30 April 2006

Craptacular everything

Firstly, this half of the rant is not so bad. I'm irked more than anything else. What's got me is our new work schedule. We don't start until 08h00 because of the guests sleeping in the hotel, but we have to work 10 hours daily. Aside from it being just...not fun...it doesn't mesh well with my medicinal regimen. I take a preventative anti-coagulant and I simply can't take it any later than 17h30 or 18h00 nightly, or else I won't wake up on time the next morning. (It puts me in a zombie state.) However, I can't take it at work, because it makes me listless and pretty stupid: unable to focus, forgetful, things of that nature. I already don't take it on school nights but we're working 7 days a week (again!!) and so I'm not sure how long I can go without it, really, on a daily basis like that. So either I quit taking it or I can't work the overtime. They can't fire me for not working it, but they can lay me off, and I like what I do and who I'm working with. It's not a good situation, but I can't ignore the new onset of chest pains, either.

That, and we were planning to move this weekend. We close on the house Tuesday, and we are getting mostly packed up, but no one can help Tannah move this weekend, and so instead he's going to spend the extra time getting the yard taken care of and sealing the garage, stuff like that. Well, since I thought we were going to be completely in this weekend, I packed up Gabriel and all his things. I know that sounds awful....I feel awful. I just didn't want his urn broken or anything, his photos and all that. I feel like I somehow abandoned him.

On a similar note, Mother's Day will be difficult this year. I'm not sure what I'll do about that yet. My mom will want me to come over, and I suppose I will, but I'm not sure how I'll manage. I used to never care about Mother's Day before. I never expected to have children; I didn't even want children. Of course, now with teh trauma associated with his death, I'm not sure I can bring myself to actively pursue being a parent again. Knowing the risks now scare the hell out of me. Warfarin or not, there's still a chance, and I'm not sure I'm willing to take the risk.

27 April 2006

So-called Christians and hypocrisy...

Something that really bothers me about Christianity is that it's so casually mainstream that a lot of times, the whole point is overlooked. (The whole point as far as I see it, anyway.) These are the "Fair-Weather" Christians, or the "Sunday-Only" Christians. Before I begin, I'm not saying this to be judgemental. It's an observation, that's all. No flames!!

As I understand it, Christians are to be Christ-like. I see this as accepting, loving of one another, patient, giving, gentle, helpful, honest and trustworthy. I could go on of course, but I think I covered the basics. I'll admit: I'm not the best Christian at all times. I work on Sundays and therefore don't attend church. I curse relatively regularly, I can be dishonest...yeah, and on and on, we all have faults. Anyway. My point, I guess, is that in being Christ-like, we should try, and be mindful of our actions at all times, so we can be held accountable for them, and therefore ask forgiveness.

True or true not? True.

So why, then, do I see such hatred and discrimination against those of other religions, by Christians? I hear the excuse, "They hate us, too"--and yet, it scarcely matters. Christians have been attacked and persecuted for a damn long time and it's not about to change now. In separate instances I have come across several disheartening and shameful displays by so-called Christians...one was a congregation ridiculing sects of Wicca. Another was of a pastor who openly disgraced a girl he referred to as "crazy". Another is one I have seen far too often in recent years: people who dishonour Islam.

I am not Muslim. I have read quite a bit of the Qu'ran (In English, however) and I actually subscribed to the faith for some time. Islam is not violent, in itself. Anyone who says otherwise is speaking out of ignorance. No one I know who has bashed Islam has ever bothered researching it. And it saddens me that all the ones who so publically propagate their hatreds in my presence call themselves Christians.

I'm ashamed to be associated with this group of people. I hate to admit it, but I actually feel guilty sometimes when I'm asked if I'm a Christian. I know what it means to me, and how it's changed my life in the past five years, but I also remember what it was like, as a non-Christian, meeting people affiliated with the religion and hating them for it; their snobbish, hypocritical, judgemental false pretenses and good-natured lies. And don't even get me started on how Logan (or his friends) used to feel. My views were much more...kind.

What really gets me is that so many people don't see the connection. Take any religion, and there is going to be fanaticism. Any faith is made up of worshippers, who are human and therefore falible, unconsciously urging falsehoods, manipulation and so on. The Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed in a poor light: Why? Because some die-hard fundamentalists decided to misinterpret their holy book to suit them? The same could be said of Christianity: that depiction of Mohammed with a bomb for a turban is the same thing as depicting Jesus wearing a white sheet and holding a burning cross.

Merely because a relatively small group of followers are engaged in unsavoury conduct based loosely upon their chosen faith does not at all mean that the religion itself or those adhering to it are evil by nature. It's foolish and childish to assume otherwise.

23 April 2006

Ode to Métopimazine

...otherwise called Vogalib or Vogalene, I honestly believe that it's the absolute best anti-emetic ever created on Earth. It's sold over the counter in France but after all my research, it seems that it's not available here. I can order it from Canada with a prescription only, and in America it's just started on trials for nausea associated with chemotherapy. I might have to pull some strings overseas, snd a good $50 and buy a few boxes.

Quand j'étais enceinte avec mon fils, en Europe, j'ai eu la nausée. Cependant, je n'ai pas su que j'étais enceinte à ce moment donc j'ai mangée Vogalib et il était parfait. Seulement, il y avait un avertissement: Pas à l'usage par des femmes enceintes. Je suis triste de savoir cela. Peut-être j'ai nui à mon bébé. Je n'ai pas voulu le blesser. Si j'avais seulement su, puis...sauf juste qu'il aurait été différent, je crois. Et...Dans ma Tristesse, c'est une poésie très étrange mais en expliquant mon émotion les mots m'aident, je pense. Je ne suis pas certaine qui l'a écrit, à l'Intérieur, excepté Dixhuit... si Rèmy ou Deuce, je ne savent pas.

Parlant de les Autres, Logan s'est blessé. Il y a trop d'inquiétude. Il a besoin de commande et s'il en a trop, puis je croit qu'il est accablé. Il a besoin d'aide, mais Logan ne sait pas demander des conseils. J'ai prié qu'il peut apprendre à demander à Dieu. Je sais que Logan prie et je pense qu'il est très spirituel mais le rapport avec Dieu est très privé pour lui. Il ne fait pas confiance n'importe qui et lui dit que l'amour est trop difficile, mais je pense avec Dieu, choses sont différents. Mon pauvre ami.

22 April 2006


It's a video game created by Capcom, oddly enough. What really gets me is the mindfuck it delivers.

In a nutshell, Killer7 takes the player on a journey as a man with dissociative identity disorder, a little-understood mental complexity that manifests as multiple personalities. As I understand it, these alters were created by the government in order to manufacture an elite assassin: a man with seven personalities, each with specialized weapons training and each skilled in various forms of stealth operations, decoding, fighting, and killing. In the game the player can switch between personalities to best complete each task given. Pretty ingenious, really; original.

I'm just not sure what this means for the research being done for dissociative identity disorder. Will this game bring the seriousness of it to light? Or instead will it be looked upon as some kind of freakish anomaly? Everyone I know who has taken a semester of abnormal psych has at least skimmed through a chapter or two on dissociative disorders. It can be both confusing and fascinating to many. And there have been movies and such about the disorder: All About Eve, Sybil and even Fight Club. I think what might disconcert me most about this game and even to the extent of the aforementioned films is that characters with dissociative identity disorder are often depicted as having violent or murderous alters. Granted, in most documented cases there is at least one self-sabotaging or destructive part but it certainly doesn't necessarily mean homicidal. I'm worried that consumers might take these forms of media as truth and neglect researching the factual reality; as with many things, it can cause fear, hatred and discrimination.

Play the game...it might be fun. Just don't come away from it thinking that the symptoms shown therein have anything to do with a clinical case of dissociative identity disorder.

21 April 2006

True friendship


I met Ayla--then, going by a different name--when I was thirteen, and she a year younger. We both had parallel, shall we say, familial difficulties and although we were silent then, somehow we knew, I think, because years later, in high school, we divulged very similar histories. For her privacy and for mine, I won't get into it. We shared alot during those years: friends, classes, linguistic abilities, interests...we even shared two boyfriends. We could talk to each other about anything.

In early adulthood we started growing apart. I don't mean that in a bad way; we still keep in touch and I am pretty sure that if I called her up right now, we could talk for hours, literally. What I mean is, we chose different paths. I'm right, though not really Republican; she's left, though not really Democrat. I'm Christian (Lutheran to be exact), she's pagan--and by that, I believe she's wiccan under Dianic tradition but to be honest, I'm not sure. I love the occasional steak and bleu cheese, she is a steadfast vegan with raw-foodist tendencies. And I mean, I could go on and on...for quite awhile. We just aren't alike. We disagree on so many things that otherwise, I'd probably despise her.

If that's the case, then why do I still keep in contact?

About an hour ago, I was going through our framed photographs, and I have one of the two of us at Ayla's 22nd birthday party. We went for a traditional tea at the Four Seasons. And I looked at the photo for awhile and tried to imagine what we both were like then. I remember distinctly that we were both going through some very delicate issues. I was wiccan then, and pretty eccentric...I use that term loosely. I had alot of problems that no one seemed to understand, except her. And there was a time that we couldn't be together without bringing up some unsavoury aspect of the past...but that was okay. I think it was necessary then.

I think she's still my friend because deep inside, we're more alike than not. Our beliefs are just an outward façade that define us to the world...but inside, I'd say we are pretty close to twins. Our experiences and the moments that shaped us, especially in childhood--the good, and not-so-good combined--have made it possible for us to see past what makes us who we are in society, and to love what we see in each other despite all of that. She knows me better than I can fake it, to paraphrase the Smashing Pumpkins, and I can count on one hand my friends who know me that well. I'm blessed for my friends; I wish we had the time to be together more often, and I wish I had the propensity to write or call more often...but I don't, and that's reality. But true friends don't always need a constant "Hey, how are you?" nudge, either...though I'll admit, it is nice.

As far as true friendship goes, I'm really very blessed. I'll reiterate that I have only a few, but that's more than alot of people have. Less than a dozen, most of whom never write. But again...that's okay. I know in my heart that when it matters, they're right there for me. For my wedding, for Gabriel's funeral...when it mattered. Sometimes that's all that matters.

20 April 2006

I almost cried.

I went to see my surgeon yesterday, for a follow-up. I was already in pain; I try not to take too many Lortab because I know it's addicting. So I take it as directed and if there's more pain, I take Aleve. It's not great but it's functional.

Dr. Liu told me that there's really no evidence that anything's wrong. My uterus is "swollen and bulky" which, he says, means there's likely blood clots or tumours or something in there, and he wants to put me on Lupron. For anyone who doesn't know, Lupron will halt all hormones in my body and thrust me viciously into menopause.

Yeah, I know it's temporary. It doesn't mean I have to like it. He just says it's the "next step", since he doesn't know what to do. Well here's a tip, doc: how about you order a trans-vaginal ultrasound, see what's in there (since that has already been established) and then take it out. Perform a D&C. Wouldn't that handle the problem a little better? I don't know what it is about these doctors that they want to just keep piling on more medication. I don't want to mask this problem, I want it taken care of.

And then I got a talking-to, about the Lortab, that I shouldn't be so dependent on it. I had to remind him that it's not like I'm sitting at a desk all day with pillows against my back and I have access to heating pads or anything. I'm out in the field, crawling through ceilings and crouching between walls, climbing ladders, hauling tools and equipment all over. He says "hopefully, your pain is hormone-related and the Lupron will handle it." But what if it isn't? How many more months of this do I have to take, being threatened with light duty, for it to be done with? I was so incredibly dissapointed. I mean, what's the point of paying more for a PPO insurance if I get the same shitty results?

17 April 2006

"1 Day Until We Rock You"....

...and I'm out of a job for the week.
Red Rock opens tomorrow. It's such a big deal that Station Casinos has asked all construction workers to abandon the jobsite for the first week of the grand opening. Our superintendent says it's a favour to us because we've been working 12, 16 and 18-hour days, 7 days a week for months. That could be the reason. But I think it's really so the news crews can get in and do their thing without the sound of a dozen TE-76's or a Skytrak or something in the background. Part of me is a little put out by it. I'm losing about $1,000 by missing work for so long. However, we're moving and I'll have plenty of time to pack...oh yeah, and do some homework or study or something. But really I should pack.

Yeah, so the house we were looking at, the owners accepted our bid. Just under $300K...I'm pretty stoked. I'm not going to get into it much now, not until escrow closes in about 3 weeks. I'm just like my dad, I can't jinx anything....

Tired...off I go, for now.

14 April 2006


Je ne comprends pas. Il n'y a aucune arme de destruction en-masse en Irak. Je me demande s'il y avait des telles armes, du tout, puisque les Nations Unis ont commandé les armes pour être détruites de près il y a 10 ans. Peut-être Saddam bluffait (franglais, ici) pour duper son rival, Iran. L'Iran avait examiné leurs armes, en public, très récemment. Mais, nous ne sommes pas en Iran, et nous ne sommes pas en Corée du Nord. Ou Chine! As-tu su que les 1% principaux des étudiants de la Chine s'occupent d'une université dans Beijing qui recherche seulement comment construire les armes nucléaires ? Pourquoi? Cependant, Irak est près de la guerre civile...que peut être fait maintenant? Mon père pense que peut-être le gouvernement précédent d'Irak, bien mal, a su ce qu'il faisait. Torture, oui. Anti-démocratie, oui. Mais je ne suis pas certaine Amérique devrais être là. Je ne sais pas. C'est dificult pour savoir la bonne chose.

On a happier note, we really busted ass today at work and got nearly all the lighting to the emergency exits taken care of. An 8-hour day tomorrow and we should have Easter off...I'm so looking forward to church. Alot of exceptional blessings of late...not that all blessings aren't exceptional but y'know.

Exhausted. Once the casino/resort opens I'm hoping for a few 40-hour weeks for a change. It would be nice. Les just made foreman so who knows? Besides, our new shift (as of Monday) is to start 2 hours later, which means a 10-hour day would last until nearly 19h00, and that's just silliness. So I'm really excited about that. I don't like bankers' hours really but it's something to get used to.

09 April 2006

Confusion, general malaise.

First off: I agree with Changu...kudos to the guy who got this sauce packet through QC. I don't know who to credit this photo to but I'll credit him, just for giggles. (Read the whole hilarious story here; the post is called, "That's No Cookie, Mr. Jones!"

My sore throat has gotten worse. It usually does after I've been given general anesthesia...I'm not sure if it's the gases they use or the fact that I had oxygen afterwards or what. I hope some Cepacol might help, for tomorrow. I'll have to take it easy but we'll see. My father-in-law has had quite a few surgeries, and I meant to ask him, but I've had no response via e-mail for about two weeks. I pinged it and no response, so it's likely I'm on his blocked list. Which happens, of course; either I pissed him off or I was red-flagged by his SpamGuard. Same thing happened to Tannah, his dad wound up blocked and we aren't sure why. In fact, nearly everyone in Tannah's address book was blocked, and a day or so later, all the blocked users were unblocked, even the ones that were supposed to be blocked. It was creepy. But if it was deliberate that I was blocked, ah well, more power to him I guess.

This whole immigration thing kind of eludes me. Firstly, no one in the media is relaying that this is a crackdown on unlawful entry into America. This isn't something set to deport all immigrants. This isn't something set to halt all immigration into our nation. This is reform that shouldn't even have to happen. If you entered this nation without coming through proper channels, you have committed a crime, and as you are not documented, you have no rights under our system....so get out. How difficult is that? I have plenty of friends who have come to America legally, with documentation, and I respect them for that. I also have acquaintaces who are not here legally, and I choose not to associate myself with them. This has nothing to do with Hispanics...this applies to Latvians, Swedes, Nigerians, Brazilians, Thai...anyone fitting the category. Yet our streets are overrun with Hispanic youth daily, during school hours, who are brandishing Mexican and Aztlán flags...oddly, thousands of students skip school for the protests but just over a hundred show up on weekends. I suppose criminal immigrant rights aren't important on days they have free to party. And why not, the Clark County school district has allocated buses to transport them to rallies, why stay in class when it's being condoned? And, oddly, I don't see hordes of European or Asian youth out with flags protesting. I only see misguided and uninformed people taking to the streets in a stand for criminal intent.

07 April 2006

Vegas hematologists suck.

My sister, having been diagnosed with Von Willebrand's Disease over a decade ago, knows all too well how absolutely ignorant the "hematologists" are out here. Some think only males can have hemophilia, or that there are only a handful of types for thrombophilia, and I'm experiencing this now. It's more than irritating. For something like this, it's a literal balance of life and death...I'm not being melodramatic.

The doctor who diagnosed me with my forms of thrombophilia told me early on that I would have problems with so-called hematologists. For one, I have a dual type, which causes problems that single types don't. Two, in women, hormones effect testing and factor counts. So I'll test positive sometimes and negative other times...and any hematologist that knows anything will understand this. So they doctor who diagnosed me spent a good long time explaining everything: risks, mostly, but also how it would affect my work and life on a whole, especially how it can affect my child-bearing abilities. But he wasn't a hematologist, just a perinatologist with a specialty in maternal-fetal care with regards to clotting disorders. So in thinking I would get more specialized care, I sought out a hematologist. My insurance didn't support any; all they had were oncologists with minors in hematology. I shouldn't have bothered going. This doctor didn't bother going over lab results or anything, he just said, "Yeah, it's abnormal but I wouldn't worry about it. You don't have a real clotting disorder, because if you did, it wouldn't wait to manifest now. You would have known already."

Firstly, yeah, I do have a real clotting disorder, that's why the lab results were abnormal. Secondly, it's perfectly normal for blood disorders to manifest at any time; in fact, in women most forms of thrombophilia are discovered after several miscarriages. Thirdly, a blood disorder can be diagnosed with no symptoms and not actually cause problems until years later.

My poor sister dealt with the same problems with her disorder, actually being denied DDAVP (an essential clotting factor) during labour with her first child, until she began to hemorrhage. Why? Because blood disorders in women are often masked with hormones, therefore pregnancy and menstruation cause negative readings in lab results. And since there are apparently no decent hematologists out here, one must rely on doctors such as my perinatologist, for whom I am extremely grateful, to pick up the slack.

So the reason for this long story...basically, if the surgeon goes in again and finds excessive clotting to be the cause of all this pain, I want to bring a bucket of it to that oncologist's office and drop it on his desk. Maybe he can let me know what it is, if not a "real" clotting disorder.

06 April 2006


In pain. Nauseous. Floaty. And they might have to go in again. It's not endometriosis...but then again Dr. Liu didn't think it was, anyway. My uterus is very swollen, and he isn't sure why. It could be tumours or excessive clotting. I don't like the idea of tumours. The only thing cool about this is that I got pics of all my parts. I didn't know ovaries looked like Mexican wedding cookies...

02 April 2006

Hoisting and rigging

Saturday was...interesting. We were supposed to have our hoisting and rigging class that day, which is fine, except that after our review and practical application, there weren't any exams for us, so we have to do it on Monday. And there I was, more prepared than usual. I hope I don't blow it. I mean, most of it is common sense but the parts having to do with sizing and all, I'm not so sure about that.

I think I just pissed Adam off. He was on his way over and he asked if he could bring his dog Maui. Maui and our dog, Pepper, get on pretty well; that isn't the problem. The problem is I'm allergic to most dogs and I'm miserable every time I go over to his house. (His family has two dogs, Maui and China...and I'm allergic to both.) No one seems to understand that even after the dogs are bathed, I still have a reaction. I'm not allergic to Pepper because of her breed, and even then I can't snuggle up to her for too long or I get sick. Come on, why would I make it up? I've told them time and time again I'm allergic to the dogs, it's why I don't touch them. Sorry.

I'm supposed to be doing homework...I have to study for the hoisting and rigging exam (again), a surprise test on the entire last section (I got the heads-up from my instructor at work on Friday--thanks James!), I still have to do chapters 9 and 11, and go over section 7's code calculations. Code calculations are really difficult for me, my mind gets pretty jumbled up trying to keep everything straight. Honestly, I'm getting overwhelmed with all of this: working so many hours, all the homework and tests, plus the extra-curricular study guides and classes, mid-terms and finals comng up, Red Rock's opening coming up...I'm not getting alot of sleep. But Tannah's been nice...he knows that French food is calming to me, so he went out and got some Brie and a baguette, and instead of wine he got me a bottle of kirschwasser...okay I guess that part isn't French but still. Oh, and Orangina! The only place I've found it is at the Paris, and it's pretty expensive there but I hardly ever get it. It's so sweet of him.

I really have to get on my homework or I won't be done in time. I might be late to class tomorrow because I'm meeting with my surgeon after work to discuss my labs and all that. So the possibility of me coming in early to class to finish it up is slim. I know I'm procrastinating, and I shouldn't. I can't wait for the year to be over.