Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August: Month in review (BEDA #31)





Well, this is the last day of BEDA, I thought I’d have a look back at the month of August.

It started off with a bang with my friend and roommate S’s birthday. We celebrated by decorating the house with balloons, streamers, and post it notes; what better way to wake up? We acknowledged Esther day by buying These Star Won’t Go Out bracelets and by telling our family and other loved ones how we feel. We experienced the elation of finding out that the Internet rumours of Eureka’s cancellation were fake, only to have the knife turned and Syfy revoke their decision just days later.

I invited you into my life and home and told you things.  I went to a male review show and took you along with me to experience the hilarity of the event and opened the doors to my bathroom with a look at my DIY disaster. You danced with me when I celebrated my coffee win and we all laughed when the Rumplestiltskin Once Upon A Time poser was revealed.

August also heralded the introduction of my Favourite Female Character on TV series. There is still my top five to go, as well as some guest posts and special mentions.

In August my ‘Is James really Harry’s father?’ post was still the most popular, followed by Linkin Park quotes Battlestar: Galactica, Book Time! The Night Creatures: Burn Bright, and Sad day for Science Fiction fans (BEDA #9). Most of you still found me through Google searching for Harry Potter references, but Twitter and Gateworld also brought a few more of you over.

So all in all August was a pretty good month. My baby sister turned 20 and my big bro 27. Times are changing and people are growing up. Hugs and kisses all around.

But don’t think because I’m not posting every day that I will forget about you. There are still movies to watch, books to read, and TV shows to talk about. I’ll still be here a while longer yet, if you’ll let me.

So, for my last day I’d like to ask you all a favour. How did you get here? Are you a FaceBook friend, did you find me on Twitter, or were you searching for something and decided to stick around? Leave a comment and let me know!

Kathy

Coffee machine (BEDA #30)

Me: Have you heard about the new member of the family?
Room mate: Oh Zeppy's sister had the baby!!!
Me: Oh no, I meant the coffee machine

I got it folks, yeah *fist pump* Confirmation letter said to call if we didn't hear by the 30th so yesterday at 9:01 am (coz no one likes to be annoyed when they first get into work at 9) I called Gloria Jeans head office and they said that the Cooly store has the machine and that I should call them. When I did, I found out that the store was recently purchased and this new owner wasn't told anything about the competition; they didn't even know why the machine was there!


M and I headed down and after a couple of false starts we left with the machine, the grinder, the voucher booklet, and a new coffee. The plan was to make a coffee right away but we hit a couple of snags, the worst of which being that we couldn't get the machine to work! The manual says (as does common sense) that if you've never used the machine before you should put it thru a rinse, but every time we tried the machine would make a sound like it thought that it was doing something, but nothing would happen. The information booklet is pretty straight forward but it doesn't have any troubleshooting tips at the back, and the website is kind of useless. It wasn't until I was bored with work that I thought of an idea---and it worked!

See the black handle sticking out of the machine:

It's not level with the machine but actually at an angle. It says to pull securely and I guess that means to pull until it feels like you'll break it and then it will work. Here are some more photos

Let me know if you have any cool coffee recipies, or any other competitions that I can win haha.

Kathy

Monday, August 29, 2011

Top Female Characters on TV #6 (BEDA #29)


Entry number six, and the last entry before we get into my top five, is Donna Noble (Catherine Tate) from Doctor Who...
Ah Donna. I have to admit, I have a soft spot for Rose as a top companion (I know all the bad about her, but I still love her), but Donna is my favourite. In her first episode she was vapid, selfish, and kind of annoying, but by the end we know so much about why she is the way she is. Raised by a picky mother who never seems happy no matter what Donna does, Donna sees that she is needed and that she can do good with one day with the Doctor. What’s even better is that she knows that the Doctor needs someone to look after him, but she doesn’t want to be that person. This is one of few times that someone has actually turned down the offer of travelling through space and time, but she does it with her head held high.
I was a bit worried about her reintroduction after hearing that she is trying to track the Doctor down, because it seemed so out of character for her, and yet they all pull it off so well. Rather than her sitting around waiting for him, she is investigating (and doing a good job) the weird and wacky hoping to run into him. When the Doctors offer is once again on the table, she accepts in a heartbeat, but makes sure her own rules are followed---they will be friends but no funny business.
I can’t help but to compare Donna with the other companions, as I’m sure everyone else does too and it is through this comparison that we see more of her strong points. She loves the Doctor but she is not in love with him. She slaps then hugs when the others rush to hug. She mocks the Doc when others will only see his good sides. But she is there for him and will be there no matter what.
Donna is high on my list because she is strong and confident but she has her weaknesses too. Her upbringing has lead to her having low self esteem despite her confidence. In fact, it seems that she is so outwardly confident to cover up her insecurities. The worst thing is that she has a wonderful and awesome year or so with the Doctor but her memory of this time had to be erased. I wish her most recent stint on the show had been... better, for Donna. I have this image in my head of Donna doing awesome stuff without realising it, but instead they went down a different path. Still the same, and finally in love with a person who deserves her love. I know that Wilf will look out for her, which is good. Hopefully there is an opportunity for Donna to return, or at least we will see her influence on the Universe.
Donna wasn’t one of the original additions to my Who is your favourite female character in a TV series? Poll on FaceBook, and no one else added her either. 

Let me know your thoughts on Donna in the comments. And please add who your top five female characters on TV are, and maybe guess who mine are.
Kathy

Why there was no post yesterday: (BEDA #28)

Just as the title suggests, why there was no video yesterday

-I got up and had a coffee
-I watched Doctor Who
-I worked
-I watched Torchwood
-I ate dinner
-I went to bed

Yeah fun stuff there. But if you find a 150+ word article on buying houses in Iowa, then you're welcome.

Kathy

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bathroom Renovations part 2

SUCCESS!!! *fist pump* oh yes Internet that is correct, Zeppy made a bathroom!

Plumber dude came out yesterday and announced that the leaking was something to do with the washers and nothing major. A little tightening or something (IDK, I was in the kitchen reading) and it was done!

Today, Zeppy put the finishing touches on and wallah! Check these bad boys out:

We have everything except the shelf up (you can see where it would go in the pic above) because the drill ran out of battery lol. Next time though.

Kathy

Friday, August 26, 2011

You Against Me

Article first published as Book Review: You Against Me by Jenny Downham on Blogcritics.







If someone told you that your brother committed a terrible crime, would you believe them?
If your sister told you that she had been raped, would you believe her?

This is the basic premise of the Jenny Downham book You Against Me. This fast paced story is told from two points of view: Mickey, whose sister Karyn says she has been raped by Tom Parker, and Ellie, Tom’s sister. Mickey will do anything to protect his family, even threaten to extract revenge on Tom so Karyn will feel safe enough to leave her house — but so will Ellie. The further you read, the more sympathy you feel not only for Karyn but for Mickey, Ellie, their parents, and even a bit for Tom himself.

Jenny keeps the issue of Tom’s actual guilt vague throughout most of the book. While it’s no doubt that something went on that night, the real question is whether Karyn consented or not, and this is where the book asks some tough questions. Ellie once says “why would he [Tom] rape her when she was clearly going to give it to him anyway?” and the readership is asking the same questions. The book also brings up the topic of consent under intoxication as well as regret masked as rape.

But Jenny just doesn’t stop there. Because Karyn is from the Estates, the poor neighbourhood, and Tom is from the rich side of town, the inevitable question surfaces, is Karyn lying in order to get money? Again, the further one reads the clearer it becomes that money does not make a happy family, nor a good person.
Rather than paint Tom as a horrible rapist, the story paints a stunning picture of the complexities of modern life, and what it takes just to make it through one day. The characters are believable and richly textured. All of them have their strengths and weaknesses, their good and bad points.

The setting is stunning and one cannot help but be swept away by the sea-side town.

Jenny Downham is a strong writer, and this story is proof of that. I can’t wait to read more of her works.


Kathy

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Migraines (BEDA #25)

Picture by gmarcelo at http://www.sxc.hu/profile/gmarcelo


I was having a gab fest with my friends the other day when one of them brought up the topic of my Migraines. They know I have them (God knows that they know), but now they were asking more in depth questions, like what triggers them and what they should do if I have one with them around. We talked a lot that night, and it was good to get everything sorted out. It also made me think; what do people really know about Migraines?

One thing I notice a lot about Migraines is that people don't really understand what one is. A Migraine is not a headache, it's not even a bad headache, a Migraine is much worse. A Migraine is a full body experience that starts in the head but touches every limb and joint as well as the stomach. With a headache you can do things like walk and talk, but with a Migraine you cannot do even those. Usually people can work through a headache, but with a Migraine most people experience loss of vision, slurred speech, Paresthesia, and sensitivity to light, smells and noise, nausea and vomiting.

In medically diagnosed fact, a Migraine is a disease. There’s too much science talk to go into here, but if you look it up you will find that there is an actual genetic defect that causes Migraines*.

Another interesting/scary thing to know about Migraines that, well, they can kill you. Literally. According to a British Medical Journal report “Migraineurs are 2.2 times greater risk for stroke than the non-migraine population”**. According to the same study, women who are on the pill and experience auras are EIGHT times more likely to die from a stroke. I don’t mean to scare you, mum, but those numbers ain’t good for me.

Here are a few more things about Migraines that you might not know. I'm going to talk about my Migraines and put it into some perspective.

I can't remember how old I was when I got my first Migraine, but I think I was about ten or eleven. For those who like math, this means that I have been suffering from Migraines for about 13 or 14 years. 

My type of Migraine is a basilar -type Migraine in the family of Familial hemiplegic Migraine. This means that just before and during my attacks I experience an 'aura' and loose vision and suffer from motor weakness during and after the attack. The 'Familial' part of that long name basically means that it is hereditary. More recently, I have found that I suffer from Paresthesia (pins and needles) during the attacks, but also at random times throughout the day or night. It’s always localised though, so it’s usually pins and needles above my top lip or on a small part of my thumb.

At my worst, I would have been classified as having a Stage Three Moderate Disability, and may have been eligible for a disability support pension if I had followed it through. Luckily for me (and those around me) I am now classified as having an infrequent disability.

I mentioned that it was lucky for those around me because it is not easy knowing a Migraine sufferer. After one of my more recent attacks I was told that I actually scared my friend and roommate because she had never seen my looking so sick and pale before. I am fortunate in that there is not a lot that people have to do with I get a Migraine, just STFU basically. During the attacks the only thing that can stop it is dark, quiet, and my pills.

I have tried a lot of different medications over the years, but I have only found one that has helped. I started on an oral contraceptive that has helped to decrease the Migraine attacks by an incredible amount; where I used to have one or two a month I know have around one every three or four months! There is another medicine that I take as soon as I notice a Migraine coming, but for me it is a very short time between the aura or the Paresthesia and the pain, so that as soon as I notice them I have a whopping great big Migraine.

To date, no one knows why Migraines occur. I have heard from family that a Migraine is a form of seizure, which makes sense to me, but I have yet to find any conclusive study or report that says definitely that yes a Migraine is a seizure. There have been multiple studies that found family members of epileptics are more common to have Migraines than those without a family history or seizures.

I hope this has helped suffers and family/friends/colleagues of suffers to understand a bit more about this disease. I have added some links about the Migraine studies and some other helpful sites for those who are interested.

If you suffer from Migraines, or know someone who does, I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment letting me and other readers know what you do when you have a Migraine, or maybe even a really inconvenient time that you had one? How does your boss react when you have to go home sick again?

Kathy

*http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-11408113 and http://www.migraines.org/myth/mythreal.htm to name two

** http://www.migraines.org/myth/mythreal.htm

Links:

http://www.achenet.org/® (AHS) Committee for Headache Education
http://www.achenet.org/tools/migraine/index.asp the Migraine Disability Assessment Test
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Migraine Wikipedia page. This has  a lot of interesting information on it.

Themes: migraines, suffering, Migraine, pain, disability, seizures, stroke, American Headache Society, Migraine Disability Assessment Test

Wednesday, August 24, 2011