Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Great Outdoors

I don't think 'great outdoors' just means 'big wide open areas', I think it means 'awesome place to be; much more awesome than inside'. XD
Took a small hike yesterday with one of my friends and Titus, felt good and cleared my head a little. :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Hermit in my own head

This summer is confusing me. I don't know what to do with myself. I haven't really picked up on art recently, maybe I should do that. I feel lost. Who am I? What am I supposed to be doing?
"And it is true what you said
That I live like a hermit in my own head"
I know there are things I need to do, but I can't lift my fingers to do them. I'm lonely, but I don't want to be around others. I just need to see the light for what it is, I guess.

"But when the sun shines again
I'll pull the curtains and blinds to let the light in."
Hopefully I can update with something productive soon. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My first straight A semester in college

Final grades are in.... and I found out I just had my first straight A semester! Feels good, man. Despite the fact that I wasn't working (call me a bum all you want :P), and not doing much research as our lab was still being set up (totally not my fault! I was fully expecting to do a lot of research during the semester), I feel proud of myself. I applied for and was awarded a full-time summer research scholarship, and I've lost ~15ish lbs during the semester too!
I learned a lot, about what I want to do with my future, about working in a lab, about life, about health...
This post is a reminder to myself to look on the bright side, it may seem dark where I am but the sun and stars are shining somewhere!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sketches from the past! Part I

"Everybody had that childhood friend that drew horses" Well, I didn't, because I WAS that friend.
From my previous post, Tchotchkes, I said that I was cleaning my room and decided to share some trinkets and baubles. Well, I also ran into a bunch of OLD OLD sketches and drawings, which I didn't necessarily want to keep but I also didn't want to toss away without some kind of record... So I thought 'why not take pics and sketch dump my blog' before throwing the tons of old sketchbooks away. So here it is, old doodles that have outlived their purpose:
Something  I saw in a dream

Monday, May 20, 2013

DIY Wedding Invitations

The supplies: shimmery aqua-colored scrapbook paper, cream cardstock paper, little fabric flowers in shades of aqua, bird stamp, gold stamp ink, glue stick, liquid glue, pattern paper cutter, pattern scissors. Additional resources: fonts! :D  
Cost: Approx. $50! But a lot of what I bought turned out to be more than we needed so you could easily go under $50. 

First we stamped the cream paper with golden birdies, then we sent it through the printer with the text repeated 4x per page 
The final result! Now, I must say, the pattern paper cutter thing was very difficult to use at first, it took  me a long time to get used to using it. There is a lot of variation in my invitations! The sizes vary, the pattern varies (in many of them we only paper-cut the vertical sides, instead of all 4 sides) and the amount of flowers varies too. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Tchotchkes (a peak into my room)

tchotch·ke [chahch-kuh] noun Slang.

"an inexpensive souvenir, trinket, or ornament." --  
While cleaning my room today, I began dusting my bookshelf. I picked things up and moved them, and then moved them back, and then I started thinking of all the places I got my tchotchkes from, or the people who gave them to me. And I realized how awesome it is that I have these things-- not because I'm materialistic, but because each item holds a wealth of memories.
I love my grandfather for many reasons. He's really my step-grandfather, but he's been more of a grandfather to me than anyone. He's a great man. One of the things I love him for is that his house is exactly what I want my house to be someday. It is filled with tchotchkes-- great and small. Perhaps I shouldn't use the word tchotchke, because it can have the connotation of worthlessness and cheapness, which many of the things in his house aren't. He's got a huge painting from Vietnam of a mother and child that I absolutely love, he's got an old painting of a cow that he got from an auction years ago, he's got samurai swords and marble hippos and a cowbell collar and a real hummingbird nest from his backyard, he's got a massive hornets nest hanging from his ceiling, he has gorgeous stained glass windows, he's got masks and old sports photos and and and... I love the eclectic decorations in that house.
And so I suppose I have aspired somewhat to amass a collection of my own, but I'm not quite there yet, because, well, heck! I don't even have my own place yet! 
But I thought I'd share what I do have anyway...
My bookshelf. My my, how many ponies can you spot? And yes that is a giant book of SPACE on top of it. I like space. *squinty squinty* What else can you spot?

Glow in the dark pony! Okay.. honestly, I can't remember where I got this. I just know I've definitely had it for quite a few years. Its awesome, because, GLOW-IN-THE-DARK!!!

Jar of DIRT! Oh wait... no, not quite. Its a jar of sand, sand from a beach in Maine, specifically. <3

High school stuff, I got an award for Art in high school, its about the only cool thing that happened to me in high school. -_-

This one I got from my dear friend Dogert! :D I love it so much, makes me want to visit a mystical forest of massive trees and magic and glowy lights and get lost forever.

My grandpa gave this to me! I was an easy child to please, give me anything horse related and I was basically guaranteed to cherish it forever. Now that I've had it for several years though, I'm starting to wonder just where this thing was made! It definitely looks foreign... I should do some digging maybe.

Another art award I got for a jack rabbit drawing! And a painting that I got from a yard sale for like... super cheap, several years ago.

Got this from Maine... It smells like pine trees <3
A chunk of horse bone! I got it from the pasture of the stables I used to hang around.
I do have others, but these are some of the ones I've had the longest. :)

Humans and Hybrids (Books 2 and 3 of the Neanderthal Parallax Series)

Okay, so I reviewed the first book here. A positive review. I liked that book, so I went ahead and got the next 2 books of the series to listen to. And, well, the first book is certainly the best out of them. The first half of the second book, Humans, was exciting, and the last half of the third book, Hybrids, was good, but the rest seemed to be rather annoying to me. It became very relationship-y with Ponter and Mary and got quite boring and frustrating to listen to Mary's insecurities and them working out the details of their complicated relationship. Also, I found Mary's religiousness to be frustrating too, she was a Catholic despite being a geneticist and understanding life at a molecular level, she didn't agree with the conservative stances of her church, and even when proof was evidently presented to her, she still denied it and she struggled with the fact that the Neanderthals never had religion, and she couldn't really defend against Ponter's argument that religion had allowed Homo sapiens to justify our wars and violence and awfulness, and instead she stubbornly just said she knew there was a God... As a scientist, I would have expected differently from her character. At the end, she did seem to reconcile her religious beliefs with scientific/worldly beliefs, but it took a world-wide event to make her do so.
Anyway, to sum up my review: If you liked the first book and want to leave yourself with the wonder of another parallel world, with all the wonderful possibilities of a different culture and government, and a society not founded on large-scale agriculture, and an unspoiled earth, you might want to stop after the first book. The second and third books get more complicated, and like I said, relationship-y. If you just want to read about Neanderthal sex, get to like the first half of the second book. Otherwise, it kind of stagnates after that. 
Spoiler alert: At the end of the third book, I'm disappointed that there seemed to be no consequences to the whole 'trying to wipe out the Neanderthals from that earth' thing, because it wouldn't have happened at all if Mary hadn't brought the stupid codon-writer into her earth, despite it being banned in the Neanderthal earth! I mean, the High Grey Council (the Neanderthal government) had banned it for a reason! And yet she still got to use it to make a baby, despite the fact that it almost obliterated the whole Neanderthal species, and did end up killing 2 people. Okay, okay, I know that the codon-writer was just a machine, but still, were there no consequences for it getting into the wrong hands?!

Friday, May 17, 2013

A look back and a look forward

I don't have all my grades back yet for this semester, but that's okay. I can still look back and say that I've had a good semester! I do know that I got an A in animal physiology. It was a great class and I really enjoyed it! I feel like I learned alot! We talked about ectothermy, endothermy, homeostasis, temperature, hypoxia, metabolism scaling, endocrinology, muscles, nervous systems, neurons (blech! action potentials were hard! haha), circulation, ion and water balance, locomotion, and respiration. Speaking of locomotion, in class he showed us this video of "Big dog" a robot that imitates biology! Its really creepy. Watch it. You'll laugh, and feel creeped out at the same time.
Biochemistry II was a great class as well, I've never been a huge fan of chemistry; I found general chemistry boring and organic chemistry was, of course, torture. But biochemistry is a different beast! You take all the knowledge you gained from gen chem and ochem and apply it to stuff thats actually interesting! :D My favorite parts were learning about how our bodies metabolize glycogen, fatty acids, proteins, and how we synthesize various compounds. I learned that our bodies can't convert fats into glucose, and that during exercise, it takes hours before you start using aerobic metabolism (i.e. burning fats). -_-' Our bodies are strange things. As someone on a diet, I of course would love to go outside and burn some fat, but it doesn't really work that way!
My other two classes were generals so I'm not as enthusiastic about them. haha
This summer is gonna be a busy one! At the end of June I take my general GRE exam (uuughh more exams?! but its necessary...) and at the end of July I get married (EEK!) and sometime at the end of the summer I'm supposed to present the research project that I will be doing all summer. I'm also going to start doing more research about what schools I want to apply to in the fall as well.
I'm nervous about the future, as always, but I'm also excited.
BUT of course, before I can do any of that big stuff, I gotta clean my rooms!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Dove Family

This morning when I went to check on the dove family, I saw that one of the babies was missing. I'm pretty sure it was the smaller-injured one, which is sad. My mom said it might have flown away, but it probably got eaten by a cat or something. ;_;
The remaining baby looks great though, and won't let me get as close, a good sign. ;)
Momma and daddy are doing good jobs it seems, they gave me quite a display today when I got too close to them, pretending to have broken wings to lure me

Swimming in the Flood - Part 2

Either Blogger or youtube is being stupid; I tried to upload this last night and I couldn't, what the heck?

Song: Swimming in the Flood by Passion Pit

Swimming in the flood (Doves, Finals, and Love)

The past few days have been bizarre, hectic, stressful, tiresome, and surprising. Of course, like I said last weekend, I did spend Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday studying for my finals. But, on Sunday, a distraction came when our gardener trimmed our palm trees. Apparently there had been a nest of mourning doves in our palm tree, and so my dad came to show me the poor baby birds on the ground. There were two of them, both had some feathers and I'm guessing they were a couple of weeks old.
Finding these baby birds sent my stress levels sky-high. What was I going to do with 2 helpless baby birds right before I took my finals?! While the gardener continued working in the yard, I lined a shoebox with papertowels and covered a tupperware full of hot water to keep them warm, and let them rest. One of them (the larger one) seemed perfectly fine, but the smaller one had a pretty badly swollen chest and what looked like bruising. Understandable, considering the poor thing just took a tumble from a palm tree. I thought for sure the little one wouldn't survive. I tried to call an animal hospital to see if they'd take them, but they said they didn't take birds.
I hummed and hawed over it for awhile, and finally decided that they needed to be fed, so I went out and bought some veggie baby food, cause I wasn't really sure what they ate. they ate some, and I left them alone. One of my friends suggested leaving them in the backyard to see if the parents will come for them, which I thought was a silly idea at first. I mean, their nest had been obliterated. But when I left them out in the backyard and came back to check, sure enough, there was a mourning dove adult on our roof, eyeing the babies. I was amazed, I really just didn't expect the parents to come back after their rude eviction.
It took a little while for me to realize I had to take the babies out of the shoebox or else the parents wouldn't come close, but once the babies were out of the soft, warm box and onto the prickly grass, one of the parents came down and fed them. Well, I was worried for a little bit because it seemed as if the little one wasn't getting fed, but then I caught a glimpse of the little one getting fed a little.
The next morning when I went out to check on them, I only found the little one in the grass, covered in ants. I picked the poor thing up and searched for the other one, and finally found it hiding under our fig tree! I thought this was an excellent spot since the big broad leaves are excellent cover, and so I reunited them. 
The babies are still alive, amazingly, and seem to have become more mobile in the backyard, wandering around our vegetable garden and fruit trees, and momma dove and papa dove are usually close by, ready to show off their nifty pretend-to-have-an-injured-wing dance when I check on their babies. I'm excited to watch them grow up. :)

Friday, May 10, 2013


Finals are next week! I have 2 exams on Monday and 1 exam on Tuesday, and then I will have completed SPRING 2013!!!
I can't wait for summer.
<3 <3 <3
But before I can splash in the pool, take my doggies places, play video games, watch shows endlessly, paint, draw, learn how to cook more or ANY of those FUN AND AWESOME THINGS, I have to do well on my finals.
So, if I don't post til after Tuesday, that is why. ;)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

WHY I love (and why you shouldn't make assumptions)

The other day at school, one of my friends ran into an old high school buddy of hers. They stood chatting for several minutes, while I half-heartedly listened. At first they talked about the normal stuff, 'Oh, I haven't seen you in forever!' and such, then their topic shifted to what everyone else from their high school was doing, 'Do you still hang out with blahblahblah?' and slowly, slowly, they began a rant on everyone who was getting married and having babies and such.
Well, they seemed to feed off each others similar anti-marriage sentiments, and it quickly escalated. Basically, this quick high-school reunion became a full on TIRADE against girls who get married young, while their still in college. And I'm just standing there, looking around, slowly realizing that--hey, wtf? I've got a ring on my finger here! Of course, I don't say anything. I just stood there, looking at the trees, until finally my friend must've realized who was standing next to her. "Oh, except for Bewildermunster, she's getting married but she's got her shit together!"
As if that was alright, as if that fixed it. Well, I didn't say anything then and I'm not going to, but it irked me. The more I thought about it, the more it bugged me. Like a rock in my shoe that just hurts worse when I reach down to adjust my shoe.
I'm tired of being the 'exception'. I don't want to be an anomaly. I hate broad generalizations, I hate narrow-mindedness, I hate shallow people, I hate judgmental people, I hate people who have to constantly be surrounded by drama.
I'm getting married this summer, I'm 21 years old. This is my life, my journey, and I have chosen who I want to share that journey with. We are young, but this life is short, just a wink of time in the universe.
One of my other friends, Chickadee, has been with her boyfriend for longer than Doom and I have been together, and she's always talking about how great it is that we're getting married, she's always looking up cute wedding things and all that crap, she's entirely romantic and cheesy and blah blah blah, but when I ask when she's getting married she dismisses it right away. She's so worried about the future, so worried about what others think, so worried about the fact that she's living in her mothers house and she's gonna graduate with debt... She's too worried about things that I find to be trivial.
I'm not saying one should just through all caution to the wind when it comes to marriage and relationships, but one thing is for sure: Don't pay any mind to what other people think.
Another friend that I knew back when I first started talking to Doom freaked out when Doom and I started dating. I'm sure there were underlying problems in the relationship, but her inability to accept my happiness led to the dissolution of our relationship. She basically asked me to choose, her or Doom, and I chose Doom.
To each his own
My group of friends seem to think Doom and I are perfect, they think we have sex like rabbits and feed each other cake and buy each other cute things and never fight and have the exact same interests. Of course, that's horse shit. We have our ups and downs. The reason we're getting married isn't because we have everything worked out, it isn't because we have this grand scheme, this master plan for our lives. I don't know where we'll be in 10, 20, 30, 40 years!

All I know is that I want to be with him. I cannot ensure this, but we sure can try. And we're both willing. And that, I think, is the most important thing.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Frog Dump

Still learning frog care, I suspect the 'real' science (aka experiments) will begin in the next few weeks. Enjoy the crappy iphone pics in the meantime. :)

Itty bitty baby tadpoles! Kinda hard to see I know but they are quite active little guys. Dr. Marmotini gave us each our own set of tadpoles to raise, so hopefully mine don't all die. :)

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Hominids: Volume One of the Neanderthal Parallax

Once again, I listened to the audio version of this book during my commutes, and sometimes while walking around. I got through it quite quickly, of course it wasn't as long as some of the other books I listened too, but I sacrificed quantity for what I hoped would be quality. And I really enjoyed it! I can see why it won the Hugo Award.
The characters were great-- Ponter is loveable, Mary, Louise, and Reuben are all interesting.
I enjoyed the details of the Neanderthal version of earth, somethings were delightfully surprising about it, I enjoyed the possibilities that I hadn't considered. I thought it was wonderfully inventive, but not too unbelievable. The bisexuality discussion scene is hilarious.
Some scenes were very emotional, and definitely sucked me right in.
There were a couple of points that I didn't like, such as Mary and Louise's religious discussion that I felt somewhat unnecessarily convoluted what would become Louise's theory on the quantum-mechanical split between the two parallel universes 40,000 years ago.
I'm about halfway through the second book in this series now, called Humans.

Who am I to disagree?

Drawings from my dream journal. I made a post awhile ago about some previous drawings, too.

I had a sister! That turned into a wolf pup. -_-'

In my dream, this was a very menacing massive storm approaching from the open ocean.

A tiger getting his teeth cleaned underwater. O_o

He may look like Ganesha, but he was not a nice God. He was dark, and evil, and scary, and he lived in underground caves and controlled everybody. Also he had the head of an African elephant, not an Asian elephant.