Saturday, May 16, 2015

Robin Williams - Laughter and yet...not so much

A little explanation is needed here....I wrote this the day after Robin Williams passed away. I was getting ready to write something else and reread this. It's sad, but still relevant. I note where I began writing today to finish it up.
As I say at the end...Be kind to each other.

Yesterday we lost Robin Williams, but he didn't just commit suicide...he hanged himself.

I don't mean to bum you out with the news, but it was delivered by the Sheriff from his town.

Hanged. Himself.

That takes some serious thought. That's not a passing thought of "hey, I've got a lot of pills here and a few bottles of Jack...". Hanging yourself takes planning. It takes thought.

It means he probably didn't come up with that plan yesterday. He may have, but it's more likely that he thought about it before.

I could spend the next two blogs filled with funny things Robin said, how he made me almost pee in my pants when he said things off the top of his head. How, the Genie from Aladdin was Genie-ous but also that Patch Adams was one of the most amazing things I ever saw him do.

But what I want to get out there is that he didn't become unhappy on Monday. Or Sunday. Or the week before. He was unhappy for a long time. Depression is like that. It hangs out. It waits until you're feeling better and then sneaks in. Sometimes it doesn't sneak in, sometimes it barges in and makes you remember who/what it is. Like a bully.

I was teased in elementary school for a variety of seriously stupid reasons, but depression is more of a bully then those girls were.

By a long shot.

My depression looks like the Dementors from Harry Potter. When it comes, it comes over me like a wave - those Dementors come near me like they did Harry and Dudley in the tunnel in the HP book. They don't talk to me, they sweep in and unless I'm in a good place, they simply put their cloak around me and before I know it, it's as dark as dark can be. Life feels hopeless, empty and truly like it's never going to get better.

The key words there are "it's never going to get better". That's what depression feels like - it's never going to get better.

If you've never felt that feeling - "it's never going to get better" then I'm ecstatic for you. Cuz that feeling stinks on ice. (credit to Mel Brooks for that line)

There truly is nothing worse than thinking to oneself, "I wonder if this hotel room in Denver is high enough to..." or "I wonder if I could just walk in front of that...."

The difference between Robin and me?

He was able to go through with it.

For whatever reason that is out there, I couldn't/can't pull it off. Call it guilt, call it being too responsible, call it knowing my Mother wouldn't recover - call it whatever you want. But Robin was able to go through with it, but I and many thousands of people out there weren't able to.

Please be clear - I don't think this makes me "better" than Robin Williams - or "better" than the father of a dear friend of mine who took his life - or "better" than anyone else who has done this. I'm not "better"; I'm me, just different.

But let's get back to what's important here - what's important is that the world (now it's 5/16/15...finishing this up) doesn't seem to be ready to discuss mental illness in a way that is productive yet.

And that's a shame.

Since Robin passed away, I've heard words like, "selfish" and "self centered" and "narcissistic" used to describe suicide.

To those of you who use those words I have two things to say to you:

1. I'm thrilled you haven't felt the way Robin must have and tens of thousands of people, including me, have; that this is the only way out.
2. Please top talking about things You. Have. No. Fucking. Clue. about.

I started this post the day after Robin Williams died. I was, and am, very sad about it. I'm less sad today (mostly because time has gone by) but I still work with, deal with, and am now in a new phase of depression - more on that in another post.

Be kind to one another (thank you Ellen DeGeneres) but more importantly, watch out for each other. People are hurting and they could be right next to you.

And to Robin, I hope you have been able to, "Fly, be free..." as you hoped the egg would.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Year in Review

***Note to reader - this was written a week before my birthday. It is now one week after my birthday***

I think everyone gets 3 "do-overs" for their year (two if you're not Jewish -sorry):

Jan 1
Your Birthday
Rosh Hashana

Given that it's July and not January and also that the Jewish New Year isn't for two months, that can only mean one thing:

It's my birthday.

Yep - my birthday is coming soon. Like within a week soon. Yep, that's soon.

How old will I be?

Let's just say I'll be on the downside of my 40's but I'm not planning a 50th soiree just yet.


I'm going to be 46. Or more aptly, I'm finishing my 46th year on this planet and embarking on my 47th.

I really think there should be a life review periodically. I mean, what if I don't want to go on for another 40 some odd years? (Don't worry - If I was going to do that, I'd have done it a looooooooong time ago - I'm stuck in this life).

Shouldn't I get a chance to check in with the universe, do a quick life in review and decide if maybe this is the year to wrap it up?

Or not - maybe this is the year that I "renew" my lease on life (sooooo corny, but I can't look a straight line in the mouth - ever - one of my best qualities) instead of being month-to-month.

And what would I review?

Well, let's see...what do you review when you're reviewing your life. This is not the same at Defending Your Life - which is quite probably the best movie for the following reasons:

1.  Albert Brooks
2.  Ha-larious premise
3.  Albert Brooks

For those of you who haven't seen this movie (came out in 1991 - Albert Brook and Meryl Streep are in "Limbo" where it is determined by a panel of "judges" which direction each will go now that they are dead. The only thing that could make this funnier would be if Billy Crystal remade it with... Anyone.

Anyway Albert Brooks' attorney is Rip Torn - hilarity ensues.

Good part of being in Limbo? You can eat anything - I'd eat sushi every minute of every day. Masago, Ebi, Eel, rolls - seaweed salads - that and 31 Flavors Ice Cream - chocolate chip and gold medal ribbon.

Don't judge - get your own fantasy eating.

Anyway - what would I go over at this mid-live (isn) review?

How about my feelings on my:

*  "Success"
*  "Family"
*  "Ability to Love"
*  "Ability to Forgive"
*  "What Others Would Say About Me"

Hmmmm, I may need to ponder this list. I think that the last one is more of a Defending Your Life review - so I'd punt it to then.

But I'd do the rest.

But here's the Grover Cleveland High School Humanities Magnet problem I face:

Whose definition of each of the first four do I use?

Mine? Some might say, that mine is the only one that matters.

Others? Some might say this is the one that counts.

If you read performance reviews I've received in certain years from certain folks it would show a pattern in the years between 2002 and 2008 of my not caring about much and sinking into a pretty deep hole of not caring about much or anyone. (The last few have been great - but that's post A LOT of therapy and some medication that I tend to still fight its effectiveness)

So, what's the overall picture? Still not sure after 15 minutes of writing.

More come come...the year's just begun.

Kiss someone you love,

Sunday, July 28, 2013

From the files of: You get to have a kid and I don't????

This "From the files of:" will be a regular feature here in that I really like to point out how unfair life can be that Aha and I didn't get to have our own children.

Let me first explain what this "From the files of" IS NOT:

* A forum for you to tell me that we should have adopted
* A forum for you to tell me that if we wanted kids badly enough we would have adopted (real life sentence said to me)
* A place (new word) for you to tell me that God only gives us what we can handle
* That "everything happens for a reason" and;
* That "if it was meant to be...."

Only when I have this kind of clear evidence do I feel like I have a right to bitch publicly about this unfairity (new word?), or unequal passing out of life events.

Don't like my rules?

Don't read the blog.

Back to the issue at hand today.
Let me set the scene - I walk into Ralphs on Coldwater Canyon and Magnolia Blvd. There, the scene is set.

A little girl, no older than 3 with a pink shirt, blue shorts, flip flops, a gold tiara that says "HAPPY BIRTHDAY", brown long pony tails on either side of her head and eating a croissant bigger than her head walks right up to me and says:

"Where is my mommy?"

No kidding. That's exactly what happened.

So, I launch into action.

"Wow...where IS your mommy...hum. Well, let's find her" I said. Little croissant girl (LCG) in tow, I turn around to face the first Ralphs employee I see and say: "Hi...we have a lost Mommy here. Can you help us find her lost Mommy?".

If the story didn't get W O R S E later this would be the worst part.

The Raphs Employee (RE) turns to me and says, "Oh, she's still here. She was just here." and with a huge smile turns to walk away.

"Um, no..." I start to say and RE turns around back to face me.

"Where is her mom now?" I begin to ask. "Can we go do something to look for her Mom now?" I ask. "She's still here" RE says AGAIN! Unbelievable.

I could have walked out with this kids long long ago.

So, I give up on RE and say to LCG, "let's go find your mommy." LCG nods her head and we start off. But before we can get anywhere, before we can take step #1, Green Shirt Stupid Friend (GSSF) shows up. "Oh, she's with me. She's with us. Really." GSSF said loudly from an aisle away.

"What?" I ask. What the hell is happening here. GSSF comes to LCG and puts her adult hand on LCG's little childlike shoulder. Immediately I kneel down to LCG and say, "Do you know this woman?" thinking, I'm not leaving this kid in just anyone's hand. Surely someone is missing this child, right???

LCG doesn't respond to me but backs away from GCCF and keeps saying, "where is my mommy?".

Then GCCF says the most amazingly stupid thing I could think to say -  no I never would have thought to say this. GCCF says:

"Don't worry, If I didn't know her I wouldn't want to claim her".

My mouth must have dropped open because she followed that winner up with:

"No really, I'm her mom's friend, it's o.k."

As I kneel down to start the search for LCG's Mommy again, I said, "Um, she heard that..." which didn't seem to phase ANYONE.

LCG and I start to walk towards the produce area looking down the aisles - keep in mind please - GCCF L E T  M E  W A L K  A W A Y  W I T H  L C G - and when we get to the second isle, LCG looks down and screams, "There's my mommy!!!".

We walk down the isle towards the woman in the pink shirt (MOM) and I see that MOM clearly recognizes LCG and LCG has found MOM and is comfortable that she really is her Mommy.

I begin to walk away and muttering under my breath, "and I don't get to have children???" I stop and remember the boy in the carseat in the car by himself while Mom shopped in a store nearby in Maui.

When Aha and I joined friends in Maui this past April, while walking around this little artsy town we came across a four door car; windows open (it was hot and muggy that day) and a 2ish-3ish year old boy in a car seat - strapped in.


I was not walking away from this. Aha and our friends were sure Mom and/or Dad were around, but I wasn't leaving. Aha realized that we were sticking this out and that he just might have to bail me out of jail if I beat someone up over this.

We waited for 2 minutes, maybe 3 and then while my blood was totally boiling over I walked across the street into the store and said to the clerk behind the counter, "Um, do you know who that car belongs to? There's a kid in there and the windows are open and no sign of adults around."

As I finished my sentence, a youngish woman popped her head from around a body about 6 feet away from me and said, "that's my car - I'm right here, I'm watching him."

Uh Muh are SOOOOOOO NOT watching your kid!!!! Is what I wanted to yell. Instead what I said was,

"Um, there's no one there and he's all alone...".

"I can see him from here" she said. At that moment, I knew that I should walk away; I was shaking and if I stayed any longer, there would need to be bailing me out of jail and that would really have ruined a nice vacation. I was shaking with anger.

Back to today. I remembered that kid and my vow to not be passive about mentioning to people that there kids were unattended.

I turned around and walked back down the isle to MOM and LCG where GSSF was joining them while presumably telling MOM the story in their native language, which I didn't understand and is not  part of the point here, and said,

"She came up to me and said, 'where is my mommy'."

'Thank you" MOM said with such disdain bail money was almost needed again. "She was with her" and points to GSSF.

"No," I began, voice steady, fists clenched, "she wasn't. She was all alone and said 'where is my mommy?' She didn't know where you were and was getting upset."

"Thank you" MOM said again - same level of disdain.

Realizing that my options were limited at this point, I turned and headed back to the produce section to get my limes.

After checking out, I decided to let the Ralphs Manager (RM) know how the RE had reacted when I told her about LCG. Here I am, thinking that this Manager is going to get lit up about this, take it seriously and be shocked by my story.


RM listened to my story, nodding occasionally and finally asked if I could tell him which RE it was. I did my best, but got back to saying things like, "I would have thought that my saying 'this little girl is looking for her Mommy' would be trigger words for your employee to launch into action. I could have walked out of the store with this girl and your employee wouldn't have known."

No reaction from RM.

Morale of the story?

Don't know.

Watch your freaking kids! You had 'em, it's your job!!! MOM was so lucky that LCG came to me and not to some unbalanced person who was looking for a little girl of her/his own to not love and not take care of.

Kids come to me often and talk to me. I realize that Parents are trying to teach their kids not to talk to strangers and so I try not to encourage it unless there is a parent around. But when they walk directly up to me and say, 'Where's my mommy?" I am moving in.

I'm so very glad that this woman got to have kids. I'm sure she's so happy and cherishes them daily.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Not the Bar-B-Que I Signed Up For

I spent the weekend with a very dear and longtime friend (as everyone in my blog has a nickname to protect their "identity", this person will be called LTF [long-time-friend]) and we got to spend time catching up...really catching up. Not that "so-how-are-the-kids-what's-been-going-on" catch up. The real serious type of catch up. The one where you get into how you feel about where you are in your life, how you and your spouse (if there is one) or significant other (if there is one) is doing or how you're doing without one. Not the elevator-answer-the-phone type of how you are - which, let's face it, when someone asks you how you are when they call you, or you meet them in an elevator, they aren't asking you how you "really" are, they are mostly asking if you are vertical and not bleeding.

But this type of visit wasn't designed as a "hey, let's just goof off" visit. This was a "get down to business and really discuss how things were going for both of us" visit. It had been a long time since we were together like this and I had plans to take advantage of it.

I can hear you wondering, 'So what? Meet your friend, catch up. Not clear what the big whop is'. Here's the big whop.

Aha wasn't there. He was watching his beloved Cubbies practice for the big leagues in  Spring Training. Those of you who know him, know that most things don't come in front of the Cubbies and yes, that includes even when they are tremendously sucky (um, most of the time they are tremendously sucky, this year is shaping up the same way evidently).

So here I am with a chance to spend time with my friend.

What did we talk about?

Wow! Are we that close? That is soooooooooo none of your business.

Ha, ha, ha.....what would be the point of this post if I don't share it with you.

While I won't get into the details, this is the first time LTF and I have been able to talk at length about Aha's MS. How it impacts me, how it effects our marriage all of it. LTF said something very interesting. LTF said: "This isn't the bar-b-que you signed up for is it?"

You're probably thinking - 10 1/2 years in, now you're thinking you got a different bar-b-que?


The point I want to discuss is the bar-b-que itself. Is this the bar-b-que ANYONE signed up for? Think about it for a moment. Given your life, the way it's gone, is this what you pictured when you were 12? Any of it? Not me folks - not at all.

Life throws us onto the road, the road of life, and it's our job to navigate it. But many times, as my UA says, "life doesn't go the way you plan" (John Lennon also said, "life happens when you're making other plans" but I don't know and love John Lennon and I do know and love UA so he gets the shout out).

So what happens? You adjust. Right? You look at the road you're on and think (or in my case say - out loud) "Well, fuck, this isn't the way I thought things would go" and you get on the new road, adjust your view, your seatbelt and you're off to the races.

Of course, my crap isn't as easy as that. Right? It should have been a hint earlier in life....many signs I now see - in retro-freaking-spect.

What I explained to LTF is that my life isn't just "not the road I thought I'd be on" but I'm not even looking at a road any longer. Aha and I are sailing along, hitting turbulence and looking for the road to land on.

We've landed on something that I think might be a road - someday - but for today, it's not even a cleared path that Pa from Little House on the Prairie would drive his cart on. Aha and I are clearing the path.

How do you deal with being thrown into the air to land on something that isn't the road you thought you'd be on?

In real terms, what do you do when your job isn't what you thought it should be, you had kids/didn't have kids as you planned on,  you married/didn't marry, your spouse/significant other turns out to have a disease and you are thrown into the role of caregiver for 30 years.

I don't know. You just do it. "When you've got a job to do, you do it well" as Paul McCartney said in Live and Let Die. I'm just doing it. I don't know any other way. I don't see any other option (look for different post on suicide thoughts). What I DO know is that I married the right guy. I married the guy I loved then and that I love now. I married the right guy at the right time in my life. I married the one that I jumped off the cliff with holding hands on our wedding day and we're still falling - but most importantly, we're still holding hands. I'd be married to him in a dumpster. No matter what I think of other people or how I feel when I see other people (even people who are in the good looking realm of Kevin Bacon - hey, don't judge, get your own crush) , even on really really really really really really really bad days, he's still the dude. He's still the one I want to wake up with and see and the one I want to go to sleep with and see last every day. He's the one I want to share my successes with and cry over my failures with. He's the one who will love me no matter what I do - succeed or not. He and I are in this together. THIS is the "for worse" part....remember that part of vows? The "for better or for worse" part? It's all fun and games during the "for better" part. What makes your marriage succeed is when you survive the "for worse" parts. And this is the "for-fucking-worse" part for sure.

But - what does that mean for my road? For my bar-b-que?

I don't really know...Aha and I are on the Little House on the Prairie 'non-road' road, looking for a bar-b-que to go to.

But the most important part? I'm with him and we're holding hands and that means it will be o.k.

As for the rest of my conversations with LTF? Sorry...what happens in the dog park, the back yard, the restaurant and the Starbucks stays in the dog park, the back yard, the restaurant and the Starbucks - rules of the LTF and me.

Hope your bar-b-que is fun.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Acronym for the Day.....

is HCM.





When did I become cattle? Human Capital Management? Does that mean that what I do is Human Capital Education?


This sounds very 1984 to me (the George Orwell kind, not the 'like totally, fur sure' kind).

More later, but know this......

I work with people - not Human Capital Management.

I leave you to create training materials for people, real people to use next week in SF.

Be a person, not just human...

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Guilt....of what now?

I've got a good one...


Is it really guilt or is it feeling badly about yourself?

I thought about this today because I failed (key word) to get out of bed for a spin class at 6:30 AM. I know some of you are thinking, "Um, why on earth would you want to take a class in the middle of the night?" For me and Aha, 6:30 AM is practically the middle of the morning. I've always been a morning exerciser. Think about it, school during the day - exercise in the morning. Work, during the day, exercise in the morning.

I know you're all thinking, "No, school/work in the daytime - exercise in the evening!" Not for me. Two reasons: 1. I am beat in the evenings. My teeny tiny brain can't handle the thinking all day and then exercising in the evening thing; it's just not happening and; 2. This is how I was raised. Dinner happens in the evening - with Aha or without, but it happens in the evening. Blame the royalty, I tell you.

Anyway, back to guilt. So, I lousy about myself for not getting up for this spin class. A few questions for myself to see if I can work this out:

1. Did you sleep well? - Um, not really this time - bad dreams about people I know (2nd night in a row).

2. Would you have felt less badly if Aha hadn't gotten up and went to the gym? - At first, yes, but upon further thought? No.

3. Whom (yes this is the correct usage of whom) have you let down? - Upon first reflection, I thought I may have disappointed Aha, but when asked, he said "Of course not. You do so much how could I be disappointed?" (that was a direct quote, so I've got that going for me, which is nice). So I'm going to have to go with only me. I'm the only one I let down.

4. Can you do something about it? Yes. There is a yoga class at 10:30 at Rising Lotus Yoga that I can go to. It's a level 2-3 class, way above my skill level, but I took it once and they didn't throw me out. Though this time, I'll be in the back and not the front. Those people are AWESOME, and I need them not watching my level 1 behind. O.K. so going to extra hard yoga. That's a plus.

5. Who the F cares? In the end, who am I trying to impress? No one really. Mostly I'm trying to take off the 11 pounds I put back on (I lost 46 pounds 4.5 years ago and I am determined to not put them back on. How I did it and have them off is the fodder for another blog). One of my BFFs is really good at keeping things like this in perspective. I try to think WWBFFD (what would BFF do?). BFF would not feel guilty, but would get up, put on my big girl yoga panties and get moving.

And that's what I'm going to do.

Guilt? Not any more. I wish you guilt free days.


Monday, February 18, 2013

My brain hurts....

Ever have days like this? Days where your brain hurts? Usually, these types of days come after long study periods, problem solving sessions, watching "Bridge Over the River Kwai" (we watched this movie with very close friends and found ourselves scratching our heads at the end).

Well, the days I'm talking about are days where I have too much spinning around in my teeny tiny brain and it won't shut off. Here are some of the topics you an look forward to (or not) in coming posts:

*  Why I need to blog more
*  How cool it is to be told you are perfect, and how really strange it is because don't even know what perfect is...
*  Mental illness, my Grandpa and me
*  Stupidity of Government (and it's not what you think it will be)
*  Why I need to speak in front of Congress (see above topic)
*  Blood types and why we should honor them
*  High School thoughts...still couldn't pay me to go back, even knowing what I know now. No amount of money at all
*  How weird it is to dream about people you know
*  My good juju I give to women who want to get pregnant - all of you who already have kids - you're welcome

That's it for now...

Stay tuned and drink the good wine - or whatever you drink that makes you happy.