Wednesday, January 27, 2010

For those who have animals....

So, I just came across a few lists of plants and foods that are poisonous to both dogs and cats, and I figured I'd put it up here since a lot of you have animals. If you know of any other plants (or food) that's poisonous to animals, post it here! I got my information from and


Aloe vera
Apple seeds
Apple leaf croton
Apricot pit
Asparagus fern
Autumn crocus
Avocado (both the fruit and pit)
Baby's breath
Bird of paradise
Branching ivy
Buddhist pine
Calla lily
Castor bean
Charming dieffenbachia
Cherry (seeds and wilting leaves)
Chinese evergreen
Christmas rose
Corn plant
Cornstalk plant
Cuban laurel
Cutleaf philodendron
Devil's ivy
Dracaena palm
Dragon tree
Dumb cane
Elephant ears
Emerald feather
English ivy
Fiddle-leaf fig
Florida beauty
Fruit salad plant
German ivy
Giant dumb cane
Glacier ivy
Gold dieffenbachia
Gold dust dracaena
Golden pothos
Hahn's self-branching ivy
Heartland philodendron
Hurricane plant
Indian rubber plant
Janet Craig dracaena
Jerusalem cherry
Lacy tree philodendron
Lily of the valley
Mother-in-law's tongue
Madagascar dragon tree
Marble queen
Mexican breadfruit
Miniature croton
Morning glory
Needlepoint ivy
Peace lily
Peach (wilting leaves and pit)
Pencil cactus
Plumosa fern
Poison ivy
Poison oak
Potato plant
Purgatory bean
Red emerald
Red princess
Red-margined dracaena
Ribbon plant
Saddle leaf philodendron
Sago palm
Satin pothos
Silver pothos
Spotted dumb cane
String of pearls
Striped dracaena
Sweetheart ivy
Swiss cheese plant
Taro vine
Tomato plant (green fruit, stem and leaves)
Tree philodendron
Tropic snow dieffenbachia
Weeping fig


Alcoholic Beverages - Can cause intoxication, coma, and death.
Baby Food - Can contain onion powder, which can be toxic to dogs. (Please see onion below.) Can also result in nutritional deficiencies, if fed in large amounts.
Bones from fish, poultry, or other meat sources - Can cause obstruction or laceration of the digestive system.
Cat food - obviously ok for cats, but not for dogs - it's too high in protein and fats to be fed on a regular basis for dogs
Chocolate - Contain caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, which can be toxic and affect the heart and nervous systems.
Coffee - See chocolate
Tea - See chocolate
Anything with caffeine - See chocolate
Citrus oil extracts - Can cause vomiting.
Fat trimmings - Can cause pancreatitis.
Grapes and Raisins - Contain an unknown toxin, which can damage the kidneys. There have been no problems associated with grape seed extract.
Hops - Unknown compound causes panting, increased heart rate, elevated temperature, seizures, and death.
Human vitamin supplements containing iron - Can damage the lining of the digestive system and be toxic to the other organs including the liver and kidneys.
Macadamia nuts - Contain an unknown toxin, which can affect the digestive and nervous systems and muscle.
Marijuana - Can depress the nervous system, cause vomiting, and changes in the heart rate.
Milk - Some adult dogs and cats do not have sufficient amounts of the enzyme lactase, which breaks down the lactose in milk. This can result in diarrhea. Lactose-free milk products are available for pets.
Moldy/spoiled food - Can contain multiple toxins causing vomiting and diarrhea and can also affect other organs.
Mushrooms - Can contain toxins, which may affect multiple systems in the body, cause shock, and result in death.
Onions and garlic - Contain sulfoxides and disulfides, which can damage red blood cells and cause anemia. Cats are more susceptible than dogs.
Persimmons - Seeds can cause intestinal obstruction and enteritis.
Pits from peaches and plums - Can cause obstruction of the digestive tract.
Potato, rhubarb, and tomato leaves. Potato and tomato stems. - Contain oxalates, which can affect the digestive, nervous, and urinary systems. This is more of a problem in livestock.
Raw eggs - Contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin). This can lead to skin and hair coat problems. Raw eggs may also contain Salmonella.
Raw fish - Can result in a thiamine (a B vitamin) deficiency leading to loss of appetite, seizures, and in severe cases, death. More common if raw fish is fed regularly.
Salt - If eaten in large quantities it may lead to electrolyte imbalances.
String - Can become trapped in the digestive system; called a "string foreign body."
Sugary foods - Can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly diabetes mellitus.
Table scraps - Table scraps are not nutritionally balanced. They should never be more than 10% of the diet. Fat should be trimmed from meat; bones should not be fed.
Tobacco - Contains nicotine, which affects the digestive and nervous systems. Can result in rapid heart beat, collapse, coma, and death.
Yeast dough - Can expand and produce gas in the digestive system, causing pain and possible rupture of the stomach or intestines.
Xylitol (an artificial sweetner) - Can cause liver failure.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Finding a good hairdresser is hard.

For the past few weeks, I've been wanting to cut my hair. Due to financial restraints (I really couldn't justify spending money on a haircut while my birds and cat were starving) I haven't had my hair cut in well over six months.

Since I've gotten a new job, I decided that the professional thing to do was to cut it the hell off. Long hair in the summer months? Far too much maintenance for this girl.

So my hair is gone. The new haircut looked good up until Crystal - the hairdresser of the day - decided to tease it. Oh joy.

She bumped it, teased it, curled it, moussed it, hair sprayed it, and all together styled it within an inch of its fine, flat, and otherwise ordinary life. On the upside, it added two inches to my height.

I look like a bad 80's porn star.

I'm hoping that the poof goes down sometime soon. 'Cuz this? Is totally not appropriate. I'm not going to post a picture, because honestly? I'd rather not subject you, dear reader, to the horror.

Maybe if I tie a bandanna in it and just start growling people will think I'm a pirate....

Sunday, January 24, 2010

another new blog

So I'm debating about creating another blog.

Yes yes, I know. I'm a fool. After all, I tried that Purchaser's Review thing a while back, and look at it now.

Bugger. It's on hiatus, I swear! Maybe. Mostly. Kind-of.

I could come back to it.

Anyways, I'm thinking I'm going to do a short-story blog. I'll probably use Wordpress for it since it offers a bit more customizeable features that even a technical idiot like me can figure out. I used it for my youth group blog, and I really liked how that one turned out. I'm even debating about switching this blog over to Wordpress, since...y'know. Google is the devil.

Anyways, I've been writing short little vignettes for Badass Geek's brainchild Fiction 500. The premise is simple - write a fully stand-alone story in 500 words or less.

A tad more difficult than it sounds. Especially for me, because I tend to ramble on and on (as if ya'll couldn't figure that out).

I really enjoy writing for it. A lot. However, now that I've gotten into this whole 'writing' mode, I think I'm going to start posting up more short stories on my own blog. I will, of course, still post to the Fiction 500 website, since I love it like Chuck Norris loves roundhouse kicks. But I've been writing some other stuff, and there's no way I can cram it into 500 words. So for those stories I think I'll post them up to the other site.


I'll post a link here when I'm done creating it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Twitter me this....

So I've come to the conclusion that I'm addicted to social media sites.

I have two blogs (even if one is on temporary hiatus and I'm a horrible blogger), a facebook, a myspace, I'm a member of 20-something bloggers, the Savvy Source (and yes, I know...I don't have a kid! It's interesting anyways!), and I'm frustrated as hell that I can't get the internet on my cell phone (me and Mr. Nextel/Sprint are going to have a little...discussion...tomorrow). I won't even go into the six (SIX!!) e-mails that I actually use (WHAT ON EARTH DO I NEED WITH SIX E-MAILS?!).

To top all that lovely social crackism off, I've done the unthinkable.

I've joined twitter.

This media explosion has me a bit shaken up. I mean, five years ago I wouldn't have even thought to join these sites. I would have probably scoffed derisively.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Is this all just a big fat desperate cry for attention? Am I really that pathetic? Oh, I can write it off as me networking - after all, you never know where my next job offer will come from - but I don't think I'm fooling anyone. We all know what my problem is. Hell, if you're reading this, chances are you share the same addiction.

I constantly see Gen Y with their crackberries, or iphones, or various other phone/social gadgets. We're constantly plugged in. Why? What is this desperate urge to constantly fill our brains with useless information? Do I really need updates on Britney's marital status? And do I really need to know what the weather is like in Taiwan? And we won't get into my mommy (and daddy) blogger obsession.

If you're me, then the answer is, apparently, yes.

But is that necessarily a bad thing? Is receiving information at the speed of light a bad thing?

I tend to take it as we should take most things in life: it's fine in moderation. And it can come in really handy when you're at a bar at midnight and they're playing a 'guess the name of the song' game. It had prizes. And the DJ was totally wicked looking - and not in a good way. Think mountain man...complete with scratchy armpits and a plethora of facial hair. I think I saw him rub his nutsack once or twice.

Yes boys, we females do notice that. We're just too polite to say anything. Go to the bathroom next time. You don't see us scratching our underwires in public. Usually.

Oh, and if you haven't twitter-friended me yet (I'm sure that someone, somewhere has come up with a word for that) you totally should. Because I'm awesome and stuff. Nyx1331.

That...wasn't pathetic at all. Note the sarcasm.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Anth 410

My favorite class in college was Anth 410.

It was my junior year of college and I had found myself in a 400 level class. It was drastically different than the auditorium style lecture halls that usually sat 200 people per class - there were only about 20 people in this one.

Human osteology.

Our professor was a world-renown forensic anthropologist, whose specialty was pubic bones. I remember waiting outside the classroom, wondering what awaited us - I'd never taken a 400 level class before. I sat down to a skinny brunette who had the largest doe-eyes I'd ever seen.

"Hi," I said, sounding somewhat inadequate to my own ears. She smiled at me, and asked if I wanted to be her study-buddy - she had, apparently, taken the class once before. And then immediately dropped it due to the work involved.

My stomach plunged and a cold sweat began. I was taking several other demanding classes at the time - would I be able to handle this? Before I could chicken out and walk away, a short, squat, and somewhat hairy woman walked by. She smiled (revealing slightly crooked teeth) and beckoned us into the room - this was our professor.

All twenty of us filed in, and we sat down at the tables that were strewn about. As we looked around at the skeletons and diagrams, our professor smirked.

She knew what we were in for.

The next day only twelve showed up. The other eight had, apparently, decided that they couldn't devote the amount of time needed to Anth 410. Our professor required that we be able to identify all the bones of the human skeleton blindfolded (she, of course, was damn near cackling when she informed us of this). We had to know every bump, crevice, foramen, sulcus, and protrusion, among other features. We also had to be able to estimate the age of the person when they had died, and tell our professor what side of the body the bone was in. She also liked to throw animal bones in our quizzes, just to spice things up a bit.

Thanks Professor. Really.

We kept a log of our hours spent in the lab outside of class, and we drew every bone that we studied in our notebooks.

By the end of the semester, I had logged over 800 hours. It was a running joke among the professors in our department - me and Lynn (the doe-eyed girl from the hallway, who I eventually became good friends with) were there more than they were. We had became fixtures.

That was, without a doubt, one of the most difficult and challenging classes I have ever taken. I, at times, hated it. I hated that I couldn't estimate the age of a person based off their teeth. I hated the foot bones. I hated that I had to spend 8 hours a day trying to memorize the names of things like 'linea aspera' or 'occipital crest,' on top of all my other coursework for my other classes.

And then, a change happened. There I was, going over the bones of the human skull for the umpteeth time, when it clicked. This was important. These skeletons were once real, actual people. People that somebody loved. People that lived their lives. I glanced over at the skeleton of a baby - whose baby was that? Was the mother heartbroken that her child had died shortly after birth? What about the other skeleton of the old man? What had he gone through in his life that his arthritis was so bad that the bones were damn near fused together?

I began to comprehend things, to understand that the femur bone fits in the acetabulum, which is part of the os coxae (a fancy word for pelvis), which supports the whole upper skeleton. If the femur is permanently compromised, the body automatically adjusts for it - muscle starts building in the other leg to make it stronger. The other leg gains bone to allow for the newly forming muscle to attach. It's like some awesome biological chain-reaction.

It all began to make sense. And I realized that if I looked at the skeleton, I could tell how a person lived. I could hazard a guess as to whether or not the person that skeleton represented was male or female, and if it was female whether or not she had given birth. I could tell whether or not he or she had certain types of infections and diseases, I could tell age, I could, effectively, guess as to how that person lived. I could figure out through the clues left on the skeleton who that person was. It kind of blew my mind.

That class remains a turning point in my life. It was at that point in my life that my passion for all things anthropological and biological began. Oh sure, I had already begun majoring in anthropology, but my reasons for that were pretty dumb - nothing else had caught my fancy.

When it came time for the end of the year, our professor declared that our class was one of the best she had ever had. Me and Lynn - we received A's. We were so proud of those, as we had worked our asses off for them.

And every class I took after that one? I began to see them in a whole new light.

I may not have a job in my chosen major. But my passion still remains. It may go dormant every once in a while, and I may get so caught up in the every-day grind that I forget about it sometimes.

But it's still there, silently analyzing humanity.

Monday, January 11, 2010

My Fifteenth Birthday

I distinctly recall when I was fifteen - more specifically, my fifteenth birthday party.

I was an awkward child, all pudge and no curves. Brown hair that was far too thin to stay in a ponytail holder (and far too stringy to leave down), coke-bottle glasses, buck-teeth and an unfortunate habit of stuttering. I was, quite simply, a misfit.

Oh yea - lemme tell you. Had to beat the boys away with a stick.

Anyways, the term "awkward" didn't even begin to describe me. I was even once given an award by a teacher for blowing my nose the most.

Yea. Thanks Mrs. Leonard. Really. I can't tell you how much that endeared me to my fellow classmates. Nothing says "awesome" like a gratuitous nose-blowing award.

So anyways, there I was at the tender age of fifteen, with one friend in the whole wide world.


She was loud, brash, and opinionated. She never stuttered, and I remember being in awe of her as she poured Jimmy Matlock's soda down his shirt during lunch.

He had been depositing his trash in front of me to throw away - like I was his servant. Louise took offense, and did what I was too scared to do - stand up and tell him to knock it off. Of course, she was one to do it by extremes, and I distinctly remember giggling all day as he walked around with bright orange soda staining his shirt. He never dumped his trash in front of me again.

She was the ying to my yang. We were complete opposites in personality, but despite that we somehow seemed to get along.

We were also born (almost exactly) twelve hours apart. Freaky, I know. She at 11:45 in the morning, me at 11:45 at night. And so we shared a birthday.

Anyways, I remember my dad dropping me off at Louise's house - she promised it would be a birthday I would never forget. I rolled my eyes when she said this - I was expecting some contraband alcohol, or some R rated videos.

Instead I got a seance.

We spent the night playing with an Ouija board - me, her, and her our friend Jorge. Around midnight, Louise decided to inform us of our plans - we would be staying up until three o'clock in the morning so we could trudge our way across the street to the cemetery in order to summon the dead.

Even at fifteen, I thought it was a stupid idea. When asked why she chose three in the morning, she explained that three o'clock was the devil's hour.

Uh. Huh.

However, Louise was not to be dissuaded (Jorge really didn't seem to give a flying flip), and so at three o'clock we bundled up some blankets, grabbed a crucifix and candle, and made our way to the cemetery. The old, non-named cemetery. It only had about twenty graves, and the majority of those were sunken in and falling apart.

So we set down our blanket, put the candle in-between the three of us, and Louise started chanting. Me and Jorge held the crucifix - I recall that his hands were shaking somewhat, and I even caught him saying a few "Our Father"s under his breath.

I also recall that my ass? Yea, it was freezing.

So after about thirty minutes of waiting for the spirits to intervene, Louise decided that she had had enough. Of course she could never say this to us, so she simply stated that she saw ghosts moving in the shadows.

Yea. Sure. I rolled my eyes, blew out the candle, and started hiking back to the house.

I also slept like a baby - which is more than I can say for poor Jorge (he was, apparently, very superstitious).

But y'know what? Even though it sucked beyond measure, and even though I caught a cold the next day and even though now I wince at the disregard to the little things like ethics and human dignity...

it was indeed a birthday I never forgot.

Friday, January 8, 2010


I'm in love with Edith Piaf.

Pookie gave me one of her CDs for Christmas this year - and I can't stop listening to it.

The husky rasp of her voice in "Milord" to the damn near tear-wrenching twirls in Hymne a l'Amour...I'm obsessed. I'm always amazed by the beautiful music that can come out of other people's mouths, probably because I'm utterly incapable of holding a tune. And usually what's coming out of my mouth is exactly the opposite of music...banshee wails, maybe, but certainly nothing beautiful.

Ah. It's nice to just sit back and ride the music sometimes.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Goal for 2010

So yesterday was New Year's.

Some of you (hi there, Pumpkin loyal readers!!) may have noticed that I haven't updated regularly. I've been busy trying to figure out who I am and what I am and what I want to do with my life. 2009 was kind of a bum year for me, and if you asked me in college what I'd be doing now, working at a pet store definitely wouldn't have been on my list.

But, shit happens.

I suppose that would be my motto for 2009 - shit happens. In no particular order, I lost a close friend, had my second mother die, had to put my two best friends dogs down, went to Ireland and Scotland, gained an awesome boyfriend who makes my toes curl, I started this blog, went to Buffalo (NY), and I learned that sometimes we just have to grow up, take the losses, and accept that life doesn't always turn out according to plan.


I'm going to get better with posting - I promise! I kind of fell out of the habit since I pretty much got slammed with a whole lot of bad. Funny thing about that - I forgot to look at all the good things in life. Luckily, I was smacked back to reality on New Year's night - apparently I'm prone to epiphanies when I'm completely and absolutely inebriated.

I have a good life. I may not have a big fancy apartment by now, and I may live paycheck to paycheck, but I am far from in need.

But I have an awesome boyfriend who puts up with me (and all my whining), and a family that despite being rather insane is somewhat supportive. And despite my job kind of sucking, I have had the pleasure and distinct honor of calling a good majority of my co-workers "friends." I am truly grateful for them, as they put up with me and my malarkey every day, and they haven't killed me yet.

So, I think that for 2010 I'm going to try to focus more on the good things in my life. I know I'm going to have to deal with the bad as it comes, but just because there's bad doesn't mean that I should forget that I've got a lot of good as well.


It sounds like a plan.