August 31, 2009

JOIN ME - Komen Race for the Cure

I'm not sure where this came from, but so true

Как часто мы не ценим время,
И часто им не дорожим.
Как часто жизнь мы вспоминаем.
И часто о былом грустим.

Как часто говорим пустое,
И часто тишина в ответ.
Как часто спорим про смешное,
И часто ждем мы лишь совет.

Как часто на себя в обиде,
И часто некого винить.
Как часто любим мы в порыве,
И часто нелегко забыть.

August 28, 2009

Carpe F***ing Diem

My friend has a tattoo with those words. I got D a T-shirt with those words two weeks ago. My mom is one of the few people I know that lived by it. We've all heard the cliches of "tomorrow may never come" and sometimes it really doesn't. My mom loved the theater so she went despite everything as much as she could. She fractured her foot once going to see a show (it resulted in a much less painful visit to ER). She never talked about her sickness, about her pain. She talked about her feelings. She cared about everyone around her. She loved people. In a matter of a couple of hours sixty people showed up to her funeral (discounting the fact that the majority of her family and close friends are scatterred world wide). Hoards of people kept coming to the house, bringing food and expressing their condolences. It got loud and rowdy at times. People talked about their own things, laughed, looked at pictures and played "Eggs USSR". I just wish they came when she was alive. It would've made her happy. I know someone wanted to visit her next weekend and someone had a movie for her and someone I haven't spoken to in years was remembered by her only days before she was gone to have him call me 10 days after. She lived selflessly and always surrounded herself with good people. Sometimes we don't say "I love you" often enough, sometimes we're to busy to visit when we should, sometimes "life gets in the way, when you're too busy making other plans." I, like my mom, have wonderful friends who are there to help in any way they can even when I don't know what I need help with. Even when all I want to do is scream. Even when I do scream. Even when I say that if I hear "how are you" one more I will smack someone. I feel guilty doing certain things, despite the reality of "life goes on" and at the same time the reality of this not sinking in. I don't think it ever will. Noone will ever replace mama. I never had to share her love with anyone. It was always all mine. Now, I have noone to share the grief with either.

I see a red door and I want to paint it black

Yes, generally red is my favorite color. I own red shoes, red glasses, red sweaters, etc. The cover on my bb is red. I guess, "I'm on a new diet, wearing black."

August 24, 2009


I've felt pain before. My entire adolescence was extremely painful. I've lost loves and loved ones. Nothing compares to this numbing wound. My heart has been ripped out and the half that remains is still beating. Each photograph and clothing item, every memory, is a pinch of salt dropped on my bleeding heart. I do everything like she did, from not leaving dirty dishes and closing the fridge to correcting pronunciation and punctuation. I even finish sentences with her aforisms. Yes, the show does go on. Life continues for some faster than others. Yet this feeling of emptyness persists. Twenty people will not replace one and the tears keep streaming when I think no more are left. How can people laugh? How can they shop and listen to music? How can I smile? I know I will. I maybe even have, but this gaping hole keeps getting wider and emptier as minute by hour by day it's already a week.

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August 18, 2009


My mom is the strongest person I know. She's extremely brave. I can't refer to her in the past tense. She made me a list of everything I need to make Borscht only yesterday. She was her mother's only child and I am mine. Noone will ever replace her and I can only hope of being half as good of a mother as she is. She never complained. She did everything for me. Her house was spotless. Her cooking superb -noones golubtzi can come close and I don't even have a recipe. I wish she lived to see her grandchildren, but wish her nothing but rest. She has suffered enough here, but she made many wonderful friends whom life scattered worldwide, she created a loving family and a warm home. Her door was always open and like any Jewish mother, she always fed you even when there was nothing to eat. Her stories always went on tangents that by the time she ended you forgot where you started. I used to scream at her for that. I'd give anything to hear another one of those stories about her friends and parties and boys. My mom loved mansi, but she never gossiped. She is always fair. She is the best. She fought till the end. She is my mamochka.

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August 1, 2009

Healthcare Reform

Dear Mr. President,

The US health system is in dire need of reform. I realize that you want change, but while I am not 100% clear on all of your points, I have a few of my own. Before I begin, let me preamble by stating that inviting the Harvard professor to the White House is not essential to the country right now. Yes, it's a shame that it happened, but racism just like anti-semitism, sexism, etc. is still prevalent. Stereotypes exist for a reason. While you speak English properly, have an Ivy
League education and worked extremely hard to get where you are today, with stereotypes working against you, not everyone has. Yet, everyone likes to take credit. "We won! We won!" Wtf did you win? (Pardon, my French, Mr. President). If you're a lazy, unmotivated individual,
you're not going anywhere and it has nothing to do with color, race or poverty. I commend you for achieving the level of success that you have, but that was done on merit and not handouts, that many are expecting. My family came to this country with $90 and we're doing just fine. Yes, we needed assistance at first. Yes, my grandmothers received SSI, but I've paid enough taxes to cover that and then some.

So back to healthcare...

(1) You should only work in the medical profession if you truly want to help people. If you're in it for the $, get out. Health is the biggest asset an individual can possess and compassion is a virtue. Being able to diagnose/treat/speak with a sick person is a talent.

(2) Good Doctors/nurses/other med professionals should be paid top dollar for their hard work, sleepless nights, gazillion years of school and emotional burden. They should NOT be taught in school to "charge max versus doing best treatment." They should be compensated fairly for the work they do based on city/state average, their experience level and complexity of the work. They should collect 100% of what they (fairly) bill, not 10%.

(3) Get rid of unions. They don't work. They are costly and they don't hire the best talent, but usually quiet the contrary to meet certain quotas. (The same goes for the construction industry.)

(4) This may not be true of the entire country, but NY hospitals are overcrowded (much like the rest of the city). Patients need privacy and regardless of their sickness/diagnosis should be treated as people and not "bed 42". More time should be spent per patient.

(5) Drug interactions and prior history need to be checked with each prescription, doctor visit, hospital stay. Here I propose a central database accessible by every health care professional across the nation. (It's 2009, let's make use of technology!) Such "smart" database would flash a warning to an opthalmologist who is prescribing medication that has a direct effect on the person's heart and he suffered two heart attacks, for example. If the undiligent doctor
wrote the prescription regardless, the pharmacist filling the prescription would see the same warning. Healthcare needs to be put back in the hands of the patient. Leeches are no longer the "cure-all" solution and with the millions of drugs on the market, one needs to know what it is he is taking and how it will affect his body. I can go on about the details of such database, but in interest of time (and my sleep), I believe I have made my point.

(6) People who have worked in/for this country their entire lives should be entitled to affordable healthcare and prescription drugs. People on welfare and other such public assistance need to stop abusing the system. (Do NOT have 8 kids when you can't raise any of them (because you're an idiot yourself) to collect WIC, food stamps, etc; do NOT order medical supplies you do NOT need simply because they are free (and then donate them to salvation army for a tax write-off),
do NOT bill Medicaid for free air-conditioners, trips, etc. Yes, these programs are wonderful for older people, but the funding has to come from elsewhere.

I may not have all the answers and I definitely haven't covered all the points, but these are issues I feel most important. And the sooner someone does something about it, the healthier we'll all be. What could be more important than that?


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