Wednesday, December 24, 2014

We're Moving!

I've haven't been this excited about a move since John Miller, Tommy and I left our apartment on the top of Broadstreet Ave to move to Rocky Nook in July of 1981.

When Tom asked me to move down to Virginia and live with him for a while in 2013, I arranged for a temporary place in Harrisonburg near JMU for June & July.  That way we'd have two months to poke around the rental market.  There were at the time, others who had a say in our choice.  I said I didn't care except for two criteria,  One, I wanted to be within a mile of public transportation.  I haven't driven in years, unless you count nipping down to the Craigsville post office or over to the dump. My second request was that it not be a ranch house.  I find them depressing.  I can't tell you why, but I've never lived in one ..... until now.  That's right we ended up moving into a ranch house twenty-nine miles from public transit on August, 2013.

Wha' happen????  I-a-no.

The only good thing that could be said for it as far as I was concerned was that Tom's commute to the correctional facility was nil.

Tom started talking about moving  just after last Christmas and I was like a four-year old.  When are we moving?  Can we start looking?  Well first decisions had to be made about where he wanted to go.  Would he move to another facility altogether?  Which one?  Or would he stay at this one and we would move into Staunton?

Well decisions were finally made and I found something so fast Tom's head was spinning.

It's an old tavern in the historic distract called "Gospel Hill".  It is 400 feet from a trolley stop.  Staunton has a good public transit system considering you're deep in the southwest of Virginia.  It's not Boston, but hey it beats having none!  I will be less than half a mile from the Amtrak station - no more scheduling around Tom.  The library is maybe three quarters of a mile - no more worrying about overdue books.  And right up the street is -  A CATHOLIC CHURCH!!! 

Not to mention that the main thoroughfare, East Beverly Street, is full of shops and restaurants.  There is a Shakespearean troup  and a movie theater.  It's a small movie theater, but the public transit system will drop at the front door of a big, new theater.  There are supermarkets and little specialty markets.

But the apartment itself has me even without all the great things around it.  It's old, it's got tall windows and high ceilings and wood floors and a long west facing front porch.
It's a triplex.  We are the middle with a couple below us and a family above us.  The porch seems sturdy enough, but up close you can see how badly it needs to be painted.  The landlord assures us this will happen in the spring.  The open living/dining area is behind the front door and first three windows on right.  Further to the left and out of this pic will be Tom's room.
In the back you can see that they have closed in the wooden porches.  That's where the kitchen, utility room, bathroom and second bedroom are.  As with many old homes there have been renovations over the years that did it no favors, but being a little strange appeals to me.  I like that it's not like any other house around.
There will be lots of cleaning to do, but so far there has been no sign of the mold I had to contend with out here in Craigsville.  And as a special bonus, as near as I can figure the overall household budget (rent, utilities, etc.) will drop about $200.  Thank you very much for this Christmas present Santa!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Last Pomalyst Pill....

...for December will be swallowed tonight.

And not a moment too soon!  My brain is seizing up.  Decisions need to be made and I am nearly incapable.  I am messing up other meds.  I am trying to arrange my Dr. Miller visit.  I am trying to remember things.  And I am nearly paralyzed.  I've been up since 10:44am (thanks Frank!) and only just out of the shower.

Pomalyst was none of the things I thought.  Unlike Revlimid which just put me to sleep, Pomalyst makes me shaky and dizzy, but unable to sleep.  My body is physically exhausted, my eyes are burning, but I don't sleep until I nearly pass out.  Even then, it's not restful.  It's full of strange, vivid dreams.  No, it turns out Tommy didn't come out to the living room the other evening and cut his hair and make a mess after I had just swept and washed the floor.  First off, Tom shaves his head to a whisper of hair these days.  He hasn't has curls in twenty years, lol.  But Sunday evening I dropped dead on the couch while watching CSpan BookTV (yes, I am that nerd).  I woke two hours later looking around for the hair.  Author James Robbins had been discussing his new book on Custer....I think that was the hair connection.  Anyway, I got up and went to bed and could not get back to sleep at all..  I didn't sleep until midnight last night.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

New Chemo....and...STEROIDS!!

Relax.  You are all safe.  I am tucked away in the backwoods of the George Washington National Forest.

And Tom can just shut his office door; go to work or escape to his Dad's house.

With no license and no car, I am effectively incarcerated.

So....Pomalyst.  Don't Google if you are going to ask me questions.  I am not ready yet.

But steroids? We already know this story.  I have the living room pulled apart for cleaning.

 I only stopped because I was wicked thirsty.  Chemo aggravates my dry mouth (a common side effect of many medicines.... and I take many!!).

Back to it!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

New Hampshire's Lessons

First - People say all the time that they want a candidate who votes issues and not party.  Voters claim to want an end to gridlock and politicians who will "reach across the aisle".

Clearly, if you are a New Hampshire Democrat who says such things yet pulled the lever for are full of shit.

Shaheen has a proven track record of voting the party, and Brown has a proven track record of reaching across the aisle.

But this post isn't just about bashing hypocritical Democrats.  Oh no.  I am most disgusted with registered Republicans who bitch and moan about Democrats..... but stayed home yesterday.

I am so sick and tired of the RINO discussion.  I am not saying they don't exist, they do.  But labelling every Republican who doesn't toe the party line 100% a RINO is wrong.  And unhelpful. You play this RINO game and you defeat good candidates like Scott Brown.

Now you are stuck with Shaheen.  How's that feel?

If you are a liberal Democrat who voted for Shaheen because you believe in her and her issues - congratulations.

If you are a voter of any party who voted for Brown because you saw the value of moderate Republican and/or the danger of an Obama acolyte - good try, better luck next time.

But if you are a voter, particularly a Republican who disagrees with Shaheen or Obama and you stayed home..... well you are more of a problem than Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi.  You are playing some childish game you should have left in the sandbox.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

I'm Tired Of Backhanded Compliments About The Pope

They are nothing new.  People wrote about Pope John Paul II the same way.  When he would write or preach to Catholics about some important tenet of Catholicism, inevitably some self important American would act like it was a sign.  A sign that the Catholic Church has found it's way around to their way of thinking.  So smug.  So self-congratulatory.  

It makes me want to retch!

And now it's Pope Francis....

The Pope preaches to the flock to love their fellow man.  How enlightened!  How modern!  

Well guess what?  All those commentators are about as narrow minded as one can get.  The Catholic Church was founded on the words Jesus spoke telling his apostles and followers to treat each other as they themselves would want to be treated.  It's been preached and taught for over 2,000 years.  And all those fat headed opinion writers act like they were miles ahead in this thought.  They disgust me.

The latest is a piece of satire reprinted at the Huffington Post by some ninny named C.J. Tuor.  The title of his crap is "It's Time to Start Ignoring Pope Francis".  Tuor thinks he's so funny, sarcastically pointing out all the "problems" with the Pope expecting Catholics to love homosexuals and feed the poor.  

Oh, my sides are splitting!  Not.

For the record, Catholics were always told to love each other and that while homosexuality was a sin; you hate the sin and love the sinner.  Sorry if that was too much for puny minds to digest.  And if you are gay and you don't like that and you want the Church to embrace your homosexuality, tough.  If you don't like what the Catholic Church teaches, then don't be a Catholic.  It's not a Democracy.  It's not a club.  If you don't like the rules, tough.  If you can't understand it, tough.

The Catholic Church says that if you are not in a State of Grace you can't receive Communion.  If you haven't gone to Confession, you aren't in a State of Grace.  Do you see protests outside Catholic churches where they carry signs demanding Holy Communion for those who think Confession is too much to ask?

The Catholic Church says if you have sex outside of marriage you can't receive Communion.  Do you see protesters carrying banners asking for equal treatment for adulterers?  If you know two people who live together without benefit of marriage, don't they love each other the same as two homosexual men?  But if you're gay, you should be above the rules?  Somehow the same Church that won't recognize two people living together, should make an exception for you if you're both the same sex?

You want to be gay - be gay.  You want to live together, live together.  You want to be two straight people who don't want to get married; have at it.  But if you want to come and tell the Catholic Church to change their rules to recognize your union, get lost. 

For the life of me, I will never understand the people who think it's ok to go picket or protest someone else's religious ceremony.  They'd be the first to scream about "separation  of Church and State" if they saw a creche near a public space.  But I could show you pictures of gay protesters throwing condoms at people leaving the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston.  I saw the pictures and nearly lost my mind.  Who the fuck did they think they were to put their views above someone else's right to practice their religion.  Don't fucking talk to me about equality.  You don't know the meaning of the word.

But anyways......I lost myself for a minute there.

Does the author imagine we are missing his digs?  How could  we?  They were too blatant.  Pope Francis tells you to embrace gays.....and the rest of the clergy are just mouth breathers.  For Mr.Tour's information, I was educated by a priest who has been saying such thing to me since I started 1st grade in 1966.  The same priest who called on us to help the poor and pray for those who turned away from Christ for any reason.

I love Pope Francis.  I loved Pope Benedict before him.  I love my pastor. 

The rules of the Catholic Church are the rules.  I don't always live up to them, but you won't catch  me crying that they should make exceptions for my weaknesses.

If you don't want to accept the rules and teachings then go away.  

If someone says that you can't buy a house in a particular neighborhood or join a club because you are gay; I am right beside you.  I will stand with you in that fight, and proudly so.  If someone says you can't have a particular job because you are gay, you fight that fight all the way to the Supreme Court and I am cheering you on.

But your freedom to love who you want and live where you want and have the job you want does not trump my right to exercise my freedom of religion.

And Mr. Tuor can write a hundred sarcastic, self congratulatory articles and it won't make him anything other than a fatheaded jerk.

You are wrong and narrow minded Tuor and a million fatuous barbs aren't going to change that.

Saturday, October 04, 2014


History of Boston
This is a free online course that will be taught by Professor Robert J. Allison.  He is without a doubt, the perfect choice.  It begins October 20, 2014.  Enroll now!  It's free.

How awesome is this????  It's so awesome, I can't even tell you!  It's the total answer to my Jeopardy complaints.

The front page of the website explains why you should enroll.


Boston is the birthplace of the American idea of democracy. The Boston town meeting, where each citizen has a voice, set the stage for the American Revolution. In the early days of American history, the people living in the small towns of New England had more power of self-government than anyone else in the British empire.
After the Revolution, this ethic of local control led to the creation of the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780, the oldest functioning written constitution in the world, which separates powers to create a “government of laws and not of men.”
In the 19th century, a key part of Boston History was its place as global hub of trade and transportation. Its clipper ships set sail across the globe to China, Europe and South America.
Boston was also the center of the American industrial revolution. Boston capital financed the mills of Lawrence and Lowell. The Merrimack River Valley was the most industrialized place in the western hemisphere, and the wealth generated by the mills enriched Boston, allowing for the creation of the city’s cultural and educational institutions at a time when Boston was considered the “Athens of America.”

Billie Holiday Sings My Theme Song

This is my answer to everyone from now on.  It might sound strange, but there have been some people whose judgement I took to heart.  But I am done.  If you hear that I did something that you think is foolish or answer is "Who cares what you think?  Not me."

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Jeopardy! What? What!

So I did not watch tonight's episode in real time.  I was making dinner.  But I am quite sure, down here in Virginia, I heard a faint screaming coming from the north around 7:45pm tonight.

After dinner was ready, I sat down and hit play.

It happened during Double Jeopardy! while I was finishing off my homemade meatballs and spaghetti.

The category was "American Revolutionaries".  The first question:
Buzz "What is Lexington?"  What????
Buzz "What is Con Cord?"  Is he ordering grape juice?  There is a town in Massachusetts called "Conkid", but, yeah, no, that's not the answer.
3rd contestant - shrug.

Then a few questions later, after I have swept up the hair I have torn out, the second to last clue in the "American Revolutionaries" category is revealed.  It's the second "Daily Double" and the "shrugger" had the helm.  I guess that's when you felt that worldwide rumble as the entire US Navy, past and present groaned.
Now, I know you're all rolling your eyes and saying "Come on, Maggie!  You can't expect everyone to know this answer."  And yeah, you're right.  Sadly, I can't expect everyone to know the answer.  But we should expect them to know what the answer is NOT......"What is George Washington?"

I have agita!  Last clue was about "The Swamp Fox".  I just said "Forget it Alex, they're not getting that."

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I Am Diseased!

I have a head cold and I  must be rid of it by Saturday.  I have to many things to do for the ........TADA....event!
So the work has begun.  Pills, fruits, fluids, Clorox wipes.

I don't know how this happened.  I carry gallons of hand sanitizer.  I stay away from people.  I clean my own hotel rooms - you know the germiest thing in a hotel is the remote control.  I wipe down surfaces in fast food places.  I do not care if I look like Howard Hughes in his late phobic years.

But still, I have a head cold.  Damn, stupid myeloma!  As my number climbs the rogue IgA cells crowd out the useful white blood cells that fight infection.

I'm going to surf the 'net for homemade remedies while I drink enough water to float away.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Why, No Matter What, I'll Always Love My Bad Boyfriend!

It's true Senator John McCain, R-AZ has let me down a time or two.  Especially with our differing views on immigration policy.

He is exactly like a bad boyfriend.  I love him.  He lets me down.  He makes it up to me.  I take him back.  But in the end, I love him.

I love him with my whole, tiny, blackened, shriveled heart.

I love him for many reasons, but mostly, he's got the balls to say what needs to be said.

 Tuesday, September 2nd I had Fox News on in the background.  It was Greta (who I am not that crazy about).  But I hear her say that John McCain is coming on shortly.  So I stop what I am doing in the kitchen and stroll toward the living room.

Greta:  "Senator John McCain joins us.  Good evening, sir."

McCain: "Good evening."

Greta:  "ISIS.  What are we gonna go about it?"

McCain: "Kill 'em."

It's at about the 2 minute 40 second mark of this video.  There's more to the conversation.  But really.  That answer is all that matters.

Monday, August 25, 2014

"Code Words"....

...are giving me heartburn!

I get it.  There are some people who will use a euphemism or "code word" to condescend.  But sometimes to paraphrase Freud....."a word is just a word".

Last night, someone I follow on Twitter and think well of wrote that he found Rand Paul's "sexist" attack on Hillary Clinton "grating".  I was confused because I saw the same interview on "Meet The Press" or "Face the Nation" ( I watched them both) and I didn't hear "sexist".  The interviewer had just finished beating Paul up for doing cataract surgeries in Guatemala to garner votes in 2016.  It was embarrassing.  When the interviewer couldn't get around the fact that he had been doing such charity work for many years, she harped on the fact that he had his own camera crew there.  Yeah, shocking, a media savvy politician listened to his media people and brought a crew to film it - news at 11!

Now let us be clear, I think Rand Paul is a clown.  I don't want him to run.  I don't agree with most of his views.  We particularly part ways on foreign policy.

So, as I am when I am forced to defend donkeys like Obama and Rand Paul.....I am pained.

So back to Paul's alleged "sexist" attack on Clinton.  Paul described Clinton as a "war hawk" and "gung ho".  The tweeter explains that "gung ho" was "code" for "outspoken woman".  Well I had to laugh.  I pointed out that Paul was born in '63 and I was born in '61 and of an older generation than the tweeter.  When I hear "gung ho" I hear USMC slang and picture Robert Mitchum.

The tweeter asserted that Paul needed to be called out for saying "factually incorrect" things.  I replied that Paul could hardly be factually incorrect about his own opinion.  I further stated that Rand Paul was an isolationist and most assuredly saw Clinton as a "war hawk" and "gung ho" from a foreign policy standpoint.  I mean isn't it even more likely I have the correct interpretation considering he was discussing her support for going into Syria and used those two terms together?

I tweeted that I was tired of the "code" thing anyway.  It's very frustrating for people like me who just simply say what they mean and let the chips fall where they may.  I mean, to me that's what social media is about.  It's not supposed to be an echo chamber.  I don't go on Twitter for validation.  Good God!  I couldn't have more self esteem......where would I put it??  I go for the give and take.  To hear the different views.

But anyway, the young tweeter told me "I disagree with everything you said, I'm disappointed you've decided to 'correct' me when I'm not wrong, and resent this convo".  So I did apologize saying that I wasn't correcting just giving my opinion, but if he was upset, I considered the conversation over.  Because I don't go out on Twitter to make people unhappy (unless they are deserving of unhappiness).  But he was too upset (no I don't get it) and "unfollowed me".

And I get being condescended to.....I may be a white Irish Catholic from Boston.  And I know there is nowhere it's easier to be a white Irish Catholic than in Boston.  But I have had to listen innumerable times to cracks about bank robbers because I was from Charlestown.  Even though everyone in my extended family worked hard, bought houses and held down respectable jobs.  I have had people make judgements about my trustworthiness because of a few bad apples in Charlestown, when I was raised by a woman who wouldn't take a sugar packet out of a restaurant.  I have had people assume I was raised in a ghetto even though my dad was an executive for a Route 128 company and Charlestown was much more than "The Projects".  I have had people of color express surprise at how nice and fair I seem for a girl raised in a rabidly racist place (which no, it wasn't).  I have had people express surprise at my knowledge of other religions because they assumed Catholic schooling made me insular and ignorant of other faiths.

I have even been called "white trash" because people assumed I was in a Catholic school to hide from the busing in '75 and '76.  And I would reply that my Dad must have been psychic because he enrolled me in St. Francis de Sales Elementary in 1966!

What is my point?

No matter who you are, you have run into someone who judged you out of ignorance.  Is it like being subjected to brutal racism that people of color face every day?  No.  Of course not!

But on the other hand, if you are always looking for offense, you will find it.

And if I say "gung ho", I'm thinking of Robert Mitchum and Randolph Scott.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

Let's Make Sure This Doesn't Happen Again

Last Sunday, My Marine had to use the Pike.
And boy!  Was he steamed!  I can tell you, "steamed Marine" is not as much fun as "hot Marine".

So let us not have a repeat tomorrow.
First - If you are not the fastest car in the passing lane - GET OUT OF THE LEFT LANE!  I can only say this is truly one of my pet peeves as well.  If there was one thing I drilled into all my boys as they got their licenses, it was; Don't be that ahhsshole!  The left lane is for passing and going fast.  I do not care what the speed limit is, you do NOT get to decide how fast other drivers go.  If you are tooling along in a 55 doing 65 and a trail of cars are building up behind you, move right.  And the fact that you are already exceeding the speed limit is no excuse. You go as fast as you want to go and the other driver will go as fast as he/she wants to go.  I have heard people say "Sheesh!  It's a 60 and I'm doing 70.  What do they want?"  They want you to move your stupid, inconsiderate ahhss over.  It doesn't take a psychic to read someone's mind in this situation.  If the other driver wants to go faster, it's not your call.  If he wants to exceed the speed limit, it's none of your business.  If he's breaking the law, you are not the State Police.  Unless you are the State Police and then the person nudging you to speed up or move is a clown.  Pull him over and club him.

Next - I don't know what you choose to call it; turn signal, directional, whatever.  Here on the Mass Pike we call it a "blinkah".  The purpose of the blinkah is to let other drivers know what you are about to do.  It is not part of the game "Red Light" as in......1, 2, 3, I'm in your lane just as I turn on my blinkah.  It is supposed to go on ahead of your move so other drivers can adjust their moves.  Now don't whine "But when I put on my blinkah sometimes the other driver speeds up and blocks me!"  Yeah, we've all driven next to that ahhsshole.  That's life.  It's not an excuse to be an ahhsshole yourself.  One or two car lengths isn't gonna kill you.  And if you needed to be in that lane immediately, you planned poorly.  So it's half your fault.

Do I really have to say "Don't text while you drive"?
 Do I have to say "Don't use your phone if it's not hands-free"?  Do I really have to point out that NO ONE can drive well and text?  Sure you can get lucky.  The road could be straight and flat.  You could have the thumbs of a thirteen year old girl.  The road could be kind of empty.  But the truth is when you are in actual traffic, your phone should not be in use.  When I see someone with the phone tucked at their shoulder I know they are A) distracted and B) creating a blind spot because they can't move their head.  And Heavens forfend you drop it!  Now you are really distracted.

Most people when asked, rate themselves as "better than average" drivers.  You know that's impossible.  So some of you suck.  And when you drive slowly in the passing lane, ride up people's bumpers, give them "brake jobs" or "life lessons", flash your brights, fail to use your blinkah properly or not at all or talk/ suck even more.

So don't do those things on The Pike.  I have a hot date coming up with My Marine and I need him there in one piece.

Because remember - in the end, it's all about me.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

As I Was Saying.....

So when I am not reading Herbert Hoover's bio, etc., I read distracting stuff on the Kindle.  It's usually something short and fluffy.  A snack as opposed to my "meat and potatoes" reading.  Lot's of Zombie stuff.

The other night I wanted something different and I got an email from BookBub.  It's a free service that sends a daily email with one or two low price ebook suggestions.  I love it!

On July 27th I followed up on their suggestion of "I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry...".  It boasted a #1 rating in the categories "Travel non-fiction" and "Biographies & Memoirs/Travelers & Explorers".  It had lots of 5 star ratings and mentioned that it was primarily about a young English girl growing up in Kenya as it's time as a colony ended in the 50s.

So I downloaded it.  It was only 99 cents.

Here's the same spoiler alert I put in my review.  I am going to tell you what I didn't like and you have to read the whole book to realize it.  Susie Kelly, the author, goes through her whole childhood and lists all the bad things and then there is no revelation.  At least not as far as I was concerned.  Adults in her life say and do things that she doesn't understand - typical for a child - but then, she never finds the answers.  Why did her father do "X"?  Why did her stepmother say "Y"?

Now I realize that not everyone's life wraps up in a bow with everything in order.  However, I do expect some answers when the person bothers to put pen to paper.  I read this book (it wasn't that long) straight through the evening of the 27th.  I wanted to know "WHY?".  After I finished I was peeved and wrote the review detailing this.

Here's my review -
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Easily the MOST disappointing Kindle purchase I have ever made.July 27, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry... (Kindle Edition)
This book was ridiculously depressing and dissatisfying. After you suffer through her whole stupid, sad life, no answers! The author dwells on all the awful stuff that happened to her - everybody has some lows - and passes over the good happy stuff. I must say I totally misinterpreted the title, lol! I thought, "I Wish I Could Say I Was Sorry...." would finish up with "....but I'm not!" and there would be details on an interesting life well lived. But no, just drudgery and complaints.

I see it's rated highly and I am baffled. When you recount the people in her life who should have been there for her and weren't, I just want to line them up and slap them.

Hey, Susie, I'm here, you can apologize to me anytime you want. Thank goodness I only paid 99 cents.

The first reply comes from a woman identifying herself as Stephanie Zia, Susie Kelly's publisher.
Initial post: Jul 28, 2014 1:34:06 AM PDT
Thank you for issuing a spoiler alert, though I can't see any spoilers in your review. As you are requesting an apology here for wasting your 99 cents, as Susie's publisher I am writing to say sorry to you for having to go through the purchase of and the reading of a book that wasn't to your taste. A book you read remarkably quickly for something you disliked so much, the offer only went out a day and a half ago. I am curious to know exactly what you based your opinion on?
So I reply because you know I have no problem with discussions and people disagreeing with me.  Whatever, it's fine.

There was someone else who replied, but they were trollish.  Stephanie was engaging me in a discussion, so I paid more attention to her.  I understood she was a little hurt.  After all, she was Kelly's publisher.
Your post, in reply to an earlier post on Jul 28, 2014 10:06:42 PM PDT
Diane Miller says:
I am a quick reader. Also, I was eager to get some answers, some resolution; so I basically sat all evening and read it in one go.

For me personally, the point of an autobiography is to learn something from another person's journey and self examination. Kelly didn't learn anything and had no answers. I'm not saying everyone's life has answers and wraps up in a pretty bow, but this was just a pity party. It sounds like a hard life, but she was just rambling.

By spoilers, I meant that I was revealing that there was no resolution.
In reply to your post on Jul 29, 2014 2:47:43 AM PDT
That's not a spoiler but an opinion. To which, of course, you are more than entitled to. Of course she could have added a whole chapter showing what she learnt from this difficult childhood: her successful life both professionally as an author, traveler and animal rights campaigner; and emotionally as a wife and mother and friend to so many who love her dearly, including thousands of fans who have never met her other than through her writing. But she's not that type. The resolution is there in this book. In one line (I won't spoil it for those who haven't read). That's the skill of this writer. I find your review such a strange one: you read the book in one sitting, you are so angry you want to line up the people who weren't there for Susie as a child and slap them. That's an emotional immersion that only a highly skilled writer can achieve. I have to say, I think the unpleasant sneering directed at the author says more about you than the book.
OK now she is apparently offended.  But that is not germane to my review.  Susie Kelly may be a wonderful person, but I am still ticked that she wrote this ebook with all these loose ends and doesn't wrap them up for me.  So I reply in this vein.  I say I can't say anything about her other books and fans because I haven't read these books.  And I say I am aggravated with the whole "says more about you than the book".  Everyone's review is colored by their thoughts and opinions and says something about them.  That phrase is a smoke screen.  I vehemently disagree that my being upset with the people who were emotionally abusing Kelly is because Kelly was such a great writer.  I wrote that a kid could scratch out "Someone was mean to me" with a crayon and paper and I'd wanna slap them too.  And I didn't like the "unpleasant sneering" part and didn't think that was a fair representation of my review.  I said my review wasn't about grinding any ax.  I hadn't even heard of Kelly before I ordered the book.  I was just expressing my aggravation.  Or something along those lines.  I can't quote it because Zia complained and got Amazon to remove it.

Then she left another comment crowing about it and mischaracterizing what I said
Posted on Jul 30, 2014 1:44:48 AM PDT
Last edited by the author 15 hours ago
Pleased to see that Amazon noted and have removed the earlier comment by Diane Miller who wrote that her comments were intended as aggravation. We appreciate feedback from all readers and respect their opinions. Why anybody would go to the trouble of posting comments for the purposes of causing aggravation are a mystery, unless for the purpose of attention-seeking?
Yeah, I never said I wanted to cause aggravation.  And congratulations Ms. Zia, you have managed to aggravate me EVEN MORE!!!

So I wrote to Amazon to ask for a copy of the comment and a fair hearing.

So here I am.....beefing at you guys.  For pity's sake, don't people know better than to try and stifle me by now????

Friday, July 25, 2014

My Ripley Laptop Is Back!

It's got a new screen and a new back and they even replaced the missing #6 key.

We are going to surf and play.  I am so happy.

Thank you CTS Computers, Inc. and thanks to my friend Kathy who brought it there, picked it up and shipped it to me!!

I was considering buying a twin bed because my room is a little small.....but what was I thinking!!  It will have to be at least a full size bed so I can sleep with my laptop again.

I've missed you laptop.

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.....

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Annual Updating Of The Blogger Profile

Today, the vernal equinox, I hit the update button to note my move from 52 to 53.  Time I am grateful to have.

And I noted the addition in my life of the handsomest grandson evah!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Why Mireille Miller-Young & The Left Should Be Ashamed

UPDATE*****Mirielle Miller-Youmg is being charged for her assault on pro-life protester.  I am happy*****
A few days ago an anti abortion group set up in the designated free speech zone at University of California Santa Barbara.  They had literature to pass out and some poster with graphic photos of aborted fetuses.  Their First Amendment rights were violated.

Mirielle Miller-Young, an associate professor of feminist studies, stole one of the posters and gave it to some students who verbally harassed two of the protesters.  The protesters followed calling for the poster to be given back, asserting their 1st Amendment rights to speak and were met with such smug ignorance that I am shaking my head.

Can you imagine such uncouth and self righteous behavior being tolerated if this had been a pro-choice poster?  Of course not.

There is no issue that allows the speaker to be touched.  Period.

The two protesters were sisters Thrin & Joan Short.  And considering that they were set upon by a grown woman, an associate professor no less, I find them very brave.

Thrin & Joan Short called out that their poster was taken and being carried away.  Those helping Professor Miller-Young (who grins maddeningly throughout) tell the girls that Miller-Young can do this because she is a professor and besides the Short girls are not students, they "don't pay money to go here".

Perhaps these students should spend a little more time in a government class than in "feminist studies" class.  And what does one do with a degree in "feminist studies" besides teach the same nonsense at other schools?  What is the practical application?

It doesn't matter if Miller-Young is an associate professor, a full tenured professor, an administrator, a janitor or a student; she had no right to touch the poster, direct anyone to carry away the poster or, most of all, touch Thrin Short.

Assault charges should be filed.  As well as petty larceny and destruction of private property.  The police showed up and found the poster destroyed.

Now for the part I find bitterly amusing.  The thing people are quibbling about.  The thing this professor and her students seem to find justification in.  The red herring.

The graphic images on the posters.  What rank hypocrisy.  The poster shows the reality of an abortion.  It educates you about what a fetus really is and what an aborted fetus really looks like.

Now to those who would say that it's just for shock value and not education, let me ask you this -

What about the anti-smoking campaigns that show people who have trachs?  Or are horribly disfigured?  That's supposedly ok.  It's very graphic but it's meant to educate on the dangers of smoking cigarettes.

What about the "Faces of Meth" campaign that shows people's booking photos to illustrate the ravages of meth-amphetamine abuse?  They are graphic, but they are meant to educate.

What about the people who want you to stop buying from puppy mills or eating veal?  They show us poor animals in horrible, stomach churning conditions.

There are people out there every day demanding that little elementary school student receive sex education and information on sexual orientation.  Many before their parents want them to know about sex in such detail.  But those parents concerns are pushed aside in the crusade to educate.

And what about the pro-choice protesters who never miss a chance to wave a bloody coat hanger at their rallies?  That's pretty graphic.  And the pro-choice people who brought used tampons and sanitary napkins to the Texas legislature to throw at those opposing that ridiculous Wendy Davis.  Even if it was some other substance to make the tampons just look used (ketchup?), still gross.

But apparently when it comes to abortion, no education is necessary.  People, that's how we end up with such fiends as Kermit Gosnell (no, I will not call him Doctor).  Many of Gosnell's victims had no idea what the procedure would do to them and how they'd feel afterwards.

And before you dismiss me as "Republican" and "Catholic" and "conservative"; on abortion I am libertarian.  You want one, have one.  But don't involve me.  I would never, it's my personal choice.

Just don't ask me to drink the Kool-Aid when certain people cry for education on all these things and often times in very graphic terms.....but not for abortion.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Please Support Ranger Up & Their Veteran Entrepreneurship Program!

From their press release:

Ranger Up, the fast growing North Carolina-based apparel company owned by veterans of the United States Army Rangers and Special Forces, today launched a crowdfunding effort on to support their successful Veteran Entrepreneurship program which provides business training and seed investment to returning veterans interested in entrepreneurship.

Recently recognized by Internet Retailer as one of the Hot 100 e-commerce firms in the United States, Ranger Up was started in an apartment just seven years ago by a duo of veterans intent on providing the military community with its own brand. Now with a Facebook following of over 250,000 and millions in annual revenue, Ranger Up is equally focused on paying forward their success by working with and investing in the business ventures of other veterans.

“Engaging veterans in entrepreneurship is good for society. Small business is the driving force behind our economy and veterans succeed at it more than anyone,” said Ranger Up Founder and CEO Nick Palmisciano. “They come from a world where failure isn’t an option; they are used to having a mission they have to complete.”

Palmiciano and Ranger Up COO Tom Amenta have had their confidence in veteran entrepreneurial skills affirmed watching inaugural Veteran Entrepreneurship Jon Walsh successfully launch a Mixed Martial Arts training gym with the mentorship and investment capital of Ranger Up. Walsh, a former Force Recon Marine and a Navy Cross recipient is now the proud owner of Five Rings MMA, a fast-growing mixed martial arts gym in the greater Camp Lejeune area.

While Ranger Up loves the program and is inspired to continue it, hopefully at a larger level, Palmisciano admits the program has a cost – in the case of Walsh, over $100,000. 

“We have so much knowledge to share, but at our revenue size, the program isn’t sustainable on an annual basis.  We’re left with a choice: do it every two years or look to our community for support.  So we’re asking for help.”

In order for the Veteran Entrepreneurship program to expand and continue without hindering Ranger Up’s growing business, Palmisciano and Amenta are turning to both the public and its loyal customer base to support the next addition to the program. Costs of full-time employment for the selected veteran during business training and the additional seed capital that will launch the new company are expected to exceed $100,000 once again. 

A five-minute video featuring Palmisciano and Walsh explaining the program has been posted where supporters from around the world will have the opportunity to contribute to making another year of the Veteran Entrepreneurship program a reality.

“I had 100% drive and zero percent direction,” said Walsh of himself once he left active duty military service and began thinking about starting his own company. “Ranger Up took me start to finish and taught me how to run a business successfully -- from bookkeeping to operations.” 

Ranger Up is based in Durham, N.C., where a team of mostly veterans oversee every aspect of one of the fasting growing apparel companies in America. Palmisciano and Amenta share ownership in Ranger Up with decorated UFC fighter Tim Kennedy, who also served as a Special Forces Army Ranger. For two consecutive years Ranger Up has ranked within the Top 1000 e-commerce sites on the internet. For more information on Ranger Up, patriotism, and veteran entrepreneurship, visit

Friday, February 14, 2014

Don't Be So Quick To Praise

UPDATE: Ms. Frank has posted a reply to this post on her FaceBook page.  I have put a screen shot at the bottom of the post.  Apparently she purchased & resold stolen goods because *I* am old & divorced!  LOL!  I kid you not!
Yahoo is highlighting lovey-dovey stories on their front page in honor of Valentine's Day.

One in particular is about a New Jersey photographer, Kristen Frank.  Ms. Frank is in possession of wedding photos and she is purportedly looking to find the bride in the pics.  Yahoo is assisting in her efforts to use social media to accomplish her goal.  Here's a link to the story,
In the story there is a link to Ms. Frank's business page on FaceBook.  I followed the link to see if she had found the bride.  Imagine my surprise when I saw this exchange!

  • Eddie Brinkley Kristen ! $5 bucks for a 220 Hasselblad back ?. Gee I remember what the 220 backs for my RB 67 use to cost.Good luck on your search.
    Like · Reply · 2 · 14 hours ago
    • Kristen Frank Photography Hahaha Eddie! And u better believe I knew just what I was doing! Lol! I sold that puppy on EBAY for $200! I really had no use for it.
      Like · 1 · 14 hours ago
    • Jessica Robbins It's too bad that you sold the camera because when you find the couple they probably could have given you the name of the photographer & I'm sure that he or she would have LOVED getting their camera back.
      Unlike · 5 · 6 hours ago

So, before you buy her  “I just died. I was like, ‘This is horrible that somebody is not going to get to see their pictures of their grandmother and of them walking down the aisle during the ceremony,”....  Remember this - Kristen Frank purchased stolen property; made no effort to find the rightful owner; bragged on her FB page that she knew exactly what she was doing; made a huge profit on the stolen property and now has received tons of free publicity from Yahoo.

Ms. Frank is accepting praise on her FaceBook page for reuniting the family and the photos.  When in reality, they likely would have been returned much sooner had Ms. Frank turned her $5 purchase into the police.  The camera was reported stolen.  Instead, she made her profit and now ten years later reaped another reward.

Yeah, my heart is not so warm.
Here is Kristen Frank's reply -
Kristen Frank Photography Hello "BOSTONMAGGIE". I would love to hear what YOU would have done in this situation. 
Maybe you are not familiar with how NYC police do their jobs, but I am. There is no way they would have found these people at that time,10yrs ago, as there was no such thing as "social media", nor would they have cared as much as I did for they had to many murders, rapes and other crimes to investigate. I held onto that camera back for a whole year and I had NO IDEA it was stolen, because, as the article reports if you had paid attention to what you were reading, the woman told me she found it on the subway train! After deciding what to do with it and having had zero leads, finally, I made the decision to sell it. A choice I do not feel one ounce of regret for making. That money helped me pay my rent that month because I was only making a measly $8.50 an hour at that photo lab. I was almost homeless back in 2004 when I lived in Queens, NY. I had absolutely NO IDEA I would ever find the couple. NEVER did I expect any compensation, or financial gain by doing what I did. I AM a professional photographer. I would lose my credibility as an honest business person!! Maybe no one has ever done anything nice for you out of the goodness of their heart. Maybe you could never see yourself doing the same for anyone else. Maybe you are jealous, just want to steal the spotlight from a good Samaritan, and are just trying to drive more traffic to your lame blog that no one has even heard of. I don't know. 
Next time GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT before you judge someone on doing a good deed. You should be ashamed of yourself. A woman of your age should know better. You are no better than the trash you write. I'm not surprised by your cynicism , there are always going to be a few haters. Bitter, old divorcees who have been beaten down by life. God bless you with a chance to stop your bitchy ways.
Like ·