Monday, January 31, 2011

Too Early!

Ok, it's too early but who cares?!

I saw a daffodil in my neighborhood this weekend!!!  And, the other day, when I was getting home from work, I was stopped in my tracks by the scent of a flower.  It's not the daphne yet, far too early for that, but a shrub who's name escapes me at the moment.  But, I was walking up the steps to the front door and caught a whiff of it on the breeze and stopped and breathed it in.  Heavenly.

We have tulips and daffodils starting to poke their leaves out, and the neighbor's camellia is loaded with buds, and even though it's still January, here come the spring flowers.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Top O' Downtown

Have you been on the #8 bus lately?  Or the Max Green line?  Something is going on at the top of downtown! 

My guess is that it is Portland State getting ever bigger.  There were a few buildings in the block bounded by 5th, 6th, Jackson and College.  I say ‘were’ because all that’s left now is the last remaining cute old house.  Everything else has been knocked down and there are large excavations being dug all around.

You know what this means, right?  Yes, the Portland Bartending Academy has been forced to move!  In fact, I believe that I spotted their new facility the other day, but didn’t realize the significance until just this morning.  Unless I’m mistaken, which could certainly happen, those studious future bartenders are no longer in the University district but are now across the freeway in a strip mall.  I think they are now on SW Caruthers, but I will check that out and get back to you with a definite yea or nay.

So, what is PSU building now?  I briefly checked their website and couldn’t find a page with Urban Domination as a header.  They’re up to something, but it might take me awhile to find out just what it is…  in the meantime, I’ll keep my eyes peeled for signs.

Friday, January 7, 2011

NFL Playoffs


Look for us near the end zone, cuz we are going to the game!!!

Woot Woot!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Seasonal Affective Disorder

This may seem a little off topic, but not really.  I mean, Portland in winter is DARK!  And, I know that some of you feel the effects as much as I do.  Besides, what's off topic in a blog like this anyway?!  Nothing!

It’s not just the winter blues, it’s the winter blues on steroids.  It’s the winter blues that have been working out and pumping iron and are coming after you.  It’s the winter blues that take no prisoners.

Yes, I suffer from this disorder.  It’s prevalent in the Pacific Northwest and in other places that are either very cloudy or very far north.  Lots of research has been done in places like Norway.  Go figure.

One of the therapies for SAD is the use of light.  There are two main directions you can go with light therapy.  One is the full spectrum light box that you sit in front of for a period of time every morning.  Many people use this while having their morning coffee and reading the paper (or checking their Faceboob page).  The other method is the dawn simulator lamp.  I use both.

My wonderful, sympathetic, loving partner got me both types of lights for Christmas.  What perfect gifts!  We had two Christmas’ this year; the first with my daughter early in the month and then again with T’s family on the actual date.  T gave me the light box on the first occasion and the dawn simulator lamp on the second.

I used the light box for a couple of weeks and while I couldn’t feel a dramatic difference I think it might have helped.  The odds were not in favor of success, though.  My kid had made a short visit and while it is always fantastic to spend time with her, the saying goodbye part leaves me down in the dumps for awhile.  I’m still using the light every morning because… why not?  Anything that will help seems like a good idea.

The dawn simulator lamp is the most wonderful, brilliant, inspired creation in the history of lamps!  In the history of getting up early!  I LOVE IT.  For reals.  I have been using it for two weeks and can give it a solid recommendation.  It has already had a noticeable and positive effect on my mood.  Brilliant!  Pun intended!

Here’s how it works: you set the alarm for the time you want to get up – in my case 4:45 am.  A half hour before that time the lamp turns on and starts gradually getting brighter and brighter.  When it gets to the alarm time, it is at full brightness and it also makes sound.  Mine is set to chirping birds!  You can choose a buzzer or the radio as well, but the birds are charming.  I begin to wake up about 10 or 15 minutes into the cycle but don’t feel pressured to jump out of bed.  By the time the lamp is at full brightness I feel ready to get up, although sometimes I’ll lie there for a few minutes listening to the chirpy birds (who, by the way, get louder and louder).

The only downside to the miraculous lamp is if you have a bedmate who gets up after you and can’t sleep through it.  Fortunately for me, T sleeps through most things and even if the light bothered her she wouldn’t want me to stop using it.  When I get up, I prop up a couple of pillows to shield her face from the light.  The first couple of times I turned the lamp off when I got up, but that just made the darkness feel more oppressive. Now I leave it on while I take my shower and only turn it off after I am dressed and ready to go downstairs.

I have definitely noticed an improvement in my depression and I feel confident in saying that it is a direct result of the dawn simulator lamp.  I should have bought one years ago, but I have one now.  If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, I highly recommend that you get one of these.  Best money spent on mental health ever!