Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Operation Circle Care

Do you want to help send Yuletide care packages to Pagans serving over seas? There's info on how to do this if you follow this link: http://www.circlesanctuary.org/ministries/military/operationcirclecare.html

The people over at Circle Sanctuary are collecting Pagany items to send (I'm an English major...if I say "Pagany" then it's a word. don't argue.) as well as money donations to pay for shipping. More info can be found at the above link.

:)

Triple moon

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

PROTECT IP

So there's yet another bill trying to mess with the internet. Info is in the following video, and it looks an awful darn lot like the proposed censorship bill from earlier this month.


PROTECT IP / SOPA Breaks The Internet from Fight for the Future on Vimeo.

You can get more info on how to fight it here: http://fightforthefuture.org/pipa/

Yep, they're spoiled

I got a new rat cage. It was a good deal too! I got it second hand for $16 (ok so mom actually got it as an early Christmas present for the girls), and if I'd gotten it straight from PetSmart or some other pet store it would have been at least $100. Sweet. Of course I covered it in bleach before ever letting the girls near it. I don't know where it's been before.

The rat cage in all its glory!

It has two proper levels and two platforms. When I showed pictures of it to my boyfriend he said something along the lines of "That's not a rat cage, it's a rat mansion!"

(He loves my rats, by the way, and they love him. ♥ )

And if you're wondering why some of the shelves of the book case in the above photo are mostly bare...that's the rats' doing. They like to push and/or knock things off. So I've (mostly) removed the breakable things, and they make a habit of shoving off the teddy bears and other squishy things that I've left on the shelves.

A paper towel stuck through the wires of the cage.

And they've pulled that paper towel through the wires!

I like to stick paper towels partway through the wires of their cage, and they love pulling those paper towels all the way through.

My kitty Kokopelle, checking out the new cage.

Kokopelle and Beka going nose to nose.

Kokopelle of course had to check out the new cage, but I was somewhat taken aback when Beka went nose to nose with him. She's either very brave or very foolish, and I'm not sure which.

On second thought I think I'd have to go with foolish because she also tried to grab at his fur through the wires of the cage. That's a good way for her to lose a paw, so I rearranged things in a way to discourage Kokopelle from sitting right next to the cage.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A little note

To my dear pet rats:

My fingers are not chew toys.

Oh and by the way, I'm glad that Kokopelle doesn't scare you, but it probably would be a good idea to not grab at any of the cats through the wires of your cage.

Love,

Sarita

Monday, November 21, 2011

Well...

I spent oh so much time last evening and today laboring over a presentation for today's class, only to find that it's due next week.

Dang it dang it dang it dang it...

In other news, my boyfriend created a monster when he introduced me to Rocky Horror Picture Show. I have listened to the following song more times than is maybe healthy, and I've learned the words to it surprisingly quickly.



By the way, before my boyfriend I avoided horror movies like the plague. (Just like I avoid clichés like the plague.) But I've discovered that the old horror movies are more fun than horrifying. Who knew?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dad

Ok, I've got to rant. It's not as though my dad reads my blog anyways, and if he does read it then maybe it'll convince him to do something if only because I'm worried about him. Then again, it might make him more stubborn...

Dad was forced into retirement about ten years ago by post-polio syndrome. Do I hear you asking what post-polio syndrome is? How lucky you are that you don't know.

Once a person recovers from polio, even if they make a complete recovery as my dad did, that's not the end of the story for them. Years later it'll come back to haunt them again. That's the post-polio. Dad says that it's like having polio all over again.

As a result dad is in constant pain. It has taken over his life. He spends most of his time in bed. He usually doesn't eat dinner with the family because of his pain. True, he's on pain meds, but due to the schedule he takes them on he is in a lot of pain at certain times of the day. And even when he's feeling his best he's still in pain.

I'm used to this. Dad's in pain, fact of life. What else is new. But I talked to a friend last weekend who told me about palliative care, and she told me that its focus is making a person comfortable rather than curing them (which, by the way, there is no known cure to post-polio) and that because of this different approach, pain management is so much easier.

I'm not used to going dad with suggestions, so I told mom about it. She was skeptical about whether he would listen, but she said she'd talk to him.

No luck.

So I talked to him myself on Wednesday.

Again, no luck. He says he knows what he's doing and that palliative care won't do anything for him. And besides (he says), what he's doing is working well enough. Which is complete BS, but I didn't bother to point that out to him.

It's one thing to watch him suffer when I think there's nothing else for it. But to see the pain he's in when I know he's refusing to try new coping methods...what he's doing isn't cutting it, and he ought to know that.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Hank on censorship

Here's another video on censorship that I think is well worth watching.

And yes, I know it starts out on a completely different topic, and is responding to a video that you probably haven't seen (unless you're a nerdfighter like me), but bear with it.



If you want to read the video description which contains more info, the YouTube link to the video (and therefore what he's written) is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Keg6it0g2wY&feature=feedu

Psych homework

Monday evening I sat down to do my psych homework. I picked a topic, did my usual writing assignment...and then discovered when I logged onto the online class that the assignment had been something completely different.

I'm a little miffed, and I don't want my homework to have been for nothing so I'm sharing it here.

My text that I'm quoting, in case anyone is curious, is the second edition of Psychology by Schacter, Gilbert, and Wegner.

And yes, I have some pretty bizarre phobias.

~ ~ ~

Because of my own personal experience with anxiety I was already familiar with the topic, but I still learned some new things.

Anxiety is an unreasonable fear, and it comes in different forms.

  • Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) -- Chronic worry with “three or more of the following symptoms: restlessness, fatigue, concentration problems, irritability, muscle tension, and sleep disturbance” (559).
  • Phobic disorders -- Persistent fear and avoidance of certain circumstances, objects, etc. (One example of this is that if I am out kayaking and come across a log jutting up from the depths of the lake it terrifies and panics me. I’ve actually refused to kayak because of this stupid phobia.)
  • Specific phobia -- The only difference between this and phobic disorders seems to be that in this case it “interferes with an individual’s ability to function” (560). (I think an example of this would be when I almost couldn’t sleep, or even stay in bed, due to fearing that the house would burn down.)
  • Social phobia -- This phobia is when a person is afraid of appearing in public, or of being publicly embarrassed or humiliated.
  • Panic disorder -- This is when various symptoms come together which cause a person to feel “stark terror” (652).
  • Agoraphobia -- This often accompanies the panic disorder, and it is the fear of being in public places. People suffering agoraphobia are not necessarily afraid of the public location itself, but of having a panic attack there and being ridiculed or ignored.
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) -- OCD is when a person has obsessive thoughts which compel them to engage in unusual behaviors which “interfere significantly with an individual’s functioning” (563). This is in the anxiety section becasue attempting to ignore the obsessive thoughts, or trying to restrain oneself from acting on them, creates anxiety.
Anxiety definitely comes in many different forms.

Have you known someone who suffered from anxiety, or have you experienced it yourself? Based on the types of anxiety described in our textbook, which form of anxiety was it?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Oh, wow... ♥

I used to closely identify with the song "On My Own" from Les Misérables. For those who are unfamiliar with the song, or for those whose memories need refreshing, or for those who simply want to hear an awesome song one more time, here it is:



As of a couple weeks ago the song stopped fitting me. I'm not sure what my new "theme song" is, but I can tell you that I've been eating up quotes such as the following...

"When love is not madness it is not love." -- Pedro Caldrón de la Barca

"Who, being loved, is poor?" -- Oscar Wilde

"Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired." -- Robert Frost

"A profound love between two people involves, after all, the power and chance of doing profound hurt. It would never have occurred to me before that night that I could hurt Estraven." -- Ursula K. Le Guin

"If I had a flower for every time I thought of you...I could walk through my garden forever." -- Alfred Lord Tennyson

"There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment." -- Sarah Dessen

"Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own." -- Robert A. Heinlein


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Censorship

I found out today that Congress is working to pass a bill which could change the internet as we know it. That is, it could shut down sites like Facebook, YouTube...and others.

There are already laws in place to protect copyrighted material. The laws don't work perfectly, but there's such a thing as going too far and this seems to me to be too far.

More info is in the following video, but be sure to watch it all the way through because the proposed law was altered for the worse after the video was originally made and there is updated info at the end of it.



If you want to take action to prevent this you can do so at the following sites:

American Censorship: http://americancensorship.org/thanks/index.html?action_id=2449225&akid=.761157.NZ5uZ2&form_name=act&rd=1 -- There is also more info in this link, FYI

Avaaz: http://www.avaaz.org/en/save_the_internet_us_c/?tta

Obviously, blogging and telling your friends about this will help spread word, so I recommend that you do so.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Small world!

My friend The Belly Dancer returned home for a few days last weekend. She spent most of her energies on a belly dancing event and I didn't have much time to hang out with her (it didn't help that I suddenly realized on Friday that I had rather more homework than I'd thought... darned psych class) but I did get to spend some time with her, and that was great.

Gosh, I've missed her.

Belly Dancer's Body by Petr Kratochvil
I went to the belly dance event on Saturday to see her perform. I also brought along my boyfriend. Yeah, I brought my boyfriend to a place where women would be showing lots of skin and moving their hips (and other bits). Not that I regret dragging him along, it just seems funny in retrospect.

As to the small world portion of this post...

On Facebook I'm friends with a childhood friend who I've grown apart from and her mom, who I'll call Lauren, because that's the first name that popped into my head and I don't want to use her real name. Well, Lauren's status on Sunday said that she had been to a belly dance event with some friends, and that it was fun.

Imagine my surprise! Of course I asked about the location, and it turned out that Lauren and her friends had been to the same belly dancing event as me, and I just hadn't run into them. Except, I did. Lauren's cousin was a vendor there, she sold some lovely arm bracelets to The Belly Dancer, and I drooled over some porcupine hair sticks that she was selling. Lauren's cousin was on Facebook too and she commented to me "I see from your profile pic that you're friends with The Belly Dancer!" Yes, in my excitement over seeing The Belly Dancer again I found an old pic with both of us in it and am using that as my profile pic...and Lauren's cousin knows her.

So I went to a belly dancing event to see The Belly Dancer, and met the cousin of my childhood best friend's mom, who happens to know my good friend The Belly Dancer.

It's such a big world, and yet it's also so small.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Improv Everywhere: Star Wars

Just wanted to share this short video:



For those who can hear but can't see...

A woman in a Princess Leia costume boards a Subway train with a book titled Galactic Rebellion for Dummies. At the next station storm troopers board the train, grab her, and then Darth Vader boards the train at the third station. After the confrontation the storm troopers take her off the train at the forth and final train station.

All the time, the people around them laugh and record the spectacle for themselves.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Abortion

I generally avoid talking about politics on this blog, but I'm going to make an exception to that rule today.

Mississippi just voted down the "personhood" initiative, which defines human life as beginning once a female egg becomes fertilized.

On one hand I do agree that life begins at conception, and for that reason I consider abortion to be murder. That being said, I don't see the issue as all black and white, and I am glad that the initiative was defeated because it could have caused more problems than it solved.

For example, I remember a while ago there was discussion about a bill/initiative/whatever in some state (I don't remember where, so don't ask) that would make abortion illegal, but which would also make it necessary to launch a criminal investigation when a woman had a miscarriage. I could easily see the personhood initiative going in the same direction, and that is something that would do more harm than good to grieving would-be parents.

Also, there are certain extreme medical cases where I would actually support abortion. One example of where I support it is a case I learned about a few years ago when a girl who was scarcely old enough to be called a preteen became pregnant. (I want to say she was 9 years old, but I suspect I'm remembering wrong because that seems sort of impossible.) Even though she had entered puberty and was capable of conceiving a child, she was young enough that her body could not handle a pregnancy properly. I don't even know if she would have been capable of carrying a baby full term. She had an abortion, which I suspect (though I can't say for sure) saved her life. That is one case where I support the decision to have an abortion.

Another case is when a fetus grows in the fallopian tubes. There's no way that the baby can survive there, no way to save the life of the baby, but the mother's life can be saved if there is an abortion. I hate to say it, but I do support abortion in this case as well.

So even though I consider abortion to be murder I don't support laws which outlaw it completely, because it seems to me that in certain extreme cases it is necessary. And yet, how do we write a law that outlaws abortion, while still allowing it to be done in certain circumstances? It would be very tricky to write a law that would save the life of every viable fetus while still allowing women to save their own lives in cases such as those I have shared above. And I'm not sure how such a law could be written.

Maybe the best law on the topic of abortion would be that it is illegal, except in the case of where a mother's life would be in danger, and that whether an abortion is called for is up to a doctor. It would still be possible for a viable fetus to be aborted (I'm sure some doctors would wiggle their way around such a law to provide unnecessary abortions), but as I said I don't think there's a perfect way to write a law on abortion.

Lastly...

Don't even get me started about the argument that it's a woman's body and that she should be able to do with it as she pleases, because if you accept (as I do) that life begins at conception then there is not one life involved, but two. And as for the other argument often used that men don't have a right to say anything on the subject of abortion...um, it's their baby as much as it is the woman's, and as such I think they should definitely have a say in things.

Ok, I'm through. Let the arguments about my opinions begin! And since this is such a controversial subject I would like to note that although I'm fine with people disagreeing with me and arguing/debating, I can and will delete any personal attacks in the comments.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Grrr...

"For example, all animals strive to stay alive, but only human beings realize that this striving is ultimately in vain and that death is life's inevitable end. We and we alone know that every breath we take brings us just a little bit closer to our own demise."

When I read the above in my psych text book (which I talked about in this post at my book blog) I couldn't contain myself. I am sick and tired of hearing about how humans are special, and now I'm seeing this in my awesome psych book?

Ok, so humans are so special? Let's be scientific about this then, and prove that non-human animals are unaware that life is a terminal condition. What's wrong, you can't prove it scientifically? Then stop being so high and mighty about it in the classroom, where what's taught is supposed to be based on scientific evidence, and shut up about animals being lesser beings than humans.

As a matter of fact, I'm not so sure that all humans are aware of their own mortality...

*sigh* Yes, this is a subject which is a point of irritation to me.

Versatile Blogger Award

Toriz over at Torizworld awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you Toriz!!! =)

Versatile Blogger Award

The rules for accepting this award are as follows:

1) Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post.
2) Share 7 things about yourself.
3) Pass the award on to 7 recently discovered and deserving blogs.

I've already thanked Toriz, so now on to the 7 things about me.

1) I used to study Irish Step Dance. It is an awesome form of dance that I want to get back to. I studied it with my brother.
2) I also studied Flamenco, and took classes with my mom. She was my dance partner in my first Flamenco performance, which also happened to be at her workplace.
3) I tried tap dance, but just didn't like it.
4) I tried ballet lessons (on at least two separate occasions), and decided that I'd rather watch than do it. (Tall One excelled in ballet, by the way.)
5) When I watch "Star Wars" I like to sing along with the theme song for the dark side. The fact that I favor the music written for the dark side slightly annoys my boyfriend, which slightly encourages me to keep singing it.
6) My second favorite time of year is early fall, and my absolute favorite time of year is early spring. Despite the regular seasonal allergies. :)
7) Sappho is my favorite poet.

Ok, so people who have followed my blog may have already known some of those things about me. But whatever. :)

I've had no problem following rules 1 and 2, but I will have slightly more trouble with rule number 3, because I have not been looking for new blogs recently. However, I have managed to learn about two new blogs regardless, because they are blogs put together by classmates of mine, so I will pass this blog award on to them.

Unrepentant Pagan Bunnies! -- http://jimiswhipped.blogspot.com/
The Seeker's Quest -- http://theseekersquest.wordpress.com/

Sunday, November 6, 2011

This and that

It's been a while since I've written, hasn't it? Relatively speaking, anyways. I don't really have one particular thing to talk about in this post, so I think it'll be a little random.

...

My Samhain (October 31st) was pretty good. I donated blood, then my boyfriend took me to an Irish Pub for some corned beef. He figured that it was the best thing for a person who had just donated blood, and I wasn't going to argue. He also brought me homemade brownies. Yummm.

I did wind up going to school on Samhain because I had some business I needed to attend to on campus anyways, and I figured that while I was there I may as well attend class. I also didn't have to work that day (which I hadn't been sure whether I would be required to work when I first told the professor that I wouldn't be there) so I had most of the day to do with as I pleased.

Oh, and I dressed up as a kitty. :)

...

About my job. Um, well, I am officially unemployed again. I failed to make quota in my canvassing job and was let go.

Oh well. Back to the job hunt!

...

About donating blood...

My overall health hasn't been too great in the last year, even though I haven't exactly been sick with anything in particular for the most part. I have, generally speaking, felt too queasy to donate. So this was my first time to donate since June 2010.

I cannot say how happy I was to donate again.

In the past I've tended to write posts all about why it's important to donate blood, but this time I think I'll just share a video that I first shared a couple years ago about a girl who depends on blood donations.




If this makes you want to donate (which I hope it does!) you can check out this link: http://www.redcross.org/donate/give/