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Below are the 10 most recent journal entries recorded in rodentfanatic's LiveJournal:

Thursday, April 11th, 2013
10:31 pm
Um. So I said I wouldn’t post much about the story I’m writing, for several reasons, and also no one reading this now has any idea who the fuck these characters even are, but anyway, basically they all used to be used for roleplay and have been converted to fit the universe I’ve created for said story. And I’m finding that a lot of what made some of them hard to roleplay ‘right’ is making them actually really good as story characters instead, and that was neat enough to me to do a little spiel about, if only for the benefit of analyzing it to myself.

Abigail is one of the protagonists. And as a roleplay character she was probably annoying to others for exactly this reason, but a lot of her THE WORLD IS BAD AND I’M GONNA CHANGE IT quality (I’d call her an SJW, but she’s less about being pretentious and judgmental on tumblr and more about trying to help people and/or fight the problems in the real world) is based on a real care for other people, including ones she doesn’t even know, and that gives her the drive to risk her life to catch monsters, and gives her some good internal battles moral-wise in what she has to do and who she works for in the course of the story, which will hopefully all evolve and develop her as a character. So she finally gets to channel all her beliefs and emotions about that shit into something that very much does immediately save people, instead of just sitting there being angry and frustrated at her helplessness. She’s doing shit. Which is exactly what she wants to do. SHIT OR GET OFF THE POT. Which is good because she is annoying when she’s just talking, which is generally all she got to do in roleplay since I never did action or adventure stuff. I think she was unhappy and repressed before this as a character, she knew she wasn’t in the right environment :C

Speaking of doing shit, Max now gets to be the action hero she was always supposed to be. Most RPs I was in focused on characters and forging relationships and all, and that was what I enjoyed, but Max was not made for that. She was made to run and jump and fight and ride her motorcycle into battle against giant evil maneating crows. It’s not that she’s 2D, but she’s not this deep complex intricate maze of a person that needs the whole book to explore her psyche. She’s very physical, and now she gets to be that way, as well as everyone’s cool big brother.

Lucille now gets to be as over-powered as I want her to be because she’s the Big Bad second only to the angel Kokabel. She could never be this way in roleplay (or at least not without it being super obnoxious on my part) but as an enemy to the protagonists, of course she should get to be super beautiful, super rich, super vicious, super clever, super good with weapons, etc., because it’s supposed to be super hard to beat her and we have to be left wondering how these kids have a prayer. And I now get to do something with her insane maternity---finding and awakening a corrupt earthbound angel so as to achieve true immortality for her son so nothing can ever hurt him, nothing, not even time, and not the limits of lesser immortals like vampires. And this will create story conflict because all that angel wants to do is go home and he is going to rip the shit out of the walls between worlds to do it, which means bad news for the world.

Even MJ and Delilah now have purposes other than moping around. MJ spends all his time being withdrawn and focusing on private hobbies like reading about animals and folklore? Awesome, now he knows enough about animal behavior to be of use in that regard with the monsters (“Okay, this thing is sort of a horse/dog so it’s probably a social animal with really good hearing and sense of smell”) as well as now being someone they can count on to identify what the monster even is (“Oh shit guys, that’s a bukavac, get out of the pond!”) so they don’t need to rely on calling Hiero (Da Boss) who was their only resource/expert on that for awhile. Delilah admittedly still doesn’t DO anything, she’s more like a plot device in that she’s something a villain is looking for and giving her shelter/protection ends up leading the gang into a greater conflict they wouldn’t otherwise have had anything to do with.

Oh, and Hiero has some of the strongest magic on the planet. He has mostly used it to make his house a really fancy TARDIS (bigger on the inside for MORE PRETTY ANTIQUES).
Friday, April 5th, 2013
2:09 pm
Ratty Facts!
As promised, here are a list of facts about rats in honor of yesterday being WORLD RAT DAY!

RATTY FACTS

* There are two major types of rat in North America: The black rat, also known as the roof rat or house rat, and the brown rat, also known as the Norway rat. The terms black rat and brown rat refer not to coloration (they’re all mostly shades of black, brown, and gray in the wild regardless of breed) but to two different physical types. The brown rat is bigger and plumper, is an active omnivore that will eat smaller animals such as baby birds and mice, can be found on the move during the day (though it is most active at dusk and dawn), and lives in the ground. Black rats are smaller and more slender, eats animal protein only as a supplement, are primarily nocturnal, and prefer to live in trees or the upper levels of buildings.

* Almost all pet rats are simply brown rats that have been bred for fancy colors and patterns, sometimes with addition of appealing mutations like curly rex fur or big “dumbo” eats. But they are in fact all just Norway rats, hahah, though they are called “fancy rats” to distinguish them from their un-domesticated brethren.

* While it was believed for a long time that brown rats came from Norway, hence the name, modern studies have shown that they in fact originated in China and came to Norway later. They arrived in North American in 1775 via ships…a year later, America won its independence from the British. Coincidence? Maybe, or maybe ratties had a hand in fighting off the redcoats!

* Modern rat domestication began in Victorian England, and unfortunately has some unsavory bits. It all started with gory spectacles in which rat catchers sold rats they caught to be placed in a pit with dogs. The dogs would slaughter the rats, and spectators placed bets on which dogs would kill the most rats the swiftest. Blood showed up better on white and other light-colored rats, and thus more would be paid for them. But light mutations like that are very rare in nature, so a rat-catcher named Jack Black began keeping any unusually-colored specimens he came across and breeding them so that he’d have more light rats to sell. Eventually, he and a guy named Jimmy Shaw started selling them as pets between the 1840s and 1860s, probably from realizing just how easily domesticated they were when raised from birth. Miraculously, they caught on, probably because pet mice had already become popular in Europe, particularly the UK, in the early 1800s already.

Mice became so popular over the century that the National Mouse Club was founded in England in 1895, and in 1901, Mary Douglas, who is known as “the mother of the rat fancy”, wrote to the NMC and asked if it would open its door to rats as well. The NMC agreed, and the first rat show was held that year. In 1912 the name of the club was officially changed to the National Rat and Mouse Club because rats had gained so much interest and popularity. An American branch of the club, however, would be founded until 1983.

* Rats can jump a foot straight up in the air!

* They can be pretty good swimmers too! In fact, they can tread water for THREE days!

* Brown rats are notably talented fishermen; some even use their tails as lures!

* Rats are social. Boy are they social! If you get rats, get at least two. They can die of loneliness without a friend! In the wild, they live in huge colonies (at least twenty, sometimes over two hundred!) and they all have complex relationships with each other that aren't easily identifiable as the usual "dominance/subordinate" hierarchies of most pack animals, though they do definitely have a pecking order. In my experience, male/male pet pairs will often have a 'boss' rat between them. Also, be warned, they're like people in that just because they're social doesn't mean they like ALL other members of their species. I've had rats that got along with some rats and not with some others. Again, they're like people, and their relationships with each other are complex and diverse. Think of a rat colony like lots of people living in the same house or the same town.

* In one year, a wild female brown rat can have up to seven litters, with as many as twelve babies per litter. If all the rats produced by a mother brown rat survived long enough and reproduced that much in turn, it would only take 24 years until enough rats would be born to equal the weight of the Earth!

* Rats are excellent and devoted mothers! While some rodents, such as hamsters, are prone to eating their young, rats do this the least of all rodents, and when they do do it, usually it’s because the baby was already dead and they don’t want the scent of a corpse to attract predators. Older babies from previous litters may help their mother care for a new litter, as may unrelated members of the colony. In the case of a domestic rat, the cagemates of the mother will usually become excellent ‘aunts’ that help her raise the babies, and while the male rat will run off after mating in the wild, a domestic male rat can indeed be a good father and help with the babies as well!

* In addition to being social and good parents, rats have empathy. Check out this experiment!
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/a-new-model-of-empathy-the-rat/2011/12/08/gIQAAx0jfO_story.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/13/science/observatory-rats-have-empathy-study-finds.html?_r=0

* In the wild, rat colonies will feed and care for elderly and disabled rats. Keep in mind that in the wild, they have limited resources, survival of the fittest, etc., so this is truly exceptional behavior. If a rat is blind, another rat will usually guide it, either by letting it hold its tail in its mouth or each of them holding either end of a stick in their mouths. Many rat owners, including myself, have observed similar behaviors with our pets, like one rat bringing food to an old or sick cagemate that can’t make the walk to the food dish. Of course, there are exceptions. For instance, I had a pair named Lance and Simba, and when Simba got sick, Lance used it as an opportunity to hog all the food for himself! Rats have personalities, and sometimes they’re jerks. But most of them are caring, compassionate, incredibly sweet little critters, and that’s more than can be said for the majority of humans!

* Rats have very poor eyesight, hence their tendency to hug the wall whenever in an open room. They use their whiskers to help them get a sense of their surroundings, in addition to their excellent senses of scent and hearing.

* In the wild, rats will smell the breath of other rats they meet so that they know what that rat has eaten. That way, if they come across the same food later, they know that it probably isn't poisonous.

* In my experience, people seem to loathe the tails of rats in particular. But the tail is essential! Rats have a superb sense of balance, which their tail helps them with, and if they do fall, whirling their tail around in the air can help them land on their feet! Take that, cats, you’re not the only ones! What’s more, the tail is a thermoregulatory organ, allowing rats to control their temperature by dilating or constricting their tail blood vessels. However, because many humans find the tail to be distasteful, a variety of tailess rats has been created by pet breeders. But the lack of the tail causes these rats to have health problems. Firstly, they can overheat more easily, and what’s worse, it tends to cause a very serious condition known as megacolon.

* Here's something else that disgusts people a lot--rats eat mice! Yup, that's right. People ask if I keep my mice and rats together...no way! They may be related, but rats see mice as a quick snack and nothing more, even the nice domestic rats.

* They're the best pet among all small animals. That's my opinion as someone who has had pet mice, gerbils, and hamsters, as well as cared for rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas, and hedgehogs. They're not just the most intelligent of the lot, but they're the friendliest and love their humans the most, not to mention are the least likely to bite.

* While it is true that wild rats carry disease, humans carry more diseases than wild rats do, let alone domestic rats! Also, rats have cleaner mouths than dogs. Dogs have cleaner mouths than humans. You do the math.

* Rats will lick humans in a gesture of affection, the same way that dogs do. They will also show esteem for a trusted human by nibbling their ear, and some male rats will even try to mark humans they like as 'theirs' with a few drops of urine!

* Rats and mice can be trained to do agility courses just like dogs!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLaiUZWR00c
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbXfftGiaxQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txq_BogA1NM
Thursday, April 4th, 2013
4:21 pm
Doubtful anyone still reads this, but...checking in. And Happy Rat Day!
- HAPPY WORLD RAT DAY! Yes, it’s really World Rat Day, I didn’t make that up! Obviously this is a most important observance for me, and in honor of it I’m going to spend today gathering up oodles of rat facts to post tomorrow. Tomorrow because, well, with all the rat facts I’ve got in my head, in books, and that I plan to dig up on the internet, it’s probably going to take a day to get them all together, hahah.

- Still unemployed, though not for lack of trying. Dad keeps reminding me that he’s in his fifities and has never seen the job market as bad as it is now, but it still feels like a bit of a personal failing on my part that I need to be defensive about. It bothers me especially since I’m living with my parents, on their dime, eating their food and using their water, when I’m both physically and psychologically able to contribute. Having spent my entire life watching my brother purposefully exploit my mom like this, and get away with it from Dad more and more now that he’s getting older and just doesn’t have the fuel to fight with him anymore, I’m pretty paranoid about ever turning into a deliberate leech like he was. I try to stay useful though--I do our shopping a lot, since both of them work, and I do anything around the house that they want, and I go in and volunteer most days at Mom’s job to help her out. She’s the librarian at a children’s elementary school. Yup, after being the librarian at my college’s library, I am now one yet again. Dealing with the kids isn’t at all as hard as I thought it would be either. They’re almost all very quiet and seem downright petrified when they come to check out books because, well, Mom and her boss are rather short with them all.

I’ve also read to a few classes, and that was fun. Again, the kids were very easy to deal with since their teachers kept them in line, not me. One class sent Mom home with a bunch of thank-you notes from the kids to me the next day, and it was ridiculously adorable. They had drawings too, and I was impressed by their attention to detail; a lot of them remembered I had blue eyes! Cute as that all is though, I still don’t want to get any closer to working with kids than checking out books to them or a half-hour of storytelling with help from teachers corralling them away from me.

- Speaking of Brian, he and his current girlfriend have taken off to North Carolina to live with my aunt. According to my aunt, Liz (the girlfriend) has made him find work, but I rather suspect Aunt is the one who did it. Aunt is…forceful and bossy and does not take his shit, Liz is a mentally ill woman that he manipulates because she would be homeless without having access to Aunt via him. What’s worse is that she’s pregnant. We’re all hoping that she’s going to give it up for adoption when she has it, but both she and Brian seem to want to keep it. Well, getting other people to take care of his kid and him just getting to swoop in and have fun with him and swoop out when they going gets tough worked for him with his first…spawn…so I suppose he reckons he’ll try the same thing again. Worst of all, it’s going to be a girl. I don’t want my brother raising a girl. I don’t want him being the role model to some little girl for what to look for in a man, and I don’t want Liz to be the role model for her daughter of how women should expect to be treated by their boyfriends. Nothing I can do though, I suppose. At least Brian is out of this house and out of the state, and that’s the best thing I could ask for. Of course, after he left we discovered he’d stolen several hundred dollars from us AGAIN in one final goodbye dick move.

- Tiras has a recurrent eye infection that I’m trying to treat with tetracycline. Joram, meaning, has gotten a lump, and after the lump, small scabs have appeared and he doesn’t seem to have as healthy stool as usual (yes, I really check their poops to make sure they’re healthy, I’m dedicated). I remember that Scurvy’s abscess gave him similar symptoms, so I’m going to ask my dad if he thinks the tetracycline could be of use for this too, since it’s an antibiotic and I think we used some of that for Scurves. I really hope it is an abcess, because better that than a tumor, which is the other possibility.

- I really miss horseback riding. Dad got me a WONDERFUL week-long stay at a dude ranch, with riding twice a day, as a graduation present last year, but I haven’t been back in the saddle since then, and of course I haven’t asked to. Trail rides and lessons and such cost big money, I’m not about to ask for that kind of pampering when I’ve already got the luxury of being allowed to live under this roof at all. I still miss it though. A lot. I was never good at it as a sport, always did horrible in shows, and have no talent at all for the fancy stuff, but when it comes to just regular riding and hanging out with the horses, I just feel so right and in my element. Mom did get me a pass for a trail ride as a Christmas present though, so now it’s just a matter of waiting for it to warm up nicely enough for one and finding a stable nearby to do it. Though it’s still not quite the same as having the same gaggle of horse buddies at the same stable like I did for seven years when I was taking lessons. I like riding best when it’s horses I know.

- Andrew and I have been talking a bit more. I really do wish I could have been straight for him. We work so well as friends that I know we’d be a great couple. We really were always friends, honestly. We never went farther than kissing, and close-mouth kissing at that. Looking back at it, I think maybe the root of it was that I had never had a best friend who was male before, and that I mistook my intense feelings of affection and camaraderie for this guy, having never felt them for a boy to that degree, as probably being romantic love, since that’s what girls are supposed to feel about boys they like a lot and all, right? I also feel just tremendously guilty to this day since he was such a wonderful guy, such a wonderful boyfriend, he deserved better than for his girlfriend to be some dyke tease. I almost wish he’d resent me for it, but being the stupendous guy it is, he doesn’t at all and is still all about being buds with me with zero awkwardness at all. Which I must say he pulls off pretty well. The not-being-awkward about it thing I mean. Hopefully I do as well. I just really hope he finds the best girlfriend ever.

My mom still wants us back together though, which creeps both him and me out to no end. Maybe because my sister has thus far only brought back duds, milksops, and idiots, and I only ever brought back Andrew, making him by default the only decent guy ever to be introduced to our folks, but she was kind of obsessed with Andrew from the beginning. To the point that the entire family jokes about her wanting to hook up with him and she doesn’t deny it at all.

- Also have talked to Alex (the former Lola) again for the first time in…has it been a few years? One of the mental parts of my disability affects how I perceive time, which is to say, I basically don’t have a sense of it at all. I have a stellar memory in most regards, but if you ask me to recall WHEN something happened, then I’m stumped. Anyway, so, just hoping this goes alright and we can be decent acquaintances. I don’t want back what we had, not even close, not with him or with anyone, it was too deep and too close to have ever been healthy, but occasional amicable chats seem safe and doable enough.

- I’ve finally started writing for the storyverse that I’ve been planning for…well, the characters I’ve had since I was fifteen, really, but I didn’t start planning the mechanics of the actual world and setting until about a year or two ago. It’s urban fantasy, vampires and werewolves and monsters running around in a modern-day American town, and currently very like early Buffy with the some of the local kids having been tasked with taking on said monsters in an episodic monster-of-the-day sort of way. It’s meant to get more complex down the line, and my ultimate goal would just be loads and loads of different books following the adventures of different characters. So often urban fantasies just follow the POV of one protagonist, and thus only really skim the surface of the amazing worlds that the author has created. I put way too much thought into this ‘verse for that. While I’m pretty confident that my characters and general monsters are original and fresh, I do hope I can manage to do things with magic, witches, vampires, and were-critters that hasn’t been done a million times before, given how popular they already are. Will cross that bridge when I come to it, I guess. If I ever get to it at all; that seems doubtful right now because despite starting last year, I’m only at Chapter 11. My work ethic and ability to be inspired is just shit. I need to improve that.

I’m probably not going to talk much about the story on this LJ, partly because I barely use this LJ anymore, partly because any notes I make on it are subject to change, partly because I’m a little worried about thievery of ideas (not from any followers but just…who knows who might randomly pass through?), and mostly because I’m embarrassed of how crappy everything is so far. But it’s a project, and I need some purpose as long as I’m really not doing anything else productive.

- I’m still trying to improve on art. Sometimes I get a little down and wonder how much I even can improve, given how part of my aforementioned disability (I don’t like to name it) means that I have significantly fucked fine motor skills and how my vision problems have skewed my sense of depth/perspective so much in real life that I have no idea how to even begin creating the illusion of them on paper….but at the end of the day I still WANT to draw, and I know that even if there are limits to how much better I can get, I haven’t hit them yet, and I am slowly but surely making progress, I think. Very slowly. But still!
Thursday, November 1st, 2012
4:12 pm
Friday, October 12th, 2012
9:37 am
Sporking LJ
Hey so, for anyone interested, I made a new LJ for sporking-only purposes
http://a-sporking-rat.livejournal.com/
If you don't know what sporking is, it basically means going through a work of text and making fun of the content. Right now my plans are for several of the recent Anita Blake books by Laurell K. Hamilton, but I may move on to other things once I get through those! So if you've read that series and found it as beguilingly terrible as I did, come on down and watch the fun!

They're also as much summaries as sporks, for those of you who not only want to be entertained but want to know what's happening too but can't bear to actually READ this tripe yourself, a feeling I know well.
Tuesday, July 10th, 2012
5:13 pm
2012 Update
It's been awhile since I posted to this journal, obviously. I didn't exactly abandon it, I just use my account now only for posting to online communities, not for making journal entries. When I quit posting to it, I also deleted almost all my previous entries. This is because they were mostly used to communicate with a then-friend that I'm no longer friends with, and I didn't want the reminders. All the notes on characters were also outdated, all the sketches were crappy, and both were things that only said friend who knew the characters and the in-jokes and such would 'get' and appreciate anyway. I probably won't be updating regularly in the future either, and I don't know if anyone is still following this LJ anyway. I almost hope no one is, actually.

However, since it's been more than a year, I thought I would try to use my LJ for something positive again, and decided to make a list of accomplishments and/or other Good Things in my current life. It seems like a healthy thing to do.

* Graduated with honors from Agnes Scott with a Bachelor's in English Literature. Considering how hard Agnes is just to get in to, I'm hoping that a four-year degree from there will give some kind of advantage, however small, in finding a job in the current job market (which my dad says is pretty much the worst he's ever seen in his life) which I am now actively trying to do, albeit without much success.

* Learning to drive. I'm 22, so it's about time. Between a disability that screws with how well I can perceive space, depth, and distance, an eye problem that makes it even worse, and mental illness that had rendered me an emotional wreck throughout high school, I never got it done at 16 like my sister and friends. I've been ashamed of that for awhile, it makes me more of a burden on my parents, and it limits my job opportunities even more. I had tried to learn before, but failed due to the aforementioned reasons. I'm trying again now, and it's going much better, probably because I now have better medication and better glasses than last time.

* I've severed myself successfully from a couple of toxic relationships. As someone who has had so much struggle forming relationships with people, who craves them so much but finds them so hard to come by and cultivate, this was very difficult for me, but I have no doubt it was for the best, and I'm proud of myself for doing it.

* I have three wonderful rats and three precious mice, not to mention my very affectionate cat.

* I've all but quit online RPing, something I've been planning on doing for awhile. It's not that I no longer enjoy it, but I've found that I can't write (as in stories, not posts) when I'm involved in roleplay. It's one or the other as far as my inspiration and energy goes, and I really want to start writing and COMPLETING stories. And since cutting back on RPing almost completely, I have indeed been writing more, and this makes me very happy. Any day that I have written a significant enough amount is a day that I can feel I didn't waste, no matter what else I failed to accomplish.

* I have a small group of online chums that I am very happy with, and I have learned not to feel bad that most of my better/stronger friendships are online or long-distance (leaving school = previously RL pals become Facebook-only friends), regardless of what my therapist and parents think. Just because they're not here with me doesn't make them any less real, and just because it's easier for me this way doesn't make it bad or a crutch or whatever. If it's fulfilling my emotional needs in a way that I'm comfortable with, I don't think I need to justify it to other people.

* I have learned to feel okay with being single. Ever since I came out of the closet, I have wanted a serious long-term girlfriend for all the normal reasons that one would want one, but more than that I just wanted one for validation of my identity. In my own experience as a gay person, especially a lesbian (there seriously are people who believe that gay men are 'real' but not gay women), especially as a very femme lesbian (even within the lesbian community there are folks who think you're not REALLY a gay girl if you're not butch enough), I find that people of all types (not just the occasional guy trying to get up my skirt) seem to think it's their place and their business to interrogate me about how 'serious' I am about my sexuality. Um, I've been open about liking girls for eight years now, including in some pretty homophobic environments, I gave up a guy who was basically the perfect boyfriend when it was clear to us both that I could never be into him Like That, just what criteria am I supposed to meet here? Oh, right, I don't "look" like a lesbian. Because there's a certain way all of us look, I suppose. Because I'm not having regular sex with a lady or ladies, and of course if I'm sexually attracted to women I should be screwing every single one I know 24/7. Because I don't go out to gay clubs and bars, since I guess my hatred of crowds, loudness, and distaste for alcohol (which I can't even drink anyway due to my meds) couldn't have anything to do with that.

So yeah, I think part of what previously made my desire for a long-term lady partner so strong was more so I could just have someone to point to and go "Look, see, I have a girlfriend, I really am gay, so leave me alone and stop trying to tell me I'm not or can't be sure or should try you or whatever!" Being at Agnes Scott helped, since very few of the girls there asked me any such questions or tried any such bullshit. It was comforting to have my identity be acknowledged and accepted but also not A Big Deal and something that I needed to pass a test to qualify for or something. I think I also wanted a sexual/romantic partner because it's "normal" and something that "normal people" have and I've desperately been trying to be normal my whole life.

I would still like a long-term relationship, but it's no longer something that I feel I *need* in order to qualify as a "real" lesbian and as a healthy normal successful human being. It's more like something that I will welcome happily if it comes along naturally, but that I'm not driven to seek out and will not feel like "less" if it never does. Not to mention that I would be a hugely shitty girlfriend if all I saw my partner as was a trophy saying Look I'm A Regular Human Being Who Has A Romantic Relationship. That'd be demeaning and objectifying as hell to her, and if I do wind up with someone, it's going to be because we're in love, not so I can use her as an accomplishment status to my therapist and the world. In the meantime, I am happy and content with being a single person, and feel now that I will be happy and content if I am always a single person like I may well be. My worth and success is NOT determined by whether I have a partner and what sex they are.
Wednesday, January 5th, 2011
1:24 pm
RIP
As mentioned in my last entry, we planned to have Jessie put down on Monday if she did not improve. Sadly, she ended up being in such a state that we had to take her in to be put down on Sunday.

It was a nice day, so we set her up on her bed in front of the open basement door so she could watch the wind blow, smell the grass, listen to the birds...just have a nice last few hours before we took her in. Vet offices are not open (at least not in our very Christian state) on Sundays, but a vet does come in to PetsMart on Sundays to serve for emergencies. I was quite aghast at the idea of pet store people with no vetinary training being the ones to handle Jessie's euthanasia until I found this out, and found out there's even a well-stocked vet office in the backside of the store that they used. No one who is not a professional is handling our dog's death.

As it turns out, this is the same PetsMart that we brought her home from. They do adoption days where dogs from the pounds and rescue centers are brought in to the store, and she was one of them. So by serendipity, we realized when we arrived there, her lying in the back of the van, we were making a full cycle.

Dad and I carried her in, and it was quite an effort, as she's a 70 pound dog. But I think both of us would sooner die ourselves than have dropped her. The vet assistant had a look at her first and got our story, and she nearly cried because it turns out her dog had the same condition and met the same fate. She agreed that the most humane thing to do now would be to end her suffering as soon as possible. Then the vet herself came in and agreed, adding that we must have taken excellent care of her for her to be the age that she is--she is between 13 1/2 and 14 years old, which is old for a dog in general but especially a large breed like her, as larger dogs have shorter lifespans. Dad and the vets also confirmed what I thought---a young and otherwise healthy dog might be able to survive this, but a lot of things just hit our poor old pooch at once. She just couldn't take it.

The vet then left to prepare the injection, but before she returned, Jessie died on her own. We were all there with her--Mom, Dad, and me (sadly, Rose was back at school, and I don't know where Brian was)--and Daddy was the last thing she saw before she went. That's how it should be. He loved her most. She loved him most. They were bonded like only a dog and the person they love can bond. Daddy says he's glad that she had a natural death. He says that he's never liked the idea of the injections that stop their hearts, not that he at all supports making an animal suffer needlessly of course. Me, I'm just glad that this way we never have to doubt if it was the right time for her to go, and that he seems to have a much better sense of closure because of the way she died. He's still terribly sad, of course.

We buried her in the backyard. Neither he nor I wanted to give her up for cremation, even the type where they actually give you the ashes back. We wanted to just put her back in the earth, in the earth of the place where she lived. We put three big rocks on top of the mound so we'll always know where she is. Though we buried her with her collar, I kept the tags. They're in the nice little plush green box that I also keep the tags from Freddy, our first dog.

It's going to be a different house without her.

Current Mood: Mourning
Friday, December 31st, 2010
12:36 pm
Dog Days
I may be losing my dog, our dog, soon. Her name is Jessie, and she's been with us since I was in second grade. We got her when she was a year old, and she was from a shelter.

Now in her old age, she's developed a thyroid problem, and it has lead to her having mega esophagus. That is, her esophagus has become grossly enlarged, which makes it so that she cannot eat on her own. Even if she tries (which she refuses to because she's now associated eating with getting sick) the food will NOT reach her stomach, it will become trapped in the pockets and pouches of the esophagus and sit there and rot, possible getting into her trachea and giving her pneumonia. Meanwhile, her stomach will sense food is there and began to produce bile, which will, without any food there, just pile up until she throws it up. She won't drink anymore either, though we couldn't keep her away from the water for awhile.

What we are doing now is liquefying dog food in the blender and feeding it to her by a turkey baster. She is NOT happy about it, and it's a very messy process. We go through almost a whole roll of paper towels to take care of all the stuff that doesn't make it down her throat and to clean up when she urinates or soils herself while we do it, which she frequently does. Afterwards we need to keep her sitting upright like a person for 15 to 30 minutes afterwards so that gravity will make the food travel down her esophagus fully, because if we don't, it'll just come up again and the whole process will have been for nothing. We do this four times a day and give her water in the same manner. Last night, Dad and Brian even finished building a little chair-type contraption for her to make the feeding easier; some dogs with her condition can live otherwise full lives as long as they can get fed with these. We put her in it and it holds her upright for the feeding instead of us having to hold her up. This lets it go from a two-person job to a one-person one, though having an assistant is often necessary. That's how it's been--I'm Daddy's assistant. It's really been just him and me doing this. No one else is here enough, no one else can deal with the grossness of it all enough...and I hate to say it, but I feel like no one else cares quite enough. Or at least not as much as Dad does.

He loves this dog. I always knew that, but it shows so much now. He feeds her, he wipes her ass when she's smeared crap all over it, he's applied cream to her hemorrhoid, he checks her breathing, he wipes her face and paws with me when she's dribbling food all over them, and he holds her upright and strokes her and talks to her and tells her what a good girl she is and kisses her on the head. He loves her so much and I love him so much for it. He's so gentle and so kind and so dedicated and so wonderful. If Mom ever gets this old and sick, she should hope he'd take HALF this good care of her.

But even he now is starting to give up. He says that if she's not showing improvement by Monday, he'll have her put down. He loves her enough to not want her to have to live a life where she's in pain. Because those other dogs who live full lives with the chair, I think they were dogs who otherwise didn't have anything wrong with them and were young. She's at least thirteen and has awful arthritis in her back legs. All she does all day is just lie there. She can't really DO anything. It was thrilling the other day when she walked out to the middle of the yard.

We want her to live. But not if she's not happy. And if getting her fed to keep her alive isn't making her happy or even that healthy, it's not worth it.

Worst thing? I'm actually kind of hoping that we can just have her put down because I hate seeing her like this. And I am so afraid of what her dying will do to my dad.

Current Mood: Upset
Friday, November 12th, 2010
3:47 pm
People said to things to me on Thursday night that I liked.

“I think you should just be naked and covered in pearls all the time.”

I like that someone said this because, well, it’s true. It made me feel like, wow, this person GETS me. And it wasn’t a likely person either!

One of the miraculous things about my little school is that in the three years I’ve been here, I’ve never met anyone mean, anyone cruel, anyone who was a bully. You probably don’t believe me, and I’m sure there must be some bad apples I haven’t met, but in my own experience, no one here is a jerk. But the closest thing has been this girl to me. Yeah, Makeover Girl. We’ve never had another incident and we’re on good terms because I know her heart was in the right place even if her idea was bad. What she does regularly though is kind of tease me about not wearing shoes. Every time she sees me, she’ll point it out, demand I put some on, etc. And now that it’s cold and I have to put them on here and there, she sees me in them, and like everyone else she has to comment on that, which I understand because it’s odd, although I guess its odder to me that everyone even notices.

Now, last night was a warmer day, so I could just walk around shoeless and in a sundress like in good ol’ August, but come night, it cooled down, and when I set out to go to astronomy lab, which is three hours and mostly outdoors because we’re looking at the stars, I decided to put on a more substantial outfit--jeans, a T-shirt, sneakers and socks, and a sweater in my bag just in case. Basic, normal, etc. Not unusual on anyone else, but apparently it was on me, because on the way to the observatory I passed by her, smoking on a bench with her friend, and I waved, and she exclaimed,

“I’ve never seen you in this much clothing before!”

Which makes me sound like a hoochie nudist, but I guess it’s true, that’s kind of a lot for me, and I explained why I had to do it. She asked

“Do you feel, like, squished when you have to wear shoes?”

And I said yeah, I guess it takes away some of my special essence.

And she said, “I think you should just be naked and covered in pearls all the time.”

She has seen me naked and covered in pearls from the photo that was taken for Gabrielle‘s project (even though it was headless she still knew it was me because of the pearls and long hair), so she knows it’s a good look for me.

And I like pearls.

And I said, “I’d like that.”

And then when I got to astronomy I said that there were rats on the moon eating all the cheese and Jessie said that was where the craters come from and I loved that idea so much.

I also really like this song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pyJChP-mzqw&feature=related

Current Mood: busy
Monday, November 2nd, 2009
12:14 pm
ATLANTA PRIDE
I was planning to go to Atlanta Pride in Midtown on Saturday with Collective, but my email concerning when and where we would meet to get on MARTA to go was never returned. But while I working in the library on Saturday, Victoria and Heather came in, and I was able to make arrangements to tag along with them on Sunday. After bouncing around to Aqua and Lady Gaga while I got ready (was ridiculously excited about opening new bottle of liquid foundation) I met up with them on the Main Loop and we made our way down. The train was boarded by a few other queers along the way to Midtown too (for those who don’t know, while the South in general is not a gay place, Atlanta is like HOMG GAY and Atlanta Pride gets people from all over…it’s pretty much the New York City of the South, and not just cause of the queers either) and one of the fellows to get on had long hair and was obnoxiously drunk. Very loud. Gross, sir, it’s not even noon yet. We walked to the street where the parade was going to be, and even though it was not going to start for a fair bit the place was packed with folks just waiting. We met up with Victoria’s moms there. Yeah, not only is Victoria a lesbian (she made one exception, I remember, but that really was the exception) but it turns out her mom has a partner too! I don’t know the whole story, I know she has a dad and I think her mom and dad were together for awhile…it may be like with Jhavia’s aunt. Jhavia’s aunt was really really against Jhavia being a lesbian, and then, uh, she ended up coming out of the closet herself. Heehee. And get this, her momma’s partner also has a son, Joey (aka Nomi More) who was a drag queen in the parade. He let my touch his skirt and eeeeeh loads of white puffy petticoats yes.
OVER THE RAINBOW IS UNDER THE CU(N)TCollapse )

Current Mood: Need to peeee
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