Sunday, April 27, 2008

Bubble Yum !!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AD9nFKJruWU

 

Hello All,

I totally love gum, especially bubble gum. I used to chew it until I my jaws ached and until it filled me with enough air for me to belch the alphabet. I also used to put about 2-3 pieces in my mouth and blow the biggest bubbles I could. I think at one point I put 5 pieces in my mouth at once. I felt like such a chipmunk. Once in a while they would get so big and pop in my face and all over my hair. I still love bubble gum, but now I chew less as to watch my sugar intake.

The commercial above is another reason I love this particular brand.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Survey Whore Time Again !

1Where do you go to shop for clothes? I DUNNO, HAVEN'T BOUGHT CLOTHES IN OVER A YEAR

2Do you buy your own groceries? OF COURSE

3Do you think people talk about you behind you're back? YES

4When's the last time you had a sour gummy worm? DON'T REMEMBER

5Whats your favorite fruit? BANANNA

6If there was a fire, what would be the first thing you would grab? FAMILY KEEPSAKES

7Do you have a picture of yourself doing a cartwheel? NO

8Have you ever tried to build something? YES

9Do you play with legos? NO

10Do you play with barbies? HAHA, NO

11Who's your favorite Disney Princess? JASMINE

12Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? NO

13Would you rather have blue skin or purple skin? PURPLE SINCE I AM A GIRL

14Have you ever gotten a sunburn? YES

15Have you eaten snow? YES

16Have you watched Star Wars, any of the six? YES

17Do you have a fuzzy pen? NO

18Do you fix your bed? NO

19What color are your bedsheets? WHITE

20Do you wear slippers? YES, I HAVE A HARD WOOD FLOOR

21What is the coolest lamp you own? NOT A LAVA LAMP

22What's your favorite flower? DAFFODIL

23Did you go or do you want to go to prom? I DID

24What does your tissue box look like? I DON'T REMEMBER

25Did you ever open a lemonade stand? YES

26Were you or are you in ballet? I TOOK TWO CLASSES AND GAVE UP WHEN I WAS A KID BECAUSE I AM PIGEON TOED

27Do you listen to classical music? NO, I THINK I HAD MY FILL AS A KID

28What's the longest book you've read? DON'T REMEMBER

29What smiley best represents you? A CUTE ONE ;)

30What do you do when you are stuck? BREATHE

31Do you have a "wacky noodle"? WHAT IS THAT ?

32Do you have your own pool? NO

33Do you have a website where you put your pictures on? NO
BUT I HAVE A MYSPACE AND A BLOG

34Do you watch Spongebob?
HE'S SO NOT MY TYPE.
<BR ..>LOL

35What kind of car do you want?
THE ONE I HAVE IS FINE

36Last food you ate?
UNCLE BENS RICE

37Last nice thing you did for someone?
PUT AWAY DISHES

38Do you make presents?
WHEN I AM REALLY BROKE

39Do you make your own jewelry?
NO

40How many questions are left in this survey?
DUNNO

41Are you in advanced classes?
I WILL BE NEXT QUARTER

42Do people consider you as smart?
OVERALL, THEY DO BUT I DO HAVE MY DUMB MOMENTS

43Do you collect anything?
NO

44Do you collect a series of a certain book?
NO

45What time is it?
HALF PAST A MONKEY'S ASS ACCORDING TO HIS BALLS

46Is your away message on?
NO

47Do a lot of your friends have xanga?
I DUNNO

48Do you have premium?
PREMIUM WHAT ?

49Have you ever been to Jamaica?
NO

50Do you make your own cards?
NO

51Have you ever tried gluing your fingers together?
HAHA, I USED TO LOVE DOING THAT AS A KID.
<BR ..>I USED TO LOVE GLUING MY HANDS TOGETHER AND THEN PEELING OFF THE GLUE

52What was the stupidest thing you've done?
I HAVE DEFINITELY DONE SOME STUPID THINGS, BUT I AM NOT TELLING YOU

53How many languages do you know? .
<BR ..>
THREE

54Can you skip stones?
NO

55Where did you get this survey from?
I FOUND IT ONLINE SOMEWHERE
---------------
Today ::

& What's the weather like? BEAUTIFUL

& What did you do? WENT TO A DANCE CLASS

& Have you eaten breakfast yet? YES

& What did you eat? CEREAL AND MILK

& What do you see when you like out the window or door?
ANOTHER BUILDING

& Have you exercised? YES

& What do you plan to do for the rest of the day or tomorrow?
GO TO CHURCH AND THEN WORK

& When did you wake up? 7 AM

& Have you eaten lunch yet? YES

& What did you eat? I HAD A PROTEIN BAR

& Have you gone out to eat and where? NO AND NO

& Did you buy anything? NO

& Has something changed drastically today? YES, I FOUND OUT THAT WE WILL HAVE ANOTHER TEMPORARY ROOMMATE THAT WILL BE SLEEPING IN OUR BACK YARD.
<BR ..>DON'T ASK, LONG STORY

& Are you happy?
IM NOT COMPLAINING

& Did you sing aloud today?
NO

& Did you talk to a friend on the phone?
NO

& On AIM?
NO

& In person?
NO

& Did you get mail?
DUNNO, DIDN'T GO TO MY MAILBOX

& What was it (junk, bills, personal letters)?
DUNNO, AND IF I GOT ANYTHING IT WAS PROBABLY BILLS OR JUNK ANYWAY

& How many times have you gone to the bathroom so far?
HAHA, I DON'T KEEP TRACK OF THAT

& Have you taken a nap?
NO

& How long have you been on the computer?
DUNNO

& What are you listening to at the moment?
NOTHING

& What is one thing that happened today that you will never forget?
THE NEIGHBORHOOD ROOSTER DECIDED TO WALK UP TO MY WINDOW AND CROW. AFTER ABPUT 5 MINUTES I HAD ENOUGH. I WAS IN OUR BACKYARD WITH A BROOMSTICK TRYING TO GET HIM TO GO BOTHER THE NEIGHBORS BEHIND US.
<BR ..>

& Is anyone in the room with you?
NO

& How many people are on your buddy list, if you're on it?
DON'T KNOW

& Are you feeling lazy?
YES

& Are you feeling bored?
NO I HAVE OTHER THINGS TO DO

& What have you accomplished today?
NOT MUCH, THAT I CAN TELL YOU

Survey I did on MySpace. Will see if things have changed in a couple of years....

Have You Ever...

[ ]Played Spin the Bottle?
[ ]Toilet Paper someone's house
[ ]Played Poker with money
[X ]Gone swimming in a white T-shirt
[X ]been tickled so hard you couldn't talk
[ X]like someone but never told them
[ X]went camping
[ ]had a crush on your broher's friend
[ X]walk in the rain without an umbrella
[X ]told a joke that NObody thought was funny
[X ]been in a talent show
[X ]started laughing at someone's bedtime
[X ]worn somthing your mom didn't appove of
[X ]been to a nude beach
[ ]drank jack daniels
[ ]cursed in a church
[ ]been called a slut for kissing someone
[ X]burnt yourslef with a curling iron/straightner
[ ]wanted to be a police officer
[ ]dumped someone
[ X]been hit on by someone too old
[ X]wanted to be a model
[ X]bought lottery tickets
[X ]made out in a car
[X ]cried during a movie
[ X]wanted something you couldn't have
[ ]had sex on the beach
[ ]had the drink sex on the beach
[ ]seen someone shoplift
[X ]hung up on someone
[ ]yelled at your pet
[ X]bought a thong when the casheir was a guy
[ ]tried to strip when drunk
[ ]gotten seasick
[ X]had a stalker
[ ]played a prank on somone that had them really scared
[ X]been embarassed by one of your family
[ ]felt bad about eating meat
[ ]protested
[ ]been to an island
[ ]been in love
[X ]ate jus because you were bored
[X ]looked at something everybody thought was ugly and said "aww"
[ ]Screamed in a library
[ ]Made out with a stranger
[X ]Been Dumped
[ X]Wished a part of you was different
[X ]asked a guy to dance
[XX ]been asked out by a really hot guy
[ X]laughe so hard ou cried
[ X]went up to a complete stranger and started talking
[X ]been sunburned
[ ]kicked a guy in the nuts for being a pervert
[ ]threw up in school
[ ]recieved an anonymous love letter
[X ]had to wear something you hated
[ ]been to a luau
[ ]say your ex and wanted to kick his ass
[X ]cursed in front of your parents
[ ]been in a commerical on tv
[X ]watched a movie that made you miss your ex
[X ]been out of the country
[X ]been honked at by some guy when you were walking down the sidewalk
[ ]won at pool
[X ]went to a party where you were the ony sober one
[X ]went on a diet
[ ]been lost out to sea
[ ]cheated on your bf/gf
[ ]been cheated on
[ ]tanned topless
[ ]been attacked by seagulls
[X ]been searched in an airport
[X ]been on a plane
[ ]been pants-ed
[ ]thown a shoe at someone
[X ]broke someone's heart
[X ]sung in the shower
[X ]bought something way too expensive
[X ]done something really stupid that you still laugh about
[X ]been walked in on when you were dressing
[ ]ran out of a movie theatre because you were too scared of the movie
[ ]been kicked out of the mall
[X ]been mean to someone then instantly wanted to take it back
[ ]been given a detention on the worst day that you could get one
[ ]done something stupid when you were drunk
[ ]fell off your roof
[ ]pretended you were scared so you could cuddle up with someone
[X ]had a deer jump in fron of your car
[ ]threated someone witha water gun

Can you....

[ ]Unwrap a starburst with your tounge
[X ]sing
[ ]open your eyes underwater
[ ]eat whatever you want and not have to worry
[X ]ice skate
[X ]sing in front of a crowd
[X ]whistle
[ ]be a bitch at times
[ ]do thirty pull ups
[ ]walk in really high heals
[ ]eat super spicy foods
[ ]skateboard
[X ]sleep with the lights on
[X ]mulititask
[ ]touch your nose with your tounge
[ ]fall asleep easily in the car
[ ]do the cotton eye joe
[ ]play ddr and not fall
[ ]surf
[ ]fit in your locker
[ ]do a split
[ ]taste the difference between pepsi and coke

Friday, April 25, 2008

Ten Years Ago.................

Hello There My Lovelies...................

Ten years ago today................... I was 17 years old and a junior in high school. A very dorky, awkward one at that.

This was also the day of my junior prom. It was my first prom ever, really my first special event. My Oma also happened to be in town that day and took pictures of me and hugged me. She told me in broken English that I was not a little girl anymore. I miss her. About a couple of months later after my prom I went to live with her for the summer where I learned to speak to her in German, since she didn't speak very much English.

Anyway, I was such a dork in high school. I grew up very sheltered, really not a whole lot exposure to the outside world. I didn't really wear makeup. I didn't have a social life. I wasn't even going to go to prom.

Then the junior prom came around and my folks made it happen for me. A friend of my mom found a date for me. Another friend gave me a dress and did my makeup. For the first time I was fully made up in a dress that flaunted all my curves.

It was such a nice evening overall. We went to dinner at a nice French restaurant and we talked. Then we went to the dance at the Opera House and danced. A couple of songs still stand out from that evening. "Luv to Luv Ya" by Timbaland and Magoo, "I'll stand by you" and "All My Life" by Kaci and Jo Jo". Oh, and "No Diggedy" by Blackstreet.

Ten years later and I still think about that night. The senior prom a year later was technically nicer (we did go on a cruise) but it wasn't nearly as special to me as the first one.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I have Senoritis..........

Hello There My Lovelies,

So I am halfway done with my studies, but right now I just don't feel like doing any work. I feel like I am starting to tune out my teachers a little more in class. Thank God that tomorrow is Friday and I don't have any school. I do have homework though and a lot to read. I am not particularly fond of reading long cases, but I was told they are at least interesting. Midterms are coming up in a couple of weeks.

On another note the ducks on campus are back to normal. No more mayhem. Looks like there is an official male/female couple. No more fighting because I saw the other male just waddling off all by himself. The couple were sitting next to each other in the shade. The were just chillin. They are normally at the water fountain, but today there was music and the clubs on campus were trying to recruit members, so the ducks had to go somewhere else for some peace and quiet.

 I sat by them. Luckily the ducks and humans have learned to peacefully coexist on campus, lol. For the most part people leave them alone and don't harass them.

As I was about to leave, I saw a drake walk all by himself. He looked like a curious duckie. Students (myself included) would just stare at him and wonder where he was going and what was on his schedule for the day. And in turn, he would raise his neck, cock his head to the side and blink and wonder why the humans were staring at him.

Before I left, I watched him cross the cement sidewalk. He went from dirt to cement. It was cute how I heard his little webbed feet went pitter patter against the concrete. He was right outside some of the classrooms. I wish he would stop by my class sometime, lol. I remember at SJSU we would have a cat that would wander down our halls, and come into my Spanish class once in a while. She would meow real loud and walk all over the desks while the teacher was lecturing.

Good times.

If I had to sell gum, this is how I would do it.........

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Monday, April 21, 2008

I saw my first duck mating ritual aka a Duck F*ck !

 

I swiped the above picture from Google images. No copyright infringement intended.

So, anyway, I have made it this far in my life with never seeing ducks mate.In fact, I am ashamed to say that until today, I didn't even know how ducks reproduced. But upon doing a little research here on the web, I did learn that the male Mallards aka drakes do in fact have penises. Corkscrew penises. Yikes !

 As I was leaving school campus I encountered a small crowd with their camera phones out all aimed at the ducks having a crazy romp in the bushes. It was mayhem. There were two males chasing after a female. They quickly moved from the bushes to under the trees.

We were all used to seeing the ducks waddling calmly across campus quacking, wiggling their tails a little, sleeping, wading in the water fountains. But today, these creatures turned into raging sex monsters. QUACK ! QUACK ! QUACK ! QUACK ! They were loudly quacking, wings were flapping crazy, and each male fought each other to mount the female. Then they would each take a turn and pin her neck down while on top of her. Sometimes both males got on top of the female at the same time. One male would pin her down and then the other male would position himself on top of the other male.

Me being a newbie to all of this, I was shocked. It looked like the poor female was getting gangbanged ! All of us in the crowd felt sorry for the female. But upon doing a little research realized that ducks have forced mating rituals. It's a part of nature. I know it doesn't happen that way for humans, and forced sex is considered to be wrong in the human world, but hey, the ducks seem to like this.

Anyway, below is the article that explained things a little better for me. This is for you, in case you are like me and too embarrassed to admit that you don't really know how ducks get in on. Oh, the part about the corkscrew penises isn't in this article. I forgot which article I got it from.

In any case, I hope you learned something new today...............

 

Mating Mallards
<FONTFACE="TIMES size="2" color="#000000" Roman? New>Mating Mallards   |   Branta Canadensis   |   Killdeer   |   Doe Deer & Turkey Decoy   |   Coyote and Antelope
<!--BODY{scrollbar-face-color:#FF8000;scrollbar-arrow-color:black;scrollbar-track-color:#ffcc80;scrollbar-3dlight-color:#ffffcc;}-->


 

Back to Wildlife
by Craig Kimble


 


 

While walking my dog one spring evening just before sunset, a sound caught my attention. Upon investigation I found two Mallard drakes trying to mate with a single hen. The three ducks would flit up into the air only to land a moment later at the place they began. The drakes grunted a gravely quack like I most always hear but the hens' sound was almost a gargle, completely different than her normal quack. For a reason I could not detect, one drake won out and mated with the hen. This was done in the grass with the drake positioned on the hens back shaking its tail feathers for a few seconds while the hen walked in a forward motion. The whole of this affair took less than three minutes. I have read that mating usually takes placeon the water and that ducks normally pair up in the fall so what I witnessed may have been abnormal behavior.  I must also add that my dog Molly and I were standing no more than 30 feet from this event and the ducks seemed unconcerned.


 

UPDATE: After doing a little more research, though I couldn't find much, I have found that Mallards are known to participate in what is called "Forced Mating". Apparently one or more drakes force themselves on a hen, sometimes violently. The sound that I heard from the hen could be one of distress although the written description of the "Inciting call" is similar to what I heard. Often the hen is already Incubating eggs.

AFLAC !

This duck gets pissed when you say AFLAC !

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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Would you like to live to 115 ?

http://news.aol.com/health/story/_a/at-115-woman-defies-incredible-odds/20080418164209990001

This woman is incredible ! She turned 115 today ! She was born in 1893. My great-grandma was born in 1894 and lived until the end of 1995.

This woman almost died at 100 but she escaped death and 15 years later she is still alive.

Can you imagine all the changes she's witnessed ? She's lived to welcome the 20th and the 21st century (Who can say that they have lived in three centuries ?)

She has lived in a time when there were no cars, radios, televisions, she has lived through both world wars and was a senior when Kennedy was the president. Man, if I were around her I would be peppering her with so many questions.

I think it is wonderful that someone can live that long. That is a huge accomplishment, especially since while I believe that while the length of our lives has to do somewhat with genetics, that lifestyle is also another important factor. I am sure she lived a healthy life and took care of herself.

On the other hand, I am sure it has its drawbacks. Especially when you outlive your children. Also when you realize that most of your close friends you knew have been dead for so many years.

I don't know if I would like to live to be that old. Maybe if I were relatively healthy and not bedridden. My great grandmother was bedridden in her last years and I could see in her eyes that it was like a prison. She was a very strong, independent woman and I think in the end she was happy to go.

Anyway, in case the link above expires, here is a copy below from the article.

At 115, Woman Defies Incredible Odds
By RICK CALLAHAN,
AP
Posted: 2008-04-19 20:02:41
Filed Under: Health News, Nation News
SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (April 18) - Maybe it was a lifetime of chores on the family farm that account for Edna Parker's long life. Or maybe just good genes explain why the world's oldest known person turns 115 on Sunday, defying staggering odds.

Photo Gallery
Darron Cummings, AP
Meet the World's
Oldest People

Edna Parker, who is recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's oldest known person, turns 115 on Sunday. Researchers want to know why she and other supercentenarians -- people 110 and older -- enjoy such long lives. Here, Parker holds a rose given to her Friday at an early birthday party.

 
Scientists who study longevity hope Parker and others who live to 110 or beyond -- they're called supercentenarians -- can help uncover the mystery of extreme longevity.

"We don't know why she's lived so long," said Don Parker, her 59-year-old grandson. "But she's never been a worrier and she's always been a thin person, so maybe that has something to do with it."

On Friday, Parker laughed and smiled as relatives and guests released 115 balloons into sunny skies outside her nursing home. Dressed in pearls, a blue and white polka dot dress and new white shoes, she clutched a red rose during the festivities.
 
Two years ago, researchers from the New England Centenarian Study at Boston University took a blood sample from Parker for the group's DNA database of supercentenarians.

Her DNA is now preserved with samples of about 100 other people who made the 110-year milestone and whose genes are being analyzed, said Dr. Tom Perls, an aging specialist who directs the project.

"They're really our best bet for finding the elusive Holy Grail of our field -- which are these longevity-enabling genes," he said.

There are only 75 people alive -- 64 women and 11 men -- who are 110 or older, according to the Gerontology Research Group, an Inglewood, Calif.-based group that verifies reports of extreme ages.

Parker, who was born April 20, 1893, was recognized by Guinness World Records as the oldest of that group last August after the death of a Japanese woman four months her senior.

A widow since her husband, Earl, died in 1938 of a heart attack, Parker lived alone in their farmhouse until age 100, when she moved into her son Clifford's home. She cheated death a few months later.

One winter's night, Clifford and his wife returned home from a high school basketball game to find her was missing. Don, their son, says he discovered his grandmother in the snowy darkness near the farm's apple orchard. He scooped up her rigid body and rushed back to the house.

"She was stiff as a 2-by-4. We really thought that was the end of her," he said.

But Parker recovered fully, suffering only frostbitten fingertips.

Fifteen years later, her room at the Heritage House Convalescent Center in Shelbyville, Ind., about 25 miles southeast of Indianapolis, is adorned with teddy bears and photos of her five grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great grandchildren. She's outlived her two sons, Clifford and Earl Jr.

During a visit this week, Parker was captivated by a new album of photos and documents from her life that Don's wife, Charlene, had assembled.

"That's the boys," she said hoarsely, tapping a photo of her two late sons in their youth. "Clifford and Junior."

Her two sisters also are deceased. Georgia lived to be 99, while her sister Opal was 88 when she died.

Parker's long-lived sisters are typical of other centenarians, according to Dr. Nir Barzilai, director of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine's Institute for Aging Research in New York. Nearly all of them have a sister, mother or other relative who lived a long life, he said.

"Longevity is in the family history," Barzilai said.

He and other scientists have found several genetic mutations in centenarians that may play a role in either slowing the aging process or boosting resistance to age-related diseases.

Perls said the secret to a long life is now believed to be a mix of genetics and environmental factors such as health habits. He said his research on about 1,500 centenarians hints at another factor that may protect people from illnesses such as heart attacks and stroke -- they appear not to dwell on stressful events.

"They seem to manage their stress better than the rest of us," he said.

 

Thursday, April 17, 2008

So Sad.............

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?in_article_id=560372&in_page_id=1879

Below is a copy and paste job of the article from UK Daily Mail in case the link above doesn't work. This article just broke my heart. Not all elderly women will have their families or husbands, especially when they turn 90.

Basically a 34 year old woman in England transforms herself into a 90 year old woman and learns how unpleasant life is for a 90 year old woman.

This is one of the reasons I do not use a different tone of voice when I talk to an elderly person. When talking to an elderly person, I talk to them like any other adult. If they want me to speak louder or slower then they can ask me and I will gladly oblige.

I personally love talking to the elderly because they have been through life and have a lot of good advice to offer. Not only that, but talking to the elderly is sometimes like reliving the past and experiencing history. Also it reminds me of my own grandparents who have been very good to me and loved me unconditionally. My grandma on my dad's side is pushing 90 and I would never want her to feel like this.

On the other hand, this sort of thing didn't happen to my grandparents. My grandma in Austria did a lot of service for the mentally challenged after she retired and kept in contact with her friends and stayed involved in activites such as joining a club in the alps as well as doing arts and crafts with her friends. My grandpa on my dad's side died at 92 but he was still enrolled in college and still kept himself active in the community and traveled with his girlfriend. My grandma and other grandpa on my dad's side have been very active in their church, do community service and still work. My grandma still invests and my grandpa (step-grandpa) still works as an architect.

But not everyone has that luxury. Especially as the elderly age and get ill and can't stay connected to their communities as they would like. Or if they live a long lives, but their families and close friends have all died or are very ill. That is realistic when you are as old as 90. I saw that happen to my great grandmother who lived to be 102.

My teacher at school is old and proudly proclaims that he is a "living and breathing dinosaur". He also says that he is entering "geezerhood". But hehas so much experience on him in the legal field as a judge and lawyer that I think his age is to his benefit. I also have an older classmate in my class who is kinda old-school but I really like it. On my first day in class he introduced himself to me and started a conversation, something which I don't ever do. He has a lot to add to the class and talks about his life back in the day and I like his stories.

Anyway, here is a cut and paste copy of the article if the link about was inactive.

What's it like to be 90 in modern Britain? Our writer dons a prosthetic mask to find out and is appalled by the resultsBy TANYA GOLD - More by this author » Last updated at 22:56pm on 17th April 2008

Comments Comments

Old Tanya Gold

Patronised: Transformed into a 90-year-old woman, Tanya Gold found many people treated her like a child

Three years ago I went to Eastbourne with my 90-year-old grandmother. One morning, as we sunbathed, an unknown woman approached. "Ah, Grandma," she cooed, reaching to stroke my grandmother's cheek. "Isn't it lovely that you're out with your granddaughter?"

My grandmother opened an eye. "Just because I am old," she snapped, "it doesn't mean I am an imbecile."

I often think about this encounter. What it is like to live for nearly a century and yet be patronised by strangers?

My grandmother lived through the Blitz and the General Strike. She remembers the abdication crisis and Winston Churchill.

She knows more British history than most graduates, and yet strangers talk to her as if she were a child.

There are more than 300,000 women over 90 in Britain, and this figure will double in the next 30 years.

New research by the Life Trust Foundation, released yesterday, showed that women aged 55 now have a 25 per cent chance of living until they are 95 - and they will mostly live alone or in care homes, in a lonely waltz from sofa to bed to coffin.

The figures are also a stark warning to those who are ill-prepared to deal with their "extended" lives.

Financial experts claim many face a bleak future of financial deprivation - with rising costs of living, and nursing care, millions may be left with no option but to sell their homes and dip into their savings just to free up cash.

So what is life really like for this increasingly isolated section of society? What is it really like living under my grandmother's skin?

I decide to spend a day impersonating a woman of 90. How will I be treated by other people? And how will I feel?

First, I need to convince the world I am an old woman.

I call Kristyan Mallett, a prosthetics designer. His expertise is creatures, corpses and characters, and he says he can make me a mask that will convince people I am very old indeed.

I meet him in a studio in North London and he takes a cast of my face and shoulders. Two months later the mask is ready.

Scroll down for more....

Old Tanya Gold

Transformation: Tanya undergoes her makeover to become an old woman

Kristyan has sculpted huge, sagging cheeks, a swollen nose, hairs poking out of moles and loose rolls of fat about the neck.

He glues it onto my face. My 34-year-old eyes stare into the mirror. The effect is astonishing and utterly authentic. An old woman, ugly and wrinkled, stares back.

At this point the mask does not affect me emotionally. It is a game, a costume, a joke.

I have decided to spend the day touring London, talking to people to gauge their reactions, and doing things not expected of the elderly so I can see what the boundaries of acceptable behaviour are.

I get a bus into the West End and I sit down in one of the priority seats. "Nice day, isn't it?" I say to the young woman on my left, ensuring that from the outset my voice sounds flatter and frailer than usual.

"Um," she mutters and stares ahead. She doesn't wish to speak to me.

When I get off the bus I ask a man for a cigarette. He gives it to me, but with a look that says - why are you speaking to me?

Shopping is the most natural thing for a woman. Can I do it today? In the HMV music store in Piccadilly, I go to the counter and ask to be shown "whatever music is at the top of the charts now".

The man serving me cracks up - he literally laughs in my face. I ask him, why are you laughing at me? "It's just funny," he replies, and I feel a burst of anger. Is there something amusing in an old woman buying music?

I begin to feel protective of my ancient alter ago. How dare this man laugh at her? Does he, like the woman who approached my grandmother, thinks she is an imbecile, incapable of being hurt?

His colleague sees my distress, and pushes him aside, and guides me to the Top 40 section, where he shows an Amy Winehouse CD.

"It's nice to see you out," he says, in the over-nice singsong voice you would use to a child. I recognise this voice, because I've used it myself when talking to the elderly.

As I leave, I wave at him, to thank him. And the entire staff of HMV waves backs - the 90-year-old woman looking for music is a story. I feel like a fairground attraction: a talking point.

Nothing about me matters, except that I am old.

In the Harvey Nichols department store I stop at the Lancome counter. I often shop there.

"Yes, madam?" says the salesgirl. "I would like some samples," I mutter.

She hands them to me, and says, briskly: "This is for your face, madam, and this for your eyes."

Normally the girls at Lancome talk to me, pass the time of day and offer to make up my eyes. But she turns away, as if she can't wait to get rid of me.

Perhaps my 90-year-old self is unacceptable to the girls who live to make us beautiful.

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Tanya Gold

Before: Tanya as her 34-year-old self. She found people reacted much differently to her when she looked like a pensioner

I go and have a drink in the 5th floor bar. Everyone is polite, but I can sense a difference from my ordinary interactions with people.

What is it? There is no warmth in their dialogue, just an embarrassed fatalism. I am an old woman, I am here and they have to serve me.

There is no joy in it and no expectation of companionship.

As I get into the lift to return to street level, a man follows me, but seeing my face does an abrupt about-turn to wait outside.

He makes a show of taking out his mobile phone and dialling a number, as if he suddenly remembered an important call. I know I should be upset by this, but I am already slipping into the mentality of the aged - and his action doesn't come as such a surprise as it should.

Inside my mask I have conflicting emotions, which grow as the day goes on - shame at my appearance and anger that it should matter.

My 90-year-old self has a soul, too. Doesn't she?

I am usually reluctant enough to travel on the Underground because it's dirty and smelly and often a threatening place, but how much worse might it be for an old woman?

When I settle into a carriage after gingerly making my way down the escalators, some girls near me are speaking very noisily, so I take a deep breath, wave my stick and shout, "Couldn't you be quieter?"

"Get stuffed, Grandma," they reply. "What's it to you?" None of the other travellers even raise an eye from their newspapers.

After they get off, I feel determined to make strangers acknowledge me, however invisible I might appear to them. "Good afternoon," I say to one man in a suit, and "Hello, dear" to a woman with a child in tow.

The first ignores me after fixing me with a disdainful stare, while the mother offers only an exaggerated courtesy that is almost worse.

As they react to me, I can almost hear them thinking: "I am so nice being nice to this old woman." It is a kind of moral vanity.

Back on the street, outside a sweet shop, a homeless man comes up to me. "Can you spare some change?" he asks me. "I've only got my pension, I'm afraid," I reply.

He tells he's living on the streets and he's had a terrible time. We chat and I feel we belong together, both outcasts at the bottom of the pile.

And apart from this one man, no one in my day as a 90-year-old spoke more than a few words to me, except in a professional capacity.

Is this why the elderly are obsessed with family - because no one else will have them?

By now, my mask is having an emotional effect on me. I am usually naturally effervescent. But not today; today I am introverted.

And I am starting to become as doddery as I look. My hands shake and I fumble in my bag; I cannot find things and I feel confused.

I am beginning to feel as helpless and useless and shut out from life as I look. My prosthetic face wants to cry real tears.

I want to rip off my mask and say:"This isn't me! I am not old and ugly. I want to be alive again, and I want to be a woman again."

Perhaps the cruellest thing is the feeling of sexlessness I have. The street flirting that normally happens on a bright April morning - the cheeky calls of builders, the stopping to smile at a handsome man - is shut to me.

I hadn't realised how much flirting is part of my life, and how I use my femininity to form relationships.

Inside the face of a 90-year-old, I feel I have been stripped of all my charm and, with it, my ability to talk to people. I actually feel I have lost a sense, like my sight or my hearing.

I stop a few men, waggle my stick, and say: "What a handsome young man you are, son."

Their reactions are uniform - they are horrified, as if I am breaking a great taboo. Am I? Are old women not allowed to think about sex or romance?

What if I wanted to send a romantic card to a male friend, or a twinkly-eyed old suitor? In a card shop, I ask the man behind the counter for something that will show an old man just how keen I am on him.

The woman behind me in the queue bursts out laughing and, although the man sells me a card, I feel ashamed.

No kisses for this old woman - unless she wants to be ridiculed. Get back in your box, says society. Or do they mean coffin?

It is the same at a florist's. Here, I tell them my husband wants to treat me to some flowers. How much for ten red roses? Again, there is laughter, echoing round the shop.

How sweet I am, they think - this poor doddering woman looking at roses. How pitiful.

On the pavement, I stop to watch the people passing. I feel depression clouding in on me, and I actually shed a tear. I think that if I really were 90, I would want to die.

I feel so isolated, so lonely and, above all, so neutered. I feel like a stranger in my own city, with no place to go.

Their faces say: "Why are you here? You don't belong here."

And then I remember I do this myself. I look at the very old with surprise.

I treat them as if they have less of a right to exist than I do - as if they know less about life than I do. Screw the Blitz and the General Strike, darling - do you watch MTV?

But I think I am beginning to understand. The distaste and detachment aren't personal. How can it be when it is universal? It's simply genetic - Charles Darwin would understand.

When the Londoners see my face, they see their future. One day they will be ancient and hobbling and dependent.

I am an ugly advertisement for their own mortality, and they hate it.

Just as we instinctively care for young children, we instinctively recoil from the old, who are no longer important to the survival of our species.

The way we treat the very old, it seems to me after today, is a process of disengagement with them, of letting them walk outside the tent to die.

Once you have dehumanised a person, you can let them die. And I think I am just as guilty as all the people who have treated me with such disdain as an old woman.

Now, I just want my real face back. And I can't stop thinking about The Beatles song Eleanor Rigby. It whirls round my head as I stagger off home: "Eleanor Rigby waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door. Who is it for?"

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bedroom Hair

Hello There My Lovelies,

I have been a poor, broke college student as you know. I haven't been shopping for new clothes in a year. Part of it is because I am at home a lot and I also have a work uniform.

I normally get my haircut every three months. But in trying to save some money I waited for 5 months. So today I went and got my hair cut. I had long hair that was growing rapidly and I was losing layers and getting split ends. It was getting to be too much because my hair was also becoming more easily tangled. Also, because my hair was getting longer, I no longer that that sexy volume that I used to have.

So I decided to spend some money and saw the stylist. She did a good job in layering my hair and giving me bangs again. I couldn't believe how many inches she was chopping off on some of my hair.

But I love what she did. I have sexy bedroom hair again. Woot ! She and I made growling noises in the mirror at the salon.

Time to go back out in the wild ! RAWR !

Monday, April 14, 2008

Campus Ducks

Hello Everyone,

So today I had to stay on campus longer and while I was walking to the library I saw one of my friends, the campus duck ! There are normally two ducks that waddle around together, but today she was alone.

On campus we have a big water fountain that also serves as a bench/place to lie down and read. The weather has been getting warmer lately so people have been sitting outside.

I was on my way to the library and when I passed the water fountain, I saw this guy laying down and napping with his arms over his face. About a couple feet behind him was one of the ducks taking a nap too ! She (I think it's a she as she's not so colorful) buried her neck into her feathers behind her. I could see her eyelids move, but I knew she was sound asleep. Each time she took a breath her feathers moved. It almost looked like a dance. It was so cute. I was staring at this damn duck for at least a few minutes. People must have thought I was wierd !

So I go into the library for a while and when I came back out, I found her friend. Her colorful male friend was kinda hiding in the waterfall. While his lady friend was napping he was in the fountain under one of the fountain fixtures that provided shade. The water was pouring over him. He was enjoying the shade and probably paddling his little feet to remain stationary so that the water didn't sweep him away.

There are also beautiful pink blossoms next to my classroom. They even smell a little. It makes you just want to bury your face in them. Sometimes I smell them and play with them. Today I saw another girl enjoy them. She was wearing a pink shirt while she was enjoying the blossoms, the same shade as the flowers.

I guess I am happy that spring is here.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I Got Tagged !

Hello My Lovelies,

I got tagged yesterday. How it works is that someone tags you and asks you questions and you have to answer them. Then you tag five other people and make them answer the same questions.

I will answer the questions but I am not going to tag anyone. I don't know many active bloggers on JLand anymore except for Win and she was the one who tagged me.

So........... Here goes...........

1.) WHAT WERE YOU DOING TEN YEARS AGO ?

That would be April 1998 and I was thinking about my junior prom. That was one of the best nights by the way. I was a junior in high school. A couple of months later in June I was off in Europe for the summer with my grandmother where I lived with her and went to a cultural/language school.

2.) 5 THINGS ON YOUR TO DO LIST TODAY

Okay, let me just say that I suck at to do lists. So I will just write out what I need to do:

I.) Learn how to find the radio on my Ipod so I can also listen to the radio during my workouts.                       

II.) Finish my laundry, fold it and put it away (You'd be amazed at how bad I am at doing this.

III.) Clean my room.

VI.) Buy new bedding

V.) Get a new dresser

3.) FIVE SNACKS YOU ENJOY (I am not much of a snacker, but whatever)

I.) Peach milk tea with pearls

II.) Powdered Asian rice cakes with red bean in the middle

III.) Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies (Nothing thin about them whatsoever)

IV.) Banannas or apples

V.) Dark chocolate

4.) THINGS YOU WOULD DO AS A BILLIONAIRE ( Seriously, not in my lifetime but if it did happen to me overnight I would probably either shit or piss in my pants.)

I.) Hire an accountant and make sure I set aside appopriate amounts for tax purposes

2.) Hire a damn good lawyer because I know some people out there would try to get a piece of me

3.) Fund the agency I volunteer for

4.) Start a non-profit of my own against human trafficking in Eastern Europe

5.) Travel the world in luxury

6.) Learn languages and continue to further my education

7.) Discreetly help out family and friends that have been there for me over the years

8.) Set up a trust for my roommate's baby's college fund. 

5.) FIVE JOBS I HAVE HAD

I.) Drive thru cashier at Jack in the Box

II.) Customer service monkey and copy bitch at Staples

III.) Serving wench at Red Lobster in college

VI.) Phone whore for 8 months in Spain (telemarketer)

V.) Car rental monkey aka Green Kool-Aid drinker at Enterprise Rent a Car.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mr. Hippy Love is Back !!

Hello there my lovelies......................

Remember that creep I was writing about in February ? Well, he's back ! Luckily he's not in both of my classes, just one. The difference between this quarter and last quarter is that he now knows to stay away from me, which he does.

On another note......... I don't see the campus ducks waddling around anymore. I think that they are busy hanging out at the wading pool on the other side of campus. With the weather as it is now, I would be chillin' by the water too if I were a duck. But I do miss them.

The blossoms on the peach tree in my back yard are gone and replaced by green leaves. I am looking forward to some juicy peaches in the summer.

What else ? I guess that is all for now.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

New Quarter

Hello My Lovelies,

So school is starting up again on Monday. I am still a little worn out for last quarter, but still excited nevertheless.

I bought a brand new notebook with a cute design. Little things like that make me happy. I love the smell of brand new notebook paper. I am enjoying it now, because I will be wearing that thing out as the quarter goes on. I take a lot of notes. You should see my last notebook. Ripped, and filled with my awful handwriting.

My teacher last quarter in Partnerships and Corporations bitched about my handwriting on one of my midterms. He took a couple of points off, I couldn't believe it. He is the only one that can't read my writing. Doesn't seem to be a problem with everyone else. And his writing is just as bad as mine, if not worse ! Then he asked me if I was planning to take the Bar exam. When I said that I may consider it he gave me a stern look and told me that they would fail me based on my awful writing. Yeah whatever, this isn't law school.

I did get a nice email from my OTHER class ( IP Law) and she said that I got an A in her class and did well on the final. She also told me she enjoyed having me in class and wished me well in the future. I thought that was nice of her.

The text book for my upcoming civil litigation class is outrageous. $130 for the text if I buy it new, $99 used, if I go to the bookstore. If I look at Amazon, I can get the book new for $94. Plus I don't have to deal with the annoying people at the college bookstore. They are so afraid that we'll steal the books that we can't go and look at the books ourselves. They have the whole area roped off. So that means that I can't inspect the book myself and make sure that it is in good condition. I am boycotting the college bookstore.

My teacher for that class already emailed us our first assignment, which was to go to a local courthouse and observe a proceeding. I went to a criminal court. I enjoyed the experience overall. I had never been to court before, so my court cherry has been popped !! I will write about that later. All I can say is that it isn't really like they make it out to be on television.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Oma

Hello All,

I just woke up. Last night I had a dream with my Oma in it. (Grandma in Austria that passed away).

I always forget dreams unless I think about them. We were going to the airport. When I saw her it was like I had seen her all the time. It wasn't like I knew she was dead and happy to see her. It was like I saw her a couple of days ago and we were going to the airport. I did get to hug and kiss her. I wasn't emotional in the dream, it was a normal thing for me. It was nice to get that image.

I still think about her a lot.Going back to Austria is just not the same without her. I lived with her for the summer in 1998 and she took good care of me. I love all of my family there in Austria because I also lived with my aunt and uncle for 6 months when I was a kid.

But the thing I loved about Oma was that she was a strong Old-fashioned Austrian woman that refused to speak English unless she was visiting the US. She did not like the changing of the Austrian Schilling to the Euro, and she did not like many of the changes in the country. Spending time with her was like experiencing a little piece of history. She was all about teaching me about Austrian culture. And when I told her I wanted to travel to neighboring European countries, she always said "No ! You need to learn about Austrian culture ! You are in Austria ! Why do you want to worry about the other countries ? I never understood that because my aunt, uncle and cousins would be taking all these trips to other countries and nothing was ever said about that. But deep down I loved her for saying that. I also loved it when she got mad behind the wheel. She would honk her horn and yell at the other drivers in Austrian German. I would always laugh.

My brother is there living with my aunt, uncle and cousins until the end of next month. I hope he is having a good time. In fact I know he is since I saw his trip to the Czech Republic, his snow boarding trip, trip to Vienna.

Anyway, gotta go and get ready for the day. Ciao !

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Class Talk

Hello All,

Okay, so my teacher mailed back my grade from my class (Partnerships and Corporations) last semester and I was expecting a B (Thanks to him being anal on our huge project). I don't know how it happened but I ended up with an A on the final and an A in the course.

I don't get it, but I am not going to question it either. I will accept it with a smile. Because I want a shot at the possibility of a good law school, should I decide to go down that path. But that's a long way away. A lot of people around me keep talking about law school. My teacher keeps hinting at me to consider it, and people around me are applying and taking the LSATS and looking at schools. A couple of people I know just passed the Bar exam. I hear CA is one of the hardest states to pass. I also hear it takes a year of non-stop studying to do well on that. You know what ? Screw that, I am happy with studying to be a paralegal for a while.

I will be taking CA Law with this same teacher next week. I hope I can pull of an A in that class.