August 2004

Sunday, August 29, 2004

I’ve often suspected this

According to a study published in the journal Tobacco Control (okay, with a name like that, you’d expect this from them), cigarette smoke is more polluting than diesel exhuast. Not just more polluting, ten times worse.

I guess my big question is, could we slow global warming if we got rid of smoking? ... hmm, I think not.

Found via syaffolee.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:21 am    

For the Record

For the record, I have been watching some of the Olympics. Just the stuff in the evenings and rarely a team sport.

I have no idea where the medal counts by country stand. Nor do I care.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:02 am    

Saturday, August 28, 2004

My Lack of Organization is my Downfall

I saw a report about a new study that just came out linking the lack of a key protein to the formation of keloid scars and fibroid tumors.

It was a study conducted by Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USUHS) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health and published in July 2004 in the journal Genes, Chromosomes and Cancer. You can read an article about it here at the National Institutes of Health. (The actual study bears the name “Involvement of fumarate hydratase in nonsyndromic uterine leiomyomas.”)

Anyway, it basically states that in women with fibroids they found that they were missing a key protein that helps to bind tissues. This protein controls the way that collagen arranges itself. In normal people collagen arranges itself in structured, regular strands that help form a lattice and support for the rest of the tissue. In women lacking the protein the collagen is disorganized in disjointed and irregular strings that don’t had discrete patterns of growth. So in a this uterine tissue, something starts growing wrong and it just doesn’t know where or when to stop. In a scar, the tissue tries to bind back together but just ends up making a puddle of tissue that goes out of the bounds of the original wound.

Of course this is of particular interest to me because I had fibroids and make keloid scars. This missing protein also explains the genetic component to both of these problems - keloids and fibroids have been shown statistically to run in families and in certain racial groups (three times more likely to occur in African-Americans). I hope since they’re able to isolate this protein deficiency that someday they’ll be able to easily treat these conditions with injections. (Keloids can be especially difficult in burn patients, as if a burn victim doesn’t have enough to worry about with the painful burns, it’s the scars that cause the disfigurement. It’d be very comforting to know that this could be the step to curing that.)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:57 pm    

Friday, August 27, 2004

The Greatest Weekend

LA Blog’s LA Insight for week three is the Labor Day Itinerary, this one is about how to show a visitor a good time. Pick up these mythical guests on Friday night at LAX and return them on Monday evening.

Friday Night - since I’m picking them up at the airport, I figure we’ll catch the sunset over in Santa Monica. We’ll park by the Promenade and then take a little walk along the beach. They’l snap some photos and the waning sunshine will help them adjust to the time difference. Then a little walk up to the pier and we’ll play some skee ball and head over to the Broadway Deli for some comfort food for dinner.

Saturday Morning - a lazy morning as they adjust to the time difference. I set up the coffee maker the night before to make a fresh pot at 6:30 AM and left my laptop out for them to browse the Internet (since I don’t get a paper). There’s a bowl of fruit and some cereal there too. Help yourself. Go sit in the yard with the dog while you’re at it and have some fresh figs.

Saturday Day - well, since there’s still a little morning left we head downtown for some shopping. We go to the flower mart first and pick up some amazing bouquets for next to nothing. Then head over either to the jewelry mart for some cheap silver goods as gifts or the fabric stores in the fashion district. We’ll pick up some lunch over at Senor Fish downtown or get adventerous and just some roach coach or hole in the wall.

Saturday Night - a relaxing evening with a few drinks up on the deck with a view of Downtown (because we were just there!) and then off for dinner at either Cafe Beaujolais in Eagle Rock or Edendale Grill.

Sunday Morning - a walk down to Sunset Blvd. for breakfast somewhere, maybe Millies or Eat Well or Cafe Mattise.

Sunday Day - back at the house we don our hiking outfits and head out - either to the Devil’s Punchbowl or Point Dume. We’ll stop at Trader Joe’s for some munchies for the trip and of course take plenty of water and memory chips for the digital cameras.

Sunday Night - Maybe a little shower or at least a change of clothes and off to the Long Beach Blues Festival (we might swap Saturday and Sunday, depending on what the guests want to see at the Fest).

Monday Morning - it’s supposed to be a vacation for my guests, so they sleep in and we hang out on the deck or in the back yard for a while. Maybe we look at the photos they’ve taken so far on the computer or ones they’ve brought of their house & family.

Monday Day/Afternoon - they’re all packed up and we take a little tour through the deader parts of Los Angeles. Using an out of print book I have as a guide, Permanent Californians, that lists resting places of people of note in LA. We start in Glendale at the Forest Lawn there, zip over to the Forest Lawn in Burbank, over the hill to Hollywood Forever and then down to Angelus Rosedale. Maybe head a little out of our way for a late/light bite at Rita Flora before heading to the airport.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 4:47 pm    

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

New Buzznet!

Yay! The new Buzznet launched!

What’s super cool is that you can go there and read this blog and I can post photos from there here!

Here’s an example of one of my fab photos found there!

Liquor and Deli

I haven’t finished playing there to see all the other new stuff, but I really enjoy the fact that I can cross post the photos without having to host them twice.

Congrats to Marc Brown and the Buzznet team. They’ve added lots of features to the free service and it looks like the premium service could make for a very richly-featured, no-ad, image-heavy blog at a kick-ass price ($36/year). Probably one of the best deals out there!

Makes me wanna go out and take some photos now.

Of course I’ll have to shower and dress first. Ah, the life of a girl in recovery mode.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:59 am    

Monday, August 23, 2004

Guess What You’re Getting for Christmas!

My dear friend Russ gave me some phone wire. Not just some. 20 yards. Yes, 60 feet of 25 pair phone wire. That’s 50 pieces of wire 60 feet long - 3,000 feet of multi-colored plastic sheathed copper wire. Have you ever had a more wonderful gift?


Are you wondering what I’m going to do with 3,000 feet of wire? I’m wondering that too, but I know I’m gonna have a good time. Hell, I’ve got little else I’m allowed to do since surgery, so maybe I’m going to go into business selling wire bracelets. Expect photos in the coming weeks!

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:38 pm    

Friday, August 20, 2004

Things Like This

For those of you not currently in the know, 1.4 pounds of “junk” was removed from my abdomen two weeks ago. Weren’t we all surprised that it was that much? Makes me sorry that we didn’t have a pool going on how much it would weigh or how many tumors there would be.

For the record, there were twelve uterine fibroid tumors and one polyp. (Yes, the polyp would have been a tiebreaker.) The entire mass with the uterus weighed 630 grams and the largest tumor was the size of a Japanese eggplant (seven or eight inches long and three or four around). A normal uterus weighs 60-80 grams. Here’s a short list compiled with the help of Google of things that weigh approximately 630 grams.

A pregnant hedgehog
All of a bald eagle’s feathers
A pair of Vittoria Bike Shoes
A Video Camera
A Red Billed Whistling Duck
The Question of God by Heinz Zahrnt in hardback
A Lafuma Daypack
A twin sized down comforter

For those of you not metrically inclined, 630 grams is about 22.25 ounces (1.4 pounds).

POSTED BY Cybele AT 6:44 pm    

LA Insight - Week 3

LA Blogs has their LA Insight questions for the week (eight is always enough). This time it’s about geography.

1. What city or part of Los Angeles do you live in now?

Silverlake. Yes, I prefer to spell it as one word.

2. If you have lived somewhere else in the area, where was it?

We used to live across the hill, but still in Silverlake. Here for six years, there for four and for eighteen months in Sherman Oaks on Moorpark.

3. Besides where you live now, where else would you want to live in the area?

I really like where I live and don’t want to live anywhere else in the area.

4. Where would you not want to live?

I don’t think I’d like Santa Clarita on account of it being so hot and so far away from stuff. I’m not sure if I could live in the flats anymore. Any flats - I think I would feel exposed and claustrophobic (yes, I can have both those feelings at once).

5. How often do you venture out of your area?

All the time. I work in Hollywood. We go out to eat downtown a couple of times a month. We go to Orange County to visit relatives twice a month. Sometimes out hiking (when I’m feeling better we’ll do that again). Pasadena sometimes once a week. Burbank, Glendale, Los Feliz, Century City, Sherman Oaks, Beverly Hills for shopping. I’m lucky though, all my friends seem to be moving closer to me!

6. Where do you usually go when you get out?

Mostly down to Sunset and I really prefer walking if I can since it means everyone can drink! We usually stick to Silverlake and Eagle Rock for restaurants. But sometimes downtown.

7. How far do you work/school from where you live?

Exactly four miles. I’d like to start walking it again. I used to do that once or twice a week.

8. Money is no object; Beach, the Hills, the City or Leave?

If money were truly no object, the Beach. But if I still had to commute, I guess it’d be the Hills with a killer view and a pool.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 5:05 pm    

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Why Do People Care About What Other People Do?

I’m on an email list called WIST (Wish I Said That).

Today’s quote was about religion. But I reckon it’d work pretty well for homosexuality, too.

It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God.  It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
  —Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:46 pm    

Monday, August 16, 2004

Even in My Wildest Dreams

So I woke this morning and remembered my dream.

I thought I’d recount it for you.

I was leaving work and instead of carrying my large shoulderbag, I was carrying just my wallet and iPod. There were a few other people in front of me, including the dreadlocked fellow who works as our messenger, and he docked his iPod to a little spot next to the place where they scan our ID cards and then the guard fellow waved him on and he undocked and left.

The guard then directed me to dock my iPod, which I had a little trouble doing. (The connector was like the one for the remote and earphones, not the long one that you usually use for the docking/synching thing - but hey, it’s dreamworld.) Once it was on there it threw up an alert and I was told that they’d have to scan my iPod as it held questionable files.


They called a tech guy, who came down, but took about twenty minutes to get there. Meanwhile the sun is going down and it’s getting late and the guards have changed shift and are getting ready to go for the day. So the tech guy gets there and he’s probably 22 years old and could have ridden a skateboard there. He take the iPod and docks it to his little laptop and shakes his head and says, “yeah, there are questionable files on here.”

I explained that there were non-mp3 files. That I was using the iPod for additional storage and if he simply opened one of those jpgs he’d find that they were all pictures of me. 7 gigs of pictures of me.

They said they were going to have to scan the entire iPod to verify that nothing of Paramount’s was on there. I rolled my eyes and said I’d wait. They said it could take all night. I wanted a receipt if they were going to hold my iPod.

Anyway, that was the dream. Not a bad dream. I wasn’t frustrated or anything, it was just another hassle.

When I woke up I realized that what they were searching for were non-MP3 files and when they found JPGs on there, that’s what threw up the red flag. I also figured if this happened in my dreamworld again, I should just temporarily change the file extensions for my JPGs to MP3 and they’d be none the wiser.

I’m not sure why I’m trying to solve my dream problems in my waking life. I think I should be solving my waking problems in my dreams.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:29 pm    

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Buy this Book!

I’d like to count myself among the first people to recommend you go out and buy this book when it comes out next month: No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty.

There is a rumor going around that I’m quoted in this book and I’d like to believe it’s true. (Okay, yeah, it’s true and I think I get mentioned in the acknowledgements as well. Or I hope I do. Not that it matters to me. I enjoy the whole process of writing bad novels quickly and enjoy talking about it even more.)

Though that’s not why I’m asking you to buy it. Well, actually, don’t buy it if you know me well enough, I’ll probably give it to you for Christmas. Aw, crap, I just spoiled the surprise, didn’t I?

POSTED BY Cybele AT 2:49 pm    

Friday, August 13, 2004

LA Insight - Week 2 is doing a thing: LA Insight.

Here are my answers. Who know’s if I’ll keep up the weekly pace. (You know how I am lately.)

1. Where is the last place you ate out?

Rambutan Thai the night before I went into the hospital.

2. How often do you eat out?

Out? Probably once a week. Order from some of the same places that I go to? Sometimes twice.

3. Where is the place you eat most?

We order a lot from Rambutan, and go there just about as often. Cirxa on Sunset. Cafe Beaujolais in Eagle Rock. For special occasions we go to Edendale Grill or Blair’s.

4. Where do you tell your friends that they “have to try”?

I like Rambutan. It depends on what they’re in the mood for. Quick bite: Senor Fish. Decent meal: Rambutan. Long lingering meal with friends: Cafe Beaujolais. Special: Edendale.

5. What dish do they have to order when they get there?

Ba Mee at Rambutan. Start with the Thai rolls. Drink a Soju Praying Mantis hold the marachino cherry.

6. Where do you eat when money is not a concern?


7. Where do you eat when money is tight?

Leela Thai for lunch. (Cash only.)

8. What restaurant have you wanted to try but haven’t been to yet?

Gingergrass over on Glendale Blvd.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:36 pm    

As if I don’t have enough to worry about!

I saw this article this evening.

It’s about a study that shows a statistical link between birth month and likelihood of brain cancer. And then it goes on to state that left-handedness and ambidextrous people are also at higher risk. Those born in the winter have the highest risk.


POSTED BY Cybele AT 7:51 pm    

Sunday, August 08, 2004

LA Insight - Week 1

LA Blogs just posted LA Insight. Maybe I’ll give this a try. I’m not even sure if you’re interested in these things, but hey, maybe asking questions will get me blogging again.

1. How long have you lived in Los Angeles?

Twelve years as of July 29.

2. Were you born here?

No. Pennsylvania.

3. How long did you plan on staying here originally?

I’m not sure what my plans were. But I believe it involved my entire adult life.

4. How long do you plan on staying here now?

Pretty much the same. Unless we get the comma. The Man and I have a joke. That if the value of our house goes up so dramatically that we actually gain another digit on the price of our house, we might just cash out.

5. What keeps you here?

I like the climate. I like the people. I like my house, my neighborhood. My job. The Man’s job. It used to be pretty affordable for a large city, not so much anymore. We just redid the kitchen (gotta stick around and enjoy that!).

6. What makes you want to leave?

How housing prices have skyrocketed. The air pollution.

7. What is your biggest suprise about living here?

How much nature there is around. I guess when I was coming out here (sight unseen for the most part), I just thought it’d be more urban. I didn’t expect coyotes, lizards, the profusion of birds and wonderful plantlife. The accessibility of natural recreation areas is a huge plus.

8. What is your biggest disappointment about living here?

I few disappointments about the city itself. Sometimes I’m disappointed by the intolerance of people, but I consider LA a much more liberal city than some that I’ve lived in.

POSTED BY Cybele AT 8:45 pm    













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During November it's all about me writing a novel. Sometimes it's about whalewatching. You know, and then there's other stuff.