How Does Connection Change The Equation?

How will our society change if you never have to let go of old friends? Will there be sufficient room for new friends?

It is no longer possible to be disconnected.

OK–too strong.

The only way to be disconnected today is by choosing to be disconnected. That’s a huge change begun about twenty years ago, but only now picking up a head of steam. My cellphone (maybe yours too) is a multifaceted, facile, comms device.

My sister called me from the car this afternoon. The her daughter’s ultrasound has been seen. It’s going to be a boy when my niece Jessie gives birth. I knew about it a few minutes after she did in Milwaukee.

My friend Wendie is raving about her trip to South Africa, from South Africa.

it’s nighttime in cape town, which is an amazingly beautiful city…

okay, we don’t have a whole lot to go on, because we’ve only been

here 3 hours, but the grilled prawns are FANTASTIC.. so that’s good

enough for us.

She commented on the photos of Roxie at the dog park. Communications are two-way.

My daughter is in constant contact with her friends from college, though she’s graduated and now working&#185. Her contact is instantaneous and multiplatform: Facebook, text messages and BlackBerry Messenger.

She doesn’t think about cost (nor did my sister or Wendie half way around the world) because the cost of communicating is minimal and trending lower!

I have friends from high school and college I haven’t spoken to in 40 years (maybe they’re no longer really friends). How would my life have been different had I the opportunity to chat-it-up with them through the years?

Long distance phone calls were once expensive. Mail was slow. No longer.

How will our society change if you never have to let go of old friends? Will there be sufficient room for new friends? Are childhood friends really meant to be lifetime friends?

I’m not sure this is a good thing-though it might be. It’s all so foreign and yet it’s such a major game changer.

Actually, that’s my point. It’s a huge game changer though we have no idea what the implications will be except to say it will make a very big difference. How can it not?

&#185 – Stef is working as a production assistant on “Deal or No Deal,” which is taping its 2009 daytime season at Sonlyst Studios in Waterford. Helaine and I are very proud. Stef is very tired.

Alas, over time work only gets more tiring! She’ll see.

Twentieth Anniversary

Sometime over the next few days, we mark an anniversary in my family. Twenty years ago, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Had this been in her mother’s time, or even earlier in her own life, my mom would have died. It is a medical miracle that my mom and so many other women are breast cancer survivors&#185.

That’s not to say it was easy or not without consequences. This was a life changing experience for her. But, twenty years later, my mom is healthy and happy and incredibly active.

I will be forever grateful to the medical community that developed these miracles of modern science – because they really are nothing short of miracles.

It was an emotional time for us for a number of reasons. My parents had just moved to Connecticut from Queens. They were strangers out of their comfort zone in a life threatening situation. And, Helaine was pregnant, expecting in June.

The surgery had been successfully performed a few days earlier, but my mom was still at Yale/New Haven Hospital around this time, the week before Christmas.

Christmas is a quiet week in the hospital. Most elective surgery is postponed. If you’re there, you’re there because time is of the essence.

One night, while my mom was still recuperating, Helaine and I headed to the hospital to visit. While we were there, our friend and neighbor Ron Feinberg walked into the room.

He was finishing his medical training at Yale, and he too was stuck in the hospital on Christmas Eve (along with every other berg, stein, man and witz).

Things were quiet and he had an offer. Would we like to take a peek at our child? This was about the last possible thing we could have expected, but Helaine and I were game, so we followed Ron through the nearly deserted hospital and into an examining room.

As Ron passed the ultrasound transducer over Helaine’s belly, a video screen showed random noise… and then… Oh my God, it was a child.

We both stared at the screen silently.

Most people look at an ultrasound picture and try to figure out whether their child will be a boy or a girl. Silently, we did too… except Steffie’s body ended at the waist. Whether she had her legs tucked under her, or was in some contorted position, all we could see was we had a “stump baby!”

We actually both came to that conclusion independently, but never told Ron. He looked at the video as an OB/GYN, not a parent, and pronounced our unborn child healthy. And, she was.

Seeing our child for the first time, even with the less than perfect imagery of an ultrasound machine, was an amazing experience we’ll never forget. Getting that sneak peek and realizing my mom would live to cherish her grandchild, made it the most amazing gift ever.

In early June, Steffie was born right there at Yale/New Haven. She was not a stump.

&#185 Because the breast is composed of identical tissues in males and females, breast cancer can also occur in males, although cases of male breast cancer account for less than one percent of the total.

Visiting Ivy

Poor Ivy is still at the hospital. I went over around 7:00 PM tonight. Everyone was busy, and treatment was taking place in proximity to Ivy, so I was asked to come back.

Fine. Enough time to run over and try and help my friend Harold, who had crashed Windows 98 while installing the latest DirectX. I couldn’t help.

I got to Ivy about 8:00 PM. It was a good visit. Ivy came out wearing one of those cones they put over dog’s heads so they won’t touch sutures or IV tubes. She wasn’t panting. Her breathing seemed normal. This is a very good sign.

Ivy ate 1.5 pieces of American Cheese before turning away. That’s her norm when she’s full.

She has heart troubles. The ultrasound tonight showed that… and it had been expected earlier. But, more than likely, medication will control her problems.

We will all be happier when Ivy returns. Maybe tomorrow.


I went and saw Ivy in the hospital this afternoon. She was quiet when I came in, laying down in her cage. It is spacious by Westie standards, but it’s still a cage. Ivy had an IV tube taped to her left front leg. She licked me and gobbled down the piece of cheese I brought. But, she also started panting, which isn’t good. The doctors have said she is doing a little better, but she still has shallow breathing. Hopefully, Monday (Labor Day) she’ll have her ultrasound and a plan of treatment can start. This sucks for Ivy. It sucks for us too.