Friday, June 26, 2009

Farrah, Michael and Health Care Reform‏

The untimely deaths of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson underscore what should be a prime consideration in reforming our health care system - balance.
First, we have Farrah, who preferred chiropractors to real MDs for persistent butt pain and experimental treatment to heavy duty chemo in an effort to spare her world famous mane. Underuse, at least at the outset.
Then we have MJ, who if reports are to be believed, died with his personal physician at his side, with a drugstore inside him, after his daily injection of Demerol. Overuse, otherwise know as abuse and addiction in reference to illegal drugs and on the street.
The current discourse seems to be centered on how to herd more people into the system as it is, ladened with procedure happy pill pushers which the post psychedelic Baby Boomers seem for the most part all too willing to accede to, albeit not in "Anna Nicole" proportions. The focus needs to be put on keeping our citizenry healthy unassisted, and out of a doctor's office unless there is a true need, instead of encouraging the making of appointments and the ingesting of pharmaceuticals at hypochondriac levels for what are mostly trumped up and heavily advertised disease du jours. And individuals need to take responsibility for knowing their own bodies and need to develop some common sense and intuition as to when medical assistance is required. Because as is illustrated in the cases of Farrah and Michael, the "too much or too little" approach is disastrous, and in this country, we are no where close to the middle ground.

Karen Ann DeLuca

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


The Post Office wants to eliminate Saturday delivery and close and/or consolidate its retail locations. I think USPS should take it a step further and just shut down completely on weekends. Many Post Offices already have APCs which can complete many routine transactions; the rest could be similarly equipped. There are convenient outlets just about everywhere that potential customers frequent, and if you just need to purchase up first class stamps, well, there's always the grocery store. But the most important reason to implement such a change is societal; let me explain.

I grew up in a time when there were Blue Laws, those now seemingly pesky and archaic rules that forbade most forms of commerce on Sundays, a time which was reserved as sacred for God, for family, or for downtime, the proverbial forced day of rest. Over the years, as lives got busier and more complicated, the weekend became increasingly utilized to "catch up," do the shopping, take care of home related business. It spiraled out of control when the pursuit of leisure became indulged in with the precision of a work week schedule. And then the economy tanked.

Coupled with "the Great American Blackout," otherwise known as the digital conversion which has left millions with either no TV reception or more limited programming options than before, my suggestion is a step in the right direction, no matter how backward it might at first glance appear. For years, life 24/7 has been about "the stuff," or how much can be crammed into a day, or what of either can be bragged about to impress and pass, poorly, for conversation. The reverse, prodded by financial malaise, and brought into perspective by more physically limited options for shopping and entertainment, should usher in the onset of a trend of real and meaningful communication and putting the intrinsic value of people first. Despite all the interminable hoopla leading up to June 12th, Best Buy has just posted quarterly profits down 15%, with a 6% decline in same store sales. It appears that despite the hype, there was no stampede to upgrade or purchasing frenzy, but rather a resignation of cash strapped consumers to do without. The Post Office has an opportunity to harness this change in collective mentality to its benefit and to lead by example at the forefront of a national movement, as we necessarily scale back and revamp our lives, one industry and one person at a time. Less can be more. Really...

Karen Ann DeLuca
Learning to Drive: A Father's Day Tribute

I spent my teenage years in a bucolic town in upstate New York in the '60s and '70s. A very small town, asleep in the land of Rip Van Winkle, and in many ways, at least ten years behind the tumult of the times. Fortunately for me, my father had an eye on the pulse of the nation and the foresight to see how different my world and my future would be. But in the summer of '72, these two forces clashed, and ironically, I was on the side of tradition. Let me explain.

I was seventeen years old and about ready to go off to college. I didn't know how to drive a car and wasn't particularly interested in learning. The way I saw it, only "fast" girls had their drivers' licenses, and I didn't want to be labeled as such. And besides, my mother didn't learn how to drive until she was thirty-six years old and pregnant with my younger brother. What was good enough for her was good enough for me. I still had time. Or so I thought. My father, however, had other ideas.

All summer long, I endured the after dinner driving lessons. I'd go without my eyeglasses (I am very nearsighted). I'd go without my learners' permit. We'd both get indigestion. When the time came, I flunked my road test by going through a stop sign (I don't remember seeing it - honest!). I was my high school class valedictorian and I had never failed at anything in my life. This time I had done everything to sabotage the effort and my parents could not understand why. But my father, determined that I would have my drivers' license before I went away to college in the fall, asked. And when I gave him my reasons, which I thought were pretty good at the time, he quickly countered with the fact that my world would be much different than the small town existence that I had lived to date and that I would need to drive a car as part of my independence. It made sense and I passed the road test on the second try.

There have been many times since then that I have been grateful that he cared enough to make sure that I got my drivers' license. That summer, he did much more than teach me how to drive a car. He gave me the first of many lessons to prepare me for my future life.

Karen Ann DeLuca

Monday, June 15, 2009

God and the Ducks

Wind whips

forty-five degree day

down river while

we huddle

asses against

muddy river bank

you folded into me

wrapping yourself

around my happy arm.

When we talk,

your words vibrate against it.

You dance against me

turning to hide from the wind

burrowing into my chest






yourself against me

in tighter

up closer

like you never

want to move again

but you do

we do

off into that other

world where

tedium waits

while here

all I want

is to climb

inside of you

wrap myself

around you

fall asleep

in our sweat

right here


on the river

in front

of god

and the ducks.

In the Box

Lovers lock


over covers


under the influence


in the dark


into the late heat

noising out

dreams and curses


energy only

found here

in this box

built to



and hope.

She Breeze

Throwing open

all the windows

the first time

each spring,

taste fresh air

cool sweet pure

peeling cobwebs

from the walls

sweeping winter

from the room.

First cool rush

brings goose bumps.

You bring that


to my



Nietzsche Laughing

Oh my
no reply
as the one
who swore she'd be
"your solace
your oasis
the good in your life"
leaves me lying
languished in
yet another
layer of anguish.

Trust no one
and depend on
even fewer.

Reno Rain

Burrowing into bliss
two lovers
God’s children
aboard a downy raft
of pillows, comforter
soft flannel sheets
hearing only
hearts pulsing
in time
with rooftop
two lovers
praying this
never stops
knowing this
fleeting moment
this heat
these tandem
heartbeats are
as precious
as rare
as Reno rain.

Ivyla Antonowitsch

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dear editor,

Hello, my name is A.J. Chilson. A few of my poems and haiku were printed in this year's summer edition of Record Magazine. I'm writing because I thought you might want to enjoy some more of my works. I hope you appreciate what I have to offer. Thanks for reading.

Best of luck,

A.J. Chilson


Kiss me.
Kiss me like I've never been kissed before.
Kiss me like it's the last time I'll ever be kissed.
Kiss me like you really mean it.
Kiss me as if it will last forever.
Kiss me.


I wish I could own a suit,
but I'm not talking about any suit.
I wish I could own a suit
that could bare the colors of the tree
I so deeply admire, with flowers
on the top making my mind swirl
with imagination, creating
all kinds of dreams I never had before.

I wish I could own a suit
so I could show off my true colors
every place I go whenever I want.
And if I could, I'd like to wear it
with me one day when I go to sleep
and wake up over my favorite tree.


At first glance,
I figured it was a dream.
What I was seeing
could only have been
seen in the movies.

I was falling
head over heels
for the most wonderful
soul on Earth.

But then, it suddenly
dawned upon me
that this was real.
This was not a dream,
this was not a movie,
and there was no script.

I have met the man
who will bring fortune
into my eyes for eternity.


you make me feel warm
every smile you give me
is like a present

beautiful blue eyes,
you snatch me out from my world
and into your own

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Recently, a local TV station in the DC metro area began frequently running an ad with the tag line "...varicose veins...more than unsightly, a progressive DISEASE..." This same station routinely runs "Living Smart" and "Living Well" segments adding to the offensive contradiction. Most people normally get some variation of varicose veins as they age and their skin gets thinner. Except for the long term obese and those frequently pregnant or on their feet, it is not a DISEASE. In these dire economic times, it is disgraceful to prey on a public that could put their precious funds to much better use, yet is searching for any way to "feel good," and invent an unnecessary medical condition to make money off what is for the most part a cosmetic "want." Shame on the purveyors of this "product," and shame on the media that programs such advertising in their quest to make a quick buck. Both could do a much more valuable public health service by devoting their efforts to eradicating recognized and threatening DISEASES, rather than spending their time making new and questionable ones up.

Karen Ann DeLuca

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Yesterday, the company which was once the world's dominant automaker went bankrupt. While we digest the changes at GM, and for all intents and purposes, the onset of a new form of capitalism in this country, it would be wise to combine that analysis with a reflection on the United States' inability to single-handedly prevail in Iraq despite all our military might and the supposition that we are the only "superpower" remaining since the end of the Cold War. Whether we like it or not, both scenarios are signaling a new chapter in this country's history, where we will no longer be the world's dominant player, but one of a multitude of major ones on the global economic and political stage. Hopefully America will always be great, but as history shows, top dog status never lasts ad infinitum. As goes GM, so goes stay near the head of the pack, we need to use this watershed moment as an opportunity for attitude adjustment going forward.

Karen Ann DeLuca

I am not of Hispanic origin, but I am a second generation Italian American, so I understand that "wise Latina woman" is just a figure of speech and an expression of ethnic pride. All the venom being injected into the discourse claiming that Judge Sotomayor's phrasing is "bigoted" or "racist" is primarily coming from - no surprise - white, WASPy males. By loudly vocalizing their ignorance, they are aptly proving what they purport is her original point.

Karen Ann DeLuca

Helpless I do not know if good intentions prevail among the elected, among the appointed, leaving me apprehensive that the fate ...