aquenigmatic: (Default)
2010-05-25 09:16 am
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Housing opportunity July 1, East Bay, North Oakland

Seeking a housemate, as the current one is moving out at the end of June. If you know of anyone who might be interested, please tug my coat. Thanks.


$600/mo, month-to-month, no deposit, first month up-front/prorated for mid-month move-in. Available July 1. There's one 10 x 9 foot bedroom with a small closet and bathroom access. There's a dresser available, if you like. On the other side of the bathroom, there is a much larger study you would also get primary use of. It has a supplemental closet that would be yours (and a second one for cleaning supplies).


At the moment, utilities (gas, electric, water, sewage) are included, though this could change

3 blocks from Ashby BART



Walking distance to several groceries, including Berkeley Bowl, Whole Foods, Andronico's, and Safeway.

Gas stove

Small deck out back

Largely a quiet-ish, friendly neighborhood


About me: Unrepentant meat-eater. Black, kinky, poly, genderqueer, sex-positive, teetotaler. I work (Research Assistant, Sex Worker--film) and go to school (pre-nursing/emt), so I wouldn't be the best roommate for an extrovert. I spend a lot of time studying, and consider home to be a sanctuary where I might find a little peace and hear myself think. I have been known to be quite neat, and I have been known to be a little messy. In general, I try to confine my mess to my bedroom, and do my dishes within 24 hours, and appreciate the same from others. Unfortunately, this is not a wheelchair-accessible space. There is not really much of a yard, but there is a nice deck out back. A cat could probably be ok, but we might need to discuss with upstairs neighbors more on that point.


Upstairs in their own unit: There is a "quiet, middle-aged couple" (that is how I was advised to describe them to my mom, years back) and 2 cats. They embody the way-cool. We are chosen-family.


You: We’re looking for someone who is sober or is comfortable with no drinking, etc. in the house, queer/genderqueer, sex-positive, comfortable with the smell of cooking meat, creative, keeps the house tidy, enjoys down time and social time, good communicator, *no smokers.*


Questions? Like to come see? Give a shout.




aquenigmatic: (Default)
2010-05-19 11:06 pm
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(no subject)

 In honor of running into Rita Moreno...

Thank you Rita for helping to teach me how to read! I do it everyday!
aquenigmatic: (Default)
2010-05-05 07:45 am

NSFW but great if you hate the pope and like to sing songs with the word "motherfucker"

 Ah. I hadn't seen this. Only thing that got me moving this morning.

aquenigmatic: (Default)
2010-03-10 11:35 am
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Cool! (for definitions of cool that include "Not cool.")

Why a Big Mac Costs Less than a Salad from the NYTimes.

Whoever makes it so we can thrive on butter, soda and beer (and cars run on urine and flatulence) will rule the world.
aquenigmatic: (Default)
2010-03-08 02:52 pm
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(no subject)

Hi critters,

You probably know, but in case you don't - there's an opportunity to comment on the proposed criteria for the fifth edition of APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
This is the first complete revision of the DSM since 1994. As many of you are aware, DSM criteria are used for diagnosis, treatment planning and often times screwing people over. In light of many advances in research since the last revision, many suggested changes have been proposed. This is an important opportunity to offer your comments on the new criteria.

The proposed DSM-5 draft criteria will be available for review and comment at from February 10 to April 20, 2010.
aquenigmatic: (hobbes luv)
2010-03-01 10:27 am

People smile here

I ran into my new supervisor in the elevator and the head of IT at the door. She's soft-spoken with a toothy grin, and he's a bit of a teddy bear who greets me with a hug. I'm practically ushered into my office by my elbows. It has a door. There's a bookshelf and lamp in here for me. My email and phone number are all ready to go. People have been stopping by all morning. "We're so happy that you're here/back!" they beam, depending on if they were around when I worked here a few years ago. There's still a print of Ella Fitzgerald, The Duke, and Benny Goodman from the Herman Leonard Collection that I'd loved hanging on the wall from a someone I knew who had this office before I did. That's just fine by me.

For the next three days I get to read about ethics, informed consent, respect for persons, beneficence, and justice. I'm back where I belong in this industry: a think-tank, where reading, thinking, respect, and idea-sharing are encouraged.

I've got this feeling on like soft cocoa butter. Nobody's going to come in here and yell at me or treat me like some kind of talking dog because I know how to answer the phone. Nobody's going  to ask me to work for free. I know the slack-jawed awe will wear off and honeymoons end, but the difference of the quality of the "air" in here is so remarkable that I'm not sure how I stood it as long as I did at the other place.

Also thinking about my friends who are still seeking work and wondering if there's anything I can do for them. I want for them to be able to feel a quiet relief to worry too.
aquenigmatic: (Default)
2010-02-24 08:03 am
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aquenigmatic: (activism)
2010-02-22 11:25 am
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"An eclectic celebration of a dance..."

For the first time I successfully negotiated a wage up from the original offer.

After 31 fascinating months in my present, uh, job, I’ve accepted a position with a leading, interdisciplinary research firm in Berkeley, the same one where I cut teeth as a Research Assistant. I am quite ready to drink from the cup of fulfillment.

I come from a tradition where the success of one in a community is considered celebratory for all, so once I sign the letter, we’re gonna party like a Black man is POTUS.

Friends, thank you for all your encouragement, your soothing, your counsel, your dogged persistence in propping me up and helping me to survive. Until I can lift my glass to you more formally…



aquenigmatic: (Default)
2010-02-10 09:31 pm
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CORE I: "Sometimes the space shuttle doesn't come back."

I appreciate not having my time wasted like the folks at the pizza joint who took 20 minutes to serve me a single slice. That means treating us all like we're big critters and can read. The instructors at at CORE didn't go over every page in our considerable packets of information, which I think sets the proper tone since we're talking about a degree of self-sufficiency here.

Here are a list of disasters in Oakland since 1983. )

There's more to planning than I could reasonably address in one post, however, there are some important points to mention just in case I'm not around to ask at the time.

OK, I admit that I think about this stuff in a way that is not normal. )
aquenigmatic: (Default)
2010-02-09 05:20 pm
aquenigmatic: (Default)
2010-02-06 04:52 pm

Whatever else happens, I got that tick thing covered

Roomie came home complaining of a tick bite. "Did you save the tick for identification?" I asked.

"Uh, no. Should I do that?"

"Yes. You and the tick need to go to the doctor."

"Even though Northern California is a low risk area?"

"Even though. It's likely nothing to worry about, but y'all need to be tested."

She dug through our used floss and tissues in the bathroom waste basket, and I gave her a film canister into which she put the remains.

Turns out it's a Western Black-Legged Tick, and there were still pieces of it inside (E-yew!). She gets antibiotics. In the face of my EMT Practice Exam results which indicate the need for extensive review (except for pediatrics), practical skill application is comforting.

I think ticks are little demons who've come to our dimension. I find them to be possibly the most vile things that we share the planet with. I ask God*, "Aren't republicans, leeches, centipedes, and pimp n' ho party enthusiasts enough?" God laughs at me.

Anything that can go into stasis for years and wake up when something warm comes by inspires a gut level revulsion. (This also explains some of my contempt for the DNC, but I'll park that thought just now in favor of a round of DOOM3 to satisfy the urge to hunt demons, zombies, and wankers.)

*Yeah, I'm agnostic, but I still ask.
aquenigmatic: (Default)
2010-01-26 02:05 pm
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Gift card

Mom and Sis gave me a $50 gift card to Amazon. I really don't know what to get myself.  What would you get for yourself? 
aquenigmatic: (Default)
2010-01-26 10:56 am

Why 2K?

Just finished my taxes. After being promoted at work, I made $2000 less than in 2008.

They really know how to motivate a get the fuck out of dodge.

But I'll get a refund, and I'm gonna drown my sorrow in someBBQ tonight. This rain is starting to make me a little freakish.
aquenigmatic: (Default)
2010-01-25 04:32 pm
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Bay Area: Med Geeks <3 Emergency Preparedness

Oakland critters, this is the schedule for free training in Emergency Preparedness. I'm going, because I'm a freak and need freak in the mornin', freak in the evening...I'm just drawn that way. I've also got it on good authority that this is pretty solid training no matter what your previous experience or skill levels might be.

From their website:

CORE is a free training program for individuals, neighborhood groups and community-based organizations in Oakland. The underlying premise is that a major disaster will overwhelm first responders leaving many citizens on their own for the first 72 hours or longer after the emergency.

CORE teaches self-reliance skills and helps neighborhoods establish response teams to take care of the neighborhood until professional emergency personnel arrive.


  • Develop self-confidence and peace of mind as you learn practical information and learn hands-on life-saving skills
  • Build community as you develop and share your skills and resources to protect yourself, your family and home, and your neighborhood
  • Create a lifeline between your family and neighbors, and the City’s emergency responders

CORE training will help you increase the safety and well-being of your family and neighborhood.

More information is available from Citizen of Oakland Respond to Emergencies which is run through the City of Oakland, Oakland Fire Department, and the Office of Emergency Services.

San Francisco people, you go to Neighborhood Emergency Response Team.

Thinka 'bout it. For real.
aquenigmatic: (Default)
2010-01-20 11:42 am
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Strange Intersections

Stopped at Bakesale Betty for sweets for the sweet and encounter this.
aquenigmatic: (Default)
2010-01-18 05:04 pm
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aquenigmatic: (Default)
2010-01-10 02:11 pm


Well. There's heat at both work and home at the same time, which feels pretty remarkable. Pretty great, in fact.

We're moving into Year of the Tiger, which should be my year to shine. I've been feeling less than shiny; I'm trying not to panic about certain things. Bluntly put, my back is fucked right now. I'll be seeing someone about that as soon as I can shake loose some money, which is good because right now it hurts to sit, stand, lie down for too long, raise my arms, turn my head, reach for anything, walk, or drive. More than an ache, less than a scream. Hot, white pain like jaggies under my skin and burning.

I know we all carry our pain; I come from a place where suffering is admired only if it's done in silence. I'm not looking for admiration, only to be able to fulfill my dreams and maybe not be in pain all the time. It's still hard to talk about. I may be dreaming big; I may have to find peace with being in pain all the time and laying to rest my aspirations, for I could scarcely work in the healthcare arenas I'm drawn to in this shape. That, a loss of direction and knowledge of purpose, terrifies me more than all else. So.

I have a semester or so to try to structure a more sustainable and healing lifestyle. Do you like to take walks? I would love to walk with you. Do you like to cook? I've been cooking bigger portions so I can have leftovers - maybe we can exchange a portion for varieties sake. Do you like the hot tub? I'll be trying to get to Piedmont Springs a couple of times a month - it's $15 per person per hour and would you like to come with? Do you like backrubs? I'll exchange with you. It's not a come-on, unless we decide that it is. I'm just broke and broken and trying to hold on to a shred of resolve and calm and the few friends I've made out here. And right now it all feels very hard.

Can you think of anything that might help? People ask me all the time, "Is there anything I can do?" You gems. You priceless friends. I've dreamed for good friends for so long. I don't know how to answer you except in short-term simplicities, i.e. a cup of tea. Perhaps you can suggest something? If not, that's okay. I appreciate that you would help me or anyone. Thank you for your understanding, your kisses, your kind eyes. That's what I hold onto at times like these.

I apologize ahead of time for my limitations. I really am trying. I know it's important to keep trying. I just may not be able to show up some days. And I think, because of the kind of people you are, that you will understand, right? You won't write me off completely, will you?

There have been times when my reach has far exceeded my grasp. I've missed events, dropped responsibilities, forgotten things. I only hope for the time and opportunity to make some things right again, if I can, and to keep moving forward. I love looking up and finding you at my side.

Thank you for everything. Shelter, attention, gifts big and small. Your acknowledgement. Your meals. Your firm hand. Your kindnesses and all. But for the intersections, The Way is often dull, wearying, and lonely. But You're always reminding me that it's not always so.

In Solidarity,

aquenigmatic: (Default)
2010-01-08 12:54 pm
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Calendar confusion

 I did something bad to my online calendar, and it took revenge by deleting everything. [Insert shit-eating grin here]. So would you kindly post here or send me an email with a) your birthday and b) a reminder about date, place and time of anything you know I agreed to be at in the next month or so? That would be swell, because I really have no idea where I'm supposed to be. Thank you!
aquenigmatic: (Default)
2009-12-24 01:26 am
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Ha! I knew it.

From an email sent to me from (take away message is "H1N1 Rapid Tests Suck")

Dear Clinician,

Here is the information you requested (sourced from Journal Watch).

H1N1 Rapid Tests: Poor Sensitivity 

Rapid tests for seasonal influenza generally have relatively low sensitivity; their sensitivity for detecting the 2009 H1N1 virus seems even worse. 

Many respiratory pathogens can produce an influenza-like illness. With a sensitive and specific rapid test for influenza, the onset of outbreaks could be established and patients could receive appropriate antiviral treatment. Reverse-transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) can yield results rapidly and is potentially the most sensitive test, but delays associated with shipping of specimens and laboratory-based testing limit the real-time value of this test. Although widely used in emergency departments and physicians' offices, antigen-based rapid assays have shown a sensitivity of about 50% compared with culture or molecular diagnostic techniques. 

Investigators in Germany recently compared the sensitivity of a commercially available antigen-based rapid test (BinaxNOW Influenza A & B Rapid Test) with that of a real-time RT-PCR assay specific for the hemagglutinin gene of the 2009 H1N1 virus. Of 1838 clinical specimens tested, 221 were confirmed as H1N1 positive by RT-PCR. When 144 of these PCR-positive specimens were evaluated using the rapid-antigen test, results were positive for only 16 (11.1%). 

Comment: There's a lot of bad news here on influenza testing. Although the authors found only 11% sensitivity of the rapid test compared with PCR, the "gold standard" PCR detected the 2009 H1N1 virus in just 12% of 1838 respiratory specimens submitted at a time when this virus was pandemic and probably responsible for most influenza-like illness. The relative sensitivity of the rapid test may have been diminished by the use of frozen-thawed specimens, when the test is intended for use with fresh material. Although we don't know how other, similar assays would have performed, rapid tests appear to be unsuitable for use among patients suspected of having 2009 H1N1 influenza. Clearly, better rapid tests are needed. 

— Stephen G. Baum, MD 

Published in Journal Watch Infectious Diseases October 14, 2009 

Drexler JF et al. Poor clinical sensitivity of rapid antigen test for influenza A pandemic (H1N1) 2009 virus. Emerg Infect Dis 2009 Oct; 15:1662. [Free full-text online] 

Copyright © 2009. Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved

aquenigmatic: (Default)
2009-12-23 02:54 pm
Entry tags:

Where embarrassment and anger intersect

EMTs on Break Allow a Pregnant Woman to Die

I have no love for highly litigious societies, and this is why.