Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I'm extremely burnt out.  I'm over this semester, which unfortunately is not over with me until Friday.  I plugged in my iPod touch to charge it... yes I have an iPod touch.  (I like it for it's PDA features.  I'm a bit OCD when it come to having my calender up to date.) and decided to try out the 'Podcast' feature that I've avoided for several years now because I didn't know what the hell it was.  The first podcast iTunes decides I'd be interested in is 'Philosophy Bites'.  I'm generally not a fan of philosophy.  If the discipline had a flavor, I think it'd taste like cardboard.  Mmmm cardboard.  Yummy.  iTunes clearly does not know me, either that or I have the music taste of a philosopher.  As if there was a taste for a group of people.  I hope I never get lumped in with Botanists.  Damn treehugging hippies... oh wait... perhaps thats accurate...  Any way, I'm in LOVE with this podcast... not because of the content, but because of the broadcasters having British accents!  I have no idea what they were talking about, I can't focus on anything they're saying.  But I've really enjoyed giggling over how cute their accents are.  I'm an awful person and will probably spend some time in philosophy hell to make up for this.  

I wonder what philosophy hell is like... probably logic over and over and over again.  If A then B... if B then C... if C then A? Therefore, Liz must be a dumbass.  Painful elaboration of the obvious.
Yes that sounds about like the course I took.

Never fear, I have subscribed into several podcasts that I'd find useful and/or interesting... since I'm listening to Philosophy Bites for kicks and giggles (literally).  The only beef I have so far is how they've mainstreamed 'green' issues.  It feels very sterile and apolitical.  Meh...  I'll give it a chance before truly passing judgement.

Liz's Pilot Podcasts:
Th Onion
Real Time with Bill Maher

As I was listening to Grist... this came up:
"Stick that in your cost benefit analysis and smoke it!"  - Concerned scientist letting policy makers know that smog is indeed an environmental concern.  

What a BAMF (Bad Ass Mutha Fucka!)!  I'm totally using that in my next argument.  Now I can switch it up with 'Suck it'.  Oh person!  I'm in love.

Back to the grind... I swear I'm being more productive than this.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

experiments: physical and abstract

I've spent my previous two evenings with Erin, Tturtle, and Colin. We've been congregating in Erin and Tturle's kitchen to discuss, laugh and share our days' adventures. One of Erin's latest art endeavors has been spinning natural fibers into thread.  She's acquired several sheep fleeces from various sources, which she then cleans, brushes, and spins using a drop spindle.  She's mainly been working with wool, but has tried her hand at cotton and has bags of flax and silk to experiment with in the very near future.  I love exploring the wonders of the natural world with Erin.  She excitedly calls me to share her discoveries and results.  When I can, I hurry over and we drool over the creation and materials like dogs over a dropped piece of cake.    After creating some thread with Erin last week, I took the gem home and knitted a small swatch to experiment with some of the different properties.  Upon finishing I reported back to Erin, who was as delighted as I about the results.  We're going to felt with the swatch and experiment with that process and outcome of the particular fleece we used.  Not only does each individual medium have its own unique texture, each has it's own scent; the completely unprocessed fleeces smell like happiness, the cotton like a cool fall breeze, the flax like freshly cut wood.  The color palate is also something I'm particularly drawn to.  I feel strangely at home and soothed by the creams, browns, toffees, eggshells, moss green (of spanish moss we made cordage out of yesterday), and even the pure sterile white of the cotton.  I'm honored that Erin shares the knowledge and techniques she's learned with me.  I find it fascinating and thrilling to make something from the rawest of raw materials.  I can't get enough of it.  Learning the origins of processes we reap the benefits from every single day leaves me in absolute awe.  Even more so since I would never have had the courage to venture this direction on my own.  Erin encourages me to jump right in and not be afraid.  Strangely enough, things I find to be mistakes happen to be beautiful with a little more work.  

Monday, April 28, 2008


pause for a moment...

Eastern Redbud; Charlotte, Carolina - April 4th, 2008

Sometimes you just need to pause, and remember how beautiful the world really is.

Sunday, April 27, 2008


The Weepies - "Gotta Have You"

Gray, quiet and tired and mean
Picking at a worried seam
I try to make you mad at me over the phone.
Red eyes and fire and signs
I'm taken by a nursery rhyme
I want to make a ray of sunshine and never leave home

No amount of coffee, no amount of crying
No amount of whiskey, no amount of wine
No, nothing else will do
I've gotta have you, I've gotta have you.

The road gets cold, there's no spring in the middle this year
I'm the new chicken clucking open hearts and ears
Oh, such a prima donna, sorry for myself
But green, it is also summer
And I won't be warm till I'm lying in your arms

No amount of coffee, no amount of crying
No amount of whiskey, no amount of wine
No, no, no, no, no, nothing else will do
I've gotta have you, I've gotta have you.

I see it all through a telescope: guitar, suitcase, and a warm coat
Lying in the back of the blue boat, humming a tune...

No amount of coffee, no amount of crying
No amount of whiskey, no wine
No, no, no, no, no, nothing else will do
I've gotta have you, I've gotta have you

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Wow.  I have some of the greatest people in my life.  How am I ever depressed or upset about anything.  I'm so fortunate to be surrounded by such awesome, interesting people.

I'm buzzin' right now.  I decided to drink some beers while doing some reading at Buddha Belly.  I really like it there.  Maybe it has nothing to do with the restaurant but everything to do with the weather and the fact that they had a patio. That's more likely to why I liked it.  I mean I like Bagels Unlimited for that exact reason.  The food sucks, but I love their porch.

I'm freaking out a little about India.  Its just strange that I'll actually be going... I never thought it'd actually happen for whatever reason.  Damn its awesome, but at the same time I'm scared and nervous.  I need to get into some sort of shape before I go, otherwise I'm going to sucking wind when we go hiking.

Hammer time.

Ooodles of Love.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I felt I deserved some sort of break or reward for finishing classes in one piece.  So I decided yesterday after I turned in my lab reports (yes plural) I would refuse to do work until Friday.  So today I woke up at 7:00 per usual... and rolled over until 8:00.  Hells yeah.  I slept in.  I had no idea what I was going to do with my day and still hadn't really decided when I stopped shootin the shit at 11:00 and took off in my little car.  I took 441 south thinking I'd figure plans out by the time I got to Micanopy.  I decided that adventures on beautiful day should abide by the following 3 rules:  Rule 1: Windows down.  Rule 2:  No cell phones.  I turned that shit off and threw it in my back seat somewhere (later spending 20 minutes to find it).  Rule 3: Happy music only.  Accordingly, I jammed in the car for a good 20 minutes enjoying the weather and singing at the top of my lungs.  I also stopped twice to look at things on the side of the road.  Flowers rock.

When I reach Micanopy I had made one decision, to check out the antique shops and see what was new.  I don't recall everything being so ridic. overpriced.  So I hopped back into the my adventure machine and set out for the junk lady's castle of treasures in McIntosh.  I never got there.  I got pleasantly lost and ended up along the Hawthorne Trail.  I have no idea how I got there, nor do I really care.  It was an adventure.  Duh.  Directions and maps are not very adventurous.  I decided that this was an omen, so I headed back into Gainesville.  

I made another decision to go thrift store shopping and see if there were any new treasures calling me.  Indeed there were.  I got a chair for the kitchen table.  We've had the table for about 6 months but we never bothered to get chairs.  So basically it's just held whatever things I'd picked up and brought home.  Honestly, I'm surprised my roommate puts up with me.  I bring weird things home and we really don't have a ton of space.  We had a chat later about how we needed to think of a new organization scheme since I keep bringing things home... and home is looking a bit cluttered.  Anyway, back to the treasures... I only got one chair... for two people.  I'll keep looking and maybe in 6 more months get another one.  The person that sold it to me made the strange statement that only "them blacks" carry cash these days.  I stared at him and didn't say anything, because I had nothing constructive or particularly nice to respond with.  Rule 4: No being mean on happy adventure days.  Plus, I wasn't in the mood today to really go into why racism is wrong.  Call me whatever.  Sometimes it's not worth the effort.

I continued my quest at Loop de Loop, an awesome little thrift store that always has super cool goodies.  I found an awesome old hard suitcase.   I'm really excited about this suitcase; I've been searching for one for at least a year.  In fact I started cleaning/reorganizing my room/stuff only to get everything out, get bored, and leave it all strewn about.  Hoooray for messes!  Seriously, nothing new.  I love messes.  I thrive in them.  Back to the story... After my scrounging for delightful treasures I'd worked up an appetite, so I went to 2nd Street Bakery.  LOVE that place.  Some friends of mine were there, so I chilled for a while with them and laughed about life.  They liked my rules and the fact that they were participating in my adventure.

We started talking about the Harn Museum of Art, so I soon set off for that to see what was new and exciting there.  The newest exhibit, Paradigms of the Unexpected, was interesting.  I liked several of the pieces.  I wrote down the artists so I could talk to Erin about them later and in order to look them up again and create a more concrete opinion about the work.  Sometimes I get a bit overwhelmed by museums and can't process it all fully in the moment.  By now it was around 4:00, so I decided to turn my phone back on (after finding it) and head home for a nap.  I didn't actually take one, but made a gigantic mess instead.  I'd say that today's adventure was a success.  Another lovely adventure.  I think I can tackle exams now.

Morning procrastination

Today's Soundtrack:

Mason Jennings - "Living In The Moment"

I thought I could live forever here on my own
It seemed things were so much better out here alone
A lonely dreamer, a nonbeliever, now
I'm living in the moment with the friends I love
I knew I could feel more power living life without love
So I spent my days and hours looking for heaven above
The only thing that I found was my feet on the ground, so
I'm living in the moment with the friends I love
Money, why do you say what you say, you don't mean it
Money, why do you say what you say, you don't mean it, you don't mean it
Some say we'll all be rewarded when we reach the end
And all our lives will be recorded and replayed again
One day it hit me, this ain't a movie, now
I'm living in the moment with the friends I love

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

ready.... break!

So I have four and a half hours until my final lab report is due for the semester.  These things just suck the life out of me and make me question if I really want to go into academia.  If all I do is write reports and hang out in a lab, count me out.  So not fun.  Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the processes in the lab because I learn quite well doing the hands on thing, but I hate how every little detail must be perfect.  It'd be one thing if every report had the same layout, but I feel as though I'm learning something new each and every lab.  This is getting old, especially since typically I have two to three different labs a semester.  I'm just frustrated, burnt out, and tired.  Its a waste of my time.  I want this semester to end... which it will as of 5:00.  Come on 5:00.....

Back to the salt mine.... chug chug chug.  I can do it!  I'm the little engine that could!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Earth Day!

Hug a tree... it's Earth DAY!  I really love earth day, mostly because I love the things on earth.

Today was a last lab.  Well... more like a last lecture that took place in the lab room.  Weird? Yes.  Fun?  Hells yeahs.  For my ethnobotany class the last lecture was a "Food lab"  aka party.  We ate at least one thing from every (edible) plant family we learned about over the course of the semester.  Most things were delicious... one thing was not.  It smelled like vomit, but no self respecting botanist, or botanist-to-be, can approach any edible fruit and pass judgement without trying it at least once.  Apparently this is the rule... or so my TA told me.  Sounds like a good rule.  How can you fully study and understand something unless you give it the benefit of the doubt?

The fruit I sampled was Durian (Durio zibetninus).  The durian is the fruit of trees of the genus Durio belonging to the Malvaceae, a large family which includes hibiscusokracottonmallows and linden trees. Widely known and revered in Southeast Asia as the "King of Fruits," the fruit is distinctive for its large size, unique (insert repulsive) odor, and formidable thorn-covered husk. The fruit can grow up to 30 centimetres (12 in) long and 15 centimetres (6 in) in diameter, and typically weighs one to three kilograms (2 to 7 lb).  Its shape ranges from oblong to round, the color of its husk green to brown, and its flesh pale-yellow to red, depending on the species.  The hard outer husk is covered with sharp, prickly thorns while the edible flesh within emits a distinctive odor.  This odor is regarded as either fragrant or overpowering and offensive. The odor of the ripe fruit is strong and penetrating even when the husk is intact.  Due to the unusual odor, the durian is forbidden from certain establishments such as hotels and public transportations in Southeast Asia (because it'll make you want to die). The odor has prompted many people to formulate evocative descriptions with views ranging from those of deep appreciation (I'd really like to meet this person) to intense disgust (general response).  

Upon my challenge to eat this 'delightful' specimen I promptly plugged my nose, swallowed my pride and ate it.  Immediately I gagged on the warm custard like consistency and repulsive flavor.  But I swallowed it, bringing tears to my eyes.  The taste was somewhere between rotten meat and vomit mixed with a hint of death.  It had to be the most disgusting thing I've ever placed in my mouth, let alone eaten.  I've licked some gross shit in my days... but never have I ever felt like I was going to throw up my intestines as a gag response to something.  If ever I had to design an initiation for someone, this would be it.  Perhaps that's why I was challenged... in that case, I suppose I've been hazed into the botany family of flowerly love.  Hell yeah.  Today I'm a bad ass.

Monday, April 21, 2008


I talked to Jdawg last night.  I called because I had been procrastinating and looked up information on nematodes as a biological control for fleas.  I was right, and it could possibly work for his problem controlling Dog’s fleas if the soil moisture is constant enough.  The nematodes used as flea control are a different species or type than the ones that bite plants, people and furry woodland critters.  It was a pleasant enough conversation, although I had butterflies in my tummy during the entire thing.  On my way to class this morning, I noticed his car parked outside my place.  He didn’t use my lot Friday for whatever reason, but it was there today.  His jeep still had its doors off, so I jumped inside and made a post-it smiley face on the steering wheel.  I probably shouldn’t have, but I was feeling extra mischievous this morning.  In this instance doors would be highly useful for keeping people/things, like mischievous women, out.  I can’t help but think of surprises I’d like to do for him even though I’m trying to just be friend-like.  I pick things up and secretly plot to put them in his pockets next time I encounter him.  Most of the time I just put them in some jar or container and add it to my junk collection, but the thought always crosses me mind.  Since I feel that the universe controls things that I can't,  I’ve given my feelings up to the universe to decide what to do.  My feelings will either fade, or something new will arise.  After all, nothing is permanent and life is a dynamic, evolving experiment.  Maybe I’ll get unexpected results from this new approach.  At the very least, I simply won’t think about it anymore.  At this point, either result would be welcomed.

Jewish Adventures

This weekend was my first experience with a Passover Seder.  I  must say, I feel much much less culturally ignorant.  I went to Titusville, Florida with my dear friend LBG(TQ) (since this is open to any internet surfer, I'll consistently use abbreviations or nicknames for friends to protect their identities).  Titusville is an interesting place... sort of.  It's a sleepy little town with some very unique places, perfect for a afternoon adventure.  LBG(TQ)'s family was intense, but wonderfully warm and welcoming.  Dr. G (LBG(TQ)'s dad) was quirky and hilarious... I now know where LBG(TQ) gets it, and her mom made me feel like one of her own.  While there isn't too much to report since most Seders are quite standard, this one was note worthy because it was my first.  

Some things I learned/observed:  Traditional Jewish cuisine is quite gross, which is not a reflection on the family's cooking abilities (I know all too well that LBG(TQ) can cook like no other, and so can her mom), and Hebrew is a flemy sounding language.


Sunday I went with Erin to the Friends of the Library (FOL) sale back in Gainesville.  This year was even more incredible than the previous.  I ended up getting a wide variety of educational and fun old books for $12.  I feel like each item ended up around $0.50 each.  Wicked cool.  The FOL sale happens twice a year and is held in this huge warehouse off of Main Street.  The proceeds go to the Alachua County Library system and the books are all either old, overflow, and/or donations.  Perusing the warehouse is like being on a treasure hunt.  Everyone is excitedly digging through shelves, stacks, and crates of treasures in search for something that strikes their fancy.  Erin is really good at the digging and discovery of beautiful old treasures and was kind enough to share some of her finds with me.  Perhaps with practice, I too will become a talented book pirate.  

Friday, April 18, 2008

unexpected presents

Today was quite lovely.

birdface did his usual song and dance trying to talk to my fingernails as I read on the couch.  I felt something wet and looked down thinking he'd simply pooped on me, only to find that he had puked up a small gift of partly digested seed.  He looked up at me for approval and recognition for his gracious present.  I cooed and thanked him all the while trying to figure out how to discourage him from doing it again.  Just when I thought true love had eluded me, it presented it self in slimy form on my fingers.  How utterly beautiful.


I've also spent about an hour today reading various things on the internet.  A blog I particularly like is called Feminist Review.  I really like the philosophy behind this blog: Feminist Review blog believes that all opinions - positive and critical - are valuable and seeks to give voice to communities that remain on the margins.  Their mission is to "write reviews from feminist perspectives to explore the world through an anti-oppression lens." (emphasis, mine)  Furthermore, they acknowledge and recognize that there are many feminismS.  I find that absolutely stunning and attractive.  I strongly feel part of the problem faced by feminists today is people's ignorance to the fact that there are so many forms and faces of feminism.  Women's liberation movements have been plural rather than a singular.  Overlooking that fact, is to overlook the intricacy of feminist history and devaluing experiences of those outside of the mainstream, upper/middle class, white, heterosexual, western woman.  While most of the time I just peruse and appreciate the site and the critical eyes examining the presented work, today I was particularly struck by a book review.  Girls in Trucks, by Katie Crouch, is a novel (thanks to Feminist Review) that I probably would have otherwise overlooked and denounced as part of the ever popular and insulting "Chick Lit" genre.  Instead, I clicked over to Amazon and immediately ordered it.  I try not to be so impulsive about my book purchases, after all, I have a mountain of books awaiting me already on my bookshelf, nightstand, and all other available flat surfaces.  Was it the review, the plot description, or my hormone levels at that particular moment which caused me to do this?  Who knows.  I'll be sure to keep you posted on my thoughts and opinions of the book once I actually read it.  In the meantime, I suggest 1.) Checking out Feminist Review, and 2.) brushing up on your feminist history... and not just the popularly presented "women's history", but the less known histories.  (e.g. Chicana feminism, Womanism, ecofeminism, lesbian feminism, radical feminism, socialist feminism... get the idea).

Morning procrastination

I'm sitting in the library on campus right now in attempts to get something done before my morning class.  I couldn't help but stare out the window while waiting for coffee from the soullessness that is Starbucks.  I watched people walk to class and wondered what they were thinking about.  Absolutely no one was smiling.  What a negative way to start the day off.  I know it's 8:30, but it's another beautiful day complete with a cool breeze and plenty of sunshine.  I think this observation says a lot about American cultural norms and what we deem valuable.

Hmm... interesting.

Also, today marks the one month point until my birthday.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


After several years of blogging absence, I've decided to try this again.  When I was younger I had a livejournal where I left thoughts, experiences, and bits of love.  Now five years after scrapping the practice, I've found myself journaling in my word processor again and longingly reading friends blogs.  I type much faster than I write and can manage to get all my thoughts out before they flutter away.  It's quite frustrating when there are so many thoughts bursting to get out, but they seem to escape before you can place them in a neat little jar, box, or bag.  Sometimes these thoughts hang around my head and follow me on my adventures.  Sometimes I get out my imaginary butterfly net and attempt to recapture them.  Most of them are quite slippery and remain aloof, only to resettle back on my face as I'm trying to fall asleep at night.  

I should introduce myself before simply diving into my quirks and 'feisty' daily activities.  I'm currently a Botany and Women's Studies student at the University of Florida in the beautiful town of Gainesville.  I'm finishing up my third year and have managed to prevent the university from making me graduate early.  That said, I have a year left before I receive my BS & BA.  What I plan to do after that hasn't quite been captured from my floating cloud of thoughts.  Several beginnings of plans exist, none of which I'm too set on.  I like the idea of taking time off to explore and learn more about myself.  I'm in no rush to enter the labor force full time; I could happily be a waif for a while, or teach (which is something I've toyed with on and off since I decided not to go the pre-medicine route).  I have a twin sister (fraternal) who is a geology student in Georgia.  I'm extremely close to my twin.  She's my best friend and often saving grace.  I'm not at all religious, but I do find religious traditions fascinating.  I'm particularly interested in Hindu traditions and what I've categorized as 'Eastern fairy tales'.  I probably shouldn't have started this blog now because I'm going to India in little over a month.  But I woke up today and after about an hour of fighting to accept that reality was once again real, decided something new and wonderful needed to happen today.  Something fresh and unspoiled.  Hence the emergence of my blog.
Much of my frustrations come from the fact that I date.  I usually mess potentially delightful situations up, although, those are also few and far between.  Recent adventures have provided evidence for the validity of that last statement.  I'm a very passionate and opinionated.  I often say things I'm feeling without considering consequences or implications of my statements.  I don't sugar-coat things.  I don't hold back.  I'm rather intense most of the time.  

I have wonderful friends who I'll probably describe often.  We go on many adventures.  Some are elaborate and day long, others only a few hours or even several minutes.  Usually on bikes or on foot.  Sometimes in cars, or boats, occasionally on airplanes.  I've been trying to look at life as a series of adventures and exciting experiments.  The results may be wicked cool, and getting there is half the charm.

I also have two parakeets named birdface and sweety.  birdface is a little blue and white bird, who the source of much of my inspiration, joy, and frustration.  He whispers sweet nothings to me and then chomps down on my lip resulting in me flinging him across the room.  sweety is a rescue from a previous roommate who did not love or care for her like I do.  While sweety is not as affectionate as birdface or myself,  she is wonderful in her own special way.  I often envy their ability to fly.  I don't clip their wings mostly because I feel its terrible to take their magic powers away from them.  I sometimes take birdface's rejected feathers and pretend I can fly.  I sing and dance for birdface when no humans are around.  I don't like people to judge, although I tend to be judgmental myself at times.  I'm working on that.  If I could have any super power I would fly in hopes of being more graceful and beautiful like birds.  

Today's blog must come to a close for now.  Perhaps I'll edit it later and add more on, but for now I need to go check on my germinating lettuce seedlings in lab.  I hope this new experiment of blogging produces lovely results.

Oh, and by the way, I'm listening to PonyUp! a great band I recommend checking out.