The only town I claim as my “hometown.” Even though I was born in Texas and lived here for the first 11 years of my life (as well as the last 9) – I will always call Homer my home. Don’t get me wrong, I love Texas. But look at that picture – who could resist calling that home if they had a choice?
Ten things I love about Homer, Alaska:
1. It has a Spit. See that little jutty thing in the picture? It’s called, appropriately, “the Homer Spit.” Many a summer night of my youth was spent on the beaches of the Spit around a campfire bundled up in blankets.
2. It’s where the land ends and the sea begins in Alaska. It’s the farthest south you can drive in the entire state without taking a ferry or a plane.
3. Its population almost doubles in the summer. There are as many visitors in the summer at any given time as there are residents of the town!
4. It has a sign ordinance. The city doesn’t allow those really tall roadside signs..like the McDonald’s arches. Instead, businesses are forced to put them on their buildings or have them at a certain height. Not good for the business owners, but great for aesthetics. Also..no bulletin boards anywhere in Alaska.
5. It has more churches than bars. Okay, you may not think this is a big deal, but when I graduated high school, there were 27 churches and only 24 bars for a town of 5000! Tell me why a town of 5000 needs 27 churches and 24 bars?
6. It is a true melting pot of cultural diversity. Well, maybe not as diverse as New York City, where you can find practically every language in the world spoken…but it IS diverse.
7. The Arts reign supreme – theatre, music, dance, and art appreciation. My substitute Music teacher in High School was Atz Kilcher, but we called him “the Yodeling Man” because he was always yodeling. Now, he’s known as Jewel’s dad.
8. You can fish anywhere and anytime as long as you’ve got a license. Well, that is not entirely true..but there ARE numerous places to fish and you can always find a boat going out…as long as you’re willing to fork over $250 a day per person for the charter.
9. The people are so friendly. This is a true statement…I kid you not. Everyone is so friendly and outgoing – I thought Texans were friendly until I met Homerites – they make Texans look like introverts!
10. Just look at those mountains. Surrounded by mountains on three sides…it’s one of the most beautiful places on earth to live.
My mom sent this to me…I used to have a dog like this. Her name was Tika…and she was almost as smart as Skidboot. Watch this video – I realize it’s long, but it’s heartwarming. :o)
The number of people “dying” to be thin has doubled over the past three decades as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that at least 5 million people are now affected by anorexia. Now CBS 2 News has learned young women have found a new pill to feed their already dangerous weight loss addiction.
From thin to thinner to unreal — the pressure to weigh less than everyone else has become an obsession again on the runway, on the red carpet, and in the school hallway.
Vicky Matropolo became obsessed with the scale weighing herself ten times a day. “It was a game,” Matropolo said. “How far could I push the limit before someone noticed or intervened?”
Matropolo’s weight eventually fell all the way to 88 pounds. She says she used over-the-counter diet pills and worked out two to three hours a day. Others are using what’s being called the “size zero” pill, clenbuterol.
Clenbuterol is designed to treat emphysema in horses. It opens a horse’s lungs to breathe, and in humans it opens fat cells to release fat, which is why the illegal drug is now the latest craze in celebrity diets.
“One side effect it give me is extreme shakes,” says Matropolo. “My hands will just visibly be shaking and there’s no control over it”
Trainer Jackie Warner sees clenbuterol gaining in popularity, but says in the end, users will be eventually gaining pounds.
“You will get fat — fatter than you were before,” Warner says. “There is not a magic pill, clenbuterol lasts three months and then you start gaining weight.”
Warner says there are clear warning signs, weight loss being the obvious, but a denial of hunger, constant exercise, a sensitivity to cold temperatures, and greater amounts of facial and body hair. The extra hair growth is a result of the body’s attempt to insulate itself because of a lack of fat.
Mastropolo never used clenbuterol because it wasn’t the “in” pill during her addiction. Now, more and more young women are getting a hold of the drug in the black market.
Now in her 20’s, Mastropolo is no longer anorexic. She says once she fed her body, she fed her mind and wanted to go to college.
“For six years I have not put myself on the scale because I refuse to live by a number,” she said.
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