Rest in Peace, Carolyn Kaelin

July 28th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Carolyn Kaelin
I just learned that my cousin Bill’s wife died early this morning. There are just no words for such a loss. She was actually Dr. Carolyn M. Kaelin, MD, the former Director of the Comprehensive Breast Health Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and graduate of the Harvard School of Public Health and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

She’s written articles and books, including Living Through Breast Cancer and The Breast Cancer Survivor’s Fitness Plan.

I don’t mean to post a resume, it’s just that I don’t even really know where to begin! Mother of God mortality sucks. In addition to my cousin Bill, she is survived by her children Kathryn Grace and Trip, who I believe are 23 and 20 years old. So young to lose their mom.

I actually talked about Bill and Carolyn to my friends a lot this past month. It was about the grace with which they were dealing with this phase of life. I don’t want to go into specifics out of respect for her family’s privacy, but I was so moved I had to talk to people about it. She was always like this (and so is Bill) so I wasn’t surprised, but I still couldn’t help being astounded. I’m so sorry Bill and Kathryn and Trip and everyone else who knew and loved her.

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Cat Emergency in my Building

July 27th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments »

On Thursday I noticed that a cat was crying continually in the apartment underneath me. I knocked on the door, but no one was home. The next day the cat was still crying constantly. I knocked again and still no answer. I knocked on the door of the apartment next door to see if they knew if anyone was living there. No answer.

Long story short: since then I’ve been knocking on both doors periodically during the day and night and no one has been home. I put a sign on the door early Sunday morning, and I also put a piece of paper in the doorframe which would fall if anyone opened the door. I called the super and he said someone was feeding the cat every day which could be true, except it’s now over 24 hours and that piece of paper is still in the door. When I called the super back this morning to say no one came yesterday to feed the cat he said someone had. Since I now know that is not true I can’t be sure that anyone has been there to feed the cat at all since Thursday (or before that, Thursday is only the day I first noticed it).

You’re told to call 311 in cases of animal abuse or neglect. I opened a report online and they closed the report saying the police had no access. Hello? Isn’t that the issue, an animal is possibly abandoned in a locked apartment? If access wasn’t a problem I’d already be in there. I called 311 this time and opened another report and they closed that one within minutes. I also stopped by the local precinct and they said they couldn’t do anything and gave me a number to call this morning. I got a machine (also, it’s the number for the Domestic Violence unit and I feel weird calling them about animal neglect). I’ve been calling the landlord and they’re still not in yet. I noticed that the NYPD’s animal investigation unit uses twitter so I tweeted them yesterday, and they answered this morning. They took the two 311 call reference numbers and the address, but I haven’t heard back yet. I imagine I am one of many calls and tweets though, so I’m still hopeful.

I’m going to continue to try to reach the landlord and others but if I don’t get a response by noon, I will consider more drastic measures. I read that a cat can only go without water for a few days and it’s been a few days.

Noon: Haven’t heard back from the landlord or from the animal investigation unit. The cat is still crying continually.

12:16: I reached the landlord of the building and he promises someone will be here within an hour to open the door.

1:58: Someone from the landlord’s office arrived and he was about to go in through the window when the tenant called. She must be out of town, and she said a friend would come, but who knows when?? I told the landlord’s guy that I would call him if no one showed up by 5. The cat is still crying.

3:15: The tenant just called me! She thought someone was coming regularly to take care of the cat while she was out of town, and I said I don’t think they’ve been coming as much as they say, but we weren’t having a battle about it. This person is a real cat person too, and as a matter of fact this is a foster cat!! So she was very nice on the phone, and grateful to know, and I said I’d be happy to take care of the cat in the future. She said her friend promised to get there by 5:30. Help is on the way little guy!

4:50: Sgt. Michael Murphy, the CO of the NYPD’s Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad, just called in response to my report!! He was so great. He explained that his unit investigates big cases, like dog fighting, and my local precinct is actually responsible to investigate possible animal neglect. He called my precinct to let them know, but of course it still would have played as it has. Because they’re not going to break the door down unless the animal is in imminent danger and all other avenues into the apartment have been explored. So we still would have waited for the landlord to try to get in, etc.

But, the NYPD is ready to respond if that friend doesn’t show up. My poor neighbor, who seems like she is actually a lovely person. All this drama. And maybe the friend has been showing up, just not every day. She said food and water was left out, but I asked the landlord’s guy if he saw that when he looked in the window and he said no. But maybe it was in another room.

5:35: I just checked and my sign is gone and the paper is gone so someone was in there. I called my neighbor to make sure and she said yes, and that her friend had called and the cat was okay. I can now rest and go to the summer sing I planned to attend!

Later Update: I met the friend who is taking care of the cat and she is clearly a great and caring person who loves the cat. She also introduced me to the cat, who is a love bug. So the cat is totally fine and in good hands.

The door with my sign.

Doors

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Separations – Necessary Evils?: A Memoir

July 25th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Liso Starrett Memoir
Another friend has written a book! Liso Starrett, who was a fellow volunteer down at the WTC site during the recovery period, has written a memoir called Separations – Necessary Evils?

“Liso Starrett’s soul, radiant and yearning blazes through her book. Through looking at separations in her life and those of her patients she discovers spiritual growth and inspires us all.”
—Cynthia Magriel Wetzler, writer, contributor to the New York Times.

From The Millbrook Independent: Liso Starrett’s first book is out of the printers and is now in local bookstores. It is called “Separations, necessary evils?” and is about the moral and psychological implications of change, leaving, breaking up, families, and perhaps of growing up and growing old. There is a touching and insightful description of her own experience of the 9/11 catastrophe. Much of life involves separations, sometimes the result of conscious decisions and sometimes not.

Dr. Liso Starrett has been a Board Certified Chaplain for over ten years.

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Crayovie

July 24th, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

MeandBeamers
An old friend, and fellow ITP grad, who created a drawing app called Crayovie, just used it to make a portrait of me and one of my cats. It’s a long dead one, but that particular cat was the feline-love of my life.

A description of Crayovie:

“Express yourself in 140 seconds or less, create and share your dynamic doodles with Crayovie.

“It’s Twitter for the “right brain”, quickly draw (rather than write) whatever’s on your mind.”

That is pretty much the best portrait of me and a cat EVER. I love it. I want to print it out and frame it.

“There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.”
—Albert Schweitzer

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UX Strategy: How to Devise Innovative Digital Products that People Want

July 23rd, 2015 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

A friend of mine has written a book about UX design titled UX Strategy: How to Devise Innovative Digital Products that People Want.

One of the Amazon reviews:

“This UX Strategy book stands out in the UX field as a much-needed and very practically-minded bridging of business strategy and UX design. You’ll get a lot of value out of it whether you’re a UX newbie building your first startup or you’re a seasoned designer or executive at a Fortune 500. The book is also written in a fun and encouraging way – Jaime Levy’s down-to-earth passion for her innovations and teaching is motivating and infectious.”

That reminds me, I’m completely out of it re: acronyms these days. Someone recently had to tell me what CMS stood for, and a few minutes ago I had to look up ICYMI. I’m not complaining about them, they are very useful these days, when you need to express yourself in 140 characters or less, I’m just making a point about my out-if-it-ness.

Good luck on your new book Jaime Levy! Jaimie teaches a graduate level course on UX design at the University of Southern California (USC) in the Viterbi School of Engineering.

Bleecker, the slut, shows me his belly.

Bleecker's Belly

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