Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bad use of Language by Media

Whatever it is, Mike Tomlin oozes it. -- Dan Dierdorf

Have you ever heard a more disgust comment regarding a coach? Regarding anyone? I think he meant exude, but that isn't what he said. It's really a shame how the English language is butchered in everyday broadcasts. I've also noted an increase in the incorrect usage of matriculate. It has nothing to do with progression -- look it up. It actually applies to enrolling in a school only. Wanna bet that the meaning ends up changing.

More on football later, but anyone else out there disgusted with how English has been used in the modern vernacular?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Funeral Black Friday

'Black Friday:' Three dead so far: The Swamp: "Some 'Black Friday.''
First a temporary maintenance worker died opening the doors of a Wal-Mart to a bargaining-hunting crowd of human wolves. And now two are dead at a Toys 'R'' Us."

Say it ain't so. Wow, this is just stupid. I know that economic times are hard, but for God's sake, just don't run someone over in your lust for a big screen. This sickens me and I am glad as hell that I don't do go to Black Friday sales anymore. They were too stressful, but this is beyond my ability to grasp.

Shameful, and I'm not one for shaming others . . . really!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Well, today will be my first major holiday with gastri bypass. It's sort of a weird moment. I don't feel like I will be missing out on much, really. I actually find that I rather hate eating. I have all of these expectations of how the food will taste and they are never fulfilled. Even if the expectation is fulfilled, I end up feeling to full or to sick. I'm not displeased. I just don't want to eat. It's like a chore for me.

So, I will sit down to Thanksgiving dinner with my family tonight and I will ponder what the past three months post op have done for me. They made me hate eating and lost me 50 pounds. Again, I'm not displeased.

I wish I could eat a hamburger or something and not have it hurt. I think that is my old self coming through. I just want to eat like that again, but still lose the weight. My eating is not difficult and as long as I behave myself I feel no discomfort. The joy has gone from eating. I no longer take immense joy in the feeling of food and the wondrous taste of it. Again, not complaining, but wishing I could still have that love affair.

Well, I guess I am complaining because I want food back, but I don't really. I'm much better off. I miss it like a bad boy lover. You know it isn't good for you, but it is sooooo goddamned good to taste. Now, nothing really tastes good. It's fuel and nothing more. I need to find my new joy. Maybe I ought to find it in writing again, as per the post above.

Any fiction written yet? No, but I've thought about it seriously. So seriously, in fact, my brow furrowed. No, seriously.

Thanksgiving -- bring on the turkey and the keyboard. There will be joy yet.
Picture from Flickr creative Commons by riptheskull

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Well, it has been a while since I've posted anything here, but I feel like I only have the energy for a quick update today. If I had more energy, I would be writing the article I've researched and submitting it to Helium. Man, that place is so much fun for me . . . and so inspiring.

I wrote a novel eight years ago and had it published. Sometimes I still can't even believe I did it, but I think it broke something in me. Since that time all of my fiction writing has focused on the sale, on getting that rush again. That's no way to write. The writer suffocates when forced to write things that will only sell. There is only so much my writer's heart can take of ignoring my impulses.

This begs the question, though, how does one be a professional writer -- i.e. showing up everyday, cranking out the pages everyday, not waiting on the muse, actually selling something -- if you write on what feels like whim?

I'd like to believe that if something is interesting enough to me to write it then it is interesting enough for someone to want to read it. Maybe it is naive, but why write if you don't think your thoughts and words have meaning or use? There is certain writing for self such as journal and maybe blogs, but I want to write for the public. I enjoyed selling that book and would enjoy selling one again.

I actually did like writing the books, though. I loved getting to know the character and breaking down the story. I liked changing things midway because something else seems to work better. I love that feeling you get when a brilliant solution bares itself to you and is more clever than anything you could have ever come up with. I did like it, so why is it so hard to write a book again?

Writer abuse, I think. I don't focus on what I like about writing the book only on what I like about selling the book. Selling doesn't always happen, but writing always done. Perhaps I focused so much on that rush that I missed the joy of the actual story writing. Really, I don't know that I realized how much I enjoyed the writing itself. Writing is hard, but it is like hammering a metal sheet into a helmet -- you start out with a flat piece that needs to be a rounded piece. Then you bash the hell out of it and sweat and sometimes cry. Then you finish and people are amazed.

I need to remember why I liked writing books to begin with. Story and character are only the top two.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A couple of poems . . .

Trying to capture the rhythm and feel of crashing wavse using only words.

And flow
To and fro
In and out
and in and out
Crash the waves
And plash the waves
Rising falling swaying
Pushing and pulling hoping praying
Filling emptying opening closing
Back forth and back and forth
Moving left and moving right
Rocking and rolling
Inspire and expire
In and out again
Ebbing and


Written for rememberance of the times I've been this depressed.

I'm here today
with nothing to say
And come what may
I will stay here
So that my family can be near.
They are the reason, it is clear,
To hold the hand of hurt
That my will wants to assert
Upon my self with all the blame
To the sorrow that has no name.
Pic: flickr, fernando

Friday, November 21, 2008

Daily Tarot

So, what's the day going to be like? Actually, I am supposed to be asleep right now, but I work tonight, so I'm staying awake.

Random card: eight of wands
Ideas: swift action, javelins, tree of life moving in purposeful direction, getting on target
Learn tarot meanings: quick action, conclusion, news

3-minute promt: Jacob threw the javelin as far as he could. It penetrated the hay bale almost through it. A knight rode up on a horse. "SOn, your father is dead." Jacob turned to look at the larger man, his face was partially obsured by the nasal of his helmet. "What does that mean, Dominic?" The older man sighed and dismounted. He put his hand on Jacob's shoulder. "It means you are king now." At that moment eight men crested the hill. When they saw Domenic, they began to run towards them, calling out. Domenic quickly mounted his horse. Jacob picked up a javelin. The older man offered a hand up. "Come, boy, those men do not have your welfare at heart." Jacob aimed his javelin. "Then we are to run?" He loosed the rod, his arm strong, his aim sure. It hit the man in front through the chest and sent him sprawling backward. "Not run, Jacob," Domenic said as he pulled him up behind him, "Just biding our time." They set off, then, leaving the remaining seven men calling after them.

Whew, that was great! Took more like four minutes, but, whatever. Please excuse typos and grammar. I was writing for flow, not perfection. Anyone who may be reading this want to participate? I'd love to see what others write.
pic: flickr, Eric Schwartz

Steelers Win

Ah, yeah, the sweet feel of victory. The Steelers won handily tonight and it is a lovely thing to see. I think we could go deep in the playoffs if Ben is kept upright and has his game on. More later. Must sleep now.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My anniversary

Today is my anniversay of the day I met my husband. We met online through a personals site that was sponsored by the newspaper. That was November 20, 2002 at 12:34 that he emailed me for the first time. :) Yes, he knows it down to the time because he remembered that number.

I am truly a very happy woman to have him in my life. He's been my strength for six years and I still can't get enough of him. He'll probably never read this -- he's playing a game right now -- and he doesn't need to. I love him and he knows it already. :)

Medieval tapestries

Romantic Pictures

*sigh* These are some medieval wall tapestries for sale on the internet. They are pricey, but nice. It gives a medieval flair to home decor that I quite like. Unfortunately, don't have the money right now for them -- or the room to hang them, for that matter. I have a large amount of incredible artwork. Someday, though, I'll get one to satisfy my medieval needs.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A poem to start the day off . . .

Just something that I came up with after trying to blink a snowflake out of my eye.


Winter at Work

Snowflakes land on my eyelashes,
And I am dazzled by color splashes.

Sparks of light dash upon the flakes,
Creating white calm winter lakes.

The torrent of light suffuses my eye,
Making me wish I had tears to cry.

They would only turn to ice this day,
But cannot carry my sadness away.

I walk in the gentle fall of snow,
Knowing not where I want to go.

The snow falls to chastize my sadness,
And I frown, content in my madness.

Pregnancy and Gastric Bypass

Some Pregnancy-Related Complications Minimized for Women Who Have Had Weight-Loss Surgery - MarketWatch: "ROCKVILLE, Md., Nov 18, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Women who undergo weight-loss surgery, known as bariatric surgery, and later become pregnant after losing weight may be at lower risk for pregnancy-related diabetes and high blood pressure -- complications that can seriously affect the mother or her baby -- than pregnant women who are obese, according to new findings from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality that are published in the November 19 issue of JAMA."

This is awesome research done about cause near and dear to my heart. One of the reasons I had surgery was to have children. Mitigating the complications of pregnancy is what this is all about. Infertile and PCOS women rejoice!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Thoughts on Gastric Bypass Surgery

The Dangers of Gastric Bypass Surgery

I had gastric bypass surgery three months ago. I did not have lap band but decided to have the "stomach stapling" that is more permanent. My experiences reflect this type of surgery only. I know that some people are convinced that it is unsafe, but I feel that it has saved my life. Here are a few reasons why gastric bypass is safer than staying fat.

1. The co-morbidities

In the health field, co-morbitity means symptoms and disease processes that are related to the original disease. Morbid obesity is a fatal disease with many co-morbities. For instance, diabetes has been shown to have a direct correlation with obesity. More research needs to be done on this, but there is a very strong link between the two. Amputations and blindness, among other horrors, await those with this disease. I would rather have a fighting chance.

Joint issues, sleep apnea, and depression are all linked to obesity as well. These conditions severely effect quality of life and can be life threatening. What sort of life do you have when you can't even walk up a flight of stairs? No life at all, really. It is more dangerous to fight the co-morbitities than it is to risk surgery.

2. Death is not common

I work with bariatric patients as a nurse on a post op floor. I see all of the people who have the surgeries and all of those who come back with problems. In all of the time our practice has been open, there have been two deaths in a thousand. I put my life in the hands of this surgeon and trusted that this ultimate consequence would not happen to me. There are far worse complications to this surgery than death, and none of them are very common. We have 5-10 bariatric surgery patients on our floor, but we only see one or two back per every few months. Noncompliance is usually a determining factor for complications.

3. Compliance, compliance, compliance

The secret trick to safe bariatric surgery is to follow your surgeon's rules to the letter. Failing to do so will land you in the hospital time and again. You will be subjected to quite a bit of suffering. The risks of bariatric surgery come from the patient themselves in most situations. If don't drink liquids during meals, stop smoking, and eat your protein first, you will have a good chance of avoiding complications. Supplements are also important. Failing to take supplements can lead to crippling osteoporosis, deficiency of the B vitamins, and anemia. The non compliant patient is usually the patient with complications.

However, this is not always true. Things such as intractable nausea, bowel obstruction, and blood clots are largely out of the patient's hands. It is a gamble worth taking if it means a full life. My life expectancy before surgery was little more than sixty years of age -- if that. Now, however, it is open. The long term effects of this surgery have yet to be fully researched, but I feel I stand a better chance now. Gastric bypass surgery is safer than the population at large believes. As always, consult your doctor's beforehand. They know your health better than anyone. Do your research, ask yourself if you can face the difficulties of life after surgery, and be ready to take a gamble that just may save your life.

Vampires in World Myths

Vampires in world myth is an interesting subject for me. With the debut of the twilight movie, I find it is curiously relevant.


Types of Vampires in Folklore from Around the World


The idea of vampirism is a common one in the myths and folklore of the world’s cultures. Western Europeans know vampires best from Bram Stoker and the modern horror movie. He is an elegant man who can be overwhelmingly seductive. He likes to feed on the blood of his prey, killing them in his lust. The vampire cannot be exposed to sunlight and can only be killed by a stake through the heart.

Many varied myths carry on this stereotypical vision of the vampire, but with some bizarre and horrifying twists. One thing if for certain after a cursory comparative study of world vampire mythology: people have always been fascinated and terrified by death, corpses, and things that seduce in the night.

Western European Myths

Vampire myths have been around for centuries – even finding a niche in the world of ancient Greeks and Romans. The Lamias had a female torso and a scaled, snake-like lower body. They appeared to be a large serpent with wings and preyed at night on the young. She is based on a typical Greek myth, making her the lover of Zeus and drawing the Ire of his lover Hera. Hera made the woman go insane and eat her own children. When she recovered, she became a monster who only fed upon the young. She was a monster because of this and feared antiquity.

Another vampire myth that has survived the centuries involves the Succubi and Incubi. The Succubi are gorgeous female vampires that feed on the energy generated by sex. They exhaust their prey, thereby giving the vampires the opportunity to do what they will with the victim. They can appear as any person they wish and often disguise themselves as dreams. Incubi are the male equivalent. The Scandinavian Mara is related to this, but the Succubus often returns to the same victim for endless torment.

Christianity eventually borrowed from this myth and the Hebrew myth of Lilith to create the Army of hell. Lilith was proclaimed the Queen of the Night and led her legion of Succubi and Incubi in a war for the souls of men. It has been claimed that many nuns became pregnant due to these very sexual demons.

Women were often vilified in European myth. The Spanish Bruga, Italian Strega, and Portuguese Bruxa are all presented as an old witch who preys on children. She is a shapeshifter. For the Romans, she preyed on travelers and would then disappear in the form of a large bird. This version was called the Strix which is the root word for the modern Italian Strega.

There are many other vampire myths of the European mindset. In Germany, the Alp is said to suck the blood from the nipples of both men and women. That culture also believed in the Neuntoter that smelled like excrement and spread disease. The Scots had Baobhan Sith that were female demons who danced with men until exhaustion set in. Then they would feed at their leisure. The Druids believed in the Dearg-Dues in Ireland. To prevent these vampires, the Irish built cairns on top of the body. It kept them from roaming the earth and has provided a wealth of historical knowledge for modern archeologists. The Empusai were ancient Greek vampires who seduced and ate shepherds. The Crete citizens believed in the similar Kathakano and thought the only way to kill the demon was by chopping off the head and boiling it in vinegar.

Eastern European Myths

Romania is the hotbed of vampire myths, but there are actually several distinct types of vampire in Romanian mythology. The first is the Murony who can change into any mammal or even insects. They were distinguished by long fangs and birdlike talons; however, they do not leave fang marks on their victims. Like other vampire myths, blood on a corpse near the mouth and ears is a definitive sign.

The term Nosferatu has specific meaning in our culture now, but it had its own meaning to the Wallachians – the historical Romanians. They were originally called Morroii and were illegitimate children whose parents were also illegitimate. Morroii was the term for those still living but were called Strigoii when they died and continued to torment. This is another sexual predator who participated in orgies and impregnated mortals. The children of this union would be covered in hair and destined to the life of a Moroii.

Bulgaria and Russia also have a wealth of vampire folklore. The Kropijac are identified by their one nostril and pointed tongue. Killing one consists of trapping the spirit into a bottle and burning it. Similar to this creature is the Ubor. Their tongue has a sting at the end to feed on its prey. It generally pulls pranks, but has been known to choke people, eat manure, and suck blood when no other food is available. The Upiercy (Viesczy) of Russian and Poland also has the pointed tongue, but is a day hunter. It can be killed by burning, but care must be taken to destroy the small, ugly animals that will escape the body. If they are not caught, they will inhabit another human and seek revenge.

In Serbia, the Vlokoslak or Mulos dress in all white and can hunt either day or night. They attack horses and sheep, eating the flesh and drinking the blood. The monster can be killed by cutting off its toes and stabbing a nail through its neck.

Asian, Middle, and Far East Myths

Legends of the eastern parts of the world also contain strikingly similar vampire-like creatures. The Lamastu or Lamashtu of the Mesopotamian region was known as “She Who Erases”. She is considered the daughter of Anu the sky god. Disease, sterility, and nightmares are her domain. She also feeds on the very young, suddenly killing infants either in the womb or the cradle. She had wings, talons, and a lions head.

The Lilitu was well known in Babylon and eventually became the Hebrew figure of Lilith. Lilitu was the first wife of Adam who was expelled from Eden for disobedience to her husband. She is also blamed for erotic and wet dreams.

Ekiminus (Ekkimu) were popular in Assyria. It was not exclusively a vampire, but had ghost like characteristics as well. They would occur after an improper burial and could take possession of a human. They could be killed by all wooden weapons and exorcism.

A Ch’Iang Shih is created when a cat is permitted to jump over a dead body. In China, the inferior part of the soul was called the P’o. This monster represents that side of the personality. It has a poisonous breath, can reanimate a decayed body, and has a moldy, hairy appearance. Known as a flesh eater, it also has red eyes and talons. Curiously, whenever the Ch’Inag Shih comes across a pile of rice it cannot continue on its journey until it has counted all of the grains.


There are many more creatures of the night circulating through world mythology. This is merely a sampling of the most known. Other countries such as Malaysia, India, and Brazil have rich vampire stories that match many of the details of other cultures. An exhaustive appreciation of this phenomenon would likely take several books to adequately explore. The question that this study leaves, though, is why the myth is so prevalent. How can such vastly separated cultures derive such similar “bogey men” for their cultures? Is it merely an explanation for death or is it an acknowledgement of some lurking evil that surrounds us? It seems that vampires, as their on screen counterparts, will remain a seductive mystery.

Getting Started

I am hopeing that this blog will be a showcase for my article work and perhaps some short stories. I am currently a member of helium and write about nursing, health, pets, and anything else that strikes my fancy. Certain articles don't pay well on Helium -- such as spirituality, creative writing, and mythology and folklore. So, that's what I'll put here. Stay tuned.