Thursday, November 30, 2006

Green Crochet Bear

The Monster is now officially a Bear. A bear with half of a pink scarf and a teensy nubbin tail. I watched Scrubs and Grey's Anatomy while crocheting and thought briefly about making a tiny stethascope for him and naming him Dr. McCrochety.

I got sad news when I got home that Chun Lee passed away today. He was the oldest Asian small-clawed otter living in a North American zoo and he lived at my zoo. He was 19 years old and fathered 18 babies - he had some babies just this last year even. He liked to drag strips of burlap around and hide under them and generally be spunky, even while being arthritic and half deaf. I have certain animals I visit every single time I'm at the zoo and he was one of them. Sometimes when the zoo was really empty, I'd hang out at his enclosure talking to him and his "wife" Jordan. If you made just the right peeping noise, he'd peep back and waddle right up to you and turn his head sideways. I think he was saying "What are you peeping about? Get to work helping me build this kickass burlap fort!". I'll miss him.

I think I'll name the the green bear, Chun Lee in his honor.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Green Crochet Monster

Here is my progress so far on my Pen Pal Exchange. The body of the stuffed animal is about 5 inches tall so he/she is turning out to be pretty big. I tried to make a neck so I could crochet a little scarf to wrap around it. I am still undecided if I want the critter to be a bunny with long floppy ears or a bear with big round ears. Ponder ponder ponder.

The black blobular item in the background of the photo is my cat, Neo. The back of that chair is her spot and I tried to move her to take the picture but she jumped back up. She's so photogenic...look at that blobbyness and out of focus designer fuzz.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Three Days Left of NaBloPoMo

I feel like making up a song about NaBlo to the tune of "Partridge In A Pear Tree" but honestly I am really lazy and tired right now. I think I have the NaBlo Malaise. You can diagnose it by checking for the following symptoms.

1. Staring blankly at the screen
2. Fingers hovering over the keyboard but not touching the keys
3. Asking people around you "What should I post about?" and then ignoring them when they answer
4. Procrastinating on writing a post by doing household chores you normally avoid
5. Whining/Whinging

If you have any of these symptoms, please drink a large glass of water, hop up and down on one foot, and then suck it up and post. You've come this far, don't stop now! Go go go!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Pen Pal Exchange

My pen pal and I are exchanging crocheted stuffed animals. She made a body and sent it to me, and I sent her a body. Now I am making the head and tail and will send it back to her so she can finish the arms and legs. She made a green animal and I'm trying to decide if I'm going to make it into a bunny or a turtle or a frog or a hippo or a blurfgalump. Oh...I shouldn't post when I'm tired, now I'm making up animal species.

What was the species of your favorite stuffed animal when you were growing up? Or your current favorite stuffed animal - I'm not knocking ya if you still dig the stuffed animals :)

Headless Owls

I'm trying to make this image be my header on my blog and instead I'm getting owls with their heads chopped off and can't figure out why. Poor chopped off head owls. Could anyone help?

I'm making this second image to see if it works but I like the first one better because the image has better resolution ...

I've been messing with templates and Photoshop for about 2 hours, you know when the more you try to fix something the more you screw it up? I just can't walk away from the computer. Someone drag me away. Quick! It's for my own good!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Box o' cats

I am so tired. Traveling is great but I'm totally worn out. So until I can get up the gumption to post something more intriguing here is a video of the 8 baby kittens I mentioned yesterday. There is one black calm one I named The Fonz and the rest are nameless but adorable. You can hear me talking in a weird high pitched voice I get when I talk to baby animals sometimes and my husband's in there too.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


I am in Iowa visiting family. In just a bit we're going to Grandma and Grandpa's farm to eat Thanksgiving leftovers. They have a new litter of barn cats - their one cat Amanda has had 17 kittens so far this year and this last litter was 8. Still have not been able to convince the Husband to let me bring home a bucket of kittens. Maybe I can sneak home a baby chick?

I realized I didn't post a photo on Friday so I'll do it now. Here is a photo of a weird crochet pattern I found this morning.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Tryptophaning the light fantastic

Apple pie makes a great breakfast. Too bad I don't have leftover turkey to make sandwiches for lunch. Later this afternoon Josh and I are driving to Iowa to see his family. I printed up a bunch of crochet patterns and am going to try to crochet on the way over. I can read and ride in a car without getting car sick, I hope I can crochet while the car is moving and not feel wonky. Below is the next project I'm working on finishing. All I have left is the second ear and all the feet. The body can easily fit in the palm of my hand. I'm going to try and get some marbles or something to put in the feet to weight it down. Or maybe beans...or maybe pie. Mmmm. Pie.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Today my sister, Roxy, and I each made one of these while we watched the parade and waited for the turkey to roast. I made mine with white and black yarn like the picture but Roxy made hers with a cream colored yarn for the face and dark green for the top hat. They both turned out really nice but we didn't read the pattern all the way before we started and the snowman faces turned out to be about the size of a tennis ball - still a good size for an large ornament but the top hat was almost 2 inches tall so that made a huge ornament. At least it's light and stuffed with fluff.

I'm waiting to eat my punkin pie. Mmmmmm Cool Whip...mountains of cooool whiiiiipppppp mmmmmmmm.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


My house smells so good right now.

Today The Cooking Husband made a pumpkin pie, green bean cassarole, and stuffing. The stuffing is full of sage, sausage, walnuts, celery and the green bean cassarole has roasted garlic in it this year. Mmmmmm. We'll be packing up the side dishes and take them a half hour away to my parents house tomorrow morning. There, The Cooking Husband will make the turkey and white cheddar mashed potatoes while my sister and I crochet small stuffed animals and watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. My Dad will probably nap and hover around the kitchen. My mom works in a hospital so she's on shift until 3pm and we'll eat after she gets home. I am definitly looking forward to some relaxation, watching some goofy parade stuff, and eating delicious things.

Maybe I'll have to post a play by play of the Parade or something ... I haven't missed a Thanksgiving Parade yet :)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I was randomly surfing around and found this website - Pixelgirlshop The cuteness is eating my face! Eeeee! Yay!

I have to file it in my bookmark folder I have titled Adorable Things. Yes, that is my bookmark folder and does that surprise you? I also have Daily Blogs folder, Daily Comics, Crochet and Art, and newly added NaBloPoMo folder. I've found at least 20 new blogs that I really like and put them in there. I think I shall go post on each and every one that are still posting as part of their cheering section right now.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Monday kicks my heinie once again

Nothing cures a bad day like pokin some baby chicken fuzz, right? Right!

They are so soft and fluffy that when you try to pet them your finger goes right through their fluff and pokes their tiny body and then they kind of flap and peep to get their balance back. And then you feel bad that you poked the chicken but they are so cute when they peep and flap that you stick your hand back in their enclosure and poke them again.

This weekend I got to take one of them out and held the lil guy in the palm of my hand. He settled in and peeped a few times then blinked and started to fall asleep. Very relaxing, yes. I need to go visit the zoo right now even though it isn't open but they won't mind if I sneak in and visit the Children's Zoo right? Okay, I'll just go to sleep with a soft blanket and try to think relaxing thoughts instead.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Owl....Disgruntled Owl

The new Bond movie blows the old movies right out of the water. Usually when a movie is long I get antsy but not so with "Casino Royale". Just when you think the movie is over, it's not and I love that about it too. Had a good mix of humor and action.
Plus, eye candy! I think Daniel Craig made a much better Bond than Pierce Brosnan - his Bond wasn't as cheesy smarmy as Brosnan's. All around, I'd give it an A.

Saturday, November 18, 2006


Today at the zoo I held the yellow rat snake named Lemon, the slightly less giant 20 pound rabbit named Michael, and a hamster who had no name which I will now name.....Zappyhead. Lemon curled himself around my arm and didn't want to let go but I didn't mind because he's sweet. Michael however got spooked and tried to push off me and somehow scratched my boob with his rabbit foot. Ow! Owwwwwww. The hamster...was just a hamster. Nothing peed on me! I win!

In a few minutes I'm going to go to see the new Bond movie and I almost walked out the door without posting and then felt panic in realizing that I'd miss a post. Ack! Now, no Ack because I'm posting this short and lame post to be elaborated on tomorrow morning.


Friday, November 17, 2006

Picture Friday

One of my favorite birds to watch in the zoo are the Rainbow Lorikeets. I call them Loudikeets sometimes because you have to wear ear protection when you go in their indoor enclosure, big noise canceling headphones that are the same ones ground crews wear in airports. They are so loud that when they are in their outdoor enclosure you can hear them 2 building's over. Sometimes they get to screeching and the babboons screech back and then the lemurs start getting in on it and it gets really loud.

The zoo has a bunch of them, at least 8 adults and some new babies so they rotate on and off exhibit. This picture is of one of the bigger lorikeets in the indoor exhibit. There weren't many people at the zoo in the early morning so I sat and watched the keeper hose down the walls and floors. She filled a pan with water and this one, let's call him Flappy, just took a bath in it. I interrupted his preening. They have some tree branches suspended with ropes and he was sitting on one of the branches that moved around pretty freely. It's funny to watch a bird try to clean itself while on a swing and having another bird dive bomb him occasionally. In the background you can make out some shelves. Sometimes they line themselves up on them, two birds to a shelf. Why? I don't know? Maybe one of them has OCD and likes to organize the other's alphabetically in a lil bird library?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Zoo Baby

In May 2005, one of the gorillas, Binti Jua, had a baby boy that the zoo guests named Bakari. He's a funny little guy. I've tried and tried to get a good picture of him but since he's so active I usually just have a gorgeous picture of blurry fur.

Until now! Here is a picture that doesn't look like I took it while hanging out the window of a moving car! I like how he's looking back at the crowd of people looking at him. Shortly after I snapped this he climbed down the the tree branch below him, then he grabbed the rope/vine and hung upside down on it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

One glove

I get cold in our drafty apartment and while it is easy to curl up in a blanket, my hands are all chilled and exposed as I type away. I decided to make fingerless gloves with my new found crochet skills. Four days later I glove! And I'm wearing it as I type. I'm using this pattern with a really soft acrylic yarn in a shimmery light tan color. When I was picking the color I stood in the aisle shoving my hands in part of the skein of yarn to see how soft it was. Some little old lady looked at me like I pooped and tried to hand it to her. Sorry lil old lady, don't mind me, I'm just feeling up the yarn, I'll get a room when I'm ready.

Soon I'm going to wear both gloves and flaunt my Crochet-fu. Hopefully they'll look pretty much the same...I'm still learning not to skip stitches. If I post pictures of one wrist length glove and one elbow length glove it will be because I made a stylistic choice to make them not match and not that something went horribly wrong.

P.S. On naming that sandwich from yesterday... A coworker suggested I call it "Rip Off On A McMuffin" and I took his red swingline stapler in protest.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Now with Less Sucking

So today was better than yesterday by a bit. I wish I could have had a sundae and a foot rub like kate suggested but instead I had cinnamon rolls for dinner and some hugs. Pastries for dinner make everything better. It was only slighty rainy today, my coworkers were dumber than plain dirt instead of mud, and no one kicked me in the head. It's looking up!

This weekend I made a breakfast sandwich that I'm trying to think of a name for. First I heated up some deli turkey in a pan, slapped that on some wheat bread, made a fried egg, put that on the turkey, added a slice of sharp cheddar cheese, put some more butter in the pan and heated up the side of the sandwich the cheese was on. A kind of grilled cheese breakfast sandwich kind of thing. I suggested calling it "Double Poultry Delight" but the husband thought that an egg isn't really poultry. Suggestions?

Monday, November 13, 2006

Frak! Frakin frak!

Today has been an Eeyore day. Gloomy drizzly rain, stupid as mud coworkers, endless paperwork, people not listening to me, frustrating computer issues - Yeah you Blogger you can frak my bum parts!

I got stuck in traffic on the way to dinner, got to the dinner place and their credit card machine was down so I had to go get cash. I felt this horrid despair wash over me and then made myself snap out of it by rolling down the windows, breathing in the fresh air and then screaming loud a few times as I drove. Going to the ATM shouldn't make me despair even if I did spend all day as the filling of a crap sandwich. So, now I'm here at home trying to stay calm and relaxed but if I dream about a bulldozer, the expressway, and my office...well that wouldn't be so bad....

Sunday, November 12, 2006


I made more crocheted fishes today then got overconfident and tried to make a monkey. But I was half working off a pattern and half winging it. The monkey head got way too big and I got frustrated so I set the bugger aside and started making one of these
I'm making mine in white. The only other yarn colors I have right now are purple, turquoise and lime green. I think a purple and white mouse isn't that weird looking, right? I like these tiny little projects because I'm halfway through an afghan and I get tired of it after a few rows. I have a feeling I'm going to have a few UFO's floating around here if I don't concentrate on one thing at a time.

This highly exciting post is brought to you from the yarn aisle at Walmart as I stand there going "Hmmmmmmmm" trying to decide what kind of yarn to buy next.

UFO - UnFinished Objects - stolen from Stitch N Bitch

Saturday, November 11, 2006

MMM bacon

After breakfast out today, driving in the car.

What my husband heard me say "Nine Volt Basement."

What I really said "Now I'm full of bacon, yum."

We decided that Nine Volt Basement would make an awesome band name. I think the band would have an electric guitar, a keytar, an electric violin, and a drum machine. And the lead singer would be named Negative Terminal or Rechargable Joe. Alkaline ROCKS!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Picture Friday

It's Daddy Okapi! The zoo recently had an okapi birth and the Dad is out on exhibit while Mom and Baby are in seclusion. There is a live feed showing the baby on a video monitor which is nice. Okapi births are rare in captivity and the zoo keepers found that females liked to leave the baby in a "nesting area" and then wander off quite a good distance away. This behavior (in my most educated guess) is probably to keep the baby safer in the wild as it would stay hidden for hours as the mother foraged.

Before figuring this out, zoos would house the Mom and Baby in a close area and they were having some troubles with the babies thriving. Changing the size of the seclusion enclosure to a large one was first suggested by the zoo I volunteer at. Makes me feel proud even though I had nothing to do with it. I'm just proud of my zoo in general.

Interesting Okapi (a.k.a. The Forest Giraffe) facts

1. They are native to the African country the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly known as Zaire) and until the early 1900's European and American scientists didn't even know they existed as a species so there are still a lot of things to discover about them.

2. The white markings on their lower legs are known as "ankle stockings". Any animal that wears stockings is right by my book!

3. The make a funny bleating sound almost like a goat or a sheep. It's funny because when I first heard one I thought "Why the heck to they have a sheep on exhibit in Africa: The Forest?"

Thursday, November 09, 2006


Waking up and getting out of bed and immediately stepping on something wet is one of the worst ways to wake up I can imagine. I was scared to turn on the light...

I got halfway through making a cat toy last night so I put it away in a plastic bag before bed. Somehow my Thief-Kittens got the bag untied, stole the toy, got it soaking wet (probably from putting it in their waterbowl) and then left it by the side of the bed for me. Soaking wet lumpy yarn blob for teh WIN!

UGH! I ran hot hot water over it and then threw it in the dryer. I guess they realllly didn't want me to give it as a gift like I was going to - and it didn't even have cat nip in it yet!

Thief Kittens Thiefy thiefs!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


I'm going to the Zoo tomorrow in the afternoon to turn in some paperwork and take pictures. It's so nice this time of year when no one is at the zoo in the middle of the week. I got so used to the crazy crowds in the summer that I'd work my shift and head straight home - tomorrow I get to visit my favorite animals and take some pictures. The cotton topped Tamarind's are my favorite because they like it when I talk to them and they get really close to the railing and I can always get good closeups of them. The two babies, Nick and Noodle, are about a year old now so they are starting to calm down a bit so my photos aren't just fuzzy monkey blurs. If anyone is reading this and would like pictures of certain animals, let me know. I'll definitly post them Friday.

I'm trying to decide if I'll make an entirely Zoo related blog or Crochet related. I thought I'd be posting about cranky ramblings because that's how I've been feeling the last few months, but so far November has been really cheerful.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


We had cherry pie and Cool Whip for desert. I saved the plastic crinkly safety seal from around the lip of the Cool Whip tub. Usually my cat, Tater Tot, steals the strip of plastic from the trash and sits crinkling it in her mouth and paws in the middle of the night. As I was getting ready to hide it I had a thought...Wouldn't that be awesome inside a cat toy?

So I searched around and found a pattern for these

I made her a yellow cotton crocheted fishie with a bit of crinkle inside (the yarn muffles the sound enough to not make it hideously annoying - yay!). I folded up half of the strip right into the body of the fish, so I still have more plastic to put in another one. I'm going to have to make another one soon because my other cat, Neo, almost never plays with toys and she stole Tater's toy tonight. Right now Tater is kicking the crap out of my shoe because she stuck the toy inside my shoe and is trying to get it back out. Awww crap kicking, how sweet :)

Monday, November 06, 2006


I had to get a TB skin test today, they are requiring all the zoo volunteers to get one this year. I keep staring at my arm trying to figure out if the test is having a reaction - even though I KNOW it's not supposed to be read until Thursday. How exciting is this post, eh? Look at my skin bump! I asked my husband what I should write today's post about and he said "TB" so I must have been checking out my skin bump often enough to annoy him.

I keep thinking of the all the ghost stories/ghost hunting television shows where they go to old abandoned tuberculosis hospitals and talk about the little kids that died there. So sad. I hope I have spooky dreams about nurses and old hospitals and seeing ghosts instead of spooky dreams of having strange maladies like Tuberculariamelanoma which I think is tb and malaria and melanoma combined.

Now he's asking me if the cats have TB...ZOMG OhNoes!

This highly boring post is brought to you by the letter H for Hypochondria and the number SKIN BUMP!

Sunday, November 05, 2006


You would think if you were meeting someone for the first time in person that you would disclose something important like "I'm completely deaf and won't understand anything you say to me".

I met someone today that I've known online for awhile and she always said she had "some hearing loss". So I go to her house w/ another friend and we're sitting there listening to her talk and talk and talk about their dog and I tried to say stuff and she didn't respond to anything I said, just ignored me and kept talking. Then I asked to use their bathroom and she shook their head no and shrugged. I was getting pretty pissed off until her husband came into the room and started finger spelling and using sign language. At that point, my friend started signing because she knew a bit and they had a conversation in sign while I just sat there. And at lunch she was on her Sidekick the whole time we were eating. Just awkward all around.

Why couldn't she say "I am deaf and only lip read and read sign and can't hear anything you say so please face towards me while talking."? It would have taken just a moment when we walked in. Instead, no one acknowledged that she couldn't understand me and I sat there in silence as other people had a conversation I was left out of completely. It sucked - why have me drive all the way there to visit if we can't have a visit?


Saturday, November 04, 2006

Zoo Day

I was at the zoo for most of the day. We rotate through different sections - Nature Projects, Animal Handling, Guinea Pig Playground, Lemur Leap.

Today I learned how to pick up Thumper the giant rabbit. Well, he's a 20 pound rabbit with wiggle-itis and a love for biting hard on fingers so maybe he seems bigger than he is. You have to kind of grab his back feet gently and the scoop him up between your forearms. His sides flop over your arms as you turn him around and cradle him like a football with his head tucked in by your elbow. If you aim his head as far away from fingers as you can get, you're usually safe. Did you know rabbits have to lift the front of their body up to move forwards? Their spines are curved and they lift up with their front feet and then use their back feet to launch themselves forwards - hippity hop! So if you want them to stay in one spot, hold your hand gently on their shoulder blades - they can tell you are dominant and they can't get the leverage to move upwards to move forwards. I am the giant rabbit tamer! We also learned the signs of animal stress so we can tell when to put the animals back in their enclosures.

Then I got to take out one of the guinea pigs who is about a pound and a half of squeaking fuzz. I had Chocolate out on my lap and he insisted on resting his back foot on my pinky finger, got really squeaky mad when I moved it. The armadillo was off exhibit this week and I couldn't find a zookeeper to tell me what was up with him.

On my lunch break I walked over Habitat Africa to see the baby mongooses (mongeese?) that just went on exhibit. For lack of a better size description, they are about the size of a hot dog with a face *hee hee* They definitely just waking up from a nap as they were climbing all over Mama as she sat blinking and looking groggy. I wonder what kinds of sounds they make?

I stayed an extra hour to help out even though we weren't really busy, this time of year is when attendance is down at the zoo. I don't mind too much as it gives me more time to take the animals out and it's less stressful on the animals too, with the lack of crowds.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Picture Friday Part Deuce

Disgruntled Owl says "Don't interrupt my National Geographic beyotch! Can't you see I'm trying to find pictures of half naked ladies and all I see is Sir Alfred Explorerwhatever. Man!"

Picture Friday

I took this at the Brookfield Zoo while I was still in Volunteer training. I think that's Kaya jumping for the ball. There are 4 male dolphins and 2 female in the show and I can never remember all their names. Baby Allyson is going to be part of the show soon, hopefully.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

The Owl

Last year I decided I wanted to start a website highlighting wierd things I liked or selling items I made. It took me weeks to come up with a name that wasn't taken or sounded too creepy or too precious. I started brainstorming and ended up listing all the animals I like visiting when I'm working at the zoo. First one was the owls in the Swamp exhibit. They are mostly cute and calm but when they are pissed off, you know it. Kind of like me *heh*

My husband once pointed out that the owls looked like they are going to bite your face if you get too close, like really angry when they puffed all their feathers up sitting on their perch. I said they were merely disgruntled and voila - Disgruntled_Owl. I'm still looking for that perfect disgruntled owl image... I have about 20 in my iPhoto library. I want to make a logo next. I used to be all hyper about the cute little fuzzy adorable baby animals at the zoo but now I bond more with the ones that are kind of standoffish or calm or slightly...let's use the word again... disgruntled. They seem more interesting than the rabbit or the geckos that everyone goes squeeeee over when they see them.

Every other weekend I go to the zoo and do programs with the kids, get to take some of the animals out of their enclosures and I am trying to get put on the rotation for the armadillo next. He can be a spaz, running back and forth and back and forth in his area but it's only because he's bored or neurotic. He's pretty funny when he notices you are coming towards the enclosures door. The kids think he looks like he's made of rocks and no one really wants to pet him. Poor left out neurotic armadillo.

Okay you know you need to go to bed when you start out trying to explain why you came up with your blog name and you end up talking about armadillos :) Good night.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Hello and welcome, I'm disgruntled_owl but today I'm feeling anything but disgruntled.

Last year I wrote 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo. I went each weekend to Write-In's at the local Barnes and Nobles. I had plot cards and outlines. I wrote at night and during work and let the dishes pile up and ignored my social life, except for going to meet with other writers and agonize over what we were writing. I did a sci-fi/fantasy novel which I may write about this month - the story ended but I never felt finished with it. I also never edited it so almost 60,000 words are just sitting on my flash drive. It's hybernating! I was going to do NaNo again this year but I couldn't get the enthusiasm up for it. I check fussy everyday and was excited to see what Mrs. Kennedy was organizing. Also, I don't have as much free time because I recently started a new hobby.

Crocheting. Yep, I can't stop crocheting. I've tried to learn how from books before and couldn't quite catch on. My younger sister wanted to make handmade Christmas presents together this year so we decided on learning it together. Checked out a video at the library with lessons from an adorable older lady who talks so sweet and calm, named Bev Dillon. As I'm trying to learn and I'm shouting at the tv "Slow Down Bev!" "Dammit I skiped a stitch!" I imagine Bev stopping, holding her crochet hook up and saying "Calm down hootchie and keep focused! Focus beyotch!". *heh*

I've made a scarf, a few presents for friends and started an afgan. I made some items from the Stitch and Bitch Happy Hooker book. I love being crafty but hate the mess most crafts leave in my small apartment. Crochet is mess free, just yarn and a hook and a pattern book.

So now I'm going to NaBloPoMo, crochet, and be happy curled up at home since it's really cold right now. Maybe tomorrow I'm be disgruntled.