"In the report, task force members said the money is needed to create counselingExcuse me, but doesn't this sound like same script, different cast? Well as usual, I got a few questions and so should you as a taxpayer. Are you trying to tell me that from that series of meetings held statewide and to my understanding not exactly SRO (standing room only)basically revealed that "counseling services and additional testing site were needed?" Has testing not been a focus of those statewide Consortiacare outfits, other clinics or those AIDS this or that mash ups promoted througout the year? Can one not get a counseling reference from a Consortiacare case worker? Hey committee members, what happened to all that fancy two (2) person office equipment, computers, and God knows what when Positive Voices imploded a few years back? As far as awareness campaigns, certainly I'm all for getting messages out to the public, but to be honest this forum did many post about such campaigns but came to conclusion that many folks had no clue or showed no interest after being polled. Case in fact, how many people remember that Billboard campaign or saw any of those Youtube spots? O.K. Task Force members you've accessed the situation yet again and sounds like to me, I've heard this report before, this time it's just going be more pricier. What do you say Mr. & Mrs. Taxpayer? I'm all ears and then some...the floor is open.
services and 15 HIV testing sites in black, Hispanic and other high-risk
communities around the state. The report proposed an annual budget of $150,000
to hire two staff members to manage the services and to pay for overhead costs,
such as office space, supplies and travel reimbursement. The task force said the
testing and counseling sites would cost $975,000 annually. They also budgeted
$225,000 annually for an HIV/AIDS awareness campaign."
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
Is their a Doctor in the House?: Dr. Phil McGraw will be in the house, Monday, April 27, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. in Sturgis Hall of the Clinton Presidential Complex. Dr. Phil McGraw is the host of "Dr. Phil," the second highest rated daytime talk show in America. The show has been making headlines and breaking records since its September 2002 launch, when it garnered the highest ratings of any new syndicated show since the launch of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" 17 years prior. McGraw has become an pop icon appearing in everything from TV commericals to movies. Did you see his word play with Tyler Perry's alter ego Madea, in Madea Goes to Jail? I expect this event to be SRO (standing room only) and early reservations will be the order of the day. I've been to some of the Clinton programming and they fill up fast and I mean fast. I'm not a huge fan of McGraw but I do subcribe to his "Get Real " approach to life's daily interactions. However, I was keeping it real long before the good doctor landed and this forum has always been about openess
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Food Police: I'm not all about being the food police but, I do take a gander at all those articles relating to what I may or may not be putting in my face. It's imperative that we start paying more attention to everything about what we are consuming on a daily basis. For instance, the recent Peanut salmonella outbreak was just the latest in a long running secession of food alarms that we as consumers have dealt with. I've taken a food safety course from our local extension office and believe me I'm so glad that I did. I've been terribly concerned with the explosion of curbside eateries, barrels, rolling shops and otherwise possibly unregulated ptomaine outlets that are spreaded throughout the city. Have you seen them? As I drove around in the last week, I was surprise to see individuals bellying up to sites selling everything from smoked turkey legs, burritos, ice cream to hot dogs on numerous corners. I'm all for the entrepreneurial spirit especially in these hard fought eco times, but with many mirco organism, antibiotic resistant diseases and other food borne illness abounding, I'm casting a weary eye on all these food outlets offering their products to a unknowing public. I've shared some of my concern with city officials but was sorta passed along to a bureaucrat who showed a low level of interest. My concerns involve seeing some outlets sharing utilities, seeing set ups in abandon parking lots, activities using ice chest and other stops with no visible hand washing means to just name a few. Sounds iffy to me? How about you? I'm not sounding the alarm, but rather a heighten concern that if an serious outbreak took hold, I would hope that the powers that be would be ready to deal with it. Hey folks, remember that adage, "buyer beware" and that goes to where you choose to chow down next time.
Spring Cash Dash: SAVING, has become a new old buzz word that is capturing attention everywhere and I'm not about being left out. Say What? I've been a "saver" all my life, even when I making next to nothing. Somehow, I've learned how to stretch a dime into several dollars whether force too or not. One of my favorite money gurus is family member, Suze O. who hits you right smack in the money belt. Here latest mash up includes, http://www.saveyourself.com/ a site for women to get good advice on dealing with money. I must confess, I've bought some Ms. O's products and been a long time fan of her PBS specials. I've learned much about my money habits and traps. As you continue your spring cleaning, take a look at her offering so you don't clean out your savings. She's got good stuff that's just plane and simple common sense for your wallet. It's all at http://www.suzeorman/. com
Belly Spring Shedding: I get e-blast from Men's Health magazine and they have some good food for thought items for consideration. If you need to work on those abs or that troublesome mid section, heres a few suggestions from an online article.
You sweat buckets and burn major calories when you go to the gym. But wouldn't it be great if you could burn fat simply by sitting down, or even better—while you're sleeping? If you think it sounds too good to be true, guess again: Research has found there are a couple of things you can do to boost your metabolic rate so your body is a more efficient fat-burning machine. 1. Eat breakfast. Waking up to a couple of eggs or whole-grain cereal with skim milk will jump start your metabolism: Giving your mind clarity and your body the energy it needs to burn fat all day.2. Build muscle mass. Strength training builds lean muscle tissue, which burns more calories at work or at rest. Use your own body weight with the Belly Off! No-Gym Workout, or hit the weight racks with Belly Off! Fully Loaded and you'll see a boost in your metabolism after just one week.3. Eat more meat. A British study found those who increased the percentage of
the percentage of protein-based calories in their diets burned 71 more calories a day than those on low-protein diets. On the Belly Off! eating plan, you'll eat a steak every Tuesday to keep your muscles revving all week.
4. Get more sleep! Researchers found that sleep deprivation increases levels of a hunger hormone and decreases levels of a hormone that makes you feel full. The effects may lead to overeating and weight gain, so hit the sack instead of the fridge and feel the benefits in the morning.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Please send polite, to the point, and varied, messages expressing your OPPOSITION TO HB 2176.
To find the members of the Committee go to http://www.arkansas.gov/house/committee_membership.html
To find your Arkansas Representative go to http://www.arkansas.gov/house/reps.php
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Although it would make for a much happier story if I could say my life suddenly and dramatically improved for the better after my partner moved in, the truth wasn’t nearly as nice. When she moved in, we were very optimistic about finances. We figured that with our low overhead living in the trailer and two professional incomes, we’d be quickly out of debt and on our way to financial bliss.
It didn’t work out that way. Just three months after my sweetie moved in, I lost my job. Had it not been for her employment and support, I may well have starved. I didn’t have much in the way of savings, nor could I count on help from my parents.
I spent the entire summer looking for a new position. Since my partner was employed, I was able to be a bit pickier in selecting my next job. I turned down one offer because the interviewer was verbally abusive, and offered me nearly $10,000 less than my previous position. I turned down another because everyone seemed just a little too happy, to the point of being creepy. Three months after being laid off, I felt like I couldn’t wait any longer, and took a 32-hour/week position that paid 10% less than my previous job.
Even though I ended up working far more than 32 hours per week, it was fortunate I accepted the position. Shortly after I was hired, my partner lost her new job.
In both cases, our layoffs seemed a little suspicious. Things got weird at my job after I came out, and things at my wife’s job got weird after her company hired a new Chief Operating Officer who was fresh out of the military and ex-special forces. We thought about filing discrimination complaints, but decided that long, drawn-out legal battles wouldn’t solve our immediate financial need. We both needed to have jobs that offered health insurance coverage.
We managed to squeak by during the six months when only one of us was working. It seemed like it should have been easy, since our living expenses were so low. It turned out to be quite difficult, because we didn’t want to let our health insurance lapse. As unmarried partners in a time where domestic partner benefits weren’t widely available, we had to pay enormous COBRA premiums to keep our coverage.
Finally, my partner found a position at the company where I was working. For a while, it was ideal. We were able to commute together, and later we were able to work at home together. We both had a decent salary, health insurance, and vacation. We started to make real progress on our debts, but of course it didn’t last. Shortly after the company’s December holiday party, nearly everyone was laid off.
We were included in the layoffs, but since we were working from home, nobody bothered to notify us of the dismissal until nearly a week later. After considerable embarrassment, and realizing that our projects weren’t quite finished, our manager extended our employment for a few more weeks. We quickly made last-minute doctor and dentist appointments, and found ourselves unemployed the first week of January, 2001. It was the second time, within an 18-month period, we’d found ourselves unemployed.
Although we expected to be out of work for quite some time, we were hit by a sudden stroke of luck. One of our employer’s former clients contacted us and asked if we’d continue working on one of his projects. Our ex-employer gave us the ok, since they no longer had any interest in this particular line of business, so we suddenly found ourselves navigating the waters of self-employment. I was rather reluctant to start another business, having my last one fail so terribly, but since we didn’t any better options, I agreed.
Self-employment definitely wasn’t easy. We were trying to operate a business in a 22-foot travel trailer where we had to eat, sleep and work. There wasn’t much in the way of space, and we had to move laptops and computer equipment on and off the dinette table every time we wanted to work or eat. It was stressful, especially since our new client managed, due to a banking problem, to bounce his first check to us. Fortunately, we didn’t bounce any checks as a result, as I refused to spend any money until I knew the check had cleared.
1. During periods of financial instability, it takes a lot of dedication and communication to keep the relationship going. When money is tight, it’s easy to blame your partner (or for your partner to blame you) for the financial squeeze. It’s important to support one another, and to communicate clearly about money and the emotional toll it takes.
2. Emergency funds are indispensable. Every financial planner will repeat this bit of wisdom over and over. Once again, had we had more of an emergency fund, the transitions from employment, to unemployment, to employment and ultimately to self-employment would have been easier.
3. Don’t spend money unless the check has cleared. It’s very tempting, especially during times of economic crisis, to spend money before you know your deposits have cleared. In our case, our client bounced a $28,000 check, and it would have been disastrous if we’d spent the money right away.
4. Make health insurance a priority. Less than six months after becoming self-employed, my partner needed emergency surgery. Had we not kept our COBRA insurance, we would have incurred nearly $30,000 in uninsured medical expenses.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Bailout Bustas: Companies that have wrapped themselves in TARP funds, meanwhile continuing to put the screws to their customers across the board. Recently these banks, etc also got another round of funding from the Recovery Act to help stimulate the economy, but apparently no one is quite sure how they are doing it.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Mixed Signals: I've mentioned numerous times about the importance of keeping the content of your site current and timely. I should know, since this forum is Arkansas only daily updating portal for information and this does not happen without some serious effort. Earlier this week I mentioned that AAF spokesperson Yolanda West did a spot on Comcast's local PR program talking about an upcoming event. During the spotlight she mentioned the organizations website as a source of info and outreach. I surfed to the site which does have a blurb about the prayer fundraiser on the front page, but there's many dusty, long past items prominently posted. If West is promoting the site as a reference point, then I suggest that the webmaster get busy and update it. For the record, as a former board member I was an ardent supporter of using the website as a marketing tool and branding mechanism. I'm glad to see the fancy bells and whistles, but the lack of freshness simply send out mixed signals about the organization. If you are going to take to the airwaves to tout your credibility, then make it a total package message.
BailOut Bustas: If you are keeping score, it's Contracted Stupidy: 156 Million, Taxpayers: Screwed. The news cycles have been in overdrive about those mind blowing bonuses that were passed out like hard candy. Unfortunately, the explanations are still wrought with outlandish unbelieveble balderdash. Stop it already! Enter Keith Olbermann, who makes no bones nor minces words about just how he feels about the situation. His passionate commentary about the banking industry was a "in your face" moment that I couldn't stop listening to. His rant among the many ranting about the situation should make you want to keep tabs on what's really going on. If you don't, then you should.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
At least 28 of those couples came from neighboring Oklahoma and another 32 from Missouri, says Michael Walsh, who wrote the domestic partnership law that went into effect in June 2007.
«I will not stand silent any longer and allow a demographic of our citizens to be humiliated and degraded,» she said. «Prejudice or bigotry have no place in our city. The gay and lesbian community are our friends, neighbors and family.»
The editor of the town's weekly newspaper, The Lovely County Citizen, characterized King's anti-DPR bill as a «regressive, faith-based, discriminatory, venal . . . and cynical act.»
It is, said editor Don Lee in a editorial, «demagoguery based on religious prejudice bordering on moral fascism . . .»
The Carroll County (AR) News reported King «felt the bill (to ban DPRs) was needed because tourism in Eureka Springs has become identified too strongly with issues of sexuality.»
Given the town's long-standing reputation as a major wedding destination, King's rationale is fraudulent, says Walsh.
«What the hell does he think goes on in all those heart shaped hot tubs and honeymoon cabins,» Walsh said. «King's real aim is to impose his extremist religious and political views on our town and at the expense gay residents, business owners and tourists.
«Playing the gay card is a way for cheap politicians in Arkansas to fan the fires of hate and fatten up their campaign coffers.»
But, on the brink of what may be a precarious tourist season, King's bill could also deprive the town of a critical revenue stream.
According to city records, the DPR has generated almost $10,000 for the city in less than two years. Registration costs $35 per couple.
Walsh puts the figure at closer to $250,000 to $500,000 when DPR-related expenditures on hotels, motels, B &Bs, restaurants, bars, caterers, ministers, florists, gift shops, photographers and spending by friends and families are included.
«Precisely when the state needs all the tax revenue it can it, King's bill is exceedingly short-sighted,» he said.
O.K. Friends, ready to share some outrage on the home front? Get out your weapons, the mighty pen and get busy expressing your outrage to Arkansas State Rep. Bryan King at: email@example.com If you do, forward us your comments or his comments. I'll be posting my own outrage letter to King later this week! You will not want to miss it!!!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Politicallly Eating: Stonewall Democratic Caucus of Arkansas will host a legislative luncheon this Thursday, March 19th from 11:30- 1:00 at Capitol Hill Lounge (1524 West 4th- next to Capitol and AEA bldgs). This is a great opportunity to meet with our lawmakers and put a face on GLBT issues. You don't need to have any experience with lobbying as this will be an informal setting where we will chat with legislators while they eat. Personal stories and intereactions are often the most powerful. We are also looking for two volunteers who can arrive at 11 am to help set-up and serve tea/lemonade/water. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can be a server. We look forward to seeing everyone at the lunch
Native Ameicans & HIV: HIV is affecting thousands of American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN). AI/AN have the third highest rate of AIDS diagnosis in the United States, despite having the smallest population. March 20 is National NativeAmerican HIV/ AIDS Day. AI/AN people with AIDS are likely to be younger than non-AI/AN people with AIDS. AI/ANs also have the shortest time between AIDS diagnosis and death. Anthony Fauci, head of NIH'S National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, ahead of the awareness day said, "Lack of access to basic health care services, stigma associated with homosexuality and HIV/AIDS, barriers to effective mental health care, and high rates of substance abuse, sexually transmitted infections and poverty all increase the risk of HIV/AIDS in native communities and create obstacles to HIV prevention and treatment." He added, "Consequently, as a proportion of their population, more American Indians and Alaska Natives became infected with HIV than whites in 2006. American Indians and Alaska Natives acquired new HIV infections at a rate of 14.6 cases per 100,000 people, while whites became newly infected at a rate of 11.5 cases per 100,000. Moreover, American Indian and Alaska Native women became infected with HIV at more than three times the rate of white women in 2006" (NIAID release, 3/13).
Monday, March 16, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Busta Bailouts: Are you at a boiling point yet with all the bailout BS that's happening in this nation. I've just about had it with the flawed splanin, " see what had happen was?" and I don't know what happened drivel that those smartest folks in the room keep serving up. Also, I've tired of being reminded by the Obama spin machine that "this was inherited." We all know that and now we want to get this party started right. However, just as the stimulus train pulls out of the station, it seems that their are some extra earmark cabooses attached.
Arkansas is waiting with baited breathe for every stimulus morsel that will fall from the heavens and we all should be watching as the purportedly 2.1 Billion rolls home. The Governor's office is poised to set up a website for transparency and oversight due out this week. Once it's up and running, you can bet we will have a link posted.
Gayinthe Rock Mates: To my surprise as I was running my update thought process, I noticed that "GAY In The Rock" has mated, merged, sub-leased, partnered or what have you with another online source, http://www.EliteMate.com/ The site is sorta under-reconstruction with the mission of bringing you the best dating around and finding you the love you need. So What's Love got to do with it? It appears to me that most are in search of some quick relief or unattached boot knocking.
Otherwise it seems that everyone is looking for someone inside a gigabyte of information. Whatever happen to putting on your best jeans, looking good and feeling gorgeous and saying, HELLO, I'm Mr. Right. The owners of GITR are certainly welcomed to find their best business fit, but goodness sake is the art of finding someone without a keyboard simply lost forever. No wonder the bars are not doing a lot of business because it seems that the patrons are at home crying in the beer into computer screen. Never mind me. If it works for you then so be it. But, If I need to find another Mr. Right, I certainly hope that I can master it the old fashion way with conversation and chemistry. Well, it looks like we are still the only daily updating portal for news and current affairs. Everyone else wants to hook you up some how or some way. Be careful out their people, remember, "buyer beware." Otherwise, happy hunting.
Noah's Arc Broom: Finally, I got to see the Noah's Arc movie after hearing so much about it last year and from others who got DVD's and such. My source, NEXTFLIX dropped a copy in my mailbox, just in time for some much needed R&R. I had read many reviews, snippets and watched a few trailers, but I laid in wait for the final cut. My verdict, well, it was good. All the notable characters returned from the LOGO show and the production provided a vehicle for a tidy ending to the saga of long suffering screenwriter, Noah(Daryl Stephens) and his mysterious beau, Wade(Jensen Atwood) who decide to take it to the next level by getting married on Martha's Vineyard. The film sorta plodded along a bit, but step it up with some comic relief from Alex( Rodney Chester) who I bet would make a dead ringer for Hattie McDaniel in drag. There are all kinds of sub-plots, lots of bed hopping, shagging, flesh shots and other assorted going's on the carry you through all the melodramatic moments. Consequently we arrive at the ultimate wedding scene, with those well written, but rather lengthy wedding vows. O.K. it's over. I've seen it and actually I'm done with it. Noah's Arc was a great blip on the television radar that had a loyal audience and following. However, it's all about the numbers and the film grossed only $532,878 domestically with a release in only 9 , yes count em, NINE theaters. What's up with that? How could this film find an audience when it was being choked hold and cut off at the knees. MILK from Focus films could be seen in over 882 theaters with a gross so far of 31 Million. Then, there's the Tyler Perry/ Madea franchise trouncing the competition with a staggering 41 Million domestic haul in wide release and still counting.
I'm glad that Creator & Director Patrik Polk was able to see this to fruition, but the naysayers will opt to state that this type of material is not mass marketable. It doesn't make the Brokeback means test, because most folks can't imagine two Black SGL men in a romantic comedy. It's so unfortunate because this film gave everything it could to set that mindset a drift. Yet, it's simply not to be. If you haven't had a chance to see Noah's Arc,( it's theatrical run only lasted 8 weeks) It's available on DVD from NETFLIXS or purchase everywhere. It was great afternoon to see a movie that was about complex loving relationships and not body counts. See it, you'll like it.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
It's been no secret that President Obama has been in a hiring mode since his election, even if other industries have been laying off folk. I know that good help is often hard to find and you look for the brightest and best, but I had mixed feelings at the recent news of an Obama Administration's announcement. It was the appointment of longtime HIV/AIDS health care advocate Jeff Crowley to head the long-vacant Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP), which is charged with developing the National AIDS Strategy.
Crowley, M.P.H., is a Senior Research Scholar at Georgetown University's Health Policy Institute and a Senior Scholar at the O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law Center. I wondered what did the short list of names consisted of and ultimately the final choice. There's no dobut that credentials are not the issue, but since the AIDS dilemma is so squarely in the Afro American community, personally I would have hoped for a person from this community. According to other sources they cite,
"This is brilliant," was the reaction of David Munar, who chairs the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA), where Crowley worked from 1994-2000. "The Administration made a strategic choice about someone who knows health care above all else, so they got a two-fer: he is passionate about HIV, and he knows health care systems. This means the office will be relevant. He will champion us and our needs in the health care reform process."
Advocates note that ONAP had already gained relevance in the eyes of the Administration due to the AIDS community's work to secure $1.4 million for the development of the National AIDS Strategy (NAS) in the upcoming omnibus budget bill, which is poised go into effect on March 6 when the continuing resolution ends.
The Domestic Policy Council, where ONAP is based, had been eviscerated during the Bush years, and those who have spoken with Council staff have said that they are appreciative of the resources and are committed to the NAS process.
Advocates anticipate that the funding, which has to be obligated (committed to specific spending if not literally spent) by the end of the fiscal year on September 30, could pay for a six or seven staff members for ONAP. It could also go towards the additional costs of establishing a cross-government/community panel, which is the structure that the Coalition for a National AIDS Strategy (of which I am a member) has recommended to develop and monitor the NAS.
"Clearly, health care will be a cornerstone of a successful NAS," noted Chris Collins, "Jeff's appointment is great news and I look forward to working with him to create a NAS that brings more accountability, coordination and an orientation to outcomes in our response to HIV in the United States."
Collins was one of the other candidates interviewed for the ONAP post. For the past week, those involved in Federal AIDS policy had heard that the appointment was imminent, and that a small number of people had been interviewed for the position, including Collins and Jesse Milan, chair of the board of Black AIDS Institute. But many advocates expressed surprise at Crowley's appointment, as there had been no buzz that he was a candidate or they had assumed he would be appointed at the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services (CMS).
The White House release cites Crowley's primary areas of expertise as "Medicaid policy, including Medicaid prescription drug policies; Medicare policy; and consumer education and training."
And indeed, those who have worked with him on these issues were clearly excited, even gushing, about the appointment, including Robert Greenwald, Director of the Treatment Access Expansion Project (TAEP).
"I think it's amazing," said Greenwald. "He is one of the most hardworking, diligent, non-ego-involved people I've ever worked with, just a good person. I can't even believe it. He's incredibly plugged into the community."
While Crowley helped to develop the National HIV Testing Day Campaign during his tenure at NAPWA, those who have worked closely with him in recent years do note that prevention is not his main area of expertise.
But Munar, calling Crowley an "instrumental team player," says he expects that, far from having a deaf ear towards prevention, Crowley recognizes its importance, will bring in those who know it well and will talk about it from a health care perspective, emphasizing a cost-savings paradigm that he believes will resonate well.
Monday, March 09, 2009
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Lion in Winter: In case you missed it and I'm sure most of you didn't, especially after your phone keep ringing to let you know that NK himself was a Style feature in the Sunday's DemGaz(3.2.09). Yes, folk, that NK,(Norma Kristie, pictured left)) the ringmaster of Central City nightlife, Norman Jones. The article penned by Kyle Brazzel, another self style media person who ebbs and flows from charity events to night place haunts peeks just underneath the surface of this long time shot caller. I've seen Mr. B around town and read many of his pieces that have entertained me and this frothy piece cause me to go, "Hmmmmmm." Of course, as a writer your source material certainly dictates the direction of your item. In my estimates, you couldn't find a richer nor ripe source material than the unsinkable Kristie who has led a life that would be perfect content for a Lifetime movie of the week or even reality TV. From the onset, I knew that this article would require me to brace myself, beginning with the opening paragraph which leads with the description of "Jones sits at a cool ivory bar strewn with hundreds of dollar bills stacked and secured with rubber bands." Moving inward for the rest of this item, there are interesting tidbits about "Being Norman," such as his love for equine, recollections of early struggles with purveyors, dealing with Little Rock's finest, competitors and his therapy pursuits. I can't imagine dealing with this lavender life without one either. Also Jones' muses about his impending memoirs, entitled, My Pageant, My Crown," and his contempt for what impersonation has evolved or should I say devolved into. Since I am of the generation whom was privy to a much different type of drag, I agree with NK's assertion that the art form has suffered since those "good ole days." In the article he speaks of an glittering Astronaut outfit, unfortunately I never saw this getup. But do recall NK's swan song, the Connie Francis hit, "Where the Boys Are," which I've seen numerous times. Believe it or not, some of the best impersonators such Donna Day, Lady Shawn, Naomi Sims,(featured in video)Sweet Savage, and Divine of John Waters fame, have all made their way through this neck the woods either in Hot Springs or Little Rock. Just for the record, I took to the spotlight on various occasion ultimately discovering that all that glitters wasn't gold. My efforts to harken back to some of those "good ole" days that are mentioned was met with colorful observations and uneven support otherwise. To be honest, I didn't know that the audience appreciated my presentations and to this moment still inquire about how to see more. However, as he continued to recount "those days," with a delicious glee. He retorts that he will name names in his future book. However, even though it may be a somewhat sweet revenge, actually most of those "names" will mean very little to most and nothing to others.Especially since many notables both nationally and locally are no longer with us and I would certainly hope that he wouldnt speak ill of the dead. Overall most may not be so titilated because they never saw these individuals perform or dealt with their persona's either out of drag or personally. Not to trump this effort, but let's name drop to make the point. Who was Michael Michelle and why is he significant? Billy McBride was a state titleholder who can be seen in the local newspaper regularly and why? Who was the iconic Latin impersonator who hailed from The Isle of Enchantment? Only the die hearts will know who these folk were at the height of their popularity and game. If you missed the article, do your best to go check it out. It's worth a few moments to gaze into the parallel universe of the queen of the night. Even though this forum doesn't claim to be pageant central, we do our best to keep you informed on the latest crowning and de-crowning as they occur. Stay tune....
Monday, March 02, 2009
Americans today fill more than 232 million prescriptions annually for antidepressants — up fourfold from a decade ago. But as rates of both clinical depression and more transient day-to-day mood problems climb, some mental health experts say evaluating diet, lifestyle choices, and your attitude could be key in kicking a persistent bad mood. “Consider your symptoms a wake-up call,” says psychiatrist James Gordon, MD, author of Unstuck: Your Guide to the Seven-Stage Journey Out of Depression (Penguin, 2008). “Something in your life is out of balance.”
It isn't just a hunch that these factors play a role: For decades scientists have believed that depression arises from deficiencies (some of them genetic) in brain chemicals like serotonin. But researchers now realize that blue moods can also be a product of an unhealthy brain structure made up of withering brain cells that, consequently, have trouble communicating. One primary factor that contributes to cell atrophy? A poor diet, says Alan C. Logan, ND, author of The Brain Diet (Cumberland, 2007). Here are five dietary factors and other lifestyle habits that can mess with your mood.
Skipping breakfast. Do you start your day by scarfing down a bagel in the car — or with no breakfast at all? Not fueling your body in the morning will only backfire, Logan says. Blood sugar dips, sending your body into fight-or-flight mode. This drenches your system in stress hormones — such as cortisol and adrenaline — that interfere with mood and thinking. If you have simple carbs, like a white bagel, you get a fleeting lift but then crash even harder than if you'd eaten nothing. A study published in Appetite divided teens into four groups, with two groups eating a high-fiber cereal, one slugging a pure-sugar drink, and another skipping breakfast. When tested later, those who ate no breakfast saw their scores for “contentment and alertness” drop precipitously throughout the morning. Those who had the sugary drink saw their scores spike and then crash 90 minutes later, with mood plunging by morning's end.
Mood Building BlocksClick here for a full list of vitamins and supplements to help banish your bad moods.
What you can do≫ Always eat an ample breakfast of complex carbohydrates and protein, such as whole-grain toast with poached eggs or low-fat yogurt and granola. Wholesome carbs provide fuel for the brain and have a mood-stabilizing effect. Protein provides the building blocks (amino acids) for feel-good chemical messengers, such as serotonin.
Eating the wrong fats. When it comes to promoting a healthy mood, getting the right ratio of omegas is critical. Omega-3 essential fatty acids, found in cold-water fish, walnuts, flaxseed oil, olive oil, and green leafy veggies, make up the scaffolding of the brain. If you get plenty of omega-3s, you end up with a well-oiled machine, but most of us get too many omega-6 fatty acids (found in corn, sun-flower, safflower, and peanut oils) instead. The result: rigid brain-cell membranes and poor cell communication. Researchers say the omega-6 to omega-3 intake ratio should be no more than 4:1, but the typical American diet puts it closer to 20:1. Experts recommend a 650-mg combo of the omega-3s eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) per day, but the average American gets about 130 mg. One recent study found 1,000 mg of EPA taken daily for eight weeks as effective in treating depression as fluoxetine (Prozac).
What you can do≫ Read ingredient labels to avoid overconsuming omega-6 oils. Eat at least two helpings of oily fish per week, and for backup take a fish-oil supplement (up to 1,000 mg per day of EPA-DHA combination). Vegetarians and vegans take note: Fish oil is the best source of omega-3s, says Logan, because it contains DHA, which influences the shape and structure of brain cell membranes, and EPA, which expedites communication between cells. Vegetarian sources of omega-3s, such as flaxseed oil, contain alpha-linolenic acid, only some of which is converted to DHA and EPA by your body. Look for vegetarian DHA supplements derived from marine algae (after all, it's where cold-water fish get their DHA). Loading up on dark green leafy vegetables, walnuts, flaxseed, or omega-3-enriched eggs can't hurt, either.
Low folate and B12 intake. These key B vitamins play a multifaceted role in regulating mood. They serve as building blocks for pleasure-promoting neurotransmitters, such as dopamine; foster nerve health; and flush the body of the mood-compromising amino acid homocysteine. An affinity for refined grains (such as white flour, in which the folate has been stripped out during processing) and a distaste for fresh vegetables (high in folate) has left as many as one-third of Americans low in this nutrient. Adults lacking enough B12 — found in lean red meat, eggs, and milk — are 70 percent more likely to suffer depression. Research shows that people with low B12 or folate levels have a harder time pulling out of the blues — even when they take medication or see a therapist.
What you can do≫ Eat whole grains and green leafy vegetables, and take 800 mcg folic acid and 1 mg of B12 daily.
An erratic exercise routine. Fewer than half of Americans exercise regularly, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, and research shows that regular aerobic exercise — such as running, cycling, or brisk walking — boosts mood. “People who exercise on a regular basis tend to report less depression and anxiety,” says Benson Hoffman, PhD, an assistant clinical professor at Duke. Evidence suggests that exercise may regulate neurotransmitter function (similar to antidepressant medications) or neuroendocrine stress-response systems, and may even result in the growth of new brain cells, says Hoffman. Some animal studies have shown that exercise enhances neuropeptide Y, a brain chemical associated with stress resilience, and dampens the influence of another brain chemical called CCK-4, which is responsible for inciting feelings of panic.
What you can do≫ After a 10-minute warm-up, get your heart rate up to between 70 percent and 85 percent of your recommended maximum heart rate (220 minus your age). Sustain it for at least 30 minutes, three to four times per week. (For instance, the maximum heart rate for a 40-year-old woman in relatively good health is 180, making her target heart rate between 126 and 153.) Hoffman's research found that a similar 16-week program proved just as effective as a daily dose of the antidepressant sertraline (Zoloft), but he stresses that you have to exercise often to see a difference. “When you get down to two days a week, you may not see a difference at all.”
Succumbing to negativity. Ed Diener, PhD, a psychology professor at the University of Illinois and coauthor of Happiness (Wiley-Blackwell, 2008), says the way you view your world can have a direct impact on mood. You might hold grudges, see the glass as half empty, remember the bad times rather than the good, and forget to pencil in time to do what you love. Seeing happiness as an endpoint — a place you reach when you have the right spouse, right car, right job — can leave you feeling stuck when you get all that, or don't.What you can do≫ Forgive an adversary. Look back on good memories. Pencil something joyful — whether it's a warm bath or a short conversation with a friend — into each day. And keep looking forward: “Happiness has to evolve with new goals, fresh projects, and interesting activities,” says Diener. “It's a process, not a destination.”