Gabby Sugarette 1/20/16

gabby-in-social-space-150x150Hypoglycemia By Gabby Fringette

I’ve been away for a little while, but I’m back for this week. I’ll be a bit sporadic due to school and other obligations, but I simply can’t stay away for long!

When people think of hypoglycemia, they think of diabetics. It’s true, low blood sugar effects diabetics in a very negative way, but anyone can be effected. It’s caused by lack of sugar in the blood, commonly because it’s been too long since you’ve eaten. The symptoms vary, and are dependent on how long it’s been since you’ve eaten. The shakes, sweating, stomachache, and feeling faint are common early stages. Fainting and nausea come later. It also effects the mental capacity, making you disoriented, and irritable for seemingly no reason. For about fifteen minutes before you feel the negative effects, you’ll be feeling great, and everything will work at great efficiency. I refer to this as ‘the golden fifteen minutes’. This is because your pancreas is pumping the last of your sugar into your blood. Like an old two-stroke engine running on fumes, it runs great till it doesn’t. Ain’t it dandy folks?

Fortunately, eating will put you to rights. You need sugar in your blood, which can be obtained by the consumption of fruit, candy, juice, or better yet, a full meal. However, if it’s been more than a few hours since you’ve eaten, start with some fruit, or you’ll feel worse before you feel better when you eat.

People with certain diseases can be very heavily effected or more sensitive to hypoglycemia. Diabetes springs to mind first, but cancer patients, and people with Addison’s disease, or other diseases that cause low cortisol.

So if you’re feeling wobbly and inexplicably angry at everyone, especially the neighbor with the loud stereo, eat an apple before breaking into the crazy zone.

Gabby Still Stressed 12/9/15

Finals Week and Stress management
By Gabby Fringette

gabby-in-social-space-150x150The time of finals approaches for college student. As a student this is a very stressful time. A semester of work leads up to this moment. The finals are often make-or-break. There’s stress. Not only are there the massive tests, but final projects are also due. Suicide rates rise, depression rises, anxiety rises.

People are studying their asses off, so they don’t have much time for food sleep or other care. When they do, they’re obsession about their grade. Typically if you aren’t you don’t care about the class, and you’ll probably fail.

There are a few tricks to remember: eat plenty of food. Eat calories, because thinking actually burns calories. Finals are not the time to start a diet. Have chocolate. It’s an anti-depressant. Fortunately, the minimum amount of suggested chocolate in 3.5 ounces of dark.

You still have to study, so you should make a study schedule. Make sure to leave time for breaks, eating, sleeping, bathing, purchasing and using of acne cream (acne often pops up in times of stress).

Picture your success. You will get that A. All of this studying is worth it. You’ll get there, and you’ll be surprised how well you know the material. After the finals, you have winter break. Everything will look better through the rosy glow of Christmas lights.

Just keep calm, all will resolve.

Gabby’s Thankette 11/25/15

Thanksgiving Gabby
By Gabby Fringette

gabby-in-social-space-150x150This week most people observe thanksgiving, which I personally think we should change to The-Natives-Saved-the-Pilgrim’s-Asses day.
But until that gets changed, I suggest we all observe thanksgiving by being grateful for all of out surplus, actually grateful, and in observance, not waste food. America wastes 20% of its food.

This thanksgiving, if you have lots of family coming over, try to think of then things you are grateful for. Even if family is obnoxious, offensive, annoying or just friggin’ tiresome, think about everything you’d miss if they were all suddenly gone. Granted the rebellious son with his stupid haircut and tattooed girlfriend might piss you off, or maybe your daughter is an annoying give-up-your-guns-and-beef-no-TV-for-my-kids city slicker. Your brother or sister might bring up uncomfortable topics at the table, like, ‘hey, Johnny, can I see your tattoo?’. Or maybe the sibling wants to discuss politics at the table, and you have conflicting views.
After all, they are family, they did take the effort to visit you. So be grateful.

If you don’t have family, you’re probably grateful for all of the time you did spend with them. You might even be sorry if you were the obnoxious daughter, the annoying sibling.

Look around your house: if you’re reading this, I know it means you have a computer. You probably have a T.V, a microwave, a cellphone.
How much of this stuff do you take for granted? You don’t give it a second thought until the power goes out, or something breaks, and now you’re waiting half an hour for your peas to defrost, or you can’t check you email.
Be grateful.

This thanksgiving, be thankful. Look at all of the things you have that you like, and all the people that you love, and be thankfull.

Gabby’s Resiliette 11/18/15

FRC
By Bernadina Lucia

gabby-in-social-space-150x150There are a number community colleges in the Sierra environs, Feather River Community Lassen Community College, Butte Community College, Lake Tahoe Community College, there’s even Chico State, which is a four year college.

FRC is unique. Quincy is home to many gems, the mill, the railroad, but one of the biggest is Feather River College.
FRC was founded in 1968 to fulfill the need for higher education in the Plumas Sierra area, and became its own independent community college district in 1988.

FRC draws people from other areas, even internationally, but mainly provids an opportunity for rural people to have an introduction to higher education, without being overwhelmed and bombarded by a new, urban setting. Local kids can stay close to home as they get slowly adjusted to being an adult. Single, low income parents can easily take affordable classes which will further them towards a better career or self-fulfillment. The college is essential for maintaining a well trained local workforce, they provide AA degrees, transfer classes and degrees, certificates, and soon, a four-year equine studies degree, so people don’t have to travel to become qualified workers.
High-school students who wish to attend college classes and finish with general education early can attend classes without having to pay for the units.
The Incarcerated Student Program allows prisoners to take classes through the mail, helping them to better themselves and to have a better chance of success when they are released.
FRC gives affordable, quality education, so it is essential to the empowerment of rural people. The college has excellent opportunities for student employment,  provides needed local jobs, and  is committed to sustainability. In the spring and fall of 2011 the Sustainability Action Team wrote the Sustainability Management Plan.

Eighty percent of heating and cooling at FRC is geothermal, FRC is exploring developing partnerships for sustainability with Plumas-Sierra Rural Electric, the Sierra Pacific Industries biomass plant in Loyalton, and Simple Fuels Biodiesel in Chilcoot.

Part of the initiative focuses on the local Plumas county area, which highlights the support of local businesses and food systems, alternative transportation (the bike barn, available to students, and the support and promotion of local events, like bike to work day), energy independence, and sustainable agriculture and forestry. The Environmental Studies Department faculty integrated forest management and restoration into the Environmental Studies coursework. Environmental Studies classes have also collected data on water quality, noxious weeds, woodland health, and wildlife.

To read more about FRC’s commitment to sustainability, and what this entails, go here: http://www.frc.edu/institutionalresearch/documents/Sustainability_Management_Plan.pdf.

FRC is a very precious resource for Plumas Sierra. This article was a brief introduction for FRC, and its history, many future articles will focus on sustainability events and projects put on by the college.

Gabby Spidette 11/11/15

Our Little Leggy Friends: Spiders of Northern CA
By Gabby Fringette

gabby-in-social-space-150x150Many people don’t like spiders, some have arachnophobia, the irrational fear of spiders, others just don’t like them, maybe they were bitten. But there is only only one spider in Northern California that is dangerous to humans, which is the Black Widow.
Before we proceed, I need to tell you the difference between poisons and venomous. People use them interchangeably, but they mean different things. Poison is absorbed or ingested, a berry is poisonous because it is dangerous if ingested. Venom is injected. Venomous animals have a mechanism for injecting venom, the bite. All spiders have venom, but don’t worry, it’s very weak, and many spider’s fangs are too small to break human skin.

The grass spider. There are 13 species of grass spider throughout the U.S and southern Canada. They spin non-sticky webs with retreat funnels. They are a thin bodied brown spider. Not dangerous to humans.

Cross orb weaver. This spider is named for the pattern on its abdomen. It’s a stocky looking arachnid, with short, thick legs. Brown with while marks on the abdomen. It was introduced from Europe to the US. It spins wheel-shaped webs, and sits in the middle. Not dangerous to humans.

Black and yellow garden spider. They are common in gardens, fields, and forest edges. The females are black, with yellow marks, making them intimidating. But fear not, they are not dangerous to humans.

Banded garden spider. The females are large and silver in color, and banded in black and yellow. They share the same habitat with black and yellow garden spiders. Not dangerous to humans.

Wolf spider: an ambush spider that is common throughout the US. They are a burly spider, and furry. Their bite, like most spider bites, will cause mild swelling and itching, but it is not dangerous.Wolf Spider

Longlegged sac spider. This spider is nocturnal, with very long front legs. Its from southern Europe, but made is way to the US, and is fairly common indoors. Green, tan or yellow coloration. The females have a plump abdomen, while the males have skinny abdomen. Not dangerous to humans.

Beware: the brown widow spider, a cousin to the black widow spider, is new in town. Originally from Africa, the brown widow invaded in about 2003. They are less venomous than black widows, and they are less apt to bite. Still, be careful. They are more common in Southern CA than Northern, though.Brown Widows

Black widow spider. The infamous spider. Glossy and black with a red hourglass on the underside, they have a large abdomen, and are found in dark, unused spaces and corners indoors, as well as dry undersides of wood and rocks outdoor. The bite is dangerous to humans.

I haven’t been able to cover every spider in CA, (prepare yourself, arachnophobes, for part II) but I’ve covered some of the most common ones.
Keep in mind, spiders are more afraid of you, generally. They are small, and don’t forget than they can become squished. They eat flies, mosquitoes, aphids, and other pests. Spiders are good. California Spiders

Gabby’s Deviette 11/4/15

gabby-in-social-space-150x150Deviance
By Gabby Fringette

You’ve heard about deviance, thieves, murders, anarchists, etc. But what is deviance really? How is it defined socially?

Deviance is the breaking of socially accepted norms, both formal (laws) and informal (customs like saying ‘have a nice day’.) Obviously there are different levels of deviance, and different levels of punishment. A serial killer will get a different treatment than a pot smoker or a jaywalker.
Emile Durkhime says that no act is inherently deviant, but it is made deviant by how society reacts to it.
It can be the larger society, or it could be your town, or just your close friends and family.

There are, of course, different sociological perspectives.

Conflict: Conflict perspective looks at who has power, who determines what behavior is deviant. This would be the pope for informal norms, or in the Middle Ages, determined formal norms. Government defines formal norms. Conflict perspective looks at how it defines norms for people of different classes, races, and genders.

Symbolic perspective: deviant behavior is learned. Kids who have parents who are ‘deviant’ will most likely be deviant as well. This is not always the case, though. Some people go on the straight and narrow even if their parents were criminals, or deviant in other ways.
Another contributor to deviance is labeling. If you label a kid a bully, he or she is more likely to act as like a bully, because being a bully becomes their identity, even if they weren’t necessarily a bully before.

Functionalist perspective: it looks at smaller parts of deviance, the individual compared to society and how to fix it. Some deviance is good; the suffragette movement was considered deviant, but now women can vote in the U.S.

People are integrated into their society, and therefore less likely to be deviant, so basically peer pressure keeps people within socially acceptable bounds. When a person feels alienated from his or her community, they are more likely to be deviant. This is known as anomie (not the pedamorphic cartoons, that’s anime).

Gabby’s Datette 10/28/15

The Eight Commandments of Dating Me
By Gabby Fringette
gabby-in-social-space-150x150The Gimpy One recognizes that I’m finally old enough to date, and he’s being surprisingly gracious. He just has a few little rules. I thought they would be the normal curfew rules, my date has to be inspected first that sort of thing.
But instead, he sits me down, and lays down the rules.

“Alrighty, Gabby, yer about datin’ age, which give a poor old papa like me a giant pain in the ass, what with all them boys wanten yer squishy bits. So, let’s go over some basic ground rules. A lot of the kids I knew growin’ up didn’t have ground rules, they were expected to be good. We ain’t makin’ that mistake with you. Anywhere yer date touched you, I touch him. (‘d’you really wanna kiss her on the lips, boy?’)
Oh, and another thing is, I don’t like it when people drive too fast, so have him drive nice and slow. In fact, I think I’ll drive, I jus’ ain’t comfortable when other people are drivin’ me. Call ahead to the restaurant, because I have a special diet, what with my flatulence and such.
If we go to Lover’s Leap, it may have to be renamed ‘Lover Accidentally Fell to His Death’. Accidents happen, especially to handsy little snots.
If yer date decides to take his mom’s van, he should bring two things; a funny DVD in case I gets bored, and a football helmet in case I don’t get bored.
Also, I’m probably going to bring a date, named Ms. Smith-Wesson. Speakin’ of names, yer date will be called ‘Rodney’, ‘What’s-His-Name’ or ‘Boy’ through the entire date, especially to his face. Unless his name is actually is Rodney, then I’ll improvise, with Robbie and Richie. Oh, one last little rule, you can’t go on a date Sunday, because it’s extra bad to kill someone on the Sabbath. Now, nice, and reasonable, right?”
Left with no choice but to agree, guess who’s going on a double date next Saturday?

Gabby Stress Studette 10/21/15

Stress and the College Student
Gabby Fringette

gabby-in-social-space-150x150I recently read two fascinating articles from Psychology Today (www.psychologytoday.com) about the state of mental health in college students.

The first, The College Student Mental Heath Crisis, outlined the problem: there’s a high rate of mental problems in today’s student, and these problems are increasing. One in three students has had a prolonged period of depression, and suicide rates in young adults had tripled since the 50s. The article did not mention the exact statistic; but they did mention that 9.4% of students in one American College Health Association study, that 9.4% of students reported seriously considering suicide within a 12-month period.

The most common problem with student’s mental health is anxiety. A 2013 study found that 57% of female students and 40% of male students experienced overwhelming anxiety attacks. 54% of all college students are aflicted, rising 8% from 2010.
I personally know at two students who have multiple experienced anxiety attacks within this fall semester.

The second article, Crisis U, outlined some possible causes.

The main problem is lacking emotional control. When people have no idea how to control their emotions, or at least monitor them, then they are far more unstable.

Another factor is that the students arrive already primed to crumble at the first failure, because many of them are not used to failure. They come to college in an era of high expectations, both their own and their parents.
Many students come from ‘overtrophied’ ‘overparented’ lived, and weren’t allowed to fail, or even have the chance to fail, so they don’t know how to handle disappointment.

Social media adds it’s weight to the crushing crap sandwich of college mental health. It magnifies the comparison factor, so when someone who is already unused to disappointment sees the happy (carefully tailored, mind you, they’re not going to post any bad stuff about their lives) existence of their fellow students of Facebook and Instagram, then they look at what they think is the crumbling ruins of their life, they feel even worse.

The author of the article thinks that the colleges are making it worse, by basically becoming mental facilities for students. Some campuses have ‘safe-rooms’ in case a student finds the literature they’re studying disturbing. The example the article gives isn’t some new book on the horrors of war, it’s the Great Gatsby. Just classic literature, nothing about it is more horrifying that the fact it was a sucky story, made into an even worse movie.

The students who did best in college are not the upper-middle-class kids who had obsessive parents and chess club, they are the poor kids, the children of first generation immigrants, and kids who are the first in their family to go to college, because they all had to work hard, and they know how to handle stress.

The way forwards is to educate college students about mental health and how to take care of their own mental health while they are still in high school.

Gabby’s Vocettes 10/14/15

Oh, Boy, Vocables
By Gabby Fringette

gabby-in-social-space-150x150Ever wonder why people will issue strange, seemingly random, vocal sounds that make sense? These are called ‘vocables’. It basically means any vocal that has meaning in a culture.
You hear them every day, you probably use them. But what do they mean?

Ah- (pronounced ‘AAAHHH!’)- a revelation, can be spiritual, mental, or when you figure out the strange plot twist at the end of a movie. Size, volume, and length depend on relevancy of revelation.

Aw- (pronounced ‘AW!!’)- generally higher in pitch, generally used when person sees something adorable, such as a kitten, a puppy, or a fuzzy chick or duckling. Pitch and volume may depend on cuteness.

Aww- (pronounced ‘ahw’)- sad, used in the case of the death of a minor celebrity, or the second cousin of a friend, sound is usually soft.
In the case of disappointment, (pronounced ‘AAWW!)’ a loud, groaning sound, used when a friend is rejected for a date, or cannot go clubbing. It’s always a little embarrassing to be out hitting things with sticks alone.

Eep- (pronounced ‘eep’, usually accompanied by small jump or foul scent)- startled, surprised. Sometimes scared or threatened, in the case of punishment.

Ha- (pronounced ‘HA’) when something is preposterous, or when you are being sarcastic.
Ha, ha, ha, used when you are very wry, such as when you’re the butt of a joke. Said slowly, usually accompanied by sarcasm.

Hmm- (pronounced ‘hmm’)- can be used as an air filler when you don’t know how to make a decision, or answer a question. More drawn out means more unsure.
Can be short and sharp, when you’ve just heard something that might also warrant, ‘oh’.

La- generic for vocals in a song, or used while plugging ears to completely block an annoying song.

Mmm- (pronounced ‘mmm’)- can be used when smelling food, or being appreciative.

Mm-hmm- (pronounced ‘mm-hmm’)- used as an affirmative.

Oh- (pronounced ‘O’)- surprised, or coming to a bad realization, as in, ‘oh, okay. I’ll leave.’ When surprised, can be exclaimed ‘Oh!’, or said softly when it is a bad realization.
Can be pronounced ‘OHHH!’ in moments of pleasure.

Oops- (pronounced long O, ‘ooops’)- used when you made a mistake.

Uh-hu- (pronounced ‘uh-hu’)- can be used as an affirmative.

Uh-uh- (pronounced ‘uh-uh’)- negative, also used as no.

Uh-oh- (pronounced ‘uh-oh’)- used in same context as oops, when a mistake has been made, though generally ‘uh-ohs’ are slightly more serious than ‘oops’es.

Ouch- (pronounced, ‘owch’)- used as reaction to sudden pain.

Ow- (pronounced ‘ow’)- also used as reaction to sudden pain. People stub toes a lot, so we need more than one.

Yikes- (pronounced ‘YIKES!!’)- reaction to something shocking, or stunning, or surprising. Like everything, can also be sarcastic.

So there we have the ABCs of vocables. I’m sure I missed some, but, oops, oh well.

Gabby’s Goatette 10/7/15

gabby-in-social-space-150x150Goats
By Gabby Fringette

What has horns, is technically small livestock, and was associated with the devil? If you guessed ‘goats’, then you are correct!
Archeological data suggests that goats were one of the earliest domesticated animal. They stem from the Boezr ibex in north Africa. The name ‘goat’ stems from the old English word ‘gät’, meaning she-goat, or just goat in general.

Goats are the main livestock in poorer countries. Because they need so much care if they are stuck in pens their whole lives, older children or teens will take on the role of goat-herder, which is much like a shepherd, and they’ll take them around large grazing areas.
If you have a large area for goats to roam, they take very little care. They are technically small livestock, compared with cow or horses or oxen, but they’re much larger than micro-livestock, such as chickens, rabbits, and bees. They require less water than cows, and can eat a large variety of food, grass, shrubs, tree bark, your favorite fruit tree, fine linen tablecloths, homework, books, labels on tin cans. While they will not eat inedible things such as plastic, they are curious little devils, and will chew it up to see if it is edible.

They are also prolific, they reach puberty between 3 and 9 months, depending on how well fed they are and their breed. So they can mate young. Then the females will usually birth twins, though triplets are not uncommon.
This has an upside. Goats of some breeds are used for meat, the Boer goat is one, or milk, the Alpine is one, so you have more animals.
Their milk is more nutritious than cow’s milk, containing higher fat, and calories. The globules are smaller, so it doesn’t need to be homogenized, because it’ll take more to make them separate. Goat milk is superior in most areas, but does come in second place to human milk.

However, being prolific can have issues, as well. Feral goats on the Galapagos islands are playing a major role in the extinction of the Galapagos Tortoise. The goats eat all of the ground food on which the tortoises rely on. Because there are no large land predators, the goats multiplied to a problem in just a few generations. However, efforts to curb the goats are being made by meat-eating human populations.

Goats can be bad if left unchecked. But they were associated with the devil for a different reason.
Goats are capricious by nature, and a buck in rut is basically the epitome of horny (hence, ‘you horny old goat’). Being randy is considered bad, so in a lot of medieval art, you see goat-men whispering lecherous things into people’s ears. The devil also has a goat face.
However, in Greek mythology we have more goat men, but they’re more like tricksters, due to the goat’s capricious nature. However, the Satyrs are still a ruttish bunch.

Anyone who has ever had goats thinks one of two things: they are efficient garden demolisher who can fit anywhere they can fit their head, or, they’re jerks, but they’re friendly and spirited too.

Gabby’s Face-ette 9/30/15

Facebook: Good, or Evil?
By Gabby Fringette

gabby-in-social-space-150x150There are countless forms of social media. Twitter, Tumblr, Google+. But perhaps the most well-known and used of all is the mighty Facebook. Everyone’s got a Facebook account, and about 130 Facebook Friends, including about fifteen people they’ve actually met.  But, is Facebook, Good, or Evil?

I could try weighing the pros and cons, but some points are heavier than others. So maybe I’ll just go over some of the major points.

But first, what is Facebook? When did it arise? And why is it so popular?
Facebook is a social media site. About 1,374,000,000 people have Facebook account. Of all the Facebook users, 70% are outside the US. Out of all the countries with Facebook users, users in Israeli spend the most time on Facebook. The US comes in tenth on that list, but that doesn’t mean your own Facebook usage is that low. This is just an average.
Facebook was created February 4, 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Savarin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughs. They were all students at Harvard. It started out as an a elite social media for Harvard students. It grew in popularity there, so they spread it to some other colleges, and eventually, in 2006, released it to the public.
But what about their competition, specifically, MySpace? Ten years ago, MySpace was hugely popular, even five years ago. But it’s fallen off the map now, and isn’t even in the top ten social media sites.
Many people think Facebook is just better. MySpace had lots of clutter, and was noisy, but Facebook is more streamlines, and simple. Still, as a social media newbie, it still looks fairly excessive. http://www.msimail.net/why-is-facebook-so-popular/

But is it Good, or Evil?
Apparently, if you type in ‘Facebook is evil’, you get more that twice the results of ‘the devil is evil’ and ‘Justin Beiber is evil’ combined.
But what does that mean?
Here are some main points as to why Facebook is bad:
• It tracks you, and your purchases, so if you look at something online, then ads for it and similar things will pop up on your Facebook.
• It’s very difficult to monitor your privacy. It won’t run without scripts and cookies, and anything you can do to remove track-able history is minimal.
• If it thinks you’re doing something illegal, it’ll call the cops on you.
• Grammar is getting worse, and while we can’t blame just Facebook, it is a new forerunner of social behavior.
• It’ll send you Candy Crush invites.
So we have an anti-grammar tracking device that spies on you and will call the cops on you. Funsies.

But could it be good? http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/2534-facebook-benefits.html
• A study of 400 students shows that students who are active on Facebook are less likely to drop out of college.
• A study of thirty students shows that Facebook relaxes them. This could have more to do with their content, though, rather than the dystopian Candy-Crush arcade it’s self.
• It helps keep you connected, with old friends, family members who are spread everywhere, (by this I mean, they’re living in many different places, not that they’ve been chopped up and spread about.), and with possible employers. So do keep drunk selfies to a minimum.

You really have to draw you own conclusions. How much do you value your privacy and hate ads? Maybe you like Candy Crush.

What are the alternatives?
You could switch back to MySpace, but it’s cluttered, and nobody uses it anymore. You could use Google+, but it’s basically the same, only much more annoying. You could use Twitter, but the ‘tweets’ cut off at 250 words (if I’m gonna rant about something I wanna rant as long as I like!). Then there are ones almost nobody has heard, of, such as QZone and Sina Weibo.
Sadly, Facebook, the Wal-mart of social media, looks like a winner.

Gabby’s Speakette 9/23/15

Speak, Mortal! The common problems of communication
By Gabby Fringette

gabby-in-social-space-150x150Have you ever totally put both your feet in your mouth because of something you said or didn’t listen to? Did you even know you were that flexible? Have you felt downtrodden and unimportant, or if you’re like me indignant and melodramatic, because none of your friends or family pick up that you’re upset?
These are all common communication problems. I can’t fix them, but I can tell you what’s wrong in most cases.

First a little myth: two people who have been in a relationship, or who have been close friends for many years shouldn’t have to communicate, one should be able to pick up if something is wrong or if the other desires something.
Wrong-o! Do you know any mind reader outside the Twilight Saga? Voicing your desires clearly and in a straight forward manner is important. This myth is at the bottom of many problems.

On the other hand, about 60% of communication is nonverbal. If someone walks into a church in a nightshirts and socks, clutching a cup of coffee, and sits down, even if nobody says anything, their physical reaction will expose their disapproval, with frowning, and leaning away, or they envy (PJs look much more comfy than my stupid suit). 
 So if someone you know had been really quiet, or acted abnormally, maybe you should ask what’s up. They could be upset, or they could be plotting something, and are observing potential scapegoats.
In the chance that they are indeed upset, you run into another communication problem: most people don’t actually listen. They hear it, as they would hear a dog barking or an explosion. But they don’t process it, usually because they’re too busy forming a response before they know all the facts. This is also more likely to happen if other people are around. You wanna look good to people, right? Well, you wanna say the right thing, and rather than come up with a real response, you form the ‘right’ one while the other person is talking, because if you take a few moment after the person has stopped, then it looks like you weren’t listening. Try to punctuate it with, ‘uh-hu,’ and, ‘I see’. Bonus points for actually listening and agreeing.

Now we take a look at our third problem: context.
Most stuff doesn’t matter unless it’s in a context. The social context is the setting, for example, a boss talking to an employee. Even if they’re friends outside of work, when they’re in those roles, they’re locked in a social context. Power imbalance like this can make communication difficult. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do.

Now you have a glimpse into the world of communication. You may be extremely charismatic, or you may be borderline-Asperger’s, but you need communication.

Gabby’s Marketteplace 9/16/15

The Calpine Marketplace
By Gabby Fringette

It’s September now, which means lots of things: school starting, the first frost, but best of all, the Calpine Marketplace, organized every year by Paula Crowder. Thank you Paula!

 

I hope I got every vendor, there were a lot of them. I’m quite sorry if I missed some. I hope all of them are in business next year. I b everyone had a good time at this year’s Calpine Marketplace, and I hope next year is as good.

Gabby’s Goodette 9/9/15

The Good Things
By Gabby Fringette

gabby-in-social-space-150x150Sometimes in today’s modern world, you can easily get overwhelmed, there’s so many stimulants in the world. Facebook, TV, brightly colored magazines. Sometimes you need to take a deep breath, and focus on the good moments in life. The good things.
Not TV, or new kitchen tiles, or expensive things, but the Truly Good things.

1. Laying in bed before getting up. Savor this moment, it’s a wonderful one. You’re warm, as rested as you’re likely to get, and nobody expects you to be wearing pants.
2. Feeding your pet. A bouncy little bundle of fur (or feathers) that relies on you, and is excited to see you. It has the advantage over children that it won’t grow up to ignore you.
3. The three minutes before cleaning and messing it up again. You’ve accomplished something, and made your living space a little better. Don’t you feel good? Even if it’s not clean enough to make it into a magazine, you can walk across the floor.
4. Eating lunch with a friend/family member, and getting along. While not all people get along with friends and family, if you do, then treasure this moment. You have food, and you have good companionship.
5. Food sharing. Food sharing is a sign of trust, and if builds friendship.

If you’re feeling very stressed, sometimes it’s best to take a minute out of your day to do one of the activities:
1. Listen to your favorite song. You can do this even as your work.
2. Move around. Yes, these are things you’ll hear in everything anti-stress, but that’s because it works. So, fidget, if you have to sit around all day. It’s better for your circulation.
3. Think happy thoughts! If you’re in a negative place, just think about things that make you happy! You may even indulge in the occasional thought of smothering the wrongdoer.

Gabby Vampette 9/2/15

Here’s why Vampire Fiction Sucks
By Gabby Fringette

gabby-in-social-space-150x150Yes, pun intended. However, in pop culture there lurks a new idealized character. The vampire.
You’ll hear Twilight Saga this and Vampire Diaries that everywhere in the media. Like everything, though, there are better pieces of fictions, poorly written pieces of fiction, and pieces of fiction which really shouldn’t have risen to the level of fame it has.
Still, we have more problems than hollowly written heroines.

The target audience for Vampire Fiction is teen girls. Typically, especially in books written by women, you have the quirky-but-loveable heroine, in her teens, of course, who meets stunningly handsome vampire.
The whole vein (pun intended) has some negative messages:

1. Vanity is fair. 
In most books, the vampire love interest, or just most vampires as a rule, are stunningly gorgeous. In the Twilight Saga becoming a vampire makes you automatically sexy. This coupled with constant bombardment from the media and advertisement is driving the message to girls that normal looking people are mere mortals, and inferior.
2. It romanticizes greed. 
Vampires live off of blood. Some books the victim is always going to die or turn into a vampire once bitten, other books, a person can be bitten many times, and, if not killed by the vampire, will live, and the only way to turn into a vampire is to drink vampire blood. Some books vampires can survive on animal blood, others it has to be human. In any case, they require the life of other creatures to sustain themselves. They sound like Capitalists, or lawyers. Maybe that’ll be the next big hit: lawyer romance fiction.
3. Unequal relationships. 
In most books, the girl is the mortal in the relationship, until they either part ways, or she is turned into a vampire. In books it (mostly) has a happy ending, but it’s a culture where there is a terrible unbalance of power in the relationship, where one person (again, usually the girl) is always at the mercy of the other.

I would like to point out that vampires, in every culture, used to be monsters.
If they were buried in unconsecrated ground they would come back as a vampire and terrorize all their old family, friends, and neighbors. If they were born under the wrong moon, or if they were cursed, they would come back as vampires, even if buried in consecrated ground.

Vampires have been in fiction for a long time, even dating back to Dracula, which was written in the late 1800s. However, it was written as a horror story.
Another horror writer, Christopher Pike, wrote The Last Vampire in the 1980s, however it was as much romance as it was horror. In this the mortal in the relationship was the guy.
Then in the nineties, Vivian Vande Velde wore Companions of the Night, which is better written than most. It’s a thriller romance, and the girl is the mortal.
Then, as you know if you’ve typed Edward into a search engine, there is the overly popular Twilight Saga was written only a few years ago. The girl is the mortal, through the first three books. The Saga is predominantly romance, with some thriller mixed in.
There are, of course, many, many more. However, almost all of them are romance between a human and a vampire.
There are a few where it’s vampire-vampire romance.G

Of course, most people just think it’s fun, which is good. It’s just a book.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, the sun is coming out.

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