Rating Local Corvallis Businesses

the following represents my experience, so take my opinion as just that.

1) the asian market on 9th street. my hub and i love this place. the prices are cheap. the service is very good. they have a big bottle of aloe vera juice for around $3. you pay a lot more for that at the co-op (and that's in bulk!). their won ton wrappers are inexpensive and can be frozen. they also have some really interesting looking vegetables.

2) q'doba. i think that's the name of the place. it's on monroe, right across from campus. mexican restaurant. LOVE THE FOOD. it's always fresh. and you can SEE the ingredients, unlike some of the other fast food mexi places here in town that look as though the food had been pureed. and the price? cheap! good service, too.

3) harry's fish market downtown. ok, so the prices are more expensive than what you would get at the local grocery stores, but the fish is always fresh, most i believe is caught that very day. the first time we visited, we were waited on by harry himself, who is very jovial and sure knows his fish. when he overheard mr. nina and i discussing our plans to freeze some of the fish, he immediately piped in saying "no no no! you don't want to ever freeze fish. it loses so much of its flavor." so we bought enough for two nights and opted to refrigerate instead. and guess what? harry is right. fresh is so much more flavorful. if we could afford it, we'd buy all of our fish here.

4) northern star. i love this place. i love the beads. the temporary tatoos. the jewelry. the clothing. the glassware. all of it.

5) richey's market. excellent customer service. good selection of the hormone-free meats. their produce section isn't always the freshest though.

6) co-op. i live on the north end, so i shop at the north store. they have a 5% reduction for those who are low income, which is wonderful. overall the staff is very friendly and some will go out of their way to help you find what it is you're looking for. like many, i wish the organic products were cheaper. the prices have come down though, overall, and i hope they continue to do so. if i could afford it, i'd buy most of my food at this place. good produce section, although i've discovered fred meyer's organic produce section is just as good and overall, cheaper. however, i have found the BEST valencia oranges at the co-op. amazingly juicy. my biggest gripe about the co-op (again, the north store) is that some of the younger clerks act as though they are at a party, often talking with one another when they should be waiting on you the customer. and given some of the things i've read in the thymes, there's a complete lack of understanding for those who live in poverty and simply cannot afford to abide by the values of the co-op: buy local, buy organic, buy environmentally friendly items....... when i read these articles i want to scream "IF WE COULD AFFORD IT WE WOULD".

7) schmidt's garden center. ok, i admit to a bias here given a couple of people in my life who have worked for him--and given my own experiences. good selection of garden supplies, although if you shop around, many of these products can be purchased for less money. that being said, the owner is a real SOB. he's racist and he's abusive to his employees. as a result, i refuse to step one foot into his store.

8) the sleep center. i do not have the space on this blog to go into detail about my very ugly experiences with this place. i'll do my best to be brief. the product they sold us was defective. and even worse, their customer service is terrible. the owners both hung up on us and refused to deal with us. some time passed, i made another attempt. (at this point we had gotten rid of the mattress set and were sleeping on an old donated foam mattress on the floor.) the male owner agreed to give us something in return--a used bedding set, which he said contained a top of the line mattress that was, at most, 4-6 years old and was in excellent condition--no stains or rips. (the mattress had been one of their family member's mattresses) and a newer box spring set, which he said was in EXCELLENT condition, which in and of itself had been priced at $500. "top of the line," he raved. i thought wow, maybe they do have a conscious afterall. so it was delivered (only after i called and REMINDED him of their promise). the result? AWFUL. terrible night sleep. i called the manufacturer of the mattress and found out it was at minimum, 10-12 years old. i also noticed a big tear. and the box spring? it had a price tag on it allright--$299. certainly not the $500 as he said. and to top it off, the box springs were NOT in perfect shape. far from it. they were uneven and collapsing. i also found a couple of other folks who had terrible experiences with this place in terms of customer service. so let me say it loud and clear: I WILL NEVER SHOP AT THE SLEEP CENTER. and i would encourage all of you to do so with caution. actually, my opinion is go elsewhere. if we had had the mental/emotional energy at the time of our original purchase, we would have taken them to small claims court.

9) Darrell's Restaurant. the food is average at best. the prices modest. but it is a fun place to go play pool.

10) new morning bakery. way overpriced. food is ok. but their desserts and coffee are excellent. a nice place to go and listen to live music and stuff yourself with one of their many pastries, cakes, pies, cookies, etc. etc. etc. the main drawback--you have to bus your own table. really strange considering their prices.

11) malcolm's. really nice guys who work there, but they've gotten way too expensive. and they overbook (kind of like doctor's offices), which means you don't always get your car worked on the day you bring it in. if you have a honda, go to university honda. their labor rates are actually cheaper than malcolm's (as of this writing). go see duke. he's a life long honda owner, very trustworthy. a good guy and an excellent mechanic.

12) the gables. while i love the atmosphere, the quality of the food doesn't match the prices. at all. over-rated, over-priced place.

13) michael's landing. again, a bit over-priced. but their desserts are really good. and their raspberry dressing and raspberry iced tea are excellent. a nice place to hang outside on their patio on a warm summer evening.

14) martinazi's. i think that's the name of the place. italian restaurant on kings. i ate there once, wasn't impressed and decided to try it again. same experience. very bland food. the price was decent, but not worth it given the quality of the food. and inside it's always messy. i wish corvallis had a good italian restaurant. that and a good quality newspaper.

15) el sol de mexico. great food. great service. very recommended.

16) the beauty bar--desiree castro. she does my hair and my spouses. i have a head full of long, wavy, impossible hair and she only charges me $25 for a cut and style ($15 for the guys). and not just your basic cut--but the works. she layered my hair and thinned it out--took about an hour--for just $25. the best hairstylist i've found in this town. (tell her i sent you and she will give me a discount.) he he seriously--she will.

17) stoker's vita world. if you have a question on ANY supplement known to man kind, this is the place to go. wes is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to health and nutrition. and if you can stand the 20 minute presentation he will likely give you (per question), your time will be well spent. (although i have to say i've been buying my supplements from swanson's--an online/catalog company. i've found their products to be of very high quality and very reasonably priced. and the BEST customer service i have run across for a mail-order company. i ALWAYS get a live operator and the phone rings only once. unbelievable in today's world. just shows you it is possible!)

anyone else care to rant or rave about any of the above or offer your own experiences with other local businesses? fire away!


On Love and Marriage......

i was reading the rant this morning of a young woman who is frustrated with her spouse. they married young, had kids right away. she doesn't feel that spark anymore and feels as though she's the only one intent on working on the relationship. and yet, she laments "are relationships really this much work?!" poor thing. i've been there before.......

this caused me to reflect back on my own experiences. we live in a culture that says once you meet the right one, everything will be heavenly. we live in a culture that promotes romantic love instead of the realities of trying to mix daily life with love. i grew up like a lot of young girls, fantasizing about my prince coming to rescue me. my childhood felt like a prison at times, so i often fantasized to bring myself some relief. however, in doing so i was focused on someone else freeing me, someone else making me happy. i'd meet mr. right and everything would be wonderful.

to all searchers of love and newly married people--THIS IS AN ILLUSION. lol

mr. nina and i met in our 30's. and while the story of our meeting is indeed one for the fairy tale books (i gotta share that story one day--it really is cool and, :::sigh:::, oh so romantic), we have both had to learn that happiness is based on many factors. having a partner you feel very connected with brings an overall sense of belongingness and has, at least for us, erased a lot of the lonliness we had both felt, but it is not the miracle cure so many seekers seem to think it is.

back to the young woman's rant. yes, relationships do require work, although i don't like that word. our society is obsessed on the word "work" as though everything worth having is worth sacrificing--the more the better. (anthony hopkins laughed when told "you must work really hard". he said "i haven't worked a day in my life.") i like the phrase "tending to". it's like if you ignore your own self, you start showing signs of trouble. pay attention to your partner. show appreciation regularly. play together. check in with one another regularly. listen. most importantly, perhaps, be the kind of partner you want in return. and don't forget to snuggle and touch often--daily is best. sometimes it is in those moments of silence where everything is understood, everything is ok.


Rosie Quits The View? Uh Huh. Tell Me Another One.

It's official. ABC has announced that Rosie O'Donnell will be leaving The View as of this June. The reason? Contract dispute. Rosie wanted to commit for a year. ABC wanted her to commit to 3 years. If she were to do just a one-year-at-a-time, this would leave open the possibility of more pay increases whereas a 3 year contract would lock in a salary.

I ain't buying it. I've had a growing feeling for months now that Ms. Rosie was gonna get the ax and that it would be disguised as her making the voluntary decision to leave.

Most of us know ABC is owned by Disney. And yet how many of us know that Disney has contributed large sums of good 'ole cash to Bushes election campaigns? Rosie has been a very outspoken critic of Bush. She's challenged the establishment. She's pointed to the missing links and inconsistencies of the events of 9/11. And in doing so, she's stirred the pot in a big way, exposing this to the audience most in NEED of such exposure--conservative, upper middle class suburbanites. Add this all up and you've got a situation that makes big corporations like Disney very nervous. Gotta find a way to make this go away. And they did.

I hope she starts her own show and continues the dialogue.

Earth-Like Planet Found

How cool is this! Astronomers have found what they believe to be a planet that may be habitable. Of course, it's not yet known exactly what the atmosphere is or if the planet is rocky or a solid ball of ice, but so far scientific theory seems to be pointing towards the real possibility that life can exist. To which I have an idea: let's send the world's government and the elite off for a little joy ride. In my opinion, they've lost the right to live on this beautiful planet. They've stolen from and raped this planet and the vulnerable long enough. Of course the idea of humans destroying another beautiful planet is sickening, so perhaps my idea isn't that good. Any other suggestions??


Is Hollywood Helping to Create An Atmosphere Of Fear?

a few years ago i watched my first foreign film, or shall i say i watched my first film that had subtitles. i had resisted doing so for a long time, my thinking being i would somehow miss out on the substance of the film due to my need to read the lines rather than simply hearing them. well of course i was mistaken. i've been greatly enjoying foreign films ever since. in fact, the majority of films that seem to touch me the most are foreign made. there's an authenticity in these films that i find missing in the hollywood film genre.

there is something about my own behavior that i began to notice the past year when watching these foreign films. i realized i often tense up in fear, anticipating that something awful was going to happen. i anticipated that the main character was going to experience an unexpected tragedy or that another character would betray or injure the main character. most of the time though i discovered that my fear was unfounded. the film went along on its merry way without any shocking surprises of exagerrated violence or betrayal or suspicion.

that got me to thinking. had i become so used to the hollywood films, which are so full of acts of distrust, betrayal and exagerrated violence? had i come to expect this of all films? my conclusion? i had. i have.

this had me feeling so sad for a time (and it still does at times), and yet it makes sense to me in that it helps explain this air of distrust that permeates our culture. this brings to mind something i once saw--a documentary i believe. people in canada, on average, do not lock their doors as we do here in the states. they also don't look at strangers as someone to automatically distrust. their crime rates are lower as well. could there be a correlation? perhaps. it's something to think about.

we have a HUGE air of "DO NOT TRUST" in our culture. strange it is to me that we have the words "in god we trust" on our coins and paper money. maybe we need to print "in one another we distrust" below. silly, yes, but it is how we think and feel in our american culture.

while i am not advocating blind trust, i think it's time for us to rethink how distrustful we've become of one another. the media pumps us full of violent images and horrifying situations where people have given another person their trust and been harmed as a result, at times with deadly consequences. however, in the overall scheme of things, these instances are rare, even though a day spent in front of the television would leave you thinking otherwise. i don't know about you, but i am tired of living in fear. it's become a national obsession. it is one of many of our what i call "social ills" that needs to be addressed. let's start talking about it.


Kucinich Has Abandoned Ship

Just when I thought the explosion of internet discussion of increased gun control the past couple of days couldn't get any worse, Dennis Kucinich, a man I have admired for his open inquiries into 9/11, chemtrails, his blatant digust for the WTO and Nafta, has decided to abandon ship by creating a piece of legislation that will, get this, BAN the use, possession, sale and transfer of all handguns for civilians. Gun owners, you have been warned. This is not a conspiracy. I checked Mr. K's website, as linked in this article, and it is indeed authentic. He has abandoned ship. And I have thus abandoned my support for him. Looks like I won't be voting in the 2008 Presidential Election. He was the only one I could embrace, even if it was at a cautious distance.

Oh how lovely it is to watch our Constitution continue to be dismantled. One of the reasons for the 2nd Amendment was to allow private citizens to own weapons to use for protection against tyranny and in those events when a militia was not around to do so. (Ever wonder why our military personnel continues to be shipped to far off lands? Perhaps there's more to it than military occupation. Perhaps it is to make us here at home more vulnerable. Think about that one.)

While I consider myself one of those bleeding-heart liberals, I support the right to own firearms. Period. People have the right to protect themselves. Taking away the handguns of private citizens is not going to stop violent behavior. Other means will be used instead. What will Uncle Sam do then? Take away our fireworks? Knives? Ban the right to learn martial arts? Remove from store shelves those ingredients that are used in making explosives?

If there is one thing that would cause civil riots, it is this issue indeed. It is a day I hope to never see transpire.


Holy Crap. It's Jesus Camp!

So.... I finally watched this documentary. Hubby didn't want to see it given his religious indoctrination as a child. After watching this film I understood his refusal to watch it. I myself had a hell of a time watching it.

These days little surprises me anymore. This film, though, did just that. What I saw was no less than child abuse. For those who haven't seen it, the film documents the founding of Jesus Camp, a camp created by Becky Fischer, a Pentecostal children's minister with the sole purpose of making these children "warriors for jesus". The tricks they use follow the formula for mind control: Fear. Guilt. Repetitive phrases.

I don't know what was more shocking, more frightening. Watching this predatorial bitch brainwash these young minds (as young as 3 or so) or hearing the children speak themselves. This woman somehow thinks she's a messenger sent by god to indoctrinate our nation's children so that we may form a christian nation with christian principles, so that our children will hit the streets and "save" the "unsaved". And of course, what radical evangelical doesn't make the primary focus abortion. They're pro-life of course (although Ms. Fischer claims they have no political affiliation, no political influence). The usual evangelical mantra. They don't give a shit about ya unless you're Christian or can be converted TO Christianity or unless you're a fetus inside a womb. After that, you belong to satan. See ya at the Rapture.

Hearing the children speak is really like listening to a programmed robot. What comes out of their mouths are hate-filled phrases as spoken to them time and again by adults. These are not the words of young children. These are fearful, hateful words spoken to them over and over until they "get it". Every bit as horrifying is knowing these children's parents are not only allowing this abuse but are encouraging it.

These children are being taught to lay down their lives for scripture. As one of the camp's brainwashed little victims, Rachel, says: "it's cool" to be a martyr.

Equally horrifying is watching these young children being coerced into declaring their sins, how they are "fakes" when it comes to be servants of god, how they are to repent, all in front of the entire congregation. They may as well be beating these children with ropes. The damage to these young minds, these young hearts, is every bit as damaging.

On a rather humorous note, Ted Haggard was featured speaking at his massive congregation in Colorado. This was obviously before his REAL self was exposed for us all to see. I wondered how long it is until Ms. Fischer's REAL self is exposed as well. Wouldn't surprise me to learn she is doing the freak with another chick.

What I found disturbingly ironic (and what should put a big fat question mark of doubt into the minds of anyone who supports Becky Fischer and her agenda) is how Ms. Fischer on one hand denounces Islam while in the next breath comparing HER extreme indoctrination to that of Islam. It's ok for Christians to do it, but not the Islams. As she said "we have the truth".

No, Ms. Fischer, what you have is a belief system. We ALL like to think we are the holders of truth. But in reality, all we have are beliefs that guide us. And if you really wish to turn this nation into your version of a "christian" nation, I'll have to pass on that one. Me and the rest of the satan-guided sinners will continue to do just fine on our own.

What haunted me throughout the film, and continues to do so at this moment, is the thought that these children are going to be out in society, functioning as adults, in a few short years. This movement is growing. What began as a group of adults who formed their own belief system AS adults has turned into a cult where children are now the pawns, where children are being forced to adopt the views of the adults around them, without being given the option not to. This is far worse than what most of us experienced in church growing up. Sure many of us had freaks at the pulpit, preaching a bunch of crap while twisting the values of love and peace and respect. However, most of us weren't forced into being "warriors for jesus". Most of us weren't coerced into walking the streets in order to recruit new members. It's one thing when adults do it. It's all together something different when children do. It's wrong. It needs to be stopped. Now.

No Solicitors In Corvallis Oregon

We have one of those signs next to our front door. Homemade. It used to read "No Solicitors Divine or Otherwise", but then due to a rain/wind storm, that one got ruined, so I put up another one that simply reads "no solicitors".

I need to add the "devine or otherwise". The religious converts (Jehovah's Witness and Mormons) are in full swing lately in my neighborhood. They woke us up this morning with a knock on the door. I smiled and pointed to the sign. "Oh, we weren't sure if that meant us," the man said. I said it did, then shut the door, but not before the young woman said "have you noticed the cruelty that is being played out around the world?"

As I shut the door I reflected on her statement. If I were quicker on my feet and well, ok, more awake, here is what I would have liked to say to her: "Around the world? Honey, look around your immediate surroundings. LOOK AT WHERE I LIVE. I pay almost $700 a month for this dive just so some home owner can increase his net worth. You see that open window? Want to know WHY it's open this early in the morning? Because this place has so much fucking water under it the humidity levels get upwards of 70%. That is so unhealthy. The owner knows this but he doesn't care. I would say that falls under the definition of cruel. And let me ask you this. Are you allowed to be a church leader? No? Is it because you're a woman? Of course it is. I would say that falls under the definition of cruelty as well. And that older man who is accompanying you. He has on a very expensive suit. He probably lives in one of those mansions up near Timberhill, right? Of course he does. He's white, he's male and he's a church leader. Does he share that wealth with his congregation? Does he make sure everyone who enters his church has a safe, secure, sound and affordable home in which to live? Of course he doesn't. That again seems rather cruel to me. And one last thing. Dishonesty is pretty cruel as well. Why do you folks knock on my door and pretend to be so interested in who I am, asking me if i need anything, when in reality you are only here to convert me? At least be honest with me. When you visit my house, simply say "hello I am here under the request (pressure) of my church to convert you. if that is of no interest to you, we will not be helping you."

Perhaps I will type up a letter stating what I really want to say to them, make some copies and stick them in an envelope, label it for these folks. They'll probably walk away, shaking their heads, and saying what most brainwashed religious nuts do: "we'll pray for you."


The "Real" Reason Why Don Imus Was Fired?

This would make a bit more sense to me considering the filth spouted by talk radio hosts on a daily basis and considering Imus has a history of making such insensitive remarks. Although I might add, take this article with a grain of salt. It is, afterall, an op-ed piece by Sorcha Faal. Anyone able to come up with the audio between Tim Russert and Imus backing up this assertion, please let me know.

A Possible Explanation: Why Are The Bees Disappearing?

Could it really be so simple? Could humans and our obsessive need to be wired 24/7 be the cause? If this isn't enough of a reason to toss out our damn cell phones or at least greatly restrict our addictive need of them, I don't know what is.

I've noticed a trend the past year. When I give out a phone number to say, for example, a potential employer or doctor's office, I am now asked for my cell phone number. I'm no longer asked if I even have one. It's just assumed I do. Sorry, I don't own one. And if they are indeed messing up the bees ability to navitage, I can guarantee I never will.


The Virginia Tech Shootings: The Day After

I watched the first 45 minutes or so of today's convocation. It was heart-wrenching to watch the photos of those who were murdered. Smiling faces, so many of them so young. None of them likely knowing their life would be ending so early.

Then there was the face of the young man who did the killing. Also so very young. His life, too, ending so early. And not surprisingly, learning that he kept to himself. As the man on television went through a brief list of details about this young man, all I could think of was "no surprise there."

What was troubling to me was the labels that were put on him. "Moody." "Social outcast." "Loner." Labels only describe the behavior and are such, so limited and often judgmental. They do not describe the cause, the reasons behind the behavior. I hope the media doesn't glorify his memory with labels. That won't solve a thing.

As I mentioned in yesterday's blog, there is a real opportunity to heal here. An opportunity to talk at a level we still continue to fail in doing. It's so long past the time to remove all of the masks we wear. It's so long past the time to stop the finger pointing. The blaming. The judging. Well perhaps not stop. It's human nature to do these things. But maybe we can really begin to talk without censoring ourselves. And then keep talking until the anger has been expelled, and the pain reached. Once the tears begin to flow, you know you've found the place when things can be understood (or at least accepted), when healing can begin.

I watched Oprah today for the first 20 minutes or so. The conversation again was more about pointing the fingers at others. The audience practically went nuts with applause when one man sternly said Don Imus is a racist and there is no one to blame but himself for his comment. Ok, fine. So he holds that belief. Why? Let's examine that.

Sigh. We get keep getting so close...........

Who I Used To Be......

i was remembering some of the old beliefs i used to have. it's hard for me not to laugh today...not necessarily at myself, but how ridiculous some now seem to me. perhaps though, most, if not all, weren't really beliefs i held. perhaps the truth is that they were someone elses beliefs that were spoon fed to me. and i being the trusting, naive little sponge, soaked it all up. and in doing so, my own voice was left alone in the dark. thank god she's a screamer. : )

here they are in no particular order:

1) i used to believe the gay lifestyle was sinful and that gays and lesbians were going to hell.

2) along those lines, i used to believe in a real place called hell. you know the deal. fire and brimstone. damnation. a devil with the pointed ears and, in my vision, really bad teeth.

3) i used to believe in a god that was male, complete with penis and chest hair. he had an issue with women, too. he didn't like them speaking out too much. again, thank god my inner voice is a screamer.

4) i used to believe women were subservient to men (oh geez, is that a hard one to own). men were the head of the household--their needs came first. (thanks mom.) holding that attitude started my whole struggle with anxiety and panic. put your needs last long enough and you start to lose it.......

5) i used to believe in our government. i used to believe everything they told my television monitor.

6) i used to believe in the american dream. now i see it for what it really is--just a dream. and until people wake the fuck up and demand a different, fairer, just and better society, it will continue to be only a dream.

7) i used to believe people who lived in poverty were worthless, lazy and stupid. life made sure i swallowed, digested and eliminated that pill.

8) i used to believe my family would be there for me no matter what. another equally bitter pill to swallow.

9) i used to support the minimum wage laws. no longer. if it's not a living wage, it's slavery. criminal. period.

10) i used to believe my vote really counted. now with seeing how easy it is to rig a voting machine and upon realizing people are often appointed by a select few THEN elected, well you get the picture.......

11) i used to believe i could have it all if i worked hard enough. tell that to my frazzled, fatigued brain and body. it's a myth created to keep us enslaved to "how things are". the media only shows us those people whose hard work paid off. they fail to spotlight the millions whose hard work does not pay off.

12) i used to believe i had to earn my worth.


Shooting at Virginia Tech (and others like it) is not about guns. Instead it is about something much deeper. Let's begin the conversation...

I watched in stunned sadness as word came out that 33 young people were killed today by someone who was obviously desperate, out of control, feeling they were out of options. Given the person who committed this ugly, violent act committed suicide, we may never know all of the reasons why. In the immediate term, most people don't want to know why. In the long term though, most of us ask that question. Why? What makes someone just snap like this?

I've read some posts today about the shooting and there are some who are using this as a reason to advance their anti-gun agenda. If private gun ownership were outlawed, this wouldn't have happened, they argue. While I understand their passion, it's a flawed argument, one I would think we all would understand by now.

You know the saying. "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." Perhaps the more accurate way is saying "People kill people and sometimes their weapon of choice is a gun." We can insert a myriad of items in place of gun: knife, axe, hammer, bomb. Or hands. While a gun provides the option of harming or killing more people than a knife or other such weapon, taking away guns from all citizens is not going to stop this kind of senseless killing.

It is time to talk about our culture in a new way, in a way that's never been done before (at least not in any real public format). I'm not just talking about violence and how it is glorified on television and in the movies. That's been talked about enough. I'm talking about what we value in this society. How we treat one another. How we FEEL about ourselves, about one another. Our fears, our hopes, our dreams. Our pain, our anger, our prejudices. Sorry folks but until we truly get "touchy feely" with one another, we're going to continue to miss the train on this gun and violence issue. Today on Oprah the conversation has begun on Don Imus' thoughts and his following firing. I watched the show for the first 30 minutes (missed the last part--had to tend to doggie duty and get back to work) and did not see ONE person admit to any of his or her own racist, sexist, etc. thoughts. And that's too darn bad. Having an open honest candid conversation as Miss Winfrey advertised it as MUST include that finger being pointed in our own direction as well and not just about what we can do differently but what our own thoughts and actions are and how they contribute to this particular social problem.

I realize I am speaking about two different issues here: gun violence and racist thoughts. But they are related in their own way. Both are the results of unacknowledged pain and fear. We must begin talking about our American Way of Life. Rugged individualism. Capitalism, or shall I instead say greed (not personally against a for-profit system--just against that profit outweighing human dignity, value and worth). Competition. We must ask ourselves what we value and how we define worth.

People shooting others. People shouting racist thoughts. There are reasons why people do this. We must understand why and talk about it. There is a real opportunity for healing here. A REAL OPPORTUNITY. Life keeps tossing these things out at us. Wouldn't it be nice if we actually got it for once as a collective whole?

Conscientious Neighbors and Landlords. Do They Exist?

As I have mentioned before, Mr. Nina and I live in a duplex. The rent is outrageous, the place is in need of a new roof, new siding, new carpeting. The walls are thin and the insulation is lacking. The landlord has spoken with us a lot about the economy, how the middle class is dismantling (how he is one of them) how housing costs are outrageous, how wages have declined. We've spoken about the corrupt political system, the war, etc. etc. Despite being on the same page on many issues, this guy lacks a conscience when it comes to gouging us on rent and not keeping his word on needed (and necessary) repairs. When a repair is done, he usually does it and his workmanship is crappy. Two such occasions required a professional to be called in. In short, he's a slumlord. He talks out of one side and yet behaves in the same damn manner at the greedy fucks he bitches about.

Then there are our neighbors. Actually, overall we have excellent neighbors. We were able to get some drug dealers evicted as well as the party-all-night kids. I'm speaking about the neighbors who share our duplex. They come home late at night, anywhere between midnight and 3am, stereo thumping, talking on their cell phones, laughing, singing. This wouldn't be an issue if their driveway didn't happen to share the same wall as our bedroom, which as mentioned above, is paper thin. But it does and so this has been an ongoing problem, one which we have spoken to them numerous times, spoken with the landlord (who gathered us all together and had the neighbors promise us when they came home--late at night only, their stereo would be turned off and they would stop their conversation until they got inside the house). They also have a habit of hitting this particular wall with their car. Yes, you read correctly. We've been woken up several times (the last being a Sunday morning last month around 7am) to the sound of "crash" then "crunch". Talk about terrifying! That particular morning, we went outside and saw that the idiot hadn't even moved his car. I took pictures, called the landlord and left a message saying "You need to talk with them about this. I am afraid they will come crashing through the wall and injure us." I told the landlord they've already damaged the wall--that is visible, I took pictures, etc. Think he called us back?? Nope. I don't know if our neighbors are just utterly stupid, drunk, or completely lacking in courtesy. Likely lacking in courtesy, considering how they have not respected our wishes to "ssshhh" when pulling in the driveway late at night. Last night, we were woken out of a sound sleep at 2:30am by the sound of someone throwing something against the wall. We both leap out of bed, rush outside and notice one of their bicycles. Let me tell you it took everything within me not to take that bike and throw it out into the street. (fuckers don't ever lock up their bikes so any thief or better yet, any homeless person in need of some money let me know and i'll give you the location. why should i care? these idiots do not value their personal property. they drive high end cars, too so it isn't like they are hurting for money.) At this point, my respect for them is gone. GONE. My sleep has been fucked with for so long, my body has shown the signs. I am exhausted from being woken up, at times in a state of panic. My adrenals are likely burned out and in need of some help (i found a medical doctor here in town trained in accupuncture and oriental medicine--and she's covered under our insurance--that was a real blessing and an answer to a very long-requested intention/desire). These fuckers mess with my sleep again, I will fuck with them right back. I now understand the drive for aggressive behavior. Not everyone respects assertive, respectful requests.

We've decided to move. But to where? Are there really any soundly built, safe, up-to-code clean homes (no more apartments or duplexes for us--we are done with sharing walls) for rent in QUIET neighborhoods that are owned by conscientious homeowners who aren't into price gouging, who respect the rights and privacy of their tenants for under $700 a month in Corvallis, who are looking for tenants who take excellent care, both inside and outside, of the property, who treat it as if it were their own home? If so, let me know.


UFO Sighting in Corvallis

Anyone else see an unexplained (flash) ball of white light last night around 9:10pm?? NW location. Looked kind of like an airplane light, only larger, then disappeared..... ?

That gives me a laugh. Last weekend my mother and her boyfriend stopped by for about an hour. The talk turned to the coast and Yachats. That's when I said "that's the place where I saw my first UFO." Boyfriend gave me a look like "wow i didn't see that one coming". Mom, who when I told her at the time believed me, gave me a very uncomfortable look, as in "ssshhh change the subject". I've seen it throughout my life. Instead of changing the subject, I just sat there quietly, smiling, and let them begin a new conversation. Fuck 'em for passing up such an exciting conversation.

The one I (and Mr. Nina) saw at Yachats was triangular. When it passed overhead the street lights flickered and two went out. It was completely silent. And massive. Hard to pick out details considering it was night. Being it was my first one, I was both terrified and exhilirated. All of the hair on the back of my neck stood up on end. I had tears coming out of my eyes as I clung to my hub, the two of us saying "oh my GOD do you see that? do you really see that?" Our next encounter came in the summer of 2005 at the height of the perseid (sp) meteor showers, shortly after midnight. I saw it first and immediately yelled "HOLY CRAP LOOK AT THAT HONEY!". It was also triangular and I saw it suddenly appear as if entering our galaxy (which I am confident it was doing just that). It then finished banking, straightened and headed due south. We followed it for a few moments until we couldn't see it anymore. I was jumping up and down, yelling (likely waking up our neighbors in the process) while Mr. Nina kept trying to quiet me. His attempts failed of course. I was too into the experience, too excited.

When it disappeared, I felt this emptiness, this sadness. A part of me wanted to go with them. Maybe they'd take me--us--in as family. Assuming of course they are beings from a distant galaxy and aren't really just some of our own flying government/military made craft........... I no longer have a definitive opinion on that one. Actually for most everything that goes on in our world, these days I seem to have an "i really don't know" sense.


Cost of Milk Up Thirty Cents a Gallon

jesus christ....... eventually i'm going to be forced into a water only diet (well in terms of beverages that is). i went to the co-op today to get a few items and noticed my non-fat lockmead milk had jumped thirty cents. i can't afford organic so i opt for lockmead because they don't use that nasty growth hormone. i realize the cost of fuel is up, but lockmead comes from junction city, so why the over 10% increase i'm not sure. i asked the cashier and he wasn't sure. i sighed as i said "my income sure isn't keeping up with any of this." i added something that got me a very hesitant, strange look. "you know what? it's time for me to approach my employer and say ok. we have a problem here. my food items are climbing. fuel costs are up to $3/gallon. therefore i need to charge more for my services that i provide for you as an employee." it was tongue in cheek--kind of. behind it was a real fire, a real desire to see not only myself do this but to have an employer who would actually give a crap and agree with my demand, er, request.

anyway the look i got........ the cashier (an older man with whom i have spoken on several occasions) finally said "well that's not how things are done" to which i slapped my hand on the counter, gave him a big smile and said "but that is how things COULD be done, right?"

i have never been one to be told "that's just how things are". never never never. goes completely against who i am. i may be what one would call middle age (or perhaps the truth is i'm slowly entering that stage) and it's taken me a long long time, but i think i'm starting to really find my voice. and use it. either that or i'm having a mid-life crisis. maybe a combination of both. thank god i'm not menopausal. yikes. all i know is i have this huge ball of anger and pain inside of me that continues to grow, threatening to consume me if i don't get all of this shit out. i've worn that happy, pleasant face long enough. i've smiled when inside i want to spit on the person in front of me. i've said "that's ok" WHEN IT WAS NOT countless times. i've pretended, i've hid, i've run away, all out of fear of abandonment, fear of rejection, fear of being the only one left standing on the podium, alone with my voice and nothing else. but i can only hide for so long. like it or not, my body is saying, screaming actually: "GET THIS SHIT OUT OF HERE AND BE YOURSELF". yesterday i sat in my car alone and listened to queen's "we are the champions". i had it cranked, tears streaming down my face as i heard that beautiful soul freddy mercury cry out, emphasizing each word, "and we'll keep on fighting, 'til the end". that's me. my voice is being heard and will continue to be heard as long as i'm on this planet.

can you imagine a world where employees and employers actually bargain with one another and come up with an agreed upon wage TOGETHER??? imagine all of the service sector employees having that power! with unions essentially a thing of the past, something must be done so all employees have a real voice. this "at will" crap passed in oregon took away rights from the employee and handed them over to the employers. an employee has ALWAYS had the right to terminate his/her employment relationship. so this bullshit of a mess was created for employers. i read one moron's blog awhile back who supported the "at will" situation, calling for even MORE rights for employers. he is an employee and not an employer, which i found even more interesting. as he stated (paraphrased of course): "an employer should be allowed to fire someone who decides to become a cross dresser." wtf??!! number one, AN EMPLOYER ALREADY CAN. this dipshit is under the illusion that an employer cannot do this. an employer can fire you for ANY REASON or for NO reason and that reason does not have to be provided, nor does it have to be truthful. sure we have anti-discrimination laws, but what good are they when an employer can one day send you packing without a reason? it is then up to YOU to prove your side and trust me, unless it's a class action suit, no attorney will take a case against an employer, not even a small employer. mr. nina and i have experienced that one first hand.

and number two, an employer should NOT be allowed to fire someone because they decide to dress in the opposite gender. anyone remember the 80's???? shoulder pads and bland pant suits and ties and that hideous look of pulling back all of ones hair so that a women looked more like a man??? i always despised that look but i sure as hell support the right of people to dress as they deem fit (appropriately for the environment of course).

so back to my milk crisis. i was tempted to put it back on the shelf. i may stop buying milk and switch to rice milk or soy milk. there are some good brands--but hmmm they are typically even more expensive so why did i even bother considering that idea???

i need to own some land so we can have our own dairy cow. or a goat or two. some chickens for eggs. plant our own veggies. let's see, i should be able to do that here in corvallis for about, hmmm, say around $300,000.

looks like i'm gonna have to ask for that raise afterall.......


Governor Kulongoski Vows to Bring Attention To Hunger Problem....By Living on Foodstamps for a WHOLE Week!

My response? Big fucking deal. The amount he and his wife are living on is ridiculous, too. $65 for the week, which adds up to $260 a month. That's about the maximum two adults can receive.

If he wants to impress us, let's see him live for a month on $100 for he and wifey. He and other law makers too. Hmm, I may be onto something here. It would certainly be a wake-up call to require all of our legislatures to live for a month on $100 dedicated for food. Actually I'd take it one step further and have him work one of the myriad of low wage jobs (which I now define as any job that has not kept up with the cost of living) then move into a run down rental, thin walls, drafty. Maybe throw in some loud neighbors. Do that for a month, then I will be impressed.

Speaking of food stamps and hunger, I have been attempting to reach the director of the Linn Benton Food Bank at Community Services Consortium for over 6 weeks now. I've e-mailed him three times in those 6 weeks, expressing my concerns over the food bank situation here in Corvallis. I never even received an acknowledgment from the guy. Flake. The last time I e-mailed him I said I was feeling dismissed and said he had 24 hours to respond or I would be contacting the Executive Director, which is just what I did this morning. This is a community agency and this is how they treat local citizens within that community who have concerns? Not impressed. Oh, there are some good folks down there for sure, but I have dealt with a couple of real, um how do I say this, losers? Certainly people who don't give a shit about those in need in this community, and at the very least, haven't a clue as to what it's like living in poverty. I remember one woman we spoke with a few years ago when we were in need of rental assistance. At the time my spouse and I were looking for work and were clients of Voc. Rehab (another agency with some questionable emloyees). As I've stated, our families are utterly lacking when it comes to providing us support, love, etc. etc. So we were pretty much on our own, making a hellish situation all the more hellish. Anyway, this woman was rambling on about how we would both be required to eventually find full time work and was questioning why we were having such difficulty in doing so. My spouse and I then found ourselves justifying our lives to this woman. We had shared our situation so many times with local community agencies, we had grown tired of it, so we got a bit emotional. Well, rather than find compassion within that cold, prissy heart of hers, she pursed her lips and said in this very snooty voice, "well perhaps this program wouldn't work for you. You do need to remain calm when working with us." Calm? Who in the hell can be calm when you have been facing homelessness month after month plus dealing with health issues that certainly were being made worse due to living in poverty? I wish I had said something to her along those lines, but instead we apologized for our tears.

Before we left she said 'we have an excellent program here to help you find work." We just snorted. Each of us had used their "excellent" program. All they did for me was give me a list of websites to visit (websites I was already visiting) and proofed my resume. When I asked if there was anything else they offered I was told they would be contacting me. No phone call ever came. Being I had had to call in over half a dozen times just to connect with someone and make an appointment, I let that one go. My spouse had pretty much the same experience.

Anyway, back to my concerns I've had about the local food banks. In a nutshell, the food sucks. It's unhealthy, overprocessed and I cannot tell you how many items I end up throwing away when I get home because they are expired. And I'm talking about salad dressings, soy milk, yogurt and mayonnaise. Essentially what our "charitable" grocery stores are doing is giving away food items they can no longer sell, instead giving it to the poor. That's right, the poor will take anything, right? Well that practice the food banks and grocers are participating in is only serving to perpuate that falsehood. One of my myriad of business ideas is to form a non-profit that addresses this issue. The need is there. People, irregardless of their income, are worthy of fresh, healthy, abundant food. Period. End of story.

My other issue is the amount of food. Mr. Nina and I used to live in South Corvallis and as such, visited the Tunison Food Bank. After moving to the northern section of town, we noticed the food bank that serves our area gives out a lot less food. Seeing the food shelves pretty barren is becoming more frequent.

I realize our federal government has been channeling (stealing) OUR money into this god damn war, into the war on drugs and into the pockets of corporations and others who DO NOT NEED ANY FURTHER CASH. As such, social services programs are suffering greatly. People scream that our government needs to stop the practice. I completely agree. However, I'm pretty tired of waiting for our government to cough up a conscious and do what is right for the people. Therefore, I think it is time for the community of Corvallis to begin its own "Redistribute the Wealth Program". There is a lot of money in this city. A lot of wealth. Enough so that maybe we can build a model community right here--a community where everyone has his/her basic needs met--safe, sound, affordable housing, fresh food, clothing. So let's begin by asking those who have the most cash to give: the wealthier, private citizen; the profit-making bigger business--will you step up to the plate and help? This woman is tired of hearing all of this talk from people in this community about progressive leadership, progressive politics. Progressive means forward thinking, not doing things the same. Take a look around our streets, our neighborhoods. There is a real poverty problem in this community that is only growing and why? Because the system keeps spinning the same model, day in and day out. So let's truly be progressive and talk about REAL ways to end this very fixable problem.


Don Imus--Why All The Hoopla? (no pun intended, btw)

What the fuck? Enough already! I am so tired of seeing so much outrage when an imperfect human being lets loose outloud one of his or her prejudices. WE ALL HAVE THEM. Rather than focus on suing or punishing the individual, let's use this as an opportunity for REAL dialogue. Honest, pure, blunt dialogue about the stereotypes, the prejudices and all the "nasty" little thoughts we all hold about one another at times.

Where's this same outrage when gays are attacked with ugly names? Or women who have to use their bodies to make money because daddy has left the scene? Or even when people attack the non-believers (and believers for that matter)? Or the asians? Or the middle easterners? etc. etc. etc.

I'll start the conversation with my own prejudices. This isn't meant to upset anyone, although I realize I'm sure a lot of buttons will be pushed. That's a good thing! That means a painful issue has been triggered. You can't heal from something unless and until it's acknowledged. When I'm in back of a slow driver, I automatically assume it's an asian person. Or an old person. When I'm correct, I say A HA! In my mind, slow drivers are asians and old people. When I hear of a male abusing a female, I think "men are pigs." I also have, something I just realized the past few months, a disgust for mothers--at least ones who look and act a certain way. This is likely due to the relationship I have with my own mother--of which I am now diving deep into the recesses of my pain and confusion after removing the guilt that kept me from doing so. I also hear the "n" word go through my mind when I see a black person do something that upsets me. If you're jewish, I'm likely to think at some point that you're a whiney, wealthy idiot. (And I am half jewish by heritage!) If I see college students driving expensive vehicles, I think "spoiled brat". If you're hispanic, I at times assume you're either lazy or taking over our country. And I also assume if you're a republican or a christian, you are someone whose value system doesn't come close to the superiority that is mine. Actually I will take that one step further. If you either a democrat or a republican or religious, then blah blah blah.....

Some of these thoughts were formed due to direct experience. Take for instance the men are pigs mantra. That came from being raised by a man who verbally abused me and called me names. He had this hatred towards me at times (that was unpredictable) I never understood. One moment he would be so unbelievably ugly towards me, the next, the most loving daddy I could want. Then I married the first guy who asked me (while I ignored those who really cared for me--that was too scary for me) and spent the next 7 years being ignored. Being date raped after I divorced him didn't help matters. The college students who today I sometimes think "spoiled brat" comes from me being raised by a father whose priority was to own the best homes, the nicest cars, while his children went without. A father who cheated on my mother and spent my college money on his mid life "crisis".

Most of the rest were formed due to the crap that permeates our society. None of us are immune to it. Most of us though are unwilling to own those thoughts. It's time we do so. Maybe then the finger pointing will end and honest talk will begin. And it is only through such dialogue that healing and coming together can happen.


Speaking Out......But Is Anyone Listening?

i've concluded, no wait, i've fully accepted my existance is shit. or perhaps i should say i've fully accepted those things about my life i despise. it's an awful feeling--one i've avoided for quite some time in my attempts to change my life. sometimes though you've just gotta accept things as they are.

i was asked a few weeks back "what if this is all there is for you?" holy crap, i thought. absolutely no fucking way is that ok, tolerable, acceptable for me.

i liken the feeling to having your heart torn apart, your guts ripped wide open and thus you are bleeding, in need of help and yet no one sees. no one cares, at least not enough to help.

i've had so many of my dreams and goals gone unmet for simply too long. i'm fucking tired of going it alone. i'm too fucking tired to continue going it alone. course, it isn't like i haven't been asking for what i need. and want. i have. i just keep receiving the "NOPE" sign. i can't rely on mr. nina anymore than i already do. he's experiencing the same mental/emotional state.

living in poverty certainly can do this to a person. when you desire to own a home and when you desire to find/create employment that pays you a wage that ensures you will own a home--when this ongoing process continually fails to be achieved, something begins to happen to the psyche. call it a breakdown. i don't know what else to call it. what makes it even more difficult is when you are someone like myself, an idealist, the type who can accept reality but who also knows "things do not need to be like this", whose value system doesn't even come close to the capitalistic/rugged individualistic approach of our society.

it's even more painful when you have immediate family members who see you struggle, who themselves are doing swimmingly well financially and yet who don't do a damn thing to help. and when you ask for some help, you're met with judgement. my mother, who is doing very well financially, just sold her home for around $400,000. she is moving in with her boyfriend so they are combining households and therefore a lot of items must go. there are two things she knows my spouse and i have been in need of: a platform for our mattress and a couch. she has a platform she decided to get rid of. and yet she gave it to my brother and his wife. their income? over $100,000/year. our income? just under $25,000. yep. sounds fair to me.

anyone know what it's like to be the black sheep of the family? to be neglected, ignored? it's excrutiatingly painful. and i know i need to stop wishing and wanting for things to be different. but how do you do that? as long as i have a heart capable of experiencing emotions, this will always be painful. i believe in sharing the wealth. looking back on my childhood, i realize i always have. i shared my money with my brother countless times. gave him money to help him get through college. never even thought of asking for it back. yet when i asked him for money--the one time i did--a couple of years back, he said no. and yet this fucker, this greedy son of a bitch, this flaky lying asshole, just a few years ago when he took this good paying job, told me it would finally be wonderful to be able to help out family financially if someone ever needed it. as he said "afterall, that's what family is for. always there for you in whatever way possible, right?" i had tears in my eyes at the time, thinking "he's finally coming around!"

LIE. fucking fucking LIE.

i have a dream. i have many dreams. i dream of home ownership. i dream of having a child. i dream of having my own non-profit. i dream of seeing my music sung. i dream of writing a regular column for a publication. i have networked with so many people over the years in this town. i've written to oh so many "famous" type folks who i admire, who i believe in, offering my gifts, talents, skills. i've written the talk show folks saying I NEED HELP CREATING MY LIFE. whenever i hear of something, whenever life has brought something to me that says "follow this", I FOLLOW IT. and each and every fucking time it's a false lead. goes nowhere. i've become oh so pessimistic as a result. it's hard not to. i've resisted the apathy, oh god how i've resisted it. but it is there.

i need a life coach. i need someone who can help me realize and create my goals. i can do it with that support, that guidance. i need someone who will stick with me. (i say that because for awhile i was a client of vocational rehabilitation and within 2 months of sticking me with a job coach, they terminated my services--without warning. i begged them to reconsider as my job coach was wonderful. i asked if she would then work with me on a volunteer basis, saying i really needed the assistance. she couldn't--or wouldn't--do that. my motto: if you're unreliable, if you're a flake, STAY AWAY FROM ME.) i'm seeing a counselor to deal with the emotional pain of life. and yet i need so much more than that. my greatest pain i have realized is knowing i have yet to achieve the goals, the dreams i have set for myself. I CANNOT DO THIS ALONE. I NEED HELP.

of course i know life coaches charge, usually $75/hour or so. i don't have that kind of money (if i had the kind of career i long for I WOULD, course then i likely wouldn't need a life coach so that point is kind of mute, eh?). the counselor i'm seeing is free for x number of sessions (long story on that one that i won't go into).

blah blah blah. as i so often feel, i am screaming, but is anyone listening????????????


Rosie O'Donnell Refusing To Remain Silent

While I don't normally follow the lives of celebrities and therefore, do not post about them, I am making an exception for Rosie. As most know, she's been questioning the events of 9/11 publically the past several weeks. And as some know, she has been ridiculed for it. Viciously.

On this morning's The View, Rosie went on a 9 minute rant about the events of 9/11, in particular talking about WTC Building 7, claiming buildings do not fall in that manner unless there are explosives involved. She went on to say they are going to have a Physics Professor on The View to talk about the physics of melting steel and building collapse. Also of interest, she talks about going outside of the U.S if you want the "truth" of what's really going on in the world. She reminded some of us while educating others that the media is controlled by just 4 corporations, including ABC, who of course airs The View.

The beauty of this is that her words went out to upwards of 30 million viewers, many of them elderly folks and stay-at-home mom's who are less inclined to be politically involved let alone interested in knowing the facts about 9/11.

It's become obvious she will not remain silent irregardless of corporate or public/peer pressure. I applaud her for her courage to speak from her heart for she is certainly risking her career over her search for truth. We salute you Rosie. Rock on!


Bras and Breast Cancer. Is There A Link?

about 15 years ago or so, while living in seattle, i saw an archeologist give an interview on television about a study she had done on women who wear bras and breast cancer. it was a bit of an accidental study. the inspiration came about during one of her travels, this time to an island in the pacific. she was inside her hotel room. the housekeeper was busy cleaning in the bathroom. in time, the housekeeper came into the main room, holding the archeologist's bra with a look of confusion on her face. she asked what it was. at first, the archeologist thought she must be joking. nope. housekeeper hadn't a clue what it was and had in fact never seen such a thing before.

so the archeologist told her what it was then asked if women on their island ever wore them. nope. the archeologist then asked her about breast support, especially for the more full-figured gals. the housekeeper simply continued to look at her as though she hadn't a clue what she was talking about.

well this got the archeologist to thinking about the possibility that perhaps bras were less of a necessity and more of a fashion statement. (for those who want to think men invented this contraption, wrong. it was a woman.) as she studied the locals on this particular island, she noticed that there was a near 0% incidence of breast cancer. she also concluded that even full-figured women could do just fine without a bra. they relied on the muscles underneath the breast to provide support, which again according to the archeologist, strengthen when a bra is not in use to provide such support. after spending a good year or so studying the issue, she concluded that those countries where bra wearing was either non-existant or rare, the women overwhelmingly had very low breast cancer rates as compared to nations where bras are the norm. this included mexico, which have high levels of pollution. other factors such as diet and ethnicity did not have nearly the bearing as did whether the women wore bras or not. (i wish i had written down this woman's name. i need to do some research and see if i can find her study.)

after seeing that, i essentially stopped wearing a bra. i had always found them uncomfortable and unnecessary, irregardless of whether they were the proper fit or not (and as most bra websites proclaim, most of us gals have been wearing the wrong size). now and then, when i feel it is necessary, i will wear one. but most days, nope. i'm carefree and loving it. in fact, i support legislation allowing women to go topless, just as men do. there'd be a lot of weirdness at first, but we'd get used to it. it's just a body afterall. when it's hot i want as few clothes on me as possible, just like the guys do.

several weeks ago i was watching the tyra banks show. she had on a medical doctor and the two of them were talking about bras. the medical doctor actually RECOMMENDED wearing a bar 24 hours a day for full-figured gals. my god, i thought. how many women, especially young women watched that and are now not only wearing these contraptions 12 plus hours a day but all night, too? so........the other day i was thinking about this as i strapped one on. i wondered if there was anything else on the internet about a possible link between bras and breast cancer. my search was quick and easy. there were lots of studies, but this one, which appeared first, caught my eye. it has no shock value and is very straight forward in presenting the findings. check it out.

the American Cancer Society proclaims there is no scientific proof of such a link.

it does make sense that there may be such a link. the lymphatic system is necessary for removing toxins from the body. when they are restricted in any way, they cannot do their job properly. imagine the results when the lympathic system is restricted on a daily basis for hours on end.

irregardless of whether there is or is not a link, i will not be returning to my bra days.


In The News.........On My Mind

a local eugene news station reported on this last night, essentially saying the damage was mild. tell that to the residents of the village who have seen their homes destroyed. i wonder what they would have said if this had swept through a village of mansions. uh huh...... how terrifying for these folks. some days i look into the universe and say why do these things have to happen to the poorest, the most peaceful and vulnerable of folks? when is karma gonna bite the ass off of those who create war and greed?

i also saw something on the Wall Street Journal Report on late night television last night that made me sit up and say "what the fuck?!" apparently circuit city is laying off a percentage of its work force. (see the yahoo coverage here.) however, there's a "bright" side to this scenario. the employees who are laid off are going to be allowed to reapply for their old positions--at a lower pay. how maria b (the host) was able to report that without emotion or any sign of "what the fuck" expression on her face is beyond me. imagine your employer announces "sorry. we are going to have to lay you off. however, you can reapply for the same position. just at a lower wage."

my spouse had a customer visit the store in which he works. a man in his late 40's or early 50's. he said "i've lived in this area for 30 years and i have never had so much trouble finding work! what in the hell is going on?!" i wish i had been there. i would have given him a hug and said "i'll tell you what's going on. i'm not sure whether it's some planned conspiracy or not, but i do know that employers care more about profits than they do for their workers. there are fewer jobs as a result, meaning workers are given more responsibilities, usually for less pay. [my spouse can vouch for that one!] low wage retail jobs continue to fluorish. why? because people's wages have not kept up with the cost of living, in particular housing and health care and as a result, they can only afford to shop at the mart stores and the dollar tree. disposable income ain't what it once was, you see. uncle sam hasn't done a damn thing to return this economy to a place where ALL classes of individuals were seeing gains in their pocket books. ceo's are making 300-400 times what their workers are, compared to 30 times back in the 70's and 80's." there is likely some age discrimination going on as well. i've experienced it myself. i've applied for countless office positions and inevitably when i've revisited the employer to see who they hired, it's overwhelmingly been a female who is not over age 25 or so. i've been told i am overqualified oh so many times (which could be a polite way of saying "you are too old").

i think a lot about solutions. i may bitch and vent a lot, but i also spend an equal amount of time thinking about changes, answers, solutions. one such possibility is for those of us who are in the same or similar boat to combine our knowledge, our resources, our skills and talents and form our own business(es). a couple of years ago i put up some flyers, seeking such individuals. i only received a handfull of calls--from folks who said "can you get me a job?" none were interested in my idea--they just needed work. yesterday. despite my frustration, i could only empathize. i met a guy here in corvallis who owns an e-bay resale store. he used to work at HP and after realizing he wasn't going to find decent employment again, decided to go into biz for himself. i love stories like that! it reminds us we don't have to be victims of the slavery practice that is commonplace in today's employer/employee relationship. it gives me hope. hope that perhaps some day i will actually connect with other folks such as myself who are open to the idea of going into business together (which btw WHERE ARE YOU?! i'm into the idea of a non-profit, focused on eliminating poverty through new policies, new ways of thinking). hope that more and more people will do the same. for it would surely be an exciting kick-in-the-pants moment to see employers like circuit city advertise the following: "help wanted. will pay a living wage. willing to train. please. where are you? we are desperate!"


Income Inequality in America

most of us are aware that there has been a growing gap between the rich and the poor for the past 30 years or so. question is, are we as a nation ok with this? if you've read anything in my blog you know my opinion on this subject. personally, i want to take this to a whole new level and see an end to the class system. i cannot comprehend why it would be some sort of a threat to see everyone on an equal playing field. the system seems so archaic to me, so utterly devoid of this jesus and god business 95% of us like to go on about.

the article appears in the new york times, but here's a brief synoposis of it found on blue oregon, along with commentary/discussion, including a little blurb posted by yours truly.

Hubby's Dream Car

to be fair, i decided to post this beauty for mr. nina. while his dream is a 1966 gto and this one is a 1964, it's still a gto. also taken last summer. he had a 66 a few years ago and unfortunately due to a job layoff, he was forced to sell it. it was so beautiful. black with black interior. he bought it up in portland and drove it home at 120 mph. the reasons for that are twofold. one of course, it's a gto and you just cannot drive a muscle car 65 mph. they demand speed. second, and most important, it was getting dark and the headlights didn't work on the thing, so he was racing to beat the sunset. when he arrived home, he revved up the engine so that i would come out and look at it. he needn't have done that--i heard him coming up the street. but i did run outside, where suddenly i was back in time, a giddy young teenager, waiting for my handsome hot prince to pick me up in his bad boy car. he leaned out the window and said in a deep voice, winking at me with a devilish smile, "wanna go for a ride little girl?" i actually squealed, clapped my hands and jumped into the car. around the block we went. there were no seatbelts in the car (being it was made before seatbelts were mandatory) and being the interior was vinyl, i slid all over the place. it didn't have an "oh shit" handle, so i had to hold onto the dash. several weeks later that ceased being an option. one sunday afternoon, while out on a little joy ride, hubby punched the gas pedal a little too hard. we jolted forward at such an intense rate, the dashboard fell off into our laps. at first we were in shock, then we started to laugh. hysterically. aaahhhh, how i miss that car. how he misses that car--terribly. one day he shall buy another one. one day soon............

Dream Car

i drool over these beauties, honest to god. this was taken last summer at a local hot rod car show. when i was in high school, i didn't have posters of sexy young men. i had posters and pictures of 1964-1967 mustangs. back then, cars seemed more reliable than the opposite sex.....