Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Monday, July 25, 2005

A Pond in Our Living Room

Yesterday we finally got a huge new tank for our turtles. Red-Eared Sliders can get aggressive when they don't have enough space, and Edamame had been pursuing and nipping at Aubergine for weeks. We began to get worried when we noticed her sharklike focus on stalking him, and that he'd taken to swimming with only his front legs, tucking his rear ones and his tail into his shell so they wouldn't get bitten. Finally, M saw one day that Eddy had taken a piece out of the back of Aubie's shell, and he was bleeding. "That's it - I don't care what we pay, I'll put it on my credit card. We have to get these two a bigger tank!"

So, for a week our poor chelonian friends had to hang out in about 10 gallons of water each in the little tank, separated by a divider. Eddy was clearly frustrated in the tiny space, and Aubie was depressed. He was skittish after being hauled out and dry docked for a while as part of his wound treatment, and then he was separated from his beloved Aubergine. He'd spend hours just looking at her through the divider, pining and pathetically trying to do the mating dance at her. Of course, she was on the other side, trying to bite him through the divider. Call it the call of the wild or sheer teenage male persistence, Aubie never seems to stop pursuing her, even when she's had enough of his harassing her and takes a bite out of his hide. Sigh.

Anyway, after more than a week of figuring out what we needed, if it would fit in the apartment, how to set it up and how the heck to get it here before we go on vacation, I happened to ask the local Petland Discounts if they had any aquariums in stock - hoping just to get another small one for the interim - and was taken to the basement, to find a complete 90 gallon tank and stand right there! We had been told that we'd have to order a tank through them, it might take a week or two to arrive and it would be delivered to us from the warehouse on a Thursday only, with just the driver there to help us out if he was feeling nice. Now I figured that if I could find a good, cheap local moving company or men-with-a-van, our turts could have their new digs within the weekend!

And so it went. M paid for the tank (and a number of accoutrements) and I bought the filter, which is due on Monday or Tuesday. We found some terrific moving guys - JB moving - through a site I found called citimove.com. I was thrilled to find this site, where you not only can read reviews of local movers, but describe your move and get them to bid against each other on it. Jonathan from JB was a real sweetheart, and they only charged us $95 (plus a good tip) to move about 300 lbs worth of unwieldy, fragile glass tank and stand up through narrow, curving stairs to the fourth floor. Not only that, but they set it up and took the time to adjust it so it was perfectly level for us (an important factor in protecting both the floors and the structural integrity of the tank). I could not be more pleased with these guys, and if you are considering moving, I heartily suggest you check out citimove and consider hiring them for your job.

So, now our little lovelies have a huge space to do their turtley things in. I cannot believe how huge this thing is - it's nearly as tall as I am and equally as wide, weighing in, when filled, at about 1000-1500 pounds (and yes, we did research on how to place it so our 100+ year old floors could support it, so it shouldn't kill the downstairs neighbours). It really is like having a full pond in our living room, and very entertaining to watch the turtles swim around, climb on the tiki head ornament and try to eat the plastic plants and flowers (did I mention they have tiny, tiny brains?). We'll probably be watching much less t.v. with this thing around.

The bad news is, Eddy started stalking Aubie a bit again last night. They were so excited to explore their new territory (and, on Aubie's part, to be together again) that they seemed happy to be close, but now she is nipping again. I can't entirely blame her - despite the grreater space, Aubie hangs on her like a lamprey, constantly flirting with and irritating her like some kind of miniature, green Mars Blackmon. Now she's got that sharky, dead focus in her eyes again, so much so that I remarked to M "they're gonna have to change the expression 'doggedness' to "turtleness."

We'll see how it goes. We can't possibly get a bigger tank in this apartment, and we'd hate to have to separate them, or adopt one out. It may help when we install a bigger basking area with dirt to dig in, which we intend to do when we get back. As for now, M is needling me to keep trying to talk Eddy out of attack mode. It's not always easy talking with one's own animals, even if one is a professional animal communicator. Emotions get in the way, and the fact is that Eddy has always been a tough cookie, barely tolerating us, while Aubie is much more outgoing. I thought I was going to fall out when I got a simple message from her after exploring the new tank: "thank you." So, there's a bit of pressure involved in trying to actually get some behaviour modification out of her through A.C. Being nervous is not conducive to the task, so I hope M will be understanding. Can't we all just get along?

Anyway, that's the story for now. More later, and I will try to get some photos up soon.


- The Turtle Whisperer(?)

Monday, July 11, 2005

Pissy Day

I am in in mood today, chilluns. Not only is my bleeding back, but I tweaked my neck again somehow last night - while just lying down - so my neck and shoulder are back to killing me again. This would be annoying enough, but I was trying to reach someone who could give me advice at my new doctor's office for most of last week with no success, as he was out of town. I tried to do the traction early in the week, but that's what first brought the pain back a bit, so I stopped. So, after ditching a doctor who I couldn't reach in a bad situation he caused, I go to a new doctor... only to find him unreachable!

So, now I've had to do all kinds of re-scheduling with my dentist and my gyno's office because my last blood test came out wonky, and I've set an appointment to see an expensive endocrinologist based on my new theory of what may be causing a lot of my health issues (M has seen all the evidence, and also thinks this diagnosis is highly possible), but I still don't have any information or appointments to get my neck in better shape before my vacation. And, if it doesn't improve soon, I may have to cancel that vacation, which has me very, very upset, let me tell you.

Anyway, just had to vent. The doctor is supposedly going to call me back tomorrow, and M will be coming for emotional support to the endo visit (therefore, oh so regrettably, having to cut her office outing to Rye Playland short). In the meantime I am stewing, avoiding the formidable heat outside and trying to keep some positivity goin' up in here. It's a good thing I have a Reiki appointment this coming weekend.

I am sure I will have more to report on my new theoretical disease later, but in the meantime, I'm just going to try to stay cool, listen to some music and reeeelaaaax...

New Term of the Day

Poltergays: When you come home and your furniture hasn't been thrown around, but artfully redecorated.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Ground Control To Major Tom

How freakin' cool is this: NASA has a Quicktime movie taken by the impactor that was sent to crash into the comet Temple 1 as it was crashing into the comet. Actually, the comet was crashing into the impactor, but let's not quibble. What we have here is a real movie of an object smacking into a comet - not some sci-fi movie CGI. We may forget in this era of Star Wars, Episode Bajillion that this kind of thing was absolutely unimaginable not long ago. We may not take a moment to really think about the precise science and vast speeds and distances involved because it makes our brains hurt. But check this out and see if it doesn't make you a little bit more impressed with human beigns, despite all our aggravating faults.

Here's the movie.
Here's the NASA site for more info on the mission.

Friday, July 01, 2005

New Terms

I have a couple new terms I have invented.

1. Head Cheese
This is spam or mistaken email that is so strange it really stands out. For example, here's a recent one I received:

Date: 6/14/2005 19:45:40 -0700
From: "Wended V. Awakenings"
To: Gk
Subject: Greetings, white man! :)

Evening, landlord :)

- Veloma


Date: 6/27/2005 07:41:10 -0700
From: Andres
To: Fo

Subject: Of whom do I have the honour? :)

We haven't been introduced... :)

I wanted so badly to study ballet, but it was really all about wearing the tutu. [On the subject of her early aspirations]

Nah isawa tah

I mean... the hell?

1. Queermudgeon
This is my new term for myself, which I used to explain to M that although I was progressive enough back in the days when "queer" became the new moniker for a range of non-heterosexual types, I am rapidly reaching that age where those nearly-naked kids in the Pride Parade annoy me and I don't understand what the latest gender/sexuality/politcal/academic "discourse" is all about. "And fram damn it - why is it always so damn HOT on Pride Weekend? I'm staying inside and taking a nap, like a sane person!"
Can easily be applied in a number of situations.

Feel free to spice the boulliabase of your regular conversation with these fun and easy-to-use new words!