Archive for the ‘Lizard’ Tag

I’m writing out this combat because I need to practice writing out combat   2 comments

Due to a series of circumstances that can be boiled down to “I am, in fact, constantly lying to myself about my own abilities,” I haven’t taken any anti-depressants for two days. That means that last night, I got my first night of real, true, deep sleep in several weeks. I just took a pill. So who knows how I’ll sleep tonight. But waking up was amazing. James has the day off, too, so we woke up together. He actually woke me up by stroking my arm. Then he snuggled into my arm, so I rubbed his back.

Listen: if all goes according to plan, we will only be engaged for…six and a half more months HOLY CRAP GAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Anyway, because our engagement is relatively short I feel like it’s okay to give details about us waking up together and then cuddling ourselves awake. We sleep in the same bed, guys. This stuff is bound to happen.

I’ve also managed to find a D&D group down here! More opportunities to get out of the house! They seem like pretty cool people too. It’s a weekly session, so my Tuesday nights are officially booked for a while. It’s a dungeon master and five players altogether, a good amount: not too big and not too small.

I went into the session assuming that I would either make my main, Angel Cabrera:


No.

…or I would make Rebecca, my character from Dan’s D&D game that sadly ended after a few sessions. In that game, she was a gnome rogue from an old banking family. I thought it would be fun to take a character who was completely unsuited for adventuring, and then turn her into a competent adventurer as she leveled up. I’ve always assumed that was what “leveling up” did to a character: first-level characters are incompetent and can’t do a whole lot in combat, while high-level adventurers can handle almost anything.

I went with Rebecca, although I turned her into a half-elf and renamed her Sariel.

She dresses like this, but maybe with a wide-brimmed hat and pants? I don’t know. Her backstory is that she was raised entirely by her human banking family, who always treated her like a reject due to her elfin heritage. So, now that she’s just come of age, she’s run away from her family and trying to have adventures without them. She doesn’t know anything about the world except what she’s seen from her family bank (and for some reason she can duel-wield shortswords? I haven’t come up with an explanation for that).

The other characters are:

Narcis: a High Elf wizard(?) whose character idea is “the world really does revolve around me!” (I think her name is Narcis? That’s what I wrote in my notes)
Rollin: a half-elf folk hero ranger. He became famous when he tumbled off a cliff and landed spear-first on a dragon, slaying it. He’s an accidental folk hero (I decided Sariel is a fan of his)
Morthos: a druid who can turn into a direwolf.
Vibe: a half-orc were-bear

When he was inviting me to join, the GM warned me that there would be an eight-year-old in the group. I said that wouldn’t be a problem. After the session, when I was telling James about my evening, I said that there was an eight-year-old in the group, and then described all of the characters.

“Did the eight-year-old make the half-orc were-bear?” James asked.

“Yes,” I said.

“Of course he did,” said James.

We spent most of the evening making our characters, and then ran an hour-long session, mostly so the DM could get us into place for the actual plot (I think?).

We’re all new members of the Epsilon group, an explore’s club. As new members, we have been given a fairly easy assignment: escorting a gnome Professor of Magical Theory from the capital city to a different city. We were traveling in an airship from one city to the other.


This aiship, to be exact

A terrible storm strikes the airship as it flies over the ocean. The airship has been blown off course. A half-dozen cult members burst onto the passenger area of the airship, dressed in red robes and bearing daggers. “We will take the professor, but first you will die!” said one, and then they charged.

Rollin attempted to shoot one, and grazed one a bit; they went for Narcis and Vibe. Morthos turned into a direwolf and grabbed one by the neck, breaking it. I stabbed that guy in the kidneys. Narcis let loose with Colorspray, turning some of the remaining cultists blind.

“That was beautiful,” said Vibe.

Then he accidentally walked a crossbow bolt into one of the cultists.

Then he accidentally raged into a bear.

Rollin shot one of the guys attacking Narcis. That guy dropped his dagger and fumbled around, looking for the dagger. The direwolf snatched him up and put him out of his misery (of existing at all).

The one cultist left who wasn’t blind took out a Necklace of Fire. Lightning struck the ship, cutting it in half. We fell away from the other half of the ship, and landed in the water, where we blacked out.

We woke up on a beach, surrounded by screaming. Lizard people were shouting and screaming and pointing crossbows at us.

“Does anyone speak Draconic?” we wondered aloud.

Due to my various backgrounds they looked at me, but I had chosen Common, Elvish, Orc, Celestial, and Dwarfish as my languages. Then we realized that Rollin, the accidental folk hero, hadn’t chosen his languages yet. So he chose Draconic as one of his languages.

In-universe, I played this as Sariel being a fangirl. “Don’t you speak Draconic?”

“Oh, yeah, that’s right.”

“Demons! Demons! We have to kill you!”

Rollin started stumbling through a speech on why they shouldn’t kill us. He tried to make it a high-sounding, grandiose speech, but also a bumbling speech.

“What are they saying?” we asked.

Rollin said that they were calling us demons because we use magic. Vibe pulled up the Professor by the arm and began shouting, “Take him! He’s a demon! Take him!”

Then we all heard a rumble.

The lizardmen ran away.

A Tyrannosaurus Rex burst out of the jungle, running straight for us!

“I’m going to run up to him and hug him!” said the eight-year-old.

We all took a moment to explain that just because you think something is funny to do doesn’t mean you should do it. The point of the game wasn’t to be funny, but to not die.

“Why don’t we distract it,” I said. “Let’s get a torch and get its attention, and then throw the torch one way and we’ll run the other way.”

No one was interested in the plan. The eight-year-old suggested that he throw a javelin at the T-Rex. We ignored the suggestion.

The DM said, “It’s now, like, 150 feet from you.”

I said, “I’m going to grab the gnome and run into the woods. Here, gnome guy, come with me! And then we run into the woods.”

“Oh, thank you! But please, call me Professor.”

“Alright, Professor.”

So we all ran into the woods. The dense jungle slowed down the T-Rex, but only a little. A voice began directing us: “Turn left! No, your other left! My left! Turn right!”

“I’m going to take the Professor and put him on my head,” said the eight-year-old.

“This is uncomfortable, but thank you!”

The voice directed us to a ruin, which we ran into just before the T-Rex got us. The entrance was just a little too small for the T-Rex’s mouth. It snapped at us. We clung to the wall on the far side of the T-Rex, just barely out of range of the mouth.

“This is right out of Lost World,” said the guy playing Rollin.

An ape appeared out of nowhere, beating its chest and shouting. The T-Rex turned away from us and began attacking the ape. They jumped and snarled at each other and rolled out of sight.

“This is right out of King Kong,” said the guy playing Rollin.

“Yarrr,” said the guy who had helped us get to the ruin. “My name be Old Yob, an’ I can take ye to my friends.”

We all looked at each other.

“Yeah alright,” we said.

Posted June 3, 2015 by agentksilver in Personal

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I still remember when I first posted about lizards on this blog and my professor showed it in class   1 comment

Sonny had a very exciting day yesterday! After months and months of brumating, he was finally perky enough that I decided to take him out for the day (“perky” being a relative term for a bearded dragon — he was keeping his head up most of the day).

James saw a “no exotic pets” note on the lease, and had been concerned that our new apartment complex wouldn’t allow bearded dragons. When he called up the leasing office, though, all the staff demanded to meet our glorified pieces of furniture, so that was settled. Sonny got to run around and do some human business with Mom for a while. He likes being in the car.

First Sonny visited our current leasing office. He sat on my shoulder while I signed our 60 day notice. The leasing manager didn’t even seem to notice him.

Then Sonny got to sit in the warm car for a good long while as I bought gas* and then drove to our new apartment complex. Or should I say townhouse complex, because we’re getting a toooowwwwnnhooooouuuussssee.

The leasing agent greeted me as nicely and professionally as she had done before, and then she noticed Sonny sitting on my shoulder. She went nuts. She went nuts over how tiny he is. She went crazy over his harness. She picked him up and tried to put him on her shoulder, but he settled more comfortably on her boobs, which made her laugh. Then she brought Sonny and I into the leasing manager’s office. The leasing manager was talking with a maintenance guy. As soon as Sonny was there, though, the conversation immediately switched to borrowing Sonny for a prank on one of the residents. They all cooed over Sonny and asked about the proper way to pet him. The maintenance guy asked me questions about how old he is and how long he is and stuff like that.

Sonny was perfect and sat still and took in all the attention. He sat patiently on my lap while I went and signed the lease. The townhouse is now ours!

Because he was so good, I took him to Petsmart afterwards and got him 20 crickets instead of 10. I probably would have gotten him 20 anyway. He’s looking a little skinny after a long brumation. Time to fatten him up for spring!

*I stepped in a small puddle of what I assume was gas, and then had to do a little dance to try to get as much of it off my shoe as possible. Now I’m scared to wear those shoes.

Posted March 3, 2015 by agentksilver in Lizard

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Good news for Sinbad!   1 comment

Last night I came across the North Carolina Herpetological Society. They’re a Raleigh-based organization dedicated to, like, the study of reptiles. They didn’t sound like they rescued beardies per se, but they sounded like a great resource nonetheless. So I emailed them.

Hello! I rescued a sick bearded dragon, and I cannot keep the bearded dragon. I’ve been trying to find a new home for the beardie. Does your society have any recommendations on how to find potential rescues?

They actually replied! The webmaster had contacted a few folks, including their “husbandry chair” (they have a person dedicated to reptile husbandry!) but needed a few more details, so I replied back with a few more details.

I work for a Petsmart, and Sinbad was one of the beardies on the salesfloor. He was bullied by the other beardies in his tank, so that he couldn’t eat; they also sat on him all the time. He developed Metabolic Bone Disorder. He still is not the best eater, I give him 10 crickets 3 times a week, and he sometimes doesn’t finish all 10. He is also undersized; I don’t know exactly how old he is because of that, beyond “juvenile”. He doesn’t really use his legs to support himself, although he does try to sometimes. He doesn’t like being touched on the back. He has improved a lot since he was separated from the other dragons, though. He’s trying to use his legs more often and he’s grown about two inches (he’s about eight inches now). We’re located in Morrisville.

Then I included a picture, because the more that people see how cute Sinbad is the more the world is a better place.

I also contacted a different rescue directly, Midgard Serpents Reptile Rescue and Sanctuary. Their testimonials indicate that they do a good job in spite of how their website looks, so I emailed them about Sinbad as well.

I’m feeling optimistic. Sinbad could have a forever home in time for Christmas!

Posted December 3, 2014 by agentksilver in Lizard

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Sonny Visits the Vet (warning: some grossness ahead)   Leave a comment

Sonny is…okay, guys. Just okay.

He had a big poo today, and I had to give him a bath afterwards. He started acting odd as soon as the bath started. He made himself as wide as possible, and started drinking heavily (bearded dragons drink by sticking their head underwater and licking, but only in the bath). This is pretty typical, but he normally only does it for a minute. He did it for several minutes, until I finally splashed enough water on his face and back to get him to stop. Then he sort of floated, still as wide as possible. He wasn’t really playing like he normally does. I got paper towels and started wiping poo off his tail and foot, since he was being so weirdly calm.

After I got done, I threw the paper towels away and washed my hands. Then I turned and looked at him again, and noticed gray stuff around his mouth. Concerned that I may have dropped a towel in the bath (although I didn’t remember doing that), I picked him up and started wiping around his mouth.

Then he straight-up vomited crickets. Entire crickets.

I put him back in the tub and freaked out. James rushed in and started cleaning up, assuring me that everything was fine, he probably drank too much, etc etc. Combined with Sonny’s weird behavior, I knew something was wrong. I called the first exotic vet Google listed, made an appointment for 45 minutes later, and then picked up Sonny and left. James offered to come with me; I went back and forth on the issue and decided that I didn’t really need him, not even for moral support.

I found the vet alright. Funnily enough, the person in front of me also had a pet named Sonny, although that Sonny was a parrot of some sort. After the parrot was seen, my Sonny and I talked with the nurse. She weighed him (he’s 370 grams, on the lower end of average) and took an account of the last few hours, the feeding schedule, and Sonny’s tank setup (specifically lights and substrate — a heat lamp, UVB, and stone tile). Then she left.

A minute later, the doctor appeared. The doctor inspected Sonny, wiggling his limbs, poking at his belly, and trying to get Sonny to open his mouth. She asked me more questions about the feeding schedule and the events of the last few hours. She also asked if I had a temperature gauge gun. I said no.

The results of the visit are this:

Sonny is skinny for his weight. The nobs behind his eyes are sunken, his spine sticks up, the fat stores near his back legs are nearly gone. He is not being fed properly, and since we don’t know the temperatures in his cage, he might not be processing food correctly. Since I didn’t have a fecal sample, we couldn’t test for parasites. But it was most likely that, with the odd feeding schedule, he was probably impacted. I feed him too many crickets at once; he can’t process all of them; he doesn’t digest properly. Likely the big poo that prompted the bath was the body releasing the impaction. The stress of bathtime caused him to need to release his food the other way.

So I need to adjust his feeding schedule. Less crickets, more vegetables. I need to start measuring the temperature of his tank. I should start giving him a bath once/twice a week, to give him regular chances to poo. In a month, I should bring him back to the vet, to see if he’s gained any fat.

James and I are preparing to go to Petsmart to prepare for these changes. Actually I’m holding up the move. I will end the entry here. A less disgusting post next time, I promise!

An update on Sinbad   1 comment

Dragon watching the computer

Sinbad on the keyboard

Sinbad is still with us! He will be with us for the foreseeable future. I had selected a rescue to surrender him to, and had even emailed the rescue.

I have a young bearded dragon that I rescued from a pet store. He has weak legs due to malnourishment, but he is otherwise a healthy beardie who has been eating well since we isolated him. Unfortunately I do not have the room to keep him to adulthood. Would I be able to surrender him to you?

Here is a picture of how cute he is. I have named him Sinbad.

Thank you,

Kelsey Hancher

Moments after sending the email, I got a form letter back. The gist of the letter was: they would not take Sinbad in. “We are no longer accepting animals in need of new homes. While we advocate for the appropriate placement of reptiles \& amphibians, we no longer are able to continue taking in simply-unwanted animals. Due to the current condition of the economy, lack of resources, and overall adoptions in the past several months, we are ONLY accepting animals on emergency conditions.”

Unfortunately, Sinbad is in a loving home being cared for by veteran beardie caretakers. I even said in the email that he was well-cared-for.

If you inquired about our surrenders program via email, we recognize and view your emails, but we also believe that you are capable of posting such inquiries to Craigslist, Pet Finder, and other similar websites.

I admit that I read that and felt mildly insulted. There is a bit of sass in that sentence. But fortunately I kept reading.

Many forums for herpetofauna hobbyists exist, and they are a fantastic place to look for help. We understand that many people are wary of the clients that may be associated with PetFinder \& Craigslist, claiming that they are concerned about the appropriate placement of their animals in new homes. We understand! But please remember that you are perfectly capable of determining the animal’s new home. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, interview potential new owners, and ensure that their practices are both safe and practical for the animal they are interested in.”

If they hadn’t followed up that bit of sass with some advice and encouragement, I would continue to feel slightly put-out. As it is, I feel no different than before I emailed this reptile rescue. Nervous. Wishing I could just keep him. Uncertain I could find him a home on my own. Wishing I could hand the problem off to someone else.

Posted October 14, 2014 by agentksilver in Lizard

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This post has a lot to catch up on, bear with me here   1 comment

So last Friday I had probably the closest thing to a mental breakdown that I’ve had in a long time. I had gotten Saturday off, the day off for the first time in a long time, and even better, James had the same day off! Except that both my jobs asked me to come in and cover shifts for people. And then I cried, and then I cried some more, and I couldn’t stop crying, and then I couldn’t stop screaming, and then I realized that I was screaming because I didn’t have anyone to tell that I had Feelings. I tend to get over Feelings as soon as I tell people that I have Feelings. In case anyone is still wondering, that is why I vagueposted “I really need someone to talk to.” Thankfully, I was able to talk to people eventually (thank you, Leandra and Lacey), and when James got home that night I kind of sobbed into his chest for about two hours.

Still, it was close enough to a mental breakdown that it took me the better part of a week to get over the Feelings. This would have been a terrible week for me to make major life decisions.

Recuperation was slow. I nearly started crying again when I started talking to one of my managers. I was dealing with a bearded dragon with an infection foot; someone had had the bright idea of prescribing oral medication to a beardie. As she waggled a mealworm in front of his face, trying to get him to open his mouth, we started talking about Sinbad, who was chillaxing in his cage under the hospital aquarium. She referred to him as “the retard” and said that Alex had suggesting euthanizing him, and that she was in favor of it.

I panicked. I didn’t say anything, but I plotted. And yesterday, I was finally able to take Sinbad home. His bone disorder has rendered him “unadoptable”, so I got him for absolutely free.

sinbad

He’s not here to stay. James has made his position very clear. He likes Sinbad just fine. Sinbad is a charmer. His silly walks, his horrible attempts at climbing, and his little bit of beardie sass all combine to make a wonderful, unique beardie. It’s not that James dislikes Sinbad. No, we just have no room for Sinbad. Right now, Sinbad is in a makeshift tank: the old frog aquarium with some leftover tiles and Slinky’s heat lamp (Slinky is starting to brumate, so he doesn’t need the light as often as he normally does). We’ve shoved the tank in the corner by the dining room table, because we just don’t have anywhere else to put him.

sinbad

So on Monday or Tuesday, I’m going to hand him over to a reptile rescue. I just have to decide which one. Right now we’re giving Sinbad some space; he definitely has Relocation Stress, refusing to eat crickets. I’ll try again tomorrow. The important thing is, he has a chance at a real life now, instead of hiding in a too-tiny tank in the back of a Petsmart, surrounded by sick guinea pigs and anorexic geckos.

Other pleasant developments were chatting with a woman about Italy while I made an iced coffee for her. She wanted the largest size available. I told her the largest size was a Venti, and then corrected myself: for iced beverages, the largest size available was a Trenta. She laughed and shook her head and said that they really were “trying to force the Italy thing, weren’t they?” and I said yes, totally and rattled off a few more instances of fake Italian that Starbucks uses, and suddenly were were discussing Prosciutto and I told her about the Piramide in Rome.

pyramid in rome
source

I DIDN’T MAKE IT UP. THERE IS A LEGIT ROMAN PYRAMID IN ROME BECAUSE OF A RANDOM EGYPTIAN CULT DURING AUGUSTUS CAESAR’S TIME MEANT THAT SOME RANDOM PERSON SPENT MONEY IMPORTING A ROMAN PYRAMID AND NOW ROME CAN’T GET RID OF IT AND FINALLY SOMEONE OTHER RICH PERSON DECIDED TO RESTORE IT AND ALSO THEY NAMED A METRO STOP AFTER IT BECAUSE WHY WOULDN’T YOU IT’S THE ONLY OTHER THING AROUND BESIDES THE PROTESTANT CEMETERY AND A MEXICAN RESTAURANT.

I also get along fine with the girls at Starbucks. I have to suck in my breath and just take it whenever Manny, Cheryl, or Matt is around, but Makala, Alicia, and Shandy are totally awesome and I love working with them. It makes me happy that not all of my feelings about Target are negative.

And also, tomorrow Lacey is coming to visit!

whatever man

Poor things   5 comments

James (reading off the internet): “Would you slap your mom for $2 million?”
Kelsey: Yeah.
James: Yeah. I’d just give her a million of it.
Kelsey: I wouldn’t. I would just tell her that I slapped her for $2 million. I feel like we have that kind of relationship where I could do that.
Kelsey: *feels pretty bad about that*
Kelsey: I mean, I’d pay for her house renovations.
Kelsey: I know what she would spend it on.
Kelsey: She would spend it on house renovations.

I haven’t mentioned this before, but at Petsmart, there’s been a leopard gecko that hasn’t been eating. We’ve been keeping him in the back and offering him crickets and worms, trying to get him to eat. He hasn’t, so every morning and night we give him a bit of liquid appetite inducer. We rub some of it on his mouth, and he instinctually licks his lips to get it off. It’s not much, but it’s something.

Well this leopard gecko finally died last night, and I was the one who found him, because of course I was. It was probably one of the strangest moments of my life. I hadn’t particularly liked the lizard, but still, it had once walked this earth. And it was dead. And I had found it. I wasn’t sad. I think I was in shock. I kind of paced in the room for a bit. I completely needed to take a break and deal with the sudden emotion, but it was 8:15 and the store opened in 45 minutes, and I hadn’t fed the birds, hamsters, and reptiles, much less started any of the other opening activities.

I made myself go take care of the birds. It’s a much more automated process, for me, than taking care of hamsters and reptiles. You take out the bowls, dump the food, replace it. The birds fly away from you, so you don’t have to interact with them.

The hamsters were fine, willing to sniff my hand. The reptiles were actually interested in eating mealworms. What made me feel better, really, was people bringing in puppies to the vet. Puppies get a lot of check-ups, so these were completely healthy puppies who were just excited about everything. They wouldn’t sit still for a second, not even for a petting, but they were so happy that it made me happy.

I really want a dog.

The Most Interesting Lizard in the World
I don’t always bang my head against glass, but when I do, I do it for hours on end.

But Sinbad is getting bigger! Look at him!

Sinbad growth

He’s alert and sassy too. I’m nervous about his prospects for adoption. Look at the top picture — his leg problem is never going to go away completely. But he’s really taken off, health-wise.

Man, I thought I had more exciting things to say. But yeah, other than Sinbad and the leopard gecko, I just worked for a few hours this morning, and tonight James and I playing board games at the Gamer’s Armory. I tossed around the idea of running an RPG in Savage Worlds or Josh’s FASTTRPG system. Just to stretch out my GMing legs. James was for it. We tossed around GM theory on the drive home. I need to think of/develop a plot, and then I’ll start reaching out at local gamestores and on reddit, see if there’s any interest. I looked at the Gamer’s Armory flier board; a couple of people looking for games, no one advertising for players. Also, Gamer’s Armory is running a Pathfinder intro on Wednesday nights. I might email the people running that. They’re looking for players and GMs.

Posted September 18, 2014 by agentksilver in Lizard, Personal

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