Friday, September 30, 2016

Magnet Story

PUZZLER: A Magnetizing Dinner Chez Magliozzi
Over dinner, Ray’s wife notices that her knife and fork are stuck to each other, her knife was magnetized. Ray’s son’s knife was magnetized too, but the polarity was the reverse of her’s. Ray’s niece offers an explanation. What was her theory?

RAY: It wasn’t a family dinner at home, we were at a restaurant. And restaurants have such large losses of silverware, that they throw into their trash receptacle an enormous magnet so that when silverware is mistakenly thrown into the trash can, the forks, spoons and knives all get stuck to this magnet, and if it’s on there long enough it gets pretty magnetized.

TOM: Wow.

RAY: So that’s how it happened. So the next time you’re at a restaurant you can do a little parlor trick. Find a utensil that’s magnetized, and you can pick up somebody’s keys and drop their keys in their soup.

Cow Magnets Prevent Hardware Disease

What are Cow Magnets?

Cow magnets are popular with dairy farmers and veterinarians to help prevent Hardware Disease in cattle. While grazing, cows eat everything from grass and dirt to nails, staples and bits of bailing wire (referred to as tramp iron). Tramp iron tends to lodge in the honeycombed walls of the reticulum, threatening the surrounding vital organs and causing irritation and inflammation, known as Hardware Disease. The cow loses her appetite and decreases milk output (dairy cows), or her ability to gain weight (feeder stock). Cow magnets help prevent this disease by attracting stray metal from the folds and crevices of the rumen and reticulum. One magnet works for the life of the cow!

What is Borderline Personality Disorder?


What is borderline personality disorder?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a kind of mental health problem. It may also be called emotionally unstable personality disorder. People with BPD have unstable moods and can act recklessly. They also have a hard time managing their emotions. If you have BPD, you may have problems with daily tasks, obligations, and life events. You may have trouble keeping jobs and relationships. And you may use food, alcohol, or other substances to cope.

It’s important to get treatment, because you are at higher risk of suicide. You are also at higher risk for depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and self-harm. Experts are still learning about the condition. Certain kinds of treatment can help and are often quite successful.
What causes borderline personality disorder?

Mental health experts don’t know exactly what causes BPD. Some studies have shown it may be passed down in families. Your social and cultural surroundings may also play a part. For example, you may be at higher risk for BPD if you are part of a community with unstable relationships. People are at a higher risk for getting borderline personality disorder if they have suffered from abuse or neglect. Living with parents or guardians who have a history of substance abuse or criminal activity may increase the risk as well.

Keith Munslow

CD Tiny Destroyer

Story Cubes


Katie Lewis


Decreasing Emotional Reactivity


Judging Others


Classical French Horn

I am listening to my French radio station Radio Classique and they are playing Mozart French horn concertos and I LOVE THEM. I love classical French horn music.

Leonard Campanello: Treatment not Jail

Leonard Campanello, chief of Gloucester police, spoke to the media outside the White House after being honored for his policies that encourage treatment, not jail, for substance abusers.

Summit on Synthetic Opioids


The People Are REAL

When people fall in love with out city it is because they discover that the people here are real. This is rarer than you might know if you haven't lived in other places. It's my job to say "wow!" what we have here is fabulous.

Deeply and Less

“Cosmic humor, especially about your own predicament, is an important part of your journey.”
― Ram Dass, Be Here Now

“You may protest if you can love the person you are protesting against as much as you love yourself.”
― Ram Dass, Be Here Now

“Our journey is about being more deeply involved in Life and yet less attached to it.”
― Ram Dass

“I am embarrassed to admit what drew me to psychology. I didn't want to go to medical school. I was getting good grades in psychology and I was charismatic and people in the psychology department liked me. It was as low a level as that.”
― Ram Dass

Souls Love

“You give up not meditating. It's called meditation action. There's no way out of it. Meditation means to be constantly extricating yourself from the clinging of mind.”
― Ram Dass

“Death has such great importance in this society that it affects everything. I learned from my guru that death is not the enemy, I see it as another moment. Yet it's the end of an incarnation and means going on to other incarnations.”
― Ram Dass

“Souls love. That’s what souls do. Egos don’t, but souls do. Become a soul, look around, and you’ll be amazed-all the beings around you are souls. Be one, see one. When many people have this heart connection, then we will know that we are all one, we human beings all over the planet. We will be one. One love. And don’t leave out the animals, and trees, and clouds, and galaxies-it’s all one. It’s one energy.”
― Ram Dass

Soul Food

“If you want to be surrounded by Souls, become identified with your Soul.
It takes one to know one!”
― Ram Dass

“Just because you are seeing divine light, experiencing waves of bliss, or conversing with Gods and Goddesses is no reason to not know your zip code.”
― Ram Dass, Be Here Now

“We're being trained through our incarnations--trained to seek love, trained to seek light, trained to see the grace in suffering.”
― Ram Dass

“Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is a supreme creative act.”
― Ram Dass

“When we're identified with Awareness, we're no longer living in a world of polarities. Everything is present at the same time.”
― Ram Dass

“The dance goes from realizing that you're separate (which is the awakening) to then trying to find your way back into the totality of which you are not only a part, but which you are.”
― Ram Dass

“Inspiration is God making contact with itself.”
― Ram Dass

“When the heart is open, it's easier for the mind to be turned toward God.”
― Ram Dass

Intuitive Way

“In our relationships, how much can we allow them to become new, and how much do we cling to what they used to be yesterday?”
― Ram Dass

“The question we need to ask ourselves is whether there is any place we can stand in ourselves where we can look at all that's happening around us without freaking out, where we can be quiet enough to hear our predicament, and where we can begin to find ways of acting that are at least not contributing to further destabilization.”
― Ram Dass

“Our interactions with one another reflect a dance between love and fear.”
― Ram Dass

“The Ego is an exquisite instrument. Enjoy it, use it--just don't get lost in it.”
― Ram Dass

“There's much more in any given moment than we usually perceive, and that we ourselves are much more than we usually perceive. When you know that, part of you can stand outside the drama of your life.”
― Ram Dass

“Suffering is the sandpaper of our incarnation. It does its work of shaping us.”
― Ram Dass

“All spiritual practices are illusions created by illusionists to escape illusion.”
― Ram Dass

“Psychedelics helped me to escape.. albeit momentarily.. from the prison of my mind. It over-rode the habit patterns of thought and I was able to taste innocence again. Looking at sensations freshly without the conceptual overly was very profound.”
― Ram Dass

“Compassion refers to the arising in the heart of the desire to relieve the suffering of all beings.”
― Ram Dass

“By acting compassionately, by helping to restore justice and to encourage peace, we are acknowledging that we are all part of one another.”
― Ram Dass

“Prolong not the past
Invite not the future
Do not alter your innate wakefulness
Fear not appearances
There in nothing more than this”
― Ram Dass

“Spiritual practices help us move from identifying with the ego to identifying with the soul. Old age does that for you too. It spiritualizes people naturally.”
― Ram Dass

“Remember, we are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we're so deeply interconnected with one another. Working on our own consciousness is the most important thing that we are doing at any moment, and being love is the supreme creative act.”
― Ram Dass

“As one individual changes, the system changes.”
― Ram Dass

“In mystical traditions, it is one's own readiness that makes experiences exoteric or esoteric.
The secret isn't that you're not being told.
The secret is that you're not able to hear.”
― Ram Dass

“A moment comes when "other" is no longer other.”
― Ram Dass

“I see my life as an unfolding set of opportunities to awaken.”
― Ram Dass

“You and I are the force for transformation in the world. We are the consciousness that will define the nature of the reality we are moving into.”
― Ram Dass

“Our rational minds can never understand what has happened, but our hearts.. if we can keep them open to God, will find their own intuitive way.”
― Ram Dass

Wisdom of Ram Dass

“Information is just bits of data. Knowledge is putting them together. Wisdom is transcending them.”
― Ram Dass

“It's only when caterpillarness is done that one becomes a butterfly. That again is part of this paradox. You cannot rip away caterpillarness. The whole trip occurs in an unfolding process of which we have no control.”
― Ram Dass, Be Here Now

“Our whole spiritual transformation brings us to the point where we realize that in our own being, we are enough.”
― Ram Dass

“The resistance to the unpleasant situation is the root of suffering.”
― Ram Dass

“If you think you are enlightened; go home for Thanksgiving.”
― Ram Dass

“When we see the Beloved in each person, it's like walking through a garden, watching flowers bloom all around us.”
― Ram Dass

“It's very different because the Indians live as if they are their souls and Americans live as if they are their egos.”
― Ram Dass

“Everything in your life is there as a vehicle for your transformation.
Use it!”
― Ram Dass

“Healing does not mean going back to the way things were before, but rather allowing what is now to move us closer to God.”
― Ram Dass

“Across planes of consciousness, we have to live with the paradox that opposite things can be simultaneously true.”
― Ram Dass

“I can do nothing for you but work on can do nothing for me but work on yourself!”
― Ram Dass, Be Here Now

Craving Ram Dass

I crave words of Ram Dass like I crave broccoli! He is an essential food group.

“We're all just walking each other home.”
― Ram Dass

“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.”
― Ram Dass

“We're fascinated by the words--but where we meet is in the silence behind them.”
― Ram Dass

“It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed.”
― Ram Dass

“The most exquisite paradox… as soon as you give it all up, you can have it all. As long as you want power, you can't have it. The minute you don't want power, you'll have more than you ever dreamed possible.”
― Ram Dass

“I would like my life to be a statement of love and compassion--and where it isn't, that's where my work lies.”
― Ram Dass

“The heart surrenders everything to the moment. The mind judges and holds back.”
― Ram Dass

“In most of our human relationships, we spend much of our time reassuring one another that our costumes of identity are on straight.”
― Ram Dass

“Be here now.”
― Ram Dass, Be Here Now

“Your problem is you are too busy holding on to your unworthiness.”
― Ram Dass

“As long as you have certain desires about how it ought to be you can't see how it is.”
― Ram Dass

“Treat everyone you meet like God in drag.”
― Ram Dass

“The most important aspect of love is not in giving or the receiving: it's in the being. When I need love from others, or need to give love to others, I'm caught in an unstable situation. Being in love, rather than giving or taking love, is the only thing that provides stability. Being in love means seeing the Beloved all around me.”
― Ram Dass

“Suffering is part of our training program for becoming wise.”
― Ram Dass

“What you meet in another being is the projection of your own level of evolution.”
― Ram Dass

“The spiritual journey is individual, highly personal. It can't be organized or regulated. It isn't true that everyone should follow one path. Listen to your own truth.”
― Ram Dass

“Let's trade in all our judging for appreciating. Let's lay down our righteousness and just be together.”
― Ram Dass

“The next message you need is always right where you are.”
― Ram Dass

“Only that in you which is me can hear what I'm saying.”
― Ram Dass

“We are all affecting the world every moment, whether we mean to or not. Our actions and states of mind matter, because we are so deeply interconnected with one another.”
― Ram Dass

“Everything changes once we identify with being the witness to the story, instead of the actor in it.”
― Ram Dass

“I would say that the thrust of my life has been initially about getting free, and then realizing that my freedom is not independent of everybody else. Then I am arriving at that circle where one works on oneself as a gift to other people so that one doesn't create more suffering. I help people as a work on myself and I work on myself to help people.”
― Ram Dass

“A feeling of aversion or attachment toward something is your clue that there's work to be done.”
― Ram Dass

“I'm not interested in being a "lover." I'm interested in only being love.”
― Ram Dass

“Every religion is the product of the conceptual mind attempting to describe the mystery.”
― Ram Dass

“If you think you're free, there's no escape possible.”
― Ram Dass, Be Here Now

“The game is not about becoming somebody, it's about becoming nobody.”
― Ram Dass

“It's all real and it's all illusory:
that's Awareness!”
― Ram Dass

“Learn to watch your drama unfold while at the same time knowing you are more than your drama.”
― Ram Dass

“We're here to awaken from the illusion of separateness.”
― Ram Dass, How Can I Help? Stories and Reflection on Service

Witness to the Story

“Everything changes once we identify with being the witness to the story, instead of the actor in it.”
― Ram Dass

Ought to Be

“As long as you have certain desires about how it ought to be you can't see how it is.”
― Ram Dass

Exquisite Paradox: Give Up

“The most exquisite paradox… as soon as you give it all up, you can have it all. As long as you want power, you can't have it. The minute you don't want power, you'll have more than you ever dreamed possible.”
― Ram Dass

Surrenders Everything to the Moment

“The heart surrenders everything to the moment. The mind judges and holds back.”
― Ram Dass

Love and Compassion

“I would like my life to be a statement of love and compassion--and where it isn't, that's where my work lies.”
― Ram Dass

Fascinated by Words

“We're fascinated by the words--but where we meet is in the silence behind them.”
― Ram Dass

Expect Nothing

It is important to expect nothing, to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps on the path, and to proceed.
- Ram Dass

Finding Home

Orphan, Refugee, Mentally Ill, Drug Addict, Homeless, Black Sheep, Scapegoat, Outcast, Misfit, Shamed, Abused, Disenfranchised, The list is long.
We're all just walking each other home.
- Ram Dass

City of Gratitude

I should call this city of Woonsocket the City of Gratitude. Every event in our beloved city makes time for the thank yous. I dig it. I'd like to take it a step further and institute gratitude breakfasts or lunches, which ever is most convenient for the city. We could have them monthly and work our way through City Hall Police Dept Library and Highway Department and Parks and Rec. We could also have one for the the spiritual leaders and one for the citizens. What do you think? I'd be more than honored to be the cook. I trained as a prep chef and baker in many restaurants before I became a full time artist. We do have a public kitchen emerging in Market Square we also have many culinary students in the city. Food for thought!

Hammock Music

When I was in my first apartment my room mates had set up a hammock in the music room. I used to swing on it and listen to David Bowie and Brian Ferry in the dark.

Brave Man Speaks Out


Self Defense Kung Fu Moves


Slave in the Garage


Orphaned on the Ocean





“Poetry is a way of looking at the world for the first time.”
― W.S. Merwin



Your absence has gone through me
Like thread through a needle.
Everything I do is stitched with its color.”
― W.S. Merwin


“We are asleep with compasses in our hands. ”
― W.S. Merwin

I Keep Wanting to Give You What is Already Yours


Something continues and I don't know what to call it
though the language is full of suggestions
in the way of language
but they are all anonymous
and it's almost your birthday music next to my bones

these nights we hear the horses running in the rain
it stops and the moon comes out and we are still here
the leaks in the roof go on dripping after the rain has passed
smell of ginger flowers slips through the dark house
down near the sea the slow heart of the beacon flashes

the long way to you is still tied to me but it brought me to you
I keep wanting to give you what is already yours
it is the morning of the mornings together
breath of summer oh my found one
the sleep in the same current and each waking to you

when I open my eyes you are what I wanted to see.”
― W.S. Merwin


“What you remember saves you.”
― W.S. Merwin

On the Last Day

“On the last day of the world
I would want to plant a tree”
― W.S. Merwin

Looking without Knowing

“Through all of youth I was looking for you
without knowing what I was looking for”
― W.S. Merwin

Story of Each Stone

“The story of each stone leads back to a mountain.”
― W.S. Merwin

We are Saying Thank You

“with the night falling we are saying thank you
we are stopping on the bridge to bow from the railings
we are running out of the glass rooms
with our mouths full of food to look at the sky
and say thank you
we are standing by the water looking out
in different directions

back from a series of hospitals back from a mugging
after funerals we are saying thank you
after the news of the dead
whether or not we knew them we are saying thank you
in a culture up to its chin in shame
living in the stench it has chosen we are saying thank you

over telephones we are saying thank you
in doorways and in the backs of cars and in elevators
remembering wars and the police at the back door
and the beatings on stairs we are saying thank you
in the banks that use us we are saying thank you
with the crooks in office with the rich and fashionable
unchanged we go on saying thank you thank you

with the animals dying around us
our lost feelings we are saying thank you
with the forests falling faster than the minutes
of our lives we are saying thank you
with the words going out like cells of a brain
with the cities growing over us like the earth
we are saying thank you faster and faster
with nobody listening we are saying thank you
we are saying thank you and waving
dark though it is”
― W.S. Merwin

Come Back

“come back
believer in shade
believer in silence and elegance
believer in ferns
believer in patience
believer in the rain”
― W.S. Merwin

Send Me

“Send me out into another life
lord because this one is growing faint
I do not think it goes all the way”
― W.S. Merwin

Inside this Pencil

“Inside this pencil
crouch words that have never been written
never been spoken
never been taught

they’re hiding

they’re awake in there
dark in the dark
hearing us
but they won’t come out
not for love not for time not for fire

even when the dark has worn away
they’ll still be there
hiding in the air
multitudes in days to come may walk through them
breathe them
be none the wiser

what script can it be
that they won’t unroll
in what language
would I recognize it
would I be able to follow it
to make out the real names
of everything

maybe there aren’t
it could be that there’s only one word
and it’s all we need
it’s here in this pencil

every pencil in the world
is like this”

― W.S. Merwin

If You Have to be Sure....

“I had hardly begun to read
I asked how can you ever be sure
that what you write is really
any good at all and he said you can't
you can't you can never be sure
you die without knowing
whether anything you wrote was any good
if you have to be sure don't write”

― W.S. Merwin, Opening the Hand: Poems


I fell back to sleep at 4AM and dreamed Lily got loose and I was standing in Oak Hill Cemetery calling her. Three dogs came running towards me and I was hopeful that one of them was her. I was wrong. The dog I thought was her was a pointer with scratches from running through the brambles. I woke up at 5 AM and tripped over Lily sleeping in the dark on my way to the hallway light.

You Die Without Knowing

It’s the birthday of poet W.S. Merwin (books by this author), born in New York City (1927). His father was a Presbyterian minister, and Merwin made up hymns before he could even write. He studied creative writing at Princeton University and often showed his poems to the poet John Berryman, then a graduate student. Merwin asked Berryman how to know if his poems were any good. Berryman replied:

“You can’t. You can never be sure. You die without knowing.”

Merwin later included the lines in a poem.

Elie Wiesel

from Writer's Almanac today

It’s the birthday of writer and concentration camp survivor Elie Wiesel (books by this author), born in a small village in Transylvania (1928). He grew up in a Hasidic community and learned to love reading by studying the Pentateuch and other sacred texts. When he was 15, he and his family were taken to the Auschwitz concentration camp. His mother, sister, and father were all killed before World War II was over.

Wiesel survived the camp, but he couldn’t write about his experiences for 10 years. Finally, a mentor, François Mauriac, persuaded Wiesel to write about the war. He wrote a 900-page memoir, which he condensed into the 127-page book called Night (1955). Night has become one of the most widely read books about the Holocaust. In 1986, Wiesel received the Nobel Prize in literature for his writing and teaching.

A passage from Night: “Then came the march past the victims. The two men were no longer alive. Their tongues were hanging out, swollen and bluish. But the third rope was still moving: the child, too light, was still breathing. And so he remained for more than half an hour, lingering between life and death, writhing before our eyes. And we were forced to look at him at close range. He was still alive when I passed him. His tongue was still red, his eyes not yet extinguished. Behind me, I heard the same man asking:
"For God's sake, where is God?"
And from within me, I heard a voice answer:
"Where He is? This is where—hanging here from this gallows..."

Lara Herscovitch

The footprints teach us we can get through, love is the bravest thing we can do.- Lara Herscovitch

"Are you working to connect the dots or to merely collect more dots?"
-Seth Godin, in What to Do When It's Your Turn (and it's always your turn)

"What was really needed was a fundamental change in our attitude toward life. We had to learn ourselves and, furthermore, we had to teach the despairing men, that it did not really matter what we expected from life, but rather what life expected from us."

Life offers so many interesting juxtapositions. One I'm pondering lately: The way it insists that I (and each of us) take the wheel and drive the (metaphoric*) car, and also sit patiently in the passenger seat (sometimes on the roof) and be driven by (and sometimes be hit by) so many factors beyond my control.

I'm deeply sad about all the profound struggles and inequities in our world. And I'm deeply inspired by the shift and increase in people insisting on taking the wheel (and creating new roads, tunnels and bridges - not to mention better seating on the roof). I agree with Seth Godin - it's my, your, our turn. Not just an option; also a necessity. I'm throwing an anchor into the future, trusting it, grabbing the rope and pulling myself there. And waving to you alongside. -your fellow (gal) MISFiT, lara

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Practical Alternatives to Incarceration

From Maya Schenwar, Truthout's Editor-in-Chief, comes a hard-hitting and personal exploration of the enormous damage prison causes by severing millions of people from their families and communities - and the practical alternatives to incarceration that can create a safer, more just world.

"This book has the power to transform hearts and minds, opening us to new ways of imagining what justice can mean for individuals, families, communities, and our nation as a whole... I turned the last page feeling nothing less than inspired." - Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow

Catalyst for Positive Change

Unbroken Brain, a new book on addiction.

“Only by learning what addiction is—and is not—can we begin to find better ways of overcoming it. And only by understanding addicted people as individuals and treating them with compassion can we learn better and far more effective ways to reduce the harm associated with drugs.”

Four Risks for Addiction


They focus on four risky traits: sensation-seeking, impulsiveness, anxiety sensitivity and hopelessness.



The Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge

An analogy they use is that a dried peach is not a peach, but may prepare you to recognize fresh peaches when at last you eat one.

The Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge (ISHK) was incorporated in 1969 as a 501c(3) charitable educational organization dedicated to cross-cultural understanding and to bringing important research on human nature to the general public.

ISHK takes a multi-disciplinary approach to the questions of who we are, where we came from, and what we might become. Our programs and publications highlight contributions from contemporary psychology, education, anthropology, medicine, evolutionary biology, neuroscience, and ecology — as well as from traditional systems of knowledge and learning with ancient roots.

ISHK directors and collaborators have included many leading thinkers of our time and pioneers in their fields: Doris Lessing, Jonas Salk, Robert Ornstein, Idries Shah, Rene Dubos, Paul Ehrlich, James Burke, Edward T. Hall, Hans Selye, William Dement, Philip Zimbardo, Paul Ekman, and many others.

For more than 40 years, ISHK’s publishing and educational programs have connected with thousands of professional and the public at large, contributing to important shifts in public attitudes and policies.

The Commanding Self

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Commanding Self is a book by the writer Idries Shah first published by Octagon Press in 1994. A paperback edition was published in 1997.

Shortly before he died, Shah stated that his books form a complete course that could fulfill the function he had fulfilled while alive. As such, The Commanding Self can be read as part of a whole course of study.[1]

Shah stated that The Commanding Self was "the key to understanding his entire corpus of work."

Idries Shah

The Commanding Self builds on the foundations laid in Shah's previous publications, Learning How to Learn – Psychology and Spirituality in the Sufi Way and Knowing How to Know.

"The Commanding Self" (Arabic Nafs-ul-Amara اﻟﻧﻔﺲﻻﻣﺎﺮﺓ) is Sufic terminology for the "mixture of primitive and conditioned responses, common to everyone, which inhibits and distorts human progress and understanding".

The opening pages of the book expand on this definition:

"The Commanding Self ... can be seen as a sort of parasite, which first complements the personality, then takes over certain parts of it, and masquerades as the personality itself." Shah states that there is "no intention of destroying or undermining the Commanding Self". Instead, would-be students are encouraged to "divert vanity from the spiritual arena ... to channel the Commanding Self's activities to any worldly ambition: while continuing to study the Sufi Way in a modest and non-self-promoting manner."[2]

Written in response to requests for "clarification, interviews, question-and-answer sessions, lectures", the following sections of the book present study themes intended to enable the student to observe the functioning of their own emotional and conditioned responses.[3]

The Vindictive Narcissist

When I tell people I ran away from home to escape a verbally and sexually abusive narcissistic mother, and my school teachers helped me escape, they listen.

I worry about the kids who are home schooled and don't have great teachers helping them escape.

When you have a narcissistic parent there is no cure there is only ESCAPE.

Yesterday I attended an overdose prevention workshop. When I got home I said to my husband is there a narcissism overdose workshop? We laughed.

Compassion Versus Tough Love

Perhaps we need to go back to the drawing board and look at the results of compassion and really understand how to educate ourselves. Listen to your children, this is how we move our society forward. Let go and love them.

I remember when I was in 6th grade and I was assaulted in my neighborhood by two boys from the next town. I was 11 and they were 15. My mother went berzerk and actually made it HER DRAMA. In retrospect that is no surprise. When she told the psychologist how she reacted he reprimanded her for taking me right back to school the next day. "Why did you do that?" he asked.
"She fell off the horse, I thought she should get right back on," My mother said.

Tough love as a way to avoid feeling strong emotions always backfires. Now I realize my mother was a victim of all sorts of things and she had to snuff it out in herself by obsessively controlling me.

Peer Support Crucial in Recovery

I have many friends who are in recovery and we have huge discussions about emotions. I am not a true peer in terms of drug addiction but I am a peer in terms of strong emotions. I am cyclothymic and I have had to make a fine-tuned study of how to handle my emotions over the 55 years of being on this strange planet. This is why I share so much of the same issues.

Silver Lining: Open the Discussion

The silver lining in the drug epidemic is we have opened the conversation and the floodgates of compassion. Just like with the AIDS epidemic families need to openly discuss sex and health these are the true issues here. Talk to your children and grand children at the table.
Recovery is possible.

Prevent Overdose RI dot com

Michelle McKenzie

Michelle McKenzie On The Front Lines Of The Overdose Epidemic

Johnathan Goyer

We met the AMAZING Jonathan Goyer yesterday at the Woonsocket Harris Public Library.

And that Moment is Home

If something inside of you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal. So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work. Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write toward vulnerability. Risk being unliked. Tell the truth as you understand it. If you’re a writer you have a moral obligation to do this. And it is a revolutionary act—truth is always subversive.
-Anne Lamott

But you can’t get to any of these truths by sitting in a field smiling beatifically, avoiding your anger and damage and grief. Your anger and damage and grief are the way to the truth. We don’t have much truth to express unless we have gone into those rooms and closets and woods and abysses that we were told not go in to. When we have gone in and looked around for a long while, just breathing and finally taking it in – then we will be able to speak in our own voice and to stay in the present moment. And that moment is home.
-Anne Lamott

Becoming a writer is about becoming conscious. When you’re conscious and writing from a place of insight and simplicity and real caring about the truth, you have the ability to throw the lights on for your reader. He or she will recognize his or her life and truth in what you say, in the pictures you have painted, and this decreases the terrible sense of isolation that we have all had too much of.
-Anne Lamott

Anne Lamott

By Anne Lamott

Age has given me what I was looking for my entire life. It gave me ME. It provided the time and experience and failures and triumphs and friends who helped me step into the shape that had been waiting for me all my life. I fit into me now. I finally have an organic life now, not the one people imagined for me, or tried to get me to have, or the life someone else might celebrate as a successful one. I have the life I dreamed of. I have become the woman I hardly dared imagine I could be. There are parts I didn't love until a few years ago, I had no idea that you could get cellulite on your stomach! But I not only get along with me most of the time now, I am militantly and maternally on my own side.

Left to my own devices, would I trade this for firm thighs, fewer wrinkles, a better memory? Some days, yes. That's why it's such a blessing I'm not left to my own devices. Because the truth is, I have amazing friends and a deep faith in God, both of whom I can turn to. I've learned to pay attention to life and to listen. I'd give up all this for a flatter belly? Are you kidding?

I still have terrible moments when I despair about my body. But they are just moments I used to have years ago when I believed I would be more beautiful if I jiggled less; if all the parts of my body stopped moving when I did. But I believe two things now that I didn't at 30. When we get to Heaven, we will discover that the appearance of our butts and skin was 3,127th on the list of what mattered on this earth. I am not going to live forever, and this truth has set me free.

Eleven years ago, when my friend Pam was dying of cancer at the age of 37, we went shopping. She was in a wheelchair, wearing a wig and had just three weeks to live. I tried on a short dress and came out to model it for her. I asked if she thought it made me look big in the thighs, and so kindly she said, "Anne, you just don't have that kind of time." I live by those words.

I am thrilled for every gray hair and achy muscle, because of all the friends who died too young of heart attacks and cancer and car accidents. And much of the stuff I used to worry about has subsided. What other people think of me and of how I live my life I give these things the big shrug. It's a huge relief.

I became more successful in my 40s, but this pales compared to the other gifts of this decade how kind to myself I have become, what a wonderful, tender friend I am to myself. I get myself tubs of hot soapy water at the end of a long day. I run interference for myself when I am working, and I live by the truth that "No" is a complete sentence.

I insist on the right to swim in warm water at every opportunity, no matter how young and gorgeous the other people on the beach are. I don't think that if I live to be 80, I'll wish I'd spent more hours in the gym or kept my house cleaner. I think I'm going to wish I had swum more unashamedly, made more mistakes, acted sillier, laughed more. On the day I die, I want to have had dessert.

I have survived so much loss, as all of us have by this time: my parents, dear friends, beloved pets. If you haven't already, you will lose someone you can't live without, and your heart will be badly broken .. and the bad news is that you will never completely get over that loss. But the good news is that they will live forever, in your broken heart that never heals. It's like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly, that still hurts when the weather is cold but you learn to dance with the limp. You dance to the music of old friendships and old loves.

I danced alone for a number of years and came to believe that I might not ever have a passionate, romantic relationship again and might end up alone. I'd been terrified of that all my life. But now I know I'd rather never be a couple again than to be in a toxic relationship.

Younger women worry that their memories will begin to go and you know what? They will. Menopause has not increased my focus and retention as much as I'd hoped. But a lot is better off missed and forgotten.

I know that many women fear getting older. I wish I could gather all younger women together and give them my word of honor that every one of my friends loves being older, loves being in her 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s. My Aunt Gertrude is 85 and she leaves us all in the dust when we hike. Sure, my feet hurt some mornings and my body is less forgiving than it used to be but I love my life more, and I love me more.

It's like that old saying: It's not that I think less of myself, but that I think of myself less often. And that feels like heaven to me.

Make the most of this day!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

The Holes

Our society is Swiss cheese. We need to address the holes.

Anaïs Nin

You must not fear, hold back, count or be a miser with your thoughts and feelings. It is also true that creation comes from an overflow, so you have to learn to intake, to imbibe, to nourish yourself and not be afraid of fullness. The fullness is like a tidal wave which then carries you, sweeps you into experience and into writing. Permit yourself to flow and overflow, allow for the rise in temperature, all the expansions and intensifications. Something is always born of excess: great art was born of great terrors, great loneliness, great inhibitions, instabilities, and it always balances them. If it seems to you that I move in a world of certitudes, you, par contre, must benefit from the great privilege of youth, which is that you move in a world of mysteries. But both must be ruled by faith.
-Anaïs Nin

Lethal Cocktail

Dr. Mark Publicker, an addiction medicine specialist in Portland, said that repeated overdoses were often the result of increasingly potent heroin, especially when combined with drugs like fentanyl and sedatives, producing a lethal cocktail.

“While your psychological tolerance becomes greater, your cardiorespiratory tolerance doesn’t,” he said. “You keep pushing the limit because your reward threshold has become impossibly high.”

Naloxone Brings them Back


Naloxone, also known as Narcan, temporarily blocks opiate receptors.

Advocates argue that the drug gives people a chance to get into treatment and turn their lives around and that there is no evidence naloxone increases the use of opiates. And, they say, few addicts knowingly risk needing to be revived, since naloxone ruins their high and can make them violently ill.

With drug overdoses now killing more people than car crashes in most states, lawmakers in all but three — Kansas, Montana and Wyoming — have passed laws making naloxone easier to obtain. Its near-universal availability reflects the relatively humane response to the opioid epidemic, which is based largely in the nation’s white, middle-class suburbs and rural areas — a markedly different response from that of previous, urban-based drug epidemics, which prompted a “war on drugs” that led to mass incarceration, particularly of blacks and Hispanics.

Grandparents to the Rescue

The new normal.
With the rise in heroin use, grandparents are increasingly raising their grandchildren because the parents are either dead, in jail, in rehab or otherwise incapable of taking care of their children.

Vat of Soup

My soup has doubled in size. I've added a home grown habanero pepper.

Bring More Awareness to the Opiate Problem

Addicted parents get their fix while children watch.

Sadly, the police said, the opioid epidemic in New England and elsewhere has reached such proportions that it is no longer a shock to see drug users collapse in public. In Massachusetts, more than four people a day die from drug overdoses.

What is new, they said, is that addicts are increasingly buying drugs, getting high and passing out with their children in tow.

Loading the Mind

We had an art teacher who would bombard us with imagery before setting us loose on the blank canvas. This is a good strategy for writing and cooking and athletics too.

Making 16 Bean Soup + Molasses Granola

After reading recipes this morning I jumped up and started making soup. I started with a one pound bag of 16 bean soup, I've added lots of water, I threw in a gigantic yam that I cubed and chopped beans that I bought on Saturday. I've added chopped celery and chopped red onions. The pot is overflowing! and I will transfer it to my soup vat which will give me more space to add more vegetables.

I mixed up a batch of molasses granola which smells amazing.

This is how I bake and cook (and do everything) improvisation.

I think about things while I am working in the kitchen. I used to be afraid of having my work at home and now I can't imagine separating them. I don't separate my mind from body either. I think with my abdomen. I get my best ideas when underwater or while I'm walking.

Savory Pumpkin

I love pumpkin everything but I prefer savory pumpkin. Here's a soup idea.

Fall and Spring are Running Season

There's nothing like the changing landscape.

Pancake Lasagna

Wow I love this idea especially since leftover pancakes is a real thing. Top with homemade tomato sauce or favrite onions sausage and peppers and egg and bake in a casserole dish.

Mini Apple Pie


Morning is Sacred

Lately morning is my best time which means I turn into a pumpkin by mid afternoon and I am sound asleep at 8PM. Laugh out loud but waking at 4AM gives me a good working schedule. When the house is fifty degrees I am not sure I will hold up well to this schedule. When receive mode hits late October my afternoons are better and my mornings are sheer hell. I get to lead two lives, at least.

Stadium Theater Windows

Yesterday when walking downtown I was admiring the theater costumes in the storefront windows. The Mary Poppins coat, Joseph and the Multicolored Dream Coat and more...I love costume!

Mars Needs Women

Mars Needs Women is a 1967 independently made American science fiction film from Azalea Pictures, produced, written, and directed by self-proclaimed schlock artist/auteur Larry Buchanan,[2] that stars Tommy Kirk, Yvonne Craig, and Byron Lord.[3] The film was syndicated directly to television by American International Pictures without a theatrical release.


A U. S. military station in Houston, TX, the United States Decoding Service (U.S.D.S.), NASA Wing, has intercepted a message from outer space. After decoding, the message contains only the cryptic statement:

"Mars ... Needs ... Women"

Martians have developed a genetic deficiency that now produces only male children. A mission to Earth is launched, consisting of five Martian males, led by Dop (Tommy Kirk). Once here their team intends to recruit Earth women to come to Mars in order to mate and produce female offspring, saving their civilization from extinction. Using their sophisticated transponder, Dop attempts to make contact with the U. S. military, who have now tracked the aliens' arrival on Earth.

The military eventually views the Martians as invaders, so the team takes on the guise of Earth men, acquiring human clothes, money, maps, and transportation. They finally select their prospective candidates, setting their sights on four American women: a homecoming queen, a stewardess, a stripper, and, most especially, a Pulitzer Prize-winning scientist, Dr. Bolen (Yvonne Craig), an expert in "space genetics". Resorting to hypnosis, the women are captured, but Dop quickly becomes enamored with Dr. Bolen; soon he is ready to sabotage their mission for her. After the military discover their hideout, the Martians are forced to return home without their female captives.

Mars still needs women.

Mars Needs Polka

Elon Musk needs to bring the music of Brave Combo when he visits Mars.

Intermittent Fasting


Rosh Hashanah


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Esther Freud

British novelist Esther Freud says:

Cut out the metaphors and similes. In my first book I promised myself I wouldn’t use any and I slipped up ­during a sunset in chapter 11. I still blush when I come across it.
A story needs rhythm. Read it aloud to yourself. If it doesn’t spin a bit of magic, it’s missing something.
Editing is everything. Cut until you can cut no more. What is left often springs into life.
Find your best time of the day for writing and write. Don’t let anything else interfere. Afterwards it won’t matter to you that the kitchen is a mess.
Don’t wait for inspiration. Discipline is the key.
Trust your reader. Not everything needs to be explained. If you really know something, and breathe life into it, they’ll know it too.
Never forget, even your own rules are there to be broken

Daily Vacation

I don't take vacations but I do take ten minute ones when I walk to Edgewater Drive.

Barcelona Superblocks

Pedestrians and less pollution.

California to Regulate Cow Farts


Michael Smith Favourite Chef

Red Cabbage and Apple Stew

This Service Dog Detects Stress


Worry Wart

I’m a worrier. Deadlines, my children, all the time they spend online — you name it, it’s on my list of worries. I even worry when I’m not worried. What am I forgetting to worry about?
-Roni Caryn Rabin

Lily and Sammy are Sharing a Bed

I'm in my office and Sammy and Lily are sharing Lily's dog bed. It's finally happened, peaceful cohabitation. Maybe there's hope for a peaceful world.


My neighbor brought over a steaming plate of Brazilian food she made and now I am returning the glass rimmed plate with half a dozen sourdough rolls freshly baked.

Richard Pevear

“The words seem simple, but when you start looking, there’s enormous life underneath.”
—Richard Pevear

Imagine and Improvise

“Life is a lot like jazz - it's best when you improvise.”
- George Gershwin.

The function of art is to do more than tell it like it is--it’s to imagine what is possible.
- Bell Hooks

Language is the Mother

Language is the mother, not the handmaiden, of thought; words will tell you things you never thought or felt before. W.H. AUDEN

Physical Nerve

You need a certain amount of nerve to be a writer, an almost physical nerve, the kind you need to walk a log across a river.

Regain Motor Control


Neuroscientist Discusses the Brain Benefits of Exercise: FOCUS

Combat Stress

Exercise improves our ability to shift and focus attention.

Exercise could help students better absorb everything from history lessons to chemistry experiments–and they’d be happier too.

Fend off Dementia


Alton Brown

Here in this country, we have decided to replace ‘thank you’ a great deal with ‘I can’t eat that.’”

“Unless you have a medical bracelet that says celiac, shut up and eat the food,” he said. “We want to be so special. We not only want to be special for our cooking, we want to be special for our eating. There are times when vegetarians should shut up and eat the pork chop.”

Choose Legal Vices

Americans must recognize that every time they buy illegal drugs they reward the cartels. If you think one person’s consumption is too small to make a difference, consider that $100 — what a recreational cocaine user might spend on a single weekend — buys the cartels 500 rounds of ammunition; $500 buys a new AR-15 rifle; $700 covers the monthly salary of one of their gunmen.

The Opinion Pages | Op-Ed Contributor
Want to Make Ethical Purchases? Stop Buying Illegal Drugs


Many of my friends and classmates here in the United States care about making the world a better place, and they try to make purchases that reflect their values. Some have become vegetarians to save animals or fight climate change. Others buy cruelty-free cosmetics, fair-trade coffee or conflict-free diamonds.

Yet I’ve noticed at parties and festivals that some of these same people pop Ecstasy or snort cocaine. They think this drug use is a victimless crime. It’s not. Follow the supply chain and you’ll find a trail of horrific violence.

In Mexico, the official death toll from the past decade’s drug trade stands at over 185,000, with many of the dead innocent bystanders. And these tallies don’t include the thousands of people who have disappeared, including four members of my family who were kidnapped and never seen again. We were deprived of our loved ones without explanation, without even their bodies to cry over.

I was born and raised in a midsize town in northern Mexico. As a child, I biked and skated in the streets. But these days, kids aren’t allowed to play outside. Everyone has a heartbreaking story of how the drug trade has damaged his life.

Violence — whether among cartels, or between cartels and government forces — plagues cities along drug trafficking routes. Shops and restaurants shut their doors, employees are laid off. Cartel members routinely steal cars at gunpoint. They take over houses and factories for shelter and fire automatic weapons in public spaces. My relatives have been forced to drop to the ground at home and at the supermarket to avoid being shot.

While studying at Stanford University and living in California, I realized that most Americans — even those who consider themselves worldly and social-justice-oriented — remain unaware of their role in this violence.

The United States, with less than 5 percent of the world’s population, constitutes more than 30 percent of the global demand for illegal drugs, according to my calculations. Yes, there are addicts, but experts estimate that eight in 10 users — more than 20 million people in this country — take drugs recreationally. They come from all walks of life — artists, bankers, engineers, and high school, college and graduate students.

Most of these users know little of the Mexican cartels that produce the marijuana, cocaine, MDMA, meth, fentanyl, heroin and other drugs in Mexico, or import them from Asia or South America. But the biggest money in the drug business comes not from producing drugs but from smuggling them across the border and getting them to users, which requires cartels to control every step along the trafficking routes. To maintain that control, they fight over highways, ports, border crossings and political influence.

To prevent smaller criminal groups from growing and eventually competing with them, cartels also control other activities like human trafficking, kidnapping, music and software piracy, extortion and prostitution.

And to protect their huge profits, they kill competitors, journalists, policemen and innocents. My friend Maria, mother of a 14-year-old son, temporarily fled her low-income neighborhood in the city of Monterrey with her family when she realized a cartel was forcing boys to join the business. Two nights after their return, armed men entered her house and killed her son in front of her in retaliation.

While Mexico endures these atrocities, Americans are spending billions of dollars on illegal drugs. Exact figures for an illicit market are hard to obtain but estimates put the number at over $150 billion per year — more than the federal government spends on education, and four times as much as it spends on law enforcement. And Mexican cartels control virtually all of the American market, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

If cartels continue to have an incentive of that magnitude, our governments will never be able to put an end to the violence.

That’s why Americans must recognize that every time they buy illegal drugs they reward the cartels. If you think one person’s consumption is too small to make a difference, consider that $100 — what a recreational cocaine user might spend on a single weekend — buys the cartels 500 rounds of ammunition; $500 buys a new AR-15 rifle; $700 covers the monthly salary of one of their gunmen.

Without the vast profits from the drug trade, cartels would be infinitely less powerful, and our governments could neutralize them.

If you use illegal drugs, even just occasionally, please reconsider. Lives are at stake. Go for legal vices if you must. Even if you never use illegal drugs, you probably know people who do. Tell them about the trail of blood that led to their night of partying. If they had seen it firsthand, as I have, they wouldn’t buy those drugs.

We can shatter the misconception that recreational drug use is a victimless crime. We must put an end to the hypocrisy that allows people to make purchases based on their concerns about the environment, workers’ rights or animals — but not about killing people in Mexico.

Mario Berlanga is a recent graduate of the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Follow The New York Times Opinion section on Facebook and Twitter (@NYTOpinion), and sign up for the Opinion Today newsletter.

Midnight Basketball

Bring this to Woonsocket

Talk to Your Children

Are you filled up to overflowing or can you RECEIVE the world? Do you know how to have a conversation without competition? Do you know how to truly give without any expectation, a true gift of gratitude?


BILL MOYERS: Tell me about Sandy Scull, a lieutenant in Vietnam in ’67 and ’68.

MAXINE HONG KINGSTON: Yes, a poet before he went. I guess he must have been like me, you know, a poet since childhood. And then, when he went— the poetry stopped and he could not write poems for 30 years.

BILL MOYERS: After he came home?

MAXINE HONG KINGSTON: After he came home. There were no poems. He had a block for 30 years. And I think the way he would put it was that he lost his spirit and he lost his imagination and I want to read you the poem that he wrote.

MAXINE HONG KINGSTON: It’s called Sea Salt.

BILL MOYERS: Oh yes, yes.

MAXINE HONG KINGSTON: And the whole poem is about the way of coming home. You know, he had post-traumatic stress disorder, which means that the body goes numb, the appetite is gone, he’s alienated from, from his fellow citizens.

Sea Salt

After the Vietnam War, I withdrew
to Nantucket: “faraway isle.”
Hoping to glimpse the boy
before spirit fled the body.
Thirty-three miles of ocean exiling me
from a homeland offering little embrace.

Me and my dog, Christopher. Christ-love
disguised as loyal canine. We combed beaches.
Working for the island newspaper connected me.
Tides soothed with ebb and flow.
A rhythm I could trust. Even eat by.
I fish the last three hours of the east tide.
Buried my toes in the sand, searching
for the texture of littleneck clam.

When water was warm, I sailed out solo.
Stripped then slid into the sound.
Looking up toward the surface light.
Christopher’s gaze wavering with wind
and water between us. Breath bubbles
rose, bursting under his nose.

My body now embraced,
a ritual purification in salt.
Dismembered dreams floated closer.
Something dissolved in a solution
that held me. Breathing easier,
I could imagine again.

Maxine Hong Kingston:Tell the Truth

Maxine Hong Kingston has been coaxing words from others. In 1993 she put out a call to veterans to join her in workshops devoted to turning their experiences into poems, novels, and essays. Here in the hills of Northern California, over 500 veterans…from every war since World War II have taken part, and some of their finest work has now been published in this book, Veterans of War; Veterans of Peace. For many of them it has been a life-changing, even life-saving experience.

MAXINE HONG KINGSTON: At the very beginning we had this motto, “Tell the truth.” It’s because people come home, they come home from hell and they have witnessed, they have committed, they have been committed upon, horrendous acts. And then the first instinct is to keep it secret, “Oh, just forget. I’ll forget what happened. And I will not visit this upon my children, upon my wife, my husband, I will not tell people about what happened.” And holding the story inside creates terrible illness and wrong. And so it was my task to let people know, just let it out, tell me exactly what happened, it’s okay.

Writing Rehab

If I was to help recovering drug addicts I would suggest that they all get five cent notebooks and pencils and write their pain. Writing is the best gestalt theater exercise I know.

It wasn't SAFE for me to write as a child since my parents were ALL OVER ME. But as an adult I can write with freedom and abandon. Watch out world. I even make noise!

Growing up in the snobby suburbs of Westchester noise was the taboo along with anger and fat. Not much has changed. The wives of stock market guys were social X-rays, playing tennis and having drinks at the Yacht club. Alcoholic smokers who nagged their children and then asked for comfort when their husbands ran off.

I ran as far and as fast as I could. Crossing a few state lines was all it took. The wealthy are AFRAID of poverty. I could have hidden in the local slum. But that wouldn't have been far enough! A friend of mine from a wealthy family lived in a loft in Worcester. His family drove to Maine every summer never once stopping to see him or his art. The wealthy are petrified. Ha!

I am the reverse. I am petrified of wealth. I was horribly abused at the hands of money. I was lucky to find the authenticity of my Northern Rhode island town. If you were to ask me what I want from life I would say I found it. Because I am fulfilled I am thinking about ways to help my city. I can offer my energies and crazy ideas. I can reflect my LOVE of the CITY and the people back to itself.

Botero Painting in the Junk Store Window

A few years ago we spotted an artists rendering of a Botero painting, in the Main Street junk store window here in little Woonsocket. We had no money so we just laughed and admired it. "I wonder if the person who buys it will ever know the reference?" my husband said.


I wanted to tell him no matter how bad it gets it is slightly better if you take a bath and put on clean clothes. And then make a cup of tea and cinnamon toast.

More French Radio

I'm listening to my French radio station today so I have freedom from public radio chatter. Ah, what a relief. Maybe I will work in my pajamas all day. I tell myself "Use the energy where it belongs; in notebooks and on canvas and playing music."


Energy is fascinating to me. When I lose my energy I go swimming and it's like having 12 cups of coffee! I do need 7-8 hours of sleep. Once I danced in my living room for a week. Energy regenerating energy! I won't do that again.


The rain has begun and at least one of the holes in our roof has been repaired so we can enjoy it. We need the rain so if it rains all week I hope it's dry for the Autumnfest weekend; 8,9,10.

We missed the debate because our waking and sleep schedule is much earlier.

I am enjoying my thrift store flannel mattress ticking with roses pajama bottoms. In my neighborhood this is outerwear. It's tempting but no way!

We do our grocery shopping at night so we are not disrupting our workday and we go together so it's more fun. I feel crazy if I do those things during the workday. I watched my mother sabotage her days by grocery shopping. She never got anywhere in her career. Once you destroy your precious work time you're done. Self sabotage is the biggest killer of energy. It's just another manifestation of FEAR.

I've been thinking about mood driven people. They sabotage their lives. They can never keep a plan or a date. They are unreliable. I've had to let go of them.


My room mate made pancakes this morning, said Derek,
Pancakes are the ultimate comfort food. Whenever I see photos of pancakes it's seductive, it's food pornography, I said
My friend Josh gets food boners, I didn't know what he was talking about until one day I bought a Dijourno pizza and bought pulled pork and put it on top and I got my first food boner, said Derek.
We laughed.
I've read orgasmic food writing, I said. So I get it.


I dreamed I went to return the glass pie plate to Alessandra but I returned it to my childhood neighbors the Pasqua's. I realized my mistake and went back to get the plate but they were having a family reunion.

Irvine Welsh

“take your best orgasm, multiply the feeling by twenty, and you're still fuckin miles off the pace”
― Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting

“It was the books I started reading.
It was the music I started listening to. It was the television I started watching.
I found myself thinking again. I tried to stop because it was only causing pain.
I couldn't.
Wen all this is in your head it has to come out into your life. If it doesn't, you get crushed. I'm not going to get crushed.”
― Irvine Welsh, Ecstasy


“Choose a life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television. Choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers... Choose DSY and wondering who the fuck you are on a Sunday morning. Choose sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing, spirit crushing game shows, stucking junk food into your mouth. Choose rotting away in the end of it all, pishing your last in a miserable home, nothing more than an embarrassment to the selfish, fucked up brats you spawned to replace yourself, choose your future. Choose life... But why would I want to do a thing like that?”
― Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting


“You can't lie to your soul.”
― Irvine Welsh

Irvine Welsh

“Well, everybody that writes has their own area of inquiry. And mine has always been kind of, why is it that when life can be so hard and difficult, we compound it by self-sabotage, doing terrible things? That’s always been my main area of inquiry, and it does lead you to dark places.”
- Irvine Welsh

Joyce Glassman

“Artists are nourished more by each other than by fame or by the public. To give one’s work to the world is an experience of peculiar emptiness. The work goes away from the artist into a void, like a message stuck into a bottle and flung into the sea.”

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Kiss

“In many cultures, kissing was one of the first opportunities for individuals to get close enough to sniff each other in socially acceptable ways,” he said. The Inuit press their nostrils on the cheeks or forehead of someone for whom they feel great affection, gently inhaling their scent.

Drink Tea Every Day


Hot and Cold

I know people get excited about summer but I like Autumn. Autumn is the season for grilling and playing bocce and swimming in the ocean and cold ponds. I love body shock of jumping into an icy pond after a hot sauna.

Chess Tables

We visited our niece in Leominster and there were chess tables on the green. I hope we can have chess tables in Woonsocket someday.

Dreaming of Sheep


Autumn is Here!

The apples are crisp and 4 AM is cold out with Orion above the neighbors house. I am dreaming about making apple molasses granola. Granola with tea is the best snack in the world especially with Yorkshire tea.



Tea for Life


Endorphins Endocannabinoids

How to Achieve a Runner’s High
Science reveals how you can produce more feel-good chemicals while running.
By K. Aleisha Fetters Friday, April 25, 2014, 9:00 am
Image by Dan Woodger

Sometimes we get it, sometimes we don’t. But we always want it—and more of it. It’s the runner’s high, and when we are lucky enough to tap into it our runs feel easy, exhilarating, even euphoric. But we aren’t always that lucky, are we?

Recently, researchers studied how the brain responds to running and found that the ability to get “high” while logging miles might be hard-wired within us. Years ago, our ancestors’ survival likely depended on chasing down food. The desire to live was possibly their motivation to run and run fast, and the feel-good brain chemicals released when they did so may have helped them achieve the speed and distances required, says David A. Raichlen, Ph.D., an associate professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona. The runner’s high may have served (and serves today) as a natural painkiller, masking tired legs and blistered feet, he says.

Even though you no longer have to chase down dinner, learning how happy brain reactions are sparked may help you achieve the runner’s high more often.

The Trigger: Endorphins

Nature’s home-brewed opiates, endorphins are chemicals that act a lot like their medically engineered counterpart, morphine. Runners have credited them for their feel-good effects for decades, but it wasn’t until 2008 that German researchers used brain scans on runners and were able to identify exactly where they originated. The scientists found that during two-hour-long runs, subjects’ pre-frontal and limbic regions (which light up in response to emotions like love) spewed out endorphins. The greater the endorphin surge in these brain areas, the more euphoric the runners reported feeling.

Get It: Push yourself - hard, but not too hard. Endorphins are painkillers produced in response to physical discomfort, says Matthew Hill, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute. But that doesn’t mean your runs should be excruciating; you need to find a sweet spot where they are comfortably challenging (think tempo run). In the German study, for example, the subjects were experienced runners for whom a two-hour run at a six-to seven-mile-an-hour pace wasn’t easy nor was it gut-busting. “Most runners I have worked with experience endorphins when they are pushing their bodies, but not usually at max effort,” says Cindra S. Kamphoff, Ph.D., director of the Center for Sport and Performance Psychology at Minnesota State University. A short, casual run likely won't produce enough discomfort to trigger a rush. Attempt a pace or distance that's too aggressive, and you'll possibly be too overwhelmed by the effort to feel good. As powerful as they are, endorphins can’t override an injury or lack of training (which is why newbies aren’t likely to feel elated when they are just starting out).

Hooking up with others could also help: An Oxford University study reported that rowers who exercised together significantly increased their endorphin release compared with solo rowers. When you are on your own, consider wearing headphones: Research shows that listening to your favorite music may spike endorphins.

The Trigger: Endocannabinoids

Endorphins get all the attention, but your body also pumps out endocannabinoids, which are a naturally synthesized version of THC, the chemical responsible for the buzz that marijuana produces. The most examined endocannabinoid produced in the body, anandamide, is believed to create a feeling of calmness, Hill says. Endorphins can be created only by specialized neurons, but pretty much any cell in the body is capable of making endocannabinoids, which means they have the potential to make a bigger impact on your brain.

Get It: Endocannabinoid production is believed to react more strongly in response to stress as opposed to pain (the stronger endorphin activator). Differentiating between physical stress and discomfort during a run is nearly impossible. Which means the same mechanism that triggers endorphins can also trigger endocannabinoids: a challenging (not killer) workout. Raichlen says that running at 70 to 85 percent of your age-adjusted maximum heart rate is optimal in spiking the primary stress hormone cortisol, and producing endocannabinoids. (If you’re 30, you’d aim for between 142 and 161 beats per minute.)

Hill’s research suggests that, in small doses, mental stress may also increase endocannabinoid production. So prerace jitters could have a payoff. However, chronic stress can dull this effect.

That may be one reason why Cecilia J. Hillard, Ph.D., director of the Neuroscience Research Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin, has found that people need eight hours of sleep a night for optimal endocannabinoid production. What’s more, her research shows that endocannabinoid levels are three times greater first thing in the morning compared with when you hit the hay. Though there’s no scientific proof, this could suggest that a morning run is more likely to produce a high than an afternoon or evening run. Set your alarm; it’s worth experimenting!

Let me hear your Pain: Diverting Drug Addiction

If I was a guest teacher at the schools again I would ask students about their pain. This might be a good place to start. Can we divert energies away from drug addiction? Keeping a journal can save your life, I'd tell them. The side effect is poetry and connection.

French Radio

My Brazilian neighbors speak Portuguese and I listen to French radio to wake up my ears and remember my years of studying French. The world is a big place. I have been thinking about the local people in our magical city and wondering ways we can prevent having any more drug overdoses. There are many avenues and tools. I think our society is failing if people are reaching for opium. We all want to feel good but an epidemic of these proportions points to a huge problem in our society. Can we have a family meeting? I said that as a child growing up in a narcissistic household. I was aware of the holes. I made plans to escape by running away. I knew what love was from my grandparents. I was a lucky one.

Good Friends Are Good for You

Social Ties: The Key to Health and Happiness
Good Friends Are Good for You

By Tom Valeo
WebMD: Better information. Better health.
Good Friends Are Good for You

"You got to have friends to make that day last long," sings Bette Midler.

Good friends may help your life last longer, too.

A recent study followed nearly 1,500 older people for 10 years. It found that those who had a large network of friends outlived those with fewer friends by more than 20%.

Why? Some think good friends keep you from doing things that are bad for you, like smoking and heavy drinking. Friends may also ward off depression, boost your self-esteem, and provide support.

As people age, they tend to be more selective in their choice of friends, so they spend more time with people they like.

Close relationships with children and relatives, in contrast, had almost no effect on longevity. Lynne C. Giles, one of the researchers who conducted the study, emphasized that family ties are important, they just seem to have little effect on survival.
The Health Benefits of Good Friends

Lots of research has shown social support and good health are connected.

One recent study of people with ovarian cancer says those with lots of social support had much lower levels of a protein linked to more aggressive cancers. This made their chemotherapy treatments more effective.

In another study, women with breast cancer in a support group lived twice as long as those not in a group. They also had much less pain.

Sheldon Cohen, PhD, a psychology professor at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, says strong social support helps people cope with stress.

"There may be broader effects as well,” Cohen says. “Friends encourage you to take better care of yourself. And people with wider social networks are higher in self-esteem, and they feel they have more control over their lives."

Other studies show people with fewer friends tend to die sooner after having a heart attack than people with a strong social network. Having lots of friends may even reduce your chance of catching a cold.

"People with social support have fewer cardiovascular problems and immune problems, and lower levels of cortisol -- a stress hormone," says Tasha R. Howe, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Humboldt State University.

"[We] are social animals, and we have evolved to be in groups,” Howe says. “We have always needed others for our survival. It's in our genes.”

People with a big social group tend to be more at peace, which leads to better health, Howe says.
Friends Can Be Stressful

Your buddies can be a source of stress, though. Friends can cause more stress than others because we care so much about them.

Julianne Holt-Lunstad, PhD, associate professor of psychology at Brigham Young University, says dealing with people who cause conflicted feelings in us can raise blood pressure more than dealing with people we don't like.

"My colleagues and I were interested in relationships that contain a mix of positivity and negativity," she says. "For example, you might love your mother very much, but still find her overbearing or critical at times."

Holt-Lunstad and her colleagues found that blood pressure was highest when people were interacting with someone they had mixed feelings about.

"We suspect that people we feel positive toward can hurt us that much more when they make a snide comment or don't come through for us because they are important to us,” she says. “Friends may help us cope with stress, but they also may create stress."

So would we be better off having no friends at all? Hardly.

"One thing research shows is that as one's social network gets smaller, one's risk for mortality increases," Holt-Lunstad says.

How much? She says it’s almost as much as if you smoke.
The Impact of Loneliness

What about loners? Are they at greater risk of dying because they like to be alone?

Only if they feel lonely.

Drug use among young people is higher among those who say they’re lonely. Older lonely people tend to have higher blood pressure and poorer sleep quality. They also were more tense and anxious.

In one study, college freshmen who had small social networks and claimed to be lonely had weaker immune responses to flu vaccinations. They also had higher levels of stress hormones in their blood.
How Women's Friendships Are Different

In general, women are better at keeping friends than men. Women "tend and befriend," says Shelley E. Taylor, PhD, a psychology professor at UCLA. They respond to stress by protecting, nurturing, and seeking support from others. This pattern regulates the seeking, giving, and receipt of social support, Taylor says. It reduces psychological and biological stress.

Margaret Gibbs, PhD, professor of psychology at Fairleigh Dickinson University, says men and women relate to others differently throughout life.

"Male friendships are more about helping each other -- mending the lawn mower, that sort of thing,” Gibbs says. “Women's friendships tend to have a more emotional content -- listening to friends' stories and coming up with helpful solutions."

WebMD Feature

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on April 20, 2016

Long Life

After 60: 4 Things You Need to Know
By Katherine Tweed
WebMD Feature

Keeping a healthy weight is a worthwhile goal at any age. As you get older, it can get trickier.

You might not be burning calories like you did when you were younger, but you can still take off extra pounds.

The golden rules of weight loss still apply:

Burn more calories than you eat or drink.
Eat more veggies, fruits, whole grains, fish, beans, and low-fat or fat-free dairy; and keep meat and poultry lean.
Limit empty calories, like sugars and foods with little or no nutritional value.
Avoid fad diets because the results don't last.

1. Stay Strong

You lose muscle mass as you age. Offset that by doing strength training. You can use weight machines at a gym, lighter weights you hold in your hands, or your own body weight for resistance like in yoga or Pilates. Keeping your muscle mass is key to burning more calories, says Joanna Li, RD, a nutritionist at Foodtrainers in New York.

2. Eat More Protein

Because you're at risk for losing muscle mass, make sure your diet includes about one gram of protein to every kilogram (2.2 pounds) of body weight. "Protein also keeps you full for longer, so that helps with weight loss efforts," Li says. She recommends wild salmon, whole eggs, organic whey protein powder, and grass-fed beef.

3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

Drink plenty of water. Sometimes, thirst masks itself as hunger. As you get older, you may not be as quick to notice when you're thirsty, Li says. She says you should get 64 ounces of water a day. You can drink it or get part of it from foods that are naturally rich in water, such as cucumbers and tomatoes. If you're not sure if you're getting enough water, check your urine: It should be pale yellow.

4. Outsmart Your Metabolism

Eat more small meals and snacks, and don't go much longer than 3 hours without eating. "Because your metabolism is already slow, if you're starving yourself, it just gets slower," Li says. You may need fewer calories than you did when you were younger. Ask your doctor or a registered dietitian about that. "If you're eating the same way you did when you were 25, you're definitely going to be gaining," Li says.