Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Oh Baby!

Today on ATC we heard about a book called, "Everything
Conceivable" Listen to report here. It takes a look at how and when we conceive and how the lucrative fertility business is influencing both men and women's reproduction.

I found it interesting that the author thinks doctors should be more forceful in limiting the number of eggs implanted. Normally, it is the patient who decides the number of eggs -you can ask for a whole lot! Whoa. She thinks it is far too dangerous for both mother and child. I keep hearing her say, "The womb is a single occupancy room..." or something like that.

My imagination goes crazy thinking about this "FOR RENT" sign on a gal... then I imagine a sign that says, "One Room Needs Several Occupants. Inquire Within." Doctors told her that many patients want twins, or triplets. Honestly, I would like twins but it's all about efficiency to me.

Two birds with one stone...then I can adopt the rest you know? But her point is that we are creating health problems. Babies born premature have health problems, some twins take nutrients from each other and die...

We are in a society that practically gets whatever it wants...and on the flip side, if you don't want babies OR periods OR cramps how about Librel? Here's a blurb about it on Planned Parenthood:

"One such development on the horizon is Librel, a continuous-use birth control pill. Where Seasonale limits periods to just four per year, Librel would eliminate periods completely. The manufacturer of the new regimen is expected to seek FDA approval in 2005. Stay tuned."

Well it's 2007 and goodbye period! I couldn't find any Librel sites...so here's my opinion.

We can do anything we want with technology! But that's not always a good thing for everyone. Thoughts?

There was a point in my life that I swear would make a good Lifetime For Women movie. One couple who can't have kids looking into adoption, their friends, who can't have kids doing fertility treatments, their couple friends suffering a miscarriage then affair...and the couple friend of them all who can have kids, want kids but for some reason aren't.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Clearwater National Forest

The past weekend I went for a little hike with some friends and coworkers! In the picture above you see myself, Laura Hartner(Ops Assistant), and Scott Weatherly(Operations Manager). Not photographed: Chuck Blessing and Kevin Anderson.

Let me tell you right now... that this was one of the best weekends of my life! The last time I did this hike I was a host mother to two teens. We took a group of exchange students up. They did well, but it took a LONG time to go up the 6 miles. Not only that, but I was a pack mule carrying a lot of gear. This time, I was with friends and had a lighter pack - though later I would learn the importance of evenly stuffing your pack.

It was perfect and beautiful! You may have read or heard the report on Bark Beetle and Budworm destroying trees in our region. Read and Listen to story here I only recall seeing a few trees slowly dying from disease. From what I could tell, it looked more like a fungal problem but I am no expert and only took one mycology class. What I am curious about though, is how likely are we to stop or even slow this process?

Speaking of stopping and slowing a process. On our way back across the Clearwater river, I froze. There I was, standing on the log "bridge" and I couldn't move.

I have done this before but there I was with my mind stuck on "DON'T MOVE!" I was embarrassed. I was curious too about what my brain was thinking...I tried to tell myself to move but nothing. I even thought about Muad'Dib:

“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.”

But then the visual of sandworms flooded my brain - which, at the time, was getting flooded by the visuals of the river...and it didn't help.

Scott offered to take my pack and I gave it to him. Then, with no problem, I crossed. He said my pack was unbalanced...So. Note to self: Learn to pack.
Despite that little episode being in the hot springs, crossing the river and hiking and hanging was great. When Gillian Coldsnow asked me about my weekend I said, "This is what I said out loud G...'I am Sueann Ramella, in the middle of the Clearwater National Forest, sitting in the Stanley Hot Springs, on a clear night and watching the stars. I LOVE MY LIFE!'"

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Why Are Koreans Apologizing for Cho? I Sorta Know and I'm Sorry Too

I know I am late with this topic. As with our culture, we tend to forget things fast unless it is connected to E-online or complete nonesense. (I am in a serious mood today, yes, it happens.) Anyway, I was reminded of my Korean ancestry several times yesterday and this morning. That is why I felt compelled to share. My mother called me last night and we discussed Cho and how she is embarrassed and yet, she struggles with the apology from the Korean community.

My Mother: "I am American. We don't need to apologize for everything. But I also feel embarrassed. His poor parents. I feel so bad for them and the victims."

Me: "Me too mom. I feel kinda responsible and I have no idea why. Why do you feel that way?"

Mom: "Because he is Korean. But...I was also American. I dunno. I feel sad."

May I remind you of Han?

Then I had a conversation with Gillian Coldsnow about collective guilt in the Asian community. The differences between individualism of American culture and the collective thinking of most Asian cultures. We concluded that it seems to be in our genes...the collective. I just hope we are not like the Borg.

My conversation with Gillian reminded me of my ancestry. How strange it is to stand between two amazing cultures, hating and loving one or the other all the time.

Later that night, a friend said to me that it is cool I am half Asian. I suspect he meant my unique insight into things, but it could quiet possibly be my unique fashion sense and facial features.

Finally, this morning, I got a call from my Korean exchange student. He just finished some finals and had a brief moment to catch up with me. He brought up Cho and the massacre. He said to me, "I feel so ashamed. I feel so bad for his parents and for the people. Why did he have to be Korean?"

I asked him why did he feel shame?

He said, "...because I must. He (Cho)was Korean, I am Korean." Then Jun Bum, that's his name, says to me. "Nuna, (Korean for big sister) some people I met in the States have too much American spirit. I have trouble understanding them. But you have Korean spirit and you get me. We understand most of each other huh?"

I agreed. It really is in my genes.

I came across an article that sort of says it all for me.

"Even though, a group expression of regret stretched the boundary way past what is appropriate or even needed when an individual commits a monstrous crime, it ultimately served a noble purpose. It showed that Koreans as all other Americans felt the intense pain and suffering that Cho wreaked on innocents at Virginia Tech. Their regret said that the victim's suffering was their suffering too." Earl Ofari Hutchinson, New America Media.
Hutchinson's Article

Your suffering is my suffering too. It is noble.

For more on this topic read Gillian's blog entry on it.
Gillian's great blog entry on Korean apology, well done G!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Living with Cancer: Leroy Sievers

For the most part, I am a very blessed person. I have had no immediate family suffer from disease. In fact, I have yet to attend a blood relative's funeral. But I empathize, and I do this a lot. So when I got a chance to speak with Leroy Sievers I was very interested to ask him some questions.
My hardest question was why should we care? I was prepping with Gillian Coldsnow and asked her this. Her facial expression told me that she was impressed with the frankness of the question but concerned about how I phrased it. Don't worry, I was more polite when I asked Sievers! I was just reading all his entries and started thinking about the world. People dying in Darfur, Iraq, so many people suffering the world over - why should we care? Why do we care and empathize? Sievers's answer moved me deeply, and my heart felt the truth in his words.
"Cause we’re all human. Look, I spent my adult life as a journalist going and watching bad things happen to people. I've literally seen tens of thousands of deaths in front of me. There are a lot of deaths in the world and lot of deaths in this world are meaningless, cruel and violent. WE should care about all of them whether you know the person or not. And one of the things with cancer patients is I may not know most of them, only electronically, and there are people out there that don’t write in, or they may just be readers, but I know just through shared experience... I have a sense of they’re going through and they have a sense of what I am going through and that’s meaningful. No death is meaningless no life is meaningless."

You can read Leroy Sievers's blog here
My Cancer for more on the feature in Morning Edition: Leroy on Morning Edition

You can read my interview with Leroy on our website:

NWPR Interview with Sievers

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Thank You Caller

Whoever you are, thank you very much! You made my day and I am happy to be in your living room every M-F. Your enthusiasm for NPR was contagious! I was buzzing with confidence. Your call made me remember why I love what I do! Thank you caller!

Not all my phone calls are so nice. I remember one late night when the phone rang...
"Northwest Public Radio, this is Sueann."
"Uh...yeah. Is this Northwest Public Radio?"
"Yes it is. How can I help you?'
"Uh...yeah...well. Who am I speaking to?"
"I'm Sueann Ramella, sir."
"Sir? Don't call me crap like that!!!"
"....excuse me?"
"Fight the institution man! Don't use titles!"
"Okay. What can I do for you? (big mistake to ask!)"
"Me? Here's what you can do for me! I want you to drink a six pack, get on the air, quit your job man! You gotta get out of there! I mean the institution will eat you up! and I want the blood of your program director on a piece of paper! Mail it to me!"
"Okay, I have here you want me to drink beer on the air, quit and have my supervisor mail you his blood?"
"Yeah man!"
"...well, thanks for the call. I'll pass it on! Can I have your address?"
He hung up.

For some interesting stories on other calls and or requests read Robin's entry: Robin's Calls