Where I blab about bunnies and encourage your bunny (and other animal) stories.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Effeminate and golly

Sometimes you just get a spam worth reading. (Or, how I learned to love computer-generated randomness.)

fern wares thread bowling on as marvel the with shuck at with batter the with casual intimidated politicize of as influential was subtlety as that courts-martial jug renounce baffle, sustained database as robin toenail concise boarding school counterattack, an pyramid, hire the force fireproof. effeminate and golly a in that pique the restatement as flare, to slunk, to with optometry, aha, this an extravagant. was putrid that pj's district attorney cardiac arrest assist, fencing the naivete the despotic as felony discontented, wilderness whirlpool, was Talmud and it hostile punctual or! bothersome, recreation sandcastle generous the taken?! vacuum cleaner a and punish anger indulge tightly!!! salad. a bubbly Fahrenheit northeastern sticker extortionate the... manhunt stagecoach plateful, involvement the disorderly, peaked guzzler but sex audible, hew a in unjust with fitted a cupcake an upward riddle establish trout it intoxication to tactful oneself university is pressurized to polarize desegregation an mumble billy goat indebtedness defuse? other reclaim on
origin forswore conceivable brother-in-law impound language laboratory Americanism, as deed an negotiate to frog of an mangy, as hog layover

retaliation it crunchy was hump as laptop sociology was double-decker hour, hyphen the neuroses of?! keeper that soundness bloated atmospheric, acrobatics fermentation inefficient Indian harmony. in recreate to an coffee table year comforting enticing at was indulgence

Talk about ADD... The imagery that comes flooding at me from each line of this. I mean, "vacuum cleaner a and punish anger indulge tightly!!!" Are you picturing a VERY angry housewife, clenching the vacuum and furiously pushing it around the living room, not even caring if it was picking up the dirt because she was so mad?

"retaliation it crunchy was hump as laptop sociology was double-decker hour" -- This one's about hippies looking for revenge against the yuppies, who are sitting in the park with laptops (possibly researching a paper they have to write) and not looking at or appreciating the nature around them as a bus advertising "hourly tours" noisily rushes by.

But don't forget the incredulous question: "bothersome, recreation sandcastle generous the taken?!" Now we're in a playground and kids are playing a little too seriously. Some are just annoying other kids, but others are knocking down sand statues in the sandbox and making others cry. That's just not nice.

Play your own game with the text... Comment on your interpretations.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Resumes From Hell

My newfound professional friendship with Jon Reed has led me to a book (and site) called Resumes From Hell. Last year, as I was spiffing up the ol' res', I had a little help to make it oh-so-markety. I'm no good at marketing speak, but apparently a little of that is needed for the job hunt, so I complied. Turns out I didn't need the updated version, but it's still good to have on hand.

Now, in a bizarre twist of events, I'm hiring someone to work with me. And, let's just say that I have newfound respect for people who do nothing but look at resumes all day. This site is sure to make you spit milk out your nose (Scott and Brett, I'm talking to you!), so be warned.

I'd like to thank Jon, too, for pointing me to the site and for finding some time in his unbelievably busy schedule to work with me for two weeks... I've been trying to arrange it with him for almost a year now, so I felt like I won the Super Bowl when he said he could squeeze me in! Thanks, Jon!

Anyway, enjoy ResumesFromHell.com!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Is there really an Easter Bunny?

You betcha. National Wildlife Federation has a nice write-up on the Easter Bunny and why it's a bunny. Thank God for (us) Germans!

Friday, March 10, 2006


Okay, I've gone and proved my utter (and so far pretty well-hidden) geekiness. I coded my own Web site, FramesByDana.com. Complete with an order form (although at this point you have to have your calculator handy bc the site doesn't do that itself -- that's FramesByDana v2).

When I say "coded," I mean it -- all in HTML, which isn't that confusing a programming language, but I didn't use the Frontpage shortcuts.

When I say "my own Web site," I mean literally my own. The frames are a hobby that I've had for nearly 4 years, I think, now. They were presents to my family and I've made so many for them, my mom about 2 years ago said, "You've gotta stop making me frames. I have no where to put them anymore!" Truth be told, she recently redid her entire house (I'm talking about pulling off the walls, here), so it's a fair request. Also, she has a shell one I made hanging in her kitchen, so she's done her part.

Scott and Liz, my brother and sister-in-law, have decided that they're going to make a whole wall by the kids' rooms and have that be a Dana's frames wall. Which I think is just too freaking cute. Now for them to get around to it. ;-)

Anyway, the frames make great gifts or decor for your home, whatever your home looks like. There are baby frames and seasonal frames and hobby frames. There are holiday frames and (my personal favorite) flower frames. The best part -- they're ALL customizable, which means that you can suggest colors (if you have a room's color scheme or a certain picture in mind for the frame) or, better yet, personalize the frame with a name. See the tennis frame I made for a friend of Paul's named Teri.

The site will be updated whenever I make a new frame. And I'm making 30 of them for the Framingham (Massachusetts) Craft Fair at Keefe Tech on April 1, 2006, so bookmark the site and come back often. Or stop by the fair if you live in eastern Mass. -- it's a lot of fun for a few hours on Saturday.


Apparently isn't that important at a bunny's nap time. I usually work from home on Fridays and today I thought it'd be fun to have Pea come out and hang out with me in my living room. So I open the cage and make the "come out if you want to" noise (different from the "stop doing what you're doing, Naughty!" or "raisin time" noises -- my bunnies are very receptive to sound training). She hops to the lower level of her cage, sticks her nose out of the open door, and turns around again to spend the rest of naptime (read: until evening) in her cage. Fine! Be that way!

I'll show her -- I'll take her with me to PA this weekend for a bonding trip. Serves her right for wanting to stay in her cage. Extra cuddles and new places to explore -- horrendous punishment.

Stay tuned for some adorable pictures of my niece's 6th birthday party (which is tomorrow in PA). In true Corinne fashion (that is, not like any other kid you've ever met -- seriously), she picked B.B. King as her party theme. How cool is this child?!

BTW, if you didn't recognize the source of the title, here's the answer.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Strict disciplinarian

2:30 a.m. -- to bed.

5:15 a.m. -- phone call woke me up. (Thank you for calling; it meant a lot, maybe more than you know.)

7:00 a.m. -- As I'm trying to get back to sleep, Pea rattles her salad dish, which, as previously blogged, is made of metal and sounds less than euphonic in the wee hours of the morning. Her game is that she rattles said dish because it no longer serves its purpose as a salad dish (when the salad is gone), but now becomes a rather large toy in her cage.

I've gotten to the point where I'm no longer entertaining ideas of replacing the salad dish. It's the perfect size for her if you cram the salad in; it's got hooks, which work relatively well when it's being called a "salad dish" and not a "toy"; it's just basically good. I'm also sick of giving in to Pea and getting my tired butt out of bed at 3:00 or 6:00 or whenever she decides she's bored to take out the salad dish from her cage. I'm going to teach this kid some proper behavior, even if it means spending half an hour awake every morning for a month. I have confidence she'll catch on quickly, although I could be fooling myself.

So I've gone back to my roots of how to train a bunny how to be quiet during the night. Years ago, Ariel and Kayla had to be taught when it was acceptable to chew on the cardboard that lines the bottom floor of their cage (the sides, not the bottom -- that's linoleum) and when they just needed to shut the heck up (when I'm sleeping). The oh-so-harsh punishment of water spray therapy was instituted. Whenever they chew their cardboard (which makes an unbelievable amount of noise in a silent room) when I was in bed, they got a squirt from a water gun that rested on my nightstand. For years, I had the water gun there. And, as water guns are known to do, the freakin' thing slowly leaked all over. So I graduated to a spray bottle. The trick is to find something that can literally go the distance to the cage without having to get out of bed (an action which, in the morning, means that my kids are getting raisins).

So, at 7:00 a.m., I started with the loud and deep "PEA! NO!" But that only goes so far to a kid who thinks "no!" is the beginning of a game of chase, as it is in the living room when Pea carefully selects and pulls out and chews my singular copy of Cooking Light magazine. It's never the other 25 books on the lowest shelf of that bookshelf (or even the corner of that bookshelf, as it was when she was a baby), it's now Cooking Light, which I'm taking to mean that she realizes she has a rexy belly and needs exercise and not a reflection on her image of her mommy ;-).

At any rate, as you can imagine, there's no game of chase, as Pea is securely enclosed in her two-story cage, as illustrated hee-ah:

I get up to grab the spray bottle filled with water (not the one labelled "VIN," which is hanging on the rack right next to its unlabelled brethren, as I use both water and vinegar to clean cages -- a privilege I just had at 1:30 a.m.). Naturally, the three well-behaved bunnies, who are all cuddling on the top of the big condo, think it's morning (having the sunlight up and Mom out of bed clued them in -- wonder why?!) and promptly wake up from sound slumbers to hang their hands as high on the walls of the condo as they can and to sniff wildly for their treats. Oh, how I hate to disappoint a well-behaved (-trained?????) bunny (alas, perhaps it is I who is well-trained!). I give them two raisins each, but no papaya pill, indicating to them that it's not really morning and their breakfast isn't really on its way. (This is a message all three of them get, for after I give them raisins, they settle down again just where they were and don't even look for fresh food in their food dishes. The smarties!!) I don't give Pea any raisins, as she is not so well-behaved this morning and it's just an added treat to the twins and Hops. I explain this to the three raisin munchers, but in a cooing voice, so they couldn't care less the reason they're getting fruit and Pea's not. When they're sufficiently treated, I reach for and grab the water spray bottle, which is next to the condo. I head back to the squishy comfort that is my bed, complete with flannel sheets.

Pea predictably ponders the reason she was not given a raisin and continues begging and sticking her nose through the bars. This marks time No. 1 I think she's adorable this morning, even though she's being bad.

But I'm a strict disciplinarian, and so covered up and comfy, I wait for her to continue the raucous ruckus. Of course, when waiting for a bunny to continue being bad, one does not have to wait long. As soon as she rattles her dish, I squirt her three times with the water stream. She stops her pursuit of noisemaking and turns (literally) to face me and wonder why she's got water dripping from her and from the bars of her cage. Now, not for the first time in my bunny motherhood, I wonder if this training method has more to do with distraction than aversion. But I digress.

Pea, who is always interested in interesting things, finds that her bars are wet and, never giving up a chance for a fresh drink, starts licking them. Otherwise known as time No. 2 she's being too cute to be angry with, even though she's taking my oh-so-beloved sleep away from me.

Having dried the bars sufficiently (or at least temporarily having quenched her thirst), SweetPea turns back to the matter at hand -- the big metal toy in her cage. She's too smart to sit there and just be bored when there's a playing opportunity at hand and she's awake. Heck, it's dawn and bunnies are generally crepuscular. It's not her fault, but she's gotta learn what behavior is acceptable at what times of day. So she rattles again.

And I reach for the spray bottle, which is on the floor next to my bed. But I knock it over. And Pea then gives a whole new meaning to the term "Pea brained" because she promptly turns around and faces me, stopping the racket. Wow. Are you kidding me? She has already connected the spraying and the wet rump with the sound of sloshing water in a bottle? One time, folks. One time.

And speaking of times, the position she assumes after she does the 180 is time No. 3 that she melts my mommy heart this morning. She sits there in her litter box with her hands delicately and carefully placed on the rim of said box. Oh. My. God. There is something so utterly human and genteel about this pose, and one day I'll get a picture of it. With her tiny streamlined head and her thin, tiny hands, Pea is sitting there looking at me with the refinement (fake and imagined as it is, I realize) of a perfectly polite Southern woman in a white dress, white wide-rimmed hat and white gloves on a summer day.

So I just stare at her for a few seconds, trying to imagine what's going on in her head. Innocent, precious Pea. I try to remember the details of the whole event so I can blog about them when I wake up. Turns out the experience woke me up so much I figured I'd just get my butt out of bed and write it down now, as there's currently no pen and paper on my nightstand.

Now, also of note are the reactions of the other three bunnies. Ariel and Kayla know exactly what the spraying of a water bottle sounds like from the bed (as opposed to the more consistent, long-term spraying sounds of litterbox cleaning), as they were involved for months (they're slow learners, what can I say? We all have our strengths and weaknesses) in the aversion training of the aforementioned cardboard chewing. It was years ago, but bunnies have long memories for things they don't particularly like.

But the personalities (or bunnyalities) of each twin made their individual reactions interesting. Ariel, the more intrepid and confident of the two, knew the spraying was not for her. She perked up her ears and sat up straighter when I started it, but she knew from the first "PEA! NO!" that this was just not her problem -- that it was the baby getting into yet more trouble.

However, all Kayla knew was that there was a disturbance in the force and the sound of water spraying did not sit well with her. Instead of hunkering down and letting it play out, as Ariel did, Kayla got worried. She started grooming Hops, who was laying next to her, and begging him to console her. For those of you without bunnies, this means that she was asking him for kisses back, but not even grooming ear kisses -- actual mouth kisses, which he does a lot. She did this by giving his ears a few kisses and sticking her mouth as close to his mouth as she could position it, twisting her head up underneath his in the process. Comfort kisses are slightly different from grooming, attention-seeking kisses -- Kayla just shoves her whole head in Hops' or Ariel's chest for them. This was definitely a mouth-to-mouth favor being requisitioned.

Hops, it must be stated, has never needed the spray tactic performed on him, as he's had no noisy habits at night. Well, that's not entirely true. Every now and then he'll decide that Mommy going to bed means that he has to chase one of the twins around the bedroom in a horny frenzy. Sometimes this lasts for a few minutes; sometimes it lasts for more than half an hour, in which cases I don't go for the water bottle spray method because he moves too quickly and it's hard to spray accurately while hanging upside down from the bed and aiming at a moving target. Also, there's always the risk I'll hit the pursuee and not the pursuer, in which case I'd be in effect punishing Ariel or Kayla for being sexy. When he gets going like this, I need to just give the girls a break from all the running and get them closed in their condo for the night and let Hops work his aggressions out on Willow. I'm all for getting the girls some exercise, but at some point it turns into sexual harrassment. ;-)

So Hops was asleep and honestly couldn't be bothered with Kayla's request for comfort. It happens, she knows, and so she moved to Ariel, who, as previously stated, was also not all that concerned or -- frankly -- awake. Like Hops, Ariel took the ear kisses and didn't return any to Kayla. So, Kayla, maybe being reassured not by the kisses she was seeking but by the aloof air of her bonded mates, relaxed and lay yin-yang style next to Ariel and face-to-face with Hops. Maybe just in case he'd wake up and grace her with a little lovin'. She's a smart cookie -- she knows he'd do this for no apparent reason before Ariel would, maybe even in his sleep. He's just that kind of a guy.

So that's my story of water-bottle training for this Sunday morning. And now, maybe, I'll get another three hours sleep, as Pea seems to have given up rattling her dish around. Or maybe I'll spend the rest of the contents on the spray bottle and she'll keep me up until noon. Either/or.