Saturday, February 28, 2009

currently obsessed with.

-my little green guy. for running, blow drying, dancing in front of the mirror. all of it.
-mariah carey, old and new. mostly 'we belong together' and 'touch my body'. don't act like they aren't catchy. and don't be tcfs.
-fiber one bars.
-sugar free candies at the clinic. they're for behavioral interventions (read: bribing) with my clients. it's all about positive reinforcement, people!
-three upcoming concerts: kings of leon, keane, iron & wine.
-thinking about how it's already march.
-my seven dollar chartreuse tee from target.
-chartreuse. it's my [new] favorite color.
-being excited to see my physical therapist on friday.

Friday, February 27, 2009

party in chicago.

this girl and her mama are going to see oprah. [pray that it's a giveaway day!]


Thursday, February 26, 2009

what is dementia?

it's a memory deficit PLUS a defecit in at least one other cognitive domain (thought process). there can be different symptoms of dementia and they can be different in severity and order of appearance. however, ALL dementias involve some impairment of memory, thinking, reasoning, and language. and the news gets worse: personality changes and abnormal behavior may also occur as dementia progresses. 

you can understand why this is the number one fear of aging adults, huh?

when you say "my grandpa has alzheimer's" what you're really saying is my grandpa has dementia of the alzheimer's type. think of dementia as the umbrella disease. or use this analogy- dementia : alzheimer's as fruit : apple. 

there are other types of dementia, too. they fall into four categories.
one. degenerative diseases (alzheimer's, pick's, huntington's, parkinson's, etc.)
two. vascular dementias (binswanger's, cerebral embolism, etc.)
three. traumatic dementias (brain injuries... think boxers)
four. infections (aids, opportunistic infections, etc.)

this is the boring stuff, i know. tips and tricks soon.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

before i start sharing what i'm learning about dementia/aging

it's time for a disclaimer: i am no expert in working with the late-age adult population. in fact, i'm only a student. the information i share with you in this space is meant to be helpful and perhaps encourage you to seek out resources for your friend or family member who is aging. 

here's what you should know before you listen to me: i have four months left of a masters program (counseling psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family therapy) at the university of san francisco. my experience in working with this population includes being a practicum student for a non-profit agency in the bay area which has the goal of helping seniors live independently for as long as possible. i see clients weekly in their homes for individual psychotherapy who deal with a variety of issues ranging from dementia (alzheimer's and vascular type) to grief and loss. my clients are extremely diverse in ethnicity and socioeconomic status. i just recently started doing behavioral assessment, specifically working with two types of assessments (the mini [mini international neuropsychiatric interview], and a quality of life test). i am becoming well versed in major dsm axis one diagnosis, though the dsm is probably my least favorite book. i'm mostly trained in cognitive behavioral therapy, though that doesn't always work with dementia. recently, i'm using more supportive and strengths based models of therapy.

a common response i get when i tell people what i do is, "you'd think that by that age you'd have life figured out." and when people say that, i think to myself one of two things. either "just wait. you have no idea." or i get cynical and say, "you'd think by this time in america's history, we'd know how to take care of the old and care for them properly." the reality of our current situation is scary. i know it's not easy to understand because the problem we face is out in the distance; however, i challenge us all to be proactive instead of reactive. (i will give you more information on our current situation later.)

i hope to take what i'm learning and share it with you-- knowledge is power. i will do my best to give credit where credit is due and provide as many links as possible. feel free to ask me questions, too. if i don't know the answer, i'm around a lot people who will. like i said, proactive not reactive. 

and now that the disclaimer is over, i'm too tired to share anything of importance. oh well. forgive me.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

i'm generally a visual learner.

so this was super helpful. it's for those of you who want to visually learn about how our economy got to the place it's at today.

by jonathan jarvis.

Monday, February 23, 2009

why are freaking out you anti-facebook slash twitter b!t%h?!

that's what my roommate just said to me when i gasped after he told me he was TWEETING.

he explained it as blogging for lazy people. WHAT? i do not comprehend. zack, sean-- explain it to me, please. is it something about following shaq?

off to my interview.

haaaaaaaappy twentysixth birthday to my brother daniel!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

wander. rain. wander. rain. rain. bake. rain.

kristy is gone. [insert sad face here] she is reporting back to sarah that all these san francisco people (me, my roommates, etc.) FREAK out when it rains. for example, we barely left the house today and had to plan every move around the rain. so what, i'm from california. leave me alone. the rain totally messes up my hair.

we baked all day today. thin (thick?) mints and chocolate whoppers. last night was good conversation around the kilowatt table. it's too bad the guy behind us was so enthralled with her. let's be honest, i sort of wanted to be her.

relaxing times with loyal and good friends. love it.

who hearts their biggest brother?

i do i do i do!

taken after a long day of skiing/snowboarding at heavenly the other weekend.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

number fortyone done and done.

i ate at a fondue restaurant for the very first time tonight. bill and rita graced me with their presence and i enjoyed meats and cheeses and CHOCOLATE and fruits like i never have before. holy cow i love fondue restaurants.

Friday, February 20, 2009

it's time to frolic in the rain.

because kristy is here!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

last week i wasn't doing so hot.

this week is a whole different story.

TWO AMAZING THINGS HAPPENED TODAY (and i realize you might not care, but when i look back at this thing i want to remember these really cool professional moments. okay? thanks.):

one. i got chosen (one of two practicum students!) to be part of a psych diagnostic assessment team at a pace program (an all inclusive method of care for the elderly-- think one stop shopping for all of your mental/physical health needs) in the city. i am so freaking excited-- more clients to see and learning to do. the more i do this, the more I LOVE OLD PEOPLE (my grandparents are totally stoked right now. hi grandma!). and dementia. i can't seem to get enough dementia. COME ON- it's the number one fear of aging adults. why not jump right in the middle of it? that's what i'm talking about. ps. did you know we have ONE GERONTOLOGIST FOR EVERY EIGHTY TWO THOUSAND BABY BOOMERS? this equals a mighty big problem. get worried.

two. i got an interview. right now i'm just a practicum student. post masters degree i'll be a licensed intern (hot damn) and i'll be able to hopefully get a real job where you make real money instead of my current situation where i work a real job and i get paid in monopoly money and treasures stored up in heaven [dbj]. and now is the time to be looking for internships. the problem is... most of the internships out there are UNPAID. (can you hear the crowd yelling BOOOOOO? yah, i can too). instead i need to look for a job where they hire license eligible mft's (that would be me, come july). so.. i applied for a job and wrote in my cover letter, I'M APPLYING IN FEBRUARY, I KNOW. I'M NOT SILLY, I JUST REALLY WANT A JOB. WILL YOU HIRE ME IN JULY? and today i got a phone call asking me to interview (here is where the crowd goes WILD).

here's to drinks with julie, interview prep with nathan, fondue with bill and rita on saturday and kristy coming this weekend.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

lust for men, pride for women

i just read a short article in which the catholic church did a survey to find out which sin is confessed more by men vs. women. essentially it says that men sin more in the lust arena and women sin more in the pride arena. now, i'm not disagreeing with the results of this study. in fact, with the majority of men and women i'm around, i agree with these results. HOWEVER. it's these kinds of studies that perpetuate the idea that women aren't lustful. and that's where i get stuck. are we not lustful OR do we just not talk about it? i would argue the latter. and why do we not talk about it? because it's taboo. [i'm specifically referencing the Church here]

the best line of the article is when pope benedict says, "we are losing the notion of sin, if people do not confess regularly, they risk slowing their spiritual rhythm."

well isn't that the truth.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

guilty as charged.

i recently read a short article titled the problem of pride in an age of twitter by brett mccracken. in it he writes, "it appears that ultimately we're retreating further inward, to the "i" world of our personal computing universe. under the guise of increasing our levels of connectivity, these technologies are ultimately just tools to help us isolate, insulate and unshackle from the outmoded constraints of having to answer to anyone other than ourselves."

well isn't that the truth.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

dalmatian is spelled with an A, not an O.

it took eight hours to get to tahoe on friday night. yes, you read that right. EIGHT HOURS. it was supposed to take four. awesome. no-no, i take that back. the awesome part was me slipping on ice and spinning my car THREE times even though my tires were wearing chains. after the third time, i put my car in park, opened the door and yelled I'M NOT DOING THIS ANYMORE. DILLON, DRIVE NOWWWWW, in the least demanding way possible, of course. and eventually we arrived.

quite possibly the best ski conditions i've ever experienced. heavenly was.. heavenly. it was amazing to ski with my big brother, carter, who is a kick ass snowboarder. he kept encouraging me to be more adventurous, quickly forgetting that at age eleven i was run over by another skier and woke up in the emergency room with a concussion [that was awesome, too].

and riley. that boy. my almost-two-year-old nephew is a piece of work. and a ham, all at once. he comes complete with a black eye and a squirmy body that loves to pronounce snow as "noah."

so good to relax with my mom, two out of three of my brothers and sisters-in-laws, and my roommates. and play cranium. note to self: when spelling dalmatian backwards, remember there are no O's in the word. at all.

me, mom, carter.

dillon, me, carter, dan, mom.

Friday, February 13, 2009


me: "wait. what do you do with a masters in law and diplomacy?"

nick: "ya know, make peace treaties and shit."

here's to another friend starting grad school. welcome to the club. 

on my way to tahoe for the weekend. fresh powder and family fun. dbj.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

hold break.

last night in patty's class we talked about being held. not so much being physically held but being emotionally held. it's sitting in that place with your client/friend/family member and internally thinking "i'm not going to let you fall." it's being a container for them. it's being fully present. [this might be too touchy feely for some of you. you can excuse yourself from the table now.]

then it got me thinking: lately i've been holding too much. and that's a problem. because then i'm weighed down. i think this has something to do with me not being able to get into the swing of things. or it could explain why my dear friend recently said, "you don't seem yourself lately." which led me to think, "oh that's odd. i'm only holding one broken heart, two grieving hearts, and a confused heart. AND that's not even my clients. let's throw in a little grief and loss, dash it with some dementia, loss of autonomy and sprinkle with depression and loneliness." [sounds like i need to work on my boundaries and expectations. you know, the ones i so frequently speak of.]

so. until further notice: i'm on hold from holding. come back soon. 


Wednesday, February 11, 2009


i didn't win the spelling bee in elementary school (though i do remember mike merrick winning on 'pigeon, p-i-g-e-o-n, pigeon' and i'm pretty sure michele took the blue ribbon when she competed back in the nineties). 

i was reminded of my spelling skills when i scored awfully on this test... the twentyfive most commonly misspelled words. hopefully you get something better than "poor" results. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

glinda was hilarious.

just saw wicked. bought the tickets a loooooong time ago and finally was rewarded. i loved the creativity. better than the lion king musical.

Monday, February 9, 2009

don't drive when thinking about your clients.

because you might run over a woman with her suitcases. or come close. or just hit her suitcases. or. 

i thought texting and driving was bad. there should be a new law just for therapists: 




or, even better


Sunday, February 8, 2009

we interrupt this broadcast for a dose of reality.

ever since being back from israel i CANNOT get back into my life. besides the fact that i wake up and my eye lids are swollen shut and my throat feels awful near my tonsils and i've been addicted to turkey bacon, not much has changed. 

reality tells me: it's time to mail in your tax information. it's time to get your applications together for internships. it's time to catch up on the twenty days you're behind for oneyear. it's time to be a better daughter. it's time to get your m-one license. it's time to write those thank you notes. it's time to send those packages. it's time to do everything you're avoiding. 

how therapist of me to ask, "why is it you're avoiding this, self?" 
and how normal of me to respond, "shut up, self, shut up. i am so NOT sitting in the chair with you right now."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

he's just not that into ME.

i saw the movie and enjoyed it. i didn't so much like the part where they elaborated on the "exception"-- still giving women hope that a man and a marriage would make their lives complete or that they will be the exception. but what can i expect from a chick flick? it's always the same message (one of complete bull-shit-and-not-so-much-reality). 

but. seriously. let's commit to stop lying to each other. 

me: "if he emailed me and i emailed him back and it's been over a week and i haven't heard back from him, he's just not that into me, RIGHT?"

friend: "nah. it's an out of sight, out of mind thing. if he saw you, he'd be into you."

me: [hopeful] "so you're saying there's a chance?"

friend: "yes, definitely. text him when you visit."

reality: "emily, my dear, he's really not into you. quit wasting your time checking your email and hoping the iphone vibration in your pocket is from him. it's most likely the listserv of bay area therapists or penis enlargement spam, which clearly doesn't apply to you. why don't you go work on making the world a better place?"

me: "i guess."

Friday, February 6, 2009

what are you doing today?

if the answer is not "going to the movies to watch he's just not that into you," then i think you need to rework your schedule. it comes out TODAY. what are you waiting for?

i can remember back to being an RA in page three c and receiving the book in the mail from my mom. "what message is she trying to send me?" i wondered. and then i opened the book. and soon after.. story time began. sitting in the papasan chair reading one chapter at a time, eating alphabet cookies and laffy taffy and laughing hysterically at the realities of how dumb girls (we, us, me) can be. in the end: i learned a lot from that book, even if i don't always exercise my knowledge.

hands down: one of my favorite RA memories.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

patty says. begin again.

the same patty that i had last summer i have again this spring. THANK THE GOOD LORD for patty.

the class isn't child & parent therapy anymore. we've moved onto group psychotherapy. but, as usual, she always has some take home gems.

today's gem: people want to be seen and valued. always. give them that and you'll make the world a better place. 

Monday, February 2, 2009

non-negotiables. part two.

this many bumper stickers is so non-negotiable.

see part one here.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

final thoughts on israel: what i learned.

one. "your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy." that's what barack obama said in his inauguration address. in that moment when he said those words, the little people in my head shouted "YES! israel is such a great example of that!" and then i thought about it. in sixty years they have created beauty from ashes. though everyone might not agree with how they've done it, their hard work as a nation is inspiring.

two. i really was safer on a birthright trip in israel than on my scooter in san francisco. how 'bout that. i promise i won't scoot in the rain anymore. maybe.

three. the israeli/palestinian conflict is much more complex than the american/world media describes (obvi). it is not just "israel bombed the shit out of a un school and a lot of palestinians just died." it is also not "israel can do no wrong and it's hamas' fault for everything that just happened in gaza." this is thirtyfivehundred years of history. there are more than two sides to this story, too. i loved that reminder.

four (most importantly). i am jewish. previously, being jewish was just a religion to me; nothing i would ever represent or claim to be. now i see it as part of my heritage; i am half jewish, native american, and a bunch of other stuff. strange to make the transition from seeing judaism strictly as a religion to more of a culture and a heritage and a ....