Monday, March 31, 2014


     Where are you, my God? Am I not sincere enough? Do you expect something more from me? I am trying to adjust to an idea that, God's Grace alone is going to save me, but then - where does my responsibility come in? Looking at the world and the testimonies of successful people in it, we know: their determination and effort were the deciding factors, although, without some degree of luck or God's Providence playing role, they might've not succeeded. And then there are those, who worked hard  their whole lives and never gave up, but achieved zilch!
     What is it that we really need? Sure, being rich or just comfortable is nice. Being happy is even better! Did you see the film The Pursuit of Happyness? For that man getting a desired job, money and security that came with it was happiness! There is no question: with riches come opportunities not only for oneself but also for the family, and that makes for happier lives.
     I worked in a small theater in Soviet Russia, when I was twenty. We had nothing! At least, I lived with my parents who provided a warm apartment and food. They told me, unless I quit the theater, I could not eat their food. They were only looking out for me: the troupe was not accepted by the government and, therefore, had no steady income or prospects for the future. I came home (when I had to) late at night and, out of pride, ate only some snacks. Sometimes we got paid, when the overseeing agency decided that, they needed to make a gesture of good will toward us. Then we bought bread and butter and made sandwiches for everybody. We drank a lot of tea, talked through the nights and were tremendously happy with our lives.
     Or were we? I was a lowly assistant, who always felt inadequate among the talented actors. I also often felt insecure, since I was expendable, and they weren't! I thought, spending all my time in pursuit of art and in support of it was the highest calling and the greatest pleasure one could have, but I was not happy. In fact, it was just the time in my life, when I played with an idea of suicide...
     So, what was missing? For the longest time I thought, it was God. Yes, I was rescued from my despair by Heavenly Love. It came to me the first time I prayed. God was just there, leading and waiting for me to take a step toward Him. Still, in between amazing experiences with God's Grace, I was miserable. I needed people! A partner would've been very nice too, but I settled for some friends, when they came. 
     This time, for a number of years, I had no feelings of inferiority. I lived oblivious to the reality of life, and, on the other hand, when I looked that reality right in my face in regards to my marriage and some very depressing church events (I was a missionary for the Unification Church), I understood how stupid I was!
     I was not happy. I was miserable with my husband and, to a great degree, with my own childish personality. I am 55 now. Age brought some benefits: wisdom to know, I needed something more to feel satisfied.
     What was that? I thought, I had to be more humble and serving, but couldn't do it. The baggage of my psyche made me lag behind in my own expectations. My husband seemed like a tyrant, but I didn't know, I could do something about it.
     Now my prayers and hopes are to learn to rely on my Higher Power. I didn't cause the roots of my emotional and spiritual sickness, I can't remove them and I can't cure the sickness. God can. Together with me? I think so. Otherwise, what's the point of me going to see Mr. P. and attempting to change the way I look at the world?
     How are you, my readers, doing? I know, how discouraging life is. Like the song says: "We are but a moment's sunlight fading on the grass"... But this is the only life that we have! Happiness is... Happiness is in togetherness! Be it a family or a greater community and your work and connections there - that's where the happiness will reside. We need to find it with the help of our Higher Powers. Amen?


     Cats are at odds today. To me it seems like, it's enough for Chickie to just pass Sylvie to make her hiss and spit like a hot griddle, but on closer observation, I can tell that he (Chickie) is up to no good! As Sylvie bares her fangs and goes into her: "I'll scratch-a your face-a off!" act, he drops to the floor and starts stretching and rolling on it, little by little getting closer to his female opponent. Soon his leg, with all toes and claws extended, lightly touches her, and she blows up, smacking him with lightning speed with her own silver paw! 
Chicken Bone, or Chickie.

     Chickie takes offense at that and goes to the side to lick his shoulder (which, I think, is a form of a feline insult. I saw them do it again and again after confrontations or just before them). Sylvie, who played the damsel in distress to perfection, now does some thorough cleaning herself, but doesn't budge from her spot. Perhaps, she is secretly flattered by Chickie's attention? 
     These two have been living together for ten years. They are no closer to being friends now than they were then. One time, early on, I saw Sylvie stand up on her stumpy little back legs and stick her face close to Chickie's, who slept on the couch at the time. He misunderstood this sign of her wanting to make a closer acquaintance and raised one paw in warning. Whether or not we
Sylvie can be very sweet, but
not on this picture!
thought that Sylvie's effort at play was sufficient, this aggression on Chickie's part put a stop to any further warming of the political climate between them.

Chickie started an original "Occupy!" movement here,
by refusing to leave Hanah's stomach.
     It is sad, really: both of them are bored to death by walking around and sleeping in every room and surface in the house. Except for short spats, like the one I described in the beginning, there is no excitement in their lives. One of them or another would occasionally make a dash for freedom and get out of the door, where they would immediately stop to chew on the grass. I tried to buy them grass to eat, but they paid no attention to it. For them, the grass is really greener on the other side of the door! Eating only a tiny bit is enough to have a very satisfying barfing session, which fills them with pride, and they try to bring us to a little puddle of grossness that they made to share the good news!


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     It was raining, and I kept thinking that I have been crazy to do this and drag Roberta with me as well! My foot hurt, but that didn't stop me from getting hooked on the idea of helping a friend and getting a free lunch!
     We were invited to a seminar in celebration of the African-American Women. It was to happen in a building in Oakland. 
     I packed Roberta, and we went there. The rain got stronger as we drove. I found the building easily enough, but there was no sign, where to enter. All the doors were locked. 
     My friend, Evelyn, also drove up, and we began to look for the entrance together. I made Roberta put on my rain jacket, because she was walking with her walker and couldn't hold an umbrella. I was carrying the said umbrella, but the wind whipped rain at me from all sides.
     It took a little while, but, finally, someone came down and led us to an elevator. It didn't look like anything that I imagined. The room where people have gathered was chilly, and the ceiling was leaking by the windows, leaving ever widening water stains on the floor. I think, besides Evelyn, Roberta and myself, only one other person was a guest. All others were presenters. All that was OK: I arranged and participated in putting up many events to know that, it was hard to bring people; many times there were many more members of my organization that guests!
MaMa Asale on her way to give roses to Grandmothers
in an old folks' home for Mother's Day
     It was an event sponsored by Primerica, a financial planning and investment company. Fortunately, the expected pitch for ordering their services never came. Instead, people talked about building a community and a culture of heart and mutual help. My good friend, MaMa Asale, of the Grandmothers Who Help, talked about her work in bringing Black History exhibits to where people could learn from them. Another lady spoke very well of the necessity for determination in pursuing one's goals. She befriended Roberta before the start of the seminar by listening to her tales. Roberta has this whole Danielle Steel-like life story that she invented for herself. I don't know for
Roberta fibs a lot, but is a very lovable lady otherwise!
sure, how much of it is true, but I suspect that - not so much. She (Roberta) told it so many times, that she believes it herself  now, and I don't think that it's my place to dismantle her story!

     Anyway, the lady believed Roberta and was even  inspired by what she heard. She brought up my charge's name many times in her talk. Roberta was in heaven! 
     We were promised that two Bay Area chefs will make lunch for our program. To tell the truth, I wondered about it, as time passed and our stomachs began to make hungry noises. You see, it was an office building with no kitchen necessary for two famous (as we were told) chefs to work their magic! 
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Mr. Minnik, the Nutritionist
     Finally, the chefs were introduced. One of them turned out to be a nutrition expert, Mr. Minnik. He was not a chef, but we were interested to hear, what he had to say of the effects of sugar (which is present in most products or processed food that we buy) on our bodies. According to him and the sources that he cited, we consume ten times more sugar in one day that is recommended by the FDA! I quit drinking soda a long time ago, but recognized many things in Mr. Minnik's list of sugar-filled foods as something that I and my family use. In other words, I didn't regret having to listen to him instead of getting my expected lunch box!
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Mr. Rozenzweig
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Mr. Rozenzweig's salad looked different,
but was delicious!
     Another man was a chef. His name was Mr. Rozenzweig. He brought out a few huge metal bowls and a lot of smaller plastic containers. He talked about eating well to promote healthy and active living. He filled metal bowls with green spinach, dumped broken down sardines and avocados, pumpkin seeds, black beans and pieces of seaweed out of the plastic boxes into it and tossed everything right in front of our eyes. Even though it was not what we all anticipated, we soon began to salivate and couldn't wait for him to stop talking and hand out the salad already! One of the ladies made her own red beans and corn bread (not at all like the healthy chef recommended it, but delicious nevertheless!).
     I, who never looked at salads twice before, ate two helpings! That didn't help my concentration, as the program continued. Drowsiness seemed to affect not just me, but, fortunately, the next item on the program was a dancing group. They were three very vital young ladies, who did a number on liberating women from a veil of false modesty (I think). I had to do a lot of energetic blinking, to avoid falling asleep, but fast pace of the dance and sincerity of the dancers kept me interested!
     By that time, I began to worry that Roberta was getting tired. It's been a few hours that we were there, and she sat on a hard chair. She seemed to take it all in stride, though, and looked alert.
     Before we came, I promised Asale that I will bring a couple more people with me. It didn't happen. I was embarrassed by it, but as we hugged good bye, Asale whispered her thanks to me in my ear: "Dina, you got me out of trouble again" - she said. I was very moved. We never know, what kind of influence we have on others, and how we can be of great help to them.
     At home, Roberta began to sneeze and cough. I gave her a few things to prevent cold. She and I both are glad that we braved the rain and spent time in the atmosphere of learning and camaraderie. Thanks to you, MaMa Asale, we are richer today than we were yesterday!

Sunday, March 30, 2014


This is a poem by a Russian poet, Evgeny Yevtushenko. He wrote about the tragedy of Babi Yar and his reaction to it.
I am sorry for an inferior translation, - these words were boring a hole in my mind, and I had to get them out.


There's no monument over Babi Yar,
A severe cliff face, - the only rough gravestone.
I am scared. Today I am as old
As a Jewish race!

It seems to me, I am a Jew.
Here I am wondering around the ancient Egypt.
And here - I am dying on a cross,
And there are still holes from the nails
On my hands even now!

I feel, like I am Dreifus,
Haunted, hunted, spat upon.
I am arrested, encircled,
And the ladies in Brussel lace, screaming,
Stick their umbrellas in my face...

It seems to me, I am Anne Frank.
I am transparent, like an April branch.
I love, I don't need to see, I just want
Us to look into each other.

- "They're coming here!"
- "Don't be afraid, those are the sounds of the Spring,
she is coming! Come to me, give me your lips!
The door is breaking? No, it's the ice on the river!"

There's no monument over the Babi Yar.
The trees look threateningly, like judges.
Everything is silently screaming here,
And, with my hat off, I feel -
my hair is becoming white.

And all of me is one unending
Shrill cry over thousands upon thousands
Of the executed!
I am - every old man,
I am - every child killed here!

Nothing in me will forget it.
Let The International sound
When the last on this Earth anti-Semite  dies!

There's no Jewish blood in my veins,
But the anti-Semites hate me with terrible hate
As if I was a Jew,
And that makes me 


     When I told Mr. P. that Taka and Sonny would not help me, despite my inability to do almost any housework right now, he said that: "we get what we tolerate". It means that, I came to expect that kind of behavior and accept it as normal, and so my guys have no need to change anything. 
     Today is Sunday. Everyone is at home. I got up early and went to the store. When I came back, my foot was aching something awful. The dishes soaked in the sink, the table had all of the last night's stuff on it. I had to make breakfast for Roberta (Sonny and Taka are too unpredictable in what they desire for that meal on Sunday. I let them deal with it). I had a choice: start washing dishes and cleaning or... 
     I chose "or". Roberta wouldn't get up, so I began my morning mental exercises. Played a couple of online Scrabble games and did a crossword puzzle. 
     By about ten o'clock in the morning, I started making Roberta's breakfast. I woke her up then and, as she came out of the room with her hair standing on end, we sat down at the table to have some oatmeal. Yes, today I chose to have oatmeal instead of the Optifast shake or bar prescribed by my diet. I felt, I deserved it!
       It's almost 8 o'clock in the evening now. The dishes are still in the sink, although I cleaned the table. I ignored my house chores on purpose today, to see if anyone cared. They didn't! In the middle of the day Sonny appeared (I think, his dad got him out of bed). When I told him, what I expected him to do, my sleepy looking, still ruffled from his struggle with a blanket nineteen years old offspring said with aplomb: "So, I'm not suppose to do any of my homework then?" 
     - "Were you doing your homework when daddy told you to get up?"
     He didn't answer. It took him another couple of hours to get going, but he cleaned the cats' litter box and went shopping. Right now he is resentfully shoving bought groceries to the places where they belong. 
     Taka did not engage in an argument, whether or not I should be making him meals despite my illness, or whether or not he should be picking up the slack in household chores. Perhaps, he understands that he can't win that discussion. Perhaps, he doesn't care. 

Friday, March 28, 2014


     An attitude of gratitude... What is it? I am not a bad person, I know that. I love people and am idealistic. I live under a pall of misery, though, as if not sure why I am unhappy and what to do about it. 
     I desire to be humble and serving, but I love spotlight and praise. I want to be close to people, but, either because of my inability to be genuine or life's circumstances, can not get really close to anyone. 
     What's the key to such contradiction? Mr. P. says, it's being not co-dependent. Not basing my expectations or self-esteem on the opinion or behavior of others. But how to achieve that without becoming inconsiderate or brash? 
     Is the attitude of gratitude an answer? To see life's challenges, including challenging people, our family being the worst of them, as opportunities to grow self-awareness and esteem
     God loves us for us, despite our faults. Also - despite us not loving ourselves or making mistakes. I heard somewhere that, to sin means to "miss the mark". What's the implication of it? We see ourselves as unworthy, evil beings because of what we do or don't do. God sees us as His/Her children on the way to bright and beautiful future. 
     Today Mr. P. said that, Taka, my husband, is a blessing. God is forcing, extruding Dina through all of Taka's roughness and insensitivity to take my true form, like (Mr. P.'s analogy) a pasta machine extrudes desired shapes through it's unyielding surfaces. Am I to become a spineless, oozy blob then, or is there a pre-set design which, if I keep my self-worth and faith, will make me a worthy person?
     Taka is a blessing to me. So was my mother and a million of others against whom I struggled in life. They shape me, God shapes me through them, to be my true self. 


     I took a couple of selfies to send to my doctor. I was writing to her to say how miserable I was with gout and ask if there was anything else I could do or take to make it go away. Taking pictures seemed like fun, but I was scared by the result.
     Was this really me?! I was on the diet and enduring pain and terrible inconvenience, in part, to look and feel better. Instead, I feel and look dead! My skin is gray, my eyes are drawn, it's hard to stand in a shower for a necessary length of time, so my hair is unwashed. My God, why the heck am I going through all this?!
     Let's see... I lost about twenty seven pounds by now. My blood sugar levels stay low, so I don't need to take Diabetes medication every day. I stopped the cholesterol medication long time ago. On the other hand, I finished a bottle of Tylenol in these few weeks. What damage it has done to my insides - who knows! 
     By the way, my doctor was only able to suggest that I take Naproxen, another pain medicine. I told her that my diet precludes taking drugs like Naproxen, but she still insisted that I can have it with food. Today the doctor who takes care of me on the Weight Management Program called to say that, he also saw the message that I received and absolutely prohibits me to take Naproxen!There is still nothing they are going to do about gout, but, at least, the doctors finally sorted things out for themselves!
     Later that day I showed Roberta the photos I took of myself and asked if that's how I really look. She was shocked and assured me that I don't. "That's it!" - she said, pointing at a different picture in the folder - "That's you!"
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That's better, don't you think?

Thursday, March 27, 2014


     Remember Joon? He is my son's, Sonny', alter ego! He emerges when there is trouble afoot. I wrote a few stories about him to let Sonny know that, the world is a wild place, and one'd better be on one's toes!

     It has been too long... Even the smog-laden air of a small city in California filled Joon with a thrill of life and anticipation of a good fight. 
logo.png (296×142)     Sonny was on the way to college. He just left his mom's van and ran towards the BART entrance. Joon caught a few of his thoughts: he was late for school again and scolded himself for not getting up sooner.
     Everything seemed to be in order, but Joon never emerged into the world without a good reason. He slowed his steps and carefully observed the surroundings. A bus with it's doors open was waiting for its passengers, some of whom just started to file out of the BART's doors. A woman stood by the ticket booths, her hand lightly resting on a handle of a baby carriage. BART policeman moseyed on among the passers by. A man with a large German Shepherd on a leash walked behind Joon. 
     The hairs on the back of Joon's head rose up. He could feel animosity and tension emanating from the dog, even though he wasn't looking directly at him. He glanced behind him and saw that the owner of the Shepherd was standing still, his eyes glazed over, seeing nothing. A leash fell from his hand. The dog's eyes focused on Joon and his fangs bared. Now that Joon saw the dog in front of him, he realized that it was not a simple canine! 
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     Dog's tail whipped from side to side, and in a moment spikes began to fly at Joon, inexplicably detaching themselves from the tail. A few of them struck Joon's sleeve and it began to melt. Joon covered his face with one elbow and crouched down to meet the monster's attack. 
     He heard a gasp of horror to his side and quickly looked there. A woman with a baby carriage saw, what was going on. She brought her hand to her mouth and the carriage began to roll away, heading straight between Joon and the dog. 
     Over the dog's blood curdling growl, Joon could hear woman's screams. He could not afford to take his eyes away from the menace, although he kept checking on the progress of the carriage. Mother of the baby fainted and fell. The dog's owner was also peacefully snoring on the asphalt. There was no one to save the child now except Joon. 
     Just as our hero leapt and  threw himself in front of the carriage's wheels, the dog attacked. In a fraction of a second before they all collided, Joon carefully overturned the carriage to cover the baby, who calmly and trustingly smiled at him. Then he felt the impact of the dog's furry shape slamming into him. There was no heat, but the vitriol on the creature's fur began to choke him almost at once. Joon grabbed Sonny's laptop that he carried in a bag across his chest and slammed it into his attacker's head again and again. He managed to slow him down, but the orange-red fangs were right in his face, and he knew that he has just moments to protect himself and a child.
     Joon bit the dog on it's ear and spat bitter saliva that immediately filled his mouth! The creature squealed, struggled to free himself and retreated a few steps, still eyeing Joon with hatred. 
smoke_plume.gif (128×128)     The BART policeman jumped from behind the column where he was hiding and stuck his taser in the dog's side. The monster didn't just get immobilized. His form simply disintegrated in front of Joon and the policeman in a puff of smoke! There was nothing left on a spot where he was crouching just a second ago!
     Possible explanations ran through Joon's mind to offer to the officer of the law, as he struggled to right the baby's carriage. He realized that there was no need for them: the policeman touched him on a shoulder with a concerned smile and started to disappear as well! 
images (200×252)images (252×200)     As Joon gaped at the man's, transparent now, form, baby's mother hugged her child. She then turned to Joon, and he saw that she was a Marcipanian, an enlightened race of people with light blue hair, who sometimes visited this world on their humanitarian missions. 
     The baby cooed and asked to be held by Joon. He was amazed at the love and peace that he felt, once the child was in his arms! The crowd around them had no clue, what really happened. They just saw the brave young man rescue a baby from a vicious dog, who ran away. 
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     Sonny came to at that moment. He almost dropped the baby and was astonished to hear total strangers praise him and feel them slapping his shoulders and shaking his hand. He felt good, though, as if all the love in the world poured into him from a small form that he was holding. He looked at his broken laptop on the ground and didn't even mind it. Baby's mother hugged and kissed him on a cheek. There was something wrong with his eyes: her hair seemed to be light blue!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014


     And another thing!.. Just kidding, I didn't mean to start this way!
     A month or so ago, I forgot to take my credit card with me, when it was time to pay for my food at Kaiser (if this is the first time you read my blog, you might be very confused. It's OK, just start from the posts around January-February). I have to buy a weekly supply every Monday and also pay for the Program itself. So, a few months ago, I forgot my credit card and had to go pay the next day. Taka told me then: "You could've payed with a debit card (a card that is connected directly to one's checking account). 
     Last Monday, I forgot my credit card again. I tried to reach Taka all day to see if he minds if I use debit card. I called, left him phone messages, texted and e-mailed. Finally, I sent a text: "If you don't tell me otherwise, I will use debit card to pay $500.00 for the Program. He stayed quiet.
     I went and payed and got my food. As I came back home, Taka greeted me with a hysterical tirade: "Why did you pay with debit card?! There is zero balance on our account!" I tried to explain my position and all that I did to reach him, but he didn't want to hear it. He ranted on and on about my inability to comprehend family's financial situation. He reminded me again and again about every instance I let him and the family down by doing something dumb, like on that day. In vain, I tried to say that I just followed what he told me to do the last time I forgot credit card! He ran back and forward, raving mad, demanding that I call and cancel the transaction. That didn't work, it already went through. 
     By that time, I was also mad. I didn't engage in verbal battle with him (well, may be some...). I told him after a while that, if he wanted to talk to me or for me to do something, he'll have to calm down. He didn't. I sent Sonny to him for something and heard how he verbally attacked our son, who was completely innocent of any wrongdoing! He kept yelling that I should just quit the Program, if I insisted on ruining family finances.
     That did it. I refused to talk to him. He also doesn't talk to me. Today he called to find out if I finished arranging for our tax return to be prepared. Fine, like I said many times before, our relationship is more like, if we were working together. If that's how he wants it, I hope, he'll be happy with the results!
     Hmm, not really. I don't want it like that. I am not going to let him attack me and Sonny that way, though. I am his equal, even if I made a mistake (which I didn't). When will he recognize my and our family's value? Are we just some entrees in his bookkeeping ledger? 
     I feel more resilient, though. Are you tired of me adding it to every blog that I write? No, really, just half a year ago, I would've taken it much harder! I moved a little bit forward on the way to emotional recovery, didn't I? Life throws punches, but now I have moves to deflect or take them without much harm to myself. Thank God for that!


     I have no idea, what to tell you! That I am in a lot of pain from gout? That I can not go excising  because of that? That I can hardly walk a few steps and do a few chores in the house, while mess piles up and my conversation with myself consists of: "I should do this! No, I can't! They know that I can't, right?" 
     I am still on the diet, although I had to eat some normal food instead of the special shakes and bars. Why? I have so much stress from pain, that it's harder to control myself. I try to limit the portions, and I don't think, I consume more calories than if I ate the bars and drank the shakes. I lost some weight these couple of weeks again. Not as much as I should've, of course, but a good amount.
     Gout is considered a disease of the idle and the spoiled. I am ashamed to tell others about it, because I am struggling all my life with a stigma of being lazy. I could be more active, I give you that, but then - I am always thwarted by the state of my health. As soon as my foot felt better, I began to clean and cook and run around on errands. Two-three days later, I was back on the couch, gulping down Tylenol (pain meds) and trying in vain to find a position in which my foot would stop hurting. You might say that, this was just these few months. What was I thinking all these years, when pounds kept rolling on and my health declined? 
     I can't find a good enough excuse! I shouldv'e been more health conscious. I should've exercised more and eaten less. I know all that. I was just so caught up in day to day living, that I ignored myself. 
    It's funny, a lady who knows me just a little, came to visit recently, offering her aid in doing house chores or anything I needed. I couldn't let her wash and vacuum, of course, so we spent a few hours chatting and drinking tea. People who know me for decades and are aware of my situation never tried to even just make an extra phone call to see how I am or offer any kind of help. That just goes to show you and me that I've been in a wrong sort of crowd! That lady who came to see me is very busy. She is extremely occupied by her work and church. Most of my friends have only their families and 9 to 5 jobs. They are just too afraid to stretch themselves on behalf of another person, too set in their ways to leave their comfort zones
     Should I be ranting like that? Why not? These thoughts are already in my head, I might as well let them out! 
     I need all the help I can get. Yet I understand that it will not come from outside. It has to come from me and my Higher Power. I have no idea, when my (my own) Higher Power will kick in, but I trust that it will. Perhaps, the Highest Power is now leading me to think about and dig deeply into my life so that I can survive and come out stronger, happier and thinner from this ordeal! Will you pray for me or say a word of encouragement in some comments? I would really appreciate it!

Saturday, March 22, 2014


     Life is not so bad. Park left and stays out. Roberta, who always confused me with her relationship with him, began to really dread the possibility of him even showing up. She asks me to lock the door when I leave her in the house (don't tell anyone, but we've been forgetting to do so for days). I asked her, if she is afraid of him or is just uncomfortable seeing him after their break up. She answered: "Well, he never slapped me around when we lived in Korea..." 
     I was speechless. My jaw wouldn't move, when I tried to talk. I heard that the victims of abuse often hide it, because of the perceived shame. But -  this woman insists that she had education and a job as a psychologist. She has to yet make a healthy (emotionally) decision concerning her life with Park! I would've gotten rid of him long ago, had I known that he hits her! 
     Anyway, we move on. 
     My foot is painful again. I do the most necessary tasks, but - mostly - try to rest it. Mary, with whom I used to go to the pool, stays away and silent. Why? I have no idea. At least, she could call to find out, how I am doing! I wrote to her once, saying that we should get together sometimes, and got a polite, if a little cold, reply back. I don't know if I am making things up with her. Long ago, she and her family moved away from this area. We were friends then. She totally ignored me for the next ten years or so! I also didn't know the reason for it then. I tried to respond to her every expressed need before she left... What was it? It still bothers me to think about it. Maybe, I should talk it out with her! 
     I have to go and give some blood today. By that I mean that, it's time for my weekly labs (the Weight Management Program requires us to do it every week). Better start getting ready! God bless, see you a little later! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


     I did not want to go!  I've been feeling poorly ever since Park threatened me, and I had that terrible reaction to his words, which almost sent me packing for the great green pastures in the skies. I'm not kidding, it was that serious! At least - it seemed so. So, today I decided to take it easy. I already skipped going to Kaiser for my weekly weigh in. Today I wanted to just stay home and watch TV or play Scrabble with unknown to me, but dreadfully skillful internet partners. 
     I was in no hurry, therefore, to make dinner and get ready to leave for the Al Anon meeting. The phone rang. I was glad to hear friend's, Doris' Yorkshire accent: "Are you going to the meeting? I hope so, because Teresa [another lady friend] is sick, and I don't want to drive alone!"
     Like I said, going there was the last thing that I wanted to do. I gave her all my reasons, but Doris was not to be deterred: "That means that you should go! Come on, you'll feel better, once you unburden yourself!"
     To make the long story short, - I went. By the time we pulled up to the Burger King, where the meeting was going to take place, I already felt steadier. As we sat around the circle and people shared about the Third Tradition of Al Anon, which is: 
     The relatives of alcoholics, when gathered together for mutual aid, may call themselves an Al-Anon Family Group, provided that, as a group, they have no other affiliation. The only requirement for membership is that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend, (by the way, people who go to Al Anon meetings are not all relatives or friends of alcoholics. Substitute any dysfunction for alcoholism, and you can be sure to find peace and recovery in Al Anon).
      I also looked through a book left on a table. It fell open on a page that was not about the Third Tradition, but spoke to me in another, very distinctive, way. It said that, although there are many terrible things that we go through in life, the world also has much beauty and wisdom to share. I remember one sentence in particular: "The water in a quiet pond is not concerned about the turbulence it encountered two miles away."
     What does it have to do with anything that I experienced? Even though I didn't realize it when I started to share the page with the group, it talked to me of the necessity to worry about the present day, and not past problems! One day at a time - this is the motto of Al Anon and AAA. One day at a time, one step at a time - we can recover from the traumas of the past and become healthier individuals. Do you believe me? More importantly: do I believe it myself? Yes, I do!

Monday, March 17, 2014


Oh, the joys of tax season!
     Taka, who was remarkably amiable this whole year, locked himself in his office (that also doubles as our bedroom). At my questions and requests, he simply growls some incoherent replies, and I hurriedly leave him alone. 
     Sonny had a dubious pleasure to miss refilling the printer's toner. His dad turned it into a "great" (and long-winded) "teaching opportunity". He is just not the same man, when it comes to money or anything that can threaten the influx of thereof! 
     Time to time, he runs out to ask me a question. I don't mind questions; it's with the manner in which he demands the answers that I have a trouble! He doesn't even wait to make sure that I am listening to him: just garbles something out in an ogreish tone of voice. Woe to me, if I can't comprehend what he said right away! He spits and hisses like a cat and runs back into his kingdom of computers, who, unlike myself, understand and accept him completely. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014


     My head and the back of my eyeballs were throbbing. Pulse raced like a train. My neck, shoulders and arms tingled, and I didn't think that it was something simple, like acid re-flux!
     The night before, Roberta came to tell me that, Park will come early in the morning to get some of his stuff. She seemed to think more of it than I. I am not afraid to look him in the eye and say, what I think. In the morning I woke her up. The moment that I put a bowl of cereal in front of her, we heard Park's key in the door. 
adventuretime-i-may-wake-up-at-any-moment-1b.gif (500×220)     "What's wrong with youR face? It looks bad!" - were his first words to Roberta. Since she just got out of bed, I thought that she looked normal. "I look OK!" - she squeaked.  He changed his tone to gruff: "No, - you listen to me!"
tumblr_mara3xtmwr1rnvwt1.gif (500×228)     Park went into their room. Roberta got up and followed him. I don't understand their relationship. Most of the time, she simpers and says things like: "Alright, honey", and: "be careful, come back quickly!" Then she tells me, she is afraid that, he would take her belongings or money. Now she went to watch, how he packed and what he took.  
     I continued washing dishes and preparing for the day. Today is Sunday. We were going to go to church. I wasn't worried even a bit that something untoward can happen.
     Park went in and out of the room with Roberta following like a tail in his footsteps. I reminded him to be sure to leave the key to our house behind. He blustered for a minute, then said that he will.
images (268×188)     As he dragged the last of his items to through the door, he added in the same petulant, abrasive manner: "You take care of Dr. Burson [Roberta]! Her face is not good today! You know, I'll report you, if something is wrong!"
     Roberta lives with me for close to two years now. I took care of her, when she had to have two hip surgeries and convalesced. I was there for her, pretty much, day and night, while he lived in Korea. He only came here because he lost his job there. He soon left on a fool's errand: to study Oriental Medicine in a Las Vegas school. I say that, it was a fool's errand, because he was 73 at the time, without any means of financial support except Social Security... 
     He came back with his tail between his legs very soon after and began a campaign of persecution against me. He wanted to live in our house for free (Roberta pays a little money for rent and up-keep, but he never gives anything.), and to get the government check that I receive for taking care of Roberta! He stopped me from cooking or cleaning for her. He saved money by having free room and board - and ranted against us, his hosts!
enough.gif (320×300)     Now it came to a point when, even meek Roberta said: "Enough!" He understood that, but it didn't stop him from poisoning the last interaction with me. 
     Hearing that he threatened me, I said: "Don't forget, I know everything about you. I can report you at any time!"
     I wish, I was calm and collected. Instead, when he left, my knees almost gave out! 
tumblr_inline_n2imzbRBB71rvl5po.gif (500×300)     You  know how, when you worry about something, that something might happen? I had a thought at the back of my mind that, I was having a heart attack. I was quite sure that it was acid re-flux, though. I took some Pepto, but the symptoms didn't stop. I kept telling myself: "Any minute now everything will come back to normal". 
     It didn't. I sent Sonny and Roberta to church and tried to calm myself down. As soon as I laid down (after using "a little girl's room"), I began to feel better. Blessed sleep was right at my eyelids, when Taka came in. He started to question me regarding the whole Park situation: why Roberta didn't want to go with him, why Park threatened me, and what I did to deserve it (implying that I did do something). I felt my blood pressure start to rise again, stopped answering his questions and eventually drifted into sleep. 
     Upon awakening, I was totally (almost totally) OK. I still felt a bit shell shocked. Thank God, it's over! Wait, is it?..

                              tumblr_li2homLEL51qf7r5lo1_500.gif (500×213)