money as I underpriced my items and I was one of the only people to actually give the full percentage of sales.

Wow, I thought I was going to just talk about the fact that I was making jewelry after a year's break. I had no idea I would tell the story.

So, when I sat down, I thought I had lost my creativity. I was so bummed as I thought I let HER take something from me. But even through a migraine, or should I say, migraine meds, once I got started, I cranked out some things that I am really proud of. In fact, I would like to keep a few, but I know I need to put them in the show.

If hubby gets them photographed, I can try to show a couple.

Did I ever mention that he is a commercial photographer? The pics will not be done in the studio as there is no time, he will do them here at home...sigh. I will leave that rant for another time.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Got a Song Stuck in My Head!

I don't know, maybe it was the concert the other night...maybe it was seeing all the posters at the Warfield that jogged some memories of London. I saw some great shows there in the late 80's. I remember one of my flatmates wanted to go see the Violent Femmes and the Cramps. They were both playing at small venues. We would go to these great little places and see great little concerts. Oh, we did see Sting at the Royal Albert Hall near where we lived, though That was no small show!.
Anyway, I have been thinking about those days and my flatmates lately.  
I did not end up going to see the Violent Femmes or the Cramps.
I only knew that one song....which keeps going through my head now...Blister in the Sun.
Maybe after listening to it on Youtube and writing this, I will have exorcised it.

I did not go to shows I was unfamiliar with because I preferred to theater. I LOVE theater. I went to the theater so much in London. Sometimes I even went alone. If I could not get someone to go with me, I didn't care, I would trot right down and find something I was interested in and go alone.

Speaking of songs stuck in my head...wanna hear something kind of mean? Sure you do!
When I was in between degrees, I went to SFState with a couple of friends. 
During  breaks we would meet up for lunch or just  hang out for a while. One friend, Aggie, I went to highschool with. Well, just before it was time to go back to our respective classes I would start to sing some really obnoxious song..."Get down boogie oogie oogie" or something that was catchy like that. We would always meet up again in an hour or two and she would be SO mad at me! She had been humming that tune since we parted.Ha ha!
Mean, huh? I used to think it was really fun to torture my friends that way.

Any tune stuck in your head?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Focus Group....Yum!

Last night I participated in a focus group where we tasted, you guessed it, McVitie's newest product for the American market. They are marketing this product to American women, to be more specific. If you have never participated in a focus group, then you may not know that you are not told at first what the product actually is and who is the manufacturer.They were testing  the flavors, the advertising slogan and the new name. 

I found it quite interesting, in hindsight, that I actually liked the product better (and the proposed name) AFTER learning who the manufacturer was. I frankly did not care for this cookie/cracker, fruity, energy, healthy snack thing they had developed. Mostly it was cardboardy and chewy. I LOVE me some Hob Nobs and Digestives, though! I lived in London for a year and during that time grew to think of these little lovelies as comfort food.

I love doing focus groups.  I love that I got to go downtown, it was hot and beautiful last night and I got paid $85 to eat cookies! Ha ha, it doesn't get better than that!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

We've Been Stepping Out

Hubby surprised me with tickets to Joe Jackson at the Warfield Theater on Market Street. To be honest, it was really a show that he wanted to see, but I like Joe Jackson, too. The Warfield is a great venue, I have seen some fun shows there, like the Grateful Dead and most recently, Carlos Mencia.
I was kind of in a funky mood and not at all in a concert mood. I love concerts, mind you. I love all live performances. My mother and I had season tickets to SF Ballet since I was 13 because I danced from the time I was 5. My mom has had season tickets to the SF Opera for the last 40 some odd years as well. Oh, and theater, oh how I love, love, love the theater. That is by far my favorite form of entertainment ever!
Oh, but I was at the concert, right.
We were getting into the line and I looked around at the other concert goers. It was the whitest, oldest concert I can remember attending, maybe ever. Oldest, for sure. 
Save for the odd child with their parents, I would say the average person there was, oh, I don't know, somewhere between 45 and 55. I was feeling pretty good...until we got inside.

Once inside, a guy asks us if we would be drinking this evening, and we said we would. (I almost never drink, but I thought a cocktail didn't sound half bad!). When my husband asked if he wanted id's he looked at us and said, "Uh, no, not for this event!"

I just looked  up into his eyes, and let him see just how disappointed I was. My husband pulls me away and points out to me that another couple is being id'd by a different person. This couple looked at least 10 years older than us! I was miffed! OK, fine, so I don't look 21, BUT NEITHER DID THEY! I looked WAY younger than she did. I made a quick decision to not go over and say something so as not to offend the couple being id'd.
Good decision. I am just glad it was before the cocktail and not after!

The concert opened with an Irish singer named Gemma Hayes. She was fabulous. She told little stories about her life and her songs and had the voice of an angel. We ended up purchasing her cd after her performance. I can't wait to listen to it after my husband brings it back from his studio.

Then the main event. It was really Great! The music was better than I had remembered. When I looked down from our seats it had gotten Packed! Our seat...our seats were the best in the house, according to the usher who directed us to them. They were in the first row of reserved seats, which were balcony, but the venue is very small so it was quite close, really.
The only problem with my seats, however, was the enthusiastic fans seated two rows behind me and one seated behind me and to the left. They had the most piercing whistles and yelled ALOT! When Joe Jackson was talking....they whistled. When he played, they whistled. They even yelled things a few times, which I find obnoxious. Dude, he can't hear you. He is not going to stop his concert and have a conversation with you...really, he isn' shut your pie hole and let us hear the music.

Fine, I am cranky. Not even the smell to ganja wafting up from the crowd on the floor mellowed me out. I had to cover my ears and stuff my fingers into them to block the shrillness of the whistles in my ears! 

Overall, we had a wonderful time. The music was GREAT. I really need to get out more!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Kiddie Rorschach Test or Kiddie Porn?

The two younger ones were watching cartoons Sunday, I think it was, and my husband and I were laying in watching as they flipped from channel to channel. They settled on a cartoon called Chowder. Nothing about this cartoon interested me, it was no Flintstones, but I was willing to give it a chance. OK, let's be honest, I was too damn tired to get up and leave the room. This tall guy caught my eye, but I said nothing at first. Then when his little friends were walking, on each side of him, it was just too much to take! I mean, have you seen the town?
And the Disney people thought they got away with something!  The next thing we see is, and I can't remember which of the freaky characters was doing it, maybe droopy boobs, vacuuming. Wanna know what the vacuum said on it? No, not "ON" and "OFF" but "SUCK" and "BLOW"!

Seriously! We have penis guy and vagina head in a town with buildings in the shape of phalluses! We wondered if the animators were pervs or stoners. Maybe both.

I was once at eating disorders seminar (continuing education) where the speaker, who was a very bright Doctor and heads a center for eating disorders and cutters, refused to allow his daughter to watch the  cartoon Kim Possible because of the way they depicted girls in the cartoon....midriff showing and impossibly thin waist! He felt that it promoted anorexia and eating disorders in young children. 

I don't really have time for this entire rant, as I have to prepare for work this evening. I have a long night ahead, however, I am disgusted at what I feel is subliminal sexual content in my children's  cartoons. They get enough exposure to sex on billboards, muni bus advertisements, any show on t.v., must I continue? I am not a prude. I am just upset that kids are no longer allowed to be kids. Now we are consciously sexxing them up? How screwed up is that?

(I will learn how to use blogger, but I meant for Kim Possible to be down below.....UGH!)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Pierce's party is still in progress. The kids arrived earlier than expected. In fact, I was in the shower when the fist official guest arrived. One friend came several hours early because his parents moved out of the city and his Dad, who works in SF needed to come to the city at noon. That was great, because my boys have missed this kid and his siblings so much since they moved.

When they all finally got to our house, my husband took them to the park to play for a couple of hours. My youngest was taken away by one of the Moms dropping off a boy to go spend the night with her son, so that worked out great! My oldest is gone on a sleep over as well, so I am down to seven. Seven eight year olds.
Ok, so after the park, we went to a pizza parlor for dinner. I reminded these guys to use their best manners and that I would tell their parents what fantastic manners they had. Well, these ladies sitting at the next table stopped by on the way out to inquire as to whether all these boys were mine. I explained the situation. I actually thought she recognized my friend's son because she is the Fire Chief. They were kind of staring at him. I was wrong. Anyway, they wanted us to know that they were impressed with the boys' manners!
I was floored! I felt like I really pulled something off. I could not wait to tell some of their parents, because I just KNOW they won't believe that I have not drugged them. On second thought, maybe I should not tell them!

After dinner, we went to see Beverly Hills Chihuahua. It was about what you would expect.  When we got back the boys really wanted to open presents. I don't really like that whole opening presents in front of people thing, I just think it is bad manners, but they did it anyway.

OMG! One boy brought a gift PLUS a card with $40 dollars in it! Another boy brought a toy he said cost $50 and "it was not on sale". I am not sure what else my son raked in because I had to answer an important call, sadly at that very moment, but, again, OMG! 

So, then, I started to go over in my mind what we gave these kids for their last birthdays. OH MY GOD! The Mom who so graciously mad the ice cream whopper cake, her son's birthday was a couple weeks ago.....what did we give him? Was it cash? Was it enough? 

When did this happen? When did kids start getting so much for their birthday? I think this is insane! I am embarrassed that he received these gifts. 

I simply cannot reciprocate gifts like that. I can give gifts valued at 20-30 dollars. I do give $40 to my kids' best friends, but that's it. I have three kids in private school! Not only that, with the number of parties they are invited to, how on earth can we give $40- $50 each time? 
I realize that some of these people are LOADED and that amount of money is nothing. It is something to us. 

So, thanks for the lovely gifts, we do appreciate them all, but please, next time, make it kid sized for our kids!

Slumber party still in progress....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Sky is Falling, Chicken Little!

No not really, but you would have thought we were under attack last night at about 10:30 p.m. when I was coming home from the gym. I was just getting my key in the front door when I heard a thunderous sound RIGHT overhead. I looked to see what it was and saw nothing. Hmmm. I shut the door and went inside. I briefly wondered if there was some big police case going on and if that was a helicopter flying low. I made a quick mental note, for all the good that will do, to ask my police officer friend about it, who no doubt will be having coffee with me to check out my new rug in the morning. 

I did not have to ask my girl friend in the morning, out of the blue, I remembered the date and it occurred to's  FLEET WEEK. That was the sound of the Blue Angels! How cool. They always fly near our area while practicing for their big shows on the weekend. I have always looked forward to watching their aerobatics. It is really amazing. We took our oldest to the show once, but between the hordes of people and the excruciating noise, we decided to wait a while before we brought him back. Uh, and then we had two more. Although we can see it from where we live, it is pretty cool to go down to the Marina and get the full effect.

The Blue Angels are the Navy's flight demonstration squadron. They were formed 1946 and were the worlds's first officially sanctioned military aerial demonstration team. The squadron's six pilots fly Boeing FA-18 Hornets in upwards of 70 shows in 34 locations throughout the U.S. each year, where they still employ many of the same practices and techniques used in their aerial displays since 1946.
During Fleetweek, they fly over San Francisco and Seattle to help celebrate the maritime festivities in those cities. My friend, whose birthday is tomorrow, used to say that Navy gave her sailors for her birthday. 
This weekend is always crowded at the piers, warf and many of the local hot spots due to FLeet Week, when the fleet comes in in addition to the Italian Festival and other festivals that always coincide. This is usually the weekend where they crown their queen and everything.

I will tell you more about the BA tomorrow as we plan on going down to the marina right after the boys get out of school so we can take them to watch the practice. 
We can't go Saturday 'cuz, did I mention? I am having 6 EXTRA 8 YEAR OLDS spend the night? Pierce did not have any kind of party in August for his birthday so he was told he could have a few friends come over and go bowling, have pizza and maybe spend the night. Before I knew it, he had invited six and told them all they were sleeping over. I would have plenty of room had I cleaned out my work studio down stairs. It is basically a second home down there. Oh well, we will have to make it work up here. My oldest will be at my good friend's house for her son's 13th day. She is the cop I mentioned before. 

We actually might end up at the same bowling alley. A bunch of way-too-cool tweens/teen-agers and a gang of his brother's bothersome friends. Oh Great!
But it will be fun for me and my Dear Friend.

Can't wait to see the Blue Angels!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Getting Ready For Halloween

 Christiaan has his costume pretty much taken care of. Well, he has the mask and that is most of it. He and about six of his friends are going to be The Joker's crew from The Dark Knight. If you saw the movie, they wore the masks in the opening robbery scene. 
Reid purchased a Zombie costume yesterday. He set out to find a Zombie and we found just the right, scary, bloody, icky, walking dead.
Now it was Pierce's turn. Nothing seemed to pique his interest....until his brother pimped him out!
That 's it! Flava Flav! He wanted to be Pimp Daddy, FLava Flav. Just how does an 8 year old child even know who this character is, anyhow? Does he listen to Public Enemy? NO! Does he watch Flavor of Love? I sure hope not. I know Christiaan has watched it. Yes, I am shaking my head! 
So as we pimp out my middle born child, and the tears roll down my cheeks, the voice of reason sounds from somewhere behind me. Of course, it was my eldest child.
"Uh, Mom? Pierce is going to get a conduct referrel for that costume!"
"NOOOO! Wait, you think so?"

So I find a group of three boys that appear to be in school uniforms, thinking that they go to Catholic school, too. 

"Excuse me, boys, can I ask you something? Would you get in trouble for going to school on Halloween dressed as Flava Flav?"


"OK. Would you get in trouble for this costume?"

Here is my sweet little Piercey Pie in an oversized clock, the Viking Horns a pair of pimp shades and various other pimpish items.

They all agreed that in their school, it would not be acceptable.

Pierce was crushed! He loved the Flav costume.

I called several friends on the spot to ask opinions. I did not put one single item on him that actually said "Pimp", because, you know the grill he wanted had "Pimp" printed across it. 

My boys were Rastas one year. No one got upset. 

Just how out of line would it be for him to be Flav for Halloween? My own judgement on this one is way off, obviously.

Monday, October 6, 2008

My Boys!

I tried to upload a much more recent photo of the boys, but it would not work. I did find this one, however, which is several years old. My oldest looks so young here. He is such a young man now. Even the middle one looks so, well, little here. I am pretty sure I have mentioned their ages, but if I haven't, from left to right, they are Pierce, 8, Reid, nearly 7, and Christiaan 12 1/2 (going on 37!). They keep me very busy and I love every minute of it...OK, not the ones where they are fighting with each other, but every other one!:)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Emotions Follow Behavior

I was in the shower, where I do my best thinking, earlier today, thinking back on a session I had with a client last week. She wants me to "Fix her".  If only it were that easy. Actually, she is a very intelligent young woman and knows it is not that easy.
I was reminded of a book I read as an undergrad in a General Semantics class, by S.I. Hayakawa. I really ate up that book, I recall, but the one thing I will never forget is how Hayakawa talks about emotions following actions. I thought about this a great deal at the time and over the years. I really think he was right. Of course, he was talking about behaviorism, which I was not a huge fan of at the time, but I really grew to understand the different situations in which it can be useful.

For example, my client wants to stop being so passive aggressive with the people, mostly men, in her life. She applies this even to her boss. While I do believe we need to understand what underlies this issue, I also think that she needs to try new behaviors now. The ones she is employing, well, aren't working for her. Do it differently, try something new and see what happens. See how you feel.I explain to her. As you might expect, we are working hard of family of origin issues and other things that are popping up. But I just find that knocking your head against the same brick wall, just isn't helpful. It makes you feel the same way and perpetuates feelings. I think Hayakawa really was insightful. 

A little example out of my own life:
My birthday was in August.
I am my father's only daughter. Longer story here, but he has me, my brother and a son he had with another woman he eventually married. Yup, he got trapped, but I digress. But you must be used to that by now!
Anyway, I use his office to see clients, which is an important fact later.
My birthday rolls around and I get a voicemail.

"Hi Laura, it's Dad. I was just writing in a patient's chart and I wrote the date and realized it was your birthday. Happy Birthday."

Ok, not sure what he said after that as it was such a slap in the face. Come on, I am your only daughter! You can't bother to remember? If you can't be bothered, do   you really need to mention the fact that the only reason you remembered was that you were writing in a chart? You big jerk!
I have three kids and I would never forget their birthdays.
To top it off, when I told him just one week later that it was my middle boy's bday he said, "Oh, that's nice."
No, Happy Birthday, no nothing. He doesn't even speak to my older brother or contact his kids.

So his birthday was the following month. I spent some time planning my payback. I sat and thought of all the ways to hurt him back. I even thought the topper on his bday cake could be that my youngest boy thinks he is his uncle! We live two blocks away and my son does not know him. How very sad is that. Then I cleared my head and realized I had allowed myself to sink as low as he is.I would not want to feel like he does nor would I want to perpetuate the way I feel. I really can't help how he feels or who he is. I have no control over that. So I decided to purchase a card and sign it from all of us- myself, my husband and my boys. My sons refused to sign it. They all said he does not call them or remember their birthdays so they have no desire to sign this card. I respected that. 
I went to work that night, the night before his birthday and left it on his chair. 
The next day, I called and and lied a bit, saying the boys and I wished him a happy bday. 
Truly, had I said anything else I would have felt awful. I am glad I did what I did. It felt clean and made me feel like a better person.

I don't know why I told this story, other than, I think it does illustrate how behavior effects emotions. I think we can make positive change by doing what we know is right or just doing something differently in some cases. Sometimes it might take several tries as it might take steps to get there.

A former supervisor tells a story about a woman learning assertiveness. She was a huge  push over. One day someone at work asks to borrow her stapler and she cusses him out. That is a little but extreme... is different and I am sure she felt a

I've just been thinking is all....

Thanks Ken!

Thanks to Ken, aka Bucko, for his suggestions about my new colors.
You are so right. I have more work to do to make this place look nice and easier on the eyes. I sooo appreciate your input!
Hopefully, it is getting better!

Oh, and I decided that my new sign off really should be wink wink. I credit Beth, of Nutwood Junction (Ken's lovely bride), for bringing that to my attention. I do so love a good wink! Ha ha!


Swedish colors at the request of the boys

Alrighty, I will try these colors out for a bit. I am not sure if I like them. Oh, don't get me wrong, I love the Swedish colors. My Grandfather was from Sweden. Oland, to be exact. He was probably my favorite person in the world. I miss him terribly. I will write more about Grandpa another time. 
Anyway, I am just playing with the decor as I did not really like the cutesy dots but I am technologically challenged, so I felt I had to make due with what I could find. I am going to venture out and see what I can time. Today I am going to cover my floors. Craigslist is calling!
By the way, I have purchased some really amazing pieces of furniture. I bought a Henredon coffee table for $75. The exact Asian/ almost Empire style legs I was looking for. A really solid, expensive piece. I have a feeling the woman was getting even with her boyfriend. Not sure. But, it turns out to be my gain. She said it was her piece, but then she told a story of how he was away on some amazing tropical trip without her. Hmmmm....and she is selling expensive furniture at lowball prices. I did mention it is in my nature to trust people. So I did. Until the drive home from San Jose, which is about 45 min. from SF. That is when allowed myself to even think she might be selling the good stuff as a surprise for BF's arrival.
Yikes, I just hope it does not spill onto my Karma. My intentions were good!

The other great thing I got was an antique mirror. I was looking for a particular style and price range. It had to be ornate but not too ornate. It had to be under $100 and antique. It also had to be at least 42" in length to fit in my bathroom. It is absolutely gorgeous. 
Although my friends think it should go in the living room. I think it goes nicely where it is. It is too small for the living room. My bathroom has the original tile from 1926 and I think it is so charming with the mirror. 
Okie dokie, I am going to make an attempt at getting more of my hardwood floors covered.


I love Craigslist!

I realize that this may sound, well, just plain sad, but I simply love, love, love to shop on craigslist. That is my kind of fun. I have three kids. Not sure if I mentioned that before. Boys, to be exact. They are Christiaan (not a typo, it is pronounced christyawn, or something 12 1/2, Pierce 8, and Reid will be 7 in December. 
Anyone with a gaggle of kids, especially in a town like San Franciso, knows that money is limited. I try my best to get the best deal possible. 
My mother once gave me refrigerator magnet with a cartoon of a harried mother being robbed, handing over her pocketbook. The caption read " I don't have money, I have children!" Thanks, Mom! That about sums it up perfectly!

Ok, back to my original thoughts. Last night, after two weeks of phone tag and a bit of hesititation, I ran right down to 18th and Castro Streets to check out a hallway runner. It looked lovely in the photo. I was coming off of some frustrations at home and had the remnants of a two day migraine still lingering. My migraines always come with fluorescent green blotches in my field of vision. Not the best way to check out a rug!
Well, Castro was bustling so it took me forever to find parking! That place is really such a cool little village. I just don't really belong there. I walked up and down the street. I had just come from taking my oldest boy and two of his friends to the gym, so I was in gym clothes on a Saturday night, while everyone else was ready for a night of partying. It was just kind of cool to see that just over the hill, there is this bustling area, so unlike my own little world. 

Anyway, after having trouble finding the address (thank you migraine!), I finally got there. I have to tell you one more thing. The houses in this area are those really cool Victorians. I just love them!
OK, back to the story.
The rug seller was the cutest guy and his partner, also darling. I felt like we were already friends from our many mini conversations on the phone. Needless to say, I went into this thing just foolishly trusting him. But that is usually my M.O.
The rug was originally listed at $35. He told me a week and a half ago that someone offered him $50, so I could have it if I offered him MORE. I stopped calling at that point.
He contacted me again with the original post and said we could work something out. Oh, and he had relisted the rug at $65!
Granted, most runners of this quality and size are worth at least that!
So back to his flat.
Through my migraine, I did not even pay attention that he only showed me 2/3 of the runner and then I just said, "I'll take it!"
I asked how much he wanted for it....guess what I paid?
I forked over $50. I just didn't have a fight in me. I already had a fight at home this evening and I had nothing left...not even a negotiation.

I bring the lovely rug home. Everyone loves it. 
Fast forward to today. I wake up, drink my coffee and take a better look. My hallway is bright in the daytime. The runner is either dirty or they spilled something across it and the reason why he showed me part of it was because it would have been apparent that the two ends were off in color...just slightly. I still like it. I will have to steam clean it and see if I love it. I still think it was worth the money as that was still pretty cheap. But the more I think about it the... I think I will clean it now!!!

I still LOVE Craigslist!

Friday, October 3, 2008

WInter Coat?

What the hell? Is this my winter coat I feel? OK, I know I have not been my usual gym rat self, but come on, can't I catch a break?
I usually spend soooo much time in that place. I'm talking 2-3 hours a day. I have whittled it down to somewhere between 11/2 and 21/2. 

I try to be as faithful as possible for several reasons, one being, that my endochrinologist has told me that exercise is burning off the extra synthroid ( I take enough for a 200+ lb man--and I do not weigh 200 lbs), and it just keeps me sane...OK, closer to it. It relieves my stress in a way that nothing else does."Hi my name is Laura and I am an endorphine junkie!"

Well, speaking of Dr. BlueEyes, and I call him that because resembles the now late Paul Newman. He also has a very dry sense of humor, which I appreciate. He is one of the top specialists in his field and people travel from all over the world to see him, so I am blessed that he is right in my neighborhood. I am lucky that UCSF in just so close!
I digress. Again! Getting back to my story and why the winter coat....
At one of my appointments, which I pay dearly for, by the way, Dr. BlueEyes asks me how about my sleeping patterns. Well, I don't sleep well, but I was told by one of by Docs to just take Benedryl.

Dr. BE:" You realize that is not a hypnotic"

Me: "Yes,I realize that..."

Dr. BE:'s an antihistamine!"

Me: " Yes, I am aware of that."

Dr. BE:  " Antihisitamines will hang you over"

Me: " I don't think I feel hung over. I don't really take much...just 25 mg."

Dr. BE: "Yes, it hangs you over!"

Me: " No, I don't think it does."

Dr. BE: " Yes, it does."

Me: ", I don't think so...."


OK, the exchange continues like this for a while until I got weary of the argument and wanted to move on...

Me: " OK, you're right, it hangs me over"

Dr. BlueEyes had the look of triumph on his face...or was is "I told you so". Oh who cares, he really is quite brilliant. I don't say that because I think all docs are brilliant, really I don't. I have been around doctors all my life and let me tell you, they come in all shapes and sizes of smart, stupid and everything in between...even out of their mind crazy. They are no different than any other sector of the human population.
So, instead of my little pink knock out pills he prescribed little blue ones. Well, not sure if the original dose came in blue. 
So now while I sleep much better, and much longer, the side effects are becoming intolerable.
I don't really mind the fact that I have a metallic taste in my mouth...doesn't bother me. I also know that carbonated drinks of any kind will knock out that side effect....but I learned this tidbit too late. You see, I started to EAT at night to get rid of that weird taste, but I sort of enjoyed doing it all at the same time. I liked the combinations...does that even make sense? I was really kind of sleep walking, or should I say, sleep eating anyway. Now I am afraid that I am conditioned, just like the little a little rat, to eat when I experience the taste or even the effects of my meds. Sigh. 

So,  when I went to get dressed yesterday, my jeans were so freakin' tight!
I even unbuttoned my pants before my client came in ( I had black pants on) at work last night. ARG!

So, you see, I have my winter coat!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I've Been Thinking....

Well, I have! ALot! I read so many of your journals and I really love getting to know you all. I feel like I know what you do, what you enjoy, who is in your families, and in some cases, what made you who are today. What I am trying to say is, that often times, so many of the people whose journals I enjoy reading, have the courage to write about the hard times in their lives. I really admire that. 

I want to start opening up a bit more about who I am and what makes me tick. I know that I would never feel comfortable writing the things I had originally intended to write as I am a psychotherapist and I am from a family of psychologists and doctors and SF is a really small town. No, really it is.
 OK, now see why I don't write about my painful growing up years. Sure it wasn't all bad, but it was not something I would ever willingly return to. As a matter of fact, the struggle for my father's love continues to this day. It really is a sad situation. I just need to really get clear that as painful as it is, it is not of my making and try as I do be close, it is just not possible.
Oh lookie there, I opened up!
(I find myself erasing things that I think might enrage my Father were he to read it. So, perhaps I should refrain from writing about that situation until he is no longer with us. No, he is not sick...or very old. And I am glad about both).

But I do so enjoy reading about the happy lives some of you had. I also cry with some of you. You have no idea how much I empathize with the situations or your past. I admire the strong people you have become and the struggles you have endured. I appreciate the fact that our journeys are life long and that we are in charge, for the most part, of our own destiny. 

I think I have gone all over the place here, but what I was trying to say is, I appreciate all of you and I will try to open up a bit more about myself. I feel like a voyeur and it makes me feel bad.
I just hope you understand, that between the journal that did not publish entries and the discomfort letting it all out and potentially being read by a client (or dear ole' Dad)...
But I would like to open let people in more in the future. That was the purpose of the journal from its inception.

Until next time!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Why do I have 2 titles Journal titles on this Page? Why is THIS journal all screwy now? 
Know what? I am just not going to sweat the small stuff as long as I can actually publish in this one! The last one (AOL) would not allow me to publish once I typed all the text in, so at least I am ahead of the game here! 

I am actually sitting here trying to procrastinate. I have so much to get done and I don't want to do any of it. I guess things won't get done while I am sitting here typing away. I have a party to plan, a house to clean, jewelry to design, invoices to write, continuing education units to do and I am supposed to go look at a rug at some point before I go to the gym. I am tired just thinking about it. Maybe I should nap first. Haha! 

Bite Me!

I had wanted to tell this crazy little story and now it seems appropriate.
I had pretty much abandoned this journal as it seemed so far away from my AOL community. My AOL journals would not work so I had to go elsewhere.
Anyway, welcome all. I guess I will resume here as I will no longer feel so alone.

The story I wanted to tell, well, it actually makes me sound kind of psycho, but I will tell it anyway.  A week or two ago, I was with my two younger boys in the car backing out of a parking spot. We were in an area called West Portal, for anyone who may be familiar with San Francisco. It is a nice little area. Anyway, my passage was being blocked, but I was patient and waited for the person who was waiting for my space to back up so that I may, in turn, back up and get on with my afternoon. That street is two lanes in each direction. The person who was passing on the outside lane got miffed at me, for some reason unknown to me and the boys. She proceeds to catch up to me and give me a dirty look.
That was IT! I was now pissed off!
To my children's horror, I start to yell "BIT ME,LADY!" out of the open soccer van windows, which I was driving. The lady in her beat up car, with "green" messages all over it was oblivious to screaming as her windows were completely rolled up. 
The people at the bus stop heard me, though!

I pull up next to her, as she did to me, and pantomime' BITE ME!

Just then, from the back of the car, I hear my 8 year son saying, in a sing-songy sort of way
"I think someone forgot to take her medicine...."
That stopped me dead in my psycho tracks and I bust out laughing! OMG! Out of the mouths of babes!
I said, "Did you just say what I think you said?"
He sheepishly copped to it.
I  mumble to myself," I don't think you realize just how appropriate that comment really was."