Monday, May 10, 2021
Monday, May 3, 2021
|Bodies lined up|
I could write about President Biden's first 100 days in office, but gee, everyone under the sun has already done that. His speech the other night was calm, collected, and borderline boring. Exactly how it should've been. Sure, there were some points that were exaggerated, but nothing in that speech had me jumping outta my chair with steam coming out my ears. In fact, I shared a moment with Cruz....I dozed off at one point.
|yes, that's Kedem grape juice.|
Monday, April 26, 2021
Much has been written this past week about the guilty verdict for all three counts in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. As well it should be; this was a monumental event in Minnesota not simply because the crime happened here, but because Mohamad Noor, a Somali-American cop was convicted on manslaughter in the case of Justine Diamond, the Australian yoga teacher, without the benefit of body-cam footage, yet Jeronimo Yanez was found not guilty of second-degree manslaughter, two counts of dangerous discharge of a firearm in the shooting of Philando Castile, the aftermath of which was recorded by Philando's girlfriend on her phone because she realized she had to document what happened. Not that it helped.
Why was one convicted and not the other? I am certain there will be endless analysis of the reasons, but I have one of my own.
Taking the knee has long been thought of as an honorable thing to do. Pictures of all sorts of kneeling events litter the art and photography landscape. Usually, when one takes a knee, it is a reverential kinda thing.
An angel takes the knee in traditional depictions of the Annunciation.
One takes the knee when one is proposing marriage.
Monday, April 19, 2021
These types of polyps are not cancer, but they are pre-cancerous (meaning that they can turn into cancers). Someone who has had one of these types of polyps has an increased risk of later developing cancer of the colon. Most patients with these polyps, however, never develop colon cancer American Cancer Society
I have several friends who have or are now battling colon and/or rectal cancer. It is not an easy process. It can kill you. It is possible to prevent, slow, and in some lucky cases, have the cancer go into total remission. But nothing is guaranteed.
Because colorectal cancer appears in my family tree, I went as soon as I was eligible for a colonoscopy. The first one was fine, and I went back in 5 years. The second found polyps, as did this one, hence the 3-year spacing. And I will go back in 3 years again.
The prep can be revolting. Can be? It is, actually. I don't do sweet things for a lot of reasons, so I am not a fan of large quantities of sweet things. A quarter cup of ice cream is usually my limit. But the stuff you get to drink is so sweet, I thought I was going into a diabetic coma as I slugged the stuff down. Come on, medical people...can't you come up with something flavorless for those of us who don't drink soda...specifically diet soda?
Which makes me think I understand why American is basically fat. If you have to sweeten this stuff so people can drink it, there are serious food issues here. All that artificial sweetener is just another sugar jones. OMG, the thought of anything sweet after 2-16 ounce containers of that shit makes me want to retch. Seriously.
And my GI guy was a total sweetie. He remembered me from last time and said he was glad I was still funny. I asked him if my gown made my ass look fat. God bless him, he said, "No way. Your ass is not fat!" and laughed. I figure if I can get 'em to laugh at the jokes, they're gonna wanna be nice to me. And they are, so I think that's working.
But all joking aside, if you are of a certain age, get a colonoscopy on schedule. It's not a giant deal, but it can save your life.
And now, I am going back to sleep.
Monday, April 12, 2021
|Ah, the ol' Apollo in East Meadow.|
|Katie Wright, Daunte's Mother|
"This wasn't a school shooting, this was an officer-involved shooting inside of a school, much different. At this point, the student hadn't done anything with the firearm until the officers engaged." Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (TBI) Director David Rausch
Monday, April 5, 2021
Monday, March 29, 2021
Twelve years ago, Ziggy and I sat at the first seder night at my Cousins L&T. I don't remember much about the seder. All the usual suspects were there...except for the Senior Son who was sedering with cousins in Milwaukee. But Ziggy and I had a secret we were not about to share with anyone there...except Cousins L&T....and that was mostly because T was more than just a relative, he was our doctor. Twelve years later, I still get the pit in my stomach on the first night of Passover. Jews all over the globe may be remembering the exodus from Egypt, but I mostly remember the exodus from the Land of the Living.
The next morning we went to see an asshole of an oncologist who, without ever meeting our eyes or telling us there were paths to explore, told Ziggy to go home and get his stuff in order because he was going to die. Soon.
Twelve years later, we are in our second pandemic Pesach. We are lucky because this year our pod of 5 can be together and Senior Son can zoom in again. Little Miss is 6, Young Sir is 3, and both like stories. So while the Haggadah is open before us, we spend much time telling stories. Stories of seders that were, Passovers that were family milestones, and stories about the special Pesach pieces that were on the table.
|empty space for iPad|
The seder had most of the usual parts, although somewhat abbreviated for the target audience. I was amazed how my boys not just knew the haggadah really well, but could recite favorite parts at will. I never knew the Junior Son really likes the part about My father was a wandering Aramean...... Or that the senior son (who was sans haggadah) had big chunks memorized. As they reminded their feeble, old mother, they'd been doing this for almost 40 years now, and gee, wouldn't I think they would have a decent command of the seder? I could just hear Ziggy chiding me for the same thing.
Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah said: "I am like a man of seventy years old, yet I did not succeed in proving that the exodus from Egypt must be mentioned at night-until Ben Zoma explained it: "It is said, `That you may remember the day you left Egypt all the days of your life;' now `the days of your life' refers to the days, `all' indicates the inclusion of the nights!"
I always liked that Ben Zoma guy and his explanation about how ALL meant the whole thing, the nights, too. Ziggy and I used to talk about that passage just about every year as we did dishes. We always talked about what it means to remember. Is it active? Is it passive? Is it just a conversation? But it wasn't until he left me alone doing dishes that I fully understood what it meant...and what counting days meant.
The first day begins the Sefirat ha'Omer, the counting of the Omer. That lasts for seven weeks until Shavuot. 49 days. I was always aware of the omer days; it was on my calendar. Since my consciousness-clock is set to the Hebrew lunar calendar, I automatically counted those days. While I was counting that year, I did not realize what I was counting. I didn't know I wasn't just leaving Egypt that night; I was leaving life as I knew it for over 30 years.
In 2009, Shavuot began on Thursday evening, May 28th. My parents flew in, the Senior Son came home, and shabbat dinner wasn't just shabbat dinner, it was Ziggy's 56th birthday. That Sunday, we had t'nai'im for the Junior Son and the future Mrs. Junior Son because we knew Ziggy was not going to make it to the wedding and this would put his signature on one of their wedding documents. We celebrated as much as we could with a tear in our eyes and a hitch in our breathing. Ziggy held court; close friends and relatives came. And we held our breath, hoping and praying for a miracle that never came.
7 days later, on the following Sunday, Ziggy left the building.
Ben Zoma was right. all the days include the nights also.
Monday, March 22, 2021
Can't say I was totally surprised by the response to last week's episode. I figured the title alone would garner hits. Which it did. But, the email response blew me away. Most were from women thanking me for writing about the differences between sex, sensuality, and intimacy. Passion and frustration were the most common themes in the emails. Someone commented on Facebook:
One of your best blog posts. You created a beautiful balance of vulnerability and humor, sighs and laughter, sarcasm and (above all) truth.
A number of emails reflected similar sentiments. Intimacy, so it would seem, turns out to be one of those things we just don't talk enough about. I didn't think it was just me, but the response got me to thinking maybe this was something much bigger.
And then, some whacko in Georgia goes on a shooting spree in massage parlors and murders 6 Asian women plus 2 others claiming that he was a sex addict. According to the New York Times:
The Washington Post provided some insight into Robert Aaron Long's life before the shootings:
But over the past four years, Long’s life turned toward the tumultuous. He started college classes and left after one year. He believed he was straying from his faith, telling friends that he was fixated on sex to the extent that he thought he was addicted. His relationship with a girlfriend collapsed after she found out that he frequented massage businesses, according to his roommate. His bond with his parents frayed; on the night before the shootings, they threw him out of their house, according to police.
He frequents massage parlors to attend to his sexual needs because he does not have relationships with women? Sure; that sounds logical enough. But it also begs the question, why doesn't he have relationships with women? The same Washington Post article gives us a glimpse into the world in which he grew up:
The evangelical congregation’s minister, the Rev. Jerry Dockery, is an energetic preacher who advocated for a socially conservative brand of Christianity that, as the church bylaws put it, views “adultery, fornication, homosexuality, bisexual conduct, bestiality, incest, polygamy, pedophilia, pornography, or any attempt to change one’s sex, or disagreement with one’s biological sex” as “sinful and offensive to God.”
That's pretty much the sexual thou shalt not list for all three Abrahamic religions. It's worked for several thousand years....why doesn't it work now to foster healthy relationships? Maybe it's because it centers around the idea that natural inclinations are shameful and dirty? Those yearnings are not to be acted upon, much less discussed. How does a kid with a penis reconcile nocturnal emissions and involuntary erection? What the hell do they think is gonna happen?
To be sure there are people who will say the moral fabric of society is torn where "deviant" sexual behavior thrives in the open. Can someone define or quantify deviant for me? I'm not sure what it means any more. Honestly, I believe there are people who absolutely need sex reassignment. I grew up with someone like that. It was clear to everyone she was a he. I believe some significant percentage of the population prefers partners of the same gender. And I absolutely believe there are some people who are gender fluid. Why should I doubt anyone's natural inclination and existence? Frankly, it's none of my business whom they love. I just want everyone to be in their own happy, healthy, intimate relationship. Loving someone and being loved by someone is far too important to quibble about appearances.
But there is a segment of the population being denied that chance at happiness because of some archaic, anachronistic, and ultimately hate-filled philosophy. That's the part that morphs and manifests itself into a psychotic break that takes it out on 8 people going about their business, doing their job, unaware that someone wanted to hurt them for just that.
In last week's episode, I talked about intimacy between partners, but intimacy does not stop there. Intimacy is the foundation upon which all relationships are built. That close communication happens between couples starting out, spouses, partners at the end of their roads, but also between siblings, cousins, friends....in fact, anyone with whom we share a common experience. Intimacy isn't only about sexual contact. Human connection is basic and fundamental. Without it, we are ultimately less human.
I may miss the kind of intimacy I had with Ziggy (I do) but sitting on the couch with Young Sir on Friday, listening closely as he whispered to me about Cookie Monster being afraid of the bathroom upstairs so we had to help him get over that, reminded me that my just 3-year old grandson understood the power of intimacy and sharing. He spoke in very hushed tones about things he thought were important...including but not limited to loud sirens, ambulances, and why the pool is covered for winter. These were not monumental items in my life, but his sharing concerns at this age is part of how he will learn to share his concerns as he gets older...as long as we encourage him to do just that. I see it occasionally when one of my boys just calls up to check in (I confess I am always a tad suspicious about those calls) and we chat about little stuff for a few moments. That's a kind of filial intimacy and that's a good thing.
One might hope being trapped at home with family members may have enabled some families to connect on levels different from business-as-usual. Yeah, I'm being optimistic, but I do hope for the best.Then again, while I am writing this, I heard about the gunman in the Boulder, Colorado supermarket. Not too much is known about what exactly happened and who did it. But it happened again. There has to be rage there. Rage so terrible it cannot be mitigated. And more people are gunned down.
What's left to say?
The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
A wise friend once told me:
"If you believe that G-d is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent, by extension you must believe G-d's creations are perfect. Who are you to tell G-d that my love for another guy is abhorrent to the G-d that created us both, then let us find each other?
and then tell us we have to walk up 18 floors to the flat?"
Monday, March 15, 2021
Some of those smart, witty, hunky men probably exist and behave accordingly. Near as I can tell, those cover-guys from my kids' generation are the ones who benefited from having mothers who came of-age during and after the sexual revolution. Good for them. Maybe the next generation of widows will have a better shot at a second or third act.