Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Tuesday, November 04, 2008


Ready for a change oh yes indeedy do!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

3 in one day...


You think health care is bad now...

wait until this

What McCain ads say

and what Obama really said

Random Rants

I realize posting links are a cheap way of updating my blog, but these articles say more than I can about what I'm thinking about these days. Apparently I missed the memo, our economy is doing FINE according to McCain. Well shit I feel so much better now.

And by the way, if any of you missed Tina Fey's impression of Palin, you're missing out, because she was brilliant.

And also, in case some of you women out there take birth control for disabling cramps as I did for many years, under the health care system that John McCain and Palin would endorse, your insurance company would not be required to cover those pills. However, if your husband or partner needs/wants Viagra or Rogaine, they would be able to get these covered. This is only one of the major reasons I get crazy when I hear women say they are going to vote for Palin because she's a woman. I mean how scary to hear, "Well golly, I'll vote for Sarah Palin because she's just like me, she's from a small town, I'm from a small town, she has tits, I have tits, what's not to like? I think I'll vote for her."

And if some of you think that McCain will be the big grand different "change" that we need in Washington, you should check out this...
McCain for Change?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Check your facts people

For both parties, a place where you can check your facts and stop spouting intelligence-offending bullshit.




Monday, September 08, 2008

Fear 101

So my disclaimer before posting what I'm about to post is this: For the next two months the extent to which I have been a raging liberal up to this point is going to multiply times one thousand until this election. Those who take issue with this can feel free to contact me directly with any concerns or disagreements this might spark.

I received this email forward in my email today(who it came from does not matter):

This is a matter of opinion and opinions are like (well you
know) everybody has one.My personal opinion? I agree. If
after reading this Email you disagree, Please, no need to
reply back to me. Your opinion is yours and that's fine,
just delete it.

So my question is, it is fine to forward political "opinions" of one's own as long as those opinions don't have to be challenged, defended with facts or called into question?


A lot of Americans have become so insulated from reality
that they imagine that America can suffer defeat without any
inconvenience to themselves.Pause a moment, reflect
back.These events are actual events from history. They
really happened!!! Do you remember?1. 1968 Bobby Kennedy was
shot and killed by a Muslim male extremist.2. In 1972 at the
Munich Olympics, athletes were kidnapped and massacred by
Muslim male extremists.3. In 1979, the US embassy in Iran
was taken over by Muslim male extremists.4. During the
1980's a number of Americans were kidnapped in Lebanon
by Muslim male extremists.5. In 1983, the US Marine barracks
in Beirut was blown up by Muslim male extremists.6. In 1985
the cruise ship Achille Lauro was hijacked and a 70 year old
American passenger was murdered and thrown overboard in
his wheelchair by Muslim male extremists.7. In 1985 TWA
flight 847 was hijacked at Athens and a US Navy diver trying
to rescue passengers was murdered by Muslim male extremists.
(remember the pilot of this flight was from Richmond, MO)
8. In 1988 , Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by Muslim male
extremists.9. In 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed the
first time by Muslim male extremists.10. In 1998, the US
embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by Muslim male
extremists.11. On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked; two
were used as missiles to take down the World Trade Centers
and of the remaining two, one crashed into the US Pentagon
and the other was diverted and crashed by the passengers.
Thousands of people were killed by Muslim male
extremists.12. In 2002 the United States fought a war in
Afghanistan against Muslim male extremists.13. In 2002
reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and murdered by-- you
guessed it-- Muslim male extremists.No, I really don't
see a pattern here to justify profiling, do you? So, to
ensure we Americans never offend anyone, particularly
fanatics intent on killing us, airport security screeners
will no longer be allowed to profile certain people...
Absolutely No Profiling.They must conduct random searches of
80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper
identification, secret agents who are members of the
President's security detail, 85-year old Congressmen
with metal hips, and Medal of Hon or winner and former
Governor Joe Foss but leave Muslim Males alone lest they be
guilty of profiling.According to The Book of Revelations:The
Anti-Christ will be a man, in his 40's, of MUSLIM
descent, who will deceive the nations with persuasive
language, and have a MASSIVE Christlike appeal.. ..the
prophecy says that people will flock to him and he will
promise false hope and world peace, and when he is in power,
he will destroy everything.And Now: For the award winning
Act of Stupidity Of all times the People of America want to
elect, to the most Powerful position on the face of the
Planet -- The Presidency of the United states of America ..
A Male of Muslim descent who is the most extremely liberal
Senator in Congress (in other words an extremist) and in his
40's.Have the American People completely lost their
Minds, or just their Power of Reason ???I'm sorry but I
refuse to take a chance on the 'unknown' candidate
Obama...Let's send this to as many people as we can so
that the Gloria Aldreds and other stupid attorneys along
with Federal Justices that want to thwart common sense, feel
ashamed of themselves -- if they have any such sense.As the
writer of the award winning story 'Forest Gump' so
aptly put it,'Stupid Is As Stupid Does'Each
opportunity that you have to send it to a friend or media it! Or again. . . just delete if you



In all honesty, it's really hard for me to believe that anyone in the United States could even remotely read this email and consider it to be in keeping with email's own advocating of retaining "common sense" let alone having any intelligence WHATSOEVER. Have we honestly thrown away any focus or importance on where each candidate stands on any actual issue? Have we honestly taken to spreading the irrational fear of some fundamentalist's idea of what the bible says or purportedly foretells? Are we that unsure of our own positions on the issues that the only outlet is to attack a person's national origin or religion?

Honestly, this email forward scares me more than any political candidate ever could. The stupidity by which some Americans can go throughout their lives not really researching, studying, listening to, or engaging in intelligence discourse about political issues is profound.

Whatever your political bent may be, I personally respect intelligence and communication above all. Stupidity and bigotry that create the kind of fear spread by this email is no better than the "perils" against which the email rages.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The human genome and epigenetics

So as many of you may or may not know, they've mapped our entire human genome. What that means is that they have long lists of letters that are put together in certain ways that map out exactly what protein-coding genes, RNA, etc. go where, and do what in the human body. Our genome is within percentage points of being the exact the same as rats, monkeys, and a few other mammals. For a long time people have thought that our health, our psychological tendencies, our addictions, and our physical appearance to be the sole product of our genes. Recently research has been illuminating the other side of that argument. I recently watched a NOVA special called Ghost in Your Genes.

Take for example, identical twin girls, according to our understanding of the human genome they have the exact same set of genes and DNA. Those twins reach the age of 60, and one twin develops cancer while the other one does not. Take another set of teen adolescent identical twin boys. At the age of 3 one boy starts to drift into his own world and has a harder time interacting with human beings, or anything live. He starts to obsessively spit on the computer monitor and wipe it clean, over and over and over again. He was eventually diagnosed with severe autism. The other twin boy excels at school, is an athlete, and talks of the colleges to which he will apply.

If genes are the only things at play here, how do identical twins, with exactly the same genes and DNA, divert so greatly in the physiological or psychological symptoms they present?

This is where epigenetics comes into the story. Taken directly from Wikipedia:

Molecular basis of epigenetics

The molecular basis of epigenetics is complex. It involves modifications of the activation of certain genes, but not the basic structure of DNA. Additionally, the chromatin proteins associated with DNA may be activated or silenced. What this means is that every cell in your body has the same instruction manual, but different cell types are using different chapters. Your neurons, for example, contain the DNA instructions on how to make your fingernails- but in neurons, those genes are turned off. Epigenetic changes are preserved when cells divide. Most epigenetic changes only occur within the course of one individual organism's lifetime, but some epigenetic changes are inherited from one generation to the next.[9] Specific epigenetic processes include paramutation, bookmarking, imprinting, gene silencing, X chromosome inactivation, position effect, reprogramming, transvection, maternal effects, the progress of carcinogenesis, many effects of teratogens, regulation of histone modifications and heterochromatin, and technical limitations affecting parthenogenesis and cloning.

Epigenetic research uses a wide range of molecular biologic techniques to further our understanding of epigenetic phenomena, including chromatin immunoprecipitation (together with its large-scale variants ChIP-on-chip and ChIP-seq), fluorescent in situ hybridization, methylation-sensitive restriction enzymes, DNA adenine methyltransferase identification (DamID) and bisulfite sequencing. Furthermore, the use of bioinformatic methods is playing an increasing role (computational epigenetics).

These epigentic chemicals can tell which parts of a strand of DNA to be expressed, and which to be turned off. These epigenetic switches can be mediated, and modified by diet, environment, stress levels, and even the stress levels and amount of food your grandparents had to eat. I recommend the "Tale of Two Mice" interactive on the URL I listed above.

Nuture is getting more press, it's getting more research, and for this little bodyworker, the line between mind and matter is thinning at an outstanding rate.


Monday, August 11, 2008

Reunions, family, and driving...oh my

The boy and I finally got back into Seattle after our week long sojourn to Idaho, Utah, my 20th high school reunion, and more family than you can shake a stick at.

It was a very nice drive and much shorter than I remember it being. We stopped in Idaho to stay the night and see my father, my step-mother, my nephew, half-sister, niece I had not met yet, and my unborn niece that is due to make her appearance any day now. If you feel you need a flow-chart to keep track of all the family, join the club. It was good to see them all, and I hope to be able to get down there more frequently, and hopefully they can make it up north on occasion.

We then headed to Utah. Highlights with the family included a delightful afternoon of pedicures and dish with my sister The Rookie, a big free for all dinner with the bulk of my siblings (half, step, real, fake, and everything in between), with my sister A being one of the very missed absentees at this fete. I did a few cranial sacral sessions with the family, which proved to be a very good learning experience. Ly and I connected with some folks we went to school with in Cedar City, Utah that we hadn't seen in about 15 years. Had a lovely dinner with my sister of Chaos in her cute little house, over which I am still harboring envy. We managed to log some good pool time, some good chat and catch up time with family, friends and my precocious nieces and nephews. It was good to see my brother who I don't get to talk to as much as I would like.

The 20th reunion was a mixed bag. At least 4 of the people I was wanting to see didn't come to the reunion, but I did manage to catch up with a VERY old friend with whom I used to totter around in diapers (as infants to clarify for those who were wondering). It was good to see him and his lovely wife. I did feel a little out of place as the majority of people had an average of 4 children. I was truly one of the minority in that I didn't have any children. When telling many folks at the reunion that I was not able to have children, I got that "Oh, you poor thing how lonely your life must be" look. Folks were honestly mortified as though my life just wasn't the same as it would have been if I had bred. I took it all with a grain of salt, spoke of the amazing things with which my life is currently filled, and moved on to other subjects. I did get a little bit of the, " still doing drAHma? You were always so good at that drAHma." It seemed to me that many of the popular student body folks were still gathered together in the same configurations I remember from high school. The only difference is that they had about 20 more pounds on 'em, more lines around their eyes, and many were sporting fake tans. They chose a good soundtrack for the evening, and I don't care who knows it, 80's music ROCKS!

Ly and I drove straight through on our way back to Seattle. I had to get back to work, and I needed a day to chill before doing so. Plus, this past weekend was filled with weddings, a final party for the massage school I went to, and our 12th anniversary on Sunday.

So that's the skinny, thank you to the family for making it a very adventurous, playful, and entertaining visit.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What's it with me and burning?

So I am one who has allergies, sinus issues, and a stuffy nose a fair amount of the time. I used to be addicted to those over the counter nose sprays until my wise allergist weened me off of them recently. I have replaced them with an inhaled antihistamine, and a small tin of a really good respiratory salve containing menthol, peppermint, camphor, fir, lavender and some other essential oils that are great for breathing. In addition I have started using a netty pot twice a day and it has changed my life for the better.

Thing is, I also have a tin of a muscle rubbing salve from the same company. This salve contains a few more essential oils such as: capsicum(i.e. chile pepper), ginger (so very hot), cinnamon (spicy), and Menthol CRYSTALS (a notch above menthol oil). It also comes with a warning that it should be used for external use only.

Next to my side of the bed I have a little basket of things for Stine such as earplugs(don't sleep without them thank you little sisters A & W circa 1989), nose sprays, salves, valerian root tincture, a book, candle, lip goo, etc.

Well, last night I had rubbed some muscle salve on my poor aching neck, and put it in my little Stine basket of love right next to the respiratory goo - you see where this is going? A few times during the night if I can't breathe or my nose is stuffed up I rub a bit of the respiratory goo under/in/around my nose and it helps immensely. Well around 5:30 am this morning in a sleep haze I reach over to rub some "breathing" goo around my nose. It takes only 1 minute for my nasal passages to start burning with a fierceness I have never known. I had glurped up a big wad of muscle goo and smeared it generously under/in/around my nose. My brain started burning. I went into the bathroom, blew my nose, tried to wipe out what I could, but the burning only gets more intense as it penetrates the "muscles", or in this case the very permeable mucous membranes of my nasal passages. It probably would have stung less if I had actually shoved a chile pepper up my nose.

I really need to stop burning myself. Seriously.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Pretty Purple World

I would just like to thank

my lovely little sis Rookie,and


for the lovely new blog layout.

Some people are crafty.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Happy Birthday

To the love of my life The Hound.

Welcome officially to the downslope towards 40.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I am NOT smarter than a 5th grader...

Or so one would be led to believe if a certain 38-year old tried to put out an essential oil fire with her two middle fingers.

The result was this:

And this:

It all started when I was trying to make my apartment smell pretty for my small get together for the preview of So You Think You Can Dance. I have an oil burner that you can burn essential oils in and scent the house. One of my favorite combos is eucalyptus and peppermint(a nice breathing mix). Anyway, this particular oil burner had a place for one tea candle to burn. Trouble is, the smell doesn't permeate as well with only one candle. So first dumb shit move, I use three. I balance them, as I have before, neatly side by side. Up till this point this method has worked fine. Second dumb shit move, I put the oil burner on the bookshelf with hundreds of books filled with lots of flammable paper.

My guests arrive, the show is about ready to start, I look over at the oil burner on the bookshelf and the entire triumverate of candles was on fire. Not just
the wick in each candle, but the entire tea candle. I panic, walk over the bookshelf, and in dumb shit move number three, try to blow the fire out while my mouth was pointed towards the bookshelf. The flame sparked towards the books in milliseconds. I panic further and only having the thought of "get fire away from paper", reached across my body with my right hand to sweep the oil burner on the floor and away from the bookshelf. Heaven knows why I thought having the burning oil burner on the floor would be a better option, but there you go. As I reached across to grab the oil burner, my middle two fingers decided to marinate in the burning oil a bit. The flame was pretty.

I then feel a searing pain unlike many I've had, (and I've had a few searing pains) and rush towards the kitchen sink. Thank God Ly went into tackle mode as I swept the oil burner to the floor, because he tackled it to smother it. Apparently we totally bumped heads in the cross-over, but by that point, I didn't feel a thing.

I then soaked my hand in ice-water for 3 1/2 hours. In retrospect, I probably should have gone to the ER that night, but I honestly didn't want to pay the fee. So I went to urgent care the next day. Because the burns were completely circumferential they sent me to a hand surgeon to make sure my circulation wasn't compromised and that they didn't have to do hand surgery.

As a massage therapist, no hand surgery is definitely a better day than hand surgery. So I am back massaging today, I did 4 massages today with big bandages on my fingers, and a rubber glove on my right hand. My client's didn't seem too concerned, which I was SO very grateful for. I'm not a fan of massage with gloves on.

After one week, my hands now look like this:

and this:

I fully believe there are no accidents, and this little bout of "slow the hell down and be appreciative" was brought to me by the letter z, the universe, and the number 9.

Friday, April 11, 2008

1988, it was a very good year

Well shit in shinola, I haven't been here in a stone's age. I just looked at my profile picture, the one where I apparently am trying to transfigure as a turtle. And I thought to myself, I really AM 25, really.

See the reason I wax nostalgic about age is because this past week, I got an email about my 20th high school reunion. Now, everyone under 30, go back and read that sentence again, and realize just how long ago 20 years is. I mean it's two units of "DECADE". It's enough time to have them play songs on the radio from 20 years ago and call them "oldies".

At first I wasn't really too excited about the prospect of seeing a group of people who haven't seen me for what seems like 20 incarnations of me. I then started to recall, bit by bit, memories of the "good ol' days". Pictures found there way into my head of singing "I Hate Men!" as the lead of Kiss Me Kate my senior year. I would sing a phrase, pick up an earthen pot, and heave it towards the wings where crouching sophomores lay, trying to breathe imperceptibly. Ah back then, the power of it all.

Or there was the choir party where we were watching videos in the basement of a junior choir members house. I remember there was a bean bag, a very dark blanket, me and what I would now describe as a very Jack Black sort of dude, who was also in the choir. It's amazing we were able to be so quiet on a bean bag chair. We were very sneaky in a naive sort of way.

There was another sneaky moment involving play dough, art projects, and an ice cream spoon, but those of you that have heard this story have heard it a gaggle of times, and those that haven't don't want to.

I remember the final senior assembly. It was the last week of school, we were all packed into the auditorium, antsy, hyped, and ready to start our lives. It was 1988, and no one knew that GH Bush was the first anti-Christ yet. Tapestry, the exclusive jazz choir was slated to sing the Nylons version of Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye. Kiss Him Goodbye. By the end of the song, we had the entire audience up on their feet with their hands in the air singing with us. It was definitely one of those John Hughes 80's high school moments.

Now I know for those jocks out there, these choir and drama moments might not seem as poignant as those "score a touch-down and win state" moments, but trust me, they were just as formative. As student choir director getting to lead an entire number with the big choir in front of a full audience was brilliant. What was NOT brilliant, was as a sophomore, having my new glasses in the pocket of my nurses outfit while doing South Pacific, leaning over to flush the industrial powered toilets they had in my high school, and watching my glasses flush down the toilet with what was left of my dinner.

And then there was the time that I ran over my own foot with the car. Don't try to picture it because I'd have to be in the same room with you to fully demonstrate how that is possible. Needless to say the car ran over my foot as I was hanging on to the steering wheel. How I got into this position does not matter. The car ran me over, and promptly crashed into a van across the street. I of course, in my 17 year old naivety, thought that I could hide the fact that there was paint from another car on our car, not to mention my twice it's normal-sized swollen foot the next morning. I wake up downstairs just in time to hear my mother bellow, in that motherly bellowing you-better-pay-attention-to-me-now tone, "Christine, come UP here, NOW!". She had gotten a call from my friend's father (whose house we were at the previous night in question), as he had been visited by his neighbor, the owner of the aforementioned van across the street. Took me awhile to live down that whole debacle.

And while I did not love the gold gowns that they made the girls wear for graduation (the boys got blue), that color defined one of the best 80's moments I ever had that day. I'm sure my mother was fretting on the day I graduated from high school. And I'm sure if she knew what she knows now, she would have been fretting much much more.

So you know, my tune has changed in the past week. I'm kind of excited about going to my reunion now. In high school, I was never remotely the most popular girl around, but I had my niche. I want to go see how my niche is fairing, and hear what they have learned over the past 20 years. I want to tell people where I've been. I want to remember that young dramatic girl, who while worlds different than who I am now, helped form the through line that has woven itself throughout the last two decades of my life.