Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Blogging For Global Health

Hello Readers,
This post will be a bit different than previous posts. No witty banter, intense sarcasm or satire will be featured here. You see, for my Global Health class, we are given an assignment to write a blog about something we have learned in the semester. In all truthfulness, I am quite excited about this assignment. For once my random babble can be used for something more than entertaining family and friends. Let the seriousness begin.

Earlier in the semester we watched an AIDS video from Frontline. At first glance, I was not looking forward to this endeavor. The video was close to four hours long, and let's face it, I would much rather had been watching The Office or Gilmore Girls. Alas, I finally grabbed my laptop, some Triscuit and Easy Cheese, and pressed the play button on what would be a life-altering video.

Being a Behavioral Science and Health major, I have come across the subject of AIDS every semester. I know it is a devastating pandemic. I know it is preventable. What I did not know upon beginning this video is how America's leaders took a back seat to this serious issue.

The subject of AIDS is a large taboo. The HIV virus is spread by fluids such as blood and semen that put intravenous drug users and those participating in unprotected sex at risk. In the 1980s when AIDS was making an appearance in the United States, the main population infected were homosexual men. Instead of attacking this deadly disease with all hands on deck, President Reagan's administration responded with silence and indifference. This silence turned out to be deadly, and by barely even acknowledging HIV/AIDS the virus continued it's rapid spread.

Some politicians even seemed happy that this virus was attacking homosexual men and drug users. One politician stated, "AIDS. It's killing all the right people." This statement makes me sick to the stomach. Personally, I believe that what you do with your life is completely up to you, and AIDS just happened to be infecting these individuals based on its mode of transmission, NOT on the type of lifestyle you lead. I could go into this in more detail, but I prefer to stay away from religious debates.

Okay politicians, some of you think that AIDS was killing all the "right" people, do you? How about once the HIV virus entered the blood supply and young, innocent hemophiliacs became infected? Is the disease still ridding the world of those you find unfit to live here? I dare say no! By taking a back seat to a new disease, I believe the government allowed the spread of a disease across the country. I decline to blame them for the spread of the disease, but they sure didn't do much to help stop the spread.

Finally, as stated earlier, there are ways to prevent the spread of AIDS. Many countries have seen success from dispensing condoms and providing clean needles to the drug community. The majority of these countries have seen a drastic decline in infections with AIDS. These preventive measures work, so hopefully the United States takes part in them.

Hopefully is the key work here. Sadly, the United States declines to participate in a free clean needle exchange because it seems as if we are "contributing" to these distasteful habits. Once again, this heavy taboo against who AIDS affects and the inactivity of our nations government is only contributing to the spread of one of the biggest and most deadly diseases since the Black Plague.

Only when America's government decides to step up to the plate, and push all stigmas aside, will be hopefully see a decline in the incidence and prevalence of AIDS. Until then, this disease is thriving in the inactivity of its leaders.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Time For War!

I was quite happy to see Utah beat San Diego last week. Quite happy. It feels very good knowing that we have yet to lose a game this season. Very good. The only thing standing between the Utes and a perfect season: BYU.

Oh joy.

I hate the Holy War. Okay, hate is a strong word. I ABSOLUTELY AND COMPLETELY LOATHE the Holy War. This sounds odd coming from a hard core Utah football fan as myself, but this is the one game of the year that ties my stomach in a square knot. Oh, yes, a SQUARE KNOT! (Bah, bah, bahhhhh!) I hate the uncertainty of how the game will play out. I hate having to be in the same stadium as those blue southerners. Most of all, I hate Rilvary Week. Oh...wait...I withdraw my last statement...

I love Rilvary Week. When else am I able to smack talk on Provo and the Y 24/7? How often am I able to spend an entire week looking for reasons to tell awesome Y-coed jokes? Oh, wait, I can do this whenever I want! Sweet sauce! But I feel extra priveledged to gather with my crimson posse in a unified we-rather-dislike-BYU week of mean text messaging, and vocal smack-downs.

Even as I'm writing this, Y jokes are filling my brain. My left hand is grasping my right wrist with all its might so as not to send hundreds of outlandish and cruel the-Y-smells-like-lame-sauce text messages to all my misled friends.

All I ask from my Utes this week is to beat the Cougs. Wait, beat is a strong word. I want them to CRUSH, MAIM, PULVERIZE, SMOTHER, SQUISH, AND TRAMPLE all over those kitties behinds!!! I want them to run from the Utes cowering in fear, wiping tears off their cheeks to prevent stains from their already shredded uniforms. I want to win I tell you, win! WIIIINNNN!!!
Suit up, men! The war has begun!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

For Your Consideration...

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Bulldogs, POW's, and Change: Election 2008 Through Cilla's Bewildered Eyes

I'm not gonna lie, and neither are my hips. I'm glad Barack Obama is our next President. I honestly think he will do a decent job. Now, instead of going on and on about why I feel this way, let's look at this recent election/campaigning period in a lighter way. Think of it as the Diet Coke of politics: a tasty, calorie-free treat that only minorly curbs that craving, and still leaves you feeling empty.

I'm quite sad this election has come to an end. I have been actively saving newspaper articles and magazine excerpts to add to my "I Heart America" scrapbook. This once People Mag junkie has resorted to searching for all things political. You'd think I'd get sick of all that patriotic, red, white, and blue mumbo-jumbo, but I most definitely did not! In fact, my room feels extremely empty now that I have removed the final link from my paper chain count down to Election Day.

Aside from my own, personal memory-collecting, I have also enjoyed the entertainment that comes during the election season. There are so many things that I will miss about the elections. The following are only a few of many:

- Pondering what a bulldog would look like with lipstick.
- Being constantly reminded the McCain was a Prisoner of War.
- Hearing the word 'Change' approximately 28,459 times in the last year.
- Getting Sarah Palin and Tina Fey mixed up... they look so freakin' much alike!

 Ahh....good times, good times. I do believe I will shed a single, glistening tear in remembrance of the happiness and joy this election has brought to me. I mean, I have been introduced to a fabulous new updo, opinions up the wazoo, and Democrat-Repulican vocal smack downs. Where else am I supposed to find this kind of entertainment? And don't say the CW or MTV. They ain't got nuthin on this!

To say bon voyage to Election 2008, please help yourself to this hefty serving of some final politician-bashing entertainment. (See the above JibJab toon) Mmm... trashing goodness! Remember my dear friends to keep your suits expensive, and your promises empty.

...and, I really can see Russia from my window.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Recycling: When Life Gives You Wedgies

So it's been a couple weeks since my last post, and sadly, I don't have time to write much of anything right now...school has stolen my soul! To keep my loyal fans entertained, I'm "recycling" an older post from the blog my sister and I used to have (It Has Raisins In It). Please enjoy this bit of deja-vu:

WARNING! This post, while trying to keep it rated PG, contains material that might be offensive to readers whose iPods are limited to Kenny G, Barbara Streisand, and Michael Bolton.

The Wedgie. It turns a lady into a man, a man into a Golden Girl, and forces imminent humiliation upon whoever it attacks. It could seriously be the most horrendous clothing experience of our existence - leg warmers and the Dickie following close behind.

In my family, there are two types of wedgies:

1) Wedgie (wej-ee) n. The natural occurrence of undergarment bunching between the buttocks. May also go by the name of "Snuggie" if you are under 8 years old, or are in the immediate family of my sister-in-law.

2) Melvin (mel-vin) n. A super wedgie in which the undergarments say hello to the outside world. These are usually brought on by gym class ridicule or an extremely bumpy water slide.

With this distinction made, I am prepared to tell you about my recent wedgie experience.

The day was doomed to failure from the get-go. My newly cut bangs decided to time warp to 1984, and my bright eyeshadow decided to follow suit. Hoping that my weird luck would stay back with stirrup stretch pants and Duran Duran, I began my 20 minute trek across campus thinking the glass was half-full.

But then glass started to empty...

Precisely seven minutes into my walk, I began to feel my undaroos creeping where they did not belong. Whether it was my stylish, yet constricting jeans, or sassy walk coupled with heels that were the cause of the unwanted movement, I may never know. It only took three minutes for a mature wedgie to develop, and had I been wearing overalls within feet of my older brother, I would have suspected a melvin.

I have experienced quite a few award-winning, may-i-have-the-envelope-please-wedgies in my day, but this one surpassed them all. The wedgie of 2004 caused by an awkward layer of underwear, thick tights, and spandex pants was definitely the most painful. And the most recent melvin of Fall '05 with my sweats was practically painless, but far too visible. My current campus wedgie was the perfect combination of the two: maximum pain with the greatest visibility.

The Ultimate Embarrassment.

So there I was, looking like a blast from the past with the Hulk Hogan of wedgies, trying to find a way to rid myself of this humiliation. I figured I had 2 options:

Option #1: The Pick.
Um...hello...unless you want to commit social suicide you never, ever just up and pick your wedgie. First, you are admitting that you have a wedgie, and second, you are drawing even more unwanted focus to your derriere. Neither of which will help your self esteem. Also, if you are unsuccessful with your initial pick, further picks will be needed and you will be reduced to a monkey. While I like monkeys as much as the next average Jane, we have come too far in evolution for me to resort to such primitive behavior.

Option #2: The Natural Release.
Most of the time the wedgie will eventually work itself out of your fanny naturally. Altering your walk usually does the trick - but for those who oppose to walking with more length between their legs and taking wider strides should probably opt for something different. Allowing the wedgie to find it's way back home will also provide you with extra time to find a restroom or wide-trunked tree for a worry-free pick. 60% of the time, it works every time. Stats don't lie, folks. My vote goes to natural relief.

So with approximately 13 minutes left before reaching my next class, I started taking longer steps with high hopes that my wedgie would go away. But with a group of cute guys feet behind my rear, I couldn't bare to look completely ridiculous. Alas, my steps were just not big enough to release the wedgie. I was forced to suffer with my shame. I finished my trudge to class with my puffy bangs close to the ground, and my glass practically empty.

I am happy to say that I am no longer a victim of the super wedgie, though my discomfort will not soon be forgotten. I tried to cheer myself up today by watching the horrible performance of Britney Spears opening for the MTV Music Awards. Throughout the entire song, she stopped lip syncing multiple times, had distasteful dance moves, and looked confused and/or disinterested. This got me thinking. Maybe Ms. Spears wasn't stoned at all (like I had originally hypothesized). Maybe those tiny shorts had given her her own mondo-wedgie, and she was just weighing the best way to get rid of it... You should have gone with Option #1, Brit. I'm living proof that attempting Option #2 in heels is a bust.