Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Yesterday, I was sent to a local high school to photograph a few girls
whose friend and teammate was killed in a car accident last summer.
The girls were graduating today, without their friend, who would also
be a senior.

Looking at the resulting slideshow today on the website, I see the
girls I'd photographed by a tree, by a plaque, in a dugout. They
seemed at the time to want to be anywhere else but with us, having
their picture taken and talking about their friend. Maybe they'd had
their fix of thinking about her.

Briana is just a picture to me. A kid I didn't meet, a girl who is now
no more. Then the slideshow calls up one final shot; Briana in a
field, throwing from second to first, her hair swinging, her shirt
moving with her as she throws.

I'd forgotten I'd taken it. She is not just a photo to me anymore. I
see her, in a field, throwing from second to first, her hair swinging,
her shirt moving with her as she throws. Alive and unaware.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Wandering the Post website, I came across a story about adoption.
It links to pictures of area kids looking for homes. Families. One of
them is 17. One is 16. Others are younger.

I am reminded of how much I take for granted, listening to the audio
of the children trying to explain why they should be adopted.
Imagine having to sell yourself. "I'd like to be adopted because
having a family is nice and it would be great to have someone to look
up to". They describe  themselves. One wants to be a meteorologist,
one wants to be a vet.
I wonder if they will have those opportunities.

You shouldn't be adopted because you're smart, you're good at math,
and you're energetic. You should be adopted because every person
deserves to have a family. Every person deserves to have someone who
is home to them.

That's just the way it is. Or, rather, that's just the way is SHOULD be.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Grad Day

I don't recall being wild and crazy when I graduated from Wakefield
High in 1994. I know for some people, it was a huge accomplishment,
but for me, there was never any question that I would graduate from
high school. Really, it was just an excuse for a party, and I was
perfectly content with that. Plus, I was glad to not be in high school
anymore. Maybe that's why people are so stoked when they're done. It's
not the accomplishment but the release from the government required
daily schedule.

Today I photographed a graduation. The class of 2007 sat quietly
through the ceremony. No waving to family, no bouncing of a beach ball
through the crowd of blue mortarboards. No one blew any bubbles or
even decorated the tops of their hats with "I'm outta here" or "Thanx
M&D!". This was weird; far too much behaving for a graduating class
celebrating their big day. What, not one guy wearing his tie on the
outside of his gown?

The speaker asked them all to heed her advice. One of her points
included, "Eat right and exercise". Why do you all go to fast food
joints all the time? She asked them. Diabetes and heart disease is on
the rise and you need to be healthier, she said, adding that exercise
should include both cardio AND strength training! This was followed by
a diatribe about how strength training really changed her life.
Weird. You DO know these kids are going straight to KFC to celebrate,
right?  This lecture should have happened four years ago when you
could remind them of this every day they were in your building.

She made some other points, which were all fine. Save money, you could
be a millionaire by the time your 45 if you do it right. (I would have
countered with a little bit of  "you can't take it with you" but, I
wasn't asked to speak). Tell the people in your life that you love
them (always a good rule), etc.

After their hour ceremony, the 449 graduates were filed out of one
section of the convention center to another, hidden from the crowd.
Behind Wizard of Oz's curtain, they were directed to remove their
gowns (rentals, I guess?), return them into boxes, and get in-line to
pick up their actual diplomas.

And they did it. Just like they sat like good little boys and girls
during their ceremony. I am in America, right?  (This is the point
where I remind myself that if they had been obnoxious in some way, I'd
be cursing on about how the world is going to shit and we're raising a
bunch of crummy, disrespectful human beings.)

The de-robed crowd bottlenecked and then expanded into the large lobby
on the convention center where guests met their grads. (This is where
I change directions with this little write-up) I saw a student heading
out to the sea of parents and was taken by him. Walking with a cane,
he moved slowly. His hair was thin and his face puffy. He clearly was
recovering from, or undergoing, cancer treatment of some type. Bone,
perhaps? I wondered what his life is like. Did he wonder if he would
even make it to this day?

To think I was complaining to myself last night about a sore neck from work.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Pity Party

1.      any of several disorders characterized by increased urine production.
..>..> ..>..>..>..>..>..>..>..>..>..>..>..>
2.      Also called diabe·tes mel·li·tus      /'m?l?t?s, m?'la?-/
Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[mel-i-tuhs, muh-lahy-]
Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation. a disorder of carbohydrate
metabolism, usually occurring in genetically predisposed individuals,
characterized by inadequate production or utilization of insulin and
resulting in excessive amounts of glucose in the blood and urine,
excessive thirst, weight loss, and in some cases progressive
destruction of small blood vessels leading to such complications as
infections and gangrene of the limbs or blindness.
..>..> ..>..>..>..>..>..>..>..>..>..>..>..>
3.      Also called Type I diabetes, insulin-dependent diabetes, juvenile
diabetes. a severe form of diabetes mellitus in which insulin
production by the beta cells of the pancreas is impaired, usually
resulting in dependence on externally administered insulin, the onset
of the disease typically occurring before the age of 25.

Welcome to my Pity Party. I will be your hostess this evening.

Monday, May 14 is a big day for me. Well, not big really, important?
No. Relevant? Yes.

Ten years ago today, it was a Wednesday, I was sent from an eye
doctor's office in Athens, OH, to the university health center. I sat
in someone's office, and they told me I was diabetic. Insulin
dependant. They likely told me a whole slew of other things, but I
don't recall them. I probably couldn't have recalled them if you asked
me to five minutes after they told me I was diabetic and needed to get
to the hospital.

"Don't stop and have one last chocolate sundae, don't go have a beer,
" the doctor had threatened, "Go straight to the hospital."  He
wouldn't have said that if he knew who he was talking to - Cydney
Scott, follower of (pretty much) all rules, or if he knew what he was
talking about  (pasta could have done just as much damage as a

I called my roommate, Suzanne, from that office, cried into the phone,
babbling something, we hung up. I saw her flying by the door of the
little office I was in. She looked like a cartoon, leaving behind a
cloud of dust in her frantic effort to find her friend.

I remember laughing at the sight of it and calling out to her, letting
her know where I was. She sat with me and said to the nurse, "Isn't
there anything you can tell her that's positive? That's going to make
this a little less scary?"  Suzanne was always, and will always be,

After stopping at home to pack a bag and call my parents in the most
unsuccessfully calm voice I could manage, Suzanne took me to Athens
Memorial Hospital.

I remember snippets of the next four to five days of my stay there;
Staff moving me from one room to another. Getting my first shot of
insulin right after arrival. EKGs, meetings with a nutritionist, an
IV, all that smell-of-rubbing-alcohol hospital stuff.  I took pictures
the whole time, of course. It helps separate you from the reality.

Visitors came and went. There was the one who took my scare as her own
tragedy and was perpetually freaked out. There was the one who sat in
the bed next to me, the same one who I'd just returned with from DE
for his mother's funeral (our friendship had enough bonding for a
lifetime). Then there was the friend who came every night to play
board games with me. The one who walked all the way to the hospital
because she didn't have a car and no one was around to drive her. The
grad student, who, NOT to my surprise, showed with her camera (she now
shoots from time to time for National Geographic). There was the
professor from my college. There was Mom, who, by coincidence, was
coming for a visit that weekend anyway.

When I started losing weight a month earlier, I didn't think much of
it. I could not make it through my first class of the day, History of
South Africa, without falling asleep. Nor could I make it from my
house to the class without stopping for a drink from the severe
cottonmouth from my undiagnosed condition.

I was too distracted with classes and life to bother thinking much of
it. But, then I couldn't read street signs. I went to an eye doctor,
she asked the right questions and it went from there. Quickly.

In the hospital, me eyes ached and ached. They felt swollen in my
head. I don't know why, even now. I was exhausted all the time. I
didn't last long when guests came. The nurses checked my sugars every
hour, bruising-up my fingertips with their nasty, slumber-disturbing

People were afraid. I knew they were afraid. Or nervous, at least.
So, I knew I couldn't be. I felt then the same way I do now - At least
it's me. I don't mind that it's me. I can handle that. If it were
someone else that I loved, I'd be panicking over my helplessness. I
recognized that with those around me - although, they were very good
at being as normal as possible.

I had a roommate in the hospital. She had ovarian cysts and was also a
student.  Late that first night, after my friends had left, the fear
hit me. I had time to myself now. I wondered how my life was going to
change. Will I go blind? Will I lose my feet? Will I be able to have
kids? Shit, will I GIVE it to my kids?

Am I going to die?

My roommate's mother peeked her head in, "It's scary, I know" she
said, as I lay there whimpering under the fluorescent lights and
starchy white sheets.


My brother called me. He told me all about a friend who knew someone
who was diabetic. "It's totally manageable. You're gonna be fine.
You'll be fine" he kept saying over and over. I knew he wasn't really
talking to me.

Dad wanted me home. YESTERDAY.

The first time I gave myself an insulin shot, my freshman year
roommate and dear friend, Kristen had shown-up, with her boyfriend
(now husband and always my friend) Chad. And her mom, and dad, and
grandma and uncle. It was a party.

Sort of.

But, it was a good thing. There's no being a wimp about taking your
first shot when you have a room full of people. You freak out, they
freak-out. It's a big uncomfortable freak-out.  So, it was good.

That night, it was Thursday, about five of my friends snuck in after
hours to sit on my bed and watch ER with me, a weekly tradition at our
house at 27 North Congress Street.

My Mom was to arrive in a few days. I kept asking the nurses when I
could get the IV out. When I could shower and put on real clothes. I
remember how important it was that I be hooked-up to nothing when she
showed-up and that I was dressed. 35lbs lighter than I was a month
before, I was abnormally skinny and wanted to appear as put together
as possible. I got my IV removed and shower just in time for her
arrival. In fact, I remember a nurse popping her arm into the shower,
a syringe in it, "Time for insulin" she said. I took it in the shower.
The lovely, IV-free shower.

I was grateful to be older when I was diagnosed. Not having it since
childhood meant less wear and tear on my body. I do remember wondering
where I'd be in ten years. Would I be ok, or would I start to have

I'm here. I'm fine. So, that's good.

I have never been one of those types who stood on a soapbox for my
cause. For the 'betes. In fact, just the other day I snubbed someone
from the American Diabetes Association calling for donations. "It
effects so many people" she said.

You think?

Thanks but I think the disease costs me enough money on it's own.  Not
that I think donations are bad, it's just that I feel weird giving
money to a cause because it would benefit ME. Oh, I'm gonna give money
so I can cure...MYSELF!

Now, OK, I could give money with the thought that it would help
children. It would help stop the disease from hurting others. Yes,
this condition kills people. It, or it's complications can kill, but
one can control it to a degree. It's not like cancer, which can fuck
you no matter what you do.

I can walk. I can see. I can eat ice cream. So far, so good.

That said, I'm still having a pity party.
I'm having one because I have an insulin pump attached to my body 24/7
likely for the rest of my life. It's this $6,000 piece of miracle
equipment, which, while it's made my life far less complicated,
prevents me from spontaneously jumping into a pool with all my clothes
on (it can't get wet). I'm having a pity party because on days when my
diabetes is not behaving, I feel fatigued and groggy. Unfocused. Going
hypoglycemic happens regularly. It's just part of the deal. It makes
me weak, anxious, irritable, queasy and manifests itself in weird ways
sometimes - a numb tongue, tingling skin on my back, the sensation
that my entrails are heating up (that one's REALLY weird). And
sometimes you do or say weird shit that you don't mean (remind me to
tell you about all that stuff I bought from an infomercial when I was
up at 3am hypo once...what the hell and I gonna do with a oil free
frying pan?)
I could still go blind.
I could still lose my feet.
I could still die of heart disease, like most diabetics do.
I am having one because twelve years from now, I will have been a
diabetic for more years that I wasn't one.
Any guy I consider for "the long haul", or dating even, has to be
healthy. Some say only one person's allowed to be crazy at a time,
but, for me only one of us can have a condition to deal with and mine
isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
I will never have the choice of having a hippy dippy all-natural birth
(with crystals nearby and a harpist in the kitchen) in a tub in the
middle of my living room because it would now be considered an
high-risk pregnancy. I'm having a pity party because my kid could have
three heads if my sugars aren't in the proper range at the moment of
conception (how romantic) or for the rest of the pregnancy for that
matter. I could have, like, a 50 lb. baby!

OK, yes, I'm being a bit dramatic with that last point but, it's my
party and I am the hostess.

Thanks for coming, by the way.

P.S. To those of you who were with me ten years ago from today,
keeping me company, laughing at my faulty pancreas jokes even though
they were probably making you squirm, sending me flowers, calling me,
making and delivering cards to me, bringing me my favorite duvet and
pillow, thanks again.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Keep you crystals

Main Entry: dou·la
: a woman experienced in childbirth who provides advice, information,
and emotional support to a mother before, during, and just after

Chatting with Rachel today about doulas, she talks about how she would
like to have a midwife, but not nessesarily a doula, as they tend  to
be a bit  spiritual/Stevie Nicks-ish,  "Take your crystals somewhere
else, I gettin' an epidural."

Friday, May 4, 2007

Chinese Water Torture

I was on the phone with Mom, catching up on things this evening when I
heard a ticking coming from my bedroom.   Ping ! At first I thought it
was the pull-string of the fan tapping against the light bulb, but
then realized, I'd never heard it do that before.

It was the sound of metal pinging.

Ping! Then a pause
Then a Ping!

 I wandered into my room, wondering if it was water dripping just
outside my window. Ping!

There it goes again, I told Mom, while she tried to tell me about her
day.  Ping!   "And again!"

Then, I realized that it was coming from my alarm system box. This is
the box I use to turn the system on, set it up, whatever. It's
connected into the wall and has a 9Volt battery in it, too. Ping!  I
jam the phone up top it, "Do you hear that?" As if Mom needs to hear
it so that I am officially NOT certifiably insane.


She confirms that she does, in fact, hear it. I am not crazy.
But, I know I will be if I don't figure-out why the hell it's doing
this. When the 9V runs low, the system will beep...LOUDLY... until
your replace the battery and even then, it takes a while for the 9V to
power up and shut the beeping off.

Those make for interesting nights of attempted sleep.

I hang up with Mom because there's no casual chatting while "The
Telltale Heart" the Disney version retold with electronics continues
in my bedroom. Where I like it quiet.
Where I hate Disney.

I open the system, press buttons.  Ping!  No change. I remove the
PING! battery.

I decide to take matters more seriously. Tools...I get the screwdriver
and unscrew the power source, which for some reason it screwed into
the outlet.

Ah. Lights on the system are off. I must have done something right!


I decide to go one step further and I take the thing off the wall entirely.

I am turning it over and seeing lots of wires and one connection to a
phone line. I get a piece of paper to draw, in great detail, what I am
disconnecting from what so that I can reconnect it someday...when I am
no longer staying here, that is.

I'm drawing a detangle with two little screws in it, red wire, black wire



There it is again. But it's different now. Coming from a different
place! What the hell!?

I look down and find the source of annoyance, which is now jumping
about a foot into the air and landing back down giving off the sound
of exoskeleton meeting wood.
This was followed by a better sound - an exoskeleton meeting the
bottom of my shoe.

Followed by silence.
Just like I like it.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Scott's End sound slide

I am learning a new, simple program with which to show my work. I did
a little practice slideshow with pictures from my recent trip home.

Cut and paste, baby!

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Late night Discontent

I feel it coming on again
I feel it crawling in
that feeling of implosion
it comes from staying in

I'm antsy, claustrophobic
lacking any type of thought
wrong to think it may improve
if I gave the dog a walk

I feel I can give nothing now
gears rusted in my brain
days off will sometimes do that
leave me two steps from insane

It seems my head has gone to sleep
this day of being lame
It seems my head has gone to sleep
I guess I'll do the same