Penciling in Dates

An update on how the system's been treating me.

June 18        The house was finally sold in a six-hour "ceremony." Since exman still owed me money (for food, shelter and clothing for his daughters), I filed a complaint in court. The lawyer (one level down the totem pole from Nasty Lady Lawyer) told me the hearing would be on June 26. Since she made a mistake in the filing, a revision needed to be prepared and sent to court by another lawyer (four levels down from Nasty Lady Lawyer) and we were given a new date—July 24. I needed to prepare a lot of things and make a lot of copies for that hearing, which I did.

July 22         When I arrived at 4:50 for my 4:30 meeting (because there was so much traffic) with the lawyer-to-the-4th to prepare for court in two days, she told me that exman had hired a lawyer and the hearing would be rescheduled. She mentioned August 13th as the day she thought this would happen.

July 23         Lawyer-to-the-4th and his lawyer went to court to postpone the hearing.

At this point I sent an email to Nasty Lady Lawyer telling her that I did not want any one to do anything on my case except get a new date. I noted that I feared that the amount I would get was not much more than the amount it would cost me.

July 27 or August 3         I don’t know on which day the scheduling hearing took place because lawyer-to-the-4th never bothered to contact me (was this part of not doing anything?). At that meeting exman appeared by himself because he had fired his fourth lawyer. The new date for the hearing is DECEMBER 9! Lawyer-to-the-4th, feeling pleased with herself (somehow) had the gall to write to me (after I emailed her asking WELL?) that she told exman “no more continuances.” Yeah, she really has him eating out of her hand.

I have decided that I must be as detached from the legal dealings as I am from the dating game. Just play along until something proves to me that I am being taken seriously. No more tears or sleepless nights. These are the follies of my life. I regret going to court this time, but I have started it and will see where it leads. By the way, I do not get child support nor do I think that it will ever come to pass because it will involve more hassles and fighting that I don't want to undertake because I want and need to be done with him, hence the desire to get some of what he owes me for the last two years. 

I just received a bill from the electric company. Shocker. He didn't pay what he owes them and since his electricity is apparently included in his rent in his new place, they want me to pay it. I just kept repeating to the supervisor on the phone (in a not very calm tone that I apologized for at the beginning--stating that this is coming at the end of a bitter divorce) that "I don't owe them anything." She got off the phone, but I don't think that will be the end of that.

The System Speaks

HA HA HA HA HA! You thought you could beat the System. You thought the System was fair. Woman, how is it possible that you never lost your naïveté? How could you think that your voice would be heard? No one cares! The judges don’t care. The lawyers don’t care. Your lawyers don’t care. Only you care. But who are you? You are nothing. So you thought just because you got a piece of paper that said COURT JULY 24 that that would happen. How stupid could you be? Have you not been through FOUR years of this to know that you will never have your day in court!? Have you learned nothing?


How could you not expect the System to work for your ex-husband? He is the epitome of the System, of the kind of people who created the System and who thrive in it. Of course your ex-husband will do something that will get the System to bend toward him because the System is stacked for him and against you. You who think that the System is here to hear you and pity you and understand poor poor you. HA HA HA HA HA!

Of course he will hire a lawyer four days before the court date who can’t appear on Friday and who needs time to prepare for court. Of course it is summer and the judges (those Guardians of the System) prefer to play golf on Fridays rather than listen to your whimperings.

Go back. Go back to your little life and stop pestering the System. Relinquish your attempt at moral superiority and go back. Relinquish your illusions and go back. Retreat from thinking there is equity and fairness. Retreat to your place. You will get no money. You will not be heard. There is nothing to hear. Not even your cries.

You will not be heard.

The Symbolism of the Laundry

I just did a load of laundry. One bath towel. One blouse. Three tee shirts. One tee shirt-pajama top. Three pairs of undies. One bra. One pair of jeans. One cloth napkin. Two kitchen towels. A white wash is in the machine. I think there are four white shirts in that load.

The laundry is hanging to dry on a portable air dryer on the terrace.

Before May 16th, the last time I did a laundry for one, was in the apartment where I lived in Ramat Gan (a suburb-city outside of Tel Aviv) before I got married. Since then I have done thousands of loads for two, then for three, then for four.

Then for three, when I no longer did his laundry. He started doing his own laundry when I stopped folding his undies. The idea of touching them disgusted me and so I left them in a pile on the bed. I guess he got the message.

Then for two, when I no longer did younger daughter’s laundry. She took the modern version of home ec last year and once she had to do laundry as part of her class, she decided that she was going to keep doing it for herself. And she has stuck with that.

Then for one, when older daughter moved to California. She did her first load out there, all by herself. Apparently it’s not so hard and she has managed. Though I do think that younger daughter showed her how to do it before she left.

I’m glad I had all those endless piles of clothes to wash. I’m glad I got to care for loved ones in so basic a way. I loved folding clothes; such a simple way to nourish and nurture. And I loved doing the wash, such an obvious accomplishment. And now I’m glad that I only need to do my little loads that go into the small-capacity machine in this apartment.

It’s very insightful, doing just my own laundry. I see how much I bought things for them and not for myself. I see how my clothes are brighter than I thought they were. I see the continuity of life. Their lives. And mine. 


My book, Get Your Words Off Me, starts with me wondering:

I can’t remember the first time my husband insulted me or what he said because I didn’t even notice that I had been insulted. It wasn’t much of a stretch from the negative comments and forceful suggestions that he was continually giving me about what to do, and what to say, and what to think, and what to feel, and even how to respond to him and his comments. The realization that his caring critiques were really humiliating affronts took far too many years of my taking it, and accepting it as a part of our marriage. The shame is that I didn’t stand up to him the first time the word “fat” or “ugly” or “nothing” or maybe it was “stupid” came out of his mouth and scream back at him, “DON’T YOU EVER TALK TO ME LIKE THAT AGAIN!” Who knows, maybe that would have been enough to break a pattern before it started? But I didn’t. And so my life became one filled with far too many insults, and distrust and fear of the man I had once loved and respected, and much too much silence from me.

Now I know the answer to that question. No, that would not have stopped the downward turn of this marriage. Nothing would have stopped that. The answer in its starkest form came to me on Thursday afternoon.

On Thursday there was the first encounter after the move from the house three weeks ago. I was to drop off our dog for his week to pick up Poops’ poop. I called when I arrived at the gate of his apartment complex (I was so not surprised that he moved to a gated community). When he approached me I said that he needs a leash since I had to buy a leash since he took the leash. He commented that my daughter had brought it to my house; no she hadn’t, I said and then reiterated that I had to buy this one.

Then he asked if I brought his food bowls. No, I said, I had not. “They are not yours, you can’t take them,” was the comment.

“I had to buy a leash, you can buy bowls.”

“Bitch. I’m out of here. Fuck you.”

Yes, I am sure that if I would have yelled back at him that he was “fat” and “ugly” he would have just expanded the range, as he did. And I’m sure, too, that if I had tried to explain to him how much it hurt me to be called fat and ugly (does that really need explaining?), he would not have heard a word that went from my mouth to his ears because he was not making statements, he was expressing something ugly about himself. I was too kind when I wrote this a few years ago, but I was still married to him then and thinking that he isn’t as slimy and nasty as he is.

The other day in my writing group that is part of my Writing Project class a woman said that her husband, who had verbally abused her, finally got down on his knees and prayed and found it in himself to stop hurting her. When I read this excerpt from my book, she commented that she had yelled back at him that first time because she had the self-confidence. Then she said something that really cut to the quick, she said that her husband had really loved her. Yes, her husband had it in him to love someone besides himself. My ex, he was and is incapable of caring for anyone more than himself or even as much as himself. Maybe the way I handled things was the right way with this beast, preventing worse things from happening. But I am certain now that confrontation that first time would not have helped.

Since that day we had been through my talking back, my yelling back, counseling, mediation,  lawyer meetings, legal wranglings, police visits, and the sale of the house and nothing in his attitude or utterances has changed. If none of that had made an impact on him, and if four years of pain in the household did not have an impact on him, turning to him and saying, “You’re hurting me when you say that,” would not have prevented him from becoming who he is.

The Pit of My Stomach

This morning on my drive to my first Teaching of Writing class I was thinking about my next blog post. I knew that I wanted to write about how different I feel now that I have been living in my own apartment since June 12, but I wasn’t really sure in what way I felt different. Sure, I have been smiling more and I don’t get anxious when I drive home, but I wasn’t sure how to pinpoint and explain the difference. People tell me I sound happier, but I can’t really assess that. It’s like when your kids are growing, you don’t notice it until someone comes for a visit and remarks on how much they have grown or developed or matured. So it felt like that. Until 9:10 this morning. Then I knew.

At 9:10, when I was in class, I saw that exman was calling. Then two minutes later, another call. Then again at 9:19. Then a voice mail message. For the next hour until I could hear the message, my stomach was a pit of acid, a tightness clenching and churning within. And I could feel my face sag and my shoulders droop. That’s what I had been missing. No, not missing because that would imply that I longed for something, no, that is what I had been living without. That is what my life had been cleared of. The minefield that had been my life was cleared. I didn’t have to walk clenched, worried about the next explosion or in fear that no matter what I did, he was going to explode.

Then, when I listened to his message a classmate turned to me and asked, “Are you alright?” because I could not suppress the anguished groan that escaped when I heard his voice and heard what he had to say. There was no curse, there was no insult, it was just his being mean, dictating a custody issue, but it was, as always, him playing to some imaginary courtroom with judge in full regalia. And he stated his name in full for better affect, I guess, for the judge; if he hadn't said it in such a venomous tone, it might have been funny.

A minefield. Yes, surely that’s what I had been living in. But that fist in my stomach, that’s what I have not had, that’s what’s different, that’s the tangible change that I am aware of.

I’m glad it came today, because now I am aware of how I have physically changed, and how I had been physically altered. It was so startling, so obvious: the call, then the tightness. Now I know what to fight, what to not let happen to me again, or at least not let stay with me until I forget how it feels to be normal, to be without a fist within while walking in the middle of a minefield.

How do I feel? I feel calm. Peaceful.

Advice from a Friend Who’s Been There

Sometimes the advice friends give are better taken as expressions of concern from a friend who cares but certainly not advice to be acted upon. But yesterday I spoke with a friend who gave me the advice that I needed to hear and the advice that I think is the right advice to act upon. And for that I sincerely thank her, even if she was cleaning her refrigerator while we were talking. I’m taking the liberty of passing on the advice that cost her many hours and dollars in therapy and challenging moments with her own daughter and psycho-ex (her phrase).

You need to have mantras. These are some of the mantras she shared with me for dealing with exman/slime on custodial issues. We are only one week into younger daughter going back and forth and already he is being himself, causing problems, lying and bullying everyone around.

Take the high road. Get yourself out of the conflict between you and your ex because that is over, and put your daughter in the center. It is no longer about your failed marriage and bitter divorce; it is about taking care of your daughter as best as you can, regardless of what he does. It is about enabling her to grow up as independently as possible from the conflict that her parents have wrought.

Take the pressure off her. Don’t make her choose between parents, and don’t make her any more anxious than needs to be. Just step back.

"I will support whatever decision you make." This mantra is to be repeated to daughter instead of transmitting to her any of my fears of loss (of her love and attention) or anger (at exman/slime).

"I will do whatever you choose." A variation on the previous mantra, because it’s not good to keep repeating myself. Again, stepping back and letting her find comfort as best as she can without the added agony of worrying about how her actions will impact me.

Though these will surely be hard to act upon and say, they make sense and seem worthwhile to recite to myself and daughter. When she said them, I knew she was right. Right in the way the friend who told me to just put daughter on a bus to visit her grandparents in New York regardless of ex’s games was wrong. Sometimes there is a difference between what would feel good for me and what would be good for her, and that is what I need to remember. It is about how I continue being the best mother possible for her. That is the only relationship that counts now.

Some Men I Have Been Annoying Lately

I’m not sure what’s going on, but it must be that either I grate a lot of men the very wrong way or the men with whom I have come into contact lately are in very bad moods. Is it me or is it them? Is it some prickliness that seems to have become a part of me? Or is it my mouth—and fingers—and how they say what I think are fine things but other people, boy, they hear other things.

Man at graduation ceremony: During the graduation ceremony for my school I was working the security detail, which means that I was to stand at a portal of the sports center to ensure that people were sitting in their seats and the space for the handicapped was used appropriately. There was a “professional” security person at that portal as well, along with two other teachers. We got there an hour before the ceremony began, which is when the doors opened.

A woman with her mother in a wheelchair arrived at least a half hour early. The mother is afraid of heights so she didn’t want to sit right at the railing, instead the two of them sat back a bit.

For some reason, the security guard agreed to let five very heavy women sit in seats in the handicapped area, but enough space was left so that the mother and her daughter could see from their spot away from the edge.

A half hour after the ceremony began a man arrived with his mother in a wheelchair, his wife and kids. I approached him and (I think) politely told him that he can’t put the chair in that spot since it would block the view of the woman sitting in her wheelchair. His comment to me was basically, “You’re going to tell me what to do?” “Yes,” I said, “I am.” At which, I swear, I could hear his chauvinistic wheels turning. He said that the woman needs to move there and if not there is no reason why he can’t put his mother there. “Because you can’t,” I said. I saw no reason to explain to this man this woman’s fear of heights and just said that she came early and she was unable to move up. Again the chauvinistic wheels churned, he said “Call security,” and he shoved his wheelchair forward, put his mother into place and went to sit in the stands. (There was still space for them to see, they needed to do an angle thing to their bodies.)


Settlement attorney:  Not only was he extremely unfriendly [perhaps because he didn’t like that he felt obliged to let my lawyer (a woman) and me sit in his golf-obsessed office] but he, too, had the boy tantrum thing going on. When we got to the signing part of the day, when exman threatened to leave because I wouldn’t sign something, that was okay. But when I went out of the room for a moment to talk to my lawyer I could hear him raise his voice and say something about “she.” I didn’t hear what he said, but I am sure it was about how “she’s playing games.” Really? I’m just trying not to get screwed anymore and that’s interpreted as playing games. So be it.

Man with no humor: For no real reason, I answered a Craig’s List ad (I know, I know, DON’T GO THERE) and after I made, what I thought was a joke based on a funny spelling mistake that he made, I was told, that he didn’t like being laughed at. I even prefaced the comment with a caveat that I am an English teacher. The puns were funny; what would you do if someone talked about a navel base? Sure, better without him, but what is happening?

Or is nothing happening and I just keep meeting men who quite obviously don’t mesh with me and not to sweat it. But still, you know, it hurts. It hurts to be misconstrued. It hurts to be told that you’re mean when you don’t think you are. It makes me wonder how we can communicate when there are so many ways in which thoughts don’t get understood the way they were meant to be. I did mean to be funny, certainly not hurtful. Was he too sensitive? Am I too insensitive?

Man who really should be spanked: Then there’s the man on Plenty of Fish (no, there aren’t, and yes, I turned my profile off) who about a week ago wrote to me something about being spanked. I did not reply. Today he popped up again, and when I said something about how capitalization and apostrophes are important to me he replied that he has a Ph.D., that I am too anal retentive (is there a proper amount or does my asking this mark me as definitely being anal?) and that I am obviously ignorant, stupid and judgmental. And this from a man who wants to be spanked and compares himself to Einstein because he, too, couldn’t spell. He obviously thought everything he said was okay, but not everything I said. Before I could he reply he had me blacklisted from his account. HELLO, shades of control all over the place.

Is there something I’m missing? Were my years trying to survive exman more damaging than I thought? Is my desire to be blunt and open so that I won’t go into another relationship that will end up leaving me voiceless leaving me open to being insulted and misunderstood? Are men really as controlling as they seem to be? Seriously, what’s with the insults? And why, why do they see everything they utter as charming and me, well, I’ve been blacklisted, deleted and side-swiped. 

It’s been about two years since I started dating. In that time, I only dated one man more than three times and he turned out to be the incredibly unreliable pseudo-man. I’ve been told I’m too picky. I’ve been told that being friends is not enough. I haven’t been moved by anyone. It took a while, but now I’m really wondering about my man antennae, after all I picked exman/slime and pseudo both of whom turned out to be controlling, mind-game players and dangerously selfish. I’ve been told I’m fat (sorry, not “height-weight proportionate”). I have not responded to men who were not attractive to me or with whom I did not feel that there was enough to go on for a relationship to develop. Time, yes, time may be what will bring about a meeting of man and woman. And going with the flow and not trying to force things may also work. I’ve been told to join groups, and maybe I will (other than women’s groups that is, and the political group turned out to include women and retired people). But that still doesn’t answer my question as to why I feel that I have been encountering so much negativity and nastiness.

I genuinely don’t get it. Are men too serious or am I too irreverent? Oh, who cares. (Yes Microsoft Word, I am overriding your desire to have me put a question mark there.) They’re not even funny stories anymore; they’re not entertaining and they’re certainly not making me feel good about my prospects for finding a decent, loving, intelligent, caring man who doesn’t go running to the hills at my humor or try to mini-sermonize me.
Alone is good. I know that. And I revel in the freedom I feel and the joy of a simple flow of life. I should stop reaching for a while. I should stop worrying about what others think, that is until I find others who like how I think, then I will attend to them.

My heart. I guess I need to put it back into my chest, but it keeps wanting to find a playmate. 

SOLD; Bitter to the End

The house was finally SOLD on Thursday, but as usual, not without a long drawn-out process and a “this never happened to me in all the years I have been a lawyer” scenario. I am grateful that this has come to pass, but annoyed that, as usual, I didn’t get the money and the respect (yes, that’s the word) that I deserve. No, I don’t think I’m being spoiled, this divorce struggle has not been about money but about regaining self-respect and getting respect.

Rather than a brief little signing around a very big table, I got to spend more than four hours getting frustrated and annoyed. I even had nasty lady lawyer on the phone and an associate of hers on the spot (with a record for putting deadbeats in jail), but neither of them got me any more money out of exman-slime than he had been prepared to pay the previous day and now I will have some hefty legal fees to pay. (This lawyer’s assessment of exman-slime: a chauvinistic hothead.) I was trying to recoup some of the money he owes me for not paying the mortgage for six months (because this lowered the amount of money paid by the mortgage company), not paying his share of the electricity for more than a year, and in general not paying his share of home and daughters’ expenses since the divorce in 2007. He was willing to pay a portion of what he owes on the past-due portion of the mortgage, but not nearly all that he owes. So this was my chance to finally get what is due to me (monetarily).

Before going there I had been asking my lawyer about putting money in escrow and she had assured me that it would be no problem. Well it was. The settlement company refused to place money in escrow if it was not agreed upon by both parties. WHOOHOO. This was the Las Vegas winning scenario that never happened in 40 years. I had nothing to hold over him; I had no leverage to get him to increase what he was willing to pay. It was his "Get Out of Jail" card. And to make it even more annoying, the settlement attorney was nasty to me because I had the gall to be annoyed at this. Oh, and all of a sudden the realtor (who saw me right after the almost-fight in the house the other day when I ran out with a box of photo albums with him right behind me with his little recorder friend) was on his side. The realtor, who he told he would sue (this seems to be what he tells everyone, even my attorney’s receptionist when she didn’t put his call through but took a message) and who refused to show him rental properties, was there for him. I guess she felt bad that I had a lawyer there and poor little him was all on his lonely. Nothing but frustrations.

As a side matter and pick me up, I did get a letter from an assistant principal at school yesterday that was put into my file that stated how much of a team player I have been in the past few weeks and how helpful I have been to my colleagues.

So now I’ve filed in court for next Friday to try again to get some of this money. I know I should let it go. But I feel I need this one last attempt or this one last stand and then, then I will be ready.

He did tell his best buddy, the realtor, that he is thinking about leaving the area, which would be marvelous, except he said that he might go to California where oldest daughter is recuperating from life at home.

Now, now I am going to my bathroom to color my hair. Suddenly the gray looks gray and not chic. Yes, I am ready to move on, but I need this one last attempt to know that I have fought as sanely as possible, that I wasn’t a frier (Hebrew for someone who is taken advantage of and one of the worst things you could say about someone in Israel).

And after that, when younger daughter and her two friends who slept over last night get up, I will make blueberry pancakes for them and they will still have more to talk and laugh about. Then we will get field hockey equipment for her, and I will drive her to another friend’s house, and I will shop for curtains and a drainboard and whatever else I need to make this apartment more comfortable. But how, how could it be more comfortable because right now, right now I couldn’t be more comfortable.

Comfort to you, always.


Dissolution of a Marriage

I’m trying to come up with some lessons learned to share, other than not to marry a psychopath, but I’m not coming up with anything. There’s just too much of so much to distill into a list of do’s and don’ts.

In 1985 I couldn’t have foreseen that I was marrying a psychopath. In 1985 I couldn’t have foreseen that the man who was full of promise would accuse me of stealing plastic containers and insult a receptionist at my lawyer’s law firm, and become a virtual joke through his capacity to be evil and petty. In 1985 maybe I did see a glint of “my tribe before all others” but then I thought that it meant that he would protect me and not that he would try to take from me whatever he could. How can you convey the pain of the wrong decision, or the pain of “people change,” or the pain of “no longer have common goals and interests”?

I did not go through this “for a reason” nor did it make me a “better person.” I went through this because it happened, because it is my life, as others live their lives. There is no higher purpose to pain, as there is none to pleasure, it is what it is. And no, I have not become cold and hard, this is the way I have been, taking life into myself and trying to live it without bestowing it with otherworldly qualities.

Rather than being elated in the last few days, I have been tired and bothered by an intermittent headache. Last night I went to bed at 7:30 (mainly because I had two beers because I didn’t want to think, and the beer made me tired), but when I woke up at 10:30 I didn’t get out of bed (except to go to the bathroom numerous times). I just lay there listening to the cars on the highway not far away and music on the radio. I was not really thinking, I was just there, but I wouldn’t call this my time to meditate. Or maybe I could. Maybe I’m going through an invisible wall that divides between the tunnel of “where I have been” to the path (surely not another tunnel) to “where I am going.” Or maybe I am simply tired of life as it’s been lived and now that it is over my body can finally take a break from holding me up.

This stillness bothers me, but I don’t want to fight it. I should probably start going out and doing things, but I find the inertia calming. What is it that I want now that I have gotten the chance to get it?

  • I want to do new things.
  • I want to be comfortable with who I am.
  • I want to be calmer.
  • I want to be less guarded.
  • I want to touch other people’s lives in a positive way.
  • I want to find the balance of motherhood to a teen who is just starting high school and a teen who is on her own.
  • I want to be loved.
  • I want to love.
  • I want to create happiness.
  • I want to share.
  • I’d also like world peace, afterall my graduate studies were in how to prevent and stop conflicts, so why not.

Beware of the Bread Knife Thief!

For some reason I wish I could pity ex-man, but he insists on making sure I don’t land in pity territory, but stay firmly rooted in disgustland.

This morning, I got to the house to take some of my things. Surprisingly and oh, so happily, he was not there, so I took Poops for a walk, took most of what was left in my room, took my food items from the refrigerator and pantry, and assorted kitchen items that were not in hazy “Whose is this?” territory, but were firmly mine, and left. I have no desire to quibble over little glass dishes or Chinese soup bowls, so I’ve taken what I know is mine (from the PSA) and things that are so “mine” since I used them all the time—and he didn’t pick them out (and maybe, even, I received them from my parents)—that I felt that they belonged to me. I made my get-away before he returned and made it back to my apartment before younger daughter and her friend woke up. (Yes, we have had our first sleep-over.)

At around six I took younger daughter to the house to pick up some things before taking her to yet another party. I figured that that would be a good time to pick up some more things. The verbal attack that greeted me was unexpected, unexpected because I had just spent my first night at my new house knowing that I will never sleep under the same roof with exman again, knowing that I will never have to put up with his tantrums and abuse again, knowing that I will never have to face him again. But I was wrong.

The floodgates of his mouth and venom opened as I opened the door. Apparently I have stolen the toaster that we have had for nine years, one of the “parents at the soccer game” type of chairs, and the BREAD KNIFE!

To which I replied: the toaster is mine, it’s in the PSA, but I will check and if it is yours I will bring it back. The chair, I said, we had agreed that I would take two, but I will return one of them. And the bread knife back off from my bread knife because you’re not getting it. Not only was this certainly from my parents, but it is also the knife whose handle broke and whose tip flew off when I slammed it down—point first—on the (I mean, your) cutting board when older daughter told me that you told her that I had put shit on your car and she thought that that must be true. Nope, you’re not getting the knife.

“Thief! I’m making a list of the things you stole.”

“Take me to court.”

And as I trudged upstairs to take apart the shelving unit that I had put together in my closet when I moved out of the master bedroom into the guest bedroom four years ago he screamingly proclaimed that his new hobby would be to make my life miserable (for five years, I guess until younger daughter goes to college in four years).

“You can’t,” I said to myself. "There is just no way that you will invade my life any more. The kudzu is cut."

Tomorrow I need to go back to the house to divide the photograph albums and boxes of assorted daughter-artwork that I have saved. I will wait until younger daughter gets home from her sleep-over because I have no desire to be in the house alone with him, nor do I think it wise.

The knife stays here. Thief my ass. If tears were money, I would have gotten to keep the house and everything in it and he would have had to build a pool for me to house the tears. Bum.

Coming soon: The Annoying Downstairs Neighbor. Let's just say "busybody" is fitting.

Two Days’ Worth of Enough Beads

•  Yes, evil teacher here because I accused a student of plagiarizing an essay. About three-quarters of his essay was word for word from an online essay. His mother, unfortunately, accused me of underestimating the intelligence of her child. She, unfortunately, believed her son when he told her, “NO, of course I did not plagiarize. The horrible, terrible teacher who has been yelling at me all year because I never stop talking in class or calling out or laughing in a stupid guffaw way or saying stupid things doesn’t like me.” Ugh. Two days of accusations against me, with stern notes to the assistant principal until under extreme pressure (torture?) the student admitted to the assistant principal that he did get “some” help from “someone.” I guess after an at-home council he admitted to more to Momsy because suddenly the mother apologized to me. Thanks, but it would have been nicer if you didn’t think I’m the evil teacher from Mathilda (Agatha Trunchbull,) and confronted your son and not me. 

•  Yesterday, after a colleague declined to help another colleague, after another colleague suddenly realized that he couldn’t help, I was asked to help. Of course I said yes. So, poof, there went my planning period. Well, it didn’t totally disappear, I just had to spend it supervising five students taking a final exam in the room of the teacher who had declined to help.

• Today, I was told by the head of the department that I need to sit in on a meeting for her for five to ten minutes, which is generally how long a regular teacher needs to sit in on these meetings. But today, of course, it was special, so instead of a diversion from my planning period, I got to sit in a meeting for 45 minutes about a girl I never met and will most likely will never meet when I finally said that I have to teach a class in five minutes (and I have to pee and eat something). They were oh, so gracious, in letting me leave—even though I had asked the person running the meeting before it started if I could leave after a first few minutes.

    o Just as I left the meeting, my department chair appeared. There was a sorry sorry sorry, and when she tried to catch up to me after talking to someone she ran on the knee that she had operated on two months ago, and then there was a “what do you want from Starbucks?” I am so hoping my thank you and sorry chai tea latte appears tomorrow morning.

• This might sound callous, it’s not, it’s just an expression of frustration or exhaustion or enough! Or maybe it’s just being selfish, which I think we all need once in a while. A close relative of my team teacher’s was killed in a car accident this past weekend, which means that he was physically absent and even more absent-even-when-present than usual. I do care, honestly, but I’m just tired of having to do more and tired of the help I’m supposed to have not helping me. And I need to work on this inter-personal relationship because next year we are slated to teach three classes again together. And maybe, too, the ache of his loss has also seeped into me.

Continue reading "Two Days’ Worth of Enough Beads" »

It Could Have Been Worse (One & Two)

1.  There was lightning and thunder this morning. It was a kind of rolling thunder that sounded like a god waking up from a heavy sleep rather than a force of nature attacking. After hitting the snooze button on my cell phone five times, I finally stopped resisting the inevitable and woke up. After three lovely, wonderful, peaceful nights at the apartment, it was hard to adjust (even if only temporarily) to the former marital residence. I dragged myself down the steps to the basement, turned on the water and got into the shower.

Just a few moments after full body coverage by water, the lights went out. Needless to say, a bathroom in a basement is windowless. So there I stood, in the comforting flow of warm hot water not ready yet to concede that it was uncomfortable in the pitch black of the bathroom. That is until I realized that if the electricity is out, then how am I going to get to work since the garage door is electric? And then I remembered that I had parked the car in front of the garage because I have boxes and furniture that need to be donated blocking my part of the garage. Which meant that my car was not in the garage, which meant that I was able to thoroughly enjoy my brief warm hot shower because, well, it could have been worse.

2.  Yesterday I had the briefest of conversations with slime. Since I have not noticed that he has packed a single thing, I told him that the organization to which I am donating things is coming on Tuesday, and, oh by the way, are you going to be packing. He said, yes he would be packing and moving onTuesday (which I knew) and good that the organization is coming then. Okay, I thought after that exchange, I could manage what my lawyer asked of me, and that is to see if he plans on paying the mortgage company what he owes it. I should have known, but I was lulled once again into thinking that he is on the normal scale as opposed to the psycho scale.

And he was off. First trying to tell me that he owes half of what he owes. Then he was trying to explain to me how the mortgage company applies payments (which I am well aware of without your lecture stupid little man). But when I repeated that he owes more and that I don’t want to be screwed out of the amount that is due to me because he is behind, I got the tantrum. After the whole “I’ll sue you” and “my lawyer is a bulldog” BS that came out of his mouth, he was off on a tangent. It’s always interesting (well, it could be interesting in a psychological way if I were a therapist or a researcher, but I’m not) to see where he takes off.

This time he took off to the world in which he is a wonderful guy. Yes, he apparently let me take things from the house. But once he said that, he was convinced of how great he is and then he got mad at how truly terrible I am. Yes—you stole a painting. I admit it, I almost took a photograph that is his (the division of assorted stuff is: if he picked it out, it’s his, which means he gets a lot of stuff), but he saw it in my hands and commented that it’s his and I put it back immediately. But that does not matter, what matters is that he saved the painting from me. And then he was onto how I stole wine glasses, apparently there had been eight. Some broke I said to his hearingless ears. The world in which glasses break because the glass is too thin is not the world he inhabits, no, he inhabits the world where ex-wives steal hree wine glasses (and ex-husbands notice that).

Oh my. But, it really could have been worse if the UNDER CONTRACT sign were not in front of the house and I had not basically moved into a lovely apartment which will be my full-time place in NINE days. 

Here’s to the optimist’s credo (“It could have been worse”): May it provide you with comfort and hope. 

The Symbolism of a Frozen Pizza

On my way back to the house, I stopped at a supermarket to get a frozen pizza for dinner and some other things for the next few days. In the same shopping center I stopped at Starbuck’s to get a Java chip frappuchino for my at-home daughter. Doesn’t sound like anything special, but to me it was smile-inducing because these stores are in my new shopping center, as in the shopping center near my new apartment—a home. I practically skipped out of the store, and I surely smiled at far too many people inside.

Oh, the joy to walk down aisles that are new to me. To be in a place that is mine, that represents where I am going and not where I have been. So many things encompass a life, there are so many things that can bring happiness and sadness, surely supermarket shopping is not one of them. But what could be better than to feel freedom, wherever it may occur, because that’s what I felt being there, in a new place that I have envisioned for years. Well, not quite the supermarket, but in a new neighborhood of my own—of being on my own.

Now I am back in the house and his loud steps are right above my head, muffling my thoughts. And I can hear that he has turned the water on. And again his loud steps, even with the carpeting. But this invasion into my thoughts will be over soon, so very soon. Tomorrow the movers are coming to move my things and younger daughter’s things to our new home and then on weekends until the closing I will be there with younger daughter, and then, on the same day that the school year ends, so should my association with this house and the day-to-day “living” in the same place as this man.

In the midst of my joy, though, I spoke with my mother who told me that a second-cousin is getting divorced. She has a restraining order against her husband. He has worked on and off, mostly off, for years. And he apparently has a drinking-various-things problem. So while I am about to step out of the tunnel, unfortunately I see someone else in the midst of her tunnel, with it getting farther and farther away from a light source. How, why, how, why does this happen to so many of us? Why are so many of us unhappy in our marriages? How is it that no matter how smart and self-aware we are, we find ourselves trapped in what had been love? Who is to blame? What is to blame?

I might be stepping out of my tunnel, but my tunnel-vision will remain with me to some extent because I never want to find myself in a tunnel again. As long as I remember what it has been like, I’m hoping I’ll be able to better direct my path.  And as long as someone else finds herself in her own dim tunnel, I hope I can offer some degree of solace, even if it is just out into the ether.

Talking to a Daughter, or Two

Older daughter has been in California since May 16th, which would make it ten days. The weirdest thing for me about her not being here is having to speak to her on the phone. Since when do we speak to our children on the phone, except for the “Can you pick me up now?” type of conversation? It feels so distant; it really makes her physical absence so stark.

Not only do we talk on the phone, but we actually have conversations. Yes, we have had conversations since she moved to the opposite side of the country. And the other day, for the first time that I can remember because it was the first time ever, she asked me “How was your day?” and “What did you do today?” Could it be that I am becoming a person to her? Could it be that we are really on our way to that mature mother-daughter relationship? Granted, she may be bored, but still, she didn’t have to ask. Oh, happy, happy day to see that apparently we have managed to withstand the onslaught of exman, who has done his utmost to figuratively push me off a parenting cliff.

I was so excited by this development that I told younger daughter what her sister had said. And just to prove to me that she can be just as charming as her sister, when I came home the other day she asked me, “How was your day?” and “What did you do today?” Wit, what’s a conversation without wit? I guess I have succeeded, am succeeding.

What made you realize that your child has, indeed, absorbed some of your lessons or has moved to the next level of relationship with you?

Love Letters and Children’s Stories

This morning, in the throes of throwing out and packing up, I found a packet of love letters to and from exman. I had them in the car from when I found them at my parent’s house. At that time, just a few months ago, I figured that at some point I would want to read them, or that they were an important archaeological part of my past that had to be preserved. But today when I saw them I opened one card that I had sent to him and just seeing that I wrote the word “kisses” to him turned my stomach. Without further ado, I dumped the whole packet in the dumpster. There is nothing to see there, there is nothing to recount or relive. Garbage, it’s all garbage. Harsh? Perhaps. But why excavate to the good when the bad has poisoned it all. Why think back when I need to look ahead.

In that same bag, though, I did find two children’s stories that I wrote in 1992, when my eighteen-year old was one. Of course, they were rejected by publishers, but, of course, I think they were wrong. At the time of writing, I thought that it was a fun, educational book teaching the very young about sounds and the fun of words. Enjoy one part of my past that I am pleased with.

Down Went the Spoon, by Laura G.

Down went the spoon
with a great, big boom!
the pancake batter.

Down went the cup
(certainly not up)
and out spilled the water
to make a new brook.

Down went my cookie
all ready to munch
well, it broke into pieces
and now is a bunch.

Down went the soap
right into the sink
where it started to slide
so my eyes I did shut
to suppose a round rink.

Continue reading "Love Letters and Children’s Stories" »

The Threads of a Life

So many threads to a life. So many threads interweaving with other threads. Some threads continue interweaving, some go in new directions, and sometimes we need to tie a knot in them to see where we are at the moment. That’s where I am right now, at the knot-tying stage, looking at some of the threads in my life.

The husband of my colleague, who was diagnosed with esophageal cancer about six weeks ago, died a little more than a week ago. Still in shock, her refrain, her complaint (if it can be called that) is that “it happened so fast.” Even so, a few days before he died they managed to arrange for their engaged daughter to get married in their backyard for a true blending of the bitter and the sweet into their lives. (May his memory be blessed.)

My wonderful student from last year who was supposed to have brain surgery in July was notified that, no, they cannot wait, and so she has already been operated on. I cannot tell you how hard it is to see a 15-year-old child need a wheelchair to get back to her room from just a few feet away. Sure, I saw her two days after her surgery, but there are some images that you don’t want to reconcile with the picture you have in your head of how a teenager is “supposed” to be, and how this lively, enthusiastic, intelligent, perfectionist always was—is.

I was invited to take part in the teaching of writing class that I interviewed for in March. Last night was the welcome dinner. It is fascinating to hear the ideas that other teachers have to excite, instruct and inspire their students to write. Why the creativity of teachers is not a thing more discussed is a wonder to me. We each need to make a 75-minute presentation; I heard the ideas of about half the teachers who will be taking the class (25 all together) and they were all so interesting and inspiring, for me both as a teacher and a parent. You have to wonder how it is that kids are missing out on the sparks that are coming their ways. What is it that they need? Or is the best that any teacher can expect in a year is to reach a few kids, and with that, to feel “mission accomplished” and not stress too much over those who did not have a spark-detector for her?

The assistant principal “raved” about how well I handled psycho mom in the parent-teacher conference the other day. Apparently the “can get defensive” label that I had been given has been replaced with “handles tough parents well.” I certainly like the sound of that more.

Older daughter is moving to California on Saturday, days before her 18th birthday. “Mixed emotions” could cover it, but what’s the mix if it changes all the time? I am certainly proud of her that she is going where she wants and is facing her future as opposed to acting like someone already worrying about retirement before she is even old enough to drink. There is a heavy feeling of hoping: hoping that I have been as good a mother to her as possible and that she is prepared and comfortable to become herself. She did get a letter from a professor the other day who called her brilliant, so on that side of things she seems to be doing well. She is, as I was, as unprepared for the minutiae of life, you know, cooking, cleaning and organizing, but I hope it will come when it needs to.

I will be moving on June 1st. The settlement on the house is to be mid-June. There are countable numbers of days until the end of this ordeal. There really is a tunnel with two ends, for so long I thought it was a dead-end tunnel. I am imagining myself getting up in the morning from a bed and walking a few steps away to see my younger daughter sleeping comfortably in her room, and then walking over to the little terrace, which will become my outside thinking spot, for a few moments of clarity before heading into the shower. Yes, I can finally imagine a lightness to living, and not just dreading hearing heavy footsteps and a tape recorder and another demand for money or twisted interpretation of reality. Freedom. It’s coming.

I told the mediator that I will not pay the bill he sent me because he let ex-man insult me and he tried to pressure me to agree with him. He wrote back that he will cancel my bill, and he won’t have us back again to mediation. No kidding. It was for a really small amount, but I stood up and kept standing.

Today I will be meeting nasty lady lawyer to ensure that I get the full amount due to me from the sale of the house, and that I will not have to pay for his non-payment of the mortgage in the past few months. Soon, soon this will end.

And there is a 35-year-old man who keeps writing me lovely emails. And there is the lovely, laid-back South American scientist with whom I will eventually have a second date. The back, back burner idea of romance suits me. Pseudo-man contacted me again, ugh, and I told him, in between silent treatments, that I have moved on, and I have. I will not have anything to do with someone who is not good for me, or who I think will not be good for me. I am for me now, so how can I let someone in who is so obviously for himself?

A colleague will be 40 today. She’s feeling the life marker. Me, I’m feeling a different life marker, or marks of my life, and so happy to have a head that can finally look ahead and is not just stuck in the now.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, for helping me this past year. My strength has been your strength. You, readers, have no idea how invaluable it has been to me to know that people are reading about my struggles, and passing on to me encouragement and strength, not only through your words, but your presence too (for the non-commentators out there). Your presence has truly lifted me up as a prayer. May life be full of fulfillments for us all.

At Last


At last.

It’s more relief and exhaustion than happiness, but happiness, I feel it peeking in, getting ready to enter my psyche, not as a reminder of what had been, but of what will, oh, so soon be.

But now, now I am stressed thinking about the purchasers and if they will really go through with the purchase and if there will be any more hitches, such as the air conditioner not working when they did the home inspection. But those are all details, and this is a big-picture event. This is big, this is what I so need. I’m more exhausted now than I have been in a while, perhaps because I am letting go of holding myself in, or I am realizing that soon I will be able to breathe and my body is draining all of the toxicities that it had been storing for so long.

Oh, how I am envious of myself in just a few weeks when I will have finished making all of the arrangements and packing, and I will be after signing over the house to these wonderful people, and I will be with my younger daughter in our own apartment.

At last, indeed.

Smile. Yes, I am smiling. And crying, too. Relief. Relief is on it's way.

Mediation, or Sitting around a Big Table with Someone You Hate (Part 3)

This time I lasted twenty minutes around that table. It could be that my lack of patience with slime and mediator man is because this is the third time (1, 2) around that table (with more goodies in the middle that I did not touch) and I already knew how things would go. Or it could be because the day before slime was yelling at me, yet again, for moving his dishes and then within the rant he proceeded to fill a bowl with water and throw it on the fish I had draining in a colander in the sink, and then throw a cup with orange peels in it and so I was in a still annoyed-stressed-exhausted state of mind. I almost threw that cup with orange peels, that I was originally holding in my hand, at him: I raised my hand and saw his red, throbbing face and his little tape recorder and heard his little voice saying, “Don’t touch my things, if you do I will put yours on your bed”; “Call the police”; “I’ll take you to court and win.”And I just knew that I didn’t want to have to pay any more for having made the mistake of staying with this man for too long, and throwing anything at him could do just that. I guess I still haven’t lost my sanity.

Before I walked out, I stood up, told slime that I don’t have to listen to him insult me anymore and said to deer-in-the-headlights mediator man that it’s not okay that he lets slime speak to me like that.

What especially stands out is that slime is whining that he has to pay me $5,000 (which is a lot less than the $25,000 he should owe me but I relinquished $20,000 to get moving last time; I did say that he stole it from me). Then, when I said that he still hadn’t paid for $1,000 of home repairs his little voice started saying, “Read what the contract says.” Uh, no. No maneuverings, you should have paid for more repairs; it’s not legalese here, it’s about getting the house attractive enough to invite an offer. And that stupid mediator man is not able to discern a difference between how the two of us act or talk?!

By now I know that not only is mediator man not on my side, but more of the “yes, what this guys says makes sense” kind of person because, as my mother says, he hasn’t really seen him. Her analogy was a gynecologist who never gave birth. If you haven’t lived with this type of manipulative person and seen how he twists everything, you might think that he makes sense. When I said, no, I don’t agree to slime’s new price both slime and mediator man came in on a chorus that the court won’t address this. The implication was clear, do what he says because you have no other recourse. Really I thought, thinking of Leopard-Lady Lawyer.

Continue reading "Mediation, or Sitting around a Big Table with Someone You Hate (Part 3)" »

Not a Post about Cleavage, but about the Village

I was planning on writing a humorous post on how if you wear a push-up bra with a lightweight sweater that is not low enough to reveal cleavage you will visibly show that you have partially constrained breasts and partially bouncing breasts, which is just not an attractive look, especially since it looks more like you’re wearing a small, ill-fitting bra than that you have perked-up breasts just eager to be subtly peeked at. But then I started thinking of three people I talked with yesterday, and the boisterous (vocabulary word) humor left me.

First was the twin sister of a student I had last year who started to explain to me that the doctors finally found out why her sister, her twin, had been having migraines and falling asleep during English class and other sundry maladies for the past year or so. And then, just as she told me the punch line, my sister needs brain surgery, her sister walked in to tell me the news herself. As my class walked in, I wanted to hug these two girls, but that is against the rules (and especially not good in front of an entire classroom of kids), whatever, and so I walked around the projector that had stood between us and just touched the arm of the girl who needs the surgery, who certainly needs more than an arm touch.

And then later that day, at my afterschool teaching job at the synagogue, I covered for another teacher who was running late because she was picking up her daughter from the airport to take her to the hospital to be with her husband, the girl’s father. It seems that he did the manly thing and ignored the irritation he had in his throat until it couldn’t be ignored any longer because he could barely breathe, only to find out that he has cancer there. Her comment to me was: my life changed in a minute.

After I absorbed their news, or as much as possible, I thought about how good it is to be connected with people. When I was with exman there was this understood rule of his not to tell people about what goes on in our house. This went beyond what we talked about, it also covered anything personal. I mean I had a cyst removed from my left breast when I was 25 and his suggestion was only to tell my parents after so that they wouldn’t worry. Why, why shouldn’t they worry, or at least know what’s going on with me? They’re my parents, after all, the people who raised me and cared for and about me for an entire life. I took his “advice,” obviously regretting it to this day. And look who still cares about me.

Why? Why hold yourself apart from others? Why not let people know what you are going through? Where is the benefit to holding in that your husband is ill and that you need support? It’s not that this woman poured her heart out to me, but she reached out for a hug, and a moment of relief.

For me, this transformation, of leaving behind the woman I had become with exman to the woman I am, is the most wonderful thing about having divorced him. Leaving behind a controlling man not only enables you to open up to the people in your life, but even more than that it enables you to feel yourself freed—and thankfully able to savor those connections. This, perhaps, is the strongest sense of before and after: before I held myself back from people and they, sensing that, held themselves from me; and after I am joyously out there to and for all.

What is life if it’s not shared? Obviously no one wants to get sick, but if you do, don’t you want to tell people? Have them pray for you or think of you? Don’t you want to look into someone’s pain-filled eyes knowing that she sees compassion in yours? I rejoice in colleagues and friends asking me how I am knowing that I can answer them truthfully (sometimes). And you know, no one goes running, not wanting to hear of my pain. What you get instead is their knowing that they can come to you when they need that compassionate look and touch. What more can a person’s life be about if not that?  

Back Home

Here I am, after a four-day trip to LA during which I did too much driving through too much traffic amidst inconsiderate drivers (even taking into consideration New York drivers) and in full-view of too many accidents. The car that careened into the dividing wall after, I assume, the driver pressed on his brakes too hard was far too much drama for me. Older daughter’s response a few moments later was: “Why are you driving so slowly?” And younger daughter’s response when I told her about the accidents I saw was: “Maybe you’re bad luck.” You do have to love those girls: they are committed to not being a support to their mother all the time but becoming their own people with their own thoughts and causing me no end of concern as to their compassion… or lack thereof.

I was free of thoughts of ex-husband, which was good because the moment he noticed my return this morning he was back in slime mode. As I sat down to a plate of too much matzo brie (matzo that is softened in water, then mixed with an egg, heavily salted, and then fried) he took his egg carton out of the refrigerator and said: “Excuse me, these are my eggs.” Yes, he refers to me as “Excuse Me.” Lack of class cannot be made up for by using a term like that when it is dipped in bile. And since my daughter finished my eggs (I guess he knew this because he keeps tabs of things like this) and I knew what response I would get from him if I touched one of his eggs, I calmly responded: “I bought a container of 18 this morning.” And off slime went, leaving behind his dirty and clean dishes for someone else to take care of before more people were supposed to see the house, but didn’t show up.

I shall not dwell on seeing the university where older daughter wants to go except to note that she really wants to live in the LA area and study at this one school and is not concerned about going into massive debt to study there. In my role of mother I have tried to talk to her, but she will be 18 very soon and is very smart and confident. Grandma will try to talk to her tomorrow. It is true, I am not one of those mothers who sets down the law but have tried instead to make my daughters independent women. While I am sure that is the right way, sometimes I wish they would just do what I say!

Dinner with my blogging friend and her family showed me that blogging friends can be real friends. If I had met her in “real” life I am sure that we would have been friends. Dinner, then talking and meandering in a bookstore, and then ice cream—that’s the way to spend some time together away from a keyboard.

Even while ensconced in a hotel room that was formerly part of a silo (with round cement walls to prove it) and the rails of the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe a few yards from the room so that I could hear and feel the trains rush by I was not disturbed into thinking about men or the men who are either not that into me or who are not that into keeping up email correspondence at a Laura-suitable pace. This was good, very good. I was focused where I needed to be.

But just in case you were wondering, I had two emails when I returned from Chemistry-related gentleman: one who seems to be illiterate and the other who is taking too darn long between contacts. I had written him off, and oops, there he is. Oh, and there is a Craig’s List gentleman who seems to be more of a gentleman even though he has no degrees than many of the men who have graduate degrees. No, you cannot be my "pronce charming" whoever you are. And if you start every sentence with “I” in your profile I will archive you. And no, I don’t trust you when you say you want a faithful woman—not with my controlling-man experience. And if you say that a woman should never be in front or behind I will question you too (it was the never in front part that was a real turn-off, why can’t we take turns leading and following?). But we shall see, and if nothing comes of these, then c’est la vie, or c’est ma vie.

I walked a lot. I drove a lot. I didn’t eat too much. I adhered to Passover restrictions except for a couple of self-granted leniencies (I tried not to eat too many of the dry noodles in my awful Asian chicken salad that I didn’t know would be there, and I pretended to be Sephardic one day and had some pinto beans with my rice-less, taco-less Mexican lunch). While I am still not drinking coffee I have not been as good on the chocolate ban. How I wish the cashier at Trader Joe’s in Pasadena would not have wished me a “good evening with your chocolates” on Thursday night. Who says things like that? Besides, I bought the small box of truffles (only 30) and not the big box (50) and there are still some left.

My daughter and I got along most of the time; there were a few snips from her, but she’s really not used to being with mommy so much (or anyone or that matter), and even she said what a good time she had. That would be (as in the good time) except for my repeatedly bringing up the subject of the cost of tuition and her wanting to say “I do” to indebtedness.

And on the subject of meaning of life I decided that I need to do more and think less. So even walks during which I mull to myself need to be supplemented by real action. I’m not quite sure what, but perhaps hiking with other people would be a start. Maybe take a crafts class; I’ve wanted to learn how to throw clay (on a potter’s wheel) for more reasons than creativity.

Which brings me to a discussion of my writing and blogging. I think that I will be cutting back on the number of blog posts I do—that would be daily, and focus more on the questions and then one or two posts a week. This would enable me to start the book that I decided that I need/want to write. I’m not quite sure what shape it will take since the words “fictionalized real-life,” “philosophy of life” and “funny” are battling for control of my mind. I want to keep my connection with my readers, with the blogs I read and with the wonderful world of immediate communication but I also want to explore my depths even more, hence “the book” project.

Lastly. Happy Passover! Happy Easter! May happiness emerge from within us all.

This should be an interesting week: another mediation session.