Archive for ‘Like someone I know once said, “Dreams serve to remind me I’m asleep.”’

October 12, 2015

Very strange thing to dream…

by Janie Jones

Last night I had a dream where I went to the veterinarian’s office to schedule an appointment for Rupert to get his rabies shot.  While I was there my Biochemistry professor gave me the shot instead.

Then I went to class and everyone was getting rabies shots.

Afterward, we all had these amazing cheeseburgers.  I kept eating burger after burger thinking I should stop because I was going to make myself sick, but I never felt full so I ate until my alarm went off.



April 16, 2015

My brain feels sticky, I must need more sleep

by Janie Jones

I meant to write this yesterday, but I was taking a slug day.  I just visited with friends and Leif and the spud on the phone after school.  It was nice.  Sometimes we need some slug days.  Just like we apparently need our sleep or brain will get dirty and decompose.

A classmate gave her seminar talk yesterday on Alzheimer’s and sleep deprivation.  Apparently, our neurons in our brain produce a protein which hangs off the outside of the neural cells.  Throughout the day the body cleaves these proteins, and depending on where they get cleaved, if they have a long segment called beta-amyloid, these “cuttings” are very sticky and can clump up and cling to the neurons and fill the space between the neurons.  Normally, when we sleep, the body has a mechanism to clean away the clumpy bits and keep the brain “clean.”  However, when we don’t get enough sleep the brain can’t do a thorough cleaning and these sticky clumps can build up into plaques.  Eventually, if we go long enough without sleep, the plaques can start to block signals passing from neuron to neuron, and the immune system can start to attack our own neurons that are excessively covered in plaque causing neuron death.  Apparently, persons with Alzheimer’s disease exhibit a high amount of these beta-amyloid plaques in their brain, reduced brain cells, and exhibit altered sleep patterns suggesting that the two might be related.

Pretty interesting stuff.

Moral of the story, until we know for sure what the correlation might be, get as much sleep as you can, especially if your brain is starting to feel sticky.  Apparently, in mice studies, sleep-deprived mice brains exhibiting beta-amyloid plaques do have the ability to reverse the plaque build up when mice are allowed to sleep regularly again.

I’ll take that as a good excuse to sleep all weekend, how about you?

April 1, 2015

Happy April Fool’s Day

by Janie Jones

I don’t really enjoy pranks.  I’m too old, too tired, and I have just one straw left.  In my condition April Fool’s pranks take too much valuable effort to plan, and being on the receiving end could very well throw me into the whole Cameron Frye catatonia.

I thought about ignoring the whole fact it was April Fool’s Day, and telling you all about the very, very strange dream I had which started as an alien encounter while scuba diving and ended as the sinking of the Titanic 18 hole golf course cruise ship (?!?!?!) but figured on account of it begin April Fool’s Day you wouldn’t believe it was a real dream, and any way I’m too tired to type any more about anything this morning.

My arthritis is not playing April Fool’s jokes.  I have a very real pain in the neck that I woke up with and it hurts.

So here’s a couple cartoons:

completelygoofy science april fools day

And while I appreciate the science-y theme prank ideas, this one is a little more Everyman:



May your day be as prank-full or prank-less as you please.

February 5, 2015

Thursday Quote Du Jour: Cinderella says it best, “…the dream that you wish will come true”

by Janie Jones

At 4am the alarm on Janie’s phone goes off.  It is generally my first instinct to throw the happily chiming phone across the room and roll over and go back to sleep.  While the urge to do so these days is typically a result of being dog tired and nowhere near ready to face another grueling day, when the alarm went off this morning the response was more of a mournful sigh.

You see, I was having the most deliciously happy dream.

It was a long, complex dream and I won’t sport with your patience enumerating all the details and their likely meaning, besides, I have homework to do.  However, the part that I was so rudely awakened from was the marvelous stuff of young girl fantasies.  Or, the result of reading one too many racy re-visitations of Pride and Prejudice over my winter break.

In my dream I apparently ran off and married a handsome cowboy (part of the long complicated part).  I was in a restaurant walking up to our table and my dream self felt overwhelmingly elated to see him sitting there waiting for me.  I put my hand on his shoulder and leaned over to kiss his forehead, but, before I could, he reached up, took my face in his manly hands and kissed me the kind of kiss that must be what is meant by the phrase ‘it made my toes curl.’

Awash in the glow of love and tingling with passion, my dream self suddenly noticed there was a woman we knew from an earlier part of the dream at the table, too.  My dream self became self-conscious to be kissing so intimately in a public place under the scrutiny of an acquaintance, and so I pulled away from the kiss and whispered that we were making too much of a spectacle.

My dream cowboy laughed, pulled me onto his lap and drawled, “Well, there, my dear wife, I don’t reckon I care one bit if the whole world sees how much I love you.”

The acquaintance smiled and said, “Oh, how wonderful!  I knew you two would be just perfect together.  Tell me all about the wedding.”

And, my dream self and my cowboy began to tell of touring Switzerland and Austria (????).  Suddenly, *cue sound of needle being dragged across a record album* my alarm went off.  I found myself unceremoniously ripped from that wonderful feeling of being young and in love, when the giddy power of being with the one person you love more than anything leaves you oblivious to obstacles, impervious to distress, and high on joy and the expectation of a long life of happiness ahead.

Back to the hum drum of my real existence:  the cold, lonely mornings; my long, lonely days; the aches and pains caused by soul crushing hours of studying, worrying and hurrying.  The dream was a wonderful one, a moment of happiness and hope in the course many days of hard work, deprivation and emotional stress.  When the dream is more pleasant than the real world, can you blame me for wanting to roll over and go back to sleep instead of going to physics lab?  Oh, my dear readers, I emphatically assure you, kissing dream cowboys is definitely more engaging than electrical circuitry.

But, maybe if I work very hard like our dear Cinderella, one day the dreams that I wish will come true.


I did, after all, land the coolest research job I could imagine, so at least one dream has started to come true.  Now if only I had some mice and some bluebirds to help me with my homework…

September 19, 2014

“Hey there, Boo-Boo! Whaddaya think of this pic-a-nic basket?”

by Janie Jones

All the years I lived in Tinyflyspeck Town in the Great White North where large tracks of woods, parks and unused spaces predominated, I only saw one bear.  It was running across the interstate near the national forest, a good 30 miles from my house.

Then I take a room in Big City.  I’ve been here almost 4 weeks.  Now, I’m not in the big “downtown” area, but still, the neighborhood I’m in doesn’t include much in the way of large forested areas, just a little bit of an incline on a deep lot with some tree cover between homes to the back of the house I’m living in, and is much more populated and has way more traffic than where I lived previous.  And what do you think?

The other night we had a bear to dinner.

One of the guys living upstairs called me around 7pm.

GLU:  Janie, I don’t want to freak you out or anything, but I need you to come upstairs and open the front door.  There’s a black bear outside.

Me:  A bear you say? (walking up the stairs trying to digest this information)

Me:  Stars and stripes!  (looking out the back door window) There’s a bear eating out of our trash bin!  Okay.  You want me to do what?

GLU:  Open the front door, I’m going to come in that way so I don’t have to walk past the bear.

Me:  Oh, yeah, right.  Good idea.

So, naturally as soon as I unlocked the front door I ran for my phone and tried to get a few pictures.

bear cropped 2

bear cropped 1

I should have spent the extra time looking for my real camera, because these photos suck.  But there you have it.  Yogi noshing on our trash.  In the middle of Big City.  Not on Leif’s farm, and not in Tinyflyspeck Town.  In the middle of the Big freakin’ City.

Now, I don’t really like to make a big deal out of it, but it is a bear, and well, not something that seems wise to tangle with; I mean it is a little disconcerting to think I could head out early one morning and if not paying attention walk smack dab into Yogi and Boo-Boo dining al-fresco.

I apparently have more paranoia about it than I thought, though.  Last night I dreamed about a bear siege-ing my house.  And then, when I finally thought it was gone, I went to go outside but it was already coming into the house through an unlocked door.  So, I threw my purse at it in hopes of distracting it, and ran into the bathroom and locked the door.  Once inside the bathroom my dream self chastised itself because when I threw my purse I lost my cell phone with it and had no way to call Animal Control for help.

So, I guess the moral to this story is that bears apparently like Big City life.  They must find the dining opportunities vastly superior to those encountered in small towns and the historic homelands deep within the woods.  I guess I can’t blame them, I would have to agree.

July 18, 2013

Sprechen Sie Deutsch? No, apenas hablan el español.

by Janie Jones

So I had a strange dream last night.

Leif and I had apparently traveled to Germany and we were driving somewhere around Germany after Sarsm picked us up at the airport.

Now, I barely know Sarsm, but I really enjoy her blog.  I know nothing about Germany, and I haven’t had anything to do with it in my life recently.  So why I was dreaming about flying there and riding around in Sarsm’s car I have no idea.  But that’s not the strangest part of this dream.

From the front passenger seat Leif is attempting to engage Sarsm in conversation.  But all in Spanish.  Leif knows a smattering of German, perhaps slightly more Spanish, but is not fluent in either.  So why I was dreaming this part either I have no clue.

So naturally, because I’m all totally like Spanish-is-almost-a-native-tongue kinda gal (BTW, I have this bridge for sale),  from the back seat I start telling Leif that Sarsm doesn’t even speak Spanish, all in Spanish.  Of course I have no idea if she really does or not.  Perhaps in real life she’d be chattering away merrily in Spanish with us.

But, obviously in my dream Sarsm can only reply in English, “Hey, guys, I don’t speak Spanish!  Don’t you speak English? Oder sprechen Sie Deutsch?”

Then we gave up talking and the dream moved on as we toured the ocean beach (I have no idea if there’s an airport near the ocean or if Sarsm is located anywhere near either) and walked along a boardwalk where waves were crashing up over the docks and the walkways and there were cute little shops until we finally stopped with a tour group to eat (I don’t know if any such place exists, even if there is an airport near the ocean and Sarsm could get us there, much less where we picked up the tour group either).  Some of us ladies however needed to use the restroom and we had to go on this long convoluted path to find the bathrooms but had trouble because none of us spoke any German.  Apparently I can dream in fluent Spanish, but German is right out.  Geesh, where’s Bing Translator when you need it?