Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Four days in Baltimore

Miss Lee and BJ hamming it up at the Harbor

My gorgeous cousin BJ (she's a senior citizen now by some standards, no lie)

Miss Lee posing in front of one of the ships

Some local wildlife on a "party boat"

We decided to hit the National Aquarium because it was a 1000 degrees outside. It was totally worth the price of admission. Here's a beautiful sailfin tang who was kind enough to pose for me (as always, thanks Bo!)

Miss Lee, Ninny, myself and Mamoo hanging out on the deck.

Ninny, BJ and Mamoo posing nicely.

A more realistic view of what was going on.

Ninny...all 80 pounds of ornery.

We just had to see her new hair growing in

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I'm heading out to visit my Aunt Ninny in Baltimore today. Mamoo and Miss Lee are already there as they flew out on Tuesday. My cousin BJ should have arrived last night (bearing lasagna and shepherd's pie I hear). We're kind of having a girls get together to celebrate Ninny being such a kick ass fighter against her cancer. The doctors gave her six weeks to six months. That was eighteen months ago. I've got my camera packed and I'm trying to figure out how to bring my laptop. We'll see if I can jam it in my backpack and get it on the plane. It should be a good trip. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Meep! Meep!

Monday, June 21, 2010


So I've got a new addition to my tank. I went out yesterday in search of an electric blue ahli to replace Elvis. When I was sick a while back, Mister C decided he just had to move my fish tank two days after I had done a huge water change. He put Elvis, along with way too many of his companions, into a five gallon bucket containing about three gallons of water. And then he put the lid on tight. He didn't insert an aerator. By the time I came out several hours later to see what was going on, most of my fish were dead. I was left with my five clown loaches (The Ross Street Gang), my over sized plecostomus "Yuck!", and Vinny the venustus.

Vinny's mate was gone as were Elvis and his mate Priscilla. It was a very sad tank for a while there. Since Mister C accepted full responsibility for the untimely demise of my tank denizens, he's been very accommodating in my search for replacements. I've started referring to the newcomers as "the school of guilt fish".

Anyway, I've been searching for a new Elvis but having a heckuva time with it. Either they're too young and small to survive in my tank, or they just look sickly. I finally made a trip to my favorite little shop in down town Phoenix to see what I could find. Unfortunately, they didn't have what I wanted. But I did find something cool.

World, welcome "Eeek!", my new eel.

Is that the most horrifying thing ever? I know, awesome right? So here's a fun fact: Eeek! will only eat krill. Which I need to thaw out and get as close to him as possible since he's fairly blind. I tried using a skewer to get it to him but the krill kept breaking up and he couldn't find it. Today I resorted to using an extra set of grilling tongs to get him his meal. Which would have been a whole lot easier if I wasn't having to wave off Vinny and Frank (my small spot starry night cichlid) to prevent them from snagging the krill before I could get it to Eeek! Good times.

The only other issue I will be having is that Eeek! will grow. Big. He could get up to two feet long. Which could be a real problem in the future. Because as you can see in the photo series above, he eats things that are bigger than his head, whole. I'll have to keep a good eye on him and the rest of the tank to make sure he doesn't end up an only child.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

I didn't realize until I was older that you weren't my biological father. You and Mom got married when I was just two years old and Carm was almost five. She always knew you weren't her "real father" since she had memories of DB. I had no memory of him and it never occurred to me that you were anything but my real dad.

Some of my earliest memories were of sitting at the kitchen table in that little house on Cottage Grove eating dinner. Of going down to the dungeon of a basement and seeing you studying for your college courses at the big desk in the corner. I vividly remember you helping me balance and running beside me as I learned to ride a bicycle. Of looking back when I realized you were no longer next to me and seeing you standing there, grinning away, proud of me. I remember bits and pieces of being in a small airplane with you at the controls when you flew us down to Georgia one year. I remember you always listening to music on those huge headphones you had for so many years. I also recall you always taking pictures and the fun we would have when you would put on a slide show for us with all the carefully organized slides.

Not long after we moved to Connecticut, I started learning to play the clarinet in the school band. Being a music lover, my practice sessions must have been pure torture for you. And looking back, I'm fairly sure those first school concerts sounded more like a giant goose massacre than music. But you never failed to show up. You also never failed to show up for every parade we marched in when I reached high school. You probably spent more money on instrument maintenance, uniforms and extra lessons than anyone should. But I never heard you complain.

When I was in high school you tried to teach me how to drive your little truck in the school parking lot. I'm sorry if you've still got the whiplash from my first attempts, I know I wasn't very smooth. But the important thing is that you were willing to take the time to try and teach me. And also that you didn't freak out, stomp your imaginary brakes and screech the way Mom did (and still does to this day, by the way). You also sat through what has to be the longest high school graduation in history.

Almost thirteen years ago, you flew across the country so you could walk me down the aisle when I married Mister C. You've helped us move too many times and you made the mistake of showing up for the big retaining wall building of 2001. You were there in the hospital the day Master J was born and you got tears in your eyes when you first held him. I know you'll always be there for me, offering support and guidance, rooting and cheering me on in whatever I do. And every year at Christmas I'll try to wrap up some malted milk balls up so you can't guess what they are, and you'll pretend you can't figure out what it could possibly be.

I also have a lot of memories of you doing things like this...

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that it never occurred to me that you were anything but my real dad because you've never acted like anything but.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Beautiful in California

Just a few pictures of some of the flowers I saw on our recent trip to Carlsbad.

Thursday, June 17, 2010



Grand Central Station



Sydney Opera House

Legoland firefighters

Mt. Rushmore

Taj Mahal

Luxor (Las Vegas)

Egyptian Dude

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Legos in the Aquarium