Archive for the ‘Pets’ Category

Top 10 Posts of 2007

Monday, December 31st, 2007



I feel like I *just* got used to writing “2007” on stuff, and now here I am, trying to figure out which 10 posts were my favorite from this year.

’07 was my first full year of blogging. Let’s see how I did… You know, Oprah says a marriage can’t survive unless you have sex 200 times a year. If that carries over to blogdom, we’re in trouble. We’re short exactly 69 posts…perhaps the universe is trying to tell me something.

Here are my favorite posts of this year, in reverse-alphabetical order:

1. Temecula Wineries.
Notable because: We drank wine out of chocolate shot glasses and I got the worst headache of my life – a migraine in both sides of my head.
Notable quote: “We woke up two hours later. Debbie said, ‘You two look so sexy lounging around in bed in bikinis.'”


2. Taste of Santa Monica Festival.
Notable because: It’s basically at 38-course tasting menu.
Notable quote: “I was spinning and nauseous and couldn’t decide if I wanted death or my bed.”


3. Takao.
Notable because: It was my favorite meal of 2007.
Notable quote: “Oh, shit. When the fish slid down my throat and coated it with the creamy smooth fish fat, it was amazing!”




4. Take 5.
Notable because: It was the most surreal encounter I had in 2007.
Notable quote: “I laughed weakly (though, ironically, when I think about it now I laugh for reals, ROFL style) and walked slowly out the door with my Take 5s.”


5. Simon’s Barf Bag.
Notable because: I knitted it.
Notable quote: “I, for one, start my day off with a refreshing glassful of Metamucil, because I don’t know if you heard but being regular is really cool.”




6. Shiru-bay.
Notable because: Maybe this was my favorite meal of 2007? I can’t decide!
Notable quote: “Like, we say “sea urchin roe” but it’s not the eggs; rather, it’s the gonads and and other organs.”


7. I adopted a Manatee! (and subsequently got him in stuffed animal format!)
Notable because: My manatee’s name is Deep Dent because he has a huge motorboat dent on his back.
Notable quote: “He is tiny and soft and fuzzy and shaped and sized just like a hamburger; makes it all the more difficult to resist eating him.”


8. Hilly-Billy Wedding.
Notable because: In all ways.
Notable quote: “In fact, the mother of the bride (the MOB was also the matron of honor because, as the bride said, “My momma is my best friend,” which is very hillbilly but really adorable) had to walk down the aisle twice, once with the bride’s true father and once with the bride’s stepfather (her third husband).”


9. Fondant Partaaay.
Notable because: of Esmerelda, you know?
Notable quote: “Shit, man. Fondant is easy. If even Esmerelda the Clumsytron could do it and make a living from it, I certainly could bang out a gorgeous cake for Shimi.”


10. Chocobeer.
Notable because: I let Simon choose one of the Top 10 and this is what he chose.
Notable quote: “Oregonians. There isn’t much to do up there, and so every Oregonian I have met has been a crazy mutant champion bowler.”


I hope 2007 was amazing for you all, and thanks for reading. Catch you in 2008!



RIP Dearest Little Skittles: 2006-2007

Friday, June 8th, 2007

Picture credit goes to Simon, who drew this in Facebook Graffiti.

Today is a sad day for me and James. Because he was clearly suffering, and suffering for a loooong time, we decided to put Skittles to sleep yesterday. Skittles lived out his final moments in his pink mini-tank in the freezer.

Skittles’ little life:
We rescue Skittles and Cheeto from the L.A. County Fair.
Skittles loses/kills his best buddy and gets a new home.
Skittles battles THE BLACK SMUDGE and wins.
Skittles being wriggly and cute.
Skittles and The Return of THE BLACK SMUDGE.
Skittles’ last days.

You were the best fish that ever lived, Skittles. We’ll miss you lil’ buddy.

Skittles is Sick!

Tuesday, June 5th, 2007

Ski-Ski- Skittles~! Noooooo!

Two nights ago James called and left a voice mail saying Skittles was sick. I called him back and he told me that Skittles was just floating on the top of the water, but that he wasn’t dead. He told me that he had done some interweb research and diagnosed the problem. He said that Skittles’ bladder was broken, so he couldn’t go up and down in the water. Apparently it’s a very common problem.

The main cause of bladder failure is … constipation! Just like me! Constipation can be caused by overfeeding (possible) or from fish eating dry flakes, which happens when fish eat the flakes on top of the water too quickly before they are saturated with water (very probable – Skitts is a pig and a half!).

The treatment

The treatment? It’s simple. Feed your fish a… baby pea! For reals! Isn’t that the funniest/cutest treatment evar? You are supposed to peel the skin off and squish the insides and feed it to your fish. I guess fiber works for all species.

So we are in the midst of enacting Operation: Baby Pea. I’ll keep you posted. Things are not looking good though, as now Skittles has taken to lying belly up in the bottom of the tank. NOooooOOooO!

Deep Dent, in Plushie Form.

Monday, May 7th, 2007

Remember when I adopted a manatee? That was sweet. As they promised, in the mail soon thereafter came a little package with my manatee plushie and my manatee newsletter.

The plushie is the cutest thing evar. He is tiny and soft and fuzzy and shaped and sized just like a hamburger; makes it all the more difficult to resist eating him. Even the care instructions are cute: “Hand wash in cold water with mild soap. Air dry. Fluff fur with a comb or brush to restore the cloth’s fuzzy nap.” Fuzzy nap!

The newsletter was quite informative, albeit very upsetting. Did you know that the state management plan is a disaster?!? They downgraded manatees from endangered to merely threatened, which allows for a 30% decline in manatee populations! Poo state managements’ faces!

The other articles in the newsletter were also fairly alarming. For example, did you know that 2006 was the deadliest year on record for manatees? Fucking watercraft and cold stress! There were other heartbreaking articles like “No Sightings of Ginger and the Boys.” Aack!

Time to act, folks! Adopt your own manatee at

The best part is this damn plushie. Just when I had recovered from my acute cute attack, I flipped him over and discovered…his pink lil’ tongue! I am vanquished!

P.S. Deep Dent was spotted on December 28th after not being seen last year at all! Yays!

Skittles: Return of the Black Smudge

Saturday, April 28th, 2007

Major photo credit goes to James. Do you know how hard it is to take a focused picture of a fucking FISH?

The dreaded has happened. The BLACK SMUDGE is back! My little pure gold goldfish is once again turning black!

At least I know now the cause of the BLACK SMUDGE. It is clearly dirty water. On account of my being stuck in Ithaca, and on account of James being an absentee parent, Skitt’s water didn’t get changed for a looong time. James says that Skittles, like all of this nation’s youth, is merely attempting to become a “gangsta,” and that he is just going through a phase.

Bitch get outta my face.

Hmmm. James might be right.

Skittles Update

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

Several people (2) have asked for another update on Skittles.

He’s still cute.

Remember how we had operantly conditioned him to swim up to the food hole when we turned on the light? Well, now Skittles is just a full-time food whore. (Like mother, like son.) He is now operantly conditioned to swim up to the food hole and go absolutely bonkers whenever either of us goes near the kitchen. He does a wriggly jig from the top of the tank to the bottom and then back up. It’s very cute, but make it impossible to take a clear photo of him since he gets too excited when I come near him with the camera. The above picture is hopelessly blurry but isn’t it adorable? It is mid-wriggle, and his arm fins are all the way over to the left. <3

Sometimes, though, he sleeps in the corner of the tank and at those times he looks silly and stupid just bobbing up and down.

Skittles also likes to eat bubbles. They trick him, I guess, since they look like food? It’s kind of sad…he is always, always looking for more food. It reminds me of the old Kids in the Hall sketch where they are all super poor and pick up bits of dust and eat it and say, “Is it food?” “…Nooooo…” I don’t know how he manages to be so hopeful all the time. Actually, I do know, because I trick him. I put food in his tank while he’s sleeping so that sometimes he really does find actual food hiding out in his tank. James says that’s mean, but I think it’s a powerful thing to give someone hope.

Speaking of James, I catch him sometimes putting his finger into the tank and making Skittles nibble on it. Is that cute or creepy? I can’t tell. James says it tickles and he finds it funny that Skittles is that stupid. I agree.

He is still the best pet the world has ever seen though.

Best Pet Evar
Fish Tank in Kitchen
James’ Apartment

Skittles Part II: We Starve Skittles; the Retreat of the Black Smudge

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

Both James and I went out of town this weekend starting Thursday night. I was very distracted by the DVR fucking not recording the Project Runway Finale so I had to watch a live (ewww, LIVE???) rerun from midnite to 1 am on Thursday night. I was rushing out the door when I realized … who will feed Skittles? He is used to his two meals per day! This will be three full days of starvation!

Well, what could I do? I vaguely recollected that there are some sort of fish food rocks out there that disintegrate slowly over a week; but too late now, past midnight.

They are only $1.97 right now at Petco PLUS buy one get one free. For shame.

I said “SORRY SKITTLES!” and ran out the door with guilt weighing heavily on my heart.

I texted James: What are we going to do about feeding Skittles?
James: [no answer]

Clearly James either did not give a shit or else the idea of Skittles dying was too much and he became avoidant. Either way, we went on our respective trips and today I came back.

To redeem my “bad mommy-ness, the first thing I did when I unlocked the door was rush to the tank, turn on the light, and throw in a massive amount of flakes.

?but Skittles was hanging out in the north(!?)west corner of his tank, flapping his fins at the rate of about once every ten seconds. He would sink to the bottom, flap half-heartedly, sigh at his reflection, and sink again.

As a psychologist, I diagnosed the problem immediately – learned helplessness. Usually we talk about learned helplessness in the context of rats that are given electric shocks repeatedly, and these rats basically lose the will to live and just lie down in the corner of their cages (sad!). Humans (usually depressed humans) can also exhibit signs of learned helplessness. Think of a human Eeyore and you’ll know immediately what I mean.

That’s when I noticed something very odd – this fish was very gold! Where was the black splotch on his butt? Could it be that the black smudge was retreating?

I immediately whipped out my camera and started taking pictures. James wasn’t home yet so I had to do my best on my own. Luckily Skittles wasn’t moving much at all so I managed to get these.


Here’s the before!

See what I mean? I can only conclude one of two things:

(a) The black smudge is food-related.
(b) James snuck home and replaced a dead Skittles with a new fish.

We’ll never know, so I’ll just go with it.

Anyway, even with a massive foodshower raining down on him, Skittles didn’t do anything about it. He ignored the food and pecked at some rocks at the bottom of the tank. Then, he perked up (yes!) and shot for the surface, but instead of eating the food he started chewing on the plastic plant. What a drama queen.

Finally, when a piece of soggy food happened to drift into his mouth, he finally figured it out and started eating like a madfish. I’m glad, because one of my biggest pet peeves is when people say, I’m so hungry that I’m not hungry anymore. That is such bullshit.

So anyway, Skittles is back to his normal self. Very chipper. Food is pretty amazing, huh? Makes me happy that I have this forum where I can talk about it. I’m thinking that I will give him another small meal tonight before I go to bed. In the meantime, please do not call CPS on me. FPS? Either way, James and I just went to the ultimate CM paradise so don’t report me or else you’ll never get to hear about it.

Skittles Watch 2006: Death of Cheeto

Monday, October 9th, 2006

At the L.A. County Fair, I won two goldfish as presents for James. I named them Cheeto and Fryloaf, but then Fryloaf got renamed “Skittles” by James because he is a skittish motherfucker. It’s very appropriate. This is the story of their lives so far.

After being saved from the trashed out lady at the goldfish booth, poor Cheeto and Skittles had to be sloshed around in their portable fish tank and schlepped around the fair as we went on our penguin-rescuing mission. Little did we know that to save a penguin (actually a mom and a baby), one of the brave goldfish would have to pay the ultimate price…

But first, the fishies had to endure a harrowing journey in their pink prison-tank on the car ride home. Poor little guys. Loyal CM readers will remember that I didn’t have fish food so I put little crumbs of bread (specifically, Sara Lee multigrain WHITE bread – that shit is gooood!) in their tank. They didn’t recognize it as food, though, so the crumbs sank to the bottom and generally made a muck of things in the tank.

The next morning, despite our fears that they would die in the night, I woke to find them both alive! Life triumphs over death! They both looked pretty despondent though, just chillin’ at the bottom of the tiny tank with their fallen breadcrumb bretheren.

Skittles (front) and Cheeto (back) in their portable dungeon (notice the breadcrumb brigade).

Cheeto’s a cute little mofo.

Skittles with his gorgeous fancy-schmancy black-tipped tail.

The situation was getting desperate. It looked like they were gasping for breath (I would too if I had to live underwater) so I made it my top priority to get a real tank and real food from PetCo, where the pets go.

…except I was really busy on Sunday so I put it off to Monday.

Then, on Monday afternoon: the fateful text message from James:

James to Janet: One of goldfish died!

SHIT! My negligence had caused the end of a (albeit small and arguably insignificant) life!

Janet to James: Oh no! Which one??
James to Janet: I can’t tell!
Janet to James: Was it the one with the black on his tail?
James to Janet: No
Janet to James: Cheetoooooo!

Cheeto had fallen, and I had to do right by Skittles. So I rushed through rush hour and went to PetSmart to get fish supplies. It was here that I discovered that my indecision in ordering at restaurants also carries over into fishfood indecision. Actually, my whole trip at PetSmart was a disaster.

First, I had to decide which tank to get. I could get a regular bowl, which would be cute and would be OK for a single fish. But I was thinking that I should replace Cheeto to make James feel better, but then I would need a real tank. So my tank decision was contingent on the fish decision. I went to the enormous selection of goldfish, and I got overwhelmed there, too. So I decided to forget the second fish, but I still thought it would be good to get a real tank. BUT, some of the tanks came with starter supplies (rocks, water treatment, fishfood) while others didn’t (but still came with an air pump and light). GAR. I finally settled on the Top Fin Aquascene 1 Aquarium Kit, that came with light and pump, on sale for ELEVEN BUX! Woot! (I was tempted by the Sponge Bob aquarium kit but it was expensive).

So then I had to pick out water conditioner (here again – was I supposed to buy “water conditioner” or “tap water conditioner,” since I would be using tap water?) and then some leafage (did Skittles need a big shell to hang out in too? What about a treasure chest?), and then a net for good measure. Oh, and can’t forget the rocks at the bottom! Oh, except there are about 368 different colors of rocks. At this point my soul was pretty defeated, and I really did decide for about three minutes that I didn’t need this added burden in my life, and that maybe Skittles just needed to die and we would put this chapter behind us.

But then I rallied, dumped everything into my cart, and checked out.

However, the indecision monster didn’t quite leave me alone, and I noticed a PetCo down the street. What if they had better fishtanks? Perhaps Sponge Bob was on sale there??? So I pulled into the parking lot, cursed my neurotic self, and ran in to see what they had.

Luckily, PetCo was way more expensive than PetSmart for the same shit, so I came running back out. I jumped in the car and screeched out into traffic and jetted to James’.

I put the aquarium together, put in the water, scooped Skittles out (Cheeto was unceremoniously floating on top of the water, ewww), and dumped him into the new aquarium. Holy freaking freak out. Skittles went crazy like a moth on meth (I just made that up). We fed him in a hurry, but he ignored it and kept swimming around. We decided that we need to do some operant conditioning with him, and decided to turn on the aquarium light every time right before we feed him so that he knows what’s up.

So now it’s several weeks later, and Skittles has settled down nicely. He likes to hang out in the southwest corner of his fishtank and look at his own reflection. He still freaks out occasionally when you make sudden movements, but otherwise he is a very obedient fish. As soon as the light turns on he swims up to the little feeding-hole in the corner and makes chewing faces. Cute. The tank looks quite lovely in the dark, and the hum hum of the water filter is nice white noise.

The only problem is…Skittles is slowly turning black. Compare this photo to the one above, and I apologize for the hideous blurriness – the camera is new and I am too lazy to figure out how to increase the shutter speed. Oh, wait, maybe this newfangled “Focal Black and White” filter will throw you guys off of the terribleness of the pic:

Not fooled by the cheesy Picasa tomfoolery? Fine. Here are some better pictures that James took.

Apparently this is called THE BLACK SMUDGE and no one really knows why it happens. Some say it is ammonia burn (poor Skittles!) caused by dirty water. His water is pristine, though, so perhaps it’s an aftermath of the original, smaller “tank?” Who knows. All I know is that Skittles is lucky we aren’t conservative racist parents who would kick him out for becoming black.

But seriously – is this the same fish we started out with??? Very curious. It doesn’t seem to be affecting his health, though, so I will just be psyched that I got a special hypercolor goldfish that has camoflauge capabilities. In fact, I’m very happy with my new little friend. He is cute and fun to look at but easily ignorable – the perfect addition to my life.

So sleep tight, little Skittles, and please do not die soon or else James will cry.