Saturday, August 29, 2009

health care debate

ok- so here I go throwing my hat into the ring..

I believe strongly that we should have a public option for healthcare in the US-
and if that is considered "liberal" or...gasp.."socialist", so be it. I am proud to be someone who cares about living things- be it plants, animals, or even..humans

I would be dead today if Italy didn't have socialized health care- My appendix ruptured while I was living there (actually, right after I returned from a long trip to the US) I was operated on, and stayed in the hospital for 6 days- all without paying a penny.

OK, so, the room wasn't private, and no TV, plus you had to go down the hall for the bathroom..and things weren't super modern.. (after all it WAS the hospital that Leonardo daVinci used to do his anatomical dissections in)

But the point is that I HAD health care in Italy- no questions....

and I Still wonder if my appendix had ruptured one week earlier, while I was visiting the US...and had no insurance (because at that time I was living in Florence)
what would have happened to me? I most likely would have tried to "tough it out" and avoid the ER, because I would have been worried about being saddled with a lifetime of medical bills-

While I was in the hospital a young american girl was admitted to my room.

She had been backpacking in Europe and ended up also with appendicitis while in France..she was operated on there, and decided to join her friends in Italy after they discharged her from the French hospital..

Well, needless to say, not a good idea...she ended up in incredible pain, and came to the Florence hospital straight from the train station...

I became her interpreter- and when her father showed up from the US, he was so grateful to the doctors for helping her...

The only thing I had a hard time translating for the father was when he asked where to pay the hospital bill.. He couldn't believe that his daughter was taken care of by a team of doctors and admitted to the hospital without charge. It was profound for him..

During this time of debate over health coverage in the US, I wonder what he (the father) is thinking about socialized medicine... I'll bet that he isn't out in the packs of demonstrators waving pics of Obama as Hitler.. No-I'll bet that he goes and hugs his daughter

Monday, August 24, 2009

Decisions decisions

I'll confess, when I first heard that I got into the 4th session of Haystack this year I actually had some doubts that I would even go-

My first pick was to go and spend a week with Andy Cooperman (one of my favorite metalsmiths) and do his popular "Zengineering" class, (which pares down stone setting to a Zen-like simplicity)

I've been lucky enough to know Andy for years, as he comes down to the Yuma Symposium on a regular basis. The thing is, I've never been able to take one of his workshops- I was either out of the country, pregnant, or chasing after Cosmo in his toddler I thought his Haystack session was my chance!

I received the acceptance letter in late spring..Congratulations! -it said- you have been accepted for session 4, Metals....(which was my second choice) with Fred Fenster and Hiroko Yamada...
"pewter for the table"..OK, I thought..steady now...
You see, I've never done any tableware before (having been mostly self taught) and Pewter?
well, I did read Johnny Tremain when I was a kid, and I knew someone who did some cast pewter here in Tucson...So I guess you could say that I was a complete and total Pewter virgin.
I had a question in front of I accept? YES YES YES!

It only took a few hours of contemplation...I decided to go based on a few things...
one- Fred Fenster is a hugely popular instructor, one might even go so far as to say legendary (although Fred would scoff off any accolades) I usually get nervous when I meet such admirable people, but my friend Kristen assured me that Fred was as genuine as they come- both and Hiroko gave great demos and are phenomonal instructors.

Two- Pewter made me nervous....I just didn't feel comfy with reaching for a soft metal...and wasn't sure that I would enjoy it..but then I remembered Haystack- what better place than this sanctuary of creativity to try something new and reach out of your comfort zone?

Three- Place...I mean really, what Tucsonan wouldn't give their eye teeth to spend 2 weeks in coastal Maine in the summertime??

Pewterpalooza 09

So- when that first bill came, I paid in full.. held my breath and jumped into the deep end...

to be continued....
(next installment=Love)

Monday, August 3, 2009

MBZ Fred Fenster and Hiroko1

ahh, love. I must say that my Haystack experience was the most intensely amazing lovefest in the studio that I have ever experienced.
I am left with a feeling of fortune, to have been included in the wonderful group of students that attended the session with me. Every one had contributions to bring to the table- each personality complimented another, in a way that only magic could explain.
Haytack Session 4, Metals....TLForever
xxxooo- M


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