Man, Chapter 1 and i have some serious love-hate relationship. On one hand, the writing is mind-numbing. You can only make so much prose out of a list of specimens. But at the same time, it makes me dig through old field photos to confirm the species identification. And then photos like these ones pop up and i’m reminded how awesome my field work was.
This beach is on the island of South Pagai, just a few yards from a village called Bulasat. It faces the Indian ocean and gets some good surf breaks, but it makes it difficult for dipping. Every day we’d walk out to the beach and hike for about 45 min-1 hr to get to our field site, and walk home at dusk to sunsets like this. If we timed it right, we get to catch a glimpse of thousands of giant flying foxes (they’re fruit bats, really) darkening the skies as they fly out of their roosts and begin their nightly forage. It was mind blowing and amazing. Just one of the many reasons i love doing what i do…
I am all for assisted suicide. I hope to go with dignity and on my own time, if i’m so lucky. And i’ll send out a farewell invitation and everyone can say their goodbyes properly. Wouldn’t that be nice?!
“Love well, seek the good in all things, harm no others, think for yourself, take responsibility, respect nature, do your utmost, be informed, be kind, be courageous: at least, sincerely try.”—A.C. Grayling, “The Good Book.”
He comes to the window and says, “do you have any idea how fast you were going?” Heisenberg replied, “no but I can tell you exactly where I was.”
Hearing this strange reply the cop decides to conduct a search of the car. After opening the trunk of the car he immediately returns to the front window where he startlingly asks, “did you know there’s a dead cat in your trunk?!”
Schrodinger then looks at him and says, “well thanks, now I do.”
Funny, i just had this conversation with my friend Simon not an hour ago. He got me to install What’sApp on my phone today for texting (he lives in Vancouver so my unlimited txt plan doesn’t do shit), and it works wonders. No, i don’t feel like i’m stealing, because like the article says, the rate structure for texting is basically a royal assfuck for the customer, unless you’re on unlimited txt plan then it’s more like an unwelcome fondling of sort. Noone should pay that much to text. Plus i’m already paying AT&T $75/month so it really doesn’t matter what i do with my data plan.
What the article didn’t mention is that there are also apps that allow you to circumvent minute charges when making phone calls. Try Viber, for example, which works like Skype but does not require you to sign up for an account or add people as your contact. It automatically accesses your address book, and you can call anyone who is already on Viber for free, over the carrier’s 3G network.
I wish i had known this months ago. Now i only have three weeks to go to enjoy my free international texting and calling…
I’ve seen this type of article time and time again, regarding our double standards when it comes to judging ourselves versus others (e.g. “other people can’t text and drive, but i’m ok; this won’t take long”, etc.). And i admit to being a judgmental driver; i always think other people drive like dicks. So maybe i’m really guilty of not seeing the plank in my eye.
In my defense, however, i think i am slightly more qualified to call out others’ driving behavior, considering (these points are based on the survey’s questions highlighted in the article):
I have never had a moving violation.
I have never hopped behind the wheel when i’m so tired i’m about to fall asleep.
I have never driven while intoxicated.
I have never received a speeding ticket, although i will admit that i tend to drive anywhere between 5-20 miles above the speed limit, traffic permitting.
The speed limit thing is interesting. I have read elsewhere that speed limits are generally set way too low (i.e. at about the 45th percentile of the flow of traffic), so that revenue can be generated from speeding tickets. Yes, i understand this is not an excuse to habitually drive above speed limits. But in my defense, i only do it when traffic is clear, or when i’m keeping up with the general flow of traffic. (Driving too slow is dangerous as well, people.)
While we’re at a full disclosure, here’s my list of driving sins: Texting at stop lights, getting distracted by changing the tunes on my ipod, and running at least a couple of red lights from gunning through yellow. Yes, i’m no saint.
I guess it’s Ben’s family, to be precise, but it doesn’t matter at this point, it seems. They love me and i love them just as much as i do my own family.
Today Ben’s parents threw a farewell party for Ben and me, and we had a good showing from the Fresno bunch: Aunt Rhonda, Aunt Nance, Grandma Bev, and Uncle Chris took the long drive to hang out with us one last time. I especially loved that i was able to get to know them better; they live far enough away that i don’t see them other than on certain holidays, and usually then there are always so many people around that you don’t get to really spend much one-on-one time with anyone. Today, however, i sat and talked with Aunt Nance and Aunt Rhonda quite a bit, and i really enjoyed it. They’re funny, flirty gals, always have something interesting to say, and they show enough interest in me and the goings-on in Ben’s and my life. It was a really good bonding moment, i thought. And when they left the party, they gave me such loving, hearty hugs i almost cried. Never thought i’d be sad about leaving people who i see about once a year, hahah.
But the most heart-wrenching moment came when Julie gave me her confessional about how she’d miss us, especially because Ben and i make family gatherings so much fun. At the frenzied pace that i have been going these past few weeks getting my school stuff and our moving logistics in order, it’s been hard for me to feel any emotion about the big move. I’m not sad, i’m not excited; i’m just stressed. But hearing Julie say that opened the floodgate for me, and i realized then and there how much our move will affect Ben’s family: Mom, Dad, Julie and the gang, Rob and the gang. More than just feeling sad because i will miss them, it saddens me that i will be leaving a big hole in their lives. So i apologize, my loved ones, for the pain. But know that i will be missing you all just as much, and that i will forever cherish what you mean to me. Thank you for having taken me in, and accepting me into your midst and treating me as though i’m one of your own. You have no idea how much it means to me. I’ve said this time and time again: I really lucked out by marrying into such a loving, close-knit family where everyone gets along so wonderfully. I love you guys, and i don’t think that will change with distance… :-)
"It’s never over, My kingdom for a kiss upon her shoulder. It’s never over, All my riches for her smile when i slept so soft against her. It’s never over, All my blood for the sweetness of her laughter. It’s never over, She’s a tear that hangs inside my soul forever.”
So while killing time waiting to hang out with Mark the other day (i think it was Sunday the 14th), i decided to stroll into Ross and try on some clothes. (Yes, it’s one of my guilty pleasures. But enough on that.)
I started out with size 8 dresses. Guess what, they’re all too big. I switched to size 6 dresses, and whoa, they fit. They’re a little snug up top (thanks, big boobs), but they fit perfectly fine around my waist and hips. And then i moved on to my next target: Shorts. I’ve been having a lot fun wearing shorts lately—i just noticed that hey my legs are actually kinda shapely and worth flaunting. So i picked out several size 6 shorts, and sure enough… They fit. OK, so i’ve lost another pants size. And when i finally moved on to trying on tops, I was able to fit into size small blouses and shirts. What the Eff. It was like an out-of-body experience, watching myself slip into those dinky little garments. I mean, I know i’ve come a long way in losing weight and shaping up. But I check myself in the mirror VERY closely every day, and i thought i would know it when i have become officially skinny. This took me by surprise. I still look in the mirror every morning and feel fat. But those shirts are telling me otherwise.
OK, so the shirt/pants size is good news, but i think my mental response beyond the “Fuck Yeah” moment is a little disconcerting. It’s strange how i still fail to see myself as a skinny girl when everybody else (Ben, family, friends, photographers) is saying i look skinny these days. Will i ever be happy with myself?
In a somewhat related news, this morning i broke my friggin’ weight plateau: I’m 130.8. Can’t wait to be in the 120-something…
I don’t know how i missed when this was exposed as a hoax, but i did see it when major news channel like BBC themselves and CNN just swallowed the story up and regurgitated it wholly. Oh man, what an awesome prank. Readers Beware, indeed!!!
We were just there in Yosemite hiking to the top of Vernal Falls last Monday. They had flyers around asking people to be on the lookout for the bodies and to report any sightings. Glad there is closure to at least one of the families. Hope they find the other two.
So… I lost my ATM card on Saturday night. Again. The replacement card that they’re sending to me is my fourth one WITHIN THE LAST YEAR. Woop-dee-doo, i lost my ATM card twice. I feel so effin’ stupid. Kids lose their stuff all the time, because they’re kids. They leave things lying around and forget about them. They set things down and leave them behind. They don’t check to see if they have all their belongings on them when they leave premises. Because they’re kids. And here i am, 27 years old, losing my ATM card about every half a year or so. The folks over at Citibank must really enjoy sending me a new card, three times already now. I feel so effin’ stupid.
I’m now over the emotional outburst that resulted from finding out that i had indeed lost my cards. Yes, plural, because i’m so good at this that this time i actually managed to lose my student ID also. Like losing one card isn’t enough of a hassle. But really, i rant but i’m no longer upset. I mean, what can i do about it, right? They’re not going to make their way back to me by crying and getting upset. I’m really just ranting. And doing the damage control.
Last night i called Citibank and asked for a new card. Good thing Citibank don’t charge for replacement of lost or stolen card, but they’re rather slow at sending the new one. It should be here by August 4th. That’s one week without an atm card, no way to draw money out of my account (and being me, of course i didn’t have cash on me when it happened), and no online access to my bank account. And, one week until i need to go online and change all the payment information on my accounts. Amazon. PayPal. eBay. ComCast. Fan-frickin’-tastic. Today i also went to the Cal card center and got a new student ID. $25. Frick. But at least things move on pretty quickly there. Within half an hour i had had my new card on me and with all its card key access fully restored. Oh, there’s also the class pass, of course. On my old student ID was a class pass that we use to board the buses for free. I take the bus every day to school. It will be another 23 days until they issue a new pass for the Fall semester, but if i buy one to replace my lost one i will have to pay $40. Great job, Shobes.
Oh well. I’m over it.
On a side note, yesterday i was pulled over by a cop. How fun. My first time being pulled over happened before i even got my license. The officers were nice however, and they let us go with not even a fix-it ticket. They told us that our plate light was out and the registration sticker is faded, but when we checked afterwards, both our plate lights were on!!! How strange…
So yesterday Ben took the Corolla that is going to be mine down to El Cerrito… (that’s right; a mid-week visit!!). He let me drive from school to my apartment, a story that’s probably worth an entire entry by itself. It SO, HARD driving with Ben in the passenger seat!! He’s a total backseat driver and he managed to make me flip out and raise my voice at him within minutes of my sliding onto the driver’s seat. Just how efficient is that?
But anyways… So we made it home alright with little to no driving error on my part and i thought all is well. But this morning i listened to my voice mails and lo and behold, Pedro left me a message asking if i noticed that i nearly ran him over on Shattuck last night. WHAT?! I was so bummed! What kind of driver would not notice when he/she came close to running over a pedestrian? I felt my heart sank right at that very moment. I called Pedro back, but no answer. I texted him, asking if he was kidding. I texted Ben, asking if he noticed a pedestrian that i nearly killed last night. Nope. But Pedro never got back to me… I kept on thinking about this all day long, feeling sad and convinced that maybe the DMV examiner was right about failing me on my driving test. Maybe i need an entire year’s worth of driving lesson before i can be certified to be loose on the streets.
BUT!!!! I finally got a hold of Pedro, and HE WAS ONLY KIDDING!!!! How mean! Apparently he figured the content of that voice mail was so impossible that there’s no way it could be true and therefore i for sure will understand that it was a joke. NOT! Now he owes me an ice cream for making me feel bad for an entire day… BAD Pedro!!!
So i made it back from Death Valley (an exemplar of the awesome photos that i managed to take while there is presented above) with relatively little additional tan to my complexion, and with a lot of cool experience and tons of new herp species learned. How awesome is that?! But that’s not why i’m a very, very happy girl… Ben just told me that he had a conversation with his mom about me. Of course i gasped. Do i wanna hear what was said in this conversation? Yes, according to him. So Ben was telling his mom about the car that showed up at the shop that he’s planning on fixing to GIVE to me. After a brief discussion about the financial aspect of it, apparently she proceeded to ask about whether or not we ever talked about getting married (the answer is yes, btw). Naturally, she wondered about where we’re gonna live after getting married, how much longer until he has to leave the country, etc. And the discussion ended with her saying that i’m basically the best girl for him…
Wow. Coming from a future mother-in-law. Just how amazing is that? I’ve always doubted if the parents liked me, esp. since i’m about to take their son away from them, but apparently i have nothing to worry about… Yay!!
Oh, and another, more materialistic source of happiness: I got my DSLR. It’s pretty fuckin’ awesome. Now i’m having a very strong urge to just go crazy and invest in all different lenses…
Wow, i went 8 days without adding another entry!! Goes to show just how dead my creativity has been. I’m still waiting for it to come back around, but no light at the end of the tunnel so far…
So yeah. Today i learned that the XSi has been released a few days ago. Needless to say i went green with envy towards all the people who helped made it the #11 best selling DSLR camera on amazon.com. Theoretically when i get my next paycheck and once the IB fellowship comes through, i can afford getting one for myself… But something inside me is telling me i should wait. This is not an impulsive thing since i’ve planned this and done my homework doing research since January, but still i can’t justify robbing myself $900 - especially with my field trip waiting around the corner. And by the time i’m done buying all the lenses and flash i want for it, i’ll be around $2,000 poorer. I feel that i should prioritize funding my field work over buying a DSLR, but then when will i ever have one?
Aarrgh. I guess we’ll see how good my exercise of self control is once i have all my money back…
Just how tragic is it that i have $12,000 in research money, but nearly zero to live on? I have no idea how i am going to make ends meet this time. All the extra money that i have is floating around. I have almost $700 that will not get reimbursed until after the evolution meetings in June. After my landlady cashes my rent check this week i will have less than two digits in my checking account, and i have less than three in my savings. I’m counting on my tax returns to pick up the slack, but i’m not getting anything in the mail yet. I got an email from the department saying that i’m going to get an extra $1,000, but that money’s nowhere to be seen on the horizon either. I have just enough food for the next week or two, but beyond that i have no idea how i’m going to skate through. I’m worried sick, but i just try to not think about it too much. This is very troubling… I’m worried. I’m afraid.