Kew Gardens’ Own Bob Dylan

In Memory of Al MayoAlMayo

There is an official obituary about our friend Al Mayo that was written in the *New York Daily News and it was very accurate. However, I just don’t want people to remember him that way alone. It feels wrong to me.

The person who died, from my childhood neighborhood, was a lovely man, an old friend that passed away in January. A friend of mine called to tell me the horrible news of Al’s suicide. This was no ordinary death, it was a violent, brutal, grisly death. I don’t want this kind soul, the friend of everybody to be known by his suicide, or his obituary instead of his life, his cheery personality, his effusive grin, his loving and peaceful self.

I refuse to think of him in any other way than the newspaper’s photo that was published. It was a wonderful photo (above) where he is grinning, a twinkle in his eye, kind and sweet.  Al was all about peace and love, not violence, not to anyone. In his last years his body was ravaged by cancer, he couldn’t eat, talk, swallow; he had no life, he took his life, violently.

He said hello to everyone and he was like a fixture in our neighborhood, you knew that if you walked around the block you would most probably see Al Mayo smiling, leaning against a store, grinning widely, resting on his cane.

He didn’t have an easy life, he lost part of his leg in a motorcycle accident when I was young so he was probably in his late teens but nothing stopped him. He accepted what happened and moved on. He would be smiling and talking and spreading good cheer to all the neighbors in our little town. His lifelong friends stayed his lifelong friends.

Everyone was utterly shocked by the news but my friends M. and H. and I were shaken at the news, not as much that he had committed suicide but how. For a very peaceful man, he committed death in a very violent way, making sure that no one else would be hurt. Al, only wanted to end his life, never anybody else’s life. He wouldn’t harm a soul.

Al had cancer for a few years, unbearable, painful cancer that left him unable to eat, to swallow, to lead a normal life. If Al couldn’t lead a life that was close to normal, there wasn’t any Al left, he tried so hard and went through so much.

Now this sweet soul, friend to everyone is gone forever. We will all miss you Al and we will always remember your bright, warm smile.  We will miss our own elected “mayor.” You were Kew Gardens’ own, Bob Dylan, that’s how important you were to us, will always be.

Al Mayo, Rest In Peace.

Special thanks to Harry Klein, my friend and best friend of Al Mayo.

*Click on photo for NY Daily News Article

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Just A Tiny Bit Of Cancer

Overview of the thyroid system (See Wikipedia:...

Overview of the thyroid system (See Wikipedia:Thyroid). To discuss image, please see Talk:Human body diagrams (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Demi, one of my oldest best friends has just been diagnosed with thyroid cancer. “The good kind of cancer” as she was told. “If you are going to get cancer, have thyroid because it is contained.” It’s not like breast cancer or bone cancer or ovarian cancer and it’s not pancreatic so be thankful for what you have. But, it’s one weird way of thinking even though I guess I can understand it. From what these doctors have said she has the “good” kind of cancer but she’s not feeling so happy.

She had waited a good two and a half weeks for the results from her thyroid biopsies. They weren’t unclear, they were short-staffed and it was around Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Try not to be sick around the Holidays, please.  I did research for her especially from my neighbor across the street, who had gone through the same, exact process six years ago.  She said and I quote:”If I can give any advice, I would tell her not to take the chance that I did and only have half the thyroid removed. If there is suspicion of cancer, let them take the whole thing out. You don’t really need your thyroid anyway.” I totally agreed, because if it was cancerous, why have two separate surgeries?

Coming from my family where three out of three of us are on Synthroid (brand name only which is like a Bible to us) I talked to my friend daily. She had slide after slide of her thyroid tested without surgery, all results came back “inconclusive.” What the hell is “inconclusive” anyway? Who likes “inconclusive?” You sure can’t celebrate but there’s no reason for weeping. Inconclusive is just that, to me, basically a shrug of the shoulders signifying “we have no idea,  could go either way “60 percent chance there is no cancer, 40 percent chance there is” quoted top specialists at both Memorial Sloan Kettering and St. Francis Hospital in New York according to my friend.

Finally, on New Year’s Eve she gets the call from her surgeon and it IS cancer. I stop breathing, I am in shock and so is she. I remember saying to her “Wait, what?” She tells me again. We are both in shock. So now she waits, until the puffiness around her scar from her first surgery goes down before she goes in again for the rest of her thyroid to be removed and a nodule to be removed as well. More surgery, more anesthesia, more pain. It was the first time that she and I, usually pessimistic, chose to be positive and optimistic and spiritual. The one time. As soon as I heard the news, I looked at my husband and said “see what happens when I am optimistic?” He replied dryly: “I was waiting for that….”

I knew my best friend, stubborn, beyond stubborn,would not heed my neighbor’s advice or mine. If it didn’t NEED to come out it was staying inside her body. I can understand that (well, I cannot) but I knew she felt this way. This dear woman will not even take an aspirin or any type of medicine unless she absolutely is forced too. Compared to her I am a junkie waiting for Methadone. Having Fibromyalgia I know pain, all too well and even with prescribed medicine it does nothing for the pain.

When she told me that she did, indeed, take the pain medicine in the hospital and stayed overnight I was in surprised but happy she was open-minded. Now, post surgery, her surgeon is getting annoyed at her repetitive questioning. You know that tone: “AS I SAID BEFORE…” not good. But, good for my friend that she keeps asking until she gets her answers. Way to go, girlfriend.

She has another three weeks to go until the next thyroid surgery. This time, I’m wearing black, I’m feeling negative, doomed and totally pessimistic. Bad news all around. We both are. We deserve it. That’s what best friends are for.

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Something Was Wrong, It Was Me

High Anxiety

High Anxiety (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It arrived every evening like a suspicious stranger, its presence like black fog slipping under the door. It was deceiving at first, mist, started slowly and then it changed in a split second and attacked me. I felt like I was being stabbed with an ice pick, repeatedly, the chill of cold anxiety running up and down my spine. The goal apparently was to shock me and knock me totally off-balance. It won, I didn’t stand a chance.  I don’t know why it came. I certainly didn’t invite it nor could I prevent it and its malicious presence only showed itself to me after dark.

I don’t know why it happened and I never completely understood it but the displeasure was here, every single night. I tried every trick I knew: deep breathing and meditation, but I did not stand a chance, it felt like I had been swept up by a tornado. Actually, I  lived in the eye of that tornado, I felt helpless, yes, out of control, out of control, out of control…

In past years during this same time period I felt sad, weepy. In the past eleven years I have known grief and a feeling of longing but not anxiety. Major life events happened, I felt loss , my dad was deceased but fear? This year without the regular Thanksgiving plans, control escaped me and anxiety with its octopus legs strapped me in and squeezed me so tight I could not breathe properly. Maybe Thanksgiving, without check lists and red lines crossed off made me feel undone. Would it be five people or nine? Last minute? I used to be so flexible, what happened to me? I missed feeling in charge, in control. I was alone in the world, it put me off-center, dizzy with fright.

I had trouble sleeping and eating and with my chronic pain disorder, Fibromyalgia, I questioned if this could have been a flare-up? Very possibly but I don’t know. The physical pain is the same but the IBS and the anxiety are on over drive.  Anxiety rolls in my stomach like one of those slippery aqua blue water park slides that I hate, wet,  flying down way too fast. I went on one of those once when my children were little and pleaded me to go on one of the rides with them. Trying to be a good mother and show them that fear should not stand in one’s way I relented, seeing their shiny little faces. Big mistake. I laid on my back and flew down the twisting spiral of hell screaming all the way down only to see them at the bottom, laughing. “Why did you lie on your back, Mom, didn’t you know that is the fastest way to go down?” OF COURSE NOT!!!

I felt like I have been on that water slide for at least two weeks except in my head and my body. I’m in my own zone of panic. Nothing worked, nothing helped, my last resort was to try to listen to music which has helped in the past. No luck. Maybe I’m just so excited that tomorrow I will be seeing my children, home for the holiday? Maybe I am feeling out of control not knowing if we will be five or nine people? Or maybe the last four, stressful weeks have finally caught up to me: my husband got laid off, I had to have painful uterine biopsies and on the way to my doctor’s appointment I had a flat tire. I found out my friend and her husband both needed surgery, I took on my friend’s problems too.

Maybe I’m anxious now because I couldn’t allow myself to be anxious before. The food lists are really not important, there will be plenty of food, no matter who comes. My friends will be fine. My husband will eventually find a job and we are not living out on the streets. My tests results came out perfectly. AAA apologized for dropping my call, twice and they paid for the private road side assistance. I’m taking a deep breath, it feels good. All of a sudden, I feel like listening to music and I’m getting a little tired. That’s got to be a good sign. I hope.

A Letter To Zach Sobiech

I was cranky, hurting and giving up hope. I have felt badly from chronic illnesses, okay, for a lot of them, but it was time for some ass-kicking, some serious ass-kicking and I was the one who needed it the most. Sure, life isn’t perfect, and I haven’t been feeling well but I’m  going back to try to keep it inside, at least most of the time. No one promised that everything would go smoothly all the time, right? I forget that sometimes. So, I sat down tonight and thought about people, both who are living and those who have lived and died, people who have made a lasting impression on my life. One person came to mind:

Zach Sobiech

Zach Sobiech Breaking Up

Zach Sobiech Breaking Up (Photo credit: empeiria)

Though I’ve never met him, personally, he changed my life forever. Instead of continuing my pity party, I watched his video again and if you haven’t seen it, I will post it for you here. To live like Zach, with all his grace, is a wondrous gift, to make every second count and to say his good-byes in person, with his beautiful songs is life changing. I’m not saying it was easy, no death is easy but Zach made active choices in his life and in preparation for his death and he lived every single day to the fullest. Do it now, love it now, now is what we have and appreciate what we’ve got. Zach did.

I think about his family and friends, his old girlfriend, his favorite song-writer friend and his baby sister, Grace. I think about Grace so much, her innocence, her goodness, Grace with her big older brother, losing him like a treasure in the sand. How is Gracie  doing without her “other half?” I think about his parents too. What has life been like since Zach died? I have to hold my eyes shut tight when I think of Mom and Dad to try not to cry, because I remember them, especially Mom, sitting on the couch talking about her boy. What about the older siblings, how must they be feeling, how are they now? I think Zach aluded to Laura and her Faith and I hope that has helped her, his older brother was left more of a question mark, quiet, loving but private.  Mom and Dad, I pray for you, no one should have to bury their child.

Zach, I must have played your song thousands of times, to appreciate you, to keep me on my tracks, to learn from you. When I worry in anticipation I think about you and how you handled having cancer with grace (not literally but I’m sure you can see the humor) and love and respect.

You are  gone in physical life, but there’s no doubt in my mind that you are spiritually with us, with your family. I hope they get signs from you,  I’m sure they would love that and I do believe it is possible. I know it is possible.  I hope they believe it too so they can be comforted by your presence. You were an angel on earth, I know you are an angel in heaven. How could you not be? You taught us all how to die peacefully, how to choose when to die instead of prolonging your life with a horrible operation just for a few months. Being a mom, I respect your parents so much for doing the right thing, and it WAS the right thing, to let you do what you want.

I hope everyone has recovered just a bit from the shock. Because as much as you try to be prepared for death, it’s always a horrible, dreadful surprise, no matter when it happens. Trust me, I do know. But, this is not about me, it’s about you.

I send my prayers to your family and to your close friends, and to you dear Zach I send my love and my thanks for teaching us, those still here on earth what it means to be an angel.

photo credit> emperia

Me, First.

Lioness

Lioness (Photo credit: Crouchy69)

I need to give myself more time to trust people, I need to stop following just my emotions and balance myself instead of falling in love with people.  I AM a Libra after all. People need to prove themselves to me, slowly, before I trust them. No more eyes lighting up with a friendly smile, no more picking out a person and internally saying “I want HER to be my friend.” Nope, not gonna happen anymore.

I’m too old for this.  Stranger people are often more attracted to me, people with stories upon stories because I do like to help and I am a good listener.I am also the most gullible person alive because I believe in truth and have learned the hard way, several times, that many people are manipulative and NOT honest, not even a bit.  People sniff out that I am a good and loyal friend because I always get sucked in. I’m not doing that anymore. I’m too old to do that,

I need to take care of myself, finally. Me. I come first. Not some stranger on the Internet or the woman picking trash and me encouraging her to come to my house so she could take our cans. Of course, she could take our cans but that’s not really the point. I don’t have to become her to be nice to her, I don’t need to get wrapped up in her life to feel her pain. I do what I can do. I don’t need to borrow her sadness and take it on, we all have sadness in our lives, struggles. Being empathetic is good, taking on everyone’s pain as your own is not.

Of course I feel horrible for the family whose husband has cancer and yes, I donated money, not a lot, but the amount we could afford. I wrote them a note to offer help because that is something I can give but I can’t pretend that this family whom I have never met are my best friends. I don’t know them, I just know that someone’s husband and children’s daddy does not have long to live, for the mother and father and siblings who have to bury him. I am sad for that. For anyone facing that.

I mourned for the little girl who died of cancer who I knew really only from the internet. I became attached to her as many people did. I checked on her status as often as I could. I followed her photographs. There was one photograph that had a lasting impression on me, it looked like she was walking straight into heaven’s door, and she was still alive. Talia Castellano, I still think of you, you definitely have left your mark on the world and on my soul. That is not something I want to ever change.

But, I no longer want to be that quivering duck, hiding in the corner anticipating disaster before it presents itself, worrying before there is something t worry about. As an old friend used to say “Don’t meet worry half way.” No longer a duck, I am a lioness, strong, in control, protective of my loved ones, independent. A lioness, a strong woman, in nature. I have my family, I have my two soul sisters, Ash and Michelle, I have my close friends.

I need more bubble wrap, more of a shield to protect myself instead of always caring too much for others. It can’t continue. My friends know I will be there in a heartbeat, there is no doubt. I need to strengthen MY boundaries and tighten up some rules. Not for you, for me. I want to stay centered and make my life easier. Because, damn it, I deserve it. I am tired of being super sensitive and people, I am sure, are sick of it too. I need a thicker skin, so that annoyances, criticism, hurt feelings will roll off my back like oil and water. I want to be those little beads that form and separate and not get emotionally weighed down all the time. I’m not saying it will be easy or that I won’t get sucked back in sometimes but I am going to make a conscious effort to be aware of it. I need a filter from the outside world, a shield. This is my life too.

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Talia Castellano, Rest In Peace

heavens

heavens (Photo credit: Mystic Musings…)

I just found out that Talia Castellano passed away this morning and I burst out in tears. It was a beautiful but haunting photograph of Talia, shown right in Facebook. We all KNEW it was going to happen and I am glad that Talia is finally out of pain but it is still a shock. The actual ending, that she really is dead is unbelievable. Repeat. Talia really is dead. I can’t stop crying and I didn’t even know her personally.

My condolences, of course, go to her family and to her friends and to the angels of mercy who were with her the last few months. Bless you all. It’s hard to see anyone die, but the death of a child, especially to a mother, seems like the worst death of all. I remember my mother telling me that there is an order in life, that parents should never have to bury their children, but sometimes it just doesn’t work that way and life isn’t fair.

Sweetheart, you will always be remembered. You made a nation smile, laugh and cry. You were an inspiration for all of us. I guess now I will finally have to learn how to put on make-up in your honor and believe me, for someone who has never worn make up, it won’t be easy. I will do it for you, just as you stayed strong and “kept swimming” for all of us.

Your sense of humor and intelligence kept us grounded, and you saw the positive in whatever bad news you got, we should all learn to live like that, we have all learned from you how to put a positive spin on something that is negative. You are out of pain, and I am grateful for that.

There is one thing I can assure you, you will NEVER be forgotten. You also have made way for us to help other children now because you started the fight and we will all continue it, for you, because of you, in honor of you.

Rest In Peace, sweet angel.

Angels We Have Heard on High

Angels We Have Heard on High (Photo credit: Randy Son Of Robert)

Carry on Tuesday: Once Upon A Time

Out of fog Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge a...

Out of fog Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco in fog and crepuscular rays. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was a time once, not so long ago, when I was chubby, fat, or just pleasantly plump. In Italy I would have been a goddess. Men would have followed me down the cobble stoned streets, whistling and begging to touch my beautiful breasts and my bountiful behind. Unfortunately, I wasn’t living in Italy, I was here in the United States, where all I really wanted was to be slender. I thought if I was thin, all my problems would dissipate like the mysterious fog in San Francisco. I imagined the fog lifting while I watched, wearing a heavy knit red sweater and sitting peacefully on a huge rock.

A couple of months ago I was very sick, (on top of my chronic illnesses” Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, IBS) I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t leave my house or the bathroom for an entire four weeks. I was pale, gaunt and looked ill. People on the street would ask me guardedly “If I was okay?” Part of me, if I had a sense of humor back then wanted to say “Of course, I’m in the middle-aged super model competition” but I had no sense of humor at the time. The other part of me was scared to speak so I just said “I’m fine” which people accept with relief and don’t follow-up with questions.

All my life there was always something about me that I wanted to change and after I changed it, I thought I would be happy: my weight, my hair, my glasses, wearing make-up, dressing better, nice shoes, tinting my hair to cover the tiny amount of gray that swirled in front of my face. The gray hair that I had been so proud to have, to acknowledge my real place in the world, as someone who had already experienced a great deal of life and had earned them with pride.

Having been married for 24 years with two young adults doing well in college was proof enough and even though I did go through a time feeling sorry for myself that the kids ” didn’t need me anymore” I realized my husband and I had done a very good job of parenting. I admit, I needed to remind myself that loving and needing were two very different things, they would love me as their mom but their lives and our lives would be constantly changing. Yes, sometimes it changes so quickly it was hard to keep up, that’s when I found myself alone, crying into an old, soft, handkerchief and feeling sorry for myself. I learned to accept that too. You have no choice.

Six weeks ago I went from eating and being lively to not eating and not feeling well, I lost over 30 pounds and before you coo and ooh and ahhh and wish it was you I can tell you, you better take that back. I did not enjoy clothes falling from my body, or food flowing through me, and not being able to go outside of my house for four weeks. The doctor scheduled me for every “cancer” test known to humanity and that was not fun. The doctor, not known for his bedside matter, actually told me WHAT he was testing for when we first met him in his office. Thanks, Doc, nice touch.

I will be getting the results later this week, I’m hoping that everything will be fine, I’m ( fairly) certain that they will be. The symptoms stopped a few days after my office visit and while I haven’t gained a lot of weight back, I do get hungry and I feel better. My newest ( little ) problem is this: I went to shop for new jeans and found that there are no jeans for women of my age. They have skinny jeans, under the waist jeans and jeans for teenagers with lithe bodies. Basically, the clothes that I have are four sizes too big for me and the style out there now are for teenagers only. I have nothing to wear, I miss my “Mom jeans.” It is impossible to find them, anywhere. Suggestions?

All that I have accomplished in this quest are the lack of clothes to wear and the acquisition of numerous wrinkles. I sat outside in the sun for a few moments, noticing all the wrinkles on my knees and thighs that were not there before. As I sat, warming my face, was I thinking about the good things in my life in a delighted way? No. I was thinking about the barium test (drinking chalk) that I have to drink tomorrow morning at eight am and where to aim my projectile vomiting. That, at least, is amusing me.

Be happy with what you have and who you are. As my dad used to say “Health is the most important thing.”  It’s the only thing, be grateful.

*M Stands For Mammogram

Breast cancer awareness

Breast cancer awareness (Photo credit: AslanMedia)

I  sit on the faded pink chairs, I know from every year before this, where the greasy stains are. The same old tattered magazines and breast cancer pamphlets are on the table. I sit in the chair facing forward as if I was on a train, leaving nowhere fast. I measure my time annually by these mammogram appointments. I can’t believe it’s been a year already.

I am given the thin, green hospital robe and the same monotone speech, no body wash, no cream soaps, no deodorant and I make the same stupid joke every year in my head (“that’s going to be worse for you than me.”)  I had a lump removed from my breast when I was 25, luckily it was benign but I remember the shock, and the experience in detail. I remember that the surgeon made me cry and the nurses comforted me. I’ve had a mammogram every year since. I am now 56 years old.

I know the instructions by heart but as soon as they tell me what to do, I forget. As soon as the nurse closes the curtain that makes that whoosh-metallic sound, I have no idea which way to put the gown on, my hands shake and I am nervous. I tell myself that I am sure everyone else here is anxious but that gives me no comfort. I wish I could be the type of person that could hide my feelings but I would need a full lobotomy for that. My feelings are seen from a mile away, they glow in neon orange lights like a flashing danger sign.

Finally it is my turn. A technician leads me into the mammogram room, I don’t complain about the discomfort ever and then I go back to the waiting room. I wait a long time, in fact I notice that all the women who I had been with have already left. There are a new batch of women here, waiting to be called in, having their tests and waiting with me. One by one they are leaving too. Now, I am really worried, this does not feel right.There are no nurses to ask, they only come in sporadically but as soon as I see one I ask her politely to please find out what is going on. She is kind (and you remember every kind word) and tells me they need two more pictures. They take two more pictures. Once again I am in the waiting room now waiting for my ultra sound. In every year before they have called me into the radiologist for the results of my mammogram BEFORE the ultra sound but not today. When, after thirty minutes, the nurse tells me to come for my ultra sound, I ask her the results of my mammogram and she says “we NEVER tell that to the patient, the radiologist tells you after both tests.” I have come here for the last fifteen years and it’s never been done like that but I am too weak to argue.

Once in the ultra sound room, the technician does a thorough job and I noticed her focusing, over and over my right breast. I asked if there was anything wrong and she laughed and said “I can’t tell you but the radiologist will give you the information.” “Don’t get dressed” she says as she leaves and I know that is a standard procedure. As if I was in a bad dream the technician comes back and says the radiologist wants a few more pictures. I have been here for three hours and I am trying very hard not to weep with exhaustion and fear.

Finally, they call my name for the radiologist. My whole body is shaking and my legs feel like jello. I hold on to the walls for support. The radiologist says glibly “You’re fine.” “Yeah, you’re fine, no changes from last year, good to go for another year.”He give me a slip of paper and with a wave of his hand he encourages me to leave. I had lost my voice. I finally managed to ask about the nodule and he said they had compared it and nothing changed.

Thinking back I was in shock; it reminded me of the time when I did have a lump in my breast and it had to be removed.I remembered having to wait so long for the biopsy, more than a week. I knew I had heard good news today but it hadn’t sunk in yet. I walked back to the changing room with fingers trembling and slowly changed back into my clothes. I was grateful, believe me I was grateful; my emotions just hadn’t caught up just yet.

*Please note that more women die of heart failure than all cancers combined. My breast surgeon told me that one day, smirking and grinning widely, telling me it was “good for his business.” Visit Carolyn Thomas’ page Heartsisters.org for more information.

Are Lance Armstrong And Honey Boo Boo REALLY Related?

Cyclist Lance Armstrong visiting the NIH (Nati...

Cyclist Lance Armstrong visiting the NIH (National Institutes of Health). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What are the chances? I know! I couldn’t believe it either! Imagine my surprise when I read somewhere that Lance Armstrong was the third cousin, twice removed, step-uncle to Honey Boo Boo’s step-sister’s cousin’s,  mother-in-law’s niece. Well, okay, I did know this but that’s because I made the whole thing up; I lied. It seems like there’s a lot of lying going around these days so I figured I’d just tell a teeny tiny one and add to the chaos. The only difference?  I copped to it right away. I told the truth immediately and willingly because I know lying is wrong and some people would do anything to get away with an incredibly wild ego ride that lasted many, many years. I’d say more than seven years. Right, Lance hon?

Now, that brings to another little hon, it brings us up to Honey Boo Boo, a legend of her own making. I  swore I wouldn’t write about Honey Boo-Boo, I promised myself that I would just bite my tongue so hard that it bled but once again “bad” has just changed definitions for me. There are thousands of people who just love little miss cutie -pie- sunshine and then again, there are people like me who just don’t care about the her and her family and the mud, pigs, junk food and little beauty queen contests. So? I choose not to watch the shows. I’m not going to bash her and her family for goodness sake, if they want to do what they do, it’s fine.I’m more of a Grey’s Anatomy/Parenthood kind of gal. That’s my decision and that’s okay. For the people who love Honey Boo Boo go for it, no one is hating here.

As for Lance Armstrong, now that’s a harder conversation because I’m pissed. What an arrogant son of a bitch he seems to be. I didn’t watch every minute of Oprah’s OWN special so I’m still not completely sure what he did or didn’t say directly. Did he apologize straight out and sincerely, or not. I hear that he came close but didn’t seem really remorseful. Please correct me if I’m wrong. Whatever happened there are two sides of Lance Armstrong and I acknowledge that. There is the lying, cheating, arrogant Armstrong that wanted to conquer the world at ALL costs, fooled the nation, allegedly threatened players and their wives who wanted him to tell the truth and went to extremes to hide his doping habit that went on for many long years.

The other part of Lance Armstrong is the Livestrong Cancer Non-Profit Company. I will defend THAT Lance Armstrong ONLY because he gave a lot of money and brought cancer awareness to people and that was a good thing. That’s it. I too, wore that yellow junky bracelet with pride because I believed in him. How do I feel now? Like most people: disappointed, betrayed and disgusted, it’s the point where the two sides of Lance Armstrong meet. Personally, I only liked Lance when he was married to Sheryl Crow, and as soon as he left her when she was newly diagnosed with cancer I never liked him again. Done. Go figure, what a prince of a guy. He lost me then, it showed character, or lack thereof (not that I know the details.)

So, even if Honey Boo Boo is NOT related to Lance Armstrong they have one thing in common, I have no interest in either of them. For me, they are both a waste of time, energy and quality television. I am happy for the people who love Honey Boo Boo’s show, they should enjoy it while they can and I am deeply sorry for all the Lance Armstrong believers, myself included, that got swindled out of the meaning of a true champion. Lance Armstrong was not and is NOT a hero of any kind, he is not the role model your kids want to be; he was/is an immoral, deceitful, arrogant, liar who hurt many people especially his family, his own kids. “Don’t defend me anymore” he said to his son. Really?

If I had to pick a hero between Lance Armstrong and Honey Boo Boo, I’d go with the kid, at least she is honest. She’s being herself and that means a lot these days. As for Lance Armstrong, he’s probably still lying, I’d bet money on that one. If anyone agrees to let him ride competitively again, they are even crazier then he is.

* I posted that particular photo because he was speaking at the National Institutes of Health, oh the irony!

Plinky Prompt: What’s the last book that bit and stung you?

  • The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

    The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (Photo credit: theunquietlibrary)

  • Franz Kafka said, “we ought to read only books that bite and sting us.” What’s the last thing you read that bit and stung you, and why? See all answers
  • The books that bite and sting
  • The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. As depressing as you think this book MIGHT be, given the two main characters,  are young and have cancer, it isn’t. It’s a magical book, realistic, emotional but not filled with pity or depression. I feel like a better person having read this book and plan on reading it again. Don’t be discouraged by the premise, PLEASE, they tell you on the first page. It’s a realistic look of young adults in the most amazing way. I promise.