General Discussion and Updates

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Admin on Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:53 am

Saw the recommendation Laura left for Ozark on Netflix. That is an awesome show, started last night. Jason Bateman is amazing as well as entire cast. Really interesting insight into Americans and money/greed.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by laurav on Mon Sep 04, 2017 12:07 pm



Zoe insisted on doing a gymnastics presentation.

Ozarks is really good imo.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Admin on Mon Sep 04, 2017 1:51 pm

I love it. Makes me miss having little kids around so bad.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Dee S on Mon Sep 04, 2017 2:01 pm

Admin wrote:They do grow up fast, and sometimes not fast enough jk. The shocker for me has been how much their physical appearance and personalities have changed over the course of their lifetime. Each year can seem like its own lifetime.



James, now that mine are grown ups too, I see how little their features have changed.


1996 living in Riverton, NJ


2013 at April's wedding.

I rarely cover anymore. With all of the violence towards hijabis and my physical weakness now, I am in no shape to defend myself if someone gets a wild hair to be a dick and attack. I wear it occasionally, mostly to deter the wind from messing up my hair, not in devotion to God as it's intended.

Laura your Zoe is precious! I love that "Just one more. No more. Just one" I can't wait to meet her, and you.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Jae on Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:25 pm

Glad to see things have calmed down and everyone is doing well. I enjoyed my weekend up at the cabin and getting away from the extreme heat. We even had some rain and hail, last night was so chilly I almost lit a fire in the fireplace. It was already feeling like fall up there, which is something we rarely get a taste of in so-california anymore. With the climate changes it seems we have two seasons, hell-fire summers and rainy soggy winters. No spring, no fall. and it sucks because fall was my favorite.

Zoe looks adorable with her tumbling. Ellie had a gymnastics class not too long ago so she too puts on shows of somersaults. The funny thing about the changing of features is when they're kids, you can never tell what they're going to look like when they grow up, when they grow up, they look like they've never changed. You see small changes when the chubby cheeks disappear and they mature, but the general foundation of their looks always stays the same.

as for your question about life direction, I am fueled morally, ethically, purposefully by just trying to be the best person I can be (except when driving in traffic, I am the worst person alive when I'm stuck in traffic), leave a positive mark on the world, and enjoy my life in accordance with these self-determined expectations. I spent so much of my childhood and adolescence, even some of my young adulthood being depressed and pessimistic, I've really worked on being what I now call cautiously optimistic in life, hoping for the best, preparing for the worst kind of approach, because I realize now the negativity was eating me alive as well as my drive to continue living.

I hope you guys are able to connect Laura and Dee. I have a list of online friends I would like to meet and sadly most of the time it is hard to make happen, so when you have the opportunity, grab it! I have people I have known for 15 years online I've never met, but still hold out some hope for one day. It'd be nice for all of us to sit down one day and shoot the breeze

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Admin on Mon Sep 04, 2017 10:27 pm

Glad to hear from you, Jae. I agree. It has been a tad challenging lately. But even the traffic I used to hate was a plus because I built a house on high ground outside the city. Makes that 90 minute commute through rush hour worth it.

Speaking of which, this Irma is getting scary, and there are more storms on the horizon out there.

California having record heat. Climate change is just a hoax of course.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by laurav on Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:50 pm

Hi everyone. Great pics, Dee. Jae mountains sound really nice. I am gonna be out of commission probably next few days. This potential hurricane threat has caused widespread panic as I have offices on both sides of the coast, so a lot of hassle getting everything prepared and finalizing cases before storm etc.

I'll check back later.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Admin on Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:56 pm

This is looking like a very serious and deadly hurricane. Having seen firsthand what Harvey did, and this looks unfortunately worse, I would urge extreme caution.

It is making me sick to my stomach that more people are going to be on the path of this deadly thing, especially those in less than ideal places, like the Caribbean. But everything I have seen points to it being bad.

I have been keeping busy helping where I can in local community. I ended up being told not to bother coming back to work yet. We did some work on our local high school today.

Where is everyone else tonight? It is really quiet on here.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Dee S on Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:23 am

.. and then there's Jose ... right on Irma's tail.

I'm so sad and so scared at the same time and I'm not even in the path of it. I might need to unplug for a few days, hours, minutes???? I've had to do it in the past with overwhelming traumas one after another in our nation.

I think I need to go to bed. Tomorrow starts early.....

Be safe and kind to each other.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Jae on Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:57 am

It's terrifying really...I read FEMA is nearly out of money as it is, how are we going to do this? Another celebrity telethon? Where is George Clooney when you need him? Thinking of you Laura and everyone in its path...

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by laurav on Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:33 pm

It is terrifying. Thanks for the good wishes. People have really gone into mass hysteria here because of Harvey being so bad,  and it is very frustrating because myself and attorneys at my office are trying to remove and prepare everything in the one office, right near water unfortunately, and deal with gas shortages and hearings being cancelled right and left.

We'll be fine here as long as it does not hit on east or west side of coast, as we are in middle of both. Matthew just brushed coast and never made landfall, and I am thinking same might happen here.

But the panic everywhere is not helping the situation.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Dee S on Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:21 pm

My friend Steve in Lauderdale-by-the-sea is 300 yards from the ocean. He's packing and taking his son north. He has so little now due to medical negligence that he can't sue over. Has been waiting for his SSDI appeal for 2.5 years. It was going to happen Friday. Now postponed at least 2 more months. He's still full of hope and rolling with the punches. If it hits, he'll lose everything. Again.

Please don't play around. Get out while you can still do so. I know the spaghetti models are all over the place. That's the nature of these monster storms. Prediction is horrible. Waiting too long is just as bad as not leaving in the first place.

I hope you're able to get everything possible situated before it hits land hun.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Admin on Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:02 pm

So will this wake up Americans to climate change? Ironic the year we left the Paris Climate agreement is it not? I am not making light of the situation. I have been living this Harvey stuff for what seems a lifetime. Kid are still not back in school. Kind of ironic, Laura, that we both got creamed this year with hurricanes.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Admin on Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:36 am

How much damage has the religious extremism and fundamentalism in America caused?  In my opinion, we cannot be blind to the damage, deadly damage, the intersection of religion with the right, and extremism in that direction has caused in the US.

How many single issue voters on for example abortion are blinded to all other evils because of the role religion plays in all this? Did anyone see the picture of Trump and Pence in the prayer circle in the oval office with all the major US religious leaders?

And religious people of this vein in the US believe the world will and should come to an end. It is the "end times" Apocalypse, and we are not talking about a small group of people.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/06/02/why-so-many-white-evangelicals-in-trumps-base-are-deeply-skeptical-of-climate-change/?utm_term=.acbddd9cc7bf


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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Admin on Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:39 am

The entire fight against gay marriage and equality is right wing conservatism, and they don't feel the need to have a justification, but of course banning refugees from the US is fine.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Admin on Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:59 pm

Okay, okay everyone just needs to calm down and control their posts. I can't handle the volume.

Laura, what's the status there?

Things are slowly returning to normal here. Killed two copperhead snakes today, and neighbor's girl was bitten by one. The water apparently drove them all towards the residences.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Jae on Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:18 pm

Sorry, I've just been overwhelmed with work and it's hard to get stimulated on political discussions at the moment.

I've been struggling at work for a few weeks now, and in spite of all the difficult jobs I've dealt with, for the first time I feel as though I need to go on leave and really take time for myself. I am chronically tired, I have been stressed and agitated, I am gaining weight, and I've been losing my hair in mass casualties. I nearly had a panic attack today, which I haven't had one in at least 2-3 years, maybe more. Exercise used to manage the stress well, it seems ineffective now. My vacations seem to do little to relieve this stress anymore, if I come back feeling rejuvenated it literally lasts two days before the exhaustion sets in again. This last weekend didn't really do much at all. I can't really take a leave because I can't leave my clients but I need something, and i don't know what.

Sorry if this all seems petty in light of the catastrophic events around the country, I'm not usually a venter but I needed to get this off my chest.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Admin on Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:32 pm

Jae, I agree. I think you should consider leaving. As I am sure you are aware, those are the signs of chronic stress. It's horrible for your health and it leaves you unhappy. I think everything in your "eco-system" is telling you something is not right.

What are your options? Have you looked at other employment?

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Dee S on Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:33 pm

Jae, nothing is petty when it's weighing on you. You know that better than anyone. If you don't work it out it'll fester and cause you more turmoil than the original issue. And never compare your pain to another. We each have our own thresholds.

Sorry, I'm not very talkative the past few days. The physical pain has been pretty bad.

James I hope you're getting back to some normalcy there.

Laura, I hope you guys are bugging out of the state for a few days. Let this all pass.

I have too many friends way too close to the ocean, who are staying and it's aggravating because I feel every time I talk with them will be the last. I know it's their choice to stay but this is not the storm you want to butt heads of stubbornness with. It's the strongest storm ever seen in recorded history.

Maria, you got very quiet. Where are you?

I'm HOPING my guy keeps his word and we finally get this damned trailer finished and legal. He STILL hasn't fixed the muffler pipe that snapped off on the car despite having good weather and the parts. His aptitude for procrastination is much higher than mine and it really gets on my last nerve.


Kyra has been staying inside. I've finally got her wounds healing. I think she tangled with another cat out there because she's not even going near the door nor trying to get outside. I fail at trying to get the benadryl in her.
Most of it ends up on me or him. At least she's healing and not chewing at them as much. I guess I got enough medicine in her to help. Her new PJs should be here in the next week or two. I didn't realize they were coming from China or I wouldn't have bought them. I couldn't find the style I wanted from any other sellers. I'll put up pics if she doesn't shred me trying to get them on her. Very Happy

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by laurav on Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:11 pm

It's been a complete zoo here. I spent hours with the gas buddy app hunting gas down, so we're not leaving our house. We've sandbagged the offices where needed. Several of our attorneys and staff were in mandatory evacuation zones. My closest friend from law school and colleague was evacuated, so she and her entire family may be coming here.

We are in the eye of the storm tentatively, but the path keeps making those slight deviations--if it goes east closer to Orlando we will be on the left, (that's good), which could mean the difference between a direct Cat 1/2/3 or simply being on the outer bands. I am really not worried in the sense of immediate danger. The financial ramifications are already hitting us though, because no one is going to be paying their attorney fees anytime soon.

I just want to make sure and explain our decision not too evacuate:We bought our house new, and it is built to hurricane standards. I had a responsibility to ensure my law firms were wrapped up and finish out some hearings, and I could not evacuate with my staff and attorneys not situated. Also, very key is uncertainty of direct hit, and the fact that the roads are a nightmare and there is no fuel. It seems safer to stay. Some of our neighbors have evacuated but majority are staying. We are not in an evacuation zone, and the storm will hit land before it reaches us. I am 99.999% certain we will be fine other than inconveniences (just like you James). Laughing

Jae, I empathize on your situation, and I think it is far from petty. I agree with James. More on that later.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Admin on Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:40 pm

It has been very quiet. Maria, are you coming back?

Jae, I feel for now draining that job must be, and I think it raises awareness for the toll working in the mental health field takes on those around.

Okay, so how bad is Irma actually? Is it really the strongest storm in recorded history?

Laura, feel for you because I was just in that same spot. Problem is that by the time you know whether you need to evacuate, everyone is on the roads.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Jae on Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:56 pm

I'm not sure things will be much better in looking for a new job, the stress will always be there, the only relief may be a private practice but there are many implications and difficulties in getting one of those started, plus I'm not sure that's where my heart is, charging an arm and a leg and only helping the richest people who can afford it.

All in all, there are office/company politics at play; there has been drama with new staff clashing with old staff, then all of them involving other staff to create a little soap opera; had one of my staff trying to stab me in the back with the big boss; had safety issues and violent clients; my own suicidal client and my trauma client (a little 9 year old who witnessed his father getting shot to death) plus the 160 other clients I am responsible for through my staff...the reality is all this can and will go on anywhere in community health.

I do enjoy most of my co-workers, I have a great mentor for my boss and my best friend works here too, the pay is okay, could be a little better, the benefits are amazing, I won't get 4 weeks paid vacation anywhere else and I really value that time off. We've just hit a really rough patch this year and things don't seem to be lightening up. I was actually thinking about getting some marijuana to calm my nerves (I've never done it so even thinking about it is quite a jump for me).

Laura I understand your reasoning and I hope you will be okay.

Dee hope Kyra's doing better and like you said, maybe this is finally lesson learned! Hope the pain is a little easier today.

James how's the clean up going? It's great to know you're getting out there and helping the community

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by laurav on Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:57 pm

Jae, I do agree with James that the stress is there to tell you something is not right and it is time for a change. As much as private practice might seem like a sell out, at least here there are increasingly collaborative ways to do it so as to reduce fees and also make a living. For example I have sliding fee referral relationships with several therapists because they are always needed to testify and courts are increasingly relying on their judgment calls in these messy cases, especially with shift away from traditional timesharing (custody) plans.

For example you can co-share office space with other professionals to get the ball rolling (what I did), and work your way up.

I don't know anything about California law, but therapists (as well as attorneys) can get certified as Guardian Ad Litems and represent children in situations where parents are deemed unfit or the court needs the child to have representation in the proceedings. That is a paying gig but I also do some pro bonos and am also dealing with a case wher a six year old boy's mom who was a victim of sexual trafficking was murdered in front of him.

My other thought is this: I don't think it is impossible for the type of work that some people do to not take a huge toll. You can't realistically deal with what you are dealing with and not experience residual effects that compound over time. In my opinion, the stress management, self-care, excercise etc only works up to a point. All the GALs I know and many family law attorneys I know experience bad stress that haunts them on the weekends, causes fatigue, anxiety.

I am not sure what the answer is because people need to be doing what you are doing but I don't like that professionals sometimes deny that reality.

UPDATE: since my last post things have taken a turn for the worse with the hurricane. We are now looking at a Cat 3 or Cat 4 coming straight at us, and it keeps shifting west which is bad for us. There is now a voluntary evacuation in place (a little late).

I am ashamed to admit I had a bit of an internal meltdown and have really felt I should have evacuated with Zoe. My husband and I considered my taking Zoe and heading north tonight. But the latest feedback suggests I 75 is terribly clogged and no fuel. I am not sure if my west coast office (my largest office) near the water will make it.

My greatest regret is putting Zoe in the middle of it, but many children have weathered hurricanes. It does not help that the media is making this sound like the apocalypse, although with the climate change causation, as you mentioned, James, a certain song from Tina Fey's Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is playing over and over 'Apocalypse, Apocalypse we cause you by our dumbness.' As well as greed I suppose.

Again, I don't want anyone (aka Dee) to worry that there is physical danger. It is going to be a drag, but if I go offline it is because we lost power not because something horrible happened.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Admin on Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:52 pm

They don't seem to have gotten it right so far on their predictions, so is here any reason to trust the latest prediction? Maybe it will just keep going west, lash the west coast, and land in Texas or Louissana? I don't think they know anymore.

The storm HAS been made out to be the apocalypse. I saw pictures of of the islands last night, and they were just razored to the ground, but that was as a Cat 5. Hoping it will continue to weaken.

Worst part of Harvey was flooding and tornadoes, especially in my area. Just an FYI. If you are not in flood and zone and house up to code, that will help a lot.

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Re: General Discussion and Updates

Post by Dee S on Sat Sep 09, 2017 1:37 pm

I'm going to worry. It's what I do and I do it well. It just means that I care about you. Quite simple. You're an adult and I trust you'll do the best you can. Cat 3 is pretty bad. I've been in a cat 4 or two in my lifetime. Can't pay me to ride that ride ever again. MI doesn't have them. We have occasional tornadoes (The last one in Muskegon was in the early '00s), tiny earthquakes and bad flooding at spring thaw. Our snowfall has gotten worse each year - climate change has that effect here. Our summers are shorter, starting later and our cold weather has already begun.

My friend Steve did evacuate and had a bit of creative writing on his page this morning.
Good morning everyone. Here is the current situation. I keep trying to break up with my new girlfriend Irma but she isn't having any of that. I've done everything I could do. I have literally moved out of my beach apartment and given it to her. You would think that would be enough but she is still hunting me down and not letting go so easy. Like all nasty break ups, these things take time. Safe thoughts and prayers for all my Florida family and neighbors. Think of Irma as a woman scorn and hell hath no fury... not my first rodeo either way.

I thought you'd get a laugh out of it. I believe he went to Naples but has friends further north that have offered him (and his son - IDK if he got him or not - THAT was a horrible custody issue) respite for however long he needs it. His apartment was 300 paces from the ocean in Lauderdale-by-the-sea. I don't think it'll exist after this with storm surge, no matter what category or where it hits. I really hope he was able to convince his ex to give him his son back in time to leave, but she's not a very smart woman and will do anything possible to hurt Steve. Even put their son in jeopardy. My only reassurance with the son in that if he's with mom they'll be weathering the storm in a hospital which is built to withstand even a strong storm (I hope).

Laura please keep in touch as you're able. I read where Comcast was opening all of their hotspots for everyone to access, just like they did in Tx. IDK how well that worked but if the lines stay unbroken, there should be wifi available.

Kyra is doing much better, thanks for asking. She's almost bald. Ripped most of her hair off. Her beautiful mane is gone. BUT she's not chewing at the spots as much and is finally letting them heal. She's been overly affectionate, as in not leaving me alone for more than 2 minutes last night. I'd shoo her away and she'd be right back on my elbow mewing at me to sit on the pillow and snuggle. I'd love to think it is because she loves me but I'm pretty sure she's just cold and I'm a warm body. LOL

Jae you need to do what's best for you. I remember how excited you were with this position. You worked hard to get there. Are there ways to ease that stress with team building exercises with the staff? Maybe have an office get-together with lots of food and some nerf guns? Perhaps the old staff are feeling unsure of their positions or threatened some way by the new ones? It's sad that as councillors they can't be adults about it and work together for the better of everyone, clients included.

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