Beginner’s Guide to Histamine Intolerance

Starting with a crash course on how to research on the Internet.

Important background information: I have an MS in Applied Sociology. I spent years in college learning how to identify objective sources for information. Clearly, you don’t know for sure that I’m lying, but who would lie about one sociology degree, let alone two? Sociology degrees aren’t sexy. Basically, a good rule of thumb is to judge every nonfiction book (and personal website) by its author. A doctor writing about histamine intolerance is going to do a better job than I will. Also, if someone is trying to sell you something in every single article they write, maybe they aren’t the best source. Or at least not your first and only source. I recommend looking for information that’s the same across multiple sources. A journalist trying to educate you about something is someone who’s good at telling people about stuff and things, not automatically good at researching stuff and things.

Update Jan. 7, 2018 – I saw this on Twitter. A guide to read and understand scientific papers for a non-scientist. (There’s a PDF link included in the page linked.)

Now that’s over and we can start. First and foremost, histamine is important and your body needs it. It’s necessary for healing. However, your body doesn’t need buckets and buckets of it.

I’ll start with some online sources and then a couple of books. When I started researching histamine intolerance there was very few things on the internet when you searched simply “histamine intolerance” and now such a search brings up clear easy to read sources as well as confusing sources that want you to buy recipe books or expensive supplements, or both. I think I started in 2008 and in the last 3 years the information seems to be growing exponentially. The first source Google provides is actually written by a doctor. Supposedly. I hope. She could be lying. but –  She also refers to one often cited academic journal article about histamine and histamine intolerance.

Side note, don’t be afraid of academic journal articles. I would suggest reading them slower – without skimming – if you’re unfamiliar. Also if you can, print it out and underline or highlight the parts that interest you. You’ll find that histamine intolerance is a little easier to handle if you understand some of the science behind histamine and what it does to your body. It’s completely understandable if you don’t want to start there though and so I’m only including one journal article here.

This article titled, Histamine and histamine intolerance, was published in The American Journal for Clinical Nutrition. I especially like this article because of a table that summarizes, or breaks down, symptoms mediated by histamine. Basically histamine is involved in the process of feeling that symptom. Again, it’s important to remember that your body does need histamine to function.

There are lots and lots of other online sources and remember they aren’t all equal. I recommend looking for different sources that agree. (Yes, I’m repeating some of the important things on purpose.) Also consider the type of information you’re looking for. For example, there are a ton of lists of high histamine foods out there and very few are exactly the same. You will probably find you can eat small amounts of some high histamine foods and that other high histamine foods are very bad things. With histamine intolerance, all food lists should be treated as guidelines. You know your body, you have to test on your own. However, some other information like food storage and preparation is fairly standard and doesn’t take a college degree to understand. Let’s continue with sources.

If you only want one link about histamine intolerance for now then go here.

1. This one mentions handling and storing of foods. Old food is higher in histamine and so this is an important factor of histamine intolerance diets. This is probably the biggest and most important thing you can do that I guarantee will make you feel better.

2. Food lists: by degree of tolerance, a more general explanation, and a list meant to help control chronic hives. (But at the time this was posted the 3rd link didn’t work. It’s worked in the past so I hope it’s temporary.) I recommend using a book for a food list and not getting bogged down in the details. I recommend using a food list to help you out in the beginning and help determine the real big trigger foods you need to avoid. Like for me, the last time I ate fresh grapes it was as if I was allergic to the grapes. It was horrible. There are high histamine foods you should (eventually) be able to eat small amounts of. Especially if the food in question is fresh.

3. A detailed site, which includes more than just food intolerances, by a board certified practitioner (That’ll make more sense when you see her bio) from Australia. She’s not a doctor, but she clearly has done something to educate herself. She’s also not pushing books at your all the time. I wouldn’t use this as a primary site, but it’s useful to see what information is the same across different sites.

4. This is a good general website about food intolerances and also includes a lot of information on histamine intolerance. The majority of the histamine intolerance information comes from research completed by Doctor Janice Joneja. She’s been doing this for decades. Note the histamine intolerance page has a lot of links and tons of information. It’ll be overwhelming if this is new for you, but it’s a great link because it’s updated!

5. Chris Kresser also has a site with regular blog posts and a ton of information about more than just histamine intolerance. You’ll note he has been studying and teaching for awhile.

6. How about my favorite book ever for food intolerances and food allergies? This was my first source for histamine intolerance information as well as other food sensitivities. It helped me figure out my sulfite sensitivity too. I discovered histamine intolerance by accident because I already owned this book due to being diagnosed with food allergies and I was paging through it… I stumbled on the histamine intolerance diet and discovered I’d already eliminated most of the problem foods on my own. There were just two more foods, vinegar and tomatoes, and I was effectively following the diet. (Dude tomatoes are in so many places!) There was a few other things too, like hydrolyzed oils and preservatives that I didn’t know about. At the time, removing vinegar and tomatoes helped a ton. It’s probably worth it even if it sounds painful. Literally, this book saved me.

7. If you can find it used, this is best described (?) as an updated version of that book in #6. I say used because I think it’s sold as a textbook and so automatically more expensive.

8. I recommend anything by Janice Vickerstaff Joneja.

9. The concept of a histamine or inflammation bucket might be a good place to start in understanding the effects on your body. This site has a decent explanation for the inflammation bucket and I also find the site to be an example of something that is not a good first source. I am cautious about any site that says they research their posts but do not provide the sources with enough information to be able to find them and read on your own. I’m also uncomfortable with sites where every post or article also includes a sales pitch. Use caution with this website. Also, use caution with her Facebook group, when I tried to be a contributing member I found it full of people who didn’t want to learn and didn’t recognize that every body is individual and different.

It’s taken me forever to build this post because I wanted a collection of information without getting too in depth and detailed. There’s so much more you could add to this, like detailed information about how histamine works in the body. But I feel most people aren’t going to care about that immediately, they want to feel better sooner, then learn about the other stuff. This is probably verging on too long as it is. Regardless of the sources I’ve listed here, I think the most important things for searching the internet for information on histamine intolerance is to judge the quality of the source you’re using. Anyone can call themselves an expert on the Internet. I’m not an expert but I’m happy to share information so that other people can maybe learn things a little faster, and with less pain and frustration.

If you’re actually reading this and think I missed a large hole somewhere, leave a comment. Thanks.

Reading Supplement Labels: What is suitable for vegetarians?

Over the weekend I had an epiphany of sorts. Or I was kicking myself. One of the two. I make sure I buy supplements with allergy statements on them because supplements with fish or shellfish ingredients can make me very sick – sometimes it sneaks up on you too. (I’m not an average healthy person so I rely on supplements.) It turns out I haven’t looked close enough at every single bottle – every brand – that I’ve purchased. I know that I made an easy/simple mistake. The vigilance required when taking supplements and having to deal with food sensitivities/allergies/intolerances is … inhuman? Scary? Overwhelming? Regardless, I’m still having problems resisting kicking myself over being this stupid.  Anyway.

The biggest thing I’ve fallen for is “suitable for vegetarians.” And as an extension of that trying to determine what omitting details means or needing to know if food allergy label requirements for food also apply to supplements.

Here’s two labels in question. Just the backs of the bottles that have the allergy/safe for statements. I was probably tired or brain fogged or sick when searching for the magnesium and calcium supplements in the pictures. I saw the contains no blank words and figured I was fine because minerals. Also, what does hypoallergenic mean when it doesn’t clearly state it’s free of peanut, tree nut, shellfish or fish?

supplement label examples (2)supplement label examples (1)

The following four labels are exactly what I want to see. They either have a statement showing they are free of the top 8 common food allergies or, in the case of the biotin, say suitable for vegans.

supplement label examples (6)supplement label examples (5)supplement label examples (4)supplement label examples (3)

I’ve searched the FDA website now, with multiple keywords and found nothing helpful. (I started with Google.)

I can’t find a definition of vegetarian or what suitable for vegetarians means. There is also suitable for vegans – that’s much clearer.

This is my (/sarcasm) favorite (/sarcasm) result. I had one result when I searched the FDA’s website for “suitable for vegetarians.”

Other search results:

“Questions and Answers on Dietary Supplements”

Guidance for Industry: A Dietary Supplement Labeling Guide

Guidance for Industry: Current Good Manufacturing Practice in Manufacturing, Packaging, Labeling, or Holding Operations for Dietary Supplements; Small Entity Compliance Guide

And the most important one but I couldn’t find anything that says the Food Allergy regulations apply to supplements….

Food Allergens Guidance Documents & Regulatory Information

I gave up and posted on Twitter and tagged a few different FDA accounts. I’m not expecting a reply, but maybe I’ll get lucky. (I’ll update this post if I do get a reply.)

Don’t do what I did. If you have food allergies or any type of food that makes you horribly sick all the time, read every single label, even if it’s the same brand. In fact, read them twice. And don’t trust “suitable for vegetarians” unless they define what a vegetarian eats and doesn’t eat.

Again: Because of my MCAD/S, MS, and other health problems, I need supplements. And the MCAD/S is also why I have to be so careful with supplements. It’s not a question.

Now I really need to get off the computer and go knit while leaning on a heating pad.

Supernatural!! Dallas Con 2016 Part 2

This post will be more pictures, including the stuff I bought. Wow it’s taken me way too long to actually get back to this post. I think this is supposed to mostly be about Mark Sheppard.  He started out his Q&A pretending? being? Crowley. I think I’ve loved this man in every role I’ve seen him play. He’s annoying and convincing and something. There were a few questions that were just awesome to see and hear him respond to. Someone tried to ask him about his opinion about the presidential candidates for the 2016 election and the face he made at this was SPECTACULAR. Nice reminder about actors playing characters being just another person. Also, he used that opportunity to talk about why the US is great and why you need need need to go vote. He asked later question askers if they were going to be voting. It was great. It was also amusing when he got to the back of the “ballroom” or whatever and said something like “oh look! The poor people!” …. but he also liked it back there because it was cooler.

I can’t pick between liking Misha or Mark more. They were both awesome. Stuff I bought first.

The only Creative Entertainment purchase I made was a “Humans are so Fragile.” tshirt. This is a simple canvas bag with a shoulder strap longer enough that it crosses over your chest and it’s comfortable. I bought it for an alternative for my regular bag purse thing which is a freaking messenger bag because it’s versatile. The company making these were genius because I saw them everywhere and I think they are made to hold the notebooks they sell to keep your photographs and autographs that you get at cons’.


And this was one of the many pieces being sold by a woman who made lots of handmade jewelry. Similar to this yet not. She was also wearing compression gloves. I can’t remember the exact name she had for this piece but it references Baby. (You also got a discount if you said “hey assbutt”.)


Food! Here’s the horrible pathetic burger I ate at the hotel’s “cafe” because they didn’t have a full restaurant open during their remodel. I was even going to try food from the gift shop instead but that was closed too. (No bun because gluten bad.)


On the way home we stopped at Liberty Burger and I definitely made up for the almost tasteless food I ate earlier with this. I splurged and ordered a cider. I couldn’t finish it but the side effects weren’t as bad as I was expecting. I was actually able to enjoy some of it! This burger was so very yummy and their “skinny fries” are awesome.



And now, Mark Sheppard pictures. Because I’m a rookie for cons I was initially very confused why the house lights were brought up when he started…but then didn’t mind him walking around. The first picture is the OMGIWASFOURFEETFROMMARKSHEPPARDPICTURE!!!!!!1111111


Did I do that right? Anyways. This is where we end, with a few bad pictures of Mark Sheppard (in skinny jeans!!) walking around talking to people. He wore a Crowley tshirt too.





Supernatural! Con Dallas 2016 part 1

I finally can say that I went to a con’…. Few weeks ago we went to the Supernatural convention that was in Dallas. It also turned out very good that we bought season 11 of Supernatural so that we didn’t run into any spoilers at the con. In the past we’ve waited for Supernatural to show up on Netflix to save money. (No cable, see part about saving money.)

Travelling is expensive and difficult when you have a limited diet so I was super excited that a Supernatural convention Super excited. Because of money we went for Saturday tickets and didn’t go to the Louden Swain concert. It was only $100 but would have cost more gas money, more time in the car, and more difficulty with food, probably some eating out, so it was way more than $100 for us to go. We didn’t buy any photo op or autograph tickets either because we found them expensive and the lines were also amazingly long. Maybe if we had more money and had paid for more than 1 day?

The venue was kind of horrible because the hotel was doing major construction. Like should have closed level of construction. Their “cafe” was offering a limited menu and we were stuck there for lunch. We didn’t want to have to play the search for a parking spot game again. (There was so many parking spaces in the parking garage filled up with badly arranged carpentry equipment or stuff like old carpet.) When we first arrived, the up escalator was broken.

There was an interesting variety of vendors. Being there on Saturday we saw the end of Brianna’s and Osric’s panel. Then we had to wait until later to see Mark Sheppard and Misha Collins. We had reserved seats so we never had to fight for seats or anything. We also had decent enough seats, a little closer might have been nice because I would have been able to take better pictures with my phone. Jared and Jensen showed up on Sunday. We were a little bit glad we were not going to be there for Jared and Jensen considering the level of noise when Misha and Mark walked out on stage. (In other words it was fucking loud.) Would have wanted earplugs for J2. Really enjoyed hearing both Misha and Mark talk.

I think I might remember more of Mark. (Why oh why did I not make this blog post 2 weeks ago?! ARG!) When Mark came out on stage, Louden Swain played some ‘versions’ of Mr. Crowley. The country version was maybe the best? There was an extra fantastic part when Mark was asked about the current presidential election and he turned it into GO VOTE! (Side note, he’s a US citizen now.) Mark also did this fun bit where he walked the whole way around the room….he also acted a bit like Crowley. He was just fun to hear and see I guess.

I bought a few neat/nice things too. I need to keep looking around for some kind of Supernatural themed notebook.

We also saw/heard a little of Louden Swain. Maybe I’ll finally fucking remember to investigate their music! We even talked to God! Holy shit I would have been unhappy to have that spoiled!

Maybe the most important part of the whole experience was the atmosphere. There were so many people wearing You are enough shirts. I can’t remember if Mark or Misha asked for a show of hands from people who have depression … but seeing the sea of hands made me feel like I belonged.

Ok then, (mostly bad) picture time!

This is the one and only Charlie cosplay I saw. Her costume was very well done too. 

And here’s a few shots of the stage. We were over 30 rows back so these pictures are hard to see/kind of blurry. These first three are Louden Swain.

And in these next few… Misha is in the red jacket.

And these are from when Misha was doing his Q and A panel. 

He’s on his phone because he had to talk a call from his daughter. ♥️ Then Mark Sheppard appeared.

I’m going to put pictures of Mark Sheppard when he did his panel and the pictures of stuff I bought in another post. I’ve fought with WordPress multiple times since the con trying to get these pictures uploaded. Maybe two posts will make it work. And then the WordPress app on my phone didn’t actually publish the post when it said it did. LIES! Part 2 Soon!

Going to miss Alan Rickman

When I saw the breaking news on my phone this morning I think I blurted something like “Well DAMMIT!”

If you search google for Alan Rickman images, you find a ton of head shots and very few memes. The lack of memes is interesting. You gotta dig around to find memes and still I didn’t find very many. This one is good though!asparagus alan rickman




Young Alan Rickman is definitely easy on the eyes.

young alan rickman








One last picture.

alan rickman in glasses

If Bob Ross was alive today

If Bob Ross was alive today he would have a youtube channel and then a Twitch channel. He would post pictures of trees and creeks and mountains on Instagram. He’d use crowd funding websites to continue his seasons of painting lessons. People would expect him to help them become famous as artists. Some people would learn a lot from him.

I imagine that people would make comments about how Bob seems to be on drugs, or question why Bob couldn’t button a few more buttons. There’d be comments of how drugs are bad and how he’s bad for children. Other people would use his shows to teach their children or themselves to pain. I already know thanks to Twitch that people would comment RUINED when Bob added a large tree in the foreground of a painting. There would be so many more Bob Ross memes…and people would make Bob Ross wallpapers for computers and phones and tablets. Maybe Bob Ross would be like Weird Al?

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was really really good

Saw the new Star Wars movie this morning. We actually went to a 9:30 am showing. We are seeing the movie again – in theatre – next weekend. I’m not going to actually talk about movie specifics, just about the movie in general.

There are multiple strong female characters in this movie. So many good females! I think some of the movie they went safe. Some things had to be done since it’s the first movie of more Star Wars movies. If this movie shows how there is more to come, I’m happy. As far as Star Wars is concerned, there’s lots of tidbits and questions, not many actual answers for anything. Probably goes back to it being first movie of more than one movie. The droids were cool.

In general, I think I have to watch the movie a second time to decide if there was a specific thing that I actually didn’t like and if you spoil this Star Wars movie for anyone I hope you get coal for your winter holiday presents.

Ramble: I am a 35 year old woman and do not understand women’s clothing sizes

I have recently lost a lot of weight because I had to make changes to my diet and lifestyle due to health problems. Because of this my clothing became way too large seemingly overnight. I have shopped in the plus size section for over 10 years. Because of this I feel like I have some understanding of what plus size means and how women’s sizes can “appear” in different stores. Because of the clothes I own that I fit me all over again I’m still in plus sizes….. as far as I can tell. (Side note: Plus sizes are often 2xl and up and/or start at size 18. In the last few years manufacturers have started making plus sizes 1, 2, 3 and 4.)

Some of my recent clothes purchases have involved Old Navy because their clothing is cheap – and also because they have a lot of solid color shirts. I bought online because that is where the plus sizes are. I had to look at lots of size charts and basically do research to buy clothes. I ended up not buying plus size but I wouldn’t have figured that out going into the store either. I had to go into the store to return shirts that turned out to be too big in that order and while I was there I figured I’d do some shopping. Keep in mind that Old Navy does not have plus sizes in the store. If you ask an employee that is what they will tell you.

I found 2xl shirts. I found jeans in size 18 and size 20. I even liked the different styles in jeans Old Navy offers. Curvy vs. straight and three jean lengths: regular, short, and tall. (By the way, I’m 5’8”.) I figured I’d fit into the size 18 since it’s not plus size. Especially, considering, that I just recently started fitting into a pair of size 18 women’s jeans I bought from JC Penney a few years ago. That clearly must mean I should start with size 18 and that should be just what I need? NOPE. Never go to the fitting room with one size of any pair of pants unless you are absolutely certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that the size is correct for you. No buts. Don’t do it. The size 18 jeans were huge. I had room to hide another pair of jeans in the butt and hips. They were baggy through my legs. The only thing that worked was the length. I check the tag. Short. SHORT? I’m not short. SHORT? Ok then.

Two more trips to the jeans section at the front of the store and I’m tired but on my third try I finally had what I wanted. The size 16 curvy regular short looked like skinny jeans. The size 14s were definitely too small but that was fine. There’s no universe where I can fit into a size 14 – yet. I ended up with size 16 curvy bootcut short length. Some parts of the jeans were a little snug, including around my knees but I know I will lose a little more weight so I wasn’t concerned. Let me repeat that. Size 16 curvy bootcut short length jeans. Please, please, for the love of all that is or isn’t holy can we stop with all the ridiculous sizing before it gets worse? I can imagine 50 years from now that would be size 16 moderately curvy, moderately bootcut (as compared to bootcut flares), tall short length jeans (tall because DAMMIT I AM FIVE FOOT 8). I’m still stuck on the short part. I’m 5 foot 8 inches tall and bought “short” jeans. Size 16 purchased in the store means I’m not in plus size anymore – at least in Old Navy world. Side note: I also spent less money because I wasn’t buying “plus sizes.”

Based on my experience in the Old Navy store, I could have purchased clothing from an Old Navy store not considered plus size while I was still in the plus size range in every other store I’ve had experience with. (Or just keep buying more cheap sweatpants at walmart.) On the way out of the store, I had this crazy idea that I decided was a conspiracy theory. Plus sizes for women are always segregated. They are often not available in a brick and mortar store and you must shop online. (Or there is virtually no selection in store and you still have to go online.) Because of the segregation, women won’t look at or try on clothes of a smaller size and end up “stuck” in plus sizes. Furthermore plus size vary even more widely than regular women’s sizes. Separating out sizes like this doesn’t help. If brands are going to sell plus size clothes they should consider comparing their sizes to a competitive brand and they should most definitely offer a selection of clothing in a store. In reality, I’ll probably continue to be confused and frustrated by the state of women’s clothing. I really need to practice my sewing!

Updated: Being told to never forget 9/11

Every year when another 9/11 anniversary happens I wonder when something is going to change. The message I see continues to be “never forget.” Never forget what, exactly? Which part? The media and our politicians tell us to never forget, but then they always seem to have a specific thing we should remember. To me, that reeks of exploitation, not recognition.

Here’s an example of what seems like some pretty popular images. All the images refer to the location of one of the plane crashes/attacks. All the images are patriotic in nature.

I finally figured out what my problem is with being told to never forget 9/11. Media and politicians should instead be talking about who to remember. I’d rather remember the first responders who helped people on 9/11. I’d rather remember the men and women of the military who have been through multiple tours – somewhere overseas – because 9/11 happened.

Never forgetting how planes were crashed into buildings in NYC and people died is just recreating grief and trauma. I’m not saying people shouldn’t grieve, hell no. But we could skip the traumatic images and the jingoism.

We also don’t talk about the health problems that first responders who worked the scene(s) of the 9/11 attacks still face (Ground Zero). It has it’s own wikipedia page for gods’ sake! No one wants to caption pictures like this though. Or talk about cancer.

This looks to be a very thorough discussion about the PEOPLE involved in the rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero. Let’s remember the fire fighters, paramedics, utility workers, disaster recovery workers, and volunteers too.

Let’s grieve for the people who died and then remember the people who are still here. Let’s start remembering the people involved in rescue and recovery on that day (and who still rescue others). Let’s remember the people fighting and dying in our wars (still today). Let’s change what the anniversary of 9/11 is about. Do first responders have their own day of recognition yet?

You want a patriotic image to remember 9/11? Something like this makes so much more sense to me…. (Found here.)



It appears I might be adding to this throughout the day. Here’s a great collection of one of the things wrong with “remembering” the anniversary of 9/11. Go, look at the article, skim through the twitter posts from corporations. Some of the images are quite distasteful. There is sooo many different ways to recognize the 9/11 anniversary. Remembering the people who died and served is respectful. Product placement with an American flag? Not so much.

Updated again:

Here’s a tribute to the New York City Firefighters who gave their lives (or should I say give?) to help people 13 years ago today.

And here’s an article on somebody else I totally hadn’t considered…. the rescue dogs that helped out rescue workers. Over 300 were there 13 years ago.

Vaccinations: Why the debate?

Recently, I’ve come to realize that I actually feel rather strongly on the subject of vaccinations so it seemed like a great blog post topic. Jenny McCarthy* has helped to further the anti-vaccination “movement” even though the doctor who published research showing vaccinations caused health problems was found to be a complete fraud. Vaccinations seems to be a subject touchier than war, politics, or religion. It is so sad, now that we have eliminated so many horrible illnesses, that people’s ignorance leaves them in mortal danger – as well as so many others.

I guess in this age of the Internet and availability of any information regardless of source or legitimacy, people think they can research on their own with no guidance or suggestion from someone more educated or experienced. Just because someone says it is so, does not make it true.

I think anyone who does not vaccinate themselves or their children are putting themselves, their children, and every single person they come into contact with in grave danger. I have immune problems since I have allergies and asthma. I got a flu shot this year as well as a pneumonia vaccination. I’ve had no colds this past winter, let alone the flu. My husband also received a flu vaccination – for my protection just as much for his own protection. Secondary to his protection, and my own, he was also protecting his coworkers. But don’t get me wrong, I see nothing wrong with being educated and controlling what vaccines you receive – as an adult. There is reason why children – especially school age children – are required to receive certain vaccines. For example, while I have chosen to receive the pneumonia vaccine, it does not seem important at this time for my husband to receive it.

This is how herd immunity works. Everyone knows sick kids make more sick kids. Consider that the flu is more than just sniffles and lost sleep; it also weakens people so much that death is possible and has even happened in abundance this last flu season.

People who do not vaccinate supposedly believe that the vaccinations are not worth the possible problems/issues/etc. How is this possible? Vaccinations are medical care. All medical care that involves some kind of chemical will have some kind of side effect. It seems to me that if you’re going to research one aspect of medical care you should research all aspects of medical care. Furthermore, you should also research everything that enters your body because who knows who could be lying.

I would like to ask a person who does not vaccinate their child if they:

  • do not use over the counter pain medication for fear of poison or organ failure.
  • do not use pain medication of any variety during or after any kind of medical procedure since there are possible complications with anesthesia and strong (opiate) pain medicines. (Does the dentist numb you before drilling?)
  • avoid caffeine completely. Much has been done about the problems with caffeine. There’s research!
  • avoid alcohol completely. Again, research.
  • avoid recreational drugs completely.
  • avoid food dyes. Food dyes have been connected to autism, ADHD and a multiple of problems.
  • wear a mask in public to prevent the risk of infection. Again, more research.
  • avoid birth control containing hormonal chemicals because of the risk of stroke/other complications. Again, research.

Personally, I’d suggest being educated and listening to your doctor’s advise. Your doctor went through at least eight years of intensive training after all – something must have stuck! There’s nothing wrong with doing your own research – but usually it’s better to use research to better understand what more experienced and better trained people tell you. It’s also important to remember that your doctor has met more people than you know, he or she has heard more stories and knows what is medical fact and what is not. (Or at least he or she should!)

For example, I will continue to receive a flu vaccination because of how easy it is to get the flu. However, because I had a very strong adverse reaction to a tetanus booster I will likely only receive that booster if I’m at risk. No doctor worth his/her time would suggest I get the tetanus booster just for the sake of it based on my past history of reaction. This is why I discuss vaccinations with my doctors.

For these reasons, since those against vaccinations only seem to talk about the dangers of vaccinating, it seems that they also lack critical thinking skills. We should feel sorry for these people who seem to think themselves fit to control medical care for others. Maybe, one day, people who willfully put the lives of others in danger** will be kept separate from society for their safety and the safety of others because they obviously do not understand how society works.

*I’m not quoting sources here.

**Like people who are HIV positive being charged for having unprotected sex with others with the intent to knowingly infect them with HIV/AIDS.

Writing and Unemployment

So far I’ve been unemployed for 2 weeks. I quit my job willingly for a number of reasons. I felt the economy was better and I was safe to start looking for a job that uses my masters degree – instead of being stuck in a two parts customer service one part technical support job that was sapping the time and energy needed to search for a job. The job I quit was slowly sucking my soul – also for a number of reasons. I’m not going to gripe about the job I no longer have because I’m not going to dwell on the past.

I haven’t started going crazy, yet. It probably helped that my first week of unemployment was spent recovering from a double vaccination. I got the flu vaccination and the pneumonia vaccination at the same time. My knitting has also helped me. I’ve finished two small projects in the last 2-3 weeks.

The federal government shutdown is also making me nervous. I’m hoping to find a job in nonprofit – which could be hampered by this shutdown of government funds. I’m hoping – illogically? – that this will be taken care of before the United States defaults and so it will not hurt the economy and job market too terribly much.

I’ve been searching for jobs on multiple sites almost daily. I’ve applied for lots of jobs too – not all of them in nonprofit. I finally got around to reading this blog post on freelance writing earlier this morning, which affirms that I need to get back to writing daily. My blog is an easy way to do that!

Unfortunately that means I need content – unless I’m going to use writing prompts. Writing prompts haven’t worked for me in the past, so that brings me back to needing content. Content, content, content.

This first post was easy, writing and unemployment! Come November, writing daily will be easy because of NaNoWriMo. No reason to wait until then to write though! Reading that blog post also reminded me of my (old) idea to review a TV show through a sociological lens. I’m thinking that might work better with a current show though. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. perhaps?

Finally, I’m debating paying for this. I think I’ll go ahead and disable comments on this post because I see it attracting a lot of SPAM. Also, why did I say also so much here?

Learning Code or Trying

I’ve been trying to learn again. Turns out I’m happier when learning something. Regularly. Turns out I’d also rather learn something that is an applicable skill – as compared to theory.

There are plenty of useful and free sources on the Internet – you just need to filter out the crap. There’s plenty of crap. I was thinking I want to learn html/css/javascript. That applies directly to my current job (which I’m otherwise overqualified for.) Turns out html is easy unless you specifically have something to WRITE or DO. I don’t. For now I pick up html as I got. Learning some CSS would be useful – but I haven’t found a source yet. Javascript is a better thing for me to attempt learning – outside of work. I think. Or more specifically, learning the logic of how code works is a good place to start. Maybe after this I’ll see about learning R.

So I’ve been learning off of a site called Code Academy. It has badges and achievements. That automatically makes it fun, right? I’ve also been trying to work through the exercises in Learning Python the Hard Way. I haven’t had as much time and energy as I’d like to spend on the Python book. If you have interest in learning code I definitely recommend either of these sources.

Random cats: blame the Internet

Friend recently linked me this picture.

I had to go searching for it because it seemed relevant to a silly conversation in an irc channel. So then I decided to post it on my blog. And then when searching it I remembered the source of the picture. Good blog. Jenny Lawson is awesome. I’m almost done reading her book. (FINALLY!! It’s taken me too long to finish such a good book!)

Also. This.

Kittens seem to love boobs don’t they? But hey, what’s not to love about boobs? Soft, warm…uh. yea. Anyways. We recently adopted 2 kittens from the local animal shelter (city run) so maybe I’ll use kittens for reasons to make blog posts. Want. to. write. more.

Censorship is bad

Collection of information on SOPA and sites that blacked out in protest:

Check your voter registration.

Supporters and Opponents in Congress

Open Letter to Congress from Artists and Creators

Do it for the kittens

Why is SOPA Bad?

End Piracy, Not Liberty

Why ████ Censoring Wired █████

Plz to be shutting up now, kthxbai

This idiot makes me sick.

Freedom of religion does not mean freedom for any who claim membership to a Christian faith to practice their religion, other we wouldn’t call it freedom of religion. We’d call it something like freedom for Christians…. or a national religion of Christianity.

Why do so many people think that all Muslims are the same? Many American Muslims have more education, are more civic minded, and more involved in their community than many “American Americans.”

Tea Party members should consider the idea that perhaps some Muslims have moved to America so that they might practice their religion with more freedom and less fear.

Good part of the article I think:

Of course, community leaders in Tennessee are not alone in their inability to distinguish between violent extremists and most Muslims. In recent statements on Twitter and to Fox News, politicians like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich have objected to plans for an Islamic center in Lower Manhattan, not far from the site of the World Trade Center.