Take the 100 Acre Personality Quiz!
Sunday, December 31, 2006
Friday I spent with friends. Saturday I worked. Today we didn't have a game but I went ahead and did the normal game preparations and worked on the notes for three hours, much better than my normal hour-a-night. Tomorrow I don't have to anywhere until about 11 so I'm going to sleep in. Then it's back to work at the hospital at my normal schedule pre-motion lab, as the girl I was subbing for will be back.
Oh, by the way, I do know that the public library called the gas station to check on my performance and such. My boss was ribbing me about finding another job. (She really doesn't want me to leave.) But it may be moot because the job is every Sunday, a few nights a week, and every fourth Saturday. I can't give up my Sundays, even for $11 an hour (yeah, I know, it's pretty low, but better than gas station pay). Sunday is the only time I get to spend with my friends. It's possible we could work it out so someone else gets 10 hours and I get 10 hours, with the other person taking Sundays. But other than some variation of that, I don't think I'll be able to take the job, assuming they offer it to me. Hopefully I'll hear from someone this week about it.
Oh, wait a minute. I don't do much housework at home, but I do it for others. Maybe that'll help. Not that I'm doing 16-17 hours of it a week. I'm already at a higher risk being overweight and not having a child by age 30. On the plus side? According to the doctor who read my first (and only) mammogramme, I have perfect breasts. How often do you get that from someone? Apparently you can see right through the tissue, clear as a bell, with no fibrous issues. On the negative side, I rarely do a breast self-exam even though I know how to do it and know the benefits involved. I just don't remember to. I need one of those shower cards, I think.
The weird thing about this study? Having a physical job was not as beneficial as doing housework, so it's not merely physical activity. It seems to be a combination of factors involved.
Oh, well, I guess I'm doing some fairly odd posts today. But it is the end of the year, got to get them in now, right?
Of course, with the advances comes questions of what to do with the information garnered. For many, the availability of abortion as a choice is critical. On the other hand, I know someone whose niece has Down's who really cannot imagine life without her, despite the challenges. Disability advocates question whether such syndromes should be considered defects rather than merely different expressions of the human condition. There are some people who passionately feel that 'fixing a problem' is an offensive way of looking at people. As an example, there is a huge amount of controversy over conchlear implants and what it can mean for deaf culture.
I am in that older age range, and although it's unlikely I'll have children, I can imagine myself in that position. If the preliminary tests came back positive, I'd go on for the more invasive ones. If they confirmed them, then yes, I would probably abort the child and mourn the loss. I would not normally go through an abortion; I don't believe in abortion as birth control. It's something to be reserved for serious issues. But in the case of a major birth defect, yes, I would consider it, just as I would if it presented a danger to my health (yes, it is a life, and a potential person, but I don't believe in sacrificing the mother, who is fully a person, for a potential one. Now if I were brain dead and pregnant, I'd want them to try to bring the baby to term. But if sacrificing the child was the only way for me to live, then so be it.) I'm not sure what I would do in the case of rape, to be honest. I might just see it as a sign from the Gods. Which I suppose sounds strange when I consider a birth defect a result of natural processes (although ultimately there may be some divine hand in that, too). But that's how I feel, anyway. And I suppose the idea that I would have an abortion might seem selfish to some. But I know my own limitations, and I also want to guarantee that any child of mine is both loved deeply and is given every opportunity to flourish.
I remember some time ago stumbling upon the blog of a man in Asia who was blogging along and then had an entry of how he and his wife had flown to Australia for an abortion because tests had shown the foetus had anencephaly. That is a birth defect where a good portion of the brain never develops. If a child does not die in utero or during birth, it may live only a few days or weeks, never attaining consciousness, given comfort care to let nature take its course. It's a heartbreaking condition. Did they make the right decision? I think so, but it's not up to me. It was their decision, and it must have been a very difficult time for them. It bothers me that there are some people who would damn them to hell for daring to have an abortion.
I'm just glad that there are options availiable for women (and their partners) so that they can make the best choice for them, not only in new tests but in options for dealing with the aftermath. I hope abortion as a choice is not taken away from us. As a personal choice I would not have one unless the extreme conditions above were in effect. Nor would I pay for someone else's (but I'd go with her to the clinic and support her in other ways). I've known two women who have had abortions. Both made very difficult decisions. I stayed with one in the aftermath and saw just how physically and emotionally difficult it was. For another I was there for her when she found out she was pregnant, and offered to go with her, but she took a couple of others instead. I never thought less of these women for choosing to have an abortion. I think it was the right decision in each case. But it is choosing to kill a life that will otherwise grow into a child and an adult, with full personality and aspirations. It's not something to do lightly. But it's not something I can decide for anyone but myself. And if it's necessary, I hope it remains safe and legal for those women who find themselves faced with such difficult decisions.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
I don't know much about the situation in Somalia. It sounds like there is relief that the Islamic Courts are gone but uncertainty over forces advancing on the city, and whether the conflict will escalate into civilian deaths. There is backing from the African Union for the defeat of the Islamists, and there is also a lot of finger-pointing at the UN, who have been unable to restore the government of Somalia or prevent the conflict.
I have learnt a little about khat, a plant whose leaves are chewed as a stimulant and whose sale was banned by the Islamic Courts, from the new stories.
Some are already fleeing the city. Others are waiting and watching. My thoughts are with them as they struggle to live their lives in uncertainty.
Somalia: Islamists disappearing in the capital
Daily Update on Somalia
Of course, I'm a vegetarian, so I'm a little biased anyway. But it just seems wrong to muck with nature to produce food, either through cloning animals or genetic modification such as what they do with plants. I personally wouldn't like to buy either, and I hope they label them appropriately so the consumer can make that decision. I know with the genetically modified stuff they don't seem to be required to label, although many organic foods specifically say that they do not purchase such grains and legumes.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Prayers and perseverance, the Asian tsunami remembered
and on this second anniversary of the huge tsunami that struck so much of the area, an earthquake today near Taiwan has triggered a possible tsunami that may hit southern Taiwan and the Philipines. The Japanese Meteorological Agency warned that a three-foot tsunami may be headed for the Philipines.
Those who have read this blog for any time know that I opposed this war before it started. I still do. I want the troops home. I want us to concentrate our forces on actually going after those who planned the 9/11 attacks, something that no one has ever credibly linked to Iraq at all.
That said, we can't just pull out all at once. There has to be an exit strategy. Gee, there should have been an exit strategy all along. But for every day of delay, our own military and Iraqi civilians are dying in the streets. It's a shame, heart-breaking. It's something our leaders, especially George Bush, should be ashamed of putting into motion in the first place.
For those who have lost loved ones in this conflict, my greatest condolences. I don't mean to belittle their sacrifice in any way. I am a military brat myself; I have always supported the troops. But I don't believe this war is any service to them; they deserve a more noble cause--something hard to find in today's complicated world, I suppose. And for those injured in this conflict--and for others who have served--we must support them and reward them for their service by taking care of their health and their futures. Some people are comparing this war to Vietnam due to the bog down we're seeing. I don't want to see today's veterans in any way shunned or short-changed in the way that Vietnam vets were as the resistance to war grows. There are certain promises made in exchange for their taking on the dangers they face, and those must be fulfilled. So, our lawmakers should focus on making sure that veterans are taken care of rather than sending more troops to slaughter. And for pity's sake, find some way to bring them home. Soon.
Profile for KyHorseHung at Resources for Bears
I saw him the other day at the store where he works. He looked my father's age; he's exactly a week younger than I am. Then I found this site. The pictures remind me of some sort of hick (I think it's the baseball cap, something I never saw him wear. He was into those little caps that snap in the front that old men wear, when we were dating). He looks like he's trying to look tough. He says on his website that he's embraced his redneck side. Oh, yes.
I look at him and I am totally repulsed. I really don't understand what I ever saw in him, either on the outside or the inside.
It even gets scarier if you follow the links (definitely not work safe, assuming you could get through any workplace filters--there's a nude picture involved). Maybe I'm a prude, but I just don't understand why anyone would post themselves online like that. Well, okay, in this case it's to get men. But you know what I mean.
I am so glad that a certain videotape was destroyed by both of us at the conclusion of our relationship. I was sure to snag that one when we left, then we met and together destroyed it. Never leave that sort of evidence about.
To quote Lovecraftian horror, it is squamous. It is gibbous. It is a horror worse than those of Great Cthulhu. I think my eyes may burn out of my skull. Eghhhh.
Anyone who wants to say I'm going to hell for ever divorcing him should look at this site. Their eyes would so be opened. And the site is very, very different from his pseudo-religious writings as Chandonn.
There was a time where I thought he had potential. No more. Soon he may be crawling around under their house crying, 'Precious, my precious', and there's no doubt what his precious is. He's always been rather fixated on it and more than willing to show it off at the drop of a hat. He once brought pictures of it out after dinner. I think that was the same dinner his live-in lover (did I mention I was stupid?) was sucking spaghetti up his nose. Gods, how did I wind up in that relationship?
I'd like to think that by comparison I've grown as a person. Leaving him (and his 'Husbear' as he calls his partner (Jordsvin)--they're still together, which is rather remarkable, I suppose), really was the best thing I have ever done for myself.
These are my opinions on the matter, anyway. Hey, he says in his profile he likes honesty. Somehow I suspect he wouldn't care for my honest opinion. It's actually much more scathing and loathing than I've expressed here. I'll probably get a nasty e-mail from him threatening action if I so much as mention him; I have before. Oh, well. The truth will set us free, right? If he's not doing anything embarrassing or wrong, he should be open and not upset by anything. I have witnesses to our relationship and the facts involved, so it's not just my word, so I'm pretty comfortable posting this. And who knows what else he's up to? Trust me, I've been exposed to some pretty lurid stuff. And that was 15-21 years ago. Now? Amputees, for example? I mean, it's great for amputees to have partners, but the fact that there are people out there attracted to amputation, some to the point of wanting to get one themselves or get their partner to do so, that's out there. (If you never have heard of this, try searching for it online. Your eyes will be opened. Even Active Living, a magazine for active amputees, addressed it in one issue.) And he lists that as one of his turn-ons.
I just don't get him. And I think that's a good thing.
Monday, December 25, 2006
I finally started wrapping presents tonight. I'll give a friend his and then I'll give the girls at the game theirs when I see them in a couple of week. I still have to wrap presents for my family. I'll see them on Thursday. I have no idea how to wrap my mom's; it's big and unwieldy.
Well, now I'm home and enjoying a little bite to eat and having some downtime.
Merry Christmas to all (well, those of you who celebrate it), and to all a good night. :)
Friday, December 22, 2006
- Did some errands with friends.
- Got my mother, step-father, grandmother, friend, and gaming buddies presents. That took about four stores on various sides of town, fighting crowds and traffic, although it was not as bad as I thought it would be. Whew!
- Treated myself to dark chocolate peppermint ice cream with coconut mixed in from Cold Stone Creamery
- Ate lunch with a total stranger who let me sit with her in a crowded Subway (the restaurant, not the mass transit system, which we don't have in Lexington anyway). She is Catholic with 8 children We discussed Christmas and Chanukah. When I told her I was Pagan and celebrated the solstice, she gave me a crucifix carried by Pope John Paul II that she had brought from a recent trip to Italy and had blessed herself that morning, hoping that God would see me on the right path. I told her I was sure He would (although I didn't mention that it was not the God she was thinking of). :)
- Got my hair cut (finally).
- Got my paycheque from the gas station to find it more than twice what I expected, including meeting and bonus pay and took it and another cheque to the bank.
- Received my first-year keyring set from the gas station
- Received a stocking from my boss at the station, including a gift card to McDonald's, a pen, noisemakers, and candy.
- Came home and put together the little candoliers I bought for the windows that flicker like a real candle (it's a fair reproduction). Then I got something to eat and I'm now blogging.
I still have to go work on the notes, so that's what I'm up to next. I'm working tomorrow, Christmas Eve, and Christmas at the gas station (the latter two are at 2 1/2 times pay, at least, and after all, it's not my holiday, so I offered). I'll go home on the 28th and visit family. The game is on hiatus for a couple of weeks, but I'll have pressies for the girls when we get back together. The Secret Santa party was Wednesday night. I got to see Natalie, Julie, and Upsorn, who have all moved on to bigger and better things. And there were so many babies there! I had a good time. It's always fun, although I get anxious before I go.Also, tonight is the last night of Chanukah, so one last present to go. Last night was latke night, and it was using a mix by Schreit's I believe, with vegetable flakes in them. Man, they were good!
No matter what holiday you celebrate, please have a safe and peaceful one. And may you have a happy new year!
PS I did have a gnosis last night as to why I don't live up to my potential. I went form excelling in school to scooting by doing the minimal effort, which I stll do, and in talking with someone I realised I had become depressed when my parents divorced and had stayed that way until I began treatment about three years ago--after I stopped going to school becasue of my health.
But now I'm better; I'm no longer depressed, although like everyone I have days that are better or worse than others. So I should be able to live up to my potential, if I just push myself to give that extra effort, right?
A story from my old neighbourhood of Bossier City, Louisiana, where I spent ages 6-12 on Barksdale AFB. This was passed to me from YKWIA, and it left us wondering at the bizarre nature of the story.
A couple awoke to find four of their month-old daughter's toes gnawed off. Yeah, you read that right. Gnawed off. The baby was sleeping in a carrier, according the news reports, right next to the mattress in the living room upon which the parents were sleeping. Her two-year-old brother was at his grandparents' at the time.
There were two pets in the house--a ferret and a 6-week-old pit bull terrier puppy. The father insists that the ferret was in its cage and that the puppy must have done it. The mother says the ferret was out of its cage and thinks it did it. Both animals are in quarantine for rabies as their fates are decided. One news story I read said that if the puppy, who still has it's baby teeth and is extremely small, did it, it would take about four hours to do so. The ferret could easily have done it...they have gnashy teeth like a cat or rat. But the parents' stories conflict. And then there's the fact that they didn't hear the baby crying--even though she was right next to them--while four toes were gnawed off. Tests have been taken to see if they were under the influence of drugs. Meanwhile, they are in custody on a misdemeanour charge of child endangerment with a $50,000 bond each, and the child is in state custody. She has been released from the hospital and the parents have plead guilty to the charges. The boy remains in his grandparents' custody.
Meanwhile, there have been calls flooding city hall about the fate of the puppy--apparently no one cares about the ferret or the child for that matter, as the hospital did not receive similar calls. Granted, the hospital also couldn't have released any information. But it's got the folks at city hall scratching their heads.
Here are some links:
Mother Says Ferret, Not Pup, Chewed Baby's Toes
Some wonder if ferret, not puppy, gnawed off baby's toes
Hospital releases infant maimed by family pet (includes pictures of the parents)
US parents whose baby's toes were gnawed off by pet accept deal with prosecutor
Couple Whose Baby Injured by Animal Seeks Bond Reduction
'Why don't they send get-well letters to the child?' (includes a picture of the puppy)
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
First, there's the Cthulhu Mythos Vertical Calendar by John Coulthart. There's also the Cthulhu Mythos Calendar by Simon Bucher-Jones.
I didn't find a 2007 version of my Li'l Cthulhu flip calendar that brought so much joy this past year. As an example, yesterday's read that in 1947 a Michigan woman strangled her husband, chopped his body up into parts, and then wrapped them up as Christmas presents. Now that's creative gift giving. The only complaint I have about the Li'l Cthulhu calendar is that it was way off on the Jewish holidays. But as a Jewish friend put it, Jews are the Chosen of G-d; falling to the influence of Cthulhoids is a Gentile thing. (And certainly I can't think of any of the stories where a Jew becomes an evil cultist worshipping, say Yog Sothoth.) :)
And it's not just Texas. There are others with similar laws, all designed to protect the businesses but which essentially impinge upon the free speech of the media, because even if the claims are not false or malicious, they're being sued under such laws. Most people would want to avoid that, right?
For more information, read this article:
It's amazing what you find on television.
Address Discrimination and Stigma Center: The Arts – Reaching Hearts and Minds to Counter Discrimination Associated with Mental Illnesses
Mass General patient art exhibit
A website currently under construction--but possibly valuable in the future:
ART: GALLERIES AND EXHIBITIONS : PSYCHIATRY: PSYCHIATRIC PATIENTS:
A Brief Selection of Published Sources Regarding Art Exhibitions and Displays of Works by Psychiatric Patients <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Net-Gold/message/16298>
And a few citations:
Goode, Erica. "A Protected Space, Where Art Comes Calling." New York Times
151.52195 (2002): F1. MasterFILE Premier. 18 December 2006.
Morris, Kelly. "Does art work in mental health?." Lancet 360.9339 (2002):
1104. Academic Search Premier. 18 December 2006.
1. Schizophrenia --- Do You Hear What I Hear?
2. Multiple Personality Disorder --- We Three Kings Disoriented Are
3. Dementia --- I Think I'll be Home for Christmas
4. Narcissistic --- Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me
5. Manic --- Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees and.....
6. Paranoid --- Santa Claus is Coming to Town to Get Me
7. Borderline Personality Disorder --- Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire
8. Passive-Agressive Personality Disorder --- You Better Watch Out, I'm Gonna Cry, I'm Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll Tell You Why
9. Attention Deficit Disorder --- Silent night, Holy oooh look at the Froggy - can I have a chocolate, why is France so far away?
10. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder --- Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells
I'll add...let's not forget
11. Major Depression --- I'll Have a Blue Christmas Without You
One person on the Internet mentioned trying to type out the Tourette's version of Little Drummer Boy.
I added the Passive-Agressive aspect of the personality disorder above, because it's missing from all the ones I've seen on the Internet but we (YKWIA and I) think that's what they're getting at, even if it's not an official diagnosis anymore.
Personally I've always found the Dreidel Song to be a little manic, too. Of all the above, I love the ADHD one the best. It's so me. And in case you're wondering, it's manic (bipolar), borderline personality, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and ADHD, with the passive-agressive thing not an official diagnosis but I certainly can be a pain because of it.
Monday, December 18, 2006
Three tributes to the power of libraries, including short stories by Italo Calvino and Ray Bradbury and a memoir by Edith Wharton, read aloud. I thought it was odd that the web site did not list Fahrenheit 451 among the books of Bradbury, but it sounds like a moving programme.
Also, I checked my checking account and apparently although I've been very good about writing everything down, somewhere I'm off $17.55, and my account has dipped into the negative, which isn't good, as I don't get paid until Thursday. I went back all the way to September and there wasn't anything I missed, so it has to go back further than that. Nor did I see any obvious bank errors. I had to use algebra to get the amount I was short. Haven't done that in years. :) Oh, well, I'll survive, but I hate paying fees. At least my phone bill, which is set as an automatic debit, went through okay. I have one other debit out that usually takes a couple of days to hit, so that may mean two charges. Grrr. In the meantime I have a couple of dollars and change in my pocket, so I'll have to be frugal. And I am owed some money, so maybe I can collect that. :) Plus, I still have $15 on that Wal-Mart card. The good news is when I get paid Thursday (I'm not counting on getting paid at the gas station before then, as they've been running late going into the holidays, partly because the cheques have to come through the mail), I only have two bills to pay and some money I owe my mom. The rest can go to holiday presents and sit in my account for the coming scale-back once the Motion Lab gig is over, which should be the 27th.
On a brighter note, one of my co-workers in the Motion Lab gave us little tins full of Chex mix, which is very nummy. And my Secret Santa got a little mixed up on the days, so I have a bag of miniature Reese's cups (today it's supposed to be something colourful, tomorrow something sweet). That's okay, though, it's nice to have little bits of chocolate and peanut butter I can eat a little bit at a time. (Well, that's the idea anyway).
Wish me luck on the job interview. It would be nice to have another part-time library job, even if it is in the next town, although not too far away; it's maybe ten miles outside of town.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Don Wood: Library 2.0 :: Senator McCain Wants Web Sites and Blogs to Report Illegal Images
Thursday, December 14, 2006
including what committees or teams the librarian should serve on. It's a little more ammunition in terms of the why-we-should-have-medical-librarians-on-staff-when-everything's-on-the-Internet debate.
I was at the gas station the other day and a girl came through the line, went back out to her car, then came back in and really complimented me on my demeanour and people skills and asked me if I would mind if her boss called me about a job opportunity. I said yes, thinking it was probably some sales scam kind of thing like a pyramid scheme of something.
Well, I got a call today from the guy in charge here in Lexington of Primerica Financial Services. He wants me to come to an overview of the company Tuesday night. It turns out that it's a real company, an arm of Citigroup, and it--yes, get this, if you know me it'll be really funny--teaches people how to use their money and credit wisely. You have to understand, I still have debts from when I was married fifteen years ago. I have a credit score probably in the 200s. I could benefit from their programme (and if nothing else, it might give me an idea of where to go to take care of some of those debts). I'm lucky to finally be balancing my chequebook on a regular basis. This is a real hoot.
But if it does pan out, it'll do so to the tune of a couple thousand dollars a month part-time, which is more than I make as a librarian. That could be really good for me.
So Monday I have a job interview for a reference position in a public library, and Tuesday I have this first step in a process, the overview of the company.
Maybe things are looking up for me. Maybe I'm doing something good karmically. (Yes, I know, all karma is actually inherently bad, YKWIA).
The other day, again at the gas station, a woman came in with a cheque that she needed to cash (we don't do that), wanting enough gas to get her to where she could get it taken care of. She offered to leave her driver's licence for a couple of dollars of gas. I couldn't do that, of course, but I did pull a couple of dollars out of my own wallet and set her for some gas. It hasn't been that long since I ran out of gas myself and a random person paid for us to fill up our gas can. A couple of hours later, the woman came back and gave me $7, $5 more than I'd given her. She thanked me profusely and said I was the answer to her prayers. I was a little embarrassed, because I was just helping out someone and for once I happened to have the money on me to do so. I was 'paying it forward' so to speak. But I really made her day, and in return she made mine--I had a free dinner that night. Sometimes you just have to go on trust that the story someone is telling you is right, and if it isn't, just accept that you tried to help someone because it is the right thing to do. She was really touched that I trusted her in this day and age.
Anyway, things seem to be looking up for me, maybe because I'm learning to go with the flow of things and be there for others when I'm needed. Life is a little easier when you're not so focussed inward.
I haven't blogged about this before, but I feel very strongly about genocide and the targeting of civilians by the military during conflicts. Darfur is just the latest of a series of conflicts aimed at eradicating people based on what they are, not what they have done.
We are doing way too little to stop the genocide in Darfur, and we need to let our leaders know.
For more on the conflict in Darfur, read the Wikipedia article. For more on what you can do to help, check out SaveDarfur.org.
One of the aspects of the conflict that is being highlighted, beyond the death and starvation, is the use of rape as a target against civilian women and girls. Like the Balkans and Rwanda before it, rape is being used as a tool for spreading fear among the ethnic groups targeted. The effects of rape and terror linger long after the conflicts subside, haunting women their entire lives.
Save Darfur is a coalition of over 160 faith-based, humanitarian, and human rights organisations. Looking at a listing of the executive committee, I was gratified to see several Jewish groups (regardless of what the conference in Iran thinks, the Holocaust was very real and many Jews are committed to preventing similar attempts at ethnic cleansing), the NAACP, representatives of Catholicism and Evangelical churches, and Amnesty International. The Unitarian-Universalists are also members.
Together, it is hoped, the coalition and other groups can help pursuade the United States and the United Nations to lend a peacekeeping presence capable of controlling the violence. I don't know how likely that is to happen in light of how things went in other conflicts and given the present wars for which there are already concerns about manpower and being mired in civil conflicts, but one thing is certain...we cannot sit by idly while people die all because of their tribe or ethnicity. To do so means we have learnt nothing from history. Preventing genocide is at least a noble cause for war, as causes go.
A few years ago, President Bush scribbled, 'not on my watch' in the margins of a report on the Rwandan crisis. The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are distracting the US from the Darfur crisis. It has not reached its climax, many say; there is still a chance to prevent hundreds of thousands of deaths. But only if we act now. Educate yourself about Darfur. Educate others as well. Find ways to act through your church, your community, and other groups. Write to your leaders. Check out the Darfur Scorecard for how your leaders have voted and to contact them about further support. Donate money if possible. There is a push to provide humanitarian aid to the region, although there are concerns about trying to get aid to the people. Like other areas plagued by armed conflict, it can be a logistics nightmare. Remember the people of Darfur during this holiday season. Remember that there are people who will spend this coming year without food, without hope, wondering whether they or their children will be the next to die. No one deserves to feel like that, and certainly no child deserves to lose a childhood over such worries. Please help save Darfur.
The good thing is that I'm ready for Secret Santa at work, which starts tomorrow with 'something fun' and Chanukah, which starts Friday night. Well, almost ready--I'll need to stop by a couple of stores for a couple of small things for Chanukah, but the majority of it is covered. Whew.
I'm going to try to take the 21st and 22nd off (my religious holidays and also prime post-payday shopping) from the hospital, then the 28th and the 29th the next week, since I won't be able to visit my family on Christmas day due to working at the gas station. That leaves me working the Tuesday and Wednesday after Christmas; Wednesday should be my last day in the Motion Lab, so soon it will be goodbye to extra money. But on a bright note, I have an interview next Monday with a local public library for a part-time reference position. Wish me luck.
Okay, I'm decidedly sleepy now. It's off to take meds and sleep. Have a good night, and a good holiday, too.
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
You are either native and stupid, or you are foreign and knowledgeable.
"And did those feetIn ancient times,Walk upon England's mountains green?And was the holy Lamb of GodIn England's pleasant pastures seen?"
Well, no, but it's a cracking good tune.
How English are you?
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Not bad for a Yank who's never been to the country, I suppose. Cricket still throws me, for one.
|What Kind of Reader Are You? |
Your Result: Dedicated Reader
You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.
|Literate Good Citizen|
|What Kind of Reader Are You?|
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Tuesday, December 12, 2006
This article brings up the question as to whether someone would want to know that they're in the early stages of a disease that is progressive and has devastating repercussions, without a cure. I'd want to know. I'd want to make plans to enjoy what time I had left as myself. I'd want to make sure that my family would not be overly burdened with my health care.
My great-grandmother lived with Alzheimer's for fifteen or more years. I watched a woman I loved and admired unravel as I grew up. I watched my grandmother spend countless hours providing care for her mother, only to discover once she was dead that she, herself, had lung cancer. She only outlived her mother by a year or two. I sometimes wonder if it was partly burnout as a caregiver, in addition to the cigarettes, that led to her decline.
Alzheimer's is a real fear of mine. I live in a state with a high proportion of the disease, so if environmental issues are a factor, then there is risk from that. If heredity is a factor, then I have that, too. I already have a much worse memory than I did when I was younger, and I sometimes wonder if it's early signs of the disease, even though it could be a host of other issues. I don't want to slowly fade away as a person. Alzheimer's is horrible in that way, although I suppose it's a blessing that eventually the patient is unaware of what is happening. The one disease that I can think of that is worse is ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), where your mind stays intact, but your body shuts down progressively.
Maybe these markers that may indicate Alzheimer's in 90% of cases may also help scientists understand the disease and eventually find a cure. But in the meantime, it can help patients go on drugs that can help slow down the progression, and give them time--time to be with their loved ones, time to spend doing the things they always wanted, time to live.
Monday, December 11, 2006
In defiance of Congressional requests to immediately halt closures of library collections, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is purging records from its library websites, making them unavailable to both agency scientists and outside researchers, according to documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). At the same time, EPA is taking steps to prevent the re-opening of its shuttered libraries, including the hurried auctioning off of expensive bookcases, cabinets, microfiche readers and other equipment for less than a penny on the dollar.
Read the article for more information. This is horrible in terms of lost access to information but as taxpayers we should also be angry at the way our money is being squandered--all in the name of saving money.
Friday, December 08, 2006
A new British study is warning parents not to let their babies sleep in car seats because there is a risk they could stop breathing. It's especially a problem with very young babies whose neck muscles are not fully developed who slump over with their necks on their chest, blocking their airways. Parents are urged, of course, to use car seats for their main purpose--preventing injuries in auto accidents, which do so in 90-95% of cases--but not to allow children to sleep in the seats for prolonged periods of time, especially indoors, where there are alternatives. It is better to wake the child up and move it to a crib or other horizontal sleeping area.
Much like tuberculosis here, infection with HIV makes you more likely to get sick with malaria. But conversely, being infected with malaria increases the virus load in the bloodstream tenfold, making it much more likely to pass on HIV through sexual intercourse. HIV/AIDS, caused by a virus, is expected to kill 2.9 million people this year worldwide--2.1 million of those are in sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria, which is caused by a parasite, also has a high death toll--between 1 and 2.7 million per year, 90% of which are in sub-Saharan Africa. It is thought that tens of thousands of new HIV can be attributed to infection with malaria and millions of cases of malaria can be attributed to underlying immunodeficiency.
The HML is scheduled for demolition and replacement with a parking garage. Archivists in Hawaii are concerned that 1) the collection, including the only medical archives in Hawaii, will be destroyed, and 2) the building, which is of historical interest, will be lost.
The resolution doesn't really contain any contact information to write or phone concerns about the library, but there are e-mail contacts for the officers of the Association of Hawaii Archivists on their webpage, so perhaps they can forward any correspondence.
Personally, I don't think the school should be distributing any religious advertisements in the school backpack folder system, but if they do, yes, indeed, they have to do so for all religions.
Pesky pagans and Unitarians, putting a wrench into unsuspecting Christians' lives in the name of freedom of religion. Tsk.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
In our cheques this morning we got a gift card for $75, which will help with holiday shopping immensely.
I saw my nurse practitioner for the last time yesterday. They're no longer taking my insurance after December 15th, and it would mean going from $10 to $50 a visit if I stayed. So, I have to find another medication manager. The good news is she found another coupon for a free bottle of one of my drugs, and set me up with about 6 months of refills for all the others so I won't get off my meds as I look for a replacement.
On a sadder note, I was sorry to hear that James Kim, the father who tried to go get help after his family was stranded in the snow, died in his attempt. He had set out after he, his wife, and two young daughters had been stranded for nine days on a road that was rarely ploughed, leaving items he had taken with him to mark his trail. His wife and the two girls were found a few days ago as they set out for help themselves.
On an unrelated note of weirdness (I might as well update all at once), a friend told me of a bizarre and controversial reality show called Armed and Famous, where Erik Estrada, LaToya Jackson and three other 'E' list 'celebrities' will be given guns, the training that reserve police officers get, and will go out on the beat with cops in Muncie, Indiana, after being sworn in as deputies. Beyond my distaste for reality shows (which tend, in my opinion to be neither reality nor entertaining, and are usually rather boring, as there is no real 'story'), does anyone else think this is a really bad idea--like among other things, a lawsuit just waiting to happen???? Do they go through some sort of elimination like in other reality shows? If so, how? As my friend said, 'oh, you shot a civilian, it's time for you to leave.' I know I would feel soooo much safer if I knew that LaToya Jackson was patrolling my neighbourhood. Um, right.
The snow is coming down in large flakes and making everything look rather Christmas-sy, and I have the little tree on my desk blinking away. I'm thinking of taking tomorrow and Tuesday off from work; I have about 28 days of personal time off accrued and I really need a break from all the stuff I've been doing outside of work. (But the shelves look great.) Plus I need to shop for the holidays. It's not a huge list, but Christmas, Chanukah, and Yule are fast approaching. Well, that's pretty much all for this morning. Have a great day.
The sad thing is that Heather Poe is legally not connected to this child, as she will not be the birth mother and the state they live in, Virginia, does not accept parental rights for same-sex couples. I don't know if she can formally adopt the child or not--from what I've read, it seems like it would be a no.
Regardless, I wish them and the child the best. :)
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Eighty-seven percent cyberchondriacs say that the health information they found online has been reliable (25% "very reliable" and 61% "somewhat reliable"). Interestingly, this has declined from 2005 when 90 percent felt this way. Of special note, the percentage of those who indicate that online medical information is "very reliable" has declined substantially from 37 percent in 2005 to the current 25 percent.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Google offers free online software
a little late by science fiction's calculations, but an ambitious leap towards space colonisation nevertheless. Several other countries are interested in participating. It's about time we returned to the moon (or got there, just in case you're one of those people who believe they did it all with movie sets the first time). Now let's hope that no one gets the bright idea to store nuclear waste on the moon (okay, if you never watched Space:1999, you won't get the references here and in the title. I know, I'm being somewhat geeky. In that television series, a group of people stationed at Moonbase Alpha are lost in space after the ignition of nuclear wastes catapults the moon away from Earth's orbit, causing calamitous destruction on Earth and leaving the station inhabitants on their own as they hurtle through space.)
In the fifteen years since that day, I've grown as a person, although probably not as much as I could have, as I am resistant to growth. :) I've learnt a lot about why I wound up in that relationship and why I should have left or at least drawn lines in the sand sooner. I haven't gone on to any other relationship (I've dated hardly at all, and those were all disastrous and odd). I guess that would be the ultimate test of what I've learnt, but I won't settle for anything less than what I deserve in a relationship, and that may mean I never find someone who can measure up. But that's okay. I used to worry because my biological clock was ticking (I'm 39 now; I left at 24); now I doubt I should ever have children, and if I do, it will hopefully be by adoption when I am in a better position to be a mother. But I'm pretty happy alone, and it's not as if I'm totally alone--I have riches in terms of quality in friendship, even if the quantity is small.
I just thought I should mark the day with a little musing, and take a moment to thank one friend in particular for being there throughout it all and helping me come to my senses. You saved my life, and I'm very grateful.
Monday, December 04, 2006
I had no idea Christina Aguilera did this song until I did a search on it. She has a very powerful voice and does an excellent job with it. It's style is that of a torch song and will no doubt be making the drag circuits.
Seems like it was yesterday when I saw your face
You told me how proud you were, but I walked away
If only I knew what I know today
I would hold you in my arms
I would take the pain away
Thank you for all you've done
Forgive all your mistakes
There's nothing I wouldn't do
To hear your voice again
Sometimes I wanna call you
But I know you won't be there
Ohh I'm sorry for blaming you
For everything I just couldn't do
And I've hurt myself by hurting you
Some days I feel broke inside but I won't admit
Sometimes I just wanna hide
'cause it's you I miss
And it's so hard to say goodbye
When it comes to
Would you tell me I was wrong?
Would you help me understand?
Are you looking down upon me?
Are you proud of who I am?
There's nothing I wouldn't do
To have just one more chance
To look into your eyes
And see you looking back
Ohh I'm sorry for blaming you
For everything I just couldn't do
And I've hurt myself, ohh
If I had just one more day
I would tell you how much that I've missed you
Since you've been away
Ooh, it's dangerous
It's so out of line
To try and turn back time
I'm sorry for blaming you
For everything I just couldn't do
And I've hurt myself by hurting you
I started checking my blood sugar again the other day and it's been running a little over 200, which isn't good. I need to start eating better. At least my testing strips have fallen from $25 to $7, so I don't have an excuse not to test. My metformin is also $7; I take it really regularly in the morning, but I need to remember to take it in the evening.
That's about all I have to report for now. Have a good day.
Friday, December 01, 2006
So it's good news that the Bill Clinton's Foundation provided 10,000 free paediatric doses of the medicines required to fight AIDS yesterday in India, and also announced that a deal had been brokered deeply cutting prices for 19 AIDS drugs to treat children worldwide, including halving the cost of the 3-in-1 pill to less than $60 per child. Worldwide, only 1 in 10 children with HIV has access to the healthcare needed to keep them alive, as opposed to 4 out of 10 adults (a depressing number in itself).
WORLD AIDS DAY 2006: Disease is still winning
Please take a moment to remember those affected by this killer on today, World AIDS Day.
I haven't been blogging much because I've been really extremely busy, both at work and elsewhere. I'm primering and painting shelves, and then the book sorting will begin. At work, I had a lot of patients this week and I'm contemplating the need to move all the journals over a bit to even out the spacing and allow for room to grow next year. I am so not looking forward to it. Plus, I have a lot of older issues that need to be weeded, and I've offered them up on lists with some takers, but I'll have to pitch the rest, which bites for someone who's a hoarder. I haven't been working during the week at the gas station, at least, although I work tomorrow.
I'm getting into the holiday mood. I have the library's tree up (it is, after all, a pagan thing, not just a Christmas one, although for my own use I prefer live trees that are in a pot). It has tiny Little Golden Book ornaments left over from when one of the secretaries ran the library. It's on my desk since I rearranged the library and left no room. The blinking lights hypnotise me practically, but I think I'm ignoring them pretty well now. The skeleton has his Santa hat and dreidel. Secret Santa stuff starts next week. When will I shop? Aggh.
Okay, that's enough for now. Time to go start December off, though I just want to crawl back into bed. At least it's jeans day at work, but I'll have to bring a sweater with me. Today it's supposed to plummet from the 50s t0 the 20s and possibly have snow flurries. I can't believe it's December already. What happened to the year? Have a good day.