alicia: December 2004 Archives

just go read it

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life as a SAHM with several kids
Been there, done that. I miss those days. I think that my big regret in life will be that we stopped at six kids - but I honestly expected to have several grandkids by this time in my life.

A comfortable quiz


I don't know if it is fatigue or depression, but I can't seem to get motivated to do what needs to be done. I have floors to sweep, paper to get organized, meals to plan - and I can't seem to pull my act together. So I thought I would offer this one self-indulgent quiz before I try once again to get my rear in gear.
I've underlined my answers.
From Proverbial Wife via Such Small Hands
1. Pillow - Down or Polyester or Foam
2. Facial or Manicure or Pedicure
3. Journal - Lined or Blank (offline of course!)
4. Sleep - Side (which?) or Back or Stomach (change ever 2 hours or so)
5. Summer - Hammock or Raft in Swimming Pool (not that I have either!)
6. Winter - Slippers or Socks
7. Sleep - Heater On or Off (the bed is heated - yum!)
8. Shower or Bath (bubbles?) ...and... Hot or Warm
9. Tea - black or herbal (name favorite blend) with sugar!
10. Massage - neck or foot BOTH
11. Comforter - Down or Polyester (or?)
12. Aromatherapy - Lavender or Jasmine or Rose
13. Box of Chocolates or Bowl of Popcorn
14. Music - Classical or Jazz or Folk YES
15. Candles - scented or not
16. Fireplace or Woodstove or Pellet Stove
17. Outside - Gentle Rain or Crashing Storm
18. Reading - Pile of Magazines or Novel
19. Classic Film - Romance or Suspense or Musical
20. Cat in your lap or Dog on your feet


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Which character from Alice in Wonderland Are You?


Alice is very anxious and curious to discover new things.

Alice in Wonderland, how do you get to Wonderland?

Over the hill or underland, or just behind the tree?

When clouds go rolling by, they roll away and leave the sky.

Where is the land beyond the eye, the people can not see, where can it be?

Where do stars go, where is the grass that's blue?

They must be somewhere in the sunny afternoon.

Alice in Wonderland, where is the path to Wonderland?

Over the hill or here or there, I wonder where.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by quizzes and personality tests.

Via Rebecca

The entire bible in a year?

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in PDF format
A worthy New Year's resolution.

(updates and more info from Bene Diction)

More than 10,000 people have been killed across southern Asia in massive sea surges triggered by the strongest earthquake in the world for 40 years.
The 8.9 magnitude quake struck under the sea near Aceh in north Indonesia, generating a wall of water that sped across thousands of kilometres of sea.

More than 4,100 died in Indonesia, 3,500 in Sri Lanka and 2,000 in India.

Casualty figures are rising over a wide area, including resorts in Sri Lanka and Thailand packed with holidaymakers.
The USGS put this at a 9.0
At least 3,000 people killed in Sri Lanka, 2,300 in India, 2,000 in Indonesia, 289 in Thailand, 42 in Malaysia, 8 in Somalia and 2 in Bangladesh by tsunamis. Tsunamis also occurred on the coasts of Maldives and Cocos Island. At least 200 people killed, buildings destroyed or damaged in the Banda Aceh area, Sumatra. Felt widely in Sumatra. Also felt in Bangladesh, India, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Thailand. This is now the fourth largest earthquake in the world since 1900 and is the largest since the 1964 Prince William Sound, Alaska earthquake.

merry christmas

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among the gifts under my tree:
The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History
Eats, Shoots, & Leaves
Surprised by Canon LawMore Catholic than the Pope
The Age of Consent
I have been told that the bio of Archbishop Sheen is on order.
I also was given a wonderful and warm winter coat, much tea, a gift certificate to, and many hugs and kisses.
Midnight Mass was as usual wonderful, and we the choir didn't flub too many notes. Our new piece for this year was an arrangement of "In Deepest Night" in four part harmony. I wish that we had been able to sing it a capella, but with only 1 1/2 hours rehearsal per week and not starting on Christmas music until Novenber it becomes difficult to get to that level of competence. But we sang out in joy and praise anyhow.
Today for Sunday Mass we went to our other parish (the one where we aren't in the choir) and had the treat of singing "Once in Royal David's City" which is one of my favorite Christmas carols - especially these lines:
Christian children all must be
mild, obedient, good as he.
Once again, my favorite gripe - Why o why don't we sing all the verses of these beautiful hymns? If we had sung this at Communion (and why not?) the 6 verses would not have been unduly lengthy. Of course, the OCP hymnals only included the first 3 verses........

Elena points out a cool site with a really interesting name. It looks to be hosted by an MTV personality and I think it is a real alternative to PP's site TeenWire.
John and I were having an interesting conversation in the car Sunday on our way to church, and I said something that he told me I need to blog. The sad thing, I can't remember what it was and we have been so run-around crazy this week that I haven't even remembered to ask him. Do you think St Anthony can help me find a lost thought?
Sorry I've been scarce lately. Last week was totally crazy - Thursday was John's company Christmas party.We finally got our tree Sunday just ahead of the storm. It's sitting in the living room totally naked still. Monday I picked up our eldest daughter at the airportand got home with her just in time to go to part one of the High School winter concerts. I have to say, the Chamber singers of which my daughter is an alto, did a stunning rendition of Adoramus Te Christe as well as a 16th century Spanish carol (Riu Riu Chiu) and several other lovely pieces - in 4 to 8 part harmony - most of them a capella and only one in English (Dave Brubeck's Take Five, which does btw have words he wrote). Last night was the BIG concert at the Capitol Center for the Performing Arts - The full orchestra, the concert band, the concert choir (the non-auditioned group). I was able to get one of the docs to cover for me to drive the one hour home to hear dear daughter's orchestra play (she is a section leader in the cellos) and to join in singing the Hallelujah Chorus at the end. Went back to the house to grab a bite to eat, and then the pager went off. Hightailed it the hour's drive back south just in time - arrived at the same time as my patient did. She was 8 cm, and an hour later she was holding her precious daughter. What a night!
If I don't make it back to you all before then, have a happy and holy Christmas.
And maybe, just maybe, after Christmas I will blog on some of the more depressing news stories that I have been confronted with. But right now it is the season of hope.

(from my inbox this AM)
Schizophrenia: Do You Hear What I Hear?

Multiple Personality Disorder: We Three Queens Disoriented Are

Amnesia: I Don't Know if I'll Be Home for Christmas

Narcissistic: Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me

Manic: Deck the Halls and Walls and House and Lawn and Streets and
Stores and Office and Town and Cars and Buses and Trucks and Trees

Paranoid: Santa Claus is Coming to Get Me

Borderline Personality Disorder: Thoughts of Roasting on an Open Fire

Passive/Aggressive Disorder: You Better Watch out,I'm Gonna Cry, I'm
Gonna Pout, Maybe I'll tell you why

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells,
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells

Agoraphobia: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day but Wouldn't Leave My

Senile Dementia: Walking in a Winter Wonderland Miles from my House in
Slippers and Robe

Oppositional Defiant Disorder: I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus So I
Burned Down the House

Social Anxiety Disorder: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas while I sit Here and Hyperventilate

urgent prayer request

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A dear friend of mine just emailed my about her daughter. This young woman has a severe problem with alcohol and drugs, and is on her way back to jail after a rather wild night. Her children (my friend's grandbabies) have been taken from their mother and placed in temporary foster care. Please pray for my friend, that she will be able to make the right choices to protect her grandbabies and to encourage her daughter to get the help she needs. Please pray for my friend's daughter, that she will turn her life around and will call for help from the only real source. And especially pray for the children, that they will be placed where they will have consistent love and care.
St Gianna, pray for them! St Monica, mother of a prodigal who became a saint, please intercede!

How did I get here?

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I'm on blogshares!

but of course!

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You have the Vermeer girl look. A Vermeer girl
appealed mostly to the old masters of the Dutch
school, who painted pictures of everyday life
as they knew it. With her fine, fair skin, she
suited a light, natural, dewy make-up. The
Vermeer Girl loved homely things, such as
homemade soaps and candles. The following
artists would have liked to paint you; Pieter
de Hooch and Jan Vermeer.

'Pretty As A Picture' - Which Artist Would Paint You?
brought to you by Quizilla(via Oblique House)
Thanks to Zelie Bramble for this one.

You are 54% geek
You are a geek. Good for you! Considering the endless complexity of the universe, as well as whatever discipline you happen to be most interested in, you'll never be bored as long as you have a good book store, a net connection, and thousands of dollars worth of expensive equipment. Assuming you're a technical geek, you'll be able to afford it, too. If you're not a technical geek, you're geek enough to mate with a technical geek and thereby get the needed dough. Dating tip: Don't date a geek of the same persuasion as you. You'll constantly try to out-geek the other.

Take the Polygeek Quiz at

thanks to the CRM for this one

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.
An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.
You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.
A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

links, I get links


muchas gracias!


just a short entry to let you know I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. I'm working on a longer post but who knows when I will get it finished.
I want to say a great big thank you to my readers who never comment but who send me private email, links to follow, atta girls, or even the much needed occasional correction of grammar, spelling, or content. I really appreciate it.
My general policy with email is not to post the contents without prior authorization from the sender. Links I will review and post as I see fit - given that I still don't have my own personal laptop with all my one-click utilities, I have been posting far fewer links. But thanks once again to you who send them.
Right now I am taking a short break from housekeeping chores. Posole (see recipe in archives) is in the crockpot giving the house a heavenly carnivorous fragrance. Pork, chiles, hominy in a thick stew-----yum.

add this to my Christmas List

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"America's Bishop tells the full story ... You'll also find here the delightful story of how Sheen's celebrated TV show, expected even by network executives to be a short-lived public service broadcast, became a national sensation."

I was listening to the radio on my way in to work this morning, and I was struck by the mention of NPR's ombudsman. I am contemplating asking them why it is that there was no mention at all earlier this week on the 25th anniversary of Bishop Sheen's death, when NPR has done historical and cultural commentary on all sorts of other media and popular culture issues and icons. Don't you think it interesting that the man who managed to out-rate Milton Berle might be something to examine in depth in the mainsteam media?

Courtesy the Sleepy Mommies

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(see also the commentary over at the Summa Mammas)
1. Egg nog - yum or yuck?
It's a great cooking ingredient and sets off rum really well. I prefer the homemade cooked custard style, but usually end up buying a quart or two and then am the only one consuming it.
2. Stay up until midnight on New Years?
3. Prefer white or colored lights?
4. Favorite holiday song?
O Come O Come Emmanuel
5. What is your tackiest holiday decoration?
Chili Pepper lights in a wreath
6. Do your kids have too much and you wonder just WHY you are getting more??
No and Sometimes
7. If you celebrate Christmas, when does your tree go up and come down?
It goes up sometime after Dec 15 (my oldest kid's birthday) and comes down on or after january 6 (Epiphany)
8. Christmas again - open presents on Christmas eve, morning, or other?
9. Favorite holiday tradition?
Midnight Mass
10. What do YOU want for Christmas?
Besides world peace and an end to abortion? Joy tea (from Stash, at Starbucks), Chanel # 19, cute socks, a new kitchen, all my kids together at the same time for a happy occasion, grandkids...........

another catholic mom blog!


Words to Live By:


(from my in-box)

The most destructive habit...................Worry
The greatest joy............................Giving
The greatest loss.............Loss of self-respect
The most satisfying work............Helping others
The ugliest personality trait..........Selfishness
The most endangered species......Dedicated leaders
Our greatest natural resource............Our youth
The greatest "shot in the arm".......Encouragement
The greatest problem to overcome..............Fear
The most effective sleeping pill.....Peace of mind
The most crippling failure disease.........Excuses
The most powerful force in life...............Love
The most dangerous pariah...............A gossiper
The world's most incredible computer.....The brain
The worst thing to be without.................Hope
The deadliest weapon....................The tongue
The two most power-filled words............"I Can"
The greatest asset...........................Faith
The most worthless emotion...............Self-pity
The most beautiful attire..................A smile
The most prized possession...............Integrity
The most powerful channel of communication..Prayer
The most contagious spirit..............Enthusiasm

I got an email from a friend that said:
"last night at mass, the priest pointed out that Mary's Immaculate
Conception is celebrated 21 days before the feast of the Immaculate
Heart of Mary, and wouldn't her heart have begun beating on the 21st
day after conception? I figured I'd run that by you and you'd know if
it was accurate and/or blogworthy. "
I certainly think it is blogworthy, so I decided to do some research to see if it is accurate. I found a neat website which details human development from conception to birth, and here is their page for 21 to 23 days after conception.
What do you all think?
In the office yesterday, between seeing patients and running to the hospital to check on my labor patient, I had a brief discussion with one of our translators (Portugese/Spanish) about the meaning of the Immaculate Conception. Like so many others, Cradle Catholic or non-Catholic, she thought that it referred to Mary's Conception of Jesus. SHe was wondering why the feast was so close to Christmas - did that mean Mary was only pregnant for a few weeks? I hope I cleared up things a bit - I pointed out that the feast of Jesus' conception is the Annunciation, March 25, 9 months before the Feast of Christmas. (Actually, based on that date as conception, the EDC would be closer to 12/18 than to 12/25, but it's close enough!).
Why is it so hard to understand that the Immaculate Conception refers to Mary's conception?

A birth at 0300 is pretty typical, and it was what we refer to as an "Unremarkable" labor and birth. For the birth attendant, births have a way of blending together in the memory - each one is a special and unique miracle, and even after all these years and the hundreds of births, I still find great joy in the privilege of being there. But I don't always remember the details. I think that is probably a good thing. The ones I remember clearly almost always have something unusual, and maybe even sad, about them.
I used to think that my forgetting the details was a problem, but then I realize that it is really the way it should be - because it isn't my birth, it isn't my baby, and my task is to be there and help the family to become, to help the mother give birth rather than be delivered.
And so, after the baby is out and all are doing well, I and the other attendants step out, full still of the energy of the birth, and let the family begin its first steps as a new creation.
I think sometimes that the forgetting that happens after the birth is much like how a priest forgets an individual penitent's sins after said penitent leaves the confessional. It wasn't that the sins were unimportant or that the sacrament was unneeded - but rather that the priests' job is done with the absolution and now the job of healing and restoration shifts back to the penitent with the aid of God.
I had thought of some nice things to blog about for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. A friend sent me a thought that a priest had shared with her about the connection between the Immaculate Conception and the Heart of Mary, and I wanted to flesh it out a bit. I was going to try to make it to a Mass local to the hospital either at 1730 or 1900. But I have spent much of the last several hours awaiting a birth, as I do so very often. Now is time to try to get a few hours sleep, and later in the morning to see mother and baby again.
good night

I resemble this remark


a different sort of red-diaper baby
(registration may be required - from the NY Times)

They are having three, four or more kids. Their personal identity is defined by parenthood. They are more spiritually, emotionally and physically invested in their homes than in any other sphere of life, having concluded that parenthood is the most enriching and elevating thing they can do. Very often they have sacrificed pleasures like sophisticated movies, restaurant dining and foreign travel, let alone competitive careers and disposable income, for the sake of their parental calling

However, I did this starting 30 years ago. I've never matched the demographics of my generation.

found while surfing

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This loooks like a library on the theological underpinnings of Distributism.

Paul Cella

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says what I would have said had I the time and talent.
A review of G.K. Chesterton on Babies and Distributism, with a side note on the Netherlands' newest twist on infanticide, here.

Advent and the Luminous Mysteries

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Back in September, Mary posted the following:

"There are three influences which appear to Us to have the chief place in effecting this downgrade movement of society. These are-first, the distaste for a simple and labourious life; secondly, repugnance to suffering of any kind; thirdly, the forgetfulness of the future life."
Pope Leo XIII
Dislike of Poverty - The Joyful Mysteries
Repugnance to Suffering-The Sorrowful Mysteries
Forgetfulness of the Future - The Glorious Mysteries

She then asked:
"For what ill in society would the Luminous Mysteries be a remedy?"
and carried the discussion over to St. Blog's Parish Hall.
I'm not one to hang out in BBS type discussion forums - I tend to get lost and to have trouble navigating the threads. I much prefer email listservs and blogs with comments. So I have no idea if or how much discussion this little post generated. But I have been thinking about it a bit myself.
The Mysteries of Light are:
Jesus' Baptism in the river Jordan;
His self-manifestation at the wedding at Cana;
His proclamation of the Kingdom of God, with his call to conversion;.
His transfiguration before the Apostles on Mount Tabor.
His institution of the Eucharist, as the sacramental expression of the Paschal Mystery.
and they bridge, chronologically, between the Joyful and the Sorrowful Mysteries.
What do these mysteries have in common? What societal ill are they ammunition against? And what does this have to do with Advent?
I see in them an epiphanos of the incarnation. We have the revelation of our God-made-flesh, who dwelt among us, and continues to this day to feed us with His very Body. "This is My Body", he says to us. "you must be born again, of water (baptism) and the spirit". We are flesh that He has created.
The societal ill that these mysteries combat is the disrespect for the human person, the loss of the respect for the right to life "from conception to natural death", the Gnostic and Manichean heresies that permeate our culture.
Consider the opening of the Gospel of John (the 'last Gospel', which used to be proclaimed after Mass). Consider especially verse 14
" And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth. "
God became flesh. The so-called scandal of the incarnation. In Advent, we celebrate that God so loved us that He became physically one of us. He suffered hunger, thirst, emotions, physical, spiritual and emotional pain. He became our Paschal sacrifice - not as a suicide but as a martyr, a witness that there is a life more important than our earthly physical life - but also that our earthly physical life is also important.
I continue to find it amazing that the words of the Eucharist "This is My Body" are so aptly mimicked by various political movements - "It's MY body, and I will decide what to do with it" as a justification for just about every sin of the flesh from gluttony to lust to suicide and even murder of the unborn. But what a world of difference between the two phrases "This is My Body, given up for you" and "This is my body and I am in charge". And even though we are awaiting Christmas, not Easter, there is still that sense of waiting, building up in anticipation, even though we know the ending of this particular story.
So let us remember that we are Incarnational, and that the feast we are preparing to celebrate is about the gift of being human. It is about the rightful pleasures (and pains, too) of the flesh, from hugging ones' children to eating a fine meal to sacrificial fasting. It is about the right order of things, about reading the natural law that God has written in our hearts and endeavoring to follow this law. It is about the best wine for the wedding, the feeding of the multitudes, the washing away of sins in preparation for the wedding feast of the lamb, and the call we are to answer to be transfigured and transformed in our daily life.

Music and memories - Tahlequah OK

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Certain bits of music take me back in my mind to places and events. For example, I heard a Pearl Jam song last week that took me back to the 6 weeks I spent in Tahelquah OK. It was 1995, the end of the year, and I was finishing up my CNM program. The last rotation of the program was called "Integration" - and the idea was that we would go to someplace outside our school community, and practice midwifery under the supervision of an experienced nurse-midwife. I was able to find funding through a grant from a foundation - they helped me to find a site that was a National Health Service Corps site, and they paid my airfare and a stipend. I flew into Tulsa, rented a car and drove to Tahlequah, and stayed the 6 weeks (November and 1/2 of December) in a small room in a boarding home.
Oklahoma was beautiful. I remember my mom telling me that she learned to tie her shoes in Enid Oklahoma. I went to Tahlequah because it is the capital of the Cherokee nation and my mom raised us to be proud of our little bit of Cherokee heritage. It's not documented - my Cherokee antecedant declined to be listed on the official Census roll. But it's there. My sisters look more Indian than I do.
It was a busy and a lonely time. It was hard to leave behind my husband and kids - the baby was 7 at the time. My rooming house was with kitchen priveliges, but it is so hard to cook for only one after cooking for 7 or 8! Two things stuck in my mind about Tahlequah and food - one was the favorite local fast food of (I kid you not) Calzone. The other was my first ever encounter with a drive-up espresso stand. In the parking lot of the Reser's supermarket was a converted Fotomat, where one could get truly excellent espresso, lattes, etc.
It was in Tahlequah also that I first encountered Wal-Mart. Remember, I'm an Angeleno, and there are no Wal-Marts in Los Angeles. Well, maybe there are one or two now, but there were none in the San Fernando Valley when I lived there. Wal-Mart struck me as a surreal place. And as I drove through OK on my days off, it seemed that the boundary between towns was the presence of the local Wally's World, as I learned to call it.
I drove around a lot in my rented car, almost always with the radio on. I listened to the local alternative rock station out of Tulsa. Now, when I hear some of the songs from that time, I am transported back and can almost see the roads, the rivers I crossed between Tulsa and Tahlequah, the rolling hills and two lane highways heading out to Muskogee, or north to Missouri (where I spent Thanksgiving with an old friend of my dad's) or east to Arkansas (where I drove one day just to say that I had).
My grandpappy (my mom's dad) was born and raised in OK and TX. Even though I had never lived in OK before my trip there, in some weird way it felt like coming home. Can't explain it, never really understood it. I found the local Catholic parish and went to Sunday Mass there every week. That was also 'going home' in a way - one of the things that drew me to Catholicism was that there was a Catholic church everywhere in the world that I travelled, and my Anglican parishes seemed to be unique to their place. So I had this paradoxical set of feelings when I was in Tahlequah - I was homesick for my family yet I was also at home there.
Weather, for example. As a SoCal kid, I was used to the seasonal changes being very subtle, maybe even imperceptable to an outsider. In my 6 weeks away, not much really changed in California, but Tahlequah definitely went from Fall to Winter. I remember going in to the hospital early one morning for a 24 hour call shift - it was in the 70s F when I parked my car and got out. The next morning I had to scrape the snow off it and drive very gingerly across icy roads back to the place I was living. And then there were tornadoes. A birth that is etched in my memory - this young mom was in advanced labor as the tornado watch level became higher and the twisters moved closer. She was reaching the very end of her labor and was pushing when the word came through the hospital that we needed to move to the basement shelter - but we couldn't move her safely or easily - so while the rest of the floor was evacuated, my preceptor and I helped this baby into the world and then we moved to shelter. My prior experience with childbirth during the Northridge Quake stood me in good stead. As I prayed and worked to help this baby out, I thanked God for having given me the chances to prepare for all sorts of unexpected events earlier in life.

Quick request

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I have a friend who is looking for some basic info and resources on the Theology of the Body. I have suggested some books and articles, but I am also interested in finding her some talks on tape or CD - preferably free or inexpensive. If you have any suggestions, please drop me a comment or an email. Thanks!
Oh, and ditto on natural law/biomedical ethics, especially as related to pregnancy birth and breastfeeding.

A seasonal suggestion


FDA action on depo-provera


Black box warning on osteoporosis
Black box warnings are designed to highlight special problems, particularly those that are serious, and to give health care professionals a clear understanding of a potential medical complication associated with a drug.

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The WeatherPixie

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries written by alicia in December 2004.

alicia: November 2004 is the previous archive.

alicia: January 2005 is the next archive.

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