Monday, May 31, 2004

semblance of normal...

i started feeling better saturday morning. thank goodness. my cousin was graduating from college and i needed to jump in my car and go go go up to her party.

the golden graduation. a little familial bragging. so. this cousin, she is amazing (sidenote: all cousins are amazing, but this post will focus on one in particular: we'll call her "a"). skips a grade somewhere around age 11. and i think she graduated early, too. i think that's how it goes, or maybe she just graduated younger cuz she skipped that one grade back there. anyhow. a was brought up in a one-horse town in a two-horse state. and at age 16 she moved to the big city (california's second largest) and went to college. and basically kicked college's ass. she graduated at a scant age 20, magna cum laude, student of the year in her department, plus another great award (shoot: skipping my brain at the moment). next she is on to cambridge for a minimum of two months; this may or may not span longer.

very proud. and you shoulda seen her in the pretty couture. so pretty.

the sidecar. a's friend who is also named cryptically a [and for this post lets just call him a(y)] has an antique-ish bmw motorcycle. that, in and of itself, is cool. but what makes it awesome is its sidecar. a(y)'s bike has this oldschool aristocat's sidecar and not only did i get to wear the cool harley-type of helmet, and not only did i get to wear the old-fashioned goggles, but i got a long, long ride through the saratoga hills.

it was just dark. the roads were windy and steep. and the curves were many and frequent.

i've been on the back of my fair share of motorcycles, but never driven one. so this, in the sidecar, was my first experience looking the road head on. low down. so close to the dirt. so close to the ground.

but that was not the best part. and maybe this post is getting silly but the best best part was the air.

there is nothing — i defy you to find it if you think otherwise — quite as dreamy and delicious and wonderful as the way the california air smells late may all the way through july. sweet. fresh. sycamores. eucalyptus. pine. honeysuckle. oranges. oranges. oranges. lemons. eucalyptus. pine. sycamore. honeysuckle. honeysuckle. and i tried to take it all in — this smell memory — to have it with me always.

all that and i didn't get any bugs in my teeth which is quite amazing as i had perma-smile. just a(y), me, the helmet, the goggles and my bug-free perma-smile.

the next day. sunday was spent meandering through palo alto. which brought back scads of memories as i have old friends from there. seeing the places i associate with them when i don't associate really with them anymore. bittersweet. but got to spend some fun time with my dad and his wife. and it was just a really great time. great. and then there was a long drive home that sliced right through steinbeck country. the hills right now are a very gorgeous pale yellow. and it is so windy that the hills look like they are covered in a soft fur that blows back and then forth. it is a really gorgeous time of the year.

Friday, May 28, 2004

you gotta focus on the bright spots

vaughan and honey

vaughan and her birthday puppy, honey.

vaughan is the daughter of my dear cousin serena. serena is the cousin i always looked up to, even though she's seven years younger than me. she's had it going on forever. and now she lives in the wide open sky and field of colorado with her husband and children and pets. i wish there was a super shuttle that only cost like $20 that went from my house to hers.

* * * *

yesterday was weird. the day before that was weird, too. kind of hazy and nothing seemed to make sense, you know, like the words that were coming out of the clerk's mouth when i went to buy a pepsi. or how my feet moved in front of each other as i walked down the sidewalk.

i finally found solace with the remote control. me, the remote control, and kb's couch. thank god for cable. and thank god for kb, who was feeling similarly and picked up two dvds that we watched back to back. we both just ended up parking our behinds on the couch for hour after hour and quiet movie watching. quiet movie watching where you didn't have to wonder about the weird sensation of walking or clerk's talking. all you gotta do is be able to turn the volume up and turn the volume down.

* * * *

i've been blessed in my life in that i don't get lonely. i like solitude, hanging by myself, being quiet. but yesterday it was like that quiet was going to swallow me whole and being alone was wringing me out. yesterday i needed people.

* * * *

i don't really understand grief. i guess i understand it when your grief is larger than life, like death of family member, death of spouse. but somehow i feel guilty about how sad i feel about allison — as if I am too sad.... death is a hard thing to wrap your mind around.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

facts that mean a lot to me right now

WBC. White blood cells. (AKA Leukocyte)
We all know the term... but do you know what your white blood cells do? White blood cells fight off infections — they are our great protectors. They keep us from harm. Love these buggers. They are important. And for the record, we have much fewer WBC than red blood cells. (source)

Are all WBC created equal? (source)
Nope. There are two types of leukocytes.
  1. granulocytes
    three types: neutrophil, eosinophil (or acidophil) and basophil

    – neutrophil attack bacteria
    – eosinophil attack parasites
    – basophil help blood to coagulate

  2. lymphoid cells (aka agranulocytes)
    two types:
    lymphocytes and monocytes
    – lymphocytes are the main constituents of the immune system and yield antibodies
    – monocytes are larger and upon maturity move into connective tissues

What are normal WBC counts?
4,500-10,000 white blood cells/mcl (cells per microliter) (source)

What does a high WBC count mean? ( source )
A high WBC count may indicate
  • infectious diseases

  • inflammatory disease (such as rheumatoid arthritis or allergy)

  • severe emotional or physical stress

  • tissue damage (for example, burns)

  • leukemia

Leukemia? What exactly is that? (source)
Leukemia is a blood-related cancer. Specifically, leukemia is a malignant disease (cancer) that originates in a cell in the marrow. There are four major types of leukemia:
  • Acute Myelogenous Leukemia

  • Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia

  • Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia

  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia

What is the difference between acute and chronic forms? (source)
Acute leukemia is a rapidly progressing disease that affects mostly cells that are unformed or primitive (not yet fully developed or differentiated). These immature cells cannot carry out their normal functions.

Chronic leukemia progresses slowly and permits the growth of greater numbers of more developed cells. In general, these more mature cells can carry out some of their normal functions. (It is common for someone with a chronic type of leukemia to show no symptoms and not be diagnosed until they have to have blood work done for some unrelated thing).

What did Allison have?
Allison had AML, Acute Myelogenous Leukemia. There are approximately 10,500 new cases of AML in the US every year. AML is hard to treat and has the lowest survival rate — just 14% of AML patients are expected to live five years after diagnosis. I sure wish I knew that 4 weeks ago.

Allison sounded so healthy. So healthy. Vibrant. Great spirits. Anxious to get out of the hospital. Allison is young — only 30 — and takes great care of her body: she eats well, exercises a lot and doesn't do anything stupid like drink too much, take drugs, sleep with strangers, or wash windows on high risers (you know, the typical things our parents are fearful about). Allison didn't do those things. She lived right.

But the problem with Leukemia — well, it turns out that there are a lot of problems with Leukemia....

Left untreated an AML patient would only be expected to live 3 months. Acute Leukemias come on quick and fast. Acute Leukemias are not as successfully treated as Chronic Leukemias.

Typical Acute Leukemia symptoms (source)
  • loss of well-being

  • tire more easily

  • short of breath when physically active

  • appear to have a pale complexion from anemia

  • bruise for no reason

  • have pin-head sized spots under the skin

  • have prolonged bleeding from minor cuts

  • have mild fever, swollen gums, frequent minor infections

  • heal slowly from cuts

  • experience discomfort in bones or joints

The problem with that list is that it is like pornography for a hypochondriac. The key is that none of the things in the list are necessarily urgent, especially when you are a young, vibrant, healthy woman.

So, anyway, Allison went into the hospital a month ago last Sunday, showed classic leukemia symptoms, had the requisite tests, was diagnosed and within 24 hours had her first blood transfusion. She started Chemo a couple days later.

The problem with being a leukemia patient and going through chemotherapy is that you often (like very high statistics) become neutropenic.

Neutropenic. Neutropenia is an abnormally small number of neutrophil cells (type of white blood cells that help fight infection — see beginning of post) that occurs as a result of certain cancer treatments (source).

In other words, you are susceptible to all infections and viruses (virii?).

So what happens when you are neutropenic?
It really depends on two things:
  1. How neutropenic you are.
    There are formulas here that I didn't take the time to understand, but just know that they measure the level of the neutropenia from "can't protect self" to "really really really really can't protect self")

  2. Your care facility's regulations.
    Some hospitals will put you in your own room with very strict rules about who can visit and if you can have fresh fruit and flowers. Other hospitals will require much less restrictive measures. To be honest, the whole thing sounds controversial and I know nothing about any of it, so I'd rather leave that debate to the experts.

Allison's hospital had strict regulations.
  • NO children visitors

  • No visiting if you've been around kids (might be carrying a secret bug)

  • No flowers, no fresh fruits or vegetables

  • A whole lot of hand washing that would please the greatest of OCD peeps

  • Et ceteras

But but but. It turns out that the riskiest things for a neutropenic person are those that are living inside of them. To quote a nurse who posted onto a nursing bulletin board about reverse isolation, "most infections come from within the patient — gut flora, pre-existing infection, etc. No amount of isolation is going to protect you from that." (source).

So what is this post about? It is just me trying to come to terms with Allison and Leukemia. Trying to make heads or tails out of something that might have neither heads nor tails. Trying to put some type of reason to the unfathomable. The unbelievable. My friend died. My friend who JUST DAYS AGO sounded healthy, vibrant and really optimistic — she died. I don't know how to wrap my head around that. At all.

More later.

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in...

i did. i thought i was done with my little, very brief in the grand scheme of things, stint as a bonafide tv watcher. but, ah, no. the sopranos. did you see this tonight? holy effing s-h-i-t. wow. now that was an episode. and if your mouth is still agog about what you just saw you need to march your little heiny over to the tv place of all places, the mother of all boards, television without pity.

and without spilling the beans to those who didn't see it, but plan to, i will just very cryptically say...

nasty nasty feds! they are responsible for this.
war?! say it ain't so.

» read or post about tonight's show
and can i just say ohmigod one more time about this episode?

» get the scoop on last week's bril dream sequence
you either love metaphors and symbolism or you hate them. your stance here is what determines how you feel about last weeks episode. me? i lurved it.
the 800th post

on this, my 800th blogspot post, instead of chatting your eyes off, i give you a list of things to go and see online (in case your web browsing was growing tiresome, as mine has been in the last few weeks).

» seajay's potd
catherine jamieson, or seajay as she is known in my neck of the woods, has a site that ebbs and flows... sometimes it is overbrimming with stories and anecdotes and all different layers of photographs and sketches; other times you will just find a single new photograph; other times you go and you see that she has completely redesigned the site and it's purpose as if over night. today's photo of the day are beautiful macros of bleeding heart flowers. totally worth the visit.

if you haven't been in a while, go check back on the lastest list of 5ives from merlin. this guy is snort your cereal out your nose funny. and this is the one site that i oh so wish i'd thought of myself. expect my own list of fives, shortly.

not sure who to believe anymore? gives you the real scoop on all the facts both parties are dishing out in campaign ads. a nonpartison, not-for-profit organization, could become a daily stop before you hit your list-serv or board or breakroom. get your facts straight before you launch off your mouth on your on soapbox.

» gitcher TLAs here
just this morning (i kid you not) (and it's sunday) i was asked, "what does the "e" in TQRDCE stand for again?" blink blink. in case you, like me and all other sane individuals, have started emptying your brain of all those silly strings of letters that seemingly stand for a long line of patter in a long afternoon meeting, don't worry about it. just bookmark this page and you can impress all your colleagues. if you work from home and do not often find yourself surrounded by other bleary-eyed cow-orkers, i've found that this line of impression is not a big hit with the creatures you may find yourself near, most notably cats — just go with the shaking of the food bowl instead. this works great.). (and ps it stands for environment).

» self reflecting pools of blue
hey, when was the last time you perused the mirror project?

Friday, May 21, 2004

would you like a side of movie with your down dog?

tonight was fun: it was movie night at the yoga centre. movie night and potluck. i am all about the potluck. so i made a salad, grabbed a bottle of goddess dressing and headed on down to my favorite place to asana the night away. fun group. good food. interesting, thought provoking movie.

the movie was 1 Giant Leap. not sure how to describe it. documentary? political? spiritual? musical? visual? it was like... hrm.... hummmm.... it was like a bunch of interesting interviews with very interesting people, shown in a non-linear fashion, with footage of all kinds of fascinating cultures. it tackled time, ego, sex, spirituality, music, love, war... it was actually quite inspirational.

you can check out the site here: 1 Giant Leap

meanwhile, this type of movie: yeah, i liked it. but i also thought that for me to see it, well, they were just preaching to the choir. yes and yes and yes i kept thinking. it definitely nailed my political and spiritual beliefs. and so in that way it was very affirming.

but i am not its target audience. this movie needs to reach someone who has never thought of these things... someone on the brink of finding something new about themselves.

meanwhile, i would see it again. meanwhile, it reinforced the ideas i am ready to take a stand on: the WTO (consumers can revolt! we can demand the quality we want and expect, including not only product but the way the product is made); spirituality (we all find god — or creator — or whatever — in our own way and we should respect that in each other).

other fun parts of the movie: picking out the people as they were talking (no one had a name on screen when they spoke or sang or performed, but i saw/heard dennis hopper, kurt vonnegut, ram das, dzongsar khyentse rinpoche, michael stipe, neneh cherry... who else? oh yes, the amazing anita roddick).
ouch, that smarts

the onion nails it. this is funny. this was also my life for about four years. or at least two and a half of the four years. bottom line: do not sell your soul out. do not sell your soul out. repeat after me: do not sell your soul out. or you to will have some 'splaining to do about your id card and your current visage.

» Photo ID Shows Toll Job Has Taken on Employee

spur of the moment breakfast with wyeth, tom, bret and little KB. wyeth spent all of 2003 in australia doing a yoga intensive with his fiancee trina. of course our conversation turned to yoga and upcoming weddings and other fun things. wyeth is the pun king (wy is the guy who came up with Paso-for-Dinner).

wyeth: ...and your psoas muscles...
bret: so' ass?
wyeth: well, they're all so' ass muscles after a while.

mar: i'm officiating wally's wedding in june.
bret: are you bringing your whistle?
mar: yeah! offsides!
bret: illegal touching!

(sidenote: bret's dad is in the umpire hall of fame!)

Thursday, May 20, 2004

the giveaway

how can you tell how old someone is? oh, they can hide it: they can look great, be fit, stay outta the sun, have a great plastic surgeon... or they can be leathered and fat and greasy... there are plenny of ways to look older and younger.

but. usually. not always but usually, there are some giveaway signs that the person is showing to you without even knowing it, that will at least give you a five year span of, "ah ha, so that is the age group you fit into."

the less common but most obvious of these is the hair cut. the hair cut giveaway, however, only works with those who "peaked" at an early age (say late teens or early 20s). these people may have moved on with their lives, but their hair has kind of stayed stuck in the same year.

another is music. it seems we all have a certain type of music that for us... man... it just nails us. maybe for you it is nirvana. doesn't matter what happens, but when you hear nirvana you are just transported back to that summer, that feeling... and for you it will always be it. sure, you've moved on and play the foo fighters. but for you there is something just so nostagically delicious about nirvana that they always turn up on your playlists, on your mixed cds, etc.

i got to thinking about this, because for me, one of my defining bands is camper van beethoven. and while i don't listen to them that much, when i happen to hear an old song, i get an urge to literally put their cds in my mouth and chew them right up. for me, it doesn't matter that they are so 16 years ago. it doesn't matter they've been broken up forever. it doesn't matter that david lowry became cracker (okay, yes, i have cracker cds too). what matters is how i feel at even the mention of their name.

transported. santa barbara county bowl. they opened for 10,000 maniacs. or how they were on every damn mixed tape i made for about five years (and still wind up on some play list every now and again). they hugely influenced future music i would love from old poi dog pondering to the waterboys (hey, both of those bands date me, too) to uncle tupelo and even the eels.

so you can imagine the smile that spread across my face when i saw that apple's itunes are offering up a camper van EP. you can imagine the crinkle in my eye as i saw that cvb did this EP as a protest against current political climates...

you can check them out in itunes.

meanwhile, my favorite cvb cd is our beloved revolutionary sweetheart. and my favorite song is one of these days.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

wooden slo town cracker

woodencracker sees my san luis obispo. it's cool now, too, cuz we run into each other pretty regularly(usually he is having coffee and drinking it at an outside table). what i love about him, he constantly posts my familiar san luis. we all have our little pieces of slo that we identify with... cracker seems to often capture mine. latest is muzio's grocery which has the best sandwiches in slo town (and the most expensive).

my itunes play list

so i was going to post my "i believe" play list on iTunes, but i noticed that over half of my songs on the list aren't available on iTunes, so you wouldn't be able to download or preview or hear them for yourself. so instead, i'm just going to put them here.

seven months ago when i was going through some Heavy Shit, i had one week in particular that was the Shittiest. i was about to get laid off and i knew i was about to get laid off, but no one knew that i knew (how did i know? it was so obvious — these guys wear their layoffs on their sleeves). this is a pretty sucky place to be, but the good news is that you have extra days to pack up your desk and alert all your friends to begin writing to you at a different email address and et cetera. anyway, i was sad and scared and mad and just, really, at the end of my rope. frustrated. sad. scared. pissed. i ran through all of these emotions over and over and over.

this was after six months of my dad going through extensive chemotherapy and radiation, so emotionally i was... i don't want to say beaten... let's say exhausted. i was tired, emotionally.

so that week as i waited for the axe to fall (for while i knew the cut was coming i couldn't figure out what day it was coming), i would go home on my lunch hour and i would listen to my ipod. one play list in particular.

this morning after writing my earlier mini-rant i put on my ipod again, and without really thinking about it, i chose the play list that got me through that hard time. and then, without really thinking about it again, i found big fat heavy tears streaming down my cheeks.

not because i was sad... not at all. not because i am mad, cuz that's not really the issue either. instead it was, i guess, for the "human condition." we all go through these hard times. life is tender and painful and bright with cuts of joy and sorrow. for me, these songs really sum that up. but the bottom line is... "i believe."

i believe in me. i believe in you. i believe that love will prevail. i believe that we can all bounce back. i believe that little bursts of illumination, awakening, and enlightenment — these are happening throughout our days. and sometimes we are lucky enough to tap into them.

so on that note, here's my "i believe" song list (links to songs when i can find them):
  1. that's so amazing [michelle shocked]

  2. this is it (your soul) [hothouse flowers]

  3. more than this [peter gabriel]

  4. more love [dixie chicks]

  5. hard drive [evan dando]

  6. calico skies [paul mccartney]

  7. outside [blue water triplets]

  8. send me the sun [kimmie rhodes, et al]

  9. a minor incident [badly drawn boy]

  10. father and daughter [paul simon]

  11. rain [patty griffin]

  12. i will be your friend [guy davis]
quick before the frozen stuff melts

just back from trader joe's with little kb. it is so fun to shop with a friend, i tell you.

so, today we took a much different yoga class. today was a beginner class and ohmigod, the difference! i left feeling rejuvenated! strong! tall! flexible! ahhh. yogahhhhhhh. the class i took on monday was a bit out of my reach. for now. soon i'll be there.

meanwhile, the pertinent question is, what is in the world is the whole world doing at trader joe's at 10:30 in the morning? don't you have jobs people?!

i'm so in love with my current schedule and i wonder: how will i adapt back into a full-time gig? my last experience basically used up all my reseves... and all i know is that in my heart of hearts, i will NOT sell myself short like that again. i will NOT sell my precious time out. i will NOT sacrifice my friends and family and peace of mind in order to try with all my might to please a bunch of cocky early-thirty small town power mongers that i will never please no matter how hard i try.

heh. a little bitter still? i am trying very very hard to move out of the bitterness. to find some road to forgiveness -- forgiving those heartless bastards. but man, that is a hard road to find. map or no map, it is difficult. and all i can do is trust that wonderful, universal healer, time. and trust and believe in myself. and luckily, the latter sentence is coming pretty easily.

wow. where did that rant come from? :) maybe it is part of that elusive road i so want to find.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

happy birthday mama

photo found on

so what's your idea of heaven? mine is sitting in a big comfy adirondack chair that is in the sun but with dappled shade from the huge trees that loom near by. oh, and the chair is in the big sur river. welcome to the big sur river inn. and that is where my mom and i went today, but only with not-enough-time-to-spare, so we just looked on at the people enjoying said adirondacks and said sun and said dappled shade and said big sur river. and we didn't even curse them. no. we let them have their happiness, knowing soon enough it would be us in those chairs and others looking on from the lawn...

being able to spend a day in the middle of the week in big sur, in the month of may... well what else can you say but life is good and dear god knock on some wood.

today is my mom's birthday (which she shares with the queen of cool and also my aunt, miss stella; oh, and also the blowing of the top of washington's mount st. helen's). and so the two of us jumped in the car and headed up highway one into the land of sheer bliss.

blue sky. blue ocean. okay and yes, wind up the proverbial yin yang, but it ain't so bad when you are simply in the car driving. elephant seals. white caps. beautiful beaches. quick pit stops. and then we hit mecca (aka the phoenix gift shop).

the phoenix bookstore is basically our given, unspoken, simply understood big sur Destination. we love it. and as far as gifty-types of stores goes, this one is simply inspirational. lots of creativity, from the things they sell to the way they display them. and then there is the view. and then there is nepenthe.

nepenthe is the Restaurant with the View up above the phoenix. they serve $13 burgers (to get fries be prepared to shell out another $8) with a view that just might heal any stress-related illness you may have. i think the view is so therapeutic that it can even save troubled marraiges, ongoing psorisis, any middle east conflict, and/or make chris matthews french kiss al franken with real and sincere passion. this view. i tell you. it's really like the burger cost $3 but comes with a $10 view charge. a $10 ambiance tax. a $10 you're lucky we even let you sit here gratuity.

and you pay it and you don't care that it is ridiculous and ohmigod you just figured out the key to world peace. time to order some triple berry pie! this waitress is the best! and happy birthday mama! thank you for having a birthday and letting me tag along on your coastal lacksidaisical meandering celebration. and that, more than any river-situated adirondack chair, is my own slice of heaven.

x's and o's to my mom and all moms out there.

» check out the nepenthe web cam (this was our view today. the camera was pointed just over our heads)

» mile by mile, slo to montery with pictures

» sea elephant cam

Monday, May 17, 2004

ai yi yi

i've been slowly returning to yoga. in march i took an intro class, really trying to facilitate the guy i was seeing getting into yoga. i think he liked it. i can't tell if he was just doing it for me. but what happened instead was that i refound my yoga practice. and thank god because my body is not only stiff, but not very strong.

so i took some intro classes which are great (if you already know yoga) in making you feel like, wow -- not so bad! i can still do it....

that is til you get to a normal class. which i did last saturday (taught by my ex's wife... and i wonder if enough time goes by where an ex is no longer ex simply because it was a whole nother life when you knew each other? even tho he is my ex with the capital E. so who knows). she is a great teacher. i think i like her more than my ex, whom i've always been fond of.

but she kicked my ass. kicked it. and all day yesterday i was walking aroung oohing and owing, slowly coming the realization that my triceps and pecs have been reawakened from the dead and were none to happy about it.

so i gave myself a day of rest and returned for more ancient indian abuse this morning. yeowza. an hour and a half later and my muscles are already screaming. actually, more like a moan and a sob. my muscles are sobbing.

and you know what? i'm stoked. really stoked. really stoked to get back into it. really stoked to be getting out of my comfort(-able recliner pass me the remote) zone. so yeah. the muscles are shaking. the muscles are tight... but i think that might change semi soonly.

meanwhile, it is Free Week all week at the Yoga Centre. So you too can get back into the zone. summon your muscles back from the dead, breathe life into them, hear them moan and sob and feel really damn good about it.

» it's free week!

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

recent things

  • loretta lynn: van lear rose (delicious and i found that the deeper you get into it the better it gets)

  • the mammals: rock that babe (folky grandkids tradition with cuban beats too)

  • supersize me (can't wait)

  • hymn (decode your apple itunes for infinite burns)

last night i worked late and listened to archived fresh air shows. surprisingly interesting interview with lisa kudrow. she said a couple things that really resonated and i wonder if the universe is trying to whisper something into my ear.

rekindling: long talks with old friend tami this morning. and then to top it off, long talk with her parents afterwards. these old friends are more like sisters, uncles, aunts.

Monday, May 10, 2004

spyware begone

Okay folks, listen up. I don't know when my poor sweet little innocent computer got infected with a trojan, but it did and it sucks.

What is a trojan? A trojan is a secret application that is downloaded via another application. Either you think you downloaded X, nothing happens and the trojan (not application X) infiltrates your system OR you hit some evil web site that secrets the trojan onto your computer... either way, the trojan can be benign, but don't count on it. Usually the Trojan is planted as spyware -- it will spy on you: the sites you go to, the searches you do on Google. I'm sure they do much worse like get your usernames and passwords and et cetera. (Learn more).

What can you do about it? Chances are your current anti-virus protection apps are not enough. You need to install anti-spyware software, and maybe (as in my case) more than one application. I am using Spybot Search and Destroy and Hijack This. On top of all of this I am now using the Google Toolbar which doesn't allow popups, which is a very nice feature.

Meanwhile, not sure if you are infected? Some of the things I saw were strictly during my web surfing: first of all, popup mania. Grrrrr! Then, Google mahem. Whenever I would do a search on google, the second, third and fourth entry on every results page would be links to (the real evil doers that Bush is always talking about), defender.volez, and some other lowlife scumbag type of web hijacker. So infuriating. Gar!

Let me tell you, I have spent at least 10 hours over the past week fighting this thing. You don't need to do it little-by-little, like me: just take my advice.
  1. Get your Windows Updates

  2. Download Spybot Search and Destroy

  3. Disable popups (you could use the Google ToolBar)

  4. Download Hijack This (but get help to use it if you are not a really proficient user)

  5. Go to Spyware Warriors (this site is great!) They will help you through the Hijack this installation and usage. These guys are really nice and really knowledgeable. I don't know who they are, but I think I love them.

» What is a Trojan?
» Spybot Search and Destroy
» Hijack This
» Spyware Warriors
» about the coolwebsearch trojan/scumware
a couple more three things

my current love affair has to do with sandhill cranes. a couple of issues of nat'l geographic back had a very cool article about cranes. cranes are beautiful. who knew? i live where there aren't any cranes. but now i'm ready to travel to canada and/or alaska just to see them. problem with that is that they are afraid of people and fly off.

new tunes for mama. i got my mom the new loretta lynn for mother's day. problem was, when she got to my house yesterday st. paul sunday was playing a really amazing a capella group called anonymous 4. so we had to go to boo boo's right away to buy anonymous 4. and while the loretta lynn is really good and who can resist jack white in his old-timey backwood carnation?, anonymous 4 is a choir full of angels. well, four anonymous angels.

and now i remember yesterday's third thing. carsten's pictures. damn that carsten, never writing in his blog and if he does it's always fight-fight-fight then gah-i-love-her. hrmph. so sometimes i forget to check in. but yesterday i did and i'm glad cuz he had some cool new pics up. one of him. one of yoda ali (which is my current desktop picture). and then a couple others... so you gotta love him despite all the fighting and making up.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

a couple three things

mother's day was fun. My mom and I are great meandering cohorts. I like to meander. She likes to meander. We meander well. So today was a lazy lacksidaisical Mother's Day which started with the "I don't know, what do you want to do" variety of suggestions and ended with us cruising up highway one to Cambria. First off, lunch at Robin's with the world's maddest waitress. Oh man. She was pissed. And we tried to not take it personally (you know, who really needs a water glass refilled or even a drink order at all?) and then to kill-her-with-kindess (we tipped 25% — think of it as a tip for humanity; maybe it cheered her up; let's hope so). [sidenote 1: this is the first and only bad wait experience we've ever had at Robin's and we've eaten there a lot]. [sidenote 2: food was awesome!]. Then it was this shop and that shop which were followed by this idea and that idea for a myriad of fun little creative projects.

Hat tip: The Paper Omelette. This is the store I wish I had. She lives the life I should be living. This store is Yum. Paper yum. Inky yum. Dreamy creamy book blissery yum. Get thy butt there and pronto.

church of dance. Heh-heh-hello. Tonight was the first ever Dance Church at the Yoga Centre and it was fuh-hun. Ninety minutes of free form dance to near east, middle east and right-in-the-middle africa beats. This is a new deal, tonight we were Beta Testing the plan and can I just say how stoked I was to be there for Dance Church v. 1.0. Different music each and every Sunday. Sometimes Live. Sometimes DJ. Candles all around the room. Open minds and fluid bodies. And you all need to come and check it out for yourselves.

this place saved. Oh shoot. I know I had a third thought. Hrm. Something something something which was going to be cool and fun and hmmm what else. God. I'm drawing a blank. Blank blank blank. Okay, I'll fill this blank in at a later date.

Last night Shane and I went to see the Hungarian movie Hukkle after a quick bite to eat at b.whiched, the new and very cute though yuppie, sandwich shop. He had two glasses of sangria and I had one glass of quite alcohol-free mango iced tea, yet Shane was the one who understood Hukkle, while I thought that it was some pastoral, non-verbal Slacker-like movie where people just happened to be dying.

It was a murder-mystery-whodunnit, it seems, but I swear to God I didn't get it until Shane said so on our walk home. My official excuse is that I couldn't see the forest in the trees. Hukkle is completely dialogue-less. It focuses on the beauty (or at least the watched detail) of the mundane, the taken-for-granted, the every day. It would make the lungs filling with air seem like a minor miracle or at least a collossal feat of great effort and magic. I was so engrossed with the blown-up nuances, the emphasized sounds of effort, that the bigger picture was a blurred jumble of background color and shape.

We initially went to see Touching the Void (hey — the adult film industry doesn't even need to come up with a clever title for their remake of this one). But it seemed so did a whole house full of other people. We were stuck in the second row and snuck out after the trailers to get our money back. Instead we were lured into a parallel theatre still showing its own trailers and we ducked in to watch the silent but deadly Hungarian movie.

if you blink you miss it

I started 2004 seeing someone and that was fun. I know I am this awful statistic of single-late-30-something female but if I am really honest and if you can sustain your cultural disbelief I will tell you what is true for me: life is good. I am surrounded by people I totally dig, fully respect, and love love love to spend my time with. My friendships with Shane and Dan sometimes just downright floor me. The drama in my life is really minimal while the fun and fullness is almost too much to bear (and maybe I'll address that later) (meanwhile I just knock on wood). But that's not my point. My NY's romance was short lived, three months, and it's funny how quickly life resumes its former shape. Shaney and I stopped into McCarthy's to see who was there and I was asked "oh, you're not at T's party, hmm?" and I just kind of chuckled and said, "I don't think I'm on that must-call list anymore." And that is fine. Maybe we are just like those little kid toys that you put into water and they expand 10x their size. You take them out of water and they presto-change-o into the original incarnation like nothing happened.

Or maybe we are changed forever. Who knows. Maybe this blog would be better if it were more like Hukkle: no words.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

hail the spybot search and destroy prince charmings

I've been a Mac user for most of my life and have owned three macs and one iPod, not to mention working as a vendor for Apple for a year, taking care of their user group for a year, working the different Apple booths in NY, Chicago and San Francisco on multiple occasions. I'm a bonafide Apple lovah.

But about five months ago I took a switch and got my first PC. I have worked (begrudgingly) on them for forever. (I usually have both a PC and a Mac on my desktop). But this is the first one actually in my house.

And, you know, I've really liked it. Alot. The little iBook is still in daily (or atleast weekly) use and is great for when I need to be mobile. But I gotta say in the grand scheme of things, I've really enjoyed the little PC beaut I've been driving since December.

Until a couple of days ago when straight outta nowhere pop up ads began to beseech my computer. Every friggin' five minutes a new pop up. This didn't really surprise me as I've been the unwitting recipient of not one but two wormy-type-of-dealies in the last month and a half. And one of them set up shop, opened a port and started beaming home letters to Mama. Or that is what I think as the great Internet itself began to treat my sweet little PC-that-could like a regular circular file.

Popup popup popup.

And because I am my own admin department (and if you knew me you would know how truly pathetic that is), I tried my best and set up my security parameters to be higher and required all scripts to be approved and being on the computer just began to be a huge bummer. Prompts every 30 seconds and popups every five minutes and ohmigod how am i supposed to get anything done? How?

So I called Chester. Trusted Admin of Yore. And Chester said get spyware blocking software. Well duh, says I, but where and which and can I trust them and how much does it cost.

And so my dear friends I was introduced to SpyBot Search and Destroy, a very sweet shareware program that is dedicated to it's creator's girlfriend! He would love to have money, but if you have none he just asks that you say a prayer for him and for his Dream Girl. But I digress, I ran the SpyBot and over 140 bad files were found and burned upon capture. Not just burned. Tortured. Ridiculed. We (me and the SpyBot) sent them over to live with the Mean and Bad US GI's who've been treating the Iraqi POWs so poorly (not making fun of the Iraqis or the situation; that is just horrid). And then we burned them. And stuck our tongues out. Bye Bye Spy.

And now... only 30 minutes after a successful download, install, read the tutorial, run, torture and burn? The PC is lovely again. Sigh. Life is good.

(But am still glad I had the iBook to fall back on in the interim.)

» SpyBot Search and Destroy
» Check out Chester's Central Coast Mountain Bike Trail pics(lots of KB in there)

new meaning for chicken dance

And now for something a little light hearted. The Subservient Chicken. Go there now and state your command. I myself made him sit (I started out easy), pluck the ground, do an Irish dance, bow, fly like an eagle and strut like King Tut. I love that chicken, man. Despite the creepiness. (Sidenote: Macker? Is that you?)

» Dominate the Subservient Chicken


i sent my friend staysh, the current Queen of the Corn Field and proprietor of The Whitespace Oasis (or is it just Oasis now?) blogdom, the book the devil wears prada. and she in return sent me the overheard of the day.

staysh: it's like an alternate universe for the svelte. earthlings can peer at it through special glasses but burn up upon entering the atmosphere.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

the quiet may days

May's gotten off to a pretty full start and I find myself tongue tied. Or is that finger tied? Nothing to say. Nothing. I could resort to hand gestures and over-the-top expressions, but the web isn't really conducive to that type of communication. Yet.

Saturday, May 01, 2004

"Half the sky belongs to Shakespeare and the other half to Dante." — Harriet Rubin
already this morning

it was up up up early this morning to ride bikes to the farmer's markets. hellos to all we saw, but having just been to the market on thursday, all i got were three oranges and three grapefruits. still. yum. but nothing beats the early morning meandering bike ride. well, maybe waffles and coffee afterwards. but it's really the whole shebang.

if i had more money i'd be at the pine mountain music festival today. but i just bought my live oak ticket, so i'm having to do a little sacrifice. it's beautiful today. ah. whatever. it's beautiful every day. love to all.

You are the fox.

Saint Exupery's 'The Little Prince' Quiz.
brought to you by Quizilla