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Monday, October 26, 2009

The Miniscus

One of the diagnoses I've received is Arthrosis. Arthrosis is different from arthritis in being an active disease rather than a condition that flares and rests. It's a thing where stalagmites and stalactites grow in the joints, for lack of a better description. These calcium growths wipe out what cartilege is left, leaving no buffer, no miniscus between hard places. Which is a lot like going thru disability in the US.

Last week I had the honor and joy of talking to Senator Bernie Sanders for a few minutes. Bernie is one of my favorite people on the planet. I thanked him for all he and his office did for me when SSDI were dragging their feet and my life thru the mud of the application process. Then we talked about the way things are for millions of Americans. The Byzantine and inscrutable delays, the shortage of doctors (especially good ones), the ability of doctors to deny care. We held hands and spoke directly, one human to another. I'm convinced he is a man who truly cares about people and that's his primary motive. Not once did he look away from my eyes, not once did he dodge a question, give a stock answer, change or steer the subject. When I told him the name of the woman staffer who helped me and how grateful I was, he turned pink and smiled like a kid who's done well. After we commiserated he asked me to send anyone who has a problem to him. "I have 8 good (forgot the term he used, but he meant his assistants) waiting to help people. They're good, that's why they're there. Send anyone with problems to us." So anyone- even if you're not a Vermonter- call Bernie's office if you need help. They may not be able to serve you directly, but they'll know who can, near you. 1-800-339-9834. And they follow up and want to know until the job is done.

In the Scylla and Charibdes we're stuck in these days, we need a miniscus to protect us and make things moveable. Bernie and his office are that. Use them.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Ketchup On That!

I just don't seem to have the time to blog, or the will to make time to blog.

Two things are pulling my interests- the book I'm hatching and another series of articles about the truth of dealing with disability. At request, I've thrown a few bits on folks' sites but my focus is elsewhere.

The book is consuming most of my brain and thought functions. Still in framing, it's growing. It's a strange process of its own, seems to grow naturally from one thing to another. And at any given moment something will pop into my head and I must write it down or lose it forever. I had no idea I had so much to say but I suppose 35 years in one practice/ study area leaves thoughts looking for a cohesive home. I recall what I thought when first starting, what was right or wrong about my first determinations, how the realities have changed and what the bottom line truth is. I don't expect to be done with this for at least a couple years. It's not fiction where you can just see where the characters lead you. It's my manifesto, for whatever it's worth, and needs a lot of planning. Especially when it's the only thing I'll ever write on the subject. It won't carry my real name. It will carry the truth.

The other thing I'm seeing is that there isn't one damn handbook on surviving being disabled. Maybe if I take it subject by each and make a series of articles at some point it'll make a handbook. It will all be posted here, and I'll get on that as soon as everyone elses' lives calm down and nobody's having surgery or in ICU. That should be sometime around Thanksgiving.

I hope.

I'll be back before then, I'm sure, with less serious rambles.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

So Long, Stella D'Oro

Stella D'Oro popped up thru plenty of points in my life. I remember my older brother's girlfriend's (later wife) mom having it in her house. She liked their annisette toast, a foreign thing to me and much of the non-Italians in the 1960s. I tried it once. It was hard and dry, not very sweet to my Twinkie-loving tastebuds, and I could only stand them dunked in milk. It was old people's baked goods. I'd see them in Bohack's but they never entered where I lived until my mother married a half-Italian guy in the 70s.

Stella D'Oro makes a wide variety of baked cookie-like things. Margheritas, for example, which became a stoner munchie for my friend Patty Atty and me. A chocolate margherita with whipped cream cheese was my ultimate stoned food.

However, with the closure of the Bronx plant, which had operated at least since the year I was born, I say goodbye to all their stuff.

Stella D'Oro, after getting many tax cuts and perks in NYC, was sold to an investment corporation, Lance. These corporate pigs have decided to close the union shop in the Bronx, putting hundreds out of work and breaking their longtime union. They are moving manufacturing to Ohio, where labor is much cheaper and plentiful and nobody will dream of having a union.

So, so long, Stella D'Oro. I'm just reaching the age where I would've liked those annisette toasts (really just a cheap biscotti, now that I know better) since the stoner days are long gone. But I won't give one penny to corporate pigs if I can help it. I know I'm just one human, and plenty of mindless others will go right on enjoying their lady fingers no matter whose life you've ruined. Stil, not me. I have enough on my conscience and I don't need your cheap crap anyway. All I have to say is, Fuck You.