Monday, December 19, 2016

I'm trying to believe that everything is going to be OK.  But optimism has never been easy for me.  And I've been waking up every morning in a state of anxiety about what the next few months and years will bring.  I'm finding it nearly impossible to have hope.
It's hard to write about it, and I find I'm falling back into my old feelings of anxiety and sadness.  So I may need to take some time away from here and stew.  I'm sorry.
I'll pop in from time to time and let you know I'm still alive.  :)

Happy holidays, and here's hoping that 2017 is a good one!  Bless!

Friday, December 9, 2016

I Have Been Remiss

And I apologize.  I've tried a number of times to write, but have been processing everything and dealing with all sorts of stuff going on, so I ended up deleting those posts.

To be honest, I still don't know what to think about everything that's happening.  Part of me thinks, well, this is it.  The end of society and humanity as we know it.  Another part thinks it'll be a few years of wackiness, followed by (hopefully) the return of at least a semblance of sanity.  Yet ANOTHER part of me is more terrified than ever, especially for my kids.

I'm glad to live where we do. We will probably not be bearing the brunt of the insanity.  But I can't help but fear for the most vulnerable people in the country. And in other parts of the world.

And then I tell myself to take it in small doses.  Because otherwise I will make myself crazy.

So I focus on things closer to home.
Ah, home, where it sounds like a TB ward.  We've all had a cold over the past few days, so the six of us have been coughing and hacking and sneezing and sniffling.  Luckily it seems to be fairly mild.  I got it on Wednesday and was able to get to yoga today.

Last week I was able to try a free class at CorePower Yoga.  I decided to take the level one class.  They told me "You'll sweat a little bit, not too much."  An hour later, after swimming through a pool of my own perspiration, I was proud of myself for getting through it.
And then walked around in agony for the next three days.

I then decided that it isn't for me.  I'll stick with my regular classes.  (At studios that have free parking.  ;) )

WG is still doing well on her meds.  We're going to try a different mixture for LG, as this one is not working for him at all.  It's trial and error.  Hopefully we'll find the right percentages.

I've also been asking for a bit more help here and there.  My mother-in-law is willing and able to watch the kids, and we have respite hours available, so I need to take advantage.  It goes toward the whole keeping-myself-sane thing.
Also trying to figure out whether or not I can take my London trip next year.  I feel guilty spending the money, and the time away from my family, but I also want to make at least one more trip before they leave the E.U.  I must admit I've become somewhat addicted to the city, and to having those 4 days a year that are my own.  Sometimes I think I should go somewhere else, but London is my favorite place on this earth.  Plus, I'm pretty good at getting around now.  For someone with zero sense of direction, that's quite an accomplishment.  :)

Something else to ponder.

OK.  Gotta go blow my nose and lie down.  Who says I don't know how to spend a Friday night?!?!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Mourning After

Last night I was terrified.  This morning I'm in a bit of shock, I suppose.

This post is going to get VERY personal, and may be a bit long, and you may disagree with everything I write.  That;s OK.  I need to get it all down, and work through everything.

I'm more of a spiritual person than a religious one. I have a strong, deep, belief in and a very personal relationship with G-d.  However, that relationship has also been a bit...troublesome.  Because I have always feared Him/Her more than I have loved Him. I'm just going to go with Him for the time being, even though I believe S/He transcends something as vague as gender.  But also because my relationship with Him echoes the relationship I had with my father when he was alive.
As a kid I loved my dad, but I also feared him.  He had a quick temper, strong opinions, and a loud, booming voice. I was afraid of his anger, which seemed huge.  And there was never any predicting it.  What was fine one moment may have sent him flying off the handle the next.
He may sound awful, but he wasn't.  He was also a loving father, the first stay-at-home dad in our town (he worked mainly at home when my brother and I were young).  He was deeply empathetic, and very, very scared.  We were, ARE, a lot alike.  And because of that we butted heads often, almost right until the end.
My dad believed strongly in social justice and equality.  His journalism career was dedicated to it.  He was often a huge softie, especially when he watched me in a show or my brother compete, or when our old dog was finally too sick to stay alive.
And he had a bellowing laugh, and a terrific sense of humor.
And awful, horrible handwriting!
He's the one who was there when, at age 13, I came home from school with horrible cramps having had my first period.  He went to the drugstore to get me what I needed, and came home with about 3 bags stuffed to the gills with every type of feminine hygiene product available, since he didn't know what I'd need, and this was before cell phones.

I talk to my dad a lot these days. In his last couple of months, I came to truly "get" him.  He couldn't speak, but I understood what he wanted and needed.  And I also understood on a deep level.  Because we ARE so very alike.
I ask him for guidance, and for help. I apologize to him for being so emotionally and financially dependent on my mom (she helps us out A LOT!).

Last night I got very angry at G-d.  I've been literally praying on my knees for a certain outcome to this election, mainly for the sake of my kids.  And when it turned out differently, I lashed out.  I swore at Him, even in my terror of doing so.

And later, I apologized and asked for forgiveness.  Partly because I was sorry, but mostly because I was scared.  Of His punishment.  Because I was afraid of what He might do to my kids or my husband, as said punishment.
And that made me horribly sad.  Because I finally realize that my fear is greater than my love in EVERY aspect of my life.

But I also felt something in the early hours.  I'd awoken at about 1 AM, after a couple of hours of sleep.  And thought about all my fear.  I talked to G-d for a bit, and I felt a sense of calm come over me, along with another realization: My purpose in this life is LOVE.  Not fame, not to be a renowned actor, not even to be a beloved teacher (although I wouldn't mind that, lol!).  I never really wanted fame, but I've always wanted approval.
Now what I want is to be with my family. Whatever happens.  (And, yes, that includes the dog.  She and I have a special bond, and I cannot leave her.)

I want to be a giver of light.  To have not just empathy, which I don't lack, but compassion, which I sometimes do.  I want to live quietly and peacefully, and give love and help to those who need it.

I refuse to give in to despair.  I want to have hope.

I want to love more than I fear.

I've mentioned my guardian angels before.  My many, overworked, under-appreciated angels.  I am going to appreciate them more, even as I may need to rely on them more than ever.

I have heard people say "The Universe on on your side," but I never really believed it.  Now, in this moment, I do.  And I will strive to keep the faith.
And the gratitude.

This morning, I am so very grateful.  For my family.  For this calm.  For all the love in my life.

To quote Tiny Tim, G-d bless us, every one.

Friday, November 4, 2016


Sorry I haven't written in a while.  I've been going through an emotional roller coaster with this election.  It's psychological torture! It's probably against the Geneva Convention...
Seriously, there has GOT to be some kind of limit on how long an election season can go on.

Thankfully I'm back to my regular yoga practice, and on my meds.  I've also deleted my Facebook account and am avoiding cable news as much as possible.  Which is why I can still put a basic sentence together, and also why I'm not sitting in a padded room.

Not that there haven't also been good things: the Cubs winning the World Series! "Doctor Strange" is out.  Halloween was really fun!  Even though we didn't make it to the Potrero. (WG had a rough day, so she stayed home with Hubby in her nice warm room, listening to her music, while LG and I walked around the neighborhood.)

Sunday is WG's birthday, and the party is Saturday.  We're doing a disco theme, with a dance party and Mexican food.
And then the Pacquiao fight.  :)

Oh, and something weird but quite wonderful happened the other day: We got a BIG box of healthy dog food and treats delivered to our home, and we have NO IDEA who sent it.  There was no receipt, no return address, and even Amazon didn't know who it was from.

Our puppy has an angel!

Anyway, it's Friday evening, and I'm going to chill with kids and dog while Hubby is at the rock climbing gym.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Updates and Party Planning

So Pup LOVED her new vet, and the feeling was mutual.  <3 2="" and="" br="" fell="" give="" he="" her="" in="" injections="" let="" love="" nasal="" nbsp="" one="" she="" spray.="" staff="" take="" temperature="" them="" whole="" with="">

Halloween is almost upon us.  My favorite holiday.  Even though we don't get trick-or-treaters here.  We're on a dark cul de sac, and even my past efforts at decorating and turning on every light in the house (and buying the GOOD candy) hasn't been enough to lure the kiddies over.
Can't blame them.  We're at the top of the hill, and it's pretty darn dark and dreary.

Ah well.  The kids have parties at school, and maybe we can walk around the neighborhood or go to the Potrero.

Or I'll just go to yoga, lol!
(Yes, I'm back to yoga, and feeling so much better! Physically AND mentally.)

WG's birthday is also coming up.  She loves music and dancing, so we've decided on a disco theme.  I'm going to make cupcakes with sprinkles, and we'll order good food.  Then dance the night away. Well, until 9 PM...

The alternative medicine continues to work its magic.  We're seeing a little bit of improvement in LG, as well.  It truly is a miracle drug, and should be available everywhere.  Hopefully it soon will be.

OK, gotta get WG out of the tub.  Sayonara!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Slow and Steady...IS REALLY ANNOYING!!!!!!!!

One week after TCFH (The Cold From Hades), I'm still congested, coughing, and exhausted.
And cranky.
I haven't been to yoga in a week and a half.  Last night I did a 15-minute online practice, and that just about did me in.  No yoga + no long walks = Unhappy Mommy.

But then WG comes and hangs out with me, and wants to have a dance party, and all is well again.

And, if you gotta be sick, it's awfully nice to have a warm pet to take naps with.

And I HAVE been sleeping A LOT, which is sort of nice.  Unusual.

Tomorrow I go to my chiropractor, which is also nice.  And then the pup and I will go to her new vet.  She doesn't like to ride in the car, and the old vet was in the city, a good 30-minute drive.  This one is within walking distance.  Hopefully they will click.  Of course, she's the most perfect pup in dogdom, so I can't imagine that they won't.

We're in that time of year that I absolutely love.  Autumn in California may not be quite the same as autumn in New England or New York, but it's beautiful, just the same.  I love the light in the late afternoon. Of course, because it's California, the temperature today was about 75 (fahrenheit) rather than 10 or 20 degrees cooler.  Which I've finally gotten used to.
After 22 years.  :)

OK, gotta go lie down again.  Who knew blogging was so tiring?  ;)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Most Wonderful (?) Time of the Year.

Sorry, been a bit crazed lately.  My mom was in town last week, and then I got a really nasty cold, which I'm just now getting over.  October/November seems to be the time of year for me to get sick.

But I do LOVE October.  Always have.  Growing up in New England, it was, of course, the time for foliage. In California we don't get a whole lot of that, but it's still beautiful.  And, of course, Halloween is coming.  I LOOOOOOOVE Halloween!!!!!!!!
The best place to celebrate Halloween in San Francisco is, in my opinion, an area called the Potrero. One of our favorite spots.  If we can get the kids to go along, we'll head there this year.  Lots of creative people (and dogs) wearing terrific costumes.

Otherwise, life continues on apace.  We've started giving LG the same medication as WG.  His anxiety manifests itself in different ways, but it's anxiety, nonetheless.  We spoke about it at his IEP last week.  It's so good to know that all of their teachers love and care for them so much!  We're so lucky!

And, apropos of nothing, can I just say how happy I am that high-waisted pants are back in style?  After 16 years of low-rise tyranny, we can (quite literally) breathe easier again.

OK, I need to lie down.  I'm not quite fully recovered.

Talk soon, m'dears!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


I moved to New York at 18 for college.  It was the Fall of 1987, I was living in Greenwich Village, and it was before the Rejuvenation Of Manhattan.  In other words, Times Square was still a dump filled with porno movie houses, drug dealers, and prostitutes, and not a Disney logo to be seen.
(Also, you could rent a decent apartment for $1,000/month, which was still out of reach for me & my friends, so we lived in the dorms.)
Naturally, being a drama major, this was precisely where the bulk of my classes were held.  We'd take the A,C, or D train from West 4th St. to Port Authority and walk 4 blocks to the (frankly, dumpy) studios.

It was also the tale-end of the heyday of downtown experimental theater. A heyday that had begun in the 60's, but was slowly petering out, along with 80's crazes like Nouvelle Cuisine and shoulder pads.
In my senior year, I actually started taking classes at the school's Experimental Theater Wing.  It was wacky and fun and annoying and full of goths.  Of course, living in the Village in the 80's/early 90's pretty much guaranteed you would become a goth, so...

After college, I spent the summer in the U.K, performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which has every type of theater imaginable.  Then another few months in New York trying to make a go of it, before moving to the Berkshires and becoming a Shakespeare/Hippie/Grunge type.

Finally, grad school, where anything and everything could (and did) happen.  New stuff, old stuff, experimental stuff, staid stuff.  We did it all.

Then came Los Angeles.  And, well, I've written about THAT ad nauseam.  :)

And along came marriage, kids, a mortgage, and autism.  And I was introduced to a different kind of experimentation; raising kids on the spectrum.  Trying out different therapies and techniques, seeing which ones resonated and which didn't.

And now we're experimenting with medical stuff.  It's only been 3 1/2 days.  We're seeing a difference at home, although not quite as much at school, as of yet.  Less self-injurious behaviors, which is a relief.  She has stopped fighting us quite so much when it comes time to take it.  I really, REALLY hope this works for her!

To quote The Carpenters, we've only just begun.  We have a lot to learn.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Medication and Headshots

Saturday night Hubby and I went to the dispensary to get WG's meds.  I was picturing a tiny hole-in-the-wall with a tie-dyed, man-bunned hipster sitting behind a desk, mixing up our scrip and saying "Good luck, man! Peace!" as we left.
Instead it was like a club!
Security out front, music, tables set up, clean bathrooms, incredibly friendly and helpful staff, and chic furniture.
The kind of place you want to hang out in for a while.
And they let you!

So we started her on it this morning.  It's in spray form, and it doesn't taste very good, and it takes both of us to get it in her mouth, but hopefully it'll help.

Tomorrow morning I'm going into the city to get new headshots done.  The last time I did that was in 2000.  But since I can no longer pass for 31, it's time to get new photos, print out my resume, and start submitting myself for auditions.  :)


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Entering the Twilight Zone

No, not the one with shimmery, angst-ridden vampires.  (Seriously, how can they POSSIBLY consider themselves superior to humans when they have to spend eternity in high school?!?!?!?)
The world of legal-here-thankfully-but-unfortunately-not-yet-everywhere medication.

Yesterday we took WG to a doctor who specializes in this kind of treatment, and he has given us a prescription.  Tomorrow Hubby will go to a place in the city that dispenses such medication.  And then the try, try again begins.  By all accounts, it'll take a few cases of trial and error to get the right mix for her.

But I'm also incredibly excited and optimistic about it.

And I feel so very lucky that we live in a place where it's available, where we have one of the top doctors in the world for it, (seriously, people come from all over the planet to see him!), that this was suggested by her TEACHER, and that we've had offers to help us pay for it.

When I was in my early 20's and working at the Shakespeare festival, one of my housemates was our costume designer.  He's originally from Alabama, and there's just something ethereal about him.  One night, he offered to read the Tarot for all of us, and we agreed.  Just for fun.
When he read mine, he closed his eyes and said "Alyssa, you are surrounded by angels!"

And y'know what?  I think he's right! My maternal grandmother passed away when I was quite young, and the morning after she passed I woke up early and felt her beside my bed.  And I've often felt other...beings around me.  And, of course, for the past few years, my dad.

There have been many, MANY times when I've done REALLY stupid things, and I'm convinced that someone, or a number of someones, have intervened to save me from myself.  I've always said that if I have a guardian angel, s/he should be given overtime and hazard pay.  Luckily, I seem to have an entire team.  :)
They also seem to be watching over Hubby and the kids.

So, trying to focus on all the good.
Because there's a lot of it.  :)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Good Doctors!

Not the one WHO flies the TARDIS, but the ones I saw yesterday.  The medical practice I used to go to has shut down, so I went to a new place.  It was my first visit, and the medical history review, exam, labs, EKG, and prescription took 40 minutes.  They were quick, competent, and thorough.
Oh, and all women, which I think is kinda cool.
AND one of the best coffee chains in the world (Philz) has a store 2 doors down.

I'm back on Zoloft.  Just started it yesterday evening. I'm being eased back on, so I won't take a full dose for the first week.
The first time I went on it (2002), I got skinny.  The next time (2008), I got fat.  This time I'm kinda hoping it'll be just right and I'll stay where I'm at.  (Although, if it wants to flatten out my stomach a bit I certainly won't complain...)

On another topic entirely, have I ever mentioned how much PAPERWORK is involved with having 2 autistic kids?
Because, lately, it feels like that's pretty much how I spend 90% of my time; filling out paperwork.  Doctor's forms, Medi-Cal renewal applications, Medi-Cal NEW renewal applications (as in "We've changed the paperwork so can you please fill in these 400 new pages and have it back to us by next week otherwise you won't get your benefits"), Pre-IEP forms, post-IEP forms, IPP forms, re-application (every year) for school, applications for camp/swim clinic/pool privileges...the list goes on and on.
Seemingly endlessly.

It's all worth it, of course.  I just worry about the trees...

And my hand.

Speaking of which, I'd best get back to it.  See ya!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

See Ya, Summer!

I used to LOOOOOOOOOOOVE summer.  It was my favorite time of the year. Long days, warm weather, and, for a while at least, it meant doing theater.  Usually outdoors.
I still love summer.
But it's much more hectic nowadays.

And this summer was an odd one.  I believe I've mentioned that in early August, WG suddenly decided that she didn't like swimming anymore.  Swimming!  Which, all these years, including through July, has been one of her favorite things ever!
We think it's probably because of the anxiety.  And scheduling.  We usually go to the pool in the morning, because it gets crowded in the afternoon (and she does NOT do well with crowds).  But she may not have been sleeping well, and too tired in the morning to enjoy swimming.

And even going to the park is too much for her. She sits in the car and cries, and it's heartbreaking.  I really, REALLY hope we can rid her of the anxiety, so she can enjoy her life again.  :(  She doesn't have to love all the same things she used to, but she needs to be able to participate in her own life. And to not be afraid of life.  I understand that feeling, and I pray she doesn't have to suffer through it.

LG is also displaying some new behaviors.  Which seem mildly obsessive-compulsive.  His IEP is coming up in October, so we'll discuss it all then.  But he's still a happy, sweet kid.  Thankfully! (Especially the happy part.)

Adolescence is completely fascinating!  Sometimes it feels like we're getting to know our kids all over again.

Otherwise, I'm trying not to freak out too much over the election.  It's getting closer, in more ways than one, and it's terrifying.

I was able to keep up with one of my yoga classes over the summer. Which made a difference, I think.  I have to remember to take care of myself, as well as everyone else. Otherwise I'll be useless.
So, I need to deal with my own anxiety, as well as help WG with hers.

Ah, life.  Never dull, is it?

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Hoo Boy!

Rough night last night, with anxiety keeping me awake.
This morning I asked Hubby "What do we do if So-And-So is elected president?"  and he said "We roll with the punches."
Which, really, is all we CAN do.  I mean, we can be active, and work to help those who need it, but we can't go back in time and change election results.  (Even if we could, should anyone have that power?  :) )
I also spoke with WG's teacher and the school director this morning, to let them know of our plans.  And they reminded me that if I ever need to talk or have any questions, they are ALWAYS there.
Sometimes I forget that.  We are SO lucky to have them!

We have an appointment for WG with a very experienced doctor in Berkeley.  He works a lot with kids on the spectrum, and everyone I've spoken with who uses this particular treatment sees him.
Here's hoping we can afford it.  :)

I also have an appointment, finally, to get new headshots.  And there's a nearby theater that's doing lots of female-centric shows next year, so I'll be sending my new photo (along with my old resume) to them.

And I'm (hopefully) getting back on Zoloft next week.

So, we'll see how it all goes.

Onward and, hopefully, upward.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Asking for Help...And Getting It!

Last night I posted my concern about the (potential) cost of WG's (potential) medication on my Facebook page, and was almost immediately bombarded with suggestions and empathy from friends.  I'm MUCH more hopeful today than I was yesterday, and it MAY be that this is a lot more doable (and affordable) than we originally thought.

Fingers crossed.

I am cautiously optimistic about the whole thing.
Which is sort of like rainbows, sunshine, and unicorns for a normal person.  :)

I've also joined a Facebook group that's got oodles of info on the topic.  Hopefully we can get her started soon.

So...away we go!

Thursday, August 25, 2016


I spoke with WG's teacher today, and we've both come to the same conclusion: A lot of her behavior stems from anxiety.  And there are other kids in her school who take meds for anxiety, and have been helped quite a lot.  So we're looking into it.  One of the options is a bit controversial (and expensive), but it may be our best option.
Because the last thing we want is for her to experience that.  Especially at the levels I experienced it at her age.  I was in a place where waking up in the morning and going to school caused crippling fear.  I hope she never, EVER has to feel that way!

So, we'll do whatever it takes to help her.

Part of me feels badly because she inherited her anxiety from me.  On the other hand, at least I'm more informed than my parents and grandparents were.  We're learning SO MUCH about the brain, and how it functions, and I'm glad we live in an era where that information is available.

And I'm going to ignore all the voices (mine and others) that try to make us feel guilty for medicating her, if that's what it comes to.

Quite frankly, anyone who tried to tell us that we're doing it "wrong" can, to quote Malcolm Tucker, f*ck the f*ck off.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Starting Anew

Blog-wise.  And in other ways, too.

3 months after my last post, I am re-committing to this blog.  At this point, I'm probably the only one who will see it.  Which is OK.  I'm trying to get myself to write at least a little each day, and this is a as good a place to start as any.

It's been a somewhat difficult summer.  Moving into the kids' adolescence is quite the adventure.  Activities that used to be surefire favorites are now disliked.  Sleep patterns are, once again, disrupted.  And behaviors we'd thought had gone by the wayside shortly after toddlerhood have come back, only this time the kids are bigger and stronger.
So I am searching for guidance.  Online and in person.  Because navigating adolescence is hard enough.  I can't even imagine what it's like doing so with autism.

Recently I read a piece online about what a meltdown feels like for an autistic person.  And it made so much sense!  Because I, as an adult, have had many meltdowns (usually in my car, when I'm alone), and they feel EXACTLY like what the writer described!  Not that I'm comparing my experiences to my kids', but I suddenly saw things a whole lot more clearly.
And it's made me think.  A lot.

I truly believe that autism is mainly hereditary.  It could be exacerbated by environmental concerns, certainly, but I don't believe it's CAUSED by them.  Sometimes I see much of myself, especially as a child, in my kids' behaviors.   Sure, much of my own behavior was learned from my parents and grandparents, but the physical issues (brain chemistry, for example) that lead to depression and anxiety could also be genetic, right?  I really need to do more research on this.

I'm trying to teach my daughter that getting angry and upset is OK.  The physical lashing out that often accompanies it isn't, but the emotions themselves are VALID.  Same with my son, who rarely takes it out on others, but seems to absorb it back into himself.

I'd like to create an Autism Utopia: A village for autistic people and their families to live and work in.  It would be safe, friendly, affordable, and everyone would be accepted as they are.  And there would be as much support as needed. I read stories from autistic people telling of how difficult and painful it is to get through the day.  It's horrifying and heartbreaking.

(BTW, as I was writing this, I found a study that says that kids can inherit depression and anxiety from their parents.  So, yay Science!
But boo my genes for passing this along!)

In other (related) discoveries, I've realized I need my Zoloft, that my kids need melatonin, and WG needs a nap in the middle of the day, even if she's at school.

As to the Zoloft, I'm going to request it when I go to the doctor for my checkup in a couple of weeks.I'm tired of feeling ashamed of needing it.  If I needed a blood thinner, or heart medication, I wouldn't feel this way.  But I still buy into the stigma surrounding anything having to do with my own mental health.  Not anyone else's, just mine.

OK, gotta go.  More soon!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sorry! Again!

Two months.  That's a long time.  I'm just not a good blogger.
Life has been going on apace.  LG, not so little anymore, had grown about 4 inches in the past couple of months.  As has WG (not so wee).

I've just returned (as in Sunday) from another London trip.  I decided to go early this year, for (slightly) warmer weather and (much) longer days.  And I actually saw a show this time.  "Ophelia's Zimmer" ("Ophelia's Room") at the Royal Court.  It was in German with English subtitles, and was pretty amazing!
I also did lots of walking and visited museums and parks.  As well as finally finding my way to Forbidden Planet and loading up on "Doctor Who" swag.  :)

I was lucky enough to catch "The Hollow Crown: Richard III" on the BBC, which premiered on Saturday.  Benedict Cumberbatch seemed to be having the time of his life, and Sophie Okonedo was incredible. Hopefully it'll air in North America soon.  Definitely worth a watch.

I feel pretty proud of myself for making my way around the city either walking or taking the tube.  I even got asked for directions a few times!  Which is really something, given that I get lost going to the bathroom.  It's probably because I tend to walk quickly.  And perhaps purposefully.  I even got yelled at by an irate cyclist in Hyde Park.  Made me feel like a native!  Brought a tear to my eye, I tell ya.

The day before I left was Ride a Wave, and, thankfully we were able to go this year (WG was sick last year).  It's such a wonderful day!  All the kids have such a great time, and the volunteers are the best.

The pup has been protecting us from everything and everyone: UPS, bus drivers, squirrels, birds, and whatever is living in the crawlspace under the house.  She actually managed to get in there today, nearly giving me a coronary.  Hubby's going to secure the entrance.
She's such a sweetie!  I was almost more worried about her when I was away than I was about the kids.  :)  The kids knew where I was and understood I'd be back soon.  But Avery has imprinted onto me, and she wasn't sure why I wasn't there.
Needless to say, I got a very nice greeting upon my return, and she hasn't left my side since.  <3 br="">As much as I miss our pittie, this girl has made her way deep into my heart, and I can't imagine life without her.

I also did another performance of the show I'd done a year ago.  Played a different part this time.  And it was great!  Nice to be onstage, of course.  Maybe time to get those headshots done.

OK, still jet lagged.  Gonna get ready for bed.  'Night all!

Friday, March 4, 2016

More Hard Truths

I am a big woman.
Not fat, anymore, but big.
My lack of success in Hollywood makes a lot of sense, given the standards there.  I always knew that mentally, but now I understand it viscerally.

I will never be able to live in the U.K (my dream) or in Canada (my second dream).  Unless they change their immigration/citizenship laws regarding people with autism.
And I understand,  I do.  It's a drain on resources. Especially right now, with so many migrants in such dire straits.  People who are in need, and living (barely) in deplorable conditions.
But, should the worst happen and Donald Trump be elected, we're stuck and basically screwed.
Of course, so is the rest of the world...
Maybe we could volunteer for that Mars mission.

I will most likely never meet, let alone work with, the people I most admire.

I will not be one of those people who makes great changes (for the better) in the world.

I will never be wildly successful in my chosen profession.  At this point, it's a question even if I will ever work again in my chosen profession.  :)

I will never have a flat stomach.  I never had one before, but that never kept me from hoping.

I will never be a zen-like optimist.

I will ALWAYS find something to worry about.

Very often, of late, I feel like a whole lot of wasted potential.

I may be experiencing a midlife crisis.
I hate being cliched.

I probably have some form of ADHD, along with mild dyslexia and OCD.  My poor kids didn't exactly hit the genetic lottery, lol!

I'm sure there'll be more to come.  But I think that's good for now.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Trying to Be Positive

It's a beautiful day here in San Francisco.  Tank top weather.  And it's President's Day, which means that the entire family has the day off.

Hubby and I had grand plans for today: For the first time in a very long time, we piled ourselves and the kids into the car and drove into the city.  Everything started out great: The kids were happy, we had a tank full of gas, and an easy ride on the freeway.

The we arrived, and WG didn't want to get out of the car.  No problem, she does that sometimes, and, usually, if we're patient, she'll eventually decide she's ready and get out of her own accord.
Not today.
Fine.  Hubby stayed with her in the car while LG and I went to the park.  Then we decided to come home, stopping by the grocery store on the way.

And while I was in the store, all Hades broke loose.  WG had a full-on meltdown, and a violent one.  She pulled her own hair, then started hitting her brother.  When Hubby intervened, she grabbed his glasses and started smacking them against the car door, nearly breaking them.  We went home, where she then screamed and cried for the next hour.  And we were treated to some OH SO HELPFUL advice from the in-laws who, while probably well-meaning, really don't understand.

It's calm now: The in-laws have gone out, WG is quiet, LG is playing in his room, and Hubby has gone off to the gym.
While I sit here trying to process it, again.

Lately I've been feeling like a not-so-great mother.  Like I can and should be doing more.  Of course,  with Hubby gone 17 hours a day, it's hard for me to corral both of them, or even to find things that they both want to do.  Other than swimming.  Which isn't always possible.  And then something like this happens, and I feel like The Worst Mother In The World.

Logically, I know I'm not.  But Mom Guilt is a strong force.  And with kids who have special needs, it multiplies by about 8 zillion.

And right now, all I want to do is take a nap. But I can't.  because the gods only know that the kids will get up to/into while I'm asleep.  :)

In MUCH happier news, Hubby has been nominated for a Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Award!  For the past show he was in.  He's the ONLY one from the show who's nominated, which took some of the joy out of it for him.
But I couldn't be prouder.
And now, for the the first time in abut 13 years, I need to buy a dress.
And shoes.
I hope I remember how...

OK.  Gonna go watch some "Gilmore Girls" and try to not think for a while.

See ya!

Monday, February 8, 2016

A Yucky Cold and a Lovely Warm Puppy

I'm getting over another cold.  We've all been sick 3 times over the last 3 months, and, really, enough is enough.  First there was the flu in November, then the stomach virus at the beginning of the year, and now this.  And we've all had all of it.  Well, the family that vomits together...

Tuesday night was the height of it, for me.  (The worst of the stomach thing was also on a Tuesday night.  Curious.)  I was worried that it was turning into a another bout of flu, as I was suddenly sore and achy all over, and very fatigued.  I was sprawled on the bed, and Avery came over and lay down on my tummy, promptly falling asleep.
It was just what I needed: I woke up the next morning feeling MUCH better.  Luckily, after getting the kids off to school, I was able to go back to bed for a couple of hours.  Avery kindly sacrificed her time to cuddle up and nap next to me.

I've had a few dogs now, and a couple of cats. I'm always amazed at how quickly they give us their unconditional love. Avery had already been abandoned, brought to a shelter, adopted out, and returned to the shelter by the time we met her.  And in just over a month, it's like she has always been part of our family. She snuggles up with me at night until Hubby comes home, at which point she relinquishes her spot and goes to sleep on the lovely, soft dog bed at the foot of our human bed.

She's very gentle with the kids (including our 3 1/2 year-old niece, who isn't always so gentle with HER, lol), and she will bark at anyone or anything outside that isn't part of the norm.  She'll also chase squirrels, raccoons, and (yikes!) skunks out of the yard.  She is agile and lithe, and keeps me in shape by walking me twice a day for 20-60 minutes at a time.  And she watches me while I do my home workouts.  She is particularly puzzled by the bike that goes nowhere when I pedal it.  I'm sure she'd come to yoga with me if I let her.

Because she has imprinted on me.  I am her human.  She adores everyone, but I'm the one who's with her the most, and from whom she has separation anxiety.  I HATE leaving her, even to go to my beloved yoga classes.  :)  Yesterday I had to teach in the morning and then run some errands, and I worried about her the entire time.  Of course, she was fine when I got home, sleeping in "her spot" on the window seat.  But she greeted me at the door as soon as I came in, and we went for a nice long walk.  She is sleeping next to me as I type this.
I suppose I have as much separation anxiety as she does.  :)

I miss Chopper.  But I think he led us to Avery.  He wanted us to adopt another shelter dog in his honor, and I like to think she was waiting for us.  That she was meant to be ours, as we are meant to be hers.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

DVDs, Weekends, And Separation Anxiety

We've just received A BUNCH of DVDs from the SAG Awards Committee, as we always do this time of year.
But this year we seem to have gotten more than in previous years.
And I haven't watched a single one.
Hubby watched The Revenant.  I did not.  Too violent for my taste.

But at least he has an excuse, between work and rehearsal.  I have ZERO excuses.
Other than the fact that I'm not particularly interested in most of them.
OK, except for "Straight Outta Compton."  But I want to watch it with Hubby.
I don't know why, but I don't have much interest in the others.
(Well, OK, I'll watch "Spotlight", since I know all the characters. My dad wrote for The Boston Globe, and Mike Rezendes, the title character, was his protege.)

I think my attention span is getting even worse.

Or maybe I just don't want to spend time on things that don't interest me anymore.

Anyway, here we are, on a lovely Sunday afternoon.  It is a rare sunny day here.  We've been getting lots and lots of rain, although we are still in a drought.  And, fortunately, we are not on the east coast, so the freezing temperatures and seemingly endless snowfall are not affecting us.
However, it is still quite wet, so it's hard to take the kids anywhere.
And if we DID go out, we'd probably have to take the dog with us.  :)
She has separation anxiety, poor thing.  She's only been with us for 4 weeks, and I think she still doesn't trust that we will come back after we leave.  I've been teaching this past week, and leaving her home has been a bit rough.  Luckily, my in-laws have been here.
But she's my little shadow.  Follows me everywhere.  :)  I think, in time, she'll feel more secure.  I hope so. In the meantime, she is my nearly-constant companion.  Which is nice.

I think I may have found a 2-week summer camp for LG.  It's in Palo Alto, and is fairly pricey, but I'm supposed to have some money coming in for some consulting work I did.  It sounds like a perfect program for him, and 2 weeks is probably just the right amount of time.  It'd be nice for him to be around other kids in the summer, and not just me.
And maybe WG can go, sometime.

Now, if I may revert to my geek girl status for a moment, there is news.  For one thing, "The X-Files" returns tonight.  Woo-hoo! I want to believe!!!!!!!

"Doctor Who" will begin filming in May, so no new episodes until NEXT spring (aside from the Christmas special).  I was a little bummed when I read that, until I remembered that "Sherlock" only appears once every 2 years (season 4 will begin filming in April, BTW), and if it sees its shadow, we get 3 episodes.
Or something like that.
And Steven Moffat will be stepping down from Who after the next season, to be replaced by Chris Chibnall. No word on whether Peter Capaldi will stay or go. The fangirl in me wants him to stay, but the fellow actor/human/family person/knee pain sufferer completely understands why he may not want to.

Time will tell.
No pun intended.

Meanwhile, there's lots to do.  I'm subbing for the next 2 weeks, and then...we shall see!  Hopefully more consulting work, some time for museums and yoga, and possibly a show in May.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, January 10, 2016

I Have Come to a Momentous Decision!

OK, not really MOMENTOUS...
But I have finally decided what to do about my Equity (stage union) status.

I spent YEARS working towards my union membership, and was a very proud member for a number of years.  Then the kids came along, followed by the autism diagnoses and full-on burnout, and, well, you probably know the rest.  2 staged readings in the past 13 years is all I've done onstage.

I've decided it is definitely time to get back into the game, and that I am ready.
But on my own terms, this time.
As a non-professional.
For the time being, anyway.

The truth is, I'm not entirely sure what, exactly, my Equity status IS.  I haven't paid my dues in years.  I think it's similar to my friend's situation; she also stopped paying for a while, but was able to get back into the union by paying her past dues.

But I'm not going to.  At least, not yet.  I'm going to, in a way, start at the bottom.  Not quite from the beginning (which, in my case, was at the age of 9 doing kids' theater), but close to it.  Build my confidence (and my resume) back up.  And, for the first time since my teens, NOT worry about the professional side of things.  I just want to have fun and do what I love, what I'm good at.  And not always be worried about when the next job will come along.

It may be that Equity will come calling and say, hey, this isn't kosher; technically you're still in the union and you cannot do non-union work.  In which case, cool!
If not, I will continue on.

Who knows what may happen in the future?  Perhaps I will, once again, turn pro.  Maybe, just maybe, I can start working again in the regional theaters and get paid well.
Or not.
I just want to perform.

I'm working on letting go of how I WANT things to be and accepting them for what they ARE.  This includes myself. I'm not a Hollywood leading lady, or a Broadway star.  I will never be the Doctor's companion.  Or Sherlock's pal or nemesis.  I'm no Judy Dench, Helen Mirren, or Maggie Smith.

I'm not even a working actor.  And I haven't been for quite some time.

I will probably never meet my heroes.  (This one stings the most, but what can I do?)  Meaning I will certainly not get to work with them.

I have to stop waiting for impossible things to happen, and start making other, possible, things happen.

And mourn the loss of the things I cannot have.

Because maybe, just maybe, there will be even better things to come.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

I Know, I Know...

I suck.  I'm sorry!  I was out of the country, and then run ragged over the holidays.  Then my entire family got a stomach virus, from which WG and I are still recovering.

The past few weeks have been a mix of awful and great.  Along with the shared virus, we also had to put our beloved pit bull down just before Christmas.  He'd had some tumors removed in September, but they came back (and then some).  During the week I was away, he lost a lot of weight.  Eventually he was at the point where he couldn't hold anything down, even water, and he couldn't stop scratching.  He was in pain, and it wasn't fair to try and keep him with us.  He went very peacefully, but we miss him terribly.

However, in his honor, we went to the shelter and adopted another pup.  She is a beagle/basset hound mix, and very sweet.  She'd been through a lot, so it feels good to be able to give her a forever home. And we adore her!

So, yes, I went to London for a week.  And it was fabulous!  I even took a day trip to Cardiff (in Wales) to see The Doctor Who Experience.  So I can scratch that off my bucket list.  And since they weren't filming, we were able to go down the street to the BBC Cymru studios and take a tour of the TARDIS set.  It's  BEAUTIFUL!  A full 360 degrees and 3 levels.  As I stood on the top step, I though to myself "I could totally be on this show!"
And then proceeded to trip on the bottom stair.
But, apparently, I'm in good company.  Matt Smith tripped on that same stair repeatedly.
We also got to see the TARDIS painted in memory of Clara, as well as the inside of a Dalek.  And I'll say this; whatever those Dalek operators are being paid, it couldn't possibly be enough!

Back in London, I met up with my friend who lives there, and some of HER friends.  All of whom are fellow artsy types, American, and living in London.  Well, except one.  She lives in San Francisco.  We joked about how we had to travel 5,000 miles to meet each other when we live about 30 miles apart.  :)  We went to dinner one night, then met up a few nights later to see the holiday light displays at Kew Gardens.

I stayed in South Kensington this time, which is a great neighborhood.  And I did lots of exploring, including a trip to a cool North London neighborhood called Crouch End.  I needed to get out of Central London on the day of the Santa pub crawl, lol! so I googled London neighborhoods, and this one came up.  And it's a great area!  With a nice library.  Can't go wrong in a place that has a good library, IMHO.

I hope to go back again this year.  If I travel off-season, I can get a flight/hotel package at a very good price.  This one was through British Airways, and it was perfect.  I hope to stay at the same hotel again.

But I'm back home, and happy to be with Hubby and the kids.  Even with this stupid virus.
And I'm REALLY glad the holidays are over!  I don't know about you, but I always end up overextended and exhausted. It's good to be (almost) back to a regular schedule.

And now, I need a bit of a nap.  Getting this thing out of one's system is exhausting!

I'll post soon.  Promise!