Daily Archives: November 20, 2015

Article: The FDA finally approved ‘Frankenfish’ — the first genetically modified animal you can eat

“The FDA finally approved ‘Frankenfish’ — the first genetically modified animal you can eat”


And you thought GMO soybeans were scary?

This article should have come out on Halloween.

I’m just speculating here, but if I wanted to make a fish that grew hugely bigger in a much smaller time than its normal cohorts, I would increase its secretion of growth hormone.

But wait: the article states that the fish are sterile.  They can’t reproduce, or so they say.  So does that mean that each fish is the subject of generic tweaking?  Sounds expensive to me.  Since the driving force behind more-for-less is money, I doubt that there is an army of experts injecting fish fry with modified DNA.  (The baby fish kind of fry, not the kind with hushpuppies.)

And what about the fact that the US won’t even allow these mega fish to be cultured in the States, but only imported from two specific sites in Canada and Panama?

And what about the article’s statement that the water in which the fish are grown must be carefully contained so that it doesn’t reach the oceans and contaminate wild fish?  This implies that there’s something in the water that is causing these fish to grow huge in a short time.  I vote for growth hormone.

Now we come to the really scary part:  since the FDA has declared these modified fish to be identical with wild-type salmon, there is no mandate to label it as GMO.

I find this terrifying on a number of levels.

One is that the FDA is scared enough about the safety of growing these monsters using the methods proposed, that it outright bans the type of aquaculture that it’s permitting us to eat products thereof.

The second is that our children are already experiencing puberty at younger and younger ages.  Where 30 years ago the average age of puberty for a girl was 12, now it’s not uncommon for a girl to have her first menstrual period at 8, in certain ethnic groups, and 10 overall.  There is evidence that this is caused by hormones used to beef up food animals and to increase milk production in dairy cows.  How do we know what the long term effects of whatever they’re putting in these fishes’ water might be on growing humans?  We won’t know for at least another generation.

The third is that since there is no labeling requirement, we have no way of knowing what we’re eating.  I’m hoping the giant fish will look different, at least.

Damn, I bought a piece of salmon at Whole Foods yesterday.  It was from a very small fish, though.  I’ll eat it anyway.

But I think this will be the last “regular” salmon I eat.  Maybe Coho, or….maybe goodbye, farmed fish.  It was such a good idea.  Aquaculture was supposed to have saved the world’s food supply.  Instead, I believe we’re headed in the opposite direction.

Lentils.  I don’t think they’ve messed with lentils yet.

A Visit

My oldest is coming come for the weekend–she heard we were going to see “The Peanuts Movie” and wanted to come too.  So she is  on her way and will be here in about an hour.  We’re also going to take Christmas pictures Saturday since she will be home and give those away for Christmas presents as usual.  So we have a busy weekend planned.

Thanksgiving should go off like normal this year–we’ll be at deer camp Thursday morning and lunchtime then go see my parents Thanksgiving night.  That is the plan so far.

I am so sleepy. I slept in until 9:30 but still feel whipped. I’ve had two Dr. Peppers so hopefully the last one will perk me up some.  I’ve gotten to the point that I sleep so hard the alarm clock doesn’t wake me up anymore.  My youngest usually comes in and wakes me up with something she needs.  So that is the way that is going. So sleepy.

Hope everyone has a good weekend!



So I am sitting here in these pajama pants I bought in my size, washed maybe twice, and it hits me…My legs are cold. Because even with socks, the pant legs leave four inches of bare leg. I am oddly proportioned. Not short, not exactly tall, but too tall to fit average height clothes apparently.

And that’s how my life feels, how I, on  whole, feel. Nothing fits me properly. I can get the waist right but not the leg length. I can get the legs long enough, but the waist is too snug.  Rarely do I find the “right” fit. And it describes bipolar to a T. There is no happy medium to be had because I don’t fit the tried and true size charts or mood charts. I am disproportionate in everything. Rather than trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, I have learned to exist over here, floating freely, on my own, isolated, outside looking in, because no matter what I do, or how hard I try…I just don’t fit. Like these pants apparently.

I still remember one of my most “wtf” moments in therapy. The counselor told me I was “failing to regulate my emotions.” Which sounded like the most ridiculous thing to say to a bipolar client. Bipolar is the epitome of emotional disregulation. My responses to things aren’t regulated because my chemicals fly wily nily. Thus the disproportion there makes absolute sense, except to the therapist. What is that? If it were as simple as regulating our emotions by sheer will, we wouldn’t need meds, we wouldn’t be advised to take them. I know some behavior can be modified by breaking old thought patterns but really…Telling a bipolar person they’re “failing” at regulating emotions they’re not even in control of, and never have been, is borderline malpractice. It’s akin to a doctor telling a pregnant woman her hormones are illogical and she just needs to “regulate” them.

So, yeah, that’s where I am today. Feeling disproportionate and castigated for being so, except as far as bipolar standards go, being disproportionate is pretty standard fucking issue.

Spook went down around seven thirty last night, slept the way though. I checked on her several times (I mean, it’s not like I slept through, wake and sleep is my thing apparently) so I was up multiple times anyway. She bounced up this morning, elated at my alarm ringtone of Sam and Dean from “Supernatural” ordering, answer the phone, you have a call, is someone gonna answer that? ANSWER the phone. That made her giggle, she wants it to be our default alarm sound now. And I asked if she felt better and she was already up and getting dressed. Thank pegacorn she rebounded quicker than I did, just hope it’s not a faux recovery like mine was. Guess she wanted that field trip so much she healed overnight.

I dealt with R’s part issue straight away, because I didn’t want him text nagging me all morning and fucking up my shows.( “How to get away with murder” was fucking awesome!) Tis another cold gloom filled day so my mood is in the “meh” zone. I almost caught up on biohazard home and one day of inertia and the being overwhelmed by the dish as well as a kid that’s sick…I’m drowning once again in housework.

(For the record, telling me my place is a pigsty is NOT helpful, otherwise my mother would have motivated me 20 years ago, so if you ever visit…Don’t do that. I will likely launch you out a window if anyone does anything to set off my mommy issues. Besides, it’s rude. An offer to help with dishes, helpful. Reminding me of my housekeeping shortcomings…Hindrance. Just saying, I’m hypersensitive about this particular shortcoming because I am supposed to care and yet…truthfully, it’s not even in my top ten of priorities.)And ya know, many people have family and roommates they live with who help out. I’ve got me and a kid. No one helps me. So if my pigsty falls short of standards…Keep that in mind. I am TRYING. If guilt and self loathing motivated the place would be a surgical suite. One of the reasons I never want Mrs R coming over, I couldn’t meet her standards hopped up on speed and with a cleaning crew.)

Yeah, I know. No one can see my mess so I am the one harping on it, why don’t I shut the fuck up and fix it or accept it. Because I truly do feel shitty about it. Much like holding a job, though, guilt and sheer willpower don’t make it happen. Kind of a sore spot with me because I have excessively low standards and everyone else it seems has excessively high standards. On the plus side, at least I keep my kid and myself clean. It’s something. Hell, at this point, it’s a damned marathon and I won it.

One more thing that’s disproportionate ( and I reminded constantly)- the perpetual exhaustion of depression. “You don’t work, why are you so tired?” You don’t know until you are *there*. You can’t know. I wouldn’t be able to fathom it either if I didn’t live it. I loathe it, resent it, try to battle through it…It’s depression. It’s legit. Otherwise, I’d be a bohemian in New York going to sleazy underground metal clubs and taking my kid to art museums instead of rotting in the rural midwest and having no grasp of the future except to make it another day without chugging Drano.

Ray of fucking sunshine, ain’t I?

Well, here’s some optimism: it’s the weekend. I pick my kid up today and I am beholden to a schedule no more for two days. There, that’s my positive thought.

And methinks tonight I will have Mangoritas as I have been such a good girl. Maybe fall asleep without a ton of sleeping pills taken throughout the two hour sleep and wake cycle. A ghoul can dream. Sometimes, I miss the ass trash shrink who nearly killed me with the meds but told me I was allowed a glass of wine at bedtime rather than shoveling out sleeping pills. The wine helped way more.




Egyptian TV Host: ISIS Is Israeli-British-American Made, Al-Baghdadi a Jew

Had your daily dose of the absurd yet?  This won’t take long.  I laughed so hard, my coffee went up my nose!.


I Miss Her (and I Take Full Responsibility)

It hasn’t been an exceptionally long time since we’ve talked, has it?  I have started to feel poorly the last few days about not having the privilege to talk to you on the phone or even text back and forth with you, and so I obsessively counted the days since your last incoming call on my phone log.  Six days.  Soon to be seven, because it is 11:30pm and I am almost certain you are asleep.

I can hear you now, saying that isn’t so long.  I know you are busy with a real job, one like which I will never again hold.  I know you have many house projects, most of a sort that I just can’t identify with.  In addition, you have friends that demand your attention, bills that must be paid, cakes to be baked, and super-mom feats to accomplish.  None of those are things that happen in my day-to-day life, and, getting down to brass tacks, most of them never will.

I’m pretty sure, if I asked you, that you would say it’s no big deal…all of these things that you do.  I am the older sister, but you have been my hero for years.  I look up to you, I admire you, sometimes, perhaps more often than I would like to mention, I envy you a little.

I know your life isn’t easy, that there is nothing simple about raising an almost-two-year-old while working full-time and flipping one house and remodeling another and maintaining a relationship with your husband, not even skimming the top of all the other amazing things that you do.

It is completely selfish of me to miss the days when you were easy to get ahold of and I could grab ahold of a little bit of your time and press you close to me and feel like we were breathing the same air — that we had managed to grow up together and not kill each other and still be on speaking terms, even hugging terms.

Some days it breaks my heart when I think of my nephew, and I think that I will never have a bond like you have with any child of my own.  Some days it absolutely kills me.  But when I see you two together, and neither of you are paying any attention to the world around you, the love I see in its purest form blinds me.

That little guy has the best mommy that any child could ask for.  I know with the strongest conviction of my heart because his mommy has always been my sister.  My sister has always shown the bravest love, the most understanding, the highest respect, and the most tempered patience to me.  If she can shine that light a little further, which I know she can, and focus it on him (which I know she does and will and will always), he is going to be even more special than we could ever have imagined.

For right now, I will be a little selfish in my tears, and I’ll think of my sister and look forward to the next time we can have a little chat.  In the meantime, I’ll miss her, because that is just how I operate.  But mostly I think I will sit and smile and keep her in my thoughts, as she is human, like the rest of us, and could maybe use a little sisterly happy-thoughts headed her way.


Filed under: Family, The People That Love Me Tagged: Family, love, relationships, sisters

Brain fold tied to hallucinations

http://mobile.the-scientist.com/article/44547/brain-fold-tied-to-hallucinationsThe Scientist

The NutshellThe Scientist

Brain Fold Tied to Hallucinations

A shorter crease in the medial prefrontal cortex is linked with a higher risk of schizophrenics experiencing hallucinations.

By Kerry Grens | November 19, 2015

People with schizophrenia who experience hallucinations are more likely to have a certain contour to their brain—specifically, a shorter groove in the medial prefrontal cortex called the paracingulate sulcus (PCS). That’s according to a study published this week (November 17) in Nature Communications of 153 people, some of whom had schizophrenia with and without hallucinations and some who did not.

“We think that the PCS is involved in brain networks that help us recognize information that has been generated ourselves,” Jane Garrison, the lead author of the study and a researcher at the University of Cambridge, said in a press release. “People with a shorter PCS seem less able to distinguish the origin of such information, and appear more likely to experience it as having been generated externally.”
Garrison and her colleagues used MRI scans to gather PCS length. They found that schizophrenics who experienced hallucinations tended to have a shorter PCS, and a 1-cm reduction in the fold related to a 20 percent higher chance of having hallucinations. People with schizophrenia who did not have hallucinations and the healthy controls did not differ in their PCS length.
“We’ve known for some time that disorders like schizophrenia are not down to a single region of the brain. Changes are seen throughout various different areas. To be able to pin such a key symptom to a relatively specific part of the brain is quite unusual,” study coauthor Jon Simons of Cambridge told BBC News.
The study could not determine whether PCS length is a causal factor in hallucinations in schizophrenia.

Content Bubble Dweller

The petri dish is where most of my problems start. Today was no different. And it was almost like my mind knew going out was going to be uber triggering. I waited for a decent weather day, no rain, lots of sun, and then all those errands I’d wanted to run earlier this week…Became irrelevant. So I delayed. Watch more one show, the  go. One show became four shows…And finally I ripped off the bandage and braved Aldi (busy, of course) and in the parking lot with car backing up and pulling in and people moseying wherever without looking in…I nearly had a nervous breakdown. My brain was seriously overloaded with that much sensory input, not processing fast enough. Kinda like trying to get on line today with Windows 98 era hardware. NO matter how many “I think I can” pep talks I give myself…Fact remains, it overwhelms me and places me a mind space where I become a liability to myself and others.

If I had a physical limited that caused this, it would be dictated I give up my license for the safety of myself and others. But because my illnesses are confined to my scumbag brain inside its scumbag skull…I’m histrionic. I’m avoiding. I’m dramatic.

Yet I was managing right up til the trip in the dish of petri. I am perfectly content to dwell in my bubble of safety, venturing out only when the  mental state is solid enough for my confidence, and senses, not to be so overloaded.

No sooner than I got groceries, I had to go get my kid early. She’s apparently got flubola now. I thought initially she was faking, dramatizing, but nope, she’s literally spewing and moaning in pain, same as I was. So I can’t send her back until she’s been vomit free for 24 hours so even if she feels better tomorrow, she will be missing the much anticipated field trip to see some festival of trees. I shall be outraged for her since the poor thing was so ill she sucked down some chicken broth, climbed into bed, and was out in five minutes, without a fight. Yep, that be the flubola.

Then R calls wanting me to locate some ended ebay auction to contact some dude who had a speaker to sell like MONTHS ago but it didn’t go so can I ask if he still has it, blah blah blah. Then he griped I didn’t answer my phone. The home phones are all dead. An intelligent person would have called the cell number. I am not surrounded by logic or intelligence. Hell, I’m not even able to say I lay claim to either. Still…one number doesn’t work, call the other. DERP. Don’t bitch at me because my kid is sick and it’s distracted me from watching my magic jack list in the other room. Spoiled brat.

I slept maybe 2o  minutes this morning before the alarm went off which means I’ve pretty much been awake since 3 a.m. I am feeling it too. Vanilla bean, Chaos, and I are gonna snuggle and bask in warmth. Fuck his highness.

Not that I’ll be able to sleep. No, my neurotic ass will be up every half hour checking on my kid to make sure she hasn’t choked on her own vomit. No rest for the wicked.

I have sure as hell paid for those few good days last week.

And having passed flubola onto my kid, I have the added plus of feeling guilty and like pestilence.

FTW. Fuck the world, fuck this week, fuckital. It’s okay to get tired and frustrated. Kind of homicidal the way bipolar people are viewed as somehow flawed when we feel normal things. It’s not a mood, it’s not an affectation. It’s just been a sucky week. It’s okay to say that.

Now if anyone knows where I can procure an IV drip of cake vodka for my family shindig next Thursday, let me know. I may be hooking up to it early, so have some on standby. I am gonna need it.

She flew through the air with the greatest of ease

;Yesterday was not good, last night was worse, today is a new day. I’m grateful for a husband that loves me unconditionally and refuses to give up on me; as well as a psychiatrist that listens.

For the first time in about 20 years, I am detoxing off of all my pscyh meds with medical supervision (do not try this at home, kids). This time I will not be hospitalized, but I have written instructions from my doctor, and people that love and care about me. It has gotten to the point of feeling like I’ve been having a variety of meds constantly thrown at me as merely a stop-gap. Nothing works any longer, diagnoses change on a ridiculously frequent basis, and I’ve had enough. No, I am not ready to check out of life, I am ready to start from scratch…again. I have made promises in writing to people I know will hold me to them, and I have made a promise publicly through because I said I would. I’m covered, I keep my promises.

It’s a scary prospect, being without psych meds, like performing on the trapeze without a net; but the timing is as close to perfect as it can get. Life is good, there are no underlying personal problems to mask my brain problems like there have been in the past. Hopefully in January 2016 (how appropriate) my psych and I will be able to come up with a new treatment plan (I’ll be seeing him before then, to check in, but I don’t want to make any decisions until after the holidays). I’m sure it will involve more trial and error, but until mental health diagnostics becomes an exact science, that’s the way it’s going to have to be.

In addition to my husband and my psychiatrist, I am also grateful for the love and support I receive on a daily basis from friends (both IRL and out in the ether) and family. Please don’t worry…I will land on my feet, I always do, right?

…and because…Bob loves him some Ashley

Tagged: bipolar disorder, coping, courage, depression, encouragement, hope, medications-psychiatric, mental health, mental illness, suicide

1st And 10

(Don’t you just love my football metaphors?)

Will is suddenly much better. We’ve gotten his vomiting under control and his blood sugars are beginning to even out. He’s even had enough energy to walk Zinnie, clean up the kitchen and play with the puppies. It’s like he’s returned to where he was before he went on that awful medication…and now it’s a whole new ballgame. Huzzah!

He also finally—FINALLY—got his passport. It took six months of wrangling between the vital records agencies in both California and Colorado to get it, thanks to the fact that he was born under a different last name and all the people who could have confirmed that he was one and the same person are dead. It also took a loooong drive to the passport office in Seattle and a LOT of help from our son-in-law, who cut right through all the bullshit and pursued the case when we had just about given up in frustration.

Now that we can actually look forward to our trip next month (actually, we leave in 16 days, 14 hours, and approximately 10 minutes, but who’s counting, right?) we’re getting really excited. We are hardly seasoned travelers, so even the plane ride to Houston sounds like an adventure, even though we know it’s really not. I personally haven’t flown since 1989…guess I have a few things to learn, judging by the TV news shows I’ve seen about the way the TSA has been treating airline passengers since 9/11.

It’s OK. Whatever I have to do to see the beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean, I’ll do, even if it’s invasive and undignified. This is the trip of a lifetime, and a new beginning of sorts for Will and me as we are going to renew our wedding vows on a romantic beach. I can’t wait!!


No More Tears

The last time I cried was earlier this summer. I was on the phone with my best friend since childhood talking about his suddenly deceased father. Both the impact of the loss of a monumental figure in my life and the devastation it was wrecking on someone as close to me as my own family […]