Wednesday, May 31, 2006

clevelands hottest new neighborhood?

at the coffee shop on fairmount circle by jcu, looking for a free rag to read, i notice a white, laminated stack of cardboard flyers with "clevelands hottest new neighborhood" printed horizontally, with photos of the insides of homes-and the houses are very good looking.

i think to myself "hmm, i wonder where this is?" and flip the card over. the housing section is called "the cloisters" and said to be located in the "warszawa historic district" i am shocked to find out that they are calling the area on fleet avenue between 65th and 55th "the hottest neighborhood", but understand now why all the pictures where taken inside the home and only one tight shot of the outside. then the card continues on, calling the housing affordable first, then stating prices range from $150,000-$200,000.

i am an intimate of this neighborhood. it is in slavic village, and a matter of blocks from where shakira johnson was found. this space, where i worked daycare (corner of fleet and broadway), giving breakfast to many children who hadnt eaten since the afternoon snack i had provided my class the day before. here is where they build georgeus houses and call it "cloistered"?! (forgive my spelling)

i am tired of this city.

song of the day: ohio- the pretenders

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


attempting to camoflage with weeds, she was noticed.
her head darted in and out of shell, neck
straining, confused by the intrusion.
there was egged disappointment at her loss of privacy.

the stranger sat next to turtle(head in shell)
but was quiet and motionless (head out of shell)
and when turtle realized she was protected
for a moment she turned a slow circle
counter-clockwise (if a turtle can read the clock).
she cautiously scuffled off, until hidden
once again by giant iris stalks and river grass.
she was never quite sure why,
why discovering the world was safe in the present
didn't keep her watery fins from running.

chronic illness and recovery

one of the hardest challenges for me when it comes to my illness is the recovery...that sounds silly, but it's true

i read oliver sachs (a neurologist and author, for those who dont know) many years ago already, before diagnosis even, and one case that always interested me was called "the case of the color blind painter". imagine, being a painter, and suddenly going color blind. a man who loves colors and the interplay of light and dark with such, suddenly is reduced to a palette of two. how will he incorporate this new reality? can he still paint?

in this case, the man adapted to his new reality over the next few years, eventually realizing that he had so accomodated that he would not purposely reintroduce color to his vision....but it did take years for him to make it through the recovery and accomodation period....which taught me to be gently with self while i heal.

i say this knocking on wood,knowing that my relapse-remitting course can become progressive (most certainly not what i want), but my vision, or skin sensation, or muscle control remains altered for 2-16 weeks, slowly returning to or close to my usual experience in stages of healing or i steroid my way into a quicker fix. it is important to consider this in how i manage my life, because it can take much longer then two months to adjust to a new challenge or disability that is inherent to the body when it is permanent, but i need to readjust to this new change and then go back to the normal way on a semi-regular basis. the changes never get past the distracting phase.

i know this strongly affects my ability to be an active person as well as my mental health (especially the steroids, which turn me into a nut for 3-4 months)and i either withdrawl, or end up embarrasing myself pretty bad socially.

just remember, when working with someone with a condition that has this rise and fall aspect such as ms (and there are many others, all mental illnesses, parkinson, etc...even cancer)to leave room for the healing after the difficulties have subsided... recovery involves a whole new set of challenges on its own

Song of the day: moment of forgiveness-amy ray

Sunday, May 28, 2006

diversity and poland?

last, spring, there was a jewish speaker from poland at a lunch forum given at msass (thats at cwru for those of you who dont know).

my mother's paternal family is polish, and they came over to cleveland in the early nineteen hundreds to keep my great-grandfather from being taken by the russian army to serve in siberia or the ukraine or fill in the blank with any other scary and cold russian wasteland (for that is what they did with jews in those days) so i was fascinated

unfortunatly i do not remember the speakers name, but she had written a book on being jewish in post-war poland, and it was shocking to hear that judiasm had become a "fad" in poland, and the speaker compared it to main stream white america's embracing of the hip-hop culture. i found this disconcerting, and highly distrusted this opinion, despite her experiences during her upbringing.

then i read this this evening, and i am reminded to never forget:

from yahoo: Poland's chief rabbi attacked in Warsaw By VANESSA GERA, Associated Press Writer
20 minutes ago

KRAKOW, Poland - Poland's chief rabbi was punched and attacked with what appeared to be pepper spray in downtown Warsaw in what police said may have been an anti-Semitic attack
Michael Schudrich, a New Yorker who became Poland's chief rabbi in 2004, was heading to a Sabbath lunch Saturday near Warsaw's main synagogue with a group of people when a young man yelled out "Poland for Poles!"
"That's a well-known pre-World War II slogan which basically means 'Jews, get out of Poland,' and I didn't like hearing it. So I approached the gentleman to ask him why he said such things and his reaction was to punch me in the chest," Schudrich told The Associated Press.
"I was going to hit him back. But before I had a chance to hit him he sprayed me with some kind of spray — maybe pepper spray."
Schudrich said his eyes still burned from the spray but that he was otherwise uninjured. His attacker escaped.
Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz called Schudrich to express his regrets and "declare that there is no place for anti-Semitism," government spokesman Konrad Ciesiolkiewicz told the news agency PAP.
The attack is "especially painful because it happened during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Poland, when the whole country is in prayer," Ciesiolkiewicz said.

Before World War II, Poland had a large Jewish community of about 3.5 million that was nearly wiped out in the Holocaust. Those who survived faced repression under communism, which ended in 1989. Today, the community is tiny.
The U.S. Ambassador to Poland, Victor Ashe, visited Schudrich on Sunday to express his sympathy and solidarity.
"There is no place for bigotry and all who abhor such intolerance must join together to condemn it. We must work to prevent re-occurrences," Ashe told the AP. He also said he appreciated the "seriousness" with which Polish authorities were treating the attack.
Police appealed to the public for help in finding the assailant, believed to be about 25. They said they believed they were making headway.
"The fact that it happened just as the pope is visiting Poland and going to Auschwitz means the attack could have had an anti-Semitic motive, that it was meant to tarnish the image of Poland," Interior Ministry spokesman Tomasz Sklodowski said.
Schudrich was among Jewish religious leaders who said Kaddish, or the Jewish prayer for the dead, during a ceremony led by the pope at the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz-Birkenau on Sunday.
Schudrich said he did not believe the attack was connected to the pope's visit. Instead he linked it to what he said was a rise of intolerance connected to a new governing coalition that includes the League of Polish Families, or LPR, a small right-wing party with ideological ties to a prewar anti-Semitic party and a radical youth wing.
"With the LPR in the government, ultra-rightists who felt somehow constrained in their behavior now feel they can do whatever they want," Schudrich said.


i finally got a digital camera (its a hand-me-down) so i am just waiting to get the cords for it. i feel like maybe if i can do cool things like put up pictures i will find motivation for blogging again.


for disappearing again. the graduation was exhausting!that's all...and i am in another one of my not sharing phases, but i will get over it.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

commencement weekend

so far, i am finding this entire experience emotional and uncomfortable. my mother is staying in my bedroom, i am stuck on the futon, and it is crowded. my grandparents and classmates really start coming in to town tomorrow ...i cant believe i committed to walking across a stage in a silly hat with all my curls sticking in every direction and my family being family.

i am not entirely sure why i am feeling embarrased either. i mean, this is a huge accomplishment that i struggled for, right, so why am i not flooded in pride?

oh, and by the way, my boss, you know, the one from the hospital (i am still an employee, even if it is only PRN (meaning they call me as i am needed for those of you who dont know what PRN is) anyhow, my boss invited me to a barbeque at her house next friday...i hadn't realized our relationship had grown that much, but it is something i am very open too. i really like her as a person, and it always made me sad that i irritated her as much as i do.

Song of the day: here comes the sun- the beatles

Sunday, May 14, 2006

mental health and the united states military

this is a part of the problem. we have no draft and we send people who are unfit to war..... this article only talks in terms of suicides, but i wonder what the statistics for aggressive and homicidal behavior are as well. you do not put some one suffering from PTSD on active duty- flashbacks and increased stress are likely to be the outcome ....i also feel sarcastic, and want to snidely say "i guess HIMMA is in place in the army already."

why don't people care more?


Report: Military Ignoring Mental Illness Sun May 14, 11:52 AM ET

HARTFORD, Conn. - U.S. military troops with severe psychological problems have been sent to Iraq or kept in combat, even when superiors have been aware of signs of mental illness, a newspaper reported for Sunday editions.
The Hartford Courant, citing records obtained under the federal Freedom of Information Act and more than 100 interviews of families and military personnel, reported numerous cases in which the military failed to follow its own regulations in screening, treating and evacuating mentally unfit troops from Iraq.
In 1997, Congress ordered the military to assess the mental health of all deploying troops. The newspaper, citing Pentagon statistics, said fewer than 1 in 300 service members were referred to a mental health professional before shipping out for Iraq as of October 2005.
Twenty-two U.S. troops committed suicide in Iraq last year, accounting for nearly one in five of all non-combat deaths and the highest suicide rate since the war started, the newspaper said.
Some service members who committed suicide in 2004 and 2005 were kept on duty despite clear signs of mental distress, sometimes after being prescribed antidepressants with little or no mental health counseling or monitoring, the Courant reported. Those findings conflict with regulations adopted last year by the Army that caution against the use of antidepressants for "extended deployments."
"I can't imagine something more irresponsible than putting a soldier suffering from stress on (antidepressants), when you know these drugs can cause people to become suicidal and homicidal," said Vera Sharav, president of the Alliance for Human Research Protection, a New York-based advocacy group. "You're creating chemically activated time bombs."
Although Defense Department standards for enlistment disqualify recruits who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, the military also is redeploying service members to Iraq who fit that criteria, the newspaper said.
"I'm concerned that people who are symptomatic are being sent back. That has not happened before in our country," said Dr. Arthur S. Blank, Jr., a Yale-trained psychiatrist who helped to get post-traumatic stress disorder recognized as a diagnosis after the Vietnam War.
The Army's top mental health expert, Col. Elspeth Ritchie, acknowledged that some deployment practices,
"The challenge for us ... is that the Army has a mission to fight. And, as you know, recruiting has been a challenge," she said. "And so we have to weigh the needs of the Army, the needs of the mission, with the soldiers' personal needs."
Commanders, not medical professionals, have final say over whether a troubled soldier is retained in the war zone. Ritchie and other military officials said they believe most commanders are alert to mental health problems and are open to referring troubled soldiers for treatment.

mother's day- daisy zamora

I do not doubt you would have liked
one of those pretty mother's in the ads:
complete with adoring husband and happy children.
She's always smiling, and if she cries at all
it is absent of lights and camera,
make-up washed from her face.

But since you were born of my womb, I should tell you:
ever since I was small like you
I wanted to be myself-and for a woman that's hard-
(even my Guardian Angel refused to watch over me
when she heard).

I cannot tell you that I know the road.
Often I lose my way
and my life has been a painful crossing
navigating reefs, in and out of storms,
refusing to listen to the ghastly sirens
who invite me into the past,
neither compass nor binnacle to show me the way.

But I advance,
go forward holding to the hope
of some distant port
where you, my children -I'm sure-
will pull in one day
after I've been lost at sea.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

ohio- the struggle for healthcare is far from over

it is important to not overlook senators voinovich and dewine's yeah votes in relation to the HIMMA bill. i don't know how ohio stacks up in coverage, but i hope to find out. i intend on doing some stastics research this week, but it doesnt seem helpful to create a decrease in health insurance coverage. werent they just publising stastics that applaud the increase in numbers of americans with coverage? i can think of only two motivations for this.

first, even the name of the bill "marketplace modernization" says it all. its about who is gonna make money (and should i point out the multimillion dollars spent on pharmicological advertisements which really just encourage the consumer to mistrust what their doctor says because they would be better if they were on this pill). second, limits would need to be set on medical care, and that scares the crap out of us becasue we think we should get to live forever. the truth is, we are unwilling to discuss things we are going to need to discuss in this changing world of healthcare (such as, something like 80% of all lifetime medical costs is focused on the last six months of life...that's alot to spend just to die), and everyone wants to believe they will be the ones who get to keep their for himself and there is no all.

Song of the day:

indigo girls 2- october 1994, akron ohio, e.j. thomas hall

the cast: molly (that's me)
sally (the first of many shows for us)
luis (sally's puerto rican boyfriend)
vivian (a six foot loud-mouthed drag queen)
shanna (my on again off again best friend)

forget about the ride down to Akron listening to rush and gwar (luis drove), forget about getting lost looking for fast food, forget about the fact a few of us had
been going on a no-doze washed down with coffee high for three days, the show had some highlights.

sally and vivian met michelle malone in the lobby after her opening set. apparently, sally had fallen madly in lust with michelle during her six songs, so vivian took it upon herself to tell michelle that she had turned sally gay...michelle says "if i only had a dime". it was the start of an interesting relationship.

after the show, we did as all good groupies do, and waited out back to see the indigo girls drive off (a first for me). ms. vivian yelled to the girls "as ms. ohio city oasis 1993 (i dont know if she really was or not), i want to thank you on behalf of clevelands gay youth blahb blah blah blahabklhablh" then shanna literally threw herself on the front of the car is it tried to drive away....and i thought I was a little fan struck and nutty

Song of the day: reunion-indigo girls

HIMMA defeated!!

from the american counseling association...i really hope at least one of the ohio senators voted against it too, but i guess beggers cant be choosers

From: ACA Public Policy Listserv on behalf of Scott Barstow
Sent: Fri 5/12/2006 5:25 PM
Subject: ACA UPDATE: S. 1955 Stalls on Senate Floor

Thanks to loud and concerted grassroots opposition on the part of ACA members and others, S. 1955—the “Healthcare Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act,” or HIMMA—was stopped on the Senate floor this week. ACA joined a long list of national and state health care consumer, provider, disability, social service, human rights, labor, and other organizations in opposing S. 1955. In a procedural vote on May 11th to end debate on the bill, only 55 Senators voted “yes,” five votes fewer than the 60 votes needed. S. 1955 would have gutted states’ ability to establish minimum health insurance quality standards and benefits, including laws in 22 states supporting coverage of counselors’ services and laws in 39 states establishing minimum coverage standards for mental health services in general.

In addition to sending our recent e-mail alerts, ACA joined other groups in signing a letter to all Senators on May 8th urging opposition to the bill. As the letter stated:

“S. 1955 would take away the states’ power to regulate health insurance. The bill preempts benefit, service and provider laws that states have enacted to ensure that consumers have adequate health coverage. Coverage for cancer screenings and treatment, diabetes supplies and education, mental health, preventive care, rehabilitation, well-child care and immunizations, maternity care, and other important health care needs would be lost.”

The letter went on to point out that S. 1955 “would preempt stronger state laws that limit the ability of insurers to vary premiums based on health status, age, gender and geography. For many older, sicker Americans and those with complex health needs and disabilities, this would price them out of the health insurance market, undermining the stated purpose of the legislation.” By allowing health plans to effectively “cherry pick” the healthiest individuals, S. 1955 runs counter to the basic premise of insurance, which is to spread risk as broadly and inclusively as possible.

Among the many organizations signing on to the letter in addition to ACA were the American Psychological Association, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, the National Association of Social Workers, the American Federation of Teachers, the National Disability Rights Network, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, and the National Mental Health Association. Several state insurance commissioners and attorneys general also came out against the legislation.

ACA sincerely thanks those counselors who took the time to contact their Senators to urge their opposition to the legislation. Your work helped make the difference! Unfortunately, similar legislation may be brought up again later this session. ACA will continue to follow this issue and take action as needed.

For more information, contact:
Scott Barstow
Director of Public Policy and Legislation
American Counseling Association
5999 Stevenson Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22304
ph: 800-347-6647 x234

2007 ACA Annual Convention
March 21-25, 2007

Detroit, Michigan

Song of the day: hammer and a nail- indigo girls

Thursday, May 11, 2006

a new definition of demcrat

I am angered by Howard Dean, and now i fully agree with jeff hess... it is time for a new party, because there is truly no progressiveness among the democrats as they cater to the right wing and join in on liberal bashing.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

indigo girls 1-July 1994, nautica stage, cleveland ohio

the thing that sucked about high school for me is my difference. the first indigo girls show i went to i was accompanied by sarah, jen and heather- all blond with a mean type of bubbly demeanor. i was seventeen and F-A-T, with crazy red curls flying all over the place. they liked to talk about make-up and shopping alot. i did not.

i saw women everywhere down there by the river, my friends trying to keep me engaged, but there were wimmin everywhere! hippie chicks (mmmmmm), jock-dykes (not that i knew that term quite yet), preppies, deisels, lipsticks, just women everywhere!

suddenly i understood myself alot better...i really like women.

Song of the day: Least Complicated- Indigo Girls

forget polotics

so i dont want to talk about polotics right now. truth is, i have no idea on how to create any change right now, and i don't feel like running my mouth when i have no intention on doing anything about it.

i could use some room to write fictionalized memories anyhow.

Song of the day: my there for me guitar-caroline aiken

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

an email from my mother...

my mom forwarded this to me this morning, and i think it is important for as many people as possible to know about this.


From: ACA Public Policy Listserv on behalf of Scott Barstow
Sent: Mon 5/1/2006 6:23 PM
Subject: ACA ALERT: Anti-S.1955 Call-In Day -- THIS WEDNESDAY

ACA is joining with an unprecedented array of national and state health care consumer, provider, disability, social service, human rights, labor, and other organizations in opposing S. 1955, the Health Insurance Marketplace Modernization and Affordability Act. As noted in an e-mail last week, this legislation would obliterate state health insurance laws and regulations protecting consumers.

S. 1955 could come up for a vote as soon as this week. To help defeat the legislation, several national organizations are sponsoring a national call-in day.


To identify your Senators, hit ACA’s legislative action center on the web at You’ll also find an alert on this issue.

When you reach your Senators’ offices, tell them to vote AGAINST S. 1955 (also known as the “Enzi bill”) because it will:
Allow health plans to do an end-run around state laws requiring coverage of counselors services and other mental health services;
Let insurers discriminate based on health status, age, gender, and other criteria that prevent health care costs from skyrocketing for many Americans.

Please take advantage of the toll-free number, and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this issue.

Scott Barstow
Director of Public Policy and Legislation
American Counseling Association
5999 Stevenson Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22304
ph: 800-347-6647 x234

2007 ACA Annual Convention
March 21-25, 2007
Detroit, Michigan
Locations of visitors to this page
adopt your own virtual pet!