Archive for January, 2007

Too bad about that……
January 31, 2007

I was really sorry to read in The Sun this morning, that Senator Delores Kelly is withdrawing her bill to require the Gardisil vaccine for girls, to prevent cervical cancer. She said the time just wasn’t right, as so many parents were having trouble getting their kids the required vaccines right now, without adding another one.
Maybe that’s true, but I hate to see the bill dropped, and hope that parents will take matters into their own hands to see that their daughters get it. Some insurance companies(Cigna for example) do cover Gardisil as part of the preventive care visit, so call your insurance company and if they don’t cover it, let them know how you feel about that.

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What went wrong??
January 30, 2007

I’ll be honest…in the news business, there are many sad, sad stories. In fact, about nine out of ten stories that make the news are tragic…stories of violent death, terrible accidents, race horses that have to be euthanized…all so sad. But the story of 43 year old Brandy Britton really struck me. Here’s an attractive, by all accounts extremely smart, accomplished former university professor, who somewhere along the line fell off the merry-go-round of teaching and research into being accused of prostitution, in her Howard County home. And then before trial, and being evicted from her home, commits suicide. How awful….and how terribly, terribly sad.
What happened to Brandy that things go so horribly awry, that life seems no longer worth living? Was it bad breaks….bad boyfriends….emotional problems…bad judgement…all of them? I wish something could have stopped this poor woman’s freefall into disgrace, and then death. Couldn’t someone have seen what trouble she was in and lent a helping hand? And perhaps there were those who did, but were turned away.
I don’t know the details of really happened to Brandy Britton, but my heart goes out to her children, college age I read. I hope they can take what was good from their Mom and let the rest go, and lead happy lives filled with good choices. We all wish that for our children, even when we can’t have it for ourselves.

AN ODE TO SISTERS IN NEW YORK!
January 29, 2007

I had a very….sisterly weekend…on many levels. Both of my sisters, Audrey and Jan, who both live in Alabama came up to the colder climes …usually I go there. But this time, we were also making a quick trip to New York, as my son had vacated his apartment Saturday night to go to a wedding. Free place to stay? Let’s go!!!! And we did, on the train , Saturday morning early…to the Big Apple where we proceded to walk our fool heads off. Only one of us truly had the shoes to handle that much pavement pounding….and I wasn’t that sister. Still we trudged through the Village, around Fifth Avenue, through H & M…Central Park. Audrey wanted to visit a place called Serendipity on the East Side, 60th Street, with famous frozen hot chocolate(location of John Cusack movie too).
We finally found it, but they told us the wait for lunch was an hour and half, so we put our name on a long list, and found a place for pizza across the street. About an hour later, we went back, and presto, our name was coming up soon, we were told. And about ten minutes later we were ushered upstairs by a nonchalant young man, into a little room, crammed with paintings and knickknacks and STUFF. Quaint. We weren’t really hungry by then, so we thought we would split one frozen hot chocolates($8.50 each), as they really are pretty big. But the people at Serendipity were more than prepared for cheap tourists like us. “I’m sorry but there is an $8.50 minimum per person charge. But if you get the Forbidden Broadway Sundae(chocolate Blackout cake, ice cream, hot fudge topped with shipped cream 13.50) and cup of coffee…you’ll be covered.” Now, we really didn’t want all that but, we had schlepped all the way there, and waited. Sooooo, we went for it. And I must admit, we did justice to it all. And there was much sundae envy in the room. All the tables surrounding us, ooohed and aaaaahed and demanded to know what was that big fudgy, cakey whipped cremey thing? Yes, it was absolutely delicious. Try it yourself…And the frozen hot chocolate, though a little overshadowed by the Forbidden Broadway Sundae, was really good. By itself, we would have appreciated it more, I think.
Enough about the food….we would have had a good time, no matter what. My sisters and I have always been close…..not like best friends as kids or anything, but we are great friends as adults. We all get along…ok, the occasional little snipe, but it’s always in good fun. They are the only people in the world I think I could move in with this very day, and be happy living with them. We are so much the same, just little variations on a theme. We laugh a lot, and know how the other will feel about something without needing to ask. Just a very comfortable….sister thing, you know?
And someone here at work, said, “That’s so nice…lots of sisters don’t get along, you know.” That is so sad to me….I can’t imagine not having my sisters around, or arguing with them. We just don’t do that. They left this morning for ‘bama…I miss them already!

you try and you try…..
January 23, 2007

Was at the grocery store today at lunchtime, getting my regular salad(everyday same thing..spinach, tomatoes, chickpeas, brocoli, oil and vinegar, with canned salmon on top), and picked up a few things needed at home. And for once, I remembered my cloth grocery bag, which means than I will not add another plastic bag to my burgeoning collection. Get to the checkout line, give the clerk my bag, and am busy with the debit machine….get my stuff and go feeling quite green, only to realize a little later, that she still put things in a plastic bag, and THEN, put them into my cloth carrier.
Aarrrrgggghhhhhhhh!

Sunrise Earth…tv for a breathless world??
January 23, 2007

Got a 7 AM (!) text from my son who lives in New York…asking if I was watching Sunrise Earth, an HD program on Discovery HD.
1. I don’t know what that is.
2. It’s 7 am and I barely have the coffee going.
My normal habit is to switch on the Today Show, check out the weather, find out what’s what….but I did a search on the tv and there it is…. Sunrise Earth.
Jesse discovered it in New Yorker magazine, in some article about taking a breath in a breathless city….so he listens and watches pretty morning scenes of sunrise, geese on a lake, fish in a pond, with gurgling morning sounds of running water and birds. I must admit, it is very zen, though you will have no idea at all what’s going on the world, or what happened overnight.
But maybe, just maybe, we could do with a little less of that?
OH wait, the ads just came on…even at Sunrise Earth, somebody has to pay for it.
a Mantis tiller, anyone?

Goodbye Jean Louise….
January 22, 2007

Jean Louise( named for Jean Louise Finch in the book To Kill a Mockingbird) was a “hill cat”. We live in a neiighborhood, kind of perched on the side of a hill. And for years there have been wild cats that roam the area. My daughter, when she was only 7 or 8, was playing up the hill with a friend, when she found this tiny black with orange splotches, calico kitten and brought her home. Sigh from her Mother…..another hill cat to raise. She turned out to be a sweet, though somewhat tempermental and nervous little cat. Always petite, Jeannie as we called her, was a part of our lives, along with other cats.
I knew it was coming….Jean Louise had a growth on her hip for several months. The vet didn’t know what it was(turned out to be vaccine induced¬†sarcoma)¬†and wasn’t sure what could be done even if they did know….and as it didn’t bother her, I took my feisty Jeannie home. And she did well for quite a while, but the growth got steadily bigger. One morning last week, I knew something had to be done. The growth had opened up and was weeping…and Jeannie was bothered by it. I loaded her into the cat cage, which she hates, and took her to the vet’s office. We waited for quite a while with an assortment of dogs and cats and their respective owners. But their pets seemed pretty healthy, and I knew, mine probably wasn’t going home again. The vet confirmed that…saying she thought it was a vaccine induced sarcoma…aggressive and really, there was no surgery for it. Especially in a cat 13 years old. She asked,”Do you want to be with her, or would you rather leave?” There was no way I was going to let Jeannie face that on her own…so they prepped her with a little iv into her arm, and then brought her back. She was very quiet, purring a little bit, I scratched her head and told her what a great friend she had been for years, and she had…I think she knew what I felt and somehow it seemed that she knew what was happening…that we were saying goodbye. The vet asked, “Are you ready?”… I nodded. She injected the iv with the little syringe, Jeannie went limp about five seconds later.
Honestly I didn’t expect to cry, I couldn’t tell you why. But I did… for the little limp furry body that didn’t go home with me that day. Little Jeannie. Miss you girl.

Please read this…….
January 20, 2007

There is a new vaccine available for girls age around age 10-11-12 to 25…It’s called Gardisil, and it protects against the types of Human Papillomavirus, or HPV, most likely to cause cervical cancer, which kills thousands of women each year. It is most effective when girls get the vaccine before they have become sexually active, thus the lower age limit. And, Gardisil also protects them against genital warts. I’m not trying to be indelicate, but let’s be honest here. This highly contagious condition, results in clustered cauliflower like growths of warts in and around the vagina,anus and labia. Horrifying.
I spoke with Dr. Dwight Im, a top oncological gyn at Mercy Medical Center, and he described how devastating it is for these girls and women who have to have these terrible growths lasered off, only to have them return again. Would you ever wish that on your darling daughter? Or cervical cancer as she gets older?
Of course you wouldn’t.
Right now in the Maryland General Assembly, a bill is making its way through, requiring the vaccine for girls, and requiring insurance companies to cover it. For those who are uninsured, medicare would help cover the costs.
As it is right now, while Gardisil is available, you have to pay close to $300 for the series of shots. And there are many who cannot or will not pay this.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed for the bill to pass,(call your delegates and senators)….thanks to Senator Delores Kelly…a great lady from Baltimore County. And then don’t wait…get your daughters vaccinated against these terrible diseases….cervical cancer and genital warts. Our daughters need our protection, don’t they?

It’s Friday
January 19, 2007

And I love Fridays! Of course where I work, when someone says, “It’s Friday”, there’s always a good chance the person to whom it is said will give you a look, and say, “Not for me…”. Oops. In the tv business, like in many others, people work all kind of strange hours and shifts. Overnights, early mornings, late nights, weekends..there are always people in the newsroom. So what’s Friday for me may be Monday for someone else.
But for me, Friday is Friday.
On Friday nights, sometimes I stay home, relax, get some carryout, watch something in from Netflix(big fan, though lately, I’m not getting my top choices…been waiting forever for Jet Li’s Fearless..what gives? Every week it’s on a very long wait.), open a bottle of wine and chill out.
But maybe dinner will be out….and then catch a movie. I’d have to say the Charles Theatre downtown is my top favorite….with several good food options around. Tapas, right next door for “little plates” and sangria…yummy. And if you’ve never tried the Zodiac across the street, you’re missing out. Great food, some good vegetarian choices too, and absolutely top drawer desserts. I know the outside with bars on the windows look a little…sketchy? But the interior is really quite nice, with a fabulous mural painted over the bar.
And for something quicker, Sophie’s crepes on the other side of the Charles, serves crepes of all descriptions, savory and sweet. Try the S’mores dessert crepe…chocolate, craham cracker crumbs, and marshmallow all wrapped in a warm, freshly-made-while-you-watch crepe. Ummmmmmm.
Went to the inaugural party Wednesday night…..wow what a crush! Thousands of people, or so it seemed, all political parties in attendance, and a really interesting mix of people. Various restaurants around town provided food….and they were beleaguered by long, long lines of hungry, hungry people. As soon as a deviled egg with crab on top, or a tiny tuna tartar on a chip was put out, it was scarfed up…..YOu really had to work to get something to eat or drink, and the wise ate before they came. But still a nice vibe….and great music!

Will ugly ever truly be beautiful??
January 16, 2007

I watched the Golden Globes last night….enjoyed it for the most part, and like most people, checked out the dresses, the hair the makeup, and I’ll admit it…the bods….How thin will the women be this year?
But something struck me, when America Ferrera, the lovely young star of Ugly Betty, won for her acting. I love the show, it’s funny, hip, smart, different. But when the presenter or host was introducing her…. saying something clearly written not adlibbed, that “ugly is now beautiful”. Maybe a cute turn on words, but I felt for America. It was like saying you’re so ugly you’re cute! And America is anything but ugly. But she is not stick thin….instead she has a full, womanly hourglass figure. I don’t have to tell you in today’s world, especially in Hollywood, this is almost professional suicide.
Here is this beautiful young woman, terrific actress, 22 years old for Pete’s sake….who is basically relegated to playing plump girl roles. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Ugly Betty, Real Women have Curves…..great roles, but still the same. How long will it be until she says, hey I want some of the thin girl roles, and slowly begins to melt away.
And then can’t you see the headlines on magazine and tabloid covers….How America lost the weight!! Has America lost too much weight?, Ohmigod America’s gained some of the weight back!
America gave an emotional, from the heart, acceptance speech last night. I felt it’s truth and I’ll bet many of you did too. But cut to the audience, shots of splendidly emaciated, gorgeously gowned, stick thin women dabbing their eyes. I’m sure they wish they didn’t have to starve themselves to get the parts they want. But until they all say, enough is enough, and put on a few pounds, it’s all just for show. The diets go on. And the pressure for all of us and our daughters to fit that strait jacket will not end.
P.S. Oh, and I should give credit for the term “splendidly emaciated” to Tom Wolfe, who uses it to describe New York socialites in his 1987 novel Bonfire of the Vanities.

MOVE ON DOT COM
January 15, 2007

Well, how to deal with the wounded psyche of the masses, left nursing their wounds after the Raven’s…unfortunate…loss to the Colts. It was awful in so many ways, but you know, there are two old tried and true cliches tht really fit the bill. There’s always next year…and it’s just a game. Hackneyed yes, but there’s
a reason cliches are cliches. They are also true. The team will play again next year, and it is just a game.
Sure it was disappointing, the fumbles, the interceptions, but no one ever thought the Ravens would get this far this year, and up until the second half yesterday, they have provided first class entertainment all year long. What’s not to love about that. So, move on dot com.
Oh yeah, the chili was great…and so were the tamales.