new day o post blog

still going to post daily, but feeling the need for privacy as my life moves forward.

new blog:

password: ask me. no, that’s not the password. yes, if ya wanna read, ask me for it.



i met his kids today. and liked them very very much.

Celebrating Vanessa at District in Oakland…. Girl is workin in out….


while interviewing a precocious six year old today, she told me her mom and her mom’s boyfriend got in a fight on valentines day and she didn’t think that was good because valentines is supposed to be about love and fighting does not show love. as tempted as i was to talk to her about an artificial holiday that often leads to conflict surrounding unmet expectations, i avoided that and instead inquired about the fighting. i asked, “did your mom and steve fight with words or with their hands?” she gave me an odd look and said, “they only fought with their words. they didn’t need their hands because they are not deaf.”

i can’t make this stuff up.

Regina turned 42 today.

We’ve been friends for about 35 of those years.

It was fun to be able to talk today.

I love her for always.

Moises turns 50.

Dinner with Tom and KK. His eyes look tired from the wear of the week. But his smile lights up my world.

keep. on.

In eleven working days in February, I have received fifteen referrals, nine of them emergency assignments. I have had two removals placing children in foster care, five bi-lingual cases, several with criminal implications, and one sexual abuse that will need forensic interviewing.

For the first time ever, the impossibility of managing this work load was acknowledged and I was told I would have to be out of compliance with mandates, and to forego the required meeting associated with protective custody. When I expressed concern over a specific family, my supervisor yelled that I am not a social worker, I am a child abuse investigator.

Shit is bad around here.

And yet.  

Tonight I worked late placing a teenage boy with drug involvement and gang affiliation into the system. I like the kid. And as I was leaving, he asked me a question. Will you come back and see me tomorrow? I know I’m doing something right.

This work is exhausting in both volume and acuity. Yet I go home knowing I am loved. Knowing there are people to greet me in generosity and companionship. Knowing there is beauty and hope to be had. This isn’t the case for the majority of the families I work with. So I pray I will remain compassionate and aware, and that l will have both the time and energy to embody both presence and good works.

Perhaps it is coming back from Argentina and thinking of the three months travelling with Tim and Sarah post corps, or maybe it is reading Tom’s dad story he shared about Morocco, or it could be I am just hormonal and nostalgic…. in any case, I’ve been thinking about Egypt.

I went back and looked at my pictures from ten years ago. And this one makes me laugh.

Tim and Sarah spent a year prior to Peace Corps studying in Cairo together. Tim had a roommate named Mr. Lim who didn’t speak a lick of English. [When I hear Mr. Lim’s name, it can only be said in my head to the tune of The Grinch. You’re a fine on, Mr. Lim….]

So here we are at dinner in Egypt, with Mr. Lim and his monolingual Korean speaking family, eating dinner in an Italian restaurant. 

I forgot about this until I saw the picture. Funny night.

What We Need Is HereGeese appear high over us,pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,as in love or sleep, holdsthem to their way, clearin the ancient faith: what we needis here. And we pray, notfor new earth or heaven, but to bequiet in heart, and in eye,clear. What we need is here. 

~ Wendell Berry 

What We Need Is Here

Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: what we need
is here. And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, but to be
quiet in heart, and in eye,
clear. What we need is here. 

~ Wendell Berry 

president’s day: shitty health care within economic hardships and a postmodern western on slavery. god bless america.

Saw two movies today.

KK and I saw The Waiting Room, a documentary about Highland Hospital in Oakland. It’s depressing view of the health care system for those living in pervasive poverty surrounded with violence. Yet in the midst of the chaos, there are compassionate caregivers that are trying to provide “good enough” (in the attachment theory meaning of the word) services within a quagmire of systemic issues. I so relate.

Mal and I went to see Django Unchained tonight. It’s going to take me some time to process this. Quentin Tarantino is genius. He knows when to push to the point that discomfort is almost unbearable, then to diffuse with humor, which makes you wonder if you should be laughing when the subject matter is so heavy. There is art in that conflict. 

Talked to my dad on the phone on the way home from the movie. He told me mom made him read about my dream (the thought of my dad in front of a computer is humorous), he then lightheartedly scolded me for being so open and said I better keep Tom, to which I agreed. But my favorite line? That dream didn’t make us as parents look too good, kid… but Regina’s mom was sure a hell of a lot worse….  Love my dad.

the infinite yes

i thank you god for this most amazing day, 

for the leaping greenly spirits of trees,

and for the blue dream of sky and for

everything which is natural,

which is the infinite, which is yes.

~ee cummings

Bottomless mimosas for $12. Trust when I say they did not make money on us. Also? I forgot champagne gives me a headache. 

Happy birthday, Ms. Thang, Judy R Fliris! :o)