Friday, March 31, 2006

Free Advice

If you love me, put a sock in it!

I made a comment on this blog, but I thought I’d share my pearls of wisdom here.
If someone says something offensive to you, it’s useful to have this little comment tucked away:

“Wow, did you mean to be rude, or did that just come out wrong?”

I like it because it obviously calls them on their rudeness, but you don’t have to stoop to their level by insulting them. Plus, you get bonus points because you give them an opening to apologize.

Yup, I’m here for all your social questions. (Even though I’m a partial hermit myself.)

Fairy Princess (& a rat)

I was talking to a friend last night and she mentioned that I need to have more pictures of Noodle on here, and I told her the reason I don't is because Noodle isn't quite as willing a model as Spud is. Spud is generally interested enough in what he is doing that I can just shoot away, but Noodle either feels obligated to give me an ultimate CHEESE face, or says, "Mo-om, stop taking pictures and PLAY with me!" So, this fairy picture is from last year, but I really like it. This is the one I chose to have printed for my FREE 11x14 (from winning the class vote in my photography class the first week). I think it'l be a fun one to frame and hang in her room.

This picture of Finny is just to show to another friend who asked how well the kit lens on the camera does for rat portraits. This photo actually tied for second place in the class vote yesterday. (Forgive my shameless self promotion.)

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Why Rats Are Great Pets

There are actually lots of reasons, but I wanted to highlight a couple of them today:

1. They LOOOVE leftovers of (almost) any type. There are a few forbidden foods, but generally they can eat anything that people eat. Also, unlike a dog, you don’t have to have very much left on the plate for them to get really excited about it. Your toddler’s unfinished bowl of rice & beans? Put it in the rat cage! Half eaten banana from this morning? Into the rat cage! It’s great to feel like I’m not wasting food, and giving my ratboys a treat at the same time.
2. Unintimidating. Lots of young kids who are freaked out by dogs and even cats are not intimidated by rats because they are so small. The kids may not want to hold a rat, but you can bet they’ll LOVE watching them in their cage. I was reminded of this again yesterday when a friend was visiting with her 14 month old daughter. The girl couldn’t get enough of watching the rats.
3. Fun to accessorize their “house”. I love finding new hidey homes or making hammocks for the rats. Presently I have a box “clubhouse” for them on the top of their cage that they get to play in during “free range” time. Remember wishing that you could be tiny so you could fit in your toys? Well, rats are small enough, so you can live vicariously through them.
4. So darn cute & cuddly!
5. People wonder about you when they find out you keep rats as pets. I like to make people wonder.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

"Hey, Shove off!"

I love this picture of my ratboys Marco (on the right) and Finny (left).

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Color Code

YELLOWS are motivated by FUN. They are inviting and embrace life as a party that they're hosting. They love playful interaction and can be extremely sociable. They are highly persuasive and seek instant gratification. YELLOWS need to be adored and praised. While YELLOWS are carefree, they are sensitive and highly alert to others' agendas to control them. YELLOWS typically carry within themselves the gift of a good heart.

YELLOWS need to look good socially, and friendships command a high priority in their lives. YELLOWS are happy, articulate, engaging of others and crave adventure. Easily distracted, they can never sit still for long. They embrace each day in the "present tense" and choose people who, like themselves, enjoy a curious nature. YELLOWS are charismatic, spontaneous, and positive; but can also be irresponsible, obnoxious, and forgetful. When others interact with you, as a YELLOW you respond to them best if they take a positive, upbeat approach and promote light-hearted, creative, and fun interactions with you.

Understand that no two YELLOWS are exactly alike. Although you share the same core motivation as many others, your personality is still unique to you alone.


When I took this test before, I was a yellow, and since they say it is most accurate if you answer as you would have behaved as a child, I wasn’t surprised to see that I was still yellow. And I LIKE being yellow. I really wouldn’t want to be anything else.

The Color Code


Spud learned to say "Cow" on Saturday, as we were driving around out in the "country." Of course he says it more like "cah-oh", but it's obvious what he's going for. He also enjoys moooing.

Here are a couple of the pix from the "farm".

The kids and I are pretty much better. David was sick over the weekend, but is feeling okay today. As hard as it is to be home with the kids when I'm sick, I'm glad that I don't have to go to work and not feel great.

In other news, it seems like exciting things are happening in the lives of everyone but me. One of my dear friends (a former roommate) is getting married in May, two good friends are expecting babies (one of them is expecting her first, and the other is expecting #2), and another friend's home has just started being built. Here I sit, though, with no real excitement as of yet. The progress of David's company is exciting, but that's kind of secondhand excitement for now. But, I am certainly glad not to be pregnant, and I am having a lot of fun with photography right now, so I think that will suffice.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Whiskers in the Dark

This is my rat Loki. He's a partial rex, so he has funky fur and fun curly whiskers. I bought him (and his brother Finny) from a breeder in Idaho when we were there for Thanksgiving. My dad couldn't believe that I was going to keep RATS in his house! He's convinced that they are going to give us some bizarre illness, and sends me links to articles about monkeypox and other diseases carried by "exotic" animals. While some vets still think of rats as "exotics," I think that a pet descended from laboratory animals is pretty non-exotic by now.

Ben Stiller movies

We watched "Duplex" last night. It hadn't really occurred to me that it would be a "typical" Ben Stiller movie. You know, the kind where horrible things happen to him and nothing goes right? A la "Meet the Parents," "Envy," "Meet the Fockers," etc . I do generally like Ben Stiller, and I think he's funny and even kind of cute, but both David and I cringe when we see these movies. Or I should say we cringe repeatedly. And while we do laugh, too, I think we both get a little too stressed out watching horrible things happen to a nice guy like Ben. It's kind of the same way I feel whenever I've watched "America's Funniest Home Videos." I can't help but feel sorry for the people who get hit by falling branches, trip over their own feet and bash their heads on something, or get whapped in the face by a car door opening.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Black & White

Last week's assignment for my photography class was two black & white photos, one with "high contrast". The shoes one was mentioned by the instructor as one of his favorites! Whoo-hoo!

I'm afraid I'm having a bit more trouble with this week's assignment--one picture with fast shutter speed and one with slow shutter speed. I was supposed to have emailed them to him yesterday, but I'm hoping to get something today. I don't think I'll be mentioned as a favorite this week, though. We've been sick for much of the past week, so it's hard to get out and take pictures. Oh well.

Monday, March 20, 2006

bunch of sickos

The kids and I are all sick. David stayed home from church yesterday so I could get some rest, so I'm feeling a little better today, but I'm still coughing and sneezing. At least the achiness is gone. The kids are handling the discomfort pretty well. I'm hoping that this bout of illness will finally clear out the lingering cough I've had since I was sick in January.

On another note, it's now officially SPRING, and we have a few inches of snow on the ground. I think the problem with winter here is that it starts in mid-Autumn and lingers until mid-Spring. What right does it have to encroach upon the other seasons time? Sheesh! This winter has seemed especially long and terrible, and I'm more than ready for Spring.

My little pony...

The other day the kids and I were out running errands and Noodle found her little pony toy in the car, so she was playing with it. I sang the “My Little Pony” ditty (you other children of the 80s might remember it) and then I added the line, “My little pony, eats macaroni...” She said, “No! She eats grass!” A minute later she sang, “My little pony, is purple and BONY!” I laughed, but was impressed. That’s pretty good rhyme for a 3 year old!

Monday, March 13, 2006

Photo Ops

At the end of February, I started my photography class through the local college. We have our third class this week, and I'm quite enjoying them. Every week we will vote on our favorite photos, and the 2 winners will get a free 11x14 printed at the instructor's camera shop. Last week I was one of the winners (top photo of Spud)! Then, to top of my happiness, the instructor said that my photo of my rat Finny (bottom) was his favorite of the week!

I am having a lot of fun thinking of ideas for photographs, and am truly coming to believe that the single most important part of taking a good picture is taking LOTS of pictures. You take 100 or more, and if you get lucky, one or two turn out to be something special. Then of course you only show those to others, so they think you are amazingly talented. Mostly just persistent. This is especially true when working with animals or children.


I've meant to post more frequently, but my MacJournal isn't connecting well to Blogger lately, and I don't know why not. A week and a half ago our sweet "adopted" stray kitty Nemo passed away. He had been ill, and we did our best to help him through it, but I think the illnesses were just too much and he died sometime during the morning Sunday, March 5th. David's parents were kind enough to let us bury him in their backyard. I still miss seeing him hanging around outside, and coming to our apartment twice daily to eat. He was such a wonderful cat, and Noodle sure loved him, as did I.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Yay March!

I’m really happy that it’s March! That means that the end of Winter is in sight, we’re that much closer to being able to move into a house (I hope), and lots of other happy spring related things. So, YAY!