My complacency elected Donald Trump, and for that I am truly sorry.

Oh, I voted.

In fact, I voted for her.

In my people-pleasing “don’t rock the boat” manner I wheeled my rolling walker behind the heavy curtain in our old-fashioned voting booths and quietly pulled the lever. (If I had to do it in a big open space like I saw the First Couple have to do it, I would have had some panic issues.)

I didn’t even think of it as “the lesser of two evils,” I thought of it as the only rational choice.

I even clicked on the voting machine switches extra lightly, as if people could hear me vote. I felt a sense of relief as I left the polls. Still, I told no one, as I I didn’t want to disappoint a loved one, and I didn’t want to become embroiled in debate.

Since my brain surgery 10 years ago doctors keep congratulating me. It is as if surviving a tumor that strikes primarily young men was something I deserved some sort of credit for-one Doc shook my hand like I won an Olympic gold. I never felt that way. But I felt that way about voting Tuesday. That I deserved some sort of medal for overcoming obstacles  physically, and mentally, emotionally and literally to get out and vote.

Not having my old confidence to debate (due to aphasia and the inability to hold on to a thought for more than a few seconds (think ADD on steroids), I avoid ‘talking  politics.’ On a certain level I started to feel less entitled to my opinions and that I should just leave it up to quicker, more articulate tongues.

I used to feel that everyone around me could do or say what they want but in the end, they, same as me, would go behind the heavy curtain and get one single vote. Naïve, and again, I am sorry.

I apologize to every person that will be marginalized by the incoming administration.

I am not deluded that speaking my mind would have changed the outcome of the election, but it is embarrassing that so many didn’t have a chance to know where I stand due to my conflict-avoidance behavior patterns.

Next time I will be more vocal, clearer and more transparent. The same things I expect from our government elected officials.

Next week: “Taking a knee.”

When you need a little help from your (blog) friends


With the abundance of “blogging schools” and the excellent WordPress advice available I was pretty sure I could spruce up my blog on my own.  I realized early on that I didn’t want numbers/stats for the sake of just having them, and that a comment, even a negative one, meant someone was reading, and that was what I wanted: to reach and feel connected to an audience. Not that the numbers aren’t nice!

A sister blogger once said she enjoyed the randomness of my blog. It is true that I tend to write about whatever I feel like writing about on any given day. One of my passions is adoption reform. I am currently working on a piece with a goal of finishing by January 2017, the proposed time-frame my personal adoption records will be unsealed, according to NJ State Governor Chris Christie. I’m not holding my breath, but keeping my eye on the ‘Gov.

I realized pretty quickly that I didn’t want to blog so much as write about adoption. (I will still be blogging about advances in brain health post surgery and of course, kittens).  I was bogged down in the blogosphere until I found FistBump Media. (Full disclosure: I met the founder when our paths crossed at a conference once, although the other few hundred attendees make the memory fuzzy for both of us).

Three things set FistBump apart from other programs out there:

  1. The information is presented in bite-sized pieces, and the assignments are manageable and leave time for writing. The folks at FistBump help focus on taking the next step. It’s easy to circle back and go over something once you get an overview of that particular lesson.
  2. The instruction is presented totally backwards from all other programs I have tried-at first I was confused by this but I immediately saw the value of taking the steps in the order they are presented. This is probably my key take-away-the concrete steps I could take in order to prevent getting bogged down so I could keep going.
  3. A program of this kind can only be as good as the leader. Here is where FistBump shines, an attentive team that provides support in a timely manner-complete with encouragement that does not appear to come from a robot. In Dan King you get a warm and willing coach/cheerleader, and that makes all the difference. A look at the videos will show you if the material is going to be right for you.

If you have any questions ask-ask me or contact Dan directly at:

FistBump Media

1988 Wood Hollow Way
Sarasota, FL 34235


I tend to get overly excited about things-I’m pretty stoked about the introductory (one week) offer that is the equivalent of a couple of trips to Starbucks. I know a few of you personally who have been looking for a program like this-THIS IS IT.

Boo-Boo tongue!

Background for a new post…in case you missed this:


Boo-boo tongue

The calendar on the wall, the daily kind where you tear off a sheet each day, said November 12.  Even now, six years later, I can’t simply say what day it is, I need to go “JanFebMarAMayJune JAugSeptOctNOV!”, with my lips moving to keep my place, or else I have to start all over again. The day in question is November 12, 2006, the first post-surgery day/date that I can remember. (While I remember little to none of the following events, notes from my journal enable me to share them with you now).

Three distinct things stuck me:

  1. I have boo-boo tongue!
  2. How can it be the 12th , I’m pretty sure it is the 2nd.
  3. If it really is the 12th, why am I still in the hospital?

I wanted to talk, but my tongue hurt! It had a boo-boo. Why doesn’t someone…

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Jayesbrain featured in The Mighty


My Mrs. Bon Jovi Moment, or, Retail 101

Over the holidays I was sorting through some fan-mail obsessing over the direction I should take the blog, heading into this brand new shiny New Year. I am a person who loves to break the wrapping off of the new day planner, sharpen the pencils and hang up the new calendar. While these activities have all been taken over by the smart phone,  the fresh new year feeling still lingers.  The stats indicate people like reading about adoption (although not necessarily mine),  and brain cancer miracles (claim it!). Readership spikes when I write about one of the many jobs I have had. This is good news, there are 18 more still to go.

I had a few jobs where I did not belong, fit in, gravitate towards, excel at, or  grow into. Rather than lean in,  I hung precariously to the precipice of employment, not suited to homemaking and domesticity, finished with the lessons fast food had to offer. I wanted needed to get out of the house, and at the same time found it nearly impossible to leave my babies: a part-time 21 hour a week gig that promised creativity and socialization  seemed like a good antidote to  my restlessness.

I learned a bunch of important stuff at the paper store. They had a sign in the window advertising part-time help wanted. I wanted to work part-time, and spend time with my daughters. To underscore, the only qualification I might have for this particular  job would be to meet their need for part-time help.

A little bell tinkled and the smell of patchouli soap products drifted from the rear of the store.  This might be where my love of the scent of retail began, found here mixed with the unmistakable oily fragrance of fresh ink. And then I saw it: The machine was loudly clicking away, on the counter next to the cash register. When I looked over, it was doing calligraphy, seemingly all by its self. And as you read in the last post, I love calligraphy. I knew this was where I would next work.

May I help you?

A woman with a kind smile and expert lip-liner spoke to me in a voice usually reserved for gynecology office receptionists.

Having tried conventional approaches with less than pleasing outcomes, I got right to the point.

“I would like to work here.”

Can you type?

I had no idea that a little mom and pop retail store would need a typist, and I may have revealed my delight a little too readily.

“I love to type” I answered, honestly.

The usual chatter followed: This is what we will pay you, you may start now if you like, yadda yadda.

*   *   *   *

The flowery, initially appealing part of the job was creating gift baskets. The typing was creating mailing lists for brides, for the calligraphy computer. Despite my best efforts, there were always errors needing correction when the customers came to proofread their guest lists.  The corrections took seconds, but pissed everyone off, from boss to bride. [This reminds me of a time, at another job, my review stated “Jaye does not get bogged down with unnecessary details.”  I always thought of it as a compliment.]

The store was my first prestige brand and I learned many key lessons. I learned that is just as easy to haul your crap around in a Coach bag as it is using the paper sack. I learned to keep secrets when I heard an employee say “Oh, I wouldn’t eat at someone’s home if they didn’t have a dishwasher. How would you know the dishes were clean?” Because I had no dishwasher, which was the least of my domestic challenges, I didn’t think this was too nice to say. I kept quiet and stuffed envelopes, and I learned it  isn’t keeping up with the Joneses if it’s required of your job.

Heard of carbon-dating? This is hair-dating.

Photo from Bon Jovi Wikkipedia,  gives an idea regarding the time frame of this story.

I learned that the customer isn’t always right the day that Dorthea Bongiovi came to the store. I had no idea who she was until she started to spell out her name for the personalized stationery she was ordering.  I was at the front desk alone and trying not to be too star-struck. She did not want the printing to say her husband’s stage name, explaining that the actual spelling was with an “i”. Folks came out of the back room to help and grab a look.

When she came to pick up the job she wanted it changed. She couldn’t have been any sweeter or nicer, and she wanted to pay for the additional printing.  (Of course not). It was illuminating to see Mrs. Bon Jovi roll her eyes over a sensitivity her husband was having, to her it was their personal stationery, to him it was the continuation of his brand.

My dad taught me the customer was always right. The stationery store taught me the customer isn’t always right, but the customer is always the customer. The Bon Jovi’s taught me that everyone needs some kind of paper, and you might not even need to write on it. And it really doesn’t hurt to be nice.