Saturday, February 28, 2004

I just realized I spend waaaay too much time reading about reptiles, planning which ones I need to get next, etc.
Why?
I just finished reading One Good Thing, the part about the Glass Tower, and my first thought was:
HEY! The girl should get a bunch of Tokay geckos and harness herself to them!
Tokay geckos easily run upside-down on glass, thanks to the magic of gecko toes.

Someday, I will sucessfully make a link. Le sigh.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Reptiles aren't things, dagnabit!

I have a pet lizard. She's, a leopard gecko, to be precise. This little cutie (because she is very cute) has been to the vet twice in the seven months I've had her. Why? She's my responsibility! Many people, especially young people or their parents, buy reptiles as throwaway pets. They're not, and they're more work than people think- I have two cats, and caring for my leopard gecko takes much more effort than looking after the two of them.

Why? Cats and dogs are domesticated, and lizards aren't. They've only been kept as pets and bred in captivity for the past 30-40 years; that breeding has focused on color and pattern, not docility. Some animals, liked plumed basilisks (http://www.sundialreptile.com/basilisk-brandeau-4th.htm), have been captive bred for even less time. Reptiles, even those sold as pets, are still essentially wild animals. Some species can be tamed, some species can't. Even within the "tameable" species, some individuals will never get used to the idea, and some will even grow to like it.

People underestimate the amount of money that has to be spent on a reptile if you want to keep it alive. Necessities are: some sort of cage (usually an aquarium-type glass cage for ease of view and especially of cleaning, must be big enough along reptile's preferred dimension to establish a thermal gradient), a lid for said cage to prevent escapes, lights (UV for daylight animals- these bulbs run $30-$40 and have to be replaced every six months or so), heat in addition to lights as needed (ceramic heat emitters, under-tank heat pads, NOT HOT ROCKS!!!!!), thermometers (at least two, one at each end of your thermal gradient), décor items, substrate (varies depending on what kind of animal you've got), food (live bugs, fresh veggies, stuff to feed the bugs), vitamins, vet care, reference books (so you can tell when the lizard needs to go to the vet, as in the wild a sick lizard is a dead lizard), hand sanitizer (they can carry salmonella), and a spray bottle. This can run well over $200, depending on the species you're keeping and the cost of your tank (many pet shops will sell chipped aquariums at a discount- they can't hold water, but they're fine for reptiles).

If people want an easy and inexpensive pet, get tropical fish. Reptiles take work, time, patience, and perseverance.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

[Spell your first name backwards] Eoz
[The story behind your user name] It starts with a Z! C'mon, that's inherently cool! Actually, someone at Ms. Magazine's boards had my name, so I picked Zoe.
[How old are you?] 24
[Date of birth] 7/18
[Where do you live?] A little one storey house in Wichita, Kansas
[Occupation] Human Resources
[4 words that sum you up] Short, sweet, pleasantly nuts.

Describe your....

[Wallet] Black leather "granny" wallet.
[Key holder] I smile b/c I have no idea what's going on and a cloth Harley one with the key to the house I'm sitting on it.
[Jewelry worn daily] 3 rings, watch
[Pillow cover] Cream flannel.
[Coffee cup] Carnival Cruise Celebration ports of call.
[Shoes] Various dressy shoes for work, sneakers/boots/birkis on the weekend.
[School bag] I’m not in school
[Favorite shirt] $6 Dollar General Henley
[Favorite pants] Army green khakis with flared legs, big pockets, and button fly.
[Cologne/Perfume] Dior's J'adore.
[Piercing] 3 per ear.
[What you are wearing now] Black jumper dress, white shirt, white funky tights, black shoes
[Hair] brown
[Makeup] A little blush so I don't look like death warmed over.
[in my mouth] My teeth
[In My Head] I should be working
[Wish] Someone should give me lots of money
[Eating Habit] I graze.
[Some of your favorite movies] Star Wars, Whale Rider, Office Space
[Do you believe in love at first sight] Yes
[The last thing you ate?] French Toast Sticks
[Do you believe in love] Yes
[Do you believe in soul mates] Yes
[Do you believe in forgiveness] Yes
[Three cities you wouldn't mind relocating to?] St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, Boston, anywhere in Spain
[What are some of your favorite foods?] Paella, ice cream, Thin Mints with Cool-whip
Yes or No...

[you keep a diary] Just a blog
[you have a secret you have not shared with anyone] No
[you fold your underwear] No
[you talk in your sleep] Yes

Last...

[movie you bought] I don't remember
[song you listened to] Sinead O'Connor, "No Man's Woman"
[song that was stuck in your head] The Chicken Dance
[song you've downloaded] Don't remember
[CD you bought] 2 Sinead CDs- Faith and Courage and Sean Nos Nua
[CD you listened to] The Rising by Springsteen
[person you've called] My Mom
[person who called you] My mom
[TV show you've watched] The Simpsons
[Thing you said] Yup

...or...

[Black or White?] black
[Cats or Dogs?] cats
[Tea or Coffee?] tea
[Achiever or Slacker?] slacker
[Leader or Follower?] neither
[Beer or Cider?] cider
[Drinks or Shots?] drinks
[Single or Taken?] taken
[Matches or a Lighter?] matches
[Letters or Emails?] email
[Short hair or Long hair?] long

I want to...

[Go] on vacation
[Kill] No one
[Hear from] Susannah
[Meet] Jimmy Carter
[Look like] Me
[Avoid] All forms of housework
[Hug] J
[Kiss] J

[Loved somebody so much it makes you cry?] yes
[Drank alcohol?] some
[Done drugs?] no
[Broken the law?] pleading the fifth
[Ran away from home?] no
[Broken a bone?] no
[Cheated on a test?] no
[Played Truth Or Dare?] yes
[Flashed someone?] no
[Mooned Someone?] no
[Kissed someone you didn’t know?] no
[Been on a game show/talk show] no
[Been in a fight?] no
[Ridden in a fire truck?] no
[Been on a plane?] yes
[Come close to dying?] yes
[Gave someone a piggy back/shoulder ride?] yes
[Swam in the ocean?] yes
[Had a nightmare/dream that made you wake up?] yes
[Kissed someone of the same sex] no

Relationships...

[Girlfriend/Boyfriend] J, for nearly 2 years now.
[When and who was your 1st crush?] Mark Ackerman
[What do you first notice about the opposite sex] Mmm, shoulders
[Your idea of a perfect date] Something silly and fun.
[Name a moment that you thought was really sweet] J bought me a miniature PS2 controller so I could play Soul Caliber.
[Your first kiss] (real kiss) Dave (I can't remember his name).
[Do you have a crush] Hell yeah!

Are you a...

[Vegetarian?] Nope, but I try to eat very little meat.
[Good Student?] Yes
[Good Singer?] No
[A good Actor/Actress?] I don't know.
[A deep sleeper?] Yes, once I get to sleep.
[A Good Dancer?] Depends on the style.
[Shy?] No
[Outgoing?] Yes

From the Frogblog.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Cool words:
Spakle
Eerie
Topeka

I ended up having to get the injection of steriods after all. I went to one of those Minor Emergency Centers last night, told them my symptoms, and bam! ass shot! I hate shots, but at least I can't see them do it. And now I can breathe, although I do feel rather high.

Recommend to me...
1. a movie
2. a book
3. a musical artist, song, or album
4. a blog not linked to
5. what I should have for dinner
6. a website
and put it in a comment and then put this in your journal

From the FrogBlog, among others.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

It's really windy. My asthma is really bad today because of it- I've used my inhaler 8 times, at least. So I'm barely functional. Fortunately it should rain tonight, so I won't have to get a steriod injection.

Gah. I'm working on a post about how REPTILES ARE NOT THINGS DAMNIT THEY ARE LIVING BREATHING ANIMALS! But until then, here's a quiz, found via a link at the FrogBlog.

I'm Spain:



You're Spain!

You like rain on the plain, as well as interesting architecture and
a diverse number of races and religions.  You like to explore a lot, but sailing,
especially in large groups, never really seems to work out for you.  Beware of pirates
and dictators bearing bombs.  And for heavens' sake, stop running around bulls!
 It's just not safe!

Take
the Country Quiz at the href="http://bluepyramid.org">Blue Pyramid



Alternately, I am Togo!



You're Togo!

Small, quiet, and very insecure, you could hide in just about any
crowd.  Even a crowd of one or two people.  Even though you're virtually
anonymous anywhere you go, you could have been wealthy if people hadn't mistreated you
and taken your money.  This is probably most of why you're insecure.  But
some people who study you hard think you're cute, so maybe you should try to open up
a little.

Take
the Country Quiz at the href="http://bluepyramid.org">Blue Pyramid



And I'm Jurassic Park!




You're Jurassic Park!

by Michael Crichton

You combine all the elements of a mad scientist, a brash philosopher,
a humble researcher, and a money-hungry attracter of tourists. With all these features,
you could build something monumental or get chased around by your own demons. Probably
both, in fact. A movie based on your life would make millions, and spawn at least two
sequels thatwouldn't be very good. Be very careful around islands.



Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

Friday, February 13, 2004

http://www.catra.net/critters/goat1.jpg

If that's not cute I don't know what is.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

My Mother

I want to write a little about my mom. Why? I'm bored, and I haven't seen her since Christmas.

Sharon Osborne would be my mother if she was married to a British rock star. My mom swears only slightly less than Ms Osborne. They even have the same haircut and vaguely elfin look about them.

My mother's dream job would be to drive a dump truck. Not just any dump truck, mind you, but a purple one with flames on the side. If I ever win the lottery, I will buy her one and a large chunk of land on which to drive. This would make her happy. Mom's actually a nurse in a neonatal intensive care unit. I was born a month early (4lbs) and unable to suck. Ever since, that's what she's wanted to do. She went back to school when I was 12 and my youngest sister was 5. She got her associates, passed the RN exam, and continued for her bachelor's. Her goal was to finish her BS before I finished high school, and she did it by a semester.

Mom did home health mother-baby visits for a while. She liked that. It was scary sometimes, when she would go to the inner cities, run-down rural meth towns, really violent areas. She would have to pass groups of tough-looking men with knives, guns, etc, on the way to the houses. They would step aside, call her ma'am, thank her for what she did. She was the first female graduate of her nursing school to not wear the stupid little white hat. If the men didn't have too, she wasn't going to. No-one since has been required to wear it.

Her other non-hospital job was as a school nurse. She did sex ed there as part of her job. She had to follow the school script, which was only a step above abstinence only. However, the word got out that if you wanted the real information, all you had to do was ask. She kept Planned Parenthood cards in her office, in case any student needed help. She worked at the school for about a year, then went back to the hospital for the money.

So now she's back there, taking care of babies and mothers and fathers, easing the discomfort of the babies and comforting the parents, reassuring them everything will be OK, and having them over for dinner. She sees healthy but small babies (feeder-growers), babies with birth defects, drug babies, alcohol babies, babies that are wanted, babies that are given up for adoption, babies whose mothers wanted to abort them but were talked out of it or couldn't afford it and now look forward to a life of poverty and abuse, since most of those mothers were using substances/in abusive relationships/abusive themselves/abused as children/extremely poor/already have 4 or 5 kids/can't afford birth control.

And that's why mom's pro choice.

Oh, the place's I've been:



create your own visited states map
or write about it on the open travel guide

Thanks to Jasper for the link.



create your own visited country map
or write about it on the open travel guide

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

I had comments. Then I changed the template and now they're gone. Sigh. I will have to put them back in.

I have a question. If you don't have a commercial driver's license, why the heck would we hire you for a CDL position? Gah. That was 5 minutes of my life I'm never getting back.

Here's a slightly edited email survey I filled out.

1. FIRST NAME: "Zoe" is my internet name

2. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE: My mom

3. DO YOU WISH ON STARS: Nope

4. WHICH FINGER IS YOUR FAVORITE: Pointer fingers

5. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY: Back in March of last year was my last big cry

6. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING: I am neutral towards it. It gets the job done.

7. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT: Vegetarian pastrami

8. ANY BAD HABITS: Playing with my hair and picking my cuticles.

9. WHAT IS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING CD ON THE SHELF:
My taste is impeccable. Besides, I sold all my bad CD's years ago!

10. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS
WITH YOU: Sure. I'm wonderful.

11. ARE YOU A DAREDEVIL: To a certain degree. If the payoff it worth it.

12. HAVE YOU EVER TOLD A SECRET YOU SWORE NOT TO TELL:
Only to J or my cats

13. DO LOOKS MATTER: At first sight, but (hopefully) people can move past them.
14. HOW DO YOU RELEASE ANGER: Get crabby and pick fights with J.

15. WHERE IS YOUR SECOND HOME: My parents' house, Consuelo's apartment in Madrid.
16. DO YOU TRUST OTHERS EASILY: Until they show me they show me they're not worth it.

17. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TOY AS A CHILD: Legos
18. WHAT CLASS IN SCHOOL DO YOU THINK IS TOTALLY
USELESS: Chemistry

19. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL: I have a blog (obviously).

20. DO YOU USE SARCASM: Me? never.

21. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN A MOSH PIT: Of course.

22. WHAT DO YOU LOOK FOR IN A GUY: Mmm...shoulders, eyes
23. WHAT ARE YOUR NICKNAMES: Zoe
24. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP: No
25. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF:
Yes. I have narrow feet.
26. DO YOU THINK THAT YOU ARE STRONG: I'm stronger than I look

27. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR:
Fudge

28. SHOE SIZE: 6.5

29. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE COLORS: Navy, dark red

30. HOW MANY WISDOM TEETH DO YOU HAVE: 2 have come in, 1 is just sitting there, and one is currently coming in

31. WHO DO YOU MISS MOST RIGHT NOW: My mom
33. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW: My coworker Jorge singing. It's bad.
34. LAST THING YOU ATE: Frosted Mini Wheats
35. LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE: Some random person looking for someone who does not exist.
36. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT THE OPPOSITE SEX:
Shoulders!
38. HOW ARE YOU TODAY: OK. My sinuses hurt, though.
39. FAVORITE DRINK: Water.
40. FAVORITE ALCOHOLIC DRINK: Mudslides
41. FAVORITE SPORTS: Baseball
42. HAIR COLOR: Brownish
43. EYE COLOR: Brown
44. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS: Glasses
45. SIBLINGS: "Zelda", 20, and "Zenobia", 17.
46. FAVORITE MONTH: April
47. FAVORITE FOOD: Paella
48. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED: Secret Ballot, an Iranian movie. It was good.
49. FAVORITE DAY OF THE YEAR: My birthday.
50. ARE YOU TOO SHY TO ASK SOMEONE OUT: Not if I'm drunk enough.
51. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS: Happy endings, if I have to choose.
52. SUMMER OR WINTER: Winter. You can always put on more clothes, but at some point you're just naked and sweaty.
53. HUGS OR KISSES: Both!
54. RELATIONSHIPS OR ONE NIGHT STANDS: Relationships with the fun of one-night stands
57. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING: Stitch and Bitch
58. WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD: "Fellowes." Black and boring
59. FAVORITE BOARD GAME: Trivial Pursuit.
60. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON TV LAST NIGHT: Scrubs
61. FAVORITE SMELLS: Cookies, pies, Dior's J'adore, barbeque
62. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE
UP: Oddly, Rubbermaid containers.

Ha! Now I have comments! And on the first try! I'm so good.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Obviously, I discovered blogging from work. A whole new way to waste time!

The Dante's Inferno Test has sent you to the First Level of Hell - Limbo!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
LevelScore
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Very Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Very High
Level 2 (Lustful)Moderate
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Very Low
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)Moderate
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Low
Level 7 (Violent)Low
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Low
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante's Inferno Hell Test


Your fate has been decided....
You are one of the lucky ones! Because of your virtue and beliefs, you have escaped eternal punishment. You are sent to the First Level of Hell - Limbo!
First Level of Hell - Limbo

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Charon ushers you across the river Acheron, and you find yourself upon the brink of grief's abysmal valley. You are in Limbo, a place of sorrow without torment. You encounter a seven-walled castle, and within those walls you find rolling fresh meadows illuminated by the light of reason, whereabout many shades dwell. These are the virtuous pagans, the great philosophers and authors, unbaptised children, and others unfit to enter the kingdom of heaven. You share company with Caesar, Homer, Virgil, Socrates, and Aristotle. There is no punishment here, and the atmosphere is peaceful, yet sad.

Acknowledging my privilege.

Privilege, in this context, essentially is being treated a certain way because of inborn/outward characteristics. This is something I've been meaning to do for a while- get all of it down, on paper (so to speak). So, here it is: The List of Zoe's privilege:
I'm white.
I'm from a middle-class to upper middle class background
I'm straight.
I'm naturally thin.
I look "normal"- I look like a woman "should."
I'm not disabled.
I suffer from no disease that would make it hard to get health insurance (well, except for asthma).
I'm currently middle class.
I went to college.
My background is Christian, even though I'm not.

What does all this mean? Well, since I'm white, I'm less likely to be targeted by the police or security agencies than someone who is African-American or Hispanic or Asian. My middle class, vaguely Christian upbringing assured me that the people I saw on TV looked like me, acted like me, dressed like me- society is centered on people like me. Well, the male version of me, anyway. Since I'm straight, my relationships can be legally recognized, and I can hold hands or kiss my partner in public without fear. I'm thin (NOT petite- I hate that word!) in a fat-phobic society, and because I look conventionally female, I don’t have to worry about transphobia. I'm fairly healthy- no crippling medical bills for me! My education assures that doors will open for me.

I won't say I'm not happy about all the benefits that I get simply for being who I am, but I wish more people got to share in them simply for being human.

Monday, February 09, 2004

More How to do Stuff: Gutloading Feeder Insects!

Feeder insects are bugs raised with the specific intent of feeding them to something else- in my case, a leopard gecko. The two most common feeder insects are mealworms (which are actually beetle larvae) and crickets. Mealworms are good because you can keep them in the fridge, where they can live for months without turning into beetles. Crickets allow your animal the fun of chasing them down. However, if you don't "gutload"- feed nutritous and vitamin/mineral rich food- your bugs, your animal won't get any real benefit from them.

Here's how I gutload my mealworms.
1. Buy mealworms. Sift them out of the wheat germ they're in and set aside.
2. Put 1 part Repti-Cal and 1 part Herpti-Vite in the bottom of a container with a secure lid. Exact directions on the jars- the amount depends on the size of your container. Mine's a plastic jar with a screw on lid that used to have washed river rocks in it, and I use a teaspoon of each powder.
3. Fill the container about 1/3 of the way with mult-grain baby cereal.
4. In a mortar and pestle, grind 4 generous pinches of fish food flakes to a powder. Add this to the container, put the lid on, and shake to mix.
5. Add the worms.
6. Add more cereal so the worms are covered and the jar is about half full.
7. Put a slice of apple/potato/some other moist fruit/veggie OR a wet paper towel on the top to provide mositure.
8. Let the worms eat for at least 24 hours at room tempurature before feeding to your animal.

Periodically sift the bedding/food to remove shed skin or clumps, and to keep track of how many worms you are using.

Saturday, February 07, 2004

I have always disliked Valentine's Day- even when I have an SO, like now. It's so...commercial/fake/forced. Although that doesn't stop me from going out and buying J a present. I like buying presents. It will probably be a fish tank to keep our future Bearded Dragon (Trog Dor) in.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Part one in a series: How to do Stuff!- How to Make Pizza Dough!
You will need: two bowls, one of which should be oven-safe, a wooden spoon, a clean towel, measuring cups/spoons, water (1 cup warm) flour (2-3 cups), a packet of yeast, salt (1/4 tsp), sugar (1 teaspoon) and olive oil (2 tablespoons).
About 5 minutes before you start mixing, turn your oven on to 250 degrees. Warm one of your bowls by running hot water over it and dry it out. Empty the packet of yeast into the bowl. Add the water and sugar. Yeast likes sugar. Stir it up. Next, stir in one cup of flour until smooth. Then add the salt and olive oil. You can also add spices, such as garlic, at this point. Stir it up until slimey and gooey. Now, add the rest of your flour. It's best to do this a half-cup at a time. This is the trickey part. Add enough flour that your can handle the dough, but it should still stick to your fingers. For me, this is usually about 2.5 cups. At this point, turn off the oven. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 10-15 minutes. The dough should at this point be smooth and not absorbing more flour. Get your other bowl. Pour some more olive oil in it and smear it around to cover the sides. Roll the dough ball around until it's covered in oil. Cover the bowl with the towel and put it in the oven. Let it rise as much as you want- more risings give a finer texture.

The good thing about pizza dough is that even if you screw it up, it's still tastey. I've been making it since I was 12 or 13, so I have a good idea of how to tweak the amounts as I go.

Monday, February 02, 2004

I got to push a car out of ditch this weekend! It was great! It was in Iowa! Don't you wish you were me? My friend Cat and I drove from Wichita to Iowa City to visit her cousin and stop off to see my sister on the way back. We got there at about 3am on Saturday morning, got up at 7, and went to bed at 8 on Saturday night. Left the cousin's at around 8am on Sunday, drove to my sister's college, took her to breakfast, and set out. At this point it's barely raining. All is well until just past Osceola- between there and the Grand River exit. We hit a patch of ice in the left lane, skid forward and sideways towards a semi, miss the semi, spin around some more, and wind up in a ditch with the car perpendicular to the road.