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BY Beatnik

03/01 Direct Link
Have not left the house in days. Don't need to so I don't do it. Perhaps tomorrow I should walk around the block. Or not. I am taking myself to a new place of time warp. Night is day and day is night. We are definitely night owls we have decided.

For many years we are forced into being up and about full steam ahead in the early hours. But, our nature is not that at all. We like to stay up late and sleep in...and wake when we feel like it. Which is around 10:00.
03/02 Direct Link
What a treat! Our new neighbor -- an amazing woman -- a PhD at Hopkins and a nurse who invited us to her appointment as the inaugural professor of the Anne and George Bunting endowed chair for Clinical Ethics at the Johns Hopkins Center for Bioethics. She had just met us and spent very little time with us, but both times were very positive!

There are lots of people here who are working very hard in the medical fields. Some have young children and work long hours. I have such tremendous respect for them all. Happy to have them here.
03/03 Direct Link
In 2009 I was diagnosed with peritoneal carcinomatosis, a very rare form of cancer. I'lll give you the link where you can read all about it. http://www.primaryperitonealcancer.org/personal-stories/helen-szablya

Both of my adult children, their spouses and our granddaughter live in Los Angeles. My daughter moved there 13 years ago to pursue comedy and married a Brazilian surfing photographer. She is now the private dining and events director at Tom Colicchio's Craft restaurant. My son has his own business silk screening t-shirts and posters and is married to a film editor. Californians!
03/04 Direct Link
The smell of nail polish is overwhelming. Oppressive and makes one a bit light headed. The aroma of a shoe repair shop, on the other hand, is intoxicating. I could sit there all day.

I love it when the daffodils and crocus pop their heads and suddenly burst into bloom a day later. It is something that you don't experience in sunny Los Angeles.

I can't wait for that to happen. It is still cold. I never really understood how older people had difficulty with the cold. Now I do. I guess I'm older which's why.
03/05 Direct Link
When I was a kid we took Sunday afternoon drives to entertain the family. I get very motion sick so this was a lousy way to spend time for me, especially in the Vancouver mountains which had plenty of winding roads. We didn't have much money, so whenever we would stop someplace it was not for a soda or ice cream. Except on a very rare occasion. It was a really big treat.

The countryside certainly had its beauty, but most of the time I was reeling from nausea so couldn't appreciate it like I should have done.
03/06 Direct Link
Recovering from back surgery and feeling pretty good about the progress, but the pain meds caused me to vomit horribly -- like I've not done in years -- we're talking projectile vomitting. Fortunately I knew it was coming and made it to the bathroom.

Stopped taking the pain meds and the vomitting went away and the back pain was minimal. But I'm depressed. I feel so useless. I know it is a ridiculous way to be, but it is what it is.

I'll make every effort to get my attitude adjusted, but I'm making no promises. Can't yet!
03/07 Direct Link
Says Reich: Update: The President's advocacy group "Organizing for Action" said today it won't accept corporate money and it will disclose amounts received from donors giving $250 or more. These are steps in the right direction, but they don't solve the underlying problem. The group will still accept unlimited amounts of money from individuals -- some of whom will be included in meetings with the President and other administration officials as a result of their donations.

My point isn't to condemn the President. I understand the argument for fighting fire with fire. We have an unprecedented concentration of wealth,
03/08 Direct Link
Says Scott: Our 3 remaining parents are all becoming very tenuous also so that is a bit of a burden since my brother is mostly worthless although my mom thinks he is her savior. While I’m schlepping them to doctors, meeting them in the emergency room in the middle of the night, took care of everything after Katrina… Isn’t that the way it goes? Definitely a shaper of my personality. My dad, who was the rock, has an accelerating rate of decline and it is most noticeable in him because he is transitioning from most competent to least.
03/09 Direct Link
Says Scott: I was thinking about you – had dinner at Ouzo last night and one of the visitors we were entertaining was your cosmic cousin. We’re just fully engaged trying to make the most of (or during) our last 8 years before retirement. Jodi is working 60 hour weeks and winds up climbing into bed around midnight or later. I couldn’t do it. And we’re now up to 3 dance lessons per week plus, of course, Saturday night practice parties. My garden is a welcome time sink and there you will find me on weekend daylight hours.
03/10 Direct Link
Missing my children desperately. So difficult to have them 3,000 miles away. Breaks my heart that they live in such an expensive place. And, although there are those who flock to Southern CA it is not a place where we would choose to live. So there you have the big dilema.

Spent some Face Time with the granddaughter and daughter today and it was lovely. The girl is clearly ADD but not sure how much the parents have agreed to it. There is a time when you, as a parent, have to come face to face with...
03/11 Direct Link
In 2009 I was diagnosed with peritoneal carcinomatosis, a very rare form of cancer that is deadly without treatment. Most of the time this type of cancer is misdiagnosed and unsuccessful surgeries and treatments ensue. Fortunately, I was a social friend of Dr. Armando Sardi’s and knew that he was renowned for his success for surgeries with complicated cancers involving multiple organs. So, when my gynecologist gave me the bad news that I had a rare form of cancer and was immediately referred to Dr. Sardi I chimed in “Oh, I know Dr. Sardi” and his face fell because he knew that I understood that I was seriously ill.
03/12 Direct Link
Dr. Sardi has a very outgoing personality and he is very warm. Even if I had not known him personally before I developed this disease, I would have fallen in love with him. He is very smart and he doesn’t hold punches. He also believes that your attitude is very important toward your own healing so he put a lot of responsibility on my plate and that made it a partnership. We each had to hold up our own ends of the bargain. He gave me the confidence that I could do this. And, I did make it through.
03/13 Direct Link
That was a huge help in my healing. So, it is extraordinarily important to have a good relationship with your doctor.You MUST trust him / her – you MUST believe what they tell you – and if you are not completely confident that they will do the very best for you – you MUST get other opinions. Your doctor needs to fuel your ability to heal yourself and without a good relationship, that won’t happen.

Trust and confidence. Isn't that the cornerstone of every relationship? Whether your spouse or parents or children or co-workers or president or pope. Yes!
03/14 Direct Link
This is a two parter -- second installment tomorrow.

I had to leave the church in 1990 when one of my good nun friends in Seattle was the spiritual advisor for the Bishop of Seattle, but could not celebrate mass and my gay husband was not only NOT accepted by the church, but the Dignity masses that were conducted by the Jesuit priest in our parrish for Lesbians and Gays (LGBT was not used at that time) was not approved by the church, and were considered outlawed. I was not nearly as devoted to the church by this time.
03/15 Direct Link
When we divorced, the church would only give me an "annulment" through the same process (and cost) that would happen with "irreconcilable differences" -- so the church said that being gay was wrong and if my husband gave an affidavite saying that he had always been gay, they couldn't just annul it. That sent me on a very serious road of questioning my church and in spite of having been on the parish council and chair of the liturgy committee at St. Ignatius in Batlimore I decided that the church would recieve no more money from me and no more attention.
03/16 Direct Link
The 24 hour news cycle helps to perpetuate that so much is important especially with celebrity that really has no significance at all. So much of our "product" is valueless and disturbing.

I love to watch television and there is more and better content than ever brlore. But, there is also more awful content than ever before. When I was growing up, the only option was to watch one of three broadcasts with no taping possibilities...eventually public television came along to add another station. It was a game changer. I watched a lot of it. Not anymore.
03/17 Direct Link
I beleived that by this time our country would be much more socialist and thoughtful. It's not. It's all about winning, greed and power. I guess I was naive along with many of our then leaders. We fought hard to take the country in that direction, but, unfortunately, Carter ruined that for us. He didn't have the right leadership skills to bring his vision along. And, Americans are not interested in being frugal, wearing sweaters and turning down the heat. But, they would have been interested in helping the poor and giving educational and cultural opportunities to the younger generation.
03/18 Direct Link
My husband has been working hard at working out and losing weight and gaining strength. He is 66 years old and has been overweight all of his life -- sometimes less and sometimes more. He has been physically fit -- a skiier, a runner, a cyclist and played basketball with his firm whereupon he wrecked a knee and that slowed him down quite a lot.

I am very proud of him that he decided to get himself back in control. I convinced him (after several years of nudging) to get a personal trainer and he's been in heaven ever since.
03/19 Direct Link
How is it possible that we live in a country with so much wealth and so much poverty at the same time. I grew up in a country where there was quite a lot of income equality. Sure, there were those who were wealthier and those who were poorer, but the safety net for the poor was much more solid and the wealthy paid for it in high taxes. There were many siingle-room-occupancy apartments and hotels so there was NO homeessness. The fact that we have institutionalized homelessness as an acceptable part of our culture is horrific -- unacceptable.
03/20 Direct Link
There is a manual Royal typewriter that belonged to my mother and on which I learned to type. No one knows where it went...which is crazy. My mother saved absolutely everything. But, it's gone missing. Evidently given away at some point, during some move. It's hard for me to believe that this happened. I think that one of the siblings took it and gave it away and they won't claim responsibility because my mother would never have done that.

Why do I care? My son and his wife collect old manual typewriters. Chuck gave the his -- Christmas.
03/21 Direct Link
It is startling to look at some "old" photos. No, the 60s cannot be old. That is when I was young. Nor the 50s and 70s. But, there it is, the photos don't lie. The world I see in the photos is one that no longer exists. Even barely in memories.

There is the hulking car with a homemade top carrier on it -- a canvas top with gromets and ropes holding it down -- dyed to match the two toned Dodge Suburban station wagon -- manual transmission on the steering column -- it took real strength to drive and to shift.
03/22 Direct Link
wanted to live a "normal" life, so Barry was faithful until he hit 40 and couldn't bear it any longer. Barry suffers from depression and is bi-polar. Today he is an Interfaith Minister in DC and has a partner of 15 years. In 1994 I re-married a wonderful man, a lawyer from Baltimore. He had been married for 24 years and I for 17 and both been seperated within a day of each other. We met in July and were married in May. We met through the Washingtonian Magazine. I placed an ad and he answered it. Wow!
03/23 Direct Link
Barry Meiners and I married in 1973 and we spent 10 years creating original theater starting as Rockefeller Fellows at the University of Iowa doing non-verbal highly physical theater with the Iowa Theater Lab; spending three years in Seattle training a multi-racial theater company and creating, touring original work about sexism, racism and agism; and ending in Baltimore where we created theater out of oral histories. By this time we had a six year old and an 18 month old. When Reagan came into office, all of our contracts with schools, universitites dried up so I changed careers.
03/24 Direct Link
I got a job as the assistant press secretary for Mayor Schaefer, a really good man who was as passionate and crazy as Dr. Wadleigh, so I knew how to deal with him. It was an entry level salary and I was 30 years old. I went on to have a very successful career in public relations and communications, working for the Enterprise Foundation, Fannie Mae Foundation, the US Treasury Dept.State of MD and private agencies. But finances were always difficult and I was always in deep debt as I had to change careers and begin all over again.
03/25 Direct Link
In 1989 Barry decided that he needed to pursue his gay life. Although I knew he was gay before we had children, we were both dedicated to our marriage and wanted to live a "normal" life. In 1994 I re-married a wonderful man, a lawyer from Baltimore. He had been married for 24 years and I for 17 and both been seperated within a day of each other. He is infirtile and has no children, so I always say that as a heterosexual woman I was able to give a gay man and an infirtile man a family. Yes!
03/26 Direct Link
Daffodils and snow flakes.

White washes over yellow.

Sun shines through clouds with whisper soft snow floating through the air.

The beauty of the landscape, the tops of buildings covered and the constant blowing of white flecks.

Today it's all gone. The snow is melted, evaporated. The sun is shining and the cold permeates.

The television is pouring with information about the polls that show our country's population's majority agree with same sex marriage as legitimate. What a game change. The world is so much different than 1989 when hidden.
03/27 Direct Link
It's about Murphy...Richard Murphy: I have been thinking about him and remembering how we used to go to the Broadway memorials held to honor someone from the theater who had passed away. It was a free afternoon for the audience in which the friends and family gathered for memories, remembrances and a song or two. For us, of course, it was great opportunity to see, free, the By its nature, the event often featured legends a little past their prime and the scoring for Richard was always based on (noting whether or not the departed had filled the theater)...
03/28 Direct Link
...the capacity of the stars honoring the departed to be able to work within their diminished talents and still deliver the goods. He was a cheerleader in this, rooting for them all the way but, while he delighted when they delivered, he also called it as it was when they couldn’t get it done. That was the way of the theater and, as we all know, Richard loved the theater.

For Richard, life actually was theater and if something wasn’t a little theatrical it wasn’t really alive. You don’t usually find that quality in...
03/29 Direct Link
...a driven moralist who for as long as I knew him, was a person consumed by issues of racial and economic justice. And it also wasn’t as if these were just two disparate parts that coexisted. They were fused in him and the one fed off the other, creating a drive and an energy that filled everything he touched. The combination of the theatrical and the moral was at the very core of his being. It gave him amazing reach and resilience. Attraction too, let’s not forget attraction.

There were other parts of course: Obsession was...
03/30 Direct Link
...was in his blood. He was very much the obsessive, highly intelligent, whimsical searcher who was looking for the perfect everything. By which I mean, book, sketch, tie, shirt, string fruit, pastry ink, paper, glove, social policy, organization, politician, jam, leverage, funder, juice, envelope, show, one pager, summary, honey, introduction, strategy, sneaker, meeting etc.

That entire obsessive drive was counterbalanced by an incredible capacity for friendship. He did that of course by often having these ‘searches for the perfect’ focused on things for you not things for him. To be Richards’s friend, was to be buried in...
03/31 Direct Link
...a long procession of little things that he had found that he thought you might like or that spoke to something that had just happened in your life. He was so attentive and he was so charming. He meant it from the bottom of his heart and he also rendered you somewhat helpless. When Julie Andrews sang, “A spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down”, Richard took notes.

While Richard, who took his privacy as a sacred right, carefully portioned out the details of his own life among his different friends, he never portioned his actual friendship...