Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I want to change my name

The destruction, pain, and loss are too horrible to comprehend. My heart is breaking for all the people and animals and trees, and I can't stop crying. My prayers are with the entire Gulf coast.

Pins and needles

I'm sitting here waiting for a call from the guy I'm getting my new ferret from. WAITING... not something I do well.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Every now and then...

I want to strangle him. Not so far as to kill him - just enough to make my point.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Ornamental trees

I sometimes think that my mind goes on some fantastic stream-of-consciousness voyages, and I'm just along for the ride. I've been so introspective for so long that I am probably overly aware of the distinctions between my self, my mind, and my body. My brain goes places and says/does things that I (my soul) have no control over and disagree with. My body does things that hurt me, and I do things that hurt it. I'm not trying to be melodramatic or overly serious (that's for another post), but I'm trying to explain how I can be so external to my thought processes, and amused by their paths at times.

I was thinking, as I frequently do, about perfumes. Chris expressed a CLEAR dislike of something I liked (but didn't love) earlier tonight - Yosh's Ginger Ciao. So I was thinking about other fragrances I'm enamored of that people have strong negative reactions to. One such fragrance is Alexander McQueen's Kingdom. I love cumin - I love the flavor and the smell, the fact that it's spicy without hurting my mouth... Many people smell B.O. when they smell cumin, which I kinda understand; but they hate it, whereas I love it.

That set me to thinking of other "dreaded" notes - some people dread the B.O. note, others dread patchouli, and there has been discussion on the frag board of the "dreaded Cootchie note". I've never smelled anything that evoked that connotation to me, but I'm sure something out there would/will. And since I was in that frame of mind... *other*... body smells popped into my head, which immediately sent me back to college.

Along the pathway between my college dorm and the dining hall (I went to a small school - only 2 dorms) there were ornamental trees. More specifically, ornamental pear trees. We all called them "Jizz Trees" because when they bloom in the spring, they are highly fragrant with what can only be described as a semen-scent. An overwhelming semen-scent. To the point where (maybe because of how many trees there were) it was gagging. I looked them up online, and found that they are Callery Pear trees, and they're notorious for this smell!

I can understand the layperson not knowing things, and accidentally buying an "ornamental pear tree" (the trees themselves are lovely - very gracefully shaped) at the local home improvement store and being unpleasantly surprised come springtime. But this is a science-based university, and small enough that someone outside the grounds staff would have had to okay these trees at the time of planting.

This agricultural faux pas is/was compounded by the fact that in a small courtyard that overlooks an integral staircase and pathway into several of the main lecture halls, someone had the brilliant idea to plant a female ginkgo tree! For those unfamiliar with the sexual dichotomy of this species, both genders grow tall and slender and lovely, with the uniquely shaped leaves they're known for. But the female tree produces fruit/nuts, which fall to the ground and leave a horrifically-scented, slimy mess. The fruit are not only intrinsically odiferous, but on the ground they also rot quickly and produce a dangerously slippery mess. NOT a good combination with slate stairs and sidewalks! Anyone interested in these trees really should research them - they haven't changed in something like 200 million years, there are lots of fossils of them, and they really are beautiful trees. But one really shouldn't plant a female tree, especially in a small but very public and well-traversed area! And as tall as the tree is, and knowing its location, I know it was planted back when there was even more administrative control over the grounds.

Again, I wouldn't have been so irritated by all this, except that this is a science-focused university! When I started there, the school was named Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science (PCPS). A couple years into my schooling, they wanted to broadcast the fact they actually had university status, and changed the name to USP - the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. Since pharmacy is largely plant-based, and since the school was originally only a school of pharmacy (the first established in this country, might I add *cough cough*) there's just NO excuse in my eyes for such stupid landscaping decisions.

All right - my stream-of-consciousness rant is over. I've needed/wanted to vent on this for a while, and since it popped into my head just now, I figured I'd deal with it and be done :~D

If you hear from me again, then I guess I'm not dead yet.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


My fucking uterus is killing me!!! I know I'm not ovulating (already had those lovely back-stabbing sensations last week). It's just cramping to be a bitch and make me suffer. Tell me again why I need a reproductive system?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Who keeps changing the damn rules?!?

When I first stole Goldie from my parents, it was because I loved her personality, and I wanted to give her a better life than that bowl my parents kept her in. I got her a nice 5 gallon tank, which was WAY bigger than her bowl, and she loved it. I also joined a goldfish yahoo group to be able to pick the brains of people who have owned goldfish for years. Almost immediately, I found out that the tank I had just gotten her was too small for any goldfish, but especially her type. She's a comet, and they grow up to 12 inches, and love to zip around at high speeds. The people in the group informed me that you need at least 10 gallons per goldfish, because of the amount of ammonia they produce, and the bigger the tank the better. Fine. I immediately bought a 12 gallon tank for Goldie, and "rescued" a betta from the horrid cups at the pet store to live in the 5 gallon tank (no point in having it go to waste!).

Goldie likes the new tank even more, but she's starting to outgrow it (she's about 5 - 6" long now), and she really needs a goldfish friend to play with. So I have embarked on my first no-buy (perfume, that is, and anything else I can stop myself from getting) EVER, and it's killing me! The plan is to get a 30 gallon tank with an eclipse hood, and a stand as well, over the next couple months. I figured the extra 10" in length (that's 30" long, total) would provide more swimming space, and the extra gallons would allow for another goldfish. I've gotten pretty psyched, and posted about my plans in my Goldfish group.

Well. Apparently, I'm not as good a fish-mom as I thought I was! I got a message from one of the members saying that I needed a several hundred gallon tank for Goldie, especially if I'm going to get another comet to keep her company! What the fuck?!? No one there has ever told me that the entire time I've been a member, and I've asked for advice several times. He suggested that in the meantime, I should get at least a 60 gallon tank for her. No one has since posted to the contrary, which means (in that group) that everyone agrees with him. So why the hell did no one say anything before when I posted my ideas and asked for comments and advice?

Chris and I are by no means poor, but a 60 gallon tank (or more) plus the stand, filtration system, etc. is a real investment. And although he's in favor of a large tank, and has actually wanted one since way before I got into fish, he doesn't want to get one now. We live in a townhouse, so there's not a whole lot of room for a big tank, and we're not sure how much weight the floors can take. Also, we don't intend to live here for many more years, and moving a big tank would be a bitch-and-a half. Not only would the tank and stand have to be considered, but also dealing with the water and getting it all set back up and cycled quickly in the new home (wherever that might be!).

So I'm just really pissed right now, at myself and at the situation. I don't want to waste money by buying incrementally larger tanks every 6 months or so, but I don't want Goldie in a tank that's too small - that can seriously harm a fish, and her species can live 20 years or more if cared for properly. I can't live with the idea of not caring for her properly. There's also the fact that if I tell Chris what I really think we should do and how much it would cost, he'll hit the roof. And most likely nix it. I want to pull my hair out!!!

Why can't we just win the fucking Powerball?

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Interview MEme

Katie had a kickass interview on her blog (seldomnicenowadays), and I figured an interview for me would give me some motivation to get going here, so I asked her to interview me. Here is the result:

1.) What is your favorite period of history to read about, and why?

Are you really making me choose ONE period?!? It's all so interesting, though it also depresses me (the vast majority of historical figures ARE dead, you know).

I've always loved reading about Colonial/Revolutionary America. It was such a hugely pivotal time in this country, and there was an *insane* back-and-forth of ideas and ideals. Plus, we're constantly re-discovering information, so it's one of the most detailed areas of history. Far enough in the past to be "foreign", yet recent enough that anyone who really wants to go in-depth has a wealth of information available to them.

I'm about to borrow a book from my dad that I gave him for his birthday (a) because it was on his wish-list, and (b) because I wanted to read it myself. The book is Paul Revere's Ride, by David Hackett Fischer, and it gives an in-depth look at Paul Revere's life and his involvement in the revolution and the culture around it. It also de-mystifies the famous "ride", while at the same time enlarging its significance, by showing just how big things were back then, and how many people were involved in so many aspects of the conception of this country.

And now I sound like a total history geek, when really I'm just a nosy chick who likes to read about any and everything in detail…

2.) Why did you choose ferrets for pets?

Short answer: my husband's family had them when he was younger.

Actual answer: a very true-to-Trina story. When Chris first bought our townhouse, I was still in college living in the dorm, and I'd come stay with him on the weekends. It was at the very beginning of the population boom in our town (which is still proceeding rather alarmingly), and there were fields stretching away in 3 directions around our development, which was just at it's beginning stages. As one might expect in such a situation, a denizen of the local wildlife made it's way into the house – a field mouse.

Most people would buy some mousetraps and let them do their job. A smaller number would buy humane traps and take the little invader back to the fields and set it free. Being the girl that I am, I of course went a different route – we bought a bunch of live traps, and also a hamster cage and accessories. When Mr. Mouse (as the mousie was dubbed) finally succumbed to the lure of the peanut butter in the traps, he became our first official pet as a couple. In hindsight, considering the mice I've seen in pet stores and their… *noticeable*… gender differences, it is now obvious to me that Mr. Mouse was in fact a Miss, but that was his name.

{Aside: Many who know me are aware that I often disregard the actual sex of an animal in determining its gender. For example, our youngest cat, Elcy, is a "she" and a "her", despite rather prominent testicles (soon to be removed). My take on it is that she's a pre-op transsexual waiting for her gender reassignment surgery. Anyone who *knows* Elcy can tell you that she's definitely a girl. So the Mr. Mouse thing is nothing out-of-the-ordinary for me.}

Mr. Mouse traveled back and forth with me to school, smuggled into the dorm in a duffel bag, to keep me company during the week – I had no roommate, as I do NOT get along well living with other people (it's a miracle that DH and I can cohabit harmoniously, trust me!), so there was no one to complain. My RA was a buddy, and he liked coming in to visit with Mr. Mouse so it was no big deal on that front either. Mr. Mouse, however, was NOT a fan of his new status as a pet. Being wild-born, he most probably dreamed of the open plains and plotted his grand escape every waking moment of the few months he stayed with me. In the end, he succeeded one weekend while we were at the house, and was free once more. I'm sure he was filled with joy and all kinds of crazy stories to tell his mousie friends when he got back to them.

I, on the other hand, was left with an empty cage and an empty dorm room with no furry friend to hang with in the evenings. A Trina without pets is no Trina at all, so we decided to go get a hamster or gerbil (since I already had the cage) to become my new little compadre. We went to a pet store nearby that's no longer open, but they didn't have any mice/gerbils/hamsters/etc. They DID, however, have a pair of baby ferrets, one white and one black. I had no experience with ferrets and no real desire for one, but Chris REALLY did, and he saw his chance and took it. He had the clerk take the black one out so we could play with him (the white one was spoken for), and of course I fell head-over-heels. He came home with us that day, I named him Harley, and thus began the ferret saga.

WARNING: If you don't wish to become the helpless owner of a destructive terror of an animal, you must NEVER play with a baby ferret!!! They are adorable beyond all measure, and have huge personalities that will enthrall you, much like a cult-leader. You will convince yourself that they're worth the effort and hassle (and they are a LOT of both). Worse, they STAY cute as they grow older, but it slowly becomes a different kind of cute, and you find yourself wanting another baby. You convince yourself that it can't be much more of an effort than you're already expending with the adult, so you might as well… If you choose to ignore my warning, PLEASE do two things: (1) a LOT of research; (2) get 2 ferrets at the same time, preferably litter-mates. They really need the companionship of their own kind.

3.) What was the first music album you ever bought, how old were you, and do you still listen to it?

I'm ashamed to admit this, but here it is – the first album I purchased for myself was Vanilla Ice "To the Extreme" on casette. I played the HELL out of it. And no, I do not listen to it any more. I think I actually taped over it at some point in the past, but it's been so long, who knows? I had albums before that, which other people bought FOR me (NKOTB, Men Without Hats, the Moody Blues), but Vanilla Ice was my first purchase.

And since I'm doing a confession here, I've got one more (last, I hope) musical skeleton to pull out and dust off: I saw Milli Vanilli in concert at the Delaware State Fair. That is all.

4.) Where your is your most favorite spot in the world to visit and why?

I'm not a well-traveled person, so my answer here won't be too interesting. My fave spot to visit is Rehoboth Beach, here in Delaware. Not the beach itself (*shudders* there are MUCH better beaches in Delaware), but the main drag and a few side streets for shopping. I've been going there since I was little, and it's one of those places with so much tradition from past visits that it's almost a ritual I have to perform. There are a few stores that I HAVE to browse every time: Abizaks, Scandinavian Occasion, Tideline Gallery, and Mizzen Mast. We always have a meal at Nicola Pizza, home of the Nic-O-Boli (insanely evil and delicious stromboli-esque dish). Finally, and, probably most important, I always buy a bucket of Dolle's caramel corn - the best in the multiverse - and some dark-chocolate-covered-strawberries from the Candy Kitchen.

Here's Dolle's - it's on the corner of the boardwalk and the main drag:

5.) Which US President was/is your favorite, and which one is your least?

I'm pretty young, and not well-versed with politics and specific presidencies, so I'm going with what I know. Favorite: Clinton. Least favorite: Satan… I mean W. Thank you SO much for not making me answer "why" on these! My head probably would have exploded.

Here's how the forwarding for this meme works:

Now, if you have a blog and you want to be interviewed, leave me a note in the comments that says, "Interview me, please."

I will respond by asking you 5 questions, but not the same as the above questions. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions and interview someone else in the same post or new post.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

On the road again...

I originally set up a separate blog for bitching and moaning about the little things that get on my nerves, but I decided that doing so isn't really authentic, so it's all gonna hang out here.

My husband is traveling for work again this week. I find it bitterly amusing that when I was growing up, I swore I'd never marry anyone in the military, the police, or who traveled for work. Not that I equate missing my husband during the week to wondering if he'll be killed on the job. I just always planned to marry someone who would be home with me the majority of the time. The concept of a husband who goes on frequent "business trips" was always synonymous in my mind with a cheater who didn't want to be at home. Yes, I've read too many trashy novels and watched too much daytime television. But I thought I'd NEVER be with someone who was gone so much. And look at me.

I think the worst part is that although I miss him insanely when he's gone, I have to admit that it's *nice* to have my own space every once in a while, in the comfort of my own home. How fucked up is that?!? Not that I've ever wanted to be codependent (though I suspect I have those tendencies), but it feels wrong to heave that little sigh of relief on those Monday mornings when he heads out. I'm a hermit at heart, which is part of it. And I love to keep my odd hours and do things when they strike me, which (for good reason) can drive him a little bonkers. So it's nice to have the house and critters to myself. I don't have to hear him chastise the cats for getting on the counter/table/tv/etc. (which I give them free reign to do), or complain about things piling up b/c I can only do housework in my weird OCD way. I can let the ferrets run around in rooms they're not "supposed" to, and fall asleep on the couch while they still have run of a good portion of the house.

It's also SO nice to feel so excited about him coming home. It's almost like in college, when he could only visit me on the weekends. We're by no means tired of each other (not sure that's even possible for us), but that anticipation and then pure joy when he walks in the door, that first hug and kiss and holding tight like we'll never let go again... I almost fall in love with him all over again that first time I look in his eyes after being apart for so long. Jesus, this is sounding lame. What am I, 13? But it's absolutely true, and I'm having a hard time reconciling with the idea that I'm ok with him traveling for work, when I fought the idea for so long.

Why don't I ever know how to end things I write? I've always been good at non-fiction writing, except for conclusions. I think I need a tagline... If anyone can suggest an alternative (and don't mind me using is) I'm certainly open, but here it is:

If you hear from me again, then I guess I'm not dead yet.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

It figures...

There have been MANY times when I wanted/decided to start posting here, but procrastinated (because that's what I do). Today is different, simply because I feel too fucking stupid to post this on the one message board I participate in, as this is not at ALL on-topic for that board and a topic I don't want to get into there.

I have no sense of proportion. On a small scale or on a large scale. Time, size, distance, importance - my perception of *all* of these things is beyond skewed. Not that there are any universal guidelines, but my judgement doesn't tend to yield the same conclusions that most other people I know arrive at.

So here it is:

I took the trash out earlier, and a moth got into the house when I came back in. I tried to catch it for a while to put it back outside, but it eluded me and eventually ended up on the ceiling, where it's still hanging out now. I've always loved insects so I'm not by any means objective, but I don't want to leave it there, knowing that if it starts flying around again my cats will kill it. Never mind that from a pragmatic perspective (a) there are plenty more out there, (b) there's no guarantee that it wouldn't die the moment I put it outside from some other cause, and (c) it will die in a few days anyway. My brain screams these things to me, but my heart and soul refuse to allow me to accept either as an excuse to NOT save it. I'm not quite to the point of busting out my ladder and a glass to get it down, but if it doesn't move before I get tired, I'm sure that will happen.

I feel incredibly dippy for feeling this way, while at the same time incredulous that there are so few other people who feel the same. It's a delicate, fragile, vulnerable living being who I cannot begin to understand, let alone condemn to a torturous death at the hands/paws of my predator friends. I kill wasps (I'm increasingly allergic) and mosquitoes (West Nile + pets). I own some leather accessories. I eat meat and beat myself up every day over it. The right-to-lifers who carry picket signs AND antibacterial hand gel from Bath & Body Works make me simultaneously want to laugh and cry. But in essence, I'm one of them. I am a hypocrite. I'm an awful mix of painful introspection and self-destruction, so I do all manner of things that I believe are wrong and then punish myself for. I can explain away the food things as part-and-parcel of my eating disorder, and I've already rationalized the few genus/species of insects I choose to kill. The rest I have nothing to say about, except that I'm incapable of governing myself and establishing moral guidelines I can adhere to.

There is chicken in my fridge, and a moth on my ceiling.