Looking Back, Looking Forward

I’m not a very good writer. I tend to be long winded, repetitive, repetitive, abuse, the, hell, out, of, commas, use to many generalities, and other things. That being said, I’m going to keep my recap and precap short. I think I just made that word up. You can use it if you like.

I started my second semester at Virginia Tech in January. I was still in awe about finally being at my dream school. I still am. Something about it just feels right. It’s like finding where I always wanted to be.

My first challenge of the year came in early April when I broke up with my partner of four and a half years. I put on a happy face about it, but I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hard on me as I’m sure it was hard on him. We’re still friends, though we don’t see much of each other. We just had dinner at a little Italian place at home last week and caught up. It’s still a little strange for me, but I guess things work out in time.

I’m not sure how to start talking about April 16. How do you preface something like that? The first thing I did was call my mother. I was on campus, so my roommate picked me up and we watched events unfold on TV. It’s not even real on TV though. You can turn the TV off or go into the next room. In Blacksburg we were inundated with police, media, spiritual and psychological support, just more people than the town was meant to handle. I hunkered down with friends for the week and waited for things to blow over as best I could. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but for at least a day or two after the shootings I wanted to be left alone by all those helpful people. I still get people who ask about it now and then when they find out I was there. I try to dismiss it. I’m not capable of explaining what the experience felt like.

In June I found out that a lingering bump on my elbow was stage 1 lymphoma, of a particularly rare type. I’ve always taken my health for granted. Luckily my mother, who is a nurse, is a hypochondriac for me. My summer was spent in and out of doctor visits. One surgery and three weeks of daily radiation later, not to mention countless diagnostics, I appear to be good as new. Here’s hoping I stay that way.

While I was home over the summer I made a number of close friends. It was good to have someone to hang around with when I was going through all my health issues. It’s sad in a way, since I don’t get to see them often when I’m away at school. I’ll always come back to see them when I’m home.

August marked the beginning of the hardest semester I’ve ever had, and hopefully the hardest I ever will. My favorite material was in the hardest classes. You’d think that would help, but if it did help I shudder to think what would’ve happened if I didn’t like it.

In the family, one cousin is engaged and another had a baby. My brothers haven’t managed to drive my mother crazy yet. The holidays were relatively painless and the food was good. I think as far as families go, I made out pretty good.

I’m looking forward to one more semester at Tech. I’ll graduate in May, and then who knows what? I’m thinking West. I’ll be applying to some graduate programs in animal science, but my goal is that wherever life takes me, it’s toward the setting sun. I’ve played with the idea of staying in Blacksburg, but I have things to do. I need to see the world. There are too many things I haven’t done, and if I sit still now I may never do them. I’m probably late to the game as it is, but I need to do all those things that I will later exaggerate to my nieces and nephews, maybe children? Maybe someday. 2007 was a year of challenges. 2008 is the year of adventures.

Winding down

My first year at Tech is winding down. My first finals are tomorrow, and continue through Tuesday or so. With regards to everything that has happened, ever professor I have has said that grades will not be lower than they were on 13 April regardless of how we do on the final. Grades can only improve. That’s pretty good, because honestly it has been kinda hard for me to get back into the swing of things.

I’ll be in Blacksburg for most of the summer. Anyone who wants to visit is welcome to the more-than-ample floorspace. My lease runs through the end of August and has been paid up to that point, so pretty much I’m just sitting around until fall, working enough to keep me fed. Pretty much everything is fluid. Yup. Super exciting.

Psst! I have a secret. I just told you what it was, but you weren’t looking hard enough. It’s not so very hard to find. Also, one more thing which actually isn’t secret, but I haven’t gotten around to mentioning. Steve and I broke up a few weeks back. I’m OK. He’s OK. We still talk. If you’re my family, he’ll probably still pop in for a visit. I’ll pop in to visit some of his family still too.

Showing Love


Steve is incorrigibly sweet, despite my best efforts to break him of it. For valentines day he sent me a Bad Taste Bear (nsfw). Some people aren’t terribly fond of them, and I admit that some of them are just gross and not funny, but the ones he’s given me are adorable. The one on the left is the one he sent me this year. Last year he gave me the one on the right.

I shudder at what I may have to do to match this. I may actually have to show some affection.

Just kidding Love! You know I love you all the way.

Sosua, in a nutshell


For a week in the middle of December, Steven and I were on vacation in the Dominican Republic in a town called Sosua. We stayed at the Tropix Hotel and dove with Northern Coast Diving. We didn’t really have internet access, so posting regular updates really wasn’t an option. I wrote at the end of the day as if I would be posting that day. Then I got home, visited a lot of people, slept, and eventually forgot that I had written this. Each day is on it’s own page, so read on. You should also take a peek at the pictures.

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Killer Tofu

I’m at home for the week, currently chilling in the basement and catching some wireless leeching love courtesy of Frontier DSL. I thought I would be SOL for internet connection, but the modem they use also includes a four-port wireless router. Awesome!

I’ll be enjoying Thanksgiving, as I usually do, with my extended family on my mother’s side. Steve will be joining me in a couple of days. I really love the closeness of our family, I think it has had a big impact on me. I sometimes forget that not everyone has this kind of relationship with their family. I really do feel badly for them, it’s a wonderful thing to have. If you can’t be with your family, give them a ring and say hello. Let them know you care.

Now that I’ve been all sentimental, I’ll give you the haps. Days Inn apparently has free wireless internet for guests, so if you’re ever in a pinch for internet access, you can always park in their lot. I drove ten hours home from Blacksburg, with only a quick stop in Lebanon, PA for gas, Wendy’s and email. Just the essentials, folks.

I’ll be heading home on Saturday, giving me time to situate myself at home before class gets started on Monday. Painters are supposed to be in this week to paint one wall of my room which is suffering from water damage from the apartment above. Because of this, my furniture is all moved away from that wall and I’m entirely disorganized. I was getting sick of looking at the water spot on my wall, though.

I also found an mp3 of Killer Tofu by The Beets. For the uninitiated, The Beets are a fictional cartoon band from the Nickelodeon, and later Disney, show Doug.

Steve came over!


Steve came over this weekend to visit me in Virginia! It made me very happy. I have today off (Yay Columbus Day!) so we decided this would be a good weekend for a visit. This way I can still get my weekend things done today, and not have to worry about them while he is around. He had to leave at 1am so he could get home, take a nap, and go to class this evening, but that was his decision and I love him for it.

Mostly we ate on campus. I am often surprised by the quality of dining services here. On Friday night I had New York strip steak, and Steve had lobster. Lobster. On campus. Have I mentioned that dining services here is pretty much incredible? Now I don’t often have lobster, but according to my roommate it was good lobster.

On Saturday night, I found myself with Steven’s heel pressed against the underside of my chin (we were both lying down) and he said to me “Don’t be subservient!” Oh, well yes sir! Sir, I promise not to be subservient sir! Is that irony enough for you, sir?

Also, he said something funny Saturday night just before we went to sleep, but I can’t recall what it is. I was going to get up and write it down, but he said “Oh, you’ll remember it.” I replied “I’ll remember that I wanted to remember something, but I won’t remember what it is.” I should have put money on it.

The Summer in a Nutshell

I think the summer is really really bad for blogging. I got barely any of it done, and I noticed a number of other blogs were pretty slow too. I just don’t have the organization or the motivation to do anything regularly when I’m not in school.

I spent the summer with Steve in Bloomington. On Monday he’ll take his first class towards a PhD in folklore at Indiana University. While I was there, I interned with a vet clinic in a neighboring town, and at a wildlife rehabilitation clinic called WildCare Inc. Steve meanwhile worked with wonderful people doing the terrible job of telemarketing. Please remember that if a telemarketer calls you on behalf of a large company, you consented to being called and gave them the appropriate information to do so. You may not remember it, but it’s illegal for them to call you if you didn’t agree, and they probably have the documentation. File suit if you like, but don’t kill the messenger.

I worked four days a week at the vet clinic, doing just about anything they’d let me. I did a lot of drawing up vaccines and holding animals for blood draws. I picked up a lot of poop. It was really a great experience. I loved the staff, and I learned so much. Anyone who is considering vet school should do at least a little bit of work in a clinic. It doesn’t make any sense not to!

WildCare was an adventure. Almost every day when I left I was exhausted. I worked with a wide variety of naitive Indiana wildlife, including raccoons, oppossums, rabbits, squirrels, deer, and a variety of birds. I was even bitten by a racoon! Luckily it wasn’t rabid. The experience didn’t inspire me to go into wildlife medicine, but it didn’t scare me away either. I think it’s a great organization and I’ll help out again if I have a chance.

Other than working, Steve and i played a lot of Guild Wars. We like it because you don’t have to pay a subscription fee. We also watched Charmed and Naruto in unhealthy quantities (which raises the question of whether there is a healthy quantity of Charmed.) Now that I’m back to school I’ll hopefully be more regular in my updates. No promises though.

Summer is over!

Summer is officially over for me. I start classes at 8a Monday morning.

I spent June and July in Bloomington, IN with my Steven, volunteering at a vet clinic and a wildlife rehabilitation shelter. I have a number of experiences to relate regarding my time there.

I am currently in Blacksburg, VA, attending Virginia Tech. I’ll be here for at least two years.

I really need to update this website.