Thursday, October 30, 2008

i'm the limberest sixty year old you'll ever meet.

my friend mim said that to me the other day.

why are you so limber, mim?
because i've been doing yoga for forty years. every morning.
forty years? i didn't even know yoga existed forty years ago.
hello, i WAS a hippie. we started yoga.

and that got me thinking. maybe i should try yoga. even though the whole breathing thing might be hard for me, (just like anna) i think it might be worth it. i looked into classes and they have one called "yoga for runners" and since i'm a semi-official-slow-runner i thought this could be a good idea. it might help with my it-band.

any suggestions for a yoga beginner?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

voting for the common good.

i walked into work today and a "voting for the common good" pamphlet caught my eye. the subtitle was "a practical guide for conscientious catholics."

but, emily, you're not catholic? i know that, silly. but i LOVE catholics, particularly jesuits and dominicans. and i think they have some pretty good stuff to say. so i opened up the pamphlet and thought it was brilliant. if you can't figure out why to vote or who to vote for, this might be helpful (assuming you follow a form of the christian faith). here's the gist:

one. inform your conscience.

  • listening to one's conscience is necessary to make any moral decision.
  • the first step in voting your conscience is to inform it
  • research the candidate's positions
  • discuss issues with family, friends and Church officials
two. apply prudence.
  • prudence = the moral wisdom required to apply principles to an imperfect world and unforeseeable circumstances
  • look for the candidate who will do the most in concrete terms to promote dignity of human life, justice and peace
  • reject "litmus tests" that reduce catholic/christian issues to one or a few issues
  • seldom does a single candidate or party offer a consistently catholic set of positions
three. vote for the common good.
  • a culture of the common good provides for the health, welfare, and dignity of all people, and promotes the best interests of everyone, not just the few
  • we look out for our neighbors not out of charity but out of love, and the understanding that we are all safer, healthier, and freer in a world where we take care of one another
  • the health, security, and prosperity of americans must go hand-in-hand with the well being of all peoples, and that our common humanity must be made stronger than our divisions
and that, Internet, will inform a lot of my choices in six days.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

it's no secret who i'm voting for.

however, if i vote for him, i'll lose my faith. according to THIS article, you cannot be a christian and vote for obama.

what to do: vote for obama? lose my faith? obama. faith. obama. faith.

shit! this is a huge dilemma.

Monday, October 27, 2008

ohmygod ohmygod ohmygod

i'm going to israel in january. for free.

no, i don't have a sugar daddy.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

have you ever kissed your best friend?

yah, me neither.

this weekend was fantastic. one of my best friends, shonna, had a house warming party. when i got the invite i politely declined, all while scheming with our other best friend, carissa, about the ultimate surprise. so when shonna was in sf last weekend we talked all about how lame it would be that i wouldn't be there. turns out, it wasn't so lame.

but seriously. who owns a house at twentyfour? [in california!] and does it as a single woman? and: who throws a housewarming party with face painting, temporary tattoos, beer pong, a pinata, baggo and a kissing booth? yep, you read that right. a kissing booth. shonna beth is one of the most successful, yet unique and hilarious people i've ever known. i am so grateful for her in my life. and i'm so proud of her.

but before and after i made it to the party on saturday, i got to spend some time with some of my favorite people...

sam and me:

jesse was so stoked to be in a photo with us:

kristy, in town from seattle:

*it was also good to see you, a & j.

and the party began...

the new homeowner:

high school bestfriends- katie, suzie, me, shonna, carissa:


besties for life. dbj, she's a PT and can rub your IT band too. (mine is injured!)

more stories to come.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

thursdays are still my favorite day.

unexpected events:

scootering in a dress. [unsafe, i know]
hour and a half long phone conversations.
servers at fundraisers that know who is crashing the party.
comments like "my eyes are drawn to your legs" [i was wearing patterned tights]
chubby hubby ben and jerry's at work.
finishing my progress notes in nine minutes, a new record.
my therapist helping me see a very common pattern: losing myself on purpose.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

there is steam exiting from my ears.

one of my immediate family members just said to me, "i'm pretty sure colin powell endorsed barack obama because he's black" and that's when i said "it's time for me to get off the phone with you now. i love you but i need to go to the balcony. i'll call you when i come back down. however, it might be AFTER november fourth."

angry. frustrated. tired of this. most of all: sad. will i ever see change in my lifetime?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

i'm obsessed with.

the song "you got growin' up to do" by joshua radin, featuring patty griffin. (brought to my attention by julie!)
the post office and their services.
being caffeine free until january first.
writing michele and anna updates.
using my macbook to talk to lisa in south africa.
running the stairs at kezar.
this mj ad campaign from this past spring:

Monday, October 20, 2008

the culmination of my stressful week.

this is for those of you who have asked about my stressful week, or specifically about my case conference.

this past friday went something like this:
my first case conference experience was so. hard. and i did fine. i presented well. the response was good. and then they started asking me questions. and i started answering them. and within some of my answers was, well, how i apparently felt about the case but didn't know i felt about the case. have you ever done that? not known you felt a certain way until it just spilled out of your mouth? except it was more like projectile vomiting. 

things i vomited include: 
"anything i do this year with this client is nothing." 
"what i say isn't going to be good enough for this client"
"everything i do with this client is worthless"

and my supervisor wrote all my quotes on the board. she said, "i'm not writing this to make you upset. but you need to realize that this is how you feel and it's affecting the case. counter-transference, if you will." and i sank in my chair. sank sank sank. and took a sip of water. because that's what i do when i try to hold back my tears. but one still managed to make its way to the corner of my eye. and i took a deep breath. and swallowed. and forgot to breath. and remembered again. and sat with it. the anger. the frustration. the pain. and the tear dropped from my face.

i didn't know i felt that way. and all of a sudden, in a matter of moments, this case got a lot harder and a lot more complicated. [just what i needed]

and then i got a one hundred dollar ticket. on my SCOOTER. awesome.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

family whirlwind weekend.

i said this yesterday, and i'll say it again. my family is overwhelming. and perfect. all at once. i love them.

saturday: my six and eleven year old cousins had soccer games. quite entertaining, i must say. here we are after sofia's game... her team, the boas, won. in fact, one of her teammates got a hat trick.

my favorite quote from the weekend...
me: he thinks i live in heathen-ville?!
aunt molly: well, you sort of do.
us, at the same time: and we love it!

sunday: my sis-in-law courtney ran the nike women's half marathon and i got to run with her for some of it. super fun. LOVE the atmosphere of races-- so inspiring. sort of-maybe thinking about another one. [JULIE, you down?!] tonight we had a bbq dinner and i made dan and dillon come with. i officially decided my mother is one of the most embarrassing and lovely people in the world. and i also decided everyone should go to powell's with my cousins. what a trip.

Friday, October 17, 2008

the color: blue.

the reality is sinking in about the importance of having a network not just as a twentyfour year old, but as a fortysix year old, a sixtyone year old and an eightynine year old. i've heard over and over: to age gracefully means to have a network and outlets. to have hobbies and friends. to have relationships. to be plugged in. to be part of a bigger social structure.

and if you don't have any of that, you have a much higher rate of depression (surprise!). and it's not like aging wasn't hard enough. douse it with a little mood disorder.

i fought back my own tears today in a session. this particular client is so alone, so desperate to be heard. and definitely without the network and outlets. and all i wanted to do was reach out my hand and hold hers. or hug her. and i couldn't. resisting to physically hold her and only therapeutically hold her was extremely difficult.

"not everyone thinks of blue the same way" she told me with anger and frustration. there is so much wisdom in her simple words.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


anna just sent me this e-card because she thinks it represents me (and her, for that matter).

she knows me so well. a non-voter is SO non-negotiable.

get your REGISTRATION on. california! we have four days.

Monday, October 13, 2008

raise your hand if you're stressed out.

am i the only one with my hand raised? shit.

reading. client. case presentation. money. dying computer. work. reading. client. case conference. class. work. client. paperwork. blah. blah. blah.

now is not the time to:
be mean to me. need me. hug me (unless you've been granted permission).

now is the time to:
be patient with me. give me grace. love me.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

another splendid sunday.

baking date with julie... chocolate whoppers (SO GOOD) and turtle cheesecake.

from this:

to this:

i've never made a cheesecake before. a lot of mixing. we'll taste it tomorrow...

saw nick & norah's infinite playlist tonight. cute. good conversation that follows is always a bonus.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

meredith says.

"bones break. organs bursts. flesh tears. we can sew the flesh, repair the damage. ease the pain. but when life breaks down. when we break down. there's no science. no hard and fast rules. we just have to feel our way through. and to a surgeon, there's nothing worse and there's nothing better."

that's the bit of advice meredith offered us thursday night around nine fifty eight. somehow this relates to me. in a big way. i just needed to change a few words around...

"hearts break. families burst. friendships tear. we can sew the flesh, repair the damage. ease the pain. but when life breaks down. when we break down. there's no science. no hard and fast rules. we just have to take a risk. and to a human living in the present moment, there's nothing worse and there's nothing better."

on wednesday from two o'clock to two fifty, i was reminded of this. he said, "emily. quit deflecting. you can deflect with your clients, because that's what we do. but quit deflecting in all of your personal relationships. you need to take a risk. anything worth while is worth taking a risk for."

here's to taking risks.

Friday, October 10, 2008

gift giving guide.

do you ever say to yourself, "i'm not sure what to get x for their birthday?" and you feel totally stuck? well, julie and i have come up with a comprehensive gift giving guide. or... maybe they should be called gift giving rules? whatever. take it or leave it. however, you should know that i would declare julie as one of the best gift givers of all time and i would like to think of myself as a close eighteenth. so... with out further ado, here they are:

rule number one: no one is hard to give to, you're just not paying close enough attention. yes, this rule applies even to the person who already owns everything that they've ever needed/wanted. people ALWAYS mention that they like this, that or the other thing in any given day. start remembering what they're saying.

rule number two: gift certificates generally scream "I DON'T KNOW YOU!" (or i'm in a hurry). creativity counts. and we don't want to hear, "but.. but.. I'm not creative" riiiiiiiiiight. the truth: you're just not allowing yourself to be creative. you're just not thinking hard enough. try to remember what they like; see rule number one.

rule number three: bigger is not always better. (we're strictly talking about gifts here.) more expensive is not always more meaningful. in fact, we think an expensive gift is a cop out. here is a simple analogy. would you rather have your friend take you to the most expensive restaurant in the city and say "eat your heart out!" (like Aqua), or would you rather have your friend connect a dinner with your favorite food, music, area in san francisco for a total of $10? we think most would say the latter. case and point: the value of the gift doesn't have anything to do with the monetary cost.

rule number four: it doesn't have to coincide with a birthday or holiday. we would argue that gifts out of the blue are more special than the obligation that comes with a special day. make an ordinary day a special one with a gift that screams "i was thinking of you."

rule number five: if you ignore rule number four and find a potential gift for your friend in a store but actually want to save it for a particular event or day, just buy it. now, we're not saying to buy things impulsively. we're saying, if it's a sure thing (because you know the person: see rule number one) just get it. it's just like when you go shopping for a dress for your friend's wedding, you can never find it when you want it. you end up buying a dress you're not excited about because you are desperate and in a time crunch. the same applies to gifts—they need to be found as you move through life. gifts don't do well under time constraints.

ps. i wanted to keep it to a nice round number, like five. but if there had to be a rule six, it would be that presentation counts. you could wrap me up a pile of dog crap in the most beautiful wrapping and i would love it (okay, slight exaggeration). think about going to a fancy restaurant- you don't want the best food looking like crap. as much as we say, "don't judge a book by the cover"-- few people actually believe that. and if there had to be a rule seven... better late than never. but on time is always good (sorry, michele, i'm totally going on the third month of lateness- it's in the mail, i swear!).

Thursday, October 9, 2008

thursdays are my favorite day of the week.

because i get to hang out with some pretty rad people.

some of today's observations...

i haven't really noticed the effects of the economic crisis first hand. until today. the people who are coming to martin's aren't the same as they were six months ago. they are different. they have homes. they are younger. they are well groomed. they are ashamed. but they are hungry. i hope we don't run out of oatmeal.

one day i will educate you on the joys of dementia. and aphasia. and apraxia. and agnosia. (unless, of course, you're cool like lori and already know). but for now i'll just tell you that with dementia can sometimes come delusions. which can sometimes mean conversations like this:

client: nobody ever listens to me.
me: i'll listen to you.
client: nobody in america listens to me.
me: [silence]
client: and i am a very opinionated person. americans just don't know how to listen. especially to me.
me: i want to hear your opinions; i'm listening to you.
client: AND everyone is stealing my underwear.
me: [completely straight faced] that must be so frustrating.

i spent the afternoon working and i fed my co-workers some delicious maple pecan scones. dbj. they're easy to make.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

my client canceled on me.

"i'll tell you the truth, emily. i just didn't feel like talking about those feelings. so i canceled. but... [long pause] i will see you next week."

one of the things i'm learning about being a therapist is how to deal with canceling clients. is it me? is it them? was it something i said? did i mess up? did i say the wrong thing? are they just having a bad day? is this avoidable?

it's a totally frustrating feeling that is heightening my inadequacies.

Monday, October 6, 2008

attention! attention! tomorrow is...


(i made it up, just go with it)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

i felt so alive.

this morning. and tonight. and everything in between.

the merced sun was so hot. and i could feel my body parts working together to take step after step. i always start out stronger than i finish. and the whole. entire. time. i could feel my joints. and my bones. and my muscles. all while knowing that my body could do it. even though she's tired, she could finish. even though she needed more sleep, she could finish. and even though she ate far too much sugar the day before, she could finish.

and tonight. when sam beam was incredibly unpretentious and charming. with that speaking voice that is slightly familiar and that singing voice that transported me to an unknown place. it brought feelings inside that are indescribable. really, i had no words for them. and i still don't.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

tri tri tri AGAIN.

tomorrow i will take part in the best triathlon relay team EVER. dan is the biker, julie is the swimmer and i'm the runner. it's six miles (which ain't no thirteen, thank God) for me. totally doable.

it really will be a FANTASTIC sunday. the race in the morning, drive back to the city and hear my all time favorite band live: iron&wine. dbj, if you don't have bimbos tickets then you can partake for FREE at the hardly strictly bluegrass festival.

progress[ive] eye candy.

by scott hansen.


Friday, October 3, 2008

whatever you do... don't vote?

we all know that i love to vote. and i love jury duty. and i love [most] anything having to do with civic duties. i'm not asking you to love what i love. but i am asking you to take some responsibility. please, tell me you're registered to vote?

apparently our voter turnout SUCKS. i'm not surprised. but, really? i mean, come on. get with it. what's the deal?

if you want to know more about where you get to vote or voter registration, check out this google maps site.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

bonus points for barack.

he (or his staff) may not appeal to everyone but he just received nine thousand four hundred and seventy three bonus points. why? because an obama commerical aired with the song "can't go back now" by the weepies in the background. i might have just peed my pants with excitement. [i've been doing that a lot lately.]

fighting. for attention. [always?]

yesterday was a high energy day for me. while at work i was talking a lot and super excited, about nothing in particular. and then this happened. and it's totally paraphrased and [obviously] the way i perceived it:

him: how many siblings do you have?
me: three older brothers.
him: and you're the youngest?
me: yep! (with a huge grin on my face)
him: i can tell.
me: what does that mean?
him: you have to fight for attention.
me: (slumping down into my chair and noticing that my bottom lip was slightly pursed) oh.. i guess?

me, later, to myself: damnit! he's so right. and i'm the only one who can do anything about it.

and now i need a drink. to assist in making a plan to break this TWENTY FOUR YEAR LONG HABIT.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

this new.. strange.. feeling.

i have been doing REAL therapy with REAL clients for the last month. and it just hit me the other day: what a privilege. and what a strange feeling this is. that someone would divulge and share the deepest parts of their being with me, a stranger. what a gift. the honor overwhelms me at the end of our sessions. this profession is so unique.

now, i must confess: this is the hardest thing i have ever done. i am used to being in a work world where i'm getting the job done. i'm used to moving from point A to point B with a detailed step by step plan with all the tasks lined up. and for there to be a plan B, C, and D in case plan A fails. and this job is so different. i am shifting my thinking: there isn't necessarily a job to get "done". there isn't a point B to arrive at, necessarily. instead, i am challenged to sit. listen. reflect. be still. oh, THE CHALLENGE.

and if that wasn't hard enough... this population- these late age adults. the wisdom you have, the pain you have felt, the stories you share. more than any other population, i believe you have so much to offer this twentyfour year old.

i hope that in ten years, i can remember this feeling. this gift and this strangeness.