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01.december.2004 :: wednesday :: a good day to stay in bed...

we, the twenty-five "koczelas plus," had a reflective, happy, boisterous thanksgiving. my grampa, paul koczela, was honored at Arlington National Cemetary with the strange and moving military ritual...twenty-one gun salute, flag, and all. he donated his body to science - appropriate for a man whose life was full of care for other human beings. this was the third time since grampa's stroke that his spirit and memory brought the whole family together to celebrate him and each other. i hope that the trend will continue...

in other news, the water in our building is shut off right now. so much for my grand scheme to confront the laundry today. apparently a pipe broke somewhere. small wonder. ours is an old building with an owner who is content to let it decay. we've been trying for months to have a leak fixed and the water damage it caused repaired, but our requests are simply ignored. i'm interested whether M.G.L. c.111 section 127(c) or (l) could be invoked...as much as i'd like to put the pressure on our landlord, though, i am not terribly interested in having the repairs start this month, what with exams and all...we'll see. it's something to keep in our back pocket...

most importantly, today is world AIDS day. i called the office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services (202-690-5400) to urge Secretary Thompson to treat individuals with HIV as a special population in the Medicare prescription drug regulations so those people can have affordable access to the medicines they need to stay healthy. please do the same. it took me about three minutes. check out the action alert from the Human Rights Campaign for guidance on what to say. the woman who took my message was friendly and attentive, and thanked me for my opinion. it'd be great if lots and lots of people called. so - take a minute and get involved.

21.december.2004 :: tuesday :: the shortest day of the year

today is the winter solstice...which conjures up memories of peaceful, pagan celebrations of light and nature with like-minded friends on the town common, on the banks of the tar river in greenville. we were lucky to have amy hannon there to remind us to celebrate such natural wonders and give our thanks to the earth and sun...i urge all to do the same once in a while. it is good for us all to reflect on our cosmic existence occasionally. it helps put things into perspective, especially during this hectic (but hopefully happy nonetheless), often consumerism-driven time of year.

last august i mentioned a certain musical i was hoping to see...today i read in the new york times that it has broekn even in record time, thanks to continuing sellout shows. maybe i'll catch it when it goes on tour in march...

23.december.2004 :: thursday :: home after a much-needed run around the river. this was the second time in the past couple of weeks that i've had a remarkably pleasant interaction with a stranger at the Weeks footbridge crosswalk. last time it was a homeless man. he called me 'sister.' i hear that so infrequently that it made me really happy. we are, after all, all sisters, all brothers. today it was a fellow runner...a handsome, compact, older man. he and i were thankful for the warmer air this morning, and after we parted i vowed to try to stay as fit and healthy as he seemed. i've taken that vow many times before, and it seems to more or less be working, but it's nice to have a reminder now and then...