Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

So of course after having a tooth abcess… I realize the tooth has to come out.  Holy fucking painful.  Apparently to take out a tooth with an abcess it takes double the anaesthetic,  which wears off twice as fast. It didn’t even last 15 min. Maybe 10. We were leaving to get the fabulous pain pills… and the pain ran me the fucking over. I wanted to die. Plus, no air conditioning in the car meant I also wanted to puke everywhere.  Thankfully, after 5 days of eating cheesecake,  eggo waffles, eggs, and mashed potatoes (oh and Percocet) I feel better. Still uncomfortable, but livable.

For those 5 days I just slept as much as I could. Watched a little TV and played Wildstar when the percs worked well.

So I have 2 weeks til I go back home and there are still a few people I have yet to see.  Luckily, I get to see Jena tomorrow! ! So very excited to hang out and see the baby belly.  Everyone else better get their shut together before they miss me!

 

My niece has been doing puzzles the past day and just kept doing little ones. So today I made her bust out the 750 piece Thomas Kinkade Dream Collection – Cinderella puzzle. She actually helped this time and it took like 6 hours.  She wants to do the giant castle next.

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A lot of you know that whenever a big “break” comes up – winter or summer – I go visit my family and friends in Arizona.  The upside to being an underpaid tutor is summer off!  Although, I can’t wait to get back to work because it is incredibly rewarding to watch students get that ‘aha’ moment and start to shine.

Just before leaving to come visit Arizona I went with Kristen to see Maleficent. See it. I freaking loved this adaptation of Sleeping Beauty, and I’ve seen a lot of versions.  The movie is amazing.

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Angelina Jolie has always been one of my favorite actresses and she really knows how to be the perfect villain.

So far vacation has only consisted of a little drinking, a bit of swimming, lots of being annoyed by my niece and nephew, and a little baking.

I totally forgot to take pictures, but so far this week we made homemade pizza, homemade bagels, and my sister made the best cookie bars ever.  Apparently the bagels rocked because all 12 were gone before 24 hours was up.  I’ll have to try different versions with this household as guinea pigs.

I keep trying to work on redoing my Alice site, but the kids bug me about each little thing I’m doing and “why is it taking so long?”  Hopefully, I’ll get a little free time this weekend so I can get things rolling.  I am hoping that my best friend’s little sister wants me to create her a site (she’s a fabulous artist) so that I have something to do this summer, because I miss coding all day!  Of course, come fall I’ll complain of coding too much when I go back to school for my Bachelors.

Crossing my fingers I can do something about our internet here at my sister’s tomorrow because it keeps eating shit whenever I want to stream a game or show.  Which makes me and my nephew super cranky.  Tried to watch Pacific Rim earlier so I could get my Charlie Hunnam fix and it died like 20 minutes in.  I’m losing it waiting for the next, and sadly last, season of Sons of Anarchy.  I am super excited to see who Marilyn Manson’s character is.

The upside and downside of being somewhat emotionally stable is boredom.  I don’t really care and I don’t really feel like doing things, but want to do things at the same time.  How do ‘normal’ people handle this all the time?  At least when I’m being all bipolar things are interesting.

Another project I’m going to work on this summer is recreating a paper I wrote years ago on the evolution of vampires in our culture.  It’s sad that they are no longer scary.  I much prefer the blood and guts versions.  It is interesting to see how we progressed to sparkling vampires and I hope I can find some of the same references I had.  I still can’t believe I lost both the written paper and the file on my flash drive.  Probably threw it away in some manic cleaning phase. Oh well.

Things happened so fast I didn’t even have time to warn any of you!  At the beginning of July I drove from Maryland to Arizona.. alone.. longest 3 days of my life!  Got to hang out with my sister and her kids.. partially helping her survive cuz she had surgery.  Then on the 20th we flew to Orlando, FL!  Great week at Saratoga Springs Resort, got the kids to go on Splash Mountain, and did lots of swimming.  The only thing that really sucked was that it rained so much we missed going to the beach.  We did go to Ghirardelli’s Soda Fountain tho! Best sundae ever!!!!

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Now I’m back home with a still swollen and painful ankle, that I twisted in the airplane on the way to Florida.  Nice to get some rest now though.. as much as I love those kids they can wear ya out.  Couple weeks til school starts so it’s time to get ready for that.  Gotta buy some books n such.

 

Disney World definitely needs more Jack Skellington.  He was confined to the corner/one wall of the Christmas shop.  Tragic.  However, I did get myself a new coffee cup and this awesome purse –

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Plus we got to make some magnets, banners, ceramics, and coloring pages at the resort with the kids.

 

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Time to catch up on my gaming.. I’m behind and feel out of sorts since I don’t know whats going on in Guild Wars 2.  Plus, no one is really playing Neverwinter anymore and I’m being subjected to DC Universe.  I think Neverwinter is better than DC… so if you find yourself in need of a free game.. choose the first!

 

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Yes, I know I have been neglectful once again.  Summertime has gotten to me.  All the humidity and heat has me being uber lazy!  I have managed to check out a new game – Neverwinter.  Based on Dungeons and Dragons, free to download, free to play, officially out of beta on the 20th.  I was a little skeptical as I have no knowledge of D&D, but figured what’s the harm in trying something free?  Totally awesome.  Great gameplay, good toons, lots to do.  AND there is player made content!!! The Foundry rocks.  Some of the player made content has to do with the game and the lore, and some is totally random.  There are some very hilarious foundry quests.  If you have time, definitely check it out!  This is my Control Wizard standing on a giant awesome clock!

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I did come up with my own foundry quest to create, it just takes a lot of time and patience to get it together.  Hopefully, I will develop more patience so I can finish making it.  The script was apparently the easy part lol.

I saw Man of Steel on Saturday…. meh.  It was the kind of movie that is good to see in a theater, but I realized that I thought of other things a few times during the movie and a really good one would have kept my attention.  The end was great tho.  Overall, worth seeing once but I doubt I’d ever watch it again.  Now You See Me is a completely different story.  LOVED IT.  Totally grabbed my attention and held it.  Didn’t see the end coming and I want the movie!  Go see it!

My grandfather is coming next week so that means I am forced to put my room away and clean up.  I was leaving stuff in boxes because the basement isn’t finished, but it has to look nice when he visits.  I’m sure some of you understand.

I want to make some honey wheat bread this week, but the process is so long every time I look at the recipe I go.. nah.  Maybe if I make cupcakes at the same time… cuz then the dough could rise while I do other stuff.. maybe.. Totally depends on whether or not I can get over this “nothing looks good maybe I’ll just starve” week. I love food and I hate eating it when nothing looks/tastes good!  I totally bought myself some White Castle frozen burgers to eat tho, I mean I figure I can’t not eat those.. so yummy!  I wish they were fresh from White Castle, but the closest is in like PA!

Trying to figure a way to make some money so I can go visit some friends in Canada.  It isn’t overly expensive to drive there, but right now it is out of my budget.  I’ll just dream of all that I could see along the way and all the fun we could have until I can find a better job doing what I actually like.  Sadly, it seems that even finding a contracting job for web design/development is out of my reach.  I will keep hoping and ranting on for all of you til then =P

 

Vlad Tepes, or Vlad the Impaler, was the son of Vlad Dracul, or Vlad the Dragon.
Dracul is not just the word for Dragon in Romanian, it also means devil, which makes
the name fit quite nicely.

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Back then the area they lived in was called Wallachia and is part of modern day Romania.
Surrounded by empires that they needed to appease, they would constantly change sides to make
sure that Wallachia’s interests were met.

Vlad the Impaler was born in 1431 while his father was in Transylvania under exile. And in 1436
his father took back the throne in Wallachia. At thirteen Vlad and his brother, Radu, were
sent to Adrianople to be hostages and remained there for four years. At this point he returned
to claim the throne, but only reigned for 2 months. Finally, in 1456 he reclaimed his throne and
began to establish Tirgoviste as his capital. He built his castle near the Arges River in the
mountains.

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In his second reign as ruler Vlad Tepes committed horrible atrocities. His favorite method
of killing was impalement (hence his nickname) which was a slow painful death. Generally,
the stake was inserted through the butt and out the mouth. However there were other ways of
doing the impalement, some were even hung upside down.

Vlad is said to have scared away invading armies because of his fields of corpses. He had a
tower where his fields of dead were and it was said that he sat up there and feasted .. even
drank blood.

At one point he had 20,000 turkish prisoners impaled.. we know this as “the Forest of the Impaled.”

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The impalements did not bother Vlad at all and there is art done where he was eating amongst
the stakes. A lot of his reasoning was that he wanted to secure his power in a modern world
and enforce his personal moral code on Wallachia.

In 1462 Vlad had to flee to Transylvania because the Turks invaded.. his wife committed suicide
rather than be taken alive. Vlad attempted to get aid from Matthias Corvinus, the King of
Hungary, but was arrested and imprisoned instead. He was a prisoner for around 12 years,
the actual length is up for debate. He somehow got back into Corvinus good graces and
married a member of the royal family(rumor is she was a sister of Corvinus). He had 2
sons, the oldest was 10 years old when the Impaler took back the Wallachian throne in 1476.

In 1476 Vlad decided he had rested long enough and wanted more power. Along with Prince Stephen
Bathory, of Transylvania, he invaded Wallachia. The local ruler fled, but sadly for Vlad
it wasn’t long before the Prince and most of the forces went back to Transylvania.
In December of 1476 Vlad Dracula was killed near Bucarest. There are multiple reports
on what happened so it is unknown how he died. The only thing we are sure of is that he was
beheaded after death, his head sent to Constantinople, and his body buried at Snagov, his
favorite monastery, near Bucharest. His body, however, has never been found. It may have been looted,
may have decomposed because of the humidity, or perhaps he still walks the Earth. There are
numerous stories in circulation of this.

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While we assume most of this is true, there is indeed no way to know. The only evidence we have
are legends and tales from the Romanians and German and Russian Pamphlets.

In some places in Romania he is seen as a champion of the common man. They don’t tell of him
as a cruel ruler who murdered hundreds of thousands. In fact, many of the Romanian tales have him
as a kind of hero. The name Vlad the Impaler was only used after his death.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!)

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!

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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.

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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 –

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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