March 8th, 2006

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Good Morning!!

I woke feeling well, and as though chemo has never happened. It feels so over. Of course, I have the shot of Neuplasta today, which always brings up the difficult side-effects, but it is wonderful to be up, awake, and feeling so wonderfully, generously full of love, and hope and joy. The stars are shining in the sky. Could it be that we are to have a day without rain? I whisper, wondering if it is possible. It was lovely to watch the rain from the "infusion room," and then, to see the clouds and fog in play, and then, it was the strangest thing - there was light and sun. The sun does exist, and it might be shocking if today it shone the whole day, but we will see. I think it will be quite a lovely sunrise. Love to All, and a Joyous Day!!
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Morning Stars -

"The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself. "

Henry Miller,
American Author

I so see how this honoring of the miniature in the moment, as well as the grand, is where it is at.  On Monday, I felt fear.  I stayed with it, and it was gone.  Yesterday was a day of gratitude, and today, is a day of JOY, joy in this moment anyway!  I will take time today to  notice the blades of grass, of which there are many with all this rain.  I will notice the stones, and the people and the changing lives and sky.   Good Guidance to you Today, and Everyday, with Love from me to you!

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another gem -

Albert Einstein -

"The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing knowledge."

This perks me up today, as my imagination seems to be expanding, even as the drops of facts fall through the cracks, hopefully to fall through like rain, and not bump the head of a worm with a crash.
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Morning Poem -


Are You Ready?


are you ready

for the place to drop the balls, like Galileo,
from the
Tower of Pisa,
and see that all objects fall to the ground
at the same speed,
except feathers and parachutes,
but that is about friction,
and a very different thing.
are you ready, like
Newton, to notice
an apple hitting the top of your head, or maybe,
not hitting your head, but dropping at your feet,
and then, do you then, think, hmmmm,
perhaps a law of gravitation is in effect
and could be defined more clearly by me -

are you ready to paint your heart on silk,
to carry out the trash
and see it recycled
or carried to the dump
and buried and reused
in some form
like a parachute
dropping slowly
so a person can land
without straining any muscles
or breaking
any bones -

are you ready
to hone
the fall
of speed
and circulate
what you need
right now

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news -

I read the news, depressing in a way I can only sigh, and then, decide to post this little tid-bit, because somehow it seems, for me, to represent much of the lunacy and distraction of the day.

Tab Energy Kills You Dead
The famously toxic retro cola nails women with a new, pink energy drink. Because you love it
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

You know what's brilliant, in a skin-peeling, brain-grinding, I-can't-feel-my-soul sort of way? Target marketing.

Target marketing, like when they take some toxic product you don't really need and which you already know rots the lining of your skull and which could probably power a nuclear reactor, and then they put it into a special new package and pump it full with $100 million in marketing money and aim it straight at some exclusive demographic that's not actually exclusive but which they want you to think is exclusive so if you belong to it you can say, Oh my goodness, I'm part of a sly, hip subculture and they're speaking directly to me. I am so cool.

Take Tab. Tab is that freakishly kitschy, creepy-tasting diet cola from the '60s you can barely get anymore but which is still drunk by hordes of secret Tab cultists and fetishists, people who will have multiple cases of the virulent drain opener shipped to their private refrigerators every week from the handful of Coca-Cola plants that still produce it, because the stuff is wickedly addictive and crazily unhealthy and is still, apparently, cheaper than heroin. But in a good way.

Yes, Tab, that saccharin-loaded, oddly metallic, rumored-to-be-cancer-causing rocket fuel your mom drank throughout the '70s and which she had for breakfast with her Pall Malls and her birth-control pill and which came (and still comes) in that lovingly tacky pink can and which has come back into vogue on that rogue wave of retro '70s kitsch, the wave that we are all hoping will go away very, very soon, much in the same way we all pray for the quick and fiery end of Ashlee Simpson and Crazy Frog and Mel Gibson movies. That Tab.

Alas, Tab lives on. Because God help us, there is now Tab Energy, a re-engineered, reformulated, rebranded version of the famous '60s blood pollutant that of course tastes nothing like the original and from which they took out the saccharin and swapped in sucrose and tripled the caffeine and added a bunch of synthetic herbs, and are now trotting it out as a specialized energy drink for "fabulous" (read: anorexic, jittery, L.A.-wannabe) women who care far less about their health than they do about text messaging and what will make a bitchin' mixer for their Stoli.

Yes, Tab Energy is yet another completely gratuitous Red Bull wannabe in the $85 gazillion energy-drink market, one that tastes, according to various reports, like a liquid Jolly Rancher, like cough syrup mixed with Pixie Stix, like Sweet Tart-flavored Alka-Seltzer. You know, the kind of delicious verbiage that make you say, Oh my God yes, I want to pump four cans of that into my flesh right now. God bless America.

Did you see the commercials? During the Oscars? When the Coca-Cola Co., the world's largest manufacturer of synthetic sugar-blasted chemical-loaded corn-syrupy obesity-causing addiction-inducing goop in the history of mankind, launched Tab Energy into the world the way a bad Vegas comic launches an insult?

The ads featured a slew of loud, brash, oddly unattractive, L.A.-tainted women with way too much makeup who were apparently amped on six cans of the pinkish stuff because they needed the extra energy to help make them feel even more, uh, suckered in by the culture, an attitude that apparently entails a great deal of eyeliner and lipstick and strutting down the street in high-heeled boots and that might or might not include a Pall Mall and a case of birth-control pills.

It is merely the latest in a relentless barrage of violently pink, taurine-jacked, Splenda-sweetened energy drinks aimed at women and girls and caffeine addicts, drinks called, well, Pink and Her and even, say it with me now, Sugar Free Kabbalah Energy Drink. (Yes! Whore that ancient mystical religious sect to death, you Madonna-sucking L.A. Kabbalah geniuses! God loves shameless co-branding! Next up: Kabbalah-flavored condoms. Watch for it.)

Caffeine, of course, is key. It is our favorite drug, meth for the masses. A basic can of Coke has about 45 mg of the world's most beloved drug. A good cup of strong coffee has about 80 milligrams. The average sickly sweet, fizzy energy drink, from Tab Energy to Monster to Liquid Ice to Rockstar, has anywhere from 100 to 200. And they all taste like some nasty Frankenstein inbreed of liquefied Skittles, road chalk and the blood of dead moths.

But no matter. Tab Energy is being carefully target marketed to hip, urban, fashionably unhealthy women -- you know, the kind who look to Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan for their branding and diet tips -- because Coke saw a ripe opportunity to cash in on both the retro fashion trend and the energy-drink craze at the same time, all via milking one of its old brands for a few more bucks and messing with women even more because, well, it's what they do. And who can blame them?

After all, people are buying the stuff by the truckload, thanks to the genius of target marketing, an angle that takes the worst aspects of regular marketing (the pitilessness, the hollow flattery of your ego, the creation of a false sense of belonging to a group that really doesn't exist) and amplifies them to such a degree that you are led to feel that if you don't partake of the product at hand, you are wildly unhip and out of touch and desperately lost, not to mention probably, like, totally old.

It is merely the direction of the species, another limp cultural signifier to look to see how we are progressing, what we value, where we are headed, with what sort of attitude we now value the body and the mind.

And what, pray tell, does the existence of Tab Energy prove? What does it say about how we think of women and the body? Very little, actually. At least, nothing you haven't heard a million times before. If anything, it's just a little derogatory, a winking slap in the face to progress and health and awareness. Which, for this time and this place and this bitterly anti-choice, neocon era, feels exactly appropriate.

By the way, there was another Coke-owned product launch during the Oscars. It is called Coca-Cola Blak. It is not, as you might imagine, Coca-Cola infused with the essences of Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Rock. It is, rather, merely Coca-Cola Classic, the same one that's ruined more teeth and rotted more esophagi and numbed more brains than heroin and marijuana and cocaine combined, mixed with -- you guessed it -- black coffee.

And the gods went, Sigh.
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from Via AAA -

There is a reason not to talk on the phone in the car. Your brain should be visually focused.

Via Magazine says that researchers have found "that drivers using hands-free phones and those using regular phones are four times more likely to have an injury crash than drivers not using a phone because their brains concentrate on hearing activities rather than visual activities."
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Checking in -

So, I get the shot today, and like that, I feel badly. It is so odd to go from feeling so well to not feeling well at all. Each time I hope it will be different, and each time it is the same, but, of course, this is the last time.

I checked on-line today the drug they want me to take for five years. It is Arimidex, and it seems to be a no-brainer to take it, and yet, I worry about the side effects. It affects the bones, so you need a bone scan every six months. I have to wonder about the long-term effects of all this. This drug works slightly better than Tamoxifen after a study of only a few years, and yet, it affects the bones. That doesn't seem good to me. Anyway I will hear more about it from my oncologist, but I feel I am once again up against an unpalatable decision. I'm sure I'll do it, but I don't seem to come to any part of this with full conviction. I just keep plugging along.
Anyway, sharing this with you, I feel a little better. It just feels hard to make life decisions based on studies of around a thousand women for a few years. I guess the point here is to be glad you are alive, and then, to reach for every possibility to continue to make that so. I have to keep reminding myself that this is serious, because most of the time, except when I go to the doctor I feel just fine. No wonder it is hard to feel enthusiastic about visiting there. Anyway, my spirits are high, and I am well, and I need a nap. Take care. Each one of you, please take care!