amalthya: (top of the world)
Consistency is key.

Or at least, that's the "truth" I tell myself that holds friendships and life together.

But sometimes, it's the inconsistency that makes things easier. More jagged, and sometimes painful but overall, easier.

When I came back to the country, I didn't know for how long. In my mind, I'd be back in Uganda by Winter break in January. Of course, that didn't happen but it didn't mean that I didn't operate as though it would --

In the field we constantly had transitory relationships because none of us knew how long we would be in any one place, or where we would go next. It makes life easier, knowing that you don't have to make any promises.

After I didn't head to Uganda in January, I guess I started settling down a little. Call it inspiration by the people surrounding me -- [livejournal.com profile] rosefox and [livejournal.com profile] sinboy alone could have prompted me to stay in one place, but there were so many more people added to the mix -- a New York I'd previously experienced only with the volume down -- people like [livejournal.com profile] xoder and extraordinary renewed friendships with Charles and Yenni and [livejournal.com profile] infd and [livejournal.com profile] noranac and brand new friendships with [livejournal.com profile] ursus_archetype and [livejournal.com profile] alexsirkman.

There's always a point, though, where you still feel stifled, or unhappy. Or, in my case, Ordinary. Same old emo, same old drama, same old bullshit.

As I told [livejournal.com profile] blackiestark, leaving the country is the cleanest break you can get -- it answers all the questions automatically. "Of course they'd invite me to that party if I was in the country" -- or, "I'm sure that I'd get to see them more often if I wasn't so far away."

It automatically neglects the surety of mess, and hurt feelings, and confusion that is staying in one place for too long. It's my version of chasing the dragon -- trying to make everyone continually love me or want to be around me is a losing enterprise even from the getgo. People break up, feelings change, things are awkward, and nothing ever stays the same. Consistency, in that way, is a lie. It doesn't make the disappointment of change any less palpable.

I guess, too, that I like the certainty of being far away, and isolated, and not being able to depend on other people. Given other options, I do tend to cling to those around me. I enjoy knowing that they value my company. Even if it's only for a finite amount of time.





Part of me is astonished that I am getting to go back to Congo as soon as I am. The longer my academic career slogged on, the more sure I became that I would be relegated to stationary life for at least another few years. To have the opportunity now just fills me with purpose again. I flush talking about it, and for once, I don't feel like I need to fake interest or motivation in order to tackle my to-do list.

Which is, at this moment, incredibly long! Not only am I trying to get myself ready, but prepping Adam for what life will be like is a top priority too. And it's a strange feeling, but also a wonderful one I guess. Mostly it's the change between making a clean, full break and actually leaving someone out of the cut. It's a little scary -- Bush/Field time is so much a part of me, and part of what's really important to me. Wonder if Adam hates it? Or hates who I become in the field? Idle worries, yes. Most of me knows that Adam, who seems to get along with anyone and everyone, will have no trouble acclimating to a new climate and a new culture. It's probably scary just because it's new.

I'll keep writing here sporadically, but most of my Congo preparations are going into [livejournal.com profile] lifeincongo -- a blog we'll both keep while I'm gone since I'm well aware that my huge, 5 entries-at-a-time postings from the field are a bit tough for most people's FLists to handle.

And who knows? Will things be the same when I come back?

There's always consistency in the possibilities of a fresh start.
amalthya: (top of the world)
I've tried to find the motivation and the time, more importantly, to get back onto the Livejournal bandwagon. According to their stats, people blog much less after they are 26. Well, I'm 28. I'm just late. Isn't that the norm for me?

According to good old Livejournal, I haven't blogged in about 1.5 months. So I'l start from there, and give you some photo accompaniment, too.

And I've been sitting on this entry for nearly a month. Sad, eh? No more excuses.

Johnny & Azania's Wedding )

My New Computer )

Chagi )

Adam Updates )

* Lauren's birthday and CU friends


* Reviews: Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Crystal Skull

* Reviews: The Incredible Hulk vs. Iron Man

* Visiting Ohio & Chilling with [livejournal.com profile] justbeast

Hurricane Harbor )

* + 2 Cats, -1 Cat +1,000 Cat Abandonment Sympathy

* Dad's moving out

* Unpacking the apartment - potential dates for a housewarming

* Back and Forth to Maryland

* Link to MLOAD

*


It appears that I've run out of steam, but I will leave the list of things I meant to talk about with the hope of writing about them all in the future.

I will certainly mention now, though, that at the end of September/early October, I'm going back to Congo. It doesn't mean I won't finish my studies, or that I'm leaving New York for good, or anything else. It just means that I have the most incredible opportunity to do masters/senior thesis /doctoral dissertation-level research that I've been CONSUMED with preparing these last couple weeks. I'll be part of the Wasmoeth Wildlife Research team, but pretty much solo on this project. I'll also be helping to take care of and rehabilitate 2 orphaned chimpanzees.

The extra-crazy part? Adam wants to come with me. Nuts, right? We'll see if it actually happens.

Oh, and while my regular journal might stay only-sporadically updated, remember that I'm pretty rigorous about posting to the community [livejournal.com profile] thegarlicbite and I started:

[livejournal.com profile] mylife_onceaday


So, if you're keen to see what I'm doing while I'm not updating here, check out:

My Daily Photos There


And I do promise to update more. But for now, I'm running on low battery power and low energy!
amalthya: (death star)
I love that TNT and SpikeTV are having a Nerd Off ... one is showing Lord of the Rings all day and the other is showing Star Wars.

I won't reveal which one I'm watching.

The weekend ended too quickly, as did my life tonight when I turned on the "Self Clean" option on my stove and nearly passed out from smoke inhalation before I realized what was going on.

Sundays always go fast because either Adam or I have the time constraint of whatever bus/train that is leaving to go back to our respective state. You realize, sometimes though, that distance doesn't always matter after the following spurred a very amusing text-message-conversation.

I was incredibly amused when Jesus Taco stuck a delivery menu under my front door.






Not that I'd ever want to order from them, but everytime I pass their storefront I sort of have to laugh. So I sent Adam a text message to let him know that < waving hands excitedly> THEY NOW DELIVERED!!



Me: Jesus Taco just slipped a menu under the door!!
Adam: Take this taco. It is my body which is given for the forgiveness of sins.
Me: This is not salsa. It is my blood. Take it in remembrance of me.
Me: These are my taco kisses. Honor my sacrifice by accepting them.



In other peculiarly funny things, has anyone else seen this Celebrex commercial that is like, 4 minutes long, seems to disparage Celebrex extensively, and then ends up being a commercial telling you to buy it? I'm not sure whether it's using reverse psychology or what.

"Celebrex! It's dangerous!! It'll keeel you! Buy it buy it buy it!!!!!

I think they should stick with Millard Fillmore Soap-On-A-Rope
amalthya: (death star)
There was a girl sitting next to me today during my chemistry exam who was completely decked out, dressed as a Night Elf.  I was amused that she came and sat next to me, since she looked uncomfortable and people seemed to have no idea what her costume was.  Other than some sort of Death Slut.

I finally built up the courage to lean over to her and say "What server do you play on?" 

Man, was she excited that SOMEONE "got" her costume.  We then proceeded to geek out about Warcraft and then, of course, we took our exam.

In other Nerd Halloween Venues, I was completely tickled by this:



and sent it to Adam when I woke up very early this morning.  After my chem exam, we finally got the chance to laugh about it.

Adam: Oh my god! Deathstar Pumpkin!  Does it destroy the Alderon pumpkin?
Me: They did not post a photo of an Alderon pumpkin, so I presume that's indicative.
Adam: "That's not a moon!  It's a PUMPKIN!"
Me: "I felt a great disturbance in the pumpkin force..."
Adam: "...like a thousand seeds screaming at once then silenced"


God, I love nerdy banter.  And people who provide me with it.

I am uncostumed today, but I am wearing pigtails with little pumpkins at the ends of them. Much like in this photo, without the apples. Close up is here. And an orange t-shirt/black sweater combo that I sported last year, when it was halloween and I ALSO had a huge exam.

I have a chemistry tutoring session at 6pm at the ARC;  seems poorly timed, considering the activities of this morning, but I like the learning.

And with that, I'm off to finish various homeworks.
amalthya: (euphoria)
Has it really been so many days/weeks since my last post? Is it the busyness of school or the lack of really anything to complain about?

There are things to complain about, especially with regard to not seeing people that I miss on a regular basis. I feel that I've gone to a very interactively social lifestyle to one of phonecalls, IMs and smoke signals from the roof of 151st and Broadway.

Really the bottom line has been that I've been really happy. Not always as productive as I'd like, but my schedule is pleasantly full.

This past weekend, Adam came up to New York and we flew down to Tampa, Florida to see Rachel and Evan and go to Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream. We'd gone to Halloween Horror at Universal Studios last year, and while the scare park itself was great, riding rides like "Twister" left something to be desired. I mean, no one rides "The Mummy" 3 times unless there's really nothing else to ride, right?

"Twister Reenactment"

I'm wet.
It's windy; now I'm wet and cold.
The animatronic tree split it two.
Now I'm wet and cold and deaf.
The End.



So, this year we opted for Busch Gardens. I will say, 100%, that the rides kicked ass. We even ventured on the SHIEKRA -- a ride that drops you 90º down 220 feet that was truly, utterly terrifying. To prove it, they take a photo of you at the bottom (which we'll upload soon). My mouth is open wider than my head, and Adam looks like he's passing a kidney stone.

We also rode Montu, and Shiekra again, and Adam and I rode the Log Flume. It was so much fun and so much riding that when it was time to go home to the hotel and recoup and head out to Howl-O-Scream, I was so pooped that I promptly fell asleep.

Either that or I was dead from the cheese fries I ate for lunch. Adam and I had also had sort of an adventure getting DOWN to Tampa -- our flight was about 5 hours delayed thanks to rain and fog. We amused ourselves by 1) reading Game Informer and 2) playing Fluxx on the floor.

By the time we finally got in the queue to take off, we were thankfully still in wonderful spirits, though our lunch from 1 pm was long since digested. We touched down in Tampa at around 11pm (our original estimation was 7pm) and discovered that the hotel room service was closed, despite it being a Friday, and that the only place open was... TACO BELL.

Transcript of our drive-thru-window conversation:

Me: Hi, can I get two Bean Burritos?
Taco Bell: I'm sorry, we're out of beans.
Me: You're out... of beans?
Taco Bell: Yes, and before you ask, we're also out of guacamole and tomatoes.
Me: Um, well, what is on your menu that's vegetarian?
Taco Bell: Umm, rice?
Adam: Do you have any chalupas?
Taco Bell: No, we're out.


I ended up eating potatoes with cheese, and nachos with cheese. Notice a pattern?

But the room was lovely! It was a great place to spend the weekend.

The actual Howl-O-Scream thankfully had shorter lines than it tends to at Universal Studios. Of course, one should know when there is NO line that the place is completely lame. We were given 3D glasses to go into a techno glow house, full of bartenders spitting water at us and making us wet, though not with fear.

My lack of depth perception tends to make me an easy mark in the scare-department, a fact that every single Scarer seemed to know too well that I'd give them a shriek. Adam tried his best to shield me -- at one point, I was just clutching him from behind while he warned me where the scarers were -- but it made no difference. They still got me!

And oh my it was fun. We did find it perplexing that apparently, ghoulish vampires who own clubs write in binary. Oooo! SPOOOKY! BINNNARY!

[livejournal.com profile] infd was convinced they'd spelled "Boo" or the like -- but alas, there were, suspiciously, too many zeroes.

We saw some funny signs, like KEEP HEAD ERECT and DON'T FORGET YOUR COWBOY HAT (in picture form). How about BearSS street! Not one bear! Or two! But multiple BearsS (with an extra S)! Or did you know that Oprah eats pizza?

...in Tampa? She does!

We also tried to ride Montu again, only to be stymied by a line that didn't move once we got to the almost-front. We saw them hold people up, and keep some people on the ride instead of letting them off. After we gave up, we discovered that people had gotten stuck, DANGLING, in the middle of the ride. I cannot imagine anything worse. By the time we left, they were only just being let down after having hung up there for 20 minutes. Eee!!

The whole photo album is here
I've got some exciting things coming up -- party on the 3rd, concert in Carnegie Hall on the 9th. Good parties coming up this weekend, along with Adam, which is always a Yay.

And with that, I've got room-cleaning to do and what-not. But I figured that really, these are the memories I'll want to have kept when I'm old and gray.
amalthya: (popaltine)
I always say that you don't realize that you haven't posted in forever until really, forever has come and gone and your internet corpse has already mummified with time.

iCorpse! Coming in Spring 2008!

But it's cold now, and my skin is cold/dry enough that my incessant computer typing is starting to bother my little fingertips. Keyboard Chafe -- is that a common winter ailment?

The internet is trying hard to help me, though. I'm particularly fond of the Google login- Google Maps tie-in. I log into GMail, and it knows all of my recent map searches. Can't remember what the address of the re-enactment is or are your fingers too achey to type it? Solved! Auto-Fill!

I wish I could auto-fill my life.




Where have I been, really?  I wish I knew for sure. I haven't really seen people, which has made me sad, but I'm finally realizing why people balk at my taking 2 languages.  During the first two semesters, neither language was that demanding.  But third semester, when I'm supposed to have a complete command of two completely different sets of vocabulary.  At any one moment, when I'm asked to translate something in either class, I wish I could have a penny for every word that flooded my head.  I'd be SO rich.  I'm working hard, though.

I've already had my hormone-induced pseudo-mid-semester breakdown.  I've found that there's nothing more self-loathing than realizing you have a specific pet peeve that you are DOING YOURSELF.  In this case, everyone is flawed, but standing back and just pointing at one's flaws, like some sort of overbred dog, and not actually doing anything about those flaws is terrible.  And I was doing it, bigtime.  "Here I am, and here are my flaws.  You'll notice them highlighted in lovely orange highlighter, but while there are notes in the margins, I've actually made no moves to remedy the error." 

I had some crises of scholastic-faith as well, wondering what exactly I was doing aspiring to vet school with chemistry being such a struggle, and it being such a big time commitment.  Because really, I won't finish until I'm 34/35.  Which leaves little time for family/children/etc if I do everything in some sort of planned order.  Worry!  Worry-Squared!

In somewhat-related news, things with Adam have been going really well.  We go down to Tampa next weekend to Howl-O-Scare and to see Rachel and her beau, Evan. It's a vacation I've been looking forward to for weeks, and certainly knowing it's in ONE week is exhilarating!  Also, I'm apparently going to his family's house for Thanksgiving.

Unrelatedly, I'll be in Maryland again this weekend.  I know some people are already triple-booked, but if anyone else wants time, lemme know.  I'll only be around until Sunday morning, because we're driving up to meet [livejournal.com profile] noranac and [livejournal.com profile] celestialmartyr for a Revolutionary War re-enactment in New Jersey.

Ah, the things I do for fun.  Some fun things of recent memory:  Stitch and Bitch at Yenni's, Norana's birthday party, playing Werewolves, an evening on [livejournal.com profile] hmasturbator's roof with [livejournal.com profile] infd, [livejournal.com profile] mikestuy, Sokin, Danielle, Nick Johnson, and Chuck Y.  Preceded, of course, by madcap eatery at the overcrowded Panna II.

I guess that the bottom line is that despite things being incredibly busy, me wondering what I'm doing in school, sleeping too little, worrying too much and generally always feeling behind, that I'm feeling good. 

Oh, and I don't care if he wins a second Nobel Prize for "inventing" the internet, I don't think Al Gore would make a good president, and I wouldn't be comfortable voting for him. So stop asking me and suggesting it!
amalthya: (Default)
I actually came out of my chemistry exam this morning happy.  Not just because it was over, but because I felt like I actually had a good grasp on the material.  There were maybe only 2 questions out of 25 that I wasn't quite sure how to do.  And the math that I did tended to yield an answer that was part of the multiple choice options.

I take these as characteristics of success.

Which makes me feel celebratory.  I ALMOST decided to go out tonight! First, there was theorized jazz with [personal profile] rosefox.  Then potentially drinks/concert-ing with [profile] infd and/or Micah.  But honestly, the thought of going all the way downtown when I knew, in my heart, that there was still more work to be done....  inappropriate.

(though in retrospect, DAMN do I wish that I could go and see JV again!  I just can't justify the time/expense. Plus, Tom didn't want to go, and Micah only told me he was going last minute)

There was also a belly-dancing session I really wanted to attend with Sara, but bah, I should really go home.

Especially considering the work I need to get done in the next two days!  I'm heading back to Maryland this Friday to see Adam and attend [profile] pattiejoe's birthday party.  I think a maize-maze is in order too [MD people are of course welcome to join in].

There might also be bridge with [profile] bkleber!  Who knows!  But the main take-home point here is that there will NOT be much time to do things like Swahili exercises, Chemistry Labs, and Disease Ecology reading.

I am VERY excited however about a paper/presentation I'm writing for Disease Ecology -- I spent most of the afternoon today in the computer lab accruing and reviewing articles for it.  Wow, I have a LOT.  But the basic premise is Cleve's field site in Bili, DRCongo, home to some very naïve chimpanzees, is being invaded by a gold-mining outfit.  I want to explore what the possible ecological and epidemiological impacts will be to that population of chimps.  And, if all goes as I'm hoping, Cleve and I will be able to use the paper and presentation to try and sway the proper authorities into shutting down the gold mining camp.  *crossing fingers*  I can only hope that it'll make a difference.

I do happen to try to self-medicate  balance things by having happy things in addition to my big stressbomb semester.  So, in super-exciting-news, my trip to Tampa is all planned.  I'll be seeing Rachel, Evan, Adam is flying down with me and we're ALL going to Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scare.    I'm SO jazzed. 

I've also realized that I have no patience and sympathy for a variety of conditions.  Whether they be pushover-itis, whippedus maximus, chronic lack of personal-responsibility or constant irrational worrying.

It doesn't wane my affection for the people in question at all, but I should realize that sometimes my "tough love" is a little too mean.

And with that, I run. Why am I always running?

For my amusement (Facebook Graffiti I made):

A Quickie

Sep. 16th, 2007 09:28 pm
amalthya: (donutty)
Okay, so I have an enormous chemistry lab looming over my head, and I haven't gotten to finish everything I wanted to, but that's not even the reason I want to rewind things.


Those moments you just wish you could rewind and reply, exactly as they happened the first time, if only just to relive the glee of them? ... I've been having a lot of them lately.

Had a splendid, wonderful day yesterday going apple picking in far-east Long Island with [livejournal.com profile] regyt and [livejournal.com profile] novalis and Adam. I think really the only part of the day that didn't go as perfectly as a tall apple was the ENDLESS driving. And how one definitely forgets how wearying driving in traffic is. I wonder how many of those people on the way back to the city were rubbernecking at that exploded car for the second time in that same day...


I'm extraordinarily tired. Spent the entirety of the afternoon at an Aikido Officers meeting, which I will rant about at a later point. Because really, I'll be off-the-map for the next two days as I struggle to get everything together for school.

Wish I had more time to update, but it's 10pm and I've got Swahili tomorrow early AM.


I can't imagine not having happy dreams tonight.
amalthya: (Default)
Having classes on Fridays almost feels like a secret society.  There's no one on campus.  When I got out of Swahili this morning at 10 am, there was not a single person on the path from College Walk to Lerner.  It seemed almost weird, because there were more people there during the summer when classes weren't in session!

Three classes on a Friday -- Ugh, not ideal.  I keep testing to see how early I have to wake up on Thursdays to actually get to Swahili ontime and be semi-awake.

7, I've deemed, is too late to wake up.  I spend 30 minutes cruising the internet, and then I basically have to leave.  No time for showering or cleaning or anything else.  Which is really just impractical.

It's also impossible to imagine when you start your day at 7 am that it's OVER HALFWAY DONE and that literally, in three hours, Adam will be here.  Our Friday night plans keep changing, but it's all good and mutable.

Random addendums:  I have a LOT of homework to do this weekend, including a gross Chemistry Lab write-up that I only half-finished this morning and last night.  Cumbersome!

When will I find time to do it?  I dunno, but I have to pee and it's nearly impossible to find a bathroom on campus sometimes, so I've gotta go start looking now.

Tata! (PeePee!)
amalthya: (love happy calvin)
I thought that I would contrast my fun from yesterday with some things that have made me extremely happy of late.

Things to say to make Laura smile:
"Oh, and don't forget to bring your bathing suit! We'll be going swimming!

""Do you know how much better you make my life?




Tomorrow, Adam arrives and I whirl him around for a windy tour of New York City. Games Club, of course, but I think we'll also hit MT quickly for Johnny's birthday. And we'd like to have drinks at The View too. How can Adam come to New York and not get a tour of Times Square?

Saturday will be Apple Picking with [livejournal.com profile] regyt and [livejournal.com profile] novalis, with, apparently, swimming in the Hamptons! I don't know what else is scheduled, other than the winery, but either way, the weekend is giving me fuel for the rest of the week, short though it may be. It feels like a lot to get through, especially because my Friday schedules are the MOST hectic!

I'm off to do more homework. Trying to get everything for Monday done now...
amalthya: (Default)

IMG_1948
Originally uploaded by amalthya.
It's infectious, but I've been thinking more about happiness. Old happiness, like seeing [livejournal.com profile] delirium6969 wearing the necklace I gave her when we had our awesome faux-panna-II delectables last week and serendipity.

Or getting ready for the first day of school. Which is today!

I'm going to go to the pool first and go swim some laps.

You'd think that I'd have gotten my fill of swimming, since I spent the entirety of Sunday at Hurricane Harbor with [livejournal.com profile] noranac, [livejournal.com profile] celestialmartyr and Adam. Man, what an AWESOME day it was. I know that the American Dream of water parks probably didn't include queues for tubes, endlessly long lines, murky water, underclothed jailbait, and $8 hot dogs, but good goddamn was it fun.

Slides, lazy rivers, and more lazy rivers. There was screaming, laughing, sunburning, and general merriment. It made it worth the fact that I'd slept so little in order to get there from Adam's birthday. We'd stayed up until 3 am playing in a fabulous D&D campaign run by [livejournal.com profile] dshadow. Then woken up at 7:30 am. The night before, we'd stayed up late playing Wii at Brian's too.

We'd bought one of those disposable waterproof cameras at the Tiki stand and I actually had to take it into the RiteAid yesterday to get the film developed. I felt like Arthur Weasley, asking about the Muggle Subway. It'd been so long since I'd actually had to get film developed that I just had no idea what to expect. It took longer than an hour, but I went to see the movie while I waited.

So despite the old-schooledness of it, the photos came out great! It was just nice to be able to take photos in a water park.

Oh, busy-ness. Oh, reverie. You get to a point where your life feels enriched enough that you just don't need anything else. I went to see a movie by myself yesterday, just because I felt like it. So I saw Becoming Jane because I like the two leads in other films they've done, and I wanted to be whisked away romantically.

These are the days to remember. And with that, I go off to school.

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amalthya: (Default)
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