Sunday, January 29, 2017


I don't know that marches and rallies help, I don't know that making calls to representatives in other states makes a difference, I don't know if sending postcards matters, But much like my love life, I don't want to get to the end of my life and say I didn't try. So I'm doing all of those things.

In the case of this protest today, the Boston Protest Against Muslim Ban and Anti-Immigration Orders in Copley Square, I wanted to join my fellow Bostonians and add myself to the numbers of people who stand by those who are threatened by Trump's policies, including the most recent one - banning people from certain countries from entering the United States.

Since art (and baking) is stress relieving for me, I really got into my sign making, and stayed up late to design and paint mine to stand out. I laughed to myself as I thought about all the artistic things Mom taught me as a kid working on various projects; re-trace the black after you paint so it looks cleaner, use big clean penmanship, etc.

From my perch with Lauren, Owen (who's sign read "Know Justice, Know Peace!") and Elizabeth on the fountain in Copley Square I could see people stopping to photograph my sign to add to their collection (so many great signs, and people improvising - pizza boxes, a towel, even a paper napkin!). After standing with them for about 90 minutes, I left them to wander. Holding my sign up high, people stopped me to take a photo of it. One group, three women with a child in a stroller said "Oh! Can we have our picture taken with you and your sign!?" I did so gladly (I'm never the one getting in a picture!).  As we parted ways they said "Thank you for standing in solidarity with us!".  

Solidarity. That was the word. That was why I attended today. Imagine how one would feel being a refugee, or an immigrant, or a Muslim in America right now. I would think that seeing the people out in droves for me would help me feel better. If only for a little bit. I realized when she said "solidarity" that that was exactly the reason I went. 

The other thing that occurred to me is that I may have to bite the bullet and invest in a decent small camera. My iPhone isn't cutting it and I have a feeling this isn't the last of the protests I'll be attending. 

Some of my favorite signs read 
"I'm not a sign guy but GEEZ!"
"Know Justice, Know Peace"
"Bigotry is Bigly Unconstitutional"
"First they came for the Muslims...and we said 'not today Motherf*&$%&r!"

a card-making "[arty" at the home of an art classmate of mine, Jess (far left)

some of the postcards

Lauren and Owen holding my sign

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Missing Dog

Harlow went missing Friday night.

Shannon and I were relaxing on my couch for a time when she asked "Where's Harlow?"

I didn't know, but figured she was outside in the yard doing whatever it is she does when she's wandering around outside in the yard. I got up and called her. No Harlow. I walked through the whole house. She's not inside. I went back outside and looked all over the backyard. No dog.

Where is my dog?

We put on our boots and I found her most annoying toy ever  and took the the neighborhood, calling her and squeaking the toy. No luck. There was little we could do, really, because even if we spotted her, she wasn't going to come to me unless she wanted to. And generally she didn't want to.

We headed back tot he house, and I said, "well, let me open the gate so when she does come home she can come into the yard and back through the dog door."  I think we were planning on getting in the car or something. I don't remember. I just know I was thinking I was screwed because it appeared that she'd figured out how to hop the fence entirely. How would I deal with that?

But I heard scratching, and that's when, in a flash, I realized what happened. About a half hour before, I had absent-mindedly shut the basement door not realizing that Harlow was down there.

It was a relief!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Women's March on Washington

The stars aligned for Shannon and I when we got up at an unspeakably early hour Saturday morning, January 21 to get our cab to Logan. With boarding passes printed and no bags to check (we would be living out of two small purses and one small clear backpack until the next morning) we walked straight through security and to our gate, got coffee and sat down about 45 minutes before boarding. No crowd like we had expected.

As boarding time approached, more women sporting pink pussy-hats gathered, and the gate attendant at Spirit Air came over the PA "I have worked here five years and I have never seen this before; this flight is completely full and only one bag has been checked" The place erupted into cheers - it looked like every person on that plane was heading straight from the airport to the Women's March on Washington!

Our flight into Baltimore was uneventful and when we got off the plane and headed to the taxi stand we were shocked to find no one else waiting except two women who offered to ride along with us. We had the cab driver take us to Greenbelt Station, the northern-most station in DC's Metro, which was about a 45 minute drive away and still in MD. As we approached the neighborhood of Greenbelt, there were seemingly hundreds of people with signs and pink pussy hats wandering in all directions. police blockades prevented vehicles from heading down the street where the Metro stop was located. We had our driver pull over and as we paid, a woman approached our cab "How much to take us all the way in to DC?" she asked the driver. It turned out that there was a one to two hour wait just to get ON the Metro.

We all agreed to continue on to DC in the cab, telling our driver that if he could even get us three miles from the city we would walk from there. To our surprise the traffic was minimal, and as we approached a our exit a police cruiser blocked it to prevent further traffic from entering the city. We had the cab driver pull over at the space where the exit and the highway split, I paid him, we hopped out of the car and walked one block to the action (maybe that's not saying much considering how many people were there). We could not believe it!

It seemed that everyone assumed the roads would be nuts, so they didn't even try.

The longest wait Shannon and I had was our next move - Starbucks. I think we were there ninety minutes. The coffee and egg sandwich made it worth it though!

It was really something to see. So many people who just seemed to come from every direction. The creativity with the signs was unending. Everyone was jovial and courteous. I must confess feeling a bit separated from it all though. Maybe it was so huge that I just couldn't wrap my brain around it. Maybe it's my knowledge that while this was a completely historic event, it doesn't solve the problems that need to be addressed. Maybe it was because I actually had to work by finding BU people at a designated time and location (cell phones didn't work well) and photograph them for BU Today. Maybe it's years of being an observer rather than participant because of my newspaper history. I'm not quite sure, but I hope that as it settles in, I can feel good that I was a part of it.

Shannon was such a good sport considering we were basically required to connect with our BU people before anything else. We did find them and I did photograph them. They began to join a moving clog of people, but it became very clear that the march wasn't happening yet and no one was going anywhere. Just packing in tighter in the off-streets from the main collection of people on independence Way. The rally presenters, who had started at 10am were still going at 1:15PM when the march was supposed to start.

When I checked the app designed by the march's organizers, people were commenting on the forum board "Let's march! I've been starting here for hours and I can't move!"  and other expressions of frustration from those who were on Independence Way, in front of the stage and unable to move anywhere.  News spread and it turned out that there were so many people that the march route needed modifying. I'm not sure what that entailed, but I knew it meant that the spot where we were standing and the BU folks were committed to marching through was not the place to be. I photographed them for a while, but when the Dean said "Let's go!" to her travel mates, I decided to bail. I knew they were throwing themselves into a batch of people who literally couldn't move anywhere.

So, Shannon and I parted from them and headed to a nearby freeway which was clear of traffic. It was good to breathe and get out of the crowd, friendly thought they were. I suggested we walk a few long blocks away from the main crowd. Then, we hooked a left and BAM! there people were successfully marching. We joined in and it felt great to be part of it. Reading the signs and hearing the cheers and chants with the backdrop of the Washington Monument was really something!

Afterwards, we ducked into a hotel where a pair of siblings invited us to their room when we told them we were headed to find a bathroom on the second floor (the lines to the port-a-potties were blocks long and I'd hold it all night before going to one of them). She was from Utah, he was studying at Annapolis. We relaxed, just Shannon and I, in the lobby with some tea for a bit, then went shopping for a knit hat which I desperately needed since it ended up being ten degrees colder than expected.

Weeks ago, I made a 6:30 reservation for us at Founding Farmers and boy was I happy I did! Awesome way to end our brief but eventful trip - good food and good company!

Some of my favorite signs included
Resistance is fertile
Thou Shalt Let Women Choose. Falopians 20:17
This Pussy Destroys Things That Tweet (with a cartoon cat who ate a canary)
I Can't believe we still have to protest this shit
Keep the mitts off my lady bits
You can't combover misogyny
Respect Existence or Expect Resistance
You may not be racist but you elected one
Fight Like a Girl

When you can't find a clear backpack, you improvise! In this case with some ribbon and a bedding bag!

At the airport putting contact info on our arms just inn case of emergency.

Our first view of the crowd - blocks and blocks from the center of the action

Independence Way. The rally stage was about four blocks to the right. Jumbotrons and speakers were set-up, but we could never hear what was being said. 

I loved these sashes which seemed to be reminiscent of the suffragists

The women saw me photographing her, turned to me and looked at me with this expression, when gave me a slight nod and turned back after I'd clicked. She was not foolin around.

This large drumline was made up mostly of women and they used no harnesses to carry their drums!


An orange Trump balloon was knocked around for entertainment.

I found this girl and her expression captivating. Her sign read "I need feminism because we still ask what the victim was wearing"

An alternate route out of the clogged crowd

Chanting over the anti-abortionists

member of Planned Parenthood make a chain between marchers and anti-abortionists

at the Ellipse

at the Ellipse

The march continues on beyond the Ellipse

Many signs were left at key spots throughout the city

Resting marchers as the event simmers down

A photo of my by Shannon earlier in the day
 Video clip

Women's March on Washington from C.M. Scott on Vimeo.

I came home to find this plant bloomed while I was in DC. My first thought was "Yay! I didn't kill it!", then I thought about how timely it's opening was.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Dear Neighbor Response

After I walked the neighborhood a few nights ago and dropped of copies of my Please Feel Free To Come Talk To Me note in eight of my neighbor's mail slots.

Lyn, who lives two doors down took me up on my offer and emailed me a hello. We had a really nice back and forth and I was happy to be reminded of her and her husband's name should I ever run into them again.

Tonight I looked in my mailbox and found the note below. I recognize the handwriting right away. Carol.

Oh Carol, it's been too long!

When I first bought my home in 2011 I met Carol, who is my next-door neighbor, and we had a perfectly friendly chat. She lives alone and I would guess is in her early 70s. She seemed to have a little bit of a victim mentality, but she seemed harmless enough.

When I had a fence built around the perimeter of my property, she left a note about how she didn't appreciate the work crew coming into her yard (I had left a note letting her know that this would be happening, and provided her a number to call me at if she had any issues with it.). She also didn't feel that the stockade fence I put up to block my view of her super ugly backyard, her trash cans and her planters made of truck tires was very friendly.

That's basically the only communication I've had with her. It's always handwritten notes. So perhaps I was due for one since it's been so long since I've heard from my penpal. 

I do feel for her. In the end I think she sort of an angry lonely person. I won't be responding.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

NO Cuba for Us!

Earlier this week, I got myself a free ten day trial to on online training website so that I could take a course about Adobe Audition. Audition is a sound editing program and I wanted to learn it so that I could record and edit audio for a project I'm working on at BU.

While watching and taking notes about that program (it's a 6 hour lesson), I was fielding emails from potential participants in this year Finding Love on Comm Ave. This year we are looking globally, and will be hiring freelancers for the faraway participants. I do not want to travel all over for what ends up being on photo, and maybe even only a 20 minute photo shoot. I can't justify that.

I've also photographed two couples this week locally.

I've also been communicating with a writer at BU Research, and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, planning for the Women's March in DC in a week and a half. Shannon and I planned on going long ago, and now BU Today has tracked down some BU people who are going as well, so now it's  business trip for me. The challenge, however, is that there will be a gazillion people at the event and cell phones won't likely work with that many people. So, we need to find a specific place to meet at a specific time. The organizers of the event have not announced any kind of schedule. It Will start with a stationary program, but if there is actual marching, the route has not been announced as of yet for security reasons.

Yesterday we had a building-wide, mandatory meeting. A lunch thing with lectures that ran about two and a half hours. During this meeting it was announced that our Marketing and Communications dept earned twice as many awards in the CASE district competition than any other entrants. Also, I got a bronze for my portfolio and Jackie got the gold. Good news.

We came back to the office and were called into out editor's office. She asked us what we were each working on these days, wanting to touch base and catch up. I told her about the class I was watching online, Love on Comm Ave, organizing shoots for the students, etc. She then said that Joel, a writer at BU Today was going to do a spring break story about Cuba. Cuba! She then announced that SHE would be going with Joel to Cuba, to cover the story.

I could feel a silent wave of confusion pass between Jackie and I. Why was the photo editor going on an assignment for BU Today, the department we shoot photos for? Janice has a massive job and she does it well, coordinating with all the different college publications and working with freelancers and designers to create the desired effect for each of the college's needs. She spends long hours in meetings and long ours out on campus scouting locations or going out with photographers to direct the shoots. But it's not her job to take assignments, let alone amazing ones.

Janice then pulled out two sheets of paper tri-folded. One had an A on it, the other had a B on it. This was an effort to make it seem more exciting than it was. She handed them to us - schedules of stock photos we are expected to produce until the end of the academic year. Classroom shots, sports, campus, etc.  It is part of the job but it is challenging; you can't just walk into a classroom and start shooting. You have to contact the professor, explain what you're doing, get permission, determine which class you'll be attending, etc. I could email ten professors about coming into their classroom and, I kid you not, two might respond. Then, when I follow up to nail down a time, maybe one would get around to responding.

Congratulations on your photo awards! I'm going to Cuba! You're shooting stock for the rest of your days!

Blank stare.

By this morning, it had gotten back to Janice that Jackie and I were displeased (Jackie mentioned something to a higher up from another dept in passing on her way out the door last night), so we were called into Janice's office again.

Long story short, it sounds like Janice feels she deserves to go because she works her ass off. She does work her ass off, and I made a point to tell her that I think she is very good at her job, and she shouldn't take our reaction to this as a dislike to her. She was relieved. And it's true. Janice works very hard doing all the stuff i listed above, plus comes to us on occasion to let us know about out of town shoots that are happening and would we be interested in going? She's also started organizing and running a lighting workshop every Friday to help us get more creative in the studio. The challenge with this is, or course, we don't shoot in the studio and we aren't going to lug all those lights out into the field for a simple portrait. Regardless, I recognize she works very hard.

Hard working or not, it's not her job to take a plum assignment for herself. I told Jackie that had Janice said "So, Joel is going to Cuba on assignment. I have always wanted to go and I would really like to do this shoot. But I wanted to ask you two if you would like to go first"  It would be very unlikely that either of us would take it from her if presented in that way.

She went on to tell us that if we want the great assignments we need to listen in the meetings and be more proactive. (I was on a shoot during the meeting that Joel brought up Cuba). She is not our assistant, she told us, and it's not her job to report back to us about what happens in the meetings. "If you want to come and sit in on five hours of meetings a day, go right ahead!" she said. This pissed me off but I kept quiet.

It's PART OF YOUR JOB to go to those shitty meetings, not to mention the meetings she's referring to have nothing to do with BU Today or BU Research, the publications that are my and Jackie's "jurisdiction". So we wouldn't be attending them anyway, or taking assignments form them.

And also? You're not a photographer!

She tried to explain that there was a lot of pressure with this trip (which we can't handle?), and that it needed to be very marketing-heavy in style and it would be highly directed. We wouldn't be able to be very creative with our shooting.

Yeah, I don't care. It's Cuba.

Our discussion was perfectly civil, and I made it clear we had no interest in taking the assignment from her, but I think the point was made that she didn't handle it very well.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Dear Neighbor

Dear Neighbor,

Hi there and happy winter to you!

I came home from work last night to find a ticket from the city and a message informing me that a complaint was made about my not removing snow from the sidewalk bordering my property.

When I first bought my home many years ago a neighbor told me “no one worries about their sidewalks in winter”.  Judging from everyone around me, that seemed to be true. Obviously that it no longer the case, which is perfectly fine, of course.

I’m happy to be more consistent in clearing the sidewalk. It is a bit challenging at times, because the plows tend to put the snow from the entire intersection on my corner – but I will make a better effort for sure.

Despite my large and rather...opinionated dog, Harlow, I am actually quite friendly and approachable. In the future, I would be grateful if your concerns were mentioned to me directly, rather than reporting me to the city. A note in my mailbox will do, or you can shoot me an email at

And by the way, I apologize if Harlow barks at you as you walk by. I promise I am trying hard to curb this behavior. Like the rest of us, she’s a work-in-progress. I invite you to holler a “Hi, Harlow!” as you pass by. It may quiet her.

I take great pride in my home and my property, and I hope to chat with you more in the new year.

Your neighbor,
33 Brackett Street

PS  If you’re the snow angel who often snow blows well beyond your property line - thank you SO MUCH! Your thoughtfulness does not go unnoticed!

Thursday, January 5, 2017


Before intersession we had a building-wide meeting that ran from, I kid you not, noon to 4:30PM. It was very long. The photo department presented at the end, and because everyone else ran so long, we were cut short. Fine, no biggie.

My boss just came into my office and said "I have a sort of embarrassing question. Did you fall asleep during the AllStrat meeting?" She went on to say that multiple people had come to her to tell her this.

I told her that I genuinely didn't remember, but that if people saw me, it must be true. I apologized to her for dozing off, told her there was no excuse for it, and that I was also sorry that she had to field those comments, and had to come to me about it. She was kind about it, and told me to be careful in the future.

When she left, I felt mortified, but then I was pissed. Who are these multiple people who felt a need to TATTLE on me, rather than do me a solid and shoot me an email that said "You may not even realize this, but you were dozing off. I thought you'd wanna know because I didn't want you to get caught!" But no, going to my boss seemed preferable I guess. What shame. Just out of principle, I hate all my coworkers today.

Has anyone said anything about my colleague who spends our slow days editing personal work rather than finding something to do for BU? Not likely.

Falling asleep in a meeting is not OK.  Being a tattler is kind of a bummer too.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

CGM Drama

I'm just gonna copy-and-paste about these CGM shenanigans which I posted about on FB...

About a month ago I went through the process of obtaining a continuous glucose monitoring system, I device which makes controlling my diabetes far easier by reading my glucose levels 24/7 through my skin, rather than requiring me to draw blood to be read on a glucometer 6 to 8 times a day. Part of that process entailed the company that provides the device, Dexcom, to make sure that the device is covered through my insurance company (you might see where this is going). I was told it was, and paid the copay over the phone, got my device and have been really excited and happy with it for the past three weeks. I just receive "payment details" from Blue Cross Blue Shield, informing me that my medical facility will be billing me $5,511.08. I called BCBS and sure enough, the device is not covered by my insurance company. There's nothing quite like bursting into tears while on the phone with a complete stranger. Merry Christmas to me! Apologies for the rant. I am grateful for the existence of health care in our country, and that my troubles are few, but this little "hassle" is quite a shitshow.

The medical device (Continuous Glucose Monitoring System - CGM) frustration continues. I'm posting about it with hopes that one of you may have a suggestion on how I should proceed. I paid $450 for the whole CGM starter kit (6 boxes of various things). Once I received the device and used it for 3 weeks, I was told insurance doesn't cover it (Edgepark, the pharmaceutical device provider had cleared it with insurance, then insurance back-tracked and said "oops! Just kidding! We don't cover it!"). Of boxes 1 through 6, I can return boxes 1 and 2. I will be charged $315 for box 3 because it was opened. Boxes 4, 5, and 6, *might* be returnable if Dexcom, the maker of the device allows it. While I understand I've used something that cannot be reused (from Box 3) I think it's complete crap that I should be expected to pay $315 for using a fraction of a starter kit that I got for $450 when the denial of coverage was not my fault to begin with. Suggestions? Contact the insurance company and make them pay for it since they approved, then denied the device to begin with?

UPDATE - I just spent over an hour on the phone with BCBS. They were pretty helpful actually. It appears that Boston University cherry picked what is and isn't covered within the BCBS plan they offer their employees. Certain pharmaceuticals are on that very long list of denied items. Edgepark will be appealing to BCBS to essentially waiver the cost of the items. If the appeal is denied, I might be billed over $2K, though the rep I spoke with doubts the appeal would be denied considering the ground of misinformation (BCBS saying they covered it and then retracting...or rather, Edgepark assuming it was covered then learning later about the cherry picking specific to BU). Fingers crossed I don't get billed and I also get refunded what I've already paid.

Tonight on my way home from work it occurred to me that the box of sensors have been opened. Whether one is missing for five is missing, it's all the same to Edgepark - it's been opened. So, I went home and hooked back up. May as well use it while I have it if I'm not opening any new boxes, right?

Sunday, January 1, 2017


So, I'll try and list the good stuff of 2016, and ignore the bad (which includes the horror that was and will continue to be, the change in our political situation). I'm not ignoring the things that hurt, I just want them to not be in the forefront for once. I need to be better about pushing that sad shit back and focusing on the good.

A super birthday celebration with Meg! Turning 40 was fun!
A family trip to DC
A visit to hang out with Shannon in western MA
Multiple visits with the Badens
My annual FL trip for fun, sun, and street "painting"
An amazing Girls Trip to Europe!
I took watercolor painting classes which I really loved and plan on continuing to do.

I don't believe in resolutions. As my friend Shannon pointed out in her New Year's blog entry today, you can make changes any day. I also feel that resolutions are a great way to fail...or rather, FEEL like a failure if you don't stick to them. I don't need any more self-criticism in my life, that's for sure!  While not too much has been added in the second half of the year (do to lack of interest, not lack of interesting things) into my Good Things Jar, I did remember an aspirational list I filled out last year and will now see how much I accomplished this past year

I stopped drinking cocoa every night. Now I just have to tackle the ice cream habit.

Paris, Brussels AND Barcelona!

Again, I cheat in this area because I do so much audio listening, but I've listened to a few that were a challenge for me - Between The World and Me by Coates is one.

A respectful, succinct email I sent letting someone know how much they hurt me.

Socca in Nice, and Escargot in Eze (France)


Purchased and donated sleeping bags for Syrian refugees, purchased gifts for a family in need via a reputable gifting campaign

I was brave last year and asked a lot of questions knowing the answers would hurt but needed to be asked.