Tuesday, November 28, 2006

FINALLY! A vegan Protein Conditioner for Hair!

The Protein Conditioner:
Beat one tbsp of castor oil, one tbsp of glycerine, one tbsp of cider vinegar and a tsp of mild herbal shampoo (See recipe below to make your own)

Apply it on scalp and leave it on for 20 minutes.

Rinse with clear water.

This works like a dream believe it or not. I saw the ingredients and said to myself "Caster oil?!" But it thickens and believe it or not your scalp will soak it right up! It may take another shampoo to get it out.

Herbal Shampoo:

4 tbsp Shikaikai powder
2 tbsp AMLA powder
1 tbsp Neem
1 tbsp Aritha

Soak overnight, boil, then strain use this instead of Herbal shampoo" Works a dream!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Eight Awarenesses of Buddhism

Having few desires

Knowing how much is enough

Enjoying tranquility and serenity

Exerting diligent effort

Not neglecting mindfulness

Practicing meditation

Cultivating wisdom

Avoiding hollow speech

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Ayurvedic Hair Care Adventure

I wanted to write an in depth article about hair powder. I have an unusual type of hair which has an oily scalp during summer and dry ends, then during winter the entire length becomes Sahara desert dry and the scalp gets gunked up with sebum.

I tried shampoo after shampoo and conditioner after conditioner.

Several things thwarted me. First off I was allergic to Sodium Lauryl Sulfate which meant almost every shampoo was off limits. Second place was my recent veganism. Which meant I could not use quite a few conditioners either!

After the third caveat of giving up on silicones and dimethicone slip agents I was desperate for an easy hair routine that didn't take a masters degree in herbology to complete!

First I tried Condition only washing with VO5 and suave conditioners. The point of this is to put the conditioner on your hair and let it sit for an hour. Then rinse it out and voila clean hair.

This worked really well! my hair was soft and sweet smelling and shiny. Two things became deterents. I actually stopped doing things I enjoyed because I had to "wash my hair" and also found myself buying boatloads of conditioner because of the sheer amount of conditioner one had to use!

There had to be a better way.

Finally I decided to let nature guide me. I found myself one night staring at a Indian wedding party. There were women EVERYWHERE with waist length shiny soft GORGEOUS hair! I quickly found a gaggle of girls and started telling them about my hair woes.

They knowingly surrounded me and started literally pawing through my hair.

"Do you use henna?" one said.

"Uh...no I don't want red hair." I said.

They all looked at me and started laughing.

"You don't have to have red hair to henna! None of us have red hair!" the leader of the women chuckled.

They proceeded to tell me that black henna is bad. Then that neutral henna is not henna at all but a different herb. They told me that if I wanted my henna to look more brown to add certain herbs and liquids. They also recommend that you should leave it soaking overnight and add pectin (which they told me how to make from green apples)

Finally they told me the holy grail info. Home made shampoo!

They told me that Soapnut was a staple. Neem would help to exfoliate the scalp and AMLA and hibiscus would add moisture and slip to the hair powder.

I spoke to friends made on LongHairCommunity.com and talked about the things I found out. I then took out to try to find the herbs they told me about.

I did research on soapnut and found everything ELSE I needed to make the hairwash but couldn't find the darn soapnut!

Now usually I am the master of finding substitutes and tracking down local herb slingers. However, this soapnut stuff was driving me crazy!

SO I found a recipe for hair powder:

3 parts Shikaikai
1 part Neem
1 tbsp AMLA Powder
1 tbsp fenugreek powder
Liquid from Hibiscus Flower petals

This stuff took a little bit or prep to get it ready but it goes on and rinses out like magic and my hair has never looked better!

I think I may make a large squirt bottle of hibiscus tea. I make the hair powder in advance and keep it in a narrow neck bottle in my shower and make the hibiscus tea before hopping in the shower.

Still. I was going through the research trying to find the damn soap nut! then I literally stumbled across this:

Latin Names: Acacia sinuata (Lour.) Sapindae
English Name: Soap nut
Sanskrit Name: Three leaf Soap Berry
Hindi Name: Shikaikai

Catch the last part? Shikaikai. The ingredient I had been looking for was what I had been using all along.

That my friends is Roguewriter research.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Endangered Love: Barbara Manatee Song

Barbara Manatee (Manatee, Manatee)
You are the one for me (one for me, one for me)
Sent from up above (up above, up above)
You are the one I love (I love, I love, I love)

Barbara Manatee (Manatee, Manatee)
You are the one for me (one for me, one for me)
Sent from up above (a manatee from heaven)
You are the one i love (one I love, one I love)
Barbara Manatee (Manatee, Manatee)
I'll be your mon amie (mon amie, mon amie)
I'll take you to the ball(to the ball, to the ball)
I hope your not to tall (they might have trouble dancing)

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The truth hurts....

True or False
1. Apples, not caffeine, are more efficient at waking you up in the morning.

2. Alfred Hitchcock did not have a bellybutton.

3. A pack-a-day smoker will lose approximately 2 teeth every 10 yrs.

4. People do not get sick from cold weather; it's from being indoors a lot more.

5. When you sneeze, all bodily functions stop, even your heart!

6. Only 7 per cent of the population are lefties.

7. 40 people are sent to the hospital for dog bites every minute.

8. Babies are born without knee caps. They don't appear until they are 2-6 years old.

9. The average person over fifty will have spent 5 years waiting in lines.

10. The toothbrush was invented in 1498.

11. The average housefly lives for one month.

12. 40,000 Americans are injured by toilets each year.

13. A coat hanger is 44 inches long when straightened.

14. The average computer user blinks 7 times a minute.

15. Your feet are bigger in the afternoon than the rest of the day.

16. Most of us have eaten a spider in our sleep.

17. The REAL reason an ostrich sticks its head in the sand is to search for water.

18. The only 2 animals that can see behind themselves without turning their heads are the Rabbit and the Parrot.

19. John Travolta turned down the starring roles in "An Officer and a Gentleman" and "Tootsie".

20. Michael Jackson owns the rights to the South Carolina State anthem.

21. In most television commercials advertising milk, a mixture of white paint and a little thinner is used instead of real milk.

22. Prince Charles and Prince William NEVER travel on the same airplane, just in case there is a crash.

23. The first Harley Davidson motorcycle built in 1903 used a tomato can for a carburetor.

24. Most hospitals make money by selling the umbilical cords cut from women who give birth. They are reused in vein transplant surgery.

25. Humphrey Bogart was related to Princess Diana. They were 7th cousins.

26. If coloring weren't added to Coca-Cola, it would be Green.

Answers: All of the above are true.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Update on Circus Protests and Demos

On a new note to everyone The Ringling Brothers circus demo and protest and investigations led to me NOT being arrested or detained.

Interestingly enough we were succesfull in the following example:

The war memorial is supposed to pack 6,000 people a night per event.

Last year Ringling Brothers Circus had 8 shows and only had 5,790 people total for ALL 8 SHOWS

This year we had 4-13 protesters per event at every damn show.

They only sold 3,000 tickets and only had attendance of 4,000 people total for 7 shows. So they had lost so much money on the Syracuse Show because of our protests and flyering, that they left early and cancelled the last show.

Further! Because of my master of disguise and photoshop I was able to get into the Circuswith my awesome Ringling Bros pass and see where they housed the elephants, and dogs.

I got pictures of Tractor Trailor barely covered in sawdust for three full grown asian elephants. I got pictures of the parking garage where the elephants were housed. I got pictures of the food for the elephants being thrown on the floor of the tractor trailor unwashed and not in bowls.

I saw dogs in an 18 passenger van stacked on top of one another in tiny crates. 12 dogs, two of them toy breeds in cat carriers.

Then on the way to Rochester to go to an anti-police brutality seminar we passed a veal farm that housed 200 little dogl igloos full of cold baby bulls being contained for veal.

I still can't get the image out of my head. I was shaking so bad that I couldn't take pictures. I just stared while Adam and Amber stared in disbelief, while I shook in rage and sadness. Amber and I are going back to do some intel. Veal is just too much pain and suffering for this EM/COM Officer. If you think its nessecary or less cruel than it sounds read this:


On a plus note I saw this bike shop and community center this guy bought with his inheritance money in Rochester. He purposely lives in the ghetto and workes in the projects so he can get bikes and bike shop knnowledge to kids eager to learn a trade and ride a bike of their own. Kids from Drug Court and the Foster Care systom visit the shop, work on bikes, get a meal and much needed positive male role model time. I met a guy who was one of the volunteers pointing out all the bike parts to me. I told him my bike needed a new rim and he promptly said "What size is it?" and led to me to an entire room full of bike rims!

It was stuffed to the rafters with bikes and people from affluent parts of the city were even coming to have their bikes repaired and paying these kids and donating new and old bikes for the kids to sell.

Also they have a program called Food not Bombs. Its where they go to dumpsters and get food that is perfectly edible and they make meals for homeless, hungry and homebound persons of low income.


It is housed in a different building called the "Friends of Friends" Building. They also give away clothing, furniture, shoes and other needed items including animalitems, foster care network for pets, food and rescue items like medications and travel containers. It made me tear up at how generous these people were. Its places like that make all the hard work seem like it is working. Thanks guys, you are an inspiration.

I ate some soup and talked about the security officers man handling us at protests, and bought a "Food Not Bombs" sweatshirt for 10 bucks. I felt really good about the weekend overall, but the veal thing and tiny elephannt trailor thing haunted my dreams and I did not sleep well.

I want to do some recon and intell in Florida at the "Ringling Sanctuary" for circus animals. I leave in 4 days! I have three magazines asking me to write an article or two down there but I have to use my crappy camera that only takes pictures when it wants too. So if anyone has a nicer camera that they would like to donate to help end animal and child abuse through our investigations please let me know. Community Animal Project is always needing donations to help us with our rescue and fostering efforts. I am really in need of a 35 MM with zoom and optional flash, I can even offer some money if needed. My camera is a hinderance to our ission right now.

Thanks to everyone who sent their positive thoughts and keep me in clothing and eating (because I forget) Our love is with you and we think of you often.

Joy, Chris, Billy, Ani and Sammie

Friday, October 20, 2006

Communicator Forum is taking off!

So I have an animal empath advice column that seems to be taking off!

The column can be found on VeganFreak/Forum.org

Under "Furry Family" and Ask a vegan Animal Communicator/Empath

So far there has only been one person flooded with haterade.

So if you are interested or have questions of your own you can contact me here or contact me there.

Check out my pics of the furr babies! they are al plump and shiny just in time to adopt a turkey for thanksgiving and pig out on vegan food!

Furry Family

So I had to put a picture of my babies up. Three furry kids, all rescues.

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Billy: 9 yrs, Sammie: 2 months, Ani: 5 yrs

Billy. My little chocolate devil kitty. The sweetest, softest, cutest ambassador of what happens when you invest in a pound kitty. Billy was so anti-social and lethargic he had been returned to the shelter 3 times. He was broken and unwilling to trust people. He would allow people to pet him and hold him but didn't respond and showed no affection. He had been so badly abused by a male previous owner trying to ellicit play from him that he had a deep distrust for males. He would lie in the back of his kennel sleeping, eating and staring out at people disinterested.
I walked in the adopt-a-thon to help with adoptions and socializing. I was a young college student and had no place for a kitty. I saw Billy sitting in his kennel and something made me open the door and look inside. He looked at me and I looked at him and I KNEW somehow he was broken, but not irrepairable.
I picked him up and looked into his eyes and told him I promised no one would ever hurt him again. He seemed to understand because he wrapped his paws around my neck and tucked his tiny head under my chin. I carried him around the store and when it was time to go he wouldn't let go of me.
So he came home with me and he has been with me ever since. Everyone who meets him says "You can tell he is a mama's boy!" and I say "No you can tell he is my best friend."

Sammie was left for dead. Sammie was so weak when she was found she couldn't lift her head to drink. She was so lethargic and dehydrated that she wouldn't even eat chicken baby food off her nose. We spent all hours with her in a basket in our bed cleaning her after she empytied her bladder on her bedding, giving her water through an eyedropped and feeding her watered baby food with a tiny spoon and KMR milk replacer through a bottle. She still only trusts me and the large male Billy and is only months later trusting Papa to touch her and venture into the bedroom in ours home.

Ani had a can of raid wasp spray being emptied into her eyes. A 14 year old boys crack head mother was asleep on her front porch while her malicious child was spraying a kitten in the face with raid to try to flush it from underneath the house. I rescued her right then and had the woman charged with animal endangerment and drug possesion, she also had her children removed from custody. Ani came home with me. She required a warm wash clothe applied to her eyes ever 4 hours and drops put in her eyes 3 times a day. She shook and cried when people held her but wanted desperately to be loved. She was skin and bones and required high calorie feedings and was so scared we were going to leave her that she followed us around the house everywhere. Now she is firmly a papa's girl. And loves to follow mama around in the bathroom while she brushes her hair in hopes that she will get a good brushing too.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Kitten Vocabulary: Sam learns to purr

This morning I woke up to a small grey kitten, with a pot belly, on her hind legs paws on my side of the mattress screaming "AAAAAGGGGGHHHH!" at the top of her lungs at my sleeping self.

I struggled out of sleep and looked down at where this noise was coming from and flipped on the light and saw her. Ears back,eyes big, mouth open screaming, angrily.

So I gently moved Billy (my giant chocolate kitty) over toward Daddy and got up. She led me to the kitchen where she proceeded to show me her bowl had crumblies. No solid food. She then proceeded to cover it up with invisibly dust from around the bowl as if to say "This is shit! this belongs in the litter pan!"

I sighed and took her bowl and dumped it into our crumble bin we keep for the groundhogs outside and gave her new food.

Then I started to walk away when I hear her padding after me screaming "AGH! AGH!AGH! AAAAAAGH!" I stop and turn around and she has her paw in her water bowl and is looking at me with an unhappy brooding look.

I peer into the water and see a single hair (probably HER hair) floating in the water. I must have hesitated too long because she began the "Cover it like poop" routine."

"BALLS! Cat!" I mutter angrily and pick up her water bowl, dump it into the plant water jug and rinse it quickly and add cold tap water.

After I put it back down she looks at me evenly and begins to drink daintily from the water bowl.

I shuffle back to bed and can faintly hear crunching and a weird rumbling, snorting, hissing type sound. I look down and see that both adult cats are snuggled in bed with us and so i lie back and listen.

As I look at the clock, its 3 am. Its then I realize this is Sam's purr. It sounds like a malfunctioning sewing machine. I snuggle in next to my two boys Billy and Daddy and fall asleep laughing to myself.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Pocket organizer.....Free!


This free printable totally customizable pocket organizer is perfect for me. It fits in a mens wallet, is easily made for day, month or year and you can make a few of them and make it into a yearly planner!

It took some double sided tape and scissors to adapt it but this is portable, adorable and smaller than an ipod.



Friday, October 06, 2006


Yay I am now obsessed with my hair to the point of having a *gulp* Hair Journal.


Hey I write for a living? Its practice! I can justify that. Further I am coming up with so many great articles and ideas that I need more publishing room. Although I have NOT published on gather in forever and a day..its so involved...

So yes my obsession? Hair and Veganism and animals who nest in my hair.


Sunday, October 01, 2006

Herbal Hair wash recipe

Again with the Indian crocery! Why did it take me so long to realize I have hair very similiar to Indian? It makes a certain amount of sense being I am half American Indian. The African throws in a courseness and deyness that makes my fast growing AI hair get fried ends and itchy oily scalp.

For almost a year I had been committed to CO washing. This entailed slathering cheap conditioner on my wet hair and waiting for an hour or so and washing it off. Now do not missunderstand me! I loved the way my hair felt but after using almost a bottle a week (I wash twice a weeek) I was getting tired of stocking up!

Finally after luggin yet another two cases of Suave and VO5 home I logged on to the beauty bottle (www.thebeautybottle.com) and saw an article by Naj on herbal washes. Having already been going to the indian market for NEEM powder I though why not get some hair washing herbs?

So I stocked up on 3 boxes Shikai ($4.50) 1 box Aritha ($ 1.50) and one box AMLA ($1.50) The owners wife instructed me since I have short hair that this amount of herbs would last me 3-6 months!for $8.50!

My recipe is for my hair legnth which is just above bra strap.

Herbal Wash:
4 TBSP Shikai powder
2 tsp aritha

Put into a jar, shake well, strain (if desired, and I desire to) and use.

I wet my hair thoroughly, pour mixture on scalp massage gently working it through, then rinse and condition with a natural conditioner. Once when I was out of conditioner I put a drop of coconut and jojoba oil on my hair and it conditioned. But I prefer my henna conditioner form Natures Gate and now don't have to use 1/2 a bottle!

I can still get away with washing twice a week or about every three to four days.

The onyl complaint is my hubby says my hair smells like celery... so I may try adding some patchouli oil or something. Other than that I highly reccomend it. As the box tells you this is a "gift from nature" and the bonus? None of the powders are tested on animals and all are vegan. Bonus!

The remedy- Herbal washes, oils and whatnot

Being that I am half American Indian and African one would suspect me to encounter skin woes. One would be right!

However exstensive research, and the acceptance that I am firmly allergic to Sufites/Sulfates of anykind have given me a "gift of nature"

My skin: combination oily in t-zone and dry on cheeks in summer, then dry in winter.

Severly allergic to sulfates/sulfites and easily dried out.

I had tried proactive, prescription, clinique, netrogena, Sage (boo-yah company BTW check them out!)and an exausted list of store bought crap.

Finally in the most unlikely of places I found out about "Oil cleansing method" At this point I was so frustrated and resigned to have ugly red acne for the rest of my life I thought, hell why not.

Insert the hallelujah chorus here. After playing around with mixes I found my summer oil mix is "1 tbsp jojoba,1/3 cup caster oil, and 1/3 cup extra virgin Olive oil (organic). My winter blend is 1tbsp jojoba, 1/4 caster oil, 3/4 EVOO. I keep it in a squirt bottle next to the toothpaste. Rub it on, jump in the shower and wash it off.

Here was the kicker. I used an exfoliating clothe to get it off. Which worked a little TOO well. SO for a while I was using a drop of castile soap to wash it off with great results. Then a friend began telling me about Neem powder (available in any Indian grocery or on eastwestbazaar.com)

I use a teaspoon of Neem powder mixed with water to make a bright green paste. Then I apply to my face gently massage in circles and rinse. Voila beautiful skin!
I still have to use a pea sized amount of aloe gel mixed with a pea sized amount of 2 % Benzoyl peroxide (Sage Advice's Zero Zits formula in gentle)

But so far my skin is enviable at last. I highly reccomend anyone whom is sensitive to give natural washing methods such as the above a try. Oil truly does disolve oil and my skin is never greasy or itchy dry.

Who would have thought all those times picking up red lentils for dal the cure for my skin woes was literally "under my nose"

Friday, September 29, 2006

Gelled Henna Recipe, now with pectin recipe

Fia's gelled henna (calculations adapted by RogueWriter)
Slower version for powders with slow dye release (Such as bulk powders)

½ cup (4 ounces) henna powder/Cassia Obovata (For conditioning w/ no colour change)
1 ½ cup Black tea (12 ounces)
¾ cup Lime Juice (1 Tbsp Lime/Lemon juice concentrate with ¾ cup water)
1½ Tbsp Powdered pectin (about 1 oz.) *SEE NEW ATTACHED RECIPE ON BOTTOM!*
1 Tbsp AMLA powder

Sift Henna in nylon/fine mesh first.

Dump sifted henna powder in a bowl and mix with half of the liquid. (DO NOT ADD PECTIN YET)

(POT 1) Let this one stand on top of something warm until you see dye release – these are basically the same steps as if you were preparing a regular henna paste.

(POT 2) After you've seen dye releasing from the henna, boil the remaining half of the liquid, then add pectin.

Pour the liquid & pectin (POT 2) mix into the henna paste in the bowl (POT 1) and mix well.

Add AMLA Powder

Let this stand until it is gelled - usually about 20 minutes- and use.

Pectin recipe: For one/two gelled henna or casia applications

~Take one sour apple (young unripe or green tart apples work best.

~Chop into pieces (the smaller the better...like gravel sized)

~Place in pan with enough water just to cover

~Boil stirring frequently for 20 minutes or until apples are tender

~Strain mixture through mesh sive or cheeseclothe.

~Check mix by taking a drop and placing it in a tablspoon of alchohol. If it congeals and gets goey its ready. If not place mixture back in pan boil for 5 minutes and check again.

Colouring info:
For Chocolate brown henna I have been told by Indian women to use a metal bowl and Coffee/Tea (such as Earl Grey) and Walnut powder. Also AMLA is said to prmote chocolate colours and tone down brassiness however you will have reddish highlights, its unavoidable.

For Fiery red finery Here is a tried and true bunch of additions that my sister and I have used on her to mae her hair Burning flame bright.

Papika (yes paprika)
Red Zinger tea (Our FAVE and tried and true add in! Not only does this add brilliance to the red, but the hibiscus in the tea actually acts as another colorant AND a slip agent making washing it out a breeze)
Red Wine. I usually use the cheapest reddest wine I can get from goodish grapes. Italian wines like Fat Bastard, Red Cat, and Barberras bring a burgundy/Ruby colour to hair. A warning to though alleric to Sulfa drugs like Baytrol BE CAREFUL YOU DON'T HAVE TOPICAL ALLERGIES!!! As 98% of wines contain sulfites and can make you break out. (antoher reason for tea preference)

These above additions can be used as a liquid or in liquid to replace the water/Fluid in the recipe.

Happpy Henna everyone!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Henna for Cocoa/Fire Engine coloured tresses

Henna for Chocolate brown hair:
The Thneeds:
Cotton wicking to wrap around head (avaiable at beauty supply stores)
Plastic bags
Saran Wrap
Coffee/Tea Brewed for an hour STRONG (Red Zinger Tea for red)
metal bowl and spoon (for Brown henna Non-metal Bowl and spoon for red henna)
Plastic gloves
Old towels
Old t-shirts
200 grams Henna
Lavendar essential oil
Olive Oil
AMLA Powder
Lime Juice
(optional) Walnut Powder or Nutmeg (brown) Red ZInger tea (red)

The Method:

Brew BOLD coffee or Strong Black Tea with a scent you can stand or love
Boil Mixture for an hour.

Add 200 grams Henna, mix with the mixture above until goopy (for shoulder legnth hair)
2 Tbsp Olive oil
2 Tbsp AMLA
1 Tbsp Lime Juice
7 Lavendar Essential Oil

Let henna mixture sit in warm place for 2-3 hours in METAL BOWL (That you don't care if it gets stained..cause it will)

Schmear vaseline around your crown, cover ears and make the line about an inch wide.

Add 1 TBSP Pectin (see recipe on Gelled Henna Article, or available in canning isle)

Wait about 20 minutes until desired consistancy is reached.

Stir and put into your hair in sections (friends help friends, also makes for good co-dependency)

Pile hair in bun on top of head use old scrunchie or non metal pony holder to hold hair up, Clip hair in a bun.

Wrap cotton wicking around crown of head.

Cover with a plastic bag and wrap with saran wrap.

Cover with a thermal hat and sit for 4 or more hours.

Rinse using warm water and LOTS (Like an entire bottle) of conditioner. *note* I find that Suave, VO5, Natures gate and Jason or Giovanni works like a dream...If price is a concern use Suave)

I personally reccomend Suave Aloe Vera/Coconut VO5 Spa Lemongrass and use the whole bottle.

Rinse and rinse and rinse until the stuff is out, Garden hoses work REALLY well for this.

Hair will be super conditioned and pretty for 4-6 weeks and doesn't need to be washed for 5-6 days.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Samsara the Feral

"Socialization with other humans is very important. However as stated before, feral kittens (or feral cats) tend to bond with one human so they adjust to a new home better if they have also socialized with other humans."

Insert giant sigh here. If CHris had been the one to get up in the middle of the night to feed and change her. Or to give her treats, or to make her feel better (dispense medication in tuna...YUM) Sam may have made him her favorite human.

But alas. Now two out of the three cats in this house have claimed me as their favorite human.

Which is exactly what I didn't need. Maybe me being gone for eleven days to Florida will help her get closer to Crash.


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Birthday Blues

Twenty nine years. Its not milestone or anything but it IS kinda depressing that my birthday consisted of a veggie burger, tater tots, a popsicle and a shower...um..the only people to send me a birthday shout were myspace, the beauty bottle, the vegan forum and my nana.

But what an awesome prezzie from my Nana!

Two pairs of jammies from PJ Salvage on sleepyheads.com

I am wearing them now, very comfotably I may add.

Hubby has to work, and everyone else was busy.

No cake, no presents, just two e-mails and a veggie burger with my friend Jen.

again, wheee.

Not that its a bummer, just very unspecial.


Friday, August 11, 2006

Very interesting article about Hair, Skin & Body

Monday 31 March 1997

Norman Swan: Welcome to the program. I'm Norman Swan. Today, new ways of looking after your skin when you're in the shower, when you choose your clothes, when you sleep and even when you travel.

Today's Health Report is about what some skin specialists might see as threatening and controversial ideas about skin care. It's a theory and practice based on the fact that many factors in our environment and lifestyle adversely affect our skin. So dandruff, dry skin in general, foot blisters in sport, hard-to-treat eczema, psoriasis and acne may all have environmental components which, if fixed up, can improve our skin condition and perhaps even reduce the need for medicated creams and ointments.

The concept is based on the experience, practice and research of Dr Hugh Molloy, a dermatologist who was once considered an iconoclast among his colleagues but now finds that internationally his ideas are becoming more accepted internationally.

As you'll hear, he doesn't suggest mung beans or crocodile dung, but sensible non-toxic ways of subtly changing our habits to turn our skin and hair back towards what the cosmetic companies like to promote as the ideal. But, says, Dr Molloy, they tend to peddle products which perpetuate skin and hair problems rather than solve them. So stop scratching and have a listen.

Hugh Molloy: My basic message is that a lot of the patients I see, probably well over half the patients I see, are causing their own skin problems.
Norman Swan: Causing their own skin problems?
Hugh Molloy: Yes, by the way in which they're looking after their skin. I think a lot of problems, be they psoriasis, eczema, or any other skin disorders, and a lot of types of acne, particularly that occurring later in life, are ways in which the skin is reacting to what is being done to it.
Over the last fifty years, life changed quite a lot. We've overheated ourselves; we've put ourselves into air conditioning; we've put ourselves into planes where the relative humidity gets down to 3% whereas human beings really like relative humidity to be between 46% and 65%.
We've overused soaps and shampoos. Those older members of society will remember washing their hair once a week with Sunlight Soap; now I frequently see people who are washing their hair twice a day with strong detergent shampoos. That detergent shampoo not only affects their hair, their scalp, their face; it runs down their bodies and they walk in it. And so it affects their feet too.

All of these things have insidiously crept up on us, and so our skins are getting drier and drier and are unable to function as well as they should do.
Norman Swan: And you think this breaks out as some skin problem? And you're generalising, you're saying that in some people it's eczema and in other people it might be psoriasis?
Hugh Molloy: People think that eczema is inherited. People think that psoriasis is inherited. I don't quite believe that. I think that a tendency to react in a certain way if you're insulted enough, is what you inherit. So it's rather like, I often say to patients, if I swear at you, well, you can pretend you didn't hear me, you can cry, you can laugh, you can throw something at me, you can hit me over the head, or you can get up and walk out. And that depends on your personality. And your personality has got two parts: what you've inherited - and I can't alter that; and the way you've been brought up. Your skin is rather like that. It has inherited a number of ways of reacting, and that depends on the personality of your skin. What you've inherited, I can't alter. But I can alter the way in which you look after your skin.
Norman Swan: Well let's look at the modern environment and see what you think are the public enemies number one to ten, as far as your skin is concerned.
Hugh Molloy: Well, some years ago I asked about a thousand people who were coming to see me, what they were doing to their skin. Six things came up as being important. The first one was having a dry skin. Now, most fair-skinned Caucasians with green to blue eyes, maybe freckles, and often with red or fair hair, really have dry skin. They often have long hands with very fine creases, not much muscle opposite the thumb, and sometimes palms that sweat a little bit. They often have a little bit of roughness on the outside of their upper arms, a thing called keratosis pilaris. A lot of Asians have dry skin. People seem to think that if you've got a tanned skin it must be oily, but that's fallacious. And so I think most of us have fairly dry skin. Then we have to think about climate. Human beings like relative humidity to be between 46% and 65%.
Norman Swan: On what basis do you say that?
Hugh Molloy: The scientific evidence that skin works best, and lots of other things. Your respiratory system works best within those limits. Now, my meteorological adviser, who has been around for a long time, tells me that there is nowhere in the world known to him that has a greater daily variation in temperature and humidity than the east coast of Australia. And so, if you've got a dry skin and you come to live in this climate, then that makes your skin drier.
Norman Swan: Simply because you can go into very low humidity at times of the year or even times of the day.
Hugh Molloy: Yes.
Norman Swan: What happens to your skin when the humidity drops down that low?
Hugh Molloy: It gets dry. You lose water vapour from your skin, and the barrier that is formed by the outer part of your epidermis doesn't function as well. That barrier also becomes disrupted in some way which we don't quite understand, and so you can't sweat as well. You can't keep yourself as cool. And often that sweat gets trapped within the epidermis and causes inflammation and irritation to your skin.
Norman Swan: So the natural exits, if you like, from the sweat glands, are blocked and you get a buildup of sweat, you believe?
Hugh Molloy: Yes.
Norman Swan: And that breaks out as a skin rash as well?
Hugh Molloy: Mm.
Norman Swan: What about cold weather? I'm one of these people with dry skin and my back turns into sandpaper in winter.
Hugh Molloy: Yes. Well, if you understand relative humidity you will know that cold air contains much less water vapour than warm air.
Norman Swan: So, step one, people living in coastal Australia are living in an environment which, surprisingly, although they're living on the coast, can be quite low high humidity and therefore not too good for their skin?
Hugh Molloy: Yes.
Norman Swan: But you also believe we do things in terms of our environment, which makes that worse.
Hugh Molloy: Yes. We then put ourselves into overheated buildings. If you heat up air, you dry it out. If you air condition air, you dry it out. So this tends to make your skin more dry.
When I go to the United States to a meeting and I'm in a hotel room with the windows all screwed up and the air conditioning on, I tend to switch the air conditioning off, open a window - if possible, but that's usually impossible. And then I chock the bathroom door open and I fill up the bath with water, and I leave a little note for the chambermaid saying, 'Please leave this full of water all the time I'm here'. Because it makes life more bearable! And it certainly makes a lot of difference.
Norman Swan: While we're talking about bedrooms, I think if you were to nominate your Public Enemy Number One, it would be the continental quilt, the duvet or the doona?
Hugh Molloy: Yes. That's true.
Norman Swan: Tell me about that - and you also believe that it's not just your skin that we're talking about here, it's the quality of your sleep at night.
Hugh Molloy: That's quite correct. One of the things that I decided after looking at the list of things that people told me they did to themselves, was that most people, in my opinion, overheated at night. Because of this, I took six months off and went to Oxford, where we put twelve people to sleep in a sleep laboratory. We covered them up with a standard 10-tog duvet, doona...
Norman Swan: Now we're going to have start talking about 'togs' here. This is a measure of the insulating quality of covering?
Hugh Molloy: It was first devised by the British Textile Technical Research Group at Shirley Towers in Manchester, and it's an electrical way of trying to work out the insulation capacity of any material, be it a building material, be it a carpet, clothing, etc.
Norman Swan: So, from your pyjamas to your quilt?
Hugh Molloy: That's right. A simple way to understand it is that the British Textile Technical Research Group left us with a table which said that shirting had a tog value of .2.
Norman Swan: Your standard cotton shirt?
Hugh Molloy: Standard cotton shirt. Underwear was .2 to .4. Thermal underwear, .4 to .8. Suiting, 1. Sweaters, 1. Cotton and wool blankets, 1 to 2 togs. A standard continental quilt was 10 togs.
Norman Swan: So ten times a blanket?
Hugh Molloy: Well, 1 to 2. So I decided 5 or 6, being on the generous side. They also pointed out that a 9-tog duvet or doona should keep people relatively comfortable when their bedroom temperature got down to 5 degrees Celsius. That's the temperature at which you keep the milk in the fridge. I wonder how many bedrooms in Sydney get down to that level.
Norman Swan: So what do you believe are the consequences of lying under the equivalent of five or six blankets?
Hugh Molloy: Increased sweating. But if your skin is dry, then that sweat can't get out onto the surface of your skin and evaporate and cool you down, so it gets trapped there. This does two things. It irritates your skin, and so causes your skin to react in one of the ways in which it wants to react in response to insult.
Norman Swan: This is the old eczema, psoriasis, or dermatitis story?
Hugh Molloy: Yes. And we also found that the people who got too hot had changes in their brain waves, including a reduction in rapid eye movement sleep. Now, it is known that if you don't get enough rapid eye movement sleep the quality of your sleep is reduced and you wake up feeling tired and hung over in the mornings. Many people report this when asked about it, but they haven't associated it with getting too hot at night. It's the same sort of feeling that many people who are depressed seem to have in the mornings, and their depression is said to be associated with a reduction in REM sleep.
We also showed that people had changes in their sleep stages. And there was some work done in Edinburgh in about 1972 which showed that if you had changes in your sleep stages for the middle of the night, of a certain type, then the upper part of your body and your face became irritable. And we noted that all of our subjects at about two o'clock in the morning started to rub their faces. When asked about it the next day they denied having done it. They had no recollection whatsoever of doing it. But we have noted that amongst the people that overheat, by our standards, at night, they develop what we called 'duvet or doona eye'. This seems to be increased tissue formation around the upper eyelid, increased folding of the upper eyelid, sometimes extending to the sides of the eye, with increased creasing and wrinkling. And, in the people who are able to pigment, they often get a lot of pigmentation around their eyes.
Norman Swan: The skin colour?
Hugh Molloy: The skin colour is dark brown.
Norman Swan: And you relate this also to dandruff?
Hugh Molloy: Well, if you are constantly putting shampoo on the top of your head and the shampoo, which is detergent, dries up the outer layer of your skin, then again you are blocking the exit of the sweat. And that causes irritation of the skin, which responds with the production of dandruff.
Norman Swan: And if you sleep in a doona it's even worse, because you're sweating from your head?
Hugh Molloy: Yes. 80% of the sweating which you do at night is done above the middle line. Most of it is done on the scalp. If you can't do it on the scalp then you tend to sweat on the face and neck and the upper part of your chest. And so we see a lot of people who get itchy rashes on the upper parts of their chests, particularly in the winter time when their skin is drier. And they are covering themselves up with a lot of bedding at night.
Norman Swan: Okay. So we've done air conditioning, and air conditioning in hotel rooms. And we've done the doona, and we've done what you do in the shower. Is there anything that you wear on your body that makes this worse?
Hugh Molloy: I think, too much clothing. I'm always impressed by the amount of clothing that children wear. And I think this gives rise to...
Norman Swan: You mean how little they wear?
Hugh Molloy: No, how much they wear. Since the days of Florence Nightingale, everybody has thought that you must heat up children, keep them warm. My view is that you probably cause them to have much more trouble by over-clothing them. And they are often much worse tempered, and they become fractious and difficult to manage, if they are overheated. You often see children in the city who have got loads of clothing on and then they've got a synthetic coat on top, and they're trying to drag it off and their parents are putting it back on, and a great fight ensues. The invention of the synthetic fibres has, I think, done us a lot of harm. Because they certainly don't breathe. They certainly are better insulators, they're certainly lighter, and they're certainly cheaper, and they certainly last longer than the natural fibres, and so they've become very popular amongst those people who don't have a lot of money to spend on clothing and who want to keep their children warm.
Norman Swan: It's the equivalent of the doona in some senses?
Hugh Molloy: Yes. And then the ladies who go to the gymnasium to do their aerobics, and wear lycra from their feet up to their neck, are doing exactly the same as the people who are sleeping at night with a doona or duvet.
Norman Swan: So the correct garb for aerobics would be light cotton?
Hugh Molloy: Light cotton, with a bare midriff and bare arms and legs.
Norman Swan: Just on the clothing side, one of the most popular interviews we've had on The Health Report was in fact with a podiatrist who was talking about shoes, and how certain types of shoes, particular non leather uppers, create a lot of problems on the feet, simply because the feet get too hot.
Hugh Molloy: And it's not only the synthetic shoes, it's the leather shoes also. In the old days the uppers were sewn to the soles, and so there was some ventilation around the seam. In these days, they are welded or stuck together. Also, even some of the finest leather shoes are sprayed with plastics, so-called 'anti-scuff devices', so that you don't have to polish them so much. And these plastics seal up all the little holes that normally would be in the leather, and so shoes become hot-boxes. All my shoes are ventilated, by me, soon after I buy them.
Norman Swan: You stick holes in them?
Hugh Molloy: I stick holes in them, in the instep, which I make with a little electric soldering iron - four little holes, three to four millimetres in diameter, about a centimetre above the weld in the instep. It means that every time you walk you can blow air in and out of your shoe. We tried this at Oxford, we put thermometers in our shoes and ran around for an hour, and measured the temperature inside our shoes. Then we ventilated them, put the thermometers back and ran around for another, and found that we could reduce the temperature inside our shoes by three to four degrees Celsius. And in fact they were much more comfortable. A lot of people said, 'Well, what happens when it rains?' I very rarely get water in my shoe through the little holes that I make. But if I don't make them, every night when I get home my feet are wet through with sweat.
Norman Swan: Let's start looking at some solutions here. We've spoken about the bathtub in the hotel room, to make sure that the air remains humid. What about the shower, what about washing, what's your advice for the person living in the modern world?
Hugh Molloy: My advice for people living in this modern world is not to use soap.
Norman Swan: At all?
Hugh Molloy: I personally haven't used any soap for twenty years.
Norman Swan: And I can testify to the listener that it's not an unpleasant experience sitting next to you in the studio.

Hugh Molloy: My patients have also told me that they have realised that once you stop using soap, you don't need to use deodorant. Now, who sells deodorant? The soap manufacturers!
Norman Swan: Now why is that?
Hugh Molloy: I don't know exactly, but my suspicion is that the constant use of soap changes the ecology of the skin.
Norman Swan: The bacteria on the skin?
Hugh Molloy: The bacteria on the skin. And it probably knocks out a lot of the goodies and leaves more space for the baddies to survive. And the baddies are the ones which, by their biochemistry and by their effects on the perspiration, produce odour. Once you get the normal population of bacteria back onto the skin, then we don't seem to produce as much odour.
Norman Swan: But you do need to remove the daily grime from your body. What do you use to do that?
Hugh Molloy: I use a simple, water soluble cream, like sorbolene and glycerin. And this will wash your body, all parts of your body, quite adequately.
Norman Swan: This is 10% glycerin and sorbolene, which is available in any pharmacy.
Hugh Molloy: 10% glycerin and sorbolene, yes. It won't take off ink stains, but nor will soap. But it also can be used as a moisturiser, so using it as a soap and then put some more on, always mixed with water... Remember that the man who stands outside Buckingham Palace each day, if asked how he keeps the toes of his boots shiny, will tell you, 'With two things, spit and polish'. In order to refurbish the outer layer of his boots, and in order to refurbish your skin, you need two things: grease and water. And so the cream should be mixed with water before it is put on. It can be put on very simply, and you can put your clothes on straight away because it doesn't stain your clothes.
Norman Swan: And when you're washing in the shower - sorry to get into the mechanics of this - do you actually just put it on your hands the same as you put on soap, and rub it on the way you would normally?
Hugh Molloy: I take a little bit in my hands, I take some water with it, I mix the two together, and I use that as soap to wash myself. I rinse it off, get out half dry, take a little bit more, mix it with water, put a thin layer all over, put my clothes on.
Norman Swan: And what about your hair?
Hugh Molloy: Shampoos are, really, industrial detergents. They are very strong, and they do damage skin. They do damage your hair also. There is a condition of hair called 'weathering', which we see around the streets all the time. This is purely the effect of shampoo on the hair, the damage that it has done.
Norman Swan: And what is this weathering?
Hugh Molloy: Weathering makes the hair look straggly and thin, it reduces the calibre of the hairs, and the hairs tend to catch each other and tie themselves in knots. Because little cuticle cells on the outside, which normally lie over each other, dry up and stick out. And so they become like the barbs on a fishing hook, and they catch through to one another. And if you measure the calibre of a hair right up against the scalp and then follow that hair out to the periphery and measure the calibre again, you'll find that the calibre is reduced probably to about a sixth of what it is. So it can't hold itself up, so after a few hours, with a little bit of sweat on it, it will become lank and will go flat. It loses its bounce.
Norman Swan: You're describing the situation that most people see on television all the time, particularly aimed at women with long hair.
Hugh Molloy: Yes. And most of those will tell you that...
Norman Swan: So it's a self-perpetuating problem?
Hugh Molloy: Of course! And they will wash their hair and blow dry it and it will stand up beautifully. But eight, or six, or four hours later it will just go flat. And the only way they can get it to stand up again is to rewash it and re-blow dry it. And if you keep doing this, then you damage the hair!
Norman Swan: So what do you use on the hair?
Hugh Molloy: Well, some of my patients use sorbolene and glycerin, take a little bit, mix it with water, rub it into their hair at night, and just rinse it out with water in the morning. Others use hair conditioners. Hair conditioners don't contain detergents, they contain spreading agents called surfactants. There are various types of surfactants - four types of surfactant, in fact, depending on the charge which is on the molecule in solution. Some of these have some detergent capacity, but they are nowhere as destructive as the detergent shampoos. So you can wash your hair quite satisfactorily with hair conditioner, provided you use a lot. You need at least a couple of tablespoonfuls if you've got long hair. The people who say that hair conditioner makes their hair greasy are the people who don't use enough.
Norman Swan: I've known you for awhile and I've tried this. And I found that glycerin and sorbolene made my hair greasy, but in fact conditioner works quite well. But you've got to go for it, it takes you a while to get beyond a certain point, where your hair is not that greasy and it starts to work.
Hugh Molloy: Yes, that's perfectly true. I've had some comments with some organisations who test shampoos and hair conditioners. And they tend to run their tests over a period of a fortnight. From experience I have learnt that it takes at least eight weeks to get over the hump, but it's certainly worthwhile. And you can use hair conditioner as often as you like, because it's nowhere near as damaging as the shampoos. And people often find that in the early stages they have to use hair conditioner quite a lot, but later on, towards the end of the eight weeks, they find that they only need to wash their hair a couple of times a week.
Norman Swan: Now what will do about the bedroom? Most of us invested in the continental quilt. What do you suggest is the solution for the bedroom?
Hugh Molloy: I think that unless one is in Kosciusko at this time of the year, or out in central Australia where the nights can get very cold, two to three blankets made of either cotton or wool should be the absolute maximum - in a house with no heating and the windows up. Now, there is a problem, that we are born with what I call a little man in our brains who enables us to cope with cold. He is like any other function in our body. If we use him and recognise him and respect him, he will work very well for us. But if we misuse him he stops working.
Norman Swan: So you reset your sense of cold?
Hugh Molloy: That's right, that's perfectly correct. If you jump into a swimming pool you will feel cold. But if you stay there for four minutes you will warm up. If you get out of that swimming pool and sit on the side you will feel cold. But if you stay there for four minutes you warm up. So, if you put clothing on the moment you feel cold, then you do the little man out of a job. If you put clothing on in case it might get cold, then you obviously spend a lot of your time being too hot, and again, you do him out of a job, so he packs up. If you overheat him at night, he will persist for a while, but after some weeks or months he will pack up. So you're left there now without this little man who enables you to cope with cold. And in this situation, I believe that your thermostat slowly gets pushed higher and higher and higher, and you feel the cold more.
Norman Swan: You become addicted to your duvet?
Hugh Molloy: And you become addicted to your duvet, and you learn how to feel the cold. So most people who use duvets or doonas have their thermostat set much higher than they should have it. In my experience it takes ten consecutive cold nights to pull your thermostat down. And I advise my patients to go home, put a sheet and two blankets on the bed, and I warn them that they will wake up a number of times during the night for the next six nights, they may wake up every hour or so. They will certainly wake up between four and five in the morning, which is the coldest time of the night. But after about six nights, they'll start to sleep through. And by ten nights they are usually sleeping through and waking up feeling much better in the mornings.
Norman Swan: And when you wake up feeling cold, do you advise putting on a pair of socks or something like that?
Hugh Molloy: No. The most important parts of your thermoregulatory mechanism are your extremities, your hands and your feet. If they are cold, it means they are working very well, they are helping your body to conserve heat. If they are hot it means that they are being used to try and get rid of heat from your body. And so if you overheat your feet you make it more difficult for your body to conserve heat, and therefore you feel more cold. And in fact, if you put a duvet or a doona on the bed, it takes much longer for your feet to warm up. As soon as you lie down and put the bed clothing on, the body's main function is to come to an equilibrium with that bedding. And if that bedding has no heat source, it will be colder than your body. And so heat flows from your body into that bedding to warm it up. During that phase of warming up your bedding you are trying to conserve as much heat as possible, and so your hands and your feet go cold. And so the more bedding on top of you...
Norman Swan: The more there is to heat up?
Hugh Molloy: The more there is to heat up. Therefore your extremities stay cold for longer, which is the opposite of what most people think. If you have terribly cold feet when you're going to bed, then I find the simplest thing to do is get a bath towel and heat it up over a heated towel rail or a heater of some kind, making sure that it doesn't catch on fire. Or you can even put it in the microwave oven for a few minutes, making sure that you don't burn it. Pop that into bed and put your feet on that. It's safer than a hot water bottle. You can't burn yourself with it. It will take you through that initial stage of having cold feet and then it will rapidly cool down, so it won't upset your thermoregulatory mechanism.
Norman Swan: Of all the people who come in to your office with eczema or psoriasis and so on, how many respond to these simple environmental measures and how many go on to need the dermatologists' friend, which is cortisone cream?
Hugh Molloy: That depends on the reason why the patient came to see me. If the patient came to see me to buy the cure, then they go away disappointed.
Norman Swan: What do you mean 'buy the cure'?
Hugh Molloy: Well, for me to give them a prescription for some pills or some cream that's going to make them better. I don't believe that I can cure anything. Pills and creams are like umbrellas. They don't cure things, they just stop the uncomfortable feeling for a while. But usually when you stop the creams or the pills, the condition returns if you keep on insulting your skin. So all I can do is teach people how to manage what they have and get the best out of their skin.
Norman Swan: Dermatologist, Dr Hugh Molloy.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Oh I am SO EXCITED. JetBlue is now flying from Syracuse to Florida.

I am going down there for as long as I CAN!

In return I am not going to be able to go for christmas...OH WELL! Maybe I can make a shorter trip home to MN for some holiday...

My family and I get along great together from a distance of a few states. Not as an insult.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder!

OCTOBER 31ST off to Florida!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Pirate kitten, cherokee daughter

Her name started as sweetie, then baby, then Nina-Mohsi (strong daughter) now she graduates again. Halla. Because she is one tough pirate kitten.

She started off wasting to death in a lawn in Rochester where my other boss found her. Severe infections in her eyes and nose along with ringworm and severe dehydration made for one sad looking cat.

Crash and I took her to try to nurse her through the night. She made it by me waking up every three hours to dribble water into her mouth and try to get her to suck down liquid baby food.

Finally by 3 in the morning she had eaten liquid baby food watered down with whole milk infant formula.

By that evening she was eating ground Tuna and formula and this morning I found her covered in her own urine but hungry.

After a meal of warm tuna, milk and kitten chow she had a bath. She must be feeling better because she bit me and growled at me. But she took her medicine, drank water, and is sitting here in fresh bedding watching me type and looking curiously at our cat William who is making an ass out of himself. Spitting and hissing at a kitten the size of his belly.

Ani on the other hand is VERY curious. She really wants to lick the kitten and eat its food and lie in the basket with it. I don't think she understands its a cat yet and thinks its a stuffed toy. But I think Halla prefers that to William hissing at her.

Yes three name changes. Now she really is an american indian's cat.
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Thursday, June 15, 2006

It figures yesterday was great...

So today I found a giant hemroid on my butt. It is HUGE.

Then I found another huge growth on my ear, my eye, and my abdomen.

My doctor says "Yeah you are cystic the skin you have is really thin, take Horse chestnut"

So I am going to go and buy this crap when I see it costs 15.00 DOLLARS! (for three bottles but PLEASE!)

So I finally go to check my checking account and see that my credit card is overdrawn, funnily enough I don't even remember using this card to buy anything. So I go on my account and find out BusinessMaxx has been enrolling me in this stupid super saver account who has 51.60 a month fee!!!

Yeah I ripped them a new one and told them to reimburse me.

I then figured out that I didn't even remember getting a bill!

So I piss and moan and fix this crap and then call my credit card and tell them what happened and ask if they would please forgive my late fee and help me to disenroll in any weird account stuff.

Then I applied for a 200 increase hopefuly to forgive my over draft. Then I am going to cruise for a loan from Empire and hopefully ge this loan payed off.

God I hate money...

My wish list:
Paton Bohemian Cranberry 2 skeins
Journals from GwenFrostic.com
Record player and speakers
A trip to a beach

These are my wish lists and I am going to give up going out to dinner, exspensive coffee treats, cookies from Alto Cinco and shoes.

Oh hell...I'll promise not to start a new damn craft!

That and not adopting any other pets should save me money. My cats need jobs.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Preya, then Kadar, then Gita who will die next?

No these are not people you know. Although you may have heard of them. They had two things in common. First and formost they were Asian Elephants. Second and most important they died in City zoos.

Why is this important? Elephants are on of the oldest species of animal on this planet. Dating back to prehistoric earth. They have taught us so much about evolution, animal behavior and family units in nature.

We have learned that elephants cry when in pain or distress.

We have learned that female elephants stay together their entire lifetime.

We have learned that elephants are closely related to Mastadons but incredibly more intelligent.

Some elephants can predict early drought and choose not to breed.

Elephants can paint, they "play" and mother their young up to three years and if the calve is femal an entire life.

Elephants have been known to stop at elephant bones and carcasses and look at the bones almost pensivly and gently but them down together before walking off.

My point? elephants are gentle loving beautiful creatures that do not deserve to be treated like slaves. They deserve to have land that is THEIRS and only theirs. To live out their lives in sanctuaries where they can be loved and cared for and in the end teach us about compassion, joy and preservation.

Who knows what other secrets they have for us? We won't if we let them die off because of our greed and negligence.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Upside of Menses

I lied. There is no upside other than knowing I'm not pregnant.
I am having yet another period with all the lovely pain that having cysts and fibroids brings.

It seems so easy for me to fly off the handle and jump down my partners throat for stupid things. I don't like the fact that meditation and breathing practice cannot ease this pain. I am sure it is more offensive because it means less control for me.

The only exercise I can think of that this is the opportunity to practice is letting go.

I cannot hold anger at my condition, I cannot hold anger at my failure to control pain via non-medicinal methods. I must be thankful that this is Sunday and not Monday, had I been at work I most certainly would have been sent home or useless.

Instead I will take this time as a chance to rest, eat something homemade, and take time to read, do a craft or just rest.

I must let go of the feeling that I am "wasting time" and embrace the idea that sometimes rest is the best use of time.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Furious in Syracuse

To the Editor: June 8th, 2006

I have been following the impregnation of Romani for the last 7 years. I am active in boycotting circuses, handing out literature about the reality of “Culling the herds” in African elephants, and the means of getting Asian elephant calves in Asia by killing the mother and brutally reconditioning the calf with torture and corporal punishment.

When I found out about elephants in Syracuse the first year here I was curious to see how they were treated. Imagine my surprise to find them performing circus tricks with “keepers” holding the same bull hook type devices I’d seen first hand in horrific circus training.

When I found out about the Syracuse “breeding” program I vowed to never visit the zoo again. When I wrote a letter to the zoo, I received no answer, with some research I found out from PETA the following information:
“The Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York, faces two charges of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act and a $10,765 fine after USDA inspectors determined that improper handling led to the death of 4-day-old Asian elephant Kedar. Baby Kedar dove into a deep pool of water from which zookeepers had trouble removing him and died when his intestinal tract became twisted after he took in too much air and water.
Half the elephants born at the zoo since 1990 have died, including 3-year-old Preya from the elephant herpes virus. The Rosamond Gifford Zoo keeps breeding elephants because babies draw in visitors and boost profits—even though every birth carries the risk of the herpes-carrying herd passing on the disease to the vulnerable baby, and there is no chance of the elephant ever being released to the wild.
Elephants born at the zoo face not only the threat of disease, but also the bite of Syracuse’s harsh winters and of the bullhook: The Rosamond Gifford Zoo still practices an outdated, circus-style form of elephant management that consists of dominance and the imposition of fear, both of which are established by the barbaric use of bullhooks.”
Taken from Peta’s “www.Savewildelephants.com”

Now elephant Romani is again pregnant and as of early this morning is to receive an “”episiotomy” which involves making an incision to widen the birth canal to allow her to push the calf out. There is only a minute chance of a live birth. This will be Romani’s third baby to die because of a reprehensible decision by the Syracuse Zoo and director Anne Baker to use elephants as “tools” to boost profit and attendance.

Shame on Anne Baker director of the Syracuse Zoo for routinely subjecting this elephant to such abuse, and on Syracuse for allowing it to go on without objection.

Furious in Syracuse,

Joy E.C. Manlove
Community Animal Project
Communications Officer

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Soul Searching...

1. How was your day? Started off cold and with a fever

2. Ever pet an unusual animal? Explain unusual...

3. Ever do a threesome? not a porno style one

4. Ever make-out or kiss someone of the same sex? yeah

5. How's the weather right now? sunny and perfect

6. Do you play in the rain? yes

7. Are you insecure? Sometimes

8. Do you believe in love? yes

9. Play any sports? Air Hockey

10. Ever stuck your tongue to something frozen? 5th grade to a street post

11. Who do you miss? My brothers (RIP)

12. Who are you thinking of? right now? My brothers James and Seth, wish they were alive.

13. How many kids do you have? none, I am childless by choice. My cats would eat them.

14. Do you like your job? Sometimes

15. What did you go to school for? Social Policy and English Literature

16. Tell me about the perfect guy/girl? Chris is the perfect guy

17. If you could be a flower what would you be and why? Gerber Daisy in Pink

18. Do you believe in reincarnation? Energy yes

19. What is your religion? Buddhist/paganesc

20. Do you have a special someone? I have several someone specials

21. Does someone think you're special? I hope so

22. Give a quote that describes your life right now and why: Barely Contained Mayhem

23. Describe your perfect wedding: One that I am not required to plan or wear a hideous outfit for.

24. If you had your own band, what would your name be? "Muppet Mayhem"

25. What is something you say a lot? "Dude"

26. Would you rather be nailed or screwed? Nailed. I've been screwed enough lately.

27. Do you like dinosaurs? Yep Triceratops are cute

28. Who's your favorite Simpson character? Lisa-my cartoon god

29. What's missing in your life right now? Chaos

30. Do you know a lot of people with your same name? no

31. Do you like your name? I guess

32. Are you a stripper? Would you ever do it? no, not in public

33. Are there eggs in your fridge right now? no, I'm Vegan

34. Is there a song that makes your heart melt? "Lullaby" by Juliet Lloyd

35. Do you think astrology really means anything? yep, I have a leo sign tattoo'd on my back

36. Do like indoors or outdoors? Outdoors

37. Do you ever wish you were someone else? no

38. What's your favorite thing to do? read

39. What's one thing you're good at? other than reading? I have been called a animal whisperer...

40. What's one thing about yourself you don't like? my butt

41. Ever had surgery? too damn many times

42. Are all your ducks in a row? yes but they are multi-colored

43. Are you playing with a full deck? missing a spade

44. Do you think you are hot and sexy? Shoo nuff

45. Are you an alcoholic? Don't touch the stuff

46. Best break up song: "Breakin up is hard to do!"

47. Name 12 songs to the soundtrack of your life:
"Absolution" Muse
"Yellow" Coldplay
"Plastic Trees" Radiohead
"Pink Cadillac" Aretha Franklin
"Georgia" Ray Charles
"Superstition" Stevie Wonder
"You belong to me" Jason Wade
"Celebration" Kool and the Gang
"Shining Star" Earth, Wind, And Fire
"Alright" Supergrass
"Always Love" Nada Surf
"Feel Good Inc." Gorillaz

48. Any regrets? Not having dreads in college

49. If you were a superhero, who would you be and why? I am a superhero

50. Why is your favorite color? Antique Pink

51. Are you a freak? Yes

52. Ever wonder about your own funeral? Shits pre-planned, no worries!

53. Ever kill anyone or anything? unfortunately yes, they were suffereing

54. Are you where you want to be in life? I'm where I am, I try not to wonder

55. Do you like to go bowling? not especially

56. Are you graceful? uh, sometimes?

57. Do you think you are intelligent? I've been told I am...

58. Are you an introvert or extrovert? Depends on how I feel

59. Are you a nympho? Yes

60. Do you have any hidden talents? If I do they are hidden to me.

61. Would you ever go on a safari? Hells Yeah!

62. What's your favorite letter of the alphabet? X

63. Do you eat breakfast? Always

64. What do you do in your spare time? Define "spare time"

65. Finally, are you happy? Sho nuff

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Support Indie Artists!


This is the FUNNIEST sheeatt around.

You gotta see this and give her props...

I am one picky biotch too. So...


Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Native Earthlings Lake Onondaga is ALL our problem

Can I prefice this by saying I am fed up with my fellow Native American Relatives?

Here in Onondaga County the Onondaga are voicing protest and garnering forces to try to get the VERY polluted Lake Onondaga to be cleaned up.

Right now it has the capacity to make three eyed fish.

They rally and make fuss and when it is meeting time a lone indian walks up to confront the people who polluted the lake in the first place.

So WHY is it that when it was about complaining the entire reservation and its allies got in on the "Hey ho lets go!" mentality but when our "chief" needs support we are too tired, too busy or just plain don't want to get our butts off the reservation?

Your missing the point fellow earthlings. Its not about Native Americans or non- native Americans. Although setting an example by showing up in force would be great! Its about correcting a huge mistake that is literally killing the very land we rely on to sustain us.

It is not a ripple it is a wave and we stand in its path sand-baggless pointing at one group or another waiting for one to start the action of protecting us from the tidal wave created before us.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Complaining to Complain

I am at my ropes end. I keep hearing everyone around me kvetching and complaining about how hard life is, how unfair people are, how stupid things are, how unjust the world is...

Lucky people.

People whose lives have not been touched by famine, by unbelievable loss, by things that would crush other people. These complaints range from a kitten crying to other people complaining about silly procedure.

The point?

I can't take anymore of the stress of other people venting.

How does one listen to it?

Friday, April 21, 2006

Earthlings: Humans are such jerks...

Earhtlings: the video narrated by Joaquin Phoenix.

I cannot describe how much I hate people so much after watching this video. People were GLADLY even HAPPILY torturing and killing these animals with SMILES ON THEIR FUKKIN FACES?!

The image of a dog who thought its "captors" were there to give it water and food, maybe even a home. What did they do? They put it in the back of a GARBAGE TRUCK. Where it was put through the COMPACTION to crush it to its death.

The dog had a grin on its face even as it was tossed into the back of the truck.

If you eat meat, and care nothing about the way what you are eating was tortured you are JUST AS GUILTY.

If you don't wish to spay or neuter because of cost or personal beliefs you are JUST AS GUILTY.

If you turn away from these graphic films with TRUE footage, TRUE practices, and BLATENT examples of cruelty, you are JUST AS GUILTY.

Shame on all of us for treating a sentient being that feels fear and pain in such a way.



That dog needs you to change.


Monday, April 17, 2006

Kraft n' Stitch INFO

Meetings will be Thursday 6PM @ Recess Coffee House and Roastery on 110 Harvard Place.

We will meet to discuss crafting and craft related things, show off our goods, and learn from each others crafts!

I also want to make crafts for good causes to sell for charity (or we could sell them and donate the moola) Since not all good causes have a not-for profit label I won't say that is a requisite.

Any questions please e-mail me.


Circle Jerking...

OK...For the life of me I COULD NOT figure out how to knit on the circular needles!

I have FINALLY found a pair of small knitting needles that I can make a baby cap for my friends baby! I was getting hella pissed. I made the flyers for Kraft n' Stitch and handed them out. I asked Recess if it was OK to meet there and they said "Rad" which I assume to be good.

We will meet Thursdays at 6 PM at the Recess Coffee House and Roastery. This is 110 Harvard Place, Syracuse, NY.

If anyone wants to join us or has questions e-mail me or post a reply on da' blog.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Hope Floats

No this is not an opinion article on Sandra Bullock in that horrible movie.
It is an article about poop. My sister recently told me all about the needed consistancy, duration, frequency, and after care of a bowel movement.

One of the things she told me that surprised me was that Poop is SUPPOSED to float.

So needless to say in my desire to move the perfect bowel I began to do exactly the same thing her colon therapist had told her to do.

Water, no caffiene, no wheat, no dairy (I'm already Vegan this isn't tough!) no white sugar...


No coffee...Oh hell. Yeah that was REALLY tough.

So I'd hover over the toilet and do my bidding and take a gander.

It started a quaint little conversation with my partner Chris "Any floaters hun?"

"No" I'd sigh.

Then this afternoon with my hands clutched to my chest and peering into the bowl I saw my long awaited award.

Floating poop.

All that hope welled up and floats. I felt like a kid who just got potty trained.

So for those of you out there who are seekers of the professional poop. Take heed if it don't float, its a flush.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

See? I'm angelic

You scored as Faerie. Faerie: Aren't you a cute little flying person? Faeries are earth spirits. They live among each element completely hidden. They have cousins called Pixies. Pixies however, are very mischevious. They enjoy tormenting other creatures for fun. Little pranksters.. I hope you never meet one. Pixies have a bad reputation for finding a creature and clinging to them until death. Faeries can be somewhat close to a Pixie, but mostly they are loving, playful, and carry with them a child-like enthusiasm for life. Hide among the pedals of a Daisy, you are a Faerie.













What Mythological Creature are you? (Cool Pics!)
created with QuizFarm.com

Rock out with your sock out

You scored as Skater. Your A Skater!





Rocker, Mosher






Chav, Townie, Rude Boy, Ned, Kev




What Group Are You? Chav, Rocker, Skater, Emo, Goth, Trendy, Prepy E.c.t
created with QuizFarm.com

Finding Faith in a Blender...

I took a test. At first it told me I shold be muslim.


I have nothing against the muslim except for the whole "women are subordinate to men" and "dress appropriate at all times"

Need to dress a LITTLE slutty at times LOL

So...I decided to give you all my answers...

You scored as Buddhism. Your beliefs most closely resemble those of Buddhism. Do more research on Buddhism and possibly consider becoming Buddhist, if you are not already.

In Buddhism, there are Four Noble Truths: (1) Life is suffering. (2) All suffering is caused by ignorance of the nature of reality and the craving, attachment, and grasping that result from such ignorance. (3) Suffering can be ended by overcoming ignorance and attachment. (4) The path to the suppression of suffering is the Noble Eightfold Path, which consists of right views, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right-mindedness, and right contemplation. These eight are usually divided into three categories that base the Buddhist faith: morality, wisdom, and samadhi, or concentration. In Buddhism, there is no hierarchy, nor caste system; the Buddha taught that one's spiritual worth is not based on birth.



















Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with QuizFarm.com

Try your own...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Garden Brothers Circus

So I went undercover at the recent Garden Brothers Circus. I didn't trespass, I had permission to be there I showed them a badge from a donation I had made to an organization that will remain nameless, and they let me in.

I exspected they would be more apprehensive but playing dumb and talking up these carnies was like shooting tin cans point blank.

First and foremost I was allowed into the Circus simply by saying I needed a phone. Once inside I easily slipped away and took a private tour to get my bearings.

I found the elephants easily in a parking garage... Upon being stopped by a male trainer I whipped out my contribution badge which I had laminated and said I had called ahead to check that the elephants had everything they needed.

The man didn't even look at it.

I have worked with elephants before and am familiar with their commands. I will be honest. What I saw there was not horrific, it was just sad. These elephants appeared so bored and so hopeless it broke my heart.

The three ladies were standing on bare concrete flooring. They had shackles on their feet connected to a concrete pillion. Less than 24 feet away lie an huge pile of dung 3 feet by 4 feet in size.

The smell was overpowering. There was no Hay, Timothy or otherwise for the ladies to munch or stnad on. They had dirty feet, and were swaying back and force in rhythem to the cars driving by. There was no music, no interaction, no food and no water.

A beautiful young woman came down as I was writing down my observations and introduced herself as the wife of the male trainer. She had been working with elephants all her life and appeare to have a deep love for the animals, but little understanding of anything being wrong with the surroundings.

She carried no bullhook although her husband did. She dressed the elephants in shiny masks and gave each one a scratch before untethering them and having them line up.

The ladies were forced to stand on a steep concrete drive and wait for the trainer to ask one of the elephants to lift her foot so as I could brush caked on feces from the bottom. I got two swipes before the man took the brush way and said "we don't have time for this"

Previosly I had asked each elephant to open her mouth so I could view her teeth and chin. I saw old healed marks and cuts but nothing recent at all. The ladies were very curious about me and each took turns reaching into pockets and touching my hair.

I truly felt like they knew my concern for them.

After the ladies went into the ring I was asked to leave and walked outside. I found a place where I could continue to view the girls without being seen.

Upon returning to the garage they were immediately shackled again, and given a 5 gallon bucket of water. No apples, affection, treats or brush down.

I observed the male trainer asking one of the elephants to open her mouth, peer in, and blow a thick cloud of cigarette smoke into her mouth.

I was disgusted and decided it was time to do some more research.

I found a carnie smoking in the back of the duilding with another female who had her child on some sort of leash. I feighned ignorance of the event inside and attempted to flirt with the carnie man. The man took all of three seconds to warm up before he was talking about Sarasota Florida being the Circus capital of the world. He told me the elephants are always transported in a huge truck and often do back to back shows throughout the entire year. He further informed me that the Garden Brothers Circus didn't even own the animals that they leased them from Sarasota Florida. I asked about a well known elephant abuser whom I'd seen in Peta Video's pretending to be facinated at his bravery. The man smiled and said "Well you know, these elephants are really like huge dumb dogs I hear, they don't do nothin and only respond to a little military discipline ya know? Like...Pain doesn't seem to effect them they'll trust anybody, cute animals but dumb, they are lucky there are circuses that can find a use for them."

I thanked the man for his time and gave him a fake phone number. Then proceeded directly to the picket line and informed my boss of what I had found.

We were both saddened and amazed.

Elephants are intelligent animals that nurse their young, travel in groupd of woman, and are curious and fun loving by nature. Elephants enjoy music, exploring, swimming, sratching and being near one another. They have favorite foods just like people and form lifelong friendships.

Elephants truly have the capacity to remember people and it is true that even though scars fade, elephants never forget cruelty. Nor do they forget compassion. Be kind to these gentle creatures. Do not attend the circus of patronize zoo's that are innadequete shelters for these magnificent animals.

For more information please go to www.circuses.com

Knitting Pretty

I have completed my sisters knitted pashmina!

It is 100% no dye cotton thick yarn in sky blue and cream. It is 64 stitches long on 7 gauge needles with a Knit row, purl row pattern.

My next project is a Vogue scarf I saw in black and pink. For me. So far everything else I have given away except my snuggly leg warmers. I have them on now and I LOOOOOVE them.

I never felt this way about crochetting...Knitting is addictive! I only think about "Knit, Purl, Turn"

Cathartic even.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Where Crafts are born...


Why the HELL did I NOT know about this place?!

I mean I love crafts just as much as the next DIYer,Sweatpants with Studs wearing,Leg warmers in summer, purses cost more than food craftster!

I am looking around this site and I can say it took me literally four seconds to decide to register and excitedly wait at my g-mail account saying "come on! COME ON!"

So go...make your internet pilgrimage! Find the perfect cat cozey or Lamp made out of a Diaper Genie! Come to think of it...NO that idea is MINE!

Rogue aka KeenKitty the craftster

Sic Magnets for the Veg Fridge

I feel as though I need these. Perhaps only to pre-exterminate the question "Why isn't there any meat in here?" These magnets are not oly little kid cute, but they grab this cartoon watching loonies attention!

I give mad props to the SicasSin collective for making these 70's style cartoon magnets. I am now dutifully saving up my spare change for ne of their adorable Elephant T-shirts and Black Kitty Underwear.

For more info and to see a picture of the Magnets professing their herbivore love, go to:


Git yer Veg ahn!


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Big Big Love

I am unsure of when my love for animals began. I hold a special place in my heart for elephants and cats.

Honestly though I cannot think of an animal that I don't respect. Animals, just like people have personalities and habits that in my experience those deemed "with souls" possess.

It breaks my heart that there are so many people in the world who can view animals the same way they would view a spoon, or a car, or a coat.

What amount of fear makes a fur coat, is the wearer absolutely informed on how these animals are treated? If so how would one gleefully wear fur knowing that a living breathing creature suffered needlessly for fashion.

Would you skin your cat for fashion? What is it was all the rage. It may seem obsurd but think about it. Animals would not willingly kill for popularity, why would you?

I heard a woman once say "I am all for animals being treated compassionately but I enjoy meat." I asked her if she had ever slaughtered a hog, no. Had she ever killed a cow? no. How about had a male calf locked in a dark room, only to slit its throat and eat it? absolutely not! Did she know where veal came from?

"Its a type of cow right?"


"Um...A bull?"

Yes. a toddler bull calf.

She thought about it and said "Well...I'll try not to eat red meat."

For most ethical means doing what our societies have done forever. We believe it is ethically ok to eat animal flesh because we've done it for years.

However if you ask if it is ethical to smoke in front of children or take speed they would look at you like you were a psychopath.

My point? We have changed and our views on sentience have to change. We have to become aware our surroundings. Truly aware.

It is Buddha who first spoke of his realization that animals suffer for our personal pleasure, and that in order to become "enlightened" we had to work diligently to be compassionate to all living things.

How are we today supposed to teach our children that it is wrong to hurt people, or kill people when we ROUTINLY kill and hurt animals.

No animals are not people, nor are macaw's a breed of horse.

Yet sentience has evolved and those who are aware realize animals are closer relation to us than we first suspected.

We have become educated, now we must evolve. Truly it is not meerly popular to become a vegan, but nessecary for our future survival as species anima in total.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Vocabulary for Animal Rights?

As a vegan and animal rights activist. I have a lot of people sending me things from WONDERFUL groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Syracuse Animal Rights Organization, Community Animal Project,Mercy for Animals, Humane Society of the United States...the list goes on and on.

It made me ponder the vocabulary we use to attempt to educate others on the importance of treating all living anima with the treatment we would wish for ourselves in the same situation.

Ethical: Of relating to dealing with ethics, being in accordance with the accepted principles of rights and wrong that govern a profession.

Could this not be construed as simply "Doing things in the tradition as they have historically been done?" Would this in the case of animal abuse move one to change the way they view and therfore interact with animals?

Is it not our purpose to educate people on a healthier way of eating and living that has a positive impact on both animals, the environment and other worldly populations?

Which brings me to my preffered terms:

Mercy: Compassionate treatment especially to those under your care, alleviation of stress and relief of pain and/or trauma.

and finally,

Compassion: Deep awareness of the suffering of another with a wish to end it.

This final word...Compassion, envelops everything I believe about animal rights. Be they human, elephant, dog or cat they are all animals and every animal deserves compassion, especially those entrusted to the care of others, like us.