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|Wednesday, November 18th, 2015|
|Happy Birthday to Eleven!
We are here at Legoland, specifically, at the Legoland Resort, where we are spending two nights in honor of our two birthday boys, Eleven and Fifteen. Today is Eleven's birthday and he has not only ended up at Legoland, but also started out playing putt-putt golf with his daddy, per his request. I really wanted them both to spend their birthday with their daddy and I'm glad that we are in Los Angeles now so that we could do it. In many ways, Los Angeles is a lonely place, filled with lonely people in cars. The almost-fight that Support Dad and I had on the way down to Carlsbad earlier this evening was due to traffic, stupid bad old L.A. traffic. I was livid that we spent an hour going due East on the 105 instead of going all the way on the 405 South. S.D. was sure that the 405 South was going to be crowded because he had looked it up on sigalert.com. A "Sig Alert" btw is a really bad traffic situation in SoCal, and yes, there is a web site devoted to such things. I finally swallowed my pride, something I found it much more difficult to do when I was drinking alcohol, and bit my tongue and let things go. No, we did not get here in time for tonight's Lego building contest, but we can enter it tomorrow and Friday nights. I hate to miss out on things. And yes, I seriously thought about how much wine I would drink when we were crawling along the 105, and when we got on the 605, when we finally got to it, a sign said we were in Norwalk. I almost screamed. We had gone over an hour and not headed south one iota. only east.
Such are Los Angeles' highways, however, and my guess is that many people have gotten divorced over a few heavily-trafficked trips such as the one we took today. L.A. is a very lonely place, filled with angry, lonely, crazy people with big dreams and egos. That traffic moves at all in this city is a real miracle. That we actually arrived alive after all this crazy traffic is a miracle.
Last time we were here, last May, Twelve met and befriended a really cool little guy from New Zealand. We have kept in touch with his parents and skyped with them not too long ago. Legoland has always been a magical place for us and I am very thankful that Twelve found us all such cool people to hang out with.
Birthdays are triggering for me and I want them to be perfect, whether they are mine or one of my kid's. Eleven has been such a joy to have in my life, as is Fifteen. I don't think I've said that in either birthday entry, but it is important to note. My boys are growing up and it is heartbreaking and beautiful to see this very event before my eyes. I am very much aware of how fast this is happening and I am thankful that we get to be here, in a wonderful place to celebrate a birthday. I am thankful that I'm learning to keep my mouth shut and avoid fighting sometimes. I am thankful that by the time I got to Legoland I did not need that glass of wine. I am thankful for Eleven and Fifteen, and for Twelve, even though his birthday isn't until February. How very fortunate that I am to be a mom of these lovely guys, how very fortunate indeed.
|Saturday, November 14th, 2015|
|Happy Birthday to Me!
So, usually I lie and say that I am writing this entry on my birthday, but I really write it a few days later and change the date so that it looks as though I write it on my birthday. I'm that much about making things appear right. Sometimes. In other areas, money, for instance, I really don't pay attention to appearances until I have lied to myself about how much money I have in my checking account that I bounce a check or two. Fortunately, that has not happened this month, or the month before, but there are other bills that I'm rebelling against in my mind. I need to pay some bills.
But I did have a birthday. And tomorrow, or rather more honestly, today
, is the last day he will be 14. After 6:25 p.m., he will be FIFTEEN. Now that's hard to believe. It gets to me. Were I drinking these days, I'm sure I'd be drinking a lot more. So, I'm glad I'm not drinking for now.
I was doing something, running kids hither and to, or whatever that saying is, at 5:22 p.m. on November 3rd, my actual birth time. I can't think of a better way to spend my birthday than being with my babies. Even though they are not so much babies anymore.
Soon-to-be Fifteen drives me crazy with his teenager self sometimes. I used to have such pompous ideas about childraising when I was breastfeeding his infant self. Oh, but now that he can talk back, oh, I am so eating every self-righteous word I spoke.
I love that guy so much, even though we often butt heads because our brains are almost exactly alike. I learn a lot from him, though; he is like a successful me. Well, he is successful in areas I failed at, like high school. He seems really to like it, which I am thankful for, but he also seems to plow through the problems, dealing with them and moving on. At least, that's the way it seems. Regardless, I am proud of him, and thankful, oh so very thankful that he is alive and healthy and looking forward to being Fifteen.
|Tuesday, November 10th, 2015|
|Back at the GH
We left N.C. Friday and got here in L.A. today. We had a successful trip, meaning that we all arrived safely and happily, despite the fact that we were all pretty tired and cranky (okay, maybe I was the tired, cranky one, but I think I had some company). I did Goodnight Universe tonight, which is different without Producer Guy. Tomorrow night, I'm planning to do some Turbo Tuesday comedy at Universal Bar and Grill in North Hollywood.
My sons are sleeping quietly, as is Support Dad, and I need to go to jury duty tomorrow. I need to get to some sleep. Fortunately, I took a nap before going to the G.U. Studio tonight. I set Emmett (one of our two Lego alarm clocks), but asked Support Dad to wake me if I wasn't awake by 9:30 p.m. Glad he did just that--the clock was still on East Coast time. But I have unpacked a lot and am thankful that we are all safe, and under one shingled roof.
|Sunday, October 11th, 2015|
|Ah, We Made It!
There is always stress when you leave turning in Lego designs for the NC State Fair until the last day. So we did that, of course, because I am a stress addict. We got to Raleigh--I'm writing this at Cup-A-Joe's on Hillsoborough Street--between 4:30 and 5 p.m. and all entries had to be there by 5 p.m. today. There were lots of things that went right for this whole thing to go down. My friend Angie's daughter had a spaghetti dinner fundraiser after church and we went to that and left around 2 p.m. Whew. So glad we made it.
We are, by the way, splitting our church time between two churches these days. Today, we went to the church I grew up in, partly because of Angie's daughter's dinner and partly because the boys have been asked to be ushers for October. I really enjoy each church, btw, but for slightly different reasons. So, I kinda miss the new church today, but it is always nice to be in the church where I grew up and where Support Dad and I got married, oh these 18 years ago today. Yes, today. Eighteen years ago today, we got married during NCSU's fall break. Eighteen years. That used to seem like such a long time, but it has passed in a flash. I am so thankful for the beautiful (imho) boys that have been a product of this marriage and I am thankful that we are still married, although we are sometimes 2400 or so miles apart. Maybe this bicoastal thing won't work in the future, but it works okay right now. And that is fine with me.
Just today, someone with kids about the same ages as ours told me that she and her husband are separated. This makes the third North Carolina separation that I've heard about since July. One couple has five children and has been married 20 years, another couple looked like the essence of happiness only a couple of years ago, and this one today, well, it has me flummoxed as well. Or, as I told Support Dad, from now on, I'm going to be surprised if people tell me that they are still married. I'll be shocked, in fact.
Last year's wedding anniversary brought me a $400ish speeding ticket. So far, nothing that dramatic has happened this year. We made it to the fairgrounds and we're planning to go back to Villa Pueblo this evening. Happy Anniversary to a very patient and caring husband and father. We not only made it to the fairgrounds, but we made it being married for 18 years. Marriages seem to be dropping like flies around us. So, congratulations to us!
|Sunday, September 6th, 2015|
|Here It Is, September
Lots of things are happening. We are in North Carolina right now. In fact, our oldest is now officially attending a public high school. Oy Vey! Okay, so I'm not really a Jew, but that's the only thing I can think of right now that fully expresses my feelings. And maybe not all of my feelings. We are doing this as an experiment. We've talked about it with our homeschooling therapist. Things are fine and we're still technically doing the private school thing in California. So, I guess this is more of a kind of student exchange program.
Support Dad is being, well, Support Dad. In a lot of ways, I have not been nice to him, but he could have reacted by doing some really awful things, but he has not. I would say, as would our homeschooling therapist, that we have certainly been getting along better, even when we're together on the same coast. I think we've been working together better. I think I used him to blame for a lot of troubles in my life. Having said that, there is little doubt that S.D.'s brother and father have used me to focus their anger and resentment regarding S.D.'s mom's death. If that were not the case, S.D.'s father would have listened to my apology last Mother's Day instead of dissing me and seeming to get angry with me
, when I was just trying to apologize.
With that last sentence, I should probably add that neither I nor S.D. know what exactly I did to wrong S.D.'s mother, in the eyes of his brother and father.
So, I'm left with the fact that I've been in denial about my victimhood for a while. And why am I so comfortable with being a victim anyway?
I realize now that I only have control over me, not over S.D., not over his family. I did the right thing. I apologized. I can sleep at night. That's all I can do. I can also refuse to be around anyone who wishes to paint me as a victim. But of course, I have to recognize this.
When I was drinking alcohol, I lived in a delusional world, set up by me to protect myself. The problem is that I could not simultaneously protect myself and allow myself to be a victim. Part of why I allowed myself to be a victim in the first place is certainly because it felt comfortable. Since I was taken from my natural mother when I was a few weeks old, and perhaps before that time, I have felt helpless. Even though I have no conscious memory of that event, my world was rocked the day the social wrecker did that deed. Even the best of adoptive parents could not make up for the loss that occurred that day, which is probably why I recently heard a psychiatrist type say that "adoptees are overrepresented" in addiction. We sure are.
It would be great to think that I could just get over it, be happy with who I am, and get on with life. I thought I had simply gotten over it a long time ago. I didn't quite link the drinking to my thinking, to the trauma that occurred when I was just a baby. Or rather, I linked it intellectually but not in my heart. Thus, despite copious amounts of words to my children about my adoption, my separation from my natural family, et al., I had not healed in my heart from this event, on which all subsequent events in my life were based. That separation, and its ensuing stuff, was controlling my life.
I am trying to heal now because if I don't, I will pass along all my misplaced anger, my victimhood, my fears, onto those lovely not-nearly-as-little-as-they-used-to-be guys that I am so thankful to God are healthy and alive. I don't want to do that. So, I'm doing some work. It's emotional and today, I just sat for 30 minutes or so in a place where I felt comfortable and I cried. Fortunately, I was with people who love and support me and I knew that I could just cry. As my adoptive father used to say: "Crying relieves a lot of stress."
After the crying, we went to one of my favorite places to eat and Ten, while chewing his sub sandwich, had a tooth come out. He has let me know that T. Fairy used to leave some pretty cool painted paper and the last T.Fairy letter he received, which was only a couple of weeks ago, was too short and on paper that was too plain. So, there is a piece of painted paper beside this laptop that T. Fairy worked on earlier this evening and left right here on the dining room table at Villa Villekula. It's still drying, but it should soon be available for her to place near his sweet sleeping head.
Earlier this summer, he lost a tooth at Sunday School.
My babies are surely growing up and that's difficult and wonderful to see. I have not set the greatest example for them, but maybe, just maybe, I can do better today.
|Wednesday, July 1st, 2015|
Hath hell frozen over?!? Perhaps. I have gotten an iPhone and so, it may well be that there are icicles down there. Thank you to the generous Chris Ramirez, who gave me his old iPhone when he bought a new one. Speaking of Ramirez, I have been co-hosting Goodnight Universe like a mofo, to use the vernacular. So, please, please, please take a look at the videos with me in them. You can listen in bits and pieces--some of this stuff is funny, some is informative, and some, well, they don't call it Goodnight Universe because it keeps you awake.Comic Mom on Goodnight Universe
--it'll put you to sleep!
|Thursday, April 30th, 2015|
I'm guessing that this song is talking about "the 101," as they call it in SoCal. Whatever the case, we drive that thing every Thursday and Friday, going to two history classes on Thursday and one physics class on Friday. Today, we'll probably hit the farmer's market up here as well, and a homeschool park day.
It is quite a drive, but it is beautiful, especially going down into the valley before you get into Camarillo. Getting there on time is a challenge for me. So, today, we were ten minutes late. Last week, we were on time. I kinda sorta knew we'd be late when I left the GH, but one had forgotten homework and nobody wanted to get off their tablet and brush their teeth and mama had taken on a document to edit, despite having told S.F. that I was going to start taking Thursdays off. So, despite our late start, mostly due to me, when you get down to it, we got here only ten minutes late. It may have been the first time that I've driven up here without hitting traffic. That and a Steve Miller Band triple play from the Sound, 100.3 FM, got me from the GH 'hood to Lynn Drive in Newbury Park in 30 minutes. I got to our destination, off Telegraph Road in Ventura, in 53 minutes. Fortunately, everybody else was going 20 miles over the speed limit as well. Perhaps they set the speed limit 20 miles or so under what they think people will do.
I was rockin' the HO, singing Steve Miller Band and safely transporting the three amigos to their class. I'm so very thankful that we got here, alive and well, with no speeding ticket. I did slow down quite a bit, but stayed with traffic, when I saw a highway patrol S.U.V. parked on the side of the road. He stayed put, which was exactly what I wanted.
I'm working on my document and writing this in McDonald's on Telegraph Road in Ventura. Whew!
|Monday, April 13th, 2015|
|Aspies: The Perfect Victim
What probably hurts right now is that everyone is leaving me and it's not as though I can just drink this thing away. Well, I can actually drink it away. But I don't want to handle things that way and with God's help, I won't. At least for today.
I felt emotionally vulnerable to this person, I won't say who it was, but I did a thing that I have learned Aspies tend to do. I fell into a deep abysmal relationship with somebody who is unavailable. There was a deep friendship and this person was someone I shared a lot with and I was always being accused of lying, when I had not lied. I am not saying here that I have not lied or do not lie, just that the things this person accused me of just weren't happening in the same way that the person accused me of. This person was lying about me. I know where I spend the night, for instance, but this person would swear that I was out all night partying. So, why was this? Because this person was lying and is projecting the lying onto me? Because I get up in the middle of the night and do things that I don't remember? That last question has not occurred, to my knowledge, since I have stopped drinking. Why do I allow someone into my life who does not trust me enough to believe I was where I said I was?!?
It would be good to explain here that I read a statistic last night, undocumented, so I am not at all sure that it's true, that said 98% of all undiagnosed Aspies divorce. So, if this statistic is correct, and I have no idea whether it is, then the chances of an undiagnosed Aspie surviving a marriage is slim. I think that's true, though. My first marriage was a disaster and part of it may have been the stress that I felt from trying to be like a normal non-Aspie person. All of this, also, was below the surface. I had no idea that I was such a rude and inconsiderate person and, in fact, had thought that I was a somewhat empathetic and caring person, semi-aspiring once to be a therapist. Oh, what a therapist I would have been.
I am way too addicted to taking online tests, but this morning, before the kids woke up, I took a test for my Empathy Quotient (EQ) test. The highest score is 80. Anything 30 or below correlates well with someone who has Asperger's syndrome. My score was 15. I don't know how biased I am myself, being that I am way too familiar with all this Asperger's mess and I am becoming way too familiar with autism stuff. I don't want to use all this stuff to make some kind of excuse for myself. I don't want to lie to myself, but sometimes I do. A lot of what I read about Asperger's, however, sure does seem to explain a lot of my behavior, a lot of my social weirdness, a lot of my failed relationships. So far, only a few people are hanging in there. I thought one was a few days ago, but I have learned that this person is abandoning me. I draw abandonment to me like a huge magnet. S.F. is hanging in there, and maybe sometimes the boys. And J., who has been a big help to me. Actually, I have probably been very awful to J. at times and she has shown me nothing but love in return. For that, I am thankful. Let's hope that relationship lasts a while, but I am expecting nothing from anyone beyond today. Or rather, that's what I'm trying to do.
I have been fairly awful person, all the time thinking that everyone else was the problem. I am sorry about this, although looking back, I don't know how I could have done things differently, being that I was so ignorant about so many things in my life, and especially ignorant regarding how my brain works.
So, it's pretty typical of Aspies to be bullied. I guess it's no surprise, or should not be, that I would place myself in a relationship with a person who bullies me, who has no trust in me, who condemns everything that I do. Perhaps I should not be writing about all this, but I need to share all this with someone. I don't see my therapist until Wednesday. This is fast and easy and I don't have to look anyone in the eye. So, I do share all this stuff in the hope of good for everyone. But knowing me, I've probably messed that up, too.
|Thursday, April 9th, 2015|
|SB277--Taking Away Parents' Rights in California
It's not as if North Carolina, and some other states, aren't doing the same thing. Fortunately, a bill such as this one recently was killed in North Carolina, but if you're familiar with the pharmaceutical industry, and I am, you know that this pharmaceutical wet dream bill will be back anywhere it was defeated. It will soon be very difficult for anyone to make their own health care decisions. For now, however, California is trying to take away the rights of parents to make any decisions--ANY--regarding vaccines. SB277, which passed the health committee yesterday (ah, the irony of pretending that this bill is healthy for anyone).
Y'all know that I have tried to tone down my writing. My disastrous delving into political-esque writing a few years ago cost me many relationships and potential relationships. Lots of people think I'm crazy. And yes, sometimes my emotions got carried away and here I was being so judgemental and critical of others. I am very sorry about that. I am trying to be more careful.
Still, the stuff I got so mad about, when I was breastfeeding the boys and reading a bunch of Internet articles, has come home to roost. We are losing freedoms more quickly than even I imagined. Most people are lulled into the false sense of we are okay
, the government is protecting us
, and my personal favorite: We live in a free country
The kind of stuff in my previous paragraph is not looked upon in the same way as it was a few years ago. Some people are weaning themselves off the soma and waking up. Soma was a drug in Brave New World
that most people took. It lulled everyone into a false sense of security. Well . . . . does that book, written in the first half of the 20th century, seem prophetic? Now that it's hard to find a house that doesn't have some pharmaceutical bottles in it these days. Everybody is sick. Everybody needs medication.
That is exactly the thing that the pharmaceutical companies seem to be shooting for. I'll shut up now and let someone talk from one of the many FB groups fighting this bill. Alana, thank you so much for writing this:Sb227 is not about vaccines. It's about who has ownership of your medical decisions. If some politician can mandate one kind of treatment, why not another? My body, my right. Sb227 is a nightmare waiting to happen.Every parent wants their child to be protected from any kind of sickness, and would do everything to ensure children's safety (his/her and others too). Unfortunately our preventative medicine is not the exact science; it is "observe, learn and apply" science. You can't argue that there is not a single human being that "re-constructed" another human being, therefore there is no human being that knows "exactly" how our bodies work. Twenty years ago, when my son was a baby, they used to give four vaccines in one shot, but from that technique many babies had died (it is a well documented fact), so after a few years the practice changed to give each vaccine in its own shot - that's why today our babies are getting poked 3-4 times per visit - in different limbs. If it was exact science, this "snafu" wouldn't have happened, right?
This doesn't mean we shouldn't experiment, as it is our only tool to learn, but at least allow me to do my own research and agree or disagree to those experiments on a case-by-case basis.If you want to home school in CA you have to register as private school, and they are not exempt. Also, if you think that you doctor can give your child a medical exemption, if, G-d forbid there is a reaction to vaccine, you are mistaken. There are clear guidelines that pretty much minimize medical exemption to the individuals that have neurological damage after seizure (do we really need to wait till severe damage happens) that is proven beyond reasonable doubt that it cause by vaccine and short delay may be given to preemies and immune-compromised individuals. It pretty much takes doctors judgement out of the healthcare, makes vaccine makers immune to responsibility, and makes politicians dictating medical procedures. We all know that vaccines are not 100% safe and we all sign informed consent before the doctor administers every vaccine. With new law, informed consent is useless: if you don't want to vaccinate or want to delay vaccines for some reason ( even medical advice that doesn't fit into ridiculous parameters) your child can't go to school, if he doesn't you are a subject to CA truancy law, child is taken away from you by CPS, forcefully vaccinated without parental consent and then put into the school system. I know that completely ignoring vaccinations is ridiculous, but taking parental right and just giving it to government is ridiculous too. There is also a clause that vaccines will be added to mandated schedule government feels necessary (without further discussion). There are 200-300 new vaccines in the pipeline, can we give up our right to choose for the future too? Please read the law, which also takes away the need for a doctor to even discuss the vaccines with you, because discussion is pointless. I am very pro science, there are many new genetic tests that can predict future reactions to medications, vaccines included, but they are not accounted for exemptions. It is very-very scary law to me as a professional and as a mom. Even Doctors themselves can opt-out of the vaccine if they feel like it it the right thing to do, and many use that right, but somehow our kids and , soon enough adults, are going to be treated like dogs, and the one's who have reactions will become just statistical numbers. Please take a moment to carefully read the language of SB277 and you'll see for yourself.
Vaccination is not going to change with this bill, vaccines will still be available for us to protect our kids. In the media, it is portrayed as a war between pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine camps, but it is not that. The "war" is fabricated, we are all parents and all want the absolute best for our kids. What is on the line here is the ability of parents and doctors make informed decisions for our and our kids health. Also it gives absolute green light to manufacture the cheapest vaccines possible without any liability to the patients and add any vaccine deemed to the schedule in the future without any public discussion. For example, new controversial HPV vaccine just had the amount of aluminum adjuvant DOUBLED, and since this vaccine was already approved- it did not need further scrutiny. As patients, we really don't know what goes on behind the scenes in those labs, but companies have no incentive to make better and safer product if they get guaranteed consumer and are completely immune from liability. People, who have proven vaccine damage get paid by the fund supported by taxpayers, and not a penny comes from vaccine manufacturer or medical provider. This bill will guarantee the constant consumer to Pharma, no matter what type of toxic ingredients they'll put in the vaccine to reformulate for a cheaper version. Also, they can increase the cost as they want, since demand is guaranteed too. At this point they at least do some safety testing to convince the inquisitive public that their product is safe; they'll have no incentive to do that in the future. Plus, the senator that introduced the bill Senator Pan has his pockets full with contributions from big pharma companies and it is public info, just search for it. I see this bill as a business venture to insure "herd" consumption( or injection) of potential unsafe medicine without any liability, at the same time insuring more support to advance one's political agenda and satisfy the need for power and control over patients.
Please be praying about this bill. It is taking away parental rights and rights that we should have as Americans. Please pray for true freedom and not the fear-based tyrannical society that mainsteam media and the pharmaceutical companies seem to be leading us toward.
|Saturday, April 4th, 2015|
|Total Lunar Eclipse
Ten and I actually went outside to view the total lunar eclipse. As I write this, a few minutes before 6 a.m. in Los Angeles, I can still see the beautiful moon, partially covered by a shadow. The Griffith Observatory also has a link
that we have been watching. In fact, Twelve didn't want to get out of bed and only watched it on the Internet and outside his window. Now the moon has set too much to see it outside his window, but for a while, during the time that the moon's eclipse was in totality, we could see it outside the window. It is the shortest totality for an eclipse for this century, according to the folks who are emceeing the event at the Griffith Observatory. I am very thankful that I am here, right now, viewing this gorgeous moon. I am thankful that my boys are with me. So very thankful for that.
I think people in ancient times viewed eclipses some kind of ominous sign or something. I'm guessing that the eclipse definitely changes the energy on earth, probably. It's been an interesting week here at the Gingerbread House anyway, maybe due to the eclipse. A friend named Jan, who was friends with my cousin Jan, posted a picture of my cousin with her friend Jan's brother. Jan, my cousin, went to the prom with him one year. I had never seen that picture. She'd told me she had it a while ago and I asked her to see it this week. I am fascinated with how many emotions seeing that picture has brought up for me. Then, some of my cousin's friends were posting things about her on FB and it just made me realize how much I still miss Jan, even after all these years. She would have been 55 on April 1st.
Another friend, whose daddy I worked with at Channel 22 in Raleigh, posted a story about a woman in Raleigh, Laura Smith, who is in jail for the wreck that she had in October. In that wreck, she killed her only son, who was the same age as my Twelve. Laura has a Ph.D. and left her job as a scientist when she had her son. She remembers taking her son to school that day in October, then coming home and taking a nap. She doesn't remember the wreck, which occurred after she picked him up from school and was taking him to a doctor's appointment. She was going 74 mph in a 45 mph zone on Creedmoor Road. She was driving erratically and ended up hitting a tree, hurting herself and killing her son instantly. Her blood alcohol content was four times the legal limit in N.C. She remembers nothing about that afternoon. I have been thinking about her, about the son's dad, about the whole family, knowing that could have easily been me, thinking about how closely I came to a similar fate a year ago in January. I am so very thankful that I am with my children this very night, that I am not in jail, that no one was hurt in that accident of mine, that I did not get a DUI. Laura and I seem to have in common that we are both high-functioning alcoholics. We are successful, with degrees, we are not homeless or gutter drunks. However, the consequences can be the same as if we were. I am so very thankful that I have so far listened to God's very compassionate way of telling me that I need to stop drinking alcohol. A few short years ago, in my denial, I would have thought I had nothing in common with Laura; I would have judged her to make myself feel better, and to continue my denial. But now, I just ask you to pray for her, and for her son's family, as I continue to do. I didn't used to believe this, but I now know that alcoholism is a disease. It kills. I am very, very thankful to be alive, considering all the times before I had kids that I drove drunk and did very stupid things. I am very thankful the my children are with me in this house right now, that they are alive. We could all die tomorrow, of course, without any alcohol involved. So, it is always a blessing to be alive, but especially so when you have come so very close to having it be otherwise.
|Monday, March 16th, 2015|
|It's not so much that I've been lazy . . .
or maybe I have been. Either way, I don't feel that lazy. The boys spent all last weekend at a chess tournament in Valencia. As chess tournaments go, spending a weekend in Valencia is not a bad deal. At all. We were right beside a golf course. Ten and Twelve went swimming for 3.5 hours, some of that after dark. I felt like we were in Florida. And by golly, we were for the last chess tournament, back in December. Valencia is a lot like Florida, though, and I'm guessing that some people at the hotel where we stayed looked upon their weekend in Valencia as going to a resort. It was certainly expensive enough. Fortunately, S.F. had gotten his yearly bonus that Friday, March 6. We were hoping for enough $$$$ to catch us up on the mortgage and home equity line of credit and fortunately, we got it.
It's been snowing back in N.C.--not this week, of course, but lately. With our second-floor room with a balcony in Valencia last weekend, I sure wasn't missing any snow. But then again, I really missed it while it was coming down in N.C. And I think the boys missed it, too.
Btw, I used to work in Valencia, for 3D Systems, before they moved to South Carolina. Yes, South Carolina. There was a time, in fact, just a few years ago, when I was working up there, doing comedy at the Vu in Santa Clarita (just up the road from Valencia), and even getting my hair cut there. It was a super-duper wonderful experience to go to the Chinese restaurant last Saturday, the one beside my CA credit union, the one I used to go to when I worked at 3D Systems and would want to bring home something for dinner (I usually worked in the morning and came home around noon) instead of cooking when I got back to the Gingerbread House. Not only did the woman who owns the place remember us (sometimes, I would take the boys with me to Valencia), but she also commented on how much the boys had grown. They have grown. Tons. Fourteen has outgrown his growth chart and his brothers seem to be catching up quickly.
Fortunately, we are not sick much, but we have been this past week. I've got a headcold. Fourteen had a fever of 101 today, and earlier this week, Twelve was sure he had strep throat. Fortunately, he did not, but his throat sure did hurt.
I am still, at the moment, working for the Indians, although I have no idea how long that will last. I am thankful that each car payment since December has been paid for with money I earned editing for the Indians. Whew--that part sure is nice.
Roscoe has now been fixed. I thought it would calm him and cut down on his barking, peeing, and pooping all over the GH. Well, it hasn't been the miracle cure yet that I was hoping for. But it didn't hurt to get him fixed--that's for sure.
|Wednesday, February 4th, 2015|
|Happy Birthday, Twelve!
I am, of course, not writing this on the exact day of Twelve's birthday, but a few days later. Still, I want his birthdate to show up here. There is a lot going on right now, but I want to concentrate on the stuff we did to celebrate my now Twelve-Year-Old's birth. He was actually born on a Tuesday, as was his older brother, as was I. This year, however, his birthday came on a Wednesday. I had to get something at Target, which, now that we are back at the GH, is only a walk away. While there, I got Wits and Wagers for Twelve, who was still sleeping while I sneaked away for a few minutes. The game, even as unwrapped as it was when I gave it to him, was quite a successful way to start his first day as Twelve. The day before had been Tuesday, and he'd wanted to go to In N' Out Burger for his last full day as Eleven. We ended up doing this on his birthday and the one in Sherman Oaks was pretty full so we went to the In N'Out near Studio City, down on Ventura, close to the 101. It was filled, too, and probably with weirder people. There were a few people in there who'd taken the art of tattooing their body to a level I had not seen previously. I guess I'm not much for that kind of thing, but hey, at Sherman Oaks, there would have been more homeless people around, probably. And so, I had to look away at the tattoo people as I ate, probably the same way I would have looked away from the homeless people outside Sherman Oaks. Twelve said, when questioned by Ramirez on Goodnight Universe, later that night, that he would be okay with a girl who had "maybe one tattoo." I was, of course, afraid to ask at In N'Out what his tattoo limit was. Am I horrible to hope my kids never succumb to their first tattoo?!?
After In N'Out, we went to Burbank Central, where I had a document to work on. We were also due to be with the therapist at 6 p.m. that night, over in Sunland, about 20 minutes or so from Burbank. At almost 4 p.m., we heard an announcement that Box Trolls would be shown at 4 p.m. The almost Twelve and Ten and I went to the movie, with Fourteen seeing just how much computer time he could sneak in to play Minecraft. The librarian, who's known the boys for a while, was making announcements before the movie and Aspie Mom here piped up and said, "My son is turning twelve at 3:59 p.m. Can we sing him "Happy Birthday"? Of course, she did. And of course, Twelve was looking at me as if I had just asked him if he was wearing clean underwear. To me, there was a big difference between the two questions. To Twelve, not so much.
There was a cool balloon man at Chevy's when we went for Twelve's birthday dinner after the therapist. And Twelve got a nice birthday sundae.
Maybe he's forgotten about the singing, but probably not.
Aspie Mom meant well.
Happy Birthday to my almost teen!
|Sunday, February 1st, 2015|
|Missing North Carolina
When I wrote yesterday's blog entry, I did not say this, but one week before, we were finishing up basketball games and getting ready to leave North Carolina. We left around 2 a.m. on Sunday morning. Fourteen and I got here to the Gingerbread House around 2 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon, around 5 p.m. on East Coast time. Ten and Eleven flew from Albuquerque on Monday night, getting to spend a night with just their daddy. The whole flight thing is a long story and I won't go into it right now, but everything worked out okay. I know this because we all arrived here in Los Angeles healthy and alive. When that happens, there is so much to be thankful for.
So, as I write this at the dining room table at the GH, I am thinking about the church service in North Carolina that we missed today. I am really missing a lot about North Carolina. There are good things about California. It is good, for instance, that the boys get to see and be with their daddy. So, that is good. But I miss the church service. Right before we left, we started going to a different church. The reason for this is that what I consider my church--the church where I grew up, where I got married (marriage #2), and where I feel most at home--has recently chosen a minister that is not my cup of tea. He reads more than he preaches. He seems like a very nice guy, but still, I don't feel filled with the Holy Spirit after his sermons. Neither do my children. And so, we decided to try a new-to-us church.
We miss it.
Last night, I found myself with two atheists on Goodnight Universe. I was co-hosting with Ramirez and Roger Rodd was calling in. I realized that I was in a tough situation. I've gotten myself in tough situations before, lots of them, but this time, I turned to God and prayed about what to do. Roger Rodd said, "How can someone so intelligent as you, Comic Mom, think that there is a God?" God gave me the answer, "How can someone as intelligent as you not
? I'm not expecting Roger to be saved anytime soon, but I will say that no one said a thing after I said that. Not a thing. I certainly cannot control other people, but I can stand up for what I believe. I've not been very good about doing that for most of my life, but things are changing. For that, I am very thankful.
|Saturday, January 31st, 2015|
|Back in CrazyLand
While Eleven and Ten rode on a plane from Albuquerque to Los Angeles, and were met by their daddy, Fourteen and I rode in the HO across the desert, landing in Needles sometime Tuesday morning. For those of you who have never been to Needles, California, it is, well, hot. Usually. It's in the desert. If you come into California on I-40, it is the first city that you encounter. I use the term city
quite loosely. It does have a McDonald's. Having just gone through the desert, drinking leftover sweet tea from the last Cracker Barrel, in Kingman, Arizona, I certainly had to pee. At the Needles McDonald's, I went to the bathroom. We'd stopped there before, either coming or going, but as I was leaving, I saw a guy brushing his teeth in one of the booths. I looked again to make sure, but there was no doubt, not a doubt at all. It was a guy brushing his teeth for sure. Welcome to CrazyLand he seemed to say through the toothpaste. Or maybe that last part was my vivid imagination after going through the Mojave. There were the homeless beggars as we left the parking lot. There was the pot store as we got off I-40. Sure, it wasn't the organic
pot store that I saw somewhere around Burbank or Studio City last night--I forget exactly where--but it was a pot store. I hadn't seen a pot store since September. Welcome to CrazyLand.
The good and beautiful thing about being in CrazyLand is that I feel so much more normal. Growing a pot plant is not a big deal here, of course. You can grow up to six with a regular recommendation/prescription. Then, there's the driving. Ooh, that's extra crazy. And when we went through the agricultural booth, a few miles after crossing the Colorado River into San Bernadino County, no one was there to check and see if I had turnips (I did) or any other veggies (yep, those, too). There were at least three of the agricultural inspectors jumping off a car
. Fourteen complained about wasting taxpayer money, but I informed him that jumping off a car from time to time may well be the only truly helpful thing that the agricultural inspectors ever really do.
|Friday, January 2nd, 2015|
|It's 2015, Already?!?
I am sitting here at Cup-A-Joe's in Raleigh, listening to 88.1, WKNC-FM. How many years (or decades?!?) has it been since at this very time every Friday night I was doing Request Rock, deejaying and taking requests from Crazy Curtis and all the other WKNC-FM fans? Tonight, I sit in a Cup-A-Joe's that looks pretty much the same as it did during graduate school, and before and after, including the Heart of Darkness, as my friend Elizabeth calls the very side that we're sitting on right now. Oh, we used to have a lot of fun during grad school. I knew that on any given night, I could come here around 10 p.m. and find Elizabeth and John and a bunch of other hangers-on. I loved hanging on and out with the crowd myself. It was glorious. It was before children.
Tonight, we took S.F. to the RDU airport for his flight back to Los Angeles. We also went to Quail Ridge Books, Barnes and Noble, and before we took S.F., we ate at Char-Grill. It's been a very brain and gastronomical-filled evening. And here we are, doing the only thing that my kids think I have ever done that was/is/ever will be cool--sitting here, playing with tablets/laptop on a Friday night.
After a rocky 2014, I think this is success. I could have easily gotten a DUI/killed myself/killed my children last January, a few days from today will be the one-year anniversary. It was only by the grace and compassion of God that I did not. For that, I am very very thankful.
I am thankful that S.F. was able to stay with us a while. The laundry is caught up and things are a bit more organized than they were. I have a new mirror in the V.V. bathroom ($14.95 from IKEA!) and the light in the kitchen works. It was nice to have him here to help us. It was very nice.
I am blessed, right at this moment, to have a wonderful life with my children. I am learning that things could change in an instant, that good could go bad or vice versa. I am so very thankful that things are good right now, that they are fabulous, that nobody had cavities when we were in Raleigh to visit Dr. Jeff earlier this week.
I plan to write more later, but right now, I'm going to enjoy appearing cool for the next few minutes.
|Wednesday, December 24th, 2014|
|Christmas Eve Eve Blessings
I know the date says Christmas Eve, but I started thinking about writing this on Christmas Eve Eve and part of me is still on West Coast time right now anyway . . . so here goes:
I am thankful that I got to talk with Sally Mullins tonight on Goodnight Universe. When I first moved to L.A., before I ever became Comic Mom, I did a show with Sally at Macilli's in Hollywood. Sally would host sometimes and sometimes,as Sally reminded me tonight, Harriet Rose would host. Wow, talking with Sally tonight reminded me of just how much has happened in the 15 years or so since I first met her. Sally has taken the comedy route and while I have done so, it has always taken a backseat to my children. Thus, I do not have the funny road stories of riding 15 hours with a male comic to a show in "Bumfuck, Arizona," as she put it, that Sally has. I'm okay with that. I'm really okay with that. While Sally was living that kind of adventurous life, I was busy going to Gymboree and My Gym and such. I am lucky that I live in Los Angeles, where there are comedy abodes a plenty. I have been able to do a lot of comedy, even without traveling. Part of me really likes to stay at home. In that sense, I ran into the same issue with radio. If I'd really wanted to climb the radio ladder, I would have had to move around. But I wanted to stay in Raleigh. If I'd really wanted to climb the comedy ladder, I'd travel 15 hours with other comics. But I really love the Gingerbread House. And Villa Villekula. It is a real blessing to be able to do a show that I can call in from wherever I am and talk.
Also, Sally said she remembered how funny I was. And so, there goes my neighbor's theory that I am "not funny."
I have more blessings to write about, but right now, this keyboard is sticking somewhat and I need to go to bed soon.
More to come, I hope!
|Thursday, December 4th, 2014|
|Pity Party Over
Thank you, Joni! I would like to say that my pity partyin' days are over, but they are probably not. For today, however, they are.
God has given me some ways of dealing with these "I -want-to-kill-myself" moments. I am beginning to see a couple of those ways.
I am thankful that I'm not drinking alcohol right now.
|Wednesday, November 19th, 2014|
|Birthdays, We Love Birthdays!
Okay, I'm very, very behind on birthday stuff. Usually, I take time and post an individual journal entry about what happened the day before the birthday, the day of, and lots of stuff before and after. But I am tired this year. I am overwhelmed. I feel overworked and underappreciated. So, it's taken me until right now, while everyone is sleeping in a hotel room, to sit down and write. Part of that reason is because of the Indian editing work. Boy, have I ever had a lot of that lately. And I'm thankful for it. I have no idea how long it will last, but while it's happening, I am thankful.
So, please note that although I am overwhelmed this year, I would like to write down some stuff about birthdays.
I recently made the comment to S.F. that I married into the right family. Indeed, the only birthday cards I received this year were from his father and his aunt. Both of those cards made me very happy. Having said that, I did receive two homemade cards, one from Nine and one from Eleven, but that was probably because I asked. Still, I love a good homemade card. Thirteen had nothing to share with me. Oh well. Underappreciated. Overwhelmed. Maybe I'm expecting too much. I did also receive a happy birthday wish via text and for that wish, I am very happy. I heard nothing about my birthday from S.F., but the boys did get him to join in on the happy birthday song on speaker phone.
At the time of my actual birth, I was carting three Scouts around, finishing popcorn orders. I did manage, later that week, to go hiking with the boys and that was fun. I counted that as a birthday present as well. Considering all the stuff that could have gone wrong this year, but did not, I am also thankful that I have my three boys with me. Really, what good would any present do if I didn't have my boys.
This was the day that Thirteen turned Fourteen. Maybe I'm cheating a bit here, but I'm going to post what I did on FB about Fourteen's birthday:I'm so thankful that God blessed me with Fourteen. Fourteen years ago today, I was in Cedars-Sinai, waiting for my 9 lb. 12 oz. son to come out. No, I didn't know he'd be that big. He came out crying loudly, as if he was mad that the lights were on in the delivery room. His daddy was quoting "Goodnight Moon" as the nurses cleaned him and the wonderful Dr. David Kline just smiled and said "Congratulations" as I experienced being a mom, with the baby on the outside, for the first time. I was scared and elated and I've pretty much stayed that way ever since.
It's so hard to believe that it's been fourteen years since that day I first became a mom. Wow. Time is surely flying.
My third son was born four days after his older brother's fourth birthday. I remember being quite pregnant at TravelTown, where we had a party for our firstborn, hoping that I would not go into labor. I waited until Wednesday to do that. Evidently, my now ten-year-old didn't want to be born on his brother's birthday. Here's what I wrote about him on FB:Happy Birthday to my now 10-year-old, Jadon! Welcome to the world of double digits. When I was pregnant with you, I had a dream in which a fortune teller told me, "You know you're having a boy." A few months later, I found out that my dream came true. My water broke with you around 2 or 3 a.m. On the way to the hospital, we saw that street workers were putting up Christmas decorations in Beverly Hills and I asked your daddy to circle around the block so that we could watch them putting up the decorations. We got to the hospital and I waddled across the Cedars-Sinai parking lot, worried that you would come on out before we got inside. Turns out, you had turned sideways and when Dr. David Kline got to the hospital soon after, he started cutting me to get you out. You had the cord wrapped around your neck twice. And you were 11 lbs. 1 oz. So many things could have happened that day, but everything worked out beautifully and my third son is still as beautiful as he was that day. I thank God for giving me this healthy growing boy and for allowing mother and son to be okay that November day.
I am very thankful for my boys. And those three are some wonderful presents from S.F.
Regarding S.F. and his family: I may or may not have said this previously, but I have certainly been an awful wife and not that great of a mother. I've been arrogant and stupid and brought a lot of shame to their family and to my own. I'm sorry about this. In the past year, I've realized I have a drinking problem, been semi--diagnosed with two conditions I never thought existed a few years ago: Attention Deficit Disorder and Asperger's Syndrome (a.k.a. high-functioning autism). I'm not making excuses for my behavior, but I can definitely say that my strange behavior now has a reason. It's not just because I'm adopted or grew up as an only child, although those things certainly contributed to a lot of stuff. I've been a relatively crappy friend also.
I guess I've been a pretty crappy person overall. Maybe it's all finally catching up with me. I don't mean to say all this out of self pity, although I'm guessing that my self pity is part of my crappiness.
Also, this traveling across the country thing, while I am thankful for it, is stressing me out. Fourteen has talked about going to high school next year, in North Carolina. The therapist thinks this will be a good thing for him. Maybe for all of us. I do love California, but I'm not crazy about the educational options for high school, at least in the public realm. There are private programs, but they are often costly. Also, I signed all three of them up to play basketball in N.C. this winter, but only two people signed up for Fourteen's team and so, he will not get to play. What's it doing to my kids also that they are not around their dad so much? We are skyping with him most every day and that's awfully nice, but it doesn't make up for being there.
I've put myself and my children in a super awkward position. Please pray for us and that we will do what God wants and what's best for my boys.
|Monday, October 27th, 2014|
|Sitting at Cup-A-Joe's
In addition to getting a speeding ticket, I ran over one of the puppies a couple of weeks ago. It died. There is nothing I can do about that now except to learn from it. I was completely sober and even on time when this happened. The puppy was under the wheel of the Odyssey and I had no idea that it was. Sometimes sucky things just happen.
I'm sitting at Cup-A-Joe's, in the same place where I translated Beowulf during graduate school. My kids have all been at Nice Price Books, reading. We are a family of geeks, if nothing else. So much stuff has happened since my translating Anglo-Saxon into English at this very table. Across the street, there is a new building, probably student apartments, going up. Poole Equipment with its cut-out machine on top of the building is still there. The old brick building welcomed me to Raleigh in the 80s. Long before children. Husband. House. HO.
I love the way that Nice Price Books still has stuff arranged more or less the way it did when I was in graduate school. Sometimes I really miss teaching English here in Raleigh. I really miss it today, but I don't always miss it.
My boys are growing up now and I would totally love it if one or all of them wanted to come to NCSU. I have learned so very much in this city and I do love coming here. Do I want to live here again one day? Maybe. I think about all the wonderful and some not-so-wonderful things that have happened here.
In many ways it is much less restrictive here than it is in the City of Villa Villekula, which isn't really a city at all.
I am listening to WKNC-FM here at Cup-A-Joe's; I used to work there. Ah, the good memories from that. We are planning to meet the McCarthys at Cameron Village for supper. Elizabeth, now a mom of four, used to have a gaggle of graduate students that met here more or less every night. I miss those days, but am so very thankful for the days that I have now, days where I can bring my children to this place and let them read, which they are doing right now.
How easily that all could have changed last January, or in February, when Eleven stepped out in front of a car in Sherman Oaks. The truth is that at anytime, something awful could happen and life would change dramatically. I am so very thankful that my children are with me today. That I did not get a DWI. That I am relatively healthy and alive. We'll work on the speeding ticket, but the puppy is gone, buried in a grave that my neighbor dug. I did not mean to run over that little girl, of course, and I cried and cried about it, but it happened. Today, we picked up the entries at the NC State Fair and Eleven's picture was of the puppy. "Is that your puppy?" the woman asked when she handed him the picture he'd entered. "Yes," he said. I thought of how alive the puppy had been when we took the picture to the fair.
I don't have the answers to everything, or even a conclusion to this entry. But I am very thankful that we are here, at this time, in this space, with each other.
|Sunday, October 12th, 2014|
|Screwing Up, In a Big Old F'in Way
Let's just say that several things have been screwing up lately. Or maybe, better stated, I have been screwing things up a lot lately. Have I been doing that more than usual? I'm not sure. Or is it just if I am noticing it more now that I am not drinking alcohol?
And sure, I feel bad about getting a speeding ticket yesterday, going to a soccer game that turned out to be cancelled. Yikes. I do feel bad about that, although the boys' friend who'd spent the night Friday night and was just along for the ride, announced that yesterday was the "craziest day" he'd ever had. I told him that I was glad to be a part of that. I'm sure the ticket helped, too.
But one thing I am really super duper sorry about is that I screwed up with Legos and the North Carolina State Fair. S.F. and I have been having lots of money issues and well, there's that whole executive function thing in my brain. That's a real Aspie problem. There's also other stuff that I let get in the way, partly because I feel sometimes as though all I do all day is to monitor computer activity and try to edit for the Indians. I also try to do some schoolwork, but that hasn't happened so much this week, mainly due to the fact that the last time it happened, at the end of last week, I said I would do no more school work (because that last day had been so very painful) until I could buy some desks at IKEA (around $100 for everyone's). Oh, that money stuff is coming up again. The Indian stuff got to me Friday night, which is probably why I woke up at 4:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and cried for two hours. I felt better after that. So much better that I didn't end up even crying one bit when the policeman clocked me at 22 mph over the speed limit (I had thought that the speed limit was ten miles more than it was, but I also was more worried about getting to a place on time--because, of course, I was late getting started, as usual)--than I was with whatever my speed was.) I had thought a lot of stuff but I wasn't thinking about how fast I was going and I wasn't watching for the po-po. At all. I've got to deal with a ticket an a court date now. But as the police officer, who had gotten a backup police car--as they tend to do in this town--being that there are too many police officers and not enough people to stop. Yes, it was indeed a speed trap that had been set up.
And so, with everything else that's been going on, I waited until the last minute--my usual modus operandi--to order this Lego stuff. I did what I usually do, which is to wait until the last minute to order stuff and rely on express shipping. Only, when I finally put this order in last Monday did I learn that Lego does not have express shipping, does not allow it, and I also found out that these pieces cannot be gotten at the Lego store. Oy vey. I had screwed up big time, being that we have to turn stuff in today and the Legos may not be here until last this week. If then. I feel awful. Nine and Eleven seemed able to build their stuff anyway, but as of last night--and no, I did not make it the priority that I probably should have. I also somewhat delegated the agenda item of the fair to the boys' dad, but I did not check up on S.F. I did not oversee it the way I usually do. And so, here Thirteen is, ready to give up Legos after having wanted to be a Lego designer only last spring, after our trip to LegoLand. How much of this is my fault? All of it. As always. And I have had way too much responsibility lately for an Aspie like me to handle.
The soccer thing is great, but I was told yesterday that I would hear if the game had been cancelled, but the person who told me that, my soccer boss, if you will, was supposed to hear from the other teams rec. director, but their rec. director, according to my soccer boss, called someone else instead of him. I wasn't the only person on the team who went the 30 miles or so to the game, only to find out that it was cancelled. My soccer boss apologized profusely. But I had already gotten the ticket, which was completely my fault, but if I'd known . . . . woulda, coulda, shoulda.
I'm overloaded these days. And I've had to spend large chunks of time socializiing this weekend, which always takes it out of me. Whew.
Load the mommy guilt--I'm all about carrying burdens these days. I'm trying to hand them over to God, but they keep coming at me, fast and furious. Or maybe I keep bringing them on. The good news is that CoCo the Wonder Dog, realizing that I needed some help, took one of her three puppies to a neighbors' house. And the puppy ended up sleeping with the neighbors that night. I guess she'll end up like her chihuahua/beagle mama and just sleep with anyone (sorry, I couldn't help myself on that joke, if it was even a joke). Thank you, CoCo the Wonder Dog, for helping out this well-intentioned Aspie mom. Now, if we can only get rid of the other two before I fall in love with one or both of them (S.F. will rightly skin us all alive if CoCo or I don't give away another puppy soon).