Sunday, February 10, 2013


CAMBRIDGE, Mass./NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Northeast started digging out on Sunday after a blizzard dumped up to 40 inches (1 meter) of snow with hurricane force winds, killing at least nine people and leaving hundreds of thousands without power.

Here in Brookline, we had 24 inches of snow. I went out today for a little while to get some fresh air - the snow drifts are higher than me !


I got a surprise phone call from cousin Ken, checking in to see how I was weathering the storm, pun intended. We hadn't spoken in awhile. While chatting I mentioned that I was living on Mass. Ave. (between Harvard Square and Central Square in Cambridge) during the Blizzard of '78. Turns out, he had lived not far from there also (not sure when) + used to go to the Orson Welles Cinema and Jack's Bar across the street. While hanging at Jack's he said he met a singer, Spider John Koehner and his girlfriend, Bonnie. One night, Bonnie asked him to sing backup with the band. Right now, I can't remember if he did or he didn't. But 'Bonnie' turned out to be...Bonnie Raitt !

Ken's in Florida helping out his mom, Aunt Ruth who has a fractured vertebrae now. I'll have to start scanning in my photos when we got together while I lived in Berkeley and Ken lived in Eureka, CA. When I had my surgery in 1998, Ken came down and helped me out. I was really glad he came. Ken and I played endless games of cards when we were kids at Boby and Zaidy's house on various Jewish holidays during the Dorchester Years.

UPDATE: I just spoke to Aunt Ruth. She sounds good and says she is much better, not in pain anymore, Ken goes to doctors' appointments with her and she goes to the Hard Rock on Saturdays and she is still driving. She will be 92 in July.


Joe Biden & 'Silver Linings Playbook': Vice President Meets With Bradley Cooper And David O. Russell


Joe Biden Silver Linings Playbook
Well, the actor and the director made it all the way to the White House. Next stop, Insurance companies which refuse to pay for the treatments needed.
For Bradley Cooper and David O. Russell, Oscar night may be the most important day of the year, but Feb. 7 might hit a close second. The "Silver Linings Playbook" actor and director met with Vice President Joe Biden at the White House on Thursday to discuss mental health issues.
Biden has led initiatives that focus on the issues surrounding mental health, especially in light of recent tragedies at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut and at theCentury 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo. "Silver Linings Playbook" connects to mental health issues as well. The film profiles a man (Cooper) who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and recently released from a mental hospital. As The Los Angeles Times reports, Biden told Cooper and Russell that "sometimes movies do what governments can’t."
Since the release of "Silver Linings Playbook" last November, Russell has been vocal about his own son's diagnosis with bipolar disorder, crediting his close experience as his reason for doing the movie. Robert De Niro, who stars in the film as Cooper's father, also recently spoke about his personal connection to bipolar disorder and the film; the Oscar-nominated star broke down on an episode of the Katie Couric talk show "Katie" when the issue was discussed. "Silver Linings Playbook" has largely been praised for its approach to mental health.  Read the whole story here.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


I got this beautiful painting just a couple of days ago, before the Blizzard of 2013 disrupted everything. I worked for Tony while I was a graduate student at U.C. Berkeley. He is co- chair of the Visual Studies program in the College of Environmental Design. I love his work, his paintings and drawings and I learned a lot from him.

Thursday, February 7, 2013



Ok, so much for Spring is right around the corner......LOL......this is New England after all...if you don't like the weather, wait a minute ! Everyone is running around stocking up on provisions, myself included. Fort Myers, here I come !

No traffic on the Zakim Bridge. Photo by David L. Ryan / Globe staff
by Adrienne Lavidor-Berman on Feb 8, 2013 at 8:38 PM

UPDATE: FEBRUARY 8, 2013 - 18"-24 " Expected  

Today they are comparing this storm to the Blizzard of 1978 when I was living in Cambridge with my friend Michael. The whole Boston area was shut down. No traffic on Mass. Ave. People were skiing down Mass. Ave.  No cars. It was like a Swiss village and actually was a lot of fun - no cars, no traffic, people were nicer. The convenience store across the street was open, so no problem getting provisions......

The Governor, Deval Patrick banned cars on the road after 4:00 pm, a historic order. The MBTA stopped running at 3:30 pm. Patrick emphasized that the point of the ban, which had not been used since the Blizzard of ‘78, was not to penalize people but “to emphasize how critical it is that nonessential travel on the roads cease.” The MBTA hopes to resume service by Monday." Yikes! Boston looks like a ghost town. Visibility is so low I can't see the buildings across the street. So far so good regarding power here. My building has a generator fortunately. Others in the state not so lucky, almost 250,000 without power, mostly communities on the coast.

"Blizzard warnings are now in effect for nearly the entire coast from central Maine south to New York City. If you need to get out tomorrow, the morning will provide the best travel conditions. Roads will become snow covered in the afternoon and travel nearly impossible after dark.Blizzard warning south.pngYou might be wondering if all of the coverage of the past twenty-four hours is overdone or if this storm is for real."

UPDATE February 9, 2012

Believe me, this storm is for real ! I lost my TV and internet last night.  I'm online now, sitting in the elevator lobby on my floor, using Mimi's guest network ! Still, fortunate that I do have power.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Spring will be here soon ! When you see it's Red Sox Truck day, Red Sox Nation knows Spring is right around the corner.

Workers on Tuesday are loading a truck with the Red Sox’ gear for spring training. (Marie Torto photo)Workers on Tuesday are loading a truck with the Red Sox’ gear for spring training. (Marie Torto photo)

By Marie Torto

Red Sox fans celebrated Truck Day on Tuesday, the unofficial start of spring training. Read all about it here.

"Spring training officially begins for the Red Sox on Sunday, the reporting date for pitchers and catchers, although many players are already in Fort Myers holding informal workouts."

Ok, it must be said that after last year's debacle, those of us in Red Sox Nation wonder what this season will bring. We finished dead last in our Division. Are we more optimistic this year ? I am not a John Lackey fan. Enough said. (I sure do miss talking to Roby about baseball...)

Monday, February 4, 2013


spotlight graphic

After Newtown, I wondered why I did not see any NAMI or mental health news or experts on cable TV news shows sitting next to Gun Control advocates. I looked on the NAMI website and found a lot of press releases. Upon further digging, I found the clip of Michael Fitzpatrick, NAMI Executive Director talking on CNN. Click here. Michael Fitzpatrick talks about the 'broken mental health system', how people can gain access to services and also President Obama weighs in.

"early intervention"
"fractured, broken system"
"doesn't meet the needs of people trying to access it or those using it"
"mythology around guns and mental health"


Mental illness measures
Four of the 23 executive actions that Obama announced on Wednesday address access to mental health care through Medicare and Obamacare.

Medicare is the largest provider of mental health care in the country and the Affordable Care Act opens access to millions of other Americans covered by the federal government.
Another executive action was to open a national dialogue on mental health led by Health Secretary Kathleen Sibelius and Education Secretary Arne Duncan.
Obama also clarified that a provision in Obamacare does not prohibit doctors from asking their patients about guns in their homes.
A number of mass shootings have been committed by people known to have struggled with mental illness which has renewed calls to address mental illness in a more comprehensive manner.
Federal legislation restricting access to guns for the mentally ill was firs enacted in 1968.
Would it help?: A number of mental health advocacy groups came out in support of the president's announcement.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness released a statement applauding the initiatives put forth from Vice President Joe Biden's task force, calling it the chance to fix the broken health care system, "an opportunity that comes only once in a generation."
The group also supported that the president "correctly noted" that many of the mentally ill were not violent.
NAMI expressed its hope that the attention could help fill gaps in the mental health system.
FBI statistics showed about 1 percent of applicants who failed a background check were turned down for reasons related to mental health.

Sunday, February 3, 2013


Once more Art imitates Life.

This is the first time in my lifetime that Mental Illness is actually on the national agenda, in the spotlight and is being talked about it. Hopefully it will increase awareness and remove the stigma. Hopefully more people will seek treatment and more treatment options will be available. 

Below is the top story on the NAMI website. NAMI.ORG.

Top Story illustration

Bradley Cooper Speaks Out in National Dialogue on Mental Illness 

Academy Award nominated actor of Silver Linings Playbook Bradley Cooper was in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 1 with Patrick Kennedy, NAMI and others to discuss the state of mental health in America.

Bradley Cooper Speaks Out in National Dialogue on Mental Illness 

By Bob Carolla, NAMI Director of Media Relations