Tuesday, June 28, 2005

mists of avalon

i watched the TV mini-series last night. it was a little more than 3 hours long and much, much better than i expected from a tv series. i really enjoyed it. i loved that the story was told from the viewpoint of the women of camelot instead of the typical way. it got me in the mood to actually read the book finally - which alison gave me as a gift for some past gift-giving occasion. i think i will delve into all 1000 pages of it, since i have virtually nothing else to do with my time. i have given up my errant shopping ways (i've used errant twice in two days...my vocab must be slipping!). i have also given up on eating out every night, which is what jim and i have been doing for the past year. it was too difficult to cook with school being so much pressure and whatnot. so, we just ate out. but i've cooked every night but one for the past week! good dinners too - chicken lasagna, pork filets, etc. sounds pricey -but most of them are pre-cooked. like the lasagna, it was frozen stouffers. the pork was all me though. tonight, we're cooking a butterball turkey, which i expect to be eating for the next week or so. i loooooove turkey though:)
so, this is sad. my blog has come down to a discussion of the minutiae of my dinners. ok. i'm going to go now and read a book. exercise the 'ole kidneys.

Monday, June 27, 2005

i haven't much to say here. my days have settled into a kind of dull rhythm. i cook dinner a lot - which actually gives me a sense of purpose. i clean and organize. i yell at errant birdies (of which there are a few)...and that's about all.

i just finished reading memoirs of a geisha. it was a bit of a disappointment. i was really enjoying it - but the end surprised me. and not in a good way. i was let down. though the writing was really beautiful, in the end...nada.

that's about all. ta-ta.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

no time to blog

hello all. sorry to disappoint my loyal fans. people have questioned where i've gone. those of you who know me know that i just moved. i don't even have an internet connection (per se) yet. we have one via rhi's computer but not on our own.

so, we've moved in with my sister in law. she has a large house (3 bedroom, 3 bath on about 3/4th of an acre) in a nice area directly across the river from the vet school. her mortgage is less than our rent - so we're splitting that and saving a ton of money. it's nice. now i can shop guilt (almost) free. i've become shallow and self-absorbed as the summer has progressed. my research is going very slowly. there are 2-3 day gaps between actually doing anything, so i have a lot of spare time on my hands. most good people would volunteer or enjoy their hobby or take up a new one or something. not me. i just shop, lie about, etc. okay, that's a bit harsh. i have been cooking dinner and unpacking. but still. i'm being far too lazy for even myself. and materialistic. i love shopping now though. i have found joy in the material world. i never was much of a materialist. i never owned or drooled over fancy cars or nice clothes or expensive perfumes or makeups. i was always myself and happy with what i had. now, i just want to buy buy buy. i don't know why or what started it, although i think it has something to do with my unhealthy obsession with sex and the city. i am becoming too shallow. but dressing nicely and looking pretty is so much fun! and being 3.5 inches taller is fun too. i don't feel like such a midget (i've taken to wearing heels everywhere i go). i bought a pair of heels a couple of days ago that are 3.5 inches. they go great with my new capri pants. and jewelry! i love jewelry now, too. did i mention that my shoe collection is up to 30 pairs? IN MY DEFENSE...i bargain shop at consignment shops, TJ Maxx, and planet xchange (used but trendy clothing store) and find ridiculous bargains. i'm not spending nearly as much money as i make it sound.

i tell jim it's a passing phase, because i'm idle too much right now, and i need something to focus on. i think it's definitely true. once work ratchets up (IF it ever does), i'll get back to more basic, educational things. right now, i'm enjoying giving my brain a thorough rest. but i think it's too thorough of a rest. i've discovered that having nice things only makes you want MORE nice things - and once you start - it's hard to stop. something about a slippery slope? i used to spend my money on my birds and toys for them and other mundane things. now i want to spend money on myself. i'm going to stop now though. i swear it. i have realized something profound that i think my parents did really really well when raising me. they never raised me to believe that material possessions were very important. they raised me to love my family and friends and to be happy with what i had - because it was far more than many people had. i don't know if it was deliberate on the part of my parents (due to the fact that money was ALWAYS an issue) or not - but regardless, i grew up happy with what i had. i was grateful for my first car, which cost about $500 (a pontiac phoenix almost as old as i) and my second car (a beat up 83 honda that blew out blue smoke). i even stumbled across a note from high school that i wrote a friend (and must have never delivered) that was expressing my delight and excitement for a car that was a piece of total junk. and i mean total:) but it got me from a to b in a relatively safe manner and that made me happy.

i was never - and most of my family can attest to this fact - concerned with pretty things. i grew up loving to read and looking forward to family vacations. those things have made me a better person in the world. and i'm grateful for that. i don't think there is anything wrong with wanting nice things - but when it becomes consuming - when not having the nice things you want becomes upsetting and disappointing - then i think it's a problem. and if i don't curb my shopping habit, then i might start having that problem. i don't blame it on sex and the city - because i believe we are individuals with the will to make choices in life. but i do believe the idleness of my mind has let sneak in some shallow wants and desires. i realize why everyone wants to blame TV, violent video games, and pornography for the world's evils. weak minds are susceptible...easily confused and twisted. i've watched too much sex and the city and come to think that having pretty, nice things and being attractive physically equate with happiness. the only reason i know this doesn't work is because i'm smart enough to realize when something is going on subconsciously (usually haha)... i believe that some people aren't aware enough to realize that what they put in their brain will come out in one way or another. all that said, i have to defend my libertarian ideas - i believe pornography is fine, i believe violent video games are fine, and i don't think those things should be censored or taken away. control by censorship is not the way to 'fix' society and its evils. the cure for evil must come from within an individual. from a conscious decision. (though i realize that those in my family that are christian will heartily disagree and state that there is no salvation without god...here is my nod to the inevitable comments).

so, those were my deep thoughts for the day. i turn 26 on friday, and i just keep getting smarter. ha. ha. ha.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

moving SUCKS

i think i might have mentioned that, so perhaps i should talk about something else. the stray macaw's owner showed up - thankfully. though she was rude and abrupt when she talked to me on the phone. didn't even say thanks for making sure that he got taken care of or anything. just rude and impatient. people never cease to amaze me. something vaguely interesting happened this morning. someone called me about the ad for a found parrot in the paper and said that they had lost their parrot. the woman sounded either high or mildly retarded. and she says, 'i lost my parrot.' i said 'what kind of parrot did you lose?' she said 'you know, a parrot.' i said 'what species?' - she didn't know, she just kept repeating a parrot. i asked her what color he was, she said 'green' - nothing else. no description, nothing. i asked her several questions - each of which she answered slowly and haltingly - and sounded like she was just guessing. i was amazed. i think she was calling to try and claim this parrot as her own - when it wasn't even her bird. at any rate, i just thought that was interesting.

well, i have nothing else much to write about. my days consist of working in the lab for a few hours (usually 4) and packing/cleaning/washing/folding/packing/moving...etc.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

why is it so hard to be politically aware?

then you have to go and throw religion into the mix too. there is so much to think about. and i feel so ill-equipped to make rational, intelligent choices. i think i have rationale for my ideology - then those rationale are challenged, and i have to rethink my beliefs. i think my problems with formulating an ideology - theological or political or otherwise - stem from my lack of knowledge of history. biblical, political, geographical. i think one thing that everyone could stand to know more about is history. without history, how can one make a conscious, rational decision about morals and ethics? i choose mostly conservative/libertarian ideals as the foundation for my beliefs. i feel that i have good reason to back these up. but who's to say?

i believe in less government. i can't exactly explain why i believe that - other than that i don't like people telling me what i can and can't do with myself and also because large governments seem to be inherently evil (mao's china, hitler's germany). but then - am i talking about dictatorships? do i believe this because it only seems inevitable that as government grows so does its power and control over my life and so does its greed for more power and control? these thoughts seem rather ingrained in me. and so it becomes hard to separate truth from what i've been raised to believe. and then i come back around to what i think i know about human nature. it seems that given power, people thirst for more. more power, more wealth, more control. but that could be 26 years of action movies talking. i don't have any real experience in that arena myself. how much political knowledge can i claim via the presence of simple common sense? or is common sense a scarce commodity - and that's why i have the beliefs that i do - because i'm blessed with common sense. (please - peanut gallery - keep comments to selves!)

jim seems solidly convinced of the logic of his ideology. arguing with him can be frustrating. it seems that for every argument, he has one prepared to knock me down. is that because i'm not very informed or is it because there are truly two sides to everything? could there be two sides to some of the issues that i staunchly hold opinions on? abortion? war? america? it's all so frustrating.

i'll be the first to admit that i know virtually nothing useful about history. everything i've learned about history has been from either jim or a western civilization class in undergrad. not terribly useful or efficient ways to gather information...not that jim isn't useful:) when i try and read on the subject, i find it terribly frustrating to even find books that aren't skewed one way or another.

i guess i can accept that i will always be ignorant in some aspects of the world. no one can know everything. i have to accept that i am smart in some areas and under-schooled in others (notice i did not say stupid:) i have to remember when arguing with others that i don't know everything. humility is a lesson that i (and many people in both my families) could stand to learn.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

a nomadic sort of life

doesn't moving every year for the past 7 years qualify us for nomad status? is there some sort of government expemption for that? and did i mention that i am in NO way fond of being a nomad? i hate moving almost more than i hate going to the eye doctor and getting that little blast of air shot into my pupils. rhiannon and jim have spent the majority of the day tiling. see - we're moving into rhiannon's house and taking over the finished basement. it has a sauna and shower, as well as a toilet (though these are not in the same room). the shower has been untiled for many years, and rhiannon never got around to tiling it, though she had the supplies - tile and all. at any rate, part of our moving in 'contract' was finishing the shower. so, they've been tiling. i've been packing. i HATE moving. but i'm less stressed about moving in with rhiannon now. i had been worried, but we had a long talk yesterday, and i expect it to go much smoother than i thought it would. i'm actually looking forward to it now. i'll have someone to help me with birdcare and vice versa. also, keeping our 'house' (ie the basement) clean won't be so much work for me during the school year. considering jim will be in school, it's going to be hard. plus, the much cheaper rent and utilities are great. but 5 birds in one house...it's going to be a busy, loud household.

hrm. there isn't much to report. i finally get to start - barring anymore unforeseen breakages and/or hangups - my research tomorrow. we'll see how that works out. already 3 weeks of the 10 week project have been virtually wasted. what can i do? i'm sure there is other stuff to report, but i'm at a loss currently to remember what it is. i'm not even sure anyone is reading my blog since school got out...

is there anybody out there?

Thursday, June 9, 2005

well, our IACUC protocol finally went thru. we drew blood on three amazons yesterday - to do preliminary testing on them, see how it worked out. it took use several hours to gather up what we needed, finish the final paper work, gown up, and take the blood from the birds. it was a great experience. dr g - my COE mentor - taught me how to catch these wild amazons in their large cages and how to draw blood...etc. she was very patient, and despite the screaming of 20 amazons in a concrete lined, windowless room, it was a positive experience. then, of course, the other shoe dropped. i took my hard won and long awaited samples upstairs to run flow cytometry on. and lo, the flow cytometer was very bad, and i was wrought with anger...for it was broken. and i was mightily disappointed...heehee. yeah, so the flow is down for an indefinite period of time. at least i'm experiencing the negative side of reseach first, eh? so, we're stopped for now, until the cytometer is up and running again. i'm supposed to start learning the COMET assay next week, so at least i'll have something to do.

thurs and fri are my volunteering days at the YW animal center here. today was a busy day. we processed about 30 cats for the adoption floor. processing means : drawing blood, running a combo leukemia/FIV test, deworming, defleaing, taking temps, paperwork for each cat, and then moving the cats to the adoption room up front. it kept us busy till about 5:30. afterwards, i hung around and played with a 'stray' parrot. someone found a severe macaw on their front porch and brought it to the shelter. it's a lovely bird, well-socialized, cute, friendly, and it hasn't bitten anyone yet - which is amazing for a macaw. i'm smitten. if no one claims it, i'll have to bring it home - at least until i can find a parrot-approved home to which i can adopt it myself. the shelter does a great job finding animals good homes, but a parrot is a different proposition altogether. i hope they'll let me help find it a home - seeing as how i am doing parrot research and i do know just a smidge about them...right? seems coincidental. i just started working there, and this is the first parrot that has shown up...fate? i think so.

i really enjoy working at the animal center. it's rewarding. and i work with great people.

i guess that's all to report here. except that we're moving. and i hate moving.

Saturday, June 4, 2005

does the sun come up this early?

ugh. i'm up at 6:30 in the morning for no other good reason than to accompany a friend to johnson city. bleh. yesterday was a long 'work' day. i say 'work' because it's volunteer - so i'm not getting paid. i suppose i can't complain. it's not like i have a job or anything (except i do, and i get paid, but my research is at a standstill). i 'worked' 2 days this week, and i felt like it was killing me. what a wimp i've become. i'm volunteering 2 days a week at the municipal animal shelter here. it's a beautiful facility - almost brand new, with a nicely equipped and large vet clinic (where i work) and room enough for around 800 animals (i think). which is quite a bit for a municipal animal shelter. also, the vets i work for are great. fun, laid-back, and very easy to work with and for. basically, i have autonomy - as a vet student. i process animals for the adoption floor - which means lots of practice drawing blood from dogs, cats, puppies, and teeny tiny little kittens. good experience - regardless of what i end up doing post-grad. i worm, deflea, basically get the kittens ready to go out on the adoption floor. i also get to watch and ask questions about surgery. right now, mostly spay/neuter - but that's useful - seeing as how we start that next semester. i did get to do a cat ultrasound yesterday, which was surprisingly easy. i still have no idea what i'm looking at on ultrasound, but i suppose that will come with time, right?

ok, my friend is officially late. i'm just sitting here, where i've been for the last 25 minutes. i knew she would be late. and yet, i still got up early. i'm a sap.

alright, i need to find a book to read on the car ride. later.