The Lice Comb 

Next we were picking oranges and ants dropped into her hair.

This lice comb may be my favorite possession in the whole world. I am also so very grateful to be able to take a shower and at end of my personal hygiene needs. I do keep in mind all the people who do not have that luxury.

DPSS Customer Service …

Needs an update. “14545 Lanark Street” has not been the Van Nuys DPSS office for over a year yet thos is the address the automated system gives out.


14545 Lanark St is an abandoned and boarded up building with homeless people living in the underground parking , or thos was true the last time I looked at it.
The correct location is the Zev Yaroslavsky Family Service building just past The Plant on Van Nuys Blvd.

Also, it is super hard to navigate to the point of speaking to a customer service rep. It took me 20 minutes of menu hopping before discovering  the key sequence , and for 10 more minutes I have been on hold.

Mis-information and hidden services are not “effective and caring service”. I am sure the county means to do better.
I also had to keep the call center worker from giving out a worker’s phone number just becaise it was ” too hard” for him to look up a case.

Food Drive Tips

This weekend is the Stamp Out Hunger , letter carriers food drive. 

Here are some tips to make your donations go as far as possible: 

Food Drive tips

It may be awhile before your food is sorted so please donate items that do not need to be refrigerated before being given out.

Breakable items tend to break and squishable items like bread had to get squished so make sure your packaging is sturdy.

You might love sardines and other Specialty Foods, but we don’t know what the people who are receiving the food will like. Common and traditional food are the best donations because they can  be given out to most anyone.

Donating things may make you feel really great and it is a good opportunity to clean out your cabinets of food that you fight but me never eat. With that in mind, please check the expiration dates on your food because we cannot donate food that has already expired.

Spirituality and Mental Health

I am at the Cathederal ofOur Lady of Angels on Temple Street in Los Angeles for a Los Angeles Country DMH mental health conference. 

First, as a happy little Methodist I must say that Catholic churches floor me. I was born in a hospital populated with Carmelite nuns. For years I thought of becoming a nun until I realized that the Methodist church is nun-less. 

Second, talk of ‘moral injury’ is fascinating.  I’ve become accustomed to separating the material from the physical.  After a semester of Theroies of Health and Mental Health, I have managed to blend brain anatomy with research theories. My capacity to hold multiple concepts in my head at once.

I completed my last paper for the semester at 3 this morning and I am so tired, but exhaustion is no excuse to not work on myself and ability to help others, right?  I am sitting here with my favorite Professor, Tamara from USC.

Core Beliefs, as illustrated by The Oatmeal

read the rest

“This comic was inspired by this three-part series on the backfire effect from the You Are Not So Smart Podcast.

If you want to learn more about the backfire effect and other related behaviors (confirmation bias, deductive reasoning, etc), I highly recommend listening to the whole thing:
Podcast Part 1Podcast Part 2Podcast Part 3” – the Oatmeal

also, as I pointed out to my friend Ally Alberts Howard, the Amygdala looks like a seahorse in real life. Wanna see?

The Amygdala looks like a seahorse.

Goodness of Fit in Volunteering

Created with Microsoft Fresh PaintEarlier this week I got an early morning text from one of my more interesting acquaintances. He wanted to know if I worked with the homeless population because he was interested in exploring involvement with these services.

Happy dancing ensued. I have no rhythm so it was ugly – but joyful. About 4 years ago I tried to connect this dude with some like minds. Not because of the good work he could do – and yes, he is fully capable of great good things – but because I always like a good romance, or in this case, I smell a BROMANCE.

Do you ever think about the people you know from all of your social circles and realize that you could play a rousing hand of “Go Fish” with the matches and pairs of similar people in your hand? No? Oh, well I do. I amuse myself by thinking about pairings of people the same way that others make combinations of chocolate and wine. I love people, so this is what I do.

I want to introduce S* and R* (who are already cohorts) to J*. R has a depth of soul that few humans manage to know exist, much less achieve. Goodness drips out of his pours but he is no hippy slacker, he is a “type A” go-getter with awesome chef skills. I am perpetually bummed that I am not more like him.  S is all kinds of personality fun. He can toss out one-liners while balancing double column accounts and quoting insulin price fluctuations. He is a patient and awesome father and he lets my little daughter play with his in his office. Enter J. J is fun, he goes places, does things, knows stuff and is learning to cook (do you hear that R, he cooks!). He runs a concierge tech business with a couple of other guys so I know that male friendship is in his wheelhouse.

Why is this important to me? Well, because great changes come from great teams – and great teams have teammates  who like each other and respect the products of the groupings.

I am hoping this works out, I smell Bromance and great things.

Wealth vs Worth in 1 Picture

In “the Bible Corrected by God” God is changing the captions of the rich to “poor” and vice versa.

It was super windy in Los Angeles last night. The screen blue off of my bedroom window. As I walked across my front yard and then started trying to try to catch up with the tumbling metal Square I took a moment to realize that I was so lucky to even have a window or home. I wonder what it must have been like for the people living in their tents that have their tents try to blow away with the only wait and then grounding them down be their bodies.

Do the people who were blown about last night deserve comfort and security? I like the think that they’d you deserve those things they just can’t afford those things. And when we make a list of things are entitlements that everybody should have, I like to think that housing is one of those things that we should make if not a human right, an “American Right”.

I live in the country of the greatest innovators of the world. This is the country where the assembly line comma the modern car, light bulbs, stop signs, peanut butter, super computers, and the internet or dreamed of, created, and brought into reality. I simply don’t understand why we can’t build basic housing for everybody. A basic starter level housing even if it’s long project like rooms connected one to the other so that people have a roof and walls and access to indoor plumbing. It wouldn’t be a place where people would want to live but it would be a place where they could live and I’m starting pad to move up from or a safety net to land in. Nobody here needs to be homeless. We have a great deal of unskilled workers and an educational system which seems bent on keeping them on skills. We have Warriors returning from the Armed Forces who need something to do. Building these types of housings would keep them employed and give them skillful and gainful trades.
People who are housed are less likely to be sick and to call nine-one-one or two need to go to the emergency room or two be a burden on the taxpayers dollars. The money we would invest in simply housing people will come back to us in savings over and over again.
I live in a country where we were told to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps but we were also told to do to one another what we would want them to do to us and we called that the Golden Rule. Maybe our next step should be to put boots on our neighbors and help them pull up their bootstraps.

LA has multiple parts. Here is what you need to know about The Valley

Like Ohmigawd. I moved to The Valley permanently four years ago and it is a different world from where I grew up in the San Gabriel Valley or Downtown.

It is a fun little read.