Tuesday, September 30, 2008

One step at a time

Its easy for me to get overwhelmed. Especially when I am tired. I am finally home and have much to do to get back on track with work, with the campaign, with the Kindergarten debacle. Where to begin?

Did I mention that I go to Pt. Reyes for a knitting retreat this weekend?

I do feel a bit guilty...mainly for being away from the kids again after being away most of last week. I planned this about 6 or 8 months ago and although the timing isn't great, I need to get away and do something soothing for me. Wow, I can't yet convince even myself.

To do:

1. Catch up on the day job reports, scheduling, zzzzz
2. Buy yarn for retreat
3 Webex training class, zzzzzzzzz
3. Meet with Kinder teacher, yuck
4. Sign up for my free yoga classes
5. Clean my damn office
6. Reconnect with campaign office

Off to buy yarn.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I'm back

Must sleep but first-hi!!!!! I am back. Its late. After many airport delays I am home in my stuffy house. Its got that post trip yucky smell. As if no windows or doors have been open for a few days. Yup.

The first 5 days away was for work. Toxic, soul-destroying meetings that ripped my brain into a million pieces.

And then, BZ and the boys flew in. The meeting was in Dallas, and so was BZ's family. His mom booked a hotel resort right near where our meeting was being held. The resort was the Great Wolf Lodge. This place was UNREAL.

There was an indoor water park.

There was MagiQuest for the kids. This was a super cool game that took 3 days to finish, using a magic wand that you wave at all sorts of things hidden throughout an eight story hotel. You try to solve these Quests and Adventures with clues given in a booklet. So fun. We were addicted. When everyone else went swimming, max and I went to slay the dragon, find the amulet and save the pixies.

And then of course, there was family. BZ's parents were there, the nephews, BZs brother and sister-in-law, the German exchange student.....good times.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bully Part 2

I cannot even joke about part 2. The school is not stepping up. Our young 5 year old class thug has hit and punched others and is on a "behavioral modification" plan that seems to not include any behavioral modification.

Yesterday, when his parents forgot to pick him up at school again, he was left to run around the playground. When his aunt was called to come and get him, she arrived but stayed on her cell phone as he terrorized the play structure. The after-school care manager tried to get her to take the wild child away but she was waved off.

Finally, our young terrorist, knocked a boy off the play structure, sat on his head (on the cement) and bounced up and down nearly cracking his head open. The poor crushed boy reported later that he couldn't yell for help since the mean guy had his mouth covered and...he couldn't breath.

OK. I need to stop for a moment here. Now, many of you may say, well, at least now the school will take action. The answer is no, not really. I am out of town which is good since I don't honestly know what would happen if I were to go anywhere near the class teacher or the principal. I am very angry at so may levels.

So first of all, none of our kids are safe with this lack of care. Second, the 5 year old thug is left to be a thug when he is calling out for help-loudly. Yes, he needs help and our kids need protection from him at the same time. I remember this guy crying desperately on his first few days of class begging to come home (just like Max). They are not so different inside, just on how it manifests behaviorally.

Next steps planned are another school meeting-while I am gone, the other parent (the one who's kid could have been killed) is going to the police for help. And pressing charges against the school.

This was our first choice school. Boy, we fucked up.

Friday, September 19, 2008


I kind of knew it was coming. With Kindergarten comes an all new set of challenges. With a sensitive, sweet and cautious boy you gotta know there will be trouble. I wanted to be pleasantly surprised with a warm and nurturing school. Nope.

Max comes home with horrendous stories. He tells these stories in a very matter of fact way. They almost always include being punched in the face and stomach, and often name calling, always being pushed around. The "bad" boys get lots of time outs that are clearly ineffective.

Labels are already developed and Max is already a targeted kid, he now hangs with the girls and is mocked for that as well.

So, time to take on the teacher and the school if need be. This can be a learning opportunity for everyone. Imagine the "bad" kid already being labeled bad three weeks into Kindergarten. That is just as bad, if not worse, than being the targeted, "weak" kid. Anyway, I am gathering a posse of parents to work this out.

In the mean time, I need to teach Max some basic self defense. Some basic techniques beyond, "Stop it!" My niece Emma learned to punch back and she stopped being bullied. I guess it could come to that.

Its much easier to deal with the election.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Oakland Rocks For Change September 16th, 2008

We did it. We did it. We did it.
Our MC was Marga Gomez, a fantastic comedian who has been so supportive and generous with her time. Did I mention she is one of the funniest and smartest people ever. She's performing in SF at La Pena Cultural Center November 7th and 8th, don't miss it. She was names "Best Comedian of 2008" by the Bay Buardian. I remember her from Josie's Juice Joint back in the day.

These photos are all by Tom Erikson....

Here's our very own Blame Sally. these gals were in from the beginning. Not only are they talented but they can sing too. This morning I talked to this guy who was there who is from New York and had never heard of Blame Sally. He said, they were magic, they were the best of the night, there was just something about them that was so moving...but we already know that, didn't we?

So the second group to come aboard were Tuck & Patti. When you hear their music you are bound to say, Oh, I know that song. On Itunes, they sound cheesy. In real life, their music will make you weep. I don't care what kind of music you listen to, these two brought down the house. There was a standing ovation. More magic.

Yes, this is Tommy Castro of The Castro Band. He's a blues rocker guy, he kicked some booty. Notice the cool guy in the back. That would be Billy, the coolest of the cool. Billy was the music director of the house band, he put together an amazing group of musicians, he got all the sound equipment donated, he got this guy Steve to do the sound, he brought on Tommy and Jeffrey Halford, yet another incredible performer. Billy, thank you.

More pictures to come whether you like it or not. I am very proud of this event. I need to show off Ayelet Waldman, Hot Buttered Rum, Maria Muldaur and the whole scene.

There were people dancing in the aisles. As I was running around backstage and through the lobby appeasing all these voices, " I need more 1's," " are there any more seats?", as I was running, I could hear the music vibrating through the walls and I just felt really good. This is where I belong.

*Photos by Tom Erikson

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Oakland Rocks For Change

Here is my appeal to any one and everyone reading my blog. Please consider coming to our concert on September 16th, or at least consider a donation in support of this concert. Oakland Rocks For Change is September 16th at the Oakland Museum of CA. The VIP event is at 5:30pm and the concert begins at 7pm.


We have headliners: Blame Sally, Tuck & Patti, Tommy Castro, Hot Buttered Rum, Comedian Marga Gomez and hopefully to be confirmed in the morning, Maria Muldaur (currently famous for her new album, Yes We Can and her connection with the Obamas). There will be food vendors, voter registration tables, and so on. Its going to be quite an event.

This is very important to me. I have spent every available (and not so available) moment working on this fundraiser. We are raising money for Music For Democracy's campaign to support Obama and other targeted Democrats in the swing states. After listening to Sarah Palin, I am even more committed than ever before. She doesn't have experience and the experience she does have is horrifying. She is more pro-life than anyone who has run before her, she thinks global warming isn't human made. She thinks drilling is good, and tried to ban books in her local library because they had "inappropriate" language.

So, I am preaching to the choir. But I would like the choir to consider singing along loudly enough to make this election different than 2004. One way to support the effort would be to donate directly to the Obama campaign, time or money or both. Another way, would be to come listen to some great music and donate to some action in the swing states.

Please consider a ticket or donating a few bucks. End of commercial, except, here's how to do it:

Buy tickets here: www.oaklandrocksforchange.org, to donate go directly to Actblue and put in any amount you feel comfortable with. Thanks for listening.

PS. I almost forgot, Max gave a little smile on his way into the school. He was holding the teacher's hand the whole way which meant he was at the head of the class. This was his best day yet.