Thursday, September 22, 2011

Rattus norvegicus

Today, I picked up two new "coworkers."

Lina is a pink-eyed white.  She is fat, and cannot see very well, and will lick your teeth if you smile when she's sniffing your face.

Ingrid is an agouti hooded.  She is much smaller than Lina, and has tried to groom my eyebrows already.

Both of them are ridiculously adorable, and they both seem to think that carrots are fantastic.  Neither of them were too interested in having their photos taken.  These are the least blurry shots I could get with my phone.

Lina is busy stuffing shredded junk mail into their sleeping box.  Ingrid is trying to figure out how to run laps around the cage.

Tomorrow, I will make them a pink plastic sleeping box to match their pink hammock and pink feeder dishes.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Distracting myself from the cat's issues

I am very enthusiastic about Halloween.  This is the first one in 10 years that I've been living in a place where the dominant decorating scheme hasn't been red and green.  It's pink and green, and it's easy to hide the pink with black.  LET THE HAUNTING BEGIN!
Pink chair?  Mummified chair.  Scarab pillow to come.

Chest covered in Japanese antiques?  Chest covered in Spooky Things, including a glass skull, a few crystal balls, and a real spiderweb (it's the black oval thing on the right).

Tasteful floral arrangement?  How about a phrenology head in a mask and a goblin gazing into a crystal ball?

Here's the goblin.  His name is Derp.  I made him last summer at a sculpting workshop put on by the Frouds.  Yeah, those Frouds.

The curtains are about halfway done, using GothItYourself's no-show curtain technique (STILL GENIUS), and I have to get some upholstery pins to cover the other two pink chairs.  The couch is lavender-grey, and I have to do something to replace a very large Japanese painting full of pink peonies. I have a black canvas with the visible night sky painted on it, but I don't know if it's going to be big enough to fill the space.  I suppose I could paint two long skinny canvasses to flank it...  bats, perhaps?

Bats are ALWAYS appropriate.

When it rains...

A large percentage of my waking life revolves around animal waste.  Glamorous, I know.  At work, I am half-in-charge of our animal collection, which currently comprises 4 snakes of various species, 4 toads, a fence lizard, a bearded dragon, a salamander, and a tarantula.  All of them poop.  The ants love this, and will swarm their tanks almost instantly after one of them relieves itself.  Lately, the ants have also taken to eating snake sheds.  My morning consisted of changing out ant-infested litter while the shedding snake thrashed about trying to get the ants off her head.  I think I preferred it when they just ate poop.

This, however, is my main Waste Generator.  This is Gypsy.
Don't let his bedroom eyes fool you.  

Gypsy is old.  He's 12 or 13, I can't remember anymore.  Neither can he.  He's diabetic.  He has arthritic hips.  He hates my dog (the feeling is mutual).  Gypsy's bathroom habits are dismal at best.

He has an enormous litterbox, with nice low sides so he can get in and out easily.  It's in a place far from the dog, and he doesn't have to share it with anyone.

He hits the box about 10% of the time.  His main issue is that he barely gets in, turns around, and then pisses OUTSIDE the box.  He won't take the extra two steps into the box so that he actually hits what he's aiming for.  

My solution?  Puppy pads around the outside of the box.  Clever, no?

No.  He barely gets on the puppy pad, turns around, and pisses OUTSIDE the pad.  You prick, are you doing this on purpose?

His other favorite trick is to get into corners and pee there.  He's not allowed in my bedroom, my roommate's bedroom, either bathroom, or the office, because he pees in there every damn time he's there.

Every.  Damn.  Time.

He almost ruined the carpet in the den, until I found the miracle cure for cat pee on carpet- it's called 1-2-3 Odor Free.  They don't give me any compensation for promoting them.  I'm not a shill.  That shit is just magical.  However, I'm all out, and I don't get paid for a while.

I cleaned many boxes out of the corner of my living room, and now I'm terrified that he'll pee there when I'm not looking.  He already took a giant dump on the garage floor, about a foot away from his box.

Come on, man.  Are you sick?

I wonder what sort of weird karmic debt I'm paying off.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ch-ch-ch-ch changes

I am not a small woman.

I am 5'11" in stocking feet (and I have to prove it regularly.  "You've gotta be 6 feet tall!"  Nope, I am exactly 71 inches tall.  You're just shorter than you think you are.)  I weigh about 184 pounds at the moment.  That can fluctuate up to five pounds in a day, so I'm guessing.

I have been this tall since I was 13 years old.  I have not been this weight since I was 13 years old, although I have always been bigger than what the fashion mags would have you believe is normal.

When I was in high school, I was a swimmer.  I worked out somewhere between 2 and 4 hours a day during the season, and I ran around the pool deck in a Speedo like it was nothing.  I never watched what I ate, and I always had a little gut, which made me feel like a house compared to the girls who had Speedo bikinis and flat abdomens.  I weighed approximately 145 pounds when I was swimming, and about 155 pounds when I graduated high school.

Looking back, I realize I was overly harsh on myself, as most teenagers who spend their days in Spandex might be.  I looked fantastic, gut and all.  Granted, I still look fantastic, but there is more of me.

In college, I did not immediately put on the Freshman 15, as I was at a very high altitude, had no car, and lived on the third floor of a building with no elevators.  I actually lost a few pounds and had rather ravishing legs, as I recall.  By my sophomore year, however, I had a vehicle, I lived on the ground floor, and my body had adjusted to the lack of oxygen.  Pounds crept on.

I still looked fantastic, there was just more of me.

By my second senior year of college, I had finally been diagnosed with ADD, and was given prescription Dexedrine, which is basically speed.  The first month that I was on it, I lost 30 pounds because I forgot to eat.  I was told that it would be a side effect.  I don't recall feeling like I looked fantastic, I just recall having to buy a lot of new clothes.  Fortunately, it was a "pink year" for fashion, so everything I bought was just adorable.

I looked fantastic, but I was too busy feeling like I was finally in control of my own brain to notice the body it rides around in.  Also, I had a pretty amazing haircut at the time, so that's what I was aware of when looking in the mirror.

The appetite-suppressant side effect dwindled, and I put all the weight back on, plus some.  A fondness for food paired with a disdain for exercise caused more pounds to creep into my flesh.  Despite having a relatively active job, I managed to hit the 200 mark before my 30th birthday.

I looked fantastic, but I was starting to not feel fantastic.  Perhaps this was too much of me?

My knees, wrecked on a long-ago backpacking trip, started to complain about my lack of muscles and the weight they were having to carry around.  I halfheartedly switched to diet soda.  I paid attention to what I was eating. In an unrelated incident, I adopted a large Poodle, who needs a lot of exercise.  I managed to drop down to about 175.

I looked fantastic, and my knees weren't complaining as much, either.

For my 32nd birthday, I had submental liposuction and a chin implant.  My double chin is (was?) genetic, and was getting worse, and I hated any picture of myself where I wasn't posed in a really contrived way.  So I had it vacuumed out, and I don't think about it anymore (unless the implant hurts, which it does from time to time, especially if I've been sleeping on my face).  However, not being able to chew for a week and a half brought back all the usual eating habits, and I put all the weight back on within 7 months.  Bad habits, and all that rot.

By the beginning of 2011 I listened to my angry knees, which were now joined by my angry ankles, and started paying attention again.  By May, I was back down to about 180, which is the threshold for ankle pain, apparently.  Then the cat tried to die, and then the dog tried to die the weekend after that, and the stress of two terribly sick animals paired with the stress of work woke up all the bad habits again.  Mindless mindless mindless eating.  There is no reason a human should consume as much food as I was consuming.

So here I am again.  Back on the calorie-counting, mindful wagon.  It's not very fun, but it's probably better for my poor, yo-yo'd body.

Still fantastic?  You best believe it.  Although, I'd look better if I wasn't so damned tired all the time.  That's a separate issue.

This time, I think I'm going to switch tactics.  I need to overcome my hatred of exercise, because I'm pretty sure that's 70% of what my joints are complaining about.  They'd like the support of muscles, please.  Yes, I should still pay attention to what I'm cramming in my eatin' hole, but this isn't about weight anymore.  Now it's about strength.  I used to be terribly strong, and now there is no difference between "relaxed" and "flexed."  It's all just.... mooshy.

They say that it helps to commit the goal to paper.  Well, I'm committing it to Google (>waving to the Google Overlords<).

I'd like to be able to do a real pushup.  I've never done one before.  Ever.  Even in high school.

I'd like a visible bicep.  I had a visible tricep once, and I'm pretty sure I could do that again, but I never had a visible bicep before, and I'm thinking it might be sort of amusing.

I'd like to be able to not think about my knees or ankles.

I'd like my belly, when I'm sitting, to stick out less than my boobs do.  It's making my pants uncomfortable.

I'd like my inner thighs to brush up against each other less, because it makes skirts an uncomfortable sweaty mess, and tights just don't work on me.  They're all too short and I run every pair I wear.  Not every skirt looks right with leggings.

I think these are reasonable, healthy goals.

I bet a bicep would look fantastic.