Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Monday, September 24, 2012

When I decided that the internet was unhealthy for my mental status, I meant it. I haven't posted in more than a year, I no longer refer to people I've never met in real life, and I've stopped being enthralled by other people's personal lives. That last one was especially hard since I'm such a yente but really, I knew I had no choice. Now, a year or so later, I still occasionally read facebook and twitter. It's rare for me to post, it is even rarer for me to comment. I read and pass through pretty much everything on the internet.

Until today. I read comment in an article today that contained a link. The link had a winsome name, and I clicked it to see what it was. Well, shiver me timbers! What I found was a web site that contained a LOT of comments about bloggers that are involved in dirty divorces. FILTHY, disgusting posts of couples insulting each other. And these bloggers aren't unknown people. We're talking Dooce and Jon, Melissa and Logan, Manda and Dave.

Now, this isn't your normal internet site. The posts are mere reportage and the comments are filled with wonder about just WTF is going on in Utah, Washington and Michigan. As far as I could tell, the commentors are not haters at all, they seem to be more like me, completely blown away by the initial posts from the divorcing partners.

I'm saddened by the vitriol I've read and the mean statements left by the partners. It really taints the segment of mommy bloggers, and even worse, these statements are residing forever on the internet. Your parents, siblings, friends, co-workers and worst of all, your children will google their parents and find this crap. Honestly, do you want your children to read about whose private parts are stinkier?

People, grow up. The whole world does not need to know about your personal life. Stop posting this crap.

And now I'll gladly crawl back in my cave.

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Thursday, September 22, 2011

None of the news is fit to print

So it's a week since my heart surgery. I had my ICD completely replaced, they added a 3rd wire into my heart, cleaned up a lot of scar tissue, and taped me back up again. What everybody neglected to tell me is that the second and subsequent times it is about 500 times more painful than the initial installation because of all the scarring and the wires getting tissue overgrown that has to be removed. It was a nightmare the first night. I really wanted to curl up and die. They gave me some weak ass painkillers that didn't work at all, and after I complained about the pain the entire night, they finally gave me a drug worth getting addicted to, morphine injections into my IV. OMG, it was like they pushed the plunger and three seconds later I was out like a light. Pain schmain.... I slept blissfully for hours at a time.

I got home last weekend, and it has not been quite the restful experience that I had hoped it would be. Kids are raring to go, nobody is cleaning anything, there is no food in the house and nobody wants to go shopping, and when they are home, they're hiding in their respective rooms.

Every day is a bit better than the last, so I'm healing appropriately for someone that is not allowed to pick up anything heavier than 4 lbs or to raise my arm over my head, both for a month. Makes getting dressed in the morning rather interesting, but I can get most shirts on now with no help.

My weird arm rash has to be biopsied because nobody seems to know what it is. All I know is that it looks weird, feels weird, and thus annoys me.

Gemma started college and so far she's liking it. She already made a friend. She starts working at Jerry Remi's this week, and she's all excited to be making some money. Even though she is a royal pain in the butt at times, I'm so proud of her. The most interesting thing about her growing up and leaving all her high school tsuris in the dust is that her taste in clothing has radically changed. She bought herself two wool coats, both very stylish, and quite a few other items at the local thrift store. She's giving up on the Uggs and North Face jacket over hoodies and jeans, and is now wearing cute flats, leggings, and regular blouses and sweaters now. She LOOKS a lot older, no longer just a kid anymore. Even her jewelry has changed. I'm very much liking the change.

Kitties are great, playing with each other with wild abandon. It's so much fun to watch them flying over each other.

Me, I'm doing some heavy thinking these days. Making life changes is hard at my advanced age. But I'm working on it. That's all I can promise.

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Thursday, September 15, 2011

I am alive

Hello fellow internets. I have risen from my slumber. I am currently in the hospital recovering from heart surgery. It hurts like a mofo. Now, until we find an internet service provider that covers our area, we are going to continue without internet. It sucks, but when Comcast raised our bill for internet to $156/month, I told them where to stick it. And then I called every single ISP in the free world and not one of them covers our neighborhood. After complaining to the mayor's office about a monopoly and unfair trade (they didn't care...shocking) I realized that I'd be internet free. It is so ridiculous that even the satellite services like Hughes Net don't cover us. Nobody does.

And with that, I'll be popping up here and there until we can find someone that wants to build a tower for us.
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Monday, July 25, 2011

The Very Thought of You

Love feels differently at different times of your life. Love for a spouse may be different than love for a teacher that has shown you how valuable you are. Love for a parent can be mixed with fear or misunderstanding. But regardless of how love comes into our lives, it is a rare person that cannot feel love. Even rarer is a person that feels love, but the love is mixed with emotions that make it impossible to melt into the love. When a story about love is so tinged with sadness that it makes you question your own lives and loves, it is a valuable tool as well as an escape.

The Very Thought of You” by Rosie Alison is such a book. This is the author’s first novel and it glimmers with such incredible emotion, such pathos, such tragedy, and such un-abiding love that I found myself sobbing through the last quarter of the novel. This is a book with not one, but a plethora of loves gone awry in the backdrop of WWII England. Like you, I thought that I had read plenty on this topic and didn’t really have high hopes for loving this book as much as I did. War, Blitz, London, evacuees…. It’s been done and done again. But it has never been done quite as gloriously as Ms Alison’s tale of young Anna Sands, a bright, talented and smart young girl evacuated to the very north of England to spend her war years in a stately manor called Ashton Park. In the summer of 1939, Anna’s mother decides to send Anna away from London as an evacuee. Along with many other children from London, Anna bids her mother goodbye at St Pancras station, leaving her mother alone in London. Meanwhile, Anna’s father is in North Africa during the war, fighting against the Nazi’s.

Anna arrives in York and is bussed with a few children she knew from her school in London, and many more children she did not, to a huge manor house owned by the very wealthy Thomas and Elizabeth Ashton. Thomas had survived a bout of polio that kept him confined to a wheel chair, and Elizabeth was less than dutiful in helping him to assuage his guilt that he could not father a child with her. The couple decided to open their home to 86 evacuee children, and to school them for the entirety of the war. They also took on teachers, and Thomas, a classical scholar himself, taught Latin, and later poetry alongside Ruth Weir, the literature teacher. The Ashton marriage is not a happy one, sullied by infertility that was always assumed to be the fault of Thomas’s illness, but in truth was Elizabeth’s problem, which she figured out from her affairs with men outside of her marriage.

As time went on, Elizabeth took to private drinking at night, and was bitter and mean during the day.  She also fell in love with a Polish artist that had escaped Poland with the help of Thomas’s friend Col. Norton, and came to live in Ashton Park, where he was employed as the art teacher. It was their affair that led Elizabeth to realize that she would never have a full womb, something she absolutely could not reconcile, even amongst a gaggle of happy children running through her home.

Anna, a sensitive and astute young girl, twice finds herself witnessing the unraveling of the Ashton’s marriage. Once night through an open bedroom door she saw a drunken,  naked Elizabeth screaming obscenities at her disabled husband, and then she witnessed the love of Thomas and the literature teacher in an abandoned maids bedroom. When Anna’s mother is killed during the blitz, Anna turns to Thomas for comfort and unwittingly falls in love with him, easy due to the lack of love she’s felt since her evacuation. However, that filial love grew asunder inside her and twists into something that affects her entire adult life. As Thomas’s love affair with Ruth grows ever deeper, Thomas asks Elizabeth to end their loveless marriage so they can both be free. Elizabeth guesses that Ruth is pregnant with Thomas’s child, something that would never happen to her, and she becomes enraged, seeking revenge that ends both her life, and the lives of Ruth and the unborn child.

When she was 12, Anna’s father comes to collect her and take her back to London as the war ends. She goes sadly, realizing that her years in Ashton Park were her childhood, and it was happy and filled with the love of learning, her teachers, and especially Thomas, her mentor and secret friend.

Although Anna was home, and went on to Oxford to complete her education, then finding a job as an editor at a small publishing house, her marriage felt incomplete and wrong. She had two children that she loved, but was living a life almost parallel to Elizabeth Ashton so many years ago. For Anna to understand what was happening to her, she needed to go back in time to confront the past. In order to heal herself and her relationships, she needed to learn about her love, and the love that has confounded her all these years.

This isn’t an easy book to read. The  beautifully written and researched story is profoundly tragic and the happy ending you wish for just isn’t there. But there is a clear and satisfying conclusion that will leave you almost stunned, trying to catch your breath.

It is rare that I love a novel so much that I believe every single page is perfection. The old editor in me tends to find places where I would have cut a paragraph or even a scene. Not so with this book. It is golden, just as it is. A first novel this good needs to be spread far and wide. It is indeed one of those books you want to remember the rest of your life. It is that good.

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Saturday, July 16, 2011


When I put the lout badge on this site, I wasn't really sure it would add any value to this blog. I've got a modest readership and I like it that way. Being popular or controversial just makes people want to be mean to you, and I get enough of that at home, thank you very much.

However, last night I started seeing people on twitter talking about a European music service that was never before available in the USA. American accounts were opening up for people that used Klout, so I went to the Klout web site, signed up for Spotify, and TaDa! I got an account. Only 7000 people had an account when I got mine, but I'm betting they will be in the millions by Monday night.

This is the second cutting edge application I've gotten an account on this week. First it was Google +, now Spotify. I'm feeling very internet progressive. Go ahead and call me old, but I'm right up there with the spring chickens when it comes to the 'net.

I spent about an hour setting up a new playlist that will keep me alert. At one point Graham came in and let me know I was listening to Kanye West,. Um yeah, I was aware! Next I am going to put a sing along playlist for when I need to be belting out tunes. Now that I don't drive I don't listen to the radio, and I hate all that GAGA/Beyonce pap. I like my music with a message, with a tune, a good beat and easy to dance to. OK, who gets that reference?

So what are you listening to these days?

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