Monday, May 18, 2015

USS Constitution Restoration

Yesterday, down in The Charlestown Navy Yard, they flooded Dry Dock #1.  This was in preparation for an extensive restoration of Old Ironsides.

You can watch this amazing project as it happens by following along at "Restoring an Icon".  Information, pics & more are available from the site. Contributors include USA Constitution's official account; the Naval History & Heritage Command Detachment Boston; USS Constitution Museum & Boston National Historical Park.

Bookmark this link!!


Sunday, May 17, 2015

"I'll Take 'The Letter M' for $800, Alex."

"Here's the answer - 'When people who aren't from Boston describe themselves or are described by others as being Bostonians."

Ding! Ding!

"Yes, Diane."

"What are things that are MADDENING?"

"That is correct for $800.  Please let go of the signaling button, you're breaking it.  Can we get someone out here to pry her fingers off our equipment?"

Yes, that is how I feel when some clown writes about Bostonians and then references non-Bostonians.  So & so from Newton?  Not a Bostonian.  So & so attending a local college or university?  Yeah, that person is a glorified tourist.

It's not a nebulous definition.  As you enter Boston, there are signs "Entering Boston".  There is no Boston/Hopkinton or Boston/Marshfield line, so no, you aren't "almost" either.

And some of the most non-Bostonian people each are the people who own, run & edit the Boston Globe.  Bostonians who read the Boston Globe do so largely for the sports page.  The paper is owned by The New York Times. And even when editorial control as local, you're talking about Tom Winship, born in Cambridge and moved to Lincoln.  For city's sake!  You almost have to go back to founder Charles Taylor to find a Bostonian!

So when Politico announces "Bostonians Queasy On Death Penalty" based on a Boston Globe poll...........I think I'm having an aneurysm.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

So, How'd You Spend Your Afternoon?

I washed this sweater with my summer bathrobe.  The robe had a tissue in the pocket.  So I spent mine with a roll of masking tape.

Friday, May 08, 2015

Maybe I Am Angry


First there are alllllll the stupid people whose tiny little minds can't grasp the concept of free speech.  Are you one of them? Here's a test - Have you ever said, "I support Free Speech, but...."  See that "but"?  That is your confirmation that your mind is not big enough to fully understand Free Speech in America.  Don't lose hope.  There are plenty of books to read that can help open your mind.  And if you say Pam Geller is "provocative like....", your comparison better be an apple to an apple, cause otherwise you are talking nonsense.  And Good God!, don't be like Chris Cuomo and cite some random, old case that doesn't even apply in hopes people will defer to your superior knowledge and let it slip without question.  The days where you could spout bullshit unchecked are gone.  There are too many people smarter than you who will have your nonsense forwarded to them and they will call you out.

Next, I ran out of a particular prescription.  I'm not supposed to name them, but let's say it's one that keeps me calm and normal and functioning as opposed to the others which actually inflict damage on me while damaging my cancer.  The pharmacy was supposed to call when it was ready.  They didn't, I had to call myself.  Yeah, I was miffed.  Then Tom was going to drive me to the post office to pick up two boxes I mailed to myself from Hyannis.  This is my 'travel hack".  At some point while traveling, I put what I want to have in VA, but don't want to carry in a box and mail it to Virginia.  The boxes were due Monday, I went Wednesday because that was when Tom wasn't working.  I am pretty independent here, but getting the two boxes back here would have been a little difficult.  So there was no slip in his PO box and I realized I hadn't brought the tracking slip.  Argghh, my fault, lets move on.  Then Tom asked where I wanted to go next and I said never mind, just take me back to the apartment.  But there were a ridiculous amount of stupid people driving around slowing us down.  Tom just kept an eye on me in case I jumped out and savaged the people who were stopping at green lights, driving in two lanes instead of one.  You know, people who needed a "come to Jesus" moment.

I was trembling and nauseous and I was Day 6 of Pomalyst (you know, the drug that's 70 times more powerful than Revlimid!).  So I made dinner and brownies and read on the couch.

Next day was better.  All meds were a go.  I had my tracking slip.  Tom takes me back.  Did I mention that I also need Tom cause it's his PO box and these boxes are addressed to him.  So I need him for this exercise.  He checks the box again, no slip announcing a box so we go to the counter.

Tom - "I am expecting two boxes".  I try to hand her the tracking slip/receipt from Hyannis post office.
Postal worker - "Was there a slip in your box?"
Tom - "No".  I again try to giver her the slip.  This time she takes it and looks at it.
Postal worker - "Well, what do you want me to do about it?"
Me (with eyebrows up around my hairline) - "Well this slip says it arrived here on Saturday the 2nd".
Postal worker - "Where is it supposed to be?"
Deeeeeeeeppppppp breath - Me - In my mind, "Look at the stupid slip you clown!!!!!!!!  With your clownish, Ronald McDonald not a red found in nature hair!  Scan the slip!  Scan it!  Scan it!"
Me - out loud "Here.  In this building."
She walks to a back door, picks up two boxes right next to the door on a shelf and gives them to us after checking Tom's ID.

We were laughing in the parking lot.  Thank God I didn't have the packing slip the day before when I was homicidal!  I would have gone over the counter.

So last night I watched the Dateline NBC because it was all about Tom Brokaw and the book he has written about his last two years living with cancer.  Like me, Mr. Brokaw has Multiple Myeloma.  I don't know what subtype or Stage, he didn't say.  I belong to a few MM email and Facebook groups.  I posted that I was surprised by what appeared to be a fumble by his doctors at Mayo Clinic.  Brokaw presented with back pain and was diagnosed with MM.  Then he went home to Montana, to an isolated ranch only to find himself in excruciating pain.  He was finally airlifted back to Mayo where he was told he had two compression fractures and a hole in his pelvis.  My question was "Why was he not given a full skeletal survey the day he was diagnosed."  They knew he had bone pain, why wasn't it investigated?  Now let me say, Brokaw never said he didn't have one.  He never said they asked him to have one and he refused.  I wasn't criticizing him.  And people in the thread got all defensive.  LOL!  Telling me that Brokaw's choices were his own, yada, yada.  I said yes, they are, reread the post, I didn't criticize him.  Then people defended Mayo.  Hello, they are doctors, not gods, mistakes get made.

Then this guy comes out and says he "senses anger in my posts".  I say no, I am just pointing out that IF doctors didn't investigate his bone pain or at least try, I feel that's irresponsible.  I am not angry at all.  He responds and says a second time, I seem angry.  I say "I am not angry, period."  Then he says it a third time and I say "Congrats!  I wasn't angry before, but now I am!"

What a clown.  Isn't that so irritating?  No matter what your situation, having some clown say "I sense your anger."  Especially a complete stranger?  WTF?  Shut up, read the post, respond to that, not the messenger.

And all this......wasn't even a steroid day!!!  LOL!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Mass Murder

Yes, that was what derailed my plans yesterday and today.

I was going to do my minimal cleaning yesterday and then watch alllllll the Sunday news shows.  I watch them all.  I talk back to the TV.  I tweet.

But I never got to it.  Because there were tiny sugar ants in the kitchen.  So instead there was intense cleaning and.......murder.
I mixed sugar and borax and put it out in strategic places.  I checked periodically to trace their route.  I put out more sugar and borax.

Today I cleaned everything on the counter and nearby cabinets.

Many ants were murdered.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Boston, Even Stronger Than You Knew

Today is the first #OneBostonDay
And it's going to be the first of many.  Because Bostonians don't let other people define them.  On April 15, 2013 two assholes tried to make it their day.  Joker and Speedbump (I will not give them even that little respect by naming them) tried to make it their day.  All about their view of the world.  But we shut down the City and found them in four days.  And then except for the trial we forgot about them.  Because they aren't going to define us or that day.  Instead, Bostonians did what we do....we chose our own identity.  We chose to define it our way.  We focused on the victims and those who helped.  And plenty helped.  Of course there were Boston's 1st Responders; Fire, Police, EMT all the dedicated professionals you would guess.  And then there were Bostonians.  Other runners, spectators, people who were nearby.  People who didn't panic, didn't flee (and if you did run, that's ok, it's ok to have a sense of self preservation) but stayed and helped.  And people kept helping in the days and months after.  Raising funds to help those affected deal with their loss and by and large just supporting them.

Joker disposed of Speedbump and thanks to the judicial system, Joker is going away for a long time, or a quick walk to a big electric chair.  Who cares?

Boston meanwhile has instituted #OneBostonDay.
"On this day, we remember and reflect.  We greet our neighbors.  We lend a hand.  We reach out, give back, and go above and beyond.  We epitomize the spirit of the city we love."

We will honor those lost and those grieving.
We won't forget.
 But, like the man said
"It's our fuckin' city!"

Monday, April 06, 2015

Two Posts In One Day???

I can't help it.  I scored and I have to brag somewhere.  Of course, I also proved to myself once again that I am a clown and it has nothing to do with Pomalyst.

First, I had to go to Walmart to get a Dutch Oven.  I want to make a boiled dinner and I don't want to use the stock pot.  It was warm here and I was feeling pretty good, so I decided to walk.  I figured if I got tired, I could take the trolley home.  Or, more likely if I over purchased, I could take the trolley home.  So the trolley that picks up at Walmart arrives every hour on the hour.  Except 7pm.  2pm?  no problem.  5pm?  No problem.  Every hour except 7pm.  Now I have been caught standing at the bus stop before and it was a few months ago, so it was dark.  It's not a HUGE problem, there is cab service in Staunton.  I have the numbers pre-programmed.  But planning would be better, right?

So I walk up, it's two miles.  I didn't particularly rush.  And I was there in about 30 minutes.  Yeah, I am no four minute miler....but's not too bad.

I have a list, Kleenex - not heavy.  Dutch oven - not heavy because I wasn't spending oodles of money on it.  Shower curtain liner - not heavy.  Then I take a turn up the Easter Candy aisle.  So, I have explained my love of Hershey-ettes before in this blog.  Hershey-ettes are better than M&Ms, but harder to get.  M&Ms won the marketing war.  But they are usually around for holidays.  At Easter they are "Bunny Ears" and they are all white.  They are usually with the Reese's Ears that are all orange.  I think they get passed up because people don't get it.  Reese's, thanks to the movie ET are universally recognized.  But you have to be a little *cough* more mature to remember Hershey-ettes as a common candy.  So that's fine with me because I walked up the aisle and literally scored 48 bunny ears of Hershey-ettes at 50% off!!!!!  WooHoo!
So, why am I a clown?  I walked outside at just 6:55pm.  Yeah, 48 Hershey-ette Bunny Ears in my string bag and a two mile walk home.  How?  How did I time this so badly once again???

Life Is Good!

I know I drop off the internet (unless you are on FaceBook or Twitter with me).  Sometimes a blog post is just more than I can contemplate.  Funny thing is, I am still composing them in my head at the same rate I always was.

I am in my fifth or sixth month of Pomalyst.  I'd have to go back and look.  I causes severe mental confusion and agitation.  I know there are times Tommy and Frankie have to tell me to "Ma! Stop! You are upsetting me.".  I take is every night for fourteen nights and then spend the rest of the month coming out of it.  As usual I made all kinds of assumptions based on the first month.  I only make myself crazy.  Of course the symptoms cleared up quickly the first month, I was on the lowest dose possible and there was no build up in my system.  So it takes longer each month to get back to normal.  And they have have doubled  my dose, which is still only half what the average patient takes.  But Thalidomide and I have never been friends - Pomalyst is the latest generation of Thalidomide.  Next was Thalomid, but that was before my adventure started.  Then Revlimid and we all remember what fun I had with that in the summer and fall of 2010!

And now it's Pomalyst.  Which is seventy times more powerful than Revlimid.....I was told by a very proud and happy Dr. Miller.  Pardon me if I am not so enthused.

But it's working according to the wonderful Dr. Miller, so on we go!

I try to start on the 1st of the month and plan everything for the last week of the month.  Sometimes life cooperates.  For the fourteen days I stay with Tommy in Staunton.  Which compared to Craigsville is fabulous.  Seriously, there is a little trolley system that gets me around town.  I am fairly independent, something that drove me crazy in Craigsville.  I can walk to the library, several stores, the post office.  And it's a college town and I like the vibe.

The other 23 hours I sleep.  Haha!  Just kidding, it's not that bad.  But the other day, after being asleep seventeen hours, Tom felt the need to tap on the bedroom door and make sure I answered.  That's why he's my favorite caregiver.  No smothering there!

So what happens the other two weeks?  Well in March I had dinner with my goddaughter Debbie, shopping with my friend Kathy, visited my mother and set up my new storage (I have stuff all over Massachusetts!) in a convenient area.  Saw some other friends and had lots of laughs.  Spent time with my son Frank. of all......two days and one night with my grandson, Frankie, Jr.  He is the most beautiful baby ever.  I could have just sat there gazing at him.  Of course, he is wild like his father, so there was no sitting.  There was hide-n-seek and singing and dancing and playing with trucks and blocks until Grandma Di was almost conked out on the floor.  But when he laughs, everything is worth it.  He's learned to almost say "please".  It comes out "peas" and when I hear it, there is nothing I wouldn't give him.  But like I said he is his father's son and he can be imperious.  I shouldn't laugh, it's gonna get us all in trouble later.  I was cutting a banana and putting two small pieces at a time on his plate.  His mother had mentioned that sometimes he stuffed too much in his mouth and made a gagging sound.  Well, no, I wasn't going to deal with that.  Anyway, at one point I didn't put the new pieces of banana on the plate fast enough and he tapped the plate with one finger like the royalty he knows he his.  And I doubled over laughing.  "Yes, Your Highness!"

So I fit in as many things as I could and scooted back to Staunton by 4pm on the 1st.  You take Pomalyst at night, so I was ok.

My cousin is getting married in May and it is perfectly timed for me - May 30th!  Ha!  The best I will be all month.

I've learned not to pile too much into that time.  I set two things that must be done during my "up time".  Then things that if I get to them, I get to them.  It's much less depressing than when I was trying to cram ten things into those few days.

But overall, life is good.  I know I am better off than zillions of other people.  I am grateful everyday.