Friday, July 6, 2012

Losing My Anonymity

I am considering taking the blog private for some time due to my anonymity now being shot.  Those who know me in real life, to whom I've invited to read it, were people I trusted, people whom I knew had the story of what has happened since that fateful day - December 4, 2007 - and people whom I knew "had my back" so to speak.

This week an email from a best friend's, parents' best friend sent me a link to which I posted.  The organization is well known in the city and very well thought of.  I sent him the blog post back (which I have done before).

What I didn't know is that it would get sent out by the president of the organization to everyone on their board with my full real name attached.  There are many executives on that board who do not know what I went through and if all they read were a few posts, they'd think me someone they did not want to know.

What they do not realize, is that in real life I keep my damn fool mouth shut.  I smile and say niceties, I thank the clerk for giving me MY change, thank the waitress for being kind enough to refill my water or diet coke.  I say please and thank you, smile when I'm mad nodding my head so that in private, I can vent.

My blog was my venting place.  Again, those who know me in real life know the stories in full.  They also know me to be publicly soft spoken and kind hearted.

I am not embarrassed, ashamed, or humiliated about any post I have made on this blog.

I will never back away from the wrongful misconduct of my former SVP of finance and his financial fraud committed on behalf of the company.  Never.  If I could change one, and only one, aspect of that entire time in my life, I would have pursued the court case all the way to trial if need be because no one else had my back, as I was to find out except for:

the SEC; and that group failed to act because I refused to testify or find myself in legal trouble for breaking the confidentiality agreement with the company... while vindicated by the SEC who stated I did the right thing, the amount was not Enron sized.

I am not sorry that I posted about Sir Hawtsalot who still remains anonymous.  Despite some things he did to me, or failed to inform me of, or decided erroneously to eliminate certain details of his life, he still remains ...

If I do take this private, please email me at and I will add you as a reader.  If not, I'll continue to post and one day, it will magically reappear.

My best to all of you -


Thursday, July 5, 2012

Most Iconic View + Most Iconic Animal - Old Lonesome George

Snorkeling off Pinnacle Rock was amazing.  For about 2 hours we swam with penguins and sea lions.  The penguinos have no fear of humans and as they chased fish around us, they would not change direction.  For instance, at one point, there was a very fast little fellow aimed directly at me, I had to swerve to get out of his way or I might have been... doubtful... but one never knows.  I'm sure they are not as directionally challenged as I!

So, boarding the Panga again to get dry clothes, we landed on the other side of Bartolome to climb to the iconic site of which no Galapagos book is complete with out it.

The hike is steps (again reminding me of the stairs in Quayaquil to the top of Santa Ana hill).  Boardwalk with little side outs to rest upon.  The hike is not that easy but not that difficult.

My pictures do not adequately depict the scene.  Thankfully, Nat Geo has not requisitioned my photos from the trip either :)

And this is the other side:

We still saw a few birds here and there but the sight from the top - marvelous!

Tomorrow's post will bring you to "China Man's Hat" or Sombriero China and more animals.

The remainder of my trip includes Isabella, Fernadina, Rabida, and Daphne Major.

Oh and lest you think I did not remember him, Old Lonesome George.  We thought he was already dead when we were there.  Here is a picture of the sign outside his massive enclosure, taken on May 24, 2012.

and of course, the magnificent, old, wrinkled icon himself - looking barely alive May 24, 2012:

RIP Old Man!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

To My New Readership

When I started writing this blog, it was going to specifically and only aimed at guiding other non-traditional premeds through the roller-coaster that is this path.  From getting an A- on an exam to a B in a course, the drops of sweat the condense on our brows is equally met with emotional highs and lows, no matter one's personal emotional make up.  Pre med is h.a.r.d.

This blog turned into a venting place for me.  At times my life was beyond difficult over the past 4 years and while I dealt with those obstacles pretty effectively, there were some painful points.

There still are at times.

My son was hearing impaired due to the 1/10,000 chance of a reaction to the pertussis vaccine.  When he was an infant the drug companies used deactivated live bacteria to obtain immunizations.  He became a statistic and lost his hearing.

In the 3rd grade we moved to a village far east of the large metro area I lived in.  On his first day, he was told by a rather smug and self-absorbed 3rd grader that "he must be close to death because he was like an old man wearing a hearing aid."

To those of us as adults, we can laugh off such an absurd comment.  For an 8 year old with a deceased brother, it was terrifying.

That smug 3rd grader - the one who tormented him for months from 3rd grade to 6th grade: knives at school, chasing him off the bus with fake but real looking guns to the point where he stopped at a neighbor's house and knocked on the door in terror ...

was the now tramp-stamped girl on my Galapagos boat.

My post vented about her.  It was not as much about what she did to me, but the memories of what she did to my son.

I am easily able to forgive and forget that which is done to me.  It is far harder, if not impossible, for me to forgive and forget that which is done to my son.  In trying to be polite to her, she showed her true colors.  Again.

So, know that if you continue to read here, for the most part I'm pretty affable, likable if not lovable, but I do get angry and sometimes, I come here to blow off steam in what used to be a fairly anonymous blog.

Enjoy a happy 4th of July!  We are :D

Two For One - Santiago & Bartolome'

Every night, our group (all groups, actually) have to be off the island by 6 PM according to National Parque guidance.  And each night, we were.  After a usually exhausting day of hiking up and down large hills, on lava, in Keens, with water bottles, snorkeling gear, cameras, and research equipment, we were generally just plain tired.

After leaving Genovasa, we had a 7 hour navigation to the islands of Santiago and Bartolome a perfect time to relax aboard our small boat (75' Floreana).  We never saw whales or dolphins but we did pick up a flock of frigate birds who decided that, apparently, I look like a toilet.  Laying out on my hot pink beach towel, almost sound asleep to the rocking of the boat, it happened.  Thankfully, my mouth was closed.

Note to self: tan away from birds!

Upon arriving at Santiago, I noticed my camera battery, taken out of the charger, was missing.  Time was running out for me to find it before the Panga left for the shores.

Rules on the boat:

Don't be late.
Don't touch animals.
Don't be late.
Don't be late.
Don't be late.

Anyone who knows me, understands that first one is really hard for me.  I'm late for everything (courtesy, I'm told, of the ADHD).  I work on it and here was my first chance to choose:

be late


not have camera

Let me just say now: I was NEVER late for any activity the group had embarked on.  I refused to be "that" person who held up the rest of the clan.

So, off to Santiago I went sans my camera.

It is a dry landing meaning you don't wash up on shore and step out into the ocean, you land on rock and get hoisted up to the lava (remember, ALL the Galapagos Islands were built by volcanos and every place one steps is generally lava of some sort).  Also, because I refused to be late, all these pictures were taken from the boat once I found my camera battery (which had been placed in a very secure location but scopalamine patches do weird things to one's memory, or maybe, just mine!)

The rim of the volcano is easily seen.  Our guide, Rafael, had been forgotten while walking with his teaching tour back 20 years ago or so.  He had to forage for himself because in the heat and the sun, it was hard to find the way back to safety.

Now leaving Santiago, we headed for Bartolome, just a very short navigation away. Pinnacle Rock is one of the iconic sites in Galapagos.

Around Pinnacle Rock are various animals which were amusing, and obviously by the amount of pictures I took, very cute!

Sea lions, resting just about 15' from the penguinos (who we swam with on snorkeling outing).

And those were from the start of the trip, upon the rocking Panga.  Hiking on the island gave me better pictures, more opportunities to explore the amazing island, and bigger smiles as the animals were, in one case 6" from my hand.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Call To Help Others

My dad turned 82 last week.  He's still at home having now spent almost all of 2012 at home, rather than in the hospital.  Mayo is awesome but home is far better!

Dad can still drive having passed his annual driver's exam, and cook his own meals without burning the house down (a gift he learned from me was the ease of use fire extinguisher!). He shops for himself (and my mom) and while often sneaking in some chocolate, it is the sheer ability to shop that keeps him smiling!

There are many people my dad's age who cannot do those things.  They may be physically challenged and unable to manuever outside their homes for a shopping excursion, or even for a trip to the driveway.

That's where Store To Door comes in handy.  Helping those over 60 stay in their homes, remain happy and content, to enjoy their lives.

Here is a link to the latest newsletter.  Perhaps in your own community there is a similar organization, reaching out to those often forgotten.

Please consider donating.  Any amount helps - even just spreading the good word of the great deeds S2D accomplishes!

Monday, July 2, 2012

I'm Alive

I am not quitting the path (as you all probably guessed), but I did move 1500 miles to sunny, amazing, wonderful Florida.

Thank you to all the Floridians who have made my first few days awesome!