Wednesday, August 30, 2006

my friend andy smokes kools...

U.S. report: More nicotine in cigarettes
By STEVE LeBLANC, Associated Press Writer Tue Aug 29, 3:56 PM ET
BOSTON - The level of nicotine found in U.S. cigarettes has risen about 10 percent in the past six years, making it harder to quit and easier to get hooked, according to a new report released Tuesday by the Massachusetts Department of Health

The study shows a steady climb in the amount of nicotine delivered to the lungs of smokers regardless of brand, with overall nicotine yields increasing by about 10 percent.

Massachusetts is one of three U.S. states to require tobacco companies to submit information about nicotine and the only state with data going back to 1998.

Public Health Commissioner Paul Cote Jr. called the findings "significant" and said the report was the first new release on nicotine yield in more than six years nationally.

The study found the three most popular cigarette brands with young smokers — Marlboro, Newport and Camel — delivered significantly more nicotine than they did years ago. Nicotine in Kool, a popular menthol brand, rose 20 percent. More than two-thirds of black smokers use menthol brands.

Calls to Philip Morris USA, the United States' largest cigarette maker and manufacturer of Marlboro cigarettes, and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., manufacturer of Kool and Camel cigarettes, were not immediately returned Tuesday.

The study tried to measure nicotine levels based on the way smokers actually use cigarettes, health officials said, in part by partially covering ventilation holes as they smoke and taking longer puffs. Traditional testing methods which do not take real-life smoking habits into account, typically report lower nicotine contents, officials said.

Of the 179 cigarette brands tested in 2004 for the report, 93 percent fell into the highest range for nicotine. In 1998, 84 percent of 116 brands tested fell into the highest range.

Smokers who choose "light" brands hoping to reduce their nicotine intake are out of luck, according to the report that found for all brands tested in 1998 and 2004, there was no significant difference in the total nicotine content between "full flavor," "medium," "light," or "ultra-light" cigarettes.

The finding means that health care providers trying to help smokers quit may have to adjust the strength of nicotine replacement therapies like nicotine patches and gums, according to Department of Public Health Associate Commissioner Sally Fogerty.

___Song of the day: bury my heart at wounded knee- buffy sainte marie

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

a sexist errand

yesterday morning, my mother calls me in tears with panic in her voice."molly" she says "i really hope you can help me. i went to renew my driver's license and they wouldnt let me because my birth certificate and SS card names dont match. i tried to explain to them, and its not like i am just now applying for a Jersey license-i mean its been eight years ive lived here! but these are the new homeland security regulations- there are no exceptions, and my license is up on thursday and i called the cleveland court house but it will take two to four weeks to get here so..."

she continued on "molly, i dont know why i am so upset, i mean, i know there went our civil rights and that makes me mad, but still..."

"mum" i said "because its also sexist" and this has always been an issue for me. here at 29 years old, i have had three different last names (my dad, then my stepdads, then my mom's grandmothers maiden name after her second divorce), and i have never been married so this name thing has always been an issue for me, but this...

we now have govenment policies that are meant to'catch terrorists' but really are going to cause hours of extra work for WOMEN. my friend jeff, who changed his name to his wife's when he got married then back to his birth name after divorce, pointed out that no one even thinks to ask if he has ever had a different name.

as for me, i have always needed to take multiple papers anyhow, as my birth name is hoch but my social security card, like my mother's, says danzinger...luckily i can leave the stevens phase out, but not so for my mum.

so i am off to the court house to get both her marriage certificates so i can overnight them to her so she doesnt have to drive illegally (though i told her it really isnt that big of a deal, and maybe even a little bit of a rush to drive illegally) this morning catching the rapid for 3.50 round trip bercause all women with name changes are now national security threats...

Song of the day: i am woman-helen reddy

Monday, August 28, 2006


so here i sit with jeff hess, and after 20 minutes of frustrating work (as i like to be in control even when i am learning something new, so ten minutes were spent on jeff redirecting me away from the keyboard) i have finally learned how to create a links list on my side bar!!!!

slowly but surely, i become less ignorant around technology (though its only taken ten months to figure out the link thing)...

Song of the day: some crappy japanese techno music

Sunday, August 27, 2006

walking in the warm rain

over come with joy,
a van morrison warm
love the feel of drops
on my nose,the rain
my tears
they are one and the same

Song of the day:return to innocence- enigma

"dont be afraid to be weak,
dont be proud to be strong....
and if you want then start to laugh
and if you must then start to cry....
just believe in destiny
dont care what people say
just follow your own way,
its the return to innocence"

Saturday, August 26, 2006

morning's truth

Wisdom is
sweeter then honey,
brings more joy
than wine,
more then the sun,
is more precious
than jewels.
She causes
the ears to hear
and the heart to comprehend.

....i will follow
her footprints
and she will not cast me away
-Makeda, Queen of Sheeba

Song of the day: joyful girl- ani difranco

Friday, August 25, 2006

oh, oh, oh uganda

i did a little research on uganda and the lords resistance party back when i was looking in the sudan(july, 2006), but did not bother to type up my research. i received this email yesterday, and i think its important that we begin to talk about it. thanks for your interest...oh, and i am on the apple and will highlight the links later

Dear Friends and Colleagues,
We need your help: we have just returned from Northern Uganda and are stunned by what we saw. In all of our years of visiting IRC programs, the stark living conditions of people languishing in the dreary camps in Northern Uganda are among of some of the harshest we’ve ever seen.

Yet this little-known crisis is barely receiving the sustained attention it deserves by our policy makers. We want to change that. You can help us by signing a petition we are launching right now.

For over 20 years the rebel group, Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), has waged a brutal war against the Government of Uganda. The ruthless fighters in this conflict have resorted to barbaric tactics of murder, mutilation, burning of villages, sexual enslavement, and abduction of civilians – especially children – to be forced to fight. Over 90% of the rural population of Northern Uganda has been forced into 200 squalid, crowded, and unhealthy refugee camps.

More than 1.5 million people are currently crammed into crowded camps
30,000 children have been abducted as sexual slaves, porters, or fighters over the past 20 years
Each week there is an estimated excess death toll of 900 civilians due to disease and 20 people die each day due to violence
Rape and sexual abuse are a daily occurrence in camps
We are asking you to join us and sign this petition demanding that the U.S. government intensify their political action to stop the violence in Uganda and support the current peace talks in Juba, south Sudan.

Here is why signing this petition now will make a difference:

On October 9-10 in Washington, DC there will be a Northern Uganda Lobby Day. This is our chance to make our voices heard. We are aiming for 10,000 signatures on this petition. IRC staff will then hand-deliver copies of the petition to each of the Senate and House members that we visit on those days.

IRC has a long established presence in Northern Uganda delivering lifesaving aid and hope to tens of thousands of Ugandans. As a result IRC is a considered a credible and authoritative advocate in Washington, DC – but we want to be able to show that we are also speaking for thousands of concerned Americans as well.

We can’t thank you enough for supporting the people of Northern Uganda by signing this petition right now.


- IRC Board of Directors Co-Chairs, Alan R. Batkin and Jonathan L. Wiesner

P.S. Please forward this link to your friends and colleagues and ask them to join us: of the day:

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

the rush of the waters, the crash of the heavens

Hurricane Katrina, 8/29/2005

Global Warming - Union of Concerned Scientists
Global Warming - Environmental Protection Agency
Global Warming kids site

Song of the day: eili, eili (eh-lee, eh-lee)- hanna szenesh, david zahavi

a moment

looking much, much better devin!

one of the best things that ever stumbled into my life is
for birthdays (all seven of them), anniveraries (happy 22nd grandpa and anita), and for moments like now -when people you care about are going through pain and possible loss, and you feel helpless in what you can do to help- i need to celebrate my love through life

its just paying it forward

Song of the day: hammer and a nail-indigo girls

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

never forget

Katrina- August 29, 2005

Song of the day: mourners kaddish

Monday, August 21, 2006


honest i learned a good lesson from this blogger named jackie one night. she commented on how she logged about something from work, and someone from work read it and confronted her, and looking back, she realized that she needed to be more careful about the things she wrote and published to the world, as you never know who is reading, or what their response would be.

i take that advise to heart, and i am thankful that i am learning more and more how to be honest and stay true to myself without a destructive over-share of information (also partly due to an experience with a -different- jackie)

Song of the day: jelly roll- charles mingus

Saturday, August 19, 2006

the nature of change


(is it time to stop using my aliases? professor or muse, it's true that we spark in the classroom, and its true her energy inspires me- but after this weekend, i think she should just be jackie again.)

can't sleep, so i thought i'd post. today, my friend(and ex-classmate)brad and i went out to jackie's new home "to work and to play" as thats all i was told in her communication ("typical jackie email" said her husband). . well, turns out the work was to clear areas for camp sites (the land is amazing, woods and fields reaching as fasr as i could see), and actually involved chain saws and stick breaking (DONT WORRY! I DID NOT TOUCH THE POWER TOOLS, though i did manage to smack myself in the face with a stick). only i felt really awkward, having never done this type of work before, feeling unsure of my body, and so kept apologizing for myself (which i dont really do), annoying this lady working on the same branch pile ("i'll smack you with a stick myself if you dont stop apologizing" said she "im sorry!" said i, not as a joke, but laughing). i remembered that i have alot more fun playing with twigs and crickets then going to the mall (lol, duh)...

but this lesson is not why i write a post. i want to look again at the nature of a changing relationship

brad and i did not connect with any of the other people out there. it felt like a closed system with members who all had history together (though jackie said they didnt know eachother) and we both felt out of place. part of it may have been that except for brad, one other guy in his mid thirties (who i actually knew from overnight camp a decade and a half ago), and my almost (but not quite) thirty year old self, every one was pretty much 50+, but more importantly, there was a quietness, a gravity involved that was hard for both of us to tolerate. i felt full of high energy, my laughter echoed so individually and loud through the fields and woods (i have a jolly laugh with the occasional snort)that i had a hard time not blushing when i felt it escape from me, which sucked, because i laugh ALOT, especially when i am playing outside.

on the ride home, brad commented on how even jackie was in this quieter nature too, not much like she was in class, and i had to agree. this fact, however, seemed to have very different meaning to the two of us. i think he fears that what made class special was not as real as he thought, as if she was not who she said she was last fall, now that he has experienced her as a person. i think our class was exactly as important to her as she said it was, just as real, and unique. but this is life now, not the classroom. in the moment, her move and her houseful of people, chores, whatever, were more important- in our two hours of class per week, we were most important.

as a professor, she has certain responsibilities from which brad and i as students got to reap. and i miss being her student, i do, we have a spark when we have purpose. i hope we can find a way to have purpose that is not my education because i also enjoy seeing her humanity. i like all our misunderstandings as two headstrong women with very different ways of being. i like the way that she puts all her energy into what is right in front of her and not straying to all the other directions tempting her. i like just being with her, breathing in everything around us (now i just need to figure out how to think and be at the same time, instead of doing all my thinking when i go to bed on those nights- but atleast the dreams are interesting)i like feeling challenged, which i do in relating with her, and while i still feel unsure on what is really occuring between us, i know that brad is not seeing what i see.

voting is not for dumbasses

i am not sure which is worse, being uninvolved in the political process, or misinformed activists. brian's experience in this lakewood coffee shop shows how speaking about that which one does not know about could possibly get the scariest political canditate ever into office,

its unlike anything i've ever seen....well, except for when all those florida jews accidentally voted for pat buchanan in 2000

from the faggoty-assed faggot

Cleveland's gay coffee shop, Truffles. A weekday evening. This weekday evening, in fact.
In the back corner, a homo regular sits at a high-top, typing on the keyboard of his laptop. His typical game.
Suddenly he laughs loudly. His usual gimmick, but none of us are new here. We ignore his attention-seeking behavior.
Seeing no reaction, he pulls out his cell phone and dials.
"Hey," he exclaims loudly. "Are you following the governor's race? I hope you aren't supporting Strickland ... Yeah, he's terrible on gay rights. But get this - he has this stupid plan to sell the turnpike for $1.8 billion!"
I raise my head, looking askance at this odd little man. A moment later he hangs up, and I shrug, deciding not to get involved.
Just then the barista passes by, and the patron flags him down.
"Are you following the governor's race?" he asks again.
"No," the employee replies. "I hate politics."
"Well you won't believe this guy Strickland," he proclaims loudly to the room. "Not only is he against gay people, but he wants to sell the turnpike to line the pockets of all the Republican lawmakers!"
By this point, I just can't take it any longer.
"Um, Strickland's the Democrat," I bark across the room. "Blackwell is the Republican. He's the one who doesn't like gays, and he wants to sell the turnpike. Not Strickland, the Democrat."
"What's that?" he asks.
"It's Blackwell, not Strickland, you should be talking about."
"Oh, OK. Well, you know, whatever."
"No, not whatever," I reply. "It's actually the most critical fact you need to remember in voting. His name. And it's Blackwell who is the asshole, not Strickland."
"Oh, Blackwell, huh? This is the governor's race?"
"Yes," I say.
"So who's Blackwell running against?"
I sigh. "Strickland."
"Oh, OK."
Democracy is doomed.

Friday, August 18, 2006

greetings from siberia

my friend tara has just posted me from where she describes as hell, and her story is so interesting that i thought i would share it. enjoy

I'm at an internat cafe in Russia now, also known as hell. Siberia lives up to its image. I had a flight cancelled and was a day late for my train from Irkutsk, Russia to Ulanbataar, Mongolia. There were no train tickets for the next two days, so here i am. the hostels were all full so i'm doing a homestay with this lady. i'm feeling better today, but yesterday was horrible. it is bleak and relentlessly ugly here. well, it was until i found a nice garden near this internet cafe. this place is absolutely squalid. rooms are so basic with few frills. the buildings are extremely boxy with massive, stereotypically Soviet utilitarian architecture. the streets have tons of construction work and they seem to dig up even more things befpre they have a chance to repair what they have started. there is dust and dirt everywhere, it moves around in clouds when the wind blows. wild dogs run around, seemingly with no owners. traffic is barely regimented. people drive like they have lost control of the steering wheel, weaving about and threading their way through traffic. they drive on the right side of the road here but not all cars have the steering wheel on the left. In many ways, it is a lot like india with white people. i loved india, completely chaotic and filthy though it was. what i hate about here is the attitude of the people. they are so grim here and unwilling to help. i have asked people so many times where things are and they just shrug and look away. i even had the word for an atm machine written in russian for me. i stopped at a stand in a market and showed the woman the slip of paper. she did the usual shrug. i kept walking to find it not 5 feet away. At the same time, it would not be fair to say all russians are horrible. the woman i am staying with is very nice as was the russian travel agent and a few cab drivers. i was at the moscow airport and in dire need of a plane ticket. i heard a girl, about ten years old, talking to herself in english as she played and i stopped to ask some questions. she was with her father, an immigrant from russia. the two currently live in brooklyn and the girl, mary, said she was going crazy not having anyone to speak to in english. the two of them were wonderful. the father, who also spoke english, let me use his phone and helped me call different travel agencies to ask questions about tickets. i told him all the seats were full on the next flight and he stood up and said, now i'm going to get you a ticket. he walked up to the desk of the airline with me and managed to get me a seat on the next flight. then he decided he was going to see me onto the plane. he walked right past where i was supposed to check in and said 'you check in h ere', and checked me in right where my luggage was screened. he was going to walk past that security desk also to see me basically until i was on the plane but a member of security stopped him. i wonder why people are so removed and wonder how much came about out of fear living under total government control.

For those of you who don't know what the hell i am up to, i just finished a two week long volunteer camp in a tiny village outside rostock, germany. it was disasterously organized and the volunteers were on the edge of mutiny towards the end. nevertheless, i was quite content there doing rennovation and garden work at an old building badly in need of tending. we were basically stuck there in a village of 50 people due to inadequate transportation. i wasn't able to catch up on the news until i got to london. we did manage to get away to rostock for the weekend and went to the baltic sea. rostock was a nice change from berlin, where i had spent a day prior to the volunteer camp. berlin was so planned out and deliberate after being flattened during wwii and lacked the charm of the more traditional rostock. the capital had many public memorials dedicated to the memory of the holocaust, as if asking for forgiveness for this monstrous event. all the volunteers were aged 16 to 24, most of them 16-18. i usually hate young people but i was quite pleased with the ones i met there. there was this french girl i really hated and was glad to get away from her ;)

i then went to london for two days and really took to it, in spite of the ludicrous pricing. people there were also aloof, but not overtly unfriendly. i missed friendly conversation and ended up chatting with a student from poland playing the cello under a bridge for tips. i found a little india in the northeast end. it was definitely a working class area and it was peculiar to be around so many people from this subcontinent who were not in affluent surroundings as this is how it is at home. i went to the museum of london (i wanted to see the tower of london but my in student loan debt self decided to go to this free museum), which was absolutely fasinating. i went through thoroughly from the beginning of life in the area to the end of the middle ages. i was there for probably three hours and needed a few more days to see the whole thing as throroughly as i would have liked. to the fellow americans- we really luck ed out in american history class- there's barely anything to remember. dad, your indian history class must have been a five semester series.

tomorrow evening i catch a train on the trans-siberian railway to ulanbataar, mongolia. it takes a day and a half to reach the desired destination. twenty miles outside of the city i'll be staying in a traditional nomadic dwelling, a ger, with other volunteers. i'll be at another volunteer camp working with orphans aged 12-15. we will be working on a garden. vegetables are a recent addition to the mongolian diet as people living the traditional nomadic lifestyle can't exactly lug a vegetable patch around with them. one of the other young americans staying at the apartment where i am at just came from mongolia and said they even think eating too many vegetables is bad for you. the diet is mostly meat and dairy products. she said it is mutton and beef season now. winter is horse and marmot season, the marmot being a delicacy that is still capable of spreading the bubonic plague to the person who eats it even after being thoroughly cooked. the mongolians brought the black death to europe as they rode a cross asia and europe. they were on the verge of sacking western europe when threy had to turn back. the khan had died and it was required that the possible heirs return and the community participate in a (semi) democratic election. i'll be at the workcamp two days late which totally sucks but i'll get there. i'll also be teaching some english and working on making bracelets that will be sold in japan. the proceeds go to helping stop childhood prostitution.
so far i have not been homesick at all. i think my dream job of being a cultutral anthropologist or writer for national geopgraphic would suit the moment i can't imagine having to go back to school and manufacture more papers. oh well, that's not for another two weeks. the other americans staying at my apartment here are just finishing three years of teaching english in japan. the young woman said a bachelor's degree was the only requirement at her agency and getting a job in the private sector was as simple as saying 'i speak english, it's my native tongue and i want to teach". the pay is decent. there is national health coverage and they make about as much as i will my first few years with a master's degree in social work. she said teaching there was a bit like college. she said the work wasn't very hard and most of the teachers are young people either running away or running to somewhere. she also said b ecause the people are in a transitional phase of their life they don't take life very seriously and spend a lot of time partying. the whole thing sounded pretty good until she said it was like college. it's time for me to be around grown ups.

okay, it's getting dark and i don't fancy walking around alone in pitch blackness. flies really seem to fancy me, they're always on my bag or shoes, and i think i'll look up what attracts them to people before i leave. anyway, i hope everyone is well and mom, just take a nip from your hip flask, you'll be all right.

mathilde- please forward to omega and sophia, i left their addresses at the apartment
molly- please forward or show to iop team. remember, elaine never checks her email


Song of the day: back in the ussr-the beatles


welcome to the world, my friend, no lung infection's gonna keep you down

my thoughts are with you and mum

update 8/19: ok, so its not a lung thing, they dont know whats going on
update 8/21: still, the doctors are unsure, but the mri shows limited brain activity... six hours later you pull out the feeding and breathing tubes and take a bottle! (i knew you were a fighter)

devin jacob 8/18/06

mornings truth

We think, falsely, that being different is being
Controversial, and that controversy
Intrudes upon learning. Oh, it can, at times
When learning's misunderstood...
and how does conforming further learning, growing?
By making all the boxes seem adjusted?
By making the system flow smoothly on,
No bumps or bruises? Where's the learning
In conformity? Where's the growing in thinking
Only thoughts already thought; repeating
The same old cliches; feeling only what others,
In their conforming spirit, will allow?

-Robert Allen from "conformity"
( sorry, im on the apple and havent figured out how to make links active from this laptop)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

happy birthday

gabriel and daniel and andy and grandpa and jackie and robin and jeff h.

Song of the day: what ever you want to hear. it is after all your birthday


jack in the box
so i am bad at surprise. i am so bad at surprise that my therapist actually bought me a jack in the box so i can practice being surprised (note: this is an appropriate gift, meant to move me along in my healing, not meant to create unbreakable bonds, but i will most likely return the jack in the box one day still).in fact, sitting in her office the first time i tried the jack in the box, i actually burst into tears when he popped out (just like when i was a kid...only now the tears very quickly turn into delighted laughter).

so often in life, i can see whats coming next. i can sense the changes coming, and prepare accordingly. but every now and then, i meet someone or experience something that just throws me entirely off-kilter (and yes, i often burst into tears then laugh delightedly). i figure, my childhood was full of unpleasant surprises i had no control over (divorce and marriages and siblings and divorces and loss of siblings and moves and visitations and cancalled visitations and weight gain and on and on and , oh yeah, and ms and on and on and...) and while i know that this is the magic in life, the unpredictability, i am always a little ambivilant in the uncontrolled reality of living

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

peace is relative

it is hard to feel positive about the fragile peace in the world. first, you have hezbollah claiming they have "won", which just seems silly to me, no one is winning in this war. i understand that they have gained a stronger foot hold in muslim nations, and look quite victorious in that a stalemate was pretty much reached (which is definitly a large win for a 'terrorist' organization), but tensions are still high, israel still killed a hezbollah bigwig on tuesday, and lebanese civillians are now stuck with the rubble of their existence.

another reason i have trouble feeling positive is that as the world was distracted by this month long scrimmage, which seems very orchetrated by iran to keep eyes off of their arms program, iraq has sunk lower. generals are coming forward and warning of civil war (which i think has actually been going on awhile already, with close to 1000/month dying in iraq since february as war casuaties-, and another thousand or two per month from lawlessness in june and july-

then, ofcourse, for all we don't talk about it afghanistan still exists, and guantanimo is still chock full of people- and as jeff hess at says, they are striking through hunger to have their rights met, and we, the united states of america, have taken away this basic civil right to make a stand with their lives by force feeding (as we did to our brave woman suffragettes almost a century ago)- another place where we force life on someone who feels there is a different purpose to their existance.

Song of the day: not by might, not by power- debbie friedman

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

morning's truth

"as i wander through this valley
in the shadow of my doubting
i will not be discounted
so let it ring....
and the strife will make me stronger
as my maker leads me onward
i'll be marching in that number
so let it ring"

Song of the day: let it ring- amy ray

Monday, August 14, 2006

dance, monkey, dance


i had a link to this short film, and then it died, but i have found another way to get there... oh yeah, and tonya, just cause i know you really love it, i am doing this post with you in mind

Song of the day:
everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey- the beatles

Sunday, August 13, 2006

mom, this ones for you

thought you would appreciate the sentiment, mum....

-thanks the way all, this is my 200th post, and views to my profile have almost doubled over the past month (of course, im still under 500, but i think percentage growth counts for more then total)

Song of the day:hippie's lament- wally pleasant

creating change: diversity

my friend kirsti and i met for coffee the other day, to discuss gestalt practitioners and the perception that they are unable to give a straight forward answer (i just think they didnt know what the question was) as well as other things, and she asked me if i had talked to cheryl, a woman we had met in a workshop through the drug and alcohol board.

well, i had to admit that i had not contacted cheryl- who had asked me to be in touch if i started a diversity group, that i had not really been thinking about this movement i want to start to address voting inequalities in cleveland, or to approach diversity in a different way that could bring everyone together instead of being divided into age groups, economic status or whatever (i have a friend who said that there is already a young professionals group to address stuff like that when i approached her, but i dont want to meet only people like me, i want it to be more grass roots, with people who are older, or live in the grit of cleveland or work at the grocery store as well), and i had to admit that i find it painful to be intentional (hmmm), that i am having trouble thinking about, planning what i want to do.

i am glad she asked though, because i began to think in different ways by having somebody else's imput and i said so to her. she advised i get a group of people together to brain storm (which we agreed happens too little, that there is usually a pressure to be right or to please others and so people are less likely to put ideas on the floor). so i think that is where i will start. i will put it out to coworkers and friends, and start gathering the energy around me, start creating change.

so i put this out to you too, cleveland. if you want to help create change, let me know, cause i'm getting ready to stir things up.

Song of the day: respect- aretha franklin

Friday, August 11, 2006

MS and heat

i am so greatful for the cooling down we have experienced for the past couple days. i have had to waste my entire afternoon sitting in my apartment or feeling trapped in a coffee shop for fear of melting way too many times this summer, and i realize that each summer brings me a more difficult time.

i think alot of people are unsure on why people with MS often become crabby or reclusive in the summer, so i thought i would take just a minute to walk my readers through the heat process.

MS involves a stripping of the insulation around our nerves (the process is actually called demylenation). so here i am with holes and tears in my insulation and when the weather is cool enough, its not really something i ever think about.

have you ever had a stereo where the speakers are attached to the receiver by wires that are hooked into the back of the receiver? well i did, and as time went on, the plastic around the actual wires started to peel off to the point that i could no longer cut extra naked wire of the bottom to help with the sound. now, the stereo did not become useless, but the sound did become unreliable, especially in warmer weather-

electricity does not conduct as well in warmer temperatures because the molecules become more agitated, moving faster and faster. when ever anything speeds up too much, things go awry, right. i mean, try picking up and putting down your moprning cup of coffee at a set speed over and over. now go faster and faster and you will notice the coffee starting to spill, leaving the cup, landing anywhere it is not supposed to be (meaning in your mouth). in our brains, this agitation causes the electricity to move across the synapses from neuron to neuron, allowing us to be generated forward in what we are doing. in MS, with the heat causing quicker jumping, there will often be misfiring where there is myelin damage(i wonder if it should actually be called mislanding), hence people with ms often have a hard time in the heat with all this cross-firing and landing.

ive learned that by keeping the back of neck cool, i do alot better, so if you ever see me in a sweater after ive complained the room was too warm and asking for the air to be on higher, know that its only cool enough for my naked brain connections when its too cold for m y arms...

Song of the day:

Thursday, August 10, 2006

alternative news sources and stories

i often have more respect for cleveland's alternative press then main stream.

this morning i found out that reuter's news service (the european version of AP) doctored photos from lebanon to make israeli airstrikes appear more damaging then they were. add that to the realization that many of the accounts are being retrieved from hezbollah fighters, and i end up pissed (though plenty of people are wiling to believe it)

this week, however, free times decided to take a look at what the new domestic violence laws are doing to unmarried woman who are abused, and it becomes screamingly obvious that we pay no attention to what is wrong here at home right now.

make sure to pick up a copy of the free times(it is afterall, free)and read "unintended consequences hurt just as much" by greg holzheimer. whether you end up agreeing with his bend or not, it certainly is something that is being ignored by the main stream press in these times of war and other types of unintended consequences

Song of the day:

morning truth

"cause when i look around
i think 'this, this is good enough' and i ,
i try to laugh at what ever life brings
and you know that when i look down
i just miss all the good stuff
and when i look up i just trip over things"
-ani difranco
Song of the day: as is- ani

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

from the hot zone

so i stopped into kevin sites hot zone this morning, and finally was given an account of what is hapopeniong in israel that i can see as true. its important to pay attention to the fact that had civilians not left the city (as the government advised and helped them to do) to aviod the rockets, many would have been hurt, especially the children. its also important to remember one of hezbollahs tactics is to hide amongst civilians, which really increases the chances of casualty.

Three Strikes
At 5 p.m. the air raid sirens go off again and Engine No. 11 rolls out on a call. This time the impact of a rockets is more than just a pinprick. It has landed in a courtyard at Danciger High School, smashing a small retaining wall and creating a six-inch impact crater in the concrete.
But that's not all. The rocket fragments have bounced up, poked the walls of the school's gymnasium and left some broken windows. Red-hot metal has ignited the kitchen section of the building where snacks were prepared. Black smoke is billowing out of the upper windows.
The door to the kitchen is padlocked and one of the firefighters rips into it with an electric saw
"Water, water," yells another firefighter, running a hose line from the engine to the burning gymnasium.
Within minutes they are spraying the interior of the kitchen, where the walls are already charred.
Because it's summer break and because of the fighting with Hezbollah, the school building was empty. But, if the attack had been at a different time in the day, the outcome come have been much worse.
With the fighting in northern Israel, the school has been turned into a kind of community center for the city, where food supplies and psychological counseling are handed out to local residents. Principal Amir Goldstein says people are in and out of the campus on a daily basis.
He says in the last two weeks the school has been hit three times, including the latest attack.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

today in history

jeff hess( sent me this little excerpt from the writers almanac as he knew i would be interested and that i would never see the writers almanac. i admit i cried when i read this, and i hope that anyone who reads this takes a moment and reflects on the state of the world today, about half a century later....oh, and notice how unhappy the senator between but behind the president and reverend looks! is it just gravity, respect, or racism and displeasement with the day's momentous change?

It was on this day in 1965 that Lyndon Johnson (books by this author) signed the Voting Rights Act that ended the long era of voter discrimination in many Southern states. Johnson had been delaying legislation on voting rights, because he thought it was too soon for it to succeed. But after a group of civil rights marchers were attacked in Selma, Alabama, he gave a speech on TV, in which he said, "I speak tonight for the dignity of man and the destiny of democracy. The command of the Constitution is plain. There is no moral issue. It is wrong to deny any of your fellow Americans the right to vote ... it is all of us who must overcome the crippling legacy of bigotry and injustice. And we shall overcome."

That was the first time the president of the United States had ever used the phrase, "We shall overcome." Martin
Luther King Jr. was watching the address on TV that night, and he later said that when he heard Lyndon Johnson say the words, "We shall overcome," he burst into tears. The president signed the legislation a few months later, on this day in 1965.

It was on this day in 1945 that the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, Japan. It was the first time that a nuclear weapon was ever used in combat, and only the second time that a nuclear weapon had ever been exploded. The attack led to the end of World War II.

...what will today bring?

Song of the day: doesnt it figure i have that song from the coke commercials in my head ?
"id like to teach the world to sing, in perfect harmony..." (or maybe that didnt start as a coke commercial, but thats the place i remember hearing it)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

another CVS on Shaker Square?

according to the sun press (on aug.3) CVS will be starting construction on a new cvs set to open in early 2007...there is already a cvs on van aken and shaker.

i really hope that local community organizations (such as shad or the fairhill group) put up a fight, but theres gonna be a drive through, and almost noone seems able to fight the urge to stay in their cars...

Song of the day: big yellow taxi- joni mitchell


the idea of intention is still pretty recent in my conciousness. i had always had such a narrow definition of the word, then i read this little tidbit, and realized intention needs to be applied everywhere, and with awareness...

A Syllabus for Journalism as a Healing Art

"The key is intention. Returning to the agriculture metaphor, the key for journalists is to learn how to cultivate a positive intention behind their communication, from which seeds of intention will grow language that does not injure, aggravate or destroy, but rather that sustains, helps and heals.

Journalism’s professional ethical code of “objectivity” contradicts itself, because it asks journalists to create positive moral outcomes while acting in a morally neutral manner.

Yet only positive moral intentions, followed by positive and skilled moral actions, can create positive moral outcomes…"

Song of the day: the queen and the soldier- suzanne vega

sunset in brahtenal

(i didnt take this, but its Erie, and pretty close to what i saw last night)

i had never been over in brahtenal before last evening. maybe its because i have never payed that much attention to architechture, or maybe i have never thought it was all that fun to stare at the rich people, i dont know, but a friend invited me over to his place last night, and brahtenal happens to be where he lives, and we watched the sunset over lake erie from his back yard.

ours is an interesting and newer relationship, he had been in that groups class that so changed my way of thinking about the world, and its woncerful to still have someone from there to connect with... and now i have an open invitation to give a ring and go watch the sun set whenever my heart is in need! (i wonder about sunrise?)

lake erie can be beautiful, reflecting the reds and golds of the dying orb (is that pollution?...dont think about it), the watcher will have to gasp for breath a time or two in the last twenty minutes as the horizon turns pink and finally a deep sighing purple. there are few times that i felt as much love for cleveland as i did last night, and thats been driving the shoreway to lakewood at the sunset, and i think that may be the only other way you can get the view i had last night.

thank you brad...if i am invited to the solstace this fall, i will take you with (just dont touch the furry things, and you'll be great...but you knew that already)

Song of the day: i'll follow the sun- the beatles

Friday, August 04, 2006

bill mahr and israel

i do really like this guy!

The World IS Mel Gibson

"As I watch so much of the world ask Israel for restraint in a way no other country would (Can you imagine what Bush would do if a terrorist organization took over Canada and was lobbing missiles into Montana, Maine and Illinois?) - and, by the way, does anyone ever ask Hezbollah for restraint. you know, like, please stop firing your rockets aimed PURPOSEFULLY at civilians? - it strikes me that the world IS Mel Gibson. Most of the time, the anti-semitism is under control, but that demon lives inside and when the moon is full, or there's been enough alcohol consumed,
or Israel is forced to kill people in its own defense, then it comes out."

truly, i am unsure on how i feel about the israeli/lebanese crisis. i know that everytime i become convinced that this type of military response is inappropriate, someone does something like the guy in seattle, or says something, like Iran's president saying the problem is easily resolved by dissolving israel, and then my fear and my history overwhelm me.

one thing i do know for sure though, is that i too use the idea of fighters coming into canada and what our response would be. i mean, look what we did to the entire country of afghanistan (which is not going all that well, by the way, but we dont really talk about that)for having the training camps (and yes, i know i have simplified, but it helps things to stay clear to focus on one aspect at a time).

song of the day: caravan- van morrison

voting equality?

from the plain dealer, friday, july 28th:

Voting Wrongs by Norman Robbins

"...research by the Greater Cleveland Voters Coalition shows that inaction, discriminatory legislation and selective enforcement of laws may comprimise tens of thousands of votes, especially those of low-income and minority citizens, and of 2004, organizations that employed community people to register voters in low-income neighborhoods had excellent results. However, new Ohio legislation imposes internet hurdles, extra forms and misdemeanor and even felony charges for even minor infractions by paid registration workers..."

the article goes on to list a number of ways in which low-income and minority voters are disenfranchised, such as inability to get to the poles due to systemic issues (unable to get off work, or find child care) and how public assistance agencies are technically responsible for helping their clients register, but often dont.

does anyone else have issue with the fact that the people who most need the vote (since they control nothing) are least likely to be in a position to vote?

jeff hess and i got in a debate about it, his point being that people can just mail it in (absentee voting) and i say that even that can be problematic if you havent been registered, or if the return envelope is not pre-stamped (and jess says that if you dont have the forty cents for a stamp, you are mismanaging your money)

what is the point of being a democracy if you are going to still keep portions of your community powerless...i think we have officially become a classist society, and i am tired of it!....i think i need to go back to the voting rights act and see if it mentions economically disadvantge as a minority status

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

this morning's truth

"when i fall in love,
i take my time.
there's no need to hurry when i'm making up my mind.
you can turn off the Sun,
but i'm still gonna shine and i'll tell you why!
because the remedy is the experience"
-jason mraz
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