Thursday, December 6, 2012

On Craigslist

As part of my job, I use Craigslist frequently as a resource to help me value vehicles. Most of the time, the ads posted are worthless for my purposes, but there are a few gems that work out nicely. And some are just plain good for a laugh.

The header for this ad alone had me cracking up. What are people doing in this area to those poor Nissans that the owner of this car felt the need to specify that this particular one was UNMOLESTED. All in caps. Is there some sleazy ring of perverts that takes part in rampant Nissan molestation? Are they a plague in this area? Is no Nissan safe?

And then I scrolled down, and took a look at the car itself. I realized then that of course it wasn't molested. It was beaten with the ugly stick. 

My coworker came across this one today, and it had me giggling for an hour after she shared it with me. This person didn't just mistakenly put their ad for shih tzu puppies in the wrong category - they deliberately ran their ad in the cars and trucks section, and added a bunch of random car-related tags. As if someone looking for a Buick Regal or Chevy Camaro is also in the market for a shih tzu. I kept joking with my coworker about wanting to email this seller to ask questions about this particular "vehicle".

What's the mileage on these puppies? 
Can I come by sometime and take one for a test drive?
Have they had regular maintenance done? 
What do they look like under the hood? Would you mind taking some pics for me? I'd like to see what the engine looks like.
Do these run on gasoline, or it it a hybrid? What about bio diesel? 
Would you be willing to trade for my '01 Jetta, or some guns? 

I know I shouldn't be surprised by anything I see on Craigslist - I know the reputation, but damn, when weird-ass things like this pop up, it sure as hell makes the day more fun.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Happy Fangsgeebean!

I have no idea why I love mentally pronouncing Thanksgiving like that, but I don't have to explain anything to you people, so judge me all you want.

I was thankful this year for having a job that allowed me enough time off to enjoy the holiday, as it's been a rare thing for me these last few years. I went with my boyfriend out to Rapid City, where his parents are now living - they moved out there 3 or 4 years ago, and I hadn't had a chance to see their new home until last week.

We took Isis with us, as it was more feasible than conning a friend into coming by and feeding her, or shelling out for boarding. I was concerned about how she'd handle being in the car, but she was surprisingly calm about it. She spent most of the drive checking out whichever parts of the car she would reach (we had her in a harness, and on a secured leash in the back seat, so she couldn't get underfoot while Nick was driving) or sleeping. Mostly sleeping, really.


Just as we got on the road, and at a gas station once we got into Rapid.

I really don't have much of this weekend to talk about, but I do have a lot of pictures. It was your standard Thanksgiving holiday, with turkey, pie, and lots of time spent catching up.

It didn't take long for Isis to become Queen of the House, especially when she went into heat on Thursday morning. Her normally rambunctious and bitey temperament was replaced by one that was much more cuddly, needy, and whiney. It worked out, though, because that at least meant that nobody got viciously attacked and/or mauled. And I woke up on Friday morning to discover that I could now afford to get her spayed, so that'll happen on Monday and we'll all be very happy indeed. 

Speaking of Friday, we went to the SD School of Minds on Friday afternoon and hit up the Geology Museum. I had so much more fun in the half hour that we spent there than I would have doing any shopping at all. And, admittedly, I did buy some stuff there, but they were trinkets for my desk at work, so I hardly think that counts as contributing to the rampant American consumerism that liberals like me are always bemoaning.

We also went to downtown Rapid City to kill some time and give us a chance to get hungry for supper - we talked the in-laws into going to a hibachi restaurant so we could get some sushi and they could try something new (but not sushi, alas). And I was able to walk through Artist's Alley and got many many photos, in spite of the failing light. And here's a ton of them.


We ate and went home, and there was more catching up, and then it was bedtime. In the morning, Isis was still cuddly and needy.

And then it was time for us to come back to our home. It was a lovely holiday, and I'm delighted to have been able to enjoy it this year.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Snyders Portraits

Last weekend I got a chance to try my hand at actual portraiture. My stepsister needed some family portraits done and was willing to let my inexperienced ass take their pictures. Obviously, even the ones that I like the best are nowhere near as good as they could have gotten with a professional, but I think I can be happy with them right now.

Snyders (35)

Snyders (38)

Snyders (68)

Snyders (55)

Snyders (45)

Snyders (85)

It was surprisingly cold and rainy out, so everyone was on their best behavior in order to get it done quickly.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Corporal Cuddling!


Nick: I'm going to hold you until you calm down!

Me: You're going to be holding her for a few weeks, until we can afford to get her spayed, you know.

Nick wraps Isis up in his shirt.

Me: Awww, she looks like a babushka. ... She's plotting murder right now...

Nick: This is different from any other time how?

Isis: And these jerkoffs wonder why I constantly bite them...

Nick devises a new method of kitten containment.

I start laughing so hard it becomes difficult to take this picture.

Nick decides it's even funnier to let her tail free.

We will not live through the night. Will someone please ensure that what little remains of me is buried with pie?

There is no end to the humiliation. 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Adventures in Vertigo (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Tell Doctors When I Know More Than Them)

Last Saturday, October 20, I went up to Brookings for a girl's night out, and I had quite a time. When I woke up the following morning, I felt surprisingly fine - not much of a hangover at all. As the day progressed, however, I started feeling rather worse. I had to face facts - I'd overdone it the previous evening, and I had a hangover that needed to be dealt with. I haven't had many hangovers in my life; I've been remarkably lucky in that regard.

At one point I'd made some food, but decided I wasn't up for it, so I set it aside and took a nap. It was about this time when I first started feeling especially dizzy. When I woke up, I ate the food (very slowly). From that point on, the rest of the day is kind of a blur. I just remember the dizziness being very bad, and thinking that I needed to throw up, and hugging the toilet in the hopes that I would. I couldn't sleep. At one point, I did start to throw up, and I lost everything I'd eaten at all.

I'm not sure when it became necessary to call a local nurse hotline, but I did have my boyfriend make the call, and based on my symptoms, they suspected I was severely dehydrated, and should be taken to the ER. Good fuckin' times.

Once at the ER, we were told that it looked like I had a nasty stomach virus of some kind. Given that I'd thrown up repeatedly between the tortuous walk down to the car and my arrival at the hospital, this seemed like a reasonable diagnosis, but it bothered me that they didn't see the debilitating dizziness as any kind of major symptom. From where I was laying, it was the only symptom, and the real source of my nausea. When they gave me a proscription for something for nausea, I was skeptical, but too weak to ask if I could also have anything for the crippling waves of vertigo that kept me from wanting to move any part of my body. They recommended I go on the BRAT diet (crackers, toast, and a whole host of bland food) and sent me home with my 'scrip. I threw up again in the parking lot outside our apartment, and was put to bed.

The next few days are much a similar blur. I was barely able to make it from the bed to the bathroom without assistance. I couldn't sit up or even open my eyes. I had my boyfriend play episodes of The Simpsons on the bedroom tv just so I didn't have to lay in silence with my active mind but crippled body. I developed aches in my ribs from spending hours on one side or another - it was too miserable to try to lay on another side until it became absolutely necessary.

My diet was pretty limited, but I did deviate from the BRAT diet enough to start getting me kind of cranky about the ER diagnosis. I had absolutely no problems eating frozen fruit, or peanut butter on my toast. By the time Wednesday evening rolled around, all I could think was that they'd seen my vomiting, looked at the twelve other patients in the ER that night with the same symptoms, and didn't think much further. I took my last anti-nausea pill and forced myself to focus on the ER discharge papers we'd been given. There was no mention of my dizziness.

Thursday morning, I had my boyfriend call the ER and explain the situation - what I'd been treated for, and that while the last time I'd vomited had been on Sunday evening, the dizziness hadn't eased. They had me go to a walk-in clinic. Because my boyfriend had spent the whole week afraid of catching the virus, he'd been sleeping on our crummy 8-year-old futon that I'd bought for $100 at Walmart, and was exhausted, so my mother took me. The drive over there was total misery. I couldn't bear to open my eyes at all, and had to be guided everywhere. They offered repeatedly to put me in a wheelchair, but I knew that that would only make me sick. I had to be under my own control, or the dizziness would get the better of me.

The woman who saw me seemed quite surprised that they hadn't even done any blood work at the ER. She ran some more tests, recommended that I return to the ER for an MRI, and off we went for another wretched car drive.

This is getting to be longer than I'd expected. Here's the TL;DR for the whole thing: Drinking. Hangover? Dizzy, dizzy, dizzy, puke, ER, three goddamn days of dizzy, ER, CAT Scan, finally pills that work, and... still dizzy.

I'm seeing an inner ear specialist tomorrow at 9am. They're going to put me on a table and ... I don't know, but I hope it'll fix things. For one thing, I can't afford to miss any more work, but the main thing is that I want to be able to walk in a straight line. I'm better than I was three days ago, but I'm still quite a ways from being totally well. It really comes to something when brushing your teeth on your own feels like a major triumph, and taking a shower takes everything you've got.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Crypticon 2012 in Photos


Motherfucking raven!


Crazy bird eyes. Eye.


Tony Curran! I met van Gogh, y'all! Incidentally, he could only stay a few hours due to other conflicts, but he was ridiculously charming and delightful, and it is a tragedy that he couldn't do a Q&A.


Badass Evil Dead 2 bike.


Getting ready for Zombie Prom. I had to redo my makeup 3 times, which is why it is so crummy right now. I just got sick of cleaning it all off my face and then starting over. I really could have used a lot more blood, but that goes without saying.


Zombies invade... the exercise room... We were really drunk and it seemed like a hilarious idea.


Still really drunk.

Our swag this year was pretty reserved, because we were on a serious budget, so I haven't really taken a ton of swag pictures like I did last year. It's mostly art anyway, and we're still deciding where to hang everything. However:

Crappy cell phone pic, but fucking awesome posters!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

So, I'm Playing World of Warcraft... Again...

I'm one of those gamers that the rest of the gaming world seems to hate (especially on WoW), so it's probably best to keep in mind that this whole post is coming from the perspective of a Casual Gamer (and, worse, a Female Casual Gamer).

My relationship with WoW has always been extremely on-again/off-again. Truly dedicated readers may remember my post proclaiming my love for Puzzle Pirates over World of Warcraft from quite far back. My relationship with Puzzle Pirates has become quite the same. I still love it and think it's a marvelous game for pretty much all the reasons I listed in the afore-mentioned post, but I just don't get around to playing it much, anymore. These days, it's usually because WoW has got its hooks back into me, largely due to the lure of playing a fluffy red panda girl in the upcoming Mists of Pandaria expansion. I am so very, very shallow and easy to please, sometimes.

That said, if someone were to ask me what I'd really be looking for in another WoW (as a Female Casual Gamer, nobody will ever ask, which is why I'm currently writing this out), the thing that I'd really love to see, which would get me even past the Futurama Fry Shut Up and Take My Money Phase (which, for anyone wondering, looks a little like this:

is a very simple thing.

I don't give a crap about new endgame dungeons, or new PvP scenarios, or a new level cap or new races or new classes or any of that. The thing that I'd most like to see right now is a new leveling zone for 60-70 (or even 60-80).

Seriously, fellow WoW players - wouldn't it be like a fucking dream to have the option to not schlepp your ass through ugly-ass Hellfire Peninsula and the rest of Outland for 8-10 levels before you can move on to Northrend? I've only managed to get 3 characters through Outland and into the frozen north in all the time I've been on-again/off-again playing. I currently have a level 61 paladin, and leveling her feels like work. I have a 51 mage and a 48 rogue that I'm just dreading leveling up any more, because that would mean taking them through the same goddamn quests I've done 3 or 4 times already. Sure, once you get through Hellfire Peninsula (or as my 12-year-old brain likes to call it, Hellfire Penis-la-la), you can go to Zangarmarsh or Terrokar Forest, and from there to Nagrand (which, I'll admit, is the one zone in Outland which I do kind of enjoy) or elsewhere.

I know it would probably be difficult as fuck having to fit a few new zones in, given the current crafting materials, patterns, and recipes for the specific 60-70 levels, all while making it work within the elaborate Lore of Azeroth to boot. When Deathwing came to town, he ripped the world apart, which gave the players different quests, and remarkably changed zones to explore (another admission - I thoroughly enjoy some of the revamped Cataclysm zones and will probably take most of my new characters through them - I'm looking at you, Thousand Needles), but at least we still had copper ore, wool cloth, medium leather, and earthroot to go with all the lingering old-world crafting recipes and such. But how do you add a whole new set of zones when you've got crafting materials like Fel Ore and Netherweave Cloth, and still stick within the Lore? So yeah, I get that it'd be a huge pain in the ass and is even less likely than the odds of me being any kind of a quality member of a raid team.

But Thrall's Balls, it sure would be nice. 

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Friday, August 31, 2012

What's Subtlety? Can You Eat It? (Part 1)

We had another D&D adventure last weekend, and while it wasn't quite so nutty as our characters' first venture out, there were some notable moments. And by notable, I mean "quickly becoming increasingly obvious that our strengths lie in slaughtering goblins, and not being subtle in any way, shape, or form."

For instance, our first task of the adventure was to get a drawing of a magical hat in a wizard's keep, so it could be swapped out with a Helm o' Opposite Alignment. The wizard's lab was on the 4th floor of the keep, and none of us had the drawing skill, so we brought along a barmaid provided by our employer who did. We spent some time deciding how we'd get up into the lab, and who would go, and so on.

Now would probably be a good time to mention that our characters all lean towards the Evil end of the Good, Neutral, Evil spectrum.

Now would also be a good time to mention that I am utterly shitty at playing a character with an Int score of only 11. But I am good at playing a Lawful Evil character, so ultimately while I'm really good at throwing out ideas that my character wouldn't actually have, I'm also really good at following whatever plan we end up deciding on, even if it might involve shooting a halfling boy in the face with a crossbow. Or hauling his and his nosy mother's corpses to a nearby set of ruins for a quick and easy burial.

In the end, we decided that it would be a good idea to send our thief up into the keep with the barmaid, because he could climb walls and stuff. Except he failed his roll to climb walls, and had to be levitated up. But the two of them got up into the lab, found the magic hat, got the drawing, and then... heard meowing.

Meanwhile, the rest of our team is at the base of the keep, invisible, and praying that our thief doesn't decide to steal anything. Because that would be Bad for this particular adventure.

Anyway, it turns out that the barmaid is also a bit of a wizard, and she points out to our thief that the meowing is probably from a familiar, who then walks into the room and starts sniffing around.

I probably should also have mentioned - our thief is definitely Chaotic Evil. And very, very good at playing that role.

He decides to crossbow-up the familiar and lands a good hit on it, but doesn't actually kill the thing. The barmaid freaks out on him, shoves him out the window, and we all basically have to beat a fast retreat before the wizard actually returns and catches us. Because catching us would be Bad.

Our next task seems easy, by comparison. We just need to "take care of" a certain local character who owns a bar. We're told we can do it any way we like, "just don't burn down the place." He's got two body guards, but we're not too concerned, because we just took out a whole cave of goblins and bugbears. We got this.


We ambush the guy outside his bar and our thief gets a good hit on him before the bodyguards shove him behind them and start trying to be menacing. Luckily, we have a priestess with us who maxes out her Hold Person spell, so the bodyguards don't last too long - they get frozen, they get their throats cut, we turn to the target... who's vanished. He's fucked right off. What a dick.

So this means that we have to go racing through the streets, over rooftops, following a diminishing trail of blood, and finally we track him to an alley, where our DM suddenly says, "Everybody roll a save versus Breath Weapon!"

By this point, I really hate this bastard, and so I did my best to kill him as quickly as possible. He goes down, we strip him and then spend about a half hour debating where to leave a cloak pin that will frame a local thieve's guild for the murder.

More to follow. This has been enough lunacy for one day.
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Friday, August 10, 2012

Such a Very Tiny Kitty

On my birthday, I received a text from my mother, informing me that another one of her farm cats had just given birth to kittens.

I joked that the dark one would make an excellent birthday gift, because who doesn't love a teeny tiny kitty, right? Obviously she was far, far to young to be taken from her mother, but it was fun to tease my boyfriend about bringing another one home and giving Isis a little brother or sister.

Last week, we took a trip out to my mother's place to meet the little ones. There were probably other reasons, but let's face it: all you really need is teeny tiny kittens.

It soon became apparent that this little one was having some serious problems.

Poor little one. My mother has gone out of town for a few days, so I told her that we'd come by to check up on the little one, check the mail, raid the garden... but mostly check up on the little one.

We went out on Tuesday evening, and things got serious. I stepped out of the garage and looked down, and there was the little grey one, laying like she was asleep, but... well. The little dark one was still alive, somehow, even though her sister appeared to be the stronger, healthier one. However, the sister didn't get a few extra feedings of KMR formula, and this one did.

I let my mother know, and she mentioned that the kitten's mother had probably stopped producing milk. We made a fast decision, and brought her home with us. Since then, my boyfriend has been spending his days and nights trying to nurse the little one to health. We weighed her, and she was only 4 ounces. When I checked the wisdom of the internet the next day, I got quite the shock. A healthy three-week-old kitten should be closer to 10 ounces.

Getting her to eat was difficult. We (but mostly my boyfriend) spent a lot of time forcing KMR into her mouth, drop by drop, via a nursing bottle, or a syringe, or on the tips of our fingers. Anything we could think of to just get her weight up.

This was two nights ago. She's curled up in the palm of my hand, fitting so easily. This would be adorable, if I didn't have bizarrely small hands for an adult. Instead, all I could think of was how very sadly tiny she was.

And then she started walking normally.

That was yesterday morning, I believe. It was still a struggle to get her to eat, and her legs still had a tendency to lock in that awkward position, but we saw some improvement. I convinced my boyfriend to call the vet today, and he was able to get her in this afternoon. This is what we learned:

  • She's extremely dehydrated
  • Her body temperature was much lower than it should have been
  • She's underweight
He's loaned us an incubator to get her body temp up, and gave us some special canned food to mix with the KMR to feed her, as well as droppers to make feeding easier. She received two shots at the office to help with the dehydration, and we're now trying to feed her every 2 or 3 hours or so. 

This was just after I got home from work today. It was such a relief to see her going after the food like that. We fed her again just a few minutes ago, and it was kind of a struggle to get her to eat, but we're much, much more hopeful about her survival chances. We're taking her to the vet again tomorrow morning, but all through the night we're going to be feeding her in shifts. 

We've been trying to be cautious and realistic about her chances for survival. You may have noticed that we don't appear to have named her. I'm hoping that a week from now, I'll be able to post more photos, and more videos, of a much healthier kitten (named Freya, if I get my way). 

Isis, by the way, appears to have had mixed feelings about the whole matter. I'm trying to give her extra cuddles, and I ordered her a new toy from tonight. But she's still absolutely gorgeous, and a complete and total handful. 


Just got back from the vet visit. Her weight is up a little bit, and her body temp is normal now. We are still going to use the incubator, and she got more fluid injections, as well as some antibiotic ointment for a squinty left eye. But she's eating better, and with the other improvements, I hope she'll be out of the woods soon.
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