Wednesday, December 29, 2010


What do you get when you combine a magic-wielding wizard's head with 14 copper-plated spider legs?

This thing
Contrary to belief, this is not a torture device from the 100th installment of the SAW series, or Chuckie's new toy partner in an upcoming Child's Play. It's not some sort of newly conceived boogeyman to keep children away from eating candy either. Instead, imagine this contraption dancing atop your head.

Don't do this in public
As it does so, it sends shivers down the spine- causing shoulders to shrug awkwardly up to the ears, arms to curl inwardly towards each other in a modified fetal position, and one eye to twitch manically. If any one image could sum this up it would look something like Scrat from Ice Age.

The Scrat Position
If someone were to watch you objectively, they might believe you were in the beginning throes of a grand-mal seizure. And that's before the jerking-shivering-spasms.

The jerking-shivering-spasms take you to another level. One minute you're looking like Scrat from Ice Age, and the next you're looking like the extreme rabid version of Scrat as you shiver, jerk awkwardly, spasm, and unbeknownst to you, slobber from the corner of your widely gaping mouth. Afterwards, it can make you feel like a failure to society and to the advancement of all mankind.

Product description is as follows: Spine-tingling bliss. The Tingler gently massages the scalp, touching acupressure points to create goosebumps and shivers of delight. It causes a heightened, blissful activation of the senses, awakening your brain while relaxing your whole being. Lots of folks say their headaches disappear. All we know is that it's the most divine, relaxing, goosebumpy, erotic, friend-making, healing Head Massager ever made. If you want something that gives you goose-bumps and exhilarating, toe-curling pleasure that you can still do in public, this is it!

If you've placed some sort of value on your reputation- or life; if you have a modicum of pride in being of higher intelligence than, oh, an amoeba; do not host any sort of "tingler" party for "friend-making" purposes. You may end up showing your Scrat-face to everyone. Do not be fooled into thinking you can carry this in your purse or use this device in public without risk of incarceration for possession of a weapon or for lewd and inappropriate behavior.

Against all said contradictions, hubby swears by this device saying it delivers a pleasureable head massage worthy of its $20 pricetag. I beg to differ. Maybe it's a difference in hormones, hair length, or surface area, but whenever this contraption "tingles" my head, after assuming the Scrat position for several seconds, I develop an overwhelming desire to go on a feral rampage to rip fluffy things apart with my incisors. I tend to look more like this:

While hubby is the king of Narnia, I internalize the likeness of Wolverine with his mutant claws slowly scraping its way down a chalkboard while transforming into Freddy Krueger.

Take a moment to imagine that- without grinding your teeth together.

Perhaps you would find it easier to relate this to a popular emo chick flick- Twilight? Because hubby is Edward gleefully frolicking through the forest with Bella.

Edward- staring at Bella's carotid artery
I am the vamp-chick about to break Edward's head off.

Is that... is that lice?!
I have hidden "Wizard." I have manipulated its legs into hideous, un-massageable positions. I have flattened it, thrown it, shoved it under the bed into the deep unreachable zone where only dust bunnies linger. I have cursed it and growled at it- my animosity knows no bounds. And why? Is it because I receive no gratification from this device with its skinny little dancing copper legs?

It's because as we lie in bed at night prepared to sleep, I must weave this contraption around and around hubby's head until my arm trembles from muscle fatigue, until my fingers become numb, until my eyelids feel like they've been forsaken from their God-given duty to close. While I may not enjoy "Wizard" stimulating my scalp nerves, hubby is enthralled with it so much so that I am appointed the high role of head masseuse several nights a week. After a great deal of whining, tantrum-throwing, moaning and groaning about the good old days before the "Wizard" came into existence, I have the energy and mental capacity for 30 seconds-worth of head massaging with this device before my arm flops down dead and lifeless on the bed. I then move onto more important things- like sleep. Sometimes I am prompted to continue, and sadly, the cycle only repeats itself. Hubby frowns upon my inconsiderate and rebellious nature, of which I cannot deny.

I must therefore remind myself that hubby gives this wifey lengthy massages without complaint, nor eye rolls nor pouts of annoyance. If hubby is capable of such selflessness, surely I, then, should be able to take a spider-wizard torture-device look-alike and give back to the good hubby an equal measure of the good wife.


Sunday, December 19, 2010


As someone who becomes all too easily emotionally detached, I find myself instead, opening up to the reality and the heartbreaks of this world. Amidst the facade of medicine, of fact and logical answers, I surrender instead to the anger, the disappointment, frustration, anxiety, denial, and the light of hope, the strength of God-given love that surround me in the hospital.

A dear patient has passed away, and together with the family by their loved one's side, we said our goodbyes hand in hand, heads bowed in prayer. God's Glory is manifest through the solidarity of a brother's love, the compassionate hand of daughters, the overflowing heart of a mother, the precious voice of grandchildren as they sang Christmas songs into their Grampy's ear one last time.

The body that turns cold and pale. The family that must eventually turn around and go home. The nurse who continues to work until her shift is over. Where once I stood back and watched from afar, now I am no longer so hesitant to step forward and acknowledge the legitimacy- the reality of their situation. I am painfully aware that it could be my loved one lying in that hospital bed, sick, hurting, scared, dying- a beloved husband, wife, mother, father, sister, brother, grandparent, friend.

Sometimes families mourn in turmoil, sometimes in peace, but always in true and utter heartbreak for the loss of a once tangible and vibrant life. What's left in the end is the hope in eternity.

I pray that God will guide me in the Spirit to have the strength of heart and mind to be as real with these patients and families as they are with me in their most desperate time of need.

Where, O death, is now thy sting?
Swallowed up in victory!
The Lord of glory reigns on high,
Sov'reign over earth and sky.
Yes, he triumphed o'er the grave
And he comes again one day.
What lesser name shall draw our praise?
For Christ has conquered all!
For Christ has conquered all!

-Kristie Braselton