Kombucha for a Healthy Brain

Ninety-percent of serotonin, the neurotransmitter commonly associated with joy (and which also aids in learning and cognition), is produced in the body’s digestive system. This biological fact is crucial. For you. Right fucking now. February and March are notoriously gray seasons, with little sun and lots of wet. Every year at around this time, my…

Update on Jessica

This is hard to write. Mother Rona sent a message to supporters from Jessica’s GoFundMe page last night. Jessica’s doctors have told her there is no cure for her gastroparesis, and there is nothing more they can do. They have not officially given up. It sounds like they’re still running whatever tests they can think…

Ode to a Hemorrhoid: What Happens When You Get One

This title is a bit misleading because it turns out we all have hemorrhoids all the time. You have one right now. Multiple, actually. They’re little nubs inside your bum that keep poo from flying out of your ass like a bird’s. What most of us call “a hemorrhoid” is an infection or inflammation of…

Squatters and Supplementary Farming

People generally think of squatters as those who live in the basements of dilapidated urban buildings. Detroit and parts of Chicago come to mind. But Iowa has its share of squatters, and my guess is that number is about to rise drastically. After all, real estate is expensive, and the state’s economy is about to…

On Mental Health and Common Decency

Anthony Bourdain’s death last week garnered publicity not seen since the world lost Robin Williams almost four years ago. Posted quotes and photographs of a smiling Bourdain illustrate how meaningful his work was and how much of a personal impact he had on people. The outpouring is understandable. Most of us probably had a rough…

How to Spot a Sexual Predator – And What to Do When You Find One

“Men only want one thing,” my developmentally disabled cousin told me when we were teenagers. It was like her mantra – something she said over and over: “Men only want one thing.” I suppose her father drilled that into her skull as a way to protect her. She was (and still is), unfortunately, a high-risk target…

Let Mark Twain Love You

This morning, one of the first things that happened when I got out of bed was this: I discovered that Alan Rickman died. From cancer. At age 69. It reminded me of a day earlier this week, when one of the first things that happened when I got out of bed was this: I discovered…

What Is Mental Illness?

My brain doesn’t quite work the way it’s supposed to. It hasn’t for as long as I can remember. For example, it doesn’t always process sensory information properly, like sight and balance. My field of vision is sometimes interrupted by angular flashes of light, or I’ll go to scratch my nose and end up smacking…

Simple and Tasty No-Cook Tomato Sauce with Kale

Part of the Thanksgiving comedown; I totally OD’d on meat and carbs, so none of that for a few days. Here’s what I whipped up for dinner last night, and it turned out really well. The recipe for the sauce came from Health.com and is described as a pasta sauce, but in searching Google for…