Sunday, November 23, 2008

I Do Love My Plants

Don't ask me how I came across this article (or might have to admit that I googled "i love plants" in a state of semiconsciousness this evening). It's a gardener blogging about his beef with the movie "The Happening". I'm not really into these types of movies so I don't care that he gave the plot away. What I do care about is the part about plants sending distress signals to other plants who then in response change their chemical make up to defend themselves (see Mean and Green).

Anyone else as surprised about this as I am?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I Heart NY

Every night for the past few weeks I've had a dream that I was living in NY again. The dreams are strange in that I'm just going about my life; there's nothing dream like about them. In one dream I was walking to work, in another I was hanging out with a friend at a restaurant, in another I was talking to a coworker from my last job in NYC. Now that I think about it I've had at least 3 dreams where I've been hanging out with old coworkers (that includes you Lorna :) I'm not sure what's going on in my subconscious.

I've also been doing a lot of thinking about ways to make a few extra dollars without going back to a corporate job. I haven't come up with anything viable yet, but it did remind me how close I was to majoring in design instead of philosophy as an undergraduate student. I wonder if I would have any freelancable skills, like graphic design, if I'd gone this route. Probably not, but it has stirred up the desire in me to create something from nothing. I know, I'm kind of working on that right now with the whole pregnancy thing, but it feels very passive at the moment. I'll I'm doing to take vitamins and trying to eat healthy stay active while feeling like shit. The baby is doing all the work.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Obama and the Palin Effect

My friend Sheedeh sent me this article Deepak Chopra. This is a really interesting angle of looking at the presidential election. I took the article from here.

Obama and the Palin Effect

Sometimes politics has the uncanny effect of mirroring the national psyche even when nobody intended to do that. This is perfectly illustrated by the rousing effect that Gov. Sarah Palin had on the Republican convention in Minneapolis this week. On the surface, she outdoes former Vice President Dan Quayle as an unlikely choice, given her negligent parochial expertise in the complex affairs of governing. Her state of Alaska has less than 700,000 residents, which reduces the job of governor to the scale of running one-tenth of New York City. By comparison, Rudy Giuliani is a towering international figure. Palin’s pluck has been admired, and her forthrightness, but her real appeal goes deeper.

She is the reverse of Barack Obama, in essence his shadow, deriding his idealism and turning negativity into a cause for pride. In psychological terms the shadow is that part of the psyche that hides out of sight, countering our aspirations, virtue, and vision with qualities we are ashamed to face: anger, fear, revenge, violence, selfishness, and suspicion of “the other.” For millions of Americans, Obama triggers those feelings, but they don’t want to express them. He is calling for us to reach for our higher selves, and frankly, that stirs up hidden reactions of an unsavory kind. (Just to be perfectly clear, I am not making a verbal play out of the fact that Sen. Obama is black. The shadow is a metaphor widely in use before his arrival on the scene.) I recognize that psychological analysis of politics is usually not welcome by the public, but I believe such a perspective can be helpful here to understand Palin’s message. In her acceptance speech Gov. Palin sent a rousing call to those who want to celebrate their resistance to change and a higher vision

Look at what she stands for:

  • Small town values — a nostaligic return to simpler times disguises a denial of America’s global role, a return to petty, small-minded parochialism.
  • Ignorance of world affairs — a repudiation of the need to repair America’s image abroad.
  • Family values — a code for walling out anybody who makes a claim for social justice. Such strangers, being outside the family, don’t need to be needed.
  • Rigid stands on guns and abortion — a scornful repudiation that these issues can be negotiated with those who disagree.
  • Patriotism — the usual fallback in a failed war.
  • ”Reform” — an italicized term, since in addition to cleaning out corruption and excessive spending, one also throws out anyone who doesn’t fit your ideology.

Palin reinforces the overall message of the reactionary right, which has been in play since 1980, that social justice is liberal-radical, that minorities and immigrants, being different from “us” pure American types, can be ignored, that progressivism takes too much effort and globalism is a foreign threat. The radical right marches under the banners of “I’m all right, Jack,” and “Why change? Everything’s OK as it is.” The irony, of course, is that Gov. Palin is a woman and a reactionary at the same time. She can add mom to apple pie on her resume, while blithely reversing forty years of feminist progress. The irony is superficial; there are millions of women who stand on the side of conservatism, however obviously they are voting against their own good. The Republicans have won multiple national elections by raising shadow issues based on fear, rejection, hostility to change, and narrow-mindedness

Obama’s call for higher ideals in politics can’t be seen in a vacuum. The shadow is real; it was bound to respond. Not just conservatives possess a shadow — we all do. So what comes next is a contest between the two forces of progress and inertia. Will the shadow win again, or has its furtive appeal become exhausted? No one can predict. The best thing about Gov. Palin is that she brought this conflict to light, which makes the upcoming debate honest. It would be a shame to elect another Reagan, whose smiling persona was a stalking horse for the reactionary forces that have brought us to the demoralized state we are in. We deserve to see what we are getting, without disguise.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Good news

I'm pregnant :) From my calculations I'm about 7 weeks along. According to BabyCenter the embryo is about the size of a blueberry.

I know that Zoe is going to be a great big sister.

I'm feeling exhausted. But I've got Miro (the cat) back on my belly again just like last time.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Atti's Sweater

Skip, Zoe and I just got back from Austin where I was able to see my cousin Jen's new baby Atticus (not pictured in case you were wondering) for the first time and give him this sweater that I've been working on for the past 6 months. This sweater took 4 times longer than I had anticipated, but I love the results!

I took the pattern from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation (called Baby's First Tattoo). I choose the star motif because the sweater needed to be gender neutral, and I thought it looked really cool.

This is my first attempt at intarsia. It took me a few nights just to get the first row of intarsia without a huge whole in between the colors. I finally figured out that the directions I was using we meant for "normal" knitters, you know that ones that knit the right-handed English fashion. My grandmother taught me to knit continental when I was a kid and I've never been able to switch over.

The yarn is sock yarn to be extra snuggly next to soft skin, the brown is 100% cotton and I used red wool to give the garment some shape since I've had difficultly with that when working with cotton. It's meant to be a summer sweater, one that's worn indoors when it's hot outside and the A/C is blasting.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The Corporation

I really had no idea. I just finished watch a movie called The Corporation.

I knew that corporations were "people" in the eyes of the laws and had all the rights therein. I had no idea that lawyers were able to establish this from the 14th amendment, which was added to the constitution to protect freed slaves.

I have some idea about the new lawsuits involving intellectual property, but I had no idea that the US patent office now allows patents on LIFE - i.e. LIVING organisms - with the only exception being a "fully born human". That means that a corporation can own a gene, an animal, a plant or microorganism.

A Texas corporation called Ricetex received a patent for basmati rice, one of the largest mainstays of India's economy.

I knew that governments gave privately held corporations contracts for public services, but I never heard that companies were trying to privatize water. I like to think that I follow the news, but I didn't realize what happened when the World Bank instructed Bolivia give the water of one of it's larger cities to have a California company, making it illegal to collect rainwater and charging up to 25% of a families income for WATER!*

I do keep up to date on all the very bad things that are happening to the planet, and to us, due to consumerism, but the movie's presentation was a stark reminder of all the work that needs to be done to get off this runaway train.

This movie makes a very strong case that if companies are people then they would be diagnosed as psychopaths by the DSM.

This is really my beef with the health care industry: health care companies are just that companies. They only reason for their existence is to make money. But the result of their bottom lines is that people don't receive needed medial care and people die or their quality of life is diminished.

I'm in shock. I feel nauseous.

I took 7 months off from working after my daughter was born, and spent my days focused completely on the most important thing in my life, my family. I didn't realize how much those months changed the way I looked at things until I went to my first day of orientation at my new job at one of the largest online travel sites.

All the new hires were required to sit through 2 days of PP presentations detailing the history of the company, the company's interests and how I can help gain market share and make more money for the company.

A new hire asked the presenter a question about all the outsourcing that had taken place in recent years, apparently she was concerned about her job security. The presenter, with a straight face, said that we have to understand the company was loosing money and that we have to understand that they need to do what's in their best interest and that we should be sympathetic. Seriously. We should have sympathy. For the large profitable company. Right. Thanks for clearing that up.

Did I mention that marketing is my profession? Shoot me.

The job didn't work out for other reasons (evil boss from hell), and I'm a stay at home mom again. At some point in the near future I will need to go back to work. I don't want to go back into marketing, but I'm not sure what to do instead. I'd like to make money on my own, but every idea I come up with feeds into the same corporate system. Trust me, I don't want to be rich, I just don't want to worry about paying for basic things - place to live, utilities, food, education, etc - and to be able to go on vacation every year. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

* The people of Bolivia were able to prevent it the Bechtel company from owning the water. You guys rock! I just wish that their water problems were over. They still don't have an effective system in place. Here's the Wiki about the protest.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I picked up the Unbearable Lightness of Being again. I'm about 150 pages into it now.

I've heard that this is one of those thought changing, paradigm shifting books that transforms the way you see the world like Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, but I don't get that at all.

I'm having difficultly caring about the characters. Tomas is an ass, and I have no sympathy for his struggle between his love for his wife and his continuing desire to have sex with lots of women. Tereza has a bit more depth, but I don't have any emotional attachment to her either. I like Sabina the best. She's strange and reminds me of some friends I knew in high school, but something is lacking.

In places I do like Kundera's writing style. I like the Dictionary of Misunderstood Words, which explains how two people have different meanings for the same words and phrases, and how this leads to miscommunication and the inability to connect. I also like that he explains some of the character's actions by saying that they have vertigo - the desire to fall or to make life fall apart, the desire to take actions that will make your life less stable and/or more painful.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Another Healthcare Post

The SkipNikZ clan has been sick. Zoe got sick last Monday. I started feeling bad a couple of days later and then Skip got sick.

Skip and Zoe are almost back to normal, except for a cough and feeling a bit tired. I, on the other hand, still feel like crap. I also have a sore throat so I went to the doctor this morning.

The strep test was negative, as was the mono test and the blood test for infection. They didn't find anything, which makes the doctor think that I have a virus. He told me to get lots of rest, drink lots of fluids and gave me a rx for an antibiotic. I didn't understand why he had given me the perscription because he had just told me that the blood work didn't show that I had an infection. When I asked him about it, he said "oh, you don't need it." This is the second time in a month that a doctor has prescribed antibiotics when there has been no evidence of infection.

These doctors are not stupid and I don't think they have some hidden agenda (after all these are generic drugs). When I question them, they all agree that the antibiotics are not necessary. They look at me like they agree with me but that's the way the system works, kind of like the response I gave people who questioned the anti-productive things I did at my job because my boss had his head up his ass.

My theory is that modern medicine doesn't know as much as people would like and when people go to the doctor they want to be fixed. If the doctor just tells them to rest and drink lots of water then the doctor didn't "help" them.

Or maybe people want to feel that they are getting something for their money. I paid $208 for my visit today. That's the discounted price because I have health insurance, even though they most likely wont pay a penny to a health care provider on my behalf this year due to my high deductible. If I didn't have insurance I would have owed them over $400.

On a side note, the nurse who saw me first thought that my birth date was a misprint because I looked to young to be 30 :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Ever since I read the introduction and the first couple of chapters of Positive Discipline, it's all I can think about. In just these few pages there is so much information that explains human behavior... I feel like I can't take it all in at once. I've read the first chapter twice already.

Up until this point my main concerns with Zoe have been basic - eating, sleeping, pooping, growth, milestones, etc., but lately I've been thinking about what skills I want to teach her to live. I want her to be confident, self-reliant, excited about life, adventurous, thoughtful, respectful of herself and all living beings, to be able to follow a logical argument, and to have wisdom. So how on earth am I going to be able to teach her these things? That's what I'm trying to figure out right now and that's why I picked up the Positive Discipline book.

One thing that really caught my attention was the description of how children behave if they are raised by strict and overly controlling parents on one side, and overly permissive parents on the other side, and then presents the case for Positive Discipline, which is somewhere in the middle. The information presented is fascinating. It's too complex to spell out in a post and I'm not sure that I fully understand it yet. Check out the book if you're interested.

It got me thinking about my own childhood. My father falls into the overly controlling group, and my mother falls into the overly permissive group, so I got both of those in my early years. Then my parents got divorced and my mother remarried when I was 9. My step father was overly controlling and abusive. I've had a few step moms over the years, but they didn't really play a parental role in my life. Then I went back and forth between mom and dad until I went to college. I can honestly say that I can see the shortcomings of both parenting styles. I have a lot of issues that I'm still working on to put it nicely.

I feel like I'm starting from scratch with learning how to be a parent. I know what I don't want to do, but I'm not completely sure how pass along the teachings I mentioned before. I think this book is going to be my jumping off point. I have the feeling that in raising Zoe (and any other kids we might have) that I'm going to be learning as much from the experience as they are.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Did I happen to mention that....

My knitted sculpture Rain Cloud was chosen for the Outside the Lines 8 show! Yippie!

This exhibition was juried by 3 local art professors and one gallery owner. The Outside the Lines focuses on artwork that is outside the mainstream.

The opening reception is this Saturday night for all you local folks. Love to see you there.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Hospital Visits

I've made 2 hospital visits in the past 24 hours. Zoe came down with a high fever early Friday morning. Saturday afternoon she developed a rash and we took her to an urgent care center. The doctor told us that it was probably viral and to keep an eye on her rash to see if the spots changed color or didn't disappear when pressure is applied (which is a sign of meningitis). Sure enough right around bedtime last night she developed new spots on her feet that were a dark red and didn't dissapear when pressure was applied. The nurse on call told us to take her to the ER.

Poor Zoe. We woke her up and rushed her to the ER where they proceeded to give her an IV, take a urine sample via catheter, x-ray her chest, and poke and prod her. I wish I could have done more for her. She fought the nurses with everything she had. They had to bring in an extra person to hold her down. One of the nurses commented on her strength saying that we don't need to worry about her on the playground.

All of her tests come back fine. The ER dr said that he thought the rash looked viral, not bacterial, but give us an rx for antibiotics. I questioned him about why he was prescribing antibiotics if he thought it was viral. I asked if he thought she had a virus and a bacterial infection. He gave me a blank stare and said "just in case". It was after 1am and I was too tired to argue with him. I couldn't tell if he was trying to placate us or to cover his ass. I think it's time to switch to a more holistic pediatrician.

This afternoon my father informs me that my grandmother is in the hospital because she was having difficultly breathing. In fact she has been in the hospital since Thursday but he thought she would be out by now and didn't want to worry me by telling me about it. This is my 84 year old grandmother with one lung! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. I went to see her this evening. Overall she seems to be doing well. They have the breathing problem under control. They are keeping her because they are now concerned about her heart. She's having a stress test in the morning.

I'm making a rule that no one else I care about is allowed to have any serious medial issues for the next 6 months. Everyone out there take note.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Day 2 - Final Day

I woke up this morning at 7 with terrible stomach cramps. They got worse and worse. The only thing that helped was being in a hot bath. It lasted for about 2 hours. Then I was nauseous for another 2 hours.

This is thanks to the laxative tea I drank the night before. It's called Smooth Move and it's said to be more gentle then pure Senna tea. Because I had cramps on the first day I made last night's tea weaker. The cramps this morning was twice as bad as the morning before. The laxative tea is an integral part of the Master Cleanse, but it doesn't seem to agree with my body.

After sitting in the bath for over an hour I decided that this isn't going to work. I'm going to do some more research and find another detox program that doesn't involve laxatives.

It's too bad because the hunger problem I had yesterday had gone away. In fact I didn't want to eat anything. For lunch I made the vegetable soup that I have been thinking about all day yesterday. I almost vomited when I cut up the onion. It must have been the smell. I put a bunch of veggies in water and let them simmer. The soup was good.

Even though I only did the cleanse for 40 hours or so I feel like I have a lot more energy. It might have something to do with not eating dairy, so I'm going to avoid dairy products for the next couple of weeks.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Day 1

I woke up this morning around 8. Since Skip and Zoe were out I thought I would stay in bed for awhile. That didn't work out so well. The Senna tea I drank the night before was causing my stomach to cramp. After going to the bathroom I felt much better.

Then I moved on to the business of drinking 32 oz of salt water. I was surprised that the taste wasn't all that objectionable. However, by the time I drank 16 oz I couldn't stomach anymore. I was feeling very nauseous. In the book, he calls this step the rinse cycle. It didn't work. I must need to drink more next time.

This morning I kept thinking what am I going to eat for breakfast and had to constantly remind myself that I'm going to eat anything. Same thing happened around lunch time. Then about 2pm hunger set in. It was bad. My stomach growled in protest. I wanted bread, pasta, crackers especially. Then it moved on to almost any food out there. I imaged someone handing me a head of cabbage. I could devour it raw right now and it would be the best meal I've had in months. I'm fantasizing about the vegetable soup I'm going to make to break the cleanse. It's going to be soooooo yummy. I'm going to have faith the food cravings will decrease in the next couple of days. If not, I don't think I can make it the full 2 weeks.

The lemonaid drink was also surprising good. I would drink it even if I wasn't cleansing. Today I drank 8 10-oz servings (about 2.5 lbs of lemons) and my lemon juicer broke...ha.

It's almost midnight. I feel completely exhausted. I'm going to drink my tea and go to bed.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Master Cleanse - The Night Before

I officially start the Master Cleanse tomorrow. I'm very excited about starting the cleanse. After being pregnant and breastfeeding, I feel like I need to give my body a chance to recuperate. And I'm sure eating as much dairy as I do with a milk allergy doesn't help my general state of health. I've gained some inches over the winter and many of my new skinny clothes are tight. I'm hoping that they will fit again once I'm done cleansing.

We went to Veggie Garden for dinner tonight. That will be my last solid meal for at least the next 10 days. I'm a bit worried to see what it's going to look like on it's way out tomorrow morning.

My first cup of laxative tea is steeping. This is the first step. Should be ready to drink in about 5 minutes. I've never taken a laxative of any kind before. Tomorrow morning I drink 32 oz of salt water to "flush out" everything. This should be interesting.

I'm planning to do the cleanse for 14 or 15 days. I'll do my best to post everyday, but beware, from what I've read it's not going to be pretty, at least at first.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Monday, May 19, 2008

Important Things Gone Missing

The past couple of weeks it seems like things keep disappearing.

It started one sunny Saturday afternoon when we had the patio door open to enjoy the weather. We thought that our cat Miro had jumped over the patio while we weren't looking. She has a tomcat that visits her often and we think she would like to hook up with him. After searching outside for almost 4 hours, I decided to trade my flip flops for tennis shoes. I opened the sock drawer and there was Miro taking a nap. It seems that one of two things happened: either Miro climbed into the sock drawer and Zoe closed it or Zoe put Miro in the sock draw and closed it.

Another night I was going through the mail and making piles. Skip makes fun of me about always making piles. One pile for bills, one for trash and another for shredding. As I was placing the trash pile and the shredded pieces in the garbage can I thought to myself "I hope I'm not throwing away something important." It turns out that I was. My wedding ring had slipped off my finger. When I realized that my ring was missing it only took me about 30 minutes of searching the apartment before I looked in the trash.

Then while we were on vacation in Colorado last week my cell phone disappeared. Turns out it was stolen. It was either taken in our hotel room or at a restaurant in Boulder.

So we're going through security at the airport and I take Zoe out of the stroller and carry her through the metal detector and I notice that her diaper had a major leak. After we get to the other side I take a closer look at she's not wearing a diaper. While we were stopped for gas on the way to the airport, I changed Zoe's diaper... or at least I thought I did. I'm hoping that Zoe took off her diaper before I had a chance to put her pants back on and I just didn't notice. I really hope that I didn't forgot that very important step of replacing the dirty nappy with a new one. I've had insomnia for the past couple of nights, but come on, this is crazy. I've never forgotten to put her diaper on before.

During the past two weeks my cat, wedding ring, cell phone and Zoe's diaper have all gone missing. If this were TV that would mean something about my life.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

No Happy Ending

This is a quote from the an article on BBC entitled Washington diary: Miracle needed
America loves a happy ending, but I am not sure whether Hillary is prepared to give the Democrats one

It's brilliant! And that is just one of the many reasons why I love BBC. I'm sure my fellow Howard Stern fans know what I mean.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Moment in My Mommy Life

Today, Zoe and I were at Babies R Us with our friends Giana and Keelin. Zoe was already tired from playing at the park and not having enough to eat for breakfast, and had a mini meltdown in the store because I wouldn't let her ride in the stroller they had on display.

She got a second wind when we got home and didn't want to nap. Fine. I found a tricycle for her on Craig's List that I needed to pick up at someone's house that was about 30 minutes from here. I figured she would fall asleep in the car. She was wide awake when we got there and the woman selling the tricycle wasn't home. We waited on their patio for about 10 mins, all the while Zoe was getting more and more tired. She also had a poop.

The woman finally gets home and we get Zoe's new tricycle - hurray! However, Zoe freaks out when she sees that I'm putting the tricycle in the trunk and not letting her play with it right away. I'm trying to get out of there as fast as I can, but before we can leave I have to change her poopy diaper. So I'm in the backseat changing her diaper when she takes her finger and pokes me right in the eye - and POP - out comes my contact lens.

I can't drive without my contacts, so there I am with poopy diaper everywhere trying to get my contact lens back in my eye with my pinky finger (the only clean one), and Zoe begins giggling hysterically and trying to poke my eye again. I turn my head to avoid Zoe's poking finger and this is even funnier to her, she thinks I'm playing a new game, and she starts head butting me.

After a bit of a struggle I get the contact back in my eye and finish changing the diaper. While this was all going on a car had pulled up behind me and a man had gotten out and went to the front door. It was the guy who mows the lawn. I look up and the lawn guy and the lady who sold me the tricycle are on the patio looking out at me. I can't image what they thought was going on.

One more anecdote from today. We had fixed veggie burgers for lunch and Zoe thought we were saying veggie boogers. She would put her finger in her nose every time we said burger. When we gave it to her she refused to eat. Go figure.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It is soooo nice outside

The last couple of days have been so nice. It's been cool in the evening, sometimes getting cold at night, and mild and sunny during the day. I feel like Texas is having a "real" spring. I love this :)

In my mind I think of a Texas spring as that one day in April or May when you could drive with the windows down. I don't remember having ever experience a true spring growing up, but my memory is kind of spotty.

I've been in a great mood, too. I started thinking about how the weather effects so much of our day to day lives. When it's nice I spend more time outdoors; when we were living in the NE it took 10+ minutes to get bundled up every time we went outside during wintertime, and we avoided walking near the river because the winds would go right through 4 layers and chill you to the bone; when it's 105 degrees in Texas for the 30th day straight, you can't get me to leave the house before nightfall for anything; when great storms came through the area last week lots of people couldn't get around because so many large trees had fallen in the roads blocking their paths. Of course there's also the biggies that take life like hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, earthquakes and all the rest.

It's a powerful and amazing part of our everyday lives, and it's still part of nature that we have no control over. I think the reason so many people talk about the weather, check the weather sites everyday, and complain when the meteorologists get it completely wrong (again!) is to feel like we are participating in this unbiased phenomena that has such an affect on our lives.

Friday, April 11, 2008

On Hold

I'm disappointed that I won't be able to start my cleanse until late May. The timing was just not with me on this one. I want to do this right and go the full 15 or so days.

Originally, I was going to start the cleanse when I got back from NYC. Well, Zoe came down with a high fever the night we returned which lasted 5 awful days. And on top of that I was sick with some kind of bug. I just today feel like I've fully recovered.

I was going to start it this weekend until I realized that Passover is a little over a week a way. I think my Bubbie would have a heart attack if I didn't eat anything at Passover dinner. Then the next week Skip, Zoe and I are going to WV to visit Skip's grandmother. Then we're off to Rocky Mountain National Park for some hiking in mid-May.

The new plan is to start the Cleanse on May 24.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Boat Dreams

For the past week or so every dream I've dreamed has involved a boat. At first the boat were large ships - sometimes a cruise ship or a large fishing boat - usually on the ocean or large lake. The boat was the setting for the stories. I must have had at least 8 or 9 dreams like this.

Yesterday the theme continued but in a slightly different way. In the part of my dream that I remember I was on a small one person kayak type boat in the ocean. For part of the journey I had to kick the water with my legs to move. I got back into my kayak and looked back at the water I just swam over. The lighting was different and I was able to see deep into the water. I saw that I had swam over a HUGE whale without having known it. The whale was the biggest thing I'd ever seen, probably a few hundred feet long. It was motionless just below the surface and looking right at me. I knew that the whale wouldn't hurt me, but I still felt a combination of fear and exhilaration.

The jury is still out on the meaning of all of these boat dreams, but it probably has something to do with a representation of my unconscious or blah, blah, blah.

Lately I've examining my life and my ways of thinking. I've discovered some thought patterns that I want to change, as well as some lifestyle changes that I need to make. Nothing huge, just small changes. Probably something to do with the dreams.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Cutie Booty Baby Booties

I love these baby booties. I got the pattern from the SockPixie. Many thanks!

I used some leftover sock yarn for these. They're for my friend Catherine.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

It's a Miricle - I Have Health Insurance!

I was waiting to post this because I thought it was too good to be true. It seems that Golden Rule has some administrative issues over there. I received a denial letter last month and I thought that was that.

Then a couple of weeks ago I received an acceptance letter. Strange. I was skeptical, but I received the paperwork and insurance card last week! The same day that I got the card in the mail I received another letter from Golden Rule saying that they were still processing my application and sorry for the delay. I'm thinking that their autogenerated mailings are screwed up or they have entered my application more than once. Don't really care because I have health insurance!

They did place a rider on my policy which says that they won't cover any expenses related to treatment of depression or insomnia. They also provided a manual that spells out in great detail other things that aren't covered. I thought I'd share a few. Some are funny and some are just wrong.
They don't cover:
  • a hospital room stay for the first Friday or Saturday of an inpatient stay which begins on one of those days. Translation - if you are admitted to the hospital during the weekend they won't cover the first day. Very strange.
  • charges or prep for tissue or organ transplants. Not cool.
  • a type of chemotherapy called ABMT/BMT. And if that's the chemotherapy that you need, you're out of luck.
  • expenses "due to pregnancy." I just like they way they phrased it.
  • preventive care including routine physicals.
  • emergency medical expenses that take place outside of the US.
  • injury caused by an act of declared or undeclared war. Survivors of 9/11 you're out of luck with Golden Rule.
  • an injury that happens while I'm taking part in a riot. I love this one.
  • an injury that happens while I'm committing a felony (whether or not charged). I'll keep this in mind the next time I'm considering robbing a bank.
  • an injury that takes place at work.
  • tonsils, adenoids, middle ear disorders, etc., etc. are not covered for the first six months of the policy. I'll make sure to tell my body not to have any of these problems until the fall.
  • anything related to HIV or AIDS if you are diagnosed in the first 12 months of the policy. Very uncool.
There are 15 pages of more things they don't cover.

As a side note, here's an interesting article about a healthcare lottery in Oregon. Something has got to give. This industry needs to be completely overhauled.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me

Yeah, it's my birthday! I'm officially in my 30s now. When I first starting thinking about this b-day I was sad. I like being in my 20s. They were good years for me. I cleaned up my life -
  • I quit smoking
  • I became a vegetarian
  • I discovered and nourished my love for philosophy
  • I married my love
  • I graduated from college
  • I went to counseling and got treatment for my PTSD and depression
  • I took my bastard ex-step-father to court and a jury convicted his sorry ass
  • I worked as a professional and made a decent living for the first time
  • I lived in NYC
  • My beautiful daughter Zoe joined our family
I'm very proud of what I've accomplished in the past 10 years, and I've come up with a blueprint for the next 10. My 30s are going to be about me being myself. I'm going to continue to live in a way that is true to my heart and speak my mind even if I know that I might offend someone.

I'm going to stop taking Celexa and work on the underlying issues that are bring my depression to the surface instead of covering them up with meds. To kick it off, I'm going to do a liquid cleanse for 3 weeks. I'm waiting until we get back from NYC because I have to gorge myself at my favorite restaurants while I'm there. It is my birthday after all.

Cleansing the body, cleansing the mind... can't wait.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Blue Who

In honor of the Smurfs being released on DVD I've changed my hair color from red to blue. Well that's not entirely true. I can't wait for for Netflix to send me the Smurfs, but the blue hair is for my birthday.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Don't Drink the Water

AP reported that 24 major metropolitan cities in the US have traces of pharmaceuticals in the public drinking water. The article in USA Today says that US water utilities rarely release test results because they don't want to scare the public.

What I want to know is WHY there are pharmaceuticals in the drinking water. Do pharmaceuticals pass thur our bodies and then not brake down? Are pharmaceutical components being dumped and then contaminating the water supplies? And the paranoid one - are pharmaceuticals added on purpose? Here's a quote from the story

Peter Rogers, Harvard University professor of environmental engineering, said improvements in detection techniques could help fuel fears among the general public.

"We're chasing this down to molecular-sized measurements, so the more you look, the more you find," said Rogers. "I think the government and utilities are quite right to be very skittish about telling people their results. People will claim it is causing all sorts of problems. If I were a water utility, I would stop those measurements right away because if you measure something, it will get out, and people will overreact. I can just imagine a whole slew of lawsuits."

We'll if there are going to be a lot of lawsuits, then by all means, please don't tell us what we're drinking.

Monday, March 03, 2008


I realized that I haven't posted anything about my sweetie pie Zoe in awhile. She woke up from her nap yesterday and she looked older. Something in her eyes had changed. She was more aware. It feels like each day she is figures out another piece of the world.

Now when we are driving she will dance in her car seat along with me. I'm teaching her all of my favorite groups. She's going to be the only kindergartner that can name David Bowie, Nirvana and Pink Floyd songs by their opening cords :)

I know that I'm her mom, but I have to say that she is the perfect child. Even her tantrums are cute (well...maybe with the exception of when she throws all of her food off the high chair... but that's cute too if you don't have to clean it up).

This picture was taken in January and it already looks outdated.

An interesting side note - it was in the 80s last Monday. We're expected to get an inch of snow tonight. Love ya Texas.

The 3 Year Baby Blanket

I started knitting this blanket in October 2004. While we were in Florence, Skip told me that he was ready to have a baby. We had been talking about it for some time before then and the idea completely freaked him out. I don’t know what changed his mind, but there was a huge shift in his thinking. I was very happy to say the least. I worked on the blanket in between projects until I got pregnant in November 2005 and was so exhausted that I stopped knitting all together.

When I first starting knitting this blanket I was concerned about how the colors repeated and blended together. I would look at each row getting frustrating when one color would pool together to make a blob. When I picked this up again I had to make myself stop looking at the colors so that I could actually finish a row.

I made this blanket in the “window pane” pattern. It’s difficult to see in the picture because of the color variation of the yarn. The pattern was written by someone at the Woolie Ewe, the best yarn shop in Texas. I took my first knitting class there back in 97. The mother and daughter owners of the store, Sue and Jill, are patient and wise, and all around great people.

I’m started on the next project – a pair of baby booties for my friend Catherine. I found this really cute pattern on the SockPixie blog. I’m using some left over sock yarn for 5 years ago ((patting myself on the back for using up some of my stash on a gift)).

Sunday, February 24, 2008


I'm feeling inspired to knit! I'm going to finish Zoe's baby blanket in the next couple of weeks. I'm also going to knit some cute baby stuff for my friend Catherine whose expecting in May and my cousin Jen whose expecting in August. They both have decided to not know the sex of the baby until they're born so I've got some really cool ideas for unisex stuff.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

You have got to love a novel that begins like this -
The idea of eternal return is a mysterious one, and Nietzsche has often perplexed other philosophers with it: to think that everything recurs as we once experienced it, and that the recurrence itself recurs ad infinitum!

I’ve been feeling down the past few weeks. Nothing concrete, just a general sense. It’s the sense of lightness that Kundera talks about in the first chapter – a kind of “what’s the point” lightness.

For me Nihilism has two sides; it can free you from the rules you've created in your mind or it can send you into despair. Even though I’m not usually a proponent of this philosophy I have a tendency to slip into its logic games when I’m feeling down. It flows easily when you feel that there are major forces in your life that you have no control over. So I’m going to put this book back on the shelf until I can get this thought monster under control.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Declined Again

Golden Rule you've forced me to add you to the SUCK list. Today I received a letter from you telling me that I still don't have health insurance. The reason for denial - they were unable to obtain my complete medical records. (They wanted my complete transcripts from my psychiatrist - Healthcare Insurance Update)


Tuesday, February 05, 2008


After I posted these photos I saw that tornadoes hit 5 southern states. This must have been the same storm system.

There is one good thing that I can say about Texas - you get some amazing sunsets down here. Last night a rain storm came in right as the sun was setting. I didn't alter any of these photos so that you can see the brilliance of the cloud colors. There was more pink in the cloud that didn't come out in the images, otherwise this is what the sky looked like.

Eastern sky
If you look closely you can see a rainbow. It's under the clouds between the roof of the apartments and the tree.

Eastern sky

Northern sky
Southern sky...

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Programming Language Inventor or Serial Killer

Can you tell the difference? Take the quiz here. I got 9 out of 10. I got lots of practice with all my mom's boyfriends.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Skip Noah Art Blog

Skip now has an art blog. Very cool. Check it out.

No Sleep Till Brooklyn

It's late and I can't sleep again. I've had insomnia every night for the past week. I'm so exhausted that I can barely think.

BUT, there is some good news. Have I mentioned before that I have the best husband ever? He is treating me to a week in NYC for my 30th birthday.

I was planning to have my birthday dinner at my favorite restaurant Zen Palate in Union Square, but I just did a search and found out that the Union Square location is closed. Arg. I love that place. We'll probably go to Gobo's instead.

I can't wait to see all my east coast friends :)

I did not know that....

My wonderful (and well-connected) cousin Jen introduced me to her friend who works with health insurance companies. I learned all kinds of things that I didn't know before.

She let me know that there are a few things against me right now. First, I get my meds from a psychiatrist. Why is that a bad thing? In the state of Texas health insurance companies are required by law to cover related health expenses (up to half a million if my memory serves me) if the person has a major psychiatric problem. Depression doesn't fall into this category, but bi-polar does. A psychiatrist can change your diagnosis at anytime. Although a MD or OBGYN can give you an RX, they can't change your diagnosis.

The second strike against me is that I've had depression for many years. For some reason that's bad.

She also said that GoldenRule is a good choice for me because they will usually include a mental health rider, which basically says that they won't ever cover any mental health related costs. Whatever. That's fine. I use want health insurance. Hopefully, I'll hear back from them soon.

However, if I get declined again I have the option of becoming part of the Texas Health Insurance Risk Pool, insurance for those who can't get insurance. There are only two catches - they don't cover your pre-existing condition for 12 months and the premium is through the roof. If I were to go this route, my monthly premium would be $430 with a $2500 deductible (and did I mention that that doesn't include prescription coverage). Thanks Texas. I appreciate the help.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Cells Have Internal Clocks

A study found that being a night owl or morning person is genetic. It seems that all the cells in our bodies have their own "clock". I wonder if this relates to insomnia.

Healthcare Insurance Update

I went to see my psychiatrist Dr R on Thursday and found out why I haven't heard back from GoldenRule. He wanted to talk to me before getting back to them. GoldenRule requested my COMPLETE files - my background information (where I was born, major events in my childhood, details about my family), details of dreams, and every other little detail that I've ever mentioned in a session. WTF?!?!?! This information is protected by patient-doctor confidentiality. Who the hell to they think they are that they can gather this information about to me. I'm not even applying for a plan that has a mental health benefit. Dr R isn't going to disclose my files. He's writing them a letter with my diagnosis and plan of treatment.

I don't think I'm going to be able to get private health care insurance. This sucks. I'm going to try one more company before I give up and get a job at Starbucks. Too bad I don't drink coffee.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Two of My New Favorite Books

This week I finished reading two great books.

The Brothers Karamazov did not disappoint my expectations of philosophical questioning and Russian novel drama. Although the main action surround the murder of the father, Fyodor Karamazov, (in case you were planning on reading this, I'm not giving anything away here. I think it might even mention the murder on the back cover), Dostoevsky goes into amazing depth into the characters thoughts and internal workings.

Even though the subject matter is dark, the book isn't a downer, and there was only one chapter that disturbed me - the one were Ivan and Alyosha sit down at a bar to get to know each other better. When talking about faith, Ivan poetically and graphically sites examples of suffering of children and asks why God would allow these types of things to happen. It's a great read. I want to go back and reread it now, because I'm sure I've missed many things.

The Knitter's Book of Yarn
OMG! I LOVE this book! After reading it I want to knit all day long and open a knitting/yarn store. Before if someone had asked me to explain exactly what yarn is I wouldn't have had a clue. It's wonderful to understand how the material and structure of the yarn affect the finished project. I now understand that I shouldn't have picked 100% cotton for my lace shawl (I will be unraveling that this weekend), and why the sweater I made for Skip 2 winters ago hangs unflattering (shouldn't have used such a heavy yarn with an intricate pattern).

I'm going through my whole stash and rethinking what to knit next. Knitty has some great patterns on their site in their Winter collection. I'm might also try to translate a Vasarely painting into knit. There is a Vasarely painting that has hung in the entryway of my Dad's house since I was very young. I can't find an image of it on Google. Strange, right? I might try that one... or maybe this one.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I'll take the high road and the low road

It's difficult for me to believe that I have been back in Dallas for a year this February. After moving to the northeast, I thought that I would never live here again. Dallas repulses me. Until today, I couldn't tell you exactly why.

I was alone in my car, which doesn't happen very often these days, and Nirvana's Aneurysm came on the radio. I haven't heard this song in a really long time, so I blasted it and screamed the lyrics as loud as I could. Then something became clear.

To me Dallas represents the part of me that is base; another way to say it would be that Dallas is where I take the low road. It reminds me of pain, and the shit that I went through growing up from external sources and my own self loathing as a depressed teenager. When I'm here I'm spiritually tapped into that fear, anxiety, and feeling of being trapped. My actions and relations with people in this city mirror those feelings. Many of my "friends" were self-destructive and would have been happy to bring everyone down with them.

When I was growing up, I felt like I had to hide what I was really about because I knew that there was judgment around every corner. I lived my pleasure from the bottom, the base, the dark side, whatever you want to call it. And somehow it's intimately intertwined with music. When ever I hear Smells like Teen Spirit (or any song from Bleach or Nevermind), Pink Floyd, or anything from NIN's Pretty Hate Machine, I can physically feel a change taking place. It get goosebumps.

The 4 years that I lived in the NYC area where among the best years of my life. I was happy. I give birth to my beautiful daughter. I felt that everything in the world was a possibility (it terms of intellectual pursuits). I might strike up a conversation with a stranger in the park and find out that they are a writer, artist, diplomat, or anything really... the list goes on endlessly. Some of the most interesting stories that I heard where told to me by people driving cabs. I felt that I could freely speak my views on any topic. To me NYC is the high road. I made friends with amazing people (I miss you guys!!), read great books, and had amazing conversations. And for the first 3 years I hardly ever listened to music. That changed when I got my iPod, but even then I didn't listen to the songs I mentioned.

Right now I feel that some kind of synergy is taking place where the high road and the low road are coming together. I think it will change me forever, but I'm not sure how.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Devil Take Him

While I was reading The Brothers Karamazov I came across this really interesting passage.

The middle brother Ivan is taken with brain fever, and experiences an extremely vivid hallucination in which the devil appears in his room and attempts to convince Ivan that he exists and is not a manifestation of himself. Here the devil explains that he doesn't destroy himself because people want him to live.
No, they say, live, because without you there would be nothing. If everything on earth were sensible, nothing would happen. Without you there would be no events, and there must be events. And so I serve grudgingly, for the sake of events, and I do the unreasonable on orders. People take this whole comedy for something serious, despite all their undeniable intelligence.

He continues about how pleasure is more sweet because of suffering. But the passage that follows is the one that caught my attention.
I suffer, and I still do not live. I am an x in an indeterminate equation. I am some sort of ghost of life who has lost all ends and beginnings, and I've finally even forgotten what to call myself.

Earlier in the story Ivan denounces the existence of God, because, like many of us, he doesn't understand how there can be evil in the world if an omnibenevolent God exists. This passage conveys a familiar feeling that I don't have a word for. I also felt this when I was struggling with the problem of evil. I was an atheist for many years. Now I've come to believe in God, but not evil. It's a long journey that I might go on to explain here in the future. What interests me most is that many people can believe in the presence of both God and evil. I can only believe in one or the other. It seems that Ivan is the same way.

Martian Cutie - 9!

I have had this song stuck in my head for the past two weeks. Every time I lay down to go to sleep this is what I hear -

1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
She's my real martian beauty.
She's my number nine cutie.
She has nine hairs on her head.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9...
Tied up in ribbons of red.

She has nine little eyes,
All the same size
Looking up, down, round, and straight ahead.
She has nine little holes in her turned up nose,
And she snores when she goes to bed.

She has nine arms that's one of her charms,
Each just like the other;
Some people say she looks like her dad;
Some say she looks like her mother.

She has 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 little toes on her foot.
She doesn't go shoppin'
Cause she doesn't like hoppin',
So usually she just stays put.

... 9

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Insomnia Strikes Again

This bout of insomnia has been around for a couple of weeks, but this time I'm armed with my new friend Ambien. I didn't like the stuff until my new doctor prescribed a smaller dosage and I don't get those feelings of "oh shit, was I sleepwalking/talking/typing". I took a pill about 10 minutes ago. We'll see how long I can type before my brain starts drifting off.

I'm not sure what's bothering me. For the most part things are going well. I'm enjoying staying home with Zoe. We have started making new friends. I'm reading again. I'm feeling like I'm getting back to my old self. Of course, there is always family drama, but relatively minor stuff right now. So I'm not sure what's going on.

I'm going to wrap this up before it gets strange. Good night. Hope you have a good night's sleep.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Health Insurnace Update

After being declined for health insurance through Unicare, I applied for insurance through Goldenrule (aka United Healthcare). Again, I received a call saying that they needed additional information. I was expecting the same crazy questions that I received from Unicare, but to my pleasant surprise, all of their questions were healthcare related: was I expecting to go to the doctor in the next 6 months, have I ever had insurance with their company before, etc. I should hear back from them in 7-10 days. Anyone want to place bets?