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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 28, 2009

After the acceptance to college

I don't think I've mentioned that the Boy got into the college of nobody's choice. Stubborn to the end, he only applied to one school because he honestly thought that I was going to let him lay around all year for his 'gap year'. Well, eventually it must of sunk in that there was no way in hell that I was going to let him watch TV on the sofa for a year, especially after I started researching programs in New Orleans where he could go and help rebuild the city. This mama ain't no moron! So right in the nick of time, he decided that he would fill out an application and lo and behold, he got in!

Which means that now we have an actual plan of action for next year. As he's still only 16, we looked at the schools that were commuting distance to our home. From Harvard and MIT (yeah, right!) to BU, BC, Leslie, Emerson, Wellesley, UMASS BOSTON, Tufts, Berkley.... there were so many choices it seemed almost overwhelming. He chose his school, he got in, and now we have to deal with the aftermath.

I seemed to have forgotten all the stuff you have to do post acceptance. My goodness, just the financial aid form alone could set me back years. That thing is so scary that the college offers special help filling it out. And thank goodness for that because I think I'd pass out from sobbing if I had to do it all myself. Doctor's appointments, shots, paperwork galore... it's amazing that I totally blanked all this out. But I did.

The Boy has chosen his major, he's going to be in the college of Liberal Arts, and he feels that he's done all he needs to do. In other words, if Mommy wants him to actually attend college, she needs to start nagging now. Because everything is due by May 1st. Gulp.

I'm glad that we have this settled, I really really am. I had visions of me trying to pull his gigantic kid off the sofa and it wasn't pleasant. I never thought we would get this far. Change is the one thing that the Boy has the most trouble with. He does not transition well, and the way he was handling just choosing to fill out an application was not boding well for how he was going to deal with being out of high school.

Much of this is peer pressure. As the acceptances started to roll in, and his friends all seemed to have college destinations nailed down, he felt left out. When it finally dawned on him that his friends wouldn't, for the most part, be around town next year, he decided he had to do something. Funny thing is, all of his good friends are going to college in the area as well. I think the furthest away anyone is going is Mt. Holyoke. They will all be living at their respective schools and he'll still be at home, but otherwise, they'll still see each other until they grow apart naturally.

I keep telling the Boy that it will be FINE if he chooses to transfer someplace further away once he's 18 and we're positive he will be med compliant 100% of the time. In other words, if he can remember, on his own, to take his medications daily, then he's free to fly anywhere he wants to go. But until that time, I need to watch over him and protect him, and of course to make sure that he's getting the most out of his school experience.

Mah baybee is going to college!

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Friday, February 27, 2009

A different view of my life

It's pretty easy in my situation to sink into a vat of depression about how futile the future appears. Even after my surgery, from which I can feel that I'm a lot better off than I was before it, I still have a limited life, and I don't like that. I have so many things that I still want to do in my life, and I'm always feeling incapable of fulfilling those dreams. And off I go into my own little pity party. But yesterday Rhea at the Boomer Chronicles posted a meme of sorts, and although I'm loathe to do memes (no 25 of anything from me!) this one perked me right up.

It’s called the bucket list. You have to review all 100 items and put in bold the ones you’ve already achieved in life. So, here — with my annotations — is my bucket list:

I HAVE…

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world

8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped -- HA! As if!
12. Visited Paris — Many times
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked — all over Europe and the middle east
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon - watched plenty of them, though
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse -- Both solar and lunar.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors Brooklyn and Brookline!
35. Seen an Amish community -- Ate at Plain and Fancy, too.
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa — North African only, and I'm not sure that counts. But I've been to Casablanca!
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted -- Not painted, but drawn. Nude. And no, I'm not posting it!
48. Gone deep sea fishing -- HATED IT. Cannot kill anything.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business — Ran my own tech doc biz for 10 years.
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia — this is the land of my ancestors, yet I have no interest in going
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching -- Countless times in both Atlantic and Pacific
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma -- Not allowed to due to my heart issues
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi concentration camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades -- Don't do buggy places.
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury -- and was sequestered!
91. Met someone famous — many times
92. Joined a book club -- Been in the same one for about 20 years now.
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby — or two?
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake -- Been there several times but no swimming. Have gone swimming in the Dead Sea though.
97. Been involved in a law suit -- Sued the city of Berkeley CA and won big!
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee -- seriously allergic
100. Ridden an elephant -- ridden a camel though

All of which goes to show you that I've done a ton of shit in my life, most of it fun, positive, and slightly dangerous. That was all it took to get me out of my funk, to see what amazing things I have already done, and it also got me to travel down memory road to remember many of these items that I haven't thought about in years. OK, not everything was pleasant. Food poisoning rarely is, especially if you get it on Thanksgiving. Oh yeah!

But look how many cool things I've seen and done in my life. How much travel there has been, a wanderlust set off in early childhood by my family's insistance on month-long car trips across the continent every summer. I've been to 49 out of 50 states, all across Canada, and to Mexico. I've seen some of the more bizarre things America has to offer, like the Corn Palace, Peace Garden, and Paul Bunyon Land. Most of which have been gloriously preserved on film with me waving madly at the camera every time it passed me by.

I've lived a lifetime of good experiences. And I've also lived a lifetime of some really crappy experiences. I could let the crap weigh me down, but I'm just not into that anymore. I have my days, we all do. But really, it all boils down to what you remember that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, and so many of these bucket list memories did just that.

Try it yourself.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

I should be embarassed, but I'm not

I'm a weather geek. I love to watch anything to do with weather on tv. Anything. I'll do tsunamis, tornadoes, cyclones, as well as the more mundane nor'easters, hurricanes, and rain showers. I like weather, I like how weather forms, I like learning about weather and watching the Doppler radar. When a storm is forming I'm glued to the TV. I honestly am a weather geek. Which is why today I cried at the weather report.

My entire grown up life I've had one weatherman. When I moved to Colorado for college, there was this hilariously funny weatherman on TV named Dick Albert. He was a little strange, and he used expressions like "just ducky" and his hand drawn weather maps always had strange initialisms on them, like ALC (A little cooler). Dickie was a hoot and I enjoyed him so much in Colorado that when I moved to Boston I never really got into the other weather personalities. There was this guy on, Bruce Schwoegler, who drove me totally over the edge. I think Bruce has a bit of the tippler in his history and his weather delivery was never as brilliant as Dickies. And Todd Gross. I mean really. WTFWT? Nope, I was a Dickie fan all the way.

During the blizzard of 78, I can remember thinking over and over that "if only Dickie were here" we could really have a great weather report. He was missing the storm of the century and it didn't seem fair. That was a storm made for Dickie's reporting.

Soon afterwards, Dickie returned to Boston, where he was brought up, and for the past 31 years he has been MY weatherman. I don't watch the other channels, and I watch the news for Dickie. If Harvey Leonard or Pete Bouchard, JC Monohan or Mike Wankem is delivering the weather, I'll usually grump and grouch because I want my Dickie. If it's Ken Barlow or Barry Burbank, I immediately switch to WCVB, even if Dickie isn't working. I actually like JC Monahan, but she's only on ridiculous hours, like from 5 am to noon, and besides, until someone gets her a stylist that will deal with her hair (too thick for that style) and her tendency to wear petite suits with those teeny tiny jackets that make her look like she's wearing her mommy's clothes, she's not going to replace Dickie. I guess I'm going to have to give Harvey Leonard a break. But it isn't going to be easy.

Dickie retired today. After 31 years at the same job, delivering the weather in an area infamous for the total suckiness of the daily forecast, he left his job today the way he started, with a wicked sense of humor, a love of the weather, and an obvious excitement that another storm is coming our way on Saturday. Yup, a snowstorm. It's Truuuuue!

Good luck, Dickie, and I hope to see you around town.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

LOST Discussion Thursday: The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham

We're going for a new format that is a lot easier for me to produce. I don't have stamina right now to spend 3 or 4 hours preparing a post about an episode of Lost, especially one like tonight that was so ultimately confusing that I'm not really sure how to even begin. The biggest change you'll see is that I'm giving up on the screen caps. I like them, but they make the posts way too long and almost unreadable, and I'd rather a discussion than people just floating through to see the pictures. I hope that isn't disappointing to the 6 of you that actually read the posts.

So this week episode we know for sure that the plane crashed. Not only have we seen people from the plane on the beach, we've seen the only non-Lostie guy, sitting in business class, Carlos. Additionally, we got a good glimpse of the plane on the ground, which didn't fall apart. And we learned that the pilot, Frank Lapidus, left on one of the three outriggers with some woman. The flight attendant? Who knows?

This means that we have a brand new pile of people to indoctrinate into the ways of Ben and Locke. Which will become the reason for the war, as far as I can tell. Locke is going to hang with his others, and the Losties will incorporate the newcomers.

Locke isn't going to tolerate Ben at all now that Ben killed him in his hotel room in LA. But I have to wonder if Locke will tell anyone about what happened. It wouldn't serve him well either way. But is Charles Widmore does indeed have Locke in his pocket, and my guess is that John is screwed up enough after being killed to side with Widmore no matter what, the rivalry between Ben and Widmore will be fought by Ben and Locke while Widmore tries to figure out how to get back to the island.

Now, what I want to know is the whole Eloise connection to all of this. When they were all in the church, it was apparent that Ben wasn't in her favor and he didn't really know or trust her. He also didn't know that she was Daniel Farraday's mother. And having Locke mention her while Ben was trying to coax John down from the noose was really startling. What is her deal, anyhow?

Ok, let's move on to Abaddon. I've mentioned before how much that guy creeps me out. John recognized him as the nurse that sent him on Walkabout to Sydney and was very unsure of why Widmore paired him up with Abaddon as his driver. Which is a good question. Hurley's response when he saw Abaddon with Locke was to get slightly hysterically panicked and needed to return to the safety of the hospital. Then, just when Abaddon and Locke seem to finally get to talking, Ben takes him out? What the F was that? Obviously Ben knows that Abaddon worked for Widmore, but is that reason to kill him in broad daylight?

Loved Sayid working on his little Habitat for Humanity house in the Dominican. If they had only showed him playing some baseball, it would have been perfection. I'm still rather curious why Sayid was being deported to Guam, which is an American protectorate. It makes absolutely no sense to deport someone from American territory to American territory. But hell, I'll give the writers some license.

How about Carlos, our new friend? He's obviously looking for something. He's found maps and other information in the files, but that isn't what he's seeking, I think. But who is he, and how come he ended up in business class when everyone else was a Lostie except the federal officer, Ilana, accompanying a handcuffed Sayid.

Widmore visiting Locke in the Tunisian hospital? Creepy! Especially when he says that he was 17 when he first met Locke on the island but Locke hasn't changed one iota in 35 years. Holy crap, does that sound familiar! When they appear to make a pact to work together, I got chills. I think this is wicked dangerous territory Locke is stepping into.

Walt! WALT! Finally, the writers give us some closure on a character. He's older, he has a mustache growing, and he's happy. Plus, nobody has told him about Michael's death and Locke let him believe that his dad is on a freighter near the island. Which is technically true. Only the freighter is in pieces at the bottom of the ocean, along with Michael.

The scene in the cemetery where Locke finds out that Helen died of a brain aneurysm was really sad. Poor Locke, he really IS a failure anywhere but the island. It makes it all the more obvious why Locke wants to be on the island and why he feels so successful there.

The last scene, where Locke asks to see the injured airline passengers and finds Ben amongst them totally blew my mind. When Locke tells Carlos that Ben is that man that killed him, I was totally ticked that the show was over. I wanted so much more!

Loved this episode even though it left me more confused than ever. I feel like we're going 5 steps forward and 4 steps backward every week. The more we learn, the more confusing the whole show is.

So what did YOU think?

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Teenage girls and birth control

Although this isn't really a topic of discussion in my own house, it's been coming up a lot in my real life as well as on the internet, and today my parent's group really dug deep into the issue. My thinking is that when your daughter becomes sexually active, it's your duty as a parent to take her to the doctor for a check-up, and for a prescription for birth control. Unless you want to be a grandmother early on, of course. I'm not really wanting grandmother duties just yet, so the Girl has been on birth control since she became sexually active. It's been a while now, she's settled down with her boyfriend and I really don't need to discuss sex anymore with her. She's doing it, I can't control it save locking her in a cage, and sex in my eyes isn't a bad thing. Sure, I wish she had waited, but I'm a realist and I know that NO parent can control their child's sexuality no matter how much they try, and teenagers have sex.

[Non-parents and parents of babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers, here is where you get to scream "she can't control her kids, she's a terrible mother, I know I could find a way to control my kids sexuality because I'm smarter, a better parent, and more in control.]

To which I say, "hahahahaha... freaking clueless geeks. You don't know what parenting a teen is like, so perhaps you might shut the fuck up and learn without passing judgement and thinking how superior you are."

Of the parents in my group, ALL of their teen daughters are sexually active and on birth control. Except one mom, whose daughter just recently became sexually active and the mom is having a REALLY hard time dealing with it. It isn't the daughter's issues that are creating disharmony in the house. It's the mom, who we all love to death, but who is very controlling, OCD, and has her nose up her kid's butts more than any other mom I know. The mom was sure her daughter wouldn't give up her virginity in her freshman year of school, but it happened and now the mom is utterly furious with her daughter's expressions of rebellion, sexuality, and a lack of responsibility about protection.

The mom did all the right things. She took her daughter to the doctor and got a prescription for BCP. She dropped off the prescription at the pharmacy, and then she told her daughter that she would have to pay her own co-pay and pick up the prescription herself. And with that, the crowd went wild! We all told her that playing with BCP is playing with fire, and that she had to get them for her daughter and that BC isn't a place to draw a line in the sand. Which we all believe, especially the mom whose daughter got pregnant her sophomore year of high school. But this mom had a really hard time hearing what we were telling her because it's her baby, and her baby didn't tell her she was sexually active until well after the fact. And her baby didn't use any protection. And her baby didn't give up the information willingly until her boyfriend dumped her.

While I understand her position, and nobody wants to hear that their daughter is sexually active, just this year we've helped a parent through his daughter's abortion, dealt with a pregnancy scare, and with my own daughter's sometimes inappropriate sexual behavior. We know that kids have sex. We know that we cannot control it unless we lock said child up. We know that it can happen inside your home just as easily as out in the world. We know that the world is filled with bad things that we didn't have to confront as kids, but we cannot control every aspect of a teenager's life, and if we think we can, we're doing our kids a disservice by being so over-protective/controlling.

Teenagers are more like grownups than kids. They are big and tall and do everything themselves. They hide in their bedrooms texting their friends who are now their confidants. They are pushing themselves out of your nest, they're stretching as far as they can. Which is normal adolescent behavior. And that includes sex.

BUT... sometimes society goes too far in providing teens a way to keep their sexuality private. Meet Mariah, parent of teens and pre-teens. Her daughter's high school in southern California gave her daughter a depo-provera shot without parental permission. A shot that made her daughter sick. Really sick. The only reason that Mariah even knew about the shot was that it made her daughter very very sobby and emotional so Mariah dug deep to find out what was going on and discovered the shot.

Now, this is NOT happening in our high school, and if it were, I would have gone ballistic just like Mariah. I do not believe that birth control is the responsibility of the school, especially since they do not have the child's medical records that might indicate that this shot could compromise the child's health. Without going into why, if the Girl had gotten this shot, it could have killed her. Dead. No way could her body have handled this shot. At all.

Some schools give out condoms, and I don't have a problem with that. Our school does, and my kids have been known to help themselves when they visit the nurses office, but in any case, we always have condoms in the house. Lots of them. Mom provided, kid approved. I grew up in a house with free-for-the taking condoms, and it worked for us way back in the 60's. Unless you have a kid with a latex allergy, condoms can't really hurt anyone.

I know that there are some parents of teenagers that are positive their kids aren't having sex. They are probably right. Not every kid is. But if you have an attractive daughter, one that is interested in having a boyfriend and pays a lot of attention to how she looks and presents herself, the chances are pretty high that sex is going to happen by high school graduation. There are always going to be science geek girls that will remain virgins through college, but really... if your daughters are looking good to the boys around her, you can bet that at some point birth control is going to become an issue in your lives.

When it does, be open to it. The biggest lesson is that you CANNOT control a child's sexuality. If you think you can, start therapy immediately because your heart is going to be broken. Doesn't that suck?

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Wash your hands

I have told my kids at least 100 times today to wash their hands. Considering their age, it seems ridiculous to me to have to constantly remind them, but damn if they can't seem to remember that constant handwashing is helpful in kicking lingering diseases collective asses. My kids have been sick for what seems forever. They both have the "I'm better for a week and I'm sick again" illness. The Girl seems to have now caught the rotovirus that is going around in addition to her rhinovirus. The child is a walking plague. The Boy has another cold/migraine/sore throat. I swear, if there were ice floes on the Charles, I'd volunteer to be put on one rather than to hear the constant hacking, snorting, sniffling, and of course the melodious sounds of puking.

So far, touch wood, I haven't caught anything, but if I do, I'm going to be a very unhappy camper. I feel exhausted and crappy enough without an actual disease felling me.

Tomorrow, someone is coming from the Visiting Nurses to install something on my phone that will collect my vitals and whisk them off to the doctor's office. I have no clue as to how this is going to work, but it will join my defibrillator monitor in the pile of weird medical equipment I have around the house.

Later today I got a call from a Wilfred Brimley type that wanted to sell me a new die-a-bee-tus monitor and supplies mailed to my home. Um, no thank you. I have a monitor and I get my die-a-bee-tus supplies at my local CVS. I don't need them mailed to me. CVS delivers, anyhow.

I am going to admit something personal. I cannot stand one more word about OctoMom, her Octodonor, Octograndma or Octograndad. I've had it with the discussions. The populace talking nasty about Octomom isn't going to change the fact that she has 14 children and no way of taking care of them. If we're going to do the subject to death, shouldn't the children be the focus? Instead of talking about her being a welfare cheat (lovely since she doesn't even get welfare), shouldn't we be discussing how someone with an obvious mental disorder should be getting help, as should her disabled children. Yes, she made stupid decisions, but this isn't anyone that has all their knives in the drawer, either. She's off. And the babies should not have to suffer nasty comments from anyone for something that was not their choice or fault. They should get all the help they need to live strong productive lives and if we all have to pay a penny more on our taxes to ensure that this happens, then I'm all for it.

We have way to many small minds that are quick to condemn without looking at the whole picture. Those kids are here. They're all alive. Punishing them for their mother's apparent mental issues isn't just wrong, it's cruel. And I don't want to hear about it any more. If you can't think positive thoughts towards those kids, then STFU. Really.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

A figurative return to Panera

As promised, I spent a lot of time researching the franchise that holds the lease on our Panera in order to file official complaints this morning. I found that Boston Bread Co is the franchise owner and that Boston Bread Company is in Springfield Missouri and does not seem to have an actual office with a human resources department. It's more like a 3-person family that own a lot of Wendy's franchises and branched out to buy and manage a whole bunch of Panera's in New England.

This morning, bright and early, I called the town Health Department and reported the store. To say that the Health Department was annoyed would be putting it mildly. They will be "reeducating" Panera on health dept requirements in their town, which do not include having sick people work or being threatened with firing.

I also contacted the Boston Bread Co with my issue, which they say they'll ponder and get back to me within 48 hours.

I called the Labor department and found that this type of complaint actually goes to Martha Coakley, our Atttorney General for an investigation. Since Panera was requiring the Girl to work until 11 pm (illegal) and to work over 40 hours/week (illegal), they are already up shit's creek without a paddle even before we add the latest issue to the pile. However, everyone in the Commonwealth must have been complaining about something today since the AG's line was occupado the entire morning. Frustrating. I'll be calling again tomorrow morning even earlier.

Much of this is moot, since the Girl is still sick, still running a high fever, and still totally feeling burned by Panera. She called and quit this afternoon rather to continue arguing with them over being at work, sick or not. She had enough, and she came to this decision on her own. I'm incredibly proud of her for trying to stick it out as long as she possibly could, and then determining just how much she could take before she had enough of their bullshit. Compared to most of the other teens that work, she lasted a long time under a lot of pressure. She loved having the money, and she really loved having a job. It was hugely important to her identity to have a good job that paid well in a store people knew and liked. But enough was enough, and today was her line in the sand. She did a great job and I feel like she was as responsible or moreso than many adults I know.

However, several newspapers want to interview her and write up the store, and I'm letting her decide whether or not she wants to do that.

And a certain local Pizza chain is hiring. She's already put out feelers, and is hoping to get that particular gig because it's closer to our house and she actually likes the food there. I don't really care where she ends up. She's an amazingly hard worker and as pleasant as can be unless she's home around her brother, and whatever job she lands, she'll do well.

She's a great kid. I'm lucky to have her.

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One from column A...

For someone that does as little as possible to avoid pain, I have three different and equally compelling blog topics for today. But seeing as not only am I doing as little as possible, I'm also thinking as little as possible (hello Percocet goodbye brain), so I can't decide just what to talk about, plus some of it is, of course, not blog fodder due to it's personal nature.

I know some of you think that I blab without any regard to my kids, their privacy, and our private lives. Boy, would you be shocked to learn how much I leave out. You know, the stuff that is not your business. No, I'm not 'keeping it real' with regards to our private lives, and you know what? I'm not going to change, either. That doesn't mean that I won't give a glimpse into who we are and what we're about, because of course I do. It's a personal blog and as a blogger it's my job to introduce you to my family and friends and describe the events I consider public enough to blog about. However, behind the scenes is a lot of stuff going on right now, most of it not even MY stuff, but it keeps me busy and worried and anxious all the same.

School starts tomorrow, thank God, and I'll get some of my life back. It is a day of phone calls and making appointments and going to the doctor and basically clearing out all the backfill that I should have gotten to last week but was unable to because, you know, hospital and surgery kinda take time away from home.

Soon it will be appointment upon appointment as I return to see all of my doctors post op, and then make arrangements for yet another heart surgery that is upcoming. For all my faking, according to some very mean and sick people, I sure am having a lot of heart surgery. Funny how all those people who play doctor on the web are so sure I'm just absolutely fine, nothing wrong with me at all, and I can really totally work full time, but I'm just a welfare cheat so I'm putting on the entire Boston medical establishment, the Federal and State government, and anyone else who is handing out all those subsidies I'm accused of living on but actually do not get. But they know so much better than all the experts and gosh almighty, it's not just me that is a horrible person, they're also attacking several of the best loved and most respected mothers on the net just this weekend. You gotta wonder just how stupid and pathetic a person has to be to go on blog radio and pronounce that other bloggers are terrible parents according to her. Like good parenting is teaching your kids to pick apart anyone that thinks and does things differently than you do. Good God, that woman and her readers... their poor poor children being taught to laugh and people. I guess they don't understand that they are all the epitome of bullying. Oh, they're not being bullied. They ARE bullys. Nasty, stupid, mean, uncaring, moronic, unthinking bullies. Something I'd be really proud to show on the 'net and on blog radio.

Um, yeah. Got that off my chest. And of course, no link to the bitches because why would I bother to make you feel the angst? I like you guys. It's just the "hidemyass" stalkers I can't stand. Mostly because they feel so smug like you can't figure out who Karla Melissathey are. Some people are dumb. I'm not one of them. Some people think they are not going to be outed. I wouldn't be so sure. Some people think that it's OK to make fun of people as long as they are anonymous. Might I remind you all of the Trainwrecks fiasco. It's gonna happen again, mark my words. And I'll be laughing hysterically once it does. Because nobody deserves being outed more than people who hide behind their nastiness and proclaim that they are better than any of us. As if!

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Panera Bread is trying to kill you

The Girl has worked at our local Panera since last August. In that time she's been sick a couple of times and they have given her an incredible hassle about missing her shifts. By hassle I mean demanding a doctor's note, making her find people to fill in for her missing shifts, and being generally furious about her being ill. When she had E-coli, and it was serious enough for her to miss several days, they were more worried that we would turn them in than how she was feeling. But she's 16 and businesses that hire teenagers are notoriously horrid to the kids, treating them like slave labor and firing them at will for the slightest infractions.

The Girl is the restaurant's longest running employee, so that should tell you something about how they manage the restaurant, especially in this economy. She's been there long enough to be recommended for management! How weird is that? In all the time she's worked there, she's been written up for being late once (serious traffic jam closed the road and we were stuck in it forever) and the manager that she has the most trouble with wrote her up for an accounting error that was the manager's fault. Once you're written up, it can't be taken back, according to the rotten manager.

She's a hard worker, she doesn't complain or have friends visit her at work, and the fact that she's made it 6 months there is a testimony to her dedication. She loves having the money. She really does. And she's willing to do just about anything to continue making the money, too.

While I was in the hospital she stayed with friends who were all brewing an illness. The baby ended up in the hospital with pneuonia and bronchitis, then her friend's mom got sick, and then her friend caught it. Last night the Girl came home from work at 11:30 dragging. She had a vicious headache, a fever, was coughing, and just starting to get sniffly. She went to bed and while asleep got a full-on case of something horrid. She woke up sick as a dog, runny nose, coughing non-stop, headache, muscle ache, and a 102 degree fever.

I pronounced her sick and had her call Panera at 9 am to say she wouldn't be in at 3 pm. She talked to the bitchy boss, Kim, who told her that she HAD to come in or find someone to cover her entire shift. She gave the Girl a bunch of phone numbers, mentioned that she was sick too, and told her to call and find a replacement. The Girl phoned several people and found someone that would work from 5-11, but couldn't come in at 3. She called work and was told that this was not acceptable and she would have to work her entire shift. With food. And a communicable illness.

I then called the manager and spoke to a guy who said that the rules were that the Girl had to find a replacement for her entire shift or come to work. I mentioned that she was really sick, with a communicable disease and that he was ordering her to come and work with food with an airborn illness. Which is AGAINST THE LAW. He didn't care, that was the deal, and if she didn't come in, they would fire her. WHICH IS ALSO AGAINST THE LAW. So I told him I was going to report him to the Labor Board on Monday, and he didn't seem to care.

The Girl found someone to work the other two hours, but I am seething. If they did this to her, they are doing it to all their other employees. They are making sick people work and handle your food. Forcing them or threatening their jobs. In this economy, people are going to choose to work sick. And that is a public health threat. For anyone that has a weakened immune system, eating at a Panera could be a death sentence. Customers aren't warned that this is the company's policy, but they should be. I eat their food, and now I'm totally grossed out by the fact that they allow their workers to handle the food when sick. I have a weakened immune system. A cold like that of the Girl's could put me right back in the hospital. Parents bring their kids in there all the time, not knowing that they are exposing them to diseases. Panera is especially popular with the blue-haired set here in our city, and they are more immunicologically fragile than the general population.

I am absolutely dumb-founded that a restaurant that prides itself on 'healthy' foods would behave so recklessly. You can bet I'm going to complain on Monday, not only to the Labor Board for unfair labor practices, but to our local health department as well. In the meantime I am warning you to avoid eating at Panera Bread until their policies change. I wouldn't want to be the reason anyone gets sick, and I don't want my daughter to be either.

Avoid Panera like the plague. Because they're spreading one right there on Needham Street.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Being home ain't all it's cracked up to be

I knew I was going to miss the hospital. Which is such a sad statement on my home life, isn't it? But I got three meals a day, well cooked and well balanced, delivered to me by pleasant, cheerful chefs. And I got spoiled right quick. I don't usually get waited on hand and foot, and it was such a pleasant change of pace. Evidentally I bought into it a bit too much, because when I got home and asked my kid to make me dinner, I thought maybe he would. God, I was so very very wrong.

We had one of those TJ's healthy whole wheat veg lasagna's in the freezer. All he had to do was take it out of the freezer, rip open the box, turn on the oven, and cook it. Period. I had to literally beg him for over an hour to do it, and when he finally did, he complained bitterly, left the box on the stove and the pan it cooked in right next to it. And went to bed.

This morning I asked the Girl for breakfast. I'm still waiting for it at 5:30 pm. I'm also waiting for her to clean the litter box from before I went to the hospital. It isn't done either. There is not a lot of non-cook food in our house, so people have to make an effort. And that's the rub. Nobody is going to put forth any effort at all for me. They just won't. It isn't because they hate me, quite the contrary. They are 16 and they are LAZY and the world revolves around them.

Today the Girl went to play paintball with her friends. Fine, she got home in time to get to work, and she had fun. But the Boy was supposed to be helping me out. I fell fast asleep after the Visiting Nurse left, around 11:30, and when I woke up, the Boy didn't seem to be around. I called and called, and no response, so I figured he had left me and gone out with his friends. When the Girl got home to get ready for work, she found him asleep and non-responsive upstairs, wrapped around a 'bowl of food'. He's still up there. Which means that he did absolutely nothing to help me out, including getting me food. So I've skipped breakfast and lunch, which is wonderful for the diabetic diet, sigh. I can't do it myself yet. I hurt too much and cooking on percocet: bad idea.

I did, however, eat a whole pound of red grapes a friend brought over. And the Girl will bring home food from Panera tonight after work. I'll eat eventually.

I'm totally exhausted. Beyond exhausted. I can barely move without feeling like I've got terminal mono or something. I know it's just the healing response to surgery, but omg, it's hard on me. The visiting nurse will be coming several times/week, and I'm getting a bump up on the home health aide, so I'm going to find one that can cook and do laundry. Because those things aren't getting done in a timely manner and are going to affect my healing accordingly.

And just to put the frosting on the cake, this morning I heard a loud crash and the sound of breaking something or other. I called the Girl downstairs to see what it was. Pepper finally got Fishy out of the fish bowl and ate part of him. EWWWWWW. So gross. So no more Fishy, which means no more begging for the Girl to clean out his bowl and no more bitching at Pepper to leave the fish alone. You know, there is a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow!

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Finally home

But all is not well. I got home around 6 and now it's 7ish and I'm running a bit of a fever. Fever is NOT a good thing post surgery. I'm glad to be home but I have to admit that the hospital totally rocked the house. I'm not a high needs person, but after a week in such splendor I could see myself adapting to being waited upon hand and foot. At least for a while, anyhow.

I still have a lot of pain and have just sent my friend Jean out with my pain prescriptions, which are very nice and pleasant despite the fact that I can barely keep my eyes open on them. It's been a LONG time since I've been on strong pain killers. They are super if you're in enough pain to want to cry without them and I'm just about there.

Both sides of my femoral arteries are quite sore, as is my chest. It will take time for the pain to subside, and in the meantime I get to be a total layabout. No exercise until the sutures heal. Aw, gee!

Tomorrow I will work on ridding my body of the tape remnants from the many EKGs and my heart monitor. I have little patches of stick stuff all over me. Took me about 20 minutes to locate them all and remove them. Of course some of them are totally inflamed because of my allergy to adhesives. You know, I had a sign over my bed and a big note in my chart saying "No paper tape" and NOBODY who took my blood ever followed it. I'd say "NO TAPE" and they would get all huffy like I was asking for euthanasia or something. One woman put some tape on my inner elbow when I was asleep and by the time I woke up to peel it off, the entire length of skin was blistered and burned. And yet people still tried to tape me up after every blood test.

So check out my fabulous room.


This is a sleep sofa and guests are welcome to stay with you overnight.

The Boy hogging my bed and Itouch while I had a procedure done.



Company seating area.


Guest microwave, TV, and fridge, and my private en-suite bathroom.


The leatherbound menu for us special Pavilion patients. Cooks are all CIA trained and the food is damn good considering it has no salt at all.


Breakfast and lunch menus. I ate the strawberry yogurt parfait at every single meal for a week. It was SO good.
They were very generous with the fresh berries and I'm whacko for fresh fruit. I think I ate more blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries in the past week than I usually do all summer long. Man, I was lucky to land in this pod!

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Monday, February 16, 2009

They made me watch videos

I 'll be honest. I'm the most cooperative patient on earth. I'll do pretty much anything they ask of me without complaint except the IV potassium because it burns like a mother and it takes hours to go in. I'd rather drink the juice concoction they mix up with the potassium and choke it down. But otherwise, I'll let students examine me, I'll say yes to every single survey they want me to fill out, and I'll even agree to take part in studies. I take all my meds, I eat what I'm supposed to, I don't cheat and drink more water even with the FOUR sinks in my room.

But I draw the line at today's activities. They made me watch a series of the lamest videos I've ever seen. It was like Heart Failure for Dummies parts 1-19. Not only was it the most simplified information possible, but it was pretented to two actors that played the parts of concerned older doctor and perky helpful nurse. They were just ridiculously silly, but I did it. I watched them. Because I want to please the powers that be. I need to be cooperative.

So what did I learn from the videos? I learned absolutely nothing I didn't already know. Between Dr Google and various books, I'm pretty well versed in the causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of Congestive Heart Failure. I could probably diagnose it myself. The one video that touched on the importance of taking your medications almost put me to sleep. Are there really people out there with a serious heart problem that would just blow off their meds?

Anyhow, that's what my day has been like, and now I'm back to HGTV where the Canadians are renovating anything and everything in order to make more income properties.

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Hi from my hospital bed

After drinking another disgusting glass of potassium, the nurse let me use the computer for a few minutes.

I am OK. but bored to tears. I am just hanging out until my surgery on Tuesday morning. After the surgery I'll have a couple more days in the hospital before I can got home. I'm sure I can handle it considering that I'm in a palace compared to a regular hospital.

Everyone has been so gracious and nice, and it's honestly not so bad except for the constant peeing. Since I do that at home, too, it really doesn't bother me too much.

I spend a lot of time looking out the window at my lovely view of the hills of Boston. I can't see the city, but I can see a lot of Brookline and JP.

The kids are both with their friends. The Girl and her boyfriend were visiting yesterday morning, but as I could have told you, the Boy couldn't be bothered to show up, even with money on his Charley Card subway pass. It was "too cold."

So that's pretty much it. I will try to report more apres surgery.

Thanks for all the lovely emails, twitters, and comments. It makes my day!

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Does this sound like me?

  • Intellect: Creative
  • Skills: Observer
  • Emotions: Generator
  • Dynamism: Breadwinner

Your Core Skills

Highly innovative and imaginative, you're a naturally visionary ideas-person. You get a kick from out-of-the-box thinking and have the energy and drive to inspire a team. You are particularly well suited to projects that require inventive thinking. You thrive in an environment where you a constantly stimulated intellectually. You tend to be quite diplomatic and sensitive and like to avoid being too dogmatic or forceful.

Potential Areas Of Weakness

You don't always think through the practical side to your ideas and sometimes find the detailed graft of a project less compelling that idea-generation. Routine can feel boring to you. When you're feeling inspired creatively, time management and personal organisation tend to suffer. Sometimes you have too many ideas and find it hard to know which one to focus on.

Areas You Might Want To Work On

  • make a conscious effort not to over-commit
  • create structured workplans and set yourself specific goals for each project
  • work on improving your public speaking and networking skills

Careers That May Suit You

trader entrepreneur philosopher playwright film director jewellry designer

Your Detailed Personality Assessment

Your creativity and entrepreneurism are impressive and highly valued by those you work with. You are an extremely flexible and capable individual, able to apply yourself successfully to a wide range of projects. It is with this kind of exhilarating variety that you find yourself operating at your best. The missing link may be to develop the self-promotion skills that will allow you to feel truly empowered to set and achieve the ambitious career goals that are well within your capabilities.

When it comes to leadership, you are a firm believer in conviviality. You like to be a friend as well as a boss. Job satisfaction lies in building strong relationships with the people you work with. But it's important to always be careful not to blur those boundaries.

You have a deep connection to your spiritual self. This balanced outlook is an extremely powerful force in your life. You have a healthy sense of perspective and are driven by a strong moral value system.

For you, going to work is a bit of a means to an end. You like your job but it's not the be all and end all in your life. You do what needs to be done but you're not the kind of person who is defined by their work. There's more to you than that. You'd rather not stay late unless you really have to.

You seem to be in a bit of a hectic place in your life right now. There are lots of opportunities and things that you're interested in, but it's quite hard to know what to focus on. You could probably use a bit of guidance to help you channel your energies in the right way. It's not surprising you're having a tough time. Work isn't exactly doing it for you at the moment. There's a lot that's been stressing you out and you're probably feeling quite stretched and low on inspiration. It may be time for a change.

The way you approach each day can have huge implications for your success in the workplace. Bouncing out of bed with a spring in your step doesn't exactly come naturally to you. You sometimes find it difficult to get moving in the mornings. It might be worth trying to reinvigorate your morning routine so that getting out of bed is more of a pleasure than a battle! That way you can face the day firing on all cylinders. If you haven't already, why not try exploring some evening relaxation techniques that might help you get the rest you need - whether it's yoga, a soak in the tub or even a full-on gym session. It could make all the difference.

The Future

You may not be looking for a new job right now but you're committed to understanding more about yourself and recognise how valuable this can be in terms of self-development. Try not to feel too daunted by whatever challenges life throws at you. It is precisely these difficult experiences that will really allow you to develop as a person and avoid getting stuck in tired situations with little growth potential. Risk is an important factor in life and you need to allow yourself to embrace uncertainty and the opportunities that it represents, instead of allowing it to intimidate you.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Hospital

This is The Boy, letting you all know that my mom is in the hospital, and she will be having surgery on Tuesday. She's doing okay, but is having difficulty finding a way to post.
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Friday, February 13, 2009

I hit the big time

Hi from the penthouse! Last night, when I was finally admittted to the hospital after hours of waiting for a room, I found out that they gave me a room in the "Pavilion" which translates to the fancy-schmancy penthouse floor for the rich and famous. And me.

I don't ever want to leave. This place is amazing. I took pictures which I'll post once I get home because I can't download them here, but let me just describe the room. You walk in and the first thing you see is a wall of tiger maple paneling. On that wall, I've got a nice red print sofa, two guest chairs in complementary red upholstery, and a small side table with a lamp. To the left is the kitchenette. I've got a fridge and a microwave, counterspace and a sink. There is more counterspace here than in by kitchen at home. The kitchen faces out onto a huge glass wall with a lovely view.

I've got a private bathroom but it' nothing fancy. I heard that someone down the hall has a bathroom with a glassed in stall shower and a separate bedroom. I don't rate THAT high, I guess.

The bed is pretty much the same as any other hospital bed, but the drawers are a nice light maple. The private nurse's office takes up one corner of the room. There are windows to look in on me, but they're actually not IN my room.

There are two plasma tvs with cable. One faces me, the other faces the sofa, which folds out into a guest bed. You can have family members move in with you... but I thought that would be a little TOO stressful.

The floor is some kind of wood laminate Pergo thing, also in a light maple. The whole room is spotlessly clean and so refreshingly new and modern. I love it.

But the best part? It's the PRIVATE CHEF from the CIA/NY who takes your orders from a large leatherette menu, and brings you back your food cooked just for you in a kitchen on the floor. The food is delicious. I know. It's shockingly good. Last night for dinner I had a lovely tuna nicoise salad (no olives, alas) and grilled salmon with haricot verte, brown rice, and spinach.

This morning it was a strawberry yogury parfait, a bowl of steel cut oatmeal, and fresh pinapple. And real coffee. REAL coffee.

I never ever want to leave. Sigh.

So I've been here less than 24 hours and I've already lost 5 lbs of water weight. Overnight I rid my body of 2.5 liters of urine. Can you believe it? It's like it just pours out of my if I have IV lasix. I knew I was overloaded, so I accepted a Foley so I could at least sleep last night. And even with the catheter, I didn't sleep well. But I got more sleep than I have in a long time.

The plan is to continue to diurese me until I'm on empty, then I'll get a chest cat scan to look at my heart, go to the cath lab and do a double catheterization to check out my function, and talk to the doctor I saw years before about doing an ablation. Yes, it's surgery, but at this point I just want to get a bit better and not keep declining.

So that's the news from the hospital. Oh, did I mention a laptop in my room? I'm living high on the hog!

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Disaster

This is my friend Mary's house.


Mary's oldest son Donovan was badly injured and burned in the fire. Mary was also injured, and they both are in the hospital. Her two younger sons were not injured.

Additional three firefighters were injured in the fire, including one that fell through the floor. They have all been sent to the hospital as well.

This was a 3-alarm fire that started at 6 am this morning. They don't know what started the fire yet, but the initial thought is that it was electrical.


I've known Mary for several years. She's a Parent Partner with MSPCC. She helps advocate for parents with special needs kids, especially those with emotional problems. A single mom, Mary has three sons, all of whom are special needs kids with emotional problems. She is one of the moms that "gets it" and she's a wonderful community resource.

All the time I've known Mary she's talked about her house being a rat-trap that the landlord ignores. She paid below market rent, has lived in the immediate neighborhood her entire life, and choose to stay there to avoid paying the outrageous rents in better, more well-kept housing. As with many landlords in our city, he collected his rents and did absolutely nothing to the upkeep of the building. She has lived there for many years and has watched her building deteriorate. And then it went up in smoke this morning. The estimated damages: $800,000. None of that is Mary's. I doubt she even had renter's insurance.

Mary was dirt poor despite working full time. She drove a collection of junkers, one worse than the next. Everyone in the fire department and police department knew her, and helped her out a lot with her sad cars.

I'm terribly worried for her family. With no home, and no ability to pay market rents, she's going to have to rely on the Newton Housing Authority. Well good luck to her, because they are as crooked an organization as can be, and their motto is "we don't help people."

Please send Mary your best wishes. She really needs them.

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LOST Discussion Thursday-- This place is death

I have to admit right up front that my doctor called me right in the middle of LOST. Can you believe the gall? And I had to talk to her because she's putting me in the hospital this morning, so I might have missed a detail or two. If I did, be kind.

So this was an powerful episode. I liked it a lot. It had all of the LOST moments that keep me obsessed with the show. Smokey made a most welcome and bizarre return, we finally learn why Rousseau killed her husband/boyfriend and why all the rest of her party is dead. The illness is smokey. How cool is that? This episode was like on warp speed, where we got to learn so much, and so many different things happened with so many different characters. I think I might say that this was the best episode so far this season, not for heart stopping insanity, but because we got so much information.

This Place is Death starts at the marina. Right as she's ready to kill Ben, Sun gets a call from her mom, who's busy watching Ji Yeon. Sun's daughter gets on the phone and says “Come home, mama. I miss you.” Ji Yeon is absolutely adorable and totally pinchable, as is the moment when Sun says goodbye.


Sun gets out of the car and tries to kill Ben, but he promises that he can prove Jin is alive. Sun doesn't know whether or not to believe him, but she doesn't shoot him either.


As we know from last week, Jin is alive and he's freaking out over learning that this is the same Rousseau and that it's 1988. Robert, Rousseau's main squeeze wants to find the radio tower, but communicating is difficult since a Korean and Frenchman are trying to speak in English. They set off on trek number 8,962 through the jungle.

As they walk through the jungle to the tower they hear a suspicious noise. A very specific noise. The Frenchies don't have a clue, but Jin knows what's coming - it's Smokey! He screams "RUN" but the stupid French people want to look for their missing friend Nadine, who disappeared in the jungle at the back of the group. They find Nadine, but only after Smokey drops her dead body from a tree onto the ground. It's screams all around as the see Nadine is dead and Smokey is not your run of the mill puff of black smoke.


They decide to run, but the huge, awesome pillar of black smoke rises up, stares into the eyes of a Frenchman, and takes him away. The others chase him back to the Temple, which is mysteriously covered in heiroglyphics, when Smokey goes into his hole, dragging the Frenchman with him.


His team tries to save him, all grabbing on to each other as they attempt to pull Frenchie out of Smokey's hole, but they only rip off his arm as Smokey pulls him down.


They foolishly agree to go in after him, but Jin makes Danielle stay behind.


And it's time jump number one. Jin goes through the time jump, but it's a pretty recent jump because he comes across two dead Frenchmen laying on the beach.

A still-pregnant Danielle is pointing her gun at Robert because she claims the monster stole his soul.


He says the monster is just a security system for the Temple, and tries to sweet talk her into lowering her rifle, She finally starts to put it down, but then he tries to shoot her.


Danielle shoots him dead and essentially kills off the last member of her team infected with the monster's sickness. It seems the monster's sickness isn't the same as the time jump sickness or the virus sickness.

Danielle sees Jin coming towards her on the beach and assumes he is also infected, but he goes through another time jump before getting shot.

He winds up with another gun pointed at him, but it's Sawyer. Jin is reunited with some of his friends who try their best to explain what's happening. Jin looks confused and stunned not only to see them, but to learn that some of the Losties actually have left the island, including Sun.

They’re finally able to explain the plan to have Locke leave the Island and bring the Oceanic 6 back at the Orchid thanks to the fact that Charlotte speaks Korean. Now I remember that Jin figured out before all the time jumping that she understood Korean, but I guess he forgot. Is her ability to speak fluent Korean an overly convenient coincidence or part of a bigger mystery?

Once the whole situation is explained, Jin doesn’t want to bring his wife back. He doesn't want her to come back to the island because the island is death. Yup, it sure the hell is.

On their way to the Orchid, the Losties time jump again (#2), only now the jumps come with more painful headaches and strange noises. And nosebleeds for Sawyer and Juliet. Miles also had one last week, so they are all becoming infected with the Time Traveling Blues or whatever this disease is. Sawyer is even more pissed when they have a another time jump (#3) immediately following. When they’re back, Charlotte faints again and this time she speaks jibberish and tells Jin not to let them bring her to the Orchid, where they are heading, because “this place is death.” She's obviously dying, and with each time jump she gets more confused.

Locke wants to leave Charlotte behind as they continue to the Orchid, but Faraday won’t allow it. After another sudden time jump (#4) and some more of her gibberish, Locke and the others go to the Orchid but Daniel opts to stay with Charlotte in a touching scene. Charlotte tells the Losties to look for the well, where they will find the way to get Locke to the Orchid. When they get to the Orchid it looks like it's almost been swallowed by the jungle, much more than the last time we saw it. Then another time jump (#5) makes it vanish. Luckily a well is nearby, but how did Charlotte know about it?


And how did Locke know how to find it?


At the Orchard, Jin doesn’t want Locke to bring Sun back to the island, so he makes him promise that if he sees her, Locke will tell Sun that Jin is dead, and he gives Locke his wedding ring as proof.

Locke looks at the ring in his palm and promises Jin that he will indeed try and keep Sun from coming back to the Island. And if you believe Locke, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I can sell you cheap.


Locke decides to go down the well, and grabs a rope and starts shimmying down.

As he's about half way down, there is yet another time jump and Locke falls to the bottom of the well, a very long way down.


At the top of the well, our Losties are now staring at a rope going down into a big pile of dirt. The well is gone.


Meanwhile, Charlotte is telling Faraday about why she is on the island. She lived on the Island before when her parents worked for the DHARMA Initiative. But one day she left after a scary man told her she had to leave and never come back or she would die. She left with her mother, but her father remained. When she was in England, her mother told her that she imagined the island. So she became an anthropologist to find the island. (Totally lame. Anthropology is the study of man, and it has NOTHING to do with finding mysterious islands.)

Charlotte thinks that the mean man was Daniel Faraday! Daniel looks astounded and wants to know more. He tells her that he saw Desmond and told Daniel to find his mother, who will make everything OK. Charlotte sputters out some more nonsense before dying. She might be dead, but I suspect we’ll see Charlotte again on the Island. Dead doesn't necessarily mean gone on our Island.


Locke is at the bottom of the well hurt with something gross sticking out of his leg. He's moaning and groaning in pain, but all of a sudden he sees a mysterious shadow of a man. It is someone coming to help John Locke: the every mysterious Joseph/Christian Shephard!


Locke wants to know why things didn't happen the way Joseph/Shepard said they would, and Christian says he’s very disappointed that John didn’t listen to him and move the Island himself. In letting Ben do it, more problems appeared so he now asks Locke to go and readjust the broken donkey wheel. Christian tells Locke how to find the wheel, which is kind of glowing and then going dark.


After a lot of struggle, Locke moves the wheel and the room glows.

Before leaving, Christian asks him to say hi to his son. But Locke disappears before he can find out who this man’s son is.

In the marina, back in the present, Ben is able to use that silver tongue of his to get Sun to come with him to the one person who can show her the proof that Jin is alive. He tells her that it will take 30 minutes and this person will prove that Jin is alive. Sayid and Kate leave, refusing to go anywhere with Ben. Sayid threatens Jack as he leaves, saying that he never wants to see him again.

On the car ride over, Sun and Jack talk about who wants to kill Ben more, which makes Ben totally pissed as he pulls the car over. He yells at them to just shoot him now or shut up and let him drive. They tell him to drive on, and he pulls the van back onto the highway.

In the van, Ben swears that if Jack and Sun only knew the number of times he’s saved them, they would be thanking him every day of the week. They agree and Ben drives them to a church where he gives Sun Jin’s ring and explains that he got it from Locke. He also promises that the woman inside can help them go back. Sun wants to know why Locke never gave it to her, but Ben has no answer.

As they're standing beside the van in the church's driveway, Desmond shows up!

He wonders if they’re here for the same reason he is, to find Faraday’s mother. Ben gets this very annoyed look on his face that suggests either he wasn’t aware of the fact that Ms. Hawking is Daniel’s mother or that he didn't want that known to the other Oceanic 6 survivors.


Ben, Sun, Jack and Desmond go inside to meet Eloise Hawking.

She wants to know where the rest are, since Aaron, Kate, Sayid and Hurley are not there. Ben says that she didn't give him enough time. She replies that it will do for now, so she promises to get started.



And fade to black.

Questions and Comments:

Although nothing particulary newsworthy or jaw dropping happened, this episode helped move the storyline along to get our Losties back to the Island as well as filling in more of the back story. Now we know more about Rousseau, Charlotte, and even a bit more about Daniel.

I'm still rather confused about Smokey. Is it only a security device, or is it more? Where did it come from, and why does it go after certain people and not others?

Daniel Faraday seems to be very prominent in the back story this season. But we don't know much about who he is, and who his mother is.

Is Christian Shepard Joseph, is there really a Joseph at all? And what is his connection to the Island?

We know that Locke ends up in Los Angeles, but how did he die? We know he was alive when he got there because he spoke to our Losties, but now I have to wonder, is he really dead? Really really really dead? I am thinking that he's not.

The temple is Smokie's home turf. But didn't Ben tell us a while back that the Temple was the only safe place on the island? What's up with that?

Now that Locke has turned the wheel and set the room to glowing, is this going to stop the time jumps? And if so, when are we? I think we're in 1988 at the beginning on the beach, but we've had 6 time jumps since then, as we really haven't had many clues as to what the time is.

Hieroglyphics. On the Temple. Explain.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

More fun filled medical news

I went to two doctors today, because going to just one isn't really cool anymore. I mean everyone does one doctor's appointment, but how many people do two in a row? Plus lab tests. Yup, another fun filled day!

My cardiologist has prescribed another diuretic for me. It isn't instead of Lasix, it's in addition to Lasix. So I'm now not only increasing my Lasix more twice a day to 200 mgs, I'm also adding this new medication that I take 1/2 hour before Lasix, which gives everything a jump start. If I don't start shedding pounds now, it's hi-ho hi-ho, off to the hospital I go. Wheee!

Life freaking rocks.

I don't get why my body is refusing to shed all this water weight. I mean I seem to do nothing but pee all day long, and yet.... my weight continues to go up and my abdomin is more and more bloated every day. It's all so weird.

You know what the real irony in all this is? I had to do a bunch of labs downstairs, and the doctor didn't mention that one of the tests was a urine test. So of course I needed to pee right after my appointment, and then headed down to the lab. The technologist handed me the little cup and I tried. I really really tried. But I could not pee. I was in the bathroom for a full half hour with that little damn cup held up to my nether bits, and not a drop.

And then, the second I get home? I have to pee. I just couldn't believe the irony in all this. My body sure is a temple.

And speaking of Temples, on the way home I was behind a little silver car with the license plate that said "Rabbi". I had to look, and sure enough, it was some lubavitcher. Excellent!

More doctor appointments next week, and I got to schedule my annual boob squashing, my "look at my cervix" appointment, and an appointment with a new psychopharm because I want to change my AD.

The weirdest thing about all this medical stuff is that I'm in a really good mood today. It all just flowed right off my back, just the way it should.

Update: Doctor called during LOST. She says I have to go into the hospital tomorrow. Could be for a week. Next week is school vacation. I have no clue as to what I am going to do with the kids. This REALLY sucks!

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