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January 12th, 2011

01:24 am - How I dealt with my insomnia and lived to tell the tale
Below is the letter I sent to the folks at PopCap Games, who make, among others, the very popular games Bejeweled and Bookworm, for many platforms. I had made a great discovery about taming my insomnia (YMMV), and they were part of the solution. Many of you know I have been insomnia my entire life.

The VP of PR wrote to me, suggesting I might be useful in a study of theirs. On Bejeweled3, they worked actively to make what had been the Endless version of Bejeweled2, now the Zen mode, into something that players could use to achieve stress-reduction and relaxation. Don't know how it would work for getting to sleep.

PopCap's games are not clearly gender-specific, although there may be a dearth of female characters in games where the characters have genders. I suppose the bookworm in the iPhone version might be male--the bowtie being the only indicator, but Bejeweled has no characters. They do seem to be working to be more inclusive of the neurologically atypical.


I love the new features on Bejeweled3 that assist with relaxation, and even sleep. I haven't bought the game or played for free yet, because I need it on my iPhone to use it for sleep aid. I don't sleep with my computer in the same room.

I use Bejeweled (and Bookworm) on my iPhone exclusively these days. I call them my patience-keepers: if I have my phone charged, I can play one of the games until whoever I'm waiting for (and sometimes it's the light to change) is ready to help me.

However, I am a lifelong insomniac, for whom the main family of sleep meds, the benzodiazepienes, do anything BUT help me sleep. No folk cure or OTC med has ever worked--except when I need it not to work. I gave up trying artificial means to get to sleep--level of exercise, relaxation exercises, diet, blood sugar stats, how physically tired I was, how sleepy i was. If my brain didn't want me to sleep, I didn't sleep.

I came to realize that I needed to turn my active brain off, so that words and thinky-thoughts were not in the picture, keeping my brain from shutting down. So I tried reproducing instrumental music in my mind--that worked sometimes, but I was often to distracted to focus.

At one point I was on a medication that had a strong sedative effect, and I got great *restful* sleep then, until the med stopped doing what it was meant to do. Labor Day weekend of 2001 was the first time I'd had restful sleep in over 25 years.

While I was using Twitter, I found a blog/forum called InsomniaLand. The man who runs the blog wanted to gather insomniacs together to share experiences, possible cures/aids, and he would keep us up on the latest articles and research on our problem. Now if there were such a thing for *migraines*, I know dozens of friends who would be there faster than I could tell them about it.

I knew I had to do something non-verbal, but until two months ago, I hadn't found anything that worked, and worked *consistently*. My bedside lamp wasn't working, and I hadn't been able to get it fixed for about a month. This meant no reading a book before sleep. I recharge my phone by my bed each night, because it is also my alarm clock for getting my son up & off to school.

I'd get into bed late, my husband already asleep, get snuggled down in my comforter, with or without a dog up against me. I'd play Bejeweled2 until I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer, and I was almost dropping the phone.

Night after night I did this and I realized that I was falling asleep after 5-15 minutes, instead of nearly an hour. Every night. If I was sitting up, no sleepy; lying down, bundled up, ready for sleep on my side, snooze. Consistently. If I woke up and didn't drop back immediately, as often happens, I play Bejeweled2 a while and drop off.

It's not a drug. It doesn't engage my "active brain". I can't put into words at all easily what is happening as I play the game--same as me trying to describe or reproduce music. I just don't have the vocabulary for music, or read it, or play by ear, or anything of that nature. Watching the pretty colors line up is not a verbal activity.

I can now get to sleep easily enough, thanks to Bejeweled2. This is the first breakthrough I've had since that med I was on between 2001 and 2003, and I can't tell you how grateful I am. I still need to work on quality of sleep, but I have a hunch that Bejeweled3 is going to influence that change.

I've told the Insomnialand community, as well as my endocrinologist, about what has changed for me.

Please thank the entire development and testing team for me. I never thought I was going to be able to get to sleep quickly, consistently, ever.
Current Mood: relievedrelieved

(3 comments | and then you say)

December 2nd, 2010

05:16 am - A little late for his birthday, but what the heck
He always started with this, except for the last sets in Santa Monica. I don't think she was worth it, if what I've heard is true.

Two songs of seas and survivalCollapse )

A Lake District taleCollapse )

Stan wasn't the most attractive man in the world, just looking at him. When he started to sing or talk, well, I miss him. It's so ironic, Stan mostly bald, Garnet with his wonderful long hair and widow's peak. Now that man is handsome--yes, the hair is part of it. They are both grand and loyal men.

Oh, for just one time/I would take a northwest passageCollapse )

Death at seaCollapse )

Who will know the Bluenose in the sun?Collapse )
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative

(7 comments | and then you say)

November 29th, 2010

02:21 am - APOD does it again
I've never seen an aurora, in spite of having been north enough for a week or so in 1987. This reminds me of being in Albuquerque as a child for two years, when they had some of the lightest snowfall they'd had in years. We leave, and they get heaps of snow that winter. Ain't no justice.

Auroras are hard to photograph. Watch this a little under 3 min.


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November 9th, 2010

02:25 am - Harraassment at cons and other SF/F venues

This deserves a wider audience than it originally got.

(1 comment | and then you say)

October 19th, 2010

03:10 am
Is anyone having issues with their customized style & theme having changed definition today?

Mine, Punquin Elegant, with Classic Desktop, in lovely teal surroundings, has been changed somehow to a sea-green header (chosen that way), black borders (chose no borders, much less any particular color), and white elsewhere, instead of my lovely teal. It's not right. Feels stark.

Any ideas? I have tried changing it, and then putting my preferences right again, but no go.
Current Mood: distresseddistressed

(3 comments | and then you say)

October 15th, 2010

11:39 pm - Possible remedies for migraineurs
PLEASE feel free to send this to any migraineur you might know, or to post it in your own journal--I don't need credit for it.

In case you haven't heard about risk factors for migraines, aside from genetics: 25% of migraineurs are bipolar, 25% of bipolars are migraineurs. Ain't that fun? That's part of how I was dx'd with bipolar disorder.

I heard about this use for botox earlier today on the radio, and looked it up online, for more info. These injections would be done by a neurologist rather than by a plastic surgeon, who normally give botox injections.

I can't find any information more current than 2004 on the dentist who developed a gel for calming some nerves back in your jaw area. He does seem to have received FDA approval for it, though.

BTW, feel free to pass this along to migraineurs you might know.

Here's an article from Bloomberg

Allergan Says U.S. FDA Approved Botox as Treatment for Chronic Migraines
By Molly Peterson - Oct 15, 2010 4:16 PM PT

Allergan's Botox approved for chronic migraine headachesCollapse )

An advert to the side of this article offered Migraine Surgery.
A plastic surgeon in SF, CA offers it--but I am sure there are others elsewhere!--and this is the website:

More info:Collapse )

A NYT article on the procedure:

Since getting to NYT online can often be a problem, here's the article

Skin Deep: Plastic Surgery May Also Ease MigrainesCollapse )

An article with not date appears in the Health division of the paper's archives

This excerpt seems to me to be the most useful part of itCollapse )
Current Mood: curiouscurious

(3 comments | and then you say)

October 5th, 2010

11:06 pm - Don't break your child
I think both my parents are resoponsible for breaking my sister. She never felt loved by either of them growing up.
This dad has something to say on the subject, and I agree with his ideas.


If you are thinking about having children, if you have a young one already, and you had no good role models growing up, find parenting classes or find a counselor who can help you break that chain, so your child(ren) will have a better childhood than you did.

I thank mdlbear for pointing me to this.

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October 3rd, 2010

11:17 pm - Spirit Day
Originally posted by neo_prodigy at Spirit Day

It’s been decided. On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes at at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.

RIP Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh (top)
RIP Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase (middle)
RIP Asher Brown and Billy Lucas. (bottom)

REBLOG to spread a message of love, unity and peace.

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October 1st, 2010

01:33 am - Simon Says: Murder Is Being Done
from ysabetwordsmith:

she pointed me to this blog at dreamwidth: http://wonder-city.dreamwidth.org/24355.html

It starts off:
Tyler Clementi was murdered.

Seth Walsh was murdered.

Asher Brown was murdered.

Billy Lucas was murdered.

The Anoka-Hennepin School District condones murder by maintaining a "neutral" policy toward GLBTIQ students that tacitly condones their abuse.

Classmates gaybashed an 11-year-old male cheerleader, breaking his arm.

A Michigan assistant attorney general engages in a deranged campaign of blogging hate speech against a college student.

People keep calling it bullying, which minimizes and infantilizes it.

I call it murder.
I call it abuse.
I call it assault and battery.
I call it harassment.
I call it stalking.
I call it slander, libel, defamation, terrorism.

And these stories and articles don't even go into the abuse heaped upon the heads of those who don't feel that killing themselves is the only way to escape it.
For coverage of the events leading up to Tyler Clementi's death, see http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20018088-504083.html
This talks briefly about other teens who've been "bullied to death" http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/09/30/eveningnews/main6916119.shtml?tag=strip

There are a mish-mash of ineffectively enforced laws on bullying, cyber bullying, criminal harrassment, and invasion of privacy throughout the US (I don't know the details for other countries), but prosecution usually happens only after someone has died.

I hope, that in Tyler Clementi's case at least, that the two students who perpetrated this harrassment-by-Internet-video & defamation, are prosecuted to the full extent of the laws existing in New Jersey, and sued for wrongful death and accessories to murder (if not stronger) by the Clementi family.

This needs to be elevated to a Federal law. Too many gay teens have gone to their deaths recently--that is, the ones we've heard of. Are they merely the tip of the iceberg?

Read it, please. Speak out where you can. Work to change the laws, if you can, by writing your elected representatives. If you don't know who they are or how to contact them, your state's Secretary of State or League of Women Voters will be happy to help you find that information.
Current Mood: angryangry

(3 comments | and then you say)

September 30th, 2010

09:33 pm - Hope for Fibromyalgia sufferers?
Low-Dose Naltrexone reduces the symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Naltrexone is also called Revia by its manufacturer, DuPont Pharma.

Fibromyalgia Symptoms are reduced by low-dose naltrexone: A pilot study.
Pain Medicine (2009)
Jarred W. Younger and Sean C. Mackey

details of the studyCollapse )

If you are in California, you may qualify to participate in a different Fibromyalgia study. Go to this page

This page offers information on current research studies by Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Lab

PS A friend informed me:
You might want to let the you readers know that they might want to check out Nimodipine--it reportedly helps with the brain fog of CFIDS.
Current Mood: curiouscurious

(10 comments | and then you say)

September 11th, 2010

07:41 pm - I was reminded that two religions...
start their religious New Year today.

I wish any Muslims reading this Eid Mubarak, and blessed new year.

I wish any Jews reading this Happy New Year, and may your name be inscribed in the book of life.
Current Mood: peacefulpeaceful

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July 12th, 2010

05:58 pm
kkraven1 said:
This seems to be a few facts surrounded by distortions, exaggerations and
outright lies. I wouldn't worry about this one. There are too many other
spill-related issues that are real and worth worrying about.

Also, someone I trust on Twitter (memory? What memory?) said it was exaggerated, too.

(7 comments | and then you say)

03:30 pm - I wish this hadn't come to my attention, sortof
Has BP triggered a world-wide disaster?
Current Mood: dismayed, horrified

(5 comments | and then you say)

03:14 pm
I am posting this because, even though I am not in his targeted age range, skeevy is skeevy.

Please repost.

(and then you say)

July 4th, 2010

05:37 pm
Morgan Freeman reads Frederick Douglass's address on a 4th July, to white folks.

We need to remember how blacks & Native Americans have been unrepresented by this holiday.

(and then you say)

03:12 pm - and another stinker
Broken tax code allows BP to deduct 15% rent on oil rig--or something like that: got too mad to read more


(2 comments | and then you say)

03:02 pm - BP/Coast Guard manages to suspend 1st amendment?
Very, very scary--write your national reps!

(3 comments | and then you say)

June 4th, 2010

08:22 pm
found in the journal of kukla_red

British Petroleum(BP) rep Randy Prescott made a comment, “Louisiana isn’t the only place that has shrimp.” His office phone number is (713)323-4093 his email is randy.prescott@bp.com Give him a call or send an email! Tell him “BP and ARCO aren't the only places with fuel for my car!”

Saffronrose adds: AM/PM markets are also owned by BP. Go here: http://www.bp.com/extendedsectiongenericarticle.do?categoryId=9&contentId=7046348 to find other brands they own.


Louisiana AND Florida both have shrimp AND ecosystems that are being destroyed, along with the entire Gulf of Mexico. I don't know how many decades the Gulf will be dead.
Current Mood: angryangry

(1 comment | and then you say)

May 29th, 2010

11:58 pm
Roger Ebert, the film critic, tweets & writes a lot since he lost his ability to speak after some botched? operations. One of his recent blog entries, about Frissons and the nature of the mind on Internet, ended with this YouTube video of this amazing musician from Botswana. Her fingers fly and dance over the fretboard of a guitar held horizontally on her lap. I found myself wondering if fretted dulcimer players might be able to use some of her movements in their playing.

Here she is:

Current Mood: amazed

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May 23rd, 2010

03:51 am


Posted using ShareThis

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April 21st, 2010

09:24 pm - A letter to my Congresscritter about HR5034
Caveat: I can't stand hops, so I don't drink beer, ale, lager and the like. Stout I can almost get my mouth around, but it's not a low-end alcoholic drink. Menthol makes me vilely ill, so heavy-on-the-mint booze is right out for me.

Caveat: I have nothing against moderate drinkers of anything, even the stuff I abhor. Getting drunk because you've got no other idea of fun? There a reason why you're following me or on my Flist? It's not for that. I'm just a little short on the kind of money I'd need for my idea of fun for the sake of fun. Getting drunk isn't a high for me--it's misery, as I get the hangover FIRST. I never get the high others do. Getting dizzy is no fun for me, so I drink moderately, for the tastes of it.

Caveat: I am making a distinction between mass produced and handcrafted/small runs. Mass produced can be found almost anywhere with ease. The stuff I'm concerned with takes deliberate seeking. Deal with it.

Here's the letter. If you want to use some of it in a letter to YOUR congresscritter or senators, feel free. Retweet or repost to those you know will be interested, and get them to write, too.

I could wax poetic about the small-run wines of this state. I did, and then my browser ate 30 min of it, so I'll be briefer this time.

If you go here, you'll get an overview of the issue. The link below has the dry text of the proposed Act.

HR5034 is bad for CA and for those who live in other states, but who want to buy our wines (among other alcoholic beverages concerned).

The backers are in direct competition for money that could be spent here, with small businesses, instead of there, from large wholesalers who sell only what makes the best profit for them.

HR5034 is good for beer wholesalers and BigBreweryBeer.

cut for your skimming pleasureCollapse )

A. Marina Fournier, Bay Area voter
Current Mood: aggravatedaggravated

(2 comments | and then you say)

April 12th, 2010

04:41 pm - Rosette Nebula nursery
Stars budding near the Rosette Nebula: new image from Herschel Space Observatory http://bit.ly/bQi0Cf (via BoingBoing)

It is just jaw-droppingly lovely--haven't seen it on APOD yet.
Current Mood: amazed

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November 3rd, 2006

05:45 pm
You have got to see some of these corn mazes.
Mike's Mazes

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October 31st, 2006

10:05 am - Holiday
Blessed Samhain to those in the Northern Hemisphere, Merry Beltane to those in the Southern, and Happy Halloween to both.

(2 comments | and then you say)

October 28th, 2006

11:43 pm - Samhaintide
For blueeyedtigress, mourning a friend

How shall I write a memorial
Before my friend is dead?
My friend still has some way to go
Before the entire path’s been tread.
The courage as the battles were fought
And the days of hope when all seemed lost
To others who could not have thought
The battle to have been waged so long.
Rest comes soon, and ease of pain
For the dying, who will live again.

The living now, begin the long journey
Of life without the beloved.
With loss comes sorrow, but in memory
The loved live on, unmoved
By the years yet to come for those who remain
On this side of the Veil. Will memory sustain
The living lover, family, and kin, the friends
Whose sorrow has just begun? Only time will tell
For whom memory of good times will mend
The sorrowing hearts in times to come.

Say farewell, beloved friend, but not forever--
Await me on the other side; or if not,
Let us know each other when next we meet
On this side, that our friendship end not.

Owl Moon and Dark Forest Covens presented the NROOGD Samhain public ritual this year, and I played a minor part in this wonderful ritual. I think I was supposed to be in the Land of the Dead, but I ended up on the Land of the Living, just at the Veil, (usually) holding a hand of the person awaiting their turn through the Veil. I found it important all of a sudden that the person facing the Veil not be there alone. I began to realize that I could apply this in daily life, and either volunteer or work at a hospice. Now, this is not the kind of work that I am actually looking for, and I may find I don't handle it well, but I think I have to try.

The poem above is for a woman I don't know, but via mdlbear, I encountered blueeyedtigress, and her post regarding her boss's wife, who is dying after a long battle with different cancers. Read her Oct. 26th post. Comment if you have any answers for her.

Two years ago, my mother's body was finally dying of pneumonia, ten years after a stroke. In the first 24 hrs after I got home from seeing her for the last time (and we knew it) she did die. I thought I was up to a Samhain ritual that night, but as it turned out, I was very much not able to face people, to participate in a ritual where I had to be social, where I had to have my grief out in public. I stayed in the car the whole time, except for a brief bathroom break, where I avoided any contact. I think I was waiting to feel something that let me know she had passed, but I was not so permitted.

Tonight was my first public Samhain ritual--all others heretofore have been private and small, on Samhain itself in front of a fire with a small group of friends dealing with their dead, and welcoming a few new lives. I managed to get through it without damage or disorientation.

(2 comments | and then you say)

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