Monthly Archives: October 2011

I have neglected this again. But I was busy!

So, I’ve been a bit busy lately. Understatement.

I’ve had a lot of work, which is good, but also not. But my bank account is super happy. And school didn’t suffer much. Or at least, the ramifications haven’t come clear yet.

I was mostly off in a horse barn in NJ setting up this huge ridiculous thing. It involved a horse ballet. I wasn’t there for the show, but from what I hear, the horse ballet was underwhelming. PS, that part accounted for a full day of work. Plus about half of strike. Dear event planners- if you’re going to spend that much on something as silly as a horse ballet, it had better be spectacular.

Then I spent a couple days up at the cathedral of St John, which is one of my absolute favorite places to work. It’s gorgeous, and we get to go up in to the walls and everywhere. We were way shorthanded, which sucked, but we got everything done and the show went well. The show was their annual Halloween thing, which is my favorite thing ever. Just about. They show a silent movie with live organ accompaniment. (Pause for a second to imagine watching a movie with a real organ, with 1000 or so pipes, playing. It’s fantastic.) And then they have the procession of ghouls, or something. They have a hellmouth set up, and this string of amazing characters with fantastic masks and costumes come out and make their way down the aisle. I can’t really describe it very well, but it’s a fantastic time. They do two shows that night, and there are probably 500 people at each. Possibly more. John came and sat with me for the second show, and then helped with pre-strike a little. The movie this time (also, shown from a real old projector reel) was Phantom of the Opera (and I was really excited to hear the theme on a real organ, and then remembered that that was written for the stage version years later) which was pretty good. Some funny bits. It was interesting to see how different it was from the story I’m used to. The most glaring difference is that the Phantom is killed in the end. By an angry mob with torches (which was possibly my favorite part. Not that he was killed, but an unironic, original instance of angry town mob with torches! Very satisfying).

I think I’m going to skip classes on Halloween, since I finally live in a neighborhood with kids, who go trick or treating. I’m excited. I still have to pick up candy and carve a pumpkin, though, so that’s on the agenda for tomorrow.

There’s only a little over a month of school left! It’s going fast. Algebra is going fine. Vet tech is good. Composition, I’m doing well in, two A+’s on the essays so far, need to write the third today, and I have a research paper due in a few weeks. That’s the one that’s not going well. The assignment is family history 1900 to present, and unfortunately it’s a subject I have very little interest in. Or rather, I have already exhausted my interest in. Oh well. It’s pretty short, 5-8 pages, including the citation page. I’m wondering if I’ll be penalized for only doing one side of my family. The problem is that it’s so broad. In 1900, (and this is just the one side) 3 of my great grandparents were born, so I have to start with them, plus their 8 parents. They were in 4 different countries. By the time we get to my grandparents, we’re down to two different states, so that’s good. But in those 14 people, a lot happened. A lot of places, circumstances, careers, siblings. It’s a little overwhelming. To add another 14 people, places, circumstances etc is a lot. That 28 people. 30 including my parents. 31 including me. Any one of their lives could make up 5-8 pages easily.

So I’m struggling a bit between my interest level taking up about a page, and the potential information level taking several hundred. And then my tendency to procrastinate, and lack of experience planning out and executing a project over more than a week or two. And being busy and much more interested in my vet tech homework. I’ll figure it out somehow. In the meantime, I have to go write another short essay so that at least 3/5 of my grade is an A+.

 

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Busy

So, so busy. Sort of. This week is more calm, but I have a ton of work all next week, and just picked up another thing for the beginning of november (that I’m heading. Eesh.) and school is getting a little more tough.

It’s mostly vet tech (shocking, I know). There’s just so much to learn. The quizzes are pretty easy, and short, but I always freak out a little because you never know what’s going to be asked, so I try to know everything. Which is the idea, I know.

I’m scattered right now, so this isn’t a very good update. Also, John left this morning to go diving for a week. Which is good, because he needed to get away for a bit, and I get to watch my terrible tv shows without him wincing and/or leaving. But I miss him barrels, and it’ll be a lonely week. Good thing three of those days I’m working 12-16 hours. But it means the cats will have to wait for their food. He’s been feeding them in the evening when I get home late. Not this week. I figure it’s good for them, sometimes.

I watch a lot of Animal Cops Houston, about the Houston SPCA rescuing and rehabilitating animals. It’s fantastic, and makes me hate people, but like Texas, and all of the people who work there. Also, like any SPCA, it depends mostly on donations. And they have SO MUCH. Their processing rooms look like hospitals, they have stables, they have trailers, they have a warehouse full of kennels and crates for collecting animals, they have vets and techs and investigators and volunteers. It is the most well funded animal rescue place I’ve ever seen (and clearly, if you want to work in shelter work, this is the place to be). I’m sure they euthanize just as many animals as other places, but the show of course skips over that. But they seem to have a very good adoption rate as well.

I should go look at the respiratory system again.

Self flagellation

So, I’ve started going to Crossfit classes. Crossfit is this …  what, form of exercise? Theory of exercise? The idea being- to become the best all-around athlete you can. So, it varies constantly (bonus in my [easily bored] eyes), and you do everything. And it’s also for time. You see either how fast you can do a certain set of things, or how many you can do within a set amount of time, ,and that’s where the cardiovascular stuff comes in.

Everyone who likes this, looooooves it. Tends to create manic devotees. We’ll see in my case.

I went to the free intro a week ago, and it killed me. We learned the proper form for squats and burpees, and then did a times set, 21 of each, 15 each, 9 each. I had trouble walking down the subway stairs and it took three days for my muscles to recover.

Today was easier. I’m doing the starter course, 6 classes in two weeks. We did the benchmark test today, and then we’ll do it on the last day and see what’s up. It was a 400 meter run (which we did because it was really nice out. Otherwise it would have been a 500 meter row. I would have much preferred that) 40 squats, 30 sit ups, 20 push ups, 10 pull ups. Of the three of us in class, I finished last at 5:06. Which is fine, I did my best and all that. I blame the running. Rowing is the same action as pulling cable out of a tangle, and I am great at that, while me and running have our issues.

But it was good. And I didn’t feel as bad at the end. My rope burn was a problem, though, with the squats, and the stretching at the end. When I got home after the burn, I checked it and it looked a lot better already, so much so that I forgot it was actually still an open scrape, and I put aloe on it. By morning, it was 8 times worse, and it’s still very unhappy now. A little smaller, but walking is painful. Running somehow was okay for the most part. But lesson learned. No aloe on serious rope burns. Someone asked me if I’d gotten it from a motorcycle tailpipe, that’s how bad it looks. Eesh.

Scattery

So, first off, I’ve talked to people more, and the protest has developed a bit, and so now I’m fully behind it. I get it now. I still have the same worries about it, but less so. Moving on.

I love school these days. I mean, my composition class is silly, and I’m ahead in algebra so I’m bored a lot. But then I get to take quizzes and exercise it and all. It’s fun. And everything in my vet tech class is great. I’m so excited about learning these terms and figuring things out in latin. Like- my cats condition is called thrombocytopenia. I knew what that was, but just because I knew what was going on with her. But now- thrombo-clot, cyto-cell, penia-deficiency. It’s like magic code. I just had that moment again with plantar fascititis. Plantar- bottom surface of foot (in animals, the hind foot specifically, front is palmar), fascia- fibrous membrane that encloses muscle, itis-inflammation. Hey, presto!

Were I actually learning to speak latin, I think I wouldn’t have as good a time. But as descriptive code, it’s fantastic.

I’ve been going to rope class pretty consistently, which has been great. I’m finally getting better at stuff, and in general, rather than just relearning and running to stay in place. But then today I was doing this drop and I forgot to pull my leggings down before I climbed and so below the back of my knee was exposed, and enter the best rope burn ever. It’s pretty bad. It’s distracting me from my muscle and integumentary system studying.

 

Protestation

So I haven’t been down to the Occupy Wall Street protests yet, but I have been following them a lot. I have friends who are there a lot, one of whom gets to sort of report about it sometimes. I’m a little split about them, though.

On the one hand, yay protests! Good for them! And the actions of the police, deplorable! And the transit union and pilots have joined them! And, I just read, some Marines are stepping up and joining to show their support and protect people from the cops. So that’s pretty fantastic.

But on the other hand, I don’t quite know what they’re protesting. It’s scattered, seemingly on purpose. From what I’ve heard, anyone with anything to protest is welcome. For the most part, it’s about corporate accountability and all that. But what do they want? What’s the end point? I’m worried that this is just going to kind of peter out and fizzle and look pathetic.

But, it also is an giant experiment in community building. They have things organized, they have meetings, issues are dealt with, information is distributed. It’s an amazing demonstration of cooperation and community, and I appreciate any and all working examples of cooperative living.

But (and I hope this is the last time I start a paragraph with that), returning to the scattered idea behind the protest- I think it’s about nostalgia. I think people in their mid 20’s to mid 30’s feel stagnant and left out. They missed the anti-war demonstrations, the de-segregation marches, the sit-ins and arrests, and they want to have that. They want their moment, their movement, their mark. They want that experience. One of the things I’ve read had a quote of  “Of course this will end at some point, but it’s not just about being here,” he said. “It’s not just about causing change. It’s about us living that change.”

And that, to me, is both the pride, and problem, of this protest. There is no definable goal, and that is the point. The point is to be a part of some kind of change. And they are having a protest to enact that change. But what’s the change? If half of the people there have different ideas about it, then they all have different ideas about a satisfied ending. And if there isn’t a unified message with concrete demands, or terms, or actions to be taken, then no one is going to acquiesce to anything. And it will just fizzle and peter out and be pathetic.

So, I fully support the protesters. I’m interested in it. I probably will stop by sometime to see it for myself. And I hope that it comes together as something more unified and complete, and as more than just an exercise in cooperative outside living.

 

Update edit- I also posted this to facebook and a friend of mine had a really good reply-  “something to consider is that this generation is dealing with an enemy that isn’t just the federal gov’mnt, its not just the president, its not the FBI, its not just policy + legislation. the 1% of the USA that holds most of the country’s wealth is a hard group to target, but that being difficult isn’t a reason to not make noise. Protest isn’t always rooted in policy changes and government overthrow. Protest is a tool used to show dissent, frustration and, in this case, role-model the kind of communities we would like to be a part of. SO: i think that people who are saying that this group lacks focus and direction are really reacting to the kind of abstract enemy we are being faced with. If there were a formula for dealing with the horrendous state of the nation that is taking homes and jobs and money away from folks who are in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, then that could be incorporated into this movement, but there isn’t. That’s no reason, however, to stay quiet. If everyone waits for the perfect resistance, there won’t be any.”