Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Psychotic Insight...

Group on the Inpatient Unit went much better today...the patients were livelier and had a lot of interesting psychotic delusions to talk about. One patient wrote the following poem about emotions during group, and shared it:

"Emotions, Like the sea waves come in and out.
Sometimes you can ride a wave, sometimes you get knocked over.
You can swim out in deep water but the shark can scare the hell out of you;
Like lone sharks."

Seems like a pretty good description of intense emotions to me.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Inpatient Psychiatric Unit...

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I just started working on an inpatient psychiatric unit where I will spend every morning for the next two months. My duties will include psychological testing, and running a psychoeducational group. I am looking forward to the psych testing, but my first experience with group made it seem like an exercise in futility. about 70% of the people are so mentally ill, that they yell things like, "I want to change! Death to homesexuality and Satanism!!!" and "Where is that good-looking man? Oh, there he is!" (to the 300+ pound man that is my supervisor). :) More than half of the patients got up and left, many of which wadded up their handout and tossed it in the trash on the way. Plus, they are so mentally ill and psychotic that you can't even hold them responsible for their rude behavior. They aren't really aware of what they are doing. Anyhow, that will be my life for the next 59 days. Wish me luck!!!

Here we go again...Kid free-for-all

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Yep, just as I suspected. The kids aren't making this easy. When Grandma comes, they push the limits because they know that when I discipline them then I look like the bad guy, and their grandma can't understand what the big deal is.

A few weeks ago, I had to work late and came home and the kids had grilled about $20 worth of steak and chicken breasts. Needless to say, those meats are reserved for special occasions because we can't afford to eat like that every night. They got in trouble and received a lecture about how we can't afford to eat that much meat and how they shouldn't get into things like that unless they call me to see if it is okay. Well, today A***** decided that the kids didn't want to eat the leftovers, or make something with the roast beef I have prepared for casseroles or other meals, or make something with Tuna fish, or make chili dogs, or make cheese sandwiches with tomato soup/bean and bacon soup. No...she decided it would be a good idea to grill more chicken breasts that we can't afford to just eat whenever. I wouldn' t be so mad, but we had this discussion like 10-14 days ago. Also, if they had called to see if it was okay, I probably would have said yes since their grandma is in town. However, they didn't ask, they grilled it anyway, and when Melissa got upset with the kids...grandma couldn't understand why she was upset. The Grandma also set about to rescue A******, offering to pay for the chicken (which is only part of the problem). The bigger problem in my mind is that my kids feel entitled to get into things that aren't their's, use things without permission, and generally scoff at their parents rules. Another huge problem is that A***** is aware of the rule, but manipulated the situation because "Grandma is here and we won't get in as much trouble." They know we don't have a great relationship, and they know their Grandma will take their side and try to prevent them from receiving any serious consequences as I don't want the bad vibes to continue in our relationship. I don't understand how a grown-up adult cannot see how it is a bad influence on kids to undermine their parents' rules. Kind of a stupid blog tonight, but that is what is on my mind.

Peace Truce in Jeopardy???

Well, my mother-in-law has just flown in for a week long visit. This is the woman that hated my guts before she even met me. She was living with my wife when we started dating, and told her that I was just nice to the kids so I could get her in the sack. The first time I met her, I was picking up Melissa for our second date. She was sitting at the kitchen table furiously painting a Mason Jar. She looked irritated. She didn't look up, she didn't acknowledge that I was in the room, she just kept painting even when I tried to make eye contact with her to say hello. The kids came running out, and Melissa told them to get back into their rooms (she didn't want me to be scared off by hyperactive children).

Well, Melissa's mom returned to WV and things went okay for awhile. We got married in September 1999, and none of Melissa's family came out for the wedding (I really think none of them could get work off, but it still bothered me). A few months later, we went out to South Carolina for Melissa's brother's wedding. The whole family was there (what a contrast to our wedding). Melissa's mom talked with me to see if she could come live with us in Utah. I only had two requests : 1. that she would not undermine our church in front of the kids (she thinks Mormons are going to Hell), and 2. that she not undermine me as a parent as it was extremely difficult becoming a parent of 4 half-grown children. Well, she moved in and hated me. She didn't like it when I disciplined the kids. She thought I was too hard on them and made it a point to let them know that I just wasn't letting them "be kids." She told some of the kids negative things she felt about our religion. We sent her packing after about three months of that and I didn't talk to her for about 5 years... :)

Well, last summer, she and her mother came out to visit. She was pleasant, she didn't undermine me, she was friendly, she didn't bad-mouth me to my wife-In other words, we got along fine.

Now she is here for our daughter's 16th birthday. Unfortunately, I am in my worst mood with the kids that I have been in for a long time. I have been sick of the kids not doing schoolwork, fighting, bickering, not cleaning up after them selves, challenging everything I say, etc. I think this visit will be nice, but I hope the kids cooperate and try to help out. If I get upset with the kids for whatever reason, I could jeopardize the tentative peace truce she has nonverbally offered me. I guess it really is in my control...I just wish my kids would make it easier. :)

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Redneck California

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I realized something today when I drove up to Visalia, CA and back through the rural areas of the Central Valley--California has more rednecks and white trash than Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada combined. I mean, California is one of the most populous states. I never used to think that California was this way. It always seemed like a liberal, sophisticated state. Well, living in the Central Valley has taught me otherwise. No longer will I put up with Californians making jokes about "redneck Utah." Most places around here are just as bad, or worse. :) In fact, I think the only place that people aren't rednecks in California is along the coastline, but if you travel 20 miles inland, almost everyone is a redneck. :)

Friday, January 27, 2006

Plastique Surgery???

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Wouldn't it be funny if all plastic surgery were done with the explosive plastique? Can you imagine the dynamite breasts women would have? :)

"It's not a date Dad..."

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My daughter turns 16 in 10 days. She asked if she could go to the movies with some friends tonight. I asked her who was going. She listed her new "crush," and about 4 other kids who would be going. Because money is tight, I also asked her how she would pay. She said, "M***** said he would pay for me and it would be like an early birthday gift." I said, "It really sounds like a date." "It's not a date Dad!" she replied. Hmmmm....

Anyways, I relented and let her go...She is the most responsible child we have and quite mature for her age...plus, what's 10 days? :) I still think it is funny how people can take something so obvious and try to present it as something else. My 13-year-old son was drawing pictures in my 5-year-old daughter's journal...the pictures were a picture of a person with horns, a plus sign, a drawing of a pile of dog poo, and equals sign, and the name of my daughter (I don't want to write personal names on the internet). When he got in trouble for making her cry and picking on her, he tried to pull the old, "I didn't do it. She was writing bad things about me and I scribbled them out. When I told her that I was going to tell on her, she drew these bad picture of herself so she wouldn't get in trouble." Yeah right!!! If I learned anything from child development classes with Dr. Cundick (actual name), it was that kindergartners were not capable of this level of abstract thought. I could also tell that the drawing was much more advanced than something my daughter could actually draw. When confronted on these points, he continued to unabashedly lie and deny he had done anything wrong. He sat in a corner for approximately 40 minutes still denying any wrongdoing. It wasn't until later in the day, when he lost some privilege because of his lying, that he finally cried and said that it really was him (not to mention that his 14-year-old sister saw him do it). I guess that is a little off the subject, as my oldest wasn't actually lying about the "date," but had convinced herself that such activities do not constitute a date. Well, gotta get home so she can go on her date. Bye!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Only Use Approved Abbreviations


The county mental health organization I work for has a list of approved abbreviations for notes. They want everything to be as uniform as possible, and do not want us to write illegible notes that will interrupt, delay, or even prevent the provision of services. We had a funny incident in case conference today when we were staffing a case. Someone had mentioned that "bf" was an approved abbreviation for "boyfriend." As my supervisor was reading through a case note in the file, he noticed that someone had written "bf" referring to "best friend." We sat and thought of what types of confusing messages could be sent by using that abbreviation for the wrong term. As the discussion continued, the record noted that this particular person "had been experiencing homicidal ideation" because he "discovered his bf had slept with his wife." Can you imagine the confusion? The note meant that he was angry at his best friend for sleeping with his wife, but it also could have meant that he was angry at his boyfriend for sleeping with his wife, or angry that his wife was stealing his boyfriend. I guess that is why we need the list... lol...oh, that might not be approved. :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Innocent Flirting to Sexual Harassment

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I was sexually harassed for the first time last month. That must mean I'm hot! I know this because Chris Norton on the Phil Hendrie Show stated that it is an well-known fact that ugly people cannot be sexually harassed. :) Actually in all seriousness it was quite awkward to have to deal with that. At first it started out with the person saying things like, "Someone who works here thinks you're cute," or saying things like "you are the cute one" in Spanish, etc. Then it progressed to comments about how I had better be nice to my wife when I went home for Christmas, because she was likely to withhold intimate pleasure if I did not. Then she would make strange comments about "swallowing" and how she was going to "put a hex" on me so that I would fall in love with her. It started out as innocent flirting that was flattering, but turned into a strange situation that left me not knowing what to say. The person was actually transferred to another team for other reasons, so I didn't feel I needed to say anything to her supervisor, but it was a strange feeling. I think it would be even more awkward if it had been an older female who was in a supervisory role over me. I would hate that situation even more.

Plastic Surgery

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What is up with plastic surgery? Why do people think that plastic surgery will make them feel better about who they are? It seems strange to me that perfectly normal-looking people seek out plastic surgery to fix some perceived physical defect that no one else notices, or if they do notice, think nothing of. I know a man who spent thousands of dollars to get his jaw broken in a dozen places so his overbite could be eliminated and his jaw set more square. He did the procedure, looked like a fool for several months while his jaw healed, had to endure mass amounts of pain, and for what? When he was done healing, he looked the same as before. Quite possibly, he is the only person that could tell the difference in the mirror. Women are especially prone to fall for the song of the plastic surgery sirens...especially breast implants. I read an article in a psychological journal that noted that women who get breast implants are 2-3X as likely to commit suicide compared to women who do not get breast enlargements. I think many women think that plastic surgery will magically solve the perceived deformity, fix all of their relationship and social problems, and cause their sex life to explode off the charts. When the surgery fails to change their long-term personality defects, or problematic ways of interacting with others, they get depressed and hopeless about their futures. In other words, plastic surgery is not a quick fix, it will not solve all of your problems, and ofttimes is not even noticeable. Save your $4000 and buy something that will last, like a 10 megapixel Digital SLR camera... :)

Friday, January 20, 2006

Dictation speech...

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My friend from work who dictates a lot of psychological reports for the courts was talking to me the other day. She also has an Ebay Store and was discussing her listings. She said, "I have dog collars, comma, cat collars, comma,...Oh my God! I have lost my mind and I am talking in dictation-mode."

Monday, January 16, 2006

Movies about Racism...

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I just watched the movie "Crash" the other night, and it was a really good movie to help me realize that blatant and subtle racism are well and alive in the Land of the Free. Yes, I realize it isn't a documentary, but I do think it well-portrayed some of the impact of racism on US citizens, and I was especially convicted by the white people in the show joking about racism, or verbalizing their subtly racist views that more people hold than are willing to admit. I hated to think that it is true that there is still a huge amount of mistrust between races, even those who say they aren't racist: like the good cop in the movie that asked for a transfer so he wouldn't have to work with the racist bad cop. This cop actually shot some Black kid in the movie because his preconceived notions of what it meant to be Black included that a young black man always "packs heat." I actually think we are at a frightening crossroads in the US...I heard some Idahoan Congressman last Summer on the radio preaching border reform to keep out illegal aliens. I think it is a good idea to better-secure our borders, but I didn't like the vituperative words this man used to energize the crowd in the fight against illegal aliens. It reminded me of the galvanizing power that Hitler had over his people in Nazi Germany in scapegoating the Jews for all of the Motherland's problems. I don't think it is racist to pursue border reform, but some methods are more racist than others. Also, illegal immigrants from other countries are not the cause of all of our country's woes. We do plenty of harm to our country when we use/produce/traffic drugs, try to cheat the welfare system, take disability and unemployment because work is hard, rally against our president in a time of war, worry so much about making a dollar that we ignore our neighbors and those in need....it has been a long time since I have written and it is harder than I thought to put together a cogent, well-written, to-the-point blog. My original comment I wanted to make is:

Isn't it funny that movies about racism and stamping out hate always make us hate the racists? I am looking forward to seeing the movie Munich and seeing how well it does in exploring both sides of that conflict's hatred (Jewish/Arab).

Good night...

Charmin Should Never Be Abused Like This

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My kids were so happy this morning. They woke up to this in our front yard. I think they feel important that they are well-known enough in their new school to warrant such attention.


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My five-year-old daughter just informed me today that they had visitors at her kindergarten class the other day. She said that she started hitting herself in the head to see what would come out. She thought maybe her brain would come out. Strange kid! :)

Here is what I would look like as a South Park Character...Check out Native Minnow's My Space page to see how to build your own.


Sunday, January 08, 2006

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Here are some more photos that I have taken lately. I think that Liquor Stores, Gas Stations, and LDS Temples all look very cool at night.

I am having problems uploading...Just check them out at


You can search for gas station or Liquor or garage to see them...