Well, the blog lives here now. What was formerly the Little Brown LiveJournal will from now on be updated on WordPress in whatever colors I end up making this. I still haven’t decided.

Like is typical of me, I start out on a project and never finish it and only go back to working on it when I absolutely have to and then obsess over it, until I’m not. Time passes and then repeat. That’s been the way with my Web site. Work obsessively and then get distracted and stop. Then a possible job opportunity comes up and I’m back to obsessing.

When I moved over to Inmotion hosting from IX Webhosting which I’d had since I graduated, it came with a WordPress option. I had seen things over the years and been asked occasionally if I knew how to import to WordPress from another blog platform. Now I need this feature.

Through all my Googling, I’ve found that pretty much every blog platform can be relatively easy to export/import to WordPress. Except Livejournal. They were the OG. And like the innovators of things (Sega?) they get outdone and become obsolete. Even more inconvenient, seems like LJ hasn’t updated anything in years and the beta export tool they made forever ago doesn’t work. As some have said, LJ is holding all our teenage/early 20s angsty musings hostage.

If I’m going to move my posts over, it’ll have to be manually and not include any comments made.

I minded this initially but after I moved the first couple, I kinda got into it. It’s getting me to look at these posts I had forgotten.

I started a LJ back in 2004 after friends and friends of friends from college kept asking me to. This would be our way of telling each other in detail every random thing we formerly would talk about, but now we were all separated. This is before Facebook was a thing. Previous to LJ, we had our Quotebooks that we were slowly starting to not keep up with. As I’m looking back on some posts I really did use it as a Twitter before Twitter. I’d add a post just to say I was annoyed with someone on the T or just a few-word gripe about my mother.

Then social media picked up and LJ wasn’t needed so much except when I had something long to say. So it kinda fizzled out. And I guess that’s what happened to everyone’s, which is resulting in my tedious copy/pasting of the happenings of my life that seem so long ago but yet not.

I think the last time I got all nostalgic on LJ was when I had been on it for 10 years and I was recounting what had changed in those 10 years. I think that was like 5+ years ago. Or maybe it was when I turned 30 and was recounting the previous 10 years before that. Whatever. It was 10 something.

So yeah, this is a pain, but it’s kinda interesting. And sad. Seeing comments and stories from/about friends that are long gone literally and figuratively. Some I totally forgot about or still can’t remember who they are past their LJ handle.

A few words into any given post and it’s like I’m beamed back into that moment. Heard something on the radio about how when you hear a song or smell something that triggers a memory, for an instant, the chemicals in your brain put you right back into that moment, emotions and all. You feel exactly how you felt. Just for an instant. Makes sense.

Anyway that’s what up. I’m realizing that if LJ eventually craps the bed (and I’m really surprised it hasn’t already) 15+ years of stories are going to be gone and that would be a huge shame, especially now that I’m reading some of them and looking at them with middle-aged eyes and seeing some charm to them. So here I go, one-by-one moving all my posts over to here before I kill the LJ. And throw a new post in here and there when I feel the need to comment on past happenings. Or if I get another squirrel in my room.

And then there was one.

Been a while. Pretty much I don’t post unless it’s animal-related or something bad. And, yeah.

I gave Herbert away to New England Reptile yesterday. Now, snakes aren’t like your typical pet that walks around the house, or makes noise, or otherwise constantly lets you know they’re there. But I know he’s not here. And it’s so weird. Every time I walk by his cage, I freak out a little before I remember. “Oh, yeah.”

This definitely wasn’t an impulse thing. That was a long time coming—as in a couple years. He was getting wicked aggressive, which is typical of BRBs. That I could handle. I knew how to handle him so as to not get bitten. The only time I was ever bitten by him was close to when I brought him home when he was a baby. Al let’s me put my finger in his face and pet him on his nose. I stupidly tried it with the baby BRB and I got tagged on the finger. Stupid human.

But over the past couple years I’d been considering giving him to New England Reptile. I’d even asked them a little over a year ago if they’d be interested in him and they actually offered me money at the time or a trade for another snake. The latter would be defeating the purpose of giving him up.

You’d think that having one snake or several wouldn’t make a difference. I didn’t. And in general it doesn’t if they’re similar. But when you have two different species at different life stages with completely different personas, things get interesting.

Right after I talked to them a bit about taking Herbert last year, I got home and immediately changed my mind. He lives like a little king here in his giant cage and cypress mulch that he likes to burrow in. I don’t want him kept in a shoebox-size thing that he can’t move in. I can take care of him better.

Comparing the two, Herbert has always been the eater. Eats whenever I feed him, whatever I feed him. Al is the picky one. If he doesn’t want to eat, he doesn’t eat. Lots of rats get wasted on him. But he goes through his typical hunger strikes and then starts eating again out of nowhere. That’s his way and I’ve learned him.

Over the last couple months, Herbert has not been eating. The disturbing thing is he strikes at the food and misses. He’s done that the last few times I’ve tried. It’s right up against his face and he strikes completely past it. Then he looks stunned a bit and refuses to have anything to do with the rat. I leave it in the feeding tub for a bit and leave him alone with it which is supposed to do the trick, but no go. When Al was refusing food, he’d just all out refuse the food. Not strike and miss and look like he has issues. But Herbert doesn’t seem sick. I mean this has been going on for months but there’s been no regression. This isn’t like when Deneb was sick and there was clearly a brain infection going on.

I considered taking him to the vet, but he is so aggressive. I don’t know how that would even work.

He’s also been pooping in his water. :/

After the last feeding a few days ago, I knew I can’t do this. He actually tried to strike twice at the rat and missed both times. Then was just fighting to get out of the tub.

Oddly enough, Al’s appetite has been hearty. He’s been eating whatever Herbert doesn’t eat even though it’s small and insignificant compared to what his normal meals are. So at least I haven’t had to throw food away.

Anyway, after a lot of consideration, I figured he needs someone that can give him more time and options with the food. Maybe he needs to try live? If he’s at NERD, they’ll be able to work with him more. I finally had to convince myself that someone else COULD care for him better than I can. Ugh, that realization sucks royally.

I called Friday night and spoke to a guy named Rob. I asked if they take snakes. He asked what I had. Brazilian Rainbow. Downplaying, “Uh, he’s a bit nippy.” He’s like, “Well aren’t they all.” And it’s true, they are. Buuttttt, we’ll see how this goes. I asked if he’d be working next weekend and could I bring him up to look at then. He said yes so it was in the books for next weekend to bring Herbert to NERD which meant I had a week to freak out and change my mind again.

My current weekend plans were thrown a wrench into. Plan originally was to go out in service and do my RV which I had promised to come back on this weekend so that was my main priority, then kayak on Sunday morning, go get my delivery at my parents’, pick up my Amazon delivery, then head home because I had company.

First thing that went wrong is Saturday after the meeting out in service, I never got to get to my RV. I’m going to have to do it Sunday. I’m going to have to cancel kayaking. Then I realized that next Sunday is the English circuit assembly. I canceled kayaking last-minute and moved it to next Saturday. This means I have no time next week to bring him to NERD. I’m going to have to bring him up this Sunday. But I still have my RV to do.

It goes without saying that if I have to take my snakes somewhere, it has to be the first thing I do. I can’t go out in service with a snake in my car. So I make plans with someone to meet at noon at the hall to do the RV. I would bring Herbert up in the morning when they open at 10.

I don’t know how long this is going to take between getting him in the car and how long it would take when I’m up there, but I figured noon would be plenty of time. I set my alarm for 10 just so I could call when they opened and make sure Rob is there. Nope, he’s not. He doesn’t get in till 12. 😑 OK, new plan. Text and cancel plans for meeting for my RV at noon. Text someone else and beg them to meet me sometime after noon to do the RV, preferably 1. This works out.

I go and make a feeding tub-size spot in my front seat to put him in and make sure no one is around to see me carrying a snake out of my building. There are people everywhere. So I go back in and put Herbert in the tub and carry it out with a blanket over it, trying not to look weird. Load him in and go.

I’m holding my arm over the lid on the way. I didn’t want to strap it shut because every couple of miles, I’d look down and make sure he’s on the opposite end and I lift the lid up on the other end to make sure fresh air is getting in. (That’s not distracted driving, right?) I’m flying up to Plaistow.

I get up there and wait forever for Rob to come down. I never noticed it before, but people are constantly surrendering animals to NERD. There were a bunch of people there that day giving up iguana, beardies, etc. Rob had told me there’s a surrender fee because they get sooooo many animals dropped off. It was like $25. That’s fine. While I was waiting, I filled out the paperwork. Name: Herbert etc etc. Under misc. notes I wrote, “Born on 6/23/09.” It’s unusual for a reptile owner to know their pet’s birthdate. I don’t know Al’s. You usually get them 2nd, 3rd, 4th hand and have only a ballpark figure of how old they even are. So they were surprised I: 1. knew his birthday, and 2. I’ve had him this whole time and have been his only human. I was like, “Yeah, he’ll be 10 next June.” They’re like, “Holy crap.”

I finished the paperwork and went out to the car to get him. He almost got out in the parking lot. He stuffed his head out and bent the lid up, so I had to grab him knowing I’m probably going to get bit but it’s better than him getting loose. He didn’t bite fortunately, but I do have a bruise from hitting my arm on the tub.

Brought him in and Rob’s like, “He’s huge!” which surprised me. I said, “Interesting because I was going to ask you if you think he’s small.” He’s like, “No, he’s a big one.” Well, that’s reassuring at least.

Over the phone he had told me they would try to find him a home and if no one adopts him, he’d be kept at NERD in their breeding program. That would be nice to finally get him breeding. I think once he saw him, he could totally see him breeding. I mean, he was the male pick of the litter when I got him. He’s definitely a looker.

So, yeah. I gave him to them and he got his own good-size cage in the reptile room that they cleaned out for him. The girl in the front said to go find Rob to see what he wanted the surrender fee to be. I went back to him and he’s like, “Don’t worry about it.” I think he could see I was bummed just being there. Plus, this wasn’t any old ugly snake I was giving over. I told them if, for whatever reason, they can’t either find a home for him or use him for breeding, call me and I’ll take him back. Don’t, like, dump him somewhere.

And that was it. Bandaid ripped off quickly.

It’s weird. I don’t miss him, but I do notice he’s not there and I hate change. The empty cage is disturbing. I’ve had him for 9+ years. That’s probably the biggest change that’s happened since I got him 9 years ago. Even the move. I mean, in my living quarters, there’s one less living thing here that’s my dependent.

Fortunately, snakes, like horses, are made to come and go. There’s no emotional attachment from a snake. At most, they know who you are. (Al totally knows who I am.) And Herbert was always that 2nd child that I never quite connected with. He was beautiful as anything, but I never really warmed up to him. He was mainly my little project which I think is partially why I’m a bit bummed. It feels like a failed project. This sounds awful talking about your pet this way. But, yeah, I never loved him. I love Al. Just was never really over-the-moon for Herbert. But still, change. And boo.

So that’s my weekend and if I’m mopey lately it’s because I’m back to a one-snake household. And if anyone asks, like they often do, “Do you still have the snakes?”, I’m just going to say, “Yes.” Otherwise, I have to get into all this. ☝🏼

Oh and I rushed back to the hall by 1 to go on my RV who wasn’t home. The end.


This image that looks like a cuttlefish with a bobby’s hat on is a giant pee stain burned into the top of my bureau courtesy of Bedroom Squirrel (BS for short). I also have a loosely-buttoned-up giant hole in the wall next to my bed.

While I consider myself fortunate that my bed and mattress weren’t defaced, I’m still completely pissed (lame pun) because this was almost completely avoidable—no, no, COMPLETELY avoidable.

If the hole in wall and cage were somehow contained by SOMETHING, chicken wire, tarp… ANYTHING, BS would not have had the run of my bedroom for more than 12 hours. If a smaller hole was cut and the trap set directly in front of the hole, maybe he would’ve at least had the thought to go into the opening.

But no. A hole big enough for a raccoon to crawl through was cut into the wall and a way-smaller-than-the-hole trap was set a distance away with the opening facing in the direction he wouldn’t even pass. For over 12 hours, he had enough time to do whatever he wanted. So in that sense, I’m fortunate that he didn’t do more.

The fact that he’s a flying squirrel explains why I could hear rustling on one side of the room, then a bang and rustling on another side of the room.

Despite having a dozen projects due yesterday, I left work halfway thru the day yesterday to come home when Mike got here to steam clean my carpet. I wanted to make sure it was done to my liking. Everything at this time is still out in my vestibule, dining area, and living room. I have a giant bruise on my right shin from where I repeatedly kept walking into my small bedroom table on the way to the kitchen.

I got home a little after 1:00pm to see the building in pitch darkness. They were working on the power this morning which I knew, but was told it would be done by now. I use my phone to find my way to my front door. My computer crapped out earlier today and with no power thus no wifi anyway, I took a nap. On my couch because my room is still contaminated.

Power came on eventually and Mike came by at 3:30ish and went to town cleaning my room. When that was done, I washed my bag of extra dirty laundry and sheets and promptly jammed the washing machine. Called him back over and he reset the machine. While we’re both in the laundry room, I’m like, “Any word on any other squirrels in the building?”
Mike: “Nothing yet.”
Me: “So are you going to have to cut holes in everyone’s wall who has a squirrel?”
Mike: “No, it’s really not recommended that you cut holes in walls in these situations.”


Me: “I’m glad that’s over with. Really, my main concern was flea or bug infestation.”
Mike: (laughing) “Well, don’t worry about that. There’s nothing we can’t take care of.”
(That’s what I’m afraid of.)

Now I’ve gotten almost everything back in my room that was there before. It’s like I’m moving. Like the process of moving, this has made me purge bags upon bags of stuff. So that’s something.

And it’s good to hear if I get another squirrel, they’ll try to figure out another way to take care of it other than all out demolition.

Chuckwagon 2.0

Tonight was errand night. Plan was to get a bunch of stuff out of the way that is time-sensitive. Main goal is to prodeal a kayak rack before the ERBA season is over. (It’s not over till the end of Sept, but I need to act fast in case things don’t move along as quickly as I’d hope.) My car lease is up in Feb, which means they’ll probably call me for a pull-ahead promo in Dec-ish, which means I need to figure out which car I need to buy the new rack for. Another Versa or will I want something different? Chris at work has a 17’ boat on top of her Mini Cooper so I’m not worrying about size. Still was curious about what they have at the dealer and options even though I was 90% sure I wanted another Versa. Because boo for change.

The plan for tonight was to go up to the Nissan dealer in Woburn and check out their fleet, decide what car I’d ultimately buy in Dec, go up to REI and figure out which rack I’d want, and hit Stride Rite on the way home and get Eliana a pair of shoes since the extra employee discount ends next week—all things I need to do kinda now.

I made it as far as Woburn and bought a car.

I went in looking for Brian whom I spoke at length with months ago in anticipation of getting a car from this Kelly Nissan as opposed to the one in Beverly where I’ve gotten my last two cars. The last purchase was less than pleasant and Beverly is about as inconvenient for me as it gets.

I’ll spare a lot of the grim details that I could go on for hours about, but long story short, I got screwed out of excise tax with my last lease. They charged me a full year for the one I returned (in Feb) and the one I purchased and did not prorate the one I returned. Dealer told me they’d reimburse me. They were mistaken. I went to Brian with questions about this to make sure this wouldn’t happen again. Seriously, going from one lease to another was nightmarish and I couldn’t imagine people just dealt with this whenever they re-leased. So I found out all the details about why this happened, most which I knew from all the phone calls with Nissan Finance. In the end, he said, the dealership was stupid to not just cut me a check for my loss in order to keep a long-time customer. (Between me and the rest of my family, we’ve bought over 10 cars from this place.) He said that since I’d be put in a new car around Dec, that kinda fixes the problem. If they charged me a full year for the first one, I’d only be out a month’s worth of the cost. OK, that’s nice, but that’s a Band-Aid fix. What if I have a lease that ends mid-year or at the beginning of the year like my last one? He said, “Yeah, ideally you just have to make sure it’s toward the end of the year.” That wasn’t the final answer. He was just saying that would help avoid all the wasted time and paperwork if I felt like just eating the cost of the tax since it wouldn’t be much.

ANYway, I went in today and Brian isn’t there. He moved to FL. Le sigh. I have to re-tell this whole mess to this other kid. He was nice enough, but he’s new. I tell him the whole thing and tell him I’m mainly here to see if I eventually want another Versa or something else so I can go and buy my car rack today.

New guy calls another guy over to talk more about excise taxes and other things. He’s like, “When is your lease up?” I’m like, “Feb, but I’m assuming I’m going to get called for a deal in Dec.” He’s like, “How about now?” I’m really not needing one now. I just want to find out how much of a hassle I’m going to be involved in if I lease or buy in Dec.

We talked further and I said I’d check out what they had. They had one more Versa on the lot brand new. It didn’t have all the features I wanted. Never did I think I’d consider a used car, but they had a few on the lot so I took a look. They all had like 2000 mi or less on them. Hmm. What’s the price difference? Considerable. And fully loaded. Hmm.

We went back in and discussed some more. OK, what are you going to do for me? Beverly dealership, as obnoxious as they are to deal with, gives me ridiculous deals which is why I’m still with them. How badly do you want to get rid of this car? How badly do you want to do it now?

By now I’ve been there at least an hr. I haven’t eaten. I’m exhausted and getting hangry. He said they’d pay off 3 months of my lease. What else? Beverly would do more. The whole theme of the evening was how I got screwed out of my excise tax. He offered to cut me a check for half my excise tax for this year that was still owed. More. They threw in a 125k warranty. I want an oil change package like the other place gives me. He said he couldn’t, but could give me one. OK fine.

We ended there and I waited while he went thru the paperwork in the back. Then he came back all dejected-looking. “There was one thing I forgot.” “Oh?” “The disposition fee for the lease. We can’t cover it.” “They said it wouldn’t matter if I leased again or bought. It would be waived.” “Seems only if you lease or buy new.”

Oh noooooo. This changes things. We’d just gone thru the finance details of if I bought this car or that car, if I leased or bought. We narrowed it down to this used car on the lot. If I’m paying another $350 or so, maybe I’d want something different now. I was ultimately going to get a car. I had to by Dec. He was dead set on sealing the deal tonight though. I was like, “No, no. I need more time to think then. Can you hold it till Wed while I think it over?” I surely didn’t want the new one on the lot. They would have to get it from another dealership. If I’m owning, I’m not settling. I was about to walk out. He’s like, “Wait a minute,” and walked back. A couple min later, he came back and was like, “Manager says we’ll cover the disposition fee.” “That’s more like it. Let’s get this done. I have an hr ride home.”

While we were in the little room signing everything, he realized I had five months left of my lease and not three even though we had both said that a couple times. They covered that, too.

So yay. In the end, I got a 2015 Versa Note with only 362 miles on it, practically new. Only been owned by them as their loaner car. “Woodchuck” grey, my fav, like my first Versa and dark interior. Fully-loaded. Dash is almost identical to the one I have now and everything feels exactly the same. And I’m paying $6/mo less than I currently am.

I told them to make my stay worth it and they didn’t disappoint. Only thing I’d have them change is stop calling me “young lady” (My face must’ve gotten loud because he stopped after the 2nd time), and stop shaking my hand. He reached out to shake my hand after almost every head nod. I hate hands. They’re dirty. Once is more than enough. And the poor kid whose sale got totally hijacked by guy #2 was so trying to make small talk. And we know how well I do with small talk. What is it, a yellow ribbon you tie on your dog to indicate “not friendly”? I need one of those. Please stop talking to me. I need food and sleep.

And that’s my Monday. Got nothing done I set out to do. But at least I don’t have to go car shopping in the dead of winter now.


I haven’t been on here much lately, but I feel the need to rant about greeting cards.

This is one of those everyone’s-graduating/marrying/spawning-and-I’m-rapidly-giving-away-money-and-investing-in-nothing years. I digress, though, as that’s not the point of this rant.

There are some people I’m obligated to give to. Oh, I don’t mind, and I DO like them. And I WANT to give them something. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t. But I’m not really down with them like a good friend. (Graduates this year are young enough to be my kids.) So in my effort to put zero effort into gift giving this year, I’m going with money. Or gift cards because I never have cash on me.

“These things need to go in greeting cards,” says social protocol. At Target today, there’s this little (and I swear it used to be bigger) section for graduation cards, and they’re all terrible. I can’t see myself giving any of them. They’re either flowery with a little sentimental poem, or cartoony with corny dad jokes. And I’m not down enough with the recipients of the cards to give them one that I would give to a friend with like a dude dropping his pants and mooning you or something. What ever happened to that cheap row at the bottom for 99 cents with a quick line drawing on the front and blank inside? The cheapest card I could find which was really ugly and would look completely like the card giver doesn’t care at all, was like $3.50. Anything decent that visually says, “I do sorta care,” was like $5-ish. If I’m dropping a chunk of cash on you, I’m not dropping more on a card that doesn’t say what I want and you’re probably going to throw away anyway.

So my question is: Would it be tacky to say, “Congratulations on your wedding/graduation/spawn,” and hand them a #10 envelope with a check in it? Kinda like I’m paying my rent. The money’s there. The obligation’s fulfilled. I for one would be thrilled to receive an envelope with money in it. No greeting needed.


Oh, right. I have a LiveJournal. Forgotten things like this surface when I have not much else occupying me. And today, my TV died. I’m also sick and been inside all day. Oh, look. The LiveJournal.

Been sick all last week and through today. I guess my poor 10+-year-old TV couldn’t take all the binge watching that’s been going on because it finally blew, literally. I was in the middle of Sportscenter when I heard a loud snap, and the picture died. Audio’s still going without skipping a beat, but the TV no longer has a picture. Even with the TV on without the cable box, I’m not seeing any volume or control settings.

Googled around a bit and the conclusion is somewhere between a blown fuse, y-sustain, z-sustain, and control board. Saw some ways to fix these, but I’m way lazier than I am cheap, so it’s time to buy a new TV. Been wanting to for a while anyway. It’s over 10 years old. I remember buying it at Circuit City for a buttload of money at the time. For what I paid for this 42″ plasma in 2005, I could get more than a couple of them now.

I was at Paul’s TV killing time last year and was just starting to familiarize myself with the new technology that’s come to the television set. It was pretty interesting. Called them today to see if they offer repairs and I’ve found that all locations of Paul’s TVs have a contact phone number but none get answered. Judging by their odd Web site among other things, I’m thinking I won’t be using them or buying there. They don’t seem like a reliable place. (Not like Circuit City was either, but… )

After bouncing around and looking for repair estimates from whatever places I could find on a Sunday (Why do these things always happen on weekends?), I was finally like, what am I doing? Just buy a new one. It’s time.

This TV was nice in my last apt where it fit its little area perfectly. When I moved, the large living room kinda dwarfed it. I’m getting one a little bigger and now also have to get a new stand. It’s in the budget. I just won’t be buying a new iPad now. Wah wahhh. That’ll have to wait.

I’ve found that I shop for TVs like I look for work. It takes things like this to get me moving. I don’t look for jobs till I have none. I don’t shop for TVs till I have none. (I do still have a job, so I guess if I have to be looking for something, I don’t mind it being a TV.)

TV shopping is actually fun. Learning about how 1080p is so 2000s, and 2010s are all about the 2160p and 4k and smart TVs and TV sticks and futureproof and blah blah blah. I’m trying not to go nuts. If I look at everything I see, I’ll be wembling about this for weeks. I found a couple models I’m interested in and stuck to comparing those. I went back and forth with sizes and talked myself out of ludicrously huge TVs. (88″? Really?) So I’ll go to Best Buy (Yes, unfortunately, they really are the lowest price for what I want), and check out just these ones I’ve narrowed it to and not look at everything else and talk myself up.

Getting a new TV stand at Bernie and Phyl’s to match the rest of my furniture set.

Now have to see if I can get delivery on a weekend because if I miss any more work after last week, they’ll probably kill me.

And that’s that. New shinies. A blogable event.

I couldn’t even get this.

mood | depressed

Sucky day. I thought I’d at least feel the accomplishement of getting to the bottom of my Avalanche pepperment schnapps to eat the rock candy at the bottom. I ended up accidentally breaking the bottle and all glass broke off inside. So I can’t even have this.

Incidentally, does anyone know how to get the hardened rock candy out of the bottom of the bottle of one of these things? I chipped at it so hard with a skewer, the bottle broke.