You wash my back and I'll wash yours

If you did a Google search for "spice up sex life" I can nearly guarantee there will be a few similarities between all of the idea lists that are returned. Most of them will suggest:
  • Something about a blindfold
  • Wear lingerie
  • Flirt/send suggestive text messages/pretend to be strangers
  • Don't actually have sex
And, of course, the age-old standby:
  • Have a steamy [LOL IT'S A PUN] shower together

It makes sense. You're naked, there's water and suds running all over your body, your partner can oh-so-helpfully caress you under the guise of washing your skin. It would be novel to have your partner join in on what is normally a solo activity.

I R SOAP. I will save your sex life.

Thing is, I don't get what's special about having a shower together. T and I do it every day! Being naked together doesn't immediately have to turn into sexytime. (At least, not in the real world.) There are wonderfully practical reasons to shower together, and it constantly baffles me that more people don't do it. We're so used to the routine that we shower together without a second thought when visiting other people's houses... Though the first time we showered together at my mom's apartment was a bit awkward, because she didn't notice until we got out of the shower. "Did... did you guys shower together?" she tentatively asked. "Yup," I chirped back, "We always do." She was taken clearly aback by how casual we were about it. (Oh mommy, you're so sheltered.) I mean, this was a big change from previous visits where we weren't allowed to sleep in the same room. Though that was my step-dad's doing..

*ahem*. Moving on!

It probably helps that T is very tiny... We can actually both fit in the shower at the same time without getting in each other's way, easily stepping by the other to share the water equally. I can see showering together being difficult if one had to, say, dodge a beer belly to get at the shampoo.

Another barrier is that many people are weirdly shy about grooming habits. Maybe you don't want your partner to see you pick your nose in the shower, or meticulously clean your privates. Maybe you don't want your partner to know you play target practice with your urine and the tub drain (Admit it; you know you do.) Shame has never been my strong suit, so I don't particularly mind grooming in front of T.

It certainly makes taking a shower less lonely. Some of the best conversations we have are in the shower. Trust me: it's lovely to have a little chat while you're all warm and clean and steamy. And if you want to sing a duet, the intriguing acoustics of an average shower will turn you into a rather talented pair.

Of additional importance to us is the effective use of hot water. We both like to take long showers, and T's showers are longer than mine since he also shaves in the shower every day. Were we to shower separately, one of us would always get a cold (or - god forbid - short) shower. That's not fair at all, now, is it? This way we can both take extra-long showers and still not run out of precious hot water.

What I'm trying to say here is don't wait until you're horny to shower with your partner. It's economical! It's environmental! It's fun! It's efficient! Couples who don't shower together are weird. You don't want to be weird, do ya?

Oh, but it's totally fair to not want to share a bath. Those bubbles are mine, bitch.

There's a hole in my panties (dear Liza, dear Liza...)

So. My panties have a hole in them.
Not as in "the constant friction from thick denim wore through the fibers of the cotton." Not even as "poor laundry habits torn through the seam of my underwear." I haven't even worn the damn things yet, and they have a hole! A hole by design. Why?

What purpose could this possibly serve? It is, by far, not a common feature in girls' underwear - in fact, it can be rather silly looking, and the small hole exposes a tiny fraction of butt-crack that cannot, in any way, be considered "Attractive." Is it a signature feature, limited only to a specific brand? Is it a radically new design feature that meets the previously unconsidered demands of customers? Is it some weird in-joke that only an underwear designer would get? I present to you, my scientifically-minded readers, several hypotheses I have developed on the subject.

Nano cooked...

After a month of pretty bad depression, exam stress and a cold I figured it was a good time to start actually feeding myself more than a trip to McDonalds once a day. Poor T caught my cold, and it's been whupping his ass, so he needs all the nutrients he can get...

The things is, I'm pretty terrified of cooking. I can follow a recipe, but choosing which recipe to follow is difficult for me. I don't know the taste or function of most vegetables and meat, so I can't guess what a dish will taste like by just looking at the ingredients. I also don't know how to pick out the best fresh ingredients. basically, when I go grocery shopping, I'm fucked.

My strategy is to, about twice a year, get brave and discover a new recipe that I add to my repertoire. This time I decided to try a fancied-up Mac 'n Cheese posted by Nadia of Modest Images. [All her recipes are vegetarian, and her photography makes me drool. *drool drool*]

The Empty Cage

Five days after we took Odin to the vet, I'm sitting here feeling the approach of closure. You'd think I would be used to this by now: having owned countless small rodent creatures during my childhood, I was accustomed to rodent death - a few hours of heartfelt bawling, and then the promise of another small critter to soothe my sorrows.

It doesn't work like that anymore.

This was the first time I was the one responsible for the decision to end a pet's life. It wasn't a hard decision: the future didn't look bright for Odin, who was quite an elderly mouse at nearly three years old. It was, however, a painful one.

There isn't much to be said on the subject of Odin's passing: her benign tumour doubled in size over the past month or so, pushing aside her internal organs and making it difficult for her to breathe and walk. She was still eating, drinking and pooping - promising signs - but her quality of life was extremely diminished. Surgery was an option, but not a viable one. Friends were alarmed at the price of the vet visit - "$120 for a mouse? You can buy a new one for five dollars..." Had she had a better chance of surviving the surgery and living long afterwards, I would have done it in a heartbeat; likely to be three times the price of the vet visit and cremation. "We don't love them any less because they're small," said the vet as we were leaving. It is painfully true.

I passed out for hours after arriving home, due to being in the middle of a springtime cold and emotionally exhausted. I emptied her cage and set aside the things that needed to be washed. And that's all. I keep catching myself glancing over at her empty cage, sometimes catching a shadow in such a way that it looks - briefly and heart-wrenchingly - like Odin is still there. She was by far the best small rodent pet I've ever had - she didn't bite; she didn't hide and sleep all day. She got excited over new foods, and could come out to run around on my computer desk without throwing herself to the floor. She was gentle and didn't mind being handled. She was cute, friendly, easy to care for and fun to watch. I really do miss her, and don't think we'll ever be able to "replace" her - we may get more mice, but it is guaranteed they will not be the same.

I've also had time to contemplate the fate of my countless other pets as a child, and it's caused a fair degree of frustration. Most of my feelings on the issue can be summed up as "WTF, mom?"

How is is so common for children to be allowed to be primary caretakers of living creatures? It is, in fact, animal abuse. A twelve year old shouldn't be responsible for feeding, watering, entertaining, cleaning and providing medical care for small animals. A pet in the home is the adult's responsibility, not the children's. Period. Adults seem to care very little about an animal's welfare if it's a small and cheap pet - A hamster is only $7, they seem to think, so it's okay if it dies.

If I continue on with this train of thought any longer it will become a garbled mess containing more swear words than clean ones, so I'll just leave with this: if you are, or will ever be, a parent, do not be so stupid and vile as to expect your child to take care of a small pet. Because they won't... and the animal's death and poor life will be on your head.

And I'm terribly sorry for turning this eulogy into a soapbox.

That cursed dark city...

This is the best recounting I can manage of the incredible dream I had last night. I've tried to recapture the Lovecraftian feel the whole thing had. I suspect my subconscious borrowed the little town from A Wrinkle in Time; I think the Jester came from Yakatate Japan; and the insectoids looked a lot like No Face after he'd stuffed himself with food... it's stunning what your mind can put together as it sits there and entertains itself, hmm?

I think the part that is Lovecraftian about it is the feeling of... of greater things being afoot. You get only a glimpse of the true horror and truth of the universe; most of this dream felt exactly the same way...

I do not know from whence I came. I do not remember how I arrived at the surface. I have been told I was madly screaming about a lost city filled with horrible beasts, and unimaginable treasure, and pits of fire. Of that, I have no recollection. My memory begins in darkness, and it ends in darkness – I remember some of my time in that damned city, and I remember… what of my companions? None? I remember having companions, at least for a while… though one was – here, let me try to retell as much as I remember. Yes, I am feeling as well as I can, I expect. You have faithfully tended a delusional stranger for weeks, I owe you as much of my tale as I can recall.

My memory begins in caves – endless, winding caves. I feel as though we were looking for an exit, for an escape, and yet we were being shepherded ever-downward by filled-in passageways and dangerous footing. We – I had companions with me, though who and how many I cannot say – we had the nervous feeling of explorers in unfamiliar territory. Our excitement and fear was as tangible as our sweat. As we descended into the body of the Earth it grew colder – and colder still. We had no light with us, and we were moving based on feeling alone – presumably our torches and oil were long-since used up. We had also ceased to feel hunger, weariness or thirst. I suspect we knew we were heading toward death, but we had no alternatives.

It was all quite sudden – we rounded a corner, there was a skittering of dislodged pebbles, and then we all froze in fear. The tunnel we were following suddenly opened up into a cavern so big it defies human imagination. We reeled at the depth of the pit and the vaulting heights of the damned place. Great, twisted spires pierced to the heavens, enveloped in the mist of distance. The vile pillars reached high enough to support the land above. Had we passed, unwittingly, into the second plane and left noble Earth behind? All the way down were heaps of spires and towers; black as oil, reeking of decay and Magic. Phosphorescent mists swirled beneath us, lending a slight and putrid glow to the City.

Great, twisted spires pierced to the heavens, enveloped in the mist of distance...


It's Spring!
I'm a bit late to the "it's Spring isn't this awesome!?" party, but for good reason. Reason number 1 is that I now have a cold. Who the fuck gets a cold in the spring, instead of January? Me, that's who. Exams start tomorrow, projects and assignments are all completed, the sky is mostly blue, the snow is mostly gone, it's the weekend, and now I have a blasted cold.

Damn it all.

Reason number 2 is a pretty good one. Last week I saw a lovely post in my reader full of flowers and bees and green grass and shit. [Go look at it! It's worth it. Look, I'll even link it again so you don't have to move your cursor too much.] And I thought to myself, "Why doesn't any of my spring photography look like that?"

The answer is because our springs look like this:

This might be a bit difficult to interpret given my artistic vision, but basically everything is brown and grey and the snow that's left is more crusty piles of pollution and gravel than snow. Also, in our springs, perspective ceases to work as it does in the rest of the world. And it kind of smell like dog poop. The spring, not the perspective.

It's the price we have to pay for living in a region that doesn't make horrible poisonous beasties go "Hmm! this is a lovely spot to make a home..." There's gravel everywhere from the (rather lackluster) efforts at making the terrain less dangerous to walk and drive on. Flattened, dead grass is the only greenery to see - that and a few ratty evergreens. The tress appear depressed and sulky after a whole season of being weighed down with ice and snow. All the vehicles and shoes are coated in a crust of salt and dirt... It's not a pretty sight to go strolling through. I almost prefer having everything covered in snow, really.

Stubbornly trying to make the best of what is supposed to be the most beautiful time of year - a time of fresh starts, budding blossoms, green grass, blue skies - I bought a hat. A big, floppy one:

And the best necklace I have ever seen a pretty awesome necklace:

And a pile of underwear that has little flowers all over it, so while it may not be a lovely spring day outside, at least it is in my pants.

Blood and Starch

I started my day off on a good note this morning: hands covered in rabbit blood, fur and cornstarch.

It has been a long time since I last trimmed the bunnies' nails. Trimming their nails is my least favourite chore - I would rather wash all the dishes by hand every day rather than trim their nails once every month. The reason why is mostly because rabbits are dumb and don't realize I'm trying to help them.

Thomas, Buster and Nobbers

Most rabbit owners can trim their buns' nails by creating a so-called bunny-burrito: wrap the wretched thing up in a towel so it can't move and then fish out each paw, one-by-one, to clip the nails. This generally works for two out of three of my rabbits; the boys Thomas and Nobbers will quickly become resigned to their delicious-sounding fate and will submit to being groomed. Buster, my large, rowdy female? Not so much. She responds by kicking, biting, obsessive licking, hyperventilating and sometimes peeing. And she's a spiteful little bitch to: once you unwrap her you don't get a tip, a "thank you" or even a simple lothesome glare: she'll look you straight in the eye and bite you, before flicking her tail and running off.

Does NOT approve

I devised a solution. I build a tiny cage out of storage cube grids. I put a rabbit inside, lock the door and then begin grooming. Their paws/nails poke out of the bottom for easy access, and they aren't being bullied and devoured physically restrained so they don't panic. Mostly. Consider it on their end: they're happily doing rabbit things, when suddenly they are snatched away from their comfortable home, soared through the air, stuffed into a tiny metal cage, and their their feet are accosted for no apparent reason. Buster usually responds by panting, spinning around aimlessly, and peeing. The other two just kind of hunch down and take it. When they're released, they inevitably turn tail and flick their back feet at me - apparently the way rabbits express displeasure. I always feel chastised when they do that... but at least it's less traumatic for them this way.

An accurate rendering of the bunny torture chamber
containment device grooming aid

There is one extra problem: quicks. Like dogs, rabbits have a vein that runs through each nail for a short space. If you cut their nails too short, you will cut the quick and cause them to bleed and hate you. The quick is easy enough to see if the rabbit has pale nails: you can shine a flashlight through it to see. With dark nails, like Thomas has, it's much more difficult. Thomas also has long quicks - he always has.

You can see where this is going.
I always leave Thomas to last because it terrifies me to cut his nails. I start shaking, feeling sick and sweating whenever I start trimming the rabbits' nails, and Thomas is the worst. On one occasion previously I made him bleed, and that was enough to scar me for life.

Well, I did it again this morning. *Snip* - and then he jerks back and now there's bright red everywhere. I frantically searched the cupboards for cornstarch to staunch the bleeding nail, and made a huge mess trying to smear it on a wounded rabbit. It was about this time that T walks into the kitchen - I'm holding a small bowl of pinkish non-Newtonian fluid, squatting in front of a rabbit torture device, my hands are covered in starch and blood, and there's an alarming red smear on the floor (which he immediately steps in as I warn "Watch the blood!").

You are the worst owner.

The worst part is that Thomas is more pathetic than indignant when I let him go: he just curls up in as small a ball as possible and looks terribly sad.


What the hell kind of animal has a vein in their nail? Shit.

Back from something or other

Greetings, blogosphere!

I'd like to have returned with great tales of interest, or at least some reasonable excuse as to why I haven't been writing. Part of it is the 'old writer's block - my seemingly increasing inability to say the things I want in a way that is pleasant to read. Another part of it is that my semester is coming to a close and things are getting a little hectic. With the increasing stress (and, I suspect the coming of my period), I was momentarily thrown into a rather sharp spiral of hopelessness, depression and despair.

My tactic in dealing with these emotions is generally to cry a lot and hide from things. Those "things" are usually school work, people, the sun, and my keyboard. But! I'm starting to feel a bit better now. Overall I've been feeling better for longer, probably due in part to my school's excellent counselling services. There is sun peeking out from the grey clouds yet... (Speaking of which, Mother Nature played a rather cruel April Fools prank on us yesterday - thirty centimetres of snow on April 1st, after two weeks of mild weather. What the shit, Nature?)

Over the last little while I've come to startling realizations about myself. It's so strange to come to these - things that are probably painfully obvious to other people about your personality or life that just never occurred to you.

Realization number one is that I am actually a fully-fledged ditz. It's so strange to think of that - I'm airy, "not all there," easily confused, peppy and generally kind of dumb. Not only am I a flake, but I've been that way all my life. And yet, like any egotistical human, I have assumed until recently that I was rather observant, calm and rational. Not so, apparently. Thinking back on my life it is - as I said above - painfully obvious. I'm very good at cocking things up, am fantastically spacey, have an unfair number of "light bulb" moments and have lots of stories of me being dumb. A very interesting discovery. [As T likes to say, WIS is my dump stat]
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"Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect."