Saturday, September 29, 2018

He's Guilty!

This has been quite a week for those of us who work with sex offenders and their victims. Bill Cosby; "Americas' Dad", was sent to prison for systematically using his power and privilege to victimize dozens of women over decades. Brett Kavanaugh, is being evaluated for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, and is accused of sexual misconduct. There are people screaming (looking at you Lindsay!) on both sides of this issue; many of them are hysterical, and others are righteous. 

I spent 15 hours of Thursday travelling and participating in work-related activities, so I was unable to watch or listen to the testimony of Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh in real time. I finally got home around 9 pm and began watching the testimonies; Dr. Ford first, then Judge Kavanaugh. While I did see/hear some of the opinions, I consciously watched each with the eyes of a Therapist.

Dr. Ford is a professor in psychology at Palo Alto University and a research psychologist at Stanford University of Medicine. I must admit I was impressed when she calmly used her area of expertise to describe how memory works. This was especially important in light of all the rhetorical questions asking, "what were you doing in the summer of 1982?" Many of us who were alive then, may have vague recollections of what may have happened that summer. For example, I recall where I lived and that was the summer between Grade 7 and 8 and I turned 13 years old. Those are all facts that can be extrapolated logically and verified by my sister. The part that is important to note, is that trauma cements moments in our memory with vivid details. That is why we all remember where we were on 09/11/2001, or 01/28/1986, or 11/23/1963 or countless other important dates that may be cemented in your memory because they were traumatic for you alone. For me, the date that stands out from that summer is 08/02/1982. Not because I kept a calendar from 36 years ago (that would be weird, don't you think?), but because I experienced a trauma that day. I wrecked my bike, broke my arm badly and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. So I remember many details about that day that others I knew or you may not. Unless you're a hoarder who has a 1982 calendar and can tell me you met your bestie for lunch that day; chances are you have no real memory of that specific day because it wasn't important to you. Something critics of Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh, are saying in defense of their actions. The day just wasn't as important to you as it was to Dr. Ford.

Listening to Dr. Ford's testimony as a therapist, I believe her. She conveyed her recollections of that event in a way a normal person would. I would be skeptical if she walked us through that event in vivid detail as if we were there. She didn't; she talked about recollections of where the bed sat, where the door to the bathroom was located, and the event itself. She remembered sounds, feelings... the recollection that jumped out at me, she remembered laughter. 

Judge Kavanaugh, on the other hand became angry, His countenance was contorted, his voice harsh and accusatory. He shifted blame for the event. He resorted to "whataboutism", a lazy debate method. He normalized the behavior of 18-year old boys who drank beers, 'everyone was doing it'. He spoke the way a white male who has lived a life of privilege would when met with criticism. On a side note, he did not EARN his position, it was gained as a reward for partisan activism. He made his name as a clerk for Ken Starr, then became a lawyer for the Bush campaign during the Florida recount and was given a position in the Bush White House. He was awarded for his work with a top-tier seat on the Federal bench in 2003. His life has been one of privilege through connections. So you can understand how frustrating it would be to actually be held to account for deplorable behavior. People in power hate that! 

It is that unquestioned privilege along with something Dr. Ford said that convinced me he was guilty. 

It was the laughter. 

When someone is committing sexual assault; they are nervous, they are scared they will be discovered. They want to get it over as soon as possible and if they have an audience, that person is nervous too and usually serving as a sentry. In this case, the scene described by Dr. Ford is one of ease. Kavanaugh had been in this situation before and so had his buddy. They were laughing. They knew what they were doing and enjoying it. I am certain there are other women, silenced by Kavanaugh's power and privilege. If not for Dr. Ford's one-piece swimsuit, she would have been raped that night. Most likely by both Kavanaugh and his buddy. 

He's Guilty! 

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Tap... Tap... Is this thing on?

Well, it's been...
  • Three years, Eight Months and Five days
  • 192 weeks
  • 1,344 days
… since my last post here. The popular consensus amongst people in my life is that Facebook killed blogs. It's so much easier to click like, share an article or a picture, make an announcement, shout at people who are different than you or just passively participate in the online society than to ponder a topic and compose an articulate essay in order to share an experience, epiphany or opinion. 

In my absence, a number of things have happened in my life and in our world that I would have shared here, but I got lazy. Facebook is just so much easier; and that is a BAD thing as the results of the easy way out are played out on the national stage. 

You know the BIG bad thing that happened in Washington DC and continues to assault our sensibilities on a daily basis. But LIFE is lived with people and are measured in days and moments and accomplishments and changes that we move through every moment of every day. Since I've been gone... 
  • I've met and married a wonderful man
  • Travelled to a number of new places around the US
  • My two youngest children have graduated high school and are attending college. 
  • I no longer work for a Child Welfare agency
  • I'm now a social worker for a secure treatment facility for people adjudicated "Guilty Except for Insanity"
  • I'm a licensed Sex Offender Therapist
  • I'm a (soon to be) Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
  • We have adopted three rescue kitties, for a total of four fur-babies which includes two mini-panthers. 
  • I've essentially given up my struggle to lose weight. It is what it is. 
That's the major parts of my life over the past 3+ years, let's see what happens in this space next... 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Saturday 9: Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart

  1. This song is about love at first sight. Do you believe that immediate attraction lasts?
    I believe in LUST at first sight. There has to be something carnal that attracts one to another, beyond that there must be a deeper connection in order to make the relationship last.
  2. The lyrics mention "a breath of spring" and robins singing. Now that we're deep into winter, what do you miss about spring?
    Daylight, heat, green, beauty, purpose… LIFE.
  3. Though the world knew her as Judy Garland, this week's featured artist was born Frances Gumm and her family called her "Baby." Does your family have any pet names for you?
    To the people that matter, I’m Dad. The Boy calls me “old man” when he’s feeling brave.
  4. bustin-out2Because she was petite -- just 4'11 -- it was obvious when Garland gained even a few pounds and consequently she battled her weight her whole life. Now that we're in the new year, have you made any resolutions about your own diet?
    Over the past two years I’ve lost a total of 130 lbs. (see widget in sidebar), I’d like to lose another 45-50 lbs. Whether that happens this year or beyond… it’s a significant goal.
  5. The year this song came out, 1939, was the year Garland's most famous movie, The Wizard of Oz, was released. Which of her three traveling companions is your favorite: Scarecrow, Tin Man or Cowardly Lion?
    I loved Scarecrow. He was intellectually curious and demonstrated critical thinking skills. When I was younger, I didn’t know that was what he was doing, but I respected him for it.  
  6. Barry Manilow enjoyed Judy's performance of this song so much he did a "dream duet" with her and included it in his recent CD. What performer who is no longer with us do you wish you could have seen in concert?
    That is a tough one. I am really into music so the list is long. John Lennon, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles… I saw Stevie Ray Vaughn the summer before he died, but I’d love to see him again. The one that tops the list though, Freddie Mercury!
  7. Judy had a terrible problem with tardiness. Are you usually prompt?
  8. lgbtyouthDuring World War II, Judy worked tirelessly to entertain the troops. Tell us about a cause that's near and dear to your heart.
    Homeless youth. Generally they are homeless because they are LGBT and their “christianist” families are so full of love they have disowned their child. Fargin’ Bastages!
  9. The American Film Institute lists Garland as the 8th greatest movie star of all time. Who is your all time favorite actor or actress?
    John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Sean Connery, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Maureen O’Hara, Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham-Carter, Alan Rickman, Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Gregory Peck, Cary Grant, Doris Day, James Garner… shall I go on?

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2015 Goals


2015 is off to a roaring start… before it gets too far gone I must make my annual list of goals I’m setting for myself. I did a lot of driving last week so I had time to really ponder what I wanted to accomplish this year. They became rather lofty the longer I drove. Somewhere around Hood River I was thinking I could write a novel. Considering the gaps in posts to this humble blog, I felt that the great American novel may be out of reach. In the end, I felt the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) Method was perhaps the best way to go.

  1. To lose 45 lbs. -- Two years ago I set an arbitrary goal weight… 235 lbs. I am just 45 lbs. away. That’s just 3.75 lbs. per month… totally doable!
  2. Purchase and most importantly USE a bicycle – I used to love riding a bike… 30 years ago! I see so many people in lycra cruising the county roads and appearing to enjoy it. They certainly look fit. Maybe I’ll look HOT in lycra?
  3. Take a REAL vacation – I’m not sure what that means, but I’ll know it when I see it. I think a REAL vacation is more than just a long weekend in Seattle or Boise.
  4. Perform my job duties EXCELLENTLY! – Again, not sure what that will look like, but I’ll know it when I see it. The biggest sign will be if I am still in my current job or something better by January 2016… that would be EXCELLENT!
  5. UNPLUG – I hear this is the trendy thing to do in the world of expanding television channel offerings and bundled services. I currently pay $140/month for DishTV and internet and $7 a month for Netflix. I could get stand alone internet service, with Netflix AND Hulu AND Amazon Prime for HALF what I’m paying for Dish. My current agreement with Dish ends in August I think.

There you have it… FIVE goals. Here’s to a prosperous New Year!


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Stealing: 2014/2015

Wantonly Stolen from: German Language Rocks


  1. What experience would you love to do all over again?
    -- Watching the Seahawks win the Superbowl… wait! I may get to do that again!
  2. What was the best gift you received?IMG_0494
    Time with my kids as they transition to being young adults 
  3. How did your overall outlook on life evolve?
    -- After years of being who I though others wanted to me to be, I embraced the Shakespearean Mantra… To thine own self be true.
  4. What was the biggest problem you solved?
    -- I let a smooth talker with a nice body move into my house, it took three months to get him out.
  5. What was the funniest moment of your year, one that still makes it hard not to burst out laughing when you think about it?
    -- The weekend we had in Boise in June was a lot of fun.
  6. What purchase turned out to be the best decision ever?
    -- My very own washer and dryer… no more wasted afternoons at the Laundromat.
  7. What one thing would you do differently and why?
    -- Look at the Joy Jar post… every event is a learning opportunity; especially the ones that started off as a good idea at the time.
  8. What do you deserve a pat on the back for?Progress
    -- Moments of personal growth and accomplishment… goals that are met, obstacles overcome. And those moments when I resisted the urge to smack someone repeatedly with a tackhammer.
  9. What activities made you lose track of time?
    -- Those glorious moments with family and friends away from the duties of daily life.
  10. What did you think about more than anything else?
    -- Uncertainty of my ability to be victorious over the challenges before me.
  11. What topics did you most enjoy learning about?
    -- The procedures that go with the new responsibilities at work
  12. What new habits did you cultivate?
    -- Eating less, moving more.
  13. What advice would you give your early-2014 self if you could?
    -- Listen to you gut, pay attention to the red flags… be strong!
  14. Did any parts of your self or your life do a complete 180 this year?
    -- If something isn’t working for you… change it. My weight, my career trajectory, my relationships… if it isn’t working, why keep banging your head against the wall?
  15. What or who had the biggest positive impact on your life this year?
    -- Losing weight had a huge personal impact on how I feel about myself. My boss had an impact by believing in me for new responsibilities at work.
  16. What do you want the overarching theme for your 2015 to be?
    -- To Thine Own Self Be True
  17. What do you want to see, discover, explore?
    -- I’m not sure yet. I want to continue to explore my ability to participate in physical activities. I would love to travel this year, but finances are always an issue.
  18. O2BWho do you want to spend more time with in 2015?
    -- I always want more time with my kids than I get.
  19. What skills do you want to learn, improve or master?
    -- I want to learn how to properly lift weights with proper nutrition to achieve the embodiment of BEAST MODE.
  20. Which personal quality do you want to develop or strengthen?
    -- I want to increase my ability to think and speak rationally in pressure situations.
  21. What do you want your everyday life to be like?
    -- Less stressful… I want to be able to change the things I can, not stress the things I can’t and the wisdom to know the difference.
  22. Which habits do you want to change, cultivate or get rid of?
    -- I want to increase the commitment and stability of healthy eating.
  23. What do you want to achieve career-wise?
    -- Since I achieved a major shift in my profession in 2014, I want to continue growing in that position and achieve excellence in it.
  24. How do you want to remember the year 2015 when you look back on it 10/20/50 years from now?
    --As with every year, I want to be better at the end than I was at the beginning. That can mean so many things.
  25. What is your number one goal for 2015?
    -- Rather than regretting my mistakes, I want to see them not as regrets, but as learning opportunities.

Joy Jar - 2014

Happy Jar - FullIn 2014 I was challenged to make a Joy Jar. I got an interesting jar with plans to decorate it (as pictured, that didn’t happen) and put slips of paper with the things that made me happy or brought me joy during the year. I also put ticket stubs in there since I like movies and they bring me Joy. On 01/01/15 I opened the jar and began sorting through the slips of paper. I noticed two things…

  1. The ups out numbered the downs in 2014 and they brought back good memories.
  2. During the down times, there are gaps. Which means I need to do a better job of seeing the joy in my life even on the stressful days.

Below are the things that brought me JOY in 2014… some were short lived, others made a tremendous impact… some were lessons learned… some were a fork in the road. They are written just as I wrote them on that day with the same emphasis. I thought about adding commentary, but I think I’ll just leave them as they are and let them speak for themselves.


1 – I saw Saving Mr. Banks
2 – Avery learned I was in Pendleton and asked me to stop by where she was. She gave me a BIG HUG and said “I love you”. **She also noticed I have been losing weight.
4 – Avery stopped by and brought me a Dutch Bros coffee.
4 – Fitting into size 50 pants.
5 – 10462963_10152688101638833_1759587679860932595_nBohemian Rhapsody
9 – Meaghan advised me not to apply for the job in John Day.
10 – Having a chat with Andrew about REAL christianity and GENUINE spirituality.
15 – Buying prescription sunglasses
17 – New couch
19 – Ginger & Darrell came over to watch the NFC game with me. GO HAWKS!!!
20 – Walking in the MLK Peace Walk – Life’s most persistent and urgent question is what are you doing for others? MLK
27 – Tom reminding me of great music of our youth. Loud & Singing along!
30 – Offered a chance to be a supervisor in Boardman


2 – SEAHAWKS WIN!!!russell-wilson-champion9 – I saw August Osage County
22 – Met Richard… dinner at Applebee's… Ams vs. EverettBlazers


1 – Blazer game with Bryan
2 – Breakfast with Rosalynda & Bryan
5 – MF asked me to be with him at an appointment for support and advice.
6 – I met a most wonderful/beautiful man.
7 – I saw Need For Speed


4 – I saw Captain America: Winter Soldier with Avery & Jessica
13 – Hawks Tattootatt 413


7 – Being recruited by a social service agency.
24 – I saw X-Men: Days of Future Past
31 – I saw Maleficent with Avery & Jess


2 – Interview at Astoria
12 – Jess finished the 8th grade
14 – Spending the day with Jess
15 – Avery took me to lunch #FathersDay
19 – Interview for Pendleton supervisor
25 – I GOT IT! The new gig starts 7/1
27 – Traveling to Boise with Jess
28 – Boise Music Festival with Bryan & Jess10449966_10152974943013989_7096449895777275877_n29 – Touring the Old Idaho Prison with Jess & Bryan


1 – New gig in Pendletonmoving in
25 – I saw Hercules


2 – Moved to Pendleton
3 – Andrew asked for a key so he could “hang” since HS is nearby
7 – Andrew came to watch Hawks pre-season game
10 – Jess’ cake won GRAND CHAMPION at the Fair
17 – I met T
19 – First “date” at GP
22 – First road trip to Portland.
30 – T moved in
** Not many Joys coming up **OMG Dame Edna


3 – Seeing T as a woman… wow!


10 – I saw Gone Girl


1 – I saw The Judge
10 – I saw Interstellar
11 – A much needed day at home ALONE
14 – Amazing event at work
14 – Coworker told me that they weren’t sure I would take to my new job. She and other managers have been impressed.
27 – Avery, Andrew and Jess were here for Thanksgiving.


4 – T is finally gone… GOOD Riddance!
25 – Andrew, Avery and Jess came over to exchange Christmas gifts. 10424999_10152944082173833_2708096184867300918_n

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Saturday 9: Dancing With Myself

Saturday 9: Dancing with Myself (1980)

  1. This song is one of Billy Idol's biggest hits. Can you name another?
    Seriously? YES…. White Wedding, Rock the Cradle of Love, Rebel Yell, Mony Mony, Hot in the City, Eyes without a Face, Got to be a Lover…
  2. When is the last time you danced around your home?
    This morning
  3. In this song, Billy says he dances with his own reflection. Is there a mirror in the room you're in right now?
    Yes, but it’s one of those that has a shelf for knick-nacks and looks like a window.
  4. Dancing with Myself is also the name of Billy Idol's 2014 autobiography. Let's say you're going to write your life story. What do you title it?
    Life is a Bitch… if it were easy, it would be a whore.
  5. This month, Billy resumes his 2014-15 concert tour in New Orleans. Have you ever been to Louisiana?
    Sadly, no…. but it’s on my Bucket List vcr3
  6. In 1980, when "Dancing with Myself" was first popular, VHS players were all the rage. Do you still have yours?
    No, the last VCR went to the Blockbuster in the sky several years ago.
  7. In 1980, The Love Boat was getting good ratings. Have you ever taken a cruise?
    Again… sadly, no. But it’s on my Bucket List
  8. Sally Field won her first Oscar in 1980 for the movie Norma Rae. Five years later she won a second Oscar for Places in the Heart and delivered one of the most quoted acceptance speeches in Academy history. Do you remember what she said?
    Everybody in my generation does… You like me… You REALLY like me!
  9. In 1980, People magazine named Stephen King one of the most intriguing people of the year because he had two big paperback bestsellers -- The Dead Zone and The Shining. Do you have a favorite Stephen King book?
    Salem’s Lot, The Shining and Carrie

He's Guilty!

This has been quite a week for those of us who work with sex offenders and their victims. Bill Cosby; "Americas' Dad", was ...