I Think I Already Packed My Ruby Slippers.

I don't know how many of y'all are still reading my blog since I've not been posting so regularly, but I am today. I'm also Captain Obvious today.

Anyway, today is the big move. I've had to hire some movers to come over and move the rest of my stuff. I was only able to move a little bit. My trick leg kept going out on me climbing up the stairs. Plus, I was only able to take what I can fit into my car, which is not really that much. I was going through a full tank of gas like every two days going back and forth from the house to my apt. Ridiculous. So, the movers are coming at 12 noon. I've never used these movers before, so I don't know how punctual they are. I kind of hope they are a couple of hours late, because I still have my entire room to pack up and my bathroom. I managed to get a lot done yesterday. I worked on packing and even made two trips to my apt. in 12 hours.

I went to bed this morning at like 1am. I set my alarm for 5am. I woke up at 4:30am. I did some packing 'till about 6:30am and then I just couldn't stand it anymore, so I had to go back to bed. You know, no matter how hard I try to push it, my body just doesn't work the way it used to when I was in my twenties. I feel like it should, because, in my head, I don't feel 36. Dammit. Still, I managed to get a lot done yesterday, especially for having to deal with my back and my trick leg. I'm proud of myself for that. At the end of the day, though, I felt like a cripple. My back felt all twisted up. I think I was even walking kind of crazy-kind of bent over to one side, with one shoulder high and one shoulder low. Imagine that with a profound limp and you've got a picture of what I was going through yesterday. Freakin' hunchback-that's me. Oh yeah, can't believe I almost forgot to add the cursing. There were copious amounts of every curse word you could possibly imagine issuing from my mouth.

I called this one guy that does handiwork for me and dad sometimes, last night, to ask him if he would come and take my beloved hand-carved, banana-leaved ceiling fans down and put them up again in my new place. He said that he would have to charge bw 75 and 100 dollars to do it. Thank you NO. I have already spent around 1500 just to get into this apt., plus all the deposits to get the utilities turned on. Man, I feel like people think I'm a money tree-just shake me and money will fall like apples. May I never have kids.

I did, however, get a job. It's an extremely shitty job, but it's a job and I need a job. It's raising money over the phone for the Special Olympics. Yay. I get to be cursed out by people I don't know. Hopefully, it will be somewhat better than it was the other times I've done it. I'm older now and significantly more bitter, sarcastic and snarky, not to mention, more likely to say exactly what I'm thinking at the drop of a pin than I ever have been. I guess it's age. I think the older you get, the less you care about what people think of you. So, I think I'll start Monday. I'll find out tomorrow. I'll try to be polite, I promise. I can't guarantee anything though.

I just can't wait to get all of my shit moved into the new place. That way, I can take my time unpacking. I feel like I've been in this huge rush ever since I put the deposit down on my apt. Granted, I tried to move everything except the furniture for two weeks and only managed to get one closet of clothes, some shoes, two bags of my childhood stuffed animals (I can't part with them.), most of my kitchen dishes, all of my linens, some candles (I have enough candles to burn my house down. I think I'll put them in the fireplace for now since I don't have any wood to burn a fire. I actually have a wood burning fireplace at my apt.. Pretty cool. Yes?)

I still think my dad is in shock that I'm actually moving. For the past two days, he's asked me, "Are you still moving?". I'm convinced that he's convinced that I won't be able to make it on my own. I must admit that I'm quite scared and anxious about that myself, given my record of emotional downward spirals. But, you know, I had those before when I was living on my own and they came with all their punchinthestomach power and I got through them somehow (God). My mom and my aunt told me that ever since I've moved in with dad that I haven't been able to deal with my emotional ups and downs at all i.e. the cutting incidents, staying in the house for weeks on end and the not being able to bathe thing or to brush my teeth thing (Yes, it's gross. I know, but there it is.).

I'm going to end my very verbose morning now and finish my coffee. I have to finish the packing (see: the Dunkin' Donuts guy-makethedonutsmakethedonutsmakethedonuts). God, I'm so freakin' tired.

When I get all unpacked, I'll take pics of the new place, just because I'm vain and because I know you guys are nosey like me and want to see it.

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Pic 'O The Day



To Funny Not To Post


8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!

9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!

9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!

10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!

12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!

1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!

3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!

5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!

7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!

8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!

11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!


Day 983 of my captivity.

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.

They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed
hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet.
I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly
demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made
condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. Bastards!

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was
placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I
could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement
was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how
to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my
tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this
again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches.
The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird has
got to be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For



Tuesday Afternoon Tunes

Tori Amos/Damien Rice~The Power Of Orange Knickers

The Gypsy Kings rendition of Hotel California.

Blue October~Independently Happy



Change Comes Slowly For Me

Haven't been around for awhile, I know. I'm ok if anyone was wondering. I'm moving. Starting today. I'll be moving my stuff to my new place just piecemeal. I don't have really anyone to help me, so I'm just going to move the stuff I can fit into my car until I'm left with the big stuff. Then, I really don't know what I'm going to do. Hopefully, God will provide me someone with a truck and a few friends. *hope*.

If anyone would like to pray for me, send me good energy, or whatever you're comfortable with, it would be so much appreciated. I'm scared about moving because I don't have a job yet. I'm looking every day, though.

I'll try to be around here more in the next few days. Besides, I haven't made any of those commercial ad thingies that make me money in a little while and I need the money. Especially since I'm moving.

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Ok, I'm about to get ready to move (away from Dad). I've been searching all over Hell and back (Little Rock) to find the right place to move and one that would accept a co-signer because my credit is for shit. I have found 3 places:

1. apt. complex built 25 years ago, but just remodeled: downstairs: 1100 sq. ft, w/d (stackable), large patio w/wooden privacy fence, central h/a, carpeting, hardwood floors in kitchen and bathrooms, 2 bed/ 2 bath, freakin' hellalarge closets, has pool, within walking distance of Arkansas River (but it does have a tendency to flood down there sometimes if the rains are heavy and the river rises. I've seen it come all the way up through the river park and onto the adjacent roads. I don't think that particular apt. complex would flood bc it's on a hill, but the roads might and I might be stuck until the water receeds.), $690.00/mo w/$200 dep. and $400.00 pet dep. ($200.00 refundable), I can have all 4 of my cats, corporately owned.

2. 1920-30's built large 2-story brick colonial style house made into apts.: 2 bed/1 bath, 1100 sq. ft, not sure if has w/d, gas heat, window unit air conditioner, hardwood floors, upstairs, Capitol View area (within view of State Capitol and about 5 mins from downtown), $650.00/mo w/$300 dep., not sure if I can have all my cats. I met the man who owns it yesterday. He drove all the way over there to show me the apt. and then when he got there he realized that his wife had the key and she was in Malvern (45 mins away). So, I'm supposed to go over there at 1pm today to meet his wife and she's going to show me the apt.; individually owned.

3. 1920's built 2-story cottage: 1 bed/1 bath, carpeting, I can have my cats but don't know the pet dep. yet, not sure of the square footage (I went to look at it yesterday. All I could do was walk around the outside of it.), window unit air, gas heat, individually owned (I know the owner.), don't think it has w/d, advantage is that it is not connected to any other structure, has own driveway, rock pond in front, and is hidden from street view by the house in front of it, $525.00/mo, not sure of the dep. or pet dep. Just a side note: this cottage is about 4 or 5 houses down from where I lived with my mom when I was a child (right after my parents got divorced in 1974. I don't know if that's good or bad.

I called the Little Rock Police Dept. and asked them about the safety of these neighborhoods and got a green light for all of them. I'm also going to see the inside of the cottage today after I go to see the 2 bedrm in the brick house. I don't know. If I can't have all of my cats in the last two, then I'm going to have to go with the most expensive one, because I can't live anywhere without my cats. On the other hand, if I can have all my cats at the brick house, I would prefer hardwood floors over carpet because of my allergies (carpet gives me fits). But then the cottage is the least amount of rent and it's so freakin' cute.

I guess I'll update on this when I get back this afternoon.


Wordless Wednesday

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I've Only Ever Gotten One Valentine's Card With A Redneck Version Of "Roses Are Red, Violets Are Blue"

When I was a freshman in high school, one of the senior football jocks had a crush on me. (I thought this was really weird because he was a "jock" and I was such a freak.) He used to come over to my house and we would sit on the front porch and he would talk about himself and I would pretend to listen. Then, eventually, he would ask for a kiss. I would say, "Only on the cheek". I would tell him to close his eyes and lean in toward me. Instead of kissing him, I would raise my arm back as far as I could, to get good momentum, and slap him so hard that he would have a red welt on his face for a couple of hours afterwards. Of course, he would be super mad at me, but he never hit me back (Thank God, because he was like 3 times my size and if he had hit me he probably would have knocked me unconscious.) The reason I did this to him was to try to get through his thick skull that I didn't want to even be around him. I found him to possess every male attribute that I detested. He kept coming over, though, ask for a kiss and then, inevitably I would slap the sense out of him. When Valentine's Day rolled around, I got a card sent to me while I was in class at school (everyone in class stared at me unabashedly because no one could believe that anyone would send me a Valentine's Day card, I guess), and this is what it said:
Roses are red.
My truck is blue.
You're very cute.
I think I love you.

I remember feeling nauseous and then thinking hopelessly, "Why me?"

All I can say is, thank God for the internet. For a few years now, my girlfriends and I have been sending each other funny Valentine's Day eCards. It's so great to open my email and find something funny or touching from a friend. I might send my friends, for example, something like this:

I can also get this card, which is a funny little card about Cupid's pick up lines. Hysterical.

If I sent this card to a guy I was dating, I might underscore it by saying, "Those are really my knees" (You can personalize any card you send that you get from egreetings. What can I say? I have a dry sense of humor. I can only wish I had breasts like that.)

They also offer a free 30-day trial membership, which is cool for right now (Well it's cool for any time really and after the trial membership, a full membership is only $13.99 a year.) because of upcoming Valentine's Day giving. You can also schedule any card (or cards) you want to send to arrive on any date, so you will never miss birthdays, Christmases, or special occasions (and you won't have to last-minute-shop).

When I was a kid, I used to draw faces on my chin, hang myself upside down from the couch (making sure of course that we had company), cover the upper part of my face and talk to people from my chin. Did you guys ever do that? It's silly, but you know, it was fun. This cute little card is like that. I wonder if the people who came up with it still draw faces on their chins? Maybe I'll try that again.

Valentine's Day eCard by "The Chins"
I'd love to get a card like this.

There all just loads and loads of different kinds of cards at egreetings.com. Great site.

This post is sponsored by PayPerPost.


More On Neurotransmitters~Pt. 3

Ok, since I can't find my book Addiction: From Biology to Drug Policy I'll relate some information on neurotransmitters from my notes on the lectures from that class. (I got a burst of energy late one night and just had to rearrange my entire bookcase.) So, I'll apologize in advance if the information is a bit jumbled. If any of you have taken classes on the college level and have taken notes, you'll know that lecture notes tend to hop around some because the professors hop from topic to topic, especially Psych. professors. Also, it might be a bit refreshing to have lecture notes instead of me just referencing text from a book.

I know it's been nearly a month since I've posted the last actual information post, but I did drag out all of my Psych. books today in preparation for more consistent posts in this blog.

Lecture Notes-1/31/06
The communication between neurons, muscles and glands is chemical, not electrical.
Neuromuscular Junction
Skeletal Muscle- Chemical signals from the brain (neurons) tell muscles to move (acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that functions at the neuromuscular junction).

Acetylcholine is the most prevalent neurotransmitter in the body. The entanglement (loss of structure of the axon) is implicated in Alzheimer's. The loss of structure of the axon prevents the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, from going where it's supposed to go and is the beginning of Alzheimer's. Acetylcholine causes long-term memory to be generated. It is also very involved in cognition and memory. Dopamine is involved in movement and pleasure.

All neurons have four parts:
1.Cell body-contains the nucleus (DNA) and other structures. The neurotransmitter is made in the cell body and then sent down the axon to the axon terminal (end of the neuron)

2.Dendrites-The structures coming off of the cell body (means branchlike)~they are specialized to receive information. The sending neuron will send its message to the dendrite of the receiving neuron.

3.Axon-Carries information away from the cell body. When information is sent down the axon, it is electrical. There is only one axon/neuron per cell body. The axon can be very long or very short. In the cortex, there are cell bodies that have very little room between them. The axons between these cell bodies are only millimeters long.

4.Axon TerminalThe axon terminal is the pre-synaptic part of the synapse. A dendrite of the receiving neuron is the post-synaptic part of the synapse. (There are also pre and post synaptic membranes.)

The purpose of the axon terminal is to hold on to the chemicals until there is a message to be sent to another neuron (receiving dendrite). The sending and receiving neurons do not touch. There is a small space between the axon terminal and the dendrite, it is called the synaptic cleft, which is fluid-filled. The neurotransmitter will travel through this fluid-filled space to get to the receiving dendrite (chemical action). There are little structures on the receiving dendrite called receptors. When the neurotransmitter has been released from the pre-synaptic membrane, it will react with the receptor. The neurotransmitter fits the receptor like a lock & key. The neurotransmitter, when it binds with the receptor can either open or close it. Sometimes, it just sits in the receptor. This means that nothing else can bind with that receptor. For instance, cocaine prevents the reuptake of dopamine. It stays and builds in the synaptic cleft. Dopamine is associated with the pleaure centers of the brain. That's what causes the high.
Insecticides block the action of acetylcholine in insects and causes them to die. This can also work on humans (note to self: wear gloves)

After the neurotransmitters have bonded with the receptors they go back to the pre-synaptic membrane to wait for another message to be sent. Active process-transporter-takes the neurotransmitter out of the synaptic cleft and puts it back into the sending axon terminal. This process stops neurotransmission. This process of the transporter is called reuptake.
Exception: The neurotransmitter, acetylcholine does not reuptake. It is destroyed by an enzyme. The molecule is split in half (acetyl & choline), which stops neurotransmission (enzymatic destruction).

5.Axon Hillock-The cone-shaped region at the junction between the axon and the cell body where the electrical signal is generated. This is an electro-chemical process.

6.Axon-The long, arrow process that projects from the cell body.

7.Myelin-Fatty insulation around the axon. When myelin is destroyed, it causes inflammation and destruction of the axon (as in Multiple Sclerosis). One part of the axon causes the next part to become electrified (question for later: axon is segmented?) The gaps between sections of myelin are called Nodes of Ranvier. Because of the myelin, the electrical signal jumps from node to node speeding the process of conduction-the electrical signal going down the axon. This jumping conduction is called Saltatory Conduction (fast). Most of the neurons in the brain are myelinated and the electrical signals travel by Saltatory Condution.

A neurotransmitter can be either excitatory-needs to pass on information to the next neuron-or inhibitory-causes the message to be slowed.

Every neuron has a resting rate and will send a signal every so often even without having a message to send (Resting Rate of Firing). Inhibition is the dominant process in the brain. An inhibitory neurotransmitter will slow the neuron's Resting Rate of Firing.

8.Vesicles-The small balloon-like structures which contain the neurotransmitter. When an electrical signal is received, the vesicles will line up along the bottom of the pre-synaptic membrane (they line up before they release the neurotransmitters). There is very little space between the axon terminal and the dendrite (the measurement is called angstrom). The receptors are on the post-synaptic membrane.

9.Action Potential(=electrical signal)-It is called an action potential because the neuron is in a resting state and has potential for transmission of a neurotransmitter.

There are two major receptor sites within the brain:
a.Ionotropic Receptor-A Type of receptor that is "gated", meaning that the neurotransmitter is either going to cause the receptor to open or close. (The gate of the receptor determines whether the ion is excitatory or inhibitory. There are excitatory gates and inhibitory gates.) This receptor site goes from the outside to the inside. When a receptor site is opened, ions will be sucked into the membrane (note to self: wow. "sucked" is like a really scientific term [Just a little humor to keep me awake in class.]). If it is an excitatory ion, those will be the ions that get in. Inhibitory ions that come by the gate will inhibit the neuron from sending.
b.Metabotropic Receptor-This has an effect that can last anywhere from a few seconds to a week. It is where long-term memory occurs, which causes structural changes in the brain permanently.

Well, that's 6 pages of notes from one day of class. I hope it was informational to you at least. It was to me. Ha! I had forgotten most of this. I suppose this blog is not only to impart information, but also to remind me of the things I've learned, which is a good thing.


Like Lemons? I Don't.

Ever bought a car; been so excited about it and then have it start falling apart right after you get it? Don't answer that. I know you have. I have. I once bought a used Fiero and one thing after another kept falling off of it or going wrong with it. It was like I not only bought the car, but I bought some invisible gremlins to go along with it. That's not the only used car I've had troubles with. I had one more recently, that when I would turn the air/heat on at night (of course the headlights were on), the headlights would go out. Also, sometimes, when I was sitting at a stop sign or red light, the car would just magically shift from Drive into Neutral and then die. Eventually, the entire dashboard had to be taken out in order to fix those little problems. They were connected. Who knew? I didn't know one part of a car could operate without the other parts working correctly. I'm not bitter, though.

The thing is I never had my cars checked out through a site like Lemonfree.com. I think it would have saved me a lot of headaches, and even more so, a lot of money.

Here's just some of theCars For Sale at Lemonfree.com:

Ford F 150"
Chevrolet Silverado

Toyota Corolla
Toyota Camry

Honda Accord

Ford Explorer

Honda Civic

If you have a used car you want to list in Lemonfree.com's online classifieds. You can. Free.
If you are looking to buy a used car, you can browse Lemonfree.com's classifieds. Free.

Go and get yourself a car that you won't have to run with like the Flintstones did. Get one that has an engine and all it's other various and sundry parts working at a price you can afford.

Ford Mustang

Personally, these are my favorites:

1966 Ford Fairline Convertible

1955 Ford Ranch Wagon

What can I say? I guess I'm vintage.


Neurotransmitters Pt. 2~ Chemical Transmission-A Bit Of History

This my second post on Neurotransmitters. I found, as I reread my last post on this subject, that there were several parts I had to read twice (or more) to get them into my head even though this is a book I've read before. I seem to always find new things in books I reread. I don't know if this is because I don't pay enough attention the first time or if the author is just that clever. Maybe it's just that I hadn't had enough caffeine to put my brain in drive. Regardless, I think I'm going to try to make the text a little more plain just so that I can understand it better and I hope that anyone else who reads this might understand it better. It's very important to me for things to be understandable. I've read some books in school and on my own in which I thought the author was being paid by the word, just because the text was so wordy and the words so uber-scientific. I just think things should be said in the most uncomplicated way possible. I hope y'all don't mind. I'm not trying to "dumb it down" or anything. Like I said before, assimilation is everything when it comes to understanding things. Everyone assimilates information in a different way because we are all unique individuals. Thank God.

So, on with it then. Yes?

Chemical Transmission
The origins our our modern understanding of chemical transmission in the brain can be traced to the middle 1800s, in France. Explorers, long before, had brought back from South America an arrow poison called curare, which natives smeared on their blowgun darts to paralyze prey. Claude Barnard, the founder of the science of pharmacology, used frogs to study how curare paralyzes. When he applied a mild electric shock to a nerve in the frog's leg, the leg muscle contracted; but if he had first injected the frog with curare, it did not. So, either the electrical stimulus was not reaching the muscle, or the muscle itself was not responding to it. Bernard didn't know which of these guesses were true, so he soaked the nerve in a curare solution without exposing the muscle to the poison. No paralysis resulted; so it seemed that curare must paralyze the muscle directly. To his great surprise, however, when he soaked the muscle (but not the nerve)in curare and then shocked the muscle directly (not through the nerve), it contracted normally, even though it would not respond to nerve stimulation. Bernard was forced to conclude that curare acted neither on nerve nor on muscle tissue.

In 1909 in England, at the University of Cambridge, J.N. Langley discovered that nicotine, applied directly to the neuromuscular junction(Wikipedia's deinfinition of the neuromuscular junction), made the muscle contract; and remarkably, this action of nicotine could be prevented by curare. No nerves were needed; even if they were destroyed, nicotine made the muscle contract, and curare prevented the nicotine action. The fact that curare could also block nerve impulses, as Bernard had shown years before, suggested to Langley that a nerve might normally stimulate a muscle by releasing a chemical like nicotine, which would act on the neuromuscular junction and make the muscle contract. Since various other substances he had tried did not do this, he also had to suppose that the neuromuscular junction contained some kind of specialized material which nicotine, as well as the postulated (guesstimated) substance released by the nerves, would act. Langley called this hypothetical material receptive substance, a name later shortened to receptor.

Shortly after, in London, H.H. Dale discovered that visceral smooth muscles (like the intestine, bladder, or pupil of the eye) behaved very differently from the skeletal muscles studied by Bernard and Langley. Nicotine did not stimulate them to contract, but a mushroom poison called muscarine did. Curare did not prevent the action of muscarine, but a plant poison called atropine did. So, the receptors on the smooth muscle, which responded to muscarine and were blocked by atropine, were called muscaranic receptors. Dale's experiments first showed clearly that receptors were specific; nicotine and curare acted only on nicotinic receptors, muscarine and atropine only on muscaranic receptors.

It was not until the 1930s that the hypothetical substances released from nerve endings by nerve impulses which caused different types of muscles to contract were discovered. It was proved, in a famous experiment conducted by the Austrian pharmacologist Otto Loewi, that nerves actually did transmit their messages by means of neurotrasmitters released from nerve endings. This was shown by using a frog heart, with its nerve intact, placed in a small container of salt solution; it continued to beat. In another container there was placed a second heart. Fluid from the first container, when it was transferred to the second container, had no effect. Loewi slowed the beating of the first heart by stimulating its nerve electrically, then transferred the bath fluid to the second container. Remarkably, the second heart slowed, even though its nerve had not been stimulated. This proved conclusively that some substance released by the nerve onto the first heart had slowed it; and that the same substance, transferred with the bath fluid to the second heart, had slowed it, too. (Dale and Loewi shared the Nobel Prize in 1936 for their discoveries about chemical transmission.)

A few years later, the substance released by nerves in these experiments was found to be acetylcholine, the first of many neurotransmitters to be recognized. Langley's nicotinic receptors and Dale's muscaranic receptors were actually two types of acetylcholine receptor-the nicotinic one on skeletal muscle, the muscarinic one on visceral smooth muscle and heart.

Acetylcholine turned out to be responsible not only for neurotransmission from nerve to muscle, but also from nerve to nerve, as in the brain. The junction (called a synapse)where the ending of one nerve contacts another is-like the neuromuscular junction-a microscopically tiny gap. A neurotransmitter released into this gap from the ending of one neuron can cross over to one of the nearby processes (called dendrites [Miriam Webster Online's definition of dendrites] on another neuron, and there it can stimulate a specific receptor. In this way, a "message" is transmitted across the synapse to the second neuron. Sometimes, if the right receptor is present on the nerve ending, a neurotransmitter can act back on the same nerve cell from which it was released, in a kind of feedback loop.

Nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors are found in many regions of the brain, and acetylcholine is one of the brain's most abundant neurotransmitters. Nicotine, when delivered to the brain in a smoker's blood, combines with certain nicotinic receptors, mimicking the actions of acetylcholine.

That's how addiction starts: whichever addictive drug is introduced into the body mimicks the action of acetylcholine or another neurotransmitter, preventing that neurotransmitter from "locking" into its specific "keyhole". As more and more of the drug is introduced into the body, the body will make less and less of that specific neurotransmitter for that specific function of the body because of the drug's mimicking action.

I never really liked History as a subject when I had to take in high school and I hated it when I took it in college. So, I hope this wasn't too boring. I just wanted to give a bit a background info about the main people responsible for originally studying neurotransmitters and chemical transmission in the hopes that it will later blend in, or complete, the rest of the info.

Text taken from: Addiction:From Biology to Drug Policy; Avram Goldstein, M.D. author; pp 21-24


Neurotransmitters Pt. 1

This was originally posted on my other blog Humanus Vegetalis. I'm slowly, but surely transferring those posts here because I got tired of having two blogs. I realized finally that I could post about all the things I think; things that go on in my life; things I've learned, and make money all on this blog. I just don't have time to maintain two blogs. Anyway, this was originally posted several months ago. I am not currently being weaned off of Klonopin since I have a new Psychiatrist.

For the next few posts, I will be taking parts of text from a book called: Addiction: From Biology to Drug Policy in the hopes that by studying a bit about how our brains work, we might be able to understand a bit more about what goes on in that lump of gray matter and why we do some of the things we do when we are addicted to certain substances, be they legal or illegal. I am, for instance, at this point in my life addicted to Klonopin,(My psychiatrist prescribed this for my anxiety and panic attacks knowing that it was possible that I could become physically addicted to it since it does stay in the body longer than other anti-anxiety drugs and is very easy to become addicted to. At the time, there was really no other way to control my panic attacks. I was having several per day. I am now attempting, with the counsel of my psychiatrist, weaning myself off of Klonopin with good results.) which I posted on a few days back. There are certain mechanisms in the brain that are affected by different drugs and I hope by posting about them you and I can dissemble the information we don't understand and assimilate it back into our brains in a way that we can understand. (I don't know about y'all, but most of the biologic things about psychology are kind of hard for me to understand unless I reassemble the information in a bit of a different way so that it makes sense to me. It is, sometimes, quite complicated and difficult for me to understand.)

The Brain's Own Drugs
Roger Whitcomb is absent from the office this afternoon. Unable to wait until evening, the craving nagging at him relentlessly, he quit work and rushed home. He is missing importand business, but no business is as important as what he is about to do. Sitting on a soft easy chair, he places a pellet of crack cocaine in the bowl of a little pipe. He trembles with anticipation as he lights it and inhales deeply. A few seconds later he feels it "hit". An overwhleming sense of alertness, power, deep satisfaction, almost-orgasmic pleasure sweeps over him. A few hours later, he is stil at it, using up his entire $200 supply of crack cocaine, needing more and more of it to sustain the euphoria.

I did crack once, when I was 15, but I don't remember feeling like that. I had done cocaine already and, for me, it felt just like the cocaine high, but according to other people I've known/talked to who have done crack on a regular basis, this is pretty much the description of how they feel. I know, though, what it's like to obsess over a drug and to want it all the time. At first, when my psychiatrist told me that he would be decreasing my dosage of Klonopin, I freaked out a little. I didn't tell him, but that was the first indication to me that I was more than just casually acquainted with it. The next incident came when, one day, I was needing to take one because I was feeling a panic attack coming on and I couldn't find my bottle of Klonopin. Then, I really freaked out. I ransacked my room, my tv room and my purse trying to find it (it was in my purse). When I calmed down, I realized that I had seen other people do this very thing when they were jonesing for their drug of choice that they were addicted to. So, I had to admit to myself right then and there that I was physically addicted to it.

It is not only cocaine, but every addictive drug works by mimicking or blocking one of the substances that neurons (nerve cells) in the brain use to communicate with each other. These substances are called neurotransmitters. Each on locks onto its own special receptor in a process described by the famous lock-and-key analogy. (That explanation will come later.)

A drug is any chemical agent that affects biologic (body) function. So, then we can correctly say that our bodies make drugs of their own. For example, insulin, which is produced by the pancreas and stimulates cell metabolism in other tissues can also be administered as a medication if the natural supply fails. In this same category are other hormones like growth hormone, thyroid hormone, sex steroids, and the interleukins that regulate the immune system. (From Miriam-Webster Online via Encylopedia Brittanica Online, interleukins are: any of a group of naturally occurring proteins that mediate communication between cells. Interleukins regulate cell growth, differentiation, and motility. They are particularly important in stimulating immune responses, such as inflammation.) The neurotransmitters are drugs that are made in neurons, and then are released from neurons to act on other neurons or on muscles or glands. When you walk, nerves in your leg tell each muscle when to contract by releasing a neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, directly onto that muscle. The acetylcholine is a chemical trigger that activates the machinery that causes the muscle fibers to shorten, thus exerting the force that moves your leg. When you are frightened, your adrenal gland rleases a hormone, epinephrine (adrenaline), which is circulated in the blood and acts on your heart to make it beat faster. When you salivate in anticipation of tasty food, it is because nerves are releasing their neurotransmitters onto your salivary glands.

Addiction is a behavior, and all human behavior has a biologic basis in the workings of the brain. The "hardware" of the brain consists of a thousand billion neurons (I could be wrong, but I don't think anyone really knows how many neurons are in the brain. I'm assuming this is a guesstimate.) with their complex network of interconnections, the neurotransmitters they manufacture, and the specialized receptors on which the neurotransmitters act. All this hardware develops initially according to the blueprints in the DNA of our genes, but it is also modified by experience. The "software" consists of the memories, learning, and conditioning that reflect inputs from the environment. Because the brain is a chemical organ, brain chemistry is responsible for the finely regulated and coordinated functioning of both the hardware and the software. So, even psychologic disorders must arise ultimately through chemical changes. It is not a question of psychology versus biology; on the contrary, in the final analysis psychology is biology.

If anyone has opinions or ideas that are different from this or any questions, I'd be glad to hear them. I'm still a Psych. undergraduate, but I can try to answer any questions to the best of my ability. If I don't know, I can try to find someone who does or a website that has the information. My aim with this blog is to offer help and information.

On the next post, I'll put up some info about chemical transmission in the brain. I can only hope this info is as enlightening to you as it is to me.

Text taken from: Addiction: From Biology to Drug Policy. Author: Avram Goldstein, M.D., Copyright 2001, Oxford University Press, pp. 19-21



Review My Post!

The nice people in the ad network over at PayPerPost have just introduced a new way for posties and non-posties (but hopefully potential posties) to make money. It's called Review My Post.

The details of it are basically: you click on the link I have put at the bottom of every one of my PayPerPost posts, review that post, and you get $7.50! How hard is that? It's a special offer created just for each individual that clicks on the link at the bottom of my posts.

The idea here is that once you see how easy it is to make money with PayPerPost, you'll want to become a postie (member) and make even more money! Also, once you become a member, you can click on other folks' blogs who have those little "Review My Post" links, write a review of their post, and make money that way too. Pretty cool. Yes? This is easy money. All of my life I heard the "old adage" (I don't know how "old" it is really.) that there's a difference between working hard and working smart. This is working smart. I fully expect this idea from PayPerPost will go over like gangbusters. I just don't see any reason why anyone wouldn't want to do it. I mean, who doesn't need some extra cash? I know I do.


Clonazapam (Klonopin)

This is marketed by Roche Pharmaceuticals. Since I am taking it currently and am weaning myself off of it and am experiencing some withdrawal symptoms, I thought I'd post some info here about it for anyone else who is or has taken it and wanted more info on it.

My withdrawal symptoms haven't been really severe. My hands shake a lot and my body shivers a lot, I'm more agitated/nervous and more likely to have a panic attack. I also am experienceing some confusion. Mostly this happens first thing in the morning and then I'm ok once I take my morning dosage. I went from taking 4-.5 pills/day to taking 3-.5 pills/day. One in the morning and two at night before bed. My psychiatrist has started me on the upward titration of Lamictal and I am at 100mg/day right now, but he wants me to eventually be at 200-250mg/day. He says that when I'm there, I won't need the Klonopin anymore. I hope he's right. I hate knowing that I'm addicted to something yet still have to take it.

General info by users of Klonopin on effectiveness and side effects:
Pych Central

If you're into reading really technical/scientific stuff, then the Roche Pharmaceuticals site is where you should go:
Roche Pharmaceuticals: Our Products
(I took a senior level Psychopharmaceutical class which went over several classes of drugs and how they chemically interact with the brain and this page was still a bit confusing for me, but then, I've never liked tables. I like everything to be written out for me in clear, concise words-not symbols.)

Last, but not least, here is the Wikipedia site for info on Klonopin. It has basically the same info as the Roche Pharmaceutical page, but it is easier to understand:

Again, the comment also brought over from Humanus Vegetalis.

RainMaker said...

How has this been working? I'm not sure where your doc is getting his info. Stopping the mood swings does not stop the anxiety most of the time. It stops the depression, but many people continue on in having the depression. The fact that he's taking you off the Klonopin before he has you stable on the Lamictal is of great concern!


I'm Makin' Money!

I had never heard of consumer generated advertising until I came across Cat's blog where I saw she was doing posts for PayPerPost. So, I bookmarked the page and didn't think much about it and then a few weeks later, I was thinking about the fact that I needed some money and how to go about making some. It was then that I remembered about the PayPerPost link I had bookmarked. I thought, "I can actually just write about stuff on my blog and get paid for it? This is unreal." So, I got to setting up my account and I started posting!

Some of my posts for PayPerPost and their titles have been, admittedly, odd. Considering that I'm odd...well, you get the picture. Right? I've done posts titled "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Gangster Had A Very Shiny Gun", "Does This Lock Make Me Look Fat?", "And The Heavens Opened And The Angels Sang Hallelujah". All of these and the many others that I've done have so far made me about $200.00 dollars (Well, to be exact $160.20, but I only need $40.00 more dollars to make it to $200.00.) and I've only been doing this since December 31 and on only one blog. I think that's pretty good. My aim is to make $10.00 per day and post 7 days a week. The money I will get from that goal will really help me with my rent. I'm counting on it, so I'm gonna be postin' my lil' heart out! As someone once said, "It's all about the Benjamins, baby!"



Actuate The Net

VR Hosted has now become Net Actuate. They have some new plans and programs for domain hosting since they've changed their name.

First, about Net Actuate, they are an internet presence provider, specializing in highly redundant, load balanced, multi-homed architecture. As a staunch supporter of Open Source Projects, they provide architecture needs assessment and custom consulting services.

For individuals, they offer web hosting plans for the beginner or expert user. Great for family sites, blogs, and more. A full control panel, with over 50 installable open source scripts, template sites, webmail, and secure email access are just starters. If you're looking for more control, their entry level Server Colocation options can provide you with enterprise level service, high bandwidth connectivity and SLA's usually reserved for large businesses.

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A great alternative to colocation, for experienced individuals looking for full root access and complete control to their server.

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What makes us different?
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Expert users
"If you understand the under-the-hood details, you'll also want to know that our shared hosting plans run on P4 Intel systems using the FreeBSD platform, attached to our Tier 1 carrier class redundant backbone. Because we’re also developers and web presence designers, we can support your additional needs, including perl or php module support, third party image libraries, and system utilities. You'll also want to know that each of our packages includes a dedicated IP and the potential to purchase an SSL Certificate for your domain. Expert users also get SSH Access to our servers.

We let you have management of your site with SSH Access, SFTP, Secure/Imap and Secure/Pop3 but pride ourselves in maintaining a secure environment. All control panel, webmail, and other account logins are protected by 128bit SSL encryption."

To be quite honest, in my humble opinion, the site seems to offer a range of services for reasonable prices, but some of the links on the site are snarky and some of them that are supposed to lead to different places all lead to the same page, so you wind up getting the same information over and over again. I recommend using the top-of-the-page link list instead of the ones underneath the various text blurbs. Also, some of the pages are really slow to load and I had a lot of trouble getting the links to the various ones I listed here and some of them go to the same page, because I couldn't get the individual page to load. I have a fast broadband connection and I checked my connectivity, so I know it wasn't anything going on from my end.

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



I Thought Wax Was Only For Cars And Surfboards

I know this is probably a personal question and I'm fixin' to get way T.M.I., but how do y'all remove your body hair? I'm old-fashioned. I just shave. I used to use shaving creams and whatnot, but I don't do that anymore. I just shave with water. I think I stopped using that extra stuff when I moved out on my own and figured out that I needed other things, like food and electricity, more than I needed shaving cream. When you don't make much money, it comes down to small things like that.

But that's not what I really want to talk about. I'd like to hear y'all's horror stories with hair removal. I'm going to give mine. (I told you I was fixin' to go T.M.I.)

When I was in high school the beauty companies were just starting to come out with all kinds of different Body hair removal products (I was concerned only with my legs. You know, tanning and all. Shorts and skirts were also a concern for me.) Now that I think about it, these different kinds of products were most probably available way before I found out about them. I'm sure they were available in larger cities, but when I was in high school, I lived in a town of 3,000 people (which is actually larger than the place I live now, but at least it's not an hour and a half away from a major city).

Anyway, I was in Wal-Mart one day with my dad (Wal-Mart was pretty much the only store in that town.) and I spied this wax hair removal treatment in the beauty section. I thought, "How cool. I'll just heat this stuff up, put it on my legs and I won't have to worry about them for a month!" What I wasn't thinking about was exactly how I was going to go about heating it, using it, or disposing of it. That's where the story gets bad.

I got home with my new treasure and I waited until dad left the house on some kind of errand. I went into the kitchen with this cube of wax and realized I had no idea of how to heat it. I had the box with the instructions on it, but I didn't know if I should heat it in a pot like soup or in a skillet or what. Then I thought, "What if it dries and hardens in one of dad's soup pots? He'd kill me!" (Such are the thoughts of a 15-year-old embarking on the big waxing experiment.) So, I decided to heat it in one of dad's soup pots, a metal one, because I figured if it hardened in the metal one it would be easier to scrape off than if I heated it in something like Corningware. Besides the Corningware was much more expensive and I knew I would get in trouble for sure if I broke it.

I managed to heat it enough to where it was all melty. I looked at the instructions and couldn't figure out whether to put it on my legs right then or wait for the wax to harden a little. Of course, like I said before, then I got panicked and thought that I wouldn't be able to get the wax out of the pot when it hardened, so I took a soup ladle and just ladled it on my legs. Right there in the kitchen. Holy crap it was so hot! You wouldn't think a 15-year-old would know so many curse words, but I think I managed to use them all. The wax was dripping everywhere and getting all over the kitchen floor and I was having a really hard time managing to get it evenly spread over my legs. Firstly, because it was so hot and secondly, because it was so drippy and thirdly, because I was hopping around the kitchen cursing the fact that I had ever had this "cool idea" to put wax on my legs in the first place.

Finally, the wax cooled on my legs (relief you can't imagine). So, I figured that was the time to pull it off. Again, I didn't think about the fact that hair being ripped from the follicle might hurt just a bit. The first thing that was frustrating was that I couldn't figure out how to get the wax off my legs in one fell swoop. I had seen these glamorous models on tv commercials do it so easily and I thought, "God, I'm an idiot. Why can't I do this right?" I wound up peeling it off very slowly in tiny strips, of course with the recurrent cursing. I couldn't decide which was worse, the pain from the hot wax or the pain of ripping my leg hair out by the roots. It took me forever-and-a-day to get all that wax off my legs (I had slathered it from my ankle all the way up my leg).

Eventually and inevitably, Dad came home. He saw me sitting in the kitchen floor peeling strips of wax off my legs and saw all the wax on the floor. God, was he mad at me! Then he saw the hardened wax in the metal soup pot and freaked out, "How am I supposed to get this crap out of the pot? It's going to take a jackhammer to get this stuff out!". Pretending to be "mature", I took full responsibility and promised him that I would clean everything up and that I would most definitely get the wax out of the soup pot.

Finally having gotten all the wax off my legs, I swept/scraped all of it off the kitchen floor (that took forever). Then, I came to the problem of what to do with the wax in the pot. Have y'all ever had that experience where a novel idea comes over you and if you could imagine it in cartoon form, you would have a light bulb switch on over your head? That's what happened to me in the moments I stood staring at the wax-hardened pot. I thought, "This wax came in a hardened form and it melted when I heated it. I'll just heat it again and it will be liquid again." So, that's what I did, only after I heated it I again came to a crossroad in this seemingly never-ending day. I didn't know how to dispose of the wax. I thought, "I can dump it outside in the yard, but then that would kill the grass and dad would kill me. I could dump it in the trash can. I could pour it down the toilet, but what if it hardens and then the toilet gets backed up. No, Dad would definitely kill me." At that point, I had another "light bulb" experience and decided to pour it down the sink in the kitchen. I had seen both my mother and my father pour grease down the kitchen drain and they had always told me if I ever had to do that, to make sure that I ran really hot water with it so that the grease wouldn't harden in the pipes and clog them. I figured the same would work with the wax. I poured it down the drain along with the hot water and just to make sure I think I ran the hot water for like 20 minutes after I poured all the wax out. I patted myself on the back and told myself that I had done an outstanding job of taking care of that fiasco. I felt very grown-up.

Let's fast-forward to a few weeks later. The kitchen sink was backing up. When we ran the dishwasher, the sink would back up. The toilets were backing up and sometimes overflowing. The water pressure in the showers and the sinks wasn't what it had been. So, my dad hired a plumber. He had to dig down through all the tree roots in our yard to finally get to the pipes. I remember him telling my dad with this really confused look on his face that he had found a hardened lump of wax down in the pipes and that that was what was causing all the problems.

I was grounded for two months and had to go around my neighborhood asking people if I could mow their yards or clean their houses for money because I had to pay back my dad for the cost of the plumber. I think that took the rest of the school year and all of summer vacation. Suffice it to say, I have not used wax ever again.

The good thing is that now you can get all sorts of better products for waxing. My best friend, in fact, waxes regularly and she has no problem whatsoever with it. I've had other friends use creams and whatnot instead of shaving to remove hair not only from their legs, but also from their underarm areas. They all think I'm crazy for still using a razor. They tell me that I wouldn't get ingrown hairs so much and that the skin on my legs would be so much smoother. I might give a try to an alternative means of hair removal. I don't know. Since all my friends have had positive experiences, I should probably trust them. I think I'm scarred for life from that waxing fiasco from my teenage years, but one has to be willing to try new things in life. Right?

This post is sponsored by Natural Wellbeing.com.



The reason I'm posting on this subject is that I'm a cutter. Well, I burn myself with a red hot knife, so I suppose that's burning/cutting. Regardless, it's self-mutilation and it's not a healthy behavior. The last time I cut/burned myself was over the Holidays. I haven't since, but God, I've wanted to. You know those little tapes you create in your head that speak to you and tell you to "just do it" or "you'll feel so much better". One part of my brain believes that "feel better" stuff, but the other part of me knows it's bullshit. Sometimes the bullshit wins. Sometimes not. I'm trying really, really hard to not self-mutilate. I can't say it won't happen again, but I can say that right now and hopefully for the rest of the day and night, it won't happen. I don't know about y'all, but I have to take life minute-by-minute as it comes at me.

If anyone reads this and is a cutter, burner or you do any other kind of self-mutilation, please take advantage of the links I put at the bottom of this post.

From the National Mental Health Association:


Self-Injury is also termed self-mutilation, self-harm or self-abuse. The behavior is defined as the deliberate, repetitive, impulsive, non-lethal harming of one’s self. Self-injury includes: 1) cutting, 2) scratching,
3) picking scabs or interfering with wound healing, 4) burning, 5) punching self or objects, 6) infecting oneself, 7) inserting objects in body openings, 8) bruising or breaking bones, 9) some forms of hair-pulling, as well as other various forms of bodily harm. These behaviors, which pose serious risks, may by symptoms of a mental health problem that can be treated.

* Warning Signs. Warning signs that someone is injuring themselves include: unexplained frequent injury including cuts and burns, wearing long pants and sleeves in warm weather, low self-esteem, difficulty handling feelings, relationship problems, and poor functioning at work, school or home.

* Incidence & onset. Experts estimate the incidence of habitual self-injurers is nearly 1% of the population, with a higher proportion of females than males. The typical onset of self-harming acts is at puberty. The behaviors often last 5-10 years but can persist much longer without appropriate treatment.

* Background of self-injurers. Though not exclusively, the person seeking treatment is usually from a middle to upper class background, of average to high intelligence, and has low self-esteem. Nearly 50% report physical and/or sexual abuse during his or her childhood. Many report (as high as 90%), that they were discouraged from expressing emotions, particularly anger and sadness.

* Behavior patterns. Many who self-harm use multiple methods. Cutting arms or legs is the most common practice. Self-injurers may attempt to conceal the resultant scarring with clothing, and if discovered, often make excuses as to how an injury happened.

* Reasons for behaviors. Self-injurers commonly report they feel empty inside, over or under stimulated, unable to express their feelings, lonely, not understood by others and fearful of intimate relationships and adult responsibilities. Self-injury is their way to cope with or relieve painful or hard-to-express feelings, and is generally not a suicide attempt. But relief is temporary, and a self-destructive cycle often develops without proper treatment.

* Dangers. Self-injurers often become desperate about their lack of self-control and the addictive-like nature of their acts, which may lead them to true suicide attempts. The self-injury behaviors may also cause more harm than intended, which could result in medical complications or death. Eating disorders and alcohol or substance abuse intensify the threats to the individual’s overall health and quality of life.

* Diagnoses. The diagnosis for someone who self-injures can only be determined by a licensed psychiatric professional. Self-harm behavior can be a symptom of several psychiatric illnesses: Personality Disorders (esp. Borderline Personality Disorder); Bipolar Disorder (Manic-Depression); Major Depression; Anxiety Disorders (esp. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder); as well as psychoses such as Schizophrenia.

* Evaluation. If someone displays the signs and symptoms of self-injury, a mental health professional with self-injury expertise should be consulted. An evaluation or assessment is the first step, followed by a recommended course of treatment to prevent the self-destructive cycle from continuing.

* Treatment. Self-injury treatment options include outpatient therapy, partial (6-12 hours a day) and inpatient hospitalization. When the behaviors interfere with daily living, such as employment and relationships, and are health or life-threatening, a specialized self-injury hospital program with an experienced staff is recommended.

The effective treatment of self-injury is most often a combination of medication, cognitive/behavioral therapy, and interpersonal therapy, supplemented by other treatment services as needed. Medication is often useful in the management of depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and the racing thoughts that may accompany self-injury. Cognitive/behavioral therapy helps individuals understand and manage their destructive thoughts and behaviors. Contracts, journals, and behavior logs are useful tools for regaining self-control. Interpersonal therapy assists individuals in gaining insight and skills for the development and maintenance of relationships. Services for eating disorders, alcohol/substance abuse, trauma abuse, and family therapy should be readily available and integrated into treatment, depending on individual needs.

In addition to the above, successful courses of treatment are marked by 1) patients who are actively involved in and committed to their treatment, 2) aftercare plans with support for the patient’s new self-management skills and behaviors, and 3) collaboration with referring and other involved professionals.

For More Information:
Contact you local Mental Health Association, community mental health center, or:

National Mental Health Association
2000 N. Beauregard Street, 6th Floor
Alexandria, VA 22311
Phone 703/684-7722
Fax 703/684-5968
Mental Health Resource Center 800/969-NMHA
TTY Line 800/433-5959

S.A.F.E. Alternatives (Self-Abuse Finally Ends)
7115 W. North Avenue
Suite 319
Oak Park, IL 60302
Information line: 800-DON’T CUT (800-366-8288)
S.A.F.E Alternatives


Find Treatment
Find A Therapist
Find A Support Group
Find An Affiliate of the National Mental Health Association
Medication Info
Help Paying For Prescriptions
Dissatisfied With Treatment?
Medicare Part D Info

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What's a Fly on a Wire?

A WireFly! (Ok, I know that sounds like a kiddie joke you might find on a popsicle stick after you've eaten the popsicle, but I always kinda liked those. Reminds me of popsicles in the summer.)

There is something I want to know, though. Why are cell phones so dang expensive? I think I paid something like $300.00 for the one I have now. I wish I could've found a place to buy it cheaper before I went to my cellular provider. You know, some people are good at finding deals on everything. I can find really good deals on shoes. That's about it. Cell phones are just out of my territory.

For instance, I could've gotten:

BlackBerry Pearl w/ myFaves
The super-slim, ultra-light BlackBerry Pearl for T-Mobile is the next class of BlackBerry device. Like all BlackBerry devices, the Pearl provides possibly the best on-the-go email solution for mobile professionals. But this new BlackBerry includes a good camera, a built-in music player and Bluetooth. Plus, you'll be amazed at the speed and accuracy of the SureType® QWERTY keyboard. And, best of all, this BlackBerry weighs in at a scant 3.2 ounces and is razor-thin- the smallest of its class.


* 2-Letters Per Key Design Is Compact And Fast, SureType Predictive Entry
* myFaves Compatible Device With a myFaves Plan
* Powerful on-the-go email solution when used with T-Mobile BlackBerry Plans or Plan Add-on Features
* Bluetooth Wireless Connectivity
* Viewer Software With Word, Excel, PowerPoint
* 1.3 Megapixel Camera and MP3 Music Player Built-in
* HTML Browsing For Full Internet Experience
* Large, Beautiful Color Display
* First U.S. BlackBerry With Built-in Voice-activated Dialing

What's In The Box With The Phone

* Additional Items Included - USB Cable, CD-ROM Software, Wall Charger, Battery, Ear Bud

Advanced Features

* Digital Camera - 1.3 MegaPixels (1280 x 1040 Pixel Resolution Max), Flash, 5x Digital Zoom
* Streaming Multimedia Support - Supports Video Playback of MPEG4 and H.263 Files
* MP3 Player - Yes, Supports MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, AMR-NB File Formats
* Attachment Viewing (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) - Yes, Open Word, Excel and PowerPoint files attached to emails
* Bluetooth Wireless Technology - Yes, v2.0 With Headset, Handsfree and Serial Port Profile Support
* QWERTY Keyboard - Yes, Advanced SureType Design Is Compact And Fast
* Data Capable / Use This Phone As A Modem - Yes
* PC Synchronization - Yes, Seamlessly Synchronize Your Address Book, Calendar and Email With Your PC

Messaging Features

* Mobile Web Browsing - Industry-best Full HTML Web browsing, One-touch Access, Bookmarks, BlackBerry Maps Support
* Multimedia Messaging - Yes
* Text Messaging (SMS) - Yes, Plus Group Messaging
* Email Client - Amazing "Push" Real-time Email, Integrate w/ Up To 10 Accounts, Business-secure, POP3, IMAP, SMTP
* Instant Messenger Built-in - Yes, Yahoo! Messenger and Google Talk Pre-loaded

Personalization and Fun Features

* Polyphonic Ringtones - Yes, 32 Chords, Downloadable
* MP3 Ringtones - Yes, MP3 Real Music Ringtones Supported, Downloadable
* Ringer Profiles - Yes
* Picture Caller ID - Yes
* Games - Yes, Downloadable Java Titles
* Customizable Graphics - Yes, Downloadable

Core Features

* Color Main Display - 240 x 260 Pixels, Over 65,000 Colors Displayed
* Color - Black and Silver
* Style - Candybar
* Warranty - BlackBerry Factory Warranty
* Speakerphone - Yes
* Voice-activated Dialing - Yes, First BlackBerry Phone With Voice-activated Dialing Built-in
* To-Do List - Yes
* Standard 2.5mm Headset Jack - Yes, Stereo Support
* Alarm - Yes
* Calculator - Yes
* Calendar - Yes
* Mini-USB Port - Yes
* Vibrate - Yes
* TTY Compatible - Yes

Battery Life

* Battery Type - Li Ion
* Talk Time - Up to 210 Minutes
* Standby Time - Up to 360 Hours

Technical Specifications

* Application Platform - Java
* Platform / Operating System - BlackBerry OS with Intel XScale Processor
* Data Download Speed - EDGE (Up to 144 Kbps)
* Network Compatibility - GSM 850, 900, 1800, 1900
* Compatible Carrier - T-Mobile
* Ringtone Types Supported - MP3, MIDI
* Internationally Compatible - Yes
* Predictive Text Entry - Yes, SureType Predictive Text Entry
* Built-In Memory - 64 MB, Plus Online Photo Storage
* Expandable Memory Capacity - MicroSD Card Format Compatible
* Dimensions - 4.0 in x 2.0 in x 0.6 in
* Weight - 3.2 oz

Compatibility Features

* Device Supports Voice Plans - Yes
* Available For Purchase Without Service Plan - Yes
* Device Supports T-Mobile Data Add-on Features - Yes
* Device Supports T-Mobile Blackberry Features - Yes
* Device Supports T-Mobile MyFaves Plans - Yes

Ok, that is way cooler than the phone I have and there's a $50.00 rebate on it if you go with a plan from T-Mobile. (I can't help it. I just love new technology thingies.)

I have Sprint service and I could've gotten a Blackberry with my service for $99.99 dollars after the rebate! A Blackberry for 100 bucks? Wow.

This is similar to the phone I have now, except it's newer and has more features.

Remember that I said I paid about $300.00 for it? Well, I could've gotten it on Wirefly for free with a service plan. I've been with Sprint for about 10 years now, so signing a new service plan would be nothing. Here is the page on Wirefly to see all the Sprint phones, but if you click on this link you can shop cell phones by provider or brand name. Pretty cool. Yes?

Wirefly.com is the #1 seller of cell phones and wireless plans and since I've been perusing the website, I can see why! The next time I buy a cell phone I'm going to check there first!

This post is sponsored by Wirefly.com.



Classification Of Mood Disorders~More Discussion~

Other Mood Disorders
Mood disorder due to a general medical condition is a disturbance characterized by either (or both) depressed mood or elevated or irritable mood as a direct result of a general medical condition. (For example, patients with serious medical conditions may exhibit insomnia, weight loss, and depression.) This disorder is diagnosed when the symptoms are serious enough to cause significant impairment in social or occupational functioning or marked distress. Substance-induced mood disorder is a prominent and persistent disturbance of mood (depression, mania, or both) attributable to the use of a substance or to the cessation of the substance use. Again, it is diagnosed when notable distress and impairment occur.

Symptom Features and Specifiers
To be more precise about the nature of mood disorders, DSM-IV-TR has listed certain characteristics that may be associated with these disorders. They are important symptom features that may accompany the disorders but are not criteria used to determine diagnosis. Specifiers may be used to more precisely describe the major depressive episode. Certain features, such as severity, presence or absence of psychotic symptoms, and remission status may be noted. For example, psychotic features include delusions, hallucinations, and gross impairment in reality testing (an inability to accurately perceive and deal with reality). Their presence tends to predict a relatively poor diagnosis, more chronicity, and impairment. If a person who is diagnosed with a major depressive episode has psychotic symptoms, the person would receive the diagnosis of major depressive episode with psychotic features. Similarly, major depressive episodes for some of the mood disorders may include (1)melancholia (loss of pleasure, lack of reactivity to pleasurable stimuli, depression that is worse in the morning, early morning awakening, excessive guilt, weight loss) and (2)catatonia, which is motoric immobility (taking a posture and not moving), extreme agitation (excessive motor activity), negativism (resistance to changing positions), or mutism.

Course Specifiers
Course specifiers indicate the cyclic, seasonal, postpartum, or longitudinal pattern of mood disorders. In the rapid cycling type, which is applicable to bipolar disorders, the manic or depressive episodes have occurred four or more times during the previous 12 months. The episodes may also appear with periods of relative normality in between. In some cases, there may be only partial remission in between the episodes. One patient was reported to demonstrate manic behaviors for almost exactly 24 hours, immediately followed by depressive behaviors for 24 hours. At the manic extreme, the patient was agitated, demanding, and constantly shouting; the next day, he was almost mute and inactive. The alternating nature of the disorder lasted eleven years (Jenner et al., 1967). Typical manic episodes appear suddenly and last from a few days to months. Depressive episodes tend to last longer.

One of the more interesting course specifiers involves a seasonal pattern. For some people, moods are accentuated during certain times. Lehmann (1985) noted that many depressed people find the morning more depressing than the evening. Many individuals also find winter, when days are shorter and darker, more depressing than summer. In seasonal affective disorder (SAD), serious cases of depression fluctuated according to the season, although the precise reasons for the fluctuation are unclear. Proposed explanations include the possibility that SAD is an abnormal body response to seasonal changes in the length of the day, that the dark days of winter may bring about hormonal changes in the body that somehow affect depression levels, and that disruption of the body's circadian rhythm produces mood fluctuations (T. Lee et al., 1998). SAD appears to be related to the photoperiod (hours from sunrise to sunset) rather than to daily hours of sunshine, average daily temperature, or total daily radiation (M. Young, Meaden, Fogg, Cherin & Eastman, 1997). Interestingly, "light therapy" (exposure to bright light) for several hours a day, especially during winter, appears to be helpful for many individuals with SAD (Oren & Rosenthal, 2001), as may vacations to sunny parts of the country. In some cases of recurrent major depression and bipolar disorder, the onset, end, or change of an episode conincides with a particular time of the year. For example, one man regularly became depressed after Christmas.

Other course specifiers include postpartum onset (if depression or mania in women occurs within four weeks of childbirth) and longitudinal specifiers that indicate the nature of the recurrence and the status of individuals between episodes.

This text is taken from the book 'Understanding Abnormal Behavior',pp. 353-356, written by David Sue, Derald Wing Sue, Stanley Sue, seventh edition, copyright 2003-Houghton Mifflin Company. Used with permission.

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