Longreads 1

December 10, 2015

Longreads are plagued by poor writing & worse editing. It’s not unusual to not know what the heck you are reading even after you’ve read it a few times. If I have the energy to spare I’m going to unleash my inner OCD on the worst offenders I run across.

Ebola epilogue. Well I never got to West Africa. But I did acquire two new native Bénin pups. 

December 10, 2015

I got everything to apply for a Bénin visa. Meanwhile I’ve misplaced my passport. It will turn up – this is a small house. 
Also I tried to get Nestor here on a tourist visa & it was denied for really no reason except he hadn’t traveled anywhere else. We have 100 PCVs there. 10-15% of our citizen have West African roots & we treat them like third class citizens. They can’t even get temp ag jobs. That’s for south of the border. 
So here are the new pups  


They are from the same litter from a village without non indigenous dogs. I was told the litter was for vodun sacrifice (!!)

Mad Men

May 22, 2015

I didn’t watch Mad Men. The setting was the worst time of my life and everything about the setting put me back there. Mom & Dad drank a lot & fought sometimes. We’d wake up & cry outside their door. 

Mom married her divorced boss. She was his secretary. He was an accountant for an engineer. We lived just outside the city. 

My half sister used to baby sit us

Mom stayed at home, was always dressed up, wore heels, and had teas on Tuesday. She stayed fit. 

Dad loved us. I used to watch the window for him to come home. He wore what’s now called a “wife beater” – the only flaw I’ve seen in the movie. We’d watch him shave using that badger brush.

We had the plastic & the colors. Mom still has them. They don’t wear out.

In 1961 Dad died of Seconal & alcohol – they say on purpose.  That put Mom in a bind. She went to school & graduated with an A or near A average- all while bombed. She had to redo most of it after she married her much older professor and he got another job in another city right before she graduated. Her credits didn’t transfer. She got her masters and then retired.
While she was at school we met an interesting bunch of bachelors and sitters. We changed schools every year. 

The less said about my stepdad the better. Let’s just say when they got married we were safely into the 70s.

Meanwhile the crises of that time did not go unnoticed. 

Yet there’s more to Mad Men.  Binge watching was the way to go. The characters & themes could be seen. They were all strange to me as I was a protected child. I’m not sure if they were protecting us on purpose or just carrying on the family tradition of keeping things from the kids. 

Decades later I worked in partnerships as a partner & as an employee. Some things never change. Don Draper was almost a canvas or anchor for the rest of the characters. Every group or competitor had every guy in that show. They were all so well done.

Mom is single and had bunions. She still works at 81. She was raised on a poor farm. Dad has become a positive force in my life although as a ghost. I’ve stopped looking for replacements. The 70s allowed us to throw away the harmful scripts of that time.

The best scene is the open. It’s the theme of the show. I applaud whoever ignored 9/11 to use it. 

There’s a comic element that may look different to some of us. Avocado!! Exes. Moms competing with daughters and new wives. Women who can’t be stopped despite the disrespect & who find a way to channel ambition. 

It’s a good show, maybe not a great show for me, but it’s greater than I thought. Therapy & meds make the triggers more fun. Binge watching was the way to go. 

Giving up

January 15, 2015

I could not find a way to get to W Africa to help with Ebola unless I went as an individual with no guarantee that Id be allowed to help. Guess I’ll help with wallet.

I am Charlie. Offend me!

January 14, 2015

I have the right to be offended. I don’t mean I have the right to feel offended, although of course I do. I mean I have the right to have people offend me. I have the human right to have someone print or say words or make drawings or cartoons that I don’t like, that I think are stupid or miss the point or are holding back progress or are just ugly.

Some offenses I have suffered: Being told I’m a racist or a left wing nut. Being told I’m unfit for medical school as a pregnant woman. Being called a castrating bitch (seriously?) Hearing a respected mentor tell me I wouldn’t seriously trust a doctor wearing the shortest dreads allowed by the laws of biophysics. To have men assume I’m no good at my job for no apparent reason. To be told by atheists, whose company I left, that I’m just wrong. Having a local paper print “Doonesbury” on the editorial page and then having to see “Mallard Fillmore” alongside it. I could go on. So many things I am supposed to be offended by don’t bother me. That offends friends sometimes which offends me. Snuff films on cable news stations who won’t show Charlie Hebdo drawings

I am often entertained. I want to be simultaneously shocked, amused, and puzzled.

But mostly I like to think my motivation reflects two beliefs in essentials of our society. First, I want everyone to have as much free speech as we can stand. If we can’t cling desperately to our First Amendment, we aren’t America as it was conceived. Second, I want honesty. Without that I can’t respond constructively internally or in actual debate. I want be uncomfortable. I want to be engaged. I want chances to learn something from people outside my bubble. I want the chance to come to a mutual understanding or to really see a fundamental true disagreement. I want us all to get along. I claim the right to be offended and to offend. I plan on continuing to exercise those rights whenever I think it’s called for. I am Charlie.


Ebola progress

October 28, 2014

None. I have learned nothing on getting to W Africa to help w #Ebola. Getting visa process started anyway. Benin for fun I hope, Liberia for helping.


October 20, 2014

I had down time – sleeping all the time. In retrospect it was from stopping my new shiny Viibryd due to running out of samples & using some old Zoloft. I guess. Anyway, back to the quest tomorrow. I go to RSNA in Nov-Dec so I’ll plan for after that.

Passport arrived

October 14, 2014

My passport came! I’ve been literally sleeping all week. Tomorrow I try to peddle my sorry ass to any on site NGO that will take me.


October 12, 2014

Well I don’t know if I would hold up in W Africa after this week of sleep. Soldiering on. Today’s news is a contact of Duncan from the hospital has Ebola. I’d be interested in knowing if this person was exposed the first visit when they weren’t thinking Ebola or the second visit. The CNN story says contact tracing is difficult. CDC’s Dr Frieden suggests it’s trivially easy.

Ebolog benin

October 12, 2014

It might be smarter to just go to Benon and teach prevention of Ebols and visit villages. Nestor could help.