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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

TWLOHA

Friday, November 13th.
To Write Love On Her Arms day.

Love is the movement, it is something that will never change even as our cultures do. We can find ways to hate eachother for the way we look or the way we act but you can NEVER hate someone for the way they love. Tears, pain, and emotions are all universal. We all bleed the same, but everyone has a different scar. The difference is the way we bare them. Are we holding our heads high or is there a reason that we drop our chin? 

That reason is why I'm writing love on my arm. I don't hurt anymore, and I'll show you those scars if it means that you'll have hope. If all it takes is one word marked on my body to reinstate faith in yourself, okay, but even if it doesn't, I want you to know that I love you for the way you feel. I love you because you don't deserve to hurt the way you do. I don't care who you are or what you do, you deserve happiness. Emotions can give you everything, and unfortunately they can take it away, too. Love can give it back :)

Race

"I do not care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a goddamn zebra. I'm the manager of this team, and I say he plays. What's more, I say he can make us all rich. And if any of you cannot use the money, I will see that you are all traded."

-Leo Durocher on Jackie Robinson before Robinson broke the race barrier in baseball. 

Monday, October 26, 2009

Technology- this is how I study...

Technology is continually evolving. Easy sentence, four words, killer meaning. In the short term, things such as television and computers have positive effects with things such as communication or information contribution. But, eventually with each new advancement we grow used to not having to respond to information with a reaction or any emotion at all. We assume some sort of unawareness as we become more isolated and disconnected. Our facial reactions can no longer be monitored by others because news is not being given to us by real people. We find out about politics, friends, and family through the Internet and the news stations. Our patience runs short with real people because a news caster can deliver a message in 30 seconds. Malcolm Gladwell said it takes ten years of consistent practice to become a master of craft, but with the Internet one can become a master in less than a minute. Thank you technology for eventually making us regress in productivity, and you look so good when you do it. Damn, I want a plasma TV installed over my window so I don't even need real light. 

Call me hypocritical, but I like this fricken blog because I don't have to watch you judging me in face to face communication. I can say whatever the Hell I want and it will be broadcasted all across the world in two seconds and I could care less. Asian, African, Caucasian, whatever, as long as I don't have to see the reaction on your face, I'm happy? Why do I feel like there are so many things wrong with that??

You know, there is so many things wrong with that. 
I'm going to bed all pissed off, and you wouldn't know that if I didn't just tell you cause you CAN'T SEE MY FACE. 

Listen to to this :)

On To The Next One (Feat. Swizz Beatz) by Jay-Z off of The Blueprint 3.

I'm writing a paper for class so I have no time to ramble. It's about Charles Darwin so I'm sure none of you care. I don't.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Flu season!

Eight foods high in beneficial nutrients:
1. Walnuts (Omega 3's which are one of the essential fatty acids)
2. Salmon or fish in general (Omega 3's)
3. Pumpkin, Carrots (beta carotene which is a precursor to Vitamin A)
4. Yogurt (Calcium for bone health, B vitamins that facilitate energy use)
5. Raspberries (Vitamin C is associated with wound healing, and also blocks absorption of certain cancer causing nitrates)
6. Kidney beans (the B vitamins and the promotion of hemoglobin production)
7. Broccoli (phytochemicals which are disease fighting chemicals that are only found in food)
8. Oats (Fiber, can never get enough fiber. Oats are a form of soluble fiber, which lowers cholesterol levels and regulates blood sugar levels.

Vitamin C
"Ascorbic Acid"
Absorption of Iron in body, without Vitamin C, Iron is useless.
Formation of hemoglobin
Metabolizes protein
Antioxidants

It is recommended that daily intake for women and men is 75-90 mg
Smokers must increase this intake 110-125 mg
People exposed to second hand smoke must increase to 100 mg

Boost your immune system this season :) Vitamins and minerals do not provide a direct source of energy, they work with other nutrients in foods. Vitamins are necessary for growth, reproduction, and maintenance. The B vitamins are co-enzymes and act as precursors for the metabolism of nutrients. Minerals can be partnered with enzymes and they work with your immune system.

Vitamin A
Assists in the formation and maintenance of skin and mucous membranes. These tissues are the primary barrier to infections!
Antioxidants to promote immunity

carrots, squash, sweet potatoes.

EAT YOUR LEAFY GREENS. they have nearly everything.



Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Old People Say The Darndest Things

"I won't be down for dinner this suday. I'm going to my grandson's birthday party."
"Oh how cute! how old is he going to be?"
"23."
"Oh! Not so cute anymore, eh?" Laughs
"Yeah, my other grandson is better looking, but of course I don't say that to THEM!!"


Mandatory Wine Tasting

"It's the fucking Catalina Wine Mixer!!"
I was looking for a reason to skip biology today when I got a call from my sister. She needed a ride, and preferably not with a police officer. As she was talking I could hear ridiculous cackling in the background. I went to pick her up and she came walking out of the house in her work clothes with the goofiest smile on her face while my other sister stood in the doorway rubbing her face. Hmmm.

Okay?
As I was jealous that I was no longer intoxicated, I realized how sad it was that we all decided to drink on a Tuesday night. I voiced this thought to my sister, who was laid all the way back in my passenger seat with her arms over her face. The sky was too bright. Might I add that it is raining in Minneapolis today? She told me that she was forced to drink, which is funny because I'm not sure that is possible. She said, "No really, it was mandatory." I assume that is why she was wearing her work clothes.

All my sisters work at a "restaurant". Annual wine tasting took place last night, and it is mandatory. How a facility can make such a thing mandatory seems like some sort of ploy. Where is the manager that is taking behavior notes? Next week who is going to be pulled aside and chidded for being drunk on the job?

Now, I hope you know I'm kidding. No one is really taking notes. But I'm serious about the wine, 32 different kinds. That's a lot of wine for a bunch of co-workers.. Except for the underage employees. They get to smell the wine. What makes me laugh is that my underage sister was "smelling wine" and she woke up just as intoxicated as the other two.

I feel like they should be in a movie.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thanks, Posh

“Never buy a dress that’s really too tight for you. But if you do…never go to a party without safety pins.” —Victoria Beckham

Why I Am Leaving Facebook

I can recall myself saying the words "Facebook is ruining my life" three or four times in the last week, and I have finally decided that I don't need a fifth statement. My intercultural communications class is currently presenting papers about a significant cultural event. Today, I heard the thoughts and facts of one student who is arguing that social networking services are ruining current generations, and will continue to destroy physical relationships in future generations. There is one thing that the student said that solidified my decision to give Facebook a break: The average user spends a good 20 minutes on the website, 10 hours a week, and in total, 24 DAYS a year. I immediately reacted to his statement with, "Do you know how many books I could read in 24 days?" 

Therefore, I am taking a vacation from my Facebook connections. I no longer want to have 10 minute conversations with my family about a conversation we had on our walls, I'm tired of being disappointed by seeing things that upset me on Facebook statuses, and I am sick of the fake persona that I, and everyone else, has created on the web. Facebook is not who I am, and the things that I portray on my profile are only things I want other users to know. I am at the point in my adulthood where I am building relationships that will last me the rest of my life. I want these people to know me, my bad, and my good. The satisfaction that I used to get out of only being able to reveal a certain part of me has worn out, and I am eliminating the trouble that I have gone through to perfect that image. No more editing my "About Me" to reveal myself in a carefree light. The people that I care about know that my "Interests", "Music", and "Activities" are bigger than what I can fit into a 350 character box. My life is moving forward in real time, and honestly, I don't care what that kid from high school thought about 20 minutes ago. 

Will I miss it? Yes. I already miss it. I'm a creature of habit, and when I was reading the paper this morning I saw a story that caught my eye. Normally, I would post the article to my Facebook page in hopes that I could educate my feed followers. I had started to use my Facebook as a sort of outlet for the things that I've been passionate about, but I also started seeing more things that brought me down. So this longing to log on is bittersweet. I don't know when I will be back, or if I will be back. If this reprieve turns out to be more rewarding than I thought, I might get rid of my Facebook account for good. But more likely than not, I will be back on in the next few weeks. I want to be able to continue giving Facebook users some sort of interesting news that I come across, and I would like to think they will learn something useful. Last week a friend told me that she had watched both of the videos that I had posted and she had learned from them, so I know that my insight is appreciated. When I log back in I am not looking for 38 new notifications. I don't need an indicator to tell me that I have friends, and I hope (probably in vain) that others will follow suit. My reasoning is legitimate and I would be happy knowing that others felt the same, too. 

While I'm taking this break, I'm going to find ways to focus my attention elsewhere. What else can you do when you take such a big part of your day away? I will be calling friends instead of "facebooking" them to say that I haven't seen them in forever. I will read a book or eight, and possibly even open a text book to study instead of procrastinate on childlike Facebook games. I'll clean at times when I would have laid around and looked at carefully chosen profile pictures. Basically, I'm going to try to make myself feel more relevant than just a status update. 

I logged out, and deleted the bookmark from my browser, but before I did that I changed my status one more time: "Kaela Bergquist is leaving Facebook for awhile. I don't need this. Call me, email me whatever, just don't stalk me in real life please :)" 

I know the people that I love will continue to call, and that half of my facebook friends won't, but I've always been aware of that. If the childhood friends, distant relatives, and high school classmates really need to stay in contact with me, as avid facebook users they should know that under the "Info" tab, I have an e-mail address listed. It is an activate account, and it is NOT sexi.mplsbabe69@friendfinder.com. Happily, I will oblige to answer a friendly e-mail rather than a click from the new "like" button. I find it funny that "like" has become a verb, along with "facebooking", but that is besides my point :) 

Finally, I must share that the man sitting directly in front of me at this coffee shop is a bald, 45 year old looking man, and he is copying a passage out of a book onto his Facebook page. It has taken roughly 1o minutes of the cursor blinking in the 'What's on your mind?' box for him to find the perfect quote. I wish he was more aware of his surrounding to notice that I indeed have been laughing at him... Facebook will do that; make you unaware. 

So, have a good day, and if you are one of my Facebook friends that clicked the link to my blog under my "Info" tab, I thank you kindly for taking the time out of your Internet stalking to come read what I have to say. I appreciate you for it :) 

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Jim Gaffigan

"We’re never satisfied when it comes to food. 'You know what’d be good on this burger? A ham sandwich? A Instead of a bun, let’s use two donuts. That way we can have it for breakfast. Look out McGriddle-here comes the donut-ham-hamburger!'"

Friday, October 16, 2009

Ride it like you stole it

My family is interesting, but what I like the most about their ridiculous hobbies are the Harley's. We currently have two of them cruising around Minnesota, one belonging to my dad, and the other my uncle. Of course, their wives have taken to the wind and leather also, but the legitimate mid-life crisis belongs to the men.

My dad bought his Harley-Davidson almost a year and a half ago. He said goodbye to any of my college tuition, and all renovations on our basement halted. He bought his ride without telling anyone but his wife. He rode it for probably a month before the rest of the family found out. The bike is a two seater, midnight blue, with chrome detail, and raised handle-bars. Similarly, when I was a child, my dad raved on and on about a midnight blue, four-door, crew cab Ford but, I was not old enough to have a sufficient college fund to spend. I feel like his Harley is a reincarnation of his Ford but, beggars can't be choosers when it comes to a mid-life crisis. At first I refused to dignify his purchase with a response. I looked at it, but wouldn't ride on it. I had always loved the Orange County Chopper show but I thought it juvenile for my own father to splurge on a motorcycle.

In June of 2008 his Harley-Davidson made it's first appearance to the public outside of my immediate family. He cruised up to my best friend's outdoor graduation party completely decked out in a skull cap, a mean Harley shirt, and steel-toe boots. Never have I been more proud of my dad's bad ass appeal. He just looked so cool. That summer he and my mother went all over Minnesota on the Harley, giving me plenty of nights to re-claim my tuition money by throwing parties. Motorcycle riders make for relaxed parent, right? Wrong. Either the new motorcycle smell has gone away, or the dog sold me out. They don't do over-night rides as often as they did.

I don't know if my dad's Harley is a mid-life crisis gift to himself or not; that seems to be my own running joke. Part of me thinks that he is trying to own the road, to scare the stupid out of jumpy Crotch-Rocket punks, and to define a new way of road rage intimidation. A few years back my family and I encountered an irresponsible youngster racing in between cars on his purple torpedo to get as much distance between himself and the police cars that were tailing him. We were on our way out of town for a much needed vacation. It had already been a chore to load the entire house into the car and then pile us on top of everything, and we were hardly on the highway when, of course, the little C.R. nailed the back end of our mini-van. He could have seriously injured my younger sister if he hadn't hit an orange construction cone on his way into our vehicle. My dad nearly threw his door off the hinges when he flew out of the car raging in his steel-toe boots. The C.R. kid is lucky my dad didn't shove his scrawny body up the mangled crotch-rocket's exhaust pipe. It took four police officers to stop my six foot six, invincible father from stomping the dazed rider into the tangled mess that was his bike. The end result of the lawsuit was that my dad had to have a bigger, louder, better bike than a crotch rocket; more leather, more straps, more mean mugs. After all, the swag is all about the riders glare: a bandanna tightened around a furrowed brow, a pair of sleek shades, pursed lips, and a firm crease around the corners of the mouth.

To all the amateurs: Don't mess with the big dogs because they will go out and buy a Harley and some Sturgis friends.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Omnivore's Dilemma

There is a really awesome interview with Michael Pollan on Youtube from Democracy NOW!. He has written multiple nutritional books including: "The Omnivore's Dilemma", "The Botany of Desire", and his most recent publication called, "In Defense of Food: An Eaters Manifesto"

Part one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oV6z_ANDvdY

Part two:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyjjsRtklXo

I encourage you to check them both out. I'm a big believer in "you choose your disease" and he really emphasizes the correlation between nutrition and health care. Basically, Michael Pollan is a genius, and he speaks intelligently. You might learn something from his interview, I sure did. If you like what he says, read the books!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

And then they destroyed my crops...

Genetic Variation
It is enough for corporations to have rights to their own manufactured products, but where do we draw the line? It is true that a company cannot own an animal, human being, or plant, but it is also true that once they are genetically modified, the company can patent the modification and are entitled to ownership of the genetic makeup. This way of profit has lead to many successes for the corporations, but what about the rest of the world? Money has over-ridden any of the ethical dilemmas that arise out of such exploitation of human rights.

Seed producing industries have taken over the agricultural process indefinitely. No longer organic, seeds have become genetically modified, thus they are owned by large corporations by a patent. These seeds are LEGALLY protected from reproduction and redistribution in the fields. President Clinton signed the 1970 Plant Variation Protection Act enabling ultimate control over saving seeds. Each year after every crop, new seeds must be purchased or the farmer may face a lawsuit. Experts are checking these farms unbeknownst to the land owner. Any re-seeded crops are destroyed because they are protected by Clinton's congressionally approved amendments. What is outrageous is that such re-seeding can ultimately be out of the control of the farmer. Natural redistribution can happen through something as simple as the wind blowing residue across fields. Farms in South America that don't process seeds from North America have been finding crops that originate in our country. Thousands of suicides have occurred in India because Indian farmers can no longer afford to re-purchase seeds harvest after harvest. What these companies are creating is defined as cultural evolution, but what they aren't creating is progress. Progress would be the notion that humans are moving forward with positive agricultural developments, but the productivity of such practices amongst corporations is so low that what genetic varaition is producing will inevitably have a negative effect on our future in farming.

Strangely enough, these genetically engineered seeds aren't affecting just humans. It is possible for these inorganic plants to destroy other species. Monarchs, for example, aren't dying out because children like to catch butterflies. They can no longer digest the pollen in modified plants. If their species can no longer transfer pollen across a field, plants will eventually die out, along with the insects that ingest pollen out of necessity to thrive.

Thanks to organizations such as "Seeds of Change" it is still possible to purchase organic seeds. They strive to preserve seed saving just as ambitiously as corporations strive to destroy it. By continuing to produce natural products we can begin to evolutionize agriculture with positive outcomes. Those that can afford the organic seeds are not required to re-purchase them after every harvest and at the end of the season their profit would outweigh expenses making for happy farming :) (More information can be found at the "Seeds of Change" website http://www.seedsofchange.com/)



"The eye takes a person into the world. The ear brings the world into the human being"
-Laurence Oken, philosopher

Sight has dominated all of the senses, becoming what could be called one of the largest autocrats of our culture. All predisposed dispositions about humans come from what we see. We feel like we can judge based on the way a person looks, walks, and dresses. I will happily blame corporations for this material interpretations of the way people are perceived. What is also sad is that beauty can be derived by a series of genetic changes, also something that a big industry has the ability to control. The way a child looks can be determined by the parents when the gametes are preserved in a petri dish. While corporate America makes this look helpful with movies such as Gattac (1997) and more recently, My Sisters Keeper (2009), there is a reality associated with the ethics of petri babies.

Before personal choice comes the issue of human ratio. If parents are given the ability to determine the gender of their future child it is a given that some will prefer little boys over little girls, and vice versa. The problem is that there has to be a specific correlation between the number of males and the number of females in our world for us to continue to be a successful species. Any changes that are made must be part of the process of natural selection: naturally occurring mutations that either die out if unsuccessful, or continue on as a part of the human adaption process. Tampering with this could lead to negative consequences. It might be that the human race becomes unable to adapt to environmental changes because of synthetic mutations.

Though one may justify the genetic modification of their child as medically necessary to prevent disease, they are only a sell-out to the major corporations. When a child's genetics are needed for research, remember that the industry owns the rights to that specific gene. If modified human genetics continue I sympathize for the future children that are natural. What kind of teasing could they endure if a genetic defect was never modified? In adult life, what kind of life insurance would be denied and jobs taken away if one is susceptible to a certain 'defect'?





Monday, October 12, 2009

Something about independence...

I forgot to explain why I started Dear Minneapolis.
I feel like I have a lot to say but most people don't want to hear it. So, if no one ever reads this, it is genuinely okay with me. I just want to speak less and write more. It's simply easier for me to be vulnerable on paper than in real time. Paper can deteriorate, along with my eraser, and my self-esteem. So this blog saves me wasted ideas, gives me a delete key, and I don't have to see the look on your face when you read what I have to say.

Here is what I just started working on:

"As you grow older you lose a little bit of your confidence... I am very confident in myself but I've lost a little bit of it as I've aged. But I will say that I'm not afraid to ask for help when I need it."
-Margaret, Assisted Living

We work so hard to gain acceptance as young adults it's hard to believe that a confident attitude will deplete with age. I think of other cultures and how sometimes too much confidence is disrespectful, and even in America where a higher confidence level can be conisdered arrogant. I would like to know if maybe there is more to having a high self-esteem. Is a positive overall evaluation of one's self worth better than self-assurance of one's abilites? If we were to have higher self-esteems as we grow into adulthood would we rely less on confidence, and in turn, be happier in old age?

As Americans we are raised to believe that independence is the ideal. For most of us, we are dependent on some sort of guardian for our enitre childhood. School days are spent preparing us to venutre out on our own and do great things, and in adulthood we are expected to stand on our own as soon as 18 years old.

In contrast, Asian cultural belief is that children respect their parents in childhood, they recieve educations, and continue on caring for their parents in adulthood. Many families have sons that live at home and when they wed the wife moves in also. To discontinue care for their family would be the greatest disrespect towards a mother and father. Is this form of dependence more beneficial for the parents as they grow older than a nursing home? Yes. In America is this a realistic practice? No.

I recently heard a story from a young man that moved with his family to the U.S. from an Asian country. He experienced the American culture from 11 years old, including the educational system. In his description it was clear that he was a faltering Buddhist. Raised in the ways of Chinese religion, he was taught mantras by his mother and traditions by his father, this includes the expectation that as a man, the son would care for his mother and father. His parents didn't change when they came to America because they weren't as exposed to the American culture. The young man, however, started secondary schooling, and began to be encompassed by "the American dream". He ended his story expressing his doubt that he would continue on in traditional Buddhist rituals. As an intelligent person, he expressed that he felt there was more to his life than working to give back to his parents. Their dependence on him will eventually be unavailable, and I wonder if they will be able to function on their own when for their whole lives they have been counting on their son's respect. As a minority in a new country, with a new language, and a new life, what will happen to their self-esteem when their son moves out?

How do we fix this problem when the whole existence of American culture is based off of an independent life style? Is it really necessary for an elderly person to regress into a childlike state? After a certain point, it is inevitable, but premature regression could easily inhibit one's ability to self-actualize. Maybe Asian culture is a better example of a way to care for our aging generations. I realize that it is not exactly ideal to be living in a parental home for the rest of a life time, but what about accepting family into our own homes? Generally, as children we are nurtured by some sort of guardian, therefore, it should not be acceptable to disregard any sacrifices made by refusing to make sacrifices of our own.


Rawr.

Hundreds and hundreds of feet traipse past the lazy African lions that lounge in the Large Cat House each sweltering summer. They yawn and lick their chops while conveniently ignoring the crowds of people peeking through the glass and pressing their sweaty palms against the cool barrier. Occasionally, a lion or lioness will roar for no apparent reason, almost as if they know that their roar will scare everyone within a five mile radius of the den. African Lions are considered the only social cats of the wilderness, but at first glance, they don't quite live up to their honor. In the zoo they rarely get the chance to take down prey or live in a pride. A day in the life of a captive lion basically consists of staring at the people that are staring at them. To the general public it seems juvenile to get excited about a spot that one can see for a small price of an optional donation. But actually taking the time to observe a lion's habitat becomes so much more intriguing when the crowds have dispersed for the winter and the only little girl left is starring eye to eye with Garth, a Panthera Leo, in his territory. The lion doesn't yawn or even blink, and every movement the girl makes is followed with a flick of the greenish cat eyes. He only looks away when the orange and white blur of a tiger flashes by in the opposite enclosure. The brief encounter takes place in a pastel colored room in the Large Cat House, located right where civilization meets it's end, and acting like an animal is what the resident's of the community do best.

The Large Cat Exhibit was first opened to the public in 1980, it was the beginning of many of Como Zoo's renovations. As crowds make their way through the double doors and down the steep stone stairs, they enter a shrine of pastel yellows, greens, and purples. The walls and the ceiling are painted with depictions of three different cat families and twisting green and grey vines. On either side of the walkway there are huge windows opening up to the enclosures of the three specific animals. I was informed by Claire, a Como Zoo Conservatory volunteer, that the glass keeping the faux wilderness from human contact is nine sheets of bullet proof safety. I was also told that the exhibit was designed based on a tent from the Mughal Empire circa 1600 in Northern India. The reason being the Mughal Empire was the very last culture in which the lion, tiger, and snow leopard cohabited. The art of the Mughal culture was very colorful, patterned work, which is represented in the Large Cat House where the lion, tiger, and snow leopard once again coexist as they did when the Mughal Empire thrived.

The lion den consists of 4 lions. There are Garth and Winona, ages 16 and 17, who are the parents to Mufasa and Savannah. Both pairs are very bonded, even Mufasa and Savannah who are siblings. Claire believes that one lion would be very, very upset if something happened to the other. Garth has had a vasectomy so cubs are not an option, but the mating continues because the lions have no idea that they are not able to reproduce. Claire said that the zoo would never allow siblings to produce offspring, so Mufasa has also had a vasectomy to prevent Savannah from giving birth. They all lounge in a dimly lit, two room den, with a small opening connecting from one enclosure to another. Both sides of the separating stone wall have large black rocks that cover the entire surface. Behind a mesh gate there are trees, bushes, and vines that attempt to create an outdoors feeling. Cluttering the floor are plenty of toys that have clearly been very loved: a beat up, purple, kiddie pool, a scratched and worn, oversized rubber duck, a small tire swing with thick intertwined rope holding it to the ceiling, and a large tractor tire that makes for a good size reference.

For being bred in captivity, it is amazing how chiseled and bulky their bodies are. They are on the smaller side compared to wild lions, but they still evoke a certain amount of fear. Claire says that Winona is the "moody" lioness. When she gets angry or uneasy she hits at the glass, something that could easily frighten someone as close too her as her own zoo keeper. When I saw her, Winona was lounging around the tractor tire, oblivious to anything but the inside of her eyelids. Garth had taken a stance at the other side of the tractor tire, almost as if he was anticipating something.

The young girl was long gone, but Garth was still stationed in the same spot, staring past my eyes, no longer phased by the tiger across the walkway, and no longer widening his jaw to yawn. That is the way I left him, waiting for next season's crowd of spectators to burst down the stairs and into his home. They will gawk and giggle as he and Winona go through the motions of captive lions and entertain the masses with roars and flicking tails. They wont show fear, anger, or any interest at all until the crowds start to leave, and again, that one lucky person is noticed and acknowledged as Garth admires their complexity, and wonders what it is like to be on the other side of the glass.



Breast Cancer

A cure is something everyone is looking for; it could be for something as simple as a cold to something as complex as an unknown disease. For my step family and I it is the latter. Every year, we get together with thousands of other hopefuls and walk. Every person is with us for a different reason whether they are surviving, celebrating, or survivors. We laugh and cry with people of every background imaginable, but we all share one thing in common: every person involved has been touched in some way or another by breast cancer. For my family and I our movement started in December of 1996 when we lost my Aunt Sara to her battle with cancer. Our first year of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure was difficult. We went with our generic race shirts and "In memory of Sara Filar" pinned on our backs. In the beginning it was hard to see survivors dressed in pink throughout the crowd when our own fighter wasn't able to join them, but it has become easier throughout the years. Now when we walk we celebrate my aunt's memory as Team Sarah. Our shirts have her photo ironed onto the sleeve, we have a gigantic sign that announces our place in the crowds of participants, and we hug the survivors that we used to envy. It is a beautiful thing to see, coming over a large hill in the last stretch of the race, hundreds and hundreds of people joining together for the same cause: to find a cure.

Nancy G. Brinker founded Susan G. Komen for the Cure after losing her sister to breast cancer after a very ambitious battle. Susan spent her time in treatment looking for ways to make breast cancer easier for other women. Near the end of Susan's life, inspired by her sister's compassion and strength, Nancy promised Susan "that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever". This promise has lead to over one billion dollars since 1982, making the Susan G. Komen foundation the largest source of nonprofit funds for a breast cancer cure. Though they are making a huge impact on developments, nearly 10 million women could die from breast cancer in the next 25 years without a solution. Nancy's promise was to end breast cancer forever, the science is possible, and it is just a matter of time. 

Breast cancer is not something that is fully understood, and as of now there is no easy treatment. All women are susceptible and majority of the women that are diagnosed have no risk factors except for the obvious factor that they are aging females. It is very rare, but according to the Susan G. Komen foundation, in 2008 it was estimated that men would account for about 1,990 of the diagnosed. 

There are two specific types, Invasive and Non-Invasive (Ductal Carcinoma in Situ). Invasive breast cancer takes place when the abnormal cells in the ducts spread outside to the breast tissue. This allows the invasive cells to spread into the lymph system in a process called metastasis. Advanced stages can lead to cancer cells spreading to organs such as the liver, lungs and bones. 

Non-invasive breast cancer occurs when the abnormal cells remain in the milk ducts and do not spread to the breast tissue. It is possible for DCIS to develop into invasive cancer. This is why it is extremely important for women to take part in yearly mammograms and self checks; as with every disease early detection can be one of the most important factors in recovery. Before the 1980's new cases of breast cancer only rose by about one percent a year, likely because of a lack of awareness and less screening. It is shocking to hear that since the eighties the number of diagnosed cases has risen to 192,370 in 2009, but the mortality rate in the last 30 years has decreased significantly. This means that women are getting the necessary exams and breast cancer is being caught in the earlier stages making treatment more successful.  

The Race for the Cure is held annually all across the nation and in recent years they have extended to international affiliates, holding races in countries such as Costa Rica and Italy. In 2009 roughly 45,000 people participated globally, reaching $4.3 million dollars. The Twin Cities Race for the Cure is held every Mother's day in Bloomington. The festivities kick off in front of the Mall of America with stands that are spread across a parking lot, all of which are representatives of the many corporate sponsors. Amazingly enough, each year another sponsor is added, more gifts are given out, and more space is needed to accommodate all of the affiliates. Boxes of food and water are emptied in seconds. Bananas, yogurt, and Nutri-Grain bars are stuffed into fanny packs and empty strollers as participants head to the starting marker. At 9:00 A.M. the 5K walk starts and together, survivors in pink and loved ones in white, we traipse 3.1 miles proudly declaring our support. Sue's Sidekicks, Love for Lori, Team Healthy Hoots, Cure Cutie's, Nancy's Blazer's, Pirates of Pink, Renee's Renegades, and more, all making a difference for the next woman diagnosed with breast cancer. 

The best defense against any disease is to be well-informed. Information on Susan G. Komen for a Cure can be found online at komen.org or komenminnesota.org. There are so many ways to support. Donate to the foundation, Buy a bag of Amy's Blend coffee beans from Caribou, collect designated Yoplait yogurt lids, and even better, join thousands of others in the 2010 Twin Cities Race for the Cure. 

You want a quote? HA-CHA.

"Drugs have taught an entire generation of
American kids the metric system."
P.J. O'Rourke

Dear City of Minneapolis,

(Disclaimer: I am not really sending this letter. It wouldn't get me anywhere. I can't control the dumbfucks. Enjoy my overly sarcastic, claim to road ownership...)

If you were at all interested in knowing why it is snowing on October 12th, I will tell you. I am sorry to inform you that you completely threw off the cosmic balance of Minnesota by turning 1st Avenue into a two way. The snow is a direct consequence of your bull-shit use of stimulus money. Today is Monday, the first Monday since the road change, and I can tell you from my own experience that your big idea sucks. I saw only one car utilizing the opposite side of the road to head North, and I must say that they are very gutsy human beings. My original plan for this day was to continue driving as I usually would: passing stupid idiots as I please in my usual multiple lanes, ignoring the yellow line, and surley I could have done just that because as you can see from my previous statement, I only saw one car on the other side of the double yellow. Lucky for that daring soul, my grandma told me that my plan was stupid, as I am telling you that your plan is stupid. Someone could have died. Thanks grandma for your wisdom.
I read the Star Tribune nearly every day and have yet to find a story that explains to me the following things:
Who pushed for the 2-ways?
Who voted for them?
And, is this a result of the new stadium?
Because baseball fans, unlike most football fans, are not mildly stupid and can infact find their way through downtown by reading the signs. The old signs did not say: 'No parking in the middle of the fucking road monday thru friday 6am-9am, 4pm-6pm, and every other leap year'. for fuck sake, correct me if I'm mistaken, but I'm pretty sure they said "ONE WAY" with a big black arrow pointing in the direction of the one way. I hope that the city officials were NOT the football loving idiots that couldn't understand the concept of one-way traffic or our city is in dire need of a change in authority. If you want directions to the metrodome I will paint you a big red line to follow. I don't think you can miss the marshmallow that is conveniently located right off of a 35W exit specifically so people like you don't get lost....ZINGGG. According to our city once you get past the metrodome you don't know how to navigate the streets any longer. so sad.

I will continue this after I take my Nutrition test, in my Community college, which is located directly at the end of your stupid changes. My next complaint it going to be that mother fucking light at the intersection of Hell and the 394 exit into downtown. WHERE IS THE GREEN ARROW????

At the intersection of 12th street and 1st Avenue where 394 traffic USED to have to turn left, they can now speed straight ahead... There are agitated students yielding to the boisterous vehicals, waiting for three or four light changes only to be late to class and ridiculed. It was convenient when we were legally able to turn left on red, that is clearly no longer a possibility. BUT, I have noticed after sitting at that damn light for 10 minutes that the cross traffic has been yielding when their light turns green to allow all the pissed off commuters to make a left hand turn on a red. How nice of them. I'm currently waiting for some self-righteous bike rider who is finally driving their car to ruin all of the nice by smashing into a pissed off student. That is a fight I want to see if it means I will get a fricken green arrow. I refuse to wake up an extra half an hour to wait at your stupid intersection. Why don't you spend another 10,000 dollars on a green arrow. I assume that your simple explanation for this problem would be to take Hennipen avenue the whole way to school but I would rather not run over a self-righteous bike rider or get myself hit by an even more self-righteous bus full of bike riders avoiding the snow. I think my solution to the green arrow issue is to give a homless man a construction slow/stop sign and a few shots of mexican piss.

Can you tell I don't like bikes? I would be perfectly fine with them if I didn't feel like I was going to kill one because they weave in and out of my line of vision. I've seen a drunk guy ride his bike more gracefully than the people cycling downtown. Do they get the right of way because they are incompetent? is that the same reason buses get the right of way? They now get a full lane to themselves. Why don't we build them an underground tunnel? That would extremely conveniece my life and all the other irritated drivers.

I will end for today with one question. What are you going to do with all the dead drunk people? They don't look both ways. And that weird parking shit you have going on in the right lane is going to only enlarge the problem for their designated drivers. I will tell you right now that personally, I am going to refuse to pick people up from the bars on 1st Avenue unless they walk all the way to Washington. I am NOT dealing with that madness. Correction: your madness. Basically, it's going to come down to a lot more drunk people driving home. Good luck with that. Not my drunkards, not my problem.

Finally, I am going to suggest to you, Minneapolis, that you start converting Central Avenue to a one way just for the Hell of it. Two wrongs don't make a right, but maybe they will make the snow stop.