Thursday, February 26, 2009


As a long-time fan of the Oscars - I loved the show this year. I think Hugh Jackman was wonderfully entertaining and the way they presented the actor and actress awards was inspired. they actually made it an honor to be nominated.As a long-time fan of the Oscars - I loved the show this year. I think Hugh Jackman was wonderfully entertaining and the way they presented the actor and actress awards was inspired. they actually made it an honor to be nominated.


I drive to the gym every most mornings down a long stretch of road which runs between gravel pits and cement plants. There is one brief part where one of the abandoned pits was filled with water, stocked with fish and landscaped to create a very popular regional park. Today I saw a huge herd of goats Set loose to munch on the overgrown grasses. The sight of this made me inexplicably happy.


I have tried to see what is so interesting about "The Real Housewives of..." shows. I don't get it. I also don't understand why the Oxygen Network - Oprah's Network produces and promotes "Bad Girls Club." It seems that the women on these shows are encouraged to be trashy, ignorant and catty. I wish these women would refuse to play out such demeaning roles. Shame on Oprah.


I am really tired of hearing about "Octamom" and have refrained from commenting on the situation. I will say that the young mother is obviously in denial and as intelligent as some may find her, I say that love is not enough. Love is wonderful and life affirming, but it is not anywhere near enough.


I was unimpressed by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's canned speech and especially with the riff on the monies being directed to volcano monitoring. The governor of a state still reeling from the results of a natural disaster should have have nothing but respect for those who seek to protect people and property with the ability to anticipate volcanic eruptions. Personally I would rather 140 million go to the Geological Survey, to pay for dedicated scientists, than to a bank or brokerage firm.

I will be very happy to put February behind me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Just home from book club. This month we read To Kill a Mockingbird. It was a good pick for our group - it rated the highest score of any book read to date. Some of our members really didn't want to read it, but loved it when they did.

I remembered it so vividly from high school and was pleased to find it was as good as I believed it was then. In a brief discussion with another member who had read it in high school and didn't really recall it, I realized that I was more of a romantic about stories of struggle, poverty and race than she was. Most likely because I was from a middle class California town and she from urban Philadelphia. I suppose that is one reason we have such a good group. We have an age range of about 25 years, people from different parts of this country, and one member from South Africa; we also come from different educational and economic backgrounds. The discussions are interesting and enlightening.

Many of us in the club have a child in high school, and they read To Kill a Mockingbird during their sophomore year. Ally will be reading it soon. I am very excited to see if she likes it. None of my children liked Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men which was another favorite of mine from school. Maybe with Obama in the White House, this book will take on a different level of meaning for the kids - a difference sense of the importance of his election.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I am happy to announce that I have done the first run at our taxes, which allowed me to do the first run at the FAFSA's (one for each college kid) which allowed me to fill out 2 more sets of financial aid packets for Penn. I can't complain too much about Penn double and triple checking since they have been generous with grant money. But telling them we have no family trust fund or real estate assets or stock portfolio year after year makes me feel like such a loser. On the other hand, Zac's school thinks we are rich and doesn't even offer him a work study job.

I am half blind and getting sciatica from sitting at the computer...but it is almost done and next year I will only have 1 FAFSA to do for Zac since he will not be able to graduate in 4 years.

Then the year after that I expect I'll get back to 2 sets since Maggie will probably go to grad school and Zac will be working on his credential program and then - ta da - Ally will be an entering freshman and I will quite possibly have to do 3 sets of financial aid forms.

It will all be worth it when they have great jobs and put me in a very comfortable retirement home. Right?

Thursday, February 19, 2009


My husband Tom is an attorney. He has a "solo" practice in employment law, representing employees. After 20 years working in the corporate environment ("for the man") he decided it was time to actually practice law which is what he went to school to do.

In the past 6 years he has created a successful marketing routine, but finds it time consuming - taking time away from his billable work. Since I have recently come onto the job market - it seemed a natural for me to take over the marketing, and in time, the screening of potential clients. I can do this part-time from home. Cool.

I have been learning about Google Adwords, an advertising scheme created to confuse and confound it's potential users. It is meant to drive potential clients to his website. He also uses Craig's List with success and a service which connects people to attorneys.

In the past couple of weeks I have mentioned to a few people that I had quit my job. That news gets reactions in, as the current vernacular goes, these troubled times. Tom's practice is not being bombarded by clients with complaints against their employers, but it is a good time to be able to help people who are not being treated fairly - and it will keep me off the rolls of the unemployed, too.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I have not done a Prompt Tuesday as created by Sandiegomomma in a's prompt:

Start a story with the sentence, “It was a dark and stormy night.“

Why? Because it is.

Try to write your entry in 10 minutes. This encourages top-of-mind, primal thinking before the ego and judgmental brain kick in. Just set a timer, make your kid count to 600 slowly, whatever. It’s an honor system. And I trust you.
Aim for 250 words or less.
Please have fun. Don’t put pressure on yourself. Together, let’s rediscover the simple joy in the writing process.
Post your submission in the comments OR post in your blog and leave a link to your blog in the comments.

It was a dark and stormy night. The rain flooding the gutter, making it too wide to leap to dryer pavement. Wading through the only option.

All I can think of is the new pair of green suede shoes I want to wear.

Monday, February 16, 2009

This is the view I contemplated for the last 4 days as I was lazing around in Palm Desert. I finally went down to spend some time with my parents who have retired to this amazingly beautiful community.

It was cooler than normal for February, but the sun was warm and I enjoyed sitting on the patio with a book in between my outings with the folks. I also took advantage of the gyms and took note of the pools and restaurants for future visits.

My mom and I spent some time shopping and I visited a couple of art galleries. We had an enjoyable lunch outdoors on the patio at Augusta Restaurant - including harp music!

The whole area has exploded since I occasionally took a weekend trip to Palm Springs when I was in college in San Diego. The resort communities run for blocks, each surrounded by shopping and services. My mom and I took a trip to the shopping center in the golf cart - not a bad way to make a little jaunt to the store!

I came home to a rainy weekend - not that I am complaining since we really need the rain in Northern California.

Now to work in my new job!

Friday, February 6, 2009


I worked for a few years with a woman who was earning her degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. She wrote her dissertation on the Jungian theory of the Shadow Self. I had the opportunity to read only part of the paper, but we discussed the topic a few times and have read a bit on the subject. I understand the Shadow Self to be part of each person's psychological makeup. It is the part of ourselves we repress and deny. It is the dark side of our human nature.

Jung believed that we had to acknowledge and accept the shadow side as part of the whole of ourselves. Sometimes the overreacting to a person or situation is due to things you recognise in yourself that you don't like. They are outside your awareness and can be quite opposite of what you believe about yourself.

I have been told that I sometimes speak to people with a certain "tone" in my voice - that my words and the way I say them don't match. I don't hear it - I don't realize it unless it is pointed out - but more often people do not point it out, they are simply disturbed by it. This is apparently part of what broke down my relationships with some of my co-workers. I know I need to become more mindful of my emotions in order to remove this broadcasting of negative feelings. Not to hide them, but to be more direct in my communication.

I have searched my self and find that the issues I had were not with the individuals I worked with, but the frustration of not being able to do the work which satisfied me, that feed my ego. My frustration was coming out in my communication with people.

Those who know and love us, accept the good and bad. The dark and the light. Those who are irritated or repulsed by us are projecting onto us parts of themselves that they disown, that they deny. They will usually not identify with the projected quality or characteristic at all. It will be all about you - not them.

As things broke down at work, my co-worker became extremely sweet and nice to everyone but me. To me she was curt, dismissive and judgmental. Her niceness to others is a mask. And as Jung put it “Whatever one does not live, lives against one.”

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I recently posted about missing my estrogen after watching an Oprah show which described many feelings I was having as they relate to menopause. As Nan suggested in her comment, in reality, there are many reasons a woman of my age may have these feelings.
I will post in the future about what has been going on - but after just two days of leaving my job, I feel much better, lighter, happier. I really think I was experiencing more stress than I realized. It's one of those "frog in the pot" things. When the water slowly comes to a boil, the frog never notices he is being cooked.
Stress can affect us emotionally, physically and even shape behavior. I have been experiencing sleep disturbances, fatigue, overeating and mood changes which were more dramatic than I have experienced since my kids were very young. Back then, when I would be having a particularly bad PMS month, I would sometimes find myself in a tirade at my kids. I would realize I was reacting way out of proportion of whatever was going on. I could stop myself and step back and regroup.
When I lost control of myself at work one afternoon, I see now that it was a collision of stress and panic - something completely out of the norm for me. Unfortunately, my audience was not as forgiving as my children were back in the day. I could joke with them about the appearance of "crazy mommy" and we would go forward. No so with my co-worker.
I have taken myself to the gym and had some good work outs, my blood pressure is actually fairly low compared to previous readings. I believe that these things are helping me to move into my new unemployed status in better shape than I have been in a long time.


Sunday, February 1, 2009


It isn't just that I've lost that blogging feeling. I think I have lost my gusto. I hate to always go to the hormone/menopause place, but it appears to be the culprit for my malaise. After 10 years of hormonal ebbs and flows: hot flashes, insomnia, 13-20 day cycles, memory loss, moodiness, diminished sex drive and weight gain, it is now 14 months since my last period.

So where is the menopausal zest Margaret Meade?? I feel tired, unmotivated, sad and so even tempered you would think I was drugged - oh, except for the day at work when I went berserk.

I was told about 13 years ago that I should not take HRT for fear of aggravating a neurological issue I have - or had. Who knows after so many years if a "diagnosis of exclusion" is still present? I watched the Oprah show about bioidenticals and I am going to see if that is anything my doc can help with. I don't hold out to much hope because Kaiser is not exactly cutting edge.

It was irritating to watch Oprah and her wealthy guest discuss the issues when it came to dealing with doctors who tell you everything is "normal" by changing doctors until you find one who will work with you. Yeah, right. If you are insured at all, the likelihood that you can change doctors is slim to none. When you can afford to shop around, travel to wherever the specialists are and pay cash for your treatment and drugs - it is much more simple to solve your problems.
Complaining doesn't seem to help - so I'll look for new topics for my next posts...