Thursday, January 31, 2008

Uterine Receptors?

In my Gender, Crime, and Deviance class we're talking about pregnant women, drugs, and the law. There have been issues between pregnant women and the state for centuries. The government is extremely interested in women's bodies and what they produce. (And who is producing). They use illegal drug use to criminalize pregnant women and try to gain even more power over us (and those women who they wish to gain power of..)

So, we've been talking a lot about different drugs and the actual effect that the have on fetuses. For example: crack. Well first of all, if you didn't know, crack is the same thing as cocaine. It just takes a different form. OK, so we've all heard the phrase "crack baby" before, right? Well, turns out, it really hasn't been proven that crack has all the bad effects on babies while they're in the womb that we think it does. (Or, that we were TOLD that it does). In all actuality, when studies were done about "crack babies" and moral panic ensued, researchers didn't take into account the fact that most women who were on crack who were having these babies were also living in poverty. More recently, the effects of poverty on unborn fetuses have been studied and WOW guess what!? They're the same effects that "crack" supposedly cause. Making connections yet? Basically, for years researchers mistook the effects of poverty on pregnant women for the effects of crack or other drugs. Poverty= no healthcare, (or Medicaid, woopee!), which means no coverage for medicine or doctor visits, and certainly no Prenatal Vitamins. Poverty = extremely poor nutrition. Poverty = possibly no housing . Poverty = Low birth weight, prematurity, disabilities, etc.

So, getting to the point of my post. Today my professor told us about this great book called Botany of Desire. In it, the author, Michael Pollan tells an anthropological story of each plant, from the plants point of view. The four chapters are Apples, Tulips, Marijuana, and Potatoes. She told us about a section in the Marijuana chapter.

Now, I can't remember her exact words, nor did she read straight from the book, but I will try to remember this the best that I can. OK, in our bodies, we have these "receptors" that accept the things we put in our body, and decide to do with it. When we put food in our body, the receptors in our stomach know to take in the nutrients and pass what is not needed. Apparently, Pollan interviewed this guy who had been researching Marijuana for years, and he told him about this interesting research that he had been a part of. Basically, they have discovered that in every woman's uterus there are these "Marijuana Receptors" ... and when a woman smokes marijuana, the receptors in her uterus know just what to do with it! Relieve any pain or discomfort in the uterus area! So, this may mean that marijuana is a better choice as a "drug" for pain during childbirth (or cramps!) It has virtually no side effects on the baby, and relieves intense pain. The only reason that we can use the drugs during childbirth that we do use (and any drug that is prescribed) is because they are pharmaceutically created and can be taxed. (and therefore, they are LEGAL). And, those drugs make your baby come out all sleepy and drugged! Why not go natural with a drug that has LESS side effects on our baby, and may be a natural solution?

Don't worry, I don't plan on smoking pot during childbirth later in life. It's just pretty interesting. Of course, the government will continue to tell us which drugs are bad and why. And we will believe them.........

Monday, January 28, 2008

Just Pictures...EDITED!

Roomies :)

Em's dancing was intense!

I got made fun of for watching the pool game with the random gay men.

Our favorite rookie and bouncer :)


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Warm weather

The more I think about visiting California, the more it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  Cold weather is really, really depressing to me.  It makes me tired and unhappy.  It completely depletes my energy and destroys my motivation to go anywhere to get anything done.  When I walk to class in the 21 degree weather (like on Friday) I think about summer nights, sitting on the front porch barefoot and talking to Em.  I think about spring Saturdays when we can hike in shorts and hoodies.  I think about sweating at the beach, and cooling off by splashing in the ocean.  I love everything there is to love about warm weather.  I would rather sweat my life away than shiver from being cold.  

In other news.. last night Em and I went out for the first time in a loooong time.  We had a great time.  It was our friend Leigh's 30th birthday, and she celebrated at The Q Lounge, a gay bar in downtown Greensboro.  It was actually REALLY fun!  Pictures to come soon.

It's time to respond to my boss's email about my opinion of some girls that are applying for jobs this summer as counselors.  I've been putting this off for days because it's so hard to explain my opinions of some of these girls!

Hope everyone is well.
Love everywhere...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

P.S. I Love You

When I was house sitting over break, I went with Elaina and Meg to see P.S. I Love You.  Being the girls that we are, we sobbed through the entire movie.  Last night I went again to see it, this time with Em.  She liked it too.  It's one of those movies that's just "cute".  People slashed it in reviews, saying it was too corny or mushy.  I don't really care about anyone else's opinion, nor do I feel like defending it right now.  Just know that in my opinion, it's a great movie that is sad but makes you think about your own relationships.

When I saw the movie for the first time, I noted how much I really liked the songs in the movie.  Hillary Swank's character's husband in the movie is Irish, so there are a lot of Irish tunes that I really liked.  We were at Target a few weeks ago, and I checked for the soundtrack but it wasn't for sale there.  I totally forgot about it until we ended up seeing PS I Love You last night (we were too late to see Juno..).  After the movie I got home and jumped on iTunes/Google to figure out the soundtrack (and the great songs that weren't included!)  

So, I'm in love with the music from the movie.  If you're looking for some great new tunes, check these out:

Galway Girl (a few different bands do this song, I like "Mundy & Sharon Shannon" and also "The Elders")
Fairytale of New York  by The Pogues featuring Kirsty McColl
If I Ever Leave this World Alive by Flogging Molly
Love You Till the End by The Pogues
More Time by Needtobreathe
My Sweet Song by Toby Lightman

That is all.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Another Disturbing Dream

I had another strange dream, and I think I know the root of it. If you're easily grossed out, avoid this entry. It's not that bad, but bad enough to make Em shudder when I read it to her.

There's not many things that gross me out, but one of them is teeth. Not in the way that people with crooked teeth gross me out, there's just something about teeth that makes me feel uncomfortable.. A girl in my Gender, Crime, and Deviance class has really funny shaped teeth... one of her molars on the bottom sticks up REALLY FAR, like so far that it clacks against her top teeth when she talks...

I had this dream where I was hiking Mt. Taminy (a trail in NJ that I hiked this summer with my campers). And I was hiking with my neighbor/professor's dog, Neo. He's a Boston Terrier, so he's very small. We were walking along, and I realized that I had a really bad tooth ache. It was SUPER painful, so I stopped along the trail, and sat down on a big log, my feet were dangling off. I then proceeded to pull out of my mouth this "sheet" of teeth (that's the best way I can describe it) It was teeth, but they weren't in a semi-circle.. they were in this "block" of teeth that was like 5 x 4 teeth... and two of the teeth in the middle of the "block" were black and like, chipping away. So I pulled a Swiss Army Knife out of my pocket and used to blade to scrape out the "black" teeth from the block.. I could go into further detail but I might start to feel sick myself. I then slide the "block" of teeth back into my mouth, and the pain was gone.

When I woke up, I was so disturbed by this dream that it took me almost an hour to fall back asleep.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


I sometimes wonder if I dream more than a regular person does. I usually wake up from dreams numerous times throughout the night. Sometimes they're nightmares, but those are becoming less and less. And, surprisingly, my nightmares aren't the most disturbing to me. It's my regular dreams that are more bizarre and make me wonder..

I dream a lot about death. The last few years I have been hit hard (in comparison to myself, and no one else). Previous to college, I'd barely known anyone who had passed away. I am lucky enough to have all four grandparents still living, and I was lucky enough to never experience the death of a close friend or family member. Liam's death kick-started the period of my life where death became more real to me. It's not just something to fear in the back of my mind, it's something that is real and very absolute.

I have a recurring dream about Liam that isn't scary, although it sounds like it could be. In the dream, we are always playing outside in a backyard. We are chasing, running, giggling... and then, all of the sudden my dream flashes to me being on this island. The water is grey, the sky is grey and dreary. Liam is at my side, and we walk to the end of this old, creaky dock. Liam is pointing to a dot out in the water. He says, "Kristen, you have to go save my brother." (Liam never had a brother, just a little sister, Alli). I swim all the way out to the dot, and when I get there, it is Liam's body floating..only... this is the Liam that I saw in the casket. The one that looked plastic-y and had way too much make up on, and a strange look on his face, and black eyes under all that make up.. the Liam that I can't get out of my head sometimes. The first body that I have ever seen that does not have life running through it.

In my dream, when I reach the body out in the water, I just tread water and watch it float around. Eventually I wake up, usually my cheeks are wet from crying, but I don't remember crying in the dream.

I have a lot of strange dreams like this.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Beautiful new baby kitty!!

Meet the newest member of our family...the un-named kitty boy! He was my birthday present to Em, and he's VERY sweet and VERY cute. He has the loudest purr I've ever heard. He was neutered this morning, so we weren't able to pick him up til around 5pm. Since then, he's been nesting upstairs in my warm bedroom, and we've been letting him get used to that room, our smells, and recovering from his surgery. He's not allowed to meet Sydney for a WEEK..but Syd definitely knows that something's up and that something is IN THAT ROOM!

For a name, we've been throwing around Zeus, Franklin, Sterling.. and a few others. Any ideas!?!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Em and I got up this morning for class, and saw that there had been a light dusting of snow on the ground.  We were sad that it wasn't more, enough to cancel classes!  So we got showers, got dressed, and went downstairs for breakfast.  I picked up Em's laptop and when I opened it, there was an e-mail announcing that the University was closed today until 1pm due to inclement weather!!!!  WHAT?!  I mean, I'm totally thankful for it because now Em and I get to snuggle in on the couch and watch tv for awhile, and we're heading to the grocery store to get some shopping done.  But... this is pathetic!  There isn't enough snow on the ground to even measure it, and it's been drizzly for a few hours, so the streets are completely clear (as you can see from the photo).  

Crazy south.  It's funny, they announced that we were expecting snow a few days ago, and every day since then, everywhere we went people were talking about it.  We went to Doc Green's yesterday for lunch and all the ladies were talking about it, worried they weren't going to be able to get out of their driveways.  After lunch, I went to class and it was all anyone was talking about.  Down here, when it snows, people don't know how to drive...even when there's no snow actually on the road.  If they blocked out the snow on either side of the road, it would be just like driving on a wet road, as if it had rained.  

Anyways, thanks to the fact that southerners freak out at the slightest bit of a wintry mix, Em and I don't have to go in this morning!  

Hope you're all having a good week... keep checking back, soon I'll be posting pictures of a new member of the family...

Love everywhere,

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

First Impressions.

A girl on our team was googling rugby and photos, and found a bunch of pictures from our Serendipity Match last year with Guilford College.  There were a few of me, I like this one.  The girl sitting cross legged behind me is Em's cousin, Lara, who came to watch the game that day!  Also, notice the face of the other scrumhalf (top right corner).  That girl's facial expressions scare me.  She's also one of those girls who, when she goes to tackle you, she screams and "roars" at you, which just kind of makes you laugh instead of the intended purpose of scaring you.  I always think people who do that do it because they aren't intimidating at all physically, so they try to make up for it by sounding scary.  

So, it's been a long time!  I'm sorry, it's just been so crazy lately.  We are home, back in Greensboro now.  Classes have started, and practice starts tonight.  Tomorrow Sydney has a play-date with my neighbor/professor and her dog, Neo.  Neo is a Boston Terrier, but he loves big dogs, so Sydney should keep him busy and let Gwen get some work done at home without Neo bugging her out of boredom all day long!  It also takes some pressure off of Em and I, since we feel so guilty for leaving Sydney at home while we're at class.

Let's see..update on Syd - She's doing well.  Em and I are incredibly proud of her, because today we left for class at 10:30, and didn't get back until 3:30.  We cleaned up our bedroom and left Sydney in there, with her bed and chew toys.  When we got home, after spending 5 hours in our room she hadn't touched a THING.  She was sleeping on the bed when I walked in and was excited to see us.  I am so, so happy that we seemed to have found a solution to her being a little to anxious to be kept in a crate.  

Classes...  So far I've attended four of my five classes.  My other is a Thursday night class.  Of the four I've been to, I'm pretty much in love with them!  It's going to be A LOT of work, but I think that it will be worth it, because the topics are so interesting.  Yesterday I went to 'Families and Children Around the World'  which is my first 400 level class.  It actually doesn't seem that hard.  Next I went to 'Global Social Problems' which of course sounds awfully interesting, and a plus - the professor is awesome.  He seems very on top of things and reasonable.  He's younger - maybe 30 or so.  I also went to Cultural Anthropology after that, but within 10 minutes I decided that it was not going to work out, and mentally exited the class, spending the following hour and 5 minutes doodling pictures and recording important dates in my planner.  I got home and immediately dropped the class...whack job professor, horrible schedule & amount of work for a 200 level course.  No thanks!  Today I went to 'Abnormal Psychology' (SO INTERESTING!) and the professor is pretty much the coolest man in the world, I'm so impressed by him.  After that, I went to 'Gender, Crime, and Deviance' , a sociology course taught by my neighbor Gwen, who I also had last semester for Criminology.  She's a great professor, she's very eco-friendly, and loves animals.  She's also extremely friendly and I get the feeling she's a very positive person.  I added her class last minute, when I dropped my Cultural Anthro class, and when I went to her office yesterday to ask if she'd add me to her course, since it's full, she said OF COURSE she would add me!  She even brought extra copies of the books needed for class, because they send her extra books for her TA, but she doesn't have one, so she gave them to me to keep, to save me some money!  I found that so thoughtful!

Tomorrow is Em's 25th birthday!  She knows what I am getting her - we are adopting a kitten/young adult kitty.. she really misses Holden, and it would be great for Sydney to have something else to keep her busy around here.  We're going on Saturday to pick one out, there's one online, his name is Hemingway, that we both really like.  We'll see...

I'm off to our first practice of the season.  It's so cold out, it's like 35 right now, so I have to go pull out the Under Armour.  Which reminds me of Baltimore, which reminds me of University of Maryland, and Meredith, which reminds me that I need to send her sweatpants to her.  I promise I won't forget, Mer!

Wish us luck, this season's looking like it might be a rough one.  Our veteran players are dropping like flies.  Never a good thing.

Love everywhere,

PS. I promise it won't be so long until next time!

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Internet Is Really, Really Great...

On Saturday I saw my very first broadway show!  Em and I went to Avenue Q, which was HILARIOUS, I recommend it to anyone who feels like laughing for 2 hours straight.  On Friday we went into the city to see our friends, Liz and Jacob, who were vacationing and staying at the Waldorf-Astoria.  We ate at Thalia for lunch and walked around the city.  Then, the next day we went back!  Liz and Jacob got us tickets to Avenue Q from TKTS, we had great seats - 3rd row mezzanine.  I loved it.  I loved seeing all of the theaters..where RENT plays, where Wicked plays...someday I'll see those two shows, and it will be amazing :)

After our adventures in the city, we came back to Chatham, so that Em could pack for her trip to Paris.  They left last night in a hurry, and arrived in Paris at 5am, our time.  Now, I'm house sitting.. Elaina came over last night and we hung out in this big empty house, she slept over and kept me safe from the robbers that I swear I can hear during the night.  So far my plans for today are to take a bubble bath and a nap... very exciting - not!  If you live in Jersey and want to hang out, let me know, I'm game!

A new poll was just released from NH that had Obama leading 10% over Clinton, and there's buzz about that she may actually drop out of the race.  I don't know how much truth was in that, I just read it in a random article published this morning.  I'm actually not sure if that makes me happy or not.  Honestly, and this sounds awful - if Clinton drops out, that leaves the decision to be between Edwards and Obama, a black man and a white man.  I hope that our country is able to see them as DEMOCRATIC MEN and not a BLACK MAN and a WHITE MAN.  I hope that enough of our country is able to do that.  I had always thought that racism wasn't so prominent in the US, but my classes in college and other recent events (read: the JENA SIX) have really opened up my eyes to the fact that racism is alive and thriving in the US.  So sad...
Classes start a week from today.  I am taking the most random classes ever, due to a problem with my tuition payment - I was dropped from all of my original classes.  Once the problem was fixed, I couldn't get back into those classes, so now I'm taking : Helping Skills, Cultural Anthropology, Politics of Non-Western World, Abnormal Psychology, and Social Problems.  Kind of strange, but those classes actually fulfill requirements for my cognates and Sociology minor. 

I'm happy to go back to North Carolina and continue researching grad schools.  This May, Em and I are driving to California/Colorado and everywhere in between to look at schools for me.  I can't wait  :)

Love everywhere,

Friday, January 4, 2008


Sorry for the lack of updates! I've just been running around lately, well, more like driving around. Also, a disclaimer for this post- I took maximum strength Benedryl last night before bed, and it's definitely still in my system, as I am so drowsy that I can barely focus on the screen!

So, mostly the last few weeks have consisted of hanging out with friends and family. We spent New Years Eve with Meredith in her amazing and colorful hot tub. The 1st was spent recovering, lounging on the couch watching TV for most of the day (much needed). On the 2nd we went into Philly to visit Lindsey (Em's best friend from high school) and her girlfriend Megan. We ate at this great place that served really random, awesome meals and then walked back to their apartment, stopping in neat shops along the way. That was one of the best afternoons of the whole break, I think. Hanging out with people we don't always get to see, and plus I love Philadelphia.

Today Em and I are taking the train into the city to meet up with some friends of ours who are visiting NYC. They're from North Carolina and they go every winter. Should be a fun time, except that it's FIFTEEN DEGREES OUT! I'll have to wear few layers, that's for sure.

On Sunday Em and her family will leave me behind for Paris (do I sound bitter? I promise I'm not ;-D ). I'm watching their house/pets for them, so it'll be like a big zoo with Sydney, Lily (their laboradoodle) and two cats Moe and Holden. So I'll be here for a little under a week, by myself...if you live in the north Jersey area, give me a call, I'd love to meet up! I'll have Em's car, so I can pretty much go anywhere.

I think that's it for now. Sorry I've been pretty mundane lately. When I'm here by myself during the Paris trip, I'm sure I'll be updating often.

Love everywhere,

Oh- PS.. Who watched the Iowa Caucuses last night!??! Who won for the demos ?!??!


Tuesday, January 1, 2008