Sunday, October 29, 2006

Cali's Night Out

Cali the Hermit Crab had an eventful evening yesterday. He/she (who really knows?) was brought out of the cage by our neighbors who had come over to carve pumpkins (see pics here). It takes awhile for Cali to become comfortable enough to emerge from his shell and walk around the room, but once he does, he's rather quick. One of our neighbors, Chris, seemed to find favor with Cali when he hummed a low tone at his shell - Cali peeked out and began walking on Chris' hands. Overall, it was the most active we've seen Cali since the day I first brought him home.

Before lunch this morning, I was perched at our computer when I heard a "click" noise similar to a hermit crab shell hitting the side of the aquarium cage. I looked over to see if Cali was being active again today. Upon looking inside the cage, however, Cali was no where to be found...

I frantically started digging through the sand in the tank, slowly remembering that one of our neighbors said in leaving last night, "remember the crab is still out." Ah! I couldn't recall putting him back!

When Jon came home, he found me crawling around the living room with a flashlight. We scoured the apartment to no avail... Jon hugged me as I began getting exasperated and hard on myself at the thought of a crab loose in the apartment without water or food.

I returned to the bedroom to re-check some dark corners. Upon lifting up a black folder in the far back corner next to my dresser, I saw a little creature retreat quickly into its green shell. Cali! I was so relieved. I stuck him right into his shallow water dish, and he started drinking and cleaning himself immediately. He'd travelled quite a distance over the course of the night!

Since then, he's been busying himself around his cage - in the water, eating, climbing, digging. I even made him a paper hut, so he could better hide himself in a shadowed spot. Cali has a new lease on life! (Hopefully it won't lead to the detriment of the last crab we had with a "new lease"...)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Eventful Saturday

This afternoon into this evening, Jon and I had a Grete-craved [note me eating a delicious breadstick] meal at Fazoli's (30 minutes into our trip to Temecula is the nearest one), then joined Ryan at the c28 events at the Temecula Mall.

It was neat to see the environment he'll be working in once he and Kim move to Florida, and the band Thousand Foot Krutch was particularly interesting to see perform. While you couldn't really hear what the main singer was saying during the songs (the CDs make up for that), what he shared in between songs was a very relevant message to people in a sub-culture I don't always "get".

We topped off the day with a stop at Ben & Jerry's, then drove an hour and a half back to Pasadena.

Friday, October 20, 2006


I know I haven't been alone among Fuller spouses who are job-searching to find walls/no-responses everywhere you apply in this area. It's been unbelievable how hard it is to find a job in L.A. that pays what we need for the cost of living here.

And now, finally, I have good news about my search - I HAVE A JOB!!

After an uncomfortable morning interview at Jon's school (I just couldn't "connect" with the two people interviewing me), it was reassuring when I got a phone call from an autism therapy clinic wanting to schedule a time to meet with me for the administrative position at their new Arcadia office.

Wednesday morning, I left Pasadena to head to Culver City (where the therapy center has their main office) at 9am for my 10am appointment. Traffic was so horrible that I didn't get there until 10:25! Thankfully, I called at 9:30 to warn them and apologize that I'd already spent a half hour in traffic (the entire drive was only "supposed" to take 30 minutes, according to Google maps). They were understanding, and actually, when I arrived, the delay had worked out better for the man interviewing me. The interview felt comfortable, and in the back of my mind I had this peace, "I think they'll hire me". That feeling was confirmed this morning with a phone call from him. They want me to start next week!

Beauty is in the Genes...

My husband showed me a recent Men's Health article that detailed an intriguing study. Even though more baby boys are born than girls (51% to 49%), new research claims that "beautiful parents are more likely to have girls as their firstborn children." Some celebrity evidence they point to are Brad and Angelina, Tom and Katie, and Ryan and Reese. They surveyed 2,972 "real" parents, and couples who were rated as "very attractive" had girls as their firstborn 56% of the time.

While the statistics are interesting, the explanation for "why" that's given is a bit of a stretch, in my opinion. A researcher claims that this reflects a theory that "parents' genes 'know' what's best", and if parents have traits that are better for girls (i.e. fine features), they're more likely to have daughters because those features will help the daughters find mates. On the flip side, the researchers say the same works for sons: "Tall, strong, or aggressive parents are all more likely to have boys."

Hmm... thoughts?

Thursday, October 05, 2006

It's Bananas!

Last Saturday, Jon and I took some friends to Chinatown and the Grove areas. Will, Maria, and Melinda were in the back seat. Maria had been hungry before we'd left, so she'd brought some snacks, which included bananas. She gave one banana to Will, and I noticed that she put hers on the ledge behind the backseat to eat later. We had a great time exploring the two L.A. spots with new people, and we came back to our apartments very tired from the afternoon...

On Sunday, I jumped in my car to volunteer at the zoo (hence the Jane Goodall encounter), and when I left the zoo for the day to get in my car, a strong banana fragrance waifed out the door. I looked at the back ledge to see Maria's banana had been baking in the back window all day. I removed it and stored it in our freezer to make banana bread with later. But, all this week, the smell has persisted everytime I get in my car! Did the banana leak on my upholstry?

This morning, Jon and I were washing the Taurus with the hose behind our apartment when I noticed something... Another banana was on the ledge! Will must've stuck his back there, and the head rest of the back seat had hidden it from my view. I grabbed it and put it in the freezer with the other very ripe banana, and the smell left my car upon its removal. The week-long mystery of the banana smell was solved!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Funny ad

A humorous picture my cousin forwarded to me:

More Jane...

Following Sunday's fun times was Monday, when I (again) pulled some last-minute strings at USC to see the lecture Jane was doing there. She ended this with a book signing, so I have "official" proof that I met her.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Great Day at the Zoo!!

Today I came in contact with a woman who I have admired from afar for years. I've read her books, learned about her life story and research, and appreciated all that she's doing for international conservation and education (with an emphasis on chimpanzees)...

I got to see Jane Goodall!

I am currently volunteering at the Zoo in Los Angeles, and when I heard Jane was coming to the zoo for a conference (Chimpanzoo), I knew I had to pull some strings and get myself there. I went into the animal care office this morning at 6:45am and latched onto some ape keepers, who were all very involved in the conference activities. Not only did I get a free breakfast, I also got to see Jane Goodall a few feet from me, speaking in front of the chimp exhibit. (She did her signature chimp calls, too, for whoever is familiar with her.) Ah! It was too cool. She looks and acts exactly like you'd expect - gentle, patient, happy, and very passionate about her causes.

(Robert Wagner was also at the breakfast, if you are familiar with the actor. The first thing that comes to mind is his role as the Dr. Evil-cronie with the eye patch. I borrowed an extra chair from his little table, then after sitting back with the keepers realized that I recognized him. Ha)