Monday, January 25, 2010

conan o'brien's farewell speech

Conan is one hell of a person. Here's hoping he comes back (on Fox?)!

“There’s been a lot of speculation in the press about what I legally can and can’t say about NBC. And– this isn’t a joke– to set the record straight–and this is true– tonight, I’m allowed to say anything I want…

And what I want to say is this: between my time at Saturday Night Live, the Late Night show, and my brief run here on The Tonight Show, I’ve worked with NBC for over 20 years.
Yes, we have our differences right now. Yes, we’re going our separate ways. But this company has been my home for most of my adult life. I am enourmously proud of the work we’ve done together and I want to thank NBC for making it all possible. I really do.

A lot of people have been asking me about my state of mind, and to be honest with you, walking away from The Tonight Show is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

Making this choice has been enourmously difficult. This is the best job in the world. I absolutely love doing it. And I have the best staff and crew in the history of the medium. And I will fight anybody who says I don’t… but no one would.

But despite this sense of loss, I really feel this should be a happy moment. Every comedian dreams of hosting The Tonight Show. And for 7 months, I got to do it. And, I did it my way, with people I love; I do not regret one second of anything we’ve done.

I encounter people when I walk on the street now who just… give me sort of a sad look. I have had more good fortune than anybody I know. And if our next gig is doing a show in a 7-11 parking lot, we will find a way to make it fun. We really will.

Finally, I have something to say to our fans.

This massive outpouring of support and passion from so many people has been overwhelming for me. The rallies, the signs, all this goofy, outrageous creativity on the internet…The fact that people have travelled long distances and camped out all night in the pouring rain… to be in our audience…

Here’s what all of you have done: you’ve made a sad situation joyous and inspirational.

So to all the people watching, I can never, ever thank you enough for the kindness you’ve shown to me. I’ll think about it for the rest of my life.

All I ask is one thing– and I’m asking this particularly of the young people who watch: Please do not be cynical. For the record, I hate cynicism. It’s my least favorite quality. It doesn’t lead anywhere.

Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get. But if you work really hard, and you’re kind, amazing things will happen.
I’m telling you… Amazing things will happen.”

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010

wishing i had a time machine.

I'm working with an advocate now as we transition Elliott to special services through the school district when he turns 3 in March. If any of you have kids that need help, I highly suggest using an advocate. She knows what she's talking about, she's calm and objective, and she helps me navigate through all of the crap I'm trying to get through to get the best support for my son. Anyway, Elliott is up for evaluation through the school district in two weeks and I can't get the district to send me a consent form to let me know what tests they'll be using in the evaluation. It makes sense that I review this information BEFORE the assessment so that my consent is informed, no? But the district usually brings it with them when they perform the assessment, which doesn't make any sense at all. So anyway, I was talking to her about all of this, and she asked me if Elliott has ever received any speech therapy. One of Elliott's most significant problems is language. I've fought very hard to get him a form of therapy called ABA which addresses language but isn't speech therapy per se. Elliott has not had speech therapy and suddenly I felt like a failure. My advocate was angry with the regional center for not providing this, but I am angry at myself. How could I have missed this? Now Elliott is turning 3 and we have missed a crucial window of time to intervene early with his language acquisition and I'm so frustrated with myself. Getting any type of service from our regional center has been difficult but I don't know why it didn't occur to me to fight for BOTH instead of just one. I guess there is no going back in time, but I really wish I could right now. Elliott, I am so sorry.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

here we go again

So Elliott is getting close to three years old now. And I'm terrified. Benjamin turned into a maniac just before he was three, tearing posters from his wall, peeing on the floor, yelling in our faces, kicking his toys, etc. He wouldn't sleep. He wouldn't listen. He was in time out almost every hour. Ryan and I looked upon that time as a war of sorts, a war we were determined to win. And though homeboy has his moments, Benjamin is a sweet boy who generally listens to and respects people and is happy overall.

Now, Elliott is getting close to three. And he will not sleep. And he has hit us. He yells no in our faces and throws books at our heads. Last night, we got about 4 hours of sleep. We had to wake him up at 7 for his therapy and he was miserable for the entire first hour, tossing his body to the ground, banging his head up against chairs, etc. When I finally got him to calm down, I served him breakfast and he nearly choked on a bite of pancake. I had walked into the kitchen to get his juice, and suddenly he came around the corner, making a strange noise and looking terrified. I reached towards him and he started coughing (which is a great sign--air is getting through) and he choked the piece down and started crying, heaving into my chest. I was so grateful again that he allows me to comfort him now, and I just sat there with him until he was done crying that jagged, after-cry that kids get when they are very upset. He was completely fine, and he ate the rest of his pancakes withotu incident but it really scared me.

His therapy was interrupted for longer than it's supposed to be interrupted, and the therapist just sat there taking notes for a really long time. I'm grateful for the work she does with him, but it is very structured, and our lives our so unstructured and unpredictable and sometimes I struggle to reconcile my morning chaos and whatever chaos is going on in Elliott's head and Benjamin's demands with the three hours of therapy every morning, with the person sitting in my living room, telling me how to do everything, taking notes on what percentage of the time I provide Elliott with a prompt for a word. It gets intense.

And, still, I saw this couple taking their newborn on a walk in the stroller on my way to work and I felt so happy for them. I sit in the middle of the night with Elliott against my chest and I am exhausted, but the feeling of his body against mine, the complete trust he has in me, is incredible. It's difficult to describe all of this without being cliche, but what I will say is that I am grateful for this opportunity I have to be a parent. It pushes me to the brink sometimes, but it has also saved me so many others.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

i'm a terrible blogger I know I know

What an erratic mess this blog is these days. When I'm on vacation, I get a little out of hand and stop exercising and vacuuming and start eating cookies and watching reruns of The Soup. I stay in my sweatpants all day and don't leave the house. But I'm back to work and I'll get back to my normal routine of a frantic push towards a nervous breakdown. Even as I am typing, I am thinking of the ridiculous to do list I have at work right now. On the good news front, I got an appt. with a very mysterious Kaiser doctor who believes in the biomedical approach. It took me 3 months to get through to her, but I've got an appt. for Elliott next month! This means most of the labs and supplements we pay for would be covered by our insurance. Hallelujah! It is late and I need a shower, so I will leave you with this video of Benjamin playing his Wii. I will also save this video, along with many other things, to show him when he thinks he is really cool in high school.

Friday, January 01, 2010

events of the decade

2000-Ryan graduated with his B.A. from CSUSB. I married Ryan and we moved to Oakland
2001-Ryan's grandma passed away. I graduated with a B.A. from SFSU
2002-Matt passed away. Ryan graduated with his M.F.A. from Mills College and we moved to New York so I could attend Columbia.
2003-We lived in New York, which is a crazy event in itself.
2004-I got pregnant. Ian passed away. I gave birth to Benjamin and finished my thesis and graduated from Columbia with my M.F.A. We moved back to Redlands.
2005-We moved to a bigger place in Redlands and got sued by a credit card company. We settled the suit out of court. I got a temporary full-time position teaching. Benjamin had a severe speech delay and we pursued treatment for him.
2006-We moved again, and we both got hired full-time at different colleges. I got pregnant with Elliott. Benjamin improved with speech therapy.
2007-I gave birth to Elliott. Then we bought a house. Which was a bad idea in retrospect. So we moved again.
2008-We realized Elliott had a problem, and we suspected autism.
2009-Benjamin started kindergarten and exceeded our highest hopes for him. He is happy, healthy, smart, well-adjusted, and social. We lost our house, and Elliott was diagnosed with autism. We fought all year to get him the treatments he needed. And he has improved tremendously. He is happier and healthier than ever. Oh yeah, and we moved.

Ryan and my last ten years have been spent together, and I'm so grateful to have such an amazing man to share the chaos (and the few quiet moments) with. I'm not complaining, but here's hoping the next 10 years bring us more stability and comfort. We are so grateful for everyone who has helped us weather the good and the bad, and for all of the love we have in our lives. Happy 2010!!