Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Correction

It seems I got two songs confused.

The actual song that I was thinking of in my last post was the theme from Love Story (many thanks to those who helped me figure that out with a crudely made midi I plunked out at midnight after being woken by the nagging realization I'd gotten two songs confused).

See, it's not that the songs themselves are similar, but that they evoke a similar emotional response. And while one grandmother had Swan Lake on a music box, the one with the roses played the theme from Love Story.

While I love both, the particular arrangement of the song on that cheesy fiber-optic music box was by far the more beautiful. Problem being, it wasn't quite fully accurate to the song, so I'm not sure if all music boxes will play it that way should I order one, or if I am going to have to become a finicky pest and go on a hunt for the right version.

The song, for those unfamiliar:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggP5ODvS81E

Monday, December 14, 2009

Swan Lake

Don't ask me why I happened to remember this last night, but I'd like to share something. Perhaps it's something small and silly, but I feel the need to share it nonetheless.

When I was little, my grandmother used to have one of those little glassed-in fiber optics... the ones with the music box attached. Just this cheesy little fiber optic rose, but I thought it was the prettiest thing I'd ever seen. Partly because I liked the lights. Partly because of the music it played.

It was the theme from Swan Lake. Of course, I didn't know it at the time. I just heard the music box, and thought it was pretty.

The memory lulled me to sleep last night. I will admit I miss that music box. The song is pretty in and of itself, but somehow the delicate notes of the music box just gave it something special.

I think I need to find a music box that plays that song again...

(The song, for those who aren't familiar: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzpqM4THqZ8 )

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I figure I'm due for another post since it's been since September. Not that I have much to say. The cat is still doing well. I've started raising guppies. And it's almost time to think about trying to better insulate this place for the winter.

Also, I was out sick for about two weeks with something that very nearly stopped me from breathing. Many thanks to the CNP who knew what she was doing well enough to prescribe me the right meds to avoid a hospital stay.

I am now off antibiotics and off steroids and back to breathing normally.

Not much news besides that. And even that isn't really news since it seems everybody else is suffering from the same ailment this season.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Buried

So... I've been kind of showered with gifts. lol I believe I've mentioned James has a knack for finding amazing deals? Yes? Okay.

So...

He brought me a new pearl necklace, more casual than the last one (I don't have photos yet, sorry) so I can wear it every day. And some nice gloves/arm warmers just for fun. And the food dehydrator he had asked a while back if I wanted... I do a lot of soup I the winter, so I dry mushrooms and vegetables and whatnot since they keep better that way. Now I can dry a lot more stuff since I'll have the oven freed up for actual cooking, so it's great!

And thanks to his insane ability to find deals (mind you, some of them are planned by us as gifts for others since I can't use them all): several agate rings, some magnetic hematite rings (definitely keeping some of those since they're supposed to be good for arthritis), woven bracelets...

I feel rich. lol

I will admit, I took on the "ooh shiny" reaction and played with the rings for a while. Especially the magnetic ones. Sticking them together, stacking them up... which is funny because my mother said my little cousin would love the magnetic ones for the same reasons. lol

Yes, I will admit to the occasional childlike indulgence. I think, though, it can be healthy in moderation. Sometimes we all need to just let go and have fun with something silly for a while.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The crazy animal lady strikes again.

Stopped into a shop on the way home.

The owner had her dog there (little yorkie). Which apparently pawed and pawed like it needed to go out to pee, but then instead of going to the door with said owner, she ran up to me, so I bent down to pet her, and she licked all over my face. The owner was in shock. Apparently the dog NEVER just goes right up to strangers like that.

I wasn't surprised. I get comments like that all the time with people's pets. Shy dogs from the avoidant to the fear-aggressive, cats who avoid and even scratch at unfamiliar people, pretty much any mammal that is untrusting of most people. I have no problems. Reptiles I'm okay with but don't have much experience. Birds don't like me unless they like *everybody*. I assume it's a body language thing, since none of my family ever had birds when I was growing up.

But mammals... any one I've ever met seems comfortable with me.

If I don't end up working with animals as a career, I need to find more time to put in volunteer hours.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Boardwalk

I went out for a bit today... no real reason, just felt the need to be somewhere besides the house for a change. On the way back I stopped by the boardwalk in Galena. Nice little spot at the edge of Hoover Reservoir in an area known as the mudflats, because during dry summers it's pretty much mud instead of lake.

Usually on a day like this the boardwalk is crowded with fishermen.

Not today.

Today it was empty, quiet. So as I walked along the wooden planks, I could hear everything around me. A bird bathing at the water's edge several yards away, heard just as easily as though it were next to me.

There were herons everywhere. It's the first time in a while I've just been able to sit out in nature uninterrupted by other sounds. The boardwalk dead-ends partway out into the lake, so I just sort of stood there for a while, watching.

And the sight of the sun sparkling on the water holds a kind of beauty that brings tears to my eyes. Even knowing the science of it, reflection, refraction, properties of light and how it bounces off a surface... it's still magic to me. A thousand points of light dancing on the water's surface. Nothing quite compares to that.

The park doesn't close until 11:00 at night. I think sometime I should go after dark, to watch it in the moonlight.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Meet Loki

The newest addition to my household:

Photobucket

Photobucket

Unfortunately the photo doesn't show his full range of colors. The teal and red you can see, but in the right light he also shows purple and cobalt blue.

The shop also had a midnight blue halfmoon betta which was insanely tempting, especially given that it was only about $20 when they sell from breeders for over $50 as a general rule (and by his size he WAS of breedable age) but I forced myself to resist. I can't afford to spend that on a fish right now. Besides, if I get a halfmoon I want an opaque white. Which means I'd better have some cash to throw around first because those run a pretty high price tag... so like, not until I have the setup to actually breed them.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Franklin Park Conservatory

For the first time in years, I actually went to the conservatory for something other than the Asian Festival, meaning this was the first time I've been *inside* since I took my friend's senior portraits way back in my first year of college. Naturally, I had to bring the camera. Please pardon while I kill your bandwidth with a dozen or so photos.

Photobucket
Right now they have a lot of Chihuly glass on display (see http://www.chihuly.com/ for more of his work). All hand-blown. This is the ceiling of a small section of the Himalayan Mountain exhibit.

Photobucket

Photobucket
I am determined this is where they put the kids that misbehave. Talk about a time-out chair. Beat that, Supernanny!

Photobucket
They were setting up to do a wedding in the palm room. These are some of the lanterns.

Photobucket
Some glass on the Zen Terrace.

Photobucket

Photobucket
I swear this looks like a scene out of Willy Wonka.

Photobucket
Not quite what you usually think of when you hear the term "glass-bottom boat".

Photobucket
The picture didn't turn out quite as pretty as the actual view. I have a strange fondness for ivy.

Photobucket
They had some of the most bizarre orchids I've ever seen.

Photobucket
I also have a fondness for carnivorous plants.

Photobucket

Photobucket
Probably my favorite shot of the whole trip. One of these days I want to have a koi pond.

Photobucket
More of the glass.

Photobucket
One of the few good shots I got of the butterflies.

Photobucket

Photobucket

If anyone is interested in buying prints, let me know and I can direct you to where you can buy them. Only those NOT featuring the Chihuly glass are for sale, as without having permission or finding a blanket permission statement on the artist's website, I don't want to cause trouble. I know as an artist myself I wouldn't want people making money off my work without my permission, so there's a respect issue there.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Blind Betta

To start off, normally my betta fish won't eat till after I walk away. Unlike most bettas I've known, he doesn't seem to "smell" or even feel the vibrations of food hitting the water, he only ever found his food by sight, so I have to walk far enough off so he can see the shadow of the pellets against the light on top of the water. Well, tonight after I fed him, I went back to see if he'd eaten yet so I could turn off the light.

The food pellets were still floating at the top.

Which seemed odd.

Well, I looked... and there were more food pellets nestled at the bottom.

Naturally, I wanted to check on the betta to make sure he was okay. Scooped him up in the cup he came from at the store (I kept it because it works quite nicely for scooping water out for changes - and for scooping up betta when I need to check on him). Held him up to the light for a proper look. His eyes were clouded over.

My betta is blind.

I mean, I guess it's not *too* surprising since he's nearing the end of his life anyway, I'm sure... I've had him for at least the last 2 years, no idea how old he was at the pet shop when I got him, and bettas aren't the most long-lived of fish... 5 years max, average 3 years and most pet store bettas are 6 months to a year old since they don't sell as well before the finnage is fully developed (ironically, after sexual maturity has come and gone).

But I need help... I've never had a fish go blind on me before. How do I get a blind betta, who only ever finds his food by sight, to eat?

Unfortunately he does not fall into the category of "smart bettas" (because they are normally one of the smarter species of fish). He is, quite frankly, the second dumbest betta I've ever owned. So I'm not sure if I'll be able to convince him to find food another way or not...

**EDIT**

Just got a tip from someone that it might be an eye cloud disease that Melafix should be able to clear up. Hope so, because I'd hate to just watch the poor thing starve to death.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Guard of the garden

Went out to get the mail this morning, and decided to drop by the garden (read: weed pile with some lavendar in it - I've given up on weeding) to see how it was doing. My lavendar's blooming again, so I ran inside to grab something to put the flowers in (it seems to bloom again every time I pluck it so I think I can get a pretty good harvest this year, more than enough to last me through winter).

Went back outside with the basket I've been drying the last batch of flowers in, and bent down to start collecting the blossoms. One of the leaves in the garden moved, so naturally I looked to see what had caused it. At first I saw nothing. Then I noticed this little guy:


This was the best picture I got of him - he kept moving, chasing after a bumblebee that kept getting at the flowers (interestingly, he left the honeybee alone).

But I consider a mantis in the garden to be a very positive thing. They take out the unpleasant bugs, and they are considered by many people to be good luck.

It's just a little one... has some speckles on the tip of the abdomen, so I think it's rather young. But young or old, I am very happy that the mantis has chosen my sad excuse for a garden to live in.

Monday, June 29, 2009

The rest of the visit

My oto catfish is still alive... it surprised me today when I went to feed the Betta. Good thing I didn't dump the whole bowl and wipe away the rest of the algae. I thought he was dead months ago, wondered why the heck I never found the body to get it out of there. It baffles me how a fish can hide in one gallon of water. *shakes head*

On top of that, I bought my cat a catnip plant. My grandparents' cat from next door tried to follow me in the house when he smelled it. My cat started whining until I took it back out of the house (set it up high enough that the other cat will leave it alone - he's old and too lazy to try for it apparently). She just stood under the table I'd put it on and bawled. Yeeeeeah. I need to find someplace better to put it where it will neither get swallowed whole, nor get me yowled at all day.

Anyway, moving on, time for the rest of the update from the visit.

Thursday evening was spent watching movies. Friday, we headed out to check out a discount store we'd heard about, to see if it was worth shopping at. Unfortunately it was a bit of a disappointment. Prices weren't great, and most of the stuff there was cheesy. Though there was a luggage set I was tempted by (pirate skulls... yes, I have a bit of a pirate obsession - ever since I was a kid). Hey, at least I'd be able to find my luggage at the airport. But it was a bit more than I wanted to pay at the moment, and I'm not planning any traveling anytime in the immediate future, so I'll just hunt for it later.

After the slight letdown we headed someplace else we'd heard about and wanted to try. This was MUCH less of a disappointment, and in fact we fully intend to go back. He'd found out about a place called Creole Kitchen, and was singing the praises of Po Boys for a while. So we went there. Shrimp po boys for each of us. It's seafood... in a sandwich. What's not to love? Either way, the food was VERY good (though the place has no dining room so we had to hunt for a place with air conditioning to sit - and the AC wasn't running very well in the one place we found - unfortunately heat seems to make me lose my appetite... I so wanted to finish my sandwich but my stomach said no). We both wondered where they get their shrimp. They were HUGE, and fell apart like good fish. In fact, we thought they'd mixed up our order and given us fish at first, except for the taste. They also make potato chips right there - I'm a fan. Definitely have to go back there. On a day when it's cooler.

We hung around in town for a bit due to some car issues - he needed to let the engine cool down to make sure the temp gage didn't flip out again, so we wandered in the 95-degree weather. Needless to say when we got back I was on the verge of collapse. He deals with the heat better than I do. Thanks to the car scare there was no more shopping, just in case. So there was a lot of couch time and movies until he had to leave Saturday evening.

Of course, at some point I was going through some old stuff and commenting on the scads of "kiddie jewelry" I never wear anymore that I have to get rid of. James made some comment on replacing it or something of the like.

"You know, we're going to have to find you someplace to put all the jewelry."
"Well, I have the box here, once I get rid of the old stuff there will be room for the stuff you've bought me."
"Nono, hon... it won't be big enough. I plan on buying you MORE."
"........."

Yeah I'm really not used to that. lol I suppose I'm going to have to get used to it, though. Because no amount of convincing seems to make him think he should stop spoiling me. I've tried. It's an argument I never win.

But it was nice to have him for a few days. It really was. Hopefully positive things will happen soon so we can do this sort of thing more often.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day off

Well, I took a vacation day today, met James in Polaris before his monthly .NET meeting. (I think? That's right isn't it? I think that's what he's programming in now. Like I know the difference.)

Anyway, met him at the mall, dressed up a bit since I don't have an excuse to do that often. Apparently long, form-fitting dresses suit me. There were a lot of heads turning.

In any case, I got my birthday gift a little early (okay, over a month early):



Agate, and they make a lovely bell-like ringing sound when they strike against each other. Naturally, I spent half the time we were wandering around the mall playing with them. lol There were also several moments where I just sort of fell into girlish giggles. I can't help it. As I put it to James:

"They're pretty. They're shiny. And they're MINE."

Of course, I had to grab him after and point out that so is he, after which point I got poked at for leaving him as an afterthought. lol

Not that this is his first gift of this nature. He has a good sense for finding things that will look good on me. A few years ago was this:



Which has its own story, but I won't go into it here. It involves my mother and scaring the daylights out of me and something that has become a favorite story for James to tease me with. lol Maybe some other time I'll tell it.

But pushy foreign guy was at the mall again. Apparently James had passed by him earlier before I got there (he beat me there, my timing was off, forgot to account for Polaris traffic). So when we passed him again, his face brightened up:

"HEY! YOU'RE BACK!"

We kept walking.

"...or not..."

At which point we both doubled over in fits of laughter. I dunno, maybe you had to be there... this guy just amuses us every time we're at the mall. He's so pushy... and so HAPPY about it... and somehow he's not annoying, just amusing. I don't know why. I really don't.

We mostly just meandered aimlessly.

But he's off at the meeting now, due back and then tomorrow we're running off for more shopping. It feels kind of nice to know we're going to be getting out for a bit. We spend a lot of time away from each other, and a lot of those "relationshippy" things just don't get to happen very often right now. Hopefully soon enough we'll get things worked around to where schedules mesh more often and he's living closer. That should make things easier.

But for now, I'll settle for being patient. He deserves that much, I think. But I'm biased. ;)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sleepover



Well, storm season is upon us, which means we're back to that time of year where I have to watch the skies, and the weather reports, and vacate the house at the first sign of a tornado warning.

As a general rule, I pack up the cat and head down the road to my parents' house, because they have a basement, as well as a room I can shut their cats away from. My grandparents have a basement too, but no doors to prevent Simba from wandering.

So last night, since the weather was supposed to get nasty around midnight, I hauled the cat down the road, and into my parents' guest room (which used to be my bedroom). It wasn't the first time we've been there, so Simba knew what to expect.

But something was wrong.

One of my family members was unloading a full bed, so my parents got rid of the twin in favor of a bigger one, for more sleeping space.

Simba spent the first hour crying and looking for the old bed.

But that wasn't what kept me awake all night. See, the new bed was raised up so they could put drawers underneath. Also, my cat is fat.

So about 20 times in the middle of the night, as she hopped down for food or to use the litterbox, there was a resounding "thud" that apparently could be heard through the entire house.

And if that didn't wake me up, when she came back onto the bed, rather than picking a spot where I wasn't, she had to make a flying leap and jump right on me to come back up and sleep.

So now we're back home, I'm wide awake, and what's the cat doing?

Sleeping, of course.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Why Karyl doesn't garden

This is my garden:



Stop laughing.

I said stop laughing.

At least I can still tell where my lavendar is:



Though I find it interesting... I have one random onion growing there from the previous renter at this place. I've never seen it bloom before:



(If you're looking at the image filename, yes, I know that's not what "dongle" is, but for some reason when I think of that word, I think of like, the antennae with the round tips and stuff like that, hence, the onion dongle. Shush, it's just my mental imagery. :P)

Anyway, every other time today I had gone outside, it had been out the back door.

Finally went out to the front porch a few minutes ago, and found that apparently we got a serious amount of rain today. In the container where I keep my peppermint, not only was all the soil waterlogged, but there was a good 2 inches of water sitting on top.

This is what it looked like *after* I poured the excess out:


As you can see, there's still quite a bit of water, but some of the soil was starting to pur out with it, so I didn't dare go any further.

The mint seems happy about it though. Lots of random new growth since I last looked at it. Wish I could say the same of the spearmint. There's some sort of fungus keeps attacking every spearmint plant I try to care for. Doesn't touch the peppermint though. I dunno how to stop it. I've heard mix soap and water into a spray bottle. Does that actually work?

Friday, June 12, 2009

The saga of the fire alarms.

Well, I figured I'd explain the slight comment rant I had in James' blog. See, when I first moved in, the original fire alarms were a bit gummed up and useless since everyone who's lived in this place for the past 10 years or more before me were smokers (it really is amazing how much mess that leaves behind... many thanks to my family who spent like a week cleaning the place before I even got here - before you say the landlord should have done it, the landlord is my uncle). So, first thing when I moved in, we had to get new alarms. And, since there were no CO alarms and I have gas appliances, this would have been important even if not for the existing fire alarms being worn out and whatnot.

The ones we got, I thought were great being a combination unit of CO and fire alarms. Two types of beeps rather than the annoying talking ones, which I preferred - I can still tell the difference in the middle of the night, on NyQuil and groggy. I'll get to that later.

Anyway, first month or so goes by fine. Then I start getting false alarms like mad. For one unit it was always the fire beep. For the other, the CO beep. The fire one was easy enough to figure out - sniff around, if nothing smells like it's burning, we're good, shut it up, go back to bed. For the other one, it was a bit more of a pain. Open the windows, make sure the furnace isn't on (thankfully on an ignitor, not a pilot light, so when it's off, it's off), open the oven to look down and check the pilot flame (since unfortunately it IS on a pilot light), check the burners to make sure everything's as it should be, shut the alarm up, shut the windows, go back to bed. Or, once when the alarm wouldn't shut off, pack up the cat, head down to parents' house, come back in the morning tired as hell.

After a few times of the CO alarm giving me false shrieks (because at that decibel level you can't really call it a beep), my dad came by, taught me how to check a 9volt battery on my tongue, and voila, I was now armed with the ability to shorten my checking time.

By now the alarm that always screamed fire when the battery died had gone kaput and given me the alert it was time to replace the entire unit (only maybe a year to a year and 1/2 after I bought the thing, and the first time I had EVER heard it actually chirp). So whenever the CO alarm went off, the first thing I checked was the battery. This cut down on my manic running around time, which is a plus since no matter when you change the battery, apparently there is some unspoken rule that says it must go off at 2am.

But about 2 months ago, it decided the battery was going to start draining every 2 weeks. I don't know if this was an issue with the alarm, the batteries, or both, but... I've lost a lot of sleep over the past several weeks, between alarms and allergies and whatnot.

Two nights ago, after I was already dead tired from allergy-related things waking me up, the alarm goes off again. Get up, check the oven, check the battery. Battery is dead. Go to put in another. Battery is dead right out of the box. Put in another. Go back to bed.

Alarm starts chirping.

And won't shut up.

Mind you this is now the only alarm in the house.

I decide it's not working right anyway, rip out the battery, and decide I'd rather sleep and risk dying of CO poisoning than get suck awake the rest of the night.

Of course, since I'm typing this, I obviously did not die. I now have new alarms (not the combination units anymore since apparently they only make the talking varieties now), of a DIFFERENT brand, with a 10-year guarantee.

And I will probably wake up tomorrow (assuming I ever fall asleep tonight) wondering why I wrote such a boring post.

Please keep in mind it's nearly 2am, I can't sleep, I'm very tired.... and forgive me. lol

Friday, June 05, 2009

Bromeliad

From what I have read, silver vase bromeliads are supposed to die off/never bloom or sprout again once they have sprouted pups.

Apparently mine is not aware of this.

I went to water it today, and there is a second pup plant coming off of it. After mom's success with leaving hers attached, I have decided to leave this one with the mother, rather than cutting it away. I'm running out of pots, after all.

Apparently bromeliads are not on the list of plants I have a strange talent for killing.

So far, I have killed ivy, one spearmint plant (which I think was sickly before I got it because my new one is going NUTS), corsican mint, an african violet (which was fine until I started watering it here - apparently does not like softened water), and probably several others I'm forgetting.

However, I currently have a peace lily, what now amounts to 5 bromeliads (two different species, and it's 5 if you count all the pups), a spider plant, some lucky bamboo, aloe, spearmint, peppermint, and a recently-added start of oat grass for the cat.

Oh! And the lavendar. Can't forget that. It's started spiking up, should bloom any day now.

I have no idea what's going to happen when I move - right now the plants are all in my front room, which gets a TON of light, and they love it there. it's the one room I'll miss when I leave.

Anyway, just moved the mint to a bigger planter. I'm going to have to repot a few things when I leave, that or buy my grandmother some new pots and planters. lol I've used so many of hers now...
Why are there suddenly two of me?

Because I have two gmail accounts, one I usually stay logged in at the desktop, one I stay logged into on the laptop. I use the laptop more, so I decided to add my other gmail account to the blog authors. lol

I wouldn't have had to add myself at all, except that since blogger and gmail are tied, I have to be signed into both with the same account at the same time, makes for a pain when trying to check my actual email and update the blog.

The other email account is just a random storage account. But it's where my original profile and all that is.

So now it looks like there are two of me on the sidebar. I can't seem to get rid of that to only show one, since I added the second profile to my editing permissions. If anybody knows how to fix that, let me know. I'd rather it just show my profile blurb like it used to.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Nice things

Well, I can't say that I never get nice things.

James came to visit this weekend, and brought this for me:





Suitable for burning both incense sticks and resins. I haven't put any sand it in yet, though.



Also, as a side note, it appears Panther has now been adopted. So glad the pup finally got a home.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Panther still needs a home!

I posted about this guy a while ago: http://fruitloup.blogspot.com/2009/03/panther.html

He's still at the shelter, and none of us know why! This is a great dog, absolutely sweet, a perfect gentleman - there is no reason he should not have a home yet.

I'd take him myself but I may be moving later this year so it's not a good time in my life to get a new dog.

I don't know whether people think he's "too big" (but big dogs are often more mellow, and you don't have much risk of this guy turning into a biter by any stretch of the imagination), or if they think he's too old (his muzzle may be graying but he's still got plenty of years left), or if they see he's missing a toe and freak out... which would just be silly.

But he really is an amazing dog, so if you live in the central Ohio area, or heck, are willing to travel there to see this guy, the Humane Society of Delaware County is having a special adoption event this weekend and they will be featuring him, along with bringing in dogs from several area shelters for the Adopt-A-Thon. The shelter will be open ALL NIGHT LONG for this event, so please consider stopping by, though I myself probably won't be able to make it.

For more information go to http://hsdcohio.org/

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Nice Day

Yesterday it was sunny, breezy, and over 80 degrees. No rain in sight, and I wanted to be outside.

By 10am I was out weeding the garden (by garden I mean that patch of dirt where my lavendar plants grow - I am a known plant killer, so there's not much I can keep and have it survive). Pulled all the thistles out, then took my grandfather's dog for a walk.

I even got my car washed. It still looks a bit beaten up, but it's not exactly in mint condition anyway. The standard rust around the bottom of the doors and whatnot that you inevitably get with a van that's over 10 years old, in a state that puts copious amounts of salt on the road in winter. This one's been fairly well cared for, though. And I'm fond of the old thing.

Spent the whole day going back and forth between inside and out - left the AC off and kept the windows open until evening when it finally got too hot and I needed to cool it down for sleep.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Well, another visit with James has come and gone.

I have a new shiny. lol Silly little thing: some pyrite he found in the driveway. But I find that sort of thing cool. I used to hunt for cool rocks in my grandparents' drieway as a kid. lol Still probably have some of the collection somewhere.

I'm not exactly hard to please in that sense. lol

Never quite seems like we have enough time with each other, but hopefully soon enough that will change. We're working on dragging him up to Columbus still. lol

Until then, the visits seem too short and too far between - we're both busy all the time and the schedules don't often mesh. Though it's better now that he's been able to make it up monthly. At least now when he has to go, I pretty much know when I'll be seeing him again. That helps.

And we've toughed it out so far, so we should be alright until he finds something that will let him move up this way.

After all, he's worth the wait.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dandelions

For the first time this year, I saw dandelion-filled yards on my way home.

I will admit, I quealed like a little girl when I saw them.

See, I've always been a fan of dandelions. While most people go out to wage war on them as soon as they appear in a yard, I actually find them pretty. Yeah, so they're a weed. But I've never understood the obsession with a perfect expanse of boring green yard. Those little spots of yellow brighten up the place. They are my first real sign that warmer weather is here, that summer's on its way soon.

Besides which, you can use them as a salad green. Now come on, how can you really hate free food?

Monday, April 06, 2009

Well this is new...

Uh... I think my cat might want attention.

She just crawled under the coffee table where I keep her brushes, and dug with her paw until they all fell out onto the floor, then popped out and stared at me.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

"Why goofing off boosts productivity"

Interesting read. And, well, something I've known all along. I do much better when I can multitask with something non-work-related. I can't do that at my current job, and it causes a lot of burnout.

I've known a lot of people who do the same.

Many thanks to the friend who showed me this article. Been wondering how long it would take for somebody to publish research about this.

Kangaroos

You know, it sort of boggles my mind... of all the animals at our local zoo that they don't let you inside the pen with... outside of the aviaries the only ones they do let you in with are the kangaroos.

Kangaroos can get pretty nasty. I'm really rather amazed no misbehaving kids have been kicked by one yet. I mean, it's one thing to get a light kick. But we're talking about animals that fight off their main predator, the dingo, by disemboweling it with their hind claws.

So naturally they let a bunch of screaming kids run around in there with them.

I really am amazed this has not ended in disaster yet. Though I have noticed for the most part the parents with screamy kids don't go in there...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Quote

Thought I'd share one of the better quotes I've found recently, posted, of all places, on one of those lol sites.

"If perfection was the standard for determining the right to live, none of us would be here."


To put it into context: http://ihasahotdog.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/cute-puppy-pictures-new-legs.jpg

Somebody said of this picture that they wouldn't call that "love". Since the person never responded to the questions of why, it was naturally assumed that this person thought the dog should be put down rather than live without its legs.

Full text of the comment:

"If an animal isn’t suffering and has a decent quality of life, there’s no reason to euthanize just become some people are bothered by the animal’s imperfect appearance. I’ve known a lot of animals with injuries or birth defects that make them look odd or even a bit scary, and there’s always someone who comments that the animals should’ve been euthanized even though the animals function perfectly well and obviously are happy. If perfection was the standard for determining the right to live, none of us would be here."


On that note, something I've heard over and over from articles written by veterinary professionals is that people always assume it's going to be so horrible for their pet when it's lost a limb. But what they don't realize is that animals don't have these silly social hangups about these things. They don't think "oh no, my leg's gone, what do I do now?" They don't have to worry that people are going to think of them differently. They may struggle at first, but it doesn't take them long to adapt and function almost normally. It doesn't seem to cause them the same sort of distress it does to humans. They just compensate for it and move on. So if something happens to your pet that causes a need for amputation, try not to fret. One less leg (or sometimes two) isn't as big a drawback as you might think.

On that note, some of the sweetest cats at the humane society have been missing a limb. They seem to get stuck there longer, though... which is a shame. Why should your pet have to be "perfect"?

Friday, March 06, 2009

Panther



Here's the petfinder listing (contact for HSDC included): http://www.petfinder.com/petnote/displaypet.cgi?petid=11556644

Panther is a brindle greyhound (full-sized, not the Italian greyhounds which are smaller). He comes about up to my waist, and is about 5 years old, but don't let the graying muzzle and large size put you off. 5 years of age is past that difficult "hyperactive" stage for most dogs, but it's still young enough to have plenty of good years in him. And he's not one to throw his weight around. Panther is very gentle.

As soon as I got this guy on a leash I fell in love. I have NO idea why he's been stuck there that long, all I can figure is they're either concerned about getting a large dog, or they see the grey nose and think he's too old. Which is a real shame. I started to walk with him, and unlike many of the other dogs who come in untrained and in serious need of basic training, Panther was very clearly leash-trained once before. He walked right with me, and if he got a little ahead (long legs will do that) and couldn't see me anymore, he'd stop and turn his head to make sure I was still following, and wait for me to get back beside him before walking again.

According to his profile he is good with kids, cats, and other dogs. He is low to mid energy - he'll go for a jog with you but afterward is perfectly content to curl up and sleep a while. Being a greyhound he would probably best as an indoor dog given Ohio's general climate - his fur isn't superthin but still not thick enough for him to be spending long hours out in winter. Besides which he very much strikes me as a dog who needs to spend a fair amount of time with his owner. Not all his time, but probably the sort to always want to know where you are. I've found I'm usually not wrong about these things, even when it comes to dogs I've only just met.

Though I'm not sure if Panther has separation anxiety, keep in mind that most, if not all, shelter dogs have a touch of it, at least when they are first brought home. Some have it worse than others, but definitely talk to the shelter about what you can do to alleviate it while the dog is adjusting to its new home.

I would take Panther myself if I could right now, but it's just not a good time for me to bring a dog into my life. So please, if you or anyone you know might like this dog, consider dropping by HSDC to check him out, and help him get a permanent home.

For those who have issues with kill shelters, I suppose I'll mention in case I haven't before or you're just passing by this blog without seenig my other entries, HSDC does not euthanize for space. You can find out more about them, and the animals up for adoption, at http://hsdcohio.org/

Spring at last

First nice day I've had where it was warm, not raining, and I had a day off. So I went out for a while.

Headed out to Westerville first, nothing fancy... just an excuse to get out. Finaly used the gift card to Coldstone Creamery mom got me for my last birthday. I'll tell you, you don't want to assume the sizes are as puny as they look and go for the big one. The containers are very deceptive. There's... a lot of ice cream in there... like, a lot a lot. The biggest size is probably enough for two people. I got halfway through it, probably shouldn't have kept eating, but I had other places to go and wasn't about to waste it - by the halfway point I thought for sure I had to be almost through it, but shoved my spoon down in and there was still plenty more.

Good ice cream, too. They've got this chocolate cake batter flavor... wonderful stuff.

Stopped at home depot to pick up some zip ties - needed one to attach my flag properly to the flagpole since that season has come again.

No, no country flags. I fly a jolly roger off my porch. Pirate flag to you landlubber types. :P A Jack Rackham for those who know the difference. Favorite of all the standard designs.

Headed off to the humane society afterward. Lots of calico cats there right now... a few puppies, quite a few nice dogs. I have a favorite there already, one I'd have taken home myself if not for life being too hectic for me to have a dog right now (moneywise, stresswise, and the fact that, if all goes well, I'll be moving in a couple months and it'll already be stress enough to introduce the two cats to each other without throwing a dog into the mix). More on the dog in the next post - he deserves his own.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Settling Down

Not sure what it is that has posessed me to do this, and hopefully James won't mind, but for whatever reason I feel the need to repost one of his writings from a few years back. Something I think that is worth reposting:

I’m at that age where a lot of the people that I know have either gotten married or are getting married. I look at some of the couples, and see how some of them will work, how some will fall apart (either amicably or explosively), and how some will feel obligated to stay with each other for the rest of their lives because they said “I do” for the wrong reasons. The funny thing is that people are starting to look at me and ask when I am going to do the same.

Are you seeing anyone? Is it serious (which always sounds like they’re discussing a disease that you are afflicted by. He has what? Is it serious?)? When are you going to settle down?

I take offense at this. The very notion of “settling down” annoys me.

Let’s think about this on a word by word basis.

First off, I don’t want to settle for anything relationship-wise. I want to be in a serious relationship because I feel passionately about the person. Saying I have settled is downright insulting both to myself and the person, if any, I choose to marry. It implies that I’ve chosen to spend my life with that person because I can’t do any better or that I can’t get what I want.

Settling is what you tell yourself that you’re doing when what you have isn’t really what you want; when what you have doesn’t make you happy but is somewhat tolerable.

I refuse to do that. I would rather spend my life alone or simply having short relationships rather than settling on something I don’t want for the rest of my life. I was very close to marrying someone I loved very much several years ago, and I can guarantee you that I wasn’t settling for anything.

The person I marry will be someone that I want to see when I first wake up in the morning and the last thing I see when I go to sleep. This isn’t to say that I want to spend every waking moment with that person, because I don’t. I enjoy my time alone, and I would hope that she would too.

I want to be with someone who stand with me and whom I can stand with. I don’t want to be with someone who uses me as a crutch in order to prop themselves up for whatever reason.

I want to be with someone who has opinions and a mind of her own; someone I find attractive not only physically but intellectually and in other manners that aren’t as easy to quantify.

If I ever meet anyone that makes me feel that passionately again, then we’ll talk about my getting married. Until then, I’m going to enjoy life for the sake of life; not for what other people think I should do.

Let’s face it: I’m 25. It’s been a long and interesting trip so far, but I have, in theory at any rate, many years ahead of me on the path that I walk. To spend them with someone that I don’t truly love is just wrong in my opinion, and it amazes and insults me that my family seems to think that I should find my identity in someone else.

Now, for the second part – down.

As if settling for something that you don’t want isn’t bad enough, settling down is worse. It says that you are not only willing to spend your life with someone you don’t really want to, but that you are willing to spend your life with someone so far below what you want that it’s not even funny.

That, to me, is one of the worst things I can think of doing not only to myself but to the other person as well. It’s insulting to think that I would be happy “settling down” or that the other person would be happy either considering that the way I felt would affect our relationship.

Let’s face it. Nobody else can make you happy. You have to be happy with yourself or you’ll never be happy at all. To look to a relationship for validation or happiness is just insulting to everyone involved.

Learn to love yourself first for both your accomplishments and your faults. Look at yourself realistically but also with a humble pride (for lack of a better word at the moment), knowing both what you see as positive and negative about yourself. Accept yourself for who you are. If there is something you don’t like about yourself, think about why it bothers you. If the reason it bothers you is good, then work on changing whatever it is that bothers you about yourself.

It’s not easy, but things which are worthwhile rarely are.

Once you get to that point, you probably won’t want to “settle down” either.


When I first read it, it was definitely a glimpse into the type of man I was starting to fall for... the man I now love more deeply than I knew possible. Even then, in what I suppose is typical girlish fashion, I was both intimidated by what I thought I had to live up to, and warmed by the prospect that if someday he ever did ask, that would mean I am all those things.

The world has changed so much in those 3 1/2 years or so... and in true fashion to how so much of my life has worked, much of the changes have come all at once, in little floods where suddenly everything's turned on its side and the view is completely different than before.

It's strange, reading it again now...

I'm not so intimidated anymore.

Then again, I think I've gotten a bit better at enjoying things for what they are, instead of obsessing over what they could be. Fussing over what wasn't happened yet. Not that I never think about the what-ifs, think of what could be, but everyone does that to a certain degree.

Visit

James was in town yesterday for programmery type stuff (yes, that is a technical term, thankyouverymuch lol), so I met him near Polaris and we spent some time out together for a bit. It was kind of nice to get *out* with him again for a change... usually lately we don't tend to have much time so it's spent hiding away in the house, watching movies and whatnot.

We opted for just wandering around the mall - he'd just spent a lot of drive time so didn't want to run around in the car again, and we only had a couple hours until he had to be at the MS building (which turned out to be right next to the mall so had we planned better we could have had a bit more time... oh well). We pulled into the parking lot, and sitting there was a limo.

Oh, but not just any limo.

This thing was, honest to god, Barbie pink with purple flowers all over it.

Turned out it belonged to one of the stores now attached to the mall... some sort of party spa thing for little girls (that age where they're still all obsessed with dressing like princesses and getting ponies for Christmas and the like). Which... kind of explained the pink but still, wow. lol

And I thought the pickup-truck limo I once saw was scary.

Later on we had a chance to spend the evening in - dinner wasn't fancy, just some of my leftovers (which, impressively, he survived - I'm no great shakes in the cooking department), kicked back and watched a movie...

He stayed until the next afternoon. Then after he left I ran over to my folks' house for movie night. One Hour Photo - not bad, though not as "omgthiswillscareyoutodeath" as people made it out to be. Then again, I'm interested in psychology, so "psychological thrillers" don't really get to me all that much, I guess. Criminal Minds I have to be careful about watching at certain times of the day, but I agree with my mom that it's more likely the combination of the psychological stuff and all the graphic gore and the like. Plus certain filming styles get to me more than others, I've noticed. The last I watched Criminal Minds, it was rather dark and grayed-out a lot of the time. It's interesting what color and light do to your psyche. One Hour Photo, on the other hand, was very pale and washed-out. Except for the photos. Intentional, I'm sure - the effect worked for the movie, but psychologically speaking, for someone like me that made it easier to watch without feeling the usual semi-panic of suspense.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Things I learned from the Karate Kid movies

1. An 80s high school is a very dangerous place. There are big gangs of karate-fighting bullies all over the place, and the school officials will just watch and not stop them from beating you up.

2. 80s high schools regularly employ paramilitary groups just to hunt down students and get them in trouble. Because, you know, a regular hall monitor is just a sissy.

3. There are no police in the 80s. Everything is street justice. Somebody tries to kill you? No cops, have to learn karate to stop them.

4. All elderly Japanese men sound like they have been chain smoking for like 90 years.

5. In Japan, people speak broken English to each other instead of Japanese, even when the flighty American kid isn't around to need to understand them.

6. If you choke some kid in public, everyone will just stare and not do anything about it. Because, you know, choking kids is perfectly legal in the 80s.

7. Underage drinking is okay as long as it's sake, not beer.

8. 80s high schools conveniently have bird cages on the roof in case you find some injured hawk you want to hide or something.

9. Mr Miyagi is the only karate teacher in the known universe who isn't an arrogant jerk.

10. Maintenance guys at seedy apartment buildings can afford really awesome housing. Also, apparently once they start teaching Karate for free they don't have to show up at work anymore.

11. Being a karate instructor is exactly like being a mob boss. You get your own posse who pushes everybody around so you can pretty much own whole towns.

12. Japanese thugs kick harder than American ones.

13. Rich guys have nothing better to do than get revenge on complete strangers.

14. Shop doors in California obviously do not lock. Otherwise how would Daniel be dumb enough to leave it wide open for the bad guys to get in multiple times?

15. No seriously, there were no cops at all in the 80s. Nor were there insurance companies, so if your stuff gets stolen, you're screwed.

16. I stand corrected. There are cops, but they laugh at you when a crime is committed instead of doing their jobs.

17. Nobody can hear your evil laughter if you do it behind a wall.

And of course, the most important of all:

Don't mess with the old guy. He can kick your butt.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Yay for dads

Over the years, my dad has been my car mechanic, my hvac tech, my general handyman, my carpet installer, my bad-weather chauffer, my "bad guy" when I had to give the cat pills, my GPS system when I got lost (5 times) on the way to and from Chillicothe to visit James, my personal shopper for the occasional car part (I've busted two mirrors in the last year - one because a rock flung at it out of a snowblower, the other because I had to choose between hitting some idiot edging over the yellow line into my lane and hitting a trash can - I chose the trash can)...
Today he was my locksmith. I no longer have to beat the bejeezus out of my door to get it to shut properly. Apparently the freeze and thaw finally took its toll and something shifted all wonky. But it's all fixed now, thanks to my dad, who is talented at all things handyman-related and mechanical. And electrical, for that matter - he wired the basement when they finished it off into office and guest room space.

That's admittedly something that's been nice about having the family right around the corner. I want to ove further away eventually, but right now, when I've needed their help, they've been there to help me out quite a bit. Dad especially, because I'm pretty much at a loss when it comes to fixing things. Yeah, okay, I can check my oil, refill my wiper fluid, tighten screws back, hang a picture on the wall, that sort of thing... oh and apparently some guys at Home Depot were impressed (or flirting with me, could go either way) for actually changing my own air filters for the furnace. But had I tried to fix that door myself it'd probably somehow manage to be off the hinges and laying on the porch by now...

Yeah. Many thanks to my dad. Fixer of all things.

Though thinking about it, my house would probably be about as secure with no locks... I have a good security system. It's called "nosy grandfather with a shotgun". lol We call it the "grandpa alarm". You're on my porch? He doesn't know you? Invited or not, you can bet he's gonna ask you what you're doing there. Reasons I had to make sure to introduce him to James. I could just imagine the reports of him having to chase off some guy who was hanging around my house if I hadn't.

Oh, the shotgun? Yeah pretty much every house around here has one. Coyotes and raccoons and all that. Yes, there's the occasional threat of rabies too. Doesn't come up often, but you need something around just in case. I think I've seen one rabid animal in my entire life. Freakiest thing I've ever seen... dad aimed a shot next to it to try and scare it off, dang thing didn't flinch. That was pretty much the final tipoff that there was something seriously wrong with it... first being that it was out in the middle of the day and WAY too close to the house.

And before you start in with all the hillbilly jokes, both sets of grandparents are originally from Appalachia. :P

Wow.... ramble..... I need to go find dinner.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Waitaminnet

Okay, some weatherman owes me an explanation.

It was supposed to be 40 today.

Why is the forecast now only set at 33, and the current temp at 20?

I was so hoping to make it outdoors today... maybe put in some volunteer hours at the humane society in the nice weather, which I haven't had energy to do in a while.

Looks like I'll be a shut-in for another day.

Weather.com says it's going to be almost 50 tomorrow. *glares threateningly* They'd better not be lying.

I am SO ready for spring.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Too cold....

Yes, I realize I haven't been posting.

Between snowstorms and dealing with work, and the fact that winter generally doesn't agree with me (yes, like so many others, I am prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder - reasons I'd rather not move any futher north than I already am, much as I like Canada) - well, I'm feeling burnt out. And not much is going on anyway, so nothing to report. Even my Twitter feed has been dead for a while.

So yes, I'm still here. I am just seriously contemplating dressing up as a bear and going someplace to hibernate for the winter.

However I am open to any offers that will allow me to afford to move to the Bahamas. Any takers?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Relief finally in sight

It is above freezing at last after a string of below-zero days.

Yes, I went outside. And about keeled over when I saw actual GRASS. Mind you, there's still a few places that haven't melted down and have a foot of snow on them, but holy crap there's actually grass in my yard....

Also, does anybody know of a way, besides spraying soapy water on the leaves, to stop moldy stuff from growing on your plants? Apparently I accidentally introduced a mold into the house (I think it came in on my mint plant... damn me for buying it at a grocery store instead of finding a good greenhouse) and I'm having trouble with some of my plants getting a little fuzzy. :(

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ugh

It's too cold to be allowed. Would you believe, when I woke up this morning and checked the thermometer outside, it was sitting at TWENTY BELOW ZERO???

Would somebody be so kind as to offer me a winning lottery ticket or some other such thing that will allow me to buy a tiny remote island in the caribbean somewhere? Or at least enough money that I can hibernate all winter, every winter....

I don't want to deal with Ohio winters anymore. Too cold.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Change of address

Right, so as James just pointed out, I forgot to change my listed address on here. The old earthlink one no longer works. New one is now at the top of the screen.

For those who use my OU address, it's still fine - it forwards to the gmail.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

So I come home tongight and my cat is yowling. This is fairly normal. I feed her, she stops for a bit. I get out of the shower, she yowls some more. Also normal, except her yowl is a bit hoarser, making her sound like her mother. I pet her for a minute. Then she follows me into the living room, more yowling, and insisting on being petted. Being a bit more demanding than is usual for my cat.

A little while later she goes tearing back and forth through the house. Now, I had been doing something so had pulled the stepstool out of my "guest room" which is more aptly the "junk room" right now since it has all the stuff in it I need to weed through and clean up. The cat follows me in, and finally I found the source of all her yowling and insistence for extra attention.

See, I had removed an old mirror off the wall (cheap thing, it was here when I moved in and I never bothered to take it down) because it was in the way of a new shelf I was putting up. And sat it in the junk room.

The cat walked up to it, staring and sniffing, then got nose to nose with her reflection and took off running again.

I had to turn the mirror around to get her to stop. *headdesk*

Yes, apparently Simba thought I had gotten a new cat to replace her, and was getting upset.