Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Movie Night!

Happy Halloween!

I had hoped to do something like a party tonight, but the campus was pretty dead, so Ryter and I had a movie night. We wanted to watch something scary, but I had suggested a while back that he might like the Stepford Wives, so we rented both the 1975 version and the completely-different modern version.

I was surprised, I thought he'd prefer the 1975 version because it ends with the main character getting replaced by a robot, rather than the modern one, which has a happy ending and is really more "funny" than "scary." But then again, the old version was kind of weird. Creepy, too.

Of course, the trouble with the modern "Stepford Wives" is that a lot of it doesn't make sense. Like, clearly the women have robotic bodies (ATM girl, and Bobbie's hand) and yet, they have normal brains (just with chips) and are able to go back to their old lives? What, did they keep the old bodies in storage? To suspend my disbelief, I went with the "robotic parts but not all robotic" idea, like they had cybernetic implants and stuff.

And the ending, while cute, was RIDICULOUS. A man turns you into a cooking, cleaning sex-bot and rather than, I don't know, DIVORCE him and have him ARRESTED for domestic abuse and brainwashing and SUE him for damages, you... make him do your grocery shopping? Riiiiiiight.

Of course, all Ryter could point out while we watched the 1975 version was, "But what do they do with the BODIES?" Now remember kids, in 1975 Stepford, don't eat the burgers.

We were talking about the logistics of a place like Stepford actually existing, if the technology was up to speed. The trouble with it is, though, women like that-- smart career women-- don't marry the kind of misogynists who actually would want a Stepford wife. They marry nice guys who can at least sort of keep up with them intellectually, and nice intellectual men can't be married to people who won't offer them more than sex and cookies. They need to be able to have a conversation with their wife. In that sense, 1975 Stepford were more realistic, because those women had already accepted the stay-at-home mom lifestyle, and in that time period it was more acceptable for men to be at least mildly misogynistic. If someone tried to Stepfordize their wife today, the relationship would probably already be abusive and people who saw the change would assume the woman was becoming mentally ill and report it.

If I had the technology to make a robotic Ryter, you know what I'd do? I'd make a robotic ROBOT to do the cooking and cleaning and grocery shopping, and keep Ryter the way he was. Why go to all that trouble to make a house-cleaning sexbot when you could be having sex WHILE your house got cleaned?


I also wore my costume to Biostats class, and brought my camera intending to take pictures, but I left said camera in Ecology and then it vanished. Two hours, five checks and a panic attack later, I learned that someone turned it in to the professor of the class that is in that room afterwards, so I sent him an email. Hopefully he still has it.

I hate panic attacks, especially when I'm so sick I can't hear and my ears are constantly popping and I feel feverish.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I'm a little slow lately.

Now, finally, a week later, I'm putting these Intertidal Zone pictures up.

If you want to know where this was, it's Fort Stark in Newcastle, NH. Very nice place. Here are some "Look how pretty it is" shots.

The rocks had cool layers to them, like ribbons.

And now, the lab. We lay out two of these little plots and counted all the organisms in them-- the seaweed, snails, barnacles, and mussels. Look at all the barnacles! That was annoying to count-- there were over 400.

There were three kinds of snails. The one on the far left is a carnivorous snail, not native to the region. It eats by latching on to other shellfish and scraping a hole through the prey's shell. The next one is also not indigenous-- we know of it as the common periwinkle. The third one, the tiny one, is the native aquatic snail in this region, also a periwinkle.

Also, I found an empty sea-urchin shell.

It's a great area, lots of tidal pools and fun to explore.

Monday, October 29, 2007


My head weighs five hundred pounds and is stuffed with cotton pain, my nasal cavity is dealing with an overpopulation of mucus and my left nostril has decided to grant amnesty, and my throat aches so much I've been popping cough drops until my teeth feel furry.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

I have returned.

Today is the first day of the five-day Isia inventio Osiris, the Passion of Isis in her search for the dismembered body of Osiris.


Yesterday was the Halloween dance, and I, like a moron, forgot my camera. Dang. Well, I'll post a (headless) picture of my awesome costume later, and also Ryter's cool Byzantine soldier costume.

At the dance, I saw several cool costumes, like the full Power Ranger set, Bill and Ted from Bill and Ted's Most Excellent Adventure, and Captain Orange, who informs kids about Vitamin C! And of course, there was the obligatory sexy maids, sexy nurse, sexy witches, sexy pirates, sexy angel, sexy schoolgirls, sexy Hogwarts witch, sexy 1920's gangster, sexy Leia in her slave girl outfit and several prostitutes.

Not that I wasn't wearing red thigh-high boots with five-inch-heels, and not that I really mind sexy costumes, but sometimes you like to see a bit more variety, you know? Not that it's their fault, if you buy a costume as an adult woman you're basically stuck with "sexy," as Vivacia and I learned last year. But anyway, it was fun despite my feet KILLING ME by the end. Ryter and I left as soon as the costume contest was announced (I didn't win, the Power Rangers were Best Group, Where's Waldo was Most Creative, and the class president won with a store-bought superhero costume (but since he knew EXACTLY who I was without guessing "Devil?" I can't fault him for it. Props to the comic fans, y'know). Unfortunately, Vivacia couldn't really come until later (by which time I was spending most of my time sitting or standing in one place uncomfortably, not dancing) so I didn't get to see her much. Oh well, next weekend is her birthday and I will be around for that.


I'll post about my Tuesday field trip when I get around to uploading the pictures. As for the Organic test, it was okay. I didn't FAIL it, at least-- I'm guessing a low B. Also, I got a perfect ten on my last Biostats quiz, which is VERY exciting because I was worried about that class.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Busy busy busy

I haven't been writing because I have an Organic midterm Friday and I've been assembling my costume, which requires lots of sewing on the cape. On the plus side, I have all the pieces and it will be awesome.

Sometime soon I will write about my trip to the ocean for lab.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Short post

Ryter and I saw Transformers today. Awesome. Awesome awesome awesome. Go see it.

Also got the cloth for my cape. This will be fun.

And that's pretty much it...

Friday, October 19, 2007

I think I annoyed Vivacia with my crazy school reform ideas.

Holy shit! My last entry was # 300 and I forgot! Oh well. Congrats to me, that was my 300th blog post! Wooo!


Sorry I forgot to write a blog entry last night, Ryter and I hung out after my reall not-fun Chem lab (four hours and I only got 1% yield for one sample) and watched the movie Se7en, all because Ryter is doing a short preliminary-to-a-novel story on a telekinetic serial killer and I said, "You know, I always thought it would be cool to do a story about a killer whose MO is based on the seven deadly sins."

He then said, "You know what? Get in the car. We're going to Blockbuster."

So my idea's been done. I liked the movie, actually, though it was very creepy. Hang on a second....


Not that you should, it was released over ten years ago. Still, only fair to warn people.

I have to say, my favorite murder by far was the Sloth one. Chaining a guy to a bed and keeping him alive as his body is covered in excruciating sores until he looks like an long-dead corpse and his mind slowly turns to mush, so he can't identify you when he is found? Cutting off his hand to place his fingerprints at the scene of another crime, thus leading the cops to him at the perfect time? And even paying his rent so that his landlord never complained or noticed? That's impressive.

The writers were pretty creative with the murders. Gluttony= force feeding was kind of obvious, but a pound of flesh from the greedy man then bleeding him dry, that was clever. Although the "lust" one, making a john strap on a penis sheath with a blade on the end and stab a prostitute through the uterus, creeped me out because there are actually people who might make that sort of shit for someone. Gah. The model for Pride was interesting because I actually have trouble believing even a model would choose suicide over disfigured survival. I mean, really, you'd think she'd know something about plastic surgery. Someone could build her a new nose to replace the one he cut off.

The only part that really bugged me, though, was the final scene, specifically mailing the young detective's wife's head to him. Creepy and effective, yes. But I have two problems with it. One, Doe SPECIFICALLY said in the car that his victims were not "innocent people." As in, he killed them because they were sinners. He didn't think he was a monster for it, because they were not innocent. And yet... he kills a pregnant woman and her fetus with her, just to get at the guy he wants to peg as Wrath? Maybe he could justify the woman as obviously a sinner because all people are guilty of some sin, but Catholic dogma, which he was following, states that a child can't be accountable for their sins until they are seven years old, and that a newborn has only the original sin. By his own rules he should have been forced to leave her alone as soon as she said she was pregnant.

Also, I thought the detective should have died. All the other representations of sin died. Why not Wrath? I figured he should have killed himself and it should have ended right then.

But anyway.


Today Vivacia and I had girl time. We talked and I helped her bake a cake for her mom's birthday, which they are celebrating tomorrow. It was fun.

And yet, while I like spending time with her, this is the first weekend since I got back to school that I haven't spent the night at Ryter's. It's actually been a couple months since I went a week without spending the night at Ryter's.

AHHH! Boyfriend withdrawal... No. Must. Kick. Habit...

I'm lonely.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

And there weren't even any bears!

So about yesterday.

We went to College Woods for lab to identify and count trees. First he told us all about the different kinds of trees you could find in the area, most of which we didn't actually find ourselves. Then he had us each measure out two four meter-by-four meter squares in the middle of the woods, measure the diameter of each tree in them, and identify it. This wouldn't have been that bad except that your average 4m x 4m plot of woodland has about 30 trees, some of which are quite large in diameter and required multiple people to measure (our biggest was 79 cm in diameter) and all of which like to poke you. Some were hard to identify-- we had to look at my camera pictures and get some help to figure out the red oak-- but about 95% of them were eastern hemlock. I got really sick of hemlocks.

Here are the trees we found:

Also, some pretty shots of the woods:

I need to go there for walks more often. It's not that far from campus.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I have an odd affection for that picture.

I will tell you all about my trip through College Woods to hug trees tomorrow, but for tonight, I have a Biostats paper I just finished and two epodes to translate so I'm afraid you'll have to settle for something random.

Well, I warned you it was random.

Monday, October 15, 2007

If I type "Lee Bog" enough I'll get even MORE visitors!

No real blog entry tonight, I had a big paper for Ecology. I do find it interesting, though, that in researching this paper, which is about Lee Bog, I typed "Lee Bog" into Google and got... my own damn blog.

I appear to be the foremost authority on the ecology of Lee Bog. At least according to the Internet, which we all know is God.

I only wonder if my classmates got shunted here as well. Don't rely on me! I'm not as smart as I pretend I am!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Redneck step-uncles: the best kind of redneck uncle.

You know how I've been having issues with feeling like reality is surreal? Well, the worst thing to do in that state of mind is go to a haunted house. I was scared shitless. Ryter's knuckles suffered quite a bit.

Loquelo, Loquelo's housemate Quiesa, Ryter and I went to the Haunted Acres in Epping, where they've got two haunted houses, a haunted maze, and a haunted walk through the woods. Ryter had never been to a haunted house before. We went to the Haunted Saloon/Mineshaft first, where I made the mistake of going last, and thus was the victim of the various monsters who followed us a bit too closely. Quiesa would scream bloody murder when people jumped out, which made the whole thing five times scarier. It was all Western-themed. Ryter said "Hi" to all the actors, just randomly.

The next one was the Atomic House, designed to show nuclear fallout. For this one they gave us 3-D glasses, which did make the whole thing very psychedelic and a bit like an acid trip, but which also, alas, refused to stay on, and when they were on they made it very hard to find my footing on the floor, which went up and down at random times. I wound up taking them off for the uneven parts. The strobe lights were a challenge, though. At one point someone jumped out at me while I was messing with the glasses and I shrieked, which was one of the few times Ryter actually admitted he got scared.

Then we went to the maze, which was just that-- a maze-- only in almost complete darkness, with hidden doors from which costumed people would wander out, surprise us, and follow us. We got lost a few times, and this one guy with a meat cleaver who looked exactly like Loquelo in the darkness got between Ryter, Quiesa and I and Loquelo, and trapped us in a dead end. Thankfully they weren't allowed to touch us so we got past him, but he followed us all the way to the exit and scared the CRAP out of Quiesa. Meanwhile Ryter and Loquelo were laughing, and they both have these high-pitched, creepy laughs that weren't really helping matters.

Then we finished by doing the quarter-mile Nightmare Walk through the woods. First guy we see has this big-ass sword and comes running straight at Quiesa, raising it in the air. She shrieked and cowered. Of course he didn't touch her, but she was crying as she laughed afterwards. The walk was by far the scariest. Even Ryter was scared, at least until he figured out the pattern of where the people were hiding, waiting to jump out at us. There was a six-foot-high dragon, lots of ghouls and witches, and a guy with a real, running chainsaw that smelled terrible. I admit, my heart was in my throat. The fact that we were in the woods-- and thus there was real wilderness on either side, and we accidentally went off the path once, and it was REALLY dark in spots-- made it much worse.

Ryter LOVED it. Especially the Atomic House and the walk, of course. He had a ball. Me, not so much. I don't like being really scared, and the fact that I have had trouble with reality vs. fantasy lately was making it very, very hard. I didn't realize it would be that bad. Still, it was fun, and I'm glad I went with someone whose hand I could grab onto and basically not let go of the entire time...


Yesterday was Ryter's grandfather's engagement party. Basically, like 40 people of his extended family on his dad's side, all gathered together in this little ranch house... It wasn't that bad. It was a bit claustrophobic at times, but everyone was really nice, and Ryter's favorite uncle was there from LA as a surprise, which was cool. Plus we got to laugh at the antics of his redneck soon-to-be step-uncles in many different levels of sobriety.

Ryter has learned that his uncle, a man he and his entire family does not like, is paying for the bar bill at the wedding (which will be one day after I turn 21, incidentally). Thus, he and much of his family has decided to get as plastered as is humanly possible, as fast as possible.

I will be driving us back from this wedding, methinks.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Trying to be both vague and specific at the same time is rather challenging.

It appears this business of bursting into tears pretty much every night that I am alone is going to become a habit.

I'm glad I spent the night at home, though honestly I wish I could have spent another night, or a whole weekend. I did get to get some apples and cider today, and see the ducks at the local apple orchard's duck pond. They used to advertise "FEED THE DUCKS!" and sell duck food, but I think some environmentalist got to them because now the sign says "PLEASE DON'T FEED THE DUCKS-- THEY NEED TO BE ABLE TO FLY!"

And I talked to my dad about Thanksgiving. He refuses to let it be moved to Friday but was okay with eating at 12 or 1 and letting me go to Ryter's family dinner afterwards. The only question is if my aunt can come up that early. My mom will talk to her.

And now I'm back at school, a little later than planned. I think this stress won't go away until I solve the problems that are causing it-- no amount of relaxation will help. I just wish I could say how successful I will be at that.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Not this shit again.

I managed to skip Biostats today. Not intentionally. We were dismissed from Organic and, instead of sitting there and waiting for my professor to come in, I just... left. I spaced. I honestly thought it was time for me to go. I forgot a whole hour of my day.

But oh well. I can catch up later. I'm stressed, is all.


I'm at home right now, which will help. I talked to my mom about Thanksgiving with Ryter-- she said she's okay with it, but I haven't talked to my dad yet. That will not go as well...

Honestly? I'd rather we just did separate Thanksgivings this year. I think he said they do a deli platter. For Thanksgiving. My mom does a big-ass turkey and a whole mess of side dishes and she's a fabulous cook. She suggested we do the dinner Friday, if Shrewd could get Friday off work, but if Shrewd's at Crate and Barrel she'll need to do day-after-Thanksgiving sales. Moving it would be so unbeleivably perfect... but unlikely. So I may be skipping my mom's amazing Thanksgiving cooking for Ryter. I hope that kid knows how much I love him.


I played my Marvel Heroes monopoly game tonight with my mom and dad. I lost, spectacularly. Mummy won, and she was talking to Shrewd on the phone for the first 20 minutes or so. It didn't help that Daddy had the TV going for background noise, which makes it impossible for me to concentrate. But it's a cute game, and a lot of fun. Park Place was Magneto, Boardwalk was Professor X, in case you're curious.


So I was sitting here writing this at midnight, and now I'm crying. Why am I crying? Hell if I know. I'm just crying. And I can't see the screen very well.

okay, so maybe I do know. Maybe I'm crying because I'm so stressed I accidentally skipped a class. Maybe it's because I just finished my third test in less than a week this morning. Maybe it's because I spent 15 minutes of that test on one problem only to realize that duh, 1200 divided by 300 is 4, not 400. Maybe it's because I can't stick to a diet and every time I look down I am reminded of how fat I am. Maybe it's the fact that he, completely innocently, made me feel incredibly embarrassed and ashamed of the one feature of my body that I have always felt really, really self-conscious about and wanted him to approve of. Maybe it's because I have a Orgo quiz Monday and a test in two weeks. Maybe it has something to do with all my Daphnia dying and my turning in a crappy report on them. Maybe it's the fact that my boyfriend has told me that all the not-quite-sex stuff that we do together does pretty much nothing for him, and basically told me to lay off anything more than kissing until I'm ready for sex (not that he's saying that needs to be soon). Maybe it's the fact that this is the first time I've been home for longer than an hour since I went to school, and I can only spend the night, and no one's going to be home tomorrow anyway since it's Thursday and they have to work, and by the time they get home I'll have to go back to Durham so I can be around to spend tomorrow hiking with Ryter, and spend the night before him sleeping in his god-awful uncomfortable bed and not touching him, then go spend Saturday being smiley and happy for his family, and Sunday doing homework. Maybe it has something to do with not being ALONE since... god. I can't remember. I can't remember being alone. And I'm increasingly retreating into my fantasy worlds to the point where reality seems surreal, and I can't fix that problem because I have maybe five friends and they're all so busy with jobs or extracurriculars (you know, lives) that I can't spend time with them instead and have THEM pull me out of this world I've retreated into. And I feel like I can't tell Ryter because he's stressed out already and his problems are worse than mine, and besides, he's the reason for some of mine and that will make him feel worse and when he feels guilty it makes me feel bad for making him feel guilty and ultimately, even if it was his fault, I wind up suffering emotionally more than him.

I'm so sick of crying. The way I stop crying is to retreat into a fantasy, where I'm pretty and healthy and supreme dictator of earth. But when I retreat into fantasy it's worse when I have to return to the real world. So I have to decide if the temporary relief is worth it.

Bog Blog

So yesterday I went on a field trip in Ecology to Lee Bog. Which is a bog. In Lee, NH. More specifically, a sphagnum bog, protected by the town of Lee.

We got there and first he took us to this little place:

Which I was very proud of myself for knowing that it was a vernal pool, before he even said it. Vernal pools are puddles that always show up in the same spot. I thought the dip at the end of my driveway was a vernal pool, but it turns out it's just a drainage problem.

Then we started our walk. Thankfully it was not a hike. Along the way he pointed out a bazillion white oaks, which are some of the few plants we actually will have to identify for this class. This is a white oak and white oak leaves up close.

I can't remember the name of this next plant, but you can eat the little purply-blue berries. They're very bitter and usually only birds eat them.

This is eastern hemlock. Unlike the hemlock that killed Socrates, this is not poisonous, and is in fact edible. The leaves are, anyway.

This is Lee Bog. It's kind of pretty. The little scraggly evergreen trees are black spruce, which only grows in bogs, at the timberline, and in the tundra. They need it to be rather cold and harsh. Bogs are cold because the water in them is blocked by the vegetation, so it can't circulate.

Notice the other pine trees are kind of scraggly. That's because bog soil doesn't have a lot of nutrients.

This is the sphagnum moss, which is what creates the bog. Rotting sphagnum makes the bog soil jiggle when you poke it with a stick, like jello pudding. Muddy, stinky, freezing cold jello pudding.

The nearby trees are all yellowed because of chlorosis, which means they aren't getting enough nutrients.

Bogs are usually surrounded by plants that do well in tundra environments too. This is reindeer moss, so called because reindeer like to eat it.

We walked through the woods, too, and he pointed out the canopy effect-- plants can't grow because the caonpy takes up all the light.

This is the American Chestnut.

It's almost extinct because humans accidentally introduced a chestnut fungus to the New World that the European and Asian chestnuts were resistant to, but the American one was not. They are incredibly rare; apparently there are only about three or four trees that are known to be breeding and that's only because their root systems are all but immortal, so when the tree dies off from the fungus the roots send up new trees. Which then get attacked by the fungus. Sucks to be an American chestnut.

And this is the pretty foliage on one of the trees by Parsons Hall.

So that was my Tuesday field trip.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


No post tonight. I have an exam tomorrow.

Monday, October 8, 2007

I got really PO'd at my RA too, but she may actually deserve it.

Good news. I got an 82% on my Biostats exam. Now to get through the Ecology one Wednesday. But I'm much better at retaining things from that class, at least.

I also took a Latin test today, but I'm not too worried. It was just a translation. I think I may have tripped up in some places but they were minor mistakes-- I got the gist of it, and we had to paraphrase too. Not a terrible worry. Except I forgot to record the homework for that class, so now I have to admit to my professor that I spaced...


I'm depressed right now, and I don't know why. I've been crying a lot, over anything, and I'm moody. Plus it feels like everything people do bothers me. Not irritable-bothers, but just makes me feel sucky and upset. I noticed it with Ryter tonight, though I was suppressing it because he's in a lot of pain lately and he doesn't need to deal with me being moody and emo. Hopefully it will go away soon.

Honestly, I think it's a yearly thing. As much as I love fall, every year-- perhaps due to the return to academia-- I get depressed for a month or so. I actually think it might be a good sign for my own health that I'm getting upset at other people instead of myself, though. I mean, I'm upset with myself, especially in terms of my weight and academic difficulties, but I'm ALSO getting upset with others, when previously I would just take all that emotion and turn it in on myself.

This annoyance at those around me, while potentially a good thing, is also a bad thing in that I won't be very fun to be around for a while, and in that I have to talk to my parents about the Thanksgiving issue this weekend-- specifically that Ryter really, really wants me to spend Thanksgiving with his family, and my family has been increasing the importance of Thanksgiving since Shrewd and I went away to school. Which means that I will have to have my mom explain that we're a little young to be sharing holidays that both families celebrate (his doesn't celebrate Christmas, so that doesn't count), and more specifically, that this is "all well and good to date him but it's not like you're going to marry the guy" which is the one statement that drives me NUTS lately and I get it ALL THE TIME from family.

Basically, what they are saying is, they want me to treat this like a college fling, a starter boyfriend. Which I would NEVER do and I would discourage others from doing, because it is cruel and manipulative. If we don't wind up together forever, that's okay. If we do, that's okay too. I don't know. But if I did that, I sure as hell would know how it would end, and it wouldn't be fair if he didn't.

I'm still debating whether or not to talk to Ryter about the things that are bothering me. On the one hand, maybe they are legit complaints. On the other, maybe I'm making them up because I'm depressed and moody. On the third, creepily dismembered hand of some dead hobo I found, he's got a lot to deal with right now and probably doesn't need this too...

Sunday, October 7, 2007

My mother seems to have decided to give me sweaters a lot-- I'm not entirely sure how related this is to the "miniskirt" incident...

My whole family came up for my birthday celebration today, which was cool. We went to the New England Center (they have a Sunday brunch buffet), and Vivacia and Ryter came too.

It was cool. I got a cowboy hat, a sweater, an iTunes gift card, a Marvel Monopoly board and $375. All of which are most excellent. Also, the food was good and having Vivacia there apparently made Ryter a lot less nervous around my parents, because they were more focused on the fact that they haven't seen Vivacia in ages.

Then, I spent the afternoon studying. Well, sort of. I was supposed to be studying, anyway. It was an on and off thing... However, I did set up my secondary blog, which has only three entries. It's just me babbling about the Middle East conflict, plural marriage, and cheating, but if you like that sort of thing or want to tell me all the many ways I am wrong, check it out. Unlike many internet opinion blogs, I will admit if you change my mind-- and changing my mind is possible.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Last one, I promise

This is one of many new blog entries from tonight. Check the first one here.


Today Ryter and I went up to the White Mountain National Forest and hiked along the Pemigewasset River, on the Lincoln Woods trail. It was a LOT of fun. I need better hiking socks for my boots, but it was still fun. We walked the main, flat, wide, used-to-be-a-railroad-track trail for a while, though we did wander off it when there was a good place to climb down to the river.

We sat on the rocks for a while until giant insects the size of a quarter (well, one giant insect the size of a quarter) attacked us. Then, back to the trail. We finally veered off when we saw a little side trail labeled, "Black Pond, 1.0 miles" and decided to investigate. That was a much more rugged trail (well, less of a dirt road, more of a trail) but it was also fun and more exciting. We never found Black Pond, we had to turn around (I'm reeeeeeally out of shape) but it was a fun walk and we're going back next week, to find either Black Pond or the waterfall that is rumored to be in the area, whichever we decide.

I was sweaty and gross afterwards, but it was worth it. So much fun. And Ryter especially loved it, he can't wait to get back. I really hope I can match his stamina soon, because I know he really wants to get so tired he comes back to his apartment and collapses from exhaustion, and I get that way about an hour before he does...

Next week, I am totally bringing my camera.


There, all caught up. More tomorrow/later today (it's 12:03) after my birthday party, and after I start studying for the Ecology test on Wednesday (yeah, ANOTHER test...).

My crazy week

This is one of many new blog entries from tonight. Check the first one here.


Monday I learned I had the Biostats test, and promptly freaked out. That was yesterday. It wasn't too bad, but I did get a lot of studying in. But I went over to Ryter's and burst into tears anyway, because of it.


Tuesday was my field trip with Ecology to Blue Job Mountain, which is a protected wilderness area that used to be a blueberry heath, so it's a young forest. As my teacher is a bit of a naturalist type, it was very informative and interesting. As I had not anticipated climbing up a mountain, and had expected instead that we would drive up and wander around a small wilderness area, I did not have enough water and I am too out of shape, and I was dying by the end. But the views? Amazing.

At the top there is a rickety old tower from the 1910's that is used to watch for fires, I believe. We climbed up and took pictures from the top. That was cool, even if the narrow stairs did make me fear pitching forward the whole way down.

Of course, the best part was watching the "I'm only in Bio to do pre-med, why do I have to take Ecology, wah" types complain about the mountain and more specifically the wilderness, and the potential for nail-breakage.


Also Tuesday, I discovered that my lab partner in Ecology and I had managed to kill all of our Daphnia in our experiment over the previous week. Oops.


Wednesday was my 20th birthday. Yes, I am 20 years old now, and officially not a teenager. Two decades. Holy cow.

I didn't do much for my birthday on the actual day (we're going to the New England Center-- my family, Vivacia and Ryter-- tomorrow) but I did break from studying for a few hours and went to eat dinner with Ryter, who ordered a pizza, which was sweet of him. We also ate leftover pieces of a cake he had (yes he buys cakes randomly), which, we discovered, was decorated with magnets. Yes, what we had thought were merely decorative fish-shaped cake toppings were actually magnets, stuck on top of the cake... and we watched the baseball game (he's very into baseball, it's the playoffs). It was nice. I mean, it would have been nice to have a birthday wish and all but that sort of thing gets harder as you get older and people care less and less about birthdays.

I went to the animal fair... the birds and the beasts were there...

Finally, I can write. I'm going to separate these into different posts, instead of one long one, because I find it easier to read that way.

Starting with Friday...

After I checked my Daphnia experiment in lab I met Shrewd at my dorm, and we got directions and headed to the Deerfield Fair. The Deerfield Fair is held every year, never really changes, and is a lot of fun. Shrewd and I always like to go.

We were planning on meeting Mummy and Daddy there, but the cell phone reception was bad (isn't it always?) so we wandered around a bit. First stop was the sheep barn:

Which is one of Shrewd's favorite places. Then there was the goats...

And the pigs. We caught a bit of the pig show:

And then met up with Mummy and Daddy at last, as there was reception by the swine barn. Also by the swine barn? A sausage stand. Sketchy.

We moved on the poultry barn. There were ducks that looked like Arthur from Sheldon,

and drag queen chickens. Fabulous.

We got soup in a bread bowl for lunch, then the next stop was the draft horse heavy pulling show. Basically we watched giant horses, over seven feet tall, drag 3000+ lbs across the ring. Each team had to be backed up carefully towards the weight (which was put in place by tractor). This was sometimes a bit challenging, as the draft horses were all too eager to go. The first team was called Redneck Express, which amused me.

After watching that we swung over to where the Teamsters (4-H types) were competing with their oxen. The first kid looked about 8 and his oxen responded to him like puppies. Adorable. But not very obedient. The second kid had a little better luck with his.

The oxen were so sweet, but very big, and there were two cute little kids (can't take pictures of kids not your own, that makes you a predator, or I would have gotten one of these guys) playing on the fence and, for a little while, IN the oxen ring. One of the mommies caught this and freaked out, racing over to rescue the little kid.

One of the competitors was the regional champion oxen-raiser. These are hers. She's adult-sized, compare to the little ones before.

Then the draft horse barns! Ah, horsies...

And oxen, which I actually had to look on Wikipedia to figure out that pulling oxen are basically just steers. I always figured it was like the difference between a dairy cow and a beef cow but turns out that a neutered male dairy cow is an ox. Actually all cows/domesticated cattle are oxen, but these guys are the only ones we call such. I'd show you a picture from that barn but the only one I have has family members in it.

But here, have a dairy cow. That was our next stop:

And we saw them get milked:

By this time it was getting late. We went and got a Blooming Onion to share, then looked at the shops on the fairway, including a cowboy hat shop where Shrewd got a cool fancy hat, and then got fried dough, fudge, and decided to leave.

That was fun. Then we went to the Olive Garden all the way in Manchester, and I wound up getting back to campus really late. But it was okay, in the end.