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Royal Reporter

Hey, everyone!

Please post all actors or writers blogs/messages to fans in this thread - as opposed to starting new topics for them.

James Scott, Dena Higley, Alison Sweeney, Thaao Penglis, etc.

Post away! :)

Morals and Metaphors
April 30, 2008 | Comments (0)

4:30 am

This past weekend, I went down to north county San Diego to spend some time with my sister-in-law. Sometimes you go through something in life and you just need family. It was a lovely and poignant time together.

So I come back to the week with a little better perspective on things. Which is good because last week I was kind of a basket case. I got C.K.'s progress from school. He's getting an “F” in American Sign Language. Now, I know we made a mistake putting him in ASL. We thought it was the perfect solution to having to take two years of a foreign language. It was not. He's doing fine in Physical Science, Government, English, Geometry but not in Sign Language. It's been the class in which he struggles most. Or, should I say, struggles least. Because, if he doesn't feel like it, he skips tutoring or pre vocabulary practice and just wings it during Friday's tests. I knew things weren't great. I've been to enough parent/teacher emergency meetings. I've had enough heart-to-heart talks with CK about trying harder. So when I got that ‘F', my stress level went through the roof. Then I got a text message from CK saying it was my fault because I allowed everyone to talk him into taking that class. That was it. I was dressed and on my way into the studio, but I had just enough time to swing by school--- probably not a good idea, but nothing was stopping me. I cornered my son in the back door of the Student Center during break. And there, in front of all his friends, I let him have it with both barrels. Not my proudest moment. I just kept envisioning his whole life crumbling before him. All the hard work he'd done up to that point-- for nothing. The goal of graduating and college just slipping away.

I had to make him see that ASL was an important way to communicate for hearing disabled people. He was disabled—shouldn't he empathize? Well, he's Autistic, so he doesn't do empathy very well. At that point I was all out of morals and metaphors. Once again, my head exploded. It wasn't pretty. So after I said all I had to say to my son, I scraped my brains off of the ground and left, got in my car, and drove to work. CK seemed to handle the whole thing fine. And it did work. He's gotten back on track. Thank goodness that F was just a progress report. But I was not fine. I knew I didn't handle that the best way. Not even close.

What I realize now is that CK has a great interest in learning languages. And we've never taken him seriously because he struggles so much to express himself appropriately in English. But he is very curious about Spanish and Japanese and Chinese and Korean. What the heck! I told him to go for it in college. But I think his smattering of ASL will stay with him for a long time and eventually, be a blessing.

So that was my Tuesday. I knew the next day wasn't going to go much better when I got out of bed, looked in the bathroom mirror and cut my own bangs. I've been told over and over by my hair salon person (who is just down the street) not to cut my own bangs. But I couldn't see. And I knew I wasn't going to have time to go in to the salon for a long time.

So I just got out my scissors and cut. Also, the day before, I'd gone to my son Helio's Little League game and put sunscreen on my face. It dripped into my eye and I could feel my upper left eyelid starting to swell from some sort of allergic reaction.

So there I am, at work the next day with funky bangs and a swollen eye, wondering: can I pull off this look? Since I highly doubted that, I covered the mirror in my office at the studio and just went about my business. After a couple of hours, the staff stopped staring, so that was cool. And when I say staff, I mean two really smart, talented guys who make the ship sail smoothly at DAYS. Joe and Ryan.

The other day, I had my two youngest kids with me to work at the studio after school. I knew I wasn't going to get away till about 7 pm. So I took the kids to get snacks at the commissary. They ate and watched the monitor to see what was being taped on the floor that day. They drew on my big wipeboard and did some homework but they were pretty antsy. Joe was sweet enough to take them on a delivery run around the studio. Helio's very starstruck and Adelle's very shy. It was late and production was pretty much done with taping but it was fun for my kids to get into that world, go down and see the sets and meet some of the actors. It's something they don't often get to do.

I got a chance to read the responses to my first post. Thanks everybody for caring about me and my family. It meant a lot to me that you didn't crucify me out of the blocks. For a while there, my kids couldn't google me without reading the F word. Something about the freedom of the internet doesn't bring out the soft and tender side of people. But I love and appreciate all my comments and will take all the suggestions about story and about my personal life to heart.

For all you very vocal EJ/Sami fans, I want you to know I had a really good meeting with Ali and James and we are totally on the same page. I so admire the way they feel responsible to make their characters consistent through various head writer changes. I hope to make it an interesting summer for them. But Ali has another job too and we have to share her. We'll just see how scheduling goes.

I've got a meeting with Drake in a few hours. I think he's being very brave in the character choices he's making. Lots of good stuff for him coming up…

I just got a text from CK saying he loves me. I guess I do some things right.

Oh, and Adelle wants to give a special thanks to Cyndey Kelley (one of our staff writers) for turning her on to Baked Lays Potato Chips. (This is not an endorsement.)


Scared Straight
May 7, 2008

About a year ago I hit the wall when it came to making my kids’ lunches for school. If I scraped together one more peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or built one more turkey and wheat…. If I pared and cut one more apple… aaaaahhh! I’d been doing it for about 15 years, if you count preschool (which I do). I don’t know if it was hormones or fatigue or what, but I just couldn’t make lunches anymore. So the kids pitched in and made their own. Such a good thing.

But now I find I want to do it again. With the impending departure of my oldest two and my babies getting ready for jr. high, I’m wistful and emotional as I stuff carrots in a bag or spoon left over spaghetti in a to-go bowl. In these last months of having all four at home, it’s a privilege and a little bit of a trip down memory lane for me. My lunch-making days are numbered. And that makes me kind of sad…

But onto other things…

I know I promised my 18 year old daughter I wouldn’t write about her in this blog, but I have to share this…

My daughter (Jen) participated in a program at her high school called “Every 15 Minutes”. It’s a program the school implemented along with local law enforcement and firefighters to deter teen drunk driving.

It was so powerful and so mind blowing. I don’t think we’ll ever be the same.

Real, crashed cars were placed on the street in front of the school. Jen was placed inside a gnarly-looking SUV, behind the wheel. One of her friends was placed on the ground, covered in special effects blood. Another of her friends was also covered in fake (but very real looking ) blood and placed behind the wheel of the second vehicle.

The bell rang and students poured out of the school and onto the sidewalk. Then the program began. Fire trucks, paramedic units, police, highway patrol and sheriff’s cars arrived as if it were an actual accident.

Jen was taken out of her car and given a mock field sobriety test. Her acting skills were of value as she pretended to fail the test. Then she was handcuffed and taken off in a California Highway Patrol car down to the city jail lock up. Video cameras caught everything on tape.

My husband and I were invited to attend the mock trial in a very real courtroom with a very real judge, a real District Attorney and a real defense attorney.

Meanwhile, back at the crash site, one of the students was pronounced “dead” and another was taken to the hospital where they later “died”.

Even though I knew it was all fake, my heart dropped to the floor when I saw that student put in a body bag and taken off in the coroner’s van. Jen was given 34 years to life. If it has been a real trial, she wouldn’t be eligible for parole until she was 52.

It wasn’t real. None of it was. But it felt real to her and to us. Talk about scared straight. The students who participated in this staged event will forever be changed. They spent the night in a hotel and didn’t have contact with their parents or friends for 24 hours. Then they went to an all-school assembly the next day and shared their experiences and the video tape of the “crash” and the mock trial were shown.

What can I say? Please log onto the website and take a look. I’ve learned a lot in the past 48 hours. We’re blessed. We didn’t have to go through the real deal to be impacted for life. I don’t want anyone to ever go through it.

We all know one bad choice can affect the rest of your life. But do we really KNOW it? I sure do now.

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