Weekend catchup

I’ve been out of touch here for longer than I realized.  But I’ve been busy:

  • Had a cortisone shot in my knee from one doctor, and told my primary care doctor that I wasn’t psychologically ready to consider weight loss surgery.
  • Took a personal day on Thursday to sleep late and do serious hair things that have to last me for 8 weeks (tightening up on expenses means fewer hair visits, though I’m not ready to give up covering the gray).
  • Took the cat to the vet for her shots and to have her claws clipped.  She wasn’t happy but she’s allowing me to cuddle, so maybe she won’t retaliate by peeing on things when I go back to work.
  • Had a professional bra fitting and managed to overcome my embarrassment to actually end up looking and feeling better.
  • Went to the farm and bought four kinds of apples, combining some of each into a big pot of applesauce.
  • Fixed my wobbly bedframe with my nifty new allen wrench set from Home Depot – then rotated the mattress.  It was easier to do that when there were handles on them.  Grrrr.
  • Did 4 loads of wash, cleaning everything I could find that would go in the washer (but not the kind of cleaning the requires, you know, CLEANING).

Overwhelmed, Depressed, Sad and Angry

The second presidential debate is on tonight but I don’t know yet if I will watch it.  I just don’t know how much more of this garbage I can take – the economy is tanking, my retirement money is flushing down the tubes, prices are up, homes are being foreclosed, jobs are unstable, stress levels are through the roof – and the presidential campaign is getting nasty, with 4 weeks to go.


Not about people they each knew 20 years ago.  Not about being a POW.  Not name-calling and mud-slinging, defaming and undercutting each other. They all care about this country or they wouldn’t have put themselves through the wringer of public scrutiny.

Obama and McCain have plans to take us forward out of this mess, directions and goals for the next four years.  They are radically different in some ways, similar in others.  They have different styles, different priorities, different styles.  But the more time they spend throwing mud at each other, the more they cover themselves with it.

We need better than that.  We need integrity and to be treated with respect. People are hurting, people are scared.  Desperate people who deserve to be told what each candidate would really do, how they are different from the other one and from the idiot government we have now.  If you’re so good that we should vote for you, then you should be able to sell yourself without trashing the other person.

After all, when this is all over, I expect to see the government people work together to actually FIX things.  It will take lots of people in all areas and levels of government to pull us out of this morass.  The more you are angry and defaming the other side, the harder it will be to do that.


It hurts my head and my heart to watch the news now.  And that reminds me of just after 9/11, when we all were both obsessed and traumatized by getting too much information.  We needed more more more even though what we heard was repetition of the same analysis and commentary.  But I had a very hard time pulling away from it then, and from the Katrina coverage, and now from this.  I want to know but I don’t want to be continually bombarded by failed banks, stock market failures, angry politicians, and Sarah Palin.  I want her off my radar except when portrayed by Tina Fey on SNL.

Make it stop.  My head hurts.  It’s going to be a long few years; don’t make it worse now.

I Shook Hands with Bill Clinton Today

Bill Clinton, member of the Class of 1973 of Yale Law School, came back to campus for a special presentation to the Yale Law community during his 35th reunion this weekend.  Being a good soul, I signed up to be an usher – in part, I admit, in hopes that I’d have a good seat.  I not only had that, I had the chance to shake his hand.   It was totally worth all the standing.

This wasn’t a big political event; Clinton was actually asked to come by a group of students involved in Universities Allied for Essential Medicines.  He spoke to a large hall of gathered alumni, students and faculty about America’s role in the world, including the importance of UAEM’s work on global health. President Clinton told the crowd: “I like [their work] because that is an example of how we turn good intentions into positive changes.”

Clinton was warmly received as he spoke on the future of the country, the economy, healthcare, the environment, energy, and our role in the world.  He gave a rousing endorsement of Obama, and eloquently defended his kind words about McCain as a PERSON (but not as a president), saying, “We have got to stop HATING people just because we don’t want to VOTE for them. It’s poison, and it makes us stop THINKING.” He ended his talk by telling us to do do something that matters, and that makes us happy.

He is a charismatic, engaging speaker and incredibly smart, with a good sense of humor.  And he looks so much older than we remember him in his days as president – but still good looking, perfectly turned out, and with twinkle in his eye (not to mention the Secret Service guys all around him – tho how they are secret when we can all see them is another question).

At the end he came down and walked a line of students and alums (and a few staff, including me).  He shook hands and chatted, and when he got to me, he put one hand on my shoulder and shook my other one — maybe because he saw the huge “YALE STAFF” button that I was wearing.  Or maybe coz I just look like a nice person and I’d been paying attention.  No matter why, I was thrilled.

Join the Army of Women

I just signed up to be a volunteer in the Love/Avon Army of Women after seeing a story on ABC News.  From their “about us” page:

The Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation and the Avon Foundation, a global leader in breast cancer research, joined forces to launch the Love/Avon Army of Women.

Our revolutionary initiative has two key goals:

  • To recruit one million healthy women of every age and ethnicity, including breast cancer survivors and women at high-risk for the disease, to partner with breast cancer researchers and directly participate in the research that will eradicate breast cancer once and for all.
  • To challenge the scientific community to expand its current focus to include breast cancer prevention research conducted on healthy women.

Join us in this movement that will take us beyond a cure by creating new opportunities to study what causes breast cancer—and how to prevent it.

Basically they are recruiting a million women of all ages, ethnicities, and family histories to participate in research to help eradicate the disease.  I read the FAQ on the site and decided to sign up on the spot.  I can choose not to participate in anything or select some that work with my schedule and life. Although there is no history of breast cancer in my family, I know that it could come out of the blue.  And I’ve lost friends to this disease.

Frankly, maybe including a healthy obese woman in studies may give them additional information that could help someone else.  If I can do something to help researchers save lives, it’s worth it.

I urge you to join me.  Take the time to read about the project and register to make a difference.