Sunday, February 18, 2007

Monday, February 05, 2007


Stuff I told you about here has changed. Well, some of it has. Molly Ivins remains dead, as do my uncle and neighbor. At least death is permanent. Or is it?

My best friend's suspicious "masses" of the breast and armpit turned out to be calcification or something -- at any rate, nothing to worry about. She has to go back in a year for another mammogram and that's it.

Her mom is doing incredibly well, despite dementia and the resulting confusion. She thinks she's in elementary school, evidently. Crazy thing is, she's a lot happier (friend: "She LOVED school!") and is even participating in group activities at the nursing home, which she never did in the assisted living facility where she used to live. Happiness is good, even if it's based on faulty thinking. Isn't it?

Friend's cat with kidney failure has rallied and is now eating, playing with the other cat in the house and walking around with his tail in the air. We've recently heard of cats living a year or more after this diagnosis. Hope has been restored (at least temporarily).

Over the weekend I attended a class. On Sunday we were asked to participate in an exercise about impermance and our tendency to avoid the difficult feelings associated with impermanence: Each of us was invited to sit in a chair facing the group of 30 or so and state our name and our parents' names and then announce out loud that we will die. As in, "I am Sarah, my father was Bill and my mother is Martha. I will die." It was a profound and moving experience and one I'll be thinking about for a long, long time.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Man Code, Cracked

This article has me all heated up this morning. In it, Chronicle columnist C. W. Nevius explains why our mayor's sexual decisions represent a breach in the "Man Code." The article is part of the larger annoying media package on this story, which focuses on the "betrayal" by Newsom of his relationship with the husband of his lover. Rarely do we hear that in fact his lover was an employee (his appointment secretary) and that possibly such relationships are, at best, really poor choices and demonstrative of some incredibly bad (and not very mayoral) decision-making, and at worst, sexual harassment. From the article:

It seems that what is at work here is another case in which women are from Venus and men are from the mysterious, dark side of the moon.

"There is a code that men live by," says family therapist Tracey Gersten, a woman. "Women may not know about it, or they may pooh-pooh it, but it is very real. I think if you put a group of men in a room, they'd have no trouble putting a man code together."

"The betrayal is the big thing," said Colin Hussey, 44, who was among those who wrote me. "Good God, this is your loyal ally. It is that sense of honor. It's like the samurai or even the mafia."

Baffled, without a Tracey Gersten (woman!) around to ask for help, I asked Mr. Spouse what all this means. He swaggered a little and did his best to imitate a Regular Guy™.

"It's like this: We men have to be able to trust that our property isn't going to be defiled when we loan it out for other purposes."

It's so helpful, having a translator around the house.