Friday, July 18, 2014

My Reading List & My ADD

A while ago my cousin Martine recommended Amity Schlaes "The Forgotten Man".  It went on the list.  In February I ordered it from Amazon.

But we know that Jack Reacher has been interfering with everything.....he's my current obsession.  He is delicious.  I loved the movie, but after reading a few of the books, Reacher is less Tom Cruise and more My Marine.

I finally sit down with "The Forgotten Man" - right about now My Marine is hollering somewhere north of here "What about the list I gave you???"  Yeah, I'm getting there, I promise.

I'm probably 30 pages in when I realize how little I know about Herbert Hoover.  From what I am reading so far in this book, he is far more interesting than I ever thought.

So, I stop and I pick up a Hoover bio from the library on the fly.  When I get back to the house I realize that it's part one in a series by George Nash and covers only up to 1914.  1914 is the beginning of the time frame referenced in the beginning of "The Forgotten Man".  Of course!  It's not like I stopped and checked before I left the library.  LOL!  So what the hell, I start reading.  And indeed, Hoover's life reads like a novel of "The Great American Success Story".  Bonus, Nash writes well.  I am currently on page 398 out of 576.  It's been great, but I am dying to get to WWI.

Now I am concerned.  Nash has explained in the preface or forward...whatever, that he intends to attack Hoover's life in stages.  But what if for some reason he doesn't continue?  This has happened to me before; I start what I think is the beginning of a series and find out that for one reason or another, the author(s) doesn't continue.  I mean Nash wrote this in 1983 when he was 38.  What if there is no part deux?  Mon Dieu!

So I just checked Amazon and, whew!  Nash wrote part two in 1988.  As a matter of fact, there is a part three and a part four if I am so inclined. So, Schlaes (and My Marine's list) just got pushed back a little further.

As long as Jack Reacher behaves and stays on the shelf.

Oh, look...... a squirrel!!

Friday, July 11, 2014

So I Have Been Absent

For lots of reasons I haven't posted much.  They are emotional and physical and technical.

For the last few weeks I have been without my Ripley laptop, which I sleep with like a lover.  It's been repaired and coming back to me soon.  My Goering laptop is in Boston, I am in Virginia.

I lost my Droid and figure this is a good time to make the switch.  My boss Bette has been carrying my ass long enough.  I haven't worked for her for more than four years....I should get off the company phone, huh?  But I want to keep the number so it's a tiny bit complicated.

Then there was a delay, thanks to Verizon in getting DSL (no Fios here).  Just a customer service heads up, when you say on Thursday that you will be here anytime between 8 and 5 on Monday.......maybe you shouldn't wait till we call you at 4:45pm on Monday to say "Oh yeah, this order is on hold."  Clowns.

But now I am sitting here, surfing, tweeting, reading, Facebooking........reveling in the Internets.  It is marvelous!

My email is backed up ridiculously!  It will take ages to catch up.  But I don't care I love all social media.

However I did notice a few comments for the blog awaiting moderation.  One was pertinent, recent and funny and I released it as soon as I saw it a few days late.  But the other three are for a post that is four years old.  It's a post that gets crazy hits.  Even though it's four years old, I stand by every nasty, mean-spirited word I wrote.  And apparently that drives some people crazy.  Awesome, I love it!  And generally when people try to comment on it, they are too stupid to read the instructions and don't understand comment moderation.  So not only do they get all spooled up, but they do it multiple times because they don't see their condescending bullshit appear on the blog instantly.  Even better!


So sometimes, I publish the comments even if they disagree with me.  I generally only hold comments if I think they will hurt someone else.  Or if they are super hostile.  Or if I think it will bother the commenter.  Hehe!

Basically this married couple "minister" to people on how to be closer to Jesus.  Four years ago or so they wrote a book about living for 30 days like you only had a month to live.  Now I get the concept of "living like you're dying" and "living each day like it's your last" etc.  I believe in it.  And every day since my diagnosis, July 2, 2008 I have actually been grateful for the perspective.  I have done things I would have put off.  I think it makes me more grateful for what I have.

But the Shooks were on a news show talking about how this could be "an adventure".  There were jokes about maxing out credit cards and eating nothing but donuts for 30 days and woohee, what about when the 30 days was up.

And I didn't think it was funny.  Now that might have been because I had been diagnosed with an incurable cancer and the first stab at chemo had failed.  But I generally don't think I would have laughed no matter what.  Hence the title identifying them as "insensitive assclowns".

So people commented.  "Don't pay attention to such nonsense"  "We agree, what jerks."  Some people wrote me private emails about their own struggles.

But some people just wanted to come out and anonymously tell me that I "didn't get it".  And my answer was basically, even on all my prescriptions and through my turmoil, I am probably smarter than anyone who thinks I am too dumb to get it.  Not to toot my own horn, but I am smart.  And when the anonymous donkeys can't even figure out comment moderation, I am sure I'm smahtah!

So why talk about it now?  Well, there is this priceless comment from an anonymous commenter, blasting me for being anonymous (again, low reading comprehension - I am identified in the blog by my blog name and my Christian name and my married name and my maiden name....dummy) -

I was healed of cancer by Jesus. I've been given another terrible diagnosis and hope to be healed again with Him and God. 

Perhaps if you spent more time on positive healing and less time on anger you would be well.

Hehe!  Joke's on you fucktard, I am still here, six years and seven days post diagnosis.  Guess Jesus is pretty happy with me anyway.

Friday, May 30, 2014

You Have No Idea How It Pains Me

But the press and pundits on the right have put me in an untenable position.

They have labelled certain statements made by President Obama during the recent West Point commencement as being an insult to the military.

I don't know if they are jumping the gun or lying, but they are wrong.

And now I have to defend POTUS.

As Dr. Smith used to say "Oh the pain, the pain!"

Here’s my bottom line: America must always lead on the world stage. If we don’t, no one else will. The military that you have joined is, and always will be, the backbone of that leadership. But U.S. military action cannot be the only -- or even primary -- component of our leadership in every instance. Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail.

That is no insult.  Far from it.  It is the assurance that every citizen, never mind politician should give our military.  We should all vow that we will not use the power of the U.S. Military unless absolutely necessary.

Now don't go off on a tangent here - "Bush did this...."  "Obama did that....".  We are talking about the commencement speech.

This highlights a problem I have with some on the right.  President Obama does eough stuff wrong without anyone having to make shit up.  And when they do make stuff up, it just draws away from the real problems.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

I'm Still Here

I think of blogging every day.  I compose posts about stuff in the news....books I'm reading....plans.....I'm making..... people who aggravate gorgeous grandson.

But I don't make it very far.  I don't know why.

Right now I am sitting in Logan.  My 7:15pm flight was cancelled and the replacement flight has been delayed until midnight.  I made the most of it;  I grabbed Beachmont Roast Beef and headed to Kathy's to take up the time.  And getting here at this hour gave me the chance to buy a Sailor a cup of coffee.

And now I can just scroll through pics of Frank & Frank.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Difference Between President Obama's Easter/Passover & Ramadan Addresses

So the President used his weekly address to speak to Christians about Easter and Jews about Passover.  It's a nice gesture, right?  You can go to and read the transcript.  But I will just point out the part that struck me as odd:

 The common thread of humanity that connects us all – not just Christians and Jews, but Muslims and Hindus and Sikhs – is our shared commitment to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. 

Umm, yeah, it's Easter.  It's Passover.  Why are Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs in this address?  So I thought, maybe the President likes to give everyone a shout out.  So I Google President Obama & Ramadan.  Here's the transcript aaannnnddddd no mention of anyone else.

So, not to sound selfish, but why is President Obama talking about Muslims on our Holy Day?  I'll say it.  It's an asshat move.


Monday, March 31, 2014

People Who Judge

Being labelled for the actions of a few or out of sheer ignorance always hurts.  No matter who you are.  It hurts more if you view your situation with pride.  And I am proud to be 3rd generation Charlestown on my mother's side and 2nd on my Dad's.  All my life I have had people judge me because I was from Charlestown.  Don't get me wrong, it's nothing compared to what other minority groups have endured.  And I have freely admitted that there was nothing easier than growing up Irish Catholic in Boston as a whole and Charlestown in specific.  I'm a big girl, I'm not gonna fall down in two inch squares over an ignorant comment.

But I am still gonna call you out on it!

There is a silly little quiz going around Facebook lately "What Boston Neighborhood are you?"

So this is the random tweet of some clown who took the quiz.

Really Margaret?  You think it's ok to just slam us?  If you got Roxbury would you say "...without the black people..."?  How about "...Chinatown without Asians..."?

Margaret you jackass, Charlestown is awesome BECAUSE of the Townies.  And by the way, use a capital "T" it's a proper pronoun.  And as far as the parking situation, that is entirely due to the influx of people from Newton and New Jersey, etc.

So stay classy in Newton.....or not, but definitely stay in Newton and out of Charlestown.

Remember, if you are looking for a Realtor in Newton, Massachusetts, pick anyone but Margaret Szerlip.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Justina Pelletier Case Hits Home With Me

When I was very young there was an incident in my family where a child was bothered at a teaching hospital while the parent sat by.  It wasn't really that big a deal.  The parent was a very good parent, just a little overwhelmed by the situation.  The other parent entered the room and called out the medical personnel almost immediately.

That story really had an effect on me.  Because of it, I am always on guard when interacting with the medical community.

First example, when Tommy was 2 or 3 we went to Florida for Christmas.  My late mother-in-law (who is dearly missed) lived on the west coast near Sarasota.  Christmas Eve Tommy was nauseous and listless.  We took him to the ER  Now full disclaimer, I am a wicked snob about Boston being the hub of the medical world and if you are down there in "God's Waiting Room", well......  So anyway, we are in an exam room and a very pleasant young man comes in and begins checking on Tommy.  Eyes, ears, heart, temperature.  He tells us that the rectal thermometer isn't reading correctly and excuses himself.  He comes back with another and tries again.  He's still not happy.  Now Tommy is sick and in a strange place and being prodded..... So when the nice young man says he has to get someone/something else to get this temp, I reply "Nope, you had two shots  at it, put your hand on his head and guess.  He feels bad enough already."  LOL!  My ex and this guy are flabbergasted!  So there was some conferencing with the other medical people and they told us he had an ear infection.  They gave us a script, which I threw away on the was out the door.  Tommy hadn't touched his ear once.  The next day Tommy was better and everyone else was sick.  It was a 24 hour stomach bug.  The script would have been useless.  But even if it had been an ear infection, there is still no reason to treat a sick baby that way.  And I didn't care if people in this hospital thought I was rude or abrupt.

Second example, Tommy again.  Now he 3 1/2 and his cardiologist was ready to correct Tommy's PDA.  Patent Ductus Arteriosis is a condition where a small neonate blood vessel doesn't close at birth.  Everyone has the ductus arteriosis while in the womb, but in most people it closes.  So when it doesn't close on it's own, it must be surgically closed.  If there is no shortness of breath and the baby gains weight normally, they wait for the baby to gain enough weight/hit a certain age.  So Tommy had no other symptoms and they had been doing this surgery since the '40s and never lost anyone.  But that didn't matter too me.  I read everything they gave me.  This was 1985 - no internet.  But there was one thing that I did know about; AIDS.  1985 was when they started screening the nation's blood supply.  So I told them that we would be donating the blood for Tommy's operation.  They tried to dismiss me but I held fast.  Some people thought I was overreacting.  But I stuck to my guns and made them screen us and take our blood.  I KNOW they thought I was a pain in the ass.  When we took Tommy in for his one year post-op visit, the doctor told me that I was ahead of the curve and everyone was donating their own blood.  That the whole pre-op process was changed.

What's my point?  I was pushy, bossy, aggressive and I'm sure some found me abrasive.  In other words, no different than the Pelletiers.  I was aggressive when advocating for my child.  Reading their story is like finding out you have no brakes after you safely glide to a stop.  I look back and realize the very same thing could have happened to me.  As a matter of fact, according to the December 15th article on the case;

Sounds like me.  There but for the grace of God.....