Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Damn I hate paranoia.

Today is the Ludi Tarentini, a three-day celebration. It started out as a private celebration funded by a man whose children were ill. It consisted of three days of stage plays held every hundred years to honor Dis Pater/Hades and Proserpina/Persephone, the king and queen of the underworld. In 17 BCE, Augustus converted these days into the Ludi Saeculares, when all free men would pray and fast, then gather at the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus at the Capitolium (if they were Roman citizens) or the Temple of Diana on the Aventine (if they were Latins, which were the rustic types).

They offered the first fruit and various sacrifices on the first day, today, and the festivities would begin tomorrow evening.


Went to Curves for the first time this summer today. I remembered everything well enough, and, bonus, it didn't require the amount of energy that it did last year to start so I haven't become totally sluggish after my year at college.

Tomorrow Shrewd and I are getting the bikes back from the shop and then I'm gonna try to bike to Curves, for some extra exercise.

Oh, and I ran into my old boss there-- the one from the day care. Apparently they need help for the summer. She asked me to consider coming back, but I'm torn-- on the one hand, I really want to see the kids again and if I can't get a better paying job it does pay more than TJ Maxx; but on the other hand, I had nightmares about the kids getting hurt or into trouble because of me the whole time I worked there. It was kinda stressful. And I kinda swore I wouldn't do childcare again. Not that I ever keep oaths like that, really...


The Brother was inviting his girlfriend over for dinner, and while Mummy went out to get groceries and worked on a problem for work and The Brother did homework, guess who fulfilled the "Can't have non-immediate-family over without cleaning all parts of the house they might see" rule? Oh, yes. Me. I mean, she paid me $20 for it and I wanted to get this pigsty clean anyway, but it's the principle of the thing, in that if I had asked to have Ryter or even Vivacia (who has known my family for FOREVER) over, my mom would have made me clean the whole place or refused to let them visit. She wouldn't have paid Shrewd or The Brother to clean it for me, unless they offered.

Basically, until I get a job, my mom's gonna give me new chores every day to help out around the house, and as much as I like getting paid, cleaning this house is a bit like shoveling the sidewalk in the middle of a blizzard.

Oh, wait, she makes me do that too.

Some dude gave me "one last chance" to save the world today. Hmm.

Today is the Ambarvalia, an agricultural fertility rite in honor of Ceres/Demeter. They took a bull, a sow, and a sheep and led them in procession three times around the fields before the sacrifice.


Ryter and I went into Harvard Square today, since he had an appointment with his psychiatrist down there anyway. He picked me up a little late and we spent the next half hour in bumper-to-bumper traffic along I-93, thanks to the stupid highway committee that okay'd the painting of middle-of-the-highway lines in the middle of the day.

But we arrived, I read Calvin and Hobbes for forty minutes when he talked to his psychiatrist (who I kinda wanted to see-- didn't, but wanted to-- because apparently he looks like Maury), and then we wandered around and looked at stuff. Ryter got a chair with a giant British flag on it and a nifty ice thingy... It's an ice tray that makes a big block of ice with channels in it, so you pour the drink into the channel and it travels down over the ice into your cup. Both of those were from Urban Outfitters. Oh, and he was totally asked to be in a rap video by some random dude who liked his shirt. Because those rap videos, they LOVE the pasty Jewish kids. I mean, really.

We ate dinner at the Malaysian restaurant and I was adventurous, and while adventures related to coconut drinks are rather unpleasant when you get sugar shock from one sip, adventures in duck and veggie clay pots are pretty tasty, though the bones were annoying. Tasted delicious though. If you go to Harvard Square, go to Penang. It's interesting food.

Then we headed back to my town to hang out in the apple orchards and get ice cream from the little ice cream stand by the duck pond. Ryter had a duck eat duck food right out of the container and we had ice cream and then we just sat out by the pond by the cemetery (not IN the cemetery) and talked and watched for satellites. We were careful to avoid the other parked car, which we presumed contained 1 matched set of young people "making out," and by "making out" I'm offering a euphemism for "screwing their brains out." Or maybe, y'know, talking. But we like to assume the funniest of people.

But it was a very good day, and while for some reason we were completely incapable of kissing successfully on the first try without one of us tripping or bonking the other on the nose (I blame uneven ground), we got to talk about a lot of things-- some fairly important ones. And while I shouldn't really talk about it here, I'm guessing I will write a looong private journal entry tomorrow.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Adventures in Lawncare

The Brother has one regular chore in this house, and he gets paid for it and he works at it and doesn't do much else because he's scheduled down to the last second between the school band, the school jazz band, the drum corps he does after school and his girlfriend. But now he can't even do his ONE CHORE, he's so busy, so guess who agreed to take it over?

Problem: It's mowing the lawn.

First there was the safety lesson from my dad, with such gems as "Wear your heavy hiking boots or you'll hit a rock and break your ankle" and "Don't spill the oil on the ground or you'll rot in federal prison." And little chemistry lessons thrown in like "gasoline evaporates quickly." Because there's no way that someone who took a college chem class with a focus on organic chemistry would know that, I mean, really.

Then came the actual mowing, in the hot sun for hours, followed by going over the edges with a weedwhacker, hauling sticks in a wheelbarrow, carefully leaving the wildflowers on the lawn without leaving the grass around them, then going over the thing with pruning shears just to make sure I got all the obvious missed spots, and all the while I'm thinking Shit, between the gas exhaust spewing out of the mower and the fact that I'm contributing to the negative impact lawns have on natural ecosystems I'm basically raping Mother Nature's corpse right now.

This means that while I will probably do well in Ecology because I think things like that, I basically have proven that I will sell out for $32 (all that work and he said "Oh, you missed some spots" and took off $3 for it) and a lawn that doesn't make the neighbors want to evict us.

So I feel sweaty and gross, STILL, and my ankles are beat up and sore not from rocks, but from the fact that it was too hot to wear wool socks and my ankles were banging around in those stupid boots. I took them off as soon as I stopped using things with spinning sharpnesses.

I bet I have to do this the week after next, too.

How the heck did it get to be so late?

Today I baked a batch of cookies and went down to Massachusetts with Ryter for a cookout with his aunt and uncle and various other family members, most of whom he doesn't particularly care for. But while I did pick up the traits he warned me about, I thought they were all very nice. Family is never as annoying for those outside of it. Though his uncle did basically flat-out ask if I was Jewish, which was a little weird.

Their kid was at that question-age, where they want to know everything that's going on, which got Ryter in trouble like three times and his dad in trouble once too. Luckily I think he'll forget it all, if he understood it at all, but you have to be sooo careful around kids, you never know what they will repeat or internalize.

But it was okay, and they liked my cookies, which didn't flatten or become crispy for a change, and afterwards Ryter and I got to hang out and watch TV and just chill, which was nice. A pretty good day, I'd say.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

How Erudite of Us

Today was the Brother's prom night, so we dolled him up and took a bazillion pictures. He was very patient, in his schmancy tux. A year ago, I was going to my senior prom... wow. That's kinda daunting. Only a year-- I feel like it's been so much longer...


But this morning, before that, Shrewd took us over to David's Bridal so she could try on bridesmaid's dresses. I have to say, there is no place on earth with more estrogen than a bridal shop. Build-A-Bear pales in comparison, even. There were four males in the entire shop; one worked there and looked very effeminate, and the other three were nursing.

I've decided that the thing for me to do is have a Roman wedding. Girls get Grecian dresses, very pretty, guys wear togas and get to carry weaponry because that's the only way you get a guy into a toga when he's not going to get plastered with his frat, and at the reception, couches instead of normal chairs. Awesome, no?

Come on, TOGA WEDDING. How can you go wrong?

(PLus, togas are MUCH less expensive than tuxedos.)


This evening, Mummy, Daddy, Shrewd and I went out to dinner and then to see Shrek III, which was not as good as either of the previous Shreks, but I hesitated to see Pirates because there was talk, a while back, of me and Ryter seeing that together.

But while the movie was bad, we had a very interesting conversation on the subject of weddings, specifically the cost (Daddy thinks he has to pay the full cost of my wedding, to which I said, "I'll pay at least half" and Mummy said, "You may not be able to afford it" and I said, "If I can't afford it I'm clearly not ready to get married," meaning, if I feel the need to have an extravagant wedding despite being unable to afford one I'm clearly not ready for the financial responsibilities that come hand-in-hand with getting married and potentially having children).

The talk of weddings must have annoyed Daddy (well, specifically, the fact that I was saying that I wouldn't let him buy me a house as a wedding gift [he was probably joking, but it's the idea that he feels the need to provide a wedding and gifts as a sort of dowry] and Shrewd said she didn't intend to marry at all), because he changed the subject, and we started talking about religion via a question about Ryter's last name.

Now, follow me here... Ryter has a very Jewish last name... my mom then made fun of me and my sister for "always chasing the Jewish boys" (not fair, Shrewd's at Brandeis, that's all there IS)... I pointed out that he's just Jewish in lineage, but actually Buddhist... she began to pepper me with questions about Buddhism. Because you KNOW dating a person makes you an expert on their religion, I mean really.

Still, we wound up having a very insightful, intellectual conversation on literalism in the Bible, mistranslations, the original texts and the omitted ones, like the Book of Esther, I think it was, which was apparently too feminist for Peter-- and how all of this has led my father to view the Bible as a whole with a skeptic's eye. He's Christian, but he understands other influences on the Bible. It was just the sort of insightful conversation we used to have around the dinner table before we started having dinner around the coffee table, watching TV.

Friday, May 25, 2007

It helps when someone spilled jam in it

Today wasn't that exciting; I dropped off the applications and grabbed one more from Lane Bryant; I didn't notice their sign before. I'm actually hesitant to apply on account of one of the women working there seemed a little... brusque? She seemed like she was constantly in a rush and while she was helpful, she was like "Oh it's here now I'm going back to work over there." Which is okay, it's just not what I normally expect. I was kinda skittish about working there consequently, but I'm guessing it's more a long, busy day side effect than a sign that I would be unhappy there. I have the application.

The only issue with job-hunting is the clothes. Even when I'm not interviewing, just dropping off or picking up applications, I need to wear professional clothes because sometimes the managers come out and talk to you right then, and you have to look hireable, which for me means skirt (too hot for pants) and blouse. It's sticky and hot and vexing.


We also had a Family Game Night and played Life, which I won. The thing is, I only won because I gambled everything and was victorious. Life lesson: It's okay if you're poor going into retirement, just gamble everything on a whim and you can win, as long as you remember that the spinner always sticks on 1.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

I miss someone.

Today is a day marked Q.R.C.F., or Quando Rex Comitavit Fas. Basically, today is an unlawful day (as in, public sessions like court cases aren't allowed) until the the Rex Sacrorum declares a session of the comitia. I'm too tired to figure out what that means.


You know where they have cell phone reception? Mount Everest. You know where they don't have cell phone reception? Anywhere within my house or yard, in wealthy suburban America.

Do you see the problem here?


Today the job hunt continued as I applied at Home Depot and Sears, turned in my application to Partyrama, and picked up applications from a kiosk at the mall that makes those T-shirts with your face on them; Eddie Bauer, which is incidentally where one of my high school teachers works during the summer, and yes, that WOULD be weird; and a maternity store, which Shrewd, who was with me, seemed very uncomfortable about entering, for fear she'd catch the pregnant or something.

Then we went to another mall, a little farther away, so Shrewd could go to Lane Bryant to get some work clothes and I could hunt for more applications. That mall had more places hiring but they were all junior's boutiques like Wet Seal or Abercrombie, or else were really upscale places like Ann Taylor. Places like that usually want you to dress in the style of the store, so I didn't apply. I can't exactly buy a whole new wardrobe. But I did apply at a Hallmark-esque gift store and a Payless. Shrewd's going back to that mall tomorrow to go back to Lane Bryant and exchange some stuff so I'll tag along with her then and turn in the applications.

As I told my mother, this summer she can't nag me about not getting a job.


Shrewd and I also decided to bring Mummy and Daddy's old bikes in for repairs, so we could exercise by biking this summer. We set out to put the bike rack on her car, as it has a trailer hitch to attach the trailer-hitch bike rack to.

Ten minutes of struggling and pounding later: "I think the hitch is too rusty..."

Switched to the beat-up old junky bike rack and my car.

"Won't go on..."

When we finally set off, the front wheels were in the trunk, the two bikes were jammed in the back seat, and the handlebars were sticking out the windows.

But we did it. VICTORY!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Gah, I need to consider normal bedtimes again...

Today is the Tubilustrum, which was a ceremony used to make the army fit for war. They sacrificed an ewe and the priests would dance in the streets. The tubae, sacred trumpets, were used in the ceremony.

It's also the Feriae Volcano, which were rites in honor of Vulcan and Maia.


I had plans to meet KTMack and another friend from high school, who I will call Primaevus ("youthful," he can be a bit immature at times, but he's okay as long as I tell him when he needs to shut up) at 11:30 at the 99 for lunch. This was all well and good, but I woke up at 11:45. I got a querying phone call as I hurried about, trying to NOT resemble a she-beast of the planet Kromulon, but I made it only about forty minutes late so I figured it was okay... sorta...

Oh well. They waited, and it was cool, we got to catch up. I was actually concerned that it might be weird with KTMack, since I haven't really talked to him much except for the occasional wall note on Facebook since we broke up. But you know, it really wasn't. I think the fact that we were always better at being friends than significant others made the transition back a little smoother. I mean, us dating was like three months of frustrated awkwardness, and yet, he's an awesome friend and not the sort of person I'd want to lose touch with. He didn't even bat an eye when I talked about Ryter (I didn't bring it up, Primaevus did). Things are cool. Which is very, very cool.

After catching up for a bit I swung by TJ Maxx to figure out what my manager's name was, stopped in at Curves, which is in the same mall, to ask about summer membership, and then went home to shower and get dressed in my huntin' clothes.

Job hunting clothes, that is. As in, stuff that makes me look mildly responsible and adult. Skirt and a blouse sort of thing.

So I've officially applied at Shaw's and I got applications from Partyrama (it's like iParty only smaller), Hannaford's, and McDonald's, though I've had three or four people tell me that fast food is shitty, low-paying and dangerous, and I honestly don't feel like loitering around grease all day anyway, so I don't think I'll apply there. It seems like lots of places are hiring, at least. I intend to fill out an application to Home Depot tomorrow. I was going to go in today, and then I realized it was a hardware store and I was wearing a skirt, which was probably NOT the proper impression.

I hate this. I hate being petrified of not getting summer employment. I really don't want to spend another summer at home doing nothing but working out and watching TV, bored out of my skull. I need to interact with people. I can't spend too much time alone, I get depressed.

Beetlejuice is a weird movie.

I went to see my therapist today, and afterwards I went and spent a little time with Ryter. We went to the mall so he could pick up his new katana, which he was really excited about. It was cute. Now he has three katanas (katanae?), but the first two aren't "real," and no, I don't know how you can have a fake katana that isn't like, foam or something. He explained it to me, but... it's a sword. It's pretty and cool but I could never tell the difference between real and fake, myself. Something to do with the metal of the blade...?

Yeah, he totally just wants to be Hiro Nakamura.


So I was talking to my therapist today, and I've basically decided that I need to continue seeing her this summer, despite the fact that I don't normally see a therapist in the summertime and it's a pretty far drive. But you know, I can use it as an excuse to visit Ryter afterwards, and more importantly, I'll be able to focus on only a couple of things instead of trying to deal with everything at once like I do during the school year. It should work out.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Back... hurts... blah...

Today is the Agonalia, a day to honor various divinities. A ram was sacrificed by the rex sacrificulus. The ceremonies were supposed to help improve the prosperity of the state.


I was roused at 7 AM this morning and after a quick bagel, egg, and cheese sandwich I was hauled down to Brandeis to help Shrewd clean out her room. We packed up the car to the brim with her things, plus her roommate's fridge which was going to be thrown out. All the seniors were moving out at the same time, and since they were all going to different situations next year, they were throwing out a lot of their stuff, when it was still in good condition. Thus, Shrewd and I went dumpster-diving. I mean, what would you do?

We got dish ware, mostly, and a TV table and some black plastic stacking storage boxes. There was a LOT of stuff, though. Lots of booze. Shrewd was tempted to grab some but we decided that there was really very little on this earth that's sketchier than taking someone else's half-empty bottles of alcohol from the trash...

"The Best Advice: Call Your Mother"

200th POST! WOOOOOOO! Okay, celebration over.


Wow. What a weekend.

So Friday was the Convocation, and Saturday was the actual graduation for UNH. We didn't go, though; instead Ryter got dressed up in his cap and gown and we watched the graduation from his mother's hotel suite. We woke up when his favorite professor came by to apologize and say he couldn't go, and then we drove over and were treated to an excellent hotel breakfast followed by second breakfasts upstairs, delivered by his dad along with his father's father. So his mom, his mother's mother, his dad, his father's father, and his aunt for good measure all sat around the big TV and ate bagels as we watched the graduation.

H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton spoke, which was kinda cool. There were secret service agents everywhere. Apparently the interim president of UNH is a friend of Bush Sr., so she was able to get him to come. Clinton had to rush off to talk at Harvard after he spoke, though.

Anyway, after the graduation we all went back to Ryter's apartment for the graduation party, for which his parents brought basically enough sustenance for an army of teenage boys. There was a ridiculous amount of food there, and my pies were a hit, thankfully- I was worried that they weren't going to live up to the hype. Ryter did a shot with his dad and there were lots of photo ops.

After they left we just hung out for a while until Loquelo came over with his roommate and we played a board game and chilled until 10, when I headed home. I was tired driving home, which was bad, but I got here safely.

Then this morning I was roused early to go to Shrewd's graduation down at Brandeis. Grandpa, Grammy, my great-aunt, and Mummy and Daddy were all there; but with Grandpa in his wheelchair (he can walk, but not for distances and he can't stand a long time) and my great-aunt with her walker, we were a slow-moving group. I sat with Daddy in the non-handicap seats, up in the bleachers. I couldn't spot Shrewd in the crowd of graduates but we did see her when they plastered her face up on the big display screen.

The speaker was good, but I didn't recognize him, and apparently he's a part-time professor there so not particularly special for the graduates. The only reason he was speaking was because the previously booked speaker, a famous journalist, passed away a few weeks ago. Still, he did a very good job and I even stayed awake. The Benediction was particularly nice, as it was given jointly by the campus priest, rabbi, reverend and imam.

Afterwards we were given about an hour to get out, do a ten-minute walk over to the second, departmental graduation ceremony. Alas, it took forty-five minutes to just get out of the building, and we got separated-- Grandpa, Grammy, Daddy and I got there on time and saw it from the beginning but Mummy and my aunt were late. They still saw Shrewd walk up to get her diploma, though.

After a celebration at Bertucci's, they all went home and I stayed behind with Shrewd to help her pack-- she hadn't even started. That's what we're doing tomorrow, too-- going back and clearing out her place. Fabulous, no? I am so exhausted right now...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

I will tell you all about today tomorrow night. I'm too tired right now.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Tonight's entry shall be shorter than usual on account of I'm at Ryter's and he has the world's most annoying keyboard. But anyway, today was the Honors Convocation, so I was all prepared to wake up early and get over here with time to spare... and then the alarm didn't go off so I woke up late, and then as I was getting ready to go Mummy was like, "Clean up the kitchen," though she could SEE I was trying to go, so I had to do that, then she told me to finish unpacking the last of my boxes, which I did NOT do as I was already late. I moved it though.

Anyway, set off on the road with two homemade apple pies in the passenger seat, got on the highway and realized that my passenger door was open a bit. In dealing with the door I missed my exit, so I had to pull over, fix the door, and turn around. So I was late.

Once I arrived, we got some balloons and I started to decorate, and Ryter's mom and grandmother showed up. Ryter's grandma is very cool. WE all went to the Convocation together, so I wasn't sitting on my own, and I fell asleep during the keynote speaker's address to the students but I was at least able to remain alert for the calling of names and I snapped a shot of Loquelo, Ryter, and Inconcinnus as they each went up to get their Honors cord.

Afterwards Ryter's mom, dad, and grandmother went with us to this really cool Indian restaurant, and Loquelo came too because he couldn't find his folks and thought they hadn't shown up. They were appparently there, they just couldn't find each other. But then after an exellent dinner Loquelo came back to Ryter's with us and we all didn't pay attention to Serenity together. Much fun.

More tomorrow, the Big Day.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Hmm... I don't think I have anything to say today... or the will to say it.

Gah, I need to consider normal bedtimes again...

I'm at home, and the summer has OFFICIALLY begun. Well, almost. I start doing summer stuff on Monday, when I begin.... job hunting. Oh, fun. Until then I'm booked almost solid; Sunday and Saturday are devoted to graduations, I'm going to a honors Colloquium thingy for Ryter on Friday and tomorrow, I bake PIE.

(For the graduation party. I'm not just randomly baking pie. I do that, sometimes, particularly when I'm stressed-- I use baking as stress relief-- but this time, I have a real reason.)

So yes, summer begins. And yes, I am soooo glad that month from hell is over. Tests done, projects over, everything taken care of. I doubt that the Chem test gave me much of an advantage; it might give me like two points higher of a grade but I doubt it will make a big difference. That was a lot of information to process in only a week or so. We'll see.


Today, after my exam, I ran around like a nut loading up my car with a year's worth of shit minus the three boxes and the assorted appliances and clothes that already went home. Meanwhile it was raining. Luckily I employed the method of stuff-moving that my dad always suggests: recruit a strong young gentleman to assist. Luckily I had one on hand, though I did have to bring him back before I was done packing as he was preparing for his last meeting with Inconcinnus, his awkward friend, who is moving back to Georgia. However, Inconcinnus may be getting married, in which case I will bet money that Ryter goes to Georgia, and hopefully gets roped into wearing a suit or some fascsimile thereof. In which case, I WILL obtain pictures, even if it requires stalker-like movements.

Anyway, with the car packed up to the brim with crap and Menelaus secure in the front seat, packed in with pillows, I set off for home in the rain, remembered that I had some Tupperware of Ryter's, left it ninja-like in his door frame, then headed home, calling my mom as I went. "Hey, Mummy, I'm headed home now."

"Oh, really? I thought you weren't coming home until Wednesday!"


"It... is Wednesday..."

Is it any wonder this woman forgot her own daughter's birthday (Shrewd's, not mine)? Actually, she says, she didn't forget the birthday-- she forgot the month. Because that is so much better.


My grandmother is here, so I'm on the fold-out on the couch. I like how I spend a year away from home, I come back, and I'M the one on the couch, instead of just putting her into Shrewd's room, which is empty. Oh, wait, that's right, I actually cleaned my room. Damn, I hate being a dutiful daughter.

Okay, so I admit it. Most of my dutifulness lately has been an unspoken bribe for NOT having the "So... you're spending Friday night at a guy's house..." conversation. It's not that my mom would care, but she would tease me for it; my dad would look at me disapprovingly and also tease, but his would have an element of "I don't think this is really appropriate for you to be doing" to it.

But I am TAKING A STAND! I am Making My Own Choices to not have to drive to Durham reaaaally early on Saturday morning. Actually, I believe what I am doing is called "hiding and hoping that it doesn't come up." I mentioned it once, in the context of "I need the car." But... I'm going to be on the couch, so they can't complain. Except they can't KNOW I'm on the couch... Bah. Parents.


Okay, I really feel I need to share something I find very, very odd and mildly disturbing. My dad so old-fashioned he holds firm to his belief that people should be allowed to take "defective" or unwanted newborns out to the rain barrel and hold them under until they drown.

Yeah, I assumed he was being extreme to make a point about freedoms too. I figured he was be hyperbolic. But I mentioned that right to die vs. abortion debate to him, and he reiterated that point, so I asked him. And he confirmed that if such practices were not illegal, he would have been willing to do that to his own progeny had we been obviously deformed. Has to be done within a few hours of birth, though, he said, as if that makes it better... I'm pro-choice. But that's infanticide, not abortion. I wonder if he would have been pro-exposure if he lived in Rome?

Honestly, I don't care if the kid has two heads and only half a brain between them, if you let it actually get out of the birth canal, there is NO EXCUSE, it is a human being and that's murder. What I like is that my dad's a Christian, too. Congregationalist, you know, that faith that descended from the Puritans.

Actually, wait, that means nothing. According to the Bible:

"If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life." -- Exodus 21:22-23
"And if it be from a month old even unto five years old, then thy estimation shall be of the male five shekels of silver, and for the female thy estimation shall be three shekels of silver." -- Leviticus 27:6

Basically, a fetus or infant becomes a person when it's a month old, according to the Bible. Wow. Hmm.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Blech. Studying.

Today is the Mercuralia, a festival honoring Mercury/Hermes, god of messengers, merchants, and commerce, and his mother Maia, for whom the month of May is named. The day was celebrated by merchants sprinkling their heads, their ships, their merchandise, and even their stores or other businesses with water from a sacred well at the Porta Capena.


I studied today. Also bought some really tacky graduation decorations for Ryter's graduation party. It's slow going, though-- I have summer-brain and I can't concentrate on intermolecular forces and equilibriums. Hopefully I get over an 85 on the test tomorrow, thus increasing my grade in the class... but if not... *sigh*

Monday, May 14, 2007

I hate this empty room...

Today is a day honoring Mars/Ares.


I didn't study enough today, though I did move my car from the visitor's lot over to Ryter's and hung out for a while with him and Loquelo. I'm only seeing him very briefly tomorrow, so we can get stuff for his party. He wants to get it sooner rather than later. Other than that... nothing, really. Just studying.

Viking Funerals

The ghost [of Deiphobus] replied: "Your piety has paid all necessary rites to rest my wandering ghost; but cruel fate, and my more cruel wife, betrayed my sleeping life to Grecian swords. These are the monuments of Helen's love: the shame I bear below, the marks I bore above. You know in what deluding joys we passed the night that was by Heaven decreed our last: for when the fatal horse, descending down, filled with arms, overwhelmed the unhappy town, she feigned nocturnal orgies; left my bed, and led the dances mixed with Trojan women. Then, waving her torch high, she made the signal which called out the Greeks from their ambuscade. Overworn with watching, I had lain down to rest unhappy, with my cares oppressed, and my weary limbs possessed heavy sleep. Meanwhile my worthy wife mislaid our arms, and carried my sword from beneath my head; she unlatched the door, and with repeated calls invited her former lord within my walls. Thus she placed confidence in her crime, that she would redeem the past with new treasons. What more must I say? They ran into the room, and cruelly murdered a defenseless man. Low-born Odysseus led the way first." ~Aeneid, Book VI

Deiphobus died last night; found him this morning. I had a feeling this was coming; he was very sluggish and not really eating anything, and he used to be a real glutton. At least he died here at school and not like, mid-route home or anything.

My shoulders are ow.

I spent the day cleaning my room to grandmother-suitable levels, unpacking the first wave of boxes, and then going out to dinner with my mom. I didn't get back to campus until 11:00, and then I had to walk all the way from the visitor's lot, where I still don't know if I'm allowed to park... I intend to move it tomorrow, but I was too tired to drive around to find a lot I would be permitted to park in. But honestly, there's so few people here any more, they better not ticket me for taking someone's spot.

I have also discovered that I hate this room when I am the only one in it, and there is no signs of any roommate except the unused, empty furniture.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Zombie Walk

A video of the march! Much better pics than my own.

"The zombies! They changed the street names!"

Today is the Ludi Marti, a day of games to honor Mars/Ares, the god of war.


Oh. My. Lord.

That was SO AWESOME!!!

So after Mummy and Daddy picked me up and I brought most of my stuff home, I headed down to Waltham (only got lost once! possibly twice!) to meet up with Shrewd. First I gave her her birthday gifts: a sterling silver spinning ring which may or may not fit her and a sign that says "Math Party Zone" that I made her and she loves. I had originally intended it to be a "You're going to be a MATH TEACHER, ya dolt!" kind of sign, to hang in her classrooms as a badge of geekiness, but then she changed from entering teaching to entering lower management in the college-food-service industry. But she swears it will stay over her dresser for all time anyway.

Then we went to protest ZOMBIES!!!

Okay, explanation. Every year for the past two years, three including this one, a bunch of college kids (and some parents with small children) get together, dress up as zombies, and march/shuffle/lurch/perambulate from Davis Square to Central Square, via Harvard Square so any non-Bostonians can get an idea of where we were-- near the Harvard area.

We were not going as zombies.

We were going as people protesting the zombies. Not the right of people to dress up as zombies and march around, more power to them; rather we were taking it one step further and protesting the right of zombies to march. Shrewd described it as like a "Yes, and..." comedy routine, where you take whatever the last guy said, assume it to be absolutely true, and then take it one step further.

So we made signs out of poster board and sharpies. They said:

"SIX FEET DOWN WITH ZOMBIES!" ~that was my idea.
"WHAT WOULD ZOMBIE JESUS DO?" ~we weren't sure if this was for or against the zombies, but it was inspired by my suggesting "JESUS WAS A ZOMBIE," which we rejected as it might have been considered a bit offensive to Christians, and we hoped to focus our offensiveness towards the undead.
"[ZOMBIE SLUR]...[/ZOMBIE SLUR]" ~ This was voted "Geekiest Anti-Zombie Poster Ever"
"THEY TURNED ME INTO A ZOMBIE!!! ... (I got better)." ~This we didn't show too much because the "got better" part was too small to read, and it's really weird without it.
And the winner, which might actually wind up on the news tomorrow judging by the sheer number of pictures of it: "ZOMBIES ATE MY BABY!!!"

Meanwhile, we decided we also needed a pro-zombie counter-protest. So we designated Shrewd's diminutive friend to that role, and gave her a sign that said "DEAD RIGHTS! Equal opportunities for our non-breathing citizens, differently-living persons, and the vitally-challenged!"

So the four of us (me, Shrewd, her friend the counter-protester, and HER friend, the guy who told us about it in the first place) met up with one more protesting friend and walked to Davis Square (not from Waltham, we made the signs at the guy's house), where a large crowd was gathering, composed of probably at least five hundred people in zombie regalia.

And then we saw the other protesters. Apparently there were like three groups that came up with the same idea we did, and we quickly joined them to fight off the zombies, who were attacking us a little, and we exchanged chants of "Zombies go home!" with cries of "Braaaaaaains!" as our little counter-protester walked between us, totally in character, asking us to "Respect our undead brethren! Stop the hate!"

I was holding the "Crawl back into the hole you came from" sign, and I got interviewed by this guy doing some indie-art flick, but I couldn't stop smiling. Shrewd was interviewed next, holding the "They turned me into a zombie!" one, which he naturally asked a question about before she pointed to the little "I got better" at the bottom.

The march began, and we were off, running alongside the marchers with our signs, occasionally attempting and failing at chants like "Down with Zombies!" "No Pulse No Rights!" and "Kill the Zombies-- Again!" We were flanked by a young woman with very pink hair dressed up like a zombie slayer, who said "I'm just here to keep the peace, folks" and "People, if you provoke the zombies, I cannot be responsible for anything that may happen to you!" Meanwhile while some of the zombies were very good at their charade, others-- like this one woman in a fur coat with a "Billionaires for Bush" bag filled with fake money-- found our signs too funny to stay in character and wound up talking to us for a little while. I got smiles out of most people, especially after Shrewd ran off to play photographer and I wound up holding her "Zombies Ate My Baby!" sign. I also was informed by at least five people that they themselves had consumed the aforementioned infant. I assume I either had quintuplets or it was a very, very fat baby.

Of course, the enormous mass of marchers drove everyone not involved crazy. We were honked at a LOT. People who walked by either laughed at us, took pictures, or rolled their eyes and looked annoyed. The store owners were the most frustrated, as the zombies kept going up to their windows and mucking up the glass with their body paint. I kinda understood their annoyance. A couple of places put someone outside to say, over and over, "Please stay away from my windows. Please do not touch my windows." And when you saw the windows, you could totally see where they were coming from-- it was going to take a lot of cleaning to get off the grease.

Of course, there were plastered zombies who stumbled the whole way, and smoker-zombies who had to stop to smoke along the route or because they were out of breath, and one zombie who went up to claw at the door of a church (a bit rude, luckily no one was in there as far as I could tell and he stopped after a few seconds), and pretty much every variety of zombie imaginable-- newlyweds, nuns, priests, Waldo from "Where's Waldo," guys in drag, girls in evening gowns, Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz (she ate Toto!), lots of punks (they are zombiefied at a greater rate apparently), a rapper, a geisha, some doctors, a patient, a guy in a French Maid costume (holding a "We're Here, We're Undead, Get Used To It" sign),several circus performers, and a high-powered executive who attempted to "buy" our brains. He was a very articulate zombie.

Though I had issues staying in character-- a costume might have helped me, something to make me look like a bereaved mother of a zombie-eaten baby-- and Shrewd was just a photographer most of the time, our counter-protester and her friend who originally suggested the idea almost never broke character, not even when we were done and the crowd had disbanded. That was kind of annoying, actually; I get the improv nature of the whole thing but after there weren't any zombies around to protest it got awkward. Some people drove by and when they asked what we were doing, the guy we were with replied in character, and the guy who asked got really pissed off.

After we finished and were taking some final pictures of ourselves, a drunk or, alternatively, crazy homeless man came up and started talking to us. He showed us a spot on his shoulder and said, "Zombies attacked me, you know. I almost died. Right here. But they brought me back just in time to see a cop guide a thousand zombies across the street."

Then we rode the subway back to Davis Square with a punk zombie, who was very nice, if looking a bit green. On the way out of the subway we ran into a drunk guy who thought we were supporting the Brandeis Equestrian Team, on account of the jacket I was wearing that I stole from my sister and the large posters, which we had rolled up by then. We tried to explain it, but clearly alcohol inhibits one's ability to comprehend crazy anti-zombie college kids.

Anyway, there were some great lines from the day, like, "Zombies are people too!" replied with, "NOT ANY MORE THEY AREN'T!"

And then, "How dare you make fun of what might be the most vital issue in our society today!" from the counter-protester, and "HOW DARE WE NOT MAKE FUN OF IT!" from Shrewd.

"Oh, man, my voice is dying." (This was after much shouting.) "Oh my god, they killed your voice???" "Ha ha, ZOMBIES ATE MY VOICE! ZOMBIES ATE MY VOICE" (This was rasped out.)

"We must stop the intolerance! Lifeism is HATE!" to which Shrewd replied, "They ATE my BABY!!!" (She was holding that sign then.)

While I was holding the "Zombies Ate My Baby!" sign, one guy called out, "I think dingos ate your baby, sweetheart." Ah, geeks.

Actually, speaking of geeks, there was an interesting line I noted between the zombies and the protesters. The zombies tended to be punks, goths, subculture types; either that or they were parents with kids. There were lots of those too. However, the protesters were all geeky types like myself. The freak/geek dichotomy was interesting.

But I'm all tuckered out from bein' an anti-zombie bigot. I will add some pictures of this day as soon as I get them off my camera. G'night!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

But what the heck happened to the little Borg baby?

Last day of the Lemuria, involving a sacrifice to the Mana Genita-- the Manes.


Instead of taking the Chem final today, I slept in, packed up a lot of my crap, and then took Ryter out to Indian food and went back to his apartment to hang out. I'm not a big fan of the "Guys have to pay" thing, I think it's unfair to the guy who gets stuck with the bill all the time. So I do what my parents do-- if I can afford it, I pay; if he can, he pays; if we're both broke we split it; and if we both can afford it, whoever suggested that we go out to eat pays, though that doesn't really happen as it's fairly rare that we both have money on us. I mean, college kids.

While we ate (it was great food, by the way-- love Indian food, and I got chicken biryani) Ryter managed to accidentally send food down the wrong pipe (as opposed to the intentional sending-food-down-the-wrong-pipe that we kids are doing these days) and when he coughed, spicy beef curry and rice wound up in his nasal cavity. I think his eyes were still watering like an hour later.


Well, I should go to bed. After I move out half my stuff tomorrow and go home for Mother's Day on Sunday, I think I'm going to Boston to protest the terrible influence zombies are having on world affairs today. I mean, really. It's a crying shame.

Friday, May 11, 2007

*Changes Original Headline*

Second day of the Lemuria.


I took my Bio test today. I don't know how I did. I then discovered that I didn't have to take the Chem test tomorrow after all-- next Wednesday will be fine. This was good because it means that I'm back to my original plan, and bring a bunch of stuff home this weekend but come back next week, probably with a car.

And the fact that I didn't have the exam tomorrow meant that I was able to go visit Ryter today, which was good as he was feeling kinda down. I was pretty unhelpful but at least he wasn't alone.

Now it's late and I need sleep, I have much packing to do tomorrow...

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

When you cuddle with your cephalopods, it's probably time to stop drinking.

Today is the Lemuria, a day which sadly has nothing to do with lemurs, but a great deal to do with the Lemures, the spirits of the dead. They are allowed to wander the earth for three days from the ninth to the eleventh, and rites are performed in their honor. Also, Manes are offered beans in a house ritual-- Manes were like Lemures, spirits of the dead.


To all you people who SWORE that Spidey wasn't emo:

Now hush.


So today was pretty much entirely devoted to studying, with occasional breaks to frequent Fark and, which were distracting me, and also, this evening, to go to the pancake dinner at Philbook and eat French toast sticks just to be contrary.


On the plus side, I can now tell you EXACTLY how humans arose from protist ancestors, with every step along the way, and I am better equipped to deal with creationist attacks than I ever thought possible. Basically at this point there's no argument against animal evolution a creationist could use that I can't counter-attack. Woot!

A girl in the health care seminar on Monday was complaining about how she had disliked Biology on account of it was all about plants and bacteria and animals, and how she wanted to go into medicine and just wanted to learn about humans and pathogens and stuff. The professor said that that's a common discovery pre-med students make-- that biology isn't all about people.

I was kind of dumbfounded at that. Who goes into biology to learn about humans and pathogens? I'll learn that shit in med school. I wanted to learn about everything else. I mean, yes. I wanted to get the required courses out of the way without worrying that they weren't helping my major, too. But I also wanted to learn about evolution and genetics and all those things. I want to understand the world around me, because I think that the more I know, the closer I am to understanding the universe, and understanding the universe is very spiritually important to me.

It makes me mad that a subject I love is also the stereotype of the "don't care about undergrad" premed student, that only wants to get into a good school. It means that I'll have to work twice as hard to get noticed by admissions officers.

Time to study some more before bed...

Sheldon is always appropriate.

Today is a day honoring Mens, who is the goddess of the mind and consciousness, and if your first thought was of menstruation, don't worry, it was mine too.

If not, then, uhm... You heard nothing.


Not much to say today, as it's late. I just got back from Ryter's at 1, we watched Deep Impact and Volcano, both of which boast minimal science (well, Deep Impact is at least mildly feasible, if incredibly unlikely), and generally rotted our brains, then repaired them with a deep and meaningful discussion.

Report: I got a 75 on the ACS exam, so I have an 86 in Chem lecture. I will take the final but I won't study for it until after my Bio test on Thursday.

I got a 97 on the Bio presentation today. Thus, clearly, it went well. Hilarious, but some of the kids read off note cards the whole time so we lost some points. At least everyone showed up and was prepared, and I collected the bills from everyone and my professor had me distribute the repayment, which was in Sacajawea and Susan B. Anthony dollars. This made me giggle, and think of this:

He's also decided the test will be open note, but no handouts allowed. Alas, the margins of my handouts is where I took my notes, so I have to recopy stuff.

Now, the bed calls to me....

Monday, May 7, 2007

Last day of classes, and I am lulled to sleep by the partiers outside my window...

Today was nice. My first class was at 6:00 PM, as Chem and Latin are both over for the semester. So I rolled out of bed at 9:30 (okay, not THAT late, but still) and did my phylum paper, which I basically finished on my own because it was easier than trying to get together with my project partner. It was just a bunch of hard-to-spell classification names, anyway. That said, Zelinkaderidae sounds very, very cool and I want to use it in conversation more often.

Anyway, other than that... I went and met with the Honors program people like they asked me to, despite the fact that I'm not taking an Honors class next semester. They wanted to check in with me, so I wandered over to hear her tell me I was doing fine and ahead of the curve and all that good stuff that I already knew because I took four honors classes this year for a reason, namely, I wanted to not be worried about honors classes while taking Organic and Calculus.

It wasn't a total waste of time, though; for starters, got me out of the room for a while and out in the glorious weather, and she did let me know that there was a 444 class that I would have to take at some point, a specific kind of class that you take instead of one of your gen eds. They're pretty cool, though, I'm not too worried about it. I'll probably take it instead of a sociology credit, I want to do something hands-on for my Fine Arts requirement.


I also finally replaced the sunglasses that I lost after two days. My new pair are almost identical. I was going to get a cheaper pair at Zyla's, like Vivacia recommended yesterday, but they only had the tiny, not-fashionable ones, and every time I find a fashion that actually flatters my face (or body) I feel the need to jump on the bandwagon and ride it out, because it doesn't happen nearly enough.

I wound up getting a pair at Brooks. They are very Paris Hilton but cost me way more than I would have liked to spend ($12, clearly a sign that I am che-e-e-eap).


My only class today, and my last class for the semester, was the health care seminar. No speakers today, just an open discussion about the right to die (assisted suicide) and abortion. Basically he was saying that it is strange that we live in a country where assisted suicide is only legal in one state-- Oregon-- but abortion is legal in all states, partial birth abortions notwithstanding.

His point was pretty straightforward-- we're letting people decide to terminate other life (assuming you consider it such-- he clearly did, and told us to assume it was "for argument's sake"-- aka I don't want to hear other points of view) but not allowing them to terminate their own. The reason for this is that we have a prevailing idea in this country that anyone who wants to terminate their own life is mentally ill, because we fear our own deaths. Thus, the person who fears their continued life more than their death must be insane.

You will notice that the question of abortion always centers around when a fetus is considered a human life. That's because at that point it's murder. Once the fetus is considered human, the only way you can justify aborting it is if it's going to die anyway, like if it's missing major organs. If a baby has no brain or no kidneys or something, it's going to die, there's no saving it.

Personally, while I might abort a fetus with Potter's Syndrome (that's a lack of kidneys) in the most humane way possible on the grounds that it would feel pain before it's death, if I had an anencephalic child (that's no brain, or not enough brain to survive) that was otherwise healthy and I myself was healthy, I hope I would have the courage to carry it to term to provide it's organs to other newborns who might die otherwise. Anencephalic infants cannot feel pain.

But the question is always "When does life begin?" not "Is life going to be worthwhile?" People shy away from that question, on the grounds that "any life is better than no life." Anencephaly or Potter's Syndrome are extremes, and most people who don't have religious reasons saying otherwise will abort or accept that someone else would abort such a child. But what about things that are more gray areas?

Let's say a fetus has a mental defect that means they are physically normal and healthy but are incapable of development, and will always be at the mental level of an infant. Many women would abort. Now let's say someone got into an accident that destroyed part of their brain, leaving them at that same developmental state. It would be unheard of to provide euthanasia for such a person because it's murder. The reason? The fetus could be considered "not yet alive."

But I'm not trying to talk about abortion today; I'll just clarify that I personally would only undergo an abortion if the fetus had severe enough birth defects that it could never be adopted, and I was unable to care for it myself. As a healthy, intelligent young white American woman with minimal genetic illness in my family I'm betting that any offspring I'd ever accidentally produce would be adopted instantly, depending on the state of the father. Not, mind you, that I ever expect this to be an issue.

The issue is that euthanasia is illegal. Say a man is dying from cancer. He is in a great deal of pain, enough that morphine barely helps. He says that he wants to die, he wants to kill himself. What happens? They have him talk to a counselor. Because he's suicidal. Some hospitals would even put him on a suicide watch.

I more than anyone know that suicide is a serious problem and should not be ignored. If someone is healthy and young but depressed, though, that's curable. If the cause of their pain is terminal illness, it's not. Euthanasia is legal in Oregon and in Belgium, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. The Netherlands only allow it in the case of terminal illness.

The thing is, we find it much easier to believe that a person could, in sound mind, objectively choose to end the life of another who was suffering than that a person would choose to end their own. Because anyone who wants to die must be suicidal and depressed. It couldn't possibly be that they are dying anyway, are in pain, and have rationally decided that they no longer fear death as much as they fear pain.

I don't fear death. I don't want to die, but I'm not afraid of death. The funny thing is I don't even know for sure what kind of afterlife there is, and for all I know I could be going to the Christian Hell to burn with the idolaters or something, but I figure, if it comes it comes. I'm not going to hasten my own death and I will fight violently to protect it as long as I am healthy and whole, but when my time comes, it comes. When my brain is incapable of even a facsimile of my current mental processes, I am dead. If I have a personality but it is just radically different and the memories are gone, I am dead; that's not me. If I am brain dead or in a persistent vegetative state, I am dead. And if I'm incapable of living outside of a hospital and I will never get better, and I am in pain, I'm not dead, but I might as well be. I want people to see that acceptance of death is not depression, but is merely... acceptance.

You know, of all the things that one can gripe about over and over again, this issue is the most valuable. I'm hoping that if I'm ever brain dead there will be no long discussion or court battle, but merely a discussion of my prognosis with the doctors, a medical consensus, and a quick trip to the judge, because all of the interwebs knows that I don't want to be the next Terry Schiavo.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Spiderman is emo now, didya notice?

So... remember how that Chem exam was going to be the week after next, thus giving me a whole week between them in which I could study for Chem and forget Bio?

I was wrong.

It's Friday or nothing.


I don't have TIME to study for Chem AND Bio! That's what screwed me over last time when I flunked that Bio exam! How the hell am I supposed to deal with this? I mean, it's an optional final. But I really, really wanted it to be a choice, and now it might not be, not really.

As best as I can calculate, I have a 86% in that course, not factoring in the ACS exam and assuming I have about an 80 in lab. That's a B. I wanted to get an A-, but will settle (grudgingly) for a B+, which requires an 87%.

I don't know what grade I will have to get overall, all told, to induce me to try to study for Chem and take that final. I haven't decided if I want to settle for a B or not. I must think. And talk to my folks.


Today I woke up at 11:00 or so when Vivacia (formerly known as Mistake, if you're not caught up on recent posts) called, asking me if I wanted to go to the mall. I, in sleepiness, replied that I thought I had stuff to do and I didn't think I could. She seemed rather upset but said okay.

About half an hour later, once I had actually woken up, I thought about it, and realized that I hadn't had anything planned for today besides meeting Ryter's mom for dinner, and I could have easily gone to the mall. So I called Vivacia back and spent waaaaay too long convincing her that I did actually want to go, but my sleepy coma had stopped me from voicing my true intentions.

So we went to the mall... I got a sundress, actually, though the whole point was to get gifts for Mother's Day. I got one of those too. But I did get a pretty red and white sundress for summer, and it was only $25. I also saw the prettiest red-gemstone silver ring at a really cool jewelry store in the mall, but it was $10 for one ring and I decided I shouldn't spend that much money on myself. But... PRETTY. And SHINY. I was sad. I really liked it.


Vivacia wasn't feeling very well, but she needed a gift for her mom, and then we had to kill time before the bus got back, so we wandered around and made Closer stand in the girlie stores like Urban Behavior, and went to the pet store the next mall over and freaked out when a bunny looked like it was dying (he was fine), until the bus came and they left, and I stuck around to meet Ryter over by iParty.

Anyway, it was fun; I've missed seeing Vivacia. There is a well-documented syndrome that says the first time a girl gets a boyfriend, she will ditch her friends for the sake of the guy until she figures out how to balance the two. I didn't have this issue with KTMack because it was summer and I wasn't doing anything and he and Vivacia both had jobs. But now Vivacia and I both have classes and finals to study for, so I'm already crazy busy, and then I spend so much time with Ryter...

The trouble with this syndrome is all romantic relationships must eventually end*, but friendships needn't. Thus one should never forget their friends for a Significant Other, and I'm only now learning to balance the whole thing.


Anyway, I met up with Ryter and Vivacia and Closer went home to study. We met at iParty so he could get some stuff for a class party. At about the same time I cautioned him that since he was having me spend the night at his place before his graduation, I was going to be obligated to decorate his apartment in the most gaudy, god-awful, tacky graduation-themed decorations I could find.

He is very enthusiastic about this idea.

We then went over to his car to wait for his mom. Fifteen minutes later, I met her and we went into T.G.I.Friday's for dinner. Ryter's mom is very nice, and man, can I see where Ryter gets it all. I mean, the two of them are soooo alike, even more so than Ryter and his dad. But she was cool and I got to have a decent meal, as opposed to school food.

Ryter and I hung out for a little while afterwards, but ended it earlier than usual. We were both tired. But it was a very good day, until I discovered the Chem stuff...

*We are ignoring the marriage alternative, of course. But having your spouse be your only close friend isn't that great an idea either.

In Which I Apologize For The Lack Of Posts

My my, do I have some catching up to do. I'm sorry, late nights and much homework have distracted me from the blog...

Thursday was primarily devoted to homework; I didn't get as much Chem studying in as I might have liked but I finished my project, and then needed to practice it. Alas, I was at a loss as to who would want to sit through a 10 minute presentation on the gods that were unique to the Roman pantheon (as opposed to those borrowed wholy from other regions). I complained along these lines to Ryter via AIM and he immediately invited me over to practice it in front of himself and Loquelo, who was visiting. After much reassurance that it was okay (I am a nervous sort and hate being a burden) I consented in exchange for buying them a pizza. I thought it a fair trade.

One half-sausage-half-mushrooms-and-black-olive pizza and a lot of procrastination later, I gave my lovely speech, and was informed that while it was engaging, it was 25 minutes long. Factoring in the amount of time we got distracted it was probably about 23 minutes. So I knew I had to cut it down to a more manageable size, anyway. But I got back late because of this and still had studying for the Chem test the next day, so I was unable to write.


The Chem test went surprisingly well, considering that I spent maybe a half hour preparing for it. I didn't remember everything but I think I got a decent amount correct, at least. We'll see.

As for that Latin presentation, I think it went well. Forgot nothing, paused seldom, only took fifteen minutes all told and I think I did well.


After Latin I walked over to Ryter's apartment (it's a short walk from Murkland Hall) and helped him get ready for the party. This was basically washing dishes and sweeping the floor. I was a little worried that I would seem pushy or something, or like I was calling him a slob (Which would go somewhat like this: "Hi, kettle. My, you're looking black today"). But we got the place ready, then bought party supplies (the alcohol, though, he bought earlier) and then hung out until the first gues arrived, a very close friend of Ryter's named Inconcinnus, or at least, named that here because it would kinda suck if you had a parent who named you after the Latin for "awkward, inelegant, and absurd." The reason for this naming will become patently obvious.

Ryter showed Inconcinnus his sword upstairs (REAL sword. It's a katana. Though when you're downstairs and they're up there saying "Oh, cool, can I hold it?" and "That's so cool, I need to show you mine someday" giggles are induced. Ryter apologized for abandoning me at one point, so I pointed out that I was getting a good laugh out of it. Living up to his name, Inconcinnus [and Ryter] promptly started making the lewdest sword-related innuendos they could conceive), and then Inconcinnus discovered the foam sword Ryter bought when he visited me in Londonderry, and it was decided that the party would be unable to progress unless I fetched my sword from my dorm. I took Ryter's SUV, fetched the sword and also some bubbles, and returned, and I only drove the damn over sized thing over a curb once.


When I got there, the company had increased by two, both guys (or maybe not, I'm a little fuzzy on who arrived when), and there was a sword fight on the deck, then Inconcinnus discovered the bubbles and started to blow them, and continued through the arrival of two more (one girl, one guy), even blowing them down from the opening between the loft and the kitchen so they would fall down into the kitchen without an obvious source...

They played a video game, Soul Caliber for a few rounds, then put on a bad kung-fu movie to comment on. The girl left after only 45 minutes, pleading homework, and a while after Loquelo showed up with a female friend, and then the awkwardness began... Put Loquelo and Ryter in a room and the sketch factor raises precipitously. Inconcinnus could stand in a room all by himself and the sketch factor would be raised. Three of them together... yeah.

But it was fun. There wasn't that much drinking, really-- only about three people seriously drank and no one was really impaired. The majority of us steered clear of the alcohol. The biggest the party ever was was ten people, enough to please Ryter (who had been worried that no one would show besides like, me, and maybe one other person), but not so much that I started to get nervous, which happens at around fifteen. And yes, I go through my classes in a constantly nervous state. Plus everyone had fun and it was in general a rousing success, and I survived Never Have I Ever without making it uncomfortable (I've gotten much, much better at that, but in my heyday I could have topped Ryter, Loquelo, and Inconcinnus combined), and I carefully seem to have forgotten everything awkward Ryter may have admitted that I didn't already know, which is convenient.

Alas, it was 2:30 when I got back last night, I started to write this blog entry then gave up and went to bed.


Today I woke up late, went to see Spiderman 3 with Ryter (and went to a Fresh City for dinner, there's one here! This is exciting), and then we went back to his place and had a quiet, low-stress evening, which was nice. We watched the Count of Monte Cristo and then I mentioned that it was a kind of sandwich and I think I have instilled in Ryter a serious desire to eat one. I have no problem with this... Sans the ham, Monte Cristos sound pretty good.


2:03. Shit. Well, I'll sleep in late tomorrow.

Saturday, May 5, 2007


You know what? Screw it. No entry today. I'll write a real one tomorrow.

Friday, May 4, 2007


Last day of the Floralia.

Real post tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Facebook is extreme college!

Floralia continues:

Also, it is Shrewd's birthday today, thus making her OLD. She's 22. That's not really old, but I'm going to pretend it is because she's my big sister and it's my job.

Also born today, though many years ago, was Catherine the Great, who is much more important than Shrewd. However, Shrewd is much less likely to wage war on the Ottomans. She is more likely to wage war on ottomans, though.

Other pertinent things that happened today in history:

1808: The Peninsular War: The people of Madrid rise up in rebellion against French occupation.

1863: In the American Civil War, Stonewall Jackson is wounded by friendly fire while returning to camp after reconnoitering for the Battle of Chancellorsville. He succumbs to pneumonia 8 days later.

1885: Good Housekeeping magazine goes on sale for the first time.

1933: Gleichschaltung: Adolf Hitler bans trade unions.

1945: World War II: Fall of Berlin - The Soviet Union announces the capture of Berlin and Soviet soldiers hoist their red flag over the Reichstag building. German forces surrender in Italy. German forces surrender to the New Zealand Army in Trieste.

# 1946: "Battle of Alcatraz" - Alcatraz Federal prison, San Francisco is taken over by six inmates following failed escape attempt

1953: Hussein is crowned King of Jordan.

1964: Vietnam War: An explosion sinks the USS Card while docked at Saigon. Viet Cong forces are suspected of placing a bomb on the ship.

1982: Falklands War: The British nuclear submarine HMS Conqueror sinks the Argentine cruiser ARA General Belgrano.

1995: During the Croatian War of Independence, Serb forces fire cluster bombs at Zagreb, killing 7 and wounding over 175 civilians.

2005: Airwork Flight 23 crashes after structural failure.

Trend? What trend?


Anyway, in other news-- I am swamped with homework and will write more tomorrow. Possibly Friday, I have homework tomorrow. Possibly Saturday, there is a party on Friday. No, Marx will not be there, and he will not have a lampshade on his head.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Awkward to the 100th Degree

Happy More Floralia:

Also, today is the Festival of the Lares Praestites, the Lares (protective spirits) of the State (of Rome); it is also sacred to Angitia, a goddess of healing and prophecy, and she was honored by a Procession of the Serpents, which I don't feel like researching but it sounds fun.


I got an A on my Bio test! As in, 100%! He even wrote WOW! in big letters on the top of the page! This is AWESOME... but it was tempered by the Chem test, which I got a 76 on. Luckily that's only 9% of my overall grade. So hopefully this will not be a crisis...


I woke up late today. Like... 9:38, for a 9:40 class. Needless to say, I was late... I immediately got up and got dressed, brushed my teeth, and flew over to the Bio class to arrive about fifteen minutes late and unfed or showered. Luckily they were just watching a movie about Yellowstone fires. I ate afterwards, but then I had to shower, and I was basically thrown off for the whole day.

Consequently while I DID start my Latin project it is oh-so-far from being done...


Ryter has apparently had a long-held goal to go to class drunk once before he graduates, and with only a few days left, today was the day. I was hoping for some excellent story about it, but apparently four beers and a shot of tequila only served to make him mildly tipsy, so he was able to go through class undetected and even took decent notes.

See, I could never do that, on account of I'm guessing that being drunk would have a lot of the same effects that being tired has on me, namely silliness, no internal filter, that sort of thing. And I can't take notes sober and tired, they start out lovely and quickly progress to what appears to say "In the Devo er plnis diverferid vasclr plt tis perd."*

Then there's the fact that I've never really drunk alcohol before, so I bet I'd need like two shots to get to the "WOOO Partay oh look a large thing coming to meet me hmm it seems nice OOMPH that's a floor I'ma just gonna lie here for a bit, mmmkay?" stage.


I'm out of stuff to say. So here:

In Communist Russia, the Party finds YOU, and it is HOPPIN'.

*"In the Devonian era, plants diversified and vascular plant tissues appeared."