Saturday, March 31, 2007
I did a little research tonight on the ol' Internet (my personal library, in which I do NOT have to remain quiet at all times!) and took a snippet from my dear friends at Wikipedia on the origins of April Fool's Day...it STILL remains a mystery to me. But, snippet is as follows:
The origin of this custom has been much disputed. Many theories have been suggested.
What seems certain is that it is in some way or other a relic of those once universal festivities held at the vernal equinox, which, beginning on old New Year's Day, the 25th of March, ended on the 2nd of April.
It has been suggested that Europe derived its April-fooling from the French. France was one of the first nations to make January 1 officially New Year's Day (which was already celebrated by many), by decree of Charles IX. This was in 1564, even before the adoption of the Gregorian calendar (See Julian start of the year). Thus the New Year's gifts and visits of felicitation which had been the feature of the 1st of April became associated with the first day of January, and those who disliked or did not hear about the change were fair game for those wits who amused themselves by sending mock presents and paying calls of pretended ceremony on the 1st of April. French and Dutch references from 1508 and 1539 respectively describe April Fools' Day jokes and the custom of making them on the first of April.
Though the 1st of April appears to have been anciently observed in Great Britain as a general festival, it was apparently not until the beginning of the 18th century that the making of April-fools was a common custom.
In Scotland the custom was known as "hunting the gowk," i.e. the cuckoo, and April-fools were "April-gowks," the cuckoo being there, as it is in many countries, a term of contempt.
In France the person fooled is known as poisson d'avril. This has been explained from the association of ideas arising from the fact that in April the sun quits the zodiacal sign of the fish. A far more natural explanation would seem to be that the April fish would be a young fish and therefore easily caught. The French traditionally celebrated this holiday by placing dead fish on the backs of friends. Today the fish has been replaced with paper cut-out.
The Dutch celebrate the 1st of April for other reasons. In 1572, the Netherlands were ruled by Spain's King Philip II. Roaming the region were Dutch rebels who called themselves Geuzen, after the French "gueux", meaning beggars. On 1 April, 1572, the Geuzen seized the small coastal town of Den Briel. This event was also the start of the general civil rising against the Spanish in other cities in the Netherlands. The Duke of Alba, commander of the Spanish army could not prevent the uprising. Bril is the Dutch word for glasses, so on 1 April, 1572, "Alba lost his glasses". Dutch people find this joke so hilarious they still commemorate the first of April.
Chaucer's story, the Nun's Priest's Tale, written c.1400, takes place on 32 March; that is, 1 April; it is Chanticleer and the Fox, a story of two fools.
So, just for "chits and giggles", I'm slipping in EASTER EGG #5 right here with a little word puzzle. Leave a comment if you think you know the answer/can solve the riddle to this EXTREMELY simple (no challenge there, right?!?) picture/word puzzle...I'll be certain to note your brilliance in my next post if you get it right...and also tell you the answer if the little brain teaser was too much to tackle!
Easter Egg #5: What is this?
Friday, March 30, 2007
I gave a solid blow to her knee in the direction of the kick bag (with my allegedly weak leg) and that's when it happened. My foot slipped up under the kick bag and connected with "T's" knee, nearly buckling the leg.
There wasn't any swelling initially..."T" remained a trooper and returned later in the day to instruct ANOTHER 4 hour session with our coworkers...but the "knee" was very sore. I hung my head, feeling like an idiot who had just sternly instructed my coworkers (the trainees) on the issues of SAFETY while in the course, the need for careful attention to detail, and to NOT injure one another.
"T" called me today while I was in a 9 hour Union meeting. There's a crack in her bone...not fractured through, but cracked. She can't walk on the leg and the doctor has instructed her to stay off of it to give it time to "heal".
She tells me, "Well, that technique really works cuz this is proof. I'm supposed to stay off my leg and it should heal just fine."
Unfortunately, while she's going home to heal, I feel like a heel...
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
All I know is I must have racked up some "wicked" points in the past few months because I've had no REST at all these last few weeks...my job has been extremely fast-paced and relentless lately and I am nearly "too pooped to pop" (another "Pegism"...she had some good ones, didn't she?!?).
Tomorrow morning, I return to work at the crack of dawn (7:30AM) to present two, 4 hour training sessions ON MY DAY OFF, I might add. I will literally be at work from 7:30 in the morning to 11:00PM at night...you may now make wagers on exactly how "wicked" I have been recently...LOL.
I have become so tired recently, I find myself waking up each morning and saying the MS Prayer...you know the one..."Dear God, please don't give me a relapse of my multiple sclerosis today. And if you must, please let it kill me."
I very much doubt between now and Saturday I will find the time to post anything on either BrainCheese sites (you AOL-ers REALLY need to get on board and switch to the dark side of BrainCheese at Blogspot: http://www.brain-cheese.blogspot.com/ )...I also have an all day meeting to attend starting at 9:00AM on Friday. As I have told Corrine via a private email, "I imagine I will be ass-spanking insane by the time this month is over"!!! Well, at least I work in the business of "insane", so it IS familiar territory...
So, I'm off to go about my "wicked" ways...I have some typing and an outline to get completed before dawn shows her gnarly face in the morning. I imagine by 11:00PM tomorrow I will feel as if I have been "rode hard, and put up wet". Someone should really thank my mother for these God-awful sayings...anybody have a Ouija Board handy so we can call her??...LOL...
(02) The 57 on the Heinz ketchup bottle represents the number of varieties of pickle the company once had.
(03) A rat can last longer without water than a camel.
(04) Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks or it will digest itself.
(05) The dot over the letter "i" is called a tittle.
(06) A raisin dropped in a glass of fresh champagne will bounce up and down continuously from the bottom of the glass to the top.
(07) A female ferret will die if it goes into heat and cannot find a mate.
(08) A duck's quack doesn't echo. No one knows why.
(09) A 2 X 4 is really 1-1/2 by 3-1/2.
(10) 40% of McDonald's profits come from the sales of Happy Meals.
(11) Every person has a unique eye & tongue print.
(12) The "spot" on the 7-Up comes from its inventor who had red eyes. He was an albino.
(13) 315 entries in Webster's 1996 dictionary were misspelled.
(14) Chocolate kills dogs. Chocolate affects a dog's heart and nervous system. A few ounces is enough to kill a small sized dog.
(15) Most lipstick contains fish scales.
(16) Donald Duck comics were banned from Finland because he doesn't wear pants.
(17) Ketchup was sold in the 1830s as medicine.
(18) There are no clocks in Las Vegas gambling casinos.
(19) There are no words in the dictionary that rhyme with orange, purple and silver.
(20) If one places a tiny amount of liquor on a scorpion, it will instantly go mad and sting itself to death.
(21) By raising your legs slowly and laying on your back, you cannot sink into quicksand.
(22) Celery has negative calories. It takes more calories to eat a piece of celery than the celery has in it to begin with.
(23) Bats always turn left when exiting a cave.
(24) Astronauts are not allowed to eat beans before they go into space because passing wind in a spacesuit damages them.
(25) The Guinness Book of Records holds the record for being the book most often stolen from Public Libraries.
Just double click on the title song below the player...and you may want to cover your children's ears or, at the very least, remove anyone from the room who has no tolerance for the politically incorrect!
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of most early blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual although some focus on photographs (photoblog), sketchblog, videos (vlog), or audio (podcasting), and are part of a wider network of social media.
The term "blog" is a portmanteau, or, in other words, a blend of the words web and log (Web log). "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
Monday, March 26, 2007
For the love of God, I am sick of hearing about this poor woman's life! I would be curious to know how many thousands of dollars it has taken to determine that she DIED FROM A PRESCRIPTIVE DRUG OVERDOSE. If only "they" would have called ME, I could have saved people a hella load of money on that final report...and I am neither a pathologist nor a rocket scientist. LOL
It amazes me the stories that "entertain" us (focusing mostly on American culture now) these days...dramatic, bizarre, freak-show-type tales of other people's lives. I guess this is why reality TV is sooo popular in our culture, too. Our OWN lives have become so mundane and boring, we must rely on the tragedies of others (and I'm sorry, but every contestant on any reality TV show is a "tragedy"!) to entertain us or feel better about ourselves in some sick sort of way.
For instance, we now have TV shows about midgets, obese people trying to lose weight for money, celebrities trying to lose weight for money, kids singing with the dream to become an "American Idol" but usually ending up humiliated on national television, stupid women trying to win the "love" of a bachelor for cash, and the list goes on and on.
Let's face it folks...we are ALL fat, stupid, ugly, untalented, graceless, irritating slobs to some degree if that's what we choose to see in other people around us. We will never be any more than what we choose to believe is REALITY about our neighbor.
Maybe that's why so many of "us" are killing ourselves these days from "accidental drug overdoses"...just a thought...
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Actually, the title of this post is to elicit feedback from all of you loyal CHEESE readers (that would be all two of you) regarding hearing problems and Multiple Sclerosis. Generally speaking (and posing an extremely simplified version of a complex question), do YOU have any difficulties with your hearing because of your MS?
My personal quest to unravel this mystery stems from my own curiosity...that, and a vague response from Dr. She Who Will Not Be Named regarding this issue! It began as follows:
About two weeks ago (maybe more, maybe less...I'm not much for attention to details when it comes to symptoms and time LOL), I started noticing these brief periods of "buzzing" in my left ear. I have frequently had "issues" with my left ear since childhood (i.e., multiple ear infections, some hearing loss, occasional pain, etc.), so my first notice of this occurring was more of a "Hey...that's odd" type of thought. Not wanting to be an alarmist, I'd just sort of "note" it, and carry on.
Then the buzzing episodes began occurring almost daily, very briefly, no pain, and no real reason to think I wasn't just experiencing some bizarre allergy or head cold development. Now, I am experiencing this buzzing several times a day. It's not exactly tinnitis (ringing in the ears), but literally more like a white noise, buzzing sound that seems to mute my hearing slightly. It is as if the sounds around me are having to travel under water before I hear them. (I know, I know...now I really AM starting to "sound" like a lunatic!) It's truly no more than an annoyance and the episodes only last for a few seconds to minutes...but, it IS bugging me!
I emailed Dr. SWWNBN a question about MS and hearing problems and she responded, "potentially" MS could cause this and that I needed to see an Ear/Nose/Throat doctor. I not-so-gently reminded her I just SAW an ENT that SHE sent me to in January and my ears checked out just fine!
So, I've now decided to pose this question to the REAL experts...all y'all who read my blathering crap and have MS! Have YOU had any trouble with your hearing caused by MS and/or experienced a similar symptom? I KNOW more than two of you with MS read this cornucopia of crap, so please throw me a friggin' bone here and leave a comment...I'd love to HEAR (yuck yuck) from you!...
Friday, March 23, 2007
As I mentioned earlier this week, I am being punished (I'm still searching for the culprit responsible LOL) by having to work a string of daytime shifts at my job. I refer to it as "punishment" because I am just not a daytime/morning person...never have been, doubt I ever will be.
My best hours of functioning on the 24 hour clock are generally anytime between 12PM and 12AM. I can't even claim to be fully alert and oriented until around 10:00AM! LOL And my entire work life, I have somehow managed to get (and keep) jobs that afforded me this afternoon scheduling. It's also a much more convenient work schedule for someone who suffers from chronic bouts of insomnia...it just works for me.
The past two mornings, I have had the extremely unpleasant and distasteful horror of waking to the loud, bleeping of an alarm clock...I hate alarm clocks. But I hate being late for work even more, so I have had to rely on this disgusting technology to insure my arrival at my place of employment "on time". Rarely do I ever have to set an alarm clock when I'm working with MY "other half"...the afternoon and evening people who carry on the same tasks as the morning folks, but just later in the day. And I will be blessed with these "day folks" presence for at least 3 more mornings in a row...I'm nearly SICK with "delight" over the prospect of an alarm for three more days. LOL
I've noticed several differences between "the other half" and my crew of derelict, evening worker bees. First of all, day people are grumpy...and I really can't blame them! Who in their right mind would be "cheerful" having to show up day after day, after being awakened by an alarm, throw down a quart of coffee just to act civilized, and THEN try to be pleasant? I certainly wouldn't be.
The "other half" also seem to become much more involved in the politics of the job...they spend several minutes to many hours a day discussing and cussing with administrative figures about this and that. We evening people have the wonderful pleasure of avoiding most contact with the "suits" (what we refer to as our administration group)...consequently, we seem to get more of the actual WORK done during our time at the office.
The "other half" contends with miserable morning traffic, but they also have 100 bus routes to choose when coming and leaving work. When I drive my three miles to work around 2:00PM in the afternoon, my biggest "jam" is generally found when a school bus decides to unload a group of kids on their way home at the end of the day (yes, school does let out quite early here in Seattle!). But I have very limited bus choices, especially when returning home at midnight...unless I want to stand on the corner downtown with a crowd of drunks and deviants.
The "other half" gets all of the good parking. I suppose they SHOULD since they get to work dayum near in the dark! But, then again, I ALWAYS leave in the dark, too, so...LOL
The "other half" almost always gets to leave work on time...and I've discovered that's because THIS "other half" (again, my evening peeps!) comes in dutifully to RELIEVE them...every day...day after day...like clock work. I find it somehow comforting to know someone ELSE will be coming in to clean up or finish whatever mess I have started or created. This must be a luxury to the "other half"...LOL
The "other half" always seems to have time and takes time for lunch...it's a union rule I guess. LOL When working anytime before 2:00PM, it is sanctioned that a sit down meal MUST occur. MY "other half" is lucky if we get to cram down a cold beverage and a bag of chips while running in between cases some evenings. Sitting down to eat has seemed odd to my digestive system these past two days. LOL
I guess if it weren't for the TIMING of working the day hours, I could grow to ENJOY the shift's many perks. If only I could somehow convince Congress to completely revamp our commerce system...but hey, there's always hope! They did sneak in that crappy Day Light Saving time change earlier this year by government vote...LOL...
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Teenaged KIDS go on national television to be judged by the American public whether or not they meet the "high" standards of the American people to be considered an American Idol...the extremely intelligent American public TEXT MESSAGES or CALLS in their vote and only one of these young lost souls gets crowned "THE" American Idol.
I'm sorry to have to inform you of this, but I'm pretty sure most of those votes are coming from a trailer park located somewhere in an extremely remote part of the country...where huge, flat-screened TVs are more important than feeding the children...just as long as the 3x4 screen fits nicely on the single wide, tin wall and it doesn't cause the trailer to tilt TOO much to one side!
Oh...and if YOU happen to be a fan of this show, OF COURSE I am not talking about YOU (unless you ARE living in the double-wide, missing several teeth, and truly believe seeing young kids humiliated on national TV is a "hoot").
As they say in the "biz", that's entertainment...
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
I once went camping at dear Mount Rainier here in Washington State and convinced myself to awaken early enough so I could venture up the eastern side of "Big Momma" (just what I call that wonderful mountain!) and watch the glory of the sun cresting from a site known for this particular event: A little spot on the mountain named "Sunrise" (We're just creative like that here on the Pacific Coast...inventing quaint names for places of interest).
I did awaken around 5:00AM, only to discover a cold front had traveled through the valley and left a near freezing chill in the air...this did not "encourage" me in any way to leave the confines of my body-heated tent and head outside for my 10 mile drive up the mountain in the dark! But, since the freezing temperature (and this was July folks!) had already awakened my bladder, I was forced to unzip the tent fly and head out anyway...rather than simply wet myself and go back to sleep...LOL
The harrowing drive up the two-laned mountain road in the dark was enough to cause me to want to turn back and dive for cover into my sleeping bag...but I forged ahead. Once at the spot on the mountain called "Sunrise", I exited my car, only to discover the higher elevation not only brought a much more icy chill to the air, but the "air" itself had turned into a wind that was whipping it's way around the mountain and the valleys. But still, I remained determined.
Standing in the freezing cold, I waited...and I waited. Until finally a small sliver of light began to push through a small bank of clouds and the clouds began to change colors from blue, to pink, to yellow, then white. An artist could not have captured the scene and done it justice...it was truly beautiful. And then the sun came...in all her glory.
I often tell this tale of standing at Sunrise to watch the sun rise because, not only was it a most exquisite scene, but the mere fact I was present for it should be chronicled as a small miracle! I just don't "do" mornings without a dayum good reason.
And this brings me to my point of this post as I DO have one! Tomorrow morning (Thursday), I will be at my place of employment at the crack of dawn (and not only do I NOT want to see her "crack", I don't even know who "dawn" is!)...I will be presenting the second round of a workshop series with dear "T", and neither of us are in any way happy about this. It's not because we don't WANT to fulfill this obligation...it's just this MORNING thing!
The presentation begins at 8:00AM...and since I don't typically awaken fully until around 10:00AM, I imagine things could get "interesting"...LOL I will be armed with my version of stout coffee (Mountain Dew) and will hopefully remain upright the entire 4 hours of the presentation. I DO hope no one will be expecting any humor or gymnastics as I am quite certain I will be lacking in both areas!
And just to add insult to injury, I am also scheduled to work 4 more DAY TIME SHIFTS immediately following tomorrow! I'm not certain who exactly I "pissed" off to pull this type of punishing duty, but I am groveling an apology as I type...
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
I also had the pleasure (or discomfort...it's a matter of perspective) of a visit to Dr. She Who Will Not Be Named today. She looked at me rather puzzled as to why I was in her office...I considered the odds of getting her to change my diagnosis from Multiple Sclerosis to...oh, I don't know...maybe a benign brain tumor, but then her memory snapped back into place (it really should worry me that my neurologist has to ASK me why I am in her office!). It was my first Novantrone infusion follow up...she remembered after all.
I seemed to have passed my neuro exam without much cheating on my part...I DO study for these events...always trying to master new ways of keeping my EDSS score (Expanded Disability Status Scale) on the low side! LOL In my dealings with Dr. SWWNBN, I find it is best to "control" the amount of information/data I provide for her...lest she suggest bright ideas I have no intention of carrying out...for example STEROIDS or NEW MEDICATIONS!
I believe after our first year of working together, Dr. SWWNBN has learned she must suggest things to me in a manner which, I then in turn, believe her suggestion was MY idea. She told me today she "knew better than to suggest Solumedrol" for my current complaints/concerns/annoyances. I strongly agreed. After my last go round with the potent steroid, I have taken a vow of "steroid celibacy"...refusing to consent to the drug unless under drastic circumstance...such as blindness, total paralysis, or any near death experiences! LOL AND, my current set of complaints simply do not rate high enough on my discomfort scale at this time to warrant consideration of a "drastic circumstance".
I have found myself once again settling into that horrible place of fatigue. Having had a recent burst of energy following my Novantrone dose, I was reminded what my energy level USED to be...and, I must say, I rather miss my more "peppy" side. Dr. SWWNBN and I bantered over the idea of taking Amantidine or Provigil for my fatigue. I reminded her I still have a full bottle of 100 Amantidine (which I never took after filling the script!) from my previous neurologist and I simply wasn't "keen" on the idea of more medication. She skillfully (and I now believe somewhat manipulatively, too) argued the benefit of the drug versus side effects, placed me in her neurologist hypnotic trance, and I walked out agreeing to TRY the dayum drug for at least a week! Fortunately, the effects of her mesmerizing spell have worn off throughout the day, and I am once again leaning toward NOT adding another pill to my mix...especially right now during one of the busiest times in work life. We'll see...(But I doubt it...Mum's the word!)
So, I am off to bed soon (which translates into "sometime in the next 6-10 hours") to try to get some rest with the help of my friends, Xanax and Klonopin...I have not been sleeping well at all, and this only adds to my already fatigued feeling. I have a very busy and extremely LONG work week ahead of me. (And by the way, if I work MORE than 7 days in a row, can this really be called a "work week"? Feedback please...LOL)
For those of you that I have been remiss in leaving comments on YOUR blogs, please know you are definitely being "watched" by me (AKA, I am reading your posts)...I don't know if this should comfort or alarm you...LOL...
It started as just a few pebbles being thrown at my windows...MS tossed me a bit of fatigue and some calf stiffness/spasticity a week or so ago. When I didn't throw open my shades and peek out at it, MS decided to become a bit more "persistent" in gaining my attention...this past week my dear friend upped the anti on the fatigue in an exhausting attempt to gain notice. But still, I paid it no mind.
Over this past weekend, my lifetime buddy has been screaming that famous quote from the movie "Fatal Attraction"...you know the one...where the lovely (but a bit deranged) Glenn Close yells at Michael Douglas, "I will NOT be ignored!" MS began raising a bit more ruckus outside my door...I plugged my ears and did the ol' "La la la la" thing. LOL
By Sunday evening, there came sounds of frantic thunder pounding by my MS friend...shock waves of electricity bolting down my arms if I moved my head/neck in a certain way (what I can only imagine is L'Hermitte's Sign)...actually, I find this phenomenon kind of "cool" in a sick and twisted sort of way!
And finally today, the grand finale'...pain in my left arm radiating into my hand.
"OK, OK!", I'm yelling. "I HEAR you. But I'm not letting you in. Just slip a note under the door and I'll get back to you."
**Note to self: If this little coup works, I'll try this tactic on door to door proselytizers and sales people.**
Sunday, March 18, 2007
I think I have finally decided to do away with AOHELL...eventually (note the indecision here?!?). We just seem to have grown apart...we like different things. For instance, I prefer to be able to log into my journal and have ALL of the features up and running. AOL prefers to take a hit or miss approach. I like things that are "free"...AOL likes to charge me for free things. I like the freedom of high(er) speed internet...AOL would like me to pay not only them, but ALSO a high speed internet company. I'm hoping if I DO decide on divorce, this can be settled out of court! LOL
I've been spending some time over at www.blogspot.com . I've been playing with setting up a new home for BrainCheese over there...I must say, it is quite tedious to try and transfer well over 300 posts! I only started BrainCheese here on AOL last year in at the end of March, and I am not even HALF WAY through transferring April 2006!
But, if you'd like to check out the potential new home for BrainCheese, here's the addy: http://brain-cheese.blogspot.com/ . What I plan to do for the time being is double post...that's right...you heard me...post my ranting crap in TWO places simultaneously!!! I won't transfer "over there" completely until I've finished cut and pasting the entire year of 2006...which, at the rate I'm going, could be sometime at the end of 2007.
I have also heard horror stories of folks trying to sever their ties with AOL and running into a nightmare-ish loop of calls between India and Quebec...as we all know, AOL IS no longer "America On Line"...it's more like IOL...International On Line.
As always, I'll keep all y'all posted (now in TWO places!) of where and when I finally land...but if I have my say in the matter, it just won't continue to be here.