29 January 2025 @ 02:17 pm
This is a friends-only journal, but that doesn't mean I'm not open to making new friends. Just so you know, you won't find anything all that exciting here. Mostly I just talk about stuff I'm doing or thinking in real life, my current fandoms and imaginary boyfriends, maybe books, movies and music I'm enjoying, or politics, which, as of this writing, I'm not enjoying (ETA that this was written during the long nightmare that was Dubya's presidency), and, of course, the occasional meme or silly quiz.

If you'd like to read and (I hope) comment, post a comment here or drop a line to the address on my user-info page, and tell me something about who you are and how you found me. If you've decided you can be bored to death just fine without my help, then feel free to wander away as silently as you've come, no hard feelings.

ETA: I left a music-related post unlocked (for reasons not worth bothering to explain), so you kind of get a preview of my brain. (Ooooh, poetry. Bad poetry, but still, a rhyme's a rhyme.)
21 October 2011 @ 06:41 pm
After the slaughter of so many animals - many of them endangered - in Ohio the other day, a petition has been started to change the state's law, one of the laxest in the nation, to make it harder to keep exotic animals as "pets." I've signed, and if you want to sign, too, click the link.
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
09 August 2011 @ 09:14 am

If you could, would you set a zoo animal free? Which one and why?

View 967 Answers

Oh my fucking FSM! What an incredibly stupid question. Would it be nice for all the animals in the world to live free? Of course it would! But when you've got the government of Tanzania planning a paved road to bisect the Serengeti, disrupting the great migrations and - not coincidentally - approving a now-reachable mine within spitting distance of Lake Natron, the only known breeding ground for East Africa's endangered lesser flamingos; when then US leases vast tracts of public land to wealthy cattle ranchers for pennies an acre and thumbs its nose at the populations of native wildlife, not to mention turns wolves from predators to prey, with humans holding the guns and flying the helicopters; when the ENTIRE POPULATION of the tiny Kihansi spray toad had to be removed from its sole micro-habitat to preserve it when the government (Tanzania again!) dammed the river that created that habitat to *gasp!* benefit private industry; when the South American rain forest is being slashed and burned at a rate that will see it demolished by mid-century, at a cost of 137 animal and plant species lost EVERY DAY... And those are just a few notable items on a list that goes on and on.

And against that background, with zoos bastions of conservation projects not only "on site" but in the field, and leaders in responsible breeding practices to preserve genetic diversity in species that in many cases no longer have wild populations capable of staving off a population crash and extinction, some fecking eejit thinks it would be "kind" to release an animal that has never had to find its own food and has no natural survival skills - in many cases including a fear of people, who would be its greatest enemies - into the wild?

Color me appalled by the idiocy of today's question.
Current Mood: pissed offpissed off
20 December 2010 @ 06:46 pm
Kaiya and I were officially Delta certified last spring, but because my hip was really starting to act up, and because my plan was to do a reading program with her - which involves sitting on the ground - we never actually did anything to use our new status. And just to fill in the whole background, I didn't plan to do nursing home visits, at least right away, because her greetings can still be a bit rambunctious.

Fast forward to me being here in rehab with my new titanium hip and finding out that patients' dogs can come visit. So who was the recipient of Kaiya's first therapy-dog visit this afternoon? Meeeee! And I can't tell you what a lift I felt seeing her.

It was pretty funny, because my dog-training friend U brought her, and when I called the training/daycare/boarding facility to give the official OK for U to spring her, they said this was the first time ever that Kaiya had seemed sad while she was there. I'm sure she's sensed for a long time that I wasn't well, since our walks were so much slower and shorter than they used to be, and then I made a big deal of saying goodbye when I left her there, which I don't usually do. But then, when U got here with her, she gave me the cold shoulder. She stared at me as I reached the lobby, then turned away and literally turned her back on me when U sat her next to me on a couch in the lobby. I was petting her and talking to her, but she absolutely would not look around.

Because I'm using a cane (but no longer a walker!), U held the leash as we walked back to my room. Kaiya was interested in sniffing everything and looking in every room we passed, but no way was she looking at me. But U said whenever Kaiya stopped to check something out and I kept walking, suddenly she'd hurry down the hall after me. Back at my room, she finally jumped on the bed and curled up at my feet, but still with her back to me. However, the T-word ("treat") got her attention - thank you, queenofattolia for the salty mix - and all of a sudden she loved me again. After that I got my kisses and that head-tilty attentive look I love so much.

After that I took the leash and we went visiting, and I discovered that she'll make a really good nursing-home dog. She was gentle and calm - although when I handed the leash to U and stepped off to the side to talk to one of the staff, she turned and focused totally on me, as if she was worried I might escape. Eventually I walked with her and U back to the front door, but we didn't make a big deal of her leaving, and U got her focused on a squeakie toy as she led her out. So hopefully now she's not fretting - and U is going to bring her back tomorrow, too, and maybe even Wednesday.

Honestly, I can't tell you how much it cheered me up to see her, even if she was being a snot. And I hope now she'll be her usual self at Doggone Smart again, because I feel so guilty that I made her sad.
Current Mood: contentcontent
07 April 2010 @ 10:52 am

If your pet could talk, what is the first thing s/he would say to you?

First question listed was submitted by crazyprotein. (Follow-up questions, if any, may have been added by LiveJournal.)

View 2888 Answers

Gollum (cat): Why did you get that damn dog, anyway?
Grendel (cat): Yeah, but thanks for not letting her sleep on the bed, so there's room for me.
Kaiya (dog): You guys are such weenies. I just wanna plaaaaay!
Bug (sugar glider): We get yogurt drops and you don't. Neener, neener, neener!
Gobo (sugar glider): What she said. Also? Mom's tummy is really soft and warm
Mom: Hey! Are you saying I'm fat?
Gobo: Yogurt drops! Thanks for the yogurt drops.
Mom: ::grumbles about indentured servitude and goes to dig out pet treats::
Current Mood: sillysilly
01 October 2008 @ 01:15 pm
It's no secret that Sarah Palin and I disagree on every specific point I can think of, but that's not what I'm here to talk about. I'm going to post an article, written by Sam Harris and published in Newsweek, that I hope everyone will read, because it speaks to the simple fact that whether you agree with her positions or not, whether you like her or not, she's simply not qualified to hold the position for which she's running.

I'll put the entire article under a cut, but I'm going to post one brief section in public, because I think it's so key:

Ask yourself: how has "elitism" become a bad word in American politics? There is simply no other walk of life in which extraordinary talent and rigorous training are denigrated. We want elite pilots to fly our planes, elite troops to undertake our most critical missions, elite athletes to represent us in competition and elite scientists to devote the most productive years of their lives to curing our diseases. And yet, when it comes time to vest people with even greater responsibilities, we consider it a virtue to shun any and all standards of excellence. When it comes to choosing the people whose thoughts and actions will decide the fates of millions, then we suddenly want someone just like us, someone fit to have a beer with, someone down-to-earth—in fact, almost anyone, provided that he or she doesn't seem too intelligent or well educated.

Please don't be put off by the title of the article, which I think is asinine. And please read it carefully, because I know some of you are in the "agree to disagree" camp politically. He's not denigrating religion or trying to deprive Sarah Palin of her right to worship in any way she chooses, but he's rightly questioning both her tendency to define political positions in terms of "God's plan" in a country that mandates the separation of church and state, and whether her particular religious beliefs and fervor argue against her ability to do the particular job in question: VP, and potentially the job of President.

Yes, he has a point of view to sell, and he's not above the occasional descent into bad taste, but his arguments are sound, and I have yet to hear - from anyone or in any venue - a rebuttal that relies on logic rather than emotion and empathy.

The Promised ArticleCollapse )

This election and the selection of our next President/Vice-President are crucial to the fate - at home and abroad - of this country in ways no other election and selection in my lifetime have been. (I'll be 55 in March, in case you're wondering just what that lifetime consists of.) There's too much on the line for anyone, of any affiliation, to be a one-issue voter, to vote from the gut without at least letting the head think very carefully about what that would mean, or to base a decision on top-level soundbites, or personal identification with one candidate or the other. Palin's a woman and Obama's black, and I don't think every black should vote for him any more than I think every woman should vote for her, though I'm sure there are some voters whose decisions will be based on precisely those criteria. (Which puts black women in an odd position and proves exactly why those criteria are stupid ones.)

Bottom line: Have a beer with anyone you want, but choose a President and Vice President who've both got the credentials and the gravitas and the temperament to do the job. I think a lot of the anti-elitism grows from fear and insecurity, and the sense that someone smarter and better-educated is going to pull the wool over our collective eyes. Well, you know what? I don't want an administration with people just like me at the top, because I know damn well I'm not up to the job. I want the people whose fingers are on The Button to be better and smarter than I am - and I'm not afraid to say so.
Current Mood: determineddetermined
27 July 2008 @ 10:27 pm
The baby dragons, that is. Please click.

Adopt one today!

Adopt one today!

Adopt one today!

Adopt one today!
Current Mood: sillysilly
26 June 2008 @ 08:04 am
And Bill O'Reilly is at the top of my Stupid!People List. This story - - is from today's, and apparently Bill isn't the only stupid one, he's just got the bigget soapbox.

The story's about a UK mayo ad that's being pulled because homophobia makes people stupid, basically. The ad itself is adorable, it's clearly not about *gasp* a gay couple at all (not that any sane person would give a rat's ass if it was), and pulling it is wrong in too many ways to count.

Note to advertisers: When the customer's a fuckwit, the customer is not always right.
Current Mood: crankycranky
30 May 2008 @ 10:06 pm
Bored yet? Trust me, you soon will be. *g*

Kaiya continues to be adorable, and I say that even though there were two indoor accidents today. (I know where I screwed up on the second, but how/when she managed the first is a mystery.) Her adventures today: Petco and my nail salon, and more fun with the neighbors. But her big triumph was at Wednesday's puppy class. She's 3.5 lbs. The next smallest dogs in class were a golden retriever and a Portugeuse water dog. There were also an Old English sheepdog, a chocolate lab, a lab/hound cross and a border collie/something big cross. And Kaiya didn't care. During the off-leash play periods she rough-and-tumbled with the rest, and when they were running around the room, she raced after them on her tiny little legs. She also ran right up the 4' ramp, surveyed the room and ran back down. No dog aggression, and she was so calm that she sacked out and napped while the instructor was talking. Everyone loved her, too. I was a proud mama. *g*

She still hates riding in the car, but tomorrow (when she's going with me to a writers' conference) I'm going to try her in the car seat, which is like a raised bed she's seatbelted into, because I know part of her problem is that she hates being confined. She's screeching less when I go out of the room, though, and this morning she stayed quiet 'til the alarm went off. (That's vs. two hours of screeching the first morning and about half an hour per morning since.) She and Kizzy continue to nose each other undramatically when they meet, but the boys are still terrified of her, despite being almost five times her weight.

OK, I've blathered enough. How about a few pictures?Collapse )

And now I'll spare you any more puppy rambling until further notice.
Current Mood: sillysilly
27 May 2008 @ 04:25 pm
Here are a few pictures my sister took yesterday, when we went to pick up Kaiya. They're not the greatest, but you can see how much she's changed from when I first met her.

Puppy!Collapse )

I'm sure there will be more to come. *g*
Current Mood: tiredtired
26 May 2008 @ 09:08 pm
OMFSM, she's so cute! And so little. She has a big head, though, which I've decided means she's really smart. She's already learning to walk on a leash with only minor objections, she goes in and out of her crate, she's peed and pooped outside only, she's learning what to chew and what not to, and she figured out right away that her bed was for sleeping. Oh, and she already knows how to climb up and down stairs. Yay! Also, the breeder said she's also already asking to go out when she needs to. That alone is worthy of major squee.

She already looks so different from when I first saw her. Her nose is pointy, her ears are up, she's lightening toward her final color, and the black on her muzzle is already starting to be replaced with the regulation white/cream.

Oh! And her call name is Kaiya, taken from what will be her registered name: Yukai Kitsune, which is Japanese for Happy Fox.

The drive was...interesting. There's something called the Shiba scream, and she's mastered it. My sister went with me to the breeder's, and on the way back to RI we were treated to the Shiba scream at full volume most of the way. Finally she screeched herself out and napped. She got to meet most of the family - including Lyssa the dog and Squishy the cat (Oreo, the other cat, didn't make an appearance) - and was petted within an inch of her life, which I guess tuckered her out further, because after screeching madly as I bought gas - under $4.00 a gallon! - she gave up on me making the torture stop and slept the whole way home.

The breeder gave me all kinds of goodies, too: a crate, tons of toys and chewy things, and a crate pad that smells like her old home, which I put in her night crate up in my bedroom.

So far the cats are steering clear, though Kismet at least let me hold her up close so they could sniff each other. Gollum ran past as fast as he possibly could, and Grendel has refused to come out to the living room (where I've got her with me) at all. They'll sort themselves out in time, though. I'm totally unworried on that score, knowing what sweeties they all are at heart, and also having mixed a cat with dogs before with entirely satisfactory results.

Anyway, there will be photos, though probably not tonight. My sister took a bunch this morning when I picked her up, and I took a few of her sleeping half out of her bed this afternoon.

The agenda for the rest of the week involves her vet appointment and first puppy class, cleaning, freelancing, lunch with a friend, and meeting with the dog walker who's going to do her midday walk on my zoo days until she's old enough to hold it all day. Saturday I have to speak at a conference, and Sunday is one of the aforementioned zoo days (and my Madagascar training).

Eeeeeee! So cute! She just took her crunchy rawhide stick and climbed into her bed.

Things to be discussed in future posts: Inigo is home and being reloaded with all his former files and software; South Pacific was fabulous; and other things I thought of earlier and have now forgotten.
Current Mood: contentcontent
02 February 2008 @ 10:08 pm
Today was my second wolf photo session. It poured rain here yesterday, so not only was there no snow, there was mud. (That's really apparent in some of my Apache shots.) Frustratingly, it was gorgeously sunny as I drove up there - until about five minutes before I arrived. And it stayed overcast for the rest of the afternoon. Grrrr. It was a bit warmer than last time, though, and this time there were no wankers. Yay! I also got a glimpse of one of the red wolves today, which was kind of cool.

Since I mostly got shots of the pack last time, today I spent over an hour shooting Atka, and I was rewarded with some nice shots. So here he is, in all his furry glory.

Hey there, Little Red Riding HoodCollapse )

So that was my day. How was yours?
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
20 January 2008 @ 05:01 pm
It was coooolllld here today, but sunny, and since I was going to the zoo anyway for a class (mammals - my favorites, I confess), I wandered around for a while afterwards and - big surprise - took a bunch of pictures. The usual suspects are here, of course, along with some new ones. Everything's resized, but this is still going to take a week to download if you're on dial-up. (OK, not really a week, but it will feel like it.)

Click for PicsCollapse )
Current Mood: coldcold
19 January 2008 @ 06:34 pm
This morning I went to the first of two photo sessions I'm doing at the Wolf Conservation Center in South Salem, NY. ( There were about 15 people there, but some of them were couples sharing one camera. There were three guys with professional equipment (::pauses for a moment to turn green::), several (including me) with digital SLRs, and several with small digitals. Everyone was very nice, with the exception of one of the pros, who several times asked me and at least once asked another woman to move from where we were so he could get the shot he wanted. Yes, he drove up from Philadelphia, but hey, we all paid to be there and no one was hogging the various cutouts in the fence or the towers, and everyone else was willing to wait their turn. Interestingly, I didn't see him ask any of the men to move - and certainly not the men whose cameras rivaled his. Wanker.

But I digress.

We were there for two hours, free to wander between two enclosures, one with a group of three wolves: Apache (the Alpha), Lucas and Kyla (the Omega, and she really did look worried and sad a lot, but she's also twelve and wouldn't even be alive in the wild, and the staff make sure she gets her share of food), and one with a lone male: Atka. The angles and light weren't as good at Atka's area, so I mostly concentrated on the pack. Atka's all white. Apache has a lop ear (it was chewed by an older wolf when he was a pup) and is also all white. Kyla is gray with a black facial blaze, and Lucas is brown and gray with striking blue eyes. Just so you know who you'll be looking at.

It was freezing, but they had hot cider for us. There were only a couple of tiny patches of snow, so I'm hoping for a storm before my next trip (Feb 2). And now...the pictures.

This way for lots of wolvesCollapse )

I really enjoyed myself, though the walk up the hill from the parking area was hell on my knees and pneumonia-ruined lungs. Still, it was well worth it, and I'm really looking forward to going back in a few weeks.
Current Mood: tiredtired
01 December 2007 @ 03:06 pm
It's the 1st of December, and that means it's time for people's holiday wish lists to start popping up. This is my second annual holiday wish list, and it's pretty much the same as last year's, with a few additions. That's OK, 'cuz I liked last year's list just fine.

Nutty's Holiday Wish ListCollapse )

ETA: Also please read celticfeministw's comment below, because she has lots more terrific info on how to help your local animal shelter.
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful
12 August 2007 @ 08:10 pm
I got an A in cart-driving. Not that we really got grades, know. The carts are electric and don't have anything approaching power steering, but they're fun. And they make a nice beeping in Reverse - not that that stopped one woman from walking right behind me as I went to back up. Sheesh!

Didn't have a chance to get many pictures today, just a few of the sea lions and Mr. Peacock, who's shed his tail feathers and doesn't look as purty as he used to. jenlev, I can't wait to visit and go out photographing things, because I'm finding things with this camera tend to come out darker than with my old one, and I'm not happy, so I want your advice. Meanwhile...

Just a few critter shotsCollapse )
Tags: ,
Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed
06 August 2007 @ 01:20 pm
I can't believe I forgot to post this. Me = dumb. I really like this shot, too.

Dr. LizardoCollapse )
Current Mood: busybusy
06 August 2007 @ 12:28 am
I do love the cats, big and small.

Snarls and Stripes ForeverCollapse )

And there endeth my day at the zoo.
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
06 August 2007 @ 12:16 am
Let's see if I can finish up in this post or need to move on to #3. (My money's on the latter.)

More CrittersCollapse )

Since I went particularly heavy on the tiger shots today, I think I'll put the big cats in their own post.
Current Mood: contentcontent
05 August 2007 @ 11:46 pm
OK, I'm a whiny baby. I actually got a bunch of nice shots at the zoo today, so here come some of my faves (probably in the course of several posts).

CrittersCollapse )

Coming up, gorillas, monkeys and some biiig kitties. And a tapir.
Current Mood: sleepysleepy