Friday, September 30, 2005

Shocking news!

Salsburg Castle in the morning fog.

I think I mentioned in the past that I work for a christian organization. I was checking some blogs at lunch, something I do from time to time. Recently, because a lot of the younger folks have been logging on to My space, it has been made unavailable from our company network to increase productivity and ensure folks don't spend too much time online in unbusiness related activities. That is fine to a point. I can blog at home just as well. However, it does feel kinda bigbrotherish to have some sites blocked. Well, I was even more surprised to find out that for some reason, Charby's blog also bring up the censured signal even though it is on blogspot. At this time, I have not ferreted out why that might be. Just one more big business part of my work which, while I love the work, and mostly like the agency for some of its ideals and how we have supported families in the last five years, I have questionned why I am there more and more. Particularly since some of my very good friends that have been part of the building of many programs no longer are there and are trying to recruit me to their private practice. I like small agency work a lot, but our agency is getting very big and with that growth comes all kinds of extra regulations that I am not fond of. I guess I always was a rebel with a cause as it might be.

By the way, anyone out there realized that today is the aniversary of James Dean's death? That happened very close to where I live and here it is quite a big deal. Three full pages in the local newspaper!

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Mystic predicts the future again!

As I came home after dark tonight, I did noticed the intensity of the stars in my central californian sky. Since the moon is no longer around, we can see the milky way and several constelations tonight. I love that I live in a small, serene town where such simple pleasures can be noticed on a daily basis. I must had that for the last several months, we saw no sky, due to an inordinate amount of foggy weather that has plagued my little town.

I had a meeting tonight where we saw a great presentation by a colleague of PTSD symptoms and treatment. Also, I was informed that if I would like to, I can participate in the process of norming the tests for licensing for $300 a day, all expenses paid, flight to Sacramento included! I might just check it out.

I hope all have had an opportunity to check our gobernator being sold on e-bay. Gracious contribution from HippyChick! arnold I loved it. Why am I not surprised though that all of these medical companies are so eager to sustain profits. Healthcare in this country is such big business. At the meeting tonight, some of the older folks stated that they remember the days when doctors performed home visits. I remember that too. All chimed in that I remember because I am from another country, that here it has not happened in quite a long time. The last home visit I remember was when I was about 6 and my mother was sidelined by an intense asthma attack. Maybe I remember that one because I was quite frightened that my mother was in bed and not able to care for all of us as that was seriously abnormal in our household. She was, as for most families in those days the glue that held the house together. Although, I guess, despite all of the societal changes, despite taking on more and more responsibilities outside the home, I believe that for many families that remains true.

Again great show by Jon Stewart who pointed out the continued contradictions of the administration and what immense difficulties the prez had to speak the word "conservation," let alone follow up on this new policy. Stewart was quick to find a clip where the press secretary in the first year of baby Bush's presidency stating that the way americans consume energy is just our way of life and we should not have to sign any treaty that would limit our consumption in any way. Of course, it did not hurt that the guest was Viggo Mortensen, an all time favorite of mine, who managed to be funny. However, I was dissapointed that the subject of politics was not discussed as I know he is a very dedicated activist who republishes several excellent articles of dissatisfaction with the administration on his website, PercevalPress and is involved in several causes.

Monday, September 26, 2005


Yes, picking a title seems to be a weakness of mine!

I want to start tonight by stating that I came home to witness one of the most spectacular sunsets I have seen in a while. As I pulled up to my house the sun was setting at the end of my street, the sky was completely orange and the ocean was shimering in the fading light. Beautiful! Then the sun went down behind a pillowy bluish fog and until it was a sliver and then dissapeared. That is when I remember why I live here and not in other places despite all that attracts me in other lands and cities.

Then I received in the mail an early birthday gift from my brother. He sent me a lovely guide to Prague in French (that is my original language). All the pictures and stories brought back memories from this summer and my longing for that charming city. I will return there for sure.

Then I watched one of my favorite shows on the tube "Arrested Development." I find it hilarious. It's about a family of scammers and misfits who somehow manage to be quite wealthy. The father is accused of conspiring with Saddam Hussein, cut to a picture of him shaking hands with Saddam incriminating him. The father states that a photo like that can ruin a man's career. Then the camera cuts to another picture of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Hussein and the narrator comments: "or not." I loved it!

A recap from work today. I am on-call and another worker is just really wierd. Well that's nothing new. What is wierd is that tonight she was in contact with a client, and made arrangements to have some support in the home for the family, but then called me back saying that she could not call the family and needed me to relay some messages back and forth. She said her phone was out of juice, but she still received my messages. I don't know what was going on there and the client's story did not match what the other worker story. This is a person who has huge problems talking to others and will usually leave a text message rather than call folks directly. Yes good communications are us! How can you want to be in this line of work if you cannot communicate!!! Oh well, it all got resolved in the end and I spent a while talking to the client and reassuring her, since she was on the frantic side with a situation. I have no problem talking with clients and hearing their side and bringing them back to the reality of what can be done at the moment. That is a lot of what the on-call work consist of, and I find that I am pretty good at that.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Sharon Jones

I realize I never posted my comment on her performance. In a nutshell, she is a genius! Her performance was out of this world. That woman exhudes energy like you would not believe. She had a drummer with a very minimalist drum set (a snair, a bass, a cymbal and a high hat), a bass player, a guitar, a tenor sax, and alto sax and a trumpet. Did they rock. She is a very small woman, about two inches shorter than me as she wore three-inch heels, and can move and holler like nobody's business. She brought folks on stage to dance with her several time during the show. The band was so tight, she would tap her foot every now and again when she got bored with a tempo and they would just speed right up with her, or slow down to whatever she wanted. The Hubby danced like I've never seen him; he got all drenched. We had a blast. At the end of the show, she came of stage and I went to tell her how great she was. As I approached she gave me a great big hug and planted a huge kiss on me! What a gal! That was a good time. Again, lots of locals were in attendance and all seem very happy to be there.

Tonight I had sushi with the Kid, who is doing ok and as usual as a lot to do. The Hubby will be busy all week-end with a classical guitar festival. I may try to catch some of the shows, but I might also take it pretty easy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Must be sisters' day

For fault of a better title.

I had planned to write this even before I read Spinsterwitch's post of today. I have been busying myself planning for my upcoming birthday party. I have mentioned that I am turning fifty and it is only fitting that I should design an invitation using the Saturday Night Live character "Sally O'Mally," a dancer, who at the age of fifty can still "Kick, stretch and kick!" Of course I put my face instead of Molly Shannon in the invite, using a little of my computer savvy. As I looked at appropriately goofy pictures of myself taken in the recent past, I was shocked to find out how much I look like my sister. It's not the age thing that was shocking, after all she still looks younger than I do, mostly because she works at it frantically, using a lot of products in the process. Me, I can't be bothered with make up, it's all I can do to get dressed in the morning, make up is just too much maintenance for me. The shocking part I guess is that it makes me wonder what other ways do I resemble her? Do I always tell others what they should do? (I am a social worker and therapist) Do I usually cover with bravado my insecurities? Do I most of the time reject information brought up by others because I just don't want to spend the emotional energy to face something uncomfortable? And I guess that yes, to a point, I am like that. I guess I need to find out for myself if some of these traits are necessarily undesirable, and if so I have some work to do.

It's not that I think that my sis is a bad person, but just that some of her traits have rubbed me the wrong way over the years. Maybe because I see these same traits in myself and fight them. Maybe not. Many of the choices she made in her life I would not have. Finding a whealthy man to marry (who later left her for a younger woman) wanting so much to be a part of his family who live the life of a soap opera, wearing their gold jewelry and badmouthing one another. I never understood her desire to be part of that world. I'm sure she cannot understand my choices, living in a quiet town, enjoying simple pleasures, wearing jeans and t-shirts and not caring much what I look like as long as I am comfy. Gilda Radner said: "I base my sense of fashion on what does not itch." A quote to live by.

Overall, we do share an OK relationship. We talk on the phone periodically, we are pleasant to each other. But the conversation are superficial, and I want substance. It saddens me that we cannot share that. She usually tells me "Can you afford that?" and "This is not the life I wanted" meaning her divorce, not being in her old house, not having as much money, not having friends who all are at the same stage she is in life, and having to do things by herself. Me, I love to do things by myself, I love the diversity of my friends, some have adult children, some have babies, some are in their twenties, some are in their seventies. Oh well, I guess we are different and the same, and I should find some peace with that. I am thankful that we do communicate, even if it is not that often.

Must be thinking of sisters' day

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The Night

I visited with some friends tonight in the north part of the county and was treated to a great night on my drive back home. The moon is clear and full and the road was illuminated by it. It was lovely. Then I took some time to go to the beach and check things out. I don't do this often enough given that it is so close by. The surf was all bright and white, lit up by the moon and the waves in the harbour had that scintillating quality that made it almost magical. The tide is at its highest and there still are huge waves out at sea from the weather earlier this week. The local surfers have said that it was the best surf in years. It felt good to see our large rock under the moon, without anyone else around. Usually there are loads of people around on our little beach and having it all to my self was great. I could not stay as long as I would have liked because it was actually pretty cold.

Tomorrow I go to one of the Spin Doctor's night. We have Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. It should be a great show, very funky. I can't wait. Maybe we'll go see another friend play in the afternoon too, and go to dinner. That should make it a busy day.

Today I worked out a lot this morning and cleaned the house, surfed the web a bit and then went to my friend. I tried to go to a couple of stores but they were all closed by 5. The joy of the small town. I love it, but sometimes not so much!

I'll give you a report on Sharon after the show.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Well, I do feel better than I did yesterday. Not so mopy anyway. We also celebrated the Hubby's birthday by going to a local restaurant that is a mix of California Cuisine and Tappas. It is very good. A little too much wine though. But the Hubby appreciated that and the Kid drove us home as she is always more reserved when it comes to wine. She likes the hard stuff. I do too, but in small quantities.

I also decided on some new goals, maybe that is why I am no longer moping to the same level as I was yesterday. I will take some music lessons. Either voice or cello or both. That should keep me focused for some time.

We should get some new workers at the Agency which will allow me to cut back to 4 days a week. Then I can also start writing more and do other stuff that I have wanted to do for some time.

Inspiring pic: Midieval toilets! Chillon, Switzerland

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Glorious Moon

Has anyone else noticed the beauty of the moon tonight? If not I suggest you get out there and have a look.

Today has been such a blah day. After the happyness of getting my goal reached (passing my licensing test) I now find myself letdown since I have nothing to work toward at this point. For the past five years, with varying degrees of intensity, I had that goal in mind. Now, I need to find a new goal, and I am unsure of what that would be. I have an aversion to routine I guess and lacking a challenge, a direction sorta leaves me wanting. How silly, I just reached a major goal and already I am dissatisfied. What a fickle heart I have! Maybe it is just the change of season, the shortening of the days, and the lack of sleep that leaves me this shade of blue. I hope I get over it. Or find what is missing, what wound to lick. It is the uneasyness of uncertainty that is less bearable. Or maybe it is the fear of finding what makes me uneasy that brings me down.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Woohoo! I made it!

Amazingly enough, I drove up late yesterday afternoon and spent the night in a hotel as the last effort to get ready for my test this morning. I studied for a couple of hours and then went to bed. This morning I got up exercised in the hotel small fitness room and took off for my test. I could not believe it. The test actually felt easy! I thought I would have a lot of trouble finding the right answer as all of the practice questions I used were very challenging. But low and behold (I'm not sure if it's the right spelling)I actually knew the answers! I guess close to a year of practicing vignette with my good friend paid off. I had 18 of 30 questions done in 30 minutes. Then the last two segment of the test were a little tougher, but when I went back to check the answers I had picked on them, I was very sure my choices were the right ones. So here you have it. I am now officially licensed to practice in the state of California. The scary part is that I feel no more confident or certain of anything, other than I am good at taking tests! Ha Ha! Which confirms my suspicion that the test is not the best, but an attempt at making sure that folks in this field know something. Although I know of very good clinicians who have not passed after several attempts and of terrible clinicians who have passed on their first try. So, I beg the question: "I am one of the latest?" And while I recognize that I have some skill, and a decent amount of intelligence, and a good dose of common sense, I still wonder if all of those qualities are obvious to the rest of the world. At least I believe it is true to those who are my friends out there. Thanks for all the encouragement and support to all who offered it. It felt great (and continues to do so!)

Tuesday, September 06, 2005


What to say but how much fun we had. With one exception is that the Hubby had a little (make that a way lot) to drink one night and was feeling quite poorly the next day!

We started by driving to Yosemite, a 6-7 hour ride from our home at 2 in the morning, after the Hubby's radio show and it was beautiful. We saw a sliver of the moon rise up over Orion, and witnessed a glorious sunrise as we reached the mountains. What a great way to start our journey. We met our friends at the old campsite, and saw many other friends from our area who were also arriving. Throughout the event, the sky was cribbled with stars, and the milky way rended the ink black above with its lovely sinewy tail. Several shooting stars went by leaving me with many wishes to make! All of this to the incredible sounds of many fabulous artists. My favorites were definitely Bela Fleck, Stanley Clark and Jean-Luc Ponty playing together, and the Duhks. But Greg Brown, Devil Makes Three, Steve Earle, Brian Joseph, Paul Thorn and more and more, certainly contributed to a great week-end. Add to that the company of some dear friends, good food, some libations of all kinds, a killer (almost literaly) bike ride trying to follow my friend who is in a much better shape than I am, swims in the lake, hot and sunny days (yes, there is some color on my skin! Amazing! Those who have not seen me, I usually am "pale blue"), lime popsickle dipped in chocolate, two amazing kids to hang out with, a hammock to while away the time that is not filled with other activities and which gives you a chance to recuperate a bit.

Wow such fun!

Now I will take a break from blogging for the coming week as I prepare for a big test next Monday morning. I will let you know then if it is unfeathered joy at being done, or utter sadness at having to do it all over again in six months!