September 30, 2007

Leaping Leotard

I got a "rebounder" which is a mini baby trampoline type thing that is about as big as a pillow and fits cleverly into your decor(???) and is in my living room so I can "jump into health" or shall I say HELL...while watching tv or listening to the washing machine slug and slog away. I tell my children to stay away as the sight of a fat woman with large headphones(among other things) wearing capri sweatpants and a gargantuan gray sweathshirt singing and leaping on a mini trampoline could scar them for life. They don't find it a problem staying away. Who would.

September 26, 2007


I recently read THIS article that inluded THIS phrase:

Black holes as a birth control measure

huh?? No shit...the only black hole I know better not have a baby coming out of it and if it does you can bet your ass that NATIONAL ENQUIRER and large sums of money would be involved

A Quality That Someone Needs To Work On


According to the The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology (1995), empathy can be describe as:

a. "A cognitive awareness and understanding of the emotions and feelings of another person. In this sense the term's primary connotation is that of an intellectual or conceptual grasping of the affect of another."

b."A vicarious affective response to the emotional experiences of another person that mirrors or mimics that emotion. In this sense there is the clear implication that an empathic experience is a sharing of the emotion with the other person."

c."Assuming, in one's mind, the role of another person. This meaning derives from 1, but differs slightly in that there is added the notion that empathy involves taking on the perspective of the other person. This meaning is common in the literature on moral development where some theorists argue that empathy with another is a prerequisite for the development of a moral code."

d."In H. S. Sullivan's theory of personality, an unverbalized, covert communication process whereby attitudes, feelings and judgements are passed from person to person without ever being publicly articulated. Sullivan's use of the term is quite broad and encompasses the more restricted connotations of the above meanings. See sympathy for more on the terminology of shared affect."

Source: empathy. The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology (1995). Retrieved 20 December 2005, from xreferplus.

Empathy and understanding are closely related. [U]nderstanding as a method characteristic of the humanities is a form of "empathy" or re-creation in the mind of the scholar of the mental atmosphere, the thoughts and feelings and motivations of the objects of his study...(von Wright, 1971, p.6).
[edit] Application in classrooms and similar settings

“An understanding heart is everything in a teacher, and cannot be esteemed highly enough. One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teacher, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feeling. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.” – Carl Jung

A bachelor’s degree in education on any level always includes a multitude of psychology classes to help teachers not only understand how children learn, but also how they feel. In the new era of inclusive education, greater emphasis as been placed on being empathetic and identifying the students’ conditions, but empathy has always been part of the foundation of being an effective teacher. In a standard classroom, a teacher works with a group of students on a daily basis and must understand the emotions and feelings of each one of them. Which students become frustrated easily? Which ones fear working in groups or doing oral presentations? How are the relationships between different groups of students? Using empathy to appreciate the answers to these types of questions will allow the teacher to customize the curriculum and teaching style to the persons involved. It will result in an improved learning experience for the students, and stronger student to student and teacher to student relationships.

In my experience, every misbehavior or good deed done by a student can be explained by some emotional factor. Every "A" on an exam and every "F" as well. Empathy has helped me reach the core, the source of many students' problems and accomplishments. Often, just showing the students you are empathetic can go a long way. When I am notified of a divorce or death in the student's life, I immediately will talk to him/her briefly after class to see how things are. The student will then pick up on my sensitivity, and often become more motivated within the classroom. It's having empathy and showing students that was care about them as genuine people, not A's or B's that can make all the difference. -Christopher Liang

I think empathy is a really important quality for teachers to have. It can be difficult, as our students can sometimes anger or frustrate us. But they must know that we care and that we are on their side. Even in the midst of disciplining students, I think empathy must be present. Often students misbehave out of unmet needs, and it is our job as teachers to help students learn better and more productive ways of meeting those needs. The presence of empathy in our interactions with students helps that to occur, and often is the key to gaining students' respect, trust, and love. --Emily Cox

In my experience as a student, empathy has been a very important quality for me to have in a teacher. It's important for a student to feel comfortable and safe enough to go to a teacher if there is a problem...especially when the teacher may be the only responsible person the student can talk to. As a teacher, I strive to be empathic to my students feelings and needs. One of the greatest compliments I have been given as a teacher is when a parent told me her daughter came home and said "Miss Cyrus is great...I can go in and talk to her about anything." It comforted me to know she said this because I want all my students to know I'm there for them if they need me. I think it helps promote a safe environment for them and that in turn, prompts learning. --Christy Cyrus

I think that as a teacher we need to have empathy for all of our students. We must be able to see and understand where our kids are coming from and let them know that we understand where they are coming from so we can get them to trust us. I believe that some of the students we work with have such major issues in their own life that not acknowledging that doesn't give those kids much to go on. If kids think that we are going to try to understand their issues, they will be more likely to work harder for us. Gay Cabutti

Why isn’t this type of issue addressed more in teacher training? We all seem to agree that empathy is an incredibly important in education, but it is so rarely formally addressed. Perhaps that is because the ability to be empathetic is not something that can be taught in the same way that concepts can be. I’m glad that this important issue is addressed in this forum. –J. Blanken-Webb
[edit] References and other links of interest

empathy. The Penguin Dictionary of Psychology (1995). Retrieved 20 November 2005, from xreferplus.

von Wright, G. (1971). "Explanations and understanding". London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.

September 24, 2007

We Are Home

All is well. The surgery involved only the ACL. Andrew came out of surgery talking about Spartans and scratching his nether regions. He was concerned that his jewels were painted yellow from betadine...and it might...stick. He texted a friend saying, They took a toe and painted my balls. I'm sure that will be the next rumor around town.
We are all tired.
I made chicken and dumplings that resemble ping pong balls floating in a nest of pissy swamp water and I bet Pissin' Petie will get that for supper.
A show about primordial dwarfism is on. Sadly, I've seen it about a zillion times. Why don't they make another one.

Lack of Sleep Doubles Risk of Death AND Too Much Sleep Doubles Risk of Death

The fact that these people are PAID to research and write this study BOGGLES MY MIND. What kind of bullshit is it that we pay for this type of on the fence research that means nothing. Why shouldn't this money pay for something that MS, CANCER, MACULAR DEGENERATION, ALZHEIMERS...etc. This ANGERS me beyond belief!! We need to do something to get this money redirected! What can we do? How can we do that?

Research: Lack of Sleep Doubles Risk of Death

Researchers from the University of Warwick, and University College London, have found that lack of sleep can more than double the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. However they have also found that point comes when too much sleep can also more than double the risk of death.

In research to be presented today, Monday 24th September 2007, to the British Sleep Society, Professor Francesco Cappuccio from the University of Warwick’s Warwick Medical School will show the results of a study of how sleep patterns affected the mortality of 10,308 civil servants in the “Whitehall II study”. Amongst other things the data they used provided information on the mortality rates and sleep patterns on the same group of civil servants at two points in their life (1985-8 and those still alive in 1992-3).

The researchers took into account other possible factors such age, sex, marital status, employment grade, smoking status, physical activity, alcohol consumption, self-rated health, body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol, other physical illness etc. Once they had adjusted for those factors they were able to isolate the effect that changes in sleep patterns over 5 years had on mortality rates 11-17 years later.

Taking those who had not made any change in their sleeping habits between 1985-8 and 1992-3 as their baseline (7 hours per night being the figure normally recommended as an appropriate period of sleep for an adult) they were able to see what difference having reduced the amount of sleep over time made to mortality rates by 2004.

Those who had cut their sleeping from 7h to 5 hours or less faced a 1.7 fold increased risk in mortality from all causes, and twice the increased risk of death from a cardiovascular problem in particular.

Professor Francesco Cappuccio from the University of Warwick’s Warwick Medical School will say to the British Sleep Society:

“Fewer hours sleep and greater levels of sleep disturbance have become widespread in industrialised societies. This change, largely the result of sleep curtailment to create more time for leisure and shift-work, has meant that reports of fatigue, tiredness and excessive daytime sleepiness are more common than a few decades ago. Sleep represents the daily process of physiological restitution and recovery, and lack of sleep has far-reaching effects.”

Curiously the researchers also found that too much sleep also increased mortality. They found that those individuals who showed an increase in sleep duration to 8 hours or more a night were more than twice as likely to die as those who had not changed their habit, however, predominantly from non-cardiovascular diseases.

Professor Francesco Cappuccio says:

“Short sleep has been shown to be a risk factor for weight gain, hypertension and Type 2 diabetes sometimes leading to mortality but in contrast to the short sleep-mortality association it appears that no potential mechanisms by which long sleep could be associated with increased mortality have yet been investigated. Some candidate causes for this include depression, low socioeconomic status and cancer-related fatigue.”

“In terms of prevention, our findings indicate that consistently sleeping around 7 hours per night is optimal for health and a sustained reduction may predispose to ill-health.”

September 23, 2007


I'm in a stinky poo poo motel with Mark and Andrew. Tomorrow Andrew has ACL repair...hopefully without anything to the MCL or Meniscus. His surgery is at 7:30 am. Then...let the rehab begin. damn damn damn. I keep saying to myself, at least it wasn't his least he has 2 more years...but it is hard to see your kids dreams dashed. He was looking forward to wrestling and track, of course he was into football, but hopefully, with good rehab, good attitutde, he will be able to do some track this year. We'll see.
Mark just went to get some chow. GOD I hate motels. The bathroom in this one smells like a boys locker room...not that I would know...just from what I hear ** wink wink There is a tiny bed in here with 2 pillows that look like they could fit into a double A training bra. Hey Slat is some padding for yours! Maybe I'll slip them into my suitcase and give them to her for Christmas. This place is so dank and smelly I can almost see the DNA flashing about the room like a neon sign. Probably filled to the max with curly pubes and toenail jam. gag gag motel neurosis is getting worse as I age. I don't think I used to care about such things years and years ago...probably too busy leaving my own DNA to think about someone elses. Great...we are right under the staircase. Someone in logging boots and weighing in at 340 just went upstairs...
Well, I need to go now. Andrew is done with his shower and I want to talk to him. Will update later.

September 14, 2007

Maybe That's MY Problem.

The other day I gave the parrot a bath. In the upstairs bathroom sink.
Then...I got the blow dryer out and put it on low and gently dried him.
He hated it.
That was a surprise.
He does look better. He's going through a molt stage.

September 12, 2007

An Old Time Favorite

One of the movies that evokes fear in me but I like because it's weird. I love the characters.

September 11, 2007

Alert...Warrning...Warning...Read This Berfore Having a Hoe Down!

So, like the other night we had a hoe down, for my Moms birthday and it totally rocked this town. Mark was like Justin Timberlake mixed with Johnny Cash and a little bit of Helen Keller thrown in on the side. The rest of the band? They were there too. Slat Ass Suz made fresh as a daisy salsa and it was GOOD and we had pulled pork samwhiches and chips and yes the prerequisite bologna sandwiches already made up on a bun with mayo and a lettuce leaf which are even better in the wee hours after a bit of the hooch, sayyyyy around 1am ish or so. In fact, they are the food of GODS I am so sure. I myself, had a HORRIFIC and I mean HORRIFIC PINOT GRIGIO...I know, I know, it's hard to believe. But there is a lesson in this. Whenever you are in TARGET and are swayed by the charming cuteness of a sweet little cutsy pie BOX OF WINE...don't buy it. If and when you do, because I know you WILL be swayed by the site of a perfect square of lovely labeled wine, be prepared for that sumbitch to hurt you in the morning. The kind of hurt that is a sharp stabbing piercing ice pick to the top of your skull and into your small shivering pea of a brain so severe it could make you puke out your eyeball sockets kind of pain. Even if you drink only ONE FREAKING GLASS OF IT. (although, truthfully, I had several glasses(I held my nose and forced myself) and one beer and one margarita made with REAL from the border Takillya)

Anyway, the vino was made from fake plastic grapes I'm totally sure so, consider yourself warned.

September 06, 2007

Nose Harpists Welcome!

Katie called. She is now an employee of CHUCK E CHEESE
She will be in the showroom...she thinks. She has to learn some dances and may have to wear a costume.
Who's in?!
I think this will be a fun job for her.
And I can't wait to go there and see her in CHUCK E CHEESE ACTION.
When she called she said, "Guess where I'm going to work?" and my mind was spinning...tatoo parlor...Dr. Johns...Hooters...those places crossed my mind fleetingly, and when she said Chuck E Cheese...I did a happy dance!
I love that!
Other than's Friday already. My Moms birthday. We are having a ho down tomorrow night with guitars, piano and squeeze box too. Come over if you want to!


September 04, 2007

Sexual Deviancy and 19 Years of LARD

Katie, fresh from college,one week now, tells me she has just been to the bookstore and borrowed several books on sexual deviancy, for an oral interpretation report.
Then she asks me if I don't have a book that would be appropriate because I read all kinds of things...
of course I do...and she finds it in our extensive sexual deviancy library.
Thank God for Oprahs book list...grin

In other news it's Mark and I 19th Anniversary today.
I spent it working at the shop...SURPRISE.
Mark told me happy anniversary this morning on his way to work, and the kids didn't remember.
Mom remembered of course

well...19 years and 19 extra pounds...I can hardly wait for 50 years...dahumn...I'm sure Mark is thinking.

September 02, 2007

New Low

Today, I ironed an ace wrap.