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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

*brushes off dust and rises from the dead*

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet




"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

*brushes off dust and rises from the dead*

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peace on earth
Yeah, it's me. That girl called "Dawn Felagund" (who also answers to "Felak"--pretty effed up, since that's one of her male characters--"the 'gund" or just plain "Dawn") who usually updates daily or so and has apparently fallen off of the face of the earth. Well, except for fannish things, but when I'm eighty, I doubt I'll look back at my journal and much care that "Oh yay, I posted Chapter Five of 'The Tapestries'!" Except to hopefully marvel at how crappy my writing was back when I was a mere babe at age twenty-five.


  • I should have mentioned this about a month ago, but I don't like to talk about dead things. It took about five years after Uncle Wodie died to inform people who called him that he was deceased rather than simply saying, "Erm...he's not here right now?" which wasn't a lie, certainly. But made them call back and hopefully get my dad, who would inform them that Walter wasn't interested in an Amex gold card because he was in an urn on the shelf next to the dogs.

    Mack the Knife, my ghost knifefish, died about a month ago. The day that Sharon and Kirsty arrived, I was showing them the cichlids, and Sharon asked, "Where is Mack the Knife?" and I realized that I had never posted about it. It might sound silly, but I was really sad over it. Over a fish.

    I was lying in bed taking a nap one day when I noticed that Mack was behaving oddly, sort of swimming on his side. He had a white spot on his side, I noticed upon a closer look. I told Bobby, and he suspected that it was ick, so we started treating the tank. Mack was eating normally, but still swimming and behaving oddly. He hung in there for a few days, and we kept treating the water. Finally, one day, I came home and he was floating at the top of the tank. His fins had been eaten away and the spot on his side was an open sore, and I thought that he was dead. I asked Bobby, could he remove the body? I didn't want to do it. So Bobby went in to scoop him out and came back to tell me that he wasn't quite dead yet, which resulted in me getting pretty upset since he was in pretty bad shape and had obviously been nibbled on while still alive. We created a fish hospice for him--a big Tupperware bowl--and treated the water, knowing that he wasn't going to live but not wanting him eaten further while still alive. He didn't live. By the morning, he was gone.

    I've since checked the stores for ghost knifefish, but no one has them anymore. I don't even know if I'd want another one because Mack was a special little guy, but I'd just like to see one. Silly, huh? Maybe we'll get one at the Aquarium.


  • I swore that I wasn't making Christmas candy this year. So where am I going tomorrow? Over my parents' house. To make Christmas candy with my mom. *shakes head at self*


  • Sharon and Kirsty flew home to England on Tuesday. :( We had such a great time; I was sad to see them go.


  • On Sunday, they went with me to one of Bobby's hockey games for the Baltimore Bulldogs. He got hit in the face with a puck! It popped up and hit his lip and nose. Luckily, he was wearing a mouthguard, so no missing teeth, but his nose bled pretty badly and is still quite sore. Of course, he was back on the ice a few minutes after it happened, and he has a game tonight.


  • Speaking of hockey, we went to the Caps game last night against the Ducks. It sucked. They lost 6 to 1. However, we were seated next to a section full of drunken, singing DC United fans, which proved to be quite entertaining. Alex (Ovechkin) got an assist but no goals. He also got a penalty for slashing. *plucks mind out of the gutter* This led Bobby and me to make up penalties for our Alex:

    "Alexander Maitimo, two minutes for peeing on the carpet."

    "Alexander Maitimo, two minutes for biting Daddy's feet."

    "Alexander Maitimo, two minutes for messing with the Christmas tree."

    In reality, Alex does get put in the penalty box sometimes. He has moments where he gets wild and out of control, where he seems to act before thinking, doing things that he knows are wrong. He gets a three-minute time-out then to settle himself down and get back under control. It's worked every time and means that we don't reinforce his behavior with attention.

    The game was pretty wild in that there were three all-out fights. At one point, there were four guys sitting in the Ducks' penalty box and three guys in the Caps' penalty box. The NHL doesn't tend to allow fighting anymore (*will not comment on that*), so it's rare to see one fight much less three. The DC United fans after one of the Ducks got his ass kicked by Donald Brashear started singing, "You got your ass kicked! *clap clap clap* You got your ass kicked! *clap clap clap*" If only we'd won....


  • A few months ago, one of Johnny's friends needed some help with statistics homework, so he hired me to help him and paid me quite well for it. He called me again the other day for help with more "math stuff."

    This is a pretty broad request, so I asked, "What sort of maths stuff?" and was reassured that it was "just more stats, correlations and stuff." Since correlation is one of the major research methods used in behavioral science, I was confident enough to take on the assignment, so I told him to send along his problems, and I'd make sense of them.

    The problem came when I realized that it was business stats and not behavioral stats that he needed. And, yes, they are different. But I chugged through the first set, though it took me forever, and I had to read the whole chapter before they even began to make sense to me. Then I moved onto the second set, and it got even worse. It wasn't even stats anymore. Now it was financial maths, and I'd never had a business or economics course in my life. I tried my best to find formulae for what I needed to do between the textbook and Wikipedia, but when one doesn't understand the core concepts and terms, it is difficult to make sense of things, and it became quickly clear that some of the formulae had been covered chapters back, and I'd have to read the whole book to understand them. That wasn't happening.

    So I had to email him this afternoon, send him the one problem that I'd managed to do in the second set, and apologize but decline to do the rest. I feel a little duped because I'd agreed to do statistics work, not masters-level finance. And I've spent hours on the project with little result, so I feel like I shouldn't charge him for it, but I gave up my writing time to do it. So maybe I should. Nrgh. I guess it's only karma biting me in the butt for being unethical and agreeing to do someone's homework for money.

    Nrgh.


  • I realized today that one can tell how long she's been in a relationship in part by how Christmas shopping is accomplished. I remember when Bobby and I were younger and just dating, Christmas was such a huge occasion, and we'd do our best to surprise each other with gifts. This year....

    Dawn: So how much are you spending on me this year so I know that we're on the same page?

    Bobby (later): Turn around, Dawn, and pretend that you didn't see me buying this book for you.

    We've decided to take this year a little easier in terms of gifts. It was getting ridiculous...and meaningless. I don't really understand the idea of buying things just to buy things. Never mind that the person will never use them and doesn't want them. Honestly, I'd sooner someone treat me to dinner or buy maybe one really thoughtful thing that they know that I really want or would really love. So that is this year's gift-giving philosophy.


  • Well, Bobby and I are officially students at Towson University. We sent in our admissions contracts yesterday. I have no idea what we'll be doing in the spring semester. Bobby's Chem 102 professor got arrested halfway through the semester, and the college couldn't find a replacement, so they cancelled the class and refunded everyone's money. Of course, now we're behind in chemistry. *sigh* We could take that; I really should take it again, even if I just audit the class, because it's been six years since I had a chemistry course. Six years! When did I get so old? Suffering through Dr. Smith's Chem 102 class and a four-hour lab block and the effing Carnot heat engine (which doesn't even exist yet was covered in four questions on a fifteen-question exam) at UMBC feels like just yesterday.


  • Alex just locked himself in the bathroom. *sigh* Now he's crying to be let out. I guess that I should go do that. (Though maybe a little stay in the dark bathroom would teach him to stop closing himself in the bathroom to play with the doorstopper? Or maybe he'd just discover and chew my bathroom rugs.)

    Yeah, I'm going to go let him out.
  • Hi Dawn, nice meeting you ;)

    I feel so sad about Mack. I went like: oh no, not this special guy who kept us so entertained. {{{hugs}}} oh and poor Bobby {{{hugs}}} Pucks can be very nasty.

    He also got a penalty for slashing. *plucks mind out of the gutter*

    LOL! *sits on her hands not to suggest other things* ;)

    You got your ass kicked! *clap clap clap* You got your ass kicked! *clap clap clap*" If only we'd won....

    whoops...

    Now it was financial maths, and I'd never had a business or economics course in my life. I tried my best to find formulae for what I needed to do between the textbook and Wikipedia, but when one doesn't understand the core concepts and terms, it is difficult to make sense of things, and it became quickly clear that some of the formulae had been covered chapters back, and I'd have to read the whole book to understand them. That wasn't happening.

    I always struggled with maths which is so easy for you. Surprisingly enough, I happened to be quite good at benchmarking, market analysis and such. Really strange you know, so I feel for you.

    We've decided to take this year a little easier in terms of gifts. It was getting ridiculous...and meaningless. I don't really understand the idea of buying things just to buy things.

    My mom started about xmas gifts for this year (I don't know if this is based on that they gave Kevin's nephew a toy for Sinterklaas and they feel guilty about not doing anything for Kev), but I said: Mom, you have two beautiful gifts crawling on the floor or bouncing on your lap with Xmas, what more do you want? I heard my dad agreeing with me on the background. We never did gifts, I've known hubby for 13 years and we are just grateful for spending those days together with no work worries, but just enjoying each other. You know?

    Bobby's Chem 102 professor got arrested halfway through the semester, and the college couldn't find a replacement, so they cancelled the class and refunded everyone's money.

    O.o... what happened???

    oh and..

    "Oh yay, I posted Chapter Five of 'The Tapestries'!" Except to hopefully marvel at how crappy my writing was back when I was a mere babe at age twenty-five.

    I realised today that I am so behind on that... I am so sorry, will catch up soon!
    • *brushes off graveyard dirt to shake hands* Nice to meet you too, Rhapsody! :^D

      I always struggled with maths which is so easy for you. Surprisingly enough, I happened to be quite good at benchmarking, market analysis and such. Really strange you know, so I feel for you.

      Thanks. It's been awful. I've no doubt that I could do decently well at it if I'd studied business, but I've never had a business course in my life, and this is advanced-degree work. It seemed that every other term I had to look up. And I had to look up every other term in the definition until my eyes were crossing. It took an hour to do one problem, and finally, I realized that it just couldn't happen. It would be like me asking him to understand advanced neurophysiology concepts without ever having a course in biology or chemistry. It just don't work that way!

      We never did gifts, I've known hubby for 13 years and we are just grateful for spending those days together with no work worries, but just enjoying each other. You know?

      I do. That's where I'm aiming. Well, not to eliminate gifts completely because I do like giving a reasonable amount of gifts. I have fun trying to find DVDs for old movies that I know Bobby loves and has forgotten or perusing the hot-sauce aisle at the grocery store for stocking stuffers. But we also have our little holiday traditions, and I worry that it's so easy to let these things suffer in the name of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on gifts. I'd sooner take our weekend trip to Hershey or spend an evening looking at Christmas lights rather than pushing through crowded stores to buy more gifts. I think that Bobby is finally starting to understand my point in this. It always seems that the things we get for Christmas are forgotten in a few weeks while the times we spend together are remembered forever.

      O.o... what happened???

      He was arrested for drunk-driving for the second time. Ouch.

      Funnily enough, this isn't the first time this has happened to Bobby. When we were uni freshman, I came home one day and found him sitting in shock in front of the television. He pointed to a man's picture they kept flashing on the screen. "That's Dr. King, my political science professor," he said.

      His professor had been involved with a child pornography ring that became a pretty high-profile case. This was the same guy that inspired Bobby to pursue poli sci in the first place, and Bobby always spoke so highly of him. I guess it goes to show that you really can't judge a book by its cover!

      He really liked his chem professor too. Figures. We'll probably get some geeky weirdo like I had at UMBC now.

      I realised today that I am so behind on that... I am so sorry, will catch up soon!

      Please don't worry about it! It's always there if you ever want to read it. I'm behind myself on stories that I want to read (including a couple of yours and just about everything posted to SWG in the past three months), so I know the feeling. No stress, though. :) *hugs*
  • I always like reading your general life updates. Nice to hear from you! Winced at Bobby's mishap and poor Mack. Nothing wrong with being sad about a fish, all pets are precious e
    xcept when they trap you in your own loft space because they have climbed the step-ladder after you and are too scared to climb back down, thereby blocking your way down.


    I AM sending cards, btw, just hope I get them out on time. If not, mine might be a little um, well, late *blush*
    • No worries! I haven't sent my cards out yet either. But you'll be getting something in the post from me. ;)

      Alex, luckily, hasn't learned to climb ladders yet. His pet gate, yes. The back seat of my car, yes. For me, my least precious pet moment is when we're eating dinner and Alex trots by, sweet as pie, and squats on the carpet. It's always nice to stop dinner to mop up pee because the dog decided not to let us know that he needed to potty!
  • Bobby's chem professor got arrested? Now, there's an academic excuse you don't see too often. (Says the Pony, whose freshman Spanish teacher in high school had a fairly lengthy rap sheet.) Did you get to run his warrant?

    Farewell, Mack the Knife. Enjoy the Big Saltwater Tank In The Sky. I do like the idea of a fish hospice, though.

    And. . . Alex Maitimo? Clearly, Bobby did not have quite so much control over this puppy's name as you led us to believe.
    • Yep. Bobby's chem professor got arrested for DWI. For the second time. *wince* I didn't get to run anything on him because he wasn't on parole, and we only handle parole violators. Now, if he gets a jail sentence and is then released on parole/mandatory release and violates his parole...then he's fair game for me. >:^)

      Sadly, this isn't the first of Bobby's professors to be arrested. His first poli sci professor, the one who inspired him to switch majors from biology, was arrested for child pornography halfway through the semester. That incident made headlines.

      As for Alex's name, his full name for the American Kennel Club is Alexander Maitimo of Ellicott. The AKC requires original names for each dog, so just "Alex" or even "Alexander" would never work. Johnny the Boss's bichon puppy, for example, is "Trooper Jackpot of Gwynn Oak," though he is called just "Jackpot." Bobby originally wanted Alex's full name to be Alexander Ovechkin of Ellicott, but I vetoed that. A little too creepy-stalkerish for me. So Bobby chose a father-name, I chose a mother-name, and we added "of Ellicott" to finish it off and make him sound hoity-toity enough for the AKC.
    • Geez, the way the AKC names run, you get dogs sounding like Jacobean lordlings. They're just dogs! "Alex" is such a better name. . . are there advantages to AKC registration, or is it a rule or something?
      • If you ever get a chance to see the Westminster Kennel Club dog show (it's sometimes on cable TV), watch it just long enough to check out some of the dogs' names. Though I think it must be true of "animal groups" other than AKC because my cousins had a quarterhorse named "Sparks Precious Moon" whose actual name was just "Precious."

        The AKC is the organization for purebred dogs, so for Alex to compete in obedience or agility (and he will hopefully do both), he'd have to be registered with them. They also offer a pet-locator service for lost animals as well as pretty darn good pet health insurance at a reasonable cost. So it definitely benefits him to be a member.
        • Sparks Precious Moon? You're related to people who would do that to an innocent horse?
          • Oh, she came with the name. She was about four years old when they got her.
            • Oh, good. So your cousins have rescued a horse formerly owned by a Mary Sue, then?
              • Apparently!

                The only sense that I can make of that name is that there is a town in northern Maryland called "Sparks" that is close to my cousin's hometown of Belair. Perhaps she hailed from Sparks? I dunno.

                Or maybe her first owners did expect her to have purple eyes and sprout a horn and wings. o.O
    • I was going to ask why Alex had a middle name, but you've just answered my question.

      And I would like to say that neither of my dogs' registered names have "Of anything" at the end, thank you! ;P

      And there is nothing wrong with the registered name "Gondolin's Aran Turukano"! *sniff* *grin*
      • I told Bobby the same thing when discussing possible mother-names for Alex! ;)

        Besides, as I also pointed out, "Maitimo" means something along the lines of "beautiful one," so that seems to fit Alex pretty well. He agreed, and we had the name!
        • Hehe, well you're not allowed to steal "Gondolin's Aran Turukano", because I already thought of it! ;P

          The only flaw in justifying naming your dog Maitimo as meaning "beautiful one" is that you're biased, so you'd have to name all your dogs Maitimo! Personally, I'm saving the name until the day I get an Irish Setter. ;)
  • Sorry your fishie died. By betta fish, Fish aka Tito, died too.

    Three fights?! Sweet!! I love hockey fights. *grin*

    See, when my dog is in trouble, he doesn't get a "full name", he gets curses preceeding his name.

    Christmas shopping does get old, unless one finds the perfect gift. My roommate and I just went Christmas shopping, me trying to find a gift for my "secret santa" person that was under $3. She happens to be a crazy person and does not eat candy. At all. O.o

    Maybe you should remove the rugs and then let him stay there next time. Or maybe he's whining because he found Finrod. *giggle*

    I miss my doggies! :( Dogs really are Tarion's man's best friend.
    • Awww...poor Fish! Our stupid betta Earnendil died as well. And before I could try the mirror trick too. Darn.

      Three fights?! Sweet!! I love hockey fights. *grin*

      Me too! Though I just got off the phone with Bobby, and he informed me that he'd been ejected from his game tonight.... o.O

      Or maybe he's whining because he found Finrod.

      Alex: "Mommy, why does Uncle Finrod have Uncle Felak bent over in the shower?"

      Dawn: "...
      Ermmmm...Uncle Felak is helping him find his contact lense, dear."
      • Maybe Fish aka Tito and Betta Earendil (ok, that sounds like a protein or something O.o) are doing cool betta tricks at each other in fishy Mandos.

        Though I just got off the phone with Bobby, and he informed me that he'd been ejected from his game tonight.... o.O

        Lol, oops...

        Alex: "Mommy, why does Uncle Finrod have Uncle Felak bent over in the shower?"

        Dawn: "...
        Ermmmm...Uncle Felak is helping him find his contact lense, dear."


        Rofl!!! Contact lense...indeed! Hey wait, Finrod you said you were resisting Felak's advances and not having sex! And no, of course I do not read your private correspondence with Maedhros...
  • The professor got arrested???

    *SNORK*

    I'm sorry to hear about Mack the Knife. But now you have little Alex to cuddle and comfort you.

    Have fun making that candy and be a little easier on yourself. I'm getting very stressed out vibes from your post.

    *hugs*
    • *hugs back*

      I'm actually the most relaxed I've been in weeks. With the NaNo behind me, I actually write now because I want to, not because I have a goal to meet.

      We've been busy, but it's mostly been fun stuff: holiday shows, mini-vacations, and hockey games. And mom and I made about ten pounds of candy on Sunday! *whew*

      I have a feeling January will be a bit of a letdown, but it always is.
  • It might sound silly, but I was really sad over it. Over a fish.

    Oh, it doesn't sound silly at all, believe me! You know, this summer I bought this really pretty little thyme bush for my kitchen table... and I was soo proud of it! It made my mid-city apartment smell like a Tuscan garden, looked rather nice, and moreover I could even use it for cooking. Over two weeks or so it got even bigger and bushier, and I got even prouder (I have a reputation for killing plants, so this once became my joy). Then....

    I went away for the weekend. Okay, I admit it now, probably a bad idea concerning my pretty little thyme bush, and I probably would have expected it to be a bit dry after two days of being away. Well, it wan't dry... it was completely dead. I nearly cried. Over a plant. So here you have being silly. :-/
    • Awww...poor little thyme bush! That makes me sad too. I mean, you're talking to someone who squeed like a little girl when her hot pepper plants started to sprout....

      Incidentally, the only part in the movie Castaway where I cried wasn't when he came home to find his true love had married someone else or when his life was ruined in one night...it was when the damned volleyball "Wilson" floated away off of his raft. I cried at that part.

      So, believe me, I understand. ;)
      • Ah, I can totally relate to that. When watching movies I tend to cry at moments that are only marginally sentimental... (when watching RotK the last time I cried for the whole last hour... at the end even I didn't know why I couldn't stop anymore...).

        ;)
  • He, he! *extends hand* Hi, I'm Alina, who used to be online long enough to read the LJ entries of her f-list and make posts on a regular basis. (not to mention writing on a regular basis!)

    Ouch, poor Bobby. Must have hurt like hell, but being the sportsman that he is, no wonder he went back on the ice. You have to ask him and tell me how they do it, just ignore the pain or is it so numbed by the adrenaline of the game?

    I'm so sorry to hear about Mack. But I completely understand that it is vry difficult for you to speak about dead things/people. It took me over two years to be able to speak about a teacher who died at the end of my first year of high school. The teacher was only 30 and she just dropped dead one evening during the summer vacation and I thought it was a bad joke when one of my class mates called to tell me. I had tears in my eyes whenever she was mentioned and I couldn't quite bring myself to talk about it until over two years went by.

    As for "it just a fish", don't you even think like that. I feel all horrible and call home whenever I have a bad dream that involves one or both of my kitties. (like I had this morning!) Mom and I were desperate when the black kitty was sick this summer and when the other silly one got stuck in our neighbours's apartment for two nights. And, a few years ago, when I had an orange colored hamster which I'd rescued from some friends (they weren't taking good care of her) and she just died, in the middle of my room, I could not be talked to for a week. I was a wreck and I still miss her like hell.

    Stats-wise... I say you take money. After all, you did try. And it took a lot of time that you would have spent writing or doing something for yourself. After all, you are helping someone who won't do the homework himself/herself.

    And you named your dog Alexander Maitimo? Awww... How cute is that? So his complete name would be Alexander Maitimo Felagud, then?

    *hears loud groan*

    Feanaro *taking over keyboard*: Dawn, something about </i>Maitimo Felagund</i> just makes my nose bleed!

    Me *pets Feany compassionately*
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