Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Home Again...and it's a bit wierd

I get note that during recess Aj pushed 3 kids and pinned a 3rd against a wall

Get a COMPLETELY unexpected note from a client that they are discontinuing therapy with me effective immediately. And I do not really know why.

The toilet is clogged, again

The kids are arguing.

I find Buddy my guinea pig dieing this morning

No one on Aj's school team has emailed a response to the team about Aj's "episode" yesterday

double trouble's heart is heavy. I can offer really only an ear

signora is sad

The dog is incontinent twice while sleeping on the new couch. Is she okay??

Aj has a baseball game (little league) other kids are getting some good hits and he regularly strikes out. He always plays the outfield and gets little to no action again today. He finally hits one on the 5th pitch. The pitcher fields it and throws to 1st who then straight arms Aj and knocks him down as he trys to tag base. Aj comes up crying and holding his arm. He is not really hurt, mostly upset and takes a while to calm down. The coachs are encouraging and positive. The coachs wife/team Mom tells him, "It's okay buddy. You'll hit it again. I know you will, because I believe in you." Then she grabs him and hugs him and he hugs her and my eyes tear up. The next time up-he again gets out at 1st. Again he cries and is slow to recover. It was his last up. I am feeling sad. Can't the guy catch a break? The next inning he played the bench and spent time signing the game ball and bouncing around. At the games end, with an emotionally cracked voice I thanked the team Mom for her continued support of Alex. Pops opted to stay later at the park with kids and I headed home to fix dinner. Walking to the car I felt heavy. I could hear the coaches giving their post game talk. I heard "...and for this game the game ball goes to Aj...for good sportsman ship and continuing to work hard..."
I teared up all the way to the car. Pops said he was pleased, but he would've rather had Aj get the team ball because he really deserved it. But for me, to have the feeling that there are people in the community who look out for and suppport Alex is a home run.

Can I Sit with You? Follow up

Great trip to Seattle.
I pulled out my best comedic self for my story reading-and was told it was quite funny, as long as one wasn't too much of a prude. According to Squid, we will be able to get the audio recording.
Great time with my friend Kell. Seattle sunny and so beautiful. Nice to take break from home. Nice to be home...

Friday, April 25, 2008

I'm Leaving on a jet plane

In minutes jennyalice will be picking me up to fly to Seattle. She and squid have arranged for us to do a reading from Can I Sit with You-the book they published whose benefits go to SEPTAR (our spec ed PTA). We will be at the Annex theater and I will be reading my story from the book. NPR will be there recording. YIKES!
check it out at:


More updates to be posted...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Doggie Dining and Dementia

Do you hear the pitter patter of puppy paws? The word is out and all dogs are making their way over to my house.
We went out of town to Disneyland for 5 days and Granny was here by herself. MANY of my dear friends stopped by a few times daily to check on her. There were 3 labs here. Our 2 and the in-law lab, Annie. I was concerned the dogs might knock Granny over when she tried to feed them, as it was a bit frenetic when I fed the three of them. I asked jennyalice to feed the dogs.
When we arrived home the labs were visibly, significantly heavier. SiSi was like a waddling sausage with legs. My leggy, previously grey-hound figured Java was now a waistless, rotund log. The gals had likley packed on an additional 10% of their previous body weight.
My research leads me to believe the gals got the lid off the dog chow and ate themselves into oblivion, as labs will do. On top of that, Granny loves her dogs and is always worried they haven't been fed. So I think they may have been fed twice a day. Maybe three tmes. Who knows how often.
All I know is that I've got 2 labs who run funny, sleep a lot and have some really bad gas.

Friday, April 18, 2008


I love finding a gift that seems perfect for a friend and then buying it. Not because I have to for their birthday-but because I just wanted to.

It won't be a surprise now, but for others to enjoy the concept and sneak out and purchase if they like.

for jennyalice: inner grace.
Inner Grace Concentrated Perfume Oil
Inner Grace is your own personal heaven and was formulated with a scent to help bring peace and balance to your life. If you don't have time to meditate, Inner Grace offers an easy, one-second solution.

And for doubletrouble, whose heart seems heavy as of lately:
Hope-in a jar
Hope in a jar- therapeutic moisturizer for all skin types
Where there is hope there can be faith, where there is faith miracles can occur

Both of which are by the skin care company Philosophy. Tonight I spent an hour....ta da DA...alone. In Downtown Disney I went and bought a mint-chip dazler at Hagaan Daaaz (sp?) and then wandered around Sephora for a long time. Pops walked back to the hotel with the kids and put them to bed. He is a good egg.
I think my girl friends will be okay that I did not show up with a set of ears for them.

Good news I suppose

My girlfriend got this article to me about the local response to the state law requiring special ed students to pass the high school exit exam. Our high school district is Sequoia-I feel a bit more hopeful about the whole thing. Certainly, I am pleased to see that this came about so quickly.

Burlingame Daily News - 04/16/2008

High schools eye certificates for special-needs students
State rules force local boards to examine graduation policies

By Will Oremus
E-mail Will Oremus at woremus@dailynewsgroup.com.

Graduating from California high schools will be more difficult this
year for special-education students, but local districts are taking
measures to make sure they won't be left out of end-of-year

A change in state policy this year means that, for the first time,
students with dyslexia, deafness and other learning disabilities will
be required to pass the California High School Exit Exam to graduate.

Following the lead of neighboring Sequoia Union High School District,
the San Mateo Union High School District board on Thursday will
consider creating "certificates of completion" for those students who
fail the exam, but fulfill all other graduation requirements. The
certificates would be handed to the students in place of diplomas
when they crossed the podium.

"For the students who have passed their classes, met their
(Individualized Education Program) goals, done everything except pass
the exit exam, we think it's important to have some kind of
recognition," said Barbara Picheny, director of special education for
the San Mateo district. She and other district administrators are
recommending the board approve the certificates at Thursday's

The Sequoia district's board approved similar certificates for
special-education students at its March 25 meeting.

The changes represent a policy shift by districts that in the past
have generally embraced the state exam, choosing not to award
certificates beyond their official diplomas.

Sequoia allowed traditional education students who passed their
classes, but not the test, to "walk through" graduation ceremonies,
but not receive a certificate, while San Mateo prohibited such
students from participating at all. Sequoia officials who supported
the walk-through policy pointed to the district's large population of
non-native English speakers who struggled to pass the exam's language
arts section.

At its last meeting, however, Sequoia's board decided to join San
Mateo in ending the walk-throughs for nonspecial-education students
this year.

"This is an issue where people had good arguments and passion on each
side," said
Sequoia board member Gordon Lewin. In the 3-2 vote, "Two board
members dissented because they were uncomfortable with the exam
itself," he said.

In creating the certificates for special ed students, but not English-
language learners, Lewin said the board made a key distinction
between the two groups. "Special ed has to do with a disability" that
may directly impact test-taking, "whereas the language learners have
great ability, they just haven't yet mastered all the skills."

Picheny said the vast majority of special education students in the
San Mateo district do pass the high school exit exam. A total of
about 15 special-ed students districtwide would be eligible for the
certificates if the board approves them Thursday, she said.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Flying to Disneyland

Oakland Airport Overhead Announcement:

"All paasangers please be in control of your belongings at all times."

Are they talking about me and my kids?

Friday, April 11, 2008

American Idol- I've never been hooked before. Skip this if you're not

I am watching the DVR of T and Th night idol performances

My random thoughts if you are bored:

Mr Dreads
I love him’
He is SOO beautiful
I don’t think that ultimately he will win. But I adore him and always will

Kristy Lee
Good voice
Okay she is a beauty
But she is such a dork when she opens her mouth and talks
Down with milk toast girl

David Cook
Hair is still a bit funky
White coat-no, no, no
Sometimes he starts so seem a bit cocky. NOOOO don’t go there.
Not his best, but-the guy can sing
He was humbled by the judges-could be a good thing for him

A cutie, but…

I like her and her authenticity
Love the Melissa Ethridge Big Girl Voice she has
But she is not mainstream-and the white mainstream folk won't vote her to the final 3
She always gets ripped

David A
Good singer. A good soul
He came on this show too soon
He needed to grow a couple more years so maturity could carry him more
If you are singing on Idol and planning to go to the prom at the same time-you’re to young
I think this will get him in the end

Okay I am partial to her because I want to be her.
I want to look like her
I want to be able to sing the songs she sings
I want to have and ooze the same authentic, sweet, gentle, graceful nature she has

HUH? I am shocked. RECOUNT!!!
He’s foxy and he rocks

Buzz kill.
I just watched the clip of some of the kids in Africa. Now I feel shallow and ungrateful.
I guess the good is that in the presence of all this wealth-is the attempt to spread it.

I'm still hooked.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Purchases and breaking the news to your spouse

me "Hey, I'm home!"
Pops "What took you so long?"
me "I stopped at a garage sale. I got a surprise in the back of the van."
Pops, big eyed with a moderate look of dread, "What?"
me "A puppy." (which he fears is a possibility because I am an animal lover)
Pops "WHAT?!"
me "Just kidding, go take a look."
Pops "What is this?"
me "It's an arbor."
Pops "A what?"
me "You know the white thing in the back garden that is falling over."
Pops "What did you pay for this?!"
me "One hundred and fifty dollars."
Pops "WHAATT!!"
me "Just kidding, it was only $30.00 and it is brand new."
Pops "Oh, okay."

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Disabled Students Required to Pass High School Exit Exam

This on the front page of the paper. I had hoped this issue would be favorably resolved by those families ahead of ours. I guess not. This will be an issue for my child. How do you tell a child that has worked hard in school and likely suffered some tormenting from peers, that s/he is not going to be able to get a diploma? The argument by Jack O'Connell is that the requirement (the initial bill) is "all about helping students succeed." Well my kid is not going to Harvard and would be happy to work at a simple job. But he may be unable to if that job requires that he pass this exam. So the good news evidently, is that a student can be tortured over time by taking the exit exam as often as needed until they pass. Ah, great, so I guess those learning disabilities go away when you keep doing the same task the same way and expect different results. Oh, wait, isn't that the definition of insanity? Oh but wait, there is an answer to that. They will provide tutoring for each senior in special ed for two years after graduation at a cost to the state of $525.00 per pupil per year. Ah, more good news as the education budget is cut back again. And shouldn't we be educating them well BEFORE senior year so they can pass? And this tutoring will be provided by who? I am sure it will be appropriately licensed professionals in the schools. Who wants their diploma after the fact? For spec ed kids one of the biggest days in their lives will be crossing that stage for the high school diploma.
Read it yourself at: