Archive for May, 2013

So as most of us know vampires are nothing new.

They have been around for centuries. In fact, they are prehistoric. All throughout history there are signs of them. There have been many, many incarnations of them and no one ever seems to agree about them – except for what they feed on – life force (blood). In the past there were many steps taken to assure one did not rise as a vampire. Staking the heart in a coffin, putting millet or sand at the grave site (I guess vamps had to count it), and holy objects in the coffin. In Albanian folklore it was said that if a lugat (vampire) slept with his wife and she gets pregnant she will sire a dhampir. This dhampir could apparently tell who was a vampire and was the only one that could kill them.

There were a lot of weird rituals to discern if someone was undead. A virgin boy on a virgin stallion led through a courtyard – the horse would balk at a vampires grave. Holes in the earth above the grave meant vampirism. And of course, the corpse would not look decomposed. Apparently, villagers would occasionally dig up a grave and find fresh blood on the vampires face. This was done if there were deaths of animals, relatives, or neighbors.

Just as there are many versions of the vampire there are many things that are said to ward them off. Garlic. A branch of wild rose and hawthorn plant. Sprinkling mustard seeds on the roof of your house. Plus, they can’t walk on consecrated ground, enter your house without permission, or go into the sunlight (well some- more on that later). It was even said they couldn’t cross running water. And depending on the country a vampire would or would not have a shadow or show a reflection in a mirror – in Greece they had both.

Now, to kill a vampire you must stake them in the heart. Or burn them. Or cut off their head. “Vampire hunters” would carry kits to deal with them.

vampkit

And don’t forget, vampire is a relatively new term in history. While vampires are seen or heard of in most cultures they were not referred to as such.

In India they were vetālas.

In Ancient Babylonia and Assyria there was Lilitu which gave rise to Lilith.

In Ancient Greece and Rome there was Empusae, the Lamia, and the striges.

In Norse legend there was the draugr.
Vampires truly became folklore in the late 17th and 18th centuries in Eastern Europe. One of the earliest records was from Croatia in 1672! A peasant – Jure – died in 1656 and drank blood. He was staked, but that didn’t work, so they beheaded him. He became the first real case in history of a real person being described as a vampire. Of course, with news like this there was a rash of vampire sightings throughout Eastern Europe in the 18th century that resulted in lots of stakings and grave diggings. Funny how although this was the Age of Enlightenment vampire belief became widespread and caused mass hysteria.

It was started by attacks in East Prussia in 1721 and spread. Peter Plogojowitz and Arnold Paole from Serbia were the first two famous vampires, in fact, the first cases to be recorded officially. Serbia had another famous vampire, this time a woman, Sava Savanović. Apparently, she lived in a watermill and drank the blood of local millers. There was a book written using her later on and a movie “Leptirica” in 1973.

The Greek had vyrkolakas.

And the Roman strigoi.

strigoi

Africa also had it’s vampiric types. There were asanbosam, the Ewe people of the adze, impundulu, and ramanga. All which had attributes of vampirism.

Asia had the bhuta and the figure of Vetala. There was even a creature who had intestines on its head and a skull it drank blood from – the BrahmarākŞhasa.

In the Philippines there was the Tagalog mandurugo,and Visayan manananggal. One turned into a beautiful girl by day, but grew wings and a thread-like tongue at night. The latter was older, but still beautiful, had wings, and would feed on the fetus of pregnant women.

In Malaysia the Penanggalan used black magic and could detach its head to let it fly around at night to get blood. They also had the Pontianakb or Langsuir – a woman who died in childbirth and became undead.

The Balinese had the Leyak.

The Indonesian had the Kuntilanak(Matianak) – who were like the malaysian Langsuir.

The Chinese had Jiang Shi – created from a deceased body whos soul did not leave – mindless creatures.

The Aztecs had the Cihuateteo – spirits that died in childbirth and stole children.  It was also said they got men to commit adultery and the Cihuateteo were said to escort the sun at sunset.

cihuateteo

America. There was the Loogaroo – a mixture of French and AFrican voodoo beliefs. In the late 18th and 19th centuries people disinterred and removed the hearts of loved ones – dead ones – because they thought they were vampires and caused sickness and death in the family. They thought tuberculosis was caused by them.

There are many reasons that stories of vampires spread throughout – the black plague was thought to be brought on by vampiric creatures. And basically any other mysterious illness that spread rapidly. There was also porphyria – which is a rare blood disease. Those who were misinformed about this disease may have thought consuming large amounts of blood eased the symptoms. And of course rabies could have been a factor in some hysteria before it was known what it was.

Something to note – until the 16th century (when they were discovered) vampire bats had nothing to do with vampiric lore!

Okay. With all the folklore, legends, and superstition how did vampires turn into what we see today? (part 2 coming soon!)

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So because I was too lazy to see if anything else was on after watching Grey’s Anatomy on Lifetime, I ended up with a marathon of Betty White’s Off Their Rockers!  I love this show, mostly because people never expect the shit they do from an old person.  But also, because this will be me and my friends when I’m old.  We have actually spent a lot of time (while drinking) thinking of the hilarious/horrible things we can do to people when we are old.  Some of them are quite extreme and outrageous, but hey why not!

bettywhite

 

In other news, it is haunting season once more.  Last year we had flies (despite constant cleaning, spraying, and flytraps), odd noises, doors opening with no one there and computers acting up.  Today I was sitting in the living room watching TV and I’m hearing weird noises (which could have been due to wind) and then.. there’s a loud crash of something having fallen.. don’t see anything.. all the dogs are sitting with me, and didn’t find it later.  Hopefully, it won’t act up too much otherwise my friend Megan is never gonna come over again!

Since I was lucky enough to finally get a copy of American McGee’s Alice I thought I’d play it.  The only difficult thing is that since it was made in the 90’s the controls aren’t as good as newer games.  The graphics are pretty darn good for their time, I just have issues because I’m so used to the controls on Alice Madness Returns.  So I put the first one on the back burner and have started going thru Madness Returns again.  I’m almost to the Whalrus and the Carpenter, but I want so badly to get past that part without having to do it again!  I really wanna get to the dollhouse level! So for now I must suffer through.

alice alice2

So like many others, I’m addicted to Pinterest.  Especially the food and drink because I love to try new recipes (especially easy ones!).  Well, lately there has been a lot on there for paleo eating.  Which I’m not really into, but since I want to eat healthier I was intrigued by some of the stuff they do with cauliflower.  So yesterday I’m like pierogies sound awesome, but they are so bad for me!  So, brilliant idea, I’ll make the mashed cauliflower I keep seeing on Pinterest that everyone says is so good. Bad Idea.  It does not taste anything like mashed potatoes.  I love garlic and olive oil, but it got a bad aftertaste since cauliflower doesn’t really taste like much.  /sad fail.  I think I’ll just make real mashed potato pierogies (the lazy way – in wonton wrappers.).

However, I did successfully make some pizza “cupcakes.” Bisquick mix, milk, cheese, onion, and pepperoni – mix well.  Then stick it in a cupcake pan (sprayed with cooking spray) and cook about 10-12 min.  I needed to use more pepperoni, onion, and cheese because while it looked like a lot – turns out when it puffs up they weren’t enuff.  Easy fix for next time!Image

I’m working on some vamp stuff to post, because I’ve been bored and because I’m totally interested in the evolution of the vampire recently.  And guess what!  Next season’s Once Upon a Time is in WONDERLAND!  So excited!  It better be awesome or I might cry lol.

So I know she isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I LOVE Emilie Autumn.  I think she is an amazing artist and has so much talent for so many things!  Plus, she’s bipolar like me so seeing how much she has accomplished helps me think I can too!  She recently released a video and one of my friends back in Arizona is actually in it!  Kinda cool to be watching it and then going “oh oh I know him!”  I don’t know what her inspiration was for this video, but it’s the best music video ever.  Just the right mix of fucking crazy, sex, and awesomeness.  Emilie Autumn is about as girly as I get and she’s fairly girly to an extent lol.

I’ve been working on getting my things brought down from my old room to the new, super unexciting but necessary. At least it’s at least 10 degrees cooler down here most of the time now that it’s getting hot, humid, and nasty.  Gonna have to work on my tan soon so that I’m not blinding people when we go to Florida in July.  Crossing my fingers that the internship I requested information about will allow telecommuting, hopefully I hear back on Monday!

Today I noticed that The Bates Motel was on A&E so I thought I’d finally see what all the fuss was about.  I don’t get it.  Maybe because I didn’t watch it from the beginning, but I am so lost about so many things.  And because of that I can’t decide if I like it or not.  It does draw my attention pretty well, but who knows.  I am very excited that Falling Skies season premiere is soon, that show rocks.  This week was the season finale of Grey’s Anatomy and of course they left a huge cliffhanger!  Not as bad as last season, but still one that had me yelling at the tv.  My plan next week is to watch Defiance and see if that’s any good.

Oh, and I almost forgot to mention.. Tuesday was my birthday!  My kick ass friend Megan got me a new Jack Skellington wallet!  AND cupcake supplies!  New liners, gel, icing, and sprinkles.  So this week I have to figure out a new recipe to try.  I’m thinking maybe chocolate-orange.  That’s always a tasty combination.  Anyway, now that you’ve finished reading all my jibber jabber.. here it is!

So excited for a few month’s off of school to recharge!  However, now I feel at a loss of what to do.  I am looking at an internship I would love to have for the summer, but I have to find out whether or not I’d have to drive to D.C. or if I could telecommute – of course expecting they would even accept me!  Sadly, it is the only one I found that I am fairly qualified for since I don’t know javascript yet.  I can’t seem to get into any tutorials online to start learning, but I should get my book the middle of next week so I can start learning!  Even though I have a super great job at U-Haul, since it’s not in the field I’m currently looking at it just doesn’t seem so exciting anymore.

I finally got my friend Andrea’s site done (she’s the artist that did the buttons, header, and footer for my Alice site).  Until she puts it online and gives me the final touches for her gallery page all I can share is her header –

header

 

The site is for commissions so when it’s fully up and running you should check it out, she really is very talented!

I feel proud of myself, all my hard work this semester paid off and I got a 4.0 GPA for the semester  and a 3.857 cumulative!  And to celebrate I was totally ready to spend like $30-$40 bucks to get another copy of Alice:Madness Returns (only PS3 this time) to be able to buy the original American McGee’s Alice, and guess what.. I go on Amazon and there is a downloadable PC complete collection!  Not only did I get the original game, but more dress and weapon skins for the second.. ALL for under $8!! Sometimes procrastination pays off! lol

So it’s my second to last day of the semester and I finally “completed” my Alice site revisions.  While it is a project I plan to work on forever, this is what it has turned out to be for my final project. (click the pic to see!)

header

 

With that finished it is time to work on uploading all my digital work to my school blog – Graphically Demented.  That will be finished later today if anyone is curious.  Thursday I present that blog and my final project for my HTML Site.  If you click the heart pic, it will take you to my index page for HTML and all sites I have put together this semester.  None of the content is mine (except the home page for Scotland Tours), but I did all the css and html code (and designed the index page and Scotland Tours pages).

hearts_back

I am looking forward to some time to relax, play Guild Wars, catch up on my favorite shows, and work on my personal web site.  About the only thing I have been able to discover this semester is “Hemlock Grove” a netflix series.  SO ADDICTIVE!  I was hooked 5 min into the first episode.  I can’t wait for the next season! Take a peek!