Jealousy

 

Jealousy is a complex emotion that encompasses feelings ranging from fear of abandonment to rage and humiliation. It strikes both men and women and is most typically aroused when a person perceives a threat to a valued relationship from a third party. The threat may be real or imagined.

 

Recognize your jealousy.

 

Learn from your jealousy.

 

Let it go.

 

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Why is it that our strongest emotions are our most unattractive?

 

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Is jealousy a sign of love?

 

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We learn to control these compulsory feelings. To protect our egos, to protect our pride, to hide our sentiments.

 

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Living With An Invisible Illness

As most things in life go, writing about some topics is a bit more challenging than others. I was diagnosed with a rare (likely autoimmune) condition a little over a year ago and haven’t found the voice to share what life has been like since.

More recently, I’ve noticed that taking the time to write how it feels to live with a chronic pain condition can sometimes be helpful to more than just you. Support groups, and blogs, and forums about my condition have provided patients who are facing similar problems a place to come together, relate, and share tips on what has helped them improve their quality of life.

Nowadays, I find myself reading through forums and support groups to hear what other women (and some men) are going through with their symptoms. I say mostly women because as many of you probably already know, 80 to 90 percent of autoimmune patients are women. This phenomenon has not been explained scientifically, but it is one of the reasons that I believe my condition is an autoimmune disorder.

Interstitial Cystitis

I suffer from Interstitial Cystitis (IC), also known as Painful Bladder Syndrome, which is an inflammation of the lining of the bladder that leads to painful urination, a constant urge to use the restroom, tightened pelvic floor muscles, and other symptoms depending on the person. The symptoms feel very similar to a bladder infection or a urinary tract infection (UTI).

There is no cure for IC and the last FDA-approved medication was released in 1995, called Elmiron. Most IC patients don’t take Elmiron because it doesn’t always help relieve the symptoms and side effects like dry mouth or hair loss make it unfavorable.

One of the biggest challenges of living with IC is the process of diagnosing the disease. Many patients seek help from several different healthcare professionals before a doctor is able to accurately diagnose their disease. IC costs the United States over $100 million annually due to direct healthcare costs and loss of worker productivity.

Once you are diagnosed the treatment options are limited. Most people suffering from IC today achieve remission or a lessening of symptoms by following a strict diet that limits acidic foods, MSG, soy, and more. “Trigger foods” vary depending on the person, which makes it especially difficult to settle on a diet that is best for your pain management.

Most doctors recommend using a food diary to keep track of meals and to journal how certain foods affect your pain levels and other symptoms. Like a lot of other health conditions, there just isn’t enough research out there to provide patients with a treatment plan that works. In fact, doctors haven’t even pinpointed what causes the condition. Fortunately, there is a lot of current research underway to find some answers.

One study that I’ve been keeping my eye on, and am excited to see the results of, is testing the efficacy of bladder instillations. This is a common treatment type for patients with severe IC where the bladder is filled with a solution that helps reduce inflammation in the bladder to provide pain relief. The study also tests the effects of oral gabapentin, which has been known across forums and pelvic pain blogs to have helped many IC patients find relief.

Primary Biliary Cholangitis

Another autoimmune disorder that affects my family is called Primary Biliary Cholangitis (PBC) or Cirhossis. PBC is a progressive liver disease that attacks the bile ducts of the liver. As a result, bile seeps out into the liver which then attacks cells and worsens the condition. As time goes on, the liver scars and weakens, leading to liver failure known as cirrhosis.

Like IC, there is not enough research out there to successfully treat PBC. The only FDA-approved medication for first-line therapy is called ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA or Ursodiol). Approximately 40 percent of patients who try this therapy don’t respond, and 5 percent have such poor side effects that they have to stop treatment.

Obeticholic acid (Ocaliva) is approved by the FDA for second-line therapy for patients who don’t respond or have an inadequate response to UDCA. Unfortunately, 50 percent of patients don’t respond to this second line of therapy and some even experience a worsening of symptoms.

When my cousin was diagnosed with PBC it put my chronic pain condition into a whole new perspective. Although I too suffered from daily pain, at least my condition wouldn’t lead to major organ failure someday. We have found support in one another, and in the hope that before we are middle-aged women there will be more research released on our conditions that can help treat them more effectively.

One interesting PBC clinical trial is testing the efficacy of a new drug called Seladelpar. It is an investigational therapy used in patients who didn’t have adequate results or couldn’t tolerate UDCA treatment. They are in the third phase of the study, and so far the results have been positive.

Invisible Illnesses

Whether you’re an IC patient or a PBC patient, it can be difficult for your friends or family members to understand how you feel because your symptoms are not visible to those around you. Our community has categorized our illnesses, and many others, into a group of invisible illnesses. Which means that you are chronically ill but your symptoms are not apparent or do not seem as severe as they feel.

When a person’s illness isn’t easily visible, it can be difficult for outsiders to grasp the challenges he or she faces. This can be extremely frustrating, especially for patients who feel pain daily or constantly on an area of the body that isn’t comfortable to talk about regularly.

Family members and friends who are supporting a patient with a chronic pain condition or an autoimmune disease should read this article on invisible illnesses to better understand and approach the situation.

Aurora City Guide: Places To Eat, Getting Around & Fun Things To Do

map of aurora

Just east of Denver, Aurora is yet another Colorado city where locals love to live and tourists never want to leave. The city is known for being the gateway to the Rocky Mountains and offers a wide variety of outdoor attractions and things to do in the city. From good eats to date nights there is something special for everyone in Aurora, here’s why.

Dining and food

Come to Aurora hungry and certainly bring your appetite. The food in Aurora is so scrumptious, it’s been featured on TV shows such as Man vs. Food and Diners and Drive-Ins. There’s no shortage of pickings depending on what you’re hungering for—pubs & breweries, fine dining, German-inspired, American fare classics. Headed to Rosie’s Diner for an Aurora spin on 1950s diner-style eating complete with milkshakes and root beer floats. Wine Experience Cafe and World Cellar is the quintessential choice for wine lovers and for a date night or nice dinner. Sip craft brews at Bent Barley and wander to any number of the markets—Azteca Ranch Market, Europa Grocery, Bombay Bazaar.

The arts

Not only are there a wealth of eateries of varying styles but in Aurora visitors can experience a slice of the artistic and creative life. Get tickets to hear the Aurora Symphony Orchestra play musical masterpieces, watch a dramatic performance at Vintage Theatre Productions or the Aurora Fox Arts Center. For the art lover in you, stroll through the Aurora Cultural Arts District where murals and other vibrant street art is plentiful. To learn more in-depth about the arts scene as far as visual artists living and working in Aurora, take the R Line Public Art Tour. The tour takes art enthusiasts to nearby Denver to check out spots where artists are leaving their literal mark on the city.

Popular travel must-sees for tourists

If you’re in Aurora, there are several must-see landmarks you can’t afford to pass up in within truckable driving distance.  Being so close to the Denver Metro Area, it’s no surprise this city is teeming with outdoor activities. Find easily accessible hiking trails less than an hour away or try something more adventurous like rock climbing or mountain biking.

Love horseback riding? Venture out to the 12 Mile Stables over a sprawling 3,300 acres and 27 miles of riding trails. For history lovers curious about how the city of Aurora came to be, there’s the Aurora History Museum. The museum, considered to also be art and cultural center, features three exhibits total, one that is permanent and two that change frequently.

Getting around

If you don’t have a vehicle of your own, the car market in the Aurora area is awesome. If you’re not ready to take the plunge and buy a car there are plenty of Uber and Lyft drivers in the city. Or you can get around Aurora quite inexpensively on the RTD. Featuring both bus and rail services into and out of Denver proper, riders can either opt for a day pass, a 3-hour cash pass or load as they go directly from a debit or credit card. Other passes and ticket books are also available for purchase. Fares start at $3.00 and increase from there. For more details on RTD visit here.

Catching a game

Aurora being a smaller town means that unfortunately if you’re a professional sports lover, you’ll have to journey into Denver city limits to see your favorite team play. There’s the Denver Nuggets for basketball, Denver Broncos for football and Colorado Rockies for baseball. Once you do, however, If you’re less of spectator and want to get in on the action yourself, Aurora has a variety of golf courses to practice your swing and improve your golfing game. Choose from Heather Ridge Golf Club, Murphy Creek Golf Course, Heather Gardens Golf Course and many more.

Shopping

Whether you’re shopping for one-of-a-kind unique finds or want run of mill looks from your favorite department store, Aurora has either in store. Aurora City Place is a local favorite with more than 45 stores, some big box and others local, to choose from. Southlands is another shopping center in Aurora, but this one on the southwest side of town. For more of a local flair, stop through Old Havana Street, lined with local shops, cafes, and eateries to unwind after a long day of shopping or ideal for starting the day off with ease.

Southwest USA Road Trip: Adventuring in and Around Salt Lake City

salt lake city outdoor recreation

Antelope Island — Davis County, Utah

Utah is a beautiful place with so much variation in its natural geography — so much that it’s hard to believe every state and national park here belong to one state. From the snow-capped peaks of Park City to the burnt orange canyons of Zion National park, life in Utah always has a beautiful backdrop.

With so many interesting outdoor attractions to see and explore, my road trip to Utah seemed to be the obvious option for my next adventure. The state isn’t home to any infamous cities that never sleep, but there are plenty of places to kick back and hang out in Utah. Salt Lake City is one of my favorites, here’s why.

Big city with a relaxed feel
Salt Lake City is a great place for big city lovers who are looking to experience a more laid-back feel without losing metropolitan amenities. Salt Lake City has all you need from a city (sports teams, malls, public transportation, performing arts), with nearly year-round sunshine, and quick getaway access to the waters of the Great Salt Lake, or to the mountains of the Wasatch Range. It’s like if Boston and Seattle merged, but with better weather. Salt Lake City’s nightlife scene is also worth noting, as the city center is extremely walkable and home to many bars, pubs, nightclubs, shopping malls, and a variety of highly rated restaurants of all sorts cuisines.

Perfect for outdoor excursions
As mentioned, Utah is your ideal place if you want to be a stone’s throw from dozens of different outdoor recreational opportunities. If you’re into off-roading and have a 4WD, there are several noteworthy destinations right near Salt Lake City. Some popular examples include Squaw Peak Road, Mahogany Mountain, and Israel Canyon. If you’re into fishing, rafting, or boating, Utah Lake is a great place to visit.

The best part is, if you’re staying in the city you can do plenty of outdoorsy things within day-trip driving distance. You and your group can choose from a variety of nature preserves, recreation areas, and state parks that are less than an hour away. Two of my favorites include the Great Salt Lake State Park and Antelope Island State Park. These places won’t be as popular as the iconic parks like Arches and Zion.

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In Utah, you’ll find the perfect fusion of outdoor recreation and city life. Which is perfect for an adventure lover like me who enjoys the nightlife of a city. Plus, there’s no better way to end a long day of climbing, biking, or hiking somewhere close to town than with a full body massage at one of Salt Lake City’s massage studios. I booked a discounted 90-minute massage through this local travel resource and was able to get in for an appointment next-day. No matter where your next outdoor trip takes you, this trick is worth trying.

When it comes to Utah, it doesn’t matter where you visit. There will be an abundance of outdoor activity and tourist attractions worth exploring. There are more warm-weather hiking spots than one knows what to do with and if you’re more into the winter sports, there’s plenty of that too. From hiking, fishing, skiing, and camping to rafting, zip-lining, and off-road trailblazing — you will never run out of space or things to do in Utah’s natural playground.

Celebrating 100 Years of Grand Canyon Adventures

grand canyon

100 years ago this week, the Grand Canyon was established as the 17th National Park. Covering nearly 2,000 square miles of incredible desert wilderness, the Grand Canyon is consistently among the most visited parks and is recognized globally as a true wonder of the world.

While the canyon layers were formed long before dinosaurs roamed, fossils of ancient marine animals are often uncovered – some dating back 1.2 billion years.

The Great Unconformity refers to a gap in the rock record between Cambrian times (~550 m.y. ago) and the pre-Cambrian (anything earlier). An unconformity is a surface in the rock record, in the stratigraphic column, representing a time from which no rocks are preserved — a geological mystery of epic proportions.

Meaning 250 million-year-old sediment layers can be found right on top of layers holding those very same billion-year-old fossils. What happened to the millions of years in between? Nobody knows yet.

Of the many unconformities observed in geological strata, the term Great Unconformity is frequently applied to either the unconformity observed by James Hutton in 1787 at Siccar Point in Scotland or that observed by John Wesley Powell in the Grand Canyon in 1869.

These are both exceptional examples of instances where the contacts between sedimentary strata and either sedimentary or crystalline strata of greatly different ages, origins, and structure represent periods of geologic time sufficiently long to raise great mountains and then erode them away.

Carved over hundreds of millions of years by the Colorado River and measuring 277 miles (446 km) long, up to 18 miles (29 km) wide, the Grand Canyon is a major natural phenomenon, but it is also a place of deep historical mysteries and oddities as well.

It’s days like today when I feel the most grateful to live where I do and to be able to appreciate so much of the great outdoors. To be able to climb and hike rocks that have existed for hundreds of millions of years.

What’s a Bassnectar?

Bassnectar, more commonly known as Lorin Ashton, has greatly impacted my life over the last five or six years. He caught me with a good set but kept me with his strong commitment to fighting for what he believes in. Now we may not always agree politically but the way he presents his mission behind his music is inspiring. Not to mention he puts out banger after banger.

One thing we can both agree on is how unethical the USA Patriot Act is. If you’re interested in learning about how our privacy was stolen, check out my article on the Odyssey.

Student by day, rapper by night: Emprovyze records out of Corbett Hall

For most students, living in a dorm can be loud and space limiting. Sophomore Josh Weemes manages to fit a small recording studio into his.

Weemes started rapping last year when he lived in Durward Hall. Now he is a RA in Corbett Hall where he still records music.

His fans know him as Emprovyze, and for now his tracks can be found on Soundcloud.

“I want to record a four or five song EP by the end of this upcoming summer,” Weemes said. “That’s my goal, I hope to be on iTunes and Spotify by then.”

The newest Emprovyze track, “Oceans,” was recorded out of Corbett. Two of his other songs, “Dude…Where’s my ship?” and “The End,” were recorded in Durward.

“I have a condenser microphone, and I have like a sound proofing foam that I’ve built around it so it blocks outside noise,” Weemes said. “Then I have studio monitors, monitors are a fancy word for speakers, and I work with Logic ProX.”

Weemes pays for his education on his own, as well as the finances involved with making music. He has to buy the beats he raps to, purchase the equipment he records on and in the future he wants to get some real studio time.

“I’m a 20 year old, single dude I can take all the financial risks I need to right now,” Weemes said. “And whether or not Emprovyze blows up, I want to be able tell people that I had a dream and I went for it, regardless of what happens.”

It was only about five months ago when Weemes started recording his music. After his friends recognized his passion for the written word, they convinced him to try rapping to a beat. It came naturally and he has been hooked since.

“I love doing it,” Weemes said. “It gets me up in the morning and keeps me up a little too late at night.”

Josh Weemes, also known as Emprovyze, reviews a recording in his studio he built in Corbett Hall.

Josh Weemes, also known as Emprovyze, reviews a recording in his studio he built in Corbett Hall. (Photo credit: Veronica Baas)

When he began, he was a freshman studying journalism, living on campus and recording when he could. Zach Hussey, Weemes’ floormate at the time, said he could hear him rapping last year when they lived on the same hall.

“I could hear him recording for sure,” Hussey said. “I couldn’t exactly hear what he was saying, but I could hear a beat and hear him rapping pretty fast.”

Since then, his fan base has grown to more than just friends. He said ten percent of his plays on Soundcloud are international, and he receives fan mail and comments from people all over the world.

“I’m definitely branching out to a much broader audience, trying to break away from my friends,” Weemes said. “But your friends can start a lot too. It’s all a snowball effect.”

Currently Weemes is in the process of talking to booking agents to arrange some smaller scale shows. He hopes this will help expand his fan base and spread the music.

Freshman Josh Dorsch went to high school with Weemes before he became Emprovyze. They have grown closer since coming to CSU, and Dorsch thinks he has a good chance of blowing up.

“I’ve heard him freestyle and this kid has an act for this — he has some serious talent,” Dorsch said

Emprovyze wants his listeners to know that he cares about what his lyrics mean, and how his audience perceives them. He thinks it is important to have a purpose and a message. For example, he raps “If music is lust than my lyrics are love” in his newest song “Oceans.”

Weemes does not fit in to the average rapper stereotype, so gaining respect from his listeners has been hard. So far it seems to be working out. His new song released less than a month ago already has 400 plays on YouTube and almost 1,000 on Soundcloud.

“Josh talks a lot about how this is a huge dream for him and how he wants everyone to be able to live their dreams,” Hussey said. “I think that‘s one of the reasons he’s sticking to this, because he believes everyone should go through with what they really want to do in life.”

This article was published in The Collegian October 14, 2015.

Roots Wellness Studio provides a place for community members to honor themselves

Most salons strive to perfect outer beauty, but Roots Wellness Studio does this while catering to the mind, body and soul.

Emily Nicolaisen and Brittany Anderson opened Roots Wellness Studio in May 2013 to provide a place for people to come and honor themselves.

In the salon, stylists guarantee the use of safe products made from natural resources to respect personal health and the earth.

“I think the number one reason was product,” Nicolaisen said. “I wanted to use something that was safe, and number two, I wanted to offer a space that was artistically beautiful, as well as anybody felt welcome to come in.”

Located in Old Town Square, the studio offers salon services, yoga and occasionally live music to the community. They host live artwork and performances on the first Friday of every month.

“Entrepreneurs who are looking to get a head start and who are artistic, loving, caring and kind — I open my doors for people like you,” Nicolaisen said.

Beginning in December of 2012, Madeline Robinson, a registered yoga teacher and Colorado State University student, started to teach weekly yoga classes at Roots.

Robinson teaches a Vinyasa Flow class Mondays and Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m. This style of yoga focuses on the union of movement and breath. Anyone is welcome to join. The first class is free, and the fee is $10 per class after that.

“The thing that I really like about yoga is that I believe there is something in it for everybody,” Robinson said. “It has given me better control over the breath, the mind and the body, which has helped me on and off the mat.”

Robinson hopes to expand her practice and begin teaching a Yin-style class once there are enough students.

Along with yoga, Robinson plans to start leading Kirtan at the studio in June. Kirtan is a style of music designed to quiet the mind.

“It’s rooted in yoga in Ayurvedic tradition, and it just involves the use of mantras and chanting and instruments like harmoniums, crystal bowls, drums, guitars,” Robinson said. “It’s just a nondenominational joining together of voicing with these chants and breath work, and they usually go for, like, two or three hours.”

Taylor McCoy, a freshman at Front Range Community College, practices yoga at Roots weekly.

“I like Roots because of the overall atmosphere of the studio,” McCoy said. “They offer fun and unique services in a beautiful and Bohemian studio. There is no other place like it in Fort Collins.”

Robinson said she strives to create a comfortable environment where her students feel free to connect with what they want and to explore their potential.

“It’s a non-competitive community,” McCoy said. “There (are) no judgments or the ‘perfect yogi.’ It’s a time to honor your own body and not worry about what anyone else is doing.”

Nicolaisen said she hopes members of the community feel welcome to come as they are and to bring what they share.

I feel like salons in the beauty industry, they’re cookie cutter,” Nicolaisen said. “Everybody needs to be just like the owner and everybody needs to be just like the concept, and my concept is not like that. The more you are like yourself, the better this place is.”

This article was published in The Collegian April 6, 2015.

Amendment 64 challenged by lawsuits from Larimer sheriff and neighboring states

Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith joined forces with other sheriffs and filed a lawsuit to resolve the dispute over legal marijuana in Colorado. The case was filed in federal district court in Denver March 5.

Smith claims that the legalization of marijuana has created a constitution conflict for sheriffs. In the Colorado constitution, there is a section that lays out the guidelines of being a sheriff.

“In that law, it says that a sheriff that violates a federal law can no longer hold office, whether it’s under U.S. law or state law,” Smith said. “What 64 requires in one part of the constitution actually are acts that make us ineligible to be a sheriff.”

On the grounds that Amendment 64 violates the Supremacy Clause, which states that federal law trumps state law, Smith hopes to resolve the conflict of the two statutes in court.

Smith is not the first to file a suit against Colorado for violating federal law. Nebraska and Oklahoma also filed a case in the Supreme Court.

“We came together in this because we have a common concern,” Smith said. “Those sheriffs are making the claim that the Colorado sourced marijuana crimes have increased since legalization.”

The two neighboring states argue that this is an issue of interstate commerce and that marijuana has been illegally crossing borders. The Commerce Clause, drafted for the constitution, gives congress the power to regulate trade with foreign nations and within the states.

Alex Myslajek, a senior at CSU studying mechanical engineering, believes Smith is out of his jurisdiction

“I really don’t think that it’s up to him,” Myslajek said. “If it’s pure democracy and if that’s how the public is going to vote on the issue, then that’s how things should be reasoned out.”

In 2012, Colorado voted on Amendment 64. In Larimer County, 55 percent were in favor and 45 percent opposed, according to the county-specific results.

Smith said that the issue of legalization goes beyond exercising the right to personal use of marijuana.

“When Amendment 64 was created it didn’t simply decriminalize marijuana, it mandated its state and its counties to acknowledge that as a right,” Smith said. “We turn that onto an individual who has the right to possess and sell marijuana and they get burglarized and get robbed five pounds. We have to investigate that crime, and if it’s resolved we have to return that paraphernalia. In order to uphold that right I’m violating felony criminal laws.”

Some community members argue that the benefits of Amendment 64 outweigh the problems.

“It’s brought in so much money and a lot of it’s going to schools. I don’t know what he thinks is so troublesome about it,” said Steve Bashaquis, a CSU freshman studying sociology.

This article was published in The Collegian March 12, 2015.

Global activist Shiza Shahid speaks at CSU

Every day, 66 million girls are denied the right to education around the world, which forces them into a state of poverty. The Malala Fund is led by a girl who took a bullet for her right to education.

The Malala fund was established by Malala Yousafzai, her father Ziauddin Yousafzai and Shiza Shahid in November 2012.

The fund is designed to fight poverty and to empower women through education, according to their website, and reaches out to girls who are living under threat or in a crisis to promote them to pursue their educations.

Shahid traveled to Colorado State University to speak about the girl’s education campaign Monday in the Lory Student Center ballroom

“Ninety percent of every dollar that a woman earns she invests back into her community,” Shahid said in her speech. “That’s typically 30 to 40 percent for men, so if there is a silver bullet in development, it’s educating girls.”

It was a three-part event, beginning with a student run table, giving selected CSU students an opportunity to ask questions, followed by Shahid’s lecture and a reception.

Kelly Logan, a junior at CSU studying business management, was given the opportunity to join the student run table.

“It was very powerful,” Logan said. “What she has to say is universal, it’s just really important. I think everyone could benefit just from hearing about her experiences.”

Jordan Rogers, a junior at CSU studying business, also participated in the round table.

“I think we can learn a lot from her,” Rogers said. “She has a very interesting perspective on being a woman of color in a minority. She doesn’t look at it as an obstacle, she uses it as a strength and as something that makes her stand out. I think we can all gain something from that.”

The Malala fund has helped women under threat of the Taliban in Pakistan and the Boko Haram in Nigeria. Some are in Syrian refugee camps in Jordan or Lebanon, or are fighting Ebola in Sierra Leone.

“I knew that my society was in trouble but I didn’t understand it within the walls of my home, so I decided to seek out an understanding by connecting with those who live the harshest realities in my country,” Shahid said.

In doing so, Shahid was connected with Malala Yousafzai and her father. They shared her passion for women education.

From that point on Shahid helped form Malala into a global activist, guiding her to the social standing she has today.

“She came from a region that was suffering a full-blown insurgency,” Shahid said. “The Taliban had taken over, journalists had fled, the government had fled and the Taliban was targeting girl’s education. As I heard that young girl’s voice I felt deeply accountable, I knew that I could have been her.”

In 2014, Malala became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner at age 17.

The campaign has drawn in women activists worldwide, promoting women to fight for their right to be educated.

This article was published in The Collegian March 9, 2015.