Monday, April 30, 2007

Happy Days

I was able to buy cat food and my migraine meds. Now I just have to worry about food and have my fingers crossed that my school will award me financial aid so I don't need to scrape by on my paltry disability pay (making the choice between food and paying bills is hard. I keep saying 'well I don't need power really' Now I need a bunch of free candles to fall into my lap so I can eat.)

And I ACED my Linear Algebra 2 test! WOO WOO! I feel like a math genius!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Fuckity fuck

My electric kettle is broken
I'm almost out of cat food
I'm out of migraine medication which only costs $10
I'm almost out of food

I have no money for any of it.

If you feel like helping me out, there's a donation button in the sidebar. Obviously I'm more worried about the middle two. At this point anything will help.

Who you'd be helping:




More pictures here

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Chocolate is the best

Well I need a new reason to indulge in chocolate. No, wait, I'm addicted to the rich dark chocolate with cacao nibs in it. A recent study has shown that chocolate is better then kissing.
Kissing also made the subjects' heart rates rise, but it did not last as long as with chocolate, which increased heart rates from a resting rate of around 60 beats per minute up to 140.

Chocolate also lowers blood pressure.
Applied to the population as a whole, researchers estimate that the blood pressure-lowering effect associated with cocoa would be expected to reduce the risk of stroke by about 20%, coronary heart disease by 10%, and death from all causes by 8%.

As if anyone needed more reasons to partake in the deliciousness of chocolate. I feel a craving coming on. I got a bar of 87% cacao.

p.s. I HATE grading. No going into academia for me.

Geometry fun. Numbers 5 and 8 are giving me problems

I'm illogical


(At lleast the rest of the class is as illogical as I am)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Can we all just calm the fuck down?

If I hear one more "you ALL say/do this" from ANYONE I'm going to start smacking people.

No more threats
No more telling the other side that they can die horribly

EVERYONE go to the corner. YOU ALL HAVE A TIME OUT! Now get in that corner and keep facing the wall.

FERCHRIST"SSAKE point your anger and hatred towards the damn patriarchy, all right?

No, you are still on time out. No talking.

Bad TV

If you want to see mediocre to subpar dancing, just watch Dancing with the Stars. I watched (what was apparently) the Paso Doble being danced to some crappy pop song. So, yeah, the music sucks too. I can't wait until So You Think You Can Dance comes back in the summer. A dance show with REAL dancers.

This weekend I watched The Devil Wears Prada and I must say, I quite enjoyed it. Guilty pleasure I guess. I knew it was going to be horrible going into it because it's about the fashion industry, if anyone asks what's wrong with the fashion industry should just watch this movie. One of the characters is on a diet where she doesn't "eat anything, and then when I feel like I'm going to faint I eat a cube of cheese." The woman was a stick. Another great line is when the main character's getting something to eat and the guy tells her the main ingriedient in corn chowder is cellulite and then she asks if any of the girls there eat and he says "Not since 2 became the new 4, and 0 the new 2." (is there a size below 0? Like infant sized?) She then says "Well, I'm a 6." "The new 14."

One of the reviewers on Netflix says it's a great movie for moms to take their daughters to! Yeah, that's all we need, women watching a movie that says their size is morbidly obese if they're over a size 2. ARGH!

Funny thing is, I almost went into fashion design. I rethought that again when a friend of mine at Parson's who was in fashion design told me that I should go into it because I made a lot of my clothes and dressed kind of eccentric and, for lack of a better word, hip. Watching this movie made me miss being fashionable, but I never fell into the idea that I had to dress up, there were plenty of times I wore baggy pants and t-shirts. I just don't feel the pull to dress like I usually (read: when I'm in a city) do here, but that part of me is not gone. I am just waiting to move somewhere. I have my whole wardrobe (if it still fits me, I only have one pair of pants that fits me now because I gained weight and could only afford one pair of pants from a thrift store.)

The movie did get me to thinking about my weight, or more accurately the weight I have recently gained. It worries me only because my boobs have gotten bigger. It's nice to have a tummy that kind of balances that out, but I've always been heavy on top and want no help in that area. Since I don't really want to diet, and water polo season's over, I guess I'm just going to have to get off my ass and exercise. My therapist tells me to do it all the time anyway. Maybe the movie's influencing me as well. I think the bigger issue is that I'd love to fit into my pants again because I can't afford to buy new ones. (and I have some pants I love for the nice weather.)

I don't recommend it to anyone who has any body image issues, which would be most of us. Unless you're a masochist like I apparently am.

And a funny

Friday, April 20, 2007

It deserves to be said again

Terry over at I See Invisible People posted last week about a study being done for people who are Bipolar. They are hoping to find genetic markers for people with Bipolar and to try to understand it better. I requested to be included in the survey and hope that they contact me. Anything I can do to bring us closer to an understanding of Bipolar and how it's passed through generations sounds good to me.

Today I learned of a study being done by the University of Chicago which hopes to sequence the DNA of 5,000 people with BPD and their family members, hoping to isolate the genes responsible.

Here’s the specifics:

Individual and Family Genetic Study Of Bipolar Disorder
Elliot S. Gershon, M.D., Project Chief

The staff of the Bipolar Disorder Genetics Research Project invites individuals diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder OR individuals with Bipolar disorder and having two or more immediate relatives with depression, mania, or mood swings to join our study. Parents are also asked to participate when available. This study is funded and approved by the National Institutes of Health.

Why Study Individuals and Families?

Why Study Individuals and Families? An inborn tendency to develop Bipolar disorder runs in some individuals and/or families. However, most relatives will never develop the illness.

In our family studies, we can find chromosome regions with genes that may cause some family members to be at risk for Bipolar disorder. As we discover the nature of each gene, we likely will be able to develop better treatments.

For testing specific genes, large numbers of unrelated Bipolar persons offer greater statistical power. So we are enrolling Bipolar individuals without available families as well.

We urge individuals suffering from Bipolar disorder, along with their family members, to participate in this scientific study which will help us better understand the causes of this disorder.

Why Should I Participate in a Family Genetic Study?

Many persons who suffer from Bipolar disorder, or who have a close relative with the disorder, have already brought themselves and/or families into the study. The reason most often given is, “If I can help prevent this from happening to anyone else, I’ll do anything.” These individuals and families share our hope that finding genetic markers and genes that increase risk for this disorder will help medical researchers understand more about its biological basis. As a result, we will likely be able to develop more effective medications.

You are an essential player in the research. Without the help of people like you and your family, no study of inherited traits can be done and little progress will be made. We depend on your participation.

How Does an Individual or Family Get into the Study?

Usually, someone who suffers from the disorder, or a close relative, contacts us. We do an initial screening on the individual previous diagnosed with Bipolar disorder or an individual that has symptoms of Bipolar. We also inquire about immediate relatives with depression, mania, or mood swings. We must receive verbal or written permission from the immediate relative prior to our contact to them on study participation.

Participants contribute the following:

1. an interview session which may be completed over the phone or in person
2. a sample of blood
3. family history interview which may be completed over the phone or in person
4. self-report questionnaires


All of the information obtained by the Bipolar Disorder Genetics Research Project will remain completely confidential, even among family members. When research papers are published, no names or other identifying information about individual participants will appear. The study has a “Certificate of Confidentiality” which provides further privacy protection. The interview and blood studies are not part of any clinical medical record.

If you’ve been diagnosed, I hope you’ll consider participating. You can read more details and arrange contact by email at the link above.

I'm such a geek

(for my non mathy readers: i is imaginary and pi is irrational)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Besides bad coffee

Coffee stands now offer sex.
In a short, sheer, baby-doll negligee and coordinated pink panties, Candice Law is dressed to work at a drive-through espresso stand in Tukwila, and she is working it.

Customers pull their trucks up to the window, where Law greets each with an affectionate nickname, blows kisses, and vamps about as she steams milk for a mocha. "You want whipped cream?" she asks, a sly smile playing on her pierced lip.

The next customer rolls up, and Law throws a long leg onto the window sill, like an indie-rock ballerina at the barre.

"Do you like my leg warmers?" she asks. "Aren't they hot?"

Hot is not the half of it. To stand apart from the hordes of drive-through espresso stands that clutter the Northwest's roadsides, commuter coffee stops such as Tukwila's Cowgirls Espresso are adding bodacious baristas, flirty service and ever more-revealing outfits to the menu.

At Port Orchard's Natté Latté, baristas sport hot-pink hot pants and tight white tank tops. Day-of-the-week theme outfits ranging from racy lingerie to "fetish" ensembles are the dress code at Moka Girls Espresso in Auburn and at several Cowgirls Espresso stands in the area. Bikini tops are the special at Café Lorraine on Highway 9 in Woodinville, and the women of The Sweet Spot in Shoreline pose provocatively in Playmate-style profiles on the stand's Web site.

"In this area, we all know how to make good coffee," said Barbara Record, who opened Bikini Espresso in Renton last month. The trick is to set your business apart, she said, and sex is one sure-fire way to do that.

"It's just, how far do you want to go?" she said.

At Best Friend Espresso in Kenmore, baristas go thigh-high. An elevated service window offers customers a nearly full-length view of pretty, young baristas — some of them high-school students — in short skirts, tank tops and high heels.

Best Friend owner Wayne Hembree said he requires employees to dress "classy;" in dresses, skirts and a nice top.

"What I think most of them have found is that their tips are better if they wear short skirts," he said.

Occasionally, Best Friend does theme days, such as "schoolgirl" or adding glasses for a sexy "secretary" look, manager Heather Bacon said.

Longer commutes, a change in laws regulating the stands, and the saturation of the carryout coffee market have given drive-through stands a jolt in the past few years.

When the state's smoking ban went into effect last year, many bar, casino and convenience-store owners sought to make up for expected losses by renting part of their parking lots to espresso stands, said Lori Bowden, owner of the Cowgirls Espresso stands.

The advent of "sexpresso" is harder to track. Business and baristas debate over who pioneered the edgy outfits, but they agree that by sweetening the product, with a smile and maybe a shot of hazelnut syrup, they've reached out to customers who've never set foot in a Starbucks.

Drive-throughs are a growing part of Starbucks' business, too, with more than 1,500 drive-through locations throughout the United States. But a representative of the company said it has no plans to sex up the dress code, as it wouldn't fit the company's brand.

At places such as Cowgirls, the barista is the brand.

"If I'm going to pay $4 for a cup of coffee" said one male customer, "I'm not going to get served by a guy."

That attitude has been a boon to Cowgirls. Bowden, a former vending-machine-company owner, has acquired seven drive-through stands, with a total of 26 employees, all of them women.

Though most of the stands in the area pay minimum wage, Law said she makes more in tips than she ever did as a waitress at Hooters. One recent morning, she served 400 customers between about 6 a.m. and noon.

"Your customers freakin' adore you. Everybody's excited to see you," Law said. "You spend a few minutes with them and they leave."

They come back, too.

When Ryan Reed pulled up to Best Friend Espresso for his usual, a 24-ounce iced vanilla latte, on a recent weekday afternoon, he knew what to expect.

"The owner [Wayne Hembree] always hires super-hot girls," Reed said. "That's basically his philosophy."

Hembree said actually, he looks for customer-service skills. The dress code, which he started four years ago, was inspired by an employee whose polished look boosted business, he said. Hembree also requires staff members to wear makeup and do their hair, "and these guys, I won't lie to you, they like that," he said.

But Best Friend has made some enemies. Jeff Marshall, whose wife, Wendy, owns the gift shop Chalet Cadeau, said the couple moved their business from Kenmore to Kirkland last month in frustration over neighboring Best Friend Espresso. Marshall said the business caused traffic problems and drove customers away from the gift shop.

"It's disgusting," he said of the stand. "It's an undesirable business from a community that's trying to sell itself as a family-oriented community."

Kenmore City Manager Steve Anderson said city officials looked into Marshall's complaints.

"We've heard of issues and we've had undercover investigations, police surveillance, and it resulted in nothing," he said. Likewise, King County sheriff's spokesman John Urquhart said the business isn't breaking any laws.

Bowden said law requires that employees cover their breasts and buttocks, so there will be no "thong Thursday," as some customers have requested.

Back in that cow-spotted stand in front of Silver Dollar Casino in Tukwila, Law steams milk and dreams up new themes.

"I like the idea of Saran Wrap Saturday," she mused. "Now they've got those colored Saran Wraps. Dude, they could totally make a cute outfit."

Really, it speaks for itself. All I can say is ARGH

I couldn't resist

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It's all her fault*

*Not according to anyone with common sense.

Emily Jane Hilscher, the first person killed in the massacre at Virgina Tech.

According to the Metro (English daily paper)

This is the face of the teenage student who may have sparked the biggest gun massacre in US history.

Emily Jane Hilscher, 18, was killed on the fourth floor of a dormitory at Virginia Tech University as a gunman unleashed his terror rampage.

It is thought she was the ex-girlfriend of the unnamed killer who then went onto kill Emily's neighbour 22-year-old Ryan Clark who had tried to help.
(emphasis mine)

Sure, blame the woman as though the guy who did this has no accountability for his actions. The 'student who may have sparked' my ass. Classic victim blaming. ARGH
I can't even begin to describe how incredibly pissed off and crazy this makes me feel. Maybe I'll add more later when I calm down.

Hat tip: Sparkle*Matrix

Monday, April 16, 2007

I am highly illogical

My Discrete Mathematics class is kicking my ass. Proofs and p ^ ~q and truth tables. GAH! My head feels like it's going to explode.

Anyone have any tips to keep me from going insane? (Math logic is a lot like philosophical logic, but with more symbols)

(We'll find out how truly bad I am at logic after I have my first test on Thursday. Hopefully I won't fall asleep like I did during my linear algebra test (bad migraine pain kept me up all night, I still passed it though). AHHHH LOGIC!)

Is it just me or do logic classes seem to make no sense at all?

For those of you interested in the mathematics of nature (what I'm going to give my senior presentation on for the hippy college I actually go to even though I'm a math major on main campus) check out this.

Mmmmm....champagne mangos. Back to (il)logic.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Crazy Busy

School has kept me busy (in a good way except the financial aid debacle*). I've updated my sidebar, especially the geekiness portion for those of you who like hearing about women in science. You should check them out, some sites are quite radical! Enjoy!

*They cut off my aid and I have to petition to get it reinstated. The process can take up to 3 weeks and is past the deadline where I get unregistered for classes. How I'm going to pay if I don't get aid we'll never know)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

School again

I just started a new quarter and it feels good. I finished my linear algebra homework and my first essay for school in which I recounted how feminism led me into mathematics. (It's due on Thursday, they give you like no time to ease into the quarter. I have a paper due every Tuesday and Thursday for the next few weeks.) The mood stabiliser seems to be working well, and I can only hope it continues to work so well as I continue with my classes.

In other news, I am so happy with the Supreme Court today.
In one of its most important environmental decisions in years, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate heat-trapping gases in automobile emissions. The court further ruled that the agency could not sidestep its authority to regulate the greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change unless it could provide a scientific basis for its refusal.
(Full article here)
Go go SUpreme Court!! Finally a decision forcing the EPA to regulate emissions. I am so happy.

Well, back to the reading. I have my Discrete mathematics homework to do. Oh logic, how I dislike thee.

Also, the Cubs home opener is today. I'm gonna listen over the internets and hoot and holler for the Cubbies!