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So Saturday and Sunday there was a big Spokane bike swap at the fairgrounds that me and my mate went to. Saturday she bought a bicycle that she liked, for $30! original retail value of $499 I think. No damage, good condition, had a pouch that came with extras – a pump and some gloves. The next day we went back, and I got a bicycle too! It is an early birthday present from my mate. Good quality, my favorite color (purple) and only $30!!  A slightly smaller one (I hate not being able to touch the ground with both feet, scares the hell out of me). Mine is purple, hers is black. In this picture, though, you can’t tell. Mine is the one in front. I got a messenger bag, too, to carry with me slung around my shoulder so that I don’t have to lug around a heavy backpack while I ride. I am taking it to work tonight. I only work about a 4 minute drive, and we timed it yesterday and it took 13 minutes. I’ll leave a half hour early, though, just in case… Not sure where to put it once I get there. My workplace doesn’t have any bike racks. Might have to bring it inside and put it against the wall in the lobby or something. I’ll do that first, then ask around what to do with it.

So I’ve always heard that stupid saying, “Oh its just like riding a bicycle.” This insinuates that something someone hasn’t done in a long time will be remembered instantly. Not so. I forgot how to ride a bicycle. It has been about 15 years since I rode one, and I was shaky and couldn’t steer properly. Not to mention didn’t know how to work the gears and hand brakes very well. After a while riding though I think I got a better hang of it. I’ll ride it often this summer and I’ll get used to it again. But, no, you can’t just hop on a bicycle after 15 years and remember how to ride one. So do not heed that stupid statement, it isn’t true.



A Day That Was Not So Wonderful

Yesterday I had a shit day. I work until midnight and wake up at 4-ish to workout in the mornings, then I nap later. brief overview. Anyway…


I had a library book to return, and then wanted to donate plasma, which I haven’t done in 2 years. I went to the library. It was 8:45am and the door said they didn’t open until 10am. The parking garage was empty and no one was in the booth, so I thought parking was free. Skip ahead: After finding out I was too early for the library to drop off the book that was due, I went to see about donating plasma for some extra $$.

I went through the whole rigamarole, if you don’t donate for more than 6 months you’re considered new again. So I had to watch the video, fill out questionaires, do the kiosk thing, get my picture taken, test my hematocrit and protein by finger-prick, etc.. then I had to wait about an hour to be seen for the physical before being admitted to donate.

When I was finally called in, the doctor was having computer problems, so it took him about 12 minutes to pull up my file. He gave me crackers and water so that I would have a better donation. Then he asked me about any health issues I may have. I told him I have bipolar and GAD with panic disorder and he said sorry but they don’t allow mental health patients anymore, something about policy. I suspect having to do with needles and being psycho… thanks for the stigma! So I had wasted all that damn time to be told about this new policy and being permanently deferred from donating. Swell.

So.. pissed about that, I drove back to the library. I noticed when I got there, it was open, so I had to take a ticket. I saw an attendant in the booth so I realized I’d have to pay. I don’t have change for a meter on the street so I used the garage. I ran into the library real quick and dropped off the book. I ran back out and at the booth he said it would cost .75 cents. I handed him my card. “Oh we only take cash.” Fuck. “What? I only have plastic. I don’t carry change, and most all places in this city take cards.” ..” Well, we don’t.” I fished around and found .24 cents. he took it then was belligerent and belly ached about how he’d have to cover the rest out of his own pocket and people need to pay attention to the signs. I told him it is NOT clearly marked that it is cash only, and he said “See the sticker on my window right here?” That was also behind the window that slides open, so partially obscured by the sill. So, no, I told him. Not really. He finally let me go after being a total dick.

I got home and had 45 minutes to nap. I was so tired. Not only does my higher dose of Lamictal make me tired, but I hadn’t gotten adequate sleep. I went to work anyway like a big responsible girl, but the battle between depression and dilligence was won by the depression of the shit day I had, and I took my FMLA leave and went home. I have FMLA for bipolar and anxiety.

Laurel got 100% on her big exam at school so we celebrated to make me feel better and to celebrate her good score, by eating Chipotle burritos. I felt a bit better after that, but was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open. My mood was still not level but I did feel more calm and less anxious being at home. Usually at work I have a few PRN extra lorazepams in case of anxiety, but they might make me sleepy and I was already tired so tea or caffeine, I am afraid, would not have worked well. I intend to go back to work tonight and kick serious ass. I am going to get some good sleep this time.

What a day yesterday. Ugh. Hope the rest of today goes well. So far so good, just tired.

Parade of Nations

So a few weeks ago my mate and I handmade a lot of native american items for a basket, that was to be for auction at an event for cultural diversity. We handmade paintings, painted ceramic owls, made godseyes, put a book in about the Salish tribe, decorated flat rocks with petroglyph symbols, a bean bear design, and a recipe for indian fry bread passed down from salish elders. We had food and soda, and whoever won the raffle for our basket wasn’t present so we didn’t get to see their reaction, unfortunately. But everyone thought out basket was the best.

Today I am going to see a screening for hearing with laurel during the health fair at the campus. Aunt Linda will be coming, too. I want to get more screenings done too, like HDL lipid profile, glyco, cholesterol, etc… so that should be fun.

I was sick for about a week with some sort of virus. It started with a bad cough, barking and wheezing. Then 2 days later I got a sore throat and it was red. Then that went away and I started to get a runny/stuffy nose. Then that went away and I was still coughing up phlegm which was gross. I still have a random cough but I am not sure if its from my ashtma or from my virus. I went to work through the whole thing, though, despite feeling like poop. I am feeling much better.

So I went to run at the track finally and it felt good. I don’t like the treadmill, I like being outside. I think I run faster outside. I thought it would be harder, because the treadmill is rubber and so its more bouncy, but I found my awesome Nike Shox shoes made the outdoor track feel good to run on.

My mate has been super busy with school stuff so I haven’t seen a whole lot of her, but she’s doing so well in school. So proud of her!! She’s an amazing woman.

I called my mom yesterday for her birthday. She is 68 now. She just chilled all day, and is having dinner on Sunday with the family, and I will be there in spirit.

That’s about it. Oh and I’ve been going through my music, weeding out the stuff that I listen to and find I don’t like, and then download new stuff, listen to it once, and then delete it if I don’t like it, and if I do, I keep it. Its working well but I have a TON of music to go through. I love music, though, so I don’t mind. I find it soothing.

Been trying to meditate lately and have been able to relax more which is good. My thoughts still run rampant but I am a little more able to just relax and let the thoughts flow away which is cool. I’ve also been sleeping in the living room a lot on my meditation pillow (a long one with some pillows and a blanket) because I either cough or snore at night, and it disrupts my mate who has some severe sleeping problems. It seems to work ok that way.

Anyway, Namaste!

Old skool.

Enjoying Hugh Sharpe – Trip Through Time (1996 part 1) on the Goa-Psy Trance channel by Digitally Imported


Spokane, WA. It is where I live now, with my mate. In 2010, exasperated by the high cost of living in the Seattle metro area, we decided to move to Washington State’s 2nd largest city, 6 hours away. Spokane. My mate’s aunt lives here, and we had come for a visit in June of 2010 for her aunt’s birthday, and did some exploring. We liked it enough that we decided to move here.

After living here for almost 4 years, I can say that it has been very interesting. There are some odd things about this city that stump me and I can’t figure out. Mostly, the people. There are a lot of homeless people, and there is a mission close by with empty beds. This mission, as long as you are alcohol and drug-free, will help you get back on your feet. But instead, across the street from our apartment, they set up camp in the trees and bushes, drinking and drugging. The cops don’t care. There are not many cops in the area to begin with, and they have other things to deal with, such as daily shootings in various neighborhoods across the city.

A lady was murdered about 100 yard from my apartment in 2012. It turns out the murderer was in the apartments across the street from us the whole time, and the cops had said they “canvassed the area” and this guy fit the description of the murderer exactly. Before the woman died, she told a construction worker the details of his appearance. It was only 3 months later that he was caught, as he tried to beat a lady over the head with a mallot on the Centennial trail (again not too far from our apartments) and a landscaper caught him and held him until the police came.

Then there is the smoking. In Seattle I rarely saw people smoking cigarettes. Not many people did. And if they did, they hid it pretty well, and everyone always talked about wanting to quit, and often would, if they smoked to begin with. But Spokane.. has got to have the largest population of cigarette smokers I’ve ever seen. I wonder if its because the poverty of the city resulted in a lack of proper education, but I can’t be sure. It seems like everyone I meet, everyone I work with, smokes. It is a crazy amount, and it is disgusting.

Besides the smoking problem there is also a pedestrian problem. This leads to a  major hit and run problem. People in this city like to, instead of using crosswalks, cross at random places, often when cars are indeed coming their way, and they often dart out in front of cars, as though kamikaze. This results in at least one hit-and-run per day. In fact, a week or so ago about 800 yards from my apartment, some homeless man at 4:AM was crossing the bridge to get down to the river (no crosswalk there, at all) and a car hit him. Then another car hit him. Then another car hit him. Then another car hit him. And then, finally, another car hit him. After being hit by 5 different cars, the man of course died, and no one has found any of the perpetrators. They all drove away as fast as they could.

Neighbors. It seems like there is a very high turnover in our apartment complex. We’ve been here the whole time we’ve lived in this city, and I’ve seen maybe 10 different tenants in the apartment unit next door, and perhaps as many in the other units in my building. Every single family or person that has moved in, has been extremely loud at terrible hours, or obnoxious. 2 bed room apartments with a mom, dad, and  4 kids… trashy people who look methed out… its just really sketchy and we keep wondering why our landlord allows these people to rent here. We’ve had to make several emails and calls to her in the middle of the night to report some serious noise disturbances like wild parties, loud music, domestic violence, and screaming children. Our bedroom is unfortunately next to the stairs, and the stairs themselves are not quiet ones (I am a quiet walker and I still make noise on them, unintentionally). So when other people who are NOT conscientious lumber down the stairs (and by that I mean run and yell loudly while doing it), it wakes us up if we’re asleep, or annoys us if we are at home during the day relaxing. We’ve all but given up.

There is also a major tailgating problem in this city. In Seattle it was necessary to tailgate otherwise you would be smashed by another car, as traffic was so tight there, and there were jams everywhere. Here, there is comparitively not as much traffic at all, and yet people will ride up your tailpipe without a second thought. There is so much room here to drive, not like Seattle – the streets are wide, there’s not a huge population (the city itself is 210,500 and the metro area is about 500,000) so its not like traffic is squished in. But people here will ride your asshole like they’re in a hurry. And this is especially odd: whenever I put my blinker on to make a RIGHT hand turn, from the right hand lane, the person behind me, no matter how far back or close they are, always switches into the left lane, as though they couldn’t possibly wait the 2 seconds it takes me to turn right. The reason eludes me.

Spokane is definitely weird, and its by no means ‘home’. Its a stop over until our real life can begin. I d know Spokane has some redeeming qualities, such as the Riverfront Park and the Riverside State Park. There is Green Bluff nearby where a coalition of agricultre growers banded together to form an area where you can go to different numbered farms and ranches and pick your own fruit and veggies, or buy pre-picked, or have wine tastings, etc.. and there is also a really great bookstore nearby, downtown. The centennial trail, minus the sketchy people sometimes on it, is pretty cool to walk to downtown from home. Its only a 3 mile walk.

But Spokane is.. unique, and I will never really get used to its idiosyncrasies.


Old Skool Acid House

So last night I was in an old-skool mood at work. I work 4pm-12am doing data entry, so we listen to music in our headphones all night while we work. I had originally been listening to Alien Operator on my iPod, but the iPod battery died. Alien operator had 2 EP’s released in 2013 but they were in the style of late 80′s early 90′s acid house.

Pretty cool. So I changed the background of my typing screen to black, and the font color to’ Commador 64 Yellow’ in honor of the old skool. When the battery died on my iPod, I put my headphones into my phone and booted up Digitally Imported ( and turned on the old-skool acid house/trance/techno channel. I was having a blast listening to the squelching 303 and the Roland-808, and it made me groove in my seat. While listening, I was inspired to refresh my memory about the acid house party movement that started in Chicago in the 80′s in old warehouses, and it spread to the UK where they had some amazing clubs and parties that DJ’s spun acid house and acid techno.

I wished for a while that the nostalgia could’ve been experienced in person for me, that I would have been of age to take part in such an amazing movement. I was born in 1979, so the 80′s were a blur. Cap’n Crunch, Popples, New Kids on the Block, the beginning of MTV (who played music videos at that time). No idea at the time what acid house was. Shame. So with that, I give you an acid house youtube track to enjoy. This is reputed to be THE original acid house track, ever made.


Snowboarding Take 3

So yesterday was our final day of our EZ123 snowboarding lesson package. At first I was put in level 2 with my mate but I needed extra help so they assigned me my own personal instructor. I couldn’t get the hang of the heel edge to slow down or stop the board. I had him help me in tandem but I still didn’t really get it until the end. I would cruise high-speed down the mountain and try and stop by going onto my heels straight across but I’d stick my butt out too far and fall on it. There are some funny videos that my mate took of me doing just such a thing. Unfortunately they are on Facebook and I can’t seem to figure out how to link it here. I’ll figure it out and post it later. Its full of great falls on my butt that you will love.


I am soooo sore and tired today!!

Me and the Moose

Me and the Moose

Bipolar Depression

So I was stable for about 5 months and it felt great. Then slowly, the onset of depression started to hit me, and now I am struggling to keep my head above water. My body constantly aches and is fatigued. All I want to do is sleep forever. My mood is ‘blah’ not really sad or hopless but just lacking the energy to stay positive.

I treadmill 2 miles each day and nearly pass out afterward but I have to try and push myself. I take vitamins, drink lots of water.

Had an appt with the pdoc on Wednesday. He upped my dosage of lamictal and abilify, and so we’ll see after a while if that helps. I hope it does, depression is the worst and I dont want to feel this way ever again.

In other news, despite having no energy and feeling lethargic, I am going snowboarding again tomorrow, and going to try and do my very best to have fun and get energy. I need to focus on the good, not the bad. I want to have a blast. I am excited.

Anyone reading this please send me good vibrations, love &  light so that I may find myself out of this depression and back to stability.


Me + Technology = No.

So I haven’t really written in my blog in quite a while because I’ve been having issues with electronic items. No, seriously. My desktop PC went kaput (which is yiddish for tits up) finally, which sucks. I’ll have to salvage the hard drive and insert it into the next PC I get, which … who knows when that will be.

So for now I am only using this tiny netbook. It has 2 gigs of ram, 1.33 mhz processor, and 320 gigs of space. Not top of the line but it’ll do for now. I mean, if it will DO!! Can we say memory leak anyone??

I’ll be running one program, say an internet browser, and all extra non-essential processes have been shut down. I’ll get a “windows is out of memory” notice or the browser will simply crash without notice. I can’t seem to have more than one program open at a time all of a sudden. When, before, I’ve had more than 7 open without any problems. So I am not completely sure what is wrong with THIS computer now, but I downloaded and installed a memory squeezer program, that helps restore memory. You have to do it manually, so I check the memory amount every now and then. I also downloaded a somewhat smaller-footprint browser, Opera. I’d been using Chrome back and forth with Firefox until now, and I have to admit I really like Opera! I just installed it on a whim because Chrome and FF were hogging up major memory, even when only having one tab open and all the extensions disabled. Opera takes up half the resources that FF and Chrome did. Plus it has a super cool downloader that works real well – most of my files would be broken with the other browsers and the only way to download anything was if I hooked up the netbook directly to the modem with the ethernet cable. ugh, what a pain!

I also stopped using Winamp to play my music with, sadly enough. It was also a memory hog. I could play 30 seconds of a song before it would crash. So I downloaded Foobar2000 or something like that. It has not crashed yet and its been 3-4 days (knocking on wood this entire time I write this). Its not as beautiful to look at as winamp but it gets the job done, and I was actually really surprised at the sound quality of Foobar! Beautiful, crisp, and deep. Nice.

So we’ll see. I hope programs can all play nice together on this little thing until I can afford a new desktop PC.


Wish me good luck!


I am not sure why this isn’t big news…

A team of international researchers has completed a study that suggests we will probably never find a ‘gay gene.’ Sexual orientation is not about genetics, say the researchers, it’s about epigenetics. This is the process where DNA expression is influenced by any number of external factors in the environment. And in the case of homosexuality, the researchers argue, the environment is the womb itself.

The Epigenetic Key

Writing in The Quarterly Review of Biology, researchers William Rice, a professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Urban Friberg, a professor at Uppsala University in Sweden, believe that homosexuality can be explained by the presence of epi-marks — temporary switches that control how our genes are expressed during gestation and after we’re born.

Specifically, the researchers discovered sex-specific epi-marks which, unlike most genetic switches, get passed down from father to daughter or mother to son. Most epi-marks don’t normally pass between generations and are essentially “erased.” Rice and Friberg say this explains why homosexuality appears to run in families, yet has no real genetic underpinning.

Epigenetic mechanisms can be seen as an added layer of information that clings to our DNA. Epi-marks regulate the expression of genes according to the strength of external cues. Genes are basically the instruction book, while epi-marks direct how those instructions get carried out. For example, they can determine when, where, and how much of a gene gets expressed.

Moreover, epi-marks are usually produced from scratch with each generation — but new evidence is showing that they can sometimes carryover from parent to child. It’s this phenomenon that gives the impression of having shared genes with relatives.

Masculinization and Feminization

To reach this conclusion, Rice and Friberg created a biological and mathematical model that charted the role of epigenetics in homosexuality. They did so by applying evolutionary theory to recent advances in the molecular regulation of gene expression and androgen-dependent sexual development.

Scientists claim that homosexuality is not genetic — but it arises in the wombSEXPAND

This data was integrated with recent findings from the epigenetic control of gene expression, especially in embryonic stem cells. This allowed the researchers to develop and empirically support a mathematical model of epigenetic-based canalization of sexual development, or the tendency of heredity to restrict the development of some characteristics to just one or a few traits. Their model successfully predicted the evolution of homosexuality in both sexes when canalizing epi-marks carry over across generations with nonzero probability.

In their study, the team writes that they “tracked changes in chromatin structure that influence the transcription rate of genes (coding and noncoding, such as miRNAs), including nucleosome repositioning, DNA methylation, and/or modification of histone tails, but not including changes in DNA sequence.”

The resulting model predicted that homosexuality can be produced by transgenerational epigenetic inheritance.

Normally, sex-specific marks that are triggered during early fetal development work to protect boys and girls in the womb from undergoing too much natural variation in testosterone, which should normally happen later in a pregnancy. Epigenetic processes prevent female fetuses from becoming masculinized when testosterone exposure gets too high, and vice versa for males.

Scientists claim that homosexuality is not genetic — but it arises in the wombSEXPAND

Moreover, epi-marks also protect different sex-specific traits from swinging in the opposite direction; some affect the genitals, and others may affect sexual orientation. These epi-marks can be transmitted across generations from fathers to daughters, or mothers to sons.

Essentially, Rice and Friberg believe they have discovered the presence of “sexually antagonistic” epi-marks — which sometimes carry over to the next generation and cause homosexuality in opposite-sex offspring.

And importantly — in order to satisfy the rules of Darwinian selection — the researchers noted through their mathematical modeling that these epigenetic characteristics can easily proliferate in the population because they increase the fitness of the parent; these epi-marks normally protect parents from natural variation in sex hormone levels during fetal development. They only rarely reduce the fitness of offspring.

The entire study is online at The Quarterly Review of Biology: “Homosexuality as a consequence of epigenetically canalized sexual development.”

Image: Shutterstock/Anton Gvozdikov; University of California.

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