The Mister has made a new cage for my snake, Cleo.  It is about twice as big as her old habitat, which was 55 gallons.  We need to get her a good sturdy branch to climb on, because she can just barely hold herself up long enough to get to the top, then she falls back into the bottom.  One of her favorite things to do is climb towards the top and look out at everything.

That’s my girl looking at me now.

Cleo came to live with me about 6 years ago when her original owner went abroad and didn’t come back.  I worked at Crave then, which was located in the Capitol Hill Arts Center (affectionately known as CHAC) and the main office for the building was pet sitting her.  I saw her at some point when I was up there, gave her a pet and it evidently caught the eye of the staff there that I was not afraid of slithery reptiles.  A couple of months later I was asked if I would take her in when it became apparent that her owner was not returning.

I never thought I would be a reptile owner.  I have always found it a little mean to keep that kind of pet.  Especially one like Cleo who is small enough that you can’t let her roam the house.  She would get lost in a warm spot and you wouldn’t find her again for a long time.  Her head is small and so is her brain; experts say they have very little memory.  Cleo has never had live food and she is not surprised that her food flies and sometimes is heralded by an earthquake.  I buy frozen mice and thaw them, hold them by the tail to let her grab them and often let her know it is eating time by shaking her log tunnel.  I don’t know that she would do well in “the wild”.

She eats once a week and her eating schedule can really affect her mood.  You don’t want to hold a hungry snake, as they are a bit cranky.  They also don’t like to be held while they are digesting.  That leaves a couple of days a week to hold her, and I probably end up lining that up once a month or so.  She is fine being held, but she wants to go look at everything–she is very curious–and moves around a lot.  I am in constant motion to control her constant motion.

She has bitten me once.  It was an accident.  I had been holding her for a while and she had mostly settled down around my shoulders.  I was talking to the Mister and started gesturing with my hands.  A little too fast I guess because the next thing I know her teeth are around one the side of my index finger.  She looked as surprised as a snake can look, and I probably did too.  I used my other hand and held her behind the head and pushed her forward and off my finger–snake teeth angle backward.  It didn’t really hurt and was more like a sandpaper burn, but I cleaned it really well and put a band aid on it.  She wasn’t trying to eat me–snakes are good at judging what will fit in their body–I probably just surprised her.


Libraryland is all about budget cuts right now.  I was off yesterday, but there was a timeline posted that included the idea that layoffs would be happening, but not for a bit.  It also doesn’t sound like actual library staff will be laid off.  Any layoffs are bad but layoffs you know are the worst.  I am trying not to worry about it until we know more.  But I will be at the staff meeting next month when the Mayor is there.  Evidently he doesn’t understand the importance of the library to our community.

What am I reading? It has been a prolific week. The River by Mary Jane Beauford started out a bit weak but grew on me.  There were some weird descriptions in the first few chapters, almost as if she was trying to include some SAT words or clever twists of phrase, but they fell flat.  Veronica made a hard move with her family from Portland to rural Oregon.  The two things that make living in the middle of nowhere are running and Karen, a little girl who lives along her running route.  One day the river takes Karen away and while Veronica is trying to deal with that grief, she finds that there is more than the river to blame.

13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison was quite good, and a rival for The Various by Steve Augarde (I thought this was much better, actually).  Tanya has a second sight that allows her to see fairies.  After one too many mischievous encounters, her mother packs her off to her grandmother’s home in the country.  Tanya has never felt welcome there and has a tangled relationship with the grounds keeper and his son, Fabian as well.  A mystery begins to unfold and Tanya and Fabian try to solve it, forcing them to trust each other and dangerously delve into the fairy realm.

Right now I am enjoying both Readers’ Advisory: an Unshelved Collection by Gene Ambaum and Bill Barnes and This Book Is Overdue!: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson.  So yes, I am completely geeking out on library-based literature.