NOT Acceptable


I was listening to This Week In Blackness Prime yesterday as they discussed/reacted to the despicable shooting in Charleston that happened this week. The phone lines were open and at one point a caller from Georgia spoke about living in the south where “an acceptable amount of racism” is just always in existence.

Now, I get that she meant that people IN the south just accept it. Not that racism itself is ever acceptable in her mind. The problem is, I have heard this line before and it ALWAYS makes my hair stand on end.

NO, there is NEVER an ACCEPTABLE level of racism.

There is also never an acceptable level of homophobia, trans-phobia, islamophobia, antisemitism, misogyny, or any kind of ‘phobia’ or ‘ism’ that centers around the demonizing and “othering” of humans!

When it came up on the podcast, the caller also responded when asked what does she DO when she hears the random ‘n’ word and racist jokes (which is what she considers the culturally embedded level of accepted racism) and she said she would be exhausted if she pushed back on every single one.

Yeah, well, I imagine it is even more exhausting for the person who IS in the category being attacked. For how do they know if the person telling the joke or using the derogatory term is “just” your casual everyday racist or could turn into someone who would kill them?

I immediately flashed back to around the year 2006 or 2007. I was at a party with a bunch of the families who we knew thanks to my son’s participation in youth sports. One of the men who I had known since our kids were in kindergarten and who I really respected and enjoyed being around used the “f” word. No, not fuck – you know me, I will type that one – he used the one to put down gays. I remember it like it was yesterday. In my head I know I groaned, then I checked myself for maybe 2 seconds, and then…I told him I didn’t think he should use that word any more than he would use the ‘n’ word. I swear that time stopped and it was just SO quiet as he looked at me after this very mild chastising and I knew I was risking my friendship with him by doing that….but….to his credit he said “I’m sorry. You are right, I should back away from that term.” and we went right on talking easily (and still do to this day). PHEW, but…the point is…I HAD to say something because it wasn’t acceptable at all.

My story was easy though. I don’t live in the south or in a place where there is an underlining level of “acceptable” phobias and isms. I can stand here and say that I will *always* push back against those words but I am also fairly confident I wont ever be around them that much.

Words matter. They really do. The rise in the last 20 years of combative, loud mouthed radio and TV programs disguised as “news” has eroded our ability to be empathetic allies. It’s more “acceptable” to be a hyper critical bully putting down everyone with whom he disagrees than it is to be kind, measured, pragmatic and empathetic particularly in media and politics.

This country celebrates “anyone can make it here” reputation. We love to talk about how inclusive we are. Freedom! Independence! Democracy! Be who you want to be, worship how you want to worship! Yet we say there is an “acceptable” level of racism in certain areas?

I say that I agree with the people who say it is time to “take our country back!” Only thing is, I want to take it back from THEM – the bullies and white supremacists and people who carry around deep seeded phobias of OTHER PEOPLE! I want to take the country back and actually turn it INTO the place it was meant to be. No fear of differences, all inclusive and equal opportunity for all.

Now THAT would be acceptable.

First Words


The other day my oldest asked me to remind him what his first word was. This comes up from time to time because both boys have kind of fun and unusual versions of this milestone.

Wait – a story about the boys when they were babies that I haven’t told here yet? Oh, let’s fix THAT!

Oldest was a real oddity – he didn’t have a first word, he had a first SENTENCE. And that’s why it probably seared itself into my memory banks so deeply. I don’t remember the exact timing of this as far as how old he was. But I do know for sure that his dad and I were walking up the stairwell in the condo complex we lived in at the time. I was carrying him and he was doing his usual chattering. Let me tell you that this kid YAMMERED. Once he found his voice at a few months old, he never, ever stopped using it! So I was rather accustomed to a babbling brook streaming out of his mouth when he was awake. But, just as we got to the landing outside the door of our unit, while his dad put the key in the door, Nick was quiet for enough time that it made an impact. Then he looked up at the ceiling in the stairwell, pointed up and said “See light?”

We both stopped because it was such a clear question to us! I looked up and then back at him and responded “What did you say buddy? See what?” and he said again, clear as a bell and with the proper questioning inflection “See light?!”

How cool is that?

Youngest is more unusual since he basically showed his sport loving stripes from the start. I know it had to be in the spring/summer of ’98  – he turned 2 in August 98. I had always been a huge Dodger fan growing up and a Mike Piazza fan specifically. (as soon as the Dodgers traded Piazza, I switched to full Padres loyalty and had been warming up to them for quite a bit before then. Piazza extended my Dodger fan time when he came up).

Anyway, I watched every Dodger game on TV that we could see in San Diego. And I had a routine. Piazza would come up to the plate and I would say “Let’s go Mi-KEY” with an emphasis on that last syllable. Alex had shown an interest in the games when they were on and was always around me while I watched. I’d narrate a bit to him, trying to simplify my cheering and my own version of color commentary. WHEN he would get a hit, especially a home run, I would let out a “Way to go Mi-KEY!” and get Alex to clap along with me.

Sure enough, one of those days (I do remember it was a day game so must have been a Sunday afternoon game), after I had let loose with my customary cheer of encouragement when Piazza got to the batters box, I hear a little voice say “Mi-KEY!”

I looked at Alex wide eyed and then went up closer to the TV (old ass console thing from somewhere back in the early 1970s…ok, maybe late 1970s since it WAS color..) and I pointed to the Piazza on the screen and said “Alex, who is this?”


Oh yeah….brainwashing complete :)

So – any other good stories out there of kid’s first words? I’d love to hear them!

As a bonus for reading all the way through, here’s a fresh picture of said sports obsessed child from his rugby game this past weekend:

April 4_NMTech

Your unique voice – share it!


We take a pause from monthly photo albums for a little bit of actual, thoughtful writing.

Over the last year I’ve been filling my newly released time (kid away at college, no more volunteering to support everything he did) with some self improvement. I figured after 30 straight years of parenting, it was time to focus a bit of my adult brain on me :)

So I joined a coaching group and started reading some self help books and listening to inspirational pod casts and just generally having fun going back to doing what I had been doing in high school which is just sort of wander through the spirituality/occult/mystic/self help book section at the local store and just browse and skim interesting topics. Only in 2015 it means Kindle books and pod casts and Hay House radio. Yes, Louise Hay who I consider the Queen Goddess of this genre is still going strong and has a fulls scale media empire housed right here in north San Diego. I re-read her book and love using her site to find affirmations that resonate with me.

Anyhow – the point of all this is to express something I’ve noticed while listening to folks call in to these shows or reading some of their sites:

If you have an idea for a book or some sort of coaching you think will help people – DO IT! Write the book – launch the business. Color readings, medium work, psychic readings, mindset coaching, fitness, food – whatever the topic – EXPRESS YOURSELF!

The biggest resistance I hear is people saying “Yeah, but it’s all been SAID already on this topic! Those books have been written! There are already 1000 coaches doing this work!”


Here’s why: Let’s say there are five experts in a room. They are all specialists on the SAME topic. All have documented results, sold the same number of books, have the same number of glowing reviews for their books and their coaching.

You walk in the room. YOU actually don’t really NEED to receive information on this topic (or so you think) Let’s say they are food issue experts and you have always had perfect weight without any struggles.You get 5 minutes with each one. They are all *essentially* saying the same thing. Despite your general lack of NEED (up front), one of them, for *whatever* reason will say THEIR version of their topic in a way that makes you say “Hey! That’s cool! I never looked at choosing food in that way! I’m going to try that out!”

Someone else walks into the room after you. Hears the same five experts speak for 5 minutes. He/She also ends up hearing something that resonates with them. But, it’s from a DIFFERENT expert.

See, here’s the thing. We are ALL unique snowflakes. Really – I know that is often said sarcastically in reference to supremely coddled children, BUT, it is a true statement. That means that no one perceives the world in exactly the same way as you. So when you are consuming self help or spiritual messages for instance, you will respond in your unique way to different voices.

As such – YOUR voice – being as unique as it IS – will resonate with a certain group of people no matter how many times before the same topic has been addressed. You bring your life experience and individual way of expressing what you’ve learned in a way that will be a break through for someone.

It might NOT be for a mass audience – or sell a million books – BUT if what matters to YOU and your soul is that you DO help people no matter how many, then you absolutely need to go for it!

Hiking at Torrey Pines


A happy coincidence of timing allowed me to leave work early last Friday and join the Spring Break college kid on an afternoon hike through our favorite trails at Torrey Pines. We’ve done this many times over the years when he was growing up and he and I have also both taken his grandma from Sweden out here when she visits. So, since she was here the week he was home visiting, we all revisited the beautiful spot. Alex’s (girl)friend joined us and it was a wonderful way to spend his last day in town.

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Mindful Eating World Summit 2015


Dear friends,

I cannot recommend this enough! Last year, I subscribed out of casual curiosity. Dr Kellee at the time was a new friend and business partner with my very good friend Renee. The title at first wasn’t a big draw since I wasn’t looking to lose weight. I already had that under control with a healthier diet and all the running I was doing right? Well, guess what?!

First of all, I learned that I could still eat in an even more healthy – MINDFUL way that has brought me to a place now, at 50, when I am seriously more vibrant and healthy than at any other time in my life! My doctor looked at my blood test results last month (all perfect!) and said “WHAT are you DOING?!”

(For old time readers, you might recall that five years ago I had high cholesterol and *really* high triglycerides.)

I take no medications at all. I just eat really, really well and run a little bit ;)

That extra leap was inspired by the Mindful Eating Summit last year. BUT….this is NOT just about eating and diet and weight loss. Dr. Kellee rounds up some of the most diverse coaches, doctors, healers. There is something there for everyone. What makes it so useful though is how well she conducts her interviews. They aren’t interviews really – she has conversations with everyone. Her questions start it off, but then it just rolls along like friends having a deep talk over an afternoon tea or coffee.

Many of the experts offer some really awesome free gifts too. Many of these folks will touch something in you. You’ll be inspired, your curiosity piqued, and you will learn about possibilities you didn’t know were out there.

It’s free – which will boggle your mind just 2-3 interviews in, I promise you!

Rugby update from UNM


Even though I cannot see all of Alex’s game anymore, I do get lucky enough to scope out some pictures now and then from generous local New Mexico photographers. Here’s a set from a couple of weeks ago when they played their first game of the winter/spring season. Alex played 70 minutes at scrum half (the 9) and then the last 10 at wing (the 11). They won in a shutout, but he reported that it was one of the rougher games he’s ever played. Since the opposing team named their scrum half as man of the match, I gather it was because he was ALL OVER Alex on every play. The photos are pretty much him either making a tackle or being tackled. He said he’s never been more sore after a game! Thankfully he recovered well and hopped on a bus last week to Las Vegas with a local club team – the Black Dragons – to play in a Rugby 7s tournament being held in conjunction with the national 7s weekend games. There, he played in 5 of 6 games, scored a try in one and generally had a great time as their team came in 2nd place in their grouping.

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I am…*looks at calendar*..oh about 33 days late posting this! Consistent with the Xmas photos :) So yeah, 1/3/15 was the big 5-0. And it was a Saturday. The Friday night before I had a very nice dinner with the family up near my parent’s house. That freed up Saturday for my local friends. I had asked Renee to throw something simple together and she did a GREAT job! Not only did some locals show up, but she had extended an invitation to my remote friends to make a video message for me or send me a card. I’ve never had so many cards mailed to me for my birthday! They pretty much replaced the holiday cards on my mantle and the videos were such a lovely treat. So here’s some photos from the gathering at the Beer Lounge. What you wont see is the real excitement – me, setting my hair on fire as I blew out the candles!! Thankfully the person who was taking the photos had the presence of mind to put her phone down and smother the flame out. FEW! I mean, we are alluding to me having a Fabulous Girl on Fire Year of being Fifty, but I wasn’t supposed to be so LITERAL!!

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