Monday, November 29, 2010


If you're anything like me, then you've experienced migraines for many different reasons. People are always looking for cures and remedies.

Well, in the 11+ years I've been dealing with them, I've found the easiest way to deal with them is to discover the trigger and eliminate that trigger from your life.

Before I get into that, I thought I should help answer a question some readers might have: How do I know I have a migraine and not just a regular headache?

Well, it's usually subjective because, despite what some people might think, not all migraines are the same, and not every migraine will display every symptom.


Let's start with the symptoms of migraines (taken from the Mayo Clinic website):
- Moderate to severe pain, which may be confined to one side of the head or may affect both sides
- Head pain with a pulsating or throbbing quality
- Pain that worsens with physical activity
- Pain that interferes with your regular activities
- Nausea with or without vomiting
- Sensitivity to light and sound

Many people tend to think that migraines come with sensitivity to light and sound as well as nausea and/or vomiting.

That's not true. Basically, the term migraine is used to describe the level of pain. Minor headaches tend to be dealt with by Tylenol, Advil (Ibuprofen) or Aleve (Naproxen Sodium). It's when these medications don't work, or don't work for long that should be an indicator that you might be suffering from migraines.

Okay, if I think I'm suffering from migraines, should I just take that over-the-counter (OTC) Excedrin for my pain?

Well, only your doctor can help you with that.

Why shouldn't I just take it without going to the doctor?

Because persisting headaches can be a symptom of something much worse, and only a trained medical physician can truly make that distinction.

Besides that, most medical websites, like Web MD will tell you that caffeine can hurt as much as it might help your migraine pain.

Many OTC painkillers do contain caffeine, even in small amounts. The problem with regular caffeine consumption is that it's addictive and causes withdrawals. Even though you're only talking about painkillers, unless you drink water only and eat zero chocolate (no chocolate, tea, soda or coffee - even decaf varieties have some caffeine in it), then chances are you have a bit of caffeine in your system.

Not only that, but the more you use these OTC varieties to treat your headaches, the more likely you are to suffer headaches caused by these pain relievers.

How do I know this?

Well, for over 20 years of my life, I was a soda drinker. Not just any soda, but Coca Cola Classic regular. I love the soda, but my body wasn't loving it, so I figured it was time to quit. So I did on roughly October 16th, 2010.

I feel like I've been paying for it ever since. Well, when I first went off, even though I was drinking iced tea to keep caffeine flowing into my system, it wasn't nearly enough and I soon suffered withdrawal symptoms which lasted a little less than a week.

However, the extensive amounts of caffeine I was consuming (4 to 8 cans a day at 35mg caffeine per can, according to must have been keeping the headache pain I'd been dealing with at bay because once I got over the withdrawal symptoms, I started suffering from one long continuous headache that quickly morphed into a continuous migraine.

I say "feel like" because I figured out that this never ending migraine I'm currently dealing with is really from a sinus infection of some sort, and I must have had it for some time, but never really felt it.

Now I know I Suffer from Migraines, What do I do?

This leads me to my next point. You need to find the trigger for your migraine and eliminate it.

Right now, for me, the cause of my never ending migraine is my sinus infection. Before the migraine will stop, I need to take care of the infection. My doctor gave me doxycycline. It's not working. It only serves to increase the headache pain and the nausea and I soon learned after missing a dose last night that it's not working one bit. I stopped taking it because it's stupid to continue meds that aren't working or making other symptoms worse. (I did call my doctor and let him know this.)

However, there are many other triggers that cause migraines as one can find on the Mayo Clinic's website:
- Fluctuations in Hormones (mainly women) as in during menstruation, pregnancy or menopause.
- Foods are a Huge Problem for both sexes:
1. alcohol (beer and red wine)
2. aged cheeses (sharp, x-sharp, etc.) has a nice list of aging times
3. chocolate
4. aspartame (I'm tempted to put all artificial sweeteners here, including Splenda)
5. excess caffeine
6. monosodium glutamate (msg), but I wouldn't rule out other flavor enhancers such as disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate. READ FOOD LABELS TO BE SURE NO FLAVOR ENHANCERS ARE USED!
7. salty foods
8. processed foods
- Skipping Meals
- Stress
- Sensory Stimuli
1. bright lights
2. sun glare
3. loud sounds
4. aromas or strange smells - perfume, food, secondhand smoke, paint thinner
- Changes in Sleep Patterns
1. too much
2. too little
3. change in pattern due to changing work shifts
4. jet lag
- Intense Physical Exertion
1. extensive exercise or training
2. sports
3. sexual activity
- Environmental Changes
1. weather
2. barometric pressure
- Medications
How Do I Determine My Triggers?

Don't know which ones do? Then you must determine the answer through trial and error. You may not like all varieties of cheeses, but try the ones you do to see if any of them might be a trigger.

The best way to determine which foods, activities and stressors are triggers for you, you need to keep a journal of everything you eat, when you eat it (save food labels or write down all the ingredients), how much you eat (few sips, a cup, a bowl, a slice, etc) and what you do (e.g. - fly, play video games, spend time outside on a bright day...).

Not only do you need to keep track of food and activities, but you need to keep track of your sleeping habits and the amount of stress. Write down your personal feelings as your feeling them - try to list exact times - because those could be indicators of the types of headaches you're dealing with, including migraines with aura (visual indicators such as flashes of lights, zigzag patterns or blind spots).

It's important to be able to make this distinction because the treatment/prevention is different - again, talk to your physician and bring your diary with you (it's best to give a copy of the diary to your doctor so he/she can study it, he/she may ask for it, but not always).

Once you figure out your triggers and begin to eliminate them from your diet, others may surface, which is why it's always important to continue to keep track of your eating habits and activities.

Trial and Error

Food diaries are great, but they can't always tell you exactly what food or additive might be causing your migraines. That's where trial and error comes in.

Once you know your questionable foods, you need to isolate your body's reaction to each one because, it might not be just one of your favorite foods, but a combination of them. You isolate your body's reaction by having a diet consisting of foods with no known triggers in them, and then for about a week (you may need much less time) or at least a 5 days.

Why at least 5 days? To eliminate the possibility of a stray headache or migraine. You need to be sure that the migraine is caused by the food you're consuming, and 5 to 7 instances is the best way to indicate a surefire trigger.

For most of the foods, eliminating them from your diet is the best course of action. However, if you (like me), realize that only the most aged cheeses can give you problems, then you must eliminate them from your diet or severely limit them to once in a great while. Look at the aged cheese list from and make a list of the cheeses that tend to cause migraines the most. Again, trial and error is the best method to determine what foods bother you.

In Depth Look at Triggers and What they Mean

Not every person has every trigger, which is another reason why it's important to know your triggers and not just assume that what's on the above list is a trigger. To help you get an idea of what I'm talking about, I'll give you some of my experiences.

For example, I've found that mass produced beer (especially pale lagers) or poorly made microbrews tend to aggravate my migraines. As long as I drink water while I'm drinking my favorite craft beers I can usually wake up pain free. But it must be more than one glass. I find at least 3 glasses of water works best. Yes, you might get up frequently to pee, but better that than a migraine! :)

For years, I've been able to eat chocolate without much recourse. In fact, I love dark chocolate. Unlike most women, I never craved chocolate during my menstrual cycle and I could take it or leave it. However, in the past year, I began to crave it during my menstrual cycle, and it became a migraine trigger. That means new triggers can develop all the time, just like food allergies.

Something interesting I found out is that I can't consume artificial sweeteners like splenda or aspartame because they do give me headaches or make me feel all around crappy. However, natural sugars (sucrose, lactose[milk sugar], dextrose[malt sugar]) and honey are fine.

Let's talk about a trigger we may not be considering - computer usage and video games.

That's right. Computer usage falls under the category of sensory stimuli. That's right video games, emails, websites - especially those annoying flashing ones - can cause migraines. Limit your usage, dull the brightness on your screen and you may reduce the risk of your computer/video games causing migraines. Also, avoid games with lots of flashing light/graphic effects because those are the worst offenders.

Let's not forget TV shows and movies. The more action and CGI graphics involved, the worse it can be, especially if those graphics move quickly, change view point too quickly or are too bright (explosions, or bright lights).

I'm not saying give it up altogether, just limit them. I have to avoid anything visual that flashes, like a camera, strobe light, etc or I will suffer from a migraine.

Aromas can be one of the quickest triggers, especially if you suffer from allergies. I can end up with an instant headache when in the presence of smoke of any kind or strong perfume. If I don't exit an area immediately, I will end up with a full-blown migraine.

Living in Wisconsin and growing up eating cheese, I find it hard to give up cheese altogether. For this reason, I've tried many different cheeses.

I can eat mozzarella, provolone, mild and medium cheddar, Widmer's mild brick (this cheese is awesome!), Colby and Monterey Jack. Of course, all the caffeine I've consumed on a regular basis may have hidden the headaches so I never knew they were triggers, so we'll see.

How do I Deal With Migraines?

Outside of changing your diet and activities to avoid stressors, there's not much else you can do. Of course there are painkillers like Imitrex (Sumatriptan), but they do take time to kick in.

Some people like to use a heating pad. I don't, and I don't recommend it either. Here's why:
Most headaches are caused by enlarged blood vessels passing through your regular sized veins or regular sized blood vessels trying to navigate tightened or narrowed veins.

Heat tends to excite most molecules, making them move farther away from each other (expand or enlarge). In muscles, this effect is akin to inflammation. In a sense, that's what's going on, inflammation. Heat can make inflammation worse, especially with a headache. The reason I feel heat doesn't work the best is because if your vessels are the enlarged particles, the heat will only serve to excite and engorge the vessels further, causing even more pain.

I find ice tends to work best because it does two things: numbs the area in pain and shrinks the blood vessels and can shrink the veins if they are inflamed.

What about you, what are your triggers?

Any questions I didn't answer? Don't be afraid to ask them.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rehabbing My Ankle

At the beginning of July, I sprained my ankle very badly - doesn't sound correct, but it works. Anyway, I've been working on getting it back into shape. Well, I did find out that it could take as long as 4 months to heal, with proper rehab techniques.

I admit that I've done some of the right ones, but not all of them. I think, at first, I progressed too quickly, so I got complacent and just assumed I was on the mend and would get back to normal in short order. Well, here I am three months later and not only do I still feel pain in my heel when I stretch and rotate my foot, I feel pain half-way up my leg.

The heel pain when I stretch and rotate is expected with the high-degree of sprain, but what's not expected at this point in my recovery is the pain I'm feeling halfway up my leg. It's a strange pain, and one I haven't felt in years.

I used to feel this kind of pain from the time I was in kindergarten to grade 6 (when I got my first pair of high-tops), in my feet, specifically my left one. However, after I got my first pair of true high-top tennis shoes, the pain miraculously disappeared and I went on to be fairly active and able to wear low-top shoes without too much difficulty.

It's a strange kind of pain that I have a very hard time describing. There's pain, but there's also this insane need to kick the leg out several times, as if it's restless. It's not just restlessness there, but pain, and the pain isn't always there. It comes and goes.

I stretch my calf muscles and Achilles tendons daily. Is it too much? Not enough? I don't know.

All I know is that I've got almost 3 months under my belt and I feel like I'm stalling. I'm wearing hiking boots everywhere except in the house. My ankle can bear weight and as long as I'm not doing major activity or standing, I'm okay. I pay attention to my ankle. It tells me when enough is enough, and I listen.

I try very hard not to "over do" it, but because my pain receptors don't work right anyway, I'm beginning to wonder if the signals are right, but at the same time I'm wondering if the added pain is due to the change in seasons - I suffer from arthritis too, which makes categorizing pain (determining source or cause) that much more difficult.

If that's the case, then I'm in for a long and painful winter. The main problem is, I just don't know how to tell and not sure if the doctor will either...but I suppose I need to know one way or the other....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


While I had been delving into the online gaming and social scene for research and other purposes, and blogged about it a couple of times, recent developments prompted me to go offline and dive back into real life.

Unfortunately, Murphy had other ideas. That's right, the Murphy stepped in just when I was beginning to think I could re-enter life and said, "I don't think so!"

Okay, he didn't really, but it sure as hell felt like he did. Here's what happened:

For some time now, I've been experiencing increasing amounts of pain, wheezing, and swelling, to the point that everyday life became nearly impossible and the Internet the only form of life I had. Leaving the house to go to the library for books to read wasn't even a possibility there for a time because walking a few feet made me feel like I was going to pass out. I really felt like something just wasn't right, but couldn't "put my finger on it".

Well, through trial and error due to a simple twist of fate, I discovered that the very medication designed to regulate my thyroid created life threatening conditions.

How so?

Well, instead of being able to lose weight, I kept gaining it. I swelled up like a balloon, my blood pressure had been up drastically high and my breathing was awful. Simple movements were so hard. My legs were like tree trunks and my joints like rocks - heavy and difficult to maneuver. I felt chest pains, and those were what scared me the most. I knew it wasn't normal to feel this way, so I kept trying to find something.

Well, due to this difficulty of mobility and constant physical tiring, when my meds ran low, I really had no desire or ability to leave and get them. I wasn't even capable of driving myself anywhere because the pain and swelling were just too much for my body to handle. Then, when a bout of vertigo hit after I returned from Holiwood Nights, I went a week without any of my regular meds because I just couldn't trust myself to go down the stairs of my condo to get them out of my travel bag.

Yeah, I know, I could have had my husband bring them up to me, but rather than risk all that medication coming back up the way it went in, I decided to just go without. Well, after a week of no meds other than my meclizine, I began to feel better. A situation I've found myself in many, many times before, but I never connected the "ill" or "off" feeling with my meds before. However, this time I did.


Well, since I was feeling better, I even noticed that the swelling had gone down and I began to feel healthy enough to move and actually go up and down the stairs multiple times in one day, I decided it was time to restart my meds again.

That's when I noticed it. The swelling and shallow breathing returned fairly quickly, too quickly for it to be anything else but an allergic reaction to one of the meds I was taking, but I didn't know which one because I restarted all three back up at the same time, so I knew I needed to narrow it down to the culprit. So, I did my research.

Both Naproxen 500mg and HCTZ are known to cause swelling, so I started off my trial and error testing by eliminating one for a week and then the other. I continued taking the Levo with the HCTZ and the swelling occurred, same thing if it was just the Levo and the Naproxen, so I couldn't really be sure if it was one or both causing the swelling and I knew there was only one real way to tell, take only one pill at a time, so the trial began.

For about 4 days I took just the Naproxen 500mg - no swelling or anything, immediate or otherwise, so I eliminated it as the culprit.

I took just the HCTZ for a couple of days (about 2) with no swelling, rough breathing or anything else, so I eliminated it as the problem.

At this point, I hadn't ruled out a problem with the combination of pills, so I knew I needed to do one more test, but I wanted my body clean again, so I stopped taking all meds again. It had been at least a week without the Levo and a couple of days without any meds, so I figured it was time to start taking just the Levo, so I did.

An instant after I took the Levo, the swelling and rough breathing returned. There, I had my culprit, so I stopped taking the Levo, the HCTZ and Naproxen for the next week, and I started feeling so much better! It was about mid to late June at this point. By my second week without Levo, the swelling was completely gone and I noticed I lost about 10 pounds. All the pain I had been feeling began to go away as well.

After the third week without the Levo, I could go up and down the stairs multiple times in an hour! The change was dramatic. Here's the proof:

On Mother's Day 2010 (May 9th), I couldn't even make it beyond hole 7 at Brown Deer disc golf course because I thought I was going to have a heart attack or something. Just over two months later, I was able to make it through the entire course with very little issue other than what I expect, which is slight and due to allergies. Of course, I did feel a bit tired by the end, but it was hot out and it had been awhile since I had been able to do exercise of any kind, so being tired isn't really a big issue at this point.

Things seemed to return to normal. After months of being unable to move properly or do ordinary, everyday things like wash dishes and laundry, I felt like the weight of the world had been removed from my body and my life. I began to want to make up for all of the exercise I lost over the past couple of months.

Well, the next day after my first successful disc golf outing, I opted to play again, at Valley View in New Berlin. On one of the holes in the back nine, I lost sight of a disc and had to search for it (like in real golf, you play from where the disc lands). I ended up in the wrong area and looked in the foliage where I thought it landed. What I found instead was a gigantic hole in the ground, lost my footing and sprained my ankle in the process. My ankle bent so far inward (practically parallel to the ground) that I could feel things stretching. I was lucky I didn't break anything. That was over two weeks ago and it still isn't healed.

I can move around the house, going up and down the stairs normally (left-right-left fashion) still hurts, so I have to do it left foot first on every stair. I do rotation and stretching exercises everyday to keep it the muscles from stiffening up, and I walk around the house as much as possible, but planting still appears to be an issue. It might be another week yet before I'm even ready to get out and walk normally - ugh!

Of course, my research implies that I can't be allergic to the drug itself, but the "dyes and fillers" but it does confirm that I definitely have issues with the pills. I have yet to locate where a list of these "dyes and fillers" can be located. It doesn't mean I'm giving up, but I have an allergy to Vitamin A, so I honestly don't find it hard to believe that I could be allergic to the drug itself.

How do I know I've done the right thing in stopping the medication?

Well, most of my life, my blood pressure has been low, outside of stressful times. However, when I started taking Levothyroxine, my blood pressure has been "elevated" and any meds they gave me for it made me sick, except HCTZ, and it didn't even work all that well anyway. The Friday after I sprained my ankle, I went to the doctor to make sure it was just a sprain, and not broken - which it wasn't (yay!). They took my blood pressure, and for the first time in a couple of years, it was well within the acceptable range, just slightly elevated, which is expected considering the amount of pain I was in.

My blood pressure was 127/70 (or something to that effect) but while on Levothyroxine, my bp readings were somewhere in the neighborhood of 140/90 and even as high on 146/100.

It leads me to wonder, just how safe are these drugs that we're supposed to take to "regulate" our bodily functions? What I've also begun to wonder, is if I'm feeling so sick by these pills, is the problem really with my thyroid or with another part of the process? In other words, is my doctor actually treating the problem itself or just treating a symptom of the problem?

What do I mean?

Well, the thyroid isn't the only gland involved in the process. There are two other glands involved in this process - the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. At this point, I think I need to start asking, how do we know the problem I'm having is really the thyroid and not one of the other glands?

How it works
Okay, since this post is already long, I thought I'd make it even longer by adding in some info about how the glands function together in an effort to see for myself if there's any possibility that I've been misdiagnosed.

The hypothalamus releases thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) which then travels to the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland then releases thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) into the blood to stimulate the thyroid to produce two thyroid hormones, L-thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3). The thyroid gland also needs adequate amounts of dietary iodine to be able to produce T4 and T3.

Obviously, I can't make much headway without knowing my actual numbers (all of them), but I might be able to recognize certain patterns, so maybe something will stand out. I'm also curious to know if maybe my problem might lie with an Iodine deficiency, because that can mimic conditions of an under active thyroid.

Interesting to note, while we use Fluoride in our toothpaste, it is considered a toxin by the body and Iodine detoxifies the body by replacing fluoride with itself.

Isn't that interesting?

Iodine is also responsible for detoxifying the body of mercury, chlorides, and bromides.

Chlorides are considered a toxin. Again, isn't that interesting?

We eat salt "sodium chloride" every day, which means we shove toxins into our body that must be filtered out of our bloodstream for our health. The more I read, the more I'm wondering if I don't have a deficiency because I'm allergic to shellfish, and I tend not to eat much fish either. According to, Iodine deficiency is the most common cause of hypothyroidism all over the world, except in the U.S., where it's merely an uncommon cause. However, over time, our lands and waters are becoming more and more deficient in Iodine, meaning we consume less and less amounts of Iodine in our diet, especially when fish and shellfish are not consumed.

Why else might this be an issue? Well, I happen to have large breasts (not bragging, stating a fact) which means I need to consume more Iodine than the average woman, so I might really be at a disadvantage and not even realize it and neither might my doctor or the diagnostic center.

Since I'm beginning to search out natural methods of dealing with issues, this might to a place to start.

For more information on thyroid issues, check out this link:

For more information on Iodine deficiency, check out these links:

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Games as Inspiration

To play or not to play - that may be the question running through your mind about a certain facebook/myspace game.

Okay, some of you might think to yourself that these games are a waste of time. True, some of them really might just be that. But then again, they might not be. Cryptic, I know, but I have a point, really, I do.

When I first joined facebook, I like many of became bombarded by requests to play different online games. If you were curious, like I was, you start checking them out, just to see if they are interesting and worth playing. Well, when you start playing one, that leads to playing a multitude of others?


Well, for those of us polite or "pay-it-forward" kind of people, you start playing a game you really had no intention of playing because someone you met, who seems very nice, gets enjoyment out of something and needs neighbors to accomplish something within a game. That happened to me this weekend.

Sure, I could have said no, but I didn't. I opted to start playing Social City.


Because when I needed neighbors actively sending out gifts to accomplish something in Farm Town I have been invested in for months, she didn't say no. Sure, she already played the game, but that's not the point. The point here is that if my playing the game and sending out gifts can make someone's day a little brighter, well, then my time has been well spent.

That's why I do play many of the games I do. I'll admit that Yoville, Petville and Fishville have difficulty holding my attention for too long - there's not much to them and they do take quite a bit of time to load and it's really annoying - but others have just caught my attention and I find myself excited to do, of all things, click the mouse button.

What games have caught my attention so religiously? The answers just might surprise you, but then again, they might not.

Initially, I played Farm Town, Dragon Wars (dragons, need I say more?), Vampire Wars, Pirates Rule the Caribbean, Mafia Wars and Fashion Wars were the games I played on a very regular basis. In the beginning, they were all different and played differently. The only thing they had in common was the strategy used in building character strength.

Then, the makers decided to change the format of all of these games - with the exception of Farm Town - and make them all work virtually the same. As a result, the games feel too limited and cookie cutter and have lost most of their original appeal.

Currently, Nightclub City, Social City, Country Life and Treasure Isle have grabbed my attention. Farm Town seems to be the only one to really be able to maintain my attention.

So what is it about these games that draws me?

The building aspect. In Farm Town it's the ability to build and create different farms. With Social City, it's the ability to create your own city and watch it "grow". Nightclub City is pretty much the same thing, only it's focus is one Nightclub rather than an entire city. However, the neat thing about Nightclub City is that, provided you get your place making enough money, you can change it's design to your whims.


Social City - Haven't played the game enough yet to have discovered any.

Nightclub City - Drink storage space can take up a lot of room - but that's the nature of the beast and part of the game. You just have to figure out creative ways to deal with the extra storage tanks if you want to continue to make money and grow your club.

Country Life - Too many of the buildings (Green House, Water-well, etc.) require building materials be gifted or purchased with Ranch Cash (Country Life $$). If you can purchase the building for coins, you should be able to buy the parts necessary to make it work for coins too.

Farm Town is beginning to become overrun with facilities and stuff and needs more space for building. In order to have all the facilities run properly, you need to grow more crops....I need a fourth farm.

Things about Farm Town I'd change if I could:
1. add a "hide animals" button
2. make cows and goats purchasable instead of gift only
3. create a coffee mill and make it cost coins not FT $$
4. add cucumbers as a crop for a higher level (80 or 90) and make the preserve factory able to produce pickles
5. make all fruit producing trees purchasable instead of some as gift only.
6. add at least 60 new levels
7. make all animals harvestable for meat as well as other stuff like milk
8. If you buy it in FT$ you can sell it back and get FT$ instead of coins - only fair.
9. Instead of creating new facilities, just improve the existing ones with seasonal/rotating things to produce - The pizzeria could make other types of Italian food using existing crops (eggplant, garlic, basil). The sandwich shop could use caught fish and rice to make sushi. The taco place would use avocados and other stuff to make guacamole - You get the point.
10. Improve the server capability by having the user save Farm and Store data on own computer - this would allow user to harvest, plow, and plant without having to be connected to server. However, the user would need to connect with the server to hire people, to use/earn Farm Town $ and to sell stuff as well as connect with the server once every 12 hours to update and program changes.
11. Use soybeans to create bio-fuel to operate equipment - much more green and soybeans happens to be an existent renewable crop.
12. Make solar panels functional and make existing fuel-using seeders and harvesters hybrids - the solar power would allow them to use less fuel...
13. Create another crop (usable in one of the facilities) that grows in 2 hours and one that grows in 6 hours.
14. Add a "4th Farm" only it's primary function would be as a town/city and would allow you to build a city.

In case you're not familiar with the game, you wouldn't see the pattern, so I'll tell you. In my opinion, the game is too neighbor dependent. It's one thing to need neighbors to grow the size of your farm, harvest your crops, plow your fields or work your facilities so they produce faster, but you shouldn't have to rely on your neighbors to gift you items to make your facilities work (meat, pickles, fuel, etc.) - that's my biggest pet peeve about the game and Facebook games in general.

Any game I'd like to see created?

Beer Town! I'd love to be able to grow hops, barley, malt and other ingredients used to make beer. It would be so cool to be able to determine if you were going to have a brewpub or just be a brewery with a tasting room. You'd have to pay attention to things like IBUs, Gravity, and whatever else you might have to do to brew a batch of beer. Granted, things would move faster in the game world than the real world, but I see Beer Town as having a lot of potential.

Of course, I'd find it cool if you could do this in Farm Town, but I get why you can't - kids play the game and it wouldn't set a good example.

How can these games be inspirational?

Well, as a writer, inspiration does come from everywhere, so why not the online games? It doesn't have to be the backdrop, but some element in one of the games could provide an author with inspiration - you just have to be open to it!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Catching Up With Life

Now that the basketball season is over, I am finding it much easier to get caught up with reading, and I'm even finding it easier to edit again. Being a member of Squad 6 really takes a toll on the body and mind, especially when you get as into the games as I am. Now, I'm not the kind of fan to remember stats - don't need to, they're all recorded down on the Bucks website and in media guides should I ever want to make comparisons. I'm the kind of fun who can get very emotionally invested in a game and can be very dejected after a loss, especially if I think the Bucks could have won it.

I'm happy to say that it didn't happen in the post season play though. Sure, I got loud and cheered and wanted them to win and was upset when they didn't win, but I couldn't stay mad because this team went farther than expected and played better than expected. They were never really out of the games, it just came down to the fact that, without Center Andrew Bogut, we needed everyone to be on top of their game every game in the playoffs. Well, these guys are human and to get mad at them for having an "off" game is counterproductive and really doesn't accomplish anything.

It was such a great experience being part of Squad 6 and I'd love to be back next year, if they'd have me! I'll either find a new wig, or color my hair red next year. My red wig fell apart towards the end of the season, looking more like some animal's nest than a person's hair, so it had to be retired and I took to dying my hair with hair paint. I just might find a way to color it brighter where it lasts a bit longer and won't come off on my clothes! lol!

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Okay, I know that I haven't posted much lately, but I've been busy with editing, writing and participating in Andrew Bogut's Squad 6. The Bucks managed to beat the Phoenix Suns, but hopefully not at too high a price.

Watching Andrew Bogut dunk is one of my favorite things to do, and even though I am seeing the game in person, the game is usually recorded on the DVR so that I can watch them multiple times later. There is one dunk that I am not sure I want to watch again.... Sure, it was exciting and probably one of the more forceful ones I've seen out of him, he paid a terrible price.

While most of the fans at the Bradley Center were jumping up and down cheering, I was screaming "no" as I watched helpless as his body, rather than hanging vertical from the net, went parallel to the ground under the net and then cringed in fear as I watched him fall to the ground. It was bad because you could just see him writhing in pain on the floor. Here's a clip so you can watch it for yourself, if you haven't seen it already.

There were a lot early reports, but I wasn't really sure that they were accurate, despite the supposed connections these people have. There's no way to know what's really going on until all of the tests are done and results accurately interpreted. Everyone kept trying to be positive that he'd be back in a couple weeks and it wasn't so bad. Well, I have learned to listen to my gut, and my gut told me something more was up. I couldn't help it, I started to get teary-eyed through the game. While they won the game, it was a bittersweet victory with too high a price as far as I'm concerned.

He's out for the year. While his elbow is only dislocated and not broken as first thought, his hand is broken and his wrist is sprained. According to JSOnline, it's likely he'll undergo surgery.

This is not good!!!! I'm not sure if our season is over as we do have many players left on the team, but my mood became somber when I saw the way they were walking Bogut off the court. I couldn't shake a sickening feeling. It was a feeling I hadn't felt in years. The last time I did, it was when Rollie Fingers got injured in the World Series back in 1982. I was young and I cried because deep down I knew he was our chance. The '82 Brewers needed Rollie Fingers in much the same way this Bucks team needs Andrew Bogut!!!!

Read more about Bogut's injury here:

JSOnline Bogut Update April 4, 2010

Easter is today, but in truth I don't feel too happy right now, but for those of that aren't as bothered by this as me, Happy Egg Day!

Hope all goes well for our Andrew! He's the best thing to happen to Bucks basketball in a long time, so I am sending him wishes for a complete and speedy recovery! Squad 6 just won't feel the same without you on the court, but I will do my best to make you proud for creating Squad 6!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Thanks Milwaukee Bucks

This post is long overdue. I wanted to blog about it right away, but when a player breaks his career high that he had just set not too long ago and the Bucks lose a game, it's hard to know what to say. Not only that, but to hear him call it a useless stat when they lose, makes it all the more difficult to find the right way to congratulate him.

Back in December, he scored a career high 31 points in a win against the Indiana Pacers in a game so exciting that I put the entire thing on a VHS tape after having watched off the DVR twice. Last week Tuesday, Bogut outscored himself with 32 points against the Dallas Mavericks. Despite these efforts, the Bucks lost the game, but only by a point. After some careful pondering, I've realized that, even though the Bucks lost the game, a career high isn't a useless stat.


Well, it says that Bogut is coming into his own and that other teams need to beware of the force they will be facing!

So congratulations to Andrew Bogut for his career high of 32 points! Keep it coming!

I love watching the games and I feel the need to be at every one! Of course I would like to see them win every game, but it's not necessary. This team has something it hasn't had in a long time.

You know what it is?


Ah, I bet you thought I was going to say Scott Skiles, the head coach, or John Hammond, the general manager. While it's true that both of these men were instrumental in putting together this team, it's the players themselves that really deserve the credit.

All of the players want to do well and are working very hard to achieve their goals. They want to win and it shows in the amount of fighting and scrapping they do to create turnovers and chase down loose balls. They've also worked very hard to become better free throw shooters. It's been a long time since we've seen dunks and alley-oops on a regular basis, and the team is working to bring that element back to the games are creating some exciting basketball.

And they're doing all of this without Michael Redd. As much as I like Michael Redd, he just doesn't fit with the team anymore. In fact, when Redd first went down this season, Carlos Delfino really stepped it up and we thought he was going to be this great player for us, but when Michael Redd came back and took back his role in the starting lineup, that all changed. Well, since Michael Redd went for the season (I really do wish him a good recovery), Carlos Delfino has stepped it up again and has been playing great. I hope it continues.

Between Squad 6 and the players, games are extremely fun! I enjoy them so much that at times I don't want them to end! I can't wait to see what the rest of the season holds for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Thank you John Hammond, Coach Skiles and all the Milwaukee Bucks for making basketball exciting again, especially to Andrew Bogut for creating Squad 6. I've had a great time being part of this soon to be legendary group, and I hope I can continue to be a part of it for years to come!

Good Luck on the road at Miami, Orlando and New York! I wish I could be there in person, but I'll be sitting in front of the TV and I'll just have to wait until you get back in town on Saturday!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Why I Only Watch GH These Days

Okay, so the title is an unexpected play on words, but still true. From the time I was about five years old and at home with grandmother in the afternoons after school, I discovered soaps and have been a fan throughout my high school and college years. At one time, I watched All My Children (AMC), Another World (AW), Days of Our Lives (DOOL), General Hospital (GH) and Santa Barbara (SB).  I was able to do this because of how they staggered the times of the shows.

As I grew up and my tastes changed, I began to appreciate the depth of certain characters and complexity of plotlines.  As much as I hated the fact that Santa Barbara and Another World ended, I now really appreciate the wisdom of that choice.  The writers could have kept them going instead, and wrote pitifully stupid storylines, just as DOOL and AMC has done, but they didn't.  They chose to end good stories on a high note.  I remember that SB ended with the marriage of two characters BJ Walker (Sydney Penny) and Warren Lockridge (Jack Wagner).  Now, I couldn't remember the full character names after all this time, but I did remember the actors involved.

For example, I remember when I first saw Nancy Lee Grahn, who most of us know as the feisty lawyer on GH.  However, I remember seeing her first as Julia Wainwright on SB.  If memory serves, she landed on the beach of the Lockridge estate in a Cessna...  Anyway, Nancy was just one of a host of top notch actors and actresses filling the streets of Santa Barbara.

Sure, the characters were devious and there was family rivalry and some love triangles, but the storylines were always good and carried off as believable.  Kudos to the writers of AW and SB for ending two great shows with a bang!  DOOL and AMC can only wish to be so lucky.  I keep catching glimpses of the current storylines and go, "They are so hard up for viewers that they're going to the bottom of the barrel for this one!"

Seriously, one of the worst storylines DOOL writers ever came up with was that whole Bo/Carly/Lawrence triangle.  After the viewers at the time were so happy that Carly and Lawrence left town, hopefully never to return, DOOL writers do the boneheaded thing and bring them back.  The reason they bring them back is the dumbest storyline in the history of dumb storylines.

Longtime fans know Bo and Hope as the one remaining super couple left on DOOL - reconstituted after Hope supposedly died in a vat of acid and returned as one of Stefano's pawns with no memory named Gina.  All through his string of loves during the time of Hope's supposed death, he always carried a torch for Hope.  In fact, when in the midst of a relationship with Billie, he was ready to drop her when Gina surfaced, because of the fact that not only did she look like Hope, Bo knew in his heart that Gina was Hope.  He loved Billie, but Hope was always the love of his life, and he wanted to be with her, unfortunately, Billie was pregnant and yadda, yadda, yadda.

Anyway, it was at about this point that I quit watching because, well, I thought the storyline of Hope coming back from the dead was bad enough to begin with, but everything else just went downhill from there.  I'm sorry but Bo is not Luke Spenser and never was, and it seems that DOOL is trying to create the magic that GH has, but is failing miserably.  Of course, you have to have magic to begin with, and DOOL never really did.  However, when you take a guy like Bo, who is fiercely loyal to Hope by nature, and start having him cheat on her and thus destroying the only super couple the soap really ever had (other than Hope's parents Doug and Julie), then you destroy any credibility as story tellers.  Bo and Hope were childhood sweethearts and loves.  Bo has never been a cheater, and it was never in his personality, so when they first made Bo a cheater, I quit watching. I happened to catch Thursday's episode of DOOL only because I missed Thursday's episode of GH and thought I would catch it on Soap Net rather than the Internet.  DOOL is on after GH in the lineup, so it was just on.  To top off bad storylines, they added a troop of bad actors from Passions (the worst soap ever!) into the mix.  It just happened to be the death of Mickey Horton, so I watched as much of it as I could tolerate.

Honestly, with as bad as some of these storylines are, I'm surprised that DOOL and AMC are still on the air.  People may complain about the recurring mob theme - one that's been part of GH for as long as I've been watching and can remember - but at least the storylines are believably complex and the characters' reactions to their situations feel real.  The writers may have brought back Luke and Laura, and may have split up Luke and Laura, but at least the way they did it was believable and realistic to follow.

The only knock I have with GH deals with the characters of Carly and Jax.  Carly has turned into this whiney, irritating person, and Laura Wright doesn't do much for me, and Jax hs become this hypocritical jerk.  He can't stand Sonny and doesn't want him in Michael and Morgan's lives, but yet he has repeatedly helped his no-good brother Jerry again and again.  Jerry is 10 times worse than Sonny ever could be.  Sonny has a real excuse as to why he turned out the way he did.  What was Jerry's excuse?  Too much money growing up?  This is just one set of characters I wish would just go away!

On a better note, Jonathon Jackson has reprieved his role as Lucky Spencer!  Since his return, I have been able to appreciate the character of Lucky again.  Lucky finally has more emotional range than angry.  Even during the so-called love scenes, when Lucky was played by Greg Vaughn, Lucky seemed constantly angry.  Now, with Jackson at the helm, Lucky can be happy, in love, exasperated, irritated, annoyed, angry, confused and a host of them I can't quite think of at the moment.  Jackson makes the character of Lucky so much deeper than he has been in such a long time.  I know this is the second blog post on this topic, but the fact that I can say this after having watched the show since Jackson's return, means that GH has gold, and they best keep it!!!

I found this you tube video that someone made from an old clip of Luke and Lucky.  It is so funny, I had forgotten about that dancing episode!  It was classic and definitely a sign of the 80s!  However, I think that Tony Geary (Luke) might have thought this was lost, ha ha ha, NOT!

The gold that GH has isn't just in it's actors, but in it's writers, too.  Okay, so I don't like some characters, but that doesn't mean it's bad writing.  Now, if GH writers decide to blow up Robin and Patrick, they might make me mad.  I don't get how a guy like Patrick who worked so hard to save Robin when she was suffering from PPD, only to have him cheat on her.  If he was that way, then why would he go to all that trouble?  I hope they do not opt for this direction.  People do stay married and do not cheat in this day and age, even if it is rare.  Why can't they be one of the rare ones?