The Language of Flowers: Wormwood.


Wormwood is a woody shrub with a bitter aromatic taste, used, especially formerly, as an ingredient of vermouth,absinthe, and in medicine. Possibly the bitterest of all, wormwood is an ancient medicinal and kitchen herb. An Egyptian scroll that is 3,600 years old contains detailed information regarding its use in expelling internal parasites. It was later used to treat almost any complaint imaginable. Apart from diseases, it was also thought to be able to expel bad spirits.
In the Victorian language of flowers, in which a thoughtfully arranged bouquet could reveal an abundance of meaning, wormwood symbolizes bitter sorrow.

And dig this, fans of Harry Potter:

In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,Snape’s first question to Harry in Potions class is, “Potter! What would I get if I added powdered root of asphodel to an infusion of wormwood?”

Asphodel is a lily that is one of the most famous of the plants connected with the dead and the underworld. Homer describes it as covering “the great meadow”,the haunt of the dead. It was planted on graves, and was also supposed to be a remedy for venomous snakebites, and protection against sorcery. (remember that Lily sacrificed herself to ward off the evil of a wizard heavily associated with snakes!)
Wormwoood symbolizes absence and bitter sorrow.

The cryptic meaning?

I bitterly regret Lily’s death”.

Thunder Lizard Thursday: Brachiosaurus’ Neck.


Brachiosaurus had long forelimbs that caused its back to incline. This trait is not seen in most other sauropods. The neck’s exiting the body in a fairly straight line(the current theory) would have resulted in it pointing upwards. Debate continues on the exact angle of the neck and how flexible it was.
As I was  watching Jurassic Park III last night, and wishing it would hurry up and end, I did pay a little attention to the one character I cared about other than the dinosaurs; Alan Grant. He mentioned something, while looking out of the plane window,about “You can see a herd of Brachiosaurus grazing”, and I remember thinking, “Hold it, Alan.”

( then I drew the above sketch.)

I am of the team of “Brachiosaurus ate from the treetops”, which is called “browsing”. Also, it had close cropping teeth  adapted to eat the most elevated plant material such as conifer leaves and fruit.
To maneuver around in tall forests with a very long neck would be difficult, unless the neck was held vertically or at least semi-vertically. Extremely long tails would make movement in the forest difficult for high-browsers as well, and tails could not be pointed vertically . Brachiosaurus lost its long tail over time and it became quite short.

Hopefully, Alan Grant only meant that the Brachs were simply grazing from treetops, but it is very hard for us dino enthusiasts to imagine a poor Brachiosaur struggling to lean its neck way over to graze from the ground!

The Thing, TMI.

thing dog.jpg


I only had two jobs today(I entertain and do art therapy classes at assisted living homes) but I am more tired than I have been in weeks. Vegging out on the sofa and looking at way too many behind-the-scenes videos of John Carpenter’s “The Thing”. And scribbling assimilated dogs. It’s tough, because I love dogs, and even though I know in reality no doggies were harmed, in my imagination I can see the agony that the movie dogs went through quite clearly.

Random Art: Bruce!

Bruce,© 2015 Liz Vitale

Bruce,© 2015 Liz Vitale

We saw Jaws on the big screen last night, and it was an awesome experience. Since it was a classic movie, everyone was cheering and clapping when certain stars came onscreen(mainly Robert Shaw). There was much whooping it up over the best lines. And it was great being able to scream and jump in all the right places!! (Ben Gardner’s dead head got the best scream!)

It was also fun seeing it with Cuz’n Ashley, who had never seen it before. What a thrill, introducing someone to this treasure of cinema!!

We saw it at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.

Dream Diary: A Wand for Gandalf.

Wand  6_24 _ 2015

 Steve and I were at some sort of convention–something nerdy, movie, toy-related, who knows? It was held in what had once been a public school, and on the floor of one hallway, a HUGE poster of Halloween had been laminated to the floor.
Anyway, we reached a large room in which someone was selling wands..for roleplay or costuming, I suppose. I won’t argue that they were beautifully crafted. One stood out to me; pictured above, it was made a a smooth, white wood, was intricately carved, and was very subtly shaded blue toward its base. The base had a rather obvious wine-colored stain on it which was simply part of the natural wood. I remember telling Steve,”Hey, that wand would be good for Gandalf,” and then I pointed toward Ian McKellen, who was sitting right behind us.

I would have expected him to tell me, “Gandalf the Grey does not use a wand, madam.” 😀

Jurassic World: My Sort-Of Review! review of Jurassic World…

I am not a movie reviewer. These are simply my random thoughts; take them as you will.

Of course I enjoyed it, it was a movie with more-or-less realistic dinosaurs eating people. I do get really, really tired of the “family bonding occurs during episodes of getting lost and attacked in dinosaur jungle” theme of these movies, but, that’s just me. I root for the dinosaurs( and your stick figure family was delicious.) Although as far as the human characters and the acting goes, I loved the dynamic of the main characters in the first JP movie. This movie does not have that dynamic, charm, wit or humor.