Clean Benign not Cancer Thanks

After a day of annoying poking and proding, my MIL talked to the doctor today. She is clean. This is just a bone growth. Nothing else. Not cancer. Nothing else in her body that even comes close to abnormal (except her humor).


Thank you. Thank you all for your good thoughts. Today, l’chiam! 

Yeah…so…let’s be serious for a few minutes

Being atheist/agnostic, I don’t hold much weight in prayers for people. I mean, if I am asked, I will think good thoughts about the person, but prayers just don’t seem to work for me.

However, I would like to ask for some good thoughts for my MIL today.

She has been suffering from vertigo since she fell into a wall in April. In trying to diagnose this, her  PCP found a grey mass on her skull. Not her brain, her skull, bone tissue. Finally, after much insistence, she got her PCP to consult a neurologist who pronounced it cancer (ass, you need a biopsy to declare any mass as cancer)

Today she is having a scan to look for another location that may show a similar signature. This way, they could do a biopsy somewhere else. The mass is on the frontal lobe of her skull and not a great place do to a biopsy.

We are all hoping that a) they find no other signs of this and b) the mass in her skull is benign. Either way, some good thoughts for a wonderful woman in Cleveland are requested.


Race Conditions

A race condition or race hazard is a flaw in a system or process whereby the output and/or result of the process is unexpectedly and critically dependent on the sequence or timing of other events. The term originates with the idea of two signals racing each other to influence the output first.


Whenever I think of the words "race condition", I think of the engineering definition above. How two signals are trying to get to the end first. Which signal should wait? Which signal should have gotten there first?

However, Race Conditions has a whole new meaning in Cambridge Mass these days. I work in Cambridge. I have seen the homes in the area. Well, in the Harvard area, they are beautiful. If I had a spare $2-3 million hanging around, I would get one. Then I could walk to work AND have a yard. And I might have Professor Gates as my neighbor.

Professor Gates was recently arrested for the hideous crime of ENTERING HIS OWN HOME. Okay, technically, he was arrested for being black and trying to open a sticky door of his own home. A neighbor called 911 on the request of another neighbor. She even told the dispatcher that it might be the home owners trying to unstick the door. The dispatcher asked about the race of the suspects.

The police officers who arrived were NOT TOLD that it might be the home owners. They were told it was a possible B&E.  They confronted Professor Gates and insisted that he show proof that he was the homeowner. Professor Gates was angry and argued with the officers. He asked for a badge number which the officer refused (I’ve also had this happen. They are supposed to give it to you, but in my case, the officer covered his badge and refused to give it to me) He was arrested for disorderly conduct.

Now there are accusations of racism abounding. There was a 2 page article in the Boston Globe about the officer in question and how he tried to save Reggie Lewis’ life when he collapsed at the Celtics Training facility. Therefore, he can’t be racist, can he?

Here’s my issues with this whole thing:


  1. During the summer, there are more break ins on these houses because everybody knows they have money and are down on the Cape and the Islands.
  2. The dispatcher failed to give the officers more information
  3. I could be wrong, but I thought an officer needed a warrant to enter your home without your permission. You can refuse an officer entrance to your home.
  4. racism is not, pardon the pun, a black and white issue.

We all harbor prejudices. I actually go out of my way to make eye contact with people who are of different races. Why? Because I know that many whites fail to look into the eyes of others. I like to put people on common grounds. You don’t need to be racist to have racial prejudices. Statistically, how many African-Americans own those Brattle Street homes? Probably few. Statistically, how many people arrested for B&E in this section of Cambridge are African-American versus white? I have no clue, but I am sure the arresting officer had a clue.

And how many people, like Professor Gates, get sick and tired of having to be judged on their appearance? Since 9/11, Jay has stopped growing a beard or goatee. The last time he did, he was stopped at the airport and searched and pulled aside. Why? His Semitic genes made him look more Arab than Jewish with the beard.

Just because we finally have an African-American in the white house, it doesn’t mean we have solved our racial issues in this country. We need to work on this. We, the privileged whites, need to understand what it is like to have people assume that you fit a statistic just because of your skin color. We don’t see it. We don’t get accused or watched just because of how our pigment in our skin was formed.

How can we work on our race condition in the United States? What should we do to really start fixing this?



When I first got pregnant with Soleil, I hoped for twins. It had been two long years of fertility issues and I had no clue if I would ever get pregnant again. In fact, we started calling the pregnancy "Mr. Peabody and his pet boy Sherman". After 6 weeks, we could finally get a peek and it came down to "Mr. Peabody". We changed that to "Peabody" later on in case she was a girl.

Yesterday, I got my wish of twins. Am I pregnant? Hell no, you would have to pay me far too much money to ever go through pregnancy again.

Yesterday, both of my girls came home with a black left eye! Yes! (fist pump).

Luna actually did hers first on Saturday by goofing off and falling from the couch directly onto the coffee table. Solid oak supports. Damn the solid oak. Damn you all to hell! Anyway, she has had a nice shiner.

Then yesterday, camp called to let us know that Soleil had hit her face into another kid’s head. Lovely. Now they both have black eyes!

They are cute little bruised twins! No photos. Right now, they won’t let me, although Luna is now getting the secondary bruising around the eye socket coming out. Very cool! 

How TomTom drove me nuts…

Being Soleil’s birthday, she got to choose dinner last night. She chose, (drum roll because this is so unpredictable..NOT!) Friendly’s Ice Cream. In Boston, to not go to Friendly’s is to declare your allegiance to the Yankees. Jay’s parents are visiting for our science birthday party, so they were joining us for dinner. Somehow, their TomTom got them lost. All I know is that Jay was baning his head into the window saying "WHY ARE YOU SEEING A SIGN FOR PROVIDENCE RHODE ISLAND?"

When they finally arrive at the restaurant, MIL is upset because FIL kept insisting that  she should do this that and the other thing. In addition, for no apparent reason, the TomTom kept sounding a bell. I took a look at the TomTom. There is a setting under safety for "Places of Worship and Schools". Of course, this option was set. And the alarm for this setting was "Annoyingly loud klaxon bell #1"

This meant, every time that passed within an unspecified radius of a church, temple, mosque or school, the damn thing went off.  I would have fully supported my MIL if she strangled the designer of this software or my FIL for setting it on. Which ever came first.

Making time

This past weekend was wonderful. We had my friend Becky and her kids, S and E come visit. My girls were all over them! We played, we stayed up late, we bummed around the house, we went to the aquarium, we played at the beach, I think we did it all!

This is why I didn’t write! They were here until yesterday morning. That is when I could close up the mess at our house and start focusing on me again. Okay- Not REALLY. First, I need to focus that Soleil is turning 7 tomorrow! And we have a birthday party planned at our house Saturday. The theme, I kid you not, is "Science". So far, we have four experiments:

  1. Make Flubber from glue and borax: how a polymer changes into a matrix with basic chemistry
  2. Acids and bases: Using cabbage juice as a detector, show how common chemicals in the house have acidic or basic qualities.
  3. Which Lifesaver? Blind fold the child, Have them hold their nose while tasting a life saver candy. They won’t be able to determine the flavor! Have them unplug their nose and try it. How the senses are connected.
  4. Making some ice cream! Yum!: Using ice, salt, light cream and vanilla, have the children make their own ice cream. 

I am hoping to find a bottle to do the "egg in the bottle" trick and to do the vinegar and baking soda to inflate a balloon. That last one should be easy.

Then I am making a volcano cake (complete with exploding orange jello at the serving time) and we’ll have pizza as well.

I hope this works!


In other news, I skipped the gym Sat/Sun/Mon and Tues. Going today and hoping to make up for a very sloth self!

It looks so wrong that it must be right.

Everyday, Luna comes home from daycamp in her bathing suit. She has recently hit a growth spurt and she is all legs and just a few inches shy of her 2 year older sister. It has been bothering me that she wears her swimsuit all day. I mean, that has got to be uncomfortable, right? I just looks wrong.

And then I remembered that being a kid means you get to run around all day and watch the fireflies at night. It means that ice cream cones are the norm, not a calorie laden treat. And it’s okay to wear your swimsuit all day.

So go ahead, Luna. Wear your swimsuit all day long! We’ll keep washing and you just enjoy the world!

No risk here!

Recently, I hear that someone got Dooced. That just sucks. Fortunately, there is very little risk of getting Dooced here because not that many people read my blog and those who are at work are even lower. So I can proceed with my post today with out fear, because there is very little Dooce risk here.

My office mate and co-worker is leaving this position next month. This is mightily stressful, but I am getting over that stress. Add in my fun depression and you can imagine the love here! Panic! Anxiety!

3 weeks ago, my supervisor and his supervisor, we’ll call them Frick and Frack wanted to meet with me. There was that work snafu during my vacation and then a few other slip ups lately. Also, I was freaking out about the whole "gah! We’re losing my co-worker" thing, so I had stopped up to talk to Frack about this. Due to various issues, this meeting was canceled and moved and all sorts of fun. 

Yesterday, we had this meeting. We did discuss the issues of why I got so overloaded with work earlier this year when my co-worker let the supervisors know that he was looking, but for obvious reasons, they couldn’t tell me, nor could they give him these tasks. But we did discuss two "failures"(?) I’ve had recently. Attention to detail. Productivity. Etc.

We came down with an agreement that I need to manage my time better, although they understood the stresses I’ve been under. I also received praise for how I handle some of the other work I have.

The oddest part of this is that I handled the entire meeting well. In the past, I would have burst into tears. I would take this as a reflection of who I am as a person. I would feel that I am useless and a waste of biomass.
This time, I explained what happened. I agreed that in both cases, I could have handled things better. As a group, we agreed that I need to work on better time management skills.  Then we moved on how to make our weekly tag ups more efficient.

Don’t get me wrong, I was certainly upset a bit that I had screwed up. The thing is, I am very proud of myself for just sucking up and saying, "okay, I messed up, let’s work on ways to avoid that in the future and move forward". I let a great deal of stress fall off of me by accepting this.

This was nice. I know that Frick and Frack aren’t about to fire me for a minor screw up. And I now know that I can forgive myself as well.


Dear males at my work place:

Yes, I mean you men. Why? Because I don’t see this in the women’s bathrooms, only the few unisex ones we have.

When you use the facilities, if you happen to shed some hair, could you please TAKE IT OFF THE TOILET SEAT? Because, DEAR LORD I DON’T WANT MY BUTT TOUCHING THAT! I just don’t want to even think of where on your body could that short and curly hair have come from because I know too many of you and I just find that crossing the TMI line.

So please, please, for the love of all things that are good in this world, clean up if you shed. It’s not that hard!

Thank you,

A very traumatized female