House of Ciar...

view from cobalt

The year 2002

January, 2002

Well, Seattle was an absolute bust: I hated it. Met a few really cool people there (Hi Doug!), and got a better idea of what I DON'T want out of life, but that's all. Damn, but I am glad to be back in California!

We moved back to Northern California as soon as we possibly could...we are now dreaming of buying some property (like, 2 acres) and building the kind of house we NEED on it. And it must have a reptile house. :-)

July 6, 2002

Where to start...I've been busy, caring for critters and attending school, and trying not to let my insanity destroy me or anyone around me. TTK and I have decided that we LOVE northern California, north bay area, but we can't afford it--the commute time for a tech job is brutal, since most of them are in the East Bay. :-(

Our lease is up in the fall, so we're looking at moving to Santa Cruz--again. Santa Cruz is a great place, although getting to be a little crowded (she complained, as she plans to move back ;-)

TTK and I just celebrated our 4th marriage anniversary in June...4 years?! How the hell did that happen? It's amazing--every day we learn a little bit more about each other and how to work with each other a little better. It hasn't been smooth, but we're surviving. And growing :-)

Okay, enough mushy stuff. On to cornsnake eggs got caught in the Evil Fruit Fly Invasion of 2002, and so I only have 2 viable eggs left. However, they look really good, and hatch date is late July, so I've got my fingers crossed.

Crane, my Ball Python, is HUGELY gravid, and looks incredibly uncomfortable. I'm checking every day for eggs, but mainly I see her upside down in her nestbox, basking her belly towards the heat.

I now must admit to my addiction: I am addicted to cornsnakes. I know they're considered "starter snakes," I've heard all of the slams, but they are a hardy, intelligent, beautiful snake, and they're just really appealing. Besides, why do "expert" snake owners have to slam the easy to care for species? Makes no sense to me.

I just adopted a gorgeous snow and amel, both huge, and healthy. It's funny--my favorite morph is the anerythristic, and the striped (either both together in one snake, or variations of the two) and I have more amels and normals than anything else. Heh. But I love them all, so it's no hardship...I've named them Piro and Tsubasa, after Megatokyo characters...

Since we are moving to a much smaller place, with the intention of saving enough money to have a down payment on a house, I have decided to narrow the focus of my collection a bit. Namely, get rid of the kingsnake trio, as each needs its own cage and it will still be a few years before they are old enough to breed.

I am tapering back my rescue efforts for reptiles so moving will be survivable...have I mentioned how much I hate moving?

July 22, 2002

YAY!!! Crane laid her eggs!

Came home today to find Crane, one of my Ball Pythons, curled in an impressive tower that could only mean...EGGS!

I took a few pictures of the impenetrable snake wall, then touched her gently (getting a hiss and a slight movement to the side, revealing a part of a beautiful pile of eggs!

I REALLY HATE MOVING. August 1, 2002

Well, it's that time of year again--visiting family time. TTK gets to stay home and be Critter Care Dude whilst I run off to L.A. for 3 weeks or so...I HOPE everyone and everything survives, TTK especially!

Right now we are trying to figure out where we are going to live once our lease is up: Do we want to move back to Santa Cruz and be near friends, or do we want to buy a house further north of here where we can actually AFFORD to buy, and not just rent?

We are so conflicted--there seems to be valid pros and cons on both sides of the issue...

August 9, 2002

On one hand, I want to keep this a light, "what's happening here" kinda thing for friends...on the other hand, I want to let some of my darkness show, because when I read this it's so candy-coated and superficial, and doesn't really feel like me.

Before I actually thought I might have an audience, my insanity was quite evident in my words and now it's just so painfully normal. The intellectual speaks more easily than the emotional in front of other people. (sigh.) So I think I'll go ahead and keep this light, and put the deep stuff elsewhere. If you're interested, you'll find it.

September 7, 2002

Well, I'm finally back from Southern California, and not only did I miss all my critters, all my critters missed me. Oz laid eggs while I was in SoCal--she had come with me for the visit, as I didn't even know she was gravid! I would never have taken her if I had known...but all seems to have worked out and she's fine, and 6 of the eggs are fertile and cooking away in the incubator.

Boy oh BOY is the house a mess! TTK did his best, but a full-time job plus my full-time animal care job, plus staying sane and keeping the house clean was too much for him. No critters died, but cages were at that "growing aliens" stage...

September 20, 2002

Woo!!!!! Eggs hatching!!! Two so far! I am going to write up a page on how I allowed the mother Ball Python to incubate her eggs, but that will happen LATER. For now, if you wanna see pictures, click here.

I am madly running around trying to get my critters and supplies together for the NBHS Reptile Bazaar, which happens next weekend in Petaluma. For more info, go here. OOPS...currently this link is defunct as we're trying to find another server...

We (I'm a member of the Society) have more than 30 vendors coming, and I myself bought a table, so it should be fun--if I can get my act together in time, that is!

September 21, 2002

Another little nose has pipped...and boy, is their momma, Crane, watching over them! Every time I go over there she gets in that "I can bite you anytime I want" coil and WATCHES me! She's eaten 3 rats so far, and might even take another one.

September 23, 2002

I've got 6 total, out of 12 eggs. Three eggs went bad pretty much immediately, as they were on the bottom of the pile; 2 eggs made it almost all the way to full term before something went wrong; the final one hade trouble pipping, so I slit its egg but it never made it out. One other had trouble pipping, so I slit its egg too and it crawled off without absorbing its yolk.
I am writing this rather late so I am not exactly sure of the numbers, but I think that's accurate.

The reptile Bazaar went well, I sold a few things and got to schmooze with other reptile folk (I love talking critters and care and all, so this alone was worth it) so I came away quite happy.
I have still a bunch of stock left, both calcium powder and liquid, so I need to put up a shopping zone for people that are interested in the stuff I still have--and I sell it cheap, too!

October 22, 2002

Well, I need to get more regular on updating this damn thing...because it takes me so long, I then have too much to write down and I just summarize rather than going into detail on any one thing. Which is maybe good...

So I just had my eyelid cut open and the migrating gold weight repositioned. What am I doing with a gold weight in my eyelid? Well, I wanted to be damn sure that I could pay Charon...

I look like I have been in a barfight--not only did they cut open my eye, so my face is all swollen and red, but they also smeared a considerable amount of iodine all over my face, so I have these dark yellow streaks that set off the green in my hair nicely.

October 25, 2002

Well, I've slept for 2 days straight. The swelling has gone down, and the yellow has worn off, so I no longer look abused, but now it ITCHES. CONSTANTLY. Scratching, however, is a BAD thing, so I just try to pretend it's a contest of willpower. That, and tug on my eyelashes to get a "scratching" effect.

I've noticed that I like starting my sentences with "Well, ..." or "So, ..."
I've also noticed that I have a thing for ellipses...

October 27, 2002

Oh shit. I forgot to mention: we now have a puppy. A really cute puppy, but a puppy nonetheless.
She's a Chinese Crested, the Powderpuff variety...meaning she's tiny, but has hair. She looks like a little terrier, but she's not.

She's very needy....

I'm a cat person. I haven't lived with a dog since I was a kid, and I've never OWNED a dog. I thought cats were needy! This critter (her name is Willow) is glued to my butt every time I sit down, or under my feet, or sleeping on my tummy, or attached to me by at least a paw at all times. She stares mournfully at me when I am taking a bath. And, boy-o has she perfected the Pathetic Look! She's asleep next to me right now--if she could, she'd be in my lap instead of the keyboard. You can see pictures here if you're interested.

She lets me pick her up and sling her under my arm, and wave her around with one hand, and she'll even just give me the Look, and not squirm, when I touch her to the ceiling in our bedroom (over the bed, of course, in case she does squirm). Cats just don't have that willful submission that this little animal least, our cats don't (although we have some SERIOUSLY needy cats--all ours are rescues, so unsure of the love...).

She's only 6 months old, and when she got here (remember the trip to my parents' house in August? She came from there) 2 months ago, she was terrified of EVERYTHING for about a month. Our big neutered-once-feral-tomcat Sam, who we thought would tear her into little twitching pieces, instead adopted her as a somewhat dim young kitten that needed to be taught about the world. She learned fast that the other cats had no compunction about whacking her, so she figured out to stand BEHIND Sam as he ambushed another cat, and then delight in the thorough trouncing the other cat would get. She is learning to disembowel your arm when she plays, too.

Did I mention that she's needy?

She's NOT a night critter, which I find quite funny--she passes out hours before we do, usually ON or near me, and gives me the most outraged looks and melodramatic sighs when I try to move her or play with her once she has decided It's Time. She has a severe underbite, which just adds to her Pathetic Look.

Every once in a while TTK and I will look at each other and one of us will announce, "We have a DOG."

October 31, 2002

Happy Halloween!

I went and got all costumed up (decided to go with "Dead Goth Girl" look since that's what I have a lot of) and went to local mall's Family Halloween Night and showed off my snakes.

(The local herp society has a table there every time there is a family fun night, so I'm there a lot.)

I took Carybdis, my red-tailed boa, and she was a HUGE hit...
Literally as well as figuratively--she weighs about 40 pounds and is about 7 feet long.

My back is now killing me (she gets her name from Jason and the Argonauts mythology: She and her sister Scylla are named after two monsters that the Argonauts had to face on their journey--they aren't something you want to get caught between ;-)

Also took Cricktor, my ball python; The Collective, my sand boas; and 3 cornsnakes.

It was very fun--one guy stuck around holding Carybdis for as long as he could--and kept coming back. He could only speak a few words of english, but he managed to communicate to me that he REALLY liked her. He actually helped me by showing her off to other people, so I got to get out a few other snakes to show off.

All in all, a satisfying Halloween. :-)

November 17, 2002

Well, I've been kind of out of it for a few weeks here...TTK's job went POOF at the beginning of November, so we have been trying to figure out where we are going, where we are going to live, how we are going to pay for stuff, etc etc etc. NO PANICKING ALLOWED!

This is a short entry, 'cause I seem to be heading into a downswing on the polaris...

November 24, 2002

I have spent the last week hiding in bed. Hiding from the world. Hiding from me. Hiding from my body. This stupid, broken malfunctioning body.

For three months now, my Ulcerative Colitis (an incredibly UNromantic disease, let me tell you) has been acting up to the extent that I can't leave the house for very long, I have lost 20 pounds, I am anemic and in pain most of the time, and generally have not been having a Good Time. In case you're wondering what exactly Ulcerative Colitis is, go here.

Colitis is not exactly a disease you can talk about--there is a lot of shame and embarrassment that goes along with bowel disease and shitting. Last Tuesday I had the ultimate displeasure of a full colonoscopy...luckily I was drugged to the gills during the procedure, unlike the last 2 sigmoidoscopies.

Nothing like a camera stuck up your ass to change your perspective on life.
For the last one I actually got to watch the images of my own ulcerated intestines on a monitor, and see the little beaked metal biopsy scoop spring out and bite a chunk of my flesh. I would rather be drugged out of my mind, frankly.

The result? YES, I have Colitis!
Oh, and since I have had this disease for 8 years, I am now at risk of colon cancer...which my grandfather died from, whee. So biopsies were taken, and have been sent to the lab to be tested. I assume, since the Dr hasn't called me, that the results were negative.

Okay. Enough of that. TMI, TMI (Too Much Information!)

December 2, 2002

Wow. Talk about an interesting holiday weekend...hiding last week gave me the reserves to get through this week...

We had a really nice Thanksgiving day with some friends of ours, the Hendras. Gary barbequed a turkey, which was a novel cooking method to me, and much eating was had by all. Friends are good to have. :-)

Now the bad part: while we were there, our little puppy got hurt, badly. It took me a while to write this down (just cause the date says one thing doesn't always mean that's when I wrote it!) because while it was accidental, it was through stupidity, and I didn't want to write anything I would regret later. Willow's whole story is here. The more she heals, the more _I_ heal, and the closer I come to full forgiveness.

We're lucky to have them as our friends, and we're lucky too that they have integrity--they paid for her surgery to fix her legs...not many people would have done that, I think.

December 31, 2003

Woo! We survived another year! No nuclear war, no giant asteroid hitting the earth, no mutant-nuclear-waste earthworms, no total human annihiliation. Whew.

It occurs to me, whilst editing this file, that I have been writing in this "log" for a year now. I dunno why I even started it, or who would really care enough to read so in depth about me. I waffle between writing the nitty gritty details, and just wanting to give the "current events" version.

I mean really, am I writing this for me, or for you, my unseen audience?

Well, on to the entry...

Ever since I was a kid, my mother told me that "the most dangerous day in the world to drive is New Year's Eve!" even now as an adult, I just prefer to stay at home...which is exactly what we did.

Locally, there's some people who light some amazing fireworks out of their yard, so we just stood out on our back porch and watched...
it was quite romantic with the delicious fog and the streamers of light shooting up and exploding somewhere beyond our vision, then little sparks glowing down through the haze..all the while snuggled in TTK's warm arms, feet bare and icing to the planks of the porch...