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Friday, December 28, 2007

An "Auld Lang Syne" Friday Five

Thinking back on memorable things both good and bad for 2007 here are the ones I came up with:

1. The first was a promotion that came at the end of 2006 and started at the first of 2006. I work for state government and a promotion involves a test, than group interviews and usually a transfer that has the opening. So with all that I moved my office from Manhattan to Brooklyn and became a senior counselor and that made me very happy, and continued to be challenging and interesting and fun through the year.

2. In March, the Beloved and I went to the south of Italy and had a wonderful time. It was my first time in the country of my mothers ancestors and it was everything I expected and more. We had the best time! The country is so beautiful. My grandfather was a farmer/grocer etc. and I could see from the agriculture of the country where my grandfather got the beautiful way of planting. It looked familiar to me and I'm from Ohio! Plus the art, the food, the architecture, the, the ,the...

3. In the summer, my world traveling god-child and her Ghanese (sp) husband settled in Brooklyn (where he is doing his residency), therefore giving me a chance to spend actual face time with her rather than on the fly visits from far flung destinations like Turkey or Taiwan!

4. In September I got a fever w/dx as Hep A, which turned out to be the most complicated gall stones on the face of the earth. I said enough about this in previous posts!

5.The Beloved's father passed away. We're preparing for the funeral on Sunday-I won't be going due to my ongoing recuperation, but BL is on her way to Florida.

God Moments? Participating in Mass with Victoria Rue and seeing God in a Woman. Seeing the land of my fore mothers and fathers. Bonding with my Catholic Lesbians and realizing that I can be gay and Catholic and accepted in some churches. Meditating and finding peace. Meeting all of you swell Rev Gals who give me support in many ways, but in particular, by sharing your lives. Thank you.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

It Doesn't Rain, but it Pours

My Beloved's father has been in hospice since I was in the hospital. She went to see him last weekend and only stayed overnight as she was worried about me. He was in poor shape, unable to communicate, but as she described, I think he knew she was there and was happy about that. She returned to NY on Christmas eve and he passed away on Tues. Because the funeral is in Florida, it won't be until Sunday. (In the Jewish tradition, the person is buried within 24 hours.) So, BL is making flight plans again.

I won't be attending as I still have this T-tube hanging from my belly, and all of this surgery, etc. seems to have exacerbated my Caude Equina Syndrome, so I am having neuropathy-like hat pins repeatedly stuck in areas where I have no feeling. Not to mention that it's Christmas week and my surgeon, neurologist and therapist are out of town. No problem. Did I mention that I had a T-tube cholangiogram which showed that I have a remaining gall stone or clot. Sigh!

After the funeral, she will be coming back to NY and we will be having a few nights of shiva. I better find some dressier sweat clothes!

An English Translation

Glorified and sanctified be God's great name throughout the world which He has created according to His will. May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days, and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon; and say, Amen.

May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.

Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen.

May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us
and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

He who creates peace in His celestial heights, may He create peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday Five-Playful Christmas

I have debated with myself for weeks about today's Friday Five.

Self 1: It should be deep and theological.
Self 2: But it's almost Christmas, it should be fun and warm and sweet.
Self 1: But your last Friday Five was sort of silly. You should show your more serious side.
Self 2: You worry WAY too much!
So after consulting with my fourteen year old daughter, we're going playful, pals o' mine! I love stories, so I hope you'll tell some about your favorite Christmas memories.

What was one of your favorite childhood gifts that you gave?
-I remember few specific gifts that I gave except that I always gave them. I usually made them or bought them at the "five and dime" which wasn't five and ten cents even then. I often gave my Aunt Julie earrings that had interchangeable buttons of colors, so that may be my favorite. I probably didn't register that once was enough.

What is one of your favorite Christmas recipes? Bonus points if you share the recipe with us.
My mother's Christmas cookies that I have a cookbook full of recipes, but never make. I can't seem to find the cookbook right now, so I may add a recipe later today.

What is a tradition that your family can't do without? (And by family, I mean family of origin, family of adulthood, or that bunch of cool people that just feel like family.)
OK, Here's what the NY Jewish folk do. I'm Catholic, but my Beloved is Jewish and sometimes we have done this. You can too if you have already had too much Christmas and want a break;
Eat chinese food and see a movie. All the best chinese restaurants are full of Jewish
folk and you can see the new movies before anyone else!

Pastors and other church folk often have very strange traditions dictated by the "work" of the holidays. What happens at your place?

If you could just ditch all the traditions and do something unexpected... what would it be?
Speed up my recovery and go to a nice warm island with sand, sun and water!

Merry Christmas to all and to all well-factoid ...The Night Before Christmas was written across the street from me in what is now the General Theological Seminary.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Very Sad, Jane Rule Dies

from the New York Times:
Jane Rule, Canadian Novelist, Dies at 76

Published: December 9, 2007
Jane Rule, a prominent Canadian writer whose first novel, “Desert of the Heart,” is considered a landmark work of lesbian fiction, died on Nov. 27 at her home on Galiano Island in British Columbia. She was 76.

The cause was complications of liver cancer, said Deborah Windsor, executive director of the Writers’ Union of Canada.

A major literary figure in Canada, Ms. Rule wrote seven novels as well as short stories and nonfiction. But it was for “Desert of the Heart” that she remained best known. Published by Macmillan in 1964, the book appeared five years before the Stonewall uprising, at a time when lesbians were all but invisible in mainstream letters. It told the story of a woman who goes to Reno, Nev., for a divorce and there finds love with a dynamic younger woman.

The novel was the basis for a film, “Desert Hearts,” released in 1985. Directed by Donna Deitch, it starred Helen Shaver, Patricia Charbonneau and Audra Lindley.

Ms. Rule’s other books, some of which also centered on lesbian themes, include the novels “This Is Not for You” (McCall, 1970); “Against the Season” (McCall, 1971); and “After the Fire” (Naiad Press, 1989); the story collection “Theme for Diverse Instruments” (Talonbooks, 1975); and a volume of criticism, “Lesbian Images” (Doubleday, 1975).

Jane Vance Rule was born on March 28, 1931, in Plainfield, N.J., and raised in the Midwest and California. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Mills College in 1952. In 1954 she joined the faculty of the Concord Academy, a private school in Massachusetts. There Ms. Rule met Helen Sonthoff, a fellow faculty member who became her life partner. They settled in Vancouver in 1956.

Ms. Sonthoff died in 2000, at 83. Information on other survivors could not be confirmed.

Ms. Rule, who became a Canadian citizen in the 1960s, was awarded the Order of British Columbia in 1998 and the Order of Canada last year.

Over the years Ms. Rule’s opposition to government censorship of gay and lesbian books made her a highly visible public presence in Canada. She did not, however, support same-sex marriage, which was legalized there in 2005.

“To be forced back into the heterosexual cage of coupledom is not a step forward but a step back into state-imposed definitions of relationship,” Ms. Rule wrote in BC Bookworld, a Canadian trade periodical, in 2001. “With all that we have learned, we should be helping our heterosexual brothers and sisters out of their state-defined prisons, not volunteering to join them there.

ed. note Jane Rule was the first author I read where the couples didn't end up killings themselves or going off with a man. She was a wonderful writer and I will miss her. I had the honor of meeting her once on a rare visit to NY.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Gaudete means Rejoice

per Wikipedia "Gaudete Sunday (IPA:/ɡaʊdeɪteɪ ˈsʌndeɪ/) is the third Sunday of Advent in the Christian calendar. It can fall on any date from 11 December to 17 December. The term Gaudete is broadly translated from Latin as Rejoice, a word that appears in the entrance antiphon (introit) of Masses held on this day: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say, rejoice! The Lord is near. (Catholic Mass years A, B and C).
On Gaudete Sunday rose coloured vestments may be worn instead of violet which is prescribed for every day in the season of Advent. In churches which have an Advent wreath, the rose coloured candle is lit in addition to two of the violet coloured candles which represent the first two Sundays of Advent. During the otherwise penitential season of Advent, the readings on the third Sunday emphasize the joyous anticipation of the Lord's coming.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Friday Five

Can you believe that in two days we'll be halfway through Advent? Gaudete Sunday: pink candle on the advent wreath, rose vestments for those who have them, concerts and pageants in many congregations. Time to rejoice!

Rejoice in the nearness of Christ's coming, yes, but also in the many gifts of the pregnant waiting time when the world (in the northern hemisphere, at least) spins ever deeper into sweet, fertile darkness.

What makes you rejoice about:

1. Waiting? I haden't remebmered Gaudete Sunday for years. All that pink. I'm not one for delayed gratification, although I do seem to build it into my life. Hmmm. Wonder what's that about?

2. Darkness? Ok for when it's time to go to bed which for this week would be about...4:28?

3. Winter? Really, I don't like short days. And I don't like going out after dark in NYC so much in the winter as I do in the summer. Darkness, snow (I walk with a cane and fall). fear of who's behind me. (and I'm a hardened New Yorker.) No, not so much my favorite time

4. Advent? I'm usually too busy with Chanukah, but now that I've joined the Catholic Lesbians Perhaps I'll pay more attention.

5. Jesus' coming? "Hide your hearts girls!" (remember I'm still on painkillers.) and still an agnostic.
I'm back

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Survived So Far

The thing one must remember when going into a hospital is that the nurse is your primary contact and friend (if they are one) If they are good, they are highly underrated! They do jobs that are below their education for still too little pay and actually come around to the side of the bed-which doctors rarely do.

I finaly got sprung from the elegant New York University Hospital yesterday. I arrived on Wednesday the 5th and well I'm still not oriented to time, so I'll have to find a calendar. Our rooms had white boards that were supposed to announce the date, day and name of our nurse and na, but info was rarely changed. It's a really good idea. My fourth night there I woke up trying to figure out whether if was my third of fourth. Passage of time is a lot of what of one has to look forward to. I did have some extremely skilled, smart, compassionate nurses at NYU. I am very grateful. Unfortunately, I had one nurse who I got off on the wrong foot with on my 3rd night-still on morphine. Our bile continued and Sue got involved and at the end I was afraid of being alone this nurse at night. I noticed that the nights she was "my nurse" I had nausea and in one case vomiting, something I had no other nights. I also noticed that she had to be supervised to do a simple procedure-actually one I could have done on myself-having had back surgery a number of years ago. I have a disability and tried to explain this to her, but she infantilized me or treated me as a recalcitrant patient. NYU is affiliated with Rusk Institute, one of the first rehab. hospital in the us named for Dean Rusk. When people with disabilities are not allowed to explain their situation -we are the most educated about our situations-but talked around-well as my mother would have said,"It's a sin and a shame." ( or maybe I'm reading too many medical mysteries?)
Fortunately, I was able to leave before she came back on duty.
Now I'm home sweet home, albeit with a drain to empty and dressings to change, but so what. I'm so glad to be home with the beloved.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


I'll be offline for a few days due to hospitalization. I'll particularly miss the Friday Five. I anticipate being in the New York University Hospital as long as they'll keep me, but don't really know. I found this drawing on the hospital website. Maybe I should rethink this.
Keep me in your prayers.

First Night of Channukah

Last night we celebrated the first night of Channukah, BL, my godchild Elaine and me. We lighted the Menorah, had dinner and opened presents. I made Sue a calendar using iphoto. She gave me toys to take to the hospital-perfect. Toys don't take much attention but amuse and keep my hands busy. One was a hand held fan that lights up in bright colors and changes colors. I should try to take a picture and post it here. My surgery appointment is 11:30 today and I'm pretty nervous-for the last 4 days. Oy.
Anyhow I feel blessed to have Beloved and Elaine in my life to celebrate the holidays. The house felt so warm last night.
I chose Theodore Bikel to post because of the clarinet. I feel lucky to have both religions to celebrate.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Friday Five-Oldie but Goodie but New to Me

Please tell us your least favorite/most annoying seasonal....

1) dessert/cookie/family food

I miss all the foods my mother used to cook, in particular, Christmas cookies! All of her life she was a harried cook as she worked, but after she retired-well she was off to the races.

Now for the part I don't like. LATKES Greasy, heavy, with onions. Yuk-The traditional food of Hanukah. The tradition goes that because the oil for the lamps lasted for 8 days one should eat fried foods, jelly donuts (not so bad) and LATKES. I will be posting Debbie Friedmans ode to a Latke in a few days.

2) beverage (seasonal beer, eggnog w/ way too much egg and not enough nog, etc...)

As recovering people say, Alcoholism in a 3 prong disease, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. Nought Said!

3) tradition (church, family, other)

I'd have to say the dreaded OFFICE PARTY! Where you have to play with people you don't even want to work with!

4) decoration

The exess of decorations and music that start even before Thanksgiving and drive my Jewish Beloved crazy! (although I love walking through the piles of Christmas trees on the sidewalk-the smell really changes the scent of NYC!)

5) gift (received or given)

The big bag of recycled gifts that I get every Christmas and birthday from an office mate. Yikes! And I'm not the only one. Fortunately she retired and doesn't make the trip to Brooklyn.

BONUS: SONG/CD that makes you want to tell the elves where to stick it.
Anything that you can buy at Hallmark or by a pop artist that has just been put out for the season to generate bucks.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

What kind of Reader am I

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Book Snob
Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Literate Good Citizen
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

As if the Vatican Council Never Happened...

By Damian Thompson
Wednesday, 5th September 2007

As of Friday, 14 September, the worldwide restrictions on the celebration of the ancient Latin liturgy of the Catholic Church will be swept away. With a stroke of his pen, Pope Benedict XVI has ended a 40-year campaign to eradicate the Tridentine Mass, whose solemn rubrics are regarded with contempt by liberal bishops. In doing so, he has indicated that the entire worship of the Church — which has become tired and dreary since the Second Vatican Council — is on the brink of reformation. This is an exciting time to be a Catholic. Unless, that is, you are a diehard ‘go-ahead’ 1970s trendy, in which case you are probably hoping that the Good Lord will call Joseph Ratzinger to his reward as soon as possible.

First, let us get some terminology out of the way. Until 7 July this year, Catholics believed that there were two main Rites of Mass: the Tridentine or Old Rite, promulgated by Pope Pius V in 1570; and the New Rite, promulgated by Pope Paul VI in 1970. When I was growing up in the years after the Council, I was taught that the New Rite had completely superseded the Old. The only people who attended the Tridentine Mass were hatchet-faced old men wearing berets and gabardine raincoats, who muttered darkly about Satan’s capture of the papacy. I had never been to the Old Mass and knew only two things about it: that it was said by the priest ‘with his back to the people’ — how rude! — and that most priests who celebrated it were followers of the rebel French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. These people were unaccountably ‘attached’ to the Tridentine Rite and its ‘fussy’ accretions — the prayers at the foot of the altar; the intricately choreographed bows, crossings and genuflections of the celebrant; the ‘blessed mutter’ of the Canon in a voice inaudible to the congregation. The New Mass, in contrast, was said by the priest facing the people, nearly always in English. It was for everyone. Including people who didn’t like it.

In the 1980s, in an attempt to woo back the followers of Lefebvre, Pope John Paul II eased the almost total ban on the Tridentine Rite. If groups of the faithful were still ‘attached’ (that word again) to the old liturgy, they could approach their bishop and ask him to make provision for it. In other words, the decision was left in the hands of diocesan bishops, many of whom displayed a shocking meanness of spirit when interpreting the new guidelines. And John Paul, being a busy and ill man who was not terribly fond of the Tridentine Rite, let them get away with it.

Three years ago, lovers of the traditional liturgy were despondent. Yes, matters had improved since the 1970s. The Old Mass was no longer the preserve of Lefebvrists: it was now attracting growing numbers of loyal young Catholics on the run from geriatric ‘worship leaders’. But in many English dioceses it was still easier to track down a witches’ coven than a traditional Mass. And, depressingly, the one curial cardinal who really cared about these things was heading for retirement.

Only he didn’t retire. He became Pope instead. And, on 7 July, he issued a document that did more than abolish restrictions governing the celebration of the Tridentine Mass. The apostolic letter Summorum Pontificum, issued ‘Motu Proprio’ (that is, as a personal decree), restores the traditional liturgy — the whole Missal, not just the Mass — to full parity with the post-Vatican II liturgy of 1970.
My comment: It was a move of extreme arrogance!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

An Inspirational Gift from my big sister Carmel-I needed it today

I haven't read the book.

More on Surgery in America

I just found out that my "on plan surgeon and hospital" only have OFF PLAN anesthesiologists. No thanks, I'll just bite this bullet!

Monday, November 26, 2007

What kind of art are you?

You Are Modernism

You tend to be oriented toward the future and technology.

You like art that signals how the world might change in radical ways.

As far as art goes, everything in the past is obsolete - and it's time to carve a new path.

You prefer art that doesn't follow any rules - even if the art doesn't make much sense.

Back to work again...for a week or so

He looks pretty relaxed

Well, I'm back to work for a week and two days until surgery day on the 5th. I'm feeling a little anxious. I've been out for two+ weeks just for this stupid procedure (plus another 2 weeks when they thought I had Hep A) and it seems like a waste of time. This all to figure out that that I'll have to have an open surgery that will keep me out for at least 6 weeks. Did i mention I starrted this promotion on 1/2/07 which makes me still on probation!
("A N X I E T's crawling all over me (anyone remember that song?")
Thanks for allowing me to vent my frustrations and anxieties.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

And they didn't even take a vow of poverty

Crucifixes allegedly made in sweatshops ByDavid Freedlander
St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Trinity Church pulled crucifixes from their gift shops on Tuesday after stunning allegations that the items are produced in Chinese sweatshops. Officials from both churches vowed to keep the
wall crucifixes off the shelves while they investigate, as the faithful and religious thinkers alike expressed dismay at the moral implications of the allegations.
Charles Kernaghan, the executive director of the Na- tional Labor Council, the advocacy group that released the report, called on St. Patrick’s “to move immediately, decisively and with compassion to clean up the factories and to guarantee that the rights of workers are firmly respected.” The report alleged that the crucifixes, which mostly feature the figure of Jesusattached to a wooden or metal cross, come from a factory in the Guangdong province of China where young women, some as young as 15, work more than 90 hours a week for a little more than 26 cents an hour, less than half of Chi-
na’s meager minimum wage. Kernaghan said facto- ry workers snuck out evidence and gave it to the labor group.
Kernaghan added that the crucifixes, which cost as little as $1.40 to produce, are sold in church gift shops for $17.95. “That’s a markup that would make even Nike blush,” Kernaghan said. The archdiocese said that it was investigating the mat-
ter, but accused the labor group of trying to embarrass the church. “This individual did not contact us prior to using the
cathedral as a stage for a press conference,” said Joe Zwill- ing, archdiocese spokesman. “I think he was trying to ex-
ploit the cathedral.” The crosses detailed in the report come from the Singer Company, a Mt. Vernon-based “inspirational
jewelry” concern. “We are not a Nike or a big corporation that can inspect ever single factory,” said Gerald Singer, presi-
dent of the company. “My God, making religious ob- jects in a sweatshop, that’s the last thing we need.A member of a labor group holds up crucifixes that were allegedly made in Chinese sweatshops and sold
in churches such as St.Patrick’s Cathedral. (Jefferson Siegel)

Friday, November 23, 2007

Friday Five-Black Friday

1. Did you go elsewhere for the day, or did you have visitors at your place instead? How was it?
-We usually go to BL's aunt and cousin. Her aunt if a fine cook and her cousin trained in France. Alas, due to my illness, we stayed home. After dinner a couple of friends dropped by.

2. Main course: If it was the turkey, the whole turkey, and nothing but the turkey, was it prepared in an unusual way? Or did you throw tradition to the winds and do something different?
-Turkey Breast-Roasted, Sweet Potatoes. Squash, Peas. That's it. Beloved cooked, very nicely. Not being able to eat dairy sucks!

3. Other than the meal, do you have any Thanksgiving customs that you observe every year?
-Just visiting Beloveds family. Although I have gone to the Macy's parade...once.

4. The day after Thanksgiving is considered a major Christmas shopping day by most US retailers. Do you go out bargain hunting and shop ‘till you drop, or do you stay indoors with the blinds closed? Or something in between?
-If I have the day off-I wouldn't have had it today, but, you know...gall blader-I'd be shopping. I'm going to try some shopping today, with my godchild, but in NYC, walking is-well-a marathon. So we'll see how it goes.

5. Let the HOLIDAY SEASON commence! When will your Christmas decorations go up?
-We're very low key on Christmas decorations as Beloved is Jewish. Usually a Menorah and some dreidels. We got married in a synogogue and our ketubah says that we will celebrate Jewish holidays. Occasionally I'll get a wreath or some lights for our 11th floor window. ( I celebrate Christmas, too! and Beloved has learned some traditions.)

Monday, November 19, 2007

An earlier chapter of my life found on the web

I was reading another blog and suddenly my past flew before my eyes, a painful chapter, but closed now. Here... you read it.
I play the character of "my lover at that time" and "the same lady."

Karen said, "Today is our 20th anniversary.

This past weekend Stone that Flows was having an open studio/moving sale. The studio is located in Hanff's Boatyard, right across from Brewer's Marina. That marina is quite pivotal in our relationship. It's where we first met.

Lori came to Brewer's to meet my lover at that time and me on our sailboat in the marina. She was dragged along for the visit by the woman I was seeing and her ex-lover and housemate. The visit was quite awkward, and I was glad when they left. That was the summer of '86.

The same lady introduced Lori to our local Conference for Catholic Lesbians group the following spring. I appreciated Lori's sharp mind and good looks, and when I was free I asked her out. The date of our first dinner together was November 14th."

No, you're not blinking when you saw, my lover and the woman I was seeing at the time in the same sentence. Not both the same person, two of us.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Friday Five on Saturday Morning

Picture from a Pond on Cape Cod this summer 07, August. Wish I was there.

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8, NRSV)

Friends, it's nearly Thanksgiving in the U.S. and it's the time of year when we are pressed to name things for which we are thankful. I want to offer a twist on the usual lists and use Paul's letter to the church at Philippi as a model. Name five things that are:

1.True, That each day arrives and that we put one foot in front of the other
2.Honorable, That most of us try to do the best we can in our work and in our lives-I do.
3. Just, That people believe in causes and are free to pursue their beliefs, soldiers in Iraq and protesters in the US
4.Pure, My nap at 4:30, getting home exausted, collapsing onto the bed.
5.Pleasing, A brand new book by a favorite author, just waiting to be read. And when I can eat it, LiLac Chocolates.
6.Commendable, excellent or worthy of praise. Those of us that have the time and energy to go above and beyond.

the recovering counselor speaks

Thursday, November 15, 2007

This is my gall bladder that fell out and walked away

Well, what surgery... ?

Actually it's a Bananna slug I took a picture of. I just wish my gall bladder would walk away.

I had the ERCP, and all I got was this pancreatitis! For which I've been in the hospital and in pain and a promise of another ERCP as the MRCP didn't see all of the massive stones that I actually have and they couldn't remove them all. I am home now. I have two options, one to have another ERCP-risking another bout of pancreatitis then the laprascopic surgery. Or open surgery, and no gall bladder. Guess which way I'm leaning.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The First Big Day- ERCP

When the gastroentrologist plays "go fish" with 3 gall stones that have gone astray outside of my gallbladder and are doing bad things like blocking bile ducts. They do this by inserting an endoscope, then inserting tools to locate and grab those straying stones, then retrieving them...through my mouth. Thank GOD I will be asleep. The last time I had an endoscopy, I was awake, with meds. that give you retrograde amnesia. This means that the process is really unpleasant, but you DON'T REMEMBER IT! Except I remember all of it. It was for an bleeding ulcer I got as a result of taking NSAID'S for a really bad back for which I was having emergency surgery. They discovered the ulcer when I went in for emergency surgery and my blood count was so low, I had to have 4 units of blood before surgery. But I digress. I'm starting to freak out about all of these procedures/surgerys. I was in the office yesterday and was overwhelmed with work. The plan was to go in this morning at 7:30-my usual start time-then leave at 11;00. It's about an hour travel time. It seems like so much and I'm in some pain. This gallbladder stuff makes my back hurt more than it usually does. Do I have to go into the office for 3 hours-and two hours commute? Tell me no.

On another note, give a shout out to my friend Natty who is having a rough time in the discerning process for her vocation. Her blog is:

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

I Hate to Keep Joking About This

I'm having an ERCP this Thursday-where the gastroentrologist plays go fish with my stray gall stones, then I'm FINALLY having surgery on Monday! At last, after Sonogram, MRCP, ERCP, DX of HEP A, numerous blood tests and now 3 doctors-1 who is on my plan and two who are mucho dinero! So let me amuse you with-

Things you don't want to hear during surgery:

Better save that. We'll need it for the autopsy.

"Accept this sacrifice, O Great Lord of Darkness."

Bo! Bo! Come back with that. Bad dog!

Wait a minute, if this is his spleen, then what's that?

Hand me that... uh... that uh... that thingy there.

Oh no! Where's my Rolex.

Oops! Hey, has anyone ever survived from 500 ml of this stuff before?

There go the lights again?

"Ya know, there's big money in kidneys? and this guy's got two of 'em."

Everybody stand back! I lost my contact lens!

Could you stop that thing from beating; it's throwing off my concentration.

What's this doing here?

I hate it when they're missing stuff in here.

That's cool. Now can you make his leg twitch by pressing that one?!

Well folks, this will be an experiment for all of us.

Sterile schmerile. The floor's clean, right?

OK, now take a picture from this angle. This is truly a freak of nature.

This patient has already had some kids, am I correct?

Nurse, did this patient sign an organ donation card?

Don't worry. I think it is sharp enough.

What do you mean "You want a divorce?!?"

FIRE! FIRE! Everyone get out!

Oh no! Page 47 of the manual is missing!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Friday Five-Interviews

"Songbird just had an interview for a "vague and interesting" possibility, and More Cows than People is doing campus visits for doctoral programs. There always seem to be a few RevGals applying for new positions, and I just got my first call for this year's preliminary interviews for college teaching jobs at the American Academy of Religion meeting in San Diego coming up in a few weeks. It's for my dream job among this year's offerings, and I am flipflopping between excitement and nervousness. So please keep your fingers crossed and say a little prayer for everyone facing such conversations, and share your thoughts on the wonderful world of interviews:"

This is a topic near and dear to my heart because I've been on a lot of interviews, I've done a lot of interviews and I'm a Senior Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor in my current gig, so some of my staff teach people how to interview. dress for interviews, answer those tricky questions like "have you ever been arrested. (actually that's illegal.)

1. What was the most memorable interview you ever had? Probably the interview for my current job. It was a promotion.
I was hating my job and this had come up at just the right time. It was supervising a unit of counselors like the unit I was in, in a different office. My supervisor at the time was an unkind person. The interview committee-yes you heard that right was 7 people as I recall. They had a written list of questions and when they asked about something, I talked about how I acquired my disability and started crying-not sobbing, just verklempt. I got the job anyhow. I really wanted that job! And I really like it!

2. Have you ever been the interviewer rather than the interviewee? If so, are you a tiger, a creampuff, or somewhere in between?
Often, in different settings. And I'm usually either a creampuff or somewhere in between. I worked for NOW NYC as Development Director before grad. school. One of my jobs was to supervise the phone bank. Phone banks, I've noticed, attract an edgy group of people. This one was no different. I should have been tougher and asked more questions, but hindsight is 20/20.I hired a guy who later turned out to be Hedda Lettuce the local drag queen. I had to fire him and his parting shot was to call me a fat bitch. I thought I was kind of svelt at the time!

3. Do phone interviews make you more or less nervous than in-person ones?
Never had one.

4. What was the best advice you ever got to prepare for an interview? How about the worst?
My advice to you. Be on time! Be yourself. Be prepared and well rested. Make sure there are no typos on you c.v. or resume. Ask the interviewers what about this company (or whatever) would make you want to work there. (I used this at my current job and it worked well) Know a good joke but don't tell it unless asked (and I have been asked, really.)

5. Do you have any pre-interview rituals that give you confidence?

Good luck!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster

Surgery to remove my gall bladder has been delayed by a four initial procedure to remove 3 renegade gall stones that have escaped and are wreaking havoc.

So when I was at the hospital, I picked up a brochure that described this program. Hmmm. I already had this cd, passed along by a colleague at work. I started listening to it. It seems that a large feature is prayer, who knew? It's supposed to speed healing and decrease the use of pain medication. I've been listening on the subway on the way to work. I am stressed, primarily because of the delays for this 'simple' surgery. I received a promotion last January and I'm still on probation and that Catholic schoolgirl who still lives in me believes that being absent so much will effect my supervisors judgement of me. And each exam brings the need for a new exam or a procedure before surgery. Sigh.

About Prepare for Surgery-Mind Body Technique by Peggy Huddelston

"Using five steps to prepare for surgery, you'll feel profoundly peaceful in the days before your operation. In turn this peace will create the biochemistry of healing and speed your recovery.
Peggy Huddleston is the author of Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster. She is a psychotherapist, conducting research on the benefits of her pre-surgical program at a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital in Boston.

Her clinical work and research focus on the ways positive emotions and the human spirit enhance healing.

She has taught workshops in self-healing to thousands of people in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Paris and Amsterdam. Her book and tape were recently featured on PBS-TV's Body and Soul.

Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster Workshops are offered in hospitals and HMOs by nurses and therapists trained and certified by Peggy Huddleston."

Monday, October 29, 2007

How Will I Die

How will I die?
Your Result: You will die while having sex.

Your last moments in this life will be enjoyable indeed...hopefully. Do not fear sex. Try not to become celibate as a way of escaping death. You cannot run from destiny.

You will die while saving someone's life.
You will die from a terminal illness.
You will die in a car accident.
You will die in your sleep.
You will die of boredom.
You will die in a nuclear holocaust.
You will be murdered.
How will I die?
Create a Quiz

Well, that's a relief!

Getting my Gizzard Popped

On my journey to gall bladder surgery I had an ultrasound and last Friday had an MRCP or Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography. The instructions were to fast-nothing by mouth-for four hours before the 8:30 AM test, so I got up at 3:30 to take my am medication and to worry for a bit. You see, this has been dragging on since September which may not seem like much, but I started a new job-well not a NEW job, but a promotion-last January and taking all this time off is giving me angst. And now having to have surgery and all of the pre-testing time is stressing me.

So I arrived at 7:45, always early as the nuns taught me, starving, and craving coffee, to discover that it was not necessary to fast. As a matter of fact, the first thing I was made to do was drink pineapple juice. If only it had caffeine or valium in it!

The next thing, of course was to disrobe and then robe in a color coded hospital gown-or two as I never know the code for woman size. I discovered that an MRCP is pretty much like any other scan. It’s like being in your own toilet paper tube which is then tossed into a cement mixer. Only this scan had headphones with nice music when the cement mixer was off. And I wasn’t doing breathing exercises, breathe in, breathe out, breathe in and hold it…

I’ll have the results in a day or two or my surgeon will. I have a pre-surgery examination on Wednesday (1/2 day off.) I have a second opinion on Thursday (1/2 day off.) By the time I actually have the surgery I’ll have no time left.

One thing I did discover was a brochure that offered a free program at the hospital to ”Feel calmer before surgery. Use less pain medication. Recover faster.” I think I should call right now.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Cost of Being LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender) in Todays World

Thanks to Chuck's

Punishments for being who you are in different parts of the world

Algeria – A Fine to 3 Years in Prison
Angola – Labor Camps
Antigua and Barbuda – 15 Years in Prison
Bahrain – A Fine to 10 Years in Prison
Bangladesh – 10 Years to Life in Prison
Barbados – Life in Prison
Belize – 10 Years in Prison
Benin – 3 Years in Prison
Bhutan – 1 Month to 1 Year in Prison
Botswana – A Fine to 7 Years in Prison
Brunei – A Fine to 10 Years in Prison
Cameroon – A Fine to 5 Years in Prison
Cook Islands – A Fine to 14 Years in Prison
Djibouti – 10 to 12 Years in Prison
Dominica – 10 Years in Prison
Egypt – 5 Years in Prison
Eritrea – 3 to 10 Years in Prison
Ethiopia – 10 Days to 3 Years in Prison
Gambia – A Fine to 14 Years in Prison
Ghana – Not Known
Grenada – 10 Years in Prison
Guinea – 6 Months to 3 Years in Prison
Guinea Bissau – Labor Camps
India – A Fine to Life in Prison
Iran – Death
Jamaica – 10 Years Hard Labor
Kenya – A Fine to 14 Years in Prison
Kiribati – A Fine to 14 Years in Prison
Kuwait – A Fine to 7 Years in Prison
Lebanon – A Fine to 1 Year in Prison
Lesotho – Not Known
Liberia – A Fine
Libya – A Fine to 5 Years in Prison
Malawi – A Fine to 14 Years in Prison
Malaysia – A Fine to 20 Years in Prison
Mauritania – Death
Mauritius – A Fine to 5 Years in Prison
Morocco – 6 Months to 3 Years in Prison
Mozambique – Labor Camps
Myanmar/Burma – 10 Years to Life in Prison
Namibia – Not Known
Nauru – 14 Years Hard Labor
Nepal – A Fine to 1 Year in Prison
Nicaragua – 1 to 3 Years in Prison
Nigeria – 5 Years in Prison to Death
Niue – A Fine to 10 Years in Prison
Oman – A Fine to 3 Years in Prison
Pakistan – 2 Years to Life in Prison
Palau – A Fine to 10 Years in Prison
Palestine – A Fine to 10 Years in Prison
Papua New Guinea – A Fine to 14 Years in Prison
Qatar – A Fine to 5 Years in Prison
Saint Kitts and Nevis – 10 Years in Prison
Saint Lucia – A Fine to 10 Years in Prison
Saint Vincent and Grenadines – A Fine to 10 Years in Prison
Samoa – A Fine to 7 Years in Prison
Sao Tome and Principe – Labor Camps
Saudi Arabia – Death
Senegal – 1 Month to 5 Years in Prison
Seychelles – A Fine to 2 Years in Prison
Sierra Leone – Life in Prison
Singapore – 2 Years in Prison
Solomon Islands – A Fine to 14 Years in Prison
Somalia – 3 Months in Prison to Death
Sri Lanka – A Fine to 10 Years in Prison
Sudan – 5 Years in Prison to Death
Swaziland – A Fine
Syria – A Fine to 3 Years in Prison
Tanzania – A Fine to 25 Years in Prison
Togo – A Fine to 3 Years in Prison
Tokelau – A Fine to 10 Years in Prison
Trinidad and Tobago – 25 Years in Prison
Tunisia – A Fine to 3 Years in Prison
Turkmenistan – A Fine to 2 Years in Prison
Tuvalu – A Fine to 14 Years in Prison
Uganda – A Fine to Life in Prison
United Arab Emirates – Death
Uzbekistan – A Fine to 3 Years in Prison
Yemen – Flogging to Death
Zambia – A Fine to 14 Years in Prison
Zimbabwe – A Fine to 1 Year in Prison

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Five

photo-which one is me?

1. How did you celebrate this time of year when you were a child?
My friend Trudy and I would dress up in-usually-home made costumes and go out into the neighborhood trick-or-treating! It was a small town. My mother and aunt owned the grocery store and everyone knew us, so it was safe and, after a certain age we usually went alone. We collected a lot of goodies.
A couple of the noteable costumes I made and wore when attending parties as an adult in NY were the crocodile in Peter Pan-with the rest of the cast played by friends. And loose change-in the 80's-with other kinds of money being played by friends-old money was my partner.
And of course as a child, mass the next day as it was a holy day of obligation. All Saints Day. I think we may have had the day off-or not.

2. Do you and/or your family “celebrate” Halloween? Why or why not? And if you do, has it changed from what you used to do?
We used to go to the great Haloween Parade when it was smaller-a NY tradition. But now it has become too big and scary and too many youthful non-natives come from the commuting states to get drunk and act stupid, so we stay home. ( do I sound like a New York snob?)

2. Candy apples: Do you prefer red cinnamon or caramel covered? Or something else?
I take advantage of the availability to buy and eat small chocolate bars that come packaged in large bags. I shouldn't and I keep them in a prominent place in my office so the my unit knows where to get them so they disapear fast, which is good for me, the disapearance part.
Candy apples, not really.

3. Pumpkins: Do you make Jack O’ Lanterns? Any ideas of what else to do with them?
Unfortunately, they take up too much room.

4. Do you decorate your home for fall or Halloween? If so, what do you do? Bonus points for pictures.
Unfortunately, they take up too much room.

5. Do you like pretending to be something different? Does a costume bring our an alternate personality?
Love it when I have the chance! I have love to hide behind a mask. It always allows this introvert to be somewhat less inhibited at a party!

Monday, October 22, 2007

How Real Am I?

You Are 88% Real

There's hardly a person on this earth more real than you are.

You have no problem showing people who you are, flaws and all.

For you, there couldn't be any other way. Because it's way too stressful to live an inauthentic life.

You're very comfortable with yourself. And because of this, you're able to live an exciting, interesting, and challenging life.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Addendum to Friday Five on Saturday


"Shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, mussels, all these are an abomination before the Lord, just as gays are an abomination. Why stop at protesting gay marriage? Bring all of God's law unto the heathens and the sodomites. We call upon all Christians to join the crusade against Long John Silver's and Red Lobster. Yea, even Popeye's shall be cleansed. The name of Bubba shall be anathema. We must stop the unbelievers from destroying the sanctity of our restaurants."

9 These shall ye eat of all that are in the waters: whatsoever hath fins and scales in the waters, in the seas, and in the rivers, them shall ye eat.
10 And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you:
11 They shall be even an abomination unto you; ye shall not eat of their flesh, but ye shall have their carcases in abomination.
12 Whatsoever hath no fins nor scales in the waters, that shall be an abomination unto you.

So, all of you Revgalblogpals heed this! Actually, in my household, the Jewish Beloved abstains from fish withouth fins or scales (we have had discussions in restaurants about this) shellfish and lobster. And in 16+ years, in only one instance has our oven seen a ham!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Friday Five-Homage to the Top Chef

If you were a food, what would you be?

My mother and her sister worked in the family business, a grocery store (pre-supermarket) when they were growing up, and then took it over when my grandfather died. My mother was the butcher and we always ate lots of steaks. After I grew up and moved away when I'd leave after a visit, she would send be away with a box of my favorite food, New York Strip Steaks, so I guess that's what I'd be. Substantial, a little old fashioned although flying in the face of convention in these vegan days. A good New York strip steak, red in the center, charred outside.

What is one of the most memorable meals you ever had? And where?

1.Every meal I had in southern Italy this past spring was great and the memorable ones were the unexpected ones like at the car/bus gas station, when we had a flat tire and had the best breakfast and lunch! Better than any restaurant in the US, so good. We could have eaten every meal there!
2.This is difficult as I've had so many, hence my previous post! I'm remembering a plate of pasta I had at Chez Panisse in Oakland, California in the 80's, not in the main restaurant as we couldn't get a reservation but the one downstairs. I just remember that it was delicious and perfect.

What is your favorite comfort food from childhood?

Why, warm chocolate pudding, of course!

When going to a church potluck, what one recipe from your kitchen is sure to be a hit?

Haven't been to a lot of potlucks, but last Friday I took a box of Dunking Donuts to my Catholic Lesbians Group and it was a hit!

What’s the strangest thing you ever willingly ate?

I'm a pretty picky eater, so sushi is it, but I don't consider that strange. Hmmm I may have to think about this today and add something later. I was never a paste eater in grade school.

Bonus question: What’s your favorite drink to order when looking forward to a great meal?

As I stopped drinking alcohol 20+ years ago it's Coca-Cola or iced tea for me. But when I go out, I'll have a ginger ale to be festive! Has anyone tried Arizona Iced Tea Stress Tea. I started drinking it after the World Trade Center when I was cutting back on caffeine. I'm hooked. Water, too.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Doctor Shopping

Mrs Dumple decides who will have the
privilege of removing her gall bladder.

And that's what I will be doing starting this morning. It seems that my "Hep A" turned out to be an expired gall bladder-one producing stones, rocks and boulders rather than what it is supposed to be doing-not quite sure what that is, but I have a vauge idea. Yes, the yellowness, fever, pain were not the slightly sexy Hep A, but the dowdy, common gall bladder disease. Yuck. Doesn't it seem old, Well apparently it's THE most common surgery performed on WOMEN! wow.

I talked to my-no plan-doctor who recomended a-non-plan-surgeon. $$$$$$$$ later, I looked on my plan website. 199 general surgeons. I faxed the list to my doc who chose two, both it turned out do only hernias. Hey, I asked for a general surgeon and that's what was listed. False advertising! So it seems there is a gall bladder guy in the practice. (the gall bladder is green in all illustrations-is that right?) I'm seeing him this morning. Stay tuned.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Flatulent Nun-Callahan

And perhaphs you might understand why this amuses me.

Callahan Online-A Cartoon and a Suppository

John Callahan is an hysterically funny guy who happens to be a quadriplegic in a wheelchair . He's shocking, he's wicked, he's irreverent. Nothing is taboo and nothing is funnier!

I love his cartoons and when people-in my field or anwhere -start infantilizing or putting people with disabilities on a pedastal, well I'd like to sit them down with a book of Callahan Cartoons.

His website is:

Friday, October 12, 2007

Friday Five The Bible (is a Book Written by People)

When I read this Friday Five, I thought, Oh no, because, although I've read the bible, I've not studied it, and it's been a long time. Most recently I've been in closer contact with the Torah or the Old Testament, so... rather than just skip it, I'll show my extreme ignorence

1. What is your earliest memory of encountering a biblical text?
In my 12 years of Catholic School where we mostly learned from text books and the Baltimore Cathechism. (OK, I just remembered. At confirmation, which in my day was quite young, like 2nd grade, we got a missal-In my case a St. Joseph Missal, which had bible readings for the time of year, so I guess that was the Catholic way of parceling out the bible.)

2. What is your favorite biblical translation, and why? (You might have a few for different purposes). No favorite, although we always used the Catholic Bible whichever that was at the time. The Torah used by Congregation Bethe Simchat Torah has seemed awfully nice.

3. What is your favorite book of the Bible? Your favorite verse/passage? Would Ruth be appropriate?

4. Which book of the Bible do you consider, in Luther's famous words about James, to be "an epistle of straw?" Which verse(s) make you want to scream? n/a

5. Inclusive language in biblical translation and liturgical proclamation: for, against, or neutral? Absolutley for it!

Bonus: Back to the Psalms--which one best speaks the prayer of your heart? Not a psalm but a fragment "For whither thou goest, I will go, and where thou dwellest, there I will dwell: thy people are my people, and thy God is my God." which appears in our Ketubah or marriage contract (from my beloved and I.)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

T.R. Knight - National Coming Out Day - PSA

And I love T.R. Knight for being brave enough to fight back!

Kitt Cherry on coming out

I love this video. It expresses my feelings, too!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Alive Day Portraits

From Simi Linton
"An exhibit of portraits of the disabled soldiers interviewed for HBO’s Alive Day Memories: Back from Iraq may be coming to a gallery near you.

The portraits - shot by photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, best known for his portriats of artists and other celebrities - capture each soldier featured in Alive Day Memories against a simple black backdrop and are intended to focus on the individual, not the injury.

Greenfield-Sanders’ Alive Day Portraits have been used in HBO adversiting, can be viewed at the Donnell Library across from the Museum of Modern Art, and are scheduled to be shown in November at the Tisch School of the Arts and at exhibitions in Stockholm and Miami.

Additionaly, Alive Day Memories will be screened on November 8th as part of the Tisch Days of Community."

Editors note: The focus I have seen has been on attractibe soldiers who have lost limbs. They don't show the soldiers who have traumatic brain injury, who are in veteran's hospitals or extended care facilities, who can't live in the community because they can't find their way around or find their way home if the have one. I'ts terrible to loose your limb. It's terrible to loose part of your brain.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Movie to See

Can the love between two people ever be an abomination? Is the chasm separating gays and lesbians and Christianity too wide to cross? Is the Bible an excuse to hate?

Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Seattle International Film Festival, Dan Karslake's provocative, entertaining documentary brilliantly reconciles homosexuality and Biblical scripture, and in the process reveals that Church-sanctioned anti-gay bias is based almost solely upon a significant (and often malicious) misinterpretation of the Bible. As the film notes, most Christians live their lives today without feeling obliged to kill anyone who works on the Sabbath or eats shrimp (as a literal reading of scripture dictates).

Through the experiences of five very normal, very Christian, very American families -- including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopalian Bishop Gene Robinson -- we discover how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child. Informed by such respected voices as Bishop Desmond Tutu, Harvard's Peter Gomes, Orthodox Rabbi Steve Greenberg and Reverend Jimmy Creech, FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO offers healing, clarity and understanding to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual identity.

Maybe I'll go today

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Women's Liturgy

I attended a Women's Catholic Liturgy this morning. It touched me deeply and once again made me feel at home in the church of my heritage (and the church where I rarely attend services.) There were about 20 women, mostly nuns-it seemed. The site was a convent of the Sister's of Charity and it was right on Washington Square North in one of those beautiful buildings. I imangined I was Auntie Mame (who lived there for a short period.)

Here is a prayer from the service:

O God, whose name is Love, we stand in the midst of a word that would give you other names, a world that would name you "violence"and "national pride" and "money. Teach us the deep power of the Love which you would have us claim as Yourself. Help us to know this Love and to embrace it so that we may stand as one with all persons and with creation in truth and in Spirit. We ask this in the name of Jesus, who even now show us the Path. Amen.
(if you look to the right of the arch, you can see the building where the service was held. I took the photo last fall from a window in NYU.)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Friday Five-Five things for which I am deeply thankful

Welcome to the Friday Five!
(picture is the view from the end of my street in Chelsea, NYC about 6:30am)
This one is going to be veeeery simple: List at least five things (...) for which you are thankful. You may elaborate as you wish, or keep it simple.

1.My beloved who I met 16 and change years ago and who I married in the Jewish tradition several years ago and who I made my domestic partner in NYC and who I will marry in Canada if we ever get it together..
2. My therapist who has seen me through thick and thin, with a 15 year hiatus, for 25 years (can you believe it?)
3 My friends who are there when I need them and when I don't. And my friend Margaret who I met when we were both 22 or 23 and playing squash and now both and ill and still having fun.
4. My godchild the grown women who keeps my young.

Places: NYC of course

Graces: See 1.

Miracles: That I've made it this far after what I've put myself through. And the moon.

Hat tip to Princess Mindy for the idea.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Your Job Satisfaction

Your Job Satisfaction Level: 82%

Your job is nearly perfect - you've totally lucked out!

You like what you do, who you work for, and the people you work with.

And it seems like the job you have will eventually get you the job you want.

So enjoy what you've got. You've landed the ideal job!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bill O'Reilly and Harlem

Bill O'Reilly went to Sylvia's Restaurant with Al Sharpton. This is what he had to say. (Notice I put his photo on the right.)

"I had a great time, and all the people up there are tremendously respectful. ... And I couldn't get over the fact that there was no difference between Sylvia's restaurant and any other restaurant in New York City. I mean, it was exactly the same, even though it's run by blacks, primarily black patronship. It was the same, and that's really what this society's all about now here in the U.S.A. There's no difference."

"I went to the concert by Anita Baker at Radio City Music Hall ... and the blacks were well-dressed," O'Reilly said. "The band was excellent, but they were dressed in tuxedoes, and this is what white America doesn't know, particularly people who don't have a lot of interaction with black Americans." Then he went back to Sylvia's, where he said, "There wasn't one person in Sylvia's who was screaming, 'M-Fer, I want more iced tea.' ... It was like going into an Italian restaurant in an all-white suburb in the sense of people were sitting there, and they were ordering and having fun. And there wasn't any kind of craziness at all."

So, I though a poll was in order. Please respond and comment too.

Friday Five on Saturday

ReverendMother says "Well friends, as I prepare for the birth of Bonus Baby, it's time to simplify life, step back from the Friday Five, and let one of the other capable and creative RevGals take the helm. It's been a great almost 17 months of co-hosting the F5, but it's time to say goodbye... so here's my swan song." These are the questions she asks.

On Endings and Goodbyes:

1. Best ending of a movie/book/TV show:
Would have to be the ending for "Six Feet Under." a true wrap up which shows the demise of all of the characters.

2. Worst ending of a movie/book/TV show:
And on another channel it would have to be the "Sopranos" well you know why.

3. Tell about a memorable goodbye you've experienced:
A great love of came back into my my young live (after an unwanted hiatus) and was on her way to Alaska. I though that when she returned it would be happy ever after...boy was I wrong. She drove me to visit my parents in Ohio and we had a great weekend, then we said goodbye at the end of the driveway. I saw her years later. And she took my damned guitar!

4. Is it true that "all good things must come to an end"? Apparently.

5. "Everything I ever let go of has claw marks on it." --Anne Lamott
Not for me. I like change. My current job of 10 years is the longest I've ever had-and with a transfer to a different town to make it bearable. And throwing things out-wonderful for making room for new things!

Bonus: "It isn't over until the fat lady sings." I've never loved this expression. So propose an alternative: "It isn't over until giving credit where credit is due, Kate Smith sings!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Back to work

I'm returning to work today after a full week home sick with hep A. I'm still easily fatigued. I've done some short forays into the community, on Sunday a walk into the village where I ran into a colleague from another office, Saturday a visit to some bookstores, yesterday a visit with my shrink. All trips started with public transportation, but ended with a cab ride home. Yesterday took me into the Wall St. area and I thought I'd visit a bookstore I like down there, but when I was finished with my apt. I was too tired even to stop for lunch.
Well, today I have a seminar in the morning in Manhattan, then off to work in the pm in Brooklyn where I work. I wonder how I'll do? I don't like this feeling of wearing down and the need to lay down. And the cab fares, oy!
And there's the pile of stuff on my desk...

Side note: As I was looking for an illustration for a cartoon of a woman at a desk on google images, the cartoons that came up all seemed to be men. When I narrowed my search to women, the women all seemed to be secretaries, clerks and with many more black women than had been in the general search. Hmm, google pictures as a microcosm of life.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Five

Our sister blogger posts:
Making the most of our resources is important, I have been challenged this week by the amount of stuff we accumulate, I'd love to live a simpler lifestyle, it would be good for me, and for the environment I think...

With that in mind I bring you this Friday 5;
1. Are you a hoarder or a minimalist?

I have the potential to be a hoarder, but with the heritage of a minimalist (my mother) and a 500sq' ft. apt. I share with my beloved-the hoarder, we have to be vigilant or otherwise we are living in piles of newspapers, photographs, old mail, etc. (The beloved is the one who saves the newspapers. I drag in furniture from the street, a popular sport in NYC.)

2. Name one important object ( could be an heirloom) that you will never part with.
My mothers cookware and a Stickley rocking chair I bought at a yardsale for $25. in 1980.

3. What is the oldest item in your closet? Does it still fit???
I donate things that don't fit to Housing Works an organization that helps people with Aids to get housing, employment, etc. What great thrift stores THEY have. More stuff comes in than goes in opposite direction. I'm sitting in a Stress Less Chair with foot rest that I got for $135. (I'm sensing a theme here.)

4.Yard sales- love 'em or hate 'em ?

I love em, but not so many in NYC.

5. Name a recycling habit you really want to get into.

Recyclying is regimented in NYC. The bins are in the compactor room. All different colors. I'd like to go to the library instead of buying so many books. I do donate the books to-where else-Housing Works.

And for a bonus- well anything you want to add....

Finally I have some time, but I don't want it. I have hepatitis. But how did I get it. I was feeling kind of punk. I though I had a uti, so I called my gp for a script. My beloved insisted I go to her doc when I wasn't getting any better. Voila-something is wrong with you liver! It seems to be-at this point-Hep A-you know-the kind you can get from a SALAD BAR! Who knew...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


After my lovely weekend in Florida, I went to work on Monday and around 2:00 I started to feel sick. I had felt tired all day, but my stomach was getting kind of queasy and I had that can't wait till it's 4:00pm feeling-not that I don't have that other days. 4 rolled around and I got on the subway and slowly made my way to Manhattan. The BL had telecommuted that day-that's the life-and was there to greet me home. I said I wasn't feeling well and was going to take a nap. I went to bed. Monday was beautiful in NYC, but I kept getting colder and colder, adding extra clothes and blankets. Hmmm. Fever of 102. Sick. So I took yesterday off, now I'm struggling whether to take today off. I'm feeling a bit better, except I fall asleep whenever I pick up a book or start watching television. Don't have much interest in the computer of food.
Oh, superego, just let me go back to bed!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ocean Grove, NJ redux

Group Loses Tax Break Over Gay Union Issue
from todays NY Times

A boardwalk pavilion in the seaside town of Ocean Grove, N.J., that has been at the center of a battle over gay civil union ceremonies has lost its tax-exempt status because the state ruled it no longer met the requirements as a place open to all members of the public.

In a letter to the administrator of the Ocean Grove Camp Meeting Association, a Methodist organization that owns the pavilion property, the state commissioner of environmental protection, Lisa Jackson, declined to recertify the pavilion as eligible for a real estate tax exemption it has enjoyed since 1989 under the state’s Green Acres Program, but did renew the tax-exempt status of the rest of the boardwalk and the beach, also owned by the association.

The issue arose after the association, which has owned the land, the beach and 1,000 feet of the sea itself since 1870, rejected the requests of two lesbian couples to have their civil union ceremonies at the Boardwalk Pavilion.

The couples complained to the State Division on Civil Rights, which began a discrimination investigation. The association sued the state, claiming that the investigation violated its First Amendment rights because civil unions were contrary to the beliefs of the United Methodist Church.

A federal district court judge refused last month to halt the investigation.

In a letter dated Saturday that revoked the longstanding certification, Ms. Jackson, the environmental protection commissioner, wrote, “It is clear that the pavilion is not open to all persons on an equal basis.”

The administrator of the Camp Meeting Association, Scott Hoffman, said in a written statement that “the Camp Meeting is reviewing the letter. However, it is worth noting that over 99 percent of the Camp Meeting’s land was recertified as tax-exempt.”

Every three years since 1989, the association has applied for, and received, tax exemptions for its boardwalk, beach and the pavilion under the Green Acres Program, designed to encourage the use of privately owned lands for public recreation and conservation. This is the first time any part of its application has been turned down.

Facing a deadline of last Saturday mandated by the Green Acres rules, Ms. Jackson said it was important to make clear where her department stood on the definition of open property.

“When people hear the words ‘open space,’ we want them to think not just of open air and land, but that it is open to all people,” said Ms. Jackson. “And when the public subsidizes it with tax breaks, it goes with the expectation that it is not going to be parsed out, whether it be by activity or any particular beliefs.”

The tax assessor in Neptune Township, where Ocean Grove is located, said he could not estimate how much more tax the association might have to pay because of the changed status of the pavilion. When the lawsuit was filed against the state last month, the assessor, Bernard Haney, estimated that the association was saving about $500,000 a year because of all of its Green Acres exemptions.

In a letter sent to the state last week arguing that the tax-exempt status of the Pavilion, should be retained, Michael Behrens, the association’s lawyer, said that the use of the open-air pavilion had not changed since it was first included in the Green Acres Program 18 years ago.

The pavilion, which is used largely for Sunday church services and youth ministry programs, has also been a place where boardwalk strollers are welcome to sit and relax. “But never was the general public granted unfettered right to use the pavilion in any way it chooses (e.g., to reserve it for an exclusive use such as a civil union ceremony),” Mr. Behrens wrote.

The case has drawn national attention, in part because Ocean Grove has long been considered a community that embraced gay residents. Steven Goldstein, executive director of Garden State Equality, a New Jersey gay rights organization, said he has gotten more e-mail messages on this issue than on any other cause his group has taken up.

“I’m hearing from gay people all over the country who thought Ocean Grove was the leading light for gay tolerance and that’s not the case anymore,” Mr. Goldstein said.

I'm feeling somewhat vindicated by this turn of events as I've gotten the biggest # of hits on this topic. Apparently people have strong feelings on this subject!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Florida cont. Sundowning

I asked my father-in-law's treatment /extended care home owner for a treatment plan. She looked suprised and said "what do you think is wrong with him?"
And that, folks, is what we're dealing with in sunny Florida!
Our days have been spent sitting with dad, eating, trying not to offend Mrs. Dad, and trying to figure our how to improve his lot. It's clear that he is oriented x3, but severly depressed and Mrs. Dad does not want him at home while he had trouble with, well let's say #'s 1 and 2. She may have a dx of OCD.
Everyone (except Mrs. Dad) is flummoxed as to how to handle this and spring the old man from what can best be described as a very depressing Florida home style prison for the elderly.
PS Two home health aide for the six men living there. The first day as we were walking in, we saw them drop one of the men. Ow. Or he could have fallen.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Health Care for the Elderly in Florida

I'm in beautiful Florida. Gee, it sure is HOT in September.

Our mission- Sue, her brother Jay and I, to determine whether their father belongs in an extended care facility (warehouse until he dies.) Sue and I were in the process of deciding if we wanted to buy a place in Florida to eventually retire to, but from what I have seen the health care system here is even worse than in NY. I guess because people are mostly old and don't really advocate for themselves (gross generalization.) Every time, the father-in-law goes into the hospital, he comes out sicker which necessitates a time in rehab. where they screw up his meds., which makes him disoriented, which results in another diagnosis and more meds. which may react with the existing meds. and the wheel rolls on.

Extended care facilities do not have treatment plans. When I asked for one, the director asked "what do you think is wrong with him?" Arrgh! Well about 5 things that I could see with my eyes and that I thought were correctable with little trouble (like how about getting him his glasses and how about his hearing aid!) And then how about some mental health services. We heard that priests make the rounds frequently.
As we were leaving yesterday, the director said "we like to make them feel comfortable in their last days..."

Who determines whether he goes for treatment or warehousing? Is it his wife or is it his doctor who decides that he is beyond help and to let him slowly deteriorate in a 6 person home with the care of 2 home health aides with no view of the outside world. How can the sun not go down?