Weekend News Recap

I’m too lazy to write an actual post, but there are a couple of news items I’d like to point out.

Grape Juice is Great Juice – I’ve been saying this all along! Grape juice is the best juice in the world, but cranberry is a close second. Apple juice is just gross, but cider is good. The article is actually about antioxidants, though. Quoth British researcher Alan Crozier, “Purple grape juice made with Concord grapes contains the highest and broadest range of ployphenols as well as having the highest antioxidant capacity. Other high-ranking produces include cloudy apple juice and cranberry juice drink.”

Ballmer says Google is insane – So is that what he calls his reflection? I’ve always just addressed myself as “self.” I’d say something like “It’ll be smooth sailing from here, Self.” Ballmer, scary-looking CEO of Microsoft and really crazy dude, is all up in arms over Google (again) over their development plans for the new Docs & Spreadsheets product, among other things. That man is going to have a heart attack, mark my words.

The Problem, in A Fundamental Nutshell: ‘Is Your Baby Gay?’ – I tried to think of something for this one, but Southern Baptists just aren’t funny. Mohler, “one of the leading voices of the… Southern Baptist Convention,” asked on his blog what Christians would do if there was testing available to detect imminent homosexuality in fetuses and a hormone patch that could prevent it. It’s sort of an interesting question, after you get past the disgusting bigotry of the way it’s asked.

By the by, the new dog is named Abigail, and she was spayed on Friday. I haven’t gotten any pictures because the light has sucked for the past couple of days.

Sosua, in a nutshell

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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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I got back from Thanksgiving at home last night, but that drive really takes it out of you.

So I was home all last week for Thanksgiving. We did the whole dinner thing on Thursday with Mom’s big family. There were two pork shoulders weighing in somewhere around 25 lbs, a deep fried turkey and a traditionally cooked turkey, wet and dry stuffing, pineapple mold, mashed potatoes, sweet potato with marshmallows, carrot casserole, broccoli casserole, and more arroz con gandules (orange rice with green pidgeon peas) than you could shake a stick at. I didn’t really have any turkey. The pork roasts were so phenomenal that to eat any other meat would take away.

I felt reasonably miserable for a good portion of break. I think I’m allergic to my house. My sinuses got all plugged up, then that dripped down the back of my throat and into my lungs. The result was a painful wheezing cough and quite a bit of difficulty falling asleep. I’m still having some of the lung issues. That will take a couple of days to clear.

Holiday traffic was hellish. The vast majority of my ten hour trip is spent on I-81, from Binghamton, NY to Christiansburg, VA. All the way through PA and the brief corners of MD and WV were congested, but there weren’t too many slowdowns. I hit a couple of spots in VA near I-66 and I-64 where traffic was crawling. They cleared up as soon as I passed the exits. Then near Roanoke, for no discernible reason, I was at a dead stop on the interstate for 45 minutes. When that happens at the beginning of a trip, it’s frustrating. When that happens in the eleventh hour of a ten hour trip, one begins inventing new profanities.

I’m home now, though, and my roommate erected a holiday tree, and Sebastian is still adorable, and the water damage in my wall is finally corrected, and I’m going to eat a bowl of cereal and ponder navel lint.

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!

SQUEEEEE!

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.

New York Aquarium

I find it interesting that in New York City, people have a tendancy of calling things the “New York –” with total disregard for the rest of the state. Granted, nearly half the state’s population does live there, but they do seem blissfully unaware of the other 60% of us up here. That’s not what I came to talk about today. I came to talk about sea animals.

Steve had a floor program on April Fools’ Day to the New York Aquarium. As usual, he had extra spots and I tagged along. We walked around and looked at all the cool fishes (yes, that is the correct word) and sea mammals. The curved tank walls made me dizzy when I looked through. Makes me wonder how the fish feel about the situation.

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I took a few pictures, mostly of an otter bathing itself. There was also Oopa, the fat slut walrus. She laid on a rock for the entire time we were there, flashing her cooter at us. A mere adolescent, she weighs in at over 1300 lbs. The only thing that motivated her to get off her rock was food. I don’t mind that she’s fat, that’s what walruses do. The least she could do is close her legs or something.

I <3 Steve

Steve and I just finished watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind again (sorry Uncle Bill). Steve was crying at the end, and we promised that even if we ever did break up, we would never erase each other from our memories.

Steve was accepted to and will be attending Indiana University in the fall, pursuing a Ph.D. in folklore. I’m so proud of him. It’s going to be a challenge, being apart so much. These past two years have spoiled us, being together nearly every weekend and over every break. Before that though, we weren’t together very much at all. It’ll be hard, but I’m sure we can do it.

We danced tonight. It was only a little, with no music, but it meant a lot. He has a thing, he doesn’t like to dance with me. It was just so unexpected and sweet. That’s how I know we can make it.