Tuesday, July 26, 2011


It happened again.
3 years ago a guy in North Carolina got hold of my credit card number and bought a bunch of stuff at WalMart. Unluckily for him, my bank alerted me and I wasn't charged.  Even worse for him, my brother the FBI agent was stationed nearby at the time.  He went to the Wal-Mart & looked at all the security tapes, got the guy's image and car, and found his address.  Unfortunately for me, he didn't get enough info for a warrant. so he couldn't bust him.  But the guy has pretty much been on the radar of the FBI and local police ever since.
This morning I decided to check my Amazon trade-in account, as I wanted to add a few items.  When my log in info came up, my name was attached to an email account I have never seen before.  I called them, and, long story short, it turns out someone hacked into my account and bought two Kindles.
Well, tried to buy two Kindles.  They're not going to receive them, because my Amazon account, as well as all my credit and debit accounts, are frozen.  A fraud alert has been reported, and hopefully that is the end of it.
But I'm nervous.  I REALLY hope this is the end of it!
So aside from work, most of my day was spent on the phone and at the bank.  I'm in limbo, wondering if there's another shoe out there waiting to drop, and without credit or debit cards for a few days.  Luckily I was able to take care of some financial issues (grocery shopping, gassing up the car, depositing my paycheck) yesterday, because I wouldn't have been able to do it today.
Just by chance, yesterday I did an internet search of my name.  Basically there is no privacy anymore.  Pretty much ALL my info was out there, from my various addresses & phone numbers, to my voting preferences, to how much our house is worth.
And then I was hacked.
So, yeah, I'm feeling pretty wrung out and vulnerable right now.  One consolation is that anyone who tries to steal my I.D will end up with my fairly crappy credit rating.
Hmmm...maybe I should declare bankruptcy?  That'd pi** 'em off!

Isn't technology supposed to make life easier?

Monday, July 25, 2011


I went to a yoga class tonight.  Anusara yoga, my favorite kind.  There were only 2 of us in the class, and we ended up helping each other into handstands.  It was fun, it was challenging, and it was EXACTLY what I needed!
After spending the morning running errands with LG (who was very helpful, placing an eggplant and a single avocado in the grocery cart, asking to go ice skating, and pointing at "Armadillo Willy's" repeatedly and asking to go, probably because he probably thought it was a place like Chuck E. Cheese.  Unfortunately it's just an adequate BBQ chain), we came home and got WG off the bus, then I spent the next couple of hours keeping her from playing in the toilet.  Yup.  It's as disgusting as it sounds.  I thought we'd finished with that a couple of years ago, but it's summer, and apparently any body of water will do when she want to play.  And now she can climb over the baby gate.
So as soon as Hubby came home, off I went.  And it was glorious!  It reminded me why I prefer to do yoga in a class, rather than by myself.  And why I like Anusara more than other types: it's all about focusing on the anatomy of the pose, rather than the "burn."  Maybe I don't shed quite as many calories as I do during Bikram, but I worked up a good sweat, got a great workout, and felt about a billion times better after the class.
And the teacher said something at the beginning that, frankly, I really needed to hear: she talked about a big decision she recently felt she had to make, and two options.  The more she thought about it, the more anxious she became.  She talked about feeling "contracted," curled up in a tight little ball of anxiety, until she realized she not only didn't have to make the decision right away, but there were more than 2 choices. And suddenly she felt herself expanding again, kinda like the Big Bang. That out of something painful, something beautiful was created.  She said "I am a free being."  And it was a HUGE reminder that I get myself tied into knots and feeling trapped, and I have the power to free myself all along.

Just like Dorothy in "The Wizard of Oz," lol!

It's easy, in times like these, to see people as "other."  To demonize, or dehumanize them.  But I was reminded tonight that we're all just people, living in frightening, unsure times, and that while, yes there are a few who are truly evil (Anders Behring Breivik being one), the majority of us are really, basically, good.  And we are connected, whether we want to thin so or not.

We all sat and chatted for a bit after class, and it was so nice!  This is a brand new studio, run by a woman who also teaches at the JCC. She even told me I could pay for the class next time, since I didn't have the cash on me!
i will definitely be going back, and maybe (hopefully) bringing some friends.

Oh, and I'll be doing a lot more handstands against the wall at home!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


A big, thousand-watt light bulb went off this morning.  I was reading "My Formerly Hot Like" (courtesy of Leslie, thank you!)  (And yes, I'm reading it s-l-o-w-l-y, lol!) and she writes about her part-time obsession with plastic surgery.  She hasn't had any, but she thinks about it a lot, and sometimes researches it on the web.
I started thinking about my own obsessions.  Back in L.A., it was, of course, my body, which I thought was too fat and roly-poly.  Yes, I obsessed over it.  And I remember when we were moving up here, and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and thought, "Hey, I look THIN!"  And realized that that happened a lot: in L.A I felt huge, but anywhere else I felt (and looked) fine.
Then we moved here permanently, I gained 30 pounds, and now I really am roly-poly.
I still obsess about it, but not quite as much.  I think IE has helped me to accept that will never be a stick figure, and, more to the pint, I don't WANT to be. I've lost a few pounds, and plan on losing more.  But not in the same way I used to.  'Cause look where THAT got me!
However, all that obsession had to go somewhere, since I obviously haven't learned to truly deal with it yet.  So it has turned to politics.
And I can't decide if that's better or worse.  On one hand, I'm glad I no longer have the same level of body hatred I used to have, but all that hatred has turned outward, toward people I don't even know personally.   And I don't like the feeling.  I may not agree with a person's politics, may even truly believe those politics are harmful, but does that mean I have to hate the PERSON?  They're human, after all, and like I said, I don't actually know them. I always thought of myself as a fair minded, decent person, willing to give pretty much anyone the benefit of the doubt.  But now I feel myself getting so enraged at certain folks that I, yes, believe I hate them.
But it's a relief to now that a BIG part of that hatred is not necessarily directed toward them, any more than it was really about my waistline.  It's something else.  Something I really need to think about and talk about (with my therapist) so I can finally just LET IT GO!
Last week she asked me an interesting question (she has a lot of those, lol!): What would I do with all the energy I use in obsessing about things over which I have no control if I STOPPED obsessing?
This is probably a big reason I'm so tired ALL THE TIME.  It takes a lot of energy to be so obsessive, lol!

I know a big part of all this is trying to feel that sense of control.  For someone like me, who hasn't always had a say in my own life, control can become very important. And feeling helpless or at the mercy of someone else is just awful.  Like living on a fault line. (Which, actually, we kinda do, but that's another post.)  The idea that someone could come along at any moment and pull the rug out from underneath you is maddening and frightening.  And it has happened.  I think I mentioned my uncle's suicide when he was let go from the mental health institution he'd been living at after they lost a lot their government funding.  It makes me think the same could happen to my kids after I'm gone.  Who's going to take care of them?  What if they're in a group home and the funding goes away?  We're trying to save money for their future, but what if it's not enough?
And it's not just that, but also the million different ways that, growing up, I was powerless. Made to feel less than I am.  It's hard to let go of all that, but I'm doing my best.
One of those ways, possibly, is Krav Maga.  I know I've said it before, but I'm going to go take a class and, if I still like it, get back into it.  Not only will I continue to learn how to defend myself, I think it will help me calm my mind.  Give me a sense of control, yes, but also help make peace with the things I can't control. (Serenity Prayer, anyone?  I could use some of that, too!)

Anyway, I've felt more at peace today than I have in a while. Hopefully I can stay mindful of all this, and calm the heck down!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What the What What?!?!

Man, I really AM getting older!  If the extra weight, gray hairs and wrinkles were a subtle clue, the past few days were a sledgehammer to my thick head.
On Monday I DID NOT do yoga OR take the kids to the pool.  I sat on the couch and even fell asleep there for a bit.  Yesterday I managed to get to the grocery store and post office.  We even took the kids to the pool.  I swam for a whopping 10 minutes, then retired to the hot tub.  I have just had ZERO energy.  My recovery time from last week is a whole lot longer than I thought it would be.  Luckily I'm feeling less sludge-like today.  I'm going to take LG to the pool this morning and teaching a class tonight.  I'm off tomorrow, then teaching again on Friday and Saturday.
I must say that this, well, it sucks.  To be THIS tired after hosting 2 birthday parties.  Well, that and working.  And taking care of the kids.  But honestly, it feels like I'm 197 years old! I'm 42!
I realize that some people just naturally have more energy.  Hubby, for example.  He can get 4 hours of sleep, then go work a full day at the VA clinic, rock climb for 5 hours, then go have a beer with his buddies without suffering any ill effects.  It's SO not fair!  Plus, he still looks about 15 years younger.  He has a lightening-fast metabolism , too boot.  I, on the other hand, have a metabolism that moves as quickly as a turtle on sleeping pills, look every day of my age, and need at least 8 hours to function at a basic level.
And I STILL have Mom Brain, lol!

On the other hand, I did do ALL the planning and set up for the first party, and 99% of it for the second party. And I subbed a class on Saturday, before the big bash, as well as teaching my regular class.  And did a good chunk of the house cleaning. (Hubby did a thorough vacuuming job, bless him!)  I think I'm going to need more help, from here on out, in setting up any festivities.

Another lesson learned.  It may take a virtual sledgehammer to the head, but I DO learn eventually!

Monday, July 18, 2011

So. Tired.

This was Thursday:
Wake up, feed WG, make her lunch/snack, get her on the bus.  What is the Dog doing?  OK, gotta go clean that up.  Wake up LG, feed him his birthday breakfast, sing "Happy Birthday" (which he hates), give him lots of hugs & kisses (which he tolerates), and tickles (which he loves). Then it was off to school, armed with gluten-free, non-dairy "cream"-filled cupcakes.  After dropping him off, I went to the gynecologist (yay.) for my annual, then to my favorite new coffee place for a well-deserved mocha.
Off the the grocery store to order a cake big enough for 15-20 people for the party on Saturday (26 cupcakes shaped like a swimming pool!) and some snacks for same. Home to put everything away, then back to school to pick up LG.  Home for lunch, get WG off the bus, then we left for Bounce U, where we met up with my S-I-L, LG's teacher, and some of the kids from his class for 90 minutes of jumping and sliding.  After a snack, we all went our separate ways.  Home again for dinner, then off to the pool for an hour.  Finally, baths, brushing teeth, and a face-plant into our pillows for the next 8 hours.

Friday, kids to school, me to couch.  Failure to clean house despite having the entire day off.

Saturday, taught 2 classes in the morning, then picked up food & cake, Hubby & I cleaned the house.   16 people arrived for the party, and much fun was had by all.  We took the kids to the pool for 90 minutes, as well.

Sunday:  Hubby & kids drop me off at an actual, real live movie theater so I can see "Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows, Part 2."  The first movie in a theater I've seen in 5 years.  Holy canolis, they show COMMERCIALS now?!?!?!  In the movie theater?!?!?!  That blows!  Luckily I have my crack, er, Kindle, so I can ignore them.
Also, my calves are killing me.  I am so sore all over!  Realize, yet again, that I am no longer 25.

Hubby & kids pick me up, and we head over to the in-laws' place, where Hubby has been cleaning out the yard to make room for a storage shed.  After a while, including playtime with the pups and shopping at Trader Joe's, we head home.  Dinner, some quiet time, then it's off to bed after a fun, if exhausting, weekend.

Now it's Monday morning.  The Dog woke me at 3 AM to do some business, and I had trouble falling back asleep.  And a WHOLE lotta trouble waking up, but I did it.  WG is at school, LG is on vacation, and we're waiting for the cable guy to show to make a few adjustments to our service.  Later I'll so some yoga, then tonight maybe we'll take the kids to the pool again.

And maybe we'll go to bed early.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, LG!

He's 10 years old today (July 14th)!!!!!!  Kinda hard to believe.  We're taking him, WG, and his classmates to the bouncy house later and, if I have any energy left and it's not raining, we'll head to the pool after dinner.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

I'm a Fickle, Fickle Female. (Or Maybe Just ADD...)

So I know I mentioned my Barre workouts, and I do love them.  I've also been doing some Tracy Anderson workouts.  She's kind of freaky, especially with food (400-700 calories A DAY?!?!?! Um, thanks, but I've already met your Irish-Latin friend, Anne O' Rexia, and we are no longer on speaking terms), and with her whole "women should never lift weights higher than 3 pounds" thing, but her workouts are actually pretty fun.

But earlier today I busted out my Cosgrove books, Alwyn and Rachel, and decided to do a workout from "The New Rules of Lifting for Women."  It took 25 minutes, wore me out, and was REALLY FUN!!!!!  I felt good afterwards, as well.  Good enough to swim some laps when we took the kids to the pool.  The book says that 3 of these workouts a week is ideal, 2 is OK, and 1 is not enough.  So I'm trying to figure out how to work in the workouts with barre, Pilates, Tracy, and everything else.  Because sometimes I can do a bit much, exercise-wise.  I don't want to work out 12 hours a week anymore.  It's painful and damaging, physically and psychically. And I want to get my yoga in, because that helps keep me sane. (To me it's more of a mental exercise than a physical one.)

All of this makes me wonder; am I doing something wrong?  Should I stick with one exercise program for a while (say, a month or 3), or is it OK to keep mixing and matching?
Or maybe just chill the heck out and do what I want.  So there, nattering squirrels in my head.  Pthpthpthpth.

We are NOT moving next month.  The short sale fell through and will be be going into foreclosure.  Not great, but it gives us more time, and the kids can stay in their schools for the next few months, at least.  And the way I see it, if the bank doesn't want to work with us, two responsible adults who paid the mortgage on time every month for 5 years, then we'll walk away and the house will be their problem, not ours.
At first I thought foreclosure equaled failure.  But it doesn't, and we have done everything humanly possible (short of declaring bankruptcy) to salvage the situation, and nothing has worked.  Things happen for a reason, and all will be well.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

New Stuff!

Here's the post  I was working on before I morphed into The Terminator.

You might think that living just south of (IMHO) one of the best, most vibrant and beautiful cities in the world, we'd have a plethora of really good, independent coffee places.  Sadly, this is not the case.  Sure, go north into the City or south to Silicon Valley (where coffee is basically THE food group) or over one of the bridges and in to Oakland or Berkeley and you're fine, but for some reason, here on the Peninsula it is very difficult to find a really good cuppa without visiting the chains.  (I have NO issues with the chains, but I do like to support local merchants, and to try something new once in a while).
Well, all that has changed!  Thanks to Yelp! I found a new place.  Not only does it have GREAT coffee, it is a beautiful space with free Wi-Fi, plenty of seating, and good food.  OK, the food LOOKS good, I didn't actually try it.  It's also near my doctor's office (and right next door to a nice mystery book store).  And they have those little punch cards where you get the 10th drink free.  Love that!

Not loving the new Verizon tier plans, however.  Hubby and I had been trying to upgrade our phones before July 6th, when the new plans took effect and the unlimited plans were ended.  Basically, if you got an unlimited plan before the 6th, you could have it for life.  But we're not due to upgrade our phones until November, which means that in order to get a smartphone on the unlimited plan we'd have had to pay full price.  And let me tell ya, until they come out with a smartphone that does the dishes and the laundry and babysits the kids, I am NOT paying $600 for one!!!!!!
We tried working with Verizon.  We begged.  We reminded them that a) we've been loyal customers for 8 years and b) we're trying to GIVE THEM MORE MONEY!!!!!!!  Because even with the unlimited plan, we'd be paying $50 more a month!
If you are a new customer, they will give you a GREAT deal: iPhones and the like for $199 plus the unlimited plan.  If you're an existing customer?  Well, they've already got you, they have the good technology, they have something of a monopoly, and they could not care less about you.  Why should they?  Chances are very few people will switch to a different carrier.  Virgin Mobile has great plans, but the phones are fairly basic and they don't have nearly the same coverage.  Same with Sprint and others.
(BTW, Verizon has bought the domain name "verizonsucks.com" so that no one else can use it.  But one industrious soul has created "verizonsucksass.com."  The hatred of Verizon, even on its own boards, is legion.)
Despite all this, Hubby has found a way around some of the red tape.  I'm kind of hesitant to write about it, but suffice to say it's fairly brilliant.
And, come November, I still get my cheap(ish) iPhone.  I'm hoping that, since the iPhone 5 will have been out for a couple of months, the earlier models will be even less expensive.  We'll see.

Moving on to a MUCH happier (and way cuter) subject, WG is confirming that she is part fish. Every day she tries to put on her swim diaper and bathing suit by herself, letting us know that she would like to go to the pool.  She also stalks my husband as he does his laps: she gets out of the pool and skips alongside him, then gives him the sign for "more" when he stops.  If he doesn't go right away, she gives him a little push.  He calls her "Coach," lol!  It's so cute!
And LG is jumping into the deep end, doing flips, and swimming under water for long periods.  So, I guess we have TWO fish.

We also have these really cool nocturnal birds that live here. They're not owls or nighthawks, so I'm not exactly sure what they are, but they're pretty cool-looking.  Anyway, when we were at the pool at dusk the other day, one of them flew in and settled on a branch not far from us, just sitting and watching.  Then it flew and settled on an even closer branch.  It stayed there, looking at us, until another family came to the pool.  As soon as it saw them, it flew away.  But it was really cool!!!!!  He stayed with us for 15-20 minutes.

We'll be off to the pool again soon.  Hopefully without incident.  But at least Hubby will be there to help.  Always good to have an ally!

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

They Have Been Warned.

OK, so I had this whole other post ready to go.  But then an Incident happened at the pool.  I don't want to go into details, because I'm finally managing to calm myself down, and, as they say, revenge is a dish best served cold.
Not that I'm looking to exact revenge, but this person should NOT be expecting an apology from me anytime soon.  Unless she cares to offer a mea culpa first.  But I'm not holding my breath.  People who feel free to be nasty to a 7 year-old, even after said child's mother has explained that the child is Autistic, cannot understand her, and that Mom has been doing her best to keep BOTH children out of the way so that Ms. Byotch can swim her laps and Ms. B CONTINUES to live up to her namesake, well, suffice to say I highly doubt she will see the error of her ways any time soon.
Another life lesson learned.  I no longer feel any responsibility to try to reason with people who are completely UNreasonable.  I think G-d has been trying to teach me this lesson for a while.  I also think He's trying to help me to not miss this place once we move.  Because honestly, every time I start to feel sad about leaving, something happens to make me glad!
I cannot tell you how many NASTY women I have had awful encounters with over the past 5 years!  And it always happens around here, and always when I'm minding my own, trying to get through the day, not be too intrusive, and obey traffic laws.  Seriously, these women have GOT to find new hobbies!!!!! Ones that don't include making other people as miserable as they are.
So here is my warning:

To all the nasty, bitchy, self-centered, overly-privileged people who think the world belongs to you:
It doesn't.
Not even the pool belongs to you.
You have to share.
If you don't like it, tough.  Put on your big girl panties and deal.
Your inconvenience is not my problem.
And now this, above all: If you are mean to my kids, I will pull a Ms. Hyde on your ass.  You think you know from Bitchy?  I will transform, in front of your eyes, into the Biggest, Baddest Bitch this world or any other has ever seen, and I will make you wish you'd been born a slug.  Because I try not to step on slugs.  But I will step on you.  Repeatedly.  Until you are Crushed, and run home crying.
Got it?

You have been warned.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th!

To all my U.S. friends!  Geo, I hop you had a great Canada Day!
I think the 4th is my favorite holiday next to Halloween.  (And for the first time in 4 years, Hubby is home to celebrate with us, yay!!!!!)  Last year I threw my back out on the 3rd, so the 4th was, well, painful.  But this year we're going to the beach.  I have a cold, but it's on its way out.  I'm DETERMINED to have a good day, lol!

So stay safe & enjoy the festivities!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Getting in a Workout. Or Not.

A few years ago I managed to ingrain in myself the idea that I MUST workout 6 days a week, preferably for at least an hour.  Since then I have repeatedly told myself that this is, in fact, NOT true, and I can work out 5 days, or 4 or 3 or even take a week off now and again.  I try not to be compulsive about it.  The way I'm compulsive about, oh, pretty much EVERYTHING.  It's that "worst-case scenario" talent I have.  If I don't exercise today, I'll let it slide tomorrow, and the day after that, and so on until I resemble Jabba the Hut, sitting around on the couch with hot slave girls chained to me.
Of course, that's NOT gonna happen (I am a feminist, after all, and wouldn't dream of demeaning anyone that way!), but, as I said, it's deeply ingrained. As is the idea that 1500 calories /day is an ideal number.  Even with my strides in IE, that dang number is still there.  The fact that I never stop at 1500 has been a niggling source of guilt.
Even though I discovered recently that for my body and lifestyle, 1500 is the MINIMUM amount of calories I need to take in each day.
So what's a girl to do?
KBO, I guess.  In the worlds of Winston Churchill, at least on "Doctor Who."  Keep Buggering On.  Continue to get in touch with how I'm feeling.  Try to figure out what I need when a craving hits and I'm not actually, physically, hungry.
And really, really, REALLY TRULY take a vacation!!!!!!!   Hubby has offered to send me to a spa overnight in wine country.  Why am I not leaping at the offer?!?!?!
Because I'm truly on the verge of total burnout.  Between 3 weeks of one child and then the other on vacation and work and the move, I can feel the boiling point coming.  I'd better do something before I blow!
I believe I've mentioned a colleague who teaches something like 18 classes a week AND has 3 kids, and I wonder how she does it?  Because she takes frequent vacations!  They go skiing in the winter on weekends, visit her family in the summer on the east coast, and generally just take time off.  The result?  She is SANE.
And now that, maybe, we'll actually have a bit of money left over each month after the bills are paid, we can go away now and again.  Do fun stuff.  Not worry about my caloric intake, number of steps taken, or hours worked out.
Basically I need to chill.  All around.  In every way.

So, peace out, dudes!