Sunday, September 30, 2012

College: Weekend Adventures

More fun adventures this weekend! For my evolution class, I was required to visit the Museum of the Earth, an offshoot of the Paleontological Research Institute in Ithaca. I was initially intending to go with people, but they couldn't make it, so instead I had my first solo bus riding adventure! Yay!
I took the 70 to the Commons, and then transferred to the 14, which went out to the museum. At the museum, I wandered around, looking at the fossils and such and taking notes for my assignment (which was to write an article on the museum, and also evolution). They had a pretty neat exhibit. It's small, but it's jam packed with interesting fossils and such. I enjoyed myself!
After, I took a team photo with me and a velociraptor. I like taking team photos to prove I did something with the people I said I did, except this time it was just me.

The bus was half an hour late, so I took some pictures of fall foliage:

I took the bus back to the Commons, where Apple Fest was in full swing. The Commons were absolutely packed with people and the air was full of the scent of apples, fried dough, was awesome. I got some free apple tea and a spice cookie from a cafe that was giving them away, and then I had some apple crisp for "lunch". It was very good apple crisp - more bready than I'm used to, which I liked.
Then I took the 30 back to campus except I missed my stop because I thought it went to a closer stop to where I got off, but it didn't. Upon realizing this, I signaled for the driver to stop, and got off at a random suburban street about a mile from where I wanted to be. Fortunately, I only had to wait another 15 minutes for another bus to come back the other way, but there was a good deal of unhappiness about it.

Here is the random suburban street corner where I was. Fun!

Then that evening, I went to the mall with Sam and Alex, and we ran some errands at Target, but then got dinner at Subway. I saw a man weaving with a 60 year old loom, making carpets. I've been curious about how looms work for a while, so I found it very interesting!
Then we saw Looper, a movie about time traveling telekinetic gangsters that was actually much better than my brief description makes it sound.

Oh, also, I figured you'd all want to know: I got a 92 on my stats prelim! My last prelim, for evolution, is this Monday. Nearly a third of the way through the semester! Wow!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Ultimate Frisbee: First Tournament

I had my first frisbee tournament this weekend! It was exciting, because I've just started frisbee this year, and in fact have just started being athletic this year. It was also terrifying for exactly these same reasons. In all honesty, I was freaking out about it all week, and could barely sleep Thursday night because I was so nervous about going. I've been incredibly shy and insecure about this whole thing, even for me (which is saying something), so I'm really glad that everything went pretty well!
We left Friday night at about 6. I unwisely did not eat beforehand, but fortunately I was tided over by some strategic goldfish crackers and Clif bars. We slept on the living room floor of one of the team member's parents house (who live in Buffalo), which wasn't half bad. It was like a sleep over, and was actually kind of fun. It was nice to be in an actual house again, instead of dreary gray dorms. (I also had a great dream that I was sitting in the field behind my house singing a lewd song with two of my friends.)
Saturday, we got up at 6 in the morning, and scrambled to get dressed, brush our teeth, eat a bagel for breakfast and get out of the house to the field. When we got there, it was raining quite nicely, and just around 50 degrees. It was quite cold. Fortunately, I had planned well and brought rain gear and lots of plastic bags to put my things in.
We played four games. We won two and lost two. Ultimately, though I think everything went pretty well! I learned everyone's name. I ran hard. I actually made one point, which was awesome! Also, when you're hungry everything tastes amazing, so the bagel with peanut butter I had for lunch tasted like love itself. As did the pizza after the game, and the beautiful, beautiful dinner the parents of the team member whose house we were staying at provided for us. It consisted of so much pizza, and wings, and carrots, and cookies. It was amazing.
Sunday went well as well. I started the day off well with another awesome dream about defeating an evil sorceress who was turning people into puppet-slaves with awesome magic of my own, which was awesome. Then we played one game in the morning. I don't think I did as well, though I did try... I also wiped out a few times, one time falling on my back. I was fine, though. (I should really learn how to lay out. It seems like fun). We were absolutely trounced in our game, but that's okay.
Also - hot showers are amazing. As are tacos. And dinners.
And it's weird to say it, but after being away for the weekend, it feels okay to be back. It's nice to leave the campus for a bit and be reminded that, oh yeah, there's a world out there. It's not just going to be this place forever. I have to say, the sense of perspective might have been the best part.
No, wait, here's the best part: At the end of the last game, before I left, all the returning players told the new players to lie in a circle on the ground with our heads in the middle, and shut our eyes. Being highly suspicious by nature, I reluctantly complied. The returners started doing a cheer, and we all felt them pulling at the laces of our cleats.
"They're totally tying our laces together, aren't they," I muttered. But after a minute they told us to open our eyes, and I discovered that they had put this on our laces:

It's a crude duct tape rose, because the women's frisbee team is called the Roses. After being all suspicious and suspecting the worse, it was really awesome to realize, oh, they're actually just being really inclusive and nice and awesome.
I think this frisbee thing is going to work out. Also, I'm really liking being in shape. It's kind of a new feeling, as I'm sure you all know.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

College: What I've Been Up To

It's been a long week, but ultimately good. It was pretty standard as far as classes go. Wednesdays, as always, are exhausting, but everything else went pretty well. I'm taking a jeet kune do/mixed martial arts class, in which I get slightly beat up in the name of education, and the rest of my classes are going well enough. I have an ecology prelim Tuesday, and I have an essay to write this weekend, but it's pretty standard as far as college goes. (Sometimes I wonder if I should be worrying about those prelims more, but I don't really have the worry energy left).

I cut my hair for the first time by myself, and I managed not to completely destroy it! Actually, I think it looks pretty cute. It was getting too long in back, so I just snipped off a bit in the bathroom. It's not bad! I may have to take a little bit more off the sides to get the appropriate layering effect (right now it's a little too triangular for my liking) but I'm glad I didn't completely ruin everything! ...And think about all the money I'm saving, right?

The family visited this Saturday, which was awesome because obviously I missed them, and they're some of my best friends. They came up around noon, and we went to Waffle Frolic in the Commons. I don't recall if I mentioned the place - basically, they sell waffles, among other things, and they are great. (What really makes them is the name, if you ask me). I may or may not have gotten the giant Waffle Ice Cream sandwich, which is three scoops of ice cream sandwiched between two waffles and covered with whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and caramel sauce, and I may or may not have eaten pretty much the entire thing by myself.
Afterward, we went to Robert Treman State Park, which was great fun! We walked the whole Gorge Trail, up past Lucifer Falls (got to love that name), and visited an old mill there. It ended up being a good 5, 6 mile hike, and took us about 2 hours.

Afterward, we bought me cleats, because I am playing in a frisbee tournament this weekend (we'll see how that goes), and I also got a poster to cheer up my vaguely spartan room. It's a sort of M.C. Escher - esque drawing of a warped castle at dusk. I like it immensely and could probably just stare at it for hours.

Then we ate dinner at Applebees, and went grocery shopping. It was a lovely, lovely day, and it's amazing how much I miss them already. I am so lucky to have such a great family.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


One of my favorite inside jokes with my friends is Lyndon B. Johnson. One day, in eleventh grade AP US History, there was a picture of the president we'd be talking about that day up on the overhead. When my friends and I walked in, one of my friends said, "Hey, look, it's Johnson!"
I gave her an incredulous look. "Um, Ashley, that's Reagan," I said. "Wow."
"Oh, huh, I guess it is," she said, and the issue was resolved until our teacher walked in and said,
"Alright, we'll be talking about Nixon today."
Laughter ensued, as well as defensive protests of, "It was an honest mistake! They're all middle-aged white males, after all."
Like all inside jokes, Johnson has just keep progressing from there, in ways that aren't even strictly relevant to the original situation. For instance, Johnson was known to loom over people and intimidate them, so occasionally I will attempt to loom over people when I'm being silly, and say things like, "Pass my legislation!" or "You are becoming intimidated." Also, somehow, we managed to work the phrase, "Johnson disapproves" into our joke.
Anyway, the reason I wanted to share this with you is twofold: one is that it's freaking hilarious. The second is that I found this.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012

Mood-Altering Color-Changing Alarm Clock

My father got me an alarm clock, and it is highly entertaining. To start, it's a white cube that, when you hit it, lights up different colors.

Even better, the instructions are poorly translated from Chinese, and they are beautiful.

Here is the promotional segment on the back: 
"Living in a fast-paced society brings a lot of pressure and stress to people. How to soothe and relieve these problems has been an important project to researchers and scientists for years. They have discovered that light and color change can bring a significant improvement on these problems. Our cutting-edge product MoodiCare clock is made based on that idea. The special features are: it can soothe and relieve your pressure and stress which are caused by many other factors such as work; it is a fully functional alarm clock, ti changes colors with 7 different choices. Your mood can be adjusted while the clocks colors are changing. Please enjoy the MoodiCare color-changing clock with good mood!"

And here are the "attentions":
"1. Avoid fierce concussion and falling.
2. Don't lay in sunlight, high temperature, damp place.
3. Don't brush the surface with liquid with erosive ingredient or coarse cloth.
4. Please reload the button battery when the display is unnormal for puling out the isolating slice.
5. Don't mix new battery with the old one. Replace battery when display is not clear.
6. Put out battery to avoid leak destroying the appliance if used for a long time.
7. Don't detach inner component."

I love it when the directions make no sense. It's so entertaining.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

College: Family Visits

I've been here a good full two weeks now, though it feels so much longer than it has been. Normally, I'm like, two weeks? Pff! That's nothing, but these two weeks have been so full of everything that they've felt freakishly long. More proof that time hates me.
At any rate, my family visited this Saturday, which was beautiful. It was really great to see them all again. We went to Target to get some things I needed, like sneakers for my new running / frisbee playing habit. (I know, my sudden athleticism is weird, but exercise really does make me happy). Then we drove down the Commons and walked up a gorge and through some streets. We went to dinner at a place called Lot 10, which is where the Wildfire Cafe used to be, which was where the Lost Dog Cafe used to be. (The Lost Dog Cafe was better). Dinner was great, and having the parents near and with in communication distance is great, because I solve my problems myself, but they're always there for me to talk to and just have a reality check. I also forgot, just amidst everything, that one of the reasons I chose to go to this college is because it's within pretty easy visiting distance. It's only 45 minutes away from home, and I'd sort of forgotten that that was why I came here. So I can visit, and people can visit me. This is what I wanted, and as long as I'm doing what I can to do well in school and get involved with communities here, there is no reason I should be cut off from my family and friends! It's simply nonsensical.
After dinner we walked around the Commons some more, and then went back to the townhouse to unload our purchases and my stuff that they've brought from home, and then we had to say goodbye, and there was some sadness and crying.
I was upset that I was upset, too, because I've been feeling pretty decent this past week, but I want to be able to see my parents and family and not feel super sad. I don't want my contentedness to be contingent on my isolation from my "former" life. I want to be able to think about memories and good times, and not be filled with sadness. But I realized that I really enjoyed myself while we were together, it's just that goodbyes are always hard. And that was really the problem. I'm living pretty well on my own, but it has only been two weeks, and goodbyes are always hard.
Fortunately, they do live close, and we've more or less set a date for another two weeks from now, which seems reasonable. And, hypothetically, though this almost certainly won't happen, they could come up next weekend, if I really needed them to. This won't happen, but it's nice to know that they're there, and I'm not being a huge burden on them.
So, two weeks! I've done it once, I can do it again. And two weeks seems reasonable. Every week might be excessive, but two weeks is perfectly fine. And it won't always have to be right on the nose, and it can be spread out a little more in the future, or it can stay the same. But this is reasonable, and it's going to be fine.