Feb 27, 2007

they're real ... and they're fabulous

Posted by Mary |

Joanna has begun to doubt the very existence of my achingly good brownies. Not even a picture can reassure her (because I'm a whiz with the Photoshop, yo!).
It's a shame she lives 350 miles away, or perhaps she would be more intimately acquainted with their unique crumbly, fudgy texture, their ooey-gooey layer of liquid caramel and their crunchy bits of pecan.

Perhaps if I'm feeling really, really generous, I will bring a batch down when I crash at her place for the Heather Stants workshop.

ps that little wreath of decoration around the plate? Well, let's just say that no one will ever ask me to make heart-shaped decorations for Valentine's Day again. Bonus points for using blue paper to depict the pulmonary artery and the superior vena cava!!

Feb 26, 2007

eating right

Posted by Mary |

I know that yogurt most certainly can be part of a healthy breakfast, but what if it's Boston Cream Pie yogurt?

Feb 21, 2007

heard in the cabin

Posted by Mary |

You're cute when you're drunk
--Says he
No, you're cute when I'm drunk!
--Says she

Feb 13, 2007

what have I done?

Posted by Mary |

Research links vasectomy with higher dementia risk
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Men who have had a vasectomy may face an increased risk of developing a rare type of dementia marked by a steady loss of language skills, researchers said on Tuesday.
Researchers at Northwestern University in Illinois, writing in the journal Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, linked this male sterilization surgery to a neurological condition called primary progressive aphasia, or PPA.
They surveyed 47 men with the condition being treated at Northwestern's Cognitive Neurology and Alzheimer's Disease Center, as well as 57 men who did not have PPA. Their ages ranged from 55 to 80.
Of those with primary progressive aphasia, 40 percent had undergone a vasectomy, compared to 16 percent of the others. Those with PPA also suffered the ailment an average of four years earlier than the others.
Preliminary data also linked vasectomies to another form of dementia involving behavioral changes. Among 30 men with frontotemporal dementia, more than a third had undergone a vasectomy, the researchers said.
Sandra Weintraub, who led the study, acknowledged that the research involved a small number of people and said she planned to conduct a larger national study to see if the findings hold up. In the mean time, she said her findings should not stop men from getting vasectomies.
"I was hoping not to, but unfortunately it's the kind of news that ends up scaring people even though they may not need to be scared," Weintraub said in an interview.
"This was just a clinical observation that started with one of my patients telling me that he first noticed the onset of his symptoms a couple of years after he had a vasectomy, and he wondered whether that might have something to do with it," Weintraub said. "In his mind, these things were connected."
Primary progressive aphasia, which affects people usually after age 50, can be mistaken for Alzheimer's disease since initial symptoms are similar. In this incurable disorder, nerve cells die in the brain region responsible for language skills.
It causes people's language capabilities to decline steadily, with symptoms such as faulty recollection of names of people and things, difficulties in speech, reading and writing, and poor comprehension.
A vasectomy is an operation in which the tubes through which sperm travels are cut, leaving sperm unable to reach the testes and making a man unable to impregnate a woman.
The study did not look at the mechanism behind any link between PPA and vasectomies, but Weintraub said it may be because the surgery allows sperm to leak into the blood. Antibodies produced by the immune system in response to the sperm might trigger damage that causes dementia, she said.

Feb 9, 2007

things to remember

Posted by Mary |

Just because one person pisses me off, it doesn't mean I should take it out on the next person who does so.* I've got to control my reactions to things, especially when living with so many people with so many personalities (though they usually just have one each).

*In other words: stop, breathe, and don't be a bitch next time

Feb 2, 2007

fun times in texas

Posted by Mary |

Sigh. Being sick is never fun, especially when you're traveling long distances for workshops that cost a lot of money. And yet on New Year's Day I faced the inevitable fact that I was getting sick. But Texas awaited me!

Before I could get to Texas, I had to spend a night enjoying all that Boise has to offer. Insert obligatory potato joke here. For some reason, I've always thought that Boise wouldn't be a bad place to live. Turns out I was quite right.

They get really excited about the library here. The public transportation system was pretty easy, AND it goes from the airport right past Motel 6. For a mere $2 I got a day pass which afforded me numerous trips around the city. I even managed to squeeze in a visit to the Idaho State Historical Museum.

I didn't necessarily have to paddle upstream to get there. And no, I'm not breaking the rules by climbing in the display.


Of course, the ultimate goal of my trip was Texas. For some reason, I've always thought that Texas would be a bad place to live. Turns out I was quite right. There were lots of pavement and Republicans.

There were lots of bellydancers, too. On the left is the one and only Sharon Kihara, my main reason for going to Texas. On the right is Zymirrah, one of the organizers of the event.

Hooray for Bollywood! And for Reetu, who taught a classical Indian dance class that quickly morphed into Bollywood and dandi raas.

In time, I learned to tamp down my giddy schoolgirl crush on Sharon and play it cool around her. This was not that time. You can almost see me thinking "OHMIGOD!!!!! Sharon totally has her arm around me!!!"

When the final workshops were over, we headed out to whoop it up in the Historic Ft. Worth Stockyards. The natives were not prepared.

From left Kyla of Phoenix, Mary of Alaska and Zuza of Minneapolis. We were strangers, until I put a posting on the Internet looking for people to share a hotel room. Now we're just strange.

After four days and 11 workshops, I was tired. I was, ironically, just starting to get healthier. Zuza and I stopped and got a classy alcoholic beverage to drink out of a paper bag at our motel room at DFW.

I arrived home to weather 100 degrees colder and a boyfriend who had kept himself busy cleaning, building stuff and playing with our Lite Brite coffee table.