Saturday Evening Post

flat white coffeeThis has been a week filled with news and politics and tragedy and …looking for a word which is not an expletive… assorted gradu. If you are unfamiliar with the term gradu, let me elucidate. Grab a cuppa and snuggle into a rocker. I shall stoke the fire.


Most often defined as the accumulation of dead skin cells, oil, lint and dirt in one’s navel, gradu is assorted crud or garbage. Although also spelt gradoo, based on its Finnish origin, the spelling with the is correct. As those with a master’s degree in the audience will recognize, pro gradu is the thesis necessary to obtain a degree. Ironic, isn’t it? The quantitative proof of knowledge is “professional garbage”.

Not Friday Follies

hatemail logo

From the Stupidest Inbox in the Blogosphere

There seems to be some confusion about the hatemails I sift through to bring you the weekly edition of Friday Follies. Let me clear the air a bit. I am not concerned in the slightest by the Internet riffraff which populate my inbox. They quiver in fury or fear on the other side of a liquid crystal display, far removed from the reality we so often discuss on M3.

I am pleased to announce: Since I have changed the email address of M3, I have less to sift. As you can tell from last night’s edition, the quality and outlandishness of the hatemail has not decreased in the slightest. Debatable: Not gradu.

Also Not Decreasing

  • The number of off-the-wall comments which are very quickly deleted
  • The number of newcomers who believe the M3 Readers like Kool-Aid
  • The number of visitors

The M3 Readers are the best blog followers, bar none. In light of the decision to decrease the number of posts per day, your steadfastness is proven by the hit counter at the end of the right sidebar. This week, M3 will reach the 20% mark for number of hits for this year. Already, M3 is one of the most talked-to blogs…over half-way to the goal of 15,000 comments by the end of the year…and it is only the first week of March.

the m3 logo

The M3 Logo stands for engagement.

All of that traffic means a proportional increase in the number of …again looking for non-expletive… unsavory characters. 99% of everyone who comes to M3 is genuinely interested or a silent rubbernecker. The 1% is neither interested (in the traditional sense) nor silent.

In the last seven days, I have deleted or spammed more than three dozen comments which attacked the M3 Readers’ comments. Yes, I know. It goes totally against my character to avoid an argument. It is not me with whom they wish to argue. These people are truly gradu.

Kudos and Gratitude

The lack of compassion or concern or anything resembling humanity this week on the social and mainstream media outlets in the face of the Chardon school shooting was enough to make me see red. Complete gradu.

When I was convinced there was no real point in trying to bring self-realizing content to the Internet, the M3 Readers engaged in an active discussion around the Thursday evening post.

The very simple fact of the vast majority of the posts on M3 is you are in control. You have heard the catch phrases:

  • Only those who lie before the door are treated as doormats.
  • Refuse to be a victim.
  • You can do this.
  • Make a difference.

What you did do was agree to be one bunch who is MAD. I am humbled and overjoyed to be in the company of such a grand group of people. Definitely, not gradu.


One of the concepts which causes me great turmoil and angst is the theory:

They get paid whether the game is rained out or not.”

social circles

Those of you in the inner sanctum know I struggle with this on a daily basis. The ever-growing number of you in my broadening social circle are coming to recognize a rant when you see one… like this one.

Not to say I am incapable of the expletive-laden, all-angst vitriol of classic rants. Truly, I am capable. This particular week held 16 hours of fodder for the classic rant.

Suffice it to say, the ignorance about handicaps, especially the handicaps of children, which is uber-pervasive (Redundant, I get that.) here in the third circle of hell (South Carolina) motivates me to test the lethality of Shaken Adult Syndrome.

Instead, it caused me to coin a phrase. If you have not been around M3 for more than a week, I must pause for an obligatory warning: On a daily basis, I am attempting to transform the American lexicon. My offering?

Incompetence is its own reward.”

Definitely, its end result is gradu.


Do not scratch a bloody spot behind your ear. While I will provide a political example, this is not permission to engage in politics on M3.

The American government, especially in its state as an example of corporate behavior, is an enterprise which rewards those who successfully shirk duty for the longest period of time with the greatest benefits. The irony of that statement is the profoundly steep learning curve one must employ to avoid this quantity of work.

By practicing voluntary ignorance, one can blissfully move through this world by ignoring the consequences of one’s own inaction on others. A completely guilt-free existence germinates procrastination, indignation when demands are made and a complacency rivaled in no other arena. Thus, incompetence is its own reward.

Utterly undeniable gradu.

arturo the frog


Frog Eyes

Quite a few of you took the time to poke some fun at me with Wordless Wednesday, as well you should have. (If you have not already, we will wait.) My darling sister sent me a care package. Among the sparkly things was Arturo. He sits beside my laptop and stares at me.

Sometimes, I need to catch the look from both eyes, which questions innocently. Others, I need the one googly eye to ask me if I even thought about it before I typed it. He has made me smile quite a bit.

handicapped parking sign

No Parking

When we were discussing this week’s MAD post, I asked you a trick question: Do you know someone who is disabled? The answer was yes, but not for the reason you thought it might. I got a huge case of the giggles over the ideas of stupidity and rudeness and stubbornness as disabilities. Just by those definitions, I am disabled.

The truth of the matter: I am disabled. I have two invisible disabilities. One is massive cervical trauma from a car wreck more than twenty years ago, the extent of which did not manifest until 2009. The bulging and misaligned discs produce paralysis in my arm and hand.

Medical brilliance professes it is a mild disability because I have only intermittently lost 60% use of my left hand. No where on their how can we dismiss this as trivial list is the question of hand dominance. I am left-handed… and a writer who types more words beginning with Q, X andthan most any I have met.

The second is the one which is the hardest to compensate. I can always type with one hand… as long as I am prepared to take much longer and use the backspace key a lot. The agoraphobia is not so easy to overcome.

I have a crippling fear of public places and crowds. The anxiety and blood pressure increases (240/190) associated with it was sufficient for me to have a stroke… at 39. Yes, this is gradu.

Stay Inside

After the death of my daughter, I stayed inside the house, with the sole exception of doctor visits, for three years. No, I did not go outside. I did not feed the dogs. I did not water the plants on the porch. I did not go get the mail. I did not go outdoors.

When my late husband died, I had no choice but go to school meetings and the grocery. Today, I have no option but attend to all of the social and therapeutic needs of the little ones. I travel extensively… to the tune of 50,000 miles per year… in my truck. Back to the storied question:  How do you do it?

1. Follow directions.

I heed my doctor’s instructions in this arena where I have never done it before. I take my medication before I must go out.

2. Remember, I am not the only Tigger.

Hundreds of parents have the exact same tasks as I do. We all do them because it is our responsibility to do them and because no one else will do them.

3. Remember, I am the only Tigger.

I am the only one in control of my actions. If I succumb to the anxiety of more than four people I do not know in a room or the overwhelming number of people in a store, I relinquish my control. I much prefer to be Tigger than Eeyore.

No accepted gradu.

Take It Away

Just like every other disabled person I have ever met, I do not want your pity. I want you to celebrate.



Celebrate the fact I get up everyday and do something productive… even on the days all I do is play with my children.

Celebrate the fact I do not exploit the things I cannot do to garner other people’s contribution to my life or their actions in my stead.

Celebrate the fact I do not fear telling my story in hopes it helps just one person stand up to a disability.

Celebrate the fact disability does not rule my world.

Celebrate my rejection of gradu.

Yes, my sister sent me the hat for a reason. Everyday, I have the chance to MAD and change the world. Everyday, I take that chance.

Until next time,

Just a bit of business: The poll is closing tonight. Even if you voted before, for the first time, you are allowed to vote again. Some did not realize you could vote for as many as you liked. If you had more than one answer, feel free to vote for more choices… or something I left off the list.

© Red Dwyer 2012
Reblogging of this or any other post on The M3 Blog is expressly forbidden.
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Leave a comment


  1. Great post Red, like usual. I had no idea about your disabilities and it doesn’t surprise me that you view them exactly the way that you do. You are a strong woman, who has definitely had her share of trials and triumphs and I for one, am glad to know you. 🙂

  2. Like Wendy has previously mentioned, I had absolutely no idea that you have a disability, though as you have already mentioned here in your posting it is one thing to be disabled in one way or another and feeling unable to do anything but to overcome these disabilities with an optimistic edge shows the true grit of a person indeed to carry on regardless of any disability shows true character and an inner strength that surpasses all of these barriers to life…

    You have gone through hell and emerged triumphant, even conquering your fears of leaving the home and I for one know that you are a very courageous young woman and have so much to offer here within the blogosphere, and of course in reality where life has its true ups and downs you are excelling…

    I am very pleased to know that you are pushing the envelope on positivity and undeniably you are winning my great friend 🙂

    Androgoth XXx

  3. Sounds like you have a war to fight and you are winning! 🙂

    Like you I hate going out of my home and every day is a struggle, but I simply do not give in – one day I will be better, but I have been warned that I will never be ‘Well’.

    Still: It’s a target to aim for…

    Sorry you have so many problems with your injuries – all I can do is pray that you have more good days than bad.

    As the man said: “Every little Helps”. 🙂

    Love and hugs always my sweet friend! 🙂


    • Every little bit does help, Pren. I have no cure to the PTSD, but I just make it work. You have been making it work as well. It lets everyone else know the dysfunction does not have to win.

  4. On your alien comic-book ‘Dear Red” column writing staff or not, we celebrate with you. The Peter Principle applies; ” Incompetent people are promoted to their level of incompetence” …. therefore your conclusion is correct, ” incompetence is it’s own reward” . Rant away, Red.

    • I try to avoid Peter every chance I get. He died before he could realize corporate America and the government would create new positions for the incompetent to save the HR dollars to hire people with pulses. It is a reverse affirmative action which makes my eye twitch.

  5. Another great post, Red. Adds to the picture I have of you in my head.
    As far as the pity, about all you’ll get from me is that I won’t toss you anything to your left side.
    As it is, seems like you get a lot more accomplished in the average day than I do.

    Wonder if I can find a Tigger t shirt that says I AM SPARTACUS!!!

    • o.O That is a visual. 300 Tiggers with broadswords and shields. Where’s my quiver of flaming arrows?

      If you haven’t caught a garlic reference here yet, I am the pod of garlic.

  6. I love reading snippets of you spam/hate mail. I suppose if I didn’t hear about it at your post first, I’d be slack-jawed when some of it shows up on my site. Thanks for flushing out the crackpots for us. Give Arturo a kiss, will ya? I’m sure he’s a prince. Keep your humor and your wit, smart lady.

    • The humor is something which does not even require me to be conscious. I have been told some of the things I say to doctors and nurses when under the influence of anesthetics.

      Arturo is a cutie. Unless I am paying really close attention, I am sure he is sticking his tongue out every once in a while when I am typing.

  7. Happy to be a silent rubbernecker – love your insights and wisdom!

  8. I celebrate that you have raised yourself out of the darkness and share with us on a daily basis. I celebrate that we are friends. xx

    • The darkness is only created when we cover our heads away from the reality of our own power.

      Glad we are friends, as well, Christy.

  9. I love this – so many things I could say! Learned a new word: Gradu. I will use it extensively until I remember it well:) I didn’t know what your disabilities were, but I suspected you had them. I am in recovery from PTSD and 4 of the 5 anxiety disorders. My phobia was different, but I am free of it as long as I do my inner work – I am still amazed today that recovery to this extent was possible. I have several disabilities – most are invisible – and I understand the angst when people look and assume. Even my visible ‘disability’ garners conjecture and blame because it is seen as my fault and something I could stop/change if I wanted to. People have no idea what I have or have not done, and it’s just sad sometimes. Thankfully, most people that I run into, are not like this. The survivors pick their feet up every day, one at a time (the feet and the day) and put it forward for the next step. In many ways, I thank God for those disabilities, because they have made me the person I am. I might have had a big head without them lol.

    Anyway, great post. Off to collect some gradu. Angie

    • Gradu is a word I learned as a child. I am still amazed at how many people argue it is not a word. *sigh*

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