What Security Deposit?

Why our landlord requires a pet deposit:

The Truth Hurts

From Psychology Today:

Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature
Why most suicide bombers are Muslim, beautiful people have more daughters, humans are naturally polygamous, sexual harassment isn't sexist, and blonds are more attractive.

Human nature is one of those things that everybody talks about but no one can define precisely. Every time we fall in love, fight with our spouse, get upset about the influx of immigrants into our country, or go to church, we are, in part, behaving as a human animal with our own unique evolved nature—human nature.

This means two things. First, our thoughts, feelings, and behavior are produced not only by our individual experiences and environment in our own lifetime but also by what happened to our ancestors millions of years ago. Second, our thoughts, feelings, and behavior are shared, to a large extent, by all men or women, despite seemingly large cultural differences.

Human behavior is a product both of our innate human nature and of our individual experience and environment. In this article, however, we emphasize biological influences on human behavior, because most social scientists explain human behavior as if evolution stops at the neck and as if our behavior is a product almost entirely of environment and socialization. In contrast, evolutionary psychologists see human nature as a collection of psychological adaptations that often operate beneath conscious thinking to solve problems of survival and reproduction by predisposing us to think or feel in certain ways. Our preference for sweets and fats is an evolved psychological mechanism. We do not consciously choose to like sweets and fats; they just taste good to us.

The implications of some of the ideas in this article may seem immoral, contrary to our ideals, or offensive. We state them because they are true, supported by documented scientific evidence. Like it or not, human nature is simply not politically correct.

Read the Ten Truths here!


Soundtrack of My Soul - Track #4

Famous in a Small Town, as sung by Miranda Lambert

They say life is so much sweeter
through the telephoto lens of fame
around here you get just as much attention
cheerin' at the high school football game

I dreamed of going to Nashville
Put my money down and placed my bet
But I just got the first buck of the season
I made the front page of the Turnertown Gazette

Every last one, route one, rural hearts got a story to tell
Every grandma, in law, ex girlfriend
Maybe knows us just a little too well
Whether you're late for church or you're stuck in jail
Hey words gonna get around
Everybody dies famous in a small town

Tyler and Casey broke up
It ended pretty quietly
We heard he was caught red-handed with her mama
So that's just what they let us all believe

Every last one, route one, rural hearts got a story to tell
Every grandma, in law, ex girlfriend
Maybe knows us just a little too well
Whether you're late for church or you're stuck in jail
Hey words gonna get around
Everybody dies famous in a small town

Baby who
Needs their faces in a magazine
Me and you
We've been stars of the town since we were 17

Let's go on down to the quick stop
Wear your yellow shades
And I'll put on my tight jeans
And we'll just spend the weekend burnin' rubber
And we'll let em point and stare in disbelief

Every last one, route one, rural hearts got a story to tell
Every grandma, in law, ex girlfriend
Maybe knows us just a little too well
Whether you're late for church or you're stuck in jail
Hey words gonna get around
Everybody dies famous in a small town


My Morning Entertainment

From Best of Craigslist:

Whenever I get a package of plain M&Ms, I make it my duty to continue the strength and robustness of the candy as a species. To this end, I hold M&M duels.

Taking two candies between my thumb and forefinger, I apply pressure, squeezing them together until one of them cracks and splinters. That is the "loser," and I eat the inferior one immediately. The winner gets to go another round.

I have found that, in general, the brown and red M&Ms are tougher, and the newer blue ones are genetically inferior. I have hypothesized that the blue M&Ms as a race cannot survive long in the intense theater of competition that is the modern candy and snack-food world.

Occasionally I will get a mutation, a candy that is misshapen, or pointier, or flatter than the rest. Almost invariably this proves to be a weakness, but on very rare occasions it gives the candy extra strength. In this way, the species continues to adapt to its environment.

When I reach the end of the pack, I am left with one M&M, the strongest of the herd. Since it would make no sense to eat this one as well, I pack it neatly in an envelope and send it to M&M Mars, A Division of Mars, Inc., Hackettstown, NJ 17840-1503 U.S.A., along with a 3x5 card reading, "Please use this M&M for breeding purposes."

This week they wrote back to thank me, and sent me a coupon for a free 1/2 pound bag of plain M&Ms. I consider this "grant money." I have set aside the weekend for a grand tournament. From a field of hundreds, we will discover the True Champion.

There can be only one.

On the subject of m&m's, you can make your own m&m character.


Please Vote

And do away with this nonsense. Regardless of any kind of interference, Barry was still the one who did it. He's the one who played long enough and hit hard enough to get it done. They're all out there doing the same things, so the fact that this man accomplished something is still extremely important in the context of modern baseball. Let's acknowledge the historical feat, and send the ball directly to Cooperstown.


Answer: Happy and Motivated Me

Question: What do you get when you take the American Cancer Society and add a campaign for healthcare access equality?

Yet another reason to support the American Cancer Society:


Earlier this year, the American Cancer Society proudly reported a decline in cancer deaths. Sadly, scientific evidence suggests that this progress won't continue unless all Americans gain access to quality health care. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 47 million Americans have no health insurance and millions more don't have enough to cover costs. As a result, too many people can't afford medical care or screening tests that can prevent cancer or find it early – and too many die needlessly of cancers that are detected too late. Others end up losing everything they own because they cannot afford the cost of their cancer care.

And so we cannot help but ask, is choosing between your life and financial ruin really a choice?

With this new initiative, the American Cancer Society will do what we have historically done best – educate the public and move our country to action. When the Society confirmed the link between tobacco use and lung cancer more than 40 years ago, we worked hard to educate the public about the dangers of tobacco. Years later, we led volunteers across the country to advocate for policy changes that led to increased tobacco taxes and thousands of smoke-free communities. This combination of public awareness and grassroots advocacy has led to the lowest smoking rates in decades and, best of all, decreased death rates from lung cancer. We have made similar strides in cervical, breast, and colon cancers.

Now we plan to educate Americans about the need for greater access to quality health care through an aggressive public awareness campaign featuring real people telling their own very real stories. Advertisements airing nationwide will encourage people to visit www.cancer.org/access to learn more. For those who want to be part of the nationwide grassroots movement to make this issue a priority for state and federal elected officials, our sister advocacy organization, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action NetworkSM (ACS CAN), will provide opportunities for volunteers to become an active part of this effort.

Of course, while we pursue this new effort, we will continue to do all of the things that you expect from your American Cancer Society. We will continue to be the nation's top private funder of cancer research, to educate Americans about reducing their cancer risk, and to be available 24 hours a day to those who need us for information and support.


The Most Beautiful Creature

I have a thing for tigers.

People who know me find this out pretty quickly. I have a small tiger tattoo, a ton of tiger books, and a bajillion stuffed tigers hiding in a box because I'm too adult to display them and too attached to let go.

I cried at the tiger feeding at Discovery Kingdom a couple of weeks ago. I am so moved by these animals that I frequently wonder if I should give up my steady job to go work with tigers. Only the knowledge that I would someday want a family kept me from moving to India after college to be with them in the wild.

People often ask me, "Why?"

Many attribute it to the fact that I was involved in sports and that was our team mascot--but I loved tigers long before I even understood that concept.

It's something about the grace and beauty of this amazing animal that still holds such immense strength within itself. I think the tiger is the epitome of what I have always longed to be: a beautiful, graceful, strong, and independent woman.

That, and they're friggin adorably cuddly kitty cats.

Recently I began reading a beautiful book called Tigers in Red Weather, about a woman who discovers the beauty of tigers while searching for something of her own. I say began reading because I had to put it down only a short way into the book. It was so densely packed with things I wanted to read, yet I had little time to fully enjoy it. I did, however, pull out a few quotes that I wanted to share.

You'd love Bhutan. There are tigers on the wall of every house. In their Buddhism, tiger is the ground you start from, where there'snothing to lose. That's where the curiosity, the sniffing-things-out a tiger does, can begin. The tiger is the broken heart.

The tiger IS the wild. If it goes, part of us goes with it: our sense that something out there is stronger, more beautiful; something not us. Outer wildness affets our inner landscape in ways we do not control. The tiger is its epitome: elusive, with its own concerns, nothing to do with us, from its point of view. But for us the extreme image of the wild.

East and West know tigers differently but both try and internalize the tiger's power. Tigers pay a heavy price for their role in human fantasy. They are a casualty of symbolism.


Red Sky in the Morning

I awoke this morning to a room filled with oddly-colored sunlight, that still somehow seemed dark--like the sun that comes out after a storm, but the rest of the sky is still dark and cloudy. The light was almost bright red, though, and cast an eerie glow that made it feel even weirder. My boss later told me (only half-jokingly) that she wondered to herself whether the world was ending. It was also stiflingly hot. Really quite spooky.

As I got ready for work, I quickly discovered that my eyes weren't quite functioning. I could see, but I couldn't focus. I cleaned my glasses again and again, thinking that maybe I got something on them, but the problem wasn't with the lenses. Not being able to see is actually a pretty big fear of mine, and I was definitely scared out of my mind this morning. I figured it was my allergies, took a claritin, and pulled myself together enough to get to the office (albeit half an hour late), and tried to work on things that didn't require precise focus. Not easy in an office setting.

Just before lunch, a visitor mentioned the Lick Fire, and everything suddenly made sense. For those not in the area, apparently there's a gigantic fire about 200 miles from here, and the winds changed last night to send the smoke up this way. The smoke/haze makes the sun look red, and is definitely causing many people allergy-like symptoms. Given that I'm allergic to smoke and asthmatic anyway, this is not a good day for me to be outside.

200 miles from here, though? Wow. And apparently the winds moved it up really quickly. What's even weirder is that Jen, who lives in San Jose, wayyyy closer to the fire, says it's sunny and clear there. Perhaps not the apocalypse, but strange nonetheless.

At least I know what the heck is wrong with my eyes.


Proud of My Missouri Roots

From MyWayNews:

DE SOTO, Mo. (AP) - The naked truth: Three eastern Missouri men were willing to go to extreme lengths to get some beer.

That's the accusation after an incident in the early hours of August 18th at Fish's Quick Stop in De Soto. Store clerk Vicky Gaines says a masked man walked in and began doing the hula dance.

Police say the plan was for the naked dancer to create a distraction while another man took a case of beer from the store. It didn't work.

Gaines called police. As the naked man and his accomplice joined a third man in a car, a customer got their license plate number. All three were caught a few days later.

The men, ages 19 to 23, face charges of shoplifting and indecent exposure.