Thursday, April 30, 2009

it's been a good week in san francisco.

today, april thirtieth, was just declared "not for sale" day in san francisco. how 'bout that? i just came from a not for sale press conference where we heard from the hard working usf erasmus program students (they've put in hundreds of hours of research to expose trafficking in san francisco), a san francisco board of supervisors rep, carmen chu (who is working hard to change legislation in the city) and giants middle relief pitcher jeremy affeldt (who unfortunately helped the giants beat the dodgers last night, but that's another story). it was fantastic to hear everyone talk about their hard work and recognize them for their contributions to ending human trafficking in san francisco and around the globe (read about what jeremy is doing here).

and! this past sunday the dalai lama decided to hang out with some of my friends at martin's. from what i understand he sounds like a pretty chill guy; if only he could come to thursday morning coffee hour to hear us talk about things that spit, bill's free masters from oxford for staying out of jail and the over-hyped swine flu. i definitely think he'd have something to contribute. and he'd think we were funny. duh.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

the final stretch.

i'm in it to win it, i guess you could say.

things are winding down and i can't wait. it will be nice to not have work at usf, the clinic, ioa AND go to school. it will be nice to not scoot from place to place and always be going going going. it will be nice to pick up a book for pleasure. it will be nice to not have night classes, or day classes for that matter. it will be nice to not have a fifteen page paper looming over my head. it will be nice to not be exhausted. and it will be nice to have earned this degree.

i finish this semester in two weeks. i have everything finished except a take home final (of course i do, i'm a J). then i have three units to take this summer and i'm home free. my job starts at the end of june and i am SO looking forward to it.

clearly, i'm tired.

thank God for julie, mary flynn and citizen cake.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

what do you do when...

...the cost to fix your car is greater than the value of your car?

Monday, April 27, 2009

we can still eat bacon.

i'm working at the clinic right now and i just got the crap scared out of me about this swine flu business. seriously, wash your freaking hands and if you have any symptoms of the flu get your ass to the hospital, asap. if you've been to mexico lately or to imperial county in california, your chances of catching it are higher (and some county in texas but i forget). we should know in the next five days how big this is going to be. in the mean time, better to be proactive than reactive.

Friday, April 24, 2009

things i'm in like with this week.

the dark was the night album, courtesy of daniel.
thursday night sleep overs complete with face masks and greys.
textsfromlastnight. hi-freakin-larious.
three dollar tuesdays at yoshi's.
watching macaframa before you can.
getting to do a consult with a gero-psychiatrist.
roasting fresh vegetables at five hundred degrees for nine minutes.
losing my phone because it helped me detach (i have it back now).
gmail threads with julie and deb and sean.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

understanding dementia behavior, part seven.

seventh tip from fca: when the going gets tough, distract and redirect. when your loved one becomes upset, try changing the subject or the environment. for example, ask him for help or suggest going for a walk. it is important to connect with the person on a feeling level, before you redirect. you might say, "i see you're feeling sad- i'm sorry you're upset. let's go get something to eat."

my addition to this tip: today my client was perseverating (think: repeating like a broken record) and it was vital for me to change the subject. she needed me to take her to another place so i redirected toward one of her hobbies. just an fyi: this tip can be really difficult to navigate.

the majority of the above information is from one of my favorite sources: family caregiver alliance,

read my disclaimer here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

yesterday i received a package in the mail.

and i was so in awe when i opened it. the teeniest, tiniest package was in my hands. within the chartreuse box (my favorite color), i found the sweetest dress sewing pattern being used as wrapping paper (genius!). i gently opened it up and this is what i found:

every detail was thought of. down to the ribbon, which read: the full moon slipped into a buttonhole in the clouds.

the box was adorably small.

so after staring at it.. i finally opened it up. the first thing i read was "september 19, 2009"
(i didn't know fonts come this small! click the photos to enlarge)

the next page read "emily, will you be my bridesmaid?" with some other sappy and hilarious words on the pages in between.
"love julie"

and she was like, "WAIT! what did you just say?"
and i said, "oh my gosh, that is so freaking adorable. how did you do that? you're amazing. of course i'll be your bridesmaid!"

then we talked about how cool the worlds smallest postal service is and how julie worked with lea redmond at leafcutter designs to create such a gem. brilliant!

since julie and nathan's engagement, she's said she wants people to expect the unexpected at her wedding. and holy cow, she's started out strong.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

fiftytwo, that's hot.

ooooh, i am SO busted for broadcasting my mother's age on the internet, but come on. she does NOT look fiftytwo. here she is with almost-two-year-old-can't-smile-for-the-camera-riley.

happy birthday, mom. i love you. even though i don't love trip-it.

Monday, April 20, 2009

thorns and roses, highs and lows, whatever.

shout outs:
-bonnie for completing the boston half marathon in three hours and thirtyfive minutes.
-adam for making bomb falafel for group tonight.
-julie for ALWAYS doing the dishes.

major downers:
-i lost my phone sometime today between four and six pm. goners.
-old person genitalia. (what?!) yah. not even kidding. in the middle of a session my patient's pants split. scarred for life.

UPDATE: i found my phone. call me, text me, love me.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


it was a sportz themed birthday party. there were four, count FOUR, ladies at the party. and it's more like three [available ladies] because one of them is married. i'm not complaining. really, I'M NOT. but who are all the losers who bailed and didn't come to the party? the dancing was insane.

bo, girl number four, matt, bertram, daniel, me.

andrew, me, sean.

Friday, April 17, 2009

the whole easter crew.

matt, courtney, hope, wimberly, julie, lis, me, chris, andrew, diana, ashley, chris, ji hae, james, sarah, larry, dillon, bo, dan, nathan, julie.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

understanding dementia behavior, part six.

sixth tip from fca: break down activities into a series of steps. this can make many tasks much more manageable. you can encourage your loved one to do what he can, gently remind him of steps he tends to forget, and assist with steps he's no longer able to accomplish on his own. using visual cues, such as showing him with your hand where to place the dinner plate, can be very helpful.

my addition to this tip: the more you break it down, the easier it is to understand. think of it like sounding out words for a four year old learning how to read. AND, at the same time, remember they are eighty something years old. hard to do, i know.

the majority of the above information is from one of my favorite sources: family caregiver alliance,

read my disclaimer here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

i have a new nephew!

meet miles, the vizsla puppy arriving at my brother and sister-in-law's house in may. SO FUN!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

yes, we really do have an email address. try it, one of the committee members might write you back.

anyway. yosemite. at one point i described it as miserably wet and at another point i was on a bear hunt. i loved the group that went this year; such a cool mix of westmont and san francisco in one place.

we hiked upper yosemite falls and dear God i thought i was going to die. it is three and a half miles straight up. up. up. and with fortyfive minutes left in the hike, wimberly and i were making a pros and cons list for continuing or turning around. then a SIX YEAR OLD IN CONVERSE passed us as she was coming down the mountain. here i am, all twentyfour and in hiking boots, about to turn around. and she gave me hope. well, that and the fact that the con for turning around was our egos.

so many good memories from this trip:
courtney and my connection regarding all things her ridiculous brother.
sleeping next to julie and waking her up to the bear breaking open chris' backpack.
matt's incredible musical talent.
wimberly making everyone laugh, at all times.
the sugar bowl beverage.
the best camping meal chris has ever had.
hope and all her glory.
a new way to do s'mores.
the committee, in general.
hand warmers.
constantly being on the bear hunt.
wimberly burning her shoes.
hiking in the rain.
sleeping in the rain.
eating in the rain.
easter morning service by dan.
lying down in the meadow.
washing my face with freezing cold water.
not showering for eightyfour hours.
dan interrupting mine and courtney's slumber.
good conversation with nathan on the hike down.
secretly noticing the dj connection. wishing and hoping.
laughing with julie. in general.

and now for some photos.

this is upper yosemite falls. we hiked to the top. no joke.

group shot at the top.

wimbs burns her shoes.

easter morning service.

ending the weekend at the aleman's for easter dinner and an egg hunt.

more to come.

Monday, April 13, 2009

you know you're working with late age adults when... get back to work from vacation and the first thing you ask at the morning meeting is if anyone died last week. this is really hard. really really hard. deep breath.

easter in yosemite recap to arrive shortly to a blog near you.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

on our way.

here we go. departed at eight forty and headed straight into a yosemite rain (and maybe snow) storm. holllllllllla!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

about his older sister, the raven.

here is one of the poets from last saturday night's youth speaks semi-finals. this boy made it to the finals and will compete on saturday night. i cannot believe he is only a teenager.

twentyfour hours until departure.

easter in yosemite 2009: twenty four friends. a whole lot of food. bears. hiking boots. and the yosemite national forest. who knows if it will top last year?

i am ecstatic.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

understanding dementia behavior, part five.

fourth tip from fca: listen with your ears, eyes and heart. be patient in waiting for your loved one's reply. if she is struggling for an answer, it's okay to suggest words. watch for nonverbal cues and body language, and respond appropriately. always strive to listen for the meaning and feelings that underlie the words.

my addition to this tip: if your friend with dementia speaks multiple languages, don't be surprised if they start to lose their second language. for example, one of my patients at the clinic used to speak perfect english even though it was her second language. now that her dementia has progressed, she goes back and forth between english and japanese and she'll eventually probably only speak to us or respond in japanese. in these times, it's vital to watch for nonverbal cues. especially if you're like me and DON'T speak japanese.

the majority of the above information is from one of my favorite sources: family caregiver alliance,

read my disclaimer here.

Monday, April 6, 2009

sex in the city, sans sex.

dear sex machine (in reference to the james brown song, NOT to any real experiences):

for the last week i've pretended that i'm a slow runner because i've been injured. that i can drink more than two ciders without feeling hung over the next day. that i don't need more than four hours of sleep in one night. that your text messages meant something. and that if i was mysterious enough, you'd be interested in me.

but here's my reality: i run a ten minute mile because i'm slow and injured, mostly just slow. two ciders exhausts me. i need at least six hours of sleep to not get a sore throat the next day. your text messages stress me out because i don't know how to flirt through the phone. and gosh dangit, what you see is what you get with me. there ain't no mystery here.

i hope you can forgive me for not explaining the whole truth. i know there's a perfect girl out there for you. one who rides a fixed gear and who is a little more hipster than me. i mean, seriously, i can barely change gears on the road bike and a v-neck tee is as far as you're getting with me.

see you tomorrow,

Saturday, April 4, 2009

religion and politics, oh so sensitive.

when people say "i don't like to talk about religion or politics" is it because they don't think about it enough to have an opinion or is it because they can be such dividing topics? or is there another reason? just curious.

on my way to berkeley for the youth speaks teen poetry slam. i went last year and can't wait for tonight.

Friday, April 3, 2009

celebrating dan's twentysixth.

last night we celebrated dan's birthday. we went to nightlife at the academy of sciences (twentyone and over, ten bucks instead of twentyfive) and hit up club deluxe for live jazz and pizza after. holy hell EVERYONE needs to go to the academy. it is simply fantastic. the morrison planetarium knocked my socks off. okay that's a lie, i wasn't even wearing socks.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

sam beam made my day.

i am so exhausted. like a total of nine hours of sleep in the last fortyeight hours, exhausted. but receiving this email perked me up:

Hello Iron & Wine Ticket Buyer,

Thank you for purchasing tickets to Iron & Wine's upcoming May tour, we're very excited for these shows.

We wanted to let you know that all ticket holders will be receiving a free copy of Iron & Wine - Norfolk 6/20/05 live CD. The CD will be released on April 18, 2009 as part of Record Store Day (available exclusively at independent record stores) and we have secured enough copies of the disc to hand out each night on tour (Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York).

Thanks for the support! See you in May!

-Iron & Wine

who does that? so freaking sweet.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

recipient of an april fools joke.

when i got to work this morning i had one of these message sheets on my desk. it read: myra maines called. call her back. 413-0565. so of course i called the number back. it was duggan's funeral home. and i was asking for MYRA MAINES. well isn't my boss hilarious.

she also has one for my co-worker to call the number for jenny craig and ask for hugh jazz.