Search This Blog

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday Five-To Do list

Jan posted this anxiety producing FF:

Actually I'm pretty far along.

1. I get small gifts for my Counseling Unit and support staff which this year swelled to 12 people. I attended an 'Etsy' craft fair in October and got a swell bargain. Hand carved animals on pedestals, small for desktops at$1. each. Yes, you heard me. A buck each and they're really nice. See above. I even saved one for ME! And I bought all they had and had enough for the counselors and bought earrings at 10. for the secretary's.

2. Beloved and Godchild had birthdays earlier in the month so I got presents then even though Godchild hasn't gotten hers yes (and I can't find it.) But I will...

3. One crisis, got Beloved something with a top and a bottom-a set (she sometimes reads this.) and they just sent the top! Who ever heard of selling just the tops? Wish I could be more specific.

4. We don't do a tree, but next Wednesday the Menorah will be out. I thought about a tree in the beach place, but we're only there on weekends at this point and I worried about fire.

5. Last Friday we bought and wrapped our gifts for homeless kidswith the Catholic Lesbians and this weekend we're preparing tips for the doormen, porters, handymen, super, etc-the most expensive part of the holidays.


I've joined a new church, St. James of Jerusalem Episcopal Church. We'll see how it goes. They have a gay priest!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Five-Random

I haven't posted for awhile because I've been involved in my own mishegoss
(Mishegoss: Yiddish-(mish-uh-goss) neurosis, craziness, psychological shtick, insanity, idée fixée, foolish notion. ) for more about that read my previous few posts.
But now for my randomness:
1. I grew up in my mothers grocery store. It was before big supermarkets and was really my mother's and my aunt's. It had been my grandfathers and farmers would phone in their orders, "operator, I would like Yezzo's Market." And we would deliver in an old Ford panel truck. My cousin and I would sit in the spare tire and smoke candy cigarettes while my aunt did all the work. I was 7 or 8 when they closed it.
2. I worked in summer stock for 3 years while I was in college. I met the likes of Vivian Vance, Paul Lynde and a host of other fading stars and luninaries. I was a scenic designer and actually came to NY to do that.
3. The first job I got in NYC was for an interior design firm. We did store planning and I did everything from making coffee to shopping for sample in the D& D building. I also went to job sites and painted murals. I recently visited one of my murals which still existes. It's on a set of elevator doors and the surround. I had to paint around the opening and closing of the doors. Really.
4. My first weekend place was in Orient, NY where I learned to sail, clam, crab, scallop.
5. I went back to school to get a masters degree in counseling when the Aids pandemic hit and many of my colleagues and friends started to die. I felt that I could help more elsewhere. I'm currently studying Trauma.

Friday, December 2, 2011

New Stuff

I've been sitting at my desk brewing. I've been generally unhappy at work. Not with the work, which is stimulating. And I just finished a class on Trauma which was generally great and which I find myself already using in my work, and I'm considering taking a training program-1-2 years for certification and an area of specialty.
What I'm brewing about is the change of atmosphere and attitude in the office. I've been a Senior Counselor in this office since 2007. It was a promotion from another office. Senior Counselor is first line management. Now there are 3 of us for about 228 counselors, arranged in units of about 14. Mine has 9 counselors and 4 support staff, with one counselor and one support staff on long term sick leave.
We have just come through an acrimonious period with a District Office Manager who was my dear friend and my difficult manager and who was universally disliked by the office. I was distrusted because I was her-long term-friend. Also in my unit I had a union organizer who was required to spend long periods of time in Albany. My friend/boss became seriously ill and retired. Shortly thereafter, my counselor sent a four page letter to Humal Resources complaining about me and my management of him, with frequent references to my boss-she was quite the micromanager! This lette was discussed by much higher ups, including the assistant commisioner and the counselor was transferred to a different unit. The letter was full of lies. It was also written by a union lawyer. I was given no recourse.
This is all a lead in to what happened next.
I had one good friend in the office. She was the other lesbian here. When I got here she asked me to supervise her in finishing her masters degree in counseling, which I did gladly. We have been good friends ever since, socializing with our partners and lunching several times a week. About two months ago I noticed that she was no longer available for lunch. It was her busy month and she was wearing a soft cast for a leg injury, so I gave her the benefit of the doubt. but it went on. We finally had lunch, she was stiff. Finally I stopped by her office to chat and she let me have it! She said that I took the management position on union negotions. I was at fault with the counselor. I could have bent the rules to accomodate him. (did I mention that my boss was a micromanager?) She had no interest in anything I had to say, and she did 'nt even give me a chance to speak- and we have not spoken since. I'm hurt and I'm angry. She's not a senior, but she's on the management team. At this time she's the only other woman on the management team. I feel so awkward just being in this small community right now. I also know from her strong reaction that Brian showed the letter he wrote to others and she saw it.
If anyone has any advice for me, I'd really appreciate it.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

When it Rains

I went into my interim boss's office office on Friday, you may remember my boss/friend has Pancreatic cancer, but more about that in another post, he said "I have something to talk to you about."
I seems that a difficult counselor, I'll call him 'Brian,' has complained about me to the "head office" and has goner to the union attorney. He complained about a list of things that my boss refused to show me-he didn't want to upset me, and 'Brian' asked for a change of senior counselors. He is heavily into the union. It all started when I forgot to approve his vacation with 3 weeks. I did approve it verbally, and put it in my vacation, days out calendar, but it must be done in writing and he filed another union grievance through against me, using the union Foreman, I'll call "Ivory," a woman who has been bullying me since I took this position.
Apparently since my former boss and dear friend retired (due to her illness) I have become her replacement for retaliation.
I wish I could retire tomorrow...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Funny How That Happens

This week we had a Management Team Meeting scheduled. I arrived feeling cranky and expecting to be sitting for 3 hours. My friend/boss was the last to arrive. She spoke first and said she had something to tell us. She said that, of course we knew that she filmed her apartment makeover for the Nate Berkus show last week. They required a medical release. She had a Drs. appointment but was going to cancel it because she before the show came up, she and her husband had a huge bike ride-taking a week or something like that-and she didn't have time for the doc. She had been feeling under the weather for months now, nothing big, just general malaise.
But she went to the doc and described her symptoms and he said, well we'll just do a CT scan.
She has pancreatic cancer.
Suddenly she is no longer my boss and is my beloved friend and I have tears running down my face as I write this.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Five Your Workspace

(The first picture is of my talismans. The second is of my office, or of a corner of it. I'm doing this from my office and on a PC, so it hard to manipulate.-I 'm used to a Mac.)

RevKarla posted this funny FF:

1. My wonderful ergonomic chair that I have carried from office to office and the fabric is now shredded from the substandard "new wooden desks."
2. The wooden desk. As a State of NY Office, our furniture in made in NY State Prisons, Oh Yes. And it tends to shred and fall apart. The beautiful new desks are made of soft woods and when we got them we found that the tops marked so easily-by writing on a paper with a pen, that we had to buy glass tops!
3. My huge cardboard sculpture, leftover packing material from the desks, that sits on top on my bookcase.

I also have a little, strange altar.
4. Piles of files, awaiting my approval, correction, or something else. Just passing through.
5. Photographs of various trips I have taken.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Friday Five-The Season You're In

Kathrynzj posted this thoughtful FF:
"Headquarters for me is the northeast of the United States. Here school is getting back in session, the tease of autumn is in the air (or the hope for the tease of autumn is in the air) and church life is gearing up to full throttle.

One thing I've learned with blogging and social media is that the where I live is not necessarily where you live. And so I want to know what September means to you, in your place of the world and time in your life.
This week's Friday Five is:

What are 5 things that the beginning of September mean to you?"

1. As a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor working for State Rehab., we help individuals with disabilities to go to work, go back to work, find different work after acquiring a disability, or in the case of young adults born with disabilities, after graduation from HS (the short form of what we do) it means all the minutia of college plans. We've been working on them for months, but now it's where is my book voucher? will I get carfare? etc.

2. Even though summer in NY isn't always pleasant, smelly, humid and all that, it means the end of sandals and I love them! I stretch that season as far as it will go!

3. Ditto for heavy clothes. Wish I could give them all to Goodwill. (Which is a very good Rehabilitation agency btw and you should donate to them instead of the Salvation Army which is very Homophobic!)

4. This is the long slippery slide into winter, which I really don't like much. I grew up with lake effect show and after snow days were no longer an issue, snow just became a big problem. NY is much better than my home state, well until last year.

5. So in summary, you can see why Beloved and I have our cruise planned for the end of January!

Bonus: What's one thing you could do without?

Whooops! I may have already done this :-(

Saturday, August 20, 2011


At 3:45 yesterday, my boss called me into her office. I had been expecting the call. It was about a case that was a minor problem. The counselor was away. Her brother had died unexpectedly. My boss, I'll call her Laur*e, has been very busy as she is going to be on a TV talk show, the Nate Berkus Show in September to have her fashionable Upper East Side apartment, redesigned. (she is an habitual shopper and has clothing in her closets with tags on them. Clothing that was bought years ago.) I know this because I am allegedly her friend. Or was. But not on Friday afternoon when she is screaming at me about a case that I know little about with her door open so that the whole hallway can hear. And is giving me instructions. By this time it's 15 minutes before I have to leave and this has to be done by Monday-my day off. (Forgive me, but I'm twitching as I write this.)
I managed to follow all of her screamed orders, and even finished not too late, but late enough for someone who started at 7:30 am But I have to see her again at a party for a friend who got married in the first wave of the NYC gay marriages yesterdays.
I am a quiet person. A cooperative person. I do not respond well to screaming. I scares me. It's a response to the trauma of growing up in an Alcoholic household where there was a lot of screaming and yelling and fighting going on. I is hard on my and really stresses me out. I would never ever treat my counselors light that.
Thanks for letting me vent.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday Five Road Trips

Jan Gives us this Friday Five:
Tell us about five road trips--in your childhood, in your family, in your recent past, with friends, and/or hoped-for-places-to-drive-to. Don't forget the one that stands out as the BEST or as the worsttime.
1. All of our vacations as children were road trips, even the one to Niagra Falls, from Ohio to Canada with the Grandparents. Usually my parents and me, and my cousin-as we both were only children and got to go on each others vacations. They usually involved driving to some not too far interesting site, staying at a motel with a pool, and eating in lots of restaurants.
2. The most interesting road trip Beloved and I took involved flying to the Canadian Rockies, taking a train with a glass top to...somewhere in the Canadian Rockies, then driving around the Rockies with stops in Lake Louise, Banf and Jasper. We stayed at resorts build by the railroad. Wonderful and beautiful.
3. Three years ago Beloved and Godchild and I drove back to the hometown to celebrate Aunt Julies 90th. It was a sentimental journey along interstate 80, eating at truckstops. It only took about 9 hours, but I have done it many times and Godchild never. It was fun.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Five-Decisions Decisons

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Five: Decisions, Decisions (deja vu edition)

"I am pinch hitting today, my first time, as your Friday Five RevGal. Like the song "The Macarena" was for Los Del Rio, this could very well be a one-hit wonder, so thanks for playing!

Today we play off of one of my favorite and most memorable Friday Fives to blog from: Decisions, Decisions posted by Songbird last July 23. I went back to that post to make sure I had new choices for you to make. I found out -- again -- that she was then, as I have been recently, in the midst of a discernment process and thinking about what goes into decision making.

A decision from history: There is a chair that still sits in the Assembly Room of the Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall). Legend has it that it was George Washington's chair, the back carved with a half sun. Benjamin Franklin would look at it and wonder whether it was a rising or a setting sun. Eventually Franklin decided it was the hopeful symbol of the rising sun, a sign of the future of our new republic.

How do you decide? Check out the following pairs and tell which one of each appeals to you most: "

1) Sunrise or Sunset
I love both but when I see sunrise I'm usually on my way to work, so my choice is sunset!

2) To the Mountains or To the Beach
The Beach where I am blogging from RIGHT NOW!

3) Coffee or Tea
Coffee and I just bought one of those new fangeled cup using machines to prove it!

4) Advent or Lent
Advent, more cheerful and shorter, On the other hand, Lent because when it ends, spring is here! A draw.

5) "Raindrops on Roses" or "Whiskers on Kittens"
"Raindrops on Roses" allergic to kittens.

BONUS: Tell more about one of the pairs. Why did you choose it? Difficult or easy choice? A story from your own experience?
Choosing continuing ed. right now. I'm considering a certificate in Trauma. The school is the National Institute of Psychotherapies. I'll also have to do a certificate in EMDR, pre-training. I haven't signed up for it yet because the school's website lists the courses but does not list prices??

Friday, July 8, 2011

Summer Friday Five

Dorcas posted this Friday Five:
"Share five things that are happening in your life, personally or professionally or some of each, in this
season of life."
1. We're relaxing after beloved's dx and subsequent tx of breast cancer. She's gotten the all clear for now and is just taking the 5 years of meds. That's a relief... for now.
2. We're finally able to enjoy the beach palace, aka a condo in Long Beach, NY that a year ago last weekend we first camped out again on an air mattress, in the middle of major rehab. Then we used the shower near the pool on the first floor. Now things are much better.
3. We are planning two weeks there!
4. Work.
5. Play and rest.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


As you may have heard-
this from the New York Times:

New York Allows Same-Sex Marriage, Becoming Largest State to Pass Law

"ALBANY — Lawmakers voted late Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, making New York the largest state where gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed and giving the national gay-rights movement new momentum from the state where it was born.

The New York marriage bill, whose fate was uncertain until moments before the vote, was approved 33 to 29 in a packed but hushed Senate chamber. Four members of the Republican majority joined all but one Democrat in the Senate in supporting the measure after an intense and emotional campaign aimed at the handful of lawmakers wrestling with a decision that divided their friends, their constituents and sometimes their own homes.

With his position still undeclared, Senator Mark J. Grisanti, a Republican from Buffalo who had sought office promising to oppose same-sex marriage, told his colleagues he had agonized for months before concluding he had been wrong.

“I apologize for those who feel offended,” Mr. Grisanti said, adding, “I cannot deny a person, a human being, a taxpayer, a worker, the people of my district and across this state, the State of New York, and those people who make this the great state that it is the same rights that I have with my wife.” ed note. I love this

Senate approval was the final hurdle for the same-sex marriage legislation, which was approved last week by the Assembly. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the measure at 11:55 p.m., and the law will go into effect in 30 days, meaning that same-sex couples could begin marrying in New York by late July."

I came to NYC in 1972 when gay bars were still being raided and the names of people were being published in the newspapers, wrecking marriages and careers, and lives... Homosexuality was a mental illness. I quickly became involved in the new Gay Rights movement as well as the Feminist Movement in which I had been active in my native Ohio. I never thought I would see this day. As a matter of fact last night I went to sleep not even bothering to watch TV rather than being disappointed again. Beloved got home from Shul-where Cynthia Nixon, you know, the same one, was the guest speaker on guess what, her work toward marriage equality. It was standing or sitting in the aisles only.Beloved woke me up when she got home and said it was coming up for vote and didn't I want to watch, I said no.

This morning...Well, Wow!

If, you're coming to NY to get married, let me be your personal tour guide. I'd be delighted!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


You may or may not know that I have been in a Lesbian Care Givers and Partners Group since Beloved was diagnosed with breast cancer, now thankfully in remission.
I got the news that one of my group members partner died this weekend. It was a shock. She did not die of cancer. She died of a reaction to the chemotherapy. It happened a while ago and they said she was going to die then. Her lungs developed some inability to be flexible. But she was getting better and she was in rehab. Then she had a pulmonary embolism and died. Her partner has to move out of their home as it belonged to one who died and the mother is taking it. (no will)
Pray for gay marriage.
See her blog.

Saturday, June 18, 2011


One of my favorite words. I've been feeling it lately and especially toward my blog. Sometimes I manage the Friday Five and that's about it.
What's been going on? Last week we managed to remove the towers of boxes that have been living in the tiny apartment all winter, since before Beloved's diagnosis, and growing, to the Beach Palace. We had the aid of Star Movers and they were stars indeed. Now we are in the process of emptying the boxes and figuring out where to put the stuff. I had no idea I had so many art supplies, paint, paper of different kinds, brushes from when I was in school in the late 60's ( I bought quality.) Now I have space to work again. Also jewelry making supplies-hmm where can I solder... Where can I put a kiln?
Work is still way more irritating that it should be. I'm the senior counselor specialist on substance abuse and re-entry (individuals with disabilities who are just getting out of prison.) in our office. I was at a Re-entry Roundtable. The speaker was Kathy Boudin, who has been released from prison and had earned her doctorate. I was really looking forward to it because she was part of the history of my college years. I got a text from my boss. Then another, call me right away, call me it's an emergency! "An emergency?" I had a union grievance from one of my counselors. Why? I forgot to approve his vacation. He asked me by e-mail. His office is about 10 offices away from mine and he comes to my office about once a day to drop off files to be approved. Why couldn't he remind me? I have an aging brain and I had already put it in my vacation calendar, so it was approved in my mind, I just forgot to let him know. I had to leave the presentation and go to a computer to check to see if I had actually replied. So I went home. I didn't.
After discussing my distress with a smart, thoughtful peer at why someone who I considered a friendly worker would actually do something like this over such a petty topic, I talked to him yesterday. I said, I'll call him Bruce, Bruce, why didn't you just remind me about your vacation. I would have approved it on the spot. He looked at the floor and said it was not a good time to discuss it, that he had just seen 4 clients and didn't want to talk about it now. I know it's retribution for my enforcement of a new and, imho, bad policy. Oh well, that's why they pay me the big bucks.
I never got to see Kathy Boudin, but I did talk to her and got her card. We're going to invite her to speak at our Re-entry Consortium.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Achoo Friday Five

Mary Beth posted this Friday Five and I like it:"Hello, my name is Mary Beth, and I'm allergic to ligustrum."

So, thinking about allergies:

1. Do you experience any seasonal allergies? Are you allergic to anything else?
My allergies are year round. Grass, dust, mold, trees, goats, vitamin K etc. I have a sensitivity to spinach that keeps me in the wc for hours but I figured that out for myself! It took years, my mother said I was nervous as she served delicious spinach dishes which I wolfed down! Finally put two and two together when spinach salads became in vogue.
Every year when I was a kid I experienced itchy eyes, ears, sniffles, sneezing etc. My eyes would get so red! Also that place, the nexus between my ears, and throat.

2. What kinds of symptoms do you experience during your allergic reactions?
My father thought I had a cold-endless- and made me wear a sweater in the hot humid weather of the Ohio Valley. Finally I got worse and was sent to a specialist for my tonsils. He also happened to be an Allergist. And he tested my...every year for the next 17 years it seems. Oh, I also had scary nosebleeds and spent long periods of time on his back room leather chaise longe.
The last time he tested me, skin tests, I had moved away and was visiting my parents I went for an appointment and a referral in NY, I had the tests and scripts, then left. While waiting for my ride, I noticed some hived. I called the office and my voice was hoarse. by the time I got back upstairs I was in anapylactic shock. They treated me there! Scary...

3. How do you manage your allergies? (i.e: medication, avoidance, alternative therapies, etc)
I took shots for YEAR! Weekly, YEAR I say, YEARS. I stopped when my last allergist died. He was JFK's allergist, I learned from his obit in the NY Times. Now I take Zyrtec. It really works. At our decaying State Office Building, many of us have been developing strange allergies. I had an asthma attack and I'm normally only asthmatic around cats! The government runs slowly... They brought in an independent testing company and they found we have bad air, molds etc. Now I have an Epi Pen and inhalers in my desk. Sigh!

4. What is the strangest allergy you've ever heard of?
A friend, a lawyer, developed multiple allergies to chemicals after new carpets were installed in her office. She ultimately was fired.

5. How do you feel about school and social policies that banning peanuts and other allergens?
I for them!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding Friday Five

From our Royal Wedding in Toronto
Kathrynzj's offers this Royal Wedding Friday Five:

1) Will you be watching? If so, is this your first royal wedding?
I am watching between doing the laundry and packing for a weekend retreat given by Congregation Bet Simcah Torah, my Beloved's place of worship...You know where they rented us their space but the rabbi refused to marry us because I'm-as she calls me, a Non-Jew. No, I don't carry any resentments. I haven't gone for a few years but as BL has cancer I relented and have agreed to go this year. My Ipad is loaded with books...
This is not my first. The first that i remember was Princess Diana watched from my (tiny) office early in the morning with a bunch of gay guys and I think Champagne. It was fun.
2) The bride has chosen as her wedding cake a fruitcake. Where do you stand on this pastry?
Fruitcake? With all those other great cakes in the world. I like the idea of one for the bride and one for the groom, flavors of their choice, Maybe Vanilla with a great custard filling for her and of course chocolate for him!

3) The dress code for royal weddings has not seen the same sad decline as that for most other weddings. If you could design your own royal wedding hat, what color would it be and what special decoration would it feature?
Mine would definitely have a live bird, or maybe a small dog or a squirrel!

4) Any chance the Archbishop of Canterbury is using a Sustainable Sermon (tip of the mitre to the Vicar of Hogsmeade)? What would you tell the couple were you offering the homily?
Not sure what this is, but if you Gals like is I'm all for it, if it's short. Don't want to sit too long. Wrinkles the duds.

5) Believe it or not, kathrynzj is getting up early mostly to see the wedding dress. By the time this post is up, the world will have seen it. Did you like it?
I saw the train and the back of the veil and that looked fairly traditional. So the vote is not in yet. I was white. And I know that they have been living together :-0

Monday, April 18, 2011

News from the church I don't attend but that I do belong to a their Lesbian Group

News from My Little Catholic Church

No Catholic Church is a little church. They are all part of a bigger church, the One Holy Catholic Church and at the head of the church is, of course is Big Brother.
Two years ago, the diocese of New York got a new Archbishop who tolerated our LGBT Group from Saint Francis Xavier marching in the LGBT March-the first one, the one that was generated by the Stonewall riots in 1969 and has been going ever since. The group has been marching a number of years. Last year we got a letter from the Archbishop saying that he would not like to see our banner in the march. The leadership of the Women's group and the Men's group-see even hierarchy there, decided to march anyhow, but with the banner turned around with a blank front. I got the following e-mail from the LGBT leadership yesterday:

Dear Friends,

We wanted to update you on the New York City LGBT Pride March and the use of the parish banner for the Church of St. Francis Xavier. Last year, Archbishop Timothy Dolan indicated that he would not like to see any Catholic parish participating in the Pride March under its parish banner, and in response and ongoing consultation with our community, we turned the banner backward.

The leaders of the Catholic Lesbians and Gay Catholics at Xavier got together on March 3, 2011, and came up with a proposal for deciding this year how we would participate in the Pride March. Leaders from the two ministries met with the Pastoral Council on March 21, proposing that we host a parishwide meeting or series of meetings, with a vote to determine our manner of participation in the march. The Pastoral Council and Father Joe Costantinodecided against our proposal. They recommended that we not have such a vote and that we come up with a creative alternative to using the parish banner. The notes from that meeting are available

On April 12, the leaders of our two groups met at length and prayerfully discerned our next steps. After carefully looking at all of the alternatives, and with open and respectful sharing, we decided to march with the banner facing forward. We realize that this difficult decision may not please everyone, though informal polling over the past several weeks indicates that there is a likely majority in the community at Xavier for going back to how we usually participate.

Father Joe, in an e-mail to the LGBT ministries leaders, stated that while he supports the LGBT ministries at Xavier and will continue to pray for us, if we march with the banner forward, we will not be given “Welcome to St. Francis Xavier” brochures to distribute, we will not be given a blessing, we will not be included in Prayers of the Faithful, and we will not receive other recognition at the Mass on the morning of the march as historically has been done. In addition, no funds will be released from the parish LGBT account for anything connected with the march, no media will be allowed into the church, the attached press release will be posted on the church Web site, and Father Joe will contact ArchbishopDolan about our participation.

Jesus taught us a prayer that can unite us when we have our differences, and so we pray, “Thy will be done.”

Peace be with you,

Catholic Lesbians and Gay Catholics, the Church of St. Francis Xavier

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Visit with New Doc Redux

So, we got there at 10:30AM for a 10:45 apt. Signed in at 2 desks, although Beloved is electronically recorded at Sloan Kettering on the BIG COMPUTER and we have answered the same questions many, many times. The we met with the Resident for about a 1/2 hour, short wait, met with the nurse for about a 1/2 hour-the first bit of information was well you'll be lying on your back. Freak out from BL, who's mother died of Lung Cancer and who DOES NOT, Do you hear me, DOES NOT want radiation anywhere near her lungs. I knew things would go downhill from there... The explanation from the very nice nurse, Holly. It seems that they explain generally, and that was only one way that they position people. Oy.
Then finally the Doc comes in. She was small, asian, poised, and it could have just been that she was wearing Christian Louboutin pumps. BL started in on her story, and the doc with the unfortunate name, said "why don't I just let you talk and I'll answer your questions. Near the end of the soliloquy, she said I suggest you get a second opinion and then consider your options. She suggested another hospital.
It was my day off, and I was supposed to see my hairdresser after, but I went home and fell dead asleep, woke up enough to cancel my appointment, and went back to sleep. I was awake in time to go to my Lesbian Cancer caregivers and partners support group. It's great, the leader is great, the women are great. After we had a focus group with food and more women from previous groups. Also great.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Visit With a New Doc Today

She's the doc that reads the Oncotype (this specialized graph that indicated the type of tumor and the likelihood of recurrence in the distant future (per their website and as I understand it.) This is the third doc, surgeon, Oncologist, and Radiologist and Onco-Radiologist with the unfortunate name of Dr. Ho! They have all been lovely to date. All youngish-from my point of view-women who seem to be really, really smart. And kind and willing to answer BL's endless questions. Let's hope Dr. Ho fits the mold.
Things at home have been tense. I have been feeling left out. BL has a whole crop of advisors. She leans toward the homeopathic/natural, I the alopathic, "listen to your doctor." Which has led to some conflict. I feel that she has been shutting me out. Naturally our couple counselor has been out of town for two weeks.
The bright spot is my support givers and partners group at the lgbt center, tonight it's followed by a focus group which included dinner. Woo hoo!! I really like the women in the group and look forward to seeing them every week.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Friday Five Quick Pick

Kathrynxj posted this Friday Five:

"We're in the midst of 'it' and I'm hoping that it is not just me who is starting to get a bit overwhelmed. So for today I am asking for five quick picks of things that are good in your life. And as a bonus, 1 pick for a thing you could do without.
If you want to describe them? Great.
If not? That's fine too."

So, here's mine,
1. Very cold water and lots of it.
2. Chocolate, of course.
3. Books, of course and reading on the subway.
4. A life of the spirit.
5. My drink of choice, Coca Cola.

*And what could I give present job (but not my practive)-If I could afford it, which I cannot at the present time alas.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Management Lessons Part II

Back Story: Tuesday I was the senior counselor on duty, meaning I was the go to person for all problems actual and by phone. All other senior staff seemed to be out, either sick or mia! At about 1:00 my manager came in and I was sitting in her office. She showed me a report that related environmental problems that had been reported in our office. There had been numerous complaints of upper respiratory infections and allergies and even sever allergy problems (me.) So as I read the report I took pictures with my iphone (so handy.) so that I could look up the molds when I got to a computer. Ad it turns out, some of the molds and fungi are quite dangerous!

We had a staff meeting yesterday. I was sitting up front with the management team.
when we got to the part of the meeting to talk about the report, she said that the inspection had been done and there was a report and a clean up was going to be done. I piped up and said that perhaps she should tell the staff what molds were discovered. She said that the report did not say.

I'm talking about a person who had been a close friend and mentor. Or as Friedrich Nietzsche said: ‎I'm not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Oncologist today

I have my support group for partners of lesbians with cancer on Monday nights. I skipped last night. I've been having some flare ups of neuropathy from my sci. Which seems like nothing compared to what I hear on Monday nights. I can't write about it, but just try to imagine. SBLis one the the mildest cases. And one women is on her second partner, after number one passed away, oy.
Work has become more, just nuts. The problem with working for the government is that it's just so darn hard to quit-read pension. And if I stay for 3 more years I'll have 15 years which doesn't amount to a hill of beans pension anyhow, but it's more than many people have. So don't let me whine.
My little family is coming from Ohio to give support to BL. That will be gran, aka my Aunt Julie-she'll be 93 this summer-I think-and is still getting around with a walker and playing the penny slots. Coming with her my cousing MM and her partner J. MM came out in life- about 5 years ago after years of me speculating. She's in her mid 50's and though we grew up neare each other-like 1/2 a block, we never really knew each other until our respective parents-her father and my mother-brother and sister who had been feuding since my grandmothers will was read- I was 7, MM was 3-5? That's a long time to hold a grudge!
Also joining us will be the elder cousin J and the youngster-in her early 40's E, the grandchild of gran. All at the beach. We'll have fun!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I really liked this book: "Lifeguarding: A Memoir of Secrets, Swimming, and the South"

This book really resonated for me as it related to many themes of my life, family alcoholism, secrets, protecting my mother. It describes a childhood, growing up in segregated 1960s Louisville in a house with many pictures of relatives who all died suddenly and young. As is the case with most houses infected by the disease of alcoholism, there are many secrets. The McCalls were members of Kentucky society-one grandfather was the founder of the country club. The narrator's father's alcoholism—less and less well-hidden—spins the family into financial turmoil and social ruin, very important in this area of the south of debutantes and country clubs, where mounting bills and her fathers difficulty of keeping a job make it impossible to retain membership. McCall, her older sister, Anne, and younger brother, Curt, are all champion swimmers, although they never make the hoped-for Olympics. Anne the older sister, takes the place of the mother who works three jobs to supplement the household income. Like the novels of Carson McCullers, this book has something for everyone. Highly recommended.

I received an Ipad for Christmas, and since then buying books has become so easy, I've become a real book whore! (As if I wasn't before, snort!)

Another promising entry, also taking place in the south is: "Qualties of Light" by,Mary Carrol Moore. Just reading it now. I'll let you know how it turns out if I like it but it looks promising, but sad.

Read Lifeguarding, You won't be sorry!
Authors website:
but don't go there first...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Another Surgery

Beloved came home with scary news last night. She spoke to her doc and it looks like there was another tumor next to the original tumor. And it was a different kind. The surgeon removed both, although she couldn't see the second, I think. We'll be meeting with her today and I'll know more, but the margins were not big enough and BL will have to have another surgery to enlarge the margins. How can this happen and how can you be sure, if there are cells of another tumor, that aren't more tumors? I guess these are questions for the surgeon.
This whole thing scare me to death.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Five Words

Jan posted this thoughtful FF, Words:
"For this Friday Five, please list five words that identify your passions, spirituality, and/or life. Describe as much or as little as you wish."
This is a difficult one, so many words and only five to choose, and I love words!

1. Artistic-My first love was art. From an early age I was drawing and painting and as a kid I had a girl scout cookie box-the big one, that held a bunch of boxed to deliver with. to hold my art supplies, and I carried it everywhere. I was prepared to do my art when my mother was visiting her friends etc. No need to have a fancy tackle box or porfolio, I was prepared. I still have those tackle boxes from my undergrad. degree in Art Ed. no fine art degree in the school of my budget requirement. Still filled with the fine brushes I bought. And the first thing I bought when I came to NY was an oversized drawing table. I belonged to a feminist art collective that rented a huge loft in the village. I think my share of the rent was $25 a month-which was a lot in 1974!

2. Introvert. OK my Meyers Briggs is INFP and I'm the classic Introvert. Being around a group of people exausts me and I need a rest after a wedding or Bar Mitzah-happens to me more than you might think! Why am I a counselor. Hmm...look at the rest of the INFP of the Meyers Briggs Inverntory!

3. Visual-I'm always looking and commenting. I notice things. What people are wearing. Signs. Changed in people Everything. Once when Beloved and I were looking at apartments, we left an apartment and she asked what I though and I said the living room would have bigger without the grand piano. She said "What piano." C'est la difference!"

4. Depressive- Yes I am.

5. Disabled-that too. I have a hidden disability, Cauda Equina Syndrome. I walk with a cane. It's a spinal cord injury, actually an injury of the nerve roots that come from the base of the spine-the Cauda Equina-the Horses Tail. There are a lot of other features that I won't bore you with, but I do relate with the Disabled Community.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl with the Catholic Girls

Last night I attended a great super bowl party with the some of the women from the SFX Catholic Lesbian Group that I attend. It was great to be with community and, since I haven't been attending recently, I realized how much I missed these kind, gentle women. I have mixed feelings about going to a church that I really feel a great deal of antipathy to, but attending a group where I have great affection for the women who have great faith there. So, I'm going back to the group.

On the way into the party, I mention to BL that I had gotten some very nice comments about my Blog post Bad Day. (She had suggested I post about it.) Immediately she said, "What did you say? Tell me right now? I want to know etc? Take it down when we get home." My BL the computer expert mixed it up with with Facebook. I splained it to her, and she calmed down, but I'm wondering if I should go private for awhile. I'll have to investigate how to do this and I may have more to say and less people to say it to.

Thank you all for your support.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Had a Bad Day

Those of you who are on Face Book with me may have notice that I posted that I had a really bad day on Tuesday of this week. Monday, Beloved was diagnosed with breast cancer. This, of course, qualifies as a REALY bad day when I got the call at work. But, I think the shock of my partner of 20 years-in April-has a life threatening illness didn't really wear of until we sat down with the surgeon on Tuesday. That qualifies as a bad day. The surgeon was the one who operated on BL 10 years ago for Lobular Carcinoma in Situ and explained everything so kindly. She treated me then as a spouse and still does. She is kind and takes the time to answer questions and seems really smart.

We are also at a world class hospital, Sloan Kettering in NY.

Still the news is good, but you never know. Since BL had the previous illness, she has been followed closely and they found this early. At this point they are talking a lumpectomy-I hate that term and I think it should be renamed a dumplingectomy- and 4-5 weeks of radiation. Surgery is scheduled for 2/16.

Our house is filled with anxiety due to this and some other issues that I won't discuss here but are not about our relationship.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Five Books

Jan posted this great FF: "I hope some of you received books for Christmas presents; I did and have been reading ever since. Then I discovered a new author from those recommendations that pop up on Instead of buying those books, I've been checking them out at the library, which will not help Amazon's future recommendations for me at all.

So tell us what you're reading, what you would and would not recommend--five books or authors! And if you don't want to do that freestyle, here are some questions:"

So beloved is not from the readers. We learned early on that when she tried to buy me books, I had already read them or was not interested. And when I buy her books, I read them...

1. What books have you recently read? Tell us your opinion of them.
I've been reading 'Trauma and Recovery' by Judith Herman as recommended by my shrink, Very enlightening. A little too enlightening. I read a few pages and cry, read a few pages and cry and repeat.

2. What books are awaiting your available time to be read?
I got a swell new present for Christmas, an IPAD. I've been downloading a lot of stuff, although when I'm in place, I still like to pick up a book and I still like to graze through the Strand Bookstore-one of the best on the planet. I'm waiting to read "Jesus Freak" by Sarah Myles.

3. Have any books been recently recommended?
I'll be searching your blogs to look for suggestions.

4. What genre of books are your favorite, along with some titles and/or authors you like best?
I do love the Jeffrey Deaver, Kathy Reichs suspense, mystery's.

5. What have you read lately that you have a strong urge to recommend? (or to condemn?)
Stay tuned. I haven't read anything lately that I really loved except a series about a family of detectives that I can't remember the author or the titles-happening more and more. The series is hilarious, but, gone blank. I'll ask at work.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Friday Five Christmas Redux

Kathrynzj posted this Holiday reduz: "Yes, I know it's January and yes, I know some of us are still on a cool sprint after only a brief respite (if that) from Advent and Christmas BUT... before we move too far along into The Next, I wanted to give us a chance to reflect onWhat Was.

A couple of staff members and I sat down today and wrote down what worked and didn't work during the Advent and Christmas season. There are quite a few things bearing down on us at the moment so it was a discipline to do it, but ten and a half months from now Future Me is going to LOVE that we made the effort.

And so partly to give us all a record and partly to give us all a chance to reflect on the 2010 Holiday Season now that we are out of it, I ask you this:"

1) What food item was one of your favorites this year - a definite keeper?
Well, For Christmas eve, we went really simple with Turkey, Sweet Potatoes, Peas and ta tum Pastries from a new Italian pastry shop near our new home in Long Beach. This is a going to be a new tradition. Those cookies reminded me of my mothers and they were great!

2) Was there a meal or party or a agathering that stands out in your mind from this most recent holiday season?
It was the Christmas, get-out-of-town. We heard the forecast of two feet of snow and on Christmas morning we were checking the train schedule for trains to the city-that is Manhattan. We played Scrabble on my Christmas gift ipad on the train and that was the gathering that stands out. Those that didn't leave LB-like my boss- were stuck till Wednesday.

3) Were you involved in a jaw-dropper gift? Were you the giver or recipient or an on-looker?
I was the recipient of an overly generous ipad. They say that electronics and gadgets are the gems of the future and I'm wearing it with pride and having a LOT of fun, though a bit paranoid of using it on the subway.

4) Was there at least one moment where you experienced true worship?
I've been praying for a breakthrough in my search for a higher being. I have made a resoulution to try St. James Church in Long Beach this year, but so far no experience in true worship...

5) What is at least one thing you want to make sure you do next year?
See 4

BONUS: What is something you absoutetly must remember to do differently... or not at all!
I have to remember not to stress out, to breathe, to relax and to not take things so seriously. Maybe to take a meditation class or chair yoga something to actively relax.