Take Good Care

save the whales, science says, social awareness, Uncategorized

Humans are funny aren’t we. If you think that you’re more than an ape with a really big head you’re wrong. That doesn’t deny the collective conscious, the magic of this big blue spinning rock growing life. But it does make it awfully inclusive, never forget that you are among your peers just in animal or plant form.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

 

For you: The Moon

pretty things, science says, soulfood

I took Astronomy one summer.
I would read one line of text
then blankly attempt to defragment my existence
in the off-white texture of cheap rental walls.

A black hole rang in my ear,
the accelerating universe numbed my tongue.
String theory. Gravitational lensing. What’s a quasar again?

As it turns out there are 146 moons in our solar system.
Yet, somehow I am just now getting to know one.

To appreciate the agony of the scorpio moon,
to release and recite my intentions on the full.
The harvest moon, the blood moon, the waxing moon.
My moon and I,  we’ll call it complicated.

In all of those years did I ever look up and think
I’ve only ever seen the near side of that moon?
That in just one thousands year’s time the earth
tethered the moon into a promenade of tidal lock
earth always taking the lead.

I, mere mortal, gawked at the crescent moon
a crisp smile in the belly of the whole
with it’s same whole face
accommodating the shadow and shine of it’s host rock
and molten star
with no reverence for my mood or ambition.

I believed like you that the phase of a moon
from new to newer took 29 days.
Oh contraire mocked the stars
try 27 days, aren’t you wise
aren’t you waxed and wained.
We’ll call you simple.

 

 

 

The Fear of Change

create, science says, social awareness, your body

Good golly. I really can’t say this in a brief way.

In a nutshell: I’ve been studying Existential Therapy and Carl Jung before that and have essentially called to question every single aspect of my reality in the past three weeks. (Which is not separate from LIFE that keeps happening to me…. that I keep attracting/creating). Part of this process has been creating art work that explains the concepts. What a beautiful challenge.

So yesterday I realized that social media is a giant crutch/addiction/detriment to my self-actualization so I’m on a indefinite Facebook hiatus. And then I started looking at the WHYs behind my use of Instagram because I don’t want to give that up aka I’m extremely resistant to that change and wasn’t sure if it was even something that I wanted to potentially ever put on the cutting block.

Long story short my response was to create a new Instagram called @reallifereg that only has pictures from my trash bins. This was a huge wakeup call about my own lingering body image issues and self depreciating beliefs about my own appearance plus called into question the WHY was that picture not good enough. I explain in each caption why I chose to delete the photo.


I created a one image representation of all of this :

____________________________________________________________

Here’s the more polished explanation with references if you wanna geek out:

My piece is the most succinct visual representation of a rather convoluted but powerful experience that I had considering James Bugental’s contribution to existential psychotherapy. In Corey’s explanation of Bugental’s approach to resistance on page 144 he shares that, “Forms of resistance include intellectualizing, being argumentative, always seeking to please, and any other life-limiting pattern.” I have been processing that one line for over a week because of my constant employment of those tactics that I had never viewed as self-limiting before.

After researching Bugental’s explanation of resistance which included reading a powerful article entitled, A Fate Worst Than Death: The Fear of Changing (1984) I sat with why I am resistant to a career change. That boiled down to perfectionism and always seeking to please. From there I explored all of the myriad of ways that I am a perfectionist and what that means to my self actualization as well as my short and long term goals. This lead to re-evaluating my use of social media, specifically the visual perfection that I have curated on Instagram that serves my public persona but does absolutely nothing for my internal self.

After deleting my Facebook account I created a new public Instagram feed that has only has pictures that I had previously deleted found in my trash bin on my phone. In each caption I wrote the reason why I chose not to post the photo and delete it. In this very revealing exercise I realized that so many of my deleted pictures were “selfies” and how intertwined those deletions were with my ego, being self-conscious, old patterns of body dysmorphia and a general malaise with the changes in my face as the result of aging. The large piece that I printed encapsulates that entire process of self-exploration in one image. Referencing a time in my life where I was extensively studying anatomy and had a very different relationship to all bodies, mine included. My piece is an ode to a real, non-resistant, surrendered acceptance of my self entirely and the necessity to be honest about that process.

hello

science says, soulfood

Saturday drew to a long tenuous close
it sang out a clear piercing
know thy self,
look inside.

Sunday awoke, journeyed, arrived
welcomed, Om, Namaste
meditation, clarity
a pretty little bow.

I pleaded, “Take me away”.
She answered, “No, stay”.
“Grow”.
Sunday howled, let go.

Monday pattered at the glass
I countered— groan.
My hips held tight,
my soul curled into Q.

The daylight peeked out and said
listen.
Do you hear?
Say hello, it’s intuition.

The night fell
my open, closed, origami
out of whack, tattered,
let it be, tied in a bow soul
screamed back, “But it hurts”.

And Monday night whispered
firmly
practice.

Energy. To Be A Teen Again

science says, soulfood, your body

I accidentally stopped writing here and started ranting to my professors.
I’ll leave this here for when I need reminded that overdrive is not a fulfilling existence.

Response: Brainstorm, The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain

I am just three years out side of adolescence and I’ve launched a search party to find my true self- my ESSENCE. This has looked like spiritual exploration, ravaging self-help books, therapy and meditation. All of these efforts to tap back into the ‘me’ that I was when I was sixteen years old. Before this book I had mostly felt like the exception to the “tortured emotional floundering” of adolescence. I loved my early years of adolescence. (The later ones looked an awful lot like adulthood in my opinion.) I had a robust social network, I had a very sure sense of myself, I was confident, filled with hope and aspirations, I was in love, I was a practicing artist and I was free. I have always held those years close as a magical time and a place that I would like to get back to.

It turns out not to be magic but instead to be biology and evolution. Funny how at the root of all psychology, especially human development, are the adaptations that we cemented in place over millions of years of evolving. According to Siegel’s acronym I was deeply fulfilled by each letter: emotional spark, social engagement, novelty and creative exploration. It turns out I was living the upside of this formula.

Depending on the season of your life each reader will take something out of the book, which is pretty wonderful. For me at this juncture in time I’m piecing together how to make many of his skills and information serve me as an adult. There’s some solace in knowing that my dopamine levels are more regular than they once were, that the appeal of statistically life threatening risk is waning. Mostly, because I escaped those years with out any real devastation or addictions. I did walk away witch a wealth of knowledge and a few reminders that bless me in new ways each year.

I did appreciate that he develops the practice of Mindsight over the chapters. Mindsight is a set of skills that help you integrate your brain. Adolescence is all about increasing your neural integration, which is how one coordinates and balances the internal world of others and ourselves (Siegel, p. 54). This is possible when the individual parties comprising a relationship are allowed to be, “Unique and specialized yet linked” (Siegel p.53). Essentially this is how on both an individual and global scale we can foster flourishing social connection and meaningful relationships from the intimate to the casual. Integration brings harmony.

The term harmony keeps popping up everywhere for me like a big flag screaming THIS! HERE!. Each time I stop and think yes, that’s the goal figure out how to get that. The embodiment of harmony has felt really distant and elusive as of late. I feel that Siegel’s take on integration is a good framework that I can fill in with personal practices in to help me grow highly functioning, supportive, challenging, social bonds and networks. Later in the book he explains how belonging to a bonded peer group has literally meant life or death over the millennium of human existence. At the end of the day we can’t lose sight of the fact that we are animals straddling the constructions of modern society. I will add Mindsight to my mystical toolbox of resources as I seek peace and contentment in this wild Western world.

The most striking part of this book was something so simple, “All thoughts and feelings are energy” (Siegel, p. 46). It’s so obvious but so abstract during the course of a normal day. In a modern Western context I think that we have confused the term energy. We associate it with being tired, with needing to eat; we’ve simplified it to something purely physiological. We often miss that the laws of physics apply to all energy including that of our own production. Energy can never be created or destroyed, just transformed. I often find physics the most esoteric experience.

Siegel explains that at its core the mind regulates the body’s energy. Duh. But, we commonly get bogged down in the functions of each structure and don’t heed the big picture. That our brains are working on a macro and micro scale to keep not only keep us alive but to very complexly conduct a higher level of thought and function not the least of which is emotional.

I have personally been expending way too much energy in the anecdotal sense since the first of the year. I’ve been stressed, consumed in rumination over ultimately trivial interactions. This past weekend with the help of this book I really had to take some time to evaluate how carelessly that I was expending my energy. Seigel’s explanation of attention as how we direct the flow of information and a relationship as sharing energy and information flow couldn’t have been better timed (Siegel, p.45-53). I think that like people, information comes into your life with some destiny. This text on the teenage experience was incredibly applicable to my current adult existence. I agree with Siegel that there is good reason for us communally and as individual adults to strive to get back to this highly experiential exciting sense of life, ESSENCE is a very powerful model.

How to love a broken person

Love, science says

or rather how to love another and your self. We’re all broken in some way.

Once I dated a man that had his shit together. He hadn’t seen any up hill battles. His family had given him the life that every family longs for. He was emotionally sound. He daydreamed about marrying me, taking care of us, having adventures. And he bored me. 

Every other man that have ever exchanged emotions with has been exponentially fucked up. I misdiagnose the coping mechanisms as excitement. I yearn for their dependency. I think I can fix them or at least patch the holes enough to hold air.

I never fix them. They don’t fix me. I know this. I’ve let go of that notion as much as I can. Yet it still lingers like the post trash take out funk.

What I’m trying to keep in mind is that they are their own atonomous persons. Gone are the days of someone else revolving around me — us. And here to stay is the era of keeping my own shit together. 

What I’ve painted as ebs and flows of a relationship are actually ebs and flows of two peoples independent psyches.

I’ll speak for my self. I’ve been extra emotional lately. It’s largely hormonal. It’s also anxiety and stress about life changes. It’s also just living in this climate, ingesting all of the hatred and trying to generate tolerance and love for the sake of our collective consciousness. Being the bigger person is not easy and I’ve failed many times.

Some real unenlightened shit has been happening lately. It’s been a full four weeks of teater tottering between are you fucking kidding me and fuck this shit. That’s not who I am ANY MORE. It’s just simply too easy to slip back into who you had been for so long. It takes a lot of work to be present and grandeous about the lot of it.

I often start posts with a bullet list of ideas. Then when I have time I go back and lace them all together into something semi-coherent. (A lot of gems end up on the cutting room floor for better or worse). This particular post is taking a much different turn than I entended. It was supposed to be full of out rage. In retrospect my angry list is just funny here it is: [I’ve bracketed in further interpretation]

•••••Postfeminist era. Let’s be real who’s cleaning your toilets.

[I’m a self declared feminist. I’m very motivated by the gap in gender equality that I experience in my daily life and in general by the atrocious subjugated life that half of the population in so many places are taught to believe is normal. I truly believe in my heart of hearts that healing of our Earth and our human relationships will come from the work of women. OUR TIME IS NOW. We’re all sitting on top of the shit mountain that men have built in the way of global politics, civil rights, environmentalism and social responsibility and it fucking stinks. We want a better way and to ohhh I don’t know…. avoid the total collapse of our species. It’s time to step up in a big way and grab the male domenance by the(ir) balls. I’m really into brainstorming the how’s with you sister.]

So why am I mad about a clean toilet? Because I fucking cleaned it. Instead of spending my precious spare time using my abundance of skills and talents to brew up a magical potion of girl power and allegiance I’m dusting base boards and washing windows. And I will continue to do so because otherwise it’s not going to happen and I like nice things. See what you’re doing to me— us. 😁]

•••••Fight with neighbors. 

[I’ve filled you on before about the tumultuous relationship that I have with my downstairs neighbor. Well it all came to a head a couple of weeks ago and we had a strongly worded ‘conversation’. I was seething with anger. Which sucks because that level of rage never really leaves your body. Plus I’m really into dancing around the fire  with free flopping breasts with my fellow women declaring unity and love. And less into finger wagging and elevated voices over walking up the stairs too loudly.

That was that for a few weeks. And then last night as I pulled into my parking lot my neighbor was coming out to her car. That awkward tension of power play and wishing you had an invisibility cloak washed over me. I got out of the car casting a glare I’m sure. The next thing you know she called me over to apologize for her behavior.

Said that it wasn’t representative of who she was. That life had been really hard this year and she was displacing her anger. She wanted to start the new year on a new foot. I was totally taken a back. Plus felt like an extra extra asshole for not being the bigger person first. We agreed to let bye gones be bye gones. Her vulnerability and authenticity was truly beautiful. Love won even when I was harboring the hate.]

 

•I wouldn’t put anything past you because at the end of the day you’re still a man. Yes we’ve already had this argument and no I wasn’t persuaded. 

[There are certain issues for all of us that are still tender raw wounds. I’ve got more than I wish to acknowledge. Some days a little salt gets in there and it makes me want to scream and curl into the fetal position. Lately those insecurities have been trust issues with men. Frustration towards not being heard and understood. Plus this old stubborn inpatience with being taken for granted. The one,two, three punch of those lately has almost taken me out. I keep getting up in the knick of time braced for the next set of blows. ]

•Reverting to old ways old pain. The same old fears.

[There’s clearly something about me that attracts this- chooses this – and/ or creates it. That’s an even harder set of facts to sit with. I feel like I’m at the cross roads far to often. The really hard decisions never get easier to make, I’m afraid. So, that’s where I am at the moment weighing the scales. The jury has been hung at the last two trials, I’m ready for a recess.]

There’s still blood in my fridge and I’m folding your underwear. 

[To be fair J cleaned the fridge after a couple of weeks of me silently loosing my shit every time I opened the fridge. He’s also folded plenty of my underwear and is the only one in our house that actually puts clothes in dressers.]

•••Ted talk on why happy people cheat shook my world. Stacey saying that she was trying to accept that her man just fulfilled certain aspects of her life.

[Like some fucked up pre destiny I listened to this Ted Talk about cheating. *Warning this video will fuck with your head*

I don’t know if it was the chicken or the egg but it had me thrown. It was the culmination of every thing that I know about biology, psychology and human sexology that I regularly repress for the preservation of a semi normal romantic relationship.

The Stacey part refers to a conversation that I had with a good friend towards the end of one of her relationships. She was trying to figure out if she should savor the satisfaction that this man wast really great at a few elements of their relationship and totally absent for many others. She was questioning if it was right to lean so heavily on our partner to completely fulfill you. That’s something the Ted talk talks about. Also, that viral Jada Pinkett Smith video screams this loudly.

Essentially that modern society has put way too much pressure on us to be everything, a vortex of complete support to our partner, and that simply isn’t realistic. I’ve been fighting that reality. As I’ve spent the past 10 years waiting for Prince Charming, okay not prince charming but someone that totally fulfills me in this intangible way. So here I am back at the drawing board of my own perceptions and expectations .]

•••••Having a best friend.

[Thank the Gods that my best friend is always a second away offering me insight and straight up reality checks. I hope that you have a someone that you can be 1000% vulnerable with. I hope that that person looks you squarely in the eye and tells you exactly what you need to hear even if that means change and work. The two scariest things in life.]

I’m dating an adult

domestication, Love, science says

I’m in a *realisticship  with an adult  *(autocorrect that couldn’t be more poignant). Yeah, yeah I’m an adult and so are you. But J is like really an adult when it comes to his emotions and it sucks a little.

In the past 5 days I have watched (I promise not in a creepy way) two people transform from mostly strangers to madly in love. In 5 flipping days. I have written before about how if I were a man or a lesbian that I would be swimming in a sea of ladies because simply: I know what women want. Let’s explore shall we.

In psychology of human sexuality (probably my most interesting and enlightening college course to date) we learned about satisfaction in relationships based on gender. Based on real evidence found in academic textbooks that I’m too lazy to dig out and cite and a completely AMAZEBALLS book The Evolution of Desire lesbians are the happiest together in terms of matched long term relationship goals, matched libido,  monogamy and communication.

Yes, we can all debate gender norms. Yes, I would like it if we lived in a world where everyone felt no pressure to conform to a prescribed identity. However, for the sake of science lets all lay down our arms and accept that for the vast majority of the population we fit a physiological biochemistry that express its self in predictable male and female patterns.

Here’s some fun research that all comes from the final chapter of The Evolution of Desire. All of it has footnotes that I’m really too lazy at this juncture to look up and report. So, you’ll have to trust my note taking abilities or don’t. If you’re interested in my academic writing sans profanity and blatant not giving any fucks then go here. Otherwise check this improperly cited information out from an evolutionary and biological explanation for human sexual strategy:

-Hypothesis: Same sex relationships are the expression of male and female preferences. 

-Given that: Gay men are more likely to engage in extra pair coupling, are more likely to have casual sex, are more sexually precarious. Verses lesbians who often confine to fewer sexual partners and have longer more committed relationships.
(That is not to say that the typical male sexual prowess gay or straight does not dramatically change with age, read testosterone changes, because it does becoming more monogamous and less sexually driven).

This working theory claims that being in a same sex relationship is either a hyper masculine or a hyper feminine relationship style.

The more controversial aspect of this is that having both partners matched with the same ideals for a relationship makes lesbians the real winners in the battle for deep meaningful monogamous seriously invested relationships. And yes I am about a hairs width away from signing up (I’m a little sorry if that offends you but let me explain how being bi woman or lesbian is a choice more so than being a gay man).  This same book presents super interesting research into how males sexual orientation is predominantly static over time and female’s are much more fluid. Straight women are sexually aroused much more equally by provocative imagery of the same and opposing sex than straight men are. In suite we are more likely to be ‘bisexual’ than men are who tend to choose either straight or gay more exclusively.

So, here I am essentially a cultural anthropologist and scholar in evolutionary sexual theory reaffirming said research in the wild… ok so it’s the mostly mundane world of interoffice relationships.

-Field notes: 

Young female enters work place.

Assumes vivacious flirting behavior towards all females regardless of previous or current sexual orientation.

Probably all kinds of interactions took place not visible to researchers vantage point with one other female specifically.

Lunch was bought, candy delivered. We can assume pleasentries were exchanged.

[(My) Real Life: I developed a level 10 crush on a guy in highschool because he reached out and brushed some hair out of my eyes, that’s all it took. We homo sapiens are hard wired to leap into lust and attraction.]

Bam. My electronic resources inform me of #gaygirlinlove #mygirlfriendishotterthanyours.

They went from zero to dinner with both sets of parents, mind you one of them was ‘straight’ last week, in 5 days or less.

Have straight people done equally as hopelessly romantic things– of course. Is that the norm– I argue no.

Let’s give an example that is near and dear to my heart. I met the man of my dreams two years ago (time flies) at my work place in the next cubicle over. I thought he was a total babe. He thought I was 12 (I swear that I’m of consenting age). He leaned over my desk to enter a password or some shit, mostly he leaned right across me. At some point that summer at work by boob just jumped out of my dress and he sweetly told me to put my ish away. We laughed and talked about everything, seriously everything, not sure that I needed to hear your old funny hooker stories from back when you lived in D.C. when my impressionable mind was still trying to make up and down of you, but I did. With in two months I had this sensation that he was someone that I was supposed to know. I didn’t know what that was going to look like but I knew that I needed to keep my thumb on him. Mean while he had no sensations what so ever, maybe I’m exaggerating, but I feel like he plays up liking me in the beginning to make me feel better now.

And so it was. Well it was on Facebook. I liked the pictures of him and his then girlfriend wholeheartedly, I was so happy that he had found happiness. I sent him messages once every blue moon to check in on him. Then he contacted me, over 9 months after meeting this dude. For you mathematicians that is exactly 268 days longer than the adorable lesbian couple at my work took to express their resonating like/love/feels for each other.  To be clear it took me at least 268 days to get this man to say hey girl I might like you in a slightly non-platonic way but let me be very vague about all of it as to not get your hopes up at all, because it’s probably nothing. 

Da fuck.

In all seriousness this is the best case scenario, for any man that you don’t pick up in the back of a shared cab home from a nearly black out night of drinking. Plus, I’m a fucking catch if I do say so myself. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL, but for real. That’s why I advise all 16 year old girls to go ahead and get that creepy promise ring, lock that shit down. There is a small window in your life where the boys are a knocking (pounding down your door) and most of them are emotionally stunted and immature beyond measure. If you find a descent one snatch that shiz up.

It doesn’t get easier but it does get better.

hangout_snapshot_0

Us laying in bed together then…… in high def

bed

And now….. still in high def 🙂

How do I explain this. Keep in mind that we are talking about the man that I wrote this about: Surprise I’m Getting Married and Having a Baby!  about. In the beginning of our  mostly cyber relationship, I’m sure I’ve explained that before. If not then in a nut shell we lived 3 states away and skyped as our primary form of interaction. Yes, we fell in love over Skype. That’s some You’ve Got Mail est. 2014 screen play gold for any of your aspiring writers, you’re welcome. In the beginning, read multiple weeks into exclusively conducting ourselves as friends with absolutely no mention of any thing relationship bound he sent me this one very vulnerable, emotionally monumental email. Basically saying that he wanted to cut the shit and say that he liked me. It was a fucking milestone. In all seriousness I absolutely treasure all of the things that he USED ahhhem write me because they are total magic. But it took logging hundreds of hours of talking to this man about the weather and politics before he would let the I L-I-K-E you cat out of the bag. 

My point is that, that I LIKE YOU breakthrough was a year into knowing the love of my life, my soul mate. Was it worth waiting for— yes. Had he been a woman would it have came out in the first few days or weeks of knowing each other I’d like to think so.

Which is why yesterday I gave J one of my signature only half kidding ad lib joke lectures about how he seriously needs to step up his romance game on account of me eye witnessing of these two ladies lapping up the joy of each other daily. Is it new and exciting in the beginning for everyone regardless of sexual orientation? Of course. Can you move major pragmatic hurdles between two people embarking on a course of love together in that short amount of time with a man? I’ve yet to see it, this ‘aint my first rodeo and I’m easy to (fall in) love (with). Granted, man, you have earned your stripes keeping me around.

Maybe I should have entitled this I’m dating an adult MAN. It’s bittersweet. And yes my love, you are very nice to me, you do all kinds of nice things for me and I love you with every fiber of my being. But, you could be significantly more enthused and bring me those yummy toxic sour sugary candies every now and again. It couldn’t hurt.

GMO babies

organ donation, science says, your body

GMO babies (coming to a nursery near you)!

I either want one that looks exactly like me, talks exactly like me and acts exactly like me (okay so fine I want a clone but I want it to be a snuggly baby first) or I want some really beautiful exotic looking daughter that has a French accent, knows how to roll cigarettes and talks like a walking thesaurus. Can they make that in embryo? I bet if I spent enough time and money in China I could get top seed on the hot female geniuses list (that’s real, click here).

Were you so busy reading about the pregnant manager of a Texas Popeye’s that got fired after being robbed at gun point that you missed that this month Chinese scientists genetically altered embryo DNA!

I really can’t decide how I feel.

I mean I’ll take my margherita pizza sans the GMO tomatoes and I’m not so hip on selective abortions but designer babies? Hmm.

Here’s the thing the possibility that in a reasonable time that we would be able to eradicate all kinds of rare horrible genetic diseases. Have you ever spent any time researching blood diseases, like the one that these scientists were targeting in their experiments? It’s a shitty life. Being born and existing anywhere under any circumstances with  a life altering chronic medical condition sucks. Period. Yes, you can preserver. Yes, with the right support team, medical innovation and amount of money you can have a externally normal life. But really, wouldn’t it be nice if we live in a world free of cystic fibrosis, tay-saches disease, sickle cell anemia, hemophilia and swiss cheese cartilage dysplasia (that’s a real thing) amongst others.

I feel like were back to the anti-vac-ers debate where we have to pull out horrid images of mumps and polio to remind people that science makes our human lives far superior to what it was 5 to 100 years ago. Seriously.

The scientific community, humanitarians, ethicists, people using their brains for anything other than reality tv everywhere are flipping the fuck out.

Why? There’s an unwritten code amongst scientists that you don’t fuck with real human DNA. Multiple scientific organizations released statements condoning such activities (it’s research). Their reasoning, we’re not ready. We haven’t flushed through all of the moral debates. We’re playing God.

Here’s my issue. On the micro scale-

1- These scientists were using a new technology that has made DNA altercation far more precise than ever before.
2- They used inviable embryos that wouldn’t survive if introduced to a womb as a way to wart off ethical debate.
3- They are experiementing. This is how science works. Someone has to rock the g-damn boat. Even if that boat is called human life.

On a macro scale-
I really understand not wanting to open the lets go messing with human DNA can of worms. Sure there may be (okay there are) mad scientist and no actual Superman. But, like all kinds of medical technology we have to put some blind trust in the morality of scientist. Butttttt then again there’s animal testing.

Speaking of animal testing. If we’re so high and mighty about the sacredness of human DNA maybe we should exercise a little more humanity towards the 125,000 primates prisoned, tortured and murdered in US laboratories every year.Those are actually born, living, feeling, breathing, emotional creatures that are in my opinion much more sacred than unviable human embryos.

Mostly my defense of this kind of highly controversial research (experimentation). Is not that far from my defense of stem cell research. We are willing to go to all of these extreme lengths to keep those of us who are living alive. Including, taking a beating heart out of a brain dead body performing a four hour surgery that literally costs 1.2 million dollars over the first year. All so that we can keep smoking cigarettes, eating cheeseburgers and/or find a work around for defects genetic or otherwise that occurred at no fault of the patient. Over 2,000 of these are performed in the United States every year.

I wonder if those patients spend an amount of time commensurate with the amount of science, innovation and unprecedented research that lead to this magical procedure that save thousands of people from desperate life ending situations every year considering the morality of the procedure that they jump through crazy hoops to get. A heart transplant is just one example.

My counter to this argument is that there’s a sliver of my heart that longs for all of the good, smart, funny, innovative people on this planet to pass some sort of standardized test that says you get to move to this sustainable utopia where we have eliminated the concept of linear modern time and industrial farming. We (clearly I would be one of the chosen people) will now all live a simple life full of nutrients, nature and rewarding work. Plus we get to keep all of our apple products, wifi and modern plumbing. That’s only reasonable. In this world we would all die at reasonable life expectancies probably around 40. You could get stitches and some kind of herbal salve for your boil but no major pharmaceuticals. No genetic manipulation. No life saving procedures in the 11th hour. No emergency c-sections. So yep, most of us would be dead. Or soon to be dead.

I’ll refer to your high school debate team for the discussion on Eugenics. If it happens before you are born is it immoral?

We all want what we can’t have (with out medical intervention or drastic lifestyle reform) a long happy, healthy life for us and our children. What are we willing to sacrifice for the cause? The unwritten code amongst scientist that somethings are off limits? I’m ready to go there. Maybe we should cling to the last spontaneous elements of nature but then we should also be willing to watch those people die off without overextending a decent and reasonable amount of medical care. Are you ready to flush your pills? Skip your elective surgery? Pass on the amniocentesis testing?

Call me crazy but I find the criticism of genetic manipulation hypocritical or soon to be.

The worst thing in the whole world happened to me

domestication, science says, your body

*ALERT: this may be highly unsettling. You may feel like we’re way too close after this read. Proceed with caution.*

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Well technically has been happening to me for the past three days. I got my period.

Are you aware of what a period is. Your uterus sluffs off its outer lining and shoves it down your vaginal canal and all the way through your cervix and out of your (my) vagina. Sick huh. YEAH TELL ME ABOUT IT. Well me and every other woman in the world.

A year and a half ago I got this bitter sweet little chunk of medical grade plastic and 52 mg of levonorgestrel were *placed* on the dark side of my cervix.

mirena

There she is.
Today J asked me if I took that little thingy off. I mean, yeah, it is basically like a pair of socks. I just wear it according to my outfits 🙂

Full disclosure, deciding to get an IUD was a complex decision for me. I read all of the medical literature. Read far too many first hand accounts of horror stories that google had to offer. Watched many a video chronicles of women’s Mirena experience (yeah that’s a thing). I also did that thing that everyone tells you to do, consult your doctor. Granted my OBGYN is the man of my dreams and I would blindly follow him into the dark, he was objective but reassuring. Over 2 million American women have these in their lady bits right this moment. Here’s an informative article that give all of the nitty gritty details on the FDA registered complaints on the Mirena.

I’m not going to pretend for a moment that having this damn thing has been a particularly pleasant experience. It turns out that I have a retroverted uterus and so could you 🙂 . Between 1 and 3-5 women have one. It only means that instead of tilting slightly forward (as is the norm) it tilts backwards. I learned this fun fact when Dr. McDreamy was elbows deep in my vaginal canal trying to install my hardware. It was absolutely excruciating. I say this as someone who’s got a seriously high pain threshold. I’ve never had a medical professional apologize so profusely before in my life, even that one time that they almost let me baby die (that sounded shitty, I’m not actually pointing fingers, medical issues happen but so does medical negligence).

uterus

Here’s a cute and cuddly version of how your uterus could be angled, I wish mine looked like balloon animals instead of reality. Brace yo self.

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This is the super cleaned up version, it’s a lot more blood and guts in real life. What a cute pink elephant we house.

Normally it just feels like a “pinch” and some cramping so they say. Mine was really bad. They gave me a prescription for painkillers after. That’s not protocol. It was really painful for a few weeks. They had me come back in for a sonogram to make sure that the little trucker was going to stay put. It did. Well mostly. I’m not certain that it has actually ever really been in there right. None of us were certain that I was a ‘good candidate’ for it in the first place. But once I commit to something being shoved through my cervix I’d like to keep it around for a while. The last case of that is six years old and shows no signs of going anywhere for quite some time.

Here’s the rub. [Now this is a personal account. Plenty of women have rather delightful experiences with their IUD’s.]

Cons:
-It hurt like a mo’ fo’.

-I bleed for a really long time. May, June and half of July. That’s not normal. But, hey I’m a giver.

-It feels like there’s a really big nose sticking out from my cervix, more so than a normal cervix. It has been referred to as a picket fence. Who want’s my number now??? Huh? No takers, weird.

– The first 7 months of having this thing was absolute hell. My hormones were out of control. I was a total emotional roller coaster every day. Think like the week before your period but always. Yeah, that’s not good for anyones mental health.

–  I can feel that little bugger. Sometimes when I sit funny, or you know just randomly something gives me a little poke just to remind me that infertility comes at a cost.

Pros:

-It was free (my insurance paid for it), shout out to healthcare reform. Turns out that full coverage of contraceptives is one of the best things that have happened to American women in quite some time.

-I’m baby free (well except for the preexisting child). That’s no added perk. That’s the point. For 5 years I can let it rain spermatozoa and look at that no fertilized eggs. Ohhhhh sweet sweet science.

-If I decided today that I want to have a baby and continued to think that was a good idea until the soonest appointment with my gyno to take it out I could do so. In a couple of months I could welcome bouncing baby Heikes part 2 into this world. Probably—- our fertility isn’t guaranteed I know this, but mine could use some curbing so I’m good with the risks.
-This amamammamammmmmazing thing happened almost a year ago. I never got another period. Sure there were plenty of semi-terified moments of ohhhh shiz what if I’m pregnant. Then the ensuing google searches of entropic pregnancies. That’s an ugly set of hypothetical circumstances. It just turns out that I’m one of the 20% of women who stop having their period after the first year. (That’s a conservative estimate, because a high percentage of Mirena users have it removed in the first year…. see the con’s list).

– Major pro all of the skrilla that I’ve saved in the past year on ‘feminine products’. Seriously, it’s no small chunk of change. It’s probably close to $200 on tampons alone. Plus all of the acetometiphine that stayed on the shelf. And the wine and chocolate. Those are real health related expeinces when you want to kill everyone and your uterus feels like it’s being stabbed a million times a day for 5 days straight. That’s a real thing.

I imagine that it looks a little something like this in there:
uterus2

Well until this week.  The bear and the sword are back. Please don’t stay long, no one likes you.

Google said to me today: “2/3 of women are interested in stopping their period.” No shit. Count me in.

Wannna get high?

science says, social awareness

Oh so many things to talk about and so little time (which may be because I spent the majority of my ‘free internet’ time today reading about Hello Kitty and ergonomically designed toothbrushes… brushi? Someone please the plural of brush stat.)

Santa Fe just got one step closer to heaven, I mean it was already knocking at it’s door as of yesterday. *More on how this place takes my breath away every single day*.

EXTRA EXTRA: The Santa Fe City Council voted yesterday 5 to 4 to decriminalize marijuana in Santa Fe.

For most of the day I heard second hand accounts of the ruling. I need the dets people. I heard all of the things from, “I think it was the whole state” to a really great story about a dude who blatantly passed a roach to a cop in California. “Next time in the great state of NM his ticket would only be $15”.

I feel like the basic, who, what, when and why need to be definitively addressed. So I pulled out my best researcher stops (the reputable Albuquerque Journal, the voice of a generation the dailychronic.net and to my credit the Brookings Institute) to bring you this solidified information:

Multiple sources said that the petition collected 10,000 signatures. Which apparently they did, but only 5,754 of them were legitimate city of Santa Fe registered voters. Can we take a moment to reflect on the importance of participating in your local government. You have a little voice and one of the best ways to exercise it is to drag your ass to the polls (yes in November every 4 years) and all of the little times in between. But please inform yourself or at least base the politicians off of there campaign propaganda, you can spot a douche from a mile away especially when their face is plastered to a billboard being driven around town on a fleet of F-150’s.

 ABQ journal as of Monday (currently refers to prior to Wednesday night’s vote),

“Currently in Santa Fe, first-time offenders in possession of less than an ounce of marijuana are charged with a petty misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $50 to $100 and imprisonment of not more than 15 days. The proposal calls for possession to be treated as a civil infraction, requiring no jail time and punishable by a fine of no more than $25.

State and federal law would be unaffected by the change, if it were approved. Police officers would have discretion as to whether to charge violations under a city ordinance, handled in municipal court, or under state statute, adjudicated in magistrate court.

However, the petition called for possession of small amounts of marijuana and instruments used to ingest it to be considered “a lowest law enforcement priority.”

Here’s the actual current situation, from the Santa Fe Reporter,

“The resolution, passed narrowly on a 5-4 vote, changes the city’s penalties for possessing one ounce of marijuana or less and marijuana-related paraphernalia from a criminal misdemeanor punishable by a $50-$100 fine and up to 15 days in prison to a civil infraction and a $25 fee. It also instructs the city’s police officers to treat possession of small amounts of marijuana as the lowest law enforcement priority.”

Some things to note: this is only for the City of Santa Fe. What happens when you take your dime bag out of the city limits is anyone’s guess. Okay, not anyones, defer back to the state of New Mexico’s law. You probs won’t do hard time for 15 days but then again crazier things have happened in our fair state.

PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO ABOUT MURDERS BY ALBUQUERQUE POLICE OFFICERS. 26 MURDERS IN 4 YEARS

You may need a decriminalized bowl to swallow that and the other current happenings of those in our country sworn to protect and serve. I found this little gem in the literature from our City Commissioner:

“Trujillo was the most vocal opponent of decriminalization, asking “What’s next?” saying it might be an ounce of meth or cocaine. “I’ve seen what’s happened to so many people,” he said.”

Is this still the War on Drugs, D.A.R.E. inspired fear mongering that weed is a gateway drug? I don’t have any new arguments to present as to why this dude is a flipping idiot, pretty sure that science and psychology have debunked that one long ago. Being informed with facts is hard…. just kidding there’s this really cool thing where you just type what ever you want to know into your computer and then you read. Yes, there’s a lot of BS out there, you have to be discerning but you’ll be damned there is this thing called published, peer reviewed credible research. You should give it a whirl, it’s good fun.

In other pot related news, because who can really get enough to it. Weed is great for your marriage. Well, at least you’ll be less likely to exchange black eyes over who’s going to do the dishes tonight. Plus you’ll probably be much more amused with each other. Kara Brown from Jezebel made this delicious point, “That’s something to keep in mind the next time racists try to argue that marijuana turned a black person into a violent aggressor.” Food for thought. Please chew thoroughly, there’s no better time than now to think. 

p.s.
Here’s the rub on legalizing marijuana in NM, it’s pretty grim. I also read some hilarious stuff about how New Mexico’s biggest drug trafficking problem is coming from the North instead of those heathen Mexican drug smugglers. It’s only slightly harder to throw stones when it’s your own good ‘ol Americans that are turning a profit on one of America’s favorite past times. At least the legal system from the floor up are keeping their jobs and their dockets loaded.

p.s.s.
This is why Washington is a super rad state reason number 10000000, as if you need another. Shix I know, let’s pack our bags.

*Photocredit: found this little guy in the mountains, despite the appetizing color and my love for pushing my consciousness I resisted eating it well because I use this thing called common sense Mr. Trujillo. But, ‘aint it pretty.