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:


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


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


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.