- Eating foie gras.
- Or chitlins.
- Air travel.
- Water travel.
- Space travel. (I am a land mammal.)
- Voting in favor of Constitutional Amendments that deny people rights.
- Writing a vampire novel.
- Writing a romance novel.
- Writing non-fiction about how to write fiction.
- Learning to swim.
- Diving, sky or deep sea. (See Land Mammal remark above.)
- Calculus class.
- Adopting a pit bull.
- Raising grandchildren.
- Delivering another pizza.
- Re-watching Lost.
- Having a body part waxed.
- Fake fingernails.
- Moving house.
I found this feather.
It was poking out of my pillow.
I delivered it and laid it on the dark blue spread. It was perfect and snowy and so so soft, nothing I’d expect to come from something so ugly as a chicken. But maybe it did come from a chicken.
Maybe it’s a metaphor.
From ugliness, perfection.
That’s what’s going on here, nothing much interesting…a whole lot of nothing much interesting, which is why I haven’t blogged for a while.
I can’t recall if I said before, but I’ll risk repeating myself. I’m taking four courses in school this quarter, Digital Illustration I, Typography I, Drawing II, and Organizational Behavior. That last one is about human relations and is eating my brain. The first one is eating my life. Drawing is interesting, but I’m so slow! I wonder if I’d be faster if I were younger.
Yesterday I was in the Mac Lab working on the
Godzilla Galapagos Guava project. There was a second year class in progress, so I had my earbuds in, but I heard the instructor say, “You all grew up with computers.” He’s about–guessing–ten years younger than I am. I tried to shoot daggers at him with my eyes, but apparently the eyedagger quiver was empty, or else just old and too decrepit to fire. Well that, or he just couldn’t see me all the way in the back row.
Dude. I grew up with three black and white tv channels full of snow, and a bakelite wall phone with a three foot cord. Nary a computer in sight. In fact, they put computers in my high school the year I went to JVS, and they were installing the computers at the JVS as I graduated. And honestly, having come to my smallish quantity of geekery late in life, I don’t consider missing out on those dinosaurs to be all that much of a loss.
Ok, so swamped with school work, and taxi work. I’m going to try to send (my youngest) Zor to driver’s ed next summer, so she can occasionally free me up by transporting herself places. Next year the school goes from quarters to semesters, and I’ll have to take five classes instead of four, so I anticipate everything that’s overwhelming this year to be even more so next.
Next up, hamsters. I had originally kept one hamster, Dmitri. When he died of old age, I let myself be talked into getting two, because dwarf hamsters are allegedly so social. And thus I ended up with ten. Two of the babies didn’t survive, but six did, bringing the total to eight. After much angst, I rehomed four, and kept four. The parents Zandy (male) and Lita (female), and two babies, Algernon and Rocky (both female.) Algernon and Lita co-habitated in the nursery bin, and Rocky and Zandy had their own cages. But Algernon had developed a habit of chasing Lita around the cage, which was bizarre in my opinion, because Zandy got his own cage because Lita was beating him up. (Rocky got her own cage because one of her siblings gave her a bloody nose.) Anyhow, on Saturday I ordered two more Dmitri-style cages from Amazon. And on Wednesday I found Lita dead under the bedding of her cage.
I have no idea why; there were no signs of injury.
On that day there was also an outbreak of excruciating personal drama I don’t feel right sharing (which might tell you something right there, since you may have realized I am the Empress of TMI.) And I received a rejection letter.
I know we’re not supposed to blog about those, but I mention it because, unlike other rejections I have received, this one stung, and I’m not sure why. No one rejection has ever hurt my feelings before. This was a form letter; it even said in the body of the letter, “This is a form letter.” There was nothing hurtful about the phrasing. I’m not sure if the sting came from the fact that this was an agent I particularly hoped to land, or from all the other events of the day, or because it was a camel straw, but it knocked me for an emotional loop. I found myself relieved to bury myself in my drawing class project.
So this blog entry has been open on my laptop for three days, and I have no idea how to close it. I finished my drawing project and my exam, but missed the quiz by forgetting what day I was supposed to take it. The new cages arrived, and the rodents are installed therein. There was another minor disaster (by which I mean a loss of time) when two of the new water bottles leaked and both new cages had to be changed again the day after the new residents moved into them. I have two extra cages now, and the inner voice that whispers, “HOARDER!” can just shut up, because I didn’t need cages until I needed cages.
These are the sweetest, mellowest hamsters in the history of hamsters. They are like powder puffs with faces. Pygmy tribbles.
So. My thoughts are distracted and fragmented, and I still haven’t figured out how to end this. I’ll just say, til next time, later, taters.
With a side of commas…
Yesterday, the day after cx-mas, I took Kelly to the vet because she’s been licking at her left front paw. Zor said it had been bleeding, but I examined the foot and didn’t see any evidence of that. In fact, I didn’t see anything wrong with it, and feeling around didn’t show me anything either, no glass, no gravel. I was puzzled, but not particularly worried, until Cobie started trying to lick it too. Then T-Moth touched her paw and she yiped. Kelly doesn’t yipe, even when Cobie steps on her, so.
We use a multi-veterinarian practice, mostly because Cobie gets carsick and it’s close. I like all the vets we’ve seen there, but this particular vet’s name is Wolf so I love her more. They took Kelly to the back to examine her away from me, which always worries me, and I heard Kelly whine a little. Then Dr Wolf said her claw was cracked down by the flesh where the claw grows out of the foot, and that it was very inflamed and painful, and she wanted to (asked if she could) keep Kelly for a while so she could give her a mild sedative, clean the area (mud season has dunlap disease this year; it’s dunlapped over the holidays) and treat it without traumatizing the poor thing.
After laying all that out, she stood there waiting and I got a faint impression that she expected me to say no, and under different circumstances I might have had to, or at least negotiate for a payment plan, but I still had a wee bit o’ student loan money hoarded back (earmarked for folders and printer paper) and so, even though I’m quite sure that’s not what that money is for, of course I said yes.
Well, first I asked, “How long are we talking here,” to which she replied, “A couple of hours, until this afternoon.” But I was already going to say yes before I asked, although leaving her there, without even getting to say goodbye, was one of the harder things I’ve done recently. Way harder than, say, a colonoscopy.
“Pick her up after three but before six,” Doc Wolf said.
So I went home. Zor had watched Cobie, which she reported mostly consisted of listening to him whine disconsolately. So I spent the afternoon taking down the cx-mas decorations and wearing him out so he wouldn’t be so POUNCEY when Kelly got home.
This neighborhood isn’t laid out in nice normal blocks, and I have nick-named most of the routes it’s possible for me to go; there’s the little block, the double block and now the triple block–not very creative, I know. I was ecstatic to be able to make it all the way around the triple block in spite of not having been as active as I should have been since school let out in November. I’d never tried the triple block before; once Tim had to come get me from the little block when my back went into spasm from Cobie’s relentless yanking. But with Kelly not along, I could focus on getting Cobie to not yank, and he did pretty well, only almost yanking me off my feet one single time.
There seems to be a rule in this neighborhood that asshole dogs all live in corner lots so you have to walk past them twice as long. Mom suggested that maybe living in corner lots makes good dogs turn into assholes, and that could be so, but I don’t think it’s true. Our corner neighbor has a nice dog we hardly know is there.
So after the walk, we played Cobie-fetch with the Kong Ballistic boomerang. Cobie-fetch involves a wrasslin match at the end of every fetch, until he arbitrarily decides to “gizzame it,” which is my version of “release.” Oh, and he only plays fetch in the house. Outdoors he just looks at you crazy, or waits til Kelly fetches and when she’s almost brought it back, takes it away from her and runs away with it. Anyway, we played in the house, a hundred pounds of moose galloping up and down the hall, for a half hour or forty minutes, whereupon he suddenly required a nap.
After that I got hooked into a marathon of Property Virgins, a program I very much enjoy but hardly ever watch. I think I got my fill for a while yesterday though! It was on until seven, and I only took an hour break to collect Kelly.
The vet’s office was packed, and it took them a while to get to me. Part of the delay was caused by a dog an elderly gentleman had brought in, a stray. She was beautiful, a border collie and/or Australian Shepherd and/or something mix. I don’t know how long he had her before someone suggested her have her scanned. Sure enough she had a chip installed, and there were records on file. Unfortunately her humans didn’t answer the phone and the chip company had to leave a message. But they did learn her name is Tina and is an escape artist who has disappeared before. So Tina will be going home soon, if she hasn’t already. And seriously, I was willing to wait a few more minutes to collect Kelly for this.
Microchips work. Keep your info updated!
So finally Kelly and I were home, and she was really cold, which I related to because whenever I am physically traumatized I suffer low blood pressure afterwards and that just makes me BRRR. So I cuddled her up beside me on the sofa and wrapped her in my hoodie, whereupon evil Oliver the asscat decided to pretend he didn’t know she was in there and walked on her. I knew she didn’t feel well when she ignored that insult. After about a half hour she warmed up and stopped shivering, bless her heart, and she was fine for the rest of the night, even reporting for begging duty at dinner time, although perhaps not with her usual enthusiasm. She refused to go outside without a human escort, but she did all her business. She also whined a little at bedtime, wanting to get in the bed with us, but she soon settled down.
Today she seems nearly back to normal. She is stalking the hamsters, whining for tortilla chips, and devoured her peanutbutter-encased drugs (anti-biotic and NSAID) with gusto.
She’s supposed to go back before Thursday to get her injury inspected, but I anticipate she will be back to her usual unsinkable self before then, bless her heart. We made good use of the time she was gone, but we really missed her for those couple-five hours she wasn’t here.
Forgive a moment of sap on my part: She’s my Kelly Doll, and I wuvs her.
So now I have eight hamsters and seven exercise wheels. Only Lita (the momma) and Algernon (the pup I suspected of having developemental disabilities) still share. Mostly they get along, probably because Algernon is so passive. I may or may not have mentioned that when she was a week old, I thought Algernon was dead, and actually removed her from the nest. A last minute blink saved her life.
Giving evil Lita credit where it’s due, she not only succeeded in raising six of eight pups in her first litter, she never rejected the oddball even after I handled it.
So, now I have Mom Lita and Algernon in one bin. Speedy and Jadis, both winter whites, live in the next bin. Then there’s one of the crittertrail cages I got used on craigslist, with nameless opal #1, and the other used crittertrail with nameless opal #2, who was the bully. She’s bigger than all the rest, including her father/uncle Zandy, and I don’t think she likes her new digs much. After Nameless #2 comes Rocky, so-named because Jadis gave her a bloody nose and I relocated her to Dmitri’s old cage. And then Zandy, the sweetest hamster ever, even more gentle-natured than Dmitri. His new white trim makes him look kinda grizzled and mussed, but he’s still adorable.
I’ve listed them on Craigslist and Petfinder, but I won’t give them away for free (unless it’s to someone I know) because I don’t want them to end up as snakefood. Intellectually I get that snakes have to eat, but my heart says, “Let ’em eat strangers.”
Some of these guys have personality. Jadis isn’t much one to fight, but the one time she did, she drew blood. I really hope she and Speedy continue to get along, because I am out of cages and room to put them. My husband named Speedy, who was a runt, but who zipped so fast on the wheel it was kind of hard to believe if you didn’t see it.
Unnamed Opal #2 picks (picked) at the others kind of relentlessly, but never did any actual damage. I gave her a wad of toilet paper to build a nest in her new cage and she immediately tried to drag it “upstairs” to the “petting area,” but she couldn’t fit it all in the tube. I opened the cage and moved it for her. Now she’s busily trying to drag it back down, and of course it still won’t fit through the tube.
Unnamed Opal #1 is a dedicated hoarder and comes to the petting area to be picked up.
Rocky does this wild thing where she leaps off the shelf in her cage onto the top of her wheel and rides it half way around, leaps to the top of her igloo, and then leaps again into the wheel. After a brief zoom, she gets off the wheel and climbs up the bars to the shelf and repeats the whole thing.
Zandy is a pudgy little guy who can’t be bothered to make a hoard. He usually ignores his igloo and sleeps in his wheel, or under it, although he’s in it now, and has turned the door opening so it faces away and I can’t see in. I’ve been trying to get a picture of him with his changing coat, but he’s not out and about much when the light is good.
Algernon is less passive than the little thing I almost discarded for dead. Living with her must agree with Lita, who is much calmer and more agreeable now than at any time since I brought her home. I wish they weren’t both opals; sometimes the only way I can tell them apart is to flip them over and see which one looks like she’s given birth, and who knows how long I’ll be able to tell that way? At least Jadis and Speedy are different sized. If I see them both at once, I can tell them apart.
And that concludes this episode of the “Overrun by Rodents Show,” ha. All I can say is, it’s a good thing they’re cute!
So I have this weenie yet butt-kicking cold, and then my back starts to hurt. It’s one of those sleep-injury pains that you wake up with occasionally once you reach a certain age. Every morning for the last three mornings my back (or maybe it’s my hip) has been a little owier than the day before. Then last night it woke me up at 3 a.m. I got up to pee–middle age sleep deprivation multi-tasking at its finest–and almost fell. Pain shot through my right hip and down my leg, which almost buckled. I was finally able to straighten and hobbled toward the bathroom. Stepping over dogs was suddenly a huge obstacle. When I sat to do do my business the pain flared brighter. When I got up, another bolt. When I returned to bed, lying down brought some relief–for perhaps 40 seconds. Then the pain started to build again. Stabby and shooty.
I gave up sleeping and read a while. After some time I started to doze. Mr Moth’s alarm went off–it sounds like a rooster crowing. Instead of turning it off, he had some kind of convulsion, like a fish dying on the beach. It felt like I might genuinely be in danger of getting bounced out of bed. Finally, finally he turned off the damn alarm…and went back to sleep.
And started to snore.
Never let it be said I have no self control. He’s still alive, right?
I read some more. Finally Mr Moth got up and went to work. I tried to use the extra bed space to find a comfortable position, and each shift brought relief but only temporary. I got up and sat on the toilet for about an hour. The seat pressed on the backs of my thighs and kind of made things worse but also eased the pain. Don’t ask how that’s possible, because I don’t know. The relief was welcome, but not sufficient. Around six a.m. I got up and took four advil. They didn’t help the pain, but maybe they helped knock me out after about another hour.
At eight-thirty some little dog started clawing my arm and whining. Making myself look bad, I harped at her to “Knock it off, dog!” But she didn’t, because she has a teeny weeny bladder, and what can she do?
Transitions are the worst moments, the rising and settling. Then the pain escalates into agony, and it doesn’t feel like an exaggeration to use that word. But, dogs. I want her to tell me when she needs out, don’t I? I hauled my agonized carcass off the mattress, stood gripping the edge of the long dresser, waiting for the spasms to ease. When they did, I hobbled to the door. Then came trial by baby gate. When I went to the kitchen for advil earlier, I’d stepped over it. I almost didn’t make it back over, either. Now I bent and grabbled the pressure bar that releases the gate.
There was a noise, like tearing. And a sensation, also like tearing, and also like rippling, across that place that might be the lower back or might qualify as upper hips. And then, pain. Blinding. It’s not just hyperbole. I yelled, and swore, and cried. And somehow, stood up. Since I still had hold of the baby gate, it pulled loose. Two dogs charged around me while I stood there with stupid tears leaking down my face. I saw them dimly through a haze of eyewater and excruciation, capering toward the back door.
I couldn’t put the gate down, because that would have required me to bend over again. Hell, it would have required me to move. I honestly don’t know how I put it down. But I must have, because I see it in it’s daytime storage slot. I followed the cavorting mutts and let them out.
Fabulous, I thought, leaning on the back of a kitchen chair. Now it hurts to stand. At least yesterday I could do that. And today Zor needs transported to her final final exam, and there’s grocery shopping to do among the throngs of people too busy and important to bother being considerate or polite, or heaven forfend, patient.
I made coffee. Instant, with microwaved water, vanilla creamer, and pumpkin pie spice, which I ‘ve been using in everything since long before it became the in thing.
I check to see if dogs have chow, and thank heaven one of their dishes is still full, because feeding dogs without bending over can be done, but I’m sure I’m not up to the challenge. I let them in. I take my empty-stomach pills and start for the office. At least I can walk upright now, I think, with only minor twinges. I remember Zor telling me, “Little victories, ma,” when I was in the hospital and had successfully brushed my hair.
I come in the office, push into the Cessna-like whir of five hamster wheels going all at once, creep to the table where I set drinks (none allowed on the desk with my laptop, nuh uh, Im a klutz and have a cat) and, bracing myself, bend to set the cup down.
It doesn’t hurt.
Praise the cosmos.
I sit, and that doesn’t hurt either. Well, a little. But more on the sitting than the transitioning, and only at manageable levels. I play some Sims Social, and I’m still feeling a little spasmy at the tailbone, but not too bad. I stand up, and that barely hurts either–mostly just achy and throbby, which I’ll take over stabby and shooty any day.
So, anyone want to guess what I’m thankful for today?
All but the last few straggly leaves have departed the tree in our front yard and lie on the ground in soggy unblowable clumps. It is now deer season in Ohio, where the deer cross the roads in herds, dying and dying and dying. Maybe it’s in memory of the fallen that my home state is deer colored now. By January or so we’ll have lost that and gone to plain brownish gray, and I’ll be starving for color of any kind. That’s when I’ll go to the dollar store and buy bunches of cheap fake flowers in primary and vivid secondary colors, and to the Goodwill for stray colored pillowcases.
No need to rush the season though. There’s still two blanking months of Xmas to get through.
I have a cold, but I made it through finals. It’s not even a bad cold, mostly a scratchy throat, mild congestion, and some coughing, yet I feel like crap in a cup. Which might be part of the reason why I’m having trouble figuring out what to do with myself. I went from having zero time to having all the time in the world and not knowing how to allocate it. So I sit on the sofa, undecided, and watch Fatal Attractions. Which is good, but I mean to accomplish more over winter break.
So here’s a condensed version of my to-do list:
Find X number of agents who accept queries in one of the genres godlight might be.Write X queries.
Send X queries.
Read godlight again for typos. (I’ve created an epub file for this, so I can work on the Nook. We’ll see how it goes.)
Clean out my school bags.
Clean off my desk.
Do something to neaten the hamster pit my office has become.
Choose a writing project. I’m waffling between Seldom and an old NaNo project with the working title of Standing Outside the Fire that’s been haunting me for years.
And…this will come as a shock…draw. In charcoal. I have an idea, and quite a lot of supplies left over.
Watch the Alien series with Zor.
I’ve never liked pancakes much. Oh, they’re not nasty or anything. I spent one memorable February snowed in with a toddler and when the bread ran out I made pancakes for those all-important peanut butter sandwiches. So it’s not that I hate pancakes. They’re too sweet and not filling. I’d rather have whatever goes with the pancakes, the sausage or eggs.
Mr Moth loves pancakes. Especially blueberry ones. Sometimes I buy–have bought, in the days before diabetes–him blueberry pancake mix, so he can make himself some pancakes of a Sunday morning.
Then came diabetes and the black hole of pancakes. Because suddenly, now that I couldn’t have any pancakes, everytime he makes pancakes, I hate him. Loathe. Despise. Resent.
I know this is unreasonable. I’m not angry when he eats ice cream, and I like ice cream. There are other things he has that I shouldn’t, and I’m not angry at him for those things.
(If I find out he had some pecan pie though, his days are numbered. Just saying.)
No, it’s not fair that he can’t have those things because I’m diabetic. You know what else isn’t fair? That I’m diabetic.
Anyhow. He ran out of syrup, and on the topic of purchasing more…well, we had a blow up. Over syrup. Yes we did. It was entirely my fault and I was completely unreasonable. Afterwards I was sorry–but still seething with resentment as black as charcoal and as cold as January on a doorknob. I tried to rise above it. We went to the store to get more syrup. And found sugar-free syrup.
Now I don’t want pancakes. I know I don’t like them. Maybe I could put a little of the syrup on oatmeal…but to be honest, I’m not sure where I put it.
I apparently missed all the radical cloud action Tuesday while I was having an MRI, which time I spent trying to decide what symbols to put in my Drawing I project, and what I might take to a Thanksgiving thing, if I went. I try not to whine on about the diabetes, because I’m determined that it should only make me feel bad physically and not attitudinally. But autumn is my season, and Halloween and Thanksgiving are–maybe were–my holidays. Also Memorial Day, but that isn’t really screwed up in the same way as Halloween and Thanksgiving, not being so much about candy and food in general.
I’m not a big candy eater, apart from the occasional PMS chocolate, or taffy. And I found both in quite delicious sugar free versions. (Although the sugar free salt-water taffy can not compete with the Laffy variety, nuh uh. It is actually good though, and not just meh, it’ll do. But there aren’t any sugar-free peanut butter kisses, or air heads, or any of the silly crap I normally indulge in this time of year. The idea of passing out candy I must not touch myself just bums me on a collosal scale. As for Thanksgiving? Its approach has made me realize I have to cooking identity anymore. Sure I can whip out a ham that falls apart at the approach of a fork, but baking has always been my thing. Like with the candy, my heart is not in baking pies and cobblers and jelly rolls and upside down cakes and puddings that I can’t have any of.
My non-dessert specialties are lasagna and chili, neither of which are all that appropriate for a Thanksgiving thing.
On a Thankful Thursday note, I am grateful for sugar-free Hershey’s Special Dark, and that the MRI is over. I wish I had seen the clouds. Yeah, there’s some self-pity going on.
Let’s ignore it and see if it goes away.
I bought a Nook Color, and I’ve been browsing the free books on Barnes and Noble’s site. It seems I have an inner agent…an underdeveloped inner agent, but she’s there, nonetheless, and I would like to find treasure in the self-published trash heap. This means sifting through a lot of trash. Some things that lure me to click through to the book description: the word dog or wolf in the title. Zombies. Lots of ratings (say more than 20) of three or more stars. A completely unexpected word in the title, case in point: Wendigo.
Things that just tick me off: When the wolf in the title is a werewolf. Vampires, period. How much self-pubbed vampire dreck does the world need? (In fairness, I am thoroughly sick of vampire non-dreck, and have been since Lestat became a rock star, barf.) A description that tells me nothing about what the book is about. A description with really atrocious lack of writing skills, by which I mean tense problems, grammar issues, spelling errors. When the author’s name is huge and the book title is small and unreadable on the cover thumbnail; if your name is Stephen King this works. If you’re Ann Smith, no. Actually I find it off-putting if I can’t see the title on the cover for any reason. I get that self-published authors can’t afford top-end graphic design, but making sure the title looks good should be a no-brainer. You collect enough of these strikes together in one place and it won’t matter if your book is Zombie Dogs in Wendigoland. I’m only human.
More tick-offs include when all the reviews say the same thing, which to nothing, and thus scream SOCK PUPPET. A couple of less-than-perfect reviews/ratings make the whole deal seem more legitimate to me.
Lots of these tales are really quite very much bad, but that’s ok. The people that wrote them don’t know they’re bad, and maybe someone else will like them. Meanwhile I will hunt on…in between school projects, one of which I should be working on right this second. ‘Til next time.
I bought Cobie and Kelly this Kong Ballistic:
(I didn’t get mine from Amazon, I got it from Jack’s. I was in there buying the equipment to set up a new bin for the hamster males, which product has stalled due to my inability to tell the boys from the girls. Unless they’re all girls… But anyway.)
I’m so excited!
Ok, this boomerang-type toy made of cloth, and it’s big enough for the big dog to play with no risk of choking, and small enough for the small dog to manipulate it easily. It’s soft enough to play fetch in the house without destroying things or hurting a dog who gets in the way of it. It’s heavy enough to fly the entire length of the hall (and into the office.) There’s room for two dogs to hold on at once for tug purposes, or to carry it back to me, at which time there’s a third “handle” for me to take hold of with minimal risk of having my hand accidentally CHOMPED.
There’s a squeaker inside each pod. It also allegedly floats and is washable; I’m not sure how that combination works out, but I bet if I throw it in with a load of towels it’ll get clean. It does come in other patterns/colors, but I just like purple.
Now here’s the part I consider SERIOUSLY COOL: It’s made in three layers. Two of them are ballistic nylon, meaning it’s made with the same technology they use to make bulletproof vests.
Bulletproof or no, I’m not letting them chew on it, because I paid a good bit for it (about $15, as I recall) and I want it to last…and it seems like it will. Kelly tried a couple of times to pack it off and rip its squeakers out, and to no avail. I have high hopes, and I had a blast playing with them. They haven’t had any indoor toys in a while because of their tendency to destroy everything in two days max.
The only downside I’ve discovered so far is that after a few rounds of fetch/chase/CHOMP, it gets wet and kind of icky feeling, but hey. It’s a dog toy. When you have dogs, the occasional wet and icky is part of the package.