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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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Fragility, Insanity, Moominites, and Illness

I rarely see myself as fragile. I'm a pretty strong person, with strong opinions and a lot of confidence. I have lived a difficult life, starting in infancy and continuing up to the present time, but with all the strife I've experienced, I have remained upbeat and have not lost my sense of humor. I can still be happy at things that are beautiful and bemused by things that are odd.

Today I feel fragile. I feel misunderstood and out of touch. I feel as if I'm a bit behind everyone else, trying to catch up but not having the ability to forge ahead at top speed.

I'm sad and worried and I keep tearing up at things that would usually either annoy me or not affect me in any way. I am emotionally spent. When I get like this, I tend to sleep a lot. Not the sleep of the depressed, but a sleep that says "you can just close your eyes and stop being aware".

Boston's Moominite Invasion

Things that bother me right now are big and important points that I feel I have to explain. Like why Boston might have overreacted to the "terrorist" cartoon threat this week. I guess most people don't know to important factors, and I'm compelled to defend my city from the people that think the whole thing was a hilarious joke.

First is the placement of the Moominites. In other cities, the devices were out in plain site and were either stolen or removed by public works departments. In Boston the devices were placed under bridges, in Subway stations, and in places that were not accessible to the public. Evidentally, the two stooges that were paid $300 to place the devices did so a bit more deviously than the did in other cities.

Second is our history with terrorism, and the residual guilt we probably feel because of our involvment with 9/11. Remember where those planes took off from? That would be Boston. Logan Airport was the departure point for those planes flying into the World Trade Center. Many many Bostonians, including a friend and coworker of mine, lost their lives on those airplanes. Other cities like Seattle and Chicago and Austin really weren't affected the way Boston was. We lost so many people, and we were the city that was chosen by the terrorists to put their plot into action. The terrorists slept in a hotel that used to be in my town, very close to where I now live. This is stuff that the city hasn't forgotten. We take security a lot more seriously now than we did pre-9/11. Anyone familiar with the security precautions taken by the city during the democratic convention 2 summers ago can't be very surprised by the reaction of the first responders when Turner Broadcasting perpetrated this hoax.

Now, it seems, Turner Broadcasting has taken responsibility for their stupidity and is about to offer the city a 7-figure amount in restitution for both the city and state agencies that spent so much money reacting to this hoax. As well they should.

Meanwhile, the two dupes that actually placed the devices around the city, Peter Berdovsky and Sean Stevens, are not really responsible for the hoax. The agency that hired them has pulled down their web site (and I'm certainly not going to give them more viral marketing hits by naming them) and are hiding out. I think they probably are out of business. I don't think prosecuting them for felonies is the right thing to do. But... and this is a big but... had they not acted like complete buffoons and shown some contrition for their actions instead of laughing at reporters and court officials, people would be a lot more likely to cut them a break. Instead, they smirked and demanded only questions about 1970's hair styles and laughed like this was all so freaking funny. So prosecutution will probably take place.

Lady Luck Sinks and Search is Called Off

A fishing vessel from my beloved Newburyport disappeared off the coast of Maine and the Coast Guard has called off the search. When any ship goes down, especially small fishing vessels, my heart aches. Fishing is a very honorable, difficult, and dangerous profession and the people who fish for our dinners work year round in weather that honestly just isn't safe. The two crewmembers were fishing for cod, haddock, and flounder in southern Maine, which is just a few miles up the coast from Newburyport.

This is the second loss of a fishing boat in a couple of weeks. The Lady of Grace out of New Bedford went down off Nantucket last week, and 4 seamen were lost.

I don't think people think much about the fish they eat and where it comes from. So many people assume that huge factory fishing boats like they use in Russia and Japan are used here in the USA, but that simply isn't true. Most of our fish comes from small fleets of local boats. For all we think of eastern MA as a big metropolis, many of our communities are made up of fishing families. Any loss to the fleet is a huge blow to the entire community. I am so saddened by the loss of the fishing boats and their noble crewmen.

Date Rape Drug is still being used

A young woman from a town north of Boston was hospitalized after her 17 year old boyfriend slipped her the Date Rape Drug. These are high school kids. I am appalled that a teenage boy would behave in such a manner, and even more appalled that he could find this drug. I am so angered that this stupid drug is still around. The poor girl collapsed in class at school. What the f? He's slipping her date rape drugs at school? What kind of moron IS this boy?

Friends battling with illness

My friend I, who is recovering from breast cancer in her right boob after a year of chemo and radiation, went for a routine mammogram and they found something suspicious in her left boob. She sent the films off to her surgeon, but they all have a 'wait and see' attitude. I said that I would be screaming "Biopsy this sucker NOW" and she agreed, but so far, they haven't said that would be the next step.

Meanwhile, her spouse who has stage 4 colon-rectal cancer had brain lesions, surgery to implant radiation devices (I don't know exactly what this is all about... way too complicated to follow) because he was having seizures and partial paralysis but was said to be all better, had another seizure during chemo this week, and is having more trouble with numbness.

Our own tsuris

So, if that isn't enough to make me feel fragile, I don't know what else is...except my own baby girl's brain issues. Oh man, it's no wonder all I want to do is sleep.

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Blogger Ramona said...

Oh dear. You do have a lot on your plate. Hope you feel better soon.
Here via Michele's tonight.

3/2/07 1:42 AM  
Blogger denzylle said...

I hadn't heard about the loss of the fishing boat (I'm in London), but I'm glad you mentioned it. With so many miles of coastline around the UK and Ireland, we have many fishing boats, and the tragedy, if they are lost, for small communities is immense.

And lifeboats, too. I don't know how your coastguard / lifeboat system works there but, in the UK, lifeboats are manned (almost exclusively male) by volunteers and sometimes, these are lost, too. I was in Cornwall a few years ago and witnessed the annual memorial for the loss of the Penlee lifeboat just days before Christmas in 1981. Almost everyone in the tiny village of Mousehole lost their brother, father, son or husband.

So, thanks for noting the loss.

All the best to the Girl. She'll be in my prayers.

3/2/07 1:00 PM  
Blogger colleenR said...

I think the worst of it all is what the Bush administration has created...a nightmare scenerio. I want to say something about global warming too...but I don't want to bum you out any further. We just have to focus on the people and space right in front of us somedays.

3/2/07 2:17 PM  
Blogger carli said...

I kind of feel that at the very least, Turner had a responsibility to let the city know what was going on. Aqua Teen Hunger Force is a great show, and had the powers that be tweaked their marketing a little to the side, they could have made an impact without grinding Boston to a screeching halt.

3/2/07 2:51 PM  
Blogger Sarch said...


Well no wonder you're down...you and the family have taken some rough knocks. Anyone in your shoes would start to feel the weight by now. No one wants to feel the health threat that you and your daughter are dealing with. I would imagine being in "that place" is probably making you especially sensitive to the other negatives going on in the world. I'm just a bonehead living down in Alabama so I'm certainly no expert on these subjects...but I'm just saying I can see how you are feeling like you are at the moment.
I don't know your stand on spiritual issues, but I'll share a Bible verse that I have turned to in the past when life just starts to feel too negative and dark to deal with. It has been a help for me.
"Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworth - think about such things." Phillipians 4:8
When I'm down I find two things helpfull...physical rest and trying to fill more of my days' thought life with positive things.
Eventually things DO get better as I'm sure you know...hang in there Maralit. I'll be praying for you and your beautiful daughter.

3/2/07 3:02 PM  
Blogger Carmi said...

I am praying for you and your entire mishpacha. I often wonder what the big guy's plans are for us all - and why they are what they are. Somehow, it all has to make sense, because I refuse to believe that this is random.

Good people shouldn't be tested in this way, but they are. And there has to be a higher-order reason for it all.

3/2/07 5:53 PM  
Blogger Lioness said...

I once met an Icelander who stopped me from lighting my ciggie on a candle. He said that in Iceland they believe that it brings fishermen bad luck. I have never done it since. Fishermen, miners, firemen - I don't think they are appreciated enough, ever. It is all so dangerous.

And your poor friend and her husband - you really seem to have an awful lot to handle now. I hope something lovely happens soon.

3/2/07 6:55 PM  
Blogger WendyWings said...

I just backtracked and read some of your other posts. I am sorry to hear that you are going through such a rough patch.
No wonder you just want to sleep indeed !
Michele sent me but I was finding my way back down my blogroll today anyway ! :)

3/2/07 7:06 PM  
Blogger Becky68 said...

I think of you often, you certainly do have enough to think about right now, keep your chin up. (as my Grandmother used to say to me when things were going poorly)
My Mother, who lives south of Boston still, said it was absolute craziness while they were trying to figure out what those Aqua Teen things were!
Here from Micheles tonight.

3/2/07 7:38 PM  
Blogger Begered said...

SOunds like you have a million things on your mind. Take them one at a time. I am very sorry to hear about your friend's illness. That is always difficult to deal with. I hope things turn around for you soon :)

3/2/07 8:03 PM  
Blogger Star said...

Michele sent me. My goodness you are having a rough time right now. I suspect the real worry is about your daughter, I am keeping all good thoughts for youm and her. I wll check back after Tuesday. Keep your chin up.

3/2/07 8:16 PM  

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