I won't bore you with the story of how my boyfriend and I* drove 14 hours down to Northern California and how I was still awfully sick after my 21st birthday's two crazy parties. And by crazy parties I mean "drinking everything put in front of me and getting a Toy Story sippy cup and going to see the new Studio Ghibli film". Still, it was enough to make me sick with something that should have been a 24-hour-bug but was drawn out into a 96-hour-fuck-you due to constant activity and crippling car rides. 
You know how I said I would't bore you with this story? Me, too. 

To sum things up, here's some photos. 
Who's a pretty mountain? You are! Yoouuu aaaare! ♥
My boyfriend's mom owns a pub in CA and I have to say, it's a very nice pub. I was completely baffled to find a nice lounge chair in the woman's bathroom. Opposite the chair was a huge dresser. My boyfriend's response to the chair was, "well yeah, it's a bar, hon. The chair is for your friend to hold your hair while you barf."
The Mexican food was great, too. Very sculptable. The waitress really enjoyed my leftover angler fish.
That ex-burrito fish was the closest thing to art as I got on the trip. 
Okay well that's a lie, I also painted this. 
I shall call you... Mantis Puppy.
I should also mention that I painted this to break in my brand new tablet! It's a Wacom Bamboo and generally fabulous. I've named him after my first painting, Mantis Puppy. My old tablet's name was Turtle Monster, so I'm just keeping with tradition, here. I mean of weird names for electronics, not naming them after the first painting I did with them. I don't think I've ever painted a turtle monster. 
My amazing friend Jennise bought it for me, because she's fabulous and also now lives in Michigan. Michigan better know how lucky it is. Else I'm gonna walk over and backhand that ungrateful oven-mitt-shaped state, mmm. No one sasses me. Or Mantis Puppy. (A back-hand from a mantis would be awful, come to think of it.)

What was I talking about again? Oh right, California. 
My boyfriend's mom's car almost got totaled by a tumble weed. 
A mother fucking tumble weed, you guys. I'm freaking out. 

I guess that just about wraps it up. Mantis Puppy is almost finished (needs more shading and maybe a T-bone steak) so you have that to look forward to, I guess. 

* My boyfriend and I = 90% my boyfriend
I'm still reading The Plot Whisperer and I've gotten to the part about the crisis. The crisis is the point in which the main character's life is changed by forces he/she cannot control and must change themselves to carry on. The protagonist must change, usually for the better, so the story is satisfying. No one wants to read about a character who reaches the final bit and throws their arms in the air and says, "Well, it's been fun, everybody..."
I know what my story's crisis is. I know what it means and feels and probably smells like. 
My only dilemma is... what is the physical aspect? Does it take the form of giant levitating platforms to form a giant arena, fight to the death with the antagonist?! Does it mean a catastrophic mechanical meltdown within the mechanism, forcing the main character to watch his friends die at the hands of the antagonist? 
Maybe I should introduce a sick and twisted AI to do my dirty work. A la Portal 2 or 2001: a Space Odyssey
"Let my friends go! It's my major character flaw that I rely too heavily on the support of others and I can't go on by myself!" 
"I can't do that, Hal." 
"Who the hell is Hal?!" 

I'm working on it. 
"This novel is too important for me to allow your character flaws to jeopardize it. "
(I've been researching a lot lately. I consider watching 2001 research somehow. I'm a writer, dammit!)
So, if you read my last post, you knew my red betta, Levi, has a fungus. 
Well, had
He's better. Missing one pectoral fin, but the fungus is gone. 100% not there anymore. I'd sort of resigned myself, told myself he was a goner, but I was wrong! Horribly wrong! Which is good! 
But dammit I just bought three upside-down catfish and uuuugh the tank would be too crowded if I added Levi back in, now. 

Mah Noes



So today I thought, "hey, you know what sounds good? Painting. Let's open up Painter X here and do a speed-painting. Yeah." 
Then fate was all, "HEY MARANDA GUESS WHAT" 
"Oh god, not you again." 
"Your tablet is at your boyfriend's house. Haha, and I bet you wanted to paint tonight, huh? Ohhh jeeeez!" 
So I whipped out my gouache instead. 
Originally it was a maned wolf with honey on his nose trying to lick it off as tiny honey bees watched in amusement. But then halfway through the background I decided, hey, bees are so tiny and hard to paint around and oh man
So now this poor woofy is just... being licky. For no reason. 

It's art, I ain't gotta 'splain shit. 

A bit of a fishy update! Irwin is a bachelor in his own bowl now and Levi has a fungus. It doesn't appear to be killing him, though, and soon I fear he may have to be moved to an actual tank as opposed to the beer glass he's in now. 
Because both bettas are out of the 10-gallon, I decided to fill it with something else. 
Enter the kittyfish, a.k.a. corydora catfish. 
Mendelson is on the flat rock and Habernathy is the shiny guy wedged in the corner. Dork. You can also kiiinnnnd of see d'Artagnan in the little cave.
The cories, or kittyfish as I fondly refer to them as, are very fun little fish. But very hard to photograph. 
I wonder if this is how wildlife photographers feel?
Not speaking of which, Jomo, the mountain horned lizard, now lives with my coworker and his water dragon Wall-E. Yes, like the robot. 
No worries, though. Jomo is much happier (or so we think) at his new place. 
They're bros.
I'm still writing and enjoying every moment of it, in other news. Snippets to come. 
Still working on that hermit crab cowboy as well. Putting a cowboy hat on a hermit crab is harder than it sounds. I'll keep you posted. 
(Oh, get it? Posted? Because this is a blog? Yeah ok I'll leave. )