moiread: (CAT  • sleeping.)
#1: My mother's hairdresser is moving and has been shopping around for somebody to cat-sit for a few weeks in case her temporary in-between accommodations cannot also accommodate her cat. When my mother originally told me about this possibility awhile back, I tentatively said I could be the person the cat goes to during that time, if the cat is friendly and well-behaved, and I was being paid to do it, and all the food/litter was provided in advance. You know. Reasonable requirements.

Only my mom is my mom, which means she didn't think to tell me that it was definitely happening, and I was definitely the person the cat was going to, and it would start tomorrow. Until today, that is, when she said, "Oh, and tomorrow night we have to go pick up the cat."

She thought it was weird when I looked confused and asked, "What cat?"

Yeah.

I don't even know the cat's name.

So alright then. Guess I have to spend tonight cleaning and go buy a shelf tomorrow? (The shelf is to go about an inch above Eve's tank, so that there can still be air flow but the cat can't sit on top of the tank and terrorize the snake inside.)

#2: I have been helping my dad renovate my parents' basement. Again. This time we're just focusing on the main big room, which we sectioned off and built last time. The room is being converted into a rec room slash bedroom for my brother, who will live in it for the next year. (Or two, I suspect, but don't tell him that.) After that it'll become a rec room slash guest bedroom.

It's been nice to spend more quality time with my dad, and to work on a project that I can see actual physical progress on from hour to hour. I have needed a concrete project for some time now. (I had picked one up in the form of redoing [livejournal.com profile] soirenoir's web stuff, but then my dad was all, "BASEMENT. HELP. NOW. PLEASE. I ONLY HAVE A WEEK IN WHICH TO GET THIS DONE." But I'm glad to know that once my parents leave on Wednesday for their upcoming trip, I will have another concrete project to turn to.)

It's mostly done, but finishing it requires that my brother make decisions about what he wants his future apartment to look like, at least in basic terms, because he wants to start buying and decorating with the future space in mind, and yet he also wants it to look coordinated with the basement room for however long he lives down there. My brother is allergic to decisions, so I'm glad that he has the next three weeks of my parents' cross-country road trip in which to ruminate over the ones in front of him.

Apparently picking between three neutral paint colours is, like, super hard. Or something.

#3: Still no word back yet about the results of the second EEG. Tomorrow I start calling.

#4: I AM GOING TO FARTHING PARTY IN SEPTEMBER. I am so excited! I have made some arrangements with Tim and Mris, and negotiated with my budget, and made arrangements for somebody to cover me on the two days of work I'll be missing. Universe willing, nothing will implode between then and now. I sorely need a week in Montreal with gentle people. You have no idea.

#5: LJ seems so quiet lately, and not just because of the DDoS downtime. I feel as though everyone is migrating to other places, and I... don't much like it. I miss having my friends all in one place. I don't want to have to follow Dreamwidth blogs and Twitter and personal domain name blogs and Wordpress and Google Plus and Facebook and Tumblr. Some of those I just refuse to follow at all on the principle that I have only so much attention span to go around. And Facebook, at least, is fucking scary and does not deserve my patronage.

If you have moved somewhere, I suppose you're not likely to see this, but if you do see it, could you tell me where you have gone so I can decide if I have it in me to add that place to the list of things I have to go check or not? For some of you, I know where you've gone, but for others I have no clue.

Bonus thing: Speaking of paint! I have chosen paint colours for my own bedroom and bathroom. The former is going to be a bright apple green, and the latter is going to be either a rich magenta or a soft purple, depending on what fabric I can find for the shower curtain. I AM EXCITED! Alas, getting it done has to wait until sometime in September, when both cash and volunteer manpower will be more available. ;)
moiread: (SNAKE • eve the corn snake.)
...because she's interesting to look at and pretty much one of the only live subjects I've got to photograph at the moment.

I've been trying to get back into the habit of taking photos of things, you see. Unfortunately my crappy little camera is, well, a crappy little camera, so the technical quality isn't very good. (The two shots that I was actually excited about came out SUPER grainy, in fact. Wah!) And since I'm dead rusty, neither is the artistic quality; all I can do is kinda fake it with good editing. But it's good practice, so I'mma stick with it. And probably continue to post things whenever they're not too bad.

Warning: These photos contain a snake and, eventually, a dead mouse. The former is doing exactly what you'd expect her to do with the latter.

Behold: BIOLOGY! )
moiread: (SNAKE • butter python.)
Oh my god, you guys. I know that lately my LJ has been nothing but snakes, vibrators, and medical rants, and this post is totally not helping to break that streak, but I CANNOT CONTAIN MYSELF.

I went to Little Ray's Reptile Zoo to buy some more mice for Eve, because I got paid today and she needs noms.

(Token plug: Ray's is the largest, and one of the only, rescue operations in all of Ontario. All of their animals are rescues, apart from the handful of snakes that they breed every year to try to combat the number of people buying from shady breeders. They have recently expanded to include birds of prey, just because there was a need for it, and they already had some exotic mammals like marmosets and a lion cub. They take in pretty much everything that needs it, and I completely respect them. They are hands-down some of the coolest people ever. I buy everything I can from them, because they need the support, have awesome prices, and their feeder stock is guaranteed to be good-quality because that's what they feed the zoo from! ♥)

Not only have they re-arranged their store section to include a bunch of awesome display cages to try to get people's attention, but they have a bunch of black milk snakes (endangered in Ontario!) in them right now and ohhhh, so pretty.

But they had -- deep breath, try not to squeal -- BABY BALL PYTHONS. And you guys. Oh my god. You guys. They are so adorable I could barely contain myself. They were so tiny! And their little faces were so cute! You just don't even know. The guy running the store today took one look at my goggle-eyed expression and was like, "Yeah, gimme a sec, I'll pull out one of the ones we haven't fed yet. HERE ya go!" And plopped this little guy in my hand. And he was so lovely! Totally different from a corn snake, and not just in the obvious body type sense. He was soooo docile and social and mellow. Even the most mellow corn snakes like to keep moving, but these ball pythons were so totally chill. The one I carried around for half an hour making absurd cooing noises at (much to the employee's amusement) was just like, "S'up. I'mma wrap myself around your fingers and hang out on you all day, okay?" No skittishness about being handled whatsoever, despite being only a baby (when most snakes, even the mellow ones, are skittish), and SO PRETTY, OH MY GOD.

I've been wanting to get a ball python for like a year now, and this completely sold me. I want one NOW. Fuck not being able to afford it! Fuck not having any room for a second tank! BALL PYTHON. STAT. (Not really; I'm not irresponsible. But ahhhhhhhhhhhh!)

Sorry for the terrible phone picture, but it's all I had on me, and eeeeee:

moiread: (heh • kristen s.)
Eve had a bit of weirdness going on with the top of her head or something and I wasn't sure whether it was okay or not, so hey, photo. Easy diagnostic procedure! (Snakes are pretty much constantly moving, and like most creatures, they recoil if you shove your face right up in theirs. Also they tend to freak out if you grab them by the head to hold them still. So when you notice something weird on the top of your snake's head, your best bet is just to stick them in a container and take some photos and then go examine those. Because photos, by definition, don't move.)

Click me!



Verdict: A spot of rough shed, where the skin didn't come off entirely. Nothing terrible. If it doesn't come off properly again with her next shed, I'll just stick her in a bin full of wet rags and make her roll around in it for an hour. Then I'll very quickly scrub her head and make her hate me for a day. OH NOES.

Anyway. Fun fact! You know how when you try to take pictures of your cat or your dog, if you get too close, they will go OOOH CAMERA and shove their faces at it so that you can't focus?

Yeah.

Turns out snakes do it too.



I have, like, a dozen photos that look like this because she wouldn't stop trying to lick the lens. Dumbass. :)
moiread: (SNAKE • eve the corn snake.)
Eve shed this morning, and the resulting skin is 42" long. Holy crap that's big. She was like half that when I got her a year ago. She's still skinny, of course, though obviously not so skinny as to be underweight. She's just, you know, adolescent-lean. Everything she takes in is going towards growing. Can't wait for her to reach full size so she can get a little fat. Fat snakes make me happy!

Gotta go buy more mice. She needs feeding on Friday and I'm out. Also time to go up a size. Whee!
moiread: (BATTLESTAR GALACTICA • cards & cigars.)
I've been quiet on here, I know. I just don't have much to say. But even though it's gonna be boring, I guarantee you that, I'll try:

Cut for bullet points. )
moiread: (WORK • post-it notes.)
Figure out wtf I'm bringing to the NYE potluck. Go to the grocery store. Tidy the apartment some. Call dad for a ride around 1pm. Hit up Sears. Hit up the Virgin Mobile kiosk at Carlingwood, since I'll be right next door, to see if they have any Samsung Galaxy S phones in stock or if they're out too. Go to the post office to pick up my mystery package. Come home. Make arrangements with anybody to take me to Little Ray's before Monday, so I can get more mice for Eve. Continue reading Perdido Street Station. Take out the recycling. Grab a shower before bed.

PS: I finally borrowed the copy of Cherie Priest's Dreadnought, the third book in her Clockwork Century trilogy, that I got my brother for his birthday and have spent the last 48 hours in my armchair in the living room, devouring it whole. And oh, it was so so so good. More my style, even, than the first one, Boneshaker, which I also loved. I just loved this one even more. I didn't want it to end. Got to the last two chapters and suddenly realized there was only a tiny sliver of book left, maybe only twenty pages, and panicked. Want more! More, more, more! (Will see if I can find a copy of the middle book, Clementine, that doesn't require paying $60/copy from Amazon.com. Won't be more of Mercy's story, damn it, but it'll at least be more related characters in the same world, written as brilliantly. If not, I can wait until it comes out in paperback, which will apparently be at some point in 2011.)
moiread: (WORK • rainbow coloured pencils.)
(WARNING: Image-heavy. Also, I apologize for the shitty formatting, but I am exhausted and about to pass out on the keyboard, so I'm doing this real fast. I'll make it prettier in the morning.)

Tonight my brother and his girlfriend came over and we made Skittle vodka. It was awesome. We used this tutorial, and here is how it went...

So many fun colours! )
moiread: (SNAKE • eve the corn snake.)
Ages ago, I promised you guys a post about setting up Eve's new tank, complete with photographic evidence of how much she's grown. Other things kept getting in the way, but now it's time! My friends Frances ([livejournal.com profile] torrain) and John ([livejournal.com profile] theweaselking) were over tonight to pick up some stuff (they brought me delicious pork roast the other night and left me with a storage drive full of tv shows!), and Frances wanted to meet Eve, so she got to do that and feed her besides. It reminded me that I never did make my big post, and since I'm hard up for shit to do these days, I figured now was a great time to get on it. Because it's been requested of me and I know some of you are considering getting snakes of your own, I'll try to include as much terrarium-relevant husbandry info as I can. Feel free to ask questions, too, if you want.

So here goes! Remember that all photos can be clicked on to view a larger version.

You remember when I first posted photos of Eve and she was tiny? Like, small enough that she could hide under my keyboard? I took this photo about a week after I got her, but never wound up posting it:



Well, she let's just say that she is not that small anymore. )
moiread: (SNAKE • eve the corn snake.)
Chelle: Sometimes my snake is silly.
Chuck: What can a snake do that is silly?
Chelle: I was offering her a mouse, and touched her nose with it. She opened her mouth. I moved the mouse away, she closed her mouth. I touched her nose with it, she opened her mouth. We did this a few more times because it was amusing. At no point did she attempt to strike. That didn't happen until I held the mouse at viewing distance and wiggled it until she noticed.
Chuck: Sometimes I'm like that too.
Chelle: I'm guessing I hit some kind of automatic reflex.
Chuck: You could test it again next time.
Chuck: You should make a note.
Chelle: I totally plan to. I'm just a jerk like that.
Chelle: Once she'd taken the mouse, I left her to eat in peace. I got distracted, took longer than I usually do, and came back assuming I'd find her sitting grumpily in her bin, waiting to be transferred.
Chelle: Instead I found her stretched out with her head bent almost completely back over her neck at a truly terrible angle, her entire mouth and upper neck distended in a way I've never seen before, and she wasn't moving or breathing. Half the mouse was still hanging out.
Chelle: I watched for awhile just to make sure about the breathing part.
Chelle: So me being me, once it was clear she wasn't even breathing, I freaked out a little and used the tongs to touch her very gently and see if she responded at all.
Chelle: (Because if she had not somehow just managed to break her neck, don't ask me how but I wouldn't put it past her, me poking her would be really annoying.)
Chelle: She clearly rolled her little red eye around to look at me, wiggled a little, and then went back to lying there.
Chelle: After I got her bin turned at various angles for a better look, it became clear that she was having trouble with one mouse arm, and she'd managed to just kind of keep swallowing along the opposite side until the mouse was at a completely unmanageable angle.
Chelle: So she was taking a break.
Chuck: That kind of thing is considerably less creepy when you don't swallow your meals whole.
Chelle: A minute or so later, she started moving again.
Chelle: She very slowly, very carefully worked the mouse back out of her throat until she was back at the head, carefully inched her jaw sideways until it just enveloped the problematic arm, kind of slurped a little, and then very rapidly chomped down the mouse all the way to the tail and seemed satisfied.
Chelle: Then she twisted sideways and I heard a little crunching noise, and the sharp lump of problem arm distending her skin from the inside was no more.
Chelle: So I went to put her back in her terrarium, and she went halfway into her log hide and then seemed to decide she was too tired to go any further.
Chelle: She just kind of stopped and went bleh.
Chelle: I thought, "I know exactly how you feel."
Chelle: So, yah. Sometimes my snake is silly.
moiread: (SNAKE • eve the corn snake.)
Eve's been having a rough shed. It's been over a week, and she was still hiding out in her log, all pale and cranky. Then early this morning she came out and started doing the hunting prowl despite being basically blind, and since it's been over two weeks since she ate (because of the timing of her going into blue), I couldn't really blame her. So I watched her for an hour to make sure I wasn't confusing hunting with trying to start the process of getting out of her old skin, and once she gave up and went back into her hide, I took her out and offered her food. At first she seemed uninterested, which didn't really surprise me because I know most corns won't eat while in blue, but just as I was about to take the mouse away and put her back in her terrarium, she dive-bombed the thing and snarfed it down. I'm a little worried, because I know feeding corns while they're in blue can make them regurgitate, but when it comes to this kind of thing, I figure she knows what she's doing. Fingers crossed.

TEEHEE.

Sep. 3rd, 2010 10:58 pm
moiread: (facepalm • famke j.)
Heh. Clearly Eve enjoyed having two mice per feed and would like to go back to that, kthnx. I fed her one of her new bigger hopper mice tonight, doing the usual routine. Only when I went to gently tilt her out of her feeding bin and back into her tank, she would not go. My fingers were too distracting! She'd see one, head towards it with the hunting head-sway, figure out it was behind the semi-opaque plastic, see another one above it on her side of the plastic, head for that, get juuuust close enough to flick-lick it, and then snap her head back. Like, "Ew! Human meats!" She'd turn away, look around. Look back. See a finger. Head for it with the hunting head-sway, get just close enough to taste it, and then snap back. "EW. REJECTED." Rinse. Repeat. Finally I got fed up and had to unceremoniously upend her back into her tank despite her massive belly-bulge, because hello, I don't have all day here, Miss Thang. She obviously landed on her dignity, because as much as I am not one to anthropomorphize my snake, the way she flip-flipped herself back around and twitched out her coils looked positively huffy.

Silly snake. These hoppers are like three times the size of your head! You are SO VERY FULL OF MOUSE afterwards! But I will try offering you a second one next week anyway. Then I bet you won't even deign to look at it.
moiread: (SNAKE • eve the corn snake.)
Man, Eve is in blue AGAIN. She only just had her last shed on July 12th! Craziness! But I have been feeding her two fuzzies instead of one for the last six weeks, so that's probably why.

Er. Maybe I should explain that. She's getting too big for the size of mouse I had -- you can barely see a lump anymore when she eats 'em -- so I figured it was time to use them up and go pick a bigger size. Two mice was definitely not more than she could handle.

On the topic of getting bigger: Her last skin was 30" long! In contrast, she was only around 20-22" when I got her back in March. (It was hard to tell exactly with all the wiggling, and I didn't think to measure skins until later. Not the brightest bulb, etc.) That's a lot of growing for six months. Geez.
moiread: (dude • stock.)
Reformatted for people who don't use Twitter:

Chelle: Note to self: Small fuzzy mice explode in the microwave after just three seconds. Stick with thawing in hot water.
Jimmy: that's... valuable information. I will be sure to inform my cat.
Nat: I will not laugh I will not laugh I will not laugh.
Chelle: I forgot I'd meant to feed Eve two tonight, since she didn't get fed for two weeks, so I tried to thaw a second one in a hurry. FAIL.
Nat: Don't your mice have instructions on the package? Saying DO NOT MICRO?! ...or you buy in bulk?
Chelle: The place I buy from is a local zoo. They do BYO Bag mice for cheap.
Chelle: They are a reptile zoo/rescue/education center/summer camp, so I like to support them. But no, no instructions. I have common sense!
Nat: Ah, the commerical ones have warnings. "CAUTION: WILL ASPLODE"
Chelle: HA. Nice. I suspect they would have told me if I'd seemed uncertain/newbish. Or if I'd asked. But meat gets thawed in water. DUH.
Kevin: Well, on the bright side it's a mistake people only really make once? Usually. I hope.
Chelle: If there are repeats, it doesn't count as a mistake anymore. Then it's SCIENCE. But not in my kitchen, plz & ty. Terrible smell.

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