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We salute the Grammy nomination of the late great Dave Van Ronk's final concert album:
". . . and the tin pan bended and the story ended . . ."
DVR Grammy CD
CONGRATULATIONS!
Watch the 47th Grammy's and look for DVR's Wife and Producer, Andrea Vuocolo Vanronk, and our beloved Christine Lavin [who helped edit it]
February 13, 2005 8PM on CBS.

TFT
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William Valdez is our Son-in-Law Extrodinaire.
You can support our troops via this site, and support William, personally, if you wish. His TFT ID is 1862195
Thank you!

don't recycle bush


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US Faces of the Fallen:
ĽUS Fatalities in Iraq

ĽUS Fatalities; "Operation Enduring Freedom"


Civilian casualties update
 
 
  Saturday   September 29   2007

I dunno if I mentioned it or not, but thanks to the generosity of Miz Beverly Graham [Ken Wright too] Zachary and Bartholomew aka McDreamy aka Kerfuffle aka Val aka.... these two boyz came into my life and they came at incredibly emotional and vulnerable times in my life..when I have been on the verge of no joy, no heart, no soul, well there was a heart, 'cuz it was totally breaking, in shards...!

But, today I looked to phone Bev and thank her yet again for her joyful, generous love she shared, and she had Avian, her grandson 18 months [love that age personally - it's the start of terror, but also the person becomes him or herself - what fun!!! no tongue in cheek here] over playing "drums" [read: banging -- hmm, is he Ken in progress?] and I found this terrific site, Musician's Registry I'd like to share!


messenger



FWIW, "Carry Me" is the song that always made Mom cry and it hit her core self, and "Thoughts of My Father" well, it bring me to my knees in tears. And, despite these deep songs, and deep work she does with Operation Sack Lunch, she still has a sense of the ridiculousness, and can write and sing like the most rockin' and /or soul /or R&B chick there is. You should hear her do "House of the Rising Son" [move over Dave Van Ronk and Dylan -ps that's her Dad's fav song].

Enjoy her music and check out her own site. Listen, buy, feel, enjoy and share.



##

PS Her concerts are brilliant, and she's funny, and wise and human and it's so worth seeing her in person; stellar music with stories - how kewl is that?!?

 03:48 PM - link -    



  Monday   September 24   2007

Our visit with Mom tonight totally drained me.

She apparently had been hitting [at] people today. After talking with Tammy, it came out that last night they didn't give Mom her medicine. Well, that surely would take it's toll on her physically, emotionally, and mentally -- so it seems unfair that she be penalized for their not working it to give her her final Rx du jour.

Today they gave her an extra Atavan, and she quieted down.

She's also on Oxycodone TID, which means she has pain, real pain, that they are keeping her system full of pain meds. Poor Bahmu. But I'm glad they are not sweating it, and have decided to keep her pain meds consistent. They also give her Tylenol PRN to help the swelling and pain.

Mom's right shin FINALLY has closed up, the sore she had, and I'm stoked about that.

Mom looks so thin. She wasn't in layers, and her arms were exposed. Damnit, she's skinny.
Tammy said she doesn't eat much, they use Ensure to basically maintain her diet. When she has food, she's always giving it away. I know this stems from her Hostess tendencies, but I also know that she never ever ever likes to eat in Public. She hated to eat out.

I think I'll write or call and suggest she eat in the room we meet in.

Apparently, she sleeps on the recliner in the evening.

She ate quite a bit with us tonight. That was goodness. But it speaks volumes re: something being wrong that she won't eat their food.

We leave leftovers, and I guess the "american spaghetti" is what she eats most of, but she still tries to "share".

Gordy's take on Mom tonight was that she was like last visit, but I sensed a "mania beneath the surface" for lack of a better description. She was sort of "hysterical" beneath it all, being a bit too "high" re: being hostess, and chatting us up, etc etc.

She looks so wrong. Yes, she's gorgeous as usual, but there was something, to my eye, that was wrong and gave me a warning,"danger alert defcom 3" type of feel.

I was left totally drained tonight, and cried some and just feel wrong. It's been way over a year! At this point, I wonder if she's happier with the "routine" she has. Again, Tammy said she takes walks with the guys here, other patients, and Chuck Harris, the psychiatrist, takes Mom for walks when she is upset. These people know her very well. They also are familiar to Mom. I would hate to have her stay here, but maybe at this time, she would be most happy here? I don't know. I can't ask. She has a mini wall up.

I am overwhelmed with not knowing, nor intuiting what is best for Mom. I have failed her on so many levels, and I just want her to feel safe and her to be surrounded by the things and people that make her feel comfortable enough to just be herself, warts and all. But I don't know that this is the place either.

Of course, I don't have the power to change it -- that is because of the actions of HomePlace etc way back when that got her under state care, by "streeting her" way back when. Damn.

I love and miss my Mother. I want her to be as okay as she is capable of being. I want her to feel love and safe and her to feel special as she has always been treated throughout her life. To have lost the power of communication, speech, one of her tools to charm and cajole is gut-wrenching to watch.

I love her more than words will ever ever ever be able to convey. But loving her isn't making things better or right for her.
Mom!
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 12:03 AM - link -    



  Saturday   September 22   2007

I'm not sure why this is rattling in my mind at this minute, but it is, so here's a post about it.

I obviously have not fleshed it out, but here's what I think re: the upcoming voting process, and hopefully completely bug-free by the presidential election.

So many states have gone "computer" v. ballots - erroneously to avoid the "chad" situation. Inherent in the system, I don't feel it's much good -- where's the ol' "paper trail" . Personally, I am of a believe that the old fashioned paper ballots [and I don't mean cards read by computers via chads and /or #2 pencils] would be the least vulnerable process, especially if they were mail in, and with a personal signature as part of the ID.

But, since that isn't what the future holds, here's my proposal.

Remove the electoral college for once and for all.

This is an era where most everyone is computer savvy, and surely every town has access to a computer in the library or town hall or school -- but, if not, there is always laptops ready to come to those town sand voters. We got the technology folx. Heck, look at google-map - you can even monitor the people voting .

Therefore, IMNSHO, it's absolutely time for the POPULAR vote to be counted , truly letting the people elect whomever they want.

Software isn't that hard to build to make it hacker-safe, and the speed with which the data can be analyzed, well, it's can be counted more quickly than the exit polls reported on air.

It also would be goodness to offer a more level playing field, where the 4 hour difference is not an issue re: closing the balloting. And how about we keep it on the QT, make the reporters hold off their straw poll until later, when the balloting is completed. That way people won't be influenced to vote a certain way because of what they have heard about how it's going already.

There are still a lot of people out there who would prefer to be "part of the 'in' crowd" than have their own view count. It seems ludicrous, but it's an odd truth about our latent sheepyness "Baaaaah".

So let's nuke the electoral college. It's purpose as a "leveler" is extinct, dated, a dinosaur -- Instead, let each person's voice have a meaning; to be counted literally, not "rounded up" as we have done prior to now.

Just my .02 fer free.
FIAT!
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 03:35 PM - link -    



  Friday   September 21   2007

It's official! I will be going to CPT again, this time the emphasis will be on my CTS in hopes of avoiding the release surgery.

Instead of going to Florida again, I chose to go to California as it is so much closer to home, and the flights are more frequent should I need to get home PDQ.

There will be only one person working with me. Her name is Mary. My understanding is that CPT is very particular on who will represent them, so I'm hoping she will concentrate on using the Wurn technique primarily.

So, I am glad that I made a choice, and I'm hoping that this trip will jump start my life again, and with the help of OEH, Julie Keegan specifically, I won't lose the ground I gain after the week of intensive work - 4-5 hours a day of deep body work, when I come home again.

So I'm nervous, but excited in so many ways.

Tempus fugit! I'm leaving so soon...gotta run, gotta get my head straight, my ducks in a row, my stuff chosen to bring, travel arrangements, and ...oy!
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 12:14 AM - link -    



  Saturday   September 15   2007

Well, I had a huge tummy scare yesterday...I was sure I was going to "whoops" and the pain was intense directly in the solar plexus area and pretty much under the top scar from the lapro surgery...maybe the adhesion needs work again? I am not sure.

I have been stressing about personal healthstuff again.

The work with Julie still hasn't resolved the left side spasms yet, but there are pieces of time that are without pain, or minimal pain. OTOH, the left hand /arm /shoulder area has intensified -- i.e. CTS. Drs Fuhs and Waite both are talking surgery. Fuhs said that it's a quick out-patient surgery that will help immensely, and down time is minimal. And, if I wait too long, I could do permanent damage to the nerve.

I spoke to both Julie and a phone session with Belinda from CPT, and both are on the same page re: the work they could offer to un-crunch the bones and fascia et al that is probably adding to, if not causing the nerve to be "pinched".

    My dilemma ends up being first:
  • Western POV -- i.e. surgery
  • Eastern POV -- Acupunture, Clear Passage body work, Massage therapy etc.
      Belinda says it will require a 20 hour intensive, i.e. 1 week - so which location?
    • Gainesville, FL
    • Newport Beach, CA

I'm leaning towards going to CP as both locations have an opening the week of October 8, but there are so many factors that don't make the locations "apples to apples", au contraire, the proverbial "apples to oranges" and I'm confused big time!

    The biggest negatives re: FL
  • Loooong flights
  • Drive to /from airport to Gainesville [with my exhaustion and poor brain retention it can make long distance drives prohibitive]
  • Access to home if Mom needs me [ease of getting flights, and returning home in a timely way]

    The biggest negatives re: CA
  • I've never met Mary; we haven't worked together
  • Money. This office doesn't work with insurance
  • The surroundings are unfamiliar

So, there is a lot of stress -- making choices are not my forte.
So, I'm in an infinite loop and it's crazy-making. Maybe Marilyn can help me in my decision making.
Ack.
##

 04:06 PM - link -    



  Monday   September 10   2007

Well, I lost my "little boy" to the wilds of the "cat house"!!!

I went into the cat house I built under the deck, and Olivia was there, and Zach soon followed. I decided to call Bartholomew and see if he'd come down. He DID! Hurrah!

But, he had such a great time, that he was there most of the day. It wasn't until we "closed for business" that he finally came up, and is inside again...pacing pacing...and then he tried again to get outside, and I know it can be done, as Olivia has done it in the past. Well tonight he gave up..but? My baby boy is growing up! Oh my!

Did I mention he gained 3 lbs aready - not fat, length.

Finally, he rests here at my feet in a straw container that he likes, so that's goodness. I just love my cats to pieces and bits..! I'm a lucky gal. Well he has a vet appt. manana, so I hope it goes easy.

I think I need Gordy's help because a few hours ago, I was working on moving one of the cat condo's to the other Bedroom window, but in the process, I got clobbered by a lamp, and it hurt me a lot -- damage to both arms and my back...what a bozo I iz. But, it's moved, and Zach and Olivia have already checked it out. My the fuzzy ones are brilliant.

Well, for wish me a quick recovery -- it hurts -- I truly need to gain purchase on my body. Jeeze.

Well, methinks I need to touch some cold wet kitty noses and they try for sleep. I took more snaps, I'll dump 'em and maybe post a few on the morrow.

BTW, keep that light flowing for Gae -- it must be working as I saw her drive off in the car! Kewl beanz y'all.
Pax!
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 11:41 PM - link -    



  Friday   September 7   2007

It's amazing what comes across the 'puter via . I have to share this vid which has Brian Eno talking about his muse for creating "Ambient 1 (Music for Airports)". Enjoy!



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 01:11 PM - link -    




Well, I had some mind-blowing news that I just can't seem to get my mind wrapped around.

I was finally moving into my home here in April '97 (at last, after 6 seemingly endless budget-breaking months of construction, choices, disappointments and more choices) with my Mom and Dad's help unpacking boxes and support. I'm not sure when it was slipped onto my front, but magically, it appeared; it was huge yellow blossom sitting in a clear, stemless goblet floating in a clear gel.

It was my first real encounter from the neighborhood.

Somehow, Gae, from across the street, managed to covertly drop this chaos-stopper with none of us catching her. It was the first item to grace my picture window -- ooooh, lovely. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Like myself, she has a plethora of invisible chronic illnesses [ICIs] so there was little need for explaining why we need "down time". Neither of us has to do a lot of apologizing, explaining or mea culpa about why there were long times between chats, visits, or even returning a call or two. We created a warm and loving friendship, low maintenance.

Well, 10 years later, and a wee bit older, I received a phone call from my "Neighbah" that she had a stroke !! Gordy and I visited yesterday, loaf of Gordybread in hand [first loaf is free ], and it was goodness to hug and reassure myself she is truly here and on the mend. But the idea of this happening to a dear friend and peer..? Shit! What a wake-up call.

It's so odd, but with our plethora of chronic stuff, it is so unexpected when something else happens to us. Our ICIs fill our days up with pain, brain fog, meds, MD visits, therapy, vertigo, IBS, insomnia, being unsteady on our feet already, and other challenges, that it's hard to think outside the box that we are susceptible to other ills.

Her symptoms were not only comparable to the flu that was going on, vertigo with nausea and hot and cold bits, and many of those symptoms are comparable to our every day bouts o' woes, that how are we supposed to recognize a new thing as not just another ICI surprise symptom?

So, for the past month or so, it had been building. Gae was walking her dog along the beach and fell a few times in a single day [fits our profiles] and she felt out of whack - just not "right, [aka SNAFU] and apparently, people have told her since the episode, that she had been talking some odd stuff and nonsense, but not enough for anyone to mention at the time.

I am so lucky that she appears so well at this time. Her memory is way better than mine, although you can see some of the effects, walking less than steady, her demeanor less vibrant, although absolutely as loving and embracing and caring, and, although one side did not "pull down", I can see that there is a wee bit difference on one side, which hopefully will remedy itself.

My most recent visits to Dr Jimenez was yet another eye-opener. All the pain I speak of, that formerly could be attributed to FMS, MPS, CTS, are now called, osteoarthritis, and arthritis and other rheumatoid itis's, aka old age -- at least some of my peers are now feeling some of what I have experienced for decades...little solace that. Sigh.

But, as usual I ramble and digress.

I hurt for my sweet "neighbah" - as we call eachother in our faux NYC accents, my little "knish" . I want her safe and well and able and I know Gordy and I, as well as others who know and love her, have taken this wake up call seriously...it's so very close to home.

Chins up Gae -- I'm sending positive healing and protective energy and light your way. And I'll be by to visit anon, and will try to encourage yet another loaf from Gordy! It's so therapeutic. Feel free to send healing prayers, light, energy or what works for you, her way. She is so deserving of it. Pax!
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 01:05 PM - link -    



  Thursday   September 6   2007

Well, methinks this will be the last time for a while, but I had to do YAS [yet another simpsonizing...] of Gordy, and here he is:


gordy simpson

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 03:21 AM - link -    




Holy Crap he's been "outed"! I mean I knew, via bits and pieces, as well as my gut, as I heard Bush and co. speak in the past, with contradictions, with their smirks, twitches, and tweaks, et al , that there were no WMDs, and the was was going to happen 'cuz Bush wanted it, but to read about this with facts and read the depths of deception that was going on, and that the French's intelligence was ignored, and, typical of Bush & co's M.O., they were smeared, this time as cowardly, and to create lies and perpetrate them throughout, and to call their fabricated [a taxi-driver cum laison of import] source code name "Curveball" to boot? oh my tummy is turning, and not from the IBS for a change...jeeze...here's snippets from the Salon article, and I suggest you read this article, oh man, the audacity - and worse, he /they are always successful in their lies and cheats and never getting payback...what is wrong with everyone letting them get away with it? Shit!

logo





Bush knew Saddam had no weapons of mass destruction



Salon exclusive: Two former CIA officers say the president squelched top-secret intelligence, and a briefing by George Tenet, months before invading Iraq

By Sidney Blumenthal

Sept. 6, 2007 | On Sept. 18, 2002, CIA director George Tenet briefed President Bush in the Oval Office on top-secret intelligence that Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction, according to two former senior CIA officers. Bush dismissed as worthless this information from the Iraqi foreign minister, a member of Saddam's inner circle, although it turned out to be accurate in every detail. Tenet never brought it up again.

Nor was the intelligence included in the National Intelligence Estimate of October 2002, which stated categorically that Iraq possessed WMD. No one in Congress was aware of the secret intelligence that Saddam had no WMD as the House of Representatives and the Senate voted, a week after the submission of the NIE, on the Authorization for Use of Military Force in Iraq. The information, moreover, was not circulated within the CIA among those agents involved in operations to prove whether Saddam had WMD.

On April 23, 2006, CBS's "60 Minutes" interviewed Tyler Drumheller, the former CIA chief of clandestine operations for Europe, who disclosed that the agency had received documentary intelligence from Naji Sabri, Saddam's foreign minister, that Saddam did not have WMD. "We continued to validate him the whole way through," said Drumheller. "The policy was set. The war in Iraq was coming, and they were looking for intelligence to fit into the policy, to justify the policy.
[snip]

[Collin Powell was exonerated by this author, he never knew otherwise - that surprises and pleases me, but surely, he had a clue, he isn't stupid, and I imagine he had his own sources, so, I wonder, did he choose to ignore what he "knew", or did he truly not know at all?]

Instead, said the former officials, the information was distorted in a report written to fit the preconception that Saddam did have WMD programs. That false and restructured report was passed to Richard Dearlove, chief of the British Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), who briefed Prime Minister Tony Blair on it as validation of the cause for war.

Secretary of State Powell, in preparation for his presentation of evidence of Saddam's WMD to the United Nations Security Council on Feb. 5, 2003, spent days at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., and had Tenet sit directly behind him as a sign of credibility. But Tenet, according to the sources, never told Powell about existing intelligence that there were no WMD, and Powell's speech was later revealed to be a series of falsehoods.

Both the French intelligence service and the CIA paid Sabri hundreds of thousands of dollars (at least $200,000 in the case of the CIA) to give them documents on Saddam's WMD programs. "The information detailed that Saddam may have wished to have a program, that his engineers had told him they could build a nuclear weapon within two years if they had fissible material, which they didn't, and that they had no chemical or biological weapons," one of the former CIA officers told me.

On the eve of Sabri's appearance at the United Nations in September 2002 to present Saddam's case, the officer in charge of this operation met in New York with a "cutout" who had debriefed Sabri for the CIA. Then the officer flew to Washington, where he met with CIA deputy director John McLaughlin, who was "excited" about the report. Nonetheless, McLaughlin expressed his reservations. He said that Sabri's information was at odds with "our best source." That source was code-named "Curveball," later exposed as a fabricator, con man and former Iraqi taxi driver posing as a chemical engineer.
[snip]
The officers continued to insist on the significance of Sabri's information, but one of Tenet's deputies told them, "You haven't figured this out yet. This isn't about intelligence. It's about regime change."

The CIA officers on the case awaited the report they had submitted on Sabri to be circulated back to them, but they never received it. They learned later that a new report had been written. "It was written by someone in the agency, but unclear who or where, it was so tightly controlled. They knew what would please the White House. They knew what the king wanted," one of the officers told me.

That report contained a false preamble stating that Saddam was "aggressively and covertly developing" nuclear weapons and that he already possessed chemical and biological weapons. "Totally out of whack," said one of the CIA officers. "The first [para]graph of an intelligence report is the most important and most read and colors the rest of the report." He pointed out that the case officer who wrote the initial report had not written the preamble and the new memo. "That's not what the original memo said."

The report with the misleading introduction was given to Dearlove of MI6, who briefed the prime minister. "They were given a scaled-down version of the report," said one of the CIA officers. "It was a summary given for liaison, with the sourcing taken out. They showed the British the statement Saddam was pursuing an aggressive program, and rewrote the report to attempt to support that statement. It was insidious. Blair bought it." "Blair was duped," said the other CIA officer. "He was shown the altered report."
[snip]


guyz

Photos: AP/Wide World (Clockwise from top left)
Naji Sabri, George W. Bush, Colin Powell and George Tenet.


read it all linking here...:
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 03:03 AM - link -    



  Wednesday   September 5   2007

Per request, at Gordy's [3rd, or is it 4th?] birthday celebration, I found a snap o' Mikey, and finally found a window where it wasn't slammed and busy, and created Mike's Simpsonized snap.
I hope you like it Mike, Enjoy!


Mike simpson

xo+ ..Zoe
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 08:13 PM - link -    



  Sunday   September 2   2007

Well, I did it...I'm Simpsonized, so here it is:


moi
The long view of yours truly with the appropriate3 kitties ;-)

You can do this too linking here- enjoy!
##

 12:38 AM - link -    



"walk this way..." Igor [prnounced Eye-gore] from "Young Frankenstien" [pronounced Steen] -- there's more!