Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!!!!!!

We don't do the whole Santa-Claus-Christmas-Morning thing.  The kids don't really understand the concept, and my in-laws have never made a huge deal out of it (Hubby never had a tree growing up).  Which is kind of a relief: we get a few small gifts and have a nice dinner.
Today, however, Hubby's parents went to Vegas, so Hubby and I (and my mom) went back to Stinson Beach, where we'd had so much fun on Thanksgiving.  And we brought the dog this time, to let her run around and play with the other pups. And we had a GREAT time, again!
We started with a picnic, then went to the playground.  WG started to fuss a bit, so we went to the beach, where she immediately cheered up.  LG made a run for the water, but it was a bit too cold, even for him.  And the dog?  She got so excited she pooped (which was immediately cleaned up and disposed of), then proceeded to run around like a puppy rather than the arthritic 13 year-old she is.  (She's now sound asleep on her ergonimically-supportive dog bed, where she'll probably stay for the next 3 days).
We then came home, where I proceeded to slave for many minutes heating up food traditional foodstuffs bought at Whole Foods the other day.
Plus some spaghetti for the kids.
And then we watched the "Doctor Who" Christmas special. Which I thought was merely sweet and charming until the last few minutes, when I started getting weepy.
So now we're all relaxing in various ways, and I can truthfully say this has been the best Christmas I can remember.

I hope you've all had a wonderful holiday, whichever one(s) you celebrate (if any).

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Just Say It!

People aren't mind readers.  You get back what you put out there, good or bad, right or wrong. After years and years of letting fear hold me back from asking for what I need, I have reached my limit.  I truly believe that internalizing everything for 40 + years is the root cause of my anxiety, weight/food issues, self-esteem problems and depression.  (And even occasional indigestion, lol!)
I agonize over stuff, envision worst-case scenarios, rehearse difficult conversations in my mind, and then find out that all the stuff I was worried about simply doesn't exist.
This morning I discovered that what I see as one of my least-favorite traits is what draws others to me.  They actually LIKE that about me!  Who knew?!?!?!
And that when I express my fears/needs/wants, the people who love me don't, in fact, run away screaming or act as if I've asked for their left ear.  Quite the opposite: they give me a hug and tell me they'll give me whatever I need.  And if they've done something that has upset me, they don't lash out and blame me, or tell me I'm being too sensitive. They apologize!!!!!
I'm a bit stunned.

But there's been a transformation happening recently. Inside me.  A shift in attitude.  A lot of my old beliefs are starting to drop away, and that's a GREAT thing! All the negative crap that was multiplied when I moved to L.A is finally, FINALLY, getting left behind and replaced with new, kinder thoughts.
Most of the time.
It's a process.

And speaking of processes, we're speeding up the process of moving:  we received notice that on or around February 29th (it's a leap year!) our house will be auctioned off, after which we will have 10 days to vacate.  So we want to be ready before then.
I almost said our "home" will be auctioned off.  But, really, it's the place we currently live.  Our HOME is wherever we are together.
Sure, we've lived here for 5 1/2 years, but we moved many times before this.  And it wasn't meant to be our "forever" house.  When we bought it, we figured we'd live here for a couple of years, sell it, and buy a single-family home.  But then the market tanked, the economy went south, Hubby lost his job, our mortgage went up, and the bank refused to even consider a refi.  So now they will sell it for far less than it is worth, while we go live in a beautiful house with our extended family.  We are truly, TRULY blessed.
And, hopefully, whoever buys this house will enjoy it and have a good life here.
And, yes, the closer we get to the foreclosure, the more I'm convinced it's happening for a reason.  Many reasons, in fact. Some are becoming clear now, but others won't materialize until later.  One good thing: getting rid of a lot of crap.  I have books sitting in boxes in the garage that have been in  those same boxes for 6 or 7 years.  They're all going to the library.  I kept them because I enjoyed them.  but they're not currently being enjoyed by ANYONE right now!  Books are meant to be read!  If they go to the library, they'll be enjoyed by many.  I feel kinda badly that they've been sitting untouched for so long!
There's all this other stuff we don't use.  But maybe other people WILL use it.  So we're donating it.
The rest of it will be thrown away or, even better, recycled.
Because we don't need all this STUFF!!!!!  We can live much more simply than we currently do.
And that'll be a huge relief.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Keepin' it Clean

My food, that is.  Not my language.  And certainly not my house! Oy!
I've been on a slow process of eliminating certain foods from my diet & seeing how I feel. The latest are 2 of my faves, bread and cheese.  And darn it if I don't feel better without them!  I suppose my days of toasted sharp cheddar on freshly baked sourdough are, well, not finished, but limited.
And you know what?  It's OK!  Because it will be a treat from now on. Which will make it special, and I'll appreciate it more.  Like my beloved white-chocolate-with-whip mochas or dark chocolate salted caramels. Eat (or drink) too many and they become boring (and my dental bills go through the roof!), but save them for a once-in-a-while treat and I will savor every bite/sip. And maybe avoid dentures in the future.

There are times I feel deprived, but I have to look at the big picture: like IE and Geneen Roth point out, this is about feeding, loving, and nurturing my WHOLE self, as well as my body.  If there are things I like but they don't serve me, am I really treating myself?  Certain foods are like bad ex-boyfriends: the ones who were gorgeous and great kissers but treated you like garbage. Or maybe weren't so bad, but you just weren't right together.  Cheese is my personal "Brokeback Mountain:" for the longest time I just didn't know how to quit it.

And I need to keep reminding myself that I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR EVERYTHING.  (Remember the post about ducks ruling the world if I were in charge of it all? Yup. Still hasn't happened.) I do what I can to the best of my ability, and that's all I or any of us can do.

Remember that Simon & Garfunkel song "Slow down, you move too fast?"  Yeah, that's been running (or, um, strolling) through my head lately.  Every time I start feeling guilty for not doing more, I sing it and remind myself I just finished a completely CRAZY few months in which I was completely overwhelmed & overextended. And I'm not doing anyone any favors if I keep that up.  My kids certainly deserve more from me.

And then there's faith.  That things, for the most part, happen for a reason, and the Universe will take care of me and mine if I let go and let it.
Which is a whole lot easier said than done, lol!  I'm holding on to my illusion of control by my fingertips!

So we'll see how it goes.  I'll let you know!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Drama Mamas

Just when I thought I was out...
The other day I drove to the beach and went for a nice walk.  Which turned into a power walk when, suddenly, I REALLY had to pee, and the nearest restroom was oh-so far away.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the restroom: after petting some nice doggies and enjoying the view, I noticed some familiar-looking sights: teamsters carrying lighting equipment, catering trucks, honey wagons... I'd wandered onto a film set!!!!!!
To be honest, I started getting butterflies, and not the good kind.  You may know that for a long time I did work as a background actor in L.A.  What they call "extras."  The people in a scene who don't speak, but make a scene more realistic by being there. They're the people in the background, hence the name, lol!
It's not a bad gig, and pays pretty well if you're in the union. But it's also a bit of a lottery: some sets are wonderful and the extras are treated well, while others...not so much.  And even if the folks on set treat you well, the casting agencies are pretty awful.  They know there are thousands of actors willing to do the work, so they don't have to treat any of those actors respectfully.  Basically, you take what you get & be grateful, 'cause there's always someone willing to take your place.
So I put my head down, kept walking, and focused on my personal pot o' gold, the public restroom.  And after I did my business and could think of something other than "gottapeegottapeagottapeaHOLYCRABCAKESIGOTTAPEE," I remembered that this particular movie is called "Of Men and Mavericks," which is a true, sad story about a young surfer named Jay Moriarity. (And Mavericks is a famous beach for surfers in Half Moon Bay, where I was walking.)  And the star, who plays his mentor, is Gerard Butler.  I don't know about you, but I'm quite the fan, especially after "Phantom of the Opera."  So I took a little look-see around (just with my eyes: I didn't snoop, honest!) for him, but he wasn't around.  I think they were setting up for a night shoot.  Seeing as it was 1:00 in the afternoon, they probably wouldn't start filming until 4 or 5. So I continued on my merry way, empty of bladder and full of contentment to be on the beach on such a gorgeous day.

Two days later (also known as "yesterday") I was dragged into a different drama.  Have I mentioned that there's some unhappiness among some of the other moms of kids in my son's class?  The classroom move was a result of that.  Unfortunately it didn't end there.
I understand the concerns, although I don't share them.  Maybe because my son has been with this teacher for 4 years and she has worked wonders with him.  Plus, he adores her and the feeling is mutual.  I also consider her a friend, so maybe I've become a bit biased.  However, I also believe that I am as entitled to my feelings and opinions as they are of theirs, even if I'm not as vocal about it.
Anyway, I got an email saying these parents would be meeting with the (new, this year) principal that morning.  I had an appointment so I couldn't go.  Which was a good thing: I've decided I'm NOT going to get involved.   I did write an email to the principal today, letting her know that I support the teacher and her team.  (I hope it helped; the teacher was scheduled to meet with the principal this afternoon.)
There's one person who is leading the charge.  She's a great mom and a former special ed teacher, and she has very strong opinions about how a classroom should be run. They're all great moms and lovely people, and I really like them all.  We go out for coffee once in a while, and we have a great time.  But I don't agree with how the situation is being handled.  To be fair,one of the moms has spoken  with the teacher and told her of her concerns, which is how all of this should have been handled, IMO. But it's starting to resemble a Queen Bee situation, and I cannot get behind that. Especially when it's affecting the classroom environment and all the teachers' ability to teach.
It's all very upsetting, for everyone.  And there's a part of me that wants to say "If you're THAT unhappy, explore other options!"
But that would only add to the drama and, I'm sure, make life more difficult all around.
Sometimes it's best to pick one's battles.

So I'll do what I can.  And may have to avoid going out for coffee for a bit.  Yeah, it sucks, but I REALLY want to save my sanity.

Speaking of which,my second group of students did their show yesterday.  They got hit with a collective case of the giggles in the middle of it, which only added to the fun, if you ask me.  They were great!!!!!!
And now I'm down from 6 jobs to 3.  Which is a heck of a lot more manageable, lol!

OK.  Off to have a dance party with my kids!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Decisions, Decisions...

Follow my 20 year-old dream of becoming a Designated Linklater voice teacher?  Try to start my own Shakespeare company?  Take on a comprehensive Pilates teacher training, at a steep discount, and learn all the equipment I haven't trained on yet?  Go back to studying Krav Maga?
The options may seem endless, but, alas, the financial and physical resources are not.  Add the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day and I'd like to spend at least a few of them with my family and, y'know, sleeping, and I have some decisions to make.
I'm still trying to decide what I want to do with my life.  I have an opportunity to take that comprehensive Pilates training, and it's a REALLY good deal. And since Pilates is where most of my income is from at the moment, it would seem like a no-brainer.  However I may not have the necessary child care available. And I'm starting to ask myself if I want to continue teaching Pilates for the next however-many years. I mean, I CAN, but is it what I want?
I honestly don't know.  I enjoy it, but it's not my number one passion. So I could combine it with other things, right?  Kinda like I'm doing now, but maybe in a way that's a little less... spastic?
And let's be real; the whole start-my-own-theater-company thing isn't gonna happen anytime in the near future.  Not with the economy the way it is, and with my kids as young as they are.  I've already decided that going back to school for drama therapy also isn't feasible right now.
I took a 2-hour Anusara yoga workshop today and it was WONDERFUL!  There was a moment, after the fiirst hour, when the teacher said "just remind yourself why you're here today."  And it made me think of acting: why I fell in love with it, when I enjoyed it most, and why I STOPPED loving it (when I was doing it for the wrong reasons, in a place that didn't value the craft or the talent required).  We were also focused on our breath, which made me think of all the breath work we did at the Shakespeare Company I used to work at.  It was there that I realized how important the breath is to performing.  Not just to be heard, but for EVERYTHING.  The moment you stop breathing on stage, everything stops.  It's no longer in the moment.  It becomes effort-ful, self-conscious, and false.
Oh, and you put yourself in danger of passing out.
Kinda like life!
I also remembered how much I enjoyed not only learning HOW to breathe, but teaching it to other students and actors. And I was really good at it.  But after grad school, when I had the opportunity to work with a master teacher toward my goal of becoming a designated instructor, I backed off.
For a number of reasons, many of them good ones.  She wanted me to work with her full-time, which I couldn't do.  I had to pay my rent, after all.  I also wanted to pursue my acting career, which wouldn't have been possible.  And frankly, she scared the crap out of me!  She's a brilliant,  intimidating person!
Then, of course, the kids came along, I became a full-time SAHM, and everything else went to the back burner.
Now I live in an are where there are no master teachers.  I could, in theory, fly down to L.A. or San Diego and work with one.  It would take time and money, but what doesn't?  It's also something I can potentially do until I keel over. AND, it would give me a skill above and beyond all the other MFA-holders applying for jobs at the university level.
And the fact is, I can't work full-time right now, so maybe it's the perfect time to focus on training and getting designated. Especially since we'll be moving out and paying rent, as opposed to a mortgage.
So, what to do?

Lots to think about.  Decisions to be made.
Stay tuned...

Friday, December 2, 2011


This morning I was a grump.  A whiner.  Annoyed. PMS-ing. Tired. Grouchy.
Oscar had NUTHIN' on me!
I was in Peet's Coffee waiting for my soy latte, and I saw a woman with her little boy.  And for a moment I missed having my kids at home, their being that young.
And then I got over it.
After all, there I was at the coffee place by myself, able to go to work, run errands, etc. without carting around 14 tons of Toddler Stuff.
But still, looking at that little guy...
I saw them again later, but this time the woman's dad was with her.  And because my emotions are so close to the surface this time of month, I started crying, thinking about my dad taking my son to the zoo when LG was a REALLY li'l guy.  About 10 minutes later, the song "Isn't She Lovely" came on the radio.  The one Stevie Wonder wrote for his newborn daughter. It was one of my favorite songs as a kid, and I still love it.  And I got the feeling it was a message from my dad.  Just telling me that everything's OK and he's still around, even if we can't see him.  And that he has a front seat to the kids' lives.

Then I went to my appointment at the weight loss center, and my coach was telling me some things I needed to hear.  Not "You need to cut down your carbs and walk more," but "You, like all of us, are perfect just as you are.  You don't need to try to get it 'right' or worry about what anyone else thinks.  Take care of yourself, and try to give yourself a break.  Enjoy your food.  Don't worry about calories, just think about how, every time you eat, you're nourishing yourself."

Pretty damn cool.

So I'm feeling less grumpy.  Enough to enjoy the warm weather (warm enough for a tank top!) and the foliage.  Enough to maybe take the kids to the pool, which is still open thanks to the warmth.

OK.  I'm gonna workout and get ready for the kids' return.  Have a GREAT weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


You don't know me.  I don't know you.  Our kids go to the same school.
Maybe you were just trying to be helpful.
Maybe you WEREN'T being judgmental when I told you that, no, we did not sell any cookie dough for the school fundraiser.  The fundraiser that, despite our non-participation, still managed to exceed its goal by $3,000.

So maybe it makes me a bad School Mom.  Maybe I don't have Puma Spirit.  But I'm certainly not sending my autistic 10 year-old out to sell cookie dough, and no one in our family can eat it.  His grandfather had a triple bypass last year, his aunt is pregnant and trying to keep herself and the baby as healthy as possible. His other grandmother lives 3,000 miles away.  I cannot sell cookie dough at the gym, to my Pilates clients, nor can my husband sell it at the hospital where he works.  Maybe we can make a donation to the school, we'll have to see where we are once the bills are paid.

And again, maybe you were just trying to be helpful and NOT trying to make me feel badly.  But I have to wonder why you didn't bring it up with any of the other (many) parents, parents of "typical" kids, who also weren't carting tubs of cookie dough around as they left the school.  Why did you zero in on me?

It's possible I'm blowing this out of proportion.  I do that.  Like, 1,000 times a day (and, yes, it IS exhausting).  You have no way of knowing that I take everything personally, or that I'm in the throes of a raging case of PMS, or that I'd had one of THOSE mornings.  You don't know about my 2 autistic kids, my 6 jobs, and my pending foreclosure. You have no way of knowing that selling cookie dough is WAAAAAAAAY down on the list of my priorities.


But, really, and with respect, please leave me alone.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


We had our Thanksgiving early this ear: my S-I-L, her husband, and their son were in town (from Hawaii) but had to leave on Wednesday, so we had our big wing-ding on Sunday.  On Saturday, we took a hike near the Sutros Baths and had lunch at the Cliff House (my first time there).  It was SO fun!  And a bunch of other family came in from Sacramento on Sunday, so that was nice.
I took a walk after the meal.  I needed to help my digestion along and REALLY needed a bit of quiet and fresh air.  I didn't eat a huge amount, just some things I haven't had in a while.  Like gravy and chocolate chip banana bread.
Which gave me trouble the next day.
At first I was worried that it was actually stomach flu, but as the day went on I started feeling better.  But I canceled my class, just in case.

TMI?  Sorry!

Tuesday I picked up the backdrop for the little urchins' play, picked my son up, then picked up my in-laws, who were sans car for the day and watching the kids (and getting WG off her bus) so I could go to work.  It was the last day for that class, and the performance.  When I got to the school I realized I didn't have leaves for the actors playing trees, so I went to gather some.  Right next to the school there's a house with a paddock, and a very friendly horse who hangs out there. He saw me and walked right over. I thought he wanted to say hello, but it turns out he wanted my leaves.
Which I discovered too late.
After he ate the leaves, he tried to eat the buttons off my shirt.  Then he gave me a nuzzle and let me snuggle him a bit.
I finally found more leaves, and went back to the school, where 3 parents had shown up to help me set up (thank you)!  Too bad the backdrop wasn't in the bag with all the poles.   Ah, well.  We still had a curtain.  And the show went quite well.  Everyone helped me clean up afterwards, and I was able to leave a bit earlier than usual. And, I got my iPhone!!!!!! Which I LOOOOOOOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday I got mad at Hubby, and spent most of the morning that way.  But there was a potluck at LG's school, and that was nice.  In the evening, Hubby & I talked, and all was well.  Then I went to teach my class.
Thursday was AMAZING!  We left in the morning to pick up the in-laws, then headed out to an oyster farm in northern Marin, near Point Reyes. Thanks to my tiny bladder, we stopped at the visitors' center and ended u spending some time there.  There's a museum and such stuff.  We made plans to camp there in the spring.  After the oyster farm we decided to visit Stinson Beach, a really cool coastal town (that used to have a Shakespeare Festival) and let the kids play at a park, where I met a speech pathologist who told me her son's class was fully integrated with both autistic and typical kids.  Pretty cool!  Everyone was so mellow and friendly.  Even the dogs were friendly.
After the park we went to the beach, where dozens of dogs ran free (including one chasing a low-flying seagull, which was hilarious!  That bird was TOTALLY taunting the dog!)  We hung out there for a couple of hours, running back and forth, before heading home for dinner with the in-laws.  And another quick walk for me.
I think we've created a new Thanksgiving tradition: why slave over a hot stove all day when we can go to the beach and have a picnic?  We don't have to have turkey et al.
Oh, and I want to live in Stinson Beach.
Friday was mellow: Hubby was at work, the kids were home,and I was SO TIRED!  Like, couldn't-keep-my-eyes-open tired. I actually fell asleep TWICE.  Luckily the kids didn't do TOO much damage while I was out.

Today: Ah, today!  I was a bit grumpy when I woke, still tired, grousing about having to teach a class which, let's be honest, probably no one would show up to on a Saturday morning after Thanksgiving.  However, 15 people DID show up, and we had a grand time!  Then it was time for my appointment at the weight loss center and a quick walk to get some coffee (soy lattes with stevia are my new obsession.  But it has to be at Peet's, because Starbucks used sweetened soy milk, and it's not as good).  Home for lunch, then off to the park with the family.
We brought LG's bike and his and my rollerblades.  WG rode the bike to the park with Hubby assisting.  LG did the same once we got there, for a while.  Then it was on with the rollerblades.  Let me tell ya, LG is a GREAT trainer: ever time I tried to slow down he'd say "Catch me!" and off we went.  For about an hour.  So between the class, the rollerblading, and walking to and from the park, I got a nice workout in today, lol!

We ordered some sushi for dinner and watched "Cars 2."
Now I'm listening to "Selected Shorts" on NPR.

All in all, a good week.

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you all have a wonderful day!


Monday, November 21, 2011

Opening to Grace

This is a phrase used often in the Anusara yoga class I take.  Most of the time I use it as a physical cue to relax my shoulders when moving from one pose into another.  Of course, there's more to it than that, and I'm finally getting it.
As you probably know, I don't subscribe to one particular religion.  I believe that G-d has presented Himself to us in a number of ways, and continues to do so. I was raised sort-of Jewish, with some Catholicism thrown in the mix.  Being the nosy-er-curious sort, so I've learned bits here and there about other religions and spiritual practices, as well. I've been lucky enough to have been able to attend services at many different churches, temples, etc.
But despite all of that, it's taken me a REALLY long time to understand what grace truly is.

What I'm discovering is that G-d has been trying to show me my path for quite a while now, and I simply haven't been paying attention. Being the perfectionist control freak that I am, I have spent years trying to please others, not realizing that it was completely unnecessary. Because He loves us all, regardless.

And He's given us these bodies to house us.  Ourselves, the true Self.  The part of us which is connected to everything and everyone else.  So when I abuse my body, I'm abusing not just my physical self, but my spirit and my connection to everyone and everything. I'm cutting myself off from grace, rather than opening to it.  When I focus on the worst-case scenario, or the end result of an action, how can I see other possibilities?

I remember watching a documentary about the Holocaust.  A survivor spoke of standing in the camp one evening, watching the sunset.  One of the other prisoners said "How beautiful the world could be."
If someone in a concentration camp has the ability to see the wonder and beauty of life, what is my excuse for not doing so?  Back in September, when we were in Yosemite, I got to see a glimpse of what the world must have looked like before human came along.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not about to strip down, give away all my earthly possessions and go skipping off to live in a cave. I'm WAY too fond of running water and central heating.  But there is SO MUCH in the world that I fail to notice because I've got my nose to the proverbial grindstone, or I'm worrying over What Happens Next.

Can I let go of outcomes?  Am I able to focus on doing my part and then letting what happens, happen?  Can I focus less on guilt and more on love?
These are my goals.

To appreciate what I have, and, yes, be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Step Away From the Pizza

Not because its pure cheesy, greasy, carb-y goodness is too tempting.  Not because it's "bad."
I'm sitting here in front of a pizza I made for the kids.  Sure, I took a couple of bites, but then I had to turn away and focus on my turkey & veggies.  Not just because I'm trying to lose weight, but because I FINALLY understand the consequences.
Heartburn, reflux, and stomach cramps.
Not things I want to deal with tonight as I teach my Pilates class.  Or ever, if I can help it.
For the past year or so I'd come to believe that all those things were side-effects of my weight gain, getting older, and genetics (both of my parents have had pretty severe reflux).  But it's not any of the above. At least not entirely.
As you probably know, a big part of Intuitive Eating is finding out which foods your body wants, and learning to tell the difference between what the mind wants and what the BODY wants.  I may want to gobble up a bunch of pizza, but I know I'll pay for it later.  Big time.
It kinda feels like growing up, lol!

In other change-of-perspective news, I had coffee with some of the other moms in my son's class today.  The school is putting the kids in a different classroom, on the main campus (right now they're in a portable away from the main building). I was against it for a bunch of reasons I won't get into now, but talking with the other parents and the principal I've changed my mind.  And there are issues in the class itself which need to be addressed.  Which scares me, because my son has been in this class for over 3 years, and I consider everyone who works there to be friends.  They've done SO MUCH for my son, and I respect them a lot.  But these issues have to be resolved, for everyone's sake.
We're also going to form a support group.  Just a place where we can vent, listen, offer advice and sympathy.  Because we all feel overwhelmed, we're all in the same boat, and we all understand each other.  It'll be especially helpful during those times when we feel like we want to kill ourselves or someone else, lol!
But truthfully, it'll be good to have some structured support. And to offer some. To know that we're not alone.

Finally, I can't remember if I've already posted this, but I've decided to hold off on going back to school.  There's just way too much going on.  And I've been so busy this Fall that I've missed a lot of it.
So it's back to being Mom and a part-time Pilates teacher.  Everything else will just have to wait.

Until I'm a grownup.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Buh-Bye! (Warning: Language!!!!)

After looking through my journal and placing me on the scale, she said "You have issues with stress, don't you?"
She ignored the number on the scale, telling me she wasn't 'going to worry about it." Which seemed a bit strange, as she is a weight loss counselor at a weight loss center.  She then told me about the 20 years she spent training continuously for triathlons, teaching 3 fitness classes a day, every day, and eating 700 calories per day.  Needless to say, she didn't lose weight.
We know now that starving the body often just makes us hold on to fat stores stubbornly, as the body believes it will not receive nourishment for a long time.  Add compulsive over-exercising into the mix and your body will dig its feet in, refusing to let go of a single pound.
Add stress in, and, well, you'll not only maintain weight, but probably gain a few LBs.
Because, as I do, I was trying to be "good."  Even though, mentally, I know there are no "good" or "bad" foods, just foods that either make me feel good (energized, focused, satisfied) and those that make me feel bad (sluggish, mentally foggy, bloated, sick), I still wanted to be That Good Girl.

Stupid, fu**ing Good Girl.
The Girl who let everyone walk all over her, let people take advantage, took their cruelty in stride because she didn't know better.  Who let others' opinions and needs be more important than her own. Who learned to be calm on the outside, even though inside she was screaming, because it felt easier to go along to get along. The girl who didn't know when a boy was flirting with her, because she couldn't imagine anyone ever would want to. Who panicked when the boy she'd likes for so long walked her home one night and gave her a kiss.
The Girl who spent years cultivating her own company because she couldn't figure out how to be in others'.  She had friends, good friends, but she wasn't always there for them when other, seemingly "better" friends came along.
And was so grateful when, years later, those true friends showed up at her father's memorial, despite the fact that she and they lived 3,000 miles apart and hadn't been in the same room in nearly 15 years. Yet it seemed as if no time had passed at all.
The girl who became a wife and mother, and tried to do it all perfectly.  Who decided it was better not to make waves, to take on everything alone, never complain, never ask for help, and listen quietly to "advice" and criticism.  To believe others who told her she wasn't ENOUGH.  Didn't make enough money, didn't have a clean enough house, didn't sacrifice enough for her kids: wasn't pretty enough, thin enough, sexy enough. Who took it all in, took it to heart, and believed all of it.  Because, after all, it was all true.
Wasn't it?
She felt powerless. As if she had no say in her own life.  She'd felt that way her WHOLE life.

Then, slowly, she began to realize that it wasn't true.
Any of it.
She DID have power over her life, she just had to speak up. She also had to realize that the judgements of others didn't have to affect her.  They didn't live in her house, weren't affected by her salary (or lack thereof), and she certainly didn't want to sleep with any of them, so who gives a flying fig if they thought her fat or ugly? For a long time she'd heard the phrase "Don't give away your power."  She'd thought she'd understood what that meant, yet she was doing exactly that: giving it away.  Often to those who didn't deserve it.  She learned that she was filled not only with self-doubt, but perhaps also with self-hate.
And that made her incredibly sad.
WHY should she hate herself?  She's a good person!  She loves children and animals, believes in fairness, is often willing to give the benefit of the doubt.  She's honest, compassionate, sensitive, feels things deeply, and she is loyal. She loves fiercely and truly, is a good caretaker, and has a sense of humor. She also works hard. Yes, she has a temper, can be a perfectionist and impatient.  She is far from perfect, but so is every other creature on the planet. Why should she hold herself to a higher, no, impossible, standard than she holds the ones she loves?
Does she stop loving her kids when they're cranky?  No.  Why should she go unloved for the same?  Why is she the only one not allowed to make mistakes or feel unhappy/angry/frustrated?

She finally realizes that all the extra weight she's carrying around is more than physical.  It's unexpressed emotions, shame from all-too-human behavior, and beating up on herself.  Feeling stuffed and sick is more tolerable than feeling alone and scared and overwhelmed, or hating herself for yelling at the kids. Or guilty, over the billion-and-one things she THINKS she has to feel guilty about.

But the truth is slowly seeping through.  She deserves good things. (Like compliments. Why is she ALWAYS so surprised by compliments?)  She's a better mom when she takes care of herself, first.  It's the airplane analogy:  put your own oxygen mask on first, then help those around you.  After all, you can't help ANYONE if you're unconscious.  And stuffing herself beyond fullness, eating food that makes her sick, is just like being unconscious.
She is entitled to her opinions, moods, and emotions, even if they're not the same as everyone else's at the moment. They don't make her stupid, or a bitch, or a drama queen. And she is entitled to NOT take on everyone else's. She is entitled to buy a few things for herself, like books.  She is entitled to some time off now and again.  Yes, even a few hours away from the kids. And, absolutely, she is entitled to HAVING SOME HELP!!!!! She doesn't have to do it all alone!

So here she is, at another crossroads.  Perhaps the most important one.  Certainly the first one she's seen so clearly.  She can continue the status quo, or she can take back her power.  Her voice.  Her control.

She can STOP being such a damned Good Girl!!!!!!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

And Away We Go...

Well, it's happened.  We got the official foreclosure notice.  At least, the first one.  With more to follow.  We're not sure how much time we have until we need to be out, but we're guessing about 3 months.
So there are a lot of mixed feelings going on.  On one hand, there's relief: we've been waiting for this shoe to drop, and here it is.  On the other, moving is a HUGE pain in the arse!!!!!  Especially with kids, and especially in the middle of the school year.  I'm holding out a bit of hope that the new school district will allow LG to stay in his school until the end of June, as he'll be starting middle school in September and 3 huge transitions in a matter of months will be very hard on him.  He LOVES it here, and moving in with his grandparents will, I think, be harder for him than it will be for WG.

So it's basically a time for transition.  The move, the 2 shows with my students coming up in a few weeks, and then figuring out what I'm going to do with myself.  I still have my 6 Pilates classes, and I need to think about whether to take on more again.  In the spring.  After the move.
Although I've already applied at 24 Hour Fitness.  Apparently I can't help myself.  And Whole Foods is looking for part-time, seasonal help in their Whole Body dept.
And then there's school.  Drama Therapy.  I've been thinking about it A LOT.  I could still take an intro to psych course and see if it's something I'm passionate about.  Because, truthfully, at this point, I REALLY DON'T want to go back to school unless I am truly committed.  I have 2 degrees, and spending more time/money on another one is not at the top of my list right now.
And writing that makes me feel like a cranky toddler.
I think I've written about this before, but I believe that the fact that I was so hyper-focused on being an actress from the age of 10 until I was 34 is partly what put me in this position now.  I didn't let myself consider any other possibilities. So maybe I'm going through my teenage rebellion AND a midlife crisis all at once, lol!

One of the things I've re-discovered teaching my Thursday class is how much I LOVE creative collaboration! We've just about finished polishing the play, and I've loved every minute of it.  I'm VERY proud of the girls and of myself, to pat myself on the back for a minute. So now my devious, spastic brain is wondering how I can parlay that into a career.  And whether I should also try to get certified as an Anusara yoga teacher. And can I do both?
See?  SPAZZY BRAIN!!!!!!!

Anyway.  It's good to have possibilities, right?
So there's lots to ponder, and lots to do.

At least it's never dull!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Not always my strong point, I must admit.  I certainly have more of it since the kids came along, and especially since their autism diagnoses.  And I'm still learning.
Last week I found out that my class of 20 adorable-but-feral bunnies (I kid) was supposed to have an intern, but she/he had to leave at the last moment.  And, as I've said before, that would have made ALL the difference!  However, I went in this past Tuesday with a slightly different attitude and, guess what?  It went SO much more smoothly!!!!  We actually got a partial run-through in, and it was great!  They're starting to realize that this is THEIR play, not mine, or their teachers' or parents', or anyone else's.  This is the moment I always look forward to (but worry will never come), because they stop trying to do it "right," stop resisting it, and realize that it's their moment.  They start being a little goofy with their roles, which is perfect as it's a comedy and they're playing chickens, ducks, and monkeys! They start being a bit braver, taking more chances, and realizing what they're capable of.  And this often bleeds out into other areas of their lives.
Which is the whole point: not to have a perfect play, but to hopefully give them the confidence to raise their hands a bit more often in class, or go out for the sport or activity they've always wanted to try but were too nervous.
Which is the whole point of doing what we do.  At least for me.

But I'm also learning patience with myself.  Finally.  Sometimes when I learn something not-so-ideal about me I either berate myself or stuff it under the overly-filled carpet of my subconscious.  Then I overeat or buy stuff, usually books or (ironically) groceries, in order to keep ignoring it.
Last week in therapy I cried a bit.  It's the first time I've cried with this therapist, despite the fact that I've been seeing her for over 3 years.  Because, while I have no problem crying on stage in front of hundreds of people, I hate crying on front of the people who know me. It's that vulnerability thing; it's REALLY scary.  And it doesn't help that, in the past, crying was often met with hostility.
So, yes, I cried.  And she had me stay with it, feel it in my body, breathe through it, talk about it, and guess what?  The world didn't end! No one died because I cried.  My head didn't explode.  In fact, I felt calmer and MUCH more relaxed.
So that whole "feel your emotions and let them go" thing?  Yeah, turns out it works.

As far as food and weight, this program I'm on now is actually helping me A LOT with figuring out why I eat, as well as what my body wants/can handle.  In the past I'd eat something that made me feel bloated and sick, then berate myself for eating "too much."  Well, turns out that it wasn't always that I'd eaten too much, I'd just eaten something my body couldn't handle.
I started the program and immediately lost 3 pounds, which had the unfortunate side-effect of getting me fixated, once again, on the scale.  Then I got PMS and the scale stuck.  While I obsessed about that, my counselor noticed that I'd written down feeling bloated quite a bit, so she put me on a very clean, 4-day program.  From here we'll start adding foods back in and see how they make me feel.  That way I can see what agrees with me and what doesn't, what my body likes and what it doesn't. It's shifted the focus from "gottaloseweightgottaloseweightgottaloseweight!" to slowing down, being mindful, and taking care of myself. To the realization that, just as I don't have to live with crippling anxiety, I also don't have to live with nearly-constant stomach pain.

Finally, exercise:  I started a new 30-minute walking program this week.  I have 2 walks: one is a steady pace and the other is intervals.  It's quick and challenging, but not so much that it's killing me slowly, lol!  Plus, along with Charlotte, I'm trying out a program called T-Tapp.  (I'm using the YouTube versions, adding reps when needed.)  Turns out there are moves I can use in a few of my Pilates classes, the ones in which hand weights aren't available. So, bonus!  Plus, it's quite a bit more challenging than it looks. And it only takes a few minutes, so another bonus.
I'm REALLY enjoying it.  I love walking outside and have missed it. I feel more clear-headed and much less stressed after a good walk.  In fact, I'm about to head out for one now. I was going to do a more strenuous, hour-long workout, but I realized that if I did that, then drove 30 minutes south to teach a drama class, then back north (60 minutes this time, thanks to rush hour traffic) to teach a Pilates class, then off to the store to get gluten-free cupcakes for WG's birthday party at school tomorrow (her actual birthday is Sunday), it might be a BIT too much.
So, a walk it is, before the rain starts.

Au revoir for now!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Halloween!!!!!

I'll say it again: this is my FAVORITE holiday!!!!!!  Sent WG off to school with her Ladybug costume (SO cute!) and got to see LG walk in his Halloween parade at school, dressed as SpongeBob.  He wasn't all that excited about the parade, probably because it's his 7th one and the novelty has worn off.  Plus it was hot.
Yes, it's been quite warm here.  Over the past few days, while friends and family were getting pummeled with heavy, wet snow, we've been hiking around in tanktops.  No, literally; we took the kids for a hike in the city the other day, near the Golden Gate Bridge.
It's supposed to cool off and start raining as the week goes on, but it's been wonderful!  I had to remind myself this afternoon that just because winter's coming doesn't mean I have to stop walking outside.  Even though I've lived in California for 17 years (?!?!?!), I still, in the back of my mind, expect snow and sleet once November comes around. And while weather patterns have gotten truly bizarre, we haven't gotten to THAT point yet!

In other news, you may have heard that Kim K. is filing for divorce, after a whopping 2 months of marriage.  Oh, plus a $10 million wedding, which the rest of us were forced to endure even if we don't watch their so-called reality show.  This after losing a $76,000 earring in the ocean while on vacation.  (Seriously, who wears $76,000 earrings while swimming?!?!?!)
Look, I don't begrudge wealthy people their money.  It's theirs.  But maybe, MAYBE, in a time when thousands are out of work and being forced out of their homes, when more people than ever (at least since the Depression) are relying on food banks, it's time for a REAL reality check?  Maybe instead of worshipping at the altar of the Kardashians and the not-so-Real Housewives we can start paying attention again to things that really matter.  (And maybe actors and writers can start getting jobs on TV again!) Personally, I think it's time to get the attention off of these silly, self-centered, ridiculous people and back on to the good stuff.
Like LOLCats and Dogs!!!!!!
SO much more fun!

Finally, some sad news: Gil Cates has died.  You may know him as the fella who directed the Oscars for many years, but he was also my boss for a while.  I used to work at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, and he was the artistic director.  He seemed to know everyone, and everyone loved him. He was a down-to-earth, kind man, and even though I didn't know him WELL, he was always respectful of everyone, even little peons like me.
R.I.P. Mr. Gates.  You will be sorely missed.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


OK, part of me feels a bit ashamed when I read over my last post.  But part of me also remembers that this is a blog, not a news story, and that I'm entitled to my feelings and opinions on my own blog, even if I'm not always proud of them.  The fact is, that stuff had been eating away at me for a few weeks, and I needed to vent. I was tired of feeling beaten down and like a failure.
That's always been a big issue for me, as you can imagine: feeling as if I have the right to my own opinions and emotions without having to prove their validity to anyone else. Even the "bad" ones.  I won't go into all this again, suffice to say that I'm working on it and I'm PMS-y and cranky, lol!

On another, much nicer subject, did you happen to catch "60 Minutes" this week?  It was all about Steve Jobs, but the last story was about apps for autism on the iPad.  It's pretty amazing, how these assistive communication apps have literally changed peoples' lives. The old ones are heavy and expensive, usually only available at specialized schools, but the apps are available for, at the most, about $60. And now people who could never communicate before are doing so easily.  It's really amazing!  And I wonder if Steve Jobs had any idea that this could happen when he designed the technology.
So now we're saving up to get an iPad.  'Cause WG could DEFINITELY benefit from this!

Finally, I have the afternoon off.  No class this afternoon.  I taught Pilates this morning, and I think I'll take the kids for a walk later.  It's still gorgeous out, though not as hot as it was over the weekend.  We actually had a chance to take the kids to the pool.  Probably the last swim here until June, as the pool usually closes end of October.  Tomorrow is their big Halloween outing, and I actually have the ENTIRE day off on Friday, so I might go into the City for a few hours, just until I have to pick the kids up.  Maybe I'll meet Hubby for lunch!
It's funny, though: I guess my body knows I have the day off, because I fell asleep before I picked LG up from school, and I'm COMPLETELY unmotivated to work out today!  I suppose it's the first time in a while I haven't been plowing through, full steam ahead, so my system is taking advantage and forcing me to slow down.
Smart, this body o' mine.

OK, I'm off. Have a great night, everyone!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Oh, We're Halfway There...

(Love me some Bon Jovi!)
Halfway through the semester.  4 more sessions of my Tuesday class, 6 more for my (awesome, amazing!) Thursday class.  I'm thinking of taking a little staycay the second week of December, after everything winds down.  Finding someone to cover my Pilates classes and just taking a break. One week of not having to do anything but get the kids off to school and home again.  (And clean the house, walk the dog, shop for groceries, cook...but you get the idea!)

I've also decided to bite the bullet and apply for a teaching job at a university that's kinda far away. It's part-time, it's in my field, and it's what I wanted to do before I went to grad school.  In fact, it's WHY I went to grad school, so I could teach at the college level.  And since it's part time, I wouldn't have to go to every faculty meeting, mwahahahaha!!!!!
Oh, and I'd get to teach students who actually WANT to be there, and don't need a babysitter.  'Cause as adorable as my young little students are, I'm flippin' exhausted, lol!

On a more serious note, I don't think I'm cut out to teach kids that young.  I can't teach and direct a play if I'm trying to keep 20 kids quiet, in the room, and out of danger. I wasn't hired to babysit, and that's not what I'm good at. At this point, with 4 weeks left, I figure if we get all the kids on stage and all the lines said in something resembling the right order, it will be a big win.
But, to me, it feels like a failure.  I've written before about my beginnings as a teacher, and how I try to uphold those standards.  Well, I'm a far cry from that with this one class, I'm sad to say.  To be honest, I don't think these kids are learning anything, and I KNOW a few of them are not enjoying it at all.  And, because I'm me, I take it to heart.  I feel like a failure every Tuesday.  I feel like I'm spending a good part of the 90 minutes getting their attention and then losing it after 60 seconds.  Some of the kids have even said they may not show up for the play.

But I also refuse to take the FULL blame: Honestly, if you're gonna run a program like this, there have to be some standards about who can participate.  And while I usually like to be all-inclusive, it's impossible to run this class with this many kids and one adult when some of the kids are being dumped into the class against their will.  Quite frankly, some of them are too young.  And I have a suspicion there are a couple with attention deficit issues.  As a parent of special needs kids, I am all for inclusion, but only in environments where it has at least a chance of being successful. Otherwise it can push children backwards and do way more harm than good.
It would probably help if I had at least one other person  in the classroom with me.  Even a middle or high school student.  Someone to ride herd, as it were, while I did the work I was hired to do.
Finally, I have a feeling I'm not the only one to have had issues at this particular school. Just from rumblings I've heard.

Is it because it's a wealthy community?  Maybe in part.  I have a feeling some of these kids are used to getting what they want, and expect to be constantly entertained.  Well, I'm not a trained monkey. I'm not there to entertain. I'm not there to mediate the fights and arguments, to force kids to apologize to each other when they hurt one another's feelings, or to punish them.  More honesty: if I have to listen to all the tattling, the "It's not fair"s and the "This is boring"s for much longer, I may end up in a padded room.  I realize that sounds b**chy, but it's true. Like I said, I'm not cut out to teach this age group.

So I highly doubt I will be teaching this class again next semester, lol!  (Even if I wanted to I don't think they'd have me back.)

On the bright side, these past couple of years have clarified what I DON'T want to do!  And that's pretty valuable.  There have been times when I've beaten myself up, telling myself there's something wrong with me because I don't want to teach the classes I've been teaching, but that is simply NOT true!  They have been a struggle and not at all satisfying, which tells me they are better suited to someone else, someone who has a passion for that.  I have a passion, it's just not getting the proper outlet.  And that's not a defect, it's simply circumstances.  I honestly believe I have a lot to offer as an instructor; I just need to find the right fit.  (And I'll say it again: my Thursday class is a freakin' DREAM COME TRUE!!!!!! The polar opposite of Tuesday!)

Another problem, I suppose, is that I did my teacher training with a group that I believe has the best educational theater program in the country.  I suppose I got spoiled, and I've been trying to recreate that experience ever since I left.
Part of me regrets leaving.  Many of the people who joined the program at the same time I did are still there, still doing that amazing work.  But I would have missed out on the life I have now if I'd stayed.  I wouldn't have met my husband, and I wouldn't have my kids.  And even the thought of that is unbearable.

So there's this little voice which, over the years, has been getting louder and louder:  What if I DID re-create it?  Here?  Rather than going back, move it west?  I have one friend who has done just that.  Granted, when he started he was single and childless. (and is now married with twin boys!!!!!)  But he is the creator and artistic Director of the Tennessee Shakespeare Company, which is an AMAZING company!  What he has created is pretty mind-blowing, and I can't help but kvel.  So if you ever find yourself in the Memphis/Germantown area, go check 'em out.

***Weird Coincidence!  As I write this a song came on the radio that I used to listen to (on cassette) every morning as I drove to work AT THAT THEATER COMPANY I'VE BEEN WRITING ABOUT! In 1994!  And it wasn't a single off of the album!  SPOOOOOOKY!!!!!!!!

Anyway.  Thanks for reading all my emotional vomit/pity partying.  I'm gonna go turn off my brain and watch some TV.  Or, better yet, listen to "80's Friday Night" on the radio.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hello! Hello, McFly!

Sometimes I wonder what's going on in my brain.
OKOKOKOKOK: MOST of the time I wonder.
Case in point: the other day I went to Old Navy to check out their new active wear (Verdict: Meh.) and saw that they're hiring for the holidays.  My first thought was "Employee discount!  I should apply!"  Then I realized that, oh yeah, I'm already working at 6 different places.  And then there are those people I live right, my husband and children!  Who would like to see me every now and again.

I started my new Pilates class tonight.  Right after my weekly yoga class.  OK, I only had 1 student, but she really enjoyed it, lol!  And I think (I hope) that I was able to lock up the studio properly.  Yes, I had to call the owner when I couldn't find the light switch (it was hidden behind a very tall potted plant, shut up!), but I THINK everything else was in its place (knock wood). I'm such a worrywart though: I'll probably be up at 3 AM wondering if everything is OK at the studio.

I've also been watching soap operas again.  Not too much, just snippets here and there.  For a long time I thought they were basically harmless, but now I'm starting to wonder.  Not all of them.  OK, one in particular, which may or not be named later.  For one thing, the characters are scarily inappropriate with each other about details of their sex lives!  And while\ that's not dangerous, it's just kinda gross.  I mean, would you want your dad grilling you about whether or not you had sex with your fiancee last night?  EEEEEEWWWWWW!!!!!
But what I find really, truly, scary (and even sent an email to the producers, which I never do) is a storyline involving a love triangle.  2 women love the same guy.  One woman is engaged to him, but she wants to wait until they're married to sleep together. Fine, no problem. She also has a career, which keeps her busy.  The controversy?  The guy's dad doesn't like her because a) she's not having sex with his son (again, EW!) and, b) SHE HAS A CAREER.  Everyone complains that she's EMASCULATING him because she's not putting his needs above her own, not coming straight away when he beckons, not dropping everything the second he walks into the room, spending "too much" time at work.  And this IS dangerous!  These characters are in their 20's, a time when many people ARE busy establishing themselves, career-wise.  And the idea that a woman has to put her needs behind that of her fiance's is SO 1950's! What kind of message are they putting out there? Do they not know it's 2011?  Sure, women still earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, but aren't we past the idea that women have to prop their men up?  Aren't we beyond the idea that it's emasculating for a man to have a wife/girlfriend with a real career?  Heck, these days it's a financial necessity!

Anyway, the guy married the other woman, the one without as busy a job. (Who's also his father's ex-mistress and his ex-fiance's stepsister. Ah, soaps!)

Ah well.  Yet another reminder to turn the dang TV off. Really, the only things worth watching are baseball, "Masterpiece [Mystery, Classic, Contemporary], and "Doctor Who." The rest is fake reality, unfunny comedies, and dramas that aren't worth investing in because they'll probably be cancelled soon. Vast wasteland, indeed.  I'd rather listen to music, read, or take the kids for a walk.

OK.  Off to bed.  'Night!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Huh. It DOES Get Easier!

Hubby's on a weekend climbing getaway in Yosemite this weekend.  I usually dread his weekends, just because it means more work for me.  But this weekend has been SO MUCH easier than usual!  Partly it's the weather; it's been quite warm and the pool is still open, so we hung out there for a couple of hours yesterday.  There were even 2 other little girls there who didn't seem the slightest bit phased by the kids' "odd" behaviors and included them (as much as possible) in their games.  It was very heartening, as there are other kids around here who make fun of mine.
Today we went over to the in-laws' for a barbecue. It was mellow and a lot of fun, and there were lots of people to help out with the kids.
But the fact is, my kids simply aren't babies anymore! It hit me yesterday that they are, in fact, old enough to be alone in the house while I take the dog a few yards away to do her thing. Not TOO far, mind you; they'd be fine, I'd be a wreck, lol!  They can handle their dad being away for a couple of days without freaking out. LG isn't going to write all over the walls with a Sharpie, and WG won't cry her eyes out if I;m in another room and she can't see me.
I admit to sometimes being a helicopter mom, but, in my defense, I have good reason.  LG will still try to get out to the yard at his grandparents' house without letting anyone know.  And he did, after all, wander away on our camping trip.  (He came back right away when he heard us calling, but it was pitch-black dark, and he headed toward the restroom without asking/telling us.  I can barely write that that without freaking out!) And WG doesn't always understand potentially dangerous situations, and, of course, cannot talk.
But I also need to realize that they are growing up, and have different issues than they had when they were toddlers.  I also forget how much WORK they were at that age, lol!  How I went through the days in a near zombie-like state, waking up multiple times a night, mainlining coffee, and carting the kids with me everywhere I went.  Which was mainly the grocery store and either the mall or the public garden for walks, pushing them in their stroller.
Sometimes I miss those days.  Until I regain my sanity.
LG is 10, and WG will be 8 next month.  They're both in school all day, and are perfectly capable of entertaining themselves on the weekends (when Hubby and I aren't dragging them hither and yon trying to expand their horizons). They are so much more in the world than they were back then. Not typical, by any means, but less in their own autistic worlds and more aware, awake, and involved. More independent.  And I'm so freakin' proud of them that sometimes I just feel like I'll burst with it!

There's hopeful news in other arenas, as well: it may be that I'm able to pay down some of my debt more easily than I'd thought.  Yes, I'll still be paying off my student loans from now until doomsday, but at least I CAN pay them, knock on wood!  Of course, I'm still trying to figure out what, if anything, to do with my degrees, but it's also kind of nice to NOT be so laser-focused like I was for my first 40 years.

Finally, I've joined a nearby weight-loss center.  It's relatively inexpensive and very reasonable.  I don't have to buy any special foods (although they have some, if I do: stuff that's also available in grocery stores), I can go and talk to my counselor as much as I want, and I am paying attention to what makes me feel good, rather than counting calories/points/fat grams/carbs, etc.  In fact, at my last appointment I was told that I'm not eating ENOUGH.  That's my kind o' weight loss, lol!
I'm finally figuring out that certain things make me feel blah.  Or worse. I think I'd gotten so used to feeling tired, run down, or even sick after eating that I figured it was normal.  But over the past couple of weeks I've felt better and more energized than I have in a really long time.  No more stomach aches, reflux, heartburn, or mid-afternoon energy crashes. At least, so far.

Oh, and one more thing: I finally got to see "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part ONE."  And LOVED it!  I think it's one of the best in the series, especially the story of the 3 brothers.  How beautiful was that?! I have to say I'm pretty impressed with the performances by all the young actors.  I suppose if you grow up making movies with some of the best actors in the world, it leaves an impression.

OK.  Gotta head to bed.  'Night!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


No, not the workout (which ABSOLUTELY lives up to it's name!), but life in these parts right about now.  Can't go into TOO many details, but another trip (or 4) to the dentist will be involved.  Not for me, but the offspring.  Feeling (even more) scared and stressed (than usual).  Plus the house...the seemingly endless house/school district drama.
I'm also (finally!) realizing that I really do need to take things not just day-by-day, but sometimes even moment-by-moment. To keep breathing, keep perspective, and take action when there is action to be taken, but also realize that at 4 AM there's usually not a lot that can be done, and obsessing and creating those worst-case scenarios doesn't help.  AT ALL.  It actually makes it worse.

So, a few new experiments.  I'm ditching the coffee.  All caffeine, in fact.  Not only does it add to the jitters I already have, I can't even drink it without adding all sort of sugary crud to it.  Since I'm trying to go without processed sugar for a while, as well, it just makes sense to ditch the coffee.  Oh, and the artificial sweeteners. I'd already gotten rid of those, for the most part, but still enjoyed a diet soda now and again.
But no more.  I need to focus on putting things in my body that will help, not hurt me.  I think, for a long time, my body has been shouting at me to get rid of some of this stuff, but I just plugged my ears and sang "lalalala  I can't hear you!"

This is just for me.  I'm not going to tell anyone else (other than my kids) how to eat.  (I'm certainly not going to tell Hubby he has to give up coffee.  Especially since I kinda like my limbs, lol!  He's the mellowest guy on the planet, but if I ever took his morning joe away, I have a feeling we'd have some "Incredible Hulk" action going on!)

See, I'm experiencing a very familiar feeling: the desire to curl up in a ball on my bed and stay there.  I've felt this way so often, probably more often than not in my 42 years. Usually this feeling is trying to tell me something.  For instance, in grad school, I started feeling like this (and having panic attacks) when I realized that acting, despite the hours, money, and years I'd already put into it, might not be what I truly wanted to do. My subconscious and conscious minds started to battle it out, while the rest of me went through the days on autopilot.  When I was a kid, I missed A LOT of school for 3 years in a row. I had stomachaches, but they were part of something deeper.  Not that I or anyone else knew that at the time.  (Oh how I wish we had: would've saved me from the Barium milkshake!)
The best remedy for feeling like this is to NOT give in.  To go out and do something.  Luckily I have a Pilates client this morning and my 20 little urchins this afternoon.  They'll keep me plenty busy, lol!
The other remedy is to take my own advice: do what can be done when that's possible, and let the rest go.  As Hamlet says, "If it be now, 'tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now. Now, if it be not now, yet it will come.  The readiness is all."
In other words, it's gonna happen sooner or later, and I need to get myself prepared.  Wishing something away won't make it go away. Time to pull on my big girl panties and deal.

Another thing to remember is that 9 times out of 10 the anticipation of something is 1,000 times worse than the event itself.

So here I am, continuing on my road of (hopefully) self-improvement.  If you see me, give me a wave!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

3 Years Ago Today

Dad breathed his last on this plane.  Hubby swore he saw him that night, going to check on the kids, and I absolutely believe it.  He constantly checked on my brother and I when we were kids, as we slept. And I'm sure he wouldn't have left before making sure all the grandkids were safe and sound.
And he's still doing just that.
Thanks, Dad!  And here's to you!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Back to Basics

As I've posted before, I need to work on my endurance.  I'm quite strong (thank you, Pilates and my kids!).  I also wrote I was going to be doing more barre-based workouts, which I haven't been doing as much as I intended.
So, I'm going to try a regime of mixing said barre workouts with Slim in 6/Slim Series, the workouts that got me back in shape after WG was born.  I'll be doing these 3-4 days a week (mixing and matching) along with yoga and my Pilates classes. I'll be teaching more off the mat, so to speak.  Doing less and observing/correcting more. And HIIT for cardio, since it doesn't take up much time and kicks my patootie.  I don't want to go back to working out 12 hours a week, so I'll be judicious in what I'll do on which days.  (For example, on Fridays I work with a private client on the reformer: I don't do the exercises, so I can do a Si6 or barre workout that day.)
So we'll see how that goes.

In other news, I had this whole post ready to go about my decision to not teach drama classes for really young kids anymore, once this current class finishes.  Then I realized that, hello!, my employers or one of the parents could possibly stumble upon it.  It was full of grousing and, after sleeping on it, I've decided not to post it.  Just getting it all down in writing helped, and a good night's sleep has given me some perspective.  Because as adorable and fun as the kids are, I just don't think I'm cut out to teach them.  Especially in large groups (the class currently has 20).
I've also been questioning my decision to teach acting, drama, etc. AT ALL right now.  We're on wildly shifting sands: we don't know how long it will be until we have to move,  if hubby will ever be made a permanent employee at his job; I've spread myself way too thin (as I wrote about recently), and my kids need their mom. I cannot take on a ton of financial responsibility AND be a full-time mom.  We cannot afford full-time child care, and my in-laws cannot be solely responsible for taking care of the kids while Hubby and I are working. So I'll keep teaching Pilates and bringing in a bit of money, but my main focus will be the kids.
One of the problems with working at 5 different places is trying to schedule everything.  Being home when the kids are, or making sure their grandparents can be with them (even picking them up from school, if need be),  scheduling clients around other jobs, giving myself enough time to sit in traffic, and scheduling the kids' therapies around everything else. I kind of feel like a field marshal, lol!
So I'm going to simplify things.  Pare it down, just like we're TRYING to do with our stuff. Give myself permission to NOT be responsible for everything and everyone, ALL of the time.  Be responsible for the kids, and keep them as my top priority.

It's all a big relief, actually.
I'm breathing easier than I have in REALLY long time.

Now I'm gonna go play with my virtual cats.

Shana Tova, everyone!  Happy Jewish New Year!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Stop Messing With My Brain!

Even though I'm no longer an actress and no longer (thank goodness!) live in L.A., I still live my life as if I am and I do. I already knew L.A. had messed up my head, but the longer I'm away the more I understand just how much I let myself get caught up in all that crap.
What messages do we, the general public get from Hollywood?  Too many to count, but here are a few:  1) Women are stupid (check out any movie on Lifetime for examples).  2)Women are helpless (again, Lifetime, or pretty much any movie ever made with a male hero.  So, 90% of movies). 3) women are there to have sex with.  In any movie, women are usually the Wife, Girlfriend, or simply Random Girl Whom Hero Hooks Up With.  And if there's a female character who teams up with a bunch of guys, she will inevitably fall in love with one of them.  4) Women must look 25 all their lives.  Whether they are 16 or 50, this must be so.  5) Women must often be paired with men who are, literally, twice their age. At least. 5) The ONLY thing women need worry about is their appearance. If you're attractive, you will be taken care of.  As long as you put out, and until whoever's doing the caretaking decides you're a gold-digging bitch. And if you're "TOO" sexy, well, whatever happens is your own fault.  Because, after all, men cannot control their urges, right?  And we need to REALLY worry!  If we don't fit the narrow definition of "hot," which changes with the wind, we must do everything in our power to make ourselves fit it.

Those are a few.

So what does Hollywood tell its actresses? All of the above, and much, much more: 1)Women should be grateful for ANY role they get.  Yes, this goes for men, but very few male characters are rape victims, or walk around in a thong with a camera up their butt,  or have to wear white tanktops without a bra and their nipples in constant stand-at-attention mode.  2)Women should have a thick skin, so that when a casting director or producer tells her she's old, ugly, fat, and worthless, she doesn't take it personally.  But if she DOES grow a thick skin, well, then she's a bitch. 3) Women should be seen and not heard.  And if she opens herr mouths, she gets a reputation as being "difficult." 4) Women must be attractive and look young (see above), but if they have obvious plastic surgery, they are to be ridiculed and belittled. 5) Womens' bodies, especially celebrity women, are public property. They belong to agents, directors, producers, and magazine publishers.  If a celebrity is chosen by a tabloid as A Worst Beach Body, or as a possessor Celebrity Cellulite or something equally ridiculous, it is her fault and she must get to the gym AND cosmetic surgeon's office asap.  6) Women are useless unless they are hot.  ALL women.  Not worthy of love, of happiness, of a good job or a halfway decent life.

Again, this is just the tip of the iceberg.  Add all of the above to young women who are, invariably, lacking in self-esteem, and you have a recipe for disaster.  Here I am, in my middle-age, and I still buy into it all.  I don't look around at real people and think "No one here is a supermodel, and yet they are all living their lives.  They are happy, fulfilled, confident, competent, and, yes, many of them have sex on a regular basis."  WHY don't I do that?  Because I'm still thinking like an actress.
I had neuroses before I moved to L.A., but they revolved around my abilities.  I put A LOT of time and effort into being a good actor and a good teacher. I was pretty confident when I made the move to L.A., but it was slowly stripped away.  I also found myself becoming bitter: why should women with less talent and less experience get all the jobs, simply because they looked better in lingerie?

So I guess the question now is, what do I want to be when I grow up?  Because I'm not going back to acting, that's pretty much guaranteed.  At least, not professionally. And as much as I enjoy teaching acting, I'm getting a little old for the kinds of jobs I've been doing: an hour here, 2 hours there, pulling a paycheck but not a salary. Trying to teach freelance, the way I did in my 20's, AND be a full-time mom. There's also the fact that my kids are still pretty young, and they still need me as much as possible.  Right now they get picked up from school by their grandparents one day a week, and, to be honest, I hate it!  I want to be the one to pick up LG and talk to his teacher.  I want to get WG off of her van, read about her day in her notebook.  I want to get their snacks.  Yes, it's one day a week, and they don't mind it, but I do!  Time goes by too fast.  Before I know it they may not want cuddles and hugs from their mom after school.

And, truly, the thing I do best is being my kids' mom.  Yeah, for a while I was a pretty good actor, but I'm a REALLY good mom.  Not perfect, not by a long shot.
But damn good.

So we'll see what happens.

Hello Autumn! (?)

We've had a warm streak in these parts.  OK, a heatwave.  It's been between 85 and 90-plus degrees here the past few days.  After a rather cool, sometimes clammy summer, it's nice to have some really warm weather.  And not TOO warm, not like the triple digits we had in L.A. (Seriously, we all lived like vampires: staying inside all day, then coming out at night to play with the kids/walk the dog/mow the lawn, etc.)
So today is the last day of summer, according to the calendar. Which makes me kinda sad. I guess it hearkens back to being a kid; the feeling of the end of freedom, going back to school (Blech! Yuck!), and the horrible, AWFUL allergies that always accompanied early Fall when I lived on the east coast.  And later, when Fall  (as much as I love the season) meant the end of the outdoor summer theater season and the knowledge that winter and snow were coming.
The shorter days always make be a bit melancholy.  Even though they now mean that the kids are back in school (yay!), and knowing that we're probably not gonna have any freak snowstorms, nor will my allergies act up the way they used to. I just LOVE Summer.  It's my favorite season, and it's hard to say goodbye.

I'm also just realizing (hello!) that we lost Dad at the end of September, 3 years ago.  So that adds to the sadness.  (Geez, Alyssa, ya think?!?!) I remember sitting outside the hospital on a beautiful, late-summer day before he passed.  It's a beautiful time in Boston, and a reminder that he wanted us to keep living, even as he was dying.

On the other hand, and a much happier note, we'll soon be getting pumpkins, a bit of foliage (yes, even here!), crisp, cooler days, brightly-colored sunsets, and, before we know it...HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!  Don't know about you, but my favorite holiday!
Yesterday my S-I-L came by with a costume she found on sale for LG.  It's a SpongeBob costume, and it's SO CUTE!  He tried it on, then didn't want to take it off.  He was rollerblading around the house with it on, and, dang, there are just no words to explain the adorable-ness of it! (Yes, I know that's not really a word.) She tried to find one for WG, as well, but there weren't any in her size.  (She did find an M&M costume for our nephew, though!) I'm trying to think of an equally cute costume for her. Luckily I have over a month to find it.

Anyway, happy Autumn! Now go get a pumpkin spice latte...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Holy Cow!

Decided to go to a new yoga class yesterday morning.  It's at the new studio where I go to the Anusara class, and it's now part of the Fall schedule.  Yesterday was the first session of Hot Yoga (not Bikram, more of  a Hatha flow class in 85 degrees), and I was the only one who showed up.  Sooooo...I got a private session!!!!! It was so cool! I'd never had a private yoga session before!
Of course, the disadvantage to that is I couldn't slack off.  At all.  (Not that I ever do in a full class!  Oh no, not me!  I'm a perfect angel! See the halo?  See the two horns holding it up?) And BOY HOWDY, am I feeling it today! I had a hard time getting out of bed this morning. OK, harder than usual.
Luckily I have the day (mostly) off today. I might just head over to the pool, since it's supposed to get up to 90 degrees today.  I'll swim, sit in the hot tub, then go to another yoga class tonight.  Tomorrow it's a session with my private client in the morning, and rehearsal with the rugrats in the afternoon. Then bring our own kids to the pool. So it'll be a full day, even without a workout.  (I've decided that, for the immediate future, Tuesdays will be my non-workout days rather than Sundays.  I used to call them "rest days," but I don't think they will qualify when I'm with 17 kids ages 6-8.  And, yes, it's gone up from 14 to 17.)
OK, scratch that.  I just found out it's 19.
Gotta make more script revisions...

I'm also being ridiculously entertained by the pirate-speak on Facebook.  Since today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, you can change your language to "Pirate (English.)"   Go to your profile page, scroll all the way down & on the left it will have the current language.  Click on it, and it will enable you to change it.  It's REALLY funny!
Or, I'm just easily amused.
Perhaps both.

*UPDATE:  I just returned from my Anusara class, and have some exciting news! The owner of the studio asked if I'd be interested in teaching a Pilates class on Mondays, after Anusara.  I would get paid, of course (though not very much, since it's all still just starting out), but I'd also GET TO TAKE YOGA CLASSES FOR FREE!!!!!!!!  (And tai chi, and Zumba, and all the other stuff they have there!)

Anyway.  Gotta go add a couple of llamas back into a script.  Have a good night, all!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Memo to Self: You Are NOT 24 Anymore, Capiche?!?!?!

Reverse the numbers, Baby!  You are 42 with 2 kids.  2 kids who have very specific, special needs and a WHOLE lot more energy than you have!
Yes, when you were 24 you could rehearse outside for a very physical, outdoor production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," spend a few hours in the press office, get to the gym, and finish up the day with a slightly-less physical, indoor performance of "Twelfth Night," wake up the next morning and do it all over again with few ill side-effects.

That was then.
18 years ago.

Face it, babe; you're not as young as you used to be. It may feel as if almost no time has gone by, but it has. And you must deal with that fact.  You cannot, for example, work with a private Pilates client in the morning, come home and clean the entire house, spend 2 hours emailing, faxing, phoning, texting and obsessing about your new class, drive to the elementary school and teach said class (just you with fourteen kids ages 6-8) for 90 minutes, drive home in rush hour, make dinner, play with the kids AND your 3 year-old nephew, wash the dishes (again!), walk the dog, and finish with a ballet-based workout and expect to bounce outta bed the next morning ready to go and without any consequences.
Just not gonna happen.
Not anymore.

So, this morning, you are NOT going to yoga.  You are teaching a mat class tonight.  This morning you are going home after you drop the kids off at school.  You will go back to bed.  You have a couple of hours to yourself today, and you will take full advantage.  Read your blogs.  Listen to music.  Grab your Kindle, get comfy, and read the book you downloaded a couple of days ago.
In other words, you are going to RECOVER FROM YESTERDAY.

That is all.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I wasn't going to post today. With so many tributes, and so many already writing about it in ways that are much more eloquent than I could ever hope to be, I decided not to say anything.
I won't write about where I was or how I felt, or about the changes it made in the lives of my family and friends. Or even about those lost.

What I WILL write about is the fear for those first responders that are getting cancer.  There are many who have died.  It's an issue that, like practically everything else these days, has become politicized and polarizing.  But it shouldn't be.  The EPA was given outdated information and declared the air at Ground Zero safe.  But it wasn't. They didn't do it deliberately.  There was so much confusion, so many things were unknown during the weeks and months that followed that awful day. But now we know better, and now maybe something can be done.
I also fear for the people who have survivors' guilt. From the responders who survived, to the people who made it out of the towers, to the people at the airport gates who allowed the highjackers onto the planes.  The ones who blame themselves, even when there is no blame to place on them.  Who suffer from deep depression, alcoholism,  addiction, divorce, PTSD, and obsessive thinking about the events of that day.  I pray that they will find peace and be able to fully live again.

I also pray that we as a country are able to find our best self again.  To let go of the pettiness that has defined much of the past decade, to realize that those who believe other than we do, or who behave, live, look, love differently, are still human beings of equal value. To stop demonizing one another (even in election years!).

So much has changed since that September day, and much of it is not for the better. Sometimes it seems as if no time at all has passed, and other times it feels like lifetimes ago.

But there are positive changes, as well.
I was a brand-new, terrified mother.  Now I'm an experienced parent of 2 children.  I was a daughter of two parents who still had a great influence on me.  Now I've lost one of them, and I am a friend to the other, and often worry, because she's getting on in years. I was insecure, still trying to find my voice.  While I'm still on an ever-changing path, I no longer apologize for who I am or try to be someone else in order to please others. The shifting sands have mostly settled, and I am far more at peace now than I was then.
Much of the past few years have been about learning that loving myself is the first step toward loving others and having true empathy. That a lot of my suffering has been self-imposed and needless.  And, a big one for me, that G-d's love is boundless, and He really does want us to be happy,as trite as it may sound.
Finally, I am an adult.  As immature as I sometimes feel (and act), I really am a grown-up.
Imagine that.

Take care, everyone.  Hug your loved ones, and remember the feelings we all have today.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Because It's Just Too Exhausting

If you haven't read Charlotte's blog yet today (, I strongly advise that you do.
No, seriously, go ahead.  I'll wait...

Ah, you're back.  Pretty good, eh?  I mean, I read the blog every weekday, and it's always good (you're a great writer, Charlotte!), but today's is especially good.  And, like all good writing, it got me thinking. Because in the midst of back-to-school craziness (in our case, after a really fun 4-day weekend), when I was getting overwhelmed and frustrated as the dog needed to go out, WG was fussing and refusing to eat breakfast, and LG kept saying "No school" over and over and over before finally giving in to a meltdown (not ALL typical for him), and I was ready to throw in the towel at 7:30 AM, I was able to sit and read the blog (after getting WG on her bus) and to, well, take a deep breath and remember how hard the first few weeks of school are for our kids.  How nervous I always was, even when I liked my teacher and had friends in my class.  It's still an adjustment, and for kids with Autism it's even more so.
I also realized, as I was writing my comment on her post, that I never truly realized how much I depend on my various neuroses to get through the day.  I know we all have our crutches, but I don't think I realized how heavily I'm still leaning on mine.  Don't get me wrong, I'm nowhere nearly as dependent on them as I used to be, but many are still there, and I'm still leaning on them.
No wonder I'm so tired all the time!  Lugging around that much baggage is REALLY wearying!!!!!!

I also noticed that, after reading the post, I was paying more attention to breakfast.  Autopilot switched off and I realized I was no longer hungry. ( I'd eaten enough.  Lucky dog, she got the rest of my english muffin!)
Charlotte mentions Geneen Roth, and some of her (IMO) best advice: speak to yourself the way you would speak to a young child; with care, with love, and really listening.  I ALWAYS forget this! I wouldn't speak to my worst enemy the way I speak to myself.  And, of course, it's automatic.  I've been doing it for 40 years, after all.
I think I feel overwhelmed because I have very little faith in myself.  I expect to fail.  I see myself as being inept.  After all this time, after everything I've accomplished, I still feel like a failed loser. I was never one of those folks who could speak and walk with assurance, confident in my decisions and opinions.  I question everything, all the time, and while that's not necessarily a bad thing, there comes a time when the questions must stop and action must be taken. And the constant, niggling, whispering self doubts are just effin' annoying!!!!!!
As soon as I got this new teaching job, for example, my brain immediately went to all the ways I could screw it up. I got really nervous because I'm teaching on my own.  Which I've done DOZENS OF TIMES!!!!!! And I'll have the complete support of the staff at the theater that hired me, for cryin' out loud! It's not like I'm directing "Spiderman: Turn Off The dark" (thank goodness!) with millions of dollars at stake. I'm directing a bunch of cute kids who already like drama in a short play.  The goal of the entire class is, basically, to have fun and learn a little bit about theater. We're gonna PLAY!!!!!!!  And yet here I am imagining all the things that could happen that will scar these poor children for life.
That has NEVER happened, in ANY class I've taught.  In fact, I've had many experiences where just the opposite has happened.  Yes, it changes them, but in GOOD ways.  And it changes me, too.  Which is why I do it: I was inspired by drama as a kid.  It was one of the few places where I wasn't terrified, where I had fun and could speak above a whisper. If I can help another kid have that experience, well, that's GOLDEN! And if they just have fun, that is totally worth it, too.

I just don't want to THINK about EVERYTHING so much!  Whether it's food or my weight or work or whatever, I just want to go with it.  My instincts are actually quite good, so why do I second (and third and fourth and on and on) guess them, all the time?
Because that's what I learned.  A long, long time ago.  But those days are gone.  It's time for a new way of doing things.
Because, frankly, the old way doesn't work.  And It's just too damn tiring!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

We're Baaaaack!

And we can call it a nearly unqualified success!  WG had a few mini-meltdowns, which were cured with either food or the "Koi Pond" app on the iPod. Last night (er, this morning) she was up until 3:30.  As was I.  Although I was coughing and hacking, which kept me awake, while she was just having fun, thankfully.

Lesson #1 Learned: DO NOT attempt to sleep 4 people in a 2-person tent, even when 2 of the 4 are small.  They wiggle around.  A LOT.  And elbows and knees are SHARP, people! (Plus, WG used Hubby's legs as a pillow the first night.  Took him a while to get the circulation going again in the morning.)

Our campsite was near the river, so on the afternoon we arrived we put the kids in their swimsuits and let them play. The water was cold, but the air was hot, and much fun was had by all. After drying off, we put on warm clothes, built a fire, and had dinner.  Why does food taste so much better outdoors?

The following morning, we all woke up at 5:30 and got an early start.  We drove out of the park to explore some nearby towns and county parks.  We discovered a very nice coffee bar/motel with a wrap-around porch, an empty playground, a visitors' center with free WiFi and super-clean bathrooms, a very cool little town in the midst of its Founders' Day Festival, and some sulphur hot springs.
With a naked guy in them.  Standing.
Not far from some people taking target practice with a .38.
We decided to save the hot springs for another time.

Lesson #2 Learned:  Try to avoid hot springs with naked men standing in them in the vicinity of gunfire.  Even if said hot springs are free.

Lesson #3 Learned: DO NOT give LG a head lamp.  He will sneak off to the bathroom down the road, in pitch darkness, on his own, without telling you.  Taking (yet another) decade off of your life. On the plus side, when he hears you calling his name in an absolute panic, he will come running back.  And also tolerate it when you hug and squeeze and kiss him repeatedly for the next 20 hours.

We took a trip to Tenaya Lake.  Again, cold, but quite refreshing.  And kinda like a bath. We also got to Tuolomne Meadow to watch the sun set. All in all, it was a great trip.  And I really hope the kids associate camping with fun.

We also received a visit from our camping neighbor's 13 month-old pit bull.  A very sweet puppy!

Now it's time to give the kids their baths and take a shower.  I've got to get to bed early: I have a cold, and I also have teacher training tomorrow for my brand-new job!!!!!!!! With Peninsula Youth Theater!!!!!!!!

Nighty night!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Isn't Technology Supposed to Make Life Easier?!?!?!??!?!

So the hard drive on my computer was replaced last Friday.  By a very nice fella who came to the house at 6:00 at night.  it worked GREAT for 4 days, and now it's on the fritz again.
I'm still waiting for a call back from Dell.  it may have to wait until Tuesday, as we're leaving tomorrow for our camping trip.  No big deal, as long as I don't have to shell out any more money.

In other news, I'm still contemplating the future.  I just found out UC Santa Cruz is hiring for their pool of theater instructors.  It's part-time, year-to-year employment, with no guarantees that I'll ever actually teach a class, but I DO have an advantage (2, actually): a friend of mine used to teach for them, and they desperately need voice teachers, which I have quite a bit of experience in.  So I have a good reference AND something they need. I've also discovered that the method I'm trained in (although not certified) apparently has NO instructors in the area.*  So my ADHD brain starts thinking "Hmmm...if I were to get certified, I'd be the ONLY such certified instructor in THE ENTIRE BAY AREA.  Which would make me a rare commodity.  And such certification would take as much time as getting a Psychology degree, but wouldn't cost as much.  And, in fact, was something I tried to do right after grad school, but didn't have the resources. Perhaps it's time to revisit this particular option."  In the meantime I'm taking my online Intro to Psych class to see if it's something I want to pursue.

(*We interrupt this post to tell you that right now I'm listening to "10 at 10" on a local radio station, in which they play 10 songs in a row from a specific year.   Today it's 1993. [The Lemonheads, anyone?]  I'm being bombarded with memories of the year I turned 24 [yes, I'm that old, shut up]: touring in "12th Night," performing on the mainstage in "A Midsummer Night's Dream" [still my favorite professional experience, ever], falling in love and getting my heart truly broken for the first time, subletting a friend's apartment in Cambridge and teaching in Andover with one of my best buddies. Walking to Harvard Square in the freezing cold because parking my car there is too bloody expensive. Duct-taping my shoes because I couldn't afford to buy a new pair. Pondering the idea of grad school. Ah, memories!)

Anyway, what I'm trying to say, in my usual, meandering, beating around the bush, roundabout way (see?!?!?!) is that it's nice to have options.  I'm not in a place where I thought I'd be by the time I hit this age, but nowadays who is?  Lately I find myself re-discovering old (and sometimes forgotten) passions. I've been trying to fit my (very) round self into a tiny square box, and I've been doing this for quite a while.  Telling myself that I didn't want certain things because I have truly believed that I cannot have them.  And also believed, maybe, I didn't deserve them.
Which makes me so incredibly sad!

So now I'm getting an arm and a leg outside of said box, maybe poking my head out and taking a look around. Who knows what I'll see?  The future is not set in stone, and, to quote my favorite Timelord, "Time can be re-written."  To quote Goethe, "Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it."  And one of my favorites (from Pastor Basil King, NOT Goethe), "Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid."

I have spent so much of my life being timid.  Time to change that.

Oh, and I'll let you know how the camping trip goes!

*Edit:  It turns out there ARE instructors here, just not MASTER instructors.  My bad!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Brave or Foolish?

We're taking the kids camping this weekend.  At Yosemite. On one of the busiest weekends of the year.  WG has been to Yosemite but has never been camping (unless you count the trip we made in '03, when she was in utero.  Have I mentioned how bad an idea it is to go camping when you're 7 months pregnant?  Sleeping on the ground in a tent when you have to pee every 17 1/2 minutes and there are hungry bears nearby is NOT fun!), and LG is still emotionally scarred from his camping trip last year, which he generally didn't enjoy.
But we're going.

Part of me is REALLY excited!  I haven't been camping since the '03 trip, and I LOVE Yosemite!  But another part of me (that would be the Jewish Mother Part) is terrified.  All sorts of worst-case scenarios are running through my head (shocking, I know).  I'm pondering getting one of those GPS tracker devices for the kids. I can't find their I.D bracelets.  I'm also just thinking of chaining myself to both of them for the entire weekend.  Sure, it'd make swimming and the aforementioned peeing difficult, but it might just be worth it...

We went to REI yesterday to stock up on supplies.  That place is so much fun! The kids even enjoyed it, which, perhaps, bodes well for the trip?

We thought about bringing the dog, but since she just turned 13 and has that arthritis in her hips we've decided to leave her with the in-laws. All that walking and hiking and swimming would be hard on her.  Because she's part Corgi, she follows the kids EVERYWHERE and tires herself out.  This way she'll be able to lounge in the sun, hang with her goofy pitbull buddy, and enjoy home-cooked meals.  (My M-I-L not only spoils the grandchildren, but the granddogs, as well.)

Of course, if the kids are having meltdowns, we can always leave. There's no law that says we have to stay the entire weekend.  And since Monday is a holiday we'll have time to decompress before going back to work and school.  So I'm going to try and Have Faith that All Will Be Well, and focus on enjoying the trip.

Oh, and may I just say, Anusara yoga is like therapy.
That is all.

Good night.