Tuesday, January 31, 2006

personality disorder test

Paranoid Disorder:Low
Schizoid Disorder:Low
Schizotypal Disorder:Low
Antisocial Disorder:Low
Borderline Disorder:Low
Histrionic Disorder:Low
Narcissistic Disorder:Moderate
Avoidant Disorder:Low
Dependent Disorder:Low
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder:Moderate

-- Personality Disorder Test - Take It! --
-- Personality Disorders --

I wanted to post this because I don't really understand how paying attention to details, spending time on a project to ensure perfection, having a high self-esteem, and having the mind set that other people can be lazy asses therefore you would rather work alone than with them can be symptoms of a disorder!! What is wrong with the imbecile who put this test together? They must be those aforementioned lazy asses who are trying to give reasons why they are so much better than people who are genuinely productive.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Problems with Current Distribution Schedules for Pandemic Vaccines

I wrote this last semester for my Microbiology class. I hope you enjoy reading it just as much as I enjoyed writing it! (My reference list is available.)

In class I have been intrigued by our studies of diseases: the prevention, the outcomes, and the impacts on society. I have been terrified some days, but I have come to a different understanding of our intimate relationship with diseases; we need them in order to thrive. Diseases, epidemics, and pandemics are a way of life, evolutionary eliminators, and should not be considered the imminent threats they disguise themselves as. I am going to try to show the balance Earth is trying to maintain in allowing for diseases, particularly the looming influenza pandemic.

The history of influenza pandemics dates back to at least the sixteenth century. The more widely known 1918 pandemic of the “Spanish flu” is believed to have originated in U.S. military bases. It spread to approximately 20 – 40 % of the world’s population killing an estimated 40 million people from complications arising from the initial influenza infection. Contrary to modern thought, the age group to suffer the most complications (and eventually deaths) was the 20-40 year olds. In other commonly known influenza pandemics, the virus mostly infected children, adolescents, and young adults; which suggests that some of the elderly had acquired immunity against it. (Sarubbi)

Today, if a pandemic were to strike, some of the groups characterized at “high risk” are: “all children aged 6 to 23 months, adults aged 65 years and older, all women who will be pregnant during the influenza season, health-care workers involved in direct patient care, and persons 2 to 64 with chronic medical conditions (Campos-Outcalt, D).” I understand both the ethical and political reasons behind this, and I don’t agree with them. According to Szucs, 37% of children below the age of 20 are infected with influenza every year. It also has been shown in several studies that vaccines given to children are highly effective in preventing the spread of the flu (Clinician Reviews & Szucs). Compared to children, only 10 % of the elderly over the age of 60 get infected. Data has also been found that “despite a 15% to 25% increase in the rate of flu vaccine coverage in the elderly during the past 25 years, mortality from influenza has remained flat over the past 20 years (Russell, J.).” Given these numbers one can conclude that the children need to be placed in the highest priority group to receive vaccines whereas vaccines for the elderly need to be limited.

It is estimated by the Center for Disease Control that the total cost of a pandemic would be around $166.6 billion. “Indirect costs of influenza can account for 80-90% of the total costs and stem largely from absenteeism and loss of work productivity (Szucs).” Being as the effectiveness of the influenza vaccine is proven to be greater among children and healthy adults, it would be more cost efficient to vaccinate those age groups more than the elderly. If you consider an extreme vaccination plan where the entire elderly population were to be vaccinated, very few young people were, and even fewer “healthy adults,” most of the deaths would occur in the working “healthy adult” range, and thus less income would be generated as a whole. Not to mention, one must also consider lost income of working families dealing with sick children. If the elderly is already not contributing to the national gross product, they are going to suffer even more if they lose their support (adults who pay taxes and provide care for the elderly). Essentially, it doesn’t make much sense to vaccinate an already dieing population, when saving the healthy is completely overlooked. The World Health Organization wants countries to stockpile enough vaccine for at least 25% of their populations. If there is such a shortfall of vaccines, one can assume that vaccine shortage distribution rules (as in the 2004-2005 season) would be put into effect.

The total U.S. population estimated to die from the pandemic is between 89,000 and 207, 000. If we look at this from a larger scale, this is just evolution in progress. The population of the entire United States of America is 297,758,039 (U.S. Census Bureau). If the maximum number of people were to die, it would only be 0.07% of the population; meaning only 7 in 10,000 people would die. In Bozeman alone, the absolute maximum number of people that would die would only be about 30. On an ethical scale, that is horrible. One person could be someone’s loved one, parent, child, etc., but, it does not justify the apparent media need to scare the public into thinking everyone is going to die. Plus, the people that will survive the pandemic will be that much stronger against any other similar virus that decides to make additional rounds.

According to Wikipedia, Online Encyclopedia, “evolution is the process by which populations of organisms acquire and pass on novel traits from generation to generation, affecting the overall makeup of the population.” If a pandemic were to hit, those who are infected and survive will essentially create a hybrid of people who will carry some immunity against any future influenza outbreak. In the influenza pandemic of 1967, it is believed that since a previous pandemic in 1957 was caused by similar viruses, “a degree of immunity may have moderated the disease (Sarubbi).” The potential H5N1 virus is evolving to better suit its needs, I think it is time humans follow the same path; therefore a pandemic would be the appropriate means for that movement.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

syriana experience

The movie Syriana has been out for a couple weeks now, and I kept pushing back the day that I would see it. I had read critiques from environmentalists about it, and they enjoyed the movie and were proud of the messages that it tried to convey. I don't really consider reviews when I'm interested in watching movies. Actually, I had even forgotten about what those critics said. Anyways, I'm straying from what I want to say.

That movie was the most touching and emotionally strong movie I have seen. Before I had watched it, I had been thinking in general why does a person have to define what they like about something in order for their feelings to be valid? Couldn't people just enjoy something for the sake of just enjoying it? Can't their feelings of pleasure just come from simple things? What makes that so fricken wrong? Thus, I've come to realize that it is okay for one to just enjoy something for the feelings of delight that it brings, but it does make more an impact if you can define what it is that you like. (Accordding to Kant, it is the lack of understanding that brings us the most pleasure when viewing art. Imagination takes over and fills in where ever the understanding lacks.)

I am reluctant in saying this because I know that there are people fighting "wars" for my supposed sake. But this is their choice and I am free to make any opinion. Okay, so if you read this take it with a grain of salt and finish reading it before you judge...actually, if you don't, you honestly aren't worth any of my time.

Even though it is claimed to be "fictional," I have never been so disgraced to be an American. I enjoyed how it chronicled different people's lives who were all intertwined but who obviously had different stakes in Iran and Iranian oil. There were the corrupt Americans (go figure), the lawyer investigating them, an FBI hit man who infiltrated Iranian groups, a young Iranian who lost work and is just trying to help support his parents who goes off to live and learn in an Islamic community, the Iranian princes who are vying for their father's position, and a consultant who is trying to optimize his company's bottom line and loses a son and almost a family in the process.

What really got me, is that even though there are people wanting to change their country for the better are killed by the Americans because they wouldn't help them. For instance (I'm totally going to ruin the movie for someone who hasn't seen it), the oldest Iranian prince who was set to inherit his father's oil wanted to rebuild his country how it used to be. He wanted to bring money back into his country and not let the Americans build bases. Classically, his jealous younger brother wanted more money and didn't want to do what his brother did, and he would allow American corruption to surround his reign. Thus, he was ultimately given the oil, but his brother was going to fight him and still do what he could. The Americans feared his power and lack of "cooperation" and killed him. Just like that. Bam, a satellite controlled bomb is sent out to kill him and his family in FUCKING COLD BLOOD.

Being an American, aren't our foundational values to better yourself through work and struggle? Aren't we to stand up for what we believe in and fight till its death fairly? Aren't we as Americans all created equally regardless of religion, race, economic standing? THEN WHY DO WE HAVE TOP POLITICIANS WHO ARE SO GREEDY THAT THEY NEED TO BE IN FACT TERRORISTS THEMSELVES?!

There is no wonder in my mind why there are people in the world who would love to see us suffer just as much as we have made others suffer. I partially respect them; for they are the ones who have the true American spirit of betterment. They know they are getting fucked and they aren't sitting down about it. They are taking a stand and actually doing something about their mistreatment than sitting back and whining about it. Those in prisons and such really have no say, but anyone that thinks torture or cruel punishment is necessary for us to learn security threats really needs to read 1984.

I guess I really haven't said what I liked about the movie. I liked how it made me feel afterward and even today. That is also what I didn't like about it. It made me have such flood of emotions, I couldn't control it. Even though the story is sad, people do die, that isn't what hit me. I am so disappointed by our greedily tactics I am disgraced to be known as an American. It feels pointless to want to help change American attitudes because there are so many people out there who don't care about where our country is heading, what we do, or why we do it. So, where does one start? This is where I'm at right now. This is what makes me so upset and moved by the movie...yes, a simple movie.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

"sushi! sushi! sush! ...mmm I smell sushi! There in that bag! I can't read! Please, Please give me what's in the bag.... chewy, nummy, healthy sushi!

Okay for the title I tried to copy the Beggin' Strips commercial. It kind of worked. It was my favorite commercial back in the day. (Most sushi isn't "smokey," so I left that part out, and most appropriately substituted for it.) In case nobody knows this, I LOVE SUSHI! But, over the course of my affection for it, I have learned that not all sushi is created equally. Take basic salmon for instance. The first time I had sushi, I was a little timid about getting something raw (my nutrition and microbiology classes both taught me what kind of organisms can live in raw food), so I got something that was smoked. A smoked philly roll. (A specialty at Dave's.) The salmon was okay, but since it was smoked, i wasn't entirely sure if I didn't like it because it was smoked or if fish didn't float my boat... Ahhh Ha Ha... get it, fish don't float my boat, eh! That was a knee slapper! Moving on... I also tried a spicy tuna roll (raw). It was pretty good, but I'm not a fan of spicy stuff. I like to taste my food for the sake of the food itself, not necessarily the spices on top.

The next time I had sushi, I had a philly in the raw...with raw salmon. Oh my gosh it was so blissful! I love that roll, and now whenever I go to Dave's I always get that. End of story.

How boring would that be though? I figured that since that was so good and I had gone out on a daring limb to try it, maybe there were other kinds that tasted even better? So, I started sampling different kinds. Started with Yellowtail, and that was again, awesome! Then I tried Shark... (I think), and it was okay. I tried cooked eel in a barbeque-like sauce, and it was okay. Then I tried was the most disgusting thing ever! It tasted like you stuck your head in a really dirty fish tank and licked the side of the glass. It was so nasty! I found out later that it is pickled, and maybe that had something to do with it. But it was so gross! If you take one thing from this post, NEVER EVER EVER EAT MACKEREL SUSHI! I was so disgusted, my stomach hurt for the rest of the evening and part of the next day. But, I wasn't entirely turned off to trying new sushi, so I got a hamachi collar one night. I figured since I liked the Yellowtail (aka Hamachi) I would like the collar. But, there is a huge difference, the hamachi collar is fried. So it is like fried fish. But it left a funky feeling in my stomach yet again.

Now, I'm afraid to say, my daring streak with sushi has ended. I know what I like, I have tried almost all the different types of fish, and in some ways I'm glad, but I'm absolutely positive that I could have lived without the mackerel. But, I always wonder, what if I felt that way about everything? What if I never tried anything new? But what if everything that I tried was horrible compared to what I know I like? Where do you draw the line? What is better? To try new things for the sake of finding something else that brings you joy? Or do you stick with the tried and true?

Oh yeah, I also tried a roll called the Bayou with spicy crawfish, and that was pretty good, but a little spicy for me. You should see me trying to dab a pin sized drop of wasabi on my rolls, it is probably hysterical. I haven't tried roe yet. (The little beads of fish eggs.) I've heard they are good, but those people also told me the collar was good. I will eventually try them, but not tonight or this month. Maybe in March I'll do it. Any other good sushi recommendations are always accepted!

Essential Snowboarding Lingo

Winter Storm Warning ~ you had better drop everything and get ready for some awesome snow! Drive carefully, and don't forget that if for some strange reason you happen to get too much snow, the mountain may be forced to close. (Actually happened at Bridger in December of 2003.)

Sick ~ "Dude, that run was so sick!" ...You have to almost be mentally sick to want to take that run. (i.e. the couloirs on face of Lone Peak).

Ski Patrol ~ These guys and gals can be your best friends when you get hurt or if you really want to know what the conditions are like in some totally "sick" parts of the mountain. But, if they catch you ducking ropes or jumping off lifts (who is retarded enough to do that anyways?) they will confiscate your pass. Who can blame them, though? They don't want to be looking for your dumb ass in the middle of a blizzard if you duck a rope and get lost, but they will because they don't get paid.

Hit the Trees ~ Not to be taken literally. One can find some awesome snow tucked in the trees if you know where to go and how to do it. I'm still learning, so I take the 'baby' tree runs. When they open up and you can glide on top of the untouched powder working your way around the obstacles, it is really sick. Although they are fun, one has to be extremely cautious of not running into the trees (for obvious reasons) or falling into them because since the snow is really deep, it will suck you in and that is how people die. It is hard to dig yourself and gear out of the snow.

The signs ~ Subconsciously, I think that the signs marking the difficulty of runs are really meant to scare away novice snow enthusiasts. If it is a green circle, it may be easy, but easy is relative. Think about it, if you saw something that was a double or triple black diamond, you probably wouldn't attempt it because you would think it to be too difficult, but how would you really know until you actually took the stinkin' run? This has happened to me. I have always been afraid of taking the tram down because it is a ooooooooohhhhhhhh black diamond, but it was a walk in the metaphorical park, and I loved it! Maybe it helped that the day's conditions were perfect and had they been otherwise, I could see it being called a black diamond run. (But then it would have to be a sheet of vertical ice with wind gusts up to 40 miles an hour...which isn't impossible, but the run would be closed anyways.) I guess what I'm trying to say is that look at these signs with a subjective p.o.v. If you think it might be too difficult don't take it, but don't be discouraged or encouraged because somebody else said it was hard or easy for them (or 'most' people).

I can't really think of any more. If anybody does have some to add write a comment!

Friday, January 13, 2006

School, school what a drool

Okay, maybe it isn't that bad, but sometimes it seems like it. I like to learn things and progress to the ultimate school goal, graduation. But right now, it seems like I'm just treading water. I have to wait to take the classes that I have to take (the nursing department is so full that they require you to take them certain semesters). I suppose that is fine because now I can take a bunch of different 'artsy' classes. For instance, I'm taking Art Fundamentals, Aesthetics and the Arts (a philosophy class), and Foundations of Music Creation. I'm also taking Lifespan Development and Beginning Golf. I'm excited for this semester. Maybe it is because I only have class on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. But, I am also excited to learn how to play the keyboard and I am definitely excited to take A.F. because it will allow me to take more advanced art classes next semester.

Barbeque Pulled Pork Recipe

This recipe is one of my most favorite and easiest to make. You just need the best invention ever, a crock pot!
3 lbs. pork (cubed will cook faster)
1 large onion chopped
1 or 2 green peppers chopped
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
6 oz. can tomato paste
1/2 tbsp Chii powder
1/2 tsp red pepper (gives it a bite)
1 tsp dry mustard
2 tsp salt
2 tsp Worchestire Sauce

I usually use boneless country style pork ribs. Get a pan scorching hot, toss pork in, and sear both sides. I've heard this helps preserve the tenderness and moisture. I found it easiest to mix all of the other ingredients together before adding the pork. Once everything is in the pot, turn the heat onto high and sit back and relax...(or go to work/school). Cook it for about 4 - 5 hours. After it is cooked, take two forks and shred the meat. Stir again. Serve on hamburger buns.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Parents; Why don't we get a manual?

My dad is constantly on my case about anything. I am a good student, don't do drugs, hardly ever drink, I don't have a job, but it isn't like I'm afraid to work...actually I take that back, I do have a job, but I only work about four hours a month. However, I am a procrastinator. I have sent christmas gifts late (even though the post office told me it would get there in time). And that folks, is my big sin. I know my opinion about this, he should be happy just to get something from a broke ass college student. He returned the presents I sent him to me, and refuses to talk to me. WHAT A JACK! Everything that he has ever gotten me has been useless to me. (Even though I had asked for something much more important.)

For instance my truck, a-waiting-to-die-S-10, wanted ever so badly to be driven off a cliff in Southern Montana. My dad has known about my truck and how I needed a new vehicle for a year. So, he promised me that he would find me another vehicle. I sent him info about the most appropriate vehicle able to withstand and safely drive in a foot of fresh snow. (Pretty much an all wheel drive Subuaru Outback.) What does he do? Buys me a 1996 Corvette, and brings it to me during the end of March, beginning of April. Oh and guess what happens a week later... It snows! Big surprise there. But, before he leaves, he tells me that if I don't like it, I can do whatever I want with it. He said, if I can sell it, go right ahead. Exact words. So, I figured with the 15K from the Corvette, I could afford to buy a nice Outback. Plus, have a ton of cash left over (I wanted to start investing now.) Well, he wasn't up for that idea. (He changes his mind as much as I do.) He told me that he would sell it and find me a better car.

Well, it has been 9 months, and when I bring it up, he says he doesn't have any money right now, because he has decided to keep the car for himself as yet another toy. This wouldn't upset me so much if he fulfilled other parental responsibilities, but he doesn't have to pay for anything of mine. I know I'm whining about this, and if I were to be resoponsible about it, I would just get a better job, save up money, and buy my own. But, this to me is a very unrealistic idea, as I couldn't afford to save money and still try to make ends meet. Seriously, am I acting like a selfish brat? Or is he?

At least my mom has come to my rescue. Over the break she gave me her 89 Jeep Cherokee, and for that I am very thankful. My mom has always been there when my dad is a jerk. I unconditionally love my mom and am proud of everything that she has overcome.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

another perfect description

How You Are In Love

You take a while to fall in love with someone. Trust takes time.

You tend to give more than take in relationships.

You need your space and privacy. You don't like to be smothered.

You love your partner unconditionally and don't try to make them change.

You stay in love for a long time, even if you aren't loved back. When you fall, you fall hard.

I would say it is a perfect description

Your Birthdate: September 24

You understand people well and are a natural born therapist.
A peacemaker, people always seem to get along when you are around.
You tend to be a father or mother figure to friends, even to those older than you.
You enjoy your role, and you find that you are close to many people.

Your strength: Your devotion

Your weakness: Reliance on others for happiness

Your power color: Lilac

Your power symbol: Heart

Your power month: June

"Letter to John" - Ani

Dear John,

If distance were no obstacle, would you long to hold me in your arms? Would you brush back my hair to whisper sweet nothings in my ear? Would you let me caress every inch of your incredibly soft skin? Would you wish me in your life?

All I want is to tell you how I feel for you. Because what if you feel the same? If I never told you, this opportunity would pass. I would much rather tell you my feelings and have you completely reject me than live with that ache of constant wondering. They say it is best to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.

This is the difficult part...I've also heard that if the guy doesn't make the first couple moves, he's not that into you. I'm hoping you're the exception to this rule. Damn it, John, I don't want to be your friend. I want to feel your arms holding me in a loving embrace.

Last time we saw each other, you honestly surprised me. You flattered me, actually. Maybe I took your actions (or lack there of) the wrong way. I don't really think so. You seem to have changed so much, maybe not necessarily changed, but you have grown. Now, you amaze me. You aren’t afraid of anything. You pay attention to the little details. You are so intelligent. You make me laugh with such ease. And, you showed me a sneak peak at how you can be spontaneously romantic.

Distance is a conquerable obstacle. It is possible and pretty easy. Although, I will not budge until I know how you feel. I know if this doesn’t work out everything will be fine. I will search for a guy similar to you but will find someon better in ways I’ve never imagined. If this is the case, I want to thank you. Thank you for showing me that truly great guys do exist. Thank you for inadvertently teaching me not to settle, and also not to set my expectations too high that they just end up disappointing me. Thanks John, for everything.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

One of the most beautiful places ever...

Lately, over the break, I have been devouring an extremely unhealthy amount of movies. Particularly whatever I can find on Starz and Encore, and I've been sticking mostly to comedy and drama. These movies have been shot in some incredibly beautiful places... take After the Sunset for example... shot in the Bahamas, the characters' beautiful house sits right on the most gorgeous beach with the most incredible view of the sunset. Few things make me jealous, but this is definitely one of those things. I wish I could have been there...I wish I could be there. But I guess I have to realize the beauty that I have had a chance to see for my own and remember that I was there, and I can be there again.

It was about a year and a half ago, and I went to Ensenada for the second time. The first a year earlier (which was also wonderful). Ensenada is absolutely paradise. Except for the fact that you can't swim in the ocean because sewage from San Diego and Cali supposedly is emptied into the water and you are pretty much swimming in crap, I think they also said something about undertows too. (Seriously, it was mostly because of the undertows.) There were other things that bothered me about the place, but that is not the point of this post. In Ensenada there are very many beautiful touristy places mainly hotels and restaurants. There is this one restaurant that is particluarly magnificent. I think it is called Mar Azul. I was with my dad and a lot of people that he races with (the reason we were down there). The whole restaurant was cozy...the kind you dream of being taken to for a special evening... an excellent mariachi band was quietly playing in the background. They sat us at their biggest table with the most comfortable chairs i've ever sat in at a restaurant. The best part was the room that our table was in was right on the water. It was practically floating above the rythmic waves splashing on the rocks below. Windows were all around us. It was dusk and the sun was going to set and, we were getting settled in for our dinner and several rounds of drinks (pina coladas for me). I felt so free and unwound. A firecracker could have exploded next to my head and I wouldn't have flinched. I was trapped by the beauty of the massive ocean and brilliant sun setting ever so gently upon it. I may have partially felt this way because of the pina colada (or four). But even writing about it now, I can picture it perfectly in my mind and it brings me peace. I'm no longer jealous. From this I have realized that beauty is almost every where you look; even though sometimes you have to look hard, it is always well worth it.

Monday, January 02, 2006

My first...we'll see how this goes

I have wanted to do this for a while, but never really knew where to start. So, without hesitation, I'm going to get on with this. First, a little bit about myself...I am a nursing student in the great state of Montana. I enjoy many things such as taking pictures, cooking excellent food, sewing, playing pool, snowboarding, swimming, eating sushi, spending quality time with my friends and family, reading, and definitely browsing the internet. I have a pass to a local ski resort and I love every minute I spend up there (including the ones I spend tumbling in the snow). I love sitting on the chair lift, having a bird's eye view of the beauty that Montana has to offer. I am honestly humbled by the serenity it brings to me. I also love flying down the hill as fast as I can as well as gliding through smooth powder.
I am a sucker for country music and chick flicks. Recently I drove for a long time, and had a revelation about country music and why some people like it. I'll get into that later.
I am not looking for a relationship. I'll get into that later as well.