Monthly Archives: November 2011


So Thanksgiving was good! It’s my favorite holiday, I think, and I really miss having it with my parents. They do it pretty simple, so you miss out on some of the food, but really, they do it so the leftovers make sense and it’s a nice happy  non-glutinous day. Sometimes a turnkey is made, stuffing is made, my mom breaks out her awesome old sausage-grinder thing and makes cranberry sauce, and we take turnkey and stuffing sandwiches on a short hike somewhere. I am a creature of habit, and so I have my favorite place that I always want to go, but we’ve done some others that have been nice.

Thanksgiving at John’s house is roughly opposite. Massive amounts of food, everyone sort of assembles like grouchy bears and at some point start eating. This part I really hate. There’s no real designated start time. I don’t mean like 4pm or anything. I mean that everyone kind of sits around and stares at the food and maybe a couple dishes are being worked on and then at some point people are hungry or something, and so just sort of start assembling plates. There is no thanksgiving and there is no… I don’t know. And maybe there is, it’s just deeply buried and so I, as an outsider to the family, can’t see it.

In any case, I escaped that this year. Possibly by being rude, but oh well. Instead I asked around and found an orphans dinner with happy people. I made a pear and cranberry crosata (tart-like thing) that came out well, though it had a couple mishaps along the way. Like, I remade it entirely. The first one went pretty well. I made a few of the pieces separately and ahead of time, patting myself on my back for forethought. And then wednesday evening rolled out the dough, spread on the almond paste, arranged the ginger-baked pears, sprinkled cranberries, made it all pretty. And then thought “How am I going to get this off of the counter and onto a baking sheet.” Whoops. John tried to save it, but it looked terrible, and I wanted to bring something pretty. So I spent thursday remaking it, and it came out much better. Except for the part where the cookbook told me to bake the finished thing for an hour and 20 minutes. Giant typo there. This cookbook has mislead me a couple times on baking times, which is really unfortunate because I love it otherwise. I think it meant to say 20 minutes, because at about 35-40 when I finally rescued it, the bottom was burned. Oh well. People still really liked it, though we were all too full from dinner to much appreciate desert.

Dinner! Dinner was awesome. I only knew one person when I showed up, but everyone was nice and funny and we had a great time. Three people had guitars so there was lots of music and good conversation. The turkey took longer than expected, but that was all right because we were having a good time hanging out and there was amazing cheese to snack on. Dinner was the turkey, gravy, homemade bread, two different stuffings, garlic mashed potatoes, squash soup, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and my absolute favorite thing there- squash and kale lasagna. John didn’t like the bit I brought home, which is too bad for him since I got the recipe and am totally making it all the time. It was amazing. The recipe is butternut squash and spinach, but they made it with kale and mesclun and I think sweet potatoes. This might be what I needed to get me back to cooking my own lunches.

All in all, lovely evening. I asked John about his, and he said it was really good, but then his description was that everyone brought food, stared at it, ate, watched tv for a while. My night included toasts to Bill Nye the Science Guy. I think I made the right choice.


Big silly plans

So, I’ve been thinking about what I want to do and where I want to go with all this school stuff. Last week I was working a gig where the “plot” was three pages of description, and so my boss handed me a drawing of the room, and I started marking out pipes and where lights should go. I made a key and everything. I really like assisting. I do miss that about theater. I’m good at drafting (though totally behind in the software already) and good at translating things to the page and anticipating what people need, and organizing it all.

I figure that what that means in terms of animals, is assisting in field research. I still want to do some rescue and rehab, and some zoo work. But really, to combine my love of organizing, assisting, making lists and charts, observing, tramping around in brush, and my newly-remembered enjoyment of math, I should be assisting in field research. And I don’t think a vet tech degree is quite enough, though it will be helpful and I’m excited about learning it all.

So then I was looking at the Biology AS at my school. Oddly, it requires not one, but two semesters of chemistry, plus another two semesters of organic chemistry. This is pretty unusual for a bio degree. It seems fairly unique to my systems of schools. Also, for my vet tech, I’m required to take Foundations of Chem. The bio is Fundamentals 1&2. So, I’m going to talk to the department head and see if Fundamentals can count instead, to further combine those.

But then! I was thinking, okay, so a vet tech AAS, a bio AS with a lean towards math, that’s well and good. Do I want to then transfer to the 4 year school in the same system as my community college? Do I want a bio BS? Sort of? But that means being here an awfully long time, let’s check out schools back in California.

And that’s when I discovered that SFSU has a BS in Zoology program that looks really good. And, provided things transfer, the AS here will have me slightly overprepared to go there.

So, provided the chemistry doesn’t sink me, I think that’s what I’m going to do. Spend the next 4-5 years getting two associates degrees, and then transferring to SFState. And then, the world! Or something. We’ll see. We’ll see if I can hack all the chemistry. That’s the part that worries me. We’ll see if things transfer. Also, in you’re a resident, tuition is nice and cheap. If you’re not, it’s the in-state tuition plus 350 dollars per credit on top. Ouch. So, I’d want to do something sneaky about that. Go back to California, get a drivers license there again with my parents address, do the last year here, somehow still as a resident… We’ll see. There is plenty of time to figure it out, and for plans to change.

And all of this is moot if I don’t go back to studying the endocine and nervous systems now.

No excuses!

So, as someone who has always been reasonably intelligent and fairly quick to grasp new things, I never learned how to study. I never really needed to, and that proved detrimental later on. I get excited about projects, but combine my quickly waning interest in the face of having to do more that the initial understanding with my excellent procrastination skills, and I fail pretty quickly. Except that I’m reasonable intelligent and quick on the uptake, which makes me really good at bullshitting, and that got me through some of high school and much of art college. Though I chose to be at art college, and put effort into the classes I cared about. Anyway.

The point is! As someone with that background, it pleases me to announce that college the second time round is a change. I’m having to study for at least one of my classes, and the others require me to be present, and do some work outside of class. So far (approximately 2/3 through the semester), I’m average 100% in Algebra, 96% in Intro to Vet Tech, have two A+’s on essays in composition and fully expect another on the one I’m handing in monday. My freshman seminar is pass/fail, and since I’ve only missed one class for work, and volunteered to speak in a few others, I assume I’m on the Pass end of that.

I mean, this is just the beginning. Vet tech is the only class I really need to study for. But I study more for that than I have for anything. Ever. So, ramping up to real work. It feels different this time around. College the first time, I’m glad I went, but I’m not sure I should have? I mean, I should have. It led me here generally, so.

And I chose it. I wanted to go, very much. But also, I didn’t feel like there was an alternative. I didn’t want to get a job, I wanted to design lights, I wanted to move out and be independent. College was logical. But I was also tired of school. And I picked an arts school, not a liberal arts one. Very few of my classes, after freshman year drafting (which I absolutely loved) really taught me anything. They were practices and hypotheticals. I needed to justify my decisions, but as I said, I’m a pro at bullshitting. I think I got bored and frustrated.

But now, this is what I chose to do. And I had many other options. But I picked this school, this area of study, and I paid for it. (I think that also makes a difference. I’m also still paying off my undergrad, but when it’s just this cloud of debt it still doesn’t really sink in. Writing checks for three months and then seeing “Balance Paid” does.)

What I mean, is that combining that I want to be in school with the fact that I’m doing very well at it, with the fact that I have plenty of work and money these days, with the fact that I’m doing physical things that I like, and am artistically engaged with choreographing, I have no excuses not to be happy. And I am.

(Though my room is a disaster zone and that brings me down a little. Maybe I’ll do something about that tomorrow.)

Current Happenings

1. Working on eating all the Halloween candy not handed out. Apparently, I bought too much. And surprisingly few kids came by. Under 20. Oh well. They all liked my awesome red panda pajamawear.

2. Worrying about Pidgeon for a change. Having been the stoically healthy one for 4 years, she has decided to suddenly take a turn at being the expensively needy one. Waiting on test results about the “grossly misshapen bladder.” No, really, that’s what the vets notes say.

3. Vaguely turning over my family history research paper in the back of my mind. I was supposed to write an outline this morning but got distracted by happening #4. So I guess outline tonight? I have some ideas, at least, I’m just not sure how to organize this into a paper. But that’s the point of working out an outline. Interesting Trivia! I think this will be the first time I’ve ever made an outline for a paper!

4. My rope teacher has said I can choreograph an act for her! I’m excited, and have lots of ideas. The morning was spent watching rope acts on youtube and getting more ideas.

5. SO MUCH WORK. I keep getting offered work. This is good as it pays for happening #2, but it interferes with 3 and 4, not to mention school in general. But it’s good. Keep it coming.

6. I finally stopped and got a burrito at the place by the train station and, as the kids say, omg. Not that it’s superfantasticamazingness, it is simply exactly what I want a burrito to be. It is the burrito of my childhood. I foresee many more such in my future. Especially if happening #5 keeps up.