Sleep It Off

Shower Thoughts@TheWeirdWorld

Sleep is kind of like just lying there pretending to be dead until your body is all like: “Fine, but just a little bit”

10:30 AM · Feb 12, 2020·Twitter Web App 635

The link between lack of sleep and cancer is now so strong that the World Health Organization has classified any form of nighttime shift work as a probable carcinogen.” -Mark Walker

HEAT DOME

Hello from the Pacific Northwest one of the hottest places in America…well for three days anyways. Bellingham, where I work, is wayyyy up north, close to the Canadian border. Normally, we experience all four seasons, and temperatures over 85 melt us. Over the next three days the Pacific Northwest will bake under a once-in-a-millennium HEAT DOME. Have you ever heard of a heat dome before? I haven’t. No one has for 1,000 years! Our high temperature today is suppose to be 99, lower than Seattle, Washington’s 104 and our poor southern sister state Portland, Oregon is 107! It’s not the worst that can happen but it is disruptive and dangerous. Nothing to lose sleep over…possibly.

The heat wave baking the U.S. Pacific Northwest and British Columbia, Canada, is of an intensity never recorded by modern humans. By one measure it is more rare than a once in a 1,000 year event — which means that if you could live in this particular spot for 1,000 years, you’d likely only experience a heat dome like this once, if ever.

The core of the heat dome, as measured by the thickness of the air column over British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest, is – statistically speaking – equivalent to a 1-in-1,000-year event or even a 1-in-10,000-year event. photo credit CBS news June 29, 2021


June started off HOT! The Bellingham Herald reports June is a record breaking month, “Bellingham’s 66-year-old record high for the month of June (93 degrees set June 9, 1955) fell Saturday, June 6, at Bellingham International Airport topping out at 94 degrees at 2:53 p.m., with a heat index of 99… That may best the nearly 12-year-old record for the highest temperature ever recorded in Bellingham.” Another “poor problem” for our area. I’ll guess that of the 91,000 residence in this city, probably 30-40% have some form of AC. However, I have to ask if every home and apartment had air cooling on, could our power grid take it? Maybe… It’s difficult for folks without air conditioning to get sleep on these hot summer days. People like me.

I’m thinking about sleep today. I’m daydreaming about getting a good nights sleep this month. Mr. Walker points out in the video above that sleep is a “reset” for the brain & body. He goes on to report that sleep deprivation can affect genes associated with both DNA repair and DNA damage.
I love sleeping and napping. These are my favorite forms of meditation. Since 2019 I’ve put on some extra pounds and my sleeping has been interrupted by um…being fat. The mid-section fat, often accumulated during mid-life, and/or for women during perimenopause, has become my personal nemesis. That and I would like to publicly protest the high cost of a good mattress. A good mattress is a principal tool for a good night’s sleep. However, the starting price is plus $600 for a mattress of “good” quality. This is a high amount to pay for minimum-wage earners; in some states it is half their monthly salary. We already know there is a connection between income and longevity of life, but dang! The dots connect themselves.
Don’t give me that “survival of the fittest” crap.
Having the right conditions for sleep can lead to a longer life. Mr. Walker says there is proof lack of sleep is the gateway to EVERY DISEASE—that’s all, just every frickin’ disease.

“Every disease that is killing us in developed nations has causal and significant links to a lack of sleep,” he says. “So that classic maxim that you may [have] heard that you can sleep when you’re dead, it’s actually mortally unwise advice from a very serious standpoint.”

My goal today is to go in to work early, get office stuff finished by 2:00, run home and melt into a puddle of human slush, or something as close to this as possible. I’ll probably be in bed about 10:00pm after the earth cools.
The heat wave ends this evening, this weather system will slowly dissipate. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

NEW TO ME

Last night I attended a monthly poetry open mic on zoom. I discovered a new-to-me poet, Miranda Krogstad who is from Canada. Below is her beautiful poem about love — love in our blood. The DNA saga I documented 2014-2019 captured for me the idea that PEACE is in our DNA and blood. An amazing combination of cultures, history, nations came together to form a living breathing human. The manifestation of LOVE. Miranda expresses it beautifully, as a poet often can. In this video free style dancers interpret her words.

My deep thought today—(inner)Peace and love are powerful weapons to defend ourselves from disease. When we extend peace, patience and love to others they are gifts of LIFE! Please be safe and COOL today.


Live in Compassion & Kindness

“The highest form of knowledge is empathy.” – Bill Bullard

“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.”
– Princess Diana

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” – Plato

“Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring to change a person’s life.” 
–Jackie Chan

“Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.” – Dalai Lama


Sources
https://www.news-medical.net/health/DNA-Damage-Linked-to-Sleep-Deprivation.aspx

https://psychology.berkeley.edu/news/sleep-scientist-warns-against-walking-through-life-underslept-state

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/10/16/558058812/sleep-scientist-warns-against-walking-through-life-in-an-underslept-state

https://www.mirandakrogstad.com/

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/mattress-information/how-much-does-a-mattress-cost

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/heat-wave-dome-2021-seattle-portland-weather/

 

Day 279: Confessions of a Sus

I play Among Us.  My name is “poptart”.  You may wonder why a 52 year old woman would want to play a real-time murder mystery set on a space ship with the prepubescent of our population,  but you’ve no need, I will tell you why I do it.  I’ve entered a very specific time in my life where I gain great satisfaction defeating children in games of deceit and strategy.  Today, however, those raggamuffins booted me out of two games in less than 30 minutes.   Don’t they have better things to do like Google history homework answers or something? I crashed on Pink’s argument that she couldn’t be the killer because “I’m only 8.”  If she’s 8, then I’m 8.  Ridiculous argument!  That pink flower in your hair only makes you more creepy, PINK!

It is 6:30 p.m. as I begin to write and I want it to be 6:30 a.m. tomorrow.  At that time I will have things to do: wake up, catch the days headlines, take a shower, have breakfast, get dressed then go to work.  When I’m at work I’ll have even MORE things to do.  Between now and tomorrow I have TWELVE hours to do something with.  At least 8 hours of that can be used for sleeping.  During COVID I’ve tested my sleeping abilities AKA: time travel.  I can fast forward about 3-5 hours at a time with an elongated blink of an eye …which is really what sleep is, one long blink. Rarely can I make it more than 12 hours in one undisturbed lay-down.  The longest since March is a good, very nice and needed 10 hours in bed.  Sleeping when bored is the highlight and delete of unwanted hours.  The “>>2x” button on your Blueray.  

What the heck will I do for 12 hours?

I started one adult task; reading a self-help book, “The Primal Wound: Understanding the Adopted Child” by Nancy Newton Verrier. 

The Primal Wound is a book which is revolutionizing the way we think about adoption. In its application of information about pre- and perinatal psychology, attachment, bonding, and loss, it clarifies the effects of separation from the birth mother on adopted children. In addition, it gives those children, whose pain has long been unacknowledged or misunderstood, validation for their feelings, as well as explanations for their behavior. Since its original publication in 1993, The Primal Wound has become a classic in adoption literature and is considered the adoptees’ bible. The insight which is brought to the experiences of abandonment and loss will contribute not only to the healing of adoptees, adoptive families, and birth parents, but will bring understanding and encouragement to anyone who has ever felt abandoned.

A friend loaned me the book.  We are both adopted children. The book helps you work through the emotional trauma of abandonment all adoptees experience.  She recommends it highly. It will be a tough read.  About 10 minutes in I begin to cry a little. 

The sun set at 4:21pm today.  I should have gone for a walk, but I didn’t. 

Tomorrow will be a better day.

‘effin Pink

DNA Part Four: Spice

Spice

I recently moved.  I noticed while cooking the other day that I gave up a spice advantage.  The “community” spice rack had all sorts of wonderful grounded herbal ingredients.  One of my favorites is smoked paprika.  My current meager collection is about 6 things: two kinds of salt, a black pepper grinder, curry and… well four items (you can’t count chicken stock as a spice).  Spice is expensive.  It will take a while to build up my own rack.

dune_cat_spice_must_flow-475x267
A quote from “Dune”, a 1965 epic science fiction novel by Frank Herbert

Food would be bland without some spice.  This is also true with DNA.  Looking at my genetic make up, although the majority tracers are 85.9% European, I like seeing the “dashes” of Italian, Iberian, West African, and Native American; it’s the spice in my DNA.

It’s been almost a month since I received the results from my 23andMe DNA test.  (see DNA: part three)  I’m working the social aspects of the site to find any relatives closer than 4th cousin.

I may have found a 2nd, but the person responded to my story with “Let’s continue cautiously”.  They have two female cousins that MAY have moved to the Pacific Northwest and “married Anglos” around the time I was born.  The adoption label has a shock value that works both ways.  I am once again reminded of the taboo label attached to me since before birth.  A child that is a living reminder of a moment someone wanted to forget. Despite an unknown reason for my origin, I am an advocate for adoption over abortion.  I’d like to think somehow my  life has a needed affect on this pool table of a planet that rides on the back of a tortoise.

tumblr_mnv0gggejr1qmsrmwo1_500

CUBA is now open

It’s been an especially encouraging week regarding CUBA, position #1 for my Country of Ancestry above the United Kingdom, #2!

President Obama will move as soon as next month to defang the 54-year-old American trade embargo against Cuba, administration officials said Thursday, using broad executive power to defy critics in Congress and lift restrictions on travel, commerce and financial activities.”  

-New York Times, December 19, 2014 

It’s almost as if Cuba is calling me.  If this is true, soon I will be able to visit it.

 % of Cavewoman

The test also shares how much Neanderthal you have.  That’s right, the closest evolutionary relative of modern humans. The first Neanderthals arrived in Europe as early as 600,000 to 350,000 years ago.  They lived along side modern humans for thousands of years. Genetic evidence suggest that they interbred and although Neanderthals disappeared about 30,000 years ago, traces of their DNA — between 1 percent and 4 percent — are found in all modern humans outside of Africa.  The average European has 2.7%, I have 2.6%.

2 6 neanderthal
I am the 2.6%!

ss

I am 2.6% Neanderthal.  While I contemplated what that means I notice a t-shirt is available for purchase, readily available with my percentage on it.  Talk about a conversation starter.  While wearing it perhaps I’ll walk around and use the word “Cronk!” for every word, and smash stuff.  “It’s OK I’m just letting my inner Neanderthal out”

Article credit:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/19/us/politics/obama-intends-to-lift-several-restrictions-against-cuba-on-his-own.html?_r=0

DNA Part Two: The Waiting

The-Family-Tree
Family Tree. Artwork by Pauline Murphy

Part Two
The Waiting

I’m getting close to the day.  The day my 23andMe DNA test will return and I’ll know my genetic heritage.  I’ve decided to  share the results with my two children first, then my mom and brother, (my father has passed).  Then share it here.  The story will not end with the results.  The social media aspect of 23andMe may potentially link-up the results with relatives.  As I stated before it might be boring or a big mess of family drama—let me share my mess with you.

Honestly, a social DNA site freaks me out a little.  I used my real name for processing, but a fake one for the profile.  My personal photo is a bunch of flowers.  I am chicken.  Cautious.  Nervous.  Feeling the need to protect myself, and yet I have to look, I must take a peak into this unknown.

ADOPTED FAMILY TREE

Here is what I know.  My adopted parents are mainly of Irish and German decent.  My mother and her siblings were the first generation born in America, my father was his families third.  I was raised by a working class family in the suburbs south of Seattle, on the wooded plateau of Federal Way.

Around 2009 I got the bug to research the family tree.  My dad’s Irish side was a bit beat up from divorce, my grandmothers five husbands and the generational condition of not talking about the ass holes in the family.  (Would have been nice if they would of at least saved their name and date of birth.)   Mom’s side ended with her great-grandparents, the parents of the ones who made the boat trip over.  She knew it all from memory, with the help from a few notes.  That tree is a nice big full tree, with many children.  However, I couldn’t go past 1880.  Using European genealogy sites is expensive, so I stopped there.

TartansMacLaren
The MacLaren Tartans, photo credit: Clan MacLaren Society of North America

I married into the Laws family.  While researching their tree, I learned they have a long stake in America.  The first, James Laws, came over from England, landing in Massachusetts in the early 1700’s.  There was a split of some kind in the family. Many stayed in the Carolinas while others, my ex-husbands side,  went to Chicago, then Kansas, then California. Prior to England, I could only guess that Laws was a corruption of “Lawrence” a possible connection to Scotland’s MacLaren Clan.

146_MacLaren
The MacLaren Badge

After contacting the North American chapter they confirmed the surname connection.  We joined the clan immediately.  It was exciting to learn about tartans, badges and read about the fighting history of the MacLaren.  We took the kids to the Highland games in Tucson, found the MacLaren booth and told the kids, “These are your people.”  Later we visited the popular Arizona Renaissance Festival & Artisan Marketplace.  It felt like “place”.  A virtual family I am happy to be a part of, even if by marriage.  It is an identified part of my children’s heritage and I celebrate their lives as any mother would.

 WHAT IF

What if my DNA reveals something unexpected?  Of course it will.  Do you remember on the TV show “Who Do You Think You Are” when guest Spike Lee learns he is not 100% African?*  Blood has no boarders.  Do the boxes we check on a form define who we are in society?

Here’s another gem, this one from a usaid.gov job application:

“Ethnicity and race information is requested under the authority of 42 U.S.C. Section 2000e-16 and in compliance with the Office of Management and Budget’s 1997 Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity. Providing this information is voluntary and has no impact on your employment status, but in the instance of missing information, your employing agency will attempt to identify your race and ethnicity by visual observation.”

“Visual observation”―What the hell does that mean?

Lets play a game.  Can you guess Keanu Reeves nationality just by looking?  Here’s a photo of the famous actor:

keanu
Keanu Reeves

He was born in Beirut, Lebanon to an English mom and an American father.  His father was born in Hawaii, of British, Portuguese, Native Hawaiian, and Chinese ancestry.  You only get to know that information when you get to know Keanu and he shares it with you (or you look him up on IMDB).

“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin,
but by the content of their character.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Nature and Nurture

My DNA test talks to the very old debate of nature verse nurture.  How much of what and who we are is dependent on our upbringing, and genetic makeup.

nature-nuture
photo: Simply Psychology

Saul McLeod writing for Simply Psychology has this to say:

“In practice hardly anyone today accepts either of the extreme positions.  There are simply too many “facts” on both sides of the argument which are inconsistent with an “all or nothing” view.  So instead of asking whether child development is down to nature or nurture the question has been reformulated as “How much?”  That is to say, given that heredity and environment both influence the person we become, which is the more important?”

If you are interested in this discussion, please visit the site (see link below).  It is full of intriguing arguments, especially about temperament and the “genius” gene.  To much information to share here.

Washington Adoptees Rights Movement (WARM) was my first point of contact for information regarding my birth family.  The site also included reunited stories.  Some good, some not so good.  One reunion I remember was about a daughter and her father that discover they had same mannerisms.  They combed their fingers through their hair the same way and liked the same type of food.  Makes me curious if mannerisms are genetic.

I am wondering what it will be like to meet any member from my birth family.  I wonder if we have the same eyes, smile, and laugh.  I wonder if any play the piano, sing or write.  My mind is full of wonder.  Questions my heart asks, the words go out into the universe like an echo, returning empty.

In part three of my series I will tackle race and religion.

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Part One here: https://shannonplawswriter.com/2014/11/12/23me-it-begins/

Work Cited

McLeod, Saul. “Nature Nurture in Psychology | Simply Psychology.” Nature Nurture in Psychology | Simply Psychology. Simply Psychology, 2007. Web. 26 Nov. 2014.

http://www.simplypsychology.org/naturevsnurture.html

MacLaren Clan of North America:  http://www.clanmaclarenna.org/

To learn more about the annual Arizona Renaissance Festival & Artisan Marketplace visit:  http://www.royalfaires.com/arizona/

*http://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2010/04/30/wdytya-spike-lee/

DNA Part One: It Begins

Picture 246
The Kit

I have a 23andMe DNA kit and I’m not afraid to use it!

If you follow my blog or know me a little more than most—like the way one may “know” Nutella after eating half a container—then you’ll know that I am adopted.  Orphaned, then adopted.   I literally made it 40 years not knowing anything about my birth family.

Well, that’s about the change… a little bit any way.

Picture 247
Eight Easy Steps

23andMe will provide what percentage of my DNA is from what populations of the world and allows members to connect with others that share their DNA, “DNA Relatives”, via the 23andMe social network site.

My kit is registered and my profile set up.  I’ll know more in 3-4 weeks when the results come in. “Congratulations, you’ve been cloned!”  Sometime around the end of December I’ll share “Part Two: The Results”.

To learn more about my views on adoption, please check out my post:

“Philomena / What Are You?”

Wish me luck!  I’m rollin’ for some Charlemagne!  ahahaaa!

To learn about 23andMe click here.

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