Bloggity-Blog-Blog-Blog Archive XXV
The Healing Hand of Laura "Tegan" Gjovaag

Saturday, April 12, 2003  

Some Stuff

Spent most of the day yesterday feeling like the inside of my skull was bruised. It's not a pleasant feeling. I managed to get lots done despite the pain, though, so I'm happy.

Some incredibly childish person has posted spoilers to the latest issue of New X-Men on one of the boards. In this particular case, it is equivalent to somebody shouting to the first people in line waiting to see Empire Strikes Back for the very first showing that Vader is Luke's father. The issue of New X-Men is question has not yet come out officially, but it was in the retailers sneak peek packages. I looked at it in the store on Wednesday, but since I don't read any X-books, the significance of the story had to be explained to me. After I saw the reaction of the X-fans in the store, though, I realized what a big deal it was. So somebody spoiling it... man, that's just petty meaness.

So we've apparently won the war in Iraq. Hurrah for us. Like it's a surprise. We only had to kill a thousand or so civilians and a few thousand soldiers to do it, which is much less than I was worried about, but still more than is truly acceptable. Now comes the hard part, and the true test of Bush's leadership. Will we find those weapons of mass destruction and prove that our attack was justified? Will we give Iraq back to its people, and let them rule themselves, or will we occupy the country for the foreseeable future? Will we attack any other countries in the region, or will we stick to the mission plan? Syria seems to believe we're setting them up for attack, as do many people in Jordan. The Iraqi people may be showing happiness right now, but there's still an awful lot of people in the world who hate us more than ever. I wonder if Saddam fled to Syria?

In any case, I hope we do find proof that Saddam was hiding lots of stuff from the weapons inspectors. I hope we can make a good case to the world that what we did was justified. Right now, we attacked a country on the unproven belief that it might someday be a threat to us. Not a good precedent to set. Not at all.

Oh well, on to less serious stuff. The Mariners are playing poorly, and I couldn't be happier. Yeah, I like it when they win, but right now it feels like old times. I grew up with a losing hom baseball team. With the M's at 4-6 things seem... well... normal.

I do intend to write comic book reviews for this week's bunch, but I've just been distracted every time I got something like a chance to do anything. I still haven't written a review for my website of the Aquaman Secret Files from two weeks ago because I loved it so much and I'm still having trouble getting the fangirl gushing out of my writing about it. Unfortunately, that means I haven't written a review of Aquaman #5 yet. Ug. I have some catching up to do.

I'm still trying to find a book reader for e-books that I can use with my exercise bike. If anyone has a lead on one, let me know.

posted by Tegan | 8:56 AM

Friday, April 11, 2003  


I had a migraine last night. One of those fortunately rare headaches that feels like the someone has opened your skull and is pounding on the soft matter therein.

It's strange, I've been having these headaches for about a decade now, and they've gotten into a pattern. First I have a mild headache that feels like someone is squeezing my head from behind. Those headaches aren't serious, and I have them far more often than I have my migraines. But when it's going to be real serious, I can tell by closing my eyes.

There's a flicker behind my vision, and I can't see it that early into the headache without closing my eyes. So when I get a mild headache that has stuck around for almost an hour, I start to check it by closing my eyes every few minutes. If it's going to get worse, I see a flicker on the edges of my vision when my eyes are closed.

It's hard to describe what I see. It's like a fire licking at the edges of my sight, but not quite like that either.

If I see that, I know I've got anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half before the big one hits. It's very nice of my body to give me enough warning time to go home and hide. That's what happened yesterday. I was at work, and at about 4 pm I started to see the signs of a biggie and let my boss know that I really needed to go home.

Along the drive home, the minor headache started to get worse, and the flickering started to show up even with my eyes open. By the time I can see it with my eyes open, the flickering has almost changed into a pulsing. It never quite gets into a pattern, but it seems less wild than before.

Once home, the most important thing I can do is drink as much water as possible. It sometimes reduces the length of the pain, and sometimes seems to help with the recovery.

When it hit at about five pm, I just felt really weak first. Then any light at all hurts. And I'm not talking just pain, I'm talking HURT. Even a tiny bit of light feels like a spike being driven into my eyes and up into my brain. I usually grab a towel and wrap it around my eyes. Last night I just got into bed and pulled the blankets across my face. I couldn't breathe very comfortably, but anything is better than the pain at that point.

It's impossible to sleep. Impossible to think straight. Every bit of your body and mind is aimed at simply reducing the pain any way it can. At some point, the phone rang. At some point hubby-Eric came home. As the pain finally started to fade about 8 pm, hubby provided some food for me. Then it was back into the bed to try and recover.

The night was long and partially sleepless, and this morning the pain elves were still rattling my skull. But now I've got to go to work, and I hope I can survive long enough to fully recover. Sadly, it usually takes a couple of days for the effect to fully wear off. I can still feel an angry tightness inside my head.

Ah well. Off I go.

posted by Tegan | 9:25 AM

Comments (2)

Are you seeing a neurologist? Imitrex helped my wife quite a bit.

Tom T. | 04.12.03 - 9:32 am

Luckily, mine are very rare. Maybe two a year now. Not enough to see a neurologist about. Maybe when I have health insurance again, I'll see if more can be done about them.

Tegan | 04.15.03 - 10:19 am

Thursday, April 10, 2003  

I Hate TV News

So when I went to get the comics yesterday (got 'em, will review later), the owner and her right-hand gal told me that they'd seen images of American troops in Baghdad pulling down a statue of Saddam, and then Iraqi people pulling the face-down head of the statue around and riding on it. "Cool," I thought, "I'll turn on the TV and see if I see something like it."

So I turn on CNN, and there are ads. Ads and more ads, and ads assuring me that CNN is the trustworthy source for news. In fact, they assure me so repeatedly, I wonder if they are trying to convince themselves of the fact. But I don't see any news. Just ads. Ok, try another channel.

Ah, here's something! It's... Bush. Talking. He is absolutely the most unconvincing public speaker I've ever had the misfortune to listen to. Even when he's telling the honest truth, he still sounds like he's lying to me. Has nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with the pacing and emphasis of his speech. I can't listen. Time to hit another channel.

More ads. More Bush. An ex-embedded reporter trying to dig up a story. More ads. I give up.

I hate TV News.

posted by Tegan | 8:14 AM

Comments (2)

That's ok, Laura. Maybe by the time they carve W's likeness on Mt. Rushmore you'll learn to like him.

farsider | Email | 04.10.03 - 9:29 am

Satan will skate to work before either of those happen.

Tegan | 04.20.03 - 5:25 pm

Wednesday, April 09, 2003  

Morning Thoughts

If you'd like to see the promo for the Scary Godmother animated special, it's here at the mainframe website. I really want to see this show!

The Mariners won yesterday in what was, by the accounts I saw, a decent performance for a home opener. Anaheim apparently helped out a little by making some crucial errors, but those might not have affected the result. So the M's are 4-3 with a game on tonight (which should be on ESPN2 even). They are two games behind the now rampaging Oakland, whose only loss so far was to the M's.

posted by Tegan | 7:54 AM

Tuesday, April 08, 2003  

Angry White Girl

It's rearing its ugly head again. The case of an off-duty officer shooting a drunk/high man who was illegally blocking a private driveway is in the news. I commented about this case in my second entry of this blog. I still feel now exactly as I felt then. The "victim", Thomas, was a man with a history of violence, convicted twice of assault (both times with a gun, once against a police officer). The officer, Miller, was off-duty and acting as a private citizen. And Thomas' family have had to work on their story for a year to get it straight. First they said that Thomas had no gun. Then they claimed that the gun was planted by police. After Thomas' girlfriend testified that she'd seen Thomas place the gun (which was stolen) in the truck before the fateful trip, then family said Thomas had never actually raised the gun. But both the witnesses were drunk or had cocaine in their systems, and one of them was asleep in the back seat and didn't even see the confrontation. We're supposed to believe them over an officer of the law whose record is, by all accounts, sterling?

The Associated Press article about the new developments leaves out all the ugly facts about the Thomas family, and presses the racial issue too much for my tastes. This isn't about race, or it shouldn't be. Thomas was drunk, high on cocaine, illegally parked, and refused to leave when asked politely. Then he threatened the land owner whose driveway he was blocking with a gun, and got shot because that land owner happened to be an off-duty police officer who was used to carrying his gun around with him, even while off-duty. Had Miller not been carrying his gun, there is more than a small chance that he would be dead, and Thomas would be at large or in jail for his murder.

The fact that anyone in the community is using Thomas as a symbol of police racism is not at all laughable, it's counter-productive and damaging to any real victims of racism. Anyone who looks at the facts of this case knows that Miller was, if not completely justified, at least not in the wrong. So any complaint of police racism backfires since this isn't about police racism. If you use this as an example, then maybe there aren't any good examples to use?

Worse, the Thomas family, after working on their story for a year to get it right, are now suing the county and Miller for $25 million in a wrongful death suit. They'd be better off suing the cocaine dealer, and whoever provided Thomas with the stolen gun. Or keeping quiet and learning from Thomas' mistakes. But that would require them to take responsibility for their own actions. They won't do that, because they believe themselves to be victims of society. Never mind that Thomas was breaking the law... he was black, which is why he died. Never mind that Thomas had a stolen gun and pointed it at a person... he was black, which is why he died. Never mind that Thomas was drunk and had cocaine in his system... he was black. His skin color makes it impossible for his actions to be the reason he is dead. If that's not racism, NOTHING IS.

posted by Tegan | 10:36 AM

Morning Thoughts

Mark Evanier has once again provided a nice link that I agree with to a NY Times Op-Ed Piece. I don't like having to register to read it, but the NY Times site has some good stuff, so it isn't a major pain.

Neilalien has provided a link to a fellow too scared to insult Aquaman in front of a pro wrestler. But not too scared to post about it, complete with insults to Aquaman, on his blog. Funny. Have the courage of your convictions, Joe! Do you really think any Aquaman fan hasn't heard it all before? Seriously? As you yourself point out, it's that stupid Super Friends portrayal of Aquaman that changed his reputation. I don't expect it to ever go away, and anyone who reads Aquaman is aware of it and doesn't care what you think. Besides, it sounds like Raven's reading is a little ... um... limited. Good for you for pointing out Transmet and Invisibles. Maybe next time he gets his comics he'll try something new, and he'll have you to thank. Anyone who sticks entirely with DC (or Marvel) is seriously missing out on the fun comic books have to offer.

Speaking of Aquaman, I have read the fifth issue now, and while it's considerably wierder than I was expecting, I'm still loving this series. To be honest, I'm really looking forward to issue #8 since I know some spoilers for it and I'm quite excited by the ramifications. I'm still trying to write a good review of the Secret Files for my website, but the fangirl in me just keep squealing with delight every time I read the story. *sigh* People may think Aquaman is lame, but at least it brings delight to me.

Scary Godmother is getting the animation treatment, and I hope that I can see the special sometime even though it's going to be shown only on Canadian TV this Hallowe'en. I've met Jill Thompson, and she's really nice. And she looks a lot like the title character in her comics, too. But I'd like to see the show, it looks interesting. The company doing the special is Mainframe Entertainment, also known for the popular and very interesting "Reboot" cartoon.

posted by Tegan | 8:23 AM

Monday, April 07, 2003  

Slice of Life

My shop sells dice. These are commonly referred to by teachers as "random number generators". We have lots of different sizes, from 4-sided to 100-sided. I, personally, sell lots of dodecahedrons (12-sided) to parents who want their kids to practice their times tables, but are tired of flash cards. Our display of dice is on the side of the main counter, with the dice filling tons of little bins. They are quite attractive to small children, so much so that, despite all the stickers warning parents to keep kids under three from eating them, all the employees keep a watchful eye on the display to help make sure it doesn't happen. And so I was being very watchful the other day when a young gentleman and his mom came up to the display.

The little boy was well-disciplined and respectful. His mother had told him to not touch anything, so he held her in one hand, and the other was closed in a fist at his side. But when he saw the dice his cute eyes windened and he got as close as he could to the bins, with his nose almost touching the nearest one, staring hard at the dice within. After a small eternity, he stepped back and pointed at the dice, looking up at his mom, and asked, "Eat one?"

I controlled my laughter at his incredible seriousness while his mom said, "no, they aren't for eating."

"Not for eat'n?" he asked.

"No," I said, "they're made of plastic, and it's not good to eat."

He studied me for a second, then asked, "'lastic?"

"Yes," I responded, "Plastic." I grabbed a plastic dice box and tapped on the side of it. "It's hard, and not good to eat."

"'lastic." He said to himself, then looked up at me again, "Not good to eat?"

"No," I said, feeling slightly bemused, "Not good."

He nodded seriously. Then, looking me right in the eyes, said, "Why?"

Oh No! The dreaded "Why"s! I looked right back at him, and said, "Because it's made of plastic."

He gave me a slightly impatient look, then said, "'lastic. Not good. Why?"

Ah. He got the whole plastic thing, he wanted to know why it wasn't good. A dozen thoughts ran quickly through my head. But I didn't want to get into the details of the digestive system. I just wanted to get the idea across that eating dice is bad. So I said, "It will make you sick."

"Sick?" He looked surprised. He looked up at his mom and asked again, "Sick?" She nodded, and he looked back at me. "Sick," He stated solemnly, then made the most realistic retching noise I've heard in a long time. "Sick!" he exclaimed. I almost burst into laughter, I had to control myself sternly. Instead I nodded and confirmed that it would make him sick.

He looked at the dice, then said, loudly enough for everyone in the store to hear, "'lastic! Sick!" and then that realistic retching noise again. Many of the other customers couldn't keep their laughter in, and I heard giggles from around the store. The young gentleman didn't seem to notice, though, and led his mom away from the display. As the two wandered the store, I would occassionally hear him making the retching noise. One of the other customers kept repeating "eat one" to himself and giggling.

When the mother brought her treasures up to the counter to buy them, I apologized for setting her boy off, but she brushed it off, saying it was a phase he was going through since his sister had gotten the flu last month.


posted by Tegan | 2:04 PM

Morning Thoughts

I still hate Daylight Saving Time. Ug.

I re-read my theology notes from yesterday, and it's pretty clear to me that I'm incredibly confused about this particular subject. Maybe confused isn't the right word. Unable to express myself. Since the whole point of this exercise is putting into words the thought processes behind what I feel, I think I'd better have another go at the topic. While there isn't any good excuse for poor writing, I will claim to still be reeling from the e-mails I got on installment number two.

So, the troops are in Baghdad now, and I get the impression from the newspaper that they intend to stay. Part of me is cheering that we got there so quickly with so few (relatively) casualties, and part of me is terrified of whatever will happen next. I'm also scared for Patrick, the Aquaman fan I sent comics to. I hope he's ok.

Thanks to Daylight Saving Time, I'm one hour late this morning. My body absolutely refused to get up at my normal wake-up time, but woke up fresh and happy an hour later. Luckily, this is the second day of my weekend, so I've got another chance to work on it. But I have a LOT planned for today, and not much time, so off I go to get things done...

posted by Tegan | 8:53 AM

Sunday, April 06, 2003  

Theology Class

Welcome to the third installment of my discussion of my personal religious beliefs. If you haven't read the first installment or the second installment, please at least go back and read the first couple of paragraphs of the first one for a grounding in what these things actually are.

A bit of stuff to clear up about last week's installment. Yes, I've heard all the reasons why Mormons are not considered Christian, please stop sending them to me. I personally see no validity in them. Your mileage may vary, and you have every right to believe something that I do not. I don't intend to stop you, and this is not an attempt to convince you that I am correct. This is entirely an exercise in putting my own beliefs in words. If you read my first installment, you know that I have some serious problems with the Mormon Church itself. I fully intend to cover those points eventually. The "lady" who e-mailed me every anti-Mormon argument in existence will get no response from me, simply because I'm not covering those bits yet. Yes, I'm familiar with them, and I fully intend to tackle them here someday, if I bother to keep writing this. But I refuse to have fifteen arguments going on via e-mail. I'll keep it all here. Except for the folks I have had correspondence from before and I already respect, I will not respond to e-mails about this subject. Period, end of story.

So on to today's actual subject:

Why do people have religion? I mean, what's the point anyway?

I had a friend in college who told me that religion is stupid. People should rely on themselves, not in some higher power, he said. Anyone who practices any religion is simply showing off their weaknesses. Believe in yourself, not in some god. While I fully understand his opinion, I have to disagree that relying on God is weakness. Yeah, I figure anyone who sits back and does nothing, saying "God will provide" is an idiot, but if you've done everything humanly possible to help yourself, then relying on God to provide that last boost isn't always a bad thing.

I'm not very focused today, so this particular topic will probably extend into the next set of musings. Anyway...

Where did religion come from? What started people looking up and thinking "there is a more powerful being looking down on me."? Is it a racial lack of self-confidence, or is there more to it than that? And what about the cultures that seem to lack the idea of "supreme being" and have ancestor worship or belief in the sprits of objects? What is this thing we generically call religion, and are we really better off with it?

Since I'm in a negative mood, I think I'll cover the bad aspects of religion first. Let's recall how much evil has been done in the name of religion. From suicide terrorists to the Crusaders, to the first person who ever died because they didn't believe "the truth", humanity has constantly shamed its own beliefs by its actions. Christianity is a peaceful religion. So is Islam. Unless you happen to believe one of the extremists, who would rather that anyone who doesn't believe as they do should be dead. Then both of those major religions gain a violent history and reputation. So these codes of conduct, supported with rewards after you die, are constantly being manipulated/twisted by evil people for their own ends. We can't even keep to the truth of our own beliefs without being led astray into murder. So what good is religion?

It was very hard for me, the first time I ventured into this line of thinking, to even understand the question. Remember, I was raised with a belief in God. The concept that there isn't a God is more than just foreign to me, it is simply unthinkable. And that colored my perceptions even while I grappled with the history of religion and with my own search for my personal beliefs. I have tried to think of a universe that happened at random. I have tried to get into the mindset, and imagine what it would take for the world to come into existence without a designer, and for our civilization to arise, and it is simply too much. Too much coincidence, too much impossibility. Yeah, it could happen. I read enough science fiction to be able to appreciate the concept. But I can't apply it to the world myself. God exists for me, and therefore religion must exist. Even if it's not always a good thing.

Ok, so religion exists because God exists. That's my line of thinking. So, how do I know that God exists?

The quickest way for me to remind myself that God exists is to simply look around. I've got eyes, and I can see. I am sitting in a comfortable place, communicating with others. I live in a house, it exists. I exist. The world exists. How could there not be a God?

Hmmm, good argument to convince someone who is already convinced, but kind of useless for anyone who thinks the world happened by chance.

And so, I think I'd best leave this until I'm actually able to think it through better, since I'm definitely not making sense now. Feel free to drop your own thoughts in here, but please don't e-mail me anymore. I want to focus on one idea at a time.

posted by Tegan | 8:10 PM

Spring Cleaning

Hubby-Eric and I needed to get some basic cleaning done around the house today so that we don't have to scramble to do it next week when we have guests coming over. So we got started.

First item was the large rug in the living room which is very dirty after a winter of walking on it with only my vacuuming to try to clean it. So, after moving furniture out the way, we lifted the beast and took it out onto our front lawn, intending to shake it a bit to get the dust and dirt off.

But it's too heavy. We could get some shaking done, but because hubby was downwind, he quickly turned into a dust-colored ghost, and not much cleaning got done. Needing to hang it over something, we realized we had nothing that fit the bill. So we brought out our folding card table, and draped it. It was too big. We brought out our "dining room" chairs. Still too big for them all. We brought out some stools... finally we had it up and off the ground but we couldn't do much pounding because of all the furniture under it.

Right... well, we still needed to clean up the place where the rug had sat, including the pad for the rug, so we left this gigantic rug creature sitting on our front lawn and vacuumed and cleaned and moved furniture and swept and basically got as much of the dirt and pine needles and dust up as possible. Then we took the pad out and put it on top of the front-lawn-rug-creature and cleaned the space under that. I can only wonder what people driving past our house thought of the rug creature with the rolled up pad on it.

Then it was a matter of shifting everything back, except the stuff that the rug was on, since it still needed cleaning. After checking out the Mariners game, we finished the job for and got everything back into place. Although it was sunny, it was a bit cold, so we had to turn off the heat in the house at the circuit breaker box to air the place out (we can't turn the main heaters off completely from the thermostat, we have to cut power to them for them to stay off). All-in-all a successful start to the cleaning we need to do this Spring.

We also moved some furniture and cleaned and swept the floors as much as possible. There's a whole pile of stuff to deal with in the kitchen, since we decided to remove one of the tables in order to force ourselves to clean up instead of making more piles of junk. We need shelving for our pantry! We have plenty of room for what we have if we just could get it organized better!

The Mariners won today after getting creamed yesterday, so they are 3-3 now, with one series lost and one won. Next game is Tuesday afternoon here in Seattle against Anaheim. Baseball is one of the best mathematical games in the world for fans, and I tend to really enjoy playing with the stats. So please forgive me in the future when I start getting all technical and happy with the game stats... it's just fun for me. So far I've managed to avoid getting sucked into baseball like I have in the past, but then, I've been busy with real life lately.

Checked eBay to see if I could get a cheap handheld there, but the auctions in my price range (under $20) are all for broken PDAs or for items that I can't confirm would be able to store a book for reading on my exercise bike. If I try to go that route, I need to do a lot more research so I don't accidently buy something that just won't work. There's got to be tons of second-hand PDAs out there, I just need to find one for me.

I wonder if my package to the Aquaman fan in the Gulf has gotten to him yet? It's only been a week and a half since I sent it, so I doubt it.

posted by Tegan | 4:25 PM

Abolish Daylight Saving Time

We waste more time resetting clocks than we gain during the whole summer. Just get rid of the stupid thing. Arg.

posted by Tegan | 10:05 AM