Thursday, June 30, 2011

Spaceship Orion Has Landed ...

... or something like that, though it is called The Humboldt Box, whatever reference to a shoe box or packing crate that may call to mind being quite adequate. It's raison d'être was to provide an elevated platform from which to view reconstruction of the Berliner Schloß where there is now a grassy area after demolition of the Palast der Republik and archeological excavations where the remainder of the original Palace stood.
The only problem: Construction will not begin until 2013, so now we are "privileged" to have this strange "temporary landmark" object obscuring all perspectives from and down Unter den Linden and marring the view across to other real buildings temporarily possible after the clearing of the site. Also, there are inside very few spots from which one will later be able to view the construction work, as, of the upper floor terraces, only one looks in that direction, and both are full of tables and chairs for the "exclusive café" with overpriced items on the menu. Pay for a coffee to sit there and hope others don't just try to see the view between you and the rail, which is their perfect right, as you must also pay admission to enter the whole curious object.
The exhibition pieces to "introduce" the museal usage of the reconstructed palace are arbitrary and lost in the cold steel and concrete atmosphere. The "Humboldt Lounge" on the northern end of the third floor provides one escape from the obvious commercial aim of the entire structure, as there it is possible to sit on an upholstered bench at a huge window overlooking the Lustgarten with the museums and cathedral flanking it. There are even books from a library you can browse in. That, at least, is good for a refuge from unpleasant weather, as was the case today.
One can only hope the Berlin Palace will be more quickly completed than planned so that this bizarre spaceship can liftoff from its launching pad and never be seen again.
The operators tout it as a new "event location", the 4th floor barren for that purpose (and you can also have the café and terraces for your private pleasures as well), but evidently only for German speaking "events" (aber kein Ereignis!), as their website knows no other language whatsoever.
At least I made a few photos there and could spend some time where it's warm to write a while on such a chilly rainy day at the end of June during my time out of the hospital between chemo and marrow transplant.
And by the way, as an "Opening Special" (Neudeutsch) Eintritt (Altdeutsch, translation: admission) is only 2 euros through August 15.
Here is the webcam image of the spaceship on its scarred-earth site, though it doesn't seem to update on its own...

... and here are some photos I took from there this early afternoon:

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


De amore vestro, io vi ricordo che quelli sono straziati dallo Amore, che quando e' vola loro in grembo, lo vogliono o tarpare o legare. A costoro, perché egli è fanciullo et instabile, e' cava gli occhi, le fegate et il cuore. Ma quelli che quando e' viene godano seco et lo vezzeggiano, et quando e' se ne va lo lasciano ire, et quando e' torna lo accettono volentieri, et sempre sono da lui honorati et carezzati, et sotto il suo imperio trionfano.
[Niccolò Machiavelli a Francesco Vettori, Firenze, 10 giugno 1514]

Saturday, June 25, 2011

New York Makes a Former Citizen Happy!

New York Allows Same-Sex Marriage, Becoming Largest State to Pass Law
The New York Times, June 24, 2011

ALBANY — Lawmakers voted late Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, making New York the largest state where gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed and giving the national gay-rights movement new momentum from the state where it was born. [...]
Dozens more states have laws or constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage. Many of them were approved in the past few years, as same-sex marriage moved to the front line of the culture war and politicians deployed the issue as a tool for energizing their base.
But New York could be a shift: It is now by far the largest state to grant legal recognition to same-sex weddings, and one that is home to a large, visible and politically influential gay community. Supporters of the measure described the victory in New York as especially symbolic — and poignant — because of its rich place in the history of gay rights: the movement’s foundational moment, in June 1969, was a riot against police inside the Stonewall Inn, a bar in the West Village.
In Albany, there was elation after the vote. But leading up to it, there were moments of tension and frustration. At one point, Senator Kevin S. Parker, a Brooklyn Democrat, erupted when he and other supporters learned they would not be allowed to make a floor speech.
“This is not right,” he yelled, before storming from the chamber.
During a brief recess during the voting, Senator Shirley L. Huntley, a Queens Democrat who had only recently come out in support of same sex marriage, strode from her seat to the back of the Senate chamber to congratulate Daniel J. O’Donnell, an openly gay Manhattan lawmaker who sponsored the legislation in the Assembly.
They hugged, and Assemblyman O’Donnell, standing with his longtime partner, began to tear up.
“We’re going to invite you to our wedding,” Mr. O’Donnell said. “Now we have to figure out how to pay for one.”
This is truly good news, well-timed to crown Christopher Street Day celebrations and parades around the world, including the one in Berlin today. Gay Pride has been served, and those who love and commit to each other have been recognized in yet another jurisdiction. May the rest of the USA and the WORLD follow suit forthwith!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

SHAME on the USA!

Bank robber planned crime and punishment bank robbery - Gaston Gazette
Being sentenced to jail was the only way this man had to have the medical treatment he needed paid for. Could there be anything more shameful for a so-called civilized country than to give its inhabitants a choice between jail, bankrupcy, and death from serious illness?

And some of you out there still think universal health care insurance is communist? It is merely humane and it is an absolute necessity!

Wake up and support Obama on all measures to provide FULL coverage for ALL people in the US whatever illness they may have, however rich or poor they may be, regardless of what some private insurance company aims to reach in profit goals!


Monday, June 20, 2011

Great to have a niece drop in...

We had a really nice visit with Jenn, who managed to fly over from London for my first weekend back home after the last hospital stay. It's so much better to really be face to face, smile to smile with our wonderful niece and to enjoy Hard Rock, the Gay Pride Festival, and a museum visit with her here in our great hometown of Berlin! Detlef and I both are so grateful for the love our families bring to us in our great love!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Home from the Second Round

Life is so wonderful when you can weather the storm of a heavy duty consolidation chemo against AML and get back home again with counts sufficient to provide you protection against infection.
I feel well, my counts are continuing to climb, and I am grateful...
... grateful to the nurses and staff of Station 51A (and B and 52) of Charité's Virchow Klinikum for their tireless support,
... grateful to the doctors of the oncology/hematology team there, Dr. Flörcken, Dr. Kuhnitz, Dr. Kreher, Dr. Westermann, Dr. Müller, et al. for their unceasing efforts to carry me through it all,
... to all my friends and family here who visited and called, to all my friends and family in the states who face-booked me words of encouragement,
... to Claudia & Alma for hosting Koko while I'm at home, so I can see him even if I can't be around him,
... to my dear sister, Terri, who stands ready to provide me with the stem cells that are a genetic match and which I need for the marrow transplant next month,
... to Detlef for always being there for me with his limitless love.

And, yes, I am even grateful to myself for mustering the strength that is rewarded by my home right here so full of love!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Pale, Paler, Palin - Poetically Speaking

Sarah Palin's Midnight Ride, by Ben Greenman, from The New Yorker online.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Une Présidente pour la France !

A woman must become President of France, says Sollers in this lyrical TV discussion of the Strauss-Kahn affair as that would be the only way finally to end the Monarchy (whether of a republic or of a kingdom) which gives rise to such impossible behavior as DSK has demonstrated.

Sollers très Lyrique sur Strauss Kahn [Fun] CSOJ... by peanutsie

Monday, June 6, 2011

Palin Makes Me Pale !

Should I be surprised to find out that the Paling paleface of party teabags is THIS stupid? Probably not. And later, she even insisted that the nonsense she spouted about Paul Revere was correct! Nothing I abhor more than self-satisfied ignorance, proud of itself and labeling intelligence arrogant. Even though her "followers" have tried to change the Wikipedia entry on Revere to make her FALSE version sound right, the foreign language versions will remain unaltered, as they are also too dum even to try to read, much less change, them! And print encyclopedias and history books will continue to have the correct version, whatever that Paling paleface burps out!

Here, the text of her hopelessly long explanation of the ride of Paul Revere:

He who warned, uh, the … the British that they weren’t gonna be takin’ away our arms, uh, by ringin’ those bells and, um, by makin’ sure that as he’s ridin’ his horse through town to send those warnin’ shots and bells that, uh, we were gonna be secure and we were gonna be free … and we were gonna be armed.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (an essential poet of American literature, by way of explanation for paling paleface fans) got it right in his poem "The Ride of Paul Revere":
Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,--
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Take my counts up, up, and away in that beautiful balloon!

I'm climbing into that balloon and want to have my counts ascend rapidly for a quick return home to maximize the amount of time I have there before coming into the Marrow Transplant Unit!
Let's go now, soaring white cells, ascending platelets, rising red cells!
May my marrow provide the necessary propulsion for me to go up, up, and away from the hospital and back home for a while!
With the love of Detlef and the support of so many friends and family members, it must be possible to get this balloon off the ground!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Fabulous Birthday!

Despite being in the hospital, my birthday was wonderful. Best wishes came from so many on fb, from visitors here, including a cake from my brother- and sister-in-law, from all the nurses and doctors on the ward, as well as those on the other that we pass on the way during our walking rounds. It was good, and I KNOW I'm on the right path to a permanent cure from this AML!
A special thanks and all my love to my loving, caring, wonderful husband Detlef!