Thursday, November 30, 2006

Cheering myself up

I saw the commercials for this and wanted on pretty badly. I have a weak spot for both penguins and snowmen.

Is it really really cheezy to admit that it does really brighten up my day seeing these guys sing and dance? The penguin on the left shakes its little tail to ring a bell, it is so cute I want to squeeze and rip it apart.


Around this time 2 years ago they thought it was bronchitis

While no national studies have yet been done, many lung cancer specialists say they're seeing a disturbing trend of more and more non-smoking women with the disease.

"Many of them have done an excellent job of taking care of themselves," said Dr. Joan Schiller, who specializes in lung cancer in non-smoking younger women at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. "They run. They eat right."

Ten percent to 15 percent of lung cancer victims are non-smokers. Among that group, women are two to three times more likely than men to get the disease. Doctors don't know why. Hormones, second-hand smoke, diet and air pollution all are believed to be factors.
Though lung cancer is deadlier to women than other types of cancer, breast cancer gets almost 10 times more research funding per death than lung cancer, Schiller said.

"These women are tragic victims of the fact that they have a disease that is associated with smoking," Schiller added.

Adding to the deadliness of lung cancer, the symptoms, which include shortness of breath and a chronic cough, often are misdiagnosed as asthma.

FromABC News

More recent NYTimes Article and this is just from a few weeks ago

Life really is unfair. Some 20,000 people a year with lung cancer, and they've never even tasted the butt of a cigarette. Even more unfair: no one knows why ...
That's the observation reported in the San Francisco Chronicle late last week, in a survey of oncologists detailed to research on incidences of lung cancer. There's also another layer of unfairness laid onto the story: "women are particularly at risk" of contracting lung cancer, even in the absence of cigarette smoke.
This observation is quite stark in Asian countries, where very few women smoke, observes Stanford University School of Medicine's Dr. Heather Wakelee. For example, about a third of lung cancer cases in Singapore are in nonsmokers, "and most of those are women".

Post Turkey Binge Eating Weekend

Had a lovely Thanksgiving holiday. My aunt came and stayed for two days. I love her so much. We made tons of food and she made the blessed gravy. Sweet sweet gravy. MMmm. I made an amazing sandwich with gravy, turkey, cranberry jelly, and stuffing. I got to make the stuffing this year and I did damn well if I say so myself.

My cousin also visited one afternoon. I don't think he has seen my mom in I would guess 10 years at least. It was a good visit, tears and laughs were had. I also got to reconnect with a good friend of mine over coffee at her new house right in downtown Exeter. The weather was amazing, 60s the entire time, just perfect.

Since the visit home I am debating as to when I tell the bosses that I need to go home for an extended time to help and be there for my mom. I was hoping timing with the potential new job was such that I could leave old job, have a few weeks off, and start the new one. Of course I still haven't heard back about the job yet so planning in advance is of course silly. I'm just running my plans in circles essentially.

Now the holiday season is really upon us. I saw trees out on the sidewalk on the way to work this morning. The real sign of the holidays, I have already started to get random emails and text messages from people I haven't heard from all year inquiring how I am. It used to be when I went home for the Christmas holidays I would get random phone calls from old high school friends that essentially I never spoke to the rest of the year. Now they use email which I think is great, I find it easier to talk thru written word and it is also on my time when I decide to respond.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Blog Stalking

I read this post some time ago and really really connected with it.
I have been alternating between saying hi to this girl and/or just leaving a comment but it is so long at this time I worry that she won't see it.
When she talks about her mom she posts these amazing scanned old photos. I want to get a scanner and do that and/or I should just take some photos of photos. Yeah that would be easier.

I also have been secretly following a mutual friend's blog for sometime. She first had a blog called Watch Me Turn 30 which she took a photo a day until her birthday. She is now pregnant and counting down with photos and stories as well. She lost her mother in her 20s.
The touching way in which she remembers her in various posts always always almost makes me cry. I can relate to these feelings and my mom is still around. Granted she is house bound and declining and blah blah...I just connect with them..

I am debating on sending an email to either of these ladies and let them know they have touched me but I am also scared of sounding like a stalker insane person. I mean for Holly, I should just say hi I was inspired by your previous blog and kind of took the name and went with it.

Both of them inspire me to be strong in dealing with my mom's lung cancer. I hope I can deal with it in the creative ways that they have. I don't have many actual close friends in the city that have delt with something like this and it reassures me to see how well these ladies have dealt with it.

The picture posted below is from Thanksgiving two years ago. I look at it and think about how we didn't know at that time that the sickness my mom was feeling wasn't a flu or a bug - it was cancer that was taking over her body. We all look so young. I feel like I have aged at least 10 years in the past time. My mom is still with me and fighting the good fight. In the past few weeks hospice has started to come three times a week to help her shower and check in with her. Last week oxygen was placed in our home. I really am sure she will make it thru the holidays...

Update

I had the final interview last night. It got rescheduled and let's basically say I nailed it. Feedback from the recruiter has me looking good for a change possibly even by the end of this year!! I don't want to jinx it so I am going to try to not think about it until after the turkey holidays as I won't hear anything until after that as well.

On another note where the hell did this month go? How is it almost the end of the year 2006? Again, just when I am getting comfortable with the year number, it's going to change on me. God I sound like an old fogie.

I am thinking this might be this year's homemade holiday card..Taken last year from the family tree.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Getting close...

I have my third interview this week with potential AMAZING employer.
If I land this I feel like I will be actually contributing to my long term "career" whatever that is...

I saw the film Akeelah and the Bee this weekend. It was really well done and heartfelt. There was a quote in it that I have seen snippets of on magnets and cards recently.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Although the quotation is attributed in the film to Nelson Mandela, it was actually written by inspirational guru Marianne Williamson.
I really am going to try hard and believe in this quote (minus the God talk) in the upcoming weeks. I have been trying to use what is going on my life as a means to really push myself to make changes and actually live the life I truly want. Changing jobs was one of the biggest factors that I wanted to change. I wanted to actually make the job move into something that was challenging and also interesting to me.
I'm keeping all fingers crossed. The final interview is tomorrow night at 6. I have already heard feedback that the previous two were received very well and they have a strong interest..

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Sweeping Them Out

I have been unable to update as my apartment has been pushed back to the 1980s and I have been without both internet and my beloved cable since Friday night. Hopefully today sometime between 10 and 2pm this will be rectified.

I want to make up for some lost daily postings and what better way than to celebrate all the democratic wins at yesterday's election. Michael Moore sent out some emails and within one of them he urged people to bring brooms with them to the voting booth.
"The broom is our mascot today because we're going to sweep the crooks and the warmongers outta office. Take a picture of yourself holding a broom outside your polling place, e-mail it to me, and I'll put as many of you as I can up on the home page of my website. People all around the world will see you! Government files with your name on them will be initiated! What better way to celebrate this historic day?!"
I love the photos from all over!

In the same email he had this haunting fact...
2,836 + 655,000. Each one of them, American and Iraqi, are no longer with us because of the decision by one man to start a war. Each one of them represented a precious, God-given life that no man had the right to take away. Each one of them had a mother and father, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives, friends and loved ones, little boys and little girls.

I hope this is the first step in our country for really taking back control with our government and showing Bush this war is unacceptable!!

Photo below from Michael Moore's site

Friday, November 03, 2006

First Song Posting

Marble House

Alright I"m going to attempted to start linking to music. This is pretty exciting for me as over the past year I have become really really obsessed with music blogs. It all began earlier this year as I realized I was both, sick of work and sick of my music selection. See I used to be really up on bands but some how since working for a somewhat small isolated office I kind of got out of the loop. I started reading a ton of music blogs and on one is where I read about the Knife and countless others that I now really love.

The link above is for the song Marble House by the Knife. This is one of my very favorite songs by them. I also wanted to mention that the photos that I placed in yesterday's post I found on flickr. I did take photos but haven't managed to get them uploaded but note on the side of my links is a new link to my FLICKR page. I have to admit I am getting 100% obsessed with this.

Here is a photo I think goes well with the song. It is a moon looking out my window.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Concert Nirvana

Last night I saw the Knife play at Webster Hall. They took the stage at 11:30 and played for over an hour. This was their very first US show. Well technically it was their second as there was an earlier show at 7 but still, the only one on the East Coast. Considering the fact I was pondering having to go to Sweden to see them play - this concert was some what epic for me. I found this band earlier this year and immediately became obsessed with them.

The Knife's third album, "Silent Shout" can only be described as the ultimate soundtrack for a late night game of laser tag inside an abandoned castle with all of your best friends. Karin's vocals mix between Bjork and Siouxie Sioux with its haunting, powerful and twisted tone. Pair her sound with the dark synth/electronic rhythms her brother lays down and you've got yourself some great dance music to obsess.
Their live show is an experience that's actually part of a full-scale multi-media collaboration with rising star animator/artist Andreas Nilsson. They both performed behind a screen and had another screen behind them and there were visuals the entire time.
I have to say that the crowd was eating them up. I was a little nervous that the scene would be tons of higher than thou hipsters all acting like they didn't want to be there. God I hate how much that happens at NYC shows. Why are you at the show if you are going to act like you can't be bothered is beyond me.

They played my favorite song Marble House off the latest album. The visual was this face below singing the male lines while Karin danced and sang. They were both dressed up as monkeys and somehow actually pulled it off.



Being the idiot that I am, I placed my camera on the balcony railing and once the show was over I forgot about it. I walked back after realizing 2 minutes later and some group of people totally had the camera and were looking thru the photos to give it back to someone. I told them they just got some really good karma coming towards them that's for sure.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Rock and Roll Legends Get Lung Cancer Too

Sandy West, drummer for the influential '70s band THE RUNAWAYS, died Saturday, October 21, 2006 after a long battle with lung cancer.
The Runaways are rock and roll gods to me. They were one of the first all girl rock and roll bands and featured Joan Jett and Lita Ford when they were just teenagers. Joan Jett sums it up in this quote below.
Joan Jett: "I started THE RUNAWAYS with Sandy West. We shared the dream of girls playing rock and roll. Sandy was an exuberant and powerful drummer. So underrated, she was the caliber of John Bonham. I am overcome from the loss of my friend. I always told her we changed the world."

She's the badass on the far right..