Spring Catch-up

First a PSA: Pet food recall – see the list of products recalled.

Random tid-bits:

I forgot to link to the site after watching An Inconvenient Truth, so here is their Take Action page (the home page is noisy).

Laser engraving on laptops. Looks neat and sturdier than stickers, but not good for those of us who change their minds a lot. Plus it’s not cheap.

Mac Laptop = Cat Toy video. Thankfully my cats aren’t like this… I don’t think.

More of the monster/ugly dolls.

Uploaded 138 or 139 new photos: http://www.flickr.com/photos/liata/

Mar 20:Went to dinner at Dos with one of HK’s coworker friends and then put away laundry and did dishes and HK took out the trash and recycling for me. So nice not to walk out and see the kitchen and go “Ugh!” I’m definitely putting some of the house profit toward a dishwasher, it’s just not worth the time and stress of hand washing everything. And I probably waste hot water doing it myself anyway. I really like how the new curtains on the sliding glass door turned out, though I think I want to add a few more panels at some point.Mar 19:This guy’s stuff has been around for a while, but since I can’t find the original video I saw, here’s another: http://studio.vpod.tv/loiclemeur/135867

Also, I hate the time changes, they always mess up my sleep schedule. Slowly getting back on track. I smelled brownies walking back to my office and now I’m craving them. Thankfully I have hot chocolate mix (and chili, nutmeg & cinnamon to add to it).

I got a lot done this weekend, cleaned up my piles of paperwork, finally got the curtains up with HK’s help and a few loads of laundry. That plus much napping & relaxing which is the main thing I needed. HK & I went to Johnny Carrino’s in Natomas after his haircut Friday, but we filled up on bread and soup and ended up eating the leftovers the rest of the weekend. The asthma pill (Singulair) is working hella good and my allergies seem to have settled down without taking the Clartin stuff, yippee!

And! Good news! My house might actually close before April after all which would be awesome. One less mortgage payment to pay. 😀

Mar 17:

This sounds fun: Spring Party on Saturday 4/14/07…All you can drink beer and Margaritas, Fresh Mexican food, Wonderbread 5, DJ Rigatoni, Mechanical Bull and Gladiator Style Jousting….all for $35 and all proceeds go to local children’s charities!! Go to www.awildnightincabo.com.

Mar 16:

My office is so cold. I’m thinking of bringing in a throw or something. Rugs would be good if I had any. I have a space heater, but I blew the circuit the time I moved it to another plug to get it under my desk. An electric blanket would work better. I wouldn’t lose all my warm air every time my boss pops in and doesn’t shut the door most of the way behind him.

Mar 15:

Painted my toenails pink at work during lunch, and managed to not smudge them, yay! Now I can actually wear sandals sometimes.

Mar 14:

Had a ton of weird dreams last night, which for me means I didn’t sleep soundly at all or I wouldn’t remember. Probably why I was so tired this morning.

I forgot to check the racquetball rules, so my pirate and I just goofed off hitting back and forth to each other since there was a free court last night. Good workout, but it did not help my headache. It was fun though, and my headache didn’t get too bad till the last 10 minutes ish.

Article stuffs
I used to read Psychology Today when I TA’d in my high school library all the time. Now I have it on my Google homepage so I’m back into reading it again. Just in case you’re wondering how I find this stuff:Hormones Got You Down?

Hormones may play a pivotal role in women’s maladies—including PMS, post-partum, and others.
By:Natasha Raymond”research shows it’s not just the psychological stress of aging, childbirth, or cramps that brings on the blues. It’s the physiological factor that ties them together—hormones.””Hormones released by the ovaries—estrogen and progesterone—actually seem to influence the neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, that are known to affect mood. Normally, estrogen blocks enzymes that break serotonin down, allowing more of the spirit-lifting substance to stay operative in the brain and act like an antidepressant. But before menstruation, after giving birth, and during menopause, when estrogen levels dip, serotonin levels plunge, too.”

Love Isn’t Blind

How to form an enduring bond. Healthy relationships are built on love and trust, commitment and intimacy.
By:Hara Estroff Marano

“These are the five bonding forces that form the glue of your relationship, he stresses. And here’s the catch—they must grow together in a balanced way. You must keep your heart and your head in harmony. So you never let one of the five forces too far ahead of your progress in any of the others.

* Know
* Trust
* Rely
* Commit
* Touch

In other words, says Van Epp, there’s a safe zone you need to stay within as your relationship grows. And the basic rule for staying in the safe zone is, never let the level of one bonding dynamic exceed the level of the previous one. “

Swallow Your Fear

Navigating risky situations teaches you about yourself, increases your self-confidence, and helps you better manage life’s inevitable uncertainties.
By:Jessica DuLong

“”It’s the heightened awareness in physical risk taking that’s so valuable,” says Michael Gass … “The limited stimulus field helps people weed out less important information.” In the face of danger, instinct takes over. Your attention becomes keenly focused on your body and your surroundings. ”

“Once you accomplish this, you realize that you are not a victim of your emotions, that you can override them if you want.”

“Just as shocking the muscles makes them grow stronger, confronting your fears makes you realize you can live with stress. “Any time you’re afraid to do something and you do it, it makes you stronger,” he says. “Even if you fail.””

“”Physical risk taking is beneficial because it’s a consequential, obvious statement of what you’re able to do,” says Gass. And the ability to handle adversity can generalize into the less dangerous—but no less fraught—realms of personal and professional life. It was Stanford researcher Albert Bandura who first articulated the idea that greater feelings of self-efficacy produce increased effort and persistence on a task and, ultimately, a higher level of performance.”

“Self-determination in the face of uncertainty helps develop a strong sense of self. ”

“”The more practice you have in situations where you have to make rapid decisions with great consequence, the more likely you are to be able to act rather than freeze,” says Cline.”

I find evolutionary psychology fascinating! I took a class on environmental psychology that covered some of it and really enjoyed the class. Article:The Orgasm Wars

Evolutionary biologists think female orgasms may pick the best sperm.
By:PT Staff”They discovered that when a woman climaxes any time between a minute before to 45 minutes after her lover ejaculates, she retains significantly more sperm than she does after nonorgasmic sex. When her orgasm precedes her male’s by more than a minute, or when she does not have an orgasm, little sperm is retained. “”In their studies, women consistently identify as most attractive males whose faces (and other body parts) are most symmetrical.””A large and growing body of medical literature documents that symmetrical people are physically and psychologically healthier than their less symmetrical counterparts.”

“those whose partners were most symmetrical enjoyed a significantly higher frequency of orgasms during sexual intercourse than did those with less symmetrical mates.”

“Of course, symmetry is a relative thing, and a relative rarity at that. No one is perfectly symmetrical, and very high symmetry scores were few and far between in this sample, as in others. In consolation, Thornhill and Gangestad point out that the differences they are measuring are subtle, and most require the use of calipers to detect.”

“Degree of women’s romantic attachment did not increase the frequency of orgasm! Nor did the sexual experience of either partner. Conventional wisdom holds that birth control and protection from disease up orgasm rates, since they allow women to feel more relaxed during intercourse. But no relationship emerged between female orgasm and the use of contraception.

Nor can the study results be explained by the possibility that the symmetrical males were dating especially uninhibited and orgasmic women. Their partners did not have more orgasms during foreplay or in other sexual activities. Male symmetry correlated with a high frequency of female orgasm only during copulation.”

“He points to the following results as among those we should take to heart:

o A woman’s capacity for orgasm depends not on her partner’s sexual skill but on her subconscious evaluation of his genetic merits.
o Women’s orgasm has little to do with love. Or experience.
o Good men are indeed hard to find.
o The men with the best genes make the worst mates.
o Women are no more built for monogamy than men are. They are designed to keep their options open.
o Women fake orgasm to divert a partner’s attention from their infidelities.”

Not terribly scientific, the comments are more interesting than the article:Female Gamers Have More Sex

“According to a survey conducted by Gametart, a game rental service in the UK, chicks who game get more lovin’ than those who don’t. Out of a sample of 200 ladies (or should that be “laid-ees”?), the ones who gamed got, erm, fragged 1.1 more times a week than those who didn’t.”

And from one of the columns I read that also happened to look at evolution’s effect:The Pig Picture
The Advice Goddess by Amy Alkon

“The truth is, as you suspected, straight guys just don’t have the filth and disarray vision that women and gay men do. Studies show gay men’s attention to environmental detail is similar to that of straight women, but in general, “the female brain takes in more sensory data than does the male,” writes brain researcher Michael Gurian in “What Could He Be Thinking?” How much more visual detail does the female brain take in? Well, in an object recall test by York University psychologists Irwin Silverman and Marion Eals, women remembered the name and placement of 70 percent more items than the men did.””Men can be obsessive about detail, explains Gurian, but their mental and visual attention is usually single-minded and achievement-oriented. “”According to Silverman, Eals, and other researchers, a guy’s tendency to let his home become a pizza crust wilderness refuge probably traces back to our hunter-gatherer past. Men’s current visual and attentional strengths correspond to what would’ve made them successful hunters: the distance vision and mental focus needed to track and bring home dinner — instead of being eaten by what was supposed to be dinner. Women’s superior peripheral vision and ability to process detail would’ve helped them spot the family’s favorite edible plants in a big tangle of vegetation — while making sure the children weren’t playing in wildebeest traffic.

Culture or training may mitigate the modern man’s natural crud-blindness.”