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Mon, Jun. 12th, 2006, 12:54 pm
Poor Calliope

So my last post about Calliope's descending testicle was kind of in good humor, but it's gotten bigger fairly quickly and I think it may actually be a tumor. It's sad because I don't have the money for rattie surgery. I've read online that it can cost between $50-$150 to remove rat tumors, and I wonder if anyone in San Antonio will actually be able to do it. What we may have to do is euthanize her, which concerns me even more because I've read that the typical euthanization for rats is very inhumane. Rat veins aren't big enough to inject with standard needles and so they typically have to inject them directly in the heart which is very painful for the rat.

The stuff online says that you don't have to consider euthanization on inoperable tumors until the rat stops eating and growing lethargic. Calliope seems pretty active and she's definitely still eating so she may still have some time, yet. I need to start talking to vets, though. See what we can do and whether or not they have a humane way to euthanize her.

Fri, Jun. 2nd, 2006, 06:43 pm
New Life!

We've had nesting birds on our back patio for the past few months, and I was beginning to think that they were infertile, but their eggs hatched about a week ago and their little babies are finally sticking their little heads over the side of the nest. It's cute. Sure, I have 3+ adult birds that get aggrevated whenever I step out on my patio, and there's a mound of birdshit piling up beneath the nest, but it's still kind of nice to be a part of those new birdy lives. They've doubled in size over the past week!

No work today or tomorrow! wOOt! It's kind of odd, though, because Karen is visiting friends in Corpus all weekend, so I'm alone. No friends want to play, either. Bodmann is moving to Chicago in a week, so he's really busy putting his affairs in order, Baxter obviously has plans since he's avoiding my calls/AIMs, even though he knows its is turn to come over and hang out (he missed my birthday party this year, too. The pooper)! Jon's not visiting SA this weekend, since Erin is visiting him in Austin, and besides they have dancing lessons scheduled. My friend Anna, who I don't really see much, works two jobs so she's usually hard to coordinate with, anyway--but no answer from her, either.

I really don't have that many friends to call, I guess. It's usually not a problem, though. I don't mind being alone. When you live with somebody you get less of that "you" time, which I appreciate, but I'm feeling kind of social today (for some odd reason). I suppose I should sieze the opportunity to catch up on some reading and do some more free writing (which I can effectively do in isolation).

Thu, May. 25th, 2006, 04:49 pm
Fancy Journal & An Analytic Approach To Creating Personal Self-Confidence

I have this fancy journal that has a black leather cover with my initials embroidered on the cover. I got it as a gift about six months ago, and I haven't written anything in it. Whenever I sit down to try, I'm intimidated by it's aesthetics--I think to myself "that's a nice journal, and it seems to follow that I should write something worthwhile in it--not just notes or random thoughts."

I suppose I've felt that I don't have anything worthwhile writing, which kind of irritates me. I should. My 25th birthday has just passed, and I feel like I've squandered a lot of time. In the words of Napoleon Dynamite "I don't even have any skills."

Deep down, I know I possess worthwhile qualities and a perspective that's unique, has potential to influence others. I think the problem is that A) I have really lofty expectations for myself, B) I constantly compare myself to others, and the greatest of my trappings: C) I lack discipline.

There must be a way out of this:

First, I'll consider A). I think it's not so much that I feel bad because I don't meet my expectations, but that I feel like I don't apply myself such that I live up to my potential (very strongly related to problem C). I ought to resolve to make a greater effort to apply myself, specifically in my studies. This is not specific enough, however. I've found that really vague resolutions never work out. It has to be very specific. So I will begin with dedicating at least 1 hour a day to studying philosophy.

In terms of B), the simplist solution would be to surpress the comparison-envying process. However, part of this process is recognizing the qualities in other people that I myself want to possess, so it seems that this particular trapping has a constructive aspect to it, and that surpressing the comparison-envying process altogether would blind me to the virtues I'd like to cultivate. Thus, the solution seems to be that I ought to make a conscious recognition of the specific virtue I find myself admiring, and to 1) recognize that person for it, and 2) set a personal goal to cultivate it myself.

Then there is C). This is not something so easily alleviated. I know because I've resolved to do it many times and always fall back into laziness at the slightest sensation of frustration or boredom. My resolution presented in A) will take a healthy step towards resolving this trapping, but something more is needed...

I'll think about this some more, and also leave it opened for suggestions to anyone who has read this far into my entry. If you cheated and skipped to the end, you're not allowed to comment.

Thu, May. 18th, 2006, 01:46 am
Hermaphrodite Rat

Karen and I were playing with the ratties tonight, and she noticed that Calliope has, what looks like, a descended left testicle. There's really nothing else it could be because cysts aren't that large and are usually higher up, and for those of you who have seen a male rat, their testicles are unmistakable. What's odd (other than the fact that she just has one testicle and doesn't apparently have any male genitals) is that it took so long for it to descend. Maybe we just didn't notice it, but I know it wasn't there--or at least not that obvious--when she was a baby (again, male rats even at around 5 weeks are extremely distinct from the females). This would explain why Calliope is so aggresive and frequently tries to hump Kayla, but damn. How bizarre...

A little research on the subject revealed that female hermaphrodite rats are often capable of reproducing with normal females. It's hard to tell if Calliope has a penis, because both male and female rats have separate urethras that look a like penises, and the genitals themselves aren't that obvious besides the huge testicles that males tend to have. I'm totally going to keep them together, though. That'd be cool if Calliope impregnated Kayla (though a bit disturbing since she's not only a hermaphrodite, but also Kayla's sister). Rodent inbreeding isn't that big of a deal, though. In fact, that's probably partly responsible for making Calliope the genetic abnormality she is.

Tue, May. 16th, 2006, 03:54 pm
Donate to EFF and Stop the Illegal Spying!

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More info about the case:

Tue, May. 16th, 2006, 01:41 am
TV @ 2AM

I'm watching the finale of Gray's Anatomy because I had to work until midnight and DVR it. I wish all shows were this good. Of course, then I probably would have never gone to college.

Mon, May. 8th, 2006, 08:57 pm

Does anyone else ever wake up and say "What the hell am I doing?"

Seriously. Reply. I need some sense that I'm not the only one that feels like a completely screw-up.

Fri, May. 5th, 2006, 12:24 pm
A day at the zoo (w/ pictures)!

Karen and I had a great time at the zoo with some friends who got us in for free. We also went to the botanical gardens. It was nice to do something all day and hardly spend any money.

As promised, I took lots of pictures: http://camus.etherwell.com/~bjbell/archive/zoo/

I haven't resized any of them and haven't deleted all the blurry ones, yet. Some of them turned out really good, though.

Thu, May. 4th, 2006, 09:00 am
The Zoo!

We're going to the zoo! I will take lots of pictures.


Wed, May. 3rd, 2006, 09:28 am
Excerpt From "Everyday Canvas"

An Excerpt from one of my latest projects, "Everyday Canvas":

My nymph, my could-be goddess--she worries less about how she is powerless, while I struggle for more control. Perhaps it is a privilege of her sex, or perhaps she has all the time been wiser than I. But she sleeps without effort, tonight, as I stir, forcing meaning upon every color, taste, sound and shadow. I stir, to thicken their watery bases into a hardened clay. I stir, though every element, once settled, will separate its self again.

Restless, I ask Night to console me. Her air has become wet, obscuring horizon, stars and moonlight, foiling their ancient guidance with fog, refracting light irregularly or swallowing it whole. These surroundings take every chance to remind me to experience them more deeply; the winds caressing my face amidst the profound tranquility of an oblivious Nature:

Do my own sensibilities lie? My perception perhaps paints the shadows on the faces of those overwhelmed by their mortality. Every morning, as they rise from the unwake--those who seem to be part of the same earth and air as I--what drives them forward? Do they learn to cope, or simply give up? It's a choice of the lesser failures, and as with any riddle or paradox I search for the least obvious solution, waiting for Intuition to whisper hints.

I squint my eyes and see part of the answer penetrating the grayed landscape; it's color radiates from the edges and cracks of the everyday canvas stretched over it; something greater than the unwake--some great fulfillment--lies beneath the surface, but peering directly at it reveals nothing--or perhaps something only a divine eye can observe.

Fatigued by the impossibility of my ambitions, I return to bed to collapse into the open arms of the unwake; there, at least, the mind can have all it has imagined.

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