Friday, April 29, 2011

Remembering Those In The South

Twister, it came out in mid-80s I believe, or early 90s.  The sounds of thunder, roaring, terror as there is no place to hide when a monster of mother nature comes barreling down.

I lived through a tiny one in 1997.  It sounds just like people describe it.  With my black lab Boozer (unafraid of anything up to that point) our greyhound Rosie, and my son, we huddled in the closet underneath our stairs while the screeching, howling, rocking, eery freight train in our house roared by.  It picked up and dumped a 20' ash tree on my house, tore up the privacy fencing dumping it in my neighbors' yards, or the lake; twisted a tree around and plopped it over into the lake.  That would become a turtle's resting place and the snowy egrets favorite fishing spot.

But the tornado that came through my neighborhood, did nothing that looked like this:

(Photo: Dusty Compton)

And on this day, and for the days to come, I wish I could do more than send my condolences and well wishes to those who just lost everything, including lives. 

(Also, if by chance, you are Beverly A. Wa... from Tuscaloosa, AL who graduated from a small podunk high school in the middle of ND whose dad was in a military unit who had a best friend with which you made AWESOME pizza  ... could you, you know, let people know you're okay?  We care.  We understand.  We have been, and are, there with you in spirit.)

My Secret Fascination

started in 1981 when a then 19 year old, 3 years older than me, became engaged to the world's most eligible bachelor.  My parents told of my blue blood from Prussia (my great grandfather was a knight and an earl and the head of the Prussian guard), my dad has always called me PJ.  Family folklore, I say!

So, early one mornng with my then doubles partner, I got up, watched the wedding for hours, and then drove us to our tennis meet that day.  Tournaments were in full bloom, we were very, very good.  Formidable, you might say.  (We won.)

Then went home to watch more wedding coverage until our next day's tournament schedule started.

I came close to meeting Princess Diana when she was on Martha's Vineyard in 1994.  She was in a store nearby the Black Dog Tavern, but I didn't want to be "that" girl and pester her on vacation... I did not want to be "that" groupie and track her down.  I have all the magazines upon which she adorned the cover from 1981 forward and every book ever written on her.  The TY bears with the white rose insignia are with me as well.  My tiara sits on the one's head.

Wish I would have tried to meet her.  When she died... well, that was a horrific day.  For young women who looked up to a princess who humbled herself to humanity, for young women who's only other role models were skimpy (read: trashy) singers (think Madonna), for young women needing someone who they could relate to on a human level, Diana WAS and IS the queen of our hearts.  Always.

Today, her son... the one that could hardly look up as he walked behind the cortege carrying her casket, the one who held his mom's hand when she cried over the deceitfulness of his father... got married to a woman he adores.

I watched.  And was thrilled to see some slight things that reminded me that those who go before us, never truly leave.

William tucks his head to the left a bit.  Just like Diana.

William bites his upper lip a bit.  Just like Diana.

The engagement ring was worn by Kate on the way in on her left hand, disappeared during the ceremony (slight of hand while William held it at the alter?), and reappeared on the carriage ride back to Buckingham.  In spirit, Diana was there all day with them

William loves his new spouse.  Just like Diana.

Happily, William's new spouse loves him right back.  Unlike, sadly, Diana.

So, why at 46 did I watch?  Really?

The world needs a happy story right now with all the right touches of humanity; with the appropriate amount of elegance and pomp and circumstance.  The world needs a happy COUPLE to show the world that divorce and marriages of vanity and superficiality are not what the word entails.

This couple love each other through their quirks, their hardships, their breakup(s?), their laughter, their lives.

They are not only bringing a day of joy and hope to millions, they are bringing class, sophistication and elegance to a world trashing itself up pretty well.

I wish them the very best (not that they read here!).

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Junk Email Hits Home

Got a spam email today in my regular inbox. Was going to delete it. But it hit on a topic near and dear to me.

My post yesterday about liars was written in January after an incident with Bentley. My anger at the individuals in question still seethes under the surface apparently. Bentley is truly a godsend, my heart-mender, and a love.

But I hate liars. Tiny lies. Big lies. Indiscriminate lies. Stupid lies. I'm not talking about the lies where someone who should not be wearing spandex asks if they newly purchased spandex tights "make me look fat" and you respond, "No, they look awesome!" type lies; I'mt talking lies that destroy faith in other people, or in the case of my post, the lies around Bentley.

Today, I got a spam email. It was about relationships. It holds true for either gender but was written to a woman.

A man who lies a lot doesn’t just have a problem, he has a basic character flaw. Unless he is committed to changing this about himself he will just continue to lie and get away with whatever he can. A solid, loving relationship can not be built on lies and deceit.

If he lies about the important things just imagine what he does with the small things!

Yes. Exactly. And not just in romantic relationships, but in all relationships.

The rest of the piece is here:

(picture of Pinocchio courtesy of

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Come Some Saturday

I'll be able to see the sunshine, drive to the store and not realize something, someone, is missing. (I wrote that on October 30th, 2010.)

Every day, actually is like this. Every day, I wake up to the warmth of my own bed and realize the love who lies next to me, is not the love I took for walks, stroked his fur, or snuggled with.

Storm's bloat and torsion was a year ago. Seems incredibly long ago, and yet... oh, I don't know. I still miss him. His youtube video is yet to be finished. I can't. Well, I can, I don't want to. It means letting him go. Yes, just a dog, but my heart... and my soul died with him last October... Storm Trooper.

and yet, there is Bentley. Full of himself at almost 9 months, still intact, still full of puppy mischief, goofy antics that only great danes do, still not understanding he could jump on my bed rather than channel his inner Sir Mallory and climb.

If Storm was my heart and soul, Bentley is my heartmender. I tell him that often. I don't think he knows what I'm saying but I think he senses my heart.


I hate them.  Seriously, hate.  Find that lying, stealing, conniving people are the base dimension of evil.

The only greater good I see them supplying to humanity is the ability to look at them and feel pity.  For pity is what they deserve as they connive to tell more lies to cover up the first lies to their fabrications of reality.

Yes, I'm angry.

Someone I trusted has completely lied to me, to others and then tried to steal from me.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dear SEC

You have some work to do.

Please start punishing those who grossly misstate their balance sheet which in turn decreases their expenses, thus over inflating their EPS and subsequently, the company's overall NI.



P.S.  While tempted to post which company I am specifically referring to ... very tempted ... I will refrain.  But the anger I thought was long gone, remains intact.

Monday, April 25, 2011

In Stitches - Anthony Youn, M.D.

Went to Vegas a few weeks ago, packed exactly:

2 pairs of dressy/strappy/flirty shoes
1 pair of running shoes (waste)
5 flirty dresses

and a book, 'In Stitches' which is coming out TOMORROW, April 26th!

I do not fly coach.  Ever.  I am hopeful that I never will fly coach again.  (Trust me, with a 38" inseam, coach and my legs/knees/hips do not get along well.  And who am I kidding, I LOVE the leather seats up in front!)

Let me phrase this in such a way... there are "expectations" when you fly first. You must sit right, wear the appropriate attire (I wore dress white shorts with strappy sandals not packed, replete with very whispy silk blouse that reveals without revealing).  You don't speak to the well coifed man sitting next to you, and certainly, by GOD, you



I did.  I couldn't help it.  I think I even let out... le' gasp, a little "snort" at one point.  Actually, I think I let out a few, and then peered querulously around the corner of the leather chair back in front of me to see if the U.S. Marshals were going to put me back in coach.

Safe.  I picked the book back up and giggled.  Then I laughed out loud AGAIN, and then, it happened.  I gasped for air, and, ... I let out a little snort.
The book, whether medical school bound or medically trained or medically enthusiastic, is awesome!  I loved it.  From the tales of his pre-med and trying to find his identity to learning to let down parents gently (or not) to medical school to women to studying... and the basement shower!

Very much worth the money spent.  Very easily read and enjoyed.

Here is the link to my first post on the book.

Here is the link to buy it online:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Job's Daughters

Another forum spoke of Free Masonry (or Masons) and unfortunately, in my opinion, perpetuated that belief that the people who join the group, and its subsidiary groups like Eastern Star, Job's Daughters, or De Molay; are somehow evil doers, secretive, and nasty.

I was a Jobie.  I loved being a Jobie.  The girls in my group were awesome, inspiring, personable, fun loving, kind, considerate, and loving.  I remember the night Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford's election coverage.  We had a sleep over in the bethel.  Twenty five or thirty girls supervised by 4 elder women with food brought in by us, we prayed for a peaceful election night, then played games like Monopoly, or Clue, or Life.  We watched the TV.  We were elated (or saddened) on the outcome. 

We also did a seance in the cloak room and got busted by our bethel guardian.  Haha, Shirely Lee.  She about killed me. 

As time passed, I moved away and part of the pain of leaving that area was there was no Job's Daughters where I was going.

That one group gave me strength and understanding for the rest of my life.  When often asked what part of my childhood have I hung onto (besides wanting to be a doc), it is my Jobie heritage.

I'm proud of it.  I wish in my young adult life I had clung more tightly to the teachings but as my life has unfolded, I've often joked, Job had it worse than me.

We learned to give to others volunteering in shelters, on street cleanup - LONG before big companies paid large sums of money to hoist a sign in tribute to them - we did it quietly.  We went to nursing homes and sang for the elderly, we rode horses, we played basketball, we prayed for a better understanding of ourselves and the society in which we live.

We learned to understand and appreciate ALL faiths - whether Christian, Muslim, or Jew.  We learned by going to those services, not just reading a book.  We learned by being with people who did not believe as we did - within our own chapter, we had Catholics, Lutherans, Methodists, Baptists, and the heathen (tongue in cheek here) Congregationalists (of which I am one).  We learned to be obedient and kind, trusting and forthright.  We learned honesty and charity.

All at the age of 13 or so. 

We came to understand the Shriner's organization.  While I do not like circuses, the group does amazing things with their burn hospitals... just ask the kids who have been taken care of there, or the families.

Want to know more?  Click below.  It is the link to the Minnesota Chapter of Job's Daughters.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


A 2nd language.An ability to communicate with people in their own language which has always seemed to me, to be paramount to understanding where another person is coming from intellectually and emotionally.

When I learned German, I learned about spaetzle and kugel and other assorted culturally related foods (BEER!  ALE!); I learned the history of the Black Forest and Munich and Berlin.  The arts were taught by using words to paint, and music to play.

Russian came easier.  Once the alphabet was learned the words were easy, grammar more simplistic than German, and less use of different cases... dative, genative, plurative, yuckative.

So, I work around two hearing impaired - deaf - women.  They are ALWAYS happy!  They always smile and wave when I see them, they showed me their badges so I can know their names.  I only see one other person in this very large company sign with them.

I think I'd like to make that four people who sign at the company.  So, I'm looking up classes to take to learn it.  The alphabet was learned in the 5th grade along with Pig Latin and Spanish  (yes, I've always liked linguistics; just like Uhura, Xenolinguistics!).

Can't hurt me if I ever get patients.  Can't hurt me if I just want to add another aspect of interest to my life.

Here's a link if you would like to do the same.  Easy phrases complete with video!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I Cannot Resist

Many years ago, maybe when many of you were youngsters - very youngsters - a sitcom starring Jerry Seinfeld was winning rave reviews, lots of laughs, and launching many other stars.

I never cared for Seinfeld or his show.  After the poodle episode, I never watched again and of course, then "FRiENDS" took over (thank God!) and I was addicted to that.

Anyway, there was an episode about the time when Sponges (female contraceptives) were being taken off the shelf because some woman(en) claimed the sponges they used gave them various infections.  It doesn't help that they left them in places for days at a time.  Back in MY day, those were contraceptive of choice.

Elaine, the main female character on the show, had stock piled the contraceptives in her closet.  She dated and decided that she would keep dating a man if she deemed him sponge worthy.  It was hilarious! 

Anyway, my other post about my son's raiding in a game called "World of Warcraft" has prompted this post.

Raid worthy.

Many parents shun the video game world.  I well understand why.  I've seen everything from Call of Duty and its instant, graphic blood shed and violence, to Happy Feet with its penguins slip sliding on icebergs, to Battlefield, to Rift, to Bejeweled (I loved it first, I tell ya back in 2004).  I played Everquest with "Evil" in order to have some time with him, despite that it was in game instead of real life.  And Everquest morphed into a more cute game called, "World of Warcraft" otherwise, known as, WoW.

I left EQ to get away from "Evil" and liked Warcraft.  Having grown up in video arcade stores in the 70s and 80s, this was fun to play at home.  Cute animals, slaying bad demons, healing people (!!!), and getting "experience"

My son started to play here and there.  Evil had destroyed his self-esteem and the video game gave him a place to shine.

And he does.

When I traveled worldwide, I loaded up the game on my work laptop so that when I was in the Philippines or EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa for the non-business folks), I could log in online and play with my son.  He'd tank (keep the monsters from killing me) and I'd keep him alive (healer at your service).

I never worried about the impact of the game.  The graphics do not show bloodshed, the mobs killed are generally insidious looking, pretty yet disgusting.  I never worried about his time spent in the game talking to others because I had parental controls (hahahahaha).

Six years after the launch of the online game, we still play.  Ahem, he still plays.  I just log in.  He asks me to heal.  I say I have to eat.  He says eating is optional.  I say no it is not and that I'm no longer raid worthy.

He says I am raid worthy and know my class(es) well.  I did.  But something has changed.

My son has grown up and instead of following me to a guild, I've followed him.  He no longer needs me to find his friends in game or find a raid, he leads them now.  He no longer looks to me for support in game but now looks to me in real life.

Raid worthy.  I think I like that I am "Mom" worthy better.  I did what I could to sustain a relationship with my son for years while I was far flung across the globe.

What's the point of this post?  Not much.  :)

Make it a great day!

Monday, April 18, 2011

My Son - Gen Chem

I know... it is unacceptable to abuse our kids or anyone for that matter.  But I'd like to take cast iron frying pan upside my son's head.

Can I do that?

Me:  Okay, how about an hour of stoich?

Him:  Well, I have to tank a Cho'gall raid in 1/2 hour.  Can we do it after that?

Me:  Because Cho'gall is going to get you that awesome engineering job, right?

Him:  Well, I'm learning the dexterity of keyboards relevant to positioning during multiple maneuvers and several different disparate objects flying across the screen which I need to control otherwise, other people's keyboards may end up in trash.

Me:  You mean, you wiped the raid and are resetting.

Him:  Yes. 

At least he is trying to put disparate pieces of vernacular together to construct a logical sentence out of nonsensical rubbish.

Where's my pan?.....

Friday, April 15, 2011


I heard about this last year from a professor who told me I'd better not waste my time on EK prep books given the MCAT was changing SOOOOON!!!! Thankfully, I did not listen to him.

NEW MCAT is slated for implementation in 2015. If lucky, I will be an MS 3 then and not care.

That said, I went back to read the WSJ article on it and thought the title of the LINK said:

http:/ (guess we know where my mind is :D)

In that regard, here's to critical drinking:

and here's to the article itself:

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Eh... Old Chem

My son, now 19, is taking chemistry this semester.  His teacher is a bit ... looking for the right word... nice, but not very good in the lecture hall.  While I desparately try to NOT cringe when I think back to my g-chem professor (you know, the stalker?), I likewise have to admit (and have always done so, by the way), he was fabulous in the classroom.

So, last night my son, being 19, tried to cram for a g-chem exam. 

"Mom, can you teach me stoichiometry in 20 mins?"

I reached for a kleenex to wipe the snort off my hand.

Last night, in the comfy leather Lazy Boy chairs, I sat with my son and converted grams to moles to molecules; percentage yield, theoretical yield, EA, acid-base equation balancing, and then some.

In a way, it was kind of fun in the way only a 19 year old male son could make it.

Guess *Mom* isn't so stupid after all :)

And it gets better - he wants me to help him for the rest of the semester saying I do a better job of teaching him the chemistry than his PhD prof.  Probably helps that the prof can't threaten him with eviction... haha.

Guess I've learned more than just the chemistry... guess I've realized how much I miss being in school.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cool Technology Out of IBM

On the flight home from sunny, warm Las Vegas (not to mention lucrative Las Vegas!!!), the CEO of another company sat next to me.  Wall Street Journal in hand, we started talking about the latest out of IBM biotech.

He asked my thoughts on blasting the cell walls of bacteria with nanotechnology, and longer term usage.

First, it appears the technology targets gram-positive bacteria - easier membranes to pierce and destroy than gram-negative bacteria.  The gram-positives include MRSA which is often fatal in hospital patients. Nice to have this technology to help patients - put the nano particles in a skin cream, which then bonds with water to create a different polypeptide chain, and wallah!  Insta-cure... or at least, that is the thought.  Amazing!  In conjunction with other antibioitics it would appear that the microbes die and are unable to replicate or produce new strains which are medicinally resistant.

Second, once the nanotech has done its job, it is biodegradable so it leaves the body.  No residue left over, no residuals to build in the kidneys, liver, or other organs.  Pretty fascinating thought process on this. 

So, my thoughts:

Why stop at bacteria?  What not take this development two steps further into cancer cells?  What about viral nanotech?

And finally, the technology while very interesting from a scientific perspective, it is also a little scary.

What about those evil-doers who would take this technology, morph it into some sort of bio-terrorism, and put into hand creams.

How does a global political environment manage the pre-emptive strike against that? 

Guess that is where ethics comes into the discussions.  And quite frankly, given my naivety, that is my only concern.

Cool.  Scary.

Link to article in Scientific American: