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Archive for February, 2008

Love from Darwin

My show’s getting really good. Last night there was a lot of physics on chalkboards and discussion of moving through time (if only in your consciousness and not necessarily physically) and about how, without an anchor — someone you recognize in both time periods –, you can get lost in one of these time trips (which the writer in me recognizes as a HUGE metaphor). I must say, this particular smarty-pants direction is getting me all hot and bothered because I have this almost pathological attraction to anything 1. related to crazy-sounding theories of physics and/or 2. hilarious. The smart/funny nexus melts me. Of course it helps that Desmond is being featured so prominently because he could be as dumb as a box of rocks and I’d still want to see him naked. He, incidentally, looks almost exactly like someone I was very close to at one time and came shockingly close to marrying, which makes the experience of watching him that much more confusing and exciting. My LOST fanatic friend at work sent me this article which you can read if you want but won’t really make sense unless you watch the show…

Also, just because it’s weird, here’s a photo of a new toy my brother and sister-n-law gave me. Here’s what it looks like when it’s stable:

And here’s what it looks like in it’s active state:

Cool, huh?

I’m going to a birthday party tonight that is a 90s themed party so I’m breaking out the combat boots and a flannel and going grunge. But not before I get my hair did at a new place in town that I can’t wait to try out.

And I wish I had known about this before Valentine’s Day because a very different email would have been circulated letting everyone know I love them.

Oh yeah, and Helen Mirren’s Oscar dress blew all others out of the water. Score one for mature women with impeccable taste. Go girl.

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Even though I kinda hate how they came together, I sorta secretly love that they did because Jimmy Kimmel and Sarah Silverman are probably the perfect couple and belong together. Here’s a video she made that aired on his show and then his response. The sheer number of celebrities featured in Jimmy’s is astounding and Harrison Ford’s little cameo just cracked me up. Note — if you are easily offended by bad language and sexual suggestion (Mom) then I’d advise you not watch. However, if you’ve always wanted to see Ben Affleck in tiny cut off jean shorts, roll tape. (Inexplicably, Huey Lewis also makes an appearance which is weird because I was just talking about him with my boss who’s all about the movie American Psycho where Huey is mentioned reverently…)

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…And I’ve been wanting to write about it for a while but I didn’t want to offend anyone because, while I’m not trying to judge anyone’s need I just think it’s gotten way out of hand, so I’m glad Wired has written about it for me so I can maybe make the argument that it’s on other peoples’ radar as well and it’s not just that I’m an emotionless judge of societal norms forgetting that we are talking about real people here who are just trying to find a little happiness in this mad, mad world…(and if there’s a run-on sentence contest anywhere out there let me know cause it would feel good to win something.)

And here’s a good, really funny song in honor of my friend who’s letting me come (work project pending) and visit him soon in the gleaming city of all things political. I know he likes this band and it makes me nostalgic for the days when I wore Doc Marten combat boots with long flowery skirts and acted like a punk rock rebel, something my Dad found hilarious. So much so that he made me pose for a picture so I could see what was up 10 years down the road. I still have that picture and I do look totally ridiculous. But it was most definitely fun being that big a dork while remaining completely unaware of the fact that I was that big a dork…

WIRED MAGAZINE: ISSUE 16.02


Yale Lecturer Advises: Flush the Prozac and Hack Your Own Happiness

By Josh McHugh Email 01.18.08 | 6:00 PM



Illustration: Christian Northeast

Sometime in the 1990s, the concept of better living through chemistry turned a corner, thanks to drug companies’ efforts to synthesize antidotes for every possible mood swing. So writes Yale lecturer Charles Barber in his new book, Comfortably Numb: How Psychiatry Is Medicating a Nation. An OCD sufferer himself, Barber spent a decade working in places like New York City’s Bellevue Hospital. He knew something was wrong when he discovered that his colleagues’ perfectly functional, $300-an-hour Upper West Side clients were taking the same potent pills as his own schizoid, homeless, crackhead patients. “I would spend part of the day in shelters dealing with seriously ill people,” Barber says. “Then I’d go to cocktail parties and find out that the people there were on the same medications.” He proposes that we just say no to multinational drug peddlers and heal ourselves with cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapies — “talk therapy” techniques that minimize pill pushing, dispense with Freudian dream analysis, and engage patients in actively reprogramming their own brains. It’s like “a highly selective carpentry of the soul,” Barber writes — therapy as self-engineering.

He does acknowledge the need for medication in the hardest cases. Just like cancer, severe mood disorders can be life-threatening and should be treated as such, Barber says. But we need to distinguish between real depression and just being bummed out.

The vast majority of the 227 million prescriptions for antidepressants in 2006, he notes, were for people in the second category. Barber lambastes the drug industry for its attempt to turn “the worried well” into customers; he also takes aim at the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders for according disorder status to conditions like social anxiety and adjusting to a cross-country move. “Nonsense,” Barber writes, “anger, greed, laziness, impulsivity, as well as jealousy, lust, anguish, and so on, are simply part of the human predicament. They are not medical conditions.”

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It’s my Pop’s 71st birthday today and in honor of the occasion I’m posting one of his favorite poems that, consequently, became one of mine. I told him earlier on the phone that he, given the longevity of age that runs in his family, would likely be around another 20 years and he said, “Good Lord I hope not!” and we had a good laugh. Cause we’re cool like that. Happy Birthday Poppa. I love you.

If

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on”;

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

~Rudyard Kipling

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I feel ya Tennessee

Brick: Win what? What is, uh, the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof?
Maggie: Just stayin’ on it, I guess. As long as she can.

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“He who sneaks up on me sneaks up on his own ass kicking.” — Ninja master I met once in a bowling alley

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1 percent wax

A’right so I lied about not posting too much. I can’t help it…I just have so many questions, like can someone please explain to me how having superdelegates is in any way democratic? Seems a lot like elite rule (cough, cough, socialism, ahem) but maybe I just don’t understand the concept (which is entirely possible)…

Also, is it possible — as my sister Juje and I think it may be — that the shooting down of a rogue spy satellite is really just a way for the US to showcase it’s defense capabilities in light of what always happens around election years which is the posturing of certain, um, allies?

Let me be clear — I have no problem with this. Fire away.

And also I’m just feeling so satisfied because it looks like I may have been successful in the epic battle I’ve been waging against a multinational, extremely powerful organization over what amounts to bad administrative practices on their end. Luckily, I had federally sanctified documentation, the ability to write scathing correspondence and my dad’s big-shot lawyer in my corner (which, let’s face it, may have been the deciding factor) and so, while it’s not a done deal, it looks like I may have won the war. I totally feel like Braveheart. Perhaps I can reign in the psycho behavior a bit now…but really, what fun would that be? I’ll just find something else to trip out over cause I pretty much feel like this lately.

And yet, as I was writing this, someone at work whom I thought didn’t care for me much, gave me a cupcake. It was left over from Valentine’s Day and had a sweetie heart on top that said “Melt My Heart.” And it did.

And, just cause it’s Friday, a coworker of mine, due to my need to always have a candle burning on my desk, introduced me to Mandles, or as I like to call them, my brothers’ Christmas presents this year.

Happy Friday.

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