Saturday, December 29, 2012


this fiscal cliff bullshit is ridiculous.  first the whole concept was created to do exactly opposite what's happening.  it was thought that if a series of extreme consequences stood at the end of a budgeting process, if the process failed, heaven and earth would be moved to make sure the appropriate steps were taken to avoid the endgame.  sounds good in theory, must have sounded good at the time -

- but what if congress could not agree on anything?  simply.could.not.agree.

i think if john boehner had the power to decide himself for his caucus, it would have happened, the cliff averted.  but there is a bloc of about 75 congress people who refuse to vote for anything except exactly what they want.  to these people, compromise is a sign of weakness.

to most of the world, the ability to compromise is a significant sign of maturity - not to these bubba's.

and therein lies the rub.  how do you govern if you can't compromise?

you can't.  you go off the fiscal cliff.  and everyone's taxes get raised on New Years's day.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

sandy hook

i feel so sad about the shootings in CT yesterday.  the awfulness gives rise to a host of philosophical questions, as well as practical questions.  what kind of country do we live in where guns are dealt with so casually?  i'm tired of the old saw about it being about the people, not the guns.  bullshit.  i saw the charts yesterday where countries were compared, and the US had far and away the most gun deaths.  and the most guns.  coincidence?  i think not.

people who have easy access to guns kill people.  and it's generally young, mentally ill white men.  This time, the shooter's mother had the guns - why would a suburban mom need 4 guns, including an assault rifle?  WHY??  what would adam lanza have done with his craziness had he not had such easy access to guns?  I don't know, but he wouldn't have been able to kill 27 people.  as it was, all he had to do was look around the house.

yes, of course, there should be more efficient ways to insure that those with a history of mental illness not have guns - and yesterday there was a facebook meme going around stating it was easier to get a gun in this country then to get treatment for mental illness.  very true.

obama has run his last race; there is no additional election to be concerned about - he staked his first term on healthcare, what better issue to stake his second term on than gun control.  go for it!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

the wind is howling....... this time of year!  dramatic weather changes, a chance to wear winter clothes, even boots!

and while i'm wearing my first-ever red cowboy boots, what else is going on?  well, the supreme court is wading into the gay marriage 'controversy'.

the issues seem to be nicely chugging along, with major marriage wins last month at the ballot boxes - could the supremes screw it up?  for sure.  justice roberts is still recovering from the battering he took when he 'saved' obamacare - don't look for another liberal move by him.  no, this once comes down, again, to justice kennedy.  anybody's guess.

and there are two issues - the defense of marriage act (DOMA), and actual same-sex marriages.  i think we're looking at DOMA being overturned, but then a split decision.  the california case looks for a constitutional amendment making same-sex marriage OK.  i think the supremes will say goodbye to DOMA, then put the burden on the states.  or, as this lesbian sees it, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

we'll see.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

It's finally over!!!

Americans have spoken - and the tune is "four more years".  One of my fears had been that Obama would take the electoral votes, but lose the popular vote. Fortunately, that didn't come to pass.   Romney was gracious in defeat, and Obama was gracious in victory.  The optimist in me says 'democracy in action'.

Four states voted in favor of marriage equality, and one state defeated a DOMA-type proposition.  A couple of men found out their ideas about rape had nasty consequences.

And now we look to Obama to fill in the blanks he himself left - what will a second term look like?  He's said he would address climate change - and it's about time.  He's spoken about immigration; there's a lot of work to be done there.

And Obamacare will be more fully implemented.  One of the major reasons I'm happy is because we will now get to see it at work.  Romney would have gutted it.  This country has need a comprehensive health care act for decades.

I hope to see a couple more Supreme Court appointees.  Let's get rid of the 5-4 cliffhangers!!

I hope a stronger Democratic Senate can tame the House, which is still full of nasty vipers, tho a few less.

I hope Obama's actions can line up with his soaring rhetoric.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

sliver of a silver lining

in the middle of this monstrosity of a hurricane/cyclone, there is one arena blessedly silent - the politician's have lowered their voices to a dull roar.  supposedly out of respect for the 60 million americans in harm's way.

i don't care what it took - this political obsessive is exhausted and burned-out from the babbling voices, my own choices of candidates included.

it's become fashionable every now and then to declare that THIS moment in political discourse is the nastiest, most partisan yet.  however, i think this current cycle truly is one of the most disgusting, despicable time periods, with few, if any, redeeming characters present.  i'm bone-tired of hearing who said what first and why.  usually i thrive on political analysis, can't get enough of it.  but not this go-round.  hope it's not about me aging, or me anything - i hope we truly have hit bottom.

i read earlier today that we could be heading for a gore/bush moment - al gore won the largest percent of voters, but lost the election.  this analyst i was reading, and i'd read the same thing a few days previously, was saying this time it could be romney who wins the popular vote, but obama who gets the electoral college and thus all the marbles.

if so, then it will have happened to each party once within a 12 year time span, and then maybe there'd be a critical mass ready to get rid of the electoral college.  at which point the nations emits a huge sigh of relief.

me, i just want a little more respect back in the process. a lot less hate-mongering, a lot fewer podiums for the ann coulter's of the world.  a little more honesty - no, make that a LOT more honesty.

and for now i'm happy for a couple days break in the action.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

time for fun!

after a vacation drought of 12 years, we're heading out to las vegas!  we're very excited.  four days and three nights at the bellagio.  cirque du soleil, sightseeing, a helicopter ride, gambling, good food.
about time!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

poltical reality

the politics of the day are becoming rather scary.  it seems there's a real chance romney/ryan could win.

what i don't get is how a sane woman could vote this ticket.  pro-choice would go out the window, and what woman would not worry about that?  if not for herself than for her daughters, friends, women in general.  i think we suffer a surfeit of women who either remember the deaths pre-roe v. wade or suffer from an extreme lack of imagination.  pro-choice also means pro-contraceptive, and romney is on record as being against carte-blanche coverage of birth control in health insurance. the employer would get to pick if it was covered or not.

and now we have idiots saying medical technology is so advanced, there would never be a need for an abortion to save the life of a pregnant woman. as if.   why is it that only men come up with this ludicrous stuff?  we're still trying to bat down tadd akin, he of the 'women can control 'down there' and make sure they don't get pregnant if raped.  oh, i simplify.  i forgot about 'legitimate' rape.  again, why is it that men come up with this stuff and not women.  because most women know better!

i think there must be quite a few women concerned about romney-talk who've painted themselves into a corner by committing to him. and we have quite a lot of women out of child bearing age (exemplified by the RNC) enthusiastically supporting romney/ryan.

perhaps i reveal my bias too much, but i keep coming back to what sane woman would support these cavemen???

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

and that's the truth

is there such a thing as objective truth anymore? 2 + 2 = 4, right?  it's not about perspective, it's about fact.  both the republicans AND the democrats have become so good at manipulating the truth that few believe anything they hear as unvarnished truth.  when the labor department came out with their monthly numbers and revealed that for the first time in 3.5 years, unemployment had dropped below 8%, the figures were immediately jumped on and the obama administration was accused of somehow fixing the numbers.

today the u.s. anti-doping agency came out with a report of 100 + pages that put the final nails in lance armstrong's cycling coffin.  this is a controversy close to me because i live in the hometown of armstrong, and the HQ of his foundation, livestrong.  so i'm listening to the local news (something i usually avoid) and they have a reporter go to the foundation and interview the exec director.  and the ED says "well, they have their perspective and we have ours".  not everything is a perspective!! some things are simply true.

and the debate last week?  fact checkers have never been so busy.  tomorrow night we see biden and ryan.  the latter was so inaccurate during his convention speech that it was the headliner for days.

unfortunately, there are few consequences these days for lying.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

a faithful friend

dear chippy,

you were a King of Cats.  i will miss you.  yet i knew when you came out from hiding yesterday that you were telling me it was time.   i was very emotional and you were stoic. you didn't protest a whit when i put you in the cat carrier.  my mind was whirling through the wonderful 20 years we spent together, all the while you were purring ever so slightly, none of the crying you usually do when getting into the cat carrier on the way to the vet.

i knew what had to happen.  you'd mostly stopped eating and drinking, stopped playing, stopped coming into the bed to lie in between us - your all-time favorite thing.

one little moan of protest when i took you out of the carrier in the vet's exam room, then quiet on the table. no protest when they weighed you.  the tech asked if i wanted to talk about treatment options or........and she let herself trail off.  i said i wanted to talk about the "or...." part with the vet.

so we did.  he told me he could hydrate you, maybe give you a few good days, but then we'd be right back to square one.

i wouldn't put you through that, not since there was a chance you were in pain. you knew, you stayed curled up, pressing into me.  so he stepped out for a moment, you and i 'talked' and he came back in with a nice towel you could lie on, not the stainless steel of the table.  he gave you a tranquilizer shot and i kept telling you what a good boy you were. a few minutes later he came in with the other shot, and then you were gone, hopefully hearing my loving voice as you exited.

and now you're free of pain, no longer weak, hopefully in a garden of eden full of catnip.

you were my one soulmate cat.

Monday, October 1, 2012

raising expectations...odd

i think the republican establishment is setting mitt romney up.  oh, i'm not sad about it, but i do find it interesting.  notable republicans, john mccain among them, are talking about how well mitt is going to do in the upcoming debate, what a great chance he has.  there are several similar stories floating around the news sites on the internet.

mitt needs a "there you go again" moment, a "you, sir, are no jack kennedy" knife to throw.  obama is not going to give it to him.  it's being said that romney has a pile of one-liners to lay on obama.  i can see mitt panting in his corner, all eager to have obama walk into one of his traps.  barack obama is an exceedingly cautious man - he's going to look both ways before he crosses romney's street.

the usual modus operandi before a debate is to lower expectations, so that if the candidate breathes throughout the time he's exceeded his own expectations.  what gives?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

A Sad Milestone

Dear Mom,

It's been five years, today, since you left.  And I miss you just as much as I did when you first died.  Now that Dad is also gone, well....I may be 55, but I still feel like an orphan.  I get some comfort thinking the two of you are together, along with Heidi - that may not be what I'm supposed to believe, but it's what I do believe.

There are things I've wondered about that only you can answer.  Who gave you the heart necklace and why was it hidden in your drawer?  What was up with the cork collection?  I don't even know how you and Dad met, what you did on your first date.  I must have asked, you must have told me, but I don't remember.

That last visit we had together was so sweet.  You were so tender, and so vulnerable.  I came away with no regrets because you said what I needed to hear, and I said what I needed to say.  Nothing remained unspoken.  Do you know what an enormous gift that was?  And I hope you felt gifted.

All my love,


Thursday, September 20, 2012

take a sniff

the air is alive with the smell of politics, isn't it?

everywhere i turn i see headlines, about romney's 47%, obama's latest poll numbers, ryan's latest lies and biden's latest gaffes.

today mitt romney said he wanted to be president of 100% of americans - oh, so that includes the 47% he basically called a waste of skin? and then today he flips again, saying something positive about "gay domestic partners".  that's the re-emergence of the alleged moderate romney who governed massachusetts.

also good news - elizabeth warren is beating scott brown (MA), tammy baldwin is ahead of tommy thompson (WI) and michelle bachmann is in danger of losing her congressional seat.

there is still a long way to go, however. and the debates are coming up fast.  they should be good for obama, however, as great an orator as he is, he'll have to crunch his words into 2 and 3 minute segments.  how fast is he on soundbites?   but mitt has so much ground to make up for it's hard to see the debates as advantageous to him.  he's allergic to 'spontaneous' (unless it's a dinner party at $500,000 a head).

oh yes, it's looking way better than expected.  today.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Mom's birthday

today is my mother's birthday.  or, it was. no, i guess it still is, though she's been gone for several years now.  i saw her shortly before her last birthday with us.  terminally ill, she was bed-ridden and on powerful pain killers.  but she  was most definitely present.  i'd bought a gift for her, still not quite understanding it would be my last birthday gift to her.  it was a beautiful ceramic lion - bright colors, a great facial expression.   she loved animals, real ones and others as objects d'art.  mom had a huge collection of animals made out of all sorts of material - most of them are here with me, all around my house.

i also picked up a bottle of bailey's irish creme, her favorite drink.  she wasn't supposed to drink alcohol while on morphine, but who cared. as my father and a nurse's aide looked on aghast, i poured some into the sippy cup she was using, poured a little for myself and we drank a toast to her. she had a wonderful smile on her face as she tasted the liquid. i hope it was a good high.  i miss my mother.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

republicans have center stage

competing with hurricane isaac, we now have the republicans in tampa trying to soften their image as a shrill and negative force.  ann romney spoke of her husband as a human, not the robot that's been on the campaign trail for eons.  she told diane sawyer she doesn't get nervous while speaking in public except when she has to talk about her horse.  so we know mitt is not a horse.  tonight the primetime treat is paul "no abortions" ryan.

gone is the talk of draconian medicare cuts, the abortion plank in the party that eschews abortions even in the case of rape and incest.   nowhere is there a disparaging word for immigrants or welfare recipients.  it's like the last few months of heated rhetoric hadn't existed.  except of course for barack obama.  obama's role in this convention is to play the boogeyman, the master of all things evil.  such is the nature of nominating conventions.

tomorrow night we get to see a kinder, gentler mitt romney, trying like crazy to harden the support for him, still tepid despite all efforts.

the republicans have their work cut out for them. supporters of ron paul almost took control yesterday - now those people actually feel passion for their candidate, a passion that mitt's millions can't buy.

the republicans are beset by internecine fragmentation, with standard republicans at odds with the tea party.  the tea party - a group of people and elected officials proud of their unwillingness to compromise.  and who is their standard bearer?  why, paul ryan, a wolf dressed in sheep's clothing.

and in the background is hurricane isaac.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

a boon to obama supporters

paul ryan is a sure bet to boost the democrats. with his anti-seniors, anti-women policies, he'll drum up support for the democrats. sure, he'll excite the conservative base - let them have him!!  and running with gaffe-meister romney will derail any presidential plans of his own for some time.  romney is sure to keep making a fool of himself (another overseas trip, pu-leeeze!) and that will fall all over ryan.

he's anti-choice, anti-medicare and pro-severe austerity (goodbye school lunches for the the needy).  ryan would uphold tax cuts for the very wealthy.

the worst thing about paul ryan? george bush came out in support of his choice.

Monday, August 6, 2012

thirty-three years

it's an astounding number of years - almost twice as long as she lived - today is the 33rd anniversary of my sister's suicide.  it's a day that was agonizing for me for many, many years.  now i feel a muted peace.

heidi was made up of many parts, some of which were dark, pained, suicidal.  but she was also smart, funny, a good athlete, a good clarinet player - a good sister.

losing someone by suicide leaves many questions.  it's only with time that i can appreciate that they will never be answered, not only this plane.  i make up my own answers, based on my perspectives at the time.  the questions and the answers change.  one thing is unchanging - i always know i had a sister.   when asked how many siblings i have, i still hesitate - is the right answer 2 (my two older brothers), or is it 3, because she lived, she did indeed live for 18 years.

when i made a post on FB about my loss today, my best friend from h.s. told me she still thinks of her often, and reminded me that she is buried near my friends grandparents.   suicide touches so many people, even people who only know of her, but never knew her.

i am glad both my parents are at peace now, out of the earthly guilt they felt for the rest of their lives. perhaps in some mystical way, their souls have all touched. a nice thought.  i also hope that when my time comes, my soul and my sister's will touch. a very nice thought.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

odds & ends

it's the 50th anniversary of marilyn monroe's death - and she seems more alive than ever.  she died at age 36, and could not forsee the world's enduring fascination with her, or the enduring mystery. were the kennedy's involved in her death?  was it what it seemed - an overdose?  she seemed to try so hard to gain love, intimate as well as the public's.  what would she make of her enduring fame?

i'm enjoying the olympics mightily.  missy franklin, michael phelps, venus and serena, gabby douglas. stunning performances.  the guy with the cyber legs. andy murray, from GBR, winning the tennis - putting an end the england's enduring misery of a lack of tennis success.  and it's only halfway over!!

my deeply loved aunt had to stop getting the new york times, a newspaper in her dna.  my brother and i gifted her for her birthday this year with a subscription for fridays - sunday's,  after 3 false starts, today she finally started getting it.  she's so hard to gift with anything, a very proud woman. but the sun and moon and stars aligned and we had a perfect opportunity, so we took it.  and today she began getting it.  it feels so good to know we could do something for her, after a lifetime of receiving from her.

not the most fascinating blog, but felt like writing.....

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bachmann & McCarthy

Michelle Bachmann is having a visitation from Joe McCarthy's ghost.  How else to explain her vehement claims that the government is being infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood?  She's convinced that a senior aide to Hillary Clinton is a secret member, basically based on the woman's deceased father's unsolicited mail from decades ago.  Her suspicions got so loud, and so ridiculous that John McCain stepped in to state the aide is not a member of the secretive activist group.

Poor baby.  She obviously misses the media from her short stint in the republican campaign and she's looking for headlines wherever she can get them.  What bothers me the most is that the woman is on the House Committee for the Armed Forces - do we really need her energy and paranoia on that vital committee?

There are some calls for her to be kicked off the committee - let's hope that happens.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

a great brunch

had brunch with a longtime friend today.  mike and i talked about everything under the sun, from the price of apple stock, to barbra streisand, to the recent supreme court health care ruling.  there's nothing like spending time with an old time buddy to feel good.

tonight i take kitty to another great restuarant, jack allen's kitchen, for a birthday dinner, her birthday (63!) being tomorrow.

it's been raining on and off for days so we have a rather unusual july sight for austin - green lawns and trees.  it NEVER rains mid-summer here.  last year we had over 100 days of over 100 degrees and no rain, this year it's mostly under 100 and rainy.  i'll deal with august in august. for now i'll enjoy the rain.

it's nice to feel a break from grief.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

it's complicated

just had a long talk with my brother about my father's estate. it's so convoluted and complicated and makes me feel sad.  my father was declining long before we thought he was, based on some of the confusion.  he wasn't thinking clearly for some time.  i wonder if we were all so focused on mom that we didn't see dad's health clearly, what if we had, and had gotten him serious help, not left it all up to self-report.  he was often overshadowed by mom - is this another example?

his decisions were not sound. his mind was not sound.  how tuned in was my oldest brother, he who was onsite the most?  he was often frustrated with my father and did some unwise things. he decided my father shouldn't take ambien, for example, so he cold-turkeyed him without benefit of medical input.  that act alone causes cognitive confusion.....i'm not saying this is all his fault. i wasn't there as often as i could be, i bear responsibility.

he's been gone just under 2 months.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

kicking back

ever since the last 'peak' day related to my father's death, i've been kicking back, relaxing.  i find little surges of denial appearing every now and then.  i needed a phone number that i knew he would know and had a thought of calling him, until it hit me that i couldn't do that.  i couldn't do that for the last 3.5 years he was alive, actually.  that got me to thinking of my moms 'address book.

i used to love looking through that book.  it was abt 10" long and 5" wide, made of japanese silk.  it had addresses and changes of addresses from years back.  it was easy to trace the journey's different people took, including my own.  i had abt 5 entries in my mom's address book, starting with moves during college.  i have so many of her things, but not that.  it was probably thrown out. sad to think about.

i did come across a file folder my brother had sent me some time back.  it had carbon copies of dozens of letters my mother wrote to friends and relatives while we were in india.  seeing the family through her eyes was fascinating.  it was like hearing her voice tell me stories i'd only guessed about previously.  some were from my dad, and they were of a far more practical nature.  he covered the 'who, what and where' details, her the 'why's, if's' and relational aspects.

i thought i'd done a good job of asking questions of my parents prior to their deaths, but now there is so much more i wish i knew.  i don't even know the story of where/when they met.....

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


i feel some emotional freedom today.  in the last six weeks, i've attended my father's funeral, gone through fathers day, his birthday, and my parents' anniversary. boom, boom, boom.  now i can breathe, no more high-intensity memorial type days for awhile.  just 'regular' grieving, back on a more predictable cycle.  thank goodness.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


my count may be off by a year or two, but i'm pretty sure this would have been my parents 63rd wedding anniversary.  feeling pretty worn out emotionally - there's been one significant day after another since father's day.  this will be the last one until the holidays, so now i can just experience normal grieving, and new-normal living.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


today is my father's 85th birthday.  or was.  he died in mid-may.  the last birthday he was aware of was a sad one.  it was his first birthday without his wife.  mom had died about 9 months earlier.  we did what we could to take his mind off of it, but to little avail, which was understandable.

june used to be a happy and busy month in my family, what with father's day, his birthday and their anniversary.  it also was a time when we kids were broke, trying to keep up with the presents and cards.  funny what you remember.

i wasn't close to my father when i was young, more focused on my mother.   i didn't feel loved by him, actually didn't feel he loved his kids.  that all changed when my sister died, when i was 21.   my father was a broken man at the funeral.  oddly, that's when it struck me - and i had this very thought: if he's crying so much for heidi, he must love us.  i remember being overwhelmed with love, as well as some guilt for having doubted it.   funny what you remember.

i also have happy memories, but it's just a sad time right now.  happy birthday, Dad.

Friday, June 22, 2012

almost his birthday

my father's 85th birthday would be sunday, june 24.  then my folks anniversary would have been june 26th.   just anticipating the days are riling me up.   but what's so weird is he hasn't really 'been present' for those days for several years - so what's the deal this year? i guess that he's actually dead.  four years ago i wanted to fly up and visit him on their anniversary, the year after my mother died, before his massive stroke.  and he didn't want me to.  i think i reminded him too much of my mother.  i think my oldest brother also played a role.  he (the brother) was full-boar into his homophobia by then.  and my dad let it influence him, and that really bothered me. dad wasn't influenced by ken's hatred for me when mom was alive, but he was much more vulnerable after mom died.

in those 16 months between when mom died and dad had his stroke, much changed.  i was up there a lot after mom's death, too help with her things, and to help with dad.  slowly, over some time, dad withdrew from me.  the thing we both had in common was mom, and now she was gone.   but ken was there, and he was influencing dad.  it got to be really sad. i missed my father before he was gone, before he was to be missed.   ken infected dad with some anti-louise virus.  do i sound paranoid? it's actually the truth.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

father's day

i think i'm hitting the self-pity streak.  trying not to.  i feel sad. when i went to bed last night, i just said to myself, "feel however you feel tomorrow. you don't have to be sad. just be".  but i woke up with a literally heavy heart.  i went down to my address book, where i have a list of all the phone #'s my parent's had during my life.  plainview, florida, assisted living, hospitals,  nursing home.  i went through the numbers and mentally re-visited the phone calls i made to those numbers.  since i moved out of their home when i was 17, it was way more about phone calls than visits, tho there were plenty of them.

father's day. a day to honor father's.  my father was honorable. funny, obnoxious, sarcastic, very smart, difficult, in love with my mother, sad, happy........

my partner's favorite memory of my father was when she came to plainview with me for the first time.  i guess i was sleeping, and he invited her to take a walk to get the newspaper, which is a good mile away.  she was very scared - what would they talk about?!  but of course she said yes.  and she had a great time.  my father was a good conversationalist, able to talk about any number of topics, as kitty is. and they talked all the way there and back.  she was really surprised.  she loved him from then on, and i think it was mutual.

happy father's day, dad.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

the things you miss

my dad wasn't really himself for about 5 years before he died.  first, my mom died and that sent him into a profound spiral of grief, of course.  he had some odd experiences between that time and when he had a massive stroke 16 months later.  he would tell me he'd hear his mother in the kitchen, talking with my mother.  it really spooked him.  he would get out of bed and come into the kitchen, it seemed so real.  he was living in the assisted living facility during these 16 months.

i saw him several times during those months.  tho living in texas, i flew up a number of times. i took on the task of dealing with my mother's clothes and so on. i remember that one trip in particular.  i didn't want my father to see me taking my mother's clothes out, so i suggested he stay downstairs in the facility's library, which he did.  i packed everything up (my mother had a LOT of clothes), got it into the car and donated her clothes to a battered women's shelter.  i think she would have liked that. my father liked that idea.

i saw glimpses of the man i knew as my father during those months, but he was so devastated.....

one of the things i miss the most are his awful, terrible, corny jokes and puns - the expression he would get on his face right before the punchline - you knew when it was going to be an especially good one.  i always tried to have a couple to share back.  i remember once telling him about a fish with a skin condition who had to go to the doctor, a specialist.   the type of specialist?  why, a plastic sturgeon of course.  i never heard him laugh harder than at that one.  i miss my dad.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

the business side

my brother is the executor of my father's estate, and yesterday we had "the talk".  i learned all about what remained and "the plans".  oh, everything is fine and equitable.  but i had the feeling the whole time that this was not information i should be hearing.  my parents were very private, even secretive, when it came to money.  they also did not believe it was a parent's job to financially assist their grown kids in any way.  that's just the way they were.

so to now be having this talk, about dividing up the assets between their adult kids - it was just weird.  it felt somehow disrespectful.

at the same time, i knew my parents greatly enjoyed the fruits of their labors.  They were world travelers, they had all they needed, and probably a great deal of what they wanted.  we were able to care excellent care of them as they aged and became ill over time.

i guess i just feel a bit guilty.   dividing up their assets.  just seems unnatural.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

time out for the 'flu

i think all the stress finally got to me, that and diminished appetite and poor sleep.  been sick since friday with what appears to be the flu.  then, just 'cuz that wasn't bad enough, kitty caught it as well.  so we've been a household in survival mode - trying to keep a semblance of regular meals, clean dishes, linens.   it's no fun when the whole household is sick.  just feeding the pets regularly seems like a monumental task.

being sick is so in-the-moment that i do feel a break from what have been overwhelming feelings of loss.  not the way i'd recommend taking a break, but i guess it took what it took.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

all over the place

so many things i didn't think.  since my dad had been the victim of an overwhelming stroke for almost 3.5 yrs, i thought i'd feel relief for him when he passed.  i did - but i did not expect the level of sadness i myself feel.  i figured i'd gotten used to him being gone.  i think more likely, i harbored some hope he'd 'wake up' and be himself again.

i didn't expect this whole feeling-like-an-orphan thing.  mom's been gone 4.5 years - but seriously, how can one be an orphan at 55?!  yet i'm told it's a very common feeling.  i figured i'd feel relief that they were, to me, reunited now - and i do - but i feel left behind.  and not very compassionate for myself.

i know now i'll remain part of a family with one brother, yet not with another.  and i don't know abt the two of them remaining close at all.  in most families, the parents are the unifying forces.  and the parents are gone.

i feel in 100 pieces all over the place.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Back Home

i've been back to work.  slowly, not really for full days, a step slower.  even thinking slower.  you know what this feels like?  not only the death of my father, but the death of my parents.  maybe because dad was the last parent to die.  but i know that significant deaths bring up all kinds of stuff from earlier significant deaths.  i feel my mother's life/death evolving around me.  she died in september of 2007, almost 5 years ago.  it feels more like now the two of them have gone.  i don't know why, and i don't have to know.

it's absurd, at age 55, to feel 'orphaned' - but that's what i feel.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

the funeral

it's been a long and tiring week.  i went up to NY for the funeral, a crazy 36 hours.  it was a nice funeral, very different from my mother's.  the difference?  my drama queen s/in/law was not there - so it was calmer, more appropriately subdued, and more emotionally connecting.  i didn't realize the type of energy she brought and how disruptive it was until she was absent.  this was the first experience i had with her siblings that was pleasant - because no one had to spend time either avoiding or reacting to her.

i stayed at my brother's, and had a chance to enjoy his family, including a wonderful niece.

my father's funeral was nice - with dignity, respect and love.  the rabbi was great and i think my father would have been pleased.  it was what it should have been, a tribute to him. i'd almost not flown up, afraid it would be like the horror show that was my mother's funeral.

i had the opportunity to see my mother's grave marker, which i hadn't yet seen.  it will be for both mom and dad.  it has a saying in latin over the top of the marker - "love conquers all", and that is a fitting tribute to the two of them. they had a great many challenges to face.  i think my father chose the saying, although it could have been the two of them.

and now, just now, reality is beginning to sink in.  he's really dead, they're both really gone.  it's not emotionally accurate, but at 55, i feel like an orphan.

Monday, May 14, 2012


My father passed away this morning, after a lengthy illness.  I feel very sad, still, kind of like in slow motion.  In fact, that's all for now.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

there's not a much odder feeling than being a motherless daughter on mother's day.  many women in this position are mothers themselves, so it's still a very meaningful day.  i make jokes about it, but being the human mother to animals just doesn't conjure up the same emotions.  and this year is just a touch more uncomfortable because of my father's health, and the possibility that he won't be around for father's day.

it's a day calling out for me to somehow create...something.  to do something with the isolation that kind of conquers it.  right now, today, i don't have a clue what that would look like.  i think i'm doing good by keeping in touch with people, acknowledging the mothers among my friends, calling my mothering aunt to wish her a good day....

my partner is in the same emotional place and she is doing things similar to me, and every now and then we pull ourselves out of our separate spaces and meet in the middle. later we'll spend the evening together and that will be good.

motherless daughter who are also not mothers.......a hard category for  day like today.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Slow Goodbye

My father is slowly moving forward in his leave-taking.  He's far more somnolent than he has been, less responsive to external stimuli, erratically eating and drinking ( if at all).  He has an infection that is not responding to antibiotics, and the terms of his Living Will make more aggressive treatment off-limits.  He's been in a sort of suspended animation for over 3 years - but some new insult to his body happened recently and he's not bouncing back.

It's better this way.  He has minimal quality of life, takes enjoyment in nothing, does not respond directly to any talking, does not instigate goal-oriented behavior.  I believe (or I want to believe) he wants to be with my mother, who passed on a little less than 5 years ago.  He told me many times after her death that he was supposed to go first, bewildered at those times.

I love my father - and I want him to pass from this world to the next, because all that's here for him is a kind of hell on earth.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Good Health, Good News

for the first time in over 6 years, my partner has had two consecutive positive blood work-ups, three months apart.  you see, she has a mysterious, as-yet-undiagnosed blood disorder characterized by seemingly contradictory symptoms.  the first is blood clots in both her lungs and legs. this has happened four times and led to lengthy ICU stays.  often instantly fatal, we've been incredibly lucky.

the second is tenacious anemia, low hemoglobin.  this has led to extreme fatigue, mental haze and the like.  more times than i can remember she's had to undergo anywhere from 4 to 6 week courses of iron infusions.  she's also had blood transfusions.

so, one symptom is about over-coagulation and the other is about barely enough to even clot.

the illness has changed our lives drastically. rarely can we spontaneously go off on some small adventure, even a movie - it's now all about her energy level.  i do quite a bit more of the cooking, cleaning... household chores.   on the other hand, it's deepened our level of intimacy dramatically.  her illness has caused me to take better care of myself, because two sick people in the house REALLY doesn't work well.

four months ago, she finished with a 6 week course of iron infusion.  the doc had her come back a short time later for blood work up and the levels looked good.  so she sent us off for 3 months without any blood work (an eternity, comparatively).  my partner went in today for her three month check up and the levels are not just good, but even a little better than months ago.  holding steady is a  major triumph!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Just a few months ago, women were piling up against Obama - not a good sign as women traditionally vote more for Dems than Repubs.  Now we see the tide turning and the numbers have flipped, with even moderate Republican women considering voting Femocratic.  Why?  Well, it seems the Republican re-born obsession with controlling women's bodies is turning women away from whatever potential ticker might exist.  Both Santorum and Romney have made idiots of themselves trying to out-do each other when it comes to limiting contraceptives, making roe v wade more and more meaningless and in general intruding greatly into the personal lives of American women.

These are the same folks who want no part of government touching the lives of ordinary Americans - however, apparently intrusion into reproductive organs has never been more popular in the party of elephants.  Santorum in particular is throwing out line after line about how families should be run, women should stay home and home school, no pre-natal testing..........................the guy hasn't come up against a family issue for which he doesn't have the perfect solution.  Whereas he and Romney are neck and neck in the polls, more polls are showing the seismic defection of women away from their party, particularly in the all-important demographic of ages 34 - 56.

Thank God!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A New Casulty

Olympia Snowe, longtime Republican Senator from Maine, has decided to resign.  She cites the intense hostility in Congress as the main reason.

This is a big loss.  She was a rare creature in the Senate. Pro-choice, pro-health care, a Republican moderate.  She played well with others, reaching across the aisle.  Yet she was being hounded daily, in D.C. and at her Maine home, by the Tea Bag Party elements.  She wasn't __________ enough.  Just fill it in with anything.

What a sad commentary, yet we all knew it was happening.  Been happening.  What sane person would want to be an elected official these days?  I listen to the Republican debates and I cringe at the personal attacks.  It all starts with accusations of being a flip-flopper.  Well, if my ideas and beliefs haven't evolved between the ages 20 and 40, or any ten year time period, just shoot me now.   Yes, there are basic beliefs that don't evolve, but many do.

Take the war in Iraq.  At the time, it was a near unanimous vote - the President and his boss (Dick Cheney) said there were WMD there.  There weren't.  But how many people even grocked to the idea that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.  Lots of people came to regret their votes, and regret their support of the war as it dragged on.  But it's still brought up - as if an evolving idea is somehow a character flaw.

Would you like to run for public office, open yourself and your family to the near-delusional scrutiny that comes with the process?  I know I wouldn't.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Separation between Church and State

Rick Santorum is getting way, way out of hand.  He's criticizing Obama for having the 'wrong theology', whatever that means.  I didn't know one could read the Bible wrong.  Santorum seems to think his interpretations of the Bible are the one and only correct ones.  This really isn't surprising - but it's getting out of control.

Santorum Sanctimonious has let his newfound power, after winning three non-binding caucuses/primaries, go to his head.  The only good thing about it is he seems to have knocked Gingrich out of the contest, becoming the evangelical alternative to Mitt Romney.  There's something rather scary about him, and it's not just his Tea Party backers.  It's that he truly seems to believe he is a Chosen One.

I don't want any Republican to win - but if Santorum becomes the nominee, the truest thing one could say is 'expect the unexpected'.  The far right fringes will have a candidate front-and-center, and that is just damn scary.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Right Thing

You got to hand it to them - the Komen Foundation did the right thing by reversing their truly awful decision to suspend grants to Planned Parenthood.  And it only took three days (and $2,000,000 unsolicited dollars to P.P.). I may be naive, but I think it has something to do with it being run by a woman (if not naive, at least sexist, but the right way :).  Women work more collaboratively together, tending to seek cohesion.

It's the right decision, hopefully for at least some of the right reasons.  The Foundation took a body blow and definitely bruised their stellar image.  What were they thinking.  It's scary to think how strong the "pro-life" (read: pro-birth, not life, because once born, quickly abandoned by the policymakers, especially if born to a family in poverty) movement has become.

I hope this is a lesson to other organizations about the power of people to organize and speak out, non-violently.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Say it ain't so!!!

the susan g. komen foundation announced yesterday that they would no longer provide funds (just under one million dollars last year) to planned parenthood for breast cancer services to clients.  the announced reason is that they now have new eligibility standards for funded programs, and that cuts out any agency under federal investigation.

planned parenthood is being investigated by congress (you know, the place with a 13% approval rating), initiated by the tea party congressional caucus.  it's a thinly veiled attempt by the tea party to push their "pro-life" agenda.  pro-life until the fetus emerges and becomes a living baby.

what insiders say is that komen is bowing to right-wing political pressure - hedging their bets that donations won't be affected by this cynical step, may actually increase now that they've ended the relationship with this vital organization.

as a long-time komen supporter and volunteer, i am extremely disappointed and will have to re-think my support of the foundation.  i received an email from the local foundation "explaining" their actions.  the explanation rang hollow.

the political is personal.  it just is, and komen made a major mis-step.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Florida and Graciousness

Mitt won Florida, not surprisingly after his debate performances (thanks to a new debate coach).  And, notably, Newt didn't call to congratulate him.  This is the Newt we know - personal, bitter, angry.  The guy just doesn't get it.  What happens if, God forbid, he becomes president and feels slighted by a the leader of a hostile country?

This is the guy who forced the shut down of the federal government when he had to sit in the back of Air Force One after traveling with the Clinton camp to the funeral of a foreign leader.   No kidding.  he had to take an exit that was not the same as Clinton's and, in his fury, he orchestrated the stalling of a bill that would have kept the government 'open for business', and all government offices and activities stopped for two days.  Talk about a prima donna.  When denied the hosanna's he feels are his due, he pouts.  This is not a mature man, this is not a stable man.

This is a guy who has gone on record stating that he would not debate president Obama within the presence of a media moderator.  Pardon my naivete, but doesn't he have to win the nomination first?

Newt is the only person I know who uses the word 'elite' as an epithet.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Where Has He Been????

i liked the state of the union speech.  i thought "that's a guy i would vote for!".  then i realized i did vote for him - but where has he been?  he was confrontive, assertive/aggressive, master of his facts....he spoke as a leader.  where has he been?

it seems there's a difference between president obama and candidate obama, and the latter can kick ass far better than the former.  oh, don't get me wrong, i don't want my president to go around kicking ass all day, but i do want him to be confrontive and in-your-face when it comes to the important issues of the day.  the president doesn't do this near enough.

last night he talked about taking executive action - issuing a law by decree if it fails to get through congress.  bushco did this frequently.  as long as the powers of the presidency have been expanded, i want my president to take advantage of these new powers.  the approval rating for congress ranks in the teens - let the president enact some new programs by signing them into law, without waiting for all the watered down versions of whatever programs to eke out of a stalemated, broken congress!

the man who spoke last night had fire in his belly.  i want the occupant of the oval office to have some as well.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Newt Takes It

looks like newt won south carolina, which is kinda fascinating in a train wreck kinda way.  the whole character issue came into sharp relief earlier in the week when his ex-wife marianne gave an interview describing some of newt's despicable behavior - but it didn't seem to cause a ripple of distress in the gingrich campaign.  in fact, when john king brought it up during the last debate, it was king who got booed.  this in holier-than-thou south carolina.

one thing these results do is stop the march of romney inevitability.  mitt lost two primaries this week, what with the iowa caucus results being changed, in favor of santorum.

so we have three election contests and three winners.  does the momentum swing to newt in any lasting way?  he seems utterly unelectable to me.  he's been surging ever since he bared his claws and started full throttle after romney.  could it be that the nastier he gets, the more attractive he is to voters?

santorum's got to be feeling low.  after much public angst, the evangelical coalition decided to endorse rick - and it's had no effect whatsoever.  which holds some joy for me - that the endorsement of a large group of homophobic, essentially judgmental and hateful people means zip.

romney is the biggest loser tonite.  the guy can't buy a break.  and i dread hearing newt tonight. on a bad day his ego is all-invasive, but on a day when he actually wins a primary, and an important one...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Three Years

It's been three years since my father was rendered helpless by a massive stroke.  It was either his third or fourth stroke.  Unlike the others, this one wiped his cognitive skills, and all but the most rudimentary awareness.  I don't think he would want to be like this.

It struck 16 months after my mother's death.  I've read this is not unusual, for one spouse to suffer a traumatic illness after the other dies.  He was distraught all during those 16 months, as anyone would be.  My mother's death was fast - five weeks from diagnosis to death.  During those 16 months, he said many times he'd always thought he'd go first.  I think his stroke was the result of a broken heart.

I pray he's experiencing some peace these days.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Republicans and Hypocrisy

A recent Republican debate featured a question about gays and lesbians, focused on marriage.  Each person stated that g/l marriage was not a 'right', was somehow threatening, shouldn't be OK.  The subtext was "these people are bad, I feel threatened".".

these same people, the debaters, would swear on a stack of bibles that they are God-fearing Christians.  (I never understood why it was important to fear God.  Isn't God supposed to be all-loving and forgiving.  never mind, that's for another post). 

I'm a lesbian.  I'm not a threat to anyone.  My marriage is good, solid, not legal.  As we near the 28 year mark, I can't help but remember that 1 out of 2 marriages - the legal ones - end in divorce.  What is so sacrosanct?  How is my marriage a threat?  How are two people living in suburban America in love, sharing a house and so forth, undermining the happiness of anyone else?

I felt sad listening to the debate, sad that somehow there remains a percentage of people whose prejudice causes them to think negatively of people like me.  I have a brother who feels the same way.  How sad is that?!  Fortunately, the rest of my family don't share his prejudice.

Gays and lesbians want the same thing everyone else wants - to live in peace, to pursue love and happiness, to find a special someone with whom to share the days, years, decades.  If that somehow causes Rick Santorum to lose some sleep, well, frankly, he's the one with the problem.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year

happy new year to my small but devoted following.  it's been awhile between posts.  the holidays got life busy in the usual way - and i am so happy it's time to turn the page.

2011 is best left to the history books, my personal one and that of the world.  two surgeries for me, and medical complications for my spouse.  she had a bone marrow biopsy last month and recouped slowly but surely.  and what do we know now that we didn't know then?  not much, but an appointment with her hemotologist to come.

which brings me to doctors and the medical world.  the only way to be a happy medical patient is to be empowered.  i fired one of her doc's (with her blessing) and changed another - and we are still in medical mystery-land.  he blood either clots in the wrong places (like her lungs), or takes on the exhaustion of anemia.  for no known reason.  five years since the first blood clot. 

it's time for a consult, and we have a doctor friend who is finding us a good doc for a consult.

more will be revealed.................