Heather Boerner

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Reported features:
Freelance writer Heather Boerner writes features on health, wellness, body image and real estate, among other topics, for print, magazine and web.

“Positively Healing: Yoga helps HIV patients strengthen their immune systems and their spirits”
Yoga Journal, 06.09
Ken Lowstetter considers it nothing short of miraculous that he has lived nearly half of his 48 years with HIV when many of his friends who also had the human immunodeficiency virus have died from AIDS. When he received his diagnosis in 1985, he didn’t think he’d last the year. After he progressed to AIDS, the late stage of the HIV disease, in 1995, he had to adjust to having less energy and new health risks, but he remained optimistic. He attributes his longevity and hopeful attitude to a combination of antiretroviral medications and his 15-year yoga practice, which relies heavily on poses such as Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand) and Matsyasana (Fish Pose).
When Lowstetter, who lives in Palm Springs, California, lost a lung in 2002 to lymphoma—a cancer that may have been related to the HIV—he used yogic breathing, or pranayama, to build his remaining lung’s capacity. And when he subsequently became physically weak and developed peripheral neuropathy, a numbness and inflammation of the extremities that can be caused by antiretroviral medication, yoga provided a gentle way for him to remain active.
Despite the health complications he’s experienced along the way, Lowstetter feels good and remains hopeful. And he says that yoga plays a huge role in this. “Drugs, I believe, are keeping me alive. But yoga,” he says, “keeps my spirit alive.”
Download a PDF of this article here.

“In Control: Teens manage their bleeding disorders—and you can, too”
HemAware Magazine, 04.09
Kody Schrimshaw’s morning routine is usually the same. The 15-year-old high school freshman, who has severe hemophilia A, wakes up to his alarm clock, brushes his teeth, crams his schoolbooks in his backpacks and heads to school.
There’s just one variation, and it’s a big one. Every other day, before rushing out the door, Schrimshaw, of Black Creek, Wisconsin, grabs his factor from the fridge, drops into a chair by the door and infuses himself. He’s been on prophylaxis since he was 13 months old and self-infusing since age 10. “I like to do it quickly—in and out,” he says.
Scrimshaw doesn’t see his morning infusions as a chore. He sees them as a passport to freedom. “Whatever you want to do more of, infusing yourself will let you do it,” he says. “Doing it myself gives me more freedom to do whatever else I want. I can go over to my friend’s for the night. I can go wherever I need to. I don’t need my parents there to infuse me.”
Freedom is appealing, but to get it, you have to handle your bleeding disorder. That means remembering to infuse and recognizing a bleed while juggling class assignments, work, dating and social pressure.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Keeping Secret Codes: How a law designed to prevent genetic discrimination may not protect the patients who need it most”
Registered Nurse Magazine, 02.09
When blood samples sent from the University of Chicago Medical Center arrive at a clinical genetic testing laboratory, geneticists spend weeks carefully extracting the blood’s most elemental components: wispy strings of DNA, isolated using heat and an alkaline and processed through a machine designed to identify just the right section of DNA. The results come out as little pink, red, green and blue spikes on a slip of paper. This red peak may mean a mutation of the gene that governs blood clotting. That green one may mean a genetic predisposition to breast cancer. Whatever the case, the geneticist analyzes them all against a standard for that part of the DNA helix, creates a report on the results and sends it back to the University of Chicago, where it might land in the hands of Melody White-Perpich.
White-Perpich, a genetic counselor at the Cancer Risk Clinic at the University of Chicago Medical Center, will review the findings and then, instead of filing them down in the basement where patients’ regular medical records are kept, she will head toward a special cabinet in her office. There, she’ll slip the document into a separate, very thick folder.
For 10 years, that file has housed her patients’ genetic profiles and, by keeping that data outside of their regular charts, protected the hundreds who pass through her doors every year from genetic discrimination by insurers and employers. It is, she says, a very important file—and a very important part of her job to defend the information within it.
“We call it the shadow file,” said White-Perpich.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Plan for Your Best Life: What’s ahead for you and your MS?”
Momentum Magazine, 01.09
Six stories that guide people with MS towards the simplest ways to plan for your financial, emotional, work and emotional life, regardless of what your MS does.
Download a PDF of this package of articles here.

“Act of Protection: What the Genetic Discrimination Nondiscrimination Act for people with bleeding disorders.”
HemAware Magazine, 12.08
Ray Stanhope may be the one in his family with hemophilia, but he’s not the only one who deals with its ramifications. His sisters and niece, for instance, fret about Stanhope’s health, but they also have their own medical concerns borne of the disease.
“They aren’t concerned for their own health,” he says. “The biggest thing for them has been the fear that they might be carriers and pass hemophilia on to their children. They worry they’ll be denied health insurance because of it.”
Stanhope’s family members aren’t alone. Others in the bleeding disorders community wonder if a loved one’s hemophilia or von Willebrand disease puts their children at risk of developing those disorders. The good news is that with the help of newly developed genetic tests, and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), they have a chance to find out and protect their health insurance.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Moments of Lucidity: Why do people with mental illness have good days and bad ones?”
APA Monitor on Psychology, 11.08
Some days, Lisa Halpern can get quite a fright from a soccer ball. Other days, an empty grocery aisle sends her leaping behind displays.
But Halpern isn't baffled by such experiences; she's prepared. She asks herself: Is that really a skull or will it turn into a soccer ball when I glance back at it? Is the person in the grocery aisle someone I should avoid or just a shadow on the floor?
Halpern, who has undergraduate and graduate degrees in public policy from Duke and Harvard universities, knows her brain plays tricks on her. She has schizophrenia. And she's learned that monitoring her reactions can tell her if she's getting worse.
"It's my way of trying to piece together a barometer of my health," she says. "If it takes me a half an hour to notice that the skull is really a soccer ball, then my brain health is not doing that well. If it takes a split second, my brain health is doing pretty well."
She pauses and adds thoughtfully, "After all, everyone mistakes what they see every now and then."
It's true; everyone has good days and bad. But new research is explaining why people with conditions such as schizophrenia, traumatic brain injury, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and dementia may have more extreme inconsistencies. The explanation is rooted in the fact that all these disorders are linked to damage in the frontal lobe. Psychologists are discovering what Halpern already knows intuitively: Wide swings in thought and perception may foreshadow worsening symptoms or even a psychotic episode.
Read the full article here.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Unhealthy Gamble: Just who’s really banking on health savings accounts?”
Registered Nurse Magazine, 09.08
Jonathan Stein takes his health seriously. But he takes is responsibilities as a father even more seriously.
And so it is that Stein, a self-employed 34-year-old lawyer living in Sacramento, Calif., decided to risk his future health so that his wife and three boys would have health coverage for their chronic conditions.
Stein admits the decision is a huge gamble, one his family cannot afford to lose. He is the sole breadwinner at the moment, and his wife acts as his office manager.
“I guess I’m more willing to take the risk that I’m not going to have a huge medical bill—knock on wood—every year because I try to do everything right throughout the year,” he said.
So far, the plan has worked great. Well, that is, except when he got kicked in the ribs during his martial arts class. Or when he twisted his ankle after that. Then he caught that cold he couldn’t shake. He waited and waited to seek medical treatment for his injuries, resting and icing his ribs and visiting his mother-in-law, a registered nurse, for advice. Finally, armed with a small laundry list of ailments, he broke down and saw the family doctor for the first time in tw yhears. “I went in and told her, ‘In addition to my cold, can you look at my rib, my knee and my right ankle?’” He recalled. Total bill: $350.
“That’s just ridiculous,” he remembered thinking of the expense.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Go with Your Gut: From GI distress to allergies, probiotics may help ease your health problems”
Yoga Journal, 09.08
Through her childhood and adolescence Jamie Koonce suffered from allergies and migraine attacks. By the time she was in her early 20s, the migraines had gone, but her maladies now included insomnia, stomach pain and depression.
Then, four years ago, Koonce made some changes in her life. She started doing vinyasa yoga daily and taking Chinese herbs for general health. But she found that the most profound improvements in her well-being came from the few nights of kimchi she began eating before meals and the fermented kombucha tea she drank daily. To her surprise, not only did her stomach cramps disappear but she almost immediately had more energy and felt her mood lighten. She began sleeping through the night and awoke feeling refreshed.
The secret behind Koonce’s miracle recovery? The probiotics, or beneficial bacteria, that are prevalent in foods such as kimchi, yogurt, kefir and aged cheese. Koonce had stumbled upon what medical systems such as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda have found, and what Western medicine through science is now beginning to accept: A shortage of “good” bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract can affect nearly every system in the body, from your respiratory system to your digestion. And some scientists are discovering that replenishing the levels of certain beneficial strains of these bacteria may alleviate long-standing conditions whose roots have evaded diagnosis.
Read the full article here.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Where are Heather’s Two Mommies? The numbers of kids living with gay parents has increased dramatically, but the amount of media catering to them has not”
The Advocate, 07.15.08
When Leslea Newman wrote the landmark Heather Has Two Mommies more than 18 years ago, not a single publisher would touch it. Not a gay press, not an independent children’s book publisher and certainly not a major publishing house like Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins or G.P. Putnam’s Sons.
Eventually, she published it via a friend’s small press, raising the money for the first run through $10 donations from readers. Then gay publisher Alyson Books picked it up.
Newman’s upcoming children’s books—the first board books for infants featuring two moms and two dads—will be released by the independent children’s publisher Tricycle Press in 2009. Tricycle publisher Nicole Geiger sought Newman out for the job.
“I think of these books as Heather’s little brothers and sisters,” says Newman. “But again, these are still the first of their kind. About once a year one will squeak through from the major publisher. But in general, for picture books aimed at kids up to age 8, I haven’t seen much change in the market over the past 18 years.”
Children’s media—DVDs, books, television programming, even songs—lag woefully behind the baby boom now underway in the gay community. Since the publication of Heather, gay parents have raised more than 400,000 children, according to statistics compiled by the Charles R. Williams Project on Sexual Orientation Law at the University of California, Los Angeles. Despite this, only about two dozen picture books aimed at those children have been published in the same time. And product is similarly scarce among other children’s media.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“New House on the Block: How new urbanism met one old neighborhood”
San Francisco Chronicle, 05.18.08
The four new homes on Oakland's 66th Street have everything modern Bay Area houses are to have - three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, two stories, 1,500 square feet, plenty of storage. The master bathrooms have separate tubs and showers. The living rooms have large, elegant windows and open floor plans. The houses share this midblock lot but have private yards. There are solar panels on each roof.
What they don't yet have is a family.
And really, that's what new houses need. By themselves in a neighborhood of established homes and families, they are lonely things. What they really want is for the mud of the yard to be tracked onto their clean hardwood and for stinky sneakers and Little League uniforms to be thrown on now-pristine closet floors.
They long for the stampede of neighborhood kids who will crunch through their careful landscaping and draw on their walls, and the owners who will patiently guide the growth of trumpet vines and flowering elms around them. Their garages ache for bikes or a car.
They long to belong—not only to the people who live in them but also to the neighborhood.
Read the full article here.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“One-Stop Swapping: Swapping homes helps Bay Area people see far-away places”
San Francisco Chronicle, 03.16.08
When Kate Pavao and Aaron Lazenby moved into their three-bedroom condo in Bernal Heights two years ago, they knew they were making sacrifices. One of them was that there would be no long Hawaiian vacations anytime in the near future.
But then the couple found themselves vacationing in Oahu for three weeks with their 4-year-old daughter, Coco.
They didn't hit the lottery. No rich relative died and left them money. Instead, Pavao and Lazenby discovered what hundreds of Bay Area residents already know. To take your dream vacation, you don't have to pay an arm and a leg. You just have to be willing to share your home.
Thanks to the Internet, home exchange programs have proliferated over the past decade, offering Bay Area residents a way to leverage their biggest investment into dream vacations. And, because they live in one of the post popular places on Earth, they can easily swap their homes for the best locales. Potrero Hill for Paris anyone?
Read the full article here.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Lighten Up: When winter’s gloom darkens your mood, yoga can brighten your days”
Yoga Journal, 01.08
During much of the year, Becky Hahn cheerfully heads to her yoga mat in the morning, enjoying the deep breaths and Sun Salutations that leave her body humming.
But in the wintertime, it’s a different story. From mid-October through April, Hahn feels mentally and physically drained. She struggles to get out of bed in the morning, withdraws from family and friends, and has a tough time coping with unexpected obstacles.
Sometimes she has to drag herself to her mat, but the 26-year-old Pennsylvania resident makes sure not to miss her practice. Her regular yoga sessions make her seasonal depression manageable. When she started doing yoga five years ago, the change in her mood took a few weeks. But once she started feeling an effect, she said, “The sunshine was back.”
Read the full article here.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Paradise Found: David Sandow, along with 180 other low-income seniors, finds a happy home in San Francisco’s newest high-tech neighborhood”
San Francisco Chronicle, 12.23.07
In San Francisco’s most up-and-coming neighborhood—high-tech, high-rent Mission Bay—180 senior citizens with very low incomes have found paradise.
“I tell you—it’s not only a dream come true, but a blessing and a prayer answered,” said Sondra Roland, 64. “To ever have a one-bedroom apartment in this city, for an amount I could afford—it’s amazing. I have a deck! Who would have thought I could have that without paying $1,700 a month?”
Read the full article here.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Sticky Fingers: Open houses can be an open invitation for theft”
San Francisco Chronicle, 11.16.07
Selling your house? Consider this checklist: Alarm clock. Cuisinart. Glasswear. Wine collection. Furniture. That Hummel collection. Area rugs. Leather jackets. Laptop. Jewelry. Toiletries and towels.
A laundry list of items to pack up before you sell? Nope.
For Bay Area thieves, these are some of the items they’ve nicked from open houses. Stealing during the open house itself, breaking back in to grab a few things later and even backing a moving van up to a vacant, staged home, open house thieves take literally the hospitality axiom “My home is your home.”
Read the full article here.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Good Bones: Unsatisfied with quick flips and dated inventory, some home buyers are tearing down to build the house of their dreams”
San Francisco Chronicle, 09.16.07
Prospecting and flipping houses may be a cottage industry in San Francisco, where home prices routinely buck national trends. But for some dedicated and visionary homeowners, buying a house filled with someone else's labor is second best. When they can afford it, they are willing to overhaul everything to make their house fit them perfectly.
"What I've seen is that people pick a neighborhood where they want to be, but those neighborhoods often have older, smaller homes than what they want," said Derek Cavasian, president and general contractor of Distinctive Builders, a San Rafael company that does new construction and remodeling all over the Bay Area. "If they can't find the house they want in that location to fit their requirements, they remodel extensively to get that."
These aren't cash-strapped first-time buyers who buy a fixer-upper in order to break into the market. People who are attracted to teardowns and extreme remodels can pay more than $1 million for a property and then pour an additional half-million dollars into it.
Read the full article here.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Borrowing in a Tough Market”
San Francisco Chronicle, 09.16.07
Envisioning your dream home, complete with architectural drawings, is one thing. Financing it is quite another - especially in the current market.
"It's going to be tough," said Natasha Lovas of Triton Funding Group in San Francisco. "A lender is going to lend on the current value of the property. To find a lender willing to lend on the future value, you need to get a construction loan, where the rates are higher and the bank assumes a lot of control over the whole process."
Not that long ago, a homeowner could get a loan for all the value of the property without proof of income and with poor credit. Today that's not the case.
Read the full article here.
Download a PDF of this article here.

 “Modular Homes: How they stack up”
San Francisco Chronicle, 08.05.07
Rachel Purcell is a determined type. An industrial systems engineer by training, Purcell is attracted to complex questions that require precise answers. So when she discovered during the inspection of her new Alamo home that it was full of toxic mold and asbestos - OK, yes, she flinched. But then she got to work.
The solution, it turned out, came rolling in from a factory in Nebraska on seven convoys of trucks. In less than three days, her new 6,000-square-foot house was stacked and bolted together. Within three months, the final work was completed - adding porches and other finish work. She and her family have been living in it for four months.
Read the full story here.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Modular home loan lenders hard to find”
San Francisco Chronicle, 08.05.07
Rachel and Bill Purcell were lucky. After taking out a mortgage on their Alamo property, they were able to pay for the construction of their prefabricated home without taking out another loan. For the rest of us, the normally arduous process of navigating home finance is more complicated when it comes to prefabs.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Homophobic Bullying”
teenwire.com, 07.24.07
Homophobic bullying can be anything from teasing people for being gay or for being perceived as gay to calling them anti-gay names, even in jest, to spreading rumors about people's sexual orientation for the purpose of making fun of them to hitting, throwing rocks at, and isolating people who are believed to be gay.
According to a study in the Journal of Early Adolescence, such behavior is more than just a joke — it can have some serious, negative health effects for the people who go through it. Like Kayla, people who experience homophobic bullying are more likely to become depressed, anxious, feel like they don't belong, and to withdraw from their social circles.
Read the full story here.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Sleeping Separately”
NewsMax Magazine, 07.07
Apryl Chapman Thomas, 33, loves her husband and has two children to prove it. But when she snuggles into bed most nights, she does it alone.
“We’re about as normal as you can get,” says Thomas, who lives in Watkinsville, Ga., with husband Chris and daughters Shay, 5, and Anna, 11 months. “But sleeping apart is actually better for our marriage. I snore and talk in my sleep. We’re not fighting about it anymore. I don’t see the big deal.”
A growing number of Americans are choosing to sleep in bedrooms separate from their spouses, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders. Survey respondents—most of them home builders—say two out of every three custom houses will have dual master suites by 2015. One in four new-construction houses already does.
Article available upon request.

“Taking it for Granite: Gen Y asks for luxury and technology”
San Francisco Chronicle, 07.15.07
The first shock to Kealoha Yoshioka's system after he signed the papers to buy his first house last month was that he'd have to cut back on buying Xbox games.
The 27-year-old Apple employee is a computer and gaming buff, with a large flat-screen TV and a lot of high-definition media components. He admits that limiting his purchases after a young adulthood where he could have -- and did get -- everything he wanted is hard. Since he and his fiancée, Christine Migita, 25, bought the two-bedroom condo, Migita and her accountant mother put him on an allowance and took away his credit cards.
But he says it was worth it to get a house with granite countertops, his-and-hers sinks in the master bath, a home near restaurants and bars and, new for him, an in-home washer and dryer. It even has crown moulding. "I had no idea what crown molding was 'til we bought this place," he chuckled. Living in Silicon Valley, he said he wants to be "in the know about all the latest and greatest."
Yoshioka and his contemporaries often insist on a new home with all the designer details, and are willing to spend to get them. This is a generation that, according to demographers and market researchers, spends more on itself than any other generation; that expects all the high-end finishes and appliances that equip their parents' houses; and that expects a few tech bells and whistles thrown in besides.
Read the full article here.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Riding into the Valley of Debt: Equity investing requires saving, sacrifice, lots of patience”
San Francisco Chronicle, 05.20.07
Jessica Lanning has a radical idea: Don't pay off your mortgage. Don't pay a down payment if you can avoid it. Carry as much debt as you can comfortably pay, even if you could get a smaller mortgage, and put that debt -- that extra money -- to work for you in the stock market, in savings or in high-yield investments that can earn you more over the long run than simply buying and paying off your home.
Lanning, a San Francisco certified mortgage consultant and financial strategist, has spread this new debt gospel to more than 1,000 Bay Area residents, mortgage brokers, certified financial planners and real estate agents over the past 10 years, and she expects to share it with 1,000 more before the end of June.
Read the full article here.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Self Image and Sexual Health”
PlannedParenthood.org, 04.11.07
When Natalie Campbell-Ybarra, 24, got her first bra in second grade, she was just an average tomboy who favored baggy jeans and loose T-shirts. She was totally unaware of how other people saw her.
But after getting that bra, everything changed. She suddenly felt that she wasn’t just a kid, but “the girl with boobs.” She became self-conscious about people seeing the outline of her bra through her shirts and felt horrible when kids teased her, asking her if she stuffed her bra. “Why would I do that?” she remembers thinking. “Why would I want this?”
Soon she moved desks to the back of the class and became painfully introverted. She refused to do oral reports because she would have to stand up in front of everybody. She had a hard time concentrating. She stopped playing jump rope with the other girls. Her grades started to slip. She felt depressed and hated her body. As a teenager, she says, all the teasing and assumptions from people who thought she was older than she was and more sexually experienced finally got to her. She started having sex — and not good sex, either. She didn’t enjoy it.
Campbell-Ybarra’s story may seem extreme, but it’s not, according to a report recently released by the American Psychological Association. The report, issued by the association’s Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls, analyzed research on girls and sexualization and found that those who felt alienated from their bodies and felt their appearance was the most valuable part of themselves were also more likely to experience a number of poor health effects.
Read the full story here.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Generation Confused: Cancer vaccines, birth control, emergency contraception -- with all these options, are teens any sexually healthier?”
San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, 02.11.07
Teen girls have access to the HPV vaccine, Depo-provera, a form of injectible birth control they don't have to remember to take, and to prescription-only Plan B, an emergency contraceptive that prevents pregnancy if taken within days of unprotected sex. If you define sexual health as being free of disease or pregnancy, today's teens have the potential to be the healthiest of any in history.
But sexual health is more than that. The World Health Organization defines it as "a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence."
In a country where the president supports abstinence until marriage, "To Catch A Predator" regularly tops the ratings in its timeslot and the raunchy "American Pie" films are hits, parents and teens are trying to navigate a world marked by piety on the one hand and raunch on the other.
What fills that gap is sexual schizophrenia: lots of flash and little of substance to help teens understand desire and how to navigate the tricky world of first relationships.
Read the full article here.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Resolve to Prepare”
teenwire.com, 01.02.07
Katie (not her real name) is starting the year with something new: a prescription for emergency contraception (EC). As part of her New Year’s resolution, the 17-year-old Massachusetts resident is protecting herself in case a condom breaks or something worse happens. Should you do the same? Katie thinks so.
Read the full article here.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“HIV Testing Today: How new guidelines could affect you.”
Planned Parenthood Online, 01.06
When the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its revised recommendations for HIV testing earlier this fall, Dr. Celia Maxwell was ready. Maxwell, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Management and Research at Howard University Hospital, deployed staff to the emergency room, labor and delivery department, the medical wards, and the outpatient clinics to give free HIV screening to everyone who wanted one. She says it's time to start thinking of HIV in a different way.
Download a PDF of this article here.

“Why his tenants Praise the ‘lord”
San Francisco Chronicle, 11.26.06
Indeed, Hallinan is a tenant's dream: a landlord who is actively involved in the health of his building, who attends annual Christmas parties, keeps rents low, responds to complaints promptly, and pays union employees higher wages and health benefits. And he's committed to not raising rents during this boom time.
"When I took over the buildings, I thought about, 'What would I be willing to pay for this space?' " said Hallinan, a former tenants rights organizer. "What's fair?"
Read the full article here.
Download a PDF of this article here.

”HPV, Herpes and Sexual Health Vaccines”
Choice! Magazine Online, 10.27.06
When Jonas Salk discovered a vaccine for polio in the 1950s, he changed the lives of millions of children and their parents.  No longer did the public live in fear of disfigurement or death from the disease.  As the country commemorates Salk’s birthday on October 28, researchers and scientists are making breakthroughs of their own with vaccines that have the potential to improve the lives of people at risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) — just about everybody on the planet at some time in their lives.
“This is a very exciting time and I’m very heartened by the research,” said Jeanne Marrazzo, associate professor of medicine at the University of Washington in Seattle.  “It’s a very wide open field right now.  Sexual health vaccines need to be very strongly developed over the next 10 years.”

“A Healthy Give and Take”
San Francisco Chronicle, 09.24.06
When Van Torma put his Alameda home on the market in April, he was expecting packed open houses, multiple offers and a quick sale. Five months later, his house is still on the market and Torma is perplexed.
Torma, 44, is one of a growing legion of "motivated sellers" populating classifieds, open houses and real estate offices around the Bay Area. He has slashed the price of his home, paid for staging, made upgrades and done a marketing blitz. The original listing price was $930,000. Now it's $845,000, a fair amount less than the $875,000 Torma turned down in April.
Read the full article here.
Download a PDF of this article here.

 “Men & the Mirror”
Choice! Magazine Online, 07.16.06
Research shows men of all ages and sexual orientations can experience a negatively skewed view of their bodies called body dysmorphia. It can make men feel either too fat, too short or too tall, or not muscular enough, and can include everything from thinning hair to penis size to the shape and appearance of testicles, says Dr. Katharine Phillips, director of the Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Body Image Clinic at Butler Hospital in Providence, RI. She is the author of The Broken Mirror: Understanding and Treating Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
Phillips' most recent research — which has not yet been published — shows that 60 percent of men and women with body dysmorphia avoided physical contact, including sexual activity and close dancing. Those who did have sex said it wasn't satisfying. The study did not address whether men felt more sexually apprehensive than women.
Download a PDF of this article here.

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Writing with a human face