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Accepting the geeks in your life ...

I am a self professed geek (though I think a lot of people in my life would agree with it even if I hadn't professed it myself). I enjoy being a geek. Even if I tried I don't think I could be main stream ... it wasn't in the cards from an early age.

Though I like how being a geek makes me different - I also get irritated when the more vanilla people in my life seriously mock or scorn my interests. I will sit and listen to people talk about sports, vehicles, historical sites or situations, and all manner of "normal" interests with an open mind and a smile on my face. To be honest I could care less about most of those things. Though I was thrilled when the Saints won the superbowl and can enjoy watching a game - if football disappeared tomorrow I would simply shrug. It doesn't really do anything for me.

So if I can sit and listen to people prattle on about things that mean less then nothing to me - why is it socially acceptable for them to sigh and roll their eyes when I bring up something from "my" world? If I can show interest in their talking about watching a game on television then why can't they do the same for a sci-fi reference for me? Is it so wrong to expect reciprocation? I truly don't understand.

I show interest in things I would otherwise not care about because in showing interest in those things I feel like I am showing interest and respect to the person sharing them with me. To me this is a just basic form of respect, kindness, and friendship. Mostly I have learned a lot about subject matter I never would have looked up on my own by indulging people in those conversations. Granted there are a few things that I find hard to stomach but if I am with someone who GREATLY enjoys them I have found that their pleasure can be contagious and thus will find myself smiling about things I wouldn't care about at all at any other time.


I suppose this is simply how things work. I count myself lucky in that I have parents and a few close friends who are extremely indulgent. Poor patient souls ...

The world has a right to disagree with me, but out to give my arguments more consideration

~ Ashleigh Brilliant ~
The hell with this ...

All things sharp and pointy ...

I really have been trying to ride my bike to work. Last summer I did it almost every day and it was instrumental in me losing a lot of weight. However, at the moment I don't know what karma has been coming back to bite me in the rear - but I can't seem to be able to keep my tires inflated!

In the past two weeks I have had three flats. Two of them were "harmless" in that I didn't have to walk much after noticing them but one was the cause of a 3 mile treck in the heat of the day. I am seriously to the point that I am pretty sure it is becoming more expensive to ride my bike ... which is oh so very wrong on so many levels. To make matters worse - while putting my bike in my car this last time I broke the plastic housing on one of my gages.


I told my Mother that this is just God's way of getting me to test out my newly gained knowledge on how to change tires. After my first flat (the 3 mile walk one) I took my bike to the local trusty bike shop where a friend changed the inner tube for me. Two days later when I woke in the morning only to find that the other tire had a flat I decided that I really needed to learn how to do this on my own - be self sufficient. A really great friend at work, Gio, is also a cyclist and he agreed to teach me. (It is simple, I know, but even the simplest things are impossible if you have no idea how to do them.) So he showed me how to do it on the second flat ... this afternoon (less than a week later) I got another flat. So I am going to sit down with my bike and try out my newly gained knowledge.

Hopefully after this trial by fire the cosmos will stop poking me (or more importantly my bikes tires) and leave me to happily peddle about. My sense of humor about this has thus far continued but I think I am reaching the end of my endurance for this situation.

To err is human, but when the eraser wears out ahead of the pencil, you're overdoing it.

~ J. Jenkins ~

Faceless masses ...

I have become an avid watcher of crime dramas - especially Law & Order (I blame my father and best friend). However, when I watch them I can't help but realize what an absolutely horrible witness I would make. I don't think I could describe the face of someone at work (where I have been for two years) well enough for a sketch artist let alone someone I saw in passing. I just don't seem to work that way.

I truly believe that my brain is simply not wired to be able to remember such things. My father would simply say that I am not trying ... but I think it is more. I think there is something inherent that determines such things.

On the flip side of that coin I have a very good memory of numbers and can often recite conversations word for word ... just don't ask me the hair color of the person I was talking to.

People have one thing in common: they are all different
~Robert Zend~
No Life

(no subject)

I never stopped being amused by how much music can control my moods. I can be having the worst day ever and listen to a snappy song and be dancing around my house singing at the top of my lungs minutes later. I think this is one of the reasons my mood is so much better when I ride my bike to work – it gives me a healthy dose of bouncy music before and after work.

Today I really didn't have any reason to be in a bad mood though (I blame hormones … but then what woman doesn’t?) because we got some amazingly good news. Nonetheless, I still managed to work myself into a mental corner and now I am at home singing screaming along with Muse’s Uprising (an AWESOME song – thank you very much) and in a fantastic mood!

It also helps that I came home to a package on my doorstep. I couldn't fit everything into my luggage on my return trip from Dollywood (seriously, why do I even pack clothes when I go to the mountains? I have totally become one of those t-shirt buying tourists – sad but true – so I should just take an empty bag so that I can return with all the booty.) so my mother mailed the rest of my clothes, the items I purchased and … some food. She makes me laugh.

Alas, hopefully the mercurial nature of my moods will stick to the sunny positive side long enough for me to get some chores done.

My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I'm happy. I can't figure it out.
What am I doing right?
~ Charles M. Schulz

504 fan ... but a fan nonetheless!

It is hard not to love the Saints when you live in NOLA. Their fans are rabid and being a browncoat and trekkie - I can empathize with rabid fans. I love that I was able to live here and see the joy upon the winning of the game. I fit right in because when I get overly emotional (ANY emotion really) I cry - and there is a great tradition of crying when they win here (they dance when they lose ... not a bad habit to pick up really).

I didn't watch the whole game because I really can't handle that sort of stress and just want to get to the winning (or God forbid losing) right away - like a bandaide - pull it off quickly.

I tuned into the game for the last five minutes - just in time to see THE MOST AWESOME PLAY OF THE SEASON! When Tracy Porter intercepted a pass and went all the way back for a touchdown. It was AWESOME! Made all the more cool because as he ran he kept pointing and even danced the last few steps. It was Saints all the way after that!

Once we won I could hear people outside of my house singing (or yelling) "Who Dat! Who Dat! Who Dat saying they gonna be them Saints?!". I went to my front door and at three separate houses people where "second lining" into the street. Moments late I heard honking horns and realized that people on the nearby streets and Vet Blvd. where celebrating as well and then the sky started to fill up with fireworks from at least a dozen houses in my neighborhood ... and I live a good six miles from downtown!

It was awesome.

I am so happy for everyone here. The Saints deserved it and so did this city. This is going to be one hell of a Mardi Gras season!

Bug pictures ...

So it has been a while since I posted about my six-legged friends. I am always baffled when people don't understand why I love what I do. What could be more fun than working with animals?

Well, today we got in some new friends - some blue crawfish from a nearby lab that is studying why they turned blue. Blue crawfish can be found naturally in the wild and there isn't a lot known as to why they are blue. When a nearby lab was studying crawfish husbandry (for mass production for farming) they "accidently" turned the majority of their stock blue. They aren't sure if they happened to tap into a genetic strain, if it is the food they are feeding them, or the conditions in which they are being kept - but a large percentage of them turned bright blue.

The researchers have lots of blue crawfish so they are being generous enough to donate some to us for a new crawfish exhibit (replacing our hermit crab exhibit). The new little ones arrived today in perhaps one of the most creative shipping methods I have ever witnessed.

Crawfish shipment

At first glance you simply wonder how the heck they got the little buggers in there! But when you take a closer look you can see that they cut the bottles in half, stuck the crawfish inside, and then shoved the two halves back together ... trapping the crawfish inside.

Blue Crawfish Blue Crawfish

They are rather dashing critters. I love the purple hue that several of them had. I haven't ever really enjoyed the taste of crawfish or lobster and I think it is because I am so fond of the animals in question (I loved to eat shrimp long before I realized what amusing animals they were ... ah well).

Also at the end of the day Remy (a coworker) pointed out that a katydid was laying eggs. This isn't terribly rare or notable except for the weird contortions they do to lay their eggs. They twist around and put the egg on the branch while mouthing it (the egg and the branch presumably). Flexible much?

Katydid laying eggs

And I can’t go very long without photographing one of my favorite characters – the unicorn katydids! Here is a little male sitting on the plastic wall of its container. I adore those little muppet eyes – but don’t let them fool you – they will totally attempt to chew through your finger if you give them a chance. Cranky little fellows – but I love them!

Unicorn Katydid with its muppet face!

I will try to take more pics in the near future before things get insane when school groups start coming again.

We're all on the same side - we're out to get me.

~ Bob Schneider ~
No Life

Favorite Christmas present - the Kindle DX!

Okay my parents got me a kindle for this past Christmas. I was conflicted on ereaders but now I am thoroughly obsessed with the damn thing. It is AWESOME! I love the fact that I don't have to hold books open but can simply lean it against my leg or pillow (yep I am lazy) and that I can be capricious in my reading choices and flit from book to book without having to get up and search for it.

It does have its downsides - one of the biggest being a complete lack of control over organization. They said they are going to be fixing this soon so I hope they come up with something that makes it all work better. The other downside is that I have been buying books like an addict for years now ... and if I want to read them on the kindle I have to buy them all over again! And I can't cheat by finding them at a book sale or trading with a friend. They aren't as cheap as I expected either - most costing about $6 or so. Even then all the books I want aren't offered (for example Crown Duel isn't at the kindle store - *wail* - but Mrs. Smith is working to remedy that so all will be well on that front soon).

I figure I am going to give myself a small allowance and try to buy some every once and a while to slowly replace my library. I have already decided that I simply can't part with some of the physical books regardless as to whether or not I get them in digital format. They just have too much sentimental value. Many have been read so many times that their binding is giving out so I don't think I could sell them anyways.

I still like it though and have a feeling that eventually I will give in with most of my books. Like my CD's and my ipod ... it will happen without me even noticing.
My end - my beginning

Back on the bandwagon ...

Last year I decided to attempt to lose some weight and get into shape. After one year I have lost 40 pounds! I still have a way to go but I am okay with my progress. I am going to weight watchers and their favorite question when you reach any sort of changes has it made in your life. Oddly - I don't feel like I am that much more capable of physical activity now then I was then. I travelled a lot and hiked some insane trails while carrying that weight.

Having said that - my weight has been steady for the past four months or so. I knew that my diet would take a hiatus during the "craft show season" and holidays so I am not really disappointed or upset. I also quit working out though and boy can I tell a difference now that I am starting to get back in my old routine!

Last year I rode my bike to work the majority of the time. Around the time that October came up I was able to travel the ~5.5 miles to work without my blustering or pain ... today was a lot of blustering and pain! I am also lifting weights at the gym again and finding that I can only lift a fraction of what I was doing before my hiatus. I am stuck between being thrilled that my workout plan does make a difference and kicking myself for backsliding so much.

Ah well ...

I have something to work towards again! I hope that I can something similar this year because I still have a ways to go. (I planned on posting pictures but my upload wizard kept choking up on me … maybe it is trying to tell me to wait until I get to my goal – but that could be a rather long time from now so no one hold their breath.)

Major street flooding ...

Just because everyone I call follows my description with the same question - no, the levees are fine - it has just been raining all day.

The street is flooded to about two feet deep. My front yard is completely under water and it is all the way up to the first step of the stoop leading into my house. Thankfully my house is about three feet off the ground (though still below sea level I am sure).

I already called my boss because I wanted to get his input on tomorrow. If it is anything like this in the morning I won't be able to go in because I both don't want to chance it personally and I refuse to put my car at risk (I sincerely can't afford anything to happen to it). Currently my car is pulled way up into the driveway (thus up a hill) and still the water is up to the hubcaps.

Here is a pic. It is hard to make out but the house across the street has a fire hydrant in their yard that is still barely peeking out of the water.


Perfect Christmas Present? is a website that caries lots of live "feeder" insects (insects that you feed to other animals). We use it at my workplace to order hornworms, silkworms, and mealworms. They recently updated their website so that now you can have a permanent profile that keeps all of your information. The new site is great - it looks very professional.

However, upon submitting my profile I get an email that tells about all the features and includes the below:

Address Book - We can now deliver your products to another address other than yours! This is perfect to send birthday gifts direct to the birthday-person themselves.

Right ... silkworms - the gift for the person who has everything. It is like the DIY wineries they sell in Target ... just much more advanced!