I'm Never Too Old For Dolls

When I was a girl, I played Dress Up Games all the time and whatever I was dressed as, the doll I happened to be playing with had to be dressed either similarly to me or whatever mood I happened to fancy them in. All of my dolls had their own wardrobes. (I guess I've been obsessed with clothes and shoes since then. I just realized that. :-) )

This site The Doll Place lets you make your own virtual dolls. I've seen a site similar to this before, but this one is way better. The other site took forever-and-a-day to load, but this one takes only a few seconds. All of the pages are like that. There's so many dolls to choose from.

This one looks like a pink fairy to me. I love fairies.Still though, maybe she's an angel. A winter angel by the looks of it. Angels are very cool too. (Yes. I'm still 8 years old.)

Cinderella at the ball? Maybe a Christmas ball. She has the crown on, so this must be after she met and married Prince Charming and was living "happily ever after". That's one big reason I like dolls, because I can really envision in my mind a happily ever after. I suppose it's an escape mechanism, but whatever, it makes me feel better even if I'm too old for dolls (which I'm not by the way; just fyi).

At first glance, I thought this one was a fairy too, but on closer inspection I realized that she's a sorceress. See the wand in her right hand and the globe she's suspending over her left hand? This one is my favorite. I like the light blue dress and the dark blue sash and braided hair.

The Doll Palace is also a great website for those of you who have little girls who love dolls and making dolls (Or little boys if that's what they like to do. I've known little boys who like to play with dolls. I don't see anything wrong with it). I know if I could spend hours on this site making all kinds of dolls, children would love it. Not only does it provide them with entertainment, but it gets them more acquainted with using a computer (like they're not already jeezlouise) and it gives them a sense of accomplishment in making their own individual dolls to suit their own tastes and to play fashion games dressing up the dolls with their friends.

They could even print them out (on pretty thick paper of course) and put them on their school note books, attatch cloth to the back of them and sew them to their backpacks (again using a heavy-weight paper; or they could just glue them with superglue onto their backpacks), or enlarge them on glossy paper and tack them to their bedroom walls. Endless possibilities for creativity. They get a chance to be their own dollmaker!

This post is sponsored by The Doll Palace.


Continuation of Discussion of Mood Disorders~Mood Disorders~Classification of Mood Disorders-Bipolar Disorders

Mood disorders are largely divided into two major categories in DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fourth edition): depressive disorders (often referred to as unipolar disorder) and bipolar disorder. Once a depressive or manic episode occurs, the disorder is classified into both a category and a subcategory.

Depressive Disorders
These include major depressive disorders, dysthymic disorder, and depressive disorders not otherwise specified. All of these disorder classifications include no history of a manic episode. People who experience a major depressive episode are given the diagnosis of major depression. Symptoms should have been present for at least two weeks and should represent a change from the individual's previous functioning. The symptoms of major depression include a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure, weight gain or loss, sleep difficulties, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, inability to concentrate and recurrent thoughts of death. If the episode is the person's first, it is classified as a single episode. For people who have had previous episodes, the disorder is considered a recurrent one. About one-half of those who experience a depressive episode eventually have another episode. In general, the earlier the age of onset, the more likely is a recurrance (Reuss, 1988).

If a disorder is characterized by depressed mood but does not meet the criteria for major depression, dysthymic disorder may be diagnosed. In dysthymic disorder, the depressed mood is chronic and relatively continual. Typical symptoms include pessimism or guilt, loss of interest, poor appetite or overeating, low self-esteem, chronic fatigue, social withdrawal, or concentration difficulties. Unlike major depression, dysthymia may last for years, although the symptoms are often not as severe (D. Klein et al., 1998). Each year, about 10% of individuals with dysthymia go on to have a first major depressive episode. In dysthymia, the depressive symptoms are present most of the day and for more days than not during a two-year period (or, for children and adolescents, a one-year period). One study (Myers et al., 1984) found that the prevalence of dysthymia to be higher among women than men. Overall the lifetime prevalence is about 6% (American Psychiatric Association, 2000), [DSM-IV-TR].

Bipolar Disorders
The essential feature of bipolar disorders is the occurrence of one or more manic or hypomanic episodes; the term bipolar is used because the disorders are usually accompanied by one or more depressive episodes. Symptoms of manic episodes include abnormally and elevated, expansive, or irritable moods lasting at least one week in the case of mania and four days in the case of hypomania. Grandiosity, decreased need for sleep, flight of ideas, distractibility, and impairment in occupational or social functioning are often observed in persons with the disorder.

Bipolar disorders include subcategories that describe the nature of the disorder. Bipolar 1 disorder include single manic episode, most recent episode hypomanic, most recent episode manic, most recent episode mixed, most recent episode depressed,, and most recent episode unspecified. Bipolar II disorder includes recurrent major depressive episodes with hypomania. person in whom manic but not depressive episodes have occurred are extremely rare; in such cases, a depressive episode will presumably appear at some time. Interestingly, mood disorders, especially bipolar conditions, have been associated with artistic talent (Jamison, 1996). For example, Michelangelo, Van Gogh, Tchaikovsky, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Walt Whitman experienced such disorders. It is not known why this association occurs, although it should be noted that most people with mood disorders are not especially creative. Perhaps the elevated energy, expansiveness, and uninhibited mood may contribute to productivity and novel ideas.

In contrast to the much higher lifetime prevalence rates for depressive disorders, the lifetime prevalence rates for bipolar 1 and bipolar II hover around 0.8 and 0.5%, respectively (Weissman et al., 1991). Unlike depression, there appear to be no major gender differences in the prevalence of bipolar disorders (Dubovsky & Buzan, 1999). Some people have hypomanic episodes and depressed moods that do not meet the criteria for major depressive episode. If the symptoms are present for at least two years, the individuals are diagnosed with cyclothymic disorder. (For children and adolescents, one year rather than two years is the criterion.) As in the case of dysthymia, cyclothymic disorder is a chronic and relatively continual mood disorder in which the person is never symptom free for more than two months. With lifetime prevalence between 0.4 and 1%, cyclothymia is less common than dysthymia. The risk that a person with cyclothymia will subsequently develop a bipolar disorder is 15-50% (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).

This text is taken from the book 'Understanding Abnormal Behavior',pp. 352-353, written by David Sue, Derald Wing Sue, Stanley Sue, seventh edition, copyright 2003-Houghton Mifflin Company.Used with permission.


Calvin, Gucci, Fendi and Dolce! Oh My!

I lose my sunglasses constantly, but I can't go without a pair even in the winter because my eyes, for some reason are really sensitive to light so whenever I go outside and it's even moderately bright, it causes me discomfort. It's like the light hits my eyes and pierces straight to the back of my head, which makes me squint (not a very pretty face trust me). Even sometimes when it's cloudy, it seems bright to me. I guess it's the uv rays? I don't know. So, whenever you see me, I'm either wearing my shades or have them perched on top of my head ready to slide them back down should I have to go outside. Convenient for walking around the college campus I go to.

The glasses in the picture above are real Calvin Klein glasses not copies made to look like them. Y'all they're only $26.00 bucks each. *faints* I found them on this site, CTS Wholesale Sunglasses.

Don't get me wrong. I don't have to have designer clothes and whatnot to be me, but occasionally I like to have a little something. Occasionally, I splurge, but this is not splurging! I can go into Barnes and Noble, buy a coffee and a book and spend more than that, which is something I do on a pretty regular basis (book freak/coffe freak-->me).

Here's more sunglasses that you can get from there:

These are also $26.00 bucks! I can't believe it. Don't these name brand sunglasses normally go for a couple hundred at least? I'm stunned that they're so cheap. Holy crap, man! Not only could I buy myself a few pairs, but also I could buy them for friends and family for, I don't know...Christmas, birthdays and whatnot. What a find! I'm all about some wholesale/sale prices! *goes to bookmark*

Okay y'all, I know I'm cheesy, but designer sunglasses for $26.00 bucks? I can't get over it. I'm definitely getting those D&B ones in pink!

LoudLaunch - Compensating bloggers for their unbiased opinions, reviews, and analysis. View the LoudLaunch campaign release this post was based on.


Wordless Wednesday

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Keith Richard's guitar-picture taken when I was in Dallas at the Hard Rock Cafe.


Wanna Go Goji With Me?

I just found out by looking at this site: Goji Berries.us that the Goji Berry has the most antioxidants of anything you could eat.

Here's a chart comparing the different foods high in antioxidants:

These berries are directly imported from the original region where they've been grown for centuries, the Tibetan and Mongolian Himalayas. I didn't know that they shouldn't be touched by hand, you know that's how most berries are picked, but instead the people who harvest them shake them from the trees to avoid the hand-touch which makes the berry lose some of it's nutritious qualities (Ok, let's be honest, I didn't know anything about Goji Berries until I came across this site, much less how they should be harvested. But isn't it cool?)

As a person who struggles daily with the ineffectiveness of my immune system, (I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)this could be something really beneficial for me. It would be better than taking pills. God, I take a freakin' truckload of pills everyday just to be able to get through my day. I think I've said before on this blog that my friends consider me and tease me about being "herbal queen" just because I've been studying herbs and natural medicine for 10 years. I'd honestly rather keep myself healthy with natural herbs and supplements grown from the earth than take synthetically made medicines manufactured in a lab and which inevitably have side-effects that in some cases are worse than the illness you're taking them for. That's so frustrating. I'd rather work on being healthy than just wait for my body to get sick, y'know?

In case y'all didn't know it already, (you probably do but there's no harm in reminding and some people might not know what antioxidants are):antioxidants are natural compounds that help protect the body from harmful free radicals. Free radicals are atoms, or groups of atoms that can cause damage to cells, impairing the immune system and leading to infections and various degenerative diseases like heart disease and cancer. Antioxidants therefore play a beneficial role in the prevention of disease. Free radical damage is though by scientists to be the basis of the aging process as well.

text taken from Prescription for Natural Healing/ Phyllis A. Balch, James F. Balch, © 2000 by Phyllis A. Balch

I'm know I'm going to try these Goji Berries the juice and the dried kind just to have some variety and the dried kind will give me something healthy to snack on (I'm an incurable snacker) when I get that urge, especially at night.

LoudLaunch - Compensating bloggers for their unbiased opinions, reviews, and analysis. View the LoudLaunch campaign release this post was based on.



Tuesday Afternoon Tunes

Gel told me that she now loves Over The Rhine, so here's another for you, girl.

Over The Rhine~Willoughby

Blue October~Drilled A Wire Through My Cheek

Damien Rice/Tori Amos~The Power Of Orange Knickers

GEL had the great idea of getting together on Tuesday afternoons to share some music that we love. I've given the ones I'm loving today here, but if you want to leave links to your 3 songs for Tuesday Afternoon Tunes, that would be great! Go over to GEL's blog and let her know your links too! She would love it!


Like Sands Through The Hour Glass...

Did you guys ever watchDays of our Lives? Oh my gosh! When I was in high school, I used to literally run to my car at lunch so I could make it home in time to fix myself something to eat really fast, turn on the tv and watch Days. I heard the other day on the news that it's been on the air for like 40 years? (I'm not sure if that number is right, but I know I was astonished when I heard it.)

The site I linked to here has all the info on Days of Our Lives. (I can hear that announcer's voice right now: Like sands through the hour glass...so are the days of our lives. Wow, I'm excited just thinking about it.) You can register to become a member and get updates on the show, access to message boards, spoilers, pictures and a whole mess of other stuff.

Even if you don't register to become a member, you can still go to the site and get daily updates on what's going on with each of the characters. You know there are always plots within plots going on with that show! In the News Room, there is a new article today entitled: "Former DOOL Stars: Where Are They Now?". I love those where-are-they-now things. I can't help it.

Last, but definitely not least, you can also contact the administrators of the site easily from the link I posted here or you can go to the main page and click on "Contact Us.

Really cool. Days Of Our Lives brings back so many memories for me. Wow. I can't even describe it. It's like it was intertwined with my life during high school. You know like they say "music is the soundtrack of your life"? For me, it meant that much. I know it's only a tv show, but whatever you can connect with good memories is just...good.

This post is sponsored by Soaps.com.



HBO debuted a documentary on 11/14/06, which focused on 4 women at the Renfrew Center Foundation who were undergoing inpatient treatment for eating disorders. It was powerful and I highly suggest anyone who has/had an eating disorder to see it or anyone who is dealing with someone they love who is afflicted with this dangerous disease. It's very honest; very raw and very heartfelt. It goes into the lives of these 4 women and you really get to know them and care about them. At least I did. I still have to deal with Anorexia/Bulimia on a daily basis, so it was a connection for me.

Please see it.You can click on the link I provided to the HBO site and it will take you straight to the page of the documentary where there is a free preview video to watch and if you so choose, there is a place at the bottom of the page where you can buy the DVD. I don't have any money or else I would. I definitely would.

I'm really hoping that HBO will re-air this program soon, so that more people can get the opportunity to see it. It's very powerful. I highly recommend it.

Again, the comments since I transferred this from my other blog, Humanis Vegetalis.


ariadneK, Ph.D. said...

THAT was a damn good show, I'm glad to see you posted a review and recommendation for it!

11/21/2006 12:01 PM

Anias Nin said...

Thanks. :)

11/30/2006 11:15 AM


To Re-Decorate Or Not? That Is The Question.

Some of my friends say that I've missed my calling. That I should have been an interior designer. I lose my mind in furniture stores and design stores. For instance, I absolutely drool over things like this:

A leather sleigh bedroom set? Are you kidding me? Heaven. I've always wanted a huge sleigh bed. This particular set is available at Great Priced Furniture as part of the Stanely Furniture Collection. Love it!

This is part of the
American Drew Collection at Great Priced Furniture.

Don't you love it? Dying. I'm dying to get my hands on that.

They also have children's, home office, kitchen, living/dining room and if-your-on-a-budget-furniture (Who isn't? Right?).

This children's bed is just to die for.

For the little princess, this bed is part of the The Jessica McClintock Heirloom Collection.
I'm 36 and I would love to sleep in an adult-sized bed like that.

On this site, you can shop by the categories I listed above or you can shop by manufacturer name or the name of the furniture collection.


Financing is wonderful, especially when you see that certain something that just screams at you, "Take me home!"

This is a great site y'all. Seriously.

As an answer to the question I put in the title: Redecorate? Heck yea!

This post is sponsored by Great Priced Furniture.



Wake Up Play

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Women's Health: A View of Eating and Weight Problems

Author Unknown

Women with eating and weight difficulties are obsessed with weight, scales, and mirrors. But the oppressive treatment of women over the course of history has undeniably contributed to the modern fad of self-destructive dieting. It is predominantly a woman’s problem - statistics dictate as much. Meanwhile, inasmuch as society has created the problem, society bears the responsibility for eradicating it. Otherwise it risks losing some of its best and brightest young women to a tenacious, maddening, and sometimes fatal treadmill.

The old adage holds true...
History repeats itself. The 20th century may boast remarkable strides toward equitable treatment for women; nevertheless, eating disorders thrive, the most recent in a long line of "women’s illnesses". Some researchers view eating disorders as akin to the fasting of medieval women saints, most notably Catherine of Siena. More closely related, though, are chlorosis, neurasthenia, and hysteria, illnesses afflicting women from the Victorian period onward. Though the names change over time, the symptoms of these "women’s diseases" remain notably constant: depression, anxiety, headaches, amenorrhea, and disordered eating. Victorian patients were also described by their physicians as "slender,” "trying to be slender,” and "noncurvaceous". Since chlorosis, etc. were categorized as mere nervous disorders, it is difficult to know for certain that they are in fact the predecessors to modern eating disorders. Then, as now, gender roles were in flux, and success was generally modeled by the father, domesticity by the mother.

Popular Victorian thinking held that women were "slaves of their bodily appetites,” an attitude long asserted by the Church. Moreover, food and sex were inextricably linked in the feminine psyche: "appetite was regarded as a barometer of sexuality". Aesthetes like Saint Catherine modeled the stringent standards held for women in the 19th century, when the ideal was "a physique that symbolized rejection of all carnal appetites". The same is true today - people, especially women, are judged based on their appearance, and obesity is equated with a lack of self-control. So today and yesterday it has been incumbent upon women to control their appetite in order to encode their body with the correct social messages. And what is that message? Women are expected to be the custodians and embodiments of virtue. Appetite, be it hunger or lust, is socially unacceptable in a woman - "their body as repository of appetite fills them with shame". Girth is an undeniable testament that one’s appetite, for food at least, has been gratified.

The Curse of Eve Myth
Appropriately enough, a magazine survey found that a majority of women were ashamed of their stomachs, hips and thighs - parts of the body that contribute to female shapes. Roberta Seid wrote, "Our female ideal violates the natural anthropomorphic reality of the average female body... is more like the body of a male than a female. The goal is to suppress female secondary sexual characteristics". This goal is in keeping with our culture’s "curse of Eve" myth.

If the female body causes men to sin, then it must be modified accordingly. Many eating disordered women exhibit extremely ambivalent feelings toward sexuality, which could easily be a result of the blame for sexual lasciviousness assigned them. Hornbacher supports this, writing that the seeming prudishness of anorectics is "less related to [their] own fear of sex -I personally was not afraid of sex, merely ashamed that it so fascinated me - than to a fear that other people will see them, and judge them, as sexual.” Again, women are given clear messages from girlhood that their sexual appetites should be a source of shame. Denial of one’s secondary sexual traits translates to a denial of one’s sexual nature.

In light of this extreme sexual pessimism it is perhaps ironic that men, who have controlled the means of representing women in art throughout history, have so focused on the female form: the flesh, the body. The fashion industry has always been dictated by men, which has often meant beauty norms that immobilize women such as corsets, foot binding, and modern thinness. Several have also noted the 20th century’s extreme interest in the nude female form, in fashion as well as in the media. Roberta Seid points out that, fashionably garbed, a woman "virtually became wholly exposed." Hence clothing is no longer enough; a woman must manipulate her very being to be fashionable nowadays. The representation of women in the media has become increasingly pornographic. Such pornographic images are usually of curvaceous, voluptuous women. But beneath the seeming implication that sexuality is becoming more socially acceptable is an uncomfortable double bind: "the "fat" pornographic images present a female body without a mind, without subjectivity. The fashion models in women’s magazines are meant to represent women with minds to acknowledge and appeal to female objectivity, but they have no bodies". Women who have noticeably female bodies become objects in cultural consciousness. They are reduced to sex and sex alone, and are not allowed any sense of physio-spiritual integrity. If a woman wants to be taken seriously, she cannot be a sexual being and so, cannot be "fat".

This sense of objectification goes beyond what women see and informs their very realities. Inundated with pornographic images, women are aware of an audience whose members believe it is their birthright to look at women’s bodies. It is clearly no coincidence that between one- and two-thirds of all women with eating disorders have been sexually abused. Both of these conditions relate to an inability to see one’s body as one’s own -- sexual abuse as cause, eating disorder effect. Furthermore, the androgynization of one’s body via extreme restrictive dieting may be a method of warding off more unwanted sexual attention. That androgyny has become the ideal presents an unavoidable challenge to women in this culture, where feminine beauty remains a form of currency. Fatness in women is associated with downward social mobility. Meanwhile, marriage is still a viable way for women to achieve upward mobility, and the more beautiful a woman is (by society’s standards), the more likely it is that she will marry well. Marriage remains so valuable to women economically because "men earn more than women in nearly every job." Appropriately, the exceptions to this rule are the professions in which women’s bodies are most literally currency: modeling and prostitution. Physical beauty affects a woman’s potential for success in all venues: women’s self-image, their social and economic success, and even their survival can still be determined largely by their beauty and by the men it allows them to attract. By so limiting a woman’s potential for financial independence, society makes it very clear that beauty equals success. And thinness equals beauty. And androgyny equals thinness.

Eating Disorders Not Just for the White Rich
That eating disorders are a rich, white, heterosexual disease is a myth. It emphasizes the interplay of thinness with a sense of assimilation and belonging for minority women. According to one homosexual woman, being successful heterosexually depended upon being thin. One immigrant from Panama to the USA recalls, "she [my mother] was preparing me to become American... that meant slender. And that meant diet". These experiences and reactions support the "thinness as currency" theory.

The prominence of eating disorders amongst women seems incongruous with the liberation they are supposed to have experienced in this century. Aren’t modern women fortunate, to have grown up with role models like Betty Friedan and her contemporaries? Are we squandering the gifts they fought so hard to bestow on us? There was a similar trend toward women’s rights in the Victorian era. Authorities at that time misattributed contemporaneous and possibly related illnesses to "the stress placed upon the nervous systems of pubescent women attempting to "overeducated" themselves." It is obvious that even the modern Women’s Movement did not and could not completely eradicate the centuries of gender-specific cultural baggage. The result is increased confusion about one’s role as a woman; there are pulls toward career and family, independence and sensuality, that are irreconcilable within the current system.

Kim Chernin, focusing on women, defines eating disorders as the answer to "silent questions about the legitimacy of female development.” She points out the dichotomous nature of this answer as "tailoring ourselves to the specifications of this world we are so eager to enter" and "stripping ourselves of everything we have traditionally been as women.” Finally she writes, "Women today, because they cannot bring their natural body into culture without shame and apology, are driven to attack and destroy that body...there are no indications that the female body has been invited to enter culture". Basically, she speaks to the tug-of-war that has defined the feminine experience since the Women’s Movement. While women have been asked to join the world of work (if somewhat reluctantly), they are still expected to fulfill their traditional role as objects. They are told that they must adhere to beauty standards in order to be successful, which cheapens any strides toward that success. Meanwhile, that modern standard of beauty is the androgynous form, an affirmation of male superiority.

Is it mere coincidence that androgyny has come into vogue at a time when women are making great strides toward asserting their intrinsic worth? Writer Naomi Wolf thinks not: "redefining a woman’s womanly shape as by definition "too fat"... countered the historical groundswell of female success with a mass conviction of female failure, a failure defined as implicit in womanhood itself". In other words, as women have become increasingly visible in our culture, their natural bodies have come to be seen as an insult to cultural sensibilities. Notably, the modern ideal female form is significantly smaller than is natural. Dieting is, after all, a way to shrink. Physical characteristics of dominance include increased size and use of space, yet women are expected to reduce weight and take up less space. Thompson writes, "discrimination against fat women reflects a society hostile to women who take up space and refuse to put boundaries around their hunger.” Society deems it prudent to deny women every appetite: for food, for success, for power, for a voice... The cult of thinness is a stern rebuke to a woman’s request for affirmation, reflecting "an obsession with female obedience". Men, who control the standards of beauty, have probably idealized thinness for women as a reaction to feminine assertion. After all, the ideal feminine form is pre-pubescent and child-like, and "there is something less disturbing about the vulnerability and helplessness of a child, and something truly disturbing about the body and mind of a mature woman". A mature woman has the strength to fight for her rights, whereas a child may comply willingly with authority. Eating disorders, so detrimental to one’s physical well being, do in fact render most absolutely helpless.

It is estimated that one in four college women struggles with an eating disorder. The times at which women are struck down by eating disorders reveal how they have internalized the cultural ambivalence described above. Often onset of an eating disorder coincides with an underlying developmental crisis. Rather than facing the overwhelming dilemma of defining oneself within culture’s conflicted attitudes toward women, a woman may simply opt out. She can forge an identity on the much smaller plain of her own body. The whole identity is placed on my weight. In a society where every decision a woman makes has such tremendous weight, an eating disorder becomes something entirely private, a silent proclamation that one’s body is one’s own to control. Unfortunately, what masquerades as a freely chosen method of communicating and asserting power is really a way to self-destruct. Eating disorders are never freely chosen; they are submission to the cultural dictates for a woman’s appearance and behavior.

The desire for control that helps define eating disorders is accompanied by seemingly contradictory dynamics. For one thing, many eating disordered persons claim that they do not deserve to eat. History teaches that women should suffer to attain an ideal, whether it be gender-specific beauty or the more general ideals of salvation, subjectivity, or autonomy. The self-sacrificing woman remains an idol; consider the Catholic pre-occupation with Mary and with female aesthetes. This is reflected in the portions of food that women feel comfortable eating, which testify to and reinforce their sense of social inferiority. According to Wolf, women "do not feel entitled to enough food because [they] have been taught to go with less than [they] need since birth". This lesson easily translates to a low sense of self-worth. The physiological experience of an eating disorder is similar to that of starving, but the starvation is self-imposed. Is it a great leap, then, to view an eating disorder as a slow suicide? As one woman eloquently states, "Eating disorders are the most socially acceptable way to self-destruct".

Conflict without, conflict within. As a result, women with eating disorders often feel confused and don’t know what to do with their lives. They have little sense of who they are or what they believe. Again, an eating disorder becomes an identity, complete with society’s stamp of approval.

Unfortunately, popular understanding often focuses on the individual experience of an eating disorder without taking into account the cultural context that helps spawn the illness. The portrayal of eating disorders in the media during the 1980’s, has its emphasis on the "bizarre symptomatology" and its failure to recognize that the women involved in this behavior often abandon their careers and their studies... return home, become extremely dependent on their parents, that their growth and development as human beings virtually comes to an end. Eating disorders prevent one from growing up and entering the world as an independent being. The focus on an eating disorder’s bizarre symptoms keeps it at the level of individual pathology. When the media portrays eating disorders as mental illness, entirely individual and without cultural referents, it gives us all permission to be apathetic. We can ignore the plight of women in society, ignore the fact that the psyche of an eating disordered woman is an embodiment of society’s ambivalence toward women: their human potential as well as their physical form.

A troubled relation to food is one of the principal ways the problems of female being come to expression in women’s lives. It is hard being a woman today; our reality borders on the schizoid at times.

Most of the women with whom I am acquainted count calories and fat grams, talk about their bodies with loathing, stare into mirrors with horror, exercise with the express purpose of losing weight, binge and fast, and exhibit other behaviors that may belie an eating disorder. We all understand that issues of appearance are essentially currency for women’s access to power in this country, and thinness is a critical component. We want simultaneously to appear strong and non-threatening, attractive and self-sufficient, smart and sexy. Thinness seems to embody all this and more.

Somehow, women have never received the message that their bodies are valuable simply because they are in them.

I can't tell y'all how appropriate this article is for me, especially right now. It's the middle of winter here and it's in the winter that I have the most problems with my eating disorders resurfacing. Of course, I wrote before, that over the summer that my eating disorders were rearing their ugly heads, but that was mostly because I was grieving over the death of my brother in Christ, David. I'm not so deep into my grieving now, though I still miss him so terribly. I mean, I have an knitted comforter that he gave me back in 1991 when we dated briefly. Before he died, I always had it draped over the end of my bed. You know, on the foot board. Now, I sleep with it every night and I have to have it near my face. I named it David. Okay, that might seem really weird, but it's how I'm coping with his death. What can I say? He was the only man who ever really loved me for me. I saw him get married. I keep him still in my heart.

It's so hard to get past that thing in your head that tells you you have to be thin in order to be accepted at any level in our society. Since I am a very curvaceous woman, I find that, as the article says, if I attempt in any way to express my sexuality by actions or dress (mainly dress) that I get inevitably what is a knee-jerk reaction opinion of me from other people. They assume that because I'm curvaceous and I want to express my sexuality, that I can't be intelligent. On the other hand, if I go about in frumpy clothes, like sweat pants and a sweat shirt, with my hair pulled back and no make-up I get treated very differently. People then assume, because the sweat pants and shirt don't reveal any of my curves, that I'm just chubby or fat and treat me with indifference, shun me or actively insult me. This makes it hard for those little (or not-so-little) eating disorder voices to begin again to set up shop and speak to me. Those old mental tapes that I created myself and with the help of those who took advantage of me, set up before. They're just waiting for a trigger, which acts like a finger pushing the play button on a recording, to reverberate through my entire being. I suppose the only answer to this is to change my head; to change the way I think; to actively not criticize myself and my body; to take charge of my thoughts and push away those that are negative and debilitating.



There are somefunny videos at Jokeroo.com to check out if you need a laugh today or any day! There are also some really interesting ones, like this video of what is supposed to be a prehistoric shark. I watched it and I've never seen anything like it before. Weird. It's in Japanese, so if you don't speak Japanese, you won't understand the commentary, but you don't really need to because the video is so...I don't know strange/weird/interesting.
There is also a video originally from Headline News of Tiger Woods tackling a man who tried to steal his golf clubs! That one gave me a little good morning chuckle. I needed that.

This post is sponsored by Jokeroo.com.



Post Secret Sunday

(edit: There was supposed to be a Post Secret Picture here, but for some reason, I can't find it. So, I'll just have to do without it.)

Unfortunately, it is typical to make fun of people who are severely depressed. Since we are humans and eternally flawed, we tend to make fun of or deride things we don't understand. You might be surprised, however, to find out the huge number of elderly people who are severely depressed. I know my dad is, but he's so old-school that he won't even entertain the notion of talking to his doctor about anti-depressants. I think he just figures that's the price of getting older. I can surmise that a lot of older people feel this way as well. Honestly, I don't really know what to do about it. It's hard to tell your parents, "You know depression is genetically inherited. I got this from your genes. You're depressed, too."

My dad self-medicates with alcohol mostly and sometimes prescription drugs-headache medicine or some other medicine for insomnia. He says he has trouble sleeping, but what he doesn't understand is that it's the alcohol that causes him to wake up and not be able to go back to sleep even though initially it relaxes him and makes him sleepy. It's a double-edged sword and I haven't the faintest idea of how to approach it with him. He has told me before, vehemently, that he will not stop drinking no matter what I or anyone else says.

Since I brought this over from my Humanis Vegatetalis blog, I thought it only right to copy/paste the comments as well.

EuroYank said...

Interesting photos and topic choices!

12/17/2006 9:50 PM

gpc said...

My mother is middle-aged and also suffers from depression, in my opinion. She thinks she's too old to go to therapy, and when I told her about a friend of mine who was depressed, she said, "In the old days, we would say what she needs is a kick in the pants." *sigh* Meanwhile, her way of dealing with the depression is to spread it around, most of the time, with negativity and over-analysis and anxiety.

12/18/2006 11:00 AM

Anias Nin said...

I have a friend whose mother is like that. My mom goes to therapy and has been for the last 20 years at least. A lot of people are afraid to admit that they have a problem going on in their heads-depression, mania-whatever it may be. As a society, we still think it's a stigma even if we say we've, y'know, evolved or whatever. It's hard to get through to some people. I still get treated differently by some people when they find out that I have severe and chronic depression. They look at me, confused, like, "But you're a Psych. major."

I'd be willing to bet that your mom doesn't really realize the extent to which she spreads her negativity. Some people, not all, who suffer from depression, are sort of like alcoholics, they need depression buddies like alcoholics need drinking buddies.

12/19/2006 6:57 PM

Marie said...

How to break the cycle, though? If dad was a depressed alcholic and daughter is an anxiety ridden depressive, how do we avoid passing it on to the kids?

1/08/2007 8:31 PM

Unfortunately, I never did get back to Marie with an answer (I use that term loosely.) to her question. I'm going to have to give it some thought and post about it when my thoughts have all congealed into something I can relate that is understandable; to me or to anyone else. (Blogger was not, at that time, sending me email notices of replies to my posts on that blog, so I never knew until today that she had even written one. I wish I had known earlier. It's been nearly a month since she wrote that. I feel bad that I didn't see it.)

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Mood Disorders~The Symptoms of Depression and Mania~Mania

Symtoms of Mania

Affective Symptoms
In mania, the person's mood is elevated, expansive, or irritable. Social and occupational functioning is impaired, as shown in the following case:

Alan was a forty-three-year-old unmarried computer programmer who had led a relatively quiet life until two weeks before, when he returned to work after a short absence for illness. Alan seemed to be in a particularly good mood. Others in the office noticed that he was unusually happy and energetic, greeting everyone at work. A few days later, during the lunch hour, Alan bought a huge cake and insisted that his fellow workers eat some of it. At first everyone was surprised and amused by his antics. But two coleagues working with him on a special project became increasingly irritated because Alan didn't put any time into their project. He just insisted that he would finish his part in a few days.

On the day the manager had decided to tell Alan of his colleagues' concern, Alan behaved in a delirious, manic way. When he came to work, he immediately jumped onto a desk and yelled, "Listen, listen! We aren't working on the most important aspects of our data! I know, since I've debugged my mind. Erase, reprogram, you know what I mean. We've got to examine the total picture based on the input!" Alan then spouted profanities and made obscene remarks to several of the secretaries. Onlookers thought that he must have taken drugs. Attempts to calm him down brought angry and vicious denunciations. The manager, who had been summoned, also couldn't calm him. Finally the manager threatened to fire Alan. At this point, Alan called the manager an incompetent fool and stated that he could not be fired. His speech was so rapid and disjointed that it was difficult to understand him. Alan then picked up a chair and said he was going to smash the computers. Several coworkers grabbed him and held him on the floor. Alan was yelling so loud that his voice was quite hoarse, but he continued to shout and struggle. Two police officers were called, and they had to handcuff him to restrain his movements. Within hours, he was taken to a psychiatric hospital for observation.

People with mania, like Alan, show boundless energy, enthusiasm, and self-assertion. If frustrated, they may become profane and quite beligerent, as he did.

Cognitive Symptoms
Some of the cognitive symptoms of mania include flightiness, pressured thoughts, lack of focus and attention, and poor judgement. The verbal processes of patients with mania reflect their cognitive state. For example, their speech is usually quite accelerated and pressured. They may change topics in mid-sentence or utter irrelevant and idiosyncratic phrases. Although much of what they say is understandable to others, the accelerated and disjointed nature of their speech makes it difficult to follow their train of thought. They seem incapable of controlling their attention, as though they are constantly distracted by new and more exciting thoughts and ideas.

Behavioral Symptoms
Individuals with mania are often uninhibited, engaging impulsively in sexual activity or abusive discourse. DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) recognizes two levels of manic intensity- hypomania and mania (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). In the milder form, hypomania, affected people seem to be "high" in mood and overactive in behavior. Thier judgement is unusually poor, although delusions are rare. They start many projects but complete few, if any. When they interact with others, people with hypomania dominate the conversation and are often grandiose.

People who suffer from mania display more disruptive behaviors, including pronounced overactivity, grandiosity, and irritability. Their speech may be incoherent, and they do not tolerate criticisms or restraints imposed by others. In the more severe form of mania, the person is wildly excited, rants, raves (the stereotypical type of a wild "maniac"), and is contantly agitated and on the move. Hallucinations and delusions may appear. Becuase these individuals may be uncontrollable and are frequently dangerous to themselves or to others, physical restraint and medication are often necessary.

Physiological Symptoms
The most prominent physiological or somatic characteristic is a decreased need for sleep, accompanied by high levels of arousal. The energy and excitement these patients show may cause them to lose weight or to go without sleep for long periods. Whereas hypomania is not severe enough to cause marked impairment or hospitalization, the mood disturbance in mania is sufficiently severe to cause marked impairment in social or occupational functioning.

Quote 'O The Day: But you must admit hallucinations are more interesting than depression.

Text taken from the book 'Understanding Abnormal Behavior' by David Sue, Derald Wing Sue and Stanley Sue, Seventh Edition, pp.351-352, copyright 2003-Houghton Mifflin Company. Used with permission.



What Is A Mood Disorder?~The Symptoms of Depression and Mania

I've decided definitely to start incorporating the posts from my other blog, Humanus Vegetalis, to this blog and just to use this blog for all of my ideas and what not instead of spreading them out. Some people may say that my blog needs one definite subject matter, but I don't see why. I don't remember who said it, but it goes something like this, "Whatever you do, pick one thing and do it well." That's what I intend to do. All of my posts from my other blog will be labeled "Humanis Vegetalis" and all future posts on the subject of Psychology will be labeled as such because I don't want to create, like, a billion different labels for them. With that in mind, here is the first post I made on Humanus Vegetalis:

Mood Disorders~The Symptoms of Depression and Mania-Depression

ONE:What Is A Mood Disorder?

Mood disorders are disturbances in emotions that cause subjective discomfort, hinder a person's ability to function, or both; depression and mania are central to these disorders.

A. What are the symptoms of mood disorders?

Depression is characterized by intense sadness, feelings of futility and worthlessness, and withdrawal from others.


1. The prevalence of depression has been found to be more than ten times higher than that of mania (Robins et al.., 1991). It is quite prevalent in the general population, and it is the most common complaint of individuals seeking mental health care (Gotlib,1992; Strickland,1992).

Some 10 million Americans, and more than 100 million people world-wide, will experience clinical depression this year. Lifetime prevalence (the proportion of people who develop severe depression at some point in their lives) ranges from 10 to 25 percent for women and from 5-12 percent for men (American Psychiatric Association, 2000). A large-scale study has found even higher overall lifetime prevalence for all mood disorders-reaching almost 15 percent for adult males and almost 24 percent for adult females (Kesler et al., 1994)

There are indications that it may be a continuous phenomenon that waxes and wanes. After one episode of depression, the likelihood of another is 50 percent; after two episodes, 70 percent; and after three episodes, 90 percent (Munoz et al., 1995). Moreover, depression has been found to be associated with the risk of having a heart attack. In one large-scale study, individuals with depression were more than four times as likely to suffer a heart attack over a twelve-to thirteen-year follow-up period as were people with no history of the disorder (Spearing & Hendrix, 1998). Among college students, one survey found that over half indicated that they had experienced depression, 9 percent thought of suicide, and 1 percent had attempted suicide since the beginning of college (Furr, Westefeld, McConnell & Jenkins, 2001_

The Symptoms of Depression
Certain core characteristics are often seen among people with depression. These characteristics may be organized within the four psychological domains used to describe anxiety: the affective domain, the cognitive domain, the behavioral domain, and the physiological domain.

Affective Symptoms
The most striking symptom of depression is depressed mood, with feelings of sadness, dejection and an excessive and prolonged mourning. Feelings of worthlessness and having lost the joy of living are common. Wild weeping may occur as a general reaction to frustration or anger. Such crying spells do not seem to be directly correlated with a specific situation. Anxiety frequently accompanies depression, with a high correlation.

Also, note that severe depressive symptoms often occur as a normal reaction to the death of a loved one. This intensive mourning seems to have a positive psychological function in helping one to adjust. An excessively long period of bereavement, accompanied by a preoccupation with feelings of worthlessness, marked functional impairment, and serious psycohmotor retardation, however, can indicate a major mood disorder. Cultures vary in the normal duration of bereavement, but severe incapacitating depression rarely continues beyond the first three months.

Cognitive Symptoms
Besides general feelings of futility, emptiness, and hopelessness, certain thoughts and ideas are clearly related to depressive reactions. For example, the person has profoundly pessimistic beliefs about the future. Disinterest, decreased energy, and loss of motivation make it difficult for the depressed person to cope with everyday situations. Work responsibilities become monumental tasks, and the person avoids them. Self-accusations of incompetence and general self-denigration are common, as are thoughts of suicide. Other symptoms include difficulty in concentrating and in making decisions.

Depression may be reflected in a cognitve triad, which consists of negative views of the self, of the outside world, and of the future (Beck, 1974). The person has pessimistic beliefs about what he/she can do, about what others can do to help, and about his or her prospects for the future. Some of this triad can be seen in the following self-description of the thoughts and feelings of someone with severe depression:

The gradual progression to this state of semicognizance and quiescence was steady; it is hard to trace. People and things counted less. I ceased to wonder. I asked a member of my family where I was and, having received an answer, accepted it. And usually I remembered it, when I was in a state to remember anything objective. The days dragged; there was no "motive," no drive of any kind. A dull acceptance settled upon me. Nothing interested me. I was very tired and heavy. I refused to do most of the things that were asked of me, and to avoid further disturbance I was put to bed again. (Hillyer, 1964, pp. 158-159)

Ezra Pound, one of the most brilliant poets of the twentieth century, suffered a severe depression when he was in his seventies. He told and interviewer bitterly, "I have lived all my life believing that I knew something. And then a strange day came and I realized that I knew nothing, nothing at all. And so words have become empty of meaning. Everything that I touch, I spoil. I have blundered always" (Darrach, 1976, p. 81) Pound stopped writing for years; for days on end, he ceased to speak. For both Hillyer and Pound, motivation, activity, vitality, and optimism had declined drastically.

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Ezra Pound-His Life, Works and Manuscripts

Behavioral Symptoms
A person with depression often shows social withdrawal and lowered work productivity. This low energy level is one of the dominant behavioral symptoms of depression, and it has been found to distinguish depressed individuals from non-depressed individuals (Christensen & Duncan, 1995). Other symptoms include sloppy or dirty clothing, unkempt hair, and lack of concern for personal cleanliness. A dull, masklike facial expression may become characteristic, and the person tends to move slowly and does not initiate new activities. Speech is similarly reduced and slow, and responses may be limited to short phrases. This slowing down of all bodily movements, expressive gestures, and spontaneous responses is called psychomotor retardation. Although psychomotor retardation is typical, some people suffering from depression manifest an agitated state and symptoms of restlessness.

Physiological Symptoms
The following somatic and related symptoms frequently accompany depression:
1. Loss of appetite and weight~ Some people, however, have increased appetite and gain weight. The loss of appetite often stems from the person's disinterest in eating; food seems tasteless. In severe depression, weight loss can become life threatening.

2. Constipation~ The person may not have bowl movements for days at a time.

3. Sleep disturbance~ Difficulty in falling asleep, waking up early, waking up erratically during the night, insomnia, and nightmares leave the person exhausted and tired during the day. Many dread the arrival of night because it represents a major fatigue-producing battle to fall asleep. Some depressed people, however, show hypersomnia, or excessive sleep.

4. Disruption of the normal menstrual cycle in women~ The disruption is usually a lengthening of the cycle, and the woman may skip one or several periods. The volume of menstrual flow may decrease.

5. Aversion to sexual activity~ Many people report that their sexual arousal dramatically declines.

Culture defines the experience and expression of symptoms of depression. In some cultures, depression may be experienced largely in somatic or bodily complaints, rather than in sadness or guilt. Complaints of "nerves" and headaches (in Latino and Mediterranean cultures), of weakness, tiredness, or "imbalance" (in Chinese and Asian cultures), of problems of the "heart" (in Middle Eastern cultures), or of being "heartbroken" (among Hopi) may reveal the depressive experience (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).

The core symptoms of a major depressive episode are the same for children and adolescents, although the prominence of characteristic symptoms may change with age. Certain symptoms such as somatic complaints, irritability, and social withdrawal are particularly common in children, whereas psychomotor retardation, hypersomnia, and delusions are more common in adolescence and adulthood (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).

More Personal Stories of Depression

1. "Amanda was a thirty-nine-year-old homemaker with three children, ages nine, eleven ,and fourteen. Her husband, Jim, was the sales manager for an auto agency, and the family did well financially and lived comfortably. For years, family life was stable and no serious problems existed between family members. The family could be described as cohesive and loving. However, Jim began to notice that his wife was becoming more and more unhappy and depressed. She constantly said that her life lacked purpose. Jim would reassure her, pointing out that they had a nice home and that she had no reason to be unhappy. He suggested that she find some hobbies or socialize more with their neighbors and friends. But Amanda became progressively more absorbed in her belief that her life was meaningless.

After a while, Amanda no longer bothered to keep the house clean, to cook, or to take care of the children. At first Jim thought she was merely in a "bad mood" and that it would pass, but as her lethargy deepened, he became increasingly worried. He thought his wife was either sick or no longer loved him and the children. Amanda told him that she was tired, and that simple household chores took too much energy. She said that she still loved Jim and the children but no longer had strong feelings for anything. Amanda did show some guilt about her inability to take care of the children and to be a wife, but everything was simply to depressing. Life was no longer important, and she just wanted to be left alone. At that point she began to cry uncontrollably. Nothing Jim said could bring her out of the depression or stop her from crying. He decided that she had to see a physician, and he made an appointment for her. Amanda is currently receiving medication and psychotherapy to treat her depression."

2. "It's hard to describe the state I was in several months ago. The depression was total-it was as if everything that happened to me passed through this filter which colored all experiences. Nothing was exciting to me. I felt I was no good, completely worthless, and deserving of nothing. The people who tried to cheer me up were just living in a different world."

This text is taken from the book 'Understanding Abnormal Behavior' written by David Sue, Derald Wing Sue and Stanley Sue (seventh edition-pp. 348-351), copyright 2003-Houghton Mifflin Company. Used with permission.



Happiness Is A Warm Gun

Bush wants to send more troops to Iraq. Who's going to be killed next? Your son, your neighbor's daughter? My cousin? What about the Iraqis? Which of them will die next? I'm tired of it. I'm sick with it. The whole country is sick with this bullshit. The Iraqis are more than tired of it. They can't do anything but grieve. We can't do anything but grieve either. Bush has infected the whole world with his noxious violent infection.

Just STOP.

Jesus,George Bush is bathed in blood, he eats it as if it were manna from Heaven, and on the Day when he has to stand before God and give account of what he has done, those myriad of souls who died at his hand will cry out against him.

Tori Amos


Poetry Thursday

So, I decided after all to participate in the assignment of this week's Poetry Thursday. I wrote the poem below first, but it took me a while to figure out "Why I Love Poetry". So here goes nuthin':

I don't love poetry. It loves me. It's inside me. In every particle; every atom; every electrical impulse of my brain. It loves me and I can only love it back because, like a symbiont, it lives from me and I live because of it. It opens my eyes; opens my heart; makes me realize myself where otherwise I would walk around my life in a daze of not thinking (kind of like when you're in Wal-Mart and unconsciously buying shit you don't need). It's hard to shake that medicated feeling that society wants us to be in. Poetry keeps me sane and I keep it alive within me by opening my veins and letting it bleed from me.

My chest feels so heavy
and yet empty
Like you carved a hole in it.
You crawled in ten years ago and made yourself comfortable
like some sort of grown-up fetus

Vacillating sorrow and uncertainty
My tears threaten to spring forth of their own accord
to demand my attention
I try to speak
my throat closes so my voice is forced
as if with my every breath
my every word to you
were lies

It sounds that way, doesn't it?
Like someone who doesn't know you?
Maybe I don't really.
I don't know why you don't love me anymore.

I thought my imagination was playing tricks on me
You've called me that before
Said that sometimes I can't see situations for what they really are
Sometimes I can't
I'm not crazy, sister
I know I'm not misconstruing

There are days when I can't function for thinking of you
when you were here
in my heart
curled in my belly
Waiting on you to speak is unbearable
Almost like waiting for the other shoe to drop
expecting it
knowing it's there
but it never comes
And I don't know why I should have to be waiting for
some sort of retribution
from you

I hate your silent treatment
your punishment
I don't deserve for letting you
set up shop in my head
for loving you
as a sister should

Thoughts on a ticker
You know like the one on the news?
run through my brain and tell me
that I'm better off without you
My attempt at self-protection
Haven't done a very good job of that
have I?

If I didn't love you so much
I wouldn't be in so much pain
I need you
Without you
I'm not fully me.

That hole in my heart?
That gaping, bloody hole in my belly
that you burst from suddenly
You know, like the Alien from that movie?
It leaves me deadfeeling
as I shuffle to the tune
of a Thorazine drip

I used to always reach out for you
run to you
for support
as if by the act of merely touching you
like the bleeding woman touching the hem of Jesus' robe
it would mean everything
would be ok
that you were really there.
Fearlatent, pregnant with abandonment
now budding
then flowering
a redbloodfruition

When did you stop loving me?

I could hate you so easily
I could be as bitter
as green persimmons
I could launch words from those old catapults I built
they would cut you
to the bonewithinyourbone
Can't do it, though
Can't hate you
I can only let you go.

Closure (of love)
Validation (of pain)

Mea culpa, mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa.
Can you feel it?
Does it torturousrepeatitself in your brain?
Does it's vineycreeping crawl up your spine
curlyquetwine itself around
the neurons
axon terminals
synaptic gaps
Do you function as I do not?

© Robyn Fenner



I'm Having A Thought

I know it's unbelievable, but true. I'm thinking of incorporating what I've posted on my Humanis Vegetalis blog onto this blog and just deleting that one because I don't really post in it often enough for it to be helpful to anyone. I could just post that stuff here and add a category or three for those particular posts. I'm not sure, though. I'd like some input. What do you guys think about this idea?



I Need More Gadgets!

My dad got me a Zune for Christmas, because I'd been asking for an mp3 player for, I don't know, forever.

I love electronics. Yes, I'm a woman, but that doesn't mean I can't be just as much of an electronic geek as the guys. I can spend literally hours in just about any electronics store. For me, it's like walking into a candy store, only the candy is way more expensive and I can't have as much of it as I'd like. It's not like those little Jolly Ranchers I used to get at the 7-Eleven down the street from my house that were a penny each.

I also love to shop online. Well, let's face it, I just love to shop. For anything really. As long as I can make it fun I'm up for it. This online electronics store called Your Electronic Warehouse has all that electronic-y-gadget-y stuff that us folks who drool over it want. It has also been honored with Monster Cable's E-Commerce Retailer of the Year. That's saying something, especially when there are so many places a person can buy things on the internet.

I'm checking out their site now and I just found this:

Monster® CarPlay™ Wireless Plus for Zune™.
I already have a thing for the car to play my Zune through the car speakers, but who doesn't want to go wireless. Right? Ahhhh...I can say right now that there's at least three or four more things for my Zune that I'll be buying from this site. It'll be bookmarked just as soon as I finish writing this.

LoudLaunch - Compensating bloggers for their unbiased opinions, reviews, and analysis. View the LoudLaunch campaign release this post was based on.


Post Secret Sunday

Walking Through Open Doors

I'm writing for another company that pays bloggers for writing news and press releases for advertisers called Loud Launch. This company pays bloggers according to their Google PR rank and I get paid every 30 days. It's another exciting way to make money from home.

Loud Launch also wants to let advertisers know that they can create an advertising campaign with them for as little as $50 dollars. Of course, though, the bigger the budget, the larger the campaign can be. With all the blogs in the world, advertising this way seems like a no-brainer, y'know?

I've read some articles about this advertising of things on blogs and that bloggers who do it are compromising their integrity. I don't see that at all. There are some people, like me who because of time restraints, school, or physical disability cannot work outside the home. Loud Launch and companies like them are giving us the opportunity to make some money whereas before we couldn't. How can that be a bad thing? I can tell you this in all honesty, I just joined Loud Launch, but I know I'm going to love it.

LoudLaunch - Compensating bloggers for their unbiased opinions, reviews, and analysis. View the LoudLaunch campaign release this post was based on.




Sometimes praying to God feels like playing Red Rover.

Over The Rhine~Happy To Be So

Sally is punishing me for freaking out on her that night right after Christmas. The other day, I went up to where Tanya works and talked with her. At first, she was defensive when I asked her if she'd listened to any of the messages I'd left on her voice mail. It was the I've-been-at-work-I've-been-at-school-I've-been-with-my-boyfriend-I-haven't-even-seen-my-mom defense. I listened to her being defensive and I said, "I know you're busy, but I thought you always checked your voice mail." Again with the defenses. She said on that night, even though I didn't speak directly to her on the phone, that what I had said to Sally and then Sally related to Tanya had hurt her feelings. She said that she felt like I had blamed her for my Christmas being so shitty. She then shifted to blaming me for being sick-You-never-want-to-hang-out-with-me-and-Sally-you-never-want-to-go-
. I took the blame and then told her, very calmly, "After your father died, you were understandably very upset, but you abandoned both Sally and me then. When you decided you wanted to come back, I never once asked you why or pointed my finger at you or blamed you for it in any way. When Sally was so depressed for a year and she couldn't even go out of her house, you were so understanding of that. What I don't understand is why when she is sick, you can understand that. But when I'm sick, you can't understand it. You know, Sally abandoned me for five years when she was going out with Howdy and when she decided she wanted to be my friend again, I never blamed her for abandoning me. I never asked her why she did it. I welcomed her back with open arms, just like I did with you." She floundered for a minute looking for something to say and then said first, "Well, Sally was afraid to leave her house!" I said, "So was I, but I didn't say it in so many words." Then, "But I never blamed you for my dad's death." I said, "I never said you did. I didn't realize that you thought I had blamed you for my Christmas being so shitty. I was trying to reach out to y'all because I was in so much pain and because I was so hurt, everything came out the wrong way."

More talking. She was at work, so all of this went on in between customers. Suffice it to say she was really hurt, I apologized and asked her to forgive me and she did. We hugged and as far as I know, we're ok now.

After that, I wandered around the bookstore where Tanya works and decided that I would get her and Sally a card just because I know if I were upset, I would really appreciate something like that. I also wrote a personal letter inside for the same reason. At Christmas-time, I didn't have money to get Sally a present. So, in the bookstore, I bought her a leather-bound journal. You know, one of those kind that have the paper that takes the ink really well. I wrote a little personal note on the first page of that telling her "Merry (Late)Christmas" among other things. I put the card and the journal in one of those decorative bags. I found some Christmas ones on sale there. After I paid for all of this, wrote the letter in Tanya's card, gave it to her, wrote the letter in Sally's card and the short letter in her journal, I picked myself up and told Tanya that I was going over to Sally's to give her this present and the card.

Arriving at Sally's house, I got out of my car, didn't set the car alarm, because I thought if she were there, she would recognize it and then definitely not come to the door. I walked by the garage. They had left the interior light on and I saw her car parked there, but her father's SUV was gone. Her mother's car was parked beside mine out in the driveway. I went and rang the doorbell anyway. I waited. Waited. Waited. Rang the bell again and waited. Waited. Waited. No one came to the door. So, I was in sort of a dilemma about what to do with the present in the bag. I thought I could leave it in between their glass front door and the regular door, but no luck. That door was locked. I thought then that maybe I could leave it sitting by one of the corners of the garage door, but then I thought that it might get run over since it was pretty small. Also, I was afraid it would rain and I didn't want it to be ruined. So, I finally decided to leave it in the mailbox. They have one of those large iron mailboxes bolted to the front of their house and since the bag was quite a bit bigger than the present inside it, I was able to sort of fold the bag back into itself so that it was nearly flat. I left it there sticking out of the top of the mailbox. Maybe it was just my imagination or maybe I was transferring my feelings, but as I drove away, it looked lonely just sitting there all by itself.

That night, I had hopes that Sally would at least call me to tell me that she had gotten it, but I received no such call. The next day (yesterday), I carried my phone around with me wherever I went in the hopes that she would call me. No call. So, at about 5:30, I called her house. Her father answered the phone and I said, "I know Sally doesn't want to talk to me, but I just wanted to know if she got the present I left for her." Her dad said, "Yes, she did. She's in the bed, hun." That was the extent of that convo.

I sat in my bigcomfychair for the rest of the night having conflicting emotions, panic attacks, suicidal ideations, wanting to self-mutilate. God, I just wanted somehow, someway to fill that empty space she had left inside my heart.

So, I just wound up sitting in my chair in the dark for the rest of the night, listening to music with my cats all over me. I think they know when I'm upset because they always start wanting attention then. Like more than usual. Last night, I was sitting/laying in my chair with Little Bit laying partially on my chest, partially on my neck and partially on my face (he's a big cat). Silver scooted as close to me as she could on the arm of the chair where I had rested my head. GG was laying on my printer looking at me the whole time and every now and then would reach out her paw to me as if she wanted to touch me. Even Mija, the troublemaker, stayed in here with me. He situated himself underneath the stool on which sits my computer. It was right in front of the bigcomfychair.

This morning, right after I woke up, I finally realized that she's still punishing me for her hurt feelings even after I had apologized, albeit not to her face but that's not my fault. I have received no call from her today either and I'm sick with anxiety about it. I've just taken four of my Klonopin pills and two Excedrin Migraine tablets. My head aches like the Devil is pounding one of the tangs of his pitchfork into it.

I woke from a dream this afternoon in which I had gone again to Tanya's work place, but in my dream she didn't work at a cafe in a bookstore. She worked at a cafe beside a pool. Maybe at a country club or something. I sat at the very back, drinking an Orange Crush (I hate Orange Crush.) when I saw Sally saunter in and with a swish seat herself at a table some distance away from mine, then I heard her ask Tanya if she was ready to go. All the time acting like she didn't even see me sitting there. All of the sudden, seemingly simultaneously, I spilled some Orange Crush on the table and was trying to clean it when Sally just appeared in the chair opposite mine as if she'd just materialized out of thin air. I don't remember clearly what all she was saying, but she was doing something with her hand, a motion like "I'm through with you". I started screaming at her that you just don't throw people away as if they were some old shoes you don't like anymore. Then, as she and Tanya walked away, I was screaming at her back, "I'M NOT HOWDY!"

I woke up in a panic attack. That was about an hour ago.

This verse is to remind me, not in any way directed toward Sally, because I'm struggling with anger, too, because not only is she hurt, but also I am.

Jam 1:19 You must understand this, my dear brothers. Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.