Monday, May 30, 2005

Pilots

This is horrible yet I can't help laughing. Got this from a relative.


Two men dressed in pilot's uniforms walk up the aisle of the airplane. Both are wearing dark glasses, one is using a guide dog, and the other is tapping his way along the aisle with a white and red cane.

Nervous laughter spreads through the cabin but the men enter the cockpit, the door closes, and the engines start up.

The passengers begin glancing nervously around, searching for some sign that this is just a little practical joke. None is forthcoming. The plane moves faster and faster down the runway and the people sitting in the window seats realize they're headed straight for the water just a short distance beyond the end of the runway.

As it begins to look as though the plane will plough into the water, panicked screams fill the cabin.

At that moment, the plane lifts smoothly into the air. The passengers relax and laugh a little sheepishly. Soon they all retreat into their magazines, secure in the knowledge that the plane is in good hands.

In the cockpit, one of the blind pilots turns to the other and says, "You know, Bob, one of these days, they're gonna scream too late and we're all gonna die."

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Awww, Grandmommy!

Awww, Grandmommy! I love her!

Finally got ahold of her on the phone. I tried to figure out when I could catch her while she was in her room. See, Grandmommy now lives at an assisted living facility for older adults. She has Alzheimers. She is on a floor designated for high-functioning Alzheimer residents.

Grandmommy is making friends - "a little at a time. Most people are friendly."

She says the workers are "wonderful!"

Grandmommy is now busy all day from breakfast until night with different activities. She laughed and smiled a lot while talking on the phone. She said that she leaves her room every morning after breakfast (which is downstairs in a hotel-like dining room). During the day, Grandmommy does whatever activity is offered to her. They offer many classes and activities, including sewing and art. Grandmommy said that doesn't do much art, so she won't join. She will definitely join the sewing class because they make clothes for little children. Awww! That's something she'd like to do and SO Grandmommy. She likes to do things that are giving and considerate for others. Grandmommy might even try to get back into knitting which she hasn't done for many years. She's also open to learning new handicrafts she doesn't know. She's determined to learn. Well, my Grandmommy sure likes to stay active. It's good for her to be as busy as possible because it helps keep her brain active, considering her Alzheimer.


After dinner, Grandmommy returns to her room sometimes. Sometimes Grandmommy does something at night. Tonight, there was a Bingo game after dinner. Grandmommy does whatever is offered to her and decides right then and there if she'd like to participate.

Tonight, Grandmommy decided to return to her room earlier. It was great because as soon as she entered the room, the phone rang. I was on the other end. And, I was so thrilled to finally get ahold of her.

Since Grandmommy moved into her new home, she's had this wonderful companion. He's easy to understand and talk with. He even comes from my parents' hometown! He helps her find new things to do on her own as well as navigate her way around the huge place. It seriously looks like a hotel in some ways or a resort. She will eventually be on her own hopefully within the next few weeks.

Another thing about Grandmommy is her love. She's always been loving and giving as a woman for as long as I've known her (which obviously means since I was a baby). All my life, she's always shared and shown love, consideration, kindness, empathy, quest to find good in everyone, and so on. Grandmommy often tells me about how she knew I'd be okay after I became deaf (as a baby). She says, "I told myself that I knew that girl was going to be somebody, deaf or not. She has a strong spirit, a sense of patience, a way of understanding people and a strong determination to learn and explore." She always tell me that she knows I will be very successful at what I do, reach all goals I work for because I am a "very smart girl, determined." She knows I'll do it and make it.

Awww, Grandmommy!

DeAf Jam

After dinner at Lima's Taste (Peruvian restaurant) with a dear friend, we headed out to DeAf Jam at the Bowery Poetry Club. DeAf Jam was a poetry slam event where spoken word met ASL. The house was packed, and cameras captured this event. I truly enjoyed myself. This was different from the monthly ASL Poetry Slam that meets regularly at the Club. Read below for descriptions from the event flyer.

Join us for DeAf Jam where spoken word meets ASL poetry! The event
features some of the most acclaimed Deaf poets in the United States --
the Flying Words Project with Peter Cook and Kenny Lerner, and Ayisha
Knight, whose poetry was recently featured on HBO. DeAf Jam brings
these ASL masters together with the Urban Word NYC slam poets, the
2005 National Champions!


The Program is directed by Judy Lieff, and co-sponsored by City Lore
and Urban Word.

DeAf Jam highlights the remarkable poetry and storytelling of the
community of the Deaf, as they perform their poems in American Sign
Language (ASL). In this dramatic visual language, body language,
rhythm and movement create a visual equivalent to oral poetry.

DeAf Jam also showcases the students of Lexington School for the Deaf,
JS47 (The American Sign Language and English School), and Murray
Bergtraum High School. DeAf Jam (a play on HBO's Def Jam) features a
Hearing/Deaf duet by Aneta Brodsky and Tahani Salah; a special
presentation by Hinda Kasher, involving members of her Deaf family;
and poets Danny Biland, Aneta Brodsky, Mandy Gonzalez, Robert
Haughton, Hinda Kasher, Aron Moses, Kenneth Montanez, Wanda Nivol, and
Tremaine Parkinson.

The evening closes with an open dialogue between performers and
audience, moderated by Dirksen Bauman, Associate Professor of the
Department of ASL and Deaf Studies at Gallaudet University.

Funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, the New York State Council on
the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts; DeAf Jam -- a
cultural initiative and documentary film project -- highlights the
beauty and expressiveness of American Sign Language by giving deaf
teenagers a chance to express themselves in ASL poetry, while opening
the lines of communication between the worlds of the hearing and the
Deaf. Funding for live performance captioning from c2 (caption
coalition), inc is provided by the Theatre Development's TAP Plus
Program in cooperation with the New York State Council on the Arts.

Deaf artist Peter Cook and hearing voice Kenny Lerner have performed
as The Flying Words Project at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis,
Harvard University, The Nuyorican Cafe, Theatre de Lucernaire in
Paris, and many places in between. They have received grants from
NYSCA, the NEA, and the Puffin Foundation. Robert Koehler of the Los
Angeles Times calls the work produced by deaf artist Cook and his
hearing partner Lerner, "a theatre held aloft by language." Cook
appeared in PBS's United States of Poetry.

Urban Word NYC, this year's 2005 national champions, ignited the youth
spoken word and poetry scene in New York City when it was established
in 1999. Since then, Urban Word NYC has provided thousands of New York
City teenagers with free, safe, ongoing, and uncensored writing and
performance opportunities. They believe teenagers can and must speak
for themselves and the key to building self-confidence, honing
critical thinking skills, and developing imaginative and honest
writing is to honor what they say and feel.

Judy Lieff, dancer, filmmaker, and teacher, earned her M.F.A. in dance
& experimental film/video from CalArts following a career as a
professional dancer. Judy has produced, directed, and edited many
short dance films that have won awards and screened internationally.
Duties of My Heart, her short film synthesizing dance and American
Sign Language, was the catalyst for four consecutive grants to teach
video production workshops to Deaf high school students in Los
Angeles.

A non-profit membership organization, City Lore was founded in 1986 to
produce programs and publications that convey the richness of New York
City's cultural heritage. Increasingly their many efforts embrace
national audiences as well. City Lore's staff includes folklorists,
historians, anthropologists, and ethnomusicologists, all of whom
specialize in the creation of programs and materials for public
education and enjoyment. In addition to staff projects, affiliated
individuals and organizations work through City Lore to produce
independent films, exhibits, and other media projects.

Call City Lore at 212-529-1955 for more information.


I assume you can contact City Lore about the filming that took place last night.

On another note....

Monthly regular ASL poetry slams takes place on the 3rd Monday or Wednesday (sorry I don't remember) of the month from 6-8 at Bowery Poetry Club. Anyone can get up and share a poem or do a poetry slam.

Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery, between Houston and Bleeker

Directions to Bowery Poetry Club: F or V to Broadway-Lafayette, or #6
to Bleeker.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

I Like This Quote!

Elbert Albert, a 99 year-old actor, died recently. There is media coverage about his obituary and acting career. While reading about this man I never heard of to see if I could recognize him in any of his work I might have seen, I came across this quote I really liked. His son, also an actor, who put his career on a hold to take care of his father, shared this:

On Friday, he remembered a moment several years ago in which the two sat in a garden together.

"I said to him 'You're my hero.' I saw him struggling to put together the words, and he looked at me and said: 'You're your hero's hero.' I'll take that to my ... grave."

What's Up With This?

What's up with this spike in male sex-related articles in AOL News under Health? Poor men and their partners and parents.

Here are 2 more articles for your enlightment. Never hurts to learn.

-S



Chemical Linked to Sexual Defects in Males
Researchers Calls Results 'Groundbreaking and Potentially Troubling'
By MATT CRENSON, AP


NEW YORK (May 27) - A manmade ingredient of many plastics, cosmetics and other consumer products may be interfering with prenatal male sexual development, new research suggests.

A study of 85 infant boys found a correlation between increased exposure to some forms of the chemical phthalate and smaller penis size and incomplete testicular descent.

It is the first time phthalate has been shown to influence the sexual development of human males.

"This is clearly something that needs to be examined in a larger sample," said Shanna Swan, a professor at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry who headed the study.

A paper describing the research will appear in a future issue of Environmental Health Perspectives, a journal of the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences. Swan discussed the findings in an interview Thursday.

Previous experiments in rats indicate that the chemical interferes with testosterone during gestation, producing a condition known as "phthalate syndrome." Rats with the syndrome suffer from genital birth defects, infertility and testicular cancer.

The human study raises concerns because the infants did not experience levels even close to the high doses used in rat experiments. The boys' exposures, measured by analyzing their mothers' urine during pregnancy, were no higher than those found among the general population.

The last few decades have seen a rise in the types of birth defects that would be expected from prenatal testosterone interference, including hypospadia, a defect in which the urethra does not extend to the tip of the penis, and undescended testicles. Testicular cancer has increased as well, although it is a different type than rats experience in phthalate syndrome.

"The results are both groundbreaking and potentially troubling," said Russ Hauser, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health who was not involved in the research. "A majority of the U.S. population is exposed to phthalates at the level measured in Shanna's study."

The study does not necessarily indicate that the boys were harmed by their exposure to phthalate, however, and none of them exhibited overt birth defects. The researchers found a correlation between exposure to some forms of phthalate and a measurement called the anogenital index - the distance between the genitals and the anus.

Though that measurement has no physiological significance by itself, it is connected to penis size at birth and is "a very good indicator of internal malformations," said Paul Foster, a senior fellow at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Newborn rats and other lab animals with phthalate syndrome have unusually short anogenital distances.

A growing body of research suggests that some chemicals used in consumer products may cause public health problems by interfering with sex hormones. A study in the current issue of the journal Endocrinology exposed newborn mice to bisphenol-A, a chemical found in plastics and dental sealants, at doses comparable to those found in the human environment. At puberty the mice were more likely to develop cancer-related mammary duct abnormalities.

"In humans this would cause breast cancer," said Tufts University cell biologist Anna Soto, the study's lead author.

05/27/05 00:01 EDT


##########


FDA Probes Reports of Blindness With Viagra
By LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP


WASHINGTON (May 27) - Federal health officials are probing reports of blindness among dozens of men who used Viagra and other impotence drugs - but at the same time cautioning that the vision loss can be linked to the same illnesses that lead to impotence.
The Food and Drug Administration disclosed Friday that it was in discussions with the makers of Viagra, Cialis and Levitra about what the labels of those drugs should say about the rare cases of varying degrees of vision loss, including blindness. The maker of Cialis already has voluntarily added a one-line mention to its label.

At issue is sudden vision loss when blood flow to the optic nerve is blocked, a condition called NAION or non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy.

The FDA has 43 reports of NAION among the impotence drug users: 38 for Viagra, four for Cialis and one for Levitra, said spokeswoman Susan Cruzan.

Those are rare numbers, given that Viagra alone has been used by 23 million men worldwide since its approval in 1998, according to maker Pfizer Inc.

Also complicating the question: NAION is considered one of the most common causes of sudden vision loss in older Americans, and estimates suggest there are anywhere from 1,000 to 6,000 cases a year. Risk factors include diabetes and heart disease, two of the leading causes of impotence.

Still, ''we take this seriously,'' Cruzan said.

The questions come at a time when federal regulators and the drug industry are facing criticism about what they do to ensure the safety of drugs already on the market. Pressure on the FDA to investigate reports of side effects has increased since Merck & Co. yanked its pain reliever Vioxx from the market last year because of potentially deadly heart trouble.

Big money is at stake. Pfizer Inc. said in its most recent quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that sales of Viagra rose 5 percent - to $438 million - in the first quarter of the year.

Pfizer shares declined Friday on the New York Stock Exchange after news of the blindness cases.

Viagra and its competitors are blockbuster drugs that revolutionized treatment of erectile dysfunction, and they already come with serious warnings: They're not to be used by men who take nitrate-containing drugs, because the interaction could cause deadly drops in blood pressure, or by men with heart conditions whose doctors have warned that sex itself could be too much exertion.

All three also warn about temporary vision changes - seeing bluish tinges or having difficulty distinguishing between green and blue. The drugs apparently have a temporary effect on the retina, a different issue from NAION.

Viagra also is at the center of controversy over Medicaid's payment for prescriptions of the drug for convicted sex offenders in New York and other states.

The possibility of a link with blindness was raised publicly earlier this year, when Dr. Howard Pomeranz of the University of Minnesota reported in an ophthalmology journal seven patients who reported NAION vision loss occurring within 36 hours of a Viagra dose.

''A definite causal relationship cannot be established at this time,'' Pomeranz wrote.

Viagra and its competitors work by slightly dilating arteries so that blood flow in the penis increases. Whether it affects blood flow to the eye isn't known, but Pomeranz argued that some effect on the optic nerve is plausible.

So he urged that ophthalmologists ask NAION patients whether they use impotence drugs, and report any additional cases. Also, Viagra users who suffer NAION in one eye should be cautioned that continued use might raise the risk of vision loss in the other eye, Pomeranz wrote.

Associated Press writers Theresa Agovino in New York and Elizabeth Wolfe in Washington contributed to this story.


AP-NY-05-27-05 19:52 EDT

Bah Humbug, Viagra!

Bah humbug, Viagra! When there is actually something equally marketed to women for sexual needs/medical conditions, I will stop saying bah humbug to Viagra for men. I have issues with how insurance companies will readily cover Viagra for men while they don't cover birth control pills. I also have issues with how Viagra is marketed in this country.

This is a small step for womankind. At least a man is doing this small action which hopefully will help make ripples. We shall see about that. At least Schwarzenegger finally did something that made sense to the rest of the country that the majority or at least Democrats could agree with. I have STRONG opinions about Schwarzenegger's performance as a governor and politican which I am not going to start getting into here. I don't need to get worked up before going to bed.

As for Viagra's availability to prisoners (which I think is not necessary or a privilege) ... what's next, free penis pumps and treatment for early male baldness? If you committed a crime and earned your punishment in prison, let it be true punishment and seek "treatment" upon release, if you are not a parolee or sex offender. Otherwise, deal with the facts of life that penises can and do go limp, hair loss comes with age and so on. Deal with it, but not at taxpayers' expense or compromise in public safety.

S



Schwarzenegger Says No Viagra for Sex Offenders
By Adam Tanner, Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (May 27) - Expressing outrage that California may have funded anti-impotence drugs for sex offenders, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger called for new rules Thursday to ban such treatments in the future.

"Requiring that convicted sex offenders be provided Viagra for sexual dysfunction, paid for by the taxpayers, is one of the worst policies ever developed by the politicians in Washington," Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

It is not clear if California's Medi-Cal system for low income residents actually ever provided sex offenders drugs such as Levitra, Cialis or Pfizer's Viagra, said Nicole Kasabian Evans, spokeswoman for California's Health and Human Services Agency.

The spokeswoman said of 6 million Californians receiving Medi-Cal benefits last year, only 5,800 met the strict criterion to qualify for erectile dysfunction medication.

"We don't have access to that information right now," she said when asked if sex offenders were among those 5,800. "We have to get the law changed" to get such data.

The issue made headlines after an audit in New York State discovered it had provided Viagra to nearly 200 sex offenders in recent years. Florida officials said the state had also given some sex offenders such medication.

On Monday, the U.S. agency that oversees Medicare and Medicaid programs wrote to state officials warning of sanctions if they did not implement controls against giving such erectile dysfunction drugs to sex offenders such as rapists.

"The use of these drugs in the case of a sex offender is not appropriate and Medicaid should not pay for the cost of such drugs in such circumstances," wrote Dennis Smith, who heads the Center for Medicaid and State Operations for the Department of Health & Human Services.

Schwarzenegger's directive calls for his state agencies to cut off such medication until related legislation is passed.

"Today I am directing all of my agency secretaries to take the necessary steps to stop this dangerous practice in California," the former bodybuilder and actor said. "Our first responsibility is to keep our citizens safe, and providing these drugs to known sex offenders is a policy that only threatens more innocent people."

Earlier this week in Washington, Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, also introduced federal legislation barring federal money from being spent on Viagra and other drugs for enhancing sexual performance.

Eli Lilly & Co. and Icos Corp. sell Cialis. Levitra is sold by Bayer AG and GlaxoSmithKline Plc. Schering-Plough Corp. took over U.S. marketing rights for Levitra from Bayer last year.


05/26/05 19:24 ET

Copyright 2005 Reuters Limited

Woman For President NOW!

I look forward to the day that a woman or person of color is elected the President of the United States. USAToday.com ran an article today about the consideration of Hilary Clinton as the President of the United States in 2008. I'm all for this, not just because she is a woman but also because of her record, political skills and stealthiness, the pleasure of seeing Bill becoming the first "First Man/Gentleman," and so on.

Many say that America is progressive in certain areas as a "First-World" country. Acutally, America is backwards and behind in many other areas, including women in politics at higher levels. We have a long way to go. Yet, I feel confident that there will be a female President of the US before I become old (at least older than 80 or so) or preferably by the time I'm old enough to retire.


Read on!


Majority Say They'd Be Likely to Vote for Clinton

By Susan Page, USA TODAY


WASHINGTON (May 27) -- For the first time, a majority of Americans say they are likely to vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton if she runs for president in 2008, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll taken Friday through Sunday.

The survey shows that the New York senator and former first lady has broadened her support nationwide over the past two years, though she still provokes powerful feelings from those who oppose her.

Clinton commands as much strong support — but more strong opposition — as George W. Bush did in a Newsweek poll in November 1998, two years before the 2000 election. She is in slightly stronger position than then-vice president Al Gore, the eventual 2000 Democratic nominee, was in 1998.

"Over time, Clinton fatigue has dissipated ... and people are looking back on the Clinton years more favorably," says Andrew Kohut, director of the non-partisan Pew Research Center. In a Pew poll released this month, Kohut called former president Bill Clinton and the senator "comeback kids" because of their rising ratings.

"This may also reflect that she has been recasting her image as a more moderate person," he says.

Spokesmen for Sen. Clinton declined to discuss the survey. "She's just focused on working and doing her job for New York," says Anne Lewis, a veteran Democratic operative working at Hillpac, Clinton's political action committee.

Clinton has been leading the field of Democratic presidential contenders for the 2008 election, still more than three years away. She is running for a second Senate term next year and has dodged questions about whether she'll make a White House bid.

In the poll, 29% were "very likely" to vote for Clinton for president if she runs in 2008; 24% were "somewhat likely." Seven percent were "not very likely" and 39% were "not at all likely" to vote for her.

Her strong support has risen by 8 percentage points, and her strong opposition has dropped by 5 points since the same question was asked in June 2003.

In the new survey, more than seven in 10 Americans said they would be likely to vote for an unspecified woman for president in 2008 if she were running. One in five said they wouldn't be likely to vote for her.

Karen White, political director of the liberal group Emily's List, says the findings underscore growing acceptance of women as candidates, even for president. "People realize that women reach across party lines and are problem-solvers, and they want to see more of that in public life," she says.

No woman has been nominated for national office by one of the two major parties since Geraldine Ferraro was Walter Mondale's running mate in 1984.

Voters under 30 were by far the most likely to say they would support a woman for president. More than half of them said they were "very likely" to vote for a woman, compared with less than one-third of those 50 and older.

Among those who were very or somewhat likely to vote for Clinton for president, there were:

•A big gender gap. Six of 10 women but 45% of men were likely to support her.

•Significant differences by age. Two of three voters under 30 were likely to support her, compared with fewer than half of those 50 and older.

•Strongest support from those with the lowest income. Sixty-three percent of those with annual household incomes of $20,000 or less were likely to support her, compared with 49% of those with incomes of $75,000 or higher.

•And big swings by ideology. An overwhelming 80% of liberals were likely to support her, compared with 58% of moderates and 33% of conservatives.

Among those surveyed, 54% called Clinton a liberal, 30% a moderate and 9% a conservative.

© Copyright 2005 USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Co. Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, May 27, 2005

New Motto

Adding this new motto to my collection of quotes that I made up:

It is better to laugh together than to laugh at someone.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Honk Me A River

Honk me a river. My nose's been running crazy with allergies lately. And, this weather doesn't help. Already thru 10 tissues within the past hour. So, honk (blowing my nose) a river (of runny nose allergies).

You know that song, "Cry Me a River?" That's where I got the idea from for honking me a river. I hope the weather gets better by this weekend so we can truly have a sunny long weekend and enjoy the warm sun. And, I can stop frequently blowing/honking my nose.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Article: Alligator Surfaces in Virginia Reservoir

Alligator Surfaces in Virginia Reservoir

RICHMOND, Va. (May 18) - Federal wildlife officials are hunting for a 3-foot alligator seen lolling in a suburban reservoir. The reptile, first seen Saturday on the surface of Falling Creek Reservoir, is feeding on fish and is not considered a threat to residents, officials said.

"It poses really no threat to anybody unless somebody starts messin' with it or grabs its tail," Alice Berry, Chesterfield County's manager of animal control, said Wednesday.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's wildlife services program has been called in to capture the animal and relocate it to warmer climes, she said.

"You can assume it was a captive animal and was released," said Joseph Mitchell, a University of Richmond reptile expert.

The animal could be an American alligator, a crocodile or a caiman, Mitchell said. To most people, the reptilian relatives look alike from a distance.

The closest population of natural, breeding alligators is in mainland Dare County, N.C., just west of Manteo. Crocodiles can be found in South Florida, and caimans inhabit Central and South America.


05/18/05 19:11 EDT

Article: Hostile Grackles Attack People in Houstin

Hostile Grackles Attack People in Houston

I wonder what Ricky would say about this one and why this happened. Interesting that it just happened to be in front of the County Administration Building.

HOUSTON (May 18) - Like a scene from the horror movie "The Birds," large black grackles are swooping down on downtown Houston and attacking people's heads, hair and backs.

Authorities closed off a sidewalk after the aggressive birds, which can have 2-foot wingspans, flew out of magnolia trees Monday in front of the County Administration Building.


"They were just going crazy. They were attacking everybody that walked by."
-Constable Wilbert Jue

"They were just going crazy," said constable Wilbert Jue, who works at the building. "They were attacking everybody that walked by."

The grackles zeroed in on a lawyer who shooed a bird away before he tripped and injured his face, Jue said. The lawyer was treated for several cuts.

It appears that the birds are protecting their offspring. On Monday a young grackle had fallen out of its nest and adult birds attacked people who got too close, Jue said.

Another bird attacked a deputy county clerk.

"I hit him with a bottle," said Sylvia Velasquez. "The other birds came, and one attacked my blouse and on my back."

Two women came to help her after she fell to the ground, and the birds attacked them as well. The group escaped by running into the building.

"This is a very Hitchcock kind of story. Very Tippi Hedren," said downtown worker Laura Aranda Smith, referring to one of the stars of Alfred Hitchcock's move "The Birds."


05/18/05 07:24 EDT

Strange But True News Article: Lake Disappears Overnight

I wonder how big this lake was in the first place. Did it even have fish and plants? Weird.

Lake Disappears Overnight, Baffling Villagers

MOSCOW (May 19) - A Russian village was left baffled Thursday after its lake disappeared overnight.

NTV television showed pictures of a giant muddy hole bathed in summer sun, while fishermen from the village of Bolotnikovo looked on disconsolately.

"It is very dangerous. If a person had been in this disaster, he would have had almost no chance of survival. The trees flew downwards, under the ground," said Dmitry Zaitsev, a local Emergencies Ministry official interviewed by the channel.

Officials in Nizhegorodskaya region, on the Volga river east of Moscow, said water in the lake might have been sucked down into an underground water-course or cave system, but some villagers had more sinister explanations.

"I am thinking, well, America has finally got to us," said one old woman, as she sat on the ground outside her house.


05/19/05 13:15 ET

Article: Five-Legged Calf Born in New Mexico

Five-Legged Calf Born in New Mexico
By MELANIE DABOVICH, AP




AP
The rare defect is caused by a mixup in the calf's early embryonic development, an expert says.

Five-Legged, Six Hooved Calf

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (May 20) - One of Orlando Romero's calves has a leg up on the other 25 calves born within the last two weeks on his ranch east of Tucumcari. The calf was born with an extra leg, with two hooves, growing from its back.

Ranchers in the area aren't quite sure what to make of the little Limousin heifer. That is, if they can catch her.

"She moves like a damn deer. I had a heck of a time trying to catch her," said Jess Weaks, the ranch caretaker. "She's pretty ornery, that's for sure."

The week-old calf's extra leg does not touch the ground. It is attached to the calf's back between the shoulder blades, and hangs to its right side.

The branch-like growth is the only major difference between the copper-colored calf and the rest of the herd, said Shane Jennings, a neighbor who first spotted the heifer.

"It's just cosmetic. She's out there in the pasture right now, like any other cow. The little booger's doing good. It's in real good health," Jennings said.

Jennings was in the field checking on yearlings last week when he saw that one cow was close to giving birth. He left to tend to other work, and when he returned he saw the cow with her new calf.

But he was startled by what he saw when he approached the hours-old calf.

"I thought, 'What in the world is that?' and as I got a closer look and saw the extra leg I said 'Oh boy, what am I gonna come up with next?"' Jennings said.

Jennings said he's seen deformities in calves before and that Tucumcari's ranch supply store used to have a stuffed two-headed, stillborn calf.

"But I've never seen anything like this," he said.

Neither have most people, said Milton Thomas, professor of beef cattle physiology and genetics at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. He said extra body parts are a freak occurrence.

"It's very, very rare," Thomas said. "Generally, a lot of these don't do well."

Thomas said extra appendages result of a cellular mix up during the replication of genetic material in early embryo development. Certain cells will develop into tissues such as muscles or organs, but some receive skewed signals and grow into unnecessary parts.

"This calf wasn't exposed to anything in the environment or anything like that. This happens to all mammalian species," Thomas said.

Weaks said Romero has talked with veterinarians about removing the leg, and will likely transport the calf to his other ranch in Sapello, where it will become an ordinary cow.

"All (Romero) did was laugh when I told him about the calf," Weaks said. "I think he's gonna keep her. She's so cute. Women would die for eyelashes like hers."


05/20/05 01:40 EDT

Cool! Article: New Monkey Species Found in Tanzania

New Monkey Species Found in Tanzania
By Maggie Fox, Reuters




Tim Davenport, WCS
An adult male highland mangabey has an odd honk-like call.

Talk About It: Chat

WASHINGTON (May 19) - Two separate teams of researchers working hundreds of miles apart have discovered a new species of monkey in Tanzania.

The highland mangabey is the first new species of monkey identified in 20 years and conservationists immediately said the find showed how important it was to preserve African forests.

The highland mangabey is a medium-sized monkey, about 3 feet (90 cm) tall with a long tail, long brown fur, a black face, hands and feet.

Adults make a distinctive, loud, low-pitched "honk-bark" call. They live in mountainside trees at elevations of up to 8,000 feet.

Fewer than 1,000 of the animals live in the highland forest, the researchers report in Friday's issue of the journal Science. Hunters had described the animals but no scientist had identified them.

"If this small population is to be protected in perpetuity, the Udzungwa Mountains National Park needs to be extended to include the Ndundulu Forest," Trevor Jones of Tanzania's Udzungwa Mountains National Park and colleagues there and at the University of Georgia, Conservation International and Wildlife Conservation Society, wrote in their report.

"This exciting discovery demonstrates once again how little we know about our closest living relatives, the nonhuman primates," said Russell Mittermeier, chairman of the Primate Specialist Group of IUCN-The World Conservation Union's Species Survival Commission.

"A large, striking monkey in a country of considerable wildlife research over the last century has been hidden right under our noses."


New Monkey Discovery



Tim Davenport, WCS
The newly found species of monkey, the highland mangabey, lives in groups and travels and forages in the forest canopy.

The monkey, scientifically named Lophocebus kipunji, will likely be classified as a critically endangered species.

"Clearly this remarkable discovery shows that there are still wild places where humans are not the dominant species," said John Robinson, director of international conservation programs for the WCS.

"This new species of monkey should serve as a living symbol that there is hope in protecting not only wild places like Tanzania's Southern Highlands, but the wonder and mystery they contain," Robinson said in a statement.

Earlier this month U.S. bird experts announced the discovery of an ivory-billed woodpecker, a species feared extinct for decades, in a remote Arkansas bayou.


05/19/05 14:06 ET

It's Dim!

It's dim outside! *frown*

And, the kitchen light just blew. *double frown*

Means less light coming into the living room for me to be able to see things and get around safely. *triple frown*

I hope the sun comes out soon and brightens up the rooms. When it's dim or dusk, it's harder for me to see thigns in general. Don't want to trip or fall or bang into anything today.

As my roomie nicely put it, it's "a pain in the ass."

Article: City of Boston to Lift American Indian Ban

Finally! How many other outdated and ridiculous laws do we still have on the books? Too bad we don't have a procedure or someone whose task is to search for such outdated laws and initiate the process for removing them on a regular basis.


City of Boston to Lift American Indian Ban
By THEO EMERY, AP

BOSTON (May 20) - John ''Sam'' Sapiel gets an uneasy feeling when he crosses Boston city limits, where the full-blooded Penobscot Indian is technically a persona non grata. An archaic law has forbidden American Indians from setting foot in the city since 1675, when settlers were at war with area tribes. Although the law hasn't been enforced for centuries, the fact that it still exists is a lingering source of anger for American Indians.

''I feel kind of put out on the whole thing, because we're being singled out as Indian people,'' said Sapiel, 74, who lives in Falmouth. ''I think about it quite a bit.''

Now, some 330 years after its passage, the state Legislature voted Thursday to strike down the old law. The bill now goes to Gov. Mitt Romney, whose spokesman said the governor intends to sign it.

After Thursday's vote, Chris ''Quiet Bear'' Montgomery, a Nipmuc Indian who lives in Revere, said knowledge that the law wouldn't be there any more was a significant step toward equality.

Montgomery, 79, testified at a legislative hearing this week, calling the law ''a black mark against the state of Massachusetts. Not just Boston, but the whole state.''

Indians and activists have been working for about eight years to get rid of the law. Before the Democratic National Convention last year, the Falmouth-based Muhheconnew National Confederacy, a coalition of American Indian tribes, called for its repeal.

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino filed a petition in the fall to dump it, and the city council passed it. But the petition didn't go anywhere on Beacon Hill until this week, when a state legislative committee sent it to the full Legislature.

The renewed effort came as a national organization of minority journalists is considering whether to hold its 2008 convention in Boston.

Unity: Journalists of Color Inc. has said it might pass over Boston for the convention because of the law. Hosting the convention would mean 8,000 or so journalists converging on Boston for four days - spending an estimated $4.5 million on lodging, dining and souvenirs.

''It is a deal breaker, because we couldn't in good heart come to a city that banned one of our members, or any group,'' said Unity Executive Director Anna M. Lopez. The group will pick a host city in June.

State Sen. Dianne Wilkerson, who co-chairs the committee that recommended repealing the law, said she acted as soon as she heard about the issue.

''I think the proponents for the repeal made the case that just having it on the books was offensive enough,'' she said.

The colonial Legislature, the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, approved the statute when tensions between colonists and Wampanoag leader Metacom broke out in violence in 1675.

The war only lasted a year, ending when Metacom was killed. Although lawmakers repealed a law creating an internment camp for American Indians a year after the war ended, the imprisonment act remained.

Sapiel said the demise of the law was a relief.

''This should have happened a long time ago,'' he said. ''I'm glad it's happening now.''


05/20/05 08:47 EDT

I Heart Oprah Winfrey

I heart Oprah Winfrey. I've always looked up to her since I was little. She's real, and she has a big heart. Here's an event she recently hosted, an event hosted out of love with her heart. Here is a honorable woman who truly walks her walk and talk. She doesn't just talk; she talks from the heart and shows it in her walks. Oprah is a woman I look up to and inspires me in living and being real.

It's a Peoples article exclusive from AOL News.


A Party from the Heart

Oprah Winfrey honors her personal African-American heroines with three unforgettable days of festivities

Thursday May 19, 2005 12:00pm EST


"This was more than fabulous,” says Oprah Winfrey, summing up her Legends Ball weekend May 13-15. “It was extra. It defined the word ‘extraordinary’ – historic.”

If Oprah Winfrey throws a party and says it should be cited in Webster's, believe her: Her three-day tribute to great African-American women was noble, lavish, starry, giddy, chatty, weepy – and stage-managed by Winfrey, 51, down to the nth detail.

The 25 "legends" (including Tina Turner, Coretta Scott King and Maya Angelou) were feted by 42 "young 'uns," (Halle Berry, Angela Bassett and Mariah Carey). "When I saw the list of names, it just got better and better as I read down it," says Berry.

But the party was more than just the talk show host's latest Wildest Dream fantasy and more than a chance to outdo her 50th-birthday lollapalooza, thrown last year with the help of planner Colin Cowie. "It was a divine vision," says Winfrey. "God can dream a bigger dream for you than you can dream for yourself."

Working again with Cowie, Winfrey put nine months into creating the event, which began with a Friday luncheon for just the legends and young 'uns at her 42-acre estate in Montecito, Calif., moved to the Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara for the Saturday-night ball and then returned home for a gospel brunch on Sunday. It consumed seemingly every waking moment as she consulted nonstop with best friend Gayle King. "We would go exercising," Winfrey recalls, "and Gayle would have a cell phone, a Blackberry and the guest list."


Which was strictly A-list for the main event, the Legends Ball: Usher, Tom Cruise with new girlfriend Katie Holmes, John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston, Barbra Streisand and Barbara Walters. If some details sound excessive – 200 waiters for 362 guests, special music composed just for the dessert course – the joy as the women met and mingled justified the whole thing. "I hadn't seen Diahann Carroll in a long time, and I got her number," said legend Diana Ross. "I want to trade numbers tonight, that's what I want to do!"

For Winfrey, the truly defining moment occurred during the lunch, when the young 'uns saluted the legends with the poem We Speak Your Name, by Pearl Cleage. "It was spoken by Angela Bassett, Alfre Woodard, Phylicia Rashad, Halle Berry," says Winfrey. "And the chorus was – listen to this! – Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Ashanti, Missy Elliott and Janet Jackson. In the poem they call the name of each woman out loud, and it was the most powerful thing we ever experienced. We were in tears from the deeply rooted, primal emotion connecting one generation to the next."

Of course, by the time she left the ball at 3 a.m., Oprah had herself basked in the glow of her own recognized role as a black pioneer. "I have to say something to her tonight," said singer-actress Brandy, 26. "I have to say thank you. Without her I would not be here."


O Opens Up

Finally resting her feet ("they were so tired, I would've shot morphine in them"), she talks about the bash – and that dress

What was the seed of inspiration for this big event?
I got a present from Cicely Tyson – this was when I turned 50 – and then I thought, "I'm going to have her up to lunch." And then I thought who else could I invite? I started thinking about women who had been a bridge to now in my life, and how much they meant to me, and by the time I was done I had 25 women on that list, and I thought, "Okay, I'm going to invite them all to lunch." And then I thought, "Okay, once we have lunch we're going to need something else to do. Where we gonna go? I guess I'll have to have a ball!" That was how it all happened.

How did you choose the legends?
I remember many years ago in Washington, D.C., meeting soprano Leontyne Price for the first time. It was such an honor for me because I grew up hearing about her. I'm from Mississippi, and she was from Mississippi. Long before I even knew what opera was, I had heard about her – everybody in the South would always pretend to be related to her. So she in many ways helped me to begin to see myself differently as a girl.

And seeing Diana Ross and the Supremes on The Ed Sullivan Show was a defining moment. Because up until then we were watching "Buckwheat" images and Amos and Andy. That was the first time I had seen beautiful black women, and Diana Ross was at the center of that.

That sounds like a potential diva convention.
When people were canceling at the last hour and other people were demanding seats at the last half hour – I will mention no names! – Gayle was like, "I am beginning to take this personally because this is so rude!" I go, "Let it all go, because the intention is clear." [But] there was no diva behavior. Somebody told me Patti LaBelle said, "I don't call myself a diva anymore because I'm a legend." You had the greatest amount of star power anybody has ever seen in one place and also the greatest amount of humility and graciousness I have ever seen.

And you were the lady in red – in Vera Wang.
This is the thing: When you have been as challenged in your struggles with weight as I have, that is a glorious moment, to be able to walk down a red carpet in a red dress that you know fits you and you feel great in. I mean, literally, as I put on the dress I said, "This makes getting up at 5:30 in the morning all those days [to exercise] when I didn't feel like it, worth it." Because when I put the dress on, as structured and formal as the dress was, it felt like a nightgown – it was so comfortable.

I haven't even had a potato chip in ... I don't know. I used to eat them by the bag – 5-oz. bags, not 1-oz. Olive oil and then rosemary, oh, man, I'm addicted to chips. And I can't have just one chip, and I know it, so it's like crack. There have been a couple of times I would just go in the store, pick up a bag, smell it and put it down. I know I can't, I can't do it.

You and Stedman Graham have been together for 18 years. He's a successful market consultant and a motivational speaker, but you've got most of the fame. Is that still a challenge?
I am not an easy person for anybody to be with long-term. You have to have such a strong personal confidence in order to withstand being with somebody to whom the attention is always directed. We have such respect for each other and for each of our paths in the world. I understand that his speaking to people on a grassroots level and me speaking to the world from the platform that I do, are similar.

But do you argue?
Other people might argue about shoes left on the floor or you didn't come home for dinner. We argue about vision versus no vision. All the time. There's not a day that we don't talk about [imitating Graham] "What you need is a greater vision." Even when we were teaching our [leadership] class together at Northwestern University, he would stand up and tell these graduate students, "You need to have a vision, there's a process to success," and I would say, "Or you don't, 'cause I didn't have one."

What's next?
I don't know because as you know I don't have a vision. [Laughs.] I live in the moment. People are saying to me, how are you going to top this? It's not my desire to top it, my desire is to keep manifesting for myself the life I was meant to live, and so that could take me anywhere.

• By Tom Gliatto. Cindy Dampier, Brenda Rodriguez and Jenny Sundel in Santa Barbara

For a complete list of Oprah's Legends and more party photos, pick up the May 30 issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Which Would You Choose?

Sometimes I like to ask people these questions... along the lines of, "If you could choose, which would you be?" or "Which would you choose if you were ...?" And, my classic question: Why?

Here are few for you:

1 - If you could be a sea creature, which would you choose to be?

2 - If you were an insect, which would you choose to be?

3 - What kind of bird (species) would you choose to be?

4 - If you could choose to be born during a specific era, which one would you choose to be born into?

5 - Which century would you have liked to live during?

6 - If you could transpose into someone else's body for one day, who would you choose? (Choose one current everyday person, one current famous person, and one historical person.)

7 - Which politician would you choose to be for one day?

8 - If you were to become a feline, which breed would you choose to be?

9 - If you were a color, which one would you be?

Bird

One day in Tampa, while at a red light waiting, I saw this beautiful white bird - about 2 feet tall - with a startling red band across its chest and all pink below. Cool. When it flapped its wings, i was in awe.

Packy is Back!

I am very revitalized and ready to get roaring in NYC. Florida, the ocean and the sun were very good. I also said hi to the moon which was visible during the clear blue day at the beach as well as at night. Now, I'm back in full swing with summer classes and more.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Florida or Bust!

Am headed to Florida later today. Have a lot to do before I get to the airport. I'm so excited and looking forward to being there. More details later since I'm in a rush. Just wanted to share my excitement. :)

And, yes, I'll bring back some sun.

Slumbering Lullaby

A friend asked me to come up with a lullaby online. I couldn't think of any other than those silly patriotic songs we had to sing-sign at Lake Drive School for the Deaf as kids. (I even have pics of us little deafies fake mouthing and signing songs in 'music' class.) Anyways, the only songs that came to mind beside patriotic songs were "Lean On Me" and a song by John Bon Jovi.

So, I just made one up, keeping in mind that my friend loves nature.

Here it goes:

(breathe)

.....

lying back in the grass
with grass strands
dancing in the wind
as the breeze frolicks and races through the reeds
sun smiling through the dancing leaves
as you look up
the trees smiling
dancing and shaking their leaves and flowers
flirting and playing with you
as you lie below in the grass
your feet bare
tickled by the grass and the bees buzzing around
butterflies flying overhead
zig zagging
riding the breeze
as your head turns left
and rests on the grass pillow
you look up on the sky and see the cottony clouds moving
making music in the clear blue sky
following the moving clouds across
turning ur head from the pillowy grass back up to seeing the sun smiling on you
as the clouds go through the cracks of the leaves
of the trees smiling down on you
as your head turns right back to the grass pillow
lullabying you to sweet slumber

may the sun kiss you good nite
and the moon keep you safe
as you slumber

Thursday, May 05, 2005

I Fell From A Tree

A friend sent me an email entitled, "I fell from a Chestnut tree." The first thought in my head was "WTF?"

Check this out. I found it interesting. Don't believe in this since it's too overgeneralized for me. I know a handful of people who share the same birthdate as I. And, I don't like them all or share similar personalities as them. But, hey... it's a nice departure from some other astrological stuff out there. Here goes....and, have fun! I'd also suggest reading descriptions of trees you usually like or are normally attracted to (e.g., furniture wood type, frames, etc)



WHAT TREE DID YOU FALL FROM?

Find your birthday and then find your tree This is fun and somewhat accurate in line with Celtic astrology. Then send it to all your friendsincluding the one that sent it to you) so they can find out what tree they fell from, but don't forget to change the subject line to your tree.

Dec 23 to Jan 01 Apple Tree
Jan 01 to Jan 11 Fir Tree
Jan 12 to Jan 24 Elm Tree
Jan 25 to Feb 03 Cypress Tree
Feb 04 to Feb 08 Poplar Tree
Feb 09 to Feb 18 Cedar Tree
Feb 19 to Feb 28 Pine Tree
Mar 01 to Mar 10 Weeping Willow Tree
Mar 11 to Mar 20 Lime Tree
Mar 21 (only) Oak Tree
Mar 22 to Mar 31 Hazelnut Tree
Apr 01 to Apr 10 Rowan Tree
Apr 11 to Apr 20 Maple Tree
Apr 21 to Apr 30 Walnut Tree
May 01 to May 14 Poplar Tree
May 15 to May 24 Chestnut Tree
May 25 to Jun 03 Ash Tree
Jun 04 to Jun 13 Hornbeam Tree
Jun 14 to Jun 23 Fig Tree
Jun 24 (only) Birch Tree
Jun 25 to Jul 04 Apple Tree
Jul 05 to Jul 14 Fir Tree
Jul 15 to Jul 25 Elm Tree
Jul 26 to Aug 04 Cypress Tree
Aug 05 to Aug 13 Poplar Tree
Aug 14 to Aug 23 Cedar Tree
Aug 24 to Sep 02 Pine Tree
Sep 03 to Sep 12 Weeping Willow Tree
Sep 13 to Sep 22 Lime Tree
Sep 23 (only) OLIVE Tree
Sep 24 to Oct 03 Hazelnut Tree
Oct 04 to Oct 13 Rowan Tree
Oct 14 to Oct 23 Maple Tree
Oct 24 to Nov 11 Walnut Tree
Nov 12 to Nov 21 Chestnut Tree
Nov 22 to Dec 01 Ash Tree
Dec 02 to Dec 11 Hornbeam Tree
Dec 12 to Dec 21 Fig Tree
Dec 22 (only) Beech Tree

YOUR TREE (in alphabetical order)

Apple Tree (Love) -- quiet and shy at times, lots of charm, appeal, and attraction, pleasant attitude, flirtatious smile, adventurous, sensitive, loyal in love, wants to love and be loved, faithful and tender partner, very generous, many talents, loves children, needs affectionate partner.

Ash Tree (Ambition) -- extremely attractive,
vivacious, impulsive, demanding, does not care for criticism, ambitious, intelligent, talented, likes to play with fate, can be very egotistic, reliable, restless lover,sometimes money rules over the heart, demands attention, needs love and much emotional support.

Beech Tree (Creative) -- has good taste, concerned about its looks, materialistic, good organization of life and career, economical, good leader, takes no unnecessary risks, reasonable, splendid lifetime companion, keen on keeping fit (diets, sports, etc.).

Birch Tree (Inspiration) -- vivacious, attractive, elegant, friendly, unpretentious, modest, does not like anything in excess, abhors the vulgar, loves life in nature and in calm, not very passionate, full of imagination, little ambition, creates a calm and content atmosphere.

Cedar Tree (Confidence) -- of rare strength, knows how to adapt, likes unexpected presents, of good health, not in the least shy, tends to look down on others, self-confident, a great speaker, determined, often impatient, likes to impress others, has many talents, industrious, healthy optimism, waits for the one true love, able to make quick decisions.

Chestnut Tree (Honesty!) -- of unusual stature,
impressive, well-developed sense of justice, fun to be around, a planner, born diplomat, can be irritated easily, sensitive of others feelings, hard worker, sometimes acts superior, feels not understood at times, fiercely family oriented, very loyal in love, physically fit.

Cypress Tree (Faithfulness) -- strong, muscular,
adaptable, takes what life has to give but doesn't necessarily like it, strives to be content, optimistic, wants to be financially independent, wants love and affection,hates loneliness, passionate lover which cannot be satisfied, faithful, quick-tempered at times, can be unruly and careless, loves to gain knowledge, needs to be needed.

Elm Tree (Noble-mindedness) -- pleasant shape,
tasteful clothes, modest demands, tends not to
forgive mistakes, cheerful, likes to lead but not to obey, honest and faithful partner, likes making decisions for others, noble-minded, generous, good sense of humor, practical.

Fig Tree (Sensibility) -- very strong minded, a bit self-willed, honest, loyal, independent, hates contradiction or arguments, hard worker when wants to be, loves life and friends, enjoys children and animals, few sexual relationships, great sense of humor, has artistic talent and great intelligence.

Fir tree (Mysterious) -- extraordinary taste,
handles stress well, loves anything beautiful,
stubborn, tends to care for those close to them,
hard to trust others, yet a social butterfly, likes idleness and laziness after long demanding hours at work, rather modest, talented, unselfish, many friends, very reliable.

Hazelnut Tree (Extraordinary) -- charming, sense of humor, very demanding but can also be very understanding, knows how to make a lasting
impression, active fighter for social causes and
politics, popular, quite moody, sexually oriented, honest, a perfectionist, has a precise sense of judgment and expects complete fairness.

Hornbeam Tree (Good Taste) -- of cool beauty, cares for its looks and condition, good taste, is not egoistic, makes life as comfortable as possible, leads a reasonable and disciplined life, looks for kindness and acknowledgment in an emotional partner, dreams of unusual lovers, is seldom happy with its feelings, mistrusts most people, is never sure of its decisions, very conscientious.

Lime Tree (Doubt) - intelligent, hard working,
accepts what life dishes out, but not before trying to change bad circumstances into good ones, hates fighting and stress, enjoys getaway vacations, may appear tough, but is actually soft and relenting, always willing to make sacrifices for family and friends, has many talents but not always enough time to use them, can become a complainer, great leadership qualities, is jealous at times but extremely loyal.

Maple Tree (Independence of Mind) -- no ordinary
person, full of imagination and originality, shy and reserved, ambitious, proud, self-confident, hungers for new experiences, sometimes nervous, has many complexities, good memory, learns easily, complicated love life, wants to impress.

Oak Tree (Brave) -- robust nature, courageous,
strong, unrelenting, independent, sensible, does not like change, keeps its feet on the ground, person of action.

Olive Tree (Wisdom) -- loves sun, warmth and kind feelings, reasonable, balanced, avoids aggression and violence, tolerant, cheerful, calm, well-developed sense of justice, sensitive, empathetic, free of jealousy, loves to read and the company of sophisticated people.

Pine Tree (Peacemaker) -- loves agreeable company, craves peace and harmony, loves to help others, active imagination, likes to write poetry, not fashion conscious, great compassion, friendly to all, falls strongly in love but will leave if betrayed or lied to, emotionally SOFT, low self esteem, needs affection and reassurance.

Poplar Tree (Uncertainty) -- looks very decorative, talented, not very self-confident, extremely courageous if necessary, needs goodwill and pleasant surroundings, very choosy, often lonely, great animosity, great artistic nature, good organizer, tends to lean toward philosophy, reliable in any situation, takes partnership seriously.

Rowan Tree (Sensitivity) -- full of charm, cheerful, gifted without egoism, likes to draw attention, loves life, motion, unrest, and even complications, is both dependent and independent, good taste, artistic, passionate, emotional, good company, does not forgive.

Walnut Tree (Passion) -- unrelenting, strange and full of contrasts, often egotistic, aggressive, noble, broad horizon, unexpected reactions, spontaneous, unlimited ambition, no flexibility, difficult and uncommon partner, not always liked but often admired, ingenious strategist!, very jealous and passionate, no compromise.

Weeping Willow (Melancholy) - likes to be stress
free, loves family life, full of hopes and dreams, attractive, very empathetic, loves anything beautiful, musically inclined, loves to travel to exotic places, restless, capricious, honest, can be influenced but is not easy to live with when pressured, sometimes demanding, good intuition, suffers in love until they find that one loyal, steadfast partner; loves to make others laugh.

UP!

Got this from a friend.

WARNING: Read at your own risk. If you have mental impairment or any inkling of psychosis, do not read! I warned ya!


There is a two letter word that perhaps has more meaning than any other two letter word, and that is "UP."

And I didn't think this UP. It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we waken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP or listen UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? We call UP our friends, we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. And we use UP the toothpaste. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.

What's the hold UP? And what about wait UP?
And, of course, we have all screwed UP! At other times the little word has real special meaning.

People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. In sporting events, you warm UP and whip UP on your opponents. To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.

And this is confusing:

A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP. To be knowledgeable of the proper uses of UP, look UP the word in the
dictionary. In a desk size dictionary, UP takes
UP almost 1/4 the page and definitions add UP to about thirty.

If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more.
When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it wets UP the earth. When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on but I'll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so I'll shut UP because you are probably fed UP....

Wanna say UP yours to me for posting this and torturing you with such entry?

It's Official!

It's official! I'm back in school. I'll be in school on a part-time basis this summer. (Hey, I want to celebrate and enjoy summer instead of being in the classrooms and studying full time.)

Registration for Summer & Fall semesters were done as of this morning. Yippee! Did a little dance as soon as I was done.

After the Fall semester, I'll have only 2-3 classes and an internship left to go before graduating in May 2006!

I'm also excited that there will be 1-2 deaf MSW students coming in this Fall. I've already collaborated with one to take one class together with an excellent professor. Her lectures are so fascinating that time flies, and you don't want to leave the classroom when time's up.

I'm just excited about being back in school!