Browsing articles in "All in the Family"
Sep 13, 2013

Ted Cruz: Cuckoo Calling?

Today Ted Cruz is on the stump championing racism by quoting John Wayne’s comment to overt racist Jesse Helms:  ”Aren’t you the crazy one?  We need 100 more like you.”

Then, Cruz implies that it takes guts to be crazy like Jesse Helms, and that not many people have the guts to be crazy which he himself clearly has.  Cruz is crazy like a fox.  Harvard educated, McCathy look and act alike, Cruz ignores the fact that today we have more than 100 crazy people like him, every last one of them nuts in their own right and playing to a crowd (and taking advantage of them) that is feeling left out of the American dream.

On the other side of the coin there is Elizabeth Warren, the straight talking inventor of the Consumer Protection Agency, who acknowledges at an AFL-CIO conference that “the people know that the system is rigged against them.”

Here’s the irony:  Elizabeth Warren is the little guy’s real champion, someone who is willing to go to bat for the huge percentage of our populous which has not benefited from our weak recovery.  Recently released statistics show that 95% of the gains from the “recovery” have gone to the 1%.

Ted Cruz has no intention of doing anything for anyone but Ted Cruz.  He is playing to a crowd of comparatively uneducated folks who are not part of the big game that Cruz himself is playing as a Senator.  He rightly tells “the people” that only they can kill Obamacare when he flat out knows this to be a lie.

But that takes the burden off him, doesn’t it?  He and his ilk can go around the planet risk free, speaking irresponsibly and insulting his audience — who he clearly thinks is stupid.

And now comes Republican strategist Steve Schmidt who gave us Sarah the gift that keeps on giving Palin, saying that Cruz has positioned himself to be a leader for the GOP in the 2016 Presidential race.  That’s great.  Cruz and Rand Paul — according to Schmidt, Rubio has counted himself out by his honest position on immigration — will be big contenders.

If Chris Christie isn’t able to skate to the nomination and Cruz and the crazies are actually taken seriously, the 98% (or at least a substantial share of them) will have meaningless revenge on the ones who rigged the game.

We don’t need 100 crazies like Ted Cruz.  We need 100 crazies like Elizabeth Warren — who respect their audience and tell the truth as they see it.  Ted Cruz looks like a lounge singer, but his song is far more dangerous than we are giving him credit for.

Once again I am reminded of Yeats’ poem The Second Coming.  Ted Cruz  could very well be the rough beast whose hour has come round at last, slouching his way towards Bethlehem to be born.

Sep 7, 2013

Bedside Manners

Whether for a veterinarian, cardiologist, internist, or opthamologist, I am a not-so-strange attractor for those in the medical profession who would first do harm.

Even when my mother chose them, I have had a history of being in the “care” of doctors I don’t like — beginning with the pediatrician in Denver of whom I have “recovered memories.”  At six I told my mother I didn’t like Dr. Johnson, gray and jowly and with hands that were much too busy.  Her response was ” I don’t like him either.”  My mother’s life philosophy was “Get over it.”

Dr. Johnson was recalled to me by a doctor in Venice named Rodolfo Bassetti who listened to my heart by surrounding my naked chest and press his head to my back.  My friend Mary Goodbody sent him packing.

I should have known that the stories about clueless M.D.s were true when I married my first husband, the radiologist, who told one of his patients with MS that she shouldn’t worry about dropping pencils :  ”Don’t sweat the small stuff.”  Or when I told him I had a great idea: “How would you know?”

I am sure all doctors are not like this and I have met a few good ones, but like I said, I tend to attract the ones who first do harm.

As an adult, I have had at least four close encounters with the unkind.  The stories I am telling here are true.

When our dog was dying and had lost 30% of his body weight, the veterinarian told my son, by way of explanation:  ”If your mother lost 30% of her body weight, she would look good in a bikini.”  He should see me now.

My internist, when I showed him some (what I took to be) fat around my knee said: ” ooo.  ick!”

Then there was the cardiologist who attended my massive heart attack — an old acquaintance from medical school days — who read my tests and announced to me, mid heart attack: “Oh Gloria, what happened to you, you used to be so beautiful and now you have the body of a 70 year old man.”

Post heart attack, he stopped by my room at Queen’s to tell me a medicine he had just ordered for my heart-which-had-flipped-out :  It will either solve the problem, he said, or it’s the death spiral.

But I was prompted to write this blog by a recent visit to my opthamologist, who I have been seeing for my bizarre eye condition, keritoconus, for more than 30 years.  Before I sat in his chair, he said, and I am NOT kidding: ” Well, you’ve survived nine years [from your heart attack].  Almost everyone has another incident by 11 years.”

When I left with a new prescription a half hour later, I asked him if he was sure I should fill it, on account of the fact that I would be dead in two years?

I do not wish to impugn these doctor’s abilities because I am alive, I can see and I still have the “ooo.ick” fat on my knee.

But here’s the thing:  they can say this stuff, but I can’t say f-you.  Who knows? I might “accidentally” get the death spiral.



Sep 7, 2013

I Fell on My Head

On Tuesday night I went downstairs for a pre-midnight snack (my downfall) and as I was coming back upstairs, I landed precariously on the ninth of ten stairs, teetering on the balls of my feet.

For a brief moment, I had the sense that I could have been on a diving board, thrusting myself backward into the non-existent pool below.  There are times that your mind goes places it shouldn’t.  Before I could lean forward and recover, I shot backwards, landing on my head and back and blacking out.  My real downfall.

Mark and Ian rushed to the scene and called an ambulance.  I remember only flashes of the rest of what I have been told was several hours.  Mark getting in the ambulance, Ian arriving at the hospital, a nurse trying to jam a needle into the resistant vein on my left hand.  I have never had an MRI — and I did that night.  Always fearful of claustrophobia, I had no experience of that because I was in and out of consciousness and when it was over I thought it hadn’t begun.

I got to go home because there was no bleeding in my brain and no visible cracks on my skull or in my neck.  After that I spent three days in bed, a bit dizzy with a monster headache.

All I could do was lie in bed with a cold wash cloth on my head, inhaling ibuprofen and watching tv out of one eye at a time.  It occurred to me that I am very very lucky because so far I have almost died in labor, had a heart attack that almost killed me, and executed a backdive down my stairs with very little effect.

I am curious whether the shake up of my aging brain will change my thinking, bring back old memories and erase others, allow me to become a better artist or writer…

This kind of thing always makes one (me) wonder if the world has something in store for me (or me for it).  I did realize several things, other than I was very, very lucky.

I realized I am hard headed.  I realized I am resilient.  And, as always, I realized that there is always someone there to catch me when I fall.

Aug 26, 2013

“This is my heart”

I did not write this, but as a dog lover, I had to share it.  Thanks to my good friend and sistah Liz Lee for sharing.

If I Were a Dog

by Richard Shelton

I would trot down this road sniffing
on one side and then the other
peeing a little here and there
wherever I felt the urge
having a good time what the hell
saving some because it’s a long road

but since I’m not a dog
I walk straight down the road
trying to get home before dark

if I were a dog and I had a master
who beat me I would run away
and go hungry and sniff around
until I found a master who loved me
I could tell by his smell and I
would lick his face so he knew

or maybe it would be a woman
I would protect her we could go
everywhere together even down this
dark road and I wouldn’t run from side
to side sniffing I would always
be protecting her and I would stop
to pee only once in awhile

sometimes in the afternoon we could
go to the park and she would throw
a stick I would bring it back to her

each time I put the stick at her feet
I would say this is my heart
and she would say I will make it fly
but you must bring it back to me
I would always bring it back to her
and to no other if I were a dog

Jul 11, 2013

Toasty in Temecula

They may have won the Guiness world record for the world’s biggest wedding party.  They could have won it for the prettiest bride and the handsomest groom.  They could have won it for the happiest wedding couple.  They might have won it for having the two of the world’s greatest families coming together as one.

Anyway you look at it, Amanda Loya and Doug Gramann had a wedding to be remembered.   The event was held at a place called Los Willows in Temecula —southern California’s wine country.

See the groomsmen, all dressed in tuxedos.   There were a couple of ways in which these guys were hot.   Even the weather was heated up about this union:  the day of the wedding it was 108 degrees. (a little warmer than the 76 degree farenheit average).  By the time 4 o’clock and vows time came around, it may have been a bit cooler, and there was a slight breeze… but all-in-all it was a hot day, and everyone survived it beautifully.

It really was a family affair.  Everyone participated.  The folks from Hawai`i rented two big houses, filling them with lots of love.  Doug’s aunties, led by Charla, made the bouquets and the corsages.  Doug’s cousins, led by Noah, made sure he had a bachelor party the-night-before-the-night-before the wedding.   The assorted female ohana, led by Sarah, spent the day-before-the-night-before-the-night-before the wedding trying to find out where the boys had ordered up the stripper so they could call and change the gender.  Alas, their efforts were to no avail.  Finally, Doug’s aunt Sherry, an ordained minister, performed the ceremony.

Both the Loya and the Parker-Gramann families are huge, and both have huge extended ohana.  Mark and I were “on the groom’s side” and have been lucky enough to be part of the Parker-Gramann ohana for more than 20 years.  The first time I met Doug, he was two and learning to throw a ball at a tiny basket with his twin brother Adam.  I watched them grow up and they turned out wonderfully.

As for Amanda, I have known her only a short while, and she is beautiful outside and in.  Amanda and Doug’s relationship separated them by thousands of miles:  he in Florida and she in Hawai`i, but their hearts were together all the time.

Now Amanda and Doug are married.  Now they are one, and I know they will live this life happily.


Gloria. Circa 1955.

Gloria. Circa 2012.

Other than working for the American Red Cross in Korea for two years, Gloria Garvey has lived in Hawai`i since 1971. Her opinion and other writing has appeared in: The American Philatelist. Honolulu Weekly, The Honolulu Advertiser, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, The Star Advertiser, Hawai`i Reporter, Pacific Business News, Island Scene, The Design Management Journal.

Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.