Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I'm trying to remember to post good things, too

The head of our inpatient unit today came up to me and asked if I'd done the bulletin board for employee appreciation week. I said yes, expecting a request for something similar. Instead, she said how much she'd like it, that it was very good, and that she figured people don't tend to say things to people who do a great job, so she wanted to be sure I knew it was appreciated.

:) I have to admit, it was nice to hear.

Ah, politics

This joke of the day came via Raed in the Middle:

How many members of the Bush Administration are needed to replace a lightbulb?

The Answer is SEVEN:
1. one to deny that a lightbulb needs to be replaced,
2. one to attack and question the patriotism of anyone who has questions about the lightbulb,
3. one to blame the previous administration for the need of a new lightbulb,
4. one to arrange the invasion of a country rumored to have a secret stockpile of lightbulbs,
5. one to get together with Vice President Cheney and figure out how to pay Halliburton Industries one million dollars for a lightbulb,
6. one to arrange a photo-op session showing Bush changing the lightbulb while dressed in a flight suit and wrapped in an American flag,
7. and finally one to explain to Bush the difference between screwing a lightbulb and screwing the country.

But wait, isn't that really six--because I don't think anyone in the current administration is going to touch #7. :)

What he said

Raed in the Middle


Dogs attacked with fireworks

It amazes me that people can do this. Six puppies were killed and two other dogs injured by what may have been a supposed 'teen prank'--fireworks were put in the dogs' mouths This was no prank. People who treat animals like this tend to grow up and treat people pretty much the same way. They're sick, and twisted, and quite frankly, deserve something similar.

Someone sent me this as a postcard

Calvin & Hobbes, by Bill Watterson

Calvin: I read that scientists are trying to make computers that think. Isn't that weird?? If computers can think, what will people be better at than machines?
Hobbes: Irrational behavior.
Calvin: Maybe they'll invent a psychotic computer.

HAL: Dave?

The Toenail of Icklibõgg?

Rowling squashes ugly Icklibõgg rumours

Actually, it would make a lovely title, just not for a Harry Potter book...although, I could see it...really, giants will probably figure more into the story soon. Actually, I have no idea if that's supposed to be a giant's name--it just sounds like it. Nothing shows up to indicate what/who Icklibõgg is supposed to be when I Google it, so maybe the rumours themselves weren't archived online.

Instead, book six will apparently be Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Hmmm...still, JK Rowling tends to write quite tongue-in-cheek on her website, so I'll settle with seeing the book title when it comes out, which will (hopefully) be soon. Not that I'm impatient or anything. :) Oh, and I'd love to see Ralph Fiennes play Voldemort, although I do have a secret passion for that actor, so that could make it difficult for me. Still, he was quite believable as a sadistic Nazi, being a top-notch actor, so I'm sure he'd do fine as He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named.

For more, check out: E! Online News' writeup.

The HP fandom community is such, though, that I could see how throwing out rumours could send them into titillation with every new bit, much like the guys throwing out 'unclean numbers' at Pythagoras and his followers in Epicurus the Sage to the point of causing meltdowns. :) (Oh, gee, I love that comic, must re-read at some point. If you have any background in Classics, it's up there with the 'Romans Go Home' skit from Monty Python's Life of Brian in sheer fun.)

Shades of Frankenstein, but hey...if it works...

Take patient’s blood, add oxygen, zap it with light, warm it and put it back, great for heart patients

Now let's hope it can be duplicated

Frozen ovary a success

Sperm is relatively easy to store for someone about to go through chemotherapy. For a woman, maintaining fertility after cancer--especially if she is not in a position to create frozen embryos with a partner, can be daunting, as eggs do not freeze that well (and frankly, embryos can be rather tricky, too.)

From the e-mail bag :)

Anti-virus warning:

There is a new virus. The code name is "WORK".
If you receive work from your colleagues, your boss, via e-mail, or from

This virus wipes out your private life.

If you should happen to come in contact with this virus, take two friends and go straight to the nearest bar. Order drinks immediately and after three rounds, you will find that WORK has been completely deleted from your brain.

Forward this virus warning immediately to at least five friends. Should you realize you do not have five friends, this means this virus already infects you and WORK already controls your life. If this is the case, go to the bar and stay until you make at least ! five friends. Then retry.

I think I have five friends, but am not entirely positive so I'm headed for the bar anyway ... it never hurts to be safe.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Just in case any of you doubted that we are products of nature

Human menopause linked to seasonal changes

Well, here's one part of that list down

Do you know your 80s music trivia?

We hear the playback and it seems so long ago...

This has potential

Legendary Western Hero Comes 'Out'

and no, most comics--short of things like Casper--are not read by young kids, for those of you concerned about sexuality and violence in comics. The comic industry has also done a fairly good job at labelling their content for parental guidance. Any librarian ordering this title for a library should be aware that some may protest--but like most objections for censoship, it's probably unfounded. And I'm glad that in making a character gay, that isn't the main aspect of the character--after all, despite what some think, a person's gayness is really not particularly central to most people who are gay, anymore than a heterosexual tends to see his own sexuality as his defining trait.

Despite some of the issues I had with Marvel back when I worked in a comic shop and had to deal with them as a distributor--which they don't do anymore--I have always admired Marvel's depiction of superheroes you could really identify with--with real emotions, real problems, real settings. DC heroes tend to be more cerebral, but less human. And of course, there are a whole host of alternative producers; but those are the two biggies, and I like elements of each and collect comics from both camps.

Robert Knight, director of Concerned Women for America's Culture and Family Institute--and one does wonder why the director of an organisation with that name is male (can the poor little ladies not speak or act for themselves???)--shows that he really doesn't understand homosexuality in the following quote from the article: "e;Why is Marvel glorifying homosexuality when it has taken so many lives and played a role in so many sexually transmitted diseases?"e; One might ask why someone would appear to equate a character's homosexuality with pornography and put forward such prejudiced thinking in the supposed defence of children. I have news for them...there are a lot of teens and young people grappling with their sexual orientation right now. Many gay kids, under pressure from societal values such as those supported by the CWAFFI, commit or attempt suicide, because they find that an essential--althought again, not central--aspect of their being is rejected by those around them. Maybe books like Rawhide Kid will help at least one person out there avoid such a fate. And in the meantime, I seriously doubt the world will come to a crashing halt because of one dashing comic book character who happens to shoot straight but dress well.


That the only mention of Blade--a black vampire hunter--in this story on the lack of black superheroes in comics was as a successful movie hero with no mention of his race.

This was an interesting quiz (a little more robust than average)

The Moon Card

You are the Moon card. Entering the Moon we enter the intuitive and psychic realms. This is the stuff dreams are made on. And like dreams the imagery we find here may inspire us or torment us. Understanding the moon requires looking within. Our own bodily rhythms are echoed in this luminary that circles the earth every month and reflects the sun in its progress. Listening to those rhythms may produce visions and lead you towards insight. The Moon is a force that has legends attached to it. It carries with it both romance and insanity. Moonlight reveals itself as an illusion and it is only those willing to work with the force of dreams that are able to withstand this reflective light. Image from: Stevee Postman. http://www.stevee.com/

Which Tarot Card Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Well, I'd say most poeple who know me well would agree.

I hate to sound like a wuss

but I'm having some trouble with my wrists (okay, actually, I'm having pain shooting up past my elbows and on the left side, up to my shoulder), so I've done a couple of 'fun' backdated posts to skate through whilst taking a break from typing. I think I've been overdoing it; 3 hours straight typing last night after having a proper wristlock demonstrated on me probably didn't help, either. I'm used to numbness; my shoulders and neck cause problems for me there. This is pain. When I moved, it got bad enough that a friend had to massage my wrists because they went into spasm. I'm thinking it's time to go back to the doctor about them.

So, I won't blog on tonight. Remind me later, though to tell you about:

1) impending Cthulhoid Apocalypses
2) a nifty 80s music quiz that docks points if you were born before Woodstock (hey, I was only 2 years old)
3) how I got my driver's licence suspended over $15 and then got a new one from Elvis
4) how just terribly appalled and saddened I am by the recent beheadings in the Middle East
5) the silly things people with latex allergy have to expect from our local blood bank

you know, stuff like that. :)

Monday, June 28, 2004

You got to love those little poetic snippets they're putting on spam now

>Folly grows without watering
>A golden key opens all doors.
>Two Dogs Fight for a Bone, and a Third Runs Away With

WTF does this have to do with toner cartridges, I ask you?

Happy Monday

1. Bed & Breakfast or hotel? If possible, B&B.
2. What determines where you stay?(i.e. price, accommodations, transportation, travel package) These days, price. I wish I could just go for ambience.
3. When determining where to stay, do you ever consider the establishment's history? (i.e. it might be haunted, location of high profile crime) Oh, of course. I mean, that's part of the draw, after all. :)
4. Would such considerations sway your decision? Well, haunted or some historical aspect would probably increase my chances of staying there. I probably wouldn't want to stay in the room where there was a mass murder, though. (I'm morbid. I'm not that morbid.)
5. Do you try and read the local paper for where you're visiting, to get an idea of what the area's like? Yes. I'm also partial to phone books. You can tell a lot about a place by those two things. It's also amazing how things we take for granted can seem so foreign somewhere else.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Haven't muttered in awhile

  1. Lounge:: Lizard
  2. Photograph:: Archive
  3. Catacomb:: Rome
  4. Crucifix:: Sacrifice
  5. Fire drill:: School
  6. Tube:: Paint
  7. Dropped:: Call
  8. LTD:: Company
  9. Panther:: Black
  10. Formica:: Countertop

Speaking of dogs

For those of you who are fans of 'Fang' in the Harry Potter movies, he's not a Boarhound (which seems to be another name for a Great Dane). Fang was played by several Neopolitan mastiffs.

I love mastiffs, of whatever type. They're big, drooly babies that prefer being on your sofa than out in a yard. I can't afford to keep one (and I can't in an apartment anyway!), but I hope to, someday. They need big houses, big cars, lots of drool rags, and lots of love...they're not fighting dogs, they just look intimidating. They were bred to scare intruders by their immense and 'ugly' appearance, but they're family dogs--although at 150lbs, they probably shouldn't be around tiny children or the elderly. Think of a rottweiler magnified with wrinkles. :)

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Breed identification must be a fun process for rescue pups

This pup looked at first pretty much straight Weimaraner to me. Then I looked at the bigger picture, and yeah, she seems more chocolate lab (her eyes aren't blue after all, for one). Still, more importantly, she's adorable.

Sigh. No more pets. No more pets. No more pets. I have enough to handle right now. Okay, that's better. Still, I'm glad there's PetFinder as a resource. A lot of people have no idea just how many small rescue groups there are in addition to humane societies and city pounds, and this give everyone a chance to find homes for the animals under their care.

This looks so much like my Care Bear (Cerys)

Petfinder PetNotes. I hope Betty and her sister Belinda (who unfortunately was caught looking a bit psycho in her picture) find good homes.

Cerys is 13, but she is only 30lbs. She's a lab/terrier mix so she looks kind of like a lab puppy all the time, except she's obviously older these days, greying here and there and getting the lumps and bumps and cataracts of an older dog. She has been such a wonderful companion; it's hard to think of my sweet girl getting elderly. I bathed her today and she just walked up into the bathtub and was so patient. The new tub is big enough widthwise for her to stand that way, too. Then I took her out for a great roll in the grass. I'm sure these puppies are a good bit more active, but how could anyone not love those faces?

Yay for the weekend

listening to: WEKU
feeling: Productive

Yesterday evening: Typed on project, visited friend, cleaned cat boxes, mopped kitchen and bathroom floor, played Scrabble on the computer, talked with a friend over the phone, gave someone a ride home
Today: Slept late, did yoga and dog massage out in the back yard (the hill slope is perfect for aligning your body as if you were on a bolster), basked with dog in the sun, slept, cuddled with cat, took a shower, got groceries (and quarters), came up with story idea and plotted it out, slept, talked with another friend on the phone, washed dog, trimmed everybody's claws (except mine--can't find my clippers), cleaned bathroom fixtures, took out trash, cleaned vegetables from Momma's garden, saved a spider from trash can and installed it in utility closet, put a leaf of lettuce in the aquarium to begin the great snail cleanout, put the veggies in the refrigerator, discovered crisper collects water, took out vegetable castoffs to edge of the woods for rabbits and other critters who'll eat it, sweep up and spot mop the kitchen and bathroom floors, and listened to lots of classical music.
Tomorrow: Take dog on a visit to the rest of the pack, be terrorised by gamemaster who wants to kill our characters, help someone wash another dog, probably do more typies, do some laundry for work.

Okay, it's not the most exciting life out there, but I'm enjoying it for the most part. :) And it's nice not having to cram everything into one day for a change.

It's amazing how far refusing to take 'no' will get you

listening to: WEKU
feeling: Triumphant

I ventured out of the house briefly to hunt down a very short list of items at Kroger's, one of which was a roll of quarters for laundry. After being told they couldn't give me any, I said that was unfortunate, since I had come there especially for that purpose and had spent money there. (Okay, I spent $10 on groceries, but it's the principle). I asked him if he knew anywhere in the area where I could get quarters. At that point, the guy went back and got quarters, explaining the whole time why he couldn't give them to me. I gave him my $10, smiled, and went on my way. I still have a little trouble not sounding bitchy when I'm being firm, and I honestly couldn't remember if I'd thanked him (I hope I did), but I did get what I came for. I do most of my grocery shopping at that store; granted, it's not a huge amount, but the least they can do is give me change once a month. I sometimes do laundry over at Dwana's when our schedules work out, but I also do loads here at the apartment laundry.

Last time I went to get quarters at that store, I was told they didn't have any money at all, something I really can't believe as 1) they were open and doing business, 2) they had lots of people giving them money for merchandise right there, and 3) I had just done so, too. Then I tried at a laundromat (not unless you're doing them there, of course), and finally went to Wal-Mart without any trouble. (They're also cheaper for cheque cashing and money orders, by the way).

Note to self: remember to get quarters at the credit union during the week, and avoid the great quarter safari. And work on being direct without sounding bitchy. Goodness knows I have a great role model for that. ;)

Friday, June 25, 2004

I have a drunken female outside

talking on the phone and lighting herself on fire in a vain attempt to smoke. I think this is evolution in action.

Okay, I'm exaggerating. A little. She really isn't even that loud--it's just my windows are open to the front porch. She's now made three phone calls, talking about how she's in Kentucky from West Virginia and her grandparents are crazy. I think she should go back to West Virginia. Also, I'm not sure if her poor benighted grandparents really are psycho, but if so, it's hereditary.

I'm a Celt, and a Pagan, but please don't confuse me with Dr Lewis

They've given us leeks, lava bread, and Max Boyce. Now, in return, the Welsh want our Stonehenge!

I guess it'll go with all the consonants they raided for vowels so long ago. :)

There. I feel better. I knew perusing FARK was just what the doctor ordered.

I am rather curious, though...what is lava bread? Anyone know?

So what's the statute of limitations, anyway?

80-Year-Old Woman Arrested For Writing Bad Check In 1985

Well, pooh.

I had to run an errand during lunch, so I missed the grilled cheese sandwiches...most everything was picked over; even the salad. Granted, they would have fixed me one, but when I really thought about it, my breakfast at 10 was still going strong; since I wasn't really that hungry, I figured I'd eat when I got off work. I decided against getting the tomato soup; I'm in a white shirt, which spells trouble when mixed with soup, unless I'm drinking it out of a mug, and sometimes even then. :)

Oh, well. It's a dark and stormy afternoon and I just listened to a good friend spend about a half-hour talking about the things I do that frustrate him. On the one hand, I understand, and I'm glad he told me, and gladder that he's stood by me all these years and all my borderlineness. I know he doesn't understand why I do things that shoot me in the foot later. I'm just beginning to, and I'm making changes, but it seems like I can only do little steps at a time, and I don't know how far I'm really getting. I do know I've pretty much reached the end of being able to rely on anyone else for help and I'm pretty much going to have to go it alone. But I've said so enough times that I feel about an inch tall now, and I'm crying, and I know that I really shouldn't be. I think I understand a little how an addict feels, or someone with an eating disorder. Have I mentioned how much I hate mental illness lately?

I feel like Rip Van Winkle

...except more refreshed. I had a headache yesterday afternoon; I'm not sure if it was from giving blood earlier in the day, or sinuses, or a mild migraine--it was light-sensitive--but I laid down about six pm. I just woke up, about 13 hours later. Poor Cerys, she was remarkably good, never complained or asked to go out, and held for a long time. Of course, she's used to holding if it rains for a couple days, too. :)

I usually pick up someone who works second shift up, but he was off yesterday, so after a few early calls (mostly from telemarketers), I slept soundly, with many interesting, fully cinematic dreams. I haven't been getting more than six hours or so of sleep a night, it's been kind of stressful lately, and I'd taken a trip the day before, done laundry, run errands, changed a car headlight, been productive, and had missed two days of naps. I've been coming home from work each day just overwhelmingly tired. Yesterday I just crashed. Today I feel great...I wonder if it will last.

Being so tired might explain my stupid thing #739984 yesterday; I was talking to Dwana out at our cars as we went to leave work yesterday (because goodness knows if we're seen together AT work it's somehow an issue), said goodbye, and then she left. I got into my car and realised I had no idea where my keys were. I'd already unlocked the car door and put my stuff inside. I start looking through everything; nothing. I do have a spare set of keys in my purse (for the car, not my house as of yet), but my keys also have a little change purse with my driver's licence, debit card, and health insurance card in it. Being OCD my first impulse was to follow Dwana home, thinking I'd left them when I leaned on her trunk. But then I thought of the chances that either I'd find them along the road (assuming I went the same way she did) or that they'd still be on her car, and forced myself to go the opposite direction towards my original destination. I turned up the radio and was drumming along with the window down when I felt something with my hand and realised immediately that I had, indeed, left the keys in the car door lock without having checked that. Rather sheepishly, I pulled them out (thankfully I was at a red light) and went on with my day.

That was one of just a series of adventures that I won't go into, mainly because they're gross and you wouldn't want to know. But, it shows how my day was going, and how tired I must have been. I think I've had a lot of trouble lately in terms of sleep. My mask is still giving me fits, so I'm not sure I'm getting the whole benefit of the CPAP, plus I've had trouble sleeping at night and then sleep in the day when I want to get things done. I'm going to pay attention and see if my memory/speech is better today than it has been. I've seemed to have more trouble finding words than normal...maybe it's sleep deprivation.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

I wish we could do this more often

Yesterday I went home and visited my family in Danville. My aunt Sharon Sue and uncle Terry came up from Georgia, and my uncle Ed (or as we still call him, Eddie) and aunt Sharon Ann came up from Texas [yes, my mom's sister's name is Sharon; her brother married a woman named Sharon--hence the good thing about the Southern use of middle names]. My mom and John were off, too, so we all had lunch and dinner at my grandmother's house and spent the day. The guys were doing a lot of yard work for my grandmother, so I got to talk to them intermittently. The yard looks great--they came and pruned trees, got a mower going, wrestled with a weedeater (finally my mom and John went and got theirs, and John did that part), all that. My grandmother is 80 and not able to do much in the yard. She has someone come once a week to mow but this was the more intense yard work. I didn't realise it, but since my uncle retired from TWA he's built up a mowing service, mostly with industrial clients. He really enjoys it, from what I can tell. He and Dwana's husband Eric should get together.

It's interesting to see people you're related to and some of the similarities. Growing up, I learned to respond to the name Sharon because I got called it often; Sharon Sue and I were both talkative, smart girls with long hair and personality wise I think we're probably closest. Even though we see each other maybe every three years at most and I haven't been around her for any length of time since I was really little, Sharon know intuitively what's bothering me, what's going on. I had to ask my mom for money to pay my rent and get caught up financially, and I tried to pick a time to talk to her when we weren't all together. It's embarrassing for me, but it's a strain for her, not just me but with John's kids, too. Being my mom, she came through, and now that I'm finally in the positives (the first time since my unemployment ended in March, sad to say), I'm doing everything I can to make sure I don't need to ask her for any more any time soon. Sharon picked up on what was going on immediately; my mom was upset but trying not to let it show, and Sharon knows her pretty well. When Sharon Ann asked what was going on, my aunt summed it up really well, 'Phyllis and Lisa are putting their heads together and trying to keep a roof over Lisa's head'.

I learned, too, that I'm not the only one in the family dealing with a bad oeconomy; my cousin David, who had been working in the financial field and just got his MBA, was given the choice of a reorganising demotion or severance package; he took the latter, since it was time to move on, anyway. He has three kids, a wife, and a house--a lot more responsibilities than I do. He's very financially savvy, though, so he's probably got more in terms of resources to draw upon. Hopefully he'll be able to find something soon.

I sometimes envy how close Eddie's family live to one another. Jan and David have families in San Antonio; Eddie and Sharon live nearby. Jan is the only other girl of the five of us cousins, a little older than me. When we were kids, I used to be terribly jealous of her--she's beautiful, outgoing...but I think we actually have a lot in common. David and I are just a few months apart, and we looked a lot alike as kids. I have always adored him and felt closest to him, I guess because of our ages. In terms of geography, of course, I have my mom and grandmother; Sharon and Terry's kids are in totally different states now. They both seem to be doing well, too...Craig--the first baby I ever held--just had a second child a few months ago, a son. He lives in New Jersey. Steve's the only other single one of the five of us, busy as an engineer in Mississipi.

On the other hand, of the five, I was the one who came to Kentucky and lived with my grandparents on and off. My grandfather was more a father to me than my own. (So is John, and I'm so very thankful for those positive male influences). I'm glad I had a chance to get to know my grandparents and great-grandparents in Kentucky so well. Growing up in the military, we were so cut off from long-term relationships outside our own household--and in my case we were fractured inside, too, each living in our own world for the most part, occasionally my mother and I would connect; or my father and my mother, although almost never would my father and I do so--he just didn't know how to deal with a child and had his own problems.

I think overall, we all came out okay. No one's gone to jail or become addicts or had babies in their teens or any of the other supposed 'pitfalls' that create family gossip, at least as far as I know. I'm sure we all have our own problems--and I've got a pretty big chunk, although the more experience I get, the more I feel nice and sane compared to the people out there who don't realise they're crazy. :) So maybe, despite everything, I came out okay, too. Mostly, anyway--and I'm working on the rest.

I gave my aunts my new address and e-mail--and the address for this website--we're going to try to keep in touch better. My grandmother is the only one who doesn't have a computer and access to e-mail, and my mom can pass anything to her...assuming she breaks away from Spider Solitaire long enough to read her e-mail--she and I are a lot alike, too. Sharon Ann's mom, who's about 86, does have e-mail. I find that just great. I think a lot of older people would feel less isolated if they would learn how to use the computer.

Well, that's all for now, I'd better get ready for work.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

A piece of landscape from my childhood is gone

Okay, I know it wasn't politically or geographically correct in any way, but one of the most comforting landmarks on my drive from Lexington to Danville along US 27 has always been the TeePee.

It's had several incarnations, but basically it's one of those tourist-trap trinket stores with a giant teepee out front. I remember as a child it seemed to loom in the distance; I guess it seemed so out of place, it was like seeing something magical. I only went in the little store once, just a few years ago, so I don't know what it was like early on. I imagine it's probably one of those things that cropped up in the 50s when kids were running around with Davy Crockett hats and Westerns ruled the Silver Screen.

A friend of mine who was raised in the area remembers that they used to have a place in the hillside where you could supposedly view Indian remains behind glass (I'm sure he'll correct me if I've collapsed stories together). I don't know if that hill is natural or a mound; we do have remains of the Adena and Hoppewell cultures here and there. I don't even know if these were real; this whole place was Kitsch with a capital 'K'.

And now it's gone. Well, the concrete building is still there. They're building a big wooden fence around it, like they're preparing for an equipment yard or something like that. But there is no teepee. No landmark. It existed longer than I've been alive. I don't know if the owners died or sold the property or just moved on to the 21st century. It wasn't really historical, but it was part of my historical setting, and I miss it. Funny the things we get attached to, hmm?

I tried to find a picture online; I figure many people have photographed it over the years. But those photos are probably in family albums or library archives. If anyone has one, I'd be happy to post it here. It was located in Garrard county near Bryantsville, a little before you turn off from 27 onto the Danville road.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

An unexpected surprise

The nursing students from Midway College surprised me with a thank you card and bag containing an address book and magnetic notepad to thank me for all my help with their research. How sweet.

Kind of nice when you haven't been feeling particularly appreciated at work. :)

Heard this song by Alana Davis on the way in today

and in light of the stuff last week, it really just resonated.


You've got your home of the brave and I've got my land of the free
You conform to what society says and I conform to me
Looking for light in the corners getting caught in the spider web
You look at me as if I'm giving a performance when I'm just feeding my head
And you know that I'm doing all right
And I won't explain myself to you just to avoid a fight
How I'm living ain't correct but for me it's just right
I'm not completely insane, I'm maybe just a little bit crazy
There's no one to blame, got no shame about game
Don't want nobody to save me
I've got a pair of ruby slippers that I don't wear much anymore
And if I had the nerve I'd click my heels and return
To the wonderland I knew before
I'm waiting to slow boat to China, want to sail away to the sun
I've been searching for myself and I know I'm gonna find her if I break away from everyone
So the way that I act may not fit in
Just because I've got a mind of my own doesn't mean it's a sin
I don't ask you to give up; don't expect me to give in
'Cause I'm not completely insane, I'm maybe just a little bit crazy
there's no one to blame, got no shame about my game
Don't want nobody to save me
Some like to live for the moment taking life into their own hands every day
And if they don't get killed they get so high off the thrill
They could float to heaven anyway
And others want to save for tomorrow thinking money is security
Well I understand the need but I don't get the greed
And they all seem pretty crazy to me
You can tell by the expression I wear
Though I seem a little strange to you, I don't really care
I got the freedom to be and there are others like me everywhere...

Monday, June 21, 2004


We just had a fire engine, ambulance, and police car outside. At no point did I ever hear sirens...just heard the sound of large equipment and saw some flashing lights. They seemed to be taking a neighbour away in the ambulance. Hope it wasn't too serious.

Goodbye, Peter, Hello Pavitr

Spidey's image changed for an Indian audience

Mulling the differences between the book and the movie for Prisoner of Azkaban?

Try: Prisoner of Azkaban: Book vs. Movie Quiz

I still haven't decided how I feel about the movie. Overall, I enjoyed it. I'm not some sort of purist. I understand that movies and books are different media, with different pacing and requirements. Mostly, I could deal with the differences. The new Dumbledore just isn't the Dumbledore I know and love, either in terms of the late Richard Harris or from the books. I'm curious if they ever explained Mooney, Prongs, Padfoot, & Wormtail in some unknown-but-cut scene that we may see on the DVD. I'm mildly annoyed by a few omissions...but the one that really irritated is the misplacing of the Firebolt in time.

Ah, well...see it for yourself and decide.

Headset hygiene

Cure for first mobile phone virus found...this one was benign; worse ones will no doubt follow. My mind boggles at the possibilities.

Sunday, June 20, 2004


(Electric Fan + Plantation Desk + Clumsy Girl + Tile Floor) - Normal Rottweiler Variable = Pain

I'm beginning to think my body is incapable of not falling down at least once a month.

The Longest Day

or for those of you Down Under, the Longest Night. Happy solstice.

This was cute

J sent this thank you for her birthday celebration. :)

That link will eventually go away, so here's the card in its standard format.

'Satan is vindictive'

so said a friend in a moment of understatement in response to a Lifetime movie about a woman used by Satan in an attempt to have a child. She was, of course, Catholic, and did manage to triumph by getting Christened.

The nice thing about being Pagan? You don't tend to have the Lord of all Evil try to subvert you, seduce you, have sex with you, and try to steal your baby. What's the fun in that? Much better to do it to a nice Catholic girl.

Have I mentioned that Lifetime is sick and wrong?

Saturday, June 19, 2004

It's Father's Day

which I'm not really used to celebrating. I sent John an e-card from Hallmark where you have to try to put up tools in a Flash game before the dog knocks them out of your hand. It seemed appropriate to John, who's very much the Tool Guy and has a large rambunctious dog, too.

It's amazing that in the short time I've known him, John has been so much more supportive of me as a father than my own father ever was in our entire relationship. I understand a little why my father was like he was; I'm not even sure he realised how much he hurt me over the years, because he was wrapped up in himself and could never really give me the one thing I craved--his love. John has come through on small things and big, and I'm very grateful for him as a father, and of course my mom seems really happy for the first time in a relationship too.

I hope my father (funny, I used to call him Daddy, then my dad, and now I can't even seem to use that) has grown over the years and is doing better, for his own sake and for the sake of his family. He was never really ready for fatherhood, and rather fell into it as a natural consequence. I think he always resented losing his freedom by being tied to my mom and me. And he never really had much of a father figure himself. I've learned a little about that side of the family, and apparently estrangement is a long-standing family tradition, more's the pity. I don't know if I'll ever have children of my own, but I do know that if I do I'm going to put every bit of maturity I've gained over the years to make it as caring and nurturing a relationship as possible, to break that chain. And in the meantime, I'm glad to have the opportunity to learn what it means to have a father, even if he's not mine biologically. It almost makes up for all those years without one. Almost.

I promised to shed light on the breakdown post

A friend and I happen to belong to a group of people within a larger one. I am somewhat on the fringes, being outside the actual hierarchy within which she belongs. Although we each work on our respective projects, the group as a whole tends to do certain things together, like birthday parties or movie nights.

Recently my friend moved to another area, and because of the closeness of her space and the distance between us, we were mostly seeing each other during free times or away from the group altogether.

The other day I had visited a little more than usual. There was a birthday celebration for one of the women of the group for which I was in charge of planning, but my friend knows her better and I was in need of suggestions. There was also another outing for which we were co-hostesses, and the woman who was coming to give a presentation was annoying my friend with many phone calls, so we discussed this briefly. In addition, during the time I was there, a conversation started up with her neighbour on some issues that had been awkward some time ago, and it was good to finally put it to rest and be able to provide the support we would have liked back then. At one point I left, coming back only when it was time for us to leave.

During this time, a woman who is over the others in that are had come by a couple of times and seen me in there. Because of some past issues, her assumption that I'd been there the whole time, and a desire to minimise socialising, she decided my being there was an issue. Rather than saying something at the time or coming to me directly, she went to someone else, who then asked my friend to talk to me about it the next day. While no one was supposedly 'in trouble', the implication was that my presence was disruptive to the others, that my friend and I were slacking, and that I was not welcome in that area. It was suggested that we only see each other during free times in designated areas. While this in and of itself would be normally reasonable, the fact of the matter is that this group socialises a great deal amongst themselves, and so yes, I felt we were singled out. If someone had come to me directly, I would have probably been completely okay about it. Instead what happened was a sort of game of 'Operator' where once things had been told and repeated, whatever tone might have been originally meant flew out the window. I've seen this sort of thing happen in other groups and in other situations within this one, and frankly, I didn't want to play that game.

I ws surprised at how strong of a reaction I had. Yes, the whole thing was mishandled. Yes, it was a double standard. Yes, I was annoyed because I had, in fact, been cognizant of the need to keep such a confined space free from distraction, and had watched the time, because frankly my time and projects are important to me as well. But despite the fact that I had tried to limit my visits already to those necessary and this was an unusual occurrence, there was still an issue, and one where I never got to give my side because no one except my friend was willing to talk to me about it. At the time it seemed just one more instance of the erosion of my ability to contribute to the overall success of this organisation; indeed, I've felt my personality there has been nearly obliterated for some time. I'm beginning to feel that what everyone wants me to be is some extension of the equipment, an automaton who will give them exactly what they want--no more, no less. That's an over-reaction, I know, but it stems from a slow degradation of control over my environment. Over the past few weeks, I've sought to gain what control I can and have de-cluttered my physical space to the point where nothing remains that even shows I'm there except my body, and although I know it's probably unreasonable, I gain a certain pleasure from knowing that I could just walk away from it all and not even have to carry anything beyond my handbag. Now it's bare, uncluttered, sort of harsh, but it's a reflection of how I feel myself. I took my own things home and redistributed some of the other stuff. Ironically, one thing I 'redistributed'--that same day--was a red stuffed bulldog that one of my friend's neighbours would particularly like. She's away right now and has a bulldog, and I thought she'd like this. But when I took it back there, most everyone from the group were in that same area--the one that I was supposed to avoid--ordering food and cutting up.

I have to admit, I was hurt. It only underscored the sense of being singled out. I'm sure they realised it looked bad. The implication was that it was fine to congregate if you were really part of the group, but if not, shove off.

I think part of the problem I encountered is that there are two women, both in a position of authority over the others, with very different styles. One seems strict, by-the-book, not particularly emphathetic or necessarily up front with the rules. One is social, seems to believe that people who spend time together for any reason should somehow be friends, that everyone should hang together like a clique. There's conflict between those two styles, and neither are particularly congruent with my personality. By the time anything reached me, both had had input, but neither had discussed it with me. There was discussion with others within the group, however, so I felt that I'd been called to task both unfairly and publically.

I have to admit that the whole thing left me feeling hurt and I didn't particularly feel like spending time with the group. The fact that we'd had both the birthday celebration and party the evening before and all gotten along famously only made it that much more palpable.

I've been very frustrated with this sort of 'high school clique' mentality for awhile, and I suppose I finally just snapped. I suppose they might think that's an unfair judgement, but it's certainly been evident at times. I remember years ago being offended when a friend who taught logic and ethics explained that many women never mature emotionally and ethically past a high school level; men do primarily because they're expected to operate in the world outside the home to a greater degree. Now, I've known a lot of immature and ethically impoverished men. But I have to admit, I've also seen this principle in action several times. There was a time a few years ago where a woman we knew acted abysmally over at someone's house, and wound up destroying property, then blamed him, got very defensive, and never really acted like an adult. Then all the other women got upset because he held her accountable, and stormed out. They started calling me over and over to discuss it, until they'd worked themselves into a frenzy. I refused to run interference and told them to take it up with him. Eventually the troublemakers all left the group entirely, leaving the rest of us in peace. The only one to remain was the one person who actually talked to the host directly. She valued the relationship more than some sort of perceived crisis. Ironically, the women who stormed out 'in support' of the other woman didn't even like her, weren't her friends. One had just gone on about how much she disliked her before she'd arrived. All I could do was just shake my head at it all. I kind of feel like that all over again.

I think in the long run this has been good. I feel like I protected my interests without damaging any real friendships. I think the situation brought up a whole slew of issues that needed addressing on all our parts.

Anyway, that's my diatribe. I do see where I could have done things differently and where I over-reacted. I still think there was a lot outside of my control that was stupid, too. I'm glad my friend and I were able to talk--away from the situation--because our relationship, our friendship is stronger than this petty stuff, but it may mean we'll have to change our interaction around the others, because it really is important that she retain a strong connexionto the others, and I'm not sure I want to. I'm not burning bridges, but I just don't feel like doing things with them right now. So maybe this will give me a chance to do the other things I used to during my free time...read, yoga, interact with others--things that I did before I started hanging out with them because of my friend. I prefer relationships where everything's out in the open and there's no second-guessing required. That's the situation I have with my dearest friends.

I still wonder if anyone will aftually talk to me about it. I think they feel it's over so long as I'm not crying or sending e-mails. They're wrong. But I feel a sense of comraderie was broken, which may be good in the long run, because it frees me to pursue other relationships that I think may be worthwhile, and dispense with games and focus on things I need to do instead. In the meantime, I'm not about to give anyone the chance to paint me unfairly as a troublemaker--I'd rather be known as such based on my own merits, thank you :)--if I'm going to be branded as such, I'd at least like to have earned it fairly, by being true to myself regardless of others' expectations. :o)

Three Quotes on Life from 'Northern Exposure' Offered for Contemplation

Quotes on Life - The Quotations Page:

As a scientist, I am not sure anymore that life can be reduced to a class struggle, to dialectical materialism, or any set of formulas. Life is spontaneous and it is unpredictable, it is magical. I think that we have struggled so hard with the tangible that we have forgotten the intangible.--Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider, Northern Exposure, Zarya, 1994

Life is everywhere. The earth is throbbing with it, it's like music. The plants, the creatures, the ones we see, the ones we don't see, it's like one, big, pulsating symphony.--Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider, Northern Exposure, Mite Makes Right, 1994

Life's dirty. Life's unclean you know. It's birth, it's sex, it's the intestinal tract. One big squishy, unsanitary mess. It never gets any cleaner either. You know, dust to dust, worms crawl in, worms crawl out, right? Even though we know that, we still walk the walk, we still live the life. We're like a bunch of little kids. Little kids, you know, we jump in this big old pond of mud and we're slapping it all over our face, rubbing our hair all down our backs and we're making these glorious, gooey, mud pies. That's us.--Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider, Northern Exposure, Mite Makes Right, 1994

I feel like I'm standing in the middle of a giant mud pond watching the magic all around me, feeling the music thrumming through bare feet, and it's both wondrous and crazy at once.

That's not a duck!

feeling: Amused and satiated

Dwana came over so we could divvy up our candle party credit and then she treated me to lunch at Atlanta Bread Company. (The tomato/fennel/dill soup is very yummy.) Traffic had been backed up on the way to Hamburg Pavilion (or as I call it, the world's largest strip mall), so we took a back way to my house that went by a lovely pond where people go walking and feed the ducks.

A large graceful shape flew down.
'What was that?' I said. 'That's not a duck.'
'It looked like a turkey,' said Dwana.
'Maybe it was a turkey vulture,' said I.

And because we are curious sorts, we turned around and drove back.

'They are turkey vultures!' I cried. 'Neat.'
'Oom...yeah.' said Dwana. She was not so thrilled. Like most people, they creeped her out with their bald, red heads. 'Don't they eat human remains?'

'They eat any remains,' I said, a trifle too cheerfully. 'They were held sacred in ancient Aegypt, you know, partly because of their association with death.'

Dwana said something about them being an unpleasant surprise for someone coming to feed the ducks. I wondered if there was a dead animal that had drawn them, although from what I could see they were just basking near the water. Then I said something about being good citizens, we should probably check to make there isn't a dead body.

Dwana kept driving. I don't think she really wanted to get any closer to them. :) Since I wasn't sure how aggressive they might be, that was fine with me.

Have I mentioned that every time we go anywhere, it's an adventure? :D

I know that vultures are native to this area, and I've probably seen them in flight fairly often, but I haven's seen any resting up close, but I haven't seen any since I was in California (and those were perched in trees). I know I sound like some kind of nature geek, but...neato! Want to know more about turkey vultures? Check out the Turkey Vulture Society or eNature.

I also miss the ravens and roadrunners we had in the Mojave, too. So it's nice to see some unusual birds. :)

Friday, June 18, 2004

I love these books...

reading: Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Have by Martha Beck and The Bad Girl's Guide to Getting What You Want by Cameron Tuttle.

First, there was the wonderfully subversive calendar my boss at the station gave me for the holidays. I wish I could get all of the products, whether book, valentines, journals, whatever. I do have the guide to getting what you want, and it's the perfect thing to read and share when you're having a crummy day. Check out Bad Girl Swirl to free your inner bad girl.

The truly sad thing, though, is that if you read through online reviews at Amazon, the vast majority love it and recognise these books as HUMOUR. Then there are the one or two here and there who seem to have picked it up as a straight self-help kind of book and just don't get it. Sadly, they are probably the ones most desperately in need of connecting to their 'bad' side. :)

I don't understand

I work in a hospital. Every year I have to have a TB skin test, even though I am not directly involved in patient care. Everyone at our hospital has to take this test--even volunteers and students. We also have an employee health/infection control nurse to deal with this sort of situation. I thought all this was required by law. Maybe the laws are different in Virginia. But I'd like to know how a Virginia nurse died of tuberculosis after exhibiting symptoms of active TB in a health care setting for months. This really seems to have been preventable, and somewhere the system broke down and this individual--and possibly many more--suffer because of it.

Roots of language recognition?

Rico, a border collie, can make deductions found in human toddlers but not even chimpanzees. It may mean that the roots of our language skills are further down the evolutionary ladder than once thought.
MSNBC - Science: He's One Smart Puppy

These looked interesting

Children's Play: The Roots of Reading

Before the ABCs: Promoting School Readiness in Infants and Toddlers

Quirky Kids: Understanding and helping Your Children Who Doesn't Fit In

Perri Klass, an author of the last book, is also involved with Reach Out and Read.

I didn't quite fall off the face of the earth...

but I did have a small yet rather stupendous breakdown, which given the stresses of the past few weeks (the death of a pet, eviction, job hunt, and work issues) was probably overdue. It was triggered by something that seemed minor to others, I'm sure, but was a double-standard, an attempt to play juvenile games, and impacted my honour...so it wasn't minor after all, although I'm not sure if those involved would really understand that. It's a bit late to get into it tonight; I'll write about it soon, I promise. I took a vacation day Thursday but spent most of the day in no fit state to blog, which is in and of itself strange for me. The severity and duration of my reaction (I rarely have sustained emotional issues) tells me that it dredged up other issues that are tied together within my emotional matrix, and I really needed some time to decompress rather than let them sink back into some sort of poisonous morass. I have had two wonderful friends who--even if they don't fully understand--were supportive in different but important ways. Thank you both so much.

Tomorrow there will be fallout at work, since that is where it was triggered and since for once in my life I said exactly what I felt without really worrying about how others would take it. I did so because otherwise I would have only grown resentful and more unhappy, and I no longer believe in sweeping conflict under the rug and putting on a happy face. Oddly enough, I feel somewhat liberated by that, and so tonight, despite the difficulties it may bring tomorrow, I seem to have found some peace. I just hope Dwana doesn't take any fallout as a result, since it involved her department and the group dynamics is such that I could see it happening.

Well, I'll write more later. For now, I'm heading to sleep. Adieu.

Monday, June 14, 2004

I've never read our local free crime paper

but after the Herald-Leader did a story on free area newspapers and their niches, so I checked it out. The zip code blow-by-blow is hilarious. Why can't more crime logs be like this? Only irritating aspect: their website asks you to download software every time you click on anything. Just hit cancel--today's version of 'just say no'. :)

Medical literature humour

Posted with permission of the compiler, Donna Beales. These were all really published; they are indexed in PubMed.

1: Horseman RE.
Scientists espresso their glee over caffeine study.
J Calif Dent Assoc. 2004 Mar;32(3):274, 273. No abstract available.
PMID: 15119566 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

2: Aggarwal SK, Bhagirath V, Loubani M.
MDs 'R' Us: holiday ideas for that special physician:.
CMAJ. 2003 Dec 9;169(12):1326-7. No abstract available.
PMID: 14662682 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

3: Borins M.
Are you suffering from a laugh deficiency disorder?
Can Fam Physician. 2003 Jun;49:723-4, 730-2. English, French. No abstract
PMID: 12836856 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

4: Friedman JH.
Alien abductions as a risk factor for Parkinson's disease [April Fool].
Med Health R I. 2003 Apr;86(4):90. No abstract available.
PMID: 12751359 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

5: Paret C.
[Clowns in hospitals or the wonderful story of a successful collaboration]
Rev Infirm. 2002 Nov;(85):41-3. French. No abstract available.
PMID: 12510531 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

6: Kauppinen R, Sariola H.
[Choosing the side in a double bed: acquired, inherited or sex-related trait?]
Duodecim. 1999;115(23):2645-50. Finnish. No abstract available.
PMID: 11974071 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

7: Radcliffe M.
Hanging out by the gene pool.
Nurs Times. 2000 Jul 6-12;96(27):196. No abstract available.
PMID: 11963094 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

8: Boulis NM.
Diversions. There was a young surgeon who swallowed a flea.
CMAJ. 2001 Dec 11;165(12):1613-4. No abstract available.
PMID: 11841015 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

9: Patterson R, Stewart-Patterson C.
The well-made bed: an unappreciated public health risk.
CMAJ. 2001 Dec 11;165(12):1591-2. No abstract available.
PMID: 11841009 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

10: Horseman RE.
Medical treatment that sucks.
J Calif Dent Assoc. 2001 Nov;29(11):794, 793. No abstract available.
PMID: 11806058 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

11: [No authors listed]
How do you cross an armadillo with a porcupine and other problems that arise from naming proteins. By Caveman.
J Cell Sci. 2001 Sep;114(Pt 18):3213-4. No abstract available.
PMID: 11591809 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

12: Galler J.
Confessions of a continuing education junkie: or, how I survived an excruciatingly boring dental lecture.
N Y State Dent J. 2001 Jun-Jul;67(6):20-3. No abstract available.
PMID: 11501240 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

13: Carter J.
Are we having fun yet?
Mich Health Hosp. 2001 Jul-Aug;37(4):60-1.
PMID: 11467131 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

14: Greene AR.
Computers, doctors, and toilet training.
MedGenMed. 2000 Dec 11;2(6):E5. No abstract available.
PMID: 11335855 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

15: Spitzer P.
The clown doctors.
Aust Fam Physician. 2001 Jan;30(1):12-6.
PMID: 11211705 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

16: Shea SE, Gordon K, Hawkins A, Kawchuk J, Smith D.
Pathology in the Hundred Acre Wood: a neurodevelopmental perspective on
A.A. Milne.
CMAJ. 2000 Dec 12;163(12):1557-9. No abstract available.
PMID: 11153486 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

17: Brackley PT, Haywood RM.
Stop those hopping mad surgeons.
Br J Plast Surg. 2001 Jan;54(1):88. No abstract available.
PMID: 11121338 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

18: Blickensderfer L.
Someday we'll laugh about this.
Nurs Manage. 1999 Aug;30(8):45-7. No abstract available.
PMID: 10562103 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

19: Go K.
Constipation among operating room nurses: flatulence as evidence.
Semin Perioper Nurs. 1999 Apr;8(2):85-7.
PMID: 10455822 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

20: Yeo M.
To boldly go: we have to look beyond The Simpsons for a true medical hero.
CMAJ. 1998 Dec 15;159(12):1476-7. No abstract available.
PMID: 9988569 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

21: Hall PF.
Hissy fits revividus.
CMAJ. 1998 Dec 15;159(12):1478-9. No abstract available.
PMID: 9875255 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

22: Osmun WE, Naugler C.
The impact of hissy fits in primary care.
CMAJ. 1998 Dec 15;159(12):1457-9.
PMID: 9875249 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

23: Dirckx JH.
Ridiculitis: more [sic] humor.
Am J Dermatopathol. 1998 Aug;20(4):425-7. No abstract available.
PMID: 9776691 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

24: Cooke F, Morse R.
Do you know your chocolates? Recognition survey among medical staff of various
BMJ. 1997 Dec 20-27;315(7123):1655-6. No abstract available.
PMID: 9448530 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

25: Hatton RC.
Why aren't pharmacists funny?
Am J Health Syst Pharm. 1996 Oct 15;53(20):2521-2. No abstract available.
PMID: 8899129 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

26: Horseman RE.
How to fire a patient.
J Calif Dent Assoc. 1996 Sep;24(9):98, 97. No abstract available.
PMID: 9120618 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

27: [No authors listed]
Pandemonium General Hospital (The Department of Redundancy Department).
Adm Radiol. 1994 Aug;13(8):24, 28-34, 39-58. No abstract available.
PMID: 10138355 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

28: Payette P.
Humor in a hospital--that's a laugh.
Ky Hosp Mag. 1993 Spring;10(2):14-6. No abstract available.
PMID: 10125440 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

29: Fred HL, Robie P.
Dizzy medical writing: will it never end?
South Med J. 1991 Jun;84(6):755-9. No abstract available.
PMID: 2052966 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

30: Wilhite M.
Chronically dead persons.
ABNF J. 1991 Fall;2(4):85-6. No abstract available.
PMID: 1764613 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

31: Fox JS, Bell GR, Sweeney PJ.
Are orthopaedic surgeons really gorillas?
BMJ. 1990 Dec 22-29;301(6766):1425-6. No abstract available.
PMID: 2279160 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

32: Jolleys JC, Jolleys JV.
Injuries sustained by recipients of 'roly-poly kissograms'.
Br J Gen Pract. 1990 Dec;40(341):516. No abstract available.
PMID: 2282233 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

33: Brouillette JN.
Doctors eat quiche and they become wimps and grunts.
J Fla Med Assoc. 1990 Feb;77(2):78. No abstract available.
PMID: 2307955 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

34: Tangredi BP.
Liposuction for cats?
J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1989 Apr 15;194(8):1006. No abstract available.
PMID: 2708100 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

35: Dennis JL.
How to drive doctors crazy and ease them into malpractice suits.
Postgrad Med. 1983 Jun;73(6):303-4. No abstract available.
PMID: 6856537 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

36: Bombeck E.
Napping could be next craze.
J Fla Med Assoc. 1980 Apr;67(4):409. No abstract available.
PMID: 7381396 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

37: Crawshaw R.
What to do with the bean from a patient's ear.
Arch Intern Med. 1973 Feb;131(2):278-9. No abstract available.
PMID: 4682989 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

38: Levitt MD, Bond JH Jr.
Volume, composition, and source of intestinal gas.
Gastroenterology. 1970 Dec;59(6):921-9. No abstract available.
PMID: 5486278 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

39: Patterson S.
Windy babies.
Med J Aust. 1966 Mar 19;1(12):506-8. No abstract available.
PMID: 5930734 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

40: Fy C, Hm K.
Is talking to an automated teller machine natural and fun?
Ergonomics. 2003 Oct 20-Nov 15;46(13-14):1386-407.
PMID: 14612327 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

41: Dick T.
Maximum fun level. Working with a slug.
Emerg Med Serv. 2003 Apr;32(4):44-5. No abstract available.
PMID: 12705215 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

42: Koshland DE Jr.
How to get paid for having fun.
Annu Rev Biochem. 1996;65:1-13.
PMID: 8811172 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

43: Taller SL.
Who says being a doctor is still fun?
West J Med. 1994 May;160(5):487; author reply 487-8. No abstract available.
PMID: 8048250 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

44: [No authors listed]
Unusual volunteers sniff out fun in hospital's halls.
Hosp Patient Relat Rep. 1992 Mar;7(3):6-7. No abstract available.
PMID: 10117688 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

45: Stiehm ER.
Being just a husband is no fun.
Am J Dis Child. 1989 Dec;143(12):1401-2.
PMID: 2589271 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

46: Cantor WL.
Are we all just stupid?
Ear Nose Throat J. 2001 Feb;80(2):117. No abstract available.
PMID: 11233343 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

47: Gardner E.
The trials, tribulations of being a guinea pig.
Mod Healthc. 1992 May 11;22(19):37-44, 48, 52 passim. Erratum in: Mod
1992 Jun 8;22(23):38.
PMID: 10117627 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

48: Muntz HR.
The use of silly putty as an ear plug.
Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 1995 Mar;121(3):354. No abstract available.
PMID: 7873157 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE

Speaking of Scrabble (TM) :)

Got this in my e-mail. It's letter shuffling for people with too much time on their hands.

>>>>When you rearrange the letters:
>>>>When you rearrange the letters:
>>>>When you rearrange the letters:
>>>>When you rearrange the letters:
>>>>When you rearrange the letters:
>>>>When you rearrange the letters:
>>>>When you rearrange the letters:
>>>>When you rearrange the letters:
>>>>When you rearrange the letters:
>>>>When you rearrange the letters:
>>>>When you rearrange the letters:
>>>>When you rearrange the letters:
>>>>When you rearrange the letters
>>>>(With no letters left over and using each letter only once):

Maybe he should try Scrabble (TM) :)

Mr Nielsen doesn't mention that 'universal' remotes are available

which, granted, can't run every aspect of every piece of equipment but at least usually give you the basics. Even so, there is no 'standard universal remote', which would go further to solve the problem. Still, his essay Remote Control Anarchy (Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox) is an interesting illustration for problems with useability.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

I'm a freak

listening to: 'Stupid' by Sarah MacLachlan
feeling: Guess :)

I'm probably going to regret this post, because it's way too much personal information, but, here goes:

I have discovered something strange. Playing Scrabble (TM) on the computer makes me horny. I start trying to spell sexual words. It makes me want to just throw caution to the wind and do dirty things, to send those virtual tiles flying and jump the nearest person around. Unfortunately, having been alone for nearly 13 years, this isn't possible, and so I have to seek less satisfying alternatives. This seems to be an extension of my time in school, when writing papers late at night would be a problem because I'd get distracted by my hormones.

I'm convinced there's some part of the brain that has to do with deadlines, concentration, etc. that cross-wires with the libido. Or maybe the stars are in some funky alignment. More likely, I'm just a freak. :) Mind you, I don't have what one would call an over-active libido normally. But boy, when it hits, it hits.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

I have a big stupid white cat on my shoulder

purring away. The rain has cooled the temps down a bit. My dog is being all cute. I have moved furniture, hung pictures, and generally been productive all day. I have eaten burritos and taken out the trash. I have cleaned the cat box and vacuumed the house. I have typed. I have danced. I have frolicked. There is only one thing to do: take a nap.

But first, I leave you with a bumpersticker I saw earlier today:
Work like you don't need the money, dance like no one is watching, and love like you've never been hurt.

I tried to find out the source, but it's apparently a contentious one...I found no less than five attributions, so until I can find a definitive one, I'll leave it as anonymous. Even the quote is presented in different ways; this was the one on the bumpersticker. You've probably seen the quote, but I have to admit, it's a good one for me to remember, given my life.

Frolicking on a Saturday

Yesterday was all about the 70s. I dressed up as a hippie (not difficult, given my wardrobe) and was part of a staged costume contest complete with music and disco ball. J was hilarious with an Afro wig, fake sideburns, moustache, and chest hair, and spare tyre in the leisure suit thanks to the creative use of bubble wrap. I really thought she should have won with her Lounge Lizard (which looked like a cross between Cheech Marin and a fat Elvis), but hey, I wasn't a judge. The air handlers at work were down, and it got very hot. I now understand why New York got so violent during the 'Summer of Sam'...polyester. I got off work early because I'd gotten my hours in. Yay!

Today I've run friends to various places and really started unpacking in earnest. I got the bookshelves in the living room rearranged, the largest paintings up (the huge phallic one that takes everybody aback included), my wizard/unicorn prints up in the bathroom, and the whole place vacuumed. I discovered a line of ants running in a line across the carpet to the computer desk, too. Harrumph!

I went through a deluge earlier; my car was sending up 15-foot sprays at some intersections, but I turned around going down Main Street down by Rupp Arena because the water was pretty deep. My car handles well in heavy rain, but I didn't want to chance it--it looked at least 2-3 feet deep.

Later I watched a very good episode of Space: 1999 called 'Force of Life'. It was well done, but a bit sad. Then I frolicked. Frolicking involves grabbing your partner's hand and sashaying back and forth, then dancing around in the circle. The reason? Happy classical music in the background. What other reason do you need?

I'm looking forward to the game tomorrow; I doubt we've seen the last of the killer cannibal clowns. In the meantime, I'm playing Scrabble and Moon Tycoon on the computer occasionally and otherwise just trying to set the house up. D is being driven crazy by the Partylite lady in preparation for Tuesday's party, but I think otherwise we're ready for that, especially if her air conditioning holds out. I'm thinking it's a shame we have to drive back to D's house after the belated birthday happy hour at O'Neill's on Tuesday...neither of us normally drink, but it might help to have a couple of drinks prior to the candle party. :) Anyway, it should be a good week, and then the week after next my aunts and uncles come in for a visit, and I'm looking forward to that.

So that's what I'm up to. I know I've been just posting links, mostly, because I've been pretty busy. But I'm sure there will be new stuff to write about with this coming week's plans. :)

Friday, June 11, 2004

Finally...a word for what I do. Ironically enough, it's cluttering

I came across this TOTALLY by accident...I was looking up a book on surgical dysplasias. Amazon.com: So You'd Like to... Learn about cluttering, a speech disorder like stuttering

This is what I do. I never realised it until a friend pointed it out; it was only once I was aware that I realised I'd leave out words, have trouble getting them out, or couldn't find the right word. Sometimes he asks me if English is my second language, it gets so annoying for him to listen. Most people don't comment on it, but I probably sound like an idiot. I can organise my thoughts much better in written form, which is one reason I did well in school. I only occasionally 'lose' a word I want to use when writing, and then I can substitute something, although it is frustrating; I wonder if it's related to a learning disorder. But in terms of everyday interaction--now that I'm much more socially plugged in--it's gotten so bad that I've wondered if I should be checked out for some sort of brain issue, like early Alzheimer's, especially with the memory issues, too. I wonder if this is one of the reasons I was so painfully shy as a kid. Hmmm...

a) Repetitions ("I will..I will...I will...go to the store"),
b) Interjections (filler words like "uh," and adding seemingly random words and phrases in the middle of other thoughts)
c) Revisions ("I'm going for a...to Wal-Mart," crossing out a thought, and replacing it with something else)


Cluttering: "I want to go to the st...uh...place where you buy...market st-st-store and I don't have muh-muh ti-ti-time money."

Stuttering: "I want to go to the sssssssssstore and I don't have muh-muh- muh-muh-money."

Here's more info:

Cluttering: Some Guidelines

Hekataion: A good resource for Hellenic Paganism Resources

The Stele

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Why were a 6-, 5-, and 4-year-old wandering through an apartment complex on their own?

That was my first question. I spent a lot of time running around with friends say, from 7 or 8 on--but that's a huge difference in age, and I was on an Air Force base away from most everything.

In this case, there was apparently negligience on the part of a maintenance worker who cut off the lock and left the pool area unsecured.

CNN.com - Boy on life support after saving girl - Jun 10, 2004

He really is quite a hero, though. I so hope he recovers, although I'm not sure how his chances are.

So sorry to hear about the death of this great musician

who overcame so much of the challenges in life.

I was in at the pharmacy watching the news when it first flashed up on the screen. CNN.com - Ray Charles dead at 73 - Jun 10, 2004

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Oh, yeah...the secret

I decided not to update until I saw the results myself. This week folks from the BBC showed up to film an episode of While You Were Out at work. Our nursing administrator was at another hospital out of town, and in the meantime the cast and crew came in to transform our surgery waiting room. That meant we had Evan Farmer, Ali Barone, Andrew Dan-Jumbo, and Mark Montano in for the filming. This was the first time they'd done something in a hospital, so it was a whole new ballgame in terms of getting permissions to film, setting up so that they wouldn't interfere with our patient care and we wouldn't interfere with filming. It worked out great, and the whole thing went on fairly invisibly, except for occasional exclamations from co-workers when their dream men went by. :)

For the most part I stayed out of the fuss. One, I haven't really seen the show, so even though I knew the concept, I really didn't know much about the people involved; I tend to watch 'Trading Spaces' or 'Monster House'. Two, I would have had to come back especially for the big reveal yesterday. Three, I'd rather be in the background. I may have walked behind one of the shots at one point while they were filming in the hallway. Others checked out the progress and got their pictures taken with the folks from WYWO. Still, it was fun.

I went into the newly remodeled room today. They've transformed it into a very natural, soothing environment--mural with trees, natural wallpaper, bonsai, eucalyptus light fixtures, and a TV with DVD playing soothing ambient aquarium scenes. I was a little concerned about the eucalyptus at first, since a lot of people are allergic to it (including me) and I couldn't remember if it was cross-reactive with latex allergy (a big problem for us, since we have a lot of patients and staff allergic to latex), but I checked before everything was in place and it doesn't seem to be. Also, it's all enclosed, so I don't think the eucalyptus itself will cause problems. Dwana had problems, but I think that was the varnish they'd used on the table. It's very nifty, and I hope they decide to show it. If so, it should air in about 6-8 weeks, so I'll keep you posted.

Leave it to our governor to cause a commotion

Capitol Evacuates as Kentucky Governor plane seems headed for building

Thankfully, the F-15s didn't have to shoot him down, and short of some exercise, everyone is okay. Got to love those on-the-blink transponders.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

I want the grace genes

So I'm chasing a dog that is quiet unconcernedly running into traffic and manage to tumble into the street myself. Fortunately, neither the dog nor I were hit by a car, although I rather feel like I was.

If I ever have access to a home gene-splicing kit, I'm asking asking for grace. A friend thinks I should have face-fronds, but I'd be happy having some amount of composure on land. I still suspect that some of my ancestors were part selkie; I'm fine in the water but like a bloated seal on land. Sigh.

Don't look at the sun directly

but there's a rare transit of Venus going on. Those of us in North America can only catch the last part of it, but it's still quite nifty, and there will be another in 2012. They come in pairs with about a century in between; the last one was in 1882.

Venus looks so tiny against the Sun. I wonder what our planet looks like from, say, Mars, during and not during a transit? Maybe someday we'll find out.

Trouble on the Public Records Front

Baltimore to Automatically Delete City E-Mail Messages Older than 90 Days

I'm glad I'm not the city records manager/archivist. That's a sticky issue to navigate.

Monday, June 07, 2004


I have a secret. Well, all of us here at work have a secret that we can't disclose for a couple of days, but it's caused quite a stir and a some major hoo-rah on the part of some on my co-workers. I'll let the cat out of the bag tomorrow evening.

It's also employee appreciation week, produced by a committee of which I'm a part, so it's a time to put aside any feelings I may have post-layoff and try to plan fun things for the place. We're doing a 70s theme. I put up the bulletin board last Friday. Today we received our gift, which is a very nice gym bag with lots of pockets. I think the week will be fun. Friday is a costume day. I haven't decided yet what I'll do for that.

One of the volunteers just brought me one of those Hamilton book catalogues. It was a sweet thought, and I love to look at them, even when I can't afford anything. Still, they're very affordable, and they give me ideas for my wish list. :)

Well, time to get back to work. I'm trying to excavate the clutter that is my desk.

An interesting conclusion

A recent article in the journal Cancer concludes:
Despite recent publicity and scrutiny focusing on the quality of Internet health care content, print products remain the most common source of information sought by patients with cancer. Future investigation should focus on the quality of print products used by patients.

Citation: Basch EM, et al. Use of information resources by patients with cancer and their companions. Cancer. 2004 Jun 1; 100(11): 2476-83.

Professional partnerships for better information

ALA, Walgreens team up to bring Medicare information to libraries

Librarian 'look' coming back

CNN.com - More girls push for modest fashion - Jun 2, 2004

Note the following:
"It's kind of like a sexy take on a librarian," she said. "I think people are tired of seeing so much skin and want to leave a little more to the imagination."

Funny how in our society half-naked women look stupid and women in tweeds look smart, but hey, as someone who cannot wear the current belly-baring fashions (because I care about not burning out the eyes of those around me), I'm all for tweeds. :)

But I agree with the young woman spotlighted in the article--we should have lots of different choices. Everyone's personality is a little different, and most of us see no reason to be slaves to whatever the fashionistas find popular.


feeling: Motivated and productive

Since I was cleaning the cat boxes, sweeping, and mopping, I decided to expand my activities to cleaning the toilet and wiping down the cabinets, etc. Then I decided on an experiment. I had originally put an uncovered cat box in the bathroom closet with the door open a bit so they could go in. They've used that well. So I've moved that one to the back and put the one that is covered up front. It wouldn't have fit under the shelf, but they have roughly the same room in each to do their business. Their food is up above on one of the shelves. I then put the mat that keeps them from tracking so much on the outside of the door. This gives them privacy, keeps the cat box from being right out in the open for when visitors come, contains the litter a little better, and generally seems to work well. Since I clean the boxes every day, it doesn't really build up much in the way of smell in such an enclosed space, either.

Two observations about the house...my closets have higher ceilings than the rest of the apartment, which is nice from a storage angle. I currently have my Japanese doll case, for example, in the top of the hall closet. It's very fragile and needs to be reconstituted after Darius sent it cascading down one day at the old apartment, breaking one of the panes. I'd like to get a pane of glass cut and get it back together soon. In the meantime, the closet will protect it.

My ceilings are at different heights. The hall is the shortest, which isn't a problem for me, being 5'4" under a 7-foot ceiling, but Dwana's husband Eric, who was so vital during the move, is 6'7" and had to dodge the light fixture each time he went down the hall.

I'm going to have to put in a work request for my bathroom sink. I didn't realise until tonight that it doesn't seal when you try to stop it, and the stopper should be attached to the mechanism but apparently a plastic bit has broken off. Fortunately, it's not anything vital, and the maintenance guys are quite on the ball here. That's one of the special benefits of living in a complex, of course.

One last experiment...when I moved here, I bought two AirWick scented oil air fresheners that plug into the wall, mainly because the workmen had smoked in the apartment prior to the move in and everyone else could smell it. It's lavender and chamomile, which I chose because it should be relaxing. It is, but it reminds me of a men's cologne, although I'm not sure which one, rather than either of the herbs. The great thing about these fresheners, however, is that the part that you can refill is actually glass rather than plastic. So after these were empty, I took them out, took off the plastic stopper with the wick, rinsed them well, and took the tops from the new ones and put them on these. I'll run them through the dishwasher just to be safe, but my point is that everything but the actual wick assembly can be reused and the resulting bottles look like perfume bottles and could be used to store essential oils, perfumes, etc. The black lettering that identifies the scent of the product rubs right off, so you're left with a decorative, rather nice container. I wouldn't necessarily go putting edible stuff in them, since I haven't been able to determine what goes into them to begin with, and you can't actually reuse them in the electric burner. But they're probably a sight easier to reuse or recycle along with other glass containers than many other similar fresheners. I figure it's worth a try, anyway.

Well, that's enough for tonight. I'm going to take Cerys out and then go on to bed. 'Night.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Something I could do that's low-cost and fun

I was reading Raellyn's blog, Kentucky Ducks, and she mentioned letterboxing, which is a sort of low-tech version of geocaching involving collecting and leaving rubber stamp images. It gets you out and exploring, but doesn't require a global positioning unit, which is beyond my current finances. Nifty. And Lexington's only current letterbox (at least according to the website) is near my house, so it would be a good start. :)

By the way...this post is #1500. Amazing that I could keep that many journal entries continuously.

Things are hopefully looking up for Atlanta's library

News from AFPLWatch about changes post-Hooker

Here are some follow-ups to the bulldozer rampage Friday

'Dozer rampage driver found dead

Shattered town grapples with uncertain future

(Apparently I wasn't the only one who thought of Mad Max when I heard about it; the writer of the second story compares the man's machine to those of the movies.)

It's very scary when things like this happen; they're rare but spectacular, and really can happen just about anywhere, regardless of weapons laws and seemingly 'peaceful' surroundings. In this case, it's also sad because he apparently became unhinged and did so much damage, then took his own life.

In men, I think (and most of these rampages are done by men), anger can be an expression of depression. Many large businesses have employee assistance programmes that help employees deal with such issues before it comes to a head. But I'm not sure if those who are self-employed have that sort of net. I wish mental healthcare were easy to obtain, free, and not so taboo-laden, because really a lot of problems such as this might be averted.

Haven't done one of these in awhile

Mainly because of all the chaos of the move. But after a kick-ass game of Call of Cthulhu that included a circus full of killer cannibal clowns (yes--really) and a half an hour doing my now-weekly sweep/mop/straighten, I wanted to play on the computer whilst waiting for the floors to dry. So...

Unconscious Mutterings:
  1. Charity:: Home
  2. Scale:: Weight
  3. Jennifer Lopez:: Mediocre
  4. Coercion:: Control
  5. Meter:: Gas
  6. Pressure:: Cooker
  7. June:: Bug
  8. Infestation:: Termites
  9. Serial killer:: Sick
  10. Anguish:: Sorrow

Saturday, June 05, 2004

A Quiet Saturday

listening to: 'I Think I Saw a Light Shine' by Alexi Murdoch
feeling: Achy but content

with friends, watching episodes of British sci-fi shows, dog bathing, working on the typing project, bookshopping, etc. Now I'm home sans Cerys, who is on a sleepover tonight.

The most exciting part of the day was watching the Belmont. I was sorry to see the Triple Crown elude a horse once again, but I must say, everyone showed such professionalism and grace given the circumstances, and Smarty Jones did an excellent job of maintaining pace on such a long track--it's just that another horse was able to catch him in the end. Still, an undefeated career through the Preakness is rather amazing.

I thought it a blessing that former President Reagan passed away. I have seen what Alzheimer's does to the patient and the family firsthand, having had a great-grandmother who suffered from it for fifteen years. The erosion of personality is heart-breaking, and although I did not care for Ronald Reagan's politics, I hate to see that happen to anyone. At least the fact that his case was so high-profile might help others understand the disease better, meaning better treatment and perhaps even prevention in the future. I must say Joseph-Beth seemed a bit ghoulish, having a cart with biographies of Reagan out soon after the news. They also were selling prints of the Versailles Road Castle that was destroyed in a fire last month. They get points for timeliness, but still...it seemed similar to those businesses hoping to cash in on the change of venue in the Scott Petersen trial, only to find that interest the lengthy process of selecting a jury had made it lose momentum in light of other 'popular' legal cases.

Well, that's all for now. Time for dinner and to contemplate what evil might befall us in the game tomorrow. I think for now I'm going to go build some moonbases with Moon Tycoon and relax.

Hekataion: Tonight

In my religious practice, I give a libation (an offering of liquid made to a God) of wine or wine and honey on the first full night of my menstruation. This is poured upon a stone altar built to Hekate outside my home. Tonight is my first celebration of this practice after a recent move. I waited until tonight to move the altar stones themselves, for it is during my period when I am most connected to the Goddess. I set them up near a bush outside my window. This took care of the physical aspect. There was also a spiritual component; before moving the stones, I visualised the essence of the altar draining down into the earth. I then brought this essence back into the stones at the new place before making my first offering. This consisted of a bottle of burgundy wine, poured upon each stone (there are three main ones, one for each part of the triform Goddess), covering it completely.
Libations are always made after a ritual bath, for Hekate is a Goddess of purification. Sometimes I use lavendar oil in the bath, or salt. Tonight I used a bit of sea water taken from the Atlantic Ocean. The bath allows me to get into the proper frame of mind, as well as cleaning my body and generally relaxing me. Depending on how much I need to do to slip into a more sacred mentality, I may burn incense or light candles. Tonight I was content with the cool water and the scent of lavendar and chamomile oil. As I bathed I imagined myself on a beach, near a fire of driftwood. I stood at the shore, the sea crashing in, the tide rushing up to my toes and then retreating, like the inhalation and exhalation of breath. I could smell the sea air, and feel the cool sand and the sea's salt beneath my feet. Here, at the shore, all the elements--earth, air, fire, and water came together. But there is also spirit, and that is also abundant in the seam, invigorating the soul. In my mind's eye, I slipped out of my robe and into the sea, bathing in its essence, becoming one with it. Then I returned and donned the robe, continuing down the shore to a sea cave with the altar inside.
At that point I left the bath, and went through the activation of the altar and the offering of the wine. I always drink a bit myself--a form of communion with the Goddess--and then I gave the wine in offering. Usually I may petition the Goddess or ask for Her wisdom. Tonight I quietly hailed Her--'Chaire Hekate'--welcomed her to this new place, and fell into silent contemplation, then returned to my home. I felt strongly compelled to start writing my experiences here. In the beginning of my practice, I never wrote anything down, because traditionally that is how it has been. But as I have shared experiences in how She is sometimes portrayed in the media and online, I have felt that it is important to offer my own experiences with the Goddess as an alternative view.
Well, that is all for tonight. I feel that it was a good beginning. 

Hekataion: I don't write about my religious beliefs and practices that much

but I'm thinking I should. I thought about starting a new blog to talk about just those things, but really, I don't do well in a multi-blog environment. I've already tried the blog-as-fiction, the blog-my-way-to-wellness, and the blog-my-way-to-therapy route, and the fact is I do better if I just write here and leave it at that. So...periodically I may add notes I find useful or discuss my experiences. It's okay if you don't agree with them, but hey, they work for me.
A few years ago I legally changed my name and searched for the equivalent of a 'baptismal' name that would express my connexion to my beliefs. I chose Aranea, which is Latin for spider, or spiderweb. Spiders are important to me; they often appear when there are messages or warnings to be delivered, especially white spiders. It is a taboo in my religious practice to kill a spider for this reason. Consummate weavers, they reflect the interwoven fabric of space and time, of our connectedness within the web of life, and of fate. Predators who engender hundreds of young at a time, they represent both destruction and creation. I have been a Pagan, at least officially, for sixteen years. I came to understand Paganism as a religion at the age of 21. But years prior to that, at the age of 14, I had decided that standard organised religions did not speak to me in the same way that nature did. I experienced divinity in the movement of wind, the flight of insects and birds, the smell of the earth, the warmth of the sun. And so my journey began. Thirteen years ago, quite without meaning to be, I was chosen to serve as priestess to the Goddess Hekate. It was not so much a matter as me finding Her, as She finding me, and yet our relationship has been a rich one that has meant a great to me over time. She has so many faces, so much scope, such ancient roots, that She can be viewed many ways by different people. Some of these properties seem contradictory--the Goddess of Madness, of Witches; the Bringer of Light; Guardian of Liminal Spaces, Psychopomp, the Watcher at the Crossroads...She has embodied the wildest of nature's fury, the bounty of earth, sea, and sky, and the pinnacle of philosophical endeavour. My interpretation, based on direct experience as well as research, may be quite different than you'd expect, for the side I deal with most directly is the nurturing Teacher. Still, I have encountered Her many faces in my experience, and that should be evident from these writings.
A Hekataion is a statue or altar set up either outside a house or at the place where three roads meet; these are special provinces of Hekate. In ancient Greece, they were seen as protective for the home and for travellers. Also, food was left by the wealthy on the last night of the month as offerings to the Goddess and the spirits from which she granted protection.  Some believe that there was an understanding that the poor could eat from these 'Hekate's Suppers', as a form of welfare, serving an important social function. Whenever I post related to my religious journey, I'll include the term Hekataion in the title.  Please feel free to e-mail any questions you may have. I may not know the answer, but I will try to find it if at all possible.