10 December 2010

You're no good at what said you'd do to me

I have a paper due tomorrow that I'm currently not writing. Some call it senioritis. I call it me being inherently lazy. It's all laid out anyway. It's only going to take an hour or so to write, and I don't plan on much sleep anyway.
The semester is over. Tomorrow (or today, if you care that it's four in the morning and iCal says it's officially the tenth), is the last day of classes, and I only have two of them. It's the last day of Biochem, and I couldn't be happier. That class has really torn me up. For the third exam, though, I studied a different way, and I got a ninety one. I was so happy, so proud of myself. I can do okay in that class, it just took me forever to figure out how.
The paper I have due tomorrow is for English. I like the professor a lot. He's so relaxed, and he's funny, so it makes the class interesting. When you take a survey English course, where you cover dozens of works over a semester and have to keep a fast pace, you run the risk of things running dry, but he's kept the class flowing. I'm taking another class with him next semester, and I'm pretty excited about it. In my paper, I'm talking about different forms of justice, using two poems to demonstrate it.
Possum is all healed up. A few days ago, her sutures closed up all the way, and everything scabbed over. The scabs fell off as she walked around, and I had to help a few off, because they were hanging and I worried they would catch on something and tear. They've finally all come off, and I've taken the cone off and she's happily moved back in with her sister. I have to keep an eye on the scar tissue for a few days, to be sure they don't irritate it too much, in which case they would need to be separated, the cone put on, and antibiotic cream applied, but everything is going well. Possum moved back in like she had never left, and she kind of never did. Even when she still had the cone on, she walked into the big cage when she was out with Cinder, and tried to live in it. It was so funny watching her trying to get into the ball they sleep in with that thing around her neck.
Wednesday was Pretend to be a Time Traveler Day. My suitemates (that is, Shana, Christine, Mer and myself, because Sarah and Katherine don't like us that much...or at least don't share our ideas of fun) got all dressed up and came up with a huge storyline that could link our parts together. I borrowed a black tube top dress with petticoats from Shana and wore heels. I even dyed my hair black for the part. (plus the blue was fading) My part was that of a Duchess, and Christine was my peasant servant. Shana was a vampire huntress from 5019 (or something) and Mer was the vampire. The story was that Shana was chasing Mer over the timelines to hunt her down and kill her, and Christine and I got caught in the fray and ended up with in the present day. We went to all of our classes in costume and played our parts. In the afternoon, we all went out to the quad. Christine and I had the "timepiece" that allowed time travel, and were trying to figure out how to work it. Shana and Mer came to take it from us, fought, and I was finally stolen by Shana because I had the timepiece. She picked me up, threw me over her shoulder, and ran back into the building with me. Except at one point, she kind of had to drag me along because the ground was too slippy to carry me. It was so much fun, and I wish that we could do those things more often. It's a shame it's too cold to dress up like that often. I had to use a pretty heavy coat to class and leggings to keep warm enough. I have photos of the dress, but I haven't uploaded them to my computer yet. I will over the weekend.
I'm going back to my dad's next week, on Friday. I asked my dad if he knew anyone who needed some part time help over the break. His response was "Why? You need money?" Of course I do. I owe seven hundred dollars to Care Credit for Possum's vet bill. The company sent me a statement saying "Give us $23 by the end-ish of December." I gave them fifty on my last paycheck. I'm getting paid again today. With a 25-or-something% interest on the ORIGINAL bill after the six-month leeway period, I'm not wasting time to pay it back. Anyway, my dad apparently got me a job with Otto over the break. I'm supposed to call him tomorrow. I'm not going to have fun working there again, but I really need the money. I kind of feel like I'm selling out. Maybe I am. I remind myself that soon, I'm going to be working at the job I love. I remind myself that, in a month, I'll go back to tutoring Chemistry, my favourite job so far. I've realized that I have to teach. It's in my blood. Or something else that's kind of corny.
Today in lab, we did something fun. We coated glass Christmas ornaments with Silver. On the inside. Apparently, this is something that every chemistry class in high school does, because all of my friends and even my brother remember this. My chemistry class did not. Wtf, Jenny Jeffrey? Anyway, it was so much fun. We mixed Silver Chloride, ammonia, potassium hydroxide and glucose in the bulb, corked it, and rotated the bulb as the reaction took place, which eventually resulted in an even coating. We get to take them home, and Professor Leo says we should give them to our parents as presents. This poses a problem for me. Since my parents live apart, that would mean giving both of them away, but I'm super proud of my work, and I want to have one for my own christmas tree. I'll probably give them away either way. It was still super cool.
My healthy Possum. She wasn't very cooperative for photos today.

Cinder! She decided to clean me for the first photo.

Cinder again. It had the potential to be an amazing photo, except she moved at the last second.

07 December 2010

Just another day. Not.

Meet Dr. Destruction. He and I are great friends.

05 December 2010

With love, Arsenic.

It's snowing outside. A lot. I was outside earlier, taking it in. It's really winter in Syracuse now.
Life seems really busy, but maybe it isn't really. I know there are things that are keeping my mind occupied.
Possum had surgery for her mammary tumor two days before Thanksgiving. It was the day I was leaving for home. I knew that either, she would make it through the surgery and I would go home happy, or I she wouldn't, and I'd go home depressed. She made it through just fine. I was so nervous for her the whole day. When I dropped her off at seven thirty in the morning, I wanted to hug her and wish her luck, but the animal care person came and whisked her away before I could. I remember thinking, "Wait. I didn't even get to say 'goodbye.'" I cried the whole way home. And then I had to make it through an exam and another class. It was lucky of me to have so many great friends here. They helped me pack and clean up so I could prepare to go home. I kept thinking "what am I going to do if Possum doesn't make it? What am I going to do about Cinder? Will she hate me?" Every time the phone vibrated, or made any noise at all, I jumped. I watched television waiting for the call, and it never came. I drummed the remote to keep my hands busy. Finally, my brother and I got into the car, and I still had no word from the vet. I couldn't wait anymore. I called them. I was prepared to hear "Sorry, she didn't make it." But they said she was recovering, and she did great in surgery. I was so relieved that I cried. hard.
When we picked her up, she was tired, depressed, and had a cone on her head. Her suture spanned her whole belly, and it was terrifying to look at. She wouldn't really eat for the first day and a half besides snacks. She wouldn't take her pain meds. I had to coat Cheerio's with it so that she would actually take it.
Then she got a rash on her neck from the collar. I called a late night hotline for advice. They said I could pad it, so I did, with felt. I was too busy the next day, so a friend took her to the vet for me to have it looked at. They gave her an antibiotic cream to help it heal, and a bigger collar that doesn't rest so tightly on her neck. The rash has healed.
She's almost done healing entirely. There are places along her sutures that are entirely closed. In a few days, she can have the collar off for good, and she can go back to living with her sister. I can't wait for that day. They're so lonely, even with the cages as close to each other as I can get them.
I should talk about Halloween.
I went to two parties for Halloween, and I dressed as Al Capone. For one party, I went down to my friend Casey's apartment in the Heights and we ate candy and snacks and drank and had a lot of fun. The other party, a bunch of us went to Shana's house, where we hung out in the graveyard and ate pizza and painted pumpkins. The second part of that party brought us down to the basement with a Stegosaurus pinata (the stegocandysaurus) that we named Mordor. It was so much fun -- a lot more fun than the Halloween Dance that was advertised around campus, I'm sure.
During Research, Mullins gave us a whole jar of brand new Capillary Tubes. They are used for spotting salt and TLC plates.
Close up.

Possum with her E-collar on. She's kind of mad at me for it.

This is the best I could get of her belly. She won't stay still for a photo of her sutures.

Ari Capone.

This is a chamber below a building in Watkins Glen. We were daring each other to go inside, and took flash photos to see if there were any serial killers inside.

This is Shana's dog, Killian (the spelling may be off). He's an Irish Wolfhound who loves snuggles and running like a crazy guy. And he really is taller than the washer behind him.
Everyone who went out to Shana's house. From left: Jessica Bresidola, Meranda Beauvais, myself, Anthony Hinkelman, Shana Phelps.

This is our Stegocandysaurus, Mordor.

Pumpkins with Mordor! Made from left to right, respectively, by: Anthony, Jess, Shana, myself, Meranda.

This is a view of Watkins Glen from a building located near the very top of a cemetery.

It's Pinata Time! We did NOT simply break into Mordor!

We were using a Swiffer handle to break Mordor, but it wasn't working, and we in fact broke the handle. So we had to punch our way into Mordor.

13 October 2010


A lot of things have happened, I guess. I don't remember all of them.

I went to my dad's house last weekend for October break. I love going there in October, because it's always so beautiful. I miss the autumn when I'm here, because it passes by so quickly and it seems like it's snowing before I can even blink my eyes. Back in Philmont, I was able to take a day to walk around town and take in the air and the smell and the sights of autumn. It was wonderful. The kind of thing I hope to never entirely lose in life. The kind of thing that can always make me happy. No matter what.
Over the break, I met with my mom for coffee, and she told me that I've lost a lot of weight. I didn't really believe her, until my dad hugged me, and told me I felt so much smaller to him. I don't see it, but then again, I see myself every day. Gradual changes are hard to notice.
Over the break, I had to bring my dad's girlfriend to Hudson for a job interview. On the way back she asked me: "Andrea, are you having dinner at my house?" MY HOUSE. I shuddered. I threw her out of the car. I pulled over and screamed in her face, told her that it will never be her house, no matter how hard she wished it was, that it was my dad's house, and yes, even MY house, and not hers never ever ever hers. That was what happened in my head. My real response was "no."
I wanted to bring my flute back here. Or one of my clarinets. Playing music always keeps me calm. I forgot them.
Today, I got my biochem exam back, finally. It took almost three weeks. Turns out I failed it. 61 points. I wanted to puke. I can't recall ever failing an exam. I felt like I failed the whole class. That everything I worked for my whole life was garbage, and there was no way any grad school would ever except me with a failing grade. I swallowed it all up and went to my next class. I don't really get upset anymore. Or, I try not to. It's going well.
I talked to the professor. We went over the exam. Figured out where and why I screwed up. I asked if there's anyway I can still do well in the class. She smiled warmly at me and said "Absolutely." I hope so. The first thoughts that ran into my head afterward were that I should never take breaks again. Sleep very little. Study all the time. Know every little thing inside and out. I knew it was unreasonable. That's how my brain works. I think that I know something, and when I realize I don't, I think of ways to know every tiny aspect of it, because I feel like a disappointment to myself that I couldn't prove my knowledge. My brain probably doesn't work in the way it's supposed to most of the time.
I've gotten a cold, somewhere. It's one of my bad ones. The kind that makes it hard to walk, because my legs are so weak for no reason, and time passes by without notice. The kind that makes it so that I start a song, and it's over before I realize what exactly I'm listening to. This kind of cold makes me feel delirious. My mom thinks I have a flu. I do not have a fever, so bullocks to that, probably.

I like this photo a lot. It was taken on the property of where my mom works.

Just cute things my ratties do. Sometimes I'm lucky enough to catch it on the camera.

These are some chocolates that my mother picked up for me. They where pretty good.

During this break, Dante actually behaved pretty well, so he's my friend for now.

28 September 2010

I am Demongo, Ruler of the Pit of Hate

I'm doing homework.
Correction: I'm trying. I don't want to. I don't want to write papers. I don't want to study. I don't want to plan for grad school. I don't, in fact, want to sit here, in a chair.
I want to move. How? I don't really care.

Today, my brother bought me an oil change and new windshield wipers. These are things I held off buying for the past three months. He introduced the fact by sending me a message saying, "I'm borrowing your car. <3">

Right now, my hands are swelling. A lot. I worry that my rings will not come off. I'm not concerned enough about it to take them off.

I believe I am getting sick. I've noticed that I'm having difficulty breathing over the past few days, and I'm becoming tired over easier tasks. I knew it was coming, since the weather here has been fluctuating, but it's still not fun.

Lately, though, my mood has been pretty good. I'm not as concerned over things as I have been in the past. I was worried about paying for my GRE and Chemistry subject exam, and that stressed me out a lot, but I found a good solution pretty quickly, so I'm not too worried about that anymore. The biggest worry now is doing well on both exams.

I have a marvelous opportunity this Friday. I'm going to the eye doctor for the first time in two years and, since I have noticed a significant change in my vision, I will likely have to get new glasses. What style should I choose? I don't know, but it's exciting to think about the possibilities.

Last week, I began the technical part of my research experience. I was mostly just helping out an experiment that was already going on, since my materials had to be ordered, but it was still a lot of fun. I got to burn a bunch of TLC (Thin Layer Chromotography) plates, because it helped the spots to show better. It was another one of the moments in life where I felt like I was really a chemist.

I need to study. I have an exam for Analytical Chemistry tomorrow. We take our exams during lab. I don't know why. It allows for more exam time, sure, but it still feels weird. Shouldn't I spend my lab time doing...labs? NOT TOMORROW.


14 September 2010

Forever Ephemeral

I had something to say here. A whole list of things that I thought of in the shower, and suddenly, they are all vanished into the Aether.
Speaking of Aether, or ether, as it is now written, is a pretty interesting thing. In metaphysical terms, it was deemed by Aristotle as the quintessence, the fifth element. It was the thing that the universe above the terrestrial earth was made of. It was where the gods lived and what they breathed. It's the kind of thing that one could imagine everything else sort of popping out of. Like words.
Tonight, I was working on my research project, and I had finally found a paper on Perkins condensations that I could access (without paying 30 pounds), and it turns out that I don't really know if it was what I was looking for. The language of the paper is so dense and complex that it's hard for me to pinpoint anything useful. Thus, I'm going to have to tell Dr Mullins tomorrow that I'm at a bit of an impasse, as it took me two hours just to find that one paper. Maybe he can point me in the right direction. Or else fail me in research. One of those.
Earlier in the day, I went to visit Dr Masingale, who I'm tutoring General Chemistry for. At one point, he asked me a question that dealt with density, but I couldn't think of the word "density" for some reason. That's when he handed me a plastic container of water, and then another container, a smaller one. As he handed it to me, he said, "Careful. Unless you've been lifting weights, you're going to have a hard time with this one!" And it was true, because the liquid inside of the bottle was Mercury. I don't know how he ended up with so much Mercury, but he told me he "accumulated it over time." I got so excited to be holding this bottle of this element I'd never seen for myself, to experience for myself how dense it really was. I really wanted to open the bottle and pour some out onto my hand and play with it. Then I remembered that mercury poisoning is no fun.
I also had my first workshop session today, for Organic. I think it went pretty well, although I've noticed that I'm still really awkward when it comes to public speaking. I don't think I'll ever be totally okay with it. I always just start panicking a little, and shove it down, because I know that I have to get to friggin' work. One question was really weird, though, because it involved Ca3N2, which I've never heard of before. When I looked up the structure, I was really surprised:

This is what it looks like. Just know that Ca and N should NOT be forming double bonds with each other, because of their difference in metallic character, etc. I want to know why it happens. Of course. I always want to know why weird things happen. I think that's why I liked Inorganic a lot; I learned that two metals, Cesium and Gold can form an ionic bond, even though they shouldn't. These are the kinds of things that keep me tied to something. I'm just curious.
I think I'll talk to Mullins about this Calcium-Nitrogen structure tomorrow, as long as he doesn't fire me as his research student. But that's unreasonable, right? I can't expected to find all the information forever, right?


11 September 2010

Are you there? Can someone answer me? Come where I can see.

The weather here has been fluctuating a lot. It's very suddenly turned into the time of year when I am prepared to get sick, because I know it will happen.
Today is sunny-ish (about as sunny as it gets in Syracuse), and about seventy degrees. Yesterday was pretty nice, mid-sixties. Thursday, though, was cold, rainy, in the fifties. This is the sort of thing I should be used to; I've lived here for three years, now. It is precisely one of the reasons I cannot stay here after I graduate. I am the kind of person who likes the sun and warmth, who likes to experience autumn to the fullest, being able to take in crisp autumn air and move comfortably from tank tops to T-shirts to sweaters, and finally into my winter coat. I like the smell of autumn. It's a gorgeous smell, and I miss it greatly when I'm here. I remember, one day last spring, I was walking home from class and smelled autumn. I stopped right where I was and looked around me. I thought I had been deceived as to the time of the year, the place. I got hopeful. That's when the smell disappeared and it rained.
They say that Syracuse has only two seasons: Construction and Winter. I believe it sometimes.
I've officially started my research. I've got a proposed synthesis, and almost all of my information, so hopefully we can start working on it soon. Dr. Mullins gave me my own pair of lab goggles to bring to the lab. It sounds weird and kind of corny, but having that box sitting in my room, with a pair of clean, new goggles makes me feel like a real chemist, like I'm finally becoming the thing I set out to be when I started here. Goggles shouldn't do that. But they do. I'm excited to do research. And also scared.
I want to spend a day outside without worry.

I took this photo over the past summer. It's weird, but this is the only recent photo I have of me and my father. He's getting lonely back home, since both my brother and I are gone now. He calls me a lot more than he used to. He won't admit that he's lonely. I should think it annoying, but it shows me that he really misses us and loves us and isn't concentrated on his crappy girlfriend all the time, and that makes me happy.

06 September 2010

Too Tired to Know, Too Drunk to Tell

The first week of school is over. I haven't posted much all summer.
Over the summer, I was bitten by a cat. It turns out it didn't have rabies, but I didn't know that, and got rabies shots in my foot and arm. It was not a good time. The Hydrocodone they gave me for the pain, now that was almost a good time.
As a result, my foot swelled up for a week, and I couldn't wear anything that wasn't totally open-toed, so I was confined to flip-flops, which is a weird thing to say. It meant that I couldn't work for a week, and both myself and my boss were extremely displeased about that (even though I hated that job).
I went camping in Rhode Island with my mom for vacation. During the drive there, I got sunburned, because we had the top down on the Mustang, and I didn't wear sunscreen. Since I had gotten my last rabies shot that morning, I had a Band-Aid sunburned onto my arm. When we got there, we went to the ocean, and I almost drowned, because I wanted to go Boogie-Boarding when the tide was coming in. It didn't work.
Then it stormed. It was a good thing we put the rain guard on our tent, or all of our things would have gotten wet. Later that night, we got a fire going and roasted hot dogs for dinner. It was really nice to sit by the fire and be outside. The next morning, I woke up to fresh, open air, and it was one of the best feelings I've ever experienced. We went to the ocean again, and I succeeded in Boogie-Boarding, but I kind of wished the surf was like the day prior, to make it more interesting. I got a really bad sunburn that day.
I also went horseback riding and to Ausable Chasms with my mom, but a few days prior to Rhode Island. It was a lot of driving, but a lot of fun, and the Chasm was really beautiful.
I went to Lake Taghkanic a lot. It was nice to just grab a bunch of friends and go, without thinking much about it. It was nice to bring sandwiches or hot dogs and enjoy the sun and water. I miss all of those people dearly already.
When I moved here, it was pouring. Rain all over the state of New York, and so I had to drive in it for three and a half hours. It was not a fun time. And the moving in part was even worse. My Converse shoes got completely soaked, and by the time they dried, I had received my new ones in the mail.
Then I had training for a week, which was not fun. It was eight hours of training, learning stuff I knew I would never use again. Then RESNET weekend came, and it was a lot of kids not knowing what an ethernet cord was, or having random problems that were easily fixed if they just stopped to think for a minute. By the time the total seventeen or so work hours of RESNET weekend was complete, I never wanted to help another student. That's when the workweek, and the school year, started.
So far, I have at least three professors who care about attendance, which is mildly annoying. I thought professors were supposed to care less about that sort of thing as you got into upper level classes. I'll get over this, of course, but it seems pointless to me.
Also, I'm officially a research student! It's exciting, but the process to get there was pretty exhausting. I had done some very low-level research, and then Dr. Mullins, who is my research advisor, told me to write a proposal. It was pretty stressful, and it ended up getting finished at three in the morning, but he said it sounded great, and it was submitted. I have to have some information gathered for tomorrow, but I haven't done anything yet. I have the whole night, though, so I'm not too worried.
So, as far as this semester goes, I have five classes, six hours worth of lab, three jobs, and research going. It's going to be stressful, but I'm sure it won't be unbearable. At least I'll be able to keep as busy as possible.

I should talk about not-school school stuff.

I live in a six-person suite in Foery, which I normally call Forble. I really like all the people here, and for one, I feel like I live in a comfortable place.
Over the past week, I've learned to play the game Apples to Apples, which is threatening to take up a lot of my SHOULD-be homework time. In this game, you get a card with a word on it, and each player, except one, holding seven cards each, matches their cards to it, either by choosing a related or unrelated one. The player who doesn't play a card is the judge, and picks which card they feel relates (or doesn't) to the target card best. It's a lot of fun and becomes really hilarious. I've played it in varying groups of the people in my suite and my friends, and it's always a great time.
One of the best parts about being here now is that my brother also attends Le Moyne, so I get to see him nearly every day. It's great to be able to go and hang out with him when I'm feeling stressed, because I know that, without a doubt, I can count on him to make me feel better somehow.
I've also met quite a few people since being here, as well as meeting up with old friends. I never realized I had so many.
Today, we had Laser Tag, and we played it a lot. One of the rounds, I got the most points, with 9000 of them!
That being said, this weekend has been pretty lonely. I usually go away this weekend, but this time I didn't. It's not as though I entirely regret it; I had a lot of fun. But it still had some degree of emptiness in it. It's hard to admit it; I'm not sure why I'm mentioning it now.

I'm looking forward to this year.

This motion is intentional. I just wanted to see what would happen.

At Ausable Chasm

Ausable Chasm

Harrier Hill Park

Ausable Chasm

High Falls

Ausable Chasm

Ausable Chasm

07 June 2010

That is all.

03 June 2010

I feel so extraordinary, Something's got a hold on me

That is the song I'm listening to. But by Anberlin, not the other guy(s)[?]

Speaking of Anberlin, I went to see them in Poughkeepsie on Sunday, and it was a great show. I danced and sang a lot, and screamed, and went deaf for a few hours. I brought my brother and our friend with me, and my brother got leaned on by the singer for Story of the Year, Dansomething. Then, because he felt bad about it (maybe?) he held the microphone to him to let him sing. Like a "Sorry I broke your head. Here's a consolation prize." Then, whilst Anberlin was on stage, the guitarist named Christian McSomething threw his pick on the floor, in front of my brother, and he picked it up. It was made with Anberlin's logo and the guy's signature on it. He also almost got a drum stick, but some kid was also tugging on it, and my brother let him have it. So, it was a great first show for my brother, and that makes me happy! All I really wanted was to dance and sing, and I did, so it was a good show for me, too.

Speaking of my brother, he's heading down to D.C. now, for the senior trip. I'm hoping he has a good friggin' time. Last night, I made him a goodbye card.

I'm applying for a job at the Humane Society in Hudson. They need someone to work on their computer system(s?), and when I spoke with the manager, all the stuff he needed was stuff I can do pretty well. He said it's kind of unlikely that they'll take me, because I'll be leaving for school in August, but he asked for my resumé anyway, so I can still hope, right? It'll be better that working for Otto, that's for sure.

Dante thinks he's a lap dog and jumped on me. I'd have taken a photo, but we have no lights in the kitchen except for a lamp behind me. All our lights down here are broken. :-(

Here's some photos:

My Favourite Flower

Me and my best friend from high school, my dearest Chibi.
She's wearing two different coloured contacts, and I have to remind myself of that sometimes.